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All the World is a Stage: ABAA challenge

mixed media stage

Welcome to the International Stage

All the world is a stage, and overĀ  Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure this month proves it! There are wonderful entries of stages and masks, take a look and be amazed!

dolls

The International Troop

I have been collecting dolls for my entire life, these are few of the International dolls that I have collected. I thought that they made an interesting troupe of characters. I can’t wait to write a play or two and include these characters.

http://bigartadventure.blogspot.com/2009/10/and-your-next-challenge-is.html

old embossed letter box

The stage is an old letter box that I found at a thrift store. I decorated it with acrylic paints and metallic paints on the outside, adding a paper mask that was also painted. The inside is covered in artist’s paper and ribbon.

The actors are all International dolls, except for Ethel Merman, who is playing Carmen Miranda and the blushing fairy (perhaps Gypsy Rose Lee’s muse?).

The stage lights are old bulbs glued to bottle caps and covered in artist paper, in fact most of the dolls are stuck into bottle caps so that they could stand upright.

stage3

stage

The Thai dolls were actually pens, I removed the insides, the Indian man was an ornament; the Guatemalan family were ornaments; the Hmong lady is an ornament and is holding a Russian stacking doll family and an African lady; the Japanese couple are also ornaments.

This was a fun challenge, and I mean challenge to get the box just right and the actors to behave! Artists I tell you!

Enjoy what you do, what is the point if you don’t? Christen

The Castle Door: ABAA Key Challenge

The Castle Door

The Castle Door

This month over at Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure the challenge was to use a key, it could be an old key, a new key or a key that you made. Great challenge, everyone who enters always has an interesting view on the challenge, take a look when you get a chance.

I thought of an image of an old castle door that had been weathered, with a big door knocker, a brass knob and big hinges. I searched Ebay and found this large old key that is used for the hanger here; I also found a few old skeleton keys to add in here and there with my newer keys and heart shaped locks. The base is machine pieced and machine quilted. TheĀ  charms, keys and buttons are attached with embroidery floss

Enjoy- Chrisetn

What a HOot: ABAA challenge

What a HOot

What a HOot

This is my entry for Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure (ABAA) challenge for this month which was to use a bird theme. There are many talented art pieces and you should take a look!

I muddled over this one for a few weeks, then I came across an embroidery piece that my mom had made with an owl on it. So I went retro and dug out my ’60’s hippie-ness for this one. I pulled out all of my embroidery floss in brown, gold and pumpkin colors (which truthfully may have been purchased in the ’60’s), then I went to JoAnnes and picked up some felt squares.

I drafted the pattern in an hour or so, and have been embroidering for a few days, a few nights and here is Oliver. The legs are a florist wire wrapped in brown paper, the feet are reinforced with cardboard, and the body is stuffed with Polyfill.

Oliver was made for my husband. He is a Social Science teacher and an avid reader (hence the old books in the background). He is very owlish on the inside, but very un-owlish on the outside, so I made a jaunty beret for him to wear. Oliver ordinarily wears the John Lennon glasses (which I had originally bought for my DH), but I couldn’t get a great photo with him wearing them, so they are just off to the left in the pic.

Happy day to you, go retro when the muse suggests to, and enjoy! Christen

PS: My husband says this is one of his favorite pieces that I have made, pretty cool to be married to your best friend!

Lothlorien Twilight: ABAA challenge

Lothlorien Twighlight

Lothlorien Twilight

This is my entry for a Dazzle of Dragonflies which was the challenge this month for Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure. “Lothlorien” is where Galadriel lives in J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical world. The cloaks that she and her ladies made, that were given to the “Fellowship of the Ring” were said to have been made with a cloth that reflected the leaf, branch, water and stone of this realm. I felt that the colors that I chose for this piece reflected the same thing. Hopefully the magic will be reflected here too!

embroidered center

embroidered center

The background is a vintage embroidered silk purse, probably from China. The purse itself was too delicate to be used as such, so I have tried to preserve it’s beauty, and add it to my collection of art. Each piece of embroidery is comprised of single “Peking or Chinese Knot”, incredible in itself the work that went into each piece! These were each stitched separately then attached by hand to the brown silk. The rows of gold work that attached each design had come apart so I hand stitched these back in place first before I added in my own embellishments.

Then it was time to add in some of my own work. I beaded three dragonflies that have a dentalium shell body that is beaded and wings that are beaded. I made several sets of brick stitched leaves and interspersed them through the sections of flowers. I also beaded a few vines of brick stitched leaves.

beadedcenter

embellished and beaded center

I hand stitched several butterflies from French wire ribbon, and added dentalium shell bodies which are beaded. I also made hand stitched flowers from grosgrain ribbon that I stitched with vintage celluloid button centers. I antiqued both the flowers and butterfly bodies with copper fabric paint.

Several more flowers were made from silk bias ribbon and vintage velvet ribbon. These have beaded centers and are interspersed between the butterflies and larger flowers.

I used many vintage buttons that I have collected over the years including carved Tahiti shell, “tinnies” and celluloid which were used around the outer edges. Several new dragonfly and butterfly buttons and charms were also found to complete the theme.

Full wall hanging

Full wall hanging

I had a wonderful time collecting all of these treasures, then finding a home for them to reside.

The last item I found at Maureen’s Vintage Acquisitions was the mini quilt hanger with the dragonfly on the top! Perfection!

I hope that you enjoy what you do, have fun today and do take a look at the other entries for this challenge, they are all unique and incredible!

Happy stitching, collecting and treasure what gifts you have! Christen

Tide Pools Nature’s Treasures-by Christen Brown

Tide Pools Natures Treasures

Tide Pools Nature's Treasures

This is my entry for the Shell Challenge sponsored by Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure. There are quite a few entries this time, and worth a peek when you get a chance.

The theme was to create anything with shells, and being a native of Southern CA., a shell lover from early child hood, and an avid collector I had really had a wonderful time creating the project.

beach sand

beach sand

I started my project with birch bark collected many years ago from our cabin outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada. This I used for the sand, and the inside of the bowls.

I then crumpled up pieces of cotton paper to create the waves, and rocks. I stitched these together with cotton and rayon threads on my sewing machine. I placed this on an old wooden tray, that had seen better days.

tide pool bowls

tide pool bowls

The next step was to create the actual tide pool rock formations that capture the sea life and shells.

I started with Timtex and more cotton paper. I cut round shapes in three different sizes. I layered cotton paper over these, and cut out round pieces of birch bark for the center of the bowls.

I stitched the layers together on the sewing machine. I then cut darts into the circles, and over lapped these to form the bowl shape. The last step was to cut the edges of each bowl and then machine stitch over these edges.

shells, sea life and kelp

shells, sea life and kelp

I had an abundance of real shells that I had collected over the many years of beach combing. I had a great time selecting which of these would be included into my beach scene.

I also had some old celluloid buttons that were somewhat grungy, but the colors matched and the patterning looked like sea urchins to me, these are interspersed amongst the bowls.

I thought that it would be cool to include shells and sea life that I had made from ribbons, crochet and embroidery. I started to play and this is what I came up with:

  • A crochet length of kelp with cord and pearl cotton, and grape shells at each leaf (these have a florist wire glued in the center to attach to the kelp)
  • Crochet and embroidered snail shells
  • Embroidered sea urchins, sea anemones and limpet shells
  • Embroidered and gathered ribbon coral
  • Ric-rac coral and star fish
  • Plumes of something made from rayon cord (I am not sure what these are but I liked them)
close-up view of three sizes of bowls

close-up view of three sizes of bowls

Happy beach combing and treasure hunting, enjoy- Christen!