Thursday, September 30, 2010

studio tour no. 093010

You guys, I got to do my new favorite thing yesterday. It was so. much. fun. !!! I styled a photo shoot of my jewelry for my new wholesale and press catalog. I've never ever done something like this. Usually I just send them to the photographer I've been using for years who shoots the entire pieces on a light board so everything looks uniform for the website and I call it a day. But this? This styling with the oh so very talented Marcy May was just so much fun. Seriously, you guys, she's gooooood and she cares. You can feel the love she has for her art just coming off of her when she's shooting. She's just serious about it and it inspires you take what you're doing more seriously, which is just awesome. Makes you think before moving and making decisions. I can't explain it, but being around someone who loves doing what their doing so much just makes you consider what you're doing more I guess. At least that happens to me. Plenty happened in the studio this week (had to totally cut down all of the shots I'd taken over the week), but that was by far the most fun. Something tells me you guys don't want details on how I started inserting all of my expenses all the way back from April into QuickBooks yesterday after the not so gentle, but still sweet nudge from my Cute Husband...think he's taken on the role as CFO (Cute CFO?). I asked him if he'd rather sand down the pile of pendants I have waiting, but he said no thanks. Imagine that.

ps - Totally got inspiration for that shot of Marcy's feet and legs up on a chair to take the photo from Odette NY's blog. That shot has been on my mind since I saw it on her blog months ago. Thanks for the constant inspiration, Jen!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

noise away

So I have a little "thing" or maybe "issue" with noise. Television too loud? I can't handle it. Booming music in a car? Seriously feel like throwing up. A ticking alarm clock? Well...we've already covered that one (hi, I'm neurotic). These tendencies of mine seem to be increased when it comes time to put my head on the pillow and snooze for the night. Cute Husband might call them something other than tendencies...might have something to do with the fact that he can't even breathe without a poke from my side of the bed. Man I wish I were joking. To combat this and to keep everyone sleeping without any agitation, we keep a fan on. But it's ugly, y'all. Like purchased for my freshman year dorm ugly. Box fan ugly. This Otto Fan though? This one makes my heart happy. And it wouldn't need to be put in the closet when guests come.

found on the cool Utility Journal

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

fluf design

Sometimes I think I should have a disclaimer on this little bloggy blog that says "this is my blog where I will write about all things gray and yellow and black and white and things with soft and simple design that makes me happy." You know, just to warn everyone that they will maybe see the same sort of things each day? I walked by Fluf Design's booth at the NY Gift show in August and my heart beat started to quicken, well, a lot. Literally this happens when I see good design a store, in a book, at a wholesale show....everywhere. It's kind of overwhelming in a most awesome way and makes me want to walk around with a sketchbook always in hand. Anyway, Fluf Design made my heart happy on an early morning spent perusing the aisles at NY Gift and going on the website this morning made it happen all over again.

ps - they don't have it listed on their website, but I feel like O'Suzannah in cville might carry the bags that Fluf designs and sells? Maybe??

Monday, September 27, 2010

weekend no. 092510

This weekend was filled with little moments of bliss and sitting down this morning to recall some of them make me happy. Squeezing the arms of two great girlfriends (and maybe jumping up and down) after we each smelled the goodness of fall outside. Making a delicious brunch by this fabulous lady here on Sunday morning with Amanda for our cute husbands (Ree Drummond, let's be friends). Coming home from church and being so inspired by the beautiful worship that I made a new necklace (it says "amazing love" because, well, it is...amazing, that is). Pizza eating in front of the television. A delicious three hour nap. A peaceful Saturday morning. Eating one of the best salads of my life at Hamilton's on Saturday for lunch. Getting to check out a new-to-me yoga teacher at my gym. Root beer floats. The best part of this list is that I know I'm forgetting some of the moments...and, after checking out a pretty long moments of bliss list here, that makes me one lucky gal.

ps: It's my momma's birthday today, friends. I can't quite describe how amazing she is and what a blessing it is to have her in my life. Each and every time to see a little bit of her in me, which is often, I take a minute to understand how lucky I am that she's my example. Love you, momma Jos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

what to wear no. 092410

Y'all, I am straight up relaxing this weekend. And by relaxing I mean most likely working while I hang out at home with some farmer's market visiting, football watching, Cute Husband soccer playing viewing, iced coffee date with sweet friend having, wine and cheese night with friends hosting, brunching enjoying, maybe some shopping and some church attending mixed in. A weekend at home in the c'ville enjoying life and friends is just what the doctor ordered. Pretty much the doctor always orders that.

