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Surprise Balls Are Back!

Happy to report that a big box of surprise balls arrived the other day.  We were without them for awhile and I really missed them.  These really are just joyous little things.  The lovely woman who made them for me had all sorts of cool stuff she added herself + I sent her a bunch of vintage ephemera from the shops, so they are filled with goodness.  Each includes a shiny new penny for good luck too.  Whether a party favor, place setting treat, or just a fun little gift, these surprise balls are equally sweet for any age.  We sell them as much to adults as we do kids.  Happy to create custom versions too, if you are ever in the market for truly one of a kind treats for a festive party or large gathering.
Happy Saturday everyone!



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 41

20150703-061129.jpg Transform a bare wall into a rotating ephemera gallery. Use interesting pushpins or double stick tape to display favorite photos, ticket stubs, beautifully handwritten cards & envelopes–really whatever makes you smile.

PS, I was hoping to announce the 5 winners of the flower magazine subscription contest today, but we have been experiencing some major computer issues at WK this week, and all the entries are sitting in an e-mail folder I have been unable to access. Arghhhhhh. Hugely sorry. Fingers crossed this will be fixed today and I can announce the 5 winners tomorrow. Oh my word, I have received sooooo many amazing entries. Thank you for that, and thank you for your patience on this one.



 

 

A Table in Red

20140727-075311.jpg Last Sunday was a bit overcast and a tad chilly, so the color red seemed to be calling me when I set the table. The linen tablecloth had been folded up, so I liken it to a linen suit in how wrinkled it looked. Fitting for the season. With an iron nowhere to be found, wrinkly it would be. I think that is where age mellows you. 15 years ago it would have unsettled me a bit. Now I embrace the wrinkles. Insert big smile.

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20140727-075850.jpg You know I always like to try and add something vintage or a bit of ephemera to the table. It just adds visual interest. I like the thought of someone thinking/asking, “Why in the heck is there a pool ball on the table?” which gets the conversation rolling. The red dahlias dancing about the table in much the same way the white dahlias did the Sunday before. The red adding such warmth on a cool day. All set for friends and laughter and an outdoor supper.

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Things

20140724-064825.jpg The other week I snapped away a few images of “things” that caught my eye at the Market shop. Stuff, ephemera, objects, things, bits & bobs–whatever words you like best. Obviously, and I smile as I type this, you know I like all of those words, and what they are quite a bit. Just a few bowls, jars, boxes and platters of things pleasing to the eye.

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Clare Goddard at Watson Kennedy

20131024-050350.jpg I am delighted to report that all the works from Clare Goddard are back from our framer and are soon to be gracing our walls. We will hang them all tomorrow, but I was so excited to share some with you today. You might recall from one of my posts from August when I bought the pieces when I was at the show in New York. I have been a fan of Clare’s work for years. She showed next to me when I had my wholesale business and would exhibit in the Accent on Design section in San Francisco. Her found objects, layered, ephemera collages have always just spoken to me on so many different levels. I framed most of the works in vintage frames, very similar to how we do the Hugo Guinness pieces. The vintage frames echoing the patina of her artwork. Since each is a one of a kind, please let me know if one catches your eye and I can get you sizing and price.

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Composed Necklaces at WK

20130913-071343.jpg I finished up putting together a good grouping of necklaces this past week and each shop has a fun new assortment. These are made from components/things I find when we are traveling.

20130913-071640.jpg Each one always has a vintage key. Keys hold such history and mystery to me. I love them on these necklaces. Like wearing a part of the past.

20130913-071902.jpg Then I just add things that work around the key that I have chosen. Each telling a little story.



 

 

A Bulletin Board of Memories

20130621-073200.jpg I have been working in our office at the Home store these past few days. Poor Bailey ruptured 3 discs and has been put on heavy pain medicine and rest for a few weeks to see if it will heal naturally. Mister Sive has been away this week to Denver, where he was a speaker at the national AIA convention. It was the perfect time to get a bunch of office chores done, have it nice and quiet for Bailey, and get caught up on paperwork. When we expanded the shop 2 years ago, we re-did the office, and it is like a little bright yellow cocoon that sits tucked away in the middle of the store. I love being in the space. We added an oversized bulletin board over the desk, which is filled with ephemera. Bits & pieces of things that bring back lovely memories. Looking up in between tasks, I was transported to times in my past. To the memorable dinner and evening we spent with Albert Hadley. To meeting Martha Stewart almost 25 years ago at Sur La Table, when Shirley Collins still owned it. Along with one of the times I got to meet my childhood idol, Chris Evert, around that same time. Seeing our now gone kitty Georgia O’Keeffe perched on her favorite spot on the back of the sofa. A menu from Chez Panisse and the incredible memories that still inspires. Along with the Buvette business card that takes me right back to meals there. To the lovely notes written to me by friend Barbara Barry, and the sweet ‘thank you’ note by glassybaby. Propped alongside the photo of us taken for Better Homes & Gardens magazine when they featured our Anhalt townhouse many years back. All so fun to glimpse up at while I worked away. The bulletin board has a revolving grouping of things, but they are all things that have great meaning to me. Even the envelopes with the beautiful handwriting spark creativity when I look at them. By having all of this out in sight, it really inspires me and harkens back such fond, fond memories each time I take all or parts of it in.

