Embroidery, Updates

Staying Sane & Stitching

Ok, ok… staying home is starting to get to me. I miss going out, I miss friends, I miss having a cup of coffee on a patio. Yes, I can see friends through Zoom and have a Cafe Au lait on my own porch, but after five months, it’s just not the same.

I have project after project to keep me occupied and flexing my creative muscles, but wow, what I’d give for a vacation. A beach sounds good right about now. (By all means, send me suggestions that are safe.) But alas, in Central Texas it’s slim pickin’s for beach options.

On the Upside

With all of the rain we’ve gotten the last week, I’ve had a little more time inside embroider which I find quite relaxing. I’ve brought out an old pattern from the archive. This is one of my favorites and my current garden has brought plenty of inspiration to start stitching this! “Eat your veggies” the age old mom saying at the majority of dinner tables, except ours! If you need an “eat your veggies” towel, you can purchase one in the shop.

Embroidery, Updates

Bluebonnets in Texas Towel

I feel like it’s been a minute since I last posted about what has been going on in the embroidery department. Needless to say, despite starting up a farm, canning, and refinishing furniture, I’m still stitching away. I’m upping the inventory in the Texas Towel Collection.

Texas Towel Collection

I’ve been slowly adding to the Texas Towel Collection. A couple of years ago, I designed these Bluebonnet in Texas towels and tested them out at the La Vallita Starving Artist Show. They flew out of my booth! I was completely sold out on the first day of the two-day event.

I’m looking forward to having the listed in the shop soon. You know, after I do a complete revamp that I’ve started this past weekend. If you cannot wait until the shop is up and running again, go ahead and contact me. I can get one shipped out to you!

12 Day of Crafting, Embroidery, Updates

The Lone Star Towel

A couple months ago I had posted a blog about all the things I was going to do during the Covid-19 lockdown, well… I’m on my way to completing that list and then some. Between moving, starting a farm, refinishing furniture, and thoroughly enjoying my life, I am still managing to get in some embroidery time.

IMG_3241Texas Towels

The most popular towel that I make is the Texas Towel. You know, the one with the outline of Texas with a heart where Austin is… yea, that one! Well, I have never experienced as much state pride anywhere as I have in Texas. I thought it would only be appropriate to continue to feed the beast so to speak. I’ve stitched up “The Lone Star State” Towel. It’s already in the shop ready to make it’s way to your kitchen.

Stay tuned because I have more Texas-themed towels in the works with bluebonnets, flowers, and more.

 

Embroidery

Black Lives Matter

IMG_3932As a small business, I’ve been hesitant to post anything, but I realize that my silence would be misconstrued as acceptance when really my silence has just been a delay in finding the right words of support to express my sheer anger, frustration, and disappointment in the world today.

Amidst a pandemic, emotions are high, but it should not take away from the need to address the racism that still runs wild through our culture today.  My Grandfather and Father taught me at a young age to watch history, learn from it, and to make sure to never repeat it’s downfalls. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many parallels in the last three years that quite frankly are terrifying to me. While I’d love to delve deeper into my thoughts and feelings, I’m not sure that it’s necessary. In this time, I believe that actions speak louder than words.

As a human being, an artist, a small business owner, I stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement. I’ve created these embroidery hoops in support because during this time, that’s what I can personally do to take action. In fact, for every hoop sold I will be donating $10 to the Black Lives Matter Organization. (The remainder is literally to cover the cost of supplies and shipping, I will not be making a profit on these.)

It is important that we be an ally where and how we can.

Love and equality for all. 

 

Embroidery, Mixed Media, Uncategorized

Embroidery with PRIDE

It’s JUNE! HAPPY PRIDE! I just wanted to give a big shout out to all of my amazing LBGQT friends. I will be celebrating and posting in support this month with several handmade and refinished pieces of furniture. Y’all be prepared for an explosion of color and inclusion!

I admit I’m kicking off my creative Pride designs with an item that I made a couple of years ago. I had stitched this PRIDE embroidered wall art for a friend and never shared it with y’all. So here it is, my embroidery for pride. Simple and understated, but I am still pretty excited about the ombre colored thread in rainbow order! 

A Little History

I always like knowing the actual history behind comparative months and days. While I’ve always celebrated my amazing friends during this time, I admittedly never knew the month’s history. Per the Library of Congress: 

“…Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.”

This is just a little snippet, but I’m glad I am able to support and celebrate my LBGQT friends. Although, it’s heartbreaking that these riots were going on in 1969 and LBGQT people are still struggling for equality today. I highly recommend doing some more reading on the history of Pride Month and all of the other things Pride Month stands for. Raise up your rainbows in solidarity and do your part to support the LBGQT community. 

HAPPY PRIDE, YALL!

12 Day of Crafting, Embroidery, Updates

Keeping It Crafty

I thought about naming this blog post “Keeping it Crafty During COVID19” but honestly, I think I’m a little burnt out on seeing it COVID-19 in my newsfeed.  While I’m fully aware that this won’t be over anytime soon, I’ve got my ways of coping that don’t involve being glued to a computer screen.  For me, I do best when I stay busy.

I’m using this social distancing and self-isolation as a time to get work done, self reflect and really tackle that “someday I’ll do this” to-do list that I have been putting off for… forever.

This past weekend in the life of a crafter:

  1. Organized my craft shelf
  2. Prepped 20+ towels for embroidery
  3. Revived the “Can’t Touch This” Cactus Pattern
  4. Began embroidering a new patter: “The Lone Star State” Towel

Upcoming Projects:

  • Redoing taxes from previous years (yea, I know I’m torturing myself, but it’ll be worth it)
  • Doing this year’s taxes
  • Overhauling madebylauralee.com (if it’s the last thing I do, damn it!)
  • Somehow connecting with a few remaining Kickstarter Contributors that have not responded to any emails, updates, etc. to get them their incentives so I can sleep at night!

