Dinner Party 101

“Let’s have some folks over for dinner this weekend!” – does the thought of this idea make your palms sweat? Don’t worry, join us on Oct. 7th for Dinner Party 101.  The ever-so thoughtful hostess, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch blog joins us to give you the tools for an effortless, casual dinner party.

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Dinner Party 101: Saturday, Oct. 7th from 10 – 11:30am

You’ll go home confident, with easy, impressive recipes, design advice for a festive space, ready to reconnect with old friends and invite some new friends.

You’ll make some new friends and learn from stand-out makers such as Cathead Vodka, Schermer Pecans and Merry Cheese Crisps.

Tickets are $20 and space is limited, so grab a friend and get your tickets today! Be sure to contact the team at steve mckenzie’s with any entertaining needs.  See you soon!

Have You Heard?

It’s our End of Season Sale this week with 20% off the entire store, special furniture pieces at deep discounts, a 75% off Table and lots more.  Spruce up your outdoor living space, office, home and don’t forget to stock up your Gift Closet!

Stop in soon or email us for details as we love to ship to our clients far and wide.

Quick look at some crazy deals on some amazing furniture pieces…

We look forward to seeing you at steve mckenzie’s, and bring a couple of friends because friends are fun!

 

Who you NEED to meet: Sara Ossana of O&G Studio

It’s all in the details – that’s one of our mantras, as we’re willing to bet it’s one of O&G studio’s mantras as well. Today, we’re sharing an interview with Sara Ossana, one of the founders of O&G Studio, a modern furniture company, featuring American-made Windsor designs. Sara’s talents span an array of industries, including movie production, but our partnership with O&G Studio is how we were initially introduced. O&G Studio’s designs are classic with a nod to modernity and brilliant touches, which make them true heirlooms. We’re fans of Sara’s and O&G Studio and think you will be too! Enjoy today’s “Who you NEED to meet” post, featuring Sara Ossana…

Jon & Sara – co-founders of O&G Studio

sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started O&G Studio and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

Founded in 2009, the duo met over ten years ago as graduate students at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where Jonathan studied jewelry and Sara studied interior architecture. Their combined backgrounds allow them to blend intricate detailing with a play on scale and proportion to bring traditional motifs into the 21st century. 

Atlantic Counter Stools

sm’s: What inspires you/your work? 

Based in Warren, Rhode Island, O&G Studio looks towards the rich history of American design traditions for inspiration. Particularly the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as local auctions in and around New England. Essentially we take inspiration from our surroundings, from nature as well as craft. 

Metacom Arm Chair

sm’s: What is your vision, not only for O& G Studio, but also the individual designs/products you create?

Quality and timelessness are a main focus.  We tend to play a lot with scale and proportion and are known for color, particularly our rich stain selections all custom mixed by us in our 20K sf combined studio, showroom and shop.  We are not interested in trends or forecasting.  We look to design pieces that can work in a multitude of interiors spanning contemporary to transitional and traditional.  The pieces pair well with other antiques or modern designs thus making them quite flexible in any interior.  We usually start with a ‘room’.  We see the entire space with the piece sitting from afar. It must make an impression immediately.  Upon closer inspection more detail is revealed adding intrigue.  Then when used additional details are discovered through touch and feel of the piece satisfying multiple scales of interaction.

Athenaeum Settee

sm’s: Do you have any “mainstays” in your work – is there something you’re always drawn to? 

We are always drawn to narrative and legacy.  We like to imbue our work with meaning beyond a simply aesthetically pleasing object.  I wouldn’t say that we have any mainstays.  We love all of our ‘children’ the same:)

sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique pieces that remain a part of one, cohesive line? 

Magic!  No – just kidding, we are neurotic, fastidious work-a-holics.  We have to thank our respective spouses for putting up with us.  We are very detail oriented but all see the big picture.  We never release a piece that we are not fully behind or confident in.  I think that the dual partnership also keeps us in line.  It creates a constructive critique environment to discuss designs and their merit.

Colt High-Back Side Chair

sm’s: What do people need to consider when looking to purchase from O&G Studio? 

I would say a few things, take your time.  We make everything to order.  We can help with decision making and understand that our work can be a focal point in a room.  Feel free to ask anything about a piece.  We like to match our clientele up with work they will be happy with forever.  Everything is made to order so we will pick the wood for your piece by hand to match the stain you choose, this takes time.  Pieces can take up to 12 weeks to produce during busy times of year, although sometimes we have unfinished stock available on a quick ship lead time.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/O&G Studio?

