Archive | February 2010

Friday’s Favorites: Mother of Pearl part 4

tahiti shell buttonsFriday’s Favorites is all about the lovely brown Tahiti shells and brown mussel shells, that fall under the Mother of pearl category. These buttons here have the same amazing coloring of the Mother of pearl buttons, with a brown base instead of a white base. In this picture the buttons and buckles carved from Tahiti shells are the deeper brown shells, with the vibrant pink, blue and green shimmer; the brown mussel shell buttons and buckles are lighter in color but still will show a faint blue, green shimmer.

Urban VillageThis is my “Urban Village” necklace, made from vintage Tahiti shell buttons and a new brown mussel leaf pendant. The base of the necklace is made from Hanah silk rouleau. A few of the buttons had large holes that I could use to thread the rouleau through and I attached the larger buttons with beads, fresh water pearls, and smaller buttons. The bracelet is strung on Soft Flex, my “BBB” pattern; with brown mussel shell and metal buttons with shanks, fresh water pearls, and glass beads. I also added dangles of beads and buttons.

bracelets made from vintage tahiti shellsThese top two bracelets are covered with Tahiti and brown mussel shell buttons. The first bracelet, my “Klimpt Kollage Kuff” pattern,  is a vintage French Jacquard ribbon; the second bracelet, my “Beaded Ribbon Bracelet” pattern, with a base of vintage velvet ribbon. The second bracelet is made from Tahiti shell discs, with brass buttons set into the discs, then strung with leather cord. The last bracelet base is made from silk rouleau braided into a base; the buttons were stitched on with seed beads.

jewelry made from vintage Tahiti shell buttonsThis is my “Cobblestone Collar”, the base is made from seed beads, with fresh water pearls and vintage and new Tahiti and brown mussel shell buttons. I included three pairs of earrings that I wear with this necklace and the Urban Village necklace. The first pair of carved Tahiti and brown mussel shell buttons have a post glued to the back. The second (really big pair) are made from vintage Tahiti shell leaves with porcelain cabs. The third pair are made from vintage  brown mussel shell and metal buttons, with a 20 gauge silver wire running through the holes of the button and used for the earring hook.

pink shellFor this necklace I strung pink mussel shell, tourmaline, pink opal and fresh water pearls on Soft Flex. The bracelet is made from carved pieces of pink mussel shell, strung on elastic cord. The pink and peach mussel shell buttons are rarer than the Tahiti or brown mussel. The pink and peach mussel shell will have a brownish/yellow glow as opposed to the AB finish of the white Mother of pearl and Tahiti shells.

pink shell buttonsThe top bracelet is my “Jeweled Pi” pattern, made from pink mussel shell discs (which are often referred to as Pi),  seed beads, pink tourmaline, fresh water pearls and shell chips. The second bracelet is made from peach mussel shell buttons carved into the shape of butterflies, this is my “Button Brigade” bracelet pattern. The vintage oval buttons are carved from pink mussel shell; to the right is a single pink mussel shell disc that I didn’t use in the bracelet.

The nacre of the Mother of pearl, Tahiti shell, and mussel shells is very delicate, it can scratch easily so keep these away from sharp objects. Excessive water, or putting these shells in the dryer will remove the layers of nacre, and therefor damage the shell beyond repair! If you need to clean this type shell, try rubbing with a soft cloth, or a cloth dabbed in a mild solution of soap and water.

Enjoy- Christen

A Heart a Day: #19

ribbon worked heart

My Gypsy Heart

“Don’t turn around, don’t turn around again
Don’t turn around, your gypsy heart
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna tame the heart of thee?”

Excerpt from Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2, my favorite band in the world, their poetry speaks to my gypsy heart!

Enjoy- Christen

A Heart a Day: #18

silk ribbon embroidered heartMy heart is blooming with flowers for you!

