Orbix Hot Glass

The older I get, the more I like giving away all the stuff that fills my kitchen cabinets and allowing room for less. I want more room for glass and dishware that can tell a story or have a specific beauty and functionality to them. Orbix Hot Glass, based in Fort Payne, Alabama is all about making each piece count...

Glass artist and owner, Cal Breed has spent years refining his skills. Along with his small team of helpers, they have greatly refined their 'glass dance.' Together, they've learned to work at the perfect temperature, going through each step of the delicate glass making process with focus and coordinated ease. Their goal is to touch the glass as little as possible so they are left with as pure a glass as possible. 

My favorite pieces of Cal's are his pitchers and vases. They come in a multitude of stunning colors and styles that would look amazing displayed on a counter or shelf with a bit of natural light streaming through...

Next time you're in Northeast Alabama, you can check out Cal's work studio and gallery...or visit their impressive online shop, here. 


Photos: Orbix Hot Glass       Content: Sweet Peach


B. Inspired: Mix & Match Tabletop

Time in Hermosa Beach means time spent with Bryce, my old neighbor and lifetime friend. I'm heading back home to Atlanta today with great memories of my short vacation here. Bryce is a constant inspiration who keeps me laughing and active- as he has more energy than 4 people combined. His latest creation in his backyard workshop came via a mix match of hardwood flooring, stained and unstained that was given to him by a neighbor. What to do with it? It took him a sec, then he got to work...

Bryce found this old parlor table base for $5 at Habitat for Humanity. He spray painted it red and then organized his mix and match pieces of flooring.   

In a traditional table, the grain of wood would run in the same way. Bryce did the opposite, mixing the direction of grain as he arranged and put the pieces together like a puzzle.  

To enhance the patchwork look, Bryce sanded and rounded the edges of each piece so you can feel the difference between the cuts. Lastly, he added a clear coat....

...then attached the tabletop to the base using wood screws. 

With the leftover stained wood, Bryce made this two-top table for his kitchen. It just took him a couple hours total. Impressive as always...and inspiring. Thanks Bryce. 


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Tomas Gets a Haircut 

A few months back, I traveled to Phuket, Thailand to work on a cable TV show. For 7 weeks, every day, my fellow crew and I drove to set, passing by this small house along the way. A handmade sign on a post caught my eye that first day and made me smile. It simply said, in English, Man Haircut.

As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a future Manly Monday segment...but who would be my victim? I chose Tomas, a good friend of mine from Argentina, who is a cameraman on the show. His hair had gotten long by the end of the shoot and was open, as many of my traveling colleagues are, to a new experience, however off kilter that may become. Perfect.  

When we arrived, this older man appeared. He didn't speak a word of English but as is often the case when traveling, much could be communicated through body language. Tomas sat down, pointed to his long curls and the only thing we knew for sure was, he was about to get a man haircut. 

My friend Manwe lives in Thailand and he was kind enough to go back a week or so later and ask the man a few questions. His name is Charoun Songdeng but goes by the nickname Nui. He's 65 years old (Manwe noted it took a minute for him to remember how old he really was) Nui has been a barber in his local Nai Thon village for over 20 years. Before that, he was a construction worker and a farm hand. 

Nui only does men's hair and says his prices are way cheaper than you'll find down at the beach, about a mile away. (He charged Tomas $3) Most of Nui's clients are regulars. Manwe, "As I was interviewing him, a taxi driver drove past and shouted that he will be back in half an hour for a haircut." 

It took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Nui was slow yet purposeful, quiet and kind. When Manwe asked Nui what he liked or disliked about his job, he replied, "I can't think of anything I don't like. It's all good and keeps me busy." 

My initial fear was that Nui would cut Tomas' hair too short but rest assured, it was the perfect length. We thanked Nui in Thai- hands held together in prayer pose, offering a slight bow in gratitude. 

It was here, on the side of the road in a small Thai village, that words carried little weight. All that mattered was all we had- a shared understanding of a man who needs a haircut.  


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Sweet Peach takes a break...

Just for one week, I'm taking a much needed break away from blogging. I need to spend less time in front of a computer screen for a bit. I'm off to Hermosa Beach with my two nieces in tow...should be fun. I'll be back with brand new posts starting Monday, August 19. Enjoy your week everyone...



A Friday Cocktail...

I finish up a Lifetime show this weekend and it's just been one of those shows where you need to have a cocktail once in a while. To commemorate its much anticipated conclusion, I've been looking for something smooth and southern. Found via Garden and Gun, this perfect Friday cocktail called The Tallulah comes from Ollie Irene in Birmingham, Alabama. It combines coke, peanut syrup and Jack Daniels. Yum.  

If you grew up in the South, you may remember the hot summer days where you'd place peanuts into a cold Coke to make a sweet and salty treat. Now it's been fine tuned and modernized a bit with some handmade peanut syrup and a jigger of Jack. It's good...and I think I'll be having one or two tonight. Find the recipe over at G & G and happy weekend everyone! 


