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

A Tour of Our House – Living Room and Office

Now onto the living room and office…which are just off the kitchen.

This is the view from the kitchen down the hallway. You can see the edge of the couch in the living room:

A tour of the living room - photo wall, refinished tv cabinet, lifted couch via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #homedecor #livingroom #office #diy

The couch seemed a little too low to me so we raised it up (so it would be the right height for the silver side table too).   To raise it up Mr. LBB made some new wood feet, sprayed them black and just used the old feed as a template for drilling the holes:

How to lift a couch 3 inches via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #homedecor #livingroom #office #diy

This is our TV cabinet. One of the first pieces of furniture we bought as a married couple.  We refinished it last year to the antique distressed look:

Our refinished TV cabinet (distressed ivory) refinished furniture via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #homedecor #livingroom #office #diy


This is what it looked like before: CONTINUE READING

A Tour of Our House – Kitchen and Laundry

This is the 2nd post in the tour….the first one was the exterior of the house (before and after) plus the landscaping. Now we are on to the kitchen and laundry room and pantry….all links for associated tutorials are at the bottom of the post.

Just a note: you’re going to see kind of a trend in our house….I’m a little OCD.  I don’t like a lot of knickknacks or clutter….everything has it’s place. I like white and gray, and white and gray. All our walls are basically the same color or just a shade different: Requisite Gray from Sherman Williams.  It’s typical for me to just pick one color for the entire project….then I don’t have to make a lot of decisions.  I just kind of like everything to blend together….and then I like to make fun art to make it interesting.

The Kitchen. I will probably always have white cabinets for as long as I live.  I think it’s always classic. This is one side of the kitchen:

White Cabinets and Stainless Steel Appliances - The kitchen and laundry renovation and makeover - A tour of our house via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

And this is the other side.  The pendant lights were meant to just tide us over until I figured out what I wanted in their place, but I’m still looking, so we still have frosted pendant lights:

Kitchen Ideas - The Kitchen Renovation / Makeover - Cabinetry and Granite Countertops via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

This is one of the only before photos.  I WISH I had photos before we took down the walls.  The kitchen used to have a wall between it and the living room and then there was another wall on the other side of the islands that separated the kitchen from a small dining room.  None of the walls were load bearing….yay!  So we just took them out and opened the entire living space up.  (click continue reading)


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