new year's eve recipe

by Tracey Pestian, Morning Sun Manager

As our year 2016 is coming to an end and a new beginning is upon us, I reflect on the experiences that have been presented before me over the last 12 months – some truly wonderful and some not so wonderful, but it is in our own perspective of each as to the hidden meaning that we must learn from them. One of the best experiences presented to me this year was becoming a member of the Morning Sun staff in March. To work in this environment each day which is truly like an Oasis, as one of you described it when you were in one day; I am reminded each day of Life, Newness and Beauty. There is so much of it in this world but sometimes we choose not to see it. I will choose to see it in 2017 and beyond. I just LOVE it when you, our dear customers, come in our door and I hear our little bells on the door jingling, only to see you take it all in, in your breath, your eyes, and your heart. I love it when you tell us that you just came in for ‘therapy’ or just to ‘breathe’.  I get that. You are all so precious to us.

Another wonderful experience has been my introduction to Juliska! After living in Europe some years ago, this inspiring and soulful artisanal line of stoneware ceramics and mouth-blown glass takes me back there each time I use them. One of my favorites is the Graham Rocks Glass - 8 ounces of gorgeous glass that makes my Old Fashioned taste so much better! Since New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, I am sharing my recipe for a great Old Fashioned with you: 

Place a few ice cubes into the Juliska Graham Rocks Glass. You don’t want so much ice that it waters it down or too little ice that it is not cold enough. Then take one Silver Dollar size piece of a Naval Orange rind and twist it over the ice and place it inside the glass the side of the ice cube. Add 2 ounces of good Bourbon (my favorites are Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve) to the glass. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Simple Syrup (I make my own using unrefined sugar, but store-bought will do) to the glass. Then add about 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Add 2 Luxardo cherries (if you have not experienced Luxardo cherries, you must do so! I buy them at Arrow Wine), ensuring that you get some of the cherry syrup when spooning them out of the jar.

Then, last but not least, using a cocktail stir-stick, gently whirl the drink around in the glass for a minute before you take your first sip. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your cocktail, letting all your cares float away….with my very best wishes to you and yours…Happy New Year!


Old Fashioneds in Juliska's Graham Rocks Glasses - Yum!

bringing the plants in

As we lose the light earlier and the nights get cooler, it is time to spend a little more time inside.  I find myself pulling in the plants that have summered on the porch and patio to now take their places back in the windows, creating a renewed feeling of home. 

I nestle my favorite chair, throw my favorite wool blanket over the back, making the perfect place to read, or just rest and reflect.

I nestle my favorite chair, throw my favorite wool blanket over the back, making the perfect place to read, or just rest and reflect.

Surrounding ourselves with plants makes a house a home.  Not only are the plants visually pleasing, but they are working for us to provide oxygen, cleansing the air and neutralizing orders naturally.

wabi sabi

by Sherri Gilmore, Morning Sun Designer

As a new "instagrammer" this past year, in addition to following friends and family, I also follow many other artists.  Exposure to beautiful imagery that I crave as a visual person and as an artist myself, has stirred in me a desire to explore other aspects of my artistic side.  I have started taking crochet lessons and will be soon starting guitar lessons (again).

I also appreciate learning about artistic terms or crafts of which I'm not familiar:  Wabi sabi is one such term that I learned about from an article I happened upon on  It is an aesthetic philosophy in Zen Buddhism that celebrates beauty in simplicity, imperfection, age and wear.  There is an appreciation for that which is handmade and authentic.  As described in Whole Living's article, "Wabi Sabi Your Life:  6 Strategies for Embracing Imperfection", wabi sabi is "asymmetrical heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery, crow's feet and the frayed sleeves of a favorite sweater, exposed brick and the first draft of a difficult letter.  It isn't about giving way to carelessness or seeing a junk pile through rose colored glasses.  It's about appreciating, showcasing, and sustaining the beauty of what's natural."

Here is an example of wabi sabi - my favorite wooden bowl at Morning Sun:

Notice the many imperfections in the craftsmanship, and how a large crack lovingly repaired with a metal fastener (which might make some want to throw it out altogether) lends this bowl cherished character.

Notice the many imperfections in the craftsmanship, and how a large crack lovingly repaired with a metal fastener (which might make some want to throw it out altogether) lends this bowl cherished character.

Abandoning perfection is the key to living a wabi sabi lifestyle.  The article describes how to bring aspects of wabi sabi into 6 different areas of our lives: relationships, food, home, beauty, closets, and work.  It is a quick recommended reading for those wishing to simplify their lives.  Check it out!

New York

I was given the gift of having a glimpse into another world of retail - the way I think it should be - and not in a corporate sense, but full of the passions and styles of many individuals combined.  My first stop was in a hard to reach area of Connecticut.  It was as if I had driven my car right into a treasure chest.  I visited a shop that had one-of-a-kind finds from Japan and Europe, as well as locally produced;  all beautifully curated and organically combined.  I've not seen anything like it anywhere else.  All of the other shops in this remote area seemed to have their own unique vision, yet each following suit with one another.  I truly did not want to leave this incredible place.


Reluctant to leave the lovely city of New Preston, CT, I left to visit my dear friend and supplier of the beautifully aged terracotta pots that fill my shop.  Campo de Fiori is their name, and it is derived from a small piazza in Rome, Italy, and literally means "Field of Flowers".  They are located directly off of Highway 7, and house a glorious barn that is surrounded by beautiful gardens showcasing the Camp di Fiori products.  All of their products are inspired by history and nature, and are handcrafted by real people.  Actually planting in these handmade pots is surely the next best thing to planting in the earth, as all of the materials used in them may be returned to the ground.


From there I traveled to Hudson, NY.  Again, their downtown area was full of unique storefronts and filled with individual shop owners, crafters and restaurants - no large corporate logos in sight.  This town is not sugarcoated either; it is only restored enough so that you can still feel the history as well as the energy of its past.  Even as I feel the need to travel the whole world, I forget that there is so much undiscovered right here at home.  The rest of this trip was equally as energizing - back in the city, a day spent with like-minded treasure hunters.


In New York I visited John Derian's pop-up showroom, located above the retail shop on 2nd Street in the East Village.  It was laid out beautifully with new pieces, and also showcased was John's new book which is due out this October.  I was privileged to get a sneak-peek, and cannot wait to have the books here in my shop - just in time for the holidays.   I will keep you posted as to their arrival. 

I have also decided to take the next step in my partnership with John, to include his collaboration with Astier de Villate ceramics.  These beautiful and rustic ceramics are handcrafted in France.  They are food-safe, as well as a lovely compliment to your table; or you may incorporate them into your wall décor.  I am looking forward to their arrival after the first of the year, as each order is filled by hand and takes 2-3 months to process.

Atlanta Adventures

My trek to Atlanta, GA began at a large warehouse filled with gorgeous French and Belgian antiques - all with their own story to tell. While circling through the aisles, I realize that I pretty much want it all! Letting my mind drift back down to earth, I select cheese-drying trays made of reed (they have so much potential!) and French cornichon crocks. Again, I visualize so many uses for the crocks - such beautiful brown vessels that will pair well with the cheese-drying's all in the layering...

From Darla....

It's been a fantastic journey that I am still on. What started out as "maybe I will do this for 5 years" is now 25 years later. I am inviting you to join me on this journey. My vehicle, Morning Sun, has taken me to so many exciting places and has introduced me to people like you. Follow along with me, if you will, and I will share with you my love of all things green, the places I have been and who I have met along the way. I bring together old and new, and fill my shop with things that make me happy, and I hope, you too. First stop from here? Atlanta, Georgia.