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Tuesday
Nov262013

Sara Lee Parker Textiles

When I was at West Elm Atlanta last weekend for my Sweet Peach Picks event, I stumbled upon a new artist in the West Elm Local section. Her name is Sara Lee Parker from Athens, Georgia, and she handcrafts the prettiest textiles. 

Sara works side by side with her husband, Simon to screen print all of her designs by hand. Sara, "We have an 18 foot table and literally stand on opposite sides of the table to pass the squeegee back and forth." 

The best part is Sara uses water based inks and a sustainable, hemp certified organic cotton blend as a base fabric. Sarah, "It may cost more, but it's like buying groceries- once you learn what goes into factory-farmed, you can't stomach the cheap stuff." 

I'm a firm believer that you can't have too many tea towels- especially ones as lovely as these. Sara sells all her textiles at various southern shops, (including West Elm Atlanta) and online, here. 

 

 

Monday
Nov252013

Chilly Willy 

I'm writing this on Sunday night, huddled on the couch with a blanket cursing at the cold. I hate it. But I must admit, the only ray of sunshine to these chilly temps is the plentiful resurgence of stylish man scarves. 

These beauties come via Sid Mashburn in Atlanta. The Gun Check Cashmere is a particularly nice one at $225 but I happen to love the green mix lambswool just as much, at $45. 

Scarves are an important part of men's fashion, having been a part of the man's wardrobe for over 2000 years, (first worn by Chinese soldiers). Over the years, this rectangle fabric has been adorning necks for warmth and style, evolving into some incredible colors, textures and patterns. These above are via Sid Mashburn and Need Supply in Richmond, Virginia and start at $28. 

Stag Provisions for Men in Austin, Texas has some of my favorites, including the Blue Wave at $96 and the handsome Wave Jacquard scarf for $60. 

And of course, you can't forget Billy Reid from Florence, Alabama. His cream cable scarf is on sale for $78. 

It may seem silly to spend a bit of cash on a scarf but the classic, well made ones will last a long time, becoming a mainstay in a guy's closet year in and year out. This cashmere version in natural from Sid Mashburn is a beauty. But beauty costs, at $275. Peruse all these shops to find the perfect match. And button up, it's chilly willy...

 

Friday
Nov222013

Saturday @ West Elm Atlanta

Tomorrow is my first event at West Elm. I'm thrilled to be able to share some of my favorite artists featured here on Sweet Peach. These ten artists will all be at the Atlanta location so I hope many of you can come by to meet them, peruse their fabulous wares and hang out for a bit...

We'll have incredible gift ideas for the holidays (many are one of a kind), plus a giveaway and tasty cups of hot chocolate...And my favorite cake ladies from Cake Hag will come by in the afternoon to showcase some of their scrumptious desserts. 

And if you haven't been to a West Elm lately, it's worth a look. They just debuted their West Elm Local initiative in the Atlanta store which includes Georgia artists Rough South Home, Rinne Allen, Honeycomb Studio and Andover Trask, to name a few (they would of been part of this event too but their fabulous goods are already featured at the shop). Good, quality design matters at West Elm which is refreshing to see. Come check it out for yourself, tomorrow between 10a-5p. And please, say hello...

 

Thursday
Nov212013

Anne Quatrano & Cliff Harrison: A Cook's Kitchen

Living in Atlanta, it's hard not to be a fan of husband and wife team, Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison. Together they have created the award winning restaurants of Bacchanalia, Abattoir, Quinones, Floataway Cafe and my favorite- Star Provisions. At this bakeshop and retail space, the food is just as delicious and meticulous as the decor itself. It's a place I can rely on to just relax and find endless inspiration. So, to see a peek inside their Cartersville, Georgia kitchen is a bit of a treat...

Garden & Gun recently had the honor to visit the 60 acre family property. Inside the expansive kitchen, Anne chose comfy leather and aluminum Eames Management chairs. It's a smart choice as I imagine the visitors to this kitchen prefer to sit and stay a while...

Their pooch, Rupert is a very cute dog, and well fed. As I'm currently attracted to any and all medicine cabinets, I really like Anne's silver collection showcased in this stunning antique apothecary version. 

I love the idea of a corrugated aluminum ceiling and the simplicity of open shelving, a schoolhouse clock and industrial pendants. As expected, it's an inspirational space to drool over. If you're ever in Atlanta, treat yourself to one of their restaurants. In the meantime, catch another glimpse of Anne through her newly released and critically acclaimed book, Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality

 

Photos: Dana Gallagher (Garden & Gun);  johnmariani.com   Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov202013

Melissa Moss

Yesterday I spent the day in one of my favorite towns, Asheville, North Carolina. My close friend Tiffany directed me to an incredible new shop in town called The Drygoods Shop. Inside, I saw the work of some very talented artists, including these sweet paintings by local resident, Melissa Moss.

These prints or acrylic on wood pieces have a pretty and pleasing aesthetic. Melissa, "I use color as my primary artistic element. I've studied the meanings and associations of colors and their subtle shades and tones and use this knowledge to convey the mood of each painting." 

The names of each painting quickly made me smile, like this lower right piece which Melissa titled, "I miss you when you're asleep." 

Melissa begins each painting by choosing an emotion to convey. All of her images are nature inspired and have a charming, bewitching vibe...

See all of Melissa's current available work here or if you're in Asheville, stop by the Drygoods Shop- which I'll have to blog about soon...

 

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