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Entries in Georgia (127)

Monday
Sep222014

Kendrick Anderson

Perfect is boring. When it comes to home decor, I crave the little imperfections in materials and the imagination in assembly...

Atlanta based woodworker, Kendrick Anderson has the same craving. He crafted this handsome Holloway Bed from two walnut trees struck by lightening over 20 years ago. The trees, from a farm that Kendrick's client grew up on, have been sitting in a barn, drying out, ever since. 

I love the inlaid butterfly keys that take center stage in the middle of the headboard. Every inch of this bed, no matter how you look at it, is visually engaging. Every notch, discoloration, nuance and change tells a story of these old trees...

Kendrick crafts all manner of custom pieces for the home, including tables, consoles, desks, shelving and more. He embraces a minimalist approach and any chance to weave a good tale. Contact him here to learn more. 

 

Photos: kendrickanderson.com     Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Sep152014

The Mifland Rucksack

I can't even tell you how many friends I have over the age of 40, many of them executives and CEO's, who still bring beat up backpacks to work every day. Who takes a guy seriously with a backpack? My thoughts on a perfect upgrade begins with a Mifland Rucksack...

Tobi Egberongbe of Atlanta, Georgia knows style. He's designed over a dozen high quality, leather rucksacks that are each assembled by hand with quality waxed thread stitiching, solid brass and hand picked premium leather. 

These are perfect transition pieces from the standard backpack as they are made to weather the elements but also embody a sophisticated ruggedness. They still got an edge, just not that edge which says "I'm still a teenager." It's a bag for men. 

These American made bags will stand the test of time in both quality and style. Tobi offers so many color variations from bright green and yellow, to camouflage, two tone and worn brown leather. See all the current offerings, here

And if you're a man still dragging a backpack to work, what exactly do you think you're doing? Let's just stop all the nonsense, shall we? Time to be a manly man...

 

 Photos: Mifland Leather Goods      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Sep112014

The Bobo Warehouse Sale

If I encourage you to do one thing this week, let it be a visit to BoBo Intriguing Objects' first ever warehouse sale in Atlanta. Doors open this Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, from 10am-6pm. 

Mark Sage has been in the business of buying vintage and designing antique reproductions for a couple decades now. And his massive 100k square foot, full-of-this-and-that-warehouse, proves it. He's the guy with the dream job, as he travels each month internationally to seek out the unique and unusual in remote villages of Argentina, Poland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Vietnam, India and more. 

As one of the major suppliers to Restoration Hardware, Mark has over 18 fixers around the world that keep an eye out for original pieces to buy or be inspired from. With a close working relationship with dozens of factories internationally, Mark also has an infrastructure and network unlike any other. Up until this Friday, his doors have never been open to the public, only to dealers and designers. So trust me when I say, this is a real treat. 

You'll find thousands of antiques here as well as antique reproductions designed by Mark. Many are one of a kind prototypes he had made but never sold. As his marketing guru, Aysan Balkhanian says, "You can find just about anything in here." 

Lighting is an important part of the BoBo line and you'll see hundreds of original fixtures dangling from the ceilings. 90% of their lighting is made in Poland and materials are usually raw- like driftwood, wine barrels, metal and unfinished wood.  

I particularly liked the hundreds of vintage Belgian school chairs stacked in the back part of the warehouse...

This was my first BoBo purchase- a few stacks of Vietnamese rice bowls dating back to 1886. They were recovered from a sunken ship - how cool is that? Each one has a different shape and coloring. Some lie flat, others are a bit rolly polly. And at just $3 a piece, such a steal...

You can also choose from dozens of deer horns sourced from the Czech Republic...

Aysan, "Mark is the person who finds items where people say, 'Where did you even get that?' He has an eye." 

It's true. You can find anything in here, even Mel Gibson. There will be significant markdowns with prices ranging from a few bucks to over $10,000. Even if you don't buy a thing, it's so much fun just to peruse Mark's diverse and valuable collections, both new and old, sourced or inspired from all over the globe. His dream job turns into our dream afternoon...Here's the flyer, now go check it out! 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Sep082014

Heartwood Forge

I admire a handcrafted item, skillfully made, that will stand the test of time. These handsome knives, made by Will Manning of Jefferson, Georgia are designed for daily use, to be cared for and passed along to the next generation. 

