Magnolia Market At The Silos

If you’ve spent more than five minutes on HGTV in the last two or three years, you likely know what’s going on here. On our way through Waco, Texas, we stopped at the Magnolia Market at the Silos.

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

This cute little building is the new bakery:

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

…and inside the main building is the shop

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

 

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

There wasn’t anything I had to have (though I do like those galvanized cake stands) but Shug really-really wanted a tee — I will let them watch HGTV just to have something on in the background in hotels, soooooo he got a #DemoDay one.

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

The best part of the whole visit, though, was spending time on their lawn. It’s artificial grass, but it’s like the most wonderful artificial grass in the whole world (I had to look: it’s DuPont Foreverlawn Select Synthetic). On the lawn are provided balls, cornhole, all kinds of things for fun. This is a great place to go just to exercise with the kids to get off the highway for a little while.

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

We spent a long time. Here’s Shug and Shugie starting a cornhole game:

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

There are foodtrucks in the back if you have more of an appetite than just something small from the bakery, and all this covered seating is available. We sat with a woman who was a huge fan of the show and had driven multiple states just to shop here.

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

The four of us shared a cookie, a cupcake, and most of a cinnamon roll. They were all really good.

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Shug at Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Shugie and Me at Magnolia Market at the Silos, Waco TX

Black Belt Treasures, Camden AL

We finally got to visit Black Belt Treasures…it’s another shop that sells items from Alabama artists. I Tivo ‘Alabama at Work’ on APT, and they did a feature on it a few weeks ago (I think I’ve seen it in Southern Living, too). It’s a really nice shop with all kinds of things from clothes for children to pottery and other fine art. Here’s a pic of the inside of the shop:

Black Belt Treasures, Camden AL
One of the things we really liked were carved ducks by John Sheffey…it takes him at least four weeks to finish one of his ducks, and they’re priced between $450 and $1500, depending on how elaborate and large they are.

They had a nice selection of books, and Av got a couple. I got this wisteria vine piece:
Black Belt Treasures, Camden AL
It was in the children’s section as being a canopy bed for baby dolls, but I thought it would be really different as a stand for books (for now).
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Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston AL

Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston AL

Av and I visited the Alabama Rural Heritage Museum in Thomaston last week. We got there about twenty minutes after it had officially closed (we weren’t sure what their hours were) but the director said that she absolutely wanted us to come in and take a look around. We totally didn’t want to keep her there after we learned they had closed, but she insisted that we come in…..not only did she let us shop, but she took us on a full tour of their facility, which is absolutely *wonderful*. Besides the space for local products, they have a large area for functions, a very large kitchen, and her office is great, too!

Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston AL

(Above: custom shelving for pepper jelly) Inside the shopping area are two levels – one for the really big items like woodwork, baskets, and Charlie Lucas sculptures, and another enclosed space for smaller things like food, dolls, paintings, and other more portable handcrafted objects. Both spaces are beautiful.

We bought a few small things – nothing huge, but I was just wide-eyed at how great everything is, and want to go back really soon.

The whole thing is just amazing. Not only their facility, but their purpose.

Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston AL

Outside this building is this sign:

Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston AL

The pepper jelly is important, because it was a project that Auburn University’s Nutrition and Foods Department put together for a “Do Something” grant they received, and the project became known as ‘Grow Your Own Jobs.’ The products that stem from that project – like pepper jelly and watermelon rind pickles – are called labeled “Mama Nems” (I guess as in, ‘how’s your mama & ’em?’), and the ingredients for the “Mama Nems” items are grown on-site, and cooked in the kitchen there in Thomaston.

Other items that are sold in the shop include everything from pine needle baskets to pottery, music boxes to quilts – made by people who aren’t well known, to people who are – like Charlie Lucas, Gee’s Bend quilters, and Jerry Brown. And more.

The Center’s brochure lists their six basic goals:
* To preserve and celebrate our rural heritage
* To protect and demonstrate diverse cultural contributions to our rural heritage
* To provide opportunitites for cultural enrichment
* To encourage economic development which enhances the lifestyle of rural citizens and small-town America
* To conserve, develop, and promote the unique handicrafts of rural life, exhibit and market handicrafts, and assist groups and individuals who wish to produce crafts
* To improve and enhance the quality of life for citizens of small towns and rural areas.

