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.
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:
Thanks 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!?
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!
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 Chair
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!
Finally! 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!
It’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.
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.
“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:
madebylauralee.wordpress is now madebylauralee.com
I will be hearing from my lovely graphic designer this week with what I hope to be a logo!
I have started my extensive crafting schedule for the next two months for the Starving Artist Craft Fair in San Antonio.
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!
Yes, 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.
I have moved my work into an artist studio so that I have a place to start refinishing furniture.
I have met with a graphic designer who is going to help me with a logo, branding, and advertisements.
I have received an overwhelming amount of support, interest, new clients, and donated or inexpensive, high quality furniture to start building an inventory.
I have sent in an application to the biggest craft fair in my craft fair attending history for April 2-3 in San Antonio.
I am in the works of landing my first whole sale account for my handmade wares.
Not 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.
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!
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?