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Mini things

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Making mini curtains is such fussy work.  It's time consuming and requires a lot of attention to detail, but in the end the results are SO worth the time and effort.  I've spent a couple weeks working on curtains for the Tennyson and I think I tossed more in the trash than I ended up using, but I'm finally content with these.

I'd intended on using some color for the windows but the house had completely different plans and thwarted ever attempt at using colors or prints.  It insisted on white silk and lace for every room and steadfastly refused everything except clean, crisp lines with touches of lace.  Miss Tennyson is dedicated to remaining as light and airy as a house can be!   I have to agree with her that it's a softly elegant country look that's in keeping with my vision so I'm glad she's being so insistent.  Unlike some houses, she's not demanding or diva-ish about it.  She's more like a gracious, kindly aunt whispering, "No dear, that's just not the way it's done.  It's not proper to be so bold.  Remain quietly dignified."   And since I never argue with a house (well, not much anyway), I've followed her direction and came up with the following.

This is the attic dormer window.  I don't have this one attached to the frame yet since it's a close fit and I don't want to take a chance on getting wood glue on the fabric when I assemble the house.  But it's all one unit so once the house is assembled I can simply glue it in place and put a few drops of glue on the side to hold them down straight.  I chose a cascading ruffle for this window because it'll have a rocking chair and small table holding needlework and a sewing basket sitting in the dormer alcove.  This allows light to come thru and would be the perfect place to sit and embroider.  



On the second floor left side bedroom (the room with the screen door leading out to the balcony), I made a simple straight curtain to show off the fabulous lace valance.  That lace will be used on the bedskirt which is why I kept the design simple so it won't fight with the bed for dominance in the room.  I made some drapery pulls with tassels from white embroidery thread that I'll add later.  The valance draws the eye towards the tin hearts on the wallpaper border to create a very soft, demurely romantic look.  



In the other bedroom, the bay window presented itself for what I thought would be some fancy curtains with overlays of lilac silk.  <shaking head>  Nope.  Miss Tennyson nixed that idea immediately and said that the room needed a little more light and a minimum of fussy fabric.  I've always liked cafe curtains so I tried it and luckily Miss Tennyson agreed.  I may add some silk ribbon bows or cascades to them later but for now, the clean lines and slight billows as if they're moving in the breeze works just right.



The downstairs bay windows in the family parlor came together nicely.  I was a little afraid that when I put them together they might be overpowering for the space, but they don't crowd each other at all.  They're a little fancier than the bedrooms, but since it's a common area where the family might entertain, that's okay.  They still look light and airy.



I wasn't sure about going so monochromatic with the white silk and lace in every window, but with the house back in dry fit, I was pleasantly surprised at how it pulls the rooms together in a subtle way.  I'm also surprised at how frilly and romantic this house is becoming when that wasn't really my intention.  But since all the lacy curtains, frills and curly ques in the furniture are monochromatic, it keeps it from being overwhelming.

I must admit that I'm tired of playing with fabric for now and can't wait to start building again.  This morning I put all the furniture back in its box and double checked my pencil marks for wiring and the placement of outlets.  I'm going to add a couple of extra outlets just in case I want to add some more lamps to it later.  I need to make paper templates of the floors and then it'll be time to take it out of dry fit and start work again.  I'm going thru a few days of inhibited body movement so it may be a couple of days before my joints are cooperative but as soon as they loosen up, I'll be cranking up that dremel and getting my hands dirty again!

I've been happily painting interior woodwork for the past few days.  I ended up making some changes to the colors and had to repaint two rooms before I was happy with it but now with five different shades of green (one for each room), it's looking the way I want it to.  So, back into dry fit it went to get a total look of the rooms together and I still like it!  Yippeee!!  

