Texans and Their Boots: Reflections From a Few of Our Favorite People – Texas Monthly

Lyle Lovett

The Connoisseur 

At this point in his career, Lyle Lovett’s deftness in doling out dry wit has arguably surpassed his triple-stacked curls as his primary calling card. But the Klein native takes the subject of cowboy boots quite seriously. One of the most revered singer-songwriters Texas has produced, Lovett has a deep appreciation for the craft of making boots and the art of wearing them well. 

I started wearing boots consistently when I went to college. You get to A&M and see guys that have a certain, very consistent look. For me, it was one less fashion variable to have to think about.

But there have always been a few general rules when it comes to boots. First, wear your pants long enough. Real cowboys have a stacked effect with their jeans. When they rest on the foot of the boot, they kind of wrinkle up. That way, if you’re in the saddle, they’re still long enough. If you see somebody whose pants aren’t long enough, it might be a tell that it’s their first pair of boots.

If you’re wearing a black hat, you wear black boots. Your belt should match your boots and your hat.

And I wouldn’t wear a pair of python boots to church. I wear boots that would be the equivalent of a dress shoe. That’s just common sense.

Guy Clark first took me over to Texas Traditions, in Austin, in 1985. It was the legendary bootmaker Charlie Dunn’s shop. Charlie worked at Capitol Saddlery before opening his own place. Lee and Carrlyn Miller, who own Texas Traditions now, met while working for Charlie. Charlie was famous for firing people, so I asked Lee one day, “How did you survive Charlie? How did Charlie never fire you?” And Lee said, “Oh, Charlie fired me every day. I just kept coming back.”

Lee and Carrlyn made me my first pair of custom boots in 1989. They were a pair of bone kangaroo-skin boots with a twelve-inch top and a half-inch box toe. Before that, I grew up wearing Tony Lama and Justin Boots, until I finally graduated to a pair of Luccheses. By my front door I keep a pair of off-the-shelf Lucchese ropers. They’re really easy to slip in and out of, so I wear them to go to the trash can or get the newspaper.

My favorite pair my wife, April, made for me for my birthday in 1998. They have white tops and black lowers. Lee and Carrlyn tried to direct April to a bone top, something not quite as contrasty as stark white. They do a great job of guiding their customers. But April stuck to her guns. I wore that original pair of black-and-whites to every show for twenty years. Two or three years ago we made an identical pair, which I wear now. I wear them because I love them. But also I love that April gave them to me and they were her idea. That means something.

The pair, designed by his wife, that he wears onstage.

The pair, designed by his wife, that he wears onstage.

Photograph by LeAnn Mueller

With boots, there are a million design choices, and those choices can define who you are. Different activities require different kinds of boots. I mainly wear a style that would be considered a dress boot, but if I’m home on the farm or going to a horse show, I’ll wear boots that are really functional—tough enough for being knocked around all day in the pasture.

So much comes down to color and the type of skin. A nicely finished cowhide or kangaroo, something that takes a really nice shine, always dresses up whatever you’re wearing. With jeans, you can more easily wear an exotic skin that might make a bolder statement. Alligator always makes for a beautiful dress boot but looks great with jeans too. 

A work boot needn’t be a crude piece of work. There are really nice leathers that are extremely durable. Like ostrich. It’s soft and comfortable but tough at the same time. I wear a pair of black tall-top ostrich boots around the farm.

If I wear a pair of boots that get muddy enough that I’m worrying about dirt working its way in and eroding the leather, I will simply hose them off at the end of the day and let them dry really well overnight. Then I wipe them off and condition them with a non-oil cream.

There’s no such thing as an out-of-style boot. There’s an era for that style, and it can be fun to go back, especially if you understand the tradition.

Real cowboys haven’t worn pointed-toe boots like mine since the fifties or sixties. In the seventies, a round-toe boot became fashionable. The last twenty years, it’s gone from a blunt round toe, among the horse folks that I associate with, to a really square toe. So if I’m around real cowboys with my half-inch-box-toe, fifties-throwback sort of dress boots, they ask me if I’ve been hanging out in Hollywood and tease me about it. But if you’re a musician or you do something unconventional for a living, you get forgiven for a lot. They assume you just don’t know any better.

Typically, the fanciest part of the boot is the top, but if you wear your pant leg over it, it’s like you’re not showing off. And it’s fun to be able to reveal the top of your boots to somebody that might be interested. Somebody says, “Oh, those are nice boots!” and then you show them the tops. It’s the next level of the conversation.

I once took Lauren Bacall to Texas Traditions. I got to know her on the Robert Altman film Prêt-à-Porter. She was a big fan of nice footwear. In 2005 she told me she was going to be in Austin for the Texas Film Hall of Fame, so I drove over from Klein, picked her up at the Four Seasons, and took her to Artz Rib House. She had a Pekingese in her purse and was feeding it under the table. Then we went to Texas Traditions and got her measured up for some boots. She wound up with beautiful black ones with the old Charlie Dunn pinched-rose pattern on the tops, with a roper heel.

Boots become part of your life. The little nicks and scratches that you get on them really endear them to you. You remember what you were doing when you marked ’em up. Those little nicks are character builders. They are your life.

In 2002, when my leg was broken by our bull, the paramedics couldn’t have been nicer. They wanted to cut off my boot. And we all knew my leg was broken, but I had the clarity of mind enough to say, “Hey, don’t cut off my boot.” They wiggled it off. I’m glad they could save them.

Tourists to Texas who buy a pair of boots, I wonder how often those boots actually get worn. But I think it says a lot about our culture and about our identity down here that somebody from somewhere else would want to take a little bit of that home with them. I’m not going to judge that. You might be able to laugh a little, good-naturedly, the first time they trip over themselves. But I think we should be flattered. If I maybe saw somebody like that, I’d thank them. And I’d say something like “Nice boots!” and let them figure out what that meant.

With a boot, you’re sending a message. Fashion is all about communication. You’re saying, “This is who I am. This is what I think is important.” If you dress in an innocuous way, maybe you’re saying, “I just want to fit in.” But if you’re stepping onstage and into a white light and everybody’s looking at you anyway, what is it that you want to say about yourself? For me, I’m just trying to communicate who I feel like I am. I’m not trying to assume a character. By wearing boots, I’m just trying to say, “This is where I come from. I’m from Texas.” —As told to Andy Langer

Clay in Lucchese boots, Joe in Old Gringos, and Mike in Rocketbusters.

Clay in Lucchese boots, Joe in Old Gringos, and Mike in Rocketbusters.

Photograph by Matthew Johnson

Clay, Joe, and Mike Cavender

The Hustlers 

When James and Patricia Cavender opened their first store, in 1965, they couldn’t have predicted that the small Pittsburg, Texas, clothing shop would eventually become the largest privately owned Western-wear retail chain in the nation, with 83 Cavender’s locations throughout the Midwest and South, including 56 in Texas. James passed away in 2018, at 87, and Patricia this past August. Now the couple’s three sons are shepherding the business, bringing with them a lifetime of watching how Texans buy boots.

Mike Cavender: One of Dad’s big breaks came when some quail hunters out of Longview happened on the Pittsburg store around 1968. They bought a bunch of boots and started telling people in Longview about James Cavender’s good selection and prices. He started getting more and more customers. He would even load up his vehicle with boots and drive down to Longview to sell them out of his car. Word spread around East Texas. And as the years piled up, so did the stores.

