Window Shopping - March 2017
The Thrill of the Hunt, Part Two
Last month we covered thrift stores and seven tips to scoring big and many of those principles can be applied to the thrill of the hunt, part two - discount shopping.
As I see it, discount shopping can be broken down into two categories: used and new. By used, I'm referring to the second-hand/vintage clothing and consignment shops. And for new, we'll look at discount stores which are bigger, often chain stores that carry a variety of new clothing and home goods.
Shopping vintage and consignment shops is much more specialized than a standard thrift store. The items you'll find in this type of store are of higher quality and have been screened by the store purchaser prior to being stocked on the shelves.
Shopping vintage and consignment is a great way to find high-end labels at lower-end prices, with the latter often carrying last season and end of season clothing. The items might still have new tags, and you're more likely to find well-cared-for items that aren't ripped, worn-out, or t-shirts from a family reunion.
Again, this is not a gold mine every time you go. As with thrifting, it is hit or miss, but more often than not, I seem to find a big hit. The more often you go, the more you'll find, but don't expect too many once-in-a-lifetime finds. The staff working here is well versed in apparel and knows quality pieces and what's trending now and will price accordingly. That said, Prada sunglasses for $100 is a lot more palatable than $350+.
Locally we have a few great shops, including Identity Vintage in Bay St. Louis, for vintage pieces, Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet in New Orleans, Hertha's in Fairhope, and if you want to take a drive to my all-time favorite - Century 21 in Manhattan. And when you're there, don't forget the tailor and cobbler to make pieces fit great.
Vintage and Consignment Stores
But these, too, are hit and miss. If you ask, you might find someone who will advise of what day new stock arrives. It's typically one day a week with items going on the floor the next day. With this information in hand, it's always good to be the first to go through new inventory because sometimes there's only a few pieces/sizes of a particular item.
While you're asking questions, be sure and ask for common sale days or extra discount days. With Burkes, for example, they have both a senior's day (Monday Club) and a junior's day (Friday Club with junior being under 50). Just by getting a free Burkes card (discount, not credit) and showing up on your club day, you can get 15% off your entire purchase. It pays to ask!
The Burke's Outlet in Bay St. Louis just recently expanded from 10,000 to 21,000 square feet, so that's a big plus for local bargain hunters.
Keep in mind the items you find in discount stores typically fall into one of three categories: irregular, last season/overstock, or discount designer.
- The term really has a broad meaning, and don't let "defective" turn you off. You just need to be mindful that items might have a slight or not so slight variance. This could be that a stitch was off and it didn't pass inspection or one pant leg might be longer than the other. So, try everything on, and keep the tailor in the back of your mind.
- These items were manufactured with anticipated sales in mind, but didn’t sell as expected in higher end shops and department stores. These are great finds because they're sometimes the same piece that's being sold elsewhere at a fraction of the price. Alternatively, you might see a 'last season' sticker. This is even better because you know that there are no defects, and especially when it comes to workout clothes, you can score some big savings.
- Lastly, there are designers that are teaming up with more mainstream stores. Mossimo at Target is a prime example of a big designer label that is producing trendy clothes for high-end boutiques but also has a more mass-produced (and more cheaply made) line at Target, but, it's stylish and affordable. For a short time years ago, Benetton, one of my favorite brands, had a line at Sears, but unfortunately, that's over.
Whether it's new or used, old or fresh off the runway, have fun with discount shopping. You can find some great items, expand your wardrobe, and in the end, we should all feel good about our own personal expression and live an inspired life.
February 26th, 2017
DIY Drop Cloth Curtains
- story and photos by Holly Lemoine Raymond
Thank you for choosing to read my Beautiful Things column. I am thankful you are here.
This month I would like to show you how you can add an elegant, but inexpensive look to your home by using canvas drop cloths for curtains. They are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, they are washable, and so easy to transform from drop cloth to drapes!
This project was so easy and inexpensive that I made some for my gas station getaway in approximately five minutes without sewing.
What You'll Need
First you’ll need to determine how long/short you want your curtains to be. I always measure twice so I only cut once. I needed my curtains to be 7’ long by 4’ wide.
I washed my cloths without detergent and dried them to loosen the fabric a bit before working on it. I like the feel and “worn” look this process gave. If you are a little more of a perfectionist than I am, you can always iron the fabric after you wash and dry it to get all the wrinkles out.
