Keeping up with Manuel, the Rhinestone Rembrandt

Manuel on video


Thursday, October 14, 2010

New York to Mississippi

Lalie and Manuel traveled to the big Apple at the end of September to see our dear friend, Cambridge Jones, opening at the Lincoln Center. Cambridge is an accomplished photographer and is shooting for our book of friends and clients, to be released in the future. While there, we met up with friends from all over, including the Goodbuy Girls of Nashville and Mike Mills of R.E.M. and more. Eating, shopping, museums, and drinking - you know...New York City.

Also in our travels was another trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi- the hometown of Marty Stuart. We were there to support our friend as he received the second marker ever issued for the Country Music Trail, right at the location where he bought his first guitar. At the ceremony, Marty's parents were present along with SIStar Jennifer, his wife Connie Smith, many government officials and lots of family and friends.

The commencement wrapped up witha dance from the Choctaw tribe and a performance from Billy Hardy and friends (with tons of special appearances) at the historic Ellis Theater. All proceeds benefited the preservation of the building. After the event, we played a little roulette with our Mississippi friends and family then hit it back home.

We are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with Soles4Souls, an awesome non-for-profit. We are reconstructing boots donated by Ariat and heels from Jessica Simpson and Vince Camuto. Please check out their website and also the link to the video below. We can't wait to show you what we come up with and are honored to be a part of this project. We'll be turning them over at the end of November. Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 10 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 7 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic’s Green Guide, and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Anyone can join our cause, and we need your help.

Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used).

The idea behind gifts of shoes is nothing new to the Soles4Souls team, as they coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, netting over 1 million pairs donated for these disasters. The team originally operated as with several churches partnering in the collection and distribution of footwear.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

GIVE LOVE! (and Rhinestones!)

Nashville is recovering quickly from the flood that so greatly effected Middle Tennessee a few months back. There are 2 organizations in Nashville that has asked us to participate in project they are working on to raise money for flood victims. The first project we did was for CHAIRity Nashville. We had the forces working on this damaged chair in order to make it an auction item. The organization's mission was to find "Beauty in Brokeness". Here's a picture we borrowed from their Facebook page of the finished product. Can you guess what the inspiration was??...

Our second project we did was for ReTune Nashville . The concept is similar, but instead of chairs, it is damaged music instruments from local musicians. The one we redid, or "retuned" rather, was that of our friend Raul Malo's. Please check out both of these organizations and also bid on the items! We've seen photographs of some of the other items and they are so cool. People really had some great ideas...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I...

Well despite it being nearly 100 degrees at sundown and air so thick you could nearly encapsulate it your hands, we made it back from Meridian, Mississippi in one piece (we think). Manuel was invited by the Jimmie Rodgers foundation to present a lecture following the opening exhibit of Marty Stuart's "Sparkle and Twang". Manuel and crew has traveled to nearly every opening for this incredible collection. It was formerly on display at Nashville's very own Tennessee State Museum, the Gene Autry museum in L.A., and also Cleveland's notorious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We arrived in town Thursday and met up with our dear friends Kay and Philip who met us from New Orleans. We were thrilled to be in downtown Meridian for the presentation of Marty's "star" and also the private opening. Who knew that Meridian was home to such stars? Mississippi's own Sela Ward was present and had received her star earlier on that week. She was extremely gracious and friendly--stunning in person! The reception was lovely and we had no problem making ourselves at home at the food stand and bar. Later on, we discovered Chris Ethridge (original bassist of the Flying Burrito Brothers) was playing a set at the Echo Lounge. It was very cool to see him play, an extremely talented musician and rock n' roll royalty. Not to mention, an excellent host! The next day, we traveled to the neighboring town of Philadelphia -- home town of Marty and Jennifer Stuart. We couldn't miss up the opportunity of Choctaw crafts and seeing where are dear friends hail... Our crew made a day of it which included snow cones, antique stores, and maybe a few slot machines! (Clearly none of us won big or we'd still be on vacation!) Also, we checked out the Jimmie Rodgers museum which is a MUST SEE! They have a very cool, quirky exhibit. We all enjoyed it! That evening I must admit that we all enjoyed the confines of our hotel rooms and such luxuries as cable television (Manuel, Lalie, and Lauren Wray do not have network television.) Manuel had several interviews over the weekend... from radio to PBS to a young Yale student.

That Saturday, we made it over downtown to the enchanting Riley Center. This place is wonderful and the lecture went off without a hitch thanks to an engaging audience and the moderator and organizer, Betty Lou Jones. Thanks to all who came and was a part of this event. If you're in Meridian late July, be sure to see our buddies Merle Haggard and Marty who are playing there on the 25th.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Straight from across the pond and into the FRIST

Everyone in our studio has been SUPER excited about the new Frist Museum exhibit that we are lucky enough to get a sneak preview of tonight. From the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 exhibit will be at the remarkable Frist Museum from June 18-September 12. This is the first time this collection has been displayed in the United States. The exhibit opens to the public tomorrow. Don't miss out on this exclusive display - you may not get another chance!!

Nashville Arts Magazine wrote an excellent article about this collection and were kind enough to include us as well. Please check out the link or if you're in Nashville, pick up a copy. Thanks Karen!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Recap of "Out with the Old in with the New"

A big, sweaty GRACIAS to all who came and braved the heat to attend our wonderful event this past Saturday. We had a great crowd, amazing live entertainment, and lots of rhinestoned couture for your purchasing pleasure! One of our performers of the evening, Brianne O'Neill, did an fun video of the evening... we hope you enjoy! Also another shout-out to all of our performers that evening: Brianne, Snowblynd, Danielle Reed, and Dwayne Rushing with Jeff Brown on drums.