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Auburn native sews her heart out on Mandana

Out on Lacy Road in a little pink house, Audrey Long goes to work snipping and sewing fabric.

She calls the business in Mandana "Curly Bird Designs."

"I came from a family of sewers," Long said.

The Auburn native said she, like many women in her family, has always had the knack for sewing.

"I did it all my life," she said. "I did it when I was younger."

In love with the idea of fitted clothes, Long was into corsets when she was younger and tried her hand at making one.

Despite her connection to cloth, Long went to school and became a licensed chiropractor because the idea of healing and using natural elements appealed to her. But, she didn't really love it, she said. After practicing for a few years, Long chose to leave her practice in Seattle, and found herself in Santa Fe, N.M.

There she found she was unable to practice with the license she had and could not obtain the one she needed. Now, she's come back to New York and has a practice at the Sherwood House in Skaneateles where the sign for her business has her name and the word "healing" on it.

Through her work as a healer, she found harmony between her vocation and the desire for sewing.

"It's just so much fun to think about design," Long said. "It's so much fun to think about something and bring it to form. ... I'm feeling more free, free to create and express and for some reason it brings freedom."

When she starts working with the fabric laid out on the cutting surface at her studio, which doubles as her home, Long said it feels like time passes by. She's developed clothing for yoga, casual wear like fun little dresses and continues to create in her mind and on paper the next pieces she wants to offer up to her customers.

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