Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving.

While I have not had the time lately to post as often as I should like, I would be remiss in not finding a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Each Thanksgiving I like to look back on the past. I feel that this is a holiday of remembrance, a time to reflect and gather around us where we have been and what we have done.  I recall Thanksgiving days long done, family and friends who have come and gone and the events in my life that have helped create the man I am today.

This year I give thanks for my wonderful wife Kristina, without who my life would be meaningless, and for our two amazing cats, Loki and Henji. I give thanks that my mothers illness was short and that I was able to spend a few quality days at her side before her passing. I give thanks that my father and brother are surrounded by family this holiday season to help ease their burdens. And lastly, as I have for many years, I give thanks for new friends and for the new things i have learned.

In closing allow me to leave you with a few of my favorite things at Thanksgiving. First, a quote from John F. Kennedy that I feel we should all want to embrace, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." Second, a few Norman Rockwell paintings about the holiday (I take this from my grandmother who loved all things Rockwell) and to close, a video clip of the prayer scene from the A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Designed to inspire.

These posts will simply be sets of images that I draw inspiration from and I hope may do the same for you. The sets may be all images of a certain thing (this post will be all art I love), a specific topic or perhaps just random images that struck my fancy. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's in the design?

As I have mentioned before, I love all things design. And let's be honest, every single thing you see, use or touch in your lifetime (other than things in nature of course) has been designed by someone for some reason. The shape of a traditional bar of soap was designed specifically to fit a specific need, the color of glass used in a wine bottle was picked for a certain aesthetic or reason, etc.

For this post I wanted to share a bit of knowledge about the design of a most iconic product, the 14oz. glass Heinz ketchup bottle. The classic narrow-neck design of the Heinz ketchup bottle established the norm for the industry. The narrow-neck design simplified pouring the ketchup and minimized contact with air, which could darken the sauce. Glass was an ideal container because it was inert and did not react with the ketchup, and the clear glass allowed the consumer to see the product.

Alright, that was the standard stuff. Here is the best part of the design. You know how sometimes you are at a restaurant and you go to use one of these bottles and you have an incredibly hard time getting the ketchup to actually come out? You shake it for all your worth, you slam the end in a vain attempt to beat the ketchup out, you sometimes even find yourself, although quietly and under your breath, begging and pleading with it. Those days are over my friends as I am here to share with you the secret that will save you time (and possibly your wrist) and impress your friends and family. There is a incredibly simple trick to making the ketchup flow out smoothly in a matter of seconds.

1. Hold the Heinz bottle

2. Angle the bottle so the opening is tilted down at a 45-degree angle.

3. Gently tap the raised "57" on the side of the bottle with the knuckle of your index finger. Do this several times and Voila! A smooth, thick floe of ketchup will emerge from the bottle. Repeat to impress friends and relatives anytime.

4. Proceed to pour onto a burger, a hot dog, beans (for all the Brits reading this) or on your significant other...I don't judge (even though it is my last name so it's sort of like my birthright).

Monday, November 1, 2010

IDC or Bust.

For some time now I have have the good fortune to be a part of Interior Design Chat, a weekly chat for Interior Designers, Interior Architects, Decorators, and anyone who is in the Home Decor and Furniture Industry. Each week a new topic is posed with a number of questions designed to guide the chat. I have been part of some absolutely wonderful discussions with some remarkable individuals.

This month, during the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo here in Chicago, Interior Design Chat will be holding their own event, Interior Designer Chat Education & Design Worth Spreading. From 16-19 Nov. IDC will be hosting a number of design education, design community building and social networking events at various locations around Chicago....and I want to be there.

As aforementioned, I have had the pleasure of some wonderful discussions with several individuals in the design community with whom I have come to respect. Regretfully, these conversations have been restricted to only being online. I would love the opportunity to meet the individuals I have been chatting with. Beyond this I feel that the depth of new information and experience I could garner from being in attendance would do nothing but make me a better designer, for myself, for my business and for my present and future clients.

With any semblance of luck I shall find my way to this most beneficial of events...wish me luck.


For the next few days I will be most gladly accepting prayers, well wishing and the benefits of pagan, wiccan or voodoo ceremonies. I thank you in advance.
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