Clay Cavender: Dad never met a stranger. He loved to talk to the people on the sales floor and visit.

MC: Real loud, real opinionated. But down-to-earth. And real frugal.

CC: Dad hired me one summer to work commission sales in Pittsburg, when we didn’t exactly have a lot of customers coming through the door. He didn’t like me making as much money as I did, though, so he put me in the warehouse to do warehouse work—but still paid me commission!

Joe Cavender: He was a hustler.

CC: The South is always a good market for us, but Texas is king. There’s a lot of fashion things that people wear every day in Texas that, if you go outside of the state, it might be once a month.

JC: We sell a whole lot more work boots than we did twenty years ago. Things evolve. The Urban Cowboy deal was big. Then, in the late eighties, when George Strait came on the scene, that drove another big peak in the market. There was a peak in the mid-2000s, a ladies’ boots craze. Today it’s a lot of wide, square-toed boots.

CC: I’ve got snake-proof boots for when I hunt. I’ve got everyday boots for when I go to the store. I’ve got dress boots for when I wear a suit. I used to have a pair of golf boots, believe it or not. Cowboy boots with spikes.

JC: We’re trying to get all the next generation into the business. I’ve got a son and daughter who have been in it, and we’re trying to move them up in the company.

CC: It’s definitely different without Mom and Dad. We miss them. But our plan is to continue to open three to six stores a year. There’s not a better business in the world than Western wear in Texas. How lucky are we? —As told to Emily McCullar

Cisneros in vintage Lucchese boots, a gift from an old friend.

Cisneros in vintage Lucchese boots, a gift from an old friend.

Photograph by Nick Simonite

Sandra Cisneros

The Myth Buster

During the more than twenty years award-winning author Sandra Cisneros lived in San Antonio, she wrote, founded two nonprofits for writers, and made headlines for painting her King William District house “Tejano colors.” In 2013 she moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

I didn’t wear cowboy boots before I moved to Texas. And it took a long time before I started wearing them, because the way I saw them was a little bit ominous. If you’re Mexican and you think of cowboys, you think of the Texas Rangers, which is like being black and thinking of the Ku Klux Klan; you don’t necessarily have a positive association. It took me a long time to come around and understand, “Oh, wait a second, cowboy boots existed before cowboys because they come from Mexican vaquero culture. The cowboy boot is Mexican.” We forget that. There are parts of American history that we have amnesia about, and a good deal of it has to do with Mexico.

I remember going to the Rocketbuster shop, in El Paso, for the first time and seeing that a lot of the craftsmen who were making the boots were Mexican. Texas culture is built on Mexican culture, and Mexican culture is Spanish culture built on indigenous culture. If we understand that history is a continuum, then we can appreciate what came before and how it transforms us and becomes who we are.

I bought my first pair of boots around the time of the first Gulf War. I had a couple of Mexican American friends who would mix cowboy boots with vintage Mexican skirts. They would go to thrift stores in the Valley and San Antonio and South Texas and come back with old vintage skirts and vintage boots. It’s a really lovely look, and it was a very new look for me when I started emulating it.

I’m always wearing cowboy boots. I wore them to the White House and at the Texas Institute of Letters. If I’m going to travel anywhere, I always wear a pair on the plane. And if I have to go to a formal event, I always wear cowboy boots underneath my Mexican skirt. I wear them around San Miguel, but I have to have rubber added to the soles because of the sidewalks and cobblestones.

To me, what I wear is a political statement. I wear it to educate people; this is why I wore the cowboy boots and Mexican dress to the White House. I could wear anything else, but I’m always dressed in a Mexican outfit or whatever I can wear to educate the public to have pride in who they are.

I once got an award for something at the Border Book Festival, and instead of giving me a glass statue or a plaque, they were smart enough to give me a pair of cowboy boots. Isn’t that great? Wouldn’t everybody be thrilled if, for every award, instead of a plaque we got a pair of boots? Especially awards from Texas. They ought to come with a gift certificate, credit from your favorite bootmaker. —As told to Katy Vine

Bobbie Nelson

The Style Icon 

Pianist, sister of Willie

The way I’m situated at the piano, you don’t see much of me except for my hat and my feet, so my footwear always seems to draw attention. I need the heel to be at an angle for the pedal. I would love to play barefoot, but it’s not comfortable. I can’t play in tennis shoes either. Sometimes a girl just needs to wear sandals. But mostly, I wear boots.

Crockett in a pair of Tony Lamas, a gift from the company.

Crockett in a pair of Tony Lamas, a gift from the company.

Photograph by Matthew Johnson

Charley Crockett

The New Outlaw

Charley Crockett is a country-blues singer from Los Fresnos and a direct descendant of Davy Crockett. He started busking at a young age, eventually touring relentlessly despite a heart condition. After two heart surgeries this past January, he released his sixth album and returned to the road.

When I was doing the street playing, I wore a lot of classic wing-tip dress shoes. Old-school New Orleans street stuff. But then, as I started spending time in Texas playing blues joints and honky-tonks, I got a pair of used Tony Lamas in East Dallas. I’d stand a little taller up there onstage.

Some of those boots that have a little higher heel, that you wear a little tighter—it’s easier to move around onstage in those if I’m doing a little boogie-woogie. I wouldn’t want to be walking down some country road in those. You need something sturdier, wider for that.

Work boots—you could hike up the side of a mountain in those damn things if you wanted to.

I’m pretty hard on them. Just wear holes right through the soles and not upkeeping them like I should be. Once your sock hits dirt? Well, you can get away with that for quite a while if it’s not raining. Just wear a thicker pair of socks.

I’ve never bought a pair of new boots. I like classic boots, the fifties and sixties boots like those old Acmes in mint condition, but it’s hard to find those. Vintage Noconas are good too. I got this pair I have right now—I think from the early seventies—that I found at this old antique mall in Asheville, North Carolina.

Softest damn leather you ever felt, these boots. They were so beautiful, didn’t have a scratch on them. The old lady working the counter, she had this whole table of dusty shoes, and those boots were the only pair among them. I thought they were at least $150. She didn’t even look over at me when I asked how much they were. She said, “Anything on that table is ten dollars.” And I just shut up and pulled out the money and got the hell out of there. I’ve been offered a few hundred for them on the street. —As told to Katy Vine

Franklin in Frye boots she got as a gift in Charleston.

Franklin in Frye boots she got as a gift in Charleston.

Photograph by Todd Spoth

Kam Franklin

The Soul Connection 

Kam Franklin is the lead singer of the Suffers, a “Gulf Coast soul” group from Houston, which formed in 2011 and has performed around the world. Franklin, who usually wears boots onstage, has worn them since she was a baby.

There was never a moment of “Oh, I’m going to start wearing cowboy boots today.” It was “Let me grab my boots,” the same way some people would say, “Let me grab my purse.” I love that they can be dressy or casual or wedding shoes. They can be anything.

When the band first started touring, Kacey Musgraves had just launched a boot line with Lucchese, and I wore her white Golden Arrow boot on Jimmy Kimmel. I went to Texas Southern University, and those boots reminded me of the majorettes at the football games performing with the Ocean of Soul marching band.

I’ve always wanted white ostrich boots. I would love black alligator too. And I have yet to find mid-calf, low-heel, red boots in my size. Size 11 women’s specialty cowboy boots are so hard to find. You get referred to men’s boots because they have more styles, which makes no sense.

