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!

PowerBall Christmas Shopping List


How fun would Christmas shopping be if I won the lottery?? (Seriously, follow the links–they are half the fun.)

 

My Big  Sister Lois would get a yak, which was Rachel C’s great idea…

Yak

…and a Hippopotamus For Christmas. Real ones. Complete with enclosures etc. And enough money that she could stay at home on The Funny Farm and play with creatures, her chainsaw, and shovel POO!  to her heart’s content, instead of going to The Barn every day. (The Barn vs. the barn.)

All of the Pajari Girls would get pink guns. Because it’s ironic. And badass. Check out these Google pics of pink guns.

Mr. Wonderful would get a private plane so we could visit his family whenever he wanted. And Pine-Sol. The company.

BigGuy: A custom Harley, with all the accessories including Vance & Hines pipes. And maybe a sidecar, so we wouldn’t have to fight over who gets the next ride. Of course, he will have to quit working so he has time to give me more than 2 rides per summer.

Firstborn Spawn: NOT a pole. I’d buy her the Minnesota Wild.

Unloved Middle Child: We would follow The Boss on tour, front row, backstage, etc. And pie. Scooter Pie.

The Boy: His own museum full of trains and dinosaur skeletons.

If money were no object, what is the wildest Christmas gift you would buy?

Our Halloween Adventure


What you are about to read is a true story. I couldn’t make this stuff up. Okay… I could. But I didn’t.

After an un-Minnesota-like (no snow or rain), pleasant evening of trick-or-treating, The Boy and I hurried home to light our Jack-O-Lanterns and relax a little. The Barn was crazy busy the last few days with people getting ready for Halloween, and I was pooped. As I came back into the house, talking to my boyfriend on the phone, Danny came running out of the living room, Wii remote in hand.

“Mom!!!! There’s a BAT in the house!!” I thought he was kidding. Any self-respecting bat should be hunkered down for the sub-zero temperatures that are on the way. And I have a few fake bats hanging around as Halloween decorations; maybe that’s what he saw. Just then a flying rodent swooped past my big purple witch hat.

“Holyshitgottagoloveyabye!” I told Paul.

I’m pretty sure he replied, “Holy Criminy!” because I talk enough like a trucker for both of us.

Everything I know about bats flashed through my mind. Later, while researching this post, I found a short, sweet article by the MN DNR  about Living with Bats. My favorite line is: “Actually, bats are proficient flyers and can easily catch insects while avoiding people.” Good to know. Very reassuring. It’s one thing to know this intellectually, and another to remember it while one is flying around one’s house while the cat and the kid are freakin’ out. On Halloween.

Yes, I know bats make Minnesota summers less miserable by eating billions of mosquitoes, don’t want to suck my blood, won’t get caught in my hair or big purple witch hat, rarely have rabies, that they are a valuable part of the ecosystem, blah blah blah. That’s why we don’t shoot or otherwise try to kill them on sight.

bat
Paul safely and gently removed this bat from the outside of the Dollar Barn this summer. Poor little guy was drenched.

I also found an informative WordPress blog written by MN Wild Animal Management, a company from The Cities (aka Mpls/St. Paul if you are not from the Midwest). Please read this BEFORE you have a bat in your house. They gave great advice, but were too far away to remove this particular bat.

“If you do encounter a bat flying in a room, fol­low this procedure:

  1. Shut all doors leading into other rooms to con­fine the bat to as small an area as possible.
  2. Open all windows and doors leading outside to give the bat a chance to escape. (Don’t worry about other bats flying in from the outside.)
  3. Remove pets from the room, leave the lights on, stand quietly against a wall or door, and watch the bat until it leaves.
  4. Do not try to herd the bat toward a window. Just allow it to calmly get its bearings, and don’t worry about it swooping at you. When indoors, a bat makes steep, banking turns, so it flies up­wards as it approaches a wall and swoops lower near the center of the room. Within ten to fifteen minutes the bat should settle down, locate the open door or window, and fly out of the room.”

The Pajarigirl Procedure for Bat Removal, however, went a little differently…

  1. Snag cat as he races by after bat.
  2. Toss cat gently into bathroom and close the door.
  3. Duck.
  4. Tell boy to join the cat in the bathroom.
  5. Catch cat again when it escapes through open bathroom door.
  6. Wait for bat to fly back out of bathroom.
  7. Duck again.
  8. Reassure child that even though it’s Halloween, this is not a vampire bat.
  9. Toss cat and boy into bathroom and slam the door.
  10. Open both outside doors, and wait for bat to come out of boy’s room.
  11. While standing in doorway to living room, don’t duck, and explain to bat that you are not that kind of witch; he needs to leave, there’s the door. Use big purple witch hat to block entrance to living room and encourage exit through kitchen door.
  12. After bat escapes, shut both outside doors before letting cat and kid out of bathroom.

I had assumed that since we have had snow on the ground, the bats were hibernating. Looking back, I should have known better. The Guinea Monsters From Hell are still finding plenty to eat, very close to my house. Bats and Guinea Hens both eat bugs, and even though the nights have been cold, and I haven’t had a mosquito bite in weeks, there are still enough  bugs around to keep their predators alive. I even killed a mosquito a few days ago while brushing snow off the Jack-O-Lanterns. Point taken, Mother Nature.

mosquito in the snow
Leave it to Minnesota… snow, mosquitoes, and bats in the same week.

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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