Isn't it romantic?

Dean and Helen in the wood pile
Last Saturday when my mom was in town, we woke up early and poured over old family photographs in bed. Seriously, it was the best morning ever. This photo emerged as the clear favorite.

It's my great grandparents, Helen and Dean in maybe 1919? She must have come to keep him company as he chopped wood outside the barn at Elmwood. I mean, look at him looking at her! He's clearly so taken with her, it makes my heart race.

I've posted some of their make you weep wedding photos on my newly minted flickr photostream. Come prepared for a little slice of romantic heaven.

The gentle cycle


1920s swiss dot lawn dress, 1900s chemise corset cover, 1910ish voile blouse (with original bone collar stays!), 1920s linen knickers, 1918ish lace tunic blouse.

All from the same junk shop. All my size and totally wearable. All under $20 (after some well played register haggling). A haul like this will never happen again.

yummy linen
These knickers are the one thing that Ginny had to needle me into to buying because I knew I'd never wear linen balloon kickers outside. Funnily enough, they're also the one thing I couldn't stop grinning about on the way home. I feel like Viola from Twelfth Night in them. Which, really, is priceless.


I love the mending job on the chemise. Her tiny hand stitches have lasted so long, it's really such a gentle reminder that clothes don't have to be disposable and that a little patch can go a long way.

"All Elmwood, All the Time!"

So it dawned on me that if i continue this slow reveal of New Hampshire photos, I'll still be posting them come next summer. So onward and upwards, friends.






Elmwood Kitchen




Is this not the coolest camera ever?

Looking through these photos makes me want to drop everything and run back to New Hampshire as quick as I can. Darn adult obligations.

It's in the bag

Mulholland bag
I've been wanting a "grownup" bag forever now. A bag that isn't either A. a printed canvas tote or B. a darling vintage handbag that's so small it can barely fit my wallet and cellphone inside. I've reached that stage in life where I, gasp, have to carry my computer places for work and I was getting tired of hauling it in an African basket tote.

favorite dress
I've been eyeing this one for a couple of years, ever since I starting stalking the Mulholland website, thanks to J. Peterman. (Mulholland makes the Peterman gladstone, which I've been lusting after nearly my whole natural life and gosh darn, it's gone up another $100 in '09!)

Mulholland bag
A hearty thanks to the new and improved "vintage" room at Stella Dallas. It was $50. Instead of $500. Brand new. How's that for shameless bragging. That was classless, I'm sorry. A real lady would never tell.

My dear friend Kit says, without a hint of irony, that I'm going to end up getting married to the bag. We're going to grow old together and ride off into the sunset, side by side.

PS- It's kinda scary posting pictures of ones self on a blog. Now y'all know what I look like when I'm not in flapper costume, just my daily New England of undetermined vintage costume.

PPS- Dress look familiar?

PPPS- I have insanely exciting news that will have to wait till next week. Na Na Na Na nana.
Sticks tongue out and wiggles fingers behind ears.

Architectural drafts


Stashed in the attic at Elmwood are about 30 of my great great uncle Harold Robinson's drafting assignments from New Hampshire College ca. 1909.

New Hampshire family
The man himself, during his senior year.

There's nothing quite as satisfyingly simple as inked lines on paper and I love that they manage to be both utilitarian and sensitive. Plus I've been gravitating towards less feminine things for my house lately, gotta balance out the collection of antique teddy bears somehow!

<span class=

<span class=
They really should be framed (and hanging in my apartment!) instead of living in danger of attic mice snacking on them. That would be a tragedy with a capital T.

Strawberry shortcake

I made the biscuits from scratch and did the macerating and whipping, while Kristi did the shooting. We've never raced through a photo shoot so fast, just so we could eat the final product!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Absolutely, delightfully, perfectly, summer.

In the summer kitchen

The kitchen at elmwood makes me weak in the knees. The door is perpetually left open (rain or shine) and someone's always bustling around making coffee and toast.

