Saturday LBB Gallery Share – Fall Fabrics

I took a day trip to L.A. last week to pick up some fall fabrics…so inspired by all these prints… I just need more time to sew:

The second I got home from the long drive I knew exactly what I wanted to make first. A 3/4-sleeve fall tunic inspired by Alexander McQueen’s butterfly dresses (after watching some Rachel Zoe this week):

And a mix-matched “Mint Monet” asymmetric dress:

Of course I picked up a few random finds in L.A……some wool yarn for a new custom doll by AppleTreeHouse:

Lots of buttons……no plans for them yet….they just looked so pretty. I’ve already admitted that I have a fabric/craft shopping disorder:

I just finished and listed these limited edition fall “Calico Pony” silk screened dresses. There are just a few random sizes left in the shop right now:

Some new fan photos!

I just LOVE this one of the new Lil “Bleu” Boo collection pieces. How cute is Miss Sydney in her beret and glasses! There are just a few smaller sizes left of this:

Photo courtesy of Amie Caliri

Photo courtesy of Amie Caliri

I’m 100% positive that Harrison is already some breaking hearts……he’s so adorable in his corduroy blazer and a Lil Blue Boo upcycled hat! I’m not even going to show Boo this photo….she’ll have her first crush!

Photo courtesy of Mande Burckart

Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Great Ugly Knit Upcycle – The Gallery!

Lil Blue Boo, Dharma Trading and the distinguished judging panel (Amy, Ashley, Kari, and Rachel) have been waiting in great anticipation for the ugly knit entries! Before the judging starts I want to leave the gallery up for a few days just to make sure I didn’t leave anyone out or mix up any entries!

Click the collage below to view the entire gallery:

The judges have a hard job now to narrow the field down to ten entries! These are some amazingly creative entries! Thanks to everyone who participated…I know you all have been waiting in anticipation as well. The slideshow below is just a snapshot of the fantastic entries:

Judging will start next week to narrow all the entries down to just TEN finalists for the final week of voting!

To read the initial challenge and to refresh your memory on the fabulous prizes click below:

Note: If you are competitor and you think I’ve left out something or labeled something incorrectly please email me and I’ll get it fixed right away!

Painting in Progress

The artist is hard at work this morning…..various stages of her painting. She’s mixed paints with aqua crayons for the effect:

Update: 4 hours later….she’s still at it. Channeling Pollock again and painting on the floor. I’ve entrusted her with a gallon of gesso in the true spirit of artistic freedom.

The beginnings of a masterpiece…..

I’m letting Boo paint over one of my old paintings. The canvas is a foot taller than she is! The plan is to work on it in stages and in multiple mediums, so stay tuned for the finished piece in a few weeks. This is serious art.

I love these pics from 2009: My Little Pollock

Pink Owls on Blue…..

….available starting today in my Big Cartel Shop!

P.S. I’ve had requests to silk screen some wovens in addition to knits so look for those soon!

Sun Printing – An Introduction

How to sunprint on fabric via




It’s been about 25 years since I’ve used sun printing paper but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while! Who knew there was sun printing fabric?! I made this easy little square pin cushion using 8.5″ cotton cyanotype fabric squares and buttons:


This applique shirt was so simple…

…and I love the extra button detail:



The squares I used are the Blueprints on Fabric(pink on blue) shown below:

In a nutshell, the 8.5″ fabric squares in the kit are pretreated with a chemical that makes them change color in sunlight. I took the squares and pinned them to cardboard backing to keep them in place and laid various objects on top to experiment:

I placed the board in the sun for about 10 minutes and let the sunlight do its thing. The fabric darkens slightly (not to its dark blue you would expect):

Once the fabric has been in the sun for about 10 to 15 minutes, it is washed with cold water and the dark blue color appears:

I’m pretty sure there are over million things you could do with this fabric…here was my first hour of playing with it:


I pinned buttons to the fabric in the shape of a heart:

I pinned one of my mother’s old necklaces in place:

I layered different types of lace:

I used a transparency with a superhero “POW” on it:

Stay tuned for more sun printing soon!



Frida Folk Art Tee (with download)

Frida was on this weekend….I can’t even count the number of times I’ve watched that movie. I made this easy tee for Boo using the Frida Folk Art I painted a while back (see painting tutorial here). I wanted the t-shirt image to resemble a Mexican retablo and I love how it turned out!

Below is my image that you are welcome to download and make something for yourself! If your browser has trouble loading it just click the link below:

The easiest way to transfer the image to fabric is to print it out onto transfer paper using your inkjet printer. I use Dharma Trading’s Super Soft Transfer Paper. I always get questions about what type of ink I use: regular everyday printer ink!

I ironed the transfer onto a plain white shirt:

The finished transfer:

Using this amazing Alexander Henry Mini Calaveras fabric…..

…I cut 3/4″ strips for a ruffle.

To create the ruffle I sewed straight down the middle of the fabric…..

….while gently holding my thread spool to create some tension. The strips ruffle right up.

