Archives

Friday’s Favorites: the Junk Drawer

Well in this case, well organized boxes of junk, collected ephemera: some new, some found in the street, some found in the craft section of my favorite haunts.

And more boxes and containers of the stuff I just can’t seem to discard, and thankfully no one has asked me to yet either!

Junk-Man Series: All manner of collected ephemera, cast away junk, and fun stuff.

Junk Jewels: Gathered and collected bits, odd singles, old earrings, watches, zipper pulls, and other treasures.

Junked-Up Mixed Media: Assorted small wall decorations, made from paper, glue, and found treasures.

Happy Stitching, or in this case, searching, gathering, and gluing! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Scarves

I love scarves! And with the cold weather still out, I am constantly in search of that little bit of extra warmth and color. Being allergic to wool can sometimes be a challenge to find just the right thing for an outfit, so I am always on the lookout, and often I make my own accessories or re-style or revamp an already made item.

This chiffon scarf was a gift from my husband and daughter, along with a box of Godiva chocolates. How could you go wrong with yummy chocolate and my favorite color purple! I added satin rosettes and posies using the directions from my book Ribbonwork Gardens, by C&T Publishing.

This is a scarf that is entirely made from Hanah Silk bias ribbon. Several different widths were used, and stitched together on the sewing machine. The ruffled roses are hand-stitched, and are also made from silk bias ribbon.

This is a scarf that I knit, using yarn that was made from silk sari borders. It has a lively color combination, lots of colors and fun nubby sections. I made folded edge rosettes from hand-dyed silk velvet ribbon. The centers of the flowers are abalone shell buttons.

This scarf was purchased many years ago at Cost Plus, now it is called World Market. It is incredibly detailed with rickrack ribbon stitched into flowers, sequins, and beads! To top it off I made another flower from my book Ribbonwork Gardens, using ribbon that came off another box of Godiva chocolates.

Happy Stitching to you all, and Enjoy~ Chisten

Friday’s Favorite: Shells, Pearls, and Beads

I love jewelry, and the combination of shells, pearls, and beads, well enough said, drop the mike, I am all on board!

Summers by the Sea, is a beaded neck-piece that I made, using the free-form peyote stitch technique. I incorporated a variety of treasures using a pallet of soft colors that reflect the sea and shore. I stitched vintage and new glass seed beads and novelty shaped beads with clusters of fresh water pearls, brown muscle shell charms and beads, abalone shells and chips, and my favorite the button shells (they look like small cowrie shells).

Winter Solstice, is another beaded neck-piece that I made, using the free-form peyote stitch technique. I have incorporated fresh water pearls, vintage shell and glass buttons, and vintage glass sew-throughs with vintage and new seed beads. In the close-up you can see the variety of pearls, glass buttons, glass sew-throughs, and seed beads that I used. The light blue beads (almost gray) are vintage beads found in the Hudson Bay area, they are over 200 years old.

Happy Stitching to you, enjoy what you do and make everyday count. ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Color Episode 1

Color, color, color and more colors. I love them all. When I work, I let the fabrics and other components tell me what they want to be when they grow up. Today, I am going to share two pieces from my cream and beige collection.

9″ x 10 1/2″

Creme de la Creme

This piece was featured in my book The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing. It was an example of a monochromatic color palette. There are shades of cream, off-white, candlelight, beige, and pearl. The base of this piece is a doupioni silk, layered with many treasured bits of lace, that I had collected over the years. The embroidery was worked in silk ribbons and perle cotton threads. The embellishments include, beads, mother of pearl buttons and charms, and fresh water pearls. The frame is comprised of carved bone purse handles.

13″ x 13″

Splattered Scattered Tatters

This piece is from my new book, Creative Embroidery, Mixing the Old with the New. I crazy pieced the base using odd scraps of muslin, added batting to the back and quilted a random pattern with perle cotton #12. I gathered small bits of machine made lace, tatted and crochet lace, and appliques. Some of the tatted and crochet pieces were made by my mom and myself. I also found a home for a collection of crochet and thread woven buttons, mother of pearl buttons, and bone underwear buttons. The embroidery is very minimal, so that the lovely components could speak for themselves. To bring all of the shades of cream together, I spatter dyed the base with Colorhue dyes.

I hope that your day is colorful! Happy Stitching to you all! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Decorating the Tables

OK, it is no secret that I love to decorate for the holidays. Here is what the dining room area looks like when I am done.

This table sits against the bay window, with a collection of some of my most favorite funky trees and stuff.

Thank you for allowing me to share my decorations!

Happy decorating to you! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorite: Decorating the Living Room

OK, it is no secret that I love to decorate for the holidays. Here is what the living room looks like when I am done.

I start decorating, right after I take down the Fall decorations, usually the day after Thanksgiving. It takes me about a week to get all of the trees set up, and then decorate them. After the trees are set up, I add in the special little bits of collected holiday ephemera, here and there and EVERY WHERE.

I use this vintage wooden Coca~Cola box as a non-traditional advent calendar. It is full of treasures that I have collected throughout our marriage.

