Tag Archive | neck-piece

Friday’s Favorites: Mother of Pearl part 2

necklace made from vintage and new mother of pearl buttons

Enchanted Butterflies

Friday’s Favorites is continuing this month with Mother of pearl. This week I want to show you jewelry that I have made with MOP buttons, charms and beads.

Enchanted Butterflies is an adaptation of my “Entwined Treasures” pattern. The base is created by entwining and stitching silk cords, into a base. This base is then embellished with buttons and charms, and the beads are attached with the peyote stitch.

ribbon bracelets stitched with vintage mother of pearl buttons

Mother of Pearl Button Bracelets

Button bracelets have been around for many decades. You may have one of those cuff bracelets that your mom made with an elastic crochet or stretchy gimp base that is encrusted with vintage buttons and beads.
These two bracelets here are a take-off on those original bracelets.
I chose to use a ribbon for the base (because I don’t like the elastic), using a button for the closure. The top bracelet, which is a sample of my “Klimpt Kollage Kuff” pattern, is encrusted with buttons, while the buttons are stitched in a design on the bottom bracelet.

vintage tie neckpiece

Hopscotch

The neck-piece here is made from the tie that my dad wore at his wedding. The buttons are vintage carved Mother of pearl with celluloid discs.
The pin base is a wide ribbon, encrusted with Mother of pearl buttons and buckles, celluloid buttons, and roses that I made from gimp and vintage zippers.

necklace strand made from amethyst and mother of pearl buttons

Pearl's Delight

This necklace incorporates small mother of pearl buttons with beads, strung on #10 Soft Flex.. The beads are amethyst, fresh water pearls, mother of pearl and seed beads. This necklace and the bracelets below were created to wear with “Pearl’s Delight” jacket ensemble, that is covered in vintage lace and vintage Mother of pearl buttons.

bracelets made from mother of pearl buttons

Mother of Pearl Bracelets

These bracelets are all made from vintage Mother of pearl buttons. The top and bottom bracelets are samples from my “Bohemian Button Bracelet” pattern, these are strung on Soft Flex as the necklace above. The middle bracelet is a sample of my “Button Bracelet” pattern using the peyote stitch.

mother of pearl buttons

Vintage at Heart

These are two pins that I made using vintage Mother of pearl buttons. The pin on the left is made from muslin fabric and is covered with buttons. The pin to the right is made from silk fabric with a piece of vintage lace, the buttons are all carved.

Vintage Mother of pearl buttons are still around in some abundance, what will you make with them?
Enjoy what you do, it’s good for you! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Free-Form Peyote Stitch

free-form peyote stitch

Free-form Peyote Stitch

Friday’s Favorites is all about the free-form peyote stitch. The peyote stitch is a traditional stitch used by Native Americans in a ceremonial ritual. There is some controversy in using the name of this stitch in beadwork today, but because I have no alternative word, I use it here with care.

The stitch is formed after a row of stitches are added onto the needle and thread; the stitching is then reversed with one bead added onto the needle and passed through a bead in the original row; additional beads are added in this manner. In the free-form stitch beads are added at random in singles or quantities creating a flowing organic form. The beads used are seed beads of all sizes (4-15 in my case), square, triangles, Czech glass beads, buttons, pearls, semi precious beads and basically anything with a hole in it.

free-form peyote stitch

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice was created using the free-form stitch adding and lengthening as needed. Here I have incorporated fresh water pearls, vintage shell and glass buttons, and vintage glass sew-throughs with vintage and new seed beads.

free-form peyote

close-up

Here is a close-up of the center, showing you the variety of pearls, glass buttons, glass sew-throughs and seed beads. The light blue beads (almost gray) are vintage beads found in the Hudson Bay area, they are over 200 years old.

free-form peyote neck-piece

Summer's By the Sea

Summer’s By the Sea was created using the same techniques as above, incorporating shells that I had found on Catalina Island as well as on the beaches of Southern California. Here I have incorporated vintage glass beads, vintage glass charms, abalone beads and chips, fresh water pearls along with the vintage and new glass seed beads.

close-up view of free-form peyote stitch

close-up view of free-form peyote stitch

Here is a close-up of the wonderful button shells that I found on Catalina Island.

free-form peyote stitch

Jeweled Pi

This is a close-up view of the Jeweled Pi bracelets, which is one of the patterns that I teach and sell. I have incorporated large Pi or shell discs, along with buttons, jade pieces, fresh water pearls, semi precious stones, and seed beads of different sizes.

