Goddess Mnemosyne

Have you ever felt the breath of Zeus down your back?

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No! Then you’ve never created a gown for the Goddess Mnemosyne.

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So, now you want to know about Mnemosyne. Well, you’re in luck because Aquileana has posted Mnemosyne: https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/%E2%96%BAgreek-mythology-mnemosyne-collaboration-with-resa-mcconaghy-and-christy-birmingham-%F0%9F%92%AB/

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Big Bonus: Christy Birmingham of Poetic Parfait  penned a poem about Mnemosyne for Aquileana’s article. Art Gown Mnemosyne is there, too!

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Intrigued by Greek Mythology since I began reading La Audacia de Aquiles, I thank Aquileana for all the heady gown ideas.

MoMne #1MoMne #2My first inspiration was the classic white draping associated with ancient Greece.

I found yards & yards of natural white curtain sheers in a sell off bin for $2.00/yd. At that price it must have been around since the 1970’s!

MoNme #3Judy is off white and I got a fret on that the fabric wouldn’t show.MoMne #4

I consulted with Aquileana & she said red or blue could work.

So, I styled a fine red silk jacquard under dress for Mnemosyne.

Art Gowns refuse to iron, so I spent many days at the ironing board preparing the white sheers: hand stitching & pressing.

On the right: Mnemosyne inspects & critiques my fussy & diligent work.

It was worth the effort. Mnemosyne is a true classic beauty.

Christy’s  poetry is super meaningful, & is making this Art Gown even more special. Thank you so much dear Christy!

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Here are some out takes.

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Mnemosyne allowed me to experiment with a slight re-drape.

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I wanted to show off all the gorgeous vintage golden brass pieces a friend gave me to help me express Mnemosyne. To me, these represent Zeus.

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Together with the red silk they are the Muses.

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Mnemosyne is the mother of the 9 Muses. Zeus is the father.

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Mnemosyne & all the Art Gowns welcome you into the Art Gowns’ home for a celebration! Dionysis is bringing the wine, so it’s got to be good.

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I will be preparing the meal, as Art Gowns don’t go into the kitchen, ever.

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Art Gown Mnemosyne designed by Resa McConaghy – January, 2016

Mnemosyne Photos taken by Resa McConaghy – January 19 – 30, 2016

All rights reserved © Resa McConaghy

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Above: Mnemosyne w/ Mini-me. Below, a Queen of Goddess.

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Wild Rose

Could you ever fall in love with a wild rose bush, as it languishes in sun?

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Then you’d want to take it home, but soon realize there’s not enough top soil in your apartment.

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My solution? Make an Art Gown, and dedicate it to someone who has the earthy requirements!

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Wendy Ellen Thomas is perfect! Visit her blog Chez Chloé & see what I mean.

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Wild Rose is a simple concept. Black is the earth.

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Pink is the wild roses.

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As a veggie, I will never wear a leather dress I inherited from work, but I can do it justice.

WRose #002WRose #001Originally, it was a mini with tank style bodice & nasty zippers up the front.

With much glee, I cut away and restyled.

I spent less than $30.00 on a delicate pink lace with rose pattern.

Wild Rose #10WRose #6I used the lace for the corset insert & the skirt.

To decorate the bodice I began cutting flowers from the lace.

That was about 3 dozen delicately flowing petals I cut out.

Once I’d decided to use a swath of black voile for the tail, I began cutting out 200 more roses.

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Each wild rose was hand sewn onto the voile.

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Wild Rose outakes

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Wild Rose settles into her new home’s “Art Gowns” Room.

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She bathes her tail in the warm sunshine.

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Wild Rose is a romantic …

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… and pines for a lover.

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Wild Rose says, “Let’s invite Wendy Ellen Thomas over for dinner!” She can really cook up a storm & Resa will do the dishes!”

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Wild Rose designed, made & written by Resa McConaghy – October, 2015

Photos © Resa McConaghy – taken November 4 – 2015

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Shaping It Up

I designed #TheShape, drafted a pattern, made 2 mini coats & want to know what you think!

