This One Time, At Texas Style Council CAMP


Photo Chelsea Laine Francis

The week before last I headed to Texas Hill Country, just outside Austin, to attend the fifth and final Texas Style Council. What had started as a group of like-minded people brunching on quiche a few years ago had grown huge in size, and this year was stripped back down to the basics. Two hundred women staying at a Girl Scout camp for a long weekend and leaving everything else at the door was the bare agenda.




Photos Chelsea Laine Francis

Vintage camping elements set the scene as we made our way between cabins, sessions, and activities. Permission to only occasionally shower or brush your hair was granted as we all gathered to discuss the deeply buried stuff: vulnerability, keeping connections real, and creating a meaningful presence.



Photo Chelsea Laine Francis


Photo Kelly Beall

I was flattered to be asked to speak by TxSC founder, Indiana Adams, who I connected with back in January. (We were both on our way to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City and on the same delayed flight.) Speakers were asked to arrive a day early to have a little extra time to connect with the amazing sponsors on hand, as well as enjoy some outdoor activities.



Photo Chelsea Laine Francis


Photo Kelly Beall

I’d been looking forward to horseback riding and zip lining for over a month, so much so that not even the pouring rain could stop me. I have a difficult time stepping away from the screen and actually relaxing, so I’m taking it as a sign and looking into taking some horseback riding lessons. This weekend was a great reminder that it’s just as important to make time for yourself as it is to kick ass and take names at the office.



Photo Chelsea Laine Francis

Throughout the weekend campers collected “badges” (pins) for completing projects, attending sessions, etc. I never got to be a Girl Scout as a kid and my competitive spirit took over – I had to collect them all! It wasn’t at all about the end result, almost more like a baseball card situation, but I happily accepted the Eagle Scout award at the badge ceremony Sunday afternoon for collecting the most pins!




I was lucky enough to spend my nights sharing snacks and sleeping on a rock hard mattress in the same room as these girls – Chloe Mitchell of Hello Society, Cyndie Spiegel, and Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic.




Photos Kelly Beall

The last day of camp showed up suddenly, as it always seemed to when I was growing up. TxSC was refreshing in a way few conferences are, full of women without pretensions or agendas. Women who I most likely never would have crossed paths with otherwise. A big thank you to Indiana for creating this labor of love that we all had the benefit of taking part in.


Harriet Lee-Merrion

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The fine lines used by Harriet Lee-Merrion lend an airy feel to illustrations that could easily feel weighed down with cerebral subject matter. She sells some of her work in a Big Cartel shop that you can peek at here.


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Countdown to Easter

What happens when it’s decided that Easter dinner will be at your place a week before the big day? You start brainstorming, of course. Thankfully most of the food will be covered by others, which leaves me to focus on the unexpected. The tablescape, the flowers, and the treats.



ROW 1: Caramel Egg Stuffed Easter Croissants // Wax-Resistant Egg Dyeing // Brownie Easter Eggs
ROW 2: Giant Easter Peep Cake // Marbleized Easter Eggs    ROW 3: Floral Easter Eggs // Geometric Paper Easter Egg // Bunny Ear Ice Cream Cones    ROW 4: Printable Jelly Bean Pouches // Ombre Easter Eggs // Cotton Candy Easter Nests


Valentin Dommanget

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Just what happens when real world and virtual influences collide? In the hands of 25-year-old Valentin Dommanget it’s a series of marbled canvases that get stretched and torqued to mimic what look like Photoshop effects. (I’ll take ten.)

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Wine Awesomeness + a Free Month of Wine!



A miraculous thing happened at my house a few weeks ago. Three bottles of wine showed up on my porch stoop safely packed in their own little suitcase. The good folks over at Wine Awesomeness made it possible with their monthly subscription service that aims to prove that wine is for everyone, wine is everywhere, and wine is discovery.




Good wine is for the masses, and not just at dinner parties. Wine Awesomeness is a monthly journey in wine education that’s curated for adventurous souls. Sound like you? Read on. Every month their sommeliers dream up a wine-fueled adventure and send it right to your door. They comb the globe to find the coolest, tastiest wines that you just don’t see everyday.




They’re so confident in Wine Awesomeness that if you can recreate their box for less, you’ll receive an entire year on them! But to start, they’re offering your first month’s box for free (just pay shipping and handling). Click here to get this week off to a grand start.


Amy Bennett

Amy Bennett-1-Design Crush


Lately I’ve found myself wondering why there aren’t more summer camps for adults. Places to unplug and unwind, with or without family in tow. Amy Bennett‘s At the Lake came along at the perfect time, making me think that maybe it all really is possible through her paintings and tiny pastel cabins.


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Happy Weekend

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01/ Great. Now I want to rescue a magpie as cute as this one.
02/ What happens when the elderly model street fashion?
03/ Christopher Rimmer photographed cows on the beach and I really like it.
04/ A restaurant where you can order champagne with the push of a button.
05/ See meticulously iconic scenes in miniature thanks to the Ikonen project.
06/ Pop Idol Devotion Candles are a modern riff on religious iconography.
07/ Looking forward to the upcoming documentary on Iris Apfel!
08/ Artist Maria Aristidou uses coffee as watercolor.
09/ A woman in Germany is using an unlikely medium to discuss feminism.
10/ Hey Seattle, look out for Peregrine Church‘s art that only appears when it rains!

This week on Design Crush:
Miranda Lorikeet works what can only be called magic in MS Paint.
Try rice pudding 10 ways.
Laurent Chéhère creates dreamy depictions of flying houses.
A jewelry collection from Seaworthy that’s begging for summer days.
Embroidered mantras from MaricorMaricar.
Mid-century inspired illustrations by Masako Kubo.
Step away from the screen and put the Social Preparedness Kit into action.
Take a peek at the fun, whimsical illustrations of Aiko Fukawa.


Aiko Fukawa

Aiko Fukawa-1 Design Crush


The lighthearted illustrations of Aiko Fukawa are especially timely right now, with Easter being the most whimsical of holidays. (Rabbits! Chicks! Pastels!) Who ever said art needs to be serious and stuffy anyway? I’d rather have a cat marriage.


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Social Preparedness Kit

Social Preparedness Kit-1-Design Crush


I’ve been a fan of Egg Press for years now, and their latest line – Social Preparedness Kit – is full of great graphics and a few cheeky words. It’s all a reminder to step away from all the screens in your life and enjoy the connections in your life. Send a note or make a list of possibilities, just make room for a little magic.


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Masako Kubo

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Masako Kubo divides her time between New Zealand and Japan, which sounds like a pretty sweet deal with plenty of inspiration all around to vibe off of. I love the mid-century inspiration that’s evident in Masako’s style, which I’m guessing might be related to her past career in advertising as well.


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