Correcting/Repairing Images for Screen Printing

I tend to reuse my screens multiple times over for my prints and sometimes the images start to deteriorate as some of the photo emulsion starts to erode and wash off. There is a really simple solution to touch up these images: screen filler

I use a small detailed paint brush to apply screen filler into the areas where the emulsion has started to disappear to clean up my image:

Another problem I run into: the glass I use to create my prints is slightly smaller than some of my larger screens so a small amount of light is diffused leaving a faint line in the final image:

When this happens I just use screen filler to touch up the image:

You can also use screen filler to free hand a design onto a screen. You would apply it anywhere you don’t want ink to pass through. Happy printing!

Lil Blue Boo Lady Bugs!

Check out the adorable Izzy modeling my new Lil Blue Boo lady bug silk screens (and racer back style!) New one-of-a-kind upcycled knit dresses to start showing up daily in my Etsy shop using these ladybug and citrus prints until I run out (check the LBB Facebook page for listings)! Thank you Olivia for the breathtaking photos!

Click here for more info on Olivia Hooper Photography!

Last Year’s Mac Book

Note: if you are my parents or my in-laws….do NOT read this post 😉

I FINALLY finished it: Sienna’s book that we make every year for ourselves and her grandparents. This year I was waiting on the photos from my sister’s wedding so I just gave my parents and in-laws an IOU at Christmas….and then time got away from me…..but it is finished, bound and off to the printer. I added a few ideas from the 2008 book so I love this one even more than the last two… are some excerpted pages below. Maybe it will give spark some ideas (and I’m always welcoming new ideas for next year’s book!)

Note: All I used was the Mac iPhoto program. For example, each copy of the 65 page book ran me about $70 each. The quality is AMAZING and looks like an expensive coffee table book with the nice dust cover.

The cover: I love how vibrant and professional the Mac books turn out.

Little snippets of milestones: Many pages of these throughout….just thoughts I jotted down throughout the year that I wanted to remember.

A birthday photo: Some photos just deserve an entire page to themself.

Since I am a painter I just can’t get enough of photos of Boo painting…..


More milestones:

Photo compilation: Sometimes a group of photos says much more than words.

I submitted Sienna’s artwork last year to What my Kid’s Art Says and used the hilarious reviews on the opposite pages of her scanned artwork.

The review:

The artwork:

The review:

The artwork:

Stories to accompany pages of photos:

Learning to swim:

Teaching to swim:

A summer activity:

Again, sometimes the photos say everything….she is my mini-me:

Just some cute athletic photos:

Scanned artwork:

Some firsts:

A favorite photo:

A classic shot of Diesel:

The November wedding:

I let Sienna have the camera one day and this was the result. Very artistic!

Christmas photos:

More scanned artwork:

New Year’s Eve!

Some excerpts from my last post about the Mac books:

If you don’t have a Mac you can download software products such as My Publisher or Kodak Gallery to make a similar photo book. There are so many different things you can do with these programs. Here are just a few ideas….please share more if you have them!

Child’s Art Portfolio: Scan all your children’s drawings and artwork. Add titles, dates and descriptions.

Family Recipe Book: Take pictures of all your favorite dishes and include the recipes.

Story Book: Let your child draw the pictures and dictate the story to you.

Lil Blue Boo Citrus (and ZERO waste!)

I’ve been working on some spring silk screens for my clothing store. I put the question out there on Facebook and the overwhelming requests were citrus and ladybugs! So I did both. Here are some sneak peeks from a citrus photo shoot my friend Lisa and I did this morning at the park! Lady bug photo shoot to come soon! The “orange fairy” came just in time for some photo props too!

Here is how the dresses looked on the hanger:

Have I mentioned that EVERY little last scrap of t-shirts and knits gets upcycled?! Lil Blue Boo is trying to go to ZERO waste. Pieces that are too small for dress sleeves I send to my friend Shari for use in her adorable Soren Lorensen Design creations. Pieces that are too small for her? Those go to my friend Lisa of Ellebows and More for her new line of upcycled hair pieces to match my Lil Blue Boo dresses! They are so cute I can’t stand it….she leaves pieces of the seams, stitching etc. Each one is limited and unique! She’ll be adding more mis-matched pieces as she gets dress scraps… if you are looking for pieces to match your dresses there will probably be a delay before they show up in her shop. OR send her photos of your LBB dresses and see if she has some coordinating scraps to match a few of them! More products to come as well!

There have been a few recent improvements to LBB dresses too…..a more refined neckline and a hidden seam at the neck for those kiddos that might have sensory issues like my little one!

Tie Dyeing a Peace Sign (A Tutorial)

Since peace signs are back I wanted to come up with an easy way to tie dye one. I like how the result was a starburst effect.

I’ve been brainstorming for a week or so with this napkin in my car on how I wanted to do it….folding and refolding the peace sign while sitting at stoplights:

So here’s what I came up with…..peace sign tie dyeing….origami-style:

Step 1: Take your shirt or fabric and fold it in half and mark the center of the shirt with a disappearing ink pen:

Open the shirt up and draw a large circle around the center line to estimate how large you want the peace sign to be (it doesn’t have to be perfect):

Starting at the center of the circle draw the two legs to your peace sign (again, these don’t have to be perfect….they will just be guide lines):

Step 2: Once you are happy with the size and placement of your peace sign…..

