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Entries in Georgia (133)

Thursday
Dec112014

Peach Picks: Nan Myers

There's something about the deep South that is a bit more distinctive, wild, beautiful. And Nan Myers, owner of one of my favorite shops, Firefly (of Thomasville, GA), has her pulse on it all. Her holiday Peach Picks this year are particularly good. All are centered on high quality products that are also stylish and wholly southern. I'm in love with each and every one...Thank you Nan! 

Nan: I love the IDEA of entertaining, but for the most part it is not very realistic during the holidays. However, I will embrace it next weekend when I have 10 adults and 8 kiddos coming over for Sunday brunch. I will be using these cloth napkins (from $12 a bundle), some festive owl placemats, $29,  and all of my R. Wood pottery, from $22. I will also cheat a little with heating up some yummy Callie's Biscuits, $40. 

Animal Coat, from $140. Artist, Marty Goodall, a stay at home mother at the time, was frustrated when her two year old son refused to wear the hoods on his coats. Searching for a creative solution, she designed and made the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat to inspire him to put his hood up in the cold. Friends commented, orders were placed and Little Goodall was born. Yes, she does make adult jackets and yes, I got a Fox one for myself.

Message Booklet, $12. Sideshow Press/StitchDesign Group is a daring little letterpress factory and design studio based in Charleston, SC, with an extensive line of clever gift items ranging from all things letterpress to horseshoe cocktail picks. These little pads of 25 calling cards come in a range of sayings. Love You More and A Little Happy are my absolute favorites. 

JJ's Knife Kit, $9.95. Gene Jameson first made his son JJ a wooden pocket knife back in 2008. He quickly realized not only the appeal of a wooden pocket itself, but the process of crafting it. Shortly thereafter, JJ's Knife Kits were born. As a mother of two stinky boys, I can't wait to put these in their stockings. 

L Pax Mary Janes, $42. One of my sweet assistants asked me one day if I would be interested in seeing some shoes that her friend Lauren was making. "Sure" was my response. Well, minutes later Lauren and her baby strolled right in and her first 'real' order was placed and a children's brand was born. If interested, please call the store, as we have a large inventory with multiple choices. Firefly 229.226.6363

Blackberry Patch Syrups, $6.99. These syrups are locally made here in Thomasville, and have only three ingredients- berries, lemon juice and cane sugar. It is truly a simple pleasure, and my cool sister-in-law, Haile Mccollum of Fontaine Maury redid their packaging, so it is visually wonderful too!  

Short Stack Cookbook, $14 each. I am pretty excited about this little series of cookbooks. Each book tackles one ingredient by one expert chef. Yesterday, I attempted poaching my first egg and I was successful. Ian Knauer, author of the first edition, Eggs, gave me the 'pep' talk that I needed. Sweet Potatoes is my next read.

Hand forged Oyster Knife/bottle opener, $40. I love oysters. I love to eat oysters. I love raw oysters. I love steamed oysters. I love fried oysters. Needless to say, I will be roasting oysters this Christmas come hell or high water. To inspire my husband to enjoy this process, I bought him this oyster knife from Carolina Shuckers.

Crap Taxidermy book. $11. I just completed a wedding this fall where the dance tent was covered up in roadkill taxidermy, lovingly collected and scraped by the Bride's mother for over two decades. No, I am not kidding and it was absolutely wonderful. This book just makes me laugh and is accurately named, as it is full of serious 'crap' taxidermy. 

Ceri Hoover bag, from $134. I missed the girl gene that is attracted to fancy designer bags. I just don't get it. So when I find myself attracted to a bag, it's for a very good reason and these bags are Bad Ass. Pardon my French but Ceri Hoover of Nashville is just that and these bags appeal completely to my sensibility. 

Mark Lexton Jewelry, from $55. Mark "Lex" Matthews is a master goldsmith. How many folks can say that? His collections are called Oysters, Fox Mask, Equestrian and Low Country, which automatically draws one in. However, it is the craftsmanship and timeless, classic beauty that hooks you.

