Finding Vintage

The Bell Inn, Peabody

The Bell Inn, Peabody

The current Bell Inn is a three story victorian building that was previously a private home which sat vacant for many years in downtown Peabody, Massachusetts. It was slated to be torn down when developer Eddie Greeley and restauranteur Jeff Cala stepped in. The long, several year process of restoring this building was finally complete this past October 2023 when they opened their doors to the public as a tavern, speak-easy, dining room and 8 guest room inn.  

The history of the building runs deep in the town of Peabody.  Known as the O'Shea mansion by many locals, the building had many lives. At one point it was a furniture business, another point a halfway house and then a vacant building but if we go back a bit farther its origins are a lot more interesting than that.

The first building at this location, before the three story victorian, was the original Bell Tavern which was built in 1757. This location was also a meeting point for local militia who went to fight in the battle against the British in the revolutionary war.  An impressive history for the town of Peabody, once referred to as "leather city" because of the leather manufacturing that was so prevalent in the area.

Over the next century the site had many iterations. The Bell Tavern was torn down, store fronts were put up, those were relocated and another home was built. By 1897 Josiah Thomas had purchased the building and after demolishing it began costruction on the home that exists there today.  He built it for his grandson Elmer Thomas. By 1900 Thomas O'Shea purchased the building and owned it until 1969 when the Bettencourt Furniture company purchased the building. If you look at photos of the building from 1937 the exterior looks almost exactly the same as it does today.

The exciting part about this project was being able to work with a team who cared about the integrity of the building.  They wanted the history and story of the Bell Inn to be reflected in the design.  When creating the interior design plan I kept that in mind and found that as we moved through the process the home dictated the direction.

Although, walls were moved and removed and some elements could not be saved,  much was saved. The doors were reused when we were able. Moldings, fireplaces, were saved, original cupboards were relocated, the original floors with a gorgeous greek key pattern were refinished and of course all of the beautiful woodwork and mahogany details on the first floor were saved and enhanced.

This project was also a great example of a town coming together to support the vision of developer Eddie Greeley, who owns other mixed use buildings in the town of Peabody such as Mills 58.

It would have been very easy to do what many had done in the past. Tear it down and start over but in New England versus lots off other parts of the country we have an amazing history and many of the stories of that history are told through our buildings, our architecture, our homes.  Every time we are able to save one of these buildings it's an opportunity to tell the stories to the next generation.  

The Bell Inn is located in Peabody, Massachusetts at 2 Washington Street and is open for lunch, dinner, drinks and to stay.
















Tracy Foley
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Lighthouse Vacations

Lighthouse Vacations

Ever thought of staying at a lighthouse?  To me it actually sounds like a romantic idea.  No electricity, candlelight, sweeping views of the ocean and maybe some spooky howling wind as well.  Although this would be a fun adventure, the importance of the lighthouse in our history is not lost on me.

Light stations have served as beacons for weary mariners finding their way back to shore. The Fresnel lens which was made up of many panels of glass, would reflect and refract the light so ships could easily find their way to port.  The keeper was responsible for taking care of the light and the head keeper was responsible for taking care of the light station. Fog Horns, whistles, flashes of light in intervals, all of these tools were used to aid mariners in their navigation.  In a time with far less technology, the keepers job was incredibly important.

Today the U.S. coastguard is responsible for the care and maintenance of light stations. These historic landmarks have been updated with technology which leaves no need for the lighthouse keeper. Thankfully, many discontinued lighthouses have been preserved by organizations and non-profits who offer programs, volunteer host opportunities, vacation rentals and tours. 

From Alaska, to Wisconsin, to Virginia there are lighthouse experiences available.  Some allow you to stay in the actual lighthouse and others have only the inn keepers house available.  Some require caretaker and campground duties as part of the experience while others are just like a B and B.  

I found several that appear to offer a true lighthouse experience.

The Saugerties Lighthouse is in upstate New York on the Hudson River. After a half mile walk up a nature trail you arrive at the restored brick lighthouse.  This bed and breakfast experience offers two bedrooms with original inn keeper decor and views of the Hudson Valley.

Heceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon offers views of the Pacific ocean from its cliffside location. If that's not enough, stays include a seven course breakfast from the breathtaking location.

Frying Pan Tower in North Carolina is 34 miles offshore.  This experience truly puts you in the middle of the ocean for a true getaway.  Overnight experiences may have stopped due to restoration but tours may still be available.

Little River Lighthouse in Maine boasts that you will "be the first to greet the dawn of each new day" because it is the most northern light station. Located on Cutler Harbor, for New Englanders it's a short drive for a beautiful experience.

If you're looking to go farther, the New Dungeness Lighthouse on Washington’s northwest coast is located in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. In the Sequim, Washington location you can enjoy view of whales, bald-eagles and the Olympic Mountain range.

"If you want to preserve the past sometimes you have to experience it."

Tracy Foley
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New Preston, Connecticut  . . wait did we miss it?

New Preston, Connecticut . . wait did we miss it?

Of the many lovely little villages that inhabit a section of Northeast Connecticut, New Preston might be one of the most charming.  You pass by it in the blink of an eye and you will even wonder as you read this how you could spend more than 45 minutes there.  Here’s how.  

Start at the Smithy Cafe where you can get a latte and a freshly baked muffin or start with a hot soup and sandwich. Their menu is sourced from fresh, local ingredients and they pride themselves on their relationship with local farmers. If you don’t want to stay and eat then walk across the street and grab some provisions to go. This two story barn is Smithy’s specialty grocery store that carries organic products that are locally sourced, a perfect extension to the cafe. Before you leave the Market head to the second floor to check out the featured local artist. Exhibits are rotating so you can experience different artists and the antique barn is the perfect back drop.

At Pergola Home you will find not just garden vessels and botanicals, but table top books, topiaries and natural curiosities. Bringing the outside in is part of their aesthetic with home pieces from wood sculptures to bamboo furnishings. I found a small round side table perfect for our patio with a concrete top and wooden base that has all the natural elements I was looking for.

When I first entered the shop I thought that J. Seitz was a clothing store with flannels, jackets and sweaters which would have been great but it’s much more than just that. On the basement level they carry large upholstered couches and sectionals, rustic sideboards and unusual mirrors. Linen bedding, wood benches, bedside tables, table lamps, candles and a full scale of home pieces are on the first floor. Mostly new with a hint of vintage style.

Plain Goods feels like a lifestyle. Part throwback with amazing felt hats, displayed on vintage tables mixed with clothing that has a distinct unfussy style. Cashmere and linen are paired with painted floors and a collection of antique plates. Their particular style of home includes a chippy painted trunk with a topiary alongside a vintage chair that’s been reupholstered in a spectacular fabric. Not surprising it’s located in another charming village home that at some point was converted to this must go to shop.

Privet House is a must.  Antiques, new, kitchen, ceramics, textiles - all home. This gave me all the feels with ceramic pieces, pine worktables, linen aprons, large antique bowls, vintage boot molds and collections that inspired because they are styled beautifully.

Walking down Main Street you'll wander in and out of more shops that pack the small village but you may want to end your visit taking in the view of New Preston Falls which runs through New Preston from the East Aspetuck River.  


Tracy Foley
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Antiquing in Millerton, New York

Antiquing in Millerton, New York

I am always up for taking a road trip especially if it means I can find an antique shop, flea market or home interiors shop along the way. It's even better if there are several.  On a spontaneous road trip this fall I stumbled into Millerton, New York which is now a top picking destination for me.

From Massachusetts it's about a 3 hour drive and if you get off the highway the scenery is worth the drive itself. Set along the border of Connecticut, it has a small village vibe with several antique shops, books store, sandwich shop and clothing store. It doesn't sound like a lot but you could while away the hours in several of the antique stores that line the Main Street.  Here's my perspective on what you'll find.

