Learn to Make Hair Bows – The Basic Hair Bow

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Learning to make hair bows can be fun hobby, and is a great way to complete and customize outfits. You can make hair bows to match clothing, and suit special occasions. You could even make hair bows to match for sisters, cousins, friends, and teammates. You can use ribbon or fabric to make hair bows, and add any embellishments you like.
The directions below create a basic bow. once you have the technique down you can make hair bows to suit your needs.

Things you need:
1 yard – 1″ Ribbon
1 – 50mm Metal Hair Barrette
26 gauge wire or Thread
Fabric Glue or Hot Glue
Scissors
Tape measure
Fray Check or a Lighter

Things to do:
1. Measure and cut a length of ribbon about 24″ long.
2. Loop about 4″ of the ribbon down, leaving the rest as a tail in the front. Bring the tail up and behind while holding the first loop, then lay it down to make a second loop.
3. Bring the tail up again, so that you have two loops and a cut end of ribbon sticking out on each end. Use your fingers to pinch across the middle and form neat folds. You may also want to consider using an alligator clip to hold the formed loops in place. This will help in the next step as you tie the wire or thread around the ribbon.
4. Wrap the craft wire, or thread around the center to secure the loops, keeping the folds tight. Pull and position the loops to make them even. Cut the free ends to be even as well, and then seal them with the lighter or fray check.
5. Use wire to secure the bow to the barrette.
6. Cut another piece of ribbon about 8″ long and tie a neat knot in the center. Using the hot glue gun or fabric glue, put a small spot of glue in the center of the front of the bow. Place the knot onto the glue. Wrap one end of the knotted ribbon around to the back. Glue it down to the barrette and trim.
7. Repeat with the other end of the knotted ribbon. Heat seal these cut ends, and you are finished!

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Project Ideas:
You can make hair bows from strips of fabric to match a special outfit, and top with a matching button. You may also want to stack several bows on top of one another before finishing off for an extra special look. Consider using themed buttons, or a button-maker kit to create custom bows for different events or holidays.

Project Notes:
You will need to select ribbon that will hold its shape well for this project. Grosgrain ribbon is one of the best kinds to use, and it is available in different widths.
You will also need to choose the kind of clip to use. There are alligator clips, barrettes and even combs which are available in different sizes.

Choose supplies based on hair type and the size of the bow you want to make. You may have to experiment to determine which kinds and sizes you like best.
Very small (under 2″) bows are not acceptable for small children, as they could pose a choking hazard.

You will also need a heat sealing method. The cut ends of ribbon need to be sealed to prevent fraying. There are three different ways of doing this. You can use Fray Check, heat the ends with a match or lighter, or heat the ends with a wood burning tool. The heat melts the ends of the ribbon so that they will not ravel. Use extra care when using the heat sealing methods so that you do not burn the ribbon or yourself!

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10 Tips for Business Owners to have a Happy Marriage

business_owners_marriageYou can be completely and utterly in love, but marriage can be somewhat challenging for anyone at certain times. Marriage for business owners and entrepreneur’s alike can be even more stressful and complicated than their counterparts. I am sure that you have heard all those words of wisdom from your parents and grandparents stating in order to have a happy marriage you need to work at it and things to keep the flame lit. A happy marriage for business owners is possible with the following simple tips to keep in mind.

1.) You’re not the boss of me (at home) You own a business and have chosen the life of a entrepreneur. You’re the boss and used to being in charge. This autocracy facade should disappear once you have stepped into the door of your home. You have now entered the somewhat messy and unorganized democracy where you are expected to have conflict and be able to compromise. This transition from ruler of all to partner is not always easy and your significant other should keep this in mind. They should be patient as it may take you some time to complete the transition. On the positive side, you can come home and be in a place where you can relax knowing that someone else is feeling what you’re feeling and they are there to share the load.

2.) A little me (and you) time It’s nearly impossible to get away sometimes when you are holding up the fort. The business could have just started, or maybe it’s a few years in, no matter the stage it requires a lot of your time. It is hard for married couples to make the time for each other, life just seems to get in the way. An elaborate vacation comes to mind when couples think of making time for each other. You don’t need to take a vacation to make time for each other. It is those small uninterrupted moments such as sharing a cup of coffee or taking a short walk around the neighborhood that count. These are where you can share the ups and downs of your daily life. When you are together, it reminds both of you why you enjoy each others company and why this thing called marriage (as complicated and chaotic as it may be some days) is totally worthwhile.

