November is always a peculiar month for me. In Canada, there are no holidays this month to speak of, aside from Remembrance Day on November 11th, which is somewhat dour and mournful. All of the leaves on the trees have fallen, leaving bare skeleton branches silhouetted against a perpetually grey sky, which has not yet produced any real amount of snow to make the landscape look at least a little more cheery. It's cold. It's damp. It's ugly. For these reasons, I turn to books and magazines more frequently for inspiration and joy. Now begins the season of fervent page turning as I look for new ideas, new inspirations, new projects and new recipes to try in the kitchen. The November issue of Martha Stewart Living, which is on newsstands now, has always been one of my favourite issues of the year. Even though Canadians have long since enjoyed our Thanksgiving meals (October 12th) I still look forward to seeing the pies, the side dishes, the homey/cozy interiors and the fall craft projects that the editors compile for this issue.
The November Issue
Good Things Event in New York City. Thank you, Martha, for creating this magazine.
Every month this year I have looked forward to the enlightening quote found on the splash page that introduces the well of the magazine. This month was no exception. It was written by U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo in Perhaps the World Ends Here. She writes, " The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live. The gifts of the earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation and it will go on." Indeed. It made me think, too, of giving back to the earth and of expressing not just gratitude but generosity in return: planting a tree, a garden, choosing craftsmanship over convenience. Let's give not only thanks this season; let's actually give back.Heronswood in Kingston,Washington. I had written last month about his new book Windcliff, which is a personal journey through the development of his private home garden. The book features the photographs of Claire Takacs, as does this article. Here, the founder tells us of how the nursery has come back to life under the guidance of the local Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe after years of neglect following its abandonment by its previous corporate owners. Hinkley is now back as the nursery's director and the showcase of plants and trees on display is nothing short of breathtaking. John Derian featured in the pages of Living. He's always been an inspiration to me. I became aware of him while working at Anthropologie. One of our home merchandising concepts was based on his aesthetic and I immediately fell in love with his appreciation of whimsy, wit and balance in interior spaces. The photographs by Stephen Kent Johnson are beautifully moody and capture the ethos of his style perfectly.