When I was asked by the fab folks at glassybaby to carry their incredibly special vessels at Watson Kennedy, I jumped at the chance. Many of you know of my love of glassybaby, as well as the huge amount of respect I carry towards the company and the philanthropic good works they do. We are pleased to be focusing in on one particular glassybaby, Shine. 10% of the purchase price of each Shine with be donated to Stand Up To Cancer. It is an organization I also greatly believe in, having lost my father to melanoma 25+ years ago. Shine also has a very WK vibe to it, in my very favorite orange hue. We are proud to be adding it to our daily mix of goods.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Our last table of the Summer season, and oh what a stunning end of season it has been. We had guests to the island for a Sunday supper, and with a nod to the season ahead, many of the farm stands had apples galore for sale. The small apples got my mind churning about how to set the table. The glorious dahlias had made the trip in from town, and the color & combo of the 2 worked swimmingly together.
The apple John Derian plates along with the flour sack apple motif dish towels that would be the napkins continued the theme. The red handled Laguiole cutlery just always makes me happy when we get to use it.
Last Friday, we hosted a dinner for the owners of Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nena & Bonnie. The 2 had conducted a tasting of their EVOO at one of the shops earlier that day. We always love to have a meal to thank folks who make such an effort to do a book signing, demo their product or conduct a tasting. It is always so special to be invited to a home for dinner when we are traveling, so we do our darnedest to do the same. It was a gloriously sunny day, and beautiful night.
I tried to set the table around the look of the cool Grove 45 bottle. The white bulbous dahlias looked too good to pass up, and worked nicely bunched tightly in matching Juliska vases. A variety of our John Derian platters would work well and create visual interest. A few smoky brown glassybaby along with a new candle we are testing out to see if we want to carry it at Watson Kennedy, would give us a flicker of light. My favorite white plates, clear stemware and a new Le Jacquard Francais tablecloth would fill the rest of the table.
I just can’t get enough of the color combo blue and white this Summer. We have had a glorious stretch of sunny days in Seattle, record breaking actually, so we are grabbing every chance we can to dine outside.
The herbs in our zinc herb box are growing like weeds at this glorious part of August. We are using them in dishes every chance we can think of. But I also really love using them as a flower alternative. The parsley this year has been incredibly plentiful, and has grown quite tall. The stems would be perfect in a clear vintage beaker, next to a vintage glove mold on a small side table. The willowy greens adding just the right amount of life and color. If placed out of the sun, and with frequent water changes and a fresh cut, the arrangement can last for weeks.
I am sure many of you already know this, but I did not. I learned a gardening tip from our friend Sylvia, who owns www.dignursery.com along with Ross on Vashon Island. Cut your flowers and herbs in the early morning–they respond so much better that way to having been cut. I was cutting things in the mid-day sun, and the flowers & herbs were not responding as well when I put them into a container.
Have an amazing Saturday!
I did my usual Saturday morning stroll through some of the Market stalls yesterday, and found these fluttery red beauties. Within moments of arriving to WestWard last evening, they had found a home on the dining table next to a pair of red glassybaby, ready to be enjoyed fully for our stay. That is what I think I like most about dahlias, is the incredible variety. Not only is there a huge color assortment, but the sizes and shapes can vary so greatly and are so beautiful in their variations.
But the red dahlias were not the only thing to bring a smile to my face yesterday. My ‘Modern Family’ moment occurred when Ty Burrell and his wife Holly, paid a visit to the shop. They were up from LA on a Seattle visit and were doing some shopping. The pair could not have been more lovely, gracious or complimentary, saying “the shop is so beautifully curated” and found a cool grouping of gifts. After a little chat, they then headed down to our First Avenue location. We are huge Modern Family fans, so it was a very fun way to start my Saturday.
A restful, restorative Sunday to all.
We pulled up to the Tom Kundig designed Tye River Cabin at exactly 5:20 on Saturday evening. We knew we were in for a treat. Our friends Betsy & Eric, along with their pooch Churchill, invited us to an evening dinner to toast Mister Sive’s recently passed 50th birthday. We would stay over and make an evening and a Sunday out of it.
