tea cup on tray on bed

What Do You Want to Read About in 2019?

Phyllis People 55 Comments

I have a request for all of you! What I love about this blog are the conversations it starts. I just adore reading comments and seeing when one idea or story sparks another, and we all get to laugh and reflect together, and even encourage one another.

That being said, I would love to hear what you all would like to read about in 2019. A new year means my brain is already spinning with new and exciting topics to write about. I can’t wait for what is in store!

So, whether it is Hoffman Media related, magazine related, or more personal stories and inspiration­­—I want to hear your suggestions!

Please comment your suggestions below or email me at ribbon@hoffmanmedia.com. As always, I am deeply grateful for your support and readership! Thank you all!

Comments 55

  1. Hi Phyllis,
    I have been an ardent subscriber from your premiere magazine (I think it was the late 80s?) through several decades and have saved every issue. I keep them on book shelves in my library in neat piles arranged by the month. When I want inspiration for a particular month or holiday I have all the magazines at my finger tips without sorting!
    I love the magazine because of the great photography, inspirational ideas, and for Victoria’s mission of stressing the importance of celebrating beauty, nostalgia, and creativity in our homes. Both my husband and I are retired art educators and we love all the beautiful ways in which the pages of Victoria magazine always surprise us with new ideas! We are art historians, authors, doll museum restoration experts , and collectors, as well as working artists. For future ideas for the magazine we would love to see more specific photography and articles from readers who have incorporated and displayed their historic collections in their home decorating plans. I have collected antique dolls for over 40 years and I love the old fabric, trims, and laces while restoring many of my dolls. I have studied costume design and love to sew authentic clothing and design accessories for my dolls dating from 1750-1920. For me, this whole experience is time traveling at its best! Thanks for continuing to make Victoria my favorite magazine!

  2. I am an English reader of Victoria and have been devoted to the magazine since I picked up my first copy in June 1992. Thanks to Victoria Magazine I discovered the beauties of New England, visiting Boston and Maine on several occasions and making some wonderful friendships, which I still maintain. Nancy Lindemayer, Editor at that time, introduced me to some wonderful American classics, especially The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett. Through the pages of Victoria I became interested in other American women writers including Celia Thaxter, Willa Cather and Edith Wharton. I too loved Jan Karon and both the book and movie of How to Make an American quilt, all featured in Victoria. I have had the joy of introducing my English friends to these and other American women writers and have given a paper at an academic conference in Maine as a result of the friendships I made there. The pages of Victoria opened new worlds and new opportunities to me and under your editorship it continues to do so. I love the French issues and French special issues as my husband and I are frequent travellers to France. I discover things about my own country I didn’t know in the English editions too. No other magazine has the grace, beauty and charm of Victoria (the photography has always been exceptional). Please keep up the good work. I would love to see more articles on women writers and artists and regular book reviews.

  3. I also concur with many of the other comments about nostalgia. I enjoy watching the educational movies about homemaking and entertaining (on youtube) and reading homekeeping and cookbooks from the 1940s & 1950s.
    It seems as if less was taken for granted in the first half of the 20th century; less waste, less hurry, less competition in general, more pride in one’s home and one’s appearance. Just looking at the movies of grocery stores – it’s nearly impossible to find a woman in her pajamas and slippers (**wink**) but now we see that all too often.
    When did it become not okay to teach people how to entertain, to keep house, to dress well or any of the other topics those movies cover. I suppose some might think those things are supposed to be passed down from parents but if that was always the case, why were those movies made in the first place?
    I don’t live in the South but I do enjoy Southern Lady!

  4. I would love to see women artists featured. From renaissance to current. Like female authors they had to use, at times, male pseudonyms. Yet they fought for their place in history. Many rich and interesting stories to be told. Also many interesting stories about the patrons who supported them.

    Everything in Victoria magazine is always done to perfection!!

  5. I would love a “year of color”–tastefully decorating our homes with color and perhaps showcasing a different color each issue!

