Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm stuck.

I've had a creative jam lately.

photo by louis capwell

I'm trying to overcome it with lots of blog reading, lots of bike riding and lots and lots of home projects. Like rearranging furniture and making new curtains. Soon, hopefully very soon, I'll be back in the swing of making.

Until then, you can find me in a few places:

CraftSanity just put out there fall issue!  Inside you can find out how to make your own Jefferson Camel!

And! I'm over at MollieMakes today! MollieMakes is a craft lifestyle magazine from the UK! I absolutely adore it! I feel so privileged to be a part of their blog! 

And keep on sewing! I'll be back at my machine in no time. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I really am alive.

One quick update:

I'm alive. I'm working my fingers to the bone. I have been accepted into Detroit Handmade at Maker's Faire at the end of July. And Renegade Chicago, September 11 & 12. I'm SUPER BUSY! It's really, really fun. But also, really, really time consuming. I have thankfully  been blessed with an intern who will be helping me in keeping my social media alive. I miss blogging and sharing and posting. I hope to get back to it soon! Until then, just envision me sitting at a long white work bench in front of a sewing machine late into the night watching doogie howser marathons and listening to npr news updates.

that's all I've been doing.
and secretly I love it!!

And one other thing: Meet Elsie. She's a new addition to the family. And AWESOME, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Today I: went to the greenhouse.

After the Indieana Handicraft Exchange yesterday, I looked at my calendar and realized we are in the second week of June. Crafting has seriously gotten in the way of my outdoor adventures that happen once our frozen tundra thaws and begins to sprout new life.

I also realized that as of this glorious Sunday, I don't have anything planned for the rest of June. What's that you say? YES! My calendar is a variable smorgasbord of nothing. I have taken this as a sign to get all my spring stuff done even though it is almost officially summer. Like decorate my front porch and spruce up my bike. And my favorite of all favorite hot day activities, get my garden officially planted.

When I bought my house four years ago, I did so for three reasons: 1. it was cute! 2. it was cheap and 3. it had an ENORMOUS backyard. And this backyard quickly  became an enormous vegetable garden. Some years have been successful, others not so much. (or at all, shame on me.)

So, today I got myself dressed, put on my gardening shoes and drove to the sweetest green house that I know of, Country Acres. It's located up the road from me off Hwy. 231. And every spring, right before mother's day, Kate has the place PACKED with flowers for what seems miles. The colors make the corners of your mouth turn up and there's such hot energy floating around every little bloom that it makes you feel invincible. Or, at least, just like Martha Stewart.

Even though spring has mostly passed, she still had flowers and (even more important) vegetables left. I bought some ornamental grass and flowers for my pots on the porch. And luscious rosemary. (oh, rosemary how you delight me.) On the vegetable end I bought; warm weather cabbage, tomatoes (yellow, pink, cherry and red), broccoli, and peppers. On the seed side, I came home with turnips, beets, corn, bush beans, parsnips and pumpkins.

This is the week of hard work. I'll let you know how it goes.


Oh! And isn't this impressive? Mum starts! Surely a sign I'm WAY behind. sigh.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Whilst I was standing in my perfect little spot in Philadelphia at the Art Star Craft Bazaar, a lady asked me, "do you have an alligator?"

And then I thought to myself, "Laura! Why DON'T you have an alligator???" So, I made one.

May I present to you, Mr. Alligator himself.

Of course, he had to be colorful. He had to have scary (but sweet) chomping teeth. And he just HAD to have movable legs.

So, so in love.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Rennovated Craft Room: An Adventure


Craft Show Season has thrown me for a loop. But, I've been chomping at the bit to share with you my beautiful new crafting space. My darling Louis, who is a wonderful photographer (seriously, his pictures make my heart warm, just go look.), brought his camera with him on his last visit and stunningly captured my new space.

