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Melange a Trois: class/tutorial

Melange a Trois: 3 lessons/$32.00

melange1Do you love mixed media, decorative paper, ribbon, lace, ephemera and collage? Well this is the perfect class for you then. You will learn how to combine all of these bits of gathered treasure and create them into gift envelopes, bags, and small boxes. Simple easy techniques, your sewing machine and a bit of imagination is all you need! There are two different envelopes to choose from; two sizes of the small gift bags; and two sizes of the mini matchboxes; with a bonus pattern for a gift tag.

Skill Level Beginning: sewing machine knowledge

Lesson 1: In this lesson I will discuss themes, gathering, storing and choosing your components. Then the fun begins with paper collage including copying, cutting and stitching techniques.

Lesson 2: In this lesson I will show you how to assemble the collaged gift envelope; how to collage and assemble a gift bag; and assemble the mini matchbox.

Lesson 3: In this lesson you will learn how to make the small envelope, gift tag and treasure keeper. Then the decoration begins for the envelopes, bags and boxes. These will be embellished with paints, pens, stamps, trims, ribbons, lace, buttons and more!

Class Information

These classes can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list will be sent out. The lessons will begin one week after the purchase of the class, unless otherwise stated. You will receive an email with the lesson attached. The following lesson/s will arrive one week after the previous lesson.

A high speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching,

~Christen

Cameos and Lace

cameos and lace

Cameos and Lace

The vintage sleeve was found at an antique store, I don’t know who wore it, but she must have looked very lovely if the lace and embroidery on her sleeve are any indication. I added in cameos because I always thought that they represented the best of a proper ladies jewelry. One set that was a brooch and a pair of earrings that had belonged to my husband’s grandmother; the other pieces are shell and resin that I gathered from here and there.

The lace around the picture was a gift from my husband’s brother’s wife’s mother’s husband (whew!), and there is a lot more where that came from and will be used in many projects to come. The Mother of Pearl buttons are all vintage; the tiniest of them are whistle buttons, the larger have a pink and green shimmer. The glass flowers add just the right amount of color here picking up some of the rose color of the cameos. The velvet milliner’s leaves are from an old hat and the ribbon flower is of my own design.

Happy Stitching! ~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

Lothlorien Twilight

Lothlorien Twighlight

Lothlorien Twilight

“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! Enjoy! ~Christen

Melon Balls Vintage Ensemble

Melon Balls Vintage Necklace and Earrings

Melon Balls Vintage Necklace and Earrings

This entire collection of accessories started with with the coral colored rectangular molded glass pieces set into earring findings, which I found at the Salvation Army for $.99.

The next piece I found was the bracelet (shown below found on ebay), several years later with the same carved glass pieces set into a metal finding.

I wore these two parts of the ensemble for several more years until I came upon the glass beads (used in the necklace, also from ebay) with the same carved floral design. A few months after that I found the lovely melon colored souffle finished oval beads at a quaint little bead store outside of Julian, CA. I mixed these with black bicones and seed beads to create the necklace. I used a vintage glass button for the closure.

Melon Balls Bracelets

Melon Balls Bracelets

The second bracelet is comprised of vintage glass sew throughs (these I had been saving for just the right project), vintage glass buttons for the closure, and the left-over beads from the necklace.

Then I got to thinking about a brooch for this set, and I started to play with my celluloid buttons and ribbons in the same colors of the necklace.

Deco Decadence Brooch

Deco Decadence Brooch

The brooch 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 1/8″ satin ribbon, and sit in a vintage jacquard ribbon vase. A pin back is stitched to the back of the vase.

I found a great Chico’s jacket at a thrift store to wear all of these treasure with. Finally the hat and purse that I had collected a while back had a purpose.

Melon Hat and Vintage Purse

Melon Hat and Vintage Purse

The hat is a vintage crochet raffia by Laura Ashley found at a thrift store. I trimmed the brim with a textured lace. I made ribbon worked flowers from French wire ribbons, and used a vintage velvet leaf trim for the background of the vignette.

The vintage handbag was found on a treasure hunt. It is from China, embroidered in coral, melon and gray threads with gold work details. The frame is encrusted with pieces of turquoise and coral.

Yeah, I just love it when things like that work out!

Happy searching, I hope that you find a treasure today that will turn into a wonderous adventure like this one! Christen

Bonnie & Clyde- Vintage Collage Jewelry Ensembl

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

This neck piece started with a vintage tie stolen from my husband’s closet (he won’t miss it) that is from the 1930’s and an incredible set of vintage celluloid buttons known as “glow bubbles” dating from the 1920’s.

I first fell in love with these buttons because of the colors! Notice the green glow in the bracelet, and the large button in the center of the flower. The buttons are made with a metal base, layered with a piece of shiny foil or tin, then covered with a “bubble” of celluloid that was hollow, semi transparent and often had a geometric design.

I also used matte olive green celluloid buttons in the oval shape (shown around the flower petals). The black buttons are a molded tin, painted black.

The bracelet boasts the “cat’s eye glow bubbles” stitched onto a ribbon bracelet. The other bangle is a green and black swirl I bought at Coldwater Creek’s outlet store.

I wear this set with a vintage silk vest (also from my husbands closet) and a pair of fabulous vintage glass earrings that had belonged to my grandmother.

Quite the “bees knees”!