3.) Shut yourself off from the world Leave the phone on buzz or beep and don’t walk around with the Bluetooth as if it were an additional extremity. The thought of it even being on the dining room table, in your lap at the restaurant or on the night stand as you lay your head down for rest can change the very nature of your shared space. Your significant other knows it’s there and they know that your are thinking about it while it is there. If you have control over your own hand-held technology, it will also be easier to explain to the kids that they can spend a little time awhile from their own phones and video games. Plus, how relaxing can it be to be always connected and on call with the world? Put it away and everyone will be happy.

4.) What is mine is yours The business affects your significant other. Your business could be flourishing and you’re thinking of expanding into other states or even going international. With expansion comes traveling. With traveling comes increased pressure in the home. Trying to get approved for a business loan and thinking of using your house as collateral? You better speak to the significant other, they live there too! You can also use them as a source for new and fresh ideas. As a couple, you have managed and made decisions concerning your home life. Why not console in them concerning work? Unlike your nervous employees, you can trust in that they will probably not hide anything or spare your feelings when they are disagreeing with the “boss.”

5.) Hello, I’m over here! Your business is who you are and in someways you are basically one in the same. You have invested countless hours, sweat, and soul into your business. You have used all of your imagination and willpower for this thing to succeed. Most likely, around the dinner table it will be filled with conversations revolving around your work, your day, your concerns and your thoughts. Yes, your business affects your significant other and your lives together. Yes, they care deeply about what is going on with the business and yes they will talk to you about the business but it is not part of them like it is for you. It does not define who they are, like it may for you. They spend their day in another world, apart from the business. They go about their life and are consumed with other matters. Don’t forget they have their lives too. Ask about their day and what they did. You could even partake in their daily routines by making small gestures, such as, joining her at her conference, read a little of what she reads, help out with the kids when they have doctors appointments, give your opinion on the new flooring. Doing this will help you understand each other and you will be better appreciate the other.

6.) I take priority Your significant other knows that you’re a busy person. They also know that you are receiving several calls and emails throughout the day. Your significant other should know that they shouldn’t try to reach you unless it is important and you should keep in mind they wouldn’t try to contact you unless it was important. Your significant other is also busy living their lives and it could be just as hard to reach them during the day. Keeping this in mind and making each others attempts in contacting each other should be made a priority. This will ease both of your minds.

7.) Feeling a bit squeezed in Your significant other doesn’t want to be squeezed into your schedule, like they are a last minute thought. Traveling can be stressful but don’t call your significant other last minute at the airport while your waiting in line getting ready to board. Not only are the loudspeaker warnings drowning out the conversation but your focus isn’t completely on the conversation at hand. A day filled with meetings can also be stressful, but don’t call your significant other five minutes before the meeting. They are already bracing themselves for the ending of the conversation with the infamous “I gotta go.” This would put a damper on any marriage.

8.) The most important client You spend your days sweet talking, wheeling and dealing and winning over your clients hearts. You are the edge of your seat, ready to offer all you have to fulfill their needs and ease their concerns. You are attentive, alert, and appreciative– take all this energy and invest this in your number one client… your significant other! To keep their business, show your appreciation, again with the small things. Court them with small thoughtful gifts, a random little note reminding them that you love them, a little breakfast in bed or a simple coffee– the little things mean the most.

9.) They are part of your life too You should acknowledge your significant others role in your life together. You may spend most of your day in the spotlight and they are behind the scenes, but without the stage crew, you would have no show. Your significant other is a huge part of who you are and where you are at that moment in life. They spend their time and efforts in the other matters so that you can keep your focus on the business. They may save you money by working for the company or made money by having their own job. So go ahead and boost about them! Tell everyone how much they do for you and how much they mean to you. Don’t forget to actually tell this your significant other. Somethings can often go unsaid but don’t let this one slip by with silence. Tell them directly how much you value them and their contribution.

