making a ribbon rose Green plaid ribbon roses?
Okay, I know this may be a bit off-beat… but the sparkly green plaid stuff was the only bit of wired ribbon I had on hand when Ribbons and Trims arrived in my mailbox.

Let’s just say, I got no further than page 22 (where author Annabel Lewis shows how to make a ribbon rose) before an obsession with embellishments took me over entirely…

No wonder. Lewis is the founder of V.V. Rouleaux, Europe’s fabulously popular trimmings company. She works with some of the world’s top fashion and interior designers as well as retailers, and I think I may have mentioned earlier that she’s even designed a beaded curtain for Madonna.

High flying, indeed, for an artist-entrepreneur whose love of creative trimmings came out of a childhood in England’s Lake District — experimenting with grain sacks, baler twine, and feathers from her grandmother’s hens!

The full title of the book is Ribbons and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home, but I’m sure that 100 is a major understatement.

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There must be just 1000s of creative decorating ideas here, between the lush photographs, the step-by-step project instructions, and the lively text that drops small pearls of inspiration in every paragraph.

And when I say “inspiration in every paragraph” — well, take these lines, picked out at random:

Some of the wires illustrated here are pretty enough to be left visible, so use them to secure the neck of a tassel. I have whole tassels made from wire, fashioned into bullion twists, netted tops, and elaborate flower shapes. In fact, eighteenth-century tassels are actually yarn-covered wire. Experiment with using colored wire overtly and also try concealing thinner wire inside tassel fringes…

Or this photo caption:

Strands of picot satin ribbon glued to a bamboo pole hang as a curtain, giving a view to the garden beyond. A charming idea for a child’s room, this type of curtain can also keep out insects at an unscreened window or door.

Ribbons and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home - Random House Really, what I want to do with this book is sit down with you and turn the pages together, exclaiming at each clever idea, each luscious photograph…

Ribbons and Trims is a book made for sharing and gushing!

The only quibble I have is with the index. It’s adequate and accurate, to be sure, but I’d just like to see just a few more subheadings under the listings for various materials.

Look up “shells,” for example, and there are 8 page numbers given, plus subheadings for the “shell swag” and “wiring” how-to pages — perfect!

“Organdy ribbon,” on the other hand, is a single heading for 14 items — I’d have included a separate sub for the half-woven organdy-ribbon curtain (p. 30-31) for which the book gives clear illustrated instructions.

But that’s a small matter, and anyone who has had the job of creating an index will know the agony of deciding what to include and in what detail. So, a small quibble indeed.

Speaking of organdy ribbon, by the way, if you’re just a little bit foggy on just exactly what that is,compared to other types of ribbon — not to worry, Ribbons and Trims explains it all.

I was quite delightfully surprised to find several photographic sections that help to identify all the different types of basic ribbons, “special” ribbons, cords, braids, and other trimmings. (It reminds me a bit of my favourite cookbook’s helpful references for shapes of pasta, types of cheese, cuts of meat, and so on.)

pretty wired ribbon This is a beautiful book, beautifully produced.

It feels good in the hands, and it fires up the creative mind with fresh and original ideas for imprinting your space with your own personal sense of style.

Most importantly, it strikes a rare balance between instruction and inspiration, with simple techniques, clearly explained, and with projects for every skill level, for every surface and every room in the home.

Elegant or whimsical — giftwrap trims; unique chandeliers and lamp shades; stand-out furniture; trimmed pillows and linens; ribbon-remnant padded coat hangers; decorative treatments for tabletop, walls, or windows; adorable little braid baskets finished with a turban-style knot; even an embellished laundry basket — it’s all here.

Most craft books or home decor books that come my way, I read them, enjoy the novelty of a new book, do a project or two, and then pass them on to a deserving friend…

Yep, Ribbons and Trims is a keeper.

Ribbons and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home
Annabel Lewis
published in the United States
by Potter Craft / Random House Inc.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. domestika

    You’re the queen bee of shiny little things, Cynthia, so you know whereof you speak! And don’t you just love some of the stuff she does with beads in this book, too?

  2. Cynthia

    I love this book as well, it makes me want to raid my stash of ribbon (no green plaid but lots of pink/purple check for some odd reason) and make the whole house look so damn cute!

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