Sunday, July 31, 2011

Knitted metal bracelet

This is a bracelet I made today. And the best part, is that this project is finished!
The class taught us  how to use the Dazee Knitting tool designed for wire. We added a focal piece made with copper and and gave the metal a vintage finish using Gilder's Paste. 

Bias-Cut Silk Ribbon

We just received a new shipment of hand-dyed bias-cut silk ribbon. Every time these ribbons arrive, I want to stop and create something with them. They can be used with all the tradtional ribbon-folding techniques. But I like to take a length of ribbon, add a gathering stitch on one side of the ribbon and pull to gather. Instantly  beautiful flowers that need to be surrounded with velvet leaves and vintage beads! Check out the vintage velvet chapeau that I've trimmed using bias-cut silk ribbon.

Wool Applique Postcard by Mary Engells

Mary Engells, of Austin, Texas, sent me this adorable wool applique card. It came through the mail beautifully! Mary had used a RibbonSmyth Fusible French post card back and the stamps were in place along with the stamped  cancelled postal cert. Mary's work is adorable and perfect. I am grateful that Mary is sharing her artistry with me!  Mary, Thank you so much!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Christmas in July Sale ends Monday evening! 25% off Everything!

It's our Christmas in July Sale ~ 25% off every item through Monday, Midnight, August 1st
25% Discount may not be combined with other coupons.

  Great time to stock up on silk ribbons and fabrics for holiday creating!
Please visit

Featured  above ~ collages available through  Etsy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July Blog Winner - 5 lucky winners!

This photo features some of our hand-stamped tags wrapped with vintage rayon tape in assorted colors; complete with a 1920's Vintage Fusible Image of a Flapper, Mermaid or Gypsy.. These tags are sold on our Etsy site for $3.

I am  grateful to all our RibbonSmyth customers that have supported us for 12 years; that I hope by offering blog give-aways, I can show my appreciation.
Instead of offering one package, I am giving away 5 packages with ribbons, silk ribbon, RibbonRuffles, assorted fabrics, threads and 5 boxes of beads. A great little collection to inspire creativity.
Our 5 blog winners are:

I do not have your names or addresses.  Please send  info to
Your packages will ship monday via priority mail with tracking if the package is shipped in the US
Thank you!
Vickie Brown

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birthday Album Cover Completed ~ Dyed lace and bias-cut silk ribbon flowers

The finished birthday album! I found some braid for the cover, last week, while out of town. Did not have the fabric with me and was hoping the braid would match the doupioni. The braid was stitched to an insertion binding. I removed the binding and whip-stitched the braid to the album with champagne Nymo.  It  gave a bit more "heft" to the album and "framed" the lace design.   The inside of the album is covered with a pretty floral brocade. A flat braid was used inside to cover the fabric edges. And under that silk fabric, dyed Venise lace, and silk ribbon, is a $4 office supply binder!

 I worked on this piece at night, beginning at 9 PM and stitching until 2 AM; the best time of day (night?) to stitch! The construction crew starts working at 7AM; which means we are all up with the first sound of a hammer!
My sister is receiving all the birthday cards and so far, the collection is over a hundred, which is amazing. My Mother will be so happy.
Thanks to all of you who have taken your time to post comments!

A gallery in Santa Fe has requested some collages ~ so on to the next evening projects!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Birthday Album Dyed Venise and silk ribbon embroidery - Close-up

This is a close-up shot of  the birthday album cover featuring a section of the rayon Venise lace dyed with RibbonSmyth's rayon dyes and surrounded with bias-cut silk ribbon flowers.  I  made a few "twisty roses" with the bias-cut silk ribbon and then added a clear Swarovski crystal into the center of the rose.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthday Album Cover Work-In-Progress

The detail is lacking due to lousy photography, but there is progress! It has to be finished this week-end!
I've dyed the bridal appliques with RibbonSmyth Rainbow Dyes using the dyes - Pansy, Sadie Rose, Victorian Ross, Olivine, Brown and Antique Gold. I mix all of them to each other and use a paper towel as a test palette. I start out with light shades. After they dry, I add more dye and for some of the petals, after they dried, I came in with brown and overdyed certain sections of the petals. Then I flipped the appliques over and pressed with a hot dry iron. The dyed appliques are heat-seat and the sheen is gorgeous. 
 I'm edgeing around the appliques with a deep metallic blue, black,burgundy, antique gold seed bead. And it looks great! It helps balance the brown clothing. I started a little ribbon embroidery to see if I was going to like the combination and am happy with the "antique feel".  I'm using 1/2" wide bias-cut silk in the color Monet and making Loop stitches, Japanese ribbon stitches and French Knots. Filling in around those stitches with #028, #148 variegated 4mm silk ribbons and #32 forest green silk leaves. Will end with a cinnamon silk ribbon to balance the brown clothing. When all of that is done, will begin to add crystals.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Birthday Album Cover Assembly for my Mom

These are components for a birthday album for my Mom...and I better get a move-on getting it designed!

