Mini Brad Charms (A Tutorial)

Mother’s Day is coming up and here’s an easy, inexpensive gift idea that can be personalized and special! To make these little charms,  I took ordinary metal brads in different shapes…..

 

 

…..added different embellishment and then sealed them using embossing powder. All of the items I used can be found at your local craft or scrapbooking store.

 

 

Basic materials needed:
Embossing powder
Metal brads
Metal jump ring

Step 1: Carefully break off the brad’s prongs by moving them back and forth until they fall off. You can use a nail file to smooth any sharp edges.

 

Step 2: Using a small nail or awl, punch a hole in the top where you will insert a jump ring.

 

 

Use nail clippers to cut off any sharp edges from where the hole was created.

 

 

Step 4: Decorate the inside of the brad. There are a gazillion possibilities here….

Paint a tiny design:

 

Apply a small sticker, rhinestone  or other embellishment:

 

Or….paste an extra small photo or picture to the back (I used nail nippers to trim the edges):

 

Step 5: Add a jump ring to the charm.

 

 

Step 6: Flatten out a piece of tin foil to use as a tray that can be placed in the oven. You’ll need embossing powder for this step.

 

 

Cut a small strip of paper to use as a little “spoon” and fill the brad with powder:

 

 

Carefully place the tinfoil tray into a toaster oven or oven (350 degrees). Watch as the embossing powder slowly melts into a smooth clear covering. Take out of the oven to cool.

 

 

If the clear melted covering is a little uneven you can hold the charm carefully and reheat it with a heat gun or blowdryer until it levels out. Use a nail file to carefully smooth the edges if needed.

 

 

Finished charms!

 

 

I love how they look when they are all bunched together as eclectic charms! What will you decorate yours with?

 

Painting a “Monet” (A Tutorial)


Paint a Monet-inspired work via lilblueboo.com

 

I love painting small pieces of artwork. They are quick, easy and a great way to decorate bare walls. The painting in this tutorial is inspired by one of Monet’s water lily paintings:

 

 

The finished “inspired” painting….it took about an hour from start to finish:

 

Paint a Monet-inspired painting via lilblueboo.com

 

Materials needed:

Note: all of these materials can be found at most craft and hobby stores
9″ x 12″ Gessobord (or primed hardboard)
Acrylic craft paints (purple, white, mint green and slate blue)
Water soluble crayons (blue and green)
2-step crackle glaze
Willow or vine charcoal

 

**The key to a quick painting is to use your non-dominant hand. You will lose some control over your painting ability and the painting strokes will look better….promise!**

I broke this painting down into easy steps:

Step 1 & 2: Cover a piece of 9×12″ hardboard with purple acrylic paint. Work in long strokes….the coverage does not have to be perfect.
Step 3: Using willow charcoal (this can be painted over unlike pencil or graphite) draw out some circular water lily shapes.
Step 4: Using a mint green and a dry paint brush fill in the water lilies as best you can…..don’t try too hard to get it perfect….leaving some bare spots  is preferred.

 

 

Step 5 & 6: Mix a blue-gray color and fill in the larger areas. Again, the uneven coverage of paint is preferred and using a dry brush will help get this effect.
Step 7 & 8: Using a blue water crayon (water soluble)….outline the areas of the water lilies focusing mostly on the bottom edges.

 

 

Step 9: The outlines of the water lilies.
Step 10 & 11: Using the water crayons draw some sweeping strokes around some of the water lilies.
Step 12: Mix a slightly later shade of the blue-gray that was used for the water and use it to fill the water lilies using an uneven coverage.

 

 

Step 13: Using the same color, fill in the rest of the water again.
Step 14: Mix white into the blue-gray color to lighten it and fill in the water lilies again to lighten them up. Uneven coverage will allow hints of the colors underneath to show through.
Step 15 & 16: Using the same color, switch to a smaller brush and some water, sketch the circular shapes of the water lilies to add some texture.

 

Step 17 & 18: Using a mostly white, paint in a few water lily flowers using a few thick vertical strokes.
Step 19: Sketch shadows underneath the water lilies using a blue water crayon.
Step 20: Sketch “water current” using blue and green water crayons.

 

I let Boo draw most of the water current…..if a toddler can do it, you can too…..so no “I can’t paint” excuses!

 

 

Step 21: Using a damp brush, blur the blue crayon shadows.
Step 22: Using the same shade of blue-gray for the water as before, paint over the “water current” sketchings lightly.
Step 23: Let the painting dry thoroughly and shake up your 2 step crackle paint to get ready for the next step.
Step 24: Apply the 2 step crackle finish and let dry.

 

 

Step 25 & 26: Once the crackle glaze has dried, mix a watery brown color (I prefer Golden Liquid Acrylics) and apply to the painting .
Step 27: Use a rag or paper towel to remove excess glaze.
Step 28: Let painting dry thoroughly.

