Friday, September 18, 2009

Fuddy Duddy?

Just when you thought I was totally immersed in the 19th Century, I offer this: A visit to Mary Rose Young.

Before you get dazzled by her creativity--wonderfully zany at times--I want to explain the title of this entry. Once, now it seems in the long ago, a so-called expert was hired to review Victoria. She came up with this term--it was "fuddy duddy."

I guess you can imagine that while I can now sit back and smile at this judgment, I was baffled and maybe a bit combative at the time. In an attempt to earn her fee, I suspect, this is one of the proofs she presented: A comparison of covers. One that she approved of from a competitor's magazine was of a Victorian basket with a very arranged assembly of flowers--Victoria's cover that month pictured a bicycle basket filled with fresh-cut lilacs. Fuddy duddy? Hmm...

Well, to shake any dust off the drapes, enjoy with me the work of Mary Rose Young. I first found her work at a shop in New York. She loves roses, her own special kind. And I love roses whether on bushes, in gardens, hanging over country picket fences--I just love roses. (I think I will add that to my list of fuddy duddy things I love.) Granted, Mary Rose's pottery is not everyone's taste, even consummate rose fanciers. Dear Ann Levine from our staff gave me one of her giant cup and saucer creations. It's on my table as I write. I've never filled it with any liquid, I must admit, but I drink from it's sheer energy and spirit.

Victoria did feature Mary Rose Young's work and home. Her work is artistic and a bit pricey, but worth every penny. And it doesn't cost a thing to visit her site and enjoy. She sells online as well as in retail stores here and in her native England.

Why should it surprise that an Englishwoman would go wild over roses--truly.

When Chas Glaser left our staff to become a cowboy (really!), we sent him off with a party at The Cowgirl Hall of Fame in New York and gave him a Mary Rose Young teapot with a ceramic rose atop, just so he wouldn't forget us. (By the way, Chas has returned to the East and he spent last Christmas Day at our apartment with his two incredibly handsome and well-mannered sons. He's back at his pre-Victoria profession--actor and model.)

I'm thinking of writing The Fuddy Duddy Handbook. What think?


  1. If you're a fuddy-duddy, I shuddy-duddy to think of what my kids would term me! When you write that handbook, I'll be first in line to buy it!
    Love, Karen (Fuddite-Luddite) Marline

  2. I'll be second in line!! Fuddy-Duddy? Incredible! I went to her website, and yes, her work is truly bright and lively, but I don't believe you can compare it to the charm of Victoria! Jamie V in MT

  3. As someone who still pulls out the lovely Victoria magazines from the past, I'd find your Fuddy-Duddy Handbook utterly charming. The world needs more fuddie-duddies. Let's start a movement - Fuddy-Duddies Arise (gracefully).


  4. I still have that issue with the bicycle and lilacs. I wonder how many people have kept the *other* magazine.

  5. Fuddie Duddie?! Fuddie Duddie??!!
    Please excuse my outburst...
    She must have been looking at another magazine.

  6. I must confess, I clicked on this post and thought "Oh dear, I have clicked on the wrong blog." But then I realized it WAS you, Nancy, and I am just delighted! I had the pleasure of discovering Mary Rose's wares "live" at a trade show in Atlanta earlier this year and was particularly smitten with her teacup chandelier.

    I, too, remember that cover with the lilacs in the bicycle basket. You know, for most of us here, I'll bet you could show us any photo of one of your Victoria covers, and even with no words on the image we would immediately ID it as yours!

    Oh, and fuddy duddy? You? Hardly!


