Blinged Out Boots
You may have seen the incredible Swarovski-encrusted boots created by crystal artist Jacqi Bling on TV — they’ve been worn on American Idol, The Voice and on the new TNT reality series The Private Lives of Nashville Wives. Based in Sweetwater, this model-turned-artisan has be-sparkled just about everything, from a hat for Justin Bieber to a basketball for Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs, and she regularly works her magic on anything leather (think guitar straps, bootstraps, belts and even saddles) and jewelry. Every design is custom and one-of-a-kind, and she gives each pair of her signature boots a title.
The process begins with a client consultation; from there, Bling starts sketching. Once her design is approved by the client, the crystallization begins. It’s painstaking detail work, Bling says, that can involve upward of 100,000 Swarovski crystals, some smaller than the head of a pin. For this reason, boot prices start around $600 and go up to $25,000; belts begin at $600, and bracelets run from $250 to $5,000. There’s no typical customer for her work, Bling says. “Even women you wouldn’t think would buy something like this, they are literally saving their pennies for their boots.” http://jacqiblingstyle.com.
Living in a Bubble
Some of us will never be comfortable as campers. But we’re pretty sure the things we don’t like about “roughing it” — sleeping on the hard ground, shivering at night, swatting mosquitoes — would be solved if we could camp in a CasaBubble. These futuristic-looking inflatable plastic spheres, the idea of two French designers, are upscale tents with wood floors, a flow of fresh air and “airlock vestibules” that allow you to enter and exit without popping the bubble. They range in size from 11 feet to 26 feet in diameter and come in a number of configurations, from the simple, transparent CristalBubble to the multiroom GrandLodge. There’s even a TreeBubble, the ultimate fantasy for the childhood tree-climbers among us. Some CasaBubbles unzip from the base, allowing you to bring in furniture, gaming equipment or a Jacuzzi — and if you really want to trick it out, you can equip it with a dry toilet, an outdoor sink, a shower or an electrical system that uses solar cells or batteries.
The durable, portable rooms are made of PVC and, when deflated, fit into a car’s trunk. The creators tout the bubbles’ environmental friendliness and their acoustic and tranquilizing effects, saying on their website, “Noises outside are muffled and sounds inside bounce back to the center of the sphere so that people instinctively speak more softly. The sphere has a calming effect and generates a feeling of well-being.” With promises like that, even we non-camping types could be converted. CasaBubbles start at $7,000 for the 11-foot size; order from www.casabubble.com or by calling 805-426-5278.
Designs on the Outdoors
If the idea of actually reading on a lazy spring weekend seems a bit too ambitious and what you really crave is some creative inspiration, unwind your way through Gardens Are for Living: Design Inspiration for Outdoor Spaces (Rizzoli, $50), a gorgeous book showcasing outdoor living spaces, with a foreword by design guru Jonathan Adler. Landscape designer Judy Kameon inspires with ideas for creating outdoor rooms for a variety of purposes: growing food, cooking food, playing, enjoying art, entertaining friends or simply, well, relaxing with a good book. It includes lots of color photos, and tips and advice on integrating elements of design — such as texture, sound, form and movement — to create one-of-a-kind spaces. Dream it, and then do it. www.amazon.com.
Music and Meditation
Each of the local performing arts groups, it seems, is taking its turn debuting in the Kimbell Art Museum’s Piano Pavilion. In our minds, the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth’s first concert in the new space is a can’t-miss. The celebrated Vermeer String Quartet, whose members performed together from 1969 to 2007, is reuniting for a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ. “This is a group that doesn’t play together anymore,” Chamber Music Society artistic director Gary Levinson told Indulge. “But they are getting back together just for us.”
The performance will take place Easter Eve, April 19 — a day that’s spiritually appropriate for the work. It consists of movements based on the seven phrases that the Bible says Jesus uttered from the cross and concludes with an “earthquake” movement. Between each section will be a short meditation, presented by leaders of various faiths as well as secular leaders in the community. Haydn wrote the work in 1786 as a commission from the Cathedral of Cadiz, Spain; he considered it one of his supreme works. The quartet received a Grammy nomination for its recording of the piece in 1988. The concert takes place at 2 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture beginning at 1:30. Tickets, $28 (adults), $25 (seniors) and $5 (students), can be purchased at www.chambermusicfw.org or by calling 817-877-3003.