This means I'm on to the next step.....window curtains.  It may seem a bit odd to be thinking about window coverings before the house is even built, but I've learned that the best way to get a perfect fit is to make them while I can still lay the walls flat on the table and work with them that way.  Once the house is built, I'd have to reach inside the rooms and, well, I can't contort my hands and arms that way anymore.  This ensures a perfect fit and once they're done I'll just set them aside to be glued in place after the house is done.  The curtains are all going to be made of a semi-sheer ivory silk that's so light it almost floats and I'm anxious to see if I can get the proper draping to make them appear to be billowing in the breeze.

As long as I'm playing with textiles, I might as well do some furniture dressing.  It's a change in tasks that alters the repetitive movements for my hands so the break is beneficial as well as fun.  But first I had to do some auditioning of fabrics.  This means that I get to have a Fabric Flinging Day where I start pulling fabrics from my stash and fling them around the sewing room on top of wallpaper till I see combinations that sing to me.  If you've never done any fabric-flinging, I heartily recommend it coz it's a lot of fun!

There was one fabric in particular that I've been saving for several years with this house in mind.  It's a gorgeous lilac floral print and I only have a 12"x12" square of it....just enough for a small bed.  Of course I'd put it somewhere so I wouldn't lose it........and promptly forgot where that safe place was.  LOL!  After four rounds thru every drawer and bin in the sewing room I finally found it.  Yay!  

The other fabrics were some I'd been considering but overall, I just dug around til I found fabrics I liked and tested them against the wallpaper to be sure.  That was step 1.  Step 2 was to put the house back in dry fit and put the fabrics into the rooms to see how they looked in perspective.  That was so much fun that I decided that if I *reeeeally* wanted to be sure, I'd better put all the furniture in the rooms and then try the fabrics again.  <chuckling>  Okay, so that was just an excuse to put all the furniture in the house and play a little bit, but it was tons of fun!  Wanna see? 

This is the house in dry fit after being wallpapered and the interior woodwork installed with the fabric just laying around.  So far so good:


Here's the house after I got out the furniture to play, er, I mean, test the perspective.

Shall we go room by room?

This is the formal parlor where guests are entertained.  The fabrics are a tone-on-tone burgundy, a solid burgundy, a solid mauve, and a solid green that pick up the color of the flowers in the wallpaper.

The second parlor is more casual and filled with games and entertainment for the family.  I haven't completely decided on this room yet, but I'm leaning toward a blue wedgewood print and a coordinating solid blue.  There are tiny blue flowers in the wallpaper so it picks up that color as well as the undertone of blue in the green of the woodwork.


There are two bedrooms on the second floor.  The first one has a light purple tint in the wallpaper so that's where my lovely lilac print will go along with two shades of lilac dupioni silk.  You can see the ivory crinkle silk that I'll be using on all the windows taped to the wall in here. I made a mistake and put the rug in the wrong bedroom.  It goes in the next room.




The second bedroom is the Tin Hearts wallpapered room and I found a pretty tea rose floral print with roses that echo the same flowers in the wallpaper.  The coordinating fabrics are a soft peach silk and a sage green dupioni silk.  It's such a soothing combination that I want to shrink down and sleep there!




Finally, there's the attic which is a combination bedroom and artist's studio.  The fabrics in here will be a yummy ivory silk, a soft pink dupioni silk, and a pretty pink and green floral.  They all pick up the colors in the wallpaper which is exactly what I was hoping for.  The wallpaper in this room is one of the eye-pulling focal points of the house and I want to really harmonize those shades.  




There actually is more reason to staging the furniture right now than just playing with it (although I won't deny that I'm playing!).  Each of the chairs, cat beds, vanity stools, benches, and couches will be dressed so the pops of color will spring forward when all the furniture is dressed.  By visualizing the placement along with the fabrics, I'll know if the color is strong enough to balance the room properly.  

So I'll leave the house in dry fit this way while I start working on dressing the furniture.  I'm hoping to be able to do some silk ribbon embroidery here and there as well as adding some touches of lace all around.  It's an exciting part of my building process to do all the custom decor along the way!

Pretty colored wood

The past two days have been spent happily turning sheets of wood into pretty colored walls.  I love wallpapering!  The feel of the paper under my fingers.....the whisk, whisk sound of the scissors....the transformation from primed wood into miniature walls with teeny flowers and's a creative process that gives me a great deal of joy.  


