The Year in Review

I went to bed early last night, and woke up at 8am….I missed bringing in the New Year but I needed the sleep!  This morning I have this overwhelming feeling of emotion that 2012 is going to be a most amazing year. It’s the first day of the rest of our lives.

I look back with a little bit of shock that so many life changing events could be wrapped up into 365 days:

My father passed away.
I had a miscarriage.
I was diagnosed with cancer.
A 6-inch tumor invaded straight through my uterus.
I came close to death on an operating table.
My cousin-in-law Cole was in a car wreck and is learning to walk and talk again.
I started more aggressive chemotherapy.

I hear all the time: how much more can your family take? I don’t view it that way. I know that God has a plan for us and all of these things are part of it. I look at how much my family has been blessed….many times over. SO many times over. I know I’ve said it many times, but I can choose how to let these things affect my life…..and I choose joy. My dad is in heaven waiting for us, I’m strong and healthy and ready to battle this cancer, the rest of my family is healthy, loving and supportive, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table…..what else could we possibly ask for?! My heart aches for those who are in abusive situations, homeless, hungry etc in this new year…..and I pray for them fervently.

Most of all…..I’m thankful for all of you! The blog took a big personal turn this year…..and I’m so thankful that you’ve kept following. Who would have ever thought I’d be blogging about poop and oral sex and sharing photos of my bum? So much has happened here at Lil Blue Boo and I never could have imagined I’d be so close to so many people I’ve never met in person.  You are so supportive and encouraging and thankful…..you provide the positive energy that gets me up in the morning to create, blog and give back. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I am truly humbled. Thank you for helping me to spread the message of “Choose Joy”….to date there are SIX THOUSAND Choose Joy bracelets floating around!

Okay, enough of all the sappy talk….let’s look back at Lil Blue Boo this year:

2011 started out with some of my favorite projects and photo shoots to date….all associated with the Project Run and Play competition. I never turn down a good challenge….so I was completely on board to come up with a new outfit each week:

 

 

Early last year, Lisa had just started working full time for Lil Blue Boo. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She’s the glue that has kept Lil Blue Boo running so smoothly: making sure my tutorials are posted right, helping to keep up with email, doing ALL customer service and managing the clothing line. I love her like a sister…..although sometimes she acts like she’s my mother haha. Gicela joined the team to help produce the clothing line.  I’m so proud of everything the team has done!  Along with countless limited editions, we launched the following lines…..all produced in-house…100% handmade this past year:

What the Folk (2011 Spring)
LBB Nautical (2011 Summer)
Boom Town I (2011 Fall)
Boom Town II (2011 Fall)

 

No idea how, but I managed to publish six new patterns this year:

The Pieced Tunic
The Maliboo Romper

The Perfect Short
The Casbah Carryall
The Reversible Bubble Hoodie

The Sweet Aline

I started writing daily for Babble.com’s The New Home Ec…..it’s been a huge workload….but one that I’ve enjoyed because it’s forced me to leave my comfort zone of writing!

I started a few new personal series: Photo of the Day, Boo Style, My Li’l List



And a few ongoing series were started:

 

I put together ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR tutorials and downloads for the blog in the last 365 days…..that’s an average of 1 tutorial every 3.5 days (you know I love statistics):

 

 

A few of my very favorite tutorials from 2011 include:

Ombre Dyed Streamer Garland
Box o’ Princesses and Boyville

Hand Stamped Leggings
The Knit Headband Pattern
The Cascading Ruffle Skirt
The Travel Map Bulletin Board
A Wine Cork Sculpture
Vinyl Tablecloth Rollup Diaper Changer
Folk Art Spin-spiration

A Wine Barrel Lazy Susan
Bohemian Leather Button Cuff

Doodle Shoes

 

With your help Lil Blue Boo was able to give back this year too!

Your support of Lil Blue Boo allowed us to mail out clothing care packages to over 20 families for Christmas this year.
Your votes helped me raise $5,000 for Shelter for the Storm by winning the Babble.com Mominations.
We collected over 300 pairs of handmade bobby socks and 100 bows for the children at Three Angel’s Haiti.
You bought $1,365 worth of patterns to help the efforts in Japan.
You donated yards and yards of fabrics, notions and patterns for the children at Three Angel’s Haiti to use in their sewing classes.
You helped me raise $200 for the Liz Logelin Foundation by purchasing Valentine’s dresses.

