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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

 

Tuesday
Nov052013

Southern Trendsetters

Yesterday, I was happy to have my article accepted at Huffington Post for my current favorite Southern Home Decor Trendsetters. It was a fun challenge to put together and hopefully it's one of many more articles to come...

I looked for Southern artists that continued to push the envelope in home design and create thoughtful, impressive work- work that was in trend and in demand, whether that was their original intention or not. Enjoy the article and please feel free to share the link... These incredible artists deserve a bit of extra love and fanfare today! 

 

Monday
Nov042013

Nordt Family Farm

 

Every man needs a wool blanket. Especially the ones created by Dianne Nordt of Nordt Family Farm in Charles City, Virginia. 

At the family farm, Dianne, along with her husband, raises a flock of Merino sheep on 400 acres. Their sheep produce fleece in a variety of natural colors, including white, tan, chocolate brown, black and gray. Dianne, "I also experiment with coloring the wool using natural plant dyes such as black walnut, indigo and coreopsis." 

She expertly uses this soft, cozy wool to hand weave the blankets on her home loom. It's a labor of love which is quickly translated the moment you touch one. For Dianne, it's all about quality, not quantity- "I don't have aspirations to build up something big. I'm very content to make one blanket at a time." 

Dianne weaves about 85 blankets with each spring shearing. With a timeless design and incredible softness, these blankets will last a lifetime- and then some. See all current wool blankets in stock, here. 

 

Photos: Nordt Family Farm      Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Nov012013

Firefly

A couple of weeks ago, I took a road trip down to Thomasville, Georgia with Emily Myers. Em was offering a tasting of her jams and sauces at the Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop and it was a good excuse for me to finally see Thomasville, Georgia- a small town I've heard about but had yet to visit. 

One shop on my must-see list was Firefly, owned by Nan Myers since 1996. When I asked Nan to describe her lovely shop in a sentence or two, she replied, "It is definitely reflective of my eclectic taste and living a creative life by surrounding yourself with beautiful handmade objects." 

Nan keeps true to her vision as her shop is a visual feast. It's the kind of place you could easily spend every dollar of your weekly paycheck. I kept walking around, seeing so much, wanting this and that...before realizing I pretty much would be happy to buy the entire store. Nan carries quite a few artists that have been featured on Sweet Peach, which is always fun to see, including Himalayan Trading Post, Honeycomb Studio and the Mason Shaker

One thing you'll quickly notice inside Firefly are all the luscious books, many of which showcase food and home decor. Every one of them is packed with beautiful visuals and inspiration. To Nan, books are a vital necessity. As she admits, "I kind of have a 'book problem.' In my life, reading represents slowing down and being inspired with what lies between the pages." 

I bought Chickens, Ducks and Geese for my contractor (who is currently remodeling my kitchen), as she has 11 chickens. The book illustrates all the different chicken breeds and their colorful eggs. To me, finding the right book, whether for yourself or a friend, is a little slice of heaven. 

This shop truly spoke to me as it was filled with unique items I've never seen before, plus gorgeous antiques and artwork. As Nan has a deep love for mother nature, so much of what she displays is inspired by land and sea. 

Her kid's section, located at the front of the store, is also beautifully curated with quirky books, stuffed animals, dolls, blankets and artwork. All of Firefly exudes that feeling of a comfortable, inviting and endlessly inspiring neighborhood shop. I'm so happy to have visited. 

If you haven't been to Thomasville yet, may I strongly suggest that you do. Their main street is packed with individually owned shops to peruse, which includes some fantastic antique stores and the always popular, Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop. Also, the first Sweet Grass Dairy resaturant, called Blue Coop, is set to open very soon. Which is just another good reason for Em and I to hop back in her truck and head on down to south Georgia. I can't wait...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Oct312013

Happy Halloween! Let's make a cocktail..

This fall, Cathead Vodka of Jackson, Mississippi has released two new flavors, Pumpkin Spice and Pecan. And both are incredibly tasty, if I do say so myself. A couple days ago, my friend Wendy Binns was kind enough to lend a helping hand to style a few shots...

We both absolutely loved the Itsy Bitsy Spider cocktail, which was all the more fun to make in the fabulous Mason Shaker. After making it, then photographing it, I drank it. Then quickly poured myself another...

 

The Dark & Spooky is a low key kind of drink, perfect for a bewitching Halloween night. To make the brown sugar vanilla syrup, mix one cup of brown sugar with one cup of water, add a vanilla bean, (learn how to prep the bean, here) then stir over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool, remove the vanilla bean and store your syrup in a mason jar inside the fridge. 