Boots are a part of me and my personality. I love that I grew up where wearing cowboy boots is not considered a novelty. —As told to Katy Vine

Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg

The Rancher 

Lifelong King Ranch resident, King Ranch director, great-great-grandson of Richard King

I’ve probably owned thirty pairs of boots, and I still have all of them. Leather is a living product, and you have to keep it cleaned and oiled. You also need a boot tree. The more you wear and condition your boots, the better they feel—like a pair of gloves. If you take care of them, they’ll last you a lifetime.

Voyles in work boots from Kimmel Boot Company.

Voyles in work boots from Kimmel Boot Company.

Photograph by Nick Simonite

Evan Voyles

The Collector

Nobody embodies Austin’s mix of individual style and entrepreneurial spark quite like Evan Voyles, the creator of some three hundred colorful neon signs that dot the city like totems. Voyles has handmade them all, from the simple Chuy’s arrow to Home Slice Pizza’s mustachioed Queen of Pies. Before turning to neon, Voyles had another career: vintage boot collector. Once upon a time, he had what he believes was the world’s largest collection.

Growing up, my family had a ranch near Johnson City. And when you were at the ranch, you wore cowboy boots. That was just a rule.

As I got older, I started making my own choices about what I wore. It was the sixties, and my hair was getting longer. But I still wore jeans, a chambray work shirt, and cowboy boots, as I do now. At the time you were seeing rednecks wearing cowboy boots and work clothes with short hair, but you were also seeing Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield with long hair and muttonchop sideburns and cowboy boots.

When I went off east for college, I quit wearing boots for a year. I was at Yale. I wore khakis and button-down shirts. And I had to change back. It just didn’t fit. After that, I wore cowboy boots all the time. I was a purist. I was morally opposed to flashy boots. It was like, you need work boots and black boots, period.

By 1986, I’d left a job in San Francisco, and I was living in a Land Cruiser, driving around America. I had long hair, a beard, an earring. I arrived in Abilene, where my sister was taking care of our mom, and we went to the Buffalo Gap Flea Market. I saw a pair of boots that were black and white, with gold stars and sunflowers and butterflies. They were wild. And they were $25, which was over my budget, and they didn’t fit. I didn’t get them. But I regretted it, so we went back two days later, and they were marked down to $12.50.

They didn’t have any markings on them—no labels, nothing. I brought them home, and my mom said, “You know, there’s a bootmaker on the East Side. Maybe he can tell you something about them.” It was James Leddy. He’s dead now. But he is part of an empire of bootmakers that goes back nearly a century.

He was very kind. He explained that the boots were handmade. He said, “This is made in Mexico. See, the Mexicans do it this way. We do it this way.” And I got excited and went out and bought more boots and brought them to him. He became my mentor.

He showed me that this was a form of folk art. Cowboy boots could be identified by their architectural details in the same way that Navajo rugs could be identified by their patterns and yarn. You could date boots by style; you could place them by design.

The ground was littered with cowboy boots in the mid-eighties. They were like apples waiting to be harvested. West Texas was the biggest part of the orchard, and I went all over it, buying boots from shoe repair places and thrift stores and garage sales. I was paying, on average, $4.10 a pair.

I was a collector first. I became a dealer only to finance my habit.

His grandfather’s 1930s boots from Hyer Boot Company, in Olathe, Kansas.

His grandfather’s 1930s boots from Hyer Boot Company, in Olathe, Kansas.

Photograph by Nick Simonite

I got a storefront in Buda, filled it with cowboy boots, and opened for business, but nobody showed up. A friend told me that people in L.A. would pay good money for boots, so I would hunt my way to L.A., sell on Melrose, drive to San Francisco, and sell on Haight Street, where they’d sell for $40. Forty dollars! 

One night in 1994, my storefront in Buda burned to the ground, and my entire collection with it. There were five hundred pairs. That’s when I got into the sign-making business.

I still live and work in boots the same way I always did, but now I’m closer to their purpose. When you’re climbing a ladder for work, you’ve got to have at least one hand holding something—a tool or a sign. And when you get to the top you want both hands free. The very things that make cowboy boots structurally perfect for locking into a stirrup—the pointy toe, the high instep—make them perfect for locking onto the rung of a ladder. That’s what boots are about. It’s not about style. It’s work gear.

Sometimes I’ll still see an old pair of boots sitting on a rack and go, “Oh my God, those were made by Ray Jones out of Lampasas—I’ve gotta have them!” I can’t not do it. —As told to Michael Hall

McDavid in custom boots from Gossamer Wings, in Santa Fe.

McDavid in custom boots from Gossamer Wings, in Santa Fe.

Photograph by Trevor Paulhus

Stacie McDavid

The Socialite 

Stacie McDavid is a Fort Worth philanthropist, the CEO of McDavid Companies, and a former amateur world champion in the American Cutting Horse Association. But she’s perhaps best known for her style. It’s not unusual to find her at a society party wearing couture—and cowboy boots.

I have one hundred pairs of boots in my closet—forty that I wear for riding and sixty that I call my “fashion boots.” I’ve got turquoise boots with silver tips that come up to the knee. Red boots that come over the knee. Multi-colored boots with flat heels. I’ll go to lunch wearing a T-shirt and skinny jeans tucked into zip-up ankle boots. If I’m wearing a skirt, I’ll wear pointy-toed boots.

I get up early in the morning, put on a pair of my riding boots and spurs, and go riding on our ranch outside Fort Worth. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll drive from the ranch straight to a meeting, still wearing the boots and spurs. Of course, I can only do that in Fort Worth. If I showed up to a meeting in Dallas dressed like that, people would stare and take photographs. —As told to Skip Hollandsworth

Cecile Richards

The Power User 

Cofounder of Supermajority, former president of Planned Parenthood, daughter of Ann

My mom loved a good pair of boots, and now I wear them all the time too, even though I live in New York. There is never a moment when wearing boots wouldn’t have made everything go better. I probably should have worn them when I testified before Congress, now that I think about it.

Callies wears 1980s-era ostrich boots and shows off his grandfather’s 1940s Don Quijote pair.

Callies wears 1980s-era ostrich boots and shows off his grandfather’s 1940s Don Quijote pair.

Photograph by Todd Spoth

Larry Callies

The Historian

Larry Callies grew up working cattle around Boling. In 2017—after stints as a country singer, postman, and rodeo rider—he founded the Black Cowboy Museum, in Rosenberg, with the intent of reminding visitors of the role of African Americans on the frontier.

I’m one of the people that started the yeehaw agenda. They got my picture on the internet talking about my museum, how I’m influencing blacks to get into country music and cowboy culture.

I was three when I started wearing cowboy boots. My grandpa had a pair, and I wanted some just like them. I cried so much that my mom finally bought me a pair.

I got beat up quite a bit as a kid. In my grade school, I was the only black cowboy. They had never heard of a black cowboy. My brother told me if I quit wearing those boots and telling people I liked country music, they wouldn’t do that.

In junior high, I was a working cowboy doing the job of an eighteen-year-old. I also used to be a country singer and had the same manager as George Strait. I opened for Selena, for Travis Tritt. But I lost my voice in 1990. I have vocal dysfunction.

Black cowboys were the first cowboys! That’s where the word came from. Slavery. Back in 1825, at the first Jones Ranch, they had people that worked cows and people that worked in the house. They just called them “boys.” “Boy, go get this.” “That’s my cow boy.” “That’s my house boy.”

