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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.



 

 

Poetic Peonies 

Flower Friday brings us these sublime peonies on the breakfast table of our friend Elizabeth’s lovely, lovely home in Rye. They greeted me as I sat for homemade biscuits with jam on Sunday morning before I headed into the city to walk the National Stationery Show. She knew I needed to be well-fed for my busy day ahead. The peonies feeding my soul all along the way, too. Thought you would all enjoy their magic…



 

 

The Trade Secrets Goods in Action

20160523-080055.jpg Turning a house into a home is a process. In my mind, it takes times to create layers. Those layers are what tell the story of the life you have lived/are living in that home. Filling spaces with objects of meaning is a continuing process. Sort of like putting together a puzzle. An ongoing puzzle that gets more interesting as it is being worked on. The pieces I picked up for us in Connecticut the other week-end are things I will always look back on with the memory of that place, time and experience. They have become pieces in our Hawthorne puzzle that have many uses, as well as look swell just lounging.

20160523-080801.jpg Case in point, the glass battery jar. It will live for now on top of the shelf in the dining room being flanked by the marble urns also picked up that day. But the jar was called into action on the dining table when the lilacs bloomed this week in the front yard.

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20160523-081151.jpg The big handled bucket will live on the back porch for the moment adding a sculptural element to the room. It was filled with ice and wine bottles for the birthday party we hosted the other week-end. We will end up using this for a ton of things over time.

20160523-081402.jpg And lastly the English watering can. We put it to good use each day to water the plants we enjoyed inside on this stay, which TPS planted yesterday. The watering can just looking cool all in its own when not in use right outside next to the picnic table. All things we will use in many ways, adding a new layer to the experience of being at Hawthorne.



 

 

Trade Secrets in Sharon, CT

20160515-090804.jpg My friend Elizabeth, who writes the beautiful & stylish (much like her) blog, Pretty Pink Tulips, and I have made a new tradition, that we attend the event, Trade Secrets, each May together. It really is not a secret any longer, as this is the 15+ year the Bunny Williams founded event has taken place, so many many folks know about it. Vendors from all of the East set-up booths filled with plants, antiques, and garden inspired goods on the lawn of the most lovely property in Connecticut. They host a breakfast early and then the shopping begins. I got to chat a few moments again this year with Bunny, what an incredibly gracious woman she is–she remembered our conversation from the event last year and thanked me for attending again. I found a few vintage treasures that will live at Hawthorne–a watering can from England, a big zinc bucket perfect for holding wine bottles at a party, an oblong glass vase and a pair of marble urns. I will click away this week and show you the grouping in action. It is such a cool, worthwhile benefit.
From the Trade Secrets website.
Trade Secrets is the signature fundraiser for WSS of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. The WSS mission is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education by offering free, confidential, client-centered services focused on safety, support advocacy and community outreach.

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20160515-093138.jpg Bunny with Martha Stewart at the breakfast before the shopping began. Such a fun time! If you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods this time of year and want to attend, I would be happy to fill you in on the details.

A lovely Sunday to you all! We are busy preparing for 40 folks to start arriving soon for the 60th birthday party we are hosting for Ted’s older twin brothers. Our first big country party. I will let you know how it all turned out later this week…
TKW