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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.”
Joan created four special drawings for our custom note cards – a horse plowing a field, chickens running in the barnyard, big, beautiful sunflowers, and decorative ropes of the heirloom garlic she grows on her farm in Attalla, Alabama. Printed on handmade paper, with matching envelopes fashioned from alfalfa pellet and wheat bran feed bags, these tiny illustrations of country life are for your most special friends! Set of four with custom envelopes.
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.
Pat Jonesen captured our attention with these gorgeous kitchen spoons at a holiday party. She was stirring a big ole pot of oyster stew (her mama’s recipe) with one of the large spoons and it was love at first sight (and we’re not just talking about the utensils here). Pat has since become a good friend, along with her sister Carol, and we’re so excited to feature her handmade works here at Cerakko Farm.
These particular spoons have a wonderful back story…. They’re made from a giant black walnut tree that was located at the corner of one of the fields on Pat’s 40-acre farm in Dogtown, Ala., not far from where she grew up in Mentone. When Pat and her husband Arnie moved back to Alabama from Washington State, they bought the 1926 farmhouse and surrounding land and at the corner of one of the pastures was the dead walnut, which had to be taken down. Not too much later they were paid a surprise visit by the White sisters — Joyce and Edna — children of the original homesteading family who owned the land for generations. The sisters came to the farm to reminisce about growing up there and upon seeing the felled walnut, told Pat and Arnie they had planted that tree as a seedling in 1919 with their father. The Jonesens were so touched by that visit they wanted to preserve the sisters’ memories by carving a set of wooden spoons from the old tree and giving them as a keepsake. Joyce and Edna have since passed on but we have no doubt that Pat and Arnie’s gift brought back some sweet memories in their final years. And the rest of the wood from the old black walnut? Well, it just keeps giving, having provided for many lovely spoons, bowls and other beautiful objects in the years since. We feel so lucky to now have some to offer our friends.
Order a set of four small spoons or one of the larger ones — or start a collection. That’s what we did! (Note: each spoon set varies due to their unique nature.) Custom orders are also available; just email email@example.com for details.
Cook in style in one of these chic aprons. The denim aprons pictured here are made with premium material from Japan’s Kurabo Mill, known for some of the finest denim in the world. They’re server craft quality and come in two styles: Indigo with White Stripes and Restaurant Deco Black-and-White Stripes. The Red Stripes apron, one of our newest additions, is made from Lithuanian Linen in which the red yarn is interwoven with the rustic linen for a country chic look. Easy to clean with deep pockets, Cheryl makes these beautiful gourmet aprons by hand, and adds cotton twill tape and metal grommets to finish. This is the gift for the gourmand in your house!
Each of these delightful porcelain sunflower bowls is hand built with slabs of clay, then carefully carved and washed in a tranquil glaze of pale celadon blue-green. Size: 6.5 inches diameter, 1.5 inches tall. Food safe. Hand wash only.
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.