Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here's what we had for our celebration dinner!! BEER and CRAWFISH!! Those of you who know us know there is nothing that could make either of us any happier. Each of us had four pounds of TURBO with turbo on the side to dip those yummy, ummy tails in. Sadly these were so hard the season must be about over.

Oh, well as you can see, we enjoyed them!
What a mess!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We have shared twenty years of bliss (blisters?) today, and we are still this cute! I have been thinking a lot lately about the memories that stand out among others over the past twenty years. Some are obvious, the births of our children, Hawaii, buying our house. These were the beautiful, wonderful things that are forever etched in my mind. Most couples share these exact memories tailored to their own lives. I've been thinking of the things that are truly unique to us. Most of these I doubt you even remember, but they are my Happy Thoughts, even if I didn't think so at the time. Simple things like nearly sending me over a waterfall when I was pregnant with Tripp, so you and Clark could save a fish! During that same trip when I was soooo morning sick making me throw-up out the window of the car while speeding down the highway! How every time you left town before we had kids, Mojo and Bandit would bring dead squirrels or rats IN THE HOUSE, or they would just run away. How you thought Lauren Pitts was so cute that we had to have one just like her. Watching "Beatle Juice" in the middle of the night snuggling and freezing to death because the gas got turned off. What I thought about you the very first time I met you. This was a good one; Rob Jordan's truck in my mother's front yard (remember the windows were open and the mud went in!), and the thought that we went on to eat sushi after all that. The top two?...That very first deer season, "I'll be back when I get my deer." As a true girlie girl, at that point, I thought that would take a day or two. A week later after no phone call or any communication (life before cell phones, how did we survive?), I was sure you were dead, you got your deer and came home, thinking I would be happy. The number one memory, and this one I know you remember, is the whole reason any of this exists. As crazy as it was, and I still think it would have been a great '80's movie script, our first date has to be the greatest thing that ever happened to us both! That's all I will say about that!

Mr. Wells, I love you!
Here's to another 20!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We had such a great weekend! Mr. Bear got out his patriotic wardrobe to welcome summer to the neighborhood.

The gardenias began to pop. You can smell them walking out the door! They have always been one on my favorites. You can just barely see in the background the oakleaf hydrangea that is also beautifully fragrant.

The grapes are getting wonderfully plump! I forget from year to year how much I love to watch these fill in.

We even got to play in the rain a bit! I hope your long weekend was just as good. Now I am off to work on a slipcover that I'm dying to have, but not sure how to make. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tastes Like Summer

MMMMMMM, tastes like summer!
Sweet Mint Tea:
2 Family size tea bags (Lipton's)
1 cup sugar
3/4 packed cup mint leaves (from the garden is best)
3 large lemons (juice of)
Steep the above in one quart boiling water, covered for ten minutes. Remove tea bags and mint leaves. Stir, to melt sugar. Add one quart cold water.
Sit back, relax and enjoy!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Have a wonderful Memorial


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Boarding House Collection

My family seems to think it is really funny that I have created this blog and spend what they see as their time working on it. "DAAAAAAAD, mom is addicted to blogging, and I need to check something on the computer!!!!" - translated: I need to check my facebook. Is the common shriek these days. I got really tickled when Tripp came to me and said, "You know mom, you could use your sight for your designs." Really, son. Wow, thanks for the suggestion. So, Tripp, this one's for you.
I started the Boarding House Collection years ago quite by accident. It is the same story heard over and over again in the design world. I had made a bag for myself using some of my great grandmothers old, Persian lamb skin pelts, beautiful fabrics and literally hundreds of yards of Belgian lace. Every time I carried it people would stop me wanting to know where they could get one. Finally I made myself some business cards and started taking custom orders. I have had the collection in various boutiques throughout Texas, but find they do best as custom commissioned pieces. Now I primarily sell through trunk shows held at these boutiques and through individual orders. Each piece is its own unique, one of a kind design and never, ever mass produced using extraordinarily sumptuous rich fabrics and findings, both new and vintage, to give them an eclectic, romantic, western feel. I create a lot of my own trims and detail pieces, custom dye and put exteme work into the details by hand. The insides are as pretty as the outsides with a cell phone pocket and a seperate pocket for keys, money or whatever . I have been so busy with family this past year, I have not had much time create, but these are a few pieces from my private collection that I think show the variety in size, style and mood. The Boarding House collection of bags is truly the perfect accessory for all those "Texas Chic" and "Denim and Diamond" soiree invites.
The name, Boarding House is to honor my great grandmother, Callie, who owned a boarding house during the Texas oil boom. She made her fortune by staking the wildcatters that flocked to the Burkburnett area in their oilwells. Callie stayed in the oil business herself with oil in the Burk and Kilgore areas of Texas. Even some in Arkansas! As a 6th generation Texan (7th depending on who you talk to), I try to stay true to my Texas roots. Each bag is named for a Texas town, county, street or iconic character.
With summer around the corner, I should be able to get some work done. My fingers are twitching with designs. As I get them done I will surely post them for you to see, and I will let you know of any Trunk Show dates.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Great Art

