Little House on the Wall

FullSizeRenderFinally!  The first refinished project of the year! I’ve been so busy in the studio, but haven’t really had a finished product to share until now.  Proof that I’ve actually been working!

This story of this piece:  A few months ago, right around the time when my sweet friend, Melissa, dropped off her dresser to be refinished, she also dropped off this cute little frame. Not having a table top big enough to work on it, I held on to it, hoping for a studio space.  January 1st rolled around, I got my studio, and access to a big ol’ table top. I was finally able to get crackin’ on this cute little frame.

This was a fairly simple project, but required lots of time and paint.  After sanding it down and fixing up some of the joints, I applied layer after layer of primer and paint.  I decoupaged some fabulous patterned paper (the same paper to line the Blue Dresser drawers), and high gloss clear coat over for shine and protection, kind of like when you get your manicure done, ladies!

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Back to Embroidery

FullSizeRenderIt’s February 1st!  January flew by and it’s been since December I’ve posted anything about embroidery!  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been doing plenty in preparation for the big craft fair in April.  I’ve designed a couple new napkin sets for the occasion based on feedback I had received during the holiday season.  Many people loved the idea of having a themed napkin set, but for the most part, people didn’t seem dedicated to the concept of having all four match or two pairs in a set.  IMG_3594

What could I do for a theme?  I started thinking about seasonal produce.  Citrus and root veggies immediately came to mind.

Citrus: lime, lemon, orange, and my favorite, grapefruit.

Root veggies: red beets, golden beets, radish, and turnips.

I’m in love with them, but what do you think?!

 

“Do Your Homework”

FullSizeRender“Do your homework,” words I dreaded back in high school.  They were words I lived by in college.  Almost ten years later, I am dusting them off along with other skills from academia for my next venture. That being said, I am a planner.  Anyone that I work with or am super close to could tell you that.  I plan out my week down to the hour.  It sounds a little OCD or Type A, but it’s the only way I can work 50 hours a week and start my own business.

Yes, I said it…. Start my own business. The cat is out of the bag.

I’ve learned over the last few months that I could make money selling my crafts as a hobby, but I am sure that I can make a living if I put forth more effort.  While I am not planning on turning in my two weeks to my employer, whom I love dearly, anytime soon;  I am in the “doing my homework” phase, planning, and spreading the word.

I never thought that spreading the word would be so valuable, but it is amazing the amount of people that have come out of the woodwork to share their experiences and offer their help.  I’m so grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received in the last two weeks.  I know it’s only going to get better, plus my creative juices are flowing more than ever and I just want to create.  If only there were a few more hours in the day!

Updates since last week:

  1. madebylauralee.wordpress is now madebylauralee.com
  2. I will be hearing from my lovely graphic designer this week with what I hope to be a logo!
  3. I have started my extensive crafting schedule for the next two months for the Starving Artist Craft Fair in San Antonio.
  4. I have acquired two “new” pieces for refinishing.

I cannot articulate my excitement  for these new projects and what lays ahead.  Thank you for your support!

One, Six, The Year of Legit

IMG_3459Yes, this year, 2016, is going to be my year of becoming just a little bit more legit. I really don’t care that it sounds corny.  I’m making things happen.

I have high hopes for the next twelve months.  Some of these dreams I’m hesitant to share, mainly because I’m afraid that someone will try and talk me out of them or, if they don’t happen by December 31st at midnight, that I will feel like a complete and utter failure.

So… Let’s talk about what has happened since the ringing in of the New Year.

  1. I have moved my work into an artist studio so that I have a place to start refinishing furniture.
  2. I have met with a graphic designer who is going to help me with a logo, branding, and advertisements.
  3. I have received an overwhelming amount of support, interest, new clients, and donated or inexpensive, high quality furniture to start building an inventory.
  4. I have sent in an application to the biggest craft fair in my craft fair attending history for April 2-3 in San Antonio.
  5. I am in the works of landing my first whole sale account for my handmade wares.

12495224_10208666719885058_7315349647363472479_nNot bad for only being 18 days into the New Year, right? I’m so excited.  So excited.  I’m proud of what I am doing too.  I have a lot to learn… like bookkeeping, accounting, writing a business plan. All that fun stuff… It’s a little overwhelming too, but in a healthy way.  It’s comforting knowing I’m getting closer to something I really, really want. It’s going to be an adventure and I hope you’ll enjoy my updates: good, bad, and the crafty.

 

 

Austin’s Got Talent Part 1

It’s true.  Although, it’s not like I need to be the one to tell ya’ll that.  I think a more specific statement that I am trying to make is… “Daaaaaamn, my friends are bad ass.”

Let me back up just a little bit.  This past Friday, I met with my friend, Lisa.  This girl takes the cake on just about everything: musician, networking, event planning, starting up her own venue, kicking off a new publication, and pedi-cabbing, just to name a few.  After forty minutes of shooting the shit (as they say) we can put together an event with a side of fundraising in less than twenty minutes.  (link is here) Feeling motivated from our pow-wow and my overwhelmingly successful craft fair on Saturday, I have been determined to continue with my own bad-assery.  In fact, I am taking on a lot this week as I am excited to say that I have to restock my entire inventory before my next event, which brings me to….. details on that.

