"My Lucky Starr"

….that’s the name of the dress that I made today in hopes of helping a precious 5-year-old named Katie. Just over a week ago Katie’s family found out their beautiful daughter, Katie Starr has Cone-Rod Dystrophy which is a degenerative retinal disease with no cure or treatment. This will cause Katie to lose her sight if a cure isn’t found.

I don’t know why things like this happen to precious children and their families….I feel like God has a lot of explaining to do one day….my list of questions just keeps getting longer for him. The questions are on hold though….and I am a “do-er”…..so I did the first thing that came to mind: make an extra special dress. 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this dress will go to Team Katie Starr’s fundraising efforts to fund hereditary retinal disease research.

{Click the photo below to view the auction}

Please consider helping in any way you can to find a cure for Katie and all others affected with this disease. Visit here to learn more about Katie and her family.

To get you even more excited about the auction, here are some recent photos by Monika McSweeney Photography of the asymmetric style:

And one last photo I got from Kristina of Imagine That Photography. I was taken aback today at the number of people that I have come to know that are affected by or know someone affected by degenerative eye disease and blindness. For example, I learned from Kristina that her mother was involved with Recording for the Blind and was even the editor of a cookbook that sold 9,000 copies with all proceeds going to the organization. It’s these little tidbits that I would never know or think to ask about!

I don’t often dedicate myself to one cause….because it allows me to spread awareness about the causes that are near and dear to the hearts of people I meet along my Lil Blue Boo journey :)

Might be a little slow this week. My sister arrived today for LPGA Q-School! So excited to have her here for two weeks!

Layering Paint for Depth (A Tutorial)


I recently finished this custom painting for a client and thought it would be a great chance to share how easy it is to use layering to create an interesting background for a painting.

Here is the finished painting framed:

This tutorial is just an example of what you can do…..the more layers you add the more interesting your painting will become. I use acrylic craft paints and spray paints for my layers and I always love to experiment with different gels and mediums as well!

First I start out with a small piece of hardboard or Gessoboard (gesso means it is pre-primed). It won’t warp and it doesn’t have sap or woodgrain. It is also thin enough to frame under glass. You can buy it in several sizes.

Step 1:
Paint a base coat.


Step 2: Block off several areas with painters tape and paint each block a different color. I started with a yellow block….


….and then added a brown block. You’ll have to paint in stages using the painters tape.


Once the yellow and brown block dried, I removed the tape…..


….and added another color block. It is okay for the blocks to overlap too. It will just add more texture.


Step 3: Once all my color blocking was dry, I took the piece outside and used a wall stencil and some spray paint to cover it with a design:


Step 4: Next I took a lighter shade of brown acrylic paint and painted over the stencil design in some thick uneven coats to add texture. It doesn’t have to be perfect….you are going to add more layers after this!


Step 5: Once all my layers were dry, I took a watered down version of my original base coat and covered the entire painting:

Step 6: Once the top layer was dry I took a sanding block and sanded down different layers of the painting until the previous layers began to show through.

Step 7: After I have a base of a painting finished…..


…I use a simple stencil to draw out letters with a pencil and then I paint over them carefully with a tiny brush.

The finished lettering:

I’ll use a paint pen to add some other small details.

Step 8: To complete the painting I use a sanding block to distress the edges and then I coat with thin coat of water based varnish!


Here is a similar one I did in pink. Just change up your paint palette!

A gift they’ll treasure forever!

See some of my other painting tutorials for more ideas and information on materials and supplies:

Personalized Nursery Art

Nursery Art – Layering with Collage

Resolutions “Subway” Art

Transferring an Image with Gel Medium

How to Fake a Landscape Painting

Distressed Folk Art Painting




Shoes by Lil Blue Boo

They are finally available! Lil Blue Boo graphics paired with silk screens! Click the photo below to see all the designs. 30% off all styles through tomorrow if you use the LABORDAYSALE code! You can even add text to them for personalization. I ordered the men’s style for myself because I love the Converse look:

Folds of Honor (Dresses for a Cause)

Since I don’t play much golf these days, and Monday is Patriot Golf Day, I decided to do the next best thing and make the two dresses shown below to auction off with 100% of the proceeds going to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

This is such a great cause…..Folds of Honor provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. President George W. Bush was recently named the Honorary Chairman of Patriot Golf Day 2010 which benefits the organization:

**Fun fact: My sister Perry is the girl hitting the golf ball the 11 second mark!

These one-of-a-kind upcycled dresses were made from golf shirts and a few of my silk screens. The second one features 13 silk screened stars representing the 13 folds of the flag folding ritual for our fallen heros…read more about the significance here. Click on each dress to view the auction listing! The auctions end on Monday.

