Gift List | For the Party Host

Say thank you to friends and family for hosting this month with a thoughtful gift. From a unique salad server to stunning dining accessories, embrace any new season with elegance!

Swirl Glass Tumblers: These stylish tumblers are perfect for the party-thrower. Give with an assortment of cocktail bitters for a perfectly paired gift.

Park Avenue Throw: Another cozy throw is never amiss. Surprise the host with this gorgeous tribal-print option.

Black Serving Utensil Set: A beautiful, marbleized black serving spoon and fork set will bring a glamorous touch to any table. Tie one on to your favorite cookbook for a thoughtful gift.

Wine

Antique Picture Frame: An antiqued nickel-finished frame is classic, elegant, and timeless.

Lucienne Dish: A host can set multiples of these trays out with an array of appetizers, or leave them as a dining table centerpiece.

Small Boxes: Antiqued, elegant, and topped with gems — these unique boxes are perfect for everything from trinkets to jewelry.

Come See Us Today at Fair Park!

Earth Day

Katherine Snedeker, owner and head designer of The Arrangement in Dallas and Houston, will be a guest speaker at Earth Day Texas this weekend. The panel will feature a discussion covering how design decisions impact the health of our home environments now, and in the future. Join us April 24th at 11am to see The Arrangement’s speech.

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It can be difficult to watch or read the news today and not be disheartened by the seemingly endless number of issues negatively impacting our environment. At Earth Day Texas, we believe everyone can play a role in creating more positive headlines through awareness, innovation, and progressive action. It is up to us to work together to build a more sustainable future.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on environmental education and awareness, Earth Day Texas has created the world’s largest annual forum for sharing the latest initiatives, discoveries, research, innovations, policies, products, and corporate practices that are reshaping our world.

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This three-day free event on April 22-24th is held to celebrate progress, hope, and innovation and is the largest event in the world of its kind. Earth Day Texas brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts. Attendees will also enjoy numerous outdoor experiences, including live music, sustainable beer and food pavilions, electric bike test tracks, and family activities. Earth Day Texas creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for thought and experiential learning while encouraging attendees to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Earth Day Texas Website HERE

National Blues Museum Opens

The National Blues Museum in St. Louis, Missouri has opened its doors to the public.

Muddy Waters likeness inside the museum. (Photographs courtesy of the National Blues Museum)

Muddy Waters likeness inside the museum. (Photographs courtesy of the National Blues Museum)

 

The sprawling 23,000-square-foot space is packed with interactive exhibits and memorabilia that span the genre’s rich history and diverse styles. Throughout the years, St. Louis has been home to such blues influenced musicians as W.C. Handy, Henry “Mule” Townsend, Miles Davis, Ike and Tina Turner, Little Milton, and Chuck Berry, among others. “The blues mean something different to everyone,” says museum director Dion Brown, “which is why this museum is so heavily interactive.” The new museum pays homage to all those sounds and more. Below we have listed reasons you should visit, but for more information, head to their website HERE.

Reasons you should visit:

1. Be a blues musician for the day. Plug your email into a kiosk the start of the museum to write your own blues lyric. Move through the exhibit halls and by logging in with your email at various workstations you can add prerecorded guitar, harmonica, and piano lines to the lyric you created when you entered the museum. You can also learn to play the washboard or the spoons and then bang out a few riffs alongside digital street performers.

Interactive jug band exhibit.

Interactive jug band exhibit.

 

2. Try your hand at producing. The Mix it Up Experience lets you play with various blues styles, blending sounds to create your own composition. When you’re happy with the result, you can create your own cover art and email yourself an mp3.

The National Blues Museum in St. Louis, Missouri

 

3. Hear from the artists themselves. A new traveling exhibit “Blues at Home: Mississippi’s Living Blues Legends” pairs thirty-one paintings of Mississippi-based musicians with oral histories from each subject, including David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Bobby Rush, and the late B.B. King.

Suitcases representing the artists who left the South during the Great Migration.

Suitcases representing the artists who left the South during the Great Migration.

 

4. No matter your musical preferences, there’s something here for everyone. Legend has it that W.C. Handy penned “St. Louis Blues,” one of the genre’s most famous tracks, while sitting on the city’s riverfront. And though the St. Louis blues get its share of the spotlight, so do the jazz-inflected Memphis blues, the smooth soulful Delta blues, the grittier percussion-heavy Hill Country blues, and more. You’ll also discover the roots of jazz, country, R&B, and hip-hop here.

