Equinox – Woven at the Mill

19.01.2017 § Leave a comment

img_8521I recently visited the mill where Brentano’s pattern Equinox is woven. Accompanying me during the visit was Senior Designer Aaron Mensik and National Sales Manager Jeff Frank.   Located in a rural city of New Jersey, it was drizzling and damp when we arrived at the entrance of the warehouse style building.   At the opposite side of the doors – a forest stood tall – damp with sparse yellow and orange leaves still dangling on  branches. The fall color of the foliage brightened the grey sky and the metal siding.

To much surprise, when we walked in a pleasant display of  Brentano fabrics greeted us.  We later found out that one employee in particular  prepared the fabric display for our arrival.  I very much appreciated the Mills effort to make us feel welcomed.

We first visited the Jacquard weaving room.  Within the one room, approximately 60 looms were weaving at the same time.  We could hardly hear our guide explaining the weaving procedures.  We saw many beautiful fabrics being woven, including one of Brentano’s best sellers, Equinox. Equinox is woven on a very fine, dense, nylon warp.  Fine for the purpose of color clarity , dense for the purpose of defined rendering, and nylon for performance level abrasion.

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It was such a joy to see our fabric being woven on the loom.  As you can tell from our facial expressions in the photos – pure happiness.

The trip was educational, so besides observing the fabrics on the loom, we toured all departments such as design, CAD for weaving, yarn control, winding, warping, final inspection of the goods, etc.

It was near 2:00 pm when we finished the tour and said our goodbyes. While we were waiting for our ride,  I noticed in the vestibule window a beautiful pattern forming from the condensation. Maybe it will one day become a fabric pattern.

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Cityscape

07.09.2016 § Leave a comment

cityscape4565

I have always admired the serenity and pureness of nature.  As soon as my husband and I were finished with our schooling, we immediately moved to the quiet, spacious suburbia; never understanding ones desire to move to the big city. Many years and experiences later, my perception of city life began to shift and eventually (to my surprise) began to influence my work as a designer.

On one particular sales trip to Manhattan, I walked…a lot.  While traveling amongst the noisy hustle and bustle of traffic, I stumbled upon a little wild flower rooted next to a wrought iron gate. The graceful flower was rising from a crack in the concrete, pushing its way toward the clear blue sky.  The juxtaposition of the cement, the wrought iron and the plant created a texture that brought a smile to my face for the rest of the day.  The peaceful experience made the echoes from city streets dissipate; leaving only the beautiful composition in my memory.  From that day forward, I gained a different perspective of the urban environment and the magnificence held within it.

Then I began to travel.  I was able to travel longer and more freely after my obligations of parenthood and elderly care were fulfilled.  I discovered the joy of experiencing different cities, architecture, bridges, public transportation, vegetation, people, as well as cultures from around the world. I took photos, doodled, sketched, took notes, and made plans to enjoy outings with friends from different cities.  I now fully understand the attraction society has to live within a metropolis.

Drawing inspiration from the energy and graphics of the urban landscape, the 18 new patterns in the fall 2016 Cityscape collection depict my experiences from the eccentric life of the big city.

boulevard4568

Boulevard 4568

cityscape-4565boulevard-4568metropolis-4569

Metropolis 4569Cityscape 4564Boulevard 4568

solstice5815

Solstice 5815

brentano_boomtown-showgirl4564-02_metropolis-improv4569-03

Boomtown 4564Metropolis 4569

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Junction 6531 Lexingtion 4221Lumen 1305 Essanay 8220Selfridge 8940

Quote of the Day ~ 9

05.04.2016 § Leave a comment

“Traveling a million miles is greater than studying for ten years.”

In traditional Chinese culture the importance of experience is of greater value than any other form of education.

travel-around-the-world

Lotus Seeds – South of the Yangtze River

10.09.2015 § Leave a comment

The Yangtze River divides China into two regions, North and South. The river is the third longest waterway in the world and the lengthiest river to run entirely within one country. The population north of the river consumes mostly wheat products such as noodles, breads and rice.  While traveling through a southern city in China, I visited a local fruit shop. Within the supermarket, I came across lotus pods filled with seeds.  I decided to try the seeds, raw of course, and they were delicious!  My friend, who I was traveling with and a native to the area said, “Poor thing, you have never tried fresh lotus seeds!”

Lotus plants are indigenous to China in the south and wherever there is a pond, usually there are lotus flowers to be found. The plant blooms beautifully in the summer and is still alive and thriving in the fall when all other plants are fading.

Iris with Lotus

Grass Roofed Restaurant in Sister Bay

27.08.2015 § Leave a comment

Sister Bay, a village in Wisconsin, only has a population of approximately 800 people. When my family and I decided to stop for lunch in the small, quaint town there seemed to be lots of people. I assumed, because of the small number of residents, that most of the people around were probably tourists. The place we chose to stop at had a grass roof top and was called Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. Outside of the restaurant, crowds of people stood waiting patiently for a table. After approximately 45 minutes, we were finally seated.  A polite young gentleman waited on us. After conversing with him, we discovered he was the owner’s grandson and was helping out during his summer vacation home from college.  When we were finished and leaving as satisfied, full customers, I decided to compliment the gentleman that was standing near the cash register facing the dining room. He appeared to be the owner, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out that he was our waiter’s father. He was full of delight when I told him how enjoyable our experience was and how impressed we were with the service of his son.

Grass Roof Restaurant

In Search of Light Houses in Door County

28.07.2015 § Leave a comment

Allen came home to visit so we drove to Wisconsin again. Going on a road trip is relaxing because there is no need to plan ahead. We drove to Algoma in search of the light house there. It turned out to be smaller than we had anticipated. Not a light house, but instead a light tower stood still on the shoreline. The color of the tower was beautiful against the blue water, especially the reflection in the waves. The air felt cool in the 90 degree temperature. The beach below was not crowded and the noise was muffled by the vast open water and sand. A very old church stood facing the lake. It reminded me of the old cathedrals I visited in France and Italy. It even smelt the same way.

Light Tower in Door County

 

Door County Lighthouses

01.06.2015 § Leave a comment

I’ve lived in the Chicago area for 30 years, but I’d never visited Door County, Wisconsin. It’s just a couple hours away. This past Memorial Day weekend I finally made the trip with the whole family — husband, brothers, sisters, etc.

The Lighthouse at Two Lights, Edward Hopper, 1929

The Lighthouse at Two Lights, Edward Hopper, 1929

The little towns were clean and lovely, and the cherry pie was especially memorable! The most special part for me was the lighthouses, and I will go back to seek out more of them. Edward Hopper has long been an inspiration for me and may have helped spark my first interest in lighthouses. « Read the rest of this entry »

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