Monday, December 17, 2012

19th Century Needlecases

English Needlecases
Vintage Sewing Necessities at their best. These little tubes were created in the 1800's. The cases are brass and then coated in a marbelized  type of enamel. Inside each case is a small wood needle case. Wrapped around the wooden tube filled with needles, is thread and then topped with a thimble. These were purchased from a collection in La Jolla, California. Wouldn't these look great displayed?
They have all flown from my "coop". I think they are marvelous!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie Exchange and Paperwhites

We had a cookie exchange last week and the rules were a bit different. We were each to bring 3 dozen cookies in a container. The container needed to be a bit unique. Then we drew names for the cookies. I failed to get a photo of all the containers, but they were beautiful offerings.

This is such a great idea, I hope it inspires! Marilyn took a heavy, glass icebucket and filled it halfway with her cookies. She then placed an arrangement of greens and paperwhites inside the ice bucket and tied the glass container with doupioni silk ribbon. Absolutely the perfect hostess gift!

Decorated Thrift Store Christmas Tree

As a Thrift Store Junkie,  I seem to, weekly take bags of items, to my favorite thrift store which I proudly deposit in the back of the store, only to circle to the front of the store, and load up with someone else's "stuff".  I know I am not alone! The other day I found a pretty verdigris brass container filled with dried fruits and berries for $5. I deconstructed the arrangement, which was built to last, and added wire to small pears, apples, artichokes, and berries with twigs. Then I wired them to the tree. And the tree will live in that spot through the winter. I found the owl in the back of a truck, with an assortment of chainsaw art, parked next to me, at a  store. I waited for the owner of the truck to return and the female chainsaw artist, was on her way to a  craft show. She was delighted that the owl had a new home. The owl was a Christmas gift for my husband. We have barn owls and we never tire of hearing them at night.   The little lantern is an inexpensive piece filled with a flameless candle. The inside of the lantern base is filled with walnuts. When we toured the Christmas markets in Germany and Austria, there was nothing more inviting than to see lanterns with flickering candles, that graced the stoops and porches in the villages. 

Fabric Collage to honor Lincoln

There are no words for the loss of a pet.  It seems the best we can do, is know, that in the presence of our pets, we experience universal love.
This is a pet collage, almost finished, that will ship to a friend this week. No matter, where Dawn went, Lincoln was with her. I asked Dawn to send  a phrase to include with his photo.
The image is fixed to burlap. It is felted with wool I purchased from a farm in Virginia. The sheep gladly gave  up their beautiful wool jackets, so they could enjoy the summer roaming the Shenandoah Valley.  I dyed the wool in a large stock pot here in the studio. The wool has been needlefelted around the image and through the batik fabric. I've added a few twigs, some thread and now finishing up the bead clusters. The piece is attached to an 8"x10" canvas.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We Are All Related

Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota phrase used in refrains and prayers, meaning "we are all related"...
Pronounced  "Metockwe ozsin"
For years, I practiced Lakota Sioux traditions with an organization in New Jersey.  The group now resides in upstate New York.  I am grateful for the time spent honoring the Lakota.
My husband had been gifted several Lakota artifacts, from his grandmother. The pieces were given to Mike's grandfather, William, by a Lakota, after William saved his life in the 1800's.  
KC Willis is a fabric artist, that now dedicates her time to the Lakota living on the
  Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
In a $14 priority mail flat rate box, you can send a bit of  "warmth and caring" to the Lakota people.  I had read that a grandmother of 11, needed socks for her grandchildren. We had fun today gathering socks and toiletries to send to Judy Left Hand. At the store, the check-out lady was watching Mike toss items into the cart, and she said we appeared to be having fun gathering stocking stuffers.
Yes, we are all related.
A ho mitakuye oyasin.

"The Spirit Lives Within" detail image

Detail of "The Spirit Lives Within"
by Leonie Hartley-Hoover
You can bid on this piece now at
Leonie features detailed imagery, beautifully executed beading and embroidery techniques in all her designs.
I've included a close-up of the quilt piece, featuring an embroidered floralscape. I appreciate the hours spent, stitching each flower.
 Leonie has written a descriptive, fascinating story to go with her art quilt piece.
As the open door beckens you to enter the house, what will the key unlock?
 Perhaps your imagination....

