Lil Blue Boo & Dharma Trading Design Challenge for 2011

It’s here! A challenge for the new year!
Brought to you by Lil Blue Boo and Dharma Trading Company



1. Design something. Design anything.
We are giving you free reign in this challenge. Design a piece of clothing, a unique accessory, a handbag, a pair of shoes, a piece of jewelry, an apron…..anything you feel moved to create. We just want to see fun, unique and challenging designs!

2. Use at LEAST one of the listed techniques in your creation:
Tie-Dye, Dyeing, Silk Painting, Fabric Painting, Batik, Marbling, Stamping, Transfers, Screen Printing, Felting or Embellishments

3. Submit your entry or entries by March 30th, 2011.
Multiple entries are allowed! Submit as many entries as you like but each entry needs to be submitted separately and must have a unique blog post (see how to enter at the bottom of the post). If you don’t have a blog or website make sure we have all of your contact information and a complete description of your entry! There will be a gallery spotlighting all of the entries at the end of the contest!

4. After all the entries are received, a very distinguished, diverse panel of judges will narrow the entries down to 10 finalists and then will have a final week to narrow down the finalists to first, second and third place winners.


This challenge would not be possible without the generous prize donations from these amazing sponsors:

Dharma Trading Co.: Online store carries a range of products from Dyes, Paints, and Chemicals to Fabrics, Clothing Blanks, and Tools and has been supplying artists for over 41 years!

Paint the Moon: Professional Photoshop actions and fine art textures to make your photos shine.

Sew Hip Magazine: The UK’s number one sewing magazine packed full of sewing patterns, techniques, tips and tricks, and fabulous features.

Above all Fabric: Online store carries designer fabric, notions, supplies, trims, ribbon and sewing patterns available for instant download.

Stephanie Corfee: Freelance artist and graphic designer, her work includes logos, print ads, web promotions and large format printing. Her artwork and illustrations can be described as bohemian, whimsical, and full of vibrant colors.


First Prize:
:: $100 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.
:: Sew Hip Magazine: 1 International Yearly Subscription ($120 Value)
:: Paint the Moon Photography Actions Set for Photoshop or Elements ($50 Value)
:: $50 Gift Certificate from Above All Fabric
:: $50 Gift Certificate from Lil Blue Boo
:: Art print from artist Stephanie Corfee ($30 Value)

Second Prize:

:: $50 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Above All Fabric
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Lil Blue Boo

Third Prize
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.


Each judge brings a unique perspective to the Challenge so that no design style or color combination will be overlooked! Judges will be looking for creativity, uniqueness, personality, etc.

Photobucket Annie from Paint the Moon

Photobucket Corina from Corina Nielsen Photography

Photobucket Ashley from Make It and Love It

Photobucket Dana from Made

Photobucket Kristin from Sew Mama Sew


1. Design and create your entry. Post photos of your finished outfit/outfits on your personal blog or website. Make sure to include a little bit about your inspiration and techniques you used in the creative process! Make sure to include the words “Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge” in your post and link back to

2. Email a link to your blog post along with ONE photo or ONE photo collage of your creation for the Design Challenge Gallery to my sidekick Lisa (lisa @ lilblueboo dot com). Please keep in mind that this might be all the judges will see of your design in the initial judges stages so make it a good photo!

3. All entries due by March 30th, 2011 at midnight (Pacific time).

4. International entries and domestic entries are welcome, however certain prizes are only available for domestic entries.

Please feel free to email if you have questions about the contest! Thank you!


Grab this html code and paste it into your sidebar to display the Challenge badge to show you are participating!

Dharma Trading has a great page for ideas and techniques that you can find here and is also your one stop shop for challenge supplies! Stay tuned for guest posts, tutorials and related challenge posts that will be added over the next few months!

We can’t wait to see what you create!

*A special thank you to Corina from Corina Nielsen Photography for designing the Challenge logo!

Happy Holidays! Stephanie Corfee/Lil Blue Boo Paper Dolls

We know this is early…..but we thought we’d give you these before you start your travel for Thanksgiving so you can take them along! A gift for you from Stephanie Corfee and Lil Blue Boo! Stephanie drew the adorable fashionistas to go with my Lil Blue Boo dress prints and the result is fun activity for your little designer!

Free paper doll download printable via

Just print these off onto regular letter sized paper or cardstock and let your kiddos be the fashion designers! Or print off multiple copies and create an entire army of fashion dolls!


Free paper doll download printable via

One Super Huge Ironing Board

It’s done! My sweet hubby made me my super huge silk screening table / ironing board I’ve been dreaming about! I know most people wouldn’t have a use for such a large table but it could definitely be done on a much smaller scale too.