Since my building style is to decorate before assembling the house it looks rather random at the moment but it's a big step forward to have all the wallpapering done.  I even did the ceiling paper and for a change, I didn't cut it backwards.  <grinning>  I have a habit of usually cutting at least one ceiling paper upside down but I made a focused effort this time and got both ceilings correct the first time.  Yay for little victories!


Itsy Bitsy Minis came thru for me in a big way by mailing out my order for 4 sheets of green Tin Heart paper within three hours of my order and I got it today.  In fact, the mailman delivered it at almost the exact same moment that I finished the other rooms and all I had left were the walls with the paper I'd ordered.  How's that for perfect timing!   I truly do love that paper and it's a toss up for "house favorite" between that and the attic paper.  I'm madly in love with Itsy Bitsy because all their papers are so perfectly scaled and they have luscious colors and delightful designs.  The paper is also a high quality and goes on sweetly with nary a bubble or wrinkle.  


 I'll let the glue dry for 24 hours and then trim the edges and start on the window frames.  I've decided to make my own frames rather than use the ones in the kit simply because this house style  calls for mitered corners.   With strips of basswood and my easy cutter, it's a simple task and one that I enjoy.  I've already finished the six interior frames for the bay windows before I forced myself to stop for the day.  It would be so easy to slip into the Zone and keep going but my body would make me pay for that extended effort later.  


Seeing the frames dry fit over wallpaper leads me to decision making time about the color of the interior woodwork.  Normally that's a no-brainer for me because I always stain the woodwork to match the floors.  I'm ALL about the woodgrain!!   But for some reason this house wants painted woodwork.  Perhaps it's because of its low-country style or maybe it's just the choice of wallpapers, but whatever the reason it insists on painted woodwork. 


That means more painting and more colors!  Whoooohoooo!  At first I thought I'd paint it all white but after getting the wallpaper on it seems that each room would like to have its own personal color.  All the furniture is white so I don't want the trim to pop, but I think I would like to tint it just a teeny bit.  You know how there is eggshell white that has a slight blue tint and seashell white that has a pink tint?  Well, that's the route I'm going to go.  I'll start with white latex as a base and for each room I'll add an undertone tint that coordinates with the wallpaper and the eventual dressing of the furniture.  Since I love mixing my own paint colors, this is going to be a lot of fun!  


Installing baseboards won't happen for awhile but since I'm thinking about woodwork, I need to decide on what style it'll be right now because the color impacts that choice.  In keeping with the low-country design and the era of the house, I'd like to do deep mopboards with 3/4 round baseboards in some of the rooms.  I need to make a run to Michael's for more basswood strips but I know they carry the depth and size that I have in mind so that's easy.  I wasn't sure if I'd need more 3/4 round strips (boy those have gotten expensive in the past few years!!!!) but luckily I still have enough to do this house in my stash.  I also like to use the teeny 3/4 rounds (1/16") for the interior corners because I think its a nice finishing touch and there's plenty of that in my stash as well so I'm good to go!  The good thing about having started this house four years ago is that I still have every single item that I'd ordered for it all boxed up and waiting for me to build it.  Except for paint, three sheets of wallpaper, and some more basswood strips, I haven't had to buy anything for this house.  In a weird way, it's like shopping at home because everything I need is already in my inventory, I just need to remember where I put it.



I've been working on priming both the interior and exterior of the Tennyson and putting it into its last dry fit. I think of this phase as "auditions" because it's when I make the final decision about so many things. There are always a few little changes to be made and I'd rather do it now than discover I don't like something later.


I used the exterior paint to prime the outer walls and make sure that the colors are in proportion with the scale once they're on the whole house. Color does have scale just like anything else and sometimes what looks good on a small corner of the house distorts when it's on the entire body. Fortunately, I still love these colors as much as ever so no more tweaking is required. Once I get the rest of the trim on the house, the greens and ivory will be in perfect proportion.






