Who is The Paper Pinup?

Laurel 124_web_Maxine_Nienow
Photo by: Maxine Nienow, Shameless Photography. Used with permission.

My name is Laurel.

I make handcrafted custom cards with a retro flair. I also teach classes in how to make cards and desire collages.  I believe that crafting can spark joy and produce magic. Most important of all: it’s FUN!

I have been crafting for most of my life. As a child in the 1970s in upstate New York and Vermont, my grandmother taught me how to make God’s eyes out of multicolored yarn. We sewed holiday ornaments from patterns and hung them on the Christmas tree. One year, I thought it would be cute to glue felt onto little plastic boxes as a gift (Mom didn’t think so when she saw the mess I made!). I collected stickers and shoelaces with hearts on them, and shopped at the Ben Franklin’s store for the perfect ribbons for my friendship barrettes.  I made stationery out of notebook paper and stickers. I made handmade scrapbooks, documenting nearly every moment of my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Making those handmade things were some of the most fun and magical times of my childhood and teenage years.

As an adult, I became a social worker and often got very involved in the problems of my clients and of the agencies where I worked. Often, life felt like it had become very serious and not fun at all. I struggled with anxiety and some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, especially in relationships.

One day, a neighbor of mine, Heidi Bound of Gotham City Stampers, invited me to a crafting party at her apartment. Heidi is a talented crafter who is a demonstrator for a nationally known rubber stamping and scrapbooking company called Stampin’ Up! As soon as she showed me how to make my first card, it was a revelation. I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I had no idea that such a thing existed and decided to sign up right away as a demonstrator.  I realized that the hours I spent creating handmade cards and art projects were very calming and de-stressing. It made me feel like I was back in my grandmother’s log cabin again sitting at the table with her.

Eventually, I decided to break off from the company and create my own business that incorporates my love of vintage clothes, Big Band Era jazz, swing dancing (I am an amateur Lindy Hopper and solo jazz dancer), magic and fun – and that is how the Paper Pinup was born!  My dream is to bring my own magical brand of fun and crafts with retro flair to you.

Here’s a picture I painted of my late grandmother that’s in my apartment.