Winter Walk…Hudson Style

On Saturday Ken and I had the extreme pleasure of attending Hudson’s  Winter Walk.

We started the night in the same way we start everything we do in Hudson, with

something delicious from chef extraordinaire Chris Hebert, whose cafe is right in the

back of the Hudson Supermarket where we have our antique show space. Next, with

the idea of walking off some of our desert, seeing the sights and, for me, the chance

to get some photos, we headed out into the street just in time for the most charming

handmade parade.

    

 

Music was everywhere.

We wondered how those musicians performing outside could make their fingers  

work on this 30 degree night.

You know what else was everywhere? Dogs!

Hudson is a dog-loving town and there were almost as many bowls of water on

the sidewalks outside of shops as there were tasty people treats inside.

 

Move over Amsterdam! We’ve got the windows!

  

The hula-hooper, belly dancers, balloon-twisting clown and ballerina worked it

without a break and drew admiring crowds all night.

      

Windows,  fine…..

 

funky….. 

 

and Dickensian.

But, what happened here? The bad monkey wrecks the joint and then just sits there

contemplating a piece of broken crystal while in the background, a bird, obviously

an accomplice, flies around doing who knows what on the carpet.  I just love this

totally unexpected Christmas crisis window.

Below:

Our first stop was at 3Fourty Seven. As soon as you see The Chandelier, you know that

these people are not afraid to say who they are. Housed in a big old garage, this place has

Bold! written all over it.

  

They just opened, but with their ecclectic mix of modern, factory, textiles and oddball

artwork that just works, I know they will be enjoying a long, successful run.

  

They are a super-friendly group of architects, set designers and style-makers. Check

them out at 347 Warren Street. 518-291-4780.

www.3FourtySeven.com.        info@3FourtySeven.com.

  

 

Below:

Next, we headed into Hudson Home.  Again, we were met by friendly smiles and given a

tour of the beautiful shop with its stylish, comfortable-looking  furnishings, plush bedding

and unusual accouterments.

     

And, again, dogs! I wasn’t kidding when I said Hudson is a dog town. A dramatic orange

room sports a few dozen photos of white-framed white dogs and the theme of orange

and dogs is carried out on the table of Christmas decorations and in the two

Chi Chi Chi Chia-looking poodles in the front window.

Be sure to ask about the unusual modern fireplace and the checkerboard rug.

  

It is no surprise that Hudson Home just had a nice blurb in Vogue.   356 Warren Street.

518-822-8120. www.hudson-home.com.     richard@hudson-home.com.

   

Below:

And then there’s Kosa! The home of organic, recycled, green, indie clothing and jewelry.

Even when time is not on our side, my friends and I stop here. I go straight to the

legwarmers, fingerless gloves, spats and skirts all made from vintage sweaters by

Oh Deer.

    

My friends, all artists, like the indie clothing and would love the coat being modelled 

by the accommodating customer below. I hope she bought it because it looked pretty

great on her.    502 Warren Street. 528-828-6620. www.kosa-co.net.

       

Below:

Hudson and Mark Wasserback. Mark Wasserback and Hudson. These names are

synonymous. Mark’s Antiques has been around for as long as I can remember and,

luckily, some things just never change. The inventory is crazy, edgy and heaped to

the rafters in any old higgledy-piggledy way. But don’t be fooled. This stuff is 

fast-moving and it’s not the kind of place where you should say “I’ll think about it”

and then wander off to lunch.

     

The photo on the right (above) is of a section of a fabulous 8′ x 5′ table top that Mark

had made from metal printer’s plates.

  

So many disparate things to see, like the wooden Madonna, above, and the

aluminum light fixture, below.

 

Below, a divine blue-gray tack cupboard that I really love.  Apparently,

and for reasons not understood by either Mark or me, alfalfa was placed in

the top part of the cupboard. Something to do with cleaning the tack.  I did

go home…happy!…with the factory board in the photo on the right, below.

     

Mark’s factory presentation of party snacks induced me to step away from my

no-sugar routine long enough to enjoy one or two cookies.   612 Warren Street.

528-701-5382.       wass1@nycap.rr.com.

   

But, there’s more!  At the back of Mark’s store, steps, like a stairway to heaven,

lead to another of Hudson’s long-standing gems: Larry’s Back Room.