Jim McClaren’s collection of 900+ harmonicas.

Jim McClaren’s collection of 900+ harmonicas.

 

5. Oh, and there’s live music, too. Because there is no better way to experience the blues than to hear it first-hand, the museum built a one-hundred-seat theater that will host touring musicians with stops in St. Louis as well as regular shows.

Living legend Chuck Berry is celebrated in an exhibit.

 

Post courtesy of Garden & Gun.

How to Lie Like a Southerner

Falsehood. Story. Lie. Whatever you call it, fudging a little here and there is what makes Southern storytelling so colorful. Telling exaggerated stories isn’t just fun—it’s part of Southern heritage.

Adam Booth performs at Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia. (Photograph by Margo Booth)

Adam Booth performs at Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia. (Photograph by Margo Booth)

Adam Booth, a four-time West Virginia Liar’s Contest champion who teaches Appalachian Studies classes at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, tells his students that lying is regionally relevant. “Appalachian industries like railroading, coal mining, and timbering contributed to the health and vitality of lying,” he says. “While people were working they’d brag about how much rail they laid, how much wood they chopped, or how they ‘shot a gun and the one bullet didn’t just kill a deer but it killed a whole flock of birds and a bear.’”

The Bear on the Square Mountain Festival on April 16-17 brings together ambitious liars willing to put their storytelling chops to the test. It’s just one of the handful of bona fide lying festivals across the South – see also the Texas State Liars Contest in November and the Mountain Mack Liar’s Contest each spring in Virginia.

Booth has been a guest judge and performer at multiple lying festivals, so here he shares his best tips for telling a harmless tall tale:

1. Base the lie on some truth

Root the retelling in an event that actually happened. “Usually in lying contests, one of the categories you’re judged on is the believability of the story,” Booth says. He keeps a notebook of nearly unbelievable things that happen to him. Build a house of exaggeration on a solid foundation of truth.

2. Tell a story in pictures, not words

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that moment of dread watching someone who memorized a story and can’t remember what they were saying because they were reciting and lost their place,” Booth says. Describe a big-picture scene before telling details within it. Your audience is more likely to believe something they can play out in their minds, and you’re less likely to forget what you were saying.

3. Don’t save the whopper for the end

A lot of liars will build up to a big, unbelievable finish. Booth has a different tactic—“I start lying as soon as possible with details that seem believable,” he says. Within the first minute of a story, he’s already dropping half-truths. “My details keep escalating, so it’s not such a big hit at the end. But when people snap out of it, they’re left wondering, ‘how did we get to this point?’”

4. Keep your body language in check

Plenty of self-help articles describe how to detect a liar—a left eye twitch or a face scratch. But over years of competitive lying, Booth has noticed something simpler—people shift their weight when they lie. “When they are really starting to stretch the truth, they lean forward and go on the tip of their toes or bend their waist out,” he says. “If you’re not used to looking for it, it’s too subtle.”

5. Mind your audience

Even if it’s just one person, pay attention to what hooks them. If something makes your audience laugh, bring back those details to pull the listener full circle. Practice helps. “Sit at the counter of your local donut shop and talk to the regulars, or gather people in your living room,” Booth says. “It’s great to get all those experiences because you learn how to react to the listeners.”

And remember that old adage: Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Post and photos courtesy of Garden & Gun.

Houston MFAH: Rare Vehicles

Bodywork designed by Figoni & Falaschi, Delahaye, 135MS Roadster, 1937

Bodywork designed by Figoni & Falaschi, Delahaye, 135MS Roadster, 1937

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has a truly unique exhibition: “Sculpted in Steel: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929 –1940”. 20th-century design automobiles with dazzling steel and chrome coupes, speedsters, roadsters and sedans were the calling cards of the international Deco movement in America and Europe, and Houston’s got ’em!

The exhibition features 14 automobiles and three motorcycles, including the 1934 Model 40 designed by Ford Motor Company’s Bob Gregorie for Ford progeny and company president Edsel Ford — the only one in the world. Was there ever a more glamorous age for motoring?