Another auditioning process during this dry fit is to make sure the wallpapers are still what I want to use now that the color is on the house. There were two papers I'd selected that were a bit too ivory for the overall look. They're gorgeous but they stood out as individual rooms rather than harmonizing with the whole so I pulled them and rummaged thru my wallpaper stash for substitutions.


I found two that I really love and am delighted to use in this house. I suspect that one of them was my "alternate" since I have six sheets of it in an unopened package. The second was a "Yay" moment when I found my favorite Itsy Bitsy Wallpaper design.....Tin Hearts in green. I used that in the kitchen of the last custom ordered house I built and adored it. It's delicate and lovely and the colors are just perfect. It suits the tone of the house so well. And there was only one sheet. I was momentarily daunted until I ran off to the Itsy Bitsy website and discovered that they still have the design in stock after four years. Wooohooo! I ordered four sheets and within three hours got the email saying it's on the way.


This is the final selection of wallpapers:




I had a good laugh at myself yesterday. In the baggie with the Tennyson window trim were two pieces of dormer gingerbread so I held them up, approved the look and got them all painted and glued together. I taped them to the window and did a little oohing and aaahing over the way they look. Sweet! Then I glanced at the picture from the kit and realized that the Tennyson doesn't have gingerbread in the eaves of the dormer. LOL! I have no idea which kit it came from since I often decide not to use some bit or another of trim on a kit and toss it into the "fun scraps" box but apparently I'd decided that I liked it on the Tennyson four years ago and put it in with the window trim. Good to know that even if my memory is faulty, my tastes remain consistent!


One other change I decided to make was in the wiring. Again, it's a matter of faulty memory vs. having been organized enough to put all the components together four years ago. This time when I pulled out the wiring parts, I got to looking at them and decided that it would be easy enough to add a few more outlets for lamps on all three floors without complicating the wiring schematics. I laid it all out and as I was penciling in the diagram on the floors, it hit me that I'd already made this decision and forgotten it........but my memory was clicking back automatically as my hands knew where to go next. For stroke survivors, any memory jog is a victory so I was doing a little happy dance in the studio. I'd planned on wiring a couple of the non-electric lamps so I pulled those along with the bulbs, wires, and plugs needed and was happy to re-discover that it's all within my skill set. Another big Yay!!


Now that everything is planned to my satisfaction, I'm getting ready to head to the studio and take her out of dry fit to start drilling channels in the floors for the wiring and then start wallpapering! I like this part because I love watching the stacks of wood turn into pretty colors!

Windows and doors

When I look at this pic it doesn't seem like I've done that much, but these are the fussy bits of architecture that take time to paint. Painting over that dark green meant about five coats of ivory over all the porch pieces and of course, my OCD went into overdrive when I painted the green on the porch trim so that took some time to get perfectly straight. But all things considered, I think I'm making good progress.




I'm very twitterpated with this screen door. I've used them on Greenleaf houses in the past and fell in love a little more each time so when I built a house for myself, it had to have one. They're about half an inch shorter than GL door openings so I'll need to patch in a piece of filler but that's no big deal. I didn't turn on the true-lights for this pic so it's hard to see the contrast between the dark sage trim and the lighter sage of the wall, but it's really pretty.




I decided to replace the front doors with french doors. Why? Because I like them better than other door options for this house. It's almost a novelty to build a house just for myself and this may be the last big one I can do so it's go to be special and have the elements that I want to enjoy. So french doors at the front entry it is! I thought about putting a door with side lights on the front and cutting out a doorway on the side for the french doors but I don't want to lose that much wall space inside.


I added the darker shade of sage for the barely-there detailing around the doors and windows. It's not meant to pop, but rather to add depth to the overall look. I'm finding this scheme to be one of the most soothing and relaxing that I've ever done and that really adds to the joy of building.




