Saturday, April 28, 2007

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Texas Music Rocks!

Across the old dirt road from me is Tyler, Texas. Famous for rose gardens and brick street districts, you would never guess that it is also the home base for the band EISLEY. After burgeoning on the Dallas scene in 2001, playing hundreds of shows throughout Texas and garnering a fan base as an indie band, Eisley was signed to Warner Bros. Records (Reprise) in 2003, and soon after opened for Coldplay throughout their US tour of "Rush of Blood to the Head" and at the V Festival in England. Eisley turned in their second album, "Combinations" to Warner Brothers on April 7, 2007, with a scheduled August release date. The band will be touring with The Fray from July 10 until July 21, 2007. The song "Invasion" is slated to be the first single from "Combinations", and a video shoot has been set for May.

Stay tuned for more EISLEY installments. For info visit

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Warrenton/Round Top {Part 3} Conversation

Chris Brown: So, here we are. How does it feel passing the torch of Clutter over after all these years?

D'Ette Cole: Actually it feels pretty good. It's been such a great transition; for the Clutter show, for Staci Schwantz (the new owner), for Shirley Schwantz (my Clutter business partner) and for me. After coming to the bittersweet decision back in January to leave the Clutter Show and the retail side of the antique/junk business, I was thrilled when Staci expressed interest in buying my part of the show and all of my remaining inventory. Thrilled because it made it easy to turn over something that I'd worked so hard to create and build over the past 13 years to someone that is so appreciative and completely 'gets' my style, my merchandise and my customer base. Staci has a great eye and sensibility and is a great addition to the show.

D'Ette Cole: It's funny because I think my friends gave me a broader perspective on my exit from the junk business after all of these years. What I was viewing as just a different turn on my career path they saw as a major 'unfettering' and as an occasion to marked with celebration and threw me a "Farewell to Junk" party on Valentine's Day. Do I miss being out here and working and selling my merchandise? Absolutely. I especially miss seeing all of the great people that I've gotten to know over the year's out here who relish junk like me. And, I can always come back to visit like I'm doing today.

Chris: By the way, the food here at SACK LUNCH is crazy good. What are you having there?

D'Ette: Sharon Bright (Sack Lunch owner) is the best and the food is super good and she's very inventive with her menu. She made me a tuna nicoise salad with extra tomatoes - yummy.

Chris: This goat cheese, balsamic marinaded tomatoes, greens sandwich is a breath of fresh air out here in the country.

D'Ette: I know, it's been such a luxury to have her set up here at Clutter during shows. It was pretty amazing to be out here in the middle of nowhere and get my iced single soy latte every morning.

Chris: So what have you been up to since the last time we got together?

D'Ette: Well, it's been quite a whirlwind in the last 6 months. In the first week of January I got offers to do design/decor for 3 different events which were all in March and April. They were all exciting and challenging and very enticing and two were such incredible opportunities that i just couldn't turn them down. So with the new jobs on top of my existing clients, I knew that Etta Industry (my design business) had taken off to the point that i couldn't focus on it and Clutter too. So that was a really big realization for me and what signaled a turning point in my career.

Chris: This sounds exciting what kind of projects are you working on?

D'Ette: Right now I'm working on such an interesting variety of design projects. I'm doing decor work for residential interiors, design and merchandising consultation for retail businesses, I'm working as a photographer, doing graphic design in web and print media, and I'm doing design/decor for events. And, I'm trying to set aside time to make art.

Chris: Wow, a lot of what I'm doing also with Urban Prairie. That sounds like you have your hands full!

D'Ette: Yea, and it feels very productive and very good. One of my most exciting projects is a wedding event for the end of April set on the grounds of a historic hotel in Kingsland, Texas. I was hired to design the invitation package, do the site design/decor for the ceremony and dinner reception for 250 including floral and do photography and formal portraiture for the event. It's one of my more comprehensive projects and it has been such a delight to work with such encouraging and appreciative clients. My theme is an unconventional yet sophisticated Texas-style garden party incorporating lots of natural elements. I think it's going to be beautiful and magical . . . unless it rains . . . then, it'll be tented beauty and magic. I know from doing Clutter for 13 years, that when planning events at outdoor venues you've always got to have a firmly plotted plan b.

Chris: Can you tell us about the direction etta industry is headed now?

D'Ette: Well, I want to overhaul and expand the Etta Industry website. I want it to be more like an online magazine - making it visually more juicy. And, I hope that the interesting and challenging assignments keep coming my way. Things feel good right now, really good.