Have you ever heard of the Lone Ranger? You know he was black? He was a former slave named Bass Reeves who escaped to Oklahoma and lived with the Indians and then later became a U.S. marshal. People started telling stories about him on the radio. When they put him on TV, they knew people wouldn’t accept him as a black man, so they made him a white man with a black mask. [Editor’s note: Reeves was real, but history is unclear about whether he inspired the Lone Ranger.]

The black cowboy never stopped working. We had our own rodeos. My uncle helped start one of the first black rodeos. President of the rodeo association. We never stopped being cowboys. I quit wearing boots for a while in high school, because it was so hard. I went back to it. After I started in college, I wore boots every day. —As told to Katy Vine

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Duchess of Rutland spent £1MILLION renovating six-bedroom cottage in grounds of Belvoir Castle – Daily Mail

Duchess of Rutland spent £1MILLION renovating a stylish six-bedroom cottage in the grounds of Belvoir Castle – and it’s now yours to rent for £1,155-a-night

  • The stunning Croxton Park House is set in secluded and picturesque valley in the heart of rural Leicestershire
  • Underwent £1m renovation by Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland and is listed on holiday lettings site Airbnb
  • Six bedroom home with three bathrooms can host up to 12 guests and costs £850 a night plus additional fees
  • Duchess says she has ‘worked tirelessly’ to create ‘a beautiful cottage in reflection of my home Belvoir Castle’

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As far as Airbnb’s go, it’s hard to top this unique home-stay in terms of history and grandeur.

The Duchess of Rutland has recently listed a cottage in grounds of Belvoir Castle on the site, following a £1million refurbishment – and she has decorated it in the style of her own luxurious home. 

Croxton Park House is located four miles from the castle within Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham, set in a secluded, picturesque valley in the heart of rural Leicestershire.

It was originally founded as an abbey in the early 12th century before becoming the playground for the early Dukes of Rutland for country pursuits like hunting, shooting, fishing and falconry.

Croxton Park House (pictured) is located four miles from the castle within Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham, set in a secluded, picturesque valley in the heart of rural Leicestershire

Croxton Park House (pictured) is located four miles from the castle within Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham, set in a secluded, picturesque valley in the heart of rural Leicestershire

Croxton Park House (pictured) is located four miles from the castle within Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham, set in a secluded, picturesque valley in the heart of rural Leicestershire

The historical home was originally founded as an abbey in the early 12th century before becoming the playground for the early Dukes of Rutland for country pursuits like hunting, shooting, fishing and falconry. Pictured: the living room

The historical home was originally founded as an abbey in the early 12th century before becoming the playground for the early Dukes of Rutland for country pursuits like hunting, shooting, fishing and falconry. Pictured: the living room

The historical home was originally founded as an abbey in the early 12th century before becoming the playground for the early Dukes of Rutland for country pursuits like hunting, shooting, fishing and falconry. Pictured: the living room

One of the master bedrooms in the cottage, decorated with elaborate wallpaper between the original wooden beams and luxurious animal skin rugs

One of the master bedrooms in the cottage, decorated with elaborate wallpaper between the original wooden beams and luxurious animal skin rugs

One of the master bedrooms in the cottage, decorated with elaborate wallpaper between the original wooden beams and luxurious animal skin rugs

It’s now available for private hire, accommodating 12 guests in six stunning bedrooms with interiors chosen by Emma Manners – the 11th and current Duchess of Rutland – herself.

Writing on the listing on Airbnb, the duchess reveals she has ‘worked tirelessly’ to create ‘a beautiful cottage in reflection of my home Belvoir Castle’. 

She adds: ‘I do hope you love my home away from home as much as I do!’

The residence costs £850 a night, plus a £150 cleaning fee and a £155 service fee, making it £1,155 in total.

The Duchess of Rutland, pictured at Royal Ascot in June, has recently listed the cottage in grounds of Belvoir Castle following a £1million refurbishment on Airbnb - which she has decorated in the style of her own luxurious home

The Duchess of Rutland, pictured at Royal Ascot in June, has recently listed the cottage in grounds of Belvoir Castle following a £1million refurbishment on Airbnb - which she has decorated in the style of her own luxurious home

The Duchess of Rutland, pictured at Royal Ascot in June, has recently listed the cottage in grounds of Belvoir Castle following a £1million refurbishment on Airbnb – which she has decorated in the style of her own luxurious home

Writing on Airbnb, the Duchess of Rutland said she hopes guests love her 'home away from home' as much as she does

Writing on Airbnb, the Duchess of Rutland said she hopes guests love her 'home away from home' as much as she does

Writing on Airbnb, the Duchess of Rutland said she hopes guests love her ‘home away from home’ as much as she does

The residence costs £850 a night, plus a £150 cleaning fee and a £155 service fee, making it £1,155 in total. Pictured: the hallway

The residence costs £850 a night, plus a £150 cleaning fee and a £155 service fee, making it £1,155 in total. Pictured: the hallway

The residence costs £850 a night, plus a £150 cleaning fee and a £155 service fee, making it £1,155 in total. Pictured: the hallway

Pictured: one of the bathrooms in Croxton Park House, which features stylish wall paper and a cowskin rug to take away the chill of the tiled floor

Pictured: one of the bathrooms in Croxton Park House, which features stylish wall paper and a cowskin rug to take away the chill of the tiled floor

Pictured: one of the bathrooms in Croxton Park House, which features stylish wall paper and a cowskin rug to take away the chill of the tiled floor

The hallway of the cottage pays homage to its historic heritage

The hallway of the cottage pays homage to its historic heritage

The twin bedroom is country cottage chic, with elegant floral wallpaper

The twin bedroom is country cottage chic, with elegant floral wallpaper

The hallway of the cottage (right) pays homage to its heritage, while the twin bedroom (left) is country cottage chic, with elegant floral wallpaper

The home has all the modern cons, including four TVs, wifi and 'essentials' - listed as towels, bed sheets, soap and toilet paper, as well as a selection of books and games

The home has all the modern cons, including four TVs, wifi and 'essentials' - listed as towels, bed sheets, soap and toilet paper, as well as a selection of books and games

The home has all the modern cons, including four TVs, wifi and ‘essentials’ – listed as towels, bed sheets, soap and toilet paper, as well as a selection of books and games

The cottage boasts an authentic indoor fireplace in one of the two living rooms, as well as a fully kitted out kitchen with a fridge-freezer with ice dispenser, four TVs, wifi and ‘essentials’ including towels, bed sheets, soap and toilet paper, as well as a selection of books and games.

The host – the Duchess of Rutland – offers a 20 discount if guests stay for an entire week and 25 per cent off if you rent it for a month. As yet it’s received no reviews, having only opened its doors last month. 

Belvoir Castle has formed the backdrop for scenes in season two of Netflix hit The Crown, the film Young Victoria in 2007 and even The Da Vinci Code.

The Cardiff-born duchess, 56, lives in the stately home alongside her estranged husband David Manners, 60, 11th Duke of Rutland and descendant of the Manners dynasty, who succeeded his father the 10th Duke of Rutland in the titles on 4 January 1999, with his fortune estimated at £125m. 

