Thursday, December 16, 2010

Passing the torch...


*Please pay no attention to my paint/clay filled fingernails!!! :)

1.  Using 5/8" ribbon of your choice, measure to 2" and mark ribbon.  This will become one of the bows tails.
2. For a MEDIUM BOW:  Without cutting ribbon, from 2" tail mark measure 2 1/2" inches and mark on ribbon.  Repeat 3 more times, so that you have a total of 4 2 1/2" segments marked on your ribbon.  Then measure and mark another 2" segment...this will become the other tail of your bow.  Cut ribbon at last mark.
For LARGE BOW (age 4 - up) measure 3 1/2" segments.

Holding one end of the ribbon, fold in half.

Make a "v" cut.

This is what it should look like when you unfold it.  Repeat at other end.

To seal the edges so that they don't fray, run each ribbon end through a lighter.  Don't let it sit there, or you'll end up with a burnt mess!!

Assembling the bow:

Hold either end (doesn't matter which end) of your ribbon at the first mark.

Fold in half, and hold between your fingers.

Folding the ribbon away from you, find your next mark, fold in half, and place beside the first fold you made.

Repeat for second loop.  Remember to always fold ribbon back, then to the center. 
*If you just fold it to the center then your bow won't be as full*
At the mark, fold and place beside last fold made.

Continue for third loop. Again folding and placing next to previous fold.

Continue for fourth & final loop.  Hold all four together.

Using a small elastic, wrap around bow until secure.  Don't worry about squishing it at this point.  You can play with it once you've got it wrapped securely.

First Layer Done!!!

Making second layer:

Repeat the steps above exactly the same way, except using 7/8" ribbon and marking every 3 1/2" NOT 2 1/2" as you did in the first bow.  Keep both tails at 2". Cut, seal, fold & secure exactly as you did for your first bow.  For LARGE BOW measure in 4 1/2" segments

Cut four 4" (pay no attention to my tape measure, as I was using these to make a bigger bow) from 3/8" ribbon of your choice.  LARGE BOW cut 5" long.

Fold as shown, and using a dab of hot glue, glue corner of each loop together.

Example of a glued loop.

After you have glued all of your loops individually, take each loop and glue to the backside of the larger bow.

All four loops glued to larger bow.

Turn over bow....starting to take shape.

Run a line of hot glue on the backside of your smaller bow, and press on top of larger bow.

Using 3/8" ribbon of your choice, cut a piece approximately 3" long.  You can cut more if you prefer more "wiggle" room. FOR LARGE BOW cut at least 4" long.

Turn bow over (backside towards you) and glue one end of the ribbon you just cut.

Wrap around front of bow, and pull tight (but not so tightly that you destort the bow), bring end to the back and glue down.  Trim any access ribbon...there will be some.

Ta-da!!!  Almost done!  Flip to right side, fluff until you're satisfied.

Attaching to clip:

Left:  2 sizes of french clips. Works well for children over the age of four...depending on hair thickness and length.  If you're using this type of clip, cut a piece of ribbon to the length of the french clip, glue to top of clip, then glue your bow directly on top.  You can also glue the french clip to the back of the bow before you wrap the center ribbon around and secure.
Right:  Alligator clip.  Works best for younger children.

Wrapping alligator clip.  Heat seal end of 3/8" ribbon of choice.  Glue one end to inside clip part as shown in picture.

Fold under and around to inside of clip, and cut to fit.  Then go back and glue down, making sure you don't glue the clip to itself! :)  Repeat for top half of clip.

Young children's hair tends to be softer and silkier than older childrens'.  To help with slipping bows, you can put a zig zag line of hot glue on the inside of the clip, use velvet ribbon to line the clip, or cut a piece of "gripping" shelf liner to the inside of the clip.


-Grosgrain ribbon works the best.

-Wired ribbon just doesn't work well in this project....but that's just my opinion!

-Best website to order clips and ribbon from is

-There are tons of other clips you can order at the above website, as well as resin pieces to decorate the center.

