Kristen Ashley Artist Shop

When Rinne Allen and Kristen Bach took me around Athens earlier this year to scout possible Sweet Spots, one of my favorites was a new business that had recently opened called, The Kristen Ashley Artist Shop. 

For any lover of a blank page and a tin of markers, you'll understand this instant love affair I had the moment I stepped inside. The space is bright and colorful with lots of spots to peruse and shop or even take a seat and work on your own creative project. 

They've begun a series of art exhibitions in the space and this one is called Artists for Animals. Local artists have donated their animal inspired art and people can buy the originals or prints, with all proceeds going to animal related charities. This exhibit is on display until August 8th. How sweet is that? 

Located downtown on the top floor of what used to be an apartment, the shop is a compilation of open, inviting rooms used for selling art, supplies or as a workshop and rental space. I got a little distracted by all this pretty ribbon. To be expected...

One of my favorite offerings at this shop, that I would use all the time if I lived in Athens, is the Photo Room rental. You know how hard it is to make a pure white background for your product? I shoot as close as I can and then always fix the picture in photoshop. At Kristen's spot, she has graciously set up a photo box with the white walls, lights, umbrellas and tripod already in place. Best part- it's only $10 an hour. 

You'll notice some signature lettering when you walk inside the shop. These items are made by hand by Kristen herself. Her sweet notebooks, cards and collections of stationery make a great gift for a friend or yourself. They are all sweetly made and colorful and just make you happy... If you're heading to Athens soon, be sure to peek in and take a gander. All the details, here.

 

Images and Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Romina Bacci

A nature girl at heart, I have a soft spot for the work of Romina Bacci of McKinney, Texas. A photographer and graphic artist, Romina combines her many talents into the prettiest collection of botanical art. In her Etsy shop, you'll find a plethora of well designed cards, prints and accessories, all inspired by mother nature...

Her botanical photographs are impressive. A few years ago, I blogged about some of her early pieces. Born in Argentina, Romina created this series of photographs to document her own visual diary of life in both North and South America. Her work continues to impress...


I'm a sucker for a good calendar and Romina has many good ones to choose from- either individual monthly cards or one complete yearly art print.

As Romina is multi talented, her shop is multi faceted, including an enchanting driftwood mobile and hand dyed, hand stamped cotton scarves too. She's an artist to watch and admire... Click here to see her shop, Miles of Light, in its entirety. 

 

Images: Romina Bacci      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Blackbird Letterpress

I love people who play for a living- who build things and design things and color things. It's just all too much fun...

Full time play artist, Kathryn Hunter started her stationery business, Blackbird Letterpress in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2003. She found an avid following and grew her shop in size and popularity. Now based in Baton Rouge, Kathryn continues to attract fanfare with products like this adorable Bear Hug card. As shared on her site, "Her little arms are ready to fill with a note, some cash, a sweet photo or a flower." 

Her animal diecut cards are really just the best. My friend Laura in Hermosa Beach would be a perfect recipient for one of these...just hard to pick a favorite. 

Kathryn grew up in Decatur, Alabama and I particularly like her mini notebooks that pay homage to some southern cities. As a tv producer, I love functional, stylish notebooks like these that fit perfectly in my back pocket. Kathryn's Alabama notebook has a little bonus too- a necklace in the shape of her home state. 

As if being adorable was not enough, these handmade notebooks (and all the printed materials at Blackbird) are made with recycled and tree-free materials, soy based solvents and low VOC inks. 

I'm so impressed by Kathryn's work and so happy that she found a job where she gets to play. We all can benefit. Plus, it makes me want to get out some paper and build something from scratch, like a treehouse or a goat...or maybe my future beach house. Keep up with all the fun happenings over at Blackbird Letterpress, here. 

 

Photos: Blackbird Letterpress      Content: Sweet Peach


Page Stationery

I'm not the biggest fan of working in an office 24/7, which I've been doing as of late. So, when my friend Bob asked me to take him man shopping around Atlanta on Saturday, I was eager to get in a car and drive...go explore the city a bit and be anywhere but in an office. On our way to Tweeds, we checked out The Merchant, a well curated home goods shop on the West Side of town. There's a lot to love about this new shop, including some manly stationery that caught my eye...

Page Stationery is based in Richmond, Virginia. They offer a mix of invitations, gift cards, boxed notes, letterpress and such, but I'm privy to their custom men's line.

