New Website!

Come find me on my new website & blog!  Sarahstracke.com , this is where I will continue to blog! 

Thanks for following me! 

Warmly - Sarah 


Transform the Mundane | Tips for a happier week

-Put your head phones in while grocery shopping & listen to something up beat, don't be afraid to bust a dance move or mouth the lyrics to your favorite song.
-Exercise & don't make excuses! Take your pup for a walk, it's good for both of you. Find out what days the closest yoga studio offers community classes at a cheaper price & ask your friends to go too! 
-Make a meal you're proud of. Plan ahead to roast a whole chicken using fresh herbs. (Don't forget to include your greens!)
-Light candles… all the time. 
-Go to the library & pick up a book that you don't have to commit to. Find something you've always been curious about & learn something new. 
-Rent a movie.
-Bake something & give it away.
-Listen to music you don't normally listen to; try 60s French Pop or symphonic! 
-Buy yourself flowers at the grocery store. 
-Have friends over for a late drink on a whim.

And always take pictures of the mundane, find ways to make your routine more beautiful, I promise it will make life more enjoyable. Pretend the flowers bloom for you.

With love, 


Black & White Film

Here are some photos that have been stimulating me lately. 
I've not been able to get away from combining efforts to create something with my Canon AE-1 & rolls of Black and White film. There is a lot of exploration to be found this year & I'm enjoying delving into it.

All photos cited on my pinterest.


Valentine's Style / Frolic Vintage

Valentine's Day is a day we all want that romantic look. Many girls are planning to go out and buy a new dress or outfit for a special night out. This week I visited Frolic Vintage in downtown Springfield, to style some Valentine's Day numbers. 

Frolic has such a great variety of pieces, you could create something subtle & sweet, or sexy & daring. For me, I like to wear something I feel comfortable in, but still pretty! I love flowing pieces  & florals. 

Here are some looks I went for & then some other items I loved that aren't necessarily my style! 

Ladies, don't forget about Frolic Vintage (online or in store) when gearing up to create you look for love this season.


Madison & Phil Hedlund, Bindlund Leather Co. | Giveaway

            Lately, I have really taken a notice to Springfield being nothing shy of young, inspiring entrepreneurs. I definitely think that is something that this generation finds a happy home in. Our generation of youthful dreamers has brought back many “dying arts” and has sought out occupations in areas of craftsmanship and artistry. From jewelry to a hand-sewn piece of clothing, I’m likely to hold more value in something that was made with intent and care.
            My friends, Madison & Phil Hedlund have been pursuing leather binding together over this past year and have absolutely soared. Their work is increasingly impressive and beautiful; knowing the hearts and good spirits behind a business may make me a bit biased, but I want to share with you what and why they’re creating. I think you may want to get behind this too.

Define Bindlund.

 “Protecting Whats True” That statement came into my mind one day as I was thinking about what I would like to say our small business stood for. “Protecting whats true” first started as protecting Gods word, the Bible. We first started binding Bibles that were falling apart, some that people would no longer use, but when they came into our hands, we gave them life again. “Protecting Whats True” not only applies to Gods word, the Bibles that we bind, but also to journals. Peoples writings, their thought, their feelings, or everyday life errands, none too small are all things that are true to that person. Protecting personal belongings, laptops, phones, etc are all things in the future we will expand into. Each piece to “Protect Whats True” to each person. Our hope is that these items would be more than run of the mill junk, but be items people cherish, and feel the need to cherish.  At the core we are about the raw work of human hands, creating for another person to hold. That idea, that one day what we touch is the next across the country, in a coffee shop, being used to record the daily happenings and heart song of someone we would otherwise never have contact with, just blows my mind.

Tell me a little bit about what led you to creating Bindlund (and why)?  How has it transformed?

I was inspired by my older brother, Andy, who taught us how to bind Bibles. It made the Bible he gave me more personal to me, since it was re-wrapped in a beautiful leather with personal engraving. I knew the feeling of having my Bible re-done, and I wanted to give that feeling to other people, so here we are. We now have Bindlund. Bindlund has transformed in creating new projects, like journals, laptop cases, and clutch wallets. When we get a sewing machine we will be unstoppable in the ideas we have.

What’s been your favorite project(s) thus far?

My favorite project thus far was a gift project that was a case for a notebook for one of our clients. He was gifting the case for his son, who loved to write poetry. The father mentioned how he saw his son being a writer one day, and wanted to cultivate that in him by hiring me to create a case for his son, where he could replace each notebook after he filled them with his writing. To think of how many notebooks will sit in the case I made, the hours spent writing in each notebook, that’s protected by the leather case, is an honor to have been a part of that process.

Where do you see Bindlund heading in the future?

