Archive | June 2009

Tea on Tuesday

Tea For Tuesday

Tea For Tuesday

Good Morning ladies, I have invited myself to Tuesday Tea! I am sitting here having a quiet moment with the cats, Bigelow Pomegranate Pizzazz and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie (I am going on a walk shortly so no worries about the “cookie calories”!)

The tea service is the Royal Dalton Sweet Pea pattern, it is one of my favorite patterns. I started my collection with a butter dish that had belonged to my grandmother. Over the past several years I have been collecting bits and pieces here and there on ebay.

As I am sipping my tea, listening to jazz and relaxing before my work day begins I am making flowers for an old crochet collar that I found at the thrift store. I am using old spools of crochet cotton that were left over from many projects that my mom had worked on at one point or another.

Well my time is up, must go for my walk, and get back to work! Please join the rest of the ladies in Tea for Tuesday…

Patty
Kimmie
Ooglebloops
Nan

Enjoy your day, spend time with your friends and love what you do! Christen

Natural Redhead- Mixed Media Monday

Bea- the natural Red-head

Bea- the natural Redhead

This is my entry for Mixed Media Monday, the theme for this week was Playful Dolls

Bea was a natural Redhead, with the help of Clairol’s Nice and Easy #16- Spiced Tea, naturally. She had been dyeing her own hair for years, and never thought to read the directions or the warning label, until yesterday. Apparently you really can only leave the dye on for the recommended amount of time if you wish to avoid embarrassing questions from your family, friends and the drugstore clerk who sold her additional products to counteract her slight miscalculation.

Enjoy, play all the time, even if just inside your head! Christen

PS: I thought that it would be fun to know the ingredients for my entry (15″ tall):

  • Body: cardboard jewelry box, fabric, ribbon, machine embroidered net, celluloid buttons, glass flowers from France
  • Neck: hand painted face, dyed cotton fringe for hair, round cardboard ring left over from Hanah silk ribbon roll, fabric yo-yo, dyed Irish lace, machine embroidered net, ribbon worked flowers, glass baubles from old millinery flowers, plastic leaves, costume jewel
  • Arms: round cardboard ring left over from Hanah silk ribbon roll, fabric yo-yo, dyed Irish lace, hors de oeuvres sticks, glass flowers from France, plastic leaves, metal charms shaped like a gloved hand
  • Legs: round cardboard ring left over from Hanah silk ribbon roll, fabric yo-yo, dyed Irish lace, machine embroidered net, rattail cord, glass flowers from France, glass shoes, found objects (I think that the one on the right was a screw driver made by my dad)
  • ATTITUDE

Techniques used, fabric painting and dyeing, a little hand sewing, with the bulk of the assembly being done with glue: Tacky glue and hot glue. Hours spent enjoying the playful fun, 5:30 am- 1:30 pm.

PSPS: I will be teaching a doll similar to this one for Joggles.com for the fall.

Friday’s Favorite: Pincushions

favorite pincushions

favorite pincushions

pin-cushi-ion sounds like pin-koo sh-uhn
noun
description: A small cushion that is used in sewing to store pins or needles until needed.
origin date:1625–35

These are some of my favorite pincushions. From left to right:

  • Marushka is a cloth doll pincushion that I made with a pocket in her tummy for a thimble and a pocket in her back for scissors. I must admit to not putting too many pins in her, ’cause I don’t want to stab her!
  • The cloth bunny was made for me by a friend and is happy to sit with the other pincushions until needed.
  • The embroidered wool pincushion is one of my oldest needle work treasures. It was given to me by my friend Phyllis in the 8th grade. She went on a trip to the United Nations in NY, and bought this at the gift store, it was made in Hungary.
  • Certainly a staple for any needle worker is the tomato pincushion. I use mine for my sewing machine needles, I label each section with a needle size, and try to remember to stick the needle back in the right section! Sometimes just the thought of being organized is enough!
  • The colorful chicken was given as a gift at a luncheon sponsored by a local quilt group. I applaud all volunteers that put in time to do these gifts for their groups!
  • The velvet pincushion is one I made with a pretty ribbon flower.
  • Lastly but certainly not least is a pincushion that no collection would be complete without! I love these happy little people, and I use this one often as you can tell by all of the holes in it!

For further reading on pincushions see the Layette pincushions at the V&A Museum of Childhood.
Here is an excellent blog on every thing that you would want to know about  pincushions, The Domestic Diva.
Here is another one of my other pincushions: Silk Petit Four.

Happy stitching, poking and pinning!- Christen

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

Elizabeth’s Garden- silk ribbon embroidered brooch

Elizabeth's Garden Brooch

Elizabeth's Garden 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 silk ribbon embroidery here and ribbon work for my other submission Violet Gardens.

The base of the brooch is a silk chambray fabric, which is covered in silk ribbon embroidery and a few ribbon worked flowers. The top center has two woven roses, with two rolled roses below these. A woven rose in the center and two carnations under the rolled rose.

The outer edge is covered in a rococo trim, with ribbon worked leaves that lead up to the top center with a another rolled rose and silk ribbon carnations.

back of brooch

back of brooch

The brooch was stitched to a padded cardboard base with the back covered in a piece of felt that I hand stitched to the silk front. I embroidered flowers through the holes in the pin back, and stitched in my initial for extra detailing.

This brooch is dedicated to our Elizabeth, who left her earthly body this year, but not our hearts. She was our 5 lb. Bengal kitty, who love all of these colors, fabrics and ribbons. Often I would find her nestled in the basket that held the components for this brooch, purring contentedly. Kitty kisses dear one.

Happy stitching, love what you do and those silent “mewses” who love you back! Christen

PS: 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.

To Many Frogs!- Mixed Media Monday

too many frogs!

too many frogs!

This is my entry for Mixed Media Monday. The challenge this week was to tell a story. Either by your entry itself or the story behind the entry, I chose the latter. I took a picture of a few of our frogs, played a bit in “Fireworks”, the frame is made from ribbon that I dyed and I added in pertinent text. In retrospect this would have been a good Father’s Day card, alas as usual I am a day or so late…

To Many Frogs! is a story about a gift gone awry. One year for Valentines Day I gave my husband a stuffed frog holding a heart that said “I love you”, he keeps it on the dash board in his car. My husband’s interests are playing tennis and watching sports, but other than that no hobbies or other quirks. He was so delighted with the frog that I decided to give him a hobby, “collecting frogs”. “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” is his favorite ride at Disneyland after all and besides I thought that it would be a funny hobby and make gift giving less of a challenge for my daughter and I.

Well….. our family on a larger scale got in on the act (his mother and my mother to name a few cullprits) and now we have over 200 frogs and a few toads!!!! We have a table shaped as a frog , a frog ocarina, several leaping frogs, a couple of frog boxes, quite a few small frog beads (he-he cause I could use them for something), a counter full of stuffed frogs, a rattan letter holder shaped as a frog, and of course no collection would be complete without a “prince charming ” or two.

We have frogs sitting sweetly on lily pads, swimming in leaf bowls, and leaping off the counters. We have lounging frogs, cooking frogs, serious frogs and happy frogs. But I have to say that the most annoying frog we have is the frog that “ribbits” Merry Christmas on command when you clap your hands. I promptly removed the batteries and hid it in the closet after the holiday was over!

The moral of the story is to choose hobbies wisely and don’t include your relatives in on the secret, or you too may receive a singing frog!

Enjoy, create, live, be happy…. ribbit. 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