Category Archives: Grow

Tips and tricks for growing plants, children and your crafty business

Sketchbooks and Journals

Keeping Sketchbooks by Laura Bray

I've been keeping sketchbooks since 2007. Lately, I've been wondering if I'm utilizing them as much as I should. They generally seem to sit on a shelf. I occasionally pull one down, but not often. As I delve further into the idea of working on drawing and painting, I'm thinking I need to change that. I'm trying to build a portfolio of images and I'm wondering why I'm working to create new images when I have an entire shelf of images to pull from. Granted, some of my early work is rougher than what I can produce now but I can still take an image and use it as launching pad to create a collection.

Keeping Sketchbooks by Laura Bray

While mulling this idea over, I thought about my HUGE collection of written journals as well. I journal, in the morning,most days. I've been keeping journals since I was 10 years old (which is a long time!) but, like my sketchbooks, I finish the journal, put it away, and never look at it again. I'm wondering how many learning experiences are tucked into those journals that I have forgotten and could revisit? How many writing prompts are hidden in there? Even my journals from when I was 10 years old-what could I learn from my childish self as an adult? I know that when I was in my 20s I read one of my childhood journals. I was fascinated by a particularly dramatic entry about how a boy made fun me. My heart hurt for the little girl who wrote the passage, but that wasn't what struck me. What was amazing to me was that I had absolutely NO recollection of the event. I could have been reading another person's journal. I learned a lesson that day. I learned that things that seem terrible, that you think you will never live through, may not be that important in the grand scheme of life. In fact, today's "tragedy" could be tomorrow's forgotten memory.

Keeping Sketchbooks by Laura Bray

So I'm making an effort to revisit the past and learn from 10 year old Laura, and 20 year old Laura (God help, she was difficult!), and even 30 year old Laura. Those girls just might have been writing to 44 year old Laura. Sketchbooks, journals, they are meant to be used, not stored away. I'm going to try to make a habit of revisiting them.

What about you? Do you reread your old journals? How do you use your sketchbooks?

Keeping Sketchbooks by Laura Bray


Be Kinder to Yourself

Be Kinder to Yourself Print by Laura Bray

This weekend it was cold and raining in Southern California and I used it as an excuse to hole up with my family and recover from a tough February. My grandmother passed away, my husband and daughter were very ill with stomach flu, and there was just your usual busyness. Which meant that I becameContinue Reading

Cuckoo Clock Progression

Cuckoo Clock

I've been talking a lot about my art process lately and I hope you will continue to humor me. This year, I've vowed to push myself outside of my comfort zone. When I first made that promise to myself, I thought it would be easy. I don't know why-I guess I just thought I wouldContinue Reading

Pom Pom Crazy

Flower Pom Poms

I'm still obsessed with pom poms. I have a pile that it is growing larger by the minute and I have a feeling it's going to get even larger because yesterday I bought a Japanese craft book on pom poms. I'm learning how to get designs into my pom poms. Yes! Designs! The photo showsContinue Reading

Friday Finds

Laura Bray Designs

I've got a super fantastic craft tutorial for you but it's not ready yet so I thought I would share some stuff that I'm doing instead of writing my awesome tutorial. I personally always find something inspiring whenever I read other blogger's recommendations, so I hope I can do the same for you today. *MyContinue Reading

Drawing Princesses

Fairy Tale Illustrations by Laura Bray

A few months ago, my daughter came home from school and burst into tears. She threw her Hans Christian Andersen book down on the table and informed she would no longer be reading it. She had picked it up at the library bookstore because it had her favorite fairy tale in it, The Little Mermaid.Continue Reading

How to Write a Thank You Note

Thank You Notes Final

The holiday decorations are put away (hopefully), the toys have found new homes (hopefully), and it's time to get your kids to write thank you notes. Not always easy. I was an odd child. I loved writing thank you notes. Actually, I think I was more fascinated with using my really cool, vanilla scented, iceContinue Reading

Best of 2013

Top Five Blog Posts of 2013 Laura Bray Designs

I absolutely can't believe that 2013 is in it's last days! This year went so fast! As you have probably figured out from my lack of new posts, I'm taking some time to enjoy the holidays with my family. I'll be back to posting more great craft tutorials, recipes, and "intentional living" posts in theContinue Reading

Work in Progress

Works in Progress-LauraBrayDesigns

Last night was one of those nights when, just for a moment, you think you may have finally hit the wall as a parent. "That's it, I've used my last trick" you think and, in total terror, begin to frantically search your mind for an effective way to handle a situation. It wasn't anything big.Continue Reading

Advent Activities Tips

Advent Activities

A few years ago, I decided that we would do an activity each day of December as we count to Christmas. A lot of my friends and family make comments about how very "Martha" I am when it comes to our Advent calendar and how they think I'm crazy for adding more activities to ourContinue Reading