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

Rhinebeck Time! Party Time!


Dear Ann, I don’t know about you, but all this typing and proofreading has me yearning for a night out and a party. (I actually do know about you: you’re ready for a night out and a party.) There’s lots to celebrate, and an opportunity to celebrate should never be wasted.  Our new website–the apple of our eye for the past twelve months– will launch the first week of October, as will the first little book in our...

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A Tour of MDK World Headquarters


Dear Kay, My procrastination level is now at Defcon 1 (Stress-induced Narcolepsy Imminent At Any Time). So it’s definitely a good day to give you a quick tour of our new home away from home, our little warehouse/office/cold meat storage facility aka MDK World Headquarters. It is so, so, so cold in here. We are curing sides of beef as a new hobby. We’re located in Germantown, a neighborhood near downtown...

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An American Weaver in Laos


Dear Kay, Here’s a quick six minutes of inspiration for you: the story of Carol Cassidy, a weaver from Connecticut who has lived and worked in Laos for 30 years, preserving, celebrating, and promoting the ancient traditions of handmade textiles. You think you know a little bit about the world, then whammo: you hear about Vientiane, Laos, and you feel like an idiot. Here’s the PBS NewsHour story: “The weaver who helped...

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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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