A Whole New 318…it’s all in the details

This past week, we’ve re-worked our space at The Hudson Mercantile

store at 318 Warren Street and we love the new look. I started with my

little display window that hangs on the wall outside the store…..

IMG_8919

And moved on to the inside…..

IMG_8948

I love my cowboy, the Ford truck “wings”, the cupboard front, the ship’s hatch

in the perfect shade of blue….oh, I guess I just love it all…..

IMG_8921

The cabinet (below) is from the attic of the Lunt Silver Company and was used to

store samples. The wonderful primitive chaise is still strung with old rope and its

cozy cushion is rustic vintage hand woven linen.

IMG_8929-2

The pink baker’s cabinet, old general store screen door and the bear

really make my heart sing. I always keep the stores stocked with a

customer favorite, chunky French lavender bags.

IMG_8930

This large wood and metal flower-shaped piece (below)  is a factory mold.

IMG_8936

The tin foot bath, in old green paint, makes another intriguing wall

piece.

IMG_8937

Cupboards, rail road carts, work tables….they sure are wonderful, not

just for their good looks but because you can show off so much stuff:

collections of English jam jars, 1940s lunch boxes, hand made wine

cups…..

IMG_8940

Another customer favorite is my custom down bed pillows with zippered

ticking covers, specially made for me by my upholsterer. Since ticking is a

neutral, many people buy them for their sofas, as well.  I’m crazy about the

color and graphics on the 1930s French sign, advertising Normandie Biscuits.

IMG_8927

It’s a lot of work to keep things fresh but, at the end of the day, the satisfaction

and pleasure I get when I look at what I’ve done, is worth every minute of lifting

and climbing up and down the ladder and running outside to check how things

look through the window. They say that it is all in the details and I know that is

so. But, for me, I don’t want those details sitting around too long in one place!

IMG_8938

Please visit both of our stores…

The Hudson Mercantile:

318 Warren Street and 202 Allen Street (corner of 2nd Street) in

Hudson, New york.

We’re open every day and we promise fresh, exciting details every day, too!

Merry Christmas

The wreathes are all hung.

On the cupboards…..

On the barn doors…..
On the telephone booths…..
All that’s left to do is to say that we wish you, good friends, old and new, near and far,
the Merriest Christmas ever!
The items in the photographs above were all in my space in The Hudson Mercantile.
If you are in the neighborhood, please stop in. We promise to be of good cheer.

There’s Just Something About The Way They Look

People ask me all the time how I choose what to buy for my store. There are always

certain pieces that sell well for me: cupboards, tables, daybeds and interesting

accessories. But why this old wooden industrial drum?

It certainly wasn’t an easy piece to load and as more things were added to the trailer,
the decisions about how to get it all on became more serious.  The long trip home was
accomplished at a slow crawl, with constant stops to correct load shift and tighten straps.
Fortunately, this sweet, fat hitchhiker was spotted before we hit the road. I would
not have minded at all, though, if he ended up at my house.
And, why all the old car fronts?
Below, the  1930s Dodge Rum Runner…as evidenced by its bullet holes…is an all-time favorite of mine…
And the old, fabulously-patinaed truck doors…
A 70s Volkswagen Bug trunk with a nicely color-coordinated license plate…
What about this one with its cool Cuban license plate?
A refrigerated rail road door…
Why this table, with its divine storm of colors?
Or this one, in shocking orange?
And speaking of color…
Below, the long, bleached out tavern table (wonderfully lacking in color and a perfect match for the
practice balls in the box beneath it) was something I wished I had room for at home…
So, why do I buy these things?
There is something about the way they look that makes my heart sing. I know that this is my intuition
speaking, reminding me that if I love it, so will someone else. Happily, my intuition has never steered
me wrong.
Most items pictured above are/were in  The Hudson Mercantile.

What’s New In The Hudson Supermarket?

.
MORE SPACE = MORE FUN.
.
.
That’s what I keep telling myself as I gobble up more and more space in the world’s
most super market, the Hudson Supermarket.
.
.
I love it here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
.
.
And even though I have just added on again, I still look past my now-very-long run
of booths and see how much more stuff I could put in here if I only had just another
30 or 100 feet.
.
.
I could have more factory cart furniture. I’ve been making upholstered seating from
carts for more than 10 years and I never get tired of them. I don’t have one myself
because I  have to replace these faster than I can have the upholstery completed. But,
someday….
.
.

I could have more chickens!

.

