Hurricane update + Round Top

Today in Texas, people are still cleaning up from Hurricane Harvey and will be for weeks and months to come but so much love has and is coming this way its been humbling just to be a small part of the outpouring. And as I write this, Hurricane Irma is pounding the Florida keys.  I know we are all praying for Florida and I hope they receive the same kind of love and support that is being given to so many Texans. They are going to need it.  And there are still needs and efforts going on here.

Saturday, our local School Board President, Natalie Lange (you have seen her name on my blog before she is also a very talented photographer) and her husband Harper and precious boys, loaded up and brought two of over 15 loads of supplies our schools here have collected  to Vidor, Texas, near Beaumont.  You may have read and noticed all of the connecting on Instagram.  Vidor is one of the many small towns hard hit by Harvey that has been suffering and in dire need of supplies.  It also happens to be the hometown of dear friend, Becki Griffin, who is also photographer and stylist you hear me talk about often here.  Becki and her sister Suzette, who lost most of her home her go fund me and info are here,  are discovering and pinpointing a lot of need in those small town areas east of Houston.

Becki’s sister Suzette in the white and her two daughters to her left and Brenham’s Natalie Lange in the green shirt with her family Harper and sons to her right, this photos makes me so happy..one little town helping another!  Brenham teacher Kaylee Roznovsky coordinated the Brenham effort and her energy and love is just contagious.  Thank you Kaylee for all you have done for so many communities including our own!

From filling trails with generators and diaper and cleaning products to designers in the Northeast planning ways to help, a lot has been going on . . . Design friend Jill Hinson of Portland, Oregon, saw Becki’s post on Instagram and instantly who wanted to help! Again you have heard me talk about Jill Hinson here on the blog.  We have been design pen pals for years and she helped with the class I did earlier this year at M.D. Haney in Oregon. I met many of her friends at a lunch when I was there and I am not supposed they wanted to help. First, Jill put together this gofundme drive to gather funds among her friends to send to Texas. Then Jill and her daughter and friends wanted to figure how to do something hands on in addition to just making donations. She and friends Allie Jenson and Erin Duffy of Happy Candles, and her darling daughter Abby, put together an event on Saturday to raise funds for gift cards to send to Texas at a local shop and event…so smart and just kind and nice..in the words of Becki on Jill’s IG post yesterday

          Just knowing this beautiful gesture happened today halfway across the country the people of a little town in Texas gives us hope                  and strength. We feel the love and thank you from the bottom of tired broken hearts.


What is amazing is these are just drops in the buckets of things that are happening all over Texas and beyond, with everyone I know..connections being made on social media and needs being filled!  I am sure each of you reading know of someone that has created some special way to give or drag their boat down here and help..I haven’t even touched on the scores of people that have come in boats to just help..rescue and save lives.  Just regular individuals with jet skis and boats.  I have heard it before but have truly see it with this storm that “when Mother Nature is at her worst, human nature is at its best!’ So true, people are full of empathy and want to help!  I think Satan wants the world to believe that many Americans are selfish and divided and hate one another but these tragedies prove that is not true!  It is not true, we are in this together, not just in Texas but our entire country, from small towns to big cities. 

Last but not least I want to tell you about my designer/friend/client Robin Jackson from Austin. Again, Robin wanted to help and is very moved my what is happening in her native state…she has family ties to the area near Becki’s hometown.  Photo below highlighting Robin’s effort to help is by Becki Griffin of her sister Suzette’s home near Vidor during tear out last week.

Rebuild/Recovery/Restoration Relief

She has been helping with the efforts of Austin’s Cord Shiflet called #fillatruck.  Then Robin and Becki connected last week and the iPhones started smoking!  Robin saying “what do you need I WILL GET IT TO YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE people in my neighborhood and community want to help!” Here is the link to her gofundme page, go and read her words on the page, really good. And so its happening, people who are not social workers and have never done aid relief are filling their trucks, renting uhauls, taking their boats, whatever it takes to help those in need.   ROBIN IS STILL GATHERING SUPPLIES and will deliver those items to the Vidor area the end of this week.  So you live in or around Austin you still have time to donate to this effort, follow Robin for details or questions or message she or I for more info.

 

WE ARE COLLECTING

Sheetrock
Sheetrock Mud
R13 Insulation
Sheetrock Screws
Hardy Board
Tools: Hammers, Saws, Crowbars, Scissors, Drills
Extension Cords
Work Boots
Masks
Gloves
Mold Killer/Bleach
All Purpose Cleaner and Rags/Mops/Scrubbers
Anything else that can be used in these efforts…GIFT CARDS!

