Tag Archive | glass beads

Summertime and the Living is easy- Mixed Media Monday Challenge

Summeritme and the Living is Easy

Summeritme and the Living is Easy

This is my entry for this weeks Mixed Media Monday’s Challenge. The challenge this week was to make something with beads, that included beads or just BEADS. I was excited because this is certainly right up my ally and I thoroughly enjoyed the project!

I didn’t have to stitch anything new here but assemble pieces and parts, and bead-doodles that I had lying around from this project and that project. The base of the hanging is made from an 18 gauge florist wire wrapped in batting and silk ribbon. I then wire wrapped three small gourds dyed with shoe leather by a friend in place with Artistic Wire.

The dragonfly is made with a dentalium shell, beaded with size 15 seed beads, and delica beads for the wings. The vines of leaves were stitched with size 11 seed beads, then I attached beaded berries made from size 11 seed beads to each leaf. The pea pods (to the right and down) are made from delica beads filled with fresh water pearl “peas”. The fuchsias dangling by the dragonfly tail are made from delica beads and size 15 seed beads. Further embellishment comes from coin pearls and glass leaves.

Summer Time and the Living is Easy

Sipping my wine as I write this, and enjoying the summer afternoon.

Live well and enjoy what you do! Christen

PS: This was my first image, but I thought that the above one was a little more put together.

Violet Gardens- ribbon work brooch

Violet Gardens Brooch

Violet Gardens Brooch

This was one of two entries for the Piecework Magazine’s Excellence in Needlework 2009. This year’s challenge was to make a brooch no larger than 3″, in any needle art category. I chose ribbon work here and silk ribbon embroidery for my other submission Elizabeth’s Garden.

The base of the brooch is 18 gauge florist wire wrapped in cotton batting, then a silk bias ribbon. The brooch was fashioned into a spiral (see the bottom picture), with two loops. Tiny spirals of 22 gauge florist wire wrapped in cotton batting then 4mm silk ribbon peek out here and there, and add more dimension to the design.

The brooch was then covered in hand made ribbon worked flowers and leaves. I used 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ and 5/8″ (folded in half); in a variety of materials including silk bias, rayon hem tape, ombre and taffeta ribbons. A few beads are sprinkled here and there for extra detailing.

back of brooch

back of brooch

The back of the brooch is almost covered with as many flowers as the front. I used a rococo trim to cover the bulk of the stitching, and then added in flowers and leaves here and there.

From this picture you can make out the spiral design of the base. You can see the tiny tendrils quite well here too, and if you look closely the pesky white batting wanted to peep out whenever it had a chance to from the 4mm ribbon, I fixed that before sending it off on it’s journey!

Both of my entries were selected by the judges to be included in a display of the brooches at The National Needle Arts Association’s trade show in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-15, 2009. They will also be on display at the Embroiderer’s Guild of America’s (EGA) museum in Louisville, Kentucky, from July 1 through September 23, 2009. For information contact EGA www.egausa.org (502) 589-6956.

Happy stitching, happy day, 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

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

The Cotillion Tassel- ribbons and beads

The Cotillion Tassel

The Cotillion Tassel

This tassel is a most feminine tassel, perfect to adorn that special armoire or chest of drawers. I have made several tassels in my time, and I hang them on an old fence post that my husband attached to the wall.

This tassel is a sample from my Cotillion Tassel pattern. The tassel is embellished with hand made flowers and leaves using a variety of ribbons and trims including:

  • Rayon Velvet
  • Vintage French Jacquard
  • 10mm French Ombre
  • French Wire Ribbon
  • Hanah silk cord
  • Rococo Trim

The velvet ribbons were stitched into leaves and used at the top of the tassel as well as the calyx for the modified fuchsias which are made from the French wire ribbon. The vintage French jacquard has a disc at the bottom and is embellished with seed beads. The rococo trim is wrapped around the silk cord which is further embellished with beads and charms. Flowers made from the wire and the ombre ribbons are sprinkled around the top of the tassel.

To finish off the embellishments I added in stamens for the flowers, glass butterflies and leaves, and metal flower shaped charms.

Enjoy! Christen

Brigadoon- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Brigadoon- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Brigadoon- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Being an artist I am inspired by all that I see, past and present. One of my favorite things to do is turn on an old movie, a classic, such as Brigadoon for instance with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. The colors of the fabrics used in this vest reminded me of the tartans worn in the movie and of course my mother’s own Scottish heritage.

