Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ribbonwork Gardens

Ribbonwork Gardens a book by Christen Brown

Written by my very talented friend, Christen Brown!  I'm very remiss in taking so long to post about this wonderful book.  Christen is a wonderful needlewoman who is also a good friend to me.  I have never met Christen in person, we're internet friends!  But, I've followed Christen's work for a long time.  I found her storefront online several years ago and loved all the classes she taught.  Unfortunately for me, she was in San Diego and I was in Maryland.  But, every once in a while I would peek at what she was offering in classes and think I'd love to be able to take one of them.  Her offerings ranged from ribbon flowers to wearable art jackets and vests, as well as beautiful beaded jewelry.  Fast forward several years and I found an online class offering at www.joggles.com for a freeform beaded cuff taught by Christen Brown!!  To say I was delighted was an understatement.  I signed up immediately!  At the same time I had entered a  contest sponsored by Piecework magazine featuring fiber brooches.  My entry was a finalist and was printed in the magazine.  I had just started the online class with Christen and while looking at all the finalists I saw that one of the brooches was a gorgeous ribbonwork brooch by Christen Brown!!  So, I emailed Christen and introduced myself and asked if she was the same person who had a brooch in Piecework, and she was.  That was the beginning of our friendship aside from a student/teacher relationship.  We've been emailing and following each other's work since then.  Christen was there for me during a very difficult year in my life, always emailing encouragement and letting me know she was thinking of me. 

When she told me she had summitted a proposal for a book on ribbonwork flowers I was so happy for her.  Shortly after the proposal was accepted she emailed and asked me if I would be willing to proof read her directions and test them to make sure they were accurate! I was beyond honored!  The book pictured here is the result.  It's a beautiful book of flowers made with lengths of ribbon, needle and thread.  It's not ribbon embroidery, which Christen also does, but actual flowers made with ribbon.  There are 122 different flowers, leaves and extras like butterflies and dragonflies to name a few.  The book is lovely visually.   Christen dyes a lot of her ribbon and so the photographs of the ribbons and completed flowers are beautiful.  The directions are very clear and easy to follow.  Christen's a wonderful teacher and that shows in her written directions. 

I was so excited when my copy of the book arrived earlier this summer.  It was so thrilling to be a small part of the creation of this book!  And, I'm happy to share it with all of you.  Check it out at Amazon or your local bookstore.  Even if you don't do ribbonwork, you'll enjoy the eye candy, I'm sure.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share Christen's book with you.  Have a great day!


  1. Hi Maryanne,
    It is amazing how we meet people and have conversations and become good friends, but yet have never had the chance to meet in person. I truly hope that one day you will be able to meet your long time friend. The ribbon flowers and butterflies on the cover of the book are amazing and beautiful, Christen does awesome work. I used to a long time ago dabble in ribbon embroidery. It wasn't to shabby, but it wasn't knock your socks off either.

  2. I have done a bit of ribbon work myself and I know that she put so much into this. I am glad you were both there for each other and have created a lasting friendship. I will be checking out her book. I love to embellish on clothes with ribbon but haven't done it in a long long time. thank you for the reminder.

  3. This book looks really neat! Thanks for sharing it!!!

  4. It's so refreshing to find new crafts and ideas - I hadn't come across ribbon flowers before but this book looks wonderful, each one is such an exquisite little work of art. I shall certainly be looking out for it on Amazon - thanks so much for sharing.

  5. I think the cover of the book alone could serve as artwork! This is a beautfiul! I am going to have to check this out!

  6. Hi Maryanne!
    What a great review of your friend's book. How exciting that you were there to cheer her on throughout the process from her book pitch to seeing it in print! I've been going through this process recently myself and can't wait to share more on my blog...one of these days soon. I really love ribbon embroidering and tried a few VERY simple flowers a few years ago, but really don't know anything about it. I happen to have a bunch of books in my virtual cart on Amazon and would love to add this one! Christen's work looks really beautiful and I would love to learn more through her. Hope all is well on your end & that you are having a nice weekend! :-) xoxo Cindy


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