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Hey Austinites, You Need to Just Dewit Already

You already know AB Chao, although you may have trouble placing her face. That’s because she looks like this:

Yeah, she’s kinda famous for her headless self portraits. But she’s even more famous for this:

You can’t even google the words “farrow” and “ball” without this room coming up. EVERYONE has seen it — even Kelly Wearstler. And she liked it. A lot.

But AB Chao has made other things, too. Like this:

And this:

And even this glamazing garage redo:

Pretty awesome.

And sure — you might hate her a little. She’s tiny and even peppier than her teenage daughter, she used to write for fancy tv shows, and her clothes are always cute. Even her husband is cute.

I mean — dammit, AB. You need to quit it with the cuteness.

But here’s the thing:  I’ve known her for years and she’s a really nice, really real person who knows how to make something out of nothing (those curtains in the top shot? first dropcloth curtain diy I know about). This is important because being an average middle class wage earner should not be an impediment to style.

And now you can join her Dewit Design Camp and be like AB.

Dudes, AB Chao is coming to Austin from June 30-July 1 to school you! Learn this stuff:

• Basic principles of design
• Creating inspiration boards
• Drawing layouts
• Paint, wall coverings, lighting, window treatments, furniture, art
• Using and repurposing existing items
• Decorating on a budget
• Common mistakes
• Putting it all together
• Styling
• Shooting interiors
• Q & A

Plus you will get to eat yummy food and hang out at Meredith Pardue‘s fancy new art studio. You know Mer:

She makes those paintings that are in all the glossy magazines.

She lives in Austin, too.

Austin is cool.

Cool people live here.

Be even cooler and meet Misses Chao and Pardue in person and soak up their coolness by osmosis.

Sign up for Dewit Design Camp right HERE.

I might even show up if I don’t drop a baby first.

Curtain talk tomorrow.

Comment if you have any Dewit questions today.

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Scene Stealer

Craigslist can change your life, people. Behold what it did for our fellow Austonian Elisa of What theVita? fame, who scored a sweet Moravian Star fixture after reading a CL post that I wrote:

Remind me why I didn’t buy that sucker again? Because it’s almost like a real star sashayed into her window and took up residence, except better since you can actually turn that mofo off and catch some shut eye. Real stars just don’t know when to simmer down, now do they? Anyhow, her bedroom looks supah flossy. Good job, Elisa!

mikkel vang moravian star

I’m really star-ting (oh god, I hate myself) to think I need one of these guys for the bedroom. Although I would not kick that bad boy out of my fancy man cave library, either.

moravian star

I really wish we could do a ceiling mounted fixture in the bathroom. This would be a 1000000000000% improvement over the tacky builder grade bar lights. Oh the shame!

So, I have a miserable spray painted chandelier in the bedroom that needs to be kicked to the curb and replaced with a flush mount fixture because Better Half Ben is as tall as I am short, and I think he is developing a dent in his bead where the top of said chandy has grazed him (lovingly, I am sure) a zillion times. I want a flush Moravian Star, but it’s out of stock everywhere… grrrrr. Anyone have a lead?

Today is Ike’s first day at day camp so I’m signing off and either A) jumping all over the couches and having a one woman dance party, or B) twiddling my thumbs while checking the time til pickup every 5 minutes.

Hopefully there is a C option available.

[What the Vita, Mikkel Vang, Rue]

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I’m Riding the Thrift Train to Flossytown

Last week I flipped the thrift switch, and now I’m an unstoppable bargain buying machine. Vintage ikat and paisley tablecloths, overgrown 70’s floral needlepoints, a crazy musical cakeplate, and 5000 ceramic pieces later, I show no signs of slowing down — which is handy since Round Top is tomorrow. (Will Karly buy another coffee table, or won’t she? Tune in next week to find out…) My latest find has left me with a bit of buyer’s remorse, not unlike the time I bought this.

Let’s see what y’all think of my latest purchase:

A vintage Milo Baughman brass based barrel chair in lipstick red. Homegirl still has her Thayer Coggin manufacturer labels intact. And she swivels and rocks. Tease.

But what the hell am I going to do with this thing? Although I love the color — despite pledging my allegiance to the black and white stars and stripes forever — the upholstery has seen better days and probably needs to be redone. And wouldn’t it look amazing in this?

But since this fabric is $150/yd, I’m thinking no. Dammit.

