Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paddle-and-anvil Pottery By Kate Tremel

American Style Magazine profiles Kate Tremel who has been getting her hands dirty for the past 20 years, yet the technique she uses to create her pottery goes back centuries. While in college, Tremel traveled to Peru where she studied a paddle-and-anvil technique, which became her signature skill.

What is paddle-and-anvil technique?
A method of smoothing and finishing the walls of hand-made pottery vessels where a small stone or wooden ‘anvil’ is held against the inner wall of the vessel while a flat or curved wooden ‘paddle’ is used to beat the outer surface into shape.

The shape of the anvil determines how the clay will move.

* a circular anvil results in the clay expanding in all directions
* an oval anvil held vertically against the wall results in the clay expanding horizontally
* an oval anvil held horizontally against the wall results in the clay expanding vertically

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Monday, November 29, 2010

News From TODL

Some innovative, unique ideas from TODL today:

VID programmable lighting, media, comfort, or energy control
With a razor-sharp, full-size 6.4″ VGA display, two extra buttons and an optical rotary wheel, the Pronto RI-TSU9800 touch screen control panel is the easiest model to operate. Homeowners will appreciate the readability of the larger screen and the ability to displaying more icons or menu options on one single screen.

Switchable Liquid Crystal Privacy on Demand Glass
Switchable liquid crystal glass is a popular choice for any application including the home, corporate environment, or anywhere else there is a need for privacy or protection. By simply turning a switch, switchable liquid crystal glass is a state of the art glass featuring incredible privacy on demand and is becoming a popular item for builders, designers, architects and consumers. Eliminating the need for shades, curtains or blinds, the liquid crystal in the glass protects fine furnishings, carpets and displays from UV damage and the view of others.
Bev & Mike
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Looking for some great Christmas gifts?

  Look at our favorites from  the Architectural Record:

Move over  Juicy Salif (Philippe Starck’s iconic citrus juicer) there is a new squeeze in town. Mysqueeze is a handheld citrus juicer designed by Roland Kreiter for Alessi’s Fall/Winter 2010 line. The 5’’ x 2 1/4’’ stainless steel juicer features an ergonomic shape that resembles the shape of a lemon, with deep grooves to get its juices flowing. Available at Alessi-shop.com and retail stores. Price: $67.00.

Trash Origami: 25 Paper Folding Projects Reusing Everyday Materials
Tuttle Publishing’s Trash Origami: 25 Paper Folding Projects Reusing Everyday Materials by Michael G. Lafosse and Richard L. Alexander is a fun, instructive guide showing how to turn trash into origami. Intended for the reader with little to no previous folding experience, the book should also appeal to veteran origamists who will find inspiration in the unusual materials, such as candy wrappers, junk mail, and glossy magazines (old issues of RECORD perhaps?). An instructional DVD is included. Available at fine bookstores and online retailers. Price: $19.95.

Heath Ceramics
Heath Ceramics, one of the few remaining mid-century American potteries, has been making tableware and tile for over half a century in its Sausalito, California factory. The company has introduced two new winter-inspired, hand-dipped glazes for its Winter 2010 collection of tableware, which includes salt and pepper shakers, a bud vase set, and a hot cocoa set. The seasonal designs are specifically produced just for their season, making them collectables a select group is now on display at the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. To purchase go to  heathceramics.com. . Price: Ranging from $32.00 for an espresso set to $205.00 for a serving bowl set.
Photo © Jeffrey Cross

Custom rings by Jeremy May
To make these bookish baubles, British designer Jeremy May laminates together hundreds of pages of recycled books and colored recycled paper, and then carefully finishes them to a high gloss. The design of each ring is a direct response to the book the paper came from; the jewelry is then re-inserted into the excavated space in the book afterwards, allowing the book to work as a jewelry box. May also takes custom orders and can turn any favorite book into a literary jewel. He does not have a retail presence yet in the U.S., but does ship here and around the world. To order visit littlefly.co.uk.. Pieces start at $165.00, plus shipping.

These are just a few of their ideas.

Bev & Mike
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Celebrity Holiday Homes 2010

Received a note from Cabo interior designer Sandy Espinet about her HGTV Christmas special Dec 4th at 8pm called Celebrity Holiday Homes 2010.

She decorated Brooke Burke's home for the holidays and with all the interest in Dancing With The Stars, thought you might be interested.

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stanley's Resort Coastal Living

Speaking of Stanley Furniture, one of the hottest looks right now is the collaboration of Coastal Living magazine and Stanley to produce the Resort look:

Notice the wavy textured metal X etegere in the bottom two pictures. It's a work of art!

Stanley's Plugged In Nightstand

Yesterday, we posted about a nightstand with a built in charger in a transitional style from C.F. Oakton.  Further investigation reveals Stanley has the Costa Del Sol Barcelona Stateroom Media Chest.
At first glance, it appears like a traditional European storage cabinet. But on closer inspection, you'll find a pair of matching cubbies towering behind the ornate molding on either side. Even the top drawer is a bit of tromped loeil--pull the antique flamed brass knob and you'll reveal a convenient drop down media tray complete with self-contained electrical outlet. Perfect for storing a DVD player, stashing a video game unit or just charging those everyday electronics.

