Love Day Knots, Bows, and Ribbon as Gestures of Affection

A few thoughts on embellishments for love day…
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.   
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there   
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot
into her long black hair.
  The Highwayman
Alfred Noyes
There is something endearing about a jaunty necktie, a pretty lacing on flowers or
girly boots, tiny packages with satin ribbons or a carefully tied hair bow. It’s all about

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.” Hosea 11:4


For centuries love knots and ribbons tied just so have existed as symbols of love. Corsets, laced boots, garters, fasteners for lingerie and jewelry: love all tied up and withheld or given.  While it sounds like one of those twisty, edgy novels, we use ribbon, knots, bows and lacing to convey meaning and often affection–in wedding rings, packages, clothing and flowers.


Twin Peaks Cherry Stem Knottiness

Love Knots are associated with both early Valentines and with Bride’s Bouquets–the knot was considered a wish for good luck.  I seal many of the bouquets I make with a love knot flourish of well wishes tied into the bouquet with the ribbon.

Some believe the first love knots were tied by sailors and left as gestures of affection before leaving for the sea as the knot symbolized entwined lovers.  Irish women created knitted designs not only to keep their sweethearts warm, but also to invest their work with spells and charms designed to keep loved ones safe.  In the middle ages, chivalrous Knights tied lacy emblems of courtly love on battle garb and Ladies gifted their belongings as tokens of admiration for ability in contests or on the battlefield.  Arabic girls communicated secret feelings to their beloved with knots in a secret language.  Carpets and prayer rugs were knotted with meaning as well–mystical beliefs tied up in designs of silk or wool.

How something is given can be as meaningful as the thing itself. Presentation conveys emotion and tenderness, friendship, well wishing, thoughtfulness.  A knot shows completion, an end or beginning, a binding agreement, an imprisonment, an engagement, a promise, or a gordian challenge.

A languorous and draping ribbon makes a  seductive impression. It leads you in.

Shelley Pomeroy’s beautiful silk ribbons are hand dyed using plant materials. Photos courtesy


Dated Love Letters  bound in ribbon warm the heart–missives of affection held through time♥ DSC_4854

Deciding on a ribbon or wrapping is a Qixote like quest. Color and materials hold meaning.  Hair tied with a blue satin ribbon has a different feeling than  hair captured with homespun, indigo dyed silk, leather or lace.  A  tie of a filmy fabric or ribbon is seductive and romantic–a dance of veils–and a simple twine of cotton, hemp or linen is organic, natural and rustic.

A bow or tie is a binding and also an embellishment.  Choose wisely or frivolously–it will be understood that there is a meaning to the message.

♥ You might also enjoy Miss Trunchbull’s diatribe on the evils of hair ribbon♥

valentine, seduction, affection, flourish, endearments, ribbon, wrapping, embellishment, ruffle, bow, frill, scallop, love knot, tied, embrace, hold, darling, dear, sweetheart,  lover




Love Tea for Valentines Day, Wedding Favors or Handmade Love

Here’s a quick tutorial for making hand sewn heart shaped Valentines Day (or Any Occasion) Tea Bags.

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While I made these for my Dad when he was having some issues with his heart health, you can make them for your own special little Sweet Hearts.  For parties or special occasions, serve the tea with  heart shaped sugar cookies or a simple cake for a special treat. Tuck them into a handmade card or handmade mug or as a favor or a gift for a baby shower, wedding shower, birthday or anniversary. They’re sure to be a hit. These little 2 1/2″ square bags are fun to make and will delight the recipient.






Iron or Other Heating Element (curling iron, straight iron)

Dried Organic Flower Petals   Rose Petals/Hibiscus/Peony Blossoms/Violets/Pansies/Violas

Organic Tea Leaves from Green Herbs  Dried Organic Spearmint, Peppermint, Nettles, Raspberry Leaf, Green Tea, Catnip, Lemon Verbena

Press and Brew Tea Bags–I get mine from Starwest but they’re sometimes available at Natural Food Stores.





I make these teas from my own farm raised organic dried rose petals and peppermint. The tea drinker gets a little of our Paradise magic in every cup.  The tea is a holder of the memories and imprints of the place where it is grown as well as the lovely phytochemicals and minerals in the plants themselves. You can use other edible flowers and herbs but you’ll  want to think about how the colors work together in your design and how the herbs and flowers taste together as tea.


  1.  Lightly draw a heart in the middle of  the tea bag with a graphite pencil. Make sure there is a least 1/4″ between the edge of the heart shape and the sealed edge of the tea bag.
  2. Using a needle threaded with white thread and knotted at the end, begin at the top center of the heart shape.
  3. Sew carefully all of the way around the shape until you get back within an inch of where you started.
  4. Fill the inside of the heart shape with the flower petals.  I use roses, peonies or hibiscus as they’re reds and pinks.
  5. Finish Sewing the Heart shape and finish off the end by sewing a couple of back stitches.
  6. Fill the area outside the heart with the green tea herbs.  I used peppermint as it works well with the rose petals.
  7. Iron the open end of the tea bag to heat seal the bag.

Now the tea bag can be steeped without losing the flowers and herbs.  It’s pretty even after steeping.


Here’s another large  4 X5″ tea bag with a two heart motif filled with pink roses and red hibiscus flowers and surrounded by a field of green peppermint. This teabag makes a full teapot and can be refreshed with a second filling of hot water if you remove the bag after initial steeping and return for a second pot.

This design looks pretty floating in a clear glass teapot or other tea container with a wide opening. Alternatively, float the tea bag in a pretty bowl of sparkling punch. You can tuck it into a gift box or hand thrown/built teapot. It would be a delightful surprise for a tea party at a baby shower, wedding shower, birthday or anniversary. You’ll know the perfect occasion.

il_fullxfull.215029875 il_fullxfull.215029929 Paula Jeans Garden Sweet Heart Tea

♥Some of the images are before steeping in hot water-some after.