Preparing the Studio Space

Yesterday, I spent my first day in my new studio space. I was just there for a few hours to assess the damage to walls, windows and floors (this space has been empty since November) and to clean up a bit before I start painting the walls. I can't quite put into words my level of gratitude for the opportunity to work in this space. It's in a vibrant part of town and will allow me to widen my reach with gallery exhibitions, studio visits and ample room for classes and workshops.

This space is the brain child of Jay Bailey. He is already a staple at the Continental Gin Building and is currently in the process of expanding his studio work and classes. I'm thrilled that he's asked me to be a part of it. I've included some snap shots from my time in the space yesterday. I hope you enjoy watching the transformation of this space over the next few weeks!


Below is the main teaching space:



And the gallery space on the opposite end of the room:



Jay and his wife knocked down this doorway last week to expose the beam above and open the space up a bit. This breezeway connects the main room to my gallery space and studio:



A corner of my private studio:



The double doorway at the end of the hall leads to our studio:



A very cool old and functional freight elevator down the hall from our space:



Our studio is on the third floor of the building:



Here's a shot of Elm Street, looking towards downtown Dallas:



And here's a shot of the Continental Gin Building and its iconic water tower:



More to come!

Home from CAMP

I spent the weekend in the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Austin with a group of marvelously creative women. We were all attending CAMP: a Texas Style Council blogger's retreat. I was definitely one of the camp "elders", but their verve and vitality was really infectious. (Listen to me, I sound like an old rickety vampire sucking the youth juice from bypassing fashion bloggers).

The grounds were beautiful, although mostly cloaked in sheets of rain for the weekend. But we made the best of it and huddled around fireplaces, craft tables and iPhones. The camaraderie was certainly the highlight of this weekend of sisterhood, but the breakout sessions were also a nice bonus. I was also able to connect with my dear friend, Valerie, whose baby I helped deliver here in Dallas 3-plus years ago. She was my bunkmate, along with the extraordinary best-friend-team, Savannah and Jenny of Maiedae.




Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis




Every morning we were met with coffee, provided by TOMS and some sort of a social mixer or class. There was yoga, fireside chats and early morning lab sessions with the talented Angela Cruz from Squarespace. I've been hoping to unify my work, art, blog and art shop all in one place, and Squarespace is going to help me to do that! In the next few weeks, you'll see some big changes here at La Maison Boheme - and all for the better. Now I won't be spread across 5 separate platforms! No more bouncing between Blogger, Big Cartel, Tumblr, Paypal and Passionfruit Ads. Squarespace is a one-stop-shop and I couldn't be happier to be making the transition.









In addition to the social networking and crafting, we had a few wonderful keynote speakers who talked to us about thinking big, honoring your own voice, fearlessness and emotional breakdowns. The speakers were Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess, Bethany Joy Clark from TOMS, Caroline Recktor of Unfancy, Jess Lively of The Lively Show and Sophia Rossi of Hello Giggles.












We finished our time together with a really beautiful trust exercise. 
Sisterhood. It's so important.




Now I'm back home in Dallas with countless business cards, Instagram feeds to follow, all sorts of new inspiration and best of all, the creation of a cohesive blog and art website. (Sigh). Thank you to Indiana Adams, founder of the Texas Style Council, for one lovely last hurrah at CAMP. You and your team of volunteers did a beautiful job!


Me and Valerie


Houzz Tour | David & Jennifer Lancashire

After a six month hiatus, I'm back at Houzz.com this week with a new home tour article. I took some time off after the death of my brother in early fall. But spring is coming and its the perfect time to get back in the game.

This week, I featured an opulent and luxurious Dallas home owned by David and Jennifer Lancashire, designed by Suzan Davidson. This place is off the hook and it was such fun to photograph. Check out the full article and lots of other photos HERE.



















See the full article HERE.

Artist Jay Bailey

I used to love painting figures and faces. For some reason, however, I let that part of my work fall away in lieu of more abstract and impressionistic work. But lately, I feel a change coming on. I'm at a point in my work where I'm ready to reinvestigate the human figure. I have a few portrait commissions on my plate, which I'm really enthused about, so I've been looking at the work of Lucian Freud, Gwenn Seemel, Valentin Serov and Modigliani for inspiration.

