We all love the idea of keeping little pot plants around the house and on the porch, especially this time of year. Many folks have trouble keeping their little green beauties alive and become discouraged. Succulents are truly the easiest little plants to grow, whether or not you have a green thumb! Find a spot where they get enough light, don't over water, and you'll have happy little campers! They basically like to be ignored, which is perfect for me. My Dad and I have had pretty good luck over the last year with our succulent collections so I thought I would have him share some tips with you on keeping your succulents happy and rooting all the babies you will grow!
This is my Dad, affectionately known around town as Mr. Crain. He taught elementary school for 27 years, is super creative, and happens to have a very green thumb. He can grow anything! I have tried to pick up tips from him over the years and, even though my little yard is looking pretty good, I am nowhere near his master gardener status! He's also a pretty funny guy, so funny that he has his own hashtag you can follow on Instagram!
Your first step in starting a succulent collection is, of course, purchasing your first succulent! Once your little succulent is home and happy, it will hopefully start to grow! If it is not growing, it is probably not getting enough light. I haven't had much luck with inside plants so my succulents live on my side porch where they get a good amount of afternoon sun. Tara's succulents are thriving in a bright laundry room window. You may have to try them in a couple different spots but you will know when they are happy because they will grow fast! Remember, it is very important to not over water your succulents so let them dry out before watering them. You will really only need to water them once a week and when you do, don't drown them!
When your succulents start growing it will be time to start trimming them. Your mother plant will start growing little babies around it or start shooting them off of its stem. Don't worry that you will be hurting your plant. Trimming your succulents from time to time makes them grow even more!
You'll want to save all of your cuttings because you can root anything you trim off of a succulent, even just one petal. When you cut your succulents it is good to let them sit out a few days before putting them in dirt. The ends will dry out a little and they might even go ahead and sprout roots!
Dad likes to start our cuttings out in little peat pots. This just makes it easier to keep all of your little babies together so you can tend to them like a little nursery before potting them in larger containers. You can even plant your cuttings in larger pots, leaving them in the peat pots, as they will disintegrate, but we like to re-use ours. If you don't have peat pots you can just go ahead and plant your cuttings in a regular pot. The potting soil you use is also an important element. Dad uses a mixture of Black Kow, potting soil, and garden humus (compost).
After filling your peat pots with your soil mixture, just stick your cuttings or petals in the dirt. Water them and leave them. You will want to water them a few times a week as they are getting started. Let them sit in the peat pots several weeks before transplanting them to other pots, to give them time to root.
When it's time to move your little jewels to larger containers, you will need: more of your soil mixture, small rocks and pebbles, and your favorite interesting containers. In addition to your favorite ceramic pots, get creative and repurpose vintage containers, cups and dishes into vessels for your succulents. We think they look super cute planted in anything! If you choose a container that does not drain, you will need to put small rocks in the bottom so that the water can drain inside the pot. (If your container has a drain hole, you can skip this step.)
Next you will cover your rocks with your potting soil mixture. The size of your container will determine how much soil you need to add. If your container is small you won't need much. The soil you transfer from the peat pot will help to fill it up. Lastly you remove your cuttings from the peat pots, making sure you bring new roots and growth with you, and place them in your chosen container.
Don't be afraid to mix different varieties all in one container. This will add interest and each variety will show different characteristics as they grow. When they start to get too big you can always re-pot again!
We like to top our little pots off with small pebbles. This helps keep your soil packed down and makes it look a little more finished and special.
Dad and I hope these tips have been helpful and that you feel empowered to start your own succulent family! Once you have them going you can have them growing all over the house! If you want to use them in a room that doesn't get great light, just leave them in there for a week or two and then put them back outside. They also make beautiful and thoughtful gifts for special friends and relatives.
If you need a cute new pot we've got your covered! Check out these new items in our store. Happy potting y'all!