The Millerton Antique Center is a great place to start. You will need the energy in this jam packed shop.  The multi-dealer space has vintage goods from across all periods from art, to smalls, to table top.  It's definitely a shop to "pick" at with lots of booth spaces where each dealer displays their wares differently. Not a lot of vintage clothing and definitely lots of small pieces of art and wall decor within each booth. I left with a small gold framed American Flag for my personal collection and I was happy with the price point. A fun place to poke around and you will probably leave with something.

The next antique shop that I fell in love with was Montage Antiques.  I love pine tables, early American furniture and art and fun decorative antique pieces.  This shop had the right mix for me. A little less digging and a great flow to the large space with again lots to see. From barware to larger cased pieces, tables and lamps there were several pieces I would have left with and they were displayed in a visually pleasing way. Their website describes the shop as follows "From 18th and 19th century English mahogany furniture to 17th century Italian walnut, Mid Century Modern to American country . . " This sums up the mix but having actually been there I would say there are true antiques here but they are accessorized with a broad array of decorative pieces from all eras which lightens the vibe. 


On the same side of the road you'll find Cottage and Camp. Love the name but I'm not sure it truly gives you the gist of what's happening in this shop.  It's filled with interesting objects and collections. They have architectural pieces mixed amongst folk art mixed amongst 18th century. A metal table, a Neo-classic pedestal and a sculpture on a mid-century table. It works as far as display goes and it's just cool. This is a shop where provenance is important and they've done the research.

After antiquing it's time to hit Westerlind. If you forgot your felt hat you can find it here. This part stylish outdoorsy part Swedish design vibe makes you want to buy something here whether it's an over boulder jacket, a fuzzy water case, or a felt hat - you're drawn to the simplicity and style of the clothing.

A couple of other shops worth mentioning are Demitasse - a small gift shop with everything from small home accessories, think placemats and table top, to journals and eyewear and Oblong books along the same side of the Street and who doesn't love a good book store.

Millerton, New York is probably best known for its Harney and Sons tea but put a pin on the map for great antiquing as well. Lighting, art, decorative pieces from early American antiques to the 20th century vintage. 

Tracy Foley
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Finding Vintage with Ryan Townsend: Artist, Maker, Explorer, Visual Arts Educator

Finding Vintage with Ryan Townsend: Artist, Maker, Explorer, Visual Arts Educator

Ryan Townsend is an art maker and art educator, based North of Boston. With a B.A. in Studio Art & Anthropology and a Masters in Art Education, his art explorations involve practices and materials such as clay, watercolors, acrylics, sculpture and installation. Ryan's work aesthetic is often a mix of minimal and organic, and he is influenced by a combination of traditional and contemporary approaches. His art as well as his art education practices incorporate various references to culture, traditions, and cultural meaning-making through artful objects.

There's the bio now meet Ryan IRL (in real life if you're new to the world).  Ryan and I met many years ago in of all places Anthropology.  I was shopping and he was employed there.  I picked up a hand crafted crab from a display table and asked Ryan the price. He responded with something to the effect of - those actually aren't for sale. I made them for the display but I'm happy to tell you how to do it. What's not unusual is the fact that I picked up a piece of a display and wanted to buy it.  What is unusual is that Ryan was so forthcoming about wanting to share his idea and creativity. At that point in time Ryan had graduated with a college degree, was getting his masters in art and was working at Anthropology as a side gig.  A couple of years ago I reached back out to Ryan to see what he was up to and found that along with teaching he was still creating. Since then Ryan and I have worked together on several projects and I have been lucky to be able to represent some of his work at Water and Main.

My conversation with Ryan:

I know from being creative myself sometimes it's hard for me to stay with one thing.  For you, how did you choose ceramics.  Were there other mediums that you were also interested in?

My appreciation for clay and ceramics first emerged in my high school art classes. When first deciding on what to concentrate on during undergrad, my mind was focused on painting & drawing actually and not ceramics at all. I took a bunch of 2-dimensional based studio courses-- Painting with acrylics, painting with oils, printmaking, letterpress, drawing. It was only in the last 2 years of college that I picked up ceramics again (after some time away studying abroad) which probably speaks to the fact that it really is also hard for me to stick with one thing. However, there are so many contemporary artists now who incorporate such variety and mixtures of mediums into their work, so overall I'm seeing it as a wonderful thing.  I love playing with different mediums, materials and techniques and often like to overlap/incorporate mixed media into what I make. With ceramics, I started to realize that you can transfer those 2-D skills into the 3-D surface treatments, with glazes and underglazes, and so it is a really satisfying way to combine those dimensions of art making. 

