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 to receive a reminder of the date by clicking on the link below. 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.

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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 Brachman, 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.

 

We’re so excited about our newest pattern, Royal Check. The true-blue version of our signature black and white Courtly Check, we’re sure Royal Check will check all your boxes. It’s happy, it’s clean, and it’s classic.

Royal Check, which was in development for two years, was inspired by the ever-changing blue waters of Cayuga Lake, which our 65-acre campus overlooks in Upstate New York. Like Courtly Check enamelware, Royal Check is hand-painted, featuring color-dragged checks in a range of blue hues, plus some subtle jewel-tone highlights, that reflect the hands of each artisan. The variations in the blue come from the formulation and consistency of the paint, as well as the number of strokes that create each check. All of this means that while no two pieces of Royal Check are exactly alike, they all work together in perfect harmony.

Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, says the name—Royal Check—is also a  cheeky nod to all things British. She loves that Royal Check works as an underpinning that complements both informal and formal dinnerware patterns. “It’s a neutral playground for mixing and matching,” Rebecca says.

For casual settings, try it with Courtly Check, of course, for a perfect check mate, or put it with White Flower Market for a tabletop presentation that blooms with possibilities. We think that Royal Check enhances the floral hues, making them look as if they are popping right off the plate. Royal Check can be a summer staple as well, serving as the centerpiece for all the patriotic displays right through Labor Day.

Royal Check can add a little twist to tradition any time of the year. Pair it with heirloom china patterns, including Blue Willow, as well as Tobacco Leaf, another classic pattern originally made in China in the 18th century for export to the Portuguese and Brazilian markets. The pattern incorporates 27 colors, with a small phoenix perching on the leaves of a nicotiana.

In addition to enamelware, Royal Check is featured in several Spring 2019 collections, including kitchen linens, draperies, accessories, and outdoor furniture. Expect to see even more of it in our upcoming Fall and Holiday collections, too.

“This is just the beginning,” says Rebecca. “Royal Check is sure to inspire even more good things down the road.”

Let’s dish about the zodiac. No matter when your birthday is, you were born under the stars and under a sign of the zodiac. What’s more, each zodiac sign is linked to the elements of nature—fire, earth, air, and water—and each element speaks of certain personality traits.

We wanted to have fun with that, so we linked each sign to one of our dinnerware patterns, incorporating the sign’s symbol, element, signature color and flowers, plus personality traits. Based on all that, here are our recommendations on what might suit you and your table best.

Aquarius (January 21–February 19) 

Pattern: Aalsmeer

This colorful Taylor ceramic pattern captures the beauty of North Holland, the flower capital of the world. Its charismatic blue brush strokes around the border are reminiscent of the ripples created in a pool of water, and the symbol of Aquarius is the water bearer. 

  • Symbol: Water bearer
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Turquoise
  • Flower: Orchid
  • Personality Plus: You’re friendly, visionary, and charismatic.

 

Pisces (February 20–March 20) 

Pattern: Sweetbriar

A Pisces is intuitive, much like our Sweetbriar pattern. Sweetbriar is versatile white glazed terra cotta, and it’s full of pressed details that include checks, stripes, florals, and dots. Sweetbriar’s fresh palette invites the creative spirit in a Pisces to mix and match it with our other colorful options.

  • Symbol: Fish
  • Element: Water
  • Color: Sea green
  • Flower: Waterlily
  • Personality Plus: You’re compassionate, creative, and intuitive.

Aries (March 21April 20) 

Pattern: Thistle & Bee

This porcelain pattern, a striking suite of honeybees, wildflowers, and Courtly Checks and Stripes, speaks directly to an Aries. It honors the energy of the honeybee, which is something that an Aries has as well, and it boldly but thoughtfully mixes checks and florals, including the thistle, which is one of the Aries flowers.

  • Symbol: Ram
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Red
  • Flower: Thistle, honeysuckle
  • Personality Plus: You’re bold, energetic, and thoughtful.

Taurus (April 21May 21) 

Pattern: Forest Home

This ceramic Taylor pattern features pink blossoms in its center that mimic the roses and poppies that are the signature flowers of those born under the sign of Taurus. And like a Taurus, the consistent stripes of the pattern’s border represent a tenacious dependability.

  • Symbol: Bull
  • Element: Earth
  • Color: Pink
  • Flower: Rose, poppy
  • Personality Plus: You’re dependable, tenacious, and sensuous.

