Monday, December 1, 2014

30% OFF entire site through December 2nd, when you place an order of $25!

Place your Ribbonsmyth order between today and midnight December 2nd to take advantage of our huge sale 30% off every item in stock  Sales deduction is applied at time order is placed! Great time to stock up for Christmas and winter creating!
8 Christmas Card Kits left
10 Valentine Post Card Kits left
Thanks to all of you that have supported our business for the last 18 years!  Changes a coming! Yay!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

French Ribbon Corsage Topped Purse and 20% Off Entire Site through Sept 29th!

Fall 20% off every single item on our site on any purchase of $25.  Sale ends September 29th.  Sale discount taken when order is placed.  Great time to gather ribbons for Christmas creating!
Sale ongoing at

The ribbon corsage is created with our French Ribbons and embellished with our moss velvet leaves.
This is a great vintage 1940's purse that I just listed on Etsy at

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New 15-Piece Crazy Quilt Pack

New Crazy Quilt Fabric Pack! Only five packs left. Great value - 15-piece pack for $11. Pack includes 5 ten inch fabric squares, vintage fusible image, silk twist paddle, beads, heart charm, velvet ribbon, pink flower trim, two yards of lace and 5 pink satin flowers.

New Vintage Charm Bracelets in our Etsy Store!

New Vintage charm bracelets created for those that love vintage and the "jangle" of wearing a charm bracelet!  All can be seen on our Pinterest site and Etsy at
All bracelets are one-of-a-kind and were created late at night, while enjoying every minute of the process! They look marvelous when worn!  Most bracelets are 8 inches in length and all are made with components from the 1960's using new, old stock.

Our 20% Summer Sale ends midnight tonite!

Our 20% off Sale ends at midnight tonight.
Great time to add to your silk ribbon stash. A big thank you to all of you that have placed orders. Will spend next week, shipping lots of ribbon!
Please an order of $25 or more, and automatically receive a 20% discount, taken at time of check-out, at

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Vintage Charm Bracelet on Sale at Etsy

Love this little bracelet. This bracelet has a strand of vintage pearls and is a lightweight piece with a wonderful "melody". Made from vintage findings that I found at the NY vintage bead warehouse. Hopeful to begin to load more bracelets onto our Etsy site. Some of the charms were purchased years ago at a Paris flea market. So fun to see "gathered pieces" come together.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dress form Pendant with vintage Japanese Pearls, designed by Stephanie Novatski

This adorable, tiny crazy-quilted dress-form pendant was designed by Stephanie Novatski, using RibbonSmyth products. Stephanie added our new vintage pear-shape pearls, as a dress trim. Visit Stephanie's blog for inspiration. Stephanie is an amazingly, talented designer. Please check out her dolls! Stephanie, Thank you!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

20% off Independence Day Sale now thru July 13th!

Enjoy our summer sale with 20% off every item in stock at ~
Great time to stock up on silk ribbons, our hand-dyed Rayon Tape ribbon, our rayon motifs ready-to-dye, our doupioni silk assortment pack and our popular vintage fusible images. The 20% discount is automatically taken on any order of $25 or more!
Visit our etsy stores, as we load more items onto both etsy sites at RibbonSmyth or Old Elements 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crazy Quilt Labels for Rengin Yazitas

I made these labels for Rengin, using her artwork. They are on their way to Istanbul. I have a wonderful bright white fabric, with a fusible back, that I use for printing our vintage images. I've been making the images for years. Years ago, before I found the textile manufacturer that cuts the fabric for us, I made several images using the "dip method" with the bottled solution, and then printed onto  fabric. Sadly each one of those images have faded terribly and with the stitching around each image, there is no way to replace the image without damaging the embroidery. With our fusible images, the image can be ironed on to the fabric and then embellished. No puckering from stitching an image to the fabric. I made the labels in three sizes, so Rengin could use a small label to the inside of a purse lining or use the larger size for her crazy quilt blocks.

