Monday, December 6, 2010

To Bow or Not to Bow?!!

To bow or not to bow, that is the question? Why would I ask that question? After all, it is the season of gifts, trees and decorations, so of course we have to “BOW!”

Not necessarily! This is where I have to tell you that I have  a love-hate relationship with bows. I know that sounds so silly, but I have my reasons.

In the eighties (dreaded country decor gone badly era) everyone was putting a bow on everything. When in doubt put a bow on it! Wroooong!

Over the years design has become a bit more sophisticated and now bows are thoughtfully put on certain items like presents, trees, wreaths etc.

Now comes the hate(such a harsh sounding word) part. Pleeeeeez do not put bows on everything!!!

Sometimes I think certain vignettes or accessories can stand on their own and they do not require a bow.

Since it is the Holiday season we will obviously be putting a bow on our presents, trees and wreaths. I love ribbon and at times I would call myself a ribbon fanatic. If I see a beautiful ribbon I have to stand and stare at it, feel it and imagine what gift I can put it on.

I am going to show you the good, bad and ugly uses of bows and I will let you all be the judge on whether to bow or not to bow!!!

1 (400x400) 
I like this bow! It is simple, laying naturally and looks elegant to me. My favorite ribbon to use is a beautiful velvet or a double sided satin. I also love a cute grosgrain, especially in polka dots. I put this bow in the good category.

7 (400x400)
This is a very typical bow we all see at Christmas time. Notice how stiff the ribbon looks and it is made to look perfect.

The ribbon is perfectly made to make an un-natural wave pattern. This bow is what I would put in the bad column.

I made these types of bows for my wedding in the 70’s and for floral arrangements and wreaths in the 80’s. That was a realllllly long time ago!

5 (347x346)
Gorgeous use of ribbon! No bow needed here and yet it still gives the affect of a bow in a more sophisticated natural look.

This is double sided satin in at least 3-4in. width. The length of ribbon is long enough for it to hang naturally from the sophisticated knot that holds the pine and pine cone.

untitled (327x382)
So simple and so elegant. This is double sided satin in a nice width. Notice the way the bow lays naturally on the package. The tail of the bow is long enough to drape and not stick out stiffly. This is  a perfect bow to me. This bow is definitely in the Good group!

1 (333x250)
In this image you can see a less expensive looking package tied with double sided satin ribbon. Notice how the loops are large and yet the tails of the bow were cut off to short in proportion to the bow. This would look more lovely if the bow did not look so stiff and the tails were draping over the box.

9 (450x602) 
Here is  a fun use of ribbon that does not have any need for a bow, although I would imagine most people would have put a bow on the chandelier. This person chose to just tie a nice knot and the let the ribbon do what it does best if left alone, it just flows.

10 (450x549)
There is no bow needed here. The wreath has some nice wide ribbon holding it up and some ornaments are attached to the end. I would not mind a nice loose bow with long tails on this wreath, but this look is so much more interesting.

11 martha stewart (328x400)
Lovely satin ribbon tied loosely in a knot.

After writing this post I am realizing I had better take a closer look at the bows I make also! Isn't it funny when you really think about a subject you realize certain things about yourself too. Like I say, "I am still on the learning curve too."

I must leave you with one more image of a bow!!

8 (359x450)
Now that is what I call, “ A BOW!!!”

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Making a bow and placing it with love on top of your gifts, that will be the best bow ever!!
13 (700x284) Kathysue

Holiday Hint:

Remember to check out ribbon in the sewing notions at Walmart. You can purchase it by the bolt for around $6 for a 10yd bolt. That is much cheaper than in the Holiday wrap section.

Always check how much ribbon you are actually getting and you will be surprised at how little there actually is on the pre-package ribbons in the Christmas wrap section at any store.

  I buy mine early because it goes fast!!


Anonymous said...

I have some with and some without. Some fluffy and some loopy and some just ribbon.

I remember the days of bows here bows there and bows everywhere. Do you remember twisty paper ribbon?

I made three fluffy bows for outdoors, yesterday. Our outdoors is finished, I think. Anyway...I needed a fluffy bow or two, for some reason. After the third one, I remembered one very important reason I don't make fluffy bows these days. Nothing to do with style trends. A simple reason that comes with age, not wisdom of age, just age....the thumbs locked up just as I was finishing the third bow!:-)

Julienne said...

I love bows....sometimes! But my absolute pet hate is a mean bow....the tales should always hang naturally and long1 Love the red ribbon on the chandelier and the scooter on the wall! xx

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Loved this post, so fun. I like the softer bow too. I keep going back and forth about removing the bow on my front door wreath because the natural elements are so beautiful, a bow seems like overkill.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I love a big soft bow but sadly have never learned the art of making it!

Mona Thompson said...

