Instagram Contest: Enter to Win a Copy of the Spruce Book!

Since Amanda is heading to the West Coast this week for book tour, we decided to kick things off with an Instagram contest! Enter to win a free copy of Amanda’s book, Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design, by following Spruce on Instagram and tagging #sprucebook in your photos. We want to see photos that celebrate the DIY spirit. It could be a selfie of you sitting on a chair you’ve built, or a close up photo of your leather work or needlepoint project. If you happen to be taking our lampshade making class at Modern Domestic in Portland or making pincushions at our Creativebug party in San Francisco, chronicle your experience using the hashtag. Get creative!

We’ll choose the winner on April 30. Start ‘gramming!


Spruce Upholstery Tip: Padding Sawhorses

Reupholstering can be rough on furniture. With all of the flipping and turning that goes on, it’s all too easy to nick the finished wood or painted surfaces by accident. Luckily, this problem can be solved by padding your sawhorses. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial to make your sawhorses furniture safe and super cute.

For this application, Clar had the genius idea to use these colorful rag rugs.  I like this idea because you can find these rugs everywhere, and they are inexpensive. You can also use a moving blanket, carpet scraps, old beach towels, or anything soft and pliable.

1 drape rag rug in place

The first step is to center your padding material over the sawhorse top.

2 staple on side onto saw horses

Staple along the underside of the sawhorse top on one side. Rag rugs unravel easily when cut, so I attach a finished edge of the rug to one side so I only have to cut the opposite side.

3 staple onto the inside wall of saw horse

Smooth the padding material up and to the inside of the sawhorse and staple along the inside wall.

4 opposite side

Smooth the material across the bottom surface and staple to the inside of the opposite wall. Repeat to staple the short ends to the inside walls.

6

Smooth the padding material up and over the walls and staple to the underside of the sawhorse top. Place staples close together to help prevent unraveling and be sure your padding material is smooth and tight on all surfaces.

8

My rug is a few inches short, but the important part is that the inside well and the edges are padded.

9

If the unfinished ends bother you, use leftover scraps to disguise this shortcoming. Fold the edges under to prevent unraveling and create a clean edge.

11 after

Easy peasy! Use this tip to enjoy the benefits of not having to worry about chips and scratches.


Rad Read For Spring Inspiration!

Hello! Enjoying the weather as much as I am? For those who have not yet savored the new light of spring, feast your eyes on this folio! It is Vitamin D in print!

TGDWC blog

Tricia Guild Decorating With Color, published by Rizzoli. Pics by James Merrell.

We have to give a big THANK YOU to Brad Wright at the Interior Design Collection’s Houston Showroom for sending us the new book, Tricia Guild Decorating With Color (click the link for the signed hard copy)! The iconic Rizzoli published this episode in November 2013, and it’s one of a trail of beautiful Tricia Guild books produced throughout the years. Tricia Guild is the talented and clever designer behind one of our favorite textile brands, Designers Guild, and has been designing spectacular textiles and home goods for the label since the ’70s.

If you’ve had the opportunity to thumb through any of Guild’s other books, it functions quite the same. Slim on text but loaded with images, the books are her lifestyle and brand theses. Each page features a vignette, a swatch, a carefully selected piece of furniture, an image of a flower; in essence, this book functions as a mood board. Peppered in are notable quotes from literati or design giants, and special meditations from Tricia Guild or Amanda Back on, for example, the subtleties of azure and its use in the conservatory pictured in coming pages. It’s impressive!

A multi-colored jewel jungle of a room!

A multi-colored jewel jungle of a room! I love that cobalt side chair with caned arms – so cool!

yellow and black dwc blog

A traditional room with a lemon-y twist! I’m mad for the strong black and white graphic.

The book is a master study in color, texture, scale, neutrals, and form. Use it as an idea book on how to gain a more casual look for your interiors. Reference it as a template for how to mix multiple fabrics on one piece of furniture. She is so good at that! Effortless!

ombre shapes dwc blog

I so enjoy this gentle ombre on the wall and that conical pendant light. Mix it with some antique Thonet chairs, why don’t ya?! Brilliant.

blues dwc blog

Ponder blue…!

