Checking in with Ashley Woodson Bailey...

I continue my avid love affair with Atlanta based artist, Ashley Woodson Bailey. I aspire to have one of her beautiful large size floral prints hung over my bed someday...it will happen. I believe it be. 

In her last series, I was attached to her Magnolia print. In Ashley's most recent work, I am privvy to Michelle- a photograph of a white garden rose that Ashley dedicated to her late friend, Michelle Carey Charba.  

I am still awestruck that all of her work is captured and edited with her iPhone. She amazes and inspires me...Keep up with Ashley's ever expanding floral portfolio, here.

 

Images: Ashley Woodson Bailey     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Ashley Woodson Bailey

Ashley Woodson Bailey intrigues me. She has a story full with flurry and spontaneity, inspirational highs and pitfalls. Moving from job to job, city to city across the South, she's worked in fashion, jewelry and floral design. Yet it wasn't until she was 41, and experienced a life changing accident that she found her calling...

Ashley had a passion for flowers her whole life but it wasn't until a car accident two years ago (which put her in a back brace for months) that she found solace in a new creative outlet, her iPhone. A creative mind can always adapt and I think this was a beautiful reincarnation for Ashley. Over the years she had developed and honed her style and her eye, as well as a knowledge for floral and plant life. Ashley had limited mobility during her recovery but taking pictures of flowers combined many of her lifelong skills, culminating into a brand new one. She was open to receive...

As Ashley's own story is varied, rich and complex, so too are her images. Ashley, "Every image has a meaning behind it. Every stem has a story. Just like all of us." 

Ashley prints each image on a high quality cotton rag paper called Hahnemuhle. This paper has a fine and smooth matte surface and as Ashley shared, "I chose this paper because of the depth it creates with each image- they come alive." What I love too is although these images are taken on an iPhone they work stylistically in large format. Images begin at 11 x 14" and go up to 40 x 60".  

I have featured images from her Dark series, but Ashley has a Light series as well that is equally as fetching. I think I'm attracted to the darker images for what they represent- finding beauty through life's trials and tribulations. It's a reminder that our struggles can lead us down new, unexpected paths. Imperfections, pain, fear...If you're open to weathering the storms, that's the good stuff. 

 

Photos: Ashley Woodson Bailey; Domain Home; Haley Sheffield; Ashley Capa    Content: Sweet Peach


Botanical Prints

Botanical prints are a great go-to for artwork in your own home, particularly the vintage pieces. I think it's fair to say I haven't come across one I didn't want. 


The good thing is, they're easy to find. Antique and flea markets, Etsy, local shops and markets. Plus, they're easy to download off the internet. Poppytalk offers six botanical prints you can download and print for free. So there's no excuse not to bring a little nature- and charm, inside. Enjoy your weekend everyone. 

 

 

Photos: Stadshem; followpics.co; Lonny Mag; designrulz.com; Architectural Digest; Sopie Wilson; surfingbird.ru; Brittany Ambridge; Casa Sugar; Pernille Folcarelli     Content: Sweet Peach


Muncle Fred Art

Every Mother's Day I try to come up with a new idea of what to get my mom. Fresh flowers are often the easy choice but they lack originality. So when I set my eyes on the lovely felted flower creations by Muncle Fred Art of Atlanta, I was a happy daughter...

These felted flower bouquets are about as sweet and original as they come. Kayla Stagnaro is the creative brain behind the scenes and she works tirelessly to craft an array of flower choices and color palettes for her customers. 

What I especially love is how creative she is with the display. Kayla, "I am able to offer a flower shop set up that allows people to pick the style and colors of each flower." I think of this as pretty genius...

Kayla sells individual stems but has a strong passion for creating beautiful bouquets for weddings and various events. Brides can pick out individual flowers to go with their theme- which would be amazing for the gal who loves to craft herself or is one to celebrate the arts. Plus, I'm now loving the idea of sending a small bouquet wrapped in her brown paper to friends and family. It's a gift to last and is just this great bundle of joy and creativity. 

As Kayla shared, "I love working with my hands and creating something I know will last in people's homes. I like to think that these felt flowers serve more than a purpose of beauty- they also serve as a symbol of memories, friendship or love when given as a gift."