Most everyone enjoys the beauty of having fresh flowers in the home, but few of us actually keep them around on a regular basis. While picking up a beautifully crafted flower arrangement from your local florist on a weekly basis would support a local small business and be easiest, it might not fit into your weekly budget or your busy schedule! All of us buy groceries and most grocery stores sell fresh flowers. If you find yourself drooling over the flowers in the grocery store as you push your cart to the produce section, then this blog is for you! Pick out your favorite mix and put them in your cart because you can turn those awkward grocery store bundles into a beautiful bouquet like this in just a few quick steps!
Many people make the mistake of bringing flowers home, removing the plastic, and dropping them straight in a vase (that may or may not be the right size) without any trimming or arranging. While the actual blooms are very pretty, the arrangement will look very awkward and well, like you bought them at the grocery store.
One of the problems with store bought bouquets is that they usually don't include much greenery. To me, greenery is the most import key to creating a lush and beautiful arrangement. To get started you will need: a bundle of store bought flowers, your favorite vase, clippers (or your kitchen shears if you don't have yard clippers), and greenery cut from your yard.
For this tutorial, I intentionally chose some random greenery from my yard. Don't stress over what you are cutting. If you think it looks pretty and has a nice shape, then use it! I am using stems of camellia, azalea, and an unidentified branch from a tree, just because I liked it!
*Note, if you live in an apartment with no access to fresh greens, there is still hope for you to liven up your arrangement! Look at the grocery, to see if they have any bundles that have greenery, of if they have greenery you can buy to add to your preferred bundle. If that is not an option, then choose a vase with a smaller neck, so that your flowers will not be too loose when arranging them.
Start your arrangement by adding your greenery to your vase. Before I start to put my stems in my vase, I trim the leaves off of the bottoms of the stems, so that no leaves will be plunged into the water. Clean stems help to keep your arrangement from getting murky water. I started with the azalea first and then added in the camellia. You will need to trim the stems so that the leaves start at the top of the vase. I use the side of the table or counter that I am working on, to help me decide how much to trim off of the stem.
Spin your vase as you fill in so that you can green the arrangement evenly on all sides. I saved my shorter, unidentified pieces of greenery to fill any holes at the end.
Next, separate all of the main flowers from the mix, leaving the filler flowers aside. This bundle had lilies, mini hydrangeas and roses.
As with the greenery, you will need to remove the leaves from the bottoms of the stems, so that there are no leaves in your water.
I like to start with my boldest flowers first and then add in smaller ones. The lilies aren't open yet but when they do open, they will be big and bright. I started with a taller stem in the middle, and then added one a little shorter on each side. Again, using the side of the table to help me decide how much to cut off of my stem.
Next I will add the mini hydrangeas. I don't want any of these to be quite as tall as my tallest lily. I add one to the center of the arrangement and then the other three, spread evenly around the sides.
Next, the roses. I have a nice little spot in the middle so I add one in right beside the tallest lily. Then add in the others, evenly around the sides.
You can start to see a pattern here. Build each layer, starting with the center, working out around the sides of the arrangement.
Next I will add the "filler" flowers. These little daisies will be just what this arrangement needs to brighten it and add interest. Daisies often have flowers that grow too low down the stem, so don't feel bad when you have to remove a few of their dainty blooms. I added my first stem to the center and then worked around the sides.
I wanted to show a picture of my "trash" pile so you would know that I did have to remove quite a bit of foliage and low growing blooms from the stems. I don't want you to be afraid that you are trimming too much!
Lastly, I used the unidentified greenery to fill in little holes around the bottom of the arrangement, to make it look nice and full.
And ta-da! Just like that you have turned your awkward grocery store flowers into a colorful masterpiece!
If you decide to try your hand at this at home, we'd love to see your finished product! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can see your handy work. I hope you've found this helpful, and that you feel empowered to go forth and arrange flowers without fear or hesitation!
Fresh salsa really is so simple and easy to make, there is no reason to be intimidated and no reason you can't enjoy this treat all summer long! I will confess that I love to eat at a restaurant in Atlanta called Taqueria Del Sol. It is a small chain, and there are several in North Georgia and Tennessee, but we always go to the one in the West Side Provisions District because I just love, love, love this part of Atlanta! Taqueria Del Sol has the best homemade salsa. They offer three varieties on a little trio plate and Matt and I usually make quick work of it! Many years ago, I scoured the internet for recipes similar to their salsas. It was so long ago, I can't remember where I found what I ended up with! My copy was hand written on a sheet of computer paper, with notes of alterations I had made. I didn't know until doing a little research for this blog that Eddie Hernandez, co-owner of the restaurant, now has a cookbook! I'll have to be hinting around to Matt that I want one for Christmas!
