A Chalkboard Pig

Remember the piggy bank that Boo picked out a few nights ago for Daddy’s Christmas present?


I convinced her to paint it with chalkboard paint! To paint a ceramic piece like this I recommend using chalkboard spray paint because you will get a smoother finish, but with a toddler that isn’t so easy. We used a small roller and this can of chalkboard paint:


I let Boo do most of the rolling herself:


Every once in a while I could ask her if I could “try painting” and she would let me smooth out some of the large areas for her:


We used a small paint brush to paint in the hard to reach areas and then smoothed them out with a roller:


You will need to do several coats of the chalkboard paint, letting it dry in between.

A little trick I use for rollers so they don’t dry out? Wrap the paint-covered roller in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer! You can even leave it overnight and just take it out and continue painting when you need to:


Here is the finished chalkboard piggy bank…..it’s a little bumpy but I think Boo did a pretty good job!


After the paint has set overnight, you can use chalk to decorate it:


Boo wanted to write her name….


…..and Daddy’s, so he will know whose piggy bank it was when he opens it Christmas morning:


This would be a great gift for any age…..child or adult! So fun to decorate the piggy’s expression:


Or make one for yourself and write what you are saving for on it!

Here are a few other projects I’ve done in the past using chalkboard paint:

Christmas & Boo

My quirky 3-year-old….and her new “pirate” pose as she calls it:


Boo has been saying for weeks now that she will NOT go see Santa. No way, no how. Remember last year (click here for photos)? I asked her one more time the other night thinking maybe she’d change her mind:

Me: We need to go to the mall and see Santa….pleeeeaaaaase?
Boo: I’m NOT going to see Santa already. He’s at the North Pole. And he HAS my letter.
Me: So you won’t sit on his lap for a picture?
Boo: No, I only want 2 pictures of me and Santa.
(I guess the 2 pictures from when she couldn’t express an opinion yet?)
Me: Does Santa scare you?
Boo: No, he just makes me nervous.
Me: What does it mean if you are nervous?
Boo: It means I don’t like to sit on people’s laps Mommy.
(Totally fine by me. And the more I think about it, I totally agree with her….I mean, there’s no way you would get ME to sit on Santa’s lap!)

And so that was the end of it for me. If she doesn’t like Santa, then she doesn’t like Santa. She wrote him a letter….that should be enough, right?

But then the unthinkable happened…..

Boo’s school had a Christmas program last night. The school had wonderful intentions…..and at the end surprised all the kids with Santa. Each class, with all the parents in the audience, had each child get in line with their teacher to go up and see Santa. I didn’t really know what to do…..for the first time in my life I was totally paralyzed. I stood by while my child was stuck in a line to see Santa. Her eyes were tearing up like she was going against some deep conviction she had. And the rest of the story just breaks my heart…..because she has such a sweet spirit, she was extremely polite to Santa, got up on his lap, tears welling up in her eyes and tried to smile the whole time. She didn’t want to hurt Santa’s feelings.


Here is one second before that smile:


As soon as she stepped off the stage, I gave her a hug and told her how brave she was and there was a nervous laugh/sigh of relief as she wiped her tears away. The whole car ride home I was worried she would think I had betrayed her. I mean, that kid on Santa’s lap was not my kid…it’s the only time I’ve ever seen her so unsure and, ugh, sad.

THIS is my kid…..in a nutshell:

Ok so, in the car on the ride home:
Me: Did you get to tell Santa what you want for Christmas?
Boo: No, he was only giving candy canes….(long pause)….I think I’ll just tell Daddy what I want for Christmas.

I’m officially over Santa. Sorry Santa.