How could you not love a place like that!? Their director, Gayle – well, she is the exact right person for that job. Just wonderful. I told her that I’ve thought a zillion times about how much fun it would be to have a shop of Alabama-made things, and she and her foundation have really done it. I’m going to send off for us to become members, and I’m going to try to help them however I can.

They have a website here, but really it’s something to be seen *in person*!

Penny McAllister’s Paper Mache Greatness

Today I met Penny McAllister – she makes *the* most fabulous paper mache pieces.

I’ve seen her ad in the back of Southern Lady magazine, but today I chatted with her in person (she is great!) at Cottontail’s Village, which is this weekend at the BJCC. Cottontail’s Village has lots and lots of Easter things, but I go to it because they have hundreds of exhibitors from all over, and while there are lots of Easter baskets and bunny rabbits, there are also all kinds of just fun, Spring-y, happy things!

Anyway, when I saw Penny’s booth, I recognized her things immediately. She does everything from bunnies to Halloween to snowmen and it’s really distinctive – folksy, but not in that weird/bad contemporary non-craftsman, folkart-y way. Hers is folksy in the very best way.

I spent a lot of time in her booth – we chatted for a good long while (how can it be that she’s never been in Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion?) – and I bought this TOO adorable bear:

Penny McAllister Bear//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville Community MS

Av and I stopped in at the Causeyville General Store for a couple of cokes – the store is soooo neat, and the woman that runs it – Dorothy Hagwood – is super-nice. We talked for a long time.

Below are pictures of the store. It was built in 1895; the bottom pictures show the building (built in 1869) that she mills cornmeal in when she has the corn to do so.
Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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Above: nice signs!

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Isn’t the interior great? She has antiques for sale as well as everything else you would find in just about any other shop…cokes, chips, laundry detergent, canned food, etc.

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Above: this is a *real* peanut roaster that’s been restored.

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Causeyville General Store, Causeyville MS

If you’re ever in the area, definitely stop by. Dorothy is great to talk with, and she has *so* many neat things in the store – old player pianos, radios, movie posters, etc. BTW, she also sells cane syrup, and if you live far away, she’ll ship it. The phone number to the store is 601.644.3102.

Dorignac’s and Joe Gambino’s

Dorignac's, New Orleans (Metairie) LA
Dorignac’s

Av and I love-love-love Dorignac’s. It’s the old-school grocery in Metairie (710 Veterans) that carries *everything*. There’s lots that we can’t get at home, so here’s what we bought:

Mayhaw jelly (not as easy to find as it used to be), muscadine jelly, Zatarain’s root beer extract (makes lots and lots of root beer), Old Bay Garlic and Herb (haven’t seen that before), Crystal hot sauce (just because), hot pepper jelly, Arnaud’s creole mustard, Dirty potato chips in spicy cajun, Boscoli olive salad, and Zapp’s in the new salsa flavor.

Joe Gambino's Bakery
Gambino’s
Goodies from Gambino's
from top left: Caramel doberge, lemon doberge, chocolate doberge, Italian creme, turtle from Gambino’s

Milk Glass for the Outdoors

Plastic Milk Glass!

A recent issue of Elle Decor had a story about a team at K-Mart that was branding their products as “Essential Home” or “Home Essential” (on Kmart’s website, it goes by both names), with a fresher style than most of the older stock stand-bys that they carry.

One of the products that the article featured was plastic cups for outdoor use that mimiced the look of milk glass. I’m not really a huge milk glass fan, but I thought that was such a fun idea!

I haven’t been to a KMart in a few years….I’ve tried to avoid big-box stores (not always successfully, but I do try) – not for any huge political or other really interesting reasons – I’m just not wild about them, and as someone who is married to a small-business owner, I can totally understand doing business with people who are more like me (is that corny?). Anyway.

KMart had the exact glasses I saw in Elle Decor. I bought four large glasses – perfect for tea or water, and four more glasses that would be perfect for ice cream. Nice!