Designed by Artists 

Insun Hong is the creator and designer behind Designed by Artists, based in Houston, Texas. As she recently shared, "As a full time designer, one of the biggest tasks I have is to make marketable products that sell and this rule often conflicts with what I desire to do as an artist at heart." Her philosophy is to design products that are made with the soul of artists. 

Insun's plan is to introduce new designs every six months with special editions for popular holidays. Her current series features toddler blankets... 

Insun, "My blankets are made with 100% cotton, super soft fabric that is perfect for toddlers." Her 30" x 36" lightweight blankets have an original design (unlike traditional repeat patterns) that catch your eye with their color and originality. Her blankets are for moms (and babes) that care about good style. 

This is a fun concept and I look forward to seeing what Insun's next lineup will be. An artist to watch- keep track of her work and whereabouts, here.


Photos: Designed by Artists    Content: Sweet Peach



West Elm Local Grant 

My friend Bradley Odom, the Director of Design Education at West Elm, recently shared something fun from his employer....This fall, West Elm will be offering a $25,000 small business grant to one local artist, maker or designer. 

As you may remember, West Elm kicked off their nationwide initiative, West Elm Local, late last year in Atlanta. Our southern city was the test market and after a successful run, it was launched in almost two dozen other cities across the country to date. To continue their commitment to local makers, this grant has the potential to truly enhance one person's artistic career.

Submissions close September 9, with finalists being selected by a team of judges. The public will choose their favorites online from September 30 - October 14. 

As every struggling artist trying to jumpstart a career in their garage or living room workspace knows, $25,000 can ease the burden of budget concerns, freeing up valuable time and stress. This is such a great opportunity, plus it's so easy to enter. If you could use an extra push in your career to help get you to that next level, enter to win the West Elm Local Grant, here.



Noah Marion

Oh, vacation is over...such a sad sad thing. But, alas, I'm refreshed and refocused on the blog and ready to share some wonderful new finds from the South. There's a lot I have in store for part two of 2014 including some fun collaborations and more editions of the Sweet Spots paper. But first, I begin with these handsome leather goods that recently caught my eye, by Noah Marion of Austin, Texas. 

Noah has created a rather impressive collection of bags, belts, home goods and accessories but I particularly like his wallet selects for the men. Each one is classic, clean, durable, attractive... 

After inheriting a sewing machine from his dad, Noah taught himself to sew using found fabrics and other recycled materials. Having a love for timeless, well made goods, his leather line was born organically. 

Oh how I love a good dopp kit. These are smartly made from a simple one piece construction, available in natural or black. You can add a cool monogram too...nice holiday gift actually. 

These manly goods are made with untreated, undyed, natural vegetable tanned leather. Check out the entire line, here or if you happen to be in Austin soon, check out Noah's brick and mortar shop at 2053 S. Lamar Blvd. 


Photos:     Content: Sweet Peach



Summer Hiatus...

As I've been spending way too much time in front of the computer as of late, I've decided to take a two week break from Sweet Peach for a little mental r & r. I'm off to Hermosa Beach, California today to see old friends, relax, read, shop, eat, drink, hike, bike...will be good. I'll be back Monday, August 18 with all new posts. In the meantime, get outside and enjoy the last month of summer. With all this heavy news happening around the world, a little fresh air and change of pace is good for the soul. See y'all soon, refreshed and ready for round two of 2014...

p.s. if you're in need of a Sweet Peach fix, follow along on Instagram, where I'll be posting pics of west coast finds. 


   Hermosa Beach photo: Myan Soffia


Postcard Inn

Last week, my friend Sandy of the knitterati sent me a link to a cool hotel. It's called Postcard Inn, located on the picturesque St. Pete Beach in Florida. There's a pool, the ocean, good food and the best part...fabulous decor. 

Upon walking inside the Inn, you'll notice a communal, laid back vibe with natural light and plenty of spots to sit, chat and meet fellow travelers. 

