Barkley is a long-time friend – he started out as our farrier and has evolved into a master ironworks artist whose work can be seen all over the country, as well as our humble little farm. Place this exquisite wrought iron wine cradle in your dining room or kitchen and it’s sure to capture everyone’s eye – not to mention become a treasured heirloom to be passed down for generations.
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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.”
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.)
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.
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…and ahhhhhh! These darling little Bath Bombs by Bathing Betty are almost too darn cute to drop in your evening bath. Shaped like a cupcake, each comes with its own little rubber ducky. The bombs will immediately fizz up in the water, then turn it a tranquil turquoise blue for your own little ocean. And of course they smell pretty too, with scents of lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, clary sage and jasmine. While you and your ducky are drifting off to dreamland, the moisturizing ingredients, like cocoa and shea butter, go to work to make your skin super clean and soft without any greasy feeling or bathtub ring. “Betty” makes each cupcake bomb by hand using 100% all-natural ingredients. (She claims you could even eat one…but that’s probably not a good idea.) Ingredients: sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, cocoa butter, shea butter, grapeseed oil, sugar, meringue powder, essential oils, colorant, tartaric acid. Allergen note: The “icing” on these bath bombs is made with merinque powder which contains traces of egg.
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.
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.
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!