John Cleaveland Painting, from $800. Art is deeply personal. It either speaks to you or not. John Cleaveland's oil paintings have always spoken to me and I am happy to be representing his work at Firefly. 

Local Restaurant. I think one of the best gifts is treating someone you love to a local or regional restaurant. Two Georgia restaurants that are on my current radar are the Seabear Oyster Bar in Athens and The Florence in Savannah. I am a huge fan of the wickedly talented (and nicest guy ever), Peter Dale of Seabear. And I can't wait to meet Patrick Stubbers of The Florence, who has an impressive food background, including the infamous Supper Club, The Fourcoursemen. 

 

Top Illustration: Rob Wilson of Silas Tom    Photos: Respective artists     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Dec022014

Himalayan for the Holidays...

Julia Leaphart is a visionary. She was one of the first to sell candles in unorthodox, reusable containers. Half English and half Indian, Julia has traveled much of her life and is always drawn back to India to find original materials. This year, she relied on local Indian artisans to etch pretty designs on galvanized iron pots.

I'm particularly attracted to her hand painted tins which take inspiration from henna designs. Both the tins and pots come in small and large sizes offered in over a dozen scrumptious scents- like Campfire, Patchouli Ginger, Jasmine and Amber. 

Julia has slowly grown her HImalayan Trading candle company, based in Decatur, GA, to a nationwide force. She continually updates her containers and scents so you never quite know what to expect. Just expect to love them...

My personal favorite this holiday season is the Mistletoe candle - offered in a variety of containers as it's widely popular this time of year. It's a wonderful fragrant candle, making your whole house smell like Christmas. (good hostess gift too) 

I'm always impressed by the unique vessels and scents available online and also- if you're in or near Atlanta, the factory and shop. Julia has a small store open to the public with a wide range of candles to choose from, both new and old. Plus, most are discounted...I'll be stopping by there today actually. 

And if you're in this part of town this coming Friday and Saturday, (Dec 5/6) check out Julia's Holiday Open House from 10am-5pm each day. Perfect spot for checking gifts off your list...

 

Photos: Himalayan Trading Co.     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov192014

Fig & Flower

Sara Lamond believes in organic beauty. It's something she cares passionately about- head to toe, inside and out..

To better understand where she is now, it was important for Sara to share her story. As a recovering alcoholic, she spent years of her life caring little of what she did to her body- from smoking cigarettes, to what she ate or drank. She had still managed to graduate law school, pass the bar and begin to chase her dream of money and power. Then, her world flipped upside down- the other way. She fell in love, got sober, left a high end career in law and started to care about other things...

Good food and wellness were now her top priorities. When her cloud begin to lift, she focused back on her career and asked herself, "What can I research ad nauseum and not get sick of?" First it was local, organic foods, then after talking to her friend, Blair Wagoner, discussion turned to organic beauty and skincare. 

Together, they realized Atlanta didn't have a store devoted specifically to natural beauty and decided to delve in, feet first. Once the business was up and running, Blair returned to her work in diabetes prevention and Sara took over as sole owner of the business.  

At her shop, Fig and Flower, Sarah sells her favorite hand picked products that are nourishing for the body's largest organ. You won't find aluminum, silicones, parabins or formeldehyde inside any of her goods.  

Sara relies on her own strict standards to determine which products she'll carry and promote. For her, there are two important aspects to ensure- Cleanliness of Ingredients and Quality of Performance. 

Sara, "Almost no ingredients are regulated when it comes to personal beauty products. There are only 8 in the US. But people are learning that these synthetic ingredients are adding up. The skin care, body wash, lotion that we use every day, year after year, increases our exposure to these harmful ingredients. They are finding these same chemicals showing up in breast cancer, ADHD and other illnesses." The message is clear, we need to care what we put on our skin. 

Inside Fig and Flower, you'll find only high quality products made with health and wellness in mind- from makeup, skincare and cleaning products to quality goods for mom and babe.  

My favorite product line that Sara carries is HollyBeth Organics, as her skincare is the only USDA certified skincare line in Georgia. I've watched HollyBeth concoct all her products by hand in her Atlanta studio and as a repeat, devout user, I'm an enthusiastic fan. 