Some high points:
  • The $1 yard sale find ironing table. That would be the picture with shoe organizer filled with fabric and trinkets. The lady that sold it to me didn't even know what it was! I built a table frame to the perfect ironing height. 
  • My sewing table (the top came from menards, the base I built myself.) has room for a cutting mat and two sewing machines.
  • Above the sewing table, there's some organizing tools that came from ikea. Plus my cool as hell thread holder that I've blogged about before.
  • My mustard colored crushed velvet vintage chair that I snagged at a thrift store. It perfectly hugs the shoulders and is so comfortable for long nights of sewing. 

Some things you can't see in the pictures:
  • There's a HUGE chair in the corner that is perfect for cat naps and sitting and hand sewing.  (it was a hand-me-down from a family friend)
  • There's a big box store 5-shelf unit that has fabric stacked to it's gills. 
  • On the floor under the sewing table is a heavy duty power strip with a on/off push button on the front. When you touch it with your toe the radio, the light, the sewing machine all come on at once. It is brilliant. (I kind of stole the idea from Louis's darkroom set up.)
  • Under the ironing table, there are totes for storage that is covered up by skirt that I made from a vintage sheet. 
  • My clothes closet is in this room as well. It's a walk-through to my bedroom. (My house is 110 years old. there's some odd architecture going on.) However, because I don't really care about clothes storage, I emptied half of it out to put up an industrial shelf that holds all my other miscellaneous craft supplies. Like stamps and paper and styrofoam and beads and glass melting equipment and shells. 
  • I have one large window that faces north. There isn't much window light in the room, however, I do have a view of a bird feeder and I can open it and listen to the rain.

So, yeah. that's my new craft room. I love being in it. It's a haven.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Art Star Craft Bazaar!

you may be wondering where I've been lately, and if I could accurately take a picture of my fingertips to show their calloused, thickened skin, you would understand. I spent weeks, late nights and days, borrowing time of dear friends and family members, to prepare for the six hundred mile journey to philadelphia to attend Art Star Craft Bazaar. I will tell you, I was nervous. While I truly believe in the things I make and design, I also know that my work doesn't really speak to everyone. I was worried about the acceptance of my vision and even more worried that I'd spend the money to make the trek only to find my money box empty. 

but that didn't happen. in fact, my box runneth over. even after a saturday afternoon filled with rain. 

my darling louis loaded me up in his car, drove me across state lines, enlisted the help of his sweet family and even helped me sell my wares to the waiting public. 

and we got such good reviews! even this little guy loved it! 

I was also overly excited to meet some of the crafters I've idolized over the years. particularly Jay McCarroll. he's been such an inspiration to me over the years. while his specialty is hip fabrics (CHECK THIS OUT!) and even hipper fashion, and I specialize in cute; his need to create has always made my heart hurt. I made him a cat. he was gracious to talk to another fan girl. he was also hilarious and I'm fairly certain tried to hit on louis. I bought a tote bag with some of my earnings. I sit and look at it a lot and smile that I got to meet him!

I also REALLY wanted to meet Jordan Elise. she is the creator of Horrible Adorables and I stalk her online on a weekly basis. her aesthetic is so different than anything I've seen on the crafting circuit and I just adore her. turns out, she's pretty fabulous to say the least. her sweetness fills the air around her and you just want to take a piece of her home. she let me take a picture of her. isn't she beautiful? sigh.  

so, yeah. Philadelphia is filled with a WIDE range of fun, crafting types. Megan and Erin, who run Art Star, are a dream to work with! both very friendly and sweet (and SO organized!!). 

oh! AND! four different stores want to sell my things! soon The Wind and The Sail will be in Art Star, Tall Cow, Hello Bluebird and Vix Emporium

To sum up? Best. Weekend. Ever.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


loot!, originally uploaded by laurastantz.

