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.


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… 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
In case you missed the free download on Facebook last month….here are the printable photo props!

Say cheese!

Free Photography Prop Download via

Free Photography Prop Download via

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!

The Toddler Tie (Free Pattern Download)

I finally managed to get my Toddler Tie pattern I made for Boo’s “Annie Hall” look during Project Run and Play into digital format! It’s available through my Facebook Downloads for a limited time! Just click the image below to download the 10 page PDF pattern and tutorial. There are options for an easy elastic option and a regular necktie option!

For the love of horses….

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
-Author unknown

Gorgeous photos by Paint the Moon Photography. Horse Dress and Ruffle Capris by Lil Blue Boo. Thank you Annie for the beautiful photos of your daughter!

My best memories growing up are of my horses and my friends I rode with. We spent every minute we could at the barn with our horses: riding, grooming, mucking and goofing off. I can categorize my younger years by which horse I had at the time: Blitz, Chocolate, Beowulf, Tweed, and Andy. Each one was perfectly unique in spirit and taught me something completely new about myself…..

Blitz was my first pony….he’d been hit by a motorcycle years before he and I met and lost much of the feeling in his face….he’s about to drag me across the street in this photo (I’m on the left with the sweet perm and pegged jeans):

Here I am with Harris Tweed (wow….20 years ago)…..he had the reputation for throwing his previous owners into jumps. He continued that tradition with me…..but only in the show ring when we had an audience. Out in the field, with no saddle and no fear, we’d stack up cinder blocks on top of oil drums and make the jumps higher and higher and it was like we were invincible…..

And then the love of my teenage life: Andy

Andy didn’t make it as a racehorse….and that’s how he ended up with me. He was perfect…and just a little bit crazy. I took him fox hunting a few times and he would take off in a full run with the hounds as if he were back on the track……the type of fast where you can barely feel the horse anymore.

How many of you are horse lovers? :)


Hand Painted Leather Headband (A Tutorial)

I ordered a bunch of Angelus leather paints from Dharma Trading recently and nothing made of leather in my house is safe now!

I found these little hair clips recently that my mother made for me when I was little…and loved the hand painted details she added.

I was inspired to try and hand paint something of my own for Boo.

Step 1: I took some scrap leather (you can find pieces at fabric stores and craft stores…or you can cut up an old purse/shoes/jacket etc to salvage pieces)……

……and cut the leather into several strips:

I also cut out 2 leather flowers….the largest one is about 1.25″ at its widest point:

Step 2: I took a small paint brush and cut off most of the bristles so it would paint small details easily:

Step 4: I painted some small “swoops” to resemble vines:

Step 5: I added small details like little leaves and little dots for small flowers….

…until I felt it was finished:

Step 6: I allowed the paint to dry thoroughly. To darken and soften the leather I used a technique that I used to break in all my horse bridles and saddles and to keep them clean and supple. I took some olive oil…..

…..and brushed the leather with a light coat.

Step 7: Once the oil had a chance to soak in, I put some Murphy’s Oil Soap onto a wet rag and wiped down the leather to remove any excess oil residue:

Step 8: I let the leather dry completely and then used a tiny hole punch to add holes at the end of the pieces:

Step 9: Using DMC thread, I stitched the pieces together end to end….

….in a simple “X” pattern:

Step 10: I stitched the flowers using the same type of thread:

Step 11: I stitched 1/4″ elastic (I would have used black but all I had was white) to the bottom of each end of the headband. I wrapped thread around the stitches to cover them:

The finished headband!

Now to find something else to paint :)

Project Run and Play Recap

It’s been a week since Project Run and Play ended and I already miss it! I loved being challenged to make something new each week with a different theme. I didn’t win but I had so much fun and still can’t believe I made it to the finals with Katy and Kelly! Here was Katy’s winning look in the final challenge….amazing:

Here’s a look back at the looks I created…click on the photos to see the original posts:

Li’l Ice Princess

Li’l Boho

Alexander McQueen inspired

“Annie Hall” inspired


Li’l Mod Rockwell

Boo was my ultimate judge….she loved all the looks. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome! Thanks everyone for following the contest and helping to vote! Micalah put a ton of work into it and all the other designers really brought it each week! It rocked.

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