Kindred Spirits

So many of you commented on “Boo’s Heartache” that I couldn’t wait to give an update…..we found Ava! Recently, Ava invited Boo to a little Easter party at her grandparents after the school contacted them on my behalf. The day of the party Boo told ANYONE that would listen that she was going to see her best friend Ava and that it was “the best day ever.”

 

 

It pretty much WAS the best day ever.

 

 

Boo was giddy for days.

 

 

As we left, the following conversation took place:

Boo: “Ava, I love you with all my heart.”

Ava: “I love you with all my heart too.”

 

I’m not exaggerating….that’s exactly what they said. I teared up a little and asked myself “are these kids really only 4 years old?”  It’s like they are old souls. Their friendship reminds me of Anne of Green Gables and her friend Diana Barry……kindred spirits, and a little mischievous too:

 

Accidental Painting (A Tutorial)

Each and every time I finish one of these little hardboard nursery paintings I laugh a little at how “accidental” they are. I don’t plan them ahead of time…..and I never quite know how they will turn out until I’m about 80% done with them.

 

I took photos as I painted this recent painting to show my design process. I always start with just a basic light color. It’s easy to paint over and allows me to use the broadest range of colors.

 

 

I usually print out a few different mixed fonts and sizes of each name letter and cut them out so I can visualize the layout.

 

 

I start with the first and last letter and then fill the center letters in.

 

 

I kind of have a theme in my head….like flowers, or animals, or geometric shapes. For this particular painting I was trying to match some floral bedding so I started by sketching what I thought would be the largest objects in the painting: flowers.

 

 

Before I even have the rest of the painting planned I’ll start blocking in large areas of color:

 

 

I even start outlining letters and detail:

 

 

The first thing I noticed about this painting was the large empty space at the top. It needed something large and sweeping…..so I added a bee  spelling out “sweet girl.”

 


 

To unify the painting, and add some cohesion between the flowers and letters, I added some large circles. I grabbed a few random objects in different sizes to trace:

I then blocked in the circles with colors that would balance the painting. If an orange flower is on one side of the painting, I try to pull some orange to the other side of the painting by painting one of the circles. Light blue circles balance the blue “S” and pink and yellow pull the other colors around the painting:

 

 

I then started to add some more detail in the painting using my black paint pen….like the dotted line pattern in the large circles:

 

 

Tiny white dot flowers were a good way to subtly fill in some of the background area:

 

 

More detail:

 

 

The letter “a” looked bare and a little too mustardy so I added some white polka dots. I added a few white polka dots throughout the background as well as some dark pink dot flowers. The last thing I added was a dotted line throughout the painting as if the bee had flown through almost every letter….an easy way to help unify the painting:

 

 

Once the painting portion is finished, I placed little butterfly buttons throughout and marked them once I was happy with their location:

 

 

The last thing I do is drill and sew the buttons and embellishments on:

 

 

This “accidental” painting is for my new niece Sloan!

 


I float frame every painting myself…..see my other tutorials to see how to easily frame your own with a professional look!

 

 

Don’t even know where to start? Take a look at these:

 

Limited Editions and Blue Label

We are back to doing limited editions and one-of-a-kind uploads! There’s a new tab at the top of the page called “Blue Label” where all one-of-a-kind clothing will be listed as well as upload announcements. So excited to get back to what I love doing the most: creating.

There are new limited edition designs….a few a month along with our other collections. Each is available for about a week and each design is made to order once the listing has ended. The ballerina dress is available through tomorrow at midnight and the “Daddy’s Girl” dress will be available for another week and is guaranteed in time for Father’s Day! (Click photo for more information)

Mr. LBB

10 years ago today I married the most awesome guy in the whole world: Mr. LBB

 

He’s an amazing husband, a doting daddy and a loyal friend. He’s caring, loving, honest, hard working, loyal, respectful and fun. Boo says she is going to marry him when she gets older (I go along with it now or she gets too upset that he’s already married to me….).

Boo helped me pick out photos to represent every year we’ve been together:

He’s my best friend and Boo’s hero.


He does most of the housework. He wakes up early with Boo. He takes a Dora lunchbox to work if he has to. He brings me donuts and Dr. Pepper. He always drives. He takes out the trash and feeds the dog. He does just about everything and never complains. Oh, and I think he’s totally hot.

He never gets enough thanks or praise….and he doesn’t care. I forget his birthday or how old he is (only because I can’t remember how old I am either)…..and he’s forgiving. I’m really bad at gift giving or surprise parties (he’s thrown me two….I’ve never surprised him with anything).  He always mentions in passing that he wishes that he had learned to play the guitar when he was younger…..so I went and bought him his first musical instrument and lessons to go along with it. Boo’s going to be so excited…..he’ll have to share it until we can get her one of her own. It’s so cool and Johnny Cash-like…


Happy 10th anniversary Mr. LBB! I love you!

Seaside

I sat on the beach and a beautiful wave
Came tumbling right up to me.

It threw some pink shells on the sand at my feet,
Then hurried straight back out to sea.


 

 

It ran away swiftly and leaped up in foam;
It bumped other waves in its glee.

 


 

I think it was hurrying to gather more shells,
To bring as a present for me.
-from “The Wave” by Gussie Osborne

 

Clothing from The Nautical Collection by Lil Blue Boo.

 

A huge THANK YOU to Katie from Peekaboo Photos for the gorgeous photography.

Thank you to Carrie from The Little Stitch for the beautiful coordinating hair accessories.

 

Artwork on clothing designed by Stephanie Corfee especially for Lil Blue Boo.

 

 

 

 

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!

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