-I personally heat seal ALL my ends that I've cut.  Just makes the bow "fray-free" longer.

-You can hand stitch instead of using hot glue/elastic bands.  It is VERY hard to sew through all the layers, but if you plan on selling your bows, I would definitely sew instead of glue/elastic bands.

-Any plastic button (cut loop off of back with nail clippers), resin piece, etc can be used to decorate the center....just hot glue in place.  You can even cut your ribbon that goes around the bow a little longer, tie a knot in it, then wrap around bow and secure for a different look.

-Practice, practice, practice!!

-Try adding more loops, different sized measurements to get different looks.

Please don't repost as your own...please give credit & link ...thanks!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hold the funny...if only for a day

I try to live life on the humerous side...I've come to find, things don't seem quite as disappointing with that frame of mind.

Thanksgiving.  One of my favorite holidays, just for the pure simplicity of it. Where expensive presents aren't expected to be doled out of sacks beneath a glittering tree, and just being together with friends and family means something.  If only for a day, everyone takes the time to give thanks for what they do have; no matter how small it may seem. 

But also, give thanks for the battles you lost, that promotion you didn't get, the tribulations you've been through, the job you haven't found, the lack of funds in your account, the chores left undone, the mountain you had to climb, the loved ones you've lost;  for all these things are what makes you who you are...not when life is being kind to you!

We live in an "unfeeling" world.  Where no one wants to get involved, where children go hungry or hurt on a daily basis, where the color of one's skin is still judged, where everyone is selfish and only looking out for their own welfare.  It saddens me, but one day out of the year I see a glimmer of hope....Thanksgiving, and yes, it's enough to get me through another year.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So, by June I'll of passed the 4th grade 5 times...

Evidently, I need 4th grade science projects assigned on a weekly basis, because I have absolutely NOTHING else constructive to occupy my time otherwise.  Laundry, dinner, taking care of four needy children, and running a business must be frivilous activites by some teachers' standards.  And unfortunately, some must be sniffing massive ammounts glue if they believe the children are contributing at all to these elaborately schemed projects.  But alas, if I had a class full of rude, unappreciative, rowdy 9 year olds, I'd be sniffing anything I could get my hands on too!

So far this year I've become well versed on electricity, how many different types of penguins there are in the world, how to build an underwater diarama, how to write a classified ad for a giraffe's habitat and many other world stopping tidbits of knowledge.  I have no idea how I functioned as an adult without knowing all of this beforehand.  Blasphemy! 

Here is my bucket list of things that children these days need to be versed on before we unleash them in to the world unattended:

-  How to correctly figure the amount of time it takes for your check to reach the bank, in relation to when your deposit goes through.  Also known as Check Floating 101.

-  How the police never seem to think it's as funny as you do...appropriately called Sucking Up to the Po-Po 112.

-  Exactly how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?  Ok, maybe this isn't imperative...but I'd like to know the answer!

-  How chewing gum in class greatly reduces the brain's ability to absorb must because it's been beaten into every child's head from the moment of conception that gum chewing in class is not tolerated!

-  The art of spontaneously thinking of random excuses when Jehovah Witnesses ring your doorbell at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning wanting to come in and "discuss Jesus with you."

-  How to feed your family of 6 on less than $100/week...formly known as Urban Legends 100.

I'm sure there are more, but I need to finish my "conserving electricity" project that's due tomorrow!

Face meet palm....

Southern Halloween.  Where in every small town, parents sit on their grand, wraparound porches,as the sun sets, sipping mint juleps poorly disguised as sweet tea, passing out candy; gayly wrapped in festive cellophane bags with color coordinated curly ribbon tied neatly at the top, with an occassional "bless your heart" thrown in for good measure.

*Imagine truck slamming on brakes sound effect here*

Now, let me welcome you to our town's version...

