19 November 2010

Outdoor furniture in teak, manmade materials

Gloster Furniture Inc. calls itself the world’s largest producer of quality teak outdoor furniture. It offers more than 300 product lines in sling, teak and all-weather woven materials. Here are three lines introduced at the High Point furniture market in October 2010.

Azore is designed by Povl Eskildsen of Denmark. The furniture’s stylishly angled, oval frame is powder-coated in a gloss Tungsten finish.

Bloc, by designer Mark Gabbertas of London, uses a basic 35.5” dimension for all pieces. The upholstered cushions are available in Mercury or Ivory. Two coffee tables at seat or frame height with durable HPL tops complete the collection.

Gabbertas is also the designer of the  Cloud collection.  This fully outdoor upholstery system requires minimum maintenance.

18 November 2010

Plush animals made from textile scraps

The Stuffed Animals collection from Kevin O'Brien Studio includes Bunny, Duck, Elephant, Owl, Squirrel and Turtle. Because they are handmade, sizes vary slightly. Generally, the Bunny is 10 inches x 5 inches and the Elephant is 12 inches x 6 inches.
The company says "Our one-of-a-kind furry friends are the result of a magical collaboration between textile designer Kevin O'Brien, and a plush animal designer in New Jersey. Fabric scraps, many hand-painted and hand-printed and left over from other production, are cut and pieced into stuffed animals. Each of these unique creatures comes to life through the use of recycled materials, including woven jacquard patterns, printed cotton velvets, silk velvets, printed linens, and antique buttons."
The animals are not recommended for children under 3; the company offers a baby-safe option with no buttons.

17 November 2010

Contemporary mirrors in round, square shapes


At the October High Point furniture market, Kichler Lamps and Accessories introduced 15 decorative mirrors that add an inspiring focal point to any room in the home. Whether hung in the hallway, bathroom or bedroom, the line takes inspiration from popular color palettes, beach-inspired natural materials and even childhood favorites, resulting in attractive, eye-catching designs, the company states.









16 November 2010

Low-voltage glass pendant

WAC Lighting's YU Quick Connect glass pendant is made of hand-blown glass. When illuminated, YU delivers a warm glow of white with a yellow/green tint that reveals a subtle optic twist. After minutes of charging the pendant with the light on, the glass takes on a whole new appearance in the dark. The glass transforms into a glowing rich Blue Green color, with the light off for up to four hours.

The pendant is 5.75 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide. It operates on a 12-volt lighting system with a 50-watt Xenon bi-pin lamp.

15 November 2010

How e-tailers hurt local stores

This column by Chicago Tribune writer Eric Zorn, "Internet sales-tax dodge darkens the future of bricks-and-mortar businesses," looks at the damage caused to local brick-and-mortar retailers when shoppers take their purchases online to avoid paying sales tax.

A reader named "Blahedo" left this comment: "We're effectively charging the local retailers a penalty for contributing directly to the local economy, and rewarding Amazon and other Internet retailers for having no local presence," Blahedo wrote. "Aside from being unfair, it's unwise; as any economist will tell you, people (and companies) respond to incentives, and here the incentive rewards closing up (physical) shop and stopping paying rent or property tax and stopping being around to donate to local charities and events and stopping contributing to a vibrant local economy."

Click the link above to read the entire column.

Furniture in classic Swedish style

Concave Gustavian Console
Modern History introduced dozens of furnishings for the living room, dining room, bedroom and home office at the October 2010 High Point Furniture Market. The company added to its selection of weathered and driftwood inspired furnishings. An ornately carved Tuscan-style bed debuts in this popular finish, which was first introduced a year ago. The driftwood look is achieved by bleaching and sandblasting each piece before applying a wash that highlights the heavily textured finish.
Following on the introduction last market of its Drapers table, the company came out with a smaller version of the console (below). The table, which is modeled after a French farmhouse antique, is crafted from weathered solids. A new breakfront, inspired by an Italian antique, and a curvy drawerless commode copied from a 19th century Italian piece, have similar finishes and appeal.

