Summer is winding down, and before you know it, everything will magically turn into pumpkins. At least it seems that way, doesn’t it?

You’ll see that our new fall and holiday décor has debuted on our website. And just for reference, National Pumpkin Spice Day is October 1, National Pumpkin Day is October 26, and National Pumpkin Pie Day is December 25, which, oddly, falls after the holiday that pumpkin pie is most closely associated with—Thanksgiving. To help you get a jump on all this, we present a palooza of pumpkin trivia, decorating tips, plus a recipe. Now, let’s give them pumpkin to talk about.

Pumpkin trivia

Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, and zucchini. They’re native to Central America and Mexico and have been grown in North America for 5,000 years. Native Americans used a system of growing pumpkins with maize and beans called the “Three Sisters” method.

Today, the pumpkin is associated with the month of October and Halloween. That’s probably because it was around Halloween that the Irish and Scottish immigrants to the United States began carving pumpkins and referring to them as “Jack-O-Lanterns.”

A few more points about pumpkins:

  • The heaviest pumpkin ever recorded was in October 2016, in Belgium, and it weighed in at more than a ton—a whopping 2,624 pounds.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds. It was made in 2010 at the New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio.
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are 90 percent water and contain vitamin A and potassium.
  • Most pumpkins are grown for processing, not ornamental sales.

 

Pumpkin decor

It’s no wonder that pumpkins are so perfect for autumn decor. Even in their simplest and most natural state, their bright orange color adds charm to any indoor or outdoor setting. We’ve put our spin on pumpkins, of course, and our gorgeous gourds are unlike any others, sporting unique patterns and a variety of embellishments. And best of all, they last from Indian Summer through Thanksgiving and beyond. We like a variety of sizes stacked up on tabletops, buffets, and entry tables. If your entry is protected, you can add them to your porch, too.

This year, you’ll find our perennially popular black and white pumpkins that feature checks, stripes, and harlequin diamonds. We’ve also added Verdigris and Spice Pumpkins with a touch of copper, surrounded with everlasting fall greenery, as well as Flower Market Pumpkins, decorated with our Flower Market enamelware patterns. Two more new additions are the ceramic Pumpkin Tureens, which would be perfect for serving an autumn batch of pumpkin soup or the dressing on Thanksgiving.

And that brings us to our final point: a recipe for Pumpkin Soup. This is a quick and easy recipe, which uses canned pumpkin, eliminating the timely tasks of cleaning and roasting a pumpkin. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp. butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. ground ginger

2 15-oz. cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 cups chicken stock (you can use vegetable broth if you want to make this vegetarian-style)

2 cups water

½ cup heavy cream

 

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the onions and stir constantly for one minute.
  4. Add ¼ cup of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the remaining stock, water, and pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
  6. Turn heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the stove off and use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternately, use a regular blender and puree the soup in two to three batches.
  8. Stir the heavy cream into the soup and serve immediately.

From Courtly Check® enamelware tea kettles to Thistle & Bee porcelain plates to our signature hand-painted ceramics, MacKenzie-Childs offers a wide variety of ways to dress up your table and kitchen with color and charm. To help you learn more about these many products, here’s a guide to the materials (ceramics, enamelware, and porcelain) and the methods used to produce our dinnerware and bakeware.

Ceramic (dinnerware, bakeware, accent pieces)

We are so proud of the Aurora Artisanal collection that includes our ceramics, furniture, and lighting that are handmade and hand decorated at our studios in Aurora, New York. We love how each piece has its own personality that reflects the hands of the talented artisans who created it.

Ceramics are truly the heart and soul of MacKenzie-Childs, dating back to the company’s founding in 1983. Our ceramics begin as blocks of red clay or liquid clay called slip. Pieces with flatter surfaces, such as dinner plates, are pressed into shape with a machine called a RAM Press. Due to ram size constraints, our largest dinner and serving pieces are hand-pressed directly into a mold. For upright silhouettes, the slip is poured into a plaster mold that draws the moisture out, allowing the slip to form a shell. The excess slip is emptied, and after sufficient drying time, the mold is removed to reveal the slip-cast silhouette.

