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Tuesday
Nov192013

Abby Kasonik

When I first set my eyes on this painting, I was transfixed by its beauty and complexity and wanted to know more about the artist. Her name is Abby Kasonik and she's from Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Abby creates the most beautiful paintings that have a calm, dreamlike quality. As she is drawn to water, her images are dominated by clouds, weather and landscapes that demand your attention, then lure you into a meditative state if you're not careful. 

To achieve such layered, contemplative pieces, Abby builds her surfaces by alternating layers of acrylic paint and a glaze of clear pigment. Between layers, she adds water much like an eraser to form clouds, trees, mountains and landscapes. For the final step, she sprays water in a pattern of even lines that run down the canvas. She then seals it with a glaze coat. 

Her work is so good, I want to know more about her- the inspiration, the process for each and every piece. Perhaps someday...for now, I'm stuck staring into the endless expanse of space in each painting, feeling much admiration and respect. If you're sucked in like me, click here to see which of Abby's pieces are currently available. 

 

Photos: Southern Living     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Nov182013

Loyal Stricklin

If I had the patience and skill of a retailer, I would love to open a men's general store. And in it, I would carry classic, functional, manly items - or everything offered from the Alabama company, Loyal Stricklin. One of my favorite products is this Aviator Mug, handcrafted with Horween leather and a nice addition to any cup of joe.

Michael Stricklin is the man behind this fabulous shop. A college student in Auburn studying architecture, he somehow finds the time to craft high quality goods for the modern man. I'm a big fan of his leather moleskin cover for a journal or sketchbook that fits perfectly in any back pocket or man bag. Durable, functional, stylish- the ideal guy gift. 

It's obvious that Michael's talent runs deep as his handcrafted wares vary widely from watch straps and wallets to bracelets, key chains, belts and journals. As I'm unlikely to ever open a men's general store myself, I find my peace in perusing his ever growing, made in the USA shop. (and his Instagram account is pretty great too) It's all just so good...

 

Photos: Loyal Stricklin      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Nov152013

Sweet Peach Workshop @ West Elm Atlanta 

I'm thrilled to announce a truly special workshop at West Elm Atlanta next Friday, November 22 from 6p-8p. As part of West Elm's Sweet Peach Picks event, Laura Iarocci from Faith Flowers will be offering a workshop on Creative Tablescapes for the Holidays. The $50 fee will include supplies and some incredible, creative ideas for your holiday tables that won't break the bank. Plus you'll make your own arrangement to take home in a beautiful mercury glass vase from West Elm.

As an award winning Floral Designer, Laura is incredibly talented. She has studied extensively with leading designers around the world and even leads workshops in Belgium, Holland and France each year. Just last Christmas, she was chosen to be one of a selective few to decorate the White House for the holidays. Her talent and creativity inspires me every time I walk by her lovely shop so I feel so lucky that she has offered to share her skills with us next week. To reserve your spot, just sign up at West Elm Atlanta or give them a call at 404. 541.9310. I hope to see you there...

 

Thursday
Nov142013

HollyBeth Organics **with a discount! 

Passion is contagious. Which may explain why when my friend HollyBeth Anderson told me about her latest organic skincare creation- Nourishing Body Oil, I couldn't help but get excited about it too...

The main ingredients (which are all USDA organic) are sunflower oil, rich in vitamins A, D and E to help diminish fine lines; Pumpkin Seed oil, high in fatty acids, vitamin A and C which brightens and smooths the skin; Pomegranate seel oil, a powerhouse of anti-aging benefits that is packed with antioxidants; Palmarosa and Petitgrain essential oils which serve to fight wrinkles and add a subtle fragrance of tranquility. 

Like all of HollyBeth's products, this oil immediately feels good on your skin- quickly absorbing without feeling greasy. HollyBeth concocted this formula after a strong, intuitive inspiration. HollyBeth, "I've always wanted to do something with pomegranate and pumpkin because of their incredible elixir properties." I'm always happy when she is inspired- it's good for the rest of us. 

If you follow Sweet Peach, you know I am an avid fan of all that she does. Her thoughtful formulas come from a place of true care and passion and I do deeply appreciate that. As the only USDA certified organic skincare company in Georgia, HollyBeth Organics is a special find. Peruse all the goodness, here. And as if HollyBeth isn't amazing enough, she's offering 15% off any order - such a great deal and perfect timing for holiday shoppers. Thanks HollyBeth! 

