goat farm open studio

Not very much to say here, just some fun pictures to share. I had the pleasure of touring the Goat Farm open studio days two weekends ago and it was pretty much the best day. I love being able to explore artist studios, no matter what the work looks like. It’s always inspiring to me to see the physical spaces inhabited by creative minds. It didn’t hurt that it was a beautifully crisp day either!

Continue reading

howard finster’s paradise garden

Sitting down to write this, I realized the for all the art I’ve taken in over the course of my life… I still feel challenged when expressing my thoughts or feelings about it. Food is easy, style is logical, but art – perhaps because it’s what I feel most deeply about – doesn’t translate to words. So while I’d love to say to you that I can help you navigate the arts scene in Atlanta, it’s probably the last thing I’d be able to help you with.

paradise-garden-4bparadise-garden-1a

It took me way too long to find the time to take the drive to see Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden. And of course I ended up forgetting my real camera, so please enjoy these photos from my crappy old phone (lost my iPhone recently). It’s the best I could do, but really nothing can do this justice. Or really, any art justice.

paradise-garden-3aparadise-garden-2a

Art HAS to be experienced in real life. Digital reproduction will never be the same as seeing something in front of you.  Continue reading

yet tuh

yet-tuh-3aOkay so I’m Asian and I love food, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert on all Asian food. Of all the variety of Asian cuisine out there, I undoubtedly have strong opinions about Chinese food and Vietnamese food because that’s my heritage and that’s what I’ve been eating all my life. What I don’t know much about is Korean and Japanese cuisine. So when it comes to trying new Asian restaurants, it’s those that I’m going to go for because I want to continue broadening my experiences with each. Being in Atlanta, I have plenty to choose from! Last week I tried Yet Tuh, a small little spot off of Buford Highway. Thanks Instagram!

yet-tuh-1ayet-tuh-2a

We got there extremely early so the place was completely empty. Its location is definitely off the beaten path but it’s well worth the trip. Again, I remind you that I know nothing about what good Korean food is supposed to be like. But I very much enjoyed most aspects of this dinner. It was tough to only be a two-person party because of how many items we ordered (we just had to try them), but that made for plenty of leftovers to carry me through the week. Of all the dishes, my favorite was Continue reading

fresh harvest

I’ve always wanted to entertain the idea of a CSA but the convenience and ease of the chain grocery store often gets the better of me. So when Fresh Harvest contacted me to try one of their weekly baskets, I said YES without hesitation. Fresh Harvest is pretty simply this: a box of local organically farmed produce dropped off at your front door. You can’t say anything is easier than that!

fresh-harvest-georgia-1a

fresh-harvest-georgia-5a

My first impressions were as follows:

  1. I love Batdorf coffee (not pictured, I already took it out of the basket)! They know me already.
  2. That’s a whole lot of greens (there were more sprouts I had already taken out of the basket too).
  3. What do I do with raw sugar cane?
  4. And whoa bananas.

I probably should have planned a little bit better for how I was going to use all this produce, but I was just kind of overwhelmed and excited by having such a great basket that I went wild and did whatever came to my head first. I figured the best thing I could make was something I already felt comfortable making – a veggie stir-fry. That way the ingredients would still shine and I could use a lot of them at once.

For my stir-fries I try to keep things simple and let the ingredients shine. I was able to use the broccoli (fresh broccoli = infinitely better than frozen), swiss chard, radish, and carrots. It turned out pretty swell, indeed much better than my typical stir-fry. It felt like there was an extra crunch and a rounder flavor to it all.

fresh-harvest-georgia-4a

As for the rest of the basket, I did my best to use what I could as soon as I could. Ben and I are only two people so we couldn’t manage to finish the bananas and mandarin oranges while they were in their prime. I used the mushroom in a noodle dish I cooked later in the week and it took everything to a whole new level; the noticeable difference a single mushroom can make has really opened up my eyes to cooking with mushrooms in general.

Overall, I truly enjoyed my Fresh Harvest basket. The element of surprise and challenge in using specific ingredients is quite delightful, as if I was on a week-long challenge of Chopped (with a much easier basket). I only wish I could have the basket last a little longer. Of course, this was just a free trial run and if I were to begin a weekly subscription then I could tailor things to my logistical needs. Fresh Harvest also has co-op and workplace options as well, so you really can’t go wrong with these guys.

