48 Hours on Martha’s Vineyard

What would you do with 48 hours to spend in the sun and on Martha’s Vineyard? We asked local influencer Annah Todd for her recommendations on how to make the most of your time on the vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard is one of those rare well-known vacation destinations that not only meets your expectations – it actually exceeds them. To take full advantage of the island itself, you will need a car, and if you can, find your way onto a boat. The travel to Martha’s Vineyard itself is an easy 40-minute ferry ride from Woods Hole or Falmouth, and there are lots of ferry options depending on when and from where you are coming.

Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

I visited Martha’s Vineyard for a weekend at the beginning of June. The weather was perfect for breezy linen tunics and flowy silk dresses – and we even managed to squeeze in some time at the beach! Below are my recommendations for the best Martha’s Vineyard activities. If you can, stay longer than a weekend.

Cliffs and Beaches

Aquinnah, MA

The clay cliffs of Gay Head are striking. Unlike anything I’ve seen on the east coast before, the cliffs are a vibrant terracotta color. They are protected, but you can get a stunning vantage point from the Gay Head Lighthouse.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

For an even better view, I recommend walking down to Moshup Beach.  Moshup Beach is public so depending on the time of year you visit, parking may or may not be an issue, so consider the time of day and season. The cliffs and beach are located on the most western point of the island, resulting in an unbelievable sunset.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

Chappaquiddick Island

Chappaquiddick, MA

Rent bikes and take them on the small Chappy Ferry, to Chappaquiddick from Edgartown.

It’ll cost you $6/person round-trip and the ferry ride takes about five minutes. The ferry’s slogan is endearing and fitting: “Back and forth between two worlds – 527 feet apart.” Almost 1,000 acres of land is preserved on Chappaquiddick Island by The Trustees of Reservations, and the island truly feels like an entirely different place than the bustling streets of Edgartown. While you cannot really go wrong with anything on Chappaquiddick Island, East Beach (otherwise known as Leland Beach) in the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is my absolute favorite. With salt marshes, 14 miles of trails, and seven miles of remote beach, I highly recommend packing a snack and enjoying the isolated and peaceful excursion.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

Ice House Pond

West Tisbury, MA 02568

I would never have found this swimming spot if an old friend who summers on the Vineyard hadn’t told me about it. He described it as “unusual and difficult to get to,” so naturally, I knew we had to check it out. Ice House Pond is a secluded pond inside Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission preserve and it’s a well-worth trek off the beaten path. When you arrive, parking is extremely limited (only four spots). Since there is no beach at the swimming hole, it’s a destination more reserved for adventure seekers than families, but there is a perch where you can slip into the crystal clear freshwater and enjoy a long swim. The pond’s name comes from its industrial past: the Vineyard Ice Company, from 1908 to 1953, ran an ice-harvesting operation out of the pond.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Gretchen Powers

Back Door Donuts

5 Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

I was hesitant to try Back Door Donuts, I will admit. Everyone told me to go, and frankly, I’m more of an ice cream kind of girl rather than donut. However, I acquiesced and found myself waiting in a 40-person line one evening, and boy, was it worth it. Open only at night (7:30 PM – 1 AM), the donuts were incredible. The kind woman working behind the counter recommended the apple fritter but after seeing the magnitude (they are approximately the size of a football), I opted for the classic chocolate glaze. Worth every bite.

Behind the Bookstore

46 Main St, Edgartown, MA 02539

While I cannot vouch for Behind the Bookstore’s food offerings, I can tell you that their espresso drinks are fantastic. We went right when they opened, around 7 AM, and ordered cortados and sat under the tent. The sun was so bright and the foliage around the tent was so lush, it had a very ethereal feeling to it.

Annah Todd on Martha's Vineyard

Photography shot by Jack Callahan

Off the grid and on trend: the historic, hygge-happy, not-necessarily-humble cabin

by Debbie Kane

A symbol of American grit and resourcefulness, cabins have long captured our imagination. And as people downsize, the popularity of tiny homes, cabins, and cabin style is growing.

Be it a rustic log home, rugged mountainside retreat, or New England camp, there’s something about this natural aesthetic that just feels hygge. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” that’s the Danish term conveying coziness, simplicity and happiness.

Hygge Trend: Summer Cabins

Photo courtesy of Bensonwood

What’s behind the trend?

In a frenetic, technology-driven world, the humble, often wifi-less cabin becomes a retreat that reconnects us to nature. It’s a symbol of resilience, an opportunity for contemplation.