The finished ruffle:

I pinned the ruffle around the Frida image and sewed it onto the shirt:

The finished image and ruffle:

Check out my other transfer tutorials for more details:
Pirate Matryoshka
Vintage Harvest Crate Labels/Patches
The Candy Dress

If you haven’t read the book Frida, I highly recommend it….or at least rent the movie. She’s one of my favorite artists. I was able to see many of her paintings in person in London at the Tate in June 2005. Among those included in the exhibition: The Bus, My Dress Hangs There, The Broken Column, and The Two Fridas. I spent 6 hours in the exhibition and didn’t want it to end.

Here are a few pages from my art journals:

Lyrics from the song Burn it Blue, sung by Lila Downs in the movie Frida. The words are stamped onto a collage I made from rice paper and a skeleton photo.

The above quote is from one of Frida’s journals: “I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.”

Scarves & "Lucky" Hoodies & Sewing Idol!

New fun stuff in the shop this week! An upcycled patchwork scarf:

New limited edition “lucky” twirl hoodies! I’ve finished the smaller sizes and put them up and larger sizes will be added tonight (7pmPST/10pmEST) and tomorrow morning (9amPST/12pmEST) to Big Cartel. I silk screened the Chinese symbol for luck on the front and backs of each dress using a distressed method to resemble calligraphy:

Two favorite one-of-a-kind dresses made this week:

I finally snapped a photo of Boo in her “Li’l Fashionista” dress. This is such a fun collaboration! If you order a custom illustration from Stephanie Corfee (click here for more information) I’ve added an option in my shop for a custom dress using the same print. Stephanie will work with you on a custom illustrated portrait of your kiddo and then send me the final high resolution version if you decide you want the clothing option too. The queue starts with Stephanie though, so please don’t purchase the dress until your artwork is finalized! I’ll be adding a shirt option this week as well.

Finally….some shameless self promotion :) I was nominated for Sewing Idol! I’m floored and overwhelmed by the time it took a certain “someone” to put such a thoughtful submission essay together. I’ve printed it out for extra motivation to continue sharing more and more sewing tips and tutorials. Please go and vote and leave a comment at the link below if you get time…..I’m several months behind on votes so I could use as many as I can get! The finalists are chosen by votes and comments!

Note: Lil Blue Boo is submission #51 (under the VOTE tab) and you have to register to vote!

More fun stuff hitting the shop next week hopefully if we are able to get a photo shoot finished this weekend! Stay tuned!

Time Off!

We just got back this last weekend from our annual trip to Lake Tahoe. My in-laws have a place on the north shore that they invite the whole family to every summer and we have an amazing time with everyone. Each family is assigned a night to cook dinner and it takes all the stress out of mealtime. Every night after dinner we play games and get super competitive. This years game of choice was Catch Phrase. I think we kept the neighbors awake a few nights!

Tahoe is so pristine and peaceful….

Boats and boulders….

We spend lots of time on the water….

Boo can spend hours in her own little world playing in the sand…..

I like to scavenge for stones and driftwood……

Mr. LBB takes us out on the wave runner every once in a while….promising not to get us wet in the cold water:

We always take a family photo on the beach…..

We cut our Tahoe trip a little early this year and headed to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks for 3 days. Driving through Yosemite it feels like you are at the tip top of the world:

Boo loved the cool fresh air:

My favorite part was Yosemite Falls:

We carefully climbed up all the huge rocks to the very bottom of the falls:

Mr. LBB did most of the work on the climb….and still smiling!

The large scale of the falls is amazing….can you see the tiny rock climbers?

Driving out of the other side of the park you can see El Capitan (on the left), Half Dome (way in the back), and Bridalveil falls on the right:

After Yosemite we drove to Sequoia….lots of scary, high roads! Thank goodness Mr. LBB is a great driver.

Are you kidding me with these trees? I felt like I was in the movie Avatar:

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of Boo resting her big belly on the General Sherman sign:

As much as I cringe at graffiti in a national park, I couldn’t stop looking at the layers and layers of years and years of carved initials. It kind of makes me sad looking at names from long ago that are slowly disappearing into the weather-worn wood……

I also couldn’t resist taking a photo of Boo’s tiny “Li’l Sally” (an AppleTreeHouse Waldorf doll) in a humongous Sequoia:

It was an amazing trip! But I’m always glad to be home :)

Nursery Art – Layering with Collage

A nursery painting I recently finished for a little guy named Charlie:


Trees filled with ribbons, buttons, and paper leaves:


Plants with buttons and stitching layered over grass:


A turtle with buttons adorning his shell:


The entire painting with collage, ribbons, buttons etc:


Most of the techniques for making a similar piece of art can be found in my nursery art tutorial below:


The only thing I did differently for this painting was add some extra collage layers and ribbons for texture. I cut strips of some green plaid scrapbook paper and applied them using matte medium for grass:


I cut leaf shapes out of the paper as well.


I used matte medium to glue them to the painting just like the grass strips:


Let the leaves dry:


I finished the rest of the painting and applied gloss varnish. Once it was dry, to add texture, I drilled tiny holes and used DMC thread to attach ribbon pieces along side the leaf shaped buttons:


First I placed the ribbon on top of the string:


Then I tied the ribbon tightly with a knot to cinch it in the center:


And finally cut off the excess ribbon on each side:

Finished and framed!


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