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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These one-of-a-kind beauties start with hand-hammered 9mm sterling silver discs, fronted by turquoise jasper bead dangles and then finished with beaded sterling silver ear wires. The earrings flutter just ever so when you wear them, giving off slight sparkle and color. Designer Susan McFall, who owns Crosses and Hearts, is an artist living in Orlando, Fla. and we bonded over a mutual love of Great Danes. With a degree in art, she focuses on jewelry, painting and mixed media, and her most favorite influences come from the beach, a casual lifestyle and working with rustic materials. Maybe you’ve seen Susan’s creations before, as many have been featured in films, TV shows and commercials. With just a touch of Western flair, this dainty jewelry would be a nice touch to your own Boho country style.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
One of the most exciting moments we’ve had on the farm is when the bees arrived. That set us on a journey that was at once mystical, joyous, sometimes heartbreaking, and just so much fun…despite a few stings here and there. With the help of kind and wise neighbors who showed us the way, our Italian honeybees have been thriving of late and this season we are (to borrow from Eddie Izzard) ‘covered in honey.’ So we’re currently offering a limited batch of raw, wildflower honey here in the Mercantile. Order soon before we run out! We don’t know when we’ll have such a wonderful honey flow again. Available in 8-oz. jars. Made and harvested on the farm.
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.
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.
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.