Phil- Binding Bibles will always be a part of what we do, but I’d like to make briefcases, wallets, satchels, backpacks, handbags, saddles, boots one day. I would like to get to a place where we could give leather bound Bibles away for free to kids, or missionaries or whoever needs one. I think we are headed to a really unique artisan experience.
Madison- Our goal for 2015 is to have it replace an income and have one of us able to do it full time. With the way things have looked, it is a real opportunity and will just take dedication and discipline. We want to join with other local artisans and do pop-up shops, sell in local businesses, and support others along the way. Our community has given so much to us that we really want to keep our focus tangible, even though internet sales are what keeps growing.

What about the craft romances, you (or draws you to it)?

Phil- Working with my hands will always be a passion of mine, and this allows me to work with my hands. Working with leather is amazing. Each piece has a different texture and personality per say. I love the smell of leather and the feel of it. The different qualities leather has and the uses of leather is endless. The toughness of leather is a factor that I love about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if some items were passed down multiple generations, all the while staying in good condition. Leather is a material that only gets more beautiful as time goes on.
Madison- There is something so sweet about a sketch coming to life in your hands. That paired with the thought that something I make might be used as a gift and bring joy just thrills me. 

What are your passions other than Leather Binding? 

Phil- I like to work with wood and create. I like to read. I enjoy classical music and would like to one day learn how to play the piano. I enjoy learning about how things are made, and how they work. I like people, and often am the one listening and asking questions. I enjoy the beauty of nature, I enjoy dreaming with Madison about our future. I enjoy being with men, doing man things. Smoking a cigar/pipe, drinking a fine scotch or a craft beer, building things, taking a hike, camping or rock climbing. Enjoying each others company with good conversation to name a few of things I am passionate about or enjoy
Madison- It is my passion to see women healthy physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Thriving in who they are. I have an entrepreneurial mind and love dreaming up ideas for Bindlund as well as my life coaching businesses I will be launching this year. I have a notebook full of plans!  I also enjoy barre workouts, painting, reading books about personal growth, spending time laughing with friends, and eating (hopefully a delicious organic meal) with Phil. I also like to go on long walks. Not romantically, although I wouldn’t be opposed to that!

What do you do when your not Leather Binding ? 

Phil-Reading, listening to music, cleaning (yes I probably clean too much) creating some kind of wooden project. I like to create. When its not leather, its wood. When its not wood, im working with leather. I am in school pursuing Elm. Psychology and work as a server as well.
Madison- If I am not working on Bindlund you might find me working for tips at a local Mexican joint, reading and dreaming up ideas for my life coaching business, cooking with Phil, working out and hanging out with friends, and rearranging the house.

If you can’t tell I am the creative visionary and Phil is the practical maker.

What special services does Bindlund provide?
Bindlund offers personalized leather bound bibles, journals, laptop cases, clutches, and field notes cases. We also take custom orders and work closely with people to create something they dreamed up themselves. We offer personalizing though complimentary name engraving on any book orders and have engraved logos, quotes, and art onto people’s journals and bibles. We try our hardest to create unique items for our customers, something they would be proud to carry with them daily.

With an entrepreneur spirit, we are using Bindlund as a creative way to achieve our dreams. Phil is in school and Madison is finishing up a certification and will soon start her own life coaching business. Bindlund allows us to have a creative outlet together that launches us forward creatively, financially, and gives us the ability to make our dreams of being a child counselor and a holistic life coach.  We are so thankful for our creative and supportive community who encouraged us to do this. Friends like Courtney and Jess really make it a tangible option for us, and we have really followed their lead.

Head over to Bindlund's etsy page to look at their beautiful work! Also, I will be hosting a giveaway to win this lovely leather clutch before Valentine's Day on my instagram (@floralmountains). Enter to win by tagging two friends in a comment on the photo, you must follow @floralmountains & @bindlundleatherco to be considered.



Oh, the Holidays.

It's finally to that point… when you must set aside time to take down the freaking Christmas decorations. Now that the next holiday is on our tail end, I need to get the silver garland off of the stairway railing and attempt to break down my Christmas tree. (It's shoved in the coat closet, currently.) But, hey…at least I got the decorations up within pretty good time, right? (Just say, 'right')

Maybe a better idea, would be to string some hearts on top of the christmas garland and wa-lah! I'm ready for Valentines day! How well do you all get those decorations down for the new year?
Valentine's day is a really fun holiday… mainly because it gives us ladies an excuse to buy a new dress and curl our hair. Do any of you decorate for Valentine's day? I will at least use it as an excuse to keep a huge bouquet of flowers on the table all month long.


Winter Wears / Barista Style

       On days like today, Mother Nature is trying to fool us into thinking it's late fall… when in reality it could just be Winter blooming into early Spring, or it might be Missouri's weather giving us a break from it's frigid temperatures (or teasing us, rather). In winter I like to revert to a simpler color palate. Moseying around in variations of the same outfit all season. This is my typical work-style. I work a part-time job as a barista at a Local coffee roaster & tasting room. 

I absolutely love my camel coat and black booties. 

 There is rarely a day when I leave my house with out my Daniel Wellington watch strung tightly around my wrist. 

Sarah Stracke

Thanks for the photos Sharon