I encourage you to scoop up this book and lay it upon your coffee table, or file it in your library under RADICAL DESIGN BOOKS! Thanks so much for the gift, Brad! We love it!

 


Nugget of the Week: Sources of Inspiration from the Sprucettes

One of my favorite things about working at Spruce is having the opportunity to work with people who bring a different set of skills, interests and creative ideas to the table. Each of us Sprucettes frequently informs each other about our favorite designers, artists and makers, food, boutiques and blogs we’re obsessing over. Together, we share a wealth of knowledge – and in this roundup, we share several of our top-three favorite sources of inspiration that get our juices flowing.

Amanda

color collective1) Color Collective. It’s no big shock that color is a driving force behind Spruce, and it’s equally important when I’m making choices for my own home, wardrobe, nail polish color, etc., etc. Fresh color combos are hard to come by but not if you frequent this blog – so simple with so much impact. Anytime I need to rev my design engine, I come here.

sartorialist

2) The Sartorialist. Buy the books or visit the blog. Either way, you’re destined to be more fashionable with each turn of the page or scroll of the mouse. Scott Schuman finds his inspiration on the runway and city streets, in young and old, men and women, which makes his photos an ultra rich compilation of fashionable folks.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.37.47 PM

3) Best Friends For Frosting. If I’m being honest, I spend a teeny tiny amount of time reading blogs, BUT the few times I’ve crossed this one’s path, I’ve been hit with a plethora of noteworthy postings. Now that I’ve refreshed my memory of its existence, I’ll be dedicating at least one late night feeding to surfing its archives.

Honorable Mentions
The Art of Gluten-Free Baking. I’ve been off the G for nearly a year, and Jeanne Sauvage’s gluten-free flour mix has saved all of my favorite wheat recipes from the trash! There’s not.one.thing. I’ve made from her website that wasn’t absolutely delicious!

KellyMom. Since January 11, I’ve stumbled across a lot of uncharted territory. This website is the ultimate resource for new and experienced moms with practical questions about parenting and breastfeeding.

Clar

nest covers

Old Nest magazine covers from a post entitled “I miss Nest Magazine.” via ounodesign.com.

1) I find constant inspiration in my old issues of Nest magazine. Although the quarterly publication is no longer in print, its pages, layout, and relentless and necessary element of surprise endures! I’ve never seen such bonkers interiors or such abstract (and sometimes absurd) interior design theory outside of Nest’s pages. Thanks forever, Nest! 

A screen grab from the tumblr blog inside.

A screen grab from tumblr inside.

2) I love the tumblr inside! It is all about bohemian, alternative, natural interiors with an emphasis on plant life and new age-y ideas for living. I also love its sibling tumblr, outside, that does the same for exteriors!

Inspiration board, courtesy of keehnankonyha.com.

Inspiration board, courtesy of keehnankonyha.com.

 3) Over the years, I’ve been checking in with KEEHNANKONYHA.COM. He’s a designer and writer based in New York. He formerly had another blog project called 2THEWALLS, which showcased pictures of interiors, art and design coupled with theory, stories, critical essays, etc. with the goal to make readers think differently about interior experience. He has contributed to Apartamento, DIS Magazine, among other noted publications. Always thought-provoking, always cool. He now has a line of bedding and interior fabrics called SafeHouseUSA, which is rad!

Katherine

emilyhen

1) Pinterest can be overwhelming, so I like to leave the curating to others. Emily Henderson is an especially great pinner. Visiting her boards will just put me in an instant good mood. Her DIY Board, in particular, is amazing.  She collects the best pins.

pillow material

2) Scrolling through Etsy at night is my version of counting sheep; although, this method tends to be a little more costly. I recently stumbled across a lovely little shop called MissMatatabi. It’s filled with sweet fabrics from Japan. The fabrics are colorful, modern and high quality. I have been on a pillow kick lately, so I foresee a MissMatatabi order in my future. Here are some of my favorite prints (above, clockwise from top left):  IbukiFreedom Garden double gauze – A – FrancePocho double gauze – Bpurple and pink on natural.

 cool spaces

3) What happens when you combine Etsy and Pinterest? An inspiration super power! Etsy has 98 boards on Pinterest! Many of their boards are geared towards gift ideas for the various types of people in your life as well as guest pinners, such as Camille Styles and Mallory McInnis. My favorite boards by Etsy are Cool Spaces and Vintage Treasures on Etsy.