Gemini (May 22–June 21) 

Pattern: Hitchcock Field

If you’re a Gemini, you possess a playful and curious spirit, much like this Taylor ceramic pattern, which mixes several colors and florals and is named for the field near our Aurora studio, where farmer Charlie Hitchcock tilled the soil. The pattern also features an abundance of yellow, which is the signature color of a Gemini. 

  • Symbol: Twins
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Yellow
  • Flower: Lavender, lily-of-the-valley
  • Personality Plus: You’re witty, curious, and playful.

 Cancer (June 22–July 22) 

Pattern: White Flower Market

Our White Flower Market enamelware pattern brings together a host of traits that are possessed by a Cancer. Its vibrant blossoms, reminiscent of an English garden, are nurturing and imaginative and feature several shades of the color violet. 

  • Symbol: Crab
  • Element: Water
  • Color: Violet
  • Flower: Orchid, white rose
  • Personality Plus: You’re imaginative, nurturing, and resilient.

 

Leo (July 23–August 23) 

Pattern: Kings Corners

This Taylor ceramic pattern, named for a spot in our local countryside, is a vivacious and brave mix of florals and checks. And if you look closer at the juxtaposition of the two, you might see what we see—the mane of a lion and the bright bloom of a sunflower, two signature signs of a Leo.

  • Symbol: Lion
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Gold
  • Flower: Sunflower, marigold
  • Personality Plus: You’re vivacious, generous, and brave.

Virgo (August 24–September 22)

Pattern: Cabbage Rose

The Cabbage Rose ceramic Taylor pattern is an earthy homage to the blossoms that flourish in our gardens, among a lovely mishmash of spots, stripes, and squiggles. Bringing all these details together takes the hand of a practical perfectionist, which a Virgo possesses.

  • Symbol: Virgin
  • Element: Earth
  • Color: Silver
  • Flower: Buttercup, daisy
  • Personality Plus: You’re practical, a perfectionist, and a good listener.

 

Libra (September 23–October 22)

Pattern: Poplar Ridge

A Taylor ceramic pattern that mixes romantic florals, stripes, and checks, Poplar Ridge is named for a local site that has spectacular views of Cayuga Lake from the hilltop above Aurora. It’s a perfect spot for a Libra to experience her element (air) and color (blue) all around. 

  • Symbol: Scales
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Blue
  • Flower: Rose
  • Personality Plus: You’re romantic, balanced, and charming.

Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

Pattern: Courtly Check

Courtly Check, our most popular pattern, has a subtle jewel-tone palette woven by an artisan’s brush through the hand-painted black and white checks. It’s perfect for a fearless and passionate Scorpio to mix with so many of our other patterns.

  • Symbol: Scorpion
  • Element: Water
  • Color: Black
  • Flower: Hibiscus, geranium
  • Personality Plus: You’re fearless, passionate, and authentic.

 

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21) 

Pattern: Parchment Check

A Sagittarius is known for her sincerity and optimism, and that’s what we think our Parchment Check pattern represents. Hand-painted in color-dragged checks, blending parchment, taupe, gold, and an irrepressible touch of aqua, Parchment Check offers a palette that you can be adventurous with, mixing and matching with other patterns.

  • Symbol: Archer
  • Element: Fire
  • Color: Light blue
  • Flower: Carnation, crocus
  • Personality Plus: You’re adventurous, optimistic, and sincere.

Capricorn (December 22–January 20) 

Pattern: Royal Check

Royal Check checks all our boxes. These hand-painted, color-dragged checks are happy, clean, and classic. What’s more, the range of blue hues ties in with the signature color of a Capricorn, and blue also represents wisdom, a Capricorn personality trait 

  • Symbol: Sea goat
  • Element: Earth
  • Color: Dark blue
  • Flower: Pansy
  • Personality Plus: You’re wise, hard-working, and caring.

If you’re tight on garden space, consider moving on up and adding plants that grow vertically.

There are lots of advantages to growing vertically, including:

  • Pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, will move from flower to flower with ease. And that means for a happier, healthier garden and ecosystem.
  • Enhanced exposure to sunlight, which is a real bonus for sun-worshipping plants.
  • Increased air circulation, which will keep leaves drier and less apt to develop fungal diseases. But keep in mind that you might need to water plants growing vertically more often.
  • And finally, adding height to the garden adds interest. Think of planning your garden like you might think of a setting a table. You’ll be more pleased with the results when you see a charming and colorful display on multiple levels.

So, if you’re sold on the advantages of vertical gardening—and we certainly are—let us recommend some of our favorite products for vertical growers, as well as suggestions for what can grow on them.

Bird on Ball Trellis

A classic trellis shape made of forged iron with a powder-coated finish and embellished with iron scrolls and a bird. When staked fully into the ground, it measures 38 inches wide and 63 inches tall.

