Seven more to go

This first tassel was definitely a learning experience and will make many changes in technique for the last seven.  Tassel is just pinned to the valance now and will decide final length when all are done.  Since I probably couldn't get them the same length if I tried I am thinking they will be staggered lengths.  I am going to attach the cord  to the valance when finished with  a cluster of antique gold metal buttons and bee charms.  I couldn't be happier with the final look of the valance...lots of big sloppy stitches and braid attached with hot glue but the look  I wanted is there.

I added silk ribbons with beads on the ends in the tassels.  The weight of the beads made the ribbons disappear to the center of the tassel...problem. .maybe varying the lengths of threads and ribbons would work...  It was when I was trying to get the silk ribbons through beads that I discovered how nifty the 28 gage wire worked,, what a blessing that was.  Not as much of the variety of colors show...problem...maybe separating threads more when assembling will help.  Couldn't drill the hole in the bird perpendicular...problem but I think this can be solved using the drill press. Used some Edmar thread in tassel and it is static even when wet...solution is not use it in the rest of tassels.

Some good things happened.  I found 28 gage wire was a great aid and took the place of needles entirely.  This little discovery will come in so handy on other projects in the future  As much as I hate a glue gun it is another aid I need.  I was able to use some supplies that would have been wasted otherwise.  Years and years ago I did a piece of jewelry using a jade buddha and wanted to hang 4 small brass bells on the bottom.. To get the four bells I had to buy a lot of 50 and they are great on the tassels and I will use almost all of them on the remaining tassels.

The colors of threads I used in the tassels picked up the colors in the valance.  The tassels are hanging high enough that someone would have to stand on a step stool to look closely at workmanship.. Luckily step stools are in a closet.


My tractor money and a reality check!


  •  I bought my tractor in the mid-80s. I paid $5,000 for it secondhand and it was practically new with a front end loader and a rototiller in the back.  I loved that tractor and spent many an hour behind the wheel..   It was such a great deal. I used it for 30 years and sold it for $4,000. I didn't want this money to just disappear into the general fund and  I wanted to use it for something special so I put it in an envelope  in my sock drawer waiting for just the right thing to come along.
  •   My garden is that last thing I think about when I go to sleep and the first thing I think about in the morning so that is where my tractor money will go. I've so many things that I hastily put in "temporary" beds  when we moved and they need a permanent spot.  And making permanent spots means digging out sod... I spent so much of last summer digging and dealing with sod.  I thought I 'd hire  that done along with some other major things I wanted done so I had less heavy work and could focus on planting,  I started in January to get some estimates.  and I could quickly see it would take all my tractor money and then much more to do everything on my wish list   and now that I see how expensive it is I'm going to have to start trimming my wish list.  But the biggest shock is everyone is booked into late summer already. So I'm looking at things I can do without, do myself, and things that can wait.  I am also going to have to designate a holding area for sod and deal with it later this summer.

  • Originally  I thought I'd like a new sprinkler system   But it is not critical and I can live with what I've and just adjust my plantings. And my precious tractor money will go mainly for supplies like lumber and pavers and a new little rototiller.  The main things I was going to hire help with was expanding the terrace area near the raised beds (which is now mud.)  If I can handle that then next is a paved area under my sweet pea gazebo. We had snow this morning but it quickly melted and my first daffodils are poking out of the ground..  The garden is the one place that I'm not constantly impeded by my failing vision.  


Tassels outside the box

I was really looking forward to the tassels and  immersing myself in a mess of stuff and just play.  Haven't done that for years it seems.  That was the fun part of crazy quilting...  wallowing in piles of stuff and more stuff.  Well today is the day...probably first of many.  The valance is almost finished.  I am putting the last touches on the sleeve and adding gold braid.  It us tacked up here and luckily it will fit perfectly.  I basted the gathering stitches on the sleeve by hand with a huge needle which DH kept threading for me... How enjoyable to sit with something in my lap and a needle in hand...

I've gathering most of what I think I want and will make this up as I go along.  I had a bunch of #12 cotton that I bought and never used.
  Delighted to finally justify its purchase .  Same for rayon which is too fussy for me to stitch with but the color and texture are perfect.  Once it is tangled it is impossible. 

I do have a  tassel maker tool but it works on the principal of one color tassels and I want tassels of MANY colors so not sure it will work.  It might work for the rayon to make mini one-color tassels as the rayon  thread is so hard  for me to handle.  In addition to the threads, I have gathered beads, ribbons and chains..

I found this example of many variations of tassels and I think it will be a great inspiration for me to think outside the box with my tassels. I'm thinking that this is one of those projects that is almost impossible to mess up.  I am counting on that.

By thee time I finished this project it should be time to go into the garden.....finally


New life and a better one!

 Most everything I loved  I moved without the slightest idea where it would fit... but it all is fitting and sometimes prettier here than at the farm.  This piece of antique stained glass is a case in point..  I bought it at a building auction  over 30 years ago. .  I went looking for old used windows for the barn and fell in love with this piece . It was without a frame and in pretty sad shape.  I cleaned and repaired it and had a window made for it at the farm on the landing on the stairs and it was gorgeous but only seen by family. 

Here it is the focal point of the house and just smashing... I made a new frame with 2 by 2s but hired a man to install the board on the ceiling that it is hung from.  Since I fell off the ladder last fall I try to avoid anything too high.

I had collected a lot of stained glass over the years and my initial plan was to use it all to make a divider here.  But like many of my plans that one was scrapped in favor of using most of the glass on the veranda....and what I don't use on the veranda I will find a place for in the garden...  I left four pieces at the farm sale that were in need of repair, the panels from a railroad dining car and the chicken panels of glass in the kitchen.   now I wish I would have brought them all as they probably ended up in the dumpster...

Morris will be glad when all the glass is out from under my bed.  That is his "safe" place during storms.


Last on list....! What list??

I can't believe that more than a year has passed since I was first excited about my birds/tassels/valance project/ I took the little wooden birds with me when we went to the coast last March...I sanded them while watching the waves roll in and out and then forgot about them through the garden season. I started to paint them before Christmas but would get discouraged and quit..  But a couple weeks ago I set about to find a way to do them and  now willing to accept them as finished at this point.  Not good but not too bad either..  Not only is my vision blurred and distorted, I am losing the small motor control in my right hand and if that is not enough I now have a  tremor developing in that hand as well.  But with magnifying lamps, patience and bracing my right hand I was able to finish... They are just waiting for a break in the weather to be sprayed with a clear gloss.

The valance itself is made from my old holiday jacket which had been around for way too long.  It was pieced velvets and trims.. Here is the last time I wore it and now it is cut in pieces in the valance.   I love that it is recycled and still loved...

I am on the fence as to whether or not add gold braid.. one day I say yes and the next day I say no... But the really fun part I have been saving for last.....the tassels.  I am using EVERYTHING in them...threads, silk ribbons, chains, beads, charms...etc.  I am going through stash and using all I can.. The tassels should be a stress-free activity and almost impossible to mess up.  What could go wrong with a riot of colors and beads. threads. ribbons...

This is the last thing on my indoor winter list which wasn't a very long list.  After a lifetime of list addiction I realized I haven't used a list for months and just try to get two things done of a day ...one before my nap and another after....

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