Category Archives: Grow

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

Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady by Laura Bray

Back in the day, when I was doing more collage, I collected a few vintage photographs. They've been collecting dust in a photo box ever since. I'm trying to do a major overhaul of my studio right now and, when I stumbled over these photos, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them (which is why my studio needs an overhaul). Of course, I stopped cleaning and organizing and decided to paint one of the found photos.

Painting from Found Photos::Laura Bray Designs

The back of this photo says it's a portrait of Augusta Mullin Newport. Someone (I'm guessing Augusta) wrote on the back that the photo was taken in 1918 and that she was pregnant with Bill. Such a small slice of life. I wonder what Augusta's life was like. She had a fancy, fur stole and looked well-dressed, so I'm guessing she came from money. Did her husband fight in the Great War? Did she disapprove of flappers? Did her family lose their money in the Depression? And what about Bill? He was just about the right age to go to war when WWII happened. Did he fight? Did he get out alive? Is he alive somewhere out there, at the ripe old age of 96? Why was his mother's portrait abandoned to a flea market?

Summer Mornings

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins: Laura Bray Designs

What I wanted to do yesterday morning: Work What I did yesterday morning: Baked homemade, chocolate-chocolate chip muffins and watched a movie with my little girl. Why I did it: Because in a few, short years she'll be sleeping all day or off to the beach with her friends. I'll have all the time inContinue Reading

In Our Garden


The unusually mild winter we had this year, means that our garden is farther along than usual for this time of year. Our garden in May, looks as far along as it usually does in July. This weekend, we even ate some of our first tomatoes for breakfast. We had a nice BBQ with friendsContinue Reading

Dating an Artist

Linchen Cluster by Polly Jacobs Giacchina

About seven years ago I read The Artist's Way and changed my life. After reading it, I took the plunge, leaving my business consulting job and heading full-on into building a creative business. One of the most effective tools in The Artist's Way is to go on weekly "artist dates". The idea is to takeContinue Reading

Taking Back Sundays

Sunday Breakfast

I had the best Sunday this weekend. We didn't have any plans. The weather was beautiful. My little family was all together. We started the day with a big breakfast of French toast, bacon, and fruit salad. I always take care when I set our Sunday breakfast table. I have the time and it makesContinue Reading

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.Continue Reading

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