Print Give-Away from Paper Parasol Press


Atlanta vintage shopping map print by Finely Crafted and Paper Parasol Press

My collaborator on the Atlanta vintage shopping map, Cindy Tomczyk of Paper Parasol Press, sent me this pic of how she styled the map in her home. Hmmm, change the planter from pink to teal, and I’d swear this was my house! Cindy lives across the country in San Mateo, Calif., but we’re certainly birds of a feather when it comes to decorating!

She’s giving away three of our prints to her blog readers! To enter, you just have to comment on this post about why you love Atlanta OR your all-time favorite thrifting score. Good luck! If you enter and don’t win, you can always buy the print here or at my Paris on Ponce shop.

My Atlanta Vintage Shopping Map Is Here!

Atlanta vintage shopping map print by Finely Crafted

The Atlanta vintage shopping map I co-designed with Cindy Tomczyk is hot off the press and ready to hang in your home! The 11×17-inch print is $22 and features the best 30 vintage stores and other retro destinations all over my adopted hometown. Whether you’re interested in secondhand furniture, clothing, jewelry, or books, my print can be your guide for fun days of thrifting and sightseeing!

Atlanta vintage shopping print by Finely Crafted

I did the research and art direction, and Cindy illustrated the destinations in her signature style. Let me know what you think!

Coming Soon: Vintage Shopping Map Prints

Atlanta best vintage shops map by Finely Crafted

Are you a vintage lover who’s new to Atlanta? A native who could use more retro in your life? I’m collaborating with one of my favorite graphic designers, Cindy Tomczyk of Paper Parasol Press, on an art print that maps out my top 30 vintage shops! Our 11×17-inch baby will be finished and ready to purchase in my online store and at Paris on Ponce by the end of March. Here are some sneak peeks!

Atlanta best vintage shops print by Finely Crafted

Did you think I was just sunbathing, shopping, and eating avocados in Los Angeles last month? No way! Well, I did all those things most days, but I also slaved at the kitchen table doing research and art direction for this project.

Atlanta best vintage shops print by Finely Crafted

Cindy mainly designs for her own antique letterpress, and she has a playful style inspired by midcentury kitsch. This Bay Area artist is the perfect choice to help me illustrate purveyors of Bertoia chairs and 50s frocks! After the Atlanta map, we’re tackling Los Angeles and New York, so stay tuned!

The Golden State Makes Me Sparkly

Jeanee Ledoux in Los Angeles

It’s my last week of “staycation” in Los Angeles with Andrea and the dogs. We rented a Spanish bungalow and have been contemplating becoming West Coasters. Do you ever feel like when you’re away from home, it’s easier to explore different facets of your personality and exaggerate them a bit? The break in my Atlanta routine, and maybe the rays of much-needed sunlight, have helped me to unfold the part of me that wants to get noticed, and even to shine. I’ve been braver than usual, striking up conversations with shop owners, pursuing real-world friendships with bloggers, and eagerly passing out business cards.

This inner sparkle is manifesting on the outside, too. I’m spending more time fluffing my hair and experimenting with makeup. I’m buying vintage jewelry by the fistful. I’m taking fashion risks and questioning old beliefs about my appearance. For instance, until a few weeks ago, rhinestones were labeled “too fancy for me.” Then I rocked a strand at a Palm Springs gallery walk and thought, “What was all that nonsense?!” Having a shiny decolletage was fun, so why have I been banning glitter?

I’m not saying that a few weeks in California have magically transformed me into a fashion plate or an extrovert. Believe me, I’d still get INFP on the Myers-Briggs test. I’m just gratefully acknowledging the symbols that my confidence is growing, that I might be okay with making my light a little brighter. Here’s what I bought to enhance my sparkle:

Vintage rhinestone necklace, vintage faux ivory earrings, vintage red enamel earrings

1. I got this stand-out brass necklace from Oskar of Luxe de Ville, who makes jewelry to complement the vintage apparel in his Echo Park shop.
2. The feisty Pat at Hubba Hubba in Burbank helped me pick a rhinestone necklace that’ll look great with a New Year’s Eve dress or a white tee.
3. These faux ivory clip-on earrings are another Hubba Hubba find.
4. It was difficult to leave my favorite Palm Springs shop, Dazzles, with only these enamel teardrop earrings.

I’m Totally Judging You . . .

. . . and more than 200 makers at the American Craft Council show in Atlanta next month! The ACC has asked me to be the juror at the March 14-16 event, picking winners for the best handmade products and booth design. It’s going to be a challenge selecting favorites from such a wide range of crafts — from carved utensils, to jewelry, to quilts.

