Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Second Late Night Shopping Event @ Little Bird on Ottawa St.

Come on out tonight and support the locals @ Little Bird on Ottawa Street, Hamilton Ontario.  There are some great sales on some fabulous locally made products as well as great quality consigned clothing (children's size newborn - 6), and the store will be open until 9pm!  In addition to the items posted in the previous entry I also have a couple aprons available.

Pretty in Pink (Size 2/3)

Christmas Spirit (Size 4/5)

lil' chef (cutie not included) - 2 available in store (size 4/5)
Drop on by Little Bird tonight - at the very least partake in the free cookies and coffee!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Check out the new items for sale @ Little Bird on Ottawa Street!!!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth at the National Mom 2 Mom sale in Ancaster on November 19th!  Just thought I would post a little reminder of the items I have available.  These items are currently selling at Little Bird on Ottawa Street, however I am always open for custom orders which can be purchased from me directly.  I am currently out of little people aprons however I will hopefully get these restocked in the next couple of days, and when I do I will post updated pictures!

Super Hero Onesie (detachable cape)

Everyday Bow Ties (adjustable neck)

Co-ordinating bow tie and vest (vest is reversible)

Reversible Vest

Fleece lined newborn hat (0-3months) - modeled by Jude's shell-less turtle

Fleece lined newborn hat (0-3 months)

Decorative Diaper Covers (available in size newborn - 24 months)

Polar Fleece animal hats (available in size newborn - 6 years)

Christmas Bow Ties

Christmas Reversible Vest & Bow Tie set

Reversible Super Hero Cape.  Item pictured can be reversed so that it is a Superman costume or a Batman costume.  Cape fastens around waist so there is no neck tie choking hazard.  Cape fits up to size 6.

Come on out to Little Bird's late night shopping event this Wednesday from 5pm-9pm.  Grab some great deals on gently used children's clothing as well as quality locally made items.  All items pictured above will be for sale at the store.

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Animated Photo

So once again it has been an immensely long time since I have made a post.  This time I will not promise that I will post soon so that I will not have to break my promise. 

My sister is a wedding photographer (and all other things photographer as well) and the other day she sent me a link to a 'stop motion' video that a different photographer had done.  It was really neat and she was interested in doing something of the like.  Click HERE to see the video that she sent me. 

This got me thinking that I had seen something quite similar before but on a much smaller scale.  I checked the blogs that I follow and low and behold I found a tutorial on how to create an animated picture.  The tutorial for this technique can be found HERE at Make It, Love It - an amazing blog with tons of DIY ideas. 

I thought I would try it out so Jude and I went outside for a photo shoot today and this is what we came up with: 

Hope you enjoyed the picture!  The task for next time is to figure out how to add music!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yes I am still alive!!!!

It has been 3 months since my last post, I am failing horribly on my pledge to post consistently!  What have I been doing in that time?  Tons of stuff!  It has been a great summer so far full of traveling, wading pools, splash pads, finger painting, park visits and many more exciting things!  Here is a picture of my munchkin and I chilling in the back yard.  My is he growing!

I haven't had much time in the last 3 months for sewing but just recently I picked up a new technique known as shirring.  A good tutorial for this technique can be found at 'Ruffles And Stuff'.  There are many shirring tutorials out there and if this one doesn't help you just google the technique and try a different site.

Every sewing machine is a little different in how it responds to the elastic bobbin thread.  I found with my machine (Omega) I had to loosen off the tension screw on the bobbin case just a wee bit as originally it was pulling the elastic too tight and the backstitching was not able to hold the elastic thread.  Good luck!
Bobbin Case

I was quite excited to try out shirring on an actual project.  See below for a picture of a couple of children's dress I made.  I think that they turned out so well that I might try to make one in my size, it will be able to grow along with my growing belly!

The inspiration for these dresses was found at Sew Mama Sew!  Because of the shirring technique used in these dresses they will fit a child for years!  For wee ones the straps can be crossed in the back before they are tied and as the child grows it can eventually be worn as a top with pants or tights. 
If you are interested in ordering one of these dresses please contact me here or check out my limited stock at Little Bird Consignment Shop on Ottawa Street in Hamilton, Ontario.

Hopefully I will post again soon!  I am currently working on some new aprons for Little Bird so I will get some pictures up as soon as they are finished!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Food Friday - Scones, a royal treat!

In honour of the royal wedding this morning, I thought I would post a recipe for a tried and true British snack - Scones!

For those of you who are not familiar with Scones these little delights, when baked perfectly, have a crisp exterior and an interior that is light and fluffy with a rich buttery flavor.  These can be closely compared to "American" biscuits however they tend to be a touch sweeter.  Scones are quite lovely just warm from the oven and are often served with jam, lemon curd, Devonshire, clotted or whipped cream. 

