Here is the second beaded piece I entered to Fire Mountain Gem‘s Seed Beads Contest.
Actually, I created the piece for an editorial photo shoot. [ You can read more about it here ]
It is inspired by the glamorous accessories people wore in 1920s in general . . . and Daisy Buchanan (of the Great Gatsby) in particular.
I call this (stylized) leaf-shaped hair adornment Ceaseless Ardor . . .
It embodies Jay Gatsby’s eternally unrequited infatuation towards Daisy Buchanan . . . Many years has gone by, but his idolization remains strong and unchanging. Whenever I reflect upon that aspect of the tragic story, the word evergreen pops up in my mind.
Evergreen . . .
That’s how Jay Gatsby sees her
Eternally beautiful, graceful, and glamorous.
Evergreen . . .
That’s what she will always be remembered as
The object of Jay Gatsby’s eternal adoration.
And . . .
That’s the how Jay Gatsby’s feeling towards her will remain . . .
Everlasting . . . undying . . . amaranthine . . .
And, so . . . when I was asked to create a Great-Gatsby-inspired bridal accessory, I couldn’t find a better design to represent Daisy Buchanan than an evergreen-leaf.
Plus, I believe that this is a headpiece Daisy herself would’ve wanted (or considered) to wear.
I also made the headpiece as sparkly and opulent as I possibly could. To do it, I used nothing but sterling silver beads, silver-lined bugle beads, gleaming Swarovski crystal pearls, extremely shiny fire polished beads, and 24k gold plated beads to embellish the piece.
With that basic idea in mind, this is how I created the headpiece.
It’s important to make sure that the piece will look nice when someone’s wearing it . . . and that it’s neither too small or too large
Using beads, I “drew” the outline of the design.
I call this step “drawing with beads” . . .
Covering the beading foundation with beads . . . making sure that the beading foundation is completely covered, and that the yarn doesn’t show up at all.
I have a thing for dimensional and textured beadworks. So, I used different kinds of beads in several different sizes to create the effect.
I call this step “coloring and shading the design” . . .
Blocking (or shaping) the headpiece usinga traditional millinery hatblock.
That way, it will perch beautifully on top of the wearer’s hair.
See how it curves?
Heat-treating the edges of the ultrasuede so none of its parts will unravel.
I basically melted the edges of the ultrasuede with candle flame.
Beading the edges of the beadwork and the ultrasuede to connect those two parts into one seamless piece.
Creating the straps/headbands
Yep . . . this part isn’t made using a pre-made chain . . . it’s constructed one link at a time . . .
Phew . . . what a long post!
I guess I better show you the third piece I entered into the contest – and its design process – another time :O
Next Saturday: The third design I entered into Fire Mountain Gem’s Seed Beads contest
Want to see what I’m making right now? Find me on Instagram. My user name is AngelicaBrigade.
You can also see my current work in progress and other behind-the-scenes activities here.
Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!!!
-joyce of Angelica Brigade
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Update (1/13/2014): You can find the list of all of the materials I used to create the headpiece here
Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
That’s the title of my newest piece. What a mouthful, right?!
To be honest, I don’t think I’m going to win. The design isn’t very mainstream and the concept behind it is a bit bleak. But, I ended up owning something I’d want to wear very often, so it’s all good.
I enter contests – even the ones I don’t think I’ll ever win – to challenge myself. And usually, I gain new skills and come up with some things I consider groundbreaking. In this case, they are:
This piece is inspired by many women’s and girl’s hopes and dreams, and their efforts to reach them and the beauty of imperfection
Many women want to be slim and beautiful.
We fix our teeth, wear make-up, accessorize ourselves, and some of us even go through numerous procedures (ranging from getting eyelashes extension, botox injections, to cosmetic surgeries). Some of us even develop eating disorder(s) and exercise addiction.
Some women have more resources and determination than the others. But, many of us do try. This can lead to never-ending strives. People cannot stay young and beautiful forever.
In the end, we need to accept that there are some things we can’t change and do our best with what we have.
So morose? LOL!!!
Well, just so you know, the other two designs I entered into the contest are on the frivolous side. I will write more about them next week.
I feature and use all of the characteristics of each material I incorporate (even the ones other people might consider as negative attributes) to advantage.
In this instance, for example: Galvanized beads.
