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Thursday
Apr172014

Eclectica Kiddo

If you live in Atlanta, you may have stepped inside Seed Factory, one of the loveliest and inspirational kid shops you'll find. And if you look along the walls, you'll notice some artwork that is hard not to fall madly in love with. All the pieces are commissioned and curated by Atlanta based company, Eclectica Kiddo. 

Laura Liatis and Emily Mann have combined their talents to provide the most scrumptious children's decor. Laura, "We are always looking for artists with a unique take on children's art." She added, "We want the imagery to be appealing to both children and design-minded parents: to be on trend without being trendy and cute without being cutesy." I believe that is exactly what they have accomplished. 

Ekaterina Trukhan, an artist originally from Russia who now resides in London, has built her career on children's artwok. Her cheery, playful images are just the sweetest, don't you think? 

Laura and Emily find artists that they want to work with, then challenge them with the task to create images just for children. Many of their artists (except Ekaterina) have never created artwork specifically for children before so together they guide the artist through the process. Kelsey Garrity Riley spent her childhood in Europe but relocated to the US to study at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. As shared on the site, "Her beautiful watercolor images have a vintage feel with a unique contemporary twist." 

Teagan White has my heart as her work displays her deep affection for the natural world. Laura and Emily loved these images and decided to display them on birch panels, which is a lovely complement to the style and intention of Teagan's work. 

Atlanta based artist, Justine Rubin incorporated her love of collage and poppy colors to create this adorable series of animals for Eclectica Kiddo. This is Justine's first collection of published children's artwork. 

These days, I'm loving vivid color in design which is why I'm head over heels for the work of Abbey Rhodes. As stated on the site, "Abbey's work shows his appreciation for folk art and simplicity in design and pattern." Mr. Cat or Mr. Dog are available in bright blue, green, orange or yellow. 

Laura, "I absolutely love watching the imagery evolve from a conversation with our artist to a sketch, to a inked drawing, to a final image." While Laura, (seated to the right of Emily) brings a long career on the business side of art and art production to help run the operational side, Emily, an artist herself, is integral in the creative and collaboration process. Together, with a strong love for the arts, they make a perfect match. I loved that they saw a niche in the market and filled it with something sweet and cheery- and beautifully designed! Bravo...

 

Photos: Eclectica Kiddo site     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Apr162014

mb art studios

I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning as I went to bed at 2am and back up at the crack of dawn to start another day on set. But- I did luckily have some pics saved of some really pretty ceramics that I'd love to share from mb art studios today.  

Mary Burrows is from Austin, Texas and followed her creative passion after too many years inside an office cubicle. Mary, "What woke me up was having a child who didn't fit into the average 'box,' he helped open up my eyes to a whole new world." 

Today, she has let creativity take the lead in her life and passionately crafts all manner of dinnerware and items for the home. Mary, "My grandfather's parents were from Sweden and I seem to gravitate towards modern, Scandinavian design. I love patterns, black and white, color, wood, textiles and imperfection." 

I'm head over heels for this ocean blue and white porcelain plate. Mary, "Black underglaze is swirled onto each piece and reacts in the kiln with our own recipe of a clear, shiny glaze. The result is a deep blue and has a bit of mystery to it." 

It's funny, this plate is so needed on the TV set I'm working on right now. The crazy cast are acting, as expected, off their rocker. Oh lord, too many tales to tell. For now, I'll let this be my mantra for getting through the end of the show. I'm almost there... See all of Mary's truly gorgeous creations, here. 

 

Photos: mb art studios     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Clair Hartmann

I've been out of town a few weeks now on a job and I must admit, I miss my pups. These beautiful paintings of dogs by Clair Hartmann caught my eye today and I can't help but want to share...