The best thing about creativity and business is they way they build their own momentum.  Every idea, every challenge sets in motion an exciting series of events. This coming year is all about feeding our creative vision through speculative one of a kind, one off pieces. These allow the full blown expression of an idea that can give birth to an entire new production line. 
sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge? 
Good question, we love to eat so really good food is always a must.  Going to the beach, enjoying Rhode Island and spending time with our families.  Both of us have small children so weekends are off limits for work.  We spend that time with our children enjoying everything that the Ocean State has to offer.  We also find a lot of inspiration from teaching; both Jonathan and I teach at the collegiate level at RISD.  Working with young designers is important.  We want to give back and help others on their career paths.

 

Absolutely fantastic! As are the designs from O&G Studio. We invite you to visit the steve mckenzie’s showroom to see Sara and Jonathan’s work in real life and learn what they may be able to create for you.

 

Thank you to Sara for agreeing to participate in this spotlight feature – we’re officially fans!

 

Oh, where will we be?!

Tis’ the season, we suppose… And we’re only busier from here! See steve mckenzie’s allover Atlanta this month. We’re out and about sharing our fabulous home accessories, art, holiday decor and more – make plans to see us soon!

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Sneak Peek at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holiday Show House, opens Nov. 18th!

But, the first stop is one you can make right now to a recent post, where you can learn our top tips for creating and sending holiday cards, effortlessly. Be sure to enter the giveaway, which ends at midnight tonight!!

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Next stop, Decatur, for the Decatur Art Walk:


Find Steve and his art at Trinity Mercantile onFriday, Nov. 4th from 5-9pm.
116 East Trinity Place / Decatur, GA

Next up is the Holiday Gift Show:

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NMP Holiday Gift Show

Unique home accessories, gifts and more at the NMP Holiday Gift Show

  Friday, Nov. 11th, 9-4pm and Saturday, Nov. 12th, 9-4pm

Finally, we’re headed to West Elm Ponce City Market:

Meet Steve and see his NEW art prints and stationery

Sunday, Nov. 13th, 12-5pm

675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE

Phew! We already need a cocktail :-)) We’re so excited to be out and about through the month of November and hope to see you soon, wherever we may be!

5 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Cards + a Minted Giveaway

Who’s ready to choose their Christmas cards. What?? I haven’t put away my Bermuda shorts yet, you say! As a corporate wife of a Berkshire Hathaway company CEO, mom of an active family of now young adults, and all that entails, I’ve learned a few things over the years and would like to share some words of wisdom with you.

Playful holiday card idea

Planning ahead will save you time, money and avoid stress. Plain and simple.

Read on for my helpful tips and a Giveaway from Minted.com!

Since you may need some time to pull together photos, addresses, etc, it is really smart to start thinking about this holiday tradition now.  To help you with holiday cards, here’s my easy action plan, aided by Minted.com, which provides unique images from independent artists.

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  1. First, what card suits your family this year? Spend some time thinking about all the fun events, birthdays, milestones for your family.  There are so many options these days – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s.  Was there a special occasion in your family this year, perhaps a wedding or big trip?  Now that we’re Empty Nesters (I think that’s defined by what’s in your fridge these days which are mostly condiments, cheese and wine), holiday cards take on a different look. No matching smocked outfits, less time all together as a family, school, work and their own families happen, so there are fewer photo opportunities. If you’re going to be taking photos with the extended family at Christmas, perhaps a Happy New Year’s card suits you best.
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  2. Schedule 15-20 minutes for a few days to go through your photos. Are the family photos on your phone? Your spouse’s phone? Did someone take a good couples photo of you at an event? Save them in a universal spot like Google photos or iPhotos.
  3. Delete bad photos.  Never a better time than now and it frees up more space to capture new memories. ribbon-wrapped-by-casey-hooper
  4. Now that you have an idea of what the contenders are, in terms of images, develop a game plan to fill in the photo blanks.  For instance, here’s my current photo summary and game plan…
    • I have 0 photos of me and spouse – Someone needs to take a cute pic of us!
    • Good quantity of SM, me and child #3
    • Cute photos of our married kids sent to me already
    • I need photos of this year’s college graduate.  Who has one?
    • Plenty of photos of Duke the Shop dog!

      English Springer Spaniel
      Duke the Shop Dog
  5. Now for the fun part – browse your favorite online stationery source.  I’m super-excited about Minted.  Save your favorite unique designs with their handy heart symbol, download your photos and see how it looks in each design.  Minted has a handy “Find It Fast” button where you can see your photos in several cards, making it easy to choose your favorites.
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Minted.com makes it easy to send holiday sentiments!