New Vintage-dyed Motifs on our RibbonSmyth Etsy Site

I've added a few hand-dyed rayon lace motifs to our etsy site at listed under RibbonSmyth. Beyond economical, a small lace motif, always adds to the design. Most of the motifs are approximately 4 inches. I like using the RibbonSmyth hand-dyed motifs in crazy quilting. No two pieces are alike. In designing, the goal is for the piece to "blend" in with the overall components in the block.  I dye the lace in "vintage" hues such as Antique Gold, Olivine, Lilac and Victorian Rose and sometimes then over-dye the entire piece in the shade "Branch Brown". The goal is for the eye to not be drawn to the starkness of the dyed lace, but instead to have the lace blend in with the fabrics and ribbons, and aid in moving the eye through the design.  I also like to cut the motifs into smaller pieces, as the ragged edges add to the design. Dyeing motifs is beyond relaxing. After each piece has dried, the piece is ironed on the back-side of the lace, to set the dye into the fiber. Undyed motifs and non-toxic dyes can be purchased at in the "Dyer's Supplies" section.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Silk Ribbon Bouquet with Bread Dough Vase

Using only two stitches, this little bouquet was stitched on a blue moire ground and completed with a bread dough vase. I dyed the ribbons for this piece, in shades of plum, lilacs and aubergine. I drew the outline of the urn, onto the moire, then stitched the bouquet, using the Loop Stitch and French Knots. Scattered among the base of the urn, are French knots and small seed beads. The piece was a project for my book "The Complete Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery". Before I began this piece, I was designing booklets for Plaid Enterprises. While taping a TV segment for Plaid in Queens, NY, I met another designer, who took my urn sketches and created several pieces from bread dough. Later, she wrote a book on her salt dough roses. The urn in this piece has two cherubs holding a swag. Her work is stunning. I glued the urn piece to the moire fabric, before I had the piece framed.

Crazy Quilt made with ball gown fabrics, close-up

A close-up of several of the blocks. The piece is made of 70 blocks and each block is approximately six inches square. There is no batting.  Aren't the fabrics lovely? There are pieces of brocades, taffetas, velvet, moires, patterned silks and solid silks. The only silk pieces, that are beginning to shatter, are small ivory pieces. I would think, with the shattering, the thin, ivory silk, that the fabric was probably weighted with salt. The simplicity of the stitches, showcase the fabrics.

Crazy Quilt made from ball gown fabrics

Many, many years ago, I met a lady, at an antique store, and we began a discussion about antiques. She was in the process of having to move from her home in Philadelphia to an assisted living facility. She was looking for a home for some of her possessions and wanted them to go to someone that would appreciate them.  When she showed me this crazy quilt, I had to have it. I purchased the piece based on wanting to "care" for a small piece of her history.  This was the first crazy quilt I had ever seen. She explained the history of crazy quilting. All the fabrics are scraps from her gowns. The piece is backed in a rust-brown polished cotton and edged with a 1/2" maroon velvet border. We were able to visit on several occasions and she shared where she had worn the ball gowns; to different events in Europe and Philadelphia. During her trips to Europe, she travelled by boat. I have two of her steamer trunks, and I use both of them.  I have the crazy quilt hanging in a hallway, that gets no direct light. I turn the quilt every few months. There are some silk patches, that are beginning to shatter, and I clip away the bits. The quilt is enjoyed every day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blue Jean Wallhanging Block Three

Of the three blocks worked on, this one, I like the best.  I like the movement in the block, using the Feather Stitch. The purple Czech button is gorgeous. I added a gathered ruffle of rayon hand-dyed tape around the button to soften the starkness of the button. None of the blocks are completed. Beads will tip the Feather Stitches.

Blue Jean Wallhanging Block Two

I took the nine blocks to Florida last week, thinking I would be able to stitch each evening. Minimal lighting in the living room, slowed me down!  In haste, several plastic bags with trims, which included two colors of silk ribbons and one three-yard piece of my hand-dyed rayon ribbons and assorted beads and buttons. I did not want to add much silk ribbon work on the blocks.  The little piece of lace has ruby rose montees stitched down the seam. The lace piece seems "too bright" a trim. Even though the lace was tea-dyed, my plan is to take fabric markers, and deepen the color of the lace. Feather Stitching and Couching, with Scalamandre cord, was added to create movement. 

Blue Jean Wallhanging Block Three

I pieced nine blocks in January, thinking the wallhanging would be a great winter project. The center patch in each block, is denim appliqued with velvet pieces. I could never throw away an old pair of jeans, with embroidery, appliqued onto each leg. Finally the jeans were cut up and repurposed.  I pieced the blocks using doupioni from our doupioni silk pack.The wallhanging will hang in our utility room, so no intent to "go crazy" with embellishing. My thoughts were to do a Herringbone Stitch on each seam, but I'm not prone to "simplicity"! So far, a Feather Stitch to add movement to this block and a samll piece of lace.