.
And, more of the world’s largest flags.
.
.
More French chaises. This one is upholstered in a vintage heavy linen, embroidered
French sheet, natch.
.
.
There would be room for more deconstructed American chaises. This one
started out as a fainting couch…covered in that  fancy-schmancy shiny stuff,
stuffed with uncomfortable horsehair. It had one of those upholstered curved
things (to keep fair maidens from toppling as they fainted dead away, I
suppose) along what is now just an open side. The thick, hand woven linen
and piles of down invite cat naps and other activities that don’t necessarily
require passing out.
.
.
And, another few Frenchy day dream daybeds.
.
.
I designed the pair of fireside benches (the frames are built from the ground
up) and had them upholstered in the most beautiful ca 1900 Swedish drop
cloth material, complete with all the markings and fantastic hand worked
repairs and patches.
.
       
.
They’ve already been copied by a well-known retailer. Whom I shall not
name.
.
.
Their mass-produced fabric is unusual and really wonderful.
.
.
But not as nice as mine!
.
.
The 1930s steamer chair is upholstered in the last of the drop cloth material.
The grommets, old rope and other parts of the drop cloths are left intact and
look  incredible….so there, big international retailer!
.
.
I really like small stuff, but only if it is old and different from the run of the
mill things that are everywhere. These jars, new-old stock with wonderful
labels, are sure to be reproduced and will show up in a retail store near you
very soon!
.
.
These fabric sample books, ranging from 1887 to 1912, are loaded with
pieces of wool and the most wonderful old hand-written notations and
labels. They are real treasures and are hard for me, a lover of textiles, to
let go. The wavy pages of the book in the middle of the table is like art to
me and, thus, even though it is the newest, is my favorite.
.
.
Other textiles, samples of linen and cotton duck.
.
.
.
And an old artist’s apron.
.
.
Piles and piles of old bags…
.
.
of all different kinds.
.
.
I have dozens of old Swiss Army bread bags, perfect for slinging
over a shoulder. The leather loops were meant to hang on the handles
of a bicycle.
.
.
Canvas of all kinds gives me a thrill! The thermos cover is full of buckles
and ties and do-dads, including the owner’s initials.
.
.
In a departure from my mostly masculine look, I couldn’t resist a load of pretty
1920s-40s lingerie and jewelry bags from a stone house in Vermont.
.
.
Old advertising, there’s nothing like it anymore. Here, a heavy paper
electric light! I wonder if anyone really believed that the Easy Washer
and the Easy Ironer were  easy?
.
.
 A 1950s paint bucket! I love the embossed numbers and the
happy housewife.
.
.
Even old oil cans looked better back then.
.
.
The window at my post office is nowhere near as good looking as this one
with its gilded lettering, patterned glass and lack of junk mail.
.
I have a hundred cultivator parts that make perfect little shelves now that
their farmer has gone modern. The 1937 orange paper “license plates” in
the chrome holders are fillers, merely meant to show how they would look
on a brand new Chevy.
.
.
A see-saw turned bench. Something fun for a front porch.
.
.
A pair of 1800s iron rabbits.
.
.
And a mid century papier mache panda.  Animals. Still the loves of my life.
.

.

But, best of all, paintings by my friend and the greatest living artist,

Jennifer Lanne (JenniferLanne.com). This 6 foot x 6 foot depiction

of country life is the way we would all like it to be.  As much as I would

like to keep it for myself, I have it on 1st Dibs for all the world to see.

(1stdibs.com  >   click “Hudson” in the “Cities” column on the right  >

type “Stephanie Lloyd” in “keyword search” on left.

.
.
I think this one is my favorite with its farm animals, barn, baskets and view.
.
.
But what about this one? The color! The sheep! Is that a Swedish drop cloth
I see on the chair? Picking a favorite is hard for all of us. We really just want
it all. In the end, I guess it comes down to space. We always need just that
extra 30 or 100 extra feet.
.
All photos and written materials are the legal property of Stephanie Lloyd
and Stephanie Lloyd At The Hudson Supermarket.  Please do not copy,
reproduce or in any way use without express written permission.

Give Me Back Those Jugs!

We just doubled our size in the Hudson Supermarket and, while I

never really have enough room, this is so much better than before. 

Maybe in another few weeks, I’ll be complaining and expanding

again.  But, for now, I feel the luxury of space all around me.

 

The huge garage door (above), a gift from a friend,  is the perfect backdrop

for my forever-favorite colors of grey, blue-grey and white-grey.

     

And a good place to hang some of my  post-plumbing sconces and soap dishes.

The sun has set and, since I am finally free to look in the direction of my window

without squinting, I can see that going home is not on the agenda just yet.  I spot

a sign  (below…leaning on the trunk) and remember that I was so tempted to

change the name of my business, which relies so heavily on the redundancies

of farms and factories,  to “Hauled Away” after finding this quirky thing  mixed in

among some heaps in an old workshop. 