Clarisa

Image of Frankie magazine layout via frankiepress.com.au.

Image of Frankie Magazine layout via frankiepress.com.au.

1) I absolutely adore Frankie Magazine, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Austin’s independent bookstore, BookPeople, carries it. The Australian women’s publication is jam-packed with fun, pithy reads about designers, musicians and artists from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Some of the articles are tongue-and-cheek and include tips, ranging from how to work at home to how to yodel. There are always great DIY tutorials; the latest issue has one on making piñatas! This truly is a publication suited to global DIY ladies who are youthful at heart.

nowness

2) I’m a Johnny-come-lately to Nowness, which curates some amazing interactive storytelling produced by some of the coolest influencers from around the world that have their fingers on the pulse of contemporary culture.  Last year, a friend turned me onto Nowness when he shared this video with me, essentially a visual essay of one of Japan’s famous artists, Yayoi Kusama, in her studio.

cyeyalr

Screen grab of the cyeyalr via cyeyalr.tumblr.com.

3) I love looking at photos of lived-in homes, especially those that are decorated with personal things that you normally wouldn’t find in a styled interior design magazine. The tumblr cyeyalr is dedicated to photos of interiors that are filled with light, plants and a touch of whimsical or vintage decor — right up my alley!

Benton

secret gardens

1) Peggy Norfleet on Pinterest is amazing. She’s a interior designer and a real estate agent in Fort Lauderdale and has dozens of categories with amazing design-related pictures. My favorites are her Interiors and Secret Garden (above) pins.

my ideal home

2) The tumblr My Ideal Home is devoted to clean interiors and a love of Scandinavian design. It provides countless ideas for interiors and home renovation, and the options featured can be replicated for a reasonable price. There are lots of rustic and bare spaces to cleanse your mind.

rococco

Screen grab from L’assasymphonie via le-rococo-en-versailles.tumblr.com.

3) L’assasymphonie. This is a tumblr completely devoted to the over-the-top design aesthetic of 18th Century French Rococo. While it can be very overwhelming, it’s fun to look through to find elements you can plug into your own projects. Whether it’s a color scheme or a floral filigree, I always leave with good ideas.

We’d love to hear about the websites, social media accounts or magazines with which you’re enamored. Let us know what they are in our comments section!


Spruce West Coast Book Tour

After a fruitful November book tour through the South, I’ve decided to hit the road once again to visit the lovely folks on the West Coast! In just a few short weeks, I’ll be doing hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and book signings for Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Portland. Baby Lilee and my hubby are coming, and we’d love to meet you in person if you can make it!

San Francisco, CA

A sneak peek of the Creativebug office, compliments of Uppercase Magazine. See more here!

A sneak peek of the Creativebug office, compliments of Uppercase Magazine. See more here!

Hosted by Creativebug
April 16, 2014
6:00-8:00pm

Do you remember my visit to San Francisco last July for Altitude Summit? I spent some time at Creativebug’s office prepping for the Spruce tutorials and was blown away by the staff and their amazing workspace. This time you get to come, too! Grab a staple gun and tackle your first mini upholstery project at Creativebug’s headquarters! Pick out your favorite fabric and make your own button-tufted pincushion or pull up a chair and let’s chat about your next upholstery project. Book signing and festivities are from 6:00-8:00pm at 255 Kansas Street in San Francisco.

Spruce-22

Our pincushion station in action at the Spruce Book Launch Party. Photo by Mel Cole.

