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Plumas Lake artist can find a use for anything
It's called "Halloween glam."
A twist on the romantic side of skeletons and ghosts, Plumas Lake artist Letitia Grace Lauer gets a thrill out of turning her regular paper crafts into something spooky and beautiful each fall. She spends countless hours cutting books into bumpy pumpkin shapes or adhering pages of novels and nonfiction onto skulls, all now on display in the windows of Dinah's on D Street in Marysville.
Some of her favorite creations come from repurposed discarded and old books, and that was how she connected with Dinah Parks, owner of the Marysville bookstore. Lauer wandered in with a friend and after a quick chat, a partnership formed where Lauer dresses up the windows periodically to attract customers and her creations are sold on consignment.
"I'm not a reader myself, which is kind of ironic," said Lauer, who has dyslexia. "For me, it's a love of art and creating something new."
Parks told her that was OK because she doesn't have an ounce of creativity. And she is happy to have found a use for the unacceptable books she gets, as well as the foot traffic drawn in by the displays.
"Opposites attract, 'you complete me,' whatever you want to call it, it works," Lauer said.
"Without her, my windows would be pretty vanilla," she said. "Her Christmas line is the absolute top-seller, with the book page ornaments. Halloween is No. 2 ... She is unbelievably creative."
Lauer's artistic streak has been running strong since she was a girl. She started painting and sculpting when she was young, but now her passion is for paper crafts and upcycling and repurposing discarded items.
"I love working with stuff that is going to otherwise be thrown away," she said. "To see what else I can get from a worn down item into something usable."
Potato chip cans, ostrich eggs, a bird's nest — she can find a use for anything. For her Halloween costume, she crafted steampunk-style Wonder Woman cuffs out of toilet paper rolls, chipboard cutouts and paint.
The family kitchen table is often taken over by glues, glitter, beads and found objects, or used as a drying rack for freshly machéd or painted creations. They eat many dinners instead at the kitchen counter, because the dining room was long ago transformed into an ornate movie den with Lauer's designer touch.
A stay-at-home mother, she said her family is her first priority and then her crafts. She maximizes her hobby time while her children Trinity, 7, and Tristan, 10, are at school and will stay up after they have gone to bed, sometimes becoming so entrenched in a project she is called back to reality only when her husband, Heath, leaves for work at Beale Air Force Base near sunrise.
"It does take some time, but it's also therapeutic," Lauer said. "Creating restores me, helps me keep my peace of mind."
CONTACT Ashley Gebb at email@example.com or 749-4783. Find her on Facebook at /ADagebb or on Twitter at @ADagebb.