Below, a shocking blast of color for someone like me.  But I couldn’t resist the

make-do shelving (made from mid-century signs) found in an old family-owned

lumber yard in Massachusetts, a Farmhall tractor grill, a ship’s flag box (Ardith III)

and a  soapbox car tool box (Wheels).  I am pleased with this grouping and, while I

require the soft, pale, faded and peaceful shades at home, it is fun to see a primary

riot in my booth sometimes.

But, green!  All of a sudden it is all over my booth.  My long-standing indifference

to this color that (so they say) is perfectly lovely, stems from my first car. I was 19

and it was a 1960s clunker, which caused Ken’s brothers to fall all over themselves

laughing.  “Look! It’s a Nash Rambler! She’s driving a Nash Rambler! Whataya call

that color? Puke?”  Ok, so big deal, I was driving a Nash Rambler!  Although I’m

not so sure that “driving”  is the appropriate term for the starting, bucking and

stalling that actually took place on that very first day, and for many days

thereafter, as I learned to drive stick shift.  I got over the derision regarding my

Rambler’s lack of cool pretty quickly.  But the remarks about its color kind of

stuck.  The table (below),  however, is fit for a king, color not withstanding.

Architectural renderings (below), some one’s dream come true.  It is hard for me to

pull my eyes away from them, they are so charming.  I wish I could walk inside this

pretty 1930s-looking house to see what the rooms look like and the furnishings that

the lucky owners chose.  I want to watch “Mr. Blanding’s Dream House” or “Christmas

in Connecticut.”  These kinds of houses make me feel such nostalgia.

  

The mirrors (below) once were an old pair of double doors.  The gentleman’s

dressing room cupboard to the left of the mirrors has a hidden compartment for

stashing valuables and secrets.  The wonderful folky daybed, with its deep, cozy down

cushion, is freshly dressed in a vintage French postal bag cover.   Just add a purring

cat and a good book, please.

The toothy detail (below) and the old orange paint peeking from beneath the

charcoal color are just part of what makes me love this daybed so much.

An amoire full of  shelves (below)  is topped with a few of the polite gaggle

of geese that grace my booth without honking or leaving droppings.  They

really make me smile.  The base of the bench  was an old galvanized

commercial refrigeration shelf.  Topped with down and four-season wool,

there’s not even a hint of its icy past.

The trunk (below)  is covered with tan and brown striped linen and lined

with paper in blue and cream. It made its way around the world in those

long-ago days when the Grand Tour was not so unusual.

A cupcake stand piled with lavender bags and a drying basket full of Swedish

pillow covers keep the industrial worktable from being too manly.  A gray chair

(above) and navy blue ones (below)…..Phew! I’m back in my element.

Oh, no!  More green!  But, I couldn’t pass by the drop leaf with its beautiful,

but, sadly, unseen legs.  And, the bench…green, over red, over lots of other colors…

nobody says no to a sturdy bench, do they?

The worktable (below)  is one of my all-time favorites.  The funky leg set up!  

The curved drawers (why only two in such a long table? and why the

curves?)!   The honey-colored wood!  I really want to bring it back home.

I just love an early sofa.  They are way more comfortable in these modern times

with deep down cushions.  So good looking, too, with the French hand-rolled edges and

hand-covered button tufts.  All thanks to fabulous Jerry, the upholsterer to whom I owe

all praise and allegiance.

The thing that looks like a bike (below, left) is a saddle maker’s work station.

The worker sat on the seat and pedaled, making a saw blade go up and down

through the platform where  leather was cut into pieces for horse tack.  It

is wonderfully sculptural but I’m sure it could not have been so much fun

as a tool.

         

In my window is part of my collection of white jugs with blue writing.  The rest

are strewn around my space. I don’t know why I am selling them at this time.   

I like having big groups of things on offer and, as I was walking through the house

on the day we were bringing down the last load for the bigger space, I said “bring

those jugs!”  While I can’t say I’ve noticed they are gone from a house that is so full,

seeing the photos of them makes me want them back. 

Here are close-ups from some of the jugs.  Aren’t they beautiful?

    

This is making it harder. I may have to rush down to Hudson to reclaim what

is mine before some white-with-blue  jug-loving customer shows up.

  

If only I had had a collection of green jugs lying around on the day I said

“bring those jugs!”,  I could be relaxing right now, safe in the knowledge that

all is white in my world.

What’s In Bournebrook ?

This 10′ work table (below) is among my top ten favorite factory pieces of all time.  It once

had straight legs.  Someone didn’t like it that way and cut them off.   I love the odd 

arangement of criss-cross legs and supports and the curved drawer fronts.

Mountains of old string-tied book remnants grace an otherwise-empty spot.

An 1800s French horse stall window hangs (crookedly, I see) over a counry store counter. 