While on the subject of really great art...Shelly Beson's super fun, ultra happy, jewelry blogspot ( introduced me to Welcome to the doghouse ( Shelly calls it "Insanely Cool Art", and I totally agree! These two bulldog prints are from some lucky person's custom doggy portrait. The one on the bottom is "Porter". My Etouffee' is pictured in the middle. Porter looks so much like her, slobbery ball and all, that I think I need to own the print. Actually, they both look like her. No, I know what you're thinking. Not all bulldogs look alike.
My traveling hubby should be making his way home from El Paso with my elusive table top. I might actually have it by midnight!! I really hope I like it. Who ever heard of going to this much time, trouble and I'm sure $$$ for something sight unseen??? Well I suppose I have - it is one of those things that keeps life exciting. I will either be showing off pictures of it soon, in all its glory, or showing them begging for helpful suggestions. For now, I just hope it fits in the room and the iron base can support it!

We've had a couple really beautiful days, and I've gotten a lot done in the garden and beds. Good thing. It's supposed to start raining again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kathy Womack is the greatest ever. Her Women & Wine series is always on my wish list. I'd be thrilled to have any or all of them. I've got mini prints in my kitchen, but need some really cool ornately carved, painted, heavy wooden frames to re-frame them in! Knowing what I want has never been an issue! Womack is just one more reason to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Austin, TX! I think this would be a great 20th anniversary gift to myself.



They got my key board and my camera, so it will be a bit before I tell you about the Big Event this past weekend. No it is not the table, and yes I do know the date. The skinny is Gary is picking it up in El Paso on Thursday. It is on its way from Phoenix to Albuquerque today. Ha Ha, like I'm believing that!

Funny, Gremlins look so cute!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh NOOO, the ants are invading!
Race's cupcakes. The insides are pink and green with yellow frosting, and the papers are pastel flowers. I don't know why the whole picture turned pink, oh well, they're really cute in real life. Race's class has worked so hard starting their garden plants in the classroom, but it has just been too wet to get the garden going outside. Maybe these will cheer them up. They are expecting another chick to hatch today. The egg was really shaking yesterday. The first little chickie needs a friend!
P.S. Rumor has it, my table MIGHT arrive on the 19th!
My fingers are crossed!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rain Again

Oh my, it is raining again!
Here in Texas we know better than to complain about the rain. Once it stops it is done for the summer, but if it doesn't stop soon we're going to need one of these. Our animals are already lining up by twos.

I really wouldn't mind having the one below. I'll add it to my ever-growing recreational vehicle wish list. Check out my sidebar for numbers 1 and 2. I keep telling my hubby how useful these could be, but he just doesn't seem to get it.

Since I stayed home and cleaned yesterday -I tried out Mrs. Meyer's clean day...Angela Henrie was right, the house does smell fresh and clean! I used the lavendar. Thanks for the suggestion:)- I think I'll go make some garden cupcakes for Race's class. They've been waiting for days to plant their garden!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chez Callie Belle

Welcome to Chez Callie Belle, established 1995.
Pink and Black at it's finest! Think vintage Neiman Marcus, black Eiffel Towers, Pink Standard poodles...
(Imagine the bedding in the yet to be made, Sis Boom fabric montage...antique black iron bed frame, in the garage waiting on big brother to go to college and leave his big mattress!)
Callie Wells Originals on the wall.
Marilyn happy as a lark on her pink satin chez lounge...

Audrey at Tiffany's keeping watch. As well as her own glass enclosed library, lit by great grandmother, Cockle's (soon to be 100 years old!) hanging lamp covered in a vintage pink and black tutu from the Homestead in Fredricksburg.

An old screen door partially covers the sliding door to the sun room.
Check out my tutu!!! I was a cupcake in the Wizard of Oz!

The room is still a work in progress, as you can see. We still have the bedding to do and the curtains for the sliding door. We also want to paint the concrete floor. Maybe checker board. It is a fun and festive place to live! Only Eloise did Pink and Black better. If you looked closely, you would spy her here and there throughout Callie's room. She's a favorite around here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Race is my youngest, but already nine years old. He is the hardest playing kiddo in our family, on the go from the time he wakes up until his head hits the pillow! We spent the day at the Dallas Arboretum with his class last week. The grounds were beautiful, and we had so much fun! Race attends Shelton School, which is a private school for children with dyslexia and related learning differences. We are so fortunate to be there. Our public schools just do not have the resources to teach to the severely dyslexic child (even though RISD is amazing for the main stream child!). Race started reading at Christmas time and now knows the numeral 7 does exist. We still struggle with long term memory issues and writing on a daily basis. Dyslexia is a bizarre thing.

