What’s on your must-do list this summer? Here’s ours!
BY ELIZABETH COSSICK
01 | Go on a Tiny Doors ATL scavenger hunt.
Photos by Tiny Doors ATL
What is Tiny Doors? Well, they’re tiny doors – literally. Karen constructs doors that stand barely a hand high and artistically installs them in public locations throughout the city. The doors are equipped with darling details like petite plants, windows, tiny knobs and locks, and other adorable accessories. But don’t tell Karen they’re cute – that’s not the point. “I don’t make tiny doors to try to make Atlanta ‘cute,’” says the Rutgers art school grad. “I do this project to make art for everyone.”
That transcendental purpose was the only inspiration behind the very first door –a wooden door she painted with graffiti and affixed to Krog Street Tunnel in July 2014. “We thought surely someone would ruin it, but, at first, nothing happened. Then, items started to appear at the door: a tiny box of Flying Biscuits, a bunch of tiny cats, a tiny newspaper rolled up with a story about the Tiny Door written inside,” recalls Karen. “So, I opened the [TinyDoorsATL] Instagram account. I wanted a voice for this.”
In November 2014, the second door went up on the BeltLine. Then came doors at Inman Park Pet Works, Decatur’s Little Shop of Stories, and seven other locations since. The most recent door was installed in early 2017 at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
Karen’s tiny street art has now become Insta-famous, with its own popular hashtag, #TinyDoorsATL. She is recruited for public speaking engagements, including a recent TED Talk. And when she’s not installing or caring for her community doors, she takes on commissions to install tiny doors in private and corporate locations, including the MailChimp HQ in Atlanta.
But, to her, the real reward is the community’s authentic response. “We find the coolest things at the doors: a tiny AJC, tiny bicycles, miniature real pies. We even had a marriage proposal incorporated into the Cabbage Town door,” she shares. “This project inspires community in such a creative way.”
Tiny Doors Scavenger Hunt | Find a map of all the doors here: tinydoorsatl.com/doors. Then, head out with your own tiny gifts to leave at the doors as you find them. You can also leave free tiny art for others to take on any Friday. On IG, post a pic with #FAFATL (Free Art Friday ATL – yes, it’s a thing), and someone else will find it and take it home!
02 | Get scooped!
Photos by Jody Williams Traylor
For bucket list-caliber ice cream, it’s gotta be Frozen Cow Creamery in downtown Kennesaw. This historic home-turned-ice cream parlor starts with real cream and freezes it in front of your very eyes using liquid nitrogen. It’s a great show as billowing white clouds cascade over the countertop, but, even better, this flash-freezing process prevents the crystallization common in lesser ice creams. The result is the creamiest, purest, most authentic ice cream experience around.
And while you could lick the sweetened cream from the bowl and be happy, the best part of Frozen Cow is picking your flavor add-ins, which include house-made strawberry shortcake, apple pie, carrot cake and more. If there’s a line of customers (which can happen at peak hours), don’t complain. There’s a reason everyone’s waiting to get their hooves on some Frozen Cow goodness: good things come to those who wait.
Now, there’s also Frozen Cow catering! You can now hire Frozen Cow to set up a liquid nitrogen ice cream bar – called “Ice Cream Live” – at your wedding or special event, bringing the whole experience right to you. So if you want your next event’s hashtag to be #icecreamgamestrong, order up some Frozen Cow.
Frozen Cow Creamery | 2870 Cherokee St., Historic Kennesaw. For catering info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Cassandra at 678-324-7459 or visit frozenbluecow.com.
03 | Get fit and love it. (No, seriously.)
What could be more bucket-listy than feeling great in your own skin this summer (in a bathing suit, no less)? If that’s on your list, but you feel skeptical about it, you need Fitness Together, a private personal training studio in East Cobb where clients work out in their own suite with a certified, degreed trainer. Their no-intimidation, high accountability fitness model attracts a gamut of people, from self-proclaimed gym haters to elite athletes. “We break down the barriers of intimidation,” says Katie Warechowski, who owns Fitness Together with her husband, Mike. “Our clients become our family.”
Fitness Together offers all the benefits of a big gym – equipment, flexible schedules, yoga, Pilates, TRX suspension training, HIIT, and sports-specific skill training. “But what really sets us apart is that we create a tailor-made fitness and nutrition program for each client, focusing their time and energy on what will bring them results,” explains Mike. “People come to us all the time who think fitness just doesn’t ‘work’ for them. It’s rewarding to see their reactions when they meet – and exceed – their goals here. A personalized approach in a supportive setting really makes the difference.”
