Posts Tagged ‘Crafts’

A Foofy Bow Tutorial That’s Fast, Cheap, and Easy


I remember wishing as a child- and later as an adult- that I had half the crafting ability of our Great Aunt Martha. She made Martha Stewart look like an unimaginative slacker. And I LIKE Martha Stewart. (I also wish Aunt Martha had lived to see Pinterest–she would have LOVED it!)

In my twenties, I went on a wreath-decorating bender. Being flummoxed by the thought of making a fancy, foofy bow I almost gave up. I can’t cut a straight line. I can’t do origami. But that year, I found simple directions for a bow that changed my view of crafting forever. I have long-since lost those original directions (that were ON a roll of ribbon–genius!) but here’s the gist of it:

To make a bow that is approximately 5 & 1/2 inches wide and 5 & 1/2 inches long you will need:

46 inches of wide ribbon (with or without wire)

4 inch-long piece of craft wire or needle and thread (wish I’d thought of that sooner.)

scissors

PART ONE/ The Foofy Part:

First, cut 12, 10, and 8 inch pieces of ribbon. (This part is flexible; if you desire a larger bow, start bigger. Make three lengths that decrease in size by 2 and 4 inches. ie: 18, 16 &14 inches.)

Bow

Fold the ends of each piece to meet in the middle.

Bow

Part Two: The Constants

Cut a four-inch length of ribbon to use as a cover-up later, and a four-inch piece of craft wire

(OR use needle and thread. That’s what I should have done instead of the wire). It doesn’t matter what size bow you make; the wire and the cover-up are still 4 inches long each. You should have one 12-inch length of ribbon left. That will be the tail later.

Bow

Next, bend the wire like so:

Bow

Part Three: The Mechanics

Starting with the smallest loop, poke wire through.

Bow 6

Add medium and large loops to the wire. If you’re smart, you can sew all three together at once instead of messing with the %$@! wire.

Bow 7

Remember the other 4-inch piece of ribbon? The cover-up? Use it to hide the wire (or thread) by centering it over the wire on top of the bow and securing it on the back with the wires that are poking out.

Next, you should have a 12-inch section of ribbon remaining. Fold it like so (below) and trim triangles out of each tail.

Bow 8

Almost done! Attach the tail using the wire still sticking out the back of your bow. Twist said wire to secure it all together.

Bow 9

Fluff the bow to desired foofiness. TA-DAH!!

Bow 10

I swear, it took less than 10 minutes to make this bow. Writing this post took a lot longer. The moral of the story is:

Don’t assume only perfectionists can make cool stuff.

Another GREAT IDEA that’s fast, cheap, and easy…brought to you by the Pajari Girls. 🙂

As always, if you found this useful, please “like”, share, comment or Pin It!

It Takes a Village…


…to keep a small business open.

Cook Dollar Barn Fall

Yes, some days we ARE sorry we’re open.

But I love living, working, and raising a family with a small town. Yes, I said with. Some days we call  friends in a panic, because a truck showed up early, my arthritis is kickin’ my butt, and Walli has to pee, all at the same time.

More than once a friend or family member has walked in to grab a snack or a pair of reading glasses and found us surrounded by boxes -almost in tears with the sheer overwhelming RETAILNESS that is having a small business- and pitched in. Thank you all!

Now THIS was a great idea… The 3/50 Project began as a blog post on March 11, 2009, asking, “What would happen if just half the employed population chose 3 local brick-and-mortar businesses that they would hate to see close, and spent $50 there per month?” The answer? $42.6 billion in revenue– 68% of which stays in the local economy! (More than that in many cases.) This is a great resource for small businesses AND their customers–please visit them!

Small businesses also support schools, clubs, teams, organizations and each other through donations of time, money, ideas, and volunteer labor. We work harder, stay later, and start earlier (well, Lois does…) because we love being a part of this community.

If you are in the Cook area this Saturday, November 12, stop by the local businesses for Ladies’ Night…we will be staying open late to show off Christmas inventory and thank you for keeping us employed and open! Wine, appetizers, drawings, and specials will abound, too. (More likely hard liquor at The Barn) Festivities start at 4 pm and end at 8 pm.

Also, the dogs of Cook businesses will be kicking off a fundraiser/pet food drive to feed local pets. More on that later.

As always, if you like this post, say so! Like, Share or Comment below. How else will I know if anyone is listening? 🙂

PS: If you found this to be Employee of the Year stuff, go vote for me! Peer pressure the heck out of my big sister!