How to make a silk screening / ironing table via
First, he took an old conference table from his office and added 2 sheets of plywood to the top to make it extra wide:

How to make a silk screening / ironing table via [Read more…]

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband (A Tutorial)

I love the fabric flower headbands that you see popping up now….but I am super picky about the way the flowers are rolled. I was determined to find a way to make them in a shabby chic style but with minimal sewing! Here’s my tutorial on how I make mine:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Tutorial via

Materials Needed:
Fabri-Tac or other tacky fabric adhesive
Chenille Pipe Cleaners
Head Band
Glue Gun
Fabric Scraps

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Materials via
To make a flower, first I start by connecting two chenille pipe cleaners together. I’ve found that two make the perfect size flower:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 1 via
For each flower you need a 20″ x 2″ fabric scrap. Start by putting a long bead of Fabri-Tac along the strip:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 2 via
Starting at one end start rolling the fabric around the pipe cleaner. The key is not to roll to tight or too perfect….just kind of haphazardly roll your fabric up:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 3 via
If you run out of fabric before you get the pipe cleaners covered just add another piece in as you go:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 4 via
Once the pipe cleaner is covered with fabric, start at one end and begin rolling the flower into a spiral shape, adding in a small bead of Fabri-Tac every few inches as you go:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 5 via
You’ll develop your own technique for rolling as you go….I have kind of a roll, roll, then twist technique to make mine look a little fuller and shabby:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Rolling via
As you get to the end of your flower, tuck the “tail” under the flower with a dab of Fabri-Tac and use a small clothespin to secure. Let the Fabri-Tac set for about 30 minutes.

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 6 via
I like to mix all different textures of fabrics….one of these flowers was a cotton gauze, one part of a upcycled golf shirt and another was some floral knit.
No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Finished Rolls via
You can make ribbon “leaves” by twisting pieces of ribbon, secure with a pin, and add a dab of Fabri-Tac:
No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Ribbon Leaves via
Once all of your flowers have had time to set, add a large amount of Fabri-Tac to the bottom of each flower but keeping about 1/4″ to 1/2″ away from the edge of the flower:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 7 via
Place your flowers down onto a piece of felt in the shape that you prefer:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 8 via
Add in your ribbon leaves between the flowers and felt before the glue has a chance to set, adding more Fabri-Tac if needed:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 9 via
My favorite part? I like to “mash” all the flowers together for about a minute so that they don’t look too perfectly round and so that they form into one another. With the pipe cleaners inside and the Fabri-Tac they will retain some of this “mashed” shape once you let go:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 10 via
One your glue has set, carefully trim the felt around the flowers so it isn’t visible when the flowers are right side up:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Trim Felt via
Take your headband and determine where you want it placed and using a disappearing ink pen, mark either side:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Attach Accessory via
Add hot glue along the entire length of felt……

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Hot Glue via
….and press your headband into place:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Step 12 via
Your finished no-sew fabric flower headband! It might take some practice until you get it just right but you’ve got to start somewhere!

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Photo via
A perfect addition to any outfit:

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Photo Dress via
A fun way to experiment with different knits, fabrics and textures!

No-Sew Fabric Flower Headband Photo Final via

Two Weeks of Photography – Summary

Two Weeks of Photography with Lil Blue Boo was such a wonderful success! Thank you so much to all of our amazing guest bloggers who helped make it so successful. We appreciated all of the positive feedback, and we will definitely be back with more photography related posts! Here is a summary of the two weeks! Click on the buttons to be taken to that post.

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The Li’l List – Cranberry Pom et al

My new favorite accessory? This rock and roll belt by My Baby Belts! I think I have to have them all…..and I hope they start making matching “mommy” sized belts too. I have the zebra print and the rock and roll one…..these would make great stocking stuffers (plus the owner Abby is super sweet and I love supporting moms in business)! Miss Elle rocked it during a game of Simon Says:

Speaking of accessories….here’s my attempt at a handmade headband….love how it turned out. I think I’ll be putting together a tutorial soon!

New in the shop for this week only (or until we run out of our botanical print)! The Cranberry Pom Collection….mix and match!

The Cranberry Pom Silk Screened Tee (short or long sleeved) and the Cranberry Pom Twirl Skirt:

The Cranberry Pom Jumper and Ruffle Pants (pants available separate too):

Amie sent me these fabulous photos of her daughter in a custom Lil Blue Boo dress featuring art by Stephanie Corfee. I’ve been looking for some boots like that for me!

And this fabulous photo by Olivia Hooper of her daughter in a Lil Blue Boo “Cherry Chinese Dragon” dress…….love it. I love the look of toddler wonder on her face!