The other day in the car she told me the whole story of Jesus’s birth in detail…..her own detail but it was pretty spot on. The wise men were “wishy men” and Joseph is “Joe Fess”…..she knows the reason for the season. She does some things that totally blow me away. Like the time she came into the living room and asked us to open the back door because she had to ask God something….and wasn’t sure he could hear her from her bedroom. Are children closer to God? Things like this just make my head spin…..I HAVE to know…..like the time my Grandfather called my sister and left a message, after he had passed away?! I researched that one for months! Sorry, total tangent there…

Oh, and tonight Boo and I went out to dinner and out of the blue:
Boo: Sometimes you just don’t listen to me Mommy.
Me: I’m sorry….I’m listening now. What do you want to tell me?
Boo: That’s what I wanted to tell you, sometimes you just don’t listen to me.
Me (trying to mask my utter disgust towards myself): Duly noted. I promise to listen to you better.

I guess this means I’m not getting the “mother-of-the-year” award?

Back to Christmas:
Tonight I took Boo to do some Christmas shopping. I let her pick out anything in the whole store for Daddy. She picked this:


Mr. LBB is going to be ecstatic. Just what he’s always wanted. I think I’ve convinced her to let me help her repaint it with chalkboard paint.


Last week Boo DID write her letter to Santa Claus with Mr. LBB’s help. She’s asked for:

1. A watercooler

I have no idea…..

2. A camera with no feet, only legs

I’m assuming this is a camera on a tripod?

3. A telescope that can see all the stars

Can
a toddler figure out how to focus a telescope?

I’d already done my shopping for Boo…..and I didn’t pick up any of these items….maybe I’ll leave them up to Daddy. I’m 100% certain she’ll be the happiest little girl on earth when she opens ANYTHING we get her….that’s just her personality. She’s always grateful and excited. I can’t wait for Christmas morning…..Mr. LBB had to confiscate a few presents so I wouldn’t cave and give them to her BEFORE Christmas.

My favorite gift I just can’t stop thinking about? This beautiful little custom waldorf-style doll made by my friend Debra of Apple Tree House Dolls…..I found the yarn for her hair on a trip to L.A. and knew right away it was perfect for a doll for Boo. I haven’t figured out what to dress her in yet…but she’s named Laurina after a little girl we sponsor through Three Angel’s Haiti. She’ll be the perfect sister to Boo’s other ATH doll Li’l Sally (when Boo met Li’l Sally).


Of course Li’l Sally needs a gift, she is after all like a member of the family! I had a little custom backpack made by Bitty Bags. Boo LOVES rainbows….isn’t this the cutest thing ever? Tia does amazing work!


My last handmade gift: Boo LOVES ketchup….she puts it on everything: pancakes, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets. She spotted this t-shirt from across the entire store. I secretly bought it and made it into this dress for her. She might just faint when she sees it.


One week left until Christmas!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial)

I’ve had requests for this tutorial for a while and I finally just made myself finish it this week! Everyone loves these hair accessories and it is a great way to use up those extra knit scraps!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

This is a photo from last spring with Li’l Miss Elle wearing a pom in her hair….I can’t believe how young she and Boo look!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Materials needed:
Knit scraps
3 ” or 4″ needle
Nylon thread
Pliers
Glue gun
An alligator clip, head band or pony tail holder
Optional: velvet ribbon for lining clip

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: Cut out strips of knit yardage or t-shirt scraps measuring about 5″ x 3/4″ and thread your needle:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Take your first strip and insert the needle about 1/8″ from the middle edge….you will stick the needle back through at another 1/8″ and continue……

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
…..until you’ve created an accordion-type fold onto the needle:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Repeat the last step for your next strip of knit…..

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
…but twist it around once it is on the needle so that it lays across the other piece like a cross:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Continue to add your other strips of knit in the same manner and twist them once they are threaded into a star shape as shown and flatten them all down together to the bottom of the needle:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Once you have added enough strips so that the pom is the fullness that you prefer run your needle back through to secure all the strips.

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Stitch back and forth through all the layers one or two more times to secure them well….you may need a pair of pliers for this step to help pull the needle through!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Tie a knot to secure your pom…..

