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homegrown

Home grown in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

Listen. I know I’m probably overwhelming you with gluttony-inducing photographs, but I just can’t help it. Food is beautiful and Atlanta is just too damn abundant for me not to share it all! I actually don’t really eat out very often; it just so happens that my parents visited me to help me move and thus the frequency of the food posting. Today I’m delighted to finally show you Home Grown.

Home grown in Atlanta, GA | tide & bloom

I’ve been dying to try Home Grown for a very long time. Drive by on any weekend morning and you will see a crowd of people around their doors! It’s made me wonder what the fuss is all about for quite some time now, but I haven’t managed to find a reason to brave the wait. That is, until my parents came to visit. 

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. 

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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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.

props to style bloggers

MEHR. Here I go again, trying to act like I’m comfortable throwing my visage out into the interwebz. I finally caved and bought some basic color crop tops to wear for the rest of summer and here was my attempt at mastering the art of the color block outfit.

summer style: ASOS crop top and skirt | tide & bloom  summer style: ASOS crop top and skirt | tide & bloom

Willingly putting pictures out like this makes me feel so incredibly vain. It’s really weird and I hope you don’t think that I think that I’m super amazing or comfortable dressing like this every day. The thought running through my head over and over again was “do they think I’m trying to hard,” knowing full well that I DID indeed try hard. Props to all you style bloggers out there who post your outfits every day, every other day, or even once a week. I do not know how you manage looking so cool, well-curated, and yet unpretentious. Someday I will be able to join your league of awesomeness.

summer style: vintage clutch | tide & bloom

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. 

cute & adorable

Sometimes gift-giving is hard. We all experience that frustrating gifter’s block where you can’t find anything that’s just right for your friend, mother, or the bride-to-be. Fortunately I have the perfect solution for you. Begin with vintage history, add some sweat equity, mix in a dash of love, and you’ll find the wonderful offerings by Block & Hammer (obviously I like their name)!

Hand-stamped antique forks by Block & Hammer

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I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting to share their beautiful work

secondhand saturday

Gorgeous days equal fun activities with friends!

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Kelly and I took the liberty of spending a Saturday exploring Salvage Atlanta at Ambient Plus and The Revival of Vintage at The Goat Farm. She was hunting down new patio furniture plus other miscellaneous items to fill her delightful new home and I was looking for things to somehow craft a makeshift studio in the neglected sun room of my apartment.

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