Will learned the art of woodworking from his dad and found a passion for metal just after high school. He studied his craft at Florida State and SCAD, later working with blacksmiths who would teach him even more. After meeting his girlfriend, he realized his love for being in the kitchen. Together they drew some sketches for a kitchen knife and thought they may be on to something here...

I highly recommend that you watch his video that shows Will's process of making a knife, which is incredibly informative when you have no idea how it's done. It's quickly evident how much labor, focus, experience and patience is needed. 

Will hand stamps each blade with his initials. After all the creating, heating, hammering, refining, I believe he should.  

Recyling is important to Will. He uses only reclaimed lumber from saw mills in the Southern Appalachian region. The edges and angles are refined according to the needs of each knife (or knife owner). 

I love oyster shucking so I naturally love any oyster knife that makes the process easier. Made of carbon steel, this super tough tool is crafted to open even the most stubborn of oysters. Each knife, no matter your preference, is an investment for your kitchen...See the entirety of Will's shop, Heartwood Forge, and learn how you can order your own custom knife, here.

 

Photos: Heartwood Forge    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Sep052014

The Sweet Peach Chambray Shirt

I feel flattered, grateful. That's the best way to describe my reaction to a recent phone call I received from Thomas Wages of TWEEDS, who created a new shirt for women with the Sweet Peach blog in mind. 


Thomas decided to use a peach colored fabric he really liked and create another version of his popular The Guy Shirt for women, which he released this summer. This shirt, named The Sweet Peach Chambray, is 100% cotton, made in the USA with a tailored fit and elbow patches. It's a very limited run of shirts available in store only. 

Shanna Kenyon of nearby Crafted Westside (one of my favorite new shops) was gracious enough to model the shirt for us and she quickly fell head over heels for it. It's stylish, cozy and just an all around fabulous shirt, if I do say so myself. 

The Sweet Peach Chambray joins the other Guy Shirts for women which TWEEDS recently launched to much fanfare and adulation (this photo via Southern Living). These gorgeous ginghams- in blue, navy, pink or red are available in store and online. Thank you Thomas, I'm flattered, grateful. I like it when you're inspired...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; Final photo: Robbie Canponeto for Southern Living     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Jul182014

Pearson Farm Peaches! 

I've had the Sweet Peach blog for over 3 years now and it seems that I'm a bit overdue to write a post just about peaches. Since I live in Georgia, I recently headed down to the popular Pearson Farm in Fort Valley to learn more about how they've created some of the most popular peaches in the country.  

I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find their headquarters so inviting and full of energy. The Pearson Farm facilities are open to the public and you can observe their entire process, beginning with the arrival of peaches freshly picked, to them being washed, sorted and packed.  

Pearson Farms began over 100 years ago when Moses Winlock Pearson and his wife, Cornelia, moved to central Georgia and planted their first peach trees. Their son John eventually began to farm on his own and he planted even more peach trees. Years passed and John's youngest son, Lawton, took over the business and after a marriage to Laurie Lanier, they had three children- two girls and a boy. Now we're slowly getting caught up in the timeline...

In 1973, Al Pearson began operating the business in a partnership effort with his sisters. They continued to create a thriving peach business for 35 years until 2008...

...when Al and his son, Lawton (now 5th generation of Pearson Farms) took over the business together. 

Although I'm a lover of peaches, I had no idea how many kinds there were. At Pearson Farms they produce about 30 different varieties of peaches that are ready for picking between May and August. I was surprised to learn that each peach variety lasts only 10-12 days. July is peak season so they're in full production mode now.

My friends Monica and Chris joined me on the trip down to Fort Valley. As I snapped some photos, Monica, a fellow TV producer, immediately jumped in to take notes. Gotta love that girl...she looks like the perfect southern reporter too, doesn't she? So the first thing Al did was give us a taste test of the ripe peaches on his farm that week (which was early July). These included the White Lady, which is actually my favorite as the white peaches have less acid and more sugar. We also tasted the Elberta, a very popular freestone peach ideal for eating, canning and freezing with a sweet honey taste. 

