14 January 2013

Custom Pieces!

I should announce on my blog that I accept custom pieces! If you see a tiara I made previously but it has already sold, or if you have your own tiara design in mind, feel free to contact me via Etsy! I've made quite a few custom pieces, and they are always an exciting challenge for me!

Sending a custom item request is easy! In the left pane beside my Etsy shop, there is an option under Shop Info that says "Request Custom Item." I will respond promptly!

My first "made-to-order" posting on Etsy!
Normally, customers come to me for custom pieces,
 so now I am having a hand at coming to you!

11 January 2013

Fall Leaves and Kingly Crowns

Goddess of the Fall
Okay, so I got the idea to make a forest-y elf mini crown, and I had these pretty small flowers in varying shades of orange. I attached the flowers using wire to the arches of the crown, and in the middle of the crown I used large yellowish flowers. The entire tiara frame is painted gold. I know it's winter now, but fall will roll around again!

Brisk Breezer Tiara
 The name sucks, whatever, it was the last tiara I posted that day, and after twenty postings, I was done. This is a simple piece that I made by attaching large yellow silk hydrangea flowers to a wire tiara frame. The piece has been sprayed with gold glitter spray. A sweet sort of tiara that could be worn as a headband any day.

Garden Hearts Tiara
 I had Alice in Wonderland and the Queen's garden in mind when I designed this tiara, but I feel like the metallic red and green pipe cleaners made it look too Christmas-y. I still really love the design, though, and I think it could easily be worn for Valentine's Day or with a fairy costume. I purposefully didn't wrap green pipe cleaners around all the green wire, as I wanted it to be an accent, and not to take over the design. It's a really large piece, and so much fun!

Kiss the Queen Mini Crown

I've been experimenting with making "mini" hats, as you can also see from my earlier posts about my Christmas hats with the Santa and nutcracker. I use a thick matte board and cut out a circle, onto which I glue fleece material. The trim is this cool white pom pom stuff. The crown is made from wire which I spray painted gold, and then gold beads are placed intermittently around the crown. The base of the crown is decorated with flat faux pearls. A ribbon is attached so that the hat/crown can be tied onto the head. It is also sprayed with gold glitter spray.

Gold Crab Claw Tiara
And that makes 3/3 for my crab claw tiaras that I made in December! Gold and sharp as usual.

My First Custom Made-to-Order tiara and other Pinkness

Pinkalicious Mini Crown
 Another mini crown! These things are interesting to make, and I use different methods each time. This one uses silver pipe cleaners, which look really cool. I think I've finally found a formula for the mini crown that works!

Pretty Little Princess Tiara
 I don't make that many little girl tiaras, but they are not difficult to make. I tend to make them small, but rather ornate, and there is always some pink on them, especially as I find it hard to believe that a little girl who would wear a tiara wouldn't want to wear pink! The large pink flower rests in the middle of the central heart design. So cute!

Custom Initial Tiara!!!
 My first custom, Made-to-Order tiara! I've seen other Etsy shops sell tiaras that say things like "Bride" or "Happy Birthday" or whatever. I wanted to try something different, and a bit more classical. I did the letter "A" for the example piece, as my name starts with an A. Each letter will obviously look a little different, but they will all incorporate scroll wire, painted either gold or silver, and utilize pink flowers with little crystal bead centers. I think it'd be fun if for next Christmas I made all my female friends and family their own initial tiaras.

Color Me Pink Tiara
 Naming tiaras is hard! I got some help naming some of them from my friend, Lee, who is super awesome and stylish and always knows what to name her art pieces. I am not a huge fan of the "Color Me Pink" title, but maybe I'll think of something better. I combined practically every pink thing I could find in my inventory. I know little girls love pink, and even women do too, and it is a very feminine color. I've also discovered pipe cleaners, and I've been using them lately in my tiara designs. Note: Yes, there are some glue strands in the picture, not hair (let's hope Regretsy doesn't see this! Lol.).

Sugar Plum Princess Tiara
Pinkalicious! I am not sure what the round, rhinestone-covered beads are called, but they look like awesome pieces of candy to me. I used three large ones on this tiara, along with my handcrafted, "bezel" set gems (see my post, Tiaras of Blue, for my process of how I make those). Pink and cute!!! I think it's important to spread pink in the world, so this is my start.

Mermaids Rule

Guardian of the Seas Crown
 I think artists in general tend to be pack rats, and I am no exception. The mussel shells were leftover from dinner from around a year ago, but they were so cool, I couldn't throw them out, so I cleaned them and stored them away. Fast forward a year, and I actually had free time to start making tons of tiaras, and I pulled out the shells, and discovered I could make an awesome mermaid tiara with them. I've made tons of mermaid tiaras over the years, and they are all radically different. They all utilize shells, which, really, makes them perfect mermaid tiaras. I love the idea of spray painting items to make them look like they are made from a different material than what they actually are. The crown above is all gold, because that's what a sea Empress would wear, right? The shells are reinforced with epoxy glue, and then wired to the tiara frame. A very elegant piece, it would go well with mermaid costumes but also any other type of costume.

Seawoman Tiara
 Mermaid tiaras are incredibly popular, believe it or not. I never keep them in my shop long, even though my designs are all radically different. There is a craft and party supply store near where I live, and I found these sparkling green "seaweed" or sea kelp sprigs. They were destined for a mermaid tiara, and luckily I had a huge supply of both clam and mussel shells. I reinforced the backs of the shells with epoxy glue, and I painted the tops with an opalescent paint. Simple, but very recognizable as a mermaid tiara.