Bronze Silk Etui with Jade Rabbit Tassel

This is an Etui made with silk and brocade fabrics. When I created the etui, I had just returned from Paris, studying at the House of Lesage, and was totally smitten with couching. The top of the lid was couched with metallic and metal threads and embellished with 1920's hand-cut "tri-cut" brown glass beads. I added a small jade rabbit tassel to the lid.  Inside the sewing case, I covered a tomato pincushion with Mokuba ribbon flowers and more beadwork. Each pocket holds sewing necessities, naturally! I have an old country store counter display case, in the studio, where I keep my favorite pieces. I saw this in the case the other day, and remembered the joy in creating the piece.

Pansies in an old Coal Scuttle

Love pansies. With winter being brutal, having buckets of pansies near the doorway, meant winter would eventually end. I have this "thing" about coal scuttles. When I see one, I think about the hands that carried that bucket loaded with coal. And I am grateful that we never had to burn coal to stay warm.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Silk Satin Ribbon Dyed with RibbonSmyth Silk Dyes

Wouldn't these ribbons be great for an heirloom project? This is 1/2" wide double-faced silk satin ribbon dyed in pastel shades of pink, honey gold and lavender. And it feels divine. I can see rolled ribbon roses for a gown, or used as sashes for a flower girl's gown, or streamers for flowers. I dyed this yardage, using our RibbonSmyth NON-TOXIC dyes formuated for silk.

RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyed Rayon Leaf Yardage

Dyed rayon yardage, using our Rainbow dyes, formulated for rayon. After 18 years of dyeing fibers and fabric, I still enjoy every minute of the dyeing process. Dyeing is "intuitive" and no matter how I try to change palettes, the vintage colorway is the only one that appeals. Vintage shades add an elegance and softness that cannot be achieved with the hard, jewel tones that come straight out of the dye bottle. Each one of my dyed pieces are acheived with a blend of three different dyes. Any cq block automatically achieves a look of "age" with an "heirloom" quality, when creating a crazy quilt block.
   I've been collecting denim jackets in a variety of sizes, and just purchased a deep crimson silk velvet jacket. I'm hoping to embellish all the pieces and wear several while I'm teaching at the Art Is You Retreat this fall. I've a collection of laces that I hope to collage onto all the wearable pieces. And I hope this trim will work with the crimson velvet jacket. It should make a beautiful edgeing to the bottom of the jacket and around the sleeves. The trim featured above, is 4 inches wide. I want the collage/shabby chic feel for the jacket. My vision is that the entire jacket will be covered with netting from an old flapper gown, with overlays of a variety of lace and crochet pieces. All the pieces will be dyed together in a monocromatic shade to match  the lace featured above. And then the jacket will be finished with bits of small velvet ribbons and a rhinestone brooch. I can "see" the completed jacket. Now the fun to bring the piece into the physical form. I can't turn down a denim  jacket at the thrift store. I keep buying them! I hope the pieces I bring to "Art is You" will sell.  A denim jacket is simply the best base piece for collage.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Buttonhole Silk Twist now on our Etsy Site!

All our RibbonSmyth Buttonhole Silk Twist will now be on our Etsy site.  Our filament silk twist was dyed for us and comes on 23 meter paddles. It's a great thread to add to your stash.   3 packs in 3 different colors, are available on our RibbonSmyth etsy site at 
 As the studio is revamped, the etsy site inventory will greatly increase.

Crazy Quilt Scissor Fob and Weekend Sale!

Our RibbonSmyth 20% off Weekend Sale ends midnight Monday, February 24th at Any order of $25 or more, receives an automatic 20% discount.
Featured is a small 2 3/4" crazy quilt scissor fob, made years ago using our double-sided adhesive cardboard disks. These disks are versatile pieces to use for brooches and for small projects.
I pieced several tiny scrap pieces and then using French knots, the Feather Stitch and Bullion Lazy Daisy stitch, embroidered around a 1950's Japanese hand-blown flower, using 4mm silk ribbon. The adhesive paper was removed off the disk and  the stitched fabric was pressed onto the disk. The back of the disk was covered with moire fabric and ecru cording was glued around the finished embroidery. A great little project for basic ribbon embroidery stitches.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blue Jean crazy quilt block

Close-up of the blue jean patch and a few buttons.