For Fresh Tomato Salsa you will need:
1/4 bunch of cilantro
2 Tbsp. spoons yellow onion (I usually like a little extra onion)
**Unless I am having a party, I usually half the recipe because it makes a lot!
If you want to punch up the flavor a little bit, you can try roasting your tomatoes and jalapeños for a Roasted Salsa. For the roasted salsa you will need:
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1/4 of a medium sized yellow onion
**Again, I usually make a half recipe. It doesn't make quite as much as the fresh tomato salsa but it still makes a lot!
In no time you have two delicious, homemade salsas that are sure to please any guests! I think they are best served on the patio with good friends and good tequila! Haha!
If you try these recipes at home, I'd love to hear from you and know what you think! Be sure to check out the store for cute kitchen accessories and serving pieces to bright up your summer kitchen. From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Check out our Kitchen category for cute new aprons and
coordinating dish towels!
I was born with an artist’s heart. I have doodled since I was old enough to hold a crayon and have had a longstanding love affair with color and pattern. Numbers don’t stand a chance at sticking in my brain, but I can always remember what color someone’s outfit was or how their living room was decorated. Thankfully I was raised in a home where there was an endless supply of crayons, magic markers and paper!
I come by it honestly. My Dad is the most talented and creative person I know. He can draw anything, paint anything, build anything, cook anything … I could go on and on.
His sister (our beloved Aunt Janet) is the same way and they got it from their mother, my Grammy. Grammy did not live in a world where the arts were supported and encouraged, but if she had, I am sure she would have excelled in whatever medium she chose. She poured her creative energy into cooking and sewing. I am told she could cook anything, though I was too young to remember eating at her table. She made beautiful quilts, knit slippers and made me a whole trunk full of doll clothes to go with a doll she gave me for Christmas. My family has many a treasure we hang on to because “Grammy made it.”
Creative genes run strong through my Mom’s family as well. My Great Aunt Neva was an amazing painter. She was a high school art teacher and excelled at modern / abstract art. Trips to her house for Thanksgiving were always a thrill. A coffee table full of colored pencils and crayons always awaited my brother and me. Her house was a wonderland filled with her paintings, collections and many cats! When I was in college and finally feeling confident in my own artistic abilities I offered her a trade, one of my pieces for one of her paintings. I was thrilled that she agreed and I still cherish the painting I scored from the swap!
I have counted myself very lucky to have been raised in an environment where my creativity was encouraged. It could easily have been opposite, growing up in this small, southern town, as unfortunately, artistic abilities are not always seen as special and worthwhile. A childhood neighbor, Barry, was always up to some creative project with my dad. Their most memorable projects were murals painted on the walls of the elementary school. Another neighbor (and my Fairy Godmother), Sharon, always told me that she wanted a set of sheets printed out of one of my patterns! In high school I was starving for creative instruction as there wasn’t much offered through the school system at that time. Thankfully, our friend and elementary school art teacher, Mary Ann Cox began teaching art lessons in her home and my brother and I were able to learn from her once a week and soak up all that she had to give creatively. We were able to learn and try different techniques and mediums. Honestly, I would have never been prepared for art school if it hadn’t been for her!
Off to the University of Georgia I went and found myself in the middle of a creative’s paradise at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Art School at UGA was a perfect fit for me, having only minimal instruction before college. I was able to learn and grow in my talents with the aid of many kind and helpful professors. It took me a little while to fully break “out of my box” as some would say but when I finally became comfortable and confident in my talents I really soared and couldn’t soak it up fast enough! Art school was an amazing experience, filled with good instruction but enough freedom to “find myself” creatively. I will forever cherish the years I spent at Lamar Dodd and all the creative energy and excitement it brought to my life. There were too many wonderful people at UGA to name them all but Glen Kaufman and Ed Lambert were my creative champions that pushed me to excel more than I ever thought possible in my work.
