I fell in love with Cathrineholm the first time I saw it. With it's bright colors and graphic patterns it's a great representation of Scandinavian design.  Based in Norway the iconic brand began production at the beginning of the 20th century and closed it's doors in 1970. Grete Pritz Kittlesen is the designer responsible for designing the shapes and colors for the enamelware line. The most frequently seen, and most recognizable pattern, lotus is attributed to Arne Clausen. It comes in a variety of colors complimented with white. Kittlesen is said to have disliked the lotus pattern stating she preferred the plates and bowls in a single color, which highlighted the shapes. I think the popularity of the lotus pattern speaks otherwise, but I do love a bright pop of color all on it's own as well!

The flag pattern is another of my personal favorites. It is less often seen, but just as graphic and beautiful. This pattern has a periwinkle color which I really love. Below is an example of it in orange, repurposed as a hanging planter. Also below is a picture of the zebra stripe pattern in blue repurposed as well.

Cathrineholm has solid colored enamel pieces as well as pieces that are enameled on the outside and metal on the interior.They also have a more organic pattern called Saturn, here's an example in a lovely turquoise and black color combo.

There are other patterns out there, including snowflakes, a white background with a thick white stripe and an interior that matches the color of the stripe, and a great navy blue decorative pattern on a light blue background.  Be careful, once you are bit by the Cathrineholm collecting bug it's hard to shake it. Before you know it you'll be swimming in bowls... but I like it that way!

Kaj Franck a little designer profile

Kaj Franck is a Finnish designer best known for his work for Arabia Finland. He studied furniture design in 1932 at the Central School of Industrial Design in Helsinki. Kaj Franck designed ceramics, glassware and my favorite, enamelware.  He went on to design glassware for Iittala, introducing the idea of individually sold glasses rather than the traditional set.

There are many patterns associated with Kaj Franck's enamelware. The most often found and widely produced are the mushroom pattern bowls. I have seen salad bowls and serving bowls in this pattern, it subsequently also ends up being the most affordable. Harder to come by is the elusive lobster pattern. I was lucky enough to come across one which is pictured below.

$125 on Etsy by FoundbyaPropStylist

$125 on Etsy by FoundbyaPropStylist

There are also hearts, vegetables, little blue clovers, the red daisy pattern (pictured below on mugs), chevril, cherries, there are about 20 patterns in all.

$62 each on Etsy by FoundbyaPropStylist

$62 each on Etsy by FoundbyaPropStylist

Many Arabia Finland aka Finel pieces you find will be stamped on the bottom as the mug shown above, but many are not. If you want to start collecting the best thing to do is identify the patterns associated with the designer and brand. I for one was hooked the first time I got my hands on a mushroom bowl! Stop by my etsy store as I almost always have some Kaj Franck in stock.

new site, new blog, new post

I am so excited to finally have updated my website. It has been on my to do list for about a year and life kept getting in the way! In the past when I redid my site it was a huge pain. I had to resize and reformat every picture. Write tons of copy to explain everything, but this time it was easy. I used a template from squarespace and 24hrs later here you have it. I even integrated my blog.

Speaking of blogs... that's why you're here.

Today I want to share with you my adventure on Governor's Island from this past weekend. We picked the most humid day of July for our trip, but I'm glad we suffered through the weather because we had a blast. If you live in Brooklyn like I do you'll be happy to know that the East River Ferry runs from Greenpoint (and all the other stops along the way) directly to GI on the weekends. The return ferry stops running around 6:30 though, so make sure you head to the Island early so you don't feel rushed to make it back by then. I am a sucker for a good ferry ride, so that alone made the day great.

Photo by Paulo Dias (@goldisthenewblack)

When we arrived on the island we were greeted by food trucks galore. It's like a mini Smorgasburg. Paulo and I had eaten earlier, but couldn't resist the Waffles & Dinges truck. After our nutella waffle we headed towards the beer garden and ended up in a little village  (Colonels Row) of wood sided homes that reminded me of something I would have seen in New England where I grew up. I wanted to claim one for my own and never leave! But alas, we had to meet up with some friends so we headed towards Little Eva's for some frozen lemonades (with vodka, ha, so refreshing) it is one of 2 places allowed to serve alcohol on the island.

Unbelievable this is in NYC!

After a couple of hours relaxing in the shade we decided we had to rent one of those 4 seater bikes (aka Surrey). We were a group of 10 + baby so we had to rent 2 4 seaters and a 2 seater. We pedaled around the island trying to avoid all the pedestrians (we should not have let the men drive...) and took in the views. Finally we took a break at the hammocks. We parked our surreys and returned to find someone was pedaling off in one. The guys ran after them and it turned out the capers were three 12 year old girls... HA HA. They claimed they though they were free to take, we're going to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. Also we had to catch our ferry back to Brooklyn. We caught it with 5 minutes to spare!

Photo by Kathy Monahan (@vivalakathyyy)

All in all it was a great day. Next time I go I think I will go earlier in the morning, choose a cooler less humid day and bring my own bike as I think it is a great place to just go for a ride!