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Entries in North Carolina (65)

Monday
Aug252014

The Carraway Concept

A well dressed southern man always has my attention. And if I notice a lapel flower, I'm smitten, appreciative, happier, knowing there are men such as these...

Rashon Carraway of Charlotte, North Carolina has a love for design- both in home and fashion. Rashon was a regular guest expert on The Nate Berkus Show and has both an interior design blog and an online shop where he sells these colorful, cheerful lapel flowers. 

These handcrafted lapel flowers, which range from $10-$20, are a quick way to complement an outfit. It's a fashion accessory with the added benefit of spreading a little joy- for it's gals like me that may notice you from afar, smile and think, 'Now, that's a good man...'  

 

Photos: The Carraway Concept site; Donald Wilson/ first pics    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Friday
Aug222014

Mails Woodwork

I'm a sucker for a good bench. The textures and coloring of this one had me at first glance, so I was happy to learn that the craftsman behind this lovely piece of work hails from Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Ryan Mails of Mails Woodwork has had a passion for architecture and woodworking his entire life. He utilizes traditional furniture making methods with tools one may have found on workbenches of the 18th century. Then of course, he adds a modern twist. The Gullwing Bench is a Danish influenced design with a woven cord seat that conforms to the gullwing shap of the frame. 

I have a strong love for this gorgeous slant desk, made from quartersawn walnut. Ryan, "I had the form of the desk in mind for years before I found a way to build it with continuity of vertical grain across the sides. The shape dictated that storage would be accessed by moving the writing surface rather than withdrawing a drawer." 

Ryan primarily works with ash, walnut, red oak- hardwoods from the surrounding forests in the piedmont region of North Carolina. 

This Floating Desk is built from quartersawn red oak, with a hardware-less drawer. There is an expert's hand at work here and these are certainly pieces to be handed down, admired, coveted. Learn more about Ryan's impressive collection, here.

 

Photos: Mails Woodwork site     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Jul152014

The Emeco Chair

In 1944, Witton C. Dinges, collaborated with Alcoa experts to design the first Emeco Navy Chair, for use on submarines as 'war ship ready' furniture. This eye-pleasing, durable and lightweight chair caught the attention of many famous architects and designers over the years, including Frank Gehry and Norman Foster. Over 70 years later, this iconic chair is still being made with the same 77 step design process.

My favorite reincarnation of the original, however, is the collaboration between Emeco and Atlanta based company, Coca-Cola, which sought to alleviate the burden of excess consumer waste. 

As the Emeco Navy chairs are made with 80% recycled aluminum, this particular version is made with recycled Coca Cola bottles. This chair debuted in Milan in 2010 and received rave reviews. It's cheaper than its original counterpart (find here for $260) and is named The Emeco 111 as each chair is made from 111 recycled Coca Cola bottles. 

An impressive 20,000 recycled bottles are sent to New United Resource Recovery Corporation in Spartanburg, South Carolina each weekday to be sorted, ground, wet and dry washed, then sorted by color. After much processing and rendering, 13 pounds of plastic pellets are melted down and injected into each chair mold. Next, the chairs are hollowed out via gas injection, then tempered and cooled. 

The chairs then head to Bemis Manufacturing in Lenoir, North Carolina and BASF in Chattanooga, Tennessee for all the final tweaking and coloring. As stated on dwell.com, "This final laying on of hands, labor intensive though it may be, is the hallmark of Emeco's Navy Chair legacy." 

Each 111 Navy Chair is just like the aluminum original, even including the faux weld points on the backside. I love that this beauty is made in the South with a sincere care for integrity and quality. Find your very own Emeco 111 Navy Chair, which I dare say will never go out of style, here. 

And for those seeking options, the 111 also comes in five colors, including Green Grass and Persimmon Orange. Dreamy...

 

Photos: Emeco; dwell.com; mocoloco.com; e-side.co.uk; moleculeblog.blogspot.com       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Jul012014

More lovely things...via Wit and Whistle

Wit & Whistle is one of my favorite shops to check in on from time to time. Each item is beautifully made and then, with equal parts thoughtfulness and care, beautifully photographed and presented.  

Amanda Wright, from Cary, North Carolina, continues to expand her wares to include stationery and home goods. All of her paper products are printed locally on recycled paper and her line of creative, quirky stamps have a simple design that is both modern and playful. 

All of Amanda's popular wood-mounted rubber stamps are laser engraved from her original designs and are each packaged inside a drawstring muslin bag.  

