How to Make Personalized Burlap Bags

Gift Idea for Bridesmaids, Wedding Party, Graduation Etc: How to Make Personalized Burlap Bags via Ashley Hackshaw / #burlap #diy #tutorial #wedding #rustic #diywedding


Love burlap…and I love these burlap bags from Dharma Trading. I thought they’d make great gifts or even stylish reusable grocery bags:

Use Blank Burlap or Jute Bags via Ashley Hackshaw /


Burlap or Jute Bags
Supersoft Transfer Paper
Ink Jet Printer


There are several ways you can personalize the bags:

1. Silk screening or freezer paper stencils. (see my Beach Bag Tote tutorial here)
2. Spray paint with stencils
3. Fabric applique
4. Transfer Paper

I chose transfer paper for these particular bags because I wante pretty detailed graphics and it takes way too much patience to hand cut a stencil for something like that.

First, I created this little “Groceries” graphic in Photoshop. If I’m making a graphic that prints out onto multiple pages I usually use Powerpoint to size and print it because it turns out easier to visualize and match up. I printed out the graphic onto Super Soft Transfer paper:

Use special iron on paper to transfer image via Ashley Hackshaw /

Transfer paper from Dharma Trading.


I carefully cut out my graphic and made sure the two sides matched up, placing them face down onto the burlap bag.  Pressing a hot iron for a few minutes (careful not to burn the paper or bag!) transfers the image to the bag: CONTINUE READING

Moving to the Hemlock Inn

I know you’ve been waiting for the rest of the story. I had to wait until I really felt like I knew how to tell it, to explain the enormity of it.

Our house is for sale. The clothing line will be closed at the end of the month and Brett* is walking away from his business in CA.  We are selling almost everything we own except for sentimental family items.

And at the beginning of the summer we will be moving from the California desert (with population 600,000+)…..2,159 miles to Bryson City, North Carolina (population 1,500)….to live at a small, country inn:

The Hemlock Inn

It’s a story that starts 35 years ago, when my grandfather first visited the Hemlock. As a family, we visited the Hemlock in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983.  We stopped going after my grandmother died, but I always thought about it.  Our stays at the Hemlock were the only vacations I really remembered as a young child.  We’d gone to Disneyworld, the beach….all the usual stops….but none of those created the vivid memories like the Hemlock did.

Fast forward 30 years, to last summer.  Boo and I were flying back to the east coast to visit my family in Charlotte, North Carolina. I really wanted to do something different with her and the first thought that came to my mind was the Hemlock, only I didn’t know if it was still there.

I looked up the Inn and was surprised to learn, not only was it still there, it was still owned by the same family.  I made reservations for Boo and I….my mom, sister and my brother’s family too.

In July, driving up the long winding driveway to the Inn I didn’t know what to expect, and it was like I was driving into my past. I had so many images in my head, but childhood memories can sometimes be like little warped vignettes.  As we pulled into the gravel parking space, right up front, it felt like I was coming home to a place that had been secretly pulling at me for years.

Moving to the Hemlock Inn in Bryson City, NC via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

I felt a shift in me at the Hemlock last summer.  I asked (jokingly at the time) if Mort would rent me a cottage for a few months the following summer so that I could finish up a book I’ve been working on.   On the plane ride back to the desert I pulled out a book that turned out to be the last book my dad was reading before he died (another long story). As Boo slept next to me, I wrote in my journal:

Journal 8/21/13 – I’m dreading going back to the desert. My heart was left somewhere between the Hemlock Inn, Linville and Charlotte.  But what would we do?  Where would Sienna go to school? Where would we live? God, please give me some answers. Help me see the direction you want me to go.

It must have been obvious, because when Brett picked Boo and I up at the airport, the first thing he asked was “you didn’t want to come home did you?”

Back in the desert, life went back to normal but I kept thinking about the inn. I kept in touch with Lainey and Mort every so often. I found Boo playing Hemlock Inn with her Barbies, she had named Barbie and Ken, what else but: Lainey and Mr. Mort.