If you're in and around Atlanta this weekend, you can find Kayla selling her flowers at Serenbe's May Day celebration or both Crafted Westside and Young Blood carry her work. Plus, find lots of bouquet options in her Etsy shop. And Happy Mother's Day shopping...may it be fun, inspiring and if you're lucky, original. 

 

Photos: Muncle Fred Art, Instagram      Content: Sweet Peach


First Day of Spring, 2014

If you've been following Sweet Peach you know I've been waiting for the first day of spring since the first day of winter. I abhor the cold and am overjoyed at the return of light, of sun, of warmth, of flowers here in the South. 

For the past few weeks, I've also been waiting for the right post to show up for today. It always seems to do so organically- and it did this time too. Last week, I discovered Brown Parcel Press' instagram account and it was there I saw these lovely pics of spring flowers taken with an iPhone. 

When I saw that picture taker, Megan Fowler, was a letterpress printer and an illustrator from Sparta, Georgia, I knew I had my post. I just didn't realize until today what a gem she is.

Megan lives in the small rural town of Sparta along with her husband and child. Her mother, Gaelle lives closeby too and the two together run their letterpress studio out of a 1920's general store... on a farm. It's just as charming as it gets. 

Check out their shop, here, where you'll find pretty letterpress cards and calendars. Megan has truly learned to love the arrival of spring as is signifies renewal- on the farm and for herself. Megan, "This is the time of year where I do a lot of my drawing and planning that in turn sets the tone for the rest of the printing year." 

I'm still enamored by her pretty pics and am grateful that I found her on Instagram. Megan, "I've been inspired by floral designers for a while and have collaborated with a few (like Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua for a calendar last year), but this year I wanted to see if I could articulate some of my own floral ideas. Some of the flowers I source from my favorite small floral shops, but I try to use as many flowers from around the farm as possible." I think sometime this year, I need to make a road trip to Sparta...

In the meantime, we can get a steady dose of their southern charm, here. (click on the video link to learn more) 

 

Photos: Megan Fowler, Brown Parcel Press     Content: Sweet Peach

 

A Bradley Odom Holiday...

The always fashionable and fun, Bradley Odom, is the Director of Design Education at West Elm. He's also my friend. So it was a no brainer this year to add him to the Holiday Gift Picks roster. Bradley, who is currently finishing his Interior Design degree at SCAD, tends to lean towards all things luxurious and fabulous so I was curious to see his picks for the holiday season. They, as expected, do not disappoint...

1. SID MASHBURN OVAL BUCKLE, $75. I've coveted this buckle for some time. But of course, when it was time to purchase it, I couldn't just buy the buckle, I needed the alligator belt to go with it. I can't wait to have this buckle engraved with my initials. 

2. BILLY REID VINTAGE POCKET SQUARE, $35. It's all in the details and this vintage pocket square offers the perfect splash of color and pattern to bring life to a solid suit. Plus, it's quite the attention grabber. 

3. MADE IN AMERICA CAST IRON SKILLET, from $150. My mom always made cornbread in a cast iron skillet. I ate every bite mixed with milk. So southern, I know. 

4. FRESH FLOWERS FROM THE CLAY POT. It's simple, every home should have fresh flowers- especially during the holidays. Joe and his team at The Clay Pot in Chattanooga are super nice, extremely talented and will make any arrangement of your desire look picture perfect. 

5. DONATION, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION. Because it's always better to give than to receive, this Christmas I'll be donating $10 for every gift I buy to IJM. It's a fantastic cause to support as IJM continually fights to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.  

6. REVIVAL'S LARGE DEER ANTLER, $1800. Rodney and his team at Revival can do no wrong in my eyes and although this is a gift no one I know is getting for me (nor will I be gifting it to myself), a guy can dream, can't he? I envision this mixed in with a saloon style art wall to add the perfect High/Low mix. 

7. SHOP KEEP HANDMADE QUILT, $550. I love the idea of pairing a traditional craft with a fresh, modern approach like they do so well at Shop Keep. I'll take my one of a kind quilt framed as art. 