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Using my Judy to fit them on, I did one out of a stiff cotton Spanish drapery fabric.

An Art Gowns Original Design

The other was made out of a thin, crisp shirt weight Italian velvet flocked cotton.

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Next up was a model. I wanted a mature woman,  40 years +. I couldn’t find one I could afford, except me. So, oh well!

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The flocked velvet coat was finished first, so I started there. Here I paired it with leggings from Marina Kanavaki’s S6 Shop & a ceramic Green Leaf Pin designed by Belén Soto.

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The print on the leggings is from an original work of art by Marina, Paths of Color [Turquoise, Blue And Green] The purse is a sustainable fashion piece made from cork bought at Chartreuse Style in Toronto.

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The curtain coat was finished in time to go out for a dinner.

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Dressier than the last outfit, I put the coat together with a little black dress & heavy black tights. It was accessorized with a hand-made black rubber & copper wire necklace.

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#TheShape is flattering, & can be cut longer. It can be made from all types of fabrics. Sleeves & collars can change, & the front closure become buttons. A solid front with zip in the back turns it into a dress. The sky’s the limit!

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What do you think of #TheShape?

OR

Should I call it #TheResa?

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

All photos of Resa © Norman Orenstien – September 19 & 27, 2015

Coats designed & made by Resa – August – September, 2015

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Cecilia Lionheart

Was your heart ever broken enough to switch Art Gowns in mid creation?

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Then outrage has compelled you to do a Tribute to Cecil The Lion, #CecilTheLion.

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With  tail  thrown under her neck & crisscross armor to protect her, Marina Kanavaki,  must be who this Art Gown is dedicated to.

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 Take a look at Marina’s blog Art Towards A Happy Day and be convinced. She is vegan, & a champion for all animals both wild and domestic.

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Cecilia #8Being a last minute creation, I was in an absolute uproar about what to make the gown out of.

Then I realized I owned about 500 men’s ties, mostly dated. I figured why not?

I deconstructed about 80 ties. A step ladder was used as an organizer.

I opted for regal colors red, gold & purple. Solids, paisley & medallions became the chosen patterns.

Old purple curtain lining was fashioned into a skirt on Judy. Ties became points, trims, bows & braids.Cecilia #9

Contrary to regular established procedure, I made the tail first.

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 The bits on the back of the ties, that you pass the skinny part under, were fashioned into Cecilia’s dangling choker.

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MORE CECILIA BEAUTY SHOTS

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Of course the Art Gown I had originally started will be back next post, but I just had to break rhythm and design this tribute.

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Marina & I are sick about what happened to Cecil The Lion. So, we’ve signed petitions & are doing what we can. You’re welcome to join in, if you already haven’t!

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Cecila Lionheart designed by Resa McConaghy 2015

Photos taken by & © Resa McConaghy – Aug 1 & 2 -2015

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Autumn Orchid

Did you ever have to “make-over” an internet shawl contestant into an “Art Gown”?

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If you have, you know it’s not as painful as standing in the shadows of love,

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…but still, you spent a lot of time looking out the window wondering how!

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Between the challenges of life, the window of opportunity and the shadows of love, lies hope. I dedicate “Autumn Orchid” to Cindy Knoke, and I hope she just loves it!

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Cindy’s Blog is filled with color, nature, joy and adventure. It is a most positive place to visit, and as beautiful as any “Art Gown”

Cindy MOS #1This gown started, as a shawl.

 The shawl took over 40 hours.

Due to paint drying times, this was over a three week period.

I chose yardage of a 90″ wide piece of floral patterned curtain lace.

This ensured that there would be no seams in the shawl, that it would be 1 piece unto itself.

Cutting deep into the lace around the flowers, a unique bordeur was created.

Cindy MOS #2After mixing metallic copper acrylic paint with fabric medium, I painted the bordeur.

Both sides of the lace were painted.

When finished and dry, the paint was meticulously heat set with a hot iron.

Using finishing scissors, I cut off all micro bits of painted fray.

This made a very smooth edge.

The shawl was entered in a very fabulous talent contest.

