Nativity Craft Along Auction: Details

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the auction for?

The purpose of the Nativity Craft Along charity auction is to raise funds for Nest, an amazing charitable organization that supports makers in the global hand maker economy. We feel that it’s such a worthy cause, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. To learn more about Nest, visit their website. You can also visit their instagram.

Nest and The House that Lars Built Maker’s United by Nest

In particular, we are donating to Nest’s Makers United program. With a focus on elevating BIPOC makers and delivering innovative market access solutions, Makers United ensures that the growing American makers movement is generating opportunity for all makers regardless of gender, race, economic means or ability.

 

Gee’s Bend Quilters

This week I was lucky to interview two of the quilters from the legendary Gee’s Bend quilting tradition. Have you seen the PBS documentary about them? Last year, Nest worked with them to get their work onto Etsy to make it more accessible to purchase their famous work. This is one such example of the efforts of Makers United. Your contributions go directly to efforts like this.

wiseman

What will be auctioned off?

We will be auctioning off two nativity sets, one painted by the Lars team and one painted by our celebrity crafters (you can read more about who they are below). You are bidding on an 8 piece nativity set: 1 angel, 1 Mary, 1 Joseph, 1 baby Jesus, 1 shepherd, 3 wisemen.

celebrity nativity setLars nativity

When will the auction be held?

The auction will start this Sunday, November 21 at 9am MST, and go until Tuesday, November 23 at 9pm MST.

baby Jesus

How can I attend?

The auction will take place on instagram, so you can participate from wherever you are!

How do I participate in the auction?

The auction will take place via comments on a post on the @houselarsbuilt grid. Each nativity set will have a separate Instagram post. To bid, simply comment on the post! As a note, make sure to specify the amount you are bidding (in US dollars $).

wiseman

Who painted the nativity set pieces?

celebrity guest crafters

Celebrity Crafters!

We were honored to have eight amazing guests lovingly hand-paint each piece of one nativity set. The result was jaw-dropping–can you say talent? Wow! Amanda Seyfried went first, after which Sabrina Soto, Mary Engelbreit, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, Tracy Reese, Erin Jang, Lisa Congdon and Courtney Quinn of Color Me Courtney all joined us. Earlier this week, we dedicated a blog post to introducing them if you missed the weekly craft along videos. You can watch all of the videos and read more about them here!

Amanda Seyfried painted the angel

amanda seyfried painting

Elsie Larson painted Baby Jesus

Tracy Reese painted the Tall Wiseman

Tracy Reese painting

Sabrina Soto painted the shepherd

Sabrina soto painting

Mary Engelbreit painted the wiseman

Mary Engelbreit

Erin Jang painted Joseph

Erin Jang painting

Lisa Congdon painted Mary

Lisa Congdon painting

Courtney Quinn painted the last Wiseman

Courtney Quinn

baby Jesus celebrity nativity pieces

Team Lars

Who painted the second set, you might ask? The one and only team at the House that Lars Built. Brittany started each one live on IGTV with each of our guests and then the whole team pitched in to complete them. Each one takes at a lot of time so we had to have all hands on deck!

wiseman wiseman

And these soup cans painted the second set.

Andy Warhol soup can costume instructions

What if I can’t attend? Can I still donate to Nest?

Of course! You can donate here. You can also click on the donation link to learn more about Nest, your donations, and where they’re going. You can also purchase the e-book, which gives all the instructions and where to buy all the pieces from the nativity set. The e-book is in our shop.

Mary

Official rules of the auction:

Here’s a compiled list of the auction rules!

1. Each nativity set will be posted on Sunday, November 21, at 9 am MST on @houselarsbuilt.

2. If you want to bid on the nativity set, place your bid in the comments.

3. By commenting you are committing to purchase the nativity. You may comment more than once to increase your bid.

4. The auction is open worldwide. Please place bids in the comments with your price in $USD.

5. Bids will close November 23,  at 9 pm MST

6. The final bidder will be notified by Instagram message from @houselarsbuilt with instructions on where to pay.

7. All winning bids are final and must be paid in full.

@buildanest is a registered non-profit and donations to @buildanest may be tax deductible dependent on your circumstances.

Joseph

Other questions

If we’ve missed something or you have other questions, please let us know in the comments. This Sunday can’t come any sooner! We’re waiting on the edge of our seats. See you then!

celebrity nativity set

Nativity Craft Along Auction: Meet Our Guests

To amp you up for the auction, we wanted to highlight our amazing guests and give you a chance to get to know them better. To this end, we’ve compiled the weekly craft along videos of each guest and are excited to share them with you!

Amanda Seyfried

Our first guest of the Nativity Craft Along was actress Amanda Seyfried. Yes, you read that right. Amanda Seyfried! Mamma Mia, Mank, Les Miserables, the list goes on. It was so fun to talk with her–we could have talked for hours. We talked about everything from motherhood to the need to make with your hands. I have to say, she did an amazing job painting the angel. Honestly, I wish I could buy it in the auction. Here’s her live video:

If you can’t watch with sound or need to read rather than watching, we’ve got you covered! Here’s the transcript to her video.

Here she is with the angel. So cute, right?

Amanda Seyfried with the angel

Sabrina Soto

Our second guest was the lovely Sabrina Soto! Sabrina is an HGTV host, interior designer, blogger and podcast host. Needless to say, we were thrilled to get to craft with her! She was such a joy to have and it was so fun to get to know her. She blew us away with the adorable shepherd she painted. Here’s the highlight:

All of a sudden I feel like Sabrina is my new best friend. She’s SO fun to talk to!

Mary Engelbreit

This next guest holds a special place in my heart. Mary Engelbret is one of my childhood heroes! To say I was excited to have her paint the wiseman is an understatement. I nearly peed my pants. I even did my hair for the event! To give you an idea of just how thrilled I was to have the chance to talk to her, here are some photos of me as a child.

Yeah, that’s me, and that’s Mary standing right in front of me. Can you even imagine?!

This one is good. Look closely and you’ll see that I am literally wearing “bloom where you’re planted on my hat” and an iron on illustration on my shirt.

Brittany and Mary Engelbreit

Without further ado, here’s our Craft Along featuring Mary Engelbreit!

I mean, who wouldn’t want a wiseman painted by Mary Engelbreit? Don’t worry, I’m probably as unbiased as you can get.

Elsie Larson

THE Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess was our next Nativity Craft Along guest. I’m a huge fan–I love listening to her podcast, and the things she creates are amazing! She painted the Baby Jesus for us, and did such a sweet job. It was such pleasure to chat with Elsie and we’re excited for you to listen in on our conversation! Here it is:

Tracy Reese

It was such a pleasure to get to craft with our next guest, Tracy Reese. Tracy is an American fashion designer known for her rich, daring colors and feminine silhouettes for modern women. Her work is gorgeous! What a thrill to have someone with such a good eye for color and fashion painting our wiseman. Watch below to get to know Tracy!

So fun, right?!

I’ve been such a huge Tracy Reese fan for years–I even own one of her coats, so this was a particular thrill.

Erin Jang

Erin Jang was our next featured guest. She’s an artist, designer, and art director who works on some of the coolest projects out there. It was so fun to chat with her about kids, magazines, and trashy tv. What a pleasure to have her paint Joseph for us! Here’s her interview:

We are honored to have some of Erin’s work in our Lars Print Shop.

Lisa Congdon

Our next featured crafter was the one and only Lisa Congdon! I’ve been a fan of Lisa’s work and Lisa herself for years. To know her is to love her! Her work is bright, cheerful, and inspirational. It has been featured in numerous publications and she is the author of 10 books! She also has a podcast — she does it all! Lisa is an artist I admire for her kindness, mission to give, and authenticity. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to craft and chat with her. And wow, did Mary look good when Lisa was done painting her! See her interview below:

Woo woo! Isn’t Lisa fun? We sure thought so. She’s also a Lars Print Shop artist 

Courtney Quinn

For the finale of our Nativity Craft Along, we were thrilled to have none other than Courtney Quinn, of Color Me Courtney, crafting with us! It was so fun to have the Color Queen herself join us, and I loved talking and getting to know her better. She knocked that last wiseman out of the park and did a wonderful job. See the interview for yourself:

That concludes our summary of the wonderful Nativity Craft Along! What a privilege to be a part of it. It has been so fun, and the best part is knowing we’re helping makers all around the country, through our partnership with Nest, whenever anyone buys a nativity e-book. We’re so excited to top off our donations with the auction this Sunday and hope you’ll join us! We’ll be releasing more details later in the week. If you have any questions about it, please let us know in the comments!

Becoming Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

Meet Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

A folk artist by trade, I try to make everything I touch. I’m inspired by the ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement, and have a penchant for medieval iconography. Ever weaving these illustrative ideas into my practice, I paint textile patterns, make murals, and recently picked up carpentry — everything that can, should be made by hand.

I live in a little village, Carmel-by-the-Sea, where our homes have names, not numbers. The commute from our cottage to my studio is a matter of blocks downtown.

My small children are often underfoot, while my own grandmother (a lifelong working artist) serves as a motivating example. I employ traditional hand-painting techniques — bauernmalerei, and rosemaling — built on a central belief: old is beautiful.

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

Folk artist, amateur carpenter, textile enthusiast
Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

Built by my uncle, we were raised in a home surrounded by music predominately from 19th century Italy: Puccini, Rossini, Bellini on repeat, and rarely in key! (My mother was a voice teacher.) Home was in a quaint Cali valley town, called Davis.

Independent skills and artistry were admired by my mother, but veins of basic practicality wove underneath. Although on that note, I was raised without doctors or medicine of any kind — which was quirky, to say the least. Perhaps it instilled in me a peculiar pain tolerance? It certainly became customary, as a child, to be seen as curious.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I recall being that beguiled-by-books kiddo in the library guzzling down Greek myth, (the d’Aulaires’ edition — to die for!) If I couldn’t be *in* the myths I wanted to at least be unearthing them. Archaeologist? Cave painter? I’d have taken either eagerly.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path?

Out of college I was able to guest curate an exhibition from the Crocker Art Museum (in Sacramento, CA) in large part due to the great faith put in me by their Chief Curator Scott Shields. He has, I believe, continued to single-handedly maintain museum-level interest in the California Arts and Crafts movement, so near to my heart.

Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

What sparked your interest in art?

My interest in art certainly predates my abilities. As a child, my grandmother’s ceramics were woven throughout our home and garden, my great-grandfather’s block prints on every wall, and my mother’s music a constant companion. The defining moment for me, arguably, was getting over the comparative mindset — I was always creating, but it took time for me to place confidence in my work as part of any public sphere. To this day, I see myself more as a weaver, bringing motifs or ideas from different slices of taste and time together with my style.

You’ve been doing an artist-in-residence at Hofsas House. It’s such a cohesive project from the beds to the murals. Can you tell us more about how it came to be and how it’s going? It’s so beautiful!

Thank you! I truly believe all things ought to be cohesive, be it in a room or an entire hotel — “matching” is often lazy, cohesion takes cræft. I’m deeply grateful to Hofsas House for sharing their historic space with me. Without it, there’s no way I would be splintering wood left and right — the residency has allowed me to cheerfully experiment in a serene, iconic environment. It was another pandemic innovation, I needed a space to saw and Hofsas House had seen my work on other murals in town, and the residency was born!

You use a lot of medieval references in your work. Why is that?

Solely from an aesthetic perspective, I’d proffer the medieval era showcased idiosyncrasies unrivaled by the Renaissance. The rise of art guilds and ‘schools of thought’ shifted art toward accuracy and idealism, whereas I’m more drawn to the chaotic style of earlier eras. They are also, simply put, more fun to make, (name a kid who doesn’t like dragons.)

