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Friday
Feb212014

Jordan Grace Owens

I've always been a fan of unique, unsuspecting gifts. Durham, North Carolina artist, Jordan Grace Owens must have the same sentiment as she's created one of the best gift ideas I've seen in a long time...custom paper dolls.

The way it works is you email her a pic of yourself, pets, friends or family in the clothes you'd like replicated and she'll illustrate all of you into moveable paper dolls. They are about 6" tall and hand colored with marker, ink and colored pencil. Love this idea....plus, the packaging is great. 

Another brilliant creation of hers are these mid century style couple portraits...

Just send Jordan the pictures along with your pick on background colors and she will create custom drawings enclosed in a double vignette mat and vintage gold frame. This is a great idea for yourself and significant other and perhaps even better as a wedding or anniversary gift. Just email Jordan soon if you're up for it as her waiting list is now a few months long. But, if you love the idea of giving that unique, unsuspected something, it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Happy weekend...

 

Illustrations: Jordan Grace Owens      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
Feb202014

Gunner & Lux

My favorite part of being a design blogger is telling stories. Products come and go but what connects all of us to an artist and their work is knowing a bit of their background, their passions and quirks. What is their story?  For John Petersen, his design story begins in Atlanta, Georgia where he lives with his partner, William and their exuberant four year old daughter, Riley.  

John has always been the creative type with a love for crafting and styling. He recently decided to collect jewelry pieces for Riley in anticipation of her wanting to play dress up. From friends, antique and thrift shops, John soon amassed a large collection of new and vintage jewels. John, "I decided to try my hand at crafting a one of a kind necklace for a friend. My daughter wanted to watch and before I knew it, she was helping me create the necklace." 

Like many people who discover a passion, John decided to delve deeper. His one necklace became two necklaces, then dozens and dozens more. He loved curating the jewels, crafting new, original pieces and was encouraged by the positive reception. 

I have to say, it was very sweet seeing Riley practice making her own necklaces alongside her dad. The little time I was at their home, Riley was learning how to count, spell, tie a knot, use her imagination and better know her dad. When it's jewel making time, the two sit side by side at the dining room table- John with his supplies on one side and Riley with her supplies on the other. 

Riley creates necklaces for herself and friends- or their lemonade stand in the summer where she sells her colorful creations for $1 a piece. Good deal.  

John sells his jewelry in a few boutique shops as well as in his new online shop, Gunner & Lux. And as John reminded me, what makes his necklaces so special is there can never be two the same. The jewels are primarily ornate and vintage, both bought and found, making each completed necklace a unique statement piece with its own collection of stories to tell...

We now know the basics, plus a bit more detail and insight into this lovely family of three. For John and Riley, they've begun a journey of imaginative, artistic play that feeds and thrives off the other. I'm not sure where the story goes from here but it's fair to say, their Once Upon A Time tale has just begun...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Gunner & Lux      Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Feb192014

Guest Post: Matt Weaver

The South used to be full of impressive pre-civil war architecture, built from the bounty of the region's lucrative plantation economy and sustained by generations of forced free labor. From the Louisiana low country to Virginia's rolling hills, the Southern landscape was dotted with high style structures designed in the vernacular of the region. Randing from primitive to extravagantly ornate, the architecture of our ancestors captured the spirit of the time and place in which it was built, and it told a story about the people who inhabited it. 

One of the most recognizable pieces of Southern architecture is the grand plantation house with whitewashed limestone walls, soaring columns and winding staircases. These houses were symbols of industry and oppression and they began to fall apart in the late 19th century along with the institution of slavery that made them possible to begin with. 

When slavery was abolished, it became too costly to maintain many examples of iconic Southern architecture. Sprawling plantation houses were slowly boarded up, and intricately bricked cotton warehouses sat empty. By the early part of the 20th century, automobiles began to creep across the nation, supplanting railroads and making it possible for Americans to move away from cities. The small Southern towns that had grown up around railroad tracks began to fade and soon many of our best examples of Southern architecture were crumbling. 

Fortunately for us, the architectural photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston saw the old South crumbling around her and in the late 1920's she began recording the remaining examples of early Southern architecture.

The Carnegie Corporation funded her project to document over 1700 structures and sites in the rural and urban South and the Library of Congress acquired the collection after Johnston's death. Now the entire collection is available online. 

I have always been architecture obsessed and this collection has intrigued and inspried me for years. I've spent hours exploring the images, sketching my favorite buildings and fantasizing about the history these buildings witnessed. Later this month I'm going on a road trip to visit a few of the remaining structures on this list so I thought this would be a good time to share this incredible resource with you. You can see the entire Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, here. 