….refold your t-shirt in half.

Take the bottom front center of the tee and fold it up to meet the “leg” of the peace sign:

Next take the center of the neck and fold it down to the “leg” as well so that the two edges meet:

Step 3: Pinch where the edges meet and pull the shirt upward…….

………so that the shirt folds in half:

Use clothes pins or large safety pins to hold the edges where your two legs and center line of the peace sign meet:

Step 4: Starting gathering at one edge of the line indicating the outer circle of the peace sign……

…..and gather all the way across to the other side……

……and secure it with a rubber band (as you add more rubber bands make a mental note of THIS band so that you know which one to dye):

Step 5: Add on other rubber bands along the shirt (if using clothes pins it is easier to remove them, add on your rubber band, restraighten all the edges and then reattached the pins)……

…..just make sure to restraighten your three edges as you go:

Here is what your shirt will look like at this point:

Step 6: Soak the entire shirt in soda ash/water mixture until damp and squeeze out the excess liquid (see my tutorial on using Procion dye for specifics on the soda ash and mixing your dye):

Step 7: To prevent too much bleeding with your design set up a small rack (like the kind used for cabinet shelving or locker storage) over a tub or bucket:

Step 8: Apply a generous amount of dye along the three edges secured by the clothes pins (which are the “legs” and center of your peace sign)…..

…..and to the rubber band marking the outer circle of your peace sign:

In this example, I’ve dyed the outer circle and legs of the peace sign Kelly Green:

Step 9: Using contrasting dye colors fill in the other areas of the shirt:

Step 10: Place the shirt in a plastic bag and leave overnight for the colors to set!

Step 11: The next day remove the fabric from the bag and while still tied rinse off the excess dye using cold running water and then run through your washing machine. Dharma recommends the final wash with HOT water and Synthrapol or something similar so that the garment will never bleed on anything.

My Work Space (Updated Photos!)

I always love seeing where people work. It always gives a little more insight into their personality I think. After a little organization I took some updated photos of where I work everyday. Below is my smaller studio where I do small sewing projects and painting. All my non-knit fabric is stored on one side of the studio with my sewing machine. My large easel has a painting that will probably never be finished!

This side of my smaller studio is where I paint smaller paintings. You can see some close up photos in the last post I did on my studio.

Order or chaos? Who knows…..

Journals, mixed media books, gel mediums and solvents:

Finished paintings I just don’t know what to do with yet:

My second studio is a casita (guest house) outside but while Boo is young I’ve moved into our dining room so I can work and play with her at the same time. As you walk in our house, you see through a niche cutout (past the golf weather vane I took from my childhood home), my larger sewing studio/dining room:

Here is where I sew Lil Blue Boo dresses. From my chair I can see up into the living room and keep tabs on Boo!

A large rack of yummy finished dresses:

I have a dining room table and a conference room table I borrowed from my husband’s office. One is the sewing/cutting table…..the other is a shipping area. I can’t wait to reclaim my dining room at the end of this summer!

A big box of thread:

Bins of scrap knits too small to fold (every once in a while I sort them by color….but it doesn’t last long):

Our butler’s pantry is stocked with knits and wine……unlikely combo, right?!

Reclaimed knit waiting to be picked:

Stacks of new and thrifted tees as well as knit yardage:

And here is what is all looks like after a day of work:

Right now the casita is a storage room for canvases, fabric, baby stuff to sort through…..and paintings that will never have a place like this one:

I have a lot of work to do next fall cleaning out for my move! There’s my tour! Any insights?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day….from a grumpy little leprechaun!

You would think since I make children’s clothing I could have come up with a more festive outfit. We struggled this morning to find anything GREEN that was CLEAN! At least she’s got some cool new shoes on and a fun hat!

Dress by Lil Blue Boo
Handpainted Shoes by Snanimals
Hand-me-down hat courtesy of Great Grandma

Tie Dyeing using Procion Dye

Want vibrant color? Use Procion Dye. It’s what the pros use (and those of us that are pro “wannabes”). Look how yummy:

First, you’ll want to prepare a mixture of soda ash and water to soak your fabric in. I like to do this before I tie my fabric so the dye bleeds just a little….but you can also soak it after your fabric is tied. Here is what the soda ash looks like:

Basically you add 1 cup of soda ash per gallon of warm water. Make sure to wear gloves though…..this stuff can dry out and redden your hands (I know from experience).

Soak your fabric until wet and then wring out:

I like to use string to tie my fabric. I like the effect I end up with as the dye bleeds into the string:

Below is what the Procion Dyes look like. Measuring them is SUPER simple because they are coded with asterisks (*). You just mix 8 oz of warm water to the following amount of dye:
Colors with no * need 2 teaspoons of dye.
Colors with one * need 4 teaspoons of dye.
Colors with two * need 8 teaspoons of dye.

In this example, I was using Hot Pink (which had no * on the title) so I just added 2 teaspoons of dye……

…..into an 8oz squirt bottle using a little funnel I made from some plastic sheeting.