It was rainy on again, off again, so I pulled 2 photos of the exterior to give you an idea of the cabin. The above photo is by Tim Bies from the Olson Kundig website. The below is by Ben Benschneider (who I have had the pleasure of working with a few times) and was shot for The Seattle Times. The rest of the photos I snapped away on my iPhone.
The first photo is of the house before the concrete patios and firepit area was built. The second photo is how it looks now. The front of the cabin completely opens up to the outdoors. Oversized glass window/doors are on tracks that allow them to be pushed open. The result is a complete connection to the outdoors and the sound & view of the very active Tye River. It is just visually spectacular and peaceful rolled up into one.
It was an incredibly relaxing and revivifying 24 hours of much laughter, good food & spirits, friendship, and many smiles. We got into the car to depart. The clock read 5:20. Exactly 24 hours. It could not have been a more perfect gift or visit.
As I mentioned in the post yesterday, this was a week-day dinner, so we drew upon a local French restaurant to supply the main portion of the meal, a roasted chicken with frites. We went this route for a host of reasons. Olivia attended Seattle University, and her favorite place to dine was Cafe Presse, a delightful & beyond yummy French bistro right next to the campus. www.cafepresseseattle.com We thought it would be fun to incorporate something from there into the meal, as “French bistro” was the theme for the dinner. It also really freed me up from being in the kitchen for an extended period right before guests arrived. My tip number one for week-night entertaining–don’t always feel like you have to make everything. With the main portion of the meal covered, I made a quick warm French lentil dish. I also steamed some haricot vert, put a big dollop of butter on top with a few good pinches of salt, and put them on a big platter. Cafe Presse also does a lovely Bibb lettuce salad with hazelnut vinaigrette that is pretty out of this world. A baguette with some French butter, and dinner was served.
For dessert, I had cut strawberries in half and marinated them in triple sec. We served bowls of the strawberries alongside palmiers from La Panier–also an Olivia favorite. www.lapanier.com We really wanted to honor Olivia with some of her favorite Seattle things, and by incorporating them into the meal, they were meant to be small, loving gestures. After many bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling water, the evening drew to a close. It was a happy night, with just a few tears, and many, many wonderful stories & memories.
Well, actually, it is a green table with a good deal of white too. This is a table I set last week for a dinner we hosted for our beloved Olivia who is moving back to Boulder to be with her family. We wanted it to reflect her time at Watson Kennedy, as well as in Seattle, so an all-green, well mostly all green table it would be. The color green plays a very big part of certain displays at WK, and I knew Olivia would pick up on it right away–and she did. It was the first thing she mentioned when she saw the table.
This was also a week night dinner, so I really had to plan ahead and get many things done in advance. The point I want to make in this post is that mixing & matching is what it was all about. I often hear from customers that they are nervous about having folks for dinner because they don’t have full sets of certain things to set a table. My advice–never let that stop you. We had 7 people at the dinner, but we only had 5 of the green cabbage plates. I used 2 other plates on the ends of the table with a green border and a white middle. I also mixed the glassware up a bit, as I was trying to set a casual French bistro-style table, and some of our green glassware has broken over the years. The point I really want to stress is not to stress if everything does not match. I actually think it makes the table more interesting. We always mix & match chairs, as well, as I really like the eclectic feel it adds to the table and to the room. I found these great melons at the grocer that morning, and they just seemed too perfect not to add. A scattering of green glassybaby would add hits of color and light to the table.
We use white butcher paper at the shops to wrap fragile goods in, so I thought it would be fun to use that as a runner on the table. It also gives it that French bistro feel we were going for. Sort of like sitting outside in Paris.
I always like to add a vintage object to the table. This French Zig-Zag would work, and we also sell new versions at Watson Kennedy, so it tied together many elements of the table and of the dinner. The French napkins also have a Zig-Zag woven into the design.
White peonies for the middle of the table in a vintage McCoy green vase would be nice and low, and bring more white to the table. The peonies this time of the year make me want to weep, they are so good.