Archive | September 2009

Nine Lives: Lurking in the Shadows

9 Lives

9 Lives

The challenge this week for Art on the Darkside was lurking in the shadows.

This magnificent feline, Brobdingnagian, is from a woodcut by Fritz Eichenberg. I digitally removed his image, multiplied and shrunk additional images, and here he is contemplating all of those 9 lives.

I don’t think that I would want this black cat to cross my path, he just seems so stern! Enjoy the day, Christen

Gothic Gardens: MMM challenge

Gothic Gardens

Gothic Gardens

This week’s challenge for Mixed Media Monday was to Make Something Round. There are always wonderful entries, take a look when you get a chance.

I started with an old embroidery hoop and painted it black. I then took leftover scraps from an embroidered metallic scarf, and stitched these onto crinoline to stabilize the fabric. I stitched vintage bits of lace down in the center of this, and this was glued to the bottom edge of the hoop.

The outer edges are covered with ruched velvet ribbon. This was glued down to the top edge of the hoop. I glued vintage and new millinery leaves to the edge, then the flowers, trim and the vintage buttons. I added additional buttons to the center along with butterflies and dragonfly charms.

Happy day, round and round it goes, where it will stop no one knows! Christen

Tea on Tuesday: Treasures

Thrift Store Treasures

Thrift Store Treasures

Tea for Tuesday is all about five thrift stores, $23.00 cash money, and an afternoon to myself.

I think that many of us find pleasure rummaging through discarded piles, perhaps that is why churches call them “Rummage Sales”. Yesterday I spent a throughly enjoyable afternoon doing just this. Today I am drinking my favorite French Roast in the Ghirardelli Chocolate mug (I am sadly allergic to chocolate, so I can pretend to have some with this mug!).

teatreasures2

At the first store I found several books: two books on flowers, a Martha Stewart book on flower arranging and a book on Sunflowers; a book about famous felines; four old books, one Anne of Green Gables (1935), a teaching guide for secondary school from the ’40’s (my husband teaches High School) and the two red books with “gift” inscriptions dating 1906. I also found the three mugs, the cows are famous painters (very irreverent); a sheet of stamps; the tin tea tray from Hawaii; and a Harry Potter cookie tin. I spent $11.25.

The second store I found three orange pumpkin candles; the book Insects and their Ways; and the frog creamer (my husband collects frogs). Everything but the book was 30% off, so I spent $2.50.

thrift store treasuresAt the third store I found two sheets of music; a wooden box (not shown); the ceramic lily; and the pumpkin pin. I spent $2.75.

The fourth store held the bark cloth table runner (it is hidden behind the books), the melon-baller and the screw thingy. I spent $8.50 here but I had $5.00 in redeemable coupons so these only cost me $3.50.

The last store was full of treasures, but somewhat dirty so I left this store for last. I found two filing cabinets full of sewing supplies that I rummaged through. I found a bag of ribbon (not shown cause I already sorted through it); an oval frame; half of an embroidery hoop; the five creeping hands; a cardboard cigarette box; two shoe stays (not shown); and the lavender paper box. I spent $3.00.

Well what fun that was, I hadn’t been able to do this for such a long time, and I always find pleasure looking for treasures, I won’t wait so long next time.

What treasures will you find today? Perhaps it is a new friend to have tea with, please join Kimmie, Patty, Pat and all the Tuesday Tea group. If you do please leave a comment on Kimmie’s blog.

Happy day to you! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Old Tin Boxes

Old Tin Boxes

Old Tin Boxes

Well I am a sucker  for boxes whether they be wooden, paper or old tin advertising boxes. I love the colors, and the faded scratched qualities. I have taken individual pictures of the boxes, and please feel free to download the large jpgs. (click on the image for the larger view). These are for your personal use only, use them for challenges, wallpaper, or whatever you wish, but please no commercial use for these pictures.