The bathrooms have all been refurbished, including this one which comes complete with a freestanding bath and vanity unit

The bathrooms have all been refurbished, including this one which comes complete with a freestanding bath and vanity unit

The bathrooms have all been refurbished, including this one which comes complete with a freestanding bath and vanity unit

One of the stylish bedrooms which features a window looking out over the expansive lush grounds of Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham

One of the stylish bedrooms which features a window looking out over the expansive lush grounds of Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham

One of the stylish bedrooms which features a window looking out over the expansive lush grounds of Croxton Park, a country estate near Grantham

The staircase in the cottage

The staircase in the cottage

The 'laptop friendly work space'

The 'laptop friendly work space'

The cottage, which has been decorated by the Duchess of Rutland, features a carpeted staircase and a ‘laptop friendly’ work space for guests

The home comes complete with a fully kitted out kitchen with a fridge-freezer with ice dispenser, a microwave and a dishwasher and washing machine

The home comes complete with a fully kitted out kitchen with a fridge-freezer with ice dispenser, a microwave and a dishwasher and washing machine

The home comes complete with a fully kitted out kitchen with a fridge-freezer with ice dispenser, a microwave and a dishwasher and washing machine

Their five children – Lady Violet Manners, 26, Lady Alice, 24, and Lady Eliza, 22, and their younger brothers, Charles, Marquess of Granby, 20, and Lord Hugo Manners, 16 – grew up in neo-Gothic splendour in the Leicestershire stately pile. 

The theme of the castle is classic opulence dating back to the 1700s when it was first restored, with the bedrooms boasting four poster beds, gold gilded portraits, rich tapestries, fur rugs and fireplaces.

Sparking no expense, the drawing room boasts silk wallpaper, luxurious furnishings and artwork dating back centuries.

Pictures posted by Emma show a true Downton Abbey inspired life, with maids hovering in the background as the family celebrate birthdays and special occasions – decked out in their finest gowns, singing along to songs played on the piano. 

The cottage boasts an authentic indoor fireplace in one of the two grand living rooms, as well as central heating to keep guests warm and toasty

The cottage boasts an authentic indoor fireplace in one of the two grand living rooms, as well as central heating to keep guests warm and toasty

The cottage boasts an authentic indoor fireplace in one of the two grand living rooms, as well as central heating to keep guests warm and toasty

The kitchen features a unit with mugs, jars of tea and coffee and small elegant glassware including Champagne flutes

The kitchen features a unit with mugs, jars of tea and coffee and small elegant glassware including Champagne flutes

The kitchen features a unit with mugs, jars of tea and coffee and small elegant glassware including Champagne flutes

One of the smaller bedrooms is decorated in a similar theme to the larger suite, with bold wallpaper and beams stripped back to the original wood

One of the smaller bedrooms is decorated in a similar theme to the larger suite, with bold wallpaper and beams stripped back to the original wood

One of the smaller bedrooms is decorated in a similar theme to the larger suite, with bold wallpaper and beams stripped back to the original wood

The cottage itself has a generous courtyard style garden outside, perfect for basking in the sunshine and taking in the stunning surrounding views in summer

The cottage itself has a generous courtyard style garden outside, perfect for basking in the sunshine and taking in the stunning surrounding views in summer

The cottage itself has a generous courtyard style garden outside, perfect for basking in the sunshine and taking in the stunning surrounding views in summer

And the opulent interiors don’t stop there, with bathrooms boasting marble tops, dressing tables, intricate wallpaper and the modern touch of his and hers sinks.

Meanwhile, dinner parties are fit for a king, taking place at tables stretching across a whole hall, surrounded by fireplaces, candelabras and giant portraits of ancestors.

A grand library, complete with oriental carpets, chaise lounges and chandeliers is described in one post by Emma as her ‘favourite afternoon spot’. 

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Off Duty: A Fun, Fascinating Compendium of Lists – Wall Street Journal

Wishful thinking excerpted from Charlotte Druckman’s ‘Women on Food’ (Oct. 29, Abrams).

1. Disposable Plate Wipers

—Amy Brandwein, chef/owner, Centrolina and Piccolina, Washington, D.C.

2. Easy Way to Peel Roasted Peppers Without Scalding My Fingers
—Sofia Perez, journalist, writer, editor, New York

3. Dinner in a Bag Delivered by Magic (But Not by Drone)

—Julee Rosso, owner, Wickwood Inn, and cookbook author, Saugatuck, Mich.

4. Electric Coconut Opener That Opens Coconuts Like a Can

—Nicole Adrienne Ponseca, restaurateur/founder, Maharlika and Jeepney, New York

5. Natural Peanut Butter Jar With a Paddle Built Into the Lid for Stirring

—Jasmine Lukuku, founder, Black Food Bloggers, and actor, Vancouver, Canada

6. Pit-less Concord Grapes

—Ann Cashion, chef/co-owner, Johnny’s Half Shell and Taqueria Nacional, Washington, D.C.

7. Twenty-Four-Hour Savory Bakery

—Wendy MacNaughton, illustrator/graphic journalist, San Francisco, Calif.

8. Restaurant Where Front and Back of the House Get the Same Hourly Salary

—Anita Lo, chef and cookbook author, New York

9. Instant Pot That Grills and Deep-Fries and Listens to Your Pitches and Offers Sound Critical Feedback

—Kathleen Squires, food and travel writer, New York

10. Congee Bar

—Joanne Chang, co-owner, Flour Bakery + Café and Myers + Chang, Boston

11. All-Burgundy Wine Bar

—Chandra Ram, editor, Plate magazine, and cookbook author, Chicago

12. All-Cheese Everything

—Rachel Bossett, pastry chef, New York

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Cool Spaces: $1M spruce log home a wonder in wood, sophisticated design – Livingston Daily

Upon entering a custom-carved spruce log home, striking architecture and interior design features await. 

Piles of huge, chiseled Engelmann white spruce trees make up the towering two-story walls in the main living quarters of the 4,288-square-foot home.

A beautiful 6,000-pound soapstone wood-burning fireplace is a centerpiece.

The home in Genoa Township near Howell is a wonder in wood.

Homeowner Steve Berger’s kids and their friends have nicknamed it the “Wilderness lodge.”

Some of the logs are 40 feet long and nearly 23 inches in diameter. 

The Berger family’s interior design tastes are sophisticated, and the furnishings, decorations and fixtures do well reflecting their hobbies — fly fishing, making things, skiing and snowboarding, clothing design and outdoor adventures to name a few. 

“The kid’s call it that, because this is a place you would pay for to stay at on a vacation,” Berger said. 

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MORE: New ‘Ghostly Grove’ haunt, u-pick pumpkins among fall events in Livingston 

A series of pitched pine ceilings meet one another more than two-stories up in the main open-concept living area. The main room features four seating areas around the massive fireplace, which are open to the kitchen and dining room. The second floor is edged by a wood balcony, open to the living room. 

“We tried to create little vignettes with the sitting areas, each one has it own unique view and feel, instead of having one living room,” Berger said. 

A long, snaking couch creates one unique living space. It is one of his favorite pieces. 

“It has zippers and hinges, so you can spin it into a circle,” or change its shape, he said. He said other couches like his are on display in museums. 

Another sitting area features a 1942 Steinway baby grand piano that has been played by family members for generations. 

“It’s one of the most special pieces of furniture, because my father learned on it and now my son plays it,” Berger said. 

Cow skin rugs help create a few distinct areas.

A kayak Berger built and a shark are displayed on a large ledge. Fishing and hunting mounts are displayed throughout the house.