I am a bit of a notebook fanatic as I tend to have a lot of ideas that should be written down- otherwise, they're quickly lost into oblivion. A pretty notebook, as seen here, is the perfect accessory (much like a pen in my hand) to help me focus and organize all those things floating around in my head and start to make sense of it...

Amanda also sells her original artwork. This is a mixed media painting, using gouache and ink, of her heart-leaf philodendron plant. She's such a talented one...and so fun to check in on. See the entirety of the Wit & Whistle shop, here. 

 

Photos: Wit & Whistle      Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Apr212014

The Masculine, Urban Bed. 

Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson are the founders of The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina. It is here they partake and oversee in the production of jacquard fabrics to create luxurious textiles for the home. To their credit, 100% of the designing and weaving, the cutting and the sewing, happens at The Mill.

To create luxurious, super soft throws, coverlets, pillows and shams, they rely on fabrics that are warm and cozy, yet breathable. All of their textiles are made from natural fibers of cotton, wool, alpaca, linen and/or bamboo. And to ensure high quality and low impact, no chemicals are used in the weaving or finishing at the Mill. 

They currently offer four different collections. This one, the Brooklyn Collection shows off their manly side. As Bethanne shared, "It's a masculine, urban bed that was inspired by a fabric we make that is reminiscent of men's wear." 

Inside the Mill, you'll find Sew Co., founded by Libby O'Bryan. As stated on their site, "Sew Co.'s crew is composed of veteran factory workers who learned how to sew on the job during the South's manufacturing heydays of the 60's and 70's and have been sewing ever since."

The vets work alongside women who have studied fine dressmaking and costume design, so it's safe to say this is an impressive group of artisans. Together they utilize eight Jacquard and two high speed Dobby looms to create their fabrics. 

It was very important for Bethanne to create a manufacturing company much different from those of the past. Every step of the process happens under one roof, ensuring quality control- plus, it's very much a team effort here. Learn more about The Oriole Mill and see the entirety of their scrumptious, luxurious collections, here. 

 

Photos: Andrew Day/NY Times; The Oriole Mill     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Apr152014

Clair Hartmann

I've been out of town a few weeks now on a job and I must admit, I miss my pups. These beautiful paintings of dogs by Clair Hartmann caught my eye today and I can't help but want to share...

Clair grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and is now based in Wilmington, North Carolina. She started painting regularly in 2008 after learning about a project started by painter, Duane Keiser. His idea was to produce one painting every day which would improve his artistic skills (not to mention his bank account). Inspired by all the dogs she saw at the local Farmer's Market where she worked each weekend- many of which were rescues with some incredible stories- she decided to paint their portraits. She loved the fact that each dog (and painting) had a story to tell. 

Besides painting all that inspires her each day, Clair is available for custom portraiture as well. This Great Dane is kind of amazing, don't you think? 

See Claire's current collection of paintings, which includes abstracts, landscapes and much more, here. 

 

Photos: Clair Hartmann site     Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Apr102014

Cassilhaus

Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus have combined their talents, passions (and their name) to create their dream home, Cassilhaus. Situated in the woods between Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this modern home is also an artist retreat and residency. 

Ellen and Frank have a singular mission, "to provide a creative, comfortable, tranquil and visually stimulating environment for artists to get inspired and recharged to make new work." As artists spend their time recharging their creative minds at Cassilhaus, it is encouraged that they offer at least one service to the community during their stay- such as a class, workshop, performance, open studio or a reading. 

Cassilhaus was built to be a home/residency/studio. Ellen and Frank spent three years designing the home, paying close attention on how best to display art by creating diverse architectural spaces, variable ceiling heights, flexible lighting and an overall relaxed, inspirational space. This needed to be a home that worked well for themselves as well as the artists who come from around the world to visit. 

Cassilhaus is made up of two living pods. One pod is a multi level 3000 square foot main house and the other is a 1000 square foot, self contained guest house meant for month-long artist residencies. A long bridge structure joins the pods, which has a photo gallery and master suite. 



The outdoor spaces, which include multiple decks, a screened in porch and two terraces, are just as impressive. The whole home is set amongst the treetops and offers its residents semi-privacy to complete privacy. Learn more about Cassilhaus (and check out more pics), here. 

 

Photos: JWest Productions; Cassillhaus     Content: Sweet Peach


Tuesday
Apr082014

A Little Weather

I have a strong memory of my grandmother knitting afghans throughout my childhood. It was something that she loved to do and she did it well. A hand made blanket is infused with so much time and passion, it tells a story unto itself. Lucky for us, Jessica Green, a textile artist from Marshall, North Carolina, is continuing the tradition of our grandmothers and their grandmothers...

