New Year’s Sale on ALL Holiday + More

Happy 2018 to all! Kick off the new year with a big sale, 70% off all holiday and more.  That’s right – 70% off ALL Holiday and more, now through Saturday, January 6th.

This includes discontinued patterns from Royal Crown Derby, April Cornell and more.  Call or email for details.

See you soon!

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As always, we’ve got our eyes on new products and trends, bringing you the best and latest in design and home.  Follow along on our blog and Instagram as we scope out AmericasMart and Maison et Objet this month.  Cheers to a fabulous month!

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Game Time

Not only do we have college football and basketball games (Go Butler Bulldogs!) to look forward to this winter, but our family looks forward to board games together.  As our kids are young adults now, it’s the season to gather round the table for some game time.

Steve and I took up backgammon this year and love it.  Keeps us unplugged and thinking strategically about the next move.  Perhaps this would be a welcome gift for someone on your list?

Here is one of the hottest new games, have you played Catan?  Looking forward to learning this interactive game of settlers with our adult kids.

Another fun intergenerational family activity is a puzzle.  Many folks leave one out on a table so family and friends can stop and work on it a bit at a time.

Along with the perennial favorite Georgia puzzle, there are some new ones in stock – State Flags, and New England states.  Stop in or call for the best selection.

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Georgia State Puzzle – 500 pieces for ages 10 and up

Game time calls for crunch snacks.  This Asian-inspired snack mix from Cooking Light looks like just the right recipe to share over your next game.

Photo credit: Jennifer Causey

Thank you for letting us share our thoughts as we make plans to create special memories together. That’s what this is all about, right? And let’s keep it easy, unplugged and authentic.  Tell us what your family does to have fun together.

 

 

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Getting into the Holiday Spirit + Giving Back

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas!  We’re getting in the holiday spirit this week as we prepare for the NMP Holiday Gift Show, this Thursday evening – Saturday.  You’ll find over 90 of the South’s most sought-after designers, artists, makers, food and more.

Here’s a quick preview of some what we’re bringing to the NMP Holiday Gift Show…

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Melamine Appetizer Plates Allegra Red set/4
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Small Squares with Mighty Words by Thimblepress

As a true partner in the Atlanta community, this 34th annual event directly supports the preschool’s scholarship program.  We are honored to be part of this talented and dedicated group, and look forward to seeing you there, and at steve mckenzie’s!

The BEST Holiday Classes & Book Signing

Holiday Calendar & Madcap Cottage

Book Signing

First up –

Effortless Holiday Decorating with Shelly Dozier-McKee

Get out your calendar, call a friend and grab your spots at this class on Saturday, November 4th from 10am – 11am.  You’ll go home full of holiday inspiration and sparkly ideas!  Click here to purchase your ticket.

Be sure to join us on November 3rd and 4th for our annual Holiday Open House with specials, treats, giveaways, and all the best gifts and holiday decor. 

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Next, explore your inner artist with Madcap Cottage gent, John Loecke and Atlanta artist, Steve McKenzie on Saturday, November 18th from 10am – 11:30am.  Get your ticket here.

On Saturday, you can also get your copy of their new book, “Prints Charming: Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors with Prints & Patterns”, signed by the Madcap Cottage gents, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke from 11am – 3pm.

PrintsCharming book cover 26644JStay tuned to steve mckenzie’s social media and newsletters for more upcoming Holiday hoopla!  Hint, hint – another class with ConfettiStyle perhaps…details on November 1st…

Follow us on Instagram at @stevemckenzies for more inspiration!

 

 

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Tie It with a Bow

Spring brings travel, special events and celebrations like spring break, Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and graduations to name a few. Being ever the thoughtful Southerner, you know not to show up empty-handed!

This past week at Americas Mart, Steve showed a group of dedicated retail buyers several new ways to put together “The Ultimate Hostess Gift”, including a Holiday Jingle cocktail!

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Holiday Jingle Crush Cocktail

As a bonus, our fellow Butler University classmate and Delta Gamma sorority sister, Jill Miner, joined us.  Be sure to check out her award-winning bookstore in picturesque Gaylord, Michigan, Saturn Booksellers.