Every senior art student has to present their own gallery show in order to graduate. I feel like my senior show was one of the great triumphs of my life. I worked fervently on it for a year and half, carefully crafting each mixed media piece and pouring my soul into the story I was telling. My opening reception was a night to remember, filled with family, friends, professors, high school teachers … it truly was a night to remember and a perfect graduation ceremony of sorts! I could go on and on, naming people that have helped shape and encourage me creatively.
And then life happened! Upon moving home, I quickly became immersed in learning how to run a business. I poured everything I had into making this shop work, learning how to constantly be a better leader for my team, and a better wife and business partner to my husband. I let myself slip away from the art world, what little grasp I had on it. I stopped sketching and drawing, stopped dreaming in prints and patterns. I quickly gave up on the dream of setting up a real working studio in the upstairs of my old building with screening equipment and my very own paper beater and press. I let all of my skills become so rusty, I barely remember any of my instruction from art school!
Over the years I have channeled my creativity into producing works of art of a different nature, in over-the-top store and window displays, fabulous events, with every detail tended to, and dabbled in graphic design for myself and a few local customers. With the help of a good friend, I even managed to teach myself photo shop! (thank you Lindsey!)
My dreams these days are of new ways to display my goods, sets for my pop up shops, window displays and Christmas themes. Don’t get me wrong, this has all been very fulfilling for me. I love owning a shop. I could never imagine a job I would love more than getting to create beautiful spaces every day. You all are probably tired of hearing about how much I love my community and the journey I have been on to become a more compassionate and caring person. So please don’t think I am whining or complaining of “lives lost”. I am right where I am supposed to be, and I know that.
I am now fifteen years past college days (yes, I am that old) and feeling a bit lost. I am so focused these days on social media, marketing, to-do lists, bills, building repairs and working on my house. I feel like I have hidden away a part of myself that I just haven’t had time for. I have found myself longing for a sketch book and some pastels! I have decided to make it a goal for the year to get back to my creative roots. I am going to start making myself sketch again and work on this creative muscle that is so out of shape! You will notice a theme as we journey through the spring and summer of art and creativity. Through blogs and soon to come new videos we will all be sharing more of our talents with you. I am both excited and scared to death to jump back in to this world I have been so far away from for so long. I assure you I am not planning on producing any masterpieces anytime soon! But it will feel so good to pour a little of my soul back onto that paper!
I will be sure to keep you all posted on the progress of my journey and I’ll share some of my “practice” works with you. The good and the bad! If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “I used to love to paint,” or “I used to love to try new recipes,” then I would like to encourage you to go on this journey with me and get back to giving yourself a creative outlet, whatever that may be. Gardening, cross stitching, quilting, drawing, anything creative that brings you joy. We’d love to hear what you are working on this spring so send us an email or post it on our facebook page. Let’s get creative together!
I have been sitting at the computer this afternoon, trying to prepare a blog post for this week. We’ve got a great blog schedule prepped for this year full of new recipes, gardening tips and more home renovation stories, but we didn’t have anything that seemed just right to kick the year off. After typing and deleting several starts to several different topics, I decided just to take a look back at 2017 and what an incredible journey it was for our little company and all that are a part of it!
2017 was a year full of travel, meeting new folks and learning a new side to our business, all while running our brick and mortar store in our little home town of Ocilla. The Southern Merc girls hit the road this year, managing to travel to ten markets across the southeast. We had so much fun meeting new people and spreading the love of the south!
The time we put in to planning and preparing for these shows was a little more than I bargained for, but the end results were so worth it!
It has been exciting to watch our little movement grow, and we are so thankful to all of you that have supported us this past year! We’ve also continued to learn more and more about the online side of our business and have become busier with photoshoots, keeping up with social media, and making improvements to our website and online store. None of this would have happened without the help of my awesome team and their willingness to step outside of their comfort zones and continue to learn and grow with me in this crazy business!