Berkeley, CA

Spruce.Builders

Hosted by Builders Booksource
April 17, 2014
7:00-9:00p.m.

Come dig into the treasure trove of knowledge at Builders Booksource, a Bay Area bookstore specializing in architecture, design, and construction. Bring your upholstery questions and get an up-close view of coil spring tying by yours truly from 7:00-9:00pm at 1817 4th Street in Berkeley. Signing and demonstration are FREE to attend!

Portland, OR

ModernDomestic from DavidLee on Vimeo.

Hosted by Modern Domestic
April 19, 2014
1:00-5:00p.m. (Lampshade class)
5:00-6:00p.m. (Book signing)

I’m a huge fan of Portland! I love the lush greenery, walkability, and great shopping in this beautiful city. Plus, my twin sister, bro-in-law, and adorable niece live there, so it’s become my home away from home over the past few years. Thanks to the fine ladies at Modern Domestic, I’ll be setting up shop in Portland and teaching the Spruce lampshade class. Inspire your next bright idea with this four-hour class and turn your favorite fabric into your favorite shade! Click HERE to reserve your space in the class or join us afterwards for a book signing party from 5:00-6:00pm.

Looking forward to meeting you in person and sprinkling a little upholstery love across the Northwest!

 


Spruce Happenings: Triple Birthday Bonanza!

We have a trio of Pisces ladies in the house! This month we celebrated three Sprucette birthdays. Yes, both Clar and Amanda share a birthday on March 11, and my birthday is March 21 (so I’m technically an Aries, but I’m right at the cusp). As per tradition, we organized a special lunch involving delicious baked goods and a gift exchange with the team.

What's sweeter than a delicious cake made from scratch? Um, nothing!

What’s sweeter than a delicious cake made from scratch? Um, nothing!

Katherine made a fantastic strawberry cake for Clar and Amanda’s birthday, using an old recipe she obtained from our friend Martha Hopkins.

cake

photo 5 - 2

Clar received an unexpected delivery: a bouquet from her mother!

Katherine really is one of the best bakers we know. For my birthday, she whipped up some addictive chocolate chip cookies – my favorite!

photo 1

 I have to say, I think the Sprucettes give the best gifts…

A giant sardine pillow from Ikea, which makes since we're a trio of Pisces. Thanks Clar!

A giant sardine pillow from Ikea, which makes sense since we’re a trio of Pisces. Thanks, Clar!

At Spruce, we work hard but we love taking time to celebrate the little things in life. Happy birthday to all of you celebrating birthdays this month!


Spring-y New Retail and Fabrics at Spruce!

Spring is here! Spring is here! Spring is FINALLY here!

Let us shed our pale, dry, dusty shells and interior dwellings! Let’s invite the good times and the light back inside! To anticipate the most verdant and colorful time of year, we bring you the best of our new retail pieces. Take a glimpse of some exciting new pieces that scream, “SPRING IS HERE! WELCOME!”

Amanda found this exciting chaise lounge at a resale store very near and dear to us – Corner Collector’s Market. She chose a watercolor print found on Spoonflower (designed by Heytangerine).

Watercolor Splash Chaise Lounge at Spruce. Click the link for info!

We love it for its easy, contemporary shape. Quilted channels are stitched horizontally across the length, and a matching neck roll is removable via a velcro attachment. I can’t forget to mention its great chrome base. Style and comfort collide! The fabric reminds me of water-colored Easter eggs and blooms from bulbs typical of the season. A must-see in person, this one! We’ve also created a pair of pillows with the print; click here for more info on the pillows.

Also, we have a cute little tufted slipper chair up for grabs. This one had been in storage for a bit, and we finally found a great neutral to cover it!

Blue Tweed Slipper Chair.

Blue Tweed Slipper Chair – see it at the Spruce shop!

Fabric used is Magitex’s Belgian Salt and Pepper in Blue and White, which has a high durability with knit backing coupled with a soft hand. A heathered, or ‘salt-and-pepper’ effect, is seen throughout, reminding us of the sweetest flecked new Robin’s egg. Click the link above for more views, dimensions and pricing. It’s a darling chair!