I ordered what I'd hoped would be a large octagon window for the third floor to match this smaller one. <sigh> I do wish that retailers would specify if their measurements are for the window opening or the window frame. It turned out to be a smaller window and that had me stumped for a few minutes. Then I remembered that the Orchid has a large octagon window in the center dormer. And I just happen to have my witch's Orchid in the closet in several pieces after it met with a "cat-astrophe". (Frankie crawled inside and got stuck, then he panicked and fought his way out, resulting in a lot of crying on my part about my very first dollhouse in ruins) Anyway, I carefully removed the large octagon window frame and discovered that the small Houseworks window fits perfectly inside it. So I painted them up and set the small window into the large frame, giving it an extra dimension that is visually appealing as well as making it a perfect fit for the large window of the Tennyson. I did a little happy dance and was grateful to my brain for remembering the Orchid. Yay!! It's the little victories that mean so much. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to leave the cross bars on the window or not. It's a simple matter to cut away parts of the window frame to accommodate them but I'm not ready to decide on that until I have more of the house assembled.


I'm afraid I have to stop work for a few days. Both my arthritis and fibro are in flare and I'm losing feeling in my hands and feet. I can feel the pain settling in between my shoulder blades and lower back so nerves are being pinched somewhere in there. It's bitter to know that I can't keep even a slower pace for any length of time and I don't do well with enforced captivity and being stuck in bed but hopefully it'll pass quickly and things will work again.

The Joys of Paint

One of the things I really love to do is paint. It's a Zen thing and always puts me in the Zone. I've been painting porch railings for a few days.....mainly because I had started out with a dark green choice four years ago and it has to be repainted ivory now. It's taking about four coats to cover the dark green, but I love the way it looks. I did some tweaking of the light green paint I bought for the body of the house. It ended up being entirely too minty so I added some grey and brown undertones to it and softened it with a touch of ivory. (I LOVE mixing my own paint!) The dark green piece in the center is part of the roof placed so I could evaluate the changes. On the left is the original light green and to the right of the roof piece is the tweaked shade that's more sage. It's a very subtle change but it makes a big difference. It harmonizes much better with the wallpaper too


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I'm resisting the urge to go all painted lady on this house. Since it's a low country style, it needs to be a bit more demure so my momentary consideration of adding pops of peach here and there was dismissed. The light sage and ivory will be the primary colors with darker sage for accent trim. It's light and airy and very appropriate for a sea side house.


I have one more coat of paint to add to one section of the porch and then it'll be time to take her out of dry fit and start priming the walls!

The Awakening.....

It's been a long time since I dusted off the blog but as I begin a new journey with a Tennyson, it seemed like a good time to sweep out the cobwebs and record my progress as I go.


The inspiration for this house is the book, "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin. There are two houses that are featured in the book: one is a sea side resort set on Grand Isle, Louisiana where the main character spends her summers. The second is a house in New Orleans that Edna rents when she discovers she needs a place to hide away and pursue her art. While the book is set in 1899, neither house is a traditional Victorian. In fact, the reason both figure so largely in the story is because they are different from the house of Edna's husband who is rather obsessed with possessions and grandeur.


As soon as I saw the Tennyson, it resonated with me as an interpretation of how I feel about this book. I'm not going to be combining the two houses or trying to duplicate either of's more of a tone that represents the way the book makes me feel. I see it as light and airy, in sea side colors of sage green and creamy sand tones. I also chose to use monochromatic furniture throughout the house and bought up every piece of white wire wicker I could find. The pops of color will be in the art work, the accessories and knick knacks, and the textiles used for dressing the beds, chairs, and sofas--in other words, the focus will be on personality and creativity as the colors pull the eye to the things that represent individuality. The wallpaper echos the muted greens and ivory of the exterior and the floors will be hardwood stained golden oak.


On the first floor will be two parlors, one formal for entertaining and one casual for general family use. The second floor will have two bedrooms, and the third floor attic will be one large room with a bedroom, a sitting area, and an art studio.


