Tag Archive | glass buttons

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

Days of Wine and Roses- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Days of Wine and Roses close-up

Days of Wine and Roses close-up

The inspiration for the colors of this vest came from the main fabric itself, which is from one of my favorite fabric companies, Hoffman Fabrics. The champagne-mushroom dyed background is liberally sprinkled with chocolate and rose colored ferns and leaves. I used these colors and added in a sage, celery and dark green for the ribbon worked flowers and leaves and the embroidery.

The front of the vest has a raw silk panel stitched in at a slightly off kilter diagonal angle. On either edge of the the cotton and silk seam seam run a display of whimsical floral vignettes. The ribbon worked flowers and leaves are made from a variety of new and vintage ribbons including: Hanah silk bias in 2-1/2″, 1″ and 5/8″; vintage cotton grosgrain and velvet ribbons; double sided satin ribbon; cotton and moire fabrics. The vignettes are embellished with silk ribbon embroidery in sizes 2mm, 4mm and 7mm silk ribbon. Silk and cotton threads were used for details and traditional embroidery stitches.

Days of Wine and Roses- vest

Days of Wine and Roses- vest

Happy Stitching! Christen

Vintage Buttons- by Christen Brown

Renaissance Maiden by Christen Brown

Renaissance Maiden by Christen Brown

I LOVE buttons!!! As a kid my mom kept a wooden cigar box full of buttons in the sewing closet. When we were sick, or sometimes just bored she would pull out the box and let us play with them.

At first I just loved the sound that the buttons made when they fell on the table; then I loved just looking at the colors; then I started imagining what I would do with them all. I learned a lot about color, shapes and sizes by playing and arranging these little treasures on the rug in the living room. My mom in her quiet wisdom gave us our own self taught course on design.

Today I collect vintage and antique buttons, some I keep on display because they are so beautiful but mainly I use them in the projects that I make. Examples include “Renaissance Maiden” which is encrusted with vintage metal and glass buttons and “Autumn Leaves Must Fall” a short sleeved jacket that is covered in celluloid, Bakelite and Thermoset buttons.

I hope that you will be inspired to look through your own “Button Box” and that you find a hidden treasure in there. And remember that even if the button’s worth is measured only by the special memory that it brings to you, that is priceless.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Deco Plumeria Ensemble: neck-piece and bracelets

Deco Plumeria by Christen Brown

Deco Plumeria by Christen Brown

The inspiration for this ensemble came from a wonderful group of old “confetti” celluloid buttons from the Deco era found at an antique show in Santa Monica, CA. The colors of the components I chose for this ensemble are so reminiscent of the “barkcloth” curtains of the 1930’s with large images of tropical flowers, that I just had to make a floral venue in which the buttons could reside.

The necklace and first bracelet “Violas and Peas” are made from a base of grosgrain ribbon adorned with individually stitched ribbon worked flowers and leaves, (and pea pods in the case of the bracelet). The second bracelet is made from vintage glass cabs glued to a metal base. The last “Ribbon Bracelet” is a vintage jacquard ribbon covered with vintage Bakelite and celluloid buttons.

I used a variety of ribbons in this ensemble including silk bias, grosgrain, French wire and even a ribbon that was tied to a box of Godiva Chocolates (a Valentines Day gift from my husband). You just never now what may come in handy some day….

Bracelets by Christen Brown

Bracelets by Christen Brown

May you have many hours of Happy  and Joyous Stitching! Christen

Antique Autumn Roses: neck-piece

Antique Autumn Roses- by Christen Brown

Antique Autumn Roses- by Christen Brown

This necklace was started in a class using my pattern “Entwined Roses”. The design grew with the addition of the wonderful wrapped metallic gold center piece given to me by a friend.

I had also just acquired a collection of vintage celluloid buttons, which found there way into major focal areas around the hand made silk ribbon flowers and leaves. Almost all of the buttons are made with vintage materials such as Bakelite, brass, molded glass, and cinnabar. Two other special components are the porcelain leaf button by Rama in the front, and a large flower shaped yellow bronze button from Worldly Good Buttons.

The other stunning components are the gold reflective glass flower shaped roundels, that really make the rest of the colors stand out. I used the peyote stitch to add in the vintage and new glass beads and charms; carnelian, Pyrex, cloisonne charms and dangles; and wrapped metal dangles.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Summers by The Sea: neck-piece

Summers by the Sea by Christen Brown

Summers by the Sea by Christen Brown

After graduating High School, I spent one glorious year on Catalina Island working as the Crafts Director at a YMCA camp. This was the perfect place for someone who enjoys the ocean, the creatures within, and the treasures that often wash ashore. Not to mention that it was a great place to think about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

Many of the bits and pieces in this neck-piece were gathered during that year. The most prominent shells are the “button shells” which are from the cowrie shell family. They are very rare, and only found in certain locations, one being at Button Shell Beach, which was the name of the cove where the camp was located.

