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!

Sharing Something Personal

We want to share a personal, yet somber, highlight from last week. Two weeks ago our 24-year-old son, Carter, a first year high school history teacher, tragically had an active duty fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) brother killed in Iraq. This rocked his, ours, and many others worlds’.

1st Lt. Weston Lee

Within hours of his passing, our son and his close friends determined that they’d like to honor Weston’s memory with a scholarship at their school, the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, using a gofundme account. The goal is $100,000 and  to date, $60,000+ has been donated.

Being a man of action, Carter took this story to his history students at William and Reed Academy, in Johns Creek GA, reminding them we have active duty soldiers in harm’s way despite being in a peace-time setting. He challenged them to collect items for care packages to send to these service members. Listen to what happened next:

What’s the takeaway of this story? Cherish your friends and cherish your freedom.

One person can make a difference and that one person is you.  Listen to what tugs at your heart.

Simple things and handwritten cards brighten a service member’s day

Read here to learn more about Lt. Weston Lee, his ultimate sacrifice and what’s being done to honor and remember this young soldier and remember to thank the next service person you see.

Who Doesn’t Love Iris?

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Hand-made Iris Apfel Pillow by Huger Memories $295

Iris Apfel, fashion icon, business woman, interior designer, has inspired so many with her wit, style-sense and sharp eye. Our friend, Sarah Wiley of Huger Memories has created a fabric pillow homage to Iris, part of Sarah’s Women We Love pillow collection.

 

 

Oprah pillow
Oprah pillow

 

Huger is bringing your favorite heroines home in their new limited-edition collection. Using the same unique process to create custom memory pieces, Huger artist Sarah Gibson Wiley has hand drawn photos of the iconic women and then machine stitched the photos onto hand-cut applique to then create a 21” decorative pillow. They are all available for $295 at HugerMemories.com and at Atlanta’s steve mckenzie’s shop.

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Jackie Kennedy pillow
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House Portrait – a perfect housewarming gift

Not only can you add remarkable women to your sofa, Sarah loves to create a fabric memory for her clients, be it their home or pets or family.   Working with her client, Sarah gathers photographs and makes notes during the consultation – to ensure she captures the look and feel of the concept. She draws on her computer and chooses all stitches and areas of applique. A computer generated mock up is sent to her client for design clarity and approval. Once approved, Sarah selects designer fabric for applique and cotton thread to bring color and life to the drawing. Then she stitches the design on a fabric background that will then be either sewn into a pillow,  or framed either by you or by her favorite Richmond framer.

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Family beach memories

Sarah, Steve and Jill hit it off at last week’s The Southern C Summit in Sea Island, so much so that you can find her work in Atlanta at our shop, steve mckenzie’s.

We are always excited about featuring talented makers who create from the heart, such amazing pieces for the home.

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Add a pillow featuring your beloved furry family member!

Preserve a special memory with one of these hand-crafted pieces.  And what a special gift!

Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio
Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio

“My goal is to bring clients joy by creating lasting memories in the form of a unique art form”. – Sarah Gibson Wiley

Start the journey towards your own custom Huger Memories piece at: https://www.hugermemories.com and tell them steve mckenzie’s sent you!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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      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.

Labor Day Greetings from steve mckenzie’s!

Here’s to Labor Day – a day we hope you’re able to celebrate and relax with family and friends!

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steve mckenzie’s is closed for the holiday, but will reopen with regular hours tomorrow, on Tuesday, September 6th. See you soon; and until then, remember to be safe on this busy holiday!!

At the Table with steve mckenzie’s

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A feeling of warmth, elegance, and comfort created by the unique juxtaposition of a mid-century modern aesthetic and the gracious sensibility that is southern living – that’s what design means to us here at steve mckenzie’s. And we’re looking forward to sharing that take on lifestyle and design here, with you, on our blog. Or, as we’re thinking of it, our digital journal. Because design is such a personal thing, so should the place where we store our thoughts and inspirations on the subject.

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With these entries, we’re hoping to inspire others by sharing what inspires us. Whether it’s the finish or shape of a simple, everyday object, or an art exhibit seen halfway around the world, these findings all lead back to an easy, casual and effortless look that speaks to the aesthetic of steve mckenzie’s, and hopefully to you as well. Overall, it’s a lifestyle we love, and a love of sharing that lifestyle with others that’s led to this.

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Some of our most memorable moments have been made entertaining family and friends around our dining table, and this is what influences the offerings at steve mckenzie’s more than anything. It’s a feeling we want to help create, not just a look, and that feeling is something we’re hoping to share in posts featuring much more than just the products and services offered at steve mckenzie’s. We’re taking this opportunity to share our favorite spaces, table settings, travels, art, architecture, and even people, who inspire us and enrich our lives.

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From our family, to yours, welcome to the blog at steve mckenzie’s.