Wdwrk Co. 

Good kitchen wares are a good investment. Particularly anything handmade by Rob Laliberte from Knoxville, Tennessee. In his online shop, Wdwrk, you'll find a collection of well made, well designed, wooden pieces for the home that stand the test of time. Plus, they just look good...

Rob, "This began with the idea of creating unique and simple pieces meant for the ritual of daily use." Like these handsome black walnut hand carved spoons, perfect for stirring a pitcher of iced tea or anything inside a tall, tall glass. 

All of the items are crafted from locally sourced lumber in Knoxville. I think every kitchen can benefit from the addition of a handmade salt cellar and spoon as well as a small rolling pin...

This is a flat bottomed cocktail muddler in black walnut which is a pretty cool addition to any bar...

Woodworking has always been a passion for Rob, as well as designing and illustrating. It's nice to see his talents mingle with his ever expanding shop of small wares. May this inspire you to inquire further... and happy Manly Monday everyone. 


Photos:    Content: Sweet Peach



The Commons (+ Heirloom Bookshop) 

A few months ago, I made a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to spend time with my cousin and visit one of my favorite cities. The one place at the top of my list to check out was The Commons. As co-owner Erin Connelly shared, The Commons "expresses a modern point of view on home goods, grounded in our American roots." 

Erin and her business partner, Kerry Speake, seek out American artists that care deeply about their craft - curating high quality, well designed products that can stay in the family for generations. Erin, "We love the concept of handmade, earthy textures mixed with slick and contemporary design." 

This table lamp is a gem, made by Michael Moran of Moran Woodworked. Erin,"The conical bases are charred using an ancient Japanese technique that was developed to preserve wood against rotting and insects. The Moran's have mastered this technique and integrated it into their pieces, not only as a functional finish but to get a specific richness in color and texture." Erin (a clothing designer by trade) added, "I love how these lamps tie back to what is happening in the fashion world today, mimicking the color blocking and ombre trends." 

Last year, I blogged about The Great American Flask by Jacob Bromwell and I loved discovering his equally cool solid copper shot glasses inside their shop. Plus, the macrame...sigh. These two lovely pieces were made by Janelle Pietrzak of All Roads Design. Erin, "She has crafted these beautiful compositions out of vintage jute, cotton and silk, adding hand painted touches in gold leaf."

Erin is based in Charleston as Kerry helps curate the shop via her home base in Seattle. Erin (above) has done a beautiful job displaying all their found wares as there is so much to look at and appreciate - yet each piece gets its own territory to live and breathe in. And space is at a premium here, as The Commons is acutally situated inside another must-see gem of Charleston, The Heirloom Bookshop.

Carlye Jane Dougherty is the mastermind behind this incredible collection of rare and vintage cookbooks that exude a wealth of food knowledge and history-  and in their own special secondhand way, are fantastic conversation pieces. Erin, "Her clients range from home enthusiasts to world-renowned professional chefs." Which is why The Commons and Heirloom Bookshop complement each other so beautifully. As Erin shared, "Our customers understand the value of a cutting board carved from one piece of wood and the elegance of the most functional salt and pepper grinders. Our product mix is indicative of the lifestyle of our clientele." 

I'm a lover of books of all kinds, particularly vintage ones that speak to another time and place. My favorite of the bunch the day I visited was Corned Beef and Caviar. I was quickly drawn to the added info, "For the Live-Aloner" and "Author of Live Alone and Like It." That's just too good. 

The space for these two shop owners to mingle in is small, but Erin and Carlye utilize every square inch much like a master chef would. It's tidy, fluid, organized, enticing and full of really good surprises...

If you visit Charleston soon, I sure do hope that you make your way to The Commons and The Heirloom Bookshop, located down a sweet little alley way in downtown Charleston. Come curious and carefree for once inside, you'll be staying a while. Trust me...


Photos: Sweet Peach; First pic: Olivia Rae James     Content: Sweet Peach



Little River Designs

I have a soft spot in my heart for growth charts as I've always thought they were just the most fun thing ever- especially the ones made by Little River Designs of St. Simons Island, Georgia. 

