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A Glass Bottle Collection

A collection can really be of something quite basic, super utilitarian but ultimately should be something that pleases you on many levels. At Hawthorne we started collecting old, heavy glass bottles & jars that have writing on them. We use them for single stem vases but when not called in to duty to hold a flower, they look swell massed together to enjoy visually as the collection in the dining room. We find them when out and about looking for vintage for the shops. I try and never spend more than $20 for one. These little beauties can be super spendy as they are quite old and certain ones become quite collectible. We pass on those and revel in the beauty of more basic versions. For it is a collection that is meant to be used, so if one breaks we are not all torn up by it. For it is a ‘working’ collection. To be admired when not in action but they really come to life when a bloom makes the little vessels just sing.



 

 

Here’s Looking At You

Over the years we have been drawn to and collected many paintings of faces, grouping them all in our guest bedroom at The Gainsborough. Portraits have a ‘moment in time’ feel. Even though they are painted by a variety of artists, there is a similarity that makes them a collective whole. They are always on my wish list when out vintage shopping for the stores. You just never know when you might turn a corner and be looked upon by the newest member of the collection.



 

 

An Anniversary and A Painting

The portraits by our friend, photographer Richard Beaven for a show in honor of the bicentennial of Ghent, New York. 275 residents were chosen to be part of the exhibit called All of Us, shot in their home environs. Thought it fitting to post these as Tuesday was our 31st anniversary. Just typing that makes me think, “Who are those people?!” Time really does whiz by. All kidding aside, we feel incredibly fortunate and always celebrate the day looking back on the years. As well as give each other a piece of art. I have written much about this over the years but for those new readers, this has been our tradition since anniversary number one. It is a collection among our many collections that brings us the most happiness. The art surrounds our lives each day and we are able to enjoy the works at random moments. To me, that is the thing about collected treasured objects, they tell your story. They are a reminder of your past. The below my gift to TPS, a painting by Connecticut artist Karen Kellogg. We sell her work at Watson Kennedy. Last year I was able to go to her studio and spotted this piece the moment I walked in. It had Hawthorne written all over it!



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 183

Massing one ‘like’ object with others instantly creates a stylish collection. Grouped together they can also create a piece/work of art.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 154

A collection begins with one thing. Vintage dinner plates found at flea markets and estate sales are an easy thing to collect. You can mix & match designs, or really be a sleuth finding more of a certain pattern.



 

 

A Collection of Vintage Bottles

A collection can be really anything. My main thought with a collection is that is makes the collector happy. There is the thrill of the hunt, then there is the elation of living with your finds. Integrating them into your life. Certainly a collection can just live on a shelf and be enjoyed visually. But I like to use our collections in our day to day. This Hawthorne stay we have been loving using some of the vintage bottles we have collected over the years. Some are French, some from England and many snatched up on trips throughout the US over the years. They most always are quite thick and I am most happy when they are embossed with letters. Often they have the place where they are made, as well as the name of the maker. Our love of letters & fonts comes out in this collection. Putting them into action is the most fun part. A bloom, a stem of leaves, herbs–they all get top billing. This stay I lined them up behind the kitchen sink and used things from around the property. Little hits of color to catch the eye as you wash up dishes or cook away.



 

 

Surround Yourself With What You Love

It all started with having our windows washed at our home in town. Our building was built in 1929 with classic large windows in each room, all of which we have shutters on both the top and bottom, which makes creating the space cozy by closing them in a quick minute. But most of the time we leave the top part open, streaming in tons of glorious light during the day and the twinkle of the downtown buildings at night. It had been quite sometime since we had the outside professionally cleaned, as it involves a bit, actually make that quite a bit, of work by a pro with a big ladder to get the job done. But when they are cleaned, oh my, our hearts sing. Which lead me to polishing hotel silver and moving a bunch of ‘things’ around in the living room & entry way, in the built in shelves & etageres and on a few of the table top surfaces. Which got me thinking about stuff. Objects to me hold history. I am so drawn to old things as I feel they have an energy and history to them. They remind us of travels, gifts from friends, and become a timeline of your life. The afternoon I spent moving things around was like a walk down memory lane. Even though our home is filled with lots of stuff, we edit ruthlessly and only keep objects that have deep meaning to us. By keeping only the things you truly love, even if it is quite a bit, both your eye and heart lands on each and every thing with happiness. Moving, polishing, and cleaning those beloved possessions just reconnects us with them and the memories they evoke. 








 

 

A Stack of the PARIS REVIEW

We arrived last eve to Hawthorne.  The drive up into the Hudson Valley as picturesque as always.  Was a balmy 100 degrees when we landed at Newark.  Just what we were looking for on this stay.  The heat & humidity reminding both of us of our childhood, and how much we liked the steamy-ness of this time of year.  I have so many wonderful memories of playing tennis in July and literally wringing out my shirt creating a huge puddle of water.  The house once again welcoming us with open arms.  This stack of Paris Review travelling along in our bags to supply many hours of reading enjoyment for this visit and many more.  We stock back issues at the shops–they create an instant collection.  I read a great interview on the plane with author Jay McInerney.  Each issue always packed with literary goodness.  We are up early for one of many journeys into Hudson.   Breakfast at our favorite spot on Warren Street our ritual to kick-off the welcome back.  Lovely, as always, to have you all along…



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 49

20151125-050828.jpg If polishing silver is what deters you from having cherished family silver pieces out & about for visual enjoyment, then let them tarnish. Enjoy the patina it takes on. But have it out, use it, love it. They will bring back such fond memories of travels, family & gatherings.



 

 

A Whale of a Collection

It all started with this whale glass. The artist Margot Larsen sent me these as a very sweet gift, which we then started carrying at WK because we liked them so much. They were the first thing with a whale image we had ever received/had. Next came the metal whales we started selling at the shops that I found at a show last January that are made from recycled metals. Soon, that whale found its way onto our table and into our hearts. I think a collection has begun. Interesting how a collection can begin without even really knowing it.

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