First, there was By Design Scrapbook Boutique, Tracy Keith's zowie new scrapbook store just south of the Houston Hobby Airport (a short easy drive, if you're tempted). Tracy is a little powerhouse with some very talented friends who have helped bring her dream to life. Framed reminders to dream and be inspired are tucked all around the pink-and-black rooms, even in the bathroom (below right, more elegant than mine at home).
Out front, the deep-pink octagonal room (left), largely devoted to Heidi Swapp products, concentrates the glamour with its framed display boards, candy jars filled with scrapping goodies, and luxurious fall of drapery. But the grand gestures start in the entryway, where an ornate black standing mirror towers just inside the doors next to a table full of color-coordinated totes (below). To the left of the entry, a small room features a sexy circular divan and a black curio case among the framed slat boards.
Through an arched opening off the central display area lies a small but comfy sitting room, then the "she" crop room with its pink mini frig, and the kitchen, filled with treats during class, including pink punch and pink toile napkins.
Ok, impressed yet? There's more! Walking into this luscious store, I bumped straightaway into Debby Schuh (on right below, with Tracy), there to teach By Design's first class offerings. A designer for Anna Griffin, whose classes I teach at Scrapbooks Plus, Debby taught a layout class, a mini album, and a framed layout all based on Anna Griffin papers. She confided she has a raspberry-pink studio with black-and-white toile curtains, so she felt right at home in Tracy's store. Gracious and confident, she makes you feel like you've known each other for a long time. Furthermore, she offered to come teach at my local store, and Tracy invited me to teach there in Houston -- we'll see what comes of all this. To top it off, Tracy put the ENTIRE store on 30% sale to welcome her first students and to make room for all her CHA purchases. This girl knows how to make a first impression!
Finally, on Sunday, we detoured a few hours west to Austin to enjoy the jazz group "Topaz" playing live in the Oak Garden at Guero's Taco Bar on S Congress Ave, regardless of the rain showers that threatened to turn thunderous too soon. Nope, we didn't see Bill Clinton or Sandra Bullock or, alas, Matthew McConaughey in the crowd, but we lingered nonetheless.