Birdsong Bows: January 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hair Bow and tutu photo contest!

I love photos! It's so fun to see what other people have seen and created, and then decided to share with the world.
That's why I want to see YOUR photos of hair accessories and tutus you've created! Don't worry about perfection -- just strut your best stuff AND you might win a $10 gift certificate to Birdsong Bows and Patterns.
It's easy to enter!
First, you'll need to join Flickr (if you're not on there already), and then join the brand-spankin' new Birdsong Bows and Patterns Flickr group.
If you haven't yet joined Flickr, you can either go directly to the site and read the directions, or check out this video tutorial on how to set it up. It looks like several steps, but it's quite simple.
Load your beautiful photos! After you've joined the Birdsong Bows and Patterns Flickr group (just click "join" along the top, under the group name), you can send your photo to the photo pool.
To do this, click on one of your pictures. Then, click on the "Actions" tab above the photo. Six options down you'll see "Add to/remove from group" (see example below). Click that, select the Birdsong Bows and Patterns group, and you're all done!

Entry begins now and continues through Friday, Feb. 4. Each person may submit up to three (3) different bow or tutu photos for this contest. Don't worry if you didn't make the bows or tutus using Birdsong Bows directions -- that's OK. I'll put up a poll on this blog where we can all vote for our favorites, from Saturday, Feb. 5 through Friday, Feb. 11 (my photos will not be up for judging, of course). The winner will be announced on this blog on Saturday, Feb. 12. You'll need to check the blog to see if you've won and contact me to receive your gift certificate.
Enjoy, and good luck!

Monday, January 24, 2011

And the winner of the free tutu tutorial is.....

....Renee P! Renee, please contact me at to receive your free tutu tutorial!
I selected the winner from the 21 entries as of 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night. I would have loved to have extended it to midnight, but I need my beauty sleep, so 10 p.m. it was. :) I used the website to make the selection, and then counted from left to right, top to bottom, to find No. 16. And this is Renee!

I'm also happy to use this opportunity to show off two more photos by Christa of A Hope and a Wish Photography -- she does amazing work! And her little Olivia is, as a friend of mine would say, "such a corker." Full of fun, expression, and a bit of mischief!
Thanks to all who entered! Keep following me on Facebook and here.....lots more fun to come!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Free Hair Bow Instructions - Quick way to make spikes for layered boutique bows

The gal who works as my "hand model," Laura, came by on Thursday evening so I could take photographs for an upcoming e-book (the above photo, of course, is NOT Laura, but sweet Olivia, modeling for A Hope and a Wish Photography). Someone asked me once if Laura is a hand model because she's not attractive enough to be a "real" model, LOL! Truth is, Laura is a very pretty first-grade teacher who does this on the side for me. It's too dark in my house at night to take a flattering portrait photo, but I'll take one soon of Laura and post it. She thought it was funny that someone would assume she was less-than-facially-blessed.
So while she was here, I shot some photos of this really simple way to make spikes for layered hair bows. I normally make my cuts freehand, but this is quick and simple and I might do it this way more often! Hope you enjoy this quick tip.

"Spikes" of 7/8" ribbon in the size you desire
Heat-sealing tool, like a lighter or woodburner

1. Fold your spike in half length-wise, as shown below.

2. Make a cut from the outside, "free" edge and angle it down toward the folded edge.

3. Open the ribbon and marvel at your FABulous skills with the scissors.

4. Seal the ends with your choice of sealing equipment (lighter or woodburning tool, shown below). I'd move my thumb a little farther away from the heat, but truth be told, the woodburner wasn't on here and I'm counting on the use of your imagination that it "could" be on.

Complete this with both ends of all of your spikes, and voila, perfectly formed pretties for your layered boutique bows! This tip is an addition to my PDF e-book instructions on how to make layered boutique bows.
And DON'T forget! Click in the right-hand column here to be a follower on this blog. I'll select one of the followers to win a FREE tutu tutorial on Sunday night, and will announce the winner Monday morning. Contest ends at 10 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on Sunday, Jan. 23. Good luck!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

We almost live in an igloo

There's something about January that's refreshing, and other parts that I find just darn annoying. I love the thought of a "New Year," and I usually take the time to make tweaks in my business plan and life. But then....there's the snow and cold. On Jan. 8, we had the largest snowfall in this area since 1909. More than 25 inches of snow fell in less than 24 hours. I got little done except snow removal, and then ended the week with a full-on, faucet-like head cold and window views of a majorly ice-dammed roof. Bummer!
But what WAS fun is watching the kids play in the snow! The day after the big storm, the girls were itching to go outside. Anna built her version of an igloo, and played in it for two days before accidentally collapsing the roof. Natalia was happy creating snowballs and throwing them at Mom and Dad.

