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Nov 15

10 Unique DIY Christmas Gifts, Crafts Ideas

Instead of gifting store-bought items this year, give your friends and family something they’ll actually use and enjoy. Handmade, DIY Christmas gifts not only last longer, but they’re more meaningful and so much more fun to give away than store-bought gifts. You don’t have to be crafty or even creative to make these gifts; just think outside the box. (By that I mean, don’t limit yourself to Christmas-themed gifts like holiday decor, seasonal sweets etc.) To get you started, we’ve gathered 10 creative and useful DIY Christmas gifts you’ll be proud to give this holiday.

Six-pack Wooden Beer Carrier with Bottle Opener

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Photo courtesy of The New Hobbyist

Difficulty: For the woodworkers and handier men and women, this project will be a breeze
Give to: The beer lover or home brewer

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Posted at 10:30 am | Permalink
Nov 7

Top 5 Looks From the 2014 CMA Awards Red Carpet

Sure, the CMA Awards are all about the music, but last night the red carpet looks were mesmerizing. Sheer, simple and sparkly dresses ruled the red carpet, as did understated makeup and accessories. From sophisticated, all-black gowns to silky, shimmery frocks, there’s no doubt the ladies of country music brought their A-game last night. (Nicole Kidman and Connie Britton being honorable exceptions.) Take a look at our top five picks from the 2014 CMA Awards Red Carpet!

More Red Carpet Fashion! >>

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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Posted at 9:11 am | Permalink
Nov 3

The Junk Gypsies Pick Their Top 10 Favorite Spots in Austin, Texas

junk-gypsies-favorite-places-austinAustin, Texas, is weird. Or at least that’s what the locals will tell you. The city is a unique combination of offbeat hipster types, tech-savvy wunderkinds and good ol’ Southerners. Home to the iconic televised music program Austin City Limits and the film, tech and music festival South by Southwest, Austin is certainly no stranger to emerging talent.

The burgeoning food scene is quickly finding its place amidst established foodie cities like Portland, Ore., New York City and Charleston, S.C. Independent, local boutiques, art galleries and antique stores line South Congress and North Lamar streets. Hip hotels like the Kimber Modern and Hotel Saint Cecilia make overnight trips feel more luxurious.

Bottom line: Austin is no longer just a dusty, western town. With a thriving arts and food scene, plus plenty of grassy terrain and shops to explore, Austin is the hub of culture in the Southwest. But don’t just take our word for it. We asked the true Texas experts, and the stars of Great American Country’s Junk GypsiesAmie and Jolie Sikes, to reveal their top 10 favorite spots in Austin (in no particular order).

See when to watch the Junk Gypsies>>

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Posted at 9:09 am | Permalink
Oct 12

Texas Antique Weekend, Y’all!

Texas Antique Week

(L-R) Jen Leitman with Blogger Ellen Foord and Supervising Producer Jen Moore

The Great American Country team headed to Texas Antique Weekend, which was held October 1-6. If you’ve never been to this incredibly large, awesome flea market-type event…it is well worth it! Go. Really. You’ll want to make plans for 2015 now.

Here’s the deal: Twice a year the huge empty fields around Round Top, Texas, welcome thousands of vendors with the most amazing finds ever. From jewelry and furniture to funky clothing and giant metal letters, there is so much to look through, it will make your head spin.

My DH (darling husband) would love it, as he’s the picker-type guy, but the event also makes for a perfect girls’ trip. If you go, you MUST stop in to see Great American Country stars, the Junk Gypsies. Their World Headquarters are located in Round Top, and you can shop for T-shirts, jewelry, home décor, you name it. The ladies are often around the store, which is a great celebrity sighting! They’re so nice and friendly!

Junk Gypsy Amie Sikes at Texas Antique Weekend

Amie Sikes, one of the stars of Great American Country’s Junk Gypsies, meets a fan at Texas Antique Weekend.

Peek Inside the Junk Gypsy Store »

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Posted at 9:00 am | Permalink
Sep 13

How to Go Camping in Style

It’s not officially fall yet, but with our new series Flippin’ RVs premiering this month, and pumpkin-flavored everything hitting grocery store shelves and coffee shops, we can’t help but get excited about all things fall. Cooler temperatures and crisp autumn air make the upcoming season perfect for camping and getting outdoors.

But what about those who aren’t so keen on the outdoors, especially at night? Well, if trekking into the wilderness or driving to a remote state park sounds daunting, consider your own backyard (or a friend’s or family member’s) as an alternative. It’s a good way to ease into camping, and you always have the option of sleeping in a real bed and taking a real, hot shower.

If you’re a fashionista, however, dressing for a camping trip (either in your backyard or at a campground) may prove challenging. Outdoor gear is less than flattering and definitely not cute. Let us offer you some inspiration. Below we’ve styled two different camping looks for the fashion-minded ladies. Just know that a lingering campfire smell on your clothes is inevitable.

outfits-for-camping

Created on Polyvore

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Posted at 6:00 am | Permalink
Sep 4

5 Timeless Looks from the CMA Awards

In honor of the recently announced 2014 CMA nominations, let’s take a look back at some of the most timeless red carpet looks from years past. As we’ve said before, red carpet fashion is one of the best parts about award season. From Shania Twain’s early 2000s black mermaid gown to Jana Kramer’s moody skirt in 2014, check out our favorite country ladies on the red carpet.

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Taylor Swift’s elegant gray tulle gown is anything but simple. Although it’s only been three years since she donned this look, we have a feeling it will still be a stunner in another 13 years.

