What’s New In The Hudson Supermarket?

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MORE SPACE = MORE FUN.
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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.
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I love it here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
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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.
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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….
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I could have more chickens!

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And, more of the world’s largest flags.
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More French chaises. This one is upholstered in a vintage heavy linen, embroidered
French sheet, natch.
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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.
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And, another few Frenchy day dream daybeds.
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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.
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They’ve already been copied by a well-known retailer. Whom I shall not
name.
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Their mass-produced fabric is unusual and really wonderful.
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But not as nice as mine!
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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!
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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!
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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.
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Other textiles, samples of linen and cotton duck.
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And an old artist’s apron.
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Piles and piles of old bags…
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of all different kinds.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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 A 1950s paint bucket! I love the embossed numbers and the
happy housewife.
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Even old oil cans looked better back then.
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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.
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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.
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A see-saw turned bench. Something fun for a front porch.
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A pair of 1800s iron rabbits.
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And a mid century papier mache panda.  Animals. Still the loves of my life.
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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.

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I think this one is my favorite with its farm animals, barn, baskets and view.
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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.
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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.

‘Cause Doesn’t Everybody Need A Price Tag Room?

I think that deep down, no matter how lackadaisical we might be, we all
really crave organization. It just feels better when everything is in its place,
when the scissors are in the drawer where we need them, when the car keys
are there when we’re ready to roll.
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Even more, many of us want special places for doing the things that give us
pleasure: a place to wrap presents or to paint. And, in truth, we are so
affected by our surroundings, that we  experience a better time in spaces that look
nice than we do in chaos. Who wants to do laundry squeezed into the corner of a
damp basement when an attractive, sunny place would be so much more appealing?
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Trends come and go but the most interesting and, to me, astounding one a few
years ago was the advent of Costco Rooms. These large, expensive additions were
purely for stockpiling purchases made at the discount store, Costco. I still find it hard
to believe that the savings gained by the bulk purchase of discounted paper towels
would ever off set the price of the room itself.
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However, my own recent brainstorm for using a small barely-seen room in
my house has made me see that maybe I was too quick to scoff at the Costco Room.
For I am now the happy owner of a Price Tag Room…..
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Tucked in a cranny, under beams in the 1790 part of our farmhouse, the space has
been an unused bedroom, an unused sitting room and an unused writing room in our
time. One day while I was dragging my price tag bag around the house, trying to
decide where I should set myself up, I got the idea that this nice little room was the
perfect place to be. All I had to do was find a perfect table in the barn and I’d be ready
to go. Everything else was already there: an old wicker waste basket, decorated with
papier mache swags and fruit, paintings and other decor that I love.
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Store display cow heads, organ pipes with the most amazing patina. Beams!
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A commodious and oh-so-comfortable English wing chair…
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The walls were painted a few years ago to look like a forest by my friend, artist Jennifer
Lanne.  They are covered wall-to-wall with my favorite paintings of farm animals…
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Below, a study from Sweden…
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And this sweet-looking trio…
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But, what is going on here? Where are these barnyard friends going by the light of the

moon? Are they off to a seaside vacation? A night on the town? They say every picture

tells a story but this one, delightfully, leaves me with many questions left unanswered.

