Before & After, furniture

Furniture for the Fight: May

Okay! I am, admittedly, a little behind on my blogging.  The hustle continues though: crafting, creating, custom orders, playing music, Kickstarter stuff, etc.  I have not given up on my Furniture for the Fight project!  I may have fallen a little behind, but this project is so important to me.  I had the month of May carved out in honor of Immigrant Asian American Month and a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.

A little back story…

I found this handmade bookshelf at the side of the road.  It had a lot of texture and personality.  It was solid, for sure.  I pulled over, put her in the back of the truck, and brought her straight to the studio.

After stripping off the drab brown paint, I got her a good sanding.  I applied a creamy white paint with my go to walnut stain.  The grooves in the wood held the stain nicely to accentuate the unique texture of the wood.  My favorite part of this piece is the vibrant Japanese paper applied to the back of the shelves. The red and the gold really give this simple bookshelf a lot of personality.

If interested, go ahead and contact me.  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

Brand, Uncategorized

Out of My Comfort Zone

What have you done to get out of your comfort zone?  Going out on a Friday night (when you much rather be at home in your pjs eating pizza and drinking wine by yourself)?  Making the first move?  Skydiving?

Well, for me…. it’s something pretty crazy: Asking for help.

Sounds easy, right?

Wrong.

This is absolutely soul crushing for me.  I’ve always been able to take on anything: folding laundry, doing dishes, vacuuming for an entire household all at age twelve, doing the jobs of three different positions throughout my career while only getting paid for one, working 60 hours a week with a debilitating illness. Now at thirty years old, I’m getting over it.  I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and I am asking for help.  It is absolutely terrifying.

What’s all the build up?  What am I asking for?  Short answer: your money.  Long answer: I would like your help in helping me grow made by laura lee not just as a blog but as a brand and as a business.  Help me be the next Martha Stewart, minus the felony. Check out the Kickstarter video!  It’s beautiful and I am so proud.  I hope you will be just as proud as me to be apart of it.

HELP MADE BY LAURA LEE GROW!

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furniture, Uncategorized

Furniture for the Fight: April

Furniture for the Fight! Yea!  With every month that passes I am more and more excited about this project.  The entire month of April in this little project has been carved out for Earth Day.  The environment and our planet is so precious.  It’s the only one we’ve got.  So that being said, I have the following transformation below dedicated to Earth Justice.

A little backstory….

I went to the giant garage sale held at the Palmer Event’s Center here in Austin.  It was hosted by a local church and was overwhelmingly large.  It took me thirty minutes alone just to go through the furniture section of the sale.  I spotted this beauty right away.  I flagged down there nearest attendant and settled up.  I felt like she had so much personality that was just being masked by the plain wood finish.  She got loaded up in my truck and got taken to the studio.

I gave her a light sanding and applied a moss green milk paint, distressed the paint, and applied a clear wax finish. My favorite part was replacing the old hardware with the beautiful pink knobs from Anthropologie.

Seriously, I want to keep this piece, which is how I feel more and more as I keep refinishing pieces. Please, my 650 sp. ft. apartment is starting to look more and more like a furniture and home decor store!  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to Earth Justice!  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

Embroidery, furniture

Spring is in Full Bloom

With Spring comes glorious blue skies, the occasional rainstorms, blossoming flowers, bustling farmers markets, and of course, allergies, like woah.  I’ve spent the last few days laid up in bed wishing I had the slightest urge to, at the very least, to work on some embroidery, but with a few attempts, I found it not possible.  I’m starting to come around thanks to truckloads of Zyrtec.

Ok, now that my “wah” fest is over, I wanted to share some new items that I’ve completed since the last blog post.  Most have been shared on instagram, but I’ve got a few that haven’t been yet. I’ve got new Easter themed embroidered wall art that I’m particularly pumped about.  I haven’t done anything for Easter since my Grandmother passed away.  She always had these gorgeous Easter baskets for us, we had egg hunts, and dying eggs!  I guess I have been feeling slightly reminiscent.  Below that, I’ve got a new veggie embroidered towel, a refinished chair, and my personal favorite, “I will resist.” wall art.

Stay crafty, ya’ll!