Other local southern lines include Dia Flora (started by a breast cancer survivor in Atlanta), Sally Bee's of Atlanta (another cancer survivor), One Love from St. Simon's, Georgia and Deep Steep from John's Island, South Carolina.

I love all the makeup too, which is the central focus to the shop. Sara's most popular products include 100% Pure Mascara, RMS un cover-up and the RMS Living Luminizer.

My personal favorite product, which I discovered here this summer, is Lip2Cheek by RMS. It's the perfect makeup toucher-upper. For some reason, whenever I put blush on, it fades so quickly. This gives me an instant healthy blush and I can touch up my lips at the same time. I'm a tad obsessed with this one...

As a former law student, Sara still loves to hit the books, constantly researching and refiinng. Her two bibles are The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen.

As curious shoppers come in and out of her doors each day, her biggest advice is to not be afraid of oils. Sara, "A lot of people have really oily skin or really dry skin. Oils work exceptionally well for both issues. They are pure, active, plant based ingredients and are so good for balancing our skin."

Sara thought some more on what advice she'd give to others, then added, "Be less afraid." I love that. She's the walking emobodiment of that mantra. Do you (and your body) a favor and go visit Fig & Flower in Atlanta or online. 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach; RMS; loudmouth.doobop.com; One Love Organics; Acure     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Nov052014

Alanah Textiles

I have one drawer in my kitchen reserved for tea towels but alas, it's full and getting hard to close. I blame artists like Kristen Chandler for this common kitchen based ailment. Her beautiful textiles leave me wanting more. Is that so wrong? 

As my love of indigo runs deep, I'm wide eyed over these hand-dyed shibori tea towels that can also double as square placemats. These are perfect paired with white plates...

It's fun to see Kristen play with different dying techniques, like hand marbling these tea towels and pocket squares. I love how Kristen finds most of her natural dyes by walking out her back door to fetch ragweed and pokeberries. She likes to experiment with natural dyes, creating interesting patterns without a heavy hand. 

Kristen lives just outside of Athens, Georgia, where she continues to play in her craft and expand her collection. I just found her and I look forward to following her here on Sweet Peach. I'll just have to grow up, do the right thing and clear out a second kitchen drawer...

 

Photos: Alanah Textiles site     Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Oct162014

Kiki Slaughter

I like any work of art that I can get a little lost in... where I stare, meander and get out of my head for a bit. The work of Atlanta based artist, Kiki Slaughter has succeeded in getting my full attention. I can't help but want to know more...

Kiki is a southern gal, rasied in Charlottesville, Virginia. As shared on her site, "Her paintings are best described as an experiment with the fundamental process of painting. She pours, scrapes, layers and otherwise manipulates paint on the canvas to create works that are rich in both color and texture." 

She creates large abstract oil paintings that feel wholly inspired and layered in meaning. Like many great artists, she's a storyteller at heart. As Kiki shared, "When I begin a painting, I do not always have an idea of the finished product in mind. Instead, I find painting to be an organic process in which the act of painting itself and the phsyicality of materials I use are both muses and methods for my work." 

As one may suspect, Kiki is very inspired by the color and forms of the natural world. She is tuned in to her instincts - able to create a cohesive piece of art that draws us in, not by luck, but by an intuitiveness for form, light and balance. As my friend Kathryn Kolb would say, it works. There's always a reason to why we stop, stare and stay awhile...

Learn more about the work of Kiki Slaughter, here. 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct082014

Jessica Durrant

A love of travel and maps goes hand in hand as it's hard not to love one without the other, right? As a huge fan of both, I was instantly smitten by these watercolor maps by Atlanta illustrator, Jessica Durrant. 

Jessica, whose work has been featured in Target, One Kings Lane, Gilt and more, has a deep passion for her craft. Much of the collection follows her love of fashion and wandering the globe, in search of those moments that instill awe and gratitude. 

 

What I love about these world maps is they are available in sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 36" x 48". Plus, it's hard not to love anything watercolor these days. Maybe I need to take one of her watercolor classes too... Find all of Jessica's daydream inducing works in her Etsy shop, here. 

 

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