Each ruler is handcrafted and meant to hang six inches from your floor to ensure accurate measurements. Why didn't we ever measure all our dogs we had in our house growing up? I love this idea...

The growth chart ruler is available in white or natural and can be personalized with up to 20 characters. 

Sara Alread started the company after her nephew, River was born. Sara, "He became our inspiration and little mascot." And subsequently he has a design business named after's a good start in life. Check out the Little River shop, here.


Photos: Little River Designs; Chris Moncus Photography     Content: Sweet Peach


Atlanta Vintage Map

One of the perks of being a design blogger are the emails you get with links and pics of cool projects in the works. Like this one, just completed by Jeanee Ledoux of Finely Crafted. It's an art print that showcases her favorite vintage shops in Atlanta. Jeanee, "I tried to capture the spirit of each shop and our city as a whole- note the kudzu on the signpost!"

Jeanee recruited the talented, Cindy Tomczyk of Paper Parasol Press to design the map. Jeanee, "I did the research and art direction and she made the drawings in her signature atomic-era style."

I love Jeanee's layout. As she shared, "We were stumped for a few days on how to treat the numbered list of shops. It was a boring sidebar and didn't look integrated with the drawings, so I came up with the idea to turn the headline and list into a diner-style sign." Too fun...

An artistic collaboration is a pretty beautiful accomplishment. The process itself --if successful-- takes the ego out of the equation and allows two parties to bring their best skill sets to the table and challenge their individual abilities in a new way. I'm inspired by the work of these two and excited to see who Jeanee will collaborate with next. (Check out Jeanee's last collaboration with Leah Duncan)

Jeanee and Cindy's vintage map is motivating me to finally check out the Starlight Six Swap Meet this weekend. It's just down the way from my house, I've always wondered about it and as you can see, admission is 25 cents. Oh, I'm all over that...


Photos: Jeanee Ledoux; Cindy Tomczyk      Content: Sweet Peach


The Meaning of Maggie

When James Lipton asks that question on every show of Inside The Actor's Studio-- "What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?"-- I'm always torn between a painter and an author. Both offer the ability to work from anywhere, like a cute cabin in the woods or that beach house I dream of so often. So, when Atlanta based author, Megan Jean Sovern wrote to me last month, sharing the story of a recent novel she wrote (for kids age 8-12), I was at full attention. I knew I wanted to support her efforts, particularly after I saw how gosh darn adorable it all was....

As Megan shared, "The Meaning of Maggie is about eleven year old Maggie Mayfield's blazing trail to the White House armed with a head full of brains and a backpack full of snacks. She's a girl on a clear mission. But that mission is derailed when her dad's legs permanently fall asleep. What happened? The truth? It's not what happened. It's what's happening. Maggie switches gears from global domination to unraveling the mysteries surrounding her family." 

Megan drew on her own life for some of the storylines and characters but as she concedes, "Maggie is way tougher than I am. She can also handle her Mike and Ikes better than I ever could." She wrote the book in coffee shops and on park benches not far from her home in the Poncey Highland area of Atlanta and felt inspired by the South. Megan, "Southerners are bred with an amazing amount of resilience. To heat and mosquitoes and haunted pasts. And Maggie and her family use that resilience to take on every challenge that lies ahead of them." 

When her publisher, Chronicle Books, wanted a book trailer, she was quick to take on the task herself. As an advertising copywriter by day, Megan wrote the script along with her husband and enlisted Georgia Tribuiani to direct. This short trailer is as delightful and imaginative as her subject matter.  

Megan's writing style helps churn our imagination and create the world of Miss Maggie. What I love about the trailer is how those images in our head now come to life, setting the scene and backdrop so perfectly. Plus, she's conjuring up my own past. Being born in the 70's-- typewriters, candy corn and bad wedding photos on the dressers are all symbolic of my own childhood. I may be older than 12, but I have to admit, this book speaks to me...

Megan, "My intention was to write a story about a family who is handed an incredible challenge and it doesn't tear them apart. In fact, it makes them stronger, better and even funnier. I also always wanted to write something with a Spaceballs reference. I finally succeeded." I'm not sure what other profession Megan herself would like to attempt but I hope she doesn't deviate from author anytime soon.