Finalists and Final Vote! Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Great Ugly Knit Upcycle

Introducing…..the finalists for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Great Ugly Knit Upcycle! The judges (Amy, Ashley, Kari, and Rachel) had a really hard time narrowing all the great entries down to the final 15! Thank you judges! And great job to everyone that entered!

Please cast your vote in the sidebar to the right for your favorite “ugly to beautiful” transformation!! A list of prizes are at the bottom of the bottom of the post. Voting ends at midnight September 9th! Note: the entries are anonymous but I’ll add links when the voting is closed.

#1 Back to School
A pile of outdated knits turned into an adorable back to school outfit!

#2 Cowgirl Skirt and Headband
Four ordinary, tacky shirts were used to create ruffles for this precious skirt…and even the scraps were used for shirt detail and hair piece.

#3 Embroidered Monkey Jumper
Two boring brown shirts were transformed with a touch of bright pink and a little embroidered monkey applique. Extra details include metallic gold thread for the crown and hot pink rick rack.

#4 T-shirt Snake

A bunch of green T-shirts from the donate pile and a pregnancy pillow made this fantastic toy snake for a playroom.….so much more fun than a beanbag!

#5 Boring Tees to Boxer Briefs
Ugly, boring tees transformed into to awesome boxer briefs. Other than the original knit tees, the only additional materials are the elastic at the waistband and the thread they were sewn with.

#6 Refashioned Romper
A plain vanilla cabled sweater refashioned into a precious sweater romper!

#7 Toddler Ruffle Dress
A stained, long-sleeve maternity t-shirt was transformed into an beautiful toddler dress covered in ruffles!

#8 Upcycled Gauchos
A pile of old T-shirts ready for Goodwill were begging to become this trendy pair of trousers!

#9 Applique T-shirt Pillow Cover
Ugly tees transformed into appliqued red/white snowflakes and trim for this decorative pillow!

#10 Dress With Matching Flower Headband
Boring tees from the “throw out” pile were made into this adorable dress and headband!

#11 Recycled Haute Couture
Outdated knits are now “recycl√© haute couture” …… perfect for shopping for baguettes and stinky cheese in the streets of Paris.

#12 Eco-friendly Waldorf-Style Doll
An ugly old stained white t-shirt was dyed to become the body of an eco-friendly Waldorf-style doll. An ugly pile of wool became the stuffing and the hair yarns were from the trash pile!

#13 Cowl Neck Toddler Sweatshirt
An outdated sweatshirt transformed into a stylish toddler cowl neck!

#14 Knit Flower Pins
A little boys sweater vest was made into 2 stunning flower pins….the perfect upcycled accessories!

#15 Bunny and Dress
An unsightly peach merino wool was dyed into a perfect “bunny” color and made into this cute stuffed toy. Ugly knits made the cute dress and matching carrot.

The Prizes:

First Place:
$50 Gift Certificate to Dharma Trading
Singer 2932 Sewing Machine
$25 Gift Certificate to Lil Blue Boo

Second Place:
$25 Gift Certificate to Dharma Trading
$25 Gift Certificate to Lil Blue Boo

Click the collage below to view the entire gallery:

First Day of School = Productive Day

Today was Boo’s first day back at school! Of all the beautiful clothing I’ve made her…she picked her Pinto halter dress from last year that she’s pretty much grown out of and a pair of cropped white pants. I cleaned her Unicorn Crocs to shiny new appearance (magic erasers are great for this), packed a nutritious lunch and we were set to go!

The first thing I did after dropping her off? I hit all my favorite thrift stores!

I had spent the weekend silk screening some NEW Lil Blue Boo signature knit…..

