Birdsong Bows: February 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Friendly giveaways in the blog-o-sphere

Many of you "met" Jen of Tie Dye Diva a couple of weeks ago during our Round Robin spring boutique giveaway! Jen sent me one of her new patterns, and it's just fantastic. She gives lots of tips and doesn't leave you hanging regarding any step (if you've sewn from other patterns, you know what I mean....sometimes I have to Google what the pattern maker wants me to do, but this is NOT the case with Jen's work).
Anyway, I'm not giving away one of Jen's patterns, but the lovely Christine of From an Igloo is! All you'll need to do is click on over and make a comment about one of Jen's patterns. The giveaway ends Friday.

And if you'd like another shot at winning one of my patterns to learn how to make hair bows, barrettes or felt flowers, please visit Lindsay's site, The Cottage Home, to read a review of one of my e-books. She did a wonderful job making those bows, didn't she! To enter this giveaway, leave a note on The Cottage Home and tell Lindsay which of the Birdsong Bows and Patterns tutorials you'd like to win! Hurry for this one - it ends Thursday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Color my World...Color tutorial for accessories designers, Part 1

Whether you struggle with creating color combinations for your hair bows or accessories, or you feel pretty confident about your use of color, it's something we all consider as we sit down in our studios and start creating. I'm sure you've all seen the color wheel above, and have heard all about the primary colors (red, yellow blue), the secondary colors (green, purple, orange), and probably even the tertiaries (those colors in between).
But we're going to throw thoughts of that out the window today. Did you hear that? No technical color mumbo-jumbo. Frankly, I love color theory...I spent time in art school mixing colors, painting with them, and using painted papers to create "other colors" out of a single color (did you know that olive green on red looks brown, but on brown it looks green? It looks like a totally different color). But as accessories designers -- whether you sell or just create for your own kids -- really, we need to worry more about this:

Now, you don't specifically have to worry about the latest Pantone colors for fashion (spring 2011 are here), but you should use colors that match the outfits you're trying to accessorize.
If you make hair bows like I do, you'll want to review what's "hot" in children's wear. Go to your local Gymboree store and see the latest lines (I keep track of the colors on my private blog for those of you who have purchased Birdsong Bows and Patterns hair bow instructions). Check out the latest colors from Kate Mack, Biscotti, and other designers at your local brick-and mortar or online boutique, like Adorable's Children.
Aside from looking at ready-to-wear, mass-produced clothing, you'll want to look at what popular WAHM clothing designers are creating! See what fabrics are "in" and accessorize according to those colors. Take a look on Etsy and you'll get a sense of what people are loving!
Another big inspiration for "colorizing" your accessories is the season! We're into Easter/Spring now, so think of colors that remind you of flowers and new life. :) And if you just want to play, a great, inspirational site for colors is Colour Lovers. Open up the palettes and see what will work for you! Here are some I selected that reminded me of spring:

Of course, my mama told me that pink and red don't go together, and red and apple green are only for holidays, but fer-git about all of that. If it's pleasing to you, and if it matches with an outfit you're accessorizing, go for it! Be bold. Color isn't something to be afraid of...and as you practice, you're sure to learn what your favorite color combinations are.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

And the winners are...

We are so pleased to announce the winners of the Ultimate Spring Giveaway!

Grand Prize: Dana, who entered Feb. 11 at 9:37 a.m. Pacific time and said: "Tie Dye Divababy dress pattern; birdsong- mickey bows; Boutique by designs facebook face lift"

Second Prize: whitesuggar, who entered Feb. 8 at 3:37 p.m. Pacific Time and said: "Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I'm already fan of Birdsong, So I just liked: Boutique By Design, Goosie Girl Boutique, Melissa Caron, Tye Dye Dive

Third Prize: katschriber, who entered Feb. 15 at 10:08 a.m. Pacific Time and said: "flower fairy collection from: goosiegirl, L'Amour from: melissa caron jeweler; boutique beanies from: ribbon retreat

Winners please remember:

All winners have 72 hours (until 7 p.m. Pacific time on Friday, Feb. 18) to respond to to receive your prizes. (Remember, we do not have your contact information, so you need to e-mail to claim your winnings.) Prizes unclaimed after 72 hours will go to another winner, chosen by So, if you did NOT win, feel free to check this blog by on Saturday to find out if we're doing a re-draw!