Photos by D'Ette Cole

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Urban Prairie "Collector Profile" Series (5)

Art School Girl's origins can be traced back to owner, Amy Rowan's days as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was there that she constructed what would be the first of several stationery lines—a simple blank journal made from recycled books. Fueled by a passion for paper and a love for specialty printing processes, Art School Girl specializes in one-of-a-kind hand made paper goods. Expertly crafted from recycled materials and often sewn or printed by hand, each piece is artisan quality.

Name: Amy Rowan
Location: Chicago, IL
Company: Art School Girl

Influences: Broken books, library discards, wrong answers in old workbooks, handwritten library cards, printing that’s just a little off register, halftones, old mailing labels, typewriters, stitches, linear drawings, neon diamond signs, plants that grow, albino animals, bunnies on the sidewalk, the ocean, the woods, artists (this list is endless but currently I love the work by Caroline Hwang, Camilla Engman, and Lisa Solomon) and of course my ever talented group of friends and family.

Philosophy: Personally I try to consume less, recycle more, and reuse wherever I can. In my work I try to resuscitate surplus, discarded, and ordinary materials by repurposing them. I enjoy making old cast-offs desirable again. As well as creating products that encourage personal correspondence and creative thinking.

Favorite Collection: My library of vintage books

Favorite Piece from Collection: First Aid book collection


Monday, April 16, 2007

Warrenton/Round Top - The Photo Shoot

I had asked D'Ette Cole of Etta Industry to shoot some pixs of me for upcoming projects and promotional purposes during the Warrenton/ Round Top Antique Week. She took about 100 photos of me all over the grounds and fileds. Above is one of my favorites. It was taken at the CLUTTER show.

Photo by D'Ette Cole

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Warrenton/Round Top {Part 2} The Fields

"JUNKHUNT.07" was the official title of the mission that Urban Prairie's Chris Brown and D'Ette Cole from Etta Industry set out on. The location? Warrenton, Texas. The starting point? CLUTTER.

D'ette Cole and Shirley Schwantz started CLUTTER 12 years ago. Eager to pursue larger scale projects and work in a broader, more far reaching design arena, D'Ette recently announced her departure from Clutter. {More on this in Part 3}...This was the obvious place to kick everything off.

The first stop, the Mushroom Man. Richard Taylor of Flat Earth Designs has earned the nickname "Mushroom Man" for one obvious reason - he produces some of the most amazing, realistic concrete mushrooms I've ever seen. His attention to color and detail is truly inspiring.

Out in the Bar W field, Chris is drawn to objects and collections in his favorite color palette.

In the blue bonnet field,under a huge white tent with straw on the ground the hunt turns to Becky and Yur's 22nd/2nd Street warehouse. Beautiful things, old and new, perfect for a Urban Prairie lifestyle.

Layers of color, dirt, rust and tatter excite the eye.

Glenda and Jim Ballentine come from Nebraska and set up their tent in the Blue Bonnet field. D'Ette says "They are my secret source for stacks and stacks of old ticking pillows and wonderful smalls. Every show I make a beeline to them first. Plus they're just delightful people."

More cool finds...

It was a beautiful, sunny day in the blue bonnet field. Treasures, collections and oddities were gathered up. Among many things, Chris came away with a vintage softball collection {pictured above} while D'Ette grabbed up every possible thing with 5 on it, her favorite number.

Photos by D'ette Cole.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Warrenton/Round Top {Part 1} Hot Item

Warrenton/Round Top, Texas; Sturgis for junk/antique hunters. What was the hot, must have, seen everywhere item of the show? Vintage anatomy charts. While loading up on some of the coolest of the cool, and the oddest of oddities items that will soon find their way to the Urban Prairie SHOP section, I feasted on prime charts of all kinds. Hearts, lungs, bones and layers of skin. In all sizes and price ranges. Every home or office needs one or two.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

And the WINNER is...

Congratulations to Jenny Heid! She voted and won in the Urban Prairie "Crack Heads" book survey. Jenny will receive a FREE copy of Chris Brown's new book about cracked, faded and vintage doll heads available June in PRINT form. Thanks for the great response from all. Visit Jenny's blog at

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Warrenton/Round Top Antique Show Update:

Another week of oddities, junk, antiques, BBQ, friends and the junk prom has come and gone. In the coming week, stay tuned for inside looks at the "JunkHunt" with D'Ette Cole of Clutter fame, the "fields" in Warrenton and the Marburger Farm experience.

Pictured Above: Steve Wiman of Uncommon Objects and Chris Brown.

Opening Soon!

The wait is almost over! The SHOP at Urban Prairie will be available May 5th. Cool collections, wonderful oddities, beautiful curious goods and much more will be offered. Don't miss your chance to see what the "new generation" of designers are collecting and filling their own living spaces with.