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May 2010

Brimfield Antiques

Last weekend I finally made it to the Brimfield Antique Show, something I have wanted to do for years.

It is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, covering 23 fields along a one-mile stretch of Route 20 in Brimfield, MA, and takes place three times a year (May, July, September), drawing over 6,000 dealers and 130,000 visitors. 

Here's a nice aerial shot of the show grounds, courtesy of BrimfieldExchange.com:


I wish I had the foresight to take more photos of the trends I saw there, like the girls over at DesignSponge did, but as a first-timer I was utterly overwhelmed. DesignSponge did a fantastic job summarizing the major sights (especially the bird cages - I saw lots of those, too, and commented on how beautiful they were, but sadly I missed Mary Kate Olsen!).

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Dainty dishes (like all the lovely pieces in my mom's china closet)

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Ornate, cut-glass ashtrays

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Tons of vintage brooches and pocket watches 

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A fair amount of French-influenced furniture (Pam Szori described it on the DesignSponge blog as "Gustavian furniture in grey and white, mixed with nubbly flax grain sacks, rough-hewn linens, French scrolly monograms, and wood.")

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Interesting wall decor: beautiful mirrors and engraved silver trays

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And lots of enthusiastic fair-goers, like us!


I loved the show, and wish we had more time to browse through all the fields (we just did a day trip). Even if you don't buy anything, it is fascinating browsing through the goods (and the food is great, too!).

I did manage to pick up a lovely set of Tiffan glasses, a cast iron chocolate mold, a vintage sweater clasp, and a reclaimed, punched tin mantle piece. Need to go back next time and score a vintage Tole tray.

View the entire Brimfield photo set here

iPad Advertising: The Jury’s Still Out

On the heels the iPad achieving one million sales in just 28 days (considerably faster than the iPhone, which took 74 days in 2007 to reach this milestone), the frenzy over how this device will change the face of content distribution and consumption reached an all-time high.

The iPad has been touted as a “savior” for print publishers who have seen declines in circulation and ad revenue, and a “game changer” for advertisers desperate to find the next new way to connect with buyers.

But is it really either of those things?

Head on over to the PARTNERS+simons blog to read my take.


Haiti Projects, Inc.

Another website I love is Boston-area start-up, Daily Grommet, which is devoted to "finding fresh products and telling their story."

A few weeks ago, they featured Haiti Projects, Inc., an organization that supports the economic livelihood of the people of Fonds des Blancs, Haiti. More specifically, they featured the beautiful, hand-embroidered nightgowns created by the Sewing Cooperative there, which provides Haitian women with much-needed income.

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Here is a video, featuring Haiti Projects, Inc. founder Sarah Hackett, who is all about grassroots projects that allow the Haitian people to help themselves.

You can order the nightgowns on their site ($48); perfect gift for Mother's Day!


NotakeoutOne of my new favorite web sites is NoTakeOut.com.

Each day it emails me a new recipe, complete with shopping list, necessary pantry items and tools, cooking instructions, and a suggested wine and dessert pairing. It's a great way to get new menu ideas, and most are relatively easy to prepare.

We fixed the Chicken with Star Fruit (Carambola) and Spiced Rice dish this week, and it was a hit (despite omitting the out-of-season-and-hard-to-find Star Fruit).

Chopping is really the hardest part of this recipe, so if you don't mind that, you'll be fine. The cooking part is easy - just cover the chicken in a mixture of lime zest, lime juice, chopped onions, ginger, honey, jalapeno pepper (I removed the seeds!), cilantro and almonds...and pop it in the oven! Easy. And that mixture of flavors is sooo good.

The rice dish is nice as well: it's cooked along with a stick of cinnamon, adding a subtle flavor to the final dish.

We paired the dish with a delicious 2008 Domaine de la Collonge Pouilly-Fuisse (thanks to TJ's International Wine Club of the Month gift from his Mom). I normally don't like Chardonnay, but this white Burgundy was fantastic and fruity.

It is produced by Gilles Noblet is a 22-acre, 4th-generation, family run estate. It spreads along the hills of la Collonge, which yield just over six thousand cases of Pouilly-Fuisse each year. What's more, the vines here are on average 40 years old; the combination of old vines and reduced yields result in a more concentrated white.

Bon Appetit!

Chicken Carambola