I've also recently begun following the work of Dallas figure artist, Jay Bailey. His work couldn't be more different than mine. He works on paper with watercolors. His restraint and specificity is phenomenal. I love his use of line and gesture to suggest something beyond the painting. He leaves the viewer to fill in the rest of the story. His haunting portraits highlight the subject's humanness and possible disenchantment with their circumstances. His work has a lilting, dark quality that I find truly interesting.

I'm so excited because Jay is teaching a figure drawing class in Dallas at Oil & Cotton in the new year. I haven't taken a technical art class in a million years, so I signed up!









All photos via Instagram - JayBaileyArt




For more information about Jay Bailey, see the sites below:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram


Interested in other artist features here at La Maison Boheme?

America Martin
Marta Whistler
Isabelle de Borchgrave
Toby Klayman
Claire Basler
Jenny Andrews Anderson
Gween Seemel
Paco Camús
Phoebe Wahl
Anne Laddon
Constance Chantilis
Flora Bowley



Suzan Davidson Designs

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Last spring, I was contacted by DFW area designer Suzan Davidson, looking for someone to take interior photos of her work in hopes of creating a visual portfolio for her new website.

I've written 75 home tour articles for Houzz.com and have 7,000 plus edited interior photos sitting in my Houzz file. However I hadn't thought of documenting a designer's body of work until a friend referred me to Suzan. I love when other people help you to see what you're capable of! Thank you friends.

It was truly an honor to go home to home with Suzan, peeking into the beautiful homes she has designed and curated. Her new website is now live and I'm so excited to share one of the interiors I photographed.





One of my favorite color stories in the many houses I visited was this open concept living, dinning and kitchen space. The details here are lush and elegant with an unexpected sense of play. And what better hues for Halloween than orange and purple?










There are lots of spaces to ooh and awe at on her new website, suzandavidsondesigns.com. I'll keep you posted because I'll be featuring some of her homes for  Houzz.com in the coming months! Thanks for reading and enjoy a safe Halloween and weekend!

Drought Tolerant Plants for Texas

Sorry for not posting yesterday. It was a very very busy day for me. The past 48 hours saw first preview audiences for "Sense & Sensibility" and also "Into the Woods". Both went fairly well and now I'm back at home taking a morning off with my family.

I also have the morning to journal and do some preliminary planning for my garden next year. As you may know, I'm planning on ripping out my front lawn and planting drought tolerant species that will require far less water and no mowing! Since I have small children who enjoy touching plants and scooting around the garden on their bottoms, I can't plant a compliment of cacti. So I've been looking into a middle ground: flowering, soft foliage that tend to do well and require very little water in the Central and North Texas climate. Below is a preliminary list of drought resistant plants.


Above: Sages, Rudbeckias, Day Lilies, Yarrows, Lavenders

Above: Lavenders, Sages, Rosemary, Thyme

Above: Flowering plants that attract pollinators

Drought Tolerant Plants:
(in no particular order)

Lavenders
Cape Blanco - white succulent ground cover
Angelina - green succulent ground cover
Voodoo - burgundy red succulent ground cover
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)



Austin to Las Vegas

I've finally landed home in Dallas! Now its time to share photos from my trip to Austin for the SXSW Film Festival. I had a marvelous two days filled with fabulous people watching, down home food and time with my darling friend, Lucy. Lucy was in town from New York doing press for two of her films featured at the festival. It was such a pleasure seeing her and supporting her beautiful work. It was also nice to skip the long lines and join the cast for the preview of her film, "The Mend". Thanks Lu for a weekend I won't soon forget!





After my quick trip to Austin, I headed to Las Vegas for the much anticipated wedding of my friend, Mallory and her lovely groom, Craig. I have to preface this by saying I'm not a big Vegas fan. I don't gamble or enjoy the sick sweet smell of smoke and alcohol. But four days away gave me time to celebrate my dear friends and do some much needed writing! So all in all, it was a great get away.



After my love / hate time on the strip, I was ready to say goodbye and return home.
But first, one quick look at the Chihuly installation in the lobby of the Belagio.

Houzz Tour | Ben & Sarah Willson

One of the many perks of working freelance with Houzz.com is that I get to meet bright, engaging, creative people. A few weeks ago, I interviewed artist, craftswoman and designer Sarah Wilson about her new home in Waxahachie, Texas. Her stylish house, which she shares with husband Ben and daughter Goldie is a breezy, modern oasis deep in the heart of Texas cattle country.