Poet Henry David Thoreau lived in a small cabin near his beloved Walden Pond.

Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in a simple log cabin is legend.

And it’s no surprise that bright, open timber-frame homes – built with interlocking wooden beams, posts and braces – have enjoyed a renaissance. Look no further than @cabinlove or @beautifulcabins to see how small spaces inspire people around the world.

Hygge Trend: Summer Cabins

Photo courtesy of Bensonwood

Not just logs.

Today’s cabins are much more than strategically stacked logs. Many are luxurious, meshing high-end accents with easygoing style. Even tree houses, those nostalgic childhood hideaways, are enjoying a comeback, albeit with adult amenities like plumbing and electricity.

Hygge Trend: Summer Cabins

Carolyn L. Bates Photography, courtesy Moose Meadow Lodge & Treehouse

Cabin style always embraces wood, whether a chair or rustic railing, a crackling fire in an old woodstove or fireplace, or the natural appeal of a smooth, wooden floor.

Hygge Trend: Summer Cabins

Carolyn L. Bates Photography, courtesy Moose Meadow Lodge & Treehouse

Hygge Trend: Summer Cabins

Carolyn L. Bates Photography, courtesy Moose Meadow Lodge & Treehouse

How to incorporate cabin style

A home in the woods isn’t essential to adopting the conscious coziness of cabin style. Here are a few ideas.

A lightweight wool throw adds warmth to any room, regardless of the season. In addition to adding a pop of color, it’s the ideal accompaniment when curling up with a book and cup of tea.

Garnet Hill Wool and Cashmere Throw
Garnet Hill Wool & Cashmere Throw

A hand-hooked throw rug deftly ties a room together, while cushioning feet on wood floors.

Garnet Hill Fair Isle Hooked Wool Rug
Garnet Hill Fair Isle Hooked Rug

Rustic simplicity is key to cabin style. This serene Danish-style bedroom, with its wooden bench, comfy bedding, and soft color palette, is an idyllic retreat after a day spent exploring the woods.

Taylor Wooden Bench
Taylor Wooden Bench

What’s your take on cabin style?

5 instant updates for a summer home

Garnet Hill Cape House Quilt
The onset of warmer weather compels us to throw open the windows, shed some layers, and find quick, easy updates to bring the sunshine into our homes and lives. We seek to catch that casual, carefree vibe of beach vacations and weekend getaways with our everyday surroundings. To achieve this, here are some trends, treasured finds, and design ideas to help you embrace summer in your decor.

1. THINK WHITE, THINK LIGHT, THINK BRIGHT

Garnet Hill Seersucker Duvet Cover
There’s nothing like a fresh coat of white paint. It’s like visual sorbet, a palette cleanser for the eye. White can be brilliant and stark or warm and cozy based on the shade. It draws and reflects light, and is an ideal backdrop for bright colors to pop.

2. THE CHROMATIC QUILT

In an all-white room, a vibrant quilt is elevated to artwork. Holding its own as a focus point in the room, its intricate patterns and stitching make bold statements. A vivid rug or large-scale painting can have a similar effect in the space.
Garnet Hill French Market Quilt

3. HAPPY COTTAGE STRIPES

Variegated stripes on a rug, bars of color on storage bins… Classic yet casual, jaunty woven stripes add pops of color and pattern to the decor, and they add the carefree look of a beachside cabana to the room.
Cottage Stripe Cotton Rug Collection by Dash and Albert

4. GOING THE EXTRA NAUTICAL MILE

It is easy to go nautical this time of year, but it’s difficult to do it well. Mini prints and hooked wool pillow covers lend icon motifs to the room design, but think of adding more subtle notes to finish the look. Rustic textured glass, weathered wood, sea-grass baskets all balance out a seafaring scene with a touch of sophistication.
Garnet Hill Geo Blossom Comforter

5. TAKE A GARDEN SEAT

Curvaceously shaped and brightly glazed, this versatile table-stool mimics the look of an oversized planter that one on might find on the veranda of a luxurious beachside resort. It makes a lively, sculptural statement positioned by the bed as a nightstand or next to an easy chair as a side table on the porch.