Amazing. Thank you.

 

So how will I approach this next year? The same as I did last year: day by day. I never try to plan too far ahead…..I make “bucket lists” of things I want to do and accomplish but I don’t put a timeline out there. The best I can do is try to get through today….and enjoy every minute of it whether I’m sitting in an infusion center getting chemotherapy or spending the day with the family finishing a fun project. I know I freak a lot of people out by walking into my doctor’s office excited to be there…..but I am. I’m happy to just be here on earth for a short while or a long while…..I’d prefer the long while but you never know so I try to live like it’s a short while. I don’t know what God has in store for me and for you this year but I know he has a great plan. Bring it!

Oh….and most importantly:

 

 

 

WWYM II: Challenge Fabric Giveaway

 

Round II of WWYM (What would YOU make?) has come to an end. We have enjoyed working with these amazing bloggers: Under the Sycamore, Make It and Love It, Joy’s Hope, and Homemade by Jill. The four women behind these blogs are super creative, funny, kind, and inspirational,  We love how they took such different approaches with the same exact fabric. Lets take another look at what they made with the WWYM challenge fabric:

 

 

Lovely fabric coasters from Under the Sycamore.

 


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A super sweet girl’s romper from Make It and Love it.

 

 

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A Travel Art Tray from Joy’s Hope.

 

 

 

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Matching pajama pants for Mommy and Me from Homemade by Jill.

 

 

More WWYM creative challenges to come!

Will you be next?

 

 

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{Giveaway}


THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER IS # 255: CHACOY. EMAIL LISA (AT) LILBLUEBOO  (DOT) COM.

You can win 2 yards of the  WWYM II challenge fabric! All you have to do is leave a comment answering this question: What would YOU make?

 

::For Extra Entries::
Leave a comment for each one

-Follow Under the Sycamore on facebook
-Follow Make It and Love It on facebook
-Follow Joy’s Hope on facebook
-Follow Homemade by Jill on facebook

 

::Rules::

-International entries are welcome!
-Please provide your email address so that we can contact you if you win. Winner has 48 hours to respond.
-Giveaway ends August 24th, 2011 at midnight PST.
-Winner will be announced on this post on August 25th, 2011.

 


WWYM II: Jill of Homemade by Jill

Today we showcase the final WWYM II project, and who better to end it then Jill of Homemade by Jill!?  Jill has some of the best tutorials around along with an incredible collection of free templates! Jill is so creative and boy can she sew! You can tell how much love she puts into her projects – just check out this incredible felt playhouse she made. Jill has definitely mastered the use of felt. A must see is the felt boombox she made to go with her daughter’s Halloween costume. You will flip when you see these cute photos. Oh, and do you ever wonder what you could do with all of your serger scraps!? Jill has the answer here – genius!

 

 

Please welcome Jill of Homemade by Jill

 

Blog | Facebook

 

 

Mommy & Me Pajama Pants

Does your fabric ever speak to you?  When I opened Ashley’s lovely package, the pretty print told me it wanted to become pajama pants … a pair for me, and a pair for my baby, Ruby.

(more after the jump)

CONTINUE READING

WWYM II: Julie of Joy’s Hope

Today we are thrilled to have Julie of Joy’s Hope participating in Round II of WWYM! Julie is super crafty, hilarious, incredibly generous, loves the color turquoise (just check out her kitchen – amazing!) and always full of JOY. She has some of the best recipes, and we especially love her Insta-Friday posts!  What we love most about Julie is her huge heart! Her blog will make you laugh, cry, and feel inspired. Head on over to Joy’s Hope, we know you will be hooked. First, lets see what Julie made!

 

Please welcome Julie of Joy’s Hope!

 

blog | facebook

 

When you get asked to participate in something so fun as What would YOU make?  Hosted by Lil Blue Boo, you don’t say no.

You just don’t.

You get a little scared.  A little intimidated.  Then you dig through your brain to come up with a project worthy of the gorgeous fabric that landed on your doorstep.

I hope that this little project quailfies.  It sure makes me happy, but most importantly, it makes my girlies happy.

