Fairy Forest Mural Paint Colors

I’ve had several emails asking what the paint colors were for my fairy forest mural, so here they are:

Fairy Forest Mural Paint Colors via lilblueboo.com

Images from Disney
For the pixie dust, I also used Rustoleum Glow-in-the-dark paint.
For the chalkboard, you can find the materials used at my Magnetic Chalkboard & Growth Chart post.
Also, the Disney website has some cute templates you can download here.
You can download the TV frame here.
Here is my cup that you can thrown change into 😉

Making your own mural border template (and I added the large butterfly!)

I talked with a woman a few days ago about painting mural in her son’s room. She basically wanted the exact “waves” border shown in this photo on the Pottery Barn website:
Making your own mural border template via lilblueboo.com
Then she said the magic words “I just wish I could do it myself but I can’t figure out how.” Even though painting murals is a passion of mine, I love when people want to try it themselves, especially when it is a “doable” project like a simple border (which she had already received a bid of around $600 from someone else). I drew up a quick waves sketch and uploaded it to my favorite photo altering website to rasterize it into a “printable” template.
So here are the steps for making a border:
First I drew the waves using the Pottery Barn Kids photo as a guide. I draw in Powerpoint, which would make most people cringe (I got this weird habit from my days writing bond offering memorandums). You can just draw by hand and scan to your computer just as easily.
Making your own mural border template waves via lilblueboo.com
Then I placed two of the sketches side by side to make sure it looked okay as a continuous border.
Making your own mural border template waves 2 via lilblueboo.com
Then I uploaded it to the Homokaasu website and selected what size I wanted it to print out.
Note: Make sure to select “letter size” paper if you are printing at your home computer. It will print it out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and you can piece it together like a puzzle.

Just in case anyone needs a wave stencil, you are in luck……below are the two I did for the woman that called for the mural. The small one prints out on 7 pages of paper, the larger one on 18 pages of paper.
This “rasterizing” process is the same I used for the butterfly chalkboard template in the fairy forest mural I painted a few months back!
Making your own mural border template butterfly via lilblueboo.com
I only had to do half the butterfly and then I flipped it over to trace the other side.
I went ahead and uploaded that one for you too. This one prints out on 20 pages of paper. Again you would piece it together like a puzzle and use packing tape for all the seams. I use a sharpie to draw around the border and then cut my template out. Email me if you have any questions!

Is there anything more pathetic looking…..

…..than our 8-year old, balding, 2.5 pound, grumpy yorkie Diesel after a bath? Poor little guy.

Is there anything more pathetic looking Diesel Bath via lilblueboo.com

Okay, maybe the bee costume is more pathetic. Sienna kept telling him to “fly, fly Diesel” and I got worried that she would toss him off the counter…..

Is there anything more pathetic looking Diesel Bee via lilblueboo.com

You might remember when I was asking for prayers back in April because we thought we were going to lose him? Diesel has been doing much better so thank you! He is still getting his teeth cleaned monthly (I, of course, haven’t been to a dentist in years), eating a homeopathic diet (with ketchup) and fighting with his sister Sienna (Diesel is winning). He’s starting to lose all his hair so he could probably use some more prayers 😉

Beanbag Tutorial – Learning to Spell

How to make personalized beanbags via liblueboo.com

These beanbags were Sienna’s and my project yesterday afternoon. Who doesn’t love beanbags? We made one for each letter of her name.

How to make personalized beanbags 2 via liblueboo.com

Sienna doesn’t know how to spell yet but she loves counting them and we also play “bean bag horseshoes” with them….trying to toss them as close as we can to a target.

How to make personalized beanbags 3 via liblueboo.com

First, I made a square template 6 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ and used it to cut 2 squares from each piece of scrap fabric I had.

How to make personalized beanbags template via liblueboo.com

I cut 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of freezer paper to run through my printer (there is a file at the bottom of this post with the full alphabet that you can print). I printed out S-I-E-N-N-A in both capital letters and lowercase letters. Then I cut out around the letters and also cut pieces of blank freezer paper to place behind the fabric. I used a razor blade to cut out the letters to make a stencil.

Note: Freezer paper has a waxy side that adheres to the fabric when you iron it on. The non-waxy paper side should be on the side you are going to iron. Make sure to adhere all the edges and your paint won’t go on any area that you’ve ironed the paper onto! Just be careful not to use too much paint on each layer….or the freezer paper will start to unstick if it gets too wet. Do 2-3 light coats of fabric paint!

I ironed each freezer paper stencil onto the front of a piece of fabric (and ironed a blank piece to each back to keep paint from bleeding through).

Then I used Jacquard Fabric Paint to fill in each stencil.