Gasp! A boy in Lil Blue Boo? Oh yes, I’m working on more…..promise. One-0f-a-kinds coming soon!

Hope your weekend has been wonderful! I should have added a caution to my previous post on painting….if you give your child large canvases to paint on….they might start to expect them….this could be a VERY expensive hobby once my thrift store painting finds run dry:

Painting with Children – "Finer" Art

It’s obvious that Boo loves to paint….it’s one of the first things she’ll ask to do each morning. What’s different about the paintings below from the painting in my last post about painting is the TYPE of paint. In the large painting last week we used washable paint…’s is easy to clean up but the color isn’t as vibrant and the paint is easily washed off of the canvas. I’ll often let her use acrylic craft paints to make large paintings that we will hang up in the house because the paint is more permanent…..we jokingly call this her “fine art” painting. I’ve got a few tips to help your child paint something you could hang on your living room wall!

When the weather isn’t nice enough to paint outside, I’ll lay all my drop cloths down in our foyer because it is such an open area. I lay the canvas flat so she can sit on the floor and draw on it with her water crayons or splatter and dribble large amounts of paint around:

If I give her a LARGE amount of paint like this gallon of gesso….I’ll give her one large paint brush. She can dribble, drop, splatter just like Jackson Pollock:

The key is to keep the painting an interesting activity. When she starts to get a little bored, I’ll remove the canvas from the floor and set it upright. I’ll use boxes or a postal crate to set her paint on so she doesn’t step in it when she’s deep in thought:

I rotate the canvas often… she sees her painting differently. It’s amazing how turning a painting 90 degrees will allow her to see a big blank space she never noticed before…..or couldn’t reach. This is how I paint too…..when I get bored I just turn the painting upside down!

I think most of the enjoyment of the painting for her is mixing and dripping large amount of paint…..I guess it could be comparable to making mudpies. I’ll admit, this is why I love painting so much….I love the mixing and the spreading and the pushing of pigment around the surface to see what happens.

One of the most frequent questions I get is: how do you keep her from mixing the colors together and getting that muddy brown result? Simple, I give her a huge selection of paints to choose from, but from only one color palette at a time. I love the 99 cent craft paints because they come in so many colors….and I’ll give her one bin at a time:

She’ll mix and mix and mix…..but she’s usually mixing pink with purple, or red with pink….so she doesn’t cross the color wheel.

Once some of the paint has dried I’ll give her another bin to play with. The result is that the canvas is covered with layers and layers of rich colors!

She had fun today practicing her letters……she’s still writing many of them backwards but hey, it makes for interesting art, right?

This masterpiece will be going in Mr. Lil Blue Boo’s new office soon! He can tell clients it was painted by a very “established” local artist :)

Lil Blue Boo Photography Affiliates

Are you a professional photographer? We want to see your work!

Introducing the Lil Blue Boo Photography Affiliate Program! We are so excited about this new program and we know it will create some new amazing relationships. We are looking for photographers who have a passion for what they do and photography that stands above the rest. We want you to know….our selection process is tough…decisions will be primarily based on photography style and geographical area.

What is a Lil Blue Boo Photography Affiliate?

Our Photography Affiliates will essentially be “virtual” Lil Blue Boo stylists with many benefits including:

:: Discounts on clothing to be used in photo shoots as well as free rush orders to meet your deadlines.
:: Earn reward points based on your purchases as well as your client’s purchases to help you build a wardrobe any stylist would love.
:: Inclusion in a directory of Lil Blue Boo Photography Affiliates on our website which receives 60-70,000 visitors per month.
:: Your clients will have access to one-of-a-kind and limited edition clothing for their styled shoots as well as coordinated family outfits. We can do almost anything……from elaborate hair accessories to silk screened adult clothing….just because you don’t see it in our shop doesn’t mean it can’t be done….let us help you brainstorm!

What’s in it for Lil Blue Boo?

We LOVE seeing our clothing photographed by talented people!
We LOVE the creative process of each individual….so we want to see how you use Lil Blue Boo clothing in your shoots when given free reign!
We want your clients to feel amazing that clothing was made just for them and with their personality in mind.

We are interested in all different styles of photography. As part of the Lil Blue Boo/Photography Affiliate relationship it is not required that you send us photos of every outfit you style but it is always appreciated. We would love to share your photos with others and promote your work.

How to apply to become a Lil Blue Boo Photography Affiliate:

Please email the following information to

1. Name and Website. Please provide links.
2. What ages do you typically shoot?
3. What is your average number of client photo shoots per month?
4. Have you worked with any children’s clothing lines in the past? If yes, which ones?
5. How did you hear about Lil Blue Boo?
6. Please send us 1 or 2 of your best photos. We’d especially love to see ones that you think best represent the style of Lil Blue Boo!

