HD West Custom Painted Leather Goods

When artist Amanda Richardson opened an Etsy shop at age 18, her hand-painted leather accessories drew lots of attention, but none to the effect of her first pair of custom painted boots.  Inundated with requests, Amanda now takes custom boot orders one at a time through her new business, HD West.  It's almost like Richardson is giving each pair of boots a tattoo - telling a story unique to the one who wears them, transforming the leather into a canvas through color and design.   These incredible works of art leave us pretty speechless, so we'll just let the pictures do the talking...

Spring Style: Neutral Handbags

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Spring is always when I really start to reorganize, which includes cleaning out my purse - which then leads to dreaming about a new one.  I've rounded up a few of my favorite neutrals from Spring 2015 collections and here's a spoiler: I'm obsessed with Consuela's.  They hit it out of the park this spring with their luxurious white St. Tropez collection (1 & 5) and that beautiful gator (16).  Also introducing gorgeous new collections is Barrington (12 & 13) with their Axis and Navajo Mesa prints.  And yes, Navajo is a neutral as far as I'm concerned.  Barrington bags can have that little leather square on the front monogrammed and are really great quality (note: the Axis bag is not real hide, it's a very realistic water-resistant nylon print).  Not to mention, both Consuela and Barrington are Texas-based companies - Austin and Dallas!  Throw in more gorgeous leather from Frye (#9) and some fun fringe from Steve Madden (#15) and you've got some great choices that will be the perfect addition to any outfit throughout the year.

Round Up: Where to Find Texas Embroidered Pillows

If you've seen these pillows on Pinterest like we have and have been wondering where to snag one for yourself, fear not!  We've found the one-stop-shop to find your state (the best state) and major cities on beautiful, hand-embroidered pillows. CatStudio is the creative source behind these pillows and they offer all kinds of Texas versions with different landmarks, in addition to other states and icons from around the world. 

Be warned, these puppies are not cheap.  However, you are getting what you pay for - each pillow is embroidered by hand (by a real live person earning fair wages) and can take up to a week to produce.  The pillows and thread are 100% cotton and up to 30 different colors are used to make each one.  These are gorgeous, textured, quality pieces that will last and be cherished for generations.  What a great gift would these pillows make for someone who's moved away and misses the Lone Star State (who wouldn't), or a housewarming present for a proud Texan?

Click the link below each image to purchase.

Dallas Embroidered Pillow

We did find a couple of other versions.  The one shown in the leather chair is just a pillow


, and doesn't include the actual pillow (but comes with a much lower price tag).

Pottery Barn Embroidered Texas Pillow Cover

Cheers to Texas threads!  

Fixer Upper

I had planned to write about something else today, but after watching last night's season 2 premiere of Fixer Upper, I just have to gush about this show.  I'm a little late jumping on this train, I know.  My mom told me about this show a few months ago, and I was hesitant because even I, a home decor enthusiast, can get a little burnt out on HGTV.  Sitting on the couch one Saturday morning, channel surfing, I stumbled upon a season 1 marathon, so I watched an episode.  And then another.  And another.  Y'all, I'm hooked.  But for good reason.

For starters, the show is set right here in Texas.  Joanna and Chip Gaines live near Waco and own Magnolia Homes, a real estate and renovation company.  Joanna has also owned a shop for several years where she sells all kinds of treasures, from chandeliers to crates to old neon signs.  Together, the couple finds homes in dire need of love - or sometimes, a complete overhaul, and completely transforms them to be more than the new homeowners could ever dream of, all while sticking to pretty strict and relatable budgets.  Chip is the demo and construction guy, while Joanna has the vision for the final product and works her decorating magic at the end of each renovation.

Check out some of the incredible spaces from season 1.  I just love how the Gaines put a new spin on homes that could very easily be left stuck in another decade and breathe life into them, mixing old with new, adding character, and turning these homes into places where people can really LIVE.

This home in West was given a fresh facelift

Aside from juggling their business and raising four kids, the Gaines also took on a project of their own, renovating a beautiful farmhouse on forty acres outside of town.  This is the place they call home.

The wild transformations, timeless and rustic decorating inspiration, and genuine looks of shock and awe on the homeowners' faces make this show a winner for me, but what I really appreciate about Fixer Upper is the way the couple interacts with each other.  A real love not often seen on television, that's for sure.  They are so playful, don't take themselves too seriously, and you can tell they just respect each other and work so well as a team, whether it's building a home or a family.  I don't have many shows that I watch regularly, but this one I won't be missing.  

The Gaines recently bought this old shop and adjacent grain silos and will be transforming it into their new office and Magnolia Market storefront.  I can't wait to see what they do with the space. Rumor has it, they'll be hosting monthly trade days with food trucks and live music.  I'll be hitting the road to Waco as soon as that happens!

Catch Chip and Joanna on HGTV Tuesdays at 8 PM, and read Joanna's blog here!

Photo Credits: The Place Home | Rachel Whyte Photography | Molly Winn Photography

Gypsy Trunk

If you're needing outfit inspiration to look your best for a Christmas get-together or a New Years Eve celebration, you're in luck today. We stopped by Gypsy Trunk in San Angelo to get inspired with some unique holiday ensembles.  Jana, the owner, and her right hand woman, Liz, pulled some fabulous one-of-a-kind pieces for the mannequins to model as we shopped, sipped mimosas, and visited at their Christmas open house. If only every Saturday morning could go like that! 

Jana and Liz describe Gypsy Trunk's style profile as timeless, classic, and where you go to find a statement piece.  That statement factor is what motivates Gypsy Trunk's mission for Jana.  "I almost consider it a failure if someone doesn't stop me and ask, 'Where did you get that?' when I'm wearing something from the store," she says.  Gypsy Trunk opened in November 2010 and moved to its current location in San Angelo's Concho Crossing retail center in 2012.  They are proud to be San Angelo's exclusive boutique carrier of Seven for All Mankind denim; Virgins, Saints & Angels jewelry; and Show Me Your Mumu.    

Left: Gentle Fawn blouse, 7FAM leopard jeans, VSA jewelry, Passions fringe boots

Right: Nikibiki red shell, 7FAM mid-rise dark skinnies, VSA jewelry, Mystree faux snakeskin jacket, Passions laser-cut booties

Left: GXF sequin party dress, Milla blazer, Toms wedge booties, VSA jewelry

Right: Inluv floral tunic, Nikibiki charcoal gray leggings, Nature Breeze fringe boots

Left: Nikibiki taupe undershirt, InStyle chambray top, 7FAM colored skinnies, Gypsy turquoise pendant, Selfie Couture aztec fringe sweater, Very Volatile suede booties

Right: Ciel sage peasant top, By Together lace tunic, 7FAM Dojo wide leg jeans, West Coast Cowgirl jewelry, SOS leopard booties

What great outfit options for so many different occasions, from from elegant to casual.  The Gypsy jewelry line is a new addition to the store that Jana and Liz are excited to offer.  The bold, unforgettable turquoise pieces (seen on the left outfit above) are sourced from a mine in Turkey, handcrafted by a female entrepreneur, and can spark a conversation, adding a pop to any outfit. 

 Gypsy Trunk really does offer something for every style, while still holding true to that distinctive Texas flair. This place has been one of our favorite places to shop for years and is always worth the stop.  Their store is both inviting and inspiring, with an eclectic mix that perfectly captures western, funky, yet timeless vibes.  To shop the looks shown here and see the boutique's other exclusive lines, visit Gypsy Trunk's Facebook or Instagram pages, or visit their storefront in downtown San Angelo.