You are currently browsing the Ted Kennedy Watson blog archives for October, 2011

A Sweet Treat

20111031-084006.jpg On this ghostly day, I thought I would introduce you to one of my favorite sweets. Moravian cookies are wafer thin treats that are some of the yummiest darn things. We get the cookies from the Salem Baking Co. who has been making them since 1930. To bump the flavor quotient up a few bars, they then enrobe the thin wafer in chocolate. This is a very small cookie with very large flavor.

A happy Halloween day & eve to all!



It’s a Beautiful Lifestyle

20111030-054700.jpg We were honored to be the featured retailer this month in WHERE Seattle magazine. “Celebrate the beauty of the everyday” was such an accurate description to not only what all of us at WK work to bring you each day, but it also pretty much sums up what I personally strive for every day. “Each Watson Kennedy store is a cornucopia of considered, delicate and wonderful objects displayed in thematic (often color-driven) vignettes,” is also such a lovely way to describe the shops. Thank you so much, WHERE Seattle for the mention and the very thoughtful words.




The Journey Continues

20111029-080554.jpg It is funny how you can plan for a certain thing, then life throws at you a bunch of other things, but you end up being right where you had hoped you would be. Such is the case with a lovely piece of property we bought in the Hudson River Valley, in New York, close to 6 years ago. Our plan was to build a house right out of the gate, and live there part time throughout the year. We were excited to get the ball rolling. But then life happens. You get busy and life hands you other opportunities and challenges. The very full years click by. You remind yourself how incredibly fortunate we are to even have this opportunity. Well, I am happy to say, the journey continues, and we just hired a NY state architect to take the design Mister Sive has so diligently been working on over the years and make it a reality. We are over the moon! I am so happy to share this journey and process with all of you. It will continue to be a fun ride, that I look forward to taking it together.

The above photo is the view that will be seen from the south of the house. Below is another view. We have named the house, EastView, as the main part of the house will be looking directly East. We will be back in January, so I will update you with photos taken in the snow. We can hardly wait.




Mix & Match Vintage Silverware

Yesterday was a non-stop, full day of receiving in product, opening up boxes from far away places, pricing the goods, and then finding a place in an already over-flowing store to display the new wares. I was in heaven.

My favorite new “thing” I put out yesterday is vintage silver plate mix & match 5 piece place settings. The idea here is that you get to design your own look by pulling pieces together from the vintage assortment. I love tables set with mismatched silverware. I also love French jelly jars filled with a mixed assortment when we have a party, and we set the dining table up as a big buffet with platters of food.

2 dates to mark on your calendar, as I would love for you to join us if you find yourself in the area.
Next Friday from 3 to 6 & all day Saturday, we will be hosting a trunk show for the uber fabulous stationer Dempsey & Carroll.
The following Friday, the 11th of November, we will be having an all day ELEVEN party at the First Avenue shop, as we never really had a formal unveiling of the expanded space, so I thought 11/11/11 was the day to do it.
Many more details of both events to follow in the coming days, but I just wanted to give you all a heads up.
A very happy Friday to all!



Consider the Oyster

20111027-055138.jpg “Oysters are sexy. Let’s agree on that right away,” was the first thing I read when I picked up this book when I was ordering a slew of books at the show. I agree, they really are. Plus, the photo on the cover was beautifully photographed, and the guy who wrote the book sounds like a character–so all in all, it would make the “yes” pile for new titles that grace the tables at the shops.

Rich in history and lore, this book weaves together anecdotes from the author’s experiences as a restauranteur and competitive shucker with practical information on everything from how to open oysters with finesse to planning an oyster party. This book will make a great gift heading into the gift giving season.




Hugo Guinness at Watson Kennedy

Hugo Guinness is an artist, and a very lovely fellow, who lives with his wife (also an amazing artist) and daughters in Brooklyn. He has become quite famous for his singular image linoleum cut prints, as well as his one of a kind paintings. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Hugo over the last few years, from an introduction by my friend Rita Konig. On one of my trips this year to New York, I went to Hugo’s home/studio. I love to see the spaces where artists create. From that visit, I chose many of Hugo’s one of a kind works to sell, in addition to the iconic lino works we have now carried for several years. Here is a sampling.

20111026-072345.jpg He did a series of faces, and she is one of my favorites.

20111026-072443.jpg I think these look great together in multiples.

20111026-072540.jpg This is a one of a kind–the simplicity is what I adore about these.

20111026-072732.jpg The series of dogs has been a hit, and we only have a few pooches left.

20111026-072854.jpg Who could not use a bit of good luck?

20111026-072955.jpg The large scale florals are so lovely. It is like have a permanent bundle of flowers in your home.

20111026-073159.jpg Hugo’s work mixes in well with other art too.

20111026-073255.jpg The Swiss army knife is a personal fav.

20111026-073446.jpg The word series in red is stylish indeed.

