a proper english cowgirl.

some of you may remember this post…where we attempt to tell you all about the prairie by rachel ashwell. although it’s actually quite futile. it’s something you must experience on your own. it’s more than lovely and peaceful (which believe me, it is infinitely BOTH). it does something to your entire being as you enter the property. you RELAX. you EXHALE. and you feel so … just so at PEACE.

and now…we are so excited and honored and busting at the seams about rachel’s newest book, rachel ashwell couture prairie and fleamarket treasures.

it’s all about the prairie. and texas. and how beautifully rachel’s style blends into the texas horizon. how it just seems to belong here. here in texas…

where our english cowgirl feels at home herself.

y’all prepare yourself. prepare yourself for one heckuva awesome book. it’s seriously one that you’ll want to sit down and embrace. you’ll want to give it your full attention…no distractions. you’ll want to leave it on your coffee table as part of the decor in your room.


and guess who made her own page in the book?! that’s right. large marge herself. in living color. i guess that makes her an official landmark, right?

rachel and her team accomplished what i thought was un-accomplishable (yep, it’s a word). they artfully & beautifully captured the prairie…they TAKE you there. i swear i could almost smell the english tea brewing as i was reading.

this book is evidence why conde naste placed it on their HOT list. right here in little ole round top. our english cowgirl’s boots found a texas home.

read here for more about rachel and our friendship…and the journey that led her here…

and click here for more on the prairie.

and most importantly….y’all mark your calendars! rachel will be at the JG world HQ this thursday, october 3rd for a book signing! 1pm-3pm!

we’ll have books on hand! or you can snag one HERE!!!! come 1! come all!

**and get ready for JUNK-O-RaMA prom that night at the gypsy tent at ZaPP hALL featuring the JOhN EvANS BAND!!! yeee-hawwww!!!!**

**and be sure to read april pizana’s (aka photographer extraordinaire) blog about our SToRE!!!



September 30, 2013   5 Comments

hello LA.

we’re back on southern soil. back from our little rendezvous on the west coast…

here’s a bit about our travels…as captured from my iphone…

{just landed at LAX}

 first things first. a visit to rachel ashwell’s original store on montana street…

{a little piece of fluffy heaven at rachel ashwell shabby chic couture}


{heaven, is that you? feathered chandelier at rachel’s store}

we had a wild & rowdy shabby chic/junk gypsy slumber party at rachel ashwell’s famous house…and i had not ONE, but TWO proper cups of english-style tea!

and then it was time to get to work for HGTV! look out world, junk is comin to town!

{we felt so officially tv-ish with the presence of the clapper thing!}

they even built a ‘junk store’ set for us! and yes, you do see a crock pot on a pedestal. HGTV did that just for us. :) classssssy.

{because junk is a girls best friend}

on set with the property brothers

{jonathon & drew scott. aka: the property brothers (and yes, drew is holding an orange burlesque-style feather fan..look out girls!)}

…who are currently shooting in austin and therefore, ended up beside us on the plane ride home.
we felt it our responsibility to ‘texas-ify’ these canadian boys on the plane ride…and never fear y’all,
they now know all about the proper place to put a cowboy hat when you walk in a room,
the importance of really great tex-mex & the absolute necessity of adding avocados & jalapenos to EVERY meal,
and exactly how to inject the word “y’all” into almost every sentence.
just kidding…we skipped the texas 101 but we did make fast friends and had great shop talk all the way to austin.
in the end, we had a great trip to LA…we ate falafel,
drank coffee out of cups with no handles (read here), 
& power-walked with rachel (yes, amie thought she was dyinggggg..almost had to call 911).
and then it was time to head back home…

{texas, here we come}

our first sign we were back in texas…

{friendly cowboys. GoD bless TeXAS}

and back in gypsyville…

{hello, home}

annnnnd….the BIG, awesome news on the homefront…
the WALLS are going up on the future first-EvER junk gypsy store!!!