If you’ve never tried a produce delivery service – or even if you already have before – I highly recommend Fresh Harvest. It will force you to be much more mindful of how you use your produce and what you put into your body. Not to mention, support local!

anthropologie ponce city market

If you live in Atlanta, then you know about Ponce City Market. If you don’t, then immediately drop everything and go drive up Ponce De Leon Avenue! Set for a grand opening in Fall 2015, Ponce City Market will be the new midtown shopping and dining destination for the next generation of buyers. What’s going in there? Well, first and foremost, Anthropologie! Yup, already open for your shopping pleasure.

anthropcm-opening-30aanthropcm-opening-25a

If you prefer to experience the full surprise of its majesty, then don’t scroll down. It was everything I imagined and more, raw and elegant, real and inspiring.

anthropcm-opening-1aanthropcm-opening-31aanthropcm-opening-12anthropcm-opening-3aanthropcm-opening-22aanthropcm-opening-2anthropcm-opening-10anthropcm-opening-29aanthropcm-opening-9anthropcm-opening-26aanthropcm-opening-23aanthropcm-opening-5

atlanta botanical garden beauties

atlanta-botanical-garden-47aatlanta-botanical-garden-8aatlanta-botanical-garden-3aatlanta-botanical-garden-6aatlanta-botanical-garden-7aatlanta-botanical-garden-36aatlanta-botanical-garden-45aatlanta-botanical-garden-10aatlanta-botanical-garden-15aatlanta-botanical-garden-17aatlanta-botanical-garden-29aatlanta-botanical-garden-22aatlanta-botanical-garden-12aatlanta-botanical-garden-11aatlanta-botanical-garden-19aatlanta-botanical-garden-21aatlanta-botanical-garden-26aatlanta-botanical-garden-46aatlanta-botanical-garden-2aatlanta-botanical-garden-41aatlanta-botanical-garden-43a

the painted canvas tote

Say hello to the largest size in our collaboration, the hand-painted canvas tote:

neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-31aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-30aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-28a neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-29aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-40aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-37a

Continue reading

the clutch

neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-27a

Clutch it with your hands, hold on to it with your heart. The medium bag of our collaborative collection is the perfect size for a subtle and chic statement. Each piece has a reinforced leather bottom and a long leather tasseled zipper. Large enough to hold your everyday necessities and small enough to carry conveniently, the clutch is easily adaptable for a modern lady on the go.

neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-21aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-25a

The design pictured here is now for sale at Crafted Westside’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop at Westside Provisions! Open daily from 10am-6pm, Crafted has great hand-made gifts of all kinds from Southern artisans, including my art prints as well. If you can’t make it to the store, feel free to contact me at christina.ann.kwan@gmail.com to see more designs available for sale and custom ordering details. Hooray for Small Business Saturday!

neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-20a

the dopp kit

neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-32a
My dear Wikipedia tells me:

A Dopp kit is a small toilet bag, made of leather, vinyl, or cloth, that is used for storing men’s grooming tools for travel. The name derives from early 20th century leather craftsman Charles Doppelt, a German immigrant to the United States, who invented his toiletry case in 1919. The kits became widely known during the Second World War when they were issued to GIs. Dopp kits were once a common gift given to adolescent males as they ascended from boyhood to adulthood.

While ours is not an official dopp kit, the traditional shape served as our inspiration to create these multi-use travel pouches. They are all unique and hand-painted, a great size for makeup, pens, jewelry… whatever daily tools you need to get by.
neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-34aThese are currently available at Crafted Westside’s holiday pop-up shop at Westside Provisions, as well as available for custom order. If you’re interested in ordering one, please email me at christina.ann.kwan@gmail.com!neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-35aWhat would you use yours for?

buttermilk kitchen

The upside to working retail is the beauty of my days off. Sure, sure, it would be fantastic to have my two-day weekends back. But sometimes you just have to look at the silver lining and soak in what you can. I get to explore sweet little local places unburdened by crowds and every now and then I’m lucky enough to have the company of women who are quite lovely. This week, Buttermilk Kitchen was our southern brunch nirvana.

buttermilk-kitchen-1abuttermilk-kitchen-5a

There’s not much I can convey in words to add to what these pictures already show you. The atmosphere was perfect, particularly on the patio with the sun moving up, and the service was extremely on-point. Everything was in a perfect state of balance, very thoughtful but not at all fussy. The menu was pared down and every piece of food on our table was exactly what we wanted it to be. It was fresh, it was rich, and well worth the trip.

buttermilk-kitchen-3abuttermilk-kitchen-9abuttermilk-kitchen-14a

I imagine that the weekends could be overwhelming in a place like this. It’s undeniably awesome and I’m sure the entire neighborhood knows and loves it. If you ever get a weekday off, make a day date for Buttermilk. I swear to you, probably one of the best brunches I’ve had in Atlanta.  Continue reading