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October 26, 2017 |

Archive for » October 26th, 2017«

5 tips for creating a holiday tablescape

If you’re looking for a feast for the eyes, mark your calendars for next weekend’s Holiday Tables event, when some of the area’s most creative hostesses and designers present a collection of 36 tablescapes at Wichita’s Mark Arts.

The exhibit, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 4, marks the 50th anniversary of Holiday Tables. The event started in 1967 at the Wichita Art Association – the predecessor of the Center for the Arts and now Mark Arts – and was sponsored back then by the art center’s Young Patron of the Arts. Today, it’s sponsored by Mark Arts’ Designing Women volunteer group, according to Mark Arts officials.

The tablescapes can serve as inspiration for event-goers to get ideas for decorating their own tables for the holidays or other special events.

For Brigitte Idbeis, who is creating a beach-themed table, decorating for dinner is the best part of a celebration.

“Creating the tablescapes is my favorite part,” said Idbeis. “I like that better than the cooking.”

We asked three designers who are participating in this year’s event to dish up their favorite tips for decorating a table:

1. Start with a theme, a color or even some memories. Janice Zerbe, who has won the top people’s choice award at Holiday Tables for the past three years, has based this year’s table on her favorite color, coral, and her family’s frequent getaways to the California desert, where bougainvillea are plentiful. Large sprays of the colorful flower tumble out of the oversized green ginger jars in the center of her table, while coral glass ornaments are tucked into greenery placed around the centerpieces. Other accessories create connections with her family’s generations, like an ornament perched atop a small green vase that proclaims “Best Grandparent,” the cream-colored coffee cups from her mother’s china set and the crystal pineapple she received as a gift from her children. Idbeis is building her tablescape around a set of her mother’s lobster-design dishes. Last year she went more colorful, using green, purple and yellow place settings to evoke a Mardi Gras celebration.

2. Work from the inside out. “Set up your centerpiece first and work your way from there,” advised Stephanie Talley, who has created tablescapes for residential and corporate clients in the past. For her centerpieces, Zerbe likes to incorporate candles. This year she placed tapered candles in the center and flanked them with the two ginger jars. Sometimes she’s created the opposite design, with candles placed on either side of a center focal point. You can add more elements around your centerpiece or leave it simple.

3. Think outside the box. Last year, Talley built her tablescape, a Hippie Holiday, around her collection of cowbells and used things like slate tiles from a home improvement store as chargers to carry through her theme. Talley, who owns a Dallas store that specializes in antiques and vintage accessories, has used vintage obi sashes in place of a table runner and even a scrunched up woman’s skirt under her centerpiece to embellish her tables. “Good fabric is good fabric,” she said. Zerbe used various ribbons, tacked to the underside of her table, to create a basket-weave outline to her dining table.

4. Scour your house. One trick designers often use when decorating on a budget is to borrow items from different areas of the home. “I think people have lots of things around their house that they don’t think of using,” Talley said. Look at your current décor with an eye toward creating a fresh look with existing items from other rooms in your home.

5. Mix it up. Idbeis likes to use vintage pieces inherited from her mother with new finds. Talley likes to mix high-end dinnerware with dollar-store goblets.

Mark Arts Holiday Tables

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3-Sunday, Nov. 5

Where: Mark Arts, 9112 E. Central

Tickets: $10, no children under 8 years are permitted. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. Other separately ticketed exhibition activities include a Girls Night Out event 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov., 2, $35 per person; and a Wine, Dine, Sparkle and Shine Party 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, $75 per person. A mother-daughter tea on Sunday, Nov. 5, has sold out.

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US dinnerware manufacturer continues to invest in Sheffield – BQLive


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Portland prison inmates complain about dirty dinnerware – Clay …

Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Updated: 2:16 pm, Wed Oct 25, 2017.

Portland prison inmates complain about dirty dinnerware

Associated Press |


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Complaints about food are common in prison, but some inmates at the Columbia River Correctional Institution are concerned with the dishes.

Inmates tell The Oregonian/OregonLive they’ve been eating off dirty trays and using grimy utensils since the minimum-security prison in Portland switched from a dishwashing machine to washing dishes by hand.

