Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ON SALE NOW! "Crack Heads" .08 Calendar

Crack Heads .08 Desk Calendar & Inspiration Guide - Twelve months showcasing Chris’ collection of cracked and faded doll heads. Spiral bound, printed on heavy, matte recycled stock. Pages measure 6"x7.5". Includes inspirational ideas on how to display these oddities in a modern setting & blank notes/photo pages for use throughout the year. EXTRA BONUS: A CD of twelve desktop calendar images for your computer so you’ll never be without a little Urban Prairie style, no matter where you are. Forward by David Butler of Art of the Midwest.

Order at: Urban Prairie BLOGSHOP
FOR WHOLESALE INFO CONTACT: info@urbanprairie.net

Friday, December 7, 2007

Give Peace A Chance.

John Lennon Oct. 9, 1940 - Dec. 8, 1980

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Creative Pro's Gift Guide - Urban Prairie

Creative Pro; an online service for fonts, graphics and everything creative has featured Urban Prairie's BLOGSHOP in their Gift Guide for 2007:

Looking for something special to give creative types this holiday season? You won't find these suggestions in every mall.
ASSORTMENTS OF WIERD STUFF. Chris Brown calls his Urban Prairie design aesthetic "rockabilly for the eyes." At his online shop, you can buy vignettes and odd assemblages that Chris has put together. Most of it is not cheap, but it's decidedly appealing. I recommend a visit if only to inspire you to make your own weirdly beautiful collections of stuff.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Steve Wiman Assemblage Show

Steve Wiman, owner of the coolest store for odd, creative finds in South Austin - Uncommon Objects and friend to Urban Prairie, is showing his found object assemblages at D Berman gallery in Austin from Nov. 29th - Jan. 12, 2008.

Steve creates lyrical wall installations using found objects. His mastery of palette and form transforms both the ordinary and the rare into three dimensional collages with depth and whimsy.

“Wiman's work is thoughtful, meditative, and playful – assembling … objects in evocative ways.” - Madeline Irvine

Found Bath

This is a great example of found objects from days gone by and incorporating them into a cozy setting, such as this bathroom. Perfect Urban Prairie style. Keeping it simple is key.

Photo: Mikkel Vang

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Burlap Lovers

Urban Prairie is all about recycling found objects and materials. I love burlap and have been using it in my design work for years. Seattle designer Sidney Ann has taken it to the next level in Urban Prairie cool for the gals - the burlap coffee sack clutch. Made from a recycled burlap coffee sack, this eco-friendly clutch features a brown button and leather shoelace wrap closure. Lined in a lavender, pink, white, and turquoise stripe print. Available at Etsy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Quote of the Week

"Alongside people like Amy Butler, Chris is giving new definition to American West country style, updating it with a hip modern sensibility, and yet maintaining a strong retro feel."

The South Africa design blog smokeandochre.blogspot.com on Chris’ new Urban Prairie BLOGSHOP.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Urban Cowboy

Victoria at the influential blog sfgirlbybay.com has featured Chris and his twist on modern country design. "Chris Brown is a bit of a dichotomy. A good old, cowboy-hat-wearing country boy with a heart of gold, and an artistic collector, design lovin', tattooed rebel!" says Victoria, "Chris first introduced us to the hipper side of country with his website, Urban Prairie, then his blog, modern-twisted Urban Prairie REFUELED, and now he's introducing us to his Urban Prairie BLOGSHOP. An electric mix of odd meets modern day, the Blogshop offers alt-country assemblages, collections, odd one-offs and the curious goods Chris has come to be known for." Take a peek.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mini Collections in a Bag

NEW! Urban Prairie "Curious Goods" grab bags. Now available at the BLOGSHOP.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Contemporary Art with a Southern Accent

People who know me know my affection for the South. Sweet tea, good BBQ and cool folks who bring a little bit of that to the world through their art. Check out Dolan Geiman. Dolan discovered a profound appreciation for the tangible and visceral elements that define rural America. He brings that to us in mixed media.

Great acrylic and silk screen on wood pieces. The perfect addition to any Urban Prairie home. Visit: dolangeimanartist.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Urban Prairie "BLOGSHOP" Open

The “Urban Prairie” BLOGSHOP, home to alt-country oddities, assemblages & collections, has a new location. You can follow the link found in the right-hand column, or you can log on directly at: urbanprairieBLOGSHOP.blogspot.com. Take a peek. A great way to add to your collections, start a new one or simply buy a complete vignette to showcase in your home. Updated weekly - please note, items move quickly - log in regularly.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quote of the Week

“Country style has never been so hip!”