I particularly love the wall of books in the lobby that were strategically picked for their color and content. Scattered among the new furniture and accessories, you'll find lots of vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces too.

Designers, Tara Oxley of BR Guest and Chris Sheffield of SL Design are the creative minds behind this reinvigorated two story, u-shaped hotel (built in 1957 as the Colonial Gateway Inn) As stated on the site, "With an overlying theme of 'free space' and a powerful use of color, PCI echoes mid-century Florida vernacular with a few modern improvements thrown in for good measure." 

No two rooms are exactly alike, and with 197 rooms in all, that's quite a feat. Each room has a bohemian, surfer vibe with vintage lamps and new birch desks. The spaces feel bright and airy with white walls and white wood venetian blinds. All the duvets are down-filled with bright white covers, ready to dive into. 

The walls behind the beds have either a floor to ceiling photo of a beach scene, vintage surfing photos or a lively series of quotes from legendary surfers as well as influential thinkers like Jay-Z, Janis Joplin or the Beach Boys.  

And then there's the beach, just a few steps away from your door....and the perfect beach restaurant hangout where you can try their signature burgers, seafood or BBQ. And of course, lots of ice cold beer. 

The Postcard Inn is now officially on my to-do list, thank you Sandy. And the best part is Florida and Georgia residents receive 20% off accommodations until December 14 of this year. Such a deal. Plan it all, here. You deserve it. 


Photos: Postcard Inn      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


Ashley Woodson Bailey

Ashley Woodson Bailey intrigues me. She has a story full with flurry and spontaneity, inspirational highs and pitfalls. Moving from job to job, city to city across the South, she's worked in fashion, jewelry and floral design. Yet it wasn't until she was 41, and experienced a life changing accident that she found her calling...

Ashley had a passion for flowers her whole life but it wasn't until a car accident two years ago (which put her in a back brace for months) that she found solace in a new creative outlet, her iPhone. A creative mind can always adapt and I think this was a beautiful reincarnation for Ashley. Over the years she had developed and honed her style and her eye, as well as a knowledge for floral and plant life. Ashley had limited mobility during her recovery but taking pictures of flowers combined many of her lifelong skills, culminating into a brand new one. She was open to receive...

As Ashley's own story is varied, rich and complex, so too are her images. Ashley, "Every image has a meaning behind it. Every stem has a story. Just like all of us." 

Ashley prints each image on a high quality cotton rag paper called Hahnemuhle. This paper has a fine and smooth matte surface and as Ashley shared, "I chose this paper because of the depth it creates with each image- they come alive." What I love too is although these images are taken on an iPhone they work stylistically in large format. Images begin at 11 x 14" and go up to 40 x 60".  

I have featured images from her Dark series, but Ashley has a Light series as well that is equally as fetching. I think I'm attracted to the darker images for what they represent- finding beauty through life's trials and tribulations. It's a reminder that our struggles can lead us down new, unexpected paths. Imperfections, pain, fear...If you're open to weathering the storms, that's the good stuff. 


Photos: Ashley Woodson Bailey; Domain Home; Haley Sheffield; Ashley Capa    Content: Sweet Peach


Teil Duncan

Perusing Instagram this weekend, I came upon some really incredible artwork that had me tapping twice for 'like' over and over. The artist is Teil Duncan, a native of Columbus, Georgia, now living and working fulltime in Charleston, South Carolina. 

I've been thinking about the beach a lot lately. I used to live a couple blocks away from the ocean, in Hermosa Beach, California. You could go to sleep to the waves and oh, how I miss that- good thing is I'll be returning next week for a vacation. So Teil's work is timely and provocative. These images have so many layers and textures, you get a bit lost in them. They're feel both nostalgic and current...

Teil, "I am forever learning and trying new techniques, mediums and subjects. Inspired by light, movement, surprising color combinations, social interaction, and patterns, I try to collaborate these elements and form abstracted, pixilated compositions." 

