The craftsmen at Blueberry Meadows Interiors know a solid piece a furniture can be the difference between a house and a home. With that in mind, they've made it their mission to pair people with well-built, designer imports through a hassle-free process that cuts out the middleman and his dreaded scheming. From beds and chests to chairs and coffee tables, furnishings come in several timbers, stains, and paints, so guests can match new additions to the rest of their home decor.
When photographed just right, the bend of a wrought-iron beam or the curve of a stalk of wheat can look just like a letter of the alphabet. This creative observation captured the attention of photographer Crystal Copeland?a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography?who became inspired to seek out more outdoor features that could double as letters. With the help of her business-savvy husband, Lee, Copeland strung these letters into words and began selling them at an online store?Frame the Alphabet.
The site's interactive letter bank houses a vast collection of Crystal's photos, which can be used to spell out names and words. You may wish to work in visual thematics, crafting names entirely out of sports images for the family athlete or creating an ironic counterpoint to words such as nature with images of city signs, industrial faucets, and spinning cogs. The selected word is then encased within a brown or black 39.5"x15.5" frame made from real pinewood or printed onto a single, wooden gallery block, which comes ready to hang. The signature-board option further customizes the piece with a blank matte board and an 8"x10" space where you can insert a personal picture.
Some years ago, Paul and Caroline heard rumblings about water hyacinths. Their inner horticulturalists were intrigued because these plants bloom early and combat algae, but water hyacinths were only imported from Singapore at the time and often carried invasive parasites. So, the couple resolved to grow the plants themselves and start Woodbridge Ponds, a local greenhouse specializing in safe, locally cultivated specimens.
Today, their two-pronged business consists of Echo Nurseries, a 27,000-square-foot wholesale nursery, and Woodbridge Ponds, a sprawling retail shop brimming with beautiful water lilies and pond plants, lively fish, and essential pond hardware and supplies. All of the shop’s retail plants are grown at the adjacent nursery, ensuring that no seedlings get homesick while waiting for a new owner. Their friendly team of loyal local women helps visitors navigate hundreds of available plants, which gussy up large ponds and simple birdbaths alike.
Chefs on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters use it, Rachael Ray loves it, and Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles Food and Wine event uses it exclusively. Its success stems from its simplicity—a knife and fork combined into one: the Knork. Knork founder Mike Miller stumbled onto this idea while on a date at a pizzeria. He was frustrated in his attempts to neatly eat his slice with a fork, and found a solution that serves as both a cutting and piercing device. Though at first glance it may look like a standard fork, the Knork's beveled edges and broadly curved outer tines can slice through fruit, pizza, vegetables, and fish without being so sharp as to endanger diners' fingers. The Knork line of elegant flatware extends to stainless steel spoons, knives, and serving utensils as well. The tableware comes in high-gloss, matte, or dual-toned finishes, and is ergonomically designed for maximal comfort.
Flirty Aprons protects outfits from cooking mishaps with more than 50 fashionable coverings that have earned the company mentions from TV shows and media outlets including Better Homes and Gardens and the Los Angeles Times. Women?s aprons come in unique styles?including original and Marilyn?all designed to hug curves and flatter the female figure. Original aprons embody the spirit of the 1950s with a rounded, ruffled cut that keeps cooks comfortable thanks to two layers of cotton and a thick, extra-long waist-tie. Single-layer Marilyn styles channel vintage starlets with tiered or A-line skirts and intricate design elements such as decorative pockets and machete sheathes. Little cooks as young as 3 may don aprons their own size that express a youthful style sense or match with their mothers. Men?s aprons, meanwhile, shield grill masters from errant sauce stains with durable fabric decked in whimsical slogans such as ?BBQ King? and ?I Like Big Buns.?
In 2007, Kevin Borders wanted to put together a collage for his girlfriend. Instead of just cutting and pasting their countless pictures into one giant jumble or sewing them into a colorful wedding dress, Kevin and his friend Joe Golden wrote their own software to create a unique design. Their digital images were eventually organized into a larger picture of the couple. After Borders's girlfriend?and future wife?approved of the gift, Collage.com was born.?
Today, the company has developed that software to allow website visitors to craft their own keepsakes with more than 300 shapes and over 50 custom photo products, which range from canvases and mugs to towels and fleece blankets. On Collage.com, customers upload photos from social-media websites or their computer before working with the easy-to-use design tools to arrange them exactly how they want. Afterward, masterpieces can be shared for free online or submitted to Collage.com to be printed and shipped.