As usual, grain sacks and grain sack upholstered furniture take pride of place. The old

rippled glass of the display case is so pretty that anything looks good inside it.

Jennifer Lanne’s paintings make everything look better, too!  See more of her paintings at

www.jenniferlanne.com .

 

Is it a cupboard or a big easel ?

So much stuff, so little room.

   

Walking sideways is always a must.

Visit Bournebrook  in Troy, New York or at www.bournebrook.com .

Vichy, Please !

One of the things that I love about Brimfield is seeing old friends, many of whom started out

as, and remain, favorite dealers. A Wednesday treat is seeing Jackie Lantry of Bliss Farm

Antiques who sets up in the third pavilion in the New England Motel field. Although mainly

a purveyor of wonderful French antiques, which she shops for right at the source, it was the

German grain sacks that pulled me into her booth the very first time.

This time, she brought a fabulous collection of diminutive straw baskets (above), each

containing a glass to hold the health-giving Vichy water that, since 50BC has been luring

those seeking to “take the cure” to Vichy, France.  The backdrop in these photos is of old

French linen-bound books and French linen cloches, more of the treasures that went

straight from Jackie’s booth to my truck. Not shown here is the lovely daybed, one of many

special pieces of furniture I have been lucky enough to snag from this friendly and fun

dealer over the years. 

I had a few little straw things of my own (above), the Vichy basket on the right a previous

purchase from Jackie.

     

Because she loves history and loves what she sells, Jackie is among that vanishing breed

of dealers who really knows what she sells and, even better, has the gift of telling the

stories in such a compelling manner that, in spite of heat and other many distractions, I

remember them later!  The baskets (above) in the photo on the left, with the tops that 

slide open on their leather straps, are better, have more value, than the ones on the right

with the hooks.  But,  in the photo on the right, the cork lining in the open basket on the

left, makes it the best of that bunch.

              

Blown glasses are best. Colored glass is better than clear.  An etched Vichy label (above)

is better than one painted on (below).  The numbers on the back side (photo above, on

the left) would allow just the right amount of water to be consumed according to a

Victorian doctor’s orders.

  

I am certainly willing to overlook this clear, painted-labelled glasses’ lesser value in favor

of the charm of its cute little handle!

My collection is beginning to be quite abundant, thanks to Jackie’s French sojourns.  But,

maybe just sitting here looking isn’t enough. Maybe I should be asking Jackie to bring back

a case of that Vichy Water on her next trip to France.  Taking the cure might be just the

thing for breezing through the crazy  heat and humidity of Brimfield in July.

–If you feel the need to take the cure, the antique cure that is, it won’t be necessary to

go all the way to France.  Take a quick, easy trip to www.blissfarmantiques.com  instead.

Amazing Grace

–If I were the betting kind, and someone asked what one word described July  Brimfield

to most people, I would have to put my money on “hot.”  Or maybe “humid.”  

–But, I am going to take the high road.  I won’t complain, at least not now that I am

luxuriating in my air-conditioned house.  Besides, I came home with two truck and trailer

loads of  exceptionally fabulous stuff, saw old friends, made some new ones and was so

impressed, once again, with the good humor and kind hospitality of the dealers. 

–In addition to the things that they brought to sell, bottles of water, sandwiches, ice-

soaked towels, a chair in front of the fan were proffered.  These offerings, many times made

by dealers I had never before met, were gratefully accepted… and not only refreshed my

body and spirit but added to my store of experiences that reinforce my belief that

people are good.

–As I sit here now, thinking and writing , I realize that I’ve changed my mind.  The only

word that I could put my money on to describe Brimfield would be “gracious.”

Heading To the Dump?

I can’t count the number of times, when we’ve parked in some little town,

that someone, after checking out our truck and trailer full of wood and metal,

 has asked  if we’re heading to the dump. They are always surprised and, I am

sure, appalled to learn that we are, in fact, heading home to repurpose our

otherwise junk-worthy load into furniture.

This 8′ cart (above) turned into a cool daybed (below) and only lasted a few hours in

our space in Hudson.

The grain sack cushion cover featured lovely hand-drawn graphics and, of course,

wonderful hand-worked patches and darnings.

       

I wonder if the customer who purchased my factory cart daybed will be asked if

he is heading to the dump on his trip home with this piece. It is a good possibility!

Sunshine On My Shoulder

Remember that old John Denver song that went “sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy” ?

That is just what came to mind yesterday when we plunked this wonderful early sofa down in

our space in Hudson. The sun would have been right on my shoulder if I had had the time to sit.

Meanwhile, the sun on this stuff was in my eyes and just plain annoyed me, even after I

rolled down the awning outside.

It is always so interesting to me how much light affects our moods. I watched myself go

from pleased to pissed in under a minute. Sometimes, sunglasses are the only way to go.