Photos: Garden and Gun      Content: Sweet Peach


R. Wood Studio Ceramics

The last time I was in Athens, Georgia, I stopped by R. Wood Studio Ceramics. I didn't have my camera with me but I loved walking through the big warehouse that was filled with handmade ceramics...bowls, plates, platters, cups, you name it. And all in colorful hues and uncommon shapes. 

Rebecca Wood started the studio in 1991 and it has grown to be one of the biggest pottery studios in the US. As stated on their site, "Renowned for their luscious colors, simple shapes, and inspired by their southern surroundings, they also produce one-of-a-kind pieces that are sought after by collectors."

Rebecca and a dozen of her trained artists craft the playful pottery using Georgia red clay. Each piece is entirely made by hand, inspired by nature and signed by the artist. Pieces of art indeed...

If you're a potter, this is an amazing place to work. Rebecca encourages an open and collaborative atmosphere. Besides the many made-to-order pieces, her artists can create and sell their own work as well. So next time you're in Athens, may I suggest you take a side trip to R. Wood Studio Ceramics. The door is often wide open, beckoning you inside...


Photos: R. Wood Studio, Rinne Allen       Content: Sweet Peach


Cat Studio

Delving into various retail over the years, Terrell and Carmel Swan of Cat Studio have found their niche in hand embroidered maps. I particularly love their playful and colorful pillows, which depict all 50 states, plus various cities, regions, national parks and countries around the globe. I'm privy to the Southern locales myself...

Terrell (who grew up in Texas and Mississippi) and Carmel (from Hawaii), found inspiration for their designs from vintage souvenir pillows of the 30's and 40's. Plus, they have a combined love for travel and endless curiosity of the world around us. 

Each pillow is hand embroidered and can take a full week to create. I really love each of these as they are amazing conversation starters to add to your couch, chair or bed and also serve as a reminder of the places you love, or hope to visit. See all of Cat Studio's cozy and fun creations, here.


Photos: Cat Studio     Content: Sweet Peach


Revitalized Artistry

Christopher White is an impressive guy. As a junior Marketing major at the University of Georgia in Athens, he's already created an eye catching line of home decor pieces that are as stylish as they are distinctive. 

Utilizing worn and weathered mid century furniture, Christopher gives the pieces he finds a much needed face lift. Adding bone white paint to contrast with the typical shades of brown found in mid century furniture, Christopher creates upcycled home decor pieces that have a unique look and feel. As he shares, "During restoration, I like to infuse my own style within the detail of each piece." 

See all of Christopher's creations here...and bookmark it. He's a designer to watch. 


Photos: Revitalized Athens     Content: Sweet Peach



Shaun Garcia

A while back, I visited Shaun Garcia at his home in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He's a Chef de Cuisine by day, master sewer by night, which is just one of the many reasons to love him. His expertly handcrafted mailbags are to be admired. I was reminded of this when he brought a few new bags to sell at our recent Sweet Peach Revival.

These stylish satchels are unique as they are 100% handcrafted by Shaun in his home. For each bag, he utilizes the highest quality Horween leather and materials. As a renowned chef, Shaun shared his take on it-  "As a chef, I've decided to use the best ingredients to cook with, so I also use the best ingredients to craft with." 

There are approximately 23 copper rivets added to each mailbag. All are hand set, hand cut and pounded down by Shaun himself, using an old railroad tie as an anvil. This is how the original USPS mailbags were made, which inspired the entire look of his bags. Shaun, "If you want to make the bag last, you use these rivets." 

It's quickly evident by look and feel that these bags are built to last. In fact, each and every one has a lifetime guarantee. Shaun, "These bags are made to be passed down, generation to generation. It's like a black leather jacket, they're timeless in style." 

Each bag can be custom made, catering to your needs. Sometimes Shaun adds an interior back pocket, a front pocket or a full interior divider. Whatever you desire, he's happy to oblige... 

In early fall, Shaun is planning to handcraft 26 new bags, so they will be available for next day shipping via his Etsy shop. A few mailbags in his next run will feature Horween Derby leather, which is undyed and guaranteed to develop an individualized, natural patina with time. Learn more about Shaun's mailbags at his Etsy shop, or if you're in Atlanta, stop by Belly General Store to see a few of Shaun's beautifully made bags in person. Trust me when I say, you won't be disasppointed.  


Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Megan Hurdle

Using a variety of pigments, such as gauche, acrylics, oil pastels and chalk, Memphis artist Megan Hurdle creates colorful and engaging mixed media pieces on paper.

Megan's signature pieces have been her skulls, which explore the masculine side- but she's delved into dresses and costume paintings as of late, shedding light on the feminine. 

Megan, "Ever since I was a young girl, painting till 4am in my grandmother's studio, I've seen the world a little differently. It has granted a perspective that has driven me to create things that elevate the mundane, make beautiful what many might see as ugly and connect, if only for a moment, with the raw, the real, the remarkable." See all of Megan's current works here....& enjoy your weekend everyone!   


Photos: Christen Jones    Content: Sweet Peach