Archive for March 2010

The perfect Sunday coffee

March 30, 2010

I’m not a a big coffee drinker. Sometimes, I find myself apologizing to people for not wanting to share a cup over a meeting. In some circles, I have to defend my decision not to have a cup after a nice dinner, as it seems that most Americans love their coffee.

I’d rather start my day with oatmeal, a bowl of fruit and some juice. To be truly honest, I think that waffles and bacon would be a better choice. Don’t forget the fruit and whipped cream! My drink of choice… orange juice.

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Grandma Jurek and Christopher waiting for that morning cup of Joe.
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However, Sunday mornings are different. I save that morning for a cup of coffee, some toast, and the New York Times. The smell in the kitchen takes me back to childhood… back to our grandmother Jurek’s house on Sunday after church. She always had a percolator brewing, sugar out and ready, with some soft butter nearby.

It is hard to believe that, as children, we were allowed to drink all this caffeine, along with the three heaping spoonfuls of sugar and condensed milk. Today, on Sunday, I am transported back in time for a few hours.

The reason for the snotty attitude about coffee is that the coffee has to be perfect,, and I am a snob. That is why I don’t like to order it out at a restaurant, as it will never be right. The milk has to be steamed, and the quantity of sugar (not so much as when I was a kid) are necessary. Fake creamers are not an option. I agree. Too many rules.

I had the fortune of getting it right on Sunday. The color of the coffee, and also the toast, is a rare occurence. So, when I achieved that perfect mocha brown color… I had to show everyone (see above). For all of you designers out there, the coffee is PMS 723 while the toast should be PMS 153. Perfection. Delicious.

I hope you find that perfection once  in awhile, as I always say, it is those little things that bring joy to life.

Until next time.
— Christopher

Creativity insight

March 18, 2010

Sometimes inspiration comes, and sometimes it doesn’t. Here is a little look into my creative thought process for today (and most days).

Until next time.
— Christopher
The Design Brothers

Clean Plate Club

March 12, 2010

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My designs on recycled plates These are some samples of my
three designs on a variety of found orphaned plates. I am happy to report that they all have found new homes.
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About a year ago, I introduced a line of designs that I combine with recycled plates. I find used dinner pieces and add artwork to the artwork on the plate for a unique combination. So these days, I spend a lot of my Saturday mornings cruising flea markets, thrift shops and garage sales for interesting plates to use. I look for those unloved plates that need a second life. Then, I take them home, clean them up, and give them an updated look with three new designs of mine. These new pieces are all one of a kind, and I try to find a store around the country that will sell them to a nice family. The plates that I find have more time left, and shouldn’t end up in another landfill.


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I’ve had this plate for 15 years or so Before I even knew that I started my dinnerware collection, I found this at a Salem, Massachusetts flea market.
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I can tell you that there are thousands and thousands of pieces out there that are still pretty good-looking. With all of these plates waiting to be used, what is the neeed for paper plates?

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One of my new favorites I found this awesome Cee-Bee Laboratories and McGean-Rohco, Inc plate last week! Who knew a laboratory could be so boringly beautiful.
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There are some plates that I find however, that are too good to be recycled, and are perfect just the way they are. So, I now have a little problem with collecting too many of these beauties and keeping them for myself. It is really starting to be a bad habit, as my home collection is growing. Here are photos of ones that I found and can’t let go.


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Dinner with the presidents Kentucky State College put together a plate of it’s presidents. When I have dinner with these guys, I feel very important!
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Simple and fresh Here is a closeup of a simple little design of pine cones. I just like how elegant it is.
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Books and dinner The design crams a little literary history down while I have dinner. I love reading while I eat.
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…………………………………………………………………………………………………. Little treasures I can’t really put new artwork on these finds as they are too small, but I couldn’t help myself… so, I added them to my collection.
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New items
I have started painting on some of the plates that I find in order to make something completely new. I am still working out little problems with the materials, but I am having a blast.

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Go out and sponsor an orphaned plate, vase, or something headed for the trash heap. Giving an old piece a second life will make you feel better, and give the trash man a break!

Until next time
—Christopher
The Design Brothers

Little inspirations

March 5, 2010

I can get inspired by the craziest things. A spark of inspiration can hit me at the weirdest moment. Walking the other day, I saw an odd crack in the sidewalk that I pass by all of the time. When I got home, the way that the crack looked made me think of some sea life, and I started drawing jellyfish.

Last week, I found some packing strips that I ripped off a box I just purchased. Since then, I have been trying to figure out how to make a sculpture out of them. A trip to the Home Depot the other day, had me salivating for tools that I wouldn’t know how to use. I am hoping that these inspirational moments help me plan for some upcoming projects that I am planning right now.

As I came home today, I noticed that wildflowers that are just shooting up in my yard. I haven’t been able to notice them before because of the numerous weeds that are overpowering my yard. This winter, Phoenix has gotten more than it’s share of rain, and the desert is starting to bloom in a spectacular way. I can hardly wait to get out and hike a bit before the fleeting wildflowers are gone by May (or before if it gets too hot, too fast) to see more.

I know that spring is not everywhere yet, but it goes by so fast, and so I hope you don’t let it pass you by like it almost did for me. The little things that we pass each day might be calling you with inspiration, so I hope you listen.

Sometimes seeing those little things that I see everyday, wake me up to new ideas I seem to find them in the oddest places…

Until next time
—Christopher
The Design Brothers