You teach high schoolers. Why teaching? Is it hard to get kids excited about art and art forms or do you find kids are excited to learn?  

I teach at a public high school. This year, I teach all of the 3D Studio Art, Ceramics, and Photography classes. So, in this sense it's lucky to not be able to focus on just one thing in my art practice! I went to Massachusetts College of Art & Design for my Masters in Teaching Art between 2017 and 2018, but really have been interested in being a teacher since high school, partly because I was inspired by my own art teacher who was so nurturing and loving, and partly because it's often just so fun to be in a classroom facilitating art-making. I love to see young adults having artistic revelations or suddenly finding joy and excitement in making because I know what it means to me and how much it can help you look into yourself, promote self-growth, and see things differently than before. The challenge of the art teacher is to help every one of your students find access points for making art and finding their own artistic direction/style. Some students are always going to be more willing than others to get in to it. The craft of teaching often lies in the tailoring of your curriculum to the needs and interests of your students at any given point in the year, so that you can maximize that excitement within them. 

What are you excited about in the world of creating right now. Not about trends or what people in the industry are saying, I mean what do you want to create next or want to learn?

Though I have taught photography for the last two years, transparently, I don't actually have much of a background in it so my biggest goal right now is to keep gathering knowledge and mastering the art of photo. I got back into the darkroom process last year and that turned out to be more enjoyable than I anticipated. I hadn't done any darkroom since high school so I loved relearning about the technical aspects of it. With digital photography, I have been experimenting a bit with color play, multiple exposure layering, and post shoot editing and I am excited about those explorations. On the horizon I also am looking forward to pushing my ceramic forms in new directions, bringing back more of my 2-d painting process, and hopefully getting into UX design as well.

Is there someone in the world of art that inspired you to focus on art or was it just something you fell into? 

Looking back at the trajectory, initially it was probably my mom, and other family members as a kid. Then, it was most definitely my art teachers in high school, followed by my professors and creative friends/peers in college. After that, it was my grandparents in a big way who helped me dive into clay a bit more intimately as an emerging adult trying to figure out how to really start life. Finally, there are all the random valuable humans who are so important in different ways that come in and go out of your life at certain points, even if just for a moment, who push you or make you feel special in just the right ways so that you keep making art. 

What's the real advice for makers who might be working at a store as a side hustle but are interested in pursuing a career in art?

It's hard work, and often so personal/emotional and I don't have a very clear answer. I do recall my ceramics professor saying to us that if we had the passion and desire to be artists in this world that we would need to get used to working double, and having 2 full-time jobs, at least for some period of time. You must have the energy and drive to make it happen, which is cliche and true. Simultaneously, you need to recognize that everyone's art journey is very different and each flows in organic, non-linear ways. Sometimes you might have many weeks or months of not creating. Be kind to yourself and respect yourself and pick back up as soon as you feel an ounce of inspiration. It really depends on what you need to prioritize in your life. For me right now, teaching is my full time priority and creating/making currently is very much a part-time side focus, and that's just the reality of it. Summer time flexibility will allow me to be more active in my making, and this is the cycle with many public school art educators. Just keep making whenever you can/however you can, network with other creatives and supporters of the arts, and promote yourself especially now through virtual means. Eventually, people will pick up on and appreciate your work and USE THAT as momentum to keep going. 



Tracy Foley
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Finding Vintage with Delaney Antique Clocks

Finding Vintage with Delaney Antique Clocks

"Clocks always tell a story because on a first period tall clock there were three hands at work.  A cabinet maker who made the case, an ornamental painter who made the dial and the clockmaker who made the movement and generally got all the credit for making the clock."