In July we opened another retail location in Nashville, GA. Our mini Southern Mercantile is located inside a new store called Shoppes on Davis. It has been so fun to have a presence in another small, southern town and we are looking forward to growing with them in 2018!
We have been blessed to continue to be very involved with our community at home through our retail efforts and our continuing work with Called to Care. Our downtown shop, The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry, continues to be a gathering place and safe haven for our community members. We never get tired of celebrating birthdays, new marriages and new babies, or grieving with those who have lost loved ones, are fighting illness, or just listening to those who are struggling with life’s difficulties. My husband, Matt was re-elected this past fall as our Mayor, and I couldn’t be more proud. He has been such an asset to our little town and is working so hard to make improvements both in infrastructure and in business and economic development. We are both so proud to call Ocilla our home and hope to see it grow in a mighty way over the next four years!
We celebrated a very special wedding in 2017 as our sweet Katelyn married her sweetheart, Jake in June. This special couple has been a blessing to our community and we have been thrilled to add them to our family! For those of you that don't know, Katelyn has been working with us behind the scenes this year with content management and design, and we are excited for her to be even more involved in 2018.
In other big and exciting news, Katelyn AND Jorjanne are expecting!! We can’t wait to add two Southern Merc babies to the fold and are looking forward to celebrating the arrival of baby girl Jenkins and baby boy Paulk. Don’t worry, we’ll be sharing pictures!
While 2017 was a great year, it was a challenging year for me. I don’t remember a time in my life when I felt more exhausted, more unorganized and more out of my element. I’ve spent most of the last 14 years running my retail shop and becoming pretty good at it. I thrive on creating beautiful displays for my shop windows and for my merchandise. We host events like no other stores around us. I love knowing my customers and keeping up with what’s going on in their lives. I am really good at running my shop. I hope that doesn’t sound too arrogant, but it is about the only thing I can brag on with confidence! With that being said, starting this online business has been a huge challenge for me because I am not good at it, and I don’t like not being good at things. I have struggled to learn the online shopping world as I, myself, am not an online shopper. Tara and I have struggled with learning the ins and outs of building and maintaining a website as neither of us is very techno-savvy. We have struggled to figure out a good system for inventory management. We’ve pushed ourselves to stay on top of social media and engagement. But, the hardest thing for me this year has been being away from my shop. I miss my team members when I am gone, I miss my customers, and I don’t have as much time and creative energy to put in to making my shop the best it can be. While I have loved every minute of meeting all of you and making new friends, I sometimes failed at the balancing act of splitting my time and creative resources between two things. Because of all of these things, I am feeling pretty good about moving on to a new year.
I am looking forward to 2018. Looking forward to having two years of The Southern Mercantile under my belt. Looking forward to being a little more organized and having the time to get back to my creative roots. Looking forward to feeling a little more confident as I navigate this online world! There has been a steep learning curve and a lot of frustration in figuring this all out, but I am looking forward to moving on and to sharing even more of our Southern lives and traditions with all of you. I love new beginnings and a fresh start. 2018 is sure to bring more travel, more new friends, more learning, and hopefully more growth for our business. I am ready to meet new challenges and new victories head on! So, here’s to 2018, may it be filled with lots of fun, happiness and prosperity for us all!
The holiday hustle and bustle is here! We have been working around the clock to prepare, pack and set up for multiple Christmas shows, as well as our very own Christmas Open House! We have put so much time and detail into each event, that we haven't taken the time to share it all with you! If you haven't been able to make it to one of our shows, or visit with us in Ocilla, here's what you've been missing!
Christmas Open House at The Shoppes
Our brick and mortar store, The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry, hosts a huge Christmas open house every year. Each year we close the store a few days prior to the event to transform the space into a holiday wonderland! This year's theme, "Farm House Christmas" was especially fun to prepare for. We didn't have to dig too deep for inspiration as our Southern roots and small town life experiences have prepared us greatly for such an event!
Of course our Shoppes Farmhouse needed a front porch. We think the porch turned out to be very charming, complete with a guard dog! This was a favorite photo spot during open house.
Black and white was the theme throughout the store. I was so excited when I came across this old nesting box on one of our junkin' trips. Perfect for the theme!