What inspired you to become an artist?

It’s the closest thing we have to a family trade 🙂 My great x3 grandfather is rumored to have been a rather good carriage painter.

Marie-Clare Treseder GorhamWhat is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

I’m quite fond of the new deck I just finished, ‘The Philosopher’s Tarot,’ eighty hand-painted cards inspired by mystic imagery but depicting philosophical paradoxes and fallacies. I researched the Carmel region’s specific art history for six months before embarking on the illustrations.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

Inspiration feels endless. My interests lie with skill-building, and as there are endless skills out there, I’m certain I’ll never learn enough to be satisfied. Whenever I exhaust a particular direction of iconography or painting technique I simply switch mediums — time to break out the jigsaw, or try the same idea, but on a windy wall.

How has social media influenced your work?

For any public-facing artwork, I sign without my last name(s) and with no instagram handle. I appreciate how useful social media can be as a tool for artists, and have an instagram myself, but prefer the discovery stage to be a bit mysterious–it creates more of a bond between parties–which I hope shows in the commissions I (gratefully) get from it.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

I’m most moved by work I can see irl. The local murals of Maxine Albro, Big Sur’s Emile Norman and his secluded, handmade home, Marc Armitano Domingo does breathtaking, meaningful ceramics, local oil painter Joaquin Turner paints by moonlight! I should add the original costume illustrations for the Ballets Russes are endlessly interesting, and Nathalie Lete is a wonder.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

For my birthday, my dude found a rare edition of “Women Artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement” and it is my favorite thing. I’ll not deny it, I also just fell hard for abook on Wedgewood Jasper Ware, but I truly prefer project-based prompts to anything fiction.

That ends with movies, visual storytelling for me, the worse the better! I will watch Underworld endlessly for slo-mo’s of Bosworth’s platform boots. I find films of that ilk charming, although A24 has been releasing so many beautiful, thoughtful films of late I may have to admit defeat.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents is a wonderful series, as is The Furious Gods:Making Prometheus (hello, ‘shape language!’) Anything revealing methods behind the mystery is worth the time to me.

Tunes-wise, I’ve been listening to a lot of Allie Crow Buckley‘s nocturnal epic “Moonlit and Devious,” with a healthy helping of Buffy Sainte-Marie, and her haunting mouth harp. I’d be remiss to not mention how Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen or Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, (a real riot!) inspire. My preschool drop off mix, heretofore only known to my husband, sounds a little like Lord of the Rings, (and a lot like Alice in Chains.)Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?

What I lack in motto, I make up for in crests! Although “cui bono” is something I’ve been known to mutter, and Occam’s razor is emblazoned in my mind.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

Increasingly working with wood is a natural side-effect of our evergreen surroundings. Carmel-by the-Sea’s primeval forest is as much a character in our local landscape as any person could be.

What is a typical day like for you?

Early risings! Our babes keep me busy with basics, (diapers are still a thing in my life). I get to the studio a few days a week, unless I’m knee-deep in a commission. I sketch through their naps, and I paint into the night, after we’ve put them to bed. Every available moment is a moment used!

Marie-Clare Treseder GorhamWhat advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

Lefties are nature’s self-teachers, in my book. We must mentally mirror all hand-instruction, unless we are lucky enough to learn from a fellow lefty (I never have!) At first glance, this makes things more difficult, in tandem, however, it toughens the maker; teaching them more about the creative process.
At a certain point with all pieces, one will have to leave the pamphlet behind. When I’m entering new terrain, I find it immensely useful to document my process in stages, (including inspiration!) keep hand-written lists, and avoid virtual editing.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

I’m about to embark on my first dollhouse, all my new blades just arrived! I will be painting miniature murals inside, and hope to build the furniture myself, (they may just end up terra cotta :P) I don’t know if someone has done this before, but I hope to be the first miniature muralist haha.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

It’s true, there’s such invisibility in terms of contemporary “outsider” art valuation. Artists, in my opinion, are more akin to carpenters than academics. My materials and tools are often expensive (not to mention my time.) Steer clear from vague value arrangements. You can reverse-engineer a realistic rate by looking at other trades in your area, and their hourly rates.
Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

Is there anything more you would like to “become?”

“Ladies finery” (as Kant calls it) is fascinating to me. I would love to become adept at making every shred of it. Also custom sunglasses! I’m trying my hands at designing more velvet luggage this season, which should be both fuzzy and edifying.

What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

I would love to be working with a publisher with similar values. The projects one can do as part of a team allow for the time and research I’d love to put into my work, instead of typically being unable to give a project more than a few days/weeks. I’d similarly love to continue to restore some of the historic murals and architecture in our region. California houses can be fascinating, with our earthquakes and energy laws – I would love to find a way to preserve the character of our old spaces, without losing the importance of filling them with people and pragmatism.

More Inspiration

Follow along with Marie-Clare on her instagram, @marie_clare, to see more of her beautiful work.

If you’re interested in seeing more of our Becoming interviews, check them out here! If you loved Marie-Clare’s work, you’ll probably love these artists, too: Hallie Bateman, Arounna Khounnoraj, Louise Pretzel, Rachel Kiser Smith, and Lynne Millar.

Crafting with Amanda Seyfried Interview!

Crafting with Amanda Seyfried

Amanda has been a long-time Lars reader and she’s even made a few projects that she’s posted about on her Instagram in the past. Because of that, I thought she might be interested in participating in our Craft Along, but never did I think she’d respond so enthusiastically and so quickly. You can read below how it happened!

Here’s the full transcript of our Amanda Seyfried interview. I particularly loved hearing about how crafting is such a big part of her identity. She’s a true maker!

Amanda Seyfried Interview

Brittany: Amanda, are you in your craft room?

Amanda: Yeah, when i’m in LA which is not where i live, it’s like my heaven–this is my view!

 

B: You are a legit crafter! Let’s start there.

A: I am! If only I got paid to do it!

B: Uhhh–I’m pretty sure someone would love to [pay for] that. 

B: It’s technically a hobby, but it’s how I’m happiest–-creating things!

Craft Along for Charity

B: Okay, I really want to get into that.  I’m gonna do some prefaces first. So first of all, I got really excited about your craft room so I think that’s why I jumped in! Welcome to our live, everybody! We are here with Amanda Seyfried because we’ve got some really fun things that we’re working on today! So, we are here to paint a nativity set. We’re painting an angel and it’s gonna be super fun, but we’re also raising funds for Nest!

Nest is a non-profit that supports hand workers in the global economy. So, specifically for this we’re trying to raise $2,500 to support Makers United which gives resources to makers in the US and also, more specifically to refugees who have come to America from Afghanistan and other makers in the US. It’s a super important cause and that’s why I was like “you know, we have to reach out to somebody who loves crafting.” I know you’re super involved with causes that you’re very passionate about, so to me it was like a no-brainer. When you actually said yes, I was like, “What’s going on!?”

There [are] three ways to raise money for [Nest]. 1) One is buying the e-book which tells you how to do this nativity set, then 2) straight up donations which we have a link for in our bio, and then 3) at the end we’re gonna auction off this nativity set! So, Amanda is joining us, but so are seven other people who are also really awesome at what they do, [and they’ll make more of the figurines].

A: Thanks for letting me join in on this! … I didn’t know about the craft along! What better way to raise funds for this kind of thing than to get people together and do the same thing, especially these days! You’re a genius and I really appreciate what you do in general. I’ve been following you for a while and I bought your book a while back and then you sent me another one! … It’s nice to meet you!

B: So we’re going to get started! We’re painting this angel. … I have to say, I craft for a living but crafting in public terrifies me!

A: It’s terrifying! Anything can happen! It’s super public!

B: Who knows what this is actually going to be! I’m probably going to be paying more attention to you than anything else. … I’m very slow so I have a feeling I might get the hair done and that’s it. 

A: Also I’m really chatty 

B: So I’m having a hard time actually painting ’cause I just want to ask you a question! I guess what I’m most excited about is–-I don’t know, have you ever talked about crafting, this part of what you do, and your hobbies?

A: You know, every time I have an interview or I’m doing a press junket for a movie, I think my favorite part is when they ask me things that have nothing to do with the project. Because you know, once you get me going I can just… go anywhere! … I have my hands in so many different crafts and fiber arts and stuff like that. So it’s it’s really fun to talk about, which is why I said yes so fast! I was like “Oh, the other love of my life which is making!” And I am a maker! I just, you know, have my first job which is acting, and then this … feels like my second job. I just have less time [now], you know, with kids.

Amanda the Maker

B: What do you make? 

A: Right now I do a lot of embroidery. I make hats–I mean, I used to make hats; I don’t make hats anymore. Right now I’m making a scarf… I love crocheting. I like to [knit] sweaters [and] socks when I can really focus… I like to… fix things and I just got into [mending]. I can’t read Japanese, but I just got… a new [Japanese] mending book.

B:They have the best craft books.

A: Yeah! I like to… make flowers paper flowers. I made [some] paper flowers 10 years ago and they’re still beautiful! Oh also, you know what I do big time? I have one of those those cutters. The Cricut ones.

B: You have a Cricut machine! Haha I love this this! This is so fun! Did you make plants? 

Paper plants by Amanda Seyfried

A: I made so many of them and I gave them to so many people! There’s one up there, too!

B: We just made some beautiful hollyhocks. Well, I didn’t make them. We have a crafter, Gwen, who made these ones. I mean, she’s incredible. Let’s be honest. Like, right now I have a new baby and I’m trying to keep a business going, [so I’m not crafting much right now] 

A: I don’t know how you do it.

B: I don’t know how you do it! But I think it’s awesome that you prioritize your time to make things! … I have to show you this. This is a new tutorial that we just made I don’t know if you can see it it’s pretty incredible. [You can see the paper flower hollyhock tutorial here]

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

A: It looks real! It’s so substantial!

B: It’s pretty fun. We have a new tutorial about how to make hollyhocks on the blog.

A: Do I need my Cricut?

B: No, this one is made out of crepe paper but … it’s super easy [with] simple shapes. It’s super easy to do.

A: Is there a lot of glue or wiring?

B: Wiring, yeah, with the leaves. And glue. …It looks kind of intricate, but it’s really simple to do.

A: …When they look real, I swear! I mean, I hate spending money on things that I think I can make. And I think I can make everything! It’s so hard but then you see something–

B: You never make it!

A: And then … you don’t have time to make it. …I bought these huge flowers … and I felt really guilty doing it, but then I was also supporting somebody who spent hours and hours and hours of their time creating these beautiful things. 

B: That’s the trade-off. Because it’s like, you can either support an artist making it or you can like pretend like “I will add that to my priority list!” and I rarely do that these days.

A: Yeah it’s so funny, when I was pregnant with my son I just had my daughter so it was a lot easier when she was two I made because of the pandemic I was able to release it and make so many things I finished a really heavy sweater I did a giant granny square blanket I started making a rug which i still haven’t finished, hand quilting, all that stuff POOF my time gone.

B: I hear you.

A: How old’s your baby

B: Almost 9 months 

A: It’s so fast and so slow. Who helps you–i mean who’s helping you?

B: Well, I have a team of makers. Jane is here helping me today–she’s our photographer and video person and she knows how to make lovely things too and then there’s Hailey who, shout out, did my amazing nails.

A: Oh SHE does them, wow.

B: And Gwen’s our maker who made so many amazing things that’s what we do we make things. Garet is the one who dreamed up this Craft Along!

A: I’d love to be a part of your meetings like what are we gonna make next.

B: Okay you’re invited.