From there, pieces are further dried for ease of handling. Once the clay has dried to a leather-hard stage, the silhouette is trimmed, finished, and further dried before moving to the kilns for the bisque fire. Once removed from the kiln, each piece is inspected for any defects before decorating. In-glaze surface decorations, like our Taylor designs, are applied using traditional majolica techniques. Once bisque fired, the piece is glazed, hand-painted, and returned to the kiln for the final glaze fire. On-glaze decoration, like our Courtly Check designs, are fired to bisque, glazed and fired, then hand-painted and fired again. Pieces that are embellished with hand-applied gold or platinum lustre, which is made from precious metals, receive an additional firing.

Our ceramics, except for those with lustre detailing, are safe for the microwave, oven, and dishwasher. Pieces with lustre embellishment should be hand-washed only, avoiding lemon- or citrus-scented detergents, to preserve the quality of the finish.

Because of the materials we use and the handmade nature of our process, you may expect to see naturally occurring characteristics such as pinholes and white spots, variations in brushstrokes and color unique to each decorator, and differences in texture across the Aurora Artisanal collection.

Enamelware (dinnerware, bakeware, accent pieces)

In 1995, we began making enamelware, using a time-honored and time-consuming process. Enamelware begins as sheets of heavy-gauge steel. Flatter items, such as plates, are stamped from the steel using a press. Upright items, including tea kettles, vases, and mugs, are formed when the steel is pressed and stretched against tooling while spinning on a lathe at a high rate of speed. Details such as handles on mugs and spouts on teapots are welded into place, completing those silhouettes.

After forming, each piece—referred to as blank ware—is acid-washed to remove any impurities that may have occurred during the forming process. The silhouette then receives a black ground -glaze coat and is fired. After firing, pieces are glazed to the appropriate background color (creamy white/green/black/lapis) and fired. Checks are hand-painted, or transfers are applied, and the piece is fired again. Finally, a clear glaze coat is applied, and the pieces are fired once again to ensure that all enamelware is completely food safe. Bronzed stainless-steel rims are added, and knobs and handles are assembled as the design dictates.

The high gloss of our enamelware comes from the glaze, which is made of frit (ground glass). When the piece is fired, the frit melts and fuses to the metal, creating a vitrified finish that is smooth, durable, and has long-lasting colorfastness.

Please take care with your enamelware—while the surface is strong, it’s not indestructible. Rough handling, banging or dropping a piece may cause the glazed glass surface to chip, and if this occurs, use should be discontinued. As with any enamel product, some scratching and dulling of the surface is likely to occur over time.

In general, you should hand-wash enamelware with a mild soap and dry immediately. Our cookware and bakeware, made from a heavier-gauge steel underbody, glazed twice, then hand-decorated with our signature designs, are oven-safe to 400 degrees but should never go into the microwave.

Porcelain (dinnerware, accent pieces)

While it’s common to think of porcelain as being strictly for special occasions, we want you to know that it’s strong enough to use every day. That’s because our porcelain, which includes our Pheasant Run and Thistle & Bee collections, is made from white clay that’s fired to a high temperature, making it nonporous and durable.

The process of making porcelain is like that of ceramic, although flatter items are made on a machine that spins and presses the clay into shape. Upright pieces are slip-cast from liquid clay using a mold very similar to the process we use in-house.

From there, the piece is dried, then glazed and fired. Transfers are hand-applied and fired. Then gold lustre is hand-applied and the piece is fired once more.

Porcelain with gold lustre embellishments should be hand-washed, avoiding lemon- or citrus-scented detergents, which can damage any lustre accents. Designs including precious-metal accents should not be microwaved or placed in the oven.

To sum this all up, we’re pleased to offer so many options whether you’re setting the table or whipping up memorable meal. We know you’ll find pieces that are both pretty and practical and that are sure to add delight to your kitchen.

Want to savor summer in a sweet way? Then make plans to observe National S’mores Day on August 10. The perfect way to celebrate would be with s’mores, of course, and glamping in your own backyard.

Glamping, by the way, is defined as glamorous camping and it’s all about transporting yourself into a setting of fabulous outdoor fun. And, honestly, with a bit of imagination, it really isn’t that hard to do.

