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Victoria Inspirations 2012

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In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

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United States
Hoffman Media
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
dear friends,

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” —PABLO PICASSO Living a well-rounded life is a goal I strive for every day. I learned at an early age that balance is the key to happiness. There were occasions when I preferred to play with my dolls and a child-size set of kitchen appliances, creating a secret world where I was in charge. On other days, I was filled only with the desire to be outdoors romping in the grass, looking for four-leaf clovers and ladybugs. However, my wise mother knew that a healthy life would include such disciplines as practicing my piano lessons over and over, taking part in baking endeavors under way in the family kitchen, and learning to sew…

1 min.
a new life for an old treasure

In the 1920s, few things were as fashionable and glamorous as a sterling cigarette case. Next to elbow-length gloves or an incredibly long strand of pearls, a beautiful silver case was the de rigueur accessory of an alluring woman. Cases differed slightly from one piece to the next—some were flat and square; others were oblong and rounded to fit the gentle curve of a lady’s hand. Many were made of papier-mâché or wood, but the most treasured were those crafted of sterling silver. Silver experts agree that these prized cases were often regarded as fine jewelry, with their gleaming surfaces embellished with semiprecious stones, specialty engraving and etching, and design insets or overlays featuring monograms for personalization. The hand-chased patterns reflected the heady era when these items were most popular.…

2 min.
a pot for ink: writing legacy

With a pen dipped into an owl-shaped inkwell in 1875, Louisa May Alcott crafted sentences into art to create some of the most enduring works in American literature. Inkwells like the one Alcott cherished were essential tools in the nineteenth century, when carefully written letters were often the only link to loved ones, and business deals were scripted and sealed with wax. The ancient Romans developed the first inkwells, and other civilizations used them throughout the ages. But by the early 1900s, when the more practical fountain pen was invented, inkwells had largely been abandoned. Admirers have resurrected these vintage desktop pieces, and the wells have become valued collectibles. Inkwells come in hundreds of shapes and styles—from the “very plain and functional to the ornate and whimsical,” says Barbara Bureker, a collector…

2 min.
calendar tiles

Promotional pieces passed out become keepsakes passed down when fashioned with Wedgwood elegance. Charles Dickens characterized Father Time as tarrying for no one but blessing some through “the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.” Antique calendars are perfect for the resolute collector with an appreciation for time wisely kept. “I collect tiles because I like their permanence,” says Mark Tanner, who has researched these items for twenty years. Their beauty lies in their ability to make something as transient as time into a keepsake. For the Victorian collector, each tile captured the legacy of a historic event while offering a practical marker for that year. Carol Dutt, a collector in Birmingham, Alabama, loves these rarities because they connect a piece of our country’s history with her personal memories. The 1923 tile featuring the…

1 min.
fanciful forks

Long ago, the fork was used primarily as a serving piece. Its path to popularity as an everyday utensil was riddled with social objections, at times being labeled as either too common or too effeminate. Not until the early sixteenth century did the fork take its rightful place at the table, thanks to Italian nobility and the upper class. This acceptance spread to England in the seventeenth century. As it shed its image as a mere utensil and gained ground as a practical and curious placesetting addition, variations, including the strawberry fork, evolved. Throughout the mid-to-late 1800s and the early 1900s, many sterling-silver and silver-plate flatware patterns featured strawberry forks in their standard collections. The proliferation of such specialized utensils, as well as the availability of subsequent extensive place settings, was a…

3 min.
the allure of lace

Whether gossamer or guipure, lace never fails to enchant Pat Kerr, the celebrated Memphis designer of fairy-tale wedding gowns, was a collector of lace long before it became an influence on her work. “When I was 19, I went to the Orient and was quite taken by the exquisite embroidery with fine handmade lace,” she recalls. “With no forethought of building a collection, I shipped all my own clothes home in boxes and filled my suitcases with gorgeous embroideries.” As a young girl in rural Tennessee, she was often a silent observer as her mother and her aunt worked on quilts, tatting, and embroideries to grace their homes. Quietly absorbing the techniques they employed, the future designer began to understand the rhythm of the needle and the resulting lovely handiwork their hands…