Some people dislike the fact that the plating of galvanized beads cannot last forever. I, on the other hand, rubbed the plating of some of the beads off before I sprayed them with clear acrylic spray. It gives the piece more texture and makes it look more dimensional. Also, the slightly distressed look of the beads amplify the mood of the piece . . . the beauty of imperfection and the ephemerality of all things.
I also challenge myself by not relying on cabochon(s) to anchor my design. I could’ve used Swarovski rivolis for the eyes . . . and if I did it, I could’ve finished creating the piece a few hours faster. Instead, I choose to “draw, color, and shade” my designs using nothing but beads.
Actually, I planned to put some chainmaille links onto this design. That way, this piece will contain every single thing I specialize on. That’s the very reason I put a silk flower on it. But, I was running out of time & none of the combinations I tried look nice on it. So, I decided to nix the idea.
By the way, I love the butterfly wing the skull is wearing as a headpiece. I’m thinking about creating similar hair accessory (minus the skull) sometime this month.
To me, the most important step in designing a headpiece is making sure that it will look nice on someone’s hair. I had to change the proportion and the silhouette of the piece a few times before it looks just right.
Then, the beading process begins.
One bead at a time . . .
As always, I prefer to “draw” the outline of the piece by back-stitching each bead to create the shape.
I tried a more conventional beading technique before (gluing cabochons —> beading around the cabochons —> cutting the beading foundation —> beading the edges) . . . but, that technique doesn’t work so well for me. May be it’s because I don’t really use cabochons. But not just that, I want to go beyond beading things in radial pattern.
After I was done beading the piece, I bonded it – using hot-melt adhesive – onto high quality ultrasuede … and beaded the part where the beadwork meets with ultrasuede to make the piece more seamless :)
Because the silk rose covers the pretty butterfly the skull is wearing as a headpiece, I decided to make the flower a bit smaller.
And, the number of hours I spent to create this headpiece is . . . 60 hours. The first attempt in bringing an imaginary accessory into reality takes time because I still need to figure out how I can create certain shapes or effects using the materials that are available to me. It involves a few trials and errors. I can reproduce this piece in less time. Say . . . 45 or 50 hours :D
Next Saturday: The other designs I entered into Fire Mountain Gem’s Seedbead contest
That’s it for now, guys!!!
Have a terrific weekend.
I finally got a chance to photograph all the pieces I recently made.
I’m gonna have to select & then edit the pictures (to make sure the colors seen in the pics are as similar to the real items as possible).
Here are some more previews of the things I plan to list on my Etsy shop. Sorry for cropping them & making them extra blurry. That way, when the official color-corrected pictures are up, you’ll like the final results more :D
Simple but dramatic chainmaille bracelets. I’ve been wearing them the moment I finished making them.
And this is my very first proper hatinator / cocktail hat
With hat frame & hat elastic that don’t show up when you wear it.
And these are Art Nouveau inspired hair clips. They are made out of silk shantung.
It might be a while before I can list them on my Etsy shop. After all, there are a few more custom orders I need to fill & brand new pieces (for two upcoming photo shoots) I need to create. And so, there are many samples of my new designs (which I call first-pieces) I need to create by the end of this week.
It usually takes me twice (and some times three times) longer to create first-pieces. Sometimes, things that look good on my sketch pad don’t look as good in real life. And so, I will need to re-size, replace, add, or reduce some parts of those first-pieces. At the same time, I also need to figure out the best way to construct each piece to make sure that they will are easy to wear, durable, & drape the way I want. It’s gonna be another hectic & sleepless week~
Anyway, have a great week, you guys! I’ll try to post some more new things this Wednesday.
In the meantime, you guys can check some other sneak peeks of several other pieces that I recently made on Angelica Brigade’s Facebook page & Tumblr. I don’t upload the same pictures on each site anymore~ So, if you want to see them, you’ll probably want to check each site.
– joyce of AngelicaBrigade
The episode is called “Health Dilemmas Caught on Tape”
More pictures & more information about the show are available in http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2012/10/the-doctors-tv-show-guest-japanese-bagel-head-body-modification-la-carmina-on-cbs-medical-daytime-tv-show/
You can see my handmade hair accessories @ 3:20 – 4:13
DNR is a Euro-Visual Band from Italy
The music video was filmed in Rome by Solobuio Visual Factory
For behind the scenes pictures, please visit La Carmina‘s blog: www.lacarmina.com/blog/2012/09/dnr-rock-princess-music-video-dreams-not-reality-new-pv-la-carmina-rome-italy-jrock-music/
DNR’s official website: http://www.dnrofficial.com
Solobuio’s official website: http://www.solobuio.com
<3 their music.