Here are some tips:

Tent topper
Add a little luxe to that ordinary tent with a drop-cloth canopy that is supported with a couple of wooden poles or a frame that you make of PVC pipe. Then drape our Courtly Check Wallpaper Pennant Banner across it.

Thirst quenchers
Serve a special summer drink like sangria, mint iced tea or fruity or herbed lemonade in our Courtly Check Practical Pitcher and Tumblers.

Be enlightened
Build a campfire at dusk and be sure to follow these tips from Smokey Bear to keep you safe. You can build a traditional campfire or use a fire pit, like our one-of-a-kind Zanzibar Fire Pit.

Comfy & cozy
To keep moisture from wicking into the covering that you put on the ground, first cover your seating spot with a tarp or plastic tablecloth, topped with a blanket. Then add cushions like our Boheme Floor Cushions, which are ideal for on-the-go comfort.

S’mores with more
Finally, about those s’mores and National S’mores Day. Did you know that this tasty treat goes back nearly a century and was popularized by the Girl Scouts in the 1920s? Traditionally, they’re made by putting a toasted marshmallow between two graham crackers and a chocolate bar. Legend has it that they got their name when someone asked for another one (some more).

There are many variations to this recipe. You can layer fruit (sliced bananas or strawberries) on top of the chocolate bar before you add the toasted marshmallow. You can also make Grilled Banana Boats or Campfire Cones. Both recipes add miniature marshmallows and chocolate chips to either a whole banana sliced vertically or to an ice cream cone. Then you wrap the banana or the cone in foil and cook it on the campfire or grill. And if your campfire gets rained out, you can make s’mores indoors and broil the marshmallows in the oven to get them golden brown.

To celebrate National S’mores Day, grownups might like to try a cocktail that incorporates toasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. Here’s a recipe for a S’mores Martini. Cheers to summer and s’mores!

S’mores Martini

  • 1 ounce chocolate liqueur
  • 2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce crème de cacao
  • 2 ounces cream or half-and-half
  • Chocolate syrup
  • 2 whole graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 regular marshmallows, toasted

  1. Dip the rim of a martini glass into chocolate syrup, then into the crushed graham crackers.
  2. Pour liquid ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until mixed well.
  3. To dress up the glass, swirl chocolate syrup inside. Refrigerate the syrup first, so it clings to the glass better.
  4. Pour mix from shaker into glass. Garnish with toasted marshmallows.

 

If you haven’t already become a member of trulyMC, our customer loyalty and rewards program, now’s the perfect time. In fact, there’s probably no better time because we’re celebrating the program and its members during the month of August, which is also National Happiness Happens Month.

First, trulyMC members can enjoy double points on purchases all month long! Both new and existing members can use this benefit, earning you two points for every dollar spent as a member of our loyalty program.

From August 1 through 7, 2019, new members receive 100 bonus points for simply signing up, which you can do online or in our stores. After that, there will be a variety of special offers and incentives throughout the month that will surprise and delight you (and we’re sure that they’ll keep you happy, too).

Here’s how the program, which is free to join, works. One point is earned for every dollar spent on orders placed at mackenzie-childs.com; by phone through our customer service department; or in our retail stores in Aurora and New York City.

As you earn points, you move up through five tiers of membership. You can also accumulate points by signing up for email updates (5 points), connecting with us on social media (5 points each for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube), posting hashtagged photos on Instagram (5 points each with a maximum of one per month—sign in and visit your loyalty dashboard for details), and referring a friend (25 points for each friend who signs up and makes a purchase).

Every level of membership offers 10% off your first purchase, entry in a monthly gift card drawing, and a 10% discount for your birthday. Here’s another special benefit for August only: We usually give away one $250 gift card per month in a drawing that all members are entered in, but this month, we’ll be drawing five additional winners, increasing your odds of being one of the lucky recipients of a little extra to spend on your MacKenzie-Childs favorites.