If you want to infuse your spring with some edge, go for our new pair of club chairs covered in a great grey, charcoal and black texture!

The Mid Century Modern Club Chairs.

The Mid Century Modern Club Chairs. Click the link for info.

A side view of one of the pair above.

A side view of one of the pair above.

The chairs rest on a swivel base, which hides nice and low under the upholstered frame. We’ve used another Magitex fabric called Enzo in charcoal. The chairs are comfy, lounge-y, swivel-y and durable. Have a cocktail party and beam as your guests enjoy those padded arm rests!

Pair the chairs with pastels, why don’t you? Maybe with…these pillows!

Support your collective lower backs with these scrumptious pillows, featuring Clarke & Clarke’s Cosimo fabric in grape. Zowee!

Speaking of pillows, we have a bouquet of fresh pillows in springtime fashion. Enjoy these online, covet them in person!

Chiang Mail Dragon pillows with green solid coordinate.

Chiang Mail Dragon pillows with green solid coordinate.

Take an abbreviated tour of our shop’s pillows by scrolling below…

retail pillows 2 march 2014

Confetti Pillows on the new chaise lounge.

As if that’s enough, we have Good Candles in the house, all the way from Brooklyn!

They really are good candles!

They really are good candles! 

Scents include lavender, rose, fig, washboard, basil, and campfire! So clever! We’re the only shop in town carrying these fragrant torches.

We’re receiving new, in-season lines from each of our manufacturers. We’ve been anticipating the arrival of the Tilton Fenwick collection for Duralee, and it’s finally here!

 new tilton fenwick books march 2014 blog

fabric

This collection is so fun, so kooky, the most fun ‘traditional’ collection we’ve seen in a while. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do! More new fabrics are in almost daily, it seems.

Please come enjoy and scoop up all our new goodies! Cheers to Spring!


Spruce Upholstery Tip: Cutting Two Boards at Once!

Time is valuable. So when I see an opportunity to save some, I take it. This week’s tip is not only a time saver, but it will also ensure more accurate results. Win, win! Lately we’ve had a demand for our custom diamond-tufted ottoman. After building a few, it occurred to me that there is a much more efficient way of pumping these out. It’s as simple as a few screws.

1Clamp boards together

The blueprint for our ottoman calls for two rings. Instead of cutting them with a jigsaw individually, I’ve discovered a better solution: secure two pieces of plywood together and kill two birds with one stone.

2 screw boards together

To secure the plywood for the ottoman together, I put a screw through the center piece, the traced ring, and the leftover plywood border beyond the ring. This keeps the two layers of plywood attached to each other, making cutting more manageable.

3 cut two boards at once

Once the boards have been securely fastened together, it is safe to begin cutting. In addition to saving time, this assures the two rings are exactly the same.

4 two rings 5 finish product

Our frame is ready for upholstery! This basic concept can be applied to all sorts of projects. Check out how this very simple frame was transformed into this super cool diamond-tufted ottoman.


Quick Tips for Perfectly Plump Pillows!

One of the most frequently asked questions at Spruce is, “How do I get that wonderfully plush look in pillows that designers love?” It’s easier than you think. Half the battle is getting the proper measurements for your insert, and I can tell you just how!

bentonpillowinsert

Benton displays one of our inserts – a lofty down-alternative-filled pillow form.

First, you need to measure the pillow cover. Remember to remove the pillow insert before measuring. For a pillow with rounded corners, start from the middle of one side and measure directly across to the other side. Do the same for the other direction, and that is the size of your pillow. Pillows with square corners can be measured from corner to corner.

Now you’re ready to fill it with that perfect insert. Knowing how much a pillow insert is going to fill out a cover can be tricky, but the general rule of thumb is to take the measurements for your pillow cover and add one to two inches to the height and width. You’ll need that little bit extra to properly fill out your corners, or else you’ll come away with a pillow that’s either too flat or a little saggy. When you’re stuffing your pillow, be sure to grab the corners of the insert and reach inside to pull them into position. With your hands still inside, and with the insert in the position you want, give it a couple of vigorous fluffs to get the stuffing as evenly distributed throughout as possible. The hard part is over, so squeeze that pillow between your knees and zip it up.

bentonstuffingpillow

Fluff out those corners from the inside!

