Time to shop...

This holiday season, I've reached out to a few of my favorite Southern artists to share their gift ideas with all of us. You'll see these special guest Gift Picks featured throughout December on Sweet Peach and first up is Old Try from Charlotte, North Carolina, who craft incredible letterpress prints and tees. Together, the fabulously talented Marianna and Micah Whitson have picked their top 8 gift ideas for the holiday, all from Southern makers. Enjoy...

1. MAKR Key Bottle Opener $11.50. Micah, I guarantee you, I use this bottle opener more than I use my car key, which either says how much I drink or a little about how much I drive. At either rate, the boys in Florida have given me something damn practical that doesn't take up any more room than it has to. 

2. MOLLY JOGGER, Scout Red Knit Cap $19.50. Rich Stagner is building quite the brand over in the Ozarks. He's an Eddie Bauer alum who is doing remarkable things with a heritage brand that has, well, legit heritage. I've been a fan of every new release they've put out since I've been following them. This wooly cap would look good from Little Rock to Mt. Magazine. 

3. ALABAMA BISCUIT CO. Biscuit Mix $10. A good buddy from college started Alabama Biscuit and before he even got the doors open, Paula Deen picked them as a top 10 biscuit in America. If you can't get down to Cahaba Heights in Birmingham, then get this mix and see what all the hype over their spelt grain biscuits is all about.

4. ANDOVER TRASK Standard Bag $175. Matt Weaver didn't know that if he made a bag in Atlanta that was practical and beautiful and in Ole Miss colors that I'd drool over it and hope one of my bags will break so I can justify another one. Or did he? 

5. KENTUCKY FOR KENTUCKY Kentucky Pennant Raglan $30. From the fine fellows who brought you the Kentucky Kicks Ass Initiative comes a handsome baseball tee because of course a baseball tee from the state of the Louisville slugger based off an old vintage pennant is a homerun. Made in the USA and printed in the Ville. 

6. OLD TRY Old Top $35. Sure, we've got a bunch of prints that are great, but you can't leave the house with a print and it's getting too cold to leave with one of our tee shirts. Which is why we spent a year sourcing a classic navy ball cap that is made in America and works perfectly year round. To that, we'll doff our caps. 

7. BUFFALO JACKSON Jackson Vest $89.95. What's a stuffed buffalo doing in Matthews, NC? Pretty much alerting folks that Xan Hood is making clothes that are a tribute to the west and to the rugged spirit in us all. This puffy vest is the right amount of soft in a rough and tumble world. 

8. SYDNEY HALE Bourbon & Brown Sugar $28. Megan Cook + Co. make these candles in Virginia. They're wonderfully complex and make the whole house smell amazing. I pretty much light one anytime I'm working on new prints. Added bonus? 10% of proceeds go to animal rescue efforts. 



Happy Thanksgiving...

I'm actually working today, but will be thinking throughout the day of all that I'm thankful for, which is a lot. I'm particularly thankful for the chance to join some longtime friends later tonight for dinner and for being able to do this blog each day. Its been a necessary vehicle for my creative spirit and my sanity. Thank you all for checking in each day or whenever you can. It is appreciated. 

This Thanksgiving, I am also thankful for this James Franco and Seth Rogan shot for shot parody of Kanye West's latest video with Kim Kardashian. It's too good not to share. Enjoy & Happy Turkey Day everybody... 



The Bedside Light

The last couple of days I've been sick as a dog. A cold, sore throat, fever...I've spent some time reading in bed and then in a sick haze, wondering how to improve my bedside table. I think a new light is in order. Which got me thinking- and searching for some good options. Here's a few that caught my eye... 

I hope this offers a bit of inspiration. I just took some nyquil and am turning my bedside light off. Night night...


Photos: Martha Stewart; Apartment Therapy; My Paradissi; Remodelista; Decor Dots; Decor8; Curbly;     Content: Sweet Peach


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. 




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...



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...



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);   Content: Sweet Peach


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...



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


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