Kristen Saksa Juen

One of the joys of having my own blog is hearing from the artists themselves. What is their process? What are they inspired by? For ceramicist, Kristen Saksa Juen of Austin, Texas, it starts with natural forms. 

Kristen, "I am deeply inspired by the textures, forms and tiny details that I find in nature and there is so much to discover here in the South!" Based in Austin, Texas, Kristen molds modern, organic forms by hand. Her process is open and free forming, never rigid or absolute.

Kristen, "I prefer to design without patterns or guidelines in order to keep exploring new ideas. For me, the creative process builds on itself. Sometimes a 'failed' idea spurs several other successful designs. I push myself to design with a healthy does of randomness which ultimately gives my work its unique, organic look."

Kristen finds pure joy in her work and I have to say, I find pure joy in this trio of precious, earthy bowls. See more of her work and be inspired too, here.


Images:     Content: Sweet Peach



The Biscuit Cutter

The Biscuit Cutter is made by a northerner but perfect for a southerner. Al Mather of rural Maine handcrafts these beauties from Ash wood. A sharp edge along the bottom allows for perfect slicing of your dough. 

You can also find the biscuit cutter over at the Food 52 shop. But be forewarned, you'll get sucked in perusing all their great kitchen products. It's highly addictive...

...just like good, southern biscuits. I think I need to get one of Al's pretty biscuit cutters and get to work. 


Images: Food 52; 



The Vintage Vogue

Handmade, gold, dipped, clean, minimal...these are all current home decor trends which also describe the work of Charlotte Bravo in Baltimore, Maryland. 

I love Charlotte's gold leaf and hand drawn trays. As she shares, these would not only work beautifully in serving your guests, they "would be equally lovely hung on the wall or up against a bookcase as art." 

Besides the pretty trays and trinket dishes, Charlotte crafts these original coasters on birch wood. Each one showcases its own modern, simple design but together, they make a beautiful set. See her entire collection, which also includes paper sculptures and lighting, here.


Images: The Vintage Vogue     Content: Sweet Peach



The Ceramic Flask...

I don't currently have a flask, but after seeing this beautifully designed, ceramic version made by Tyler Deeb of Louisville, Kentucky, I want one. 

Tyler began his company, MGCO, after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. He started with designing a deck of playing cards and has grown his collection to include this cool flask, a coffee chiller and some other fun accessories. See it all, here. 


Images: Mgco   Content: Sweet Peach


The Old Wood Co.

Darren Green cares about local business and community. He started The Old Wood Co. in Asheville, North Carolina after seeing firsthand how the Asian import market demolished the furnishings sector and the local communities that had been built on domestic manufacturing. But with a recently renewed public support for Made-in-the-USA goods, Darren is determined to help revive his craft. He's dedicated to making furnishings with local, high quality materials- like these Life counter stools, made of American chestnut and natural steel. 

Darren cares deeply about his community, so therefore he cares deeply about the environment. He utilizes reclaimed lumber and recycled steel- plus he has a paperless accounting system and donates all his sawdust to local farms. That by itself, is a good enough reason to support his efforts- yet his work is so impressive and beautifully done, you can't help but be a big fan. 

Darren's collection includes all manner of tables, stools and consoles. I particularly like this Iron Scissor side table, also made in American chestnut and natural steel. 

Then there's this- the Wood Boom Boombox, a 20 watt amplifier with two full range speakers made of walnut veneer and hand forged iron handles. Just place your digital or analog music player in the walnut groove and you're good to go. Darren also cares about good tunes apparently. I like that in a guy...



Carriage Oak Cottage

As the winter doldrums have really started to get me down, I find myself counting down the days to daylight saving time. The spring makes me think and dream of vivid, poppy colors. Which is why I love these vases, created by Kristin Malaer of Raleigh, North Carolina.  

Kristin loves to play with color and texture and therefore chose to cover these glass vases in her own mixture of stucco and cement. The result is something unique and intriguing to the eye. This set of three would look lovely on my front porch, side by side, filled with spring flowers...sigh.  

Kristin is a busy bee, getting ready for spring herself as she now has hundreds of colorful vases to choose from on her site. Sounds like a good plan to beat the winter doldrums... Enjoy the weekend y'all. 




Checking in with The White Pepper...

When you find a good vintage shop online, it's worth bookmarking as the inventory is constantly changing. Such as The White Pepper, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is always stocked with original, beautifully curated finds from the past. It's like the perfect yard sale...

I can't get enough of these vintage brass pineapple ice buckets. Aren't they amazing? I can envision this set on the bar I don't yet have. I suppose it's a good enough reason to make room for one...

Another brass treasure are these vintage pineapple and palm tree candle holders. It's all just so good. Check out hundreds more finds just like this, here. 



Kia Neill

I love when an artist expresses their wholly original point of view. Like Kia Neill of Houston, Texas who creates seductive and fantasized versions of mother nature. 

Nothing is literally 'drawn' in her drawings but images come to life in a very slow, deliberate yet spontaneous way. Kia, "To produce my drawings, I use a hairdryer to manipulate puddles of thinned down pigment on paper. The hot air current speeds evaporation and moves the puddles around. The process is unpredictable and induces a type of meditation."  

She continues, "As I gradually layer the marks from the dried puddles, I recognize form and pattern similar to what I see in nature, such as the ridges of clam shells, linear folds of sedimentary layers or jagged tree lines of alpine forests." 

Such beautiful images to get lost in...see more of Kia's impressive work, which includes sculptures and installations, here. 




I'm back in town after a long weekend out west and have a bit of time to share a few pretty things that caught my eye on the flight home. My endless gratitude for Gogo inflight...

I'm currently searching for more artwork for my own home that is original yet affordable. Painter, Lynne Millar was raised in McLean, Virginia, and sells her floral-themed oils on paper at such great prices. ($80 or $40 for these....) 

Then, there's the gorgeous water cut candles I spotted over at JM Dry Goods in Austin, Texas. These eye catching candles come in 8 different colors for $62. 

And checking back in with my favorite Mississippi shop, Amelia Presents, I spotted this gorgeous hand painted clutch for $60 that is offered in blue, green or pink tones (or simply request your favorite color). It's exlusive to Amelia and I dare say, such a good find. 



The Sidecar

Last week, I pitched an idea to my boss- a cocktail cart that I could wheel around the office for Friday afternoon Happy Hours. I promised to find an old cart at a thrift shop and stock it with some basic necessities and let it evolve from there. I'm happy to report, he replied with an enthusiastic "Yes!" But after seeing this Sidecar, made in collaboration by Moore & Giles and famed barman Jim Meehan, I really want this one. 

This made by hand beauty is a true labor of love. Crafted with Virginia black walnut, Tuscan leather, brass rods and polished brass handles, every single component was chosen for the cart's optimal ease and functionality. The tabletop includes two shelves coated in leather to deaden bottle sound and offer reinforcement while the brass handles are flush mounted to prevent interference with the server's shins. 

The Sidecar also doubles as the manliest showcase for one's prized collection of decanters and bottles. It's a conversation piece for sure and meant for the most serious of booze enthusiasts. I keep envisioning how amazing it would be to roll it down the hallways of my office... yet with a price tag of $13,500, that may be a bit of a tough sell. 


Images:     Content: Sweet Peach 

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