Working primarily in oils and acrylics, Teil continues to experiment with new mediums and ideas. Besides her beach works, she also paints figures, animals and cityscapes. Peruse her site to learn more. Or better yet, follow her Instagram account so you can tap twice for 'like' too. It's a good way to show you care...


Photos:    Content: Sweet Peach


Strong Boalt

If you're a man who is active, trim, athletic, you're probably quite happy with the slimming and shortnening of men's swimwear lately. Baggy and long are on the outs as more tailored cuts make their way into the mainstream...


Strong Boalt, a men's swimwear line was created in 2009 by fashion designer Amanda Boalt of Palm Beach, Florida. Amanda is the granddaughter of Lilly Pulitzer, an American socialite and fashion designer who became famous for her Florida inspired fashion whose pieces are light and cozy, vibrant and playful. 

Besides Ralph Lauren, where she previously worked, Amanda has been greatly inspired by her grandmother's fashion acumen and insights. Amanda, "While the style of Strong Boalt is more attuned to our time, I will continually hear her voice stressing fun over everything else." 

Amanda offers over two dozen classic swim trunks and board shorts in her shop- some plain colored, but mostly cool, inventine patterns like cabana stripes, elepahants, pineapples, fish or parrots. As she spends a lot of time at the beach or in the water, she is never at a loss for inspiration. 

I love the summer more than any other season so anything beachy, stylish -and this manly, has my attention. See the entirety of Amanda's summer swimwear collection, here. 


Photos: Strong Boalt      Content: Sweet Peach


Dogfish Inn

I love a good find so I was quite happy when I stumbled upon the website for the Dogfish Inn, a brand new brewery-themed boutique hotel. Situated in Lewes, Delaware, this design savvy Inn is an extension of the Dogfish Head Microbrewery and Brewpub. 

Founder of Dogfish Head craft brewed ales, Sam Calagione knew there was an opportunity to offer accommodations to all the travelers who passed through his popular microbrewery each year. When an old motel was up for sale last year in downtown Lewes, Sam renovated the property and gave it a new name. Situated on a pretty spot along coastal Delaware, the Dogfish Inn caters to those who like to get out and explore, without the need of a car. Here you can bike, hike, kayak or paddleboard...and drink craft beer. 

The modern furnishings are the best part of this hotel. Designed by Studio Tack of Brooklyn, this Inn has 16 dog friendly guest rooms that are minimal with just the right mix of added color and texture. The bleached wood panels and flooring, plus the down feather pillows and comforter create a welcoming, cozy room. Plus, if you look closely, you'll discover fun beer-centric amenities and artwork. 

As stated on their site, "Each room includes a wool Dogfish blanket created in collaboration with the iconic apparel maker Woolrich. You'll also find a Tivoli radio and screenprints of beer labels from our music collaborations." Rooms are around $250 on weekdays, $280 on weekends. 

Steve Rogers is a local artist of Lewes and he has painted the historic Lightship Overfalls somewhere in each room- it's up to you to find it. The Lightship Overfalls is one of only 17 lightships remaining and is an historic landmark docked just a few hundred feet from the Inn. All of the artwork in each of the rooms is framed with salvaged wood from local farms, provided by Matt Myers, a local organic farmer. 

You'll also find retro-American made beach chairs and Apolis tote bags for any day trips to the local beaches- (the totes are custom designed to carry Dogfish Head's six packs back to your room). Plus they have a treasure map highlighting nearby favorites- which reminds me of the map and guide I produced for the city of Atlanta. 

When you spend a night at the Inn, you'll definitely want to head to their Brewpub, just a six mile bike ride down the bike path (borrow one of their bikes from the lobby). It's a bit of a beer lover's paradise mixed with a design lover's paradise. Oh, how I love a good find. Happy weekend everyone...


Photos: Dogfish Inn site;     Content: Sweet Peach