Wanna go shopping? Good. Me too. Let’s go to Leftovers in Brenham. I think of it as a different kind of General Store. The kind where everything is generally fabulous. Know what’s fun to do there? Look up more than down. You’ll find the most interesting things that way. And also, look in. Some of the best treasures hide in the cabinets. We wouldn’t want to miss the Tongue Dish. Well, maybe we would. Ick.
Or as my mother taught me, “No thank you. Tongue’s not my favorite.”
It’s always amazed me to see how the Antiques Week vendors take almost every single antique out of Round Top when they leave. Really, only a charming handful remains. The fabulous Lizzie Lou and Junk Gypsy World Headquarters and a few other spots in Henkel Square are usually open every weekend. And there are some special Big Red Barn shows and auctions. And you can find plenty of antiques in La Grange or Burton or Carmine or Brenham. But how many folks have visited Round Top during the off-season and been surprised to find a town full of music and pie and fine art and clothing boutiques, not a town full of antiques?
The newly arrived Round Top Vintage Market should help fill the void. Barbara Griffin and Pat Boyd have taken Emma Lee Turney’s wonderful antique mall (man oh man I miss that MOUNTAIN of quilts in the back on the left…) and brought in loads of new vendors with bunches of vintage finds.
There’s some dynamite mid-century fun, and long aisles of decor inspiration from Show vendors like the Vintage Round Top, and quite a few things that lean just so. I’ll stop with the and and and and ands if you promise to stop in some weekend soon, or during the Show when a snow cone won’t do because you need full-on air-con relief.
To be honest, Barbara and Russell’s artistic talents are a little intimidating. Hand them pretty much anything-textiles, dyes, gold, silver, precious stones, everyday rocks, wax, wood, feather dusters, agave stalks, wasp wings-and try not to be amazed by the results.
Under the name Scattered Light, the couple has developed a devoted fan base for their original jewelry designs, especially their botanical charms, collage necklaces and custom wedding rings. Lucky for RT fans, Barbara and Russell recently opened Lark Spirited Giving, a completely chic and cheery gift shop in Bybee Square. You’ll find the jewelry there, along with a carefully curated selection of artisan chocolates, vintage barware, cards, books, and perfectly perfect gifts.
A sweet story: The name Scattered Light comes from Barbara’s childhood memories of hearing predictions of “scattered light showers.”
Recycled, reprocessed, reclaimed, recovered, reused… it’s all here by the highway in a group of buildings and gardens that are completely off the grid. Like the ICM, I could go on forever trying to describe the wonders of the place. Hopefully the photos capture its spirit and encourage you to pull in next time you’re driving between Round Top and Houston.
It starts with the non general general store.
And then behind the store, past the water gardens and the greenhouses and the solar electricity conversion room and the very nice composting toilets, is the art gallery. I have some of Aunt Dottie’s work as part of my collection of Outsider Art.
Brian and Amy’s hugemongous warehouse of Euro imports is open all year and it’s where I go when I’m wishing it were Round Top Show Weeks but it’s only lonely July.
During the show, they take a “field trip” and set up a big booth packed with furniture and basics like bottles & baskets right at the entrance to The Compound. Put it on your list for sure and see what kind of deals they’ll give you!
In this random list of my very favorite things about my very favorite place I’ve tried to capture the area’s special pieces and parts. Some are big deal, some are small gestures, some are legendary and some are just tiny pip and squeak.
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