So, try it for the summer, and check “find a fitness program I actually like”off the bucket list, once and for all.
Fitness Together East Cobb | New location! 1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Bldg. 400, Ste. 412, Marietta. 770-321-1347. facebook.com/FTEastCobb, fitnesstogether.com/eastcobb
04 | Get artsy. (And also get the best chicken in Marietta.)
Photos by Jody Williams Traylor
If you want to immerse yourself in the pulse of a hip, multifaceted art community, just head to the Square every first Friday evening now through November for the Marietta Square Art Walk. Stroll the streets where you’ll find a different artisan set up on the sidewalk every ten or so feet. The shops stay open, the restaurants are buzzing, and a creative vibe pervades. Bonus: You can stroll with your drink of choice.
What not to miss during Art Walk: There’s always quality goings-on at the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art, Jenny King Gallery, DK Gallery, Artist’s Attic, Salzmann Gallery and the (brand new!) Markay Gallery, to name a few. Or, observe the scene from above at Brew With a View on the rooftop terrace of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre.
Marietta Square Art Walk | First Fridays, 5–9 p.m., artwalkmarietta.com
Marietta Square Artisan Market
Photos by Marietta Square Branding Project
Held on Mill Street every second and fourth Saturday from April through November, the Artisan Market is an open-air showcase of locally created fine art and premium handcrafted goods. Peruse the paintings and photography of fine artists settled alongside an eclectic roster of distinctive goods, ranging from fine jewelry to fire pits.
After your art fix, stop by The Marietta Local on Roswell Street for another bucket list-worthy item: Chicken and French Toast with Granny Smith apples and warm maple syrup. (What’s even better than their award-winning comfort food? Not much, but we do appreciate that The Marietta Local is a proud sponsor of the Artisan Market and Art Walk.) Info: themariettalocal.com
Marietta Square Artisan Market | Second and fourth Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., artistsmarketmarietta.com
05 | Up your home’s style ante.
Family photo by Jody Williams Traylor
No matter how far-flung your summer travels take you, there’s nothing like stepping back inside your own home when you return. So, our bucket list home improvement item is to make that “step” all the better with a flooring upgrade.
HARDWOODS FOR THE WIN.
Top on our wish list are hardwood floors, namely because they last a lifetime. “For aesthetics, durability and value, you really can’t beat hardwoods,” says Jason Drum, co-owner of Cobb-based K & M Floors, along with his wife, Melissa. “For a current but timeless look, opt for hand-scraped wide planks.” And for extra drama, continue the wood planks up the front of your kitchen island or built-ins, as shown above.
Plus, because hardwood floors can typically be refinished up to seven times, the look can be completely changed over the years – from dark walnut to whitewash to espresso. “Clients are always amazed at how refinishing their existing hardwoods transforms a space,” Jason says. “And with the highpowered vacuum system we use, most dust is kept at bay during the process.”
Dust and other allergens stay at bay with wood floors, too. “Our son’s allergies nearly vanished once we replaced his bedroom carpeting with hardwood floors a couple years ago,” says Melissa. “He was miserable, and getting rid of the carpet made all the difference.”
DON’T FEAR THE DRAMATIC.
Floors aren’t the only area that could receive a style makeover this summer, either. “You can add a luxe wood look in many areas, including porcelain wood-look tiles in your bathroom or even stained wood paneling on a ceiling,” Jason notes. “Craftsman details like this really help a home make a statement, from that first step inside, onward.”
The Drum Family’s Bucket List
Enviably, Melissa and Jason Drum are already living out their top bucket list item: to secure their family’s future by starting their own business. After the flooring company Jason worked for folded under economic pressurein 2008, he and Melissa decided to take their future into their own hands by launching K & M Floors, named for their children, Kaiden and Makayla. “We really went out on a limb,” says Jason. “Right in the middle of the economy tanking, we opened up K & M Floors. We’ve made some big sacrifices and worked really hard to grow it.” And grow it, they have. They’re now the goto flooring source for companies like White House | Black Market, Fairfield Inn & Suites, H & M, Build-A-Bear and Belk. Residential remodels, however, account for more than half of their business, with word-ofmouth referrals and top ratings on Angie’s List, Kudzu and Home Advisor being their primary modes of growth.
“We’re passionate about serving our residential clients because we know how important it is for families to love their homes,” says Melissa. “We pour our heart and soul into this business because it’s not just about ‘business’ to us. It always comes back to family.”
K & M Floors | Free estimates: 678-615-1315. kmfloorsinc.com