Leonie Hartley-Hoover creates for the Quilt Alliance

Want a perfect Christmas present, by one of Canada's leading art quilt designers? Bid Now!
Leonie Hartley-Hoover  has designed "The Spirit Lives Within" House art quilt wall-hanging. She  has donated the piece to the Quilt Alliance, in order to raise funds for the organization, whose goals entail preserving the art of quilting.
Please click on the link to place your bid!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20% off Everything at RibbonSmyth through Nov. 25th

Our last sale of the year!
Any order over $25 automatically receives 20% off the order total.
Sale ends midnight November 25, 2012
A big thank you to all of you!

Christmas Fabric Post Card Kit

10 piece Christmas Post Card Kit ~ 20 Kits Available $10

This is a great little kit  that  can be made in a couple of hours.
Each kit includes ~ one  fusible 4"x6" card, one French Fusible Post Card Back, two  6" pieces of fabric to include plaid taffeta and red moire taffeta, 6" of snowflake garland, one fusible Christmas vintage image, one brass gift box charm, one crystal and gold button, 8" metallic red pearl strand, 5 yards of Scalamandre gold pearl cotton and a color photo of the card with simple instructions.  I added a small crimson velvet bow and green silk ribbon stitches around the brass charm gift box.

Bias Cut Silk Ribbon Embroidered vase

This is an embroidered vintage image, using bias-cut silk ribbon. The image is 5"x7". I printed a  RibbonSmyth vintage bouquet image onto cotton poplin fabric. This piece would make a great little cushion using teal silk doupioni and a vintage fringe edgeing . But the cotton needs a severe pressing first and a better photographer. For bias-cut silk work, use our Hannah 1/2" wide bias-cut silk ribbon and  a large eye needle. The ribbon will continue to fray on the edges, which is the inherent appeal of using bias-cut silk. I embroidered this piece with a  13 Chenille needle. The stitches are simple straight stitches or a Japanese Ribbon Stitch. After creating flowers with the silk ribbon, I used Scalamandre silk threads for the stem work and finished by couching gold metal cording for the vase design.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Owl Invitation

Had to share this clever invitation. Will be going to this barn show this week-end and can't wait.  Trish is one of the most creative women, I have ever met. To me, she is the "Queen of DIY".  She has a beautiful 200 year-old stone barn complete with an amazing sound system. At last year's barn show, there was a band playing soft jazz, while Trish served trays of brioche grilled cheese sandwiches and prosecco. The smell of fresh apple cider wafted through the barn while guys, out at the pond, practiced their fly-fishing, and kids roasted marshmellows at the stone fire pit. Inside the barn, the walls were graced with 19th C. Bucks County quilts. In one room there was an apple pie contest.  We were able to sample Trish's Dad's home-made peach ice cream, which at 94, he made himself.  In another room, Kady was making fascinators for girls of all ages while a local ventnor was letting us sample his latest cabernet. Little angels trimmed in German glitter, were circling overhead, waiting to go home with someone and adorn their Christmas tree.  And if we were lucky, some of us were able to purchase some of Trish's velvet pumpkins or her linen napkin sets, stockings, and tissue cases.
The little owl above is one-of-a kind. Trish sent each of us different fabric owls. My friend Kate, received a turquoise blue brocade owl. The owl pictured, is made of green wool and his little wings are attached with brads.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vintage beaded bag

This  beaded flapper purse is a beauty, even though it has seen better days. It is surprising how heavy it is. It's a great little piece to study, simply for the pattern.  Someone removed the purse frame and the purse lining. The beading was entirely executed on black netting. The purse straps are made of rolled black netting and were then beaded. This little piece is now living on my etsy site, OldElements.