 Chock full of treasures, some traditional

period pieces, some not traditional at all, you’d need some time to poke around

in here.

 

I spotted a pair of  tall silver factory molds that, to me, are just begging to

be wine tasting tables. Larry’s walls are lined with collections, backed with

burlap, interestingly mounted and accurately labelled.

  

 612 Warren Street.  528-248-2643.      Lforman1@nycap.rr.com.

At this point, Ken, who had been really patient while I took almost 300 photos and

talked a blue streak, looked like he was getting weary.

So we headed back to the Hudson Supermarket…..

to check up on our space….

straighten the grain sacks…

and the mountain of lavender bags…

and the big pile of pagent wings I brought in to sell…

and to watch the fireworks that call an end to a very happy night.

What’s In Hudson Supermarket ?

Thursday is always a good day, not just because we bring new stuff to our space in

the Hudson Supermarket, but because we eat!  There is a cafe right in the back of

the store and Chris, the chef, is incredible.

This time, blue and silver run throughout our space.

And, as always, grain sacks.

The metal shelving unit in the window (mixed with reflections of buildings and

cars) has perfect proportions and patina.

Blue is popular right now.  Nice for me, since it has always been my favorite

color.

More perfection, at least to my eye, in the finish on this Philadelphia workbench.

Sometimes, a table in natural wood is ok, especially if the legs are so beautiful !

This is the third blue cupboard with glass doors I have had here this month.

People must like glass doors right now as much as they like blue. Great food

and the blues. I can’t think of anything better…

(Hungry? Check it out at Hudson Supermarket or www.hudsonsupermarket.com).

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 .

Amusing Myself With Patina

Last week, while Ken and Ned tore apart my space in the Hudson Supermarket

(www.hudsonsupermarket.com), I, who am so easily bored, wished for something

interesting to do while I waited for my turn :  to put it all back together again. 

I looked around, sighing, till I spied patina.  I love patina.  Endlessly fascinating,

patina, with its layers, textures and colors,  never lets me down. Here are some of the

patina-rich objects which were moving this way and that in my booth….

  

Above, a rusting farm thing, posing as a sunflower and an appealing tear in a canvas-

covered trunk. I guess this kind of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And since, in this

instance, I am the beholder and I am alone, no one can dispute my claim.

  

Layers of paint on a diminutive (6″ x 6″) radiator cover and more farm things. Sometimes

I wonder what I would sell if it weren’t for farms and factories.

     

Above, left, is my favorite thing from July Brimfield, a zinc cupboard (no, not a fridge!)

from a defunct silver manufacturing company in Pittsburgh. The photo (below, left) is a

close up of the round industrial table in the photo (above, right). Hard-packed sludge…

ya gotta love it. (I am alone, no one can dispute me!)

       

I have a passion for these roof drain caps (above, right).  The shape, the color, the wire. 

Apparently, not everyone shares my enjoyment, as these sturdy little  gems were usually

tossed in the garbage, making them difficult to find. My pickers in Pennsylvania, who have 

the most discerning taste, had this nice bunch of 15 in their barn. 

Linen-covered French books (above) all in a row. Pretty toppers for a rustic work table.

I used them in my last blog to display my Vichy baskets. Today, when I was taking more

Vichy photos, I wished the books had been safe at home, instead of  in Hudson where they

were at risk of being sold!  I know that I have to let people buy my stuff. But, I don’t have

to like it.

      

Big cabana pins and a vane with peeling layers of old paint. I have hundreds of pins in both

Hudson and Bournebrook.  The staff in both centers say that all day long  they hear the

swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the pins being pushed back and forth as customers look for the

one with a favorite number. Grain sacks, of course, are central to any discussion (of mine!)

about patina with their many weaves and beautiful old repairs.

Time spent admiring patina is never wasted.

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.”

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

In all my years of selling antiques, I have only known one dealer who didn’t have

a house full of favorite things. She is a smart woman who knows her product.  And

that is all it is to her…a product.  She  can admire it and place it in her inventory,

but keep it?   Not  her!

   

Me, on the other hand? I love everything way too much to sell!  The grain sack

(above) is my oldest. I certainly can’t be expected to sell that!

