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colorful conversations

  • 01.26.13 

    And The Winner Is…

    As you know, we continued with our New Year resolution “Colorful Living” contest this year. It is amazing how we continue to read so many great stories and ideas.

    We are always amazed at how much time people devote to others—truly selfless and inspirational.

    This year, we decided to choose a resolution concept devoted more to “me”! I know, sounds totally selfish right. But really think about how much time we “mothers, wives, partners, daughters ” devote to taking care of those we love—at the expense of sacrificing our own personal time.

    With that said, the winner of our 2013 Colorful Living Resolution contest and colorful Company C bedding is:  Megan Forti

    Megan: My New Year’s Resolution is to be more selfish.  I know that sounds terrible, but I mean it in the most positive way.  If I can manage to take one night a month (my goal) and devote it to myself and my friends/interests, I know I will be refreshed and rejuvenated to do even more in all other areas of my life.  I am looking forward to all I can do, by doing something for me

    Continuing in the “me” theme, our runner up and winner of a Company C throw is Stephanie Lewis!

    We love her idea of documenting in 2013 “me”, with the loved ones in her life.

    Stephanie:  I get so caught up in wanting beautiful photographs of them, that I lose sight of the thought that perhaps - someday when I am gone - they will want photographs of me too.  Not just my children, but all of the people I love.    So this is my goal for 2013.  Set aside my personal hang-ups about being on that side of the lens, and get in the pictures with them…

    Once a month, or more if time allows…

    Congratulations to both Megan and Stephanie. Let’s celebrate “me” in the most positive way this year. Take time to refresh, pursue our passions and give back to those we love!

     

    Happy New Year!

     

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  • 01.09.13 

    GoodWeave Shares Favorite Firsts of 2012

    Company C joined GoodWeave in 2005 to give back to the weaving communities in India and benefit those who make our rugs.  We’re happy to report, Goodweave has accomplished a lot since then.

    Today, GoodWeave continues to monitor child labor, while supporting educational programs for children and partnering with rug making companies to develop safe practices in working conditions and fair wages.

    Enjoy a post from Nina Smith, Executive Director of GoodWeave USA, as she shares her favorite GoodWeave firsts from 2012.

    We thank GoodWeave for their dedication and progress and wish them new successes in 2013!

     

    This year, the question of how to end child labor was discussed from Capitol Hill to corporate board rooms to the Clinton Global Initiative, where this fall the President made a historic speech. Over and over, the answer has been: working with the private sector and through supply chain monitoring.

    I am heartened by the new direction in our movement. And over the last year, GoodWeave has been out in front—leading the way and leveraging momentum. Here are five of my favorite “firsts” from 2012:

     

    First rescue | January 13
    GoodWeave inspectors found 11-year-old Sanju Maya, who was sold by her father to a labor broker for a promised $40/month. Her courageous story and contagious smile were later featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

    A Charity Braves a Shadowy Industry to Rescue Children.

     

    First school | May 12
    Acclaimed photographer U. Roberto Romano and I spent an inspiring day in Badeshi. This Indian village never had a school until Project Musk an (meaning “smile”), our non-formal education program which has enrolled 1,200 kids in remote weaving communities.

     

    First daycare | July 17
    We cut the ribbon on the first Good Weave daycare center in Afghanistan serving weaving mothers in a community of recently returned refugees.

     

    First rug | November 28
    The first certified child-labor-free carpet made in Afghanistan was ceremoniously labeled by the Minster of Commerce and Industry in Kabul.

     

    First place | December 3
    Good Weave earned full member status of ISEAL—joining just 12 other standard-setting organizations around the world who are considered the leaders in their respective sectors.

     

    I hope you feel proud of what we accomplished in 2012 and that Good Weave’s market-driven solution is at the center of the modern abolitionist discussion. First and foremost—we could not do it without you.

    With gratitude and best wishes this holiday season,

    Nina Smith
    Executive Director
    Good Weave USA

     

    Photo Credit: © U. Roberto Romano

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  • 01.01.13 

    Dream Big. Be Brave. Live Life Colorfully.

    It’s that time of year again – time to think about resolutions and goals for 2013. I won’t talk about losing weight either!

    One of my inspirational experiences in 2012 was speaking to a group of girls from GIRLS, Inc. who came to Company C to learn about what we do. Our mission was to inspire them to stay in school and work hard at what they love and dream about. The girls ranged in age from 10 to 15.

    So we sat in our colorful retail store while they ate their after school snacks. I started the conversation talking about Company C and how we started 19 years ago. I mentioned that when I was their age I loved to knit and sew and used to make a lot of my own clothes. I shared with them many kids thought I was such a nerd and so “uncool” for knitting and sewing.

