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Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

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julianna’s crepes

As you’ve heard (or read) me say over and over, there are always more hidden gems in Atlanta to be found. I’m guessing this is true of any growing and thriving city full of wonderful and creative entrepreneurs. Last week I found myself stumbling into Julianna’s Crepes for a lovely mid-afternoon snack, thanks to the suggestion of my new blogger friend Lucy.

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As quaint and charming as ever, this cafe serves up a menu of both savory and sweet crepes. Since I hadn’t had lunch yet, I went for savory while Lucy went for the classic sweet combo of strawberries, banana, and honey. Both tasted a bit like the French/Hungarian childhood I never had.

seeing in color

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The heat is on and so it’s time for the colors to come out! Goodbye winter neutral cozies and hello to bright colors and bare skin. I recently purchased this tank top and have been trying to think outside of the box in terms of outfitting it. My natural impulse is to just pair with shorts or jeans for a casual Saturday, but I’ve found that if you just experiment, you’ll discover new ways to wear your casual tanks. 

stlou: cool stuff really cheep

I forgot to share this one last piece of St. Louis! Cool Stuff Really Cheep is a lovely little boutique full of curated vintage finds and antiques. Around every nook and cranny, there was another treasure to behold.

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I was so intrigued by the mosaic piece above; I’ve never really seen anything like it. Timeless and well-crafted, I’m kind of sad I didn’t snag it. Also was obsessed with the bar cart below. I tend to swoon over almost any bar cart I come across, but I found this particular configuration of shapes and lines so uniquely elegant and sleek.

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And here is where I received my stunning statement necklace and bracelet set. Absolutely in love! If you’re ever in the 314, be sure to make a pit stop at this place. I’m pretty sure you will find something you can’t live without!

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pjs in public

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Wearing this comfy set feels like cheating! I’m pretty much wearing pajamas in public with only my swagger and a necklace to prove that it’s appropriate to wear this outside my house. Can you blame me? When you’ve got stuff this soft, you never want to take it off! 

leafy

Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

This is a doodle from my sketchbook, drawn on the fly. I remember it was a lazy afternoon sitting on my boyfriend’s couch and I just let my micron pen run itself across the paper. Sometimes these spontaneous kinds of drawings end up being the best. I wonder if I could cover a much larger space with these forms. They seem to be some weird kind of floral vegetation, but I can’t say exactly what. It kind of reminds me of kale. What does it remind you of?

quilts by ria leigh

Ria Leigh textiles

The longer I look at these quilts by Ria Leigh, the more I fall in love with them. Her textile designs are everything I’m loving right now, with a nod to synthetic retro color palettes and a reverence for the tradition of geometric quilt pattern. I don’t think I can put it any more succinctly than she does on her own site:

Her work is situated within a matrilineal succession of makers and is influenced by her research on ancient cultural iconography, esoteric symbolism, pioneer practicality & Bauhaus ideology.

Ria Leigh textiles

With work this bold and a statement so eloquently drafted, I can only presume that she’s been working on this for a lot longer than the ease of her patterns may suggest.

may flowers

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This outfit (minus the hat) won me a best-dressed contest at work and though it’s taken me quite a long time to put it on again, I’m still in love. I’m obsessed with jumpsuits/rompers and I bought this one way out of season last fall (out of season = great deal). People tend to think jumpsuits are difficult to wear, but I think it’s quite the opposite. 

french landmarks

Before this commission, it had been a long looong time since I had made drawings or paintings from reference material. I knew I could do it, but I was secretly a bit intimidated and even doubtful of my skills. As I got started sketching, it was like my eyes came back to life. I guess after a whole adolescence of drawing and doodling, your hands just don’t forget. I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be reminded that I can do this.

Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

Unfortunately my photo editing skills still leave something to be desired, so these pictures don’t do my handiwork as much justice as I’d like. Hopefully you can still at least get a sense of how they might look in front of you; they are lighter and more delicate in real life, which is true of all my drawings and thus always presents problems in translating to digital form.

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Regardless, I’m pretty happy about the end result. The whole process helped me learn more about how to create work within my new living context; you’d be surprised by how much of this I did sitting in my own bed! These drawings were built layer by layer, very slowly, and I had to figure out the point at which I could stop painting and feel like I had accomplished a finished product. With a firm deadline, I was finally able to do this and what’s more thrilling to me than anything is that there is someone out there honoring me by hanging my work in their home (hopefully I can have pictures of that soon). I’m so grateful to have found this support in a time of uncertainty in my life and my work. I’m hoping it only grows from here.

an afternoon with the stacktone slims

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I recently had the honor of spending an afternoon in Grant Park with The Stacktone Slims, trying to get them some photographs that do their music justic. Here are some of my favorites of these dapper dudes!

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simple is good

With statement accessories like this vintage necklace (scored in St. Louis’ Cool Stuff Really Cheep!), I try to keep the rest of my outfit simple, along with another punch from the shoes for balance. With the weather being so wishy-washy – rainy one day, hot and humid the next, cool during the night – I go back to basics.

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Because really, simple is always good. I’ve had this drapey sweater shirt for years now and it’s served me in all kinds of weather! I spent a little bit more on it than I usually would because of how soft and rich the fabric feels. I paired it with my new favorite black skinny pant, UO’s seam jean, and voila! The perfect backdrop for the accessories to shine.