One house on the entire block passing out candy, on their once grand, wraparound porch.  Angrily and loudly commenting on the lack of Halloween candy-passing-out participants; while our stellar, upstanding neighbors are languishing on their own once grand, wraparound porch.  All the while slapping potted meat on crackers and making no attempt to disguise their Old Milwaukee's Best.  They seem to take pleasure waiting until a poor attempt of Superman, an unknown Disney princess and some escaped clown from Ringling Bros (I heard their retirement package was lacking, so it's understandable) finally summoned the courage to walk up the path to their house to announce "We ain't gots noes candy to pass out....goes next door!"

Why did I think it would play out any differently?  Why did I envision every porch light on, and neighbors happily chitchatting while anxiously awaiting a new group of bedazzled, giggly, my-mother-stayed-up-all-night-to-complete-my-costume clothed children, skipping down the sidewalk to see what the next house is passing out?  Maybe  I read about it in a book (yes, a book...not a hunting catalog), or saw it in a movie whose director obviously was as dilusional as I am?

Even the rosy cheeked, giggly children don't put forth an ounce of effort here.  There is no color on their cheeks and I didn't hear one giggle all night, and you can forget about hearing "trick-or-treat" (we have a town full of mute children it seems).   The actual costume has become completely optional, and there isn't any trick-or-treat bag to be seen when you use your school backpack, or a triple bagged "Walmarket" plastic bag...."Hello're not going to need that triple bag protection when only 1 out of 50 houses are passing out candy...but...Bless your heart!"

Damn it!  I wanted a Norman Rockwell moment...if only for one night!!  And the sad part is I'll have the same illusions of grandeur again next year....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The next installment

I live in a bad soap opera...really, I couldn't make this up if I wanted's the Beverly Hillbillies minus the Beverly Hills part, meets Guiding Light, meets The Burbs (Ok, no sense of community here and nothing at all like the movie...but I love this movie, so I had to shamelessly plug it!)

There's absolutely nothing I'd rather wake up to on a Tuesday morning than the sound of a police scanner, bellowing loud enough to break the sound barrier!  I mean doesn't everyone have this fantasy?  Yet, I was "the chosen one"...

I was nestled, all snug in my bed, while having visions of sugar plums dancing in my head (my version includes waking up to a clean house, where children are perfectly behaved, the laundry has been washed, dried, folded & put away, and I still look 20)....

It took a few minutes for me to gather my thoughts together.  Was I dreaming?  Was I honning in on an unfound psychic ability?  Was God trying to get something through my thick skull (damn, my parents were right all along)? 

Nope, yet again my neighbors are at the root of this!  You guessed it, the ones with the unique moving truck still parked haphazardly in their back yard...with lovely specimens of vegetation growing around it...picturesque, if I do say so myself. 

There was no way it was coming from inside their house....they must be deaf, which seems plausible considering how loudly they all speak.  I had to get up to investigate.  Could it be some riot where the police had to set up a base station right outside our home?  No, that can't be it, as no matter what happens around here the only response our PD can give you is "there's just nothing we can do about it."  They are simply in the community for show.

Upon further investigation I tracked the source down to their car.  You know, the one they park in the backyard next to their camper/truck?  They can't park it on the street like everyone else, because car thieves everywhere are Jonesing for a 1980, rusted out, muffler optional, tarp covering the window because it won't roll up, silver Oldsmobile.  Complete with, count them, 3 original rusted out wire rims!!  It's a car theft waiting to happen, I tell ya!

Now's 6:30 am.!!  On a freaking Tuesday morning!  Who on earth would be listening to a scanner at that unGodly time of day?  No one apparently.  Vehicle?  Empty.  Yard?  Empty.  Back makeshift porch?  Empty.  It's like a ghost town...minus the tumbleweed, add in the lush vegetation around the moving device.  These people are still having their sugarplum induced dreams!!!

Every day, all day, I have the pleasure to listening to "their entertainment"...that I've never actually witnessed them reaping the benefits of! 

