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Sep 25, 2014

Tutorial Round Up: Hair Bow How-To’s

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(Photo credit: LoveIsHome)

I recently went to the doctor and they discovered that I have a placenta previa. No big deal at 20 weeks. It can cause problems later, but before then it will probably move and we’ll be able to proceed as normal. If it doesn’t move the plan is that they’ll watch me close and make sure she’s born via c-section at 36 1/2 or 37 weeks. I haven’t had any serious limitations put on me, but to prevent things from getting complicated (read: long-term bed rest), the doctor basically just said, “Do your norm and rest when you can. No heavy lifting, and let your son walk or ride when he can.” So, I have to take it easy until I go back for another series of sonograms at 24 weeks and then we’ll know more. This means nap time is no longer devoted to vacuuming, unpacking boxes (thank heavens for our families, it’s almost completely all done), or anything other than laundry and a little sweeping here and there. For a busy little bee like me, having to be in mandatory “rest when you can” mode has been quite the challenge. Especially considering we just moved, I have a two year old,  I had to cancel singing in a few weddings/events planned for this Fall, and I’m eager to get cracking on Mary Chamblee’s nursery. Sigh. The good news is that I am adhering to the recommendations from my doctor and taking care of myself. Hence the epic round of crafting, my emergence back into writing, and diving back into my “I said I’d read that someday” reading list. I figure that if I’m supposed to rest for a period of time every day, I might as well enjoy it by doing things that involve a lot of sitting. Bonus: I’m also getting really good at taking naps. ;)

Many of you asked me for a tutorial on how I made the hair bows for Mary Chamblee that I’ve been sharing on Instagram and Facebook. Great news, friends. The tutorials already exist, so I didn’t have to write one! That being said, I’m happy to share some tips I found helpful in addition to the original articles themselves. I’m also including some photos and links I found that were helpful in deciding on which colors to use, materials to go for, etc. I have given credit where credit is due, and please for heaven’s sake don’t hesitate to purchase bows from the retailers mentioned if that’s easier for you! Again, I made them because I have the time and wanted to try it out. I also know I’m going to save some serious moolah by learning how to make them myself. No time to spare? No sweat. That’s what Etsy and Amazon are for! Order you some and get on with your awesome mama self.

Without further ado, here are the bows I ended up making during all this time I have (shrug) and the tutorials I used for each set:

Style #1- Winter Felt Bows:

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(Photo credit: LoveIsHome)

Above are the winter bows I made using CREATE STUDIO's tutorial which you can find by clicking   ->here<-. I found this tutorial to be really well-written and super helpful. I actually did not print out the pattern she linked to, but instead I just winged it and fiddled with the felt until I got them the size and shape I wanted. I did find TCM’s tutorial she linked to to be super helpful in terms of showing you how to attach everything correctly when making the bow itself. I also found that there’s a ton of value in pinching the bow into the shape you want it *before* hot glueing the bow piece onto the bottom ribbon piece.

I haven’t attached the bow clips on yet because I’m still waiting for them to arrive from Amazon, but it looks super easy and simple to do. You can find the actual clips I’ve ordered here. (<- and they come with free two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime, hurray!) It’s taken me a little longer to finish these than it should have because I decided to make the bows first and then order the clips after I knew I could successfully make the bows to attach to them. When making something for the first time off of someone else’s tutorial, I find it’s always better to try first before purchasing ALL THE THINGS you think you want/need to finish the project. There have been several times I was glad I didn’t purchase the stuff for steps 4-10 because steps 1-3 made me change my mind about tackling the entire thing. Luckily, this was not that time.

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(Photo credit: A Pinch of Peach)

I am in forever love with everything in A Pinch of Peach's Etsy shop. This photo I used for inspiration in terms of felt weight and color. I bought craft felt from Michaels in the colors you saw. I also had some other felt lying around and will continue to look for the mustard yellow, wheat, and the peach colors pictured here. Michaels didn't have them, but somebody must and I'm on the hunt. I also love how this black bow looked and will be making several in the very near future.


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(Photo Credit: Hair Love Shop)


And in case you’re wondering, Hair Love Shop on Etsy has pretty much got every color under the sun. I’m dying over that aqua!

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These are some of the others I made this week. The orange bow was made the same way as the others, but the tail is done by adding a longer ribbon piece that you fold under instead of gluing flat. I’m sure there’s a tutorial for that, but I have faith that you can figure it out. If you have trouble, let me know and I’ll be glad to send a link your way!