The Oregon Department of Corrections said the lockup changed to hand washing by inmate work crews in 2015 because doing so requires less water and the machine was unreliable and expensive to maintain.

It’s now one of five prisons statewide that relies on what corrections officials call a “three-sink method” for dish washing. The system involves dunking dirty dishes in soapy water, then clear hot water and sanitizing solution.

Since April, seven Columbia River inmates have lodged complaints about the dinnerware issue, according to the Corrections Department.

“The cups come out greasy, the trays come out greasy and the spoons come out greasy,” inmate Michael Page told the newspaper. “It’s disgusting.”

He recalled being served beans and finding cereal from breakfast stuck to the edge of the bowl. He now brings his own spoon and reuses a soda bottle for water to avoid using prison-issued dinnerware.

Jaylen Williamson said he was previously imprisoned at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, and no had complaints about the dishes. That’s not the case at Columbia River.

“When we fill our cups with water, you can see grease floating in the cup,” he said.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Betty Bernt said the agency follows rules to ensure cleanliness and the most recent visit from a health inspector found no significant issues at the prison.

Glenda Hyde, a food preservation and food safety expert with the Oregon State University Extension Service, said she was surprised to hear a prison housing 570 men washes dishes by hand given the efficiency of modern dishwashing machines.

She said washing dishes by hand can produce clean plates and utensils.

“There is an art to it,” she said. “You have to show discipline. You have to care. If you don’t do it right, somebody can get sick.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:57 pm.

Updated: 2:16 pm.

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After more than 50 years, Mary Carter Store going strong

The Mary Carter Store has a long history at its corner location in downtown Cullman, but the past is far from the minds of the family of owners who keep the business current and thriving for customers.

More than 50 years ago, Mary Carter Paint Stores were a franchise known for doing just what their name signified — mixing and selling paint. As markets changed with time, Raymond Young, who has owned the store for 53 years, saw the need to diversify the offerings to customers. That keen eye, with the longtime assistance of his wife, Brenda, and now sons — Jeff and Jeremy — and brother-in-law Fred Osborne, has made the store more than just an interesting stop for travelers; it is that, but remaining competitive and beating large retail chain stores on quality and pricing is the secret of Mary Carter’s success.

Framing is one of the first additions to the store’s services years ago. That remains a strong part of the business, and it’s been colorful at times.

Hank Williams Jr. wanted a photo of a naked woman framed. Williams thought enough of Mary Carter that he store got a line in his song, “I Got Rights.”

“We nicknamed him Hanky Panky. You just never know what someone wants to frame and why. We just find a way to frame it,” Osborne said.

Another customer had an old hubcap he admired, and that was framed.

Former Gov. James “Big Jim” Folsom liked to stop by when he lived in town.

“He used to walk to Vinemont and back a lot of days for exercise and would come by. His wife and family came in a lot and they were a lot of fun,” Raymond remembers.

While many home-owned businesses have encountered difficulties competing against big national retailers that have the buying power and square footage to carry vast quantities of different products, the Youngs and Osborne recognized years ago that personal service and quality products sell and create a lasting relationship with customers.

“A lot of people don’t like to shop in the big box stores,” Young said. “We do well with sporting goods products, canning supplies, framing, keys and several other products. We have iron skillets and we talk to people about how to season them so that they get the best experience from them.”

Jeff Young is the key master at Mary Carter. A simple social media post about the store’s ability to replace electronic keys at a reasonable price brought waves of customers, and it hasn’t slowed down.

Many anglers also visit the store for supplies, everything from reels to line and lures. And a bit of assistance and advice on products.

“Fishing line is like shampoo — there are so many types to choose from,” Jeff said. “We’re able to talk with customers and show them a quality lineup that’s reasonably priced and effective. And we string the reels and help with the maintenance of their equipment.”

Jeremy joined the family business about eight years ago and finds himself doing a bit of everything during a day.

“I’m the designated cashier, but I look over the stock and rotate products. It’s always busy. It’s steady year-’round,” Jeremy said. “It’s really interesting, too, to see what the customers want and being able to help them. People come from a lot of locations for the service.”

Among the services offered by the staff is assembling products at no charge after purchases are made.

