Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I am truly grateful for you and for your readership here at 
the Olive Basket.  Enjoy this week of gathering and of giving thanks!!
{artwork/photo credit: JillianArtandDesigns}

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Market Finds: November 2014

With Thanksgiving being only a week away, I thought this month's Market Finds would focus on some of my favorite finds that seem fitting for the upcoming holiday.  Whether you are setting a table this year for friends and family or will be a guest at someone's table, here are a few things that will set a festive and thankful touch to your gathering.  Read below for more details on these finds and be sure to click the links to discover more about the artisans behind these great products and to see more of their wonderful goods.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

the Olive Basket Market Finds

French & Sparrow: Clay Tags
These beautifully simple clay tags are just the right touch of casual elegance for any place setting this Thanksgiving or for any gift for that matter.  I can easily see using the "Thank You" tag or "Bon Appetit" tag as a napkin ring at each Thanksgiving place setting you set.  Or if you have a hostess gift to bring or favors/leftovers to send your guests home with, these would be a lovely addition and sentiment.  These tags are made by hand using a very unique and specific process that involves only natural materials.  They are made in Australia, but their uniqueness alone would most definitely be worth this out-of-country purchase.
French and Sparrow Clay Tags
{photo credit: FrenchandSparrow}
Where to Find French & Sparrow:
Purchase from Artisan @ Etsy.com/FrenchandSparrow
Learn More @ FrenchandSparrow.com


Sunday Suppers: The Cookbook
Have you seen this cookbook yet?  I love it and I love the idea that brought it to be!!  Sunday Suppers began as a gathering of friends in a Brooklyn apartment that centered around a simple meal and a love of food with the sole purpose being the coming together.  This gathering grew into a weekly gathering and sharing of meals between friends and then became a dinner & communal cooking center for others.  Karen Mordechai, the creator behind Sunday Suppers, just recently launched a cookbook containing a collection of simple and seasonal meals that any expert chef or home cook would enjoy preparing.  There is no doubt in my mind that this cookbook will inspire anyone to gather with friends and family over a meal, so what better time than to pick this up then at Thanksgiving!  Pick it up for yourself as you get inspired about hosting your holiday meal or bring one to the host/hostess of the meal you will attend this year - they'll love it!
Sunday Suppers the Cookbook
{photo credit: Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers}
Where to Find Sunday Suppers:
Purchase from Artisan @ SundaySuppers.com
Learn More @ SundaySuppers.com
Find Locally @ Barnes & Noble or Williams Sonoma
Follow @ Pinterest.com/SundaySuppers


Owl's Brew: Pink & Black
I actually saw this at Williams Sonoma recently and was so inspired by the creativity behind it!  The Owl's Brew is the first I have seen of a Tea that is hand crafted, hand blended, freshly brewed, and then bottled for creating unique cocktails.  The blends are crafted so that they pair easily with Whiskey, Tequila, Vodka, and even Wine to give you a whole new cocktail adventure.  The Brew's come in Classic (English Breakfast + Citrus), Coco-Lada (Black Tea + Coconut + Chai Spices), and Pink & Black (Darjeeling + Hibiscus + Strawberry).  The Pink & Black stood out as an interesting flavor to try and they give you the exact instructions on the back of the bottle for pairing with the right alcohol.  This is would be great to serve your guests this Thanksgiving as they are munching on apps and waiting for the meal.  Made in small batches by hand in Vermont.
The Owls Brew
{photo credit: Owl's Brew}
Where to Find Owl's Brew:
Purchase from Artisan @ OwlsBrew.com
Learn More @ OwlsBrew.com
Find Locally @ OwlsBrew.com/Retailers
Follow @ Facebook.com/theOwlsBrew


