Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Giving Me the Bird!

You know how it is sometimes - you visit one blog and then randomly start clicking on some of that person's favorites and then, if you are lucky, you stumble upon a wonderful place you have never been, but are so glad you found!

Well, Annie, at The Bunny Bungalow, had me the instant I saw this fabulous bird from Mercury Design Studio in Austin. Several weeks ago I did a post on the birds in my house. I just have a thing for birds - what can I say!

I also discovered several other blogs that Annie has, and love her statement about people and their stories.She says so much what I feel, but am not nearly as articulate in expressing . Read more here at Annie's other blog My Ranchburger.

So, I left a comment and as most nice bloggers do, Annie came by and left me a comment in return. She told me that she is having a giveaway this week to celebrate the first birthday of The Bunny Bungalow blog. Do visit Annie and leave her a comment and maybe you will get a prize!
Annie is giving away two sets of these porcelain bunny spoons from the Houston Sur la table.

What a lovely photo and precious birthday cake for The Bunny Bungalow blog!

Ohmygosh! this bowl of hands just about undid me! I have a collection of hands, some old and some new, and they are scattered about my house. Some hold birds' nests, some little trinkets, some just rest on stacks of books, but this bowl chock FULL of hands is wonderful!! This photo also from Mercury Design Studio, via The Bunny Bungalow.

I had to share this beautiful treasure, too. It is a catalog of a designer's work. By lifting any lid one can view a photograph of designer Barry Jelinski's creations. Wow.

This, as all other photos in this post, taken straight from Annie's posts about Mercury Design Studio and her birthday giveaway.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nashville Bound

Starting the day with coffee at Fido, a great coffee shop near the Vanderbilt campus.

This week I will be in Nashville helping my baby girl pack up after completing her sophomore year in college! I do not know where the time has gone!

One of my favorite stops whenever I have the chance to visit her is a wonderful shop that reminds me so much of places I loved when I was in college in Austin. The area between two colleges, Vanderbilt and Belmont, called Hillsboro Village, is home to Pangaea. It is a great shop,
chock full of imported clothing, pottery, textiles, home goods, and jewelry.

Mexican tin, Indian bedspreads, table cloths and shower curtains,lamps, funky T - shirts, skirts,a little something for everyone!

Shoppers include students, faculty, visiting parents, as well as locals, looking for gifts or that something exotic or colorful to brighten their homes.

Of course, I was thrilled to find they carry a few pieces of my favorite Mexican pottery by Gorky Gonzales of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Day of the Dead folk figures...........

.......cards, a few toys, bibs, purses...............

just a ton of fun items !

and a great selection of folky pillows. Next time you are in Nashville, visit Pangaea - you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Threads - Fabrics and Vintage Treasure

The west end of Main Street in Fredericksburg has recently come alive with great new shops and galleries. Don't misunderstand - most all of Main Street has always been fun to explore and shop, but some of the businesses have had a tough time drawing the same crowds as the central part of town.

One of the most charming of the new ventures along this end of town is Threads, originally conceived by local talent and former Homestead designer, Kim Roberts. Kim 's focus was primarily on fabrics. With the closing of the original Homestead store, we didn't have a designer quality source for fabrics available in town. Lots of us drive to Austin and San Antonio frequently.

While Kim was excited and loved opening her own business, she was also starting a family and felt the normal pull between career and home and children.

Meanwhile, another former Homestead designer, Margo Anderegg, was exploring new opportunities and sharing her creative genius with mutual friend, Carolyn, as they created red, the new and modern shop I have featured several times. .....also part of the west end neighborhood!

One thing led to another. Kim had her baby and really wanted to be at home. Margo loved the new venture with Carolyn, but really wanted a shop to call her very own. The two got together and suddenly the news on the street was that Margo was the new owner of Threads! Every one was happy.

Walking into Threads this week, I was struck by the sense of warmth and charm that the shop exudes. Margo has kept the wonderful fabrics, most of which are from the Carol Hicks Bolton Collection manufactured by E.J. Victor. It is hard to discern between the beauty found in the pages of the fabulous design books that Margo carries and what is really in the store. Not only has she added design books reflecting her favorite styles, but she also sells French milled soaps and a great line of jewelry - more on that in a bit.