I love a seasonal vodka and happy to discover two new ones this month which taste as good as you'd hope they would. If you make a cocktail with one of these Cathead vodkas, please Instragram me a pic as I'd love to see any and all crafty concoctions. Here's to your Halloween being dark, spooky and full of terror- and a cocktail. 

  

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach     Syled by: Wendy Binns

 

Wednesday
Oct302013

The Anthony Compound

On 80 acres of land, once owned by his grandfather who was a cotton farmer, Butch Anthony has found his calling. A self taught carpenter, Butch has been building on the property since he was a kid. In 1988, he had a vision for a log cabin home which he has been crafting- much of it from local, salvaged goods, for a good long while now. It now serves as his home/weekend getaway with his wife, Natalie Chanin.

You may be familiar with these two already- Butch is the curator of The Museum of Wonder in Seale, Alabama, which is part taxidermy shop, part artifact museum. And Natalie is the brains and creative spirit behind the fashion and home goods line, Alabama Chanin, based in Florence. 

The pair, as you would imagine, are quite the crafty duo, but in the most stylish way. The wood burning stove takes its rightful place in the kitchen, while the mantel you see was salvaged from a nearby house that was torn down. And the gorgeous heart pine flooring Bruce salvaged from an old mill in Columbus, Georgia. 

The cabin is built into the side of a hill, which allows this bedroom to be part underground. (Especially nice during a Southern summer) Butch used a rusty spring from an antique bed as a wall hanging and the seats of the two chairs were woven from old ties. 

This one room log cabin Butch built when he was just 14 years old. Now it serves as a guest house with heaps of history and sentiment...

One of the bathrooms in the log cabin is adorned with Bruce's colorfully twisted art. After he found some old family portraits (not his own), he embellished them with scary looking skeletons and such. 

Bruce and Natalie's daughter, Maggie enjoys some bedtime jumping, while the 'windows,' made from beaver-chewed sticks, offers a surprisingly stylish backdrop. 

I've been a fan of Butch and Natalie's work for years so it's nice to see how they relax - at the cabin filled with salvaged goods, skeletons and beaver sticks. Not sure anyone else could pull it off as beautifully as they can...see more pics and info on their Alabama abode, here. 

 

 Photos:Robert Rausch, 1st photo, Alabama Chanin site; 3rd/4th pic: carpetbagger.org; casasugar.com   Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Oct292013

Textiles, please...

Every once in a while, I like to check in with Mockingbird Domestics of Austin, Texas to see what fun, local fare they have for sale. I was happy to find Constance Garza textiles- via Garza Furniture in Marfa. So scrumptious...

At Mockingbird, you'll find a nice selection of Constance's hand dyed and sewn fabrics that would look so sweet upon a dining table. Particularly with your favorite cheese, wine and tasty tidbits... 

Perusing the Mockingbird site further, I found these herringbone guest towels that I may just have to purchase. I've been wanting to update my towel selection and after spending a couple months in Turkey last year, I've grown to love these super absorbant textiles that are so slim and stylish. These Turkish towels work excellent in the bath or as a tea or dish towel in the kitchen- via Scents & Feel of Miami.

Jeff and Laura Daly, the owners of Mockingbird Domestics, continue to amaze me. I'm blown away by their beautiful selection of goods- which also includes furniture, lighting, art and ceramics. I hope I can visit Austin someday soon, for when I do, my first stop will be here. In the meantime, their incredible site shall suffice. Enjoy...

 

Photos: Mockingbird Domestics     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Oct282013

Hand Tools, by Moran Woodworked

Michael James Moran of Moran Woodworked in Charleston, South Carolina has been practicing his craft of woodworking for over a decade. His love of local materials and fascination with wood grain make his homage to the hand tool series incredibly impressive...and important. 

Michael plays with the reversal of materials, utilizing iron for handles, walnut wood for the heads. It's a wonderful study of functionality that showcases the simple beauty of these tools which are deeply entrenched in our history. 

All of the wood used in his creations are harvested from local, sustainable forests. Using a single board of black walnut, this Walnut Bow Saw is striking and may I say, very cool. These tools, which would look amazing displayed in a home or workshop, don't come cheap. This saw alone costs $4500. 

These are tools to be coveted and admired. They would make an amazing gift for any lover of carpentry and woodworking. I'd just start filling the piggy bank up now... See all of Michael's gorgeous handiwork in his homage to hand tools, here.

 

Photos: Moran Woodworked      Content: Sweet Peach