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style in review

For most bloggers and creative makers, December is when there is the most social media activity. Holiday gift guides, giveaways, vlogmas and the like. But if you’ve been following me at all then you know that I also work as a retail manager full-time so that means for the month of December (and well into January too) – my focus is on being merry for others IRL and preserving my energy for that part of my world. Hence, I’m going to commence the year in review! First up is my style.

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These are my favorite looks from the past year and yes, they’re all from Anthropologie. As you can see, I am a lover of a little flair – whether it be in the pattern or silhouette. The older I get the more I gravitate towards length (even in summer) to accentuate my features. That way my look is less about skin and more about my face and how I carry myself. A little bit of confidence goes a long way.

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And don’t get me wrong, I wear separates just as often as I wear dresses.. I just happen to take more photos of the dresses because of their wow factor. Next year I’ll try to mix it up more and showcase assembled looks instead of all just statement pieces.

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sinclair’s mercantile

The longer I go on blogging, the more I want to get into vlogging. Why? For one, pictures say a thousand words but then videos say 10,000. Secondly I think my genuine reaction in real-time would be so much more entertaining than coming here and trying to rehash the experience. Do you watch food network? I basically want to be Guy Fieri but also touring shops, testing products, and interviewing artists, et cetera. How do I become a famous personality so that people become interested in my opinion?… I guess I’ll just keep working on it. If you know anyone looking to make a TV show featuring me, let me know.

For this blog post/episode, I’m pleased to introduce you to Sinclair’s Mercantile, a newly opened lifestyle boutique down in the heart of McDonough. Where’s that, you ask? It’s about a 45 minute drive South of Atlanta. So not TOO far, but far enough (for me) where this really has to be a purposeful visit. Which is really just fine seeing as how Lanie Beth and her husband Brad have made it their mission to create a beautiful open space with just about anything you’d need to enhance your wardrobe. If half my bank account wasn’t already committed to Anthropologie, then I’d be spending a whole lot of it here.

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The duo has paid careful attention to what comes into their shop, in regards to both assortment and origin. It’s truly a shop for the whole family and includes thoughtful accessories for life and home as well. Being that they are in the heart of a small town, they knew it was going to be quite a big risk to bring in premium denim and designer names. Somehow though they’ve managed to create a balance – I can tell it was an intentional focus – between accessibility and aspiration. I couldn’t really resist and I bought a ring for $14 and bangin’ Matisse shoes for less than $100.

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I’m a shop girl at heart so I love things.

gift guide: for the overachiever

The overachiever loves things that keep her world organized, bright, clean, and optimistic. This means fun desk stuff, cool calendars or motivational posters, and beautifully functional accessories.

gifts for the overachiever

the clutch

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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.

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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!

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green, black, and rose gold

I really don’t wear enough color. And I don’t know why! It’s not like I don’t have it; my closet is plentiful with different colors and patterns, but when it comes to actually getting dressed I just seem to always reach for neutrals. Perhaps it’s laziness, a desire to blend in easily, or both. Whatever it is, I’m going to try to bring more color into my life – through my wardrobe and through my artwork. I decided to play around with this color palette because while it’s seasonally festive, it’s not screaming ho ho ho.

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creative makers: rachael riedinger of neva opet

I began my Creative Masters interview series in order to feature creative entrepreneurs who are a shining example of manifesting your goals and dreams. However, I quickly realized that there is just as much inspiration to be found in a newcomer – particularly because their decision to pursue passion over practicality is recent and fresh in their minds and hearts. I now present to you a “sister” series that I will call Creative Makers: a showcase of artisans, performers, and business owners who are new to the game and ready to give it their all. 

Within five minutes of meeting Rachael at Thread Count, I knew we would become fast friends. Her infectious laughter and evident love for all things well-made really made me feel like she was a kindred spirit from a previous lifetime. After only meeting me once, she so graciously opened up her home and studio to show me where the leather magic happens. That’s right people – leather. magic! Rachael Riedinger is the creator of Neva Opet, a line of hand-crafted purses and accessories that exemplify a modern take on the marriage between functionality and form. Her gorgeous array of leather and canvas bags were enough to make me swoon, but after getting to know her over iced lattes (made by Rachael herself) and scrumptious pastries, I knew I wouldn’t go home without one of her beautiful creations. Her work is dripping with passion and can be found via Neva Opet’s website, Etsy, and Facebook. Be sure to keep tabs on this one, ladies. I’m sure in a few years you will have wish you had bought one of her bags today!

Neva Opet: leather working tools | tide & bloom

First things first. Describe the personality or type of woman you make your bags for.

I make my bags for myself and for women like me. I like minimal things done in great materials that will last a lifetime. A woman like me is someone who appreciates art, design, and minimalism – likes things a bit more understated. I think shopping habits have taken a change and people want to purchase things that they will keep forever. I’m hoping people won’t treat my bags preciously or baby them because they are meant to live and mature with their owners. The materials I use only get more awesome with age.

That’s a cool way to look at an accessory – like a lifetime companion. So how did you learn to make what you make? Where did the impulse come from?

Well I started sewing when I was 14 years old. My mom gave me a sewing machine for Christmas and I started sewing all the vintage silhouettes and patterns I couldn’t find in stores at the time – like peg leg pants (skinny jeans) or just band patches onto my jackets. It just snowballed from there so I’ve been sewing for 11 years now. I just really enjoy making things and after one really awful job, I decided that I wanted to do something that I love. Even if it pays half as much, I’m still so much happier. In regards to the leather work specifically, I’m entirely self-taught. It took a long time to figure out the ins and outs of leather and I still learn something new every time I work. But because of that, each bag I make is better than the one before it.

Neva Opet: Rachael Riedinger | tide & bloom

Neva Opet: Rachael Riedinger | tide & bloom

Which part of the crafting process do you enjoy most?

Hmm. That’s tough. On one hand, I really love the transformation of materials – seeing the fabric or leather become a finished product. But I also really love it when I see that someone else enjoys the bag as much as I enjoyed making it. It’s just such a gratifying thing to see a stranger say “I love this,” and it makes me want to design more. Otherwise, I’d probably just end up with a bunch of bags in a room.