….and today I used it for the sleeves of this cute dress:

My new backdrop for clothing photos……look familiar?

Oh, and I made Boo’s doll Li’l Sally a new Cinderella-inspired princess dress:

Boo loved every second of school today….I missed my little sidekick though.


"Ware" & Sneak Peeks!

Yesterday was Boo’s school open house! I actually was able to get her out of her new wardrobe of “just underwear like Daddy” (disclaimer: Mr. Lil Blue Boo DOES wear more than just underwear during the day) and into a dress. She wouldn’t let me brush her hair but I pick my battles carefully…..and, well, brushing our hair just wasn’t important yesterday. She was SO excited to meet her new teacher! I can’t wait to have some free time to get more projects done!

I did get a bunch of things made last week….here is how the “China Doll” dresses turned out:

I found a small amount of the bottom blue and white lycra knit and made as many as I could. It caught my eye as soon as I saw it on my last fabric hunt. I collect blue and white porcelain…only because I want to be like Martha Stewart and collect some type of “ware.” Most of it’s from my wedding registry….so I haven’t gotten very far in my collection!

Since I’m a studio pack rat….I even keep the broken ones for a “some day” project:

Some of my favorite upcycled dresses of the week:

My friend Lisa (from Ellebows) sent me this adorable photo of her daughter Elle wearing the Lil “Bleu” Boo set I made recently. Elle was born to wear a beret:

Coming this week? Lil Blue Boo Shoes…..complete with Lil Blue Boo screen prints! Eeeep! So excited about these!

A sneak peek of a beautiful photo shoot by Misty Smith and her daughter Keeley for Lil Blue Boo Clothing. I just love it. Misty is super talented and I love her photography style! Stay tuned for the rest of the photos! Only a few of these horse dresses left in the shop!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Paper Doll Silk Screens!

Inspired by my Paper Doll Dress pattern……

….I silk screened some paper doll cutouts for some dresses! The “Rock, Paper, Scissors” dresses were available today:

And the “China Doll” dresses will be available sometime tomorrow morning:

I’ve been collecting some beautiful silky, swingy knits for the bottom of these dress/tunics….so that they are ultra-twirly! It almost hurts to cut into them :)

Li’l Miss Mei (with Download)

I made a new little nesting doll graphic for some doll dresses…..introducing Li’l Mei (modeled by Li’l Sally, Boo’s Apple Tree House Waldorf-style doll):

You can use my pirate matryoshka tutorial (with download as well) to learn how to transfer image to doll clothes, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants etc. Feel free to use the graphic for your own creations….just remember that it is for personal use only! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! (Click the link below if you have trouble viewing the graphic)

Pair Li’l Mei with some cherry blossom fabric and you’ve got an adorable combo!

Fearless Creativity

My sister reminded me of something the other day…..that we used to have an “crafts” room in our house growing up. It was a designated room where my mother kept her sewing machine and all the other projects she was working on. It was overflowing with silk flowers, fabric, thread, craft paints etc……and none of it was ever off limits. We were allowed to go through any of my mother’s things and use whatever we wanted…..it made us fearless when it came to creating.

Growing up my mother was always making drapes, comforters, pillows, and flower arrangements for our house. I can picture her repainting the kitchen cabinets, weeding 2 acres of landscaping by herself, and sewing clothes for us. She was super woman….and I wanted to be just like her:

She would illustrate everything from handwritten notes and cards to my baby book with little characters. She still to this day sends letters and cards with little cartoons drawn inside them. She draws little cartoon stories with Boo when she comes to visit.

I wasn’t always thrilled about clothing items she made me (that’s me in the center, my sister is on the left, my brother is pretending to be a robot…eek)…but I can appreciate the handmade love put into them.

So maybe my love of “making things” began with my mother….but I like to think it runs deeper in the genes….generations of people driven to create something. My father built companies, my mother built a loving household…..and they both encouraged my sister, brother and I to be fearless and try everything. I like to think I’ve taken the same approach with Boo. My only disappointment is that Boo was born after my grandparents passed away…..but at least I have the stories and photos to pass on to her (click the photos for the posts):

Who has influenced your creativity?

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