This is a close-up view of the front of “Beribbonned“, which is one of my favorite vests. The background fabric is silk, with satin ribbons randomly stitched onto the background. I then dyed lace fabric and cut this into different heart shapes. After these were stitched down, I stitched ribbon worked flowers and leaves, then embroidered these bouquets with silk ribbon embroidery. I stitched beads and charms into the flowers for extra embellishment.

Enjoy what you do! Christen

A Heart a Day: #15

heartDon’t you just love the colors and the Joy of Mardi Gras!

This image is from a bag that I have saved for over 20 years. The artist is Niki de Saint Phalle, her work is extraordinarily playful, colorful and joyful. This is a link to her Wikipedia page, but for a real eye opener Google her name and click on images!

Happy day, I heart U. Christen

A Heart a Day: #15

woven heartJust because the 14th is over, it doesn’t mean that we can’t look at hearts until next year. I will be filling your heart with hearts until the end of the month!

This heart is actually made from a warp made from artistic wire; then was woven into a heart shape with novelty yarns and silk ribbon. I then beaded and embellished the heart.

Enjoy, Christen

And the Winner IS:

And the winner is: True, from true’sgiftsfromtheheart Yeah to you!

I want to share my profound thanks to Lisa the whimsicalbohemian, for organizing this wonderful event. I enjoyed flying around the airwaves visiting people in far away countries, in my country and even in my own state.

Thank you to each and everyone who flew their magic carpet to my doorstep, and each and everyone who left wonderful, encouraging and creative comments!

Take care each of you, even though the ride is over, I will still stop by and say hi through the year, and look forward to seeing you next year.

Much love, Christen

PS: I do have a few corsages in my Etsy store, if you want to take a stop over and see them!

Friday’s Favorites: Mother of Pearl part 3

vintage jewerly made from carved mother of pearl

Mother of pearl or MOP is the common name for the inside shell of an oyster or mollusk. The iridescent nacre is a combination of minerals that is secreted by the shell-fish as a coating to protect their bodies from parasites and foreign objects. Aren’t we lucky the oyster knows how to do that!

The inner necklace, (probably made during the Victorian period), is made from Mother of pearl charms carved into flower shapes, stitched to a gimp base. The outer necklace (probably made in the 1980’s) is made from Mother of pearl beads carved into a flower shape.

vintage jewelry made from carved mother of pearl

Mother of pearl is relatively inexpensive to use for jewelry and other items. The beauty comes from the nacre itself, lending a soft sheen of gold, blue, pink, green, purple or combination of colors to the white of the shell.

All of the examples here (excluding the basket of flowers) were carved in Jerusalem. These would have been sold as souvenirs to tourists during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The basket pin probably dates from the Victorian period.

vintage jewelry made from carved mother of pearl

Mother of pearl was very popular during the Victorian period in England. The shells could be cut into beads, carved into objects, or inlaid into wood or other hard substances.

To the left is a necklace that I have made with the large oval-shaped beads from that period; also shown are a wire wrapped necklace and a wire wrapped bracelet both with Mother of pearl beads.

vintage jewelry made from carved mother of pearl

During and a short time after WWll, metal was scarce and people did not have extra money for luxury items.  Mother of pearl regained popularity because it was inexpensive and easily obtained.

The top necklace is from the 1940’s, with rectangles of Mother of pearl combined with rhinestones. The bottom necklace is from the 1950’s with discs of Mother of pearl strung with pearl coated glass beads with metal findings.

vintage jewelry made from carved mother of pearl

These bracelets are also from the 1940’s. These were common souvenirs brought back from the Philippines by soldiers for their sweethearts. These are carved from the whole shell, the outer two with carved details.

As with all Mother of pearl items, these should be stored separately, avoiding any sharp edges that could scratch the surface. If you need to clean this type of jewelry, try rubbing with a soft cloth, or a cloth dabbed in a mild solution of soap and water. Avoid the use of water on jewelry that has been glued, such as the rhinestone necklace; the reason for this is that the glue is old, and has shrunk, so any over use or water will dissolve what is left of the bond.

Enjoy your day, Christen