Sarah comes from a large family, and her goal for the house was to create an open layout with a studio where she could produce her jewelry line, Sarah Briggs. The new build was completed last month and took four years to complete. Here are some of my favorite images from our photo shoot. But be sure to go HERE and read the full article.
















But that's not all... 

Not only does Sarah make gorgeous jewelry, she also makes art and textiles, which she sells on Etsy. I had a wonderful time talking with Sarah about her creative work and perusing her line of throw pillows and art prints. If you have some browsing time, check out her beautiful work at the links below:


Harness  -  8" x 10" print available at SB Home

Blue Vases  -  Textile

Blind Date  -  12" x 12" original painting


And to top it all off... she bakes. 

Here she is serving Crepe Cakes that she made for Goldie's first birthday last week.
Sarah Wilson, how do you do all that you do?
I demand answers!


image courtesy of Do It Sarah Style


Houzz | Recycled Bohemian Greenhouse

Most of you know that I'm a home tour contributor at Houzz.com. My most recent article is not a home at all, but rather a greenhouse. Thank you to Brandi, of My Flights of Whimsy, who introduced me to her mother, and greenhouse owner, Carolyn Pace. I love unique spaces, and Carolyn's greenhouse is really special.

Carolyn says she’d rather be up to her elbows in dirt than cooking in the kitchen. So when a small tornado demolished her backyard pole barn, the Centerville, Texas, resident worked with her husband, Gary, to transform the damaged structure into a greenhouse. “The old barn was falling apart; walls blowing in the wind and full of debris,” says Carolyn. “The tornado came through and created the perfect place for a greenhouse.” Now Carolyn can nurture her “green babies” all year long.

Click HERE to read the full article and see all of the photos!














And don't forget to enter our current giveaway from Octavia Bloom Jewelry.
You could win a $60 gift certificate! To enter, click HERE.


Lynsey Purl | Dallas Design Consultant

Dallas based stylist and design consultant, Lynsey Purl, loves autumn's cool weather. It's also her favorite time of year to decorate her family's outdoor spaces. "I love fall and the feeling it evokes," says Purl. "Childhood memories, college football and the anticipation of Halloween and Thanksgiving give me a warm feeling inside."

Instead of changing her outdoor decor for each new holiday, Purl creates a single concept that can transition from autumn to Halloween to Thanksgiving. "By keeping my autumn decor broad I can set it up in September and not have to really change a thing until Christmas," she says.

Last year I featured her home on Houzz.com and her adorable pink and gray nursery went viral. This year she decked out her front porch for Halloween and I'm so excited to share it with you! I've also included some of Lynsey's tips on how to create her DIY painted pumpkins. Thank you, Lynsey for letting me take photos of your handi-work.











How to Paint a Polka Dot Pumpkin
1. Cover the stem with painter's tape.
2. Spray the pumpkin in the desired color and let dry.
3. Place round stickers randomly over the pumpkin. I used a sheet of price tags from the dollar store.
4. Spray the pumpkin with a second coat of a complementary color.
5. Let it dry and peel off the stickers and tape.

 How to Paint a Monogramed Pumpkin
1. Cover the stem with painter's tape.
 2. Cover the pumpkin with paint (I chose a cream color).
3. Let the paint dry.
4. Choose a letter stencil and coordinating paint color (The "P" is for Purl) to create your monogram. 

How to Create a Studded Pumpkin
This is the fastest and easiest transformation.
Push thumbtacks in a random pattern into the pumpkins for a textured, studded look. Experiment with different patterns.






The Purls recently recently renovated their back patio and created an outdoor kitchen. I want to do this at my house! Purl says, "We were fortunate to be able to tie into our existing plumbing outside which was perfect for our outdoor sink." The flagstone was mortared in with a dry stack appearance to add color and texture, which ties in beautifully with the home.



Lynsey also added a little Halloween flair to her children's play house! The kids also got into the pumpkin painting act and decorated their own for the holidays. I love the hot pink one that Lynsey's daughter created. Who says you have to go orange and black for Halloween?






