Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'm a goal-oriented person. I need a goal or it really doesn't get done. Before I had kids, I had goals like "stop tailgating" or "lose 10 lbs" and they were basically monthly and fairly idealized goals - tangible and attainable but still requiring high-level thinking (yes, losing weight is a mind game for me at least). Then I had kids and I needed to have daily goals like "shower" and "get dressed". When I was able to take care of myself and my children, I moved on to the house and had a week-daily chore (gardening/poop, grocery shopping, dusting, vacuuming/mopping, bathrooms) - this worked a lot better when I didn't allow myself to leave the house until my chore de jour was done but the school system frowns upon tardy excuses like "I hadn't finished vacuuming". So now, I can take care of myself, my children and my house, I'm trying to get back into the higher-level thinking goals. I set one for myself here (ahem - a new bow a week - I still haven't posted all of my repertoire so technically, I'm not failing you although almost nothing posted here is "new to me").

So, I'm working on a fall line of bows - leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, cornucopias. Can anyone think of other autumn things to make into bows? Thanks!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bow organization

Since I'm so organized with my ribbon (I used to be, really, but I've started getting orders in and putting everything away quickly so we can have dinner), how do I keep my girl's bows from living under the couch with the rest of the little things and singing, dancing dustbunnies? I made a bow hanger. I saw this at a craft fair and decided to make my own to match the girls room. It went well. I bought a wooden shape, painted it, attached the wide ribbon to the back, hung it in the girls room and put the bows on it. Well, the girls don't put the bows away so I brought it downstairs and hung it in the dining room. It totally doesn't match anything on this level but any time I find a clip, I can conveniently hang it up - no more stepping on them, no more random piles taking up my (very limited) counter-space, no more "MOM!! WHERE"S MY _____ BOW??" Okay, so maybe this isn't 100% effective but I'd say it's about 90%. And the girls figured this out too so they do put them away more often so they know where it it when they want to wear them.

Brownie Points (and maybe a fun-sized Hershey's candy bar I found in my pantry left over from diet s'mores this summer) for listing the bows in the second picture that I haven't listed in this blog yet...

The last princess in my "collection"

So I recently realized that I did not have a picture of my Ariel, The Little Mermaid clip. That realization came to me while I was out of 3/8" red ribbon so it took a while (um - yeah, first, I'm out of yellow, now I'm out of red. Truth be told, I have been out of red for a while. I'm getting more organized, I promise! I got my ribbon order on Friday) but here's Ariel in her mermaidy glory:

So now, I'm working on Disney's new princess - The Frog Princess which isn't even out in theaters - and I think that I'll have the entire princess collection. Please correct me if I'm wrong. (see the comments button? you can click and comment - I promise to read them!)

As always, if you have a question about my bows, please send me an email (see about me) or call me if you have my number.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New (to me and you) Princess bow

well, almost new - I did this one over the weekend and it was in the "Life without Yellow" post but I haven't posted it separately. So here it is in it's official unveiling: Jasmine!

As always, if you want to see all my bows, you can click here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life without Yellow...

So here it is - the princess bows without yellow. Turns out that I need to order A LOT more that yellow now (purple, white, red, tan, royal blue and probably some pale pink too). I'm totally out of the tan which I use for Jasmine's and Pocahontas's skin and Belle's hair- less than an inch left! But I should be able to make Snow White, Alice, Tink, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. (I won't be able to make Little Mermaid until I get the second order since I'm also down to 1.5 inches of red and I need almost 3 to make Ariel).

ETA: Here's the princesses with their blonde coiffures and frilly frocks:

Princess Hold Up

Soooo... ummm... well... there's been a hold up on getting said princess bows done - I ran out of yellow ribbon! Do not be alarmed. When I realized it at 8am yesterday morning, I immediately ordered some and it should be here by Wednesday. I was so flustered that I just made more 5-petal flowers (about 20), some minibows (see pic below) and thought about how to make a nutcracker... Hopefully this afternoon, after Religious Ed and Mass, I'll make some princesses and post a picture of a pile of hairless princesses and you can all stare is horror...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to School Night

Been a busy week and tomorrow is busy again with Nutcracker tryouts (I told E that she had to go to tryouts before she could make a decision about whether she wants to dance in the Nutcracker). But while I was at tonight's Back To School Night, I promised both teachers a set of princess bows for their treasure box. I also need a set for Movie Night so I'll be a busy bee bowmaker over the weekend. I'll post a picture of the pile of bows over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tag, You're It!!