Back to the hostess gift!  Let’s deconstruct it and learn some tips.

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Ingredients for a food lovers gift

Steve says to think about your host.  Do they have any hobbies?  This gracious host has discovered cooking and frequently entertains friends and family.

Next, let’s find an unusual container instead of the standard gift bag.  We love this vivid blue melamine (unbreakable!) salad bowl.  Then we filled it with delicious pesto, gourmet salt and a pizza kit from Atlanta-based Bella Cucina.  Tuck in a matching blue tea towel for some extra love.  Now, let’s look at it all put together.

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Food Lovers Basket

Twirl some cellophane around it and tie it with a bow.  Now you’re ready to say Thank You and enjoy your time together.  Shop the look here.

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Tie it with a bow!

We’re going to share these ideas throughout the spring, so stay tuned for more wonderful ideas to wow your host.  Of course, if you’re pressed for time, our team at steve mckenzie’s is ready to prepare your hostess gifts for you.

Missed this seminar?  Keep track of our whereabouts, classes and events by following our  Facebook page and Instagram.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Steve’s Gone Wild! 25% off…

Being full of holiday goodwill, Steve’s gone wild and the most of the store is 25% off (some exclusions apply). Visit us the shop on Dec. 28 – 30 for best selection, and online savings with the code WILD2017, expires midnight 1/1/2017.  Start 2017 off right by saving!

25% off some exclusions apply Ends Jan. 2, 2017
25% off
some exclusions apply including Match Pewter, Le Jacquard Francais, Gien, Royal Crown Derby.

Who you NEED to Meet: Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina

We’re here to whet your appetites this morning with a fun Q&A with Bella Cucina creator, Alisa Barry! And this just so happens to be a timely post, as Alisa’s fabulous creations serve as idea hostess and holiday gifts.

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If you’ve visited the showroom lately, chances are you’ve seen some Bella Cucina products. And we’re here to share these gorgeous pantry staples are just as delicious as they are beautiful. With an appreciation for beauty and a sensibility for classic, yet innovative flavors, Bella Cucina makes products by hand, in small batches in the traditional European hand-crafted way. We’re thrilled to offer them to all of our friends and fans in the steve mckenzie’s showroom.

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Alisa Barry Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

About Alisa:

Alisa is an artist, author & entrepreneur. 

Honing her culinary skills in San Francisco, Berkeley and the California wine country, she formed a food philosophy that continues to inform her simple, yet sophisticated cooking style. She believes it’s not only about what you eat, but also how you eat. When we take time to slow down and savor, we can enjoy food as a simple luxury in our daily life. 

After opening a small, European-style lunchtime café in Atlanta, Alisa expanded her offerings from locally sourced seasonal and organic menu items to a line of beautifully packaged pantry provisions.  

Winning numerous prestigious industry awards, Bella Cucina has garnered the attention of the media over the years. A highlight has been a feature on Oprah’s most popular “Favorite Things” show {twice!}, O magazine, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Garden, and Cooking Light. 

Alisa and her designer husband, Smith Hanes, enjoy returning to her culinary roots in the quiet food mecca of Yountville, California and visiting her favorite places in Tuscany, Italy. 

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

AB: I first fell in love with the art of eating when I lived in Europe many years ago. Every time I returned, I was reminded that taking time to savor is one of the simplest luxuries we can afford ourselves, everyday.  Bella Cucina first started as a small lunchtime café.  Inspired by Alice Water’s philosophy of using what’s in season, I would buy whatever the organic farmer’s harvested for the week and create my menu around the ingredients.  I was the cook, the caterer and the clean-up crew.  Soon after we opened, customers were asking how they could enjoy the flavors of the food in their own kitchen.  Within a short year, I was bottling up freshly picked basil pesto, baking Death by Chocolate cookies and  and preserving a Mediterranean condiment called preserved lemons.  Within a short time, I had a complete line of Italian-inspired pantry provisions. Fast forward a decade and some years later;  Bella Cucina has become an award-winning artisan-made product line sold around the world.

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sm’s: What inspires you/your work?