Next I folded the fabric in half, lengthwise and made my cut as straight as I could. This gave me two curtains. I did not “hem” the edges. Again, I like the worn, rustic look these drop cloth curtains provide and, quite frankly, I don’t have the kind of time I would need to be a perfectionist.
To continue the rustic-industrial look, I used oil rubbed bronze drapery clip rings. I bought mine at Lowe’s for under $10 but you can get these almost anywhere, including Target, Amazon and WalMart… All the rings I have seen come in various colors and range from $6.99 to $15.99 depending on finish and/or number per set.
Space the clips evenly on your curtains and slide them on the curtain rod and you are ready to hang. Ta-da! That’s all there is to it! Now you’ve got an expensive look for an inexpensive price.
If you will be using piping as your curtain rod, hanging will be a little more complicated. You will need to put the clip rings on the piping before you affix the piping to the wall. But the look can’t be beat. Otherwise, this project was easy-peasy.
Note: If you want to spice up your curtains a bit, you can color them with RIT Fabric Dye. Just follow the directions and you will have the perfect accent for your windows.
Talk of the Town - February 2017
When Kids Are Kings
- story by Karen Fineran, photos by Ellis Anderson
Across the Bridge - February 2017
Not a Sign of the Times
I am drawn to the big red letters on the top of the Davis Avenue building in the Pass that say, simply, HOTEL. Not everyone agrees.
I wanted to go to the steak restaurant at the new Hotel Whiskey for my recent birthday and start a diet immediately afterwards. Nothing like a filet mignon with a crème Brule for dessert to put you on the path to slender.
“I love the sign,” I told my friends as we were leaving.
“Not everyone agrees,” one said.
“It doesn’t have to be that big,” said another.
I got the feeling I was coming in late on a lover’s quarrel.
People in pretty towns can get into a kerfuffle over the strangest things, from how far flower beds may overhang the sidewalk to house paint color. Santa Fe, for instance, only allows a few earth tone hues on all its buildings. There was once a lawsuit over a hundred-year-old restaurant, The Pink Adobe, that, painted bright pink, did not conform. It had always been pink. The restaurant won.
Across the Bridge
For me, in this age of insubstantial people and things, I find the Pass’ HOTEL sign refreshing, nostalgic. It harkens to the days when college football bowl games did not have long corporate sponsor names and pharmacies innocently blinked DRUGS.
I once lived in a humble and ugly apartment complex just offthe interstate in Jackson. It was called Pine Hills Apartments. There were no pines, or hills, just cheap boxy apartments thrown up on a concrete pad. But I suppose few would have rented them if the owners had called it Ugly Sprawl Near Interstate Village.
So I guess that’s also why I like the Hotel Whiskey’s approach. HOTEL. No brag, just fact. Written in red like Jesus’ words in the Bible. Easy to see. Not like a fast food joint in the rich part of town that has to disguise itself to be there.
“Park your nags, boys, we’re staying at this here Hotel Whiskey.”
Seaside towns have all gotten too prissy and pink for my tastes. Even the workaday Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle has gone boutique. What happened to boats in every yard, and dives? One can only buy so many souvenir golf visors. Beer, on the other hand….
I’m much more put off by pretty little wooden signs swinging from a post and decorated with a pelican than I am HOTEL in red. Something perverse in me, I guess.
The Pensacola of my youth may have influenced my taste in towns by the coast. I remember cinderblock homes near the bay, including my family’s, which was painted pink and convinced me we were rich. I can hear right now the cheap glass wind chimes hanging from my friend Margaret’s carport; they made a better sound than any of the expensive ones do now. There were eclectic neighborhoods that mixed demographics the way a blender mixes margaritas, with boats on trailers, or sometimes blocks, as de rigueur as the shell driveways.
I’ve always described the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the last remaining authentic seaside place left in the South. When I drive along Railroad Avenue I get the feeling I’m back in the 1950s, with snow ball stands and bars with funny names and tire stores and beauty shops. It’s as if the Panhandle of old and New Orleans had a love child and we’re living in it.
After Katrina there’s been the temptation to zone the seaside spontaneity out of communities. It’s good that condominiums were pretty much kept at bay, and historic properties intact, and I definitely believe in separating commercial and residential. But a little leeway for color and character comes with the territory, don’t you think?
Take my opinion with a grain of sea salt. Remember I’m the girl that starts her diet with a steak and a sweet, washed down with good wine.