free-form peyote with ribbon worked flowers

Tatiana's Enchantment

This necklace is from my Entwined Roses class, which incorporates ribbon worked flowers and leaves and the free-form peyote stitch. This class and the Entwined Treasures class both use silk cord and rayon cords as a base for the neck-piece. The flowers, buttons and beads are stitched on and around the base of cords which give a certain amount of stability and help to defray any tension problems that can arise when stitching without a base.

free- form peyote stitch with ribbon worked flowers

close-up view

This is a close-up view of the center, showing you the ribbon worked flowers that lay amongst the bead-work and buttons.

free-form peyote stitch with ribbon worked flowers

Woodland Elf

This is a close-up of my Woodland Elf necklace, which uses the Entwined Roses pattern. This is a wonderful collection of treasures: tiny sea urchins, vintage troca shell whistle buttons, fresh water pearls, jade charms, ra ku buttons, bronze charms from Big Sur, a dyed gourd, shell flowers….. and more.

close-up view of free-form peyote stitch

Beadazzled Somemore

This is a close-up view of the Beadazzled Somemore class and pattern that I teach. The free-form stitch is attached to the fabric at intervals, and then stitched using the same techniques as a regular peyote stitch.

free- form peyote stitch on ribbon

Ocean River's Bracelet

The Ocean River’s Bracelet uses the same concept as the Beadazzled Somemore, using a ribbon base to work the free-form stitch onto. This is a class that is on the current Winter Schedule for Joggles.com.

When all is said and done I enjoy using this stitch both in the structured and unstructured forms, both having their merits in history and style. Happy day to you, enjoy what you do and make everyday count. Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Tagua Nut Buttons

tagua nut buttons, Bakelite roses

Woodland Roses

Friday’s Favorites is all about “tagua nut buttons”. The vintage buttons on the necklace and bracelet are made almost entirely from tagua nut (the necklace has a few celluloid buttons). I have used mostly natural colored buttons, but a few have a darker brown dye added to the carved ones, some even have a cross-hatch pattern which is quite pretty. I used a variety of buttons on the necklace, two hole, four hole and shank; in designs such as “fish eye” and whistle; where as on the bracelet just shank buttons. The vintage roses on the necklace are carved Bakelite, and the round discs on the bracelet are wood. The necklace is a variation of my “Vintage Bling Bling” pattern, and the bracelet is the “Bohemian Button Bracelet” pattern.

Vegetable Ivory- or Tagua Nut from the Corozo Palm (except from Button Identification and Cleaning)

This nut comes from the Corozo Palm that grows in South America. It is a hard, versatile nut that can be carved and dyed. It has been used since the late 19th century s an alternative to ivory because the striations of the nut resemble those in ivory. It is softer than bone. The dye only absorbs on the surface layer, so the carving is left as the natural color of the nut. The tagua nut was popular from 1890- 1920, but has found resurgence since 1990.

vintage tagua nut buttons

Tagua Nut Buttons

All of these buttons here except for the red button are vintage.

What is amazing about tagua nut buttons is that each vintage one is made, one at a time, hand carved, hand dyed. Pretty remarkable.

The colors are so pretty close-up, rich natural browns; when dyed the colors tended to be greens both dark and light; black (which I ask what is the point because it is hard to see the beauty of the nut); browns from light to dark; and red as seen in the group that is tied together, notice the carving and how it shows the nut underneath. Some tagua nut buttons were inlaid with shell, or metal, some were dyed, carved and another color rubbed into the carving.

For further reading may I suggest “Button Button Identification & Price Guide”.

Enjoy your day, play in the button box if you have time! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Today we will talk about the celluloid button. This necklace is part of an ensemble “Deco Drama” that I just finished. The base of the necklace is a vintage French ombre ribbon, ruched, with a silk cord stitched for the tie. As you can see celluloid was definitely the theme here, using many of my favorite types of celluloid button.

Celluloid was invented in the 1870’s and was one of the most versatile and the first of the man-made plastics. This lightweight material is thinner than Bakelite, though some of the same techniques could be used such as molding, stamping and machine tooling; but unlike Bakelite buttons they could also be created by pulling, hollow blowing, and extruding. The coloring of the celluloid button was often more diverse than that of the autumn and vibrant coloring of the Bakelite buttons. The versatility of celluloid made it extremely popular with manufacturer’s, however the serious drawback to this material was that it is flammable! For further reading may I suggest a book I use frequently: Button Button Identification & Price Guide by Peggy Ann Osborne.

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

Here are a series of bracelets that feature vintage celluloid, Bakelite and glass buttons. I made these over the summer using simple sewing techniques and materials so that the buttons would shine as the stars that they are!