    I asked them if they do something now that they love, yet keep it to themselves for fear of what others might say. They all responded with their own similar experiences. It was so fun to hear their stories. After these lively discussions, I reminded them that if I didn’t stick to what I loved and didn’t work hard at it and didn’t give up when the going got tough, I could not have achieved my dreams of starting my own business and creating products I love.

    So as I think about the message I learned from the girls, it’s important to be brave no matter our age. Dream big, work hard and stick to it, even with adversity.

    What are you passionate about, what are your dreams, and are you willing to put yourself and your craft out there knowing you’ll have positive and negative feedback? Take part in our favorite annual contest and let us know your resolutions for 2013. There’s a chance to win some great Company C color to help you kick off the New Year! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or post your Colorful Living New Year’s Resolution here.

    Take a risk and LIVE YOUR LIFE COLORFULLY!

    Happy Colorful 2013!

     

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  • 12.12.12 

    Emerald, Pantone®’s new Tangerine Tango!

    So happy to hear Emerald – one of my favorite colors – is Pantone®’s color for 2013! What a beautiful shade for interiors, much easier to work with than last year’s Tangerine Tango.

    According to Pantone, “the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green.”

    During our recent “regeneration” trip to India, Walter and I visited several of our vendors in Jaipur, a city world-renown for its hand-printed textiles and its gem cutting and polishing. And do I love both.

    After a day of meetings with textile vendors and seeing final samples of our Spring 2013 bedding collection, we set off to shop the “Pink City.”

    At the recommendation of one of our key rug vendors, we visited his brother-in-law’s antique and jewelry store – totally eye candy. Needless to say, I fell in love with so many things; especially the emeralds. So I left Jaipur with two colorful experiences – seeing  our new Spring 2013 bedding collection that reflects Pantone’s 2013 color of the year and a beautiful emerald trinket as a reminder.

    Get ready for renewal and prosperity in 2013 with Pantone®’s EMERALD color of the year!

     

    Happy Holidays,

    Chris

     

    Boudoir Style

    Our new Gretchen bedding was inspired by a vintage dress we found at the Brimfield Antiques market. The overscaled brushstroke design is painted in shades of Julep and Emerald!

    Style tip: I love the Julep/Emerald colors with crisp white percale for a fresh Spring and Summer style.

     

    Fashion Color

    Add style and color to any room with our new curvy Olivia chair. She’s available in February at all Company C Retail and Lifestyle Partner stores.

    Style tip: Paint the curves with Benjamin Moore™’s Emerald Isle 2039-20 and upholster in Company C’s crisp white Nori Snow fabric.

     

    Colorful Entertaining

    Why not add color and zip to your next party with a signature color of the year drink?

     Entertaining tip: Try Food.com’s Emerald Isle Martini with cocktail napkins in emerald to show your guests just how on color trend you are! Click here for the recipe. Cheers to living colorfully in 2013!

     

    Pre-Order Gretchen

     

    Pre-Order Madeline

     

    Pre-Order Camille

     

    For more information about Pantone LLC and PANTONE® Products, visit www.pantone.com.

     

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  • 12.03.12 

    Your Favorite StylePair is…

    Thank you to all who voted for your favorite StylePair…and the winner is Carmen Christensen from Time2Design! Carmen paired a gorgeous Erdem – Spring 2013 RTW jacket and dress with Company C’s Danube and Larissa pillows.

     

    For her fabulous StylePairing, Carmen won Company C’s Gretchen bedding and Madeline sheets—all in her favorite color, Capri Blue.

     

    You can also find Carmen’s StylePair on Fashion+Décor.

    AND…we haven’t forgotten all those who voted and left comments because you were entered in a drawing for our colorful Park Throw in Blue Iris. The lucky winner is Richard Cragg!

     

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  • 11.27.12 

    Vote for your favorite StylePairing!

    We launched our Spring 2013 collection at the recent International Home Furnishing Market in High Point, NC. The theme at market was fashion’s influence on home design and décor. We were definitely inspired by runway fashions and colors for our spring collection.

    We hosted a fun event during market featuring Fashion+Décor’s Gretchen Aubuchon who spoke to our customers and design bloggers about fashion’s wonderful influence on home décor. As part of the event, we challenged those design bloggers attending to a Fashion+Décor StylePair contest. They had to pair their favorite Company C Spring 2013 collection with hot-off-the-runway styles featured at the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 fashion shows.

