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Trade Secrets 2019

May is one of my favorite times back East. We always head back then for a few weeks at Hawthorne and a host of events I/we like to partake in. It also happens to be Mister Sive’s BIRTHday during our stay, so he always gets to be surrounded by his family on his day. It is always a special time for us to be back in our beloved Hudson Valley. It is also the time of year for Trade Secrets. A Bunny Williams and her pals idea that begun almost 20 years ago as a fundraiser for a women’s support organization in the area of Connecticut where the event is held, whose mission is that of a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education. The rare plant and garden antique sale is filled with vintage goods that make me so happy my head spins. Finds for the house as well as the shops. It is one of my favorite days of the year. Similar to gift buying shows, I am often remiss in taking many photos as I am so caught up in the moment. But here are a few I did snap.

The event draws tons of creative folks from all over the area, so I get to see & meet tons of people. Bunny is always there and is a delight. Martha Stewart has never missed a day in the 19 years of the sale. I ran into and got to catch up with Lewis Miller who has become an international floral maestro, who was a customer of mine when I had my wholesale showroom ages ago. It is filled with flower lovers from near & far. A huge treat for me this year was running into Margot Shaw, who is the founder and editor in chief of FLOWER magazine. See below image. We have had an e-mail friendship for many years so it was lovely to finally meet and give her a hug. A kindred spirit indeed. She was there doing a signing for her new book Living Floral. Look for signed copies making their way to Watson Kennedy soon! I always attend the event with my dear friend Elizabeth, who lives in Rye and drives up on Friday and spends the night at Hawthorne and we get up super early on Saturday morning and attend the breakfast that begins at 8. It has become our tradition. This year Barb from WK joined in the fun too, as she was visiting her sister Greta in CT. The 4 of us had a grand time. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods in May, put it on your to-do list. It really is a huge treat and tons of fun.



 

 

A Single Extraordinary Tulip

Flower Friday is a single bloom. But oh what impact that single bloom can have. I was lucky to get my hands on a bundle of white Mount Tacoma tulips at the wholesale grower on Tuesday for the Airbnb shoot on Wednesday. I dotted them around the house in vintage single stem containers. Each adding so much to the space they graced. This one in the upstairs bathroom winning the prize. Hope you enjoy the simplicity of it as much as we did.

Hope your week-end is grand! I am off to Trade Secrets in CT tomorrow with my friend Elizabeth. It has become our tradition. It is the Bunny Williams event filled with sublime plants and antiques and is always such a huge treat. Then into the city on Sunday for the stationery show. Monday is my annual pilgrimage to the Kips Bay designer show house and then back up to Hawthorne. X, T



 

 

Hawthorne Airbnb Plus

Airbnb is introducing a new program called, Plus, with design a major factor. We are honored that Hawthorne has been chosen to be part of it. From their site, “Plus is a selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail.” They came and shot the house yesterday. I always love a photo shoot! Our experience with the guests that have rented out the house has been hugely satisfying and meaningful to us. Only being at the house several months a year, we love the idea of others being able to enjoy the specialness of the house & property. Sharing the experience of being here is of great importance to us. Small details bring both of us great joy, and the farmhouse is layer after layer of them. From the soap you wash your hands with, to the linens you use for your meal, to the extra virgin olive oil you use to make a vinaigrette, to the blanket you throw over your legs when you curl up by the fire to read a book, to the artwork on the walls ready to inspire you–all are part of the experience of staying at Hawthorne. I snapped a few photos yesterday while the photographer was shooting away.

If you have never been to the Hudson Valley or have plans to do so, keep Hawthorne in mind. Many of our guests have been blog readers, customers of Watson Kennedy or those who follow along on Instagram. We love sharing our home with those who enjoy all the details and love we have poured into it. Click here for the link.

Happy Thursday all! I hope life is grand in your part of the world.



 

 

Living With Art

Art is such a personal thing. A piece might resonate with you yet do nothing for the next person. That is entirely ok, but I think that is what slows down or in some cases paralyzes a person from buying art. Connecting with a piece of art should be all about you. Or you and your partner/spouse. Take everyone else out of the equation. It will relieve a huge amount of the stress over purchasing a work of art. Then you open your mind to what truly stirs your soul.



