Continuing the lineup of our favorite things made in Colorado, we put together a collection of some lovely items to inspire your gift giving this holiday season:
We have gathered a slew of great items produced locally in and around Denver. Made from the best ingredients and by the most skilled artisans, these bites and sips would be equally great at your holiday dinner table or as gifts for out-of-state loved ones.
1. Rocky Mountain Soda Company produces all-natural soda pop in 10 different flavors such as Boulder Birch Beer and Pikes Peak Prickly Pear that can be purchased online or at a number of local retailers.
3. Dancing Pines Distillery crafts artisan small batch distilled spirits in Loveland, CO. Their inventory includes vodkas, gins, rums, whiskeys and flavored liqueurs like Black Walnut and Chai. Their fine spirits can be purchased at the distillery and the tasting rooms, or at Argonaut.
4. Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy's cheeses are known for their outstanding, fresh, clean flavor and texture. Pick up a couple of logs at your neighborhood Natural Grocers or Murray's Cheese or visit their online store.
5. Bee Raw Honey is a company on the East Coast that prides itself on offering raw non-certified organic honey from specific regions around the country. Try their Colorado Sweet Yellow Clover or Colorado Star Thistle variety.
9. Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company, located in Fort Collins, CO, offers 15 flavors of infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils and 23 flavors of Aged Balsamic Vinegars, all of highest quality. Buy their products at their brick and mortar store or online.
10. Beet Box is a from-scratch vegan bakery that offers a vast seasonal selection of incredible pastries, cakes and tarts. Be it Lemon Lavender Cake, Pecan Pear Pie or a dozen of baked chocolate donuts, you simply must try their rich and flavorful desserts.
11. Pappardelle's Pasta's creations include many different dried and fresh-frozen pastas, along with pesto, sauces, oils, vinegars and marinades. Their imaginative ravioli and tortellini, like the Chopped Spinach & Four Cheese Ravioli in Parsley Fleck Dough, along with other types of pasta, can be found at a few different Whole Foods around town, or bought online with an option to pick the order up from the local warehouse.
12. DRAM Apothecary's production factory and tasting room is located in the historic ghost town of Silver Plume, CO, and it provides supremely special line of goods made from organic and wild Colorado herbs - bitters, syrups and teas. Purchase their creations locally at NOOCH | vegan market or Hazel & Dewey, or at their online shop.
Stay tuned for a Gift Guide featuring products from the most talented artists and craftspeople in Colorado!
A tremendous amount of things are making a comeback these days, even a craft as quirky as lath art got revamped. Beach and rural scenes most popular for this folk woodworking art gave way to fresh and simple geometric patterns. Use of lath in interiors has become increasingly popular in the past few years, with master makers such as Ariele Alasko, Jacquelyn Wrafter and Elana Taubman emerging on the scene.
Recently we had a chance to experiment with this material as well. One of our latest projects was a conversion of a 1901 blacksmith shop into an Air BnB rental. We designed and built two lath wall panels to cover the openings left by removing the original swinging barn doors.
For this particular projects we designed the panels on site as we were building them, not prior to. We wanted the flexibility of deciding on the pattern as we went, that way we could make immediate adjustments based on the existing conditions. Below are the steps we took to construct the panels, together with some tips for those of you considering making a panel or a furniture piece for yourself.
1) Sketching out designs first won't be a bad idea. As a rule lath varies in width, landing somewhere around 1.5" - keep that in mind when designing your piece.
2) Once the pattern was figured out, we found the center of the design and started working from there out toward the edges. We found that marking and cutting each piece separately was more time-effective and mistake-proof then cutting all the pieces at the same time.
3) Once all lath fragments were cut and the design was laid out, it was time to attach it to the backing (in this case, a 1/2" think sheet of MDF, painted black). We used wood glue and also secured each piece with a couple of small nails - for a lighter application you can just pick either one.
4) After all lath boards were securely attached to the backing, we carefully sanded the surface to prevent splinters. Take care to not strip away too much of that wonderful texture.
5) Next we taped certain areas of our design with painter's tape to prepare for staining.