-- Sean Delaney, Delaney Antique Clocks

Sean and his brother John Delaney are at the top of their field. Delaney Clocks is the foremost clock expert in the U.S. which is why they have spent the last 15 years appearing on Antiques Roadshow appraising all kinds of clocks. Their showroom in West Townsend, Massachusetts, which by the way is a beautiful antique carriage house, has been housing clocks for over 50 years and they have the largest collection of tall clocks in the country.

Truth be told, I met Sean Delaney when my husband and I were first dating. They went to college together and we would go out to Seans amazing antique home in West Townsend and hang out in his renovated barn at Christmas time. He was already in the antique business and I had just started collecting.

Sean's parents started the clock business so naturally Sean and his brother were raised with knowledge of antique clocks that was instilled in them. It's a family business but you also have to love clocks, have a passion and have knowledge if you want to survive in this business and that he does.

Why are we talking clocks? Because they are back or they never left. I'm generally uninformed about clocks so I asked Sean a few questions so I know what to look for.

Me: These tall clocks are made so beautifully, do artists sign the clocks?

Sean : If a clock is signed on the dial by the maker it adds to the story significantly because now we know who made the clock, where the clockmaker worked and when. Most clockmakers are listed and important clockmakers have lots of information in their listings such as where they were born and died, their working dates, who they apprenticed with, etc.

Me: What do you look for when you're trying to date a clock?

Sean: You can tell where and when most cases were made from regional characteristics of the clock case and if you're really knowledgeable one can tell where and when the clock was made within a decade.  For example, in Boston, tall clock cases became highly inlaid circa 1800 vs a Boston tall clock that was made in 1780 generally would not have inlay because that wasn't the fashion.  Taste changed just like cars.  A Concord, NH tall clock would look very different from a Concord, Ma. tall clock. Dials also provide lots of clues as to when a clock was made. In general later clock dials provide less numerical markings than earlier clock dials.

Me: Are people still buying clocks? 

Sean: Yes! We are selling lots of tall case clocks and other clocks for that matter. Since Covid people are improving their homes and working from home so there has been a huge uptick in the antique market across the board. Antiques are affordable again and that creates interest but clocks are also a functional item.

Me: Where did the term Grandfather clock come from?

Sean: It came from the number one hit song in 1905 called " My grandfathers clock" written by Henry Clay Work 1876.  It topped the charts and the name stuck!

Tall clocks seem to be back in style. I personally love the look of a tall cased or grandfather clock in a room design. They work in a traditional setting but also look amazing mixed in a modern design because they add the warmth and tell a story. Tall clocks are like art, the details on the clock face, the wood inlay and the pleasing sound of a chime

In my early years in the business I remember having a conversation with Sean and he gave me some great advice.  He said "specialize in something and be the best at that" and that he has done, shipping clocks all over the world and being sought after for his expert knowledge on clocks.

If you're looking for more information on clocks or want to see them in person you can find Delaney Antique Clocks brick and mortar shop at 435 Main Street, West Townsend, Massachusetts located just 45 miles from Boston - a one hour drive.

Visit them online at where you can sign up to receive their newsletter, watch videos, connect to links for current shows and see portions of their inventory.




Tracy Foley
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Finding Vintage at Spring Hill Farm

Finding Vintage at Spring Hill Farm

I think I first met Emily on Instagram (it is 2021 you know) and then at Brimfield.  You meet lots of people at Brimfield but right away I knew Emily was authentic and is doing what she loves. A farm girl, raising chickens and running an antique business where she carries pieces that showcase her style of "clean country" antiques.  


In 2010 Emily started her business.  She had always been collecting, because her mom had and still has a passion for antiques. Emily grew up going to auctions and antiquing with her mother who has also been featured in Country Living.  So, it was inevitable that Emily would fall in love with the lifestyle. 

After joining forces with a friend who was hosting a garden sale in 2013, it was game on. They sold out of all of the pieces they had been collecting in only two hours. Lightbulb moment. As her business evolved she continued to host the annual garden sale at her barn and in 2019 moved on to exhibit at the Profound Market with great success.

It's a story many of us in the antique business are familiar with.  The part where you grow up with parents who love antiquing and the love of this life becomes ingrained.