I've done nothing but sit in my craft room and sew. I have exactly 24 days until Art Star Craft Bazaar! Feeling both excited AND nervous.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

celebrating my beauty mark.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a mole right above my lip on the left hand side. I don't ever really think about it. I can tell you it doesn't even register in my mind when I look at myself in the mirror. It's just a part of my face. I even found a boyfriend with a matching one. When we kiss they line up like power ranger rings and we have special powers! However, my little sister finds it vastly amusing. Especially after Austin Powers 3 came out in 2002.

Remember? I do. because I've heard it in various forms for nine years. I've taken it lightly. We all have our blemishes and little quirks that make us different. I think I'm beautiful. So, when I made some pretty soft cats for my shop, I thought I'd pay tribute to my blemish and make these cute Beauty Mark Cats. They are available in my shop in case you'd like a beauty mark of your own.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On the Radio!!

Yael Ksander from WFIU came to the Paper Crane Gallery to interview a few of the artists participating in the Bloomington Handmade Market! It was a TON of fun! I was super nervous and had NO idea what I was going to say. However, it seems to have turned out just fine.

If you'd like to hear the interview, you can visit the artworks link, here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sweet, Sleepy Rattles.


It's been a very warm and sunny Sunday here in my neck of the woods. The past couple of days have been really busy with things non-craft related, which has me itching to sit at my sewing machine again. However, between things, I've been sewing on faces and stitching up stuffing holes on these pretty handmade bunny and kitty rattles. They make the most pleasant sound. I love to give them a shake as I'm embroidering. They'll be on my table at the Bloomington Handmade Market coming up in just a few short weeks. (two to be exact!)

I'm headed out for a walk in this early spring weather!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Art Star Craft Bazaar!

As a crafter, there are a few things I would like to accomplish in my lifetime. There are some outlandish ones. (I'd like to meet Martha Stewart) And some ambitious ones. (I'd like to be the author of a craft book.) And there are some that are just fun. (I'd like to have a completely handmade wardrobe of smocked sundresses.) 

Then, sometimes, moments come along and you think to yourself, "all of these are absolutely possible."

One of those surprise moments came this week when I, just another crafter from a tiny town in Indiana, got accepted into a craft show in a big city. Yep! I'll be heading to Philadelphia for the amazing Art Star Craft Bazaar, May 14 &15!

I want to downgrade it and tell myself it is just a fluke. I'm just one tiny crafter in the big world of the handmade movement. But I can't help but be excited. Two years ago when it was just me and a stack of fabric in my living room, with no direction and no idea of what I really wanted to make, I never would have dreamed I'd be making plans to head to the city of brotherly love, with the love of my life, for a pretty important craft show. I'm really proud of myself. (even if that voice in the back of my head is telling me I shouldn't brag.)

I cannot wait to strut my stuff. I even have the fabric for a pretty smocked sundress to make.
And, fingers crossed, I can sneak a peak at that Jay McCarroll in all his wonderful glory. eek!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


listening: lots of motown.
eating: greek salad.

drinking:  grape juice and lemon water. 

wearing:  my favorite blue cardigan.

feeling: ambitious.

outside: Sunny, warm and breezy. hello, spring!

wanting: to go for a swim.

needing:  some money in the bank.

thinking: how lucky I am.

enjoying: making patterns.

wondering: about craft show applications.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I've been working really hard on a new line of plush for my upcoming shows. (I'll be at the Bloomington Handmade Market on April 2nd and at the Art Star Craft Bazaar May 14-15!) I made these snakes this week. I like that even snakes can be cute. Their backs are all different colors and their face embroidery is color coordinated. Their tongues are made out of felt. It was brought to my attention that my snakes are poisonous due to their diamond shaped heads. However, I think they would only poison you with sweetness.They are so Monday to Friday.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bloomington Handmade Market: Spring Edition

I'm super excited about being in this show! It's put on by a great group of ladies and there's always so much happiness! I'll have a brand new line of plush available as well as some other sweet hand sewn treats! Come out and see us for more info:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Craft Room!