Interested in Lynsey's work?
Check out her website HERE


Houzz Tour | Mark & Priscilla Reives

My latest tour on house is a sweet bungalow in Dallas' Vickery Place neighborhood. Mark and Priscilla Reives have done a crap-ton of work on their home with updates to the kitchen, bath and back patio. They've also undertaken some serious expansion projects. To read all about it on Houzz.com, click HERE.

I really love what Priscilla has done with the bedrooms. The green hues are fresh and unexpected in a 1920's era home. Also, Mark's back patio is awesome: seating area, flat screen TV and best of all, an outdoor fireplace. Check it out:












See all of the photos and read the full article below...




And HERE is the story on all of their Halloween decorations!





And don't forget to enter our necklace giveaway!
Loretta Fontaine is making a custom photo necklace for a lucky reader and it might be you.
All you have to do is enter:


Photobucket

Texas Road Trip & Food Tour

This weekend, I went for a little business trip to cover some homes for Houzz.com. And since the timing was so close to my wedding anniversary, I grabbed Jack, my darling husband, and brought him along! We spent two days and one night eating our hearts out through San Antonio, Austin and Georgetown, TX. It was marvelous. And I was also able to visit two very cool homes, which I'll share later in the month via Houzz.com. Take notes - all three of the restaurants we visited are worth going back to.


City: Georgetown, TX
Location: cutest Old Town Square in Texas
Restaurant: Gumbo's

Lunch Menu:
Mimosa
Fireman's Four (great Texas beer)
Fried Catfish Po'Boy with mashed sweet potatoes
Grilled Tilapia with parmesan-crusted asparagus
strawberry cheesecake


Gumbo's had a great Louisiana style atmosphere and Motown music in the background. It was the perfect place to take refuge from the muggy day and enjoy a beer and some kicky food. My favorite thing was the mashed sweet potatoes that came with Jack's catfish Po'Boy. It was off the hook, made with some kind of pork fat or something heinous that I would never eat in another context. Take my word for it - just order the sweet potato stuff and don't ask what's in it.


Old town movie theater marquee.

The side of an old Georgetown public building.

Town square centerpiece.

Alley.

Gumbo's restaurant on the square.



City: Austin, TX
Location: South Lamar
Restaurant: Olivia

Dinner Menu:
Soup and Salad...
a glass each of Domaine de Fontsainte Rose
Broccolini salad - house lonzino, almond, truffle, red onion, fried egg, brioche
Corn Soup - craw fish toast, blue basil pesto, garden herbs

Shared wine and apetizers...
A bottle of Hecht & Bannier's Minevois '10 - a grenache, syrah mix
Mussels - leek, jalapeno, beer broth, smoked ham hock
Oxtail Risotto (I can't remember all the amazing stuff in this risotto)

Shared entree...
Petite Filet - parsnip, marscarpone, bacon, red chard, Malabar spinach, grilled fig, sherry veal demi

Shared desserts...
Creme Brulee - sea salt, fresh berries
Peaches and Cream - peach semifreddo and sorbet, malted milk candy, roasted white chocolate
Coffee with cream (jack) and champagne (me, because why not?)


We wanted to go someplace special for our anniversary dinner, so Jack found Olivia at Fearless Critic, one of our favorite restaurant finding sites. This meal was quite possibly the best food I've ever eaten. Seriously. It was beautiful to look at, extraordinary to taste and the whole evening was elevated in a way that made me feel like I was a part of something artful and transcendent. The food at Olivia is all locally sourced and some of it grown in their own vegetable garden, which eaters are welcome to browse at the back of the restaurant. They also have a dozen or more hens that lay fresh eggs for the kitchen. Service was warm and knowledgable and as our waiter said, "I could talk about this food all day long." I will definitely be going back as often as I can afford. The meal was pricey, but worth every penny. Oh and whatever you decide to eat - please please please someone order the Oxtail Risotto because its so good it will make you cry.

Broccolini Salad

That's right, my man drinks rose.

The menu.

Mussels. 

View from our North Austin hotel room.