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Below, a farm wife in a blue apron pours fresh cool water for her pretty girls. I
place myself in her wooden shoes and feel the joy of her spectacular surroundings.
I know it is work! But just look at the expression on her face! She is providing something
nice for those who provide for her. While wearing cool clothing! All that beauty just
has to make her day brighter.
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Below, all is primitive and perfect, from the ladder leaning on a thatched roof to the
chickens enjoying breakfast in the sun.  Someday, when I become a painter, I want
to be just like this artist who (imagining two suns or just not planning ahead), cast
shadows from the trees and from the ladder from two different angles.
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Cows in art are always wandering down country lanes.
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Wandering down lanes. Drinking cool water. Eating fresh green grass.
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In beautiful places.
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Places we would like to be ourselves.
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It all seems so wholesome, so simple, so easy.
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So peaceful.
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Is it any wonder that century after century artists want to paint these scenes and
we want to own them? They make us feel so good.
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What else makes me feel good? Sitting at my desk, looking at this fabulous
6 foot x 6 foot painting (below), another by Jennifer Lanne. I asked her to paint me
something with a bookcase and a chair. She knows me well so there’s no need
to say more. There are two paintings within this painting: one of sheep
on the middle shelf on the left side of the bookcase and the other a painted
pillow on the chair (the pillow’s scene is hard to see in this photo).
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And, of course, the reason for the room:  the price tags!
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I guess it begs the question, why a Price Tag Room?
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It all goes back to the price tags themselves. I have been in the antiques business
for many years and have always wanted my tags to be as unusual and interesting
as the pieces they represent.
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Just like the desire to have my surroundings be appealing, I want the work
I do to please me, to please my eye, to be fun for me and, hopefully, be fun
for the customers in the Hudson Supermarket where I have my public show
room. Writing price tags isn’t a chore for me. It is part of what makes me love
what I do. Having a perfect place to do this enhances the experience in ways I
didn’t expect when I decided to give myself this room.
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In the early years, I made price tags from photos and other printed paper
of heavy stock. There were old tattered hand-made linen maps, restaurant
receipts and anything else that caught my eye.
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When I started selling industrial furnishings, some of the private pickers with whom I had
developed relationships had items, such as the metal machine labels (pictured above),
which I couldn’t resist. I asked for more and now have such a huge collection that, even
if I never purchased another tag, I would be set for life! While a Sharpie does work on the
metal tags, a paper sticker on the back side does an even better job and looks nicer.
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The one above is my all-time favorite. I use it for pricing my most favorite pieces. It has
everything going for it… Money! Trouble! An old car! I just know the waving driver of
this 1940s dream car is having fun, maybe even looking for trouble. The speed lines
behind the car seem to prove me right. I don’t mind at all that I have to reinforce the
string hole. And speaking of string…
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The string is important, too! I use everything from heavy electrical wire to fat cotton fishing
line. The brown waxed twine is from France, the brown with pink at the bottom of the photo
has copper wire inside its cloth webbing. I match the string to the mood of the piece of furniture
and the tag. This is all very time consuming but so much more satisfying, for me, than
writing on the same old, same old, same old little white Office Max tag with its wimpy white
string.
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Storage is a key component of my happy life! Interesting containers make all the difference.
Which brings me right back to that Costco Room which, suddenly, doesn’t seem so weird,
after all!

What’s In Hudson?

About a third of our smaller Brimfield purchases have absorbed into our space
at the Hudson Supermarket.  The big stuff, the counters,  cupboards, workbenches
are all in the rough and all require cleaning, repairing, re-purposing or something.
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It is nice to wind down from our days at Brimfield by moving furniture around
and making things look fresh.
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I am crazy about the door and the industrial scale, both from Brimfield.
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Sadly, the counter with the fab back splash didn’t work in my bathroom.
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I love this counter with its many layers of robin’s egg over red over mustard.
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When I admired my friend’s tea chest, she said “don’t you think it’s a side table?”
Lucky me to have friends with the good sense to know a side table when they see
one.
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This 3′ trough (I have a pair) is my most favorite small purchase from Brimfield.
I guess it is something to do with chickens? If anyone finds more, I will buy them!
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More things from Brimfield: an unusual tin and enamel pitcher and a moonshine
jug.
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I love tiny stove doors, especially if they have great decoration. This one is
just 6″ and is my first with a crown. Next to it (not shown)  is one with a
mermaid.
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Below, another Brim favorite. The skulls might be a warning: Hands Off!
Keep Out! Or just a trendy statement. Either way, I couldn’t keep my hands
off of this funky box.
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There’s a whole lot of stuff I couldn’t keep my hands off of at Brimfield.
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And in the coming weeks, it will all make its way to Hudson.
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Brimfield. Hot Hot Hot.

No one would deny that Brimfield was hot. Really hot. But still, it is
Brimfield and a little heat isn’t going to prevent the buyers and sellers
from arriving in droves.
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Especially when there are spectacular things to see. Like this…
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And this…
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And this…
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And places to cool your heels. Like this…
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And this…
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Or a cozy shed to take a nap? Like this…
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Things to buy. Like this…
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People to help you load your truck. Like this…
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All in all, the heat doesn’t seem so bad when you are just gazing, sitting,
sleeping and directing.