pullover sweatshirt | tank | shoes | jeans | laurel denise "create" necklace

Thursday, September 23, 2010

studio tour no. 092310

By comparison, this week has seemed so much calmer than last week, I feel like I don't have a thing to report. And yet I've had full days, that's for sure. I mean, haven't I? Gearing up for another shipping date deadline of October 1st, friends. It's going to be a doozy, but I'm positive that after going through the 9/15 one, I can make it through this one with flying colors. Let's just say that my sales reps are absolutely the best in the business, I do believe, and are getting the laurel denise love out there all over the U.S. And it's fun.

Also really, really, really trying to get that 2011 calendar printed for you guys. Like, really trying. I'm sending it out to one last printer attempt to hopefully get the cost of printing in my small business quantities (= low quantities) low enough for anyone in their right mind to consider purchasing it. Keep on emailing me at laurel [at] and I'll add you to the list of those interested.

ps - that's an image of my dead printer up there. You can see its last words to me, but they were "e-90 call for service." Sweet, don't you think? I bought this guy at Staples yesterday. He will arrive to join us this morning.

new stores this week...
Twiggs: Hood River, OR
Dragonflies Handcrafted: St. Augustine, FL
Icing on the Cake: Los Gatos, CA

re-order this week...
Wink SF: San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

fall boots

fall boots
I think it's totally appropriate to post about fall boots on this first day of fall, don't you think? Let's all kindly ignore the fact that it's supposed to be 94 degrees in sunny Charlottesville today, okay?

In super fun not-about-fall-boots news, my Epson printer (one I've had a love-hate relationship with for almost three years) made its last squeak this morning. Just after I loaded two brand new ink cartridges into the bugger with a full pack at the ready in my office supply storage bin. Fail. Any good printer recommendations that will work with all of these printer cartridges?? Or, you know, any good printer recommendations in general will work, too. There's always craigslist for printer cartridges. Or tax write-offs as Cute Husband pointed out this morning. Pretty thankful this didn't happen a week ago today when I had all of those shipments going out!

one | two | three | four

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

etcetera by sibella court

I got this book on a recent shopping trip and, really and truly, it is pretty much everything I'd like to be in life. Is that bad?! Seriously, go check it out the next time you're in an Anthropologie and you tell me if you had to peel yourself up from the floor, too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

weekend no. 091810

It was a weekend made for a wedding, friends. Could the weather have been any better? I'm not so sure. The drive to Rehoboth Beach from Virginia was so fun - some great antique shops in those little towns in between here and there - and the wedding was fantastic. So nice to see some of our old friends and dance the night away in some live band locations I haven't been in since my JMU glory days (Bottle & Cork in Dewey, anyone?). Yay for weekends.

Friday, September 17, 2010

what to wear no. 091710

Y'all, this never happens. I'm actually wearing what I post about in a what to wear friday! Unbelievable! I mean, minus the shoes. Not sure I could walk in points that sharp. I saw this dress on a recent trip to Anthropologie and almost died. I think maybe it was made just for me? I mean...maybe? I quickly texted the mister in the dressing room to get the spending okay and got maybe the sweetest words I've ever heard in the reply ("get whatever you want, sweetheart"). I'm...I'm sorry...are there better words that than when a gal is standing in a dressing room? Aside from "have you been working out? you look great in these unforgiving dressing room lights..." So, yeah, anyway, happiness happened as it always does in that grand store. I will be wearing this number to a wedding in Dewey Beach this weekend - hanging out with some old friends from our Northern Virginia days. Sunday will find me crossing my fingers for another Redskins victory with my Cute Husband (hail). All in all, a great weekend ahead with friends and family.

dress | shoes | | laurel denise forever necklace

Thursday, September 16, 2010

studio tour no. 091610

Well, friends, I'm happy to report that the 9/15 battle was won. Taken over, smashed down, conquered. It's been a busy week of, really, everything in the studio this week. Emails and production and packaging and printing and assembling and calling and invoicing. Seriously, everything. And I have this lovely new list of shops below to show for it. If you live in any of these areas, please check out the stores and see the goods! And, you know, I mean, if the mood strikes you, go on ahead and buy a little laurel denise love in that shop. That would be swell.

