Sunday, December 26, 2010


Inside a sweet package I received in the mail, were three beautiful field notes books. The sender, just as sweet as the package, knows my love of the field notes because it was he who facilitated my addiction in the first place. Because I always carry one in my bag, I thought it only appropriate to put down my goals for the year 2011 in my brand spankin' new one.
  • create a pattern line
  • turn in a book proposal
  • make 50 walri
  • bulk up etsy to 100 listings
  • attend/vendor 8 craft shows
  • blog at least 1/wk, 4x if possible
  • remodel bathroom
  • paint kitchen floor
  • purchase new couch
  • have a gorgeous roommate i get to kiss a lo
  • see the ocean
  • learn swedish
  • ride my bike
  • learn to make croissants
  • be a better friend
  • write more letters/postcards
  • start zine

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I finally got my christmas tree put up. I somehow lost my holiday cheer, had to send some elves for it, they found it, shipped it usps, and of course, it took forever to get here! However, when I pulled it out of the box, my faith in the holiday season was restored, and here is my lovely, handmade christmas tree. 

I started with a box of mismatched ribbon tied their ends together, and wrapped it around and around. Of course, I saved the pretty yellow satin bow for the top. 

I made pretty house ornaments out of scrap fabric and buttons. 

that mimicked the stuffed houses I've been making all year. 

then I added pretty ginger girls and boys. with funky bows attached. 

 Oh! And snowflakes!

And here it is! The glow at night can wipe any holiday blues away. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Amy Butler's In StitchesBike BasketCardboard Cat Scratcher.

Dandelion Dog Collar for the Pup. Eggplant Cowl. Lots and Lots of Felt from BenzieBazaar.

Garden Arbor. Holiday Parade Dress. Illustrated 2010 Calendar. Jean Jacket

Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer. Lilac PomPom Poppy Seeds. My Wire Empire Print. Nebraska Land.

One Yard Wonders. Persuasion. Time to finish my Quilt.  [fake] Rodinal.

SofaTrampoline of the exercise variety. Umbrella. Versace perfum

Wooden French Rolling Pin.  Xhilaration Leather Boots. Yashica 635. Zebra Print Tights.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


listening: to the hum of a furnace fan.

eating: too much toast.

drinking:  mulled cider. 

wearing:  double layers of leggings.

feeling: crunched for time.

outside: cooooooooooooooold and white.

wanting: lots more mornings like today.

needing:  dinner.

thinking: about decorating my tree.

enjoying: hand stitching and christmas present making.

wondering: how good I'd look in a sequined cocktail dress.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A peek into my creative space. Part 1.

I have this small obsession with seeing other creator's workspaces. So, I thought I'd start a short series on what mine looks like. The first is the table by the couch. I do most of my finishing late night under a bright overhead light while watching whatever syrupy sweet romance that makes it into my dvd player. I keep most everything in big heavy bowls that I pick up at thrift stores and yard sales.

1. This bowl holds thread, rickrack, my hot glue gun, ribbons, findings, pin backs and the like. Pretty much everything you'd ever need to embellish or finish.
2. The best typewriter, ever. Did you know that if you heat set printer ink, it will stay permanently? I use this for labels and embellishing. Five dollars at a yard sale, even better!
3. Bowl of vintage buttons for embellishing. Sometimes, I like the cards that hold them more than the buttons. I'm a design geek, what can I say?
4. A pin cushion made by the lady who taught me paper piecing. I think I will love her forever.
5. Bowl of embroidery thread.
6. Big hole punch and the DVD remote. both vitally important.
7. This is a tic tac toe board my great grampa made. you twist the bottom and it opens to two long holes that hold the marbles that you play with. It's such a neat little design and it makes me insanely happy.
8. Jar of in the shell peanuts for a healthy snack. plus breaking the shells calms the nerves.
9. Scissors. I have a million pairs of scissors.
10. Lockable picnic basket to keep finished product away from the cats.
11. Fabric idea board for laying out patchwork. ONE DOLLAR AT A YARD SALE!
12. Dissected pillows. I buy pillows because they are cheaper than a bag of polyfill! I have found the quality is just about the same as well. smart, huh?
13. I love this little round table. I found it at a thrift store for five bucks. It is the perfect height for work at the couch. and it is pretty. What else could you ask for?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday afternoon.