  7. The "reviewer" obviously was deplete of class or grace!
    I could always spot a Victoria magazine at 40 paces when you were there because they had such a beauty and tranquility to them. As time went on and they began to change (did someone actually follow this 'reviewers' reccomendations?? Is THAT what happened!?) the enchantment began to become lost in the business of trying to find non-fuddy-duddy readers until one day it was gone and I was sad that the gorgeous magazine was no more.
    Grace and tradition NEVER go out of style...thank you for helping to keep it going :)

  8. Fuddy-Duddy ... please let me know when the book is ready, I want one!!! I so miss Victoria as it was. With the arrival of each magazine I would cozy up for the night with a cup of tea and savor each and every page, then go back and do it again and again. It was like visiting with an old friend. Glad to have found you here.

  9. Yes, a book on "fuddy-duddy" would be perfect. Love that teapot and all things roses.

  10. Just to hear that something like that actually happened is beyond irritating! Nancy, how awful to have your amazing work dismissed by someone who didn't and would never "get it".
    I will never forget, a good number of years ago, reading a criticism of Victoria by a famous feminist (Friedan, Steinem?) who claimed Victoria set unrealistic standards for women (or something like that). Do you recall that?
    I remember thinking this woman has NEVER read a Victoria. Probably the most wonderful thing about Victoria was it's emphasis on ideals that never depended on ones face or figure, but the beauty that came from one's heart.
    Thanks for the reminder of the Mary Rose Young
    pottery--it's lovely! It will be fun to revisit that feature in the magazine.

  11. Nancy, it's a pure delight to learn you have a blog!!! I have always lamented losing track of you once you left Victoria magazine.

    I loved the magazine and I have every issue from the very first one. I've just been re-reading my old beautiful copies of the September issues. (As Glor said, I miss the magazine as it was)

    Learning you are on-line made an already perfect day over the top!

    BTW, I'll be in the line-up for that 'fuddy-duddy' book!

  12. Dear Nancy, you have no idea how thrilled I am, to find that you have a blog. I owe my discovery to Bee~Content Cottage blog.

    I'm another one of those, who so loved [still love the copies I have] the old 'Victoria' magazine. And to think that at long last, I get the chance to say my Thank You to the lady who brought it to life... Amazing.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Never did I find a replacement for the original 'Victoria.' I wasn't happy with its trend to "Country Living-style." But came back to it, when it tried to return to its roots, before its demise.

    I sub to the new 'Victoria' and feel they are really trying... To carry on the tradition you began. Trying... You were the Master. Or should that be ~ You were the Mistress? ,-) Whatever. Repeat... Thank you!

    And I look forward to following you here, in this blog, I just found.

    Gentle hugs,
    Aunt Amelia
    [Who just today, is using photos I took, of photos in the old 'Victoria,' in my post. -smile-]

  13. -giggles- I got so excited, at finding you, that I didn't mention your entry.

    Oh yes! Sign me up for a first copy of "The Fuddy Duddy Handbook"! Betcha' there are loads of us, who would be happy to rally round that title, knowing you embrace it! You, our harbinger of all that is lovely and joyful.

    Gentle hugs,
    Aunt Amelia

  14. Joining the fuddy duddy bandwagon myself, I can't understand people who think you should fix something that is so obviously not broken. Victoria's fan base was vast and staunchly loyal to the magazine as it existed under your leadership. You can see from all our posts that we're still here and still longing for what you brought us month after month and year after year. Why would anyone think change necessary? I still can't figure it out. While styles change, times change, trends change... in our heart of hearts most of us loyal Victoria readers have not. We still long for that loveliness in our daily lives, whatever manifestation that may take. And you really "got that" when others haven't... more's the pity for them trying to take a Queen and make her a mod-princess-wannabe by plugging her into some well-researched formula. That search for loveliness cannot be filled by formulas because it's intuitive. You either understand it and embrace it, or you don't. I'll stick with our Queen, even if I have to reread her again and again, because I know that she speaks to my heart.


  15. I've been accused of being an FD all my life.

  16. That cover has always been one of my favorites! Fuddy duddy indeed. I guess we all belong to the Fuddy Duddy Club here.


  17. Is Chas Glaser still in NYC? I believe he's the same Chas I used to hang around with during my various business trips to the Big Apple many moons ago.