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
….and turn the pom over to the other side and tie the top layer in to a little knot as shown:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Step 7: Trim your layers to the length you prefer and making the top poms just a tad shorter than the ones below:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
A finished pom!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
Use a glue gun to attached an alligator clip to the bottom. You can glue a small velvet strip to the inside of the clip to make it “non-slip.”

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
I love using silk screen scraps….

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
….and upcycled knit:

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
You can add a pom to a headband…..

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
…..and even sew one to a pony tail holder!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com
So many varieties!

Upcycled Knit Pom Pom Hair Accessories (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

Busy Bees

The blog has been a little quiet the last two weeks have been super busy getting ready for our yearly Christmas boutique here in Palm Desert. If you are in the area, we will be at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa tomorrow from 9am to 2pm! A few behind the scenes photos from the last week:


Hangers and tags:


Silk screened ladies:


Rainbow trim:


A finished combo:


Upcycled hair poms:


Assorted trims:


Colorful string:


All dressed up:


A few favorite pieces:


Display cards for accessories:


A handmade sign made from recycled phone book pages:


It’s been a crazy 2 weeks but we have a lot of new stock for the show….


….and for the shop! We will be uploading most of this starting on Monday and over the next few weeks. A ton of new spring items and one-of-a-kind cuteness to look forward to!


It’s beginning to feel like Christmas around here!


Mini Screens and Clothing Labels (A Tutorial)

I’m so excited to launch a small trunk show line this coming spring for my tiny clothing line….but phew, SO much work. My biggest concern with branching out from my online store was that I had to come up with a way to better label my clothing so it meets FTC requirements. I don’t like putting any type of tag in Lil Blue Boo clothing for comfort reasons (Boo is pretty sensitive to anything with tags)…..so I came up with an easy way to silk screen all the information using little handmade “mini” screens:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
I found these little $1.00 wood photo frames at my local craft store and knew right away that they would make the perfect little screens. I purchased about 20 frames and I ordered a pack screen printing fabric sheets.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: I cut the screen printing fabric large enough that it would wrap just around the edges of the frame.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: I used binder clips to stretch the fabric as tight as I could across two sides of the screen.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Then added 2 more clips on the other sides. It is important to work across and around the frame to get the fabric as tight as possible.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
I stretched the opposite corner last to pull out every last bit of slack.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Using waterproof wood glue……

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
……I used a brush to apply a thick layer of glue all the way around the wood screen, using pressure to work the glue through the fabric.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
After the glue was COMPLETELY dry, I removed the clips and applied glue to the spaces where the clips had been and then once the glue was dry I trimmed all the excess fabric off using a razorblade.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: I applied emulsion to each frame using a tiny squeegee (the one I am using is from the Yudu line).

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
…and stuck push pins into the bottom for the screen to rest on as it dried in the dark.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
NOTE: You can find my entire photo emulsion silk screening tutorial here for all the details of this process because I am kind of glossing over a few details:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: I set up my registered trademark, sizes, and clothing information for each label and printed it onto transparency film:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Each label was exposed onto a screen. I made one screen for every clothing size that I regularly produce:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Washing out the emulsion after exposure:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com

Now with a little ink and a tiny squeegee I can easily add my logo, size, Made in USA and all the care instructions to every piece of clothing!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Very professional looking!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
It might seem daunting to make so many screens, but if you do it in an assembly line manner it isn’t as much work as you think. It took me one Nanny McPhee movie with Boo to stretch and glue all of these screens!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Total cost for 20 screens? $47

Spray Painted Leggings (A Tutorial)

I helped Boo make some spray painted leggings this weekend….she was so excited to be the designer of her own clothes!

Materials needed:
2 bottles of Simply Spray
A pair of white or light colored leggings
A stencil
or doily

Note: The stencil is actually a “glimmer screen” from Tattered Angels. We have a bunch of these screens….the designs are great. But you could easily use a doily or some lace.


The process is easy, lay out the stencil and mist the fabric paint over top of it. Move them around as you go.