 

Applying Glaze and Crackle Finish via lilblueboo.com

 

A finished Monet-inspired painting!

 

How to Paint a Distressed Painting via lilblueboo.com

 

Here are a few other painting tutorials I’ve done…..check them out if you get a chance!

 

 

The Wedding…..

Did you watch the royal wedding today? I was up early…..it’s the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. I think I might have had more anxiety than the bride and groom….I wanted everything to just be perfect for them!

For a week now I’ve watched every show on the royal family, royal weddings etc. I’m fascinated by the tradition, the lifestyle, the outfits….and I’m so glad I get to watch from the outside.

I thought her dress was just perfect…..you know I am a huge Alexander McQueen fan. (Remember Boo’s inspired outfit? her headpiece looks just like some of those hats worn today)

Some cool facts about the dress via Daily Mail:
:: The lacework for the dress was carried out at the studios at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. The embroiderers were not told which bride would be receiving their painstaking work.
:: The lace applique, which featured the four floral emblems of the UK – rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock – was made using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.
:: The process is so time-consuming that it takes even experienced stitchers about an hour to sew an inch.
:: Each motif, some as small as a five-pence piece, was then crafted with minute stitches every two to three millimetres.
:: The workforce, estimated to be at least 12 strong, included students from Britain, Japan, China, the U.S., Thailand and Germany — aged between 19 and 70.
:: All were required to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and to renew needles every three hours to maintain optimum sharpness.
::
The dress was stitched in separate sections and put together only at the last possible moment, within the confines of Buckingham Palace where a special workroom was set up.

 

The Official Royal Wedding photographsPhoto source

I’m just in awe of all the wedding details:

The Royal Wedding CakePhoto source

The official Royal Wedding Commemorative China Photo source

 

I think Will and Kate are just adorable…and so happy.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving Westminster AbbeyPhoto source

 

I can’t wait for the royal baby now!

 

My family (and many others) think my younger brother Swen  looks JUST like Prince William….can you see a resemblance? I have to do a double take when I see a photo of Prince William on a magazine stand!

A Creative Conference

I’ve been putting this post off for a while now because I know I won’t be able to do Creative Estates justice (I wrote the “unofficial post” to buy myself some time). I think I’m one of the last attendees to write about the conference so I thought I’d pull some favorite quotes from others and add in my take. It was an amazing experience.  Lisa and I missed some of the first night (I said it would take us 3 hours to get to Phoenix….and 4 hours later we were STILL driving…..I misjudged that a little)….next year I’ll show up a day early!

[Read more…]

A Reversible Bubble

This might be one of my favorite photos ever. A Lil Blue Boo reversible bubble skirt photographed by Beth Miller of E Miller Photography. I want this outfit (and boots) for myself now!

 

Same skirt….different side:

 

 

New bubble skirts are coming later today in our shop!

 

Have you voted for your favorite Mom blog or shop today? If you get a chance hop on over and vote! You can vote once a day….and there are so many shops listed that I love!

 


 

 

Doodle Shoes (A Tutorial)

Paint your shoes with this doodle shoe update tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

I’ve had this pair of bright apple green shoes sitting in my closet for almost 10 years! I’ve probably worn them a total of three times because they just don’t match many items in my closet…..so I thought I’d add some color!

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

My only supplies needed were Angelus Leather Paint and a very small brush (with half the bristles cut off for a finer point).

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

For my design I was inspired by Doodle Easter eggs made by Alisa Burke. I started with one flower….

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

….and then surrounded it with some doodles:

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

I just kept adding doodles, and more doodles….

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

….until the shoes were covered!

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

A tiny bit of blue design makes these shoes much more wearable!

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

They even look cute with my paint covered studio jeans:

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

But they look especially cute with Boo in them:

 

Doodle Shoe Update Tutorial DIY via lilblueboo.com

 

Do you have a pair of shoes in your closet that could use a makeover?

 

 

Glazed, Distressed Paintings (A Tutorial)

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I was so excited when Kirstin and Jordan of Kojo Designs asked me to be a part of their “the sincerest form of flattery” series! I love a good challenge so I’ve been keeping my eye out for something on my “wish list” that would be fun to do!

Photobucket

 

I love these prints of glazed paintings from Ballard Designs and decided to make a miniature version of the beach themed one:

 

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

With a few simple steps (and an eager toddler), I was able to mimic a similar glazed effect to create my own beach painting! I use a paper mache layer underneath the paint so that I can get a peeling-paint-aged-look.

My family spent most of the summer at Debordieu beach (near Georgetown, S.C.) when I was growing up. It was so secluded and natural and peaceful…..just like the painting. Once distinct memory is my mother always warning us of large waves by yelling “WHOA NELLY!!!” I decided to add those words as my own personal touch to the painting instead of the “Beach” text:

 

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Here’s how to make your own!