  6. Phyllis, you have such a beautiful gift of hospitality! We can see it through the magazines you edit, through your personal accounts of welcoming grandchildren and other family and friends into your home, and even in your request for your Ribbon readers’ interest in future articles. Thank you for sharing your heart in so many sweet ways. I find so much comfort , joy and encouragement in each of your Ribbon blogs. I also love reading the responses of your Ribbon readers. Thank you for providing a venue for us to encourage and inspire one another.
    I love reading stories about history and art and music and family life. I am inspired by stories of folks who have overcome setbacks or hardships and have accomplished what seemed impossible. Reading about various cultures, traditions and celebrations peaks my interest to read more. Your magazines have a way of beautifully expanding my vision and understanding of humanity. Your Ribbon blog adds a personal touch. Thank you ( and your staff) for all you do to magnify and cultivate beauty, truth and goodness in the world!!

  7. Whatever you decide to offer your loyal followers will be exceptional as always. You only give your best and that is always above and beyond other magazine publications. Now, can we please plan a rebirth of a Southern Lady Conference?????


  8. Love your magazine. I can’t tell you how many back issues I’ve ordered!! Well,…you can’t please everyone!! My only thing would be your Christmas issues. To me, some of the homes seem “over the top”!!
    Like, OMG! Less can always be a good thing. Other than that,
    keep up the good works.

  9. So many good ideas already posted! I usually dont post on anything anywhere so I will try!
    My husband and I live very isolated with very few visitors a year. My Mother made every holiday special and just everyday life warm and thoughtful. I am trying to stay inspired to make things special for just two! Keeping traditions special and relevant, but not living in the past so much. Its easy to slack off. We are retired for medical reasons and again live remotely , we do not have speciality stores or a big budget so repurposing everyday items to liven things up would be a great read! I love your posts and warms my heart many times.

  10. I would love to see more recipes with ideas about how far in advance to make them, and suggested service pieces to use. A platter? Tray? Bowl?

    I would also like suggestions about after dinner coffee–in real after-dinner cups! And demitasse, tea service, and creative ways to serve small desserts with tea, coffee, and spirits! I think this would open up a whole new world to many younger readers, and remind us more “seasoned” hostesses to get Aunt Mary’s demitasse cups and spoons out for a treat.

    I would also like to see Oklahoma included occasionally. Eastern Oklahoma is very Southern, the rest mix of Southern, Southwest and Texas, and a little Midwest in the north part of the state. OKC’s Western Heritage Center is a treasure of magnificant western art and it’s historic district sponsors a wonderful Heritage Hills Home tour in the fall, and Tulsa has lovely museums and parks along the river.

  11. Love all your magazines and subscribe to several of them. Would love to see some decorating and home updating ideas that aren’t so costly. Love all articles about gardening and menus. Also southern recipes that are easy and call for ingredients that are familiar to us. Retro, vintage and antique history and information also interest me. Happy New Years and keep up the good work. I am a southerner transplanted in the Midwest.

  12. Thank you for this great question. Loved reading the responses. I am in my 40’s, have young children and relish the stolen moments of quiet with Victoria and my hot cup of tea. It is such a special magazine that I enjoy and learn from. Also can relate to the authors and features as it reflects my interests. Love reading the articles about women entrepreneurs, their ideas and creating businesses from those plans. Love everything England. I have so many back issues and I hope you never worry about repeating stories on Jane Austen, the brontes, daphne Dumaurier (sp?) Beatrix Potter etc. as they can be new and redone each time! Having an English grandmother I cling to these things in a society that doesn’t necessarily treasure high tea or importance of English lit or beauty of thank you notes, handwriting and graciousness. Also have a love for historical places such Savannah, Charleston, DC etc. Even on a baseball trip to Cooperstown this summer I discovered wonders that would be great in Victoria such as Hyde hall, the farmers museum, the beautiful otesaga hotel. A past article inspired me to then venture on to Victoria on the lake in Canada and visit downtown and the Apple farm you suggested. I bought some of their products based on your feature and was so thrilled to visit this location I would never have known of. Also love features on bed and breakfasts, restoration of old homes and history on beautiful old hotels. Keep going with the beautiful gardens, tea features (I know you have the tea magazine but just an article or two here is great ) and beautiful homes. Some issues can look a little like southern lady, but that is a beautiful magazine as well. I’m sure trips to England, France and so forth get expensive! I Think Victoria represents a life style or culture not just pretty places. Love the quotes too!in closing I also Love A.S. and S.B. but the political realm was brought in and that became difficult to take. I love politics but please never here unless it’s history!This is a sacred, relaxing and much needed escape to dream of future fun!