Find, read, savor and share The Meaning of Maggie, here.


Photos: Raymond McCrea Jones      Content: Sweet Peach


The Masculine, Urban Bed. 

Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson are the founders of The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina. It is here they partake and oversee in the production of jacquard fabrics to create luxurious textiles for the home. To their credit, 100% of the designing and weaving, the cutting and the sewing, happens at The Mill.

To create luxurious, super soft throws, coverlets, pillows and shams, they rely on fabrics that are warm and cozy, yet breathable. All of their textiles are made from natural fibers of cotton, wool, alpaca, linen and/or bamboo. And to ensure high quality and low impact, no chemicals are used in the weaving or finishing at the Mill. 

They currently offer four different collections. This one, the Brooklyn Collection shows off their manly side. As Bethanne shared, "It's a masculine, urban bed that was inspired by a fabric we make that is reminiscent of men's wear." 

Inside the Mill, you'll find Sew Co., founded by Libby O'Bryan. As stated on their site, "Sew Co.'s crew is composed of veteran factory workers who learned how to sew on the job during the South's manufacturing heydays of the 60's and 70's and have been sewing ever since."

The vets work alongside women who have studied fine dressmaking and costume design, so it's safe to say this is an impressive group of artisans. Together they utilize eight Jacquard and two high speed Dobby looms to create their fabrics. 

It was very important for Bethanne to create a manufacturing company much different from those of the past. Every step of the process happens under one roof, ensuring quality control- plus, it's very much a team effort here. Learn more about The Oriole Mill and see the entirety of their scrumptious, luxurious collections, here. 


Photos: Andrew Day/NY Times; The Oriole Mill     Content: Sweet Peach


Malvi Marshmallow Confections

When I met Laura Curtis Retana in front of her display of Malvi Marshmallow Confections, I was trying not to drool. Her marshmallow creations looked so tasty but I knew I couldn't try them, as I'm (so sadly) allergic to eggs. When I shared this with Laura, her reply was my favorite reply I've ever heard from a baker- "There aren't any eggs!" And then, the love obsession took hold, because these things are ridiculously, incredibly, amazingly delectable.  

Laura, "Malvis are all-natural hand made marshmallow cookie sandwiches, like a portable s'mores." She makes her perfectly delicious shortbread-style cookies then adds lots of addictive combinations into her Malvis, like dark chocolate and peppermint, vanilla bean and salted caramel, passion fruit and coconut, blueberries, milk chocolate and cinnamon...and more. Yum. 

Vanilla Salted Caramel is her best seller and my personal favorite. Laura, "Salt plays an important role in my baking and the magical salty-sweet combination is on full display in this Malvi." 

Laura showed up at my work last month with some new flavors and these Vanilla Salted Caramel Minis. Hold me down, lord, these things make me do something I only do on rare occasions- I eat something so unexpectedly delicious, I just can't even talk. To be overcome with joy and happiness is the experience of eating a Malvi Mini. Laura currently just makes them for special events but hopes to package them for customer consumption very soon. Yes please. 

Malvis (which is short for the Spanish word for marshmallow, Malvavisco) are no ordinary marshmallows. Laura, "Marshmallows are 90% air so it's hard to translate flavors through them and most marshmallows are just sugar with a hint of vanilla. Malvis, however, are flavor focused. All the color and flavor in Malvis comes from all-natural, top quality ingredients like organic chocolate, whole bean vanilla and powdered hibiscus. Malvis also have no corn syrup or egg products." 

Laura recently added a Sunshine Sampler to her shop, which is a 20 pack of 5 different flavors for just $25. Check out the entirety of her sweet and salty, super tasty marshamallow confections, here. And happy weekend everyone...


Photos: Three Pennies; Sweet Peach      Content: Sweet Peach


Eclectica Kiddo

If you live in Atlanta, you may have stepped inside Seed Factory, one of the loveliest and inspirational kid shops you'll find. And if you look along the walls, you'll notice some artwork that is hard not to fall madly in love with. All the pieces are commissioned and curated by Atlanta based company, Eclectica Kiddo. 