At Home in the Bay - February 2017
Love at First Sight
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
Coast Lines - February 2017
Mardi Gras Miracles
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Vintage Vignette - February 2017
The Language of Flowers
There is a language, little known,
Lovers claim it as their own.
Its symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature’s wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For Love Divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers.
–The Language of Flowers, London, 1875
The language of flowers has been spoken for several centuries all over the world. While we may not be well-versed in it today, there was a time when most people spoke it fluently.
When the sender selected a bouquet, he or she would carefully select each flower based on its meaning. Several flowers could create an elaborate display of affection, but one wrong bud could send the recipient flailing into a pit of despair. Some even used it to schedule a secret rendezvous right under a watchful guardian's nose.
It quickly became the language of young lovers engaged in whirlwind Romeo and Juliet romances. In this era of etiquette, it was considered impolite to express emotions in public. One could not peacock themselves on Facebook and express their joy or disdain, so they expressed themselves with poetry, romantic literature, and flowers. Real flowers - not to be confused with flower emojis. They actually gave each other flowers. Allow me to translate:
Besides reading into the meaning of each flower, there was a whole set of etiquette that applied to the hand off. Handing over a bouquet with the right hand would denote a "yes" response, while handing it over with the left hand would mean "no".
For example, if a lady received a bouquet, plucked a bloom and handed it to the gentleman with the right hand, she was accepting his token of affection. Handing the bloom over with the left would mean rejection.
Remember, the Victorian period was exceptionally rigid when it came to social graces. To reject someone in a subtle manner such as this was the polite thing to do. A form of this is still employed today: "swipe right" when you like someone and "swipe left" to make them go away on dating apps like Tinder. Some things never go out of fashion... Subtle rejection is one of them.
I do caution people to not look into it too much, but it was a fun pastime in the old days to receive a tussie-mussie and scurry to your flower dictionary to interpret a meaning that may (or may not) lie within the blooms. Can you just imagine some poor gent handing over a freshly-plucked hydrangea (heartlessness) to his fair lady? Oh, the humanity!
Below you will find MY TAKE of a few favorite flowers that are readily available this Valentine's season and their meanings. For a more comprehensive (and true) guide, check out the Old Farmer's Almanac.
Roses (gas station variety)- "I bought you this rose and a pack of Camels too!"
or "I bought you this rose so I could use the glass tube it came in for a chemistry experiment."
Roses (grocery store)- "I forgot the milk, but grabbed these tie-dyed roses on my way out in an effort to appease you."
Roses (florist)- "I thought about you in advance and wanted you to know how much I love you."
On the Shoofly - February 2017
Write for Mississippi
- by LB Kovac
“The world is very different now.” So said John F. Kennedy in his famous inaugural address, given nearly 56 years ago to the millions huddled on the National Mall. Though in context his speech refers to the transformation the country had undergone since its founding in 1776, Kennedy’s words ring true today in 2017.
During a recent visit to her childhood high school, Katy Simpson Smith was feeling this “difference.” Smith said she assumed “[she] wasn’t able to do anything” about many of the transformations happening within her community and state.
But the demeanors of the students within the high school ultimately shifted her attitude. “I was so inspired by the kids,” she said. “They had so much of a sense that they could change things.”
On the Shoofly
And so it makes sense that, from her initial inspiration in that high school classroom, Smith would develop a way to demonstrate to students the power of their words.
Smith’s questions are questions that writers from every generation of American history have considered. One example is Maya Angelou, author of the poem, “Still I Rise.” Published in 1978, the poem speaks to the era’s restrictions imposed on the civil liberties of African Americans.
By the simple act of writing the poem, Angelou brought to light a pressing problem in her own community.
Smith hopes that students will be inspired by the works of writers like Angelou, Danez Smith, Langston Hughes, and others. By getting students to engage with issues personal to them and asking them to think about possible solutions, Smith says it will “provoke students into thinking of themselves as agents of change.” From there, who knows what will happen?
This bill, which Governor Phil Bryant signed into law, would make it legal for organizations, businesses, and private citizens to discriminate against patrons or employees based on their perceived sex or their sexual orientation.
The response to Smith’s latest project, Write For Mississippi so far has been heartening. More than 40 writers have volunteered their time and skills to lead the project’s proposed 50-minute classroom workshops. Teachers and educators in 22 of Mississippi’s counties have responded with requests for these visiting writer’s workshops. And a GoFundMe page set up to cover costs reached more than 85% of its goal in less than 18 days (click on the link to donate to the project).
