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

 

 

 

Brand, Embroidery, Recipes, Story, Updates

Good Things Are Happening

IMG_1552
Blueberry Basil Jam & Vanilla Ice Cream (recipe & photo from laura lee’s kitchen)

It’s been a pretty exciting week around here.  Last week the laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook went live on the website and is now available for download.  Not only that, but I was also featured in a write up by Voyage Houston this past week as well. This was the first little bit of press that made by laura lee has ever received.  It’s pretty exciting!

Two big firsts for me!  I’ve got plenty more firsts coming later this fall as well.  I’ve feverishly been working on a new “Fall” line of embroidery that will be featured in the rolling out of the new online store! Doesn’t that sound très trendy?  Not to mention, I may or may not already be in panic mode for the holiday gift ordering season.  It’s coming, whether I’m ready or not! In fact, make sure to get your orders in.

While I sip my spiced chai, I’ll be sitting here embroidering away.  If you haven’t purchased laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook, you can order it here.  And if you’re unsure about the cookbook, feel free to catch up on some more Laura Lee reading here in the Voyage Houston Article.

 

 

 

Embroidery, Updates

Like A Boss

Back when I managed Opa Coffee & Wine Bar, I had my bad ass team, who no matter how tired, how hungover, how whatever they could be, showed up through thick and thin and owned it like a boss.  I’ve always seemed to surround myself with badasses.  In the music scene, the craft community, and, now, in my very own home, badasses.  I’m lucky to know such amazing people.

Every now and then though, in the midst of working two part time jobs, renovating rooms, building gardens, vacuuming up after three dogs, doing dishes, and building a business, feeling like I can’t keep up is definitely a cloud that follows me around.  Sometimes, we can’t do it all.  Sometimes, we can.

I always opt for the later of the two previous statements.  I can do it all. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting everything on hold, taking a nap, and regrouping.  Other times, it’s just powering through.  This week, I took a little time to embroider.  There is nothing like stopping to stitch “#girlboss” for a couple of hours…. talk about meditating on your intention. IMG_0972.jpg

We all need to take time to tell ourselves that we are a boss.  We can keep persisting.  We can follow and live our dreams.  With that, I hope you take time today remind yourself of the same.  The girl boss in me bows to the girl boss in you.  Have a great day!

 

Before & After, Uncategorized, Updates

I’m Back. Really.

img_1369Really.  To say that I’ve been a little quiet may in fact be the biggest understatement since my last blog post and should cover the understatement bases for the remainder of 2019.   I have come back to life.  In fact, Life is kind of what got in the way.  So much has changed since my last post, I don’t even know where to begin. Rather than recapping and rehashing the last year or so, what I will focus on are the things that have recently taken place to get me back on track.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

I have found my tribe.  I have teamed up with some amazing people to help push me forward, grow, learn… and learn things that I really needed to know to help grow laura lee… like that online store, a better website, etc.  It’ll be a slow process to build, but I’ll get there.  Despite sometimes what I think, I can’t do everything by myself.  This team is the A-Team.

New Home… New Homestead

To wrap up 2018… I moved.  I left my adorable little apartment that I’ve called home for five years and completely uprooted myself to a little home in the country.  I’m surrounded by hundreds of acres of rolling hills, cows, pastures, some trees, and John Deere tractors.  I’m greeted by the wagging tales of dogs every morning and coffee already brewed.  (*note: we have not trained the dogs to make coffee yet) I will start prepping my garden beds this week so that I can start growing my own produce for my canned goods!

More Updates:

  • I have not forgotten about Kickstarter Incentives. I have learned that I signed myself up for too complicated of incentives, which is taking me much longer to fill. My sincerest apologies… thank you for your patience.
  • I’m still working on the cookbook.  I will post a teaser soon.
  • I now live on the same property as my furniture shop, you can expect to see more updates about that once I finish unpacking boxes.
  • I’ve fallen in love, despite my greatest attempt not to.
  • I am working on a new line of embroidery goods.
  • There are workshops/classes being planned.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a made by laura lee Youtube channel coming soon.

If any of ya’ll are still reading my humble little blog… thank you.  It’s good to be back.  I appreciate you.

custom, Embroidery, Uncategorized

Custom Embroidery? Coming Right Up!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Every wonder what I’m up to when I’m not posting awesome things on Instagram, writing my blog, sanding in the studio, or at Barton Springs…. This is it.  I have been stitching up a storm on custom embroidery wall art.

I’m so grateful to have all these custom orders coming in. They continue to help me survive as an “old lady” embroidery artist.  It’s great.  My favorite part about custom orders is that they challenge me to think differently and keep working to create the perfect piece for a client.  Ok, the second best thing, is making someone happy.

Take a look at some of the things I’ve been working on.  If you need a custom piece of your own, let me know.  I’d be delighted to get working on one.

Contact me at 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!