 

Photos: Frances Benjamin Johnston      Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Feb192014

Sweet Peach Contributor, Matt Weaver

I'm a bit overjoyed today to introduce my first official contributor to Sweet Peach, Matt Weaver. You may know Matt from his company, Andover Trask, where he sells impeccably stylish canvas and leather bags. I've been a fan of Matt's ever since I met him at my Sweet Peach Revival last year. His modern, beautifully constructed pieces and tailored, clean style has made him an artist to watch. 

Lucky for us, Matt will contribute twice a month to Sweet Peach on stories ranging from fashion, food & drink to American craftsmanship and artistry. He's got a whole list of attributes including infallible taste, a meticulous work ethic, an insatiable curiosity about American design and architecture, (he even draws beautifully) plus he carries a true love of the South. Matt grew up in Rome, Georgia and currently resides in Atlanta. To learn a bit more about Matt and see a peek into his lovely home, shot by the talented Buffy Dekmar, click here. And welcome to Sweet Peach, Matt! It's official...

 

Photos: Buffy Dekmar     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb182014

Yours Is The Earth

 

Atlanta based artist, Jamie Jimenez has a playful, bright style that quickly grabs your attention. Her online shop, Yours Is The Earth includes illustrated and calligraphed prints, stationery and home goods that celebrate our favorite time of day-  mealtime. 

As Jamie believes strongly in eating seasonally, she has designed a print for each season highlighting the harvests we can expect throughout the year. You can download all four for $12, here.

I'm always a fan of tea towels, especially the small collection Jamie has created to complement a lively kitchen.

Her calligraphy skills naturally translate to stamps, as you'll find 18 to choose from to mark your homemade goods or evening's menu...

I particularly like her mini cards that would cheer anyone up. How sweet would it be to receive one of these? Check out the entirety of Jamie's shop, that appeals to the glutton in all of us, here.

 

Photos: Yours Is The Earth      Content: Sweet Peach



Monday
Feb172014

Mollyjogger


I hope this past storm was the last of it as I, like many of you, are completely over cold, ice and snow. So, as winter eases in ferocity making way for spring, there will be many manly men out there eager to camp, hike, hunt and fish. And before doing so, may I offer a suggestion. Check out Mollyjogger.     

Mollyjogger is an online shop based in the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The name comes via the original Mollyjogger Fishing and Hunting Club from 1890. In keeping with their adventurous spirit, founder and Ozark Mountain native, Rick Stagner curated a shop of provisions to suit the forests, fields and streams that surround him and his family. Above is a floating knife, a basic red knit cap and a plaid blanket- at once practical and stylish. Gotta love that. 

This is a nice group of goods that include waterproof notebooks, wool blankets and some gorgeous handmade paddles. I especially love the Scrimshaw Knife Kit, based on the American art form, scrimshaw, that began in the late 1700's. While the whalers had plenty of free time at sea, they etched drawings into items available like bones and sperm whale teeth. As Americans traveled west, so did this art form, which was adapted to knives and other utility items. This kit allows you to carve your own images or words into a bone handled pocket knife...

These popular Field Notes come in 3 packs labeled as Ales or Lagers. The color of the Lager books are gold (pilsner), brown (bock) and pale yellow (pale lager) while the Ales books are dark brown (stout), warm red (amber ale) and rusty orange (India pale ale). 

Check out Rick's shop to see his ever growing shop of provisions that blends great style and practicality for the modern outdoorsman. And although spring is not here just yet, we can all start thinking about it, planning for it, dreaming about it. C'mon spring, we're waiting for you...

 

Photos: Mollyjogger      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Feb142014

The Finkelsteins

The one blog I follow every day without fail is Swiss-Miss. I'm a fan of Tina's business and marketing insights as well as her wide array of interesting finds that she curates from across the globe. Last week, she had a quick post about these adorable stuffed animals, called The Finkelsteins out of South Carolina. Perfect for Valentine's Day...

When I asked Michelle Jewell to describe her shop, she shared, "Finkelstein's Center is a toy design company that offers one of a kind soft characters and custom fabric sculpture, handmade in Charleston." 

Each Finkelstein is made with a fleece material for the body parts and for their fashionable clothing, Michelle uses a combination of vintage and upcycled, remnant fabrics. Michelle, "Our goal in using short runs of fabric for the shirts is that each will feel special to its recipient because we have a limited quantity of each fabric." 

Each one of a kind animal is handsewn by a team of four Creature Makers who follow patterns that Michelle has created. Michelle, "They sew and stuff each Fink and I finish the toys by hand embroidering their facial features." 

I loved the answer I got when I asked Michelle how she thought up the name... "It is actually my dog's middle name, Bernard Pickles Finkelstein Jewell-Amick. Thankfully he answers to Bernie." 

The pigs and the giraffes seem to get the most fanfare but I happen to be a sucker for the lion. Adorbs. Click here to see the entire family of Finks to find your favorite. And Happy Happy Valentine's Day...

And if you haven't seen it already, check out my Valentine video called, Make It or Buy It: Valentine's Day.  