I now know how the Koresh compound felt while having to endure Tibetan Buddhist chants, bagpipes, seagulls crying, helicopters, dentist drills, sirens, dying rabbits, a train, and songs by Alice Cooper and Nancy Sinatra...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

There goes the neighborhood....

Let me preface by stating that I'm not a hard person to get along with...honestly.  Maybe I'm a little quirky, but I also appreciate that quality in a point.  By no means do we reside in the 90210 zip code, or even remotely close; in fact, it's as bad as small town living gets.  But, the neighborhood used to be nice, albeit a melting pot  of quiet families.  Then along with fireworks, July 4th brought a new breed of neighbors.

I'm still  not 100% that this family really wasn't a government experiment gone wrong... 

We should have taken notice of the errrrr....unique moving truck...a pop up camper sans the top, and retreated immediately to the safety of our adobe.  Unfortunately for me, my husband was cursed with the 'too approachable" character trait.  What I thought was simply a random prison break test, was indeed the voice of our new neighbor, commencing his family's arrival to the entire town apparently.  Oh, if that was the only "skill" they possessed.

Our lives have become a not so funny plot of a b horror movie...and I'm hoping I'm the first to be put out of my misery.  I usually abhor making negative comments about children...but...  Let's just say if you've ever seen the movie The Ring, then you've met our neighbor girl.  She appears literally out of nowhere and proceeds to look through you, as if she's silently stealing your soul...never uttering a word.  Neighbor boy on the other hand is like a spider monkey strung out on a case of Mountain Dew.  Carrying the trash to the alley for pickup?  "What ya doing?"  Leavng the house with the dog on the leash?  "What ya doing?"  Outside washing the car?  You guessed it "What ya doing?"  I secretly think he's planning a career in extremely annoying journalism...and let me tell you, he will excel tremendously in that field!

While I'm at it, I've got to get my husband to take down the general store sign that we obviously have hung above our door.  Whether it's alumium foil, cigarettes, extension ladders, an endless array of tools, sugar and other random cooking staples, money, vehicles, our first born...our doorbell rings day and night with requests.  Now, I know our town doesn't have a grocery store, but it's only a short drive...we do it often! 

So, we have become modern day recluses, checking out the curtain before we leave to go anywhere, and even when the coast is clear, we run-walk(have you ever tried to go unoticed when you have 4 children) and look at no one, until we've made it safely to our van.

Now...I wonder what they're saying about us?  :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mr. Forbes Needs a Swift Kick

10/09/2010 -

The stars just haven't been in alignment for me this year, that's for sure!  It's been constant incidents, trials and tribulations, endless mountains to climb, letdowns, disappointments, and lessons learned...story of my life!

I've had plenty of time to find out who I really am though, and for that I'm eternally thankful.   Funny, after 36 years you would of thought I knew exactly who I was...wrong, so wrong!!  I had myself pinned down as a business woman, no nonsense, thick skinned, grounded, sensible, calm, and it turns out I'm none of those things; typical of a woman, right?  Ok, so the only thing I'm not is the business woman :)....oh, and calm.

Losing my career was a blessing, I never realized how poisonous it really was.  Living each day to make a billion dollar company another billion dollars's the American way...  Bringing home work and worries left no time to live life.  Family?  Didn't exist.  Sure I had a nice little 10x10 office...that's all I had, and I thought in my own little twisted mind, that this is what American dreams were made of!  I swear someone was piping sublimial messages into the office elevator music.

So, I've shed my "clacker" skin (The Devil Wears Prada reference), after all, who needs luxurious Italian leather kick ass heels?  (Shhh, I'm still prone to visit my closet to pet them!)  I've morphed into a "high maintenance hippy" as my husband affectionately refers to me. 

These days you're liable to find me playing with clay, fusing plastic, weaving, crocheting, wiping the drool off of beads,  and walking endlessly up and down home improvement stores looking for new uses for the manliness lined shelves.  I get to participate in flea marketing, thrift store marathons and the 3 o'clock line up at school. 

And this is only the beginning...