Monday, October 15, 2012

20% Off Sale Now at RibbonSmyth thru Oct 22nd

Place any order at RibbonSmyth over $25 and automatically receive 20% off the order total and this offer is for every order! Sale ends Monday at midnight, October 22nd
Great time to order embellishments for holiday creating.
If you enjoy working with vintage motifs, I now have a large assortment on both of our etsy sites. Check out our Etsy shop at OldElements for affordable vintage lingerie motifs.  Or if you want to create your own colorways, we sell  non-toxic RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes, which are imported exclusively from Switzerland, and our white rayon motifs...and everything is 20% off at 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vintage Ribbon trimmed hand mirrors

Hope these vintage hand-mirrors inspire! These are from a French collection. The 1920's vintage mirrors would have been displayed on a dresser in the boudoir. I've seen this type of mirror in different antique stores but rarely in such beautiful condition. They would have been embellished with silk ribbons and time is not a friend to silk. They are in beautiful condition and I wonder if there are new pieces mixed in with the vintage pieces. This photograph makes me want to make one. I've made similar pieces using silver-plate hair brushes. I would remove all the bristles and then embellish over the bristle surface with silk fabric, porcelain faces and trim with ribbons and beads. 

Tiny knitted cupcakes

Check out these tiny knitted cupcakes, complete with tatted edgeing and RibbonSmyth French black jet beads. Jane visits my Etsy site and now has a great selection of our French jet beads.  She does not sell the little cupcakes. They are wedding favors. Can you imagine receiving one of these jewels?
If you love lace, please visit Jane's blog
Creating lace is a dying art form and Jane's work is stunning.
 I fell in love with lace decades ago after my first trip to Switzerland, where I found a beautiful red wool lace shawl. The piece has the weight and beauty of a spider web. Then when teaching in Belgium, I spent my free time in antique shops searching for a tiny (something that would fit my budget) hand-made piece of Battenburg lace. The tourist stores all carried imported Battenburg lace tablecloths and placemats.  When I returned home, my local favorite antique dealer called and said her husband acquired a large piece of Battenburg lace in with an auction lot of tools. The lace was tacked to a piece of paper in beautiful condition.  The lace "leaped" into my car and  immediately went to a framer. If  it had not been framed, it would have sadly been placed in a drawer or trunk. The lace now hangs above a Civil War rope bed in one of our bedrooms. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Garden at our farm

A picture of a garden at our farm using Victorian iron fencing. I had wanted a little Victorian garden with a fancy iron gate. When I see the photo, I am reminded of how we can manifest our desires into physical form. I spent months visiting architectural salvage outlets and the iron fencing available, was always out of my price range. One day I got a call from a friend saying she had seen some fencing on the side of the  road. There were stacks of wrought iron fencing with the most beautiful gate I had ever seen. The fencing was at my seamstress's house. Her husband had salvaged the fencing from a Philadelphia mansion on the Main-Line. I loaded up all the fence the truck would hold. She sold the fencing for $60. This picture was taken before Mike had installed the gate. I have a little concrete bench and birdbath in this area.

Mike in my studio kitchen

An old photo I found while cleaning the studio. You have to love a picture of a guy washing dishes!

Mike was the "Butler" at one of the events I had in my studio. In his tux, he would park all the cars for my students and then serve each one of them a Mimosa on a silver tray, while they settled in for a day of classes. And then wash dishes while my assistants would serve finger sandwiches and scones with clotted creme. At the end of the day, when the studio was quiet, we would celebrate with champagne. I am grateful. I can't even begin to think of the number of  trade shows and classes at the studio, where Mike would help out, while I was teaching.

Rescue Pygmy Goats

I promise, my last pet rescue picture! This is an old photo with Mike and a small herd we rescued. All the does were pregnant and we took the whole crew to prevent them from being sent to auction. Each doe had twins. Paddy, the little gray and white goat is now 16 and the last of the herd. He is such a gentleman and lives for his apples and his 8 baby aspirin a day. He has a front leg that is very arthritic. In the photo is Junie, a little boy, and when he was born, I thought he was a little girl, thus the name June, standing next to the donkey and then there is Patsy Cline, Camilla, with Sarah Ferguson (cropped out of the pic) and Paddy next to Mike. Little goats are simply the best. Picky eaters and nervous too, but such sweet spirits.