So I haven't come up with a name for it yet (and I can't use Taggie since that's been copy written and I can't get the other cute taken name out of my head Tag Me Along Dino from EarthSoulJar on Etsy). Anyway, I saw a kid with one at Barnes and Noble a year or so ago and I said, "I can make that!" and I did. I gave it to my cousin who was having a baby boy and she wants more for her friends. This isn't strictly a "bow" but it's still a ribbon craft and that counts for something. So, here's how I make them:

1. Draw a dinosaur on cardboard. I like a stegosaurus because, well, it make sense when it's all put together - the tags are the plates... what's shown here is a stegosaurus (or stegosaurus wannabe at least - the missing link perhaps?) Also, stegosauruses are fairly easy b/c you can fold the pattern in half and all you have to do differently is flatten out the tail a little bit and make a curve in the neck.

2. Trace pattern onto fleece using a water or air soluble pen. I like plain simple fleece but you could use your favorite sport's team fleece or tinkerbell fleece as well. You'll need to pay attention to what part of the background you are cutting out though because, heaven forbid, you cut off Tink's wings!!! and more practically, you'll have to pay attention to right side/wrong side. Cut out double thickness (this means you'll have 2).

3. Cut ribbon to 3 or 4 inches. I do a little arranging as I go to know how much I'll need but I can have a few as 5 pieces of ribbon and as many as 21 (I haven't done that many but I could arrange it - and did you notice that these are both ODD numbers? yup, things just look better when arranging an odd number of items).

4. Fold ribbon into "tags" and pin to top layer of fleece (make sure the side showing is the side you want to be on the outside).

5. Put bottom layer of fleece on the top (again, make sure that the side you want outside in facing the ribbons), align layers of fleece meticulously, and pin together.

6. Sew layers together at 1/4 inch (align material with outside of the foot on my 1970's Singer FashionMate - yes, it's ugly, yes, I like fully mechanical sewing machines, yes, I can thread the darn thing - it's not that complicated, no, I will not sell it so don't even ask! Well, if you offer $1Million, I'd consider it.) I usually just sew the top together and look at how the ribbons turn out before going on. Anyway, part b of this step is to sew even closer to the edge and backstitch over the ribbons to hold the very tight to the fabric - I go over the ribbons 3x (forward, back, forward) in this stage. On to part c - sew another seam about 1/8 inch inside the original seam. You have now gone over the ribbons 5x and they will be securely held. Make sure to leave a smallish opening on the belly to turn the dino right side out and stuff it.

7. Trim and heat seal ribbons, clip corners and curves and turn Dino right side out. Make sure to push out the head and tail. I use a plastic turner and a Sharpie.

8. Stuff!!! (yea, yea, no picture)

9. Hand stitch belly together. After tying off, put needle in belly and pull through about an inch, pull tight and clip - the end of the string will now be inside the dino!

10. Wash, hang dry and give to the first kid under a year old you see.

If you don't like these directions, give me a call or send me an email and I can make one for you (for a small fee)!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

since I haven't given you any new bows in how many posts?

okay, okay, I haven't been playing with bows!! I have other craft interests too... I've been working on some diaper cakes (mine are WAY better the 1800Flowers!) and now I got a message from my cousin asking for taggie dinos like I made for her son... And I've got PTA responsibilities (I'm co-VP here and there's LOTS to be done - membership drive/back to school night, bingo night, movie night, fall festival and fall Sally Foster wrapping paper fundraiser) so I'll show you a bow I did for my oldest when she got her green belt in karate:

There! Are you happy now?

Monday, September 14, 2009

bows on a short day

Here in Fairfax County, we have short school days on Monday. Our school has gotten even earlier this year too - last year was 12:35 and we're now out at 12:10. I like this time better as it works with our typical nap schedule (12:30 to 2:20 - times are firm as we got home from preschool last year at 12:20 and, being in a walk zone, we need to leave to pick up elementary school kids at 2:20 so no real wiggle room).

So this morning, I was invited to a friend's house, who I had made bows for but had run out of clip grips on, to repair her bows and for some company. Our "babies" are about the same age - 2 1/2 - and play nicely with each other so it was a nice visit and it's always nice to get out and walk a bit in crisp autumn weather. So, sorry gentle readers who love my pictures, my camera battery was charging so I didn't get pictures but I made a couple just plain bows for her daughter while chatting.

After that, it was home, lunch and off to pick up the girls from their first Monday of the school year! We ended up having an impromptu playdate this afternoon with friends of my school kids and I got nothing bow related done after that. So I'll leave you with a tip - beady Contact shelf liner works great as clip grip.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

not so long but still tiring day

I haven't made any new bows for you guys to see today. We started Religious Ed at Church today - I was teaching (and not feeling well - think I'm getting what's going around) and the girls were in class so that made this morning a little longer. Then the real fun began when we got home - the girls need to clean their room and don't want to. This began yesterday after breakfast. We (as in C and I) moved everything from the hiding places (corners, under beds, back of closets, tucked on beds) to the center of the room so they don't have to guess what needs to be done but all we got was a lot of whining about how much they have to put away - I'm ready to hold a yard sale with their junk but that seems like a lot of work and I'd probably want to go thru MY stuff and add stuff to the mix, you know, to be fair (and make some pocket money). I reminded them that tomorrow IS trash day and I have plenty of trash bags but as of yet, not much has been done.