Of course what I really wish I could do is upholster it in a vintage Jack Lenor Larsen fabric.

Did I say I was afraid of color? Well, If someone gave me a bolt of Larsen fabric, I wouldn’t bat a lash — I swear I would redecorate my entire house around one of his crazy psychedelic prints.

But back to the real world, and the most pressing question: do I keep this chair for which I have no available space and no real need, this chair which needs a $400-500 upholstery job, or do I sell it and make a little cash for… more thrift purchases (duh).

Sleepy eyes sure likes it.

In fact, since I brought little miss hot stuff home, Ike and the cat have fought for space on her bountiful seat — sometimes to deleterious effect. Ike and the chair are a little worse for wear. The cat, however, is doing just fine.

Keep or sell, people? Help me out.

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What I Learned at SXSW 2011

SX this year was an epic, traffic jammed affair. We stood in lines too long, walked too far, and drank way too much beer. My hair is a tangled beehive of dried out straw and my head is still stuffed full of cotton batting, but I have survived to bring you this year’s report. Let’s do this.

#1. Toro Y Moi is preparing to take over the world. If you don’t already have the latest album, go buy it. Now. These kids are a funked up MGMT and they’re good. Also, I have no idea what’s in his mouth.

#2. Fader sucks balls. I will never stand in a line this long to attend a show where the bar closes before the last act takes the stage ever again. PS: that’s not even half of the line.

#3. The Smith Westerns are assholes, but they’re cute assholes. Most of this band isn’t even old enough to drink, so I’m inclined to give them a pass… for now. Weren’t you a jerk when you were 19? Aren’t you lovely and refined now? Plus they have really pretty hair and they rock. This song is from their old album, but it brought down the house at the DeVille.

#4. Short shorts really aren’t that flattering. The glaring Texas sun is not kind to our thighs, ladies — not even if you’re lucky enough to be super skinny. I don’t think we need any pictures to illustrate this point, do we? Let’s just agree that we don’t and move on.

#5. If you don’t have these shoes, you may be the only one left in the world. They look pretty cute with dresses, actually.

#6. This is coming back. I do not approve.

#7. Avoid the big buzz shows like the plague. I’m so glad I didn’t brave a crowd 25,000 people strong to see The Strokes’ free show. By all accounts, it was a tramplefest of sprained ankles and bruises. Hell no, I won’t go.

#8. Wanda Jackson is the Queen of Rockabilly. Most of the bands we saw were fronted by 20 year olds, but age and experience have their place, too. Her new album was produced by Jack White, and it’s a bold offering from a lady with gravitas purring from every note of her gravelly voice.

I should probably come up with numbers 9 and 10, but I’m too tired and hungover. If you were there, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions.

Sleep now, back tomorrow with some interesting new developments in the real estate saga…

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Jennifer Perkins’ Shopping Guide to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin

If you live in Austin and have a love of handmade goods, then you have heard of the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. This year is extra special because it is the 10 year anniversary of the bazaar.  My name is Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club and I will be your host for today’s post about Blue Genie and let’s go ahead and get the fact that I am biased towards the show out of the way right up front.

Sure I realize not everyone’s taste is as eclectic as the kitschy wreaths, cat heads and tin can robots you can find in my booth at the show – but I promise there is something for almost everyone.  Sure there are lots of the things you would expect to find at a “craft show”.  Handmade jewelry, T-shirts, baby onesies, soaps – you know the drill.  The things you will also find that you might not have been expecting are ceramics (cool ones), living wall art made from plants, paintings, prints and even giant pieces of sushi.

Blue Genie is a juried show selecting only the best artists in Austin.  Locals might recognize names like Chia, Darla Teagarden, Mark Joiner, Amy Barber, Moxie, Ornamental Things, Baby Bolt, Hot Pink Pistol and of course the Blue Genie guys themselves.  You can’t take a driving tour through Austin without spotting a Rory Skagen mural or a large piece of sculpture that the guys did sitting atop a business.  I happen to be the proud owner of one of their larger than life glitter covered popsicles.

The show runs through Christmas Eve so you still have a chance to go and get your shop on.  7 days a week you can bask in the glory of a kitschy Christmas.  Head down to Marchesa Hall at Lincoln Village (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, TX 78732) 10am daily.  Be sure to tell em’ Naughty Secretary Club and Design Crisis sent ya.

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