PaperCity Magazine

September 2016 - Houston

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Page 167 of 197

A fter reading PaperCity's special section last September describing the charming town of Round Top, I decided it was going to be my next weekend destination — not only as a family getaway from Houston, but as inspiration for my Fall 2016 collection. On a weekend in October, we arrived in Round Top. FAMILY TIES My husband's great grandmother was Hazel G. Ledbetter (1902– 1992), an avid collector and close friend of Miss Ima Hogg, both pillars of Round Top and Winedale preservation. Hazel was attracted to Round Top's rural setting as a fertile field for real estate sales to urbanites seeking retreats. In 1961, she bought the old Wagner House (circa 1834-1848) and soon convinced Miss Ima to buy it from her and restore it, which sparked Ima Hogg's creation of Winedale Historical Complex. Hazel also donated the Koenig house, circa 1855, to Winedale in 1965; it's now known as Hazel's Lone Oak Cottage. Winedale Historical was founded by Hogg and is a collection of 19th-century structures and their period furnishings situated on 225 acres in northern Fayette Country. Hazel was awarded the Ima Hogg Award for her restoration work in Round Top posthumously in 1993. VINTAGE ROUND TOP Before any trip, I do my research and opt to stay at places with a great aesthetic. The Vintage Round Top seemed to be overflowing with character, and I called the owner Paige Hull. We chatted about the history of the area, and our shared appreciation for design. During our stay, I formed a personal relationship with Paige and her husband Smoot Hull, and I hope to rent their picturesque home again. DAILY ROUTINE I made it a tradition to go to Royer's Pie Haven for pastries and coffee each morning before exploring the town. Some of my favorite discoveries were Bybee Square, Henkel Square Market, The Round Top Festival Institute, and Winedale, of course, with the family connection. TRANSLATION TO THE COLLECTION From a stone building to a simple quote etched into a rustic piece of tin, Round Top is overflowing with inspiration. Bybee Square served as a primary source of influence; the combination of stone, rustic metal, and deep-red wood inspired one of my favorite fabrics for my fall collection — it mimics the town's colors and boxy architectural design. I also felt a connection to the strong historical influence women had on the area. Inside Royer's Pie Haven is a quote on the wall: "Isn't it amazing what clever girls can do?" Hunter Bell's COUNTRY CONVERGENCE After moving her life and her fashion brand from New York to Houston, designer Hunter Bell decamped to Round Top to seek inspiration for her fall collection. As told to Anne Lee Phillips true GRiT N eltje, daughter of publishing magnate Nelson Doubleday, is not a household name. But that may soon change. Watch the bestseller lists this fall, where we predict her first volume, North of Crazy: a Memoir (St. Martin's Press, $25.99), may soon be making an appearance. An unflinching look inside the world of East Coast privilege and the ultimate cautionary tale of dysfunctional families and bad marriages, the bold and brave, very personal autobiography points the way to salvation through art, communion with nature, and ultimately pure grit. Neltje forged nirvana and a remarkable life in the great American West — which I visited this summer. In the October issue, we'll break the story of the pilgrimage site (mountain home, gardens, and art studio) she has created and will gift for an art and nature center. If you took a vision as grand as Judd's in Marfa and added a woman of steely determination who has a passion for the land, you'd be in Neltje's oasis. But where does Round Top figure in? Neltje, who has faithfully been shopping the Round Top antiques fair for a decade for her own warehouse-sized shop, Turned Antiques in Wyoming, selected Round Top and September's fair as the place and time for the national debut of North of Crazy. The artist-turned-author — who makes personal appearances and signs books on two consecutive Saturdays, September 17 and 24 — has over the years made many friendships with local proprietors, such as Blue Hills' Mike Peters and Leftovers Antiques' Michael Breddin and Ed Fulkerson. (The town even earns a mention in her book, on page 267.) Round Top and Brenham are the first stops for her American book tour, which also touches down weeks later in Houston (see our front pages for details). Personal appearances and book signings Saturday, September 17, 10 to 11:30 am, and 3 to 4:30 pm, at Blue Hills, Round Top, with books for sale at the event; Saturday, September 24, 6 to 8 pm, at Leftovers Antiques, Brenham; gratis, but RSVP requested (specifying which event), to Donna Parker, Neltje in front of her Moroccan Suite I, 2012, one of four 10 x 30-foot paintings, at her 2013 solo exhibition, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie The scrappy and enigmatic Doubleday heiress, Neltje, kicks off her national book tour in Round Top. Catherine D. Anspon reports. 164 ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF HUNTER BELL The author DAVID SCHREIBER MARY JO EDWARDS CATHERINE D. ANSPON The cabin, north of Wyoming's Crazy Woman Creek, which gives name to the memoir and where it was written Hunter Bell

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