Water Street Blog / americana

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. localcatch.org/how-to-buy-direct/

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. capecodfisherman.org

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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Vintage Fashion: Brimfield take-away's

Vintage Fashion: Brimfield take-away's

I've always loved vintage fashion and it's never been more on display than it was at the Brimfield Antique Show this September.

Every year that I exhibit and shop there seems to be a resounding theme. One year it was rocking horses, another year it was tobacco wraps, and this year it was vintage clothing.  If you're new to the vintage clothing game you might think "yikes! Moths and other peoples clothing." and yes, there's that.  On the other hand it's a time capsule of history.  A wool blazer with a perfectly matching wool skirt and large round glasses, very Jackie O. A mustard yellow dress that is part turtleneck and part plaid skirt but all one piece, very Brady Bunch but just as fantastic. Finding a vintage Valentino wool coat (as I did this summer) that completely translates into my current wardrobe or even a polyester jump suit from the 60" that may not translate but you can appreciate that it has survived this long is part of the fun.  

I love hats and appreciate that a milliner hand created this piece of fashion.  I luckily came across an estate clean out a few months ago where the owner of the home had been a manager at Filenes Department store from the 50's on.  It was like being in a time capsule with vintage clothing from Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Saks and brands with yellowed labels like Jean Barthet New York.  It was a fascinating walk through time but the hats were what drew me in.  All that work to create something so beautiful and my fear that they would get tossed led me to the purchase of six hats.

The vintage clothing market is vast but it's a fun place to get lost in.  If you're looking for some places to shop. Here are a couple of shops that are clean, well-curated and have lot's of great pieces. 

Bitsky Vintage & Upcycled Goods @bitskyvintageupcycle  She is out of Sturbridge, Mass. and has an incredible collection of vintage bags and hats as well as clothing.

Vintage in Vogue. This shop has two locations: Orleans and Provincetown, Mass. and has an incredible collection of truly authentic vintage goods.  She is an expert at curating pieces up through 1970. Stepping into this shop is a fun time-travel experience. Along with the clothing there is a large selection of vintage wedding dresses if you're in the market.

Tracy Foley
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Old and New: Mixing it up

Old and New: Mixing it up

Mixing the old with the new has always been my style but I also love to find new uses for old things.

My husband gave me this beautiful pine window frame from Danish Country Antiques, located on Charles Street in downtown Boston.  He gave this to me when we were dating so it was 25 years ago.  Back then I lived in Boston and was always in and out of local antique shops.

Fast forward to our home that many years later.  We inherited some finishes in our kitchen that I would possibly change but I do love the built-ins originally from Scandia Kitchens. To warm up the all white look I took the antique pine window, blew up a few black and white photos of our children and had them matted into the window.  It's one of my favorite pieces in this kitchen.  It fits the space at the desk perfectly.  

I find it's sometimes challenging to display family photos or a collection because it can look messy unless you know what you're doing.  I often hang very symmetrical collections of frames because it looks clean but this is a nice alternative if you have a window frame that is in good condition and is an unusual or larger size.

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 http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagfact.html

Tracy Foley
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