  13. Phyllis, I subscribe to several of your magazines and enjoy all of them. In the recipes sections, I would love to see more make ahead tips. I’m always looking for delicious recipes that I can partially make prior to the event, so everything doesn’t have to be done at the last minute.
    I love hearing about your adventures–traveling, family and decorating your current home. You are truly inspirational and it is a joy when you share your life with us. Thank you.

  14. Over Christmas my daughter in law asked me to make pictures and write sources of my china, silver, crystal, linens, particularly the ones that were wedding gifts, my mother’s, etc. or special to me. What a great idea and a journal of these would be such a gift to all of our children. Easy to stage one on a writing desk with articles pictured and a description included.
    I would love sources to be included for china,etc. or at least maker identified.

  15. I’m also a long time subscriber….and missed you when you were gone those few years!
    But kudo’s you’re back stronger than ever…..Nostalgia always grabs my heart….
    January- history of the English “snap” crackers during the holidays
    February- Valentine school boxes (made from shoe boxes)
    March- Bleek chinaware and the story of the four leaf clover
    April- Polish wax design Easter egg designs
    May- history of Easter corsages, maybe the 40’s-50’s
    June- vintage and history of the garden scarecrow
    July- Vintage Picnic hampers and thermos
    August- Retro swimsuits and swim caps
    September- chalk boards, wooden slide-in desks, ink wells
    October- Plastic Halloween masks and costumes
    November- Honeycomb Turkey Table decorations
    December- Snowflake patterns DIY

  16. Oh, I would love for you to start up a new Quilting magazine. If you had one, it would run circles around the ones on the market today. Everything you do is the best!
    Also, I do enjoy when you share ideas for gift giving, such as Hostess gifts. I have used several of your ideas and really appreciated them!

  17. Phyllis, I’m completely satisfied with Southern Lady and Southern Lady Classics. After all, I’m a southern lady, and these publications are perfect for me. There’s a good balance of decorating, table settings, recipes, and featured authors. I have purchased a number of decorating books that were featured in Southern Lady. Beautiful coffee table books filled with practical ideas.
    I have no requests for new or different ideas; just compliments on what you already do.

  18. I have been reading Victoria magazine since it’s first issue….thank you again for bringing back to life! I would love to see a literary section….a book of the month or several suggested reads with a short synopsis. It is in Victoria that I found my favourite contemporary author, Jan Karon.

  19. I, too, like many of those that have left comments, am a long time reader and lover of Victoria Magazine. I cherish each issue and sit down with a good tea, biscuit and leisurely read and get inspired. I love Alexandra Stoddard, Susan Branch. I enjoy the artist in residence and writer in residence. I would love to see more articles about the beauty and creative small shops here in the United States. Love other countries as well. Just would love to see roadside stands and small town celebrations and beauty. Japan would also be a wonderful addition where linens and tea is beautifully practiced. LOVE Victoria. Cheers to you and the staff for the outstanding work you do in each issue.

  20. I love your blog because it speaks to a love of beauty in all things. I am 60+ and would also like seeing posts about living with beauty and elegance everyday especially in smaller homes.

  21. We enjoy your special issues on France and England. Would love to see more features on the beautiful country of Ireland. There is not much room for improvement since Victoria is almost perfect. A few articles a year on children’ fashions. Discussions and recommendations about books read would be a great addition. Continue to have the writer and artists in residence. The January/February piece that Carol Rizzoli wrote is such a moving and from the heart article about books. The Valentine designs from Stephanie Monahan are beautiful. Would love to see Victoria become monthly. Thank You, Phyllis for such an outstanding and lovely magazine. We look forward to each and every issue.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

  22. Victoria is my all time favorite magazine and the only one I simply cannot part with. I love everything about it … the stories, the photos, and the beautiful calligraphy. I save every issue. Would love to see an article in a future edition on my favorite author Susan Branch who says she was born with the “happy gene.” Her writing is so positive and inspiring with beautiful stories and art, and all her books are handwritten and illustrated in watercolor. A movie or TV series is in the works about her life, and what could be more timely than a story about her.

  23. I would like to see different types of homes decorated by the homeowners themselves. When I say different types I mean……English Manor, French Country, Farmhouse, etc.

    I enjoy all the Hoffman Media magazines and look so forward to getting each one.

    Keep up the great work!