Uncategorized

Furniture for the Fight: March

March is Women’s History Month.  It wasn’t always a whole month.  It started off as a day (March 8th), it then turned to a week, and then, thanks to Jimmy Carter in ’87, we got a month.  Way to go, ladies! After the recent election, I think some of us were thinking a lot more about women’s rights and equality.  (Side note: it’s hard not to get a little political on this, I apologize.)  I think Hilary Clinton opened our eyes to what we are able to accomplish.  If it wasn’t what she has done, there was something that resounded in me within her concession speech.  More on that in a moment.  Another thing I was particularly drawn to was her consistent attire color choice.  Ok, ok, I know it sounds crazy, but she always was selective on the color of her pantsuit.  Colors have meaning.  White and purple are the colors of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Pair that with this quote from her concession speech,

“And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

This quote gets me every time.  It got me thinking.  I know what I go through every day regarding self-doubt, fear of not achieving my goals, etc.  We cannot pass this on to future generations.  So, my contribution for Furniture for the Fight this month is this dresser.  A percentage of the proceeds will go to Running Start.  An organization that helps young girls to become leaders.

A little back story:

This dresser was donated to me by a super rad lady friend.  She is always the first to stand up and be vocal on behalf of all women and minorities, call her representatives, and, overall, just a bad ass babe. That being said, I knew this piece already had some good juju.  In order to get to the core of that juju though, I had to use a little elbow grease and sand down the already peeling finish.  This piece had a little structual work that needed to be done so I made sure get the joints strong again, fill in some wholes, put in some extra braces.  After, I painted her, in honor of women’s suffrage, antique white.  I applied walnut wax finish and buffed it off to give it an antique finish.  I applied Danish oil to the inside of the drawers to give the wood a natural golden glow.  I then replaced the traditional drawer pulls with mercury gold knobs and line the drawer with white and gold paper.  And vioala!

This dresser is FOR SALE.  it is $435 (after tax) and 25% will go to Running Start.

Please contact me at lauralee (at) madebylauralee (dot) com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Nevertheless She Persisted

I feel that this, like many women, is our mantra.  It always has been, we just never really embraced it like we do now.  This is not meant to be a hyped up political rant, but an appreciation for what we do on the daily.  To the women that have children and still work 40+hrs a week and keep a family together, to my single lady friends who are pursuing their dreams and don’t let anything stop them, to my friends that are married and work crazy hours and are still able to be the perfect wife, the list could go on forever.

We all continue on.  We get knocked down and fall on our face and still get up looking just as fabulous. So in honor or Elizabeth Warren and all my fierce fellow female warriors, I stitched up a little something special for the Musicians Artist Fair at One-2-One Bar yesterday.

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Let me just say, these little ladies were a hit.  To be honest, I didn’t expect to sell so many, so I will be stitching up more as fast as I can.  If you are interested in one of these, shoot me an email, comment below, whatever you’d like, and I’ll make sure to get one to you!

Thanks ya’ll!  Keep persisting!

Uncategorized

Furniture for the Fight: February

Another month of 2017 has come and gone.  This month is Black History Month.  I have refinished a 1940’s vanity stool to donate a percentage of the proceeds to go to National Association of the Advancement of Colored People.

Here is a little backstory on the stool:

I found this stool in a thrift shop in South Austin.  It seemed unassuming and like a quick easy project for the shortest month of the year. Undecided, I carried around the store while I continued browsing.  I was quickly approached by three other women for the stool. “Are you going to buy that, honey?” Third time was the charm and swayed my decision to bring it home with me.

There was nothing quick and easy about refinishing this stool.  Nothing.  After removing the cushion, which was hard as a rock, I began on stripping the paint.  It took 12 hours, multiple studio trips, half of quart of paint stripper, and 5 sheets of sandpaper to remove the 7 layers of paint! There were multiple shades of blue, white, black, grey, and green.  After sanding it down, patching up scrapes, and using dremel tool to redefine some of the wood work on the legs, I was finally able to start painting.

I chose a royal blue paint, gold accents, and, of course, walnut stain.  The royal blue I thought would be an excellent contrast to the gold and orange fabric I found for the seat cushion.  Oh, and this seat cushion!  Reupholstering this was no joke.  I began removing the layer of fabric expecting to find the batting and cushion form underneath.  I was very wrong.  There was another layer of fabric underneath, I pulled back to find yet another, and another.  Seven layers of fabric total, each individually nailed to the seat.  I stopped counting upholstery nails after about 175 of them.  I added padding to the seat and put her back together.

Here she is….   I will be making a pair of pillows with the remaining fabric.  More on that next week.