But Smith isn’t satisfied with those numbers. She’d like to have all 82 counties in Mississippi represented in the project.
Area teachers interested in participating in “What Can We Do For Our Country?” can contact Smith through the Write for Mississippi website. Smith will pair each classroom with a writer and plan the workshop sometime between the beginning of February and the end of April, schedules permitting.
And educators unable to accommodate writers can lead their own workshops with the classroom materials and sample lesson plan provided on the Write for Mississippi website.
This way, other students across the state will feel empowered to address issues in their own communities. And, among the voices of the next generation of Mississippi writers, there might be another Kennedy, Smith, or Angelou.
Beach to Bayou - February 2017
Snowbirds Find Warm Welcome
- story by Lisa Monti
On an unseasonably warm January afternoon, a gaggle of large Canada geese waddled around the open grounds at Hollywood Casino, just off the main entrance road leading to the resort.
It’s impossible to know if the geese were locals or if they were part of the seasonal north-to-south migration. They did serve as a reminder that snowbird season is here, that time when rental homes, RV parks and campgrounds fill with travelers from the North and Midwest who head South to escape the misery of freezing weather in the dead of their winter.
At the casino’s The Bridges golf course, not far from the field of geese, the staff was gearing up to host a wave of guests who return every year to South Mississippi’s warm and welcoming communities.
Beach to Bayou
They soon will be joining local golfers on the award-winning course designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer.
“We still have locals who play but this time of year is our busy season when we get the bulk of our play,” he said. Upwards of 30 percent of the annual rounds are played during snowbird season. “Maybe a little bit more,” he said.
Many of the snowbirds faithfully make the annual trek because they know they can count on the weather and other coastal amenities like fresh seafood. Golfing is a huge draw for them and the Bridges is a favorite for many. “We’ve got them coming from Chicago, St. Louis, some from Canada, and all around the Midwest,” he said.
Not surprisingly, our warm climate is a big attraction for the visitors from up north. “They’re just escaping the cold. We average about 59 or 60 degrees this time of year. It’s a good change for them,” he said.
And it’s not unusual for campers to start arriving in December and stay for up to three months. “We have a good bit of people staying over a month,” she said.
The park earns high marks from those who visit and the feedback is positive. Considering its many amenities and beachfront location, snowbirds return year after year.
Water is also among the selling points for the Bridges. Baumgartner said his pitch to potential players are “scenic views of the Bay, no homes on the course and target-oriented golf.” Even with recent heavy rain and freezing temperatures here, he said, “The course is in great shape right now.”
Day Tripping - February 2017
Marching to a Different Drummer
- story by Karen Fineran
Puppy Dog Tales - February 2017
What a Ride!
- by Christiana Richardson, PhD
This is the face of a dog of many accomplishments. The first was in just staying alive. In February of 2002 Daisy was born into Shetland Sheepdog royalty. Her grandfather Jade Mist Beyond Tradition was one of the top winning Shetlands of all time. Her father Jet Stream Cove Wave was a grand champion.
A breeder in Stafford County Virginia owned Daisy’s mother. Daisy was destined to be a show dog but there was a glitch in the plan. Ms. Daisy did not like being a kennel dog and was miserable. When she was nine months old she was sold to a family to be a pet. These folks were busy and kept her in a crate in the garage. After three months they turned her in to the Stafford County Animal Shelter.
Puppy Dog Tales
Together we wrote about and talked about issues that matter – not just to animal people but to everyone. Taking care of and loving and being loved is a gift not to be taken lightly. We are who we are because of the love in our lives. Make room for love and love in return.
This morning my constant companion of 15 years died in my arms. I will love her forever. I hope that you have had and will have the gift of unconditional love. I will cry with my friends and I know how lucky I have been. As Daisy said – dear gentle readers keep your tail high and your feet dry!
Puppy Dog Tales will go on – Daisy’s brother Robbie will be writing. I expect a rougher edge as he is a dominate male. Here is a photo of him last year with Daisy in her Micky Evans bustier. Mikey is not one who dresses up. Too frivolous!
I just happened to be there getting cat food and this dog walked over to me. She was up for adoption and it took about 20 minutes until she was mine. Two days after joining our family she got very agitated, tugging at me and whining. Shortly thereafter I had a seizure. She had alerted me. After doing this twice more my doctor said she had the gift and she became my registered seizure alert dog.