  24. Phyllis, I agree with previous comments, but would love to see homes where an interior decorator didn’t furnish it, but instead the homeowner did. I personally like “clutter” lots of decor, not white n minamalist.. it’s getting old.. ideas where people in the their 50-80’s .. their projects, beautiful gardens, yard art.. BnBs n what to see n do while there… and not see 4 pages of the same picture in one magazine.. at least change it up bit.. believe me i am an avid follower, have your first “Southern Lady”.. you n your staff are awesome n high quality.. Victorian wasn’t white nor plain!! HAppy New Year to all.. keep up the great work❤️

  25. Victoria is my favorite magazine and I save each and every issue. I would like to see more life style articles. I’m a fan of Alexandra Stoddard and have several of her books. She encourages women to enjoy the simple rituals of life, teaches us how to live a beautiful life and keys for a joyful life.
    Women should be encouraged to support each other regardless of our ages or places in society.
    I’d love to see pictures and articles with hosting suggestions and ideas for small gatherings; luncheons, tea parties, and dessert parties. I’d love to see ideas for theme parties too. I think planning a party is half the fun.
    Thank you.

  26. I would like to see more of the cottages, cabins, country homes up here in the Northern part of our country. Real snow and what we do with it in the winter months. Here we have the 4 seasons all beautiful and inviting you to go outside to enjoy it all..Minnesota and Wisconsin have thousands of lakes to choose from year round. The farmland also has lovely homes, barns and critters that make life interesting and lovely too. We welcome you to join us up here….

  27. I am a long time lover of Victoria magazine. There are many things I love about Victoria but the main thing I love about it is that it doesn’t imitate other magazines. If I wanted a fashion rag I would subscribe to one, if I wanted a travel rag I woud subscribe to one. If I wanted a DIY rag I would subscribe to one. I love the English issue and all the special issues because you don’t just talk about the county or cities in the particular issue but that you go into the homes to show how they live and decorate. I love the Artist in Residence and the Writer in Residence. See, it’s not like other magazines. It feels personal, it draws me in and wraps itself around me and when I’ve finally turned the last page I have been given a respite from the world and its cares and they are all keepers.

  28. Thank you for asking for suggestions! I am 68 yrs. old and agree that most fashions, home decorating is geared to the younger crowd, young families. Seems our age has been forgotten after all the groundwork. So articles on those things would be great! I would also like to see book reviews on different topics such as friendship (stories of novels) books on what “older” women did when they felt no longer needed by family or society; how to make a happier,richer life when finances,health and no car are an large-scale just things to make us richer, fuller, bring back the “look forward to life”. Craft ideas are an excellent suggestions. I would also love to see more articles on New England. The six states have much history, unique businesses,finery, wonderful tea rooms, B+B’s, vacation places and resorts, not to mention some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Krushev wondered why Americans went to Austria to ski when he saw Vermont! Each state has so many unique things about it. I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts where the Revolutionary War started. The battleground was a short walk from my home. Boston is SO RICH in history, art, fine accomidations. The Boston Public Library houses John Singer Seargent’s art. Of course I ate up your article on one of my favorite author’s Louisa May Alcott and Concord where I went to high school. I just cherish Victoria Magazine! Started receiving it in 1989. Stopped when it changed (even the quality of the paper!) And was THRILLED when you took it over! You do everything top notch, Phyllis! Bless you!

  29. Thank you for asking!
    I love this magazine and always have, since its inception! It is a beautiful one an in fact, the only one which I have never disposed of any copies!
    I would like to see more inspirational sewing and crafting projects to make and more recipes along with more on the sorts of things people collect!
    Thank you for continuing this beautiful and timeless collection!

  30. Sally Clarkson and her daughters have written some wonderful books on hospitality and tea time (the Lifegiving Table, for one, and Girls Club — being intentional to make time for your daughter or daughters/granddaughters). I would love to see an article on Sally and her books.
    Also, I’m a big fan of the American writer and cook who lives in Normandy, Susan Loomis (On Rue Tatin). I would like to read more about her and her cooking school.

  31. Happy Holidays,
    It would be great to highlight women and girl events that promote beauty, being classy, and living on purpose. We live in a time where being classy and a great homemaker are often overlooked. Highlighting great southern/gourmet recipes would be great to include as well.

  32. I would like to have more articles on adding beauty to our everyday life, living an elegant life without spending a fortune but by making wise choices. I would also like book reviews of all types of books that will enhance life for each of us.