Around October, I got an email from Lainey:

Lainey: Dear Sweet Ashley, You have been on my mind lately. Have you sold your house yet? Ha. No pressure. There is a log cabin for sale on the property next to us (that we used to own). I may send you a picture of it. We also will likely have the little cottage in the woods available. It is a cute one with 2 bedrooms. I am still dreaming…and scheming! Ha.  Around October,

Me (literally a few minutes later): Crazy. I was JUST thinking about you!  That’s so weird….seriously…..we have been talking about moving back to NC one day. There is a property for sale next door to my mother. What are the schools like there? Sure send me some photos.


Lainey trekked out in the rainy, cold weather to snap a few photos.  I showed them to Brett and his reaction was: Is there an outhouse to go with it?!

Near the Hemlock, Not the Hemlock


I didn’t want to lead Mort and Lainey on so as exciting as it all sounded, I told them to not count on us staying for more than a few weeks during the summer.  It was fun to think about, “dreaming and scheming” as Lainey would say, but there were too many things holding us back.


Then November rolled around, and all those things holding us back seemed to miraculously resolve themselves.  It felt like we were being shown over and over that the Hemlock wasn’t just a big dream, it was meant to be.  Then one day:

Brett: I am okay with moving.
Me: You ARE?!  Me too! Whoa. I’m think I might hyperventilate. I’m calling Lainey RIGHT NOW…..before you can change your mind.

It was in December that I called Lainey.  I told her that I wanted to explore options for living at the inn. Lainey said she couldn’t believe that I had called, because of the timing.  Mort was discouraged and wondering what the future was going to be.  We’d talked before about how much times had changed and small inns were struggling.  How does a small, rustic inn survive in a modern culture like ours?  How do you convince a world that craves new things, more things, accumulation to choose simplicity over technology and extravagance?  I didn’t have all the answers but I did know that I had this clear vision of a thriving Hemlock. I just had the gut feeling about it. I’ve stayed in lots of places over the years, inns, historic hotels, B&Bs all over Ireland and Scotland, but the Hemlock is different for some reason: it’s as if it has a pulse.

As we discussed options for living in one of the cottages I explained that we didn’t want to just live there, we wanted to help out. Maybe Mort and Lainey could let us have honorary “assistant innkeeper” titles when they needed us to. We didn’t want to be just guests, we wanted to immerse ourselves in the beating heart and inner workings of such a place…because when I’m there I feel like the Hemlock represents all that is right in this broken world we live in.


There was just one small hitch in the whole plan….Brett hadn’t yet been to Hemlock Inn or Bryson City.  He was going off of photos, stories and Boo’s new memories. He said, “I trust you” but I wanted us to make the decision together and in order to make such a huge commitment, we needed to visit as soon as possible….so we flew mid-January to the Hemlock.

We knew that the inn would be closed the weekend we visited but Mort and Lainey welcomed us into their home (with fresh cookies out of the oven!)  We talked for hours and hours by the fire about dreams for the inn and what our life would be like living there. We visited the elementary school and were greeted by, “oh yes, Lainey stopped by yesterday to let us know you might want a tour.” We drove all over Bryson City, touring and talking to locals, looking for things like the post office and the hardware store, envisioning what our life might be like there:

Small Town Life: Moving to the Hemlock Inn in Bryson City, NC via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo


And of course we looked for the obscure backroads too:

Me: Stop!  Look at those old gravestones!
Brett: You know why I love exploring with you?
Me: Why?
Brett: Because you choose all the places….you can find stuff in the middle of nowhere. And I just get to experience it.


(the memory I have of taking the above photo is me lying down in a graveyard while a woman stared Brett down in our rental car)

Long story short: Brett was sold.  He loved the small town of Bryson City. He loved the Hemlock. And he loved Mort and Lainey.


