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volume 2 issue 4 | 1NovemBeR2012 | |theVIPmag.com 2009 theVIPmag.

com VOLUME 6 ISSUE | November

















(Do It Yourself)

Create your own custom ceramics
Cook a Thanksgiving dinner to remember

Craft a festive holiday wreath

Make a historic home your own

Sell your crafts online

'Project Runway' your own outfit
Design and stitch a one-of-a-kind quilt Bake our cinnamon streusel coffee cake

6 Etsy success stories The Pinterest phenomena VIPersonality: Cyndi Grimes

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409.835.9500 prevityclinic.com

vip magazine
c o n t e n t s

07 vip home

07 DIY holiday wreaths 13 25 years in a Colonial Revival bungalow

inside november



18 vip style

18 Area fashion designers create wearable art 20 Cyndi Grimes: A passion for pottery 24 The Golden Triangle Quilt Guild 27 6 SE Texas Etsy shops 34 The Pinterest phenomena

20 vipersonality 24 vip worthy

13 20 27 34

Photography Contributing Photographers SCOTT ESLINgEr SILVIA C. mCCLAIN rENé SHEppArD LEE E. STINSON Graphic Designer DAVID CONSTANTINE Advertising To advertise in VIP, 409.880.0700 Contact Us VIP of Southeast Texas 380 main Street beaumont, TX 77701

34 vip viewing

36 vip spotlight 41 food&drink

00 SE Texas events

41 Recipe: Coffee cake 42 Thanksgiving turkey alternatives 46 Dress&Dine: Luke’s 47 5 great dates in November 48 Calendar 49 Crossword puzzle 50 If you Pin it, they will come

47 vip adviser

50 vip voices

A division of hearst newspapers Publisher bILL OffILL

on the cover

jOIN uS ON fACEbOOK! www.facebook.com/thevipmag

Young fashion designer Jamie Havard of Beaumont models her own look inspired by French-Cuban author Anais Nin. Havard is just one of many Southeast Texans who embrace the DIY (do it yourself) culture featured throughout this issue to create one-of-a-kind items that showcase their unique hobbies and passions. Photography by René Sheppard Makeup by Grace Mathis, Beauty by Grace Hair by Brooke Boyett, Alden House Salon
4 November 2012 |

Receiving nursing’s highest honor means our patients receive the highest level of care.

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Once again, our hospitals have earned Magnet status for excellence in nursing.
Awarded to only seven percent of hospitals nationwide, the highly coveted Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center is the most prestigious honor bestowed for nursing excellence. To earn it, Magnet hospitals must rise above their stringent standards for professionalism, teamwork and exceptional patient care. And while it’s a tremendous achievement for our nurses, they would be the first to tell you they didn’t do it on their own. It took the commitment and cooperation of the entire hospital staff and leadership, working together in a positive, patientfocused environment. The Magnet designation is high praise indeed. But, in the end, providing the highest level of care possible for our community means more to us than any award.

www. christushospital.org | 1-866-683-3627

Don’t Miss the Largest Scarecrow Festival in Texas!

Scarecrow Fe�tival
Stroll the gardens to see hundreds of unique scarecrow designs created by local businesses, organizations and families.

October 16 through November 10, 2012

2111 W. Park | Orange, Texas | 409.670.9113 | shangrilagardens.org
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. © 2012 Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Beaumont Civic Ballet
Marsha Woody, Founder/Director

“The Nutcracker”
Saturday & Sunday, December 8 & 9, 2012 2:30 pm


Julie Rogers Theatre - Beaumont, Texas For Tickets Visit www.beaumontcivicballet.net
6 November 2012 |

compiled by Tamara menges photography by Lee e. sTInson and courtesy of mCT


vip home
w r e a t h s


Holiday hoops

to inspire your own DIY decor
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November 2012 7

Breanne Johnson, Groves
"I wanted to create a wreath that wasn’t a “typical holiday” wreath. It could be used for Thanksgiving and also be transformed into a wreath for Christmas by adding lace, or gold ornaments. I wanted the wreath to reflect my simple personality and subtle approach to the holidays by using inspiration from nature. I used the foam wreath as a base and wrapped the yarn all the way around to cover up the foam. I decorated it by cutting out flowers from burlap and adding pinecones."

Kenny Beall, floral designer
"I’m big on organic. I don’t like fake trees. I like using things I find in my yard. But I also want to be able to use a wreath year after year. This wreath has a 5-foot diameter and would make quite an impression in a Victorian home or even on the exterior above an outdoor fireplace or on a gate. Curly willow, oversized sage hydrangeas and covered globe tea lights create a garden-like statement. Five small vases attached to the wreath can be filled with different flowers."

Jordan Breedlove, interior designer
"I like using different textures and unexpected items that are typically considered industrial or utilitarian. A small wreath sits atop a larger one, giving this creation a stand out, dimensional effect. Window screening fills the gap between the wreaths. Purple decorative tree picks were disassembled (they were grapes) as well as black and white ornaments. Black vase fillers were hot glued onto a plastic foamwreath form. Two $3 strands of battery-operated mini LED lights from Hobby Lobby were pinned into place."
8 November 2012 |

Angel Dauphine of The Wedding Hub, Nederland
"As a collector of all things I enjoy shopping at garage sales, estate sales, trade days and thrift stores. I am absolutely in love with the shabby chic vintage trend so when I craft I tend to use vintage materials. To create this, I wrapped a straw wreath in burlap and lace purchased from a local garage sale. Frill flowers were made with material scraps (chiffon, vintage lace, satin, burlap). Vintage jewelry pieces were purchased from estate sales. Wired burlap ribbon with frill garland was made with scraps."

Elizabeth Havard, Groves
"I used a simple wooden wreath from Hobby Lobby because i wanted the browns for fall. I really like the berry look, so I found some yellows and reds. I wanted it to look as organic as possible so I just wrapped the vines with berries within the wreath. I wanted to add some flowers to break up the monotony, and add a nice pop. My inspiration is fall. I love the colors."

Tim Butt, interior designer
"I call this Toasted Comfort and Joy. I used sticks and three sizes of marshmallows (yes, they sell snowball-sized mallows at the grocery store now) to create campfire chic. Toothpicks adhere the marshmallows to the foam wreath form. A kitchen torch was used to toast the marshmallows. The outer edge is more toasted and gradually less so through the middle, giving it an ombre effect. Warning: Each of the giant mallows is 90 calories if you’re an eat-as-you-work type."

Jill Tassin of Chatzkies, Nederland
"I saw a picture of a similar wreath on Pinterest and I was inspired because the beautiful wreath was made out of coffee filters and it intrigued me. I used 4 packs of 100 coffee filters from the dollar store and hot glued them on a straw wreath. The cheapest wreath I have ever made."

Susan Dunlap, home crafter
"I love making seasonal wreaths out of materials I find at my local farmers market and in my yard. This wreath uses dried corn, so any exposure to rain may cause the ears to mildew so it’s best displayed indoors or on a covered patio or doorway. I started with an 18-inch grapevine wreath, then added bundles of miniature Indian corn wired together with floral wire. A hot glue gun was used to add other fall vegetation."


November 2012 9

Tamara Menges, VIP
"We choose to create a fresh floral wreath using the rich colors that are so reminiscent of the fall season. A fresh floral wreath is constructed with a wreath base that has fresh floral foam attached, when you soak the base with water properly, you are able to enjoy your fresh wreath for up to a week! For the base we used fresh floral foam wreath, and then added fresh flowers, including tulips, ranunculus, carnations, button poms and a couple different types of greenery for texture."

Courtney Duplechain of Petals and Dollops, Nederland
"I use Deco Mesh for my wreaths and lots of ribbons/deco tubing. I love doing things that are different and affordable! Different people/customers inspire me daily to try different things. Deco mesh, burlap wreaths and hand painted burlap door decor keep me very busy!"

Celina Ellis, Port Neches
"I used deco mesh, decorative picks and poinsettias, and teal glitter ribbon. I was inspired by looking at various holiday decor that is being displayed. Anything goes for Christmas now. So when I saw the turquoise I knew what I wanted to do. I often just select items that speak to me and go from there. I usually don’t have a plan and just play with it until I love it."
10 November 2012 |

Ashleigh Brown, Beaumont
"My inspiration is my mother. She raised us to share her love for Christmas and Jesus Christ. Because of her love for Christmas I wanted to make her a wreath the was totally different than anything we’ve ever had before. I used one roll of red deco mesh, one roll of white deco mesh, floral wire, two coat hangers, a bow and red ribbon to create this variation on the traditional holiday wreath."