If you don’t blot your stencil in between layers you’ll get the big splotches like you see on ours as the paint drips off….but we happen to like messy happy mistakes. Let the front dry and then flip the leggings over to repeat on the back side. Simply Spray paint doesn’t need setting, just wait a few days before washing!


The proud designer:

My Li’l (Christmas) List

We mostly focus on the kids in the family for Christmas, but if we did exchange gifts among the adults here is what would be on MY list….a few things that made me go “I WANT that!!” :)

Recycled Kimono Shoelaces
I wear my sneakers all day long. I love that these laces are made from recycled kimonos!


Random Sky Lyrics Sundress by LWangsLife

I love layering….this would be so cute over shorts or jeans!

A T-Shirt Subscription to Tee-Cycle
A hand picked vintage t-shirt shows up in my mailbox every month? Sign me up!




Red Leather Wristlet from Eight Seasons
Just perfection.


Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm

I’ve always wanted one of these, ever since I was a little kid…..I think it’s finally time :)


Mohawk Hat by Leaf Lee
I would need 2 of these so Boo and I can wear them on our ski trip in January. We wear helmets when skiing, but these would keep our ears toasty when we were out on the town :)

A Few Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

Here are a few tutorials of handmade items I’ve made over the last 2 years that might spark some ideas for your own gift list! More to come soon!

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Puppy Wrangler

A beautiful photo shoot by Monika McSweeney Photography. Model Grace is wearing a recent limited edition Lil Blue Boo knit dress and ruffle pant set…..and trying to wrangle her adorable puppy for photos :)






The new year will bring many more small limited edition sets! Make sure to join the Lil Blue Boo Facebook page to be notified of upload times. We will also be introducing a small trunk show line in February so stay tuned!

Cabochon Accessories (A Tutorial)

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Little resin cabochons are so cute as little earring studs…..and so easy to make. Perfect for little Christmas gifts, present toppers, even party favors! 

I’m making these little gifts to pair with gift certificates for Boo’s teachers at school. I bought all of the materials from Snapcrafty’s store on Etsy….I’ll warn you, these little resin cabochons are addicting!

Earing Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Materials needed:
Resin cabochons (I used 10mm vintage roses for the example)
Silver plated earring posts and earnuts
Permanent adhesive like (E-6000)

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Supplies via lilblueboo.com

For each earring, put a small dab of glue on the back of a cabochon.

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

Add the earring post to the back and let sit until the glue sets.

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process  2 via lilblueboo.com

To make a simple display card for the earrings, you need thick pressed watercolor paper or cardstock, some stencils and spray paint.

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Gift Idea via lilblueboo.com

Lay the stencils across the paper and spray a light layer of paint across the top of them:

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Gift Card via lilblueboo.com

Let the paint dry.

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Cut the paper into smaller pieces:

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process 3 via lilblueboo.com

On a plain piece of cardstock, print off any text you would like to add:

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process 4 via lilblueboo.com

Cut out the test from the cardstock and glue or sew these pieces to the decorative background:

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Gift Tag via lilblueboo.com

Use a tiny hole punch to add a hole for each earring:

Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Earing Card via lilblueboo.com

Add the earrings to the card and secure from behind with the earnuts:

Teacher Gift Idea: Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

Place the card and earrings into a clear plastic gift bag (I only had large bags so I cut them in half and sewed one end shut). A finished gift or favor!

Packaging of Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

You could also add a larger cabochon to your card or a small box for decoration:

 

Pretty Packaging of Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com
I used this card to hold an array of colored hair pins:

Hair Clip Packaging of Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

Cabochons come in such variety that you can make all kinds of easy accessories with them!

Where to buy Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

I bought a variety pack of these hair pins……

Where to buy bobbie pins and a Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

……to make a variety of cute floral hair accessories (I used 12mm mini rose cabochons for these):

Pretty bobbie pins and a Cabochon Accessories DIY Tutorial Process via lilblueboo.com

Endless possibilities! Rings, pendants, barrettes etc!

 

 

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