When we got back to the classroom, the kids were surprised to see that the first of their chickie eggs had hatched!! They have been turning the eggs and keeping them warm for days. So far this is the only little guy, but they've been hearing chirps from inside one of the other eggs, and checking on it with a candle. I probably won't be serving Race hard boiled eggs for a while!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Happy Mother's day to all!

Which of my favorite moms are you?

Which would your Kids say you are? Which would your husband say you are? Which would your friends say you are? Which would your mother say you are?

It doesn't matter at all. Just as long as you know who you are!!!!
Sent with my Love! Kim

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I have never been the dedicated house keeper my adoring hubby and kids would love me to be. In fact, I hate cleaning house. I get bored, distracted and derailed way too quickly. My mother always said that cleaning house was fun just like playing house. Odd thing, I loved to play, sit, read, even sleep in my playhouse, but never ever to clean it!

Maybe if I was to get a new backyard McMansion for Mother's Day, I could be re-trained!! If nothing else it would give me someplace to go to get out of their way while they clean the real house for me for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Please note Angela Henrie is at , and it is the Lettered Cottage not cootage of Layla Palmer. So sorry girls. I am still new to this and could not get the post edited correctly!!

Checkered Floors

Check out this wonderful kitchen breakfast area posted by Angela Henrie ( This is a very similar layout to my kitchen which is now black and white with a touch of pink, thanks to Layla Palmer at the Lettered Cootage (

My kitchen ends in a large bay window. I have an antique writing table on lay-a-way that I hope will give the illusion of a banquet like the one pictured. I have slip covered two similar chairs in a sheer black fabic, I plan to make them also in a sheer pink fabric, to flank the table. As soon as I finish painting the second side of the kitchen, I will post the photos. Both before and after. I was working with the original 1967 wood and olive kitchen! and I am loving the outcome. It was a very easy and inexpensive face lift with a huge visual impact!! As for the amazing black and white checkered floor...I will have to continue to see them in my head! I have to admit there are many, many things I imagine in my house and just see them that way until someone new comes over, and I try to explain that concept to them! I just hope mine is a fraction as lovely as the one in the picture.

The Saga of a Tabletop

We have a wonderful old glass topped iron dinning room table we inherited from Gary's great aunt. I begged for it and have always loved it. The problem is the glass is chipped and scratched horribly from the past several decades, and it only seats four comfortably. We are a family of five and many more than that on holidays and special occassions. Two years ago this month I discovered a cedar shop outside of Johnson City down in the hill country (found it looking for the cedar posts for my grape vines). They hand make really high end cedar furniture, mantels and iron peices. After visiting several times, I decided I had to have one of their creations. A larger top custom made to fit my iron base. This was the plan, gonna take a few months, great solution. That's when my dear hubby started talking to his work associates in Phoenix, and low and behold that just happens to be what one does for a hobby. That is when the table was to become my Christmas present for that year. We ended up with eight people around my same small glass table. To make the two year saga much shorter (partly because I can't even remember all the reasons why I don't have it yet), I should have received it yesterday. I didn't. Maybe the 15th?? I'm not holding my breath on it! Last year I bought a couple of ladder back chairs to slip cover and mix with the five iron chairs I have that go with the table. I've changed the fabric twice since then. I've painted the dining room to go with the slipcovers and completely cleaned the room out twice to make room for the much larger table. The funny thing is I don't even have the slightest idea what it will look like. Maybe like one of these. I'll let you know if I ever find out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lettered Cottage and Coastline Give-away

Burlap is hot, hot, hot!!! From placemats, and runners to slip covers. I even found SMOCKED Burlap Curtains at "My Favorite Room", which , by the way, is my favorite shop!!

Layla of The Lettered Cottage has coupled with Grace of Coastline with an awsome May give-away. You can find Layla and all the details at the following link: or you can find Grace's Etsy shop by clicking on the Coastline picture to the right.

While your visiting Layla, be sure to check out her awesome kitchen. She is the extremely gifted designer who inspired my on-going kitchen re-do. Hopefully I can post some photos soon.

Have a super Cinco De Mayo!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

For those who have heard she has swine flu...shame on you!!

It's pink eye!! (or as dad calls it, "pig eye")

So relax. Unless of coarse you've used her eyeliner!!!