We are on the go a lot.

A lot a lot a lot.

The girls color a lot.

A lot a lot a lot.

We have been using cookie sheets as little lap desks in the car forever.  Useful?  Yes.  Cute?  Not so much.  Plus the pens and crayons fly off and fall under the seats.  All the time.  If I have to mediate another THE PINK MARKER FELL BETWEEN THE SEATS MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!! meltdown, I just might have a meltdown of my own.

 

CONTINUE READING

WWYM II: Ashley of Make It and Love It

We are so happy to have Ashley from Make It & Love It participating in Round II of WWYM! No matter your skill level in sewing or crafting, Ashley has a project for you. Her blog is full of amazing tutorials including accessories, re-purposing, clothing, yummy recipes and so much more! There is even a No Sew section for those that haven’t yet taken up the hobby, although after seeing the incredible sewing projects Make It & Love It has to offer, you just might! Ashley has mastered the art of tutorial photography and her projects are so clear and easy to follow. Once you head on over to Make It & Love It plan on staying there a while, but first lets see what Ashley made with the challenge fabric!

 

 

Please welcome Ashley of Make it & Love it!

 

 

blog | facebook

 

Once I got my first peek of this great fabric print that arrived in the mail (thanks Ashley!), I kept thinking summery outfit. I don’t know, something about the color, the tone, the print. (Who’s with me?) However, I couldn’t decide between dress and romper, dress and romper……and finally chose romper. And am so glad I did. I love the sturdiness of the fabric and of course, my gosh, that print.

 

 

 

CONTINUE READING

WWYM II: Ashley Ann of Under the Sycamore

We are so excited to have Ashley Ann from Under the Sycamore kick off Round II of WWYM (What would YOU make?)! We first introduced Ashley Ann on the Lil Blue Boo blog when she was a guest writer during our Two Weeks of Photography where she shared tips on taking better photos with your point and shoot camera. Under the Sycamore is filled with Ashley Ann’s beautiful photos and photography tips, along with some of the prettiest crafts and tutorials. She contributes to Design*Sponge and Design Aglow and her DIY projects never cease to amaze.

 

 

Please welcome Ashley Ann of Under the Sycamore!

 

 

blog | facebook

 

It took me what seemed like forever to come up with an idea on what to make after receiving the fabric. I liked the fabric as it was, but chose to over dye it just a bit with teal, hoping for some inspiration to come during that process. Even after tinting it a bit, I just couldn’t come up with an idea on what to make. If I knew how to sew, I could have made all kinds of cute things…which I am sure those other amazing bloggers did with theirs! One afternoon I was wiping a water ring from my drink off the table, and knew what to make – SIMPLE COASTERS! This is a project for those of us that like to pretend we know how to sew…but really just fake it well!

 

CONTINUE READING

WWYW I Fabric Giveaway

For this first challenge, I sent this cool burnout cotton voile and I asked 4 creative friends to make whatever their hearts desired with 2 yards of it:

I love that everyone was inspired in different ways! Thank you Kelly, Adrianna, Mique and Katy for playing along!

 

Note: Giveaway is closed. Winners are #127 Linda Lincks and #67 Andrea!



More WWYM creative challenges to come!
Will you be next?
 

WWYM I: Katy from No Big Dill

Today is the final day for WWYM I (What Would You Make) and I’m so excited to introduce Katy from No Big Dill with her creation! I got to know Katy when we both competed in Project Run and Play. She’s an amazing seamstress, talented and patient with details and LOVES the color orange. Orange isn’t my favorite color but Katy is slowly converting me into an orange lover. (I was wondering how she’d work orange into this challenge!) I absolutely adore the recent Once Upon a Thread series that Katy put together on her blog…..make sure to visit each and every post!

 

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Hello to all you Lil Blue Boo readers! What a fabulously fun idea Ashley had, no? This fabric is the softest, most flow-y, perfect to snuggle with, but I had to laugh when Ashley mentioned she sent us fabric we would most likely not choose ourselves, because that is 100% truth. It’s been so fun to see it transformed in such a variety of ways by the talented seamstresses who received her fun little package in the mail.

I started by dying mine orange (of course!) It gave the floral bouquet print a bit of an orange hue instead of pink and made the background just slightly darker.