This line perfectly encapsulates the many facets of a southern gentleman. They have almost two dozen options of modern, sophisticated note cards that are a mix of charming, preppy, refined and bold. I really think every guy needs his own custom set of note cards, don't you? 

Recently, The Art of Manliness (a fantastic manly blog you need to bookmark), collaborated with Page Stationery to create a line of letterpress correspondence cards. These cards are classic and timeless with just enough space for a quick, heartfelt note. And we all know, a hand written note goes a long way in this day and age. Because of its rarity, it's impactful, remembered. 

I like how this line speaks to the southern gentleman, both visually and symbolically. Check out the Page Stationery shop to see all their beautifully designed offerings for not just men- but kids and women too, here. 

 

Photos: Page Stationery      Content: Sweet Peach


More lovely things...via Wit and Whistle

Wit & Whistle is one of my favorite shops to check in on from time to time. Each item is beautifully made and then, with equal parts thoughtfulness and care, beautifully photographed and presented.  

Amanda Wright, from Cary, North Carolina, continues to expand her wares to include stationery and home goods. All of her paper products are printed locally on recycled paper and her line of creative, quirky stamps have a simple design that is both modern and playful. 

All of Amanda's popular wood-mounted rubber stamps are laser engraved from her original designs and are each packaged inside a drawstring muslin bag.  

I am a bit of a notebook fanatic as I tend to have a lot of ideas that should be written down- otherwise, they're quickly lost into oblivion. A pretty notebook, as seen here, is the perfect accessory (much like a pen in my hand) to help me focus and organize all those things floating around in my head and start to make sense of it...

Amanda also sells her original artwork. This is a mixed media painting, using gouache and ink, of her heart-leaf philodendron plant. She's such a talented one...and so fun to check in on. See the entirety of the Wit & Whistle shop, here. 

 

Photos: Wit & Whistle      Content: Sweet Peach


Scarlet & Gold

This notebook caught my eye this week as it is exactly how I'm feeling as of late. I'm putting together a rather big project for Sweet Peach that will be revealed in the next week or two and I have a few people around me that are giving me so much of their time and passion. They believe in the project as much as I, and for that I feel incredibly grateful. 

Finding this notebook led me to this sweet little shop today. Megan Smalley and Leslie Allen of Auburn, Alabama have combined their talents and vision to create an online print shop that offers stationery, art and a bit of home decor. 

They describe their work as 'tasteful simplicity' and that's exactly what I like about it. I always search for note cards that have that characteristic but they are sadly few and far between. A plain Thank You on a white card shared in a pretty way is all I need.  

I admit I smiled wide when I saw their placemats. It was unexpected. I immediately thought of when I was a kid as I would of loved to have these placemats to write down my mom's menu each night, along with all of our names in different colors and fonts. I'm the youngest of four and I can't even tell you how many days and nights I would do arts and crafts and dream up plays, commercials and fake newscasts. I particularly loved creating presentations for things... and still do now. I suppose it's good to not (quite) grow up. 

There is much more to Scarlet & Gold then I've shared here so please check out their site to peruse a bit more. It's simple, sweet and tasteful. And for that, I am grateful.

 

Photos: Scarlet & Gold site     Content: Sweet Peach


First Day of Spring, 2014

If you've been following Sweet Peach you know I've been waiting for the first day of spring since the first day of winter. I abhor the cold and am overjoyed at the return of light, of sun, of warmth, of flowers here in the South. 

For the past few weeks, I've also been waiting for the right post to show up for today. It always seems to do so organically- and it did this time too. Last week, I discovered Brown Parcel Press' instagram account and it was there I saw these lovely pics of spring flowers taken with an iPhone. 

When I saw that picture taker, Megan Fowler, was a letterpress printer and an illustrator from Sparta, Georgia, I knew I had my post. I just didn't realize until today what a gem she is.

Megan lives in the small rural town of Sparta along with her husband and child. Her mother, Gaelle lives closeby too and the two together run their letterpress studio out of a 1920's general store... on a farm. It's just as charming as it gets. 

Check out their shop, here, where you'll find pretty letterpress cards and calendars. Megan has truly learned to love the arrival of spring as is signifies renewal- on the farm and for herself. Megan, "This is the time of year where I do a lot of my drawing and planning that in turn sets the tone for the rest of the printing year." 