6. IT’S A JUNGLE BOTANICAL PRINT OUT THERE

Judy Ross Textiles Fauna Linen and Cotton Duvet Cover
Our exclusive Fauna Floral by NY-based designer Judy Ross is an oversized print that plays with tone and scale. It mixes warm neutrals with pops of color, conjuring the look of playful palm-like botanicals in the sunlight, casting shadows on the sand.
Garnet Hill Dahlia Cotton Coverlet
What are your tips for bringing summer into your home? Do you gravitate towards certain colors, textures, and accents?

Savvy tips for kids’ sun safety

Most kids agree that the best part of the summer (besides a break from school!) is hitting the beach, pool, or park. Before they rush outside, we wanted to refresh our sun-safety knowledge. Here are some easy tips for sun safety:

1. SUNSCREEN

Apply a “broad spectrum” (meaning that it protects against both types of ultra violet rays: UVA (A=aging) and UVB (B=Burning) sunscreen before your kids head outside — thirty minutes before to be exact. And being diligent about reapplication will help their sensitive skin in the long run. The fairer the child, the more dangerous the UV rays are for the child’s skin, but all skin types need sunscreen for protection.

2. CLOUDS DON’T HELP

Although children may not appear sunburned, they are still being exposed to “aging” rays, which are just as harmful. Clouds do not protect from harmful UV rays so use sunscreen even on overcast days.
Boys' Short-Sleeve Graphic Tee and Boys' Swim Board Shorts

3. COVER UP

Wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses is another important way of warding off UV damage, so keep their legs and arms covered whenever possible.

4. LOOK FOR UPF CLOTHING

Clothing varies in the amount of sun protection it provides. Items labeled with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating are numbered to gauge their ability to block out the sun. How does it work? It all has to do with the density of the fabric and the type of fibers (nylon and elastane block a lot of UV light). When wet, light-colored clothing lets in just as much sunlight as bare skin; darker colors are most effective.
Girls' Dip-Dyed Seaside Cotton Cover-Up and Girls' Ruffle-Trimmed One-Piece Swimsuit

The Glad Fest: celebrating Pollyanna in Littleton, New Hampshire

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Dick and Debbie Alberini receive the annual Pollyanna Signature Award.

Dick and Debbie Alberini receive the annual Pollyanna Signature Award for their service to the community and spirit of positivity. Photo by Zachary Sar

Do you remember the classic children’s novel Pollyanna? Written in 1913, it’s the story of a young orphan with an optimistic outlook who, after losing her father, is sent to live with her stern aunt in a small New England town. Pollyanna’s cheerful personality and Glad Game win over everyone including, eventually, her aunt Polly.

Every year in June, the town of Littleton, New Hampshire (just up the road from our Franconia headquarters) celebrates Pollyanna Day.

Author Eleanor Hodgman Porter was born and raised in Littleton, moved to Boston to study music, and later wrote a series of novels including her most famous — Pollyanna.

The town in the novel bears a strong resemblance to her hometown, and Littleton residents happily commemorate Pollyanna, and Porter, every year. This year, to mark the day’s 15th anniversary, it was a weekend-long Glad Fest!

Here’s a glimpse into the weekend’s festivities, captured by our friend, photographer Zachary Sar.

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. A passerby accepts the piano's invitation to "Be Glad... Make Music".

A passerby accepts the piano’s invitation to “Be Glad… Make Music”. Littleton’s Main Street boasts a number of brightly colored pianos for impromptu performances. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Photos on the library lawn.

Commemorating the weekends festivities with photos on the library lawn. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. A candid moment with Pollyanna host Rebecca Colby.

A candid moment with Pollyanna host Rebecca Colby in front of the bronze Pollyanna statue at the Littleton Library. Photos by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. "Not Your Mother" providing live music.

Local band Not Your Mother providing live music during Friday night’s events. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Garnet Hill's own Jae Kim performing with "Not Your Mother".

Garnet Hill’s own Jae Kim performing with Not Your Mother. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. The Upstage Players entertain with a selection from Pollyanna, the Musical.

The Upstage Players entertain with a selection from Pollyanna, the Musical. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Members of the Upstage Players enjoying the festivities.

Members of the Upstage Players enjoying the festivities. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Young GladFest goers wore their favorite Pollyanna-style hats.

Young GladFest goers wore their favorite Pollyanna-style hats. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Taking a break in front of the Littleton Diner.

Taking a break in front of the Littleton Diner. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Everyone is feeling glad.

Everyone’s feeling glad! Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH.