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Mark Roberts introduces a Limited Edition Twelve Days of Christmas Santa for release this year. This 24” Santa is an elegant ensemble that includes elements from all of the Twelve Days of Christmas! Get yours now at Nickolina’s, the area’s largest stocking dealer of Mark Roberts’ fairies and elves! Nickolina’s 1257 W. Lucas, Beaumont, TX 77706 409-896-2543 www.facebook.com/nickolinas • www.nickolinas.com

fabulous finds
Retailers we love and their merchandise we love to have!
Cat5 is available to check out every Thursday Thursaday in the Beaumont Enterprise and it is distributed to the top locations in the Golden Triangle.
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Southeast Texas’ highest ranking Black Belt, 9th degree Grand Master Fred A. Simon, is now offering classes in his new studio. Study martial arts under a Texas Legends Hall of Fame and Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame Member. Call now to reserve a spot for you or your child! Classes are conveniently offered at noon and at night. *Member of the BBB


Pumpkins, turkeys, and wreaths, oh my! Flagship Mailroom is your headquarters for all things Fall. We now have a large selection of Park Hill Candles, as well as cookbooks, platters, gourmet food selections, and decorations. Let Flagship Mailroom help you with all of your home and party needs this season.

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Flagship Mailroom 148 S. Dowlen Beaumont 866-4643 4700 Hwy 365, A Mid-County 724-0474 88 N. LHS Lumberton 755-6245

12 November 2012 |

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vip home
r e n o v a t i o n s

built by love
The house that was
bungalow. Though they looked at others, this was the one they wanted. People tried to talk them out of it, suggesting that at 3,470 square feet it was too much house for a young couple. But on the day before Thanksgiving in 1987, they closed the deal and began moving in. Scott remembers they had Jack in the Box takeout for Thanksgiving dinner that year amid >>


text by Cheryl rose

photography by lee e. stinson

s newlyweds in their 20s, Annette and Scott Holtmyer used to drive through Old Town each week on their way to the bank in downtown Beaumont. They admired the old houses and thought it would be fun to live in the area. One day, a For Sale sign appeared in front of a rosy-beige painted Colonial Revival


November 2012 13

On the 25th anniversary of their purchase, Annette and Scott Holtmyer are still in love with their home
the clutter of boxes. Twenty-five years later, they haven’t regretted their decision and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Before they began a major remodel, they briefly toyed with moving to another house, but quickly found that anything they liked needed the same kind of updating. Moving to a new subdivision was never a choice. “We’re not new-house people,” Scott said. house. By the time the Holtmyers moved in, the majority of issues for them were decorative rather than functional. “I really like the individualism you find in old houses,” Scott said. “Granted, you go in new houses and they are pretty, but they look just like the one next door to them. We appreciate the craftsmanship of old homes.”

The Remodeling Begins

Home to Three Families

The house was built in 1929 by Martha and Henry Grady Prather. Prather, the son of Henry Caldwell Prather, co-owned three automobile service stations in Beaumont called Prather & Hooks. Their home’s Colonial Revival architecture reflects a popular turn-of-the-century look with Federal-style columns, architectural symmetry and a miniature temple-like pediment at the door. The Prathers lived in the home

Though at a glance the house looks much like it did 83 years ago, piece by piece the Holtmyers have been bringing their home into the modern era with improved functionality and modern materials. For example, they recently put on a new roof. (The original roof was tile and was damaged and replaced after the kitchen fire.) They also replaced the wood siding with Hardiplank. Annette chose Honest Blue by Sherwin Williams for the exterior to replace the rosy-beige and traded

more than 30 years before they sold it to Nell and W.W. Phillips in the early ‘60s. Nell sold the home to the Holtmyers after her husband’s death, but later moved back to Old Town and bought the house next door. Nell now lives at Calder Woods. Though the house had been well-maintained over the years, a kitchen fire in 1979 led the Phillips’ to take the major step of completely re-wiring and re-plumbing the
14 November 2012 |

the cream-colored paint on the woodwork for white. They embarked on the first major remodel about five years after their purchase. The two projects were updating the kitchen and master bedroom/bath. The original master bath had only a tub and a tiny closet. The kitchen was small with metal cabinets and butcher block and Formica countertops. They knocked out a wall to open up the breakfast room and discovered

one of the tricky problems with older homes: You can’t run to the hardware store and buy replacement products. Crown molding like their original is no longer available. The Holtmyers have faced this problem again recently after an improperly installed air conditioning unit leaked and broke through the ceiling, damaging beyond repair a portion of the hand-painted, imported French wallpaper that was hung during the 1979 remodel.

In something akin to a grieving period, Annette had delayed selecting a replacement, but recently ordered a new gold-tone, textured paper.

Adding Amenities

After the arrival of their two daughters, Sarah and Catherine, the Holtmyers remodeled the upstairs great room into two bedrooms, a bath and a sitting room. The next big project was dealing with the original garage and full


maid’s quarters on the property that were slowly falling down. Scott saw the opportunity to get the swimming pool he always wanted. In addition, they built a new garage with a kitchen, laundry room and an upstairs guest bedroom on the same footprint of the original structure. “We live outside in the pool area from April to September,” Scott said. The poolside kitchen is heavily utilized as both Holtmyers like

to cook and Annette enjoys baking. “We cook and eat outside a lot,” Scott said.

There’s No Place Like Home

Though they’ve brought in paint colors they like, had the walls textured, added modern appliances and other updates, what originally appealed to that young couple 25 years ago is still what the Holtmyers find special about their home. “I like the way we have wonder-

ful oak trees; it just looks like the house has always been here,” Annette said. “I love the front porch. It’s warm and welcoming.” Scott likes the high ceilings, the generous room sizes, the crown molding and wainscoting. Pointing to his grandmother’s chandelier in the breakfast room, Scott said, “I think after awhile, you do so much to a house it becomes part of you.” With their girls now in college, the parents have teased with the

notion of moving some day and both daughters have adamantly protested. They aren’t going anywhere, Scott said. “We have friends that have lived in eight houses in the last 25 years,” he said. “We’ve grown up in this house and changed the house as we needed.” When Annette reflects on her home that has so much of her personal tastes and family history inside, she concludes, “Charming, is what I think.” >>
| November 2012 15


Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Trees 6 ft. and larger

eeking from nearly every surface, corner and even lamp fixture, angels guard the Holtmyer home. “I have always loved angels,” Annette said, adding that she feels watched over and prayerful surrounded by her collection that she began many years ago. Some she has chosen herself, such as the large statue in the dining room that they bought in San Francisco, and many others have been gifts. Scott’s mother began collecting Scottie dogs for him when he was a baby. He said he’s up to 400 Scottie dogs tucked away inside display cabinets and posted along bookcases. They also have a cross collection displayed in their poolside kitchen. Friends and family bring them crosses from wherever they travel. “There is a story behind every cross,” Annette said. Additionally, they have a Lladro porcelain collection. However, there is a limit to the collections. The Holtmyers’ dog, Coco Mademoiselle, is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, not a Scottie. VIP

Collections make it a home


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16 November 2012


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vip style
f a s h i o n d e s i g n

design stars
In Project Runway era, young Southeast Texans turn passion for fashion into wearable art

Jamie Havard


hat inspires your design? Inspiration for me comes from multiple things, but I think what is pretty important to me is that there is a contrasting relationship within my designs. Meaning if I do a piece that is sweet, I also want a masculine element included as well. How did you create this piece? I was reading a lot of Anais Nin; she was from the 1920-1930’s. Even though she is a writer, I was looking at a picture of her and felt the urge to make some 1930’s knickers. What are your plans for designing in the future? Right now I am finishing a lot of pieces for Buffalo Gal that is sold at Stellar Treasure in the Tattered Suitcase, so my main focus is with completing those pieces. What were some favorite activities as a child? We played outside a lot with the neighborhood kids. I really enjoyed our family reunions on Buffalo Creek, which is where the inspiration for my business name came from. I really enjoyed the different types of music and firecrackers that we had at these family functions. This look: I am wearing black knickers that I constructed and a repurposed blouse from Goodwill. I accessorized with an ornate scarf and rhinestone necklace.

photography by RenÉ SHePPaRd shoot coordinators GRaCe MaTHIS and laRena Head shoot assistant TaMaRa MenGeS hair by brooke boyett, alden HouSe Salon makeup by GRaCe MaTHIS
18 November 2012 |

Jamie Havard of Beaumont models her own look inspired by French-Cuban author Anais Nin.