After the tour of the facility I was hoping Al would take us on a short car ride to see the peach orchards. The most gracious of hosts, Al made the offer himself without us even having to ask. In the sweltering Georgia heat, Al showed us around his family farm while sharing his incredible life stories as a peach farmer. Life on a farm is multi faceted and complex and Al has lived and breathed it his entire life (starting at age six, making 10 cents an hour). There was so much we learned, so much more we wanted to know...but I think we'd have to live our entire lives on a peach farm to begin to grasp its nuances and rhythms. 

And to be a peach farmer, you gotta have tough skin. Weather is a topic of discussion all day, every day as it's the determining factor of each year's crop. Al and the over 200 workers on the farm, do their tireless work but it's up to Mother Nature to decide each year's fate. Will it rain? And if so, how much? What about frost? Hail? Drought? Al wouldn't give away any trade secrets on farming the perfect peach but I did learn he doesn't like rain all that much. If it must rain, he hopes it happens after sun up. Al, "I don't like my peaches to go to bed wet." 

At Pearson Farm, there are 1500 acres that are home to 250,000-300,000 trees. Peach trees can supply fresh peaches for up to 12 years while pecan trees (also on the farm and another important industry for the family) have been growing on the land for over 100 years and are still producing to this day. 

So how do you pick the perfect peach? According to Al, the best way is to smell it. It simply needs to smell like a peach. He advises not to put them in the fridge too long (if at all), as they will soon smell like your fridge. You want a yellow background rather than lime green. Also, look for the blush or red coloring on top of the yellow coloring. The best peach is also one that is just getting soft. On the day of our arrival, these July Prince peaches were ready for picking...

A big, heartfelt thank you to Al Pearson for his time and generosity. After our trip to the orchard, we kicked back on the rocking chairs and had a big helping of Pearson Farm peach cobbler with ice cream. Such a fun trip- and if you wanna do it, act fast as peach season ends mid August. If you can't visit Al and the team in person, or pick up a Pearson peach at a local Farmer's Market, head to their website where you can get 'em shipped to your front door. No matter which method you choose, let's just hope your next peach is a sweet peach. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; thebruncher.com; Pearson family     Content: Sweet Peach    


Tuesday
Jul082014

Amy Roberson 

Last weekend, I stopped in to see the ICE event in Atlanta, which celebrates local artists. There was a lot of great talent packed inside but one booth stood out. Perhaps it was the luscious colors, the pretty display or the mid century vibe...but I was instantly smitten by Amy Roberson's ceramics.

Amy is from Ellijay, Georgia and is currently a year long resident at MudFire in Decatur. It is here that she's found a home base with community support and access to all her firing needs- all the while crafting and honing her own style of ceramics. 

Amy, "With my work, I set out to make finely crafted tableware for daily use. I want my audience to use my work to brighten their day with beautiful colors and forms." 

In Amy's newly curated shop, find her mugs, bowls and tumblers. You can also find them at Crafted Westside. It's a nice way to brighten up a space - and support a new, talented artist. 

 

Photos: Amy Roberson Ceramics      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Wednesday
Jul022014

Banner Butter

Oh butter, how I love you so. Yet I never knew our love could deepen and evolve the way it has over the last couple of months. Because of you, I'm more open to receive and feel gratitude...

My love for butter has evolved because I never knew what I was missing. Our popular American versions pale in comparison to how its been done for centuries in Europe. At Banner Butter, based in Doraville, Georgia, a talented team is creating quite the buzz by getting back to basics and crafting small batch, cultured butter. They are just one of a few retail cultured butter companies in the whole country.

As owner Elizabeth McBath explained, "Sweet cream butter (your standard grocery store variety) is pasteurized and immediately churned to kill both good and bad bacteria. Cultured butter is left to sit before churning so good bacteria grows and adds that rich butter taste. The butter you're used to eating, they artificially add that butter flavor back in."  

Elizabeth, along with her husband Drew, hired executive pastry chef, Kat King to help them develop their recipes. They now focus on three compound flavors, plus a lightly salted, sea salt and unsalted butter, then of course, seasonal compound varieties for when the inspiration strikes. 