So now our house is for sale. I discovered flowers and a heart this morning left by the sign by a friend. I’ve been slowly selling almost everything in it….except for sentimental items I’m keeping for Boo, and of course my millions of books.

Brett: So I guess I need to hire movers just to move your books cross country?


A close friend recently said to me: I know you aren’t related to the innkeepers, but the way you talk about it, it’s as if the Hemlock’s DNA runs in your veins.  You need to go and tell the story.

I want to tell the story.

So we are moving to the Hemlock Inn for a year, maybe more. We have no plans for life beyond the Hemlock yet.  We will be living on the grounds of a small inn where guests come and go.  Mort says I will be the “writer in residence.”  I like that.  I am a story teller, so I’ll be telling the stories of our life at a 1950′s motor inn and small town life through writing, photography and film.

We’ll be living in a small cottage called the Woody cottage….that has a whole story too….but I’ll get there.  I’m excited to redecorate the cottage and make it our own.  Boo is more excited to renovate the treehouse that Mort and Lainey’s boys grew up with.

Boo, Brett and I will be eating most of our meals at the Hemlock and it will give us a chance to meet new people and hear their stories.  Mealtime is one of the highlights at the Hemlock: breakfast is at 8:30am and Dinner is at 6:30pm every night except Sunday, and you know it’s time because there’s a dinner bell, usually rung by a young guest.  All the guests eat together at large family style tables with lazy susans in the center, and only after a short blessing is said. I can’t wait to sneak into the kitchen to share some secrets and maybe learn to cook a dish or two myself….or even just how to cook in general.  Everything at the Hemlock is made from scratch. The inn even makes its own breadcrumbs….I thought breadcrumbs just came in a can. See how much I have to learn?

The Hemlock Inn - The Place with the Lazy Susans - Bryson City NC Smoky Mountains via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

Because things move slowly at the inn, we’ll have plenty of time to explore the surrounding area and really immerse ourselves in the small town life.  The Cherokee Indian Reservation is only a few miles away.  Maybe I can finally meet Princess Patty again. Deep Creek will be visited often.  There’s hiking, fishing, tubing and kayaking.  The Tuckasegee river runs right through town and the Nantahala Outdoor Center is nearby. Fontana Lake and Dam are pretty close. Brett will be exploring the mountain biking scene (we made sure to meet the owner of Bryson City Bicycles when we visited in January).  I’ll have fun making detailed maps of my obscure, eclectic local road trips…looking for things to photograph and explore…because those are the best kind.  I want to plan on having workshops/retreats on writing, blogging, photography…..all things creative.  Boo wants me to recreate the treasure maps that Mr. Shell, Lainey’s father, used to make for me when he was the innkeeper years ago.


It can be a little scary stepping out onto such a new path, but at the same time I think we are rewriting everything we’ve ever been taught about success and what’s important in life.  We are moving our daughter from a wonderful private school, from every opportunity in an affluent town, to a very small town with very little industry outside of tourism. But for so long I’ve felt caught in this conflicting world of messages, I’m breaking free for good.  Part of a prayer of confession in church one Sunday not long ago:

…we are bound to the regimens of calendars and limits of bank accounts…

The message was about being open and saying yes to where you are being led.  Making our own lives available to others.   Making our world a little smaller and become increasingly un-attached to things, all the while connecting ourselves to something larger. There’s that saying: truth which is told is quick to be forgotten, but truth discovered lasts a lifetime. I think that’s the best education we could ever give Boo. I want my child to become faithful in the little things, so that one day she will realize those little things are really the big things. I’m on a mission to engage myself deeply with the world, and to teach her (and Brett, a willing participant) along with me.  Boo asked me last night if she could have an iPad….I told her she could have snowshoes instead. She liked that idea. She’s never seen a leaf change color, witnessed a change in seasons, or even worn a winter coat. It will be a whole year of firsts. Boo said visiting the Hemlock was her favorite part of the whole summer.  Now she’ll be living there….and it will be part of her DNA too.