Peg & Awl: Chalkboard Tablet
I recently saw this item come up in one of my social media feeds, and I thought it was just ingenious!  It combines three of my favorite things - chalkboard, notepad, reclaimed wood!  This husband and wife team who have created this product along with numerous others, are the clever folks behind Peg & Awl.  They live in Pennsylvania and wanted to put to use all the materials that were being tossed aside and unused and put them to good uses for themselves.  This has in turn for them become a thriving business, and out of it this clever notepad.  These chalkboard tablets are made from wood that comes from 19th century buildings, barns, and houses and finished with reclaimed black leather from WWII gun slings, chalkboard paint and tung oil.  What a great way to keep a list of reminders, grocery needs, or menu items.  A fun go-to for keeping track of your menu items or to-do-lists this holiday season!
Peg and Awl Chalkboard Tablet
{photo credit: Peg & Awl}
Where to Find Peg & Awl:
Purchase from Artisan @ PegandAwlbuilt.com


Hester & Cook/Kitchen Papers: Blackberry Harvest Table Runner
I am a big fan of all the decorative paper table runners and placemats that you see out in the marketplace these days.  I just think it is such a great idea for hosting a large gathering because of all the beautiful patterns you can choose from which lends to a great canvas for building your table setting and it sure is easy to clean up after the meal (no laundering!).  This new print from Hester & Cook/Kitchen Papers caught my eye!  The Blackberry print lends to this season of harvest and I think it would pair beautifully with a white table setting and accents of deep burgundy, pine green, silver, or even gold.  This would be great for your Thanksgiving table this year and it comes in a 50ft roll so you will have plenty leftover for other gatherings or to use as gift wrap.  This table runner is printed using soy based inks (they're food safe!) and made in the USA by Hester & Cook who are based in Nashville.
Kitchen Papers Hester & Cook Paper Table Runner
{photo credit: Hester & Cook/Kitchen Papers}
Where to Find Hester & Cook/Kitchen Papers:
Purchase from Artisan @ HesterandCook.com
Follow @ Facebook.com/HesterandCook


Potted Herbs: by YOU
As someone who attends more gatherings than she hosts, I am always trying to think of unique host/hostess gifts that will be meaningful to the recipient.  And, as someone who enjoys cooking and using the freshest ingredients she can, I am also a grand lover of herbs.  They are my favorite go-to item and they are pretty easy for this novice gardener to find some success at growing.  So, I thought I would include for this month's Market Finds, the potted herb which would make a unique and most delicious hostess gift this holiday season.  It is fairly easy to just pick up a small plant of rosemary, sage, or thyme (big fall flavors), put in a clay pot, add a tag indicating what it is, and take as your host/hostess gift this Thanksgiving. A simple, but lovely gift that can be cared for indoors and that provides for many other meals to come.  
Potted Herbs Bella Vita livebellavita

Where to Find Potted Herbs:
Stop by your local garden center or florist to see if they have herbs in stock.  If working with a local garden center or florist, you have the added bonus of asking them if they can get the herb you are seeking from their provider if they don't have what you are looking for in stock already.  Clay pots are available too and are $1-$3 at the most.  Add a tag made from black (or color of your choice) card stock, print the name of the herb on the tag, and attach to the rim of the clay pot with some gardener's twine.  Simple, easy, and a local find too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Nest Box: Home Mercantile