Happy stitching, enjoy- Christen

Woodland Roses- necklace

Woodland Roses- necklace

Woodland Roses- necklace

I have been collecting buttons for as long as I can remember, nothing really fancy or too expensive, just colors and shapes that I liked and thought that I could use. At first all buttons ended up on garments, my imagination being somewhat limited to their use I guess.

Several years ago when I started to create jewelry that was more complicated than stringing beads, I started to look at my button stash as a source for more creative designs.

This particular group started with the lovely carved Bakelite roses, which took me several months to collect on ebay. During this time I had found a wonderful collection of celluloid buttons in taupe, maple and chocolate with great patterns and shapes. I then looked into my tagua nut collection, these carved beauties come in such lovely understated tones that I new they would blend in nicely. A few carved horn buttons fell into place here and there.

Other treasures I found to carry out my theme here are the clip-on earrings which are a pair of vintage rosewood discs with celluloid roses. The pin shown below the earrings is an old Bakelite “Deco Era” buckle that I glued a pin back to.  The base of the necklace is made similar to the “Vintage Bling Bling” pattern; gathered and stitched with a silk cord for the tie. The buttons and the rose charms are stitched to the base with pearl cotton.

Woodland Roses- bracelets

Woodland Roses- bracelets

The first cuff bracelet is pierced with a lovely design and made tortoise shell. The second bracelet is made using my “Bohemian Button Bracelet” pattern. I used many vintage tagua nut buttons from my stash. The last bracelet (vintage) matches the first set of earrings (shown with the necklace), being made from rosewood discs with celluloid roses.

The pierced earrings are a collection of charms that didn’t end up on the necklace. The dangles are made from: rosewood with celluloid roses, wood discs, and carved Bakelite roses.

This was a fun ensemble to collect for, actually the collecting, hunting and gathering took longer than making the piece. That was the fun part of the adventure.

Happy stitching, make every day count, and enjoy- Christen

Santa Fe Talisman- necklace

Santa Fe Talisman- necklace

Santa Fe Talisman- necklace

The inspiration for the colors of this neck-piece came from the wonderful colors in the abalone and Tahiti shell buttons. Other buttons include hand carved jade, turquoise and shell. The base of the necklace is comprised of two vintage velvet ribbon stitched together, using my Vintage Bling Bling pattern.

All of the components: the buttons; glass and shell charms; seed and novelty beads that are encrusted around the base took a lifetime to collect. The vintage carved tahiti shell buttons were a gift from a friend; the abalone buttons I made myself in high school; the turquoise buttons were bought at the Palace of the Governor in Santa Fe, New Mexico a few summers back.

Other treasures include shell discs that came from an old necklace I wore in high school; fresh water pearls, vintage trade beads and new glass beads I have collected from many bead shows and fairs.

Santa Fe Talisman- bracelets

Santa Fe Talisman- bracelets

The first bracelet “Anemone” is loaded with dangles of all kinds. These are stitched to a base of large seed beads with a vintage button for the closure. The second bracelet is from the “Button Brigade” pattern with carved floral pua shell buttons.

The treasures of the summer and the sea bring a life time of joy and beauty. Enjoy your stitching adventures…. Christen

Victoriana- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Victoriana- silk ribbon embroidered rvest

Victoriana- silk ribbon embroidered vest

This is a collaged montage of a few of the embroidered sections from my Victoriana vest. This vest is shown here in it’s second incarnation. The original was a solid piece of fabric with the manipulated ribbon work sections, lace sections, and ribbon embroidery, similar to The Edwardian, and was the original sample for Vintage Redressed pattern. Sadly the vest had an accident with the iron, and several sections of ribbon work melted! Yikes!

So I cut out the sections that I could save, found a compatible fabric to the original, and crazy pieced the front sections with the saved embroidery, and simplified the back by just using the dyed lace pieces, buttons and beads.

The silk ribbon embroidery sections were worked with 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm silk ribbon, vintage ombre ribbon, and buttonhole twist thread. The ribbon worked flowers are made from satin ribbon. I added in seed beads in sizes 6,8, and 11 for details. Metal charms and vintage buttons complete the details.

Victoriana- vest

Victoriana- vest

The beret and purse that I wear with this vest are made from the original fabrics, and the Lady Alexandra is the jewelry that is worn with this outfit.

Enjoy your day, happy stitching… Christen

Strawberry Fields- crochet purse

Strawberry Fields- crochet purse

Strawberry Fields- crochet purse

This crochet purse was so much fun to make. It is stitched in rows of double crochet using bits of this color and that, added in when one color ran out. I stitched a row of treble crochet close to the top for the cord to run through, and ruffled the top edge.

I am a fairly neat person but when it comes to skeins of pearl cotton, I tell myself I must wrap it in to a ball before I start stitching, but I rarely do. So the odd bits and messy balls end up in an old glass candy jar, at least they look pretty while stuffed in there.

So this was a project meant to untangle my bird’s nest full of pearl cotton #5 skeins. They were hopelessly tangled and mangled and seemingly knotted beyond recognition.

I spent a few nights in front of the TV, and a few long car trips (I was a passenger, not the pilot) and untangled and sorted the mess that I had created. I think that the untangling process took longer than the crochet stitches.

Hope that you too can create something from your tangles and mangles! Happy Stitching, enjoy- Christen