Friday, February 24, 2012

In Honor of Jane Austen Fabric Collage

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

For Deb

This is a collage inspired by Jane Austen, that left early this morning for Canada. My friend is suffering through a hip not mending, with her mobility confined to a nasty wheel chair, brightened only by the love of her dog.
I added a small St Christopher medal to the piece and have to admit that I also collect rosaries; not only for their beauty but the energy they possess, the prayers that were offered while being held in hard-working hands.
I'm a lace addict. Now that that is out in the open; I can justify, the totes of lace, the lace wedding gowns waiting to be disassembled, the lace collars, the doilies with a hole in them, their beauty not diminished... the need to adopt them is evident when stepping into my office...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pussy Willows

Shortly these little pussy willows will burst forth with a thousand small yellow spikes.
Pussy willows mean Spring and what a treat to have such a beautiful reminder! How lucky are we to appreciate  nature and color in all its amazing forms?

Pearl and flowers

I placed a basket of  flowers on top of the piano to be sure Pearl would not be able to get to them.   Because she was so ill as a kitten, she does not climb or jump onto furniture. In this case, I failed to estimate her "jumpability". She has her own pet dog, and often I find her on the floor, with  Jack  firmly tugging on one of her ears, pulling her across the floor. Shortly the tables will reverse and Pearl will be sitting on top of the dog and neither of them mind.
In this photo, she reminds me of the stoic photos I see of people posing at the turn-of-the-century.

20% off everything at RibbonSmyth Sale ends February 21st

20% off every item at RibbonSmyth now through midnight February 21st at
Sale price is immediately applied at time order is placed, on any order of $25 or more.
Sale discount may not be applied with coupon offers.
The sale is a web-site only sale!
Great time to stock up on silk ribbon, doupioni silk, rayon tape and any of our other 1,400 items!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dyed Jewel tone motif

This  motif  appeals because of the deep colors. It was dyed with Teal, periwinkle, Lilac, Antique Gold, and Olivine. 

Dyed Motifs for Etsy Site

Here are a few motifs I dyed last night for the Etsy site, Old Elements. All are ready to purchase.

 As a true plastic bag junkie, I have plastic bags filled with rayon venise trims waiting to be dyed or loaded onto the website. I simply cannot turn down a venise lace motif.

Dyeing rayon venise lace, uses the same creativity we invest in our stitching. I like deep, dark vintage jewel tones and to dye a motif a pastel shade, to me, begs for more color. As a fan of French work and thinking of Sophie Gelfi; they use wonderful deep dark fabrics and threads.  

In the above samples, I only used 4 colors of  RibbonSmyth Rainbow dyes.

For an all-over pastel, wet the motif, dye the entire motif with Duck Down and then add much-diluted Olivine, a touch of diluted Lilac and Victorian Rose. The pastel colors are created with water and one pipette of dye. After allowing the motif to damp dry, if the motif is too pale, lay in other colors - Periwinkle or Antique Gold. Every dyeing experience is relaxing. 

The center motif is about 10" in length and is a 3-D piece. It begs to be appliqued to a jacket lapel and then heavily embroidered with beads and ribbons. It's a stunning motif with the largest flower stitched on top of the basic motif.
The minute the motifs are ironed, the color pops. Little jewels waiting for a surface!

Journal Book from Stephanie Novatski

Another photograph of Stephanie's fabulous journal. There is not anything Stephanie cannot create! Check out to view her amazing dolls, patterns, cards, embroidery and journals. She created the journal with each page as an attached "envelope" and inside each page/envelope, are photos.  In this photo Stephanie and I were vending at a doll show in Ohio and we were "sporting" tiaras in honor of William and Kate's upcoming nuptials. My memory from this trip was our delight in having the perfect Japanese restaurant near our hotel and the end of Osama bin Laden.

Lovely Journal

A treasure arrived and this gift took my breath away! Inside a cloth-covered box, was this personal, memory-filled journal.
Stephanie Novatski, who is talented beyond mere words, sent  this beautiful journal, filled with memories of adventures we have shared over the years. To have Stephanie's friendship is a true gift. Offer gratitude to your amazing friendships.

This journal took hours and hours to create; filled with techniques and working with the smallest of "bits". Each journal page, was designed to flip over and add written memories on the back of the photo. Stephanie has added quotes throughout the journal, defining friendship. In this photo, I'm with my sister, standing near a covered bridge, near our farm. She was with us to participate in an ArtBra exhibit and to share another anniversary of her being cancer-free.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CQJP Three Blocks Progress WIP

When it comes to assembling the wall-hanging, Stephanie Novatski will be called to the rescue!
Nice to have a pic of three of the "works in progress" photographed together. 
I'm a bit into "Gypsy Embellishing"...

CQJP March block WIP

This is the beginning of the March block for the CQJP.

The impressive Indian tambour beading is part of a sleeve from a vintage garment. I cut the embroidery off the fabric ground, as close to the embroidery piece as possible. To hide the fabric edges, couching with Vintage metal thread, was the answer. I cannot imagine the hours of stitching it took to create the metal thread embroidery. The piece was in a thrift store on a rack with costumes. Did the man, woman, or child, working with their tambour hook, enjoy the process...or was it another day's work?
  The embroidery would be stunning as a focal for a purse, but using it on a block, means it will be viewed each day, when taking the stairs. I did not have the heart to clip the piece into smaller motifs, which is what I normally would do with trims.
Lots of embellishing to go... 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February block - progress for CQJP project

Progress on the February block. Working with variegated silk ribbon, I never know what colors the stitches will be in a certain part of the block, which I like. Here I've added French knots among the gold metal thread couching. Will fill in with pearls among those stitches and add flower sequins. The deep pink and lime green ribbon works well with the orange Japanese brocade. Seeing a scan of the block, helps immensely in viewing the desgin. Part of the design element in this block, are the ragged lace edges. The hand-dyed rayon tape, tacked beneath the "button spray" adds to the movement in the block. I often read about gypsy weddings in the London UK Daily Mail. The wall-hanging will be completed as my interpretation of "gypsy embellishing".

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FiberArt For a Cause

While browsing your favorite blogs, check out the fundraiser Virginia Spiegel has assembled featuring  works by some of your favorite designers.

Featured is a beautiful wall-hanging by Leonie Hartley-Hoover. Leonie is one of the designers Virginia selected for her fund-raising event. Please visit Leonie's blog at

Leonie's piece features beading techniques, created with hours and hours of beading, to amaze us all!

February 15 and 16: Foto/Fiber 2012, a fundraiser for the Am. Cancer Society.

Monday, February 6, 2012

January block for the CQJP

This is the finished January block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.
A bit busy, like my brain. Working on February and March blocks and looking forward to getting the  other 9 blocks pieced. Finished block size ~ 8 1/2".  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gold Crazy Quilt Fabric Pack

New Rayon Motifs ready-to-dye

This is a photo of a rayon motif I dyed with RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes. I keep dyed motifs in a ziplock bag and then when working on a collage, will cut up pieces of a motif to work into the fabric space. I just loaded some motifs onto the Ribbonsmyth website at reasonable prices.

Last week I was able to purchase pounds of old costume stock and in this picture, I've tacked down a small piece of dyed rayon lace and then stitched two faceted glass sew-ons, from the costume stock, into the motif. Tied a sloppy knot using three inches of mint green rayon tape, and tacked into the center of the motif. Added a pearl from a broken strand of pearls. Easy, quick and pleasing to the eye.