The vest which is a sample of my Quelque Fleurs class and purse is from my Fleurs de France class. These are both made from silk, dyed cotton and tapestry fabrics that are curved pieced to fit the shape of the pattern. The ribbon flowers and ruching are made from satin and velvet ribbons. The vest has a few pieces of vintage lace around the seams and in the back with additional hand tatted flowers that I made from a vintage spool of buttonhole twist.

The flowering gardens of silk ribbon embroidery are embellished further with vintage sequins, glass charms shaped like lilies, buttons and beads; also used were new glass beads and glass charms. The back of the vest displays a vintage button, that had been a gift from a student. The button had previously been owned by her great aunt quite a lady who had traveled to the west coast on a covered wagon in her youth!

Happy Stitching, enjoy your memories, write them down! Christen

Dragonfly Brooch- peyote and brick stitch

Dragonfly Tropics

Dragonfly Tropics

As a child I collected shells from the shore, and used them to create jewelry and small dolls. I loved the small white dentalium shells as they were so useful, and when I saw these lovely green ones I knew just what to do with them.

The base of this brooch is a wire covered with silk ribbon. It creates the perfect perch for a beaded dragonfly and a vine full of flowers and beaded leaves.

The dentalium shell body is embellished with a circular peyote stitch in size 15 seed beads; the wings are brick stitched in four separate sections with delica beads. Two small pearls are used for the eyes.

A beautiful abalone shell button is stitched in the center of the vintage bead vine, with small carved pua shell buttons stitched amongst the glass flowers and leaves. The silk vine is also enhanced with Hanah silk bias ribbon work flowers with beaded centers and brick stitched leaves that are made from delica beads.

Happy stitching, love what you do! Enjoy- Christen

PS: here are two additional versions of this brooch.

Dragonfly Moon

Dragonfly Moon

The second brooch Dragonfly Moon has the beaded dragonfly attached to an antique Mother of Pearl disc. This is then embellished with free form peyote vines with beaded leaves, vintage MOP discs and more glass beads.

Autumn Dragonfly

Autumn Dragonflies

The third brooch Autumn Dragonflies has a similar covered wire base as the first brooch. It is also encrusted with silk bias ribbon flowers, vintage and new glass beads stitched leaves, but for some reason I didn’t stop there! I then added more French wire, velvet and silk bias ribbon worked flowers and leaves for the background. So now it is a small wall hanging rather than a huge brooch!

Enjoy- Christen

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensembl

The necklace is made from a unique stitch that resembles wagon wheels or bricks placed into a pattern. It was a marvelous vehicle for these wonderful vintage and new Tahiti shell buttons that I had been collecting. The necklace made from size 8, 11 & 15 seed beads, is also adorned with fresh water pearls.

The first bracelet “Cobbled Cuff” is stitched with the free form peyote stitch. For the center piece I used a vintage Tahiti shell buckle found on a treasure hunt through my mom’s button jar. I stitched the bracelet with size 6,8,11 & 15 new and vintage seed beads along with fresh water pearls. A filigree bronze button is used for the closure.

The second bracelet “Velvet Cuff” is made with vintage carved tahiti shell buttons stitched with vintage glass seed beads onto a base of velvet ribbon. I especially love the flower shaped button on the left!

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

Happy stitching, let the beading begin! Enjoy- Christen

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble- necklace, bracelets and earrings

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

I have had a wonderful adventure collecting these vintage buttons with the grape and leaf motif for this project. I finally found enough to make a necklace with matching bracelets.

The necklace, an original design, is made from two silk cords, with the vintage glass and metal buttons and beads sandwiched between them. Additional beads, many vintage, were added to dangle below the buttons for embellishment.

The earrings are made from vintage findings with new and vintage glass beads.

The first bracelet “Truffles and Toadstools” is made from my “Klimpt Kollage Kuff” pattern. This bracelet made from a base of ribbon that is encrusted with vintage celluloid, and horn buttons inlaid with abalone. Glass buttons and metal charms were also used.

The second bracelet “Brandywine” is made with a right angle weave stitch. All of the buttons are vintage brass. The glass leaves and beads are new, as are the charms that dangle below the buttons.

The pin and the shoe clips are also vintage.

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

Happy stitching, let the beading begin! Enjoy- Christen