From this day forward she has been my constant companion and a game changer in my life. I was a management consultant and Daisy went with me. We stayed in hotels and ate in their restaurants. Daisy liked the tables with tablecloths to the floor and we wrote an article for the hotel magazine about that.
Soon we were writing for numerous papers on all things animal. Daisy got such a good reputation that I was asked to also do some writing. I became a journalist writing on many topics and Daisy and I have been on the masthead of three newspapers and a columnist for the Shoofly Magazine.
Second Saturday - February 2017
Second Saturday Artwalk - February 11th
- by Grace Birch, photos by Grace Birch and Martha Whitney Butler
Over the past twenty years, the monthly artwalk has become one of the most popular events in the region. Old Town stays lively all day, with many merchants and restaurants offering specials. The pace picks up from 4 – 8pm, when gallery openings and live music keep the streets humming with activity.
Make sure to visit Hot Spot businesses Cuz's Seafood Restaurant (108 S. Beach Blvd) and The French Potager (213 Main Street)!
Second Saturday column
Cuz's Seafood Restaurant
108 South Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis
Chances are a walk along Beach Boulevard in Bay St Louis, and a whiff of these will pull you in to Cuz’s Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill.
Cuz and Christy Barnes, who have operated Cuz’s since 2004, have recently moved their beloved boiled seafood restaurant to the center of the action along the Bay’s Beach Boulevard into the bottom floor of the French Settlement building.
The Barnes’ have also handed the keys over to their daughter Ramie, who is often at the front of the restaurant with a smile or hopping from table to table making sure customers are enjoying themselves.
“We love crawfish, we love fresh seafood and we have things to offer on the beach that no one else has,” Ramie Barnes said. “The food at Cuz’s is something different.”
Cuz’s has long been a mecca for locals, but now tourists are walking through the doors in droves. On a recent visit, an out-of-town couple was bellied up to the bar ordering hot boiled crawfish for the second day in a row.
“We see a lot of locals and a lot of return visitors, especially during the crawfish season,” Barnes said. “It’s always good to see people return time and time again.”
“We’ve always been known for fresh fried and boiled seafood,” Barnes said. “Now we are also offering lots of grilled items, which we’ve never offered before.”
“Our new smoked redfish and smoked tuna dip appetizers are very popular,” Barnes said. “We smoke the fish here are the restaurant.”
Cuz’s daiquiri machines are whirring year round — margaritas and bushwhackers often are the staples, but the bar is trying out new seasonal drinks, as well.
“Our eggnog daiquiri was such a hit, we decided to try a frozen King Cake daiquiri, which has several different types rum and Bailey’s Irish Cream,” Barnes said.
The purple drink comes in a hurricane glass rimmed with yellow, purple and green sugar and tastes just like a traditional King Cake.
Cuz’s also offers gourmet Pop Brother’s Popsicles for something sweet the whole family can enjoy.
Locals and tourists alike will enjoy Taco Tuesday, which features $3 shrimp or fish tacos and $3 margaritas.
Whether it’s a craving for boiled seafood, one of Cuz’s famous po-boys or you are looking to honor a healthy New Year’s resolution with something grilled, Cuz’s won’t disappoint. Just follow your nose down Beach Boulevard.
The French Potager
213 Main Street
Bay St. Louis
The first time I overheard this statement, I couldn’t believe my ears, but there’s a reason I’ve heard this several times now from several different potential brides.
When you see the floral arrangements and antiques at The French Potager on Main Street, you can’t believe your eyes.
Martha Whitney Butler grew up with a passion for flowers and antiques. French Potager was the name of her parents’ antiques business in Alabama, but Butler has made her Main Street business completely on her own.
“My parents’ hobby has turned into my livelihood,” Butler said.
The floral inspiration comes by Butler’s mother as well – every Sunday for years, she’s arranged the flowers for her church’s Sunday services.
“She would have the florist come over to the house every Christmas and decorate the house,” Butler said. “She also has an incredible rose garden.”
Butler grew up going to Europe on antique buying trips with her mother, mostly to France.
“My mom would drag me out at 6am in Paris to go to antique street markets,” Whitney said. “We would just bring a couple of outfits or old clothes that we would wear and throw away so we’d have plenty of room in our suitcases.”