Gala-vanting through Spring
Two of spring’s most highly anticipated galas are coming up. Are your gowns and tuxes ready?
Sssssensational for Spring
As thoughts turn to the flora, fauna and gardens of spring, the “Serpenti” leather bracelet from Bulgari makes a particularly clever — and we think, chic — style statement. The serpent is the hallmark of this luxury Italian jewelry brand, which traces its heritage back to Greece, where founder Sotirio Bulgari began his career as a silversmith. In 1905, Bulgari opened his first boutique in Rome, and his bold designs quickly became must-buy baubles among the European jet set, and later among movie stars such as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, Bulgari still crafts exquisite gemstone jewelry, but the brand also boasts accessories like handbags, sunglasses and colorful fashion jewelry like these double-wrap wristlets ($390), with new colors each season. Try them alone or stacked for maximum impact. NorthPark Center, 8687 North Central Expressway, Suite 612, Dallas, 214-414 9666.
A Light Touch
As temperatures rise, beauty routines change, calling for delicate colors and subtle touches. Fashion and beauty editor Jenny B. Davis has fallen in love with these three products, and she’s sure you’ll want them to become your springtime staples, too:
Party with the Art
Let There Be Light
“Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World” is the big event at the Dallas Museum of Art for 2014. The exhibition spans more than 10 centuries with more than 150 objects that examine the use and meaning of light in Islamic art and science. “Nur” is the Arabic word for light in both the physical and metaphysical sense, and the exhibit will examine the artistic techniques and scientific contributions that expanded enlightenment. Through June 29, $8, at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas, 214-922-1200. www.dm-art.org.
See Jane Shop
Fort Worth welcomes Plain Jane & Co., a newly opened boutique off the bricks of Camp Bowie Boulevard. It’s actually a fifth location for owner Amber Caverly, who also owns Plain Jane outposts in Waxahachie, Canton and Rockwall. That means she’s perfected the shop’s mix of colorful, accessibly priced separates, casual footwear, jewelry and more — a mix she calls “fashion and frills,” and the selection is constantly changing, with new merchandise arriving every week. The Fort Worth boutique also includes a plus-size section (up to size 3X), and Caverly is planning to devote a section of the store to TCU-themed gear. 4919 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-763-JANE (5263).
Coffee for a Cause
Arlington native Blake Mycoskie, the trendsetting entrepreneur who made canvas slip-on shoes a socially responsible fashion statement with the launch of TOMS, is adding coffee to his repertoire of products that do the world good. For every bag of beans sold, a person in Rwanda, Malawi, Guatemala, Honduras or Peru — the locales where the coffee is being sourced — will get clean water for a week. “Coffee for you. Water for all” is the tagline for Mycoskie’s new venture, which he announced to crowds at Austin’s South by Southwest fest in March. Six varieties are available, including a spicy espresso called Carpe Diem and a Peruvian roast with caramel and apple notes. Find all six, priced at $12.99 for a 12-ounce bag ($13.99 for Peru roast) at Whole Foods, 801 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington, 817-461-9362, www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
Beauty to Go
Ever wished there was a better way to travel with your cosmetics, shaving kit or styling tools? Austin-based road warrior Polly Shrewsbury did, so she took her experience as a management consultant and an engineer and partnered with her friend, hairstylist Judy Seonkyung, to create an innovative system to store, contain and transport everything from cosmetics to blow dryers and hair straighteners. The Stow + Go Essentials collection, which they sell under the brand Pollyseon, includes four pieces. There’s a hair-dryer case ($49), a well-designed overnight bag ($149), a cosmetics case that unzips into two side-by-side bins in a way that’s so unique, it’s patented ($59), and a case they call the “Iron Maiden” stow — an ingenious zippered case with both a pouch to safely pack a hot curling iron or flat iron (up to 900 degrees) and a roll-out pad to set your hot styling tool on while you’re using it, saving your counter-top from damage ($59). Pollyseon also offers the same designs in eco-friendly fabric. Find them all at http://pollyseon.com.
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email@example.com. 5550 W. Lovers Lane, Suite 147, Dallas, 214-350-2744. www.lastcall.com/inwood.