Author

Christina of Tide & Bloom

Browsing

print shop now open!

You can now shop my prints! Check out the “shop” tab above and start building your Christina Kwan collection. This is my very very first online shop and I’m so excited to have these prints going out for the holiday season.

Flora 8
Flora 8

If you have any questions about purchasing and/or shipping, feel free to email me at christina@tideandbloom.com … Can’t wait for you to have a piece of my heart in your home.

gift guide: for the girly girl

Pretty self-explanatory, I think. The girly girl loves to indulge in the luxurious and is not afraid to dress it up a little. She loves things that make her feel glamorous, like she’s wearing a little piece of heaven.

gifts for the girly girl

how to give a great gift

Such a simple thing, right? WRONG. So wrong. Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do is to give a great and thoughtful gift. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been told I’m pretty darn good at it. There’s really nothing better than seeing a person open your gift and truly love it (without any hint of faking it). It’s so cheesy, but it just feels good. Like really and genuinely good to know that you could put a true smile on someone’s face and that they would actually use and love the things you chose for them.

tumblr_mjg6g0UOyt1s1oegho1_500

I’ve decided to spill some of my secrets and build you my own series of gift guides according to the personality and style of that special lady you intend to surprise. Each guide will have a variety of price points and a mixture of small batch crafts with easy big box fillers. I’ll admit, a lot of them will probably have an Atlanta bias (gotta support my locals), but I’m sure whatever city you are in you can find comparable local artisans to help fill those gaps. Above everything else though, I always follow one basic principle:

Get her/him something you know she/he will love, but doesn’t have (or know about) yet. 

what’s next

When you’re working a full-time retail management job and trying to sustain creativity in your free time, it can be difficult to stop and smell the roses. It can be difficult to do anything in your off time besides lay on the couch like a petrified mummy. Not too long ago, I had all the time in the world to do exactly that – to contemplate, to plan, to nurture my studio practice. But I didn’t. I dragged my feet, knowing that there was always a tomorrow to continue working on my checklist. And I ended up never finishing, never starting anything really. I was treading water.

b624f7831e8a6655fcaec8cfa1d356fa

It was inevitable that I’d have to return to full-time work. I mean, the drawing thing just wasn’t happening (well, I wasn’t making it happen) and a girl has got to eat and support her caffeine slash shopping addiction. So here I am, struggling to keep up the energy to be positive and motivational for my team at work and baffled as to how I’m going to manage keeping up the pace in my independent pursuits. With the holidays here and in my face, all I want to do is eat and be merry. Can you blame me? I don’t want to keep holing myself up in my house, with my little paints, trying to produce pretty on paper (or bags). But if I stop now, then what? What comes next? 

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@tideandbloom.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@tideandbloom.com!neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-35aWhat would you use yours for?

neva opet x christina kwan

I feel so cheesy when I use the word “synergy”, but that is what comes to mind when I think about this collaboration. Rachael‘s handbags are beautifully crafted, with great attention and care to every detail. Her authenticity comes from the core of her being; she’s one of those girls who just instantly lights up the mood of any room. I’m absolutely humbled by her willingness to share a byline with me, especially when it comes to something as close to her heart as her bags. Together, we present to you a collection of canvas bags that are simple and modern, with a touch of whimsy. neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-48aWe’ve chosen Crafted Westside‘s holiday pop-up shop – and the internet – as the venue for the premiere of this line. Bag shapes include the tote (pictured here), the clutch, and the dopp kit. Our color palette is grounded in earth tones with flourishes of gold, and the designs are meant to be as functional as they are fun. neva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-51aneva-opet-tide-bloom-collab-50aWe hope you’ll be as excited as we are! If you don’t live in Atlanta or would like to have a custom hand-painted bag for yourself, get in touch with us and email me at christina@tideandbloom.com. We’re crossing our fingers that this will be a partnership to last – evolving alongside our own individual craft practices. More product pictures to come very soon…

neva opet collaboration

In case you haven’t read between the lines, I’ve been working on a seriously exciting collaboration with my lovely and inspiring friend, Rachael of Neva Opet! Her bags are some of the best in town and it’s no secret that I’ve been a big admirer of hers for a while now. She was one of the first artisans I interviewed for this blog and her positive outlook and support has made a wonderful impact in my life’s work. It felt super natural for us to fuse our crafts; our mutual respect and adoration for each other’s sense of design made this a no-brainer. What is this going to look like, you ask? Well, here’s a sneak peek from my instagram…

collab5

I’ve never done product design like this before and it was definitely a good challenge. With the amount of bags I had to do and the lack of free time I had, it forced me to create more efficiently. This mostly meant leaving things be and accepting the beauty of simplicity. I have the tendency to over-create because I always want to add more and more subtle layers. But for this project, it was important to step back and force myself to provide breathing room. I had to remind myself that they were all going to be transforming into something else, something useful, and that a simple statement is much more impactful than a busy chaotic mess.

collab4

I have no idea what the end product is going to look like! I just passed off all the materials to Rachael for her to do her magic and by this time next week, we will finally have a finished line.

What I do know is that there will be a variety of colors, patterns, and bag shapes for you to choose from and it’s just in time for the holiday season! Some of these will be living in Crafted Westside‘s Holiday Pop-Up Shop and others will be available for custom order. We’ll be premiering our products in the next two weeks with more information to come. Hope you’re half as excited as we are!!

blooming

These past few months have really flown by, and though it may not look like it from the lack of blog posts, I’ve been quite the busy bee. The highlight of my fall season was finally getting my work printed and available for sale. The exhibition at Octane filled my heart and showed me that I could really do this if I just keep pushing, little by little. It’s still (always is) a work in progress. For the show I formed a collection of 15 floral prints which are all now viewable here.

Flora 15 by Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

 

Unfortunately, you can’t purchase them through the interwebz just yet, but it’s top priority for me moving into the holiday season! For now, there are two ways to get you some. The first is to email me at christina@tideandbloom.com (or talk to me in person if you know me IRL). The second, for all you local folk out there, is to purchase them at Crafted Westside. I still have all prints in stock, and a fair amount of the originals. I’m also happy to do any commissions if there are particular color schemes or flowers you’d like to see me do.

Though I don’t blog as frequently as I used to, I can promise you that all that time is going towards valuable projects and development. Next up is a collaboration for the holidays I’m extremely excited about… stay tuned for more progress posts. Oh, and follow along on instagram if you’d like to see more stuff from me on the regular!

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.