If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Linens ‘N’ Things


Dear Ann, Earlier this week I got a box from France. The box was from Laurence Casalta. Laurence and her mother, Francine, run La Boutique de Francine, a vintage linens shop in the town of  l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in southeast France. Francine’s shop is beloved by vintage linens collectors. Not being a vintage linens person, I did not know of it, but after a week of hearing about it from linen-crazed traveling companions, I was...

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Woad Scholars


Dear Ann: The schedule for our week at Château Dumas had Thursday down for a “woad workshop.”  I knew that woad is a natural plant dye, and I think I vaguely knew that it was blue. It seemed kind of odd to have a day of dyeing in the middle of our sewing workshop, but I was curious, and game. On the first day after we arrived, as we headed out to explore Sunday flea markets in nearby towns, they suggested that we keep an eye out...

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Workshop Withdrawal Syndrome


Dear Ann, I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me, but I’m suffering a distinct lack of lavender in the air here on the Upper West Side, now that I’ve returned from a weeklong workshop at Château Dumas in the South of France. I would like to take a restorative walk on quiet roads by fields of sunflowers, but all we’ve got are the cut ones in black plastic buckets on Columbus Avenue. I’ve got some wonderful things...

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Liberty Equality Fraternity


Dear Ann, On this day there is little to do but helplessly follow news coverage of the awful events in Paris, thinking of friends and loved ones suddenly thrust into chaos and fear. I have checked up on my family’s own beloved Frenchies, who are safe and well. My thoughts are with them and with friends I know only through social media and this blog. I’m also thinking of the perpetually-present French tourists in New York City, who...

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Paris O Paris!

Paris O Paris! - 1

Dear Kay, Bonne année! Whatevaire! We just got back from our fambly trip to Paris. We brought back souvenir malades. Yesterday I decided to call mine jet lag, but it’s actually sort of more achy than that. Our aches were a small difficulty, though, for a trip that went well. Arriving at de Gaulle airport after their week of complete weather chaos was like coming through a college dorm after the year-end loadout. The graveyard of dead...

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Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home - 1

Dear Ann, I just arrived back from a bibulous, gluttonous, trufulous — in other words, wonderful — trip to Piemonte. You had your chance to go with me, you turned me down (for some petty reason–what was it again, Maternal Duty?), and now you will have to put up with me blathering away about it for a solid six months or so. The kiddies are arriving home from school any minute, and I expect there will be quite The Scene in our...

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