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Tide Pools Nature’s Treasures

Tide Pools Natures Treasures

Tide Pools Nature’s Treasures

Being a native of Southern CA., a shell lover from early child hood, and an avid collector I am drawn to the ocean, the sand, the waves, the tide-pools and all of the treasures that you can find.

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.

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!

National Sewing Month

Day 22

Question: What sewer hasn’t heard of the Sunbonnet Sue? She appears in all kinds of ways, including quilts, small wall hangings and even pin keeps. The pretty little Sue below, belonged to my Grandmother, and as you can see, she is made from real felt. The Sue on the right is my version of the pin keep, working with synthetic felt, lace, buttons, ribbon and perle cotton.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 17

Question: Do you sew functional forms for the home, or do you like to create whimsical additions?

Phat Matt and Friends by Christen Brown

Phat Matt and Friends is a PDF lesson that I offer on the website. This is a fun project that uses felt, perle cotton and buttons.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 15

Question: Do like to work with felt? I find that this is a great way to teach a simple project, that can be embroidered and embellished.

In the above pieces, I used the synthetic felt squares that you can find at your local craft store. I used a variety of perle cotton threads, to work the embroidery stitches, which can all be found in my book Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing.

Embroidered From the Heart by Christen Brown

This group of hearts are the examples from my Embroidered From the Heart PDF class lesson. There are a variety of heart shapes to work with, which you can mix and match; embroidery and embellishment stitches are also included in the 2 lessons. These make great gifts!

Happy Stitching~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 26

What sewing enthusiast does not have a lot of precious scraps, that just can’t be thrown away?

3 1/2″ x 24″

Ivory and Lace by Christen Brown

This is my Scrap Roll, which is a project featured in my book, Beaded Embroidery Stitching. This piece does capture and keep all things feminine. The base is comprised of a collaged scraps and bits of lace, hankies, appliques, ribbons, buttons, beads and more. This project is embellished with both bead embroidery and bead woven stitches. The base is a painted wooden spool, adorned with lace, beads and a button.

3 1/2″ x 34″

Pansies and Sunflowers by Christen Brown

This is a slightly simpler version of the Scrap Roll (above). I used larger buttons, appliques, and rosettes, as well as wider trims for the base. The roll is embellished with bead embroidery. The button flowers have a floral wire stem, and are clustered together to create the center and base for the roll.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Day 16 of FLOWERS GALORE!

Day 16 of FLOWERS GALORE!

Fabulous Felt Florals

This group of colorful blooms is from my class Fabulous Felt Florals. These fast and easy flowers are just fun, fun, fun! Create a brooch, hair ornament, or decorate an object with these colorful, creative floral beauties. Several different flowers, leaves and embellishments will be made using a variety of shapes with the addition of machine and hand embroidery. The techniques involved are both machine and hand stitching. Fun for any time of year!

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen!

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

Embroidered From the Heart: class/tutorial

Embroidered From the Heart: 2 lessons/$30.00

embroideredfromtheheart1Do you love hearts and embroidery as I do? These lovely little ornaments are perfect for any holiday or gift from the heart! Whether you are an experienced embroiderer or a beginner this class is for you. There are five basic heart shapes with thirteen different sizes. There are fifteen designs; ten ornament size and five mini ornaments. All you need to create these lovely ornaments are a few basic embroidery and beading techniques and a little bit of imagination.

Skill Level Beginning: embroidery knowledge helpful 

embroideredfromtheheart2 Lesson 1: This class will cover the cutting techniques, which include straight and pinked zigzag edges; pinked zigzag strips and reverse appliqué. The embroidery stitches include: chain stitch, single feather stitch, blanket stitch, lazy daisy, French knot, straight stitch, single beads and seed bead groups. Stabilizing and assembly directions are also included. The directions and designs for heart shapes 1 – 2 will be covered.

Lesson 2: This class will cover the additional cutting and stitching techniques, which include harlequin piecing, patch piecing, stuffing, couched and laid threads. The directions and designs for heart shapes 3 – 5 will be covered.

embroideredfromtheheart3Bonus: Mini Hearts!