A: Thanks

B: Our brainstorm meetings are on Friday so schedule it in.

A: Amazing. One day, if I have time, I swear that’s what I would do. 

B: How about, okay, I have an idea for you crafts…maybe something inspired by your films…like Mamma Mia…maybe something Greek.

A: That’s, I mean, that would take some fabric to sew together or something like a crown. I love your crowns.

B: Okay that’s fun–I like where we’re going with this crown inspired book. I feel like you could do color palettes inspired by Greece…I don’t know I think I think there’s something there…

Colors

A: I’m obsessed with color palettes

B: Oh thanks! What’s your favorite right now? 

A: Like a dusty rose and like, what’s the blue called…periwinkle 

B: I’m into like periwinkle–it’s having a moment right now.

A: Peach is having a moment for me. I thought i would never like peach

B: I just painted my closet peach. Jackie O always painted her bathrooms like a pinkie peach because she thought it reflected well on her skin, so I did that too.

A: Really good idea. Everything in my house is gray all the walls are like gray or white. I love your aesthetic. I look at it. I love the website I love everything you do. It’s so colorful, but then I was looking to your stories and the things that you post from other people just for inspiration or whatever. You have a really good eye I don’t know if you have but if you ever make an interior design book.

B: That would be a dream.

A: What are these right here [points to the top of the angel]

B: Those are little clips, little hair clips.

A: What color are they?

B: They’re like a light blue, one might say a periwinkle 😉

A: Is it number 12 

B: I think so. Jane didn’t put numbers on mine so I don’t know which one it is.

A: You are giving a set away? 

B: We’re giving away two sets because we’re giving one set away that our guest crafters are painting, like yourself, and the one that Team Lars paints.

A: right right right 

B: So we’ll be giving away 2. We’ll auction them off at the end of this craft along. Just a reminder for those just joining that we are raising funds for Nest today. We have a link in our bio to donate directly to Nest. Additionally, the profits from this ebook, which are also linked on our bio or the housethatlarsbuilt.com.

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

B: What types of crafts did you do growing up?

A: Yeah I did I did crafts growing up creating stages and then being all the characters in the play in my imagination. I grew up designing like I went through a phase where I color coded everything in my room so around my bed was blue with like a bowl of blue candies or whatever blue things I had.

I’ve suffered from some OCD so I think I think it’s really served me well in some ways as a creative but I mean obviously it’s a struggle as well but it’s it’s interesting the way I wanted to curate everything in a very specific way which is funny why I don’t know why I didn’t become an interior designer. I realized I wouldn’t be good at it as an adult. I didn’t learn to crochet or knit until I was 18 but I made costumes. I don’t know I couldn’t stop creating things because I felt like I needed something to do. I needed something to start and finish.

I loved the question about podcasts.

Podcasts for crafting

B: Yes–what do you listen to while you make or watch or are you in silence?

A: No, no silence never. You know it’s funny I put on Hercules for my daughter today and I’m like I cannot watch Hercules for the 17 thousandth time so I started watching the second episode of the Morning Show and I was very disappointed when it’s like and it was only one episode. I love podcasts I just finished In Your Own Backyard thrillers or friends that I know everyone has podcast these days. I used to listen to Dan Savage, but right now i’m listening to an English thriller on Audible. What about you?

B: I’m I’m a big Netflix and crafter type of person 

A: You can’t do subtitles that way. 

B: It has to be something light and maybe I’ve already seen. Maybe The Office for the 11th time

TV shows for crafting

A: Have you seen offspring?

B: No what’s that 

A: It’s my favorite show. It’s an Australian show about an obstetrician and I’m obsessed. It’s the best comedy. It’s really funny yeah it’s a little sad but it’s really funny as long 

B: As long as it’s mostly funny. I have a thing where, especially during the pandemic, I can only do comedies or rom coms.

A: I totally get it. There’s nothing like a good comedy like The Office to go back to especially the English Office. 

B: True.

A: I feel like can always recalibrate.

The Dropout Movie with Amanda Seyfried

B: Talk with me about what you’re working on right now. Are you in LA for something special?

A: Yeah I’ve been here for a while I’m going back soon thank God because there was an earthquake in the night and I just about lost my mind because I was at work. I am working full time right now on a true-crime show right now and it’s it’s actually in the news right now because I play Elizabeth Holmes and her trial is is in session so…

B: I’m obsessed with this case–I’ve listened to every podcast about it.

A: Yeah, and the new one’s out.

B: I’m losing my mind right now.

A: Producing the show with Rebecca Jarvis and Victoria are not on set because they’re working obviously, but it’s called “The Drop-Out” so it’s intense I will say it’s intense I need a break after this. It’s also intense because I’m an actor so compassion and relating to the character is my job and so it’s it’s really tricky, but it’s a show I think you’re going to love it. I don’t even know what I’m going to say when I’m doing press for it next year it’s just it’s a lot you know.

Motherhood and Acting

B: So do you feel like it’s a part of your job to like live in that moment of empathy. The whole time you’re doing it or you like oh no I need to go home and like do something else? 

A: More recently I’ve I felt like I just need to just take off that whatever you know whatever I’m doing spiritually I don’t know I don’t know how else to describe what’s happening it’s like an energy thing it’s like I’m at work and I’m embodying her and on the weekends sometimes it’s like go to Disneyland or something different immerse myself in what my kids are doing and watch movies at night and do anything, but I also have really short weekend so if I finish at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and then I go back at 5:30 a.m. on Monday so I have to I have to know my lines so I have to look at them and it’s impossible to get away from it so that’s it’s a struggle if that’s always a struggle now that I have two kids especially.

B: Are they there with you right now.

A: Yeah I don’t go anywhere without them.

B: Oh wow.

A: Really my husband’s going to be going to work and we’re staying here. But if I were going to Georgia and work the kids are probably yeah it can’t be like that I can’t go I just can’t–Life’s too Short. 

B: Are you super hands-on?

A: Yeah, I mean I we’ve never had a nanny. It’s just my mom, but my mom lives with us. It’s not like I’ve never had a nanny. My mom is our nanny. I could never be the parent I am if I did not have my mom or someone full time. Not enough people talk about the help you need being a mom and being a parent. 

Working mothers

B: I do. I don’t know how anybody has multiple children. Now I’m gonna speak directly to women–I don’t know how women get things done. Mothers tend to take the caretaker role more often then men. I don’t know how people do it, but right now we don’t have anyone to help so we’re trying to evenly split it. 

A: We all need help. It’s like, I don’t know how it’s not more [addressed]. Maternal health in general especially right after you have a baby. It’s so weird our country so slow to help. It’s like we are creating the children and birthing these children and it’s like it’s a lot to being a new parent and it’s a lot to be a new mother physically, emotionally hormones and not to leave out fathers to me it’s just it’s a lot it’s heartbreakingly beautiful and also just intense and we don’t.  I mean guys not having you know paid leave after having kids that should be something I mean we should have more paid leave for mothers.

B: Did you take time off after your children?

Maternity Leave after Mamma Mia 2

A: Yeah I mean I was lucky they dropped Mamma Mia 2 in my lap when I came two days after I came home from the hospital with my daughter and I cried hysterically not just because i was having a hard time breastfeeding but also because the idea of leaving my kid or at least getting into the headspace of going overseas and in four months from then it was just it was too much to handle we made it work and my mom and husband and they were amazing. I had 4 months off after her and then I had him in the pandemic so I mean I didn’t work until June and I had him on September.

B: So did you have to birth with the mask on? 

A: I didn’t, thank God. Did you they let you take it off?

Swapping birth stories

B: I’m sure they wouldn’t have said anything but I did leave it on the whole time.

A: Did you get an epidural?

B: Yes. 

A: Did you get it in time? 

B: Yes 

A: Oh good 

B:  I had a not a great experience the first time around so the second time we just took all precautions. 

A: Wait, so you got the epidural when you were still kind of okay?

B: Yeah

A: That is the trick

B: Oh yeah, well the plan was to go to a birth center and be in a bathtub and that didn’t quite go as planned.

A: I get it listen we all have our ideal settings the, the calmer the better mine was the birth center in a hospital, but it’s also because I know my midwife really well. She’s a friend of mine it was fine, but I didn’t have a great experience with the epidural fine and and I was yeah I was not wearing a mask by the end but tested, of course, they test you right when you get in there.

B: Yeah, same thing.

December birthdays

A: You have a December Baby, right?

B: Yeah

A: December what?

B: 21st.

A: I have a December birthday. Mine’s the 3rd. Right before Christmas. You have a Nativity baby.

B: Secretly this is all for him. Ha!

A: Right, I get it. I totally get it. So your husband’s with him right now?

B: Yeah he took them on a walk right now because I have 3 year old too. How old is your oldest?

A: 4 1/2 in school. She’s in school. I mean, not today obviously, but she’s in school and and she’s busy, thank God.

Painting Check-in

B: How is yours [nativity figure] looking? Let’s do a check-in. I’m a little distracted.

A: You went red and I went white first

B: I know. I’m worried about the details to be honest, but yours is looking great it looks perfect.

A: I should’ve done the red first, you’re right. I should’ve done the red first.

B: Um wait no… is there a better way…no wait yours is probably better because then you can go…I’m gonna have to put tons of white layers on top of each other to cover up my red mistakes so I think you’re…

A: Not having it perfect.

B: Oh yeah.

A: I’m a perfectionist which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to teach your kids how to do what you do.

B: I’m sure they say they love that attention to detail.

A: Maybe

B: Oh! I just looked at the time we only have two minutes .

Side Projects with Amanda Seyfried

A: Oh no oh God okay I was trying to give a little bit of a buffer so I can run downstairs before my meeting. My girlfriends and I are creating a company–more on that in years from now–it’s for play houses. They’re on the East Coast and we always have our standing Sunday meetings otherwise I go to work, but I can spare i can spare like 10 min it’s what happens, i talk…

B: Well, maybe we should wrap up but thank you thank you so much. I should tell everybody from the moment I sent my dm “hey would you be interested in doing this” she wrote back “yes yes yes yes yes” and i was like–“I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Thank you for your generosity and coming to paint with me for this nativity set that we will be auctioning off at the end to raise money for Nest and this e-book with the instructions which tells you where to get the pieces, where to get the colors.

I could have talked to you forever! My goal was to learn way more about what making means to you and what you do and I got to learn a little bit about it so that was a real treat for me so thank you.

Makers for Life

A: Thanks. I think in general I love connecting to makers and moms so it’s like I this is easy for me and I’m so glad that I could do it with you and be a part of this whole thing. I think it’s great we both are trying to make a change. 

I’m gonna finish this when the kids are in bed.

B: I know it’s going to take some work so no pressure! 

A: Oh i’m finishing it it’s going to be an Amanda Seyfried original except I’m going by the instructions.

B: OK sounds fair sounds fair. But i have a feeling you would do pretty well without them too so I’m not nervous at all.

A: I’ll go downstairs and get them 

B: Okay, well, take any artistic liberties you want and make sure you sign the bottom! 

A: For sure. If you ever need me again you know how to reach me. Thanks everybody for coming in and you know and thank you for donating to Nest and have fun.

B: You have fun with your standing meeting.  Can’t wait to see it in many years from now.

A: It’s my girlfriends from home we grew up together and it was like you know what I like designing things and we all have kids you’re going to do this your it’s one of those things that just happens over time you let’s spend more time together and do it for a good reason thank you thank you!

B: Thank you for spending the time with me 

A: And I’ll send this back as soon as I’m done.

B: Hooray!