This year's goodies were absolutely mouth watering! Different types of homemade cookies and candies were served in vintage candy tins. Old thermoses were filled with fresh cut greenery and pheasant feathers.
This window display has become one of my most favorite. A welcoming farmhouse front door to greet all who pass our store. Complete with packages, just dropped off from the North Pole I am sure!
We got off to an early Christmas start this year with a Junior League holiday market in Montgomery, Al. We showcased a new booth set up that included these fabulous red doors. I am so lucky to have these beauties that came off of an old store in our hometown.
We had a great time in Montgomery and really enjoyed getting to meet some new folks!
After this year we're beginning to feel like part-time Alabama residents! One show in Mobile, one in Montgomery, two in Birmingham and two junkin' trips later, we're feeling right at home!
The red doors didn't disappoint in Birmingham and helped me win 3rd place for booth design!
We later traveled to Perry, Ga to participate in Mistletoe Market and once again, we had a blast! Mistletoe was our very first show and we are so thankful the Balvanuca Club gave us a shot and helped us get going! It has been a crazy and hectic year for sure. We traveled to ten out of town markets to help spread the love of Southern traditions through The Southern Mercantile. All while running the store in Ocilla and keeping up with the website! The girls and I are feeling exhausted! Even while I write this, I am sitting in Jacksonville, FL preparing for our last market of the year.
Though we are feeling a bit worn out, it has been a real thrill to get to travel and meet so many sweet people! We are truly thankful for your love and support this year and are looking forward to bumping in to some of you again in the future! In the mean time, we hope you'll keep reading, trying our favorite recipes and perusing the store. If you are ever in South Georgia, we would love for you to visit! We promise, it is worth the trip!
I leave you with just a few thoughts as we quickly approach Christmas holidays. Focus on the details and embrace a few traditions to make things extra special this year. Set the table and use your cloth napkins. Use the good crystal. Make something homemade for the dinner table and invite a neighbor or two that don't have anywhere else to go. Spend a little extra time on making your giftwrap feel more special. Take the time to enjoy as many little moments as you can!
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends! Y'all come see us!
Well guys, when you saw the title of this blog you may have been thinking to yourself "is she still working on that house?" The answer to this question is yes, yes we are. This little house has been quite a labor of love for me. If you are new to The Southern Merc, and you have missed the story on our Alder Street Renovation, you can catch up by clicking any of the links below!
Alder Street Social Club
Alder Street Renovation
The Living & Dining Area
It has taken me a little while to get the bedrooms and the bathroom "photo ready." I have moved the furniture several times, rearranged the pictures several times, and have finally decided this is as good as it gets for now!
We'll start with the guest room. Unfortunately, I did a terrible job documenting our progress in this room. What you need to know about the room before we started working is that it had a dark, orangey-brown wood floor, walls and ceiling. Here is what it looked like when we started working on the house. We closed up a window on the side wall and made the window on the back wall larger.
Here is the same wall today. The picture over the bed is hanging where the window was that we closed up. I chose a pretty light gray by Sherwin Williams for this room called "Aloof Gray". The trim and ceiling are "Ceiling White" by Olympic.
You guys know I love a well-made bed - in fact, I wrote a blog on that topic! These vintage embroidered pillow cases that say "Good Morning" and "Good Night" were just what I needed to cozy up this guest bed.
I try not to clutter my house up with too many collections, but I just can't help myself sometimes! In this room I used vintage jars to house my collections of old dominoes and vintage thread spools.
The closet in this room was a nice size but only had one small door, making the space hard to use, so I had the opening widened. Luckily, there was a door from the bathroom that we did not need that matched the original closet door to make a pair. The antique glass door knobs are not original but I thought they made a nice touch! Little details like that make nice upgrades to any home, large or small.
This little bookcase is full of family pictures. I love displaying old pictures, it is so comforting to me to walk in and be surrounded by loved ones that went before me.
Y'all, what can I say? I like pictures too much! Haha! You can also see in the picture below on the left that there is a mirror and hooks for the convenience of our guests.