William Stout, Stout Motorcar Company's Scarab, 1936

William Stout, Stout Motorcar Company’s Scarab, 1936

Guest curator Ken Gross is a man passionate about cars whose street cred includes his former directorship of the Holy Grail, L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum. He joins Cindi Strauss, MFAH curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design, in organizing this car-centric exhibition.

Go for marvels of aerodynamic design, with swoops and curves and assertive grilles such as those featured on the 1938 Dubbonet Xenia Coupe by luxe Spanish/French carmaker Hispano-Suiza, or the long, sleek excess of the Delahaye 135MS Roadster, a special design by Joseph Figoni and Ovidio Falaschi for the 1937 Paris Auto Show with an all-aluminum body complemented by a cosseted leather interior and matching car carpets from Hermès. American manufactures such as Packard (represented by a stately, stoic 1934 Twelve Model 1106, bodywork by LeBaron) and Chrysler (the sturdy 1935 Imperial Model C-2 Airflow Coupe with its commanding presence, articulated by designers Carl Breer and Norman Bel Geddes) exude attitude that makes today’s luxury rides look too tarted up or plain prosaic.

Bodywork designed by Figoni & Falaschi , Delahaye, 135MS Roadster, 1937

Bodywork designed by Figoni & Falaschi , Delahaye, 135MS Roadster, 1937

Among the three motorcycles presented, the Indian’s classic Chief from 1940 stands out as a magnificent piece. The strangest offering among “Sculpted in Steel” prefigures our era’s minivan: a 1936 Scarab crafted by American airplane and auto designer William Bushnell Stout for his eponymous engineering firm, featuring moveable seats, a folding table and a back seat that transforms into a settee.

At The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston now  – May 30; MFAH.

Post and photos courtesy of PaperCity.

Bug Mania Invades Houston

Grasshoppers, Beetles and Walking Sticks Invade Esperson Gallery at GreenStreet!

Bugs are taking over Houston's GreenStreet.

Bugs are taking over Houston’s GreenStreet.

A captivating installation takes place this spring at Esperson Gallery at GreenStreet. This exhibit will transport you back to the Victorian age, when the natural world possessed real magic and collectors were obsessed with acquiring rare and beautiful insect specimens to display under bell jars.

For the Esperson show, University of Wisconsin professor of design studies Jennifer Angus creates a unique take on bug mania, with insects literally taking over the walls and filling elaborate etymological dioramas. The exhibition incorporates “cicadas, grasshoppers, katydids, beetles, walking sticks, and moving leaves.”

“My plan is to show a little bit of all the things I do, from installation to printmaking to fanciful narrative-type dioramas. I would be inclined to call this show a broad survey of my work. I’ve created some brand new insect dioramas under bell jars. Far from a traditional museum diorama, the insects in my work live in otherworldly environments where anything is possible. The mysterious cicada ladies who are part cicada, part grasshopper and wear dresses made of beeswax rule these places. Look out for some new colorful praying mantis.”

Jennifer Angus installs In the Midnight Garden, 2015, at the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum. (Courtesy Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Photo Ron Blunt)

Jennifer Angus installs In the Midnight Garden, 2015, at the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum. (Courtesy Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Photo Ron Blunt)

“Jennifer Angus: Silver Wings and Golden Tails” at Esperson Gallery at GreenStreet, now through June 24, 2016.

Post and photos courtesy of PaperCity.

Il Palio di Siena Horse Race

Il Palio di Siena Horse Race

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, the elegantly rustic retreat located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tuscany, does not horse around when it comes to providing traditional and authentic Italian culture. The ancient resort features an 800-year-old estate, a medieval church, and a historic village set on 5,000 acres. For the second consecutive year, the Rosewood hotel is going beyond its impressive amenities, which include an onsite winery and a cooking school, by offering an exclusive way to experience one of Italy’s defining events: Il Palio di Siena—a horse race that dates to the Renaissance.

Tuscany, Italy

Held twice a year, on July 2 and August 16, in the Tuscan city of Siena, the fiercely competitive cavalcade pits the city’s 17 contrade (teams representing the districts within the medieval city) against each other for pride, bragging rights that culminate in raucous late-night parades, and a large payout for the winning fantino (Italian for jockey)—although there are several counter deals struck in secret to make sure opposing contrade do not win.