It was so exciting!

The slideshow features some of my fave shots of the  finished shawl.

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Oh…. boohoo! My shawl didn’t win. I moodily wandered around the “Art Gown” room for awhile.

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Then, I thought of Cindy, & remembered the old saying “If  life gives you a lemon shawl, make “Art Gown” lemonade!”

MOG #4MOG #5I halved the remaining lace.

One piece went into a pail with copper acrylic paint and water.

The other half was hand painted with copper, cobalt turquoise & a blend of the two.

I cut around the lace pattern to form a bodice.

For the skirt, the shawl was folded diagonally, as you saw in the slideshow, then fastened around  Judy’s waist with the opening in the back. The pail soaked lace was inserted into the back opening.

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MOG #1MOG #2Flowers were cut out from the rest of the lace. In back, they were ruched onto the insert. In front, they were used like flat puzzle pieces.

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Voilà, more “Autumn Orchid”

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One last nostalgic look.

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P.S. I did find a fabulous turquoise orchid online. It is a rights reserved image, so I can’t show you.

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“Art Gown” Autumn Orchid designed by Resa McConaghy – November, 2014

All photos taken by Resa McConaghy – November, 2014

Art Gowns Love

 Thank you all who supported that I had an Award Nomination. I have taken forever (unless you follow GLaM ) to tell you I didn’t win.

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I had the time of my life. I have a new “Art Gown” on Judy. I have a surprise post in between this and the new “Art Gown post”

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In the meantime visit Art Gowns for Charity and and knock some socks off!

Pics © Norman Orenstein – 2015

Art Gowns – Red Carpet Review

I’M THRILLED to be a NOMINEE for BEST COSTUME DESIGN – CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS

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The show I’m up for is “The Best Laid Plans” & of course some of the “Art Gowns” want to go to the Gala. They each say they are “The Best Made Gown”.

So in a supportive spirit, my writer friend Christy Birmingham from  Poetic Parfait uses her talent to review a few of the gowns.

 

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penn-test1

Dip me in a mixture of blooms and light,

For a wedding beyond what I ever thought possible.

Douse me with water from a river of silky fabric

That tumbles across my curves with brilliance

I had not previously known.

Let me savor this garden today.

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anne-1She slithers with sexiness, power rising from

Far within the depths of the striking hemlines,

Reaching out with a bold beauty to fit snuggly at

The intersection of feminine and powerful.

She is a layer of heat upon hope, black upon white,

Billowing in a breathtaking world of her own.

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

 

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Imelda2-aDosage is plenty, yet never too much,

With purple shades of glory that rest underneath

Bobbles more elegant than words will allow,

As though the train to perfection is held within

Lines across me, and it flows to the

Floor with an ease I have not felt in years.Imelda2- k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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venus-6

Shimmer me this, tell me what you think,

Whether my daring spirit is coating your

Mind with romance for miles?

Run your hopes down my side, like the soft

Fabric of my dreams, and settle within the

Bare skin that complements a blue vision

Put here to amaze us.

Layer within my company tonight.

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THANK YOU DEAR CHRISTY

Christy’s blog Poetic Parfait is filled with her poetry, short stories, book reviews and more, as she shares her creative mind with us all. When Women Inspire, Christy’s other “must see” blog, is a wonderful celebration of and for all women ……. and men!

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All gowns designed by Resa McConaghy

All photos © Resa McConaghy

All poetry © Christy Birmingham

Empress d’Amore

Are you like me, at a loss for words to describe an “Art Gown” that is its own Fairy Tale?

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Okay, at least we know it opens with: Once Upon A Time

Virginia, a retired chef & her romantic, fanciful blog Bel’ Occhio have inspired this Art Gown. You’ll find some of her recipes on this blog, but if you have the appetite for more delicious creations visit her at Mrs. Butterfingers

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ONCE UPON A TIME

There was a beautiful young girl named Virginia who lived in the Empire of  Amore. Unfortunately, she was very poor, a seamstress for the wealthy merchants of the Kingdom.