I started the Tennyson four years ago, putting it into dry fit and filling it with all the furnishings right down to rugs on the floor and framed art for the walls. But a decline in my health brought it to a halt right there and the poor house remained in dry fit patiently awaiting my return. When we moved from Colorado to Arizona, I packed up the furnishings, took the house out of dry fit and moved it along with me. As soon as I got my studio unpacked here, I put the Tenny back into dry fit and refurnished it so I could play with it and be motivated to build again every time I saw it. In a lot of ways that house had helped me keep the faith that I would be able to return to the miniatures I love so much.


This is how she's looked for the past four years:




When I was able to start building again, I started with a little Loganberry to regain my equilibrium and once that was finished I knew I could handle the Tennyson. After looking at my original design plan I made some modifications to accommodate my current abilities but that was mainly to the wiring plan. I had originally intended on putting 36 lights into this house but I've scaled that back to a more manageable 8. With the exception of upgrading the doors and the two windows in the attic, I'll be doing a straight build with no bashing this time. I had planned on making my own porch and balcony railings but decided to go with the factory specs instead. The only other change was to the exterior color after Tracy posted this inspiration pic on Facebook and I fell in love with the sages and ivory.




The Tennyson won't be a painted lady because I want to keep the lines simple and clean but I really like this palette.


Today I started painting the porch railing pieces. Again. That was the only thing I had accomplished before I got too sick to build and they're painted the original hunter green I was going to work with. Painting them ivory has been a bit of a chore and it'll take about four coats to cover it, but I like to paint and have been getting into the Zone. I like to listen to audio books while I work and decided that "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury was a good place to start with this build.


I'll try hard to keep up with this blog while I'm building altho I won't be able to post step by step instructions as I've done in the past and it may take a long time for me to finish since I'm not always physically able to get into the studio every day. Mainly this is just a way of sharing the joy of being back in the studio with my friends. It feels soooooooooooooooo good to be building again! I feel more like myself than I have in a very, very long time.

It's been awhile since I've blogged anything but I'd been occupied with other things and hadn't gotten back to my experimental primroses yet. Actually, I think the motivation on this one was because I really wanted to do another thatched roof with fake fur. The half-timbering is done mainly with strips of basswood, altho the smaller decorative pieces at the bottom are chopped up pieces from the flat spindles that come with the Houseworks Simple Staircase railings. With some stucco inside and out and beamed ceilings, it turned out to be a cute little tudor style cottage.





I'm not sure what the next experimental Primrose will be. It hasn't told me yet.






Other asian minis

I didn't get pictures of the creation process of some items, but a close up picture is enough to see how they were made.

The geta (japanese sandals) were made from ovals cut from a shingle. I cut the tips off of toothpicks to make the platforms on the soles and glued red embroidery thread to the top in an inverted V to make the straps.


The bamboo door was a lot of fun to make. I cut bamboo skewers to the length to fit th door and then scored horizontal lines across them at intervals to make the bamboo joints. I passed each one thru a candle flame to give the colored markings and then used embroidery thread to lash them together. Three pieces of bamboo were glued in place (one at the top, one at the bottom and one diagonally) to firm up the door so it can easily open and close. I'll use chamois hinges for it.


While a futon frame isn't traditional in a house of the Edo era where tatami mats were used for flooring, I had an urge to make one anyway. I used basswood pieces cut to size, glued together in the frame form and painted black. The "feet" are bits of the basswood that were trimmed off and glued to the bottom of the frame. I spray painted the whole thing with clear lacquer and put the cushion on.

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The fabric I've been using for the living area of the samurai summer house has some lovely caligraphy that I wanted to use for scrolls to hang on the wall. I fussy cut a couple of pieces and glued the top and bottom to mini dowels cut to fit and painted black.


The tatami sleeping mats are made from mini dowel pins and embroidery floss. To make them, tie two lengths of embroidery floss to the first mini dowel and put a double knot to hold it in place. The ties should be about 1/4 of the way from each end. Add a second dowel pin and wrap the treads around it one time and pull the end so the pin snugs up against the first dowel. Continue doing that till you have the length you wish for the tatami mat and tie off the ends. (a drop of glue on the knots will help to keep them secure) You can move the thread up and down on the pins when it's done to get it straight.

