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… 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?

Tie Dyed Elastic Accessories (A Tutorial)

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial via

On our road trip this summer I found some hair accessories in a store that were tie dyed…but they were so expensive I was determined to make a bunch of them myself!

The perfect ponytail holder:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories / Hair Tie Tutorial via
Foldover (FOE) elastic is perfect for accessories because it is extremely strong, it has high elasticity and you can dye it! The biggest plus? It doesn’t get tangled in hair easily…and with Boo’s crazy hair we love “friendly” elastic. It’s also nice that foldover elastic costs about 30 to 50 cents a yard.


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories / Hair Tie Image 2 Tutorial via

First, I took the elastic:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Supplies via
Then I folded the elastic several times and placed rubber bands tightly around it in several places:

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process via
I mixed up a small amount of pink and purple fabric dye in two squirt bottles….


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 2 via
…and applied the dye directly to the elastic:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 3 via
I place the tie dyed elastic in a ziplock overnight for the dye to set in. To dye a few pieces just one color I just added dye directly to the baggies (the left and center baggies):


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 4 via
The next morning I took the elastic out of the baggies and rinsed the excess dye out.


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 5 via
I added a small amount of dye fixative to a bucket of cool water……

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 6 via
…..and let the elastic sit for about 10 minutes just to ensure I wouldn’t have any dye bleed later on.

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 7 via
Finally, I set the elastic pieces out in the sun to dry:

Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 8 via
To make the accessories, I just looped a piece of elastic, then tied a tight knot at the end and then clipped off the satin elastic at a decorative angle just below the knot:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 9 via
I used a tiny amount of fray block to keep the ends of the elastic from fraying over time:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial Process 10 via
We use these satin elastic bands for so many things….Boo has her own preferences:


I use them for my hair but also to keep my journals and address book closed:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - use for books too! via
A pretty way to keep some like items together:


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - use for pencils too! via
My favorite idea? Make a bag of several sizes and colors for a handmade gift…or better yet a bunch of bags for party favors or stocking stuffers!


Tie Dye Elastic Accessories Tutorial - makes a great gift! via

Note: This tutorial is only recommended for accessories. Many types of elastic will not hold dye due to their fiber content. The foldover/satin elastic typically has enough natural fiber in it to react to dye.

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.”
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