Dakota Billingsley (left) from Newton with model Cierra Kirkendall of Buna in his Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea party dress.

Dakota Billingsley


hat inspires your design? My inspiration is mostly spontaneous. I will see a material that I think looks interesting; I will take the material and try to manipulate it. I started working with trash. I like the effects you can achieve with trash that you can’t accomplish with fabric, meaning the shiny or reflective surfaces. Non-traditional materials have better structure. Artwork and even music inspire me. How did you create this piece? I made the outfit in stages. The skirt was made a year ago and it was just a skirt. When VIP called, I turned the skirt into a full dress. The tea company actually changed the design of their tea packaging, so the top and bottom of the dress are slightly different, but I think it still works well together. What are your plans for designing in the future? It’s really more of a hobby right now, and it’s something more for fun. It’s a creative outlet for me, especially when I see an interesting material. Occasionally I get burned out on clothing, so I turn to artwork and photography. What is your favorite material that you have worked with? I really like CDs. I like the colors and reflective surfaces, and I also like Dorito bags. This look: I made the dress out of Lipton tea bags and wire coat hangers, which gives it its shape. The clothes I make for girls are more costume-like and more dramatic, and tend to be more of the unconventional materials. When I make clothing for myself, I do tend to use traditional fabrics. I made the white blazer and the gold gloves. I also hand-dyed the pants and shirt. VIP



November 2012 19

C y n d i G r i m e s

passion POTTER’S
of the Renaissance.
20 November 2012 |

text by jane mcbride

photography by silvia c. mcclain

ook behind the development of any artist and discover a teacher or mentor. At some point in life, whether as a child or adult, someone did something to spark an interest, whether it was art classes in school, the gift of a box

of colored pencils or maybe a book on photography or

sculpture. Perhaps it was taking a young person to an art gallery or watching a documentary on the masters

For Southeast Texas native Cyndi Grimes, it was watching a morning news show in 1997 with guest Greg Busceme speaking about art classes available at The Art Studio in downtown Beaumont. Cyndi decided to take one of Greg’s hand building classes, which teach how to create a piece of pottery from clay by hand only. Once she discovered how much she loved working with clay, she rented an intermediate space at The Art Studio and began the process of learning how to throw on a potter’s wheel. The Art Studio gave Cyndi access to the specialized equipment like kilns and supplies needed to fire and glaze the clay pieces. It also brought her together with like-minded artists. In those early years, she enlisted the guidance of several area potters, including Greg

Busceme, Sandy Laurette, Suzanne Garrett and Noel Sargent. “There are so many aspects to making a ceramic piece that I am always researching and learning. My favorite potters are the ones that share their knowledge,” she said. “Artists like Greg Busceme, Rex Alexander, Brenda Lichman and Steve and Dee Burrow.” Clay seems the perfect medium for a woman with a deep love of nature and the outdoors. Her back yard is filled with citrus trees and blooming plants. For Cyndi, a great day is one spent paddling down Village Creek with her husband, Pat, then having a picnic on its sandy shores. She is an avid cyclist, riding a Cannondale comfort bike around the city and a Trek road bike for longer rides. She and Pat often ride 40 to 60 miles in organized bike rides. They participate locally in the Spindletop Spin, the Big Thicket ride, and the Lafitte ride. Taking that humble clay and turning it into some beautiful and unique suits her. “Everyone uses pottery,” Cyndi says. “I make functional pottery that can be used in everyday life. Occasionally, a life experience will inspire me to build a sculpture.”

Her signature pieces include plates, bowls, baking dishes, pitchers, serving platters, teapots, cups and tagines like those used in Moroccan cooking. Her search for new ways to explore and create has led to olive oil jars and canister sets. Newer works include Ikebana vases and flower frogs. Not everything she makes is designed for function only. She designs and produces whimsical chubby owl and cat figurines. The pleasure she derives from creating one-of-a-kind works of art is comprised of four parts. “It’s process, challenge, success and vision accomplished.” Cyndi says an article from Schoolsintheusa.com captures how she feels about elevating ordinary pieces to the extraordinary: “Usually, we use household items that have been mass produced. But sometimes, we use special, handmade bowls, unique mugs, or colorful flower pots or vases … one-of-a-kind items made by potters, artisans who create beautifully interesting items that are both decorative and useful. Potters can … determine the look of the piece by controlling the temperature of the kiln, or oven. The higher the temperature, the >>

RING OFSilver FAITH Sterling
or 14 kt. Gold

Creativity Individualism Style
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6755 Phelan Suite 17 Beaumont 409-861-5762


November 2012 21

smoother and more waterproof a piece will end up being. Potters are generally strong, as the work takes a lot of muscle. They must be able to see things three dimensionally, and believe that anything is possible. They must also be determined, and have faith in their talent. Often potters’ work is so beautiful, it is considered to be more artistic than useful. But even if their work is sold in gift shops and never displayed in a gallery, all potters have respect and skill enough to see clay as a thing of beauty.” And yes, Cyndi gives back, teaching classes to both young people and adults. Her pieces are available at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Beaumont Farmers Market, or at The Art Studio. See her latest work during The Art Studio’s Annual Shop-0-Rama from the first Saturday in December through Christmas. Email her at for an appointment. For samples of her work, visit her txcyn pottery site on Facebook. VIP

How to make Cyndi’s pottery owl >>










22 November 2012



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November 2012 23

vip worthy
g o l d e n t r i a n g l e q u i l t g u i l d

promoting the art, history and camaraderie of quilting
text by CATHLEEN COLE photography by rENÉ sHEppArd
very summer as a young girl, Marcella Swearingen helped er’s quilts, Swearingen’s great grandmother. “He’d show me her pieces, her stitches,” she remembered. “He was proud of her work.” Those times with her grandfather, who pointed out the different patterns and stitches throughout his mother’s lifetime, are fond memories now, and she credits him with her passion for quilting. “My grandfather was the one who inspired me,” she said. Like Swearingen, many members of the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild have a long family history of quilting and sewing, but beginners who have never made a quilt are welcome to join.


her grandfather take the family quilts out of a closet

to refold them with different creases to keep the fabric strong. They were his moth-

A pieceful group
The Golden Triangle Quilt Guild was organized in 1981 by Anita Wingate-Murphy to promote the art and history of quilting and to establish an organization for people who share the love of quilts and quilting.
24 November 2012

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“Where Contemporary Meets Classic”
Henry Swearingen, guild president, and Marcella Swearingen, guild secretary The guild holds monthly meetings in Beaumont with guest speakers and workshops for its 200-plus members. Although many of the speakers are locals, some come from as far away as California, Montana and Florida. A favorite part of the monthly meeting is “show and tell” where members can share details about what they’ve been working on. The guild also has 11 quilting bees that offer a combination of quilting and social activities. The small groups meet on a regular basis and include the Blockhead Bee, the Girl Gang Bee and the Happy Scrappers Bee. Members tend to become very close and often go on quilting retreats and travel to quilt shows and workshops together. “Without the bees, you probably wouldn’t have a very good guild,” said Henry Swearingen, the guild’s 2011-2012 president and Marcella Swearingen’s husband. “There is a lot of knowledge in those bees.” During even-numbered years, the guild puts on a quilt show at the Beaumont Civic Center to help share the artistry of quilts and offer a stage for talented area quilters. There are also quilts for sale, donated by the guild’s bees. A quilt auction is organized during odd-numbered years. A portion of its profits is donated

4036 Dowlen Rd. Beaumont in the Hobby Lobby Shopping center 409-239-5561
Follow us on Facebook facebook.com/LUXEBEAUMONT

Quilt time
The Golden Triangle Quilt Guild meets at Northwood Christian Church in Beaumont the third Thursday of every month except in July and December. Members can attend at 12:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Dues are $20 a year. goldentrianglequiltguild.com

November 23rd 7-10am Fill-A-Bag; Get 25% OFF*
Bring in this ad 7-10 am on Friday, November 23rd and Fill-A-Bag! You’ll get 25% OFF everything you can fit in our shopping bag.
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to some local charities, but the majority of the profits helps fund guild activities including the quilt show.