City: San Antonio, TX
Location: Rover Walk
Restaurant: Boudro's

Lunch Menu:
Frozen Prickly Pear Margarita
Guacamole and tortilla chips for two made table-side
Pulled Pork Sandwich with picked slaw (Jack)
Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad (me)
Coconut Flan with Caramel Sauce

It's hard to find food on San Antonio's famous River Walk that isn't super touristy. Let's just say there's a lot of corporate food down there. Boudro's is a happy exception. This little Texas Bistro is tucked into a womb-like cave with a small river side patio and serves up delicious gumbo, Tex-mex, and soul food. The prickly pear margarita was awesome and I recommend you try it out. I know what you're thinking... frozen?  Yes. Frozen. Drink it and you'll see. The guacamole was fresh and made right at our table by our chatty, adorable, red-headed waitress. Everything about this place says 'sit down, enjoy yourself and take it easy'. It was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

My man on the river walk.

Prickly pear margarita.







My Little Family

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. We call it "family day" and its usually set aside for pancakes, family projects, family outings and sometimes an in-house physical therapy session for Charlie. Its a time when we connect with each other, take stock, recalibrate and buoy ourselves for the busy week ahead. 

Recently, one of my beloved doula clients (I was present for her last three home births) gifted my family with a film session with the very talented Ceci Jane. Ceci usually makes birth films, but she also does "day in the life" type films. I asked her to join us for a Sunday in March. She filmed us hanging out at home and turned her footage into this amazing little slice-of-life video for our family. 



Dallas - White Rock Home Tour


I wanted to share a bit of local news this morning. The 8th Annual White Rock Home Tour is coming up on April 20-21. There are five homes on the tour this year. Two of them are new builds that boast completely modern and sustainable features. There are also two Midcentury homes. The fifth home on the tour is a rebuild. The home owners kept the original foundation and repurposed the existing materials to create the new house.  It's going to be a great tour and I'm so looking forward to seeing these houses!  If you're in the DFW area, you should join us!  You can find more information on their website: www.whiterockhometour.org.


Here are some sneak peeks at the homes:










Tourist in my own town.

On Wednesday, my father and I took my kids to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas.  The building itself resembles a disjointed cube of stacked stone tucked up against the freeway.  We've been itching to get inside and see the new space.

My 5-year old son's response?  "Totally awesome!"  And he's right.  It is.  If you ever find yourself in the DFW area, put it on your list.  My favorite part of the day?  Listening to my five-year-old explain to me that water is "actually" a compound called H2o, which means an oxygen molecule and 2 hydrogen molecules.











Here's a shot of my son, Charlie exploring a light sensitive wall with his hands.








Walker and I read about our expanding universe.





Walker and I discuss the finer points of Barometric Pressure.





Coolest Dining Room Chairs EVER


Here is an excerpt from my latest offering on Houzz.com... 

Stephen and Lindsey Edison have created a cohesive yet wildly eclectic mix of decor in their Dallas ranch house. French antiques live side by side with Japanese art, African artifacts, industrial accents, iconic midcentury furniture and even some cowhide.

Lindsey's style has its roots in a long line of spectacular homemakers, including her mother and grandmother, who both had beautiful Louisiana homes. She says, "They instilled in me the importance of having a creative and welcoming home, ready for entertaining guests." 

Please click HERE to read the full article and see all the photos!














This is one of my favorite DIY projects in the house.  Stephen took an old wood pallet and transformed it into a photo board with some heavy duty paper clamps.  So easy and so cool.



To see all of my articles on Houzz, please click HERE.


Midcentury Modern Ju-Nel Home


I'm excited to share with you my latest offering on Houzz.com
a tour of a fantastic Midcentury modern home built by Ju-Nel Homes.

When Mark and Betsy Nanchy first laid eyes on this home, it was stripped to the studs, was missing several walls and had holes in the floor revealing dirt below. Rotting due to years of neglect, the structure was in the middle of a remodel by New Leaf Construction. Built by Dallas' famous Ju-Nel Homes architects in 1965, this home had been an entrant in the New York World's Fair's "Home of the Future" series. The model house had been sponsored by the Formica company, so Formica products decked the home from top to bottom.

Despite the mess, the couple recognized the potential this home had. They had been searching for two years and knew exactly what they were looking for. The large lot, beautiful neighborhood, surrounding trees and midcentury-style interior sealed the deal.


Read the full article and see all the photos HERE.


Tulip art by Tamara White






Blue art by Tamara White

Art by Caleb Jack







Art by Caleb Jack

Read the full article and see all the photos HERE.
Additionally, I covered another Ju-Nel home in November that you might be interested in!