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Friendship and Flowers

August 7, 2020

Flower Friday is all about these stunning hydrangea that have a bit of a lilac vibe going on. It is not a variety I had seen lots of over the years but it has become a huge favorite of mine. My friend CoCo brought me up a bundle on the train several years ago that I instantly fell in love with. A mutual friend Jeanne had given her a big plant of them the year before she passed away. She has it in her back yard where it has flourished, a constant lovely reminder of their friendship. My friend Erika has brought me this type of hydrangea as gifts from her garden for the last few years, as she knows how much I adore them. Her yard is filled with them. She has always said, “Come over any time and snip some when you need them!” So I took her up on her incredibly generous offer recently as I knew these had to make it into my next book. Friendship and flowers, two things I hold most dear. When combined, they make magic.

The Classics, Continued

August 6, 2020

Oh my, what fun this all is. Thought it might be. Actually, make that, I knew it would be. My friend, artist Mindy Carpenter and I have a very similar aesthetic as well as work ethic. So I knew this process would be joyful. Another box of gems arrived yesterday with the above. Click here to be taken to her page on the Watson Kennedy site. More and more are in the works too! Also, and here is the skinny on these, once one sells, it does not mean it goes away. Mindy will paint another of it. So if you fell in love with the Tretorn shoe and it is no longer on the site or shop walls–DM, text, call or e-mail me and we can get one in the works for you. The idea here is that the collection of classics will be ever evolving, but all will be available all along the way.

Heather painted the big front window walls for me the other day. A bright, bright happy yellow. The next few days I will work on the windows. Getting excited for the possibility of our boards coming down soon. Artist Jeanne McKay Hartmann, who is also a friend, is bringing by her latest round of works later today. So a creative few days ahead filled with display and art. My heart full. A lovely Thursday to you all!

Grenache Rosé by BROWNE Family Vineyards

August 5, 2020

Wine & Dine Wednesday is about a Columbia Valley rosé that went swimmingly with my tomato sandwich yesterday in between writing and shooting photos for the upcoming book. I have written in the past of my love of all things produced by the Browne Family Vineyards. They have a tasting room in Pioneer Square not far from the Fine Home shop that my friend Jackie and I go to every once in a while to try their wines after we have had a late lunch catching up. We always leave with several bottles we adored that head right into the wine fridge. So I was very excited when the wine distributor for Browne sent me 2 bottles of their rosé to enjoy at WestWard. Disclaimer, just as with restaurants, I only write about wine I enjoy. Even if I am given bottles as gifts, if I am not ‘wowed’ by it, I do not post about it. As the saying goes, life is too short to drink bad wine. So I was thrilled when I popped this open and loved it and could not wait to share. Anytime someone in the Pacific Northwest produces a rosé I love, I want to share it. I am very partial to French, but am always happy when PNW folks produce a pink I want to drink and write about. This is such wine. The photo of the wine in the bottle is much pinker than it pours. The wine in the glass from the other matching bottle sent. I like the lightest pink in my rosé, which is what the French so often get right, and many others do not. This Browne Grenache rosé gets it right. My test is often how does wine drink with food as well as solo. I had a glass the eve before without food, and enjoyed it just as much as I did when it accompanied my stellar tomato sandwich. Cheers to that! Here is a bit of wine speak from their site:

“Beautiful peach colored wine with aromatics and flavors of strawberry, watermelon and flint finishing with lingering flavors of pomegranate and citrus. The acid is bright and well-balanced, making it a perfect wine to enjoy on its own or with salads and cheese plates.”

Book Update

August 4, 2020

Folks have been asking when they come into the shops, so I thought I would give a little update. My second book is underway, as many of you know. I have been taking the chance with all this glorious weather out on the island to shoot lots of images, tables, vignettes. This inspires me to write about them as well as the process of entertaining and ultimately how to be a good host. Creating a book is much like that of putting together a puzzle. There are tons of pieces initially, but once you get started, things start falling into place. Bookery takes awhile. My work needs to be to my publisher about this time next year. From there the editing and layout begins. The final product will be released to the world in Spring of 2022. It might seem far off, but it really is not, as the puzzle is multilayered. I am styling the shots, photographing them myself and then writing about it all. I love that I am involved in all aspects of the project but it also makes the timing aspect of it all vital, as each component takes time. It really is a blast. My hope is this becomes a ‘guide’ of sorts for those new to entertaining as well as be a treasure trove of ideas for the seasoned expert. I will update you all along the way. It really is quite fun to have you along for this journey. We make very good travel partners… X, T

Ted’s Tip No. 263

August 3, 2020

A sprig of mint added to a drink instantly bumps up the flavor and style quotient. The scent and its beauty heading right to your senses.