This is the little hallway area that connects both bedrooms and the bathroom. When you walk into the hall from the living/dining area, the guest room is to the left, the bathroom is straight ahead and the master is to the right.
There were two closets in this little hallway. We closed one up and made it open into the master bedroom. This gave me a good place for the air conditioning return. The other small closet houses the water heater. I would have loved to have gone with a tankless water heater but it just wasn't in the budget at the time. The closet below became the bedroom closet. That is the original water heater. Don't worry, we got a new one and installed it across the hall in the smaller closet.
Now, on to the bathroom! Just in case you forgot, it was disgusting. You can see the panel box was in the bathroom, so we moved that out to the hallway when the wiring was replaced. We moved the window to the right so it would not be partly in the shower. The flooring had to be completely ripped out and replaced. Hopefully, it goes without saying that we replaced all the fixtures! Ha!
This is our very small bathroom now! When you embrace living in 980 square feet, you have to make use of every inch! When we bought the house the washer /dryer hook up was in the kitchen. Rather than give up much needed closet space in the bedrooms, I decided to go with a stackable unit and put it in the bathroom. It is certainly not luxurious, but it works for us! As long as we keep up with the laundry and keep everything in its place, it doesn't feel too cramped.
Even the smallest of spaces deserve some special details. I couln't really find a ready-made shower curtain that I loved so I splurged on some fantastic fabrics. Dad helped me make this no-sew cornice board, and Aunt Janet was quick to lend a hand in sewing my shower curtain.
Keeping essentials like q-tips, bobby pins, and cotton pads in pretty containers on a pretty tray helps keep your counters looking good while still having everything you need conveniently located.
Next on our virtual tour is the master bedroom. I call this the master because this is the room that Matt and I chose to be ours but it really is exactly the same size as the guest room, just with two closets. This room had been used as a nursery about 30 years before we bought the house! My dad actually put up this wallpaper for our neighbors at the time when they were preparing for their first baby! Funny how things come full circle. Dad did an excellent job hanging that wallpaper because it was a pain in the you-know-what to get off of those walls!
This is my beautiful, peaceful bedroom now!
The walls are painted "Misty Lake" by Valspar. The trim is the same as the rest of the house, "Ceiling White," and the ceiling is the same as the living area, "Spare White" by Sherwin Williams.
The chandelier is vintage and is my most favorite light fixture in the house! We have low cielings so I didn't have many opportunities in the house to use a hanging light fixture. Since this one hangs over the foot of the bed, it keeps us from bumping our heads!
I hope you have enjoyed keeping up with my home renovation! It has taken a little while to get things settled, but I love a work in progress! I have been working on the yards this year so that will be the next thing on the list to share!
If you like what you see in the house, check out the store! It is full of beautifully currated items that speak to my southern style!
If you have been keeping up with what's happening at The Southern Mercantile, I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think of the house and if you have a project of your own you are working on!
I was truly blessed growing up to be a part of a family that traveled. Since my parents were both school teachers, we had plenty of time in the summer to pack up and hit the road! Keep in mind, my parents were school teachers, so these were not glamourous vactations full of ski trips, water parks, restaraunts and hotels. Our road trips consisted of tent camping (thank you K.O.A.), dinners from the cooler (a.k.a. cooler crud) and finding all the cool stops along the way that were free or cheap! While our trips may have been a strain on the family budget, they were full of fun and happy memories (somehow you forget the stressful times when it is over). My brother and I were really lucky to have gotten to see so much of the United States of America!
From Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, and The Grand Canyon, to a tour up the west coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. We visited the world's deepest hand-dug well in Greensburg, Kansas, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, an Indian Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico, and the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, Colorado.
Every once in a while, usually in the fall, we got to go to places like Disney World and Sea World!
Of course, as a teenager these trips got a little embarrassing. We were getting the car serviced in California on one of our trips, and I realized that my dad was wearing a tie-dyed tank top, shorts, fanny pack, and Mickey Mouse socks with sandals. We were quite a sight!
Y'all, this blog would be too long if I named all of the fun places my family traveled over the years! We usually landed in Colorado for a week or so somewhere along the way to visit with my grandparents and play in the mountains we all still love so much!