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The Emperor demanded his son, Prince Will, marry. He decreed a holiday with a Royal procession throughout the Empire. All “Virgins” of marrying age were to don their prettiest gowns & attend.

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Virgina’s mind was on her sewing when The “Town Crier” made the announcement. What she heard as his words floated up from the street and through her window  was “All Virginias were to don their pretty gowns for the procession.”

Alas, poor Virginia had no gown, but owned some yardage of thin taffeta, the color not in fashion.

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Virginia would sew a gown, but it would be very plain. She had no lace nor gems to decorate it with.

All she had was a modest piece of net, a length of ratty marabou & colorful scraps of  silks from her rich clients.

Using “Tailor Tacks” she overlaid the net best she could.

Virginia then decided to make the scraps into an luxurious abundance of braided trim.

She braided for many days and many nights then creatively attached the silk braids to the gown.

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When it was finished, her gown was far more beautiful than any of the bejeweled and otherwise overly embellished “Gowns of the Empire”.

On the day of the event, Virginia took her place along the procession route with hundreds of other girls in gowns.

“My, my” she said to herself, “I had no idea how many girls were named Virginia.”

As the parade moved past her, Prince Will was smitten with Virginia’s beauty and the uniqueness of her gown. He took her in his arms, and  asked her to be his future Empress d’Amore.

The Emperor announced to the cheering  crowd that Prince Will had chosen his Virgin bride.

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“Oh dear!” cried Virginia, “I’m not a virgin, but my name is Virginia.” The Emperor’s men tore her from the Prince’s arms. All he was left with was a hand full of colorful silk braids.

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Prince Will denounced his title, and set out on his white steed to find his beloved Virginia. He wore the colorful silk braids around his neck, as he wandered the Empire.

Empress 1Empress 3Furious, the Emperor had Virgina imprisoned in a velvet tower where she pined her days away

When Will learned of her lofty prison. He took the braids from his neck & made a rope.

A dove took the end of the silk rope, and flew up to Virginia’s window. Recognizing the braids, she threw open the sash and the dove flew in.

Using the rope, Virgina climbed down from the tower.

  With his Love in his arms, Will galloped away on his strong white steed, as the people cheered.

The Emperor died, unloved and lonely.

Due to the the people’s love, Will was made Emperor, and Virginia became Empress.

THE MORAL OF THIS TALE

Don’t mess with love! It has a Will of its own, and being a Virgin has nothing to do with it.

Empress End

THE END

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La Vie en Rosé

Were you ever inspired to embellish an Art Gown with 300  wine corks?

Shot in natural diffused daylight
Shot in natural diffused daylight

Tip #1 – Do not attempt to drink 300 bottles of wine all in one night. Spread them out over a few days.

OR

Shot in Magic Hour with Incandescent lighting
Shot in late afternoon with Incandescent lighting

Tip #2 – Share them with friends.

OR

Shot in Magic Hour with a Flash
Shot in Magic Hour with a Flash

Tip #3 – Read a romance novel by Imelda Evans while you sip luxuriously

La Vie en Rosé is inspired by and dedicated to Imelda and her latest novel “Playing By The Rules”

 

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OF course I would have to attach all the corks somehow so I bought 110 meters of old gold soutache. It was easy getting else wise creative with that soutache.

Imelda2- fImelda2- gI wanted more creative fuel for  so I asked Imelda,

“If you could put 1 color to Kate & 1 color to Josh what are those 2 colors? Not that I will use them, but what would they be?”

Imelda’s answer:

“Okay, this was a mind-bender for me, as I don’t think this way normally (although I’m going to do it for all my characters now).

Imela2-?Imelda2-iKate is a rich, autumn brown. If it were shiny it would be burnished bronze. Josh is a bright, apple-y green. I have no idea why!”

I couldn’t resist buying some new yardage

I found this gorgeous tie-dyed (the pattern does not repeat)  stretch velvet.

In the warm lighting of the store the colors were a perfect  bronze/brown with a kind of apple green coming though.

As I was paying for it, my eyes caught the most enchanting brown/bronze organza ribbon so I grabbed 20 meters of that.