My goal is to have narrowed down my choices to three by late October and an order goal of November 5th. I’ve learned what works for me – plan ahead and diminish the panic feeling as we head toward Thanksgiving (my mailing date goal).  Enjoy this time thinking about your family, and the dear friends who will enjoy your special cards.  ~Jill

Bonus = A Giveaway!  Minted has generously offered to share their unique designs from independent artists with a $100 Giveaway toward holiday cards.  See the latest trends and updated classic holiday card designs.  Click here to enter to win $100 to shop Minted!  No purchase necessary and giveaway ends midnight Nov. 2nd.

This post and images (except Duke’s photos) are sponsored by Minted, but all text, and opinions are all my own.

Who you NEED to Meet: Kristen Ley of Thimblepress

Here in the steve mckenzie’s showroom, we’re currently in the midst of a fantastic art show, featuring Mississippi artist, Kristen Ley of Thimblepress! If you aren’t already following Kristen’s work and dynamic personality on social media, you should be. She’s a gal to keep an eye on for sure, and we feel so lucky to be able to showcase her art in store throughout the month of June. During the rest of the year, we typically have a wonderful selection of Kristen’s handmade, letterpress note cards, which are not only beautiful, but too cute and cheeky!

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Kristen Ley

Kristen is such a creative, and fun-loving individual, we thought you’d enjoy getting to know her a little better. She graciously agreed to participate in this “Who you NEED to meet” feature, and we’re so excited to share a bit more about Kristen and her work with Thumblepress with you here…

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sm’s: Can you please share a bit about your background/how you started Thimblepress and how you gained the courage to break out on your own?

K: I majored in graphic design in college and had a marketing and branding firm for 5 years with a friend of mine in Charleston, SC. I moved back to Jackson, MS in our fourth year of business and opened an office. We both ended up getting offered full time jobs that we could not turn down and at the time in the market, having an 8-5 job started to look shiny and nice. I worked at the high school I graduated from, Jackson Academy, for 2 years doing marketing, branding, and advertising work for the school. In those two years I purchased my first letterpress and began to learn and obsess over the craft after getting off work everyday. My first Thimblepress office was half of a garage I shared with my roommate at the time and my bedroom. Printing where there was no central air or heat was interesting during  the extreme seasons; from printing in barely nothing during the summer to ski gear in the winter. I learned a lot in that garage, about myself and what I wanted Thimblepress to be. My job was super supportive of my Thimblepress pursuits. I traveled for craft shows all over (i.e. Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, South Carolina, Nashville, Jackson). I really started to fall in love with printing, and the idea of making things I love; things I poured my soul into for a living. Even with a full time job, I was able to attend my first wholesale show in Chicago, and then the National Stationery Show in May of 2013. After the stationery show in NYC it was very clear where God wanted me to be. I prayed a lot about starting another business full time. I questioned it and wondered if that is where God wanted me to be. I had my mom and aunt as my little prayer team trying to see what God wanted me to do. I began asking him to slam doors shut and blow them open. Boy has he blown doors open. In June of 2013 I was able to confidently leave my full time job and go at it with Thimblepress full time. God honestly gave me that courage to take that huge leap of faith. Without Him, none of this would be possible.

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sm’s: What inspires you/your designs?

K: I am constantly inspired by the colors, seasons, and places around me. Right now, I am really inspired by color and lots of it. I have always had a love of bright colors, but ever since I have been making the confetti Push-pop’s and staring at buckets of color, I have found myself painting with lots of beautiful colors all intertwining. I am also inspired by travel and getting out of my comfort zone. When you make yourself a little uncomfortable you tend to grow as a person, and ultimately as a creative individual.

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sm’s: What your vision is, not only for Thimblepress, but also the individual pieces you craft?

K: I want to create work that makes people happy. I want to create work that inspires others to chase their dream. It still makes me so happy and honestly gives me chills anytime anyone buys even the smallest thing I make. Everything I create is hand-painted, hand-drawn or hand-made. There is so much soul and love that goes into every piece we make, so when someone wants to send a card to someone that they love so dearly and do it with one of my cards… that moment is special for me. My vision is a day to day vision. I try not to get so wrapped up in the future. Yes, there are things we plan for, things we create and have in waiting to get produced, but I am letting God steer this ship. Ultimately Thimblepress is about happiness, memories, family and color.

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sm’s: What do you see as mainstays in your collection?

K: I think our State Flower collection is something that will stand the test of time. It is classic, unique and something I really poured my soul into.