Wood spoons by Spoonwood Inc., hand necklace by Thomas Mann, quilt by Cindy Grisdela

Among many others, I’ll be judging products by Jonathan’s Spoons, Thomas Mann Design, and Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts.

Want to go? In addition to shopping for items made with love, you can watch craft demonstrations and sample Scotch whisky from the Balvenie Distillery. The show is at the Cobb Galleria, and discounted advance tickets are available here. Hope to see you there!

Three Unique Takes on a V-Day Bouquet

I want to give kudos to all the acts of self-love I’m seeing on blogs and social media (get your mind out of the gutter — I’ll explain). Whether or not they’re in a romantic relationship, folks are taking Valentine’s week to say I love you to themselves with a special treat, be it a mug of hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows, a stitch-n-bitch with friends, or a spa day. I’m smack in the middle of a huge gift to myself: I’m wandering out West with Andrea and the dogs. Right after Atlanta’s first snowpocalypse, we took off on I-20 for Los Angeles. I’m pinching myself as I explore my mid-city neighborhood in light long sleeves, admiring Seussian succulents and poinsettias as big as dinner plates. Essentially, I’ve given myself a surreal bouquet.

poinsettias

I gasp at these foil-free poinsettias every day on my doggie walk.

If you want to shower yourself or a dear one with flowers for Val’s Day, here are three fresh takes on an old standard:

Assemble an everlasting felt bouquet handmade in Atlanta by Muncle Fred Art.

Felt flowers by Muncle Fred Art

Bring home a floral art print, like So Much by Clare Elsaesser. I have eight of her romantic painting reproductions in the brick-and-mortar shop.

So Much art print, by Clare Elsaesser

Make or commission an arrangement in a fabulous vintage vase. This one is by Jessica Taylor of Disregarden in Los Angeles.

Floral arrangement in vintage vase by Jessica Taylor, Disregarden

Wishing you a week of pretty petals, sweet treats, and big, huge love for yourself!

Coming Soon: Clare Elsaesser Prints

Never Empty Handed print by Clare Elsaesser Tastes Orangey

Never Empty Handed, by Clare Elsaesser

I’ve been craving filmy portraiture to balance out the abstracts and landscapes I carry in my shop. Clare Elsaesser of Tastes Orangey was a natural pick, since I’ve been eyeing her romantic oil paintings of women and domestic scenes for years. I love her saturated colors, the retro clothing on her models, and the feeling that I’m peeking at their private moments. Sixteen 8×10-inch reproductions are on their way and will be available in the brick-and-mortar shop only!

I’d love to meet Clare if I ever make the journey to Jenner, California, because it seems we’d be peas in a pod. Artsy introverts working quietly with a mug of tea, connecting through the Internet with folks who share our passion for special objects made with love, and occasionally breaking for a game of rummy. In an interview on Etsy, Clare said, “It makes me so happy to be part of the international community . . . of lovely people who care about handmade things and realize how much better they make our whole world. Whenever I’m feeling down on life, I just think about this . . . and baby animals, and before long, I feel okay.” Isn’t she adorable?

Lava Rocks print by Clare Elsaesser Tastes Orangey

Lava Rocks, by Clare Elsaesser

Swirl print by Clare Elsaesser Tastes Orangey

Swirl, by Clare Elsaesser

My Home Is the Sea Print by Clare Elsaesser Tastes Orangey

My Home Is the Sea, by Clare Elsaesser

Blood Orange Punch and Pastel Partyware

blood_oj_punch600

Last Thursday I invited a few friends over to watch the premiere of Under the Gunn, starring the dapper Tim Gunn of Project Runway (aka “Fashion Dad”). I always serve a special cocktail for ladies’ TV night, and on this frigid eve I hoped to warm us a bit with a clove-laced citrus punch and Sriracha popcorn.

The vintage-inspired party glasses, decanter, and coasters I used are all for sale in the Finely Crafted shop! The Fishs Eddy decanter makes me so happy — it reminds me of the diamond-patterned walls in the rec room of my late Maw Maw Rita. With bellies full of French toast, my cousins and I played countless rounds of ping pong in that cheerful room! Here’s how I made the cocktail.

Spiced Blood Orange Punch

  • gin
  • canned dark, sweet cherries in heavy syrup
  • clove syrup (see recipe below)
  • unsweetened blood orange juice
  • sparkling water
  • lime slices for garnish

Put a half-shot of gin in a party glass. Drop in a cherry and a splash of syrup from the can, then add a teaspoon of clove syrup. Fill the glass two-thirds with blood orange juice, then top off with sparkling water and a lime.

