I hesitate to reveal the titles of my two favorite magazines for fear you might say, "Um, my grandmother reads that." Be that as it may, my heart leaps when—okay, here goes—Country Living and Victoria magazines arrive in my mailbox. I immediately start to look forward to my next subway ride, knowing that as I read Country Living I will be instantly transported to a world of charming cottages, flea market treasures, recipes for berry trifles, and real estate listings for historic farmhouses that cost less than my 400-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn—all thoughtfully curated with a surprisingly modern edge by Sarah Gray Miller. (Sarah Gray is the former editor in chief of the short-lived, cult-status lifestyle magazine Budget Living; art director Amber Harris and I guard our back issues with some ferocity.) And as the F train creaks toward Manhattan, while reading Victoria, I get to immerse myself in a photo shoot inspired by John Singer Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," complete with angelic little girls in white, ruffled-collar dresses and pink lanterns, or a travel story focused entirely on the Christmas markets in Germany, or, even better, Prince Edward Island, home to my favorite fictional heroine, Anne Shirley, of Anne of Green Gables fame. You may call it dopey; I call it eye candy of the highest order!
This is the first time I'm writing about these two magazines on Aisle Say, and it's because the current issues (both July/August 2011) are titillating not just to me, but they also contain stories that will inspire brides planning their weddings. Take Country Living's napkin-ring idea from "Get Crafty" on page 53 (2)—those are shower curtain rings! And in Victoria's "Global Impact" story, starting on page 10, a sliced-in-half globe makes a genius centerpiece vessel (1), and paper maps double as wrapping paper for nosegays (3)—a great idea for a bridesmaid-bouquet treatment or favor, especially for a travel-themed wedding. And that's not the only wedding-related content you'll be getting. The same issue of Victoria profiles a shop in Alabama that, among other things, carries an impressive selection of antique lace veils (page 76), and Country Living includes its own (pretty darn adorable, though I prefer ours) version of a real wedding story in "The Thoughtful Host's Guide to a Good Time" (page 68). Not sure how long these beauties will be on newsstands, so don't delay! —Amy Elliott, Executive Editor