The recipe I have provided below is for plain Cream Scones however a variety of items can be added before baking to spruce up this delicacy.  (dried fruit, cheese, bacon, nuts, chocolate chips)


- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into bits)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk, half&half or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place rack in the middle of oven, line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingertips (the mixture should look like coarse crumbs).  In a small measuring cup whisk together the cream, beaten egg and vanilla.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Do not over mix or the scones will be heavy and flat instead of light and fluffy. 

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently for or five times and then pat into a 7 inch round.  Using a lightly floured 2.5 inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds.  Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart.  Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream, this helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a scone comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Makes about 10 - 2.5 inch round scones.

Scones are best the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days or can be frozen.  Scones are also very good as the base of a strawberry shortcake.

Note:  This recipe was found at a video tutorial can be viewed at

Monday, April 4, 2011

Make it Monday - A 'Super" Outfit!

So this is a little late but it is still Monday!  This weekend we had some unexpected events which left our home smelling of sewage and our sinks unable to empty, and on top of everything our little boy is teething and decided that 4:30am would be an appropriate time to start the day.  But I felt that I could not miss my very first day of my blogging schedule so here we go...

For my premiere tutorial I will be showing you how to make a little super hero outfit.  Today I will show you how to applique and tomorrow we will add a cape.  Techniques that will be used are; making and applying appliques, buttons and button holes.

To complete parts 1 and 2 of this tutorial you will need the following items:

- 1 onesie
- fusible webbing
- light interfacing
- material for cape
- material for superhero symbol
- 3 to 5 buttons or snaps

First decide on a superhero symbol.  There are many tried and true superheros out there or you can create your own.  For today's example we will be using batman.

When we are finished the applique process the shirt will look like this:

Step 1:  Trace superhero symbol onto card stock and cutout.

Step 2:  Trace logo onto paper side of fusible webbing.  Remember if the symbol is not symmetrical then make sure you are tracing the reverse of the image onto the paper.  Iron fusible webbing onto fabric.  Cut out symbol.

Turn shirt inside-out and reinforce the area where the symbol will be sewn by applying interfacing.

Turn shirt rightside-out and iron symbol to interfaced area. 

After symbol has cooled zig-zag stitch around the edges.

And there we have a superhero symbol on a onesie.

Come back tomorrow and we will add the detachable cape!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Introducing 'Make It Mondays' and other great things!

Hi everyone,

So I have come up with a way to keep me on track with some regular blogging - a schedule!

From now on Mondays will be known as 'Make it Mondays'.  Every Monday will feature a DIY tutorial.  Join us this Monday for my first ever tutorial which will feature a super outfit for your super boy (or girl!).

Here are some sneak peak pictures:


The superhero suit - complete with detachable cape!

Now you will see a couple pictures of the superhero suit in action:

The superhero looking cute as usual, but what is that?  Is it a hint of worry?

Yes it is worry!  Oh no!  Our superhero is in jail, whatever will he do now?

But with lightening quick speed he swerves left, he swerves right!

and then flys to safety!

For more adventure visit us Monday!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Contest - Win a Daddy and Me bow tie set!

Hi Everyone!
So I have decided to run my very first contest, hopefully if this goes well it will be my first of many future free giveaways.

The prize for this contest will be a custom Daddy and Me bow tie set, colour/pattern to be chose by winner.

How to enter:

1st method - 'Like' the red bow tie on Facebook (if you already like it then you are already entered)!/pages/The-red-bow-tie/185240011520797?sk=wall

2nd method - recommend the red bow tie to friends, have your friends 'Like' the red bow tie, for the recommendation ballot the friend has to post on the red bow tie wall "the red bow tie was recommended by..." both the recommender and recommendee will both get an extra ballot

3rd method - become a follower of my blog -

Contest closes Sunday April 10th @ 5pm, this will allow me to get the prize to the winner before Easter.

Thanks for Playing!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Newest Creation...

So my goal was to post something every other day and less then one month into my blogging life I have already missed my goal several times...  this might stem from the fact that I only have two followers of my blog thus far and the two followers are my sister and my husband both of which I have to remind to read my blog after each post!

Despite the sad reality of the above statement I will continue on!

Now on to more exciting things, today's post:

I have been working on a new style of children's aprons, more boy friendly then my previous pink frilly ones yet totally customizable so that it could still be quite girly.  As per usual I called on my talented model to show off my newest creation.

So you can't really see the apron very well in the above picture but Jude is looking so darn cute I just had to share!

The apron Jude is wearing is size 2/3 so it is a bit large on him.

The neck strap on the apron is adjustable with a one sided tie.  There is a double pocket on the front and the pocket is lined with a contrasting red fabric (same fabric as the red tomato applique).  The apron also has contrasting topstiching throughout (in this case red).  The applique is a tomato but could be customized to most anything.

