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This was no place for hyper-stylish shopkeeper Ted Kennedy Watson to be signing books.

Back here? By the deli counter at the Metropolitan Market at Sand Point, where shoppers parked their carts, popped a sample of something into their mouths and moved on?

Seems a little … Costco-ish.

“Oh, these are recipes from the book,” Watson assured me, holding up a copy of his “Style and Simplicity,” published in May.

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Indeed, Met Market’s Carol Thanem was setting out some stylish and simple noshes for the event. Slices of watermelon radishes with a tap of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Chunks of baked Brie. Wedges of manchego cheese with jam.

Forget what I said about Costco.

For “Style and Simplicity,” Watson photographed and wrote about life’s little graces, from A (art and Adirondack chairs) to Z (zinnias). The book topped Amazon’s list of interior-design books right out of the gate and is in its second printing.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Watson said.

Watson is recently back from New York, where he was feted by Deborah Needleman, the editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She invited people like designer Jonathan Adler and his partner, Simon Doonan, Barney’s creative ambassador-at-large, who taught Watson a thing or two about pocket squares.

“I have never been able to fluff one right,” Watson said. “And within a second, Simon made it perfect. Like a little leprechaun.”

Watson will be at Ravenna Gardens at University Village Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., signing books and perhaps wearing a perfect pocket square.


There was a line out the door when the Chrome store opened on First Avenue in Seattle Friday morning.

The big draw? A forging machine once used to make boots for members of the Slovakian army’s bomb crew — and now the newest thing in sneakers for cyclists and other urban warriors.

“This is what they did 70 years ago during wartime,” said Rob Reedy, spokesman for the San Francisco-based brand, which is touring the green machine all over the country.

Chrome has been making messenger bags for 20 years, but only started on footwear in 2007.

The forging machine — one of 86 found rusting in a warehouse basement — has upped its product line with its slowed-down process. It takes 15 minutes for the natural-rubber base to forge onto the treated canvas top at 300 degrees. Once it’s on and cooled a bit, excess rubber is trimmed off by hand.

Customer Aaron LeMay, a graphic designer who was the lead on Halo 3 (thank you, Halopedia), is a “big fan” who thinks forged shoes will fit right in with Seattle’s hand-forged everything, from cheese to beer to the wallets we open to pay for it all.

“It’s in the vein of what Seattle is all about,” LeMay said. “The whole maker movement. Anything that is usable and sustainable is perfect for our market.”

Doesn’t hurt that the sneakers are waterproof, have a reflective heel — and are lined with anti-odor fabric.

If it’s good enough for the Slovakian bomb crew, then it should work for those who bomb around the streets of Seattle.

Airing their dirty … everything

Newcomers are forever complaining about Northwest rain.

But when Charles, Kinda and Lola Saunders did it after moving from Louisiana to Bremerton, where Charles serves in the Navy, they got themselves a national commercial.

The Saunderses appear in a new TV ad for the Swiffer WetJet — using it, instead of towels, to clean up mud they track in.

(“The rain, the mud,” Kinda complains in the ad. “Ba-BAM! It’s there.”)

Kinda was looking for a job last fall when she responded to a posting on a casting website calling for people who were struggling with keeping their houses clean. The Swiffer folks chose her, and filmed the commercial in March.

Saunders didn’t hear anything until she was at a Fourth of July barbecue and a friend started screaming in the kitchen, “You’re on TV!”

“I was freaking out,” Saunders said. “They always told me there were no guarantees, you never know if it’s going to go.”

Since the ad started running June 30, her Facebook has “blown up” and people recognize her everywhere. She hasn’t gotten any calls from “The Today Show” or Ellen DeGeneres, like some of the other “real people” featured in the commercials, “But I’m definitely open to that.”

As for the money? “I am still looking for a job,” Saunders said. “So it’s not like I’m breaking the bank.”

(Go to and search for Swiffer Saunders.)

Lena in October

“Girls” star Lena Dunham is headed to Seattle in October to promote her new book, “Not That Kind of Girl,” and needs an opening act. Really.

Dunham — who will read and chat at the University Temple United Methodist Church on Saturday, Oct. 18, in an event sponsored by University Book Store, is looking for someone to warm up the crowd.

Dunham is open to anything: “singing, comedy, musical spoons, etc.,” she writes on her website. Said act must be limited to three to five minutes and able to be performed with a solo microphone and a stage. Hopefuls must also live within a 75-mile radius of Seattle. I’m presuming that bathing suits are optional.

For more info, go to

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

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