As her process is 100% done by hand, Jessica is devoutly true to her craft. She utilizes traditional weave structures and patterns that were common to colonial weaving of 19th century America and Europe. 

Jessica, "I am deeply inspired by the history of 'women's work' and women's place in weaving as well as the way women have carried this history along, lifting it up each time it's almost forgotten. I draw upon those women every day." 

Jessica shears her goats twice a year, which she then mixes with the sheep fleece sourced from neighborhood farms. Jessica, "The mixed fleeces are dyed with natural dyes (sometimes left undyed, and sometimes dyed with a combination of natural dye and a low acid protein dye) and finally I spin the fleece into yarn." It takes Jessica 3-4 months to spin enough yarn for just one blanket. Then the weaving begins...

Jessica researches online and keeps a few historical weaving books closeby for inspiration. Once a creative direction is decided upon, she starts to draft her motif. Jessica, "From the beginning the design starts to feel a little more mine- as human error creeps in. Once I have the gist of the mathematics of the design, then I'm free to riff, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot."

This gorgeous coverlet is part of Jessica's hand spun collection, as all the wool used is from a local sheep and her own goats. Jessica, "I washed and carded the fleece myself and spun it into the beautiful yarn that is the foundation for this blanket." 

I love the world that Jessica has created for herself. She raises her animals, forages for natural dyes, shears her goats and sheep, then spins and weaves her yarn into magnificent pieces to treasure and share. Jessica, "I find deep satisfaction on carrying on an ancient art form that links nearly every culture that has ever existed."

Jessica grew up in Texas but recently moved to North Carolina and feels quite at peace in her new surroundings. Jessica, "I am completely enamored by Appalachia. It is distinct and historic and fiercly guards its culture. It's lawless and wild and storytelling is deeply embedded in everday life." And because of artisans like Jessica, the rich and varied stories imbedded in this ancient art form continue to be told. 

 

Photos: A Little Weather   Content: Sweet Peach


Monday
Apr072014

Drink the Sunshine


If you're like me right now, you could use a Monday jolt. Sunshine, an energy drink made in Winston-Salem North Carolina gives you a good wake up call without all the jitters. Each Sunshine can is filled with electrolytes, vitamin B12, natural flavors and is sweetened with natural stevia and ginger root extract. It's meant to hydrate and awaken our senses the natural way. I like that... 

Sunshine is inspired by legendary moonshiner, Buck O'Hairen. Born on a farm near Boonville, North Carolina in 1837, Buck became famous for his strong and tasty libations. A paranoid, ornary fellow, Buck did things his own way and by 1872 he was producing over 60 gallons of moonshine a day- an incredible feat for the time. As the legend goes, after a series of misfortunes and many a hangover, Buck then concocted Sunshine, his antedote to moonshine. 

Keith Vest and Joe Parrish concoted the current Sunshine recipe in homage to Buck and in response to the Red Bull craze which, truth be told, isn't the healthiest. They found their niche and I'm eager to try it. Click here to find your own bit of sunshine and let the week begin...

 

Friday
Apr042014

White Whale

Two southerners, Dave Staples and Corey Mason of Durham, North Carolina started their company, White Whale with one mission in mind- "To create a unique line of cocktail mixers using only exotic juices and garden fresh herbs." I'm in...

They want to "conjure prohibition-era sophistication without any of the pretension." All you need to do is pick a mixer and add the recommended spirit. Finish off with a complementary garnish and you're enjoying a cocktail with history, depth and a really nice kick in the pants. It's Friday after all...

Their mixer descriptions are making me want a cocktail right now- and it's just 8 in the morning as I write this. Your Older Brother adds hints of lemon, Siberian fir, sweet orange to an ounce of vodka. The Filthy Liar offers hints of lychee, lime and clove to be mixed with gin while Auntie's Old Fashioned blends exotic youngberries with an infusion of rosemary to be combined with a couple of ounces of my favorite spirit, bourbon. I'm salivating. 

I always love finding new well designed and intentioned products that make the perfect, unexpected gift. I can think of so many who would love a three pack of White Whale's speak-easy inspired goodness. Each bottle makes eight delicious cocktails for your next Friday afternoon happy hour. Learn more about where to buy White Whale, here and enjoy your weekend everyone...

 

Photos: Mike Gilger, White Whale    Content: Sweet Peach