What's different about Emily? She's not just a picker or a dealer.  She's a farm girl.

Let's go back a bit because this story evolved with a love of antiques but started in an awesome barn and everyone knows I love a barn story!

In 2007 Emily and her husband purchased their amazing property in Rhode Island. The history of their property "Spring Hill Farm" is large to say the least. The history of Spring Hill Farm goes deep in Rhode Island where she lives.  

Quick history of the farm:

Spring Hill Farm was originally called the Paul Spencer house. Spencer and his brother-in-law Lodowick U. Shippee first owned the farm together. Paul Spencer married Susan Bagley in 1829 and the renovations began. Additions to the house and work on the outside. In 1884 the house and property were purchased by Albert and Harriet Knight. They hired boss farmers to run it and milk, wool, cheese, fruit and lamb were produced. It was named Spring Hill Farm. Stones on the property were used to create walls, trees were sawed into lumber to create more buildings. After a 1938 hurricane the sheep barn and hen houses were destroyed.  The wagon house and original barn still remain today, along with apple trees and stone walls.  

Fast forward:

With a stunning dairy barn (the real deal, huge, beautiful barn), carriage house, charming Cape style main house, original root cellar, pear and apples trees and stone walls Emily and her husband were immediately smitten. This 1820's dairy farm needed lots of work. Lucky for Emily, her father is a builder and her husband an engineer so she didn't have to look far for support. They renovated the home, removing panelling, updating the country kitchen, painting, redoing bathrooms, etc. Over the years the barn and the carriage house have needed work and shoring up but the structures remain the same.

Emily always thought she would be a farm girl so she was destined for Spring Hill Farm but let's not forget about the chickens. Brahmin, Wyandotte, Easter Eggers.  The chickens are not just a charming part of the story. They are cared for, they provide eggs to her family and they are a part of this lifestyle. While I was there and we were talking chickens, how to raise them, what they need as far as care, how to keep them safe from coyotes, Emily let them out to stroll around the yard. They all have names and personalities. She called them back after a little bit and they came running for the coop like pets except for Violet who refused to come back in and hung around as we walked and talked. 

If this is giving you farm girl vibes it should but let's get back to the antiques. Emily's business has grown. She has appointments at her carriage house but because it's their family homestead it's not a shop with open hours.  If you're lucky enough to know her you might get a peek inside her awesome collection and like I did leave with a huge pine cabinet that wouldn't even fit in my car but I had to have.  (You know the feeling).  It's a pandemic but she's still selling and planning on more events in the future.  I left feeling inspired to raise chickens, jealous that her barn is three stories and gorgeous, and happy to have spent a couple of hours at Spring Hill farm getting to know her story. 

Visit her website:

Follow her on Instagram @springhillfarm1820 

Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen & Baths 2014

Featured in Country Home Summer 2020

Tracy Foley
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Cape Abilities and the Calico Cat

Cape Abilities and the Calico Cat

The Calico Cat was an antique shop in the village of Chatham, Massachusetts for many years.  I can remember it being there forever, in a wonderful antique home with large pillars which stood out among all the sea captains homes it was surrounded by.  

When the shop closed its doors, new owners moved in and conflicts over historical guidelines and exterior paint colors exploded.  Before you could utter the words neon green the house was painted. 

But what ended up emerging from this (after things settled down) was an amazing thing. Cape Abilities moved into the next iteration of this home and began operating their farmers market from the shelves of the old antique shop. Fresh produce, ice cream sandwiches, home made pies even pie eating contests every Wednesday.  Cape Abilities Market tucked in between residential homes and across from the beach became our local market where you could grab a fresh tomato in a pinch. We would roll off the beach to watch our children and their friends compete in pie eating contests that left them covered in berries.

The history of Cape Abilities:

Cape Abilities serves "individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities" and has been doing so for over 50 years on Cape Cod. These individuals have access to jobs, education and therapy through programs at Cape Abilities. Funds raised at their farm support their programs but they also employ members of their community at their market. It's a wonderful add to the Chatham community.