Clair grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and is now based in Wilmington, North Carolina. She started painting regularly in 2008 after learning about a project started by painter, Duane Keiser. His idea was to produce one painting every day which would improve his artistic skills (not to mention his bank account). Inspired by all the dogs she saw at the local Farmer's Market where she worked each weekend- many of which were rescues with some incredible stories- she decided to paint their portraits. She loved the fact that each dog (and painting) had a story to tell. 

Besides painting all that inspires her each day, Clair is available for custom portraiture as well. This Great Dane is kind of amazing, don't you think? 

See Claire's current collection of paintings, which includes abstracts, landscapes and much more, here. 

 

Photos: Clair Hartmann site     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Apr142014

Maritime Supply 


I've worked on a lot of boats during my tv career and I have to say, I'm never that big a fan. I love the water but I hate rocking back and forth far from shore, feeling sick and wondering when I'm going to get off. But- that's me. I have a bunch of guy friends that love to spend time at sea, which is why I'll be emailing them this blog post today. Ian Nigh of Greenville, South Carolina started making anchor bracelets bent out of 6 gauge copper wire and slowly evolved his line into finished pieces like this Flemish (or figure eight) loop. Ian, "Knots like these are invaluable to workers on wharfs throughout the world as they dock ships for loading and unloading cargo."

These buoy bracelets are pretty ingenious. Ian, "Buoys have many uses in maritime culture. From warning signals of rocky perils to markers aiding fishermen in their daily trips." Each buoy is hand painted and distressed with the twisted cotton rope turned in a small American mill. These are also pre-shrunk. (I love these!) 

The Captain's Link bracelet quickly caught my eye. Ian, "In boating, this knot is known as the 'Duncan Loop' and is used to join almost anything to a line while retaining almost the full breaking strength of the line." The highest quality bolo is used to create this Dreadnought bracelet, which I love too. 

With such quality, original work, Ian's shop, Maritime Supply Co. is growing an impressive following. Ian, "A lot of the brand inspiration comes from and was created by Greenville local, Zach Landrum. He designed our Maritime Anchors and the Maritime Supply Co logo." 

This is quite the handsome bracelet for any boat guy. The Maritime Anchor is hand crafted and is one size fits all. The anchor comes in a silver or copper casting which is paired with an antique brown hand-treated leather cord.

 

Ian's Maritime Anchor Necklace is his best seller. As with all his products, his intention is to represent the rustic, old soul of America. It's a beauty...see the entirety of Ian's very manly maritime wares, here. And funny enough, I'm about to go work on a boat today. If only I had a stylish buoy bracelet to make it more fun... 

 

Photos: Maritime Supply site      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Apr112014

Waxing Kara

When I saw these honey lollipops dipped in dark chocolate, all I wanted to do was order a case of them. These tasty treats are the brainchild of Kara Brook who started beekeeping as a way to make beeswax for her encaustic paintings. (encaustic paint is made with beeswax, damar resin and pigment) Soon, however, she stumbled upon something quite unexpected. Kara, "In the process, I made the serendipitous discovery that honey is a much more precious gift from bees than wax." 

Kara now creates a bevy of natural products from her bees at Chesterhaven Beach Farm along Maryland's Eastern Shore. A true artist at heart, she finds deep satisfaction in keeping her bees happy and healthy. As we all know, without bees, we as a civilization cannot sustain our own agriculture. Kara, "It is my hope that you feel the expansive energy of life in the bees, sun and the waves instilling within Waxing Kara products." Above, are her wildly popular Honey and Lavender Pops.

Her honey looks and sounds divine. This year's Spring honey has notes of apple, pear, black locust, lavender, tulip poplar, wild blueberry and blackberry, clover, tupelo and wildflowers. The black locust tree is native to eastern North America and this past year it was in full bloom, filling the air with a sweet scent. This made for a bold and fragrant honey that goes beautifully with greek yogurt or bold cheeses. 

Kara loves the Orange Blossom honey mixed with butter on hot cornbread. It also pairs well as a syrup for pancakes or combined with a dark chocolate dessert. The Field of Wildflower honey is an excellent daily honey with a mild floral flavor and a strong, earthy finish. 