Note: Be careful not to use too much paint on each layer….or the freezer paper will start to unstick if it gets too wet. Do 2-3 light coats of fabric paint!

How to make personalized beanbags paint via liblueboo.com

Once dry, I peeled off the freezer paper stencil and voila!

How to make personalized beanbags letters done via liblueboo.com

I placed each piece of fabric right sides together and pinned.

How to make personalized beanbags fabric pinned via liblueboo.com

Then I started in the middle of one side of a square (do not start on a corner) and I sewed all the way around with a 1/2″ inseam. I stopped 1″ from where I started sewing to leave an opening.

How to make personalized beanbags sew via liblueboo.com

I turned the square right side out and ironed flat (this also heat sets your paint).

How to make personalized beanbags ironed via liblueboo.com

Next I top-stitched around the edges of my square making sure to leave an opening where the previous one was (so that there is hole to put the beans through).

How to make personalized beanbags top-stitched via liblueboo.com

I had a great assistant helping to fill the beanbag with dried pinto beans…..

How to make personalized beanbags fill via liblueboo.com

…..until she got a little out of hand and started “bathing” in them.

How to make personalized beanbags Boo beans via liblueboo.com

I filled the beanbag 3/4″ full and then sewed the opening shut!

How to make personalized beanbags sew shut via liblueboo.com

One cute little beanbag finished!

How to make personalized beanbags finished via liblueboo.com

We plan to do the entire alphabet, but 7 beanbags was all we had time for today!



How to make personalized beanbags alphabet template via liblueboo.com

Cherry Tree / Bonzai Tree Applique

I’ve had a few requests for the applique pattern I used in my cherry tree/ruffle pant outfit so I’ve uploaded at the link shown below if you would like to download it. You can find the original post here with more photos of the outfit and pattern information for the pants.
Cherry Tree / Bonzai Tree Applique via lilblueboo.com

The applique was made by cutting out the tree from the lighter fabric and adding small round “cherry blossoms” using the pink fabric and small pink buttons. I hand-stitched the detail on the pink cherry blossoms using turquoise DMC thread. I used a white baby gap t-shirt because I like the weight of the fabric and the little scalloped edges.

Cherry Tree Applique*
*Copyright © 2009 by Ashley Hackshaw. All rights reserved. This applique is for personal and home use only. A limited commercial license may be purchased for limited production. Please email me at ashley (at) dc.rr.com for more information. Thank you for respecting my copyright!

To Write Their Names in the Sand…..

“Their dream is to bring warm light back into bereaved families lives. They wish for everyone Hope and Peace.” from Names in the Sand

What a wonderful, giving blog. And I was so sad to read Carly’s post today…..I wish I had an answer for her! Maybe one of you do…..

Here is Maxton’s name written in the sand:

To Write Their Names in the Sand via lilblueboo.com

Sweet Maxton was diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) at his 19-week ultrasound. After 18 days on this beautiful earth, my cousin David and his wife Ashley said goodbye to their sweet baby Maxton. You can read more about Maxton’s story here.

I hate when I do this…….

One thing you might not know about me…..I was a mathematics major. I’m just mentioning that so you’ll understand why I’ve been sitting here this morning trying to calculate how long these brushes had to have been sitting in this container for a quart of water to have evaporated completely. Now they are glued to the bottom of the container in a dried coagulation of paint.

I hate when I do this via lilblueboo.com

Estimate: A long time.

Tutorial: Mixing Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt)

Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) via lilblueboo.com
This might look a little overwhelming at first….but I promise it is not! You just have to follow the steps and it is easy! You could use these same techniques to make any theme shirt for a boy or girl. I made this Tinkerbell shirt using a combination of a freezer paper stencil, applique and permanent fabric pen. I’ve always found that mixing mediums adds interest.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 2 via lilblueboo.com
Here is the skirt. It is just a simple elastic waist skirt. I love this fabric (side says “Floral Silhouette Tink”) ….not your typical Disney fabric.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 3 via lilblueboo.com
The entire outfit.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 4 via lilblueboo.com
So here is how you can make the shirt (using a tank top or t-shirt):
A trick I’ve come up with to make stenciling easier is to cut out 8.5″ x 11″ sheets from the freezer paper and just send it through your printer!
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 5 via lilblueboo.com
I scanned some of the fabric from the skirt and enlarged one of the Tinkerbell silhouettes. Then I printed it in grayscale directly onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper and used a razorblade to cut out her body. (my poor printer is all wonky and ate this up….but it will still work) I would scan and post this template but I’m afraid Disney would come after me 😉
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 6 via lilblueboo.com
The next step is to iron the freezer paper onto the front of the shirt. I also put a large piece of freezer paper on the underside of the stencil to keep any paint from bleeding through to the other side.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 7 via lilblueboo.com
I mixed blue and white paint until I got a turquoise shade similar to the Tink fabric. I use Jacquard fabric paint and it seems to wash really well.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 8 via lilblueboo.com
Apply a thin layer of paint onto the stencil. Let dry and repeat with another layer if necessary. Once the paint is dry you can pull the freezer paper off and you will have the cutout image left behind (my favorite step).
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 9 via lilblueboo.com
Next I printed off another Tink silhouette on regular paper and cut out the wings to make a template. Then I used my disappearing ink pen to sketch out wings onto some leftover fabric from the skirt. Before cutting the wings out, I ironed Pellon Wonder Under to the underside of the fabric and then added them to the shirt as an applique.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 10 via lilblueboo.com
I used a wall stencil that had similar designs to the ones on the Tink fabric and used a fine black permanent pen (I use a Y&C Fabric Mate) to draw several shapes onto the shirt.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 11 via lilblueboo.com
Still using the pen I replicated the “pixie dust” effect seen on the Tink fabric.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 12 via lilblueboo.com
Pixie dust is easy. Just draw a bunch of the below sketch (draw tiny and in different sizes) and add specks randomly all over (less is more).
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 13 via lilblueboo.com
I made two other small applique pieces, the “Tink” and flower, to anchor the bottom of the design. I used the sewing machine to stitch around the appliques to stabilize them. The final step was to press the entire design to “set” the paint and ink.
Techniques (Tinkerbell Embellished Shirt and Skirt) 14 via lilblueboo.com

Generations – Marjorie

People always ask how I became interested in sewing, crafting and painting. I think it goes back to my grandmothers. They were both amazingly talented women who loved to make things. My father’s mother, Marjorie Heilig Swenson, was a skilled seamstress (she learned from her mother) and was passionate about creating beautiful delicate crafts.

Below is a set of bingo cards that she made for my father’s 4th birthday party in 1951. (I can’t believe they were kept all these years!)


Generations - Marjorie via lilblueboo.com
My grandparents (my father’s side) at a nightclub in the 1940’s:

Generations - Marjorie 2 via lilblueboo.com

When my grandfather passed away, I found this statue in the trash pile as the house was being cleaned out. I had this overwhelming feeling to save it.

Generations - Marjorie statue via lilblueboo.com

A few months later I received the photo below from my Aunt Sharon in the mail showing the statue on a table in between my grandparents. It was taken in 1967 on the night of Sharon’s prom. It turns out that the statue was made by my grandmother.


Generations - Marjorie statue 2 via lilblueboo.com

I think there is a great story in everyone’s experience, so I wanted to share a few things about my grandmother’s life that few people would know. I think there is so much beauty in a life story….no matter how happy or painful it might have been.

Losing a Mother
When my grandmother Marge was young, her mother Mabel would spend most of her time in bed with horrible headaches. There was no treatment at the time, and after her headaches, her eyes would be black and bruised and her hair would fall out in large quantities. There were many hospital stays where my great-grandmother Mabel most likely had electroshock therapy. One morning after Christmas, Mabel was supposed to go to the hospital for recurring headaches and she made the statement “I will never go to the hospital again.” My great-grandmother Mabel decided to take her life that day using gas from the kitchen oven.

Multiple Sclerosis
My grandmother went to a 2-year secretarial school but she was never able to pass the typing test. The administration actually had people outside the door making sure that she was doing her own work in other subjects. They did not understand how she could do so well on the other work but consistently fail the typing test.

The first real indication that something was very wrong was when my aunt Sharon was born. My grandparents lived on the third floor of an apartment building and one day, while Marge was walking up the stairs she dropped the baby…..her hands had just stopped working for a moment. Years later, my grandmother would start walking almost like her knees touched. She was diagnosed with MS.

My grandmother’s MS progressed until she would have to walk from one piece of furniture to the next and even to hold onto doorways. When my father was in high school and my aunt was in her first year of college, Marge got a horrible kidney infection and was in the hospital for a month. At times, her temperature was too high to measure and they would pack her in ice. She was given a catheter and would end up using one for the rest of her life, along with a walker. She would wear a little bag on her leg under pants and shorts that would have to be periodically emptied. No one would ever know. Trips were difficult because my grandfather would not let her use public restr ooms for fear that she would get an infection. My grandparents traveled the world anyways…..working through it together.

