Monday, November 7, 2011

Day Seven of Gratitude: Pinterest

Today, what I'm grateful for is a little website called Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest, let me count the ways I love you. If you're not familiar yet, my dear friend mep wrote a lovely post last week that summarizes Pinterest and its joys quite well.

We have a plan to band together as "The Real Women of Pinterest," and choose a day or so a week (hopefully!) to share with you the ways we've actually implemented ideas, tips and projects from the site into our life. This is my first attempt. Join us, won't you?

A month or so ago, mep found and pinned a hair bow tutorial on her Pinterest page.

I surprised myself by actually watching the video, and let me just say, how awesome is this mom blogger at Southern Plate ?

You should definitely click on the link above and watch the tutorial, because it is far better than any step by step I could provide you via pictures or video on this blog. She definitely made making some bows for N. look doable. Before you know it, we were at Hobby Lobby buying up some rolls of 50% off ribbon, some barrettes and other supplies to make some fancy hair accessories for my girl.

I'm not sure I've mentioned this before, but I have a little trepidation in the hair-fixing area for my daughter. I grew up a Dorothy Hamill girl: no braids, ponytails or other fancy hairstyles to decide between with that sleek short hairstyle. My straight, slippery hair wouldn't cooperate with much else, anyway.

That's not to say I didn't envy some hair bows and bands. Do you remember the multicolored ribbon braided barrettes? You braided thin ribbons into a barrette, and then let the ends hang down, maybe even knotted in some beads? They were very big in my fourth through sixth grade years. I had a few sets of them and wore them proudly with my friendship pin adorned Roos.

However, what really, really captured my desire for long hair were the brightly dyed feathers on leather shoe strings attached to roach clips. My mom and I made the rounds of quite a few craft fairs in those days, and whenever I saw them for sale, I begged to be allowed to buy some. These, to me, were just the epitome of cool. My mom was adamantly against it, and I thought this was just. so. unfair. I had absolutely no idea what a roach clip was, or why my mom would be so horrified at the idea of her daughter wearing one in her hair.

Kind of like my daughter going straight to the hoochie-mama slinky emerald green and black ruffled satin and velour dress on the rack at Kohl's today and bursting into tears when I tell her no way, that is not pretty. "But Mommy, it is so BE-YOO-TI-FUL! I never get the sparkly dresses that I want!!" And of course now, feathers are back.  You can get them braided in your hair at the local salon, and I think lots of little girls are doing it.  N. hasn't asked yet, thank goodness.

In junior high, the big hair bow came back into style, and I had many silk scarves that I used to tie back my (now somewhat longer and permed, of course) hair and tie a gigantic hair bow right on top of my head. In junior high.

Anyhow, I spent the first three years of my own daughter's life just hoping she'd somehow have enough hair to actually hold a barrette, and then the next six months trying to convince her to comb it. We're finally at a place where she likes to wear hair items, and I'm slowly learning what to do with long, curly fine blonde hair. (There could not be hair more different from my own to work with.) We do pony tails, the occasional two pigtails, and sometimes just a barrette to keep her growing out bangs out her eyes. I'm not too fancy with the actual hair, though, so we rely a lot on the accessories. And now, her hair is finally long enough to handle bows bigger than the tiny ones we used to get in the baby aisle at Target.

I had thought about making them on my own before. Believe it or not, my first job was making bows for my aunt's craft business. (I told you we worked the circuit) This involved looping and twisting stiff fabric ribbon and securing it with floral wire. I got to be pretty decent at that particular type, and got paid a dime a bow or something like that. She later hot-glued them onto baskets filled with pine cones.

However, I seem to have lost some of my adolescent talents in this area. When I try to tie fancy bows on packages or wreaths, they always look a little lopsided, and I usually have to have my mom fix the bows I tie in the back of N.'s dressy-dresses. Directions I'd read or seen before on making hair bows seemed overly complicated, and the ribbon always slipped out of my fingers before I could get anything tied together.

That's what I love about the method I've linked to above. After each step, you sew it securely together, so there's no unraveling. And you don't have to be that precise, because you cover up all of your work at the end with a knot of ribbon hot glued in the back. It's really pretty amazing what I was able to produce very quickly.

While we were at Hobby Lobby, I campaigned for the preppier, brighter grograins, while she went straight to the princess printed ones. Guess which one she wanted me to use to make the first one?

This is my first attempt:

It's not as even as I'd like, but it's pretty darn cute for a four year old to wear. It features pretty much all the colors she wears on any given day, so it's the one she's worn most often. Pretty cute, eh?

Here are a few of our later efforts. I've gotten a little better at keeping them even, but still struggle a little at getting the tails to lay exactly how I'd like them to, especially with the ribbon only printed on one side.

Another frequent mistake I've made is gluing the barrette on in the wrong direction. If you'll be using the bows to actually hold back hair on its own, pay more attention in this area than I have. Usually, I end up making a small pony tail in N's hair and just clipping the bow in as accent, so it's not that big of a deal.

Every time I do her hair like this, I think she looks like she should be wearing pantaloons and rolling a hoop with a stick or something. Also, her hair tends to hang in sausage curls, like Susan from Ramona the PestItalic.  I too, am tempted to sproing them. Seriously, have you ever seen anything cuter?

I was also worried that my time and effort on these bows would be spent just to have them lost all over the house. We have a hard time keeping hair do-dads organized around here. I know there are lots of cute systems and holders out there, but we quickly devised this ribbon hanger until I can get myself motivated to start another project.

She's so happy with them!

So that's it. A successful Pinterest project! I'm excited to share more with you, and writing about my experiences feels like added motivation to make sure I'm actually making use of the treasures I collect on Pinterest. Seriously, will you join me? I'd be glad to have you guest post!


Heather said...

I am totally game for a Real Woman of Pinterest post! I saw a cool cookbook on a paper towel holder that struck my fancy, but I'm sure there's LOTS of other ideas I could copy, too.

I remember those braided ribbon barrettes! You just brought back grade school to me in a flash!

N's smile says it all...what great memories you have created for the two of you (and the bows are adorable).

Beth @ Remarkably Domestic said...

Thanks for linking to my ribbon barrette tutorial! I think your bows look amazing. I love the giraffe print one!

mep said...

I adore N's bows and think you did a great job! I am obsessed with hair bows and always have been. I was still wearing ribbons in my ponytails IN COLLEGE. Heck, I would wear them now if I had the guts. My Sweet P wears a bow every single day. If she doesn't, her hair gets in her eyes (I'm resistant to bangs for reasons related to my own hair history) and then snot and lunch end up in her hair (actually, this happens anyway). I have tons of bow-making supplies and have made a few attempts that I am not that pleased with (my issue is the final knot, a problem because I am attaching bows to the flat clips because Sweet P does not have enough hair for ponytails holders/barettes). Anyhoo, I've managed a few single layer bows that are okay, but just need more time to perfect the craft.

Okay, RWOP is on. What day of the week? I'm thinking Wednesdays starting next week? What do you think?

mep said...

Also, I forgot in my ramblings to note how much I enjoyed the personal hair narrative portion of the post.

Stacia said...

I wrote about my first Pinterest project just today. It was a success ... sort of. One look at the pictures will tell you all you need to know. And I totally blame you and MEP for hooking me on Pinterest. The amount of time I've spent on there the last few days is obscene. So, really, all that means is sign me up for RWOP! =>

Tricia @ Take 10 With Tricia said...

Your bows look great. I have more bow making supplies than I'd ever like to admit. And headbands are popular at our house as well. If you ever want a local tutorial...let me know! Hopping over again from mep's blog...I'm friends with her sister LAP.