Style #2, #3, and #4- Roses, Newborn Teenies, and Puffy Flowers

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(Photo credit: LoveIsHome)

Style #2: Roses
I love these little roses on the left and can’t wait to sew them onto a headband. They were SO ridiculously easy to make. I used Life After Laundry’s tutorial found ->here<-. I also have found about 23873468734 tutorials on how to make other types of flat little flowers like this on Pinterest. Just search “felt rose headband” and you’ll see what I mean. *It is important to know that the more you vary the “wave” you cut within the circle, the less flat the flower will turn out. I plan on making some more with more variance within the cutting so that they will look more like roses and less like circles in the future. I still love the tiny pink circles though! Also, you totally don’t have to make them in sets of three of the same color. I’ve seen really cute ones in boutiques that are made of everything from one large circle, to several smaller circles in different colors.

Style #3: Newborn Teenies
The Newborn Teenies were pretty simple as well. To make them, I got some 1/4” grosgrain ribbon and used Smart School House’s tutorial found ->here<-. So far I’ve made them in white, pink, and red. Girlfriend is ready for her first Valentine season. I think they’d also be sweet in yellow, mint green, or black and white polka dot!

Style #4: Puffy flowers
For the puffy flower pictured at the far right, I used Shad and Lizzie’s tutorial found ->here<-. It’s really easy to follow and how cute is her little princess pictured?!

Style #5: Fabric Bows

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Disclaimer: This tutorial that I used from Fourth and Hazel isn’t the most fancy option out there, but their method was similar to another that I’d used to make bow ties for Wade two years ago so I decided to try it out. Also, my sewing machine is still boxed up so this was preferable before I unpacked the thing to make something so small I wasn’t sure would even work. To my surprise their method worked beautifully! Obviously, instead of using a bobby pin to attach it, you would use a French barrette clip or an alligator clip similar to the ones I listed from Amazon earlier in this post. As you can see, I loved that little black & white one so much that I made another in a graphic yellow pattern and one in a fun pennant banner fabric I had lying around. All of these were scrap fabric from other projects, so they were free. Hurray!

Like I said, it’s much more affordable to make bows yourself. If you a) don’t have the time or b) don’t care to make them, then feel free to check out the following list of adorable Etsy retailers. I haven’t ordered from any of these people so I can’t speak for their customer service, but I am definitely looking at their products and loving them!

A Little Lady 
Super Adorable
My Sweetie Bean 
Pretty Little Elm 
Charlie Cocos

Okay, that’s it! I certainly hope you found this helpful. If not, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have. If you make some of these bows, please share them with me by tagging @thehousewhereloveishome on Instagram. I’d love to see your work!

