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My Favorite Things Today

The deliveries just keep on arriving. This festive time of year brings so much new goodness at the shops. Below some of my favorite things over the last few weeks that have caught my eye.



 

 

WK Fine Home Holiday Open House

Please join us this Saturday if you are in the Seattle area for our first Holiday Open House of the season. From 10 to 6 at our First & Spring shop, bubbly will be served, music will fill the air and we will be wrapping up a storm.

A Holiday tradition has been having artist Jeanne McKay Hartmann join us to paint her coveted pieces that she creates just for our event. Over the years they have become prized works. She will be painting from 1:30 to 4 that day. Pieces are $75 each and may be ordered over the phone and personalized if you don’t live in the area and would like it shipped to you. Give me a call directly at 206.617.9678. This year’s watercolor is whale-y fun!

I so hope you can join us this Saturday as we kick-off the gift giving season. Ted



 

 

Here a Taper, There a Taper, Everywhere a Taper

We sell taper candles all year round, but once the chill sets in the air, we start selling them like crazy. Think cozy meals at the table with the flicker of dancing light. There are lots of subpar candles out on the market, so finding the very best is always my goal. Whether hand rolled beeswax or solid paraffin, we have you covered–vibrant colors from France, to white & cream made in England for the Royal family for over 150 years, to square tapers that have become a bit of our trademark. Having extra on hand is always a good idea. For when you want to set a stylish table to reaching for a few when the power goes out, we have you covered.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 174

The gift of art. Never underestimate the powers of such a special gift. Your thoughtfulness will be remembered always.



 

 

Shop Vignettes

With November 1st turning up on the calendar, as a shopkeeper, my to-do list is long but the tasks are quite fun while being plentiful. Arriving back to the shops yesterday it was fab to see some super full vignettes filled with all sorts of goodies as the gift giving season kicks off.



 

 

Porthos Tuna in Olive Oil

Wine & Dine Wednesday is about the swellest canned tuna we just started carrying at the shop. I work with a French food importer who stocks the very best of the best, venturing out of France every once in awhile if the product suits their high standards and/or fancy. This Porthos tuna packed in olive oil certainly must have. The packaging caught my eye the moment I spotted it in their booth. Then we started chatting about it and they told me of the exceptional quality. Ding, ding, ding, “We have a winner here!” my brain whispered. Ok, shouted. For we are big tuna fans in our household. Since 1912, Porthos has been one of the largest canned fish companies in Portugal. What I like most about this is in each tin you get 2 big filets. Divine served as part of a Niçoise salad. But yesterday for lunch it was just a simple tuna fish salad sandwich I was craving. Bartlett House here in Ghent is a cafe with a bakery that makes an awesome seeded bread we adore. I look for any excuse to toast a few pieces up. The Porthos tuna is packed in olive oil which keeps the filets nice and moist plus I like using some of that oil when making the tuna salad.

In a bowl add the filets along with a bit of the oil, a big dollop of mayonnaise, a small dollop of Dijon mustard, along with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper. Then with a fork and knife break up the filets, incorporating all the ingredients together. Sometimes I add a few cornichons. Serve on toasted bread or over salad greens. Enjoy!

Side note: We almost always have a note in our checked luggage that the TSA has searched and gone through it. They must think, who are these people?! It is comical when we are packing up for a few week stay at Hawthorne. It is like a mini Watson Kennedy in the bag–hand & dish soap, canned tuna and sardines, always a bottle of Grove 45 extra virgin olive oil, French sea salt, Diptyque candles, big tea lights, taper candles, the latest bar soap we are loving, the newest dish towel to catch my eye, a small piece of art, books, the latest Paris Review, and a vintage object we could just not live without.



 

 

Cook Like A Pro by Ina Garten

Always fun when the shop gets a big stack of books the day the actual, much anticipated book is released. Such was the case yesterday when Olivia sent me this image from the Home store. Cook Like A Pro by the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, is the latest cookbook in a long line of best-selling books by the much adored author/tv host. She distills recipes down to their very essence, making her cooking always approachable. She is known for testing her dishes over and over again before publishing them, and you can certainly tell. Foolproof is a word that comes to mind. If I am working off one of her recipes, I always know it will be spot on. This is sure to be a winning gift for the upcoming gift giving season.



 

 

Just In, at Watson Kennedy

Just In, all sorts of good things arriving daily at the shops. Some make it onto the website, some not, so always feel free to call or e-mail if you see something you like on the blog but can’t find on the Watson Kennedy website. Many of our most savvy customers from out of town use both to shop creatively. The above vignette of new Hugo Guinness pieces my last task of the day on Tuesday before heading home to pack. All housed in vintage frames, many we find at Brimfield or hunting & gathering when we are at Hawthorne.

This extra large canvas tote our largest bag to stock, to date. It is really big, which I quite like. Sometimes you want a bag that you can put ‘everything’ in when traveling or spending the day out and about. This is what you reach for and look stylish to boot carrying.

Seattle artist Jeanne McKay Hartmann brought new paintings to the shop yesterday and I was so excited to receive these images by way of e-mail from the WK crew. This round has the largest works yet that we have carried. So much goodness in her choice of images she paints. I fall in love with each one and it is always tough to choose a favorite.



 

 

Roger & Gallet, Back at WK

SO happy to report our Market shop shelves are re-stocked with boxes of Roger & Gallet soaps and Eau de Toilette sprays. We have carried these for close to 20 years and we were unable to get them for over a year now. This iconic French brand from Paris is a winner for both men and women. Most of the scents enjoyed by all. I personally love the detail of the tissue paper, each bar wrapped just so. The boxes make for easy, stylish gift giving.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

All sorts of new yumminess arriving at the shops each day. Thursday I snapped away at some new favorites. Always tough to narrow it down, but fun trying! I am often asked during my ‘wrap’ sessions with customers how I came up with the concept for Watson Kennedy. I always say it was easy, as I only buy what I love. My first test is we must be able to love having it in our own home or giving it as a gift ourselves. If goods pass those guidelines, then they go through a bunch of other criteria in my head in the split seconds that I give to making the final decision to buy something that ends up on our shelves.