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A New Wall of Jeanne McKay Hartmann Original Watercolors

It was a full day of display yesterday, ending with hanging new pieces by Seattle artist extraordinaire Jeanne McKay Hartmann. A big part of display in my mind is telling a story with the goods you are working with. When it comes to artwork, for the shops I generally like to group pieces from an artist together. The visual story becomes stronger when you see a collection hung en masse. 

In Jeanne’s case, the new watercolors she delivered the other day complimented her other works we had in another spot, so I took them all down, started fresh, and found a completely new location to highlight the collection. Shop displays are a tad different than those hung in a home, as the collection must remain fluid as pieces sell and the assortment must be re-displayed in a short amount of time. The new works highlighting her love of flowers, just divine. I can’t stop dreaming about the tomato assortment…



 

 

Autumn Dahlias

This Flower Friday is about the dreamy dahlias this time of year. How they seem beautifully patina-d from their time in the sun, a slight wash over them like a perfectly faded over time pair of jeans. Savoring every moment they stay around.



 

 

Celery Greens for the Win

If you see a bunch of celery with their greens attached (most grocery stores take most to all off) grab it. Celery leaves can be quite wonderful to use in many dishes. You are most likely to find them still attached at farmers market stalls, as the most growers know how delicious the greens can be. Think of using them like an herb, swapping out parsley for a nice extra green kick. We found the above, which when I cut them off gave us a whole colander of the below. We found the celery at the Hudson Farmers Market several weeks ago. I washed them up, dried them off and placed them in the veg drawer in the fridge and we used them for a whole week. Mix with salad greens to elevate a simple salad. Make celery green pesto. My love for celery greens began at Prune in New York City many years ago, where chef Gabrielle Hamilton often uses them in her dishes. She made a celery salad using both the stalk and the greens along with radishes and a good amount of garlic for a sublimely pungent salad. You can also chop them up finely to add to soups or risotto for a bit of freshness. I love the challenge of coming up with creative ways to use something that so often is discarded. Once you give them a try, I think you will too.



 

 

Hot Chocolate Dunking Spoons

With a slight chill in the evening air, these hot chocolate dunking spoons are perfectly timed. Chocolate spoons make a rich mug of hot chocolate when stirred into a glass of hot milk. We are stocking them in both dark & milk. Fun when teamed up with a new mug for a stylish and most welcomed host/hostess gift.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

Autumn brings many divine things, and one of those is a prolific amount of new goods arriving at the shops daily. Between now and the end of the year it is a steady march of boxes each day by all the delivery folks–FedEx, USPS and UPS. Here are some things that sparked me to click away. Not all make it onto our website, so always feel free to give us a ring at 1.800.991.9361 if something catches your eye.








 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 116

Think outside the box (quite literally in this case) when it comes to an arrangement for your dining table. Head outside and choose branches or ferns, whatever catches your eye. 



 

 

A Sunday Thought 



 

 

Looking For Inspiration Everywhere

Ahhhhhh, a blank slate. As Summer turned to Autumn it seemed like the perfect time to change things up and refresh the big front windows at the First & Spring shop. Gotta say, these full-on design days make me supremely happy and we had a blast changing these up. Heather prepped the walls and did fresh coats of paint the day before after a group of us disassembled the prior windows. A yummy, yummy red and a nod to my Veuve love of orange and we were on our way!


Often it is one thing that starts the creative juices flowing. For this window, the large rolled print with the birds scattered about was it. From there the bird themed window took flight. Incredibly happy with the vermillion shade of red, as it makes all the rest of the display pop. It will be quite fun doing a Holiday window with this red later on down the road.

The paper mâché giraffe and the Julia Child quote were the first things pulled for this window to get us started. From there we just add and add telling a bit of a story and not telling a story. Long ago I left behind the notion that everything in a display had to “make sense” and that has really freed me up to create, I think, more creative displays. The color taken from the label of a bottle of my beloved Veuve Clicquot champagne. Inspired by the yolk of a French Bresse chicken egg, it proves that we should be looking absolutely everywhere for inspiration. Doing the windows inevitably means a few displays get re-worked which means they are full, full days. But what satisfying days they are, spent with people I love, adore, respect and have a ton of fun with. There might have even been a few laughs. OK, yes, there were tons of laughs…

Hope you all have just the swellest week-end! T



 

 

A Summmaaaa of Blooms

As the sunny season wraps up today, Flower Friday is all about the blooms we enjoyed along the way. From the very last of the peony as Spring faded away to the bold yellowy reds of the season ending dahlias, and all sorts of goodness in between. Whether singularly or in abundance, this Summer was a stellar flower time for all to enjoy.





















 

 

A Bird-y Woods-y Table

Setting a table can often come down to one initial element that you want to use, then you build off of that. In the case of this dining table at the shop, it was to use a large bird scarf we just got in as an overlay like a tablecloth. I liked the sheerness of it, making the dark table underneath stand out a bit. My point with all of this is to get everyone thinking outside the box when setting a table. Pieces of fabric, dishtowels, scarves–all can be employed and called into action to set a fun table. Plus boxes have started to arrive with vintage goods we found at Brimfield a few weeks ago. I just had to get several things worked into this display. I was itching to use them the moment they were unpacked. This is a bird-y, woods-y table filled with mismatched silver, ferns, and beautiful brass candlesticks to pull it all together.