Strong Bodies

It is obvious to me, as I watch Ken and Tom load this very heavy, 11 foot long
country store counter, that they must have eaten their Wonder Bread.  Because,
as we all know, Wonder Bread Builds Strong Bodies 8 Ways.
I was thrilled to get this fabulous counter because of  its hand-painted advertising.
We will probably make 2 four foot counters and one 3 footer. Or something like that.
Unless a customer wants it long.  Maybe I’ll put half  in the Hudson Supermarket and
keep the other half.  Here I go again, planning to keep my inventory.  But, when will I
ever see another one of these again? Sheesh.
It is difficult for most antique dealers, at least the ones who purchase only what they
love, to part with any of it. Especially the special things, the one of a kind items, the
pieces that you will never forget.  Most have lists in their minds of the things they
wish they kept.  Many of us constantly switch this piece for that one in our houses.
But in the end, it is a business, a livelihood and, sadly, we can’t keep it all.  But why
not just this one counter??????

 

Perfect or Patina?

The iron horse (below)  languished at the bottom of the ocean off the Jersey shore until

it was discovered, along with many other small treasures, by a deep-sea-diving antique

dealer.  Its charm is so great that I have never wanted to part with it.

Would anyone else have chosen this rusty old downspout?  It is one of the oldest
downspouts in my large collection. The fact that its top is a bit bashed and I have
had to glue its original embellishments back on a few times has only made me
love it more.
Or this worn out puti? There is real beauty under the fabulous old paint.  It is nice
to see the cracks and texture in the straw-plaster mix and find parts of the iron
wire structure, that help to make permanent what really is so delicate, peeking out in
places.
My best frame? Not for everybody. And, the gilded lion who perches inside it once graced
something far fancier than I’d ever possess. Unless covered in layers of paint and grunge.
The beautiful mirrored glass fragments with the deeply-cut stars were originally owned,
in the same broken condition, by a dancer with the New York Ballet who must have
loved them as much as I do. His downsizing (at a sale run by the fabulous Janet Sherwood
of Antiques at 30B) was my good luck and, while I’ve moved them around many times
over the last 15 years, I have never considered, even under the greatest of customer
pressure, letting these lucky stars leave my house.
Alligatoring!  Nice!  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, of course, and alligatoring…one
of the many expressions of patina… is one that I always hope to find.
Most people don’t want lamps in this deteriorating state. But, “looks good, works good,
is good”, that’s what I say. The tests of form and function are both satisfied and so am I.
And I guess they wouldn’t pick this copper flag pole topper out of the crowd, either. Or
should I just admit that it is an industrial plunger and move on? Where there’s patina,
who needs a fancy title?
Patina with writing? I love it! This colorful early washtub is a testament to our
longing for beauty in our work-a-day lives, the hope for little pleasures to make
what could be a dreary chore more fun.
Zinc labeling on wood. Old gray paint. Good as it gets.
Nothing like a whole pile of patina to make my heart sing.  So many people stopped
on their way down our country road to ask when our sale started that we had to
pitch a tent, hidden behind one of the barns, to temporarily store this huge overflow
from a week’s worth of shopping at Brimfield.
Some would say that these doors had seen better days. They would be wrong!
Raggedy old her? Right up my alley!
Her, too…same alley.
Mighty good pickins in some of those alleys!
Why, oh, why did I sell this cupboard? Yes, I know it is the top half of a cupboard.
But, so what? Its proportions are good and just look at the layer upon layer of
whites, grays, blues over nice old pine.
And this one? Sooo pretty. And, look here: while the previous cupboard was the
top half, this one is the side half… cut down the middle. See the bottom rail? When
it was whole, it had a traditional inverted heart-shaped skirt. A clever fix for a
piece that must have been too damaged to retain its full width.
What about this cupboard? The paint is original on all of these, I swear that it’s
true. The way that the paint has re-arranged itself on this one is a feast for the
patina-loving eye.
At least I still have the weather vane (below).  It is not old, of that I am sure.
But it is extremely well made from old patina-ready iron parts and I couldn’t be
happier with it even if it were celebrating its hundredth birthday.
And, this one! I took it to my shop, then thought better of it and brought it right back home
where it belongs.
But, this pretty-in-pink shutter panel, one of 8…..gone with the wind.
Same sad story for the pink-over-green sofa. Gone but not forgotten.
Potato Chips? Paint chips? Who’s asking?
Another metal label. Why don’t they do this any more? I mean I know it’s about cost, but
what a shame to see bar codes on hard-to-remove stickers where craftsmanship used to
reside.
Green, over red, over white, over who knows what else? So many layers, so carefully
chosen, showing for all they are worth and knowing full well that things of beauty
have no fear of time.

