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nature

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summer heat

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As you can see, I’ve been playing around with a lot of plant motifs; trying to figure out what it takes to make a good pattern that could possibly translate to textiles. This is a little different than the way I’ve worked and drawn in the past, so I’m just trusting my intuition here. Hope you’re liking the progress… stay tuned for more!

amicalola falls

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When you live inside of screens and lenses, you can start to forget the beauty that exists in your own backyard. Within just a short drive of the southern metropolis I call home, there are wondrous views and unforgettable experiences. All you have to do is be willing to explore; thankfully my family always wants to do just that.

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meet me in st. louis: gardens and grove

Thanks to the generosity of my beau’s parents, I had the pleasure of visiting St. Louis at the end of July. Let me tell you, St. Louis is a hidden gem. I had no idea that one weekend there would pack so much lovely sights and entertainment! It didn’t hurt that the STL heat seemed mysteriously absent the minute we got there. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and everything was beautiful. I couldn’t contain all of this within just a single post, so I’ll start off sharing two highlights: Tower Grove Farmer’s Market and Ben’s mother’s garden.

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This market was pretty darn wonderful. Nestled within a park beautiful on its own, the farmer’s market was everything you could ever really want or need out of a farmer’s market. There was an abundance of seasonal fruit, adorable families with puppies, and even a jazz band to brighten your mood. Though I wanted to buy a truckload of food, I just went with my morning usual of a french baguette. I do love me some bread.

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the power of nature

For this week’s Choose Beauty Linkup, I was able to convince my best friend Liz to write an article for Tide & Bloom. I am extremely grateful to have someone like her on my side; she’s been a steady force in my life since high school, always supporting and loving me through all my crazy periods of growth. It’s no surprise to me, or anyone else that knows her, that she turned to therapy as her career path – making it her life’s goal to help others. I’ve been begging her to write something for me because she has too many great things to share and I knew this series would be something right up her alley.

When I began this entry, I did not know exactly what I wanted to say or where it was going to end up. I knew I wanted to focus on the power of nature, as I have been using it as a personal self-care strategy in my life. Christina and I had discussed the idea of me guest-blogging many times before, but I have a lot going on in my life right now having just moved to a new city and began a new career. In the midst of that, she still wanted and believed that I had something to offer in writing a column. I felt many doubts run through my mind… “I can’t do that, I am too busy,” or “Ugh, what do I have to offer to anyone anyway?” The irony of that last statement is that I am a therapist, a mental health counselor who helps people for a living.

the power of nature | tide & bloom

Some may wonder, what is it like to be a therapist, to deal with people’s problems all day? It is true that in my professional life I deal with the entire spectrum of human emotions. I see people at the lowest of their lows, as well as hear about truly horrific events and situations they have experienced. It is crucial that I have ways to protect myself in order to have an escape from all that trauma, hurt, sorrow, abandonment. One of my current rituals is taking time at lunch to step back and be with nature. I work in an office with no windows so by lunch time, I am craving the sunshine and open spaces. I am fortunate to have beautiful outside spaces surrounding me. Although I do not claim to be an outdoorsy person, the research, along with my own experience, shows how powerful communing with nature can be. Within minutes of being outside in the open air, I feel a shift in my being.

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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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