Tag Archives: fashion

Black Spiked Bracelet



HI friends!

I feel like its been ages since I had a free moment to update my blog, well to be honest it has been a while and my mom keeps reminding me that I haven’t put anything on my blog which makes me feel bad but I have been crazy busy. So today I decided to bring in my laptop to work and use my lunch hour to update my blog.

spiked bracelet


spiked bracelet

I have been trying to bead any chance I get and since starting this job I have gotten a few orders from my colleagues but this bracelet I am writing about is a one of the last pieces I finished just before hurricane sandy.


A week or so before sandy I discovered this amazing bead shop in NJ called Blanche’s bead store. The store seemed very small from the outside but omg when you pass the threshold and walk in you are transported into bead heaven. Needless to say I went nuts in the store and bought way more than I had anticipated. But one thing I was very chuffed to find was these sew on spikes I had been looking for, for some time and they had them in quite a few different colours. I also ended up buying these metal hex cut beads that looked somewhat like very small Czech beads.

spiked bracelet

I knew I had to make something with the spikes as soon as I got home, so I went through all the pictures I had made into cabs and chose this one painting by Oleg Dou which I though was perfect.


Sometimes I find working with different finishes of silver a bit challenging. It seems that sometimes different finishes and colours can be either too dull or too shiny and they don’t necessarily look good sitting next to each other but I soldiered on until I was somewhat happy with how things were working.

spiked bracelet

I used my maleficent bracelet as an inspiration for the beadwork on this piece and once I got into the swing of things I started changing it around a bit so it wouldn’t look too similar to the other bracelet.


One thing I have to mention is that the spikes get stuck on everything so just sewing them on is not actually enough because they turn over when the get caught, so I ended up putting some glue on the bottom of the spikes to they would stay put!


spiked bracelet

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, bracelets

Crystal Skull brooch

A friend of my mom had asked me to make a turquoise necklace and earring set for her and yesterday while I was there showing her the samples of the things I had made for her and she asked me why I liked skulls so much. I have thought about this so much, because I don’t like anything gory, or scary but I keep getting asked why I like things with skulls on them and I really have no answer for it.

I really don’t know why I like them so much. All I know is that I liked skulls way before I started worshipping anything Alexander McQueen makes with skulls. I find it a little odd that my family and friends prod me this much about my love of skulls saying weird things are but you are so normal why would you like skulls, as if people that like skulls are in someway abnormal! But I have stopped trying to explain why I like things with skulls on them. I think it’s a same as someone liking pastel florals. I don’t like floral patterns in general (unless they are very sharp and modern which is rare but it happens) but then I wouldn’t go around and say “seriously what do you see in florals, florals are frumpy!

But it’s a matter of opinion and taste and we are all entitled to them. But for this piece I had an agenda. I had been thinking about how feasible it was to make a bead embroidered piece while incorporating small cutouts in the process.

For this piece I went with an image by Tom Bagshaw titled “Lucky 13”. The beading design mimics the flourish that is drawn underneath the skull. I did a couple of sketches to get the placement and the sizing of the curlicue design right so that when the beading was being done it would look continuous.

I also had to plan out the size of the cut-outs to keep them to a size big enough where I could go in with scissors and make the cuts and have it make the impact I want as well as for it to be small enough to be cohesive with the piece.

As you can see it is doable but I did find it difficult to cut into the piece and be aware not to cut any of the threads. I took my time cleaning the edges and getting as close as I could to the edges when I was making the inside cuts.

Once it was done I drew the outline on my Ultrasuede so I could make the cuts before gluing the suede to my piece which made things a lot easier and only had to do a little it of touch ups to get just right.

To clean up the edges I went around the piece with size 11/0 seed beads but I used size 15/0 for the edges of the cutouts. I did a crazy stacked edging on the top part and if that wasn’t enough I went with a dangly Swarovski crystal on the bottom.

Even though I know skulls are not really something most of you guys are into, I still hope you enjoyed the piece! 😀


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch


I have been so tired lately and I blame the squirrels!!

