Category

atlanta

Category

west & mill

There are some places that I want so badly to be good, but no matter how hard I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, I just can’t deny my disappointment. I really don’t enjoy writing negatively, but keeping my writing voice honest is very important and in order to do that I also need to share my experiences that aren’t so perfect.

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I’ve visited West & Mill twice now and both times were for a leisurely brunch, free of pressure or expectation. On Sunday mornings, I just want something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes all it takes is a good coffee and a bagel and other times I need a tad bit more effort. West & Mill is at a great location in West Midtown, right across the street from Octane. It has a cute and quaint little dining room which is a slightly weird, but cool mixture of European bistro and contemporary industrial. By looks and looks alone, all signs point to a pleasant dining experience.

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discovering east lake atlanta

There are way too many effin cute neighborhoods in Atlanta. It’s wonderfully overwhelming and keeps me feeling alive to discover all the little gems scattered inside the perimeter. A recent Saturday took me to East Lake in search of Thread Count, a unique vendor’s market focused on raising awareness for local craftsmanship, sustainability, and design. In other words, it pretty much had my name written all over it plus there was no cover charge at all. I expected the typical Atlanta craft market experience where you come, covet, eat, and leave. Little did I know that East Lake’s neighborhood would charm the pants off of me. Why?… Just look.

East Lake Urban Farm in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

On the way to Thread Count, Ben and I stumbled upon the East Lake Urban Farm. Due to our impending move to a duplex unit with a backyard begging for a garden, I’ve recently become obsessed with nurseries, farms, and vegetable gardens. Perhaps it’s the farm to table trend seeping into my blood. Perhaps it’s my desire to save money. Either way – it’s a healthy new interest and I’m looking forward to what I might be able to pull up from the earth with my own two hands. In the meantime, I’ll just keep ogling cute places like this.

East Lake Urban Farm in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

East Lake Urban Farm in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

The event was held in the East Lake Community Garden which is filled rows of blooming vegetables and a den of weed-eating goats (even little ones). Though there weren’t many vendors in total, each one was dripping with a genuine desire to share the love of their craft. Not to mention there was also free beer from New Belgium. Did I mention that I like stuff that’s free?

East Lake Community Garden in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

Thread Count at the East Lake Community Garden in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

I met a number of darling artisans who were just beginning their creative journey. Like KJo – audiologist by day and jewelry maker by night! She scavenges for vintage items and reclaims them into sweet little pieces to wear. Her display felt like the awesome attic of an eccentric aunt who has a taste for the feminine along with the slightly strange.

KJo at Thread Count in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

KJo at Thread Count in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

KJo at Thread Count in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

And Rachael of Neva Opet, who hand-crafts elegant leather accessories. She’s an absolute doll and more on her later!

Neva Opet at Thread Count in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

Neva Opet at Thread Count in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

Do you need any more convincing to go see East Lake for yourself? Just a little drive around the neighborhood will do you a world of good, but a visit to the garden and farm will be enough to make you want to plant your own roots here.

sunny stuff

We’re officially in the dead heat of summer, but cool stuff keeps happening.

Stuff is blooming.

Atlanta hydrangeas

Stuff is ripe.

strawberry

Stuff is going on sale.

Buffalo Exchange in Atlanta, GA

Stuff is .. festival’ing?

Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival

Stuff is sunny.

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s’more grams

I don’t have a smartphone, but thanks to an incredibly generous boyfriend I get to instagram to my heart’s desire! Favorites tend to include food and fashion. Can you blame me?

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creative masters: jeanée ledoux of finely crafted

While I enjoy sharing the struggles and triumphs of my own life, I thought it might do everyone well to start exploring the lives of others who are also striving to manifest their dreams. I’ve decided to entitle this interview series “Creative Masters” because all of these individuals have mastered the art of forging their own paths and are a great inspiration to me (and hopefully you too). They listen to their inner selves and are willing their unique visions of grandeur into reality. I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of coming across so many talented creative professionals in the past few years and I’m so excited to be sharing with you how they came to be the amazing pathfinders they are today.

Atlanta is so pleasantly filled to the brim with extraordinary people who make it their life goal to enhance your visual living experience. Jeanée Ledoux, of Finely Crafted, is exactly one of those people. She and I met through the blogosphere and I was immediately enchanted by all the colorful and charming goods her store has to offer. After finally meeting her in person, I knew I had to do this wonder woman justice by sharing her awesome story on T&B. Jeanee is one of those girls you’d love to have in your friend group because even upon first meeting (an impromptu one at that) she is so lovely and easygoing. Not to mention she obviously could decorate your house at the drop of a hat. Jeanée opened Finely Crafted less than a year ago (seriously) and is already making her mark among the ranks of the awesome. If you don’t have a chance to check out Finely Crafted at Paris On Ponce, do not fret. Finely Crafted is officially going online in September of this year!.. Just in time to make our holiday season that much merrier.