Most of the boxes pictured here were found at my grandparents house, others in my travels. Pictured here from the top:

  • A red tin cookie box, is from Mc Vitie & Price, Edinburgh.
  • Cuban Seal cigar box.
  • Player’s Cigarettes box.
  • Old Dutch  Typewriter Ribbon tin.
  • Thorne’s The World’s Premier Toffee tin (found at an antique swap meet).
  • Vaseline tin.
  • Tetley’s Tea box (found at an antique mall.)
  • Turret Cigarettes from Liverpool.
  • Swedish Anchovies Sprats (this was my dad’s, he used it to capture the grease from the barbeque).
  • Tum’s.
Tetley's Tea

Tetley's Tea

Cookie Tin

Cookie Tin

Toffee Tin

Toffee Tin

Cuban Seal Cigars

Cuban Seal Cigars

Player's Cigars

Player's Cigars

Swedish Tin Box

Swedish Tin Box

Group of tin boxes

Group of tin boxes

Enjoy! Christen

Black Dark Desires: Art on the Darkside Challenge

Dark Desires

Dark Desires

Dark desires, a chance meeting,  a soldier, a countess, an  archway, a church, a castle, a door, a deserted street, and a thorn bush…. Was it right, where did it go wrong, only their ghosts will give you the answers.

The challenge this week was Black, for Art on the Darkside. I scanned two old photographs and several old black and white post cards. I thought of clandestine places and meetings as dark or black.

Take time to enjoy the day, black, dark, spooky or ? Christen

Moonshadows: TTM challenge

moonshadows

moonshadows

This is my entry for The Three Muses challenge this week which is Moonstruck. I used the song by Cat Stevens as inspiration and many years of gazing up and greeting the man in the moon.

I drew, doodled and mused with five sizes of Sharpie and Prisma pens. What fun, I felt like I was back in high school. I think that I channeled the Grateful Dead poster artists, Peter Max and for that matter the entire groovy “60’s culture here.

Happy day, Moonies…Christen

Sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains: MMMonday

Sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sunrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The challenge this week for Mixed Media Monday was to chose a favorite time of day using the color or an image and go from there. My favorite time of day is the morning, so fresh, so full of possibilities.

My husband’s father and his wife lived in Corrales New Mexico for a several years, with this magnificent Mountain range to the east of their home. I am usually up very early, and I would sit with my morning coffee at the round oak table, in front of the huge glass window with the view of these mountains in front of me.

We visited during the summer and the fall, but I would have to say that my favorite time of year was winter. The view between the bare branches of the tree in their backyard, the open field with mist rising off the chaparral and behind these the view of sunrise over the snow capped mountain in all of it’s glory.

Lovely.

The background of this wall-hanging is machine strip pieced, the rays machine appliqued, and the bottom strip machine crazy pieced. The entire piece was machine quilted. The rays have hand embroidered details and the vintage shisha mirrors are hand embroidered. The rays are adorned with vintage apple juice celluloid buttons. Dimensions 20″ W X 10″ L.

Enjoy whatever time of day is your favorite- Christen

Tea on Tuesday

Tea for Tuesday

Tea for Tuesday

Tea for Tuesday is Pomegranate Pizzaz, wow do I need a jolt. I have a mound of dishes to wash from yesterday’s family get together, and a dozen or so corsage brooches to list on Etsy. Busy Busy…

Tetley's Tea tin

Tetley's Tea tin

The tea cup and saucer are from the Johnson Brother’s collection “Chintz”.  I love the subtle feminine colors, and while I was choosing the background I remembered this old Tetley’s Tea tin that I picked up at an antique mall. I just loved the used quality of it and the happy coloring.

I remember at the time my friend Phred who was shopping with me was thinking, why buy something so worn, not pretty, not perfect?

Philosophically speaking there is a difference between choosing to buy a less than perfect object because the price was right than having to choose a less than perfect object for the same reason. In my case it is a little of both, but the perfect thing about this tin was that to me it is perfect, does that make sense?

corsagegroup

corsages

On Friday’s Favorites this week I will be listing a few other wonderfully old, less than perfect tins, and I will have large photos for those interested  in downloading the images.

Well I am off for a walk, and then to tackle the Etsy listings. Here is a preview of the corsages…

Please join the ladies of the Tea for Tuesday group, the  regulars are Kimmie, Patty, and Pat. If you do, please leave a comment on Kimmie’s blog.

Have a wonderful day! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Today we will talk about the celluloid button. This necklace is part of an ensemble “Deco Drama” that I just finished. The base of the necklace is a vintage French ombre ribbon, ruched, with a silk cord stitched for the tie. As you can see celluloid was definitely the theme here, using many of my favorite types of celluloid button.

Celluloid was invented in the 1870’s and was one of the most versatile and the first of the man-made plastics. This lightweight material is thinner than Bakelite, though some of the same techniques could be used such as molding, stamping and machine tooling; but unlike Bakelite buttons they could also be created by pulling, hollow blowing, and extruding. The coloring of the celluloid button was often more diverse than that of the autumn and vibrant coloring of the Bakelite buttons. The versatility of celluloid made it extremely popular with manufacturer’s, however the serious drawback to this material was that it is flammable! For further reading may I suggest a book I use frequently: Button Button Identification & Price Guide by Peggy Ann Osborne.