10.) Take a moment Marriage is rough. Marriage can be stressful, add strain, makes each person sacrifice sometimes, and requires a lot of strength. Being in love is one thing but staying in love and managing a marriage is another thing. As a couple, you share millions of stories, whether they are wonderful, amazingly funny, horrible or heartbreaking. Take a moment to appreciate all that you have been through together and celebrate that you are still making it.

Additional tips
Business owners and entrepreneur’s tend to be very passionate. They are passionate about life and especially about their business but they may be consumed and lose moments with their family. You should always remember that your family is the most important thing, then comes the business. As people grow older, they look back and remember the good times, not how hard they worked.

Your family time should be treated as if it were an appointment with one of your clients. You wouldn’t cancel last minute. They must be rescheduled, but never canceled. They can’t be changed without consultation. They take priority.

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DIY Wedding Decorations – Wedding Pom Poms

tulle_poofsTulle is a a lightweight, very fine netting that can be used for a variety of things, especially wedding in particular. Tulle can be used for wedding favors, decorations and even accents. Here is a new modern way of incorporating tulle into your wedding. These little tulle and rhinestone poofs can be hung by themselves or even strung to make garlands. To learn how to make this dreamy little puff balls go head over to seeLaurie Cinotto or Once Wed

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Handmade Soap – Rose Petal Soaps

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These lovely handmade soaps are fast and easy to create, and make a beautiful addition to your vanity. Each handmade soap is designed to be single use, so they are perfect for the guest bath. Handmade soaps are the perfect “thank you” for that special person. You can also gather about 20 handmade soap petals and package them in an organza bag for a lovely small gift or wedding favor. These handmade soaps would also be perfect for a small Valentine’s Day gift!

Things you need: (Makes approx. 50 handmade soap petals)
1 bag – Faux Rose Petals
4 ounces – Soap Expressions Clear Glycerin Soap Base
Soap Expressions Scent (of your choice)
Microwave Safe Bowl
Spoon
Rack for Drying

Things to do:
1. Cut the soap into 1″ chunks, and place in a microwave safe bowl
2. Microwave soap for 30 seconds, and stir. Continue heating until the soap is entirely liquid.
3. Stir in fragrance (about 1 tsp, adjust to your preferred scent level).
4. Dip the rose petals into the soap one at a time to coat.
5. Place on the rack to dry.
6. Once dry, you can put the petals in a decorative bowl, or package them in cello or organza bags to give as gifts or favors.
7. To use, wash your hands with a petal. Discard after using.

Project Notes:
You can vary the scent and color of your finished handmade soap petals by using different base petals and scents. just be sure any product you use is skin safe.

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Valentine’s Day Heart Hangers with Unfinished Wood

hearthangerThese sweet hangers work up quickly with little fuss, and you can use them to decorate doorknobs, wreaths, or even as gift tags. Make these assembly line” style to give as classroom favors or as Valentines to a group.

Things needed:
1 – Unfinished Wooden Heart
1 – Unfinished Wood Furniture Button
Valentine Pink Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Black Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
White Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate Tacky Glue
Buttons (of your choice)
22 gauge White Wire
3/8″ Wire Curling Tool or Pencil
Transfer Paper
Fine Tip Black Marker
Dremel or Small Drill
Face Patterns

Things to do:
1. Paint the unfinished wooden heart and furniture button with the Valentine Pink Apple Barrel acrylic paint. Set aside and let dry.
2. Drill holes at the top of the heart, using the photo as a guide for placement.
3. Use a pencil to draw a face on the heart, or use transfer paper to transfer one of the Face Patterns.
4. Paint the eyes and mouth with the Black Apple Barrel acrylic paint, and allow to dry.
5. Fill in the lines with black marker or use a fine paint brush and use the Black Apple Barrel acrylic paint.
6. Add highlights of white Apple Barrel acrylic paint to the eyes and mouth.
7. Glue the furniture button nose in place, and allow to dry.
8. Add both buttons to the middle of the wire, threading the wire in and out of the button holes to secure.
9. Use your wire curling tool to coil your wire or coil the wire around a pencil to curl.
10. Insert one end of the wire into each drilled hole, and twist to secure.

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Options:
Omit the drilling and wire, and add a pin back instead for a cute Valentine’s day pin. You could also try using magnets and gluing them to the back to create a Valentine’s Day refrigerator magnet!