Sep 24, 2014

On the State of the Arts in Our Culture, Why I Care, and Why You Should Too

I’ve been asked numerous times why I would choose to write about the arts instead of teaching and performing only. I am passionate about the arts and believe that the key to lasting arts patronage in a community begins and ends with information. I hold fast to the option that it is our responsibility to continue to make experiencing the arts accessible to community members who may otherwise choose to enjoy a different form of entertainment. In a world where we have literally every ounce of knowledge and information instantaneously at our fingertips, it is a huge challenge to hold people’s interest in much of anything for long. Sadly, this is especially true with the arts. One of the huge draws for my husband and I moving back to Columbus was the unusual amount of support that this community brings to the arts. I have seen countless buildings built, large instrumental endowments given, shows fundraised, art exhibits funded, and foundations established in this community over the past nine years. This commitment to the thriving of the arts is truly unlike any other community in the South, and I would wager that there are only a handful of similar cities left in our country that measure up in this way. When it came down to it, we wanted to raise our children near family in a progressive community that supported all forms of cultural growth. Columbus offers that to us with open arms.
There is no doubt that it is certainly going to be a challenge for Arts/Entertainment journalists to keep up with the times and maintain our community members’ interests in our field, but it is a worthwhile cause that I believe many generations will continue to benefit from in the future. As I said before, I believe that it all comes down to providing our communities with interesting and up to date information about emerging artists, events, artistic triumphs, and community needs. Perhaps most of all, I think it is crucial that we continue to provide accurate and gripping information about the social implications of our culture abandoning the arts and what it could mean for our children’s children. 
Arts today have unfortunately become so inaccessible to our patrons. With funding continuing to be cut left and right in our public schools and ticket sales of major arts venues and museums plummeting for the last five years, it seems that people are less and less willing to spend their time and efforts learning about and supporting the arts. What if our ancestors had taken this approach? What if our Founding Fathers had decided that the arts were just “not American” and an irrelevant form of entertainment that wasn’t worth their time? What if early American culture had neglected the arts in the way our generation is now? 
One of the most eye-opening pieces of information about history I ever received was the fact that while our country was fighting for our independence in the 1770’s, Mozart was in his early twenties and composing his best works in Europe. It was also pointed out to me that Beethoven was six, and the Rococo artistic movement was just ending in France. In other words, things I had studied and found interesting, had in fact been happening simultaneously in the world and no one had ever pointed it out to me. The idea that Washington could have been mindlessly whistling “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” as he was crossing the Delaware blew my mind. As a student, it also simultaneously made him more relatable to me as a historical figure. As a member of the millennial generation, this realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Growing up a public school kid in the 90’s conditioned me to think of Mozart as “one of the old dead guys who wrote music a long, long, time ago” and thinking of the American Revolution as something far more recent. The fact that I had never been encouraged or taught to make historical parallels- let alone with regard to the fine arts and how they correlated to history- was both shocking and bothersome to me. I would venture to say that I am not alone in this educational gap. Especially when it comes to the millennial generation. 
Obviously this gap does not only center around music, but around fine arts as a general genre. While teaching, I was appalled by how many young children had never seen some of the great works of art. Many had never heard an ounce of Broadway unless it was a song sung by a Disney princess in a show revamped for the stage as a money-making afterthought. Even fewer had actually ever been to a play. The only museums they’d ever been to were on a handful of field trips where they’d only had time to visit the one or two exhibits that were aligned with their curriculum. It bothered me and easily helped me to draw a parallel that led me to the conclusion that the future of the arts is not concerning because of lack of interest, but of lack of information. What does this say about us as parents? As educators? Have we become so enamored with “teaching the test” that we have become fearful of teaching our children the history of our own culture? How will our children view the theatrical stage as adults? Will there still be art exhibits in local venues in thirty years when our children are our age? Who will provide the funding for these things? What sustainable foundation for the arts are we laying for the future?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think we are lazy educators. I don’t think we are failing parents. I don’t think we are culturally illiterate as a whole, and I certainly don’t think we have any intention of abandoning the arts. I think that it is just happening naturally because so many other things are becoming more “important” to us. Most people our age would tell you that they’d rather sit and watch Netflix in their pajamas any night than get dressed up to attend a symphony concert. Why is this? I think that it is because we are missing are the bits of information that make the arts come to life. The very things about the arts that have kept the painters painting, musicians still voluntarily subjecting themselves to five hour rehearsals, and the heart of the arts that continues to draw young children to get up and perform on a stage. We are missing the links between consequential historical events and the ways they have impacted the lifestyles of entire societies. We are lacking information that makes us want to seek out the fine arts as a relevant source of entertainment. How many of us know all about the latest domestic violence cases of the NFL? All of us. But how many of us know why the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is about to have to shut its doors? I’d wager very few. Is it because we don’t care? Or is it because we haven’t heard enough to make it relevant to us? I would venture to say the latter. 
So why write about the arts instead of just perform and teach small children? Because if we don’t educate our communities on what is happening with the arts, why it is happening, and how it affects our patrons… then who will? Centuries of cultures have been and continue to be propelled by the arts and I refuse to sit back and watch our culture miss out on it. I want my children to recognize Monet and Matisse. I want them to play Beethoven compositions for my grandchildren. I want them to choose to sit in an auditorium and experience art with others instead of preferring to sit on the couch at home and stare at a screen. I want my grandchildren to support an emerging artist at their first show. Our generation will be lonely sitting in these venues in thirty years if we do not engage our neighbors and children in protecting and participating in the arts. There has never been a more crucial time than today. 
Happy July 4th from Silver Springs, MD! We are in a precious All-American little town outside of DC enjoying a morning parade in perfect weather. #wallacesdodc
Jul 4, 2014

Happy July 4th from Silver Springs, MD! We are in a precious All-American little town outside of DC enjoying a morning parade in perfect weather. #wallacesdodc

Thought the sizing said Toddler-Age 5. Somehow ordered the age 5-12 size. Whoops! Good news is this precious little (okay, larger than life size) ducky will be dry from head to toe in DC next week!!
Jun 28, 2014

Thought the sizing said Toddler-Age 5. Somehow ordered the age 5-12 size. Whoops! Good news is this precious little (okay, larger than life size) ducky will be dry from head to toe in DC next week!!