  33. Dear Phyllis,
    I would like to see more travel articles. Perhaps highlight a different way of travel too; like river cruises, bus trips, train trips. Showing various area of Europe.
    I have traveled to Netherlands twice now and want to go back again. My favorites are the windmills and Keukenhof Gardens and The Rik Museum.
    I think the age of your readers is probably after they have raised a family so they are anxious to travel or at least know what is available.
    Bruges is also a fascinating area of Belgium.

    I love your French issue and your British issue but would love to see more of Eastern Europe.

    Victoria has been my favorite magazine since it’s inception. I really missed it when it was discontinued and clapped with joy when you revived it.
    Thank you for publishing this delightful, gorgeous magazine, in which I escape frequently. Patty

    1. I agree – more of Eastern Europe, please! It is a fascinating area in history, design, delicious food and so much more. My maternal grandfather was Hungarian and I never tired of hearing the many stories of his native country.

  34. I would like to read more about the following:
    1. Inspirational stories of people helping others and inspiring beauty in the world.
    2. Gardens from around the world, in all seasons including winter!
    3. Recipes for entertaining that are healthy as well as delicious. I do love a good cake or cookie, but like to balance it with a healthy entree or starter.
    4. Elegant, yet affordable beauty products for a classic look.
    5. Travel stories of places that are walk-able for those of us who don’t/can’t drive.
    6. Traditions from around the world, for holidays, birthdays, etc…
    7. D-I-Y crafts for gifts or home decor.
    8. Elegant living in a smaller home or apartment.
    9. More ways to bring nature into our homes and lives.
    10. Spotlight stories on the local favorite places of readers.

  35. More about everyday enchantment, it’s the little things that can make a big difference. I also love articles on fashion and interior design as I have no skill in either. How a novice can make small changes that have a big impact!

  36. I take away something wonderful every time you post. Your warmth always comes through and that you really give of yourself in everything you do and everyone you meet. I would like to know if you enjoy traveling. What kind of places do you like to visit, do you enjoy museums, shopping, restaurants and what kind of treasures do you like to bring home from your travels?

    Also, what recipes do you personally make over and over at home for friends and family? Do you make food gifts at Christmas? What are your favorite food gifts to give out during the holidays?

  37. I would like to see more fashion tips for those of us who are empty-nesters and grandparents. I still love to dress well and stylishly and I also keep my home beautifully decorated and up-to-date. So many of the magazines these days are focused on young couples with young children and their homes. It would be nice to see a nice blend of ages and life-styles.

  38. I love your magazines, but I guess I love you, your wholesomeness, and your love of beauty and people, Photography and writing can be spellbinding.

  39. I just finished Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan. Best novel I have read in 2018, and I read a lot of novels. If you haven’t read it, consider putting it on your 2019 list. It is a love story but not a romance novel. A tale of friendship turned to love.

  40. Love anything about your sister! I also like your posts that are home-related; your new home, decorating challenges, family get together ideas, etc.

    Phyllis – having seen your name on the Masthead if so many publications I have enjoyed, it feels like you are a friend. So – enjoy the catch-ups from you.

  41. Well, since my first grandchild – a boy! – is due to arrive in early March, I’d love to hear some tips on being a grandparent! Any suggestions for traditions to start with a grandchild? And how about books and toys – – what are some favorites? Such an exciting time of life! Thank you!

    1. Yes! I would love to see a beautiful grandmother/grandparent and grandchildren article and photos of some sort! I especially love and collect the Victoria magazines. Thank you for asking us, Phyllis!

  42. Hi Phyllis,

    I’d love to read about simplifying and enjoying alone time. I’m really introverted and happy people are finally saying “hey, it’s fine to want to be alone”!

    I also would love to see incredible, over-the-top pets areas in peoples homes (custom cabinets in the kitchen, elegant bathing areas, beds and outdoor areas). …yes, it’s opposite of simplifying, but it would be fun to see!

    Love you!
    Jane xo

  43. Dearest Phyllis, I consider Victoria magazine to be the gold standard of this type of magazine. I already love it, but I would love to see more articles about little ways to make the everyday more beautiful. Also I would love occasional articles about ways to make and/or do crafts that would enhance my life. I love the recipes and photo shoots of gardens. I would also love to see more items for sale through Victoria magazine. But, in general, keep up the excellent work!

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