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Sid Dickens at Watson Kennedy

This week is all about art at the shops. We are repainting walls and moving around artist vignettes to freshen up things a bit. Yesterday our in-residence painter extraordinaire Heather did her magic and transformed a wall into moody black to perfectly frame the Sid Dickens pieces. We have carried Sid’s work since day one. His plaster over wood memory blocks a beautiful way to get a quick hit of art in any room. Whether an individual piece or many. They are an easy way to start a collection. He does several new rounds of work each year, so our display is always changing. Make incredibly lovely gifts too. Pop in if your are in the hood to get a dose of art!



 

 

The Photographing Continues…

I am a pretty hands on guy when it comes to all things Watson Kennedy. OK, make that super hands on. I love details. I love my work. The running of the shops requires a crazy amount of details. Let me correct that, running it well requires a crazy amount of details. There are many moving parts, with many folks wearing lots of hats. The website re-do would be a prime example. The list of details quite long. But it is getting quite exciting as we start to see it take shape. I was pretty adamant that the photos be shot in situ. So many websites shoot things in white boxes and frankly, I find it quite boring. My big job these past months has been photographing goods around the shops. It is meant to feel like you are in one of the spaces feeling cozy with Ella wafting about and you feel transported. The above a few of the shots from last week. Many, many more to be taken over the next month. Hope you like!



 

 

Fresh Windows

The front windows of the First & Spring shop had a beach-y sailing vibe going on for the sunny months. We sold tons out of them and they were starting to look a little worse for the wear, having started out pretty darn spiffy. This time of year is always tough, as it is still Summer and the weather has been glorious so the timing of doing an Autumn theme just does not feel right. By the last of October we will be installing Holiday so it leaves a span that can be tricky. But I love a challenge! Both of the blue walls painted by Heather in June were just too cool to give up, so they stayed, becoming a jolt of color background which I quite like. The above window became a nod to all my favorite things–France, England and all our WK perennial favorites, like Diptyque, Molton Brown and Mariage Freres. The bottom became a collegiate tailgate party with a little football thrown in. I giggle, as I know very little about football and I know lots about throwing a party, and gin! Both windows will give folks who walk and drive by plenty to peruse.



 

 

Our Very Own Earl

We have been going to Hudson for over 20+ years, long before we had a home in the area. Walking up & down Warren Street is one of my very favorite activities of all time. Amazing vintage shops, places to eat, people watch, pick up a new book, get coffee, more people watching. You get the idea. Super easy to spend the afternoon meandering. Over the years we would spot art being sold in shops and on the street, all signed EARL. Usually painted on boards, some old, some new, always varying sizes. Often people, animals, things. They would catch my eye but for whatever reason, we did not buy one. Until the other day. I had heard the artist of these lovely, quirky pieces, Earl Swanigan, had recently died. At age 54. Something about that struck me. Maybe it has to do with him being younger than me. On our May stay I had heard of his passing and it made me long to have one in homage to him. Art is such an incredible legacy to leave the world when you are gone. Everything we have ever heard or I have read about this man is he lived life on his own terms. I say bravo to that! This sweet little bird caught my attention instantly when I saw it in a shop that has stacks and stacks of his works. It flew home with me as a little surprise to TPS. It snuggled right in on the windowsill between the two green wicker chairs on the front sunporch. A little piece of Earl. A man we did not know but am sure we would have enjoyed breaking bread with and getting to know. His little bird can watch over things while we are away. It can keep the two lions out front company.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 215

A collection can really start with a few things–by displaying them together you get a much bigger visual impact than if the grouping is scattered about.



 

 

You Know When You Know

My advice always when it comes to buying furniture or art, is to wait until you find just the right piece. You just know it when you see it. It feels right. It stirs something in your soul. Then your home is filled with things that tickle you at every turn. Wherever you eye lands, there is a memory. Visually it creates happiness and contentment. I promise, it will be worth the wait. Case in point. We have longed for a dresser in our bedroom at Hawthorne. Nothing over the years we saw excited us. Until it did. The minute I spotted it the other day, I knew. I just knew. Measurements were taken and the following day TPS came with me to look at it too, and he just knew. Ring us up, please! The piece perfect for the space and works just right with everything else in the room. I can’t stop looking at it. The wait was long, but oh so worth it. You know when you know.



 

 

Zinnias with Carrot Greens

Flower Friday brings a colorful bunch of zinnias mixed in with the greens of carrot tops. I am a big fan of mixing zinnias with overflowing late Summer herbs, such as rosemary. It speaks of the season to me and I quite like the contrast between the two. But I was having no luck finding rosemary at the farmers market on Saturday. I walked by a booth and one of the women working was helping a customer with a big bunch of carrots. She asked her if she wanted the long luscious carrot top greens or if she should snap them off. The customer passed on the greens and I swooped in and said, “I’ll take those if you are just going to toss them” and she kindly passed me the bundle. Done! These would work swimmingly in place of the rosemary. The leaves such a vibrant green and just so darn pretty. They got tucked here & there in the vase and the zinnias placed in around all that green goodness.



 

 

New Sid Dickens at WK

Just In, the latest memory block tiles by Vancouver, B.C. artist Sid Dickens. During the course of the year he adds to the collection and retires others. Above some of his latest that arrived the other day. We have carried his work since day one. I love how versatile the pieces can be. One or many. Prop one up in a bookcase, lay one flat on a coffee table, choose a grouping to go up on the wall.



 

 

The Front Sunporch at Hawthorne

The front sunporch at Hawthorne was a major selling point when we bought the house, oh my gosh, now 6 years ago. Walking into it that first time, I felt transported. My heart rate felt like it dropped by several beats as I instantly felt more relaxed once crossing the threshold. Scott, the previous owner had completely redone the space, finding old windows to wrap around the room and engulf it in sunlight. We gave it all a fresh coat of paint and furnished it with a comfy down-filled sofa and ottoman on one end. An assortment of chairs over the last few years has filled the other end. Recently we found a green wicker set that completely fits the space to a T, or make that an H! Matching consoles on each side of the French doors that take you into the living room we made identical–with a lamp, candelabra and papier-mâché ficus tree. We love this room year round, but on a hot humid August Hudson Valley Summer day, it is one of my very favorite places to be.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 214

As Summer progresses look for amazing deals on flowering plants, like these geraniums, at garden centers and farmers market stalls. The vendors are clearing their stock, always happy to have you take them off their hands to enjoy the heck out of them. They add an instant jolt of happiness as they are flowering and are as sweet as can be.