I love the cover of "The New French Decor". It could be a vignette right out of Margo's shop.

No home furnishings shop in our town is complete without having a copy of "Lone Star Living" by the late Tyler Beard. Tyler was a friend to many in this part of the state and created a beautiful book full of local as well as other Texas homes.

When I asked Margo what her vision was for the shop, she told me that she has always loved textiles, old and new. She has a gift for mixing different fabrics into bed linens, slip covers, upholstery, and window treatments. She also loves antiques and this shop is her opportunity to showcase both! The truth is, she loves many things with history, and has added tons of vintage and antique accessories to the shop. It all adds up to create an inviting environment, taking shoppers a good while to fully digest. I circled through several times and saw different treasures each time.

It's difficult to tell where the beautiful photograph ends and the store display begins.

Margo especially loves old textiles and has this wonderful tapestry hanging behind a vintage chair, covered in some of the shop's fabrics.

She sells beautiful antique rugs, as well as having a source for reproductions with a wonderful old, worn feeling.

I wish you could see this vignette more clearly. (read: I wish my photo was better!) The bed is done in all white on white with lace panels hanging behind it. As much as I love color, this bed is just lovely with the different textures and details in the fabrics.

I love this old painted what not shelf - I am a sucker for old paint, chip carving and saw tooth edges.
........wonderful old blue and white bowls and French milled soaps.....

Threads carries a beautiful line of jewelry, Ansara. The designers are two sisters in Kerrville, Texas. Their pieces are all 18 or 22 karat gold, plated over sterling silver, so, while they look very expensive, are affordable. Their designs are exquisite.

table of treasures.....

more vintage treasure - tramp art frames, old bottles and books..........

The shop is lined with racks of bolts of fabrics which can be cut to order. Margo can also custom order fabrics from a variety of sources. She is so talented at helping her customer pull fabrics together to re-cover an old family heirloom, or create custom window treatments. Her shop is a showroom of different ideas of what can be done with her lovely fabric choices.

Love the patchwork pillows and the vintage mirror - every where you turn there are layers of beautiful fabrics and objects.

Baby shoes, old wicker and statuary..........

Custom pillows and bedding are available through the store, as are custom iron and wooden beds.

While many of the fabrics have an old world elegance to them, there are some in the store with a fun, retro feel in bright colors - the cute chair below is a creation of Margo's using bright colors that just pop!

The details of this piece are wonderful. I am crazy about the box pleating with the red stripe peeking through, and notice the band around the bottom.

More treasures.............and yes, silver painted mini pumpkins!

Great florals, available right off the bolt.

Whether you want to update an old family chair or sofa, or create some custom bedding, Margo is available to help you. Her eye is superb and she is as nice as she is talented. It is so much fun to see her in her element, in her dream !

The website for Threads is under construction, so if you really want to visit, want more details or a particular item, or get some help on a special project, call 830-997-4554 and Margo will be glad to help you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Work - Artist Carol Marine

See Thru Barn
A while back I posted about a favorite Texas artist of mine, Carol Marine. I follow her work through her blog, which I have just added to my favorites list. I hope to take a workshop from Carol one day, as well as own one of her beautiful paintings.

Summer Barn
Carol not only teaches others, but is also a student of art and has an appreciation of what she can learn from other artists. She has been in a class in Salado, Texas recently and has been painting outdoors, "plein air". I love that she is open to new settings and ideas. She comments that being the student rather than the teacher, she has had to let go of her ways and be open to what the artist instructor was teaching her. She says that this exercise made her more understanding of what her students feel like. I love that! Can't we all learn from each other, no matter how expert we may be in our field.
I love Carol's still lifes, but these recent works are equally as charming. I love the brush strokes and the colors she uses to create light.

Life Among the Ruins
You can learn more about Carol and what she is learning and painting at her blog or on her website.

Carol shows at several different galleries and will have a show in July at the Wally Workman gallery in Austin. Check the website for specific dates.

