Nautical, Sugar and Spice, and Bubbles!

There’s been lots of work and photography behind the scenes at Lil Blue Boo that I haven’t blogged about so here it goes :)

We can get pretty busy here keeping up the blog and the clothing line. Everything is handmade in-house so we are busy little bees. We create patterns from scratch, silk screen our own designs and clothing labels, sew and finish all items etc. It can get pretty overwhelming some days…..but I have a great little team of Lisa, Gicela, Dawn (and Boo of course) and everyone pitches in where they need to!

Here is our new favorite: The Sugar and Spice Tunic and Shorts


We screen print every single tunic the old fashioned way….no fancy machinery here!


Boo and I had a “practice” Easter hunt last weekend. She’s wearing a Vintage Lucy’s Easter T-shirt and our new Super Soft Asymmetric Leggings in Sage.


Boo’s adorable headband was made by my sister Perry from Perfectly Perrywinkle!

We have a new bubble dress style! This is the “Surely Temple” dress….Boo was taking some measurements:


A removable oversized bow:


The “Surely Temple” dress is a version of the Li’l Mod Rockwell dress that I made for Project Run and Play:

We LOVE our photography affiliates!

Here are some photos of our Golden Afternoon Bubble dress (now sold out) taken by Monika McSweeney Photography:

The “Sweet Matey” dress and “Sea Glass” leggings from our new nautical line! The anchor artwork was designed especially for Lil Blue Boo by Stephanie Corfee.

A new addition to our nautical line coming this week….the “Rock Lobster” ruffles and coordinating t-shirt. Beautiful photography by E. Miller Photography!


A few other amazing photos we’ve received recently:


Another tunic coming soon….they match our yellow/blue nautical shorts:

Love this photo of Boo’s hair getting in her way of hopscotch….these were some ruffle pants we offered recently (now sold out). The editing in the background is a Paint the Moon Photography texture!

Thanks to everyone who sent fabric donations for the girls at Three Angel’s Haiti Children’s Orphanage…..we are packing up the box to send beginning of next week! The school has 3 new machines for their sewing classes and sewing will be a life changing skill for many of these children!

Thank you to everyone who purchased patterns 2 weeks ago for Mercy Corps’s efforts in Japan. We raised $1,365!!!!


Last note, we love working with photographers! If you have an interest in becoming a Lil Blue Boo photography affiliate click below:

A Mermaid Tail for a Doll (with Pattern Download)

Boo’s favorite princess is Cinderella…..but Ariel is a close second. Her doll Li’l Sally has a Cinderella dress we made for her but Li’l Sally needed a mermaid outfit too! Here’s how we made the mermaid tail and you can even download the pattern template at the bottom of the post. This is a super simple project…..even if you’ve never sewn before!

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

Step 1: Download and print out the template and use it to cut out two pieces for the front and the back of the tail:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
The template will work for several types of dolls. For skinnier dolls you might need to reduce the width slightly…just check that the doll looks like a reasonable fit:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Place your tail pieces right sides together and sew the sides and bottom closed using a 3/8″ seam.

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

Step 3: Place the tail on the doll and fold the waist down to the correct length (so the top of the tail hits the lower chest):

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Sew 3/4″ down from the top of the tail, leaving a 1″ gap, wide enough to thread elastic through:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Cut a 1/2″ piece of elastic long enough to fit around the doll’s waist….

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
….and use a safety pin to thread it through the casing:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Sew the elastic closed at the two ends and then sew the casing closed:


Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Stuff the tail with poly fil….

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
….so it’s nice and plump:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

A finished mermaid tail!

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
We made Li’l Sally a simple bandeau top with a strip of knit fabric and cinched in in the center with another scrap. Boo made the little miniature shell necklace for her:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

“I love Li’l Sally as a mermaid! Can we make one for ME now?”

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.comMermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

 

Painting a Monogram on Leather (A Tutorial)

No leather is safe in my house now that I have a full set of Angelus leather paints!

I’ve always loved the look of the custom Louis Vuitton monograms…a pricy luxury, right?

I found a $5 leather purse at the thrift store and made Boo her own Louis Vuitton-inspired purse….a “Boo-tton” (thanks for naming it Melissa!). I have a VERY shaky and unsteady hand so if I was able to paint this….anyone can!


