I have a blogger buddy, Angela. She has a blog called Angela’s Peony Patch. A few months ago at the start of the NCAA basketball tournament, I discovered that Angela was cheering for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Oh no… this wasn’t good. I’ve been a Duke fan since the early ‘90s, and NC and Duke fans just can’t be friends. It’s a rule of the Universe. Bad things will happen. Stars will fall out of the sky and planets will spin in the wrong direction and freaky stuff like that. But luckily, we both love Tostitos with a Hint of Lime, so that balances things out and all is still right with the Universe :-)
Angela has a fun and interesting hobby — she creates tassels. Before I “met” Angela, I thought a tassel was just something you used to dress up your curtains or cushions, or that flop around on a loafer. But no, tassels are much more fun and creative than that!! And that’s why this week, I’m hooked on fun & funky tassels :-) And there’s one tassel in particular that I’m really hooked on… and you can win it!!
But first, some Tassel 101…
The word tassel comes from the Latin tassau, meaning a clasp. A tassel is defined as “a finishing feature in fabric decoration”.
The three parts of a tassel are:
- Suspending cord
- Body, usually made up of one or more moulds
- A skirt of fringe or other ornaments
Tassels were originally created when the end of a cord was tied into a knot to prevent unraveling. As time went by, people came up with variations on this idea.
In the 16th century, the first Guild of Passementiers was created in France. A seven-year apprenticeship was required in order to become a master of one of the subdivisions of the guild. The guild made tassels primarily, but also fringes, ornamental cords, galloons, pompoms, rosettes, and gimps. (I have no idea what a galloon is — if you don’t either, you can find out what it is at Wikipedia.)
Tassels and their associated forms changed style throughout the years, from the small and casual designs during the Renaissance, through the medium-sized and more staid designs of the Empire period, to the Victorian Era with the largest and most elaborate tassels. Today, tassels come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and styles, and are used as ornaments all around the world…
Declercq is a French company that makes elegant & beautiful tassels and trim…Traditional tassels…
A heart-shaped sachet tassel…
Beachy tassels (the first one was made by Sarah at A Beach Cottage)…
Tassels can dress up a purse…
…and an Arabian horse…
A tassel dress jewelry stand…
And Spanish dancer tassel…
There’s even a flower that looks like a tassel, the Tassel Hyacinth…
And I have to include boob tassels!!
Check out Elvira Mistress of the Dark doing some seriously impressive boob tassel twirling… (is it just me, or is she missing a bellybutton??)
Whew!! And on THAT note…. here are Angela’s tassels!!
How did you first get interested in making tassels?
I first got interested in tassels when I purchased one about a year ago. It wasn't until my mom saw my excitement over my new purchase and exclaimed that I was quite capable of making them myself that my wheels started turning.
Did you take a class to learn how to make tassels, or did you learn on your own?
I laid in bed for a few weeks coming up with ideas of how to create a beautiful yet sturdy and affordable way to make a tassel. Those original thought processes have definitely taken several turns since I started!
On average, how long does it take you to make a tassel?
On average, a tassel takes me almost an hour to make. This is from point A of picking out the materials to point B - the finished product.
Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your tassel designs?
My imagination goes into overdrive when I am shopping and find very pretty fringes, ribbons, and/or 'toppers'. Any one of these items can be the inspiration for my next tassel!
Can you give a brief description of the tassel-making process.
When I start the tassel making process, I must first decide what kind of tassel I am in the mood to create - fun, colorful, whimsical, elegant, rustic, country, etc. Once I decide on this, I pick something that inspires me (either ribbons, fringes, and/or topper). I pick out all of the materials that I think coordinate best, and then I start creating. I never know what a finished tassel is going to look like when I start it. The tassel evolves on its own as I create it. Once I finish a tassel, I make sure to show it off to my husband, and he knows to say it's the most beautiful I've created so far! ;)
My very most favorite tassel is Great Brewster Tassel. I love the ocean, and this tassel fits in perfectly with beach decor. I put it for sale in my Etsy shop for one day before I realized that I truly did not want to part with it.
What's the most unique tassel you've made?
I'd like to think that each of my tassels is the most unique, but I know that's not exactly the case. I'll have to think about this!
Where are some places people can hang tassels?
Goodness, tassels can hang anywhere!! Lamp switches, knobs of ANY kind - china cabinets, doors, armoires, etc., candlesticks, keyholes, chair backs, curtain rods, drawer pulls, anywhere! A tassel can truly hang around any item that you want to give a special touch!
Crazy yet beautiful color combinations. Creating tassels has completely broaden my horizons of pairing colors, textures, fabrics, and designs together!
Do you make custom tassels?
Absolutely! Custom tassels make up about 25% of my sales. Sometimes, people have a specific spot where they want to put something special, but they can't seem to find that "something" in a store. That's where I come in. I use pictures of your room, color specifications, fabrics, and/or your ideas to create a tassel will look just perfect in your space!
Thank you, Angela!!
How cute would this tassel that Angela made be for a dog lover…
And this bright & cheery one for a frog lover!!
But if you’re more into purple & silver & sparkly & glam, then we’ve got the perfect tassel for you!! Angela graciously offered to make a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind DesignTies tassel to give away to one of our blog guests :-) She used beautiful purple and gray shimmery ribbons, an antiqued silver topper, and a few purple jewels. Victoria has dubbed it Fleur de Glam…
A close-up of the topper & jewels…
And a couple of close-ups of the beautiful shimmery ribbons… the gray ribbon even has silver beading…
How can you win??
Just visit Angela’s Etsy shop The Tassel House, and then come back here and leave a comment telling us which one of Angela’s tassels is your favourite. Can’t get much easier than that!! Anyone can enter no matter where you live. You have until next Thursday to enter (July 2nd), and we’ll announce the winner in next week’s Hooked on Fridays post.
Speaking of giveaways (we do a lot of that around here!!), the winner of the handmade soap from Ucluelet is… still a mystery because Victoria hasn’t given me the name of the winner yet!! V, get your butt in gear and pick a name!!
Oh, and incidentally — North Carolina won the NCAA tournament. Duke choked, as usual. That’s it, I’m cheering for North Carolina now — GO ‘HEELS!!
A Note from Victoria
I’ve just returned from class and I’m zonked!
My plan is to make the draw later tomorrow (Friday), notifying the winner right away via e-mail… then I’ll feature the draw winner in a post I’ll publish on Sunday. I know… everyone is waiting with baited breath to find out who the winner of the unique handmade soap is!! BUT ~~ I figure that if waiting a few days to post the good news means that Kelly’s fantastic tassel post (her posts are always FAB!) and, of course, Angela’s beautiful tassels get all the attention they deserve… than it’s worth the wait!! :-)
Come back to DesignTies on Sunday for a visit!!