    Take a peek below and vote for your favorite:

    Erin – The House of Turquoise

    @Turquoise_Erin

     

    Carmen – Time2Design

    @time2design

     

    Erica Islas – EMI Interior Design

    @emiintdesign

    Click here to vote! After voting, leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a Park Throw in Blue Iris! Voting ends on Friday, November 30th at 4:00pm EST.

    Visit the blogs of the Design Bloggers that entered our contest or follow them on Twitter.

     

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  • 11.21.12 

    Get Ready for Ski Season!

    While many consider squats and lunges necessary to prepare for winter sports, my pre-season regimen is primarily aimed at sprucing up the ski “chalet”!

    This includes everything from opening windows to let the fresh air in (and musty air out). It’s also a great time to think about new furnishings – refreshing the rug perhaps, switching out the sofa, bestowing the bed with crisp new linens, or simply adding a pop of color for a fresh new look.

    And…who says winter getaways need to look lodge-like in expected browns and red (complete with moose and bears!)? How about a more modern mountain scheme this season showcasing inspired colors, textures and pattern? With Company C’s touch of sophisticated alpine style, any home can be chalet-chic.

    Oh and are you hosting family and holiday well-wishers? Check out my winter entertaining ideas below!

    P.S. Don’t forget to get those skis tuned up too!

     

     

     

    Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine & Shallot Reduction

    Serves 4

    1 ½ lbs beef tenderloin, trimmed

    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    Salt & freshly ground black pepper

    1 large shallot, thinly sliced

    1 cup red wine

    2 tbsp unsalted butter

    1. Remove meat from fridge 30 mins before you use it to let it come to room temperature.
    2. Preheat oven to 425°.
    3. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef generously on both sides. When pan is hot, brown meat on both sides (about 10 mins total). Transfer pan to oven and roast for 20-25 mins or meat thermometer registers 135° (medium rare).
    4. Remove beef from pan to rest while you make the sauce.
    5. Return skillet to stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook till softened (about 1 minute). Add the wine to loosen brown bits from pan and simmer till reduced to a glaze (about 6 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in butter till sauce is glossy.
    6. Slice beef into ½” slices and top with red wine sauce.

     

     

    Winter Romaine Salad

    Serves 4

    2 hearts of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

    1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

    White Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

    ½ cup roasted unsalted almonds, whole or slivered

    2 oz block Parmesan

    1. Toss the lettuce and apple slices together in a serving bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Top with almonds.
    2. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin curls from the block of cheese and add to the top of the salad. Serve immediately.

     

     

    White Balsamic & Shallot Vinaigrette

    Makes about 1 cup

    1 medium shallot, finely chopped

    1 tsp Dijon mustard

    ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

    ⅔ cup grape seed oil

    Salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Whisk together the shallot, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to combine, until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season to taste.

     

     

    Vermont Risotto

    Serves 4

    1 (14½ oz) can low-sodium chicken broth

    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    1 tbsp unsalted butter

    ½ small onion, finely minced

    1 cup Arborio rice

    ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar or dry white wine

    1 cup shredded sharp (or extra sharp) Cheddar

    Salt & freshly ground black pepper

    1. Heat the broth in a medium saucepan until it simmers.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.
    3.  Add the vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is nearly absorbed. Add the broth ¼ cup at a time, maintaining a slow simmer. Stir frequently and allow each addition of liquid to be absorbed before adding the next. The risotto will be done in about 35 minutes after the vinegar is added. Taste the dish for texture – if the rice is soft, the cooking is complete. Otherwise add another ¼ cup of water and continue to simmer until the texture is right.
    4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheddar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

     

     

     Rustic Apple-Pear Pie

    Serves 10

    Crust:

    1½ cups all-purpose flour

    2 tbsp granulated sugar

    ¼ tsp salt

    10 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

    3 tbsp ice water

    1 large egg yolk

    1 large egg

    Crumb topping:

    ¾ cup chopped walnuts

    ¾ cup all-purpose flour

    ⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar

    ½ tsp ground cinnamon

    1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

    Filling:

    2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼” wedges

    2 medium ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼” wedges

    ⅓ cup granulated sugar

    ¼ cup all-purpose flour

    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

    1. To make the crust: Mix the flour, 1 tbsp of the granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until crumbly.
    2. In a small bowl, mix the ice water with the egg yolk. Add to the flour mixture. Stir just until dough forms. (Add another 1 tbsp water if the dough is too dry to hold together.) Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
    3. To make the topping: Mix the walnuts, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture is crumbly.
    4. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
    5. To make the filling: In a large bowl, mix the apples, pears, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice until combined.
    6. Roll out the dough to a 13″ round. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Spoon the fruit mixture over the dough, mounding it in the center and leaving a 2″ border. Fold the dough border partially over the filling to form a 9″ round. Top the exposed filling with the crumb topping. Whisk the remaining egg with 2 tsp water to make an egg wash. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tbsp granulated sugar.
    7. Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender, rotating halfway through baking, about 50 minutes total. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

    *The Ski House Cookbook is available at our company-owned retail stores. Please call 800.818.8288 or email retail@companyc.com to purchase.

