Archive | February 2010

Mardi Gras: MMM challenge

Mardi Gras maskThis is my entry for Mixed Media Monday’s challenge: Mardi Gras.

The mask is made from scraps of fabric, ribbon, and thread lace. I have added in ribbon worked flowers and leaves; vintage glass buttons; glass bead embellishments; and vintage and new sequins to create this festive mask.
(My daughter provided the beads for the hanger!)

Enjoy what you do! Christen

Tea on Tuesday: Water…

vintage tea cup

“T”ea on Tuesday, will be a little different as Kimmie has asked if we would like take turns as a hostess providing a theme for the week. This week our hostess is Patty and she has chosen WATER for our theme. Today I am drinking TAZO Awake – Black Tea- Noir.

drawing of wavesThis is a favorite painting of mine,  “Great Wave off of Kanagawa” by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. I have always lived by a body of water, for most of my life it has been the Pacific Ocean, but as a kid our summer’s were spent at our cabin on Chandos Lake, Apsley, Ontario, Canada. We swam, we canoe”d”, we rowed the row-boat, and sat in the speed boat with the spray on our face. As a young adult I worked on Catalina Island, where we swam in the ocean, sailed in small boats and even kayak”ed” once, amongst a pod of whales (little scary).

vintage embroidered bagThis is a close-up view of the vintage embroidered bag from above. The design of the bag is actually woven, but as it is old has frayed a bit. A previous owner has tried to recover the bag to its original glory by adding in free-form embroidery and beads of glass and coral. Pretty cool, I love the frame which is encrusted with green glass cabs.

treasure trove of shells and frogsI have collected a few of my favorite things found in or on water. All of the real shells were purchased at a local shop in Ocean Beach, CA. The old tin box had belonged to my grandfather, and I included it cause my cousin Richard had served in the US Navy. The metal leaf bowl was a gift from Kevin’s brother and I have filled it with the smaller pieces of my hubby’s “Frog” collection. Finally the beautiful orange starfish was made from craft felt, and lavishly embroidered by a friend.

lily pond and botanical buildingOn Sunday my husband Kevin, daughter Gwen and I took a walk over to Balboa Park, so that I could get a picture of our favorite lily pond. As a young couple, with no money (this has not changed much!), we would bring Gwen down and walk around the Park. We still enjoy the walk, and I think that this is our favorite spot.

lily pondThis is a close-up view of the lily boxes, in the spring and summer the pond is full of lily pads and flowers.

carpThese are a few of the carp that get to swim in the pond all year long. They are quite friendly and actually swim up to people on the side of the pond, that is how I got such a good picture of them! This day they even had a large dog barking at them who wanted to come and play, they didn’t even flap a fin!

picture of sail boatsI will leave you with this special painting that my great, great grandfather Mitchel painted for my grandfather. I will let you imagine how old it is….

Happy T to you, please join us over at is Patty’s won’t you?

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!

Tea on Sunday: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hubby and a cup of fresh brew!

This is a special edition of my Tea on Tuesday post, which is actually coffee with my Main Squeeze! We have weathered the calm and the storms together for 25 years, and we are still in love, still love to know how each other’s day is going, and still love to laugh at each other’s jokes. How cool is that?

Gwen's Heart

This is a heart that our daughter made many, many years ago. It is my favorite heart in the whole wide world, and that is saying something!

Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you! Love Christen

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