Here’s how you can create your own:

Step 1: Make sure the purse is clean and free of oils:


Step 2: Print out a sample monogram using a text or word program. The font shown below is Academy Engraved LET. Draw lines to block off each letter:

Step 3: Using a light colored pencil mark where you want the monogram to be painted:


Measure and mark the other guide lines:


Step 4: Start painting! You will need small tiny detail brushes. For my smallest brush I cut off half of the bristles (see the photo of this brush in my painted headband tutorial).


Step 5: The key to painting very detailed letters is to start very skinny…it’s easier to widen the letters as you go. Add additional guide lines if you think you need them!

Step 6: Use adhesive contact paper or painters tape to block off any stripes or additional blocks you want to paint:


Paint just a very thin layer to use as your guide….paint will seep under the tape just a bit but you will be able to see your lines to work with and touch up the edges as you go. You can keep a clean damp paintbrush nearby to quickly clean up any mistakes.


Step 7: Slowly paint the lines with your smallest brush rotating around to different parts of the purse to allow other areas to dry. You will probably need several thin coats on each area:


It will take several tries and touch ups to get everything just right:


A finished monogram with stripes!


….and it looks detailed and professional!


Boo approved….not that she needs a hand painted purse at this age….but I think it’s something she’ll appreciate when she’s a little older!


It’s going to be in the mid 90′s here today! Boo is testing out our new Lil Blue Boo nautical shorts and a tunic we are offering soon for summer:

Make sure to check out these “painting on leather” tutorials too!

Gicela’s Spicy Chicken Soup

Gicela is one of our Lil Blue Boo helpers and we have recently discovered that she is an amazing cook! The last few Friday’s she’s taken a break from sewing to make us a huge pot of her spicy chicken soup for lunch! Gicela cooks without measuring so Lisa took notes yesterday so we could share the recipe:

To make the soup you’ll need:
2 chicken breasts
1 onion
2 large tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1 handful of small carrots
1 handful of broccoli
2 potatoes
1 1/4 cup rice
1 1/4 cup barley
Chicken flavor bouillon
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper


Cut chicken (2 breasts) into cubes and add salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste, mix.


Coat bottom of pot with vegetable oil and heat up. Add chicken, cover (any oil that settles on top of soup can be removed at the end).


Add one sliced onion to chicken, cover.


Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, add water – fill to about the middle of the pot, boil.



Some chicken fat will form on top of soup from the chicken – you can remove this with a small ladle:


Add 2 chopped tomatoes and 2 sliced jalapeno peppers once the water begins to boil.



Add chicken flavoring and more salt. Let boil for 5 minutes


Add barley, boil for 5 min. Add washed white rice, let boil another 5 min.


Slice potatoes.


Add potatoes and carrots to soup.


When the barley and rice are fully cooked, add the broccoli.


Enjoy!

And the tree was happy….

I’m so excited to be a part of No Big Dill’s Once Upon a Thread this month!

One of my favorite children’s books (and Boo’s) is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. You can tell the book has been loved….

 


It’s cover and edges are worn from years and years of reading:


Some people think it’s a sad story….but I view it as a story of unconditional love…..


…..comfort and sharing……and the joy of giving:


Here’s a jumper I made for Boo inspired by The Giving Tree:

A simple, monochromatic colors…..reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s style:

I chose a plain light taupe fabric to silk screen “sketched” apples on. I used my Paper Doll Dress Pattern to sew up a simple jumper style……


…..similar to the one the boy in the story is wearing with a criss crossed back:

To silk screen the apples, first I drew some apples in the Silverstein style onto contact paper….I used my left hand so that they would end up looking more primitive:



Then using a razor blade I carefully cut out the apple silhouettes (disclaimer: an exacto knife is always safer, I use razor blades because I replace them often):


Once all the apples were cut I peeled off the backing of the contact paper and adhered it as a stencil to a screen (for screen printing):


Next, I took some scissors and cut off the marker lines……


….and placed the insides of the apples onto the screen.


I screen printed the apples onto my fabric (see the link to my detailed “Screen Printing with Contact Paper” at the bottom of this post):


The Giving Tree-inspired apples!