listening: sunday football chatter.

eating: paper bag popcorn.

drinking: coffee. sugar. sprinkle of cinnamon.  

wearing: big thick socks.

feeling: exhausted. too much craftiness.

outside: chilly and super sunny.

wanting: a wall to be built.

needing: a nap and a hug and someone to play with my hair.

thinking: I need a roommate.

enjoying: craft show success.

wondering: if I can sleep in in the morning. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010



That was the last time I wrote anything. It seems very far away from where I'm standing at the end of October. I've had one terrible show and a mildly successful show. I have another one in two weeks time. Then, another two weeks after that.

It's exciting and scary. I went out in the middle of the night to shoot fall leaves in the dark, because my days are filled to the brim with creativity and organizing. hello, fall.

I've been creating new things. These baby rattles popped into my head and I couldn't get them out until I made them. And they were a hit! I sold out. 

all in all things are brimming with excitement. Heading here on November 6th. and here November 27th. I'll be posting about both shows. As well as showing you just house messy I can make my workbench. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010


sunflowers, originally uploaded by laurastantz.

listening: to noisy cicadas and The Sundays. because come on, the static and the silence is the best album ever.

eating: peaches. and bread and butter.

drinking: chai tea. by the gallon.

wearing: a men's blue oxford. (and have been for days. it's the perfect crafting shirt)

feeling: nervous and excited.

outside: electric. there is rain coming. there hasn't been rain for weeks.

wanting: kisses. and lots of them.

needing: more time.

thinking: about the collection.

enjoying: knowing I have tomorrow off.

wondering: how to become more organized in my creativity.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fabric Swap Success

Last week, I had a bunch of crafty types over for a little get together. I made a ton of ice cream, sat out all the toppings and we all dove right in. But after that, came the fun part.

Everyone was directed to bring 3 1/2 yard cuts of fabric and two fat quarters. We piled it all into the middle and drew numbers. Then we all took turns and picked from the pile. It was really interesting to see all the different styles and patterns everyone brought. So much fun to see everyone!

Now all I need is a bigger house. ha!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blueberry Crumble for Breakfast

I know my last post was about food. but so is this one. Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner at a friend's house. And in my ingrained teaching that came from my mother, I couldn't arrive empty handed. So, I took blueberry crumble. I'm a huge fan of the blueberry. (especially inexpensive frozen ones I can find at my local grocers.) What I didn't expect was how awesome it was going to be to have leftovers for the day's most important meal: breakfast.

I'm on vacation this week. Doing nothing but all the fun stuff I never have time for. Like rearranging my living room and going through my fabric stash and taking as many naps as I like without feeling guilty. So, whipping up this easy crumble recipe was a perfect part of that. Here's to eating dessert for breakfast.

Easy Blueberry Crumble

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp black pepper

Place all ingredients in a casserole dish and toss to coat

For Topping:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Put all ingredients into a bowl and crumble with your fingers. Allow some of the butter clumps to stay pretty large to allow for a crispy crust. Spread generously over top of the prepared blueberries and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lunch and Simplicity.

I usually work nights at the job that pays the bills. So, I try to do most of my crafty work during the day before I go in. This usually means that I skip lunch or eat a sandwich on the way to work. But these hot and humid summer days here in Indiana take a lot out of you and I decided I needed a real sit down meal while working. I didn't want anything that took a lot of time. And I wanted something simple. So, I made a plate of my favorite things to eat and munched on them while working. Honey toast on oat bread, orange juice, colby cheese, pecans and bing cherries. It was so perfect and I couldn't help but smile the whole time I nibbled.

Also, a fun story about the pecans. I work at an inn and I always get to meet really interesting people. There was a gentleman checking out yesterday who was all the way up from Georgia visiting his brother. We got to talking and he was telling me about his pecan orchard. And he "just happened to have a few bags in the car." (a sly salesman to say the least.) I took the bait, I think it may have been his smooth Georgia accent, and he came in with a bag of the most golden pecans I've ever seen. And the price was awesome; six dollars for a pound! I love things like this. Just some older man driving around with a trunk full of pecans he labored over himself.