Replace the heart with a wood star, and use a red/white/blue theme for a cute 4th of July decoration.

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How to Make Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies from Felt

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This is an quick super cute project! These would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day classroom activity. These little felt fortune cookies would as make great favors for birthday parties, baby showers, or even wedding and bridal showers! Learn how to make these with Martha Stewart’s how-to

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Valentine’s Day Craft Project – Pom Pom Critter

Fuzzy_Pom_Pom_CritterValentine’s Day is just around the corner! Here is a cute and simple project that is great for the little ones. This cute little pom pom critter will bring enjoyment in the classroom or for anyone involved. It’s easy to put together and fun! (Plus everyone will love his soft and cuddley appearance.)

Things you need:
2 – 2″ Pom Poms (We used pink)
2 – 10mm Googly Eyes
Bag of Heart Foamies
Foamie Conversation Hearts
Aleene’s Craft and School Glue or Hot Glue*

Things to do:
1. Place two of the large foamie hearts on the table side by side and place a little glue on each towards the center where they both meet. Gently place one pom pom on top and press. Let glue dry or cool. The rounded tops of the hearts should stick out and these will become feet.
2. Take your remaining pom pom and glue two of the small heart foamies on one side of the pom pom. This will become the head of the small critter. Glue on another small heart for the nose and add the googly eyes above the nose. Let the glue dry or cool.
3. Finally, add two more small foamie hearts on the sides of the body for the hands and one more small heart onto the front of the body (you can use a plain foamie heart or use a foamie conversation heart to leave a little saying). Take your pom pom head and glue onto the pom pom body. Now your pom pom love critter is finished! Quick and simple! **Tip** You may also want to think about using craft magnets as a way to display and show off the little creations on teacher’s filing cabinets, or even the fridge at home.

Project Notes:
Aleene’s craft glue works well on craft foam and pom poms. It is also safer for little hands but it will take longer to dry and for the project to be finished. Hot glue is a lot faster but we advise strict adult supervision.

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Craft Project – Loopy Chenille Ducky Basket

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This cute ducky basket is made from loopy chenille! Loopy chenille is soft and you can bend it however you would like. This loopy chenille ducky basket is easy to make and would be perfect for an Easter basket! You could even use this loopy chenille basket for a baby shower gift basket and fill it up with baby power, baby oil, shampoo and more!

Things you will need:
An Easter Basket of your Choice ( we used this basket and made the handle with paper twist)
1 Hank – Yellow Loopy Chenille
1 Hank – Orange Loopy Chenille
1 – 4″ Styrofoam Ball
2 – 20mm Googly Eyes
1 – Craft Stick
Yellow Marabou Feathers
Floral U Pins
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Ribbon and Flowers of Your Choice

Things to Do:
1. To make the the basket’s handle, cut about 19″ of paper twist and braid together. *** This is what we did for our basket. If you have your own basket, skip this step.
2. To begin your loopy chenille ducky basket, work the craft stick through the weave of your basket on one side of the basket and secure with hot glue.
3. Take your styrofoam ball and push onto the other end of the craft stick. Secure with some hot glue.
4. Wrap the styrofoam ball with the yellow loopy chenille until covered. Secure the loopy chenille with floral pins and hot glue.
5. Cut two-20″ strips of yellow loopy chenille. Fold the loopy chenille strips in half and glue to the outside of the basket under the head. Wrap the arms around the basket and bend the ends so that your ducky is holding onto the basket. Glue the arms to the basket with hot glue.
6. Cut a 7″ strip of yellow loopy chenille. Wind the loopy chenille in a ball and glue under the ducky’s arms for a tail.
7. Cut two – 8″ strips of orange loopy chenille. Form two oval shapes with the orange loopy chenille strips, then flatten one side of each oval shape and glue onto the ducky’s head to make his bill. Add floral pins for extra security.
8. Cut two – 18″ strips of orange loopy chenille. Fold each strip into three toes. Each toe should be about 6″ each. Place the feet at the opposite side of the head, glue the feet onto the basket with hot glue.
9. Glue the googly eyes onto the ducky’s head. Place and glue yellow feathers as desired.
10. Finally, adorn your basket with desired ribbons or flowers and fill the basket with your treats!