Megan Cunningham, Miss White Mountains Region 2016 (left), Jere Eames (center), and Natalie Cartwright, Miss Littleton Area’s Outstanding Teen 2016 (right). Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Playing at the Riverwalk.


All smiles, playing at the Riverwalk. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. A local artisan demonstrates his wood-burning technique.


A local artisan demonstrates his wood-burning technique. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Taking in the day in true Pollyanna style.


Taking in the day in true Pollyanna style. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH.


Natalie Cartwright, Miss Littleton Area’s Outstanding Teen 2016, posing with a friend. Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. The Positively Pancakes Breakfast.


The Positively Pancakes Breakfast at the First Congregational Church was absolutely delicious! Photo by Zachary Sar

Pollyanna Day in Littleton, NH. Illustration by local artist Kaio Scott.

We loved this photo of Glad Fest Photographer Zachary Sar, as illustrated by local artist Kaio Scott, during the weekend’s festivities!

Zach, in his own words: “A small-time local photographer living in Littleton, always walking to capture the street life and dogs of Main Street.”

Turning plastic bottles into backpacks: the NEW Eco Backpack Collection

The 2017 kids backpack collection is in!
And this year they’ve got a special, eco-friendly twist.

While still packed with the ergonomic features parents love (including curved straps, padded backs, and sized-to-fit proportions), the collection now uses recycled PET fabric — made from discarded plastic bottles and reclaimed poly.
Garnet Hill Eco-Friendly Kids' Backpack Collection

Did you know?

Americans use roughly 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour.
Only about 30% of plastic bottles are recycled.
It takes between 500 and 1000 years for plastic to break down in a landfill.
It’s predicted that by 2050, the plastics in the oceans will outweigh the fish.

Those statistics are disheartening to be sure, but there’s a lot that we can do. Like avoiding plastic packaging when possible and recycling plastic when we do use it.

We love that these packs give new life to reclaimed plastic, which helps to keep it out of our landfills and water supplies! They’re also made to last, so be sure to hand them down to siblings, cousins, and friends when you can.

To learn more about all of the smart features in our backpack collection, check out our kids’ collection.

For games, activities, and more kid-friendly info about recycling and protecting the environment, check out EekoWorld from PBS Kids, the EPA’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Resources, and the Recycle Roundup from National Geographic Kids

Sources:

Recycle Across America
The Balance – An Overview of Plastic Recycling
World Economic Forum – The New Plastics Economy

The Great Hamptons Escape

Enter the Great Hamptons Escape Getaway Sweepstakes
For a limited time, you have the chance to win the ultimate getaway for two to the fabulous Hamptons. Winners of the giveaway will receive a prize package that includes airfare, three-night accommodations at Baron’s Cove, a $500 shopping spree at the Garnet Hill store, gift certificates for dining, and a summer gift basket with Garnet Hill beach essentials, Tate’s Bake Shop cookies, and a luxury spa kit from LATHER. All you have to do is enter!

A summer party in the Hamptons

Garnet Hill Bridgehampton Store Summer Party
Despite what the calendar says, it is officially summer at Garnet Hill! We kicked off the season with a fantastic party at our Bridgehampton location hosted by KDHamptons’ luxury lifestyle magazine editor, Kelli Delaney. Designers, tastemakers, and Garnet Hill fans were in attendance celebrating and shopping our new summer collection and our exclusive Home Collaboration with esteemed textile designer and artist Judy Ross.
Judy Ross

Highlights from the event included savory farm-to-table bites, a signature “Pink Cloud” cocktail made just for us, and a delicious dessert bar from Janet O’Brien Caterers. Musician Christiaan Padavana serenaded guests with his ukulele and enchanting voice.
Champagne Glass and Pink Flowers.

Check back in with the blog, and look for more events to come all summer long!
Garnet Hill Bridgehampton Store Summer Party

June 5 is World Environment Day – “the people’s day.”

June 5th is World Environment Day

Garnet Hill from Sugar Hill – Photo by Jason Tors

1974 felt like the year that would never end.

Inflation topped 11%. Richard Nixon was impeached.
And just as this writer got a driver’s license, the national speed limit dropped to 55.

The United Nations, however, was exhibiting admirable forethought in ‘74 by introducing World Environment Day.

In the UN’s words:

“World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the Earth or become an agent of change. That ‘something’ can be focused locally, nationally or globally; it can be a solo action or involve a crowd – everyone is free to choose.”

