Garden, Updates

Hang In There

I know with my last few posts it’s more than apparent that I’m in full swing for Spring. It started back in February for me while I planted hundreds and thousands of herbs, geraniums, and other beautiful plant babies. I’ve since added new items to the shop, got vaccinated, had three interviews and articles come out about made by laura lee, paid off my truck, and still found time to enjoy being back in New England. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can be a little exhausting, but it’s all so rewarding that I don’t really mind.

In fact, it’s amazing to look back at the little plant babies in February, versus now. Hanging baskets are now cascading from their pots, herbs are towering over their little containers waiting to be cooked with, and the geranium flowers are almost fluorescent against their backdrop of green leaves. I’m grateful each and every day to not only be playing in the dirt, but also still be able to maintain made by laura lee.

Admittedly, it’s not sunshine and rainbows all the time, because you can’t have those without a little rain. But even on those days that are overcast and overwhelming, it’s always nice to know that sun will always come back. I know I’m not the only one that gets that feeling like they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, whether you’re still working from home, homeschooling from home, waiting for work to start back up, or really whatever is going on in the midst of waiting for this damn pandemic to pass, you’ve got someone there for you. Even if you think you don’t, you do. Reach out no matter how hard. Hang in there.

We’ve all told someone to hang in there. The fact of the matter is that I tell myself that everyday. I tell my friends to hang in there often as well. We’re all hanging in there together and I made this “Hang In There” Hoop for a friend to express just that. You can share it with someone you care about as well. Let’s keep being there for one another, act with kindness and compassion, and get through this together.

xoxo,

Laura Lee

Garden, Updates

Season of Rebirth, Season of Growth

I’ve been quiet on the blog the last month, my apologies. If you have time, I have a lot to share. Take a break, grab a cup of tea and let’s catch up….

Spring is here. There is something magical that happens amongst the flora and fauna as warmer weather begins to creep in. It’s a time of rebirth and growth. I feel as both my personal and professional life are experiencing this same seasonal change as well.

As may or may not know or noticed, I came home to Massachusetts over the Christmas holiday and have been helping family and friends with farms, recovery from surgeries, etc. Life has a funny way of working sometimes and as many of us know, it can certainly be unexpected. Without going into too much detail, I have decided to stay in Massachusetts to continue to help my father on his farm as well as take up a new position at Paisley’s Farmstand and Greenhouse.

Paisley’s & I

I spent my high school years living around the corner and down the way from Paisley’s Farm. I began working there sometime between my junior and senior year of high school and quickly acquired the nickname, “Field Hoe” as I spent a majority of my time in the fields picking produce fresh for the farm stand. I potted plants, worked the farm stand, and so much more. It’s been years, but I still have held the job as one of my favorites. It’s been my dream to own my own farm someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, but I’m excited to be back learning everything I can to prepare me for my own operation.

made by laura lee

What does taking a full-time job mean for made by laura lee? Honestly, not much will change! Perhaps the access to wonderful fresh produce for recipes and canning, the endless inspiration for the blog, and running the business out of Massachusetts. In my mind, these are all good things. I feel like when good things happen, they snowball and I am excited to announce that WickedLocal.com, a Massachusetts publication, interviewed me about the news and the business. Make sure to check it out and give it a share. Please.

Personally…

There have been a lot of sudden changes this year. Moving, new job, new plans & permits for made by laura lee, etc. It’s exciting but in the midst of it all, I unexpectedly lost a dear, dear friend last week. I’ve been working through my grief and am slowly coming to peace with the loss. Of course, there are still moments of collapsing into an ugly-face crying puddle, but as I planted thousands of geraniums last week it gave me time to reflect and realize the beauty in life, loss, and love. Geraniums symbolize so many different things, depending on the color. Overall, they represent love, friendship, happiness, and positivity. All feelings I’ve been meditating on as I plant each one in remembrance of my first love and best friend.

