The Well and The Lighthouse

Tonight is an epic night for the Fort Worth shopping community…we got a Madewell.


It’s right next to our precious J. Crew at University Park Village–think of the convenience! I can’t tell for sure, but I think it’s a little larger than Northpark store.


You could still smell the fresh paint (which is oddly, a smell I love, along with sawdust). The staff is delightful and sweet and fashionable without being intimidating. As in, they would probably help me pull of that effortless, layered look, but could they help me wear red lipstick and make it last all day?!


As a designer that does mostly large scale commercial projects, I’m always amazed at boutique, high-level detail design–how do you spec this clothes rack? Bobrick doesn’t make this? They’ve done a lot with very basic, classic stuff.


I don’t even know what these are, but they were neat and artfully displayed atop a neat display case.


Great job, Madewell! I look forward to visiting you regularly!

On The Table

For the past few years, my post-Thanksgiving-food-induced-bliss quickly turns into manic shopping and planning to get my table ready for Simple Elegance!

“Simple Elegance” is an event my church holds the first Monday of Advent (usually the first Monday after Thanksgiving, but I get an extra week this year!) where we decorate 8-top tables (not necessarily “simply” or “elegantly”) and invite our friends for an evening of coffee and desserts and oogling!
This is my third year to do a table. The first year, I borrowed a friends beautiful Wedgwood china and that set the tone–teal, burlap, neutral, and rustic.
I used a few yards of burlap for the tablecloth, scraps from an old lace tablecloth, and layered on lots of Mom’s Mom’s serving trays and  silver bowls.  I started saving (and cleaning) jars when I decided on a theme.  There weren’t many purchases for this table!  Yes!
Stay tuned for a post on my second attempt at Simple Elegance!





Let’s see, it was three weeks ago, at the day job, that we learned we are consolidating our 7 floors down to 3 floors (in our high rise office building) by next summer.  We had already been moving people around to clear out of some areas to then sublease them to save overhead, which makes sense.  But in this meeting, three weeks ago, we also learned that everyone on the 23rd floor (me) would be moving to the 18th floor the NEXT WEEK.  Meaning:  next week, stop what you’re doing, forget those deadlines, you have to pack up all your belongings; the movers will be here Friday at noon (Thank God for the movers!).



This is just a funny picture of a forgotten-about corner of our new floor, entitled “Where task chairs go to die…”  Poor little task chairs, everyone wants an Aeron!


I may have been one of the few people that were excited about this.  I need an excuse to clean everything out, to purge, to dust off every surface!  It made me anxious about this pile of “things” that sits in the corner of my apartment.  I’m sure you have one too, right?  Things that I need to take to someone, things that need to go in the car, things that are shoes I was too lazy to put away.



Now is as good a time as any to purge!  Usually, I move apartments often enough to keep things light, but as I come closer to renewing my lease her for the third time, I’m thinking, “This place used to be bigger…”  When really I’ve found ways to fill every square inch with STUFF!  The worst!  Like those magazines—why do I have these?  I tell myself, “Oh, I’m going to look through those again and make some awesome binder with cut-outs my favorite things.”  And I think they’ve invented Pinterest since I’ve had that thought.  And I got an iPad where I enjoy reading my mags.  Hmm…recycle!


Happy “Fall” Cleaning!  Just in time to bring out the holiday swag!


Halfway Home

Welcome!  So this is where I live…

This past weekend, my friend, Meagan, lent me her super fancy camera to play with.  I’m planning to get a Canon Rebel of my own soon (my iPhone has replaced my Sony point-and-shoot, but it can only do so much).  I haven’t done “real” photography since college (meaning Photography 101–take the lens cover off..) and that was film, not digital.  I completely forgot what all the bells and whistles do!  So, for practice, I took pictures of my apartment.

I wish I had done at the last place I lived in Oak Cliff—a beautiful 1920s apartment building on Bishop Avenue.  Sadly, I only have a few iPhone pictures from my first night there with “The Office” playing on the tv.  I’ve lived in my ode-to-Arts-and-Crafts Fort Worth apartment for 2 ½ years now, so there’s no time like the present!  Even though, I’d like to put up drapes, I wish I had painted the walls when I first moved in, I hate the size of the kitchen (it’s too big, but not in a good way), my bedroom is BEIGE, etc.–I could go on and on, I’ll stop.

Technically, it’s a space I designed (other than the architecture, the wall colors, the cabinets, the layout…) so it needs to be documented and added to the portfolio!

Golden Age

Last weekend, I picked up a sale skirt at Anthropologie and as I was checking out, I noticed a sign at the cash wrap advertising “At First Sight…”  I asked the sales person what it was and she said, “Oh, that’s our Holiday Display Workshop!”  Say what!?!  Sign me up!  So last night, I went to my local Anthropologie and helped craft some of their displays for the holidays!  I know it was free labor on my part, but who cares?  I had so much fun!

Much to my shame, I arrived late and missed most of the introduction about the history of their displays and how that department of Anthropologie works.  I want to know more, “do they need my help!?” and, “can I be your friend?!”  We jumped right into crafting!