More chats for our Lars Craft Along

If you liked this Amanda Seyfried interview, you might enjoy watching the other Live interviews I’m doing over on Instagram like with Mary Engelbreit, Sabrina Soto, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, Tracy Reese and more on the way

Donate to Nest Here

Becoming Hallie Bateman

Meet Hallie Bateman

Hallie Bateman is a 32-year-old writer and illustrator. She is the author of 3 books, Brave New Work (MoMA, 2016), What To Do When I’m Gone (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Directions (Workman, 2021). She and her husband Jack have a dog named Spinelli.

comic illustration in four panels of a couple hugging and talking. In the first panel they say "I love you" and "I love you so much." The second panel has them looking happy and surprised. The third panel has one person saying "wait-" and in the fourth panel one figure says "are we old enough to get married?!"

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

The term I use most is “artist” because it feels most freeing. But I also say “illustwriter” sometimes because it’s silly and accurate. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up on a mountain outside a former gold rush town in Northern California called Sonora. Most people haven’t heard of it unless they went gold panning there on a field trip in 3rd grade.

Growing up on a mountain really rewarded creativity. There weren’t any other kids around, so my brothers and I had to make our own fun. For me, making art was how I played. I wrote, drew, took photos and made movies. My brother and I invented languages and drew comics together. 

I still think making art is the most fun way to spend time. It still feels like play. 

A painting of a moth dancing under a spotlight.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I wanted to be a veterinarian for my whole childhood. We had lots of animals (llamas, pigs, emus) and I was obsessed with them. I drew, photographed and wrote about them. But I didn’t enjoy math or science in school, so the veterinarian dream faded. 

I was pretty uncertain about what I wanted to be until my junior year of college, when I started drawing more and I realized illustration was a career I could pursue. I’d never known any professional artists so this felt like a wild realization to me at the time. 

painting of a woman sitting on a bench in a museum.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path?

Lynda Barry is my north star. I discovered her work around the time I realized I wanted to make comics. Her work totally opened my eyes to what was possible with comics. 

Three panel comic celebrating Lynda Barry

The rawness of her work is part of what makes it so powerful. Seeing that made me realize there weren’t any rules, I didn’t need to go to art school to be an artist, and the imperfections in my work could be part of its power. 

ink illustration of a man crawling through the desert saying "paper..."

What inspired you to become an artist?

Even though I didn’t realize I wanted to be an artist until college, looking back, I’ve always been an artist. It doesn’t feel like a choice. It’s who I am. I care about making art more than almost anything else, so I’m going to try to make art for the rest of my life. 

illustration of a person pushing up their sleeves at a table in front of an empty book. It's in blue, and there's text that reads "I don't know what I'm going to write. I don't need to know. Right now I'm just rolling up my sleeves."

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

I’m proud of the book I made with my mom, What To Do When I’m Gone. It feels like an unbelievable triumph to have collaborated with my mom the way we did. And we’ve gotten so many messages from so many readers who said the book touched them deeply. So I feel especially proud of that. To have chipped away at human suffering a bit.

Photo of a book, What to Do When I'm Gone, on a white background

Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

I don’t have to look too hard. It usually comes down to just paying attention. A few months ago I was sitting in a hammock in my backyard, and I heard a rustling noise. I looked around and spotted a baby mouse on the ground nearby. He was barely breathing. In his little hand was a bougainvillea flower. 

I lost my mind trying to figure out how to help him. I paced the house, googled furiously, but couldn’t figure out how to help or what to do. I sobbed uncontrollably until my husband came home and consoled me. We decided to place the mouse somewhere his mom might find him. I’m almost positive he died, but we couldn’t admit that to ourselves at the time. 

Later, I drew the mouse. I had to. 

That’s usually how it works. 

painting of a mouse holding a bougainvillea flower in a gloved human hand.

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

Again, paying attention! I pay attention to who’s around me, both in virtual and physical spaces. Being an artist is pretty great for making friends, because people are expressing themselves. It feels easier to find friends. Everyone has their little beacon shining. 

Illustration of people and a dog walking in paths across a white background. There are red, white, and blue lines trailing behind each of them. Text in the middle reads "It's a miracle we ever met."

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

Books: I’m currently reading Sister Helen Prejean’s 1993 book Dead Man Walking. It’s about her experience as a spiritual advisor to men on death row. It’s fascinating and heartbreaking. I’m trying to learn more about the criminal justice system in this country. 

Movies: I recently saw The Parking Lot Movie and have been telling everyone to watch it. 

Shows: My husband and I are pretty deep into the Up series right now. It’s a British documentary series begun in 1964. The filmmakers follow 10 men and 4 women through their lives, beginning when they’re just 7 years old and checking in with them every 7 years. Right now, the subjects are in their 60s. It’s a mindblowing work of art and I can’t believe it exists. In addition to giving me so much to think about for my own life, it’s given me a deeper understanding of my parents’ generation. 

Music: I’m really into Green-House these days. I put it on when I’m drawing or writing and just get in the zone. It’s so soothing and beautiful. 

Painting of a person jumping on a trampoline in a green backyard

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?

My cartoonist pal Corinne Mucha gave me amazing business advice years ago. She said she judges a job by asking herself the following questions: 

  • Will it be fun? 
  • Does it pay well? 
  • Will it advance my career? 

If it’s all three, take it. If it’s two out of three, take it. If it’s only one, turn it down. 

Black and white ink painting of three figures standing on a hill and singing to the moon

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

My advice would be to really treat it like a business. If you’re like me, that won’t come naturally to you. So ask for all the help you need. 

I am fortunate that my older brother Ben pulled me aside in my mid-twenties and very politely told me to get my shit together. And offered to help me do that. At the time, I didn’t treat art like work. I had no boundaries. I planned poorly and pulled all-nighters frequently. I was underpaid and overworked and still treating my job like it was a fluke, and I’d be found out any day. So I hadn’t figured out a lot of logistics. 

Ben taught me how to ask for more money, how to organize my finances and to value my own time. He taught me to quote clients accurately. If something was going to take me 8 hours, shouldn’t I be paid more than if it would only take me 3? He taught me how to keep a schedule and (mostly) stick to it. 

Since his intervention, I’ve been a lot happier. I still call him frequently with questions. I’ve always been bummed about not having an artist mentor, but I think most artists need business mentors more, anyway. Someone needs to show us how to make money. 

a pink piece of paper with the following written in ink: directions when it's good, try, try to enjoy it. Things are allowed to be good.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?”

Although it kinda terrifies me, I want to become a parent. I hope that’ll happen in the next few years. 

painting of a car moving down a dark forest road with bright yellow headlights beaming ahead.

What is your long-term goal?

This is a hard question for me to answer right now. For years I’ve obsessed about the future and forced myself to set big, scary, ambitious goals. I’ve pushed myself to run towards what scares me creatively and professionally.  

The pandemic has shaken some of that drive out of me. My art is too busy being my coping mechanism for me to ask much more of it. 

Plus, I’m a little sick of striving, of never being satisfied with anything because a bigger goal always falls into place. Recently I had to admit I’m currently living the dream my former self worked really hard to make real, and it’s incredible. I work with brilliant people, doing work I truly enjoy doing. I am alive. I am married to someone I adore. We have a cute dog. For once, I’m not planning and plotting. 

I want to give this moment its due by actually experiencing it. 

an ink painting of someone sitting on another person's shoulders picking a grapefruit on a sidewalk

Find Hallie Online

You can find more of Hallie Bateman’s work on her website and on her Instagram @hallithbates. Don’t forget to check out her books Brave New WorkWhat to Do When I’m Gone, Love Voltaire Us Apart, and Directions, as well as other writings.

You can read about more inspiring artists in our Becoming series. If you’re especially interested in reading about artists, check out our interviews of Michelle Franzoni Thorley, Rachel Kiser Smith, Tricia Paoluccio, Lynne Millar, Julie Marabelle, and more!

all images included in this article are courtesy of Hallie Bateman.

Becoming Katie Kortman

Katie Kortman wearing bright prink and blue pands and a blouse standing by the ocean.

Meet Katie Kortman

Katie Kortman is a fashion designer, fabric designer, painter, teacher and dancing queen. She creates abstract paintings which she turns into fabric, sews into fabulous clothes, and then dances in them around her living room (and now sells them!). She is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, but currently resides with her husband and 4 children in Japan. Katie is one of 16 designers competing on Season 19 of Project Runway. 

Editorial photo of women modeling Katie Kortman's vibrant designs.

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

I consider myself an artist who loved fashion so much that she became a Fashion ARTIST! I guess at this point I’m a designer. My careers and creative avenues have changed and morphed over the years from Fine Artist to teacher, but I guess now I’m a designer! 

Katie wears a pink, red, green, and cream dress with red clogs. She's standing with her arms raised to demonstrate the dress bodice and sleeve flowiness.

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up in South Florida and attended a school for the arts from 7th to 12th grade. I got to be immersed in that creative environment during my formative years and it showed me that I am most happy when I am creating. I couldn’t have pursued any other path than a creative one. My mom always told me I could do “anything I put my mind to” and I think that has been in my subconscious all these years. I truly believe I can do anything if I work hard enough! 

Katie Kortman modeling one of her outfits: a vibrant pink overjacket and pink and green pants.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I dreamt of being a fashion designer, product designer, or graphic designer. When I got to college though…. I studied PAINTING! 

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

I think the fact that my husband is in the Navy and we move every 1-3 years has caused me to constantly change what I do. If we’d lived a normal live-in-one-place life, I would probably still be a high school art teacher, because I really loved that! I like that living all over the world has caused me to try different things out and evolve so much.

A collaged photo of Katie in three different eclectic outfits with a painterly, bold background.

What sparked your interest in fashion? 

I subscribed to every teen fashion magazine in high school and ripped out ads for all my favorite colorful playful ads to inspire me. Over the years I found that the stores didn’t have quite what I wanted…Not enough color, not enough fun! So… I started sewing my own clothes. 

Katie Kortman modeling a vibrant dress and holding fabric plants in front of a pink wall

What are three words to describe your style?

Bright, Bold, Playful. 

A woman models a dress next to a red building. The dress is pink with large abstract shapes in magenta, blue, cobalt, and bright green.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?

I have a BFA degree in Drawing in Painting and a Master of Arts in teaching. I spent years studying color, and all the elements and principles of design. All of my art studying and training definitely influenced my entire career path! 

Katie works on a yellow jacket while standing by a dress model. Katie's wearing a pink, red, yellow, and green colorful dress.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now?

My main job has been my kids since I had my first 12 years ago, and I’ve had a bunch of different jobs while doing that! I was a display artist for Anthropologie straight out of my undergrad, sold paintings in art galleries, got a masters and taught high school art, owned my own hair accessories business, taught paint and sip classes out of my home while living in Bahrain, taught high school art again, became a fabric designer, and recently became a fashion designer! It’s been an evolution for sure. 

Editorial photo of women modeling Katie Kortman's vibrant designs.

What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

After years of sewing, and 3 years of exclusively sewing my own clothes, I went on Project Runway. In my youth I’d dreamed of being a fashion designer, but I hadn’t spoken that dream out loud in a very long time because I never thought It could happen without a fashion degree. After filming the show this summer, I was completely driven to pursue fashion, not just for myself.  I came home and immediately began working to get a line ready to launch in the fall! 

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

Just going on Project Runway. It was a DREAM come true!!!!

Katie stands by a dress model working on a green blazer design.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

They come as I work. I pull out fabrics and play with them as I sew, seeing what they want to become. 

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

I joined Instagram purely to connect to other creatives and to have conversations about the things I was making. I appreciate having that platform for this reason! 

Editorial photo of women modeling Katie Kortman's vibrant designs.

How has social media influenced your work?

If it weren’t for social media, I wouldn’t have ever been “discovered,” and therefore been compelled to learn fabric design, and the casting people for PR wouldn’t have reached out to me to try out for the show! I owe so much to social media! 

Katie on a beach wearing a pink and blue bathing suit she designed. It has two pieces, and the top is a 3/4 length sleeve tankini. The bottom is high waisted.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, and Matthew Ritchie are some of my favorite artists, and I really admire Rachel Burke of @Imakestagram, Michelle Norris of @tropicophoto, and so many others.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

Project Runway season 19 of course!!!!!!!! And I am part of a book club so we read all different things which I love. I would stick to similar types of books if it weren’t for book clubs that pushed me to read something else! And I love hip-hop music the very most, but when I need to get pumped up I often put on Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, or the Beatles (music my dad raised me on!). 

A model wears Katie's pink overjacket with a yellow top underneath and white pants with colorful details. The backdrop is pink with yellow and pink rectangles.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?

My mom told me “You can do anything you put your mind to.” And I have carried that with me my whole life. It is so ingrained in my mind, that I have never even questioned that advice! There have been a few things in my life that I couldn’t MAKE happen just because I tried hard though, and that was very frustrating! Haha. 

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I have a nice open studio space in my home, right off the living room and kitchen. I like to be able to work while also spending time with my family, so I always keep my space in a central locale. My creative space changes every time I move, and during the pandemic I moved a crossed the world to Japan. In my current space I have these pretty Shoji doors that let in translucent light, and I love them! I love my room to be neat and tidy, but when I’m knee-deep in projects it’s rarely that way!

Katie Kortman and her kids sit around a sewing machine and work on a project.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

My surroundings influence me only in how inspired I feel to create. Most of my inspiration comes from within, so I can be creative anywhere. But having a lot of natural light and space is really important for me to feel energized to create! 

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump?

I love routines and I hate wasting time. I always have projects out and ready to be worked on, so that if a moment presents itself I can work on something. I usually have “to-go” projects ready, sewing projects, and phone projects. So you might catch me at a girl’s night sewing on buttons, at swim practice cutting out patterns, or at a kid’s doctor’s appointment editing photos on my phone. No time is wasted if I can help it! I also make sure I workout every morning. I work really hard for about an hour or so, and that really does provide the energy and fuel to get me through the day! 

Katie Kortman wearing rainbow striped pants, blue boots, and a blue blazer with lines and dots.

What is a typical day like for you? 

I am up at 6 to get my kids to school, then I workout for 60-75 minutes, shower, get dressed and get my youngest to Yochien. Then I work until I have to pick up the youngest from school , and I get about 30 more minutes to work before the rest come home. After that, I do bits and pieces of work in between homework and dinner time! I often work after they go to bed as well. I try to be in my bed by 10:30! 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

The internet is your best friend right now! In-person classes are the best, but if that’s not an option, there are so many places to learn. I am self-taught at sewing, fashion design, and fabric design and some of those things I learned from internet classes! 

Katie wears a blue dress with painterly yellow marks and red details. Her earrings are yellow, her headband is blue with red splotches, and she's wearing blue and green wedge sandals with red and yellow socks underneath.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

I just did a sprint triathlon on a whim last weekend (we signed up less than a week before and didn’t have time to train for it), and I loved it SO MUCH that now I’m working to actually train for one! I am looking to get a road bike, which is NOT as easy as the Townie bike I rode for the triathlon! Haha. SO that will be a skill I’m working on! I also learned to knit during the pandemic and I’m continuing to work on that skill! 

Katie poses under a sheer magenta piece of clothing.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

I saved up money from all the blogging, IG “Influencer” gigs, and Fabric Designing and didn’t spend anything because I wanted to save it for something in the future. I wasn’t sure what it would be for, as I was saving it, but I knew I’d want to launch something in the future (I’d been saving for about 2 years). I used this money, plus some money from our family account, to fund my Fall 2021 Collection! 

A model wearing a green Katie Kortman blazer with a pink, white, and blue top underneath. She has a headdress made of fabric leaves and she's standing by a pink and yellow wall.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I feel like I’m just now becoming a Fashion Designer, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever happen. I have so much to learn and so I would still like to work on becoming a legit Fashion Designer!!!

What is your long-term goal?

I have no idea. Umm….. I’d like to do a runway show at NYFW??? I’d like to expand my business to greater levels, and have it sold in Brick and Mortar stores… maybe even Anthropologie?

Katie Kortman modeling a vibrant dress she's designed.

More Inspiration

Make sure you follow Katie Kortman on Instagram @KatieKortmanArt and @KatieKortmanClothing so you can keep up with her exciting work. You can also sign up for her newsletter here to be among the first to see her new clothing line coming out this fall!

You can also read more Becoming interviews here. If you’re especially interested in fashion, you’ll love reading about Stacey Fraser, Romy-Krystal Cutler, and Whitney Lundeen.

A woman models one of Katie Kortman's designs – a blue and purple dress– while holding a plant.

My Bathroom Remodel Reveal

The road to our bathroom remodel was long and winding, and part of that is because Paul and I have such different sensibilities when it comes to style and design! If he had his way, we’d live in a sleek warehouse with Brutalistic concrete floors. Ha! So you can imagine that we had lots of negotiations and conversations during our ideation faze, which ultimately led to “do whatever you want”. I will, thank you very much 😉

the top of a painted armoire against a red floral wallpaper background. On top of the armoire is a sculptural duck, a candle and candlestick, a paper money plant, and some cute odds and ends.

I get by with a lot of help from my friend, Meta Coleman

Interior shot of a colorful, eclectic dining room with red chairs, wallpaper and blue wainscoting, a green cabinet, and plants.
Hannah Carpenter home by Meta Coleman

I would be sadly remiss if I didn’t start out by singing the praises of my friend and designer, Meta Coleman. Meta is a rockstar designer who’s work is like actual magic. I’m convinced that she knows everything there is to know about interior design because she eats, drinks, and breathes it, and I’m the luckiest to be able to work with her and be her friend. Having Meta at the helm of this bathroom remodel made everything possible. Read more about Meta being my dream designer!

Meta’s process begins with really getting to know the people who live in the space she’s designing, which is part of what makes her work so immaculate. You can see this part of Meta’s designing process through this video of Paul and me talking about our history and design preferences. I really respect how thorough of a designer Meta is, because even though she already knew me and knew my style, she checked in to get really clear on my vision.

Four children lounging and laughing on a green bed with a striped quilt. One is holding a dog and there's a window behind them.
Hannah Carpenter home by Meta Coleman

Then, with my style clearly in mind, Meta brought in so much magic! I was astounded by the way that she totally understood my taste, then surprised and stretched me through her design. All I can say is that I’m super lucky to be close friends with such an amazing interior designer! I highly recommend it.

It’s also thanks to Meta’s incredible interior design that our bathroom was featured in Domino Magazine, which is such a fun honor. Get to know Meta a little bit better through her Becoming interview, check out her website, and definitely follow her on Instagram @MetaColeman_ to keep up with her work.

Our Big Bathroom Remodel

Like I mentioned, our bathroom started out rough. It was a total bare-bones cavern! I mean, look at this:

a blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to a dark, grey space in the imagea blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to another unfinished space in the image. One of the walls has mysterious plumbing coming out of it.a blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to another unfinished space in the image. One of the walls has mysterious plumbing coming out of it.

Depressing, right?

With Meta’s help, we came up with a mood board that both Paul and I loved. As you’ll see, the final design departed just a bit from the mood board while still very much holding on to the essential spirit of Meta’s original design.

moodboard mock up of the bathroom, including red floral wallpaper, a green vanity, our towels and paint colors, and lighting.

I’m a big believer in starting out with a great mood board. It makes everything so much easier and provides an invaluable frame of reference for later, when you’re in the middle of building your design and feel stuck. Check out this tutorial on making mood boards!

Stuga Studio

The very first step was to install flooring, and we fell in love with this amazing wood floor from Stuga Studio. The color we chose is called Tivoli, and it’s perfect–warm but not too yellow. It’s such lovely, high-quality wood, and it has so much personality. We installed it throughout pretty much the whole house, and instantly felt so relieved about our plans to totally update a blank slate fixer-upper. Check out this post to read more about the flooring.

Vertical image of the bathroom. There's warm wooden flooring being laid over light blue plastic sheeting.process photos of Stuga flooring installation

Signature Hardware

Early on in the design process, I got this gorgeous vanity from Signature Hardware. I knew that I wanted an accent piece of furniture, but I didn’t have an overarching design planned out yet, so it was a tricky choice. Still, I had a deadline, so I went for a strong color that also serves as a neutral–the Olsen vanity in a deep emerald green. The green vanity informed lots of the remaining design choices for the bathroom remodel.

I’m so glad I went with the green! I’m a strong believer that green can count as a neutral color in design, and this bathroom is a strong example of that: it grounds the rest of the colors, which is what neutrals do best.

As you can see, I put the vanity to use long before things were finished or ready. Just keeping it real!

Emerald green vanity with clutter around and on it. The walls are mostly painted white, but are very unfinished.

Closeup shot of an emerald green vanity.

I also got a beautiful wooden hutch from Signature Hardware. It had an unfinished surface, so I wanted to do something to customize it and came up with a Swedish Wedding Cabinet as inspiration.

Antique swedish wedding cabinet

So beautiful, right?? I love the intricate floral designs and I think that cabinets make such perfect heirlooms (sturdy and useful? Check and check), so I decided to paint my wooden hutch with flowers. Stay tuned to learn more about that process in a future post!

A painted cupboard. It is burgundy with green, mustard, and white accents.

Signature Hardware also has beautiful towel racks and wall hooks, which are so important for a bathroom remodel. I installed the Vintage Towel Bar and the Vintage Towel Ring in brushed gold, and they land at the perfect intersection between simple and refined.

A yellow striped towel hanging on a brass towel rack.A yellow striped hand towel hangs on a brass ring on the wall. The out-of-focus silhouette of flowers in a vase shades some of the image.Close up of a brass towel ring. A yellow and white striped hand towel hangs from it, and there's red floral wallpaper in the back.

To complete the set, I also got the Vintage Robe Hooks in brushed gold.

A pink and blue batik-patterned bathrobe hanging on a brushed gold hook in a bathroom. You can see a doorway and a red, floral bathroom on the side of the image.

For the faucets I used New York Widespread faucets in polished brass from Signature Hardware. I’m a big fan of ceramic knobs, so I switched those in for the brass knobs to feel super classic.

gold faucet on a marble countertop. The handles are ceramic.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.

The Walls

Apart from all the technical things (like flooring, plumbing, and electricity), the custom DIY wainscoting was a big part of the remodel. Meta presented the concept to me after seeing a photo of it on a door frame in Paris. She directed me to how to make it happen and then I was off to figure it out. I bought square and circular wooden cutouts, painted them in a soft, light, blue, and attached them to wall’s bottom third. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the workmen we hired to paint and install trim didn’t think so. Haha! You should have seen their faces when I explained my plan! Thankfully they warmed up to the idea.

The wallpaper came next, and at that point things started getting really exciting. It turns out that having finished walls makes a huge difference! Ha! At this point we started shooting some projects in the bathroom. Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have caught onto a few bathroom remodel teasers in the backgrounds of some past projects. For example, you can see some wallpaper and wainscoting behind these paper pansies.

Paper pansies on a windowsill. There's a white lacy curtain next to them, and red floral wallpaper on the other.Paper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.

I also couldn’t resist shooting these paper hollyhocks between the sinks, so you can see the countertop, wallpaper, and some of the mirrors in this picture.