My Mother will turn 80 soon. For over a year we have been assembling her party. She wanted a tea at her Women's Club. She decided the preparations became too stressful, so she cancelled her party!

My husband, little sister, and I have made plans for a small party, in the mountains, for her. Since January, we have been gathering birthday cards from her family and friends and they will be assembled into a birthday album. It is a surprise and so far, so good.
Mom was one of ten children of poor, dirt farmers, raised in Texas. Her father died when she was four, leaving her Mother with 10 mouths to feed. At times the family  lived in a chicken coop on a neighboring farm.
Married to the love of her life at seventeen, by the time she was twenty-six, she was raising two sets of twins.
At twenty-nine, she was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis looked like Dad might be raising four young children alone; while he struggled building his new business. Mom battled cancer again in her seventies. Her faith is  remarkable.
She is a giving person and the photo of her in the kitchen with her apron on, defines her the best, although I know she would have preferred that I use a picture of her all "dressed up". She has three freezers in her home for all her baking. Dad vows that she cooks for all of Lubbock, Texas. Each day will find her delivering a cake or cookies, or a meal to someone that is sick or has recently been widowed. 
When I visit them in Texas, before I leave for the airport, she will have a note on the refrigerator for me to not forget my lunch. She will have packed chocolate chip cookies, a pimento cheese sandwich, a new package of tissues and a package of gum, for the trip to the airport.  Her thoughtfulness is amazing.

So will try to design her birthday album with a bit of elegance in hopes of "overcoming" the red apron.
I've assembled the "Roman Gold" doupioni for the album cover, as the silk has enough red tones to balance that apron. I'm using a  plastic binder for the album. We are putting each card into a clear sleeve, so she can pull the cards out to read them. The binder will be padded with batting. The rayon flowers surrounding her photo, will be dyed with my rayon dyes in shades of magenta and gold. I dyed a small rayon motif to check the color intensity against the doupioni. The rayon flowers are cut from the bodice of a wedding gown. When the thrift store has wedding gowns at half-price, I  purchase the ones with rayon bodices, take the gowns apart and store the rayon appliques in plastic bags.  The photo will be trimmed into an oval shape and the rayon appliques will be stitched around the photo.  Buds and roses made out of the 1/2" bias-cut silk ribbon will be stitched on top of the rayon motifs and the piece will be finished with Swarovski crystals.  The inside of the binder will be lined with the floral upholstery fabric featured at the top of this photo and the inside edges will be covered with braid.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th Blog Give-Away!

July 4th Blog Give-Away
Here's a bit of a stash builder!

Just leave a comment  to say "Hi" with your email address.  Anyone can enter. Will be happy to ship a package outside of the US. A winner will be selected via random generator on July 23rd and the package will  ship via priority mail on July 25th.

The stash will include 25 pieces of fabric to include silk doupioni, brocade, lace and prints.
The trims will include sequin strands, RibbonRuffles, rococo lace and various widths of silk ribbon.
Approximate yardage - 50 yards. Ribbons will be assorted lengths.
5 boxes of assorted beads and some charms and extra bits.
A small thank you for visiting our blog and RibbonSmyth!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bucks County Conservatory made with vintage barn windows

A few hours ago, these were windows stacked up inside our barn. With the aid of my husband and a drill, the windows are now a little conservatory in our back yard. I painted the windows until it became too dark and my light source were lightening bugs. I can hear the fireworks going off at neighboring farms.

Lots of work to do in the bed, but the little glass house  has a bridge to the left. Once I get it back into place, will add a "stream" of river rocks under the bridge and have the rocks meander to the pond and surround the pond and bridge with day lilies.  I will add a brick foundation for the house so the windows won't rot. To the right of the  glass house will be a little pond with a stone waterfall. And then the pond will be filled with frogs. I don't know how they know to find the water, but they do.

Now to get the muscle for digging a huge hole for the pond insert. The pond was always a piece by our back door but was removed when we renovated. We had frogs sitting on the stone waterfall and when we came to the back door, you could hear  them "squeak" as they jumped into the water. We had hauled a hollowed out tree stump and huge rocks from the back of our pasture and used those to build a  little waterfall.

Years ago, I read in a Feng Shui book, that it was good to have trickling water by an entrance. And I believe that to be true. It was great to hear the sound of water falling off the stones.