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A Festive Dinner

20130114-080411.jpg When I learned that Grant K. Gibson was going to be in town from San Francisco for the week-end from his friend, local designer extraordinaire Brian Paquette, I said we would host a dinner in his honor. We carry Grant’s ethereal black & white photos at Watson Kennedy. He is also a fab designer as well as a blogger. We love having out of town artists that we show to dinner when they are in town. It is a lovely way to get to know people better–and we love any chance we can to get a fun group together. The 2 of them are also good friends with Cassandra Lavalle of the coco+kelley blog, and she and Brian are customers of Watson Kennedy, so we knew a festive dinner it would be!

20130114-081137.jpg The tulips looked so great at the Market, the creaminess of the white setting the tone for the entire table. It is generally 1 thing that gets my mind racing when I put a table together. I also wanted to leave the top of our antique French fruitwood table exposed and not use a tablecloth. The coloring of the table working with all the earthy objects.

20130114-081832.jpg In this case it was actually 2 things. Our collection of mini vintage trophies from England were another. From his blog, I know Grant has a love of trophies, so I wanted to inject a bit of what he liked into the table setting. They work perfectly holding clear votive glasses and would add the flicker to the table.

20130114-082217.jpg I had found these amazing vintage English brass candlesticks on a New York trip and had yet to use them on the table. This was the dinner for it. They are quite tall and I used really tall beeswax tapers so they added quite a bit of height to the overall look.

20130114-082410.jpg From there I just start adding. I like a really full visual table filled with many vintage objects. My favorite white plates, with bone handled silverware. Horn cups, bowls and napkin rings. A Riedel wine glass with a simple dotted glass for sparking water. A creamy French napkin.

20130114-082806.jpg Our friend Catherine had given us these vintage marble grapes. I thought the hotel silver bowl needed a little sprucing up.

20130114-082948.jpg The Parish-Hadley gold hook a nod to all the design talent at the table. I think Mister Hadley and Sister would have approved.

20130114-083229.jpg The shell salt and pepper holders adding a bit of beach to the table.

20130114-083404.jpg The table was set. We both worked the shops on Saturday, so I knew everything needed to be done on Friday. When I snapped these photos the sun was out and the light was just dancing about.

20130114-083626.jpg It was just such a fun eve with a full table of folks, great conversation, and good food. I know many of you asked about the menus in past posts. I will go over the game plan on food tomorrow. It was just lovely getting to know everyone a bit better. Below are the links to each of their sites. Do check them out for a little start of the week inspiration.
Grant K. Gibson
coco+kelley
Brian Paquette



 

 

A Drawer Full of Memories

20130110-073058.jpg I have been finding just the coolest assortment of old vintage black & white photos on my hunting and gathering excursions over the past few months. We collected them all and have them scattered in an oversized drawer at the First Avenue shop.

20130110-073244.jpg I love watching folks sort thru the drawer, choosing the ones that speak to them. Customers have said they are using the photos for art projects, framing some, and adding them to handwritten cards. I think using them as a bookmark was also a grand idea. The photos have such history and personality.

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Vintage Ephemera Necklaces

20121013-055509.jpg I just finished composing a new round of vintage ephemera necklaces. These are pieces we have carried over the years at Watson Kennedy, made up of things we find on our travels. I try and vary the necklace that holds the vintage pieces, but I keep coming back to this version of the hand, because I like it so much.

20121013-060142.jpg The ring works perfectly for holding a collection of things. I keep a box in my office which holds ephemera I find on trips that I think will work for these necklaces. When the creative composing mood strikes, I bring out the box and get to work.

20121013-060505.jpg Each necklace always has a vintage key. Always. I have been making these necklaces for quite some time, and I just think a vintage key holds years of stories from the travels it has taken, so I always include at least one. Or many.

20121013-060840.jpg From there, I just start adding things I think work well together. Each piece telling a little visual story. Over the years I have found amazing whistles in England. These are always a hit on the necklaces.

20121013-061231.jpg I always find cool medals & religious medallions when we are in France. They add such great patina and history to the pieces.

20121013-061453.jpg Actually that is why I like making them. They really do have a history, filled with the beauty of the past, made into something beautiful for the present.