Moving to the Hemlock Inn - Leaving our current life for a new one at a small Motor Inn in Bryson City, NC  via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

I’ve always wanted to live in a small town with lots of places to explore nearby.  I’ve always wanted to have small, intimate workshops and retreats…and the Hemlock gives me an instant venue to work towards that.

The Hemlock isn’t for everyone.  The rooms are simple and rustic, no TV or phones.*  Guests might have to share a dinner table with a family they don’t know (yet).  There’s no spa or room service.  It’s a rustic, country inn.

*There’s WiFi in case of emergency.  How would I blog and share without Internet?

But the Hemlock, with 26 rooms nestled on a mountaintop, and 57 acres overlooking the often “smokey” valley, sets itself apart from the expensive vacation spots we are sold 24/7 on the TV.  The Hemlock is a special place, an unchanging retreat from a changing world. Time stands still. You forget to count the days.


You might be wondering what Boo thinks about all of this.  We were nervous to tell her because she loves her school and her friends. I finally found the perfect chance when we were watching an episode of the Waltons one night:

Me: That looks kind of like the mountains of N.C., like where the Hemlock Inn is.
Boo: It does.
Me: What would you think about moving to the Hemlock Inn?
Boo: Would it be like we are trading our life for the Waltons?
Me: In some ways.
Boo: Do I get to ride a schoolbus?
Me: If you want to.
Boo: Then…..yes!


I hope some of you will come and stay, visit for a while.  Enjoy the view and southern, home-style cooking.  Boo will be directing Hemlock “summer camp” I’m sure.  We are looking so forward to changing leaves and snow as well.  Brett will probably be building something, conquering the bike trails, or fishing:


“Many of us would probably be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect”
―A River Runs Through It


And you’ll probably find me right on the front porch:


You can find more photos and stories I’ve written about the Hemlock at the following links:

The Hemlock Inn

Joyful Simplicities

Where We Forget to Count the Days



A few helpful links:

The Hemlock Inn

Bryson City & The Smoky Mountains



P.S. If you love books about small town life, read the Bryson City Tales.  It’s a true story written by a young doctor’s first year of medical practice in Bryson City.  The Hemlock Inn and the Shell family are part of the story.  A fun read.  There are 2 follow up books to it as well: Bryson City Seasons and Bryson City Secrets.

Moving to the Hemlock Inn - Leaving our current life for a new one at a small Motor Inn in Bryson City, NC  via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue BooWhere We Forget to Count the Days Hemlock Inn in Bryson City, NC


*Note: Mr. LBB will now be Brett.  We felt it was better to make that change so you get to know him a little better over time.  Boo is still Boo.



Boo Blogs: On Life

Editor’s Note 1: Boo says she wants to be a writer when she grows up and has been writing a lot lately. Mostly about horses, Santa Claus and tigers. But, she wrote a blog post last night. I’m not sure it quite fits in editorially to my theme, but maybe a different perspective is good.  When I first read it I had visions of that movie I am David. She wrote it out below, but I liked the personal touch of the rough draft so I’m posting a photo of that.

Life is fun, life is boring.....  #boohackshaw #firstblogpost via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

Life is fun age 1-8.
Life is boring 9-18.
Life is very hard 19-39.
Life is hard 40-69.




Editor’s Note 2: I asked what comes after age 69 and she said:

“People start shrinking.”

“Grandma plays kickball, but I’m not sure what other old people do.”

“Maybe you pay more taxes.  It’s hard to pay taxes when you don’t make any money though.” CONTINUE READING

Closing a Chapter: I Can See It

So part 1 of my news was that we are selling our house…and pretty much everything in it.

Part 2 of the news is that….

-ok….nervous to actually type it-

-deep breaths-

….by March 31st, the Lil Blue Boo clothing/handmade shop will be closed down.