Summers by the Sea was created with the free form peyote stitch in a pallet of soft colors provided by the sea, air and shore. Vintage and new glass seed beads and novelty shaped beads are stitched to simulate rivers and clusters of treasures washed up along with the sea foam. Other beads and items that I used were: fresh water pearls; “tiny” green abalone shells (these I purchased at a store in Avalon); brown muscle shell charms and beads; abalone shells and chips.

A few years ago my husband and I attended a Jazz festival held in the Casino ballroom. This was the first time that I had been back to the island in 32 years. I found the island still lovely, quiet and quaint, with some new growth which was to be expected. I still felt the old attractions of my longing for the sea, the shore and the solitude that I found here so many years ago. I have this necklace as a reminder and inspiration to never let go of my dreams!

Happy and Joyous Stitching! Christen

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: necklace with vintage buttons

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride by Christen Brown

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride by Christen Brown

“It’s never the wrong time to call on Toad.
Early or late he’s always the same fellow.
Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go!”
excerpt from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

I really loved the illustrations, the title and the characters of this book. Oddly enough though this happens to be my least favorite ride at Disneyland and my husband and daughter’s favorite ride. I am not sure what comment this makes about us, (perhaps it is the fact that they both deal with chaos better than I), but I still think that it is a wonderful book.

This entire ensemble was created to display the gorgeous black glass buttons, one from the Victorian era, mixed with vintage sterling buttons and new picture buttons Dorothy (for my daughter) and Albert (for my husband) at the top of the picture.

The vintage green glass leaves were made in Japan and the round red glass beads were made in Czechoslovakia. Other beads and charms add a fun color mix which was actually inspired by an old set of bark cloth curtains that my grandmother owned. I wear this with a short sleeved jacket that was made with the bark cloth which also bears the name, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”.

Bracelets: Toad Greens, Czech It Out, African Stripes

Bracelets: Toad Greens, Check It Out, African Stripes

“Toad Greens” is chock full of vintage glass beads from Japan and Germany. “African Stripes” is made with vintage African Trade beads. The beads in both bracelets were strung on Soft Flex, with crimp beads on the end.

The middle bracelet “Check it Out” is made from the “Chantilly Laced Buttons” pattern using vintage Czech glass and Victorian “mourning” glass buttons with glass seed beads. I had been collecting these buttons for both the necklace, where I used my “Vintage Bling Bling” pattern and this bracelet for many years, and am happy to say they are at home now.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Scrumptious Scraps Wall Hanging: silk ribbon embroidery with silk ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Scrumptious Scraps by Christen Brown

Scrumptious Scraps by Christen Brown

This wall hanging truly covers all of my passions, embroidery, ribbon work, vintage lace, and dyeing! Scrumptious Scraps was a labor intensive project, but well worth the time that I spent on it. In fact this piece is one of my favorites, and I have used it throughout the design of my website.

The base fabric is comprised of all of those precious scraps of handmade lace and fabric that you can’t throw out! The base was created with a layer of Solvy over the scraps of lace and fabric which was then machine quilted fusing all of the pieces together. The base was then dyed with Color Hue Dyes, along with the ribbons that I used to embroider the flowers and leaves.

The ribbon worked flowers are made from Hanah silk bias ribbons, cotton grosgrain ribbons, and dyed silk satin ribbons; the embroidery was stitched with silk ribbons and embroidery threads.

size 12-3/8″ W x 9-1/2″

Happy Stitching! Christen

Cranberry Craze Purse: bead embroidery

Cranberry Craze- by Christen Brown

Cranberry Craze- by Christen Brown

This purse is a sample from my bead embroidery class Beadazzled Somemore. The beads are added to the fabric in a free form peyote stitch, attached at intervals throughout the beading process. Traditional embroidery stitches were also used to attach some of the beads.

The base fabric is a cotton batik by Hoffman Fabrics. The glass seed beads I used are in sizes 6, 8, 11, and 15 in round, square, bugle and triangle shapes. I also used vintage glass buttons; novelty leaf and butterfly shaped beads; rondelles; and vintage sequins.

Back of Purse

Back of Purse

Happy and Joyous Stitching! Christen