Tag Archive | buttons

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

feeling groovy tea

Sitting here and listing to Simon and Garfunkel, with my cup of Darjeeling, thinking, hmm everything IS Groovy! Today I want to share some before and after pics of one of my favorite pieces, Bouncing Button Balloons. This piece was featured in my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

Tip: Take photos before, during, and after.

I always, well almost always, take a picture of the finished base, and then the threads and embellishments I have set aside to use on it. The focus of this piece, was going to be the buttons, which are two fabric, and vintage celluloid. Here you can see all of the different fabrics, and vintage laces that were used to create the base. The embroidery for this piece was worked in three colors of Wildflower Thread, by the Caron Collection, with seed bead embellishments.

Tip: Before you stitch buttons and embellishments in place, audition them on the base. Once you have your design, and the audition is complete, take a photo with your phone, that way when you go to stitch them in place, you will have something to refer to.

7 5/8″ x 16 1/4″

Tip: When embroidering around a button, use stitches that will curve easily, like the blanket and the chain stitches. Here, I embroidered through the buttonholes first, then around the base of each button. I stitched the detail stitches with the lazy daisy, fly, French knot, and single bead stitches Then I embroidered the feather stitch coming out of each balloon, to look like the attached string.

Here is a close-up of the embroidery and embellishment stitches. This was a fun piece to work on, and it gave a new life to some old, funky, buttons!

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

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

Straight From the Heart Sampler

Straight From the Heart Sampler is a sampler that I created for Joggles, over 10 years ago. I was asked to create a simple pattern with a simple stitch. I used a variegated cotton floss, and the running stitch, pretty simple, and doable! It is my pleasure to offer this as a fee gift to you, from my heart to yours.

Happy stitching! ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Numbers and Measures

Measuring Up
Measuring Up Montage

The montage has a collection of a few of my favorite things. The jewelry pieces are just fun, with both new and old typewriter keys, and charms. The dog tags belonged to my mom’s dog when she was growing up, my dad won the medal in a model airplane contest for one of his own designs. Other images are my dad’s actual dog tags from WWII, coins (from my grandpa), a wooden nickel I got a Knot’s Berry Farm as a kid and more buttons.

Shown here is the bracelet close-up. I started with a very well loved, tape measure that belonged to my Grandmother. I paired it with grosgrain ribbon and a few buttons that I found at the thrift store. The small button at the right has my mom’s initials on it. When I found it I thought must save this for just the right project, I think that I did!

The first bracelet was found on eBay, it was made with vintage typewriter keys. The necklace is made from new two-hole beads, with typewriter symbols, that have been strung on a rayon cord. The last bracelet, is made from new charms, that are attached to a vintage chain bracelet.

Favorite collection of measuring devices

Numbers can be viewed differently by the way you present them, such as “I HAVE 5 weeds!”, or “I only have five weeds…”; vice versa: “I only have five roses…” or “I HAVE 5 roses!”… you get the point. Numbers can also relate to how much money you have, or how wide you are by the inches on the tape measure, or the accumulation of years that equal your life.

Measuring up can mean quite a few things as well. With New Year’s Eve looming, and resolution lists waiting to be written, for me it means gauging my accomplishments, successes and triumphs. Did I spend my time wisely, did I make a difference, did I contribute?

Whatever your answers are to these questions, I hope that you enjoy the days, hours, and minutes to come! Be happy creating or be happy creatively! Enjoy- Christen

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

cup of coffee

Tea today is as you can see, a mug of coffee. It is cold out, and I just wanted to have a sip of JOE. As I was sipping in my workroom, I came across some cardboard cones left over from a weaving project. I got to thinking about the shape, and thought, hmmm, this looks like it wants to be a tree. So I pulled out my ribbons, trims, lace, buttons, and started to play.

Tip: Wire Ribbon Cone Trees

  1. Buy a cardboard cone at your local craft store.
  2. Select the ribbon or ribbons that you want to use.
  3. Start at the bottom of the cone. Wrap the ribbon around the cone, cut off the length needed plus 1″.
  4. Place this onto the cone, with the bottom edge of the ribbon even with the bottom of the cone.
  5. Glue this end to the cone. Fold the remaining end over 1/2″, and pin.
  6. Wrap the length around the cone, remove the pin, and glue this end over the beginning end.
  7. Repeat this step, with the same ribbon or a variety of ribbons, slightly overlapping the previous row, until the cone is covered.
  8. Add a bow to the top, and small ornaments, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Tip: Lace and Rhinestone Cone Trees

  1. Buy a cardboard cone or a Styrofoam cone at your your local craft store.
  2. Select a 2 – 3 yard length of lace with one edge that has a ruffle.
  3. Start at the bottom of the cone. Pin one end of the lace to the cone with an appliqué pin, so that the ruffle is even with the bottom of the cone.
  4. Wrap the lace around the cone at a slight angle, slightly overlapping the previous row, and spiraling up the length of the cone.
  5. Cut off the excess lace at the top of the cone, plus 1/2″. Fold the edge over, and pin this to the cone.
  6. Using straight pins, decorate the tree with a length of rhinestone or pearl trim for a garland, or substitute an old rhinestone necklace.
  7. Pin a ribbonworked flower, or and old dress pin to the top of the cone as the tree topper.
  8. Pin buttons or old earrings in place with straight pins for the ornaments.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

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

Lace Christmas Tree: Free Handout

This felt project is fun, fast and easy to make for yourself or someone you love! Use up your tiny bits of precious lace, appliqués, and trims to create a hand-sewn collaged tree. The lace tree can be embroidered and embellished with stitches, buttons and more. It can be used as a pillow, or you could add a piece of ribbon to the top, for wall hanging.

You can download the free PDF handout here.

Happy Stitching ~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

Tidbits and Tats: class/tutorial

Tidbits and Tats: 1 lesson/$30.00

tidbitsandtats1

Tidbits and Tats is my version of the popular “snip rolls”. This is a fun, fast and easy project to make for yourself or someone you love! Perfect for you to use your tiny bits of precious lace, fabric, ribbon, appliques and trims to create a hand sewn collaged base. The lace base can be embroidered and embellished with buttons, sequins and charms. You can add in your own flare with other items such as fabric yo-yo’s and ribbonwork flowers.

tidbitsandtats2

Skill Level Beginning: hand-sewing and embroidery knowledge needed

Class Information

This class 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 and handout/s will be sent out.

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

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!