Congratulations, you have just perfectly stuffed a pillow. Give it a chop and display away!


Spruce Happenings: Austin Fabric Shop Hop

We were SEW thrilled to meet so many fabric enthusiasts during the second Austin Fabric Shop Hop last month. Several people – including long-time residents of Austin – stopped by Spruce for the first time during the three-day shopping extravaganza, and we introduced them to our services, classes and retail

Virginia whipped up a few fresh pillows during the Shop Hop!

Virginia snatched up a few fresh pillows during the Shop Hop!

This was the first time Spruce participated in the Shop Hop, spearheaded by the wonderful ladies at Stitch Lab. The event, which one shopper described as “a bar hop for fabric stores,” is an opportunity for crafters and people who love design to visit several local shops specializing in fabric while taking advantage of deep discounts.

Katherine led a group of women in a DIY pincushion making session, using fabric remnants and basic upholstery techniques.

Katherine led a group of women at our DIY pincushion table, using fabric remnants and basic upholstery techniques.

 

pincushions

During the Shop Hop, we offered some promotional discounts and had a pincushion-making station set up in the back, which people loved!

pincushion

Attendees who purchased their Shop Hop Passports from us received delicious chocolate chip cookies from épicerie, a free three-month subscription to Creativebug, and promotional discounts to Ace Custom Tailors, J.Hannah Co. and Red Chair Market.

These totes came with Shop Hop passports plus some sweet deals.

These totes came with Shop Hop Passports plus some sweet deals.

We also hosted a photo contest on social media.

Heather Banks snapped this photo of our two newly upholstered club chairs. The pair was quite popular. One shopper even described them as "yummy!"

Heather Banks snapped this photo of our two newly upholstered club chairs. The pair was quite popular.

Heather Banks received a gift certificate to Thunderbird Coffee and Ace Custom Tailors for snapping this photo (above) of our lovely and super-comfy club chairs and plush watercolor pillows.

fabric remnants

Apart from the publicity the event received, the greatest thing about Shop Hop was it united people who are passionate about fabric and supporting local business. During the weekend, customers would strike up conversations with other shoppers about their quilting or fashion projects. One teenage girl told us about how she was looking for fabric remnants to makes plush bears, and a young woman named Emily showed us the colorful oil cloth pouches she makes and sells on Etsy. It was a lot of fun geeking out with people about our Christian Lacroix and Skinny LaMinx fabric remnants. We’d love to see what you make with them!

fabric

If you missed the Shop Hop, no worries; we still have plenty of designer fabric in the showroom for sale, so stop by! Have an idea to make the Shop Hop even better? Leave it in our comments section.

Thank you to all of the local businesses who helped make this a great event! And a big shout out to Stitch Lab’s Leslie Bonnell for organizing. We’re looking forward to the next one! 


Introducing Benton, our newest Sprucester!

We are delighted to announce that we have a new Sprucester. Meet Benton Burford! Benton learned about Spruce while working at Kyle Bunting. Intrigued by upholstery, Benton took one of our Bring Your Own Chair classes and we’ve been on his radar ever since. He’s been living in Austin since 2003, after moving from Midland, Texas, to attend school at the University of Texas. After earning his BFA in Studio Art, Benton chose to make Austin his home because of its central location to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Having Benton around has been such a joy. He’s more than just an extra pair of hands; this fella is quite a talent. Benton shows his creativity with sewing projects, using unexpected and exotic materials such as scarves, vintage and couture fabrics and experimental trims. Take a look at some of his beautiful pillows and tea towels.

800angela24yellowseafoam-web 800couture-web 800doni1web 800magnolia1-web 800reefpinkorangeweb 800spring0web 800teatowelsaqua

How would you describe your design style? Who and what inspires you?