The dining room table is made to look like a antique piece of factory equipment, with cranks and a treated copper tabletop. 

It is reminiscent of a vacation lodge some place far away, like Yellowstone Park, Yosemite or northern Michigan.

A waterfall flows into a pond and garden, bringing a sense of serenity to the 5-acre property.

“We designed the pond to echo the house, so you feel like you’re on a much bigger piece of land, even though it’s already 5 acres,” Berger said. 

Each of the bedrooms has a loft. His kids slept in theirs when they were younger. The master bedroom’s loft is where they keep a massage table. 

“It was a little like having your own tree fort in your house that is made out of trees anyway,” he said. 

A walk-out basement features more living spaces and a view of the pond and waterfall. It has a bar and TV room. There is also a video-game-like system that simulates golf, hunting and other activities. 

“We tried to put something interesting in every room of the house,” Berger said. 

Not your average build

He said the way the house was constructed — he is not the original owner but has done a lot of renovations — is “more unique than some of the log homes you see.”

It is a Swedish cope log home. Each log is custom carved to fit the log it rests on. 

“One log nests on another one,” he said. 

He said the home was designed in Michigan, built in Alberta, Canada, disassembled, numbered, trucked back to Michigan and then rebuilt on the property. 

Several large spruce columns that bear the weight of the structure can be adjusted and the house re-leveled, as the wood dries, shrinks and settles. 

The 6,000-pound fireplace is large enough that it has its own concrete foundation and was built with the house. 

Listing agent Dylan Tent said producing such a structure today would cost closer to $2 million. 

The 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom home is listed for $999,999.

“There aren’t as many logs that large left,” Tent said. 

He said he’s a helicopter pilot who is willing to take potential buyers on a helicopter tour of the property. 

Have an idea for a Cool Space? Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at jtimar@livingstondaily.com. 

Wonder in wood home:

Where: 3929 Timber Green Court in Genoa Township

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 5

Square feet: 4,288

Key features: Engelmann spruce log home on 5 acres, soapstone wood burning fireplace, lodge-like decor and landscaping

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Interesting Objects to Brighten Up Your Home Decor – Novinite.com

The world we live in is becoming ever more complex, and some would say increasingly divisive, so sometimes, it’s nice to come home, relax, and forget about the stresses of the modern world. That’s why it’s important to have a home you love, one that really feels like home and has your personality stamped across it. One way to do this is to add ornaments and objects that bring different colors and textures to your room, but you certainly don’t have to limit yourself to the traditional decorations that can be found in nine homes out of ten. Why be boring when you can use these interesting and vibrant objects to bring your home décor to life?

Minerals And Crystals

What could be better than bringing the natural world into your home, especially when it dates from our planet’s ancient past? That’s just what you’re doing when you buy minerals and crystals from the FossilEra.com. Fossilera Minerals sell a huge variety of minerals and crystals that can brighten up any room, in a breathtaking array of colors and designs. That means that there’s sure to be something to suit your taste and décor, from dazzling clusters of smoky quartz to rhodonite spheres, a crystal ball of a rather different kind, and carved skulls crafted from amethyst. They’re all conversation starters, and many people believe that the energy with crystals and minerals can help to create a harmonious home.

Seashells

For the perfect accompaniment to beautiful minerals and crystals, why not also use seashells to brighten up your interiors? They’re particularly suited to a bathroom environment but can make an exciting addition to any room. Clamshells and conch shells are excellent for this purpose, and larger clamshells can be used as dishes as well. Collecting seashells from the beach can be a fun family activity, or you can buy shell-based décor in sizes large and small from a number of online retailers.

Animal Inspired Decor

We’ve seen how natural objects are often the perfect accessories for our homes, and you can take inspiration from nature for your walls and floors too, or more specifically from the animal kingdom. Animal print wallpaper is bright, bold, and it makes a statement by saying here is somebody who knows what they love when it comes to style and decor rather than following the herd. Zebra print and leopard print are among the more exotic choices, but classic black and white cow print can also be striking. On the floor, fake animal skin rugs really grab the attention, whilst animal print throws can brighten up the dullest of sofas.

Seashells, animal print and high-quality mineral and crystals from an expert website can transform the way your rooms look for the better. They can also make a big impact on a small budget, making them a great choice for people who want a fresh new feel to their property without having to go to the time and expense of a full-scale renovation program. When it comes to brightening up your home décor, take a hint from Mother Nature.

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Shopping at the Zia Festival? Here's a list of vendors – Ruidoso News

Many fans of Ruidoso Downs Race Track agree that if you only come to the races one weekend all summer, the Zia Festival has something for everyone.

“It’s an exciting weekend for racing and shopping,” Kana Laymon said. She is the vendor sales coordinator for the Zia Festival which now has approximately seventy vendor booths taking part in the three day event.

“It’s a lot about shopping and being able to purchase unique items,” Laymon said. She’s been putting together the group of approximately 70 vendor spaces that will appear at this year’s Zia Festival.

“Our goal is to present a wide variety of artists and products for the Zia Festival so that there is something that every patron might enjoy,” Laymon said. “We’ve worked very hard to present a quality show this year for the fans.”

The Zia Festival includes a play area for children, concessions, music and horse racing. There are 13 stakes race events during the weekend’s race card with first post at 1 p.m. each day. The tent and grandstand opens for shopping at 11 a.m.

Saturday evening, Texas southwestern swing star Jake Hooker will perform on the race track. Hooker has been playing traditional country music his entire career, and plays a standup bass in front of his tradition country music band. The apron of the race track will serve as a dance floor for the concert that begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 to the show, or $5 with a Dr Pepper can at the box office. For more information, visit www.raceruidoso.com.

Here are the vendors that will appear at this year’s Zia Festival:

29barranch: Shirley Norris has been a regular at the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium and PRCA Rodeo in Las Vegas. She has a summer home in Ruidoso that she enjoys when she’s not working festivals and rodeos featuring Trail of Painted Ponies figurines, horse halters, leather purses, barb-wire crosses and children’s accessories.

Blended Hearts: Jaylynn Chapman sells delicious sweet and spicy goodies that will bring back the memories of your grandmother’s kitchen from jellies, salsas and fruit spreads. They will also be selling fresh fruit during the Zia Festival.

Blue Quail Designs: They are a family ran Mom and Pop shop , that has grown to be the largest southwest jewelry and art store in Texas. Very unique authentic Native American jewelry and western art can be found.

Bonanza Western Wear: Here’s a one-stop for every New Mexico cowboy and cowgirl. They carry a full line of cowboy hats, river hats, t-shirts, blankets, and Baha jackets. For the younger racing fans, the offer singing and dancing ponies and western toys.

Capitan 4H Club: These teens are raising funds to do projects in the coming school year and will be offering free face painting for kids by the activity area just inside the tent. They will also be accepting donations to help fund those future projects.

Cattilac Style: Cindy Hendley owns an affordable ladies clothing store at 2400 Sudderth Drive in Ruidoso with accessories, fashion jewelry, shoes, and everything else to complete your style from head to toe. Women’s fashions from popular brands are featured along with leather handbags, southwestern décor and custom boots.

Cowboy Candles: Ken Petree has been making fabulous hand-poured candles for many years as well as creating unique New Mexican leather artwork. 