As you move up in levels, the benefits increase and include free standard shipping on orders of qualifying amounts. The highest three levels—chartreuse, gold, and black—also receive an annual gift and early access to special shopping events. Gold- and black-tier members earn access to a special customer service concierge. Get to the black level, the highest level, and you’ll always have free standard shipping, plus a coupon for one-time free freight delivery in each qualifying year at that level.

Have more questions? Check out our trulyMC FAQ. Then, join trulyMC. We guarantee that your happiness will extend long past August.

 

As you’re basking in all that is summer, we’d like to offer you a preview of our fall and holiday 2019 collections. We’re excited about our new products that celebrate all the warmth that the harvest and holiday seasons hold, and we know you will be, too.

These collections will launch Aug. 19 on our website. Sign up for email below to be notified as soon as they’re available to shop. You’ll also enjoy all the other benefits of being on our email list, including being the first to know about special offers and sales; the latest updates from our blog; event announcements, online and in-stores; and products picked just for you.

Get on the list!
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Here’s a sneak peek:

Harvest and Halloween
The rich golden tones of autumn are found in our Harvest and Halloween collections, which include embellished pillows and kitchen linens, topiaries, wreaths, and other accents. For Halloween, we’re casting a spell with a magical potion of color and charm. In addition to gorgeous gourds that feature our Flower Market dinnerware patterns, we’ve added more tabletop textiles embellished with sparkling beads and serving pieces that include hand-painted pumpkin tureens. Meanwhile, Patience Brewster by MacKenzie Childs spins a web of whimsy and wonder with handmade and hand-painted ornaments, candleholders, and a spectacular Witch’s Shoe Footed Bowl that’s perfect for holding treats for your little ghosts and goblins.

Set the mood for fall gatherings right through Thanksgiving with our Verdigris and Spice groups. Rendered in patinaed green and orange with flecks of copper, these collections include a wreath, topiary, and assorted pumpkins, all embellished with everlasting autumn accents and topped with Courtly Check ribbons. Lending an instant focal point to the seasonal table are complementary centerpieces, candle stands, and a turkey that struts with style. We’ve also added more assorted everlasting autumn stems that mix our Courtly Check patterns with lifelike replicas of hydrangeas, oak leaves, tiger lilies, and ranunculus, making it easy to add a touch of autumn to our classic ceramic vases.

Holiday
Our large holiday collection is presented in three main stories: Deck the Halls (traditional red and green), Snowfall (silver and winter white), and Home Sweet Snow (a nostalgic take on the season done in pretty pastels). Within each theme, there are ornaments, embellished pillows and stockings, decorated wreaths, and other accents. There are also updates to the Moonbeam collection of handmade and hand-painted reindeer figures and ornaments from Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs. Finally, for all those holiday celebrations, check out Top Hat Snowman, a seasonal table grouping that includes ceramicware and linens, and be sure to climb aboard our colorful ceramic Christmas Train Set. It has five serving pieces that link together to form a train with the engine serving as the ideal way to hold hot chocolate after a round of caroling.

Furniture
Two new furniture groups play upon shadow and light. Giulietta, which includes upholstered furniture, pillows, and throws, evokes the romance of old-world Italy with light wood frames accented with muted terra cotta tones. Two showstopping furniture pieces in this collection are the Giulietta Bonnet Chair, which has an exquisite carved open frame that extends over an upholstered chair, and the Botanical Bench, a cushioned storage seat that’s embellished with hand-painting and hand-applied floral paper. Like the Bonnet Chair, it also has ceramic birds, made in Aurora, New York, perched on top.

Moonlight Garden, meanwhile, is inspired by the serenity and rich textures of the deep woods and conjures images of stepping through a forested fantasy. The group includes upholstered furniture pieces, including an intimate settee, ottoman, and wing chair, featuring a sumptuous velvety floral print paired with solid shades of mossy green and rich violet. Completing the group are pillows, throws, and a footstool that looks like it could have been made by woodland fairies. Covered in dimensional flowers and leaves, it’s accented with oversized pom-pom fringe.

Enamelware
Our newest story in enamelware is Highbanks, a collection of dinnerware and servingware that can be on your table right after Thanksgiving through March. It mixes blue and red tartan with winter-inspired botanicals along with snowy scenes of our historic Farmhouse in Aurora. Highbanks is complemented by our new Snowfall glassware, which features hand-applied transfers of snowflakes and hand-painted stems and bases.