Beginning Blue Jean Nine-Block Crazy Quilt

I had kept a pair of very old blue jeans, due to the velvet embroidery on both legs. I cut the motifs into 9 pieces and then pieced them onto a vintage piece of baby flannel. I've used silk doupioni and velvet pieces from our doupioni and velvet assortment packs. I will ultimately cut the blocks to 7"x9" pieces. The plan is only to stitch the Herringbone stitch on each seam, using lime green Scalamandre silk and then add seed beads to the Herringbone stitches. Will add groups of buttons where each piece of fabric intersects and that will complete each block. Not "embellishing" will be the exercise. The stitches are a bit "shaky". I worked on the stitches, sitting near a door in our sunroom, during the latest ice storm, while we had no power.
I have a heavy vintage crimson damask drapery panel that I would like to use for the border and the backing fabric. Time to cut up the panel and get it out of the trunk, where it has sat for two decades. I think it would be great to have one small wall-
hanging, where I could look at some of the buttons that have been collected for so many years. Time to use my collections of "everything" or move them on to the next "gatherers"!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rittenhouse Square Color Pencil Sketch

Because I spent time at a Phildelphia Hospital during the month of December, this is a colored pencil sketch of downtown Philadelphia with many twinkling lights in the parks beneath the high-rise buildings. I passed this part of Philly at night on the way back to the farm from the City.  I don't think the sketch is finished.

A heart for Joan

I'm working on a collection of little hearts for my newsletter, that hopefully will get broadcast tonight.
This is a 4" wool heart that I made tonight for my friend. Joan lost her husband undexpectedly this time last year. I want her to know she is surrounded in love. Joan works with breast cancer patients and started taking classes here at the studio two decades ago. She was an ardent supporter of the ArtBra Calendar project.  Last year, Joan's heart offering was a deep crimson silk velvet trimmed with bias-cut roses.
The 4" x 4" heart above is a deep fuschia pink wool, embroidered with one color of variegated 4mm silk  ribbon in pinks, yellows, corals and greens. I used the Spider Web Rose, the French Knot and the gathered Frilly flower. I added a gold brass charm and 2mm pearls. The fuschia wool was cut from a blazer that I found in a little thrift store in Sedona, Arizona. Just love the color. After creating the embroidery, I used the RibbonSmyth variegated silk twist to do the feather stitch around the edge of the wool. Then I "pinked" the edges of the wool and tacked the two wool pieces together and stuffed with fiberfill. The little heart will ship tomorrow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Velvet heart collage complete

Simply the best to take a vision and turn it into a physical piece!

Velvet heart collage with embellishments

This photo close-up shows the basted collage silk georgette pieces and the bullion fringe pieces with old French lime green sequins.

Velvet heart collage close-up

When I design, I work with the negative space in a composition. My vision was to have the design elements in the heart  go from one side to the other.

My first design for 2014 ~ Lime green velvet collage

What a luxury to spend a few hours designing! I started this late last night and finished it at 3 AM. The piece will be submitted as a class, to several guilds. While cutting velvet for orders, I came across this lime green velvet. I cut a piece from a silk georgette blouse, that I found at a thrift shop, to layer on top of the velvet. For a pattern, I drew a heart onto a paper bag and then laid the pattern on top of the velvet and traced around the pattern with a sharpie.

I fused a linen fabric to the back of the velvet with MistyFuse. I used linen because it was what I had just used to finish a memory pillow and had fabric scraps in the right size. The finished heart is 6"x8".

To assemble - Cut several pieces of the georgette blouse and arrange on to the velvet heart.  Then add a small strip of metal fabric to the silk pieces. Add a strip of my new rayon hand-dyed tape "Shades of Ireland" (love, love this ribbon), a strip of Peacock RibbonRuffles followed with silk ribbon embroidery using 4mm and 7mm silk ribbons. I took apart a 1920's metal bullion fringed tassel and tacked the fringe pieces into place. Then added Victorian buttons followed with seed beads and charms. For me, it is adding the old vintage bits, that create the appeal.

I used a deep emerald green damask dinner napkin for the heart backing fabric. I think I have enough of the silk georgette fabric to make plenty of class kits. What fun!

Hibiscus blooming in our sunroom

What a gift to see this little blossom. In the fall, I bring in our three pots of hibiscus. I have no luck getting them to bloom in the sunroom, during the winter months. But this bloom appeared last week and it was a bright spot during the misery of the cold.

No sunlight and cold temps for months, are never relished by any of us here at the farm.
I think this hibiscus would make a great watercolor or collage!