You’ll need:
Acrylic craft paints (I use the 99 cent bottle ones)
Art canvas
Newspaper or phone book pages
Matte Medium
Gloss Varnish


Step 1: I started with a plain gallery wrapped canvas….

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

….and covered sections with a generous amount of matte medium using small sections of old phone book pages and adhered them using the excess medium. You may have to add more medium as you go. It is similar to making a paper-mache layer (you can use newsprint as well, I just prefer the way the small font looks from the phone book pages).

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I use my fingers to smooth air bubbles and wrinkles….Boo loves to help with this part:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

The prepared canvas looks like this:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Step 2: I painted the first paint layer using basic acrylic craft paints:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I painted the small white strip for the sandy beach:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

And I painted the blue for the sea/sky:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I dragged a dry brush loaded with white paint along the line where the two colors met to blend them:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Step 3: Using a simple stencil and some willow charcoal (it is easily painted over), I sketched out the letters:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Step 4: I painted the letters with white paint:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 5: Using an electric sander (you can also use a sanding block), I distressed areas of the canvas:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Step 6: I mixed up a glaze using darker acrylic colors (I prefer the liquid acrylics by golden for glazes)

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com
Starting at one end of the canvas I began layering perpendicular lines of glaze…letting layers dry in between.

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Building and building…

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…..so that the top end turned darker and darker.

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a damp paper towel to dab areas that got too dark and to blot color into the bottom white portion of the canvas to age it:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

After several layers of painting, dabbing and removing  I ended up with this:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I’m really happy with how it turned out! Rich layers of glaze and texture:

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Now you can make your own original instead of buying a print! Here’s a comparison of the original and the inspired version:

 

How to make distressed painting using collage and glazing. DIY tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Thank you Kristin and Jordan for letting me play along! This was so much fun!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! We celebrated Easter yesterday with family in Orange County and had some fun family time. Here is Boo and my nephew Jordan playing with bubbles:

 

My two little nieces did their best to gather a few eggs before Boo and Jordan scooped them all up.
 

 

Boo woke up bright and early this morning and found an Easter basket waiting for her in her room filled with a new Easter dress (made by my friend Tracy over at razberriesandraizins), and some other goodies. She declared “Today is when Jesus died on the cross and he told all his friends that he would be alive again in three days.”  The Sunday school teacher said Boo was very upset during the Easter story. Boo’s take? “It is too scary, Jesus dying and all the lightning…..it just makes me so sad.” She’s such a sweet kid…..she makes my heart hurt sometimes.

 

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter and spent the day with your families!

One BIG announcement:

Lil Blue Boo moved to WordPress last night! Thanks to Aaron from RFE Hosting….it went seamlessly. I still have some changes and tweaks to make but so glad I’m finally here! Make sure to bookmark this new location! Thank you!

 

WWYW I Fabric Giveaway

For this first challenge, I sent this cool burnout cotton voile and I asked 4 creative friends to make whatever their hearts desired with 2 yards of it:

I love that everyone was inspired in different ways! Thank you Kelly, Adrianna, Mique and Katy for playing along!

 

Note: Giveaway is closed. Winners are #127 Linda Lincks and #67 Andrea!



More WWYM creative challenges to come!
Will you be next?
 

WWYM I: Katy from No Big Dill

Today is the final day for WWYM I (What Would You Make) and I’m so excited to introduce Katy from No Big Dill with her creation! I got to know Katy when we both competed in Project Run and Play. She’s an amazing seamstress, talented and patient with details and LOVES the color orange. Orange isn’t my favorite color but Katy is slowly converting me into an orange lover. (I was wondering how she’d work orange into this challenge!) I absolutely adore the recent Once Upon a Thread series that Katy put together on her blog…..make sure to visit each and every post!

 

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Hello to all you Lil Blue Boo readers! What a fabulously fun idea Ashley had, no? This fabric is the softest, most flow-y, perfect to snuggle with, but I had to laugh when Ashley mentioned she sent us fabric we would most likely not choose ourselves, because that is 100% truth. It’s been so fun to see it transformed in such a variety of ways by the talented seamstresses who received her fun little package in the mail.

I started by dying mine orange (of course!) It gave the floral bouquet print a bit of an orange hue instead of pink and made the background just slightly darker.

 

 

It is a perfect summer fabric, especially for a child with the softness that is the perfect thing to have next to their soft, sensitive skin.

 

 

With no closures, it’s easy to slip on and off.

 

 

I ended up adding a slit in the back to accommodate child’s play and dance.

 

The strap/sleeve details are my favorite,

 

 

adding some texture and interest,

 

 

as well as drawing from the colors of the flowers to tie them in with the whole look.

 

 

If you’d like to make your own maxi (mini or not!) tube dress, I’ll show you how over at my blog, no big dill! Thanks for letting me play, Ashley!

 

Thank you so much Katy! I loved this dress!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s giveaway! Two people will win 2 yards of the same fabric that was used for this challenge!