A Devoted Husband
Let me just start by telling you how wonderful my grandfather was. He passed away in 2003 and I miss him terribly. He was a wonderful, caring and devoted man. My grandfather was President of a large insurance company in Charlotte, NC but he also cared for my grandmother. If you can imagine….this stoic business man had to go into the local department stores (back when the sales people actually knew you) to purchase my grandmother’s undergarments since she was unable to. Once a doctor asked my grandmother how long she had been wearing the wrong size undergarments and she told him that she just did not have the heart to tell my grandfather that he bought the wrong sizes for her. I cry every time I think about that.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
I remember being entranced by my grandmother’s worktable. There were drawers and drawers of little trinkets and hinges. Marge would take large ostrich eggs and turn them into delicate “faberge” like the one she made below:


I never remember her working on her eggs….and being so young I didn’t understand why it looked like time had frozen at her work area with half finished projects. I would later learn that in 1971 Marge had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was perhaps the most difficult thing for her…..her hands slowly became curled and misshapen and she could no longer create the beautiful delicate crafts she so loved to make.

My grandmother passed away in 1987 after a fall.

So why have I shared all of this? I have this extremely powerful creative energy that makes me wish I didn’t have to sleep or eat, because sleeping and eating just get in the way. I lay awake at night thinking about my next project. I have an urgency to create. I can’t explain it except that I think my grandmother Marge is somewhere watching me and seeing that I am finishing what she couldn’t. She was a wonderfully talented woman who was always positive and cheerful despite the circumstances handed to her. When my hands begin to ache while I am sewing or painting, I stop, smile and enjoy the moment because I know she’s there with me…..

Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt

Free Cupcake Applique Template via lilblueboo.com
This is a gift for a friend’s daughter who turns 2-years-old today! Sienna and I are off to a fairy tea party to celebrate.
Free Cupcake Applique Template 1 via lilblueboo.com
I made the applique shirt with mini cupcake, tiny polka dot and sprinkle fabric. The cherry is a red button. (I’m loving the sprinkle fabric….it says it is exclusively made for Joann’s if you want some!) I used DMC thread to stitch around the icing layer and the sprinkle layer.
Free Cupcake Applique Template 2 via lilblueboo.com
I love this blue mini cupcake fabric by Makower….each pastry has little gold accents.
Update: I had a few requests for my fabric source for this fabric….I got it at Mary Jo’s last summer when I was in NC. If you want to find it, google “Makower Party Time Cupcake Blue” …..a few links came up including this one at Creative Quilts Kits. Check Ebay too. Also, the small brown polka dot (that perfectly accents the brown and white cupcakes) is from Robert Kaufman’s Pimatex Basics line.
Here is the template I made for the cupcake layers (I know it is simple…. but it might save you some time).
Cupcake Applique*
*Copyright © 2009 by Ashley Hackshaw. All rights reserved. This applique is for personal and home use only. A limited commercial license may be purchased for limited production. Please email me at ashley (at) dc.rr.com for more information. Thank you for respecting my copyright!
I didn’t use a pattern for the skirt. Just a few rectangles. It is for a size 2T and is slightly short so add some length to each if you like them longer.
Main skirt piece: cut 2 rectangles 8″ x 16″
Bottom border piece: cut 2 rectangles 4″ x 16″
I like to use a disappearing pen to draw a line to help me iron. I drew the first line 3/4″ from the top of the main piece and the second line 2″ down from that one. Fold your edge to the first line, iron, and then fold again to the second line…..
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 1 via lilblueboo.com
…..and iron. This results in a 1″ casing for your waistband.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 2 via lilblueboo.com
I took the border pieces and pinned them to the bottom of the larger rectangles (right sides together).
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Then I sewed these pieces together (use 1/2″ seam so there is enough fabric to topstitch later) and finished the edges.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 4 via lilblueboo.com
Open up the skirt pieces and iron the seam upward toward the top of the skirt. Place both skirt pieces right sides together and pin the sides together.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Fold the bottom of the skirt up 1/4″, twice, to form a hem.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 6 via lilblueboo.com
Refold the waistband down using the folds you have already ironed.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Topstitch the skirt where the main skirt piece meets the bottom border (about an 1/8″ above the border). You will be sewing over the 1/2″ seam you ironed upward earlier. This is a decorative stitch but also stabilizes the skirt where the two fabrics meet. You can also need to sew the hem at this point.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 8 via lilblueboo.com
Sew the waistband and leave 1″ for the elastic to be threaded through. Top stitch 1/8″ around the top of the band as well to stabilize the waistband and for decorative purposes.
Cupcake Applique Shirt and Matching Skirt step 9 via lilblueboo.com
Thread the elastic through and sew the 1″ gap shut…. you are done!
On another note….where did my child get this hair?! Her outfit doesn’t look very “tea partyish” but she runs from me every time she sees me holding the cute little tutu I bought….like mother, like daughter.
Adorable hair via lilblueboo.com