What began as (what seemed to be) an ugly paint color to show contempt for the historical committee actually turned into a green beacon shining a light on supporting people with disabilities.  Turning limes into lime juice.  Anything is possible.


Tracy Foley
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Shopping Edgartown: Slate, Salte, Portobello Road

Shopping Edgartown: Slate, Salte, Portobello Road

On recent visit to the shop SLATE in Edgartown, Massachusetts I held up an all denim romper with ruffled sleeves to which my friend replied "it's totally you because it's one-of-a-kind".  I loved that statement.

In my home furnishings and in my choice of clothing I'm consistent. When you look around your home does it actually reflect your personal style? I think the rooms in my home that I don't love always seem to be missing one special piece whether it's something worn, vintage or it has a personal story.

Okay, back to the shopping.  Slate had select pieces that could be worn to a casual event or something more buttoned up.  I know that I have not been spending money on clothing since Covid but I was unable to resist the one of a kind feel that was throughout their store. This shop has that throw on a vintage T with your gorgeous silk skirt vibe or don't.  Mix it the way you'd like. Not inexpensive but pieces that you would covet. They give back and they support local makers so what's not to love. Their sister store Salte is just around the corner. It's more home and gift but has that same uncluttered "we like to surf" style.  

Portobello Road is another unique shopping experience with more "found" pieces. It's located in a long narrow space that is filled with art, books, concrete whippets and lots of other goodies mixed beside and underneath.  The art is low to high, known and unknown and it's scattered from the floor to the rafters.  The pieces that give your home warmth, you will find here and not in a curated fancy way. Dig a bit and you'll find something interesting.

Of course there are lots of places to shop in Edgartown but if you're just visiting for the day put these three on the list.

Slate No. 11 North Summer Street

Salte 6 South Water Street

Portobello Road Dock Street



Tracy Foley
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Fisherman Still Fishing

Fisherman Still Fishing

Memorial day is on the horizon, Covid is still looming and family traditions are going to be modified. Whether it's your family reunion, clambake or BBQ we are all reshaping how we can still enjoy our summer rituals.

In many coastal communities clambakes and lobster bakes signify the start of the summer. Although we might not be celebrating in the same ways we have in the past we can still enjoy fresh clams and striped bass if you know where to look.

Fisherman are still fishing. We want to support local restaurants as well as the fisherman in our local communities and one way to do that is to continue to enjoy your local seafood. You can start with your local Fishermans Association or Chamber of Commerce to find out what programs they are offering to support local fisherman. 

Programs like Community Supported Fisheries follow a CSA model where you pay for the season and in return receive fish each week. Not all communities offer this kind of program but if they do it's a great way to structure your weekly meal plan knowing you will have local and fresh fish.

You can continue to support fisherman in many coastal communities by purchasing seafood fresh off the boat. Buy off the dock? What could be fresher than this. Again, check your local Fisherman's Association to find out if your community has this program. How it works: you arrange to meet the captain at a marina or harbor near you and you can purchase the days catch fresh off the boat. Just caught striped bass, scallops, clams. No middle man. The fish and shellfish that is local to your area will likely be readily available.  It's a win for the community because you are also supporting the fishing industry by buying direct.

The Local Catch is a great online resource that connects you with local fisheries around the country and provides you with an amazing list of resources in addition to keeping in mind core values, fair pricing, the ecosystem and supply chains.

The Cape Cod Fishermans Alliance connects you to local fisherman where you can buy off the dock at various harbors around the coast of Cape Cod in addition provides a "Stories from the Sea" podcast and videos to further educate people on the life and passion of fisherman.

Other resources to keep in mind are to check Buy Fresh Local Seafood Facebook groups, checking listings to find out what seafood markets are open in your area and connecting with local farmers markets which will be re-opening.





Tracy Foley
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How tall am I now?

How tall am I now?

When we purchased our house about 14 years ago we went from one antique home to another.  