I'm still enamored by her pretty pics and am grateful that I found her on Instagram. Megan, "I've been inspired by floral designers for a while and have collaborated with a few (like Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua for a calendar last year), but this year I wanted to see if I could articulate some of my own floral ideas. Some of the flowers I source from my favorite small floral shops, but I try to use as many flowers from around the farm as possible." I think sometime this year, I need to make a road trip to Sparta...

In the meantime, we can get a steady dose of their southern charm, here. (click on the video link to learn more) 

 

Photos: Megan Fowler, Brown Parcel Press     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Rob Wilson

Over the winter holiday, you may remember a Texas artist I featured named Rob Wilson. His incredible images are graphic and bold with a dose of good humor and forever memorable. He's one of my favorite artists and the best part is, his library of goods just keeps getting better and better...

The Shop at Renee Rhyner & Co., based in Dallas, Texas, carries many of Rob's illustrations that are in large, fine art canvas form. He also offers his original images in notecards which run the gamut from wedding and birthday to pets, love, babies, Texas icons and 'fun.' 

Rob's work is instantly recognizable and as far as I can tell, instantly likeable. He's got a knack for great design that draws you in and leaves you lingering for a moment or two- It makes me wonder what his home looks like?? 

For more about Rob, check out his site here, or find his large format prints at the Renee Rhyner shop here. Happy weekend...

 

Illustrations: Rob Wilson        Content: Sweet Peach

 

Native Bear

Just this past week I discovered Leela Robinson online. She handcrafts stamps, totes, tea towels and stationery with style, right here in Atlanta. 

Leela, "All of my images start with a little inspiration, a little coffee and a hand drawn sketch." Her stamps include custom addresses, pretty images, popular messages (like 'thank you') and customized save the dates, which I really love...

Check out the entirety of Leela's ever growing Etsy shop, Native Bear, here. Funtional art? More please...

 

Photos: Native Bear      Content: Sweet Peach


Belle and Union

The other day, I was visiting the Westside area of Atlanta and walked into Simply Put, Ashley Woodman's lovely stationery and gift shop. This berry basket full of pretty tea towels caught my eye and when I saw that the contents were handmade in Savannah, Georgia, well I knew I had to learn more... 

After receiving a Graphic Arts degree at SCAD and acquiring freelance gigs creating custom stationery, Meg Sutton decided to just dive in and start her own business. She named it Belle and Union

I'm sorry but I think I've fallen madly in love with this Darlin' tea towel (with clementines). I'd say it's pretty perfect for a southern kitchen... 

Meg's style is all her own as she combines her talent for illustration with her incredible hand lettering skills. Along with the tea towels, Meg also creates greeting cards, boxed notes, jotters & gift wrap. 

Hands down, my favorite is You Butter My Biscuit. Such a fun collection... peruse the entirety of Meg's shop here or buy her greeting cards directly here.

 

 Photos: Belle and Union;       Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Pixel Impress

Sometimes you like to keep your favorite shops a secret. You want to covet them all your own so no one else will know about them. But where does that really get you at the end of the day? I'm happy (although I admit a bit slow) to share one of my favorite artists, Pamela Sherry. For a few years now, she's made my stylish calling cards that are mini conversations pieces all their own. 

In her shop, Pixel Impress, you'll find notecards, gift tags, invites, calendars and calling cards- all with great color and design choices. 

My favorite are her calling cards. I use the chevron style, seen here on the left, for my personal business card and had all my info placed along the bottom third. I love the design just as much as I love the perfectly square shape- which still fits great in a wallet by the way. 

When my mom mentioned that she wanted some notecards for her birthday, I knew to go to Pamela's shop. I bought her these cards with a dragonfly design in this pretty and bright yellow. Beautifully made with quality, sturdy paper...and she loves them. 

I loved my work calling cards so much, I had Pamela custom make some cards for Sweet Peach. Vanessa (who created my site) designed them and Pamela printed them with ease- and at a great price. Check out her shop to purchase your own unique cards. But shhhh...let's not tell too many people. 

 

Photos: Pixel Impress, Sweet Peach     Content: Sweet Peach


Wit & Whistle goodness...