Jeanee Ledoux of Finely Crafted

Describe Finely Crafted in three sentences.

Finely Crafted is a cheerful destination for home decor, gifts, and personal accessories inspired by modernism and mid-century kitsch. My boutique supports independent artists and small companies who pour their hearts into their creations, many of which are handmade. The Finely Crafted blog delivers store updates and artist info, but it’s also a source for DIY projects and a community that celebrates the craft movement and modern design.

Finely Crafted in Paris On Ponce, Atlanta GA

It’s a delightfully curated store for sure! Tell me more about your background and how it led you to this.

I’ve been hot and heavy with the craft movement since 1999, when I took my first job as an editorial assistant at Storey Books in North Adams, Mass. We published DIY books on cooking, gardening, sewing, etc., and I’d spend lunch breaks poring over projects and dreaming of writing my own craft book one day. In 2005, after several years of thrifty decorating projects in a few apartments, I wrote “Abode a la Mode: 44 Projects for Hip Home Decor,” published by Sterling. “ReadyMade” magazine was new, and book publishers seemed to be scrambling to find young makers with a fresh point of view on crafts. That same year, my sister Suzanne and I founded Honeydoux jewelry, which featured vintage buttons and stones. We got into several boutiques and sold directly at craft markets, which gave me some merchandising practice. In 2009 I designed the projects for the DVD “Re-Construct: Eco-Friendly Crafts Made Easy,” co-hosted by Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft and produced by Eyekiss Films. All my crafting seemed to hover around hobby status, financially speaking, so I took a break in 2011. I stayed involved in the handmade community by volunteering at craft shows, like ICE, and supporting makers I admire. I began thinking of myself as a craft cheerleader rather than a crafter, but I knew I wouldn’t be content on the sidelines for long. Last summer I felt drawn toward retail, so I made an “If I had a store” Pinterest page. I made a casual inquiry at Paris on Ponce and showed my page to one of the owners, and I had a signed contract for my own mini-boutique just a few days later!

Finely Crafted in Paris On Ponce, Atlanta GA

Wow. You’ve had quite a journey! What gave you the courage to make the leap to begin Finely Crafted?

I’ve never been afraid of starting businesses — Finely Crafted is my third! Renting booth space at Paris on Ponce is a low-risk way to dip my toe into the retail pond and see whether I like it. I do need to give myself lots of pep talks, though, to feel confident about designing the store. I’m not an artist and have very little merchandising experience, so I can spiral into heart-wrenching “who am I to do this . . . ?” thoughts. Having a space that hundreds of people judge every week makes me feel quite vulnerable! I’ve always been a fast learner and hard worker, though, so in the end I trust that I’ll scrape together enough know-how and style to be successful.

I know how you feel about being vulnerable. But your love for the work of the artists you represent obviously shines through. Who’s your current fave among the Finely Crafted artists and why?

I’m crazy about Leah Duncan! Her wall art and home decor (I carry prints, tea towels, and pillows) are inspired by diverse genres — from impressionism to Scandinavian folk art — but the patterns and colors are always distinctly her. There’s a joyful, dynamic movement to her drawings. For example, the paddle cactus on her tea towel looks like it’s dancing. Her oh-so-50s colors are some of my personal favorites, like sea foam, peachy pink, and goldenrod. Leah and I are collaborating on limited-edition prints that will be sold by Finely Crafted only, beginning this fall. I’m so excited and grateful that an established artist I admire is willing to take a risk on a retail rookie!

Finely Crafted in Paris On Ponce, Atlanta GA

I can’t wait to see them! I doubt anyone could call you a rookie of any kind with the life experience you’ve had and the collaboration sounds perfect. The craft and DIY movement is very hip right now. How do you set yourself apart from others like you, yet still remain relevant? 

paris in atlanta

Sometimes I fall into the delusional trap of thinking I’ve seen it all. Seen all the places, eaten all the food, roamed all the markets. As much as I try to convince myself that sitting at home on the weekends is the best course of action, it just isn’t true. There is just too much to be found out there in our wonderful city and even the things you think you know can surprise you. Case in point: Paris On Ponce.

antiques and boutiques at Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

antiques and boutiques at Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

I used to go to Paris on Ponce pretty frequently when I first moved here to ogle the mass amount of antiques (not gonna lie, also because they so adorably laid out cookies and lemonade too), but had fallen off the wagon due to the fact that I could never take home the secondhand furniture I coveted. A chance whim took me back there recently and I was stunned at all the changes that had taken place, in a very good way.

Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

Paris on Ponce is now Paris on Ponce & POP Marché. Still housing a crazy amount of antique treasures, but now also home to unique vignette boutiques filled with home goods from various vendors and curators from around the city. And here I was, thinking it couldn’t get any better! Every booth is like a miniature world with a landscape abundant with patterns, texture, and color.

antiques and boutiques at Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

Kitchen Papers at Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

antiques and boutiques at Paris on Ponce | Atlanta

Despite my best efforts, I didn’t manage to make it out empty-handed.

the industrial organic

I’ve lived in Atlanta for about three years now so you can imagine how many art festivals and markets I’ve been to. After a while, everything starts to look the same to me. Not in a bad way – just in the fact that I’ve seen all the local vendors already. Thankfully, I was recently and pleasantly proven wrong when I stumbled upon MDC Interiors at ARTlantis.

concrete planter by MDC Interiors in Atlanta | tide & bloom

concrete succulent planters by MDC Interiors in Atlanta | tide & bloom

In their sweet and humble booth full of tiny treasures, I met the warm and ever-so-lovely Mona Patel. She and her partner, Mike, began MDC Interiors to craft custom objects that are visually striking as well as beneficial for the environment. While I didn’t get to see their furniture pieces (due to the limited amount of space), I absolutely fell in love

lovin that kudzu

Atlanta holds so many treasures that I forget all the different places to find them. Usually it takes an out-of-town visitor for me to recognize the things I fell in love with when I first moved here. A great example of that is Kudzu in Decatur (not technically Atlanta, but close enough).

Antique glassware at Kudzu in Decatur, Atlanta | tide and bloom

vintage market Kudzu in Decatur, Atlanta | tide and bloom

Kudzu is full to the brim with vendor stalls holding things like antique treasures, mid-century modern, vintage toys, and more. I seem to always find something to take home with me whenever I go, but that’s probably because I’m good at rationalizing utility for random vessels.

vintage market Kudzu in Decatur, Atlanta | tide and bloom

Not quite sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m just obsessed with collecting vases, cups, plates, etc! Maybe it’s a way for me to compensate for not being able to purchase the larger furniture I covet. 

may daze

This month has gone by way too fast. The older I get the more convinced I am that time is speeding up. That being said, let me take some time to share these moments from some wonderful memories made in May.

Kirkwood Spring Fling

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Free fun? Who can say no! This was one of my favorite festival-type events to date. Not for any singular reason, but just because it felt so perfectly simple. It was small yet held a lot of quality vendors and I enjoyed getting acquainted with the Kirkwood area. The food stars of the day were Nectar and Atomic Ice Cream Sandwiches. Again, who can say no?

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Chai Pani

Finally got a chance to sample the Indian street food delight in Decatur. While I definitely enjoyed what I ordered (kale pakoras and a mango lassi), I walked away still feeling hungry. The menu is set up in a tapas style and so the best way to go is with a huge group. All in all, it was quick and easy, but not the best option for just two. Side note – I was completely enchanted by the vintage Bollywood movie posters on the walls.

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Robert L. Staton Rose Garden

Nestled right next to Fernbank Museum of Natural History, I’ve driven past this garden for three years and only discovered it because my mom pointed it out from the road. Best of all is that it’s free and open to the public every day!

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chocolate fixes everything

As you can probably tell, I’m a self-proclaimed lover of all things decadent. Fortunately Atlanta never fails to satisfy my cravings and one of my favorite spots to get a fix is Cacao in Virgina Highlands. Rain or shine in every season, this local chocolatier always has something deep and delicious to perk up my mood.

Chocolate Bar at Cacao Atlanta in Virginia Highlands | tide & bloom

You can easily pop in and grab a truffle or two (a little pricey but totally worth it) from the flavor bar you see here. For our most recent visit, I chose Pecan Penuche and Ben got CAYENNE PASSION FRUIT.

Chocolate truffles at Cacao Atlanta in Virginia Highlands | tide & bloom

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If you ever make it to Atlanta, this little gem is definitely a must-visit.