Feel free to contact me if you would like your very own custom apron for your little one.  Various sizes and colours are available.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A quick and tasty treat!

Today just seems like a lazy spring day to me so I thought I would share with you one of my husband and my favorite treats for lazing around - JELL-O Glazed Popcorn.  I takes about 25mins (or less) to make from start to finish and it makes 9 cups. 


- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup salted peanuts or cashews (can be omitted and still tastes great)
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 package (4-serving size) fruit flavoured gelatin

Heat Oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place popcorn and nuts in large bowl.  Heat butter and syrup in small saucepan over low heat.  Stir in sugar and gelatin; bring to a boil on medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes.  Immediately pour syrup over popcorn, tossing to coat well.  Spread popcorn in 15x10x1 (or similar) pan, use fork to spread evenly.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and put into bowl immediately.  Break apart popcorn as it cools.


Note:  To remove glaze from cooking utensils and pans just soak in hot water, the glaze will disolve.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How to tie a bow tie

I've been meaning to do a post about tying bow ties but it kept slipping my mind until today my little guy finally tugged on his just right and it came undone.

Like most people in my generation I turned to the all knowing Internet to learn how to tie my first bona fide tie.  I found countless instructional pdfs. and videos, not many of which seemed very helpful.  I remember the writer of one of the tutorials wrote that to tie her first bow tie it took her two hours of gleaning over several youtube videos and a beer and she was pretty sure that it was the beer that finally allowed her to tie the bow tie.  While I did not resort to beer I did spend about an hour trying to tie my first tie and I finally resorted to enlisting the help of my husband, but let me tell you it was well worth it.

I hope to one day create my own bow tie tying video but until then here is one that I found helpful:

Here's to hoping you have happy tying and get it right the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 10th attempt.  As a word of encouragement, it gets easier!  I can now tie a bow tie without the instructional video in under a minute and I think to myself how in the world was this so hard before?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Get your bow ties and aprons at Little Bird on Ottawa St.!!!!

I am excited to announce that as of Friday March 11th, 2011 some of my handmade items will be available at Little Bird located at 164 Ottawa St. N. in Hamilton. 

Little Bird is a consignment store that carries children's clothes in sizes 0 to 6x, children's accessories and gently used maternity clothes.  The store also carries a growing selection of locally made items (this includes stuff made by me!)

I currently have bow ties as well as aprons for sale at the store.  The bow ties are real bow ties that are fully adjustable, these would likely fit a person from infant to pre-teen.  I hope to make some tiny ties to better suit an infant's head size.  The aprons currently in the store are appropriate for a child approximate 2-3 years old.  Right now the aprons in store are soft and feminine complete with ruffles, aprons for boys and a size 4-6 are currently in the works, I will let you know when these are available. 

I do not currently have any good pictures of my products (I hope to post these shortly) however I do have one picture of my son modeling the first apron I made - don't tell my husband!  (;

Apron size 2/3 on my 10 month old boy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Business Cards!!!!

My sister was over this weekend for my little munchkin's birthday (pictures to come in a couple of days) and while she was over she took some pictures for my new business card (see below).  I think it turned out fabulous, what do you think?


My sister is a professional photographer and she does wonderful work (and I am not just saying that because I am biased).  Check out her website at

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My very first post...

So as the title indicates, this is my very first blog post.  I am new to the blogging world so I guess maybe what would be appropriate is that I tell everyone a little bit about myself.

For starters here is a picture of me:

Melissa & Jude - Summer 2010

This is a picture from this summer.  I looked for a recent picture of just me but it seems that in this last year, since Jude hit the scene, there have been no pictures of me solo.  I suppose c'est la vie.

I grew up in a small town in Haldimand Norfolk on a tobacco farm in the boonies.  After high school I moved to the city of Hamilton to attend McMaster University where I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce, along the way I married my high school sweetheart. 

After university I got a job as an Underwriter for a bonding company in Toronto where I worked for two years. 

On March 7th, 2010 our little bundle of joy was born. 

Jude Samuel - 6 days old
and I have been home with him loving the housewife life every since.  

Another new development in my life is as of today I am officially unemployed from the "workforce".  My maternity leave ended today and I am left with what now?  Shortly after Jude was born I dusted off my sewing machine and since then I have been dabbling in some children's dress-up projects.  I think they are pretty nifty and I hope to use this blog to showcase these items in hopes that you may want to purchase something off of me!  (: 

why the title 'the red bowtie'?  Much to the embarrassment of Jude, most of the items that I sew are for little girls.  But since I only have a little boy at home Jude often has to try on the girly items so that I can size them correctly (as per my husband there are no pictures, but you get the picture).  The first item that I made for Jude was a little red bowtie, so I thought it would be fitting to entitle my blog as such. 

Jude showing off in his red bowtie

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!