Atlanta Steeplechase

Where:  Kingston Downs, located between Rome and Cartersville, Georgia.

When:  April 22, 2017 (it takes place each year, mid-April)

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A very southern soiree…  The bigger, the bolder, the better.  That’s our motto.

Here are a few hats I’ve made for Steeplechase this year and last.  All you need is a good hat, some wired ribbon, flowers, feathers, tulle, WHATEVER you like.  Mine are quite conservative compared to some that you see there.  If you shop Target, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls for a good discounted hat, these range from $60-$70 each to make.  You can certainly do it for less, but I spend more on the realistic silk flowers.  It really makes all the difference and $70 is a fraction of what you would pay to order one at this same quality.

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There is much to see throughout the day… Parade of the Hounds, the Budweiser Clydesdales, bagpipers, a hat parade & contest and of course the races!  Also, there are artist’s tents set up throughout the grounds, and you can even take a ride on a camel!
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Be sure to bring the party with you.  This is tailgating to the extreme.  Our spread consists of pimento cheese, cucumber sandwiches, deviled eggs, chicken tenders, a variety of desserts, endless dips, chips, and a full bar- everything you could imagine.  Don’t forget tables, chairs, an awning, and a corn hole set.
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My “Garden floral asymmetrical dress” was made by STYLESTALKER.  Compliments of Rent the Runway. Because I made the hat the year before, I had to find a dress to match.  When in search of a dress for a specific occasion, color, or something last minute that you don’t have time (or the budget) to shop for, Rent the Runway is a lifesaver.  I rent more dresses than I buy…  Do I save money by doing so?  Probably not, but you rarely see me in the same dress twice and it is sure to be perfect for every occasion, unique, and within a current collection by a highly regarded designer.  Click here for $30 off your first order.
The men also dress to impress in linen, pastels, and bow ties.  This is just as much a fashion show as it is a cocktail party… as it is a horse race.
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Supporting Local Art: Spotlight on Sarah England

A couple of years ago I was looking to have a portrait made of our dog a.k.a. “our little pumpkin spice puppy”, Kobi.  I knew that I wanted a watercolor, and preferably something quirky.  I found Sarah on Etsy, and it was a complete coincidence that she hailed from the ATL. Sold.
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Sarah captured Kobi’s sassy demeanor to a tee.  She’s painted people’s dogs, cats, and other pets.  Many people buy them as gifts, perhaps even for a loved one who has lost a pet and would like to memorialize them in the form of a watercolor painting.  You can find more information, including prices on Sarah’s Etsy page: ArtbySarahEngland
Born and raised in Georgia, Sarah graduated with a BFA from University of West Ga and unlike many, can proudly say that she makes a living as a full time artist.  Although she has several side “hustles”, such as assisting a jewelry maker, and selling clay sculptures of the moon, Sarah is a painter, specializing in watercolor.
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“I am so thankful that with an inspired mind, my left hand, and just a paint brush or pencil, I can be self-sustainable.”
Besides her own mother, who is a talented watercolor artist in her own right, Sarah says that seeing work by local artists inspires her most to create more work of her own.  Sarah’s studio lies within her apartment.  Above her workspace hangs a map of the U.S., with a pin in each city where her work hangs.  What a cool reminder of what she’s accomplished and to just keep moving forward… There are a lot of pins on this map and from what I’ve learned, she needs to upgrade to a map of the world.  Maybe soon…
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Much of Sarah’s recent work has had a moody tone, characterized with a darker neutral palette.  I knew that Sarah was the one who should paint our family portrait.  But we didn’t sit for her.  This is her tribute to our love of Halloween.  All I can say is that I couldn’t be happier.
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I can tell you from experience, watercolor painting is not an easy medium.  This girl has talent.  You can find existing work for sale, or commission her for a portrait of your pet via her Etsy page.  She also posts new work to Instagram.  Look, share, follow, SUPPORT local artists.  Sarah hosts shows in local coffee shops and even hair salons, but most of her work is sold via word of mouth.  So spread the word.
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Threads of History

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  If you are in Atlanta and have not yet visited SCAD FASH, do yourself a favor and GO NOW.  Drop everything and go.  If you are reading this blog, I will assume that this is a subject of interest for you.  What is SCAD FASH?  Located at the SCAD Atlanta campus (1600 Peachtree Street NW), SCAD FASH is a museum, dedicated to the celebration of fashion and film.

