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Wednesday
Feb262014

A black & white kind of day...

Today I'm feeling a bit uninspired and unmotivated as I've been searching for a way to create a new career path for myself but things are not moving forward- or backward. I'm just as stuck as can be. And i'm tired of it and subsequently, uninspired, which is quite unusual for me. So, in deciding what to blog about, I seem drawn to all things black and white...particularly these shadow puppet pillows, which make me feel a bit happy in their creative simplicity. 

Modern Market is a home decor shop in New Orleans, Louisiana where you'll find the work of emerging product designers. Not all are Southern but I do like owner, Sherrie Hope's selection of artists in her pretty shop- (which is more colorful than this post, I assure you.) I actually have a back porch that I decorated in black and white and I'm drawn to all of these gray scale items in her shop today, like this cozy and warm wool and cotton chenille blanket.

...and these pillows for $89 each. 

Whenever I do get out of this rut and find that job I've been searching for, a few new rugs are in order. Check out Sherrie's impressive selection, here. Until then, I'm gonna go head outside for a walk and try to embrace the cold and whatever this new day reveals itself to be... in black and white, and all the colors in between. 

 

Photos: Modern Market      Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb252014

SOÑADORA  

Nashville based artist, Lisa Garcia is making me feel nostalgic. Her handmade wall hangings make me pine for those macrame plant holders my mom had in the 70's. Macrame is back in trend and I particularly like Lisa's unique twist to the artform. 

Lisa uses metal and a wool blend fiber for her pieces, which all stand on their own as one of a kind. Lisa, "It started as a hobby and an exploration of materials but has since grown to be one of my main undertakings. With each piece, I experiment with texture, weight and shape and the results are what I consider to be a modern take on folk fiber art."

Each one is just so lovely, it makes me want to have a crafting night with friends...hmmm, maybe someday soon. In the meantime, find inspiration and some lovely home decor ideas in her Etsy shop, Sonadora. 

 

Photos:  Rory Mohon; Lisa Garcia/Sonadora     Content: Sweet Peac


Monday
Feb242014

Tweeds

Tweeds is the kind of shop that grabs your attention the moment you walk inside. The space is great, the offerings are varied, distinctive and well made. It all just makes a lot of sense, much like the union of its owners, Kirk Stafford and Thomas Wages. When they met, they quickly realized their mutual love for design and men's apparel and decided to go into business together. 

With incredibly similar interests and aesthetics, Kirk and Thomas sometimes feel like they have the exact same brain (and often dress alike). Their 2300 square foot space on the west side of Atlanta (that was once a horse stable) is open and welcoming. The shop has ample space to meander, with couches and chairs to relax on, plus a steady rotation of great tunes playing. And for us home decor lovers, everything inside the store is for sale, including all the tables, props and display pieces. Thomas, "The whole store is a living breathing thing that's always evolving." 

Tweeds is filled with men's apparel and provisions handmade by small craft companies from across the globe. And yes, that is an Andover Trask bag I spot... 

I quickly became a fan of the luxury boxers, Royal Highnies. According to the makers from Flintstone, Georgia, these are handmade, "including a spacious ballroom with full seating and a sturdy front entrance so that no one slips out unexpectedly." The blanket and strap come via Yellow 108 in Los Angeles and the attractive leather belts are part of their ever expanding Tweeds line...

One of the top two reasons to shop at Tweeds is for their hand stitched suits. Thomas, "Our handmade suits are a third to a half the price of our competitors." The handsome Tweeds brand suit sells for $895.

The second top reason men seek out Tweeds is for their shirts. They have a nice selection from Ernest Alexander of New York as well as the recent introduction of their own line. 

Thomas showed me a couple special features, including their split placket across the back which allows the shirt to hang better on the shoulders. The quality of their material is superb- plus they add elbow patches, which I can't help but love. 

Kirk and Thomas were a pure pleasure to hang out with. They promise me big things are happening at their store this year, including their own denim line, more shirts, pants and provisions under the Tweeds label as well as an expansion of their store...and some more things that they were keeping mysteriously mum. But, they assured me that whatever shenanigans they were up to, it was something really good. Well, like I said earlier, they got my attention.

Check out the Tweeds shop, here.

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Feb212014

Jordan Grace Owens

I've always been a fan of unique, unsuspecting gifts. Durham, North Carolina artist, Jordan Grace Owens must have the same sentiment as she's created one of the best gift ideas I've seen in a long time...custom paper dolls.

The way it works is you email her a pic of yourself, pets, friends or family in the clothes you'd like replicated and she'll illustrate all of you into moveable paper dolls. They are about 6" tall and hand colored with marker, ink and colored pencil. Love this idea....plus, the packaging is great. 

