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Do It In Damask: Tons of Damask products

8 new ways to get your fill of damask.
Just click on the item below for details or to purchase.
Divine Damask

Once relegated to Grandma's bed spread, Damask has made a major comeback as the new 'modern' pattern!

After the past few years of minimalist design in furniture and objects, Rococo, ornate and baroque have come back with a vengeance!

Don't believe me? Just looky...

See lots more of my Divine Damask products on my list at ThisNext.

Take A Hike...well, okay...A Walk.

NOTCOT(the fabulous site by my friend, Jean Aw and colleagues) did a nice feature story on this cool site, so I am reprinting it here.

Jean Aw: "Odds are if you are reading this, you PROBABLY should check the Walk Score of your current location and get walking. I mean seriously, we spend a bit too much time at our computers… well me at least. Apparently my current walkscore is well in the green, at 88% - what is that, a B+? A-? Its been a long time since i’ve thought about grades. “70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It’s possible to get by without owning a car.”

This is an interesting mashup - Walk Score uses a patent-pending algorithm to calculate the walkability of an address based on: The distance to walkable locations near an address, calculating a score for each of these locations, combining these scores into one easy to read Walk Score. More details below on how the calculate an areas walkability…"

From Walk Score:

Walkable Neighborhoods

Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stroll home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don’t own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.
What makes a neighborhood walkable?

Walkable communities tend to have the following characteristics:

* A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it’s a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
* Density: The neighborhood is compact, rather than spread out, which brings people closer to stores and jobs and makes public transportation more cost effective.
* Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
* Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
* Accessibility: The neighborhood is accessible to everyone and has wheelchair access, plenty of benches with shade, sidewalks on all streets, etc.
* Well connected, speed controlled streets: Streets form a connected grid that improves traffic by providing many routes to any destination. Streets are narrow to control speed, and shaded by trees to protect pedestrians.
* Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
* Close schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.

They even have a page of “How it doesn’t work”

Plastics Engineer Turned Traveling Nature & People Photographer: Larry Broutman.

above: Larry's shot of a young woman in Namibia

Ever have a talented member of your family you new nothing about?
Well, yesterday I discovered that my second cousin -who I thought was merely a brilliant plastics and polymers engineer, is actually a talented photographer to boot!

Larry Broutman has a passion for travel, particularly to remote areas of the world. During the past 15 years he has traveled to all 7 continents and even included a trip to the North Pole aboard a Russian nuclear icebreaker. His interests have included visiting hill tribes in Asia, nomadic tribes in Africa, and touring in India and other Himalayan countries. A desire to document these travel experiences sparked his enthusiasm in photography. His interest in photographing other cultures eventually broadened to travel and outdoor photography, or as Larry describes it, "photographing images of the natural world."

above: Cambodia

Larry has specialized in photographing people, wildlife and landscapes. He has studied and toured with some of the best-known documentary and nature photographers in the field. His images have been sold to corporations, private collectors and travel publications. He currently has an exhibit scheduled to open at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the fall of 2004 and has completed an installation of wildlife photography at the Childrens Memorial Hospital Outpatient Clinic.

above: Sparring hippos

Larry's people photography captures the human side of foreign cultures and tribes. A Japanese sumo wrestler sweeps the floor with an antique broom. A stunning beauty from Namibia shows off a hairstyle caked with mud. A young monk from Bhutan in traditional dress stands in striking contrast to the blue wall of his monastery.


above: Hamar girl, Ethiopia

above: Papua, New Guinea

above: Mursi Woman, Ethiopia

above: Mursi Woman, Ethiopia

above: Samburu Warrior, Kenya

above: Hamar man, Ethiopia

above: Karo Warrior, Ethiopia

above: Karo Elder, Ethiopia

above: Laos

above: Cambodia


above: Laos

His wildlife and landscapes also take us to breathtaking locales and capture moments of vivid intensity. A cheetah from South Africa gazes into a golden sunset. A lilac breasted roller reminds us of the impossible beauty that is commonplace in Botswana. A landscape in Anza Borrego, California captures the fuchsias, greens and violet hues of the desert.


above: leopard cub, South Africa

above: Giraffe, Nambia

above: Mountain Gorilla, Uganda

above: Zebras, Nambia

above: Polar Bears, Norway

above: Wildebeest dive

above: Malachite Kingfisher

above: Baboon and infant

As if his beautiful photography weren't enough to impress you, he also invented a specific way to use the Quick-set pan and tilt positioning tripod (the benefits of being an engineer and photographer):

QuickSet Goes to Africa
When Larry Broutman packed his bags heading for Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park this April, he surely brought his safari hat. But even more important was his trusty Quickset Pan and Tilt. Broutman, a professional photographer working on his second educational media project for the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Regenstein African Journey exhibit, spent much of April photographing the migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles. This migration is a constant, cyclical movement between Kenya and Tanzania. It follows the rain and birth cycles, carrying herds south from Kenya into the Serengeti in the springtime. When he arrived, Broutman was greeted by millions of wildebeests, among them the new calves, born just this February. It was a truly awesome sight to see.

While there were many anxious photographers roaming the African plains hoping for the perfect shot, none went about it quite like Broutman. Because of the mostly flat topography of the Serengeti, he thought it would be ideal to have the benefit of elevation in his work. He wanted a 40-foot telescoping mast attached to his truck, allowing for mobility and the unique aerial perspective he sought. He mounted a digital camera atop a pan and tilt, linked to the ground by a video feed that would be his eyes. From the shelter of his truck, Broutman was able to maneuver the camera through an incredible range of shot angles and to capture the still photographs onto his laptop. These photos can be seen as part of the zoo’s African Journey, delighting and educating visitors from all over the world.