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting Alexandra Sachs, Executive Director of SCAD FASH and Atlanta galleries.  She provided some very interesting insight into the museum’s operations.  Alexandra and her team are responsible for the styling of the exhibitions.  Let me back up…  these are not your typical “displays”.  The work that has been done here goes beyond any type of curating that I have seen.  The way that they present these unique pieces is nothing short of extraordinary.   In lieu of traditional dress forms, Alexandra decided to use life size marionette scultpures to display these designs.  The actual form of the “body” had to be individually sculpted out of foam in order for these tiny – waisted dresses to fit.  Current day dress forms are not made for the shape produced by the overbearing corsets of yesteryear.  An interesting fact that you would never know, and yet just one small piece of the puzzle.

It’s all in the details…

What do you do when you have an entire facility and student body of fine artists at your disposal?  You take advantage of that talent!  The projected animations were done by an animation student.  The wallpaper is actually a large scale painting by one of the painting professors.  Everything you see in this museum is an original work of art.  I am not posting photos of this here, as they would not do the exhibition justice.

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The photo above was taken from SCAD FASH website

The show is split into two parts… “Embellished: Adornment Through the Ages”, on view until January 29, 2017.  This collections features exquisitely embellished accessories dating back to the early 1700s, as well as original prints of “La Mode Illustree” – one of the first ever published French fashion magazines.  This was indeed a treat.  La Mode Illustree was a subject of my undergraduate thesis exhibition.

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And “Threads of History: Two Hundred Years of Fashion”, on view until March 19, 2017.  A fashion show that takes you on a journey through history, beginning with the 1700s, most pieces likely belonging to wealthy aristocrats, all the way up to roaring 20s.  If only these dresses could talk… what secrets would they tell of the women that wore them as they sipped champagne from teacups and danced on tables?

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Most of these pieces are on loan from world-renowned Italian fashion professor and collector Raffaello Piraino, whose legendary collection, housed in Palermo, Italy, consists of more than 5,000 garments and accessories that belonged to the Sicilian aristocracy and bourgeoisie.

Why do they not take this show on the road?  After all, SCAD is a non-profit organization (although my bank account would suggest otherwise), so they really could use the extra revenue.  This show is truly awe-inspiring and specifically because of how the team at SCAD has packaged it.  The emence talent that is on display in even the bathrooms, could host an artist’s reception for which not many others could compare.  I cannot imagine this not thriving as a traveling exhibition, especially when backed by the SCAD name.

Kudos to Alexandra Sachs, Rachel Evans, and the rest of the team at SCAD FASH.  I cannot express what a fabulous addition this is to Atlanta’s art scene.

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Morningside Farmer’s Market

Morningside Farmers Market, like many of the markets in Atlanta, hosts a Chef’s Demonstration every Saturday morning.  Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Joey Ward, Executive Chef of Kevin Gillespie’s renowned, Gunshow.

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On the menu: VEGAN (not typically what I would look for, but HOLY SHIT…) Coconut Curry Creamed Corn.  Although Gunshow claims to be a “Southern Restaurant”, you can find anything from In-N-Out style burgers, to Thai inspired dishes, served dim-sum-style by the chefs themselves.

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No, I haven’t been there. However, I will be making a reservation today.  Which means, I should hopefully make it to dinner in about a month or so.  Stay tuned for updates…

Morningside Farmers Market is the first and only farmers market in Atlanta that requires all produce to be certified organic.  This week, there seemed to be a theme going on…  We picked up some purple bell peppers, purple okra, and mini eggplant.  They taste the same as their traditionally colored brothers, but I think they make for much better presentation.purple okra.jpg

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After shopping, drop into Morningside Kitchen, located in the former Rosebud space.  Morningside Kitchen is brought to you Tom Murphy, of Murphy’s (arguably one the best brunch’s in the city for the past 35 years), and boasts a very similar menu to that of it’s predecessor.  Try the house recipe Bloody Mary.  After all, what’s farmer’s market shopping on a Saturday morning, without a boozy vegetable based refreshment?  It’s fabulously appropriate.

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