Two years later, Garnet Hill was founded. Our passion was splashed across the masthead of early issues: “The Original Natural Fibers Catalog.” Today more than ever, we design with sustainability in mind. On World Environment Day and every day, natural fiber stories are woven here.


Here’s what our designers and merchants are passionate about in 2017.

Organic Cotton

It’s farmed without harmful pesticides, GMOs, or chemical defoliants, to avoid adverse impacts to land and water. More of our cotton products – soon to include a new Signature Flannel sheet – are made with organic fibers than ever before.

GREEN COTTON

GREEN COTTON® is the vendor that’s been with Garnet Hill longer than any other. Its passion for environmental stewardship never wanes. Its cotton is harvested without chemical defoliants, and dyed and finished to minimize pollution.

Organic Linen

Our organic linen is crafted from extra-long fibers of certified-organic French flax, for comfort without chemicals. The coastal climate and well-drained soil of the Normandy region where it grows yield what is considered to be the finest fiber of its kind.

Alpaca

Alpacas are indigenous to the Andes Mountains of Peru. Through the centuries they’ve adapted to the altitude and cold temperatures by evolving a rare and luxurious fleece. They are gently sheared by hand once each summer, yielding what was thought to be “the fiber of the gods” by the ancient Incans. Alpacas graze freely in the highlands, which helps preserve open land and prevent overgrazing.

Cashmere

Long ago, our supplier established relationships with herdsmen who raise Kashmir goats on multi-generational family farms in Inner Mongolia. These purebred goats are treated like pets; never crossbred for higher yields, they’re responsibly herded to preserve the land.

The workspace where our cashmere sweaters are made is energy-efficient and spotless. Solar panels generate 60% of the company’s electricity.

We use only Oeko-Tex®-certified eco-friendly dyes, which require fewer chemicals, less water, and less energy.

And our Eco Cashmere selections are made from natural white, beige, and brown fibers. Undyed and unbleached, they are processed with very little water and zero chemicals.

TENCEL® lyocell

Made from wood pulp harvested from eucalyptus trees that are grown without harmful substances, TENCEL® lyocell is one of the most eco-friendly fibers on the market today. The fibers are harvested from responsibly managed, renewable forests. A closed-loop production process uses less water and energy, for minimal impact on the environment. We like the softness and drape of TENCEL, and are including the fiber in more products than ever this year.

Eco Merino

Coming soon to our best-selling Signature Merino Cardigan sweaters are merino wool fibers processed a new way: with eco-friendly oxygen.

Our path to everyday sustainability and a healthier environment continues.
Stay tuned for new collections that are green in every color.

Six sweet surprises for your summer-camp packing list

Summer Popsicles

Even experienced campers can feel apprehensive about setting off for another season.

So beyond the standard swimsuits and shorts, we thought it would be fun to pack a few unexpected surprises. Thoughtful items to help them get settled, get to know their new friends, and remind them that you’re never too far away.

A spare pillowcase (in white or a light solid color) and fabric markers

Sheets in the Wind

She and her campmates can get creative — adding their signatures and doodling all summer long. When she returns home, she’ll have a meaningful keepsake.

Tip: Other ideas for personalizing include a small wooden picture frame (minus the glass) and markers if there’s space, or quilt squares if you’re crafty.

Notes from home, photos, or other treats

Note and Orange Bowls
From parents, siblings, and friends. Invite anyone you know your child will miss to write a little note or send along a favorite photo.

Tip: Try to sneak them into inconspicuous places so they’ll stand a small chance of not being opened right away.

A new skill

Teach her how to make friendship bracelets ahead of time and send along some string for making them at camp. And be sure to make one for each of you to wear while she’s gone. It’s a sweet and simple way to help you both feel connected while you’re apart.

Ice breakers to help her get to know cabin-mates

Paper Heart
Include some easy conversation starters to help with initial awkwardness or rainy day doldrums. Check out your local bookstore for boxes of questions, joke books, yoga cards, or one of the many fun National Geographic books for kids.

A journal for recording camp memories

Pack it with colored pencils and a flashlight, for writing and sketching until lights out.
Green and Blue Pencils

Pre-addressed post cards to give to new BFFs at the end of the summer (and some blank ones too)

Because knowing it’ll be super-simple to stay in touch may make saying goodbye just a little bit easier.

What are your favorite ways to make your camper feel at home, away from home?

For camp-ready tees, shorts, water shoes, and UPF 50+ swimwear, check out our kids’ collection.