Items on this list will be purchased, by me, Robin Jackson, locally in Austin and loaded into a Uhaul truck.  We are also accepting “on the ground” donations from any individuals wanting to go that route.  After our truck is full, probably Monday or Tuesday of next week,  we will deliver directly to the fine folks at the East Gate Pentecostal Church in Vidor, Texas. They did not flood and have been doing a fantastic job of supply distribution. They have the ability to receive our materials and the manpower to unload and store supplies. If you desire contact information directly to the church, please message me and I can give you that information.

If you are local in ATX, and wish to donate actual goods and materials, we have a way to do that too! Just message me and I will give you info on how to proceed.  Or, check for an update later today, Friday September 8th, with directions on where to take your donated or purchased items to fill the truck.  We will use the funds to purchase the items that we seem to have the least of when it’s time to head to Vidor!

My heritage runs deep in this part of Texas. My daddy hails from Port Neches/Groves, a tiny area outside of Port Arthur that was hit hard by Harvey. My mom grew up in nearby Nederland, directly across the street from the high school football stadium in a house that is likely wiped out at this point. I appreciate your consideration of helping out this very special part of our state. They need us!

(All withdrawls made from this account on GoFundMe will come directly out of the account, and will not be used as a “reimbursement.”  I anticipate that these funds will underwrite the cost of the Uhaul truck, gasoline to get down there, and the cost of actual items on the list.   I will be documenting all receipts and expenditures.  Any of this documentation will be available….just ask!  🙂  )

And again, this is just a drop in the bucket, these are just the relief efforts I am privileged enough to know about and have a small part in…there are dozens, hundreds more..just connect where you can and where you feel led.  

I am going to put more of this on the Hurricane Page on my top tab of main page  but for now HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR IMMEDIATE NEEDS IF YOU CAN’T GET THING TO ROBIN’S TRUCK OR YOU DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.  Becki says in her latest blog post which you can read in full here:

       It can be overwhelming to know exactly how to help flood victims. There are many large operations to donate to and equally large concerns of where the money goes.I want to help the town of Vidor in a couple of very specific ways. Our small towns are struggling and I want to help. Here are two ways to help a small Texas Town: I am collecting gift cards in small denominations to put directly into the hands of people that need them.Gift cards to WalMart, Target, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Lowe’s give these family access to supplies immediately. Some smart Instagram friends e-mailed me e-gift cards that I was able to distribute that very same day! I love that! But we’re not even close to done. Let’s get more! You may not have access to a way to ship a large quantity of these items but you might know someone that does and wants to help. Ask them! and then contact me. Send them this post! Send them my e-mail! I have a direct connection in Vidor that is able to receive large donations and distribute them and I would love to coordinate a delivery. If you’re out of state and don’t have a way to ship large quantities U-Haul offers a service that might be an option for you. Fill a portable storage container with donations and ship it to us. If you would like to send me gift cards you’ve collected or have a shipment of building materials you’d like to donate, please email me atbecki@curiousdetails.com.

Our friend Holly Kuhn, of Old Glory Antiques just sent Becki an envelope full of gift cards from Denver, they mail easy!  That is something we can all easily collect among friends and family and do OR if you want to #fillatruck thats still a need too!And yes Round Top Antique Fair is happening here too..some people already set up..more on that at goingtoroundtop.com and I will have more on the Old Glory Texas store and other goings on in a couple of days..Life does go, bittersweet and at different rates and timing for everyone but life and activities do go on . . .but let’s don’t forget the ones in Houston, Vidor, Florida, Rockport, on and on.  I don’t think we will.

Country Living feature- the back story

Finally, a little more backstory on our feature story and home in the May issue of Country Living.  And some wonderful images that I am finally able to share that were not included in the print feature. Thank you again to Buff Strickland Photography for of the wonderful photos and Becki Griffin for styling and overall awesomeness.

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

And I have to use this post to thank again all of my friends that came together to help me get ready for this shoot.  Missy and Dusty Robinson of Moosefeathers Florist who helped me with my flower beds!  And Mitchell Davis of Davis Design & Construction here in Brenham.  Mitchell lovingly retrofitted and painted my front door just for the shoot..this was an old one from my hometown that mom and I had been saving and he made it work and installed for me..he also came over DURING the shoot and cut down a limb off this little tree out front that was blocking the porch! He is that kind of guy and friend.  Thank you Lord for people like Missy and Dusty Robinson, Aubrey and Mitchell Davis and A.A. Hodde and his wife Tina who own and restored this amazing house!

