Saturday, March 26, 2011

Introducing The Four Seasons Flatware

Well, here it concept for revolutionizing flatware! Interchangeable handles. The above drawing is the rendering I submitted with my provisional patent application. The handle designs were created to provide potential manufacturers with an example of different looks.

The key point of this product is to give consumers the option of changing the style/color/theme of their tabletop by changing their utensil handles with just one set of flatware. The potential varieties are endless. For example, a rainbow collection with 4 different colors would be a fun design. Or, a holiday collection is another great idea. The handles can be made of industry standard stainless steel or other durable and washable acrylics such as resin,nylon etc.

Now that the provisional patent has been filed, I can present the concept to manufacturers to find out what they think and advise if the concept is cost prohibitive.

The provisional patent was important for three reasons:

1) It prevents anyone from stealing the idea.
2) It assures manufacturers that the idea is an original(patent infringement) and is not already in the market.
3) Finally, it allows a full year from the date of filing to sample the marketplace to determine if your product/concept has potential(demand,production costs,sustainability).

Marketing spiel(at least for now)-

With Four Seasons Flatware, you can decorate your table with four different seasonal styles of flatware with this one set.

  • 18/10 stainless steel
  • Machine washable
  • Rust/Corrosion resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Water tight seal helical method connecting mechanism
This is a cost saving solution that eliminates the need to purchase four separate sets of flatware. As a result you save time, money and space. Each set includes four five piece place settings and the interchangeable handles for each utensil piece (80 handles in total).

(Illustrations by Shane Burke)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Perfectly Made Bed- David Monn

Found an interesting article in the latest Departures issue by Event Designer David Monn:

The key to a perfectly made bed starts with crisp, unwrinkled sheets. My secret: Once washed, fold them up as small as possible, roll tightly and put in the freezer overnight. Yes, people will call you crazy, but trust me, it works. The next day, simply shake them out, iron them and put them on the bed.

When it comes time to add the top sheet, include a foot fold, a trick for creating extra room in the sheets at the foot of the bed so your feet don’t feel pinned down. They do it at London’s Lanesborough Hotel, and it felt so comfortable that I asked the butler to teach me his method. Leave eight inches of sheet to spare at the head of the bed (this will fold down later over your blanket). At the foot of the bed, take the sheet in both hands and fold an eight-inch pleat toward yourself. Then add the blanket, fold down the overhang at the head and tuck in all around. It’s very simple, but it makes all the difference sliding into bed at night!

(photo of David Monn taken by Michael Loccisano for Getty Images)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Well Heeled Iron Horse

(Orient Express Venice-Simplon)

"Clang, clang, clang goes the trolley..." is a jingle that definitely does not describe these luxury locomotives.

(The Royal Scotsman)

We all have probably caught a glimpse of the deluxe environment offered by exclusive touring trains in the movie "The Orient Express" The title of that film was taken from one of the most famous of these trains.


The Orient Express offered elite travel to the ultra wealthy and royal adventurers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

(Orient Express-Eastern Southeast Asia)

Affluent travelers could ensconce themselves in wood paneled, carpeted and exquisitely furnished and chandelier lit cars as they crossed the continent.

(Eastern Southeast Asia)

The train was originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.

(Orient Express Venice-Simplon)

In 1882, the first route took passengers on the Train Eclair de luxe from Paris to Vienna.

(Blue train)

In 1889, the route expanded to Constantinople, hence the name the Orient Express.

(Blue train)

The Orient Express continued through 2007 (with interruption during the World Wars). Nowadays, the Venice Simplon Orient Express operates on the original Orient Express routes using original cars from the 1920s and 1930s.
(Blue train)

Beside the Orient Express, the airified world of luxury train travel is well served by other companies.

(Hiram Bingham Peru)

The Royal Scotsman, known as a hotel train, surrounds its guests with fine fabrics, brass trim and wood paneling during the 2 day trip throughout the Scottish Highlands.

(Orient Express Royal Scotsman)

The Blue Train in Africa takes travelers in sumptuous coaches between Pretoria and Cape Town.
(Orient Express-Royal Scotsman)

Luxury trains in Russian, India and Asia take the well-heeled down the tracks on their world wide adventures.