We’ve also added more pieces to our Royal Check group. Hand-painted in a range of blue hues, Royal Check is the true-blue version of our popular Courtly Check. Look for new stove staples, including the 7-quart Royal Check Stockpot, the 3-quart Royal Check Casserole, and assorted saucepans, plus bakeware. There are also serving pieces, including the Royal Check Pedestal Platter, the Royal Check Baguette Dish, and the Royal Check Tureen. And don’t forget to make your countertops and pantry more fun and functional with storage canisters, including our latest sizes of clear canisters: Big, Bigger, and Biggest, which are also available in Courtly Check.

Glow Home Apothecary
Glow Home Apothecary is designed to deepen the personal relationship between nature and the beauty of home. Each product—a range of soaps, lotions, scented candles and tassels, and potpourri—invites you to explore a sophisticated palette of fragrances that will infuse your home and enhance the way you live. The first fragrance—Winter Bouquet—is a blend of scents of a forest in bloom, including fresh-cut fir trees melding with spicy cloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you’ve made plans to attend our upcoming 2019 MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale. Scheduled Thursday through Sunday, July 18–21, 2019, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s our biggest annual event and features discounts up to 80 percent on our furniture, ceramics, decor, and more. The sale is held on our beautiful 65-acre campus in Aurora, New York, which is in the Finger Lakes region and about halfway between Syracuse and Rochester.

We want you to have a great experience, so we’ve created this primer to help you successfully navigate the sale. Also, check out our MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale Information Page for additional information.

Before the sale

  • Camping is allowed on the MacKenzie-Childs grounds beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday, July 17, 2019, only. No open flames are permitted, and those camping are required to move their personal items to their vehicles by 5 a.m. Thursday, July 18, 2019.
  • It is often hot and humid at the sale, with little or no shade, so please leave infants and small children at home. Also, do not bring pets. Only service animals are permitted.
  • Come dressed for shopping success. Dress comfortably, but have fun with our 2019 MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale Style themes, too! Wear shoes that provide support, and bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, bug spray, and an umbrella. A light jacket or a rain poncho are good ideas, too.
  • Come prepared with the details that can help you make decisions about what to buy. Take photos of what you want to match at home or bring a fabric swatch or paint chip. It’s also a good idea to have a measuring tape and the dimensions of the space you’re trying to buy for if you’re shopping for furniture.
  • A pocket calculator and a notepad can help you keep track of items and totals before you get to the register.
  • We have shopping carts on site, but they can become limited at times, so it’s smart to bring your own portable cart. We also provide large paper shopping bags, but heavier items, including enamelware, are better accommodated with sturdier cloth bags.
  • Forms of payment accepted are cash and credit cards. For more details on payment methods, visit our MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale Information Page.
  • Bring a friend. The Barn Sale is more fun when you can share it with your best buddy. It also helps to have someone to bounce ideas off or to save your space in line when you run to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat.

During the sale

  • After you park, take a photo of the sign that will designate your parking area, so you’ll remember your spot.
  • Plan to have a good time! We’ll have 11 food trucks and beverage vendors here to keep you well-fed and hydrated.
  • We host more than 20,000 people over the four-day sale, so there is usually a line for entry. To keep your wait pleasant, we’ll have staffers with roaming frames that will snap your photo so you can post selfies on social media. We’ll also have a new selfie wall located near the sale entry.
  • Free Wi-Fi will be available on site starting Wednesday, July 17. Details on connecting will be available when you arrive.
  • Look for a large map near the Enamel Barn that shows where categories of items are located within the sale tents. Maps are included on the sale brochures that will be available on site.
  • Check out the preview of the new fall and holiday products, which will be displayed on a banner that will wrap around our Farmhouse fence.
  • Looking for on-the-spot info? Visit our new Information Tent, located near the entrance of the sale. We’ll do our best to answer your questions and help you find just what you’re looking for.
  • Shipping is available at the sale, and there are designated registers at checkout if you wish to ship. If you would prefer to transport larger items, including furniture, there will be staff on site to assist you in loading.