Then I added the 8oz of warm water and shook it to mix:

Apply the dye!

Wrap up the dyed fabric in plastic sheeting or a plastic bag to keep the dye and fabric wet. I let mine sit overnight for 24 hours.

The next day I remove the fabric from the bag and while still tied rinse off the excess dye using cold running water. Then I untie, rinse out again and put it through the wash on cold. I try to keep the dyes similar in the first wash to preserve color too (i.e. one load of pinks, one load of blues). They won’t fade after that!

Note: Dharma recommends the final wash with HOT water and Synthrapol or something similar so that the garment will never bleed on anything.

Note: There are many other variations and dye formulas you can use to perfect your technique. I recommend the Dharma Trading catalog which is more like a manual for dyeing!

Two recent custom dress orders I did using Procion:

A birthday dress with a screen printed “3” and a dyed skirt. The customer sent me the bling to applique on the skirt.

A veggie dress made with upcycled knits and tie dye.

Winners of the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge!

We started with 154 amazing entries in the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge! The judges (Shari, Dana, Disney, Candace and Rae) narrowed the entries down to 15 finalists. After a week long vote, with 3,855 people voting, I finally get to announce the winners! Congratulations to Shannon, Vanessa and Sarah! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! I can’t wait for the next challenge!

First Place (884 votes):
Kung Hee Fat Choy (Happy New Year) Top
Made by: Shannon from Happy Tomodachi
Shannon used red and gold t-shirts: red-good luck, gold-wealth and happiness. She stenciled the character for “Double Happiness” at the top using freezer paper and Jacquard Neopaque fabric paint and added some 3-D gold glitter paint for some subtle “zing.” She appliqued the flowers using fabric from the original t-shirts and fusible webbing and dusted the flowers with glitter paint for sparkle. She then used hems from the original t-shirts to trim the sleeves and bottom hem of the new top.
Pattern: Recycled T-Shirt Sienna Dress

Second Place (746 votes):
Spring Fever Dress
Made by: Vanessa from Punkin Patterns
Vanessa used three different plain fabrics in a dark pink, light pink and green. The appliqued flowers came from a really beautiful border fabric. The applique goes all the way around the dress and the pockets hide where the applique pieces meet giving the fabric the illusion from far away that it is one piece of fabric.
Pattern: The Paper Doll Dress

Third Place (668 votes):
Chicken Nuggets Dress
Made by: Sarah Boyd from 2 Giggle Boxes
The dress was inspired not from chicken nuggets…… but from four pet goldfish that Sarah’s daughter chose to name “chicken nuggets.” Sarah created the fishbowl on the top of the dress using lightweight vinyl PVC. The underwater world was created using applique and fabric painting. The bottom of the dress features imported Japanese fabric sewn into a bubble style.
Pattern: Recycled T-Shirt Halter/Tie-Back Dress

Honorable Mentions:

Best Use of a Girl’s Pattern for a Boy’s Outfit:

“The Church Waders” by Sabra from Sew a Straight Line

Most Creative Use of a Halter Dress Pattern (tie):

“The Heat is On” by Sarah from Up to Date in Kansas City

The Knit Mermaids by Nicole from Cole’s Corner and Creations

Cutest Hair:

Girl Robot Dress by Charlene from Musings of a Mormon Mom

Most Patriotic:

Flag Dress by Lynette from Get Your Craft On

Best Mini-Me:

“Lil Lu and Bitty Baby” by Ashley from Not Just Grannies

Most Attention to the Details:

“Honeycomb Dress” by Nikki Williams

Best Period Piece:

“All Dressed Up” by Kestlyn from the Kestlyn Collection

Most Likely To Be Coveted By Every Little Boy in the World:

“Monster Hoodie” by Lynette from Get Your Craft On

First Prize:
:: Choice of one of the following: 50 Person Tie-Dye Party Kit, Screenprinting Kit, or $50 Dharma Trading Gift Certificate.
:: $25 Lil Blue Boo Etsy Store Gift Certificate.
:: Choice of boy or girl nursery painting from my fine art website.
:: “Challenge Winner” badge to display on blog or website.

Second Prize:

:: $25 Dharma Trading Gift Certificate
:: $25 Lil Blue Boo Etsy Store Gift Certificate

Third Prize
:: $15 Lil Blue Boo Etsy Store Gift Certificate

Click the collage below to view the entire gallery:

Do something nice…..

We have an “orange” fairy: the elderly man who lives behind us and throws bags of oranges over the fence. Boo thinks that someone is “throwing their oranges away in our yard.” Small gesture…..but it took thought and time to pick the oranges, bag them up and toss them over the fence. It made me think: here is our neighbor…….that we’ve NEVER met…….and he is throwing gifts over the fence. No one does things like that anymore!

So we took some girl scout cookies (the only ones left after I got to them)….and Boo painted a picture……

…..and we wrapped them up into a present and took a walk yesterday to give them to him. He looked exactly like Mr. Fredrickson from the movie UP.…..hearing aids and everything….no idea how he gets those oranges over the tall fence, but he tossed another bag over to us today!