Other things I’ve been working on are making sure I keep my days are as structured as possible. For example, from 6 am to 7am, I enjoy my coffee, from 7-8 am I go for a walk and stretch, 9 am-3 PM it’s time for work.  I’m also making it a goal to reach out to one person that I haven’t spoken to in a while and actually call them!

These next few weeks will certainly be different, but we will get through!  Happy Self-Isolation, y’all!

 

Embroidery, Story, Updates

Blossoms & The Bees

I know I always go over the top with “spring is here” posts, but I really can’t help it. Spring is my favorite season.  I cannot tell you how much joy tiny blossoms on grey branches brings me. This year, my excitement is amplified!

Last month, or maybe it was January, my partner and I took a class at Natural Gardener on fruit trees and pruning. Not only did I walk away with notes and a giant list of fruit trees and blackberry varieties I will have to get someday, but we were also fortunate enough to take home some pomegranate cuttings. Of course, it spurred a full-on cutting frenzy.

For those of you not familiar with cuttings, it’s when you take a small piece of a plant stem and plant it in soil and nurture it until it grows roots.  Well, little did we know that our pomegranate, peach and pear cuttings (taken later) were going to do so well!  They have leaves and the pear cuttings are even blossoming.  That weekend we took started cuttings from my mint plant as well, which is growing like a weed.

With the blossoms and warmer weather comes the bees. The soothing buzzing happens every afternoon around this hummingbird feeder.  Hopefully, they will begin to swarm soon and make a home in our new bee boxes. (More on that later). Rest assured these blossoms and the bees are giving me plenty of new embroidery ideas!

Embroidery, Updates

Embroidery Festivities

I realized it’s been some time since I’ve posted anything from the Embroidery Department.  I didn’t want you think I had been neglecting it, as that certainly has not been the case.  In fact, I’ve been quite busy in preparation for the Annual Starving Artist Fair in San Antonio hosted by the Little Church of La Villita.

I start preparing for this two-day event the first of the year.  I have restocked my inventory of “I Heart Texas” Towels from the Christmas rush (thanks to the Austin 360 article) I am beginning to stock “Yellow Rose of Texas” Towels as well.  This year, I am excited to announce a new design of “Our Lady Guadalupe.” I’m envisioning this towel will come to life with vibrant colors.

It’s funny… I don’t think the majority of people realize all the work that goes into just one towel. People only think about the time it takes to stitch the design, which can sometimes take hours on its’ own.  I wash and dry all my towels before I embroider them, then there is time to create the patterns, transfer the design to the towel, stitching them, then washing, drying, and ironing again… It takes hours, even days to make just one towel. That is why hand embroidery is considered a lost art.

I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoy the time it takes to produce one of these works of art.  Enjoyment through every stitch.  I will have the “Our Lady of Guadalupe” will be in the shop soon! Keep a look out… of course, I’ll probably post a blog when she’s ready.

Brand, Canning, DIY, Mixed Media, Recipes, Updates

Pickles & Press

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been… Well, I guess almost two since my last post! I’ve since been an embroidery machine as made by laura lee was featured in the Austin 360 (by the Austin American Statesman) Holiday Foodie Gift Guide! This is the biggest bit of press that my little handmade business and blog has received yet.

In between embroidering Texas Towels, I took breaks by baking banana bread and pecan pie as well as whipping a quick batch of refrigerator pickles. I love having pickles around as a cool, crips snack or a great addition to a cheese plate or sandwich.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe for you!  Oh yea, these are a little zingy!

Quick Zingy Fridge Pickles

  • 2 32-ounce mason jars
  • 3 cups of cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cucumbers, washed & sliced
  • 6-10 small sweet peppers, washes, quartered, and seeds removed (you can use bell peppers instead)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Version 2

  1. Clean and prep cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic
  2. Stuff clean mason jars with cucumbers, peppers, and onions
  3. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar, and spices then bring to a boil
  4. When vinegar mixture has come to a rolling boil, place mason jars in the sink and pour the mixture into mason jars
  5. Place lids on the jars and wipe down outside of any spills
  6. While cooling, place jars on a towel on the counter (towel acts as a buffer so the hot glass does not cool too quickly and shatter). Leave jars out until room temperature
  7. Place jars in the fridge.  Pickles will be ready in a day or two
  8. Enjoy!

 

Story, Updates

The Shop Is Open

IMG_2745Good morning, beautiful people! Despite being kept up later than expected, I was awake before the 5:15 am alarm came ringing.  I’m one cup of coffee in and I am just waiting for the sun to come up so I can get my day going!  I’m eagerly awaiting to load up my truck with bags of food to drive to a quaint little house in the woods in Canyon Lake, Texas. A little house where you cannot see any signs of a neighbor and the only thing that will give us away is the cloud of smoke billowing from the smoker that is about to make our beautifully smoked turkey tomorrow.

Embroidery-4That being said, there is still some work to be done in between baking pies and buttermilk rolls today.  In fact, last night I feverishly updated my online shop with embroidered goods and gift sets!  The furniture shopping page is still in the works as I figure out shipping, which may take some time! But I’m delighted with the first steps.  It hasn’t been easy getting all these things aligned and it’s taken much longer than anticipated.  I’ve been holding off getting the online shop up and going because I wanted to wait until it was absolutely perfect, but a year has passed and I’m still waiting.  Therefore, it was time to bite the bullet and get the shop launched.

So please, if you have a moment, take a look, perhaps get some ideas for your holiday shopping.  Also, remember to get any custom orders in by December 1 and you will receive 10% off!  You can get your ideas to me by contacting me here.

I’m so thankful for your continued support. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gift of Giving Guide-4