One of my favorite stationery shops is Wit & Whistle, which I've featured before on Sweet Peach. Every time I check out Amanda Wright's shop, I see new things to admire...and share. I especially like her venturing into the world of pretty tea towels.

Her 30" x 30" flour sack tea towels are silk screened with her own hand drawn designs. And the best part is the towels get softer and more absorbent with use. 

New to her shop are these lovely pillow covers. Amanda designs them and her mom sews each and every one. I love that. 

Amanda's talents truly shine in her stationery line. Her Snail Mail notecards are beautifully designed and as sweet as pie...


Amanda offers over 50 cards and over a dozen jotter notebooks. It's the kind of shop where you'll want to buy a bunch of items and then use them as needed throughout the year. 

And seeing how Easter is less than a couple weeks away, I thought this holiday card was apropos. And so cute. 

 

Photos: Wit & Whistle     Content: Sweet Peach


Silas Tom Paper Goods

I received an email recently from a graphic artist in Texas. If I had interest, he wanted to share his new holiday cards with Sweet Peach. After seeing Scarf Face, above, and his incredible, modern style...well, I was quickly a fan and devout admirer. His name is Rob Wilson. 

In the business for 22 years, working with clients such as AT&T, American Airlines and Nokia, Rob is an established and well respected designer. He started creating these drawings in his spare time and after much fanfare, decided to share them with the rest of us. 

As Rob shares, "Each of the illustrations are infused with my sense of humor, experiences from my travels and my own sense of design." This graphically pleasing and endearing card is named Present Tense.

Rob has a few Hanukkah selections as well. It's amazing how a great artist can instantly set a mood and bring us into their world. I can connect with the emotions of the scene...the comforts of home and the holiday season ring clear. 


This series, with the added gold color, is inspired from Rob's travels to Germany. Rob, "For several years, I traveled to Germany and Austria a few weeks prior to Christmas. I enjoyed the bitterly cold weather, the hot gluhwein and a great sense of cheer as I wandered through the many Christmas markets." 

What I like most about Rob's cards is how the more you stare, the more you see. My mind fills with mini scenes and storylines. Rob offers boxed sets of all his holiday thoughts just in time for the holidays. I suggest you check them out- along with his line of cards for birthdays, weddings and such. He's a gem, which makes me all the more grateful that he found Sweet Peach... 

 

Checking in with Wit & Whistle...

One of my favorite stationery shops in the South is Wit & Whistle. Amanda Wright from North Carolina creates and crafts amazing paper goods that you immediately want to covet all your own. She recently ventured into stamps, which, as a lover of a good impression, I truly appreciate. 

I may just need this hello stamp in my life. Trouble is which one? They're both so amazingly cute and perfect...

Now this may be my favorite. The ant stamp.

I can see kids and adults having a lot of fun with this one. The single ant is just as cute as the parading line of curious ants up your paper, to your envelope... And looks great on a gift tag. 

Amanda has created some charming stamps that work well for all sorts of stationery needs. I like that if you buy more than one, the stamps all have a cohesive look...

Amanda's jotters are what first caught my attention, and she keeps adding to the collection. These three would be nice to add to your laptop bag, your purse, place on your kitchen counter, atop your desk. Pretty and practical...that's a good combo. 

 

Photos: Wit and Whistle     Content: Sweet Peach


Three Trees Bindery

Journals are a weakness of mine. I have way too many scattered about the house and if I stumble upon a new one in a store that catches my eye with a great feel and design, I often just buy it. Binding books is a passion of artist, Michelle Skiba of Charlotte, North Carolina. As she states, "For me, the making of a blank book is only the beginning of the creative process. I am one thread in the fabric that will continue to unfold as the books fall into the hands and lives of others." 

One of my favorite features is the visible stitching. This book, with wood covers antiqued in shades of black and cream, can be custom made for your wedding or special event. Michelle will personalize the book with names and a date, hand stamped on a silver, brass or copper plate. Thread colors and end sheets can also be customized with the colors you desire. 

Her wood covers are really special as they are made from cuts of black walnut, cherry, mahogany... sturdy and full of character and natural detail. These are journals to last a lifetime. 

Check out Michelle's Etsy shop, Three Trees Bindery when you get a chance to see all of her lovely handwork. Thank Michelle... 

