Archive | May 2009

Marie’s Boudoirs Pillow 1- silk ribbon embroidery

Marie's Boudoirs Pillow

Marie's Boudoirs Pillow-1

When I first pieced the fabric for this pillow it was origionally to be a purse, but then I decided I would be able to look at it more often if it were a pillow. I cut a plain fabric for the back, and I am embroidering the other half of the purse that will be a second pillow.

The entire pillow is made from silk, excluding the vintage jacquard ribbon (and the stuffing). The striped and solid color fabrics and lace, and the embroidery ribbons and thread.

The embroidery ingredients are:

  • 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm silk ribbon
  • silk rococo trim was used for embellishments
  • several colors of buttonhole twist and floss

The embroidery stitches I used include:

  • straight stitch
  • chain stitch
  • woven rose
  • lazy daisy
  • ribbon stitch
  • colonial knot
  • French knot
  • straight stitch w/ bullion tipped lazy daisy

I just love working with silk ribbon because it is so elegant and feminine and I feel that I am a part of history: where the ladies were beautifully dressed and demure and the gentlemen noble and well mannered…. another time and place!

6-1/2″ wide x 8″ tall

Happy stitching and dreaming! enjoy- Christen

Dragonfly Brooch- peyote and brick stitch

Dragonfly Tropics

Dragonfly Tropics

As a child I collected shells from the shore, and used them to create jewelry and small dolls. I loved the small white dentalium shells as they were so useful, and when I saw these lovely green ones I knew just what to do with them.

The base of this brooch is a wire covered with silk ribbon. It creates the perfect perch for a beaded dragonfly and a vine full of flowers and beaded leaves.

The dentalium shell body is embellished with a circular peyote stitch in size 15 seed beads; the wings are brick stitched in four separate sections with delica beads. Two small pearls are used for the eyes.

A beautiful abalone shell button is stitched in the center of the vintage bead vine, with small carved pua shell buttons stitched amongst the glass flowers and leaves. The silk vine is also enhanced with Hanah silk bias ribbon work flowers with beaded centers and brick stitched leaves that are made from delica beads.

Happy stitching, love what you do! Enjoy- Christen

PS: here are two additional versions of this brooch.

Dragonfly Moon

Dragonfly Moon

The second brooch Dragonfly Moon has the beaded dragonfly attached to an antique Mother of Pearl disc. This is then embellished with free form peyote vines with beaded leaves, vintage MOP discs and more glass beads.

Autumn Dragonfly

Autumn Dragonflies

The third brooch Autumn Dragonflies has a similar covered wire base as the first brooch. It is also encrusted with silk bias ribbon flowers, vintage and new glass beads stitched leaves, but for some reason I didn’t stop there! I then added more French wire, velvet and silk bias ribbon worked flowers and leaves for the background. So now it is a small wall hanging rather than a huge brooch!

Enjoy- Christen

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensembl

The necklace is made from a unique stitch that resembles wagon wheels or bricks placed into a pattern. It was a marvelous vehicle for these wonderful vintage and new Tahiti shell buttons that I had been collecting. The necklace made from size 8, 11 & 15 seed beads, is also adorned with fresh water pearls.

The first bracelet “Cobbled Cuff” is stitched with the free form peyote stitch. For the center piece I used a vintage Tahiti shell buckle found on a treasure hunt through my mom’s button jar. I stitched the bracelet with size 6,8,11 & 15 new and vintage seed beads along with fresh water pearls. A filigree bronze button is used for the closure.

The second bracelet “Velvet Cuff” is made with vintage carved tahiti shell buttons stitched with vintage glass seed beads onto a base of velvet ribbon. I especially love the flower shaped button on the left!

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Happy stitching, let the beading begin! Enjoy- Christen

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble- necklace, bracelets and earrings

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

I have had a wonderful adventure collecting these vintage buttons with the grape and leaf motif for this project. I finally found enough to make a necklace with matching bracelets.

The necklace, an original design, is made from two silk cords, with the vintage glass and metal buttons and beads sandwiched between them. Additional beads, many vintage, were added to dangle below the buttons for embellishment.

The earrings are made from vintage findings with new and vintage glass beads.

The first bracelet “Truffles and Toadstools” is made from my “Klimpt Kollage Kuff” pattern. This bracelet made from a base of ribbon that is encrusted with vintage celluloid, and horn buttons inlaid with abalone. Glass buttons and metal charms were also used.

