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Spring Refresh, Part One

As I write this from my comfy chair on the island with Bailey snuggled up right next to me on my left side, my body still a bit stiff from moving displays around for four days–but my soul is energized having spent those hours doing one of my all-time favorite activities, display. Armed with Amy, Heather & Olivia by my side (over a combined 40 years of WK creativity by these 3), we tackled almost every vignette in the 3000 foot space. We laughed, we chatted, we laughed some more, all the while creating as we went. Oh, I should not forget coffee. Lots of coffee was consumed.

Picture the three of them standing with their arms stretched high holding the above heavy birdcage while I am on a ladder between them bolting it into the wall. I initially had the drill set on ‘reverse’ and could not for the life of me figure out why the first screw would not go into the wall. We laughed until we cried with laughter.

Fun to get a big grouping of John Derian up on the wall.

The London and Paris displays had been combined and are now each their own areas so they can spread out as they are ever growing.

The nautical area moving to where the bird section had been, getting a major refresh as some stellar artwork got added to the section.

Paper napkins & guest towels now get their own display unit along with a few other lovelies.

Even the big green window display looking out on to Spring Street got a little love with the addition of some new product that recently arrived. New goods always add a freshness to a vignette.

Reds, creams and earthy colors stepping up to the plate and getting their own area, living across from the lavender & blue wall.

We like to group most ‘like’ goods together, creating a visual story. Sometimes the color of an item warrants being included. Sometimes something is added for pure whimsy, other times because it is truly the only spot we have left in the shop. It is all very scientific. Insert very large smile. End result, hopefully a visual feast.

All the above from the front part of the space. Tomorrow gets the back of the shop vignettes. 

Happy Sunday everyone! Sending love from WestWard, T



 

 

Scallops, Sun Golds & A Mess Of Herbs

This is a recipe taken from Back Pocket Pasta by our friend Colu Henry. Scallops are always something I know I will find at the grocery store on the island, so this became our Sunday supper and was the first thing to try out her new book. It was sooooo good!

Colu believes in heavily salting the pasta water, as she often uses some of that water to mix with the pasta and the other ingredients to create a sort of sauce when everything gloriously mixes together. Begin by filling a large pot with water and bring that to a boil, then add 2 tablespoons of salt and return to a rolling boil. While that is bubbling away, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Then cook the salt & pepper seasoned scallops, 3 minutes a side. Take them out of the pan and set aside on a plate.

Wipe out the skillet, change the heat to low, add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and add a thinly sliced shallot and cook until carmelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Take out and set aside. This is not the season for Sun Gold tomatoes (which I am excited to in this dish when they start showing up at farm stands) so she recommends using grape tomatoes, which I did. Add them to the skillet and let cook away for about 8 minutes or until they start to burst open, releasing their juices, which will become part of the sauce.  Season heavily with pepper and lightly with salt. While the tomatoes cook away add 3/4 of a pound of linguine to the boiling salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking away add 2 sliced garlic to the tomatoes along with a half of a cup each of chopped tarragon, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and sliced 1/2 inch long chives. Mix all together with the tomatoes in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the shallots you have already cooked.  

Here is where most folks toss all the pasta water away and drain the pasta. Don’t. Here is where you will need tongs or long spoons–you want to pull the pasta out of the boiling water and add the pasta right to the skillet of tomato goodness. Then add a 1/4 of a cup of the hot cooking liquid to the lot.  Now mix all around. The pasta water starts bringing all the ingredients together to create the ‘sauce’ and each strand of pasta is lovingly coated it in. Once all is combined, and certainly add more pasta water if needed, separate into 4 bowls, sprinkle with any remaining herbs from what you had chopped, along with a sprinkling of chunky sea salt, then add the scallops to the top of it all. Dinner is served.

Tickets are available for Colu’s book signing at the shop next Thursday eve, the 30th of March. The price is $35 which gets you her book, treats by Spinasse and wine by Cavatappi–along with a heck of a fun time. We will be donating the profits from the sale of the book to Meals on Wheels. (More on this amazing organization later) Call 206.652.8350 to purchase tickets and reserve your spot. Hope to see you there!



