Monthly Music

I always post on my Music Page (under the Shows section) about upcoming gigs, but I rarely utilize the blog section to talk about them. It really never occurred to me to do so until now.

For the last few months, and for the foreseeable future, I have my own little monthly residency at Opa Coffee and Wine Bar on the First Saturday of the Month.  I play from 8 – 10 PM. If you haven’t been to OPA, it’s a great little spot.  One of the last of it’s kind as far as the original South Austin feel.  It’s cozy on the inside and has an expansive kick ass patio to tip back an affordable glass of wine under the giant oak tree.  You really can’t go wrong.  Not only do I work at OPA, because I still have my day job, but performing here is a treat.  The regulars are beyond supportive of what I do, it’s laid back and low pressure.

And yes, while having a monthly residency isn’t anything to brag about, ya know, like a weekly one, it’s a start.  It’s nice to see more and more familiar faces every month and watch it grow.  Hopefully, I’ll get to see some of you out at OPA this coming Saturday, October 1st!

opa-0903

California Knows How to Party

I’m sure every 90’s child read the title and immediately queued up the  2Pac song in their head.  Yep, I do it every time and every August when I head out to Santa Monica to visit one of my closest girlfriends.  This past year marked 10 years of me traveling across the country to visit her, whether it be in Boston, New York, or L.A.  Admittedly, California is my favorite. The sun, the beach, the opportunity to escape the Texas heat and, of course, like any friends that get together… EAT too much, sleep too little, and get dressed up as much as you can! Here are some photo’s from my trip I thought I would share!

 

 

Dirty Thirty

I’ve always been secretive about my age.  Maybe it’s that feminine mystique thing or maybe its because I was sneaking into bars to play music well before I was ever twenty one.  Shhhhhh…. don’t tell.

This year is different though.  After being oh, so ill and kind of going through the whole “Am I going to make it?” bit, I’ve hit thirty and I’m ready to party. Of course, rather than a case of champagne and a cheese cake that one might consider the end all be all… I did the opposite: I went to my folks ranch in the middle of nowhere Texas to reset before the next trip around the sun.  I don’t know if it was the wide open spaces, good food, copious amounts of Texas beer, or setting off my own fireworks, but it was exactly what this dirty thirty needed….

Bad Ass Book Recommendation

FullSizeRender.jpgThere is something to be said for hitting the proverbial rock bottom.  It’s kind of like getting another opportunity to start over, clean slate, etc.  You have the chance to rebuild.  Is it me?  I think we’ve all been there in one way or the other? Am I right?

It’s always interesting the things that draw us back in and inspire us to get recharged.  For me, it was a book.  I’m not sure if it was the bright yellow cover or the “You are a bad ass” in big letters that drew me in.  Words I hadn’t heard or told myself in a very long time. Whatever it was, it pulled me in from across the airport book store.  I picked up this little guy and read it cover to cover in less than three days.  I let a girlfriend borrow it and upon its return, read it again.

I’ve always rolled my eyes at self help books.  My mother used to send me them in care packages and they would immediately get donated. As a non-believer it’s hard to be converted.  As I said before, when you hit rock bottom it’s interesting what will you draw you in.  Sometimes it’s religion, sometimes it’s Ben & Jerry’s, and this time it was, “You are a Bad Ass” by Jen Sincero.  Two thumbs up. I mean any book that can get away with being snarky, funny, and use the “F” bomb repeatedly and still have my attention… total winner.

Whether you’re getting over an old flame (me), feeling stuck with work (also me), or wanting to jump start your life the way you really want it (definitely me), or maybe you’re just having a crap week.  This is good.  I promise.

You are a bad ass.

I am a bad ass.

We are bad asses.

Fuck yeah.

Perspective: Found

I was never really great at perspective during my time at art school.  I began to get the hang of it when it came to the human form; when it came to firm, straight lines I could never seem to get it right.  My brain would grasp it and process it but my hands would translate the image always to be slightly off. As we age and experience different life events, our mind and heart process our emotions, reactions, and perception much differently.

