Quite honestly, I never would have given weathervanes much of a thought. I had tossed them off as something I could care less about. But in June I was given a tour of the Tuck and Holand Metal studio on Martha’s Vineyard and those “so what” thoughts were completely tossed aside. I can fully understand the beauty and allure of a custom crafted weathervane, and one day I hope to be able to afford one. These are top of the line pieces of functional art, the perfect element to top off your dream home. I was especially intrigued by the weathervanes that had a variety of movable parts, like the school of fish that sway in the wind.
Crypton recently sent me a kit to test their product. It was cute and kind of fun. Inside a small zippered pouch made of Crypton fabric was a sample of Crypton fabric (a chartreuse microsuede), a highlighter, small packet of ketchup, a red crayon, and a mini tub of jelly. It also had a small packet of Tide detergent and a toothbrush. The instructions were to try to stain the fabric and then use the detergent and brush to see how easily it cleans. I used all the ingredients sent with the fabric, but I also wanted to test other products that I know end up on my furniture. I added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, coffee, a crayola washable marker (which I pressed hard and let bleed into a nice blob), a red Sharpie marker the kids were fighting over, sunblock stick, sunblock lotion, and bug spray. I was all set. And then I thought I would let it sit for a week. The kids never let me know right away if they accidentally draw on the furniture, or wipe their hands on the sofa, or smear sunscreen on the chairs. These are stains we find later and later is usually too late.
After one week, and maybe a few days, I picked up the sample, laid it on the counter and started to dab and blot it with water only. Using a white rag, I could see most of the stains easily came out. With some more rubbing the stains that remained were the crayon, balsamic vinegar, Sharpie and Crayola markers as well as slight residue from the olive oil and sunscreens.
Following directions, I mixed the detergent provided with water and scrubbed the stains with the brush. The crayon came right out, the Sharpie eased out, the washable Crayola marker was tough. (I admit, I did make sure I saturated the spot with marker ink.) Eventually everything came clean except some very faint oil spots from the sunscreens and olive oil. I think I’ll throw the sample in the wash with the next load just for good measure. Overall I was impressed with the Crypton fabric. If this fabric was white, I bet the stains would be no problem if they were cleaned up quickly. If the fabric had a pattern or greater texture I think the remaining oil residues would have been undetectable. I thought the Crypton fabric was great and I love that the product is made in the USA, the company is dedicated to green initiatives and have a Crypton Green line. The name sounds cool too, straight out of a comic book.
Last week the New England Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers held a business conference which included several lectures on the business side of design, as well as vendors showcasing new product. My favorite new product was by Edelman Leather.
Their Pinseal leather has a slight sparkle and full glamour effect. The design is engraved on their full grain Royal Hide Leather.
The Moire, which is similar to a “faux bois” design, is roller embossed onto their Royal Suede. Both are great twists to the standard leather and suede.
At the end of the business conference was a cocktail party where Dennis Duffy was our guest speaker. He spoke about how he started out in the design industry and his journey to where he is now. His speech was modest, refreshing and quite inspirational.
The evening ended with the presentation of awards for the 2010 ASID Design Excellence Awards. I was proud to be part of the committee presenting awards to recipients and honored to receive an award myself. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s competition!