Above left: the quick-set tripod in use by Larry, shown on the right

Larry began his professional career as a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He has his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from MIT in the field of Materials Science. Larry is known worldwide for his research and has published 160 research articles and several text books in the field of plastics and composite materials. In the mid 80's, Larry founded, L.J. Broutman Associates and co-founded Advanced Polymer Compounding. The former company became one of the largest and most prestigious plastics laboratories and consulting companies in the U.S., and the latter is among the foremost plastics compounding companies in the U.S.

Larry continues to travel and recently returned from trips to Cuba and Southern India. His plans include additional wildlife installations and further exhibits of his people photographs from around the world. His travel agenda for this year will include China, Africa and India.
Some of Larry's photographs can be seen on his website.
For further information, please call Lisa Ridolfi at 847-337-3987.

Eye on Africa
June 23-Sept 30, 2005
Hermann Hall
Illinois Institute of Technology [info]
Chicago, IL

East Africa-The Wildebeest Migration
Permanent Exhibit
Regenstein African Journey Building
Lincoln Park Zoo [info]
Chicago, IL.

Zero Sheds New Light at Euroluce

Zero of Sweden unveiled some of their newer lamps at this years Euroluce lighting show. Here are their newest pieces:

Above: The Material pendant lamp

Above: The Camouflage pendant lamp

Above: The PXL pendant lamp

The PXL table lamp

About Zero:
Roland Gill and Andris Nolendorfs were both working with lighting at Orrefors Glassworks when they got the idea of starting their own business. Weary of glass fittings hanging crooked, they decided: no more glass, sheet metal is the right material! Both had made the acquaintance of designer Börge Lindau and their confidence in him was so great that they decided to start their own business if Börge would join them as designer. Börge was convinced by the bold idea and said he would support them with his interest and skills. When the newly formed company was christened, it was Börge who suggested the name Zero.

In view of the very small resources, Börge felt that the choice of materials for the first lights was very important if they were to be noticed and considered innovative. So he suggested that perforated sheet metal would be suitable. The choice of material proved so successful that practically the entire range for the first 10 years consisted of various fittings in different types of perforated sheet metal.

After moving the business from the garage, wharf and attic, they gradually rented premises in an old industrial estate in the centre of Nybro. Here there was room for the company which after some years began to expand quickly. When Börge established his own furniture company, Blå Station, Zero began their long-term, forward-looking and still ongoing collaboration with Per Sundstedt. He wanted to start designing glass fittings as he was tired of metal. Today Zero's range is dominated by various glass fittings designed by Per Sundstedt!

In 1989, Zero acquired the Pukeberg Glassworks and its premises. Pukeberg Glassworks in Nybro was started in 1871 and for many years was owned by the Böhlmarks Lampfabrik in Stockholm. Böhlmarks began by producing paraffin lamps but as time went on became an important manufacturer of electrical light fittings. They bought the glass for the paraffin lamps from Pukeberg and quickly became the Glassworks' largest customer. At the beginning of the 1900s, Böhlmarks had begun to work with artists and now they had an opportunity to start designing Pukeberg glassware. It is interesting to note that the first designers, Harald Notini and Uno Westerberg, were both interior designers. Göran Wärff joined them as an architecture student to practice on a new building in Pukeberg and was afterwards employed as a designer as he was an excellent draughtsman.

Of all designers who began their careers at Pukeberg, perhaps Eva Englund is still the most famous. She joined the company as a graduate from art college and succeeded Göran Wärff who had joined Kosta. Eva, who returned to Pukeberg after a long career at Orrefors, here created some of her greatest successes including Malakit and Indigo. In the last years of her life she created some of her most fantastic Graal pieces.

The tradition of lighting production returned to Pukeberg when Zero brought Pukeberg in 1989. The year before Zero had started a subsidiary, the Lustrum furniture company, and it now appears that Böhlmarks too was making tubular steel furniture in the 30's. The circle really is complete!

Today Pukeberg's q-marked glassworks is a famous tourist attraction. Here you can watch glass manufacture and visit a glass museum. There are treasures to be found in the shop, or visit Zero's and Lustrum's exhibitions. The old grindery has been renovated and in September 2002 became the home for Designline at Kalmar University. This should guarantee that both vision and tradition will live on and continue their exciting meeting at Pukeberg!

Jewelry Designer Bruna Hauert's Funky Rings

Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925, Schneekugeln
USD $689.90

These unusual rings are hand crafted by Swiss jewelry designer Bruna Hauert and are available by clicking the link at the end of this post.

Riä nö wa phlü
Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925 (sterling silver)
USD $457.35

Spacebear Fred, looking for Flash Gordon
Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925, Schneekugel
USD $596.90

Wedding Cake - Zuckerbraut
Fingerring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silver AG925, Epoxy
USD $503.90

Jeder sein eigener König
Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925 (sterling silver), Epoxy
US$ 457.35

Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925, plastic
USD $589.15

Ring with thread by Bruna Hauert
Ring von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silver AG925, thread
(also in Titanium, Gold over Palladium plated)
USD $248.05

Ehering von Bruna Hauert
Material: Silber AG925, Schneekugel, Kunststoff
USD $596.90

Buy any of the above rings here.

The Simpsons Sport Couture (Or Designer Dresses... D-oh!)

In this month's Harper's Bazaar (August 2007 issue), The Simpsons model the latest and greatest designer dresses from Versace to Viktor & Rolf.

Harper's Bazaar August 2007 "The Simpsons go to Paris with Linda Evangelista"

If you aren't able to stop by a newsstand and pick up an issue, here are the wonderful spreads from the issue:

"Models": The Simpsons, Linda Evangelista, and various designers, illustrations by Julius Preite

See the amazing real life dresses as compared to these wonderful animated versions right here!

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