There were two tables set up and one table added cute decorations onto already cute Anthro mugs.  The table I was at made ingenious “spoon orbs” (as I like to call them) to hang from the ceiling.  We had a styrofoam balls, wrapped in masking tape, and spray painted either gold, bronze, or silver (they did this prep work for us).  Then we were given spray painted plastic spoons:

They said they were going for a gradient effect, with the lightest part at the spoon, and they clipped the ends of the handle to make a sharp point (be careful!) in order to make it easier to stab it into the sphere.  It took a good hour for me to finish mine, but they came out to be so cool!

Leave it to those girls to come up with such a great idea.  They are given tight budgets to work with, so they try to use the cheapest materials they can find.

The set up we were in was beautiful, they gave us treats, they answered our nosey questions about the store and discounts, and their workshop that’s in the back of the store!  They sent us home with ornaments they made too as a thank you!

They put the spoons we were using in the bucket–I mean, really, nothing is left undecorated or done less thoughtfully.

Check Anthropologie’s Facebook page events to see when it’s at your local store.  I signed up to be notified for other display events–I highly recommend it!  I’m going to go back in a couple of weeks to see where they hung it up and then stop everyone who walks by to let them know, “See that thing with the spoons?  I did that.  Yeah, it was pretty hard, I gold some gold on my hands…”

Walking With a Ghost

It’s been so hot lately, but I can’t stay inside all day anymore.  I love taking a walk in the evenings after a hard day of sitting at a computer.  Tonight, I got a big bottle of ice water and stepped out in my old haunts around TCU, Park Place, and University Place.

I’m fascinated by this Art Deco-y, Park Hill Drive bridge from 1910 (which is pre-Deco).  It’s well worn, but there are neat details–blue accent tiles and blue painted railing with a triangle pattern at the top.

I love the little shops at University and Park Hill.  I remember they used to advertise in the Skiff and give students discounts.  I miss Byrd and Bleecker being there (easy access to fabulous greeting cards), now that they’ve moved to Camp Bowie.  Shoe Gypsy is delightful!  The girl who runs the place is a joy.  I keep meaning to go in to get some TOMS, so I can be cool like the current TCU students.

There are some beautiful houses in this neighborhood (which is why I like to walk here), I try my best to guess the style or era of all the different custom homes.

This is so close to the Fort Worth Zoo!  You can see the back of it over this bridge

A friend of mine used to live in Mistletoe Heights and said she could hear lions roar in the morning sometimes.  Yikes!

Here’s hoping for better walking weather soon!

Update: Falling For You

You know, I’m still trying to get the hang of blogging. I’m still trying to get the hang of design. I’m still trying to get the hang of Fort Worth! This new blog, beyond} Simple puts me to shame! Sherry Griggs of Simple Things, the most amazing furniture store in Fort Worth, has started a blog and is doing amazing events–the first one being “Furniture, Foliage and Food Trucks.”

From Facebook: “She’ll be showing loads of fabulous furniture and accessories, and you can tour some beautiful green grounds with koi ponds – while also enjoying yummy things from some of the best food trucks around. Come try the noshes from Central Market’s HEAT; Yes! Taco; Wiener Man; Il Cane Rosso; Yum Yum; and Salsa Limon.”

Tonight was the first night, but I’m a little too worn out from the work day. Plus, I think Philip is eager to join me and try more of the food trucks that are popping up around Fort Worth!  AND tomorrow is pay day!!  I shall look for “fittings” for my home.

Go to Facebook for more info on the event, hosted by Texas Toast Culinary Tours. And it’s also mentioned in the lasted issue of 360 West!

Update: Philip and I fun at the event last night–we ate some delicious pizza from Il Cane Rosso (they’re the guys outside Times Ten Cellars on Thursdays) and sampled chardonnay from Lange Twins and Philip tried a few of the beers.  We loved the teepee set up!

The party was well attended in the heat and the furniture and accessories were beautiful!  Sherry was super nice too.  I either need a larger apartment or a come-to-Jesus meeting some of my current pieces.  Can’t wait for the next beyond} Simple event!

All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth

Last Saturday, Philip and I attended the grand opening of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth.  They opened the building to the public and let us peak inside all those new cabinets!  There were local food vendors and live music, even the TCU Cheerleaders stopped by with Super Frog!

The BRIT is a beautiful LEED Platinum building (kind of a big deal) and was designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture.  I originally came to gawk and judge, but then Philip and I remembered that our phones have cameras!

As soon as we walked in, I zoomed straight to (in a haze, bumping into many people) this gorgeous wall.  It’s made of reclaimed wood from Krantz Recovered Woods, specifically 1×4, 1×6, and 2×4 sinker cypress (sunken logs that were at the bottom of lakes and rivers) planks in a patter by turning them flat and on their side.

There’s also linear, orange lighting that must look amazing at night (I’ll tell you now, this place is available for events).

How great would a cocktail party be on the “Oak Terrace?”  It over looks some of the prairie area behind the building and towards Will Rogers and the museums.

The BRIT has great natural light throughout with skylights, sidelights, and windows into all the conference and work rooms.  My favorite part of any LEED building is when they choose to add signage to explain all the “green stuff” in the building–wool carpet, FSC certified wood, geothermal walls!  The signage, overall, was amazing and informative.

And like any great museum, the gift shop was great.  Tiny…but great.  You can register there–I was dying for this silver hibiscus platter (around $130).

Philip and I greatly enjoyed the horn-handled magnifying glass for identifying all those plant species.

You can still go on tours–public, private, docent led, etc.  The BRIT is a fantastic addition to Fort Worth!