6) Last step was to stain selected parts of the panel to enhance the pattern. We used Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Semi Transparent Deck and Siding Stain in Black and a large rough brush. Instead of evenly coating the wood with the stain, we applied it irregularly with generous brushstrokes in some places and nearly dry brush in others. As a result, we ended up with a weathered look that is in line with the rest of the unfinished boards on the panel.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below and look out for the photos of this wall panel featured in one of our finished projects!
Have you ever gone thrift shopping with your parents? Odds are that, to you, it will be a “gorgeous Scandinavian walnut dresser”, but to them “exactly the same junk we had when I was growing up”. The sight of an orange velvet sofa will have you squealing with delight, while they would remember that time they gladly got rid of a similar one their own parents used to have.
It seems like today’s generation is drawn to the era of their grandparents. In the past few years many major furniture and home décor brands have introduced designs influenced by last century – Smeg’s 50’s funky retro, West Elm’s 60’s Mid Century modern elegance and Jonathan Adler’s 70’s cheeky kitsch to name a few. With these trends making an inevitable comeback and getting even more prominent in the upcoming 2015, we are going to talk a bit about the distinct differences that one of them has and how a style from the past could be so refreshing in the present day.
We bypassed the obvious choice of the 60’s since we have a soft spot for modern design anyway, and ventured into the next decade instead – the glamorous 70’s. While Mid Century design is known for soft simple lines, natural wood stains and warm colors, the decade that followed developed some new features that completely changed the look of that time, which also made it very recognizable.
70’s style was an eclectic mix of “back-to-nature” with its earth tones, embroidered wall hangings and lots of wood and stone; and “hi-tech” associated with sleek plastics, shiny metals and geometric shapes and lines. Bright colors and bold patterns spilled out generously into both design directions.
The revival that we see today includes some of those same elements – updated, yet still unmistakably 70’s. Funky colors and inexpensive materials are left in the past, guiding this style into a darker, more romantic direction. Here are a few ingredients to a contemporary space inspired by this 50 year old look:
1) High gloss plastic and acrylic – inspired by the rise of the sci-fi cinema back in the day, these contemporary materials could still look quite luxurious with the right approach. High quality plastics with perfectly smooth, almost lacquered surface are the winners. (Table Lamp, JCPenney)
2) Geometric shapes – faceted pieces specifically are taking center stage, but other ambiguous organic forms are still holding strong. (Vase, Target; Paperweight, Anthropologie; Bookends and Sculptural Spheres, West Elm)
3) Brass – and lots of it! Potentially the loudest indicator of a 70’s-inspired interior, brass is taking over the sleek cold chrome and steel. Forget the lacquered shiny brass from back in the day and go with warm tarnished, brushed or hammered pieces for a modernized look. With Kelly Wearstler’s metal of choice, you simply cannot go wrong. (Tray, Target; Hourglass, Mile High Thrift)
4) Raw natural materials – some of the hippie culture-induced nature themes did make their way into the modern-day take on 70’s. A combination of raw yet refined materials is what you are looking for – malachite, exotic woods such as mango or eucalyptus, and bone inlays. (Frame, Target)
5) Marble – some could say that, in the 70’s, this noble stone went hand-in-hand with brass, creating a very classic and time-specific look. If a marble spiral staircase with brass railings just isn’t your thing, look into some lighting or desk accessories for a smaller dose of glamour. (Table Lamp, West Elm)
6) Glass and Lucite – anything from Philippe Starck’s iconic Ghost chair to Debra Folz’s gorgeous Echo tables fits the bill, as long as it is elegant and transparent. Lucite, a durable thermoplastic was developed in 1928, but the boom of its use in furniture did not come until late 60’s. Keep the tradition alive and invest into a fun piece or two. (Candleholder, Target)
7) Velvet – fascination with the soft short hide of this plush fabric carried on from the 60’s into the decade that followed. While velvet sofas and armchairs are all the rage, there is nothing wrong with simply adding a throw pillow or two to the sitting arrangement you already own to bring the look of your space closer to the 70’s.