There were a total of 667 entries over the course of this giveaway. Thank you so much to all who participated! To keep things fair, we have used to make our draws. One team member kept a spreadsheet with entries, and another team member actually made the draws, which were then matched to the number on a spreadsheet. The screen shots of the "draws" are below:

First Prize Draw

Second Prize Draw

Third Prize Draw

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the winner of the bow/tutu photo contest is....

Katie's Kandy!

Thanks to all who entered! And Katie's Kandy, please contact me at to receive your $10 gift certificate to my shop!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Round Robin: The Ultimate Spring Boutique Giveaway

By now you've probably participated in the fantastic giveaway that's hosted on my site, Round Robin: The Ultimate Spring Boutique Giveaway (it has its own tab on the top of the page, too). If not, you'll have to check it out! We're awarding $500 worth of prizes, with the grand prize of $350 worth of items from Birdsong Bows and Patterns and some fabulous boutique friends and colleagues -- Boutique By Design, Painted Butterfly Studio, Tie Dye Diva, Melissa Caron, The Ribbon Retreat and Goosie Girl Boutique. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, Feb. 15, and we'll announce the winners at 7 p.m. Pacific time (10 p.m. Eastern) on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Stop by and see who wins!!
I want to THANK all of the great women who have participated in this are awesome! I appreciate having you come along for this ride. :)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Bring back the ' braided barrette instructions!

When I started making bows in 2006, my mind immediately went back to the 1980s, when my mom made me two-color braided barrettes in every color to match all of my outfits. I had really long hair, so she made the tails extra long and added the most beautiful beads to the ends. I'll have to ask her if she has a photo of me wearing one of her creations. If she finds one, I'll post it here!
I decided to resurrect this style of barrette, and added a variation so you can learn how make these in two, three or four colors. The new tutorial is available in the Birdsong Bows and Patterns Etsy shop starting today. I've included information on where to get your supplies as well.
These are fun and easy barrettes that you can work on with your tween or early teen daughters! My 10-year-old took a copy of my e-book (one that I printed out for editing) and declared that she wanted to make these right away. You can also add some cute monogram buttons to the top of the barrette for even more personalization.

Thanks so much to Christa of A Hope and A Wish Photography for her wonderful photos! Aren't they fabulous?

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Time to vote!

Thanks so much to the four gals who submitted photos for our first bow/tutu photo contest!
Please visit The Birdsong Bows and Patterns Flickr Group and look at the submissions.
Vote here for your favorite, and invite your friends to vote as well. The winner will receive a $10 gift certificate from Birdsong Bows and Patterns! Voting closes about 11:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time on Saturday, Feb. 12. Good luck to all the entrants!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I know where my priorities are

A couple of years after moving into our house in 1996, I got into sewing and quilting. And all I wanted for my birthday was some shelves and lighting so I could work in bright light in our finished portion of the basement. I painted, then put in new carpet, and bought the items that my husband installed.
It soon turned into a combo hair-bow-making/sewing area, but it works for me. I keep it relatively organized (I'm not perfect and envy those who have every item standing like little soldiers and no mess on the table). Note the careful painting (don't laugh at the sponge painting; this was the 90s and it was "in" then, and I haven't had time to re-do it).
Obviously, crafting is my passion.
Now, view a portion of my kitchen:

Brown and harvest gold, circa 1978. Note the trim around the door that's unfinished, because the refrigerator was slightly too big and we had to remove the regular trim and add this flat board.
Can you tell where my priorities are?
To be fair, it's a lot more costly to re-do a kitchen than a craft and sewing room, but STILL, I should have gotten around to painting that trim. I just don't find myself at home in the kitchen, like I do in the sewing room. When it's time to bring in baked goods for school functions, you'll find me at the grocery store, looking for something that appears like it could be homemade. But if they need me to help make banner? I'll be there, toting my hot glue gun with bells on.
Of course, I do enjoy cooking, sometimes. But mainly I cook to eat. I bake to make the kids happy. But getting "lost" in my work in the kitchen? Hahaha...can you see me ROTFLMBO?
Right now I'm working my tail off on two exciting projects that will be unveiled next week. One is a new tutorial, if the stars align properly and it all gets done. Right now I'm waiting on a couple of pictures and need to finish the design. The other is a BIG, FUN DEAL and I can't wait to share. You'll hear more early next week, so stay tuned. :)
Don't forget the photo contest! See the previous post on how to enter. Entries will be accepted through Friday. You'll be able to win a $10 gift certificate to Birdsong Bows and Patterns!