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

Hudson Valley Lighting

Meta selected these light fixtures from Hudson Valley Lighting and I loved the classic feel. For the wall sconces she picked out the Beekman lamps in aged brass, and on the ceiling I got the Flare flush mount light fixture in aged brass. The shower and toilet are in their own separate little space, but I got the Ainsley flush mount in aged brass for that room. The art deco details around the edges elevate it without being too gaudy.

close up of beekman light fixtures.beekman light fixtures above a two-toned mirror.beekman light fixtures against floral red wallpaper.Interior shot of a bathroom. There's red floral wallpaper and framed art prints on the walls, blue textured wainscoting and trim, wooden floors, yellow window treatments, and eclectic styling.Ainsley flush mount light on the ceiling.

Adding Finishing Touches

After we got all the main pieces installed, it was time to style the bathroom. Meta Coleman came back to lend a hand, and I truly love the way she put my bathroom together.

The mirrors are custom made by Meta, and I love the way the two-tone glass reflects such warm, glowing light around the room. She used this two toned mirror technique on her own bathroom and generously gave me the remains. We tried a few different shapes included a wavy design and a flower, but ultimately, I wanted to keep it a simple oval.

Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.

Meta also custom made my curtains using Soane fabric. I love the mustard color, and the fabric’s pattern reminds me so much of Matisse’s paper cutouts.

Meta installs the curtains over the window. Meta's silhouette is outlined against a glowing yellow and white curtain.

Our Full Bathroom Remodel Reveal

Whew! So many things came together for this bathroom remodel, and it was seriously so much work. I’m so grateful for Meta’s help all along the way! I truly couldn’t have done it without her.

Shot of a green bench in a red wallpapered bathroom. There's also a blue wainscoting at the bottom and a green painting on the wall.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop,and brass knobs and fixtures.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.A brass faucet with white ceramic knobs on a white marble countertop. The wallpaper behind it is red and floral.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and brown wicker baskets under the vanity.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.A yellow striped hand towel hangs on a brass ring on the wall. The out-of-focus silhouette of flowers in a vase shades some of the image.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, along with beautifully curated knick knacks.

I have a closet attached to my bathroom, and I updated that, too! I’ve included a few sneak peeks in this post, but you can stay tuned to see more of it soon. 😉

Interior shot of the red wallpapered bathroom from inside a pink and green painted closet.

More Remodel Inspiration

For an overview on our renovations so far, read about everything we did to our house in the first year of owning it. You can also check out our tiled bathroom progress and our kitchen remodel update.

Would love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments!

Becoming Arounna Khounnoraj

Arounna Khounnoraj is a Canadian artist and maker working in Toronto where she immigrated with her family from Laos at the age of four. While her education includes a master’s degree in fine arts in sculpture and ceramics, it was through subsequent residencies that she found her current focus in fibre arts. In 2002 she started bookhou, a multi-disciplinary studio with her husband John Booth, where Arounna explores screen printing and a variety of textile techniques such as embroidery and punch needle. She creates objects such as bags, home goods and textile art. 

In recent years Arounna work has created a social media sensation. From wall art to cushions and bags, her punch needle pieces highlight her botanical and abstract designs and her sense of colour have brought a modern, new life to an old technique.

She is the author of Punch Needle: Master the Art of Punch Needling Accessories for You and Your Home, which was published in April 2019. In 2020 she released a book on Visible Mending and she is currently working on her third book based on Embroidery.

A group of punch needled surfaces and artworks leaned against a white wall.

Becoming Arounna Khounnoraj

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

It’s hard to choose just one, I consider myself an artist first but being self employed I really rely on my self taught business skills and what I try to do with my writing and social media is to share with my followers the different ways I work and techniques they can apply to their own work.

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I was born in Vientiane Laos, but came to Toronto, Canada with my family when I was four. Growing up in Toronto was a major influence. Even though I lived downtown in a very urban setting, Toronto is, nevertheless, a city of neighbourhoods that are very eclectic and diverse so I experienced a variety of cultures. It’s also a city with pockets of nature and I think that all combined, an environment like that helped me create work that is also eclectic but with an emphasis on natural things.

Of course family life was also influential. As immigrants we lived modestly and made much of what we needed and used. Food, clothing, repairing things ourselves when they are broken helped create a definite DIY mindset that has always stayed with me.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I grew up in a household with makers, not necessarily artists but definitely makers – using our hands. So, I don’t think it ever occurred to me to be anything else but a maker too.  I have always made things with my hands and it brought me the most joy so it only seemed natural to go to art school and follow a path of making art.

What sparked your interest in mending? 

When I was younger I would mend my clothes whether they needed it or not so I had some experience. But more recently, mending just kind of happened since it is really just an extension of the kind of hand work and stitch work that I was already doing. Studio work for me has always been about trying new things and new techniques, whether it was patchwork, appliqué or decorative stitching, it was already part of my studio practice. Having a family and kids especially, certainly gave me a new application for these activities. 

But also, I‘ve always been the kind of person who not only believes in an economy of means, but I hate to waste materials, both in my own studio and in life in general. So reuse, and by extension mending, is a  natural part of how I work. 

Arounna and her daughter in a light-filled living space.

What are three words to describe your style?

Natural, simple, organic

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career

I started with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Ontario College of Art and then Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, then finished with a Masters from University of Waterloo. 

School has been very influential in shaping my current path. I worked in a variety of media, ceramics, multimedia sculpture and fibre arts, while at school and it is certainly there that I found the artistic interests and methodologies that continue to define my work. Jumping ahead a number of years when I started to make utilitarian work, especially products, I found that those disciplines and ways of working in a studio continued. I’ve always thought of our workplace as an art studio, a multidisciplinary space where artistic interests and vision could be applied to everyday things. Working with materials, details of design, surface decoration and use is not that far from what I was concerned with at school.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now? 

Not really, I’ve always been making things one way or another and finding a way to market them. The only real switch was from working in a studio art practice that entailed singular installation work in sculpture, to production work with textiles and printing.  That happened in a rather unplanned way with a residency that I accepted in a textile studio and simply being open to spending some time trying something different.  After I finished, I continued to work on smaller, more personal fabric based items concentrating on drawing and printing as forms of surface design. Although, differences aside, I think both have a lot in common in terms of artistic vision, and by the things that inform them – natural imagery, organic forms and belief in the handmade. 

What inspired you to become a textile artist?

A layout of craft supplies, punch needle projects, and art.

More than anything else, working with fabric was always an activity that I enjoyed and was always around me. I always had a connection to it, starting when I was young. As I grew older it became an even more important activity. I became aware that working with fabric was more than a personal activity. The very idea of sewing, or stitchwork is so related to the concept of women’s work and domestic work. I was always inspired by the ideas, the techniques,  and the continuity of the work as tradition. Seeing the work of others who take an idea and pass it on as something wonderful and beautiful is amazing, and being a part of that is inspiring.

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

If I have to pick one, I suppose the piece(s) I’m most proud of in recent years are a series of little stools that John and I made together. He designed the wood stool specifically to fit a punch needle seat. We had always talked about collaborating on such a piece and it was great to see it happen.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

I’m not sure I look for inspiration for new pieces. The possibilities for what I’m already inspired to do seems endless. I think every maker or artist becomes aware of different possibilities they could explore in their work. So, perhaps just new applications and working at larger scales. 

a patchwork project bag made by Arounna Khounnoraj

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

Working in the studio on your own work is quite often so focused, and busy, that it’s sometimes hard to connect to other makers in real time. But having spent as much time at craft shows as I have, I’ve been able to meet a wide range of artists and makers that I find time to connect with, creating a soundboard for each other.

In addition, through social media I’ve been able to connect with so many people all over the world who work in similar activities as I am, or simply enjoy what I do. Social media has allowed me to connect with teaching opportunities, collaborations with others and enjoy the work of others.

How has social media influenced your work?

I cannot tell you how important social media is. It really works in partnership with other aspects of business and studio work. Most importantly it helps tell the story of who you are and what you do. And when it comes down to it,  to make connections, the narrative is really important.

Social media and studio work are definitely connected, but it is more than just documentation. I spend a fair amount of time creating work and instructional content not just for web sales but specifically for social media. Sometimes too much time. In the end, I can’t say that my work in terms of design has changed in response to social media, but it certainly has changed the way I work, and the success of a product.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

When I just started our business I was still in art school mode, and I was looking at artists like Louise Bourgeois and Kiki Smith. But I remember seeing the show of makers from Gees Bend at the Whitney around 2002, and I was blown away. There are a number of people and studios I am fond of now like Mina Perhonen.

A collection of patchwork blocks made by Arounna Khounnoraj

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

I sometimes watch TV and movies when sewing, just something to have in the background. I’m fond of British Crime dramas and anything post apocalypse.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from?

One piece of advice that I always try to remember is that if I like my work, I know that someone else will like it too. I think it’s a variation on trusting yourself regardless of how things are initially received, or how fast or slow work progresses. Trust yourself, trust your direction, just work hard at making the most of it. Not sure who sent that my way. 

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

We were fortunate enough to buy a storefront that had a small shop in the front and a small studio in the back and our home above. Over the years we renovated and expanded to include a sewing area where my mother and I have machines; a small shipping area, and studio space – printing and cutting table. There is also a quieter, more private studio space on the second floor for when I feel like stepping away from production. 

Since the pandemic, only family members are with me, and the showroom space has turned over to more work/organization space (and plants). It’s definitely quieter, but we’ve tried to maintain a degree of normalcy. 

A patchwork blanket made of indigo squares in various shades.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

There are a couple of things that influence my work. Firstly, having a diverse series of spaces that are specific to each task allows me to work efficiently, and gives me enough space to work at anything that comes to mind. Secondly, I live upstairs, so I don’t have to leave to work. Some might see this as potentially burdensome, but with young kids it was great, and it lets me be connected to work whenever I want, which I find both convenient and liberating actually, since I love to work.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump?

I have a tendency to be a little impatient, but in a good way. Not sure if that’s a habit, but it means that if something is on my mind, if I have something to do or a design that needs development, I’ll just do it. I don’t like leaving things lingering, I’d rather finish things or make decisions as soon as I can. It means that things are always moving along, and seeing work in its final form, especially when I’m excited and happy about it, is really motivating. 

I also make sure that every day I have time to sit back and draw, whether analogue or on an iPad. I find it relaxing actually. Letting your mind just go, focusing on nothing else just for a little while can be very helpful to keep you in your groove, and suggest new ideas. As long as you have work on the table, there is always something to do.

What is a typical day like for you? 

Depending on the day, after the kids are off to school, or virtual school, I usually do emails first thing. We do shipping two days out of the week so that pretty much structures our day for us. If it’s a non shipping day I’ll make lists of any orders. If anything needs to be made we’ll start that, otherwise I’ll either cut or print fabric or both for my mother who does a lot of the sewing, so we always have stock, as much as we can. Afternoons tend to be working on social media posts or photography, taking advantage of the afternoon light. Shipping days are similar except with a lot of packaging. When it’s not too busy I fit non production work in, working on new projects and finally, at the end of the day, a little drawing. 

What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?

My mum is a wonderful cook and I really wish I took more interest when I was younger to be as accomplished as her. The problem is that she was always happy cooking for us and I was happy letting her.

