Tag Archive | vintage

Vintage at Heart

Vintage at Heart with Christen Brown

vintageatheartThese hearts are a great way to mix the old with the new, and they are a great project that can be completed in a few hours. Bring your stash of vintage and new buttons, a bit of fabric and voila you have made an heirloom that can be treasured for years to come

heart broochBasic straight stitches as well as embroidery stitches will be covered. Lace and bits of ribbon can also be added in for extra touches. Finishing options for a pin will be covered and suggestions for an ornament and wall hanging will be discussed.

Bonus Handout: What is in Your Button Box? and Dating Buttons by Materials and Styles. All of us have a stash, and it is fun to find out just what is in that stash!

Details:

Class Fee: $25.00/2 hour class

*Please note that this class does not include any of the materials, supplies or tools; these must be provided by the student.

Class Requirements: hand sewing a must, some embroidery knowledge will be helpful.

This class is not currently scheduled.

Specifics:

This class fee is paid directly to Christen. This can be paid by a PayPal invoice, or by cash or check the day of class. Please email Christen:thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com to inquire about the availability of space for the date listed above.

Happy Stitching ~Christen

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

French Lady: Art Creations Friday

Feminine French Lady

Feminine French Lady

Over at Art Creations Friday they had an open theme, or you could use the image or background of a challenge you missed. My lady is from Challenge 43.

I re- colored the image to work with the materials for the frame. I first dyed Tymtex (which is a stiff interfacing used in baseball hats), then cut it and stitched it into a frame. The frame is embellished with hand embroidery, fabric vine and novelty yarn, velvet milliner’s leaves, and ribbon worked roses and leaves. I also added in vintage celluloid leaves, roses and buttons and a piece of a wooden fence.

So glad that I could include this in the challenge! Thank you for all of the work that you put into this site!

Christen

Gothic Gardens: MMM challenge

Gothic Gardens

Gothic Gardens

This week’s challenge for Mixed Media Monday was to Make Something Round. There are always wonderful entries, take a look when you get a chance.

I started with an old embroidery hoop and painted it black. I then took leftover scraps from an embroidered metallic scarf, and stitched these onto crinoline to stabilize the fabric. I stitched vintage bits of lace down in the center of this, and this was glued to the bottom edge of the hoop.

The outer edges are covered with ruched velvet ribbon. This was glued down to the top edge of the hoop. I glued vintage and new millinery leaves to the edge, then the flowers, trim and the vintage buttons. I added additional buttons to the center along with butterflies and dragonfly charms.

Happy day, round and round it goes, where it will stop no one knows! 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

Friday’s Favorites: Vintage Sewing Accessories

favorite sewing pretties

favorite sewing pretties

I love to sew and have been doing so every day of my life from the age of seven. My mother sewed all of our clothes, and I used to watch her at the kitchen table as she created these every day items on an old black singer sewing machine. I would remove the pins from each piece after she had sewn it, clip off the excess threads, and organize the pieces for the next stage of sewing. I started to make my own clothing when I was in the seventh grade.

Many of the sewing accessories from this group picture were handed down to me, and some I have acquired over the years at thrift or antique stores.

From left to right:

  • The felt dress is an etui that was purchased at a church auction by my father’s mother (my grandmother). She used it for many years, and when she passed away it was given to my mother.
  • The colorful metal piece is a thimble holder, this I found offered as a group of items on ebay, (along with a few of the other items shown here).
  • The wooden doll is a needle holder, her body lifts up and she dutifully holds your needles. A friend had given this to me when I was first married.
  • The wooden barrel behind her holds thimbles and was the part of the group I found on ebay.
  • The box of pins was found in a standing wooden sewing case that had belonged to my mother’s father, and was from my grandfather’s mother.
  • The sterling silver thimble on top had belonged to my mother’s mother. I am sure that my grandmother would not have approved that I drilled a hole in it and had worn it on a necklace! I have matured a little and hold it with respect, it now resides in an old tin along with the other treasures here.
  • The round tape measure was one of my earliest sewing accessories. I of course played with the button and pulled the tape out just to see it snap back. Luckily I didn’t ruin it and it is still functional.
  • The blue metal case is another thimble holder and the green case holds two wooden spools of thread. Both of these were from the group of items that I found on ebay.
  • The metal scissors are “oh so pretty” but they don’t cut worth a darn, I think the saying is that “they couldn’t cut hot butter”. The stork pair of scissors was a gift from my mom and dad, and the floral pair I found at a thrift store.

I just love to look at these items and imagine what project at hand each seamstress was working on; was it for something functional and necessary or was it created for the pure pleasure of sewing? I know that all of these items were treasured by the women whose legacy I have inherited. I salute every one of them and I am proud to keep that tradition alive, every day, one stitch at a time.