{progress!! corrugated tin salvaged from a texas harbor}

we are sooooo seriously excited about our store…JuNK gypsy finally has a HOME.
we hope to be open late spring 2012 but we’ll keep ya posted as we know more.
after over 10 years, our little company is puttin down roots…
but don’t worry y’all, we were born 2 roam and another roadtrip is just around the corner!

January 10, 2012   28 Comments

antiques week. the low-down.

A QUiCK 411 on all the latest, greatest and HOTTEST news about this ANTIQUES WEEK!!!

OFFICIAL WaRRENTON/ROUND top ANtiQUES WEEK dates for the ZAPP HALL SHOW: FRiDAY, sept 23 (the JG tent opens around noon) – SATURDAY oct 1.

JUNK-O-RaMA PRoM: ThURSDAY, sept 29 at twilight at the gypsy TENT!!! an ABSOLUTE MUST-do! FLuFF yer VinTAGE prom dress and spit-shine those CoWGiRL boots! read HERE for the scoop on JuNK-O-RaMA prom as told by FaNCY of CACTUS CREEK DAiLY!

{JuNK-O-rAMA prom spring 2011. image: keely marie scott}

and CLiCK here to read our ProM BLoG from a few years ago!

WHAT you should KNOW about this SHOW:

  • we’re plum over capacity at our storage facility so we’re gonna have to part with the awesome JUnKY goods we used in MirANDA LAmBERT & BLaKE SHELTON’s wedding this past may… from chandeliers to antlers, from rugs to mason jars…it’ll all be in our tent!


  • HoT NEWS FLASH!!… HGTV (yes, that’s right. H!G!T!V!!!) will be coming to THIS ANTIQUES WEEK! & gueSS where their TENT will be? heck yeah! RIGHT beside our tent at ZaPP HaLL! come see ‘em & get some freeeee swag! and if you really wanna keep up with the action, follow ‘em on twitter!


  • BLoGGERS!!! don’t miss the ever-growing BLOG parTY hosted by theresa CaNO of GarDEN ANTQS VINtAGE! SunDAY, sept 25 @ 6pm!


  • don’t forget to make yer reservations NOW to eat at the oh-so-famous ROYERS caFE!! THeY start taking reservations for dinner THIS THUrsDAY @ 2pm! CALL 979.249.3611! and THEY invented a NEW pie and named it after us! the NEWWWWWW JuNkBERRY pie…GOOD GaWSH, it’ll make ya wanna slap yo mama! get a slice. hell, get a whole pie. you’ll thank me later! AND be sure to stop by the brand spankin new ROYERS PIE HAVEN at HEnKEL square in downtown RouND ToP! opening by next WEDNeSDAY! coffees, pies, muffins, scones, french toast casserole, homemade granola, and MORE! Deeee-LISH!


  • Be SURE to make a trip out to RaCHEL ASHWeLL’s THE PrAiRie in ROunD ToP! the GRAND opening PaRTY of her NEW rachel ashwell shabby chic couture store is SepTEMBER 27 at 6pm…RaCHEL will be signing her new book!


  • Don’T miss LiVE muSiC & RoyERS ROUnD ToP CAFE food at ZaPP haLL every night! it’s a TeXAS-sized good time under the stars!


MUCHO IMPORTANTE WiLDFiRE UpDATE! the wildfires HAVE NOT affected antiques WEEK!!! come one, come ALL!

BUT please, please, PLEASE remember there is a STATE-wide BURN ban..this includes no cigarette butts thrown out of windows, no campfires, no smores, no running your car on the side of the road or in a pasture. y’all please help us help TEXAS!!!

To get ya reallllly in the mood for AnTIQUES WEEK and the thrill of the hunt…read here!

good grub and great juNK!

{i'm so jonesin' for 1 of these babies! homemade pimento cheese w/523 types of cheeses on homemade bread!}

it’s the beST good time this side o’ the MiSSiSSiPPi!!