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sm’s: What are the differences in your collections – i.e. how do you create such unique designs that still work together under the Thimblepress brand?

K: I love to make things. I have always loved lots of different things. I have lots of different friends all with different personalities, walks of life, looks, and ages. A lot of people see our work and note that there is a lot of range in terms of the looks in Thimblepress, and to me that is just a reflection of me as a person. I am a very eclectic person and feel like I have different periods of creation when I’m inspired by different colors, mediums, styles, etc. I am sure I could be a little more cohesive and make things go together a bit more, but that is just not me. I am a million puzzle pieces that don’t fit together, and that is okay with me. In essence, its kind of like confetti, which we all know I love.

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– What’s on the horizon for Thimblepress?

K: Hopefully to stay in business. ha! Seriously though, I have the best team ever. I am thrilled to see how our team will grow in the next year and if we have to expand and get more space.

We are hoping to create more home goods and accessories. We started searching for manufacturers in the USA to help manufacturer some of our ideas about a year ago, so we are continuing that journey. I am excited to show what we have done!

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sm’s: As an artist/business person how do you recharge?

K: I love to travel and experience new cultures, people and food. The great thing about what I do is that it allows me to travel a good bit, and if my pup Willow get’s to make the journey, well that just sweetens the deal. When I am at home and have pulled all nighters, I love to paint, watch netflix or just nap in the sun. I’m pretty simple. 🙂

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We just love Kristen and all of her Thimblepress designs, and we think you’ll be just as excited about her original artwork as well! Be sure to come into the steve mckenzie’s showroom and check out her beautiful and vibrant artwork that’s on display now.

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And thank you so much to Kristen for sharing a bit about herself and her journey to creating fabulous handmade goodies with Thimblepress!

Flux Projects Presents Nick Cave!

Artistic dance, cultural symbolism, and unique storytelling. That’s what artist Nick Cave‘s latest performance, Up Right: Atlanta is all about.

nick cave _ up right atl

About Nick Cave:

Nick Cave is an African-American artist and dancer, famous for his embellished costumes, called Soundsuits, which he often stages in public spectacle. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion and textile design, the Soundsuits are rooted in social critique. Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beatings in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protects one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality.

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Nick Cave

And we’re so lucky to have the opportunity to experience the art of Nick Cave in Atlanta! Our friend and talented designer, Kristen V. Cahill, met Nick Cave at Art Basel Miami in 2012 and has been working ever since to bring his work to our city, through Flux Projects.

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Kristen is a member of the board for Flux Projects, and works with other members to bring new art and cultural experiences for us to enjoy right here in our city!

Here’s some info on Nick’s upcoming performances:

Up Right: Atlanta is a “call to arms, head and heart” for Cave initiates—the lead characters of this work. Through the performance, they are prepared mind, body and spirit to face the forces that stand in the way of self-hood, to enter a world over which they have complete control. Initiates become warriors of their own destiny. Cave is working with T. Lang, assistant professor of dance at Spelman College and artistic director of T. Lang Dance

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Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

And if the ticket reservations and images associated with this performance’s promotion are any indication, it is not to be missed! The performances, starting today and over the next two days at Ponce City Market, are actually already sold out, but, as with many free performances, spaces may become available as reservation holders don’t show up, so consider coming out! In addition, Nick is preparing for future performances at his alma mater, the Cranbrook Academy for Art in Detroit.

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Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

If you’ll be missing out on this performance, Flux Projects is always working to bring innovative and captivating art-centered events to Atlanta, so be sure to subscribe to their mailing list. And mark your calendars for the next Flux Night, a night of art and experimentation, taking place October 5, 2015.

flux night

Here’s Flux Project’s mission:

Flux Projects produces exceptional and surprising temporary public art to galvanize Atlanta’s cultural curiosity.

We aspire to produce the most innovative art experiences in the world. We provide contemporary artists with financial, production, and marketing support to create aesthetically and conceptually rich work. These projects engage people in their daily lives, outside of traditional arts venues, and instill a sense of wonder. Our projects last from a few hours to a few months and demand the scale, duration, and visibility required to have a meaningful impact on a broad audience.

We seed Atlanta with creativity to foster cultural curiosity and a spirit of experimentation. We shift perceptions of people inside and outside the city to see the creative energy that is already here and imagine a future where that creativity is central to Atlanta’s official identity. We seek an ecosystem of risk-taking artists and an engaged audience that desires and supports innovative works of public art.

We’re all about that – a BIG thank you to Flux Projects for introducing us to the work of Nick Cave and for all you do for Atlanta!