Laura Liatis and Emily Mann have combined their talents to provide the most scrumptious children's decor. Laura, "We are always looking for artists with a unique take on children's art." She added, "We want the imagery to be appealing to both children and design-minded parents: to be on trend without being trendy and cute without being cutesy." I believe that is exactly what they have accomplished. 

Ekaterina Trukhan, an artist originally from Russia who now resides in London, has built her career on children's artwok. Her cheery, playful images are just the sweetest, don't you think? 

Laura and Emily find artists that they want to work with, then challenge them with the task to create images just for children. Many of their artists (except Ekaterina) have never created artwork specifically for children before so together they guide the artist through the process. Kelsey Garrity Riley spent her childhood in Europe but relocated to the US to study at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. As shared on the site, "Her beautiful watercolor images have a vintage feel with a unique contemporary twist." 

Teagan White has my heart as her work displays her deep affection for the natural world. Laura and Emily loved these images and decided to display them on birch panels, which is a lovely complement to the style and intention of Teagan's work. 

Atlanta based artist, Justine Rubin incorporated her love of collage and poppy colors to create this adorable series of animals for Eclectica Kiddo. This is Justine's first collection of published children's artwork. 

These days, I'm loving vivid color in design which is why I'm head over heels for the work of Abbey Rhodes. As stated on the site, "Abbey's work shows his appreciation for folk art and simplicity in design and pattern." Mr. Cat or Mr. Dog are available in bright blue, green, orange or yellow. 

Laura, "I absolutely love watching the imagery evolve from a conversation with our artist to a sketch, to a inked drawing, to a final image." While Laura, (seated to the right of Emily) brings a long career on the business side of art and art production to help run the operational side, Emily, an artist herself, is integral in the creative and collaboration process. Together, with a strong love for the arts, they make a perfect match. I loved that they saw a niche in the market and filled it with something sweet and cheery- and beautifully designed! Bravo...


Photos: Eclectica Kiddo site     Content: Sweet Peach


mb art studios

I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning as I went to bed at 2am and back up at the crack of dawn to start another day on set. But- I did luckily have some pics saved of some really pretty ceramics that I'd love to share from mb art studios today.  

Mary Burrows is from Austin, Texas and followed her creative passion after too many years inside an office cubicle. Mary, "What woke me up was having a child who didn't fit into the average 'box,' he helped open up my eyes to a whole new world." 

Today, she has let creativity take the lead in her life and passionately crafts all manner of dinnerware and items for the home. Mary, "My grandfather's parents were from Sweden and I seem to gravitate towards modern, Scandinavian design. I love patterns, black and white, color, wood, textiles and imperfection." 

I'm head over heels for this ocean blue and white porcelain plate. Mary, "Black underglaze is swirled onto each piece and reacts in the kiln with our own recipe of a clear, shiny glaze. The result is a deep blue and has a bit of mystery to it." 

It's funny, this plate is so needed on the TV set I'm working on right now. The crazy cast are acting, as expected, off their rocker. Oh lord, too many tales to tell. For now, I'll let this be my mantra for getting through the end of the show. I'm almost there... See all of Mary's truly gorgeous creations, here. 


Photos: mb art studios     Content: Sweet Peach



Clair Hartmann

I've been out of town a few weeks now on a job and I must admit, I miss my pups. These beautiful paintings of dogs by Clair Hartmann caught my eye today and I can't help but want to share...

Clair grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and is now based in Wilmington, North Carolina. She started painting regularly in 2008 after learning about a project started by painter, Duane Keiser. His idea was to produce one painting every day which would improve his artistic skills (not to mention his bank account). Inspired by all the dogs she saw at the local Farmer's Market where she worked each weekend- many of which were rescues with some incredible stories- she decided to paint their portraits. She loved the fact that each dog (and painting) had a story to tell. 

Besides painting all that inspires her each day, Clair is available for custom portraiture as well. This Great Dane is kind of amazing, don't you think? 

See Claire's current collection of paintings, which includes abstracts, landscapes and much more, here. 


Photos: Clair Hartmann site     Content: Sweet Peach