As honey is so good for the skin, Kara has also created a Honey Body Scrub and Body Butter. The Scrub is used for exfoliation to reduce signs of aging and brighten the skin texture while the Butter provides lavender scented moisture for up to 24 hours. So much goodness...learn more about her line of face and body products, here

Kara appears as busy as her bees as she also offers six different honey soap options- some with lavender or citrus blends, others with oatmeal or clove and cinnamon. 

I loved learning about Kara and her bees and especially how her love for painting has helped her recognize a new passion for honey and beekeeping. She's helping the planet, fulfilling a real passion and we all reap the benefits. It's safe to say I will be a loyal customer. First things first, I'm ordering some Honey Pops...  

 

Photos: Waxing Kara      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Apr102014

Cassilhaus

Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus have combined their talents, passions (and their name) to create their dream home, Cassilhaus. Situated in the woods between Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this modern home is also an artist retreat and residency. 

Ellen and Frank have a singular mission, "to provide a creative, comfortable, tranquil and visually stimulating environment for artists to get inspired and recharged to make new work." As artists spend their time recharging their creative minds at Cassilhaus, it is encouraged that they offer at least one service to the community during their stay- such as a class, workshop, performance, open studio or a reading. 

Cassilhaus was built to be a home/residency/studio. Ellen and Frank spent three years designing the home, paying close attention on how best to display art by creating diverse architectural spaces, variable ceiling heights, flexible lighting and an overall relaxed, inspirational space. This needed to be a home that worked well for themselves as well as the artists who come from around the world to visit. 

Cassilhaus is made up of two living pods. One pod is a multi level 3000 square foot main house and the other is a 1000 square foot, self contained guest house meant for month-long artist residencies. A long bridge structure joins the pods, which has a photo gallery and master suite. 



The outdoor spaces, which include multiple decks, a screened in porch and two terraces, are just as impressive. The whole home is set amongst the treetops and offers its residents semi-privacy to complete privacy. Learn more about Cassilhaus (and check out more pics), here. 

 

Photos: JWest Productions; Cassillhaus     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Apr092014

Kitchens to Inspire...

When I was remodeling my kitchen late last year, I relied entirely on home decor blogs for inspiration. I thought I'd pull some pics out of the folder I created to share some ideas for your own kitchens. And as we all know, it doesn't have to be a full remodel to make a change for the better... 

I love the idea of horizontal boards as a backdrop...as well as traditional subway tile. And I have to say, I'm a fan of open shelving in a kitchen, it just feels more interesting as you can style it like a bookshelf and show a bit of personality. 

It's nice when you can have a white backdrop and then just play with color using all manner of accessories (including the kitchen counter). So many good ideas out there- I hope you create your own desktop folder of kitchen pics you like. In time, you'll be inspired to paint a wall, change a light, put up a bookshelf...like I said, small changes make a big impact. 

 

Photos: My Paradissi; atticmag.com; casasugar.com; kitchenbuilding.com; iidudu.com; refresheddesigns.blogspot.com; john-lewis.co.uk; Door Sixteen; themarionhousebook.com; kitchenisms.com; remodelista.com; thekitchn.com; trinckt.blogspot.com      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Apr082014

A Little Weather

I have a strong memory of my grandmother knitting afghans throughout my childhood. It was something that she loved to do and she did it well. A hand made blanket is infused with so much time and passion, it tells a story unto itself. Lucky for us, Jessica Green, a textile artist from Marshall, North Carolina, is continuing the tradition of our grandmothers and their grandmothers...

As her process is 100% done by hand, Jessica is devoutly true to her craft. She utilizes traditional weave structures and patterns that were common to colonial weaving of 19th century America and Europe. 

Jessica, "I am deeply inspired by the history of 'women's work' and women's place in weaving as well as the way women have carried this history along, lifting it up each time it's almost forgotten. I draw upon those women every day." 