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

To jump right in, this shot of the living room with Hunter was an outtake of the image that made the magazine article without him… Hunter had a ongoing love affair with the photographer and crew and he made one shot for the actual magazine but not all;; He is a ladies man, he loves attention!  Besides Hunter Buns, my favorite thing in our living room is these BEMZ Country Slipcover sofas in the Rosendal Pure Linen in absolute white…they are “buttah” as Becki Griffin would say..they are soft and line-y both in look and feel and imperfect and tad slouchy which make them comfy and easy on and off too..I LOVE them..more on how the Bemz covers fit here.  The brass side table was off the shelf from Target, the lamp from Marshall’s. Vintage bamboo table from the Brown Shed, small print pillows are Schumacher betwixt in biscuit, the red paisley pillows are John Robshaw Kedara fabric made custom and the red toile is a vintage fabric.  The Safaveieh Mandy ottoman is from wayfair! The vintage silver pitcher is a gift from our dear family friends the Menke family. Of course my fig is from Tall Plants Houston and my gorgeous heron from Campbells Melange in Louisiana and Round Top fame!

And the boy room…shhh don’t tell Henry his room wasn’t featured..oh well, he gets more Instagram time right?? For some reason they wanted to focus on Drew’s room and he was so glad they didn’t make many changes…we just tidied up..A LOT!

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

Of course his room is never this clean and yes that is an IKEA Hemnes dresser…i love the John Derian insect piece from his NYC store, the D is from Hobby Lobby lol, the George Washington is from A Beautiful Mess in Lubbock Texas, the pennant from Curious Details, the flag and engraving framed with white are from one of my trips to England and the Brave sign, so fitting for my boy, from RH kids.

Old homes often have great hallways even smaller old houses and this one has a lovely one full of windows and light…

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

This is one of my favorite images that wasn’t featured prominently…Becki styled up my beloved blue Leftovers Antiques cabinet to a T! All of my fave things in this pic..vintage bamboo table, shells, books, vintage rug and blue and white pottery and of course bamboo blinds from Selectblinds.com. Here is a direct link to the page where I order this color blind..simply choose on the pull down window “bamboo tortoise” and voila..they send samples too, this is my number one question ever so click that link and it should take you just where you want to go..I order privacy not blackout liner!  And of course the Peter Dunham pillow.

Opposite the windows and RH Linen chair is this wonderful collection of framed antique herbariums from my friend Melisse and her precious mother Sheryl of Campbell’s Melange in Baton Rouge. The Campbells have been showing at the original Round Top shows for many years. My pieces from them are treasures. They even framed these herbariums and they work so well with the antique french mirror I bought in the fields of Round Top years ago.  That mirror is so heavy!  The herbariums and antique mirror and my collection of Texana books do a lot to elevate my accessible Wisteria console in my mind;; That was the whole point of the article mixing regular easily accessible things from World Market and catalogs with truly special pieces to get a great mix…that is my favorite way to decorate. This vignette got a small spot in the article but was’t as front and center as I hoped but that just happens. I am glad I can feature it more here on the blog and tell more about details.

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

Bedding in the master below that wasn’t sourced in the magazine came from Mela and Roam..l adore Courtney Barton everything she does…I used one of her dohars as the spread on the bed and the lumbar is also from Courtney!

So many of you have asked how did I find such a neat home to LEASE????  Well of course the answer is NANA . . . and Jesus..always Jesus! My mom discovered this home when she met the owner, Mr A.A. Hodde, in early 2015 when our family was going through a very tough transition and I was trying to pray through the tough decision of moving from one town (where we had lived nearly 16 years in the little cottage and the new old house which we had only lived in months) to another.  The move was just 20 miles and one town over and closer to the children’s school but it was a big decision toward a new life in a new place. Once I had a peace that was the move we must make I prayed about where we would live. And this is where it gets complicated in my head and heart. This is where I think too much.  Why would God provide such an amazing soft place to land for me (and other women don’t all get this??) well the answer is He loves me and He loves other too but this was God’s special way of knowing how to nuture ME through the toughest time of my life and honestly keep me creative and able to work. When the storm hit out family I honestly thought I would would never be able to decorate another room again…suddenly nothing mattered certainly not decorating.  But my Lord who knows me so well knew how to keep my creative soul alive and kicking. So much to unpack there but I will leave that for another time. And I have to trust He is taking care of other hurting women in the ways that best meet their needs. I am learning to accept his love and provision for me  but still be soft and pray for others suffering too..MERCY and compassion for others and accepting God’s love and provision for self. Does anyone else struggle with this?? Of course you are probably thinking….

So, when we first looked at this home it was in the middle of being remodeled.  We assumed because so much work was being done to it that it was not a rental and would not be a viable possibility but mom had heard it WAS going to be available for rent and met Mr. Hodde and we began discussions. Even then I assumed it would be out of my budget. Little did I know that was God fast at work (through the owners of this house and others) behind the scenes preparing the sell of our other homes and remodeling this nest for our little family. It didn’t make sense and it happened very fast but He had us in the palm of His hand as always. You can see in the below photos the state the house was in during the remodel (much like how I felt in early 2015 and honestly God is still remodeling and restoring my heart still some gunk there y’all..being real) and you can also see the work and details the owners went to restore this old house. Just like God is restoring my heart and my children. The home is at least a 100 years old probably closer to 125 years!  