8. NICKEL + RHYME STUDIO PAINTING, from $240. I'm loving the use of color and abstract approach in Ashley Hizer's paintings. They are a perfect wow statement and conversation starter. Who wouldn't like this under the tree? 

9. R. NICHOLS HUDSON SPARKLE CANDLE, $45. My vote for best hostess gift this year. Love the graphics! 

10. ZKANO SOCKS, starting at $10. Although most of the year I am not a socks guy, I do love a pop of color in the winter. These Alabama made socks fit the bill perfectly. I'll take one in every color please. 

11. IMOGENE + WILLIE'S APHOTHIA CANDLE, $55. This candle sits inside a nice, clean jar with a bit of brass and oh, it happens to smell great too. As I believe every room should have a touch of black, this I+W candle is an easy, stylish way to do just that. 

12. THE SOUTHERNER'S HANDBOOK, $28. uh, hello. I am from Mississippi. That's about as Southern as it gets so of course I'm a fan of The Southerner's Handbook. 

13. BRADLEY GORDON PAINTING, contact for prices. I love the color, scale and style that denotes a Bradley Gordon piece. Bradley's paintings, which showcase Southern wildlife from his home in Oxford, Mississippi, have been on my wish list for a very long time- much like that lake house I've been dreaming of... Someday the two shall meet. 

 

Lulie Wallace

Lulie Wallace has a pretty name and an even prettier artistic style. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, she creates one of a kind, acrylic-on-birch paintings with truly stunning color combinations. 

Lulie was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia and in Charleston, she's found her new home and supportive network. She currently paints at a non profit community art center called Redux, with over two dozen other artists. 

Lulie is passionate about color and is always thinking up the next palette of complementary hues. Lulie, "I am constantly looking around at successful color combos in my everyday life, whether that be in a spectacular blouse or an amazing Charleston sunset. But, I currently have two favorite colors: one is a mint green and the other is like a magenta mixed with white." 

I particularly like her backdrops which look like wallpaper that I'd love in my own home.  

Lulie is drawn to flowers and landscapes that showcase the beauty of mother nature. Yet, like many great artists, she knows it's the imperfections in life that are the good stuff. Lulie, "The less perfect the subject, the more beautiful the finished product." 

On Lulie's site, you can find original paintings and limited edition prints. Look for her work in Anthropologie too...

 

Photos: Lulie's paintings;  charlesoncitypaper.com     Content: Sweet Peach


Succulent Bouquets

I'm a bit passionate about succulents. As I tend to travel a bit, I like their ease of care plus their various shapes and textures that look so pretty in pots or planted amongst pebbles or gravel. Which is why when deciding on a bouquet or flower arrangement, succulents are a stellar choice. 

What is great about incorporating succulents into a bouquet is not only are they a sweet surprise and available year round but after you're done with them, you can reroot them back into the soil. Sustainable and eye catching is a good combo... 

To incorporate succulents into a bouquet, here's a great how-to I found on Poppytalk from one of my favorite florists, Flora Grubb. 

Succulents add a modern touch to a bouquet. Many have dramatic silhouettes and range in color from the lightest green to the deepest purple. 

Repeat the same plant for a dramatic yet cohesive look, then add contrasting succulents for depth and texture. The fun part is picking flowers to complement your succulents. Light pinks and peaches look so pretty with the soft greens...

But don't be afraid to be daring with your flower choices. Because of their versatility, succulents pair just as easily with the softer flowers as they do with the bright, eye popping ones. Experiment and play, see what works. 

Good southern flowers and pods to incorporate into your bouquet can include cotton, fiddlehead ferns, pitcher plants, magnolias, gardenias, bluebonnets, calla lilies... the list goes on. 

 

Photos: Theknot.com; blog.weddingwire.com; leucadiasucculents.com; thebridescafe.com; theexcitedbride.com; greenbridgeguide.com; besthomedecorators.com; weddinggraces.com; erinheartscourt.com; NK Photography; onewed.com; blog.myheritage.com; chicvintagebirdes.com; theclaytononthepark.com   Content: Sweet Peach