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Unique Discoveries and Tips at Scott’s Antique Market with Eddie Ross

atlanta_expo_eddie_ross4Two of our buyers, Shari and Paul, were in Atlanta, Georgia looking for new products for our customers. While they were in Atlanta they were lucky enough to have some time to stop by Scott’s Antique Market, where they were able to spend time, learning shopping tips from Eddie Ross! You may remember Eddie from the HGTV blog post where he showed us how to make ornaments using old shirts. atlanta_expo_eddie_rossRoss, led the group on an amazing tour, through the antique market, looking at previously selected booths. The first stop was furniture, both upholstered and wood could be seen. During this time Ross showed how one could take a piece, restore it and paint it, and by doing so create a unique accent that no one else will have.
As they progressed from booth to booth, many items were passed, each with their own unique suggestions by Ross. For example, why not take old vintage linens, napkins…etc and mix them with new items. Doing this you can create a unique look by accenting the old with the new. Even better, what if you have a vintage rug that has seen better days? It was suggested one could use the undamaged parts to make pillows or even frame it for a unique piece of art.
Another favorite booth was Haute, who specializes in trim and fabric. These too can be turned into pillows or used for covering small objects. atlanta_expo_eddie_ross2However, by far the most fascinating booth was the “silver booth”, which included Tiffany Flatware and other vintage items. One piece in particular was astounding, a Tiffany Dessert Set, placed within the 1800’s, was priced at $49,000! And another was priced at $100,000! The booth could only be described by one word, decadent!
After the day was winded down, and after listening to many of Ross’s information tips, it is safe to say we are addicted to both Eddie Ross and Scott’s Antique Market. We can’t wait to do it all again, and hope you enjoy mixing and matching the old with the new to create a style you can call your own!atlanta_expo_eddie_ross3

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DIY Cat Toys Using Basic Craft Supplies

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Cats love to play with little toys that shake, rattle, or smell great. Creating toys that mimic the shape of movement of a cat’s favorite prey is a great way to engage their interest, and help them get some exercise as well. You can make a sweet treat for your favorite feline using these ideas.

cat_toysGrow Catnip: One of the easiest ways to please your cat is to grow your own catnip! Select a small plastic container to start your seeds, plant, and watch your catnip grow in just a few weeks! Catnip looks just like grass, and like grass, it will continue to grow if you trim it regularly. Once your catnip is established, you can transfer it to another pot, like any of our planters and tubs that suit your particular decor. Your cat will adore the scent of fresh catnip, and you can trim and dry the blades to use in your own handmade cat toys. Drying increases the potency. so your cat will be sure to love her new toys if they are stuffed with freshly dried catnip!

cat_toys3Fabric Mice: Use scrap fabric to quickly whip up a batch of mice for your favorite feline. Cut two teardrop shaped pieces for each mouse, and sew together, leaving an area for turning. Stuff with catnip and a jingle bell if desired. You can use white fabric or felt for the ears, and even add a cute yarn tail (you can also try adding a jingle bell at the end of the tail if you wanted instead of stuffing it on the inside) as pictured. These mice are small enough for kitty to carry around. so don’t be surprised if you find them all over the house!

cat_toys5Knitted and Felted Mice: Don’t want to sew? Make your own knitted mice from wool yarn, and then toss them into the washer to felt. With a small amount of scrap yarn and catnip you can create your feline friend a catnip mouse. Stuff them with catnip when dry, and present to your cat. These are fast and easy to make (search for free patterns online such as Mollie’s Blog of Stuff), and very durable! Photo copyright Mollie’s Blog of Stuff. 2008

cat_toys6Dangly Toys: Cat adore little items like feathers, pom-poms and bells, but these items can pose a hazard to your pet if they are too small. Instead of simply handing a few feathers over to your cat, assemble your own dangler toy with a few simple craft supplies. Paint a 3/16″ x 12″ long unfinished wood dowel, and use flexible wire (remember the higher the gauge the thinner and more flexible the wire will be) or ribbon to attach pom poms, feathers, and other items such as jingle bells. Another idea for the “string” part of the dangler would be to use a small section of a marabou feather boa of your choice. Consider using yarn pom poms to add heft, and a few long marabou feathers to attract your cat’s interest.

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