We have worked with some extremely talented photographers in the past and we value our relationship with each and every one of them. We literally jump up and down with excitement when we get an email filled with proofs from an amazing photo shoot. Here are some beautiful examples of Lil Blue Boo styled shoots:

We wish we could work with everyone but keep in mind the selection process never stops….if it doesn’t work out the first time around please feel free to reapply!

Once accepted into the program you will receive all the details on ordering, sizing, customs and the incentives programs. Thank you for your interest!

Ashley & Lisa – Lil Blue Boo

A Guide to Painting with Children

No, we didn’t use them as the paint brushes….although it might look that way. Yesterday, Lisa and I planned for Boo and Elle to do a tribute to our veterans and then we just let them create until their sweet hearts were content.

painting with children via
painting with children via
painting with children via
painting with children via
I love letting Boo and her friends create with very few boundaries. I learned this from my parents. My mother was never concerned about us making a mess….it was always fixable. My dad would take us to get our portraits taken as kids and give us ice cream to eat for the shot….letting it melt down onto our clothes and smear onto our face and hands. It made for some great photos!

Tip #1: Control the environment without them knowing it is controlled.
Cover more area than you could possibly need. I invest in thick, sturdy canvas drop cloths from the hardware store that can be used over and over again. I lay them out under, behind, and around the painting area. Sometimes we paint in the garage, sometimes the house, sometimes outside…..and there is never any fear of paint getting where it isn’t supposed to.

painting with children via
Tip #2: Start with an extra large blank slate.
Canvases are expensive! But I always like to use extra large one because it doesn’t confine the kids into an 8.5″ x 11″ workspace. Their creativity runs wild on a such a large area. This canvas we used was 7 feet by 5 feet…..our friend who is an interior designer gave it to us from a house redesign. I painted over it with white gesso and it was good as new.

Search your thrift stores for large old paintings to paint over!

painting with children via
Tip #3: Use washable paint for the little ones.….and a TON of it.
It’s cheap, non toxic and you’ll be able to wash it off of their hair, hands, and your floor easier. It won’t be an archival painting that will last for generations….but you can reuse the canvas until they get old enough to use non-washable paint!

painting with children via
Tip #4: Dilute your paint with water and put large amounts into plastic buckets.
I never skimp on paint. When a bucket is filled with large amounts of soupy paint it’s easier to paint in large sweeping strokes across a canvas. I can’t stand seeing a child frustrated with trying to fill in a block of color with a tiny amount of paint. Why should they waste precious time running back to the paint bucket every 2 seconds?

painting with children via

Tip #5: Use extra large and extra long paint brushes.
You can buy these in packs of three at most craft stores. Buy enough so there are a few brushes per paint color so the paint doesn’t get mixed together. Large paint brushes allow them to make large strokes of color and long paint brushes will let them paint up high and down low easily. (It also keeps them at a little bit of a distance so paint won’t drop in their hair and face).

painting with children via
Tip #6: Let them wear clothes that can be covered in paint.
Better yet…..let them wear all white. Who wants to worry about getting paint on their clothes? I’ve never seen an artist or a house painter wear their nice clothes when creating.

painting with children via

Tip #7: Don’t nag.
Let them have fun. Play some music. Let them know they aren’t going to get in trouble for covering themselves in paint. Coach them to try different painting techniques. Make sure to have the camera and video camera ready!

painting with children via
Tip #8: Give them a motivating speech before you start.
I like to start out really serious and outline my “rules” for them:
Be careful not to get any paint in your eyes.
2. Remember, you are a great artist…..Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, Frida… are just as talented as all of the “greats” combined.
3. Get as much paint on yourself as possible.

4. Get as much paint on the canvas as possible.
5. Try to use as many colors as possible.
6. Please don’t leave me extra paint that I have to put away.
7. Try not to get a ton of paint on Mommy. Please :)

painting with children via
I love little hand prints on my clothes :)

painting with children via

For more tips on painting with children go here.

The "T" Patchwork Dress Now Available!

The Lil Blue Boo “T” Patchwork Dress is now available in the shop! Make any t-shirt or tank top into a patchwork dress! No guess work involved….it has measurements for exactly where to cut your t-shirt and individual pattern pieces for every size 12M to 12 years. You can recycle an old tee or use a new one! It also includes an option for adding a ruffle flower!

The instant download ePattern includes separate patterns for sizes 12-18M, 18-24M, 2T/3T, 3T/4T, 4T/5, 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12.

Doll size pattern included for 10″ and 15″ Waldorf-style dolls, American Girl, Bitty Baby, Pottery Barn or other similarly sized dolls.