Jessica shears her goats twice a year, which she then mixes with the sheep fleece sourced from neighborhood farms. Jessica, "The mixed fleeces are dyed with natural dyes (sometimes left undyed, and sometimes dyed with a combination of natural dye and a low acid protein dye) and finally I spin the fleece into yarn." It takes Jessica 3-4 months to spin enough yarn for just one blanket. Then the weaving begins...

Jessica researches online and keeps a few historical weaving books closeby for inspiration. Once a creative direction is decided upon, she starts to draft her motif. Jessica, "From the beginning the design starts to feel a little more mine- as human error creeps in. Once I have the gist of the mathematics of the design, then I'm free to riff, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot."

This gorgeous coverlet is part of Jessica's hand spun collection, as all the wool used is from a local sheep and her own goats. Jessica, "I washed and carded the fleece myself and spun it into the beautiful yarn that is the foundation for this blanket." 

I love the world that Jessica has created for herself. She raises her animals, forages for natural dyes, shears her goats and sheep, then spins and weaves her yarn into magnificent pieces to treasure and share. Jessica, "I find deep satisfaction on carrying on an ancient art form that links nearly every culture that has ever existed."

Jessica grew up in Texas but recently moved to North Carolina and feels quite at peace in her new surroundings. Jessica, "I am completely enamored by Appalachia. It is distinct and historic and fiercly guards its culture. It's lawless and wild and storytelling is deeply embedded in everday life." And because of artisans like Jessica, the rich and varied stories imbedded in this ancient art form continue to be told. 

 

Photos: A Little Weather   Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Apr072014

Drink the Sunshine


If you're like me right now, you could use a Monday jolt. Sunshine, an energy drink made in Winston-Salem North Carolina gives you a good wake up call without all the jitters. Each Sunshine can is filled with electrolytes, vitamin B12, natural flavors and is sweetened with natural stevia and ginger root extract. It's meant to hydrate and awaken our senses the natural way. I like that... 

Sunshine is inspired by legendary moonshiner, Buck O'Hairen. Born on a farm near Boonville, North Carolina in 1837, Buck became famous for his strong and tasty libations. A paranoid, ornary fellow, Buck did things his own way and by 1872 he was producing over 60 gallons of moonshine a day- an incredible feat for the time. As the legend goes, after a series of misfortunes and many a hangover, Buck then concocted Sunshine, his antedote to moonshine. 

Keith Vest and Joe Parrish concoted the current Sunshine recipe in homage to Buck and in response to the Red Bull craze which, truth be told, isn't the healthiest. They found their niche and I'm eager to try it. Click here to find your own bit of sunshine and let the week begin...

 

Friday
Apr042014

White Whale

Two southerners, Dave Staples and Corey Mason of Durham, North Carolina started their company, White Whale with one mission in mind- "To create a unique line of cocktail mixers using only exotic juices and garden fresh herbs." I'm in...

They want to "conjure prohibition-era sophistication without any of the pretension." All you need to do is pick a mixer and add the recommended spirit. Finish off with a complementary garnish and you're enjoying a cocktail with history, depth and a really nice kick in the pants. It's Friday after all...

Their mixer descriptions are making me want a cocktail right now- and it's just 8 in the morning as I write this. Your Older Brother adds hints of lemon, Siberian fir, sweet orange to an ounce of vodka. The Filthy Liar offers hints of lychee, lime and clove to be mixed with gin while Auntie's Old Fashioned blends exotic youngberries with an infusion of rosemary to be combined with a couple of ounces of my favorite spirit, bourbon. I'm salivating. 

I always love finding new well designed and intentioned products that make the perfect, unexpected gift. I can think of so many who would love a three pack of White Whale's speak-easy inspired goodness. Each bottle makes eight delicious cocktails for your next Friday afternoon happy hour. Learn more about where to buy White Whale, here and enjoy your weekend everyone...

 

Photos: Mike Gilger, White Whale    Content: Sweet Peach