Tatami mats are rolled up and placed out of the way when not in use, so I rolled one and tied it with red silk ribbon to set to one side. Wooden blocks are used for sleeping pillows and I made these from sections of basswood cut to the right length and then used a dremel to grind in the curve.

The red pillows in this picture are for the formal guest area. The smaller pillow is an arm rest that will be placed on a raised holder.



Pillow tutorial

Cut two fabric squares to the size you wish and place them face to face. Sew the edges together (I made these at works so they're hand sewn, but you can machine stitch just as easily) leaving a small opening on one side.


Trim the corners so they are curved with the stitching so you get smooth corners on the exterior. Turn the pillow inside out and use a bamboo skewer or pencil to push the corners into shape.


Stuff the pillow with cotton balls and use the skewer to push the cotton into place so you have a nice, even filling. Blind stitch the opening closed.


Bring down one stitch into the center of the pillow and tie it off on the bottom. This creates the nice depression in the center of the pillow. For other types of pillows, I put a bead in the top and bottom of this stitch to look like a button.


To make the tassles, I used cotton embroidery floss and wrapped it around a piece of card stock folded to the width I wanted for the length of the tassle. (your finger will work just as well) If you prefer working with a larger piece, that's fine since you'll be trimming the tassle to the desired length when you're done.


Use a large embroidery needle to slide under the top of the loops of the thread. Hold the top of the loops in place and slide the cardstock out. Holding the body of the thread, twist the needle like a propeller till the needle is held tight (about four full turns will do it) Holding that in place, wrap another piece of thread around the loops directly under the needle and tie it in a triple knot as shown below. Leave the long pieces of the tie thread attached.


Slide the needle out of the top loop and trim the bottom of the loops to the desired length. The thread used to tie off the top can be threaded into a needle to sew onto the pillow.


Sew the tassles onto the corner of the pillow and you're all done!



The kimono chest was a piece of furniture designed to be functional as well as an ornament in the home. When not being worn or displayed, the kimono was folded into rice paper and placed in the chest.

To make the chests, I used wooden blocks, siding strips for the drawers, beads for the handles and silk embroidery floss for the tassles.


The blocks are painted red and the siding strips are cut to size and painted black.


I used gold paint to add edging to the blocks and the drawers. I taped off the edges and used a fine brush to get the lines straight which made the job much easier. Once the edges were done, I filled in triangles on the corners of the blocks to make the "brass corner fittings".


When the paint is dried, glue the drawer fronts on and give it a good spray of clear lacquer.


To make the drawer pulls, I used gold filagree beads and threaded the tassle thru them, then added a drop of glue to the front to hold it in place. Once the glue dried, I trimmed off the pull thread and glued the pull into place on the drawer. (there's a tutorial on how to make the tassles in the pillow section of my blog)


The dragons on the side doors of the large chest are brass charms glued on.



The fabric used for the kimono is a black fairy frost. The pattern is a simple T shape. Cut two from the fabric.


Cut a v neck at the top of one and split it down the middle. This will be the front of the kimono.


I used tacky glue because it doesn't mark the fabric as much as other glues. With the fabric backs together, use a toothpick to place a thin line of glue around the shoulders, under arm and side and glue each of the fronts to the backs.

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I used a bright red 4mm silk ribbon for the trim on the edges. Place a thin line of glue around the neck and front edges of the kimono and glue the ribbon in place. Once the glue has dried, trim the edges even with the kimono.


Repeat the process for the trim on the edges of the sleeve. I used a matching 7mm red silk ribbon for the obi (waist tie) When the kimono is displayed, the obi will be draped around the neck.


The ornaments on the sleeves of the kimono are "mons" (family crests) that I fussy cut from a piece of asian design fabric and glued onto the kimono.


To be displayed in the home, the kimono is hung on a stand. The stand is made from bamboo skewers cut to size and glued together, then mounted on a base made of scrap wood.


Once assembled, the stand is painted black and sprayed with clear lacquer.


Hang the kimono on the stand, drape the obi around the neck and you're done!



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