Drapers table

Chest of drawers

Gustavian Pedestal

Trumeau mirror

14 November 2010

Greeting Card Industry “Oscars” Undergo Makeover

Press release

New York, NY (October 2010) – The Greeting Card Association is pleased to announce the planned changes to the LOUIE AWARDS program undertaken as part of a Strategic Initiative within the association to modernize the awards program and accurately reflect the role ofgreeting cards in today’s society.

Earlier this year a committee of industry veterans began meeting to review the purpose of the Awards and shape a new vision for the future. Led by Strategic Chair Andy Meehan and supported by Patti Stracher, Chip Owen and John Mavrakis, prominent members of the greeting card industry, the group carefully reviewed the past LOUIE program. Knowing that the Awards celebrate a category of consumer products that that carries with it over 100 years of history, and that cards are used by almost every American household, (around 7 billion cards per year) the Committee evaluated the original purpose of the LOUIE Awards, the changing landscape of communication and the incredible artistry and creativity that is involved in the production of greeting cards, to arrive at a new vision and mission statement for the LOUIE Awards: "The LOUIES celebrate the art, editorial and design of greeting cards and reinforce the relevance of creating, sending and receiving greeting cards."

Key changes in the LOUIE Awards Program for the coming years include the greater involvement of retailer judges, a streamlining of the awards categories, consumer outreach and greater PR attention (both trade and consumer press), all culminating at the National Stationery Show in New York City (May 15-18 2011) with a new prominent display of LOUIE nominee’s at the show, and at the prestigious LOUIE Awards ceremony on May 16th where the winners are celebrated and recognized.

Subsequent to the presentation of the LOUIE Awards, it is anticipated that LOUIE Award winners will receive additional publicity, as well as increased sales from our outreach to Greeting Card fans via press and social media tools.

Based on the refined vision for the Awards the committee has selected the theme for the 2011 Awards as CONNECTION – it’s in the Cards. This theme highlights the history of greeting card use, and also corresponds to today’s ‘connected’ society where, despite the prominence of the digital age, the category is vibrant and strong. With all the new electronic means of connecting, people still send cards when they want to “friend someone for real” because paper greeting cards stand out in the mailbox and in the mind, becoming treasured memories of important events and relationships in our lives.

The submission process for the 2011 LOUIE Awards will begin with a “call for Entries” on November 1, 2010, where any commercially manufactured card in the current calendar year can be entered for consideration in approximately 50 different categories. Further details and entry forms will be posted on 11/1/10 at www.greetingcard.org.

Judging will take place in New York at a time to be decided, between Jan 29- Feb 4 and corresponding to the timing of the New York Int’l Gift Fair, where key industry executives (retailers and creative and marketing professionals) rank each card independently on a 10 point system across the LOUIE Judging criteria of Imagination, Impact, Artistry, Harmony, Sendability and Value. After the scores are tabulated, the three nominees for each category are made public, with the actual scores and the winning entry for each category announced at the presentation ceremony at the National Stationery Show May 16, 2011.

For over 20 years the LOUIES have celebrated creativity in greeting cards, and the new vision for the LOUIE’s builds on the history with a renewed passion to remind us all that CONNECTION – It’s In The Cards!

About the Greeting Card Association
The Greeting Card Association (GCA) is the industry trade organization representing publishers of greeting cards and other stationery products, as well as suppliers to the industry. Founded in 1941, GCA serves as the industry’s collective voice in promoting the tradition and value of exchanging greetings cards. GCA also represents the industry before key governmental and regulatory bodies, and monitors trends and developments of interest. GCA-member publishers account for approximately 95 percent of the greeting cards sold in the U.S.

About Andy Meehan, LOUIE Awards “Strategic Chair”
A past judge at several LOUIE Awards programs and a 25+ year veteran of the greeting card industry Andy’s company sells cards and stationery under the Christian Inspirations and Studio Q Creations brands.

About Patti Stracher
For 20 years Patti has managed the National Stationery Show the central business event and exposition for the greeting card and social stationery industry.

About Chip Owen
As Executive VP Chip has been with Avanti Press for over 18 years and they have
been a consistent leader and innovator of upbeat and offbeat greeting cards.

About John Mavrakis
John has been involved in retail, selling and manufacturing within greeting card
industry for over 20 years, serving the past 4 ½ years as President/COO of Kathy Davis Studios. John has also served as a past judge and Chair for the LOUIE awards.
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