Clove Syrup

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cloves and remove from the heat. The syrup will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

My Milestones of 2013

Last year was the busiest, most milestone-filled time of my life. In the spring, with the help of an online class with life coach Jen Mazer, I clarified and wrote my goals for Finely Crafted and my personal path. As soon as I made a plan and defined what success would look like for me, the world started presenting synchronicities and opening up doors. For example, I met celebrity designer/blogger Emily Henderson, whom I had named as an ideal mentor in the class. At Paris on Ponce I bumped into two bloggers who then wrote about my shop, kickstarting the publicity I envisioned. I wished for a sunny workspace and stronger female friendships, and voila! In November I began sharing a light-soaked studio with the women of the Indie Craft Experience and Dashboard Co-op.

I have to be honest, though, about the double-edged sword of growth. Stretching in new directions is always painful, especially for introverts. I’m shy and nervous, feeling much more comfortable chasing dreams behind my laptop than out in the world. I cried and ruined my eye makeup right before I met artist Leah Duncan in Brooklyn because I was terrified, even though we’d been collaborating by e-mail for months. I didn’t sleep well for long stretches in 2013, and I often felt overworked, irritable, and anxious. Finding a better balance of work, relationships, and health is a top priority this year!

And now, from the comfort of my bed (getting more rest already, yay!), I’ve curated Finely Crafted’s biggest moments of 2013:

I collaborated with four artists

Leah Duncan, Jeanee Ledoux, succulent art, Is Was & Will Be necklace, Havok Designs necklace, Laure Designs pillow

In an effort to try out my art direction legs and create unique products for the Finely Crafted shop, I co-designed home decor and jewelry with four artists around the country. I made a succulent print series with Leah Duncan, tribal-modern brass jewelry with Telle Lefler of Is Was & Will Be, lighting-inspired wood jewelry with Kristen Shearon of Havok Designs, and screen-printed kids’ pillows inspired by vintage planters with Laura Cherry of Laure Designs.

I met a design idol

Jeanee Ledoux and Emily Henderson

Right after I finished my class, I saw that LA designer Emily Henderson (star of Secrets from a Stylist) would be making a presentation on “tabletops that pop” at AmericasMart here in Atlanta. In an assignment, Emily was one of three professionals I picked who, in a perfect world, would be my mentor. I put on my big girl pants and went to the Mart, then waited in line to introduce myself after her charming slideshow. We got along well and chatted for about 10 minutes! You can read more about that big day here.

I hired a helper

Magen Small at Salvage

I ran into art history student Magen at my friend’s graphic design studio. She was looking for part-time work and eager to learn about arts and crafts as a profession. I snatched her up to help me keep the shop tidy, ship orders, and wait on customers at craft shows. She makes a sassy jewelry model, too!

I launched an online store

Finely Crafted shop home page

In October I began selling much of my “real” store merch on shop.finelycrafted.net. In my class, I dreamed up a virtual storefront that looks like a modern, western home I’d love to inhabit. My brother-in-law, Seth Kelly of Helmet Studio, patiently turned my pencil scratchings into digital reality. I’ve been working hard to wield all the design and commerce tools that come with the territory — Shopify, Photoshop, Mail Chimp, Instagram, Facebook — a tall order for a tech-challenged gal!

I got some media coverage

Jeanee Ledoux in the Finely Crafted shop inside Paris on Ponce

Photos by Pam Berger of Sweet Peach

Five blogs featured my shop last year, and I had a photo essay about my Lustron home published in Atomic Ranch magazine! I’m so grateful that Tide & Bloom, Sweet Peach, Bloesem Kids, A Vintage Splendor, and thekitchn.com found me newsworthy!

I got a new workspace

1390 Mclendon Candler Park studio with Christy Petterson, Shannon Mulkey, Jeanee Ledoux, Beth Malone

After working mostly alone for 13 years, I’m now sharing a sunny studio in Candler Park with my friends Christy Petterson (left) and Shannon Mulkey (2nd from left) of the Indie Craft Experience, and Beth Malone (right) of Dashboard Co-op. Tracy Wagner from Tweet Design will be joining us soon. It’s a pleasant place for me to store extra inventory, ship orders, and photograph products, all while chatting with fun, likeminded women! At our upcoming potluck, we’re going to brainstorm ideas for using the space — hosting classes, event rental, etc. — so stay tuned for announcements!