AB: Bella Cucina is one vehicle for my creative and artistic expression. It is my offering, my art. It’s also been an unexpected vehicle for personal transformation.  Over the last 2o plus years I’ve been in business, I’ve had many accomplishments and accolades. I’ve also experienced overwhelming obstacles and adversity.  I have found that it is in the challenges and change that I have learned the most, which has shaped the artist & entrepreneur I am today. Alchemy isn’t easy, but it always leaves beauty behind.

I am inspired by everything.  Aesthetic arrest is what awakens me. I like to think of my life as a perpetual pilgrimage of astonishment & awe. Several days a week, I make time to be in my studio at home. It’s a sacred space where I can make something simply for the sake of creation.

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sm’s: What makes Bella Cucina products different from other pantry products found on market shelves?

AB: Bella Cucina makes over fifty different products:  from antipasti appetizers to our famous pestos, pasta sauces and dolci desserts.  Everything we produce is made by hand in small batches.  All our recipes start as experiments in my kitchen which I call  il laboratorio. It’s where all of the creations begin.

sm’s: What do people love about using Bella Cucina products?

AB: Simplicity is the new luxury. People want to eat and entertain and we try to  make it so easy.   With just a few simple ingredients and well-chosen serving plates, you can put out an impressive spread that will delight your guests with a feast for the senses.   There’s nothing to more do but linger around the table with good food and friends.

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sm’s: Do you ever experience kitchen disasters like the rest of us?

AB: I’ve had too many recipe disasters to mention – everything from soggy granola to exploding oranges. But I’ve learned to just toss these failures in the trash and start over. Creativity is about risk-taking and experimentation.  Dare to falter every once in a while.

What do you love about what you do?

AB: I love shopping in farmer’s markets for inspiration and creating new products.  It is an artistic expression of my creativity.  When I create a recipe that really works and people are delighted with it and use it in their own way, and e-mail me HOW the used it in their kitchens, feeding their family, that carries a big reward, I just Love that part of my work. Hearing their stories and seeing the photos of their own creations.

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Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

sm’s: How would you sum up your aesthetic & design philosophy?

AB: Simplicity. Restraint. Beauty.

sm’s: What’s on the horizon for you/Bella Cucina?

AB: Another cookbook.  Its about how the act and art of cooking and eating can nourish us body, mind and spirit. How rituals make a mundane activity more meaningful. A habit made holy.

Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee
Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

We so love these Bella Cucina goods, but what we appreciate even more is Alisa’s sentiments on lifestyle and savoring your surroundings and great company while dining. She definitely embodies that European way of living and we are fans! Thank you to Alisa for sharing so much about herself and Bella Cucina with our readers.

Be sure to check out her wonderful line of pantry items, and pick a few up for you and all those hostesses you’ll be visiting over the holidays next time you find yourself in the store… Our team will be happy to guide you toward one fantastic product or we can put together a delicious gift basket – either way, it’ll be ready to present when you leave the steve mckenzie’s showroom!

 

The Art of Gifting: Confetti Style + steve mckenzie’s

If you’ve ever attempted to do an fabulous gift wrapping job on a special gift you know that fine gift wrapping is an art form. Well, as your local source for all things art-related, and as a one-stop-shop for gifts galore (anything from hostess to holiday), steve mckenzie’s has partnered with Shelly Dozier of Confetti Style to provide a gift wrapping workshop!

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You’ll be able to join forces with Confetti Style, as well as the team here at steve mckenzie’s, and become a gift wrapping master… And just in time for the holidays. 😉 Not only will you learn the basics, but you’ll learn how to add those special touches that make gift-giving so fun and unwrapping even better for the recipient.

The Art of Gift Wrapping Workshop will take place on Saturday, November 12th at steve mckenzie’s from 10-11am and tickets are only $15, which includes a lite bite for breakfast before the workshop begins. To learn more and buy tickets, click here.

We can’t wait to get wrapping with you!

Have a Fantastic Father’s Day!

Here’s to all of the dads in our lives – it’s your day, enjoy it!!

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Sidenote… How great are these vintage Gibson advertisements we’ve been finding lately?!?

And don’t forget to wish all the dads, grandpas, uncles, and father figures a very happy day today!