  • The first bracelet base is vintage picot edged grosgrain ribbon. The buttons that I used are celluloid “glow bubbles”, tight-tops and a few brown Bakelite.
  • The second bracelet base is vintage cotton grosgrain ribbon. The heart shaped buttons are Bakelite and the cream colored buttons are celluloid.
  • The third bracelet base is taffeta ribbon with a strip of grosgrain ribbon stitched down the center. The incredible green buttons are vintage celluloid “glow bubbles” and the black buttons are carved celluloid.
ribbon bracelet

ribbon bracelet

This last bracelet is made using grosgrain ribbon and an old measuring tape. These were woven together and backed with interfacing. I then stitched vintage glass, celluloid and Bakelite buttons for decoration. I stitched snaps down for the closure.

Deco Decadence

Deco Decadence

This brooch was made to be worn with “Melon Balls jewelry ensemble and Hat, which is made using a variety of vintage and new buttons and beads in colors of melon and black.

The pin 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 sating ribbon, and sit in a vintage jacquard ribbon vase. A pin back is stitched to the back of the vase.

So what is in your button box and need help with identifying what’s in there? Christen

Andalusian Flower Fields- Crochet Jewelry Ensemble

Andalusian Flower Fields- crochet neckpiece

Andalusian Flower Fields- crochet neckpiece

Well if you thought that I had fun making this ensemble you were right!

Crochet is not my first needle technique of choice, not even my second, third… you get the picture. I learned the theory in high school, but never could read a pattern, so my elegant chains never really were of any use.

A few years ago I took a class, I got a book, took a refresher class from a friend, and just started to play. I guess it is just like anything new, you have to work at it. So I did. The flowers and leaves are all made from patterns that I developed, because I still can’t read anybody else’s pattern, but I can read my own!

The neckpiece is assembled by stitching each flower to the other, the leaves are attached to the flowers. I used a vintage glass button for the closure, and I stitched a crochet flower for the loop. The bracelet base is a vintage jacquard ribbon with the flowers sewn down on the ribbon. I had a second glass flower button that I used for the closure of the bracelet, and stitched a buttonhole loop.

Andalusian Flower Fields- crochet bracelet

Andalusian Flower Fields- crochet bracelet

The ensemble was made to be worn with a vintage blue shawl the same color as the light blue of the flowers. It is from China and is embroidered with the medium pinks, yellow and peach colors that I used in the flowers and the darker green color that I used for the leaves.

I found a vintage embroidered purse that was made in Mexico to match the shawl. It is embroidered on black velvet with flowers in the dark blue, pink and deep peach colors with the lighter green color of the leaves.

Happy stitching, creating, and searching for those great vintage finds! Christen

Woodland Roses- necklace

Woodland Roses- necklace

Woodland Roses- necklace

I have been collecting buttons for as long as I can remember, nothing really fancy or too expensive, just colors and shapes that I liked and thought that I could use. At first all buttons ended up on garments, my imagination being somewhat limited to their use I guess.

Several years ago when I started to create jewelry that was more complicated than stringing beads, I started to look at my button stash as a source for more creative designs.

This particular group started with the lovely carved Bakelite roses, which took me several months to collect on ebay. During this time I had found a wonderful collection of celluloid buttons in taupe, maple and chocolate with great patterns and shapes. I then looked into my tagua nut collection, these carved beauties come in such lovely understated tones that I new they would blend in nicely. A few carved horn buttons fell into place here and there.

Other treasures I found to carry out my theme here are the clip-on earrings which are a pair of vintage rosewood discs with celluloid roses. The pin shown below the earrings is an old Bakelite “Deco Era” buckle that I glued a pin back to.¬† The base of the necklace is made similar to the “Vintage Bling Bling” pattern; gathered and stitched with a silk cord for the tie. The buttons and the rose charms are stitched to the base with pearl cotton.

Woodland Roses- bracelets

Woodland Roses- bracelets

The first cuff bracelet is pierced with a lovely design and made tortoise shell. The second bracelet is made using my “Bohemian Button Bracelet” pattern. I used many vintage tagua nut buttons from my stash. The last bracelet (vintage) matches the first set of earrings (shown with the necklace), being made from rosewood discs with celluloid roses.

The pierced earrings are a collection of charms that didn’t end up on the necklace. The dangles are made from: rosewood with celluloid roses, wood discs, and carved Bakelite roses.

This was a fun ensemble to collect for, actually the collecting, hunting and gathering took longer than making the piece. That was the fun part of the adventure.

Happy stitching, make every day count, and enjoy- 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

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

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