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When I set up in the”Art Gown” room which is filled with natural light the colors appeared to be burgundy and teal. When shot with a flash the green magically appeared.

The gown is a chameleon!

This is why I opened with 3 similar shots of La Vie en Rosé I was completely at a loss for what was more beautiful.

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destiny_playingbytherules_cvr-smallI loved Imelda’s first book, “Rules Are For Breaking” 

As “Playing By The Rules” is a prequel. I just had to ask,

“Was it easier to write the second book having already developed the
characters in the first book?”

Imelda’s answer:

“That’s a bit of a tricky one, as this book was actually written first!   I did rewrite a lot of it after I published the other one though, so I guess I can still answer that.

Yes, knowing the characters first makes it much easier to write their stories. But I get to know the characters by writing their stories, so it’s a bit of a catch 22! Not sure what comes first, sometimes, the story or the people!”

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Both of Imelda’s books are available on Amazon.

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Playing By The Rules

and

Rules Are For Breaking

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Oh! If you want to know how the French title and wine corks tie in, you’ll have to read the book. I hope you do!

La Fin

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“Art Gown” La Vie en Rosé designed by Resa McConaghy _ January – 2014

All photos of La Vie en Rosé © Resa McConaghy – January – 2014

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Message in a Bracelet – DIY

Do you love learning about history? Does it ever inspire you?

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Then think “Suffragettes” and you’ll know why I’ve designed a bracelet in green, white and violet.

Recently, I did a guest post on Christy Burmingham’s  blog WHEN WOMEN INSPIRE. It’s titled #GreenWhiteViolet. It inspired me back!

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I decided the bracelet needed earrings. I wound up making 2 pairs.

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Just in case you want to make a bracelet of your own design:

DIY INSTRUCTIONS


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One of my challenges was that I had to use what I could find at home, or in my kit.

I gathered my green, white and violet beads.I found white pony beads, violet lined glass seed beads, a string of real cut amethysts, and a string of fake pearls.

There were also some solid purple & green glass ponies and a string of agates, several in appropriate tones.

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 I never did use the crystals that you see in my platter’s collection.

You’ll need a needle nose jewelry plier, and a flat nose plier w/cutter.

Find some great chain.

Gather jump rings,  jewelry pins to match the chain (or not to match, depending on your design) and a clasp.

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Now creatively thread the beads onto the jewelry pins.

Try to keep an eye on what your building beforehand by clustering up some beaded pins, and havng a look!

If you’re happy then you can begin attaching your lovelies onto the chain.

INTERMISSION

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Now, on with the DIY instructions!

B'let #5Cut the chain about 3 inches longer than you need.

As you add beads, they and the pins take up space so it will get shorter and shorter.

You also need to snip the jewelry pins to about 1/2 inch from the top bead.

Using the needlenose pliers, bend the end of the pin into an arc.

Hook the arced pin into the chain. 

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Again, using the needle noses, push the open end of the pin toward the piece of pin coming out of the bead.

Tuck the raw pin end inside the bead to finish it.

Keep attaching beaded pins.

Before the bracelet is fully clustered up, check how it’s fitting your wrist.

Add the clasp to one end. You may need to use a jump ring here.

If your chain is not open enough forB'let #8

your clasp to fit through, you will need to add a  jump ring to the appropriate place  at the other end.

If needed snip off excess chain.

TIP: Hold the beaded pin with the flat nose pliers in one hand, while you work with the needle nose in your other.

Click on pics for larger details.

TO MAKE EARRINGS

You will need a pair of  “shepherd’s hooks” or a pair of clips.
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B'letearring #2

Use all of the same beads and findings. 

Using the same techniques as for the bracelet, design and build your earrings.

Unless they are symmetrical, remember to make a left and a right.

 Slideshows are visual poetry. Here is my prose. However, if you feel like reading a written poem, check out Christy Birmingham’s blog Poetic Parfait

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The past can be a nostalgic allure.

B'letbyebye

Until my next post, I wish you all a fond and romantic adieu!
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