20111026-073604.jpg The variety of dog images has been a welcome addition to our pet area we recently added at the Fine Home location on First Avenue.

20111026-073743.jpgI find vintage frames for the linoleum cut prints. This combo of the geranium in this amazing gold frame might be one of my all time favorites.

There you go! I hope you liked the mini show. That is only a small sampling we have of Hugo’s work. If you would like pricing on any of the above pieces, or want to see more, please give us a ring at the shop or send me an e-mail.



A Vintage Book Project

I had been wanting to wallpaper the back walls of the built-in bookcases we had made for our living room when we moved back to The Gainsborough years back. But I also was not sure I would like it, as I was worried that the wallpaper might close in the space. I decided to do a quick fix, which we like so much, that we will most likely keep as it is. I had found 2 different dictionaries when I was out hunting & gathering. Both were coming apart, with pages falling out of them. These would be perfect to use as a wallpaper alternative.

20111025-081239.jpg Using double stick tape, I pulled pages that had words or images that I liked, then double stick taped around the entire 4 sides of the page. The variation of color and size of the 2 books was what I was after.

20111025-081545.jpg I then overlapped pages, varying the 2 varieties of papers, so there was not necessarily a consistent pattern. I really wanted each shelf to look similar but different.

20111025-081932.jpg The result was exactly what I was going for. It adds visual interest, but does not make it feel too closed in. The collection of Juliska glasses that I like to use as vases works great as you can see thru them a bit, and see hints of the paper.

20111025-082547.jpg This quick papering method would probably not work well for heavily trafficked areas, but that is not an issue in the back of bookcase.

20111025-082900.jpg We had mirrors made to fit into the middle section of the bookcases. The mirror really allows for light to bounce around the space.

20111025-083621.jpg I love projects that make you see your home in new and fresh perspectives.



Apple of My Eye

20111024-082653.jpg Having forgotten the apples for the table last week-end, I made doubly sure I had them for the table yesterday. Red dahlias were nowhere to be found, so an all out apples fest would be the plan. Our friends Peg & Brian, along with pooch Sammy were on the 2 o’clock ferry, so I knew I had the morning to put the table together.

20111024-083244.jpg It turned out to be a lovely, non-windy day, so we decided to have the table under the covered porch, just in case rain did decide to drop by. I wanted to leave the zinc table bare, without a table cloth. I thought the scattered apples looked better on the zinc, so I folded the apple motif flour sack dish towels and used them like a place mat, and added another for our napkin.

20111024-083918.jpg Our new red handled Laguiole silverware would give an extra punch of color. The dish towel/napkin has green apples on them too, so I added green apples and a few green glassed votive holders to play off of that. Bailey’s head poking out at the top of the table, as she watches TPS at the grill.

20111024-084503.jpg The variety of apples out right now is amazing. It was so much fun looking for different sizes, shapes and shades.

20111024-084751.jpg And what better way to end the meal than with a rustic apple tart.



Zuni Love

20111023-070157.jpg It is funny how certain foods from certain places just stick in your memory. The last few days in Seattle have been cold and rainy, and a warm bowl of polenta with Parmesan from Zuni Cafe in San Francisco keeps popping into my mind. The large bowl of polenta topped with large pieces of fresh cracked black pepper is one of the most comforting & satisfying things I have ever eaten. Plus, I love the simplicity of it. If you don’t know Zuni, please let me introduce you. It is located on Market Street, a quick taxi ride from the city center. I know that taxi cab ride well. I have been going to San Francisco each year for buying trips for at least the last 15 years. There has never been a time I have been in San Francisco that I have not had a meal at Zuni. It is a non pretentious, incredibly comfortable place to sit and watch the world stroll by. I have never had a single item that did not knock my socks off. Everything is simply prepared, but prepared incredibly well. I have had pork chops there that were close to a religious experience. The roast chicken for two is always worth the wait.

20111023-071814.jpg Some people take photos of landmark sights when they visit places–I take photos of the amazing things I have eaten. Looking at this overflowing plate of shoestring potatoes just makes me happy. Many times I eat there solo, as I am ending my trip, and am then heading to the airport. TPS and I have celebrated special occasions there. If I love a place, I keep going back. Zuni is just that kind of place.



Barbara Barry Tea

20111022-083248.jpg I am over the moon thrilled to now be offering 2 very special tea blends by design icon, and Watson Kennedy customer, Barbara Barry. Her newest, Orange Grove, smells as yummy as it tastes. It perfectly blends Madagascar orange peel, Tahitian vanilla beans, and an exquisite oolong. Just typing all those ingredients made my taste buds tingle.

20111022-083856.jpg Citrine, has well composed layers of French verveine, Arabic chamomile, Thai lemongrass and organic peppermint.

20111022-084155.jpg The teas come in a beautiful black tin, ready for stylish gift giving.

20111022-084258.jpg They have found a very good home. We are always happy to gift wrap and ship–to any tea lover on your list.