Finding Vintage / american flag

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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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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Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue

I don't know when it happened that I fell in love with American flags but it happened. I obviously love navy blue and definitely love stripes so it's no surprise that I love to incorporate vintage flags in design.

More interesting is that the actual history of the American flag goes beyond how many stars are on it and which states were incorporated.  There are many flags from individual state flags, Navy flags, Indian flags and flags for specific regions of the country. We all know that Betsy Ross hand stitched an American flag in 1776 but did you know that in 1775 American ships in New England flew a flag called the Liberty Tree Flag which showed a green pine tree in the center of a white background? I saw one for the first time last summer at an antique show and had never seen one before.

As states were incorporated the pattern of the stars would change and would not be as symmetrical as they are now with 50 states. For instance, a thirteen star flag would have five columns with a 3-2-3-2-3 patter of stars. 

I have a small collection of American flags that I find everywhere. I find many at estate sales that are perfectly folded in a triangle because a family member was in the service. Antique shows have them in abundance - cotton stitched vintage flags, newer nylon flags or cotton with a flag pattern printed on it (these are usually the smaller flags that everyone waves on the fourth of July.)

Although, Ralph Lauren has used Americana in their styling forever, you don't need a big budget to get the look.  Share your American flag designs with me on instagram (@waterandmain)

If you're interested in reading more facts on flags here is a great resource

Tracy Foley
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