So a week or so ago I started hearing these really weird sound echoing all around me which turned out to be some squirrels that have made themselves feel right at home just on my bedroom ceiling and are partying up there all night long, every night. good for them but not good for me!!

My eyes are closing as I am writing this but I decided to write a small post for two reasons: first, I don’t really like to ignore the blog specially now since it’s a brand new blog and it’s a baby and needs more attention and secondly I was told off by my mom for not having updated the blog for 3 days!! Now I don’t know about you but I loathe disappointing my mom more than anyone else!

This is a small brooch I worked on a while ago when I had absolutely no idea what to do. I kept wanting to come up with elaborate, grand designs and I couldn’t get a solid idea going so I went to the other end of the spectrum by going completely simple.

And apparently when I go simple I go really simple. I used an image from Natalie Shau called “ Released Time” and grey and red painting and hence the grey and red beadwork.the painting is breathtaking and I really suggest you visit her website to get a better sense of how beautiful and detailed her work is

The design as you see is as simple as it gets, the only new thing about this piece is the edge finish in which I used drop beads which give a fun effect and I wonder why I haven’t used this type of finishing on any other piece since! Hope you guys enjoyed this piece even though it’s rather plain and simple!!



Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

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Filed under bead embroidery, brooch

Amethyst Purple and Crystal Earring

I don’t know why but lately I have been really into making earrings. I think it’s probably because they are quicker to make and I am less afraid to use colour in smaller pieces than I in bigger pieces. To be honest I am not sure. I was never much of an earring wearer to begin with. I am more of a bracelet and ring person but I am not sure if a bead-embroidered ring would work.

When I was putting together pieces that I could use in earrings I came across these wonderful faceted square Swarovski crystals that my mom had sent me. The good thing about them was that they didn’t have any holes for sewing through in them, bad thing about them was that they had a faceted back and I was bit iffy about using them.

So the challenge for this piece was gluing the faceted piece to the backing. I had read in the dimensional embroidery book that the way to use these types of stones was to use some sort of air-dry clay under them to make some sort of a setting. I was a little apprehensive to be honest about how to actually do it but after doing more research and finding no other method I decided to just give it a try.

The book says to use air-dry clay and the only type that I found on the day that I went to Michaels was the Martha Stewart’s crafter clay, which is very puffy and kind of reminds me of marshmallows. I made small balls and put the stone on top of the clay ball and pushed it down onto a flat surface to make the setting that the gem would sit in and trimmed the excess clay. Once the clay was dry I checked to see if it was actually stuck to the gem and I found that I could easily peel it back. the thing is that once the bezel was done , the gem would have been completely encased in the beads and would not have fallen out but just to be on the safe side I decided to  glue the stone to the setting and then sanded them a little so that the setting would be as thin as possible and then glued it on to my backing.

Once that whole section was done then it was off to doing the bezel work and the beadwork. For these earrings I went with a gold and bronze palette to compliment the vintage purple cabochons.


The thing with beaded earring as I found out is that they are very lightweight. I usually don’t wear earrings because after a while my ears start throbbing but I have been really comfortable with the beaded earrings that I have made for myself. I think it is probably because there is no metal setting involved in making the earrings, which makes the pieces very light and hence comfortable to wear.


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, Earrings

Sad Tale of a Studded Top

studdedtopanddressGFW1Today was one of those days. I woke up for some reason feeling the weight of world on me for no good reason. Then I remembered it was fashion week time.

It’s been a couple of years since I the last time I was part of fashion week and I miss it. I miss the backstage drama, not that the drama is fun when you are amidst it all but afterwards it all seems to be so worth it. I remember the very first London fashion week I was at. I was backstage at Bora Aksu’s show whom I was working for at that time and I was in charge of dressing one of the models for the show and my model was late. And by late I mean she showed up about ten minutes before she was supposed to be on the stage. I remember being on the floor shuffling behind her trying to put her shoe on and lacing it up and being nearly dragged on to the stage cause she couldn’t stand still for two seconds for me to lace up her shoes and then I had to run back and sew something that had torn off I was in a panic and my hands shook and my hands never shake. I am really good at hand sewing but with all the adrenaline of backstage I couldn’t even thread my needle!