Salado Creek

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Flowers

We just planted tons of new flowers in our front beds last week and it was 27 degrees yesterday morning!! Yes, I said twenty seven!!! Is this Texas? Is spring ever coming for sure?! How about rain?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Texas Artist Jon Flaming

Although Fredericksburg, Texas is relatively small - population about 10,000 - we have some pretty impressive cultural events around town. Art and music are very popular here. From an adult or children's choir performance, to piano recitals, to honky tonkin' with Waylon and Willie and the boys in Luckenbach, there is seldom a weekend without an event of some sort celebrating the arts. The local art galleries have started a first Friday of the month "Art Walk", staying open late and encouraging tourists as well as locals to visit the galleries all along Main Street.

Farm House, Late Night 2008

Several years ago I attended the Cherry Springs Festival , benefiting the incredibly talented singing group, Canto, at the home of local philanthropists Diane and Harlan Stai. The Stais own a gorgeous historical estate, "Mansfeldt" just a few miles outside of town. They are very generous with their home and host many events there.

Old Church Near Stephenville, Texas 2007

A very special group of artists, represented by the David Dike Gallery in Dallas, displayed their work for the weekend. A cocktail reception was held on the Friday evening of the event and it was there that I had the pleasure of meeting Dallas graphic designer and artist Jon Flaming.

Feed Store, West Texas

Jon is a multi disciplined illustrator and graphic designer. His website is wonderful and shows great examples of his work, including advertising for Neiman Marcus, Blockbuster Video, Pepsi, and Dell, to name just a few.

Indian 2007

Of course, it was his fine art that captured my heart. I am a big fan of some of the Texas artists of the early to mid century, and while Jon admires and respects these same artists, he definitely has his own style.

Texas Farmer 2007

Jon captures the spirit of small towns in Texas as well as the culture and personality of the people. His figurative paintings remind me of another favorite Texas artist, David Bates, but Jon has his own definitive style.

Final Resting Place 2007

His bold strokes and use of rich color draw me to his work. His subtle comment on life and culture are found in the painting as well as the title. Love the title of this one - "Final Resting Place".

..........and this one, "When Will the Rain Come". 2008

Ranch House with Red Screen Door 2007

This is the painting I came home with that night. It reminds me of the little red farmhouse we lived in when we moved to Fredericksburg in 1995. Unfortunately, we did not have a river running through our property, but the hills, the cactus, the cow, and yes, the red screen door......he captures the feel beautifully.

I have since had the opportunity to see Jon's work at the 2008 festival and to meet his cute wife, Kathy. She is equally as engaging and interesting as Jon and I hope to see them again this spring.

Koffee Kup, Hico, Texas 2006

On the drive back from Dallas last fall, I stopped in at a favorite shop in Hico, Texas. Blue Star Trading has done an incredible renovation on a old building in downtown Hico. They have an array of home furnishings, clothing, books and gifts and a small, but spectacular collection of art. It is always a delightful distraction and nice break from the five hour drive.

Antique Store, Hico, Texas
To my surprise and pleasure, I stumbled across a couple of paintings that Jon had done a few years ago, before I was aware of his work. The one above is indeed, a little antique shop in Hico. This IS what the buildings look like and they all have that wonderful feel of old Texas small towns.

The one above it captures the spirit of the Koffee Kup diner in Hico where many, many folks stop to eat, or at least have a piece of pie, while driving through, only to wait for a table while the locals finish up their Sunday after church dinner. I later told Jon I love how the waitress's hair looks like the meringue on the pies !

Jon is as gracious and generous as he is talented. Not long after I met him, I was on the art acquisition committee for a fundraiser for my daughter's school and called him to ask for a small donation for our event. He gladly donated the above painting and it was all I could do not to bid on it myself and bring it home with me!

Jon will be participating in a group show this spring at Williams Reaves Fine Art in Houston. The show will preview the weekend of May 15-16, with an artist reception on May 22-23, and a gallery talk on the weekend of May 29-30. For specific times and directions, contact the gallery at 713-521-7500 or check the website.

To see more of Jon's work or for more information about him, visit David Dike gallery or Jon's website here. Enjoy!


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