September 13, 2011   30 Comments

the PRaiRIE by RaCHeL AShWeLL…welcome to town.

rachel ashwell. the world-famous rachel ashwell. the trailblazin’, pioneering, globetrottin’ rachel ashwell. creator of shabby chic, shabby chic couture, and simply shabby chic for target stores. author of multiple design books, lover of all things chippy & tattered. rachel ashwell has embarked on yet another unpredictable adventure…

{signature rachel ashwell mushy sofas sit invitingly under the soft glow of fleamarket chandeliers}

the prairie by rachel ashwell…in round top, texas. that’s right y’all…in round top, texas. read on for the full scoop…

we believe, although rachel is english and london is her home, that rachel is a true-blue texan at heart. she fell in love with texas the first time she came to the warrenton antiques show (read amie’s post here for more on that trip) …she’s religiously come twice a year. we’ve always thought she seems so at home in texas……her scuffed up, well-worn cowboy boots mosey through the fleamarket as she carefully selects the perfect items for her lovely stores across the world.

{rachel's boots...in our tent last fall}

she has always stayed at the outpost…a bed and breakfast created by lenore and danny…who renovated and restored barely-standing structures to create what the outpost is today. so, when lenore decided it was time to hang up her hostess hat and move on to a new chapter in her life, rachel decided it was the perfect next chapter for her, her family, and her business. she purchased the property to create a destination for lovers of all things shabby chic.

and, after many gallons of white paint, lots of mushy furniture that begs you to plop down, and tons of crystal-embellished, mis-matched chandeliers…the transformation has begun.

{here, fabrics are strewn across a chippy-peely farm table...each one labeled with dimensions for curtains, seat covers, etc...}


{and here, signature rachel ashwell fabrics await their shabby destination}

{vintage prom dresses flank the newly painted parlor}

 we joined the rachel camp for a dinner party the other night…it was peaceful. and beautiful. and made us all hugely grateful for the road ahead…

{simple and perfect}

{those roasted sweet taters are soooo callin' my name right about now:)}

{rachel helping prepare the chicken...delish!}

and here we all are with prairie pearl…the un-official prairie mascot and fetcher of sticks.

{mom, amie, rachel, prairie pearl, and me}

here’s to you, rachel! here’s to round top! here’s to junk! and friends! and here’s to the road ahead and the glittery dust billowing behind our trucks!

oh, and by the way…we received some really exciting news today about shabby and junk gypsy!

we’re both listed as ToP 10 design & decorating blogs! we’re soooo excited! CLiCK HERE for RaCHEL’s BLOG!

much love & tacos from us to you!!!!!


March 17, 2011   14 Comments

CoME to LonDON. KettLE on for tea.

“come to london. kettle on for tea.” said the text that came into my phone at 4:46 am.

a dear friend had just touched down in London on a jet plane straight from LA. it was 4:46 am here in America, 10:46 am in London. this is one of the things i dearly love. texts. texts from friends in far-flung corners of the world…even in the hours before dawn. 

it is a simple little gift. a text. even at 4:46 am.

i happened to be awake.

{photo credit - http://www.flickr.com/photos/good_day/}

so as I drifted back to sleep, i envisioned her gracefully stepping off the plane in a pair of beat-up cowboy boots. fog heavy in the air. steam wafting up from iron grates on the tarmac. gently throwing an old cashmere sweater over her shoulders and brushing her dirty blonde hair back from her freshly Californian tanned face and smiling as she felt the feeling of home wash over her.

 and then i envisioned her getting in a big black taxi, the old-fashioned kind of course, and watching as all the sights of London passed by the window. her gentle grey eyes blinking back jet lag as she anxiously awaited settling into her wonderful English flat.

and then I envisioned the creamy white walls of her flat and the worn-out wood floors as her old cowboy boots shuffled across them , the twinkling of the tiny antique French chandeliers that i know must hang from the tall ceilings and the well-worn, soft pink slip cover that surely swallows up a big down-filled sofa. the hand-written quotes on tiny scraps of paper that peek out from old oil paintings, the photos of her children, and mementos from across the world.

i see all the details of a much-loved home.

all the details of a life well-lived.

all the fineries of a purposeful existence.

 i see the beautifully tattered little details that could only be the mark of one person. . . of one of my icons, of one of my dearest friends, of one of  the most selfless people I’ve ever been privileged enough to know . . .

meet Rachel.