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  • 08.20.12 

    From Lemons to Lemonade!

    Just finished our Spring 2013 photo shoot in North Carolina with lots of fabulous designs and color coming in January!

    After a very productive week with Nin, Kierstin and our NC team, and a very relaxing dinner in Charlotte, we later arrived at the airport to find our flight had been cancelled. We were stranded for the night!

    The abbreviated story– The airline did put us up for the night… in a gross hotel with horrible service! By midnight, we decided to get some sleep and make the most of our surprise stay in Charlotte.

    On Saturday morning, our goal was to find a new place to hang out before our late afternoon flight. We dropped our luggage at the airport and headed into Charlotte– for brunch or something! We found Halcyon, the restaurant at the new Mint Museum uptown. Fresh local ingredients prepared in very creative ways. How could we resist?

    We perused the exhibit catalogs over a yummy glass of wine and fabulous food, and decided to head to the Mint’s Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The museum was inspiring; the architecture amazing.

    View of Bechtler from Halcyon Restaurant

    View of Bechtler from Halcyon Restaurant

     

    Such Great Architectural Geometry

    Such Great Architectural Geometry!

     

    Inside Bechtler

    Inside Bechtler

     

    And, of course, our al fresco luncheon at Halcyon

    And, of course, our al fresco luncheon at Halcyon

     

    A quote from Pablo as we exit the Bechtler. How apropos!

    A quote from Pablo as we exit the Bechtler. How apropos!

    The excursion totally refreshed us and allowed us to leave Charlotte on the high we had when we left our shoot!

    If you find yourself stuck in Charlotte, we highly recommend Halcyon and the Mint–you will love it!

    Oh…I forgot about our shoot–here’s a peek into our Spring 2013 collection. Portico in luscious shades of wine!

    Portico in luscious shades of wine!

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  • 07.26.12 

    How to Create a Colorful Master Bed in Five Easy Steps!

    Oh, the Master Bedroom—the room for serenity… and even creativity…that two people must share!

    When it comes to picking out the bedding for the Master Bedroom, well of course color needs to be part of design plan—but what if she loves cooler colors, from blues to raspberries and greens and he loves warmer colors, from paprika to chili to yellow greens.

    Where does one begin? Here’s how I recommend tackling the master bedroom decorating dilemma:

    1.  Begin with the foundation layer—a matelassé or a quilt in a color that both she & he love. For this couple, I chose our new Avery quilt in Willow—our neutral base color that can work into His & Her color passions!

    2.  Add a colorful duvet cover and shams. Maybe keep it less frilly! Our new Swirling Leaves duvet cover and shams is modern for him, yet whimsical and fun for her. The cool Blues for her and splashes of warm Dijon swirls for him!

    3.  Now add high quality sheets. After selecting the colors for the foundation and the duvet covers, choose the sheets that best coordinate– white, ivory other other colors.

    We spend one third of our lives in bed, so quality matters here. I suggest our new Avery 400 thread count sateen sheets in White with Willow embroidered pattern. They are sumptuous, and the geometric pattern adds a pop of color—and not too frilly for him!

    4.  Need a headboard? I love our new Luisa Headboard in Cascade Lake—a classic design in a clean, over-scaled floral. Yes, they both can live together lovingly with this design!

    5.  Now the fun–add a few pillows! (NOTE: “few” pillows—remember how much men hate too many pillows!) This can be two Euro shams or a big, colorful pillow across the front! I’ve selected our Wallpaper Stripe Euro Shams. The Laurel Branch and Braided Velvet pillows are also perfect since not too flowery and have a nice blend of cool and warm colors and the “neutral” green.

    And Voila!

    The wonders of sharing…and both she and he can win…with a colorful master bedroom of their dreams!

    Have fun with the art of compromise and create your own colorful style!

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  • 07.11.12 

    The Story Behind Our New Margie Outdoor Rug….

    Last year Margie Hardee, our dear friend and longtime Company C sales representative, passed away unexpectedly. Margie lived in the true spirit of Colorful Living. A resident of the Maryland shore, Margie always wanted more coastal blue colors in our designs….so we created the Margie outdoor rug in her honor. Company C is donating a portion of the sale of each rug to one of Margie’s favorite charities, The Humane Society of Queen Anne’s County. Click here to shop the Margie Rug.

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