What to grow: This is perfect for vines that you plant directly in the ground. We recommend clematis, black-eyed Susan vine or morning glories.

Garden Stake Collection

Some plants naturally grow up but need just a little extra support. And for that, we like our stakes. All are crafted of sturdy materials, including iron and aluminum. Our Wind Spinner Garden Stake and our Morning Glory Garden Stake have a verdigris finish and unique finial toppers. They range in height from 37 to 43 inches when in the ground. Three others, the Frog on Bird Garden Stake, the Myrtle Garden Stake, and the Fran Garden Stake, are slightly taller at 46 inches in the ground. They’re made of black/brown forged iron and have colorful, hand-painted ceramic finials that are made here in Aurora, New York.

What to grow: Plants that are taller than two feet often need staking and might even fall over from the weight of their blossoms or in heavy rains or winds. Those include delphiniums, foxglove, hollyhocks, lilies, and dinnerplate dahlias.

Mrs. Powers Tuteur

Made of forged iron with an antiqued black/brown patina, this unique piece is accented with scrolling tendrils and the same iconic lady who graces our Mrs. Powers Garden Gate and our Mrs. Powers Dinner & Door Bell.

What to grow: The Tuteur is shaped much like a tomato cage with an open central column, so that makes it ideal in the vegetable garden for growing cherry tomatoes or vining vegetables, including scarlet runner beans and miniature cucumbers.

Strawberry Pot

The classic terra cotta strawberry pot rises above when it’s Aurora Artisanal, meaning it’s handmade and hand-painted by our artisans in Aurora, New York, with our legacy Rose Cottage pattern that mixes florals and lattice.

What to grow: There are six openings in this terra cotta jar, and while strawberries might seem like the obvious choice to plant, there are several other options. We think it makes an idea planter for a mini herb garden, particularly if your gardening space is limited to a few pots and planters on a deck. Try it, too, with succulents or annuals like coleus.

The bottom line with vertical gardening, and we’d like to say this applies to your attitude about life as well: Always look up, and never stop reaching for new heights.

Summer entertaining often demands a moveable feast that travels easily to the site of the fun and frolic—be it the boat launch, the picnic grounds, or the tailgate party. And that’s where our new line of SCOUT for MacKenzie-Childs comes in.

We partnered with SCOUT Bags for this co-branded collection of insulated poly twill fabric coolers. SCOUT, which has been in business since the early 2000s, takes great pride in making a variety of bags—from oversized tote bags perfect for the beach to all kinds of accessory bags to soft-sided coolers—that are functionable and fashionable.

SCOUT for MacKenzie-Childs includes four products in two fun and colorful prints—Ikat Pink (pink, black, and white) and Dotty (black and white). All the pieces feature soft-sided shapes that are lightweight, leak-free, easy to clean, and easy to carry thanks to durable woven check handles. Also, each piece has lots of pockets, some with zipper closures, to offer even more storage.

Here’s a closer look:

The Vineyard Tote

Ideal for family outings, this cooler holds two six-packs or four wine bottles. It’s also just the right size to stack multiple food containers. It has a zippered pocket on the front and an open pocket on the back. It measures 9″ sq. and 12½” tall.

The Hot Date

Perfect for pot luck, this casserole carrier holds a 9″ × 13″ pan and keeps things hot for up to three hours. It has an open pocket inside. It measures 17″ wide, 3.

The Boat Tote

This large cooler has a hard bottom for extra durability and fits an entire 24-pack plus ice, so you can bring the party, literally. It has a zippered pocket on the front and an open pocket on the back. It measures 14¼” wide, 12½” tall, and 9¼” deep.

The Preps Cool

Load this up with everything you’ll need for the picnic table, including the tablecloth, plates, and cups. With four open exterior pockets, there’s also plenty of room for the utensils—and then some. You just might find that it makes the perfect companion for trips to the farmers market, too. It measures 15″ wide, 14″ tall, and 5½” deep.

Now that you have several ways to get your food transported with style, how about a classic summer recipe or two?

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup sliced red onion, cut lengthwise
  • 15 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups cubed English cucumber or regular cucumber with seeds removed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, pour lime juice over red onions. Allow to marinate while assembling the salad.
  2. Gently combine the watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese, and cilantro in a large bowl. Season with black pepper. Toss watermelon salad with marinated onions and season with sea salt just before serving.

Classic Chewy Brownies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9″ × 13″ pan.
  2. Combine the cocoa, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt , flour, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  3. Spread mixture (it will be thick) into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

 

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