Author Archives: Laura Bray

Snowfall

Our view

Us

View

Liv with snowball

Lake View

Icicle Forest

Date Stamp: Monday, January 9, 2017

This is my first winter in the Pacific Northwest and, apparently, it is a record-breaking year for snowfall, cold temperatures, and freezing rain. You would think a California girl would be out of her element, but actually, I'm enjoying it immensely. Don't hold me to this in March, but I don't think it's just the novelty of the weather that is making me so happy. I have been here for four months now and am still delighted. Delighted by the weather. Delighted by the slower pace and kinder people.Enchanted by the views from kitchen. There are times when I stand in my kitchen, making tea and gazing out at the valley below with it's lake and it's pine trees, and I will suddenly feel immense joy washing over me. I feel like I'm home. Which is funny because I have never lived in the PNW before. I can't explain it. Maybe it is the novelty of being somewhere new. Maybe it's the thrill of adventure. Maybe it's my forty-seven years finally settling in and allowing me to be at peace with myself. Whatever it is, I'll take it.

Over Christmas, we made a quick trip back to see my family in California and we all realized again how much more we love the lifestyle here. Not that there is anything inherently wrong there, it's just not for us. Even my eleven year old daughter, felt it. We also realized that 60 degrees now feels downrigh balmy compared to 40! Did we really used to bundle up when it got that "cold"?

New Year's Eve was magical. Big, fluffy snowflakes, falling from the sky in total silence. We ran outside with our new friends who were celebrating with us and just stood there. Time stopped for a minute. It was one of those times when, even in the moment you are experiencing it, will live in your heart forever. Another snow day, my daughter and I, stir crazy, ventured out into the local woods for a hike. At one point, I began to recite Robert's Frost's poem, Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening. It was a poem I had to memorize in fifth grade and never forgot. At first I was tentative about reciting it out in the open for all to hear, but then it just began to spill out of me. Poetry should be recited in hikes in the woods on a regular basis. It's magical.

Date Stamp: January 18, 2017

I hate snow. I wrote the journal entry above a week ago and then forgot to publish it because we were hit with a massive snow storm. We got stranded at the bottom of our neighborhood and had to hike up a big hill, in the snow, at night. We were snowbound for five days straight. We have had more snow days than I even want to count (hello school in July!), and our heater broke three days ago and still isn't fixed. Just wanted to share this little update so I can't be accused of romanticizing my life. But seriously, despite all of it, I still want to stay. So take that PNW weather! You can't get rid of me that easily.

 

 

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Recipe on LauraBrayDesigns.com

Cinnamon rolls are holiday tradition around here. I used to make them for Christmas Day, but they have recently migrated to New Year's. I make the dough the night before and let it slow-rise in the fridge, that way, there's not as much waiting for them in the morning. I typically use The Pioneer Woman'sContinue Reading

My Favorite Craft Projects of 2016

Best of 2016

In my Top Blog Posts of 2016, I shared the most popular posts on my blog (at least popular per Google Analytics!). Today, I want to round-up my favorite projects for the year. Cheater Chopsticks DIY French Press Cozy Tween Memo Board Clothesline Bowls Were any of these your favorite too? Did you make anyContinue Reading

Studio Dairy: Day 3

Color Wheel Reference

One of my new year's resolutions for 2017 is to make more art. Typically, I have every intention of marching myself into my studio and being creative. But then I get on the computer and waste TONS of time (all in the name of "working" of course!). The thing is, all that online work isn'tContinue Reading

Top Blog Posts of 2016

Top Blog Posts of 2016: laurabraydesigns.com

For the past four years, I have listed my top blog posts of the year. I get these posts via my Google Analytics. I have to say, after looking at my top blog posts of 2016, I have some serious thinking to do about my blog. All of the posts were from previous years andContinue Reading

Homemade Holidays: Christmas Card Round-Up

Joy Card Beauty Shot

My Joy(ful) Card for Design Memory Craft Instead of just showing off my latest card project for the Design Memory Craft Blog, I decided to search their site for all my favorite card tutorials. We are quickly approaching Christmas and homemade cards are always a solution if you forgot to send someone a card andContinue Reading

Holiday Hoop Art

Holiday Hoop Art by Laura Bray Designs

I have a professional relationship with Joy Letters and Kunin felt. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this post. The opinions and tutorial are mine. I don't know about you, but at this point I would rather stay up until the middle of night and make the rest of gifts than go outContinue Reading

DIY Boho Holiday Headband

Expo Headband Boho Close-Up

This post is sponsored by Expo International. I received product and compensation for this post. The project and opinions are my own. The holidays always mean lots of parties which also means dressing up and looking your best. One of the ways I love to save money is to update accessories for clothes I alreadyContinue Reading

Felt Christmas Tree Ornaments

Christmas Trees 3 Ways

Sometimes, especially at Christmas, I give myself a creative challenge. Last year, I painted sled ornaments three different ways and this year, I created three different felt Christmas Tree ornaments. I used the same pattern (this one) then pushed myself to see how I could make them all different. I ended up with three trees,Continue Reading

How to Bring a Little Hygge Into Your Winter

Hygge Post Beauty Shot

  This post was sponsored by Udderly Smooth. I received product and compensation in exchange for this post. The opinions and tutorial are mine. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga or hue-gah) is a Danish word that loosely translates to coziness. It's a lifestyle term that is being thrown around a lot these days but it's a trendContinue Reading