Emilio and Marguerite Chavez Jewelry: This New Mexican business has a tribal affiliation with Santo Domingo Pueblo where the tribe creates handcrafted and handmade traditional and contemporary jewelry from sea shells, turquoise stones and other semi-precious stones all made into wearable jewelry. You’ll find bracelets, rings, pendants, necklaces, earrings and other unique pieces of fine jewelry direct from their showcase in Santa Fe at the Palace of the Governors.

Enhanced Flavors: Don and Mary Kovach offer a wide variety of flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars and multiple flavors of pasta. The vinegars are awesome when making marinades, salad dressings and pasta dishes. The oils make great dipping sauces and are great drizzled over bread or pasta.

Friends Of The Hubbard Museum: Is a non-profit organization that supports the museum by funding events, education, presentations and activities that enhance the community. They will be selling raffle tickets for a Peter Hurd painting.

Green Health CBD: This Ruidoso business that sells medicinal parts of the cannabis plant. Because there is no THC in the products there aren’t any psychoactive effects and no medical card is required. The products are made in New Mexico, organically produced and 100% guaranteed. 

Guatemala and More Imports: Will Sican of Santa Fe presents his selection of handmade belts, quilts, hammocks and other originals imported from Guatamala. He also features products from artists that live in the Santa Fe art community.

High Mesa Kettle Korn: Steve Highfill will be serving up some fresh, sweet and salty Kettle Corn. He has been perfecting his corn for five years. He can be found at events throughout New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. 10% of profits go towards helping restore the old mission in La Mesa, NM that was built in 1846.

Hope Springs Gourmet Foods: Vivian Cockrell offers natural Artisan hand crafted gourmet crackers, dip mixes and spice blends. She uses herbs and spices for her ingredients with no added preservatives or fillers.

JAD Custom Engraving & Handmade Western Goods: Jack Allen has worked on multiple ranches throughout the southwest and is an accomplished horseman. He and his wife enjoy living the western lifestyle. He has been tool engraving sterling silver for over thirty years. He learned the trade from his father after working together creating hand tooled leather goods. There will a great selection of unique hand engraved sterling silver jewelry.

Jee’s Gifts: Jean Everett started her business after retiring as an educator. She features handmade custom jewelry and crosses made in New Mexico.

Let Them Be Little: Farrah Cuellar is the owner of Sears in Ruidoso Downs and has grown her children’s boutique into a showcase for unique clothes, handmade woodwork and vinyl products. Farrah also creates and hosts bridal and baby showers and birthday parties. The booth at the Zia Festival will be themed around children’s gifts and apparel.

Lipsense: April Carman is an independent distributor for SeneGence, a long-lasting lip color product, “Lip Sense”. SeneGence has a full line of skincare and cosmetic products that provide anti-aging benefits and are designed to promote and renew skin grown.

LuLu Snacks: Creates unusual cocktail fruit drinks including “crazy pineapple” with fresh fruit and candy, alcohol free Bloody Mary drinks with shrimp and beef jerky. Lulu also features Fresca drinks and many other fresh fruit snacks.

Nuts r Us: Nuts R Us sells rich quality cinnamon glazed nuts for your taste buds. Products are gluten free and contains no oils while cooking. They have 4 ingredients; water, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and the nut of your choice (cashew, almonds, and pecans).

Old Barrel Tea Company: Connor with Old Barrel Tea offers unique selections of loose leaf tea and spices. There are three other shops in Ruidoso, Cloudcroft and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Over the Top Treasures: Linda and Judy Shirley are part of a three generation family owned business that has evolved from an antique store started in the late 1990’s to a handcrafted treasure store. They have unique treasures, such as beadwork, stained glass, hand-forged knives, wooden crafts, jewelry, and much more are influenced by our life-long journey as native New Mexicans. 

Pasta More: “Our barrel aged balsamic is 18 years old,” said owner Gloria Blair. “”We have a dozen flavors or vinegars and olive oils. The flavored pasta is a favorite of our customers. The booth will be offering samples of all their products at the Zia Festival.

Paul Turner Concessions: Paul Turner will be located just outside the tent with some great items to cool you off on these hot summer days. Homemade fresh squeezed lemonade, multi flavored snow cones and large root beer floats served in a chilled giant glass mug that is yours to take home.

Pepper Springs Out West: Ronnie and Jennie Hanson offers high quality dip mixes using only the finest ingredients. They also offer Cactus Jelly and salt water taffy like you remember when you were a kid.

Pepitos Shop: Jose Chavira offers Mexican-made blankets, ponchos, sarapes and jewelry from across the border.

Rodan & Fields: Lisa Martin will be bringing a dermatology inspired skincare line.

Romo’s Crafty Creations: Brittany and James Romo will be offering customizable apparel, accessories, décor and much more. They are a new business and thrive to designing exactly what their customers are looking for.

The Redheaded Outlaw: Jakayly Sealy has created a unique handmade wild rag business. Wild Rags are not just for cowboys anymore. The business carries over 80 unique prints and fabric types. They can be pretty and practical, dress them up or dress them down. Life’s too short to wear a boring wild rag. Stop by and let her show you how you can wear them and enjoy them.

The Red Roan: Corinna Casler brings us new and vintage western style clothing, jewelry and gifts. The Red Roan where pretty meets punchy.

The Thrifty Cowhand: Stephanie Avent comes to us with cowboy clothing, jeans, pearl snap shirts, t-shirts , functional women’s clothing and caps. This cowboy’s wife started her small business, while looking for top quality clothing that was practical, functional and American made as much as possible.

The Queens Southern Charm: This is a mother-daughter team who own a boutique of affordable “southern charm” merchandise in all shapes and sizes with styles Zia Festival goers will love.

Rust and Rhinestones: Stephanie and Chance Black have been creating handmade wooden crosses since their wedding day. They offer standing crosses, purses, handbags, jewelry, clothing and plenty more with New Mexico flavor.

SD Photography: Danielle Rush offers the chance for you to turn your dreams into treasured memories. Have you always wanted to be part of a fairytale, join the circus and as far as you can dream. Anyone from a newborn to a senior, from a single or family, she can make your dreams come true and capture those special moments for you to look back on for many years to come.

Santana’s Black Label: Louis Santana has created an award winning gourmet food company that specializes in World- champion Angus beef jerky, cocktail mixes made with roasted Hatch chiles. They also carry Unique cowboy coffee. They are a major sponsor for the PBR, the western lifestyle and various other sports.

Star Dog Smoothies: Don Taco creates a non-alcoholic drink with a blend of Hispanic culture and serves it in a Mexican pottery cup. This is a one-of-a-kind cocktail that is new to the Zia Festival.

Shanto and Cradleboard Ranch: Fred Resler sells traditional Native American jewelry, silk scarves, Navajo rugs and western-style art.

Shalom & Toys: This New Mexico family started going to shows with a small table selling fidget spinners for children. Eventually the family business began offering even more toys for children of every age.

The Farmer’s Daughter Metal Art: Debbie Hernandez is a small town business and artist who specializes in metal and home décor. She also welcomes custom orders.

Uradisciple: Tona Pettigrew is the regional supplier of Urad Conditioner, considered the #1 leather conditioner on the market imported from Italy. It works great on boots, belts, saddles, and any western leather in your home.

Wildorado Silverworks: All jewelry is hand-cut from antique silver coins with each piece having the mint date listed on the back. The dates are 1964 or earlier since that was the last year silver coins were minted with 90-percent metal. Each authentic piece is American history.