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

Friday’s Favorites: Hearts, Hearts and Hearts

Hearts in all shapes and sizes have always been a favorite of mine.

These old heart shaped tin molds were a thrift store find, one that I just treasure. I picked up the myriad of Valentine’s day themed ribbon in the dollar section at Target. Too cute!

Rose Heart is a combination of two techniques from my new book, Ribbonwork Gardens. The heart shape is made from French wire ribbon, and the rose is made from hanah silk ribbon. This is a small corsage.

This is an embroidery sampler, showcasing traditional embroidery stitches worked in both perle cotton and cotton floss. This can be found in my book, Hand Embroidery Stitching, by C&T Publishing.

Here are my magical heart shaped tin molds full of my favorite mother-of-pearl buttons.

The base of this “Hanky Heart” is made from an old handkerchief that had ripped in several places. I hand-dyed what was left of the handkerchief, then hand pieced it into this heart shape. I covered the seems of the raw edges with hand-dye vintage lace. I then stitched a few ribbonwork flowers, and ribbon embroidery into this pretty little vignette.

This is a grouping of  heart shaped bases, covered in vintage and new plastic buttons. The base is made from Timtex, then covered in a cotton muslin. Then the buttons are stitched down with pearl cotton. Fun, fun, fun….

Here are my heart shaped tin molds full of vintage and new heart shaped buttons (of course). The background is a piece of sheet music from the play Don Quixote.

And as far as I am concerned, you can never have too many HEARTS!

I hope that you enjoy your day, think good thoughts, and forever stay young and curious…

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Silk Ribbon Embroidery with Ribbon Worked Flowers

Friday’s Favorites (and every day for me) are silk ribbon embroidery projects that include ribbon worked flowers and leaves. This type of work incorporates two different techniques, embroidery with silk ribbon and flower or leaves stitched from ribbon. If you are unfamiliar with these techniques it can be confusing to identify one technique over the other.

In the above image I have used both silk ribbon embroidery and ribbon worked flowers made from silk habotai and silk satin ribbons. The base of this particular piece is composed of precious bits and pieces of lace that are stitched to a base of silk fabric, then dyed along with a few of the ribbons used for the flowers. The silk ribbon embroidery was stitched with 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm silk ribbon.

silk ribbon embroidery
Marie’s Boudoir Pillow

This pillow is an example of silk ribbon embroidery. In this technique a needle (chenille) is threaded with silk ribbon, and is then stitched through the fabric to create the embroidered designs. All of the stitches were stitched with silk embroidery ribbon, in sizes 2mm, 4mm, 7mm, and 13mm, and silk buttonhole twist and stranded floss.

ribbon worked flowers and leaves
Violet Gardens

This brooch is an example of flowers and leaves made from ribbon. These ribbonworked flowers are stitched from ribbon in sizes 1/4″ to 5/8″, in a variety of styles and fiber content. Ribbonwork differs from embroidery because the individually stitched flowers are created by threading a needle with sewing thread, cutting the ribbon the exact length for each flower, then stitching the ribbon to form the flower. Each flower or leaf  is then stitched in place with a needle and thread.

silk ribbon embroidered brooch
Elizabeth’s Garden

This is an example of a brooch that is embroidered with silk ribbon and silk threads, with a few ribbon worked flowers and leaves added to the top outside portion of the brooch. I have also incorporated a rococo trim around the outer edge of the brooch.

silk fabric with silk ribbon embroidery
Summer Blossoms Purse

This purse is an example of silk ribbon embroidery on an embroidered silk fabric with silk dupioni fabric on the outer edges. One of the wonderful qualities of silk is that it takes the dye so beautifully, and is very vibrant, yet still feminine. What makes silk embroidery ribbon so lovely is that it is beautiful even when worked in the most basic stitches such as lazy daisy, straight, and French knot stitches.

silk ribbon worked flowers and leaves
Silk Gardens Purse

This purse appeared in the March/ April 2007 issue of PieceWork Magazine. I wrote an article on silk fabrics, and this piece was included as a project. Here I have combined both ribbonworked flowers and a few silk ribbon embroidered stitches.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen