Spruce’s Best of 2013

It would be an understatement to say 2013 has been an unforgettable year for us. We flew to several beautiful places, began some new creative collaborations, welcomed two new Sprucettes to the team, and we celebrated the release of Amanda’s first book – just to name a few highlights. We thought it would be fun to look back at the year and point out some of our several moments.

Best Networking Opportunity

alt summit

At Alt Summit in San Francisco, Creativebug hosted a party (left), and Amanda met up with Jaime and Jacinda (right) from Pretty Prudent.

Amanda and Meredith attended Altitude Summit in Salt Lake City in January and met a lot of amazing bloggers and great connections. Meredith chronicled her adventures here, and Amanda  here. Then in March, Amanda attended Altitude Summit in San Francisco, which was also a lot of fun!

Best Blood, Sweat and Tears Payoff

After much anticipation, Spruce: A Step-by-Step to Upholstery and Design was released by Storey Publishing in late October! Amanda and Katherine hit the road for a three-week tour across the South, teaching lampshade and bench-making classes and had several unique adventures while on the road. Our runner-up in this category was getting a spanking new website! What do you think of our digital makeover?

Biggest Putting-Spruce-on-the-Map Moment

Clar shows the editors at HGTV how to use the pneumatic gun to put their benches together.

Clar shows the editors at HGTV how to use the pneumatic gun to put their benches together.

Hey, hey HGTV! Amanda began collaborating with the TV design giant this spring, thanks to a fruitful introduction to Liz Gray, a blogger for Design Happens. Take a look at this neat-oh Geometric Upholstered Door Amanda created! Later this year, the Sprucettes visited HGTV at the headquarters in Knoxville and taught the editors how to make their own benches.

Most Coveted New Tool

The team in the back was excited about our new drill press. When you’re making benches for 65+ book tour students, it makes life a little easier.

Additions to the Team


This year, we said goodbye to Meredith (miss you!) and hello to Alice and Clarisa. Speaking of new Sprucettes, Amanda will be a proud mother soon! She’s expecting a baby girl any day now. One of the coolest gifts she received at her baby shower was an adorable pink pram from Holland (above), reupholstered by Frank and his family. Wowee!

Coolest Collaboration


Creativebug, a San Francisco-based website that hosts online craft tutorials, paid us a visit in September and filmed four upholstery tutorials (above). Visit Creativebug’s website to see our Wallpaper Lampshade Tutorial. More Spruce tutorials will be released in early 2014. In fact, Amanda’s headboard tutorial is hot off the press today!

Best Antiquing

We try to make it out to the Round Top Antiques Fair every few years to acquire some awesome vintage pieces. We went in February and came back with neat pieces; some that we sold and some that we kept!

Most Anticipated Purchase

Photo courtesy of Iro Fiber Art on Etsy.

Photo courtesy of Iro Fiber Art on Etsy.

We (Amanda mostly) have been oggling Iro Fiber Art‘s intricate, handmade fabric moths. Finally, after much deliberation, patience and timing, she got her hands on one. Score!

Most Delicious Thing We Ate

Katherine’s oatmeal cream pies are so irresistible, you’d think they were laced. These tasty cookies have made appearances at several of our gatherings, including the Book Launch Party at Mockingbird Domestics – and attendees who didn’t get to try them were royally bummed. Seriously!

Best Photos on Instagram

best of the year

Clockwise from top left: Clar examines her new baby, a Mardis Gras baby; celeb Jessica Alba was at Alt Summit; Clar gives us her best Popeye impersonation; Meredith transforms into Gus Gus; Katherine’s infamous Momofuko confetti cake was served at Meredith’s 30th birthday; Amanda behind the lampshade roll during our last day with Creativebug; we got a trailer for book tour and stuffed it with upholstery tools, materials and books; this pincushion doll may be the creepiest thing Katherine spotted while antiquing in Tennessee; Amanda and Katherine treating themselves to pancakes at Pfunky Griddle in Nashville!

It was a difficult task, but we narrowed down our nine quirkiest, sweetest and most hilarious Instagram moments (above). Looking back, we had a lot of fun capturing life behind the scenes at Spruce – and remembering all of Clar’s modeling poses.

Happy 2014 everyone!