Remodeling Post: #2 This is my new ironing table!
I built it all by myself.

During a pretty great little yard sale trip last summer, I came across this enormous idea board at a church yard sale. The lady who sold it to me didn't even know what it was. When I told her, she looked at me funny and said, "why do you want it?" but want it I did! Two dollars later, I had in the back of the car, laughing all the way home. Because of it's cushion and wide flat space, I thought it would make the BEST ironing table in all the world. I made the frame from some left over wood and confidence in myself that I could use a circular saw without cutting off any extremities (I am positively the klutziest person in the entire world!). It turned out beautifully! It's a little taller than a normal table to make it easier to iron. I'm going to make a skirt for the bottom to store completed merchandise underneath. All in all, I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Craft Room!

Holy Moses, Chief!

The past week has been exhausting. I have sorted, scraped, scrubbed, sanded and painted the room that used to be storage into a room just for sewing. I cannot wait to get everything in place and show you what I've been up to. But, until then, here's a picture of the perfect colors I didn't even chose. The green was left over from an ill conceived living room paint choice. White was just a perfect blank palette choice. I absolutely cannot wait to get everything put together.

Until then!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A-Frame Thread Holder

When I was growing up, I had a best friend who lived across the street. Her name was Carly. We spent a TON of time together. We'd make up elaborate schemes, play dress up, and make silly games out of nothing. Carly had the coolest mom (who was best friends with my mom). She left npr on for her house plants. Her house smelled like coffee. She always had snacks. She smoked, which was a big deal only because my parents didn't. I thought she was awesome. As Carly and I grew older, we kind of grew apart, but there was always this tender spot for both her and her mother, Ruth. However, recently, my mother and Ruth have rekindled their friendship, and much to my enjoyment, so have Ruth and I. There is something rather special about being able to be friends with someone you looked up to as a child. 

This past week, Ruth came to pick me up and we went thrifting together. I had spotted a massive pile of old quilt tops I knew she'd be interested in, and so off we went to our local junk store. It was on this trip that I spotted a lovely a-frame shadow box that was in need of some attention. (the love of my life wants to live in an a-frame house, which would make me happy as well.) 

So, I brought it home, cleaned it up, gave it a coat of shiny, bright red paint. I also removed the back to replace the terrible red velvet fabric. And now, I have a pretty holder for thread and bobbins. Though, I could never find a house big enough to hold my entire collection! The best part? I bought this house for less than a dollar and used only what I hand on hand supply wise. So much goodness from a little trip with a dear friend. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


 Jefferson Camel
listening: the go! team. he always gives great recommendations.

eating: homemade pizza of the cheese variety.

drinking: strong french coffee.

wearing: the pearl earrings.

feeling: focused.

outside: the cold wind is blowing the warmth away.

wanting: an organization coach.

needing:  lots of hugs.

thinking: about pattern making.

enjoying: apple mango tango fabric softener.

wondering: if my new camel design will be a big hit.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Classes!

This new year brings new adventures! I will be teaching crafty classes at the Owen County Public Library this year! The first one starts at the end of February! Here is the flyer...

You need to come! If you need more info, just let me know! Are you not in the area? Let me know! I can send you class materials and instruction to follow along!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

a bow.

Of all the things I made this christmas, there's one thing that stands out in my mind: a bow.
Yep! I had run out of wrapping paper and needed something to make this package pretty! so, I cut up some strips of leftover newspaper and made a great bow.

And here is how I did it!

I started out by using a paper cutter to make one inch strips the length of the newspaper. I then cut those strips in half. I took the ends of each strip and matched them up, creating a loop at the end, and taping it to an eight inch circle I cut out of copier paper. 


I kept going around in around, taping each looped strip next to one another. Be sure that each layer covers the layer beneath it. 

After taping the loops as far as I could, I took two strips, made a cross and tape them into a circle to make a nice center. And there you have it! An easy and simple bow to make with materials you probably have on hand! 


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