Someone stands on a bench holding a white punch needle blanket above their head. The punch needled parts are in lots of colors and look like confetti dots sprinkled throughout the blanket's surface.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

My advice would be to not hold yourself back. Try everything even if it’s for one time only.  You will never know how it could add or change the way you work and it might enhance it for the better. Don’t feel you have to be an expert in one thing and only have to do that one thing forever. These days there is so much access to online help, courses and many great kits available.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

Our business was financed by our part time jobs when we were starting.  Don’t worry if you have to have a job in order to finance your business, as you figure it out you will be less dependent. I would try to focus on not growing too fast, to really understand the work that you want to make and understand your audience. Knowing these two things are actually the most important business decisions you can make. If there’s equipment or material that you need that you can’t afford, think about renting it or borrowing from someone who does. If there is something that you can’t do right now, then try it a different way. The important thing is to work, try new things, but keep working.  When we started we did every craft show that we could. Some good, some not so good. But even a little income was good. Same for online. Be patient and learn to trust yourself, (and it is something we have to learn). Eventually you will find a rhythm and your income will start increasing. 

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

In terms of both inspiration and work, one of the defining aspects of my work has been its relationship to nature, working organically, and specifically, my love for botanical imagery. I have always been interested in plants and I think if I wasn’t making, I would like to learn more about botany.  I think somehow cataloging  them by painting/drawing or by photographing them.

floral punch needle pillow in warm oranges, pinks, yellows, and greens.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

My 10 year goal is to try to move away from the constraints of production work and focus more on designing, perhaps working with other studios in creating my work.  For the work I do myself, I would like to do larger, more art based pieces that would allow me to slow down, focus, and really delve into a project.

 

Where to Hang Art – 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Spot(s)

The Secret to Hanging Art

…is that there really isn’t much of a secret. If it’s in your home and it’s art that you like, you’ll be happier looking at the art on your wall than wondering where to hang art. Yes, really.

a chaunte vaughn photo hanging against a textured green wall above a lamp by a headboard.

Make a decision

Yes, it’s that simple. Just pick one piece (it doesn’t even have to be that good). Base the rest of your pieces from there! Loosely coordinate colors or subjects, or put everything in matching frames. Scratch that – if you don’t want anything to match, let your taste be the unifying factor. Once you’ve decide where to hang your art, it will come together. If that lack of directions drives you crazy, pick a theme like plants, photography, animals, abstraction, portraits, watercolors, you name it. 

Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

Build Your Collection

Consider this section the inside scoop – if I could select art for your home, these are some pieces I would choose. Abby Low’s pieces offer a shot of color and geometric print and are a great place to start. Flowers are beautiful, and I can never get enough of them! I love Adriana Picker’s work. Also Picker is just the perfect name for someone who paints flowers. Consider the location of your art – these food prints by the amazing Amanda Jane Jones would be so cute over a dining table. Looking for something a little more high-brow? This cubist-style piece is a fave of mine! Photography is oh-so chic, and Chaunté Vaughn’s compositions are drool-worthy. A little bit of cheer is always welcome, and I found just that in Erin Jang’s print!

Put it somewhere fun!

Deciding where to hang art is the last step. And the fun part! I rarely see a piece of art and think it doesn’t belong where it’s at. That’s the fun part about art – it makes wherever it is placed more lovely! Growing up, my dad decided he wanted control over where the art would be placed and guess where he put it. The bathroom. All of his favorite pieces of art, including the pre-k finger paintings went in the hall ball. His rationale went like this: “Where in the house has the highest foot traffic? Where are guests most likely to see?” Though it might seem like a strange place to put your most treasured works, it kinda makes sense. 

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and booksIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

Get Creative

One trend that I’ve noticed lately and loved is art just… leaned up against a wall. This is an awesome example because it shows the organization well enough to replicate it. This is another example of art leaned gracefully, nay, artfully, against a wall. I love the way this particular arranging method works with transparency. 

a photo by chaunte vaughn in a bookshelf surrounded by colorful books.

Bookcases are another clever place I love to put art in! Let’s be honest, books are art. Add to the look with a framed piece like this or like this. Perhaps you have a lot of art to show off, and it just won’t fit in a bathroom, bookshelf, or propped up somewhere. The gallery wall is the perfect way to showcase your pieces! My friend Meta Coleman wrote a piece for us a while back on how to style the perfect gallery wall, or salon wall as they used to be called. It is a gamechanger!!

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

So no more head scratching over where to hang art! There’s no need to hire a pro when you can learn do-it-yourself online. 

You can find all the art pictured in this post and much more in our shop! Check it out, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite artist.

I’d love to see how you hang art in your space. Tag us with #LarsAtHome to share. 

My new advisory board role: Part 1

Nepal

As you might imagine, Internet was spotty, but also crucial for my job, so when the connection went down on the construction site, I hiked with a couple of others to the next mountain (people who know me now are like…what?!??!?!? hiked?!?!?! YES, HIKED!) and plugged in at the phone tower. In order to get up there, I passed a number of small houses complete with mini farms–chickens, goats, luscious hydrangeas. It was so beautiful. It was also typhoon season, which brought on spectacular views AND a constant thread of crazy rain storms. (I wish I could find my hard drive from 10 years ago with all the pictures!)

We must have made a scene because we were soon joined by a few villagers. Through a translator or hand gestures, I can’t remember, we got to talking and they shared their beautiful handiwork with me. Handmade pewter plates and textiles and more. I was floored. Their work was exquisite.

At the time I was super interested in manufacturing so I was trying to come up with ways to work together. But, like I mentioned, I was fresh out of graduate school and had recently gotten married and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark so I wasn’t in a spot where I could feasibly make too much happen, both financially or logistically–I, myself, was trying to navigate a new country, social system, network, not to mention everything that comes with marriage. I couldn’t take on too much more.

Women Makers in Nepal

What I learned in those weeks was how crucial women were to the building and heart of the the village. In fact, these women, young and old, were the ones who traveled up and down the mountain with huge baskets on their backs full of heavy rocks, the building material of the memorial that was being constructed. There was also a community center designed for the women of the village to host their individual business like nails, micro blading, and making these really cool pom pom blankets and I got to spend some time there. They even dressed me up in their traditional clothing and I felt like a super model because my normally average height in the US was now considered very tall. Ha!

The business origins

Oftentimes the origins of their businesses started from places of sorrow. For example, the owner of the micro blading business began her venture after her husband left her and she could no longer fall back on her family because they had disassociated themselves from her, which is common for the culture. They became enterprising because of the need to survive. Witnessing it for myself instilled in me a desire to be involved somehow, someday, but I didn’t know how to do so when I was also at a point in my life when I also needed to be enterprising.

Kathmandu

After the memorial was dedicated, we spent some time in Kathmandu, which was truly an out of this world experience. It was my first time in Asia and everything felt so foreign, but SO exciting–the colors, the pace, the smells. One highlight of the trip was visiting a rug factory where some of the luxury rug companies that you might be familiar with are made. They showed us how they dyed the yarns and how they turned those yarns into the intricate weavings that become full rugs. Women and men sat atop scaffolding that can lift them higher or lower depending on the size of the rug.

Family involvement in factories

What I found most interesting of this factory visit was how the children would gather in the work space after they were done with school. Sometimes they would sit right next to the parent. My memory is now fuzzy, but I want to say that I recall someone nursing their baby while working. As one who currently works from home and nurses her 7 month old baby, it feels like a privilege, but also super complex. But that’s a story I want to dive into at a later date.

10 years later

As you might know, over the years I continued to work on The House That Lars Built, the blog I had started in 2008 for graduate school (you can read more about it here). It has grown into a multi-person company where we encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that there is a project and a time frame for every person because making something with your hands has the power to transform your well-being. And when you get in touch with your hands you tap into your soul, which is very powerful connector to your identity and culture.

Knowing this, and witnessing first hand how important the handmade economy is around the globe and even more so now than it was 10 years ago, I’ve found an organization that I have invested time and money into and will now be working with as an official advisory board member: Nest, a non-profit that supports women makers in the handmade economy.

Nest and the handmade economy

I became familiar with Nest a couple of years ago when we joined in on their 25 days of Making. Later that year we worked with 18b to donate profits from our shops for Giving Tuesday, which continued to last year. Most recently, we shared how they’ve been involved with helping some of the quilt makers from Gee’s Bend put their beautiful work onto their new Etsy shops.

As an advisory board member, I wholeheartedly support the organization in the fulfillment of its mission, vision, and strategy. I will be sharing more about the organization next week and an exciting project we are working on together. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can read more about our partnership and learn how to donate here.

Becoming Loria Stern

In 2011, Loria Stern started attending adult education classes entitled “Medicinal and Edible Plants” where she learned about foraging and the power of plant medicine. She started combining her culinary skills with the knowledge she was learning about botanicals. All the while she was posting her bespoke creations on Instagram. In 2016 her work was highlighted in Vogue Magazine and she received over 30,000 followers overnight. Fans were asking where they could purchase her treats so she started selling them on her website. The first day she posted her treats, she received over 20 orders. Since that day, her business has grown into a successful baking operation where she employs 4 helpers with living wages. She’s still growing her business, writing a cookbook and pitching a TV show. Exciting things are in store for this hardworking woman!

Loria is wearing a floral dress and standing in a kitchen surrounded by colorful produce.

Meet Loria Stern

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, baker, business person, educator, etc.?

Well, I consider myself all of these things but more so one than the other depending on what day of the week we’re talking about. I would say I started out as an artist and maker, and then became a baker and now my daily tasks are more of a business person and educator. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now? 

I grew up in Ojai, CA, a small quaint town nestled in between large mountains but just a 20 minute drive to the beach. The town had a lot of nature–my childhood neighborhood streets were lined with tall oak trees. There was and still is a huge element of health consciousness and spirituality in Ojai and I think those elements absolutely influenced what I do now and the person I’ve become. 

Loria stands with her back to the camera. She's surrounded by fresh cut flowers and she's wearing a straw hat, and there are misty mountains in the background.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger? 

Of course I wanted to be a professional tennis player! That dream ended around 14 years old and then I wanted to be an artist. I guess that dream has come true except through a different medium (culinary arts vs. the visual arts).

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

Not really one single person, but more so a number of different friends who loved eating the foods I cooked and baked for them and encouraged me to follow this path.

What sparked your interest in edible flowers? 

I’ve always loved flowers (who doesn’t?!) but it wasn’t until I started learning about the medicinal properties of botanicals in my 3 semesters of the adult education classes that my love for combining edible flowers + botanicals with cooking and baking, really opened up an entire new craft for me. 

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.Brightly colored flowers pressed onto sugar cookies on a wooden background.

What are three words to describe your style? 

Creative, happy and cool.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career? 

I graduated with a BA from college and spent my last year painting and drawing. I was in an art show in my final year of college and sold several pieces. As noted earlier, I also took 3 semesters of adult education classes post college– “Medicinal + Edible Plants” and learned a lot about treating ailments naturally with wild, edible plants. I also attribute my dedication as a competitive tennis player to my strong work ethic, which I think is the most important aspect of my current success. 

Loria sits cross-legged on a teal blanket surrounded by pressed flowers in books and a cup of tea.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now? 

I did not really have a career after graduating college in 2006–I more so worked a bunch of odd jobs to pay the rent–teaching tennis, nannying, working as an assistant, etc. It was not until 2010 when I worked my first job as a prep chef that I really learned my love for the culinary arts and that I wanted to make this a career.

What inspired you to become a baker/florist/gardener? 

My love for nature, working with my hands and discovering new alchemic combinations.

Brightly-colored flowers pressed onto green matcha cookie dough.

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why? 

I love making tall tiered wedding cakes and delivering them to the venue. It is always so rewarding.

Tall wedding cake frosted with white frosting and purple and yellow flowerscake frosted with blush pink frosting with purple, yellow, and white pansies pressed onto it. It's styled in a pink draping fabric with a vase of flowers.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

In nature first and foremost. 