Busy bees

Quilters tend to be a bit obsessive when it comes to their works of art. Dot Collins, who has held a number of offices with the guild including president, belongs to four bees and spends four to 10 hours a day in her home-quilting

*Valid on in-store purchase only. One bag per person. Not valid with other discounts, gift cards, Brome Bird Care branded feeders, optics or on previous purchases. Items must fit fully inside our designated WBU shopping bag and may not extend beyond the bag handles. Valid only 7 - 10 am, November 23, 2012 at the WBU location(s).

3939 Dowlen Rd. #7 Beaumont, TX 77706 • 409-347-3500


November 2012 25

studio in Port Neches. “It would be more if I could get away with it,” she said with a chuckle in her voice. Collins, who also teaches quilting classes, began making quilts in 1984. “It’s such a creative outlet,” she said. “It keeps your mind busy. It keeps your hands busy.” She started out sewing quilts by hand and then began using a sewing machine. She finally made the big switch to a “long-arm” quilting machine – a computerized sewing system used to sew together a quilt top, batting and backing into a finished quilt. A long-arm typically consists of an industrial sewing machine, a 10-foot to 14-foot table and several rollers on which the fabric layers are placed. Using this huge quilting contraption makes the job a lot easier and less time-consuming, which means there’s more time to design and make more quilts. The Swearingens also quilt with long-arm systems. They own two and stay busy at their Jasper-based business, Unique Threads, sewing together quilts their customers have made. Marcella, the guild’s secretary, started the company in 2002. Henry, the guild’s first male president, joined his wife’s business after retiring in 2009 from Mead-

Westvaco where he wrote software and managed a computer group for the Evadale paper mill. That’s why he’s such a whiz with the computerized long-arm system, digitizing patterns and programming the machine. The high-tech aspect of long-arm quilting, he believes, has attracted more men to the art. “You’d be surprised at the number of men who do this,” he said.

Heirlooms to come
The passion for quilting doesn’t solely lie with the AARP set. “We’re seeing younger girls get involved all the time,” Collins noted. One of those younger “girls” is Melissa Tweedel of Beaumont who has taken quilting classes from Collins. The busy mom of two teens and a tween started quilting in 2008. “I’m an avid quilter,” she said. “I’m passionate about it.” For Tweedel, quilting lets her be creative. She’s tried other hobbies, but “nothing has stuck like this.” According to Collins, bee members range in age from 30 to 80. “We all feel like we’re the same age because we have the same things in common,” she explained. “We all understand each other. We’re all passionate about quilting.” VIP

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vip worthy
e t s y

southeast texas crafters take on the smallest of businesses in a big world
sCott eslinger

text by Cheryl rose photography by

ll the crafters on the following pages had a hobby they enjoyed doing that was so complimented by others that they were encouraged to sell their crafts. As a general rule, it isn’t easy to make the money equation on handcrafts work — if you take the creativity, time and materials crafters put into a piece and translate that to an accurate price tag, there aren’t many customers willing to pay that price. So though some of these crafters have a bustling business for their products, they are mostly doing it because they love to work with their hands, use creativity in materials and for the satisfaction of a finished project. “You have to do it because you love doing it,” says Dennis Benge, a woodworker.


Crafters looking to sell their wares may try church bazaars or city festivals, but those generally come around just once a year. Most of these crafters have tried eBay or set up their own web pages. However, the home of the small-shop crafter online is Etsy. For the uninitiated, Etsy began in 2005 as a host e-commerce location for thousands of crafters, each with their own online shop, selling handcrafts, vintage pieces or crafting supplies. Dianne Harwood has marketed her jewelry products in a variety of venues and finds Etsy to be one of the best values for the seller, with relatively low costs for listings and fees. All the crafters agreed that success on Etsy depends on self-promotion, networking, quality photography, positive feedback and perseverance. Even with all of these bases covered, it can still be a very crowded marketplace, particularly in some types of crafts such as jewelry. Anything for children tends to stay popular, while other crafts trend up and down with changes in public tastes and interests. As it happens, perhaps the best customers are other Etsy shop owners. “I buy a lot off Etsy to support other artisans,” said April Little, a seamstress. >>



November 2012 27

Angie Cruise
CUTEure Creations Bridge City, Texas


ngie Cruise learned the basics of crochet from her grandmother when she was nine years old. She went on to try her hand at a wide variety of crafts, but came back to crochet four years ago when her daughter was born. She taught herself how to make baby hats and is now creating her own designs. “Crochet is a really big part of my life,” Cruise said. “It’s my main source of creativity and relaxation, and it helps support my family.” What started as a way to fund a hobby has grown into a fulltime job and side income. Cruise opened her Etsy shop in 2009 with hats and booties and now has been picked up by a couple of boutique children’s stores. “I didn’t see immediate success,” she cautioned. “It took awhile to grow. I think in order to gain customers on such a huge website you have to make your product stand out — you have to make something no one else makes. These days, I mostly sell patterns of my own designs.” Creating designs, fulfilling orders, writing descriptions and networking gobble up the hours, she said, but the work also allows her to stay home with her daughter, Addie. http://www.etsy.com/shop/CUTEureCreations

28 November 2012



Cripple Creek Woodworks Nederland, Texas

Dennis Benge

’ve had sawdust running through my veins pretty much all my life,” Dennis Benge said. As a boy, he helped his grandfather in his woodshop. By middle school, he was working evenings with his father trimming out houses. After working as a construction contractor, he now owns and operates a one-man woodshop out of his home, crafting everything from jewelry to high-end furniture and cabinetry. “I like making bracelets because I can get real creative and push the envelope about what can be done with wood,” he said. “Some have as many as 160 pieces of wood in them, but they are light and decorative and people are just amazed that it can be done. There


are few people who can match what I do.” Benge uses Etsy to market his jewelry and smaller gift items. “What you put into it is what you get out of it,” he advised. “You have to promote yourself a lot. You can’t open a shop and have everyone flock to it.” It’s important to understand the keywords that a search engine uses, he said. A common mistake he’s seen is not putting enough products up, thereby limiting the number of keyword search opportunities. “The more you promote and list, the more you sell,” he said. “Promoting is not hard, it’s just time-consuming.” http://www.etsy.com/shop/Cripplecreekwoodwork



November 2012 29

Forever in Tutus Orangefield, Texas

Nichole Jeane

hen the first of her five daughters was born, Nichole Jeane found she needed a hobby so she taught herself how to make hair bows. Then her husband bought her an old sewing machine and she taught herself how to sew. She began by making sundresses for her girls. She sold her crafts at shows and flea markets as an opportunity to be out of the house. Then, just a few months ago, she discovered Etsy and settled on a core product: tutus. About a year ago, one of Jeane’s nieces received a tutu dress as a gift. “I looked at it and thought, ‘I could do that’ and when I heard what she paid for it, I did my homework,” Jeane said. She invented her own pattern and created a personal twist of using ribbon lacing on the bodice. With very girly-girl daughters ages six months to 10 years old, her family is a walking advertisement for her business. She makes at least three tutus a week in addition to custom orders. She also keeps her prices affordable, sympathizing with other mothers with big families. “I get excited when I get to make a little girl’s dress,” Jeane said. “I basically do it because it’s de-stressing. I make money, but I’m not looking to turn it into something huge.” http://www.etsy.com/shop/ForEverInTutus
30 November 2012 |