Wishing a happy and joyous season for you all. ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Decorating The Trees

OK, it is no secret that I love to decorate for the holidays. I started to collect ornaments by theme when we were first married, and well I forgot to stop. Consequently, I now have around 50 trees that I decorate and display around the house. Before you become concerned for my sanity, I should say that the largest is 4ft. and the smallest is 3″. So not so crazy, at least that is what I tell my husband when he has to pull out those many, many, many, boxes from the garage.

Each tree has a theme, and even some of the trees are not traditional trees. Mug-trees and greeting card holders make for excellent display opportunities. I repurpose them and used them to display a collection of ornaments.

Small Trees, Spring Candle Holders, Cork Trees

Here are some of the smaller trees on top of vintage wooden spools. I put aluminum molds on top of old mattress springs, and filled them with plastic tea-lights. And yes, I was a partner in drinking all of those bottles of wine, just so I could make these cork Christmas trees.

I also decorate with non traditional finds, such as the colander and wooden sewing spools that the Star Tree is resting in. The sewing tree has vintage measuring tape garlands, and is surrounded by pincushions and wooden spools. The heart tree has many hand-made ornaments, made by mom and myself. The bell tree’s focus is well, bells. The tinkling sound they make while I am decorating the tree, makes it fun!

Happy decorating to you! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Decorating with Lace and Jewels

I love to decorate for the holidays. I have quite a collection of lace, buttons, and old jewelry bits, and try to find ways to incorporate them into my holiday decorations.

The first tree here, is actually a metal jewelry holder, with a bowl to catch your loose bits of stuff. I have used it to display my collection of vintage mercury glass ornaments and garlands. I placed vintage tinsel garlands in the bottom of the bowl, then nestled a collection of vintage swan shaped clip-on tree ornaments around the base of the tree. I gathered together a collection of vintage dress pins and single earrings, and added these throughout the branches.

The Lace Cone Trees, are resting in a silver leaf tray, with a garland of bells wrapped around the base. There are two vases flanking this group, filled with vintage mercury glass ornaments and vintage glass beads. See my Tips and Tea on Tuesdays post December 6, 2022, for directions on how to make a cone tree.

The Lace Christmas Tree hanging at the top of the picture is comprised of bits and pieces of lace that had been a salesman’s sampler. I added additional pieces of lace, and some vintage buttons. This project is a free handout that I am offering to my readers as a gift, from me to you.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Old Doors, Knobs, and Keys

I have always loved old doors. The more worn the better, because this signified that they had been used, traveled through, experienced. And then of course, I love the accessories that a door needs, such as door knobs and keys.

This is picture, was drawn by a friend. He drew it as a wedding gift for my husband and I. I framed it with this old music sheet, that I found on The Graphics Fairy.

The romantic in me thinks of castles, and knights and damsels in distress. So I to created an image of an old castle door that had been weathered, with a big door knocker, a brass knob and big hinges. I found this old, large key on eBay, and used it for the hanger. I also found a few old skeleton keys to add in here and there, and grouped them with my newer keys and heart shaped locks. The base is machine pieced and machine quilted. The charms, keys, and buttons are attached with embroidery floss.

This is a digital image that I created, using many images that I had found on Pinterest. If you like to look at photographs of old doors, windows and Greece may I suggest the artist Tolis’s Flickr photostream with this door as my favorite.

I gathered this group of batik fabrics that varied from rust to brown, and thought, well this would make a cool door! I found these wonderful blue buffed celluloid buttons, which I paired with brass buttons, buckles, and both vintage and new keys. The rust and vintage blue ribbons just keep the colors flowing. The base is machine pieced and quilted, and the hand embroidery is worked in perle cotton.

If you like fairies, old doors, and wonderfully illustrated books may I suggest “A Knock at the Door” by Angi Sullins and Silas Toball.

All Friday’s Favorites posts.

Enjoy your day, go on an adventure through a door that you have never been through! Imagine, dream, knock and enter! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Thanksgiving Decorations

Fridays Favorites is all about the Thanksgiving Decorations. I decorate for fall at the end of September and leave the decorations up until the end of November. Here in California, we really do not see the colors of turning leaves, and experience only the occasional crisp cold weather mornings. That said, I still appreciate the change of the season.

Here is a collection of my pumpkins, and other fall ephemera.

I love these wine cork pumpkins, what better way to use up all of those wine corks! I also love these wooden spools, so cool! The aluminum tins on top hold wax candle pumpkins.

Here are a few more vignettes, the first showing a collection of bird nests and paper wasp hives, along with Indian corn and mini pumpkins. The second shows Oliver and Aubriana, two art dolls that I have made. The third, a host of pumpkins, flowers and other fall ephemera.

And more owls, candles, gourds, and a turkey or two!

These images and poem encompass this time of year for me:

Dirt roads lined with
brown dusted bushes
and autumn colored trees
Leaves falling with even prettier colors
than last year.
Crackle air smells
of snow and cooked
turkeys and pumpkin pie.
Family days spent with
distant relatives, loved ones
and Thanksgiving.

Christen, 10-15-79

All Friday’s Favorites posts.

Well I hope that this inspires you to be creative with your decorations, and that you are enjoying this time of year.

Happy Stitching! ~ Christen