 

This grain sack (above) ?  Please!  It’s one of my favorites.  I can’t sell that one

either.  I loved the one (below) so much that I hid it so no customer would see

it in the grain sack room.  I have some large piles of  “Private Stock” (all too

wonderful to sell) which I occasionally delve into when someone needs

something special,  like a ram or a bee skep.  I got so anxious about this sack,

that I made it into a purse so no one could talk me out of it!  Not that I ever carry

a purse.  But, still.

All antique dealers have their lists of the things they should have bought and

the things they wish they had not sold.  Most have houses full of their favorites. 

Many keep only the best of the best.  I only keep what makes my heart sing.

That makes it the best of the best for me.

“What Are Those Things?”

A customer came here the other day, a set decorator I’ll call D, who I really like

a lot. She was looking for mostly workbenches and industrial pieces for an up-

coming movie she is designing.  She brought her friend along, another set designer

from California, who I will call S.  After my house, they were continuing on to the

Finger Lakes where they both have family. 

As we wandered through the house, on the off-chance that something for the movie

was lurking around inside, S asked “what are all those things you have everywhere?

I love them!” 

  They were, of course, grain sacks.

But why had she never seen grain sacks before?  A set designer! From California!

Well, she just hadn’t!  But, now that she had made this miraculous discovery, she

wanted two for some chairs.  So, while D and Ken went out to the barns to check

out the big stuff, S and I went to work picking out the two very best sacks in the

bunch.

This was no easy task given the hundreds of choices and, at some point, S said  “I

wish you only had two!”   We started with the new-old stock (like the ones above),

which most people who are new to grain sacks prefer for its less well-worn presence. 

      

And, graduated quickly to the old-old sacks.  S is a set decorator, from California,

after all, and was thrilled with the old hand-worked repairs, the darnings and

patches that I love.

    

We tried different ones on the back a chair,  made piles on the floor and, in what

felt like no time ’cause I was having such fun,  found the perfect two. 

Customers always offer to help put the grain sacks back on the shelves and I always

decline.  There’s nothing more relaxing than being alone with my grain sacks, folding,

stacking on the correct shelves : wreathes with wreathes, plows with plows. A bonus

that day was finding Mitten, sound asleep and not even pretending to help. I guess I’m

not the only one who relaxes around grain sacks.

Wishes On Grain Sacks

A few weeks ago, a friend, one who started out as a customer, came to my

house to get some grain sacks. She drove a distance, at least 8 hours one

way, to get here. Before she came, she emailed that she was so excited about

seeing me. My exact feelings went right back to her. I like her so much and,

when we finally saw each other, we smiled and hugged, talked, laughed and

went crazy looking at grain sacks. It was a perfect few hours before she had

to be on her way, each of us making promises to see each other again soon,

expressing wishes that we lived closer to each other. 

The really unusual thing, for me, is that we had never met in person till that

day! Our entire  relationship was made of air…. words in the air via the

computer and boxes of grain sacks sent through the air from me to her.

Without computers, the internet and google we probably would never have

met. And what a loss that would have been.

Some of my favorite grain sacks state “God Bless Our Crops and Animals”….

A few ask for the  blessing of the owner’s handiwork….

I hope that someday, among the piles of my treasured textiles, I will be able to

say that I have a grain sack that expresses my wish :  “God Bless My Friends”

Grain Sacks. They’re Everywhere !

I always think of myself as a seller of industrial furnishings, with a little bit of

mercantile, a little bit of painted country, a little bit of European and a lot of funk,  just

to keep it interesting.

And, while I’ve been buying and selling grain sacks for 13 years,  in the last year it

seems like they have really taken over.  They’re everywhere!   

They are certainly all over my house.  And, I  have a large grain sack room where I store

the hundreds of sacks in my stock. 

Of course,  my spaces in Bournebrook and Hudson Supermarket are brimming with

sacks, as well.

One of my favorite times is when I happen to be in one of my spaces when someone from

Germany comes in and spots the sacks.  They are always so pleased to see these items

from home and to think of the names of German towns on furnishings across America.

I fell in love the day I saw my first German grain sacks in a pile of junk  in a  guy’s attic. I

knew that something good had happened, in fact  I felt like I had hit the jackpot!  But,

even then, I had no idea that  they would fill my space and life in this way.