The second bracelet “Brandywine” is made with a right angle weave stitch. All of the buttons are vintage brass. The glass leaves and beads are new, as are the charms that dangle below the buttons.

The pin and the shoe clips are also vintage.

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Happy stitching, let the beading begin! Enjoy- Christen

Kelp Scarf- free form machine embroidery

Kelp Scarf

Kelp Scarf

Pictured here is one of six examples of what you can do with a little time (about a weekend), a little imagination, a sewing machine and bits of this and that.

This scarf is from my Kelp Scarf class which I only taught once. The base was a strip of Solvy fabric. I machine stitched ribbons, yarns, threads and bits of this and that for about 12 hours. After the Solvy was washed away, the ribbons appear to float on air in a pretty lacy effect. For the fringe I hand tied and sewed in lengths of ribbons and leftover yarn.

With a little bit of imagination, you can recycle creatively, and have fun while you are doing it.

Happy Stitching, make it count! Enjoy- Christen

Garden at Versailles- bead embroidery on a bracelet

Garden at Versailles Bracelet

Garden at Versailles Bracelet

Garden at Versailles is a lightweight bracelet created with a base of vintage French jacquard ribbon from the ’40’s. The pattern on the ribbon determined the embellishment choices. The yellow bronze buttons were stitched in place first, with the bead embroidery stitched around the buttons. Glass seed beads in sizes 8, 11, and 15 were used as well as glass leaf charms and glass leaves on wire stems. This bracelet is worn with my Easter in Paris ensemble.

Happy Stitching, enjoy! Christen

Shabby’n Stitched- recycled cotton vest

Shabby 'n Stitched Vest

Shabby ‘n Stitched Vest

This was a wonderful project to work on, just me, 12 colors of pearl cotton, a needle, a thimble, a pair of scissors, and about 75 hours of stitching.

I wish that I had had the for site to photograph this vest when it came in the mail. I bought it on ebay and the listing said that it was a shabby chic vest.

So I imagined that it was a little rough around the edges. The pictures were not clear, so I took a chance. When I opened the package I thought to myself, “Must ask for better pictures next time!”, as it was more than just a little rough.

The red cotton of the vest had either ripped or had been torn by more than a few rough washings, most of the satin stitch embroidery had unraveled, and many of the mirrors were broken. I had my work cut out for me, to save my $4.99 investment.

I picked through my embroidery thread stash, and found some colors that I thought would liven up the vest. I started to embroider, and really just had a great time enhancing someone else’s creative stitching.

I stitched right through the lining, not worrying about burying the stitches or knots. I plan to add additional lining to the front pieces (to hide my stitches on the wrong side), and add seam binding around the collar and center edges (as the raw edges are showing).

With a little bit of imagination, you can recycle creatively, and have fun while you are doing it.

Enjoy, and see you at the thrift store! ~Christen

Aunt Rosina Amongst The Posies- by Christen Brown

Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure:

I came across this site today, and found this wonderful adventure waiting there. These ladies create a monthly challenge by giving you a theme, and you can run and play with it to your hearts content. I especially liked this one, as I could use my budding digital skills and have some fun. This is what I created with the image of Aunt Rosina:

Aunt Rosina Amongst The Posies

Aunt Rosina Amongst The Posies


If you are interested in participating here is the link: Photo Challenge

Victorian Roses Corsage- ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Victorian Roses Corsage

Victorian Roses Corsage

This corsage is an example of the flowers and leaves that can be made from ribbon. The ribbonworked flower is made from Hanah silk bias ribbon and the leaf is made from French wire ribbon. Vintage millinery glass balls were used, and a covered wire for the tendrils.

Happy Stitching! Christen

April Showers Bring Spring Flowers Corsage: ribbon worked flowers and leaves

April Showers Bring Spring Flowers Corsage

April Showers Bring Spring Flowers Corsage

This brooch is created from a warm, soft pallet of dyed vintage cotton velvet, vintage ombre, hand dyed silk satin, vintage French jacquard and French wire ribbons.

The base is made from a hand dyed vintage cotton velvet ribbon, that I dyed along with the silk satin (double edged rosette) and 7mm silk ribbon (green/orange leaves). The hand stitched flowers and leaves are made with various ribbon work techniques and are stitched into a pleasing vignette.

A wonderful old brass butterfly presides over the flowers. I included seed beads and glass flowers for the centers of the flowers with glass and novelty beads that are interspersed throughout the piece.

The backing is leather, with a pin-back for the finding.

Happy stitching, enjoy- Christen