“I think what keeps people coming back is the quality of products and the service. We offer that and we enjoy doing this for people,” Jeff said.

With a thriving downtown, Mary Carter stands out for many reasons. The store includes several buildings and is host to a number of cats. The cupula atop the main portion of the store has been a fixture for year, and was promptly replaced after the 2011 tornado downtown damaged the structure.

“We see a lot of people from other communities and states come in,” Raymond said. “We keep some products that are older or nostalgic that brings back memories for people. It’s just part of the Mary Carter Store. And we can still mix a good can of paint.”

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Chef Michael Voltaggio Joins Brizo Kitchen & Bath Company As Culinary Brand Ambassador

To Voltaggio, creating in the kitchen starts with food and permeates into the design of spaces where meals are crafted, plated and served. Similarly, the Brizo brand is grounded in Living Fashion, a brand philosophy and driving force underscoring fashion as a lifestyle that informs what we eat, the places we travel and the way we design our spaces.

“Chef Voltaggio is known for his distinctive culinary style and expertise. Every dish he creates unfolds in a perfectly complex way, appealing to all of the senses,” said Laura Brooks, senior brand manager for Brizo. “In the same respect, everything we do as a brand is grounded in inspiring unique spaces with beautiful design and precise execution. As a fan of Brizo products with a strong passion for the creative process, we know Chef Voltaggio embodies our brand mission and are excited to work with him as an authentic, engaging brand ambassador.”

In his work with the Brizo brand, Voltaggio will marry his culinary philosophy of perpetual innovation and his passion for beautiful design with the brands’ statement-making, innovative faucet collections. Translating his commercial kitchen efficiency and fashionable aesthetic to aspirational home kitchens, Chef Voltaggio will be featured in Brizo product advertising materials and serve as host at exclusive brand engagements showcasing the high-quality design and innovative functionality of Brizo faucets.

“As a chef and restaurant owner, balancing functionality in execution with culinary style and design on the plate is paramount,” said Chef Michael Voltaggio. “Working with the Brizo team is exciting for me, personally and professionally, because Brizo is a brand that understands innovation does not come at the cost of sacrificing style. The right faucet streamlines culinary tasks as the one tool used throughout the entire cooking process and as the center of my kitchen, so it has to look good and work hard.”

The first creative installment featuring Voltaggio coincides with the launch of the Litze™ (pronounced LEETS-zuh) Kitchen Collection by Brizo® which is defined by purposeful details and craftsmanship. Melding a clean, contemporary sensibility with an artisanal touch, the Litze Collection is a true testament to shape and form.

“The Litze Kitchen Collection is focused on stripping a faucet down to its core shape and adding beautiful details to aid in functionality,” said Jordan Bahler, lead Brizo industrial designer. “Removing pure ornamentation plays a pivotal part in defining the collection’s personality, and details like the knurling on the wand and handle are ‘touch points,’ subtly communicating they weren’t added to be decorative, but rather to provide grip to these areas.”

The full kitchen collection features a simplistically beautiful bent tube spout rendered in three distinct shapes to complement a variety of design aesthetics. Each design detail, especially the textured knurling, is purposeful to provide practical culinary benefits while celebrating beautiful craftsmanship. Its versatility is evident in the three distinct spout options — Arc, Square or Angled — that can be paired with either the Knurled Lever or Industrial Lever handle, offering a range of configurations that are equally at home in modern, minimal environments or more industrially inspired spaces.

This is the first Brizo collection to offer the distinctive Matte Black / Brilliance® Luxe Goldsplit finish and the first kitchen suite available in the Brilliance® Luxe Gold finish. The Litze Kitchen Collection by Brizo® is now available.

For more information or to locate a dealer, visit

About the Brizo® Brand

Brizo is a luxury fittings brand for those who understand that fashion isn’t only about the clothes they wear – it’s a lifestyle. The Brizo product team designs and crafts distinctive kitchen and bath suites that artfully blend form and function, transforming minds, moods and spaces. This approach has elevated the Brizo brand and its fashion-forward collections, many of which have been recognized by various outlets and organizations, including Design Journal with its Adex Gold™ Award and the Red Dot™ Award. Rooted in fashion and design, the Brizo brand has been a primary sponsor for fashion designer Jason Wu since 2006 and a national sponsor of the St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway since 2010. Brizo is the luxury brand of fittings and accessories within the portfolio of Delta Faucet Company, a WaterSense® manufacturer partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Brizo products are available exclusively through fine kitchen and bath showrooms. For more information or to locate a showroom, visit or call 877-345-BRIZO (2749).