With that I leave you with nothing but love and appreciation. Remember to tell the ones you love that you love them. Live each day with kindness. Take pleasure in the little things. Most importantly, make sure that you are living the life you want to lead.

xoxo,

Laura Lee

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!

Before & After, DIY, Garden

Down & Dirty

IMG_1016The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and, clearly, reorganizing my shop wasn’t enough in the getting dirty department. This past week I brought in four yards of dirt to revive what once was a kitchen garden.  

It needed a little love, but after cutting down the three-foot tall weeds, laying down cardboard, layering leaves and compost, I laid down the dirt, with a little help from the manpower on the property.  What can I say, I’m not in the shape I used to be, after hauling 3.5 yards with a shovel and wheel-borrow, I was a little tuckered out and needed to call in reinforcements.

The manpower also framed in our garden gate, restructured our compost bins, and got the worm farm constructed and operational.  

While we are not quite out of the clutches of the late winter freezes, (it was 20 degrees here two nights ago), we’re looking forward to seeing the following lovelies in the sprout for eating, canning, and more: beets, basil, carrots, collards, and rainbow chard!

 

Garden, Story

Spring Is On Its Way

Spring in Texas has its ups and downs.  This year has proven to be no exception.  With 90 degree weather this past Friday to 32 degrees two nights later, there is really no way to know what to expect.  I don’t envy the weatherman’s job right about now, I’m sure he’s receiving hate mail.

The animals are all feisty with the cold weather and the poor plants don’t know what to do.  Every time the sun comes out, they jump at the chance to bloom, only to retreat the following day.  I, myself, am getting a little cabin fever.  While I love a roaring fire in our living room, I’m itching to plant seeds, prep space for the chickens, and work in my wood shop. 

In the Northeast, there were always sure-fire signs that Spring was really on the way.  While Groundhog Day was always a charming notion, however unreliable, my Father always said when the crocus and iris are in bloom, Spring is just around the corner.  

You can imagine my excitement and, admittedly, an overwhelming sense of relief to see the white iris blossoming outside our little farmhouse this past weekend.  Not only a white flag from Winter, but the solid green light and invitation from Spring to finally start prepping the beds for planting.  

Happy Spring, ya’ll!  She’s just about here!

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!

Music, Story

From the Threshold

FullSizeRenderSpring is here and it perfumes the air. The hauntingly beautiful voice of Raina Rose fills the room from the tiny speakers of my Mac Desktop, the faint sound of milk foam popping as the bubbles settle into my coffee, the mist floating from the clouds to the treetops, the birds chirping, the humidity hanging in the air like a lovers arms that are holding you captive in bed, thankfully it’s still cool enough you don’t want to break away, just yet. A battle of the bands that seduces the senses that all seem to meet at the threshold of my apartment and the outside world.

My home is a private place.  Although, my apartment, for the most part, is always set for company, but rarely does it see any.  My front door is always open when I am home.  No one ever comes to it, but this week, maybe it was the Spring air, or time giving a little push, something changed.

My neighbor, Jack, has been feeding a stray cat for about six months.  He started out skittish, never allowing anyone near him, even Jack. I’ve tried to coax him closer to no avail.  These last few days, his little heart has softened.  Earlier this week, I was in my kitchen doing dishes and I went to my bedroom to grab something and there he was, sitting there as if to say, “Can I help you?” A couple days later, he sat on the threshold of my open front door and watched me as I tidied up my living room.  Yesterday, he came in and sat just on the inside of my door and listened to me practicing a lullaby for a gig I have next week.  He listened contently, ears perked, posture straight.  When I was finished he lowered his head, as if to nod in a approval, before he left in search of other adventures.

“Cat” has started a new trend.  Outside my door, I have an old wooden cart that holds my balcony garden.  If my door is not open, “Cat” will climb up on this cart and stand on the potted plants.  His head comes just above the window sill.  He bats on the screen with his paw until I give him notice.

It’s just a cat, but I eagerly await our next encounter.  Perhaps I am a cat lady in the making or he’s a symbol of good things to come.  Either way Spring always brings new life, new meaning, just waiting to blossom.