Monday, March 14, 2011

Who is that cheer mom?

A couple of weeks ago, LibbyLu began talking, and getting excited about her team's first competition of the season. She is often discouraged after practice, wanting things to be perfect, and is always looking ahead to cheering in college. Her goals encourage her to work hard and do her best. She is pretty good and I believe she will meet her goals head on. As competition time arrives, we all start looking at the uniforms. Do things look good? Perfect? How white are the shoes? Where are the socks? Where are the spankies? How can your arms grow four inches in one year? Where is your bow? As we gathered, tried on, clipped threads, and made some alterations here and there, LibbyLu began to talk about wanting new cheer bows. I told her to clear it with the coach. She asked, but coach was not sure what we would come up with, so she asked me to come up with a prototype. I did. She liked it okay, but I did not and the girls were scrambling for bigger bows. They insisted they wanted really big bows. I pulled out some ribbon and made a few prototypes. Here is my first.

These were the right sized bows but the wrong color of blue.

The center ribbon was too flimsy to hold the desired shape and the dots melted right off when I fused the silver ribbon. The girls and coach liked them, so I began working on ways to make the bows better.

I learned to make my own silver ribbon with the help of this amazing tool.

Finding ribbon in Springfield is not tough, but finding enough ribbon proved impossible. B & B Crafts saved the day with the amount of ribbon I needed, wholesale prices, and in time to create a total of 35 bows - a set for each Show Stoppers team competing.

I was able to match the uniform blue perfectly. Whew. Also, I changed the center ribbon to a high quality grosgrain. The dots stayed in place and the higher quality ribbon let the bows hold the desired shape.

I matched colors and switched dots to the outside for the other team.

I packed both sets in plastic tubs, tucked them in the trunk of the car, and off we headed to Kansas City.

The girls wanted not just any bow, but a big bow. Now we have a team of bow heads and they look great. Of course, it is not the bow that makes the cheerleader. It is the stamina, the determination, the power and the commitment that allows these girls to practice one hour a week for less than a year and pull off first in their division. Go Show Stoppers!

I never thought I would wear a t-shirt like this and I am not really sure how I got here. I do remember a flyer for cheer being sent home with LibbyLu when she was in Kindergarten. I ignored it. Even so, LibbyLu said she would become a cheerleader one day. She was convinced she could be a cheer leading neurosurgeon. I believed her, but ignored the flier in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. She caught on, I think, and did not allow me to ignore her request in 5th grade. Now, we head to cheer practice once a week and private tumbling once a week. There is an occasional open gym practice and extra practices at competition time. I have a close relationship with glitter make-up, glitter spray, Aqua Net, and a half inch curling iron. I am a cheer mom. Yikes.


  1. A big clap for the cheer mom! I'm a dance mom and a cheer mom and I know how much time and energy it takes not only from the girls, but from the moms as well. Fabulous bows, by the way!

  2. Great bows and you make a terrific cheer mom!

  3. So THAT'S where you guys were this weekend. I thought it was quiet around here.

  4. Un look vraiment adorable, elle est bien sympa la petite. Bravo vous avait fait un beau travail. Bonne journée et coucou de l'espagne.

  5. That is what I love best about you Kelly, you love everything about Libby, her academics, her artistic abilities, her athletic abilities which makes her an excellent cheer leader. You encourage her to to be her. You are a good Mom. And with John at your side you both are raising fine young girls who will grow up to be fine young women. Kudos to both of you. Love, Aunt Kathy. PS. Love the bows.

  6. I know the feeling, but I'm a Dance Mom! We're just getting into it so I don't have a t-shirt yet. LOL

  7. Oh rats! I forgot to say how wicked awesome those bows are. Great job!

  8. How wonderful! I love how supportive you are!

  9. Fantastic bows. You really are very talented.

  10. I LOVE this post. Loved the story about your daughter. Loved the problem of the bows and how you solved it. I learned a ton and the bows turned out really awesome! And you look really cute with your Aqua Net and curls!

  11. Darling! What a cute cheer mom and cheer leader! love the bow. Wanna come make them for the dance team I coach?

  12. These are cute, did you come up with them on your own, or did you find a tutorial somewhere?

    1. Hi Jamie - I did these after much Internet cruising. The ones I am doing now are so different and I have learned a great deal through the process. I not longer use pre-cut adhesive or thin strips of ribbon. My daughter says that I get better with each set of bows I make. I will try to put up a list of tutorials I have found. ~Kelly