09/01/11 12:53pm

Or Thomas Kinkade parody toilet paper, to be more precise. After her “Parody of Light” exhibition earlier this year at Diverseworks, Houston artist Patricia Hernandez has taken the next step: selling her signature Thomas Kinkade-plus-freaky-clown prints and clownish collectibles online. Featured item: “The most expensive toilet paper you’ll ever buy,” featuring repeated prints of a Thomas Kinkade original landscape, retouched by the master artist herself to include a squatting clown — presumably going about its business (see detail in also-available color print version, above). Price: just $15 per roll.


01/27/11 11:52am

Will the rumored reality TV show featuring Leslie Tyler Fink ever reach the airwaves? Or are these listing pics the best view you’ll ever get of the house the “lifestyle expert” and her husband (pictured at left) own in a gated subdivision just west of Uptown Park, and which the U.S. Attorney’s office has identified as “property involved in, or traceable to, money laundering”? Leslie and Randy Fink bought the the 4,096-sq.-ft. home at 5 Wynden Oaks Dr. 2 years ago for $740,000 in cash, but the entire amount (plus an additional $8,980 to cover closing costs) was wired in for the closing courtesy of Leslie’s pal Jonathan Barnes — as a gift, the Chronicle‘s Tom Fowler reported last week. How generous! Sadly, Barnes — who worked as a marine chartering manager at Houston Refining (now part of LyondellBasell), was indicted late last year along with two oil traders for his involvement in a multi-million-dollar kickback scheme. According to the Feds, Barnes’s thoughtful house gift came from funds “traceable to . . . unlawful activity,” and the ill-gotten property, which is named as the plaintiff in a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office, is therefore subject to forfeiture if Barnes is convicted. Isn”t this exactly the kind of stuff great reality TV shows are built from?

“Drama right?! . . . This is going to be one of the episodes for the show,” the apparently unflappable Fink — who identifies herself as “princess of the modern Houstonian socialites” on one of her websites — declared last week in an email she sent to CultureMap’s Shelby Hodge. Can’t wait to see footage of the parties!


12/02/10 11:50am

SETTING UP A NEW PUBLIC PARK THING AT THE FORMER TEAS NURSERY Bellaire’s city council approved an agreement earlier this week that makes the future of the 5-acre property that used to be Teas Nursery a little more clear: It’ll be some sort of public space, but the exact details will be worked out by a new conservancy, with input from the public. A foundation controlled by two Bellaire brothers bought the property at 4400 Bellaire Blvd. late last year — after the nursery’s owners announced plans to sell it off piece by piece to homebuilders. The Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation now plans to deed the land to the city. Under the agreement, half of the conservancy’s members will be appointed by the city, and half by the foundation. [Previously on Swamplot]