The moral of this long winded story is that sometimes it's good to remember to keep things simple. A boy I love tries to get me to understand this everyday. I like finding ways to incorporate it into my life. His gentle reminders are working.

here's to lunch.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

new business cards.

The other day I really needed a project to get my wheels turning. Do any of you ever do that? Just get stuck in a rut and need a good shovel to dig you out? Tedious projects are usually my shovel of choice. I find that something repetitive and creative greases my wheels and lets me work more freely. So, i sat in my living room watching a marathon of mad men and made these new business cards. They were really simple. I printed my business name, email and etsy store in a very simple font in light gray. I used the snap apart avery cards you can buy in a pack. Out of all the do-it-yourself business cards, I find these to be the brightest and heaviest. After that, I used wonder under on some fabric. (I don't even think it is called wonder under anymore. It's just called Heat Bond. but my grandma and mom have always called it wonder under and I will too!) I cut the fabric into one inch strips and ironed them directly onto the card. So each card is personalized with a different strip of fabric. It was a lot of fun. And now I have these really sweet business cards and greased wheels.  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Penelope Fox

I would like you to meet Penelope Fox. 

Yesterday, there was a strange creature out of my window at work. When I looked closer I realized, "It's a FOX!!" She was eating the birdseed that drops from the feeders. Her slim limbs and her long snout made her look so dainty, but as she walked and pranced around, her grace and cunningness came out. That's when I knew her name had to be Penelope. She was dark brown on top with a line of red and then a white undercoat. She was just beautiful. I watched her for a good fifteen minutes. And I knew I had to go home and make a fox immediately. So I did! 

I put the fox in the window at work because I thought maybe she'd be back tonight. She was. I snuck outside to watch her in the wild. It wasn't very long before she recognized my presence and stood at the edge of the wood to stare at me. We both just stood there waiting for the other one to move. Finally, she realized I was no threat to her and went about her day. I just stood there trying to memorize every color in her coat.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

sewing tags

Somewhere I read an article about how you could type on fabric and heat set it. If you wrote this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Last night I stayed up pretty late obsessing over such a thing. Love stories on the television, my typewriter in my lap, fabric ironed on to freezer paper and a thousand trial and errors. But it was so much fun, I couldn't give up. I finally got it down pat and now I have a baby food jar filled with sewing tags with my little business name on them! I'm so excited. 

So, excited in fact that I stayed up and extra hour just to make something to sew such a tag in. Sleep be dammed, sometimes it is way more important to be creative! 

After an etsy sale that went all the way from Indiana to Australia, I'm psyched to get making things again. I love these and I can't wait to add them to my products.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What were you doing at midnight last night?

Well, let me tell you what I was doing.
I went to my favorite little greenhouse before I went to work at three. And then I looked at the weather forecast. And it said it was going to rain the next two days. (a brief side note here: it has yet to rain) So, I get off work at 9:30, zoom home and then it struck me, "get out the flood lights!"

So I did.
And I worked and worked and worked until I finally got everything planted around midnight. It was so amazing. All the houses around me had gone dark, there were lightning bugs everywhere, the only noise was a random passing car and a few crickets here and there. No heat, no mosquitoes, no interruptions. It was really amazing.  And now my garden is all planted! 
And! I got to play with my camera. A pretty great way to spend the night. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Catnip Happiness and New Additions.

I would like you to meet Hal. Actually his name is Halak. After the Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, who played his heart out this year during the nhl playoffs. (even though they didn't make it to the big game. sigh) However, with this new addition Sir Hank, named after the loveliest hockey player of all time Henrik Zetterberg, is a little jealous. For three days he didn't even sleep at the foot of the bed! So, today to make him feel extra special, I made him some catnip fishes and hearts. Hank loves catnip. He has a red catnip mouse he carries around the house with him. Sometimes he even brings it to bed.

So, here are Hank's special catnip toys. Hopefully he'll remember that I love him. He is such a sweet boy. (and yeah, I talk about my cats as though they were kids! what of it?)