After the sale

  • Shipping times will vary. Smaller items sent via UPS Ground may be shipped the next day but no later than later than two weeks following the sale. Furniture or other large items requiring freight delivery will be shipped in the two weeks following the sale.
  • Have more questions? You can contact our customer service department at customerservice@mackenzie-childs.com or 1-888-665-1999.
  • If this is a road trip, consider stopping at local attractions as you head home. Visit tourcayuga.com for more options.
  • Most importantly, have a safe journey home. We can’t wait to see you in 2020!

 

 

 

 

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to make the most of every warm and sunny weekend between now and Labor Day. One of the best ways to celebrate is a backyard barbecue that brings together family and friends.

Here are our seven suggestions for pulling off this summer celebration:

  1. Make plans that allow you to prep as much as you can before the event. Enlist the help of others and make the menu potluck, along with a grilling station for hamburgers and hot dogs. You’ll have a greater variety of foods to serve, and you’ll be able to enjoy your guests on event day if you’re not doing everything by yourself.
  2. Make some of the food kid friendly. Even the pickiest of little eaters will eat hot dogs. Present them as race cars by attaching wheels made of cucumber slices topped with cherry tomato halves to the buns with toothpicks.
  3. Celebrate summer in your tablescapes. Use fresh flowers, which are at their peak now, to add lots of color. Our Flower Market Galvanized containers, trays, and buckets keep that flower theme going and are perfect for holding everything from floral arrangements to utensils to ice for keeping drinks cold.
  4. If you’re celebrating July Fourth, include red, white, and blue in your surroundings and on the menu. Add atmosphere and keep the party going after dark by stringing lights around the table area. And to keep the bugs at bay, add our citronella candles.
  5. Designate a game area for the kids (and the big kids). Set out Frisbees, badminton, and croquet. If the weather is warm enough, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned water balloon toss.
  6. Be kind to Mother Nature and make cleanup easier. Designate containers for trash, plus recyclable drink cans and bottles.
  7. Finally, try our recipe for Salt Potatoes, a summertime staple in Central New York that started with the Irish immigrants who worked in the salt springs located around Onondaga Lake near Syracuse. Salt from the springs was used to create consumable salt that was distributed throughout the Northeast via the Erie Canal. Legend has it that the Irish immigrants would bring potatoes for their lunches and would boil the potatoes in salt brine.

Salt Potatoes

If you live in Upstate New York, you can pick up a bag of salt potatoes in the produce section at a local grocery store. For everyone else, here’s what you need for this simple but savory dish.

4 pounds small potatoes, such as baby Yukon Gold

2¼ cups kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter

  1. Add potatoes to 8 cups of water and the kosher salt in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake to remove excess water. Let the skins dry in the colander so that some of the salt crystallizes.
  3. Melt the butter and serve with the potatoes for dipping.

There’s so much more to the annual MacKenzie-Childs  Barn Sale than incredible bargains on our one-of-kind furnishings, tableware, and seasonal items. Think of the Barn Sale, July 18–21 on our campus in Aurora, New York, as the perfect spot to celebrate summer, mark milestones, and honor traditions with your family and friends.

Adam and Vicky Waxman, who live south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, have been coming to the sale with their family for more than 20 years. In fact, they attended the first sale when their oldest child, 21-year-old Elliot, was a baby. Now, they also bring their daughters, Lulabelle, 19, and Tatianna, 15, and everyone dresses in attire inspired by our brand.

Over the years, the Waxmans have met many people at the sale who they now consider part of their extended family. Says Adam, “We are very excited to attend the 2019 Barn Sale to see our M-C family and meet new friends, as well as making some great purchases to add to our collection.”

Last year, friends Melinda Lawry and Janice Dance, of Birmingham, Alabama, experienced the sale for the first time, along with Janice’s college buddy, Lynn Walser, of Olathe, Kansas. The trip, Melinda says, was on her “bucket list” to celebrate her 50th birthday, so the trio made a whole day of it, shopping and  touring our historic Farmhouse. Says Janice, “It was so much fun. It was amazing.”