Rachel Ashwell.

{RaCHEL...surrounded by peace and beauty}

my love affair with Shabby Chic and hence Rachel Ashwell began many years ago when I first began my journey into junkdom back in 1998. when i first began hopscotching across the country seeking out all that is tattered and worn and junky and funky. and i will never forget the first time i saw Rachel. it was on the cover of her second book, RACHEL ASHWELL’S SHABBY CHIC, TREASURE HUNTING & DECORATING GUIDE.


i saw this person sitting atop an old table in old jeans and older cowgirl boots and well . . . I fell in love! i snatched up the book and read it from cover to cover! i wagged it around from fleamarket to fleamarket as if it were a bible, alongside wrinkled road maps and scribbled-in journals. it was as if Rachel herself was my co-pilot.

a few years later, JuNK GypSY was no longer a dashboard dream of mine, it had become reality. and on my bookshelf sat every book Rachel Ashwell had ever written. still years later, she was an icon to me.

{RaCHEL in the early days...the thrill of the hunt}

 and then one day, in Warrenton, Texas while selling all things junky at the fleamarket  in walked none other than Rachel Ashwell herself. as she said, in her deliciously decadent British accent, “would this happen to be Junk Gypsy?” i looked up from my job of folding t-shirts, as if in slow motion, and said “yes, it is.”

“hello, I am Rachel Ashwell, my friend Mary Emmerling said I should look you up. Would you happen to have dinner plans?”

so that night us three Junk Gypsies, 3 little junk dealers from Texas, dined with junk royalty, with the QuEEN of all things shabby, the world famous, Rachel Ashwell.

{accessorizing before RaCHEL's first JuNK-O-RaMA prom}

then our tremendous friendship ensued. years of texting about anything and everything, phone calls about business, about life, about love, about love lost. about children. about parents. about deaths. everything else falling away except the friendship between two women who set out in search of wonderful junk . . . and ended up finding wonderful lives

{a dinner party at RaCHEL's MaLibu home...heavenly}

and we learned her back story. dropping out of high school. leaving London as a teenager. coming to America. getting married. Having two children. getting divorced. and with a small loan, and two babies, starting something that was a dream, Shabby Chic. building it to a multi-million dollar empire out of nothing but sheer determination, brilliant creativity, and a good heart. a golden heart.


{we love this pic...it's just soooo....rachel. we snagged it off her blog...which you MUsT READ!}

in her exact words, “I never had any formal training in anything, life has been my school.” and for that, all of us can be thankful. Shabby Chic is neither manipulated nor planned, it is organic. it is real. it is built out of Rachel’s ongoing love for the prettiness of imperfection.

Maybe that’s why she loves us, she believes in the “prettiness of imperfection.” :)

and in spite of being copied over and over again, the real thing, Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Couture, continues to survive. and thrive.

you can shop her  Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores  in Santa Monica, SoHo, or London. or you can shop for Simply Shabby Chic at Target.

her 6th book, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Interiors: my rooms, treasures, and trinkets, tells the story of a huge transformation in Rachel’s personal and professional life over the past two years. it was written at a crossroads in her life. purchase one HERE (they will also be available in our tent at warrenton)

and now,we three junk dealers from Texas are honored to host her FIRST TEXAS BOOK SIGNING at our JuNK GypSY tent in Warrenton, Texas at the Zapp Hall Show. Come join us 11-3pm on September 30, 2010 for a wonderful question and answer TeXAS sit-down with our favorite London cowgirl, Rachel Ashwell.

{her new book...Rachel Ashwell ShABBY CHIC Interiors}

 Godspeed Shabby Chic.

XOXO, the junk gypsies (sisters in all things shabby, tattered, and torn)

ps – the most recent text I received from Rachel “need good home for my grand white sofa from Malibu house. handing it down to the Junk Gypsies. if you want it. hope you don’t mind – Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and myself have all slept on it.”

will someone please pinch me?

September 16, 2010   19 Comments