 

Photos: Three Trees Bindery     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Arboreal Paper

Dana Nappi of the fabulous shop, Peter Nappi in Nashville recently told me to check out the work of her friend, Erin Pfister. Erin designs and produces environmentally friendly paper through her shop, Arboreal Paper. Dana shared, "Erin helps run our studio in Nashville and is an expert in all things beautiful." I'd have to agree...

Erin designs and creates stationery, wrapping paper, gift tags and custom invites. She is committed to sustainability. Printing is done with soy based inks, while the papers and packaging are all 100% recycled material. 

Erin is endlessly inspired by travel as is evident in her variety of gorgeous designs based on recent visits to Italy. As she explains, "The design inspiration for Arboreal comes from traveling and experiencing another culture. The architectural elements found roaming the streets of another country...the textures, patterns and colors found in local markets...the inspiring landscapes to be found abroad."

Her next collection to be released at the National Stationery Show in NYC next month is entitled Recoleta and was inspired by travels to Argentina. (sneak peak above) Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities, I can't wait to see all her new creations...

A true artist at heart, Erin is always finding and refining design ideas wherever she goes. As she shared, "I adore design. I find inspiration from everyday things like color, textures, fonts and clean, crisp details." 

I especially like her beautifully designed custom work as seen in the above photos. Add the fact that her work is environmentally friendly, it's hard not to be anything but a huge fan. 

Thank you for sharing your stunning work with Sweet Peach Erin. We look forward to seeing where you travel to next...

See all of Erin's lovely designs at arborealpaper.com or visit her Etsy shop, here.  

 

 Photos: Arboreal Paper, Harwell Photography, Kate Murphy Photography, Mandy Johnson Photography   Content: Sweet Peach


The Handcrafted Journal

I'm a paper geek. One of my favorite places to be is in an art supply store or the supply cabinet at an office. I love all the possibilities of paper, patterns, texture and color. So when I saw these incredible handcrafted journals on Etsy recently, I wanted to order one of everything. 


Kristi Baker of Winchester, Virginia is the master creator of these keepsake journals. She finds her supplies from art stores and approaches her craft with thoughtfulness and care. As she shared, "I hate waste and try to create a use for everything." I love the detail of the small envelope she includes on the inside of each cover. The binding is a little art piece in itself...

You can just tell these journals are a labor of love. Kristi has three kids and tends to work in the wee hours of the morning- painting, marking, drilling, sanding, gluing and sewing. All by hand, step by patient step.  

These little leather journals are fun too... Kristi makes them out of recycled leather that she finds here and there. They're perfect for quick thoughts on the go. All of her work keeps the creative mind at play and adds a stylish, original touch to any desk. If only all office cabinets had journals like these inside. But then again, I'd hoard them all for myself...

 

Photos: Kristi Baker    Content: Sweet Peach


Bumblebee Press

Julie Franklin has a pioneer spirit. The moment she picked up her first letterpress card in the early 90's, she was hooked. As she shared with me in a recent interview,  "It was so special- the words and images danced off the page. And the paper was thick and yummy." She had found her calling.

The only thing was Julie was a bit ahead of her time. When she bought her first letterpress machine in 1995, people in her city of Atlanta didn't understand the appeal. Through various trade shows and hard work, she amassed a steady client base from California and New York. As she shared, "I had high school textbooks from the 20's and I taught myself." Now, over 17 years later, letterpress has gained a strong following nationwide. Most of her clients are now locally based and loving all the pretty and smart designs she has to offer. 

Julie's company, Bumblebee Press is currently located in the Inman Park section of Atlanta. She specializes in custom letterpress for stationery, invitations, weddings, events and branding. The texture and visual appeal of a letterpress card is undeniable- and it's the perfect creative touch to add to your special occasion. 

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Julie relishes the chance to collaborate with designers to create custom looks, but also designs on her own. No matter the project, her favorite part is delving into ideas or styles that are novel and a little challenging. 

Julie's studio is an incredible space. Once a grocery store from the 1920's, much of the original brick is exposed and the space is bright and welcoming. She currently has four automatic letterpress machines, the earliest dating back to the 1930's. 

If you live in or around Atlanta, stop by and say hey to Julie. With retail offerings in the front of the studio, her door is always open and her smile never far away. She's a Southern girl through and through, with a heart of gold and a true passion and care for her craft. Thanks for sharing Julie! 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach and Bumblebee Press    Content: Sweet Peach