Search
categories
CB2 tweets
Wednesday
Sep092009

arbor day... in september?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfsregion5/ / CC BY 2.0As a chill develops in the air and the days get shorter, do you think “just how did I spend my summer vacation?” or do you start to pine for the rewards of spring?

Before you daydream off, and if you’re looking for something else to do besides rake leaves, think about this. Arbor Day sprouted in Nebraska in 1872 and since then has grown to International observance. Each participating country declared their own date based on the best planting time for their climate—remember fall up north = spring down south.

Check out the best time for planting in your hardiness zone by visiting the official Arbor Day Foundation website and plan ahead.

Can’t wait for the last Friday in April? Celebrate with Brazil on September 21st then nurture seedlings in teardrop hanging vases thru winter. And don’t forget to share your thoughts on what’s best to grow and plant!

Tuesday
Sep082009

comfort food goes potluck 2009 style!

photos: corn chowder by ashdmarcin, beef stew by jetalone // CC BY 2.0

Way back in 2003, scientific findings linked the body’s stress-response system to cravings for high-energy foods—many of which we think of as comfort foods. It should be no surprise then that comfort food is the most common theme for the latest surge in potluck gatherings.

While images of barn raisings and block parties come to mind, so does community, friends and family all supporting each other in these challenging times. As we watch our expenses and look for moral support, we’re sharing meals in similar fashion. What better way to console, raise spirits, network—and share costs and prep-time—than lingering over traditional favorites such as mac and cheese, hot dogs and baked beans and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Today’s comfort foods are anything but bland—it’s all about spicing up basic ingredients and the presentation! How about seasonal corn chowder in silo mugs, marinated beef stew in sleek modern bowls, and organic apple pie a la mode on zoid plates?

Let your imagination run outside the cookbook. We believe easy, inexpensive and tasty recipes are out there. For a quick search, check out the Top 25 American Comfort Foods and Recipes, at Home Cooking on about.com and share yours with us. Who knows, maybe you’ll see it in a future catalog?

Thursday
Sep032009

inspiration: barcelona

This summer, I took the opportunity to visit Barcelona since I’d been wanting to go for years. For four sun-filled beautiful days I swam in the sea, walked the streets, admired the architecture, devoured the fish, and left with lasting impressions.

The two most outstanding? First, everyone was incredibly gracious and seemed to possess a sense of peace and happiness along with a modest pride in their homeland’s culture and language. Second, the architecture is absolutely amazing.

 

All the works by Antoni Gaudi are wonderful in their whimsy and define unique. Gothic and Modern are equally prevalent—and quite often they’re mixed with sheer genius.

Much like home it’s a very bike friendly city—for both tourists and locals—and the transit system is efficient and easy. While wandering the neighborhoods I found modern hotels in the industrial area, and storefront windows of thick glass flush to the weathered walls that make up the winding streets of the Gothic quarter.

A few favorite spots: Parc Guell for its Gaudi architecture, colorful mosaics and expansive views of the city and sea. Mil for their vintage storefront and exceptional millinery for men and women. La Vinya del Senyor at Placa Santa Maria—a wonderful spot for wine tastings and tapas—just outside the Santa Maria del Mar. Do see the Gothic cathedral, the beauty is in its architecture, age and grit.

And lastly, Salero for lunch. Tucked in La Ribera, their mix of vintage with modern—of worn wood tables and white chairs, of mirrors and lighting—topped by delicious cuisine served on simple tablewares, altogether the experience was a highlight. 

Photo: Restaurante Salero

The trip was very refreshing and inspirational. I bought a stack of music to recall the mood and took hundreds of photos. Isn’t this the perfect mix of old and new?

Wednesday
Sep022009

we <3 a good tattoo

tattoorug

Whether temporary or permanent, it’s been quite a while now that tattoos have gone from drunken sailor days to biker chic to everyday—and almost every age.

And it’s become pretty common to see fashion walk off the runway and into home decor. Have you noticed the proliferation of yellow in both ready-to-wear and shelter magazines?

Artist Sophie Conran designed the muscle tattoo pattern—that transfers wonderfully to a hand-tufted rug—complete with a banner draped heart. It could be the most radical way to liven up a beige room.

Can you imagine it in your space? On the floor—or as wall art?

Tuesday
Sep012009

furniiture design 101

http://www.flickr.com/photos/larryncelia/ / CC BY 2.0

This past Wednesday night, Sandra and I had the honor of critiquing student design projects here in Chicago. Our five person panel was invited by our friend Paul, who teaches a architecture and furniture class at IIT’s College of Architecture.

During the semester, 14 students refined their prototypes with Paul’s guidance and presented them with their thought process and budget. Held in the timeless and inspirational Crown Hall (designed by Mies van der Rohe and shown here), we reviewed photo frames, tables, chairs and stacking bookcases.

To say we were impressed with their creative designs, and ingenious use of select woods, would be an understatement. And it isn’t often we get to see hand-crafted solid wood modern furniture using age old manufacturing techniques—ie. mortise and tenon joinery, 50-degree mitered slip joints, etc.

The initial assignment was to visit CB2 and design a frame and a piece of furniture based on our aesthetic. There were a handful that we’re so crazy about, we’re checking to see if they can be manufactured for CB2. If they make the cut, watch for their story and remember this is when it all began.

In the meantime, the event brought back memories of all-nighters at design school for Sandra and high school shop class for me. What about you? Ever put pencil to paper to sketch out your furniture ideas?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yusunkwon/ / CC BY 2.0