About Michael Voltaggio

Michael Voltaggio is the owner and chef of Los Angeles’ ink.well (formally ink.) and the artisanal sandwich concept Sack Sandwiches with locations in West Hollywood and LAX’s Tom Bradley International. Alongside his brother and chef Bryan Voltaggio, Michael is the chef and partner in the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House at MGM National Harbor, as well as their second project together – the fast-casual concept, STRFSH, showcasing grilled sustainable fish sandwiches – opening October 2017 in Santa Monica, CA. Beginning his career at the age of 15, Michael earned the prestigious Greenbrier apprenticeship at age 19, and went on to helm the kitchens at Dry Creek Kitchen and The Bazaar by José Andrés. Celebrated for having reinterpreted a new class of finer dining at ink. – which received the title of GQ’s “Best New Restaurant in America” 2011 – Michael has been recognized as one of Food Wine’s Best New Chefs 2013, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, and hosted the Travel Channel series Breaking Borders. In early 2018, Michael and Bryan Voltaggio will debut their third project together, Monger by The Voltaggio Brothers, located at Downtown Miami’s highly-anticipated food hall Central Fare. Follow Michael Voltaggio on Twitter and Instagram: @mvoltaggio.

Links to additional resources
Brizo Online Press Room
About Masco

Media Contact:
Alysa Campbell, MSL


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Snowe Takes Luxe Home Site Offline With NoHo Pop-up

Snowe, the direct-to-consumer e-commerce site that can’t keep its best-selling Italian percale bedding in stock, is trying its hand at offline retail.

The brand this week opened The Blankspace, a 1,000-square-foot shop at 252 Lafayette Street in NoHo that will remain open for the remainder of the year. According to Andres Modak, cofounder of Snowe, the retail concept is an evolution of interactive showroom, The Whitespace, which bowed in February as an appointment-only, shoppable loft for customers.

The approximately 100 in-house-designed products are currently available at — grouped by behaviors including Eat, Drink, Sleep and Bathe — will all be sold at The Blankspace, as well as a handful of items exclusive to the store. Snowe’s point of differentiation is a simplification of the home, Rachel Cohen, cofounder, explained, where instead of searching for dinnerware and being bombarded with a dozen plate options, customers will see just one type of white plate offered in various sizes. Cohen said products — all of which have a clean, minimal aesthetic — are comprised of luxury quality materials offered at an accessible price point.

Modak said the space serves as both an “immersive billboard” to raise brand awareness and a sales driver for the almost two-year-old start-up, and depending on reception and sales, could eventually lead to a permanent retail space.

“The Blankspace, if you think about it conceptually, is a couple of steps before The Whitespace in terms of what a home buildout would look like. We basically sketch out your home on a blank canvas and you can come and see the products on this blank canvas,” Modak explained. “When you come in we basically use colorblocking and block out different vignettes across our different categories to make it feel immersive. You’re meant to use your imagination to picture and layer your home over the space that we’ve created, but still be able to shop just our products.

He added that technology played a significant role in the development of the shop. For instance, a partnership with Cloudtag uses ultrasonic frequency to help build wish lists and facilitate communication between a sales associate’s iPad and a customer’s smartphone. There will also be a SmartGifting option once the holiday season kicks off, which allows someone to send a gift from the store and let the recipient select exactly what they want. “It feels more personal than just a gift card,” Modak maintained.

And since leaving the shop with bedding and boxes of dinnerware and glassware could be cumbersome, Snowe will keep minimal inventory in-store and instead offer free next-day delivery.

“Home is different than fashion, and people need a bit more guidance in home. It’s hard to envision and understand, and it’s apparent in home that it’s a more tactile experience,” Cohen said. “We always wanted a strong physical manifestation of the brand. Having someone from our team being able to guide the customer through makes such a difference.”

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