Rescue animals at the farm

This is an old photo I found while working in the parlor. This is a photo of Schmoozie. It's difficult to see, but on the other side of the gate are two little donkey ears in front of the back of my horse. I had Schmoozie for 17 years and there are times when I think I see her tail scoot around the corner.
  Late one night a friend called and had found this kitten in the mouth of her Great Dane. I went over to pick up the kitten and was smitten. I had a bag of Cheetos on the coffee table. She jumped out of my lap, and crawled into the bag, and turned around with a Cheeto in her mouth. And only minutes before, she would have been a snack for a Great Dane.
We rescued the mini-Sicilian Donkey from a farm that raises race horses. I would "free" all race horses if I could.   Mike gave me the donkey for our anniversary.
 And one day Mike was at a convenience store getting coffee. The guy at the counter said he was taking a horse to auction because his daughter was a show jumper and her legs were now too long for such a small quarter-horse. Mike said we would take the horse. No animal should ever be sent to the auction in Lancaster. Chocolate Chip, was the best horse a girl could have. He would ride English, or Western, jump gates, back-up, all you had to do was ask.  If the donkey or the sheep were being a little feisty, chasing the goats, I would see all the little goats stand beneath the horse, using Chocolate as their protector. In the summer, I would wake up hearing the sound of hooves thundering across the pasture under a moonlit night, followed by silly little donkey hooves, chasing the horse.
 As Chocolate became elderly, the donkey became his eyes and Chocolate would stop and whinny if Barley was not nearby. Barley, would go lean into the horse and they would come into the barn together. Lucky to have had years with the best horse on the planet. Still looking for a horse that could hold a candle to Chocolate Chip.

Rescue feral Kitty

Please click each day at  ~ Your click feeds rescued animals.

This is the first photo I've been able to take of a little stray kitty living in our barn. I found him in the barn 6 weeks ago and he was painfully thin, with an injured leg. He is feral, so I cannot get close to him yet. It usually takes me a few months of spending time, in silence, with a feral kitty, every few days getting a little closer to their space as their comfort level improves. I knew if I caught him in a "pet-friendly" trap, that a no-kill shelter would not take him.  I've named him "Tripod". He has to hop wherever he goes. One back leg  is permanently positioned in the wrong direction. When we were out of town, I had the care-taker put food out twice a day and she never saw him. The first day we were back, he came out and laid on my studio stairs. Yesterday he ventured into the back pasture and was stalking something. He would have had to have "hopped" fast to catch anything, but the fact that he was trying, was my gift for the day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vintage hat with silk ribbon

I just found this hat in an old hat box, while cleaning out my studio.The hat, from the forties received a bit of an update with an embroidered ribbon. The motif, in the woven ribbon, was duplicated in silk ribbon, onto the brim, then a "pouf" of tulle netting and an ivory wire-edge ribbon bow, with loops of pearls, were added. The hat box and hat were featured in a magazine. What a sweet hat body.

 The dumpster is parked just outside  the barn doors and the studio is going through a ruthless purging. How ruthless can one be, when walking through nine rooms of treasures collected over a lifetime? Bags filled with fabric and trims have been making week-end journeys to my favorite thrift store.  Each room is filled with remnants from past lives.

One room still holds huge cartons of boxes, created for a popular chain store, that announced it had gone bankrupt; after the first shipment of infant clothing from the studio, winged its way to Chicago. Memories of waking up in the middle of the night, in the studio, draped over one of my machines, in the throes of whipping up bibs and burp pads, goes out the door, with those cartons.

 Leftover wreaths, painted mailboxes and flower pots, stacked on production tables; all used for products sold in a New York showroom, make me recall my first trip to New York. A few supplies left over, after numerous trips made to nursing homes, still sit in the corner.