Dianne Harwood
ianne Harwood comes from a long line of crafty women. Her personal talent and interest is in making jewelry and accessories from beads, particularly rough gemstones such as turquoise, coral and jasper. Through her three Etsy shops and personal web page, she sells her necklaces, rearview mirror charms, crystal wind chimes and other creations. When she’s not at her job with Alton Martin Insurance Agency in Port Neches, her hands are busy making jewelry. “It’s my stress relief,” said this grandmother of seven. She credits the support of her husband as the reason she’s been able to keep up her hobby and also run it as a business. After five years on Etsy, Harwood has become savvy about networking and is learning about socialmedia marketing. She started a “circle” or team on Etsy that is now 138 strong to maximize networking and to share tips and training about the site. Additionally, the five leaders share managing the social media for the group. For example, Harwood is responsible for Twitter postings and building followers. The crossover marketing is working, as she’s noticed a bump in sales when she makes Twitter posts. “All these people on Etsy are doing their craft because they love it and they feel good about what they make, but when you put it out to the public, you’re like a needle in the haystack. That’s why the more circles you have, the better,” she advised. http://www.etsy.com/shop/sparklesbydianne, http://www.etsy.com/shop/cowboyindians, http://www.etsy.com/shop/kdianne56


Sparkles by Dianne, Cowboys & Indians, Kdianne56 Port Arthur, Texas


November 2012 31

Kenny Johnson
KJ Woodworking Jasper, Texas


orn just 200 yards from where he now lives, Kenny Johnson has done a little bit of everything for a living — worked at carpentry, served as a police officer, built fences, ran a bait shop and is currently employed at Woodville Penitentiary. Throughout his life, one constant has been his pleasure in working with wood. He learned woodworking in school when he was about 14 years old. Over the years, he’s built a lot of practical items, but these days he’s settled on carved pens. “I saw them made and thought they looked like fun and seemed relaxing,” Johnson said. He uses a variety of woods, but prefers buffalo or deer horn lately. He sold his pens at various craft shows for a time, but ran out of enthusiasm for the effort. One of his two sons encouraged him to try Etsy, something he’d never heard of before. His son, Aaron, a professional photographer, helped his dad set up the Etsy shop about a year ago and took the product photos. “Every pen is different,” Johnson said. “There is never one the same as another due to the variations in the wood or horn. You can’t buy a handcrafted pen at Wal-Mart.” http://www.etsy.com/shop/KJWoodcrafting

32 November 2012



photo by Em

iLy Buck B


3 l.p. Couture Beaumont, Texas

April Little

hen she was six years old, April Little’s mother taught her to sew. It was an immediate match made in heaven. Little sewed her own clothes, dance dresses and eventually her own wedding dress. Later, she made baby gifts, such as diaper bags, for her husband’s co-workers. From the rave reviews, she was encouraged to begin selling her sewing crafts. About five years ago, she settled on making girls dresses and found Etsy. “Etsy is kind of the artisan’s condensed version of eBay, so it’s perfect for people who do the kind of thing I do,” she said. “It was super successful from the get-go.” Little designed a polka-dot festooned “birthday dress” that became a cult favorite on Etsy, so much so that there have been rip-off attempts. Little may make the dress up to eight times a month, in addition to hot sales in holiday dresses. In her opinion, the key to success on Etsy is excellent photography. She now trades dresses for professional photography work with a mother in Tennessee. “In a search, you have to make your thumbnail photo stand out, make it look beautiful and professional,” she advised. A mother of four children, Little says that she is first and foremost a mom. “I do this in large part because I have one of those brains that needs to create to feel like I’m a whole person,” she said. “I’m my own boss. Life happens for me before work.” http://www.etsy.com/shop/3lpcouture



November 2012 33

vip worthy
p i n t e r e s t



acebook makes me dislike people I know, while Pinterest makes me like people I’ve never met.” That was a direct quote from an actual conversation I overheard while interviewing for this story, and I had to silently nod in agreement. The new kid on the social networking block is Pinterest and its fans are discovering their new passion for pinning. If you’re not familiar with it, let me walk you through it. Pinterest is a site that acts a bookmarking tool used to “pin” images from around the web onto organized “boards.” Each image links to a website that contains more information, directions, or what have you, about what the image displays. For instance, you see someone has pinned a picture of cookies. You click on the photos and it takes you to a website that shows step-by-step baking instructions for the cookies. Once you join the community, you can add friends and contacts from email and other social networking sites so you can see what everyone else is pinning from various websites. If you like what someone has pinned, be it a recipe, quote or idea, then you can repin it onto a “board” that you create to organize all of these Pinterest ideas. It’s pretty much like Fantasy Football for women, where we can assemble our favorites onto our different rosters and play and trade all day. There is no limit to what you can pin or “like” (similar to “liking” something on Facebook), and while it’s not exclusive to women, there is something about organizing ideas, tips, DIY projects, recipes and any and everything else that just really, really does it for us. We can get

text by AmAndA Corbell


ideas for party themes, tips on how to be the best hostess ever and directions on planning the perfect wedding. “I am getting so many ideas for my wedding,” Taylor Barnwell of Orange said. “I love the people that are pinning links to money saving websites, and I love that I can find decorations based on my theme through using the search box. My wedding board is filling up pretty quickly with pins.” While just a year ago, websites like The Knot were the ultimate source of wedding tips and tricks, Pinterest is suddenly taking over. And for a lot of ladies it’s neck-in-neck with Facebook for their most visited site. (GASP!) Most say they check their Pinterest site immediately after checking Facebook, but pull up Pinterest more often and for longer periods of time. “I pretty much use it on a daily basis because I find it addicting,” Jessica Blackman of Orangefield said. “My best friend and I even have ‘Pinter-

est dates’ and it’s a great way to pass the time on a lazy day while my boyfriend is watching a game.” “I log on pretty much anytime that I’m standing around not doing anything,” said Barnwell. “I log on immediately when I sit down on my couch after work and in the morning when I wake up and right before bed. I suppose I log on Pinterest quite a lot.” Both Blackman and Barnwell said they’ve tried out a number of ideas they heard of via Pinterest, including exercise tips, recipes and crafts. Blackman even hunted down her favorite OPI fall nail polish colors and has gotten ideas for her next tattoo. However, the crafts and do-it-yourself ideas can sometimes be a bit tricky. “I joined Pinterest before I was even engaged, because for some reason I feel like I have the ability to do anything that I see in the crafts and DIY section,” Barnwell said. “I’ve had some success, but more fails.” While recipes, crafts and

34 November 2012 |


party favors

beauty tips


DIY projects are among the most popular pins, tips to pinch pennies are also rampant. While the downside is that some pins end up being spam or a link to a business, rather than instructions, the manuals for make-it-at-home cleaners, cooking sprays and cold remedies are all in one place and are easily searchable. “I have made many different recipes off the site,” said Candice Denison, a stay-at-home Mom in Kingwood. “I also learned how to make my own dishwasher and laundry detergent from there.” Paige Tobias, a pre-school teacher from Groves, gets a plethora of daily ideas for her classroom and projects for her students. Admitting to checking it daily, she says the cost-saving tips and gift ideas are also a huge bonus. “I have used many gift ideas and birthday party ideas,” she said. “I enjoy that some of the gift ideas aren’t too expensive. I did a small gift for my daughter’s end-of-the-year class gift last year that cost less than 50 cents per child.” Pinterest is the ultimate instruction manual for special homemade gifts like sugar scrubs, picture frames and gift baskets, but also provides links to sites like Etsy for unique and hard-to-come-by gifts. Tutorials for everything in between are out there, though. Want to know how to make your own potpourri using your favorite scent? Pin it. Want to know how to take better pictures and edit them to perfection in Photoshop without paying for a class? Pin it. Need time to actually sit down and attempt something you pinned? Sign up for a Pinterest class (yes, they have those!). The Pinterest phenomenon is making fans


wish they had more time to make their own everything, and helping craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Joanne’s make a major comeback. Classes that help guide you through different weekly Pinterest projects are out there, one of the newest being held at Lamar State CollegeOrange through their Continuing Education department. This month, they are spending a week creating rosette wreaths, using recycled book pages and the next week are creating photo Christmas ornaments. They will also teach students how to properly mod podge and make faux tin tiles for gifts. Men have also begun creating Pinterest pages and for several different reasons. Some like creating boards so they can pin things like every baseball park in the United States that they’ve visited or start a collection of their favorite workout moves or music. In an interesting and brilliant turn of events, though, men are also implementing Pinterest to see what the women in their lives are pinning to “wish list” type boards. This takes the guess work out of birthday, anniversary and Christmas gifts and men have caught on. The ladies are pleased and are taking that crafty idea and running with it. “Pinterest is a great place for your maid of honor to go check out your ‘wedding shower board,’ or help your boyfriend get a clue from your ‘dream engagement ring board,’” said Blackman. “You can even have your friends look at your ‘dream baby shower’ board or ‘birthday wish list board.’” After being named one of the 50 best websites of 2011 by Time Magazine, Pinterest was updated and made available for iPhone iPad and iP usage. With nearly 12 million users in the United States signing up to use the website less than three years after it was conceptualized and about two years after it launched, an invitation is no longer necessary in order to join the Pinterest community. “Pinterest “Pinter is one of those sites where the more you have, merrier, the merrier because it just means more pins,” said Denison. “Sometimes in day to day life, we get so busy we don’t think we have time to do projects and cook healthy, health quick meals and find tips to cut corners. But Pinterest has all of those ideas. If you have time to check Facebook, you have time to find a good idea or a solution to a problem on Pinterest.” VIP

home decor

cute pets

fashion trends
| November 2012 35


vip spotlight
s e t x e v e n t s

Ubi Caritas Date Auction
Amanda Franklin, Kalob Wells Traci Coleman, Lauren Rahe Adam Nichols, Jennifer Turner and Luke Nichols