Another brilliant creation of hers are these mid century style couple portraits...

Just send Jordan the pictures along with your pick on background colors and she will create custom drawings enclosed in a double vignette mat and vintage gold frame. This is a great idea for yourself and significant other and perhaps even better as a wedding or anniversary gift. Just email Jordan soon if you're up for it as her waiting list is now a few months long. But, if you love the idea of giving that unique, unsuspected something, it's a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Happy weekend...

 

Illustrations: Jordan Grace Owens      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
Feb202014

Gunner & Lux

My favorite part of being a design blogger is telling stories. Products come and go but what connects all of us to an artist and their work is knowing a bit of their background, their passions and quirks. What is their story?  For John Petersen, his design story begins in Atlanta, Georgia where he lives with his partner, William and their exuberant four year old daughter, Riley.  

John has always been the creative type with a love for crafting and styling. He recently decided to collect jewelry pieces for Riley in anticipation of her wanting to play dress up. From friends, antique and thrift shops, John soon amassed a large collection of new and vintage jewels. John, "I decided to try my hand at crafting a one of a kind necklace for a friend. My daughter wanted to watch and before I knew it, she was helping me create the necklace." 

Like many people who discover a passion, John decided to delve deeper. His one necklace became two necklaces, then dozens and dozens more. He loved curating the jewels, crafting new, original pieces and was encouraged by the positive reception. 

I have to say, it was very sweet seeing Riley practice making her own necklaces alongside her dad. The little time I was at their home, Riley was learning how to count, spell, tie a knot, use her imagination and better know her dad. When it's jewel making time, the two sit side by side at the dining room table- John with his supplies on one side and Riley with her supplies on the other. 

Riley creates necklaces for herself and friends- or their lemonade stand in the summer where she sells her colorful creations for $1 a piece. Good deal.  

John sells his jewelry in a few boutique shops as well as in his new online shop, Gunner & Lux. And as John reminded me, what makes his necklaces so special is there can never be two the same. The jewels are primarily ornate and vintage, both bought and found, making each completed necklace a unique statement piece with its own collection of stories to tell...

We now know the basics, plus a bit more detail and insight into this lovely family of three. For John and Riley, they've begun a journey of imaginative, artistic play that feeds and thrives off the other. I'm not sure where the story goes from here but it's fair to say, their Once Upon A Time tale has just begun...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Gunner & Lux      Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Feb192014

Guest Post: Matt Weaver

The South used to be full of impressive pre-civil war architecture, built from the bounty of the region's lucrative plantation economy and sustained by generations of forced free labor. From the Louisiana low country to Virginia's rolling hills, the Southern landscape was dotted with high style structures designed in the vernacular of the region. Randing from primitive to extravagantly ornate, the architecture of our ancestors captured the spirit of the time and place in which it was built, and it told a story about the people who inhabited it. 

One of the most recognizable pieces of Southern architecture is the grand plantation house with whitewashed limestone walls, soaring columns and winding staircases. These houses were symbols of industry and oppression and they began to fall apart in the late 19th century along with the institution of slavery that made them possible to begin with. 

When slavery was abolished, it became too costly to maintain many examples of iconic Southern architecture. Sprawling plantation houses were slowly boarded up, and intricately bricked cotton warehouses sat empty. By the early part of the 20th century, automobiles began to creep across the nation, supplanting railroads and making it possible for Americans to move away from cities. The small Southern towns that had grown up around railroad tracks began to fade and soon many of our best examples of Southern architecture were crumbling. 

Fortunately for us, the architectural photographer, Frances Benjamin Johnston saw the old South crumbling around her and in the late 1920's she began recording the remaining examples of early Southern architecture.

The Carnegie Corporation funded her project to document over 1700 structures and sites in the rural and urban South and the Library of Congress acquired the collection after Johnston's death. Now the entire collection is available online. 

I have always been architecture obsessed and this collection has intrigued and inspried me for years. I've spent hours exploring the images, sketching my favorite buildings and fantasizing about the history these buildings witnessed. Later this month I'm going on a road trip to visit a few of the remaining structures on this list so I thought this would be a good time to share this incredible resource with you. You can see the entire Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, here. 

 

Photos: Frances Benjamin Johnston      Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Feb192014

Sweet Peach Contributor, Matt Weaver

I'm a bit overjoyed today to introduce my first official contributor to Sweet Peach, Matt Weaver. You may know Matt from his company, Andover Trask, where he sells impeccably stylish canvas and leather bags. I've been a fan of Matt's ever since I met him at my Sweet Peach Revival last year. His modern, beautifully constructed pieces and tailored, clean style has made him an artist to watch. 

