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? :)

Note: Pink and purple Lil Blue Boo silk screened horse dresses available for a limited time in the shop until we run out of horse print.

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.

Painted Leather Shoelace Accessories (A Tutorial)

With this tutorial you can make bohemian-inspired accessories using ordinary leather shoelaces just like the headband Boo wore in the second week of Project Run and Play:

In this tutorial, I make a shorter version of the headband resulting in a bracelet. You could also make a belt, keychain…so many options just by varying the length of the braid.

Here’s what I used to make mine…most supplies can be found at your local craft store in the jewelry section and the leather paints are available through Dharma Trading:

Angelus Leather Paints
Optional: Angelus Duller (if you want more of a matte finish to the paint)

Leather “latigo” laces (1/8″ wide)
Sueded laces (these come in a variety of colors….mine was turquoise)
3mm beads (I used 3mm silver plastic pearl beads)
Ribbon clamps
Soft leather trim (you can purchase this at a craft store or upcycle from an old purse or jacket)
Waxed cotton cord (these come in a variety of colors….mine was lime)

Step 1: Paint the leather laces using the Angelus leather paint.

Note: I used a light coat so that some of the original leather color showed through to give it a distressed look.

Paint both pieces and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Cut two long pieces of waxed cord and sandwich them together between the 2 leather pieces and apply your ribbon clamp:

Step 3: Draw out a few flowers onto the soft leather trim piece…..

…..and cut them out using detail scissors:

Step 4: Punch a small hole into the center of each leather flower (you can also punch a hole through using a small nail and a hammer):

Step 5: Take one piece of the waxed cord and place it through one of the flowers. Follow the flower with a bead…….

….and then thread the cord back through the hole in the flower. Work the cord through the bead and flower until it is flush with the top of the clamp. The bead will keep the flower in place:

Step 6: (Note….this might get a little confusing but once you see all the photos it will start to make sense.) With the flower in place, follow the flower with 2 more beads. Take the 2nd piece of waxed cord and wrap it around the back left of the 2 leather pieces.

The 2nd cord piece will go under the 1st cord piece with a single bead settling on either side as shown. The 2nd cord piece then wraps around to the back again and to the other side where it began, going under the 1st cord piece:

Step 7: You will repeat Step 6 over and over again and the top will look like this:

The back will begin to look like this:

Step 8: Whenever you want to add a leather flower just add it onto the 1st cord piece instead of the 2 beads, follow the flower with one bead……

…..and then thread the cord back through the same hole like the first one you did. Continue the beading and braiding as in Step 6.

Step 9: Once your braid is as long as you want it, tie off the cord….

….and add a ribbon clamp to the end making sure to secure both pieces of leather and the 2 pieces of cord:

Step 10: Tie a piece of suede lace to each ribbon clamp:

You can also decorate the suede lace with a bead if you don’t want to tie it directly to the clamp:

A finished braided leather bracelet….made from latigo laces!

Happy braiding!

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