Author Archives: Laura Bray

Consumption

Intentional Consumption by Laura Bray Designs

Yesterday, I listened to a Creative Thursday podcast that touched on a topic I've been mulling over for a long time. In it, Marisa talks about how much information is out there in the world and how it's totally un-monitored. Which is good for freedom of speech, but not so good for reliability and content. In the podcast, she brings up the point about deciding whether or not she wants to continue to add to the noise and that hit home with me.

I blog and contribute to (many) social media sites. But is what I'm saying and sharing worthwhile? Should I be contributing to the noise? On the flip side, what am I consuming and how is affecting my life, art, thoughts, and feelings?

Last year, I made a conscious decision to be careful about what I was watching on television. Sure, the Real Housewives are amusing and a guilty pleasure, but I began to think about how watching people behaving badly might affect me. Not that I was going to run out and create drama with all my friends and family, but did I walk away from a session of reality TV feeling good? Did I feel inspired in anyway? I decided I didn't usually feel good after a bout of television and I changed my viewing habits. Now I'm careful about only watching interesting, thought-provoking and uplifting shows. I don't necessarily just watch comedies or shows with happy endings, but I am intentional about what I watch. I want my media consumption to be primarily positive or, at least, make me think and inspire me.

So now I'm thinking about how that consumption decision has changed me and am wondering what kind of messages I'm putting into the world for others to consume. I don't think I send negative or upsetting messages into the world, but I'm not sure that I always share information that NEEDS to be out there. I think I need to be as conscious about what I'm putting out as I am about what I'm taking in. Do I write a blog post because I promised myself I would post at least 3 times a week or do write a post when I have something to share that is valuable and creative?

Lately, I find that I am pulling inward more and more often. I am working on my art and my business instead of using the guise of "marketing" as an excuse to surf social media. By being more particular about what I'm taking out of the world and what I'm putting into it, my art and creativity is blooming. It's reflecting me and my style more than it's reflecting what's popular at the moment. I think that's why I'm feeling happier with what I'm creating these days. I also think that's why I'm seeing more success. I'm "marketing" (on social media) less often yet I'm getting more business. My marketing is made up of more traditional strategies like networking with people in person (!) and sending out messages about my work to specific, targeted groups via my newsletters rather than just spitting it out into the world.

This decision of mine is difficult to navigate though. Take this very blog post. As I've been writing it, I keep asking myself, is this worthwhile? Should I be putting this out into the world? Which of my musings should be shared and which shouldn't? Am I just writing to hear myself think? Does this offer value in some way?

At 44 years old, I have lived more than half my life without the internet being prevalent yet it has so quickly become ingrained in my life I can barely remember how it felt to consume less information. There was a time when there were only a couple of channels on TV and no Facebook (gasp!). What did we do then? How did we share? How did we find inspiration? And why is it so hard to integrate a few of those things back into our lives now? I'm not sure what the answers to any of these questions are, but I am going to try to figure it out. In the meantime, please know that I really am trying only share information that I find to be thought-provoking and life affirming and inspiring.

Pumpkin Tags

Paint Chip Treat Tags for Halloween:LauraBrayDesigns.com

The gals over at the LaurasAreCool blog, are always sending other Lauras fun packages. They are filled with crafty goodies that are seasonally inspiring. I like to think of them as "Blog Posts in a Box" because I tend to sit down with my box of goodies and create something that I can share hereContinue Reading

Creative Business: Balance is a Myth

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There is no such thing as balance. For years, I have taught women to have balance in their lives. Balance between work and home, balance between self-care and the care of others.  But I was wrong. There is no such thing as balance. In today’ world, balance doesn’t exist. When you are working mom, tryingContinue Reading

Pumpkins for Fall

Thanksgiving Centerpiece:laurabraydesigns.com

In my ongoing series of all things pumpkin, I thought I would share a project I did for Plaid's blog back in 2012. This is one of my most popular pumpkin projects and is perfect for those of you who don't want to do the whole Halloween thing. These pumpkins will carry you through theContinue Reading

DIY Pumpkin Door Decor with Smoothfoam

Pumpkin Door Decor::Laura Bray Designs

It's all about pumpkins around here. On Friday, I shared an elegant pumpkin project and today we're going a little silly. I love how goofy this guys looks! It's a super easy project, one that you can set-up for the kids to do. Supplies: Smoothfoam 12″ Half Ball  (you can use any size you want,Continue Reading

Elegant Pumpkins for Halloween

Elegant Halloween Pumpkins::LauraBrayDesigns.com

Not into scary for Halloween? How making some elegant pumpkins? Here's how: Supplies: FolkArt Acrylic Paint-662 Metallic Silver Sterling, FolkArt Acrylic Paint-659 Metallic Pearl White, FolkArt Extreme Glitter-2796 Hologram, FolkArt Extreme Glitter-2797 Black, Peel & Stick Stencil-Architectural Fleur-30457 White and black fake pumpkins, Mini wood frames, Crystal stickers in letters, swirls and flourishes Hot glueContinue Reading

Craft Your Stash Book Review

Craft Your Stash Book Review: LauraBrayDesigns.com

My super talented friend, Lisa Fulmer, has a wonderful, new crafty book out. In the book, she intelligently deals with crafter's love of collecting craft supplies. From showing you how to organize your craft supplies to actually using them, this book has tons of ideas for playing in your stash. After all, that's what craftingContinue Reading

Floral Mandala Key Hook

Make a Mandala Floral Key Hook:LauraBrayDesigns.com

I don't know why, but I'm still a little obsessed with organizing my keys. Last week, I showed you some fun, Quilted Flower Key Chains. I love them and decided that simply hanging them on an ugly nail by the door wasn't going to cut it so I dug through my stash and found aContinue Reading

Redecorating Your Couch for Fall

Redecorating Your Couch for Fall::LauraBrayDesigns.com

I love fall. It's my favorite season of the year. I treat fall the same way people treat spring. I redecorate and clean. I feel like a little squirrel or a mama bear, preparing a warm and safe place to wait out the winter. The first stop on my fall redecorating was the couch. LastContinue Reading

Quilted Flower Key Chains

Quilted Flower Key Chains::Laura Bray Designs

We have a bunch of small keys rolling around our house. One is for our yard gate and one for the mail. We don't keep them on our key chains, but hanging up in the house/garage because our key chains are never around when we are running out to get the mail. BUT certain peopleContinue Reading