Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

The Art of Fire

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


I’ve done a lot of fireplace research over the years, and I always come back to Rais, my all-time-favorite fireplace manufacturer.  Rais stoves range from the classically designed to modern, and pay homage to clean, simple and elegant Scandinavian design.

I’m hoping to use the Rais R60 in a current remodel project and someday…someday…I plan on purchasing the Pina for my house.  The Pina would be a perfect addition to the sunroom and a nice way to add some extra warmth on a cold winter day.  Here are three of my favorite interior models plus a new outdoor fireplace.


RAIS R60: the original Rais wood burning insert.


RAIS X-BASIC: striking linear design with eco-wise burning technology.


RAIS PINA: award willing design can be mounted on a pivoting base.


RAIS GIZEH: sculptural outdoor barbecue or fireplace for the garden.

Posted in Architecture, Building Materials, Interiors, Lifestyle | Comments Off on The Art of Fire

Collaborative Adventures with BirdDog Press

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

I’ve been working with Alli Bozeman and her Lyons, Colorado based letterpress studio BirdDog Press for over a year now on various projects.  We joke that we need to have weekly meetings to talk design, stay inspired and celebrate the art of making…in fact, we’ve been doing just that.  Over the coming weeks I plan on featuring a few of the projects that we’ve collaborated on, including pieces for my wedding, which was held in November at Dunton Hot Springs in the far reaches of southwestern Colorado.




Inspired by the rustic luxury that Dunton embodies, Alli and I set out to create some ultra-unique wedding invites.  Two logistical factors played into our design decisions: 1. the wedding was rather spontaneous and left very little time for long-range planning or ordering letterpress plates; 2. we only needed to make six invitations.  Alli has been collecting vintage wood type for her press, so we quickly decided to make use of what she had in-house.  Rather coincidentally, she had just received some wood veneer samples from a friend and furniture maker – perfect to connect with the weathered wood structures at Dunton.  We ordered some walnut veneer (my favorite wood species) from Flux Fine Furniture and got started with the printing.


The Vintage Press at BirdDog’s Studio


Alli setting type.


We first blind debossed a wheat-like organic texture into soft cotton paper…it was a November wedding, after all, and we wanted a visual connection to this time of harvest.  Next came the printing of Joe’s and my names using Alli’s vintage wood typeface, followed by a simple scroll pattern to bookend the top and bottom of the page.




Lead type is then set in a framework of spacers and braces – we wanted to keep the message simple and decided to limit the information to the date and location, printed in a bright orange as an accent to the text spelling out our names.


Mocking up the printed piece on walnut veneer with orange grommets and a sprig of wheat.  The walnut will be drilled to accommodate the grommets, and the cotton paper punched.  The thin walnut warped in the dry Colorado climate, an unintended benefit that harks back to the weathered cladding of Dunton’s cabins.



The invites were then placed in boxes, a sprig of dried wheat was added to give the piece more dimension, and the boxes were wrapped in leather and aluminum wire, and finished with a piece of orange coral.  Alli rescued the worn leather remnants from a local upholstery shop – they were going to be thrown away!



Lastly, we were lucky enough to have the final piece photographed on site – in the place that inspired the design in the first place.  These final two photos are by the very talented Julia Vandenover.



Next week I’ll be featuring another BirdDog collaborative adventure – our welcome buckets and place cards.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Posted in Handcrafted, Lifestyle, Weddings | 1 Comment »

Colorado Ranch Overlooking Mesa Verde

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009


I had the pleasure of visiting the ranch of a family friend over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The snow was blowing in as we were walking the property, obscuring most of the view, but certainly not hindering the beauty of this place.  As always, adventures such as this cause me to yearn for land, solitude and animals!  600 acres, a horse barn with caretaker quarters above, a lovely main house, and grazing livestock…all looking out over the very special Mesa Verde.  My favorite part, aside from the rolling meadows and surrounding mountains, was the barn – a contemporary take on a western institution.



Posted in Landscape, Lifestyle | Comments Off on Colorado Ranch Overlooking Mesa Verde