Archive for February 2010

The streets of New York

February 23, 2010

While in New York, I discovered that the streets of New York are, as the old adage goes, indeed, paved with gold. It just took some finding. I’ve drawn my archeology discoveries for you, so you can see for yourself. Happy gold digging.

Until next time.
The Design Brothers


Wake up!

February 19, 2010

Working from my home studio has it’s perks. Most of my work is done on the computer, with a sketch pad, and the phone, and there are not many reasons to leave the house on some days. Most of the people that I work with are out of town, and so while I don’t mind dressing nicely, I have to tell you that I love to be comfortable. I often wear shorts with a sweater, and stay inside. When the time comes for a break, I can take that much needed shower of the day.

I don’t want to rub it in to you 9-5 workers, but I am lucky that my daily shower becomes more of a luxury than a chore to get out the door. I love a nice warm shower, and it is a nice way to refresh and gives me one of my favorite times to get creative. I guess it is my think tank. After the shower, I try to take a bit of time for myself to do a crossword puzzle, or read. It really is a nice way to break up my day, and get back to work, hopefully with a more creative spark.

Now I want to give you more of my secrets. I wanted to talk about something that men don’t generally talk about… except for metrosexuals, and Esquire Magazine… grooming products. I have never sat with my friends and talk about these kind of things, and I think it should change. Men don’t talk product, or maybe I just don’t hang around with the right people. Either way that is too bad. Knowing what other men use in the bathroom would have saved me lots of money over the years, along with a lot of stinky products ending up in landfills. Some of the items I use everyday took me years to find, and can’t imagine changing them now. So, with that said, maybe I can help some hapless man by telling you what I like.

I am not a big fan of soaps, (or candles, or cologne, for that matter) that have a scent. It is really hard to find soaps, after shave balm, deodorant, hair products, etc for men that have a fragrance. I like to keep it simple. I’m an unscented Ivory guy, and think it does the trick. In addition, in keeping with the scentless theme, I can’t imagine living without Aveeno Ultra Calming Shave Gel followed by Lab Series Razor Burn Relief. If you only knew how long it took me to find these great products! I’ve been settling instead for alcohol-based items, menthol, eucalyptus, or “cool” scents for a potpourri effect. I have also tried so many other products out there that were great, but too expensive, and not really worth the price.

For my short, short hair, not much is needed. It is dry, so conditioner is all I ever use, and have gotten to like an humectant to clean my hair, and also use dab to style it all. Easy. Although it usually has a coconut scent, I haven’t found the scent-free version yet, and there are a lot of various products. So, let me know if there is one out there!

Although I am a bit of a snob about scented products that seem to just mask natural body smells, there are times where a product makes me so happy with a clean, refreshing, and natural smell. And, who doesn’t like to start their day off with a little luxury? Dr. Bronner Peppermint Soap does that job for me. The natural peppermint smell and tingle really makes me happy. It makes me feel really good and clean. It may be in my imagination, but I think that the tingle wakes me up, while smell makes me smarter! It feels that good.

Shaving in the shower seems to help my face, and I haven’t had a nick in a few months. I highly recommend this, but be careful of water usage… time can add up in the shower! After resisting changing my perfectly good razor, I tried the Gillette Fusion, and am now a believer. It is pretty darn good, and can’t imagine life without the trimmer blade. Please accept my apologies for sounding like an ad for these products.

For me, it is those little things that make me happy, and getting the day off with a little luxury is very nice. I would love to hear about your everyday luxuries and rituals if you want to pass on your secrets!

Until next time

The Design Brothers

Valentine treats

February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am very lucky that I can stay with my friend, Susan in her lovely New York apartment while I was there working. It is so nice to have a place that feels so welcoming and homey while I am there. It also, frankly, saves me a lot of money that I need to save right now while my business is experiencing growing pains.

It goes without saying how fantastic New York is, although I do not get to enjoy it as much as I would like. It is the little treats that seem to get me through it all. SO, I thought for this Valentine’s Day, I would mention some great places to treat yourself when you visit.

My niece, Jessica was able to visit for a day. She was so sweet to come down from Boston for the day to hand out with me. I had to take her to my favorite places for a inexpensive pleasure… Rice to Riches. I’ve always loved rice pudding, and it is amazing that no one has thought of a rice pudding shop in the same way like ice cream parlors until this place (at least that I know of).

Uncle Chris and Jessica in New York.

It is conveniently located near one of my favorite stores—Haus Interiors which is in the NoLita area. Rice to Riches can be crowded in the evening or weekend, so do what we did; and go there for lunch. Nothing better than the Sex Drugs and Rocky Road rice pudding instead of a sandwich!

My friend Susan is crazy for Red Mango. They have a terrific all natural frozen yogurt that has only about 200 calories per cup. If you get some fruit toppings along with your cup, you may add some more calories, but it somehow feels alright. There a few in the city, so you can find one in about any neighborhood. They used to have a green tea flavor that I thought was the best, but for some reason they eliminated it from the menu. I just found out that they opened a location in my area, so I think I may be in trouble!

New on my list of places to go is Butter Lane. They are located near Tompkins Square Park and make a mean chocolate cupcake with orange frosting. Not too much icing, and the right amount of cake… this is a darn good cupcake. I will be back.

Stay sweet—and until next time!
The Design Brothers

Back to basics

February 8, 2010

January is always one of my busiest months for me. I prepare for yet another gift show in New York to show my dinnerware collection to the world. Now that all of the hard work has been done… all of the booth elements have just been shipped back… and my brain is clearer… I can take a deep breath and relax just a bit.

I absolutely love what I do, but miss my time drawing and designing, because of all the behind the scenes work that need to be done to make a successful business. When given the chance to draw a bit, I get a little jolt of energy that is needed for the moment to get through the tedious part of the job.

Here a few of some little paintings were done as holiday gifts to a few friends over the past month when I found some time here and there. Painted on wood, they are then sanded to give an antique look. Keeping them simple is my goal. I hope you like them.

Even though there never seems to be time,whenever I get a little stressed, I try to take a little time to paint or draw and get back to my roots. Let me know what you think!

Until next time.
— Christopher