I started with some plain duck cloth and made a cute little template. Traced and cut out.
I used some basic acrylic paints to paint, dab, flick and dot in different patterns to make bright and cheery fabric.
I then stacked two on top of one another and stuffed them with polyfill and organic catnip.
And LOOK! cute catnip toys for my precious little boy.

I think he likes them!

God, why are cats so cute?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aluminum Can Planters: A Tutorial

There is something you have to know about me: I AM CHEAP.
I hate spending money more than I hate doing the dishes. (unless it's money on crafting supplies or thrifting, there's always money for that!) But, I'm always trying to find a way to cut corners. Have you noticed how expensive planters are? C'MON! it's made out of plaster and painted, why is it that expensive? But I love flowers and happen to work at a place that has a kitchen. So I begged and pleaded with the dishwasher boys to save the industrial sized aluminum cans for me.

I brought them home and gave them a quick coat of spraypaint...

and drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage and then filled with rocks, dirt and plants.

I found these cute knives at a yard sale (20 of $3!!)

And wrote on them with a permanent marker to use as plant stakes!

It makes a very pretty presentation on my front porch steps.

Man, I love summer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

stitching a chicken.

Today I started stitching this rooster. I plan to make it a part of a market bag I'm making for my big adventure on Saturday. This town a little ways south of me has a HUGE community yard sale. And I need a big, big bag with a comfortable handle to tote around. my wallet, my camera and all the good stuff I find? yes, put it in the bag. I found this vintage kitchen towel at my local thrift store this past week. And for two quarters, I couldn't resist bringing him home. I'm adding a few more colors. I'll post the finished bag before I set off into the wild in search of deals. I'M SO EXCITED! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Peonies and Carnations. A tutorial.

I have to admit something. I love pink carnations. I know that carnations are the store brand flower of the florist world, but I swear; if any boy ever bought me an armload of pink carnations, I would probably hand him my heart in a little box.

My mom works at a local florist and I love to visit her there. Surrounded by flowers, how could you ever be unhappy? When they get shipments of carnations, they keep them in five gallon buckets at room temperature to settle and open. It's like a color wheel of carnations. I just love it. These pretty pink (leaning on peach) carnations asked me if they could come home with me and I said yes. With a boy who has an utter disdain for carnations, I'm perfectly happy buying them for myself and bringing them home in my bike basket. ha!

However, even with a mother who makes arrangements for a living, I'm absolutely terrible at putting together an arrangement. But I have found a way to do it with ease that even the least capable can make. You'll look like a pro. 
The Supplies:
A vase or a tin can. This is a recycled tomato juice can. 
Tape. I try to use something that will match the container. You can purchase florist tape at the craft store, but for this, I used mylar tape. It matches the can and I had it in the craft closet.
Flowers. I brought home pink carnations and cut white peonies out of my yard. 
Greenery. You can use anything! These are pieces of a bush in my front yard that is getting ready to bloom so it had nice buds on it. Greenery is a godsend. It will fill any holes that you miss and give you a nice base.

Step One:
Cut strips of tape to make a grid on top of your container. This is called a frog. You'll be poking the stems of your flowers through the square holes.

Step Two:
Begin placing your greenery around the base. I always start with greenery because it's easier to get around the bottom before you put your flowers in. 

Step Three: 
Begin placing your flowers. I started with the peonies because they are big and fluffy and take up a lot of space. It then allowed me to place my carnations so you could see them prominently. Here is a helpful tip! When cutting your flowers, place them next to your container and snip your stem level with the table. You will never cut a flower too long or short again! No more pulling a flower out a million times to snip just a little off!

Step Four:
After your flowers are in, you can take extra pieces of greenery and fill in any gaps you may see. 

And there you have it! A beautiful arrangement that is super quick. (and no one will ever be the wiser!) I sat mine next to my sewing machine as I was making some curtains for my bedroom redo. (Super easy curtain tutorial forthcoming!) I wanted to be outside but had inside work to do. I'm glad I got to bring some flowers indoors. 

I hope you are having a lovely weekend!


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