It's Bridget Otto Thursday!

It may be Thanksgiving, but it is also Bridget Otto Thursday and today Bridget knocked herself out!  First, there's Hot new looks for fireplaces.  Our friends interior designer Kathia Emery of Emery & Associates Interior Design, interior designers Amanda Klash and Emma Davis of Montgomery Klash Interior Design, and interior designer Alice Dillon of Alice Dillon interiors reworked problem fireplaces with great looking results.

Second, Bridget writes about Home style books to warm hearts and hearths.  Any one of the books would make a great Christmas gift.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Built In Charger!

Here's a great idea!  C.F. Oakton has a three drawer nightstand with a built in charger.

BTW, read what Pres. Steve Eisler has to say about HOW WE WILL SURVIVE AND THRIVE THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

Bev & Mike
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Win a Commissioned Painting

Here's a fun contest to enter. At Pure Home's blog a post invites your comments: Win a Commissioned Painting From Artist Erica Eriksdotter.
Young House Love has paired up with artist Erica Eriksdotter to give away one commissioned painting (up to a $350 value) to a lucky reader. 
Contest Entry Details:
TO ENTER: Comment on the Young House Love post, Paint Me A Picture, with the words “PAINT ME A PICTURE!”
BONUS QUESTION: …tell us about your favorite piece of one-of-a-kind artwork that you currently own. Maybe it’s a finger painting done by a kid in your life? Something you got on etsy? Or a drawing that you sketched yourself to fill some blank space?
HURRY! GIVEAWAY CLOSES:Wednesday, November 24th at 8pm EST

We entered!  BTW, Pure Home is a Seattle "...social trading hub for the home decor industry, bridging the communications gap between buyer and seller by leveraging the Inspir™ Color Standard with their patent pending Contextual Search technology."

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Join Us For The Fabricut Grand Opening and Trunk Show

If you are an interior designer or buyer of fabric for drapery and upholstery, you don't want to miss the Fabricut grand opening lunch at Landfair Furniture on Tuesday December 7th at 11:30am in our showroom.  Carey Quinlan will show you the new winter collection from Fabricut.  In addition, she will introduce one of their hottest collections, Trend Fabrics, a subsidiary of Fabricut, featuring the Jaclyn Smith Home Collection.

Landfair Furniture has Fabricut hanging samples, books and memos for your convenience along with beautiful decorative drapery hardware. 

Call or email Bev to reserve your space since seating is limited.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Global Accessories

Home Accents Today has an article by Tracy Bulla about some global motifs (medallions and rings) featured in a variety of accessories.  We noticed two of our vendors featured:

Oil-rubbed bronze ovals interlock via silver aluminum accents to stylized effect in the Candice Olson-designed lamp from AF Lighting ($269).

Evoking the mythical, magical destination of Shangri La, Blissliving Home's eponymously named collection weaves a lush fantasy setting of flowers, birds and bees interspersed with lavishly wrought medallions ($295, full/queen set).

Come into our showroom and see more designs from all our vendors.

Bev & Mike
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's The Economy!

Last year in December, I wrote about my outlook for 2010 at Home Accents Today. I wrote:
I don’t think all of our troubles are behind us. Private industry is in a process of reducing debt and has a ways to go. Private industry is working its way through reorganization, but government is still adding debt and that will have to change before it crowds out private borrowers.
I haven't posted about furniture and accessories stores closing their doors this year because I haven't seen many closings, other than Wayne Martin, here locally. Today, I was jolted by two store closings:
  • Lacks Home Furnishings  -Lacks has 36 stores across the state of Texas. It has been in business for 73 years.  "Throughout its history, the company has helped customers finance their furniture purchases through extended loans.

    Banks and lenders gave Lacks the money to help make those payments, but now, Lacks says, those lenders will no longer loan the company money."
  • After 17 years as an Ohio furniture store and 96 years as a family business, Stauffer's Home Furnishings is going out of business. 
After all the money spent by the Feds, the economy doesn't seem to be getting better.  Maybe spending even more money will do the trick.

Bev & Mike
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    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Bridget Otto Thursday

    Bridget Otto has a story today about Tina Enomoto. How when she moved to Oregon from California she looked for a horse-friendly property, with a view and charming. She knew she found it when she looked at big red barn overlooking McMinnville and Carlton with a view of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

    Can't you just picture living there when your mom would say, "Close the door! Do you think you live in a barn?"

    "Well, yeah, Mom. We do"

    Bev & Mike
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    John Choquer, Custom Furniture

    We want to thank John Choquer of Choquer Industries for the very nice referral. We are always pleased to be recommended and do our level best to meet expectations.

    John builds custom cabinetry and furniture for customers in the Portland/Vancouver area using solid woods. Not only does he craft your furniture so that it can be passed on to your kids, but is also a piece of art. Here is his website which shows samples of his work,

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    NYC Treehouse

    Speaking of tree houses here's one in NY City:

    Bev & Mike
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    It's Bridget Otto Thursday

    Randy L. Rasmussen, The Oregonian

    Bridget Otto brings us two stories this week in Homes & Garden, an Oregonian feature section.  The first, Hang Time, is about a new way to suspend a tree house designed by Schuyler Silva and Devin Zoller.  Mike asked if he was too old to have a tree house.  "Yes, honey, you are!"