The race takes place in Siena’s public square, Piazza del Campo. The cobblestones are copiously covered with dirt, and 10 fantini (contrade not represented participate the next time) on bareback mounts ride the circumference of the shell-shaped piazza with hundreds of spectators crammed shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the course. The contest consists of three free-for-all laps around the makeshift track, which features two dangerous 90-degree turns, and it resembles karate more than the Kentucky Derby. Sportsmanship is spurned as fantini are encouraged to knock each other off using their nerbi (Italian for whips) and nearly any other means necessary—despite the treacherously tight terrain.

 

But a fallen jockey does not eliminate a contrada. The horse is viewed as the real talent (each contrada brings its horse into church to be blessed before the race), and a horse without its rider can still win as long as it crosses the finish line first. Opposing contrade also encourage and celebrate the crushing defeats of their rivals (whether or not they themselves won) in parties that are sustained for a full month.

  • Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

  • Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Participants of Rosewood’s three-night Palio package (available for both race dates) will be allowed to watch training runs and qualifying trials taking place the day before the race, and will finish the evening with a gourmet dinner in the piazza. For the main event, guests will be seated in a safe (course-side viewing is characteristically rambunctious) and fully catered private palace above the piazza. From the vantage point, guests will have a prime view of the Corteo Storico costume parade, which features percussion performances and the flags and traditional garb of each of the contrade, and all of the horse-powered action. Guests can also experience firsthand the semiannual post-race partying during a private tour of Siena. Pricing starts at $3,028 per person. (rosewoodhotels.com)

Post by Viju Matthew at Robb Report

The Ever-Changing Downtown Dallas

Redesigning Downtown Dallas: The ever-transformative Dallas Arts District constantly gives us something to chirp about.

O’Donnell Digital Institute Library at the DMA (photo by James F. Wilson)

Here’s what’s new in our beloved downtown. The new Hall Texas Sculpture Walk from art collector and entrepreneur Craig Hall opened quietly in late October. Tucked along his recently opened Hall Arts building, the outdoor space includes 18 large-scale sculptures by important regional artists Deborah Ballard, George Tobolowsky and Mac Whitney, as well as international Texans James Surls, Joseph Havel and the late Jesús Moroles. Hall’s new tower, filled with megawatt art, promises to become a destination in itself.

Hall Arts’ KPMG Plaza lobby features Richard Long’s epic mud-circle commission “Dallas Rag”, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Hall Arts)

Chef Stephan Pyles’ new restaurant, Flora Street Cafe, is to open on the high-rise office building’s first floor later this year. Design obsessives, take note: Pyles commissioned Amsterdam’s edgy Studio Drift to create a massive overhead, robotic LED lighting fixture in silk, aluminum and polished stainless steel that mimics the opening and closing of flowers.

William Cannings’ “Cubed” in steel and paint, 2015 (Photo courtesy of Hall Arts)

Just down the street, the Dallas Museum of Art has begun a $4.3 million renovation to its north entrance — soon to be renamed the Eagle Family Plaza. The newly landscaped, pedestrian-friendly area (created by Hocker Design Group and Studio Outside) will lead directly from Klyde Warren Park into the museum. Plans also include an outdoor exhibition space with rotating works of art, starting with a commissioned piece by British artist Rebecca Warren. The renovation will fully open the DMA cafe to the outside with an outdoor food pavilion, expansive lawn for outdoor programming and renovations to the atrium and bookstore.

This comes on the heels of the museum’s newest addition, the O’Donnell Institute Digital Library, designed by Buchanan Architecture. The 2,000-square-foot space, which has no books but direct access to a vast digital network created for scholarly research, includes such design details as a polished stainless-steel ceiling.