I’m still going to be writing everyday but I’m heading down a different, more creative path. And one with a lot of uncertainty!

More living…more writing…more sharing…

There are a gazillion reasons why I’m making such a huge change, but mostly I can pinpoint to the fact that I’m not the same person I was when I started the handmade part of it all.  When I was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2011 the business was just starting to take off, but getting sick pretty much halted any growth after that point.  I was able to keep up with things as best I could but it lost a lot of momentum. And slowly, over time, my heart slowly distanced from the business.  And, well, I don’t think you can do anything well if your heart isn’t in it. The thing is…hard times can turn out to be a blessing.  It just takes a little time to realize it. I think the hard stuff can make you brave. And bold.  The hard stuff can make you okay with uncertainty, and can make you relinquish control. And I think the hard stuff can un-attach you to things you never thought you’d un-attach from.

In a recent Bible study, it hit me that God uses the least likely of things to bring about something profound.  And, yes, usually it’s the hard stuff.  But we begin to realize that we are growing when we start to see that there is a huge shift in what impresses us.  I’ve seen that huge shift in myself. I’ve seen that huge shift in my husband. I’ve seen that huge shift in my whole extended family.

Closing a huge chapter in my life.  This quote is exactly how I feel.  Quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo  (click through to read more....)



Looking back, the Lil Blue Boo Clothing story really started back in 2009.  I started out just sewing for my daughter Boo who was 2 years old at the time.  I remember staying up in the late hours of the night sewing until I couldn’t see straight.  I could make close to 8 dresses a day.  Then, a year later, I had employees and industrial machines…..and we could make a dozens of dresses a day.  I designed and drew every single pattern, picked every fabric for softness and made sure all the inks were the safest and most eco-friendly.  It was truly a labor of love.

It wasn’t always easy.  For a long time there was a small group that were relentless in trying to hurt the business using social media. Women in similar situations would email me asking for advice. My advice: Never engage the haters. Never stoop to their level.  Kill them with kindness. If you don’t feed them, eventually, they just disappear over time.  But what I found is that there are many more good people out there in the world than there are bad.  Some people are misguided and take out their unhappiness on others and that’s why we just show them kindness.  They are the “extra kindness needed” people. If they came out of the woodwork today I would thank them, because they lit a fire under me to create a successful business against all odds.  But there are varying degrees of success….and for me today it’s not monetary.

Over the years, we put so much love into all of the pieces we made. Everything was always hand silk screened, sewn locally, packaged locally….truly handmade.  We worked with some amazing photographers that are all just good people too.  I think that’s important: work with good people. Everything that goes into your work should come from a good place.  These photographers….I’ve seen their kiddos grow over the years, every so often I would have to adjust the dress sizes accordingly.  They’ve become friends, almost like family:

Monika Mcsweeney Photography
Laura Winslow Photography
DrewB Photography
Tickled Pink Photo
Linda Pelk Photography
Christina Anglum
Paint the Moon Photography
Olivia Hooper
One Memory at a Time
Misty Smith


And all the fun collaborations with other artists over the years: Amy of Evy’s Tree, Mel of Melamoose, and Carly of Little Light Prints. And of course  Stephanie Corfee.  Her artwork is all over Lil Blue Boo.  She’s so talented.  And she’s a true friend. I know we’ll be working together again in the future.  And thank you to all of you, my loyal customers, old and new, for supporting handmade.  Thank you for all of your constant encouragement.  It’s because of you that I’m taking another step.

So what does all this mean right now?

First, the hardest part, I won’t be able to keep Lisa and Gicela on. They are like family.  They’ve been the best employees I could have ever asked for.  They arrive early every day, work hard, and rarely need guidance.  They also put up with all my crazy ideas and weird eccentric quirks.  It’s hard to find people like that these days. I’m forever grateful to both of them.