Zia Knives: Les Purcella creates custom handmade knives; all of the knife components are handcrafted. Many of the blades are engraved with wildlife and livestock scenes. The unique handles are created with a wide variety of exotic woods.

Zoo Lou’s: Stephanie Perkins specializes in full size women’s clothing ranging from custom made baseball shirts to full-lace dresses. She also custom designs and manufactures purses made from leather, ostrich, cow hide and saddle blankets. Everything is one-of-a-kind including a wide selection of jewelry and accessories.

In the grandstand are:

As the Crow Flies: Lewis and Becky Crowell have made Ruidoso their summer home for many years. They are involved in the art community here. You’ll find cut and polished stones wrapped in sterling silver or 14-carat gold at their booth. All are unique pieces of art.

Junque N Jewels: This business features new and vintage home décor items along with jewelry, clothing, and gifts for every imagination. Daylene Huey and Tiffany Menix are longtime supporters of the community and the Ruidoso Downs Race Track.

Illusions: Paul and Debbie are known throughout the community for quality home furnishings. They will feature a variety of candles, centerpieces, antiques and home accessories with the flavor of the southwest. Paul also creates custom made saddles.

Victorian Memories: Dina Ortega features the popular “Scentsy” candles that are flameless, wickless and smokeless candles. “The candles are perfect for every home décor,” Dina said. “You just plug them in and enjoy them inside any home.”

Silver by Dave: Dave Scott’s renowned work has been seen in many exhibits including the “Golden Boots Awards” in Beverly Hills, California. His self-taught master craftsmanship in the art of engraved and southwestern silver jewelry has become a known throughout the state of New Mexico.

Small Town Sign Shop: These New Mexico artists Vicki & Bobby Windham are from Grady New Mexico, they travel to multiple shows in the area and beyond, showcasing their handcrafted metal signs. They are also able to create a unique piece just for you. How about a decorative address sign or even a new sign for your racing stable, or business

La Reina Gallery: Karen Stevenson has been selling top-quality and authentic Native American jewelry for over twenty years. “We feature beautiful squash necklaces and bracelets from well-known artists in the region,” Karen said. There will also be specially-designed western t-shirts and western outfits.

Kiva Jewelry: Jose Benavidez handcrafts Native American jewelry with sterling silver and various precious stones.

Country Relics: Joe Fletcher creates handmade silverware jewelry and other unique silverware creations.

Linda Manion Artistry: She grew up riding horses professionally and they became the subject of her art. Linda can take any photograph of a horse or family portrait and create a once-in-a-lifetime piece of artwork.

Quetzalli: Maria Mendoza brings a unique collection of Mexican style dresses, jewelry and various other handcrafted arts and crafts.

Rope Fast: Kyle Kimple owns the New Mexico company that promotes all equine sports from rodeo, horse racing, cutting, reining, trail riding and everything in between. Rope Fast sponsors athletes involved in PRCA and jockeys. Come see Kyle’s wide selection of caps, shirts, tank tops with the famous logo.

Santa Fe Furniture and Gifts: Chuck and Amy Sonnenberg have quickly become one of the “must stops” for shoppers in Lincoln County. There store located just down the road from the race track offers more than 10,000 square feet of Texas-style furniture, clothing, jewelry, and everything else in-between.

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This newly renovated luxury lodge in South Africa is a nod to the country's diverse arts and crafts – ELLE India

The surrounding landscape informs much of the colour palette for Phinda Homestead, a contemporary Zulu-inspired bush home located on a private reserve. Here, shades of burnt clay serve as colour accents, and basket ware inspired by traditional Zulu weaving populate key spaces. Handmade clay pots, hand blown glass, nguni cow skin, beadwork, and other Zulu flourishes feature in special and surprising ways too. Traditionally, where clay was scarce, baskets were made into vessels, using the native ilala palm, the leaves of which are soaked in a dye made from dung or natural pigments. The plant grows abundantly in the marshy habitats, and so, is a renewable resource that works well as a design material. 

ENTRANCE AND VERANDAH:

A circular reflection pond at the entrance marks the spot where a giant Marula tree once stood before a fire burnt down the previous homestead. The reflection of the water creates a sense of calm as you enter the house, and to complement its circular form, Debra Fox and Christopher Browne of multidisciplinary agency Fox Browne Creative, who helmed the renovation in December 2018, created a still life installation, combining contemporary hanging planters made by South African designer Joe Paine, woven Zimbabwean basket ware, and traditional handmade Zulu clay pots. These are grouped on a sleek metal table crafted by the design team at The Urban Native, a contemporary South African furniture and product design firm. Its products are defined by the juxtaposition of abstract ethnic cultural graphics and motifs with the functionality, look, and feel of classical European mid-century and Bauhaus furniture silhouettes. 

DINING ROOM:

The dining table and massive sliding doors that lead into the kitchen are the heroes of this room. These are one-off pieces, made from fallen hardwood by a master craftsman from the design workshop, One Good Tuesday. At one end of the room, a large beaded mirror made by Sithabe African Crafts—an initiative started by women who were brought together by their love of South Africa and its crafts—is mounted on a handwoven reeded Zulu mat above the bespoke sideboard. Above the dining table, a collection of woven Ghanaian baskets is grouped together to create striking pendant lights. Finally, woollen handloom rugs from Shuttleworth Weaving, a women’s cooperative in the Midlands region of Kwa Zulu Natal, anchor the space. 

The exterior of andBeyond’s Phinda Homestead villa

The villa’s pool

The circular reflection pond at the entrance marks the spot where a giant Marula tree once stood 

In the dining room, the large table and the doors are made from fallen hardwood by a master craftsman from the design workshop One Good Tuesday

Delicately hand cut and engraved calabashes, used as lights on the outdoor dining deck

Hanging planters by South African designer Joe Paine, woven Zimbabwean basket ware, and traditional handmade Zulu clay pots are grouped on a sleek metal table crafted by The Urban Native

Local influences find their way into the kitchen too, where culinary artistry uses indigenous materials for presentation

In the suites, a large woven circular reed mat, an homage to Zulu tradition, acts as a dramatic headboard as well as a room divider

A custom armchair by Casamento

In the bathroom, hand strung reed curtains made by the women of a craft cooperative are used to frame the bath

In the sitting room, archival botanical prints of the native fever tree create a feeling of being in the bush, even when inside

SITTING ROOM:

18th-century archival botanical prints of the native fever tree, a popular image of the African bushveld, are hand-printed on linen wall hangings, creating a feeling of being in the bush, even when inside. The reserve is well known for its cheetah population, so, custom embroidered retro armchairs evoking the animal were designed in collaboration with furniture designers Casamento in Cape Town. To make them, Casamento used traditional techniques to create handcrafted furniture in natural fibres, with embroidery, cross-stitching, tapestry work and painting. It is the only upholstery studio in South Africa that is dedicated to a foam-free environment, and constantly explores recycled and natural fibre alternatives for its products. 

BEDROOMS:

In the suites, a large woven circular reed mat acts as a dramatic headboard and room divider. It pays homage to the Zulu tradition of weaving, while also referencing the reflection pond at the entrance. By the bed, hanging hand blown glass pendant lights, finished with Zulu beadwork detail, were commissioned from a young South African artist, and hand strung reed curtains made by the women of a craft cooperative frame the bath, giving the bathroom a natural, organic and tactile feel.

Photographs: andBeyond

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