 

 

It is a perfect summer fabric, especially for a child with the softness that is the perfect thing to have next to their soft, sensitive skin.

 

 

With no closures, it’s easy to slip on and off.

 

 

I ended up adding a slit in the back to accommodate child’s play and dance.

 

The strap/sleeve details are my favorite,

 

 

adding some texture and interest,

 

 

as well as drawing from the colors of the flowers to tie them in with the whole look.

 

 

If you’d like to make your own maxi (mini or not!) tube dress, I’ll show you how over at my blog, no big dill! Thanks for letting me play, Ashley!

 

Thank you so much Katy! I loved this dress!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s giveaway! Two people will win 2 yards of the same fabric that was used for this challenge!

WWYM I: Mique from 30 Days

I’m so excited to introduce Mique from 30 Days with her creation for WWYM I (What Would You Make)! Mique has so many great ideas over at her blog 30 Days and I love her printables! I love that her projects are so diverse…..cooking, decorating, tutorials, parties etc! Make sure to check out all of Mique’s awesomeness today!

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I’m Mique from 30days. I was beyond flattered that Ashley asked me to play along for this challenge. I have been a long time fan of Lil Blue Boo and am also in great company! I came up with a few different ideas. And I tried to make them…. they didn’t work!! But I love the end result.

My finished product is an 11×17 canvas with ruffled flower a stitched quote (that I love) framed on a painted embroidery hoop. Say that 3 times fast, dare ya! I put all my loves into this project- the fabric, vintage binding from an antique mall, hand stitching, ruffles, and a quote.
I thought it appropriate for my nine year old to hold the canvas- I am determined to make sure she is her own kind of beautiful! I made this project with my craft room in mind but I think it might hang in her room now instead.


Hop on over to 30days for a “Be your own kind of beautiful” printable.
Thank you Ashley for such a fun creative challenge!


Thank you so much Mique! I love your take on this challenge!
Stay tuned for another creation using the same fabric tomorrow by Katy from No Big Dill!

WWYM I: Adrianna from Crafterhours

I’m so excited to introduce Adrianna from Crafterhours with her creation for WWYM I (What Would You Make)! Crafterhours (created by Adrianna and Susan) is full of super cool tutorials and tips…..but I’ll be honest, the reason I stop by the most often is to read their “sidebar” conversations. These gals crack me up! I love that their great ideas are paired with humor…..it makes their site super unique! So if you don’t already follow Crafterhours…you are missing out!

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Hi Lil Blue Boo fans!! I am so excited to be here today. Ashley’s was one of the first blogs I started reading and she is a superstar in my world. Couldn’t you just grab a cup of coffee and hang out in her sewing area all day? I’d love to see the creative process that produces the amazing stuff she’s constantly coming up with.

When I first enthusiastically agreed to participate in Ashley’s fabric challenge, I figured I would probably make something along the lines of a little girls’ dress. And if you’ve been reading Crafterhours for any amount of time, you’re not surprised (because that’s just how I do).

But when the fabric arrived, I saw it’s beautiful navy floral pattern and soft voile drapey-ness and said, “sorry kiddos, this fabric is way too good for you.”

So, I made a simple modified sheath dress from my own pattern. It came together so quickly and easily (or maybe that’s because I was on such a high from being invited to participate in this challenge that it just felt that way). See? Just a fun, simple little floral sundress with a gathered, cinched bust.

But this dress holds a BIG surprise.

It’s a maternity dress too!!! (not for me, Mom.) How much do I love you guys? I went outside in full view of my neighbors and passing cars and stuffed one of my girls’ dolls under my dress. I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but I made the front hem dip down a little bit to compensate for that little bundle of stuffed toy joy.

What makes me laugh even more than the utter ridiculousness of these pictures is that I could never achieve this look while actually pregnant. The first thing to get pregnant on me is my love handles, followed directly by my arms and legs. Hopefully my actually pregnant friend will enjoy this dress as much as I enjoyed making it :) Thanks so much for including me, Ashley! I can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with!

Thank you so much Adrianna! Fabulous and amazing as always…I just hope the neighbors aren’t gossiping now ;)
Stay tuned for another creation using the same fabric tomorrow by Mique from 30 Handmade Days!

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