A Sense of Place

We arrived back to Hawthorne on Sunday eve, the lions and hydrangea welcoming us with open arms. The humid heat literally wrapping itself around us as if a hug. The embrace of the seasons is a major love for us of this place, which never disappoints. While the bedrooms are air conditioned, the rest of the old farmhouse is not, so the hum of fans and the breeze blowing about is the song for the day. We spent the morning driving from farm stand to farm stand picking up provisions. The abundance quite something. Some of these family farms have been selling produce for close to a hundred years. History swirls about us at every turn. Our first night back in August is always supper of corn on the cob alongside a big plate of tomatoes. After dinner theatre on the back porch watching the fireflies along with the symphony of cicadas, frogs and crickets.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 161

Zinnias this time of the season are just a riotous profusion of color, a symbol of August in their tones. Mix them with herbs, like rosemary, for a simple arrangement that is a nod to Summer.



 

 

A Sunday Thought



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

Lots of goodies arriving daily. The Summer months are such a busy time at the shops. Fun to meet folks from all over the world who are coming to Seattle for a visit. Above and below some new favorites.



 

 

A Bucket of Hydrangea

Receiving flowers, in any form, is always a special thing. But I was the lucky recipient of a bucket of them to play with, a gift from Erika, as she knew how much I would like/love arranging them around the house and on the dining table. She was so right! A WK family member, she knows me well. She grows tons of varieties in her yard, so the bucket had all sorts of different blooms for me to get me creative juices flowing. They are our Flower Friday blooms.



 

 

Like a Puzzle

I liken doing the shop displays to working on a puzzle. In this case a very layered, product heavy visual puzzle. You try a piece, it does not fit, you try another. Last week was a string of non-stop display work days, moving lots of product from the front of the store to the back area display, to condense and have the ‘bar food’ be mixed in with all the glassware and cookbooks. Abundance is a big part of my design philosophy for WK, as I think options for customers is key. But it is easy to have all those options become overwhelming. That is where a nice, pleasing to the eye display comes in. The cohesiveness allows the eye to rest on a certain area and not be overwhelmed. I am sure there are many schools of thought on this subject, but I have always approached it personally. It is what pleases me visually so in turn I hope it resonates with our customers. Here is what got a little re-do.



 

 

2017 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé

Always a happy day when I get the call from Pike & Western Wine that the latest Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé has arrived. A Summer Wine Wednesday would not be complete without a mention of my all-time favorite rosé. It the benchmark which I hold all other rosé. A Kermit Lynch import, this wine is so sought after that it gets snatched up quite quickly. It is distributed quite widely, so it is available in most regions. Double the price of most bottles of rosé I typically write about, it is always a huge treat when we enjoy a bottle, so worth every penny. My tip for special bottles you savor–buy 6 bottles or a case. Almost always the price drops as most wine merchants give you a volume discount when you buy 6 or more bottles. If you see this on a wine list menu or on your wine shop shelves, I promise you are in for a treat.



 

 

Hydrangea & Geranium Set the Scene

The gift of hydrangea was the driving force behind our Sunday supper table. The big tub of geraniums that was a gift from the Country Living shoot months ago going crazy with all this sunshine. Together they set the scene for the meal. This was the 18th year in a row we celebrated Summer with a group of dear friends on the last Sunday of July. We love a tradition. All sorts of blue was pulled to incorporate on the table. The recycled metal whale we sell at WK the centerpiece. Which meant the hand painted whale glasses that were also a gift were called into action. The British blue banded dinner plates with the French monogrammed W salad plate atop always makes me smile because it combines so many things near & dear to my heart–England, France, blue, monograms. A bit of tan from the bamboo handled flatware adding a bit of additional color. It was a hot, hot day so I liked the idea of no tablecloth and the cool of the zinc tabletop exposed. Then Mister Sive was at the grill doing his magic. An easy G&T station set up so folks could help themselves. Then we were off and running with a gathering to celebrate the season!



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 160

Stylish dish towels become even more stylish oversized napkins when enjoying your meal at the beach, on the deck, or on the boat. The size allows it to cover your entire lap so spills or drips are caught. Plus the beautiful patterns add tons of extra zip to your table or picnic blanket.



 

 

A Sunday Thought