Thursday, March 31, 2011

Butterflies dyed with RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes

I could dye rayon motifs every day, all day long! I'm working on a You Tube Video on dyeing and these truly are motifs dyed in 60 Seconds with our non-toxic Rainbow Dyes.

What I love about dyeing ribbons and motifs, is that using them in designs, creates a piece that reflects your personal style.

Start with 3 colors of dye. I wanted the motifs to be a pastel shade. I'm always in a hurry, so no time for lots of "thinking" when it comes to my method of dyeing.  I used Antique Gold, Olivine and Lilac and brushed a bit of color onto each damp motif, allowing the colors to flow into each other. Then I placed the motifs on a paper towel to absorb the dye; so the motifs would dry in a pale tone. Let them dry, iron the back of the motif to set the dye. That easy! I place a vintage 1920's rose rose montee (rhinestone) onto each butterfly. The scanner cannot capture the brilliant flash of the rhinestone. Using vintage elements in a piece, keeps that "era-in-time" alive. I tacked down a strand of Wild Orchid  RibbonRuffles to create movement through-out the block. Then tacked the butterflies on top of the ribbon and added a bit of silk ribbon blossoms with vintage glass leaves and lucite calla lily flowers.

This is a jewel-tone rectangle block that will be a pillow for my sister. I will add a quote with butterfly inspiration, print on to fabric and adhere to the block.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Purple silk ribbon spray on lace with velvet leaves

This is a small spray made with the 7mm RibbonSmyth silk ribbon "Purple Please" combo pack. The base is an assortment of doupioni silk pieces and on top of that, I've tacked down a piece of a vintage lingerie lace collar. In the center of that I added a RibbonRuffles Spider Web Rose in the Wild Iris colorway. Use that #13 needle for wide fibers. I filled in around the rose with 7mm silk ribbon loop stitches. Add a bead in the center of each loop to create a great little flower. Use our lilac/mauve/celery velvet leaves tacked beneath the silk ribbon. Add a couple of beads on top of each leaf. I finished with some of our RibbonSmyth silk buttonhole twist and made a few feather stitches. Love those Jewel Tones!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peach inspired vintage image on silk with lace collage

With Spring surely on its's time to gather light, romantic trims.

Here is a small collage 7"x9" using our 3/8" metallic wire-edge ribbon. This ribbon is perfect for rolled ribbon roses and I've added 4 new colors. The ribbon holds its shape making it easy to manipulate the ribbon into an assortment of gathered flowers and leaves.

I've laid peach silk doupioni, frayed the edges on all 4 sides, and then tacked to a ground of burlap. Position a vintage image in the center of the doupioni silk and iron the image to the fabric.  I'm currently working all my collages on grounds of burlap. Love the weight and the texture!

I added rayon tape around two sides of the vintage image. Then I tied a bow with the peach metallic wire-edge ribbon and tacked it down on top of the rayon tape. Made some small metallic rolled ribbon roses and tacked them to the fabric. I cut a doily in half and tacked it at the bottom of the vintage image.

I added 4mm variegated silk ribbon (Color #135) Japanese ribbon stitches among the ribbons.

Then added assorted seed beads.

This is a fun 2 hour project with a basis of enjoying the layering process of different fabrics. Then layer trims on top of the fabrics and complete with rolled ribbon flowers and beads. Buy inexpensive doilies and cut them in half. A piece of dolily that has been cut offers designs elements with the rough edges.

Have received requests on teaching collage workshops. Shoot me an email if your guild would like a class,  at

Orchid Artistry

Thought I would share a photo of an orchid I have in our sun room. I continue to be amazed by its beauty.
And I stay in amazement that it is thriving in spite of my lack of knowledge on how to care for such a glorious plant. The sun room receives wonderful morning sunlight and in the winter months, Pennsylvania receives little sunlight, which makes us truly appreciate sunny days. In the early morning hours, I usually find both cats sleeping beneath the orchid, catching the early morning rays. Mother Nature, the ultimate Artist and what a gift!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Animals in Japan need your support

Jack, our new Papillon Pup, has just finished a session of Social Networking!

The tragedy in Japan breaks our hearts. We found one small way that we could help displaced animals.
One click and you can make a difference. Jack used Paypal for a quick transaction.

Thank you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

RibbonSmyth Silk Ribbon Combo Pack - Plum Purple Colorway

I've added new Silk Ribbon 25 yard combo packs to our site at

I've assembled silk ribbons in assorted popular colorways; so selecting a combo pack, eliminates assembling an assortment of ribbons. Our silk ribbon prices are the most affordable in the United States. We sell thousands of yards of silk ribbon and just received another 30,000 yard shipment! Affordable quality and a great selection in 4mm and 7mm widths. We also carry 2mm and 13mm silk. And if you want to create your own Victorian shades, we sell dyer's  silk ribbon and non-toxic dyes, that I exclusively import from Europe. 

Ireland Collage on Burlap

This is a work-in-progress. There is still quite a bit of embellishing to go but the piece is heading in the right direction. I've used burlap as a base ground. The landscape scene is a waterfall  in Muckross, Kerry County, Ireland. I know in this area, much magic must take place! I could have spent the day by this waterfall in search of fairies.  I wanted the water to extend into the border trims.
I've used French wire-edge ribbon, bits of brown organza fabric cut from a
1920's flapper dress, rhinestone sections of another flapper gown, a brown velvet flower from a 1950's hat and filling in with vintage Czech beads and  a brass finding.

I scanned the image onto cotton poplin. I do not use silk fabric for scanning images. My experience has been to see accelerated fading on silk fabric when printing with ink jet printers.
 I used a double-sided fusible and fused the cotton image to the center of the burlap. I  then basted pieces of doupioni silk to the edges of the image. I want the doupioni fabric edges to fray. The fraying adds to the texture of the piece. Then I began to layer the border of the image with wire-edge ribbon, scrunched velvet fabric and the flapper gown bits.