This is the current state of their room:

I hope that I can edit back tonight with a much nicer picture of what their room should look like.

25 minutes after posting the original thread and C standing in their room - we got a CLEAN ROOM!

and it's even clean under the beds!!

Now to vacuum since I know it will at least be a few days before I'll be able to have this again!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The real beginning of Hamburke's Bows...

So, I have 2 girls ages 7 and 5. They are darling (see the purty picture from a couple days back?) and they have my very straight, silky hair. This is pertinent to my story because if you have straight, silky hair, you'll know that clips don't stay in very well. So I went about looking for a clip that would stay in their hair. I tried plastic barrettes, snap clips, my favorite metal Goody barrettes (the kind w/ 2 lines that we used to braid ribbon into as kids - I started early decorating barrettes with my best childhood friend Jennifer Mabe - haven't seen her in forever so I hope she finds me here), Stay-put barrettes, french clips in various sizes, beaded bobby pins and finally alligator clips. Some worked, some didn't so I started searching for a way to make the barrettes that I had stay in better (bows can be expensive). That's when I found a free craft forum on bowmaking and ribbon sculpture. Most of the ladies on there made their own bows as a business and they often discussed products and methods of making bows stay. So I found something that worked and hung around the forum to learn how to make these bows. My girls saw the pictures and begged for some princess bows. My plan was to simply make bows (pinwheel, boutique, loopy and other just plain bows) to match their outfits but they liked the sculpture stuff - well, okay, I'll try. I found a free instruction and bought all the right color ribbon. It was so much fun and from there, I was hooked...

So as a tribute to what lead me to make bows, here's some just plain bows:

Stacked Bows:
Different Sizes:

I honestly prefer making sculpture barrettes now. If I'm not too wiped out tomorrow, I'll make some bugs for you guys to enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No new bows today.

I just finished an order - lots of 5 petal flowers and daisies so nothing that I haven't posted already.

I'm putting together a couple posts about just plain bows and bugs... check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school

Anna wore one of my bows (3" pinwheel) but Emily went with the Gymboree clips that match her new dress...

Monday, September 7, 2009

End of Summer

I try to do seasonal bows - they are fun - so for the summer, I did watermelons and various bugs. I only took pictures of the watermelons and ladybugs. I'll have to make some more butterflies and dragonflies (probably next year unless I'm asked for them otherwise).

So here's 2 different watermelons:

and ladybugs both mid-flight and landed:

(and did anyone notice that I got the pictures next to each other? html - it's just like riding a bike!!)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I think I promised flowers too...

Here's the 5 petal flowers (they are a big hit - I can do pretty much any color combo too):

The daisy (also fun and any color):

I wish I had full sun on either side of my house because I would have a TON of real flowers. I guess I have to settle for bows...

More Princesses!

Okay, on to more princesses. I love Disney so I've made almost all of the princesses in their line. Here's what I have taken pictures of:


Sleeping Beauty (Aurora):


Snow White (I need to order the correct blue):

and my most recent princess added, Pocahontas:

I haven't gotten around to doing the Frog Princess (Disney's new movie) but that will be a project for next week when the kids go to school. Am I missing any princesses? Let me know!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Princess Bows

On to the bows...

Let's start with the ABC's, so Alice:

And Belle:

And Cinderella:

Next Time: More princesses and maybe some flowers...

Bows - the beginning

Hi, I'm Hamburke and I make bows for fun (and a little pocket money!). I've recently become a fan of blogs (hi cakewrecks and mommywantsvodka) and my husband said I should start one of my own (he thinks I'm funny), plus would fit on my bow business cards.

So, about myself. I'm a wife and Stay-At-Home-Mom of 3 - a second grader, a kindergartner and a 2 1/2 year old. I'm the PTA VP#2 and I teach Sunday School (technically, Catholic Religious Education but it's ON Sunday!). I have a bachelor's degree in chemistry and technical communication and I'm one (very time consuming) class away from my master's in secondary ed (my career dream is to be a textbook editor, and no, I'm not kidding) but like my kindergartner, I need some creativity in my life so that I only make controlled messes. Cooking didn't work out so I make bows, and now, apparently, I blog.

I'm sure that I won't immediately be blogging about bows everyday but my goal is to add at least one new bow a week and to talk about my inspiration or some other feel-goody thing. So, now, I get to learn about how to add photos... come on 3 college level courses - taken 9 years ago - on html, don't fail me now...