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.

Just Perfect

I like things to be in order. Dramatic is good, chaotic is not. This counter is symmetrical:

drawers, doors, drawers. On top are display cases, one, two, three. Behind are factory

molds, all in a row and just the width of the counter. Nice!

A row of French baskets on a bench…

Verticals and horizontals in perfect harmony…
Straight farm-implement shelves displaying license plate frames: one on one,
no more, no less.
But, wait! What’s this? What happened to symmetry? Harmony? Everything in its
I guess a laughing friend, keeping warm under a grain sack at an early morning
flea market is as perfect as it gets.
All but my cozy friend were in The Hudson Mercantile.

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.

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!

A Country Chaise and A Tantrum

–It only took 6 hours (2 hours of in-person training last week in Burlington, Vt….

not to mention the 6 hours of driving time, a 1 hour DimDim…or, as I call it, Dumb

Dumb…session this morning and 3 hours of trial, error and tears this afternoon) for

me to enter this one photo, here in this spot.

–Now that it’s in, I wonder if I can do it again.  And, if not, why did I choose this

particular picture when I have so many others that I like, probably way more than

this one? Even so, it’s a good-looking daybed with its grain sack pillow (even though

it is so unfortunately placed across the center of the picture), very few weeds appear

in the spaces where I mean to have moss or creeping-something growing, the road

hardly shows.  And, after all, it IS a country road. But what’s that spot on the stone? 

Does it exist or is it some camera concoction?  It was starting to rain as I set up the

shot and I had to think fast: save the daybed or save the camera? Oh, go ahead, one

quick click won’t hurt….

–But wait! Why am I obsessing over imperfections, both real and imagined, when,

finally, after weeks of wishing, success is mine?  Look what I did!  Who cares what it

looks like!  In fact, it is fabulous.

A Summer Full of Brimfield

Our summers seem to run from Brimfield to Brimfield to Brimfield.  No sooner has May ended than July is here, then September, and it’s over for another year. There are a million pleasing ways to while away the summer days, but, for us, nothing ever quite comes close to the thrill and satisfaction of Brimfield.

This past May, we set up at the Vintage Textile Show in Sturbridge, Ma. and Heart of the Mart at Brimfield.  We took hundreds of fabulous hand-decorated German grain sacks, furniture upholstered with grain sacks and industrial carts and tables for display. We had a wonderful time, sold most of what we brought, met some great people and spent  the other days of that week out in the fields buying.

We are not selling at any of the July shows so we will just be buying, seeing people,  and enjoying the whole experience. And, since we don’t have to get ready for any shows, we can spend our time talking about our favorite things at Brimfield.

Sitting in the food court at Hertan’s is right at the top of the list. Watching the people go by carrying everything under the sun, transporting treasures by any means possible. In May, we saw a man pushing a baby stroller. The stroller was bulging with antique loot while a poodle, presumably the normal occupant of the stroller, was happily riding on the hood. Also spotted, was a guy carrying a pile of chairs on his head. So many buyers ride bikes through the fields, later to be seen with both bike and rider loaded down with a virtual plethora of goodies.

Other things we love are the feeling on Tuesday morning when excitement is high and anything seems possible, the fresh-squeezed lemonade that just hits the spot after 3 hours of walking, the Pilgrim Sandwich even when the line is too long, the rush when the gates open, making it to your favorite dealer before anyone else, buying the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, the big chicken (or cow or man with a cane)…you know: the 15 foot tall wonder that took 6 strong men to unload, war stories, seeing your friend across the street carrying 4 chandeliers and knowing you would have helped her if only you hadn’t been carrying 6 yourself….

The buying and selling are fun and, of course,  great for business. But, it’s  the things that make us laugh, gawk, sneer or call our friends back home to report some amazing siting that keep us enthralled.