I will be one of the many female vendors participating in the Hysteria ‘Zine Release Party. What is Hysteria ‘Zine?  Well, let me explain.  Lisa, the rad friend I was telling you about, she has put together a publication, or in this case ‘zine, to provide a safe platform to present stories, art, articles, etc from a female perspective. The release party is going to be a huge event!  Woman supporting one another, coming together to express themselves, their views, and share their work.  Seriously, I can’t wait… but for now I’ll have to because I have to get back to crafting for the event!

I hope to see you there!

 

A Partidge & A Pear Tree

Today is the final day before the Handmade Holiday Show at OPA! I thought I would take a moment to share one more post with you before the big day! As promised in my last post on Wednesday, I have something a little on the matchy-matchy side.  To stick with the “what’s in season” category, I thought it only appropriate that pears should be included.  I will have pear embroidered tea towels as well as a pear canned good.  I’m feeling somewhat mysterious this morning and thinking that I might not actually reveal what the pear canned good is… just to leave you hanging, curious, and inquisitive.  Maybe you’ll feel so inspired as to come out tomorrow afternoon?

Hope to see you there, lovelies.

Orange is the New Black

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Orange is the new black. Alright, admittedly I’ve never seen the show, but it’s a pretty appropriate title, don’t ya think?  Meaning to say…. Citrus is in season, baby! Not just actually in season at the local farmers market, but … Continue reading

When Life Gives You Oranges

FullSizeRenderWhen I first started experimenting with canning I asked everyone what there favorite jam or jelly was.  The people pleaser inside of me was eager to make an impression.  Naturally, I asked my mother. She was quick to let me know that her favorite flavor out of a jar was lemon curd.  I was quick to learn that it is one of mine too.

Being in Texas we have the luxury of having some really great organic citrus grown in our backyard in McAllen, TX.  G&S Grove, check them out. (Seriously, the best grapefruit I’ve ever had.) So why does delicious curd have to stop with lemons?

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I heard through the grapefruit vine that a friend liked grapefruit curd, viola, it appeared!  I had done a blend of grapefruit and orange, which was delightful! This holiday season, I will be introducing straight up orange curd! Yes, I certainly tried my darn-dest not to eat it all before canning it up!

I will have these little babies available at the Holiday Handmade Show at OPA! this Saturday!  See you there!

Blue Christmas, Blue Dresser

IMG_2753Ok, Ok, it’s no secret I’m completely head over heels, and googly eyed over refinishing furniture.  Like most projects they need a home.  A stack of embroidered towels is one thing, but a collection of furniture seems to build up a lot quicker in a one bedroom apartment.

I reached out to my friends to see if anyone was interested in having me refinish a piece for them.   I cast my line and I waited, waited, and finally got a bite, or in this case, a dresser.  I couldn’t be more thrilled!

A couple days later, Melissa dropped off this unfinished pinewood dresser.  She gave me her guidelines of what she was looking for and I ran, ran, ran with it.  I think I was just so excited to finally be able to work with an item that I could put new hardware on! I mean, let’s be real, who hasn’t stood in the home goods section of Anthropologie and ogled the various knobs and handles? I mean, I even have my best friend saved in my phone as “Lindsey Door Knobs” because of our first bonding moment of Anthropologies gorgeous door knobs.

I digress… back to the dresser.  It was fun to work with a completely blank slate. After priming it, I painted this it bright blue with a top a little bit more neutral to be able to tie it into it’s surroundings. The blue was really blue, so I put a nice coat of walnut stain over it to mute the blue and give it some texture.  I lined the drawers with the teal and white patterned paper and screwed in the glass knobs for the final touches.  This piece is so far my favorite that I’ve done!

If you need a piece of furniture refinished, contact me today! lauraleeeimhoff@gmail.com

One more thing, while I have your attention: I will be in another craft fair this coming Saturday at OPA Coffee & Wine from Noon to 4 PM.  Details here.

Busy, Busy, Busy Bee

FullSizeRenderI feel like just the other day I just wrote an entry about how I’ve been working far too much and not focusing on what matters to me.  I get stuck like a hamster in a wheel or a drone working for the Queen.  It’s the daily routine, the grind, the mindlessly trudging away, and when I get to the point of pausing I find myself scratching my head, “Why am I doing this?”

In the past, this hasn’t actually gotten me anywhere, in fact, it’s torn me down and landed me in the hospital.  I go through cycles and I am fine working all the time, but when I come to my senses I feel the need to satisfy myself emotionally and intellectually.  Not too long ago I asked my Facebook friends what I could do to switch things up or to take a break from the monotony. People recommended cutting my hair, going on tour, but the feedback that got me sitting up straight and peaked my interest were “more blIMG_3231og entries.”  They were onto something without a doubt.

Since then, I am still working my day job just as hard as I always have, but have made an effort to focus  on myself, crafting, music, and art just as much.  I have been going non stop for about a month now.  People have asked me, “How do you do it?” They say that I am like a machine!  Maybe that’s true. Of course, giving up coffee and alcohol have been a serious contributing factor to my new found creative energy plus creativity breeds creativity.

I have never felt so fulfilled the last month as I have my entire time living in Austin.  I make sure to spend at least two hours everyday doing something creative for myself.  Not only am I happier but I’m sleeping better too.  If that’s not great enough, I have a lot of new opportunities on the horizon, which I am looking forward to sharing more with you very soon.

xoxo,

Laura Lee