The finished apples on the dress!

 

 

 

For more details on screen printing with contact paper visit my tutorial below:

Boo’s Heartache

What do you do if a 4-year-old’s little heart is broken?

Today Boo was asked to say prayer for her school’s morning circle….she stepped into the middle of all the children and teachers and prayed with everyone repeating after her:

Thank you God,
for food and drinks…

(long awkward pause)

and Ava.

Amen

Ava is one of Boo’s friends at school…a year older than Boo. Boo has a doll named after her, she writes Ava letters a few times a week and Ava is the topic of almost every conversation. Boo even named one of our new sewing machines “Ava.” Every morning when we drop Boo off at school she doesn’t even say goodbye….she takes off across the playground straight for Ava.

But last week…..Ava moved away with her family.

And Boo is devastated.

She tears up at any mention of Ava’s name. She cries when we drop her off at school. Her lip trembles if we ask her to talk about Ava. And things that were okay last week aren’t okay anymore. Reading The Giving Tree last night she got a little teary and said:

“I don’t want to read anymore of the story where the people take all her stuff. I don’t like when they take all her stuff. Why would they take all her stuff?”

While brushing her hair tonight I asked her if we should draw a picture of Ava so we could hang it up….the corners of her mouth turned down, tears formed, and she said “I can’t remember exactly what she looks like.

And then…..I found a letter tonight on our dresser…..a letter she wrote Ava using a box of old papers and antique photos I let her play with:

It reads inside “I don’t miss you” (she still writes backwards) and I can’t make the words out at the bottom.


She chose an old antique photo of two girlfriends…..as if that would be her and Ava one day:

So tomorrow….I’ll ask the school and see if they can find out Ava’s new address for us and hope that if we write Ava…..Ava will write back.

*As teary as this entire post makes me as I write it…..I can’t stop giggling at two things:

1. She chose a photo slide of an elderly couple for the card as well.
2. The last time she said the morning prayer for the school she thanked God for “kittens, puppies…..and Sienna” (herself) which was hilarious with everyone repeating after her.

Two years ago today……

……I wrote my first blog post! My friends Mollie and Nikki convinced me to start a blog of my own to share all of my sewing and painting projects….and Lil Blue Boo started from there! Here is my first post…..short and sweet:


Two years and one day ago I had no idea what a blog was….the first blog I ever read was Homemade by Jill and I was truly inspired to share my own perspective:


I am so humbled that so many of you choose to read this blog and that you share so many of your projects that you’ve been inspired to create. Thank you for accompanying Boo and I on this ongoing journey! We have so many new projects in my “idea” book to come.

I couldn’t do any of this without my supportive husband and of course my inspiration: Boo. My sponsors are a huge part as well because they allow me to work full time on Lil Blue Boo. I also have an amazing assistant Lisa who is the only reason I haven’t crumbled under the pressure of running a clothing line and keeping up with the blog! She has amazing patience because she is here ALL day, EVERY day….but the best part is that we get to involve our kiddos. They run around playing with fabric and pretending to be mini “clothing designers”:


Make sure to stay tuned for next week….we have a surprise to celebrate the 2 year anniversary!

Have a wonderful day!!

Printable Photo Props (Free Download)

Free Photography Prop Download via lilblueboo.com
In case you missed the free download on Facebook last month….here are the printable photo props!

Say cheese!

Free Photography Prop Download via lilblueboo.com

Free Photography Prop Download via lilblueboo.com

100% to Help Japan – Shop for a Cause

Through Midnight Monday March 14th….100% of all net proceeds from Lil Blue Boo Pattern Sales will be donated to Mercy Corps to assist the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Update: $1,395 in total raised! All donation receipts are always posted once the donation is made. While charitable amounts could probably remain anonymous I think that any website/individual who is asking you to “buy” something to raise funds should provide a paper trail.

 

A Painting in Progress

Boo and I woke up inspired to make a big painting….so we’ve got a big project for this weekend! I’ll load the final photos here when it is done but you can follow our progress over the weekend in the photo album (click photo below):


Check out our other painting posts in the meantime!

A Guide To Painting with Children

Painting with Children: “Finer” Art


Have a great weekend!

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