HE MAKES OLD THINGS NEW! HE WILL RESTORE THE YEARS THAT HAVE BEEN STOLEN and HE DOES make beauty from ashes.  

        A.A. Hodde and his wife Tina and their construction team led by Luis worked months and months peeling back the layers to repair this home and rewire, replumb, add new walls and refinish floors, on and on to bring it back to its glory and make it shine. And boy does it shine! Thank you TEAM HODDE

Mr. Hodde chose the outside color and his wife Tina Hodde and I exchanged a million email and texts and had many great visits about the interior selections, collaborating on the bathrooms and kitchens in particular…including counters and tiles and blinds. Country Living didn’t photograph and feature the bathrooms but they are totally remodeled and charming.  I will have to do another blog post just on this homes bathrooms one day! The entire team did an amazing job…Mr AA & Tina, Luis and Jesus and Manuel..Luis even built the cabinets! They were so open to how to make the home work for us and even welcomed Hunter the dog when the time came right for him to join us.  How many rentals will allow a young lab residency, especially into a house with newly refinished floors??

{Another shot that didn’t make it into the magazine but that I love..the old pew is in another part of that long, large hallway and the dealer I bought the pew from says its from an abandoned church in the nearby country from which we moved, no symbolism there huh?!} Tina Hodde picked this beautiful wall color SW Silverpointe. Look at those old floors!

Photography by Buff Strickland, Styling by Becki Griffin

Pillow with ties from Les Indiennes and smaller pillow is a Sister Parish print. Vintage runner and “yard long” prints from etsy and beyond.

So, this post has been hard to write.  I want to give source info and shout outs to the peopleand  places that may have been missed in the “source page” of the actual magazine and its just important to thank everyone behind the scenes.  But I also want to share my heart because this house is more than just pretty pictures its been a huge part of our soul story. So the feature came out weeks ago and I have had so much to say but its bittersweet and I have been stalling … for weeks! We moved in January and I honestly miss this house. We love our new home and its special in its own way, our story here where I write this post from right now is unfolding but this little house will always be so very special.  And its a slow process this “life transition” y’all, lots of road blocks and detours but God is restoring my family and our future just like he did this old house. Things take TIME. That is what God does..He recycles and restores and he makes old broken things new and beautiful again. ButI never want to glorify divorce or for anyone to think “wow she landed on her feet!” Yes I have a wonderful support system and career and this cute house was ours to live in during a dark time. That is wonderful and it was nice. But that is not everything. Let’s never forget that.  I think one of my biggest issues with the attention of this story and my entire story overall is feeling ashamed or guilty that I am so blessed and yet still hurting so much. Like I mentioned above, it’s good to be mindful and grateful and  aware of women around the world who have so much less and are suffering so much more.  It’s hard not to ask ‘why do I get a beautiful nest while women are fleeing Syria with their children and no water and food’ and even more embarrassing ‘why is this still so hard when i have so much’..I don’t understand and thats okay..its good to ask both I am learning.  I do believe God sees US ALL no matter the economics, whatever situation you may be in…and also remember just because there are pretty pictures and houses doesn’t mean people inside aren’t hurting and journeying much like a refugee..just in a different way. I am not a theologian I am just a decorator.  But I am also woman a mama and just a regular person too with questions and doubts and fears, even among cuteness lol! I don’t want to be a downer, this was an amazing experience and I am so thankful for my life and my business…life IS good. But it is a journey with bumps and its important to gloss over the hard part. Sure I know I don’t need to share every detail or pain or struggle but I hope sharing some of the real backstory both about the house and my heart helps make the picture more complete.  

{The “island” was just stock cabinets that my friend Kevin Gilmore of Oaks Renovation clad in v groove for me, notice the CS Lewis quote on the chalkboard hand lettered by my Tara Royers Steele, the tall cabinet ironically from our local rehab Restore shop, sign over cabinet from Leftovers Antiques, light discontinued from Wisteria;(}

     To me that is what building home is about, creating a backdrop for real life..the beautiful times and the messy, tough times too 

Shauna Niequist calls that BITTERSWEET.  So true. 

This home was a refuge to my boys and I and it was filled with joy at times with our Hunter and Nana and friends and it cradled us on teary nights and hard mornings too.  That is what shelter and home and true beauty and design are about to me. SO there you go, a little back story on a magazine feature.

 

SHELTER

 

RESTORATION

 

STORY

 

PROVISION

 

HOME

 

IMPERFECT FAMILIES and LIFE

 

But a PERFECT FATHER, who sees us all whether in a desert or in a rental, even in a mansion.

 

{Special thanks to Mr A.A. Hodde and your team of guys for all of your hard work on restoring this home and to Tina Hodde for your friendship, creativity and prayers, thank you for sharing your house and talents with our family and thank you to Country Living for the feature!}

 

 

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