While you are happily stitching away, take a closer look at your sewing treasures, what memories do they hold for you? Enjoy your day! Christen

Lothlorien Twilight: ABAA challenge

Lothlorien Twighlight

Lothlorien Twilight

This is my entry for a Dazzle of Dragonflies which was the challenge this month for Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure. “Lothlorien” is where Galadriel lives in J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical world. The cloaks that she and her ladies made, that were given to the “Fellowship of the Ring” were said to have been made with a cloth that reflected the leaf, branch, water and stone of this realm. I felt that the colors that I chose for this piece reflected the same thing. Hopefully the magic will be reflected here too!

embroidered center

embroidered center

The background is a vintage embroidered silk purse, probably from China. The purse itself was too delicate to be used as such, so I have tried to preserve it’s beauty, and add it to my collection of art. Each piece of embroidery is comprised of single “Peking or Chinese Knot”, incredible in itself the work that went into each piece! These were each stitched separately then attached by hand to the brown silk. The rows of gold work that attached each design had come apart so I hand stitched these back in place first before I added in my own embellishments.

Then it was time to add in some of my own work. I beaded three dragonflies that have a dentalium shell body that is beaded and wings that are beaded. I made several sets of brick stitched leaves and interspersed them through the sections of flowers. I also beaded a few vines of brick stitched leaves.

beadedcenter

embellished and beaded center

I hand stitched several butterflies from French wire ribbon, and added dentalium shell bodies which are beaded. I also made hand stitched flowers from grosgrain ribbon that I stitched with vintage celluloid button centers. I antiqued both the flowers and butterfly bodies with copper fabric paint.

Several more flowers were made from silk bias ribbon and vintage velvet ribbon. These have beaded centers and are interspersed between the butterflies and larger flowers.

I used many vintage buttons that I have collected over the years including carved Tahiti shell, “tinnies” and celluloid which were used around the outer edges. Several new dragonfly and butterfly buttons and charms were also found to complete the theme.

Full wall hanging

Full wall hanging

I had a wonderful time collecting all of these treasures, then finding a home for them to reside.

The last item I found at Maureen’s Vintage Acquisitions was the mini quilt hanger with the dragonfly on the top! Perfection!

I hope that you enjoy what you do, have fun today and do take a look at the other entries for this challenge, they are all unique and incredible!

Happy stitching, collecting and treasure what gifts you have! Christen

Measuring Up- Mixed Media Monday “Numbers” Challege

Measuring Up

Measuring Up

This is my entry for the “Numbers” challenge sponsored by Mixed Media Monday. A challenge is presented once a week on Monday. There are quite a few entries already, and worth the time to take a mouse click over for a browse.

Hmmmmm…. Measuring Up can mean quite a few things. At 52 (which coincidentally seemed to be the theme for the numbers that happened to appear here), it still means gauging my accomplishments, successes and triumphs by the standards set by my parents and grandparents so long ago.

Earrings

Earrings

Numbers can also 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.

Here is a close-up of the earrings that I made for the ensemble. The dog tags belonged to my mom’s dog when she was growing up (notice the first two #’s: 52). My dad won the medal in a model airplane contest (notice the last two #’s of the year: 52) for one of his own designs.

Bracelet

Bracelet

Here is the bracelet of the ensemble. I started with a very well loved, and quite grungy tape measure that I got at the thrift store along with the brown grosgrain ribbons and a few of the buttons. Notice the end of the bracelet, there is #52 again. The small button at the left in the middle 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!

Typewriter Keys

Typewriter Keys

The necklace was actually made a few months ago, but I had nothing else to wear with it until I made the bracelet yesterday and the earrings today!

The typewriter keys are actually beads that have been strung on rayon cord and knotted in between each bead. Again, notice the end of the necklace you guessed it 52!

Other images are my dad’s actual dog tags from WWII, coins (from my grandpa) that add up to 52, a wooden nickel I got a Knot’s Berry Farm as a kid and more buttons.

So the number 52 can be how much money you have by the numbers on your coins, how wide you are by the inches on the tape measure, or the accumulation of years that equal your life, for me it is the latter.

Glad to be here, looking forward to making something that celebrates my 152 year…. Enjoy the time that you have! Be happy creating or be happy creatively! 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

Bonnie & Clyde- Vintage Collage Jewelry Ensembl

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

This neck piece started with a vintage tie stolen from my husband’s closet (he won’t miss it) that is from the 1930’s and an incredible set of vintage celluloid buttons known as “glow bubbles” dating from the 1920’s.

I first fell in love with these buttons because of the colors! Notice the green glow in the bracelet, and the large button in the center of the flower. The buttons are made with a metal base, layered with a piece of shiny foil or tin, then covered with a “bubble” of celluloid that was hollow, semi transparent and often had a geometric design.

I also used matte olive green celluloid buttons in the oval shape (shown around the flower petals). The black buttons are a molded tin, painted black.

The bracelet boasts the “cat’s eye glow bubbles” stitched onto a ribbon bracelet. The other bangle is a green and black swirl I bought at Coldwater Creek’s outlet store.

I wear this set with a vintage silk vest (also from my husbands closet) and a pair of fabulous vintage glass earrings that had belonged to my grandmother.

Quite the “bees knees”!

Happy stitching, enjoy- Christen