    The second article, Double Makeover, shows us how Arlene Lord of Mosaik Design remodeled two rooms for two sisters, Aili and Anya.  Included is an interview with Lord about creating rooms that can grow with the child.

    Bev & Mike
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    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    Keyboards for Senior Citizens

    Courtesy of matulio on Flickr.com

    Avid typists have special keyboards designed for them as do children but what about senior citizens?  Just because they are older individuals does not mean that they want to be out of the loop and without one of the best pieces of technology that we all use today to stay in touch with one another and keep up with all of the latest happenings.

    While there are some senior citizen keyboards, a lot more thought could have been put into these designs.  In fact, the designs aren’t much different except in the fact that they have larger keys as well as larger font.

    Why is it that when designers make special keyboards that they don’t fully think out the design first?  Sure, seniors could use children keyboards but that might cause them to feel a little funny about the entire situation.  By making a keyboard for senior citizens – and only senior citizens – it will help them feel like they matter in the world of computers.

    While the large font and large keys are fantastic, many keyboards don’t take into consideration ergonomics.  If seniors are going to be using computers and keyboards like the rest of us, these keyboards should be built ergonomically correct although more than likely most seniors only type with a couple fingers.  However, isn’t that how we all started out?

    Another thing that many manufacturers didn’t think of when they were making senior citizen special keyboards was the fact that many seniors wouldn’t need all the buttons or as many hot keys.  Only place a hot key for e-mail and internet, as these are the two things that a senior citizen is likely going to use the most when on the computer.  They probably won’t want to access YouTube, Windows Media Player, etc.

    Finally, the layout of the keys.  When you first started typing, would it have been easier to learn how if all of the keys had of been in ABC order instead of the QWERTY order they are in?  Probably so.  Of course, learning to type at a young age, it’s inevitable that you’d have to switch back to the QWERTY design but for senior citizens this isn’t the case.  So, why not make things easier on the elderly and create a keyboard that is in alphabetical order?  This will help them in finding the keys and knowing where the keys are.

    There are several different things that I think designers and manufacturers should have taken into consideration before making senior citizen keyboards.  My personal opinion is someone needs to develop a new one with all of this in mind.  These may be out there already but they aren’t easy to find.  Senior citizens deserve to use the internet but they also deserve to enjoy it, which they can do if they have a comfortable and easy to use keyboard in front of them.

    Michael Simms is a freelance writer for QwertyKeyboard.org, a website about all things related to qwerty keyboards such as the best wireless keyboards, the best ergonomic keyboards, etc.

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Mixing New and Old for a Refreshing Look

    If you are living in an old home and thinking of fixing it up, a refreshing interior design idea is to work with contrasts. An older home may have exposed brick. Rather than covering it up, leave the old brick wall uncovered and use it as a contrast for modern decorations. However, there are a few things you will need to do first:

    Clean the Wall

    An older brick surface will often need cleaning. A brass brush and lots of water works well and is cheaper and less messy than sand blasting or power washing. It does not stain old brick like muriatic acid can either. You will need a number of these brushes – as they wear out relatively quickly – and several hours of free time. Make certain to cover the floor with a plastic drop cloth. As with all such projects, work on a small, less conspicuous section before venturing on to the entire wall.
    To keep the water from running off your plastic sheeting, place a 2x4 barrier under the plastic in the shape of a ‘U’ and run the open area of the plastic up the wall wrapped in a 1x2 to create a basin. Using a nail gun, nail the 2x2 to the mortar in two places. When you have finished, just remove the nails, as later you will be filling cracks with grout anyway. Another option is to stick the lip of the plastic to the wall with a cheap silicone caulk. It will peal away and you can clean that part of the wall last.

    Repair Bricks and Mortar

    When you have completely cleaned your old brick wall, you will want to fill in cracks and missing mortar. Buy a coloured grout that matches the old and weathered mortar, testing in an inconspicuous area first.

    Preserve Your Work

    Two good choices for sealing an old brick wall are polyurethane and silicone. Both will give the brick a clean appearance and protect the brickwork. Polyurethane gives a slightly shinier appearance, while a silicone sealer tends to deepen the brick color but will not otherwise be noticeable. In each case, you will be working with irritating and volatile materials so make sure you work with the windows open and on small spaces of wall at a time. Take breaks in the fresh air after each patch of wall you finish. Ideally, you will do this job in the summer and leave the windows open for a day after finishing the wall.
    Consider a bright and modern look to contrast with your nicely cleaned, repaired and sealed brick wall. Using your nail gun, you can drive cement nails into the brick to hang supports for modern chrome light fixtures. For securing more substantial objects, use a tool such as the Makita LXT202. This 18V LXT Combination Drill & Impact Driver Kit is excellent for making the holes for anchoring heavier items such as a built-in bookcase of lightly stained mahogany.