new shops ( no particular order other than when I shipped them):
Melinda Lane: Westfield, NJ
Finch & Sparrow: Seattle, WA
Box Turtle: Little Rock, AR
Earthly Delights: Kalamazoo, MI
Zinnia's: Waseca, MN
Anderson Bookshop: Naperville, IL
Artisans Marketplace: Plainville, CT
Vintage Charm: LaGrange, IL
The Villager: Flossmoor, IL
Gehman Jewelers: Ephrata, PA
Hazel: Chicago, IL
Posh Baby Boutique: Portland, OR
Agete: Tokyo, Japan
Class Act: South Salem, OR
Westchester Jewish Center, Gift Shop: Mamaroneck, NY
Picture This Gallery: Eagle River, AK
Washington Athletic Club: Seattle, WA
Stella's on 21st: Portland, OR
Studio R: Montclair, NJ
Beauty Rehab: Wellington, FL
Curate: Millburn, NJ
August Heart: Ocean City, NJ
On a Whim: Blacksburg, VA
Heaven & Earth Salon-Spa: Pottsville, PA
Accessories by Blass: Marblehead, MA
Watson Kennedy (fine living): Seattle, WA

Erika Reade: Atlanta, GA
Artware: Abington, PA
Enjoy: Chicago, IL
Sparrow House: Plymouth, MA
Monelle: Burlington, VT
Poppy Arts: Columbia, MO
New Twist: Eugene, OR
Firefly: Thomasville, GA

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

verre newyork

I think maybe some people will think I'm a crazy person for saying this (since I make glass jewelry), but Verre New York, a jewelry line with the motto "let them wear glass", seriously knows how to rock and create glass jewelry. Being stingy with compliments just because I use the same medium from time to time in my creations just isn't how I roll. Pretty much, I'm going to go ahead and say that I've never ever seen glass done better. I had the pleasure of walking by this booth to and from my location at the NY Gift show a few weeks ago and I couldn't help pausing each way just to stare at the beauty. Isn't it geeeeeeooooorgeous??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ld discount at

The sweet and fab Kelly Lee from featured laurel denise with a special coupon code yesterday! I still remember the days when I was just starting laurel denise and working full time as an admin assistant at an investment bank (believe it) and met Kelly at a gathering at her house. That small gathering started a long friendship and I can't speak highly enough of this gal. She's hilarious, an incredible writer, oh so very fashionable and as nice and welcoming as can be. Hop on over to to check out the coupon code!

Monday, September 13, 2010

weekend no. 091110

What a weekend, friends, what a weekend! You c'ville friends and shoppers made my day on Saturday at the Farmers Market - couldn't believe the sweet responses and energy and shopping that went down at booth 99. It was such a beautiful day, I had a great day hanging with Amanda and selling you fine folks some jewelry. And then? Then it was cookie time. And, let me tell you, these cookies were divine. They would have been in the trash can if not for the fine ladies of my community group (because I don't even own a mixer, much less bake cookies on a regular basis). I am so thankful for the help and presence of people who know their way around a kitchen or two. My insulin levels = not so thankful, but my heart and belly and taste buds were very thankful. To add icing on the cake (cookies?), the JMU Dukes pulled a huge win out on Saturday. Huge, friends. No, seriously, huge. Cute Husband might have run around screaming in public...with hands held high. It was that big. And then the Redskins pulled another huge win last night! I was long past asleep by the time a final whistle blew, but I heard all about it this morning and shared in Cute Husband's joy since, well, I'm pretty sure that made it into our unofficial wedding vows.

Friday, September 10, 2010

what to wear no. 091010

Wow...seriously? It's Friday already? How can that be? I feel strongly that it was really just Monday morning. I'll be at the Cville Farmer's Market tomorrow morning, selling laurel denise for the first time in ages. Come see me and my dear friend Amanda who is just about the best ever for wanting to come and hang with me at 6am - we'll be in the ones in the booth in front of Bang! drinking Shenandoah Joe's. After that, I'm having some friends from my church group over to hang out while some of the guys check out the Top of the Hops Beer Festival on the mall. I'm attempting this recipe and this one, too. Yum. Sunday will find my bum at the production table all day long with Rachel, my new production assistant gal. We bonded over Twilight on her first day yesterday...this is a great sign! Hope you friends have a great weekend planned!

blouse | jeans | cream flats | cuff | laurel denise create necklace

edit: also! I forgot to mention that some of my brand new necklaces (those cool leather pendant ones) and my silhouette sterling pieces will be at the Le Papier Studio booth at the Renegade Craft Show in Chicago this weekend! Booth 215. Look for the adorable silhouette goodness. When you've found it, you will know you're there. Give Vana a hug for me. I still can't believe she and I have never met in person!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

studio tour no. 090910

Welp, there aren't many pictures for this week's studio tour because, um, I couldn't exactly document the fight that went down with my electroplating system. Y'all, it was major. You know how when you've been ordering something (the same thing) for years and you kind of expect it to just, you know, work? Just like it always has? I love counting on that. Find comfort in it, even. So when a supplier gets switched on you at the last second and you order 1,000 of something anyway (because you're up against big time deadlines) and then it doesn't work the same way at all,'s not something that needs to be photographed. Thank the good Lord that I was able to find a replacement, have it sent overnight and find that everything works just peachy peachy and normal normal. But, goodness almighty, it wasn't pretty. There were some tears and some racing around this town trying to find something to make. it. work. This studio tour Thursday finds me happy to have that behind me. I've also been watching a ton of the show Huge on hulu while I work at the production table and I'm kind of obsessed. Anyone else into this show? I'm enjoying it and especially thankful to have something other than my mind to keep me company during these long production hours.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

letterbox co.

So, y'all, I don't know why I need all of this amazing stuff from Letterbox Co., but I just do. I mean...don't I? And, don't you?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

weekend no. 090410

I decided it was Fall this weekend and the weather cooperated, which was certainly nice of it. A beautiful weekend spent with two beautiful gals trying on beautiful bridesmaid dresses in beautiful Old Town Alexandria with a bag full of beautiful old-fashioned sugar taffy and delicious meals prepared with love by a sweet brother-in-law (with a little extra help from a sweet niece). Perfection, friends, just perfection. And, well, since 7am hit me hard this morning, that's all I really have to say about that right now. Time to go inject some coffee into my brain to make it work.

Friday, September 3, 2010

what to wear no. 090310

Ah, routine fills me up with happiness. Here I am, back at another what to wear Friday post for the first time in oh so very long. Who knew I could find so much comfort and peace with a routine? Aside from my mom who assures me I've been like this since a very young girl. The other day she explained to me how she'd have to bring me picnic dinners during intense play rehearsal times when I was a youngin'...she'd have to do something just to make life seem normal and peaceful or I'd sort of melt. Seriously, she's the best, right? So, yeah, I guess I've always been a little bit of a petal. Part of my charm, I say.

So, okay, this weekend! Yay! I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. It's going to be all about the soon-to-be newest member of the Smith Clan. My sister-in-law...can I just scrap that "-in-law" thing?...okay, so, my sister and I are going to pamper our soon-to-be with goodness this weekend. Cooking, pedicures, shopping, cupcakes, treats from coffee joints, snacks, gal chat time...pretty much anything her amazing and full heart desires.

white khakis | gray tank (duh) | arlyn cardigan (so much cuter on - check out the model online) | ballerina shoes | laurel denise fairytale bracelet | laurel denise sister bracelet

Thursday, September 2, 2010

studio tour no. 090210

So, wow, remember when I used to have studio tour Thursday? Back when I was actually in my studio and not setting up booths and selling merchandise to fabulous store buyers? Yeah...I kind of remember that, too. In a far off in the distance sort of way. So, really, this week brings me lots and lots of production prep and order prep. Spreadsheets like woah, y'all. I think sometimes I'm cheating on art with spreadsheets and excel. The organization makes me so happy, I just can't help it. I feel like I have a small army of jewelry pieces just waiting for the main honcho to show up (the elements pendants) and then they are all going to fight a big "get shipped by september 15th" battle. It's going to be fierce, friends. In happy news, I will have a fellow officer here in the studio to help me sand and drill and string and prep and ship starting next week! I'm not the world's best interviewer, but I'm excited (and totally humbled) that so many amazing people were interested in helping me and I do believe I found a great gal.

Also - friends and lovely calendar fans of mine - I will have word by the end of this week on an official yay or nay on a 2011 calendar production. Doing everything I can to help make that happen for you all!