Like the day of my visit when Mary Ellen Yupari, the Manager of Operations, just so happened to be trying out a new seasonal flavor of Georgia peach with local, organic honey, cinnamon and sugar. It smelled divine. I picked up the final result at the Grant Park Farmer's Market a few days ago and I have to say, although I may be partial, this is my new favorite. 

Chefs, Catherine Weaver and Jennifer Weissman work beautifully as a team mixing, churning, washing, molding, weighing and packing Banner Butter rounds. They love working with cultured butter and talking about their process. It really makes a difference when you know your food is crafted with this much care and passion. 

Cultured butter is so creamy and tasty, you often find yourself eating it like frosting from a cake. Elizabeth and Drew source their cream from Southern Swiss Dairy Farm in Georgia- from cows that are hormone free and grass fed. Each small batch at Banner takes 20 hours to make. It's a labor of love- can't you just tell? 

Elizabeth is passionate about her butter and the way she works with her staff (whom adore her) lets me know even bigger and better things are on the horizon. Both her and Drew have found a new passion through their foray into the food world which has received rave reviews and incredible support. Elizabeth, "I feel more connected to community. We're making something really traditional and it grounds you in a special, beautiful way." Oh butter, who knew our love could get this good? 

Check out the Banner Butter site to learn more and follow their ever so lovely Instagram account, produced by Ruthie Weil. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; Whitney Ott; Garnish & Gather     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Jun242014

Aster + Bay

As I get older, I'm finding myself a bit obsessed with bath and body care products that use high quality, all natural ingredients. Like Aster + Bay, based in Atlanta and founded by husband and wife team, Erin and Glen Hammond. 

As stated on their site, "We believe in the healing energy found in nature, in the ritual of self-care and in the mind-body connection possible through botanical scent. Essential knowledge lives on in the apothecary traditions of Europe, Native American herbal medicine, English kitchen gardens and the lore of old Appalachia." 

Erin and Glen craft small batch, hand-blended infusions and oil blends with organic and wild-harvest ingredients. Their shop includes an ever expanding line of face serums, body oils, therapy oils, hair products and lip stains.

In the market for a good exfoloiator, I think I need to try their Dandelion Face Grains made with clays, resins, roots, flowers and grains. You can mix the grains with six different options, depending on the need. For instance, mix with water to detoxify, yogurt to cool and calm or whole milk to nourish and hydrate. 

Each formula is rooted in history, experimentation and an intention to nourish and treat skin naturally. It's fun to read about each product on their site with highly beneficial ingredients like sea kelp extract, hazelnut oil, Moroccan lava clay, sweet fennel essential oil, tumeric or marshmallow root powder to name a few. 

Beet root + hibiscus lip stain just sounds so tempting and lovely, doesn't it? I like how their stellar packaging matches the quality of their ingredients. Treat yourself to Aster + Bay products sold in seven states or through the online site, here. 

 

Photos: Aster + Bay       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Wednesday
Jun182014

willaby 

I love a good looking shirt, especially on a tiny tot. Atlantan, Kim Woods does too, which is why she has created willaby, a clothing and accessories line with a modern touch. Kim, "I believe in dressing children in a way that is simple and quiet, yet current. I think that small people deserve demure prints and streamlined design." 

Kim has been sewing and designing since she was 12 years old and loves executing everything at willaby from concept and design to overseeing all the local production. As comfort is paramount, all of the pieces are made with 100% natural fibers and meant to be versatile and unisex, which I really love. The dotted and checkered bloomers are just the sweetest....

 

Kim finds inspiration through a myriad of experiences. As she shared, "I tend to look at vintage baby clothing and old family pictures. Both of my parents come from farming families. And although I'm not sure if it's apparent in the designs, I often think about those homemade, simple, functional pieces of clothing they wore as kids. At the same time, I love Japanese design and I think that influences me as well."  

Check out the entirety of Kim's shop, here. And if you live in Georgia, Kim now sells at six fantastic kid shops that you'll want to visit if you have a child- or need a gift. Kim is also teaching a Sewing Craft Camp in Atlanta next month, which is a really incredible idea. Find out more, here.

 

Photos: Willaby       Content: Sweet Peach