Tara Folsom, Magan Flores Casey Dulaney, Erica Mosqueda Daniel and Katie Young

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Jimmy Blanchard, Amber Gentry, Angela Dodson, Randy Singler

Dianne Wright, Margie Riley and Angela Spears

Joanna Parkus and Stuart Fraser

Bethany New, James Grant, Samantha Richards Cindy and Michael Lindsay 36 November 2012 |

Aaron and Gina Plaunty

Jennifer and Daniel Green

renÉ sheppard

Salute to the American Heroes

Tom Broussard, Kyle Hayes and Rodney Ames

Paula Bothe, Gisela Houseman

Jeggings, Jeans & Tops You’ll love The fit!

John Paschall, James Alexander

Ann and Charles Thompson

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Cyndi and Pat Grimes
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Brent Weaver, Sam Bethea and Todd Dunkleberger


November 2012 37

AMSET 25th Anniversary Gala
renÉ sheppard

Amy and David Riker

Denise and John Shackelford Shaheen and Kerri Farah and Herb Dishman

Lee Ann and Terry Garth Monique Sennet, Caitlin Williams Marcia and Judge John Stevens

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Ellen and David Reynard

Randy Sampson and Annie Green

Paul Manes and Betty Greenberg

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Rusty Chimeno, Carlo Busceme and Dean Terrebonne 38 November 2012 |

Suzanne Peiler, Mike and Joan Kirkpatrick

Maris and Judge James Mehaffy

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November 2012 39

Hope Women’s Resource Clinic Gala

Cody and Rhea Heath

Michelle and Raymond McHenry

Arin and Ryan Thompson Kayla and Brian Abshire

Hillary Wong, Amanda Pratt and Kileigh Tilman

Tom and Callie Beck
renÉ sheppard

Shawna Tubbs and Mary Hunter

Cynthia and Ralph McBride

Andy, Skylar, James and Anita Smith

BRA-vo Opening
Joseph and Sandy Fertitta

Janina King and Ashley East

Elizabeth Bartilucci, Hope Swain, Mary Ellen Zummo

Alicia Wackenreuter, Sudie Culpepper 40 November 2012 |

Tim and Vicki Bauer

lee e. stinson

food dining
r e c i p e s

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour. We made ours in a tube pan with a removable bottom — crucial to being able to release the cake — but you also can make this in a 9x13-inch pan, which takes less time to bake. (Check for doneness at 50 minutes with the oblong pan.) For streusel • 1/2 c. granulated sugar • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour • 2 tsp. cinnamon • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted For filling • 3/4 c. dark brown sugar • 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon For cake • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar • 1 tsp. salt • 2 tsp. vanilla • 3 eggs • 3/4 c. plain yogurt • 3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder • 1 1/4 c. milk Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a tube pan with removable bottom or a 9- by 13-inch cake pan. To make the streusel: Combine granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, wholewheat pastry flour, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and set aside. To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside. To make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, granulated and brown sugars, salt and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt and mix. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the batter mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Spoon half the batter (a scant 3 cups) into the prepared baking pan, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the filling, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake the cake until it’s a dark golden brown around the edges and springs back when pressed gently, about 50 to 60 minutes for the 9- by 13-inch pan, or 60 to 70 minutes for the tube pan. Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.


November 2012 41

food dining
t h a n k s g i v i n g o p t i o n s



Only not literally. These dishes are great alternatives for folks who aren’t in the mood for gobbling down tradition
re you one of those ning the annual T-Day throw-down about three minutes after the last people who start plan-

trick-or-treater has left the porch on

Halloween? Do you (cranberry) relish the thought of a pale-white bird going into the oven at the crack of dawn and emerging hours later, browned and succulent, to be torn into on Thanksgiving and then picked over for days afterwards? that imparts a festive yet homey feel and one that calls attention to nature’s bounty. Tabetha Franklin, owner of Main Dish Studio Kitchen, 6755 Phelan Blvd. in Beaumont, says you can’t go wrong with a family favorite that draws everyone to the table. In her house, gumbo is the go-to holiday fare. Same holds true for Mike and Terry Hamilton, owners of Catfish Kitchen, 3620 College St. in Beaumont. Interestingly though, neither Hamilton nor Franklin opted to pass along the family gumbo recipe for this article. Main Dish’s Franklin offered a decidedly less fussy take on turkey. (OK, we said no turkey, but Franklin’s turkey meatloaf is an option for those who want the taste of traditional without all the trouble.) Plus there is a decidedly non-traditional take on the classic green bean dish that is more exotic and flavorful with less fat and fewer calories. And there’s not a can of condensed soup or French-fried onion anywhere in sight!

Really? Great! Now move along. This is an article for the rest of the world — those who, believe it or not, couldn’t give a figgy pudding about turkey on Thanksgiving or any other day. Or those who don’t really hate ol’ Tom but who for one reason or another eschew the traditional fare on that third Thursday in November. Maybe they’re bored with it. Or just aren’t into the long prep and cleanup. Or maybe they’re just rebels without applause for the same-old same-old. To help out those folks, we coaxed a few special recipes out of some local chefs. The idea: Give us something festive and homey that reflects the spirit of the holiday without the hassle of a fullblown turkey feast. No matter what you serve on Thanksgiving, it’s important to choose a dish
42 November 2012 |

Tabetha Franklin, Main Dish Studio Kitchen

Just-LikeThanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf
Ingredients 1½ pounds lean ground turkey 1 cup herb stuffing mix ½ cup milk 1 egg 1 celery rib, chopped 1 small onion, chopped ¼ cup dried cranberries ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper

3-4 teaspoons minced fresh sage (divided) 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary (divided) ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce ½ cup ketchup In a large bowl, combine 1st 9 ingredients. Add half of the sage and half of the rosemary to the meat mixture (reserving the rest for the glaze). Combine to distribute herbs. Do not overwork meat. Pat into an ungreased loaf pan and bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. *While meatloaf is cooking, combine cranberry sauce, ketchup, remaining herbs and spread over the meat after 25 minutes have passed. Bake an additional 25 minutes (or until no longer pink or 165 degrees internal temperature).

Serves 6 (You can double this recipe and freeze the second loaf for another dinner or for use during the Christmas holidays)

Roasted Green Beans with Sundried Tomatoes
Serves 8-10 Ingredients 1½ pounds fresh or frozen green beans ½ cup julienned or chopped sundried tomatoes in oil 3 tablespoons butter, melted 3 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon pepper ¼ cup toasted pecans Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss together all ingredients. Place mixture on a baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, stirring twice.


