Speaking of Faces…

My good old friend, Janet Sherwood,  always makes me laugh.  Her

response to the  blog  I had written about the faces of my people was 

“you’ve shown me yours, now I’ll show you mine!”   And so she did.

And here she is…..Joanie Woodenhead !

Joanie is a beautiful girl with a past.  Born in the 1800’s, she spent the

1960’s on the porch of a biker’s bar and the 70’s as a coyote pelt model.

Janet brought her home in the 80’s where she is treated like the royalty

that she is.

–Janet’s shop, Antiques at 30B in Cambridge, NY,  sells some of the

finest, funkiest, folkiest furnishings and objects to be found

anywhere. Check it out!  www.antiquesat30b.com . Thank you,

Janet and Joanie !

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The Faces of My People

My house needs some editing. Well, I guess it could use a whole lot of

editing.  Until recently, I sold from my house and barns to antique dealers

and designers but time doesn’t allow for that any more.  What seemed like

an abundance of cool stuff then, now feels like a crowd.  As I was walking

through my rooms, I noticed, not for the first time, that there are an

awful lot of people living here with us. Here are some of their faces….


So many of them are religious. While I cannot be counted among the orgainzed

faithful, something deep in me responds to the music, accoutrements and

ceremony of places of worship whether meeting-house simple or over the top.

My parents believed that children should  grow up knowing about God and

have some experience of church in order to have something to believe in.

They were pretty lackadaisical, though, and I either attended Sunday School 

at  our own Dutch Reformed Church or went with a friend to their Sunday

School or Synagogue. I was fortunate to live in a town that had dozens of different

choices and I visited almost all of them.

Except for the Catholic Church. Things were different back then, the Catholic

Church was more closed and I was never invited to a service there as a kid.

For a long time, I thought I  didn’t know anyone who was Catholic.

Of course, I eventually got in and, once I have my foot in the door, I’m hard

to get rid of !  The pomp and cirmcumstance, the glory of it all has kept me

enthralled with Catholic services and it is always my first choice when in a

foreign country. I have found that I am perfectly capable of lifting my voice in

song in any language. The Tallis Scholars performing Thomas Tallis’ sacred music

is my favorite to listen to, with Krishna Das’  “All One”  a close second.  But, when it

comes to my people, I don’t confine myself to the pious….


My taste is catholic, not just Catholic.


Anybody want to join me in the church of maple syrup? Aunt Jemima is a saint

in my book!


My big garden girls are all inside the house where they belong.


Big Mouth, from the carnival, and Bedroom Eyes, a mannequin.  These guys

don’t go outside, either.


A santa, hand-made by Terry John Woods.  And a mask which has holes in the

eye area allowing the wearer to see. Terry used to have a sale at his Vermont

family farm one day a year, the day after Thanksgiving. People came from far

away places, like California, and slept in cars overnight on his country road in

order to be first through the door. The handmade items and antiques were pretty

wonderful but I don’t think I would give up Thanksgiving for them. It only took

me 2 hours to drive to his hamlet.  And another hour to find the place, tucked

away on a dirt road, a mile down from a five corners. I could never quite remember

which of those roads to take.


Old papier mache angels. Too nice to keep in a closet till Christmas.  And,

Patina and her other sister, Patina.  Patina is technically the green that shows

up on metal when it oxidizes. However, most of us call the signs of age on any old

surface “patina” and get away with it every time.

There are dozens more people in my house, but enough is enough.   Above,

though, is a preview of what’s coming…the faces of my animals! I have a very

strong feeling that, during the editing process, none of my people are going to

get the boot.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Blah, blah, blah. When will she ever run out of things to say?

She just goes on and on. I’d rather sleep.

If I ignore her, she’ll just go away.

Too bad!  In the words of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, “I will not be ignored!”

Funky Little Extras

Over the years, I have purchased so many otherwise-ordinary objects  just because

they included the name of the maker. I don’t know what drives a factory worker to

mark his territory this way. Maybe to do just that, mark his territory, warning others

to stay away from his tools or his space. Maybe for ego, to say “I am me, I am here.”

Maybe just for the fun of it.  Whatever the reason, the charm of these pieces always

makes me want them. And, I just don’t like to leave something so intimate behind.

Below, to the right of the wing with the grain sack pillow, is Clyde’s cart.

Brian took the time to make the iron sign, below, complete with mysterious symbols,  

for his work station.

Factory molds include so many small interestingly-shaped parts. Did the workers who

used the molds see letters among the mix?  Below, the word “build” has been newly

fashioned from mold parts by our friend, Jim.

Ken put “play” together with parts purchased from Jim.

I love it when the haul from one of the factory guys includes some funky-folky things.

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!

An Eagle Eye

Last week we headed to Massachusetts to meet one of the factory guys and to

pick up more of the industrial pieces that we turn into furniture.  Just before

we crossed over the border into Vermont, we noticed a few people with

cameras taking photos of what looked like nothing but a field of cut corn stalks

and a hill way off in the background.  There were “No Parking Or Stoping” signs

all along this back-country road. Why? Who would want to park here anyway?

This was all intriguing enough to make us want to stop (and park!) on our way

back home. On our return trip we did park, about  a mile down the road, and

trekked to the spot where the photographers had been. Here’s what we found :

And this !  A huge eagle’s nest.  With a sitting bald eagle. Can you see its white

head in the middle of the nest?  Even with the telephoto lens, the 350′ rule

made it difficult to get a perfect picture. 

As thrilled as we were at this siting, we enjoyed even more the closer contact

with this eagle (below)  just down the road from our house.  Ken jogs in this area 

and sees a pair of eagles soaring over the water almost every day. His eagle eye

spotted this beautiful bird on our way home yesterday.

I don’t blame Ken for getting out of the truck to get a better look.  Of course, that

was the eagle’s cue to fly away home. Probably to a nest similar to the one we saw

last week.

Eagles can spot a tiny meal from high in the sky.  Our sight is not as keen.  It is

insight, I guess, that allows us to see beyond what is in plain sight.

For Those Who See

 Amish people live in New York State.  Did you know that?

We drove by this field of Amish haystacks one day when an appointment with a picker left

us no time to stop.  Edged in wildflowers and with a fabulous view, not to mention the funky

haystacks, the field begged us to come back another day.

A few weeks later, we were back in that same area.  After a few wrong turns, there they

were, right where we left them, looking like wonky little cartoon characters marching in


I know that they have a purpose and that hard work is involved.  But, as I sit here today, it is

easy to think that these haystacks, that have compelled me to go out of my way, are placed

here for the pleasure of those of us who don’t just drive by,  but stop to really see.