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The perfect pitch for a quiet afternoon. These loose tea blends capture the essence of summer — when the peach trees blossom, roses come into bloom, and big, fat strawberries are popping up everywhere…from farmers markets and farm stands to the main attraction in salads, desserts and now an elegant herbal tea you’re sure to fall in love with. We’re featuring three custom blends you’ll find only here: Peach Pie, Guns & Roses and Strawberry Tea Forever. They were handcrafted in Taos, New Mexico, by Dana Blair of tea-o-graphy. Dana grew up in the South and developed a love of tea from the tea rituals she’s experienced all over the world. She creates her small-batch blends using the most precious, sustainably produced teas and herbs from around the globe. Available in 2-oz. bags (makes about 15 cups), serve any of these teas hot or iced. Made with all-natural, organic ingredients, with no chemicals, additives, artificial scents or flavors — they’re a taste of summer in a cup. Order all three and you’ll be stocked!
Soft, nectarous, sun-ripened peach notes, grounded by the crisp bright stamp of organic Ceylon black tea. Delicately paired with cassia cinnamon, lemon balm, marigold flowers, natural peach flavors and creamy fair trade vanilla bean to give the essence of a freshly baked summer peach pie. A sweet libation you can enjoy hot or cold that brings you a taste of summer, all year long.
Simply one of the finest tasting teas we’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. It starts with tender, young organic and fairly traded green tea leaves — hand rolled into small pellets resembling gunpowder and producing a very subtle smoky base. It’s then rounded with the soft floral notes of pink rosebuds, creamy Indian vanilla bean and the alluring fragrance of cardamom. Deeply restorative, this blend gives you a gentle pick-me-up any time of day. Trust us, Guns & Roses is unlike any other tea you’ve ever tasted.
This herbal blend combines the soft, lush red fruit flavor of strawberries with mellow, simply sweet notes of rooibos and honeybush tea — both naturally caffeine free and high in antioxidants and trace minerals. Calming chamomile and honeysuckle flowers further enhance the tea’s light, luscious, almost creamy body. This choice will remind you of carefree days, and time spent relaxing on a languid summer afternoon eating freshly picked sugared strawberries right out of the bowl.
These handmade block prints are the vision of Meg Tannehill Justice, an artist/illustrator who makes her home in Scottsboro, Ala. We discovered Meg’s works during a weekend trip to Mentone, Ala., where her prints are featured in a local gallery. It was love at first sight! We soon got in touch with Meg to learn more about her creations and to see if we could feature some of her works in our Mercantile. A Southerner who has lived and traveled to all parts of the world, Meg graduated from Auburn with a degree in Art and in 2010 returned to Alabama to make her permanent home, which she shares with husband Jerry, a dog named Jack and six hens who provide fresh eggs and comic relief. When asked what inspires her the most, she says, “I’m influenced by all things from nature and strong emotional memories of my past and the countryside where I live. I’m an avid gardener and at my happiest with handfuls of dirt and plants. Nearly all my art is connected to these things in some way. My favorite subjects to draw include animals, plants, mysteries of nature and the stories they tell.”
For years we used standard, store-bought rolling pins…that were probably made in China. Now we only bake with these heavy, hand carved rollers by Arne and Pat Jonesen of Dogtown, Alabama. Each pin is unique and created using a variety of elegant wood. Weighing in at about .5 lb and approximately 15 inches in length, rolling pins like these are a must-have for the baker in your house.
A piggy bank reminds us to put some money away for a rainy day and teaches kids how to manage their finances (aka allowance) from an early age. These little piggies were hand cast using vintage molds by creator Lisa Bienko. They’re glazed in happy colors, like bright orange, aqua blue and rich oxblood red with rustic highlights, and stand roughly 5.5 inches high by 6.5 inches long. Each has a rubber stopper in his belly, so you don’t have to break the bank if you ever find yourself in need of a cash advance. Every time we look at these, they make us smile.
Adorable, right? These egg salt-n-pepper shakers were made by potter Lisa Bienko of Ocala, Fla. When she was a little girl, Lisa was always playing in the dirt…making mud pies and “borrowing” spoons and pans from her mama’s kitchen as she mastered her craft. Now she’s all grown up but still plays in the mud, often leaving a few handprints around her house. Add a happy touch to your breakfast table with your own set of these funny little shakers which come with their own chicken feet stands. Available in speckled white and robin egg blue.
Announcing a “new arrival” in the Mercantile – Colorful Crowns! These precious hand-knit baby hats were created by our friend and new Cerakko partner Carol Ogg. We raised our kids together and now all our babies have flown the nest, leaving us just a little more time to enjoy doing more of the things we absolutely love to do. And for Carol, a busy healthcare consultant by day, that extra free time means meditative knitting. A lifelong knitter, she makes each baby crown by hand, using only the finest, 100% cotton she can find. Each hat fits a newborn to 3-month-old, and can be passed down for generations. The Cerakko Farm selection includes Sweet Pea Baby, Little Black Sheep and Rabbit Rabbit. Exceptional quality and just so darling, a baby hat by Carol makes a truly wonderful treasured keepsake. (And that little blanket you see beneath these crowns? That was made for our daughter Arielle by her grandmother and given to her when she was born.)
This citrusy soap is like that first ray of sunshine in the morning. Pure sweet orange essential oil gives the soap its light orange-citrus scent, enhanced by real bits of lemon, lime and orange peel. Made with all natural ingredients, the refreshing bar has a great lather and is perfect for your morning bath or shower. (Note: sweet orange essential oil is not recommended for skin breakouts or skin with heavy sun exposure.)
COUNTRY DAY SPA
An aromatic, herb-infused soap that will have you dreaming of your next spa visit. Scented with pure essential oils like thyme and eucalyptus, it has a soothing, natural blend that helps fight bacteria while boosting circulation and cell regeneration. The scent is a favorite with the fellas – but the ladies love it, too.
A farm favorite, our fragrant lavender bar makes everything feel all right. Infused with pure lavender essential oil to smooth the body while soothing the mind, this luxurious soap also has elder flowers to promote beautiful skin and ground elder berries that gently exfoliate.
This gritty little soap works hard. All natural and made with coffee grounds and, yes, hominy grits! We like to think of it as a “scrub in a soap.” Use this rich-lathering bar for body exfoliation and a good cleansing. Unscented except for the slighted whiff of earthy grits, it’s great for clean-up after gardening, barn chores or working in the yard.