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Posted at 1:50 pm | Permalink
Jul 31

The Junk Gypsies Collaborate With Pottery Barn Teen

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This bed set has all the Junk Gypsy style elements.

If you thought the Junk Gypsies would slow down after opening the Wander Inn, you would be wrong. In fact, Amie and Jolie Sikes have been working harder than ever on their newest project, creating a home decor line for PBTeen. In tonight’s episode, the sisters take you through the entire process from creating prototypes to staging their designs for the catalog photo shoot.

Amie and Jolie decide to create a tufted denim headboard and repurpose an old guitar case as a jewelry shelf. They share other ideas, like a ship chandelier and glittered letters, with the Pottery Barn Teen reps, who visit the Junk Gypsy Headquarters to see the girls’ prototypes. Amie and Jolie emphasize the importance of glitter, feathers, dream catchers and fringe to the Junk Gypsy way of life. Finally, after three months of waiting, the Pottery Barn Teen team brings the finished products back to the Junk Gypsy Headquarters for the catalog shoot.

Share Your Comments Below for a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to
Pottery Barn Teen!

You could score one of five $50 gift certificates to Pottery Barn Teen to purchase something from the Junk Gypsy line. Just comment on this blog post which of the following items (pictured below) is your favorite, and you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate.
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Posted at 4:30 am | Permalink
Jul 30

Meet Emi Sunshine

meet-emi-sunshine

Photo courtesy of Emi Sunshine/Hamilton Music.

Emi Sunshine isn’t your average 10-year-old.

She is not only a singing sensation, she’s an old soul. As she sips her decaf iced mocha latte and politely leaves her bedazzled iPhone sitting on the table, it’s difficult to picture her playing in a sandbox or having a pillow fight. Her demeanor is cool and collected, not to mention mature beyond her years.

While other kids her age are getting ready for their first day of school, Emi is preparing for her Grand Ole Opry debut, slated for August 5.

The Madisonville, Tenn. native grew up listening to classic Bluegrass and country singers. Emi defines her music as “Americana Gospel,” taking influences from Ricky Skaggs, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller.

Her mom, Alisha Hamilton, introduced Emi to music at a mere four years old. They wrote simple songs together, then advanced to songs she could play on her ukelele or mandolin. Eventually, her dad, Randall Hamilton, and brother, Johnathon Letner, helped out teaching her chords and leads, respectively.

Besides her impressive vocals and “sunny” personality, Emi rocks a unique style all her own. She buys almost all of her clothes at thrift stores or flea markets and owns more cowboy boots than she can count. Vintage hats are wardrobe staples, as are bandanas and jeweled headbands. She shared photos of some of her favorite outfits with us.

Pictures of Emi Sunshine>>

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Posted at 2:09 pm | Permalink
Jun 30

Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen’s Songs Headed for Off-Broadway

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen are headed to the off-Broadway stage – at least their music is. Their chart-topping songs will be featured in a new musical, Somewhere With You, which debuts July 8 at the Pershing Square Signature Center in the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre. Songwriter JT Harding, who co-wrote some of Kenny and Jake’s biggest hits, wrote the musical along with director Peter Zinn.

Somewhere With You is described as a “compellingly gritty, coming-of-age love story [that] centers around a new generation of Southerners growing up in the early 2000s, confronted by the methamphetamine epidemic, the war in Iraq, and other post-9/11 challenges in the rural South,” according to the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

JT Harding wrote the song the musical was named after, “Somewhere With You,” which Kenny Chesney took to No. 1 in 2011. He also penned Jake Owen’s “Alone With You” as well as Uncle Kracker’s “Smile.” The musical will run through July 13.

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Posted at 6:32 pm | Permalink
May 23

Fan Fair X Announces Full Schedule of CMA Music Festival Events

X will mark the best daytime spot in Nashville during CMA Music FestivalJune 5-8 at AT&T U-verse’s Fan Fair X located at the new Music City Center. Fan Fair X will be open all four days of CMA Music Festival with doors opening at 9:00a each day. A full schedule of music, meet-and-greets and more is planned.

LeAnn Rimes will kick things off on Thursday, June 5, at the Artist of the Day. She will cut the ribbon, officially opening Fan Fair X. Following the ribbon cutting, she will perform and answer fan questions on the CMA Close Up Stage before heading over to sign autographs at CMA Central, CMA’s autograph hub in the heart of Fan Fair X.

CMA Close Up Stage

Each morning during the Festival, a different Artist of the Day will take to the CMA Close Up Stage to kick off the day’s events. Opening day features LeAnn Rimes discussing her new VH1 TV show that will be shown in the CMA Screening Room. Friday’s Artist of the Day will be Sara Evans, who will be joined by longtime video director Peter Zavadil to discuss her career and share an insider look at her video highlights. Craig Morgan will be Artist of the Day on Saturday, and Sunday’s Artist of the Day will be Lady Antebellum.

Kix Brooks will also make an appearance at CMA Close Up Stage. He will host his American Country Countdown radio program from Fan Fair X on Saturday, June 7 at 11:15a CT, where he will be joined by special guests. He will also donate a package from his Arrington Vineyards winery as part of the Keep the Music Playing Silent Auction in Fan Fair X, benefiting music education.

At noon on Thursday, June 5, Billy Ray Cyrus will preview his upcoming film, Like A Country Song, in the CMA Screening Room. Afterward, he and other cast members will head to the CMA Close Up Stage for a question and answer session. He will sign autographs on Saturday, June 7.   Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:39 pm | Permalink