Her childhood weekends were spent going to antique auctions where she would bid on things as a young child. Butler ran her first antique booth at 16 years old, which means she’s been an antique dealer half of her life.
Butler has nine vendors in her shop, with treasures from all over, which means new items are coming through the door every day.
On her recent Mexican honeymoon, Butler brought back lots of items that evoked the spirit of Frida Kahlo. She has a few big trips to Europe on the horizon to Europe where she’ll be attending floral workshops and looking for finds to bring back to the Bay.
There are no coolers or freezers at The French Potager, which means all the blooms are out for all to admire and smell, and the flowers are fresh.
The French Potager does a “Blooms for Business” service where they deliver fresh flowers to local businesses every Thursday. She also makes unique arrangements, like roses tucked in beautiful gift boxes, for special occasions - like this month’s Valentine’s Day.
Planning a romantic dinner in town? The French Potager can deliver flowers to the restaurant to make the table setting extra special.
“In addition to our antiques, accessories and home goods, we are a full-service florist,” Butler said. “The best part about being a florist is that we are a part of everything in people’s life — when they are born, when they get married, when they die - we are there. It’s a very fulfilling career.”
Bay Reads - February 2017
The Making of a Book
Everything about books interests me and few details of a book’s publication escape my notice. In addition to reading the contents, I usually “read” the covers and publication data. It is in the publishing that the artist yields to the business side of bookmaking: editing, printing, protection laws, marketing, and product distribution.
Hardcover books have a paper cover called a “dust jacket” with imagery usually created to capture the essence of the book. Hardback cover designs are usually recreated on the paperback cover, but that is not a hard and fast rule. The publisher’s name is generally printed on the book’s spine below the title and author. Some covers are so beautiful that I am compelled to pick up the book which frequently leads to a purchase.
Writers apply for a copyright to ensure that their work is protected from theft or unlawful use. The U.S. Copyright Office requires a written application, a filing fee, and a copy of the book. The copyright, once issued, endures for 70 years after the author’s death. After that date, the book becomes part of the public domain. Since the works of Shakespeare and Jane Austen are in the public domain now, we are free to quote them without paying money to their estate. Visual arts, performing arts, and digital content are also eligible for copyright protection.
My current favorite book, “Upstream” by Mary Oliver, published by Penguin Press, has a noteworthy motto on the copyright page:
Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.
Books may be registered with the Library of Congress, but registration is only necessary if the book will appear in libraries. Many self-published books aren’t registered. The U.S. Copyright Office is housed within the Library of Congress building in Washington, D.C, so all copyright records are stored there.
As I mentioned in a previous column I joined the First Editions Club of Parnassus Books in Nashville. They send me a signed first edition of their choosing each month. Some books have “First Edition” printed on the copyright page, but that’s not true of all first editions. The printing numbers on the bottom of the page are more reliable indicators of edition number. Some numbers are in order 1-10, but frequently there is a nonsensical arrangement of numbers.That really doesn’t matter because you only need look at the lowest number to determine the print edition of your book.
In the front of my book, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, the printing numbers read like this: 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. I knew that I had a true first edition because of the number 1. Another first edition in my collection, “My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout, had the numbers arrayed this way: 2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3 1. A friend recently gave me a copy of “Paris to the Moon” by Adam Gopnik which was first published in 2000. I know it was a popular book because the printing numbers were 34 36 38 39 37 35, which meant that I had the 34th edition of the book.
Acknowledgements may come at the beginning or end of the book and provide a place for the author to thank people who were helpful with the book. They may include family, friends, agents, and/or professional colleagues.
The end of the book may contain a glossary, bibliography, index, and/or appendix, but these are usually found only in nonfiction books. An item that often appears in the back of the book is ‘A Note About Type’ which explains the typeface and can be pretentious as in the following from “Paris to the Moon”:
The book was set in Fairfield, the first typeface from the hand of the distinguished
American artist and engraver Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978). In its structure Fairfield
displays the sober and sane qualities of the master craftsman whose talent has long
been dedicated to clarity. It is this trait that accounts for the trim grace and vigor,
the spirited design and sensitive balance, of this original typeface.
My interest in publishing started years ago when I read a biography of Max Perkins, iconic editor at Scribner’s, who edited books by some of the greatest writers of the 20th century including Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This wonderful book, "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius," written by A. Scott Berg in 1978, was made into a movie in 2016 starring Colin Firth and Jude Law.