Being able to travel and see so much of our beautiful country did so much to help shape who I am today. I am a southern girl at heart, but I am sure you can tell by touring my home and reading my other posts that my style and personality has been heavily influenced by sights and experiences I was exposed to on our journeys! What a priceless treasure, to have been able to soak up different cultures, styles, people, and landscapes. Thanks to my adventurous parents for being willing to load us up and be away from home for weeks at a time. Your kids are better people for it!
In honor of all of these nostalgic feelings this summer, Tara, Jorj and I thought it would be fun to spread the southern love across the whole country! During the month of July we want to get a new Facebook "like" from at least one person in every state! So, if you are reading this, and you don't already follow us on Facebook, head on over and like our page! If you are a Facebook fan already, we hope you'll tag a friend from a far away place and help us reach our goal!
If you are heading out on a road trip of your own this summer, we hope you have safe and happy travels! Share a picture with us along the way!
I found myself on the road again last week, and at this point in spring I am beginning to feel a bit like a traveling gypsy! This time we loaded the trailer and headed to North Augusta, SC for Vintage Market Days of North East Georgia. (go figure) The show was hosted in a horse arena with no air conditioning and a dirt floor. The ambiance of this venue was nice for this type of vintage sale, but this girl doesn't like to be hot or dirty so it was a bit of a stretch for me!
There were a few extra challenges this time regarding set up so I decided to simplify a bit. We also had to provide a floor covering so I opted for these inexpensive canvas drop cloths.
Gaining inspiration from the quickly approaching summer, I brought lots of fun travel/outdoor themed vintage finds. We loaded in maps, coolers, thermos', and camping equipment.
I'm a sucker for vintage kitchen items! We always have to show up with a few of our favorites, like rolling pins, cannisters, enamelware, and milk bottles.
You can never go wrong with trunks and suitcases! These aluminum suitcases are the first I have found and you can tell by the stickers that they have been well traveled! There are still a couple left so you may see them pop up in June at our next show!
Vintage Market Days of Greater Atlanta will be our last show for a few months. If we haven't gotten to meet you yet, we would love to see you in Atlanta! You can click HERE for more information. Be sure to join our email list, if you haven't already, to keep up with our travel schedule for the fall!
A couple of weeks ago we headed to Braselton, Georgia to set up shop at the Braselton Antique and Artisan Festival. We had a beautiful start to the weekend with warm, sunny weather. Perfect for an outdoor venue.
An outdoor set up is a little different for us. A tent, dirt floor, and no walls posed a small challenge that we eagerly met. The outcome of this design challenge was a success as we ended up with a charming little space filled with cool vintage finds.
We embraced the atmosphere of being outdoors and brought plenty of garden items, vintage tools and porch & patio decor.
We livened up our space with silk sunflowers and a good assortment of our faux pot plants and succulents.
This was the first show that we were able to show off our line of dresses from Mata Traders. Mata is a fairtrade business that provides women in India and Nepal with employment. They provide a fair wage, as well as support in learing life skills to better care for themselves and their families. We are thrilled to be partnering with this company! Check out their website for more information about their mission and check out the selection of beautiful dresses in our store!
Tara and Roxie enjoyed getting to model their favorites!
Necklaces, by Sweet Auburn Studio, made from vintage pocket knives are the perfect accessory sass up our dresses by Mata Traders. We are thrilled to be adding Leigh Ann Harris, the designer and creator of Sweet Auburn, to our talented list of Southern Mercantile Makers! You can check out a selection of her work in the store and, don't worry, there is more to come!
These sweet gold bells are our new favorites! They are perfect to hang in the garden, in a wreath on your front door, or group on top of your favorite lantern. They are in stock and available in the store!
While we had great weather on Friday and Saturday, our luck ran out on Sunday. It rained ALL day. We made the best of it and had a good time, until the very end! That's just the chance you take with an outdoor venue!
Our next travels will take us to Augusta, GA and then to Atlanta. After that, we'll be taking a little travel break until the fall. If you haven't made it out to see us yet, we hope to meet you in the coming weeks!
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