Supplies used for booklets and videos created for Plaid Enterprises and JoAnn Fabrics sit in old bedroom dressers. An Emporium, filled with stitching supplies, designed and decorated with tulle and chintz-covered walls for Victoria Magazine and a taping for The Discovery Channel, still makes me smile.  A packing room filled with shelves holding threads, spools and spools of silk ribbon and shelves of silk fabrics, begs to be "fluffed up".

 A sitting room with a china and silver-ladened buffet, working fireplace, crystal chandelier and old wicker lounges; that hosted wonderful days filled with women enjoying time in the country, while learning to create their very first Spider Web Rose.

 A kitchen table, always lined with  bottles of dye from my most recent dyeing excursion, lets me dye ribbons while I look out the window into the back pasture. Any undyed ribbon or piece of silk fabric, holds promise of that sought-after color combination.

I am the luckiest broad on this planet and overwhelmed with Gratitude. And now the gift of reconfiguring the studio with the goal of enjoying all that clean, open space!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

French Silk Designer Fabric

This is a heavy, almost-suede type of silk fabric print. The fabric reminded me so much of Versace fabric, that I had to bring home a few yards. The fabric features perfume bottles, a match safe and a smoking device. A gorgeous pattern. Each printed item is approximately 6 inches.

Red FrenchToile Yardage

This is a deeply detailed crimson red pastoral toile. There is one large familial vignette, surrounded with pictures of a chateau and landscape scenes. This fabric is a heavy cotton. 36" x 52",54",or 56" widths. Lovely French Toile not available in the US.

French Orange Floral Brocade

I love this fabric. It is a heavy French brocade, that I purchased in the Paris garment district. I'm now selling yardage in my Etsy Sites. The fabric is rayon with heft and lovely color and design. As I continue to clean out the 9 rooms in my studio. It is time to  rapidly reduce my stash. I kept enough of this lovely to use for a crazy quilt backing.  Orange in all it's magnificent glory! $20 per yard at OldElements and RibbonSmyth.

Crazy quilt dress form detail

A bit better photo showing the two ribbon embroidery bouquets stitched onto the front of the dress form. I dyed the silk ribbon colors to match the fabric and used orange/coral Mokuba ribbon for the gathered fluerettes. Leaves were made with silk organza ribbon.

Crazy Quilt Dress Form

What a fun project. To create the velvet bodice, I used silk velvet and a rose rubber stamp to stamp the image into the velvet using Fiber-Etch. A technique literally executed by intuition. The Fiber Etch gel removes the warp or the weft, leaving the layer of fibers beneath the velvet nap. I outlined the rose image with teeny metal tri-cut french beads. Beneath the bodice are two floral groupings. I created this a few years ago and I'm still  happy with the ribbon embroidery on the piece.

Wedding flower basket and frame

New Wedding pieces designed for my niece using RibbonSmyth silk ribbon and wire-edge ribbon, with RibbonSmyth ivory silk doupioni. My niece is having a Texas country wedding and will be getting married outside, with a reception in the barn at a friend's West Texas farm. The wedding is in September and should be very hot at that time of year, since that part of Texas has been in a drought for two years.

 My niece wanted all accessories very simple. Her flowers will be gerber daisies and sunflowers. The colors she chose are: kelly green, coral, bright yellow, soft peach and royal blue.  I used a press-on frame, which I have so many pieces, from designing fabric frames for Press-On Products. I covered the frame in ivory silk doupioni after stitching the silk ribbon daisies. The frame was completed with a heavy rayon braid glued to the edge of the frame. The oval basket was the perfect shape that I had in mind. It was hot pink and I painted the basket with ivory paint. I gathered silk doupioni fabric to go around the basket, after I glued heavy fiber-fil batting around the basket.  I made loopy silk satin bows for each side of the basket. Then I made wire-edge gathered flowers and stitched those on top of the silk satin bows. The basket edge was trimmed with an ivory rayon braid.

Now to finish the ring-bearer pillow and begin pieces for another wedding!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hideko's Crazy Quilted Album with RibbonSmyth image

This is a beautiful crazy-quilt photo album designed by Hideko of Sendai, Japan. Her blog is Wind from the East and will surely inspire. I am grateful for Hideko's visits to RibbonSmyth.
Hideko used one of our Victorian Women fusible vintage images outlined with white cotton eyelet lace. The RibbonSmyth vintage image is printed on fusible muslin fabric, meaning, it can instantly be ironed permanently to the ground fabric in a few seconds without any puckering or time spent  stitching the image to the fabric. And at $1.50 each, they are definitely affordable. She has added a garland of Ribbonsmyth green leaves to create movement within the design.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Silk Ribbon Victorian Initial Wedding Album

This is the completed wedding album stitched with the "S" Victorian Rubber Stamp Initial.

Wedding Guest Book Assembly

Once the embroidery has been completed, the silk fabric is wrapped around the album allowing an additional 1/2" of fabric to wrap to the inside of the album. Prior to stitching, I fused a lightweight fusible to the back of the fabric piece. This prevents any puckers that would result from the embroidery. I used "Crafter's Pick" thick, quick-drying white glue, and added "dots" of glue to the inside of the album. I placed the fabric edge over the glue dots and held in place until the glue dried. Trim the fabric edge and then glue ivory trim over the edge, to conceal the fabric edge. Ivory trim was also glued to the outside of the album for added embellishment. The guest album does not have a binding that will expand, although it is filled with pages that have pockets to hold shower and wedding napkins, invitations and momentos. To allow for the expansion of the album, I added silk satin ribbons, so the album can be "tied" closed.

Silk ribbon embroidery Rubber Stamp Initial

I'm creating an assortment of ribbon embroidered initial pieces, for my neice's wedding in September. Her last name will be Smith, so I'm using the "S" initial from the RibbonSmyth Victorian Monogram Rubber Stamps. Her flowers for the Texas country wedding are sunflowers and gerber daisies. The bridesmaids will be wearing royal blue gowns. She wanted to use colors such as yellows, greens, corals and royal blue for the ribbon embroidery. The rubber stamps were adapted into silk ribbon stitches, after teaching in London and discovering an 18th Century garden floral alphabet book; I returned home and sketched a floral alphabet and then rubber stamps were created in a 6-inch and 2-inch size. Tsukineko created a water-soluble stamp pad ink for my Victorian Initials. The embroidered initials are an excellent, beginner ribbon embroidery class. Stamp the fabric using the rubber stamp, hoop the fabric,and embroider. Once the embroidery is completed, remove any trace of visible ink, with a wet cotton swab. I used ivory silk doupioni for the fabric. Doupioni is my fabric of choice for ribbon embroidery, due to its body and luster.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Metal Card embellished with a Gipsy Vintage Image

Each metal card is embellished on both sides. Once all the eyelets have been set and charms added to the piece, the entire collection will be wired together to form a book. The gipsy image is one of my favorites. Once the image was glued to the metal, I added cheese cloth and lace, which were tinted with Gilder's Paste. For an embellishment, I added the cork from the inside of a bottle cap and glued a bead on top of the cork. My favorite card so far. And the final step was Amber Shellac.

Metal Card with lace and receipt

Even an old entry out of a bookkeeper's ledger, can be used as a design element. A piece of lace was laid over the paper.

Metal card with Vintage Fairy

Once the fairy image had been applied to the card, I added scraps of lace, coated in gilder's paste and everything received a coat of Amber Shellac. All embellishments are wired onto the metal piece. A "Crop-A-Dile" is used to punch holes into the metal flashing.

Metal Card with Dancer

One of my favorite RibbonSmyth Vintage Images. Once the dancer had been applied to the metal, I used textile medium to glue a small lace piece at the top of the metal card. Gilder's Paste was added to the lace.

Metal Card with Chanel Quote WIP

All of the metal cards are works-in-progress. Holes still need to be drilled into each piece, then eyelets set in place, in order to add dangles and charms. Chanel Quotes are my favorites.

Metal Card collage with vintage hat

I used Textile Medium to adhere the RibbonSmyth Vintage Image to the metal. First spray the vintage image with light coats of acrylic spray. Once the different papers had been applied to the metal, the piece was coated with Amber Shellac, which makes everything Vintage!

