Never underestimate the power of a well wrapped gift. A lovely customer posted this photo of a gift she purchased at Watson Kennedy for her husband recently. I know what is inside the box and it is pretty darn fabulous, but the wrapping she chose and wrapped so beautifully, is equally fab. She took such great care in choosing the paper and the ribbon. The same care she took in choosing the stellar gift. In this case, the paper color plays off of what is inside, as well as the fact that it is French. Lovely wrapping bumps up the specialness of the whole package and becomes part of the gift.
They have arrived! It is always an exciting day when the delivery man shows up with box after box of our Watson Kennedy calendar towels for the year ahead. Yesterday was that day. These are one well-travelled towel. Made for us in France by the venerable Le Jacquard Francais, a LJF towel is made with serious beauty & durability in mind. That is one great combination. Mister Sive & I had the great pleasure years back of being invited to the factory in France to watch the production of these sumptuous/work horse linens. To this day I am still in awe of the experience and just how incredibly well-made they are. Factor in the myriad of colors that are woven into the designs, they really are like functional works of art. The calendar towels are always a big hit. I order more and more each year, and we sell out quicker and quicker. They make the ideal gift. Call one of the shops if you would like one or many, as they go fast. You know we are always happy to wrap them for you too.
A lovely first September Thursday to you in your part of the world.
These are such busy, full, fun days, these ‘show’ days, I am oh so happy I had a few days before to rest up and re-energize at Hawthorne. I have spoken a bit before about this, but walking a show is full-on visual stimulation, so coming at it with fresh eyes is crucial. I am finding such great stuff! At shows, I am always looking for “new, new, new” to keep WK nice and fresh with new varieties of things coming through the door. I clicked away only a few images these last 2 days, as I have been in the zone, but do know, lots, and I mean lots, of new is coming our way.
I am also very excited to report that I will be signing copies of Style & Simplicity today at the show from 2 to 4 at my publishers booth. If you are at the show, please stop by the Sterling booth on the ground floor of Javitz. It is always lovely to see familiar faces at a show.
A freshly polished assortment of new, well actually vintage, but you know where I am going with this, hotel silver arrived the other day. Always a bit like Christmas when we open these boxes. Each piece such a treat to unwrap. First ever for us candlesticks and bud vases. Small bowls galore and little handled pitchers. All just so darn good and so darn pretty/handsome. Very, and I mean very, hard for me not to take most of it home. Our section just keeps growing. Please shoot me an e-mail or ring the shop if something catches your eye.
We started carrying this book awhile back and recently a customer told me how much she enjoyed it. It has become my Summer read out on the island. It is one of those books I want to savor, so I only read a chapter at a time. Some of you might be familiar with Heather Ross, her other books, and her artwork (which makes up the cover), but I was not. I am happy to report, I now am. What a fun and funny visual writer. Amy Sedaris wrote one of the quotes for the back of the book. I adore Amy Sedaris, so her initial thumbs up along with that of the lovely customer was all I needed to give the book a try. Ross lived quite a childhood with the story of her colorful life the focus. Family, love, dysfunction, survival and DIY as the subtitle points out are the main themes. What a sweet, and as I said earlier, funny book.
I found these incredibly cool very basic French wooden spoons awhile back and I keep forgetting to write about them. Today is the day. This is the type of utilitarian item that is done beautifully well you will reach for time and again. Coming in 6 graduated sizes, I can see them filling up a canister on the kitchen counter quite nicely. When we bump up the quality quotient in things we use daily, I think it enhances the experience. These spoons fall into that category. They just feel good in the hand. Also a perfect host/hostess or wedding gift. Simple yet oh so stylish. I think a set of these might find their way into our suitcase when we head to Hawthorne on Sunday.
I arrived home last night at 1:30 wobbly & slightly tattered after a bit of a turbulent flight that was delayed but oh so happy to have my head hit the pillow the moment I arrived home. Ahhhh, home. Always fun to have an adventure but always so lovely to be back. It was still 100 degrees when we took off from Las Vegas at 11 o’clock last night. It was a very productive 2 days and I found oodles for Watson Kennedy. I needed a head start for the upcoming New York show, as I have a bunch of book stuff happening at the same time, so this show helped me get a leg up on buying there. I stayed at the Bellagio hotel which was such a visual treat. The above Chihuly installation right as you walk into the lobby and look up is pretty over the top spectacular. Nothing is subtle or done on a small scale in LV. Nothing. It is all quite different from my normal mind-set, so I just soak it all in and look for the small details. Plus the people watching is out of this world.
The World Market Center is where the show/market took place. Filled with furniture, decorative accessories and gifts, it is a treasure trove for buying. But like I have mentioned before when I go to a show, you are looking for that needle in a haystack. The amount of stuff I visually take in to find that one gem can leave your head spinning. Focus is key.
More and more vendors are bringing in and selling vintage wares. It gives my heart & soul the break it needs when sorting through everything else. Of course, that is what I end up taking photos of. But I was so happy I took the time/remembered to take photos for this post. I love having you all along with me–I hope some of these images gives you an idea of what it all is like.
From my beloved Seattle,
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.
We are so pleased to have the beautifully sensuous & sumptuous line, Antica Farmacista, now gracing the shelves at Watson Kennedy. Very Italian influenced, the company is actually based right here in Seattle. Which I love. Not only here in Seattle, but about a block from the Market shop. Which I love even more. Antica Farmacista was established in 2003, and was the first company to introduce the home ambiance reed diffuser in the United States. They have expanded the line tremendously since then. Think liquid hand soap, lotions, and candles. All of which are now stocked on our shelves. It really is such a pretty, pretty line. With outstanding scents. Plus, you know I love great packaging. Antica has that in spades. All ready to be wrapped up and given as a gift.
Turn soon to be stale bread into delectable croutons. Turn oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat while you cut up the bread into bite sized pieces. Scatter them onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. A winning trio in so much of my cooking. Put tray in the oven being sure to keep an eye on it and move around the bread often to make sure things cook evenly. Pull out when nice and golden. Then liberally dust with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You now have tasty, tasty croutons for salads or for snacking. These also make fab hostess gifts if you fill up a cello bag with them and close off with an earthy colored ribbon.