Our home was built in 1906 and was a guest house on this farm property.  When we moved in our neighbors were happy to share the history of our home. Fun fact: Walt Disney, Jane Mansfield and Betty Davis all stayed in our home.  The early owner of Holiday Farm (the main house ) had strong friendships with his Hollywood friends and when they would visit him they would stay in our home - the guest house.  Back then it was a standard Cape style home. When you entered the front door you would immediately see the good morning staircase.  The first floor was a basic four room lay out, like a square and at the top of the stairs there was one room to the left and one to the right.

As antique homes go, there were renovations that happened previous to us moving in; a sunroom and a kitchen addition. We also moved forward with more renovations as our family grew. We added bedrooms, a real garage and of course kitchen and bath reno’s. Because we are “old house people”  the integrity of preserving the past was always important to us but having an updated kitchen was also important and realistic.

Deciding what to keep, paint over and update was pretty easy. The kitchen island, bathroom cabinets and that weird laundry closet built into the staircase space needed to go.  The charming antique bedroom doors, vintage hardware and height chart drawn on the inside of the dining room door frame had to stay.

Wait . .. what?  The height chart that wasn’t even related to anyone in our house was staying?  Yep.  

The dining room walls, paneling around the fireplace and all the trim was getting a refresh. While painting the door the painter asked “should I just paint over this?”  I had to pause for a minute. Not our kids and not even people I knew but something didn’t feel right about painting over that history. Years of measuring and the excitement of walking up to the door and seeing that you’ve grown an inch over your brothers height from when he was 12?  The feeling of erasing that history didn’t seem appropriate. On top of that, this was a small piece of the home that no-one would ever see.  It was personal.

“No, don’t paint over it.” was my response.

This began our tradition of measuring our childrens' height on the dining room door. Not every year and not on a set date.  Just when we remember to do it.  The kids stand back against the door, we mark a line with a pencil, get out the measuring tape and the name and date goes on the door to join all the other names and dates. Some written over each other and some surprisingly holding their own space on the door. 

Our family history now joins the house that has been a home to many.

Tracy Foley
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Table Settings

Table Settings

We are quarantined (  #stayathome ) which has brought many stresses to our household. It has certainly forced a slow down and because of that we are having more family dinners for the six of us.  

Coming up with new meals is a challenge but it’s also an opportunity to be thankful.  Setting the table each night reminds me of a time my kids never knew.  A time when I was a child and we would have to set the table for dinner and show up when we heard “ DINNER” yelled throughout the house.  (That part might actually be the same.) 

I’m not a great cook but I am a good hostess, which means I can set a darn good table with themes, props and centerpieces. Back in the day, it was important to follow the rules of how a table should be set ie. the flatware should be placed to the left and right of the plate, the water glass placed just above the spoon and knife.  Those rules don’t apply if you are trying to create something special.

My non rule-rules to follow:

Mix and match: There’s nothing I love more than mixing up my vintage blue willow plates with other blue and white patterns.  Using varied pieces of antique tumblers or cut glass so each place setting is also different.

Napkins are another category on their own.  They can be placed traditionally under the fork but could be on the plate or in a glass. Using tea towels or even swatches of fabric (washed) leaves endless possibilities for color and texture at your table.

Napkin rings are a fun touch.  Vintage napkin rings are not that difficult to find it you have the patience to scout the glass cabinets at antique shops.

Lastly the centerpiece could be the first thing people notice as they approach your table. Flowers are always amazing and make a table feel fresh and alive but it doesn't need to stop there. You could fill glass containers with candy or anything depending on your theme. Instead of one centerpiece use several but scattered.  Anything goes when it comes to the center of the table.

Lastly, use what you have!  I’ve done place settings with vintage Hardy boys books under each plate so that the dinner party can take a fun turn when everyone reveals what mystery book they have.  I’ve set the table and used house numbers placed at the center of each plate instead of place card settings.  I’ve also used different antique brass figurines placed at the top of each plate setting to add an interesting touch to each plate.

Whether it’s your kitchen table, your dining room table or a tray table, setting the space can be just as important as the meal.

“After all, the way a table is set contributes to the ambience of a meal as much as the food and wine” - Martha Stewart.   

Tracy Foley
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