It’s been two months since my last post.  Normally, I would be guilt ridden, feeling as if I’ve failed or let you down. To be honest, I’ve been battling some major health issues and for what I feel is the first time in my life, I’ve not cared what anyone else has thought, and I have just taken care of myself. I’ve been called selfish and I’ve been given a whole lot of guilt.  Depending on where you stand, I could perhaps see how that could be the case.

From my perspective….

I’m a month before my thirtieth birthday.  If I had not caught my illness as early as I did, things could be very, very different.  I’m lucky.  I’m grateful everyday.  When the wheels and gears start turning and you think, “What if this was 6 months later or a year later, what would I do? What would I regret not doing?” While you can’t predict the future, when you are posed with these kinds of questions in a very real sense (not the hypothetical, if you were stuck on an island, what are three things you’d bring with you?) things begin to slide into a very natural scale of what’s really important and what doesn’t really matter.

So while I did miss writing and crafting, and while these things are very important to me, I’ve been taking care of myself.  I’m almost back to 100%.  I’m hoping to be deemed A-OK by my 30th birthday and with that, I intend to live life a little bit differently than I have been.  Between the wake up call and the stack of self-help books next to my bedside, I’m ready.  I’ve found a much different perspective and I’m liking the view.

Listen to your body, take care of yourself, love yourself, and really live your life. 

Soo, ya know… I got a logo!!

Again, still being pretty quiet on the blog front since I’ve been crafting up a storm! I’m in the final countdown until the big craft fair in San Antonio! All of the crafting is complete and I am not entering the boring, yet crucial pricing and inventory stage! Almost there, folks!

In other exciting news though, I wanted to take the time to share with you the new logo for made by laura lee: 

laura-line-colorThanks to the graphic design genius and patience of Jenny Gacy, I now have a logo, which I will be plastering on everything at this upcoming event.  I feel a little bit more official now. What do you think!?

Keeping Crafty

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front lately.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been doing my “thang” though.  Working 50 hrs a week at the ol’ day job plus getting my making on, I’ve been gettin’ down.

I’ve been cranking out 3 embroidered towels a week (average of 3 hours/towel), whipping up batches of canned goodness once a week (add 3 more hours to the punch card), and still managing to get at least one day in at the studio working on furniture (usually 6+hrs for a day).  So yea, I’ve been busy! It’s easy to stay this busy when you love what you do.

That being said, whilst I have been quiet on the blog front, I have got some cool new things in things and flavors in the arsenal, specifically the canned goods cupboard. While I still have my usual standbys: Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Brandied Apple Butter, and Blueberry Basil, these new ones may in fact take the cake!

Please welcome to the selection:

Ancho Chile Cherry Jelly & Rosewater Plum Jam

Ancho Chile Cherry Jelly: While only slightly sweet, it is delightfully smokey and tart with a round fruity flavor and slight spicy finish. Looking forward to trying it with a venison steak.

Rosewater Plum Jam: Not quite your grandmothers traditional plum jam!  It looks like something pulled from Barbie’s pantry; while incredibly aromatic, it’s sweet with only a subtle hint of rose and floral notes.

They are delightful and I am very excited to see how they sell at the upcoming craft fair! 

A Chair that Rocks: David Bowie Inspired

I’m a few days overdue for my weekly post, but I promise I will make it up to you with the best piece of furniture I’ve refinished yet.

The David Bowie Inspired Rocking ChairFullSizeRender

I had acquired this little rocking chair probably 6 months ago.  I was planning on refinishing it in such a way that I would keep it.  Right around the time I was moving into my studio, David Bowie had tragically passed away. I thought that maybe this rocking chair had more purpose than just a plain rocking chair in my apartment. I put my feelers (aka a Facebook post on my personal page) to see who would be interested in a David Bowie inspired rocking chair… much to my surprise, there was plenty of interest.

This rocking chair went through such a transformation!  From removing the upholstery that had stain all over the edges to a lot of the structural repairs (a lot of the joints were loose), to the actual painting and learning how to reupholster a chair…. It is now a Chair that Rocks!

 

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.