School is out today for the holiday, and we plan to head to the local history museum and learn a little about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though I wasn't around to remember that time in history, I can appreciate what he did for this country, and want to pass that along to the girls.
To "celebrate," I've got a 10% off sale in my Etsy shop today until midnight. All hair bow instructions, felt flower instructions, tutu instructions and hair bows are on sale.
As an added bonus, I've got something special for those of you who "follow" this blog. On Jan. 23 I'll do a drawing for a free tutu tutorial for anyone who's listed as a follower! So go to the right-hand column, click "follow," and I'll announce a winner next Monday, Jan. 24. Good luck!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Hair Bow Instructions - How to make simple bow holders

Whether you love to purchase hair bows or make them yourself, you'll soon discover that your little ones' dresser drawers are no longer good places to store them! Aside from getting crushed, the bows begin to clog the drawers and sometimes (yikes!) get mixed up with her markers, crayons and pencils. There are some very beautiful bow holders available, but if you have limited wall space (or limited time to make something extra special), then these simple bow holders are for you. I sew mine, but you can just as easily use hot glue if you don't have a machine.
32 inches (81.3 cm) of 7/8" ribbon
32 inches (81.3 cm) of 3/8" ribbon
A 1-inch size D-ring (available online at ribbon stores like The Ribbon Retreat)
Hot glue gun and glue OR sewing machine and basic sewing supplies

1. Cut your ribbons to size, and layer the 3/8" ribbon on top of the larger ribbon.
2. Fold the ribbon over the flat side of the D-ring, about 1 inch (2.25 cm).
3. Sew the ribbon in place horizontally, or hot glue it to the back.
Don't attach the 3/8" ribbon vertically down the middle. The smaller ribbon is there so you'll be able to add small clippies that won't fit on the larger ribbon!

Hang the bow holder on your wall, and enjoy!
Seller tips: Seal all ends. If you plan to market these, you can add a hair bow to the top of the holder to make it prettier and entice customers to buy. Another idea - give these simple bow holders away as free gifts for customers who place large orders OR as an incentive for people to buy some of your more expensive bows.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

And the free hair bow instructions giveaway goes to.....

Congratulations to Julie, who had this comment: "I would love to learn how to make boutique hair bows!" Well, now you can! Please check out my items in my Etsy shop and choose any tutorial valued at $10 or less! You can e-mail me at with your selection.
I used the website to generate the results, by putting in the number of entries and allowing it to choose one. As you can see, it selected number 2, which was Julie's entry.

Thanks to all who entered! And a special thanks to Kate of Peekaboo Photos for taking some awesome new photos for of hers is shown above. She's fantastic to work with! I'll be sharing some more of her photos in the coming days.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free giveaway - hair bow instructions!

The new year is a time of renewal, and I saw it as an opportunity to re-do my blog to add to its beauty and functionality!
You'll see new free tutorials on here, at least monthly, for hair bow instructions, tips, tricks, and small sewing projects. They'll be posted and then archived in the "FREE Projects" tab at the top of the page.
You'll also see any previews of new hair bows and other sneak-peeks of products I'm working on.
And of course I'll continue to share tidbits of family life, as we all have loved ones to take care of and life "outside" the crafting and sewing world.
To celebrate the new blog (lovingly created by Kim of Boutique by Design), I'm giving away a FREE tutorial of your choice, valued at $10 or less.

To enter, leave a comment below this post. It can be about which hair bow or tutu tutorial you'd like, a positive experience you've had with Birdsong Bows, or some encouraging words of wisdom or thoughts!
The comment period/chance to win ends at 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on Sunday, Jan. 9. A winner, chosen at random, will be announced on Monday, Jan. 10. Thanks for giving me an awesome 2010, and I can't wait to see what 2011 will bring!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Out with 2010, in with 2011

And the Christmas tree came down.

This task makes the end of the year so final to me. We used to remove decorations on Jan. 1, but that seemed depressing....not a way to celebrate a new year and all the promises that go with it. So now we take down the decorations on Jan. 2, and I still feel like I should procrastinate it for another week.

But, taking the tree down gave me time to reflect on things I'm happy to have accomplished in 2010, and things I want to do in 2011. These aren't resolutions, exactly, but mostly self-improvement items, things that I hope will make life better.

What's on your to-do list in 2011? Here's some of mine, in no particular order:

1. Run a half-marathon. Training begins mid-January!
2. Remember that running a boutique hair bow and pattern/instruction/tutorial business is like training for and running a marathon (or a half marathon, for me). Progress doesn't need to happen fast to HAPPEN.
3. Along those lines, continue to improve my business and introduce exciting, original boutique products and instructions.
4. Be a more faithful accountant. I tend to leave my paperwork until it HAS to be done, and then it take for-evah!
5. Be more patient with my kids and husband. I usually have a mental list of things I need to accomplish, and WOE be the person (husband, child, random telephone caller) who gets in the way.
6. Evaluate my volunteer positions. Two positions I'm holding are "up" in 2011, so I need to decide whether to continue, try something new, or simply take a break. I always feel the urge to volunteer but realize I only have so much time with a business and a family!
7. Continue eating 5 fruits and veggies a day. Seriously, this has to be a conscious effort for me, even though I don't mind eating them!

I think these are do-able. Well, maybe all but No. 4. Maybe I can hire my husband to do the accounting for me. Final resolution: Remember that I don't need to do everything by myself! :)

Happy New Year to all my fabulous readers and customers who made 2010 a fantastic year for me. Best wishes to you!