November 2012 43

Grilled Catfish with Seafood Court-bouillion
The Hamiltons shared this catfish dish. It’s Catfish Kitchen’s version of a Cajun dish with a Texas twist. Serves 8-10 Ingredients 1 cup chopped onion ½ cup chopped bell pepper 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped okra ¼ cup butter 2 cups stewed tomatoes (16-ounce can) 1 cup ketchup 2 cups water ¼ teaspoon thyme ¼ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon basil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2 cups crawfish (optional) 2 cups small shrimp 8-10 catfish fillets Seafood seasoning 2 tablespoons oil 6 cups cooked rice In a large pot, sauté onion, bell pepper, celery and okra in butter 8 to 10 minutes on medium to high heat. Add stewed tomatoes, ketchup, water and all seasonings (except seafood seasoning). Bring to a slow boil, then add shrimp and crawfish, and boil for another five minutes. Turn heat down and simmer for 1 hour. While this is simmering, get a flat grill (or skillet) heating up and season your fish lightly on each side. When grill is heated up, oil the surface. Next lay your fish on grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until done. You could also do this part in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until done at 350 degrees. (Don’t forget to lightly oil your pan so your fish comes out nice.) When all is done, you will need a large platter with a lip on it if possible (a casserole dish or 9 x 12 pan would work). In the center, mound your rice up leaving 2 inches along the outside of the dish for the court-bouillion stock. Lay your fish crosswise along the rice; overlapping is ok. Spoon out along the 2-inch outer edge your court-bouillion, slightly covering the edges of the fish. (If you don’t have a large lip on your dish, leave liquid in a serving dish). Any leftover rice and court-bouillion can be put in serving dishes for those that like extra. Now, just add your favorite side dishes and desserts, and you have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. Terry Hamilton, Catfish Kitchen

VIP’s pumpkin pie
Ingredients 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired.

44 November 2012



fabulous finds
Retailers we love and their merchandise we love to have!



Backing the Cardinals Since the Early 1950’s Electric Gulf CoastCo., Inc.





November 2012 45

food dining
d r e s s & d i n e


Fall is upon us, so bring out the layers and boots. At Posh Baby Co., you’ll find much more than just baby delights — from children’s and women’s clothing and accessories, home accessories and custom room design. For a relaxed evening, a lightweight sweater works well outdoors or in, and the infinity scarf provides a pop of color. Gorgeous boots and statement jewelry raise any ensemble from ordinary to fabulous. A beautifully unique carpet bag works in any setting, especially in versatile fall tones.
From Posh Baby Co., 5955 Phelan Boulevard, Suite O, Beaumont: Knee high handmade Italian leather boots, $478; Dark olive sweater, $110; Striped infinity scarf, $70; Coral tank, $42; Oversized carpet bag, $360; Ginger super skinny jeans, $142; Silver bone stretch bracelets, $24 each; Crocheted Pyrite bracelet, $146; Sterling ring, $148; Pyrite rings, $36 each; Button earrings, $45

It’s the best time of year in Southeast Texas to enjoy the laid-back stone patio at Luke’s on Calder. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon or a night-out with friends, Luke’s is known for its fun atmosphere and outstanding hamburgers. You just can’t beat lounging by the fire pit with a cold beer in one hand while the sun sets on a chilly evening. The patio is dog-friendly, too.
Luke’s, 2325 Calder Ave., Beaumont, (409) 347-8139; Open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m..


text and styling by GRACE MATHIS photography by SCoTT ESlInGER model CHASSIdy CollInS of Beaumont clothing provided by poSH bAby Co. shot on location at lukE’S
46 November 2012 |

Turkey Trot
November 22
Start working off that Thanksgiving feast before it even starts! The 22nd annual Turkey Trot, which includes a 5K, 10K and Kid’s K, moves to downtown Beaumont this year and departs from the new Event Centre at 700 Crockett St. Registration closes at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 and the race starts at 8 a.m. on Nov. 22. www. SeaRimStriders.org

great dates in november
Harvest of Hope Gala
November 8

“Catch Me If You Can”
November 3
Tony-award-winning musical based on the fact-based movie about a con man who successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, 7:30 p.m., Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, 707 Main St., Orange. (409) 745-5535, (800) 8865535 or www.lutcher.org.

Don’t miss the Catholic Charities of SE Texas’ annual fundraising gala, which includes dinner and musical entertainment. 6 p.m. at the MCM Elegante Hotel, Beaumnot. This year’s event honors community leaders Shelley and Joe Tortorice. Individual tickets start at $125; tables of eight start at $1,000 per table. For reservations, call (409) 924-4427, (409) 924-4411 or email dmaher@catholiccharitiesbmt.org

A Very Merry Main Street Market
November 29 - December 2

Thank God for Texas Music Festival
November 23-24
Concert featuring George Jones, Hayes Carll and Folk Family Revival, 7 p.m. Nov. 23, and Jamey Johnson, Adam Hood and Damn Quails, 7 p.m. Nov. 24 at Nutty Jerry’s, 18291 Englin Road Winnie. Tickets $30 and up. (877) 643-7508 or www. nuttyjerrys.com.

Unique gift options for all of your holiday shopping. The holiday market featuring dozens of vendors and live entertainment. Presented by the Junior League of Beaumont. Open 5-9 p.m. Nov. 29; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Beaumont Civic Center, 701 Main St. (409) 832-0873. www. juniorleaguebeaumont.org

Do you have an event you would like to promote? Do it with VIP for FREE! Please send us details—dates, times, location, contact phone, web address and a brief description—to dconstantine@thevipmag.com. Information should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.

Event Submissions


November 2012 47

{ November }
November 1
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Ave. Bazaar 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m., supper 5-8 p.m. (409) 832-3405. TAN's 25th annual gala includes auctions, entertainment, dancing and fine dining. Beaumont Country Club, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $85 per person or $1,200 for premium table for eight. (409) 832-8338 ext. 225.

Half marathon, 10K and 2-Miler, 7:30 a.m., Logan Park on Pleasure Island, 520 Pleasure Island Blvd., Port Arthur. www. sportsocietyforamericanhealth.org.

St. Mark’s Chili Supper and Bazaar

November 6
United Methodist Women’s Fall Festival
10 a.m.-2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th St., Orange. Lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (409) 886-7466.

Annual benefit for the Garth House featuring fine dining and live and silent auctions, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Garth House, 1895 McFaddin Ave. Tickets $100 per person (409) 838-9084 or www.garthhouse.org.

November 29
Lamar Wind Ensemble and Concert Bands
7:30 p.m., Nederland High School Performing Arts Center, 2101 18th St., Nederland. Free. (409) 880-8144 or lamar.edu/music

November 16
“Clifford The Big Red Dog — Live!”
Emmy Award-nominated family musical, 7 p.m., Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Orange. Tickets $18. (409) 745-5535, (800) 886-5535 or www.lutcher.org.

November 29-30
A Very Merry Main street Market
Presented by the Junior League of Beaumont, 5-9 p.m. Nov. 29; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Beaumont Civic Center, 701 Main St. (409) 832-0873.

Paint the Town Silver

November 8
Lamar Jazz Band Concert
7:30 p.m., Julie Rogers Theatre, 765 Pearl St. Tickets $18 for adults, $12 for students. (409) 880-8144 or www. lamar.edu/music/ 5-8 p.m., Nickolina’s, 1257 W. Lucas, (409) 896-2543

November 16-17
An evening of dance featuring premier and repertory works from faculty, invited guest artists and adjudicated student choreography, 7:30 p.m., University Theatre at Lamar University. Tickets $15. (409) 8802250 or www.lamar.edu/theatredance.

Lamar Fall Dance Concert

Babes in Toyland
Presented by the Southeast Texas Ballet Company, 7 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the Julie Rogers Theatre, 765 Pearl St.

Southeast Texas Senior Celebration and Consumer Expo

Bingo, health screenings, style show, special presentations, refreshments, classic cars, door prizes and more. Beaumont Civic Center, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Holiday Open House

“The Midtown Men”
Featuring four stars from the original Broadway cast of “Jersey Boys,” 7:30 p.m., Lutcher Theater, 707 Main St., Orange. (409) 745-5535, (800) 8865535 or www.lutcher.org.

November 8-12
Grisley, comic play presented by Lamar Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and 12, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, and 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in the Studio Theatre at Lamar University, General admission $15. (409) 880-2250.

November 2
Unveiling of a new permanent exhibit for the blues musician and film composer, 7 p.m., Museum of the Gulf Coast, 700 Procter St., Port Arthur.

“A Behanding in Spokane”

November 17
9 a.m., Beaumont Country Club, 5355 Pine St. (409) 838-4397.