Second, it means that I’m reducing a few thousand square feet of creative history down to hopefully a few boxes. Throughout March we will be liquidating all the bits and parts of a small clothing business.  (We’ve begun a “Liquidation Sale” here. It’s going to take over a month to go through 2,000 sq ft of crafty/DIY/art etc so just check back periodically as we list things every few days.)  I have an entire studio of industrial machines, rolls of fabric, cutters, mannequins, thread, patterns, work tables, silk screening equipment etc.  If anyone is looking to start a clothing business in the area (Palm Desert, CA)…or add to one….email me.

Lastly, my family and I are stepping out into a very uncertain future. I’m closing down what has been a livelihood for our family up until now.  Our lives will change completely. But at the same time it feels like a huge sigh.  That’s the faith part.  Some people we’ve already shared out plans with don’t fully understand, but honestly I know beyond words that we are making the right decision. I’ve been zapped by the mother ship*.


The Oscars

Watching the Oscars tonight, my favorite awards show. I would love to be an Academy screener…I watch at least a movie a day…I think I could fit them all in.

Love this infographic courtesy of Mediarun:

Oscar Dresses by Year via Mediarun

Courtesy of: Mediarun
A few Oscar dress tidbits:
Gwyneths’s 1999 Ralph Lauren (Movie: Shakespeare in Love) was knocked off within days. Gwyneth was credited for bringing pink back into fashion.  (source)
Susan Sarandon’s 1996 Dolce & Gabbana (Movie: 1995 Dead Man Walking) was designed to match her hair color. It was also the first time a celebrity had worn a Dolce & Gabbana to the Oscars.  (source)
Jodie Foster (Movie: 1988 The Accused) bought her 1989 Oscar dress off the rack, like the rest of us.


My all time favorite Oscar winners for Best Picture (even though I love them all):
The Artist (2011)
Gladiator (2000)
Braveheart (1995)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Terms of Endearment (1983)
Ghandi (1982)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Gone With the Wind (1939)


In college, Mr. LBB looked eerily similar to Jared Leto.

If I had to pick a favorite dress, I’d pick Hilary Swank’s 2005 Guy Laroche dress. I wouldn’t wear it though, unless I looked like Hilary Swank in it.

People always tell me I look kind of like Hilary Swank. Maybe it’s our front teeth.

My favorite actress: Diane Lane.

My favorite actor: Denzel Washington. CONTINUE READING

The Desert Wildflowers

It was overcast and rainy in the desert yesterday. Boo and I headed up the hill to the annual Wildflower Festival.  We live about a mile from the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.*

*Congress created the 272,000-acre Monument in 2000. Read more about it here.


Wildflower Festival Palm Desert - View of the Desert


We haven’t had much rain this season so the wildflowers are few but we still spotted some.  There were lots of blooms on the Desert Lavender plants:

Wildflower Festival Palm Desert - Desert Lavender


How cute is this little guy:

Wildflowers in Palm Desert


This is Brittlebush: CONTINUE READING

A Tour of Our House – Master Bedroom and Master Bath

Next in the house tour: master bedroom and master bathroom.

The Master Bedroom: There’s not much to see…I haven’t really spent any time on either since we first moved in.  The master bedroom was next on our list of projects.  The two dressers and two nightstands were mine growing up. My sister has an identical set. It’s like deja vu when we go and visit her because the furniture is in her guest bedroom. The lamps we’ve had since we were first married 13 years ago… was broken and I glued it back together with super glue. No one would ever notice except for me.

The bed we picked up at a furniture clearance…no story behind that. The artwork I made one day out of boredom using some large oil stencils. I had just read a line in a magazine: Please love me. I call it my “Banksy-inspired” street art.  (never heard of him? read here.)

Our master bedroom with Banksy-inspired street art via Ashley HAckshaw / Lil Blue Boo

We’ve always had white linens….and we probably always will.  I love white sheets and white duvets.  Crisp.