Jo & Kim from the influential design blog “Desire to Inspire” on Chris’ new Urban Prairie BLOGSHOP.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Vintage Shirt Labels

I’ve been collecting vintage shirt labels for years. I’ll buy a shirt from a thift store or yard sale just for it's label. Their interesting names, fonts and faded colors inspire me. I like to carry inspiration with me wherever I go so, I’ve started sewing them on to the herms of t-shirts. No fancy sewing is needed. I even strive for uneven & frayed applications - it adds to the “urban prairie” coolness.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

“I described him to my sister this morning as the Jesse James (tattooed husband of Sandra Bullock-not the gangster) of country decorating/collecting.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cool Collectible of the Month

Remember gum wrapper chains from your childhood? I'm seeing these everywhere again. I think they would be great used on vintage aluminum Christmas trees as garland or as a cool choker necklace.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quilt Drunk?

The paparazzi took this photo of David and Amy Butler and myself in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston over the weekend. I can't remember if we were drunk or just tried after the Quilt Market. Or it may of been that it's the first shot they were able to get of me without a beat-up cowboy hat on. More details to come! Nice t-shirt Amy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's Playing on My ipod?

Steve Earle; Washington Square Serenade

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quilts: Alabama Style

I was never a huge quilt fan until I discovered Alabama Chanin. The vintage, almost completely tattered materials and the multi-colored patches/red rose appliques that Natalie "Alabama" Chanin uses are very Urban Prairie. Each one of her quilts are one-of-a-kind and instant collector items. I love the faded colors and the randomness of the designs.

Another favorite - Fabric Mums. A project from Natalie's upcoming book, "Alabama Stitch", these flowers are made from 100% recycled cotton jersey with rusted wire stems. I think they look great in this large grouping.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Urban Prairie Tees SOLD OUT!

The Urban Prairie tee "Alt-Country Style+Design" is SOLD OUT! Look for a new limited edition tee coming soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Found Typography

Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with found objects AND typography. The folks over at UPPERCASE have combined them both beautifully in a notepad. The Eclectro Pad, handmade with found plastic signboard letters, vintage decorative and advertisting cover accents and print-job offcuts - these are a must for a collector like myself. A steal at $5 each. Get one at: shop.uppercasegallery.ca

One of my favorite photographers has a set of new snaps of one of my favorite towns. Visit: flickr.com/photos/allisonvsmith.
Photos: Allison V. Smith

Monday, October 8, 2007

Urban Prairie Named in Amy Butler's "Midwest Modern"

A great big shout out of love to Amy Butler and her just released new book "Midwest Modern". Amy listed URBAN PRAIRIE in the source section of her book as "Alternative Country Style" under the heading: Great Style Blogs. I count Amy and her husband David as wonderful friends who not only get but live the Urban Prairie lifestyle. Cheers to a beautiful book. "Midwest Modern" is available at all fine retail outlets. For a SIGNED copy, visit amy at amybutlerdesign.com.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"REFUELED" Soundtrack

Chris Brown's "REFUELED", a short film documenting the Warrenton, Texas antique show will feature the music of Centro-Matic.

"It's unforgettable in a Neil Young or Jeff Tweedy kind of way… It's a hootenanny of sweetly weathered proportions, free-wheeling clap-alongs and perfectly boozy balladry - not to mention ass kicking pop songs about rotary wheels and shotgun shells. Love You Just the Same is what a trucker cap would sound like if it could sing. Oh, and play violin." -- Magnet

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sprawling, Raucous Antiques Orgy

It was a whirlwind trip to the opening of the Fall .07 Warrenton Antique Show. It was mixed with business & pleasure. The business end was filming footage for my documentary short "REFUELED". We shot for three days, which included footage of the sights, sounds, people and great finds of the show. More on this and a release in the coming months.

The pleasure side was getting to visit old friend, make new ones and search for found objects to add to my collections. I finally got to meet Cheryl Schulke from Stash Studios and spend some time with Theresa Cano of Garden Antiques. Both ladies have been huge supporters of myself and Urban Prairie this past year. I love and appreciate them both a great deal.

I found great cracked doll heads to include in my ever growing collection. They seem to be everywhere this year. Came away with six gray 3-legged stools for our long white farm table. And of course the opening night of CLUTTER was great as always. New owner Staci Schwantz put a slightly different twist on displays, but held true to the orginal vision of founder D'Ette Cole.

All in all the true object for myself is the people and friendships. The show is like summer camp for collectors. Folks who have a passion for found objects, great cultural relics, wonderful oddities and sharing. Each trip to Warrenton refuels me and my creative battery.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Read All About It!

For Urban Prairie press, odd banter or even Chris Brown guest blog spots, visit URBAN PRAIRIE/CHRIS BROWN PRESS at urbanprairiepress.blogspot.com OR click the link in the sidebar on the right of this page. Check in often for frequent updates.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Uncommon Objects

One of the highlights of the Warrenton/Marburger Farm antique show for me is being just an hour outside of Austin. The state capital of Texas is home to probably my favorite shop of oddities and curious goods, Uncommon Objects. I will shop the fields, tents and out buildings of Warrenton first, then I will make the hop over to Austin for a cup of java at Joe’s Coffee Shop. From there it is over to Uncommon Objects for a hunt of everything from antique cowboy hats and shirts, baskets of doll arms and legs, old medical charts to vintage flash cards and circus signage. It is a “found” collectors heaven. Owner Steve Wiman houses 30 vendors from around the country and Europe. I relish the folks from Texas and Steve’s own space within the store. Steve also sets up shop at Marburger Farms show in the old bingo hall, so I can get a double whammy.