Ocean Warrior Headdress
I am posting this tiara again, as it is really more a mermaid tiara than a "silver tiara." I see a lot of shops on Etsy selling handmade, elaborate headdresses, so I wanted to try making one. The whole base is made from wire, with securely attached real crab claws, all painted silver. I then glued shells, sea glass, and sparkling silver craft eucalyptus leaves to the tiara base. Additionally, I've wired real pearls, and silver and clear crystals to the piece. Dangling from silver ribbons are more crystals. This is one my most ambitious pieces. I've been wanting to make larger, more elaborate tiaras, so this is a good start.

Tiaras of Blue

Princess of the North Pole Tiara
 My mom bought this blue butterfly brooch from an estate sale or somewhere, I am not sure. But the great thing about finding secondhand finds is that often, they are in brand new condition, as in this butterfly! It not an old piece, but it is very well made, with sparkling crystal aurora and sapphire blue gems scattered over its wings. Large sky blue crystal beads are placed liberally along the base of the tiara, and are spaced by tiny deep blue crystal beads. The base of the tiara is wrapped in a sparkling blue and silver ribbon. To top it all off, I've attached sparkling blue leafy sprigs that I found at a craft store.

The name comes from my love of ice and snow crystals. I always wanted to live in an ice palace (even though I hate the cold), and I have always been a huge fan of Empress Jadis from the Narnia books. This tiara reminded me of deep blue ice. I've also been watching Avatar a lot lately, and I imagine that the Moon Princess girl would have worn a tiara like this. This is one of those tiaras that I consider a rare masterpiece. I'll probably be sad when it sells because I like it so much!

Tiny Empress Crown
 I was thinking about Empress Maria Fedorovna of Russia, the mother of the last tsar, when I named this piece. She was called "The Little Mother of Russia," and it was this nickname of which this crown reminded me. It was actually Queen Victoria who popularized the mini crown, wearing them exclusively after Prince Albert died. Mini crowns are now incredibly popular among the Japanese Lolita style and burlesque.

Sky Dream Tiara
I've been making tiaras for ten years now, but I've only been selling them for just over two years. Ten years ago, I never thought people would be interested in buying my wares, and the tiaras accumulated over the years. When I first opened my Etsy shop, I originally posted all of those old tiaras I'd made. Their style was very different to how I make them now, and when each one sold, it was with a little bit of sadness on my part. I'd become very attached to some of them, especially since they had survived several moves and had always been there.

This December, when I finally had time to make more tiaras, I decided to go back to that old style I used to employ. The Sky Dream tiara, above, utilizes "gems" that I made myself. I am not sure how I ever came up with how to make these "bezel" set gems, but it is quite an ingenious idea. I use paper or thick cardstock, and I glue circles of paper on top of these. The circles are the size of the flat clear glass marbles (the paper goes along the whole edge of them). I let it dry, and then spray paint these "bezels" gold or silver. I then paint the inside of the bezel any colors I like. I used a cerulean blue in the above design. I let it dry, then I put more mod podge or acrylic varnish in the bezel, and then put the marble in. The marbles fit very snugly, but because the glue is now mostly blocked from direct air, these little guys take a while to dry. When dry, I cut out each bezel, leaving about an eighth of an inch around the border of the bezel. This border is so that I can glue down sequins. I used flat star sequins above, but round "faceted" sequins, the ones with holes, also work great. I let it all dry. The great thing is, because these are made out of paper, glue sticks great to them, and they glue down well to loops of wire. I use C clamps to keep them in place after applying a thick, glossy glue like mod podge. Super elegant!
The "bezel" set gems glue down easily to loops of wire.

07 January 2013

Winter Tiaras

 I went crazy this December and made over 20 new tiaras. I didn't realize it until I posted them all to Etsy, but I made a ton of silver tiaras, which is good since I never seem to have any in my shop!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119739048/claws-of-steel-tiara
 Huge crab claw tiara. I found tons of dead crabs on a trip to the coast of Western Washington, and after a crab-stench car ride back home and my apartment smelling like dead crab for 2 days. But now I have a nice collection of crab claws and arms to use for art purposes!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119734368/ocean-warrior-tiara
This is a mermaid-themed crab claw tiara. I've seen other amazing mermaid headdresses on Etsy, and I've been wanting to make larger statement pieces for awhile. There are real pearls and crystals as well as sea shells and silver crab claws.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119741118/winter-frost-crown
Ice Queen Tiara! I got so excited when I saw this frosty "ice" covered branch at a craft supply store. It makes a beautiful tiara, and the large plastic pieces look like chunks of ice.

Close up of the Ice Queen tiara.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119739282/the-devil-wears-glitter-tiara
 Glitter devil horns. Because everyone needs a set of devil horns, and they may as well be glitterlicious.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/119739697/leaves-a-glitter-tiara
 My sister made this lovely piece. It's amazing how, using my supplies, she can make something that I didn't even think of.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119738695/silver-olive-leaf-crown
 This piece uses silver glitter covered leaves and a vintage clip on earring. Very simple, but an elegant crown.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119738265/glitter-bow-hair-comb
 I can imagine a sweet little girl wearing this large sparkle bow. Or I would totally wear this thing. It's awesome. There is a comb attached to the back so that it can easily be stuck into your hair.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119740344/imperial-arctic-tiara-reserved-for-carol
 Imperial Arctic Tiara. I've been watching the cartoon series Avatar a lot recently, and I think it's fair to say I'd probably be a water bender. A water bending princess, most likely. So this is the tiara I'd wear!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/119740819/diademe-dargent-reserved-for-morgan
An old friend of mine said she wanted to buy one of my tiaras, but she chose one that my sister made that had sold! So I made this lovely silver trinket tiara, that I have Frenchly named Diademe d'Argent. I love it, so complicated looking, but the silver color pulls everything together.