Because I loved Perkins’ story so much, I became interested in the publishers of books I read. I understand that publishing books is a business, but the process of transferring words on paper to the books on bookstore shelves is interesting to me. I’m don’t aspire to publish, but I admire the writers who have navigated the process.
• Hatchette Book Group - Little, Brown, and Company; Orbit
• Harper Collins - William Morrow; Avon Books; Broadside Books; Ecco Books; It Books; Newmarket Press
• McMillan Publishers - Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Henry Holt and Company; Picador; St. Martin’s Press,
• Penguin Random House has nearly 250 imprints and publishing houses. Some of the most well-known are: Random House Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Crown Publishing Group; Penguin Group U.S.; Dorling Kindersley (DK)
• Simon & Schuster - Scribner; Touchstone; Atheneuum
In addition to the big publishing houses, there are small presses that publish writers who may not otherwise get accepted by the larger houses. Many small presses, like Milkweed Editions and McSweeney’s, are nonprofit organizations that publish new and emerging writers. Coffee House Press, another nonprofit press, has published more that 300 books, with over 250 still in print. Coffee House is a favorite of mine because they have the most interesting and artful book covers. Without small presses, talented writers would not receive the opportunity for discovery.
More than 300,000 books were published in the United States in 2013, the last year I could find statistics. The information was provided by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which monitors the number and type of books published per country each year as “an important index of standard of living and education, and of a country’s self-awareness.”
Many more books are self-published, but those are not often found in bookstores or libraries. According to the Association of American Publishers, almost $28 billion in revenues were generated by the sales of books in all formats. Unit sales of print books rose 3.3% in 2016 over the previous year, so the book is far from extinct. According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 80% of print sales in the U.S, total print unit sales reached $674 million, marking the third straight year of growth.
We read books for many reasons. Whether we read to learn more about the world and our place in it or simply for entertainment, understanding what goes into the making of the book adds to the experience.
Good Neighbor - February 2017
- story by Pat Saik
Window Shopping - February 2017
The Thrill of the Hunt - Part 1
- story by Greg Matusoff
The old phrase, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" couldn't be more apt and over the last few years, I have made a game of budget shopping.
Once the basics are covered, many of us only have a finite amount of disposable income. And it seems that as time goes on, I get more interests, hobbies, and projects all vying for that piece of the pie, so we have to be smart about how we spend our budget for clothing.
When I was younger and rent was cheap, my bills were trivial. I was bartending and had a lot of expendable money, and didn't understand the value of a dollar. I saw a pair of boots that I really liked for $1,200, I didn't give it a second thought. I liked them, had the money, so I bought them.
I still love to shop for clothes, and I always have, but now I do it a bit differently - I live for the hunt of sales and bargains. I love the idea of getting more for less, and ultimately spending less leaves more for other interests.
Please don't misunderstand me, clothes shopping is not my first priority. But I have always been a bit of a clothes horse and a label snob. I am a sucker when it comes to certain labels and I always will be. But while living in New York, thrifting opened my eyes to a whole new way of shopping.
Unfortunately resale shops sometimes get a bad rap. Some people are uncomfortable with purchasing used clothes or even walking in the door - other than to donate. But trust me, you'll see all kinds of folks at the thrift store and will likely bump into a few of your friends there, too.
After some great scores (think $17 Gucci hi-tops, a vintage Oleg Cassini pin stripe suit for $25, and Ralph Lauren Purple Label wool trench coat for $34), I've found some tried and true methods for setting yourself up for a great day thrifting.
If you're ready to take the plunge, follow these seven steps to become a thrifting aficionado.
So don't just think of thrift stores when it comes to Halloween. You might be surprised to find them a new staple in your fashion toolbox. By following these simple steps you can increase your wardrobe for a fraction of the cost get some incredible finds in the process.
And in the end, we should all feel good about our own personal expression and live an inspired life.
Sponsor Spotlight - February 2017
Gerald Rigby, CPA
- story by Ellis Anderson
Mind, Body, Spirit - February 2017
Boosting Your Immune System
- by Christina Richardson, PhD
Coast Cuisine - February 2017
Loving Up on Chocolate
- story by Lisa Monti, photography by Julie Ragusa
Thank heaven for the sweet celebration of Valentine’s Day in the heart of February, a month that tends to be damp and cloudy. And a special thanks for all manner of chocolate, by far the most preferred treat to share and savor on Feb. 14.
