Keep On Keeping On!

Thank you for your patience these last few months.  I’m sorry for being so quiet along the way to “recovery”.  Doctor visits sure can become a full-time job!

I actually started a chemo regimen six weeks ago.  The scan last Monday showed that things are going successfully on standard chemo.  But, we have recent and better news.  Praise God!  After much searching, a mutation was found in my cancer cells that allows for a targeted chemo pill rather than standard chemo treatments.

That means, the new drug will go after and destroy only my cancer cells and not my healthy ones.  No sickness or horrible side effects from here on out!  For those of you who were praying for me, thank you, thank you, thank you!  I will remain on the same pill until my body resists it, which in most cases means years rather than months. We are hopeful and still prayerful about it all, and the horizon looks good.


Keep On Keeping On!

I feel life can return to somewhat normalcy again.  Not totally, though, because the Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are with me each day still.  I’m eating to support my body’s healing and taking supplements to mend my damaged nerves.  It appears both conditions (lung cancer and MS) will be with me the rest of my life and will require regular check-ups and managing through lifestyle changes.  God is good!

I’ve learned to pace myself and take things easier.

During the last two months, I took some time to delete old posts that aren’t sewing related.  That should reduce the loading time when accessing my site.  It was sad to part with such a huge chunk of my life from the past five years, but it needed to be done.

God has shown me how to leave the courses open.  So, Curtain Queen Creates will remain as a support site for the sewing courses.  I plan to keep on keeping on, publishing sewing posts occasionally to spur you on with sewing inspiration!  Since my energy isn’t completely back to normal, I can’t promise new projects anytime soon, but the want-to is there, which is a beginning.  Right?

I’m excited to get rolling again, along with writing for the Embrace This Season website.  You can read about recent changes there in this post, The Hardest Seasons.




Valances on Boards

In the world of window treatment design, we’ve gotten away from valances. It’s been all about panels for several years now.


But, in case you still want a valance or two, I thought I’d talk about something other than your typical shirred-on-a-rod valance treatment. A more custom look is to mount your treatment to a board. I pulled this old one out of my work room to show you a little about mounting and hanging. Just plopped it on top of my stair railing to snap some pictures, y’all, so nothing fancy here.

Valance on Board

I made these to fit our living room windows at the Georgia house, where we had two single windows. When we moved, I joined the boards together, because we now have a double window. This valance was eventually removed altogether when I received some panels from my MIL for the living room/office.

Using a straight bracket, but a large and sturdy one, I joined the two valance boards together.

Double Valance Bracket

I normally mount boards to a wall, but these needed to go inside the window casing. I attached an L-bracket to each end, on the top side to avoid putting screws through my treatment on the sides when attaching to the wood casing.

For this type of application, use two brackets at each end for extra strength. Notice you don’t see the ugly stapled fabric edges on top of the board. You don’t have to do yours this way, but it looks better to cover the top with a “finishing strip”.

The finishing strip is made by cutting a fabric strip the size of your board and ironing 1/4″ under on all sides. Then attach it with only a few staples up there. No need for many, because you’ve done all the securing staples underneath.

Valance L-Brackets

If you think covering the top doesn’t matter because it won’t show, consider the view from all angles. Can you see the top of your treatment as you come down the stairs? Is there a loft area above? The slightest elevation allows all that ugliness to show, so you’ll probably be happier in the long run if you do it right the first time.

Speaking of staples, it drives me crazy to see a treatment with staples exposed on the front side. Everything should be stapled on the top of the board, nothing on the front. If you absolutely must staple the front, it should be under a pleat, some gathers, or trim. In the past, if I had no choice but to staple the front, I planned ahead for some sort of trim or fringe to hide those shiny little things.

Since this treatment was installed inside the double window casing, I arranged the brackets different from my usual way. Another factor was the transom above the double windows, all one window unit with no wood to screw a bracket into along the length of it. It’s the same type of window as in the dining room, which is the first picture on this page. The ends held all the weight, so the strongest brackets ruled here!

When mounting along the top and inside a window casing, like below, no brackets are necessary. My favorite way to hang boards! You simply screw through the board into the upper molding. All screws are hidden behind your treatment.

Roman Shades

This same room has a door, so I made the same working Roman shade for our door. Here you can see how to attach a board to a door, wall, or case molding.

Mounting Board to Door

The L-brackets hold the treatment securely. Plan ahead for your width of treatment to allow room for the mounting brackets if you plan to attach outside your window case molding, unless it’ll be mounted well above the window.

Notice I covered the board with the window treatment fabric. Normally I cover it with lining fabric, the ugly hot-glued side “up” (where your finishing strip will cover it all). With this Roman Shade, the ends are visible, so I didn’t want ugly white lining glaring at each end. It pays to think ahead and consider all angles.

If you’re just beginning to make your own treatments, make lots of notes, draw sketches, with separate sketches to include all measurements. No need for artistic ability here, just getting it down so you can “picture” the end results. I always make “finished” measurement sketches first, then adapt that to “cut measurements” for each piece. It may seem backwards, but I start with the big picture, then I break it down. Plan each step of the process before you make the first cut.

I hope I’ve provided a little information to help your treatment be beautiful and easy to hang.

I’m Looking Up!

When writing my last post in October, I expected to be away for a little while.  I never dreamed it would take this long for me to get back to you!

After doctor visits and testing, Multiple Sclerosis was confirmed the week after Thanksgiving.  MS was a sobering diagnosis, but I viewed it as manageable.  Life would go on, and I began following an autoimmune diet.  But that’s not the end of the long trail of doctor visits and testing.

Romans 12.12

Three days before Christmas, a second diagnosis was official – non-small cell adenocarcinoma – lung cancer.  It was a surprising occurrence, given the fact that I have no risk factors (like smoking or living with second-hand smoke).  There is a wide range of treatment options available.

God brought peace as we were covered with prayer from friends and family, but peace didn’t come easy.  It’s been another lesson of trust.  Every anxious thought must be held captive.  Our God is bigger than any fear!

If you are in a trial of any type, I hope this song ministers to you as much as it did for me.

We’ve experienced blessings from the Lord each day on our journey since October.  Our Christmas wasn’t hurried or rushed.  It was a blessing to relish family time in a way like never before.   With a new perspective, it was one of our best Christmases yet!

As I look at the future of Curtain Queen Creates, I don’t plan to continue with even the sewing aspects.  I am extremely sad to let go of this fulfilling thing that has consumed much of my life these past five years.    (I’ve discovered that sickness x 2  can be a full-time job!)  If there are recipes you’d like to add to your file, print them now.  Over the next month or so, I expect to close this site.  😦

Embrace This Season (see today’s post) will continue as a place to write and reflect and share.  I never expected to be embracing a cancer season (or MS, either), but I fully believe God has this new assignment for me.  He may have a new ministry in mind.  I hope you’ll join me at Embrace This SeasonCancer won’t be a main topic there, but “fifty and over” health will be discussed quite often.  🙂

You all have blessed my life so much these past years.  I received far more from you than you received from me.  What a blessing you have been, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!