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

junction6531_essanay8220_lexington4221_lumen1305

Junction 6531 Lexingtion 4221Lumen 1305 Essanay 8220Selfridge 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.)

  1. Cook orange peels and water for 20 minutes over medium heat.
  2. 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.

Orange Peel Cleaner

Do Something Different

28.07.2014 § 1 Comment

I have always pondered why mountain climbers, especially the ones who have regular jobs, climb such high mountains. What is their motivation—besides being interested in the sport—that they will risk their lives for it?

From what I’ve observed, doing something different is one of the best ways to relax and refresh our minds. Sitting in an office five days a week and climbing a snowy mountain are definitely two different things.

I too am doing something different. I am in Tokyo at Waseda University for an intense, three-week Japanese course in this hot, humid summer weather. It would definitely be less of a challenge if I were visiting during the lovely cherry blossom season or in a cool autumn. I was forewarned by a Japanese native: “Tokyo’s summer is disgusting.” But I wasn’t intending to be a tourist anyway; this is exactly the different kind of experience that I was seeking. « Read the rest of this entry »

St. Viator High School

17.06.2014 § Leave a comment

One day I received an email forwarded from my meditation center. A catholic father who taught a world religion class was looking for someone to come to his junior/senior class for a Q&A on Buddhism. St. Viator High School is about a 15 minutes drive from Brentano, so I answered his call and have been going to his class every year for five years. « Read the rest of this entry »

Our Cotton Plant

12.11.2013 § 1 Comment

This year at Brentano, Aaron (Designer) ordered some cotton seeds, and Lan (Studio Assistant) planted them in a pot outside of the training room. The cotton plant grew healthy and bore fruit.

Cotton Flower

Cotton Flower

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Power of Movies

18.07.2012 § Leave a comment

I was looking up the meaning of “paradigm shift” and came across a website that talks about the history of the phrase. I found it interesting, but it did give a lot of information. In the same search, a YouTube video popped up. Although the content of the movie is a bit different than the scientific definition I was reading about, nonetheless it left an impression on me. The availability of movies like this in digital format is a paradigm shift for how people learn. People who have a sharper visual sense have more options now that movies, instead of only text, are available as learning tools. However, my worry is that the power of language may weaken as a trade-off.

Same Moon

14.12.2011 § Leave a comment

This past summer when I took a Japanese composition class, my Japanese teacher was a Japanese American. She has been supporting a group of psychologists in Tokyo who run a social program to help counsel the Tsunami victims. At the end of the semester, she brought little knick-knacks to the class to fundraise for the program. The money is used to buy “American” candies or toys for the children when they come together.

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (bottom right)

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (right side)

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