Sunday, July 19, 2009

Memory Cushion

This is a Memory Cushion I designed for my aunt, to keep her company while she is in the hospital. This is a pic that was taken in the 1940's of her only child. Her son is now buried in Arlington Cemetery and this pic captures his sweet spirit. I designed the pillow in two sessions of stitching. I stitch late at night, when it is quiet and no disruptions. I like the silence, my Ott light and the indoor critters around my feet!

I've made many Memory Cushions. Without a doubt, a cushion can be made for any occasion. Among many of my collections, I collect fringe. I find fringe wherever I travel and if it's more than a yard, it comes with me. I love dyeing rayon fringe to create a vintage look. If a fringe puts you off by it color, buy it anyway. I picked up a gorgeous silk fringe in a horrible orange color, in a second-hand store in Surrey, England a few years back. I dyed it and it is now the most beautiful crimson/bronze and waiting to be stitched to a cushion.

I print photos onto our cotton fusible fabric, which I love. It does not fade and because it is fusible, there are no puckers when stitching down the image, because the image is ironed to the base fabric in a couple of seconds. I then tack down an ivory trim around the photo.

I have a small stash called "Private Collections" of specials buttons and beads that have meaning to me. I stitched a Civil War button in the top left corner, taken from a 19th Century Salesman's Sample book. I know the book would be worth more intact, but I bought the buttons to use.

After I tack down the button, I added a few silk ribbon stitches and then added a few glass pearls that I picked up in a French flea market in Paris. My favorite flea market and I haunt flea markets! Then continued to fill in with ribbon embroidery stitches. I like any ribbon embroidery packed together, no "wandering" flowers. I finished with a bit of feather stitch using RibbonSmyth's variegated silk twist (which is killer to work with) and then added a few copper rondells I picked up in New York.

When working with silk ribbon, only use three or four stitches. This gives the piece uniformity and the stitching goes quickly. I used a bullion lazy daisy, lazy daisy french knot, frilly flower and a few loops using all our variegated bronze 4mm silk ribbons.

After the embellishing was finished, I fused a lightweight fusible to the back of the silk. Really important step for your piece and then finished the assembly. I used one of our vintage images and wrote a note to my aunt and then fused the image to the pillow back, signing the piece with a name, date and county where the piece was stitched,adding her name and location.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dress it Up Challenge!

A New Challenge ~ just in time to win a $100 RibbonSmyth basket filled with embellishments, fabrics, ribbons and trims for holiday creating! 1st place - $100, 2nd place - $50 gift basket, 3rd place winner - $25 gift basket. Purchase your Dress It Up Kit, submit your entry via jpeg no later than September 13th. Winners will be voted on from our newsletter members. Entries will be posted on our blog and votes tallied from our blog comments.
The finished piece is approximately 3 1/2"x 8 1/2". Sign the piece on the back and use as an upscale post card art. Would make a great gift. The kit includes: doll hanger, interfacing, dress pattern, wire-edge ribbon, 2 yards silk ribbon, cotton floss, purple sequins, purple satin butterflies, RibbonRuffles, green silk organza fabric, brocade fabric, purple moire fabric and purple satin fabric.
Kit - $9.95

Embellished lace Stocking

This is a sample of embellishing one of our red silk velvet stockings we have in our Outlet Store at RibbonSmyth. I've used a variety of 19th and 20th century lace that I gathered wherever I can find lace! I'm a lace junky. Finished with a a gathered rose using our French red wire-edge ribbon. I have a special affinity for this ribbon as I purchased it while sitting in a chair in the middle of a Paris street, while my ribbon vendor pulled spools of ribbon made in local villages, for me to select. What fun! He even brought champagne to sip while I shopped!
I added a simple 65mm ivory silk bow from our 65 mm silk ribbon selections, stitched a small feather stitch gold silk twist and added ivory 4mm silk loop stitches and embellished that spray with crystal seed beads. Finished by adding some Czech 1920's buttons. These beautiful crystal buttons have such sparkle and come with a glass shank on the back. They make stunning focal pieces. More of these stockings will probably end up on our etsy site.

July Blog Giveaway sign up at this post!

Isn't this a fabulous chair? I took a pic of this chair at ABC Carpet in New York. One of my favorite spots for design ideas. I would love to take an old chair and embellish! The price for this beauty was astronomical. Hope it inspires!

Please sign up at this post to be entered into the July blog give-away. Three winners will be announced first week in August. Please enter with your email address! Must have that email address. A simple "hello" is great for your entry! Entries that won for the June Blog Give-Away are: Jackie, Shari and Marianne. Each winner will receive a packet of fabrics, fibers, buttons, embellishments and a variety of "fun" stuff! Mucho thanks to all of you that visit the RibbonSmyth Blog. Hope to continue to add items that may inspire. My sincere gratitude to each of you that visit the RibbonSmyth studio and for your inspiration and kindness!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Side Yard at our farm

This is a shot of a small garden area in our side yard. It borders a small pasture for our goats. I'm crazy about the different shades of leaves and variety of trees. The metal fencing is Victorian and was salvaged from a Victorian home on the Main Line in Philadelphia.

Clemantis around the farm bell

Another shot of our farm bell with the barn in the back-ground. Our barn is a typical Pennsylvania Bank Barn. It is three stories tall with stalls for the animals on the first floor. The RibbonSmyth Studio is on the second floor. In the front of the barn is a bank of land, thus the name bank barn, where farmers would drive their tractors into the second floor of the barn and store hay on the third floor.
There are few bank barns left in Bucks County. Due to their age, most burn down. When we bought the farm, the second floor was a basketball court, built for the previous owner's sons. We renovated the second floor to accomodate my studio. And the barn is haunted...

Clemantis around farm bell

Every summer I am in awe of the purple Clemantis that grows around our farm bell. It doubles in size every year.


This is Pearl at 6 months. She be the princess! She is sitting in her favorite spot waiting for someone to come through the door. She greets us, as we come in, by standing on her hind legs with her front paws on our legs, letting us know that she needs to be picked up!