I would describe my design style as pretty eclectic. I like a lot of soft palettes, neutrals and, every now and then, something crazy and unexpected thrown in. I tend to get a lot of ideas from different art sources that have little to do with interior design. I wouldn’t really consider myself a fashion person, but one of my biggest inspirations right now is the interior design branch of Versace (Versace Home Collection). They have a big presence at Italian furniture design fairs, and it’s always a treat to see what they come up with and who they collaborate with. Their designs run the gamut from clean minimalism to completely over-the-top, and the collections usually have a fun theme based on whatever part of the world they’re pulling from that year. It’s always fantastically unreal. I love it.

What are your  hobbies?
I do a lot of pen and ink drawing and oil painting and use a lot of that in my designs (see below). Aside from that, I play video games to unwind. I’m also big on Turner Classic Movies.

 

fortify benton blog 800blissmatt1
What is your favorite meal of the day? What would be included in that meal?
My favorite meal of the day is dinner. It’s the only meal where I never seem rushed and can really enjoy it. My goal is to always find a better chicken fried steak than the last one I’ve had.
Where is your favorite place that you have or would like to travel to?
I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy, and it influenced what I love to do greatly. I also traveled to Japan recently, and it was life changing. It’s a place that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I loved soaking in everything, design-wise and otherwise. I’d go back in a heartbeat. I would also love to see India.
Do you have any pets?
I have a white chocolate miniature schnauzer named Charlotte. She’s a rotten egg, but I love her and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
As you can see, Benton is no rookie. We are excited to have him in the shop with us. His understanding of textiles and design is very useful at Spruce. Oh, and it’s a bonus that he’s tall. Who needs a ladder when Benton is around? You  can visit Benton’s website and  Etsy shop if you would like to see more of his beautiful work.

Welcome Baby Sprucette!

It’s been a while since I  picked up my pliers and stapler or shared my two cents on the Spruce blog. As many of you know, I’ve been on a baby vacation for the past six weeks, which means lots of memorable, challenging, and amazing moments. When I started Spruce, one of my main priorities was establishing a career for myself that would give me some flexibility and a creative outlet when my husband and I started a family. I’ve always wanted to nurture my career and my family simultaneously. It took a lot more work than I imagined to get Spruce to a place where it could release me part time for baby raising. But one day shy of Spruce’s official 6th birthday (January 11, 2014), I became a mom and a business owner.

Lilee -81

“Are you really my daddy?”

We delivered Lilee Ann Brown at home after 31 hours of labor. ‘We’ includes me, Keith, my midwife and her assistant (GB and Ulrike) and my doula, Ruth. Wowza! What an incredible experience, and I remember thinking, “How do so many people do this every day?!” I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details but can tell you Lilee’s passage to the world included three hour-long walks (One included a near attack by a stray pit bull!), dancing to and singing Buffalo Solider by Bob Marley, marching through my back yard in the rain wearing only my robe and a pair of black Frye boots, and gluten-free gingerbread pancakes from Kerbey Lane in bed at 3:00 am after the deed was done (THANK YOU, Ruth!).

the whole family

The Browns (left); My beautiful twinster visiting from Portland (right)

It’s still unbelievable to me that one day I’m upholstering chairs and the next I’m holding a baby. And what was formerly an iPhone gallery of before and after furniture photos is now overcome by countless pictures of Lilee’s pretty little face. The week after she was born, our good friend, Mel Cole of Cole Collective came by the house for a newborn shoot. Thank you, Mel, for capturing our new family in such a beautiful way!

keith and pixie

She’s destined for upholstery with those long fingers!

As my baby-cation comes to an end and I get back to business part-time, I can’t give enough thanks to all of my people at Spruce and our wonderful customers for making it possible for me to have a family and a buzzing little business. It’s because of all of you that I’m able to nurture my baby girl and my creative spirit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! My new little love is inspiring some big Spruce-y ideas in small proportions, so you’ll be hearing from me before too long!

Lilee -10All photos by Mel Cole of Cole Collective. Check out her sweet post here!