 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov132013

Nan & Greg's Thomasville Home

Nan and Greg Myer's home is so thoughtful and sophisticated, I know that I could never invite them into my own home. 

It's impeccable. As Nan owns the fabulous shop, Firefly in Thomasville, Georgia, her great taste carries through in her lovely abode. When I asked Nan to describe her home style, she replied, "It's definitely reflective of the natural world with an eclectic mix of primitive Chinese antiques, Southern antiques, art and hand me downs." She continued, "Everything has a story, whether it be the pottery that we eat on, the chair that we sit in or the soap that we bathe in." 

Their expansive and inviting kitchen is my favorite room in the house. Nan, "It is definitely the heart of our home and I love the combination of the kitchen and den as one great room." You'll quickly notice the faux taxidermy above. Nan and Greg have 11 Java Deer that are native to the islands of Java, Bali and Timor in Indonesia. It's a symbol of protection in Bali and these now stand guard in the Myers household. 

Eyes are also quickly drawn to the framed art above the fireplace. Nan bought this piece that showcases dozens of found arrowheads at Brunk's, an auction house in North Carolina. She believes the arrowhead collection is native to North Carolina as well. Nan, "We grew up with a father who avidly collected arrowheads from our neck of the woods, so I come about my fascination with them quite naturally." 

The Palm Beach lantern centers the dining room and I'm a fan of any bowl of collected antlers...

When I noticed the custom curtains in the living room, I had to smile. Nan had a friend make them, adding an edging inspired from a magazine picture she saw years earlier. Such a great touch...

I particularly love the beautiful tree painting that was a wedding present to Nan and Greg from their friend, John Cleaveland of Farmington, Georgia. (I think I'll need to blog about him soon.) The living room couch is from Lee Industries.

Their bedroom has an immediate calming vibe which is inspiring. Nan, "I love the wall color and have used it in a couple bedrooms and unfortunately it is a Benjamin Moore mix or I would share. It is the perfect pale gray, green, blue and is very neutral." 


All the elements in the bedroom are purposefully subdued. The gorgeous headboard is an Indian block print and white Tai Chi Chinese fabric covers their slipper chair (which once belonged to Nan's grandmother). The bedside lights come via Robert Ogden. Nan and Greg's dog, Bleu, grabs a glimpse outside. But he's pretty content to be inside...I would be too. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Nov122013

Habitat Une

I love finding new art to share on Sweet Peach. This week it comes via Mark Seagraves of Greenville, North Carolina. In his shop, Habitat Une, he crafts one of a kind pieces that are a play in form and color. As Mark shares, he finds inspiration in "nature, architecture and imagined shapes." 

Mark locally sources reclaimed wood for his creations. He collects pallets from his neighborhood lumber yard or more often from homes and buildings that are being torn down to make way for new structures. Mark, "As those homes, churches and businesses are being raised, they lose what I think makes them special- the original oak flooring, the giant support rafters, cedar lining and framing." Those losses are our gains, including this lovely piece above, inspired by the art deco period. 

I like how Mark mixes up his styles. As he shared, "I really enjoy the whole creative process. My favorite thing is that moment when an idea comes, it's like a spark." His blue Color Block is one of my favorites...

See Mark's entire shop, which inlcudes headboards, wooden wreaths and abstract paintings, here. 

 

Photos: HabitatUne       Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Nov112013

Tucker & Bloom



Good shoes are important on a man, but so is a good bag. David and Case Bloom, a father and son duo from Nashville have combined their talents to offer some beautifully, well constructed bags that are first and foremost, functional and durable. 

David Bloom learned traditional bag making skills from European artisans in the early 1970's, and he hasn't stopped since. Over the years, David has designed bags for Perry Ellis, Valentino and at one time, he spearheaded the travel line for Coach. His son, Case is tech savvy and has been essential in allowing his father's line to thrive online. From top right, The Tokyo Duffle Bag, Canvas London Duffel Bag, Cosmo Baker North to South Messenger Bag and the Canvas Swiss Laptop Backpack.

A black leather laptop bag with an orange nylon interior is a handsome choice. It's the kind of bag that will endure for years to come and if you ask me, is an amazing gift. 