Metal Vintage Image collage

This is a metal card in a series of eight. The focus for each card was a RibbonSmyth Vintage Image. I also used RibbonSmyth Velvet Ribbon for added dimension.

Ecru Shabby Chic Flowers

New Ecru Shabby Chic Flowers ready to embellish crazy quilt blocks, dolls or assemblage work. The flowers come on a 3" wide organza wired ribbon. Clip the flowers from the ribbon and tip with rubber stamp ink, or brush on metallic paints or dyes. Would work well, tipped with Gilder's Paste. Add assorted beads to the center of the flower. Only $1.50 per yard. Can't wait to find time to play with this trim!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beaded pouch

This is a beautiful pouch that I received,from Stephanie Novatski. I am beyond blessed to have Stephanie in my life, as a friend, and her gifts are treasures. Her blog will inspire! Stephanie made the pouch with lovely Hoffman fabrics and then beaded around the fabric "points". She also made the little tassel beads. She filled the pouch with semi-precious beads. What a wonderful way to make the day extra special. Stephanie, thank you!

Silk Ribbon Dragon

This is a dragon I created for "The New Ribbon Embroidery". Found this piece while continuing the never-ending job of cleaning out the studio. I collect books on Chinese Embroidery. The dragon was adapted from an illustration stitched onto a purse. The dragon is 5"x8". I sketched the dragon onto an orange shot silk fabric. Outlined, over the pencil sketch, with couched gold thread. The inside of the dragon body was filled in with Ribbon Stitches and French Knots,and finished with gold beads.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hand-dyed Velvet Ribbon

The sheen on this velvet ribbon simply speaks "Victorian". I dyed the ribbon yesterday along with some silk ribbon, using RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes. The velvet is Japanese rayon single-face velvet. Velvet instantly grabs the dye. I will keep some yardage for a metal card deck we will be creating next week. And the rest of the yardage will be sold on my Etsy site. The colors are used straight out of the bottle using Victorian Rose, with Olivine and touches of Antique Gold and applied with a pipette. I dye fibers outdoors and let the ribbons air-dry. Then they are heat-set with an iron. I think dyeing ribbon and fibers is intuitive and blissfully relaxing! I'm keeping the spool of ribbon in a basket next to my office computer, that is surrounded with my favorite things, and protected by a 24"x32" photograph of Paul McCartney! A photographer friend sent me the print from a 2003 photo shoot in New York, and "Paul" lives in my office!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Silk Ribbon Embroidery Bouquet in Vase

This is a 3-day workshop that I offer. The ribbon embroidered piece features a variety of techniques using a variety of ribbons, trims and silk charmeuse fabric, hand-dyed for the container. And at the end of the workshop, you do have a completed piece!

Silk Ribbon Heart Ringerbearer Pillow

This is a Ringbearer pillow that I designed for my book "The New Ribbon Embroidery". I have the full-size pattern in the book. The pillow was designed to be used after the wedding. The satin streamers are tacked on each corner and they were meant to be removed. I display several silk ribbon pillows in a guest bedroom to be enjoyed every day.

Metal Doll Bed Plant Stand in my Garden

This is a doll bed that I found at a thrift store. I've placed it in a garden that was named "Moonlight Garden" by a friend that put in the garden. The garden is beneath old trees. Maureen added plants that would offer white flowers. When I'm working in that garden, I think of her. When she finished the garden, she added a poem written on a large flat rock, about moonlight, and placed a small crystal moon-shape piece on the rock. The old buckets are filled with vinca. Coming from West Texas, where nothing grows, due to lack of rain; there will always be much to learn about gardening. I am grateful when our plants thrive.

Ladder Trellis in my Garden

Summer in the Northeast is never long enough. Wish that season could "steal" several months of winter. I am grateful for each day I can be outdoors. There is so much work to be done. This is a little area in my vegetable garden. We took apart an old ladder and built a trellis. I have a wine bottle and spoon windchime hanging beneath the trellis. There is a small metal armadillo, I found in Texas, "sunning" on the rocks. The old milk pails come from local dairies.