Not that enjoying chocolate is confined to this month. There actually are three official National Chocolate Days on the calendar of candy holidays: July 7, Oct. 28 and Dec. 28.
Chocolate fills our King cakes during the Carnival season, flavors the snowballs of summer and puts the divine in divinity fudge.
Not only is chocolate a comforting treat, the dark version has health benefits. And the taste, the melt-in-your-mouth texture is lagniappe. There’s plenty to love about chocolate.
“It’s addictive, like coffee,” said Julie Ragusa, executive chef at Mockingbird Cafe. “You’ve got to have it.”
For several years, the professional chef lived in Belgium, home of Godiva chocolates, where “there’s a chocolate shop on every corner.”
Now, she’s about to branch out into truffle-making as a side enterprise. The truffles come in two rich parts: a chocolate ganache center and a coating of high quality chocolate that gives it a crunchy shell. Then the truffle is topped with nuts, coconut or sea salt, taking it to another eye-rolling level.
For Valentine’s Day, the Mockingbird will have red velvet cake, heart-shaped King cakes and a double chocolate cake topped with chocolate truffles. Chef Ragusa personally will be making and selling handmade chocolate truffles in an assortment of flavors for purchase through her Facebook page or via Mockingbird Cafe. Look for prices and varieties to be posted soon.
Buttermilk Ganache (semi- sweet)
Cafe Olé (milk chocolate)
Darkest Hour (60% dark)
Black and White (white chocolate ganache with 60% dark shell)
Shared History - February 2017
The Spectacular Mardi Gras Mind of Carter Church
- by Rebecca Orfila, photos by Ellis Anderson
A sapphire blue gown is the first regal ensemble you see as you walk into the Mardi Gras Museum housed in the Bay St. Louis Historic Depot. The ball gown is a satin creation decorated with crystal jewels worn by the Captain of the Nereids Krewe when she led the “La Cirque” themed celebration at the 2015 Ball. The majestic gown was designed and created by Carter Church of Bay St. Louis.
Mardi Gras celebrations are conducted all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With Krewe captains, kings and queens, pages and other members, the nature of the parades and balls become royal events.
The dresses are special creations, fitted to each individual participant. Both royals wear high collars - iced with sparkling silver decorations, crystals jewels, and flowing with white or dyed ostrich feathers. The high collars are a modern design, typical for contemporary queens and kings.
The Nereids Kings’ and attending dukes’ costumes are equally elaborate and consist of tunics, short capes, and knee-length breeches. The King’s crown is smaller than the Queen’s and is decorated with the special motif of the year - and white ostrich feathers.
The other costumes in the collection were also created by Carter Church. After a brief period of rest following Mardi Gras, Church begins to design ceremonial regalia for the next Carnival season. Krewes in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama reach out to him for their costuming needs.
In most cases, the theme for the next year is determined by a krewe; then, it becomes Church’s duty to create sparkling ceremonial clothing to illustrate the chosen motif. Fanciful designs, such as an alligator and swamp scene on a queen’s gown or Aztec-themed costumes intertwined with satin snakes are typical of Church’s detailed designs.
Church’s original design drawings are situated in front of each display at the Mardi Gras Museum. His drawings are beautiful in their own right. His many years of experience have gained him noteworthy acclaim in the fashion industry.
Also included in the display is a Queen’s collar in the Medici style. The late 16th Century fashion consists of a rigid fan worn upright behind the head of a female wearer, not the large, towering form seen in modern queens’ regalia. The Medici style collar is decorated with crystals and silver decorations.
Costs for such finery can vary from nominal amounts to thousands of dollars. In the case of Kings and Queens of some krewes, the costumes will be worn the following year during the presentation ceremonies at the balls when the previous year’s royalty is presented to the new King and Queen.
The museum’s collection of elaborate costumes dotted with crystals and feathers give out-of-town visitors an up-close view of the Mardi Gras celebration. According to Duffy, approximately 800 to 1,000 people stop by the Depot each month. Each visitor is welcomed with his or her own set of Mardi Gras beads.
The Mission-style train depot is also home to the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau, headed by Myrna Green. The historic building was restored after Hurricane Katrina. The depot and the grounds surrounding it are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it is a Mississippi Landmark Property.
The museum is located at 1928 Depot Way in Bay St. Louis and is open every day of the year except Sundays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The second floor of the Depot is home to the nationally acclaimed folk artist Alice Moseley's museum.
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