This cowhide messenger bag, along with so many of David's bags, is extremely roomy and built to last a lifetime. In fact, all of their bags, (via their shop, Tucker & Bloom) come with a lifetime guarantee. Peruse the shop to see over a dozen more choices. Any man who loves practicality, durability and some classic style will be quite the happy man with one of these draped across his shoulder...

 

Photos: Tucker & Bloom      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Nov082013

Sweet Peach Picks @ West Elm Atlanta

It's a good day when I can announce my first collaboration with one of my favorite shops, West Elm. On Saturday, November 23, between 10am-5pm, I will be showcasing 10 of my favorite Georgia artisans at the West Elm Atlanta store. I hope many of you can come by to check out their beautiful wares and show a little love and support to all the artists. Plus, it's a perfect time to start your holiday shopping...

All of the artisans I chose have been featured on Sweet Peach before. This includes Re:Loom; Soma Goods; Katherine Sandoz; R Riveter; Shannon Goines; Prospector Co., Oakleaf and Acorn; Willow and Co.; The Small Object and even some tasty treats via my favorite ladies at Cake Hag. 

I'm also excited to have Laura Iarocci from Faith Flowers join the group on Saturday to share her beautiful floral arrangements. Plus, she'll be at West Elm the night of November 22 to offer a 90 minute workshop on how to create pretty tablescapes for your Thanksgiving and Holiday tables. Stay tuned for the details, and I do hope to meet many of you in a couple of weeks. Until then, save the date...

 

Thursday
Nov072013

Susan & Guy Chancey  

Ever since I met Interior Stylist, Susan Chancey of Lost and Foundry in Asheville, I've had the thought, "I wonder what her home looks like. I bet it's amazing..."

Turns out I was right. Susan and her husband, Guy recently had their home photographed by Country Living and I was thrilled to see the final shots. In her living room, she sought a calming vibe but, in her characteristic way, she wanted to keep things interesting. Her table lamp is actually a steel lamp base forged from a car jack and her coffee table was handcrafted by Amish carpenters in Pennsylvania. 

Like typical Southerners, Susan and Guy love to entertain. Their dining room is such a great space. I love the two rugs that flank the sides of the table, which I don't think I ever would have thought of. The Mid-century inspired chairs and light (influenced by an 1800's surgical light) were designed by Susan's friend, Robert Ogden. 

I absolutely love the two hutches in the dining room. A girl after my own heart, Susan replaced the glass panels with chicken wire. (i'm still on a hunt to incorporate chicken wire into my own home) She also added drop cloths inside the lower doors. The fun part about that is you can change out the fabric for different colors and patterns if you ever need a change of pace...

What's wonderful about this home is how in each room, there is so much to look at and be inspired by. The pendant light on a rope...the planter that becomes a trash can...the texture of the vintage mirror...the gorgeous floor tile...the towel holder...the open metal cabinet. I wonder what's in the baskets...

Ahhhh...if only my home could be half as inspiring as this one, I'd be a happy gal. But the best part is, we've all been let in the front door and can leave with a bit of inspiration and admiration. And maybe jealousy... Learn more details about Susan and Guy's incredible southern home, here. 

 

Photos: Aimee Herring/ Country Living      Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov062013

Matt Weaver's Hand Painted Tote

I got my eye on Matt Weaver. The more I see his handiwork, (the sophisticated leather and canvas bags from his shop, Andover Trask) follow his Instagram account and see sneak peaks of his lovely home, the more I realize this is a supremely talented and meticulous artist with a keen eye for design. 

Gifted at drawing, Matt decided to hand paint a couple of tote bags himself. Matt, "The process is simple. I cut a piece of canvas to the size of the body of a bag, use painters tape (which is the yellow you see in photos) to create some margins for the painting, and then I free hand the design. After the paint dries and is set (the paint is laundry safe), I finish the construction of the bag." 

The final construction includes the addition of Horween leather straps and hand hammered rivets. Matt created the X bag too, and both bags quickly sold for @ $85 each. I think he's on to something...

Peruse Matt's shop to see all of his beautifully constructed bags. And keep an eye out for more hand painted canvas creations to pop up in his shop when the inspiration strikes. You just gotta be quick, they won't last long... 

 

Photos: Matt Weaver       Content: Sweet Peach