Wide angle of Master Bedroom - White Linens, Requisite Gray Walls Sherwin Williams via

“Banksy” art in progress:

Banksy inspired street art using large oil stencils via Art Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

@lilblueboo on Instagram

Mr. LBB’s closet is right off the bedroom.  It actually used to be just an overhang on the side of the house.  Since the roof was already in place all we had to do was pour a slab of concrete and reframe the corner of the house to add a large walk in closet. I built his shelves while he was at work one day. I designed and ordered from Easy Closets. All the pieces show up in numbered boxes.  As long as you can follow directions it’s pretty easy.

(Weird thing about this photo is that hanger of ties….there’s about 50 ties.  All 50 ties have disappeared! He doesn’t have a SINGLE tie. We’ve looked everywhere.)

"His" Master Closet via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

Aww….we were so young back in May 2001. We got married in my parent’s back yard, where I grew up, in Charlotte, N.C.  I remember that moment.  I was telling him that the wedding planner was getting on my nerves because she was trying to keep us to a schedule.  I didn’t want to do all the normal wedding stuff just because that was what was expected…we were married, that was it.  Party!

Framed Wedding Photos via #weddingphoto #weddding


On my side of the bed is a HUGE “jumbo” FAO Schwartz Patrick. I’m not kidding it’s the biggest stuff animal I’ve ever seen. Boo got it from my inlaws for her first Christmas. But now Diesel has claimed it as his own.  It’s his bed, but he’s so small he just sleeps on the very tippy top of Patrick’s head, in-between the ears. I really don’t want a huge stuffed animal in my room….but I feel bad moving it.  I’m sure prospective buyers are like: oh that’s cute, they have a huge stuffed animal in the master bedroom.

As much as I try, I guess I’ll never be an adult. It feels like romper room. CONTINUE READING

Edited with Love

I have a confession to make…sometimes….when I see someone leaving snark after snark on someone else’s comments just for the heck of it….I just go in and edit them.  I’m the “editor” after all. I reserve the right to spam comments or leave them.

But I always leave them better than I found them.

New and improved.

And I always leave a trace.


How to deal with those meanie trolls: Edit with Love. via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo


The only photo I have of an actual troll is this one: CONTINUE READING

Free St. Patrick’s Day 8×10 Printable Artwork

In a few more days it will be time to add a little green to your home! It’s easy with this free printable 8×10 St. Patrick’s Day sign for you to display in March! Simply print the PDF on cardstock and frame.

Free St. Patrick's Day 8x10 Printable Artwork via Ashley Hackshaw /



I love this sweet Irish Blessing! Just click images below to download the PDF.


Unplugged: Type Ins and Letter Writing

“Your family is bound closer together by something each can use. Even those in far away places will be nearer because you’ll write more often.”
-Remington Typewriter Ad c. 1940


I went to a type-in at the Rancho Mirage Library over the weekend.  I love and collect typewriters so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at a type-in…except I knew there would be typewriters there.

What is a type in? via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

Artist L.A. Marler brought her collection of typewriters for visitors to try out.  My favorite was the Corona No. 4.  I think I’m going to track one down. The Corona No.4 is from around 1927.  Why is it call the No. 4? Because it has 4 rows of keys.  Because of it’s compact and portable body it was said to be the typewriter that “launched a thousand typists.” Hemingway typed on a Corona No. 3. (read that story here) Guess how many rows of keys it had.

Vintage Corona No. 4 via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

Ohhh… this old Underwood.

Vintage Underwood Typewriter via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

I think this one is a 1940 Royal Aristocrat or a Royal Arrow? Love the “Shift Freedom” button:

Free the Shift!

1940 Royal Aristocrat or a Royal Arrow via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo


A 1965 Royal Safari:

1956 Royal Safari typewriter via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo


This is Louise (L.A.) Marler typing at one of her machines:

L.A. Marler Type In Rancho Mirage Library Typewriter collection via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

She had stamps available with her artwork on them so that you could mail a letter from the type-in: CONTINUE READING

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