Check out the website at: uncommonobjects.com
Photo: Theresa Cano

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One potato, two potato...

Three Potato Four is run by Janet Morales & Stu Eli. They started the shop because of their love of collections. They are collectors, and to them, all products and belongings tell a story. Sometimes that story is about where the object came from, how it was made or who made it. Other times, it's a story about them and how the object reflects who they are, to themselves and to others. They live by stories and they shop for stories.

Janet & Stu always filled their home with things they love and think beautiful stories can be told through the complimentary mix of modern and vintage objects.

Check out their cool, vintage finds at threepotatofourshop.com

Monday, September 17, 2007

Antique Week Preview

WARRENTON, TEXAS - SPRING .07 Photos: D'Ette Cole

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Read Chris's guest blog "Warrenton" spot over at stashstudios.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

QUESTION: Why is it sometimes you speak in the third person on your blog? Then at other times it appears you are speaking directly to us? Is there a three headed Urban Prairie monster sneaking online?
Mari Berns, Scott City, Missouri

ANSWER: Thanks for writing Mari. That’s a good way to put it! Although REFUELED is the official Chris Brown blog, I often have help in updating it. There are three people responsible for the content and seeing that it gets online. Myself, my lovely business partner & wife Michelle and our assistant (the Dirt Road Team) all have a hand in keeping the blog current. I create all the photos and graphics, and when my schedule allows, most of the text you read. In the end we all try and create a place for Urban Prairie fans to go daily and find out what I may be up to or creating next. Hope you continue to check in on the Urban Prairie monster.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ear Candy

QUESTION: I read on a blog recently that music is a big influence on your work. What have you been listening to and how does it affect what you create? Jeff Zielinski, Los Angeles, CA.

ANSWER: Jeff, having spent a portion of my life as a touring musician, music indeed plays a huge part in not only my work but my life. Music has a way of seeping into your soul and then is released through the things we do and create in our everyday lives. I’ve been listening to a lot of Alt-Country/Roots/Americana music lately. The dirty, raw, honest music of bands like Son Volt, Wilco and Centro-Matic plays well into my design/style/decorating work.

Friday, August 31, 2007

1} Antique Horse Show Ribbons
2} Centro-Matic: Distance & Clime
3} Billy Gibbon's 1936 Rat Rod
4} Vintage Surfboards
5} High Voltage Tattoo, Hollywood

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Note From Amy Butler

Hi Kelly!
Congratulations on being selected as Chris's winner for Midwest Modern! I hope the time you spend with Mid Mod brings you loads of joy. Dave and I are thrilled to be able to share the book, it was quite a personal journey for both of us. You'll have to let me know how it reads! Take good care.

Chris, please thank all of your readers for participating in the contest for me. It was so much fun!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Guys of Texas are Upon You.


Chris Brown’s aesthetic is gritty dirt road meets modern city concrete, so it is quite obvious why his style & business is called Urban Prairie. Brown is a designer, stylist and collector and showcases those titles at his alt-country website urbanprairie.net and on his blog REFUELED (urbanprairieREFUELED.blogspot.com). Look for a new book, "Crack Heads" a visual journal of his cracked doll head collection and a short film titled "REFUELED", a documentary of a three day hunt at the Warrenton, Texas antique show - both available soon.

Steve Wiman is an artist whose medium is found-object assemblage, and his look is what makes Uncommon Objects in Austin, uncommon. “Raw material for creative living” is the tagline for his SoCo located store which celebrates homemade American ingenuity and weirdness - a statement that couldn’t hold more truth.
Visit at uncommonobjects.com.

Jason Cohen has a well-trained eye for odd objects. Cohen runs the Dallas store Curiosities, an eclectic mix of antique and art dealers which forms a wild emporium of tasty goods! Many of the vendors have over 25 years experience in the field. Inside you will find vintage folk art, circus banners, tramp art, Victorian elegance, antique religious icons and so much more. Visit at getcuriosities.com

Photo/Chris: D'Ette Cole

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Win It Before You Can Buy It!

Why wait until October to get your hands on the new book, "Midwest Modern"? Urban Prairie friend Amy Butler has sent an advance, signed copy of her newest release "Midwest Modern; A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle" to Chris for a Urban Prairie/Amy Butler giveaway. This complete lifestyle book, encompassing fashion, interiors, and gardens - a must have for Amy Butler fans.

To enter, simply post your name and email address here. A drawing will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25th and the winner announced on Sunday, Aug. 26th. The winning name will be chosen the old fashion, name pulled out of a cowboy hat way. Good Luck!

Photo excerpts by David Butler, from "Midwest Modern"