Sisters Ginger Umosella, of Washington, D.C., and Lynda Pillsbury, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, also attended their first sale last year, wearing matching black and white checked dresses and pearls. Says Ginger, “We first came because of my love of Mackenzie-Childs, but it really turned out to be so much more. Not only is Aurora a beautiful place, but the people are some of the nicest we have ever met. We also spent time in line chatting with some very delightful and friendly people!”

Coleen Young, of Auburn, New York, met her best friend, Annette Perticone, of Rochester, New York, while they were standing in line at the Barn Sale in 2008. “We always say checks brought us together,” says Coleen. Now, they frequently see other throughout the year and always attend the Barn Sale together.

Paula Gugino, who lives near Buffalo, New York, is another MacKenzie-Childs lover. (“You name it, and I have it,” she says of her devotion to our brand.) She takes a mini vacation during the sale and rents a house in nearby Aurora for herself, her younger sister, and assorted friends. Last year, the group camped out the night before the sale on our campus and plans to do so again this year because the experience was so much fun.

If you haven’t already made plans to experience the sale, Paula would encourage you to do so. And don’t worry if you don’t already have a friend or a family member to bring along. Chances are very good that you’ll make some new friends at the sale.

Says Paula, “Everybody is lovely. It keeps getting bigger and better, and I can’t wait.’’

 

We’re excited to announce that our upcoming MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale will include MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale Style, a four-day celebration of dressing to express your love of our brand, and we’d like to invite everyone to join in the festivities.

Each day, July 18–21, offers a different opportunity to show us your MacKenzie-Childs style. We will reward selected winners with prizes that will surprise and delight.

So, without further ado, here are the themes along with some inspiration to get you thinking about your Barn Sale Style.

We’re known for our black and white Courtly Check, and we know you love this signature pattern as much as we do. But we’d also like to encourage you to dress in Royal Check, our newest check pattern in shades of blue, and Parchment Check, a classic that mixes taupe with jewel tones.

You can wear checked attire from head to toe (yes, we’ve even seen checked socks).  Another way to add checks is with our wired Courtly Check ribbon, and here’s a tutorial from visual designer Linda Walker on how to make roses with it.

Courtly Check Ribbon Rose

Supplies:

Courtly Check Ribbon, 2 inches wide and 1 yard long (you can use wider widths, too)
Floral wire
Fabric glue
Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Fold ribbon in half lengthwise. Bend a 6-inch piece of floral wire in half and twist around one end of the ribbon.
  2. Wrap the ribbon tightly four times around the wired end to get a tight bud while holding the wire in your other hand.
  3. Every half inch or so, turn the ribbon to form the petals of the rose. Continue until you have about 2 inches of ribbon left.
  4. Tuck the end of the ribbon into the last twist and pull through. Secure the end with fabric glue. Shape the rose and add glue here and there to secure it. To finish, trim excess wire and ribbon from back and add a safety pin so you can affix your rose to a hat or a collar.
  5. Step back and admire your creation. Now you’re ready to say Check Me Out at the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale!

Wear your M-C brand loyalty literally on your sleeve with a T-shirt that you design. You can have it printed or paint it yourself. If you want to add embellishments, including beads and fringe, here’s a how-to from Tish Gibson, our lead ceramics decorator. Tish has been with our company for more than 20 years. She’s known around here for her creative dress and how she adds signature style to her MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale T-shirt.

Go back in time or transport yourself into the future with a costume that you decorate with some M-C touches. How about a ’50s skirt with a Courtly Check poodle? Or a robot decked out in Royal Check? It’s all up to you, but here are three looks that we put together that have a touch of M-C.

  • Groovy 1960s Gal: A vintage dress and accessories with a check theme come together for a sunshine statement of style.
  • Countess of Courtly Check: Freshen a Halloween costume with a bit of Courtly Check ribbon at the sleeves and bodice. Courtly Check Gift Wrap was added to the crown.
  • Fabulous 1920s Flapper: Kick up your heels by adding Courtly Check buttons and Courtly Check ribbon to an old dance costume. You’ll be the bee’s knees.