 

 

Day One, of a Spring ‘Refresh’

The sun was shining so beautifully through the big front windows as I turned off the lights last night after Day One of a major Spring ‘refresh’ I just had to click-away a few images.

The shops, much like home, can always benefit from a little mix-up of things to add freshness & spice vignettes up a little.

By moving things around, your eye lands on new focal points. The old becomes new.

You end up cleaning a bit, which spruces everything up, which in turn re-energizes an entire display.

Plus it is just downright fun! Oodles of hard work, but oh so satisfying. 5 of us moved things around, got sweaty, laughed, helped customers, answered the phone, fulfilled web orders, moved more stuff around, helped more customers, cleaned a bit, chatted, and moved more around. A full, full day. One down, with three more to go…



 

 

(MALIN+GOETZ) Votive Candles in Shop

Just the perfect sized candle for travel or scattered here & there about your home, the (MALIN+GOETZ) votive candle is sure to please. Both shops are fully stocked, they make swell little host/hostess gifts too.



 

 

Works by Jane Dagmi at WK

We recently added works by our dear Floridian friend, Jane Dagmi, to the shop walls. Each beautiful piece capturing a singular image in a moment of time. We first met Jane when she was living in New York and was an editor at Country Living magazine. She wrote and produced the very first article on WestWard shortly after we bought the property. Our friendship has grown over the years, with her visiting many times to Seattle and Hawthorne a few years back. She would often give us small gifts of her drawings. As we have started adding more & more artwork to the walls at the shops, I am excited and honored to showcase hers. 



 

 

Inspiration in Green

As the rain pitter patters away on the window sill (a very familiar sound these past few months) at this early morning hour, green is on my mind as Spring is soon upon us. All this water creates growth, so we are in for a serious dose of green in the days ahead. Here is a little green inspiration in many forms until then.


















 

 

My Favorite Things Today 

Spent the better part of yesterday doing small bits of display around the shop. Straightening here & there. Always a fun day to click away some things that caught my eye.










 

 

Back Pocket Pasta, Book Signing–Tickets On Sale Starting Today

Very excited to announce that tickets go on sale today for our Colu Henry Back Pocket Pasta book signing on Thursday evening the 30th of March, at 6 o’clock at our First & Spring shop. The ticket price of $35 includes a personalized signed copy of the book as well as time to chat with Colu. We will be serving Italian fare from one of our all-time favorite eateries, Spinasse, that eve, as well as pouring some yummy Italy-inspired Cavatappi wines along with G2’s (Gruet & Grapefruit) and Pellegrino sparkling water with a twist. A few other fun surprises along with a little shopping if so inclined, will be on the menu. We do have a limit on how many can attend, so buy tickets early, as I think this event could likely sell out. I so hope you can make it!

To order a ticket, you can either e-mail me directly, at tedkennedywatson@watsonkennedy.com or call the shop at 206.652.8350. We will then ring your tickets/ticket purchase through and e-mail you your receipt, which will act as your ticket. Colu’s book is not to be missed and will be an amazing addition to any kitchen cookery library. Honored she is joining us on her national book tour. It will be such a fun night–hope to see you there!



 

 

On Its Way, Bariani EVOO & Balsamic Duo

We have a new category, as this fab duo is On Its Way, so am excited to share this all with you. These were a find at the Fancy Food show in San Francisco a few months back. I was struck by this combo as I thought it would look great out on the counter together, as well as make an awesome host/hostess gift. The quality of what is in these cool bottles is off the charts, so it hit all of my winning points for what makes it onto our shelves. Vinaigrette anyone?



 

 

Encaustic Art Blocks by Theresa Stirling 

Some things are just meant to be. This is very much the case with these works of art. It all started with an e-mail from the artist, Theresa Stirling. The moment I clicked on the attached image of one of her works, I knew they were right for the shops. And then she brought them to the store. Oh my. I was transported. Long a fan of encaustic work, the layer after layer of beeswax tells a story. Much like real life, each art block brings up a different emotion. Whether singly or grouped together, they really are quite magical. Theresa is prolific in her work, so we have many to choose from, with the collection ongoing so you can add more pieces later, if inclined. I could not be more honored to be showing her truly beautiful works.