 

 

Thursday
Feb132014

Silas Tom @ Society 6

Clever is the first word that pops into my head when I see a Rob Wilson creation. All of his design work is bold, playful and without fail, clever. Always. Which is why you need to follow his Instagram account if you're not already. It's fun to see what his ingenious mind thinks up next...

I've been following his stationery line for a couple years but now it's nice to see many of his illustrations picked up by Society 6. There, you can purchase his work, now feartured on clocks, totes, canvases, shirts and pillows. 

I'm personally loving the clocks as a perfect way to add something bold into your space. Above is Hounds Tooth + Teal and Mister Hipster.

As I'm looking forward to spring and still wondering why I don't live closer to the equator, Rob's work offers that extra dose of sunshine I need- especially now, as Atlanta and much of the South deals with another freezing cold week. Warm up, here

 

Photos: Silas Tom       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Wednesday
Feb122014

Anna Forkum

Last week, my friend Christine sent me a link to a lovely home she photographed in Nashville last year, owned by Interior Designer, Anna Forkum. She thought it may be a nice fit for Sweet Peach and of course, she was right. It's a gem.  

What I appreciate with any interior designer's work is a home that feels personal, unexpected and thoughtful but also a bit untamed, lived in and loved. Anna achieves that in spades. I love the laundry room area which includes a collection of her daughter's art. Anna, "I find junk store frames and paint them all the same color. Then add as she produces!" The indestructable stainless steel table works perfect as an art space for her daughter and all the little ones who come to visit.   

Just as stunning as each room is the photography taken by Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson. Christine, "What we wanted to capture in Anna's home is her use of dark, deep rich tones and European styling. It's sophisticated yet there's a playful element at work in her choice of furniture, art and her mix of patterns, textures and color." 

When I asked Anna how she wanted her home to look and feel, she replied, "To be restful and recharging for ME...I know the colors and patterns are not for everyone but it energizes me. I have filled my home with things that I love, which is constantly changing as I try new things and colors. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist - the ideas in my head are exhausting and the day is too short to get a tenth of them out. I see the possibilities in so many things." 

Anna offered all of us some great advice if and when we work with a designer, "Make sure they ask you how YOU live, what do you need and want out of a space or even if you need it!" I'm drooling over this gorgeous staircase with that incredible rug and mix of interesting, engaging paintings that I'm sure Anna got from here and there over the years...each one with a story to tell. As Anna shared, "Beautiful spaces do take time." 

Oh how I want these bathrooms. The wallpaper to the left is from Graham and Brown. When you have a room soaked in natural light, it's so nice to play with color.  

This porch pendant came via West Elm, which Anna is ready to paint when it's time for a fresh look. I love her mix of colors and textures- particularly the use of pink. Such flirty fun on a southern porch. Thank you Anna and thank you Christine and Owen. I'm inspired and grateful and thinking which room to redecorate next...

**Be sure to check out ReFresh magazine in May to see new additions and finds inside Anna's home

 

Photos: Anthony-Masterson Photography   Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb112014

Make It or Buy It: Valentine's Day  

SweetPeachValentinesDay from Sweet Peach blog on Vimeo.

I've worked in tv for quite some time but never thought of making a video for Sweet Peach until recently (the blog has always been an outlet away from that world). But, making this video reminded me of all that I love about producing. It's been a blast playing with this idea from concept to post and to collaborate with good friends. This is the first of hopefully more to come. I'm calling it Make It or Buy It to showcase some of the things you can make or buy for Valentine's Day. Click above to play...

Most of our Make It features don't call for a tutorial. Check out Alabama Biscuits to make homemade treats for that someone special. And here's the recipe for our Valentine cocktail that was a smidge strong and super tasty...adjust as you like. 

  

 

1. Andover Trask Canvas Tote  2. Freshie & Zero jewelry  3. Rifle Paper Co. Calendar  4. Otis James tie  5. Emily G's Jams  6. 3 Parks Wine Growler  7. Katherine Smith jewelry  8. Sweet Grass Dairy cheese  9. Cathead Vodka  10. Mason Shaker  11. A New Turn in the South; Try This At Home

 

So many people to thank for this video. First off, I thank Mr. James for his tireless efforts in shooting and editing this video; Sarah Neuberger of The Small Object for her incredible, adorable illustrations; Beth Lord for her set styling, biscuit making and master crafter ways; Bob Conquest, Andy Cleary, Sarah Pierre, Tiffany Santiago and Bradley Odom for giving up a Saturday afternoon to be willing guinea pigs in my latest concoction; Andrew Gawdun for his musical guidance... and all the southern designers and artists that inspire me each day. 

 

It was such a thrill to have Sarah of The Small Object create custom illustrations for the video. I am such a fan of her work and was so overjoyed to have her say yes, without hesitation. How lucky am I? Click here to see her incredible shop and blog if you haven't already. And Happy Valentine's Day prepping everyone...