We love flowers, and we celebrate them in so many of our patterns and products. Add the punch of posies to your attire by gluing flowers to a hat or making a corsage. You can also wear our M-C Floral Crown on your head or around the brim of a hat. Here’s how to make one:

M-C Floral Crown

Suppplies:

Variety of silk flowers
Courtly Check Ribbon, 2-inch and 1-inch widths
Floral wire
Floral tape
Wire cutters
Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Wrap floral wire around your head or around the brim of a hat twice and shape into a circle.
  2. Cut each flower with 2 to 3 inches of stem. Lay each stem on the wire ring and wrap it to the ring, using floral tape. Add the next flower, laying it on the ring and slightly overlapping the first stem. Wrap with floral tape.
  3. To add Courtly Check Ribbon, cut a 5-inch piece and fold in half. Lay the ribbon on the wire and wrap it to the ring, using floral tape.
  4. Continue around the circle, adding flowers in a variety of sizes and colors along with Courtly Check Ribbon.
  5. To finish, we added a bow and streamers, using 1-inch Courtly Check Ribbon.
  6. Step back and admire your creation. Now you’re ready to show everyone your Flower Power at the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale!

Weddings are a celebration of going forward with that one special person that you have chosen to love and cherish.

And, yes, that is surely special, but what else could make the occasion even more memorable? Commemorating your day with a touch of MacKenzie-Childs, of course.

But first, be sure to visit our MacKenzie-Childs gift registry, where you can celebrate all kinds of special occasions, including weddings, anniversaries, housewarmings, and more. We’ve partnered with MyRegistry.com, and  you can create, manage, and add items to your registry in our retail stores and on mackenzie-childs.com. You can also add gifts directly from your smartphone via the MyRegistry mobile app.

As for the big day itself, here are some ways to add a little M-C to your wedding:

  • Decorate the reception hall with our Courtly Check and Courtly Stripe wallpaper. You can place the wallpaper directly on the tables for terrific table runners, and you can use it to create a double-sided MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Wallpaper Pennant Banner to hang from the ceilings or on the gift table. The how-to’s are in the accompanying video and below. Other table decor could be a variety of candlesticks from our MacKenzie-Childs Glow collection and our Courtly Frames that could hold childhood photos of the bride and groom.

  • Accessorize the bridal party with our Courtly Check ribbon. Classic and versatile, our wired ribbon shapes and pleats easily. Add it to the bridal headpiece and bouquet (along with a few of our Courtly Check Roses), the groom’s boutonniere, and the backs of the chairs at the sweetheart table.

  • Finally, we can’t think of a more fitting finishing touch than our Patience Brewster Love Bird Groom and Bride Ornaments. They’re dressed for the occasion—the groom is wearing tails and a top hat, and the bride has heels and a veil—so they’re ready to add to the top tier of the wedding cake. Plus, they’re also ornaments that you can hang on the Christmas tree as another sweet reminder of your special day and the start of your life happily ever after.

MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Wallpaper Pennant Banner

Materials

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Directions

  1. Cut wallpaper into strips that are 3 checks wide and 6 checks long. There will be 18 checks in each strip.
  2. Fold strip in half and press flat with a dry iron or put folded strip under a heavy book for a few days.
  3. Measure 3⅞ inches across the open end of the strip and mark. Next, using a ruler, draw two diagonal lines from each corner of the folded edge to the center point. Cut pennant into shape.
  4. Place pennant on lightweight poster board and trace shape. Cut poster board pennant and trim ½ inch from top.
  5. Insert poster board pennant in the middle of Courtly Check pennant and align bottom points.
  6. Apply glue stick to inside back of wallpaper pennant. Lay poster board pennant on top and press, taking care to match edges as closely as possible.
  7. Lay cord above poster board pennant and apply glue stick to edges of poster board pennant. Press top of wallpaper pennant down on poster board pennant. Trim if there is excess.
  8. Your pennants can be arranged closely together or with more space between them, depending on your preference and how many pennants you wish to make. Each single roll of Courtly Check Wallpaper makes approximately 50 double-sided pennants.

 

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