Elmwood Kitchen
I come from a toast family. I think we eat more whole wheat, 14 grain, crusty, seedy toast than any other family alive.

Elmwood Kitchen

Elmwood Kitchen
The wallpaper is basically a perfect 1950's picnic blanket gingham, the gold standard of country kitchens everywhere.

Elmwood Kitchen

Elmwood Kitchen

The family's genealogical chalkboard, just to keep things in perspective.

This kitchen has seen 171 years worth of Emerson food, which boils down to an astounding amount of toast for one clan to consume over the course of a century.

Elmwood clothesline

And so begins the steady stream of Elmwood photos... The most summery, girly photos first!

Growing up, my family didn't have a dryer. Nor did we find it all that romantic at the time, it meant a lot of stiff jeans, scratchy towels and thunderstorm disasters.

Now, of course, I consider clotheslines just to die for. If I could sun bleach all my sheets in fresh air (not Williamsburg truck exhaust), I would.

Needless to say, Elmwood doesn't have a working dryer so I got to play Laura Ingalls Wilder for 2 weeks.


PS- My sister patterned and made all of these unmentionables. That's another childhood nightmare that's come full circle to be one of my favorite things ever, homemade underpants!


My terrariums are back in stock at Catbird.


This group is my favorite yet!

Home again

Fresh out of the country and back in brooklyn, I think I nearly blew up my iphoto with all the pictures of Elmwood.


Seriously, I won't even admit how many I offloaded, it's that bad.

In short, I canoed. I freckled. I swatted bugs. I built fires. I knitted like a maniac. I got sunburned on my nose. I fussed over my new cameras. I picked flowers. I bonded with my sister. I shopped. Oh, how I shopped.

Photographic evidence to follow.

The big 2 5

It's official, I can legally rent a car now.

I painlessly passed the 25 year mark and have been celebrating for a few days at Elmwood with pretty girls, pretty presents and pretty flowers.

I'm taking a mini break from rural isolation with a quick stop in Connecticut (isn't internet and cellphone service divine?) but tomorrow morn I'll be back in the land of pretty.

I've taken nearly a million photos so far and don't even know where to begin. It's just been the most delightful birthday week ever.

25 is shaping up to be the jam, as Ginny would say. Oh yes, I went there. My verbal skills are regressing a bit as I age. Keeps me young at heart.

Travel anxiety

Tomorrow bright and early I leave for Elmwood and all I can think about is where's my freakin camera charger. Do I have enough kitty food? Clean socks? Sunscreen? Straw hats? Vintage bathing suits?
Pull yourself together, Merrick. This is a good thing, no need to get so stressed! One thing I have managed to find is the key to the front door. Good thing, too.

My grandpa made me a copy for my 18th birthday, as a sort of initiation into the Emerson family. He dremeled the word "elm" on the other side and I'll never take off his hand written tag. Not in a million years. I need to get it laminated.

I love when the fourth of july flag is up in New Hampshire. Even more than having prime rooftop seats in Hell's Kitchen to watch the most stunning fireworks display ever, which was also quite nice, if I do say so myself.

Frankenstein lace

Confession- I've spent the last several years wearing mostly men's clothes.

Button downs knotted and cinched high waisted trousers. suspenders and military shorts. keds. old 505 levis. men's brogues (size 6 1/2!). briefcases. I'm in a serious rut. A cute, Annie Hall type rut, but a rut none the less.

Lately i've been wanting to look more like a girl, but I hardly know where to begin.

What's that you say? Lace? ok. I'll try it.....

I've collected bits of antique lace forever and last week I dug through my undies drawer (where I keep my lace stash, don't ask why, it just seems to make sense) and sewed up a Frankenstein mashup of Victorian corset cover, depression crochet yoke and 40's hair bow into a little lady blouse.

I think I'm going to like being girl. But only if I still get to wear 1970's men's cutoffs every day.