What Have I Been Doing?

For months I’ve been under the impression that, because of some changes in Picasa,
I could not post pictures in my blog.  I’ve missed it so much and have even stopped
taking photos except for those that I need for business.  Tonight I sat down to try
one last time and, somehow…magically,  it all fell into place.

Writing the blog has always been something I have done just to please myself,  kind
of  like keeping a journal.  I never really know if anyone sees me here and that is just
fine.  But, with no recent written record,  I wonder what exactly I have been
doing since the last time I posted.
 

Well, there’s this.
And this.
 

Does it look like Ken does all the really hard work?
It’s true.  It’s a well known fact that all I do is point.
And, he’s not just a pair of strong arms either.  His re-purposing skills are  legendary.
The lockers (above) are a case in point. (This, and many other items in this post,
are on offer at the Hudson Supermarket).
The industrial cart (above) will probably become a small sofa.
The factory table (above) is my most favorite Brimfield purchase. We will
let it sit outside so most of the grease can bake off.  The sun, a
bottle of purple stuff and some sand paper will turn this into a fabulous
honey color.

Another Brimfield favorite, an International tractor grill… soon to be
a piece of sculpture, with the addition of a wooden stand.
Oh, and more prizes!  The zinc tub,  sporting  just the right amount
of old white paint.  The two tall spool boxes leaning on the wall are
from the Scalamandre workshop.  The iron sign, “On the Avenue,”  is
made of pipe and full of holes.  It was originally attached to a gas line
and stood  in front of a Manhattan restaurant back in the days when
there were no rules prohibiting flaming signs on public streets.

Another of Ken’s beautiful pieces (above).
Oh, now I see some more Brimfield favorites.  The blue grey bench!  The French baskets:
goose, truffle, egg, feather, and a stack of 7 for rising bread dough.

One time, a friend said “oh Stephanie, EVERYTHING is your favorite!”
I cannot disagree as I look at this huge ball of string, big enough to
fill a chair, and think “it’s my favorite!”

And, just one last favorite…a grain-sack-covered friend, warming up in the best way
possible on a chilly Brimfield morning.
Looking back at what I’ve been doing for the last few months,  I have to think
it has been time well spent.

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.

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.

“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.

It’s A Guy Thing

Ok, so we’re driving along and we see this thing (below) on the side of the road.  Knowing

it will make an incredible table base, we pull over and we buy it.  The guy says “I’ll get my

fork lift and put it on your trailer.”

So, what is it about machinery that attracts guys like a magnet and causes them to stand

around watching as if Something Really Amazing were going to happen ?

Not that I’m complaining. It would have been way less than amazing to load it ourselves.

It’s the same thing with cars. 

I guess there’s just something about the power of an engine and its ability to make things

happen that draws those fellas in and keeps them looking instead of, like me, saying

“uh huh” as I walk on by.

Pulp Fiction?

No.  Reality !  These great-looking hard rubber balls were used in a paper mill.  They

rolled around inside a drum mashing the necessary ingredients into pulp.

The wonky, less round looking one (above) was attached by the remnant of heavy

fabric to the inside of the drum to keep things stirring.  The  perfectly round ones in

the cart (below) were loose and did the real mixing work.

Lucky me to know pickers with eyes so good that they see the beauty in old stuff

that others would send to the dump.

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.