Monday, January 11, 2016

Irreplaceable Women Fabric Book ~ Last Page

One of my favorite pages, this is the last page I finished last night. Now on to assembly and that will require a toggle or some type of closure, since the book is a bit "chunky", and I want the book to close. 
I used a strip of vintage sequin trim from a flapper gown. The camera does not capture the shimmer of the iridescent sequins. I edged the image and quote in a bronze metallic trim. The gold metal tassel is from the 1920's and difficult to see. And I also added gold metal sequins,  that I purchased while touring the factory in Lyon, France, a few years ago. The factory currently supplies all the gold metal trims, braids and epaulets for Arab countries. I was not allowed to take photographs, but it is amazing to watch the gold sequins be stamped out of thin gold plate, that began as a gold bar.

Make your own fabric book. It is loads of fun. Will get the vintage images I used, loaded onto my Etsy site at

Irreplaceable Women Fabric Book Page - Katharine Hepburn

This page included "fussy cut" trims from a lace table runner, with a 1920's velvet flower and stunning, large steel-cut buttons. The base lace fabric had two embroidered butterflies, and in the center of the butterfly, I added small faceted beads for the body.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Our back pasture

Every day, I take a few photos and have become "camera obsessed".  Photography is instant gratification. 

My Dad's Cabin, in Otero County, New Mexico ~ Oil Painting

This is an 11"x14" oil painting for my Mom and Dad for Christmas. Dad had asked me to paint his home in New Mexico. I had never painted a building and working off of a composite of two photographs, marshaled on. Almost ninety, Dad, and Mom still drive to their cabin for the summers. I stay in the bottom level, built into the side of the hill, with a deck and porch swing. The door opens to peace and sometimes to a bear,  deer or a family of raccoons.  I can hear the swing now, creaking slowly, as Dad smokes his cigar, surveying his piece of the mountain.   If Mom and Dad are at the cabin, the flag is flying. 

Pasture in Wilmington, Delaware ~ Oil Painting

This is a scene at Winterthur,  in Wilmington, Delaware.  I began oil painting classes last February. To me, oil painting is about 'light" and the light source.  This was painted from a photograph taken in September 2014, while visiting the Downton Abbey exhibit. I hung this on a stone wall in our sun room.

Needlepoint Stockings at my Parent's Home

These are stunning and represent an entire year of labor. There are two mantels, filled with stockings.  Created in counted needlepoint, each stocking features a vintage Santa. The  stockings are backed in velvet and lined in ivory taffeta.

"Irreplaceable Women" Fabric book Muslin Pages

This is how the book starts out! Muslin approximately 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" for the book covers. The rest of the muslin pieces, are  cut 1/2" smaller.  Pictured, are two pages, a fabric "double-page" spread, in magazine terms. A square of batting, 1/2 inch smaller than the muslin piece, is stitched to the back of each "muslin page". The pages will  be stitched to the inside spine of the book.  On the outside of the spine, will attach, a 1930's, rusted filagreed metal plate.

"Irreplaceable Women" Fabric Book Front Cover

The front and back covers were "raw edge" crazy quilted and then the image and quote were fused to the fabric. Bits of lace were then stitched to the fabric. Around the image, I've added feather trim. I have no idea where the trim was acquired, but I bet I found it at a shop in New York.  On top of the feathers is a metal finding from the 1930's.  The quote is from Viscountess Nancy Astor.

"Irreplaceable Women" Fabric Book Page Six

 Some of the laces have been rust-dyed by my friend, Stephanie Novatski, who assembled the muslin pieces and an assortment of laces for the book. Her blog is listed in my favorite blogs - Novas Blossoms. Check out her book, on her blog. Her talent amazes.  None of the pages are perfectly square, which is the best.  I make the Mother of Pearl buttons and used  a rose button with hand-dyed rayon leaves. The little embellishment clusters, are bits from decades of collecting. 

"Irreplaceable Women" Fabric Book Page Five

Since the book has not been bound yet, this is currently Page 5 of a 10-page book. Love Jodie Foster.  I used quotes from the 20th and 21st Centuries and all images are from the 1920's. The collage of laces are pieces stitched to the muslin base. 

"Irreplaceable Women" Page Seven

Love this quote! Once the pages are finished, I rub a bit of bronze Guilder's Paste, over the quote, to reduce the starkness of the white. The appliqués were cut from a deconstructed wedding gown bodice. I dipped the pieces into  teabag water to turn the rayon appliqués bronze.

Irreplaceable Women Pages 7 and 8

These pages were just completed. A feat in trying to download these images from my iPhone. Google does not want to help in the process! Pages are approximately 8"x8" and each page has been a delight to create. The quotes do not match up with the women featured in the photographs. The book is so thick, that it may not support 4 more pages. Will assemble some type of toggle to close the book. I also want to create a "bookmark" hassle using our hand-dyed rayon tape. I will load all of the images and quotes from this book, onto our Etsy site at RibbonSmyth.

"Irreplaceable Women" Fabric Book page Two

 Page Two of the fabric book. The background is a napkin adhered to muslin with Mod Podge. The image is fused to the page with an iron, then laces are added and finished with findings. Found a pickle jar  filled with mother of pearl buttons and have stitched some of the buttons around the quote. After this photo was taken, removed all the buttons and stitched again, so the quote was visible. 

Irreplaceable Women Fabric Book ~ Page Nine

Another fabric book page for the "Irreplaceable Women" fabric book.  Hope to finish the book this week-end. Will load a series of my vintage images onto the Etsy site.  The images are approximately 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". The fabric images have a fusible back and can be ironed on to fabric in a few seconds.  Etsy -