Among the inspiring people I met/places I visited: The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft where artist-in-residence Rachelle Vasquez graciously invited me into her studio full of crocheted animals.
Also bought a decadent ring made from plastic by Leslie Shershow and saw the show, "Interstitial Spaces: Julia Barello and Beverly Penn" - a collaborative exhibition of large-scale installations made from dyed X-ray and MRI film (Barello) and plants cast in bronze (Penn). I chatted briefly with curatorial assistant Ashley Powell, who said, "The line between fine art and craft is being blurred with both functional and non-functional works made from traditional craft media. We leave it wide open and show a bit of everything."
I wish you could have all come with me to Hello-Lucky, which is an undeniably cool shop owned by artist Teresa O'Connor, where everything for sale is handmade by Texas artists and crafters (they accept online orders, btw). Oh, and my favorite by far (best for last) was Space Montrose, which sells work by all independent artists and crafters. Couldn't get enough.
If you haven't been to Houston, y'all, go there. If you have been there and somehow missed out on all of this, go again. Lastly, if you want to see more random shots from my trip to Texas, visit my Flickr page (because I seriously could not put my camera down). UPDATE 8/1: Forbes has rated Houston as America's Coolest City (Baltimore made the list too)! Also, check out this recent Design Lover's Guide to Houston on Apartment Therapy.
Image of rings from Leslie Shershow's online shop - buy one today!