I remember my own graduate fashion show. It was the best day of my life but I was a mess. it was such a rush to have my stuff on the catwalk and I was our school’s closing collection. I had worked so hard on my collection, to be honest we all had every single person on my fashion course worked their asses off to get on to the catwalk show and we knew that only a handful of us could get on the show. I only hoped I would be chosen, I couldn’t fathom being the closing act.

I had made a collection inspired by armour and the alien creature from the alien movies and I was damn proud of it. The models came down the runway to a blaring siouxsie Sioux song and then it was over in about 60 seconds. I loved all the pieces I had made but one was my pride and joy, a studded top and legging worn under a black dress. I got quite a few orders for that dress too!! It took me night after night of staying up until 3-4 in the morning after full days of being in the studio at school from 8am till 9pm to finish sewing on all those studs. the studs were sewn after the top was finished so the beading line would be continuous , you could imagine how laborious it was sewing each bead making sure the spacing was right and the piece was getting heavier by the second and harder to hold and sew, getting into the smaller parts of the sleeve .But I loved it. It was such a wonderful piece. And here is the problem; it “was” not “is” as it was stolen from me.

But these are not the reasons why I am so mad, sad and frustrated today. All these emotions came along because I saw one of those facebook friendship notifications in my email today asking me if I knew a Richard Shoyemi.

After the Graduate fashion show I was contacted by this guy telling me his name was Richard Shoyemi and he was a stylist he loved my stuff and he wanted to use my work for a shoot. I was young I was very stupid and I was just getting out of fashion school with no experience and I thought having my stuff in some sort of a magazine would benefit me. I even googled him and there were loads of articles and stuff on him so I gave him the pieces he had asked for.

that was one call I wish I had missed and Did I live to regret it. He took 5 of my garments. I thank god everyday that I was able to get three of them back after months and months of calling him nonstop. But he never returned my studded top and legging. I dogged him for over 6 months he stopped picking up, he would have other people answer his phone, then one day he said he would post them, I told him I wanted the photos he had promised me of my garments as well and I said I would come and get all of it from him in person. I didn’t want him to blame it on being lost in the post. When I refused to have him post it he said he had lost them and hung up.

Oh boy !!

I didn’t give up! I called the magazine he said he had wanted the garments for, they didn’t have the photos, they said they would talk to him all the stuff. I even as a last resort went to the police asking if there was anything I could do. But I am a small fish in a humongous pond and worst things happen in the world so why would anyone care about something so small, which is unfortunately totally understandable. If only our biggest problems in the world were getting garments from back from untrustworthy stylists!

This last year since moving to America I gave up on getting my garments back, four years after they were stolen. I don’t think about the pieces that often anymore and I was at peace even though I always have an eye out to see if I see it pop up anywhere. But that was all until I got that bloody notification email asking me if I knew Richard Shoyemi.

Yes I know him, I know him as the guy who stole two pieces from my graduate fashion show. Two pieces that cost about £400 in materials alone, I don’t even want to think about how many hours I spend on sewing the pieces together and finishing it off.

And what finally broke me was the fact that when I looked through his facebook page I saw that he had used my piece in one of his shoots and he told me he hadn’t. The picture was right there. When I saw it my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach, I felt such sadness it overwhelmed me .the picture below is the one i found with my studded leggings, the dress is not mine and I don’t know whose it is since no credits were given to anyone in these photos:

I am probably never going to get to hold my pieces in my hands again, I wish I had said a proper goodbye to them before I sent them away for the photo shoot. I wish I had looked at them one last time before putting them in the garment bag and handing them over. I am just so glad that we were encouraged to photograph our work and I am glad I have photos of these two pieces to look at and reminisce.

I know I am talking about some pieces of fabric and beads and it is just fashion, nothing deep, no life and death situation but they were made with such love and care that I cannot help but be filled with sorrow.

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under fashion