I'm with you, I have a love hate relationship with bows as well. I love them, they hate me. I can't make one worth a darn. My Mother makes beautiful bows and so does my Sister. I did not get an ounce of that gene. Probably because patience is not a virtue I have cultivated yet. I'm too afraid to pray for it. I KNOW i'LL GET IT THEN. Love the big red bow at the end. Have a great week. Mona

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great post, now I just might put those stick on bows on my gifts this year, you never can tell. lol Great ideas. I love ribbon too and have a drawer full.

Your yellow post is also wonderful. I just scrolled down and you know I love yellow, so this was some great eye candy. Hope you have a super day. Hugs, Marty

Party Resources said...

I love the bows on the dining room chairs. So classic and so easy.

Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy said...

I'm a big fan of bows...if they're done tastefully of course, like the ones in the last 5 pictures. So classy!

krys kirkpatrick said...

It is all about the ribbon. I love Paper specialties here in Seattle. They have the best ribbon!

vignette design said...

I've moved away from bows in the last couple of years. They're ok on gifts of course! You always make me think Kathysue!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

This is really a cleaver post...I just never thought about bows that much before, but you are really right about the effectiveness...and uneffectiveness of their use. The only ones I really, really don't care for are the stiff ones...the stick-on type. Now if you will excuse me I have some bows to edit. (-:

Mariette said...

Dearest Kathysue,

With all those bows it is as with most other things, depending on what MATERIAL they're made of. If one knows the quality of Mokuba (Japanese) ribbons e.g. that is no comparison to any cheaply 'make-do-ribbon'.
The size of the object in relation to the width of the ribbon is very important. It is, as with garments, all about fit-size-proportion.

Great blog as food for thought!

Mariette's Back to Basics

LindsB said...

Love all your bows here, I cant wait to start wrapping all my presents and putting pretty bows on them for everyone!

Beach House Living said...

I like the look on the back of the chairs. I love ribbon, but often have a habit of really long tails. I don't know if that's good or bad.

Jemsmom said...

Oh, I needed this post! I have been trying to make bows for the last two days and as crafty as I can be... I am no bow maker! This just opened up lots of possibilities for my garland!!! Thank you!

xinex said...

Great post, KathySue....Christine

Anonymous said...

Ribbon can be one of the greatest rip offs of all time! Yes, indeed, I look at all the packaging and compare just how much I am getting. Michaels has great....after Christmas sales on hundreds of ribbons. You do have to use SO MUCH ribbon to really get that soft effect, so it pays to shop wisely!

sissie said...

I don't always put bows on packages. Sometimes just ribbon and an ornament or embellishment of some sort. I love soft ribbon flowing over the package.

Thanks for giving us something to think about.


Designs By Pinky said...

I HATE those stick on bows too!!!!!!!!!!! I try to do a special bow on my gifts. I ahve literally made THOUSANDS of bows as a floral designer. I should hate them all, LOL!!! At one time they used to pay us $1.00 per bow and I would make 75-100 a night!!!!!!!!!!! Glad those days are over!!!! I love how you make me think about things. XO, Pinky

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I do like bows, but like you I can be very particular and have had many a frustrated moment trying to to do a pretty loose bow, especially with satin it's so slippery!

I can not imagine Christmas(or life)without plenty of satin and velvet ribbon! I wrapped 2 gifts today using both.

I do however let the husband and the kids use the stick on's the only way to make sure they do all their own wrapping. So I try to find the prettiest ones possible!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Kathysue, How did you get a photo of my Christmas dress?? hahaha! I love me a good bow! Great suggestion to go to the sewing section for ribbon and not the holiday section.
Thank you!
Have a pretty day!


I couldn't have said it better! No more ugly bows!

quintessence said...

I love bows as long as they are simple and elegant - I find that if I buy wider ribbon - it makes it that much easier!

The Buzz said...

Bows sometimes have me tied up in knots! The ones that are the most difficult are the wired French silk ones... Love your images and post!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Love the look of the loose bows especially the satin. So pretty.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey! I love ribbon too & really have to think about bows. I still have a few bows around in my Christmas decor. In fact, I made a big loopy bow to go around a lantern on my foyer table, in a pretty polka-dot multicolored wired ribbon & I love how it looks. So, I really don't mind the wired ribbon at all, even though it's stiff.

Those stick on bows, yeah, I'm with you, hate those too. I do love, love the soft satin ribbon that is shown on a lot of natural greenery, that is so pretty & elegant. I haven't used a lot of it, but I so admire it when I tour Christmas homes that are just done up simply & elegantly using lots of satin ribbon. Fun post!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I love bows as long as they are soft and flowing. I love long tails. For Christmas I love satin or velvet ribbon for soft elegant ties and bows. I think a bow is more elegant when it is done softly and in a casual fashion.

La Dolfina said...

I agree with Dolores... you always make me think!
Usually I'm thinking the same thing but just didn't realize it until you so effectively pointed it out to me. I think one problem with them is the challenge in tying them for most of us.
There is nothing like ribbon and double faced satin is my fave. Midori ribbon is the best in my opinion, expensive but so worth it!!!!