Chicken Wire Ghosts


Wire ghosts

These ghosts made out of chicken wire were one of my first discoveries on Pinterest. I messed around with chicken wire for the Dancing Ghost Bride, and it was trickier than I thought it would be. They are beautiful, ethereal, and I want to make four of them at least, using real pajarigirls for the forms. I’d love to have the whole backyard filled with non-creepy dead people in foofy dresses.

Finding the original source has been tricky, and this is as close as I’ve gotten:

Thanks to The Candy Corn Chronicles & The Modern Mourner for sharing on Pinterest– I can’t wait to explore these blogs further. 🙂

I also Googled chicken wire ghosts and found another post with two tutorials for making them  at www.bedifferentactnormal.com. Thank you!

Eight Great Uses for Plastic Spiders


1. Good Parenting: Encourage spawn to clean their rooms more often by hiding a big one in their bed. Place it close enough to the top layer of detritus so they will see it. She still cusses and hits me when I bring it up. Tears still run down my leg when I remember that day…

2. Being a Good Sister:  We TRIED to scare Lois and Bigguy by putting big fake spiders in the camp chairs they borrowed.  She names the real-life huge hairy spiders on the Funny Farm…(Charlotte, of course.) I should have known this would flop. If your big sister is a big baby about spiders, try it. Note: This is not just a Halloween trick. More effective other times of the year, actually.

3. Being self-sufficient: Can and eat them.

Not really. Use an old jar, food coloring and plastic spiders to make a fast, cheap, and easy Halloween decoration.

5. Be a good wife. I found this one on Pinterest, too. This lady Delia is messing with her arachnophobic husband. She hot-glued spiders to magnets to show her love.

6. More good parenting: What little girl wouldn’t LOVE spiders all over her head?? We have some really cute spider rings at the Barn.

Halloween Rings hairstlyes. Gotta remember this for sure!!!

7. Good Housekeeping:  I was doing something else with plastic spiders, and left one on the dryer by mistake. Startled me and the family a few times. Now I kind of keep the top  of the dryer cleaned off so the spider shows.

8. Your turn. I’m almost out of ideas, and there are lots of spiders left. Leave a link or a comment with your great idea.

For four billion other great ideas, check out my Pinterest Boards. Most of the ideas are like what we Pajari girls eat: fast, cheap, and easy. And most of the supplies can be found at Cook Dollar Barn!

Dancing Ghost Bride


I loved my wedding dress; it was the marriage that was the problem. So, after one of my daughters wore it to a formal, we decided it would make a great Halloween decoration.

tomato cage, chicken wire, wedding dress ghost

Last year I used an upside-down tomato cage, this year I added a chicken wire bodice.

Tomato cages are the best option I’ve found for making ghosts; this time of year I am taking them off all the plants, anyway.

tomato cage, chicken wire, wedding dress ghost

An old store fixture and a broken snow rake handle are the frame.

Because I didn’t want her to blow over or away while dancing in the wind, we pounded a few large stakes to hold down the fixture.

tomato cage, chicken wire, wedding dress ghost

It was easier to put the dress on the form and THEN squish the wire as needed.

Tomato cages have three legs; I used two for her chest and one to hang off the frame.

tomato cage, chicken wire, wedding dress ghost

Ta-DAH!!

Another GREAT, fast, cheap and easy idea brought to you by the Pajari Girls 🙂 (pronounced, PIE-ree)!

Killer Asparagus


There was this great idea I saw on Facebook…Cut eyes in toilet paper rolls and put a glow stick inside. Then hide them in the bushes for Halloween. I love the idea, but in northern MN, we have wind, rain, long nights, and usually snow this time of year.

It took a couple of weeks to figure out a way to make them Minnesota-proof , but the project came together with:

1. Driveway reflectors,

2. Gorilla Tape (everybody knows gorillas are stronger than ducks),  painter’s tape, or masking tape, and

3. Black spray paint.

Foofy reflectors from Bossy Big Sister’s store.

First we broke off the metal bugs, then cut desired eye shape from tape and placed it in center of reflector. Three light coats of spray paint later we had heavy-duty creepy eyes for the ditch. (We did this to both sides.) Once they were mostly dry, I peeled off the tape and ta-dah! Creepy eyes that glow every time a car goes by. (Feel free to wait until paint is completely dry if you are a firstborn and have lots of patience.)

There is a rogue asparagus gone wild next to the house, and it’s perfect for hiding the reflectors.

Another GREAT IDEA that’s fast, cheap and easy…brought to you by the Pajari girls. 🙂

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"I gotta say, it's brilliant stuff."--Dan Piraro, Bizarro

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