Maiden South Makings

I thought I’d give y’all a little update about our little shop that could today, seeing as I’ll be spending my long Labor Day weekend working very hard to make sure that it can. ;)

I wasn’t joking when I said that Jessica and I have been building our inventory for Maiden South, both literally and figuratively.  We have lots of wonderful orders rolling in, but we are spending every second of our free time making inventory as well.  You see, we love to support makers so much because we are both makers ourselves.

Jessica has been crazy busy doing most of our buying, as well as sewing up a storm, making jewelry, and working on lots of amazing paper goods.  I have been busying myself with making stained glass Christmas ornaments, some cheeky embroidery hoop art, and lots of hand stamped jewelry!

Photography is Fun Ruler | Oysters & Pearls Stained Glass Bits and Bobs for Maiden South | Oysters & Pearls The Makings of Stained Glass Christmas Ornaments for Maiden South | Oysters & Pearls

June is becoming quite the little shop dog with me. :)

June the Shop Dog | Oysters & Pearls

And yes, I wear crocs in the shop.  Not pretty, but they sure make standing on your feet for hours on end much more bearable.  Also, June thinks they’re swell.

Treat Yo Self Cheeky Embroidery Hoop Art for Maiden South | Oysters & Pearls Hand Stamped 229 Area Code Necklace for Maiden South | Oysters & Pearls

Follow Jessica, Oysters & Pearls, and Maiden South on Instagram for more sneak peeks at what we are working on for Maiden South!

As far as the shop itself is concerned, our renovation is coming along.  The plaster is all down, the brick is exposed, the floor is cleaned up, and the little shop that could is slowly transforming into a shop that really can!

Maiden South Renovation | Oysters & Pearls

We are so excited about this little venture, and we hope that you are too.  Follow along with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest and greatest on Maiden South, and sign up for email updates on our website to get alerts on our grand opening!

Maiden South on Instagram
Maiden South on Twitter
Maiden South on Facebook

Happy Labor Day Weekend, friends!

Until Next Time

Eating Meeting

It’s August, and we’re in the midst of the dog days of summer here in Sowega.  Nothing is ripe and/or growing except a few tomatoes, peppers, and some herbs, but it’s about too hot for much else.  So instead of our usual Farm to Table Supper, we just called an official Eating Meeting.

Table Setting for an Eating Meeting | Oysters & Pearls

I didn’t make anything worth sharing a recipe for, but we did have a great time, and I even used real napkins since I hosted, which I figured was cause for both celebration and photo documentation.

I made a double batch of Honeysuckle Basil Hard Lemonade for the occasion.

Fixings for Basil Honeysuckle Hard Lemonade | Oysters & Pearls

I also made some sautéed lemon green beans, and Wheat baked some snapper we caught earlier this summer.  Mack brought an awesome feta pepper dip with pita for dipping, and Randy and Carol brought a tasty cranberry jalapeño dip and some delicious sweet potatoes.  Maggie and Greg brought summer in a bowl: spinach, watermelon and feta salad.  It might not have been exactly farm-to-table, but it was a very successful eating meeting indeed.

Table Scape for an Eating Meeting | Oysters & Pearls Vintage Floral Napkins with Hobnail Glasses on a Farmhouse Table | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Serving Board from Maiden South, Vintage Enameled Cast Iron, Vintage Honey Pot, Antique Salt & Pepper Shakers, The Refinery GA Candles | Oysters & Pearls


Shop this post:
farmhouse table (Southern Restoration Furniture)
hobnail drinkware (Pottery Barn; similar)
flatware (Lenox Pearl Platinum)
dinnerware (Lenox French Perle)
goat napkins (Anthropologie – no longer available)
floral napkins (vintage; similar)
reclaimed heart pine serving tray (Maiden South)
enameled cast iron bowl (Antique Annex, Bainbridge)
salt & pepper shakers (Antique Annex)
napkin rings (Herb Napkin Rings)
candle (The Refinery)

Until Next Time

Southern Makers: Higher Standards Leather Care

So I have a pair of boots.

Leather Boots That Have Taken a Briar Beating | Oysters & Pearls

They’re my favorite boots.  Maybe my favorite shoes.  They’re comfortable, cute, and have seen me through everything from engagement parties to quail hunts.

But they’re pretty well beat up.Leather Boots in Need of Some Serious TLC | Oysters & Pearls

Worn ragged might be the more appropriate term.  But I love them, and I don’t want a new pair.  I’ve tried mink oil, but that didn’t do the trick.  It just made them kind of sticky and a weird color.

Also, they probably need a little vacation to the cobbler, but that’s neither here nor there.Beat Up Leather Boots | Oysters & Pearls


A few months ago, sweet Libby at Higher Standards Farm reached out to me about purchasing a candle from The Refinery.  Just down the road in Greensboro, Florida, Libby is a fellow attorney with a much more fun side gig/professional hobbyist.  As you can imagine, Libby and I became fast friends.  Knowing that I loved all things handmade, she told me about the leather care products she makes in small batches and sells in her free time.

I’m no equestrian, but I have plenty of leather items that could use some TLC – first and foremost my beloved boots – so I gave it a try.

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls


Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls

They’re not looking good as new, but who wants boots without a little character? ;)  I used the saddle soap first with the provided sponge, then rinsed them off, then rubbed in the leather conditioner.  Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls

It is the only leather conditioner I’ve ever used that didn’t leave a weird-feeling residue on the leather. Plus it smelled great and made the leather so soft and supple! Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls


From Libby’s Etsy Shop, because she says it better than I could say it myself:

Back in 2003, while looking for a Christmas gift to give my barn friends, I decided to experiment with making saddle soap. I found a recipe, and began to tinker with it, researching different essential oils, and working on scent combinations. It was fun and challenging, and the soap worked really well! 

The following spring, I developed a terrible crush on Karen O’Connor’s mount, Upstage, or “Woody,” owned by Dick & Vita Thompson. I was entranced by the story of the “little horse that could,” and I just loved his personality.

During Rolex week, I sent a care package to Kentucky for Woody and his “staff.” In that package was a container of my handmade soap. I was stunned a couple months later, when Karen’s excellent longtime groom, Max Corcoran asked for more of my soap, saying it was wonderful stuff. 

For the next nine years, I made the soap for Max as she needed them, and shared it with other friends. So far, my soap has been to the Pan Ams, the World Equestrian Games, the Hong Kong and London Olympics, Rolex, Badminton, Burghley and many other top venues.

And now, the soap used by one of the best upper level grooms in the business is available to the rest of us, from entry level all the way to the top!

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

After many requests, Libby also began making the leather balm/conditioner.  All of her soap scents are named after favorite horses, such as Buzz’s Citrus Ginger, Ben’s Rosemary Mint, and Fox’s Vanilla Lavender.

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls


I seriously can’t get over how amazing my boots feel after using Higher Standards Leather Care. I can see myself using this for the rest of my boots, leather bags, dog leashes and collars, and all manner of leather goods that aren’t related to horses the least little bit.  I can only imagine how great this would be for those of you who actually use the saddle soap on saddles!Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

Many thanks to Libby for being super sweet and a new friend, for introducing me to this great product, and for saving my boots. :)

For more information on Higher Standards Leather Care, visit:

Higher Standards’ Etsy Shop

Higher Standards on Facebook

Higher Standards on Twitter

Until Next Time