Elements Jewelry, handmade in Western Mass.

I actually went to high school,with jewelry designer Jill Schwartz, owner of Elements, based in Great Barrington, Mass. We rediscovered each other years later at a Crafts Show and I fell in love with her vintage groove aesthetic. Each piece is handmade using antique and original cast findings, glass, chain, cloth, pearls and stones! Each one is like a mini work of art and adds the final touch to special outfits. we have sold quite a few to brides and bridal parties! (Photos of local photographer Katie Salerno and local blogger  Aline Chaprazian)img_4099img_3925

Chill in the Air

Finally, mid-October, it feels like true Autumn! As much as we all have loved this crazy extended summer with temps in the 80s, I am so glad to feel the crisp morning air, see the glorious gold and orange leaves, go apple picking, carve pumpkins, eat cider donuts and do all things fall! We have had all of our snuggly cozy knit pullovers, long cardigans, wraps, scarves and coats, hiding the back room and yesterday we finally brought it out. I especially love this patterned light weight coat by Sanctuary ( worn by blogger Rachel Thomas) and this long cardigan by Elan (worn by Katie Salerno, who is our house photographer extraordinaire)img_4029 img_4040

Mcrea’s Caramels

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We love to support local small-batch makers and recently discovered McCrea’s Candies! Honestly, I have never been much of a fan of caramels in the past because they awlays felt super hard, tough to chew, and way too sticky. Until now. McCrea’s are a whole new ballgame. – soft, melt in your mouth, just the right amount sweet. Flavors include classic vanilla, rosemary truffle, deep chocolate, single malt scotch ( personal favorite) and black lava sea salt.

These are the brainchild of Jason McCrea, a local scientist, and Karen McCrea, marketing and product development whiz. Originally created in his home kitchen, Jason and Karen now cook up these little wonders in a small commercial Boston kitchen. They use an early 20th century candy cutting and wrapping machine to keep the process traditional!

Sold in pretty tubes for $15, these treats make lovely gifts!

Shrubs, What’s a Shrub?

So, let’s chat about SHRUBS…the delicious small-batch variety made from fruit and cider vinegar, not the little green bushy ones. During the Colonial Era, farmers made shrubs as a way of preserving fruit from the harvest, mixing it with sugar and vinegar and bottling it up for a later date! In recent years, indie bartenders and cocktail mixologists have started creating their own flavor profiles for signature drinks! A small amount of shrubs add a fruit punch and tangy bite!

We recently discovered Shrub & Co., a small-batch maker out of California that packs up the sweetest little gift sets using organic fruit and aromatics for all of us home chemists who love to experiment and play with our barware! Flavors include hardest peach, apple, wildflower, honey, spicy ginger and cranberry!

Autumn is here!

Love our new Aunt Sadie’s autumn candles, hand-poured in Vermont. The pumpkin and cranberry are our favorites, filling the room with all  the cozy feelings of a crisp fall day! Makes me want to stay home all day, bake a pie, read a book, get snuggly on the couch. Gary and Brian started their small batch candle business out of their antique store in the South End back in 90s. Shake the Tree was actually their first store and I remember the day they came in with their candles, wondering if we might be interested in carrying them. Of course, we said Yes! And, years later, Gary and Brian are happily living up in Vermont,  and their candles are still one of our best sellers! Stay tuned for their Holiday fragrances coming next month!

Succulents!

Former Shake the Tree staffer, Mary Potter, created Baba.Tili out of her home workshop in New Hampshire. We love her passion for growing baby succulents and creating artful arrangements using found and vintage containers. Mary has come down to the shop a few times to host planting and custom design workshops.

Create Boston

Brooklyn hipsters move over. Boston is stepping up its game.

“Create Boston” celebrates the collaboration of local visual artists, chefs, bartenders, DJs and musicians. This year’s festival happened in the warehouse spaces of the Design Center near the Seaport. Each artist displayed their work and was paired with a chef and a bartender who created delicious food and unusual cocktails inspired by the artwork! This year’s event included chefs/bartenders from Tavern Road, Oak + Rowan, Drink, Back Bar, Whole Heart Provisions, Bar Mezzana, Trina’s Starlight Lounge, Committee and Tiger Mama! Extra shout out to Tavern Road’s amazing shredded pork tacos!  Our favorite music was from a local band Cask Mouse ( with ties to our friends at neighboring Neptune Oyster)!

No date set for 2017 but absolutely go next year!image

Paris Discovery

Special thanks to Nishat Nguyen for modeling our new top from our recently discovered French collection, Des Petits Hauts! On a recent trip to Paris we wandered into one of their small shops in Montmartre and fell in love. We were so delighted to get our first shipment this week!

Yumi Kim Design

Designer Yumi Kim is one of our best-selling designers! With her bright, floral and feminine aesthetic, she creates the perfect dresses, tops and rompers that become go-to outfits for date nights, weddings and special occasions! Special thanks to Boston bloggers Jess of Champagne Thursday and Chelsea of Chow Down USA for modeling!

Yumi Kim Dress

Yumi Kim Romper

Myers + Chang

One of our most favorite restaurants in town in Myers + Change, a collaboration between James Beard award winner chef/owner Joanne Chang and Executive Chef Karen Akunowicz! This little indie spot serves up their own dazzling versions of Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese specialties! We love going there on their Monday and Tuesday “Cheap Date Nights” when you can choose from three select menus for $45 for two! Get the “Netflix + Chill!” (photo courtesy of Myers + Chang)