 

 

Hardwood Floor Love

This Hawthorne stay has all sorts of facets to it, from R&R to vintage buying for the shops, to a quick city trip for the stationery show, to chipping away on decisions for Little Hawthorne. Top of the list this visit is figuring out what color to have the floors stained. Under super thick shag wall to wall carpeting from what we are guessing was from the 70’s were beautiful hardwood floors. We are major fans of hardwood floors. Whether stained or painted, they are what we have had in our homes since we first met. There is just something about the grains and color variation we both love. Needless to say, we were pretty over the moon when it was figured out these were under all that carpeting. Having the floors refinished will bring them back to life, creating a fine canvas for the rest of the work ahead.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

All sorts of yumminess arriving each day. From a new piece of art to a favorite jam, we have you covered in gift department. Be it for you or to give…



 

 

Happy Hyacinth

This Flower Friday is a look back on a dreamy bundle of hyacinth blooms. We are in the beginning of the process of working on our new website so I have been looking at images I have saved. This one, from FLOWER magazine is a favorite of mine. The season may be short, but they pack a serious punch, and they are always happy! Have a grand week-end everyone.



 

 

Denise Fiedler Collage Workshops May 11th

Excited to have my friend, the incredibly talented artist, Denise Fiedler, back up from San Francisco for another round of fab collage workshops. You might remember she was scheduled to come to Seattle over Valentine’s Day week-end, but our big snowstorm thwarted that trip. We filled up an afternoon collage session then, which will happen this trip. We are hoping to fill up the 10 to noon workshop this go round. Flowers, among other things, will be the emphasis. Denise has such a wonderful way of connecting with and teaching folks her sublime method of collage. Layer after layer of beauty to create a one of a kind work of art. That you created! Last year was a huge hit and all the participants had a grand time. The cost for the workshop is $95. You also get a 25% discount that day while shopping at Watson Kennedy. It also happens to be the Mother’s Day Open House–lots of activity and fun stuff planned. So grab a friend or come solo for a lovely morning in the Market. Your spot must be reserved and paid for by calling me directly at 206.617.9678. Quite possibly the perfect Mother’s Day gift! I so hope you can join us.



 

 

White Lilac Love

I spotted the lone bucket of white lilacs on my Saturday morning stroll of the Market and my eyes lit up. I asked the lovely woman how much they were per stem. She actually was not selling them individually but rather using them with lots of other types of flowers as filler. But she was happy to put together a solo grouping for me. My theory of, if you don’t ask for things in this life, most often you won’t get them, came into play. I will save that whole concept for another post! Anywho, she was kind to oblige my request and off I went with a skip in my step. My love affair is new with lilacs. The big bush at Hawthorne my first time to have a profusion of them to play with and experience their beauty. The white version seem rarer, and you know I love a white bloom. They work so well in many settings. For Sunday supper as well as last night, they took center stage among all the blue. The green leaves also playing nicely off of the blue. My eye catching the lilacs often during the course of the meals, my heart a flutter.



 

 

This and That

My photo stream has a bunch of little odds & ends I want to share. One, the Pike Place Market is absolutely bursting with divine tulips at the moment. I love this time of year when you walk the flower stalls and the buckets are spilling over. Your head is dizzy with options. If you get a chance, go. It is an instant hit of happy!

Our Spring order of handmade John Derian decoupaged plates has arrived at both shops. Whether hung on a wall, propped up in a bookcase or laying flat on a coffee table, they are a stylish addition to any room they grace.

All sorts of blue has been capturing my eye over the last months. So much so that our shop packaging for Spring and Summer will include a bit of it. Our next round of windows after Mother’s Day too. All sorts of shades in the hue–tried and true blue.

Our latest collegiate pillow arrived to add to our growing collection at the Home store, Norte Dame. My grandfather Watson’s alma mater, the detail on this pillow is exquisite. These fluffy creations can take up to 10 hours of embroidery time.

We are often asked, do you carry any envelopes? I can now say, we do! Made in England from obsolete British Admiralty charts, each one cooler than the next. Sold in packages of 16, they are just cool to have around when you want to jot off a note.

We had an ailing tree that was becoming a safety hazard on the property at Hawthorne taken down last week. Caretaker Bill sent us this photo. While we were incredibly sad to lose a tree, we will have something created out of a piece of it in remembrance, as well as pay homage to it when we enjoy many fires on the back porch. I just loved how cool it looks stacked as it is. A natural art installation.

The jasmine growing up from a small opening of the window we left open now more than 5 years ago has once again started to flower. The scent when we open the front door of the apartment is intoxicating. Truly a gift.

And lastly, as it is Wine & Dine Wednesday. I have written about the above bottle in the past. But today the admiration is about the dandy calligraphed label and the waxed top. Our friend Heather has given us bottles of this beyond yummy wine over the years. We had a pair in the wine fridge that were part of Easter supper on Sunday. Sometimes the outside of the bottle can be as fabulous as the inside.

To me life is all about the glorious details that swirl around us constantly, we just have to see them. And when you do, revel in them.