Equinox – Woven at the Mill
19.01.2017 § Leave a comment
I 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.
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.
Brentano’s Annual Color Forecast: 2017
01.11.2016 § Leave a comment
As an artist, I always try to challenge my color sense and perspective when designing textiles. After much observation, Brentano’s eighth annual Color Forecast predicts shades that will be popular in the upcoming year and hues that will dictate the future of design. It is a very exciting time of the year at Brentano as we introduce which colors we have been focusing on for product development.
Coral – With a cheeky personality and bold flair, Coral’s pop of color is a powerful punch. The zesty accent – uplifting and bright – adds a splash of excitement to the traditional household.
Elephant – First forecast by Brentano in 2016, Elephant’s popularity carries over into 2017. This dependable neutral highlights its practicality by complementing both warm and cool interiors.
Chartreuse – The crisp hot hue Chartreuse evokes refreshing warmth in a unique and stylish way. The harmonious hue – a fusion of green and gold – perfectly balances beauty with brilliance.
Peacock – Polished Peacock, calm and cool, remains as current as when it appeared in Brentano’s 2016 forecast. The jewel-toned teal – more romantic than sapphire but fresher than navy – fills a room with peace and serenity.
Bloom – Glowing with grace, Bloom is cultivated for its flourishing beauty. This fashion forward pinkness is comfortable being soft, with a dominant newfound voice in design.
Almost Black – Elegantly refined and dignified, this colorless shade displays confidence. Almost Black, pair-able with almost any color, makes for a bold accent; or can be luxurious all on its own.
07.09.2016 § Leave a comment
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.
Metropolis 4569 – Cityscape 4564 – Boulevard 4568
Boomtown 4564 – Metropolis 4569
Junction 6531 – Lexingtion 4221 – Lumen 1305 – Essanay 8220 – Selfridge 8940
Orange Peel Wonder
22.06.2015 § Leave a comment
I like to do “kitchen tests” at Brentano where we try all sorts of different cleaners on our fabrics. One thing I’d never tried was orange peels, but I’d heard about them, and I finally used them at home. I am surprised, they truly clean! They are also fragrant, which is nice.
I always hated to clean the bowl and spoon I use to scoop out wet cat food. The orange peels have come in to my rescue! They really do kill the fishy smell and clean like a magic. (I leave it to you to test them out on our polyurethane. There shouldn’t be any problem.)
- Cook orange peels and water for 20 minutes over medium heat.
- Drain the juice into a jar for cleaning liquid.
That’s it. Cooked orange peels and lemon peels can also be used as scrubbing sponges.
11.06.2015 § Leave a comment
How fun! These fish were swimming all around Sturgeon Bay when I visited over Memorial Day weekend. I had to take pictures.
25 Years and Counting
18.02.2015 § 1 Comment
During my adolescent years, there was a popular song with lyrics that went something like this:
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, “What will I be?
Will I be pretty, will I be rich?”
Here’s what she said to me
“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera”
In those years, I vaguely dreamed of becoming a writer (in Chinese, of course). I still dream of it, vaguely! I also loved to draw when I was young, but I never trained until college. I started ballet at age five, stopped for a while, and then spent almost all of my spare time outside of art class practicing modern dance during my college years. « Read the rest of this entry »
Boarding Gate Concert
16.12.2014 § Leave a comment
I was on my way to Washington DC via the Midway airport at 5:30 a.m., and there was a concert going on across from my boarding gate. Three singers wearing Army side caps were singing old-timey songs in front of a full house audience in the waiting area. A whole bunch of people in orange shirts pushing wheelchairs were gathering at the concert, and I asked a lady wearing a green shirt what it was all about.
She said that 92 World War II veterans were going to Washington DC. The trip was sponsored by Honor Flight Chicago, a privately funded organization. « Read the rest of this entry »
Quote of the Day ~ 5
05.11.2014 § Leave a comment
“A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else.” – Mahatma Gandhi
22.10.2014 § Leave a comment
It is said these are blossoms from the Bodhi tree. I have never seen them in person, but I think they are beautiful.
The Bodhi Tree […] was a large and very old Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in Bodh Gaya, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher later known as Gautama Buddha, is said to have achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi. [It is after the enlightenment of Guatama Siddartha that the tree is called the Bodhi tree.] In religious iconography, the Bodhi tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed. Bodhi trees are planted in close proximity to every Buddhist monastery in India. « Read the rest of this entry »
10.10.2014 § Leave a comment
I wonder if the Chinese saw birds like these and were so fascinated that they created the legendary phoenix? In Western legend, the phoenix looked more like an eagle—or a swan? The Chinese phoenix sometimes also had an eagle-like head, but the wings and tails were more like a peacock or pheasant. Maybe there really was a bird like that, but it went extinct like the dinosaurs? Otherwise, how did both the East and West develop a similar legend?