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

Here are a series of bracelets that feature vintage celluloid, Bakelite and glass buttons. I made these over the summer using simple sewing techniques and materials so that the buttons would shine as the stars that they are!

  • The first bracelet base is vintage picot edged grosgrain ribbon. The buttons that I used are celluloid “glow bubbles”, tight-tops and a few brown Bakelite.
  • The second bracelet base is vintage cotton grosgrain ribbon. The heart shaped buttons are Bakelite and the cream colored buttons are celluloid.
  • The third bracelet base is taffeta ribbon with a strip of grosgrain ribbon stitched down the center. The incredible green buttons are vintage celluloid “glow bubbles” and the black buttons are carved celluloid.
ribbon bracelet

ribbon bracelet

This last bracelet is made using grosgrain ribbon and an old measuring tape. These were woven together and backed with interfacing. I then stitched vintage glass, celluloid and Bakelite buttons for decoration. I stitched snaps down for the closure.

Deco Decadence

Deco Decadence

This brooch was made to be worn with “Melon Balls jewelry ensemble and Hat, which is made using a variety of vintage and new buttons and beads in colors of melon and black.

The pin boasts a lovely display of “buffed celluloid” buttons. I just adore the black and tan combination. It took many years to collect the right sizes and colors for this brooch. The ribbon worked flowers are made from a vintage ribbed cotton ribbon and the leaves are from a taffeta ribbon.

The ribbon buttons and flowers are attached to florist wire wrapped in sating ribbon, and sit in a vintage jacquard ribbon vase. A pin back is stitched to the back of the vase.

So what is in your button box and need help with identifying what’s in there? Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Old Friends and New Friends

Sorry that this post is late, I have been busy and have not had the time to take proper pictures of my favorites. So to make up for the past two weeks, I have posted one before this, and will be on time for tomorrow!

old friends

old friends

Dolls, I think that all of us have a favorite or two, some may even have been around as long as we have, longer in some cases. This is a group photograph of my oldest friends. They have all been with me these many years, some have faired better than others, but no matter because they certainly don’t mention the pieces and parts of me that have not faired well!

The little Swedish girl actually was handed down to me by my grandmother Ellen Matilda. It was a gift given to her by my dad when he went on a holiday to Europe. My teddy was a crib gift from my other grandmother Evelyn. The little boy was a gift from my godmother Aunt Murt (her middle name was given to me as my middle name). The troll doll came to me much later, perhaps I was eight or nine. I tried out some of my very first fashion designs on her, and she is why I decided to go to school for fashion design.

Pretty good friends wouldn’t you say?

new friends

new friends

This is a group of a few of my new friends, they can all be seen here in my gallery “Dolls of Distinction”. These are all dolls that I have designed and created with a pillow or two peeping out from here and there. The dolls as shown are:

  • Tatiana: Queen of the Butterfly Fairies (her wings are pinned on in case she wishes to take them off and go out incognito).
  • The fuchsia and green doll next to her is Beatrice, she is bejeweled and resplendent in vintage kimono fabrics. A wand full of dolls rests behind her.
  • Lady Rose sits next to her, in prim and proper red and white. She is comprised of several pieces of crochet both hearts and roses that my mom had made.
  • Next to her is Madame de Bezornak, a retired fortune teller who spent her savings on clothing and jewels. In retrospect it probably should have been bo-tox and plastic surgery.
  • Next to her is the Court Jester. It is said that often the doll maker designs the dolls she makes after her own likeness. Well looking at this squatty little body and jiggly arms… hmmm could be some truth to that!
  • Above him is the Magic Angel, she is made from the same pattern as Beatric e,which was designed after the nesting doll shape.
  • Below the Jester is the Duchess of the Danforth, she is made in memory of my grandmother Evelyn, a grand Dame if there ever was one! She would wear a marvelous hat and her mink stole, but she would never ever wear blue velvet shoes with orange stockings!

If you love to make dolls and are interested in a unique and fun doll, I have just designed a doll CuddleNots for Joggles.com which is on the schedule for the end of September.

Hope that you too can count your old and new friends, and recall warm memories! Good wishes and thoughts to you, Christen.