(Orient Express Royal Scotsman)

Seeing the Scottish Highland from this vantage point would be unforgettable.
(Orient Express-Royal Scotsman cabin)

As if the meandering through the Highlands in the fabulous lounge shown in the previous image was not enough, retiring to this bedroom would top off the trip.

(Oriental Express Eastern train)

(Blue Train)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Benefit for the Child Abuse Prevention Center: Part Two

Welcome to part two of the annual "Inspirations" Tablescapes created by local florists and event planners to help raise funds for the Sacramento Child Abuse Prevention Center(CAPC). In case you missed the first 3 tables featured, you view see them here.

Table # 4
This first setting is by East Sac Florist. I thought the blue and white dishes complimented the bold green stripe tablecloth nicely.

Table #5
This special setting was created by Joe Wilson, a chair member of CAPC. What's extra special about this table is the fact that everything on you see was purchased from the Dollar Tree store.

Table #6
The last table for this week is the creation of The Party Concierge.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks table entries. Please come back next week for another 3 table settings from this event. Also, please stop by Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday to view more unique and creative tablescapes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tablescapes Inspired Innovation

(image photographer/artist unknown)

Since the beginning of January 2009, I have enjoyed participating in fellow blogger Susan's Tablescape Thursday event which has been a wonderful growing experience that has enhanced my appreciation for tableware. Thank you Susan!!!

Just 2 years later, as a result of all the inspiration and ideas, a small design concept for tableware came to mind. I've decided to see if perhaps this concept has potential in the marketplace.
Last week I successfully completed the first leg of a two step U.S. patent process by conducting a patent search to ensure the originality of the concept.
Yesterday, I finished the second step by completing and submitting the required application for a provisional patent along with a visual drawing/sketch of the idea. Once I receive an official date filed, I can publicly share and market the concept to manufacturers or anyone interested without fear of someone reclaiming the concept as their own.
Please stay tuned as I am very anxious about sharing this design concept with everyone.
Wish me luck.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who is Isabelle de Borchgrave?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Pulp Fashion exhibition by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave at San Francisco's Legion Of Honors Museum. Other than not being allowed to take photographs, I was not disappointed. Borchgrave's brilliant talent and attention to detail is evident in each piece showcased in the exhibit.
If you aren't familiar with de Borchgrave, she is renowned for creating all her masterpieces made only of paper. That's right, from the costumes to the jewelry and accessories. All paper. If you get an opportunity to see her work in person, I encourage you to do so.
(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

This first stunning 18th century panniers(french basket) dress, one of a couple in the "à la française" collection was created in May 2001 for the Papiers à la Mode exhibit.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

It is also featured at the Legion Of Honors, Pulp Fashion exhibit along with the following costumes. The palatial backdrop for de Borchgrave's costumes are from the book "Paper Illusions: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave" by writer and photographer duo Barbara and Rene Stoeltie.

(photo byRene Stoeltie)

This gown was created in 1998. It was inspired by ca. 1780 court dress from the Kyoto Costume Institute.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

Gilet d'homme(waistcoat) ca. 1760 in paper created in 2001 for the Papiers à la Mode exhibit in Japan in 2002.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

A Charles Federick Worth replicated evening Dress(bottom of staircase) ca.1898.
A noir "à la française" dress ca.1795 inspired by one found in the Kyoto Costume Collection. Both costumes were created in 1997.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

Dress(striped) of the Museum of Printed Textiles of Mulhouse ca.1840 was created in 1998 & Dress Venetian Court ca. 1745 was created in 1997.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

This work, created in 2006, is a replica of the dress worn by Maria de Medici. Inspired by a ca. 1555 portrait by Italian artist Allesandro Allori.
A close up of the amazing craftsmanship. Yes, even the pearl like beads were created out of paper.

(photo by Rene Stoeltie)

This replica is of the dress worn by Eleanora of Toledo Borchgrave created in 2006.

(Photo by Andreas von Einsiedel)

This piece was inspired by a ca. 1545 portrait by Italian artist Agnolo Bronzino.

Borchgrave(top right corner with blond hair) with collaborating artists painting the details on the Eleanora of Toledo gown.

Elizabeth I court dress inspired by a ca. 1599 portrait by the studio of Nicholas Hilliard.