8) Color scheme – 70’s-inspired interiors we see today are decidedly different from the originals. While wildly colored rooms ruled the day 50 years ago, they are, in most cases, simply too much to handle in the present. A monochrome palette of black, white and brass/gold is what you should be looking for, completed with humble pops of emerald green, hot pink and turquoise with a bit of royal blue.
In summation, many consider the 70’s “the 60’s hangover”, or even “the decade that style forgot”. We, however, think that it was an important time that contributed to the development of architecture and design as we see them today. No matter how much you love or despise that era, its new up-to-date interpretation is unlikely to leave anyone indifferent.
A few days ago I stumbled across the beautiful Weight Vases by a young Thai designer Decha Archjananun who developed them while attending the Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne in Switzerland. These creations are elegant, raw and smart - the steel part holds the flower stems and the concrete contains water while providing stability to the piece.
Decha is at the forefront of this year's great trend, cast concrete. And while his vases and many other ones made of the same material are available for purchase, they are surprisingly easy and very rewarding to make, which is exactly what you will learn to do in this post!
The very talented Ben Uyeda's HomeMade Modern among other gems, has printable templates of Bloktagons, faceted geometric forms that are a popular trend themselves - we will be using some of them in this project. The ones I used are called Big Emily and Lil Emily, but there are 7 other shapes to choose from on HMM website, so feel free to use different templates!
Here is a list of materials and tools needed:
- Concrete - pick it depending on the feel that you are for: a more industrial, rough look will be achieved by using a more coarse mix; smoother and more finished look will require using fine mix free of sand and rocks.
- Rigid Paper - we will use it to make molds to pour concrete in; 8.5" x 11" for this project and the type, again, depends on the final look you want: cardstock (use at least 110lb. weight) will make the finished vase look rougher, glossy photo paper - smoother.
- Craft Glue - we will use it to put the molds together
- House Paint - for sealing the exterior of the mold to make sure concrete doesn't seep through the seams; you'll only need a bit, High Gloss or Eggshell finishes work best.
- Pigment - this one is optional, I used it to give a project a special touch; pigments specifically for concrete usually come in quantities way bigger then you would need for this project, so you can use anything water-soluble like fabric dye or food coloring.
- Cutting tool - sharp scissors or paper knife to cut mold paper
- Printer - keep in mind the type of printer you have when buying paper. While it doesn't matter much for cardstock, photo paper is usually specific to either inkjet or laser.
- Ruler - this project requires folding paper - use a sturdy thin metal ruler to score those lines.
- Paint Brush - to seal the mold with paint
- Mixing Bowl - to prepare your concrete mix; metal or ceramic is best.
- Wooden Dowel - use a dowel of a desired thickness or a pencil to create the void in the vase.
- Grease - we will need to apply this to the dowels before inserting it into the poured concrete to prevent bonding, so it will come out easily when the vase dries; cooking spray will do just fine.
Once you gather all your tools and supplies, the fun part begins:
1. Download and print the templates - notice that there are directions on them already. If you are using glossy photo paper, print on the back of it so the glossy texture is untouched.
2. Cut the templates out.
3. Follow Ben's great directions on folding and gluing to put the mold together. If using photo paper, make sure the glossy texture is on the inside and the printed side is facing outwards, so there are no flaps glued together inside the mold.
4. Paint the outside of the mold - make sure you protect your work surface.
5. Mix your concrete according to the directions on the package (usually it is a 1:2 water to cement ratio, but add as much water as you will need to make it workable). I used 2 cups for Big Emily and 1 cup for Lil Emily.
6. Add pigment if you want. Remember that the intensity of the shade will depend on the dosage you use, so go easy on it to start with.
7. Pour concrete into the mold, grease up the dowel and then insert it halfway into the vase to make room for water and stems that will be in it later.
8. Let concrete cure. This is where you will need to be patient, it will take about 3 days for the vase to be dry enough to be used. I made these on a Friday and left them over the weekend.
9. Use a paper knife to remove the mold and enjoy your new vase.
I filled mine with aspen tree branches painted with Pantone's Radiant Orchid color of the year.