It’s been far far too long since I’ve written about food on here. My time is getting ever more precious to me so it’s been difficult for me to take the time to write about food experiences over using that time to paint or do a quick outfit post. So here I am to remedy that, with my thoughts on Chef Liu’s.
People come to me frequently for restaurant suggestions, but really.. I don’t have as many as you think. Yes, I’m adventurous and yes I love to experience new things and explore Atlanta. But I, much like you, have only a handful of tried and true go-to spots. It’s partly due to financial constraints and partly due to the comfort of convenience.
Asian food is quite obviously essential to my weekly dining. I’m no expert on cooking Asian food myself (apart from random stir frying), so what ends up happening is I have a few key restaurants on rotation to get my fix. Though I’m more partial to Vietnamese food by nature (and childhood upbringing), every now and then I just neeeeed Chinese. Like… better than stupid takeout Chinese. So I’m always on the hunt for a good Chinese restaurant that can cook correctly and leave me feeling satiated without feeling like a grease face. Chef Liu’s is one such place.
As you can see by these photos, we were hungry and ordered way more than we could finish. But of course that gives us the upside of leftovers, which is almost required when eating family style Asian. From what I can remember, we ordered pork intestines, jellyfish salad, cold spicy noodles, dumplings, beef stew, and some sort of chicken chow fun deal. Whatever, you can use your eyes.
Well, I knew this time was bound to come.. the day when I start blogging about my favorite Atlanta spots more than once.
It’s not that I’ve run out of new places to try (there are plenty more still on my list); some places are just full to the brim with beauty. Taking a second look and renewing that inspiration is never a bad thing. Today, I take a trip back to one of my favorite places for vintage and retro-inspired finds, Kudzu Antique Market.
Vendor stalls as far as the eye can see hold everything from mid-century furniture to old country southern knick knacks. It’s a Goldilocks-size antique mall, large enough to fill your afternoon with wonderment but not so overwhelming that you’ll give up on finding some little treasures.
The thing I love most about this place is the vendors who set up their stalls in such a way that it becomes like a microcosm, their own little treasure trove that we have privileged access to. Some are serious, some are quirky, and all are elegant in their own way.
So it’s that time of year again, where everyone makes lists, countdowns, and figures out their resolutions for the coming year. Despite the high probability of seeming trite, I will participate in this action and take a look back at all my favorite blog posts of 2014. Below the picture gallery, you’ll find the corresponding links that will take you to the post. If you have just recently begun reading my words then you might like to see what I’ve been up to this whole time. I’ve seen a lot of lovely creations, spoken with a handful of amazingly talented people, and eaten a lot of tasty food. Isn’t that what life’s all about? It is for me anyways…
More often than not, the things I choose to write about in this blog are an ode to Atlanta. The sights, the happenings, the people… this city is what sustains my creativity and my drive to be the version of myself I’ve always aspired to. I want to be someone who is cultured, someone who appreciates what the world offers, someone who values kindness and innovation. That plus a whole lot of other little things and I think I’m well on my way to being there. I don’t have as much free time as I’d like, but when I do get the occasional day off, I try to make the most of it. When I heard Krog Street Market was finally open to the public, it skyrocketed to the top of my “must-try” list.
Although it’s not developed to full capacity, what gems do lie there make up a completely worthwhile visit. The Little Tart, Spotted Trotter, Craft Izakaya, Mama Bath and Body – all with local reputations for an attention to quality and dedication to their craft. It’s nice to see all these Atlanta favorites gathered together under one roof; almost like a permanent farmer’s market or a community-centric mini mall. It’s a concept that has been oddly rare in Atlanta until recently. With mixed retail developments popping up all over town (Westside Provisions, Ponce City Market, et cetera), it is undeniable that the city is thriving and the best is yet to come.
Visiting KSM gave me the opportunity to finally meet two newcomers I’ve had my eye on, Xocolatl and Yalla. Xocolatl has got a great thing going for them; small batch anything obviously piques my interest, but small batch single-origin bean to bar chocolate is like one of the most seductive set of words I might ever hear in my life. Unfortunately they were all sold out (of course) of their bars, but it was lovely to just meet the makers and watch them pour a new velvety batch. Now I definitely have a reason to go back to KSM very, very soon (hello holiday gifts).
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.
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 email@example.com to see more designs available for sale and custom ordering details. Hooray for Small Business Saturday!
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. These 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!What would you use yours for?
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. We’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. We 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 email@example.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…
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…
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.
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!!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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!
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.
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.
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.