Here’s a screenshot that shows one of the scenes where you can see La Carmina wearing my handmade hair flowers:
Style name: Emme. Original design by joyz*k from Angelica Brigade.
– The base’s diameter: Approx. 5″ (12.75 cm)
– Overall height: Approx. 2.5″ (6.5 cm)
– The roses’ diameter: Approx. 2″ (5 cm)
– The flower’s height: Approx. 1.5″ (3.75 cm) tall.
– The braided embellishment’s longest point: Approx. 1.5″ (4 cm) away from the flower.
– The Swarovski Nautilus Fancy Stone: 1 1/8″ x 1″ (3 cm x 2.6 cm)
Materials: Italian silk organza, Swarovski Nautilus Fancy Stone (4196) in Light Colorado Topaz color, die-cut felt base, and alligator clip.
This is how my original Vespera hair fascinator like
And, this … is how its modified version looks like
***I created the modified version of the hair fascinator for a specific individual in mind … you’ll find out who it is in a few weeks …***
I will upload more pictures of my recent works very soon
In the meantime, to see my ‘portfolio’, please visit my Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/AngelicaBrigade
And to know what I’m up to:
http://www.twitter.com/AngelicaBrigade (AB related tweets)
http://www.twitter.com/k_joyz (my personal tweets)
La Carmina (http://www.lacarmina.com) wore a handmade hair accessory I made for her at a big fashion event in Italy (Firenze4Ever 4th edition). Clearer pictures will be available around March.
La Carmina is a blogger, author, journalist, TV host, fashion designer and cool hunter. She’s a brilliant young woman who was accepted into Yale Law School at age 20 & graduated with a J.D. She also is a travel & pop journalist for CNN, Huffingto, AOL, and Lip Service.
Be sure to check her site out (http://www.lacarmina.com) especially the videos. My current favorites are:
1. The one in she co-hosted with Andrew Zimmern: Bizzare Foods (Travel Channel)
2. The one for Canal+ France (yes, she speaks French)
3. Weird Wisconsin
Now, about the hair accessory
I baked the polymer clay face myself, then torched it, and speckled it with silver paint
Then I hand-beaded the piece, stitched the Swarovski crystal pearls and some additional beads, before I attached it onto the multiple layers of silk organza fabrics with carefully burned edges.
Layer upon layer of folded Italian silk organza with carefully burned edges, 3 silk roses, , all made using one same fabric.
Lightweight & drapes over the wearer’s hair, following the contour of the wearer’s head.
Discontinued. But can be made upon request.
Alternate versions of the pictures you can see in my Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angelica-Brigade/205402069513750)
1. Lela … My stencilled/airbrushed silk headdress … 7″.
As usual, I made each style, including this one, it in several different colors. I will upload their pictures tomorrow.
2. Lyria … Headband/headdress
3. Ondine … a variant of my Seafoam headdress/fascinator
5. Starla … my star-shaped-base fascinator/hair accessory
6. Vespera … a variant of the Starla (w/ star-shaped base … with added ribbon at the base)
I also made a self-tie headband version of this shape called Luceella. I’ll upload her picture … along with several new stuffs I made … tomorrow
(As usual … I take all the pictures myself, using my iPhone’s built-in camera without any special app or software or filter. None of them is re-touched).
All of these clips are made out of very glossy (resin coated) shantung (silk) fabric
The beaded mini bow with four-clover wire as seen on the Lenore necklace
The layered fascinator Kittrie …
The small one … in this picture worn together with the Charley bow
The Large one …
And lastly, the Swirl … beaded and embellished with a large Swarovski crystal
I’m planning to sell the small clips as a set of three … I’m still working on the grouping
It will take a few days …
I’m thinking that the third piece should also double as a brooch. So, I will attach this on the back of the third piece
By the way, let me show you how the back of the clips look like
The grey clips has grey flannel base and silver aligator clip attached on them
The aligator clips have great grips … they will fasten the fascinators/hairclips securely onto the wearers’ hair