Mattaponi Queen

3 06 2010

Our friend, Belle Boggs, has just had her first book Mattaponi Queen published. Rebecca and I have known Belle for a few years, and think she’s absolutely lovely.   She also has great fashion sense!  The three of us share a love of 50s vintage dresses, southern rivers and books.  I read Mattaponi Queen this past weekend, and I have to say: “Wow. I know this amazing writer?”

Now, southern can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and the Southeast encompasses many, including transplants, natives and immigrants.  I went to college in Virginia, have lived in NC for 11 years and originally hail from Louisiana.   Belle Boggs hails from King William County, Virginia and tells the story of her South, the Mattaponi River and its people.   Belle’s stories make  a black and white photograph of a Virginia county movie reel into the colors of life.  She turns her characters and their lives to face the river, and lets the light bouncing off the water show us what we overlook in the people we see every day.

I think I’ve fallen for Skinny, a  Native American car mechanic, dying of Hepatitis C, with a love of cooking shows and a strange home perched above the Mattaponi River.  Skinny appears in 3 stories, one through his own eyes and and 2 others intertwined in other character’s lives.  What I love about Skinny is that though he lives on the reservation, you cannot define him with a Native American label.  Belle reveals the man and the Reservation beyond the labels of our society.  You can cast Skinny as the  romantic hero; a dying man, who cooks lovely meals for his friends that he can’t eat, yearning for a lost love or any love he can just sit down next to.  Or you could see him as his ex-wife does; an alcoholic, estranged from his 2 kids, who lives in a collection of shacks, with a bunch a junked cars in his yard.   Skinny is not the flat image we expect to read, but a man that we can accept as human with all his splendid faults, quirks and loves.

What strikes me most about Mattaponi Queen is that it is not just a collection of short stories, it is a kalidescope of lives, seen through many characters’ eyes, yet always in the background, we catch a glimpse of the Mattaponi River.

You can meet Belle in person at one of the following readings, and buy her book at these stores.  Everyone should read this book.

Tonight,  June 3rd 7 PM at the The Regulator in Durham
Saturday, June 5th 7 PM at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill
There will be free jam made by Belle and her mom at both readings!  Yum.


Our favorite vintage book is now at Roulette!

31 03 2010

Last year, I was wandering the aisles of a cute little bookshop and came upon The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping by Melody Fortier.  After I read it, I then passed it on to Rebecca.  We both love this book and think its the best vintage guide that we’ve read. I am very happy to share that we are now selling this book at Roulette.

Not only does The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping help you decide what vintage is, it also has a great decades guide with bits of fashion history.  My favorite section of the book deals with fabrics.  Not only how to determine what fabric your dress is made of  but Melody Fortier also provides a chart for care and cleaning.  So cool and so useful!

If you love vintage and want to know more about your favorite clothes and future finds, come in and get one of these little books.  It also makes a great gift for a friend who loves vintage.


I heart Mondays!

15 02 2010

Hey everyone!

So today, I heart my new sewing book, The Sewing Bible!  It is 300+ pages of practical and decorative sewing techniques by Ruth Singer.  There is nothing better than curling up on a rainy day like today and reading a good book. But if you do find yourself out-and-about, stop by Roulette and keep me company!

Talk to you next Monday,

Love, Melissa

Appliqué Your Way

16 10 2009

I am so excited about the new book by Kayte Terry Applique’ Your Way!

My New Favorite Craft Book

My New Favorite Craft Book

I am a big fan of Applique’ and am always looking for new ideas. This book has 35 great projects. Usually you find ideas about applique’ in quilt books but this book offers great ideas for clothes, shoes, pillows, dog blanket, coasters, and much more. I just got mine in the mail; the photographs and layout are wonderful. I know I am going to have to give a few of these away for gifts.

Kayte Terry has a wonderful blog that I love to check out weekly called Love Forever. I became a fan of hers after my sister gave me her book Complete Embellishing for Christmas.

Always try to buy your books locally if you can. I am going to try to talk Jenny into carrying it at Nested.


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