How do you make social connections in the creative realm? 

Many via Instagram, I’ve met some of my best friends and have found a beautiful, supportive community of my work there.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present? 

Gah, there are so so many! Truly too hard to just pinpoint a few.

Horizontal photo of Loria wearing a floral dress and holding a tray of baked cookies. Flowers are pressed onto the top of each one.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days? 

My father was a jazz clarinetist and music pervades much of my childhood. I love all types of music and have found there is a time and a place for every genre of music. I love documentaries and listening to podcasts. But I try to stay away from negative media as it definitely affects my mood.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto? 

Work hard and always do your best. Hold yourself and others accountable. Treats others how you’d want to be treated.

Horizontal photo of Loria measuring sugar into a yellow mixing bowl. She's in a kitchen and surrounded by flowers and a turquoise kitchenade mixer

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I moved to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara just one month before the pandemic began. I had to find a new commercial kitchen and employees within that time and it was extremely difficult to say the least. Looking back, I feel so grateful for the commercial baking space and my LA helpers. 

Loria stands in a field of zinnias wearing a white dress and a straw hat. She's holding a basket full of flowers.

How do your surroundings influence your work? 

So much. I realized I am creatively motivated by my physical space. I love natural light and need to be close to nature. 

Loria bends down to pick wildflowers in a meadow. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump? 

Exercise is always a good idea and I have found it to be the number one cure for all sorts of slumps. 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I enjoy waking up early. I drink coffee first thing in the morning, then I’ll mosey around my backyard garden with coffee in hand. I’ll stroll up to my home office, check business and personal emails, and then the day is off and running. I usually pick edible botanicals from my garden then meet my team at the bakery. We start cranking our baking orders and then before I know it, it’s 6pm! Then I’ll come home, meet up with my boyfriend and we’ll cook dinner and watch a show.

Loria decorating a pan of focaccia with flowers and vegetables. She's shaped them into a floral scene.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

To learn as much as you can about the hobby / skill. There is so much readily available information that one can learn online that school is not necessary as long as there is curiosity, dedication and a strong work ethic.

Loria standing at the head of a banquet table full of food and flowers. It is sunset and there are mountains in the background.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on? 

I’d say tennis is my secret talent for those who are just meeting me now! Otherwise, I’m working on learning how to surf but it’s extremely hard!

Two pans of botanical cookies with pressed flowers. The ones on the top are a vanilla shortbread and the ones on the bottom are pink.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business? 

Gah, I am still trying to figure that out. I have not accepted investment from outside sources however am currently looking into it to grow my business!

A plate of baked floral shortbread stacked up. In the background there are lots of flowers scattered.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I’d like to become more well-traveled. I want to visit Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sweden, and the list continues! I want to visit these places and learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques and share those with an audience so that they can live on and evolve into our current day’s food. 

A film photograph of Loria walking away from the camera through a field of wildflowers. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat and there are trees and mountains in the background.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years? 

First and foremost, I hope to remain healthy! Secondly, I hope to open up a physical commissary kitchen with a retail space, classroom and on-site edible flower garden so that I can teach my botanical infused culinary arts to the greater community. There is so much information that I find so inspiring and interesting, I am sure others will as well.

Loria sitting on a bed with teal bedding and flowers in a bowl. She's wearing a beige jumpsuit and there's low, moody lighting.

Can’t get enough of Loria Stern?

We don’t blame you! Follow Loria’s work on her Instagram @LoriaStern and don’t forget to check out her website, where you can buy her delicious, beautiful creations!

Years ago we wrote a post about using edible flowers, and I hope that this interview with Loria Stern makes you even more excited to incorporate beautiful botanicals into your meals (like this edible flower pot).

Read more Becoming interviews here to keep the inspiration flowing!

Loria walking through a meadow of flowers wearing a white dress and a straw sun hat. She's holding a basket of flowers and the sky is blue.

All photos are courtesy of Loria Stern.

Becoming: Sarah Cambio of Flower Lane

I’m so glad that I found Sarah Cambio’s business, Flower Lane! Her work is so high-quality, beautiful, intentional, happy… I’m not about to run out of adjectives describing how much I love what she does. I loved getting to know her a bit better, and I hope you do too!

Sarah Cambio is the founder of Flower Lane; a small shop that handmakes embroidered linen crowns. Inspired by all things whimsical and nostalgic, Flower Lane delivers keepsakes that can be cherished forever. Sarah immigrated from Germany to the US when she was 11 years old. Not knowing how to speak English, she spent that summer learning before jumping into school. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and three children. 

A light grey linen kids birthday crown with the phrase "May you find a muddy puddle to splash in wherever you go."

Becoming Sarah Cambio of Flower Lane

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

I think I see myself as a hybrid between a designer and maker, but slowly learning how to be a business person. I love making things with my hands but also really enjoy the business side. There is so much to learn and I love that! 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I was born in Germany and immigrated to the US when I was 11 years old. I grew up in what many here know as a Waldorf type setting and I think that has always inspired me. When I think of Waldorf I think of whimsy things, traditions, and seeing the beauty of childhood. 

Handmade linen kids birthday crowns in pink, yellow, mint, orange, and blue.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

So many things! I never had my heart set on just one thing and thought it would be so cool to be everything from an FBI Agent, a teacher, or social worker. 

What sparked your interest in making kids birthday crowns? 

I was inspired by crowns made from felt and wanted something similar for our daughter’s 3rd birthday. I taught myself how to sew and added my own twist; using linen, adjustable ties, wooly pom poms, and embroidering the child’s name. 

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?

I graduated from High School with a full scholarship, attended college for 2 semesters, dropped out, and a decade later completed my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. I volunteered as an EMT for about 2 years and quit because Flower Lane was taking off–a complete 180 from what I pursued my education in.

A grey linen kids birthday crown with rainbow pom poms and the name "tillie" embroidered on it. It's on a pink background.

What inspired you to start a business?

I’ve always dreamed about having my own business and felt so inspired by those around me who were running theirs successfully. It wasn’t until we got pregnant with our 4th that I decided that this is it! 

A few months prior I taught myself how to sew with a $20 Facebook Marketplace sewing machine. It took me forever to figure out how to sew in a straight line and a circle was basically impossible! I purchased patterns and jumped right in and learned how to sew clothes while teaching myself how to use my machine at the same time.

A handmade rabbit doll on top of pink kid's clothes.
Sarah made this rabbit and these kid’s clothes when she was first learning to sew.

Once I understood patterns, sewed straight lines, and learned about fabric, I began making stroller clips because that’s what I wanted for my baby. A cute little toy that clipped onto the canopy of the stroller. 

During this time we lost our baby. I felt alone and depressed. There was a lot of grieving. I went back to sewing clothes as a way to work through my emotions.

linen clothes in neutral colors against a wooden backdrop 

In September of 2020 I opened my Etsy store with the stroller clips I worked so hard on. They were a complete failure. I took a month long break and almost quit but something was telling me to keep going. 

A waldorf-inspired handsewn doll wearing a pink linen dress. The doll has brown braids, pink cheeks, simple features, and is on a beige background.
One of Sarah’s first projects

This is when I shared my birthday crowns. Something I was holding in my back pocket until that coming January – our daughter’s 3rd birthday. They sold out the same day I posted them! 

I continued sharing, updating, and building a small Instagram community the rest of 2020. This was also the same time my best friend mailed me her embroidery machine and I started customizing crowns with the child’s name. 

Handmade Flower Lane birthday crowns

This business has been such an emotional journey for me and I’m so grateful for all the good that has come from Flower Lane. 

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

I’m really proud of how much my husband and I have learned in such a short period of time. We both come from non business backgrounds and it’s not a walk in the park. We have to be a team and work together to run Flower Lane every day while also juggling a busy family. 

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

If only there were a few more hours in each day! The one thing all of my ideas have in common is that they are inspired by childhood and family traditions. I want to make something that can be used again and again and brings back a feeling of nostalgia. 

Two kids wearing linen birthday crowns and playing. A girl is wearing a pink dress and white crown, and a boy is wearing a blue sweater, yellow shorts, and a grey crown. They're in a light-filled room.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

This question had me a little stumped because I couldn’t think of any artists, specifically. I look up to people in my life not for being an artist but for the person they are. I’m inspired by people who create and live a purposeful life. 

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

I love getting lost in a good fiction book, enjoy watching The Walking Dead, and listening to 80’s rock. 

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?

I have missed out on  many opportunities and wasted so much time because I never believed in myself. Either I wasn’t qualified or my work wasn’t good enough.  Stop seeking permission from others to do what you feel you are called to do. Be confident in yourself and don’t wait. The right time to start is now!

Two hands tying a bow on the ties at the back of a linen kids birthday crown. There are a few other crowns along the top of the image, and the background is blue.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

It’s so important to surround yourself with things that inspire you. I have a hard time working when there’s chaos. I like for things to be aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Flower Lane has taken over a large portion of our lower level and we had to really think about how to make the most use of our space. 

Sarah Cambio's workspace. There's a big wooden island, open wooden shelves filled with materials, and a fiddle leaf fig. Sarah's daughter is wearing pink and sitting by the shelves at a computer.
Sarah’s daughter sitting in her workspace

What is a typical day like for you? 

My day always starts with a cup of coffee, breakfast for our youngest, and checking emails. This is also when I check on our chickens; Emily, Annie, and Betsy!

Our youngest goes to daycare a couple of times a week and those are very busy work days for me. On the days she is home, she plays in her play area in my office. Lots of breaks get taken on those days. 

Our oldest two are helpful and my husband puts in a lot of hours during his off time. It’s not the most ideal schedule but it actually works for us! 

We have lunch around noon and before we know it it’s time to take our older two kids to their activities. One plays hockey and the other does MMA. We’re busy around here! 

During the summer months, dinners and bedtimes are late. Once our youngest is in bed my husband and I work a little more and then watch a show or two before bed. 

Every day is a little different here! 

two flower lane embroidered birthday crowns on a blue background

What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?

How to sew! It’s such a useful skill to have in your toolbox. Our oldest daughter learned how to sew at the same time I did and I love that. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

We have so many resources these days to get started on a new hobby and skill. Watch YouTube, practice, and learn from others in the field you’re interested in. Stay inspired and surround yourself with what you want to learn.

flower lane crowns in orange, yellow, pink, blue, and light blue on a yellow and pink background.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

Finding a rhythm between family and work. I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years and this is new to all of us. Learning to prioritize and understanding that I can’t do it all myself is something I’m working on.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

I’m a big believer in not acquiring debt and knowing your numbers. Focus on one thing at a time and use that profit for growth. 

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I would love to write a book someday, to be an author! I also have this random idea of owning an ice cream truck. Like a really cool one that serves waffle cones and scoops of the best ice cream. I miss the ice cream shops in Germany and I feel like we need that here! 

Jasper's yellow Flower Lane crown in a field of daisies.

What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

Business wise I have big dreams for Flower Lane and one of those includes moving the business out of our home. We already work with talented individuals in our local community to create these sweet crowns and I would love to see us all together in one space someday. I would also love for my husband to join me full time.

Personally, I dream of finding our forever home. A place where we can gather with our children and grandchildren someday, make memories, and hang stockings from the mantle. It’s such a simple goal but I think that’s ultimately what drives me and keeps me inspired. 

Jasper sits in a field of daisies wearing a yellow Flower Lane crown and a striped yellow shirt.

More Inspiration

Be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram @shopflowerlane and look at her website here! You can buy our Lars x Flower Lane crowns on our shop here.

If you want to read about more inspiring creators, business women, and designers, you can look for more of our becoming essays here!