Lucky for us, Matt will contribute twice a month to Sweet Peach on stories ranging from fashion, food & drink to American craftsmanship and artistry. He's got a whole list of attributes including infallible taste, a meticulous work ethic, an insatiable curiosity about American design and architecture, (he even draws beautifully) plus he carries a true love of the South. Matt grew up in Rome, Georgia and currently resides in Atlanta. To learn a bit more about Matt and see a peek into his lovely home, shot by the talented Buffy Dekmar, click here. And welcome to Sweet Peach, Matt! It's official...

 

Photos: Buffy Dekmar     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Feb182014

Yours Is The Earth

 

Atlanta based artist, Jamie Jimenez has a playful, bright style that quickly grabs your attention. Her online shop, Yours Is The Earth includes illustrated and calligraphed prints, stationery and home goods that celebrate our favorite time of day-  mealtime. 

As Jamie believes strongly in eating seasonally, she has designed a print for each season highlighting the harvests we can expect throughout the year. You can download all four for $12, here.

I'm always a fan of tea towels, especially the small collection Jamie has created to complement a lively kitchen.

Her calligraphy skills naturally translate to stamps, as you'll find 18 to choose from to mark your homemade goods or evening's menu...

I particularly like her mini cards that would cheer anyone up. How sweet would it be to receive one of these? Check out the entirety of Jamie's shop, that appeals to the glutton in all of us, here.

 

Photos: Yours Is The Earth      Content: Sweet Peach



Monday
Feb172014

Mollyjogger


I hope this past storm was the last of it as I, like many of you, are completely over cold, ice and snow. So, as winter eases in ferocity making way for spring, there will be many manly men out there eager to camp, hike, hunt and fish. And before doing so, may I offer a suggestion. Check out Mollyjogger.     

Mollyjogger is an online shop based in the Ozark Mountains in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The name comes via the original Mollyjogger Fishing and Hunting Club from 1890. In keeping with their adventurous spirit, founder and Ozark Mountain native, Rick Stagner curated a shop of provisions to suit the forests, fields and streams that surround him and his family. Above is a floating knife, a basic red knit cap and a plaid blanket- at once practical and stylish. Gotta love that. 

This is a nice group of goods that include waterproof notebooks, wool blankets and some gorgeous handmade paddles. I especially love the Scrimshaw Knife Kit, based on the American art form, scrimshaw, that began in the late 1700's. While the whalers had plenty of free time at sea, they etched drawings into items available like bones and sperm whale teeth. As Americans traveled west, so did this art form, which was adapted to knives and other utility items. This kit allows you to carve your own images or words into a bone handled pocket knife...

These popular Field Notes come in 3 packs labeled as Ales or Lagers. The color of the Lager books are gold (pilsner), brown (bock) and pale yellow (pale lager) while the Ales books are dark brown (stout), warm red (amber ale) and rusty orange (India pale ale). 

Check out Rick's shop to see his ever growing shop of provisions that blends great style and practicality for the modern outdoorsman. And although spring is not here just yet, we can all start thinking about it, planning for it, dreaming about it. C'mon spring, we're waiting for you...

 

Photos: Mollyjogger      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Feb142014

The Finkelsteins

The one blog I follow every day without fail is Swiss-Miss. I'm a fan of Tina's business and marketing insights as well as her wide array of interesting finds that she curates from across the globe. Last week, she had a quick post about these adorable stuffed animals, called The Finkelsteins out of South Carolina. Perfect for Valentine's Day...

When I asked Michelle Jewell to describe her shop, she shared, "Finkelstein's Center is a toy design company that offers one of a kind soft characters and custom fabric sculpture, handmade in Charleston." 

Each Finkelstein is made with a fleece material for the body parts and for their fashionable clothing, Michelle uses a combination of vintage and upcycled, remnant fabrics. Michelle, "Our goal in using short runs of fabric for the shirts is that each will feel special to its recipient because we have a limited quantity of each fabric." 

Each one of a kind animal is handsewn by a team of four Creature Makers who follow patterns that Michelle has created. Michelle, "They sew and stuff each Fink and I finish the toys by hand embroidering their facial features." 

I loved the answer I got when I asked Michelle how she thought up the name... "It is actually my dog's middle name, Bernard Pickles Finkelstein Jewell-Amick. Thankfully he answers to Bernie." 

The pigs and the giraffes seem to get the most fanfare but I happen to be a sucker for the lion. Adorbs. Click here to see the entire family of Finks to find your favorite. And Happy Happy Valentine's Day...

And if you haven't seen it already, check out my Valentine video called, Make It or Buy It: Valentine's Day.  

 

 

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