Becky Barksdale Induction Ceremony

Beaumont Civic Ballet Sugar Plum Breakfast

November 30
Lamar Senior Thesis Exhibition reception
Senior Thesis Exhibition, on view Nov. 26 through Dec. 12 at the Dishman Art Museum, Lamar University. The reception will be 7-9 p.m. Nov. 30. Free. (409) 880-8959 or www.lamar.edu/dishman.

Dinner for Life Gala

November 2-3
Lamar Opera Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Rothwell Recital Hall at Lamar University. (409) 880-8144.

November 10
Bark for Life
Join the American Cancer Society for its 3rd Annual Bark For Life, a special event for dogs & their human companions benefitting ACS patient services & programs. 9 a.m. to Noon, Tyrrell Park. (409) 782.2130

Includes a silent auction and music by the Symphony of Southeast Texas, 7-10 p.m., MCM Elegante Hotel. Tickets $75 per person. (409) 981-1888.

The Wallflowers

November 2-6
"The Red Velvet Cake War"
Silsbee Little Theatre, 140 North 6th St., Silsbee. (409) 385-5562.

Nutty Jerry’s, 18291 Englin Road, Winnie. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $35, $50, $70. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.

Cardinal Court: An Evening of Renaissance Revels
Featuring dinner, dancing, singing, swordplay, puppetry and other entertainment, 6 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Studio Theatre, Lamar University. General admission $15. (409) 880-2250.

Whimsical Christmas Character Breakfast

November 18
Lamar University’s A Cappella Choir joins the Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society, 3 p.m., Julie Rogers Theatre, 765 Pearl St. Free. (409) 880-8144 or lamar.edu/music

November 3
8 p.m., Lamar State College-Port Arthur Theatre Performing Arts Center, 1700 Procter St., Port Arthur. Tickets $20. (409) 982-7000 Presented by the India Association of Southeast Texas, 5:30 p.m., Beaumont Civic Center, 701 Main St. (409) 7247855 or (409) 291-9925. “A Taste of Italy” featuring Matt Detrick on violin and Whitney Bullock on viola, 7:30 p.m. at the Julie Rogers Theatre. (409) 892-2257 or to www.sost.org.

Becky Barksdale Induction Concert

Dine with all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters from “Whoville.” 9 to 11 a.m. at the Pompano Club, 330 Twin City Highway, Port Neches. Tickets $25, under 2 yrs are $15. (409) 724-6567 3 p.m., Provost Umphrey Stadium, 4400 South Mart Luther King Jr. Parkway. (409) 880-1715.

Brahms Requiem concert

The YWCA’s Inaugural Gala
The chief fundraising event to benefit YWCA Beaumont. 6:30 p.m., Event Centre, 700 Crockett. (409) 899-1011

Lamar Football vs. Nicholls State

India Fest 2012

November 22
Thanksgiving Day

Aaron Lewis
Nutty Jerry’s, 18291 Englin Road, Winnie. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $35, $45, $65. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.

Delbert McClinton/Los Loney Boys

November 25
“A Chorus Line”
Musical. 3 p.m., Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, 707 Main St., Orange. (409) 745-5535, (800) 8865535 or www.lutcher.org.

Symphony of Southeast Texas

Nutty Jerry’s, 18291 Englin Road, Winnie. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $25, $35, $45. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com. 7:30 p.m., Palace Theater, 305 East Main St., Kirbyville. (409) 423-3319.

“White Christmas”
The famous holiday musical about two song-and-dance men who save their former commanding general’s ski lodge from bankruptcy, Beaumont Community Players, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Dec. 7-8, and Dec. 13-15, Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 4155 Laurel St. (409) 833-4664 or www.beaumontcommunityplayers. com.

Texas Country Music Show

November 27
Lamar Civic Orchestra in concert
7:30 p.m., Lamar University Setzer Student Center Ballroom, 4400 South Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Free. (409) 880-8144 or lamar.edu/music

November 4
Daylight Savings Ends

November 15
“The Edge of the Woodland,” Pour Les Enfants

Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon
48 November 2012 |


vip magazine
c r o s s w o r d

1 4 7 8 9 10 12 14 17 18 19 21 23 24 25 Original “The Hills” star, ____ Conrad First word of an Angelina Jolie movie, “____ Raider” “Syriana” star, ____ Clooney “Moonstruck” actress Circumference ratio Movie director, M. ____ Shyaamalan Britney Spears daughter, ___ Lynn Talks, on the internet Comic character of Sacha Baron Cohen 21st century communication, for short She played a lead role in “The Hills”, ___ Partridge ABC’s rival ___ in, in poker Today in Espanol Famed pioneer aviator, Amelia _____

1 2 3 5 6 8 9 11 13 15 16 17 20 22 Hot MTV reality show “_____, The Real Orange County” (2 words) Flying saucer Eminem film, “____ Mile” “__ Baby Baby”--Ronstadt song “The Apprentice” producer, Mark _____ Tom Clancy intelligence group Night gear, for short ___ ___ Dolls One of the main lady characters in “Sex and the City” Lass Photographer’s request Former British Prime Minister, Tony ___ The first woman to be a Supreme Court judge, Sandra ___ O’Connor Dr. Seuss character

Find answers on page 4


2290 IH-10 S @ Washington Beaumont, TX 409-842-0686

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HAPPY H M o n d ay – FOrU R : 3 :0 0 – 7 :0 0 pi d ay .m .

M e x ic a n Fo o d
| November 2012 49



vip voices
g u e s t c o l u m n

here’s something you should know about me. I'm not what you’d call domestic. I don’t sew. I don’t paint. I can’t scrapbook or refurbish antique furniture. Heck, I can’t even operate a glue gun without sustaining severe burns to each and every one of my fingers. And, if you ask my daughter, she’ll quickly testify to the fact that I specialize in exactly two hairstyles – brushed and pony tail. So, you might be surprised to discover that, not only do I have a Pinterest account, but I refer to it daily for “inspiration.” In this context, “inspiration” is a euphemism for “distracting myself from the fact that I’m still wearing pajamas at three o’clock in the afternoon.” Like the rest of the world, I stumbled upon Pinterest innocently enough. And, perhaps like the rest of the world, I was hooked after just one hit of this virtual pinboard of everything beautiful. Despite my DIY-ineptitude, I found that Pinterest filled the hole in my soul once occupied by glossy teen magazines, carefully hoarded


If you Pin it, they will come
under my bed in middle school. Naturally, my preferred choice of nail polish will tell me everything I need to know about my personality. And, duh! Of course a few new makeup techniques will catapult me to the top of the social stratosphere! The only difference between these two entities is the fact that Pinterest is sorely lacking in attractive spreads of Jonathan Taylor Thomas. (Then again, I’m sure some nostalgic twenty-something has him pinned on their board.) In a nutshell, Pinterest takes all the lovely things in the world, and makes them appear accessible to the masses. Obviously I’ll need to know in advance what designer patio furniture will match the infinity pool at my new mansion. Much like a stiff drink, Pinterest inhibits rational thinking, making us pinners (as we’re affectionately called) just tipsy enough to make the late night drive to the nearest craft store for a fresh bottle of Mod Podge. With our Pinterest-goggles on, we fancy ourselves to believe we’re the love child of MacGyver and Martha Stewart, capable of transforming everyday objects into glorious masterpieces. Why should I pay a contractor to renovate my kitchen when I can do it myself for $50 and some tacky glue? Much like the manipulative web of a midnight infomercial, Pinterest has made me a fervent believer in products I can’t afford and skills I don’t have. I’m only rudely awakened from my blissful love affair, when I actually attempt to recreate something I’ve pinned. The list of disappointing projects is long and varied, with each humiliation greater than the next. To spare you the trouble, I can attest to the fact that you really can’t throw anything into a crockpot and make a delicious, edible meal that your children will love. It’s nearly impossible to fishtail braid your own hair. (Thanks for nothing, Lauren Conrad!) And, under no circumstances should you ever endeavor to make your own self-tanner. That is, unless you plan on auditioning for the role of an Oompa Loompa any time soon. (By the way, I’ve since figured out that the white gloves they wear are really just meant to hide a serious case of orange palms.) And yet, despite all my many failures, I just can’t quit you, Pinterest! Because the truth is that, so long as I can feel accomplished and creative after doing nothing more than sitting at my computer, I’ll persist in the dream of one day being an expert domestic diva. VIP

text by Holli Petersen

50 November 2012



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