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about celebrating the growth of a couple of local shop favorites that I have here in Central Texas.  Each of the shops I featured in that post are opening second shops or expanding their current one, and I am super excited this week to feature the opening of The Nest Box!
The Nest Box Home Mercantile Taylor TX
The Nest Box, which is the adjacent and complimentary shop of Cherry Tree Creative, located in Taylor, TX, opened this past weekend, and I just couldn't wait to share with you what I found.  As you probably know already, Cherry Tree Creative is one of my very favorite shops here in all of Central Texas (you can read about that HERE), so I was beyond ecstatic when Cherry Tree's owner, Curie Humphreys, announced about a month ago that she was opening The Nest Box in the empty space right next to Cherry Tree.  Curie does a beautiful job of bringing local artisans together at Cherry Tree so that every item you find there is locally made by the artisans in her community.  The Nest Box is a collection of all the favorites and finds that Curie gathers that will compliment those locally made goods at Cherry Tree.  And, as you would only expect from Curie, she amazes you with her beautifully curated collection.
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds Home Mercantile
Filled with all the little things that could feather your nest, you can easily find a vast selection of unique vintage home goods, antique furniture pieces, apothecary-style candles, linens, throws, and all the little touches that make a home warm and cozy.
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds
Curie has a keen eye for gathering all of these lovely goods and puts her beautiful touch on bringing it all together in a way that draws you in and tugs at you until you must take something home.  Several of the visitors that attended the Grand Opening of the Nest Box this past weekend stated "I could just live here!".
The Nest Box Taylor TX Home Goods Vintage Finds
Your experience at The Nest Box is most definitely a warm welcome and invitation to linger.  And, if you do decide to linger, you can pick up a little treat to fuel your shopping.  The Nest Box is also featuring scrumptious baked goods - cookies, cupcakes, breads, mini pies, and such - that are made locally at Fourth Street Bakery.  
The Nest Box Taylor TX Fourth Street Bakery Lexington TX
The Nest Box is of course a treat in and of itself, and I am so happy for Curie's success in bringing her beautiful vision to life, and so happy for Taylor Texas to have such a destination for all of us Central Texas shoppers!  I am going to leave you with a few photos from The Nest Box to enjoy, but please be sure to make The Nest Box and Cherry Tree Creative a must-stop when you are in the area - you will be delighted beyond expectation!
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds Home Goods
 The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds Home Goods
The Nest Box Home Mercantile Taylor TX
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds
The Nest Box Taylor TX Vintage Finds
The Nest Box Home Mercantile Taylor TX

Enjoy & Explore more of The Nest Box:
Store Hours: Thurs. 10-7pm; Fri. & Sat. 10-5pm

The Nest Box Taylor TX Shop Taylor TX

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods

About 30 minutes east of Austin, sits Elgin, TX.  A small town, known mostly for it's sausage making, is home to a historic downtown area that is slowly filling in with local merchants eager to bring this town's historic district back to life.  One of the pioneers of Elgin's revitalization is the duo behind the Owl - Molly Alexander and Gary Luedecke.  They opened the Owl - a wine bar and home goods shop - two years ago and have done a beautiful job of bringing together a unique "one-stop-shop".
The Owl Elgin TX Home Goods Wine Bar
The Owl, located in a fabulously renovated historic building, offers vintage home goods, a wine bar with a good selection of wines, beer, and simple appetizers, and live music every Friday & Saturday night.  So you can shop, sip, and relax all in one beautiful spot!
The Owl Elgin TX Wine Bar Home Goods Shop
The Owl Elgin TX Home Goods Shop Wine Bar
Although the wine selection is good, most of my attention when I go to the Owl is on the fabulous mix of home goods.  They do such a great job of mixing vintage finds with antiques and estate sale finds to create an eclectic mix of home goods that speaks to any style.
The Owl Wine Bar Home Goods Shop Elgin TX
The upholstered furniture you find throughout the shop is mostly estate sale pieces that are only the very best of the estate sale.  The hand-selected pieces that are brought into the Owl are thoroughly inspected and only the pieces that are in the most pristine condition find their way to their showroom.  If you didn't know that, you would think they were newer pieces or re-furbished pieces at best.
The Owl Wine Bar Home Goods Shop Elgin TX
And, of course you can always find a lovely selection of owl merchandise - vases, pitchers, matchboxes, and even salt & pepper shakers.  
The Owl Wine Bar Home Goods Shop Elgin TX
 The Owl Elgin TX Home Goods Shop
The Owl is most definitely one of the best places I have seen that beautifully displays an eclectic mix of home goods.  Whatever your style or preference, I am sure there is something they have that would please your palette.  And, for some reason, while my husband and I were visiting the Owl to collect pictures for this post, we got a little carried away with our cameras and therefore have a few extra photos for you to peruse.  So, I hope you will enjoy our mini photo tour of the shop, and if you happen to be in or around Elgin, TX, be sure to stop in and see the Owl for yourself and have a glass of wine too!  Enjoy!!
The Owl Home Goods Shop Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX
The Owl Elgin TX

Enjoy & Explore more of The Owl:
Visit their Website or Facebook page for Store Hours and Live Music Schedule