Steinunn Thorarinsdottir’s cast aluminum “Paths”, 2014 (Photo courtesy of Hall Arts)

Post and photos courtesy of Paper City

The 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Switzerland has long been neutral ground—and we’re not talking about politics. Because the country lacks its own auto industry, the annual Geneva International Motor Show, taking place March 3 through 13, is the perfect place for global automotive manufacturers to show off their goods on a level playing field. And many performance and luxury brands from Europe like Ferrari, Audi, and Aston Martin take full advantage. This year’s show promises to be packed with exciting new debuts, ranging from high-end production cars to limited-edition versions of designer performance brands. Here, we’ve listed 5 anticipated cars to debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR

Jaguar handed its F-Type sports car over to the company’s Special Vehicle Operations brand, and the result—a 200 mph performance version called the 2017 F-Type SVR—will make its debut at the 2016 Geneva show. Jaguar is mum about the technical specs, but it says the F-Type SVR will be lighter, faster, and more powerful while still retaining comfort for everyday, all-weather driving. Based on the teaser video Jaguar has released, expect design changes like a rear spoiler and modifications to the hood, front bumper, and wheels. After its premiere in Geneva, the F-Type SVR will go on sale sometime this summer, so stay tuned for more details. (jaguar.com)

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Ferrari is adding its own take on the Grand Tourer category with its sporty new four-seater—the GTC4Lusso. Perfect for drivers who want the flexibility to take a Ferrari from the streets to snowy mountain roads, the GTC4Lusso combines rear-wheel steering with four-wheel drive to give it optimum versatility. The 12-cylinder engine delivers an impressive 690 cv (about 680 hp) with vehicle dynamic controls to provide stability on wet, snowy, or low-grip roads. The design is like a muscular fastback, retaining a streamlined silhouette while still providing plenty of room for all four passengers. Information on pricing and availability should be revealed after the GTC4Lusso’s debut in Geneva. (ferrari.com)

2016 McLaren 650S GT3

The 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 has already proven itself as a force to be reckoned with; the racecar just completed the 2015 season for McLaren GT with wins on each of the four continents where it competed. Now, McLaren can’t wait to show it off at the Geneva motor show. The track car builds on the 12C GT3 and features optimum aerodynamics and refinement with its race-prepared 3.8-liter V-8 twin-turbo engine and carbon-fiber body. McLaren says the 650S GT3 will join other new models from the company at Geneva, so stay tuned to see what other surprises they have in store. (mclaren.com)

Pagani Huayra BC

Pagani’s Huayra supercar has certainly made a splash since it first debuted at the Geneva motor show in 2011. The 730 hp limited-edition car was restricted to a mere 100 units, in accordance with an agreement with Mercedes-AMG—who supplied the V-12 twin-turbo engine—yet it still made quite the impression. In addition to selling out, the supercar appeared in video games (the Need for Speed and Forza franchises), in film (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and on TV (the Huayra was named Top Gear’s “Hypercar of the Year 2012” after becoming the fastest road car to take on the Top Gear Test Track). On Facebook, Pagani has now teased a hardcore version that will reportedly be called the Pagani Huayra BC. The post didn’t reveal much other than a camouflaged version of the car, but automotive blogs are reporting that the BC will be even more limited with only 20 units going for $2.7 million apiece. (pagani.com)

Spyker C8 Preliator

Spyker has gone through what CEO Victor R. Muller calls a “very rough patch” in the past few years, undergoing bankruptcy, litigation, and multiple moratoriums before merging with electric-aircraft manufacturer Volta Volare. Muller says business is healthy once again, and the company’s recent teaser for the Spyker C8 Preliator’s Geneva debut seems to support that claim. The car’s predecessor, the C8 Aileron, featured cues from aircraft propulsion as a nod to Spyker’s background in aircraft manufacturing, and the company’s merger with Volta Volare seems to indicate the same tradition will continue with the C8 Preliator. The teaser image reveals very little. But, based on the previous-generation C8 Aileron, we are expecting sleek aerodynamics, big horsepower, and a luxurious cabin. (spykercars.com)

Post & photos from Robb Report

Equest Therapeutic Riding

The Arrangement proudly supports Equest.

 

 

The mission of Equest is to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs using horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted activities and therapies. For more information, head to our donations page HERE.

 

 

Founded in 1981, Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship was the first therapeutic riding center in Texas. Their program quickly became an industry leader, building a solid base in the North Texas community serving thousands of clients with their unique therapy tools ~ their horses! Equine-assisted therapy is well-known throughout the world, and Equest continues to lead the industry with their staff of PATH International certified instructors. They also offer a PATH International approved instructor certification program, teaching students from all over the world. Equest-trained instructors now serve as program directors in many other therapeutic riding centers and teach world-wide. The instructor training course enables them to make a difference in the professional expertise of therapeutic riding instructors, creating a positive world-wide impact on the quality of services available to the special needs community.