And, patina does take time…
Sometimes the elements help.
But, wait! Did I say that patina takes time? I guess that I meant that SOMETIMES
patina takes time. While other times it just needs a little skill: like in the case of this
cupboard, currently at the Hudson Supermarket,  that benefited so greatly from
Ken’s magic brush.
I’ve never chosen perfect things and, to be honest, while I can appreciate items of
high quality and fine finishes, I don’t particularly care to own them.  They seem
ordinary,  a little hum-drum, too high maintenance. Maybe too easy. Definitely
not as much fun. Sometimes it is price that makes me choose the fixer-uppers, the
pieces begging to be turned into something else. Sometimes it is just the imperfection
itself that reels me in. I do know for sure, though, that given the choice between
perfect and patina, I will choose patina every time. Or, maybe that’s just another
way of saying that patina IS perfect.

Dang It !

Life is meant to be fun and I am committed to doing my best toward that end.
The copper sink, the custom steer head from a western ranch, the letters that
could have come straight out of the mouth of a cowboy on that ranch all put a
smile on my face.
Friendly Service…is not a thing of the past. All these photos are of my items in
the Hudson Supermarket, where friendly service is alive and well.
This glass melting pot, from a 1905 glass-blowing factory in West Virginia has an
unusual story attached. The pickers who cleaned the place out when it closed in the
1990s, were told that this was called a “pee pot” and, in order to keep the pot primed,
it was necessary to (yikes!) pee in it first.
I have a tall stack of  1950’s Motor Magazines and every cover is a
joy to behold.
Who doesn’t like a tiny pair of 1930’s football pants?  Only about 2 feet long,
I can just see the tough little freckle- faced kid who wore these.
I have a real thing for contractor’s model houses (see the roof sitting behind it?).  The best
one I ever saw, at Brimfield, of course, was enormous, about 5 feet long and three stories
tall. It, too, was a contractor’s piece but this time, the house was an advertisement for
home renovations. It had a dozen tiny workers: painters, carpenters, roofers, electricians,
all standing on ladders or in some way attached to the building, doing their jobs. The
happy homeowners were standing outside watching the proceedings with much good cheer.
A few of the people and house parts were sitting near the house and the seller told us that
he had driven all the way from Virginia with the house, uncovered, on top of his truck.
Sheesh! No wonder all those renovations were required. That house did not make it to my
house, only because the price was so sadly, but justifiably, high. But, after 20+ years, I
remember it still.
This garden string winder is a thing of such beauty to my eyes. The patina, shape
and the remnants of old twine just leave me, like that cowboy, saying
“Dang!” Life sure is fun…

Red Chair Comes To Hudson!

Much to my delight, Red Chair Antiques, formerly of Peterborough, New
Hampshire, has moved to Hudson, New York.  Located at 606 Warren
Street, right in the heart of Hudson’s fabulous and famous antique district,
owner, Jocie Sinauer, has, once again created a stunning, dream-like feast
for the eyes.
Ken and I enjoyed a sneak peek yesterday, a day before her Memorial Weekend
opening. Somewhat larger than the lovely Peterborough store, this location has a
real Swedish farmhouse feel with its soft colors, two levels and rear courtyard.
The look is European-American-rustic-sophisticated-edgy-fresh and 100% chic.
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The photos here are of Jocie and her husband, David’s, Peterborough house
but give an idea of the treasures and treats to be expected at the new store.
Check out Jocie’s site, www.redchair-antiques.com for more.
All these photos are the property of:
Amy Azzarito of Design Sponge (wwwdesignsponge.com).

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Red Chair is only three blocks up from the Hudson Supermarket and it is

going to be fun having such a fabulous new store in the hood.  I highly

recommend that a visit be planned ASAP.

Red Chair on Warren

606 Warren Street,

Hudson, New York  12534

redchair-antiques.com