White Speckle, Blue Speckle
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.
White Speckle, Blue Speckle
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We found the soothing remedy at a local farmers market and made nice with Mark, the creator, so he’d make us a big batch for the Mercantile. This herbal healing salve is formulated with olive oil and infused with calendula, comfrey, beeswax and castor oil, the salve promotes natural healing and has a light, clean scent. Comes in a handy 1.5 oz. tin. Made by the Simple Life Soap Co.
Lisa Bienko’s ceramic berry boxes will remind you of summer all year long. A beautiful and functional kitchen accent, each is glazed and fired to a cone 6 and measures 5.75 inches square by 3 inches deep. Rinse and display your beautiful berries in each basket, or give a set as a housewarming gift. Insert a liner and create a darling floral arrangement, or set them out on the brunch buffet filled with fruit for dessert. Dishwasher and food safe.
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.
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.
Carved from cedar wood by Arne Jonesen, this primitive wooden tray has the most lovely grains and smell, and is sure to warm up any room in the house. We use ours to hold small fruits and sometimes an assortment of cheeses. 11 1/2 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide.