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It’s Marbleous! Father’s Day Event + DIY Marbling How-To

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At our recent Father’s Day Store Event: It’s Marbleous! we demonstrated the technique of marbling using nail polish as a quick and easy way to customize almost any household item, including mugs, coasters and office supplies. With endless color combinations and items to marbleize you’ll find this technique is your new go-to for a great gift idea that won’t disappoint.

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Follow along below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own marbled creations at home!

What you’ll need:

  • nail polish (pick your favorites!)
  • bamboo skewers or toothpicks
  • plastic container filled with water (deep enough submerge the items you want to marble)
  • parchment paper
  • painter’s tape

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Step 1: Pick the items you’d like to marble. I suggest anything with a fairly smooth surface: ceramic, plastic or even cork seems to work well.

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Step 2: Tape off the sections of your item that you don’t want marbled with painter’s tape. Here we decided to make a striped pattern.

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Step 3: Choose the nail polish colors you would like to use, I recommend 3-4 to get a nice range of color. Pour nail polish into the container filled with water, the polish should sit on the surface of the water. Using the bamboo skewer, gently pull the polish through the water to get your desired pattern.

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Step 4: Carefully dip your item into the water making sure to fully submerge the area you want to marble. Pull item out of the water and set to dry.

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Step 5: Let dry for 10-15 minutes, or dry to the touch. Remove the painter’s tape and you’re all set!

 

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Unison Staff Picks: Think Spring!

Unison employees each chose two Spring products from our catalog that they are really crushing on.

Discover their favorites here — and get to know a little more about the people in our office and store that love sharing modern home designs with you!

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Eric Janke, Sales Representative

Omaggio black salad bowl 

I love the generous size and shape of this bowl – great for salads to come to life, especially combined with the Hammershoi wood salad servers. Both casual and smart, all in one.

Plant Pedestals by Areaware

These have a terrific shape and design that will give your plants a layered place to live, a subtle place to stand out. It is multifunctional, you can use it for a selection of your favorite products too.

 

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Erica Lubetsky, Production Designer

Cabana Sprinkles Bedding

The Cabana Sprinkles Bedding package offers a clean, modern look with a fun pop of color. I love how this pattern play serves as an ode to the neo memphis trend while remaining versatile for the bedroom. The mix of horizontal and vertical stripes in a classic black and white color combination paired with a hint of playfulness from the sprinkles makes this item a must have for any customer! 

Omaggio Mini Vases

As a lover of all things mini, I couldn’t think of a more perfect addition for my home. These vases are finished with an organic yet modern stripe featured in 3 colorways, and just the right size for a small bud. The best part is that they come as a set of three, so you don’t have to stress about picking your favorite color!

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Robert Segal, Co-Founder/Designer

Kera Bath Accessories

I love the combination of ceramic and cork. It is very modern and natural at once with these materials. This is also our first full bath set we are offering. Finding a set with all components looking good as well as functioning well can be a struggle to find. Kera achieves these both.

Two Hands Black Basket

Beyond a laundry basket, it’s function has endless possibilities. It can hold blankets, logs, magazines, toys and even in necessity a great toddler washtub while traveling! The Two Hands Bucket was Konstantin Grcic’s first design with Authentics from 1996. It has proven to be a lasting and iconic design.

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Ryan Lodge, E-Commerce Manager

Square Black Waste Basket

I like clean and simple. The Authentics trash can is exactly that. Clean lines and minimal design and it is made of a durable polypropylene material.

Logan Graphite Towels

Logan towels are also a perfect fit for my aesthetic and the comfort and quality is fantastic, 100% organic cotton crafted in Portugal. I can’t imagine stepping out of the shower into something else.

 

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Himmeli: Art in Another Dimension

For anyone who has ever gazed at the night sky and outlined the forms of constellations in your mind’s eye, you’ve already begun to experience the quintessentially Finnish art form known as a himmeli.

Originally crafted as Christmas decorations, the first himmeli—a Finnish adapted name derived from the Swedish words for sky or heaven—were created centuries ago by Finnish peasants. At the time, women in small villages expertly threaded lengths of straw to form decorative geometric shapes reminiscent of the constellations, or of what some believed to be signs from heaven.

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Once complete, the himmelis were hung above the festive meal table at Christmastime, decorating the inside of the villagers’ tupas or log homes.

“By their ordered nature, these balanced constructions invoke the image of cosmic constellations that suspended and slowly moving in regulated courses, make rhythmic patterns in the sky, impelled to do so by an unseen will. The celestial connection is not fortuitous: it is believed that himmelis were inspired by the story of the appearance of the glittering star that announced the birth of Christ.” *

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In the 1950s, artist Saara Hopea-Untracht began crafting numerous himmelis, “as these constructions well suited her propensity for geometric design forms.” *

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And her standout pieces influenced Unison’s own Alicia Rosauer in creating our himmeli pattern.

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Set on versatile gray, our table and kitchen linens are as festive for the holidays as they are ready for spring, summer, or fall. And stain-resistant cotton sateen keeps messes at bay, leaving the himmeli pattern at center stage.

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Over the years, different artisans have put their own spin on the making of himmelis. Some have mixed the time-honored form with modern-day materials, such as the Prisma pieces in our current collection, which could hang above any table or stand alone as a piece of art.

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Whether you believe in the himmelis’ mystical powers, as did the Finnish villagers of old, or are simply captivated by the rich history and striking, airy geometry of these many-faceted shapes, a splash of himmeli design is sure to add a new dimension to your home.

* Source: Saara Hopea-Untracht: Life and Work. Written by Oppi Untracht 1988 ISBN 951-0-14377-4

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Maker We Love: Tree Hopper Toys

Discover the wooden playthings that will teach your kids the hipster ABCs and so much more.

They say everything old is new again – that’s particularly true of the imaginative goods made by Tree Hopper Toys. Crafted by hand in the Midwest from sustainable hardwood – yep, the old-fashioned way – the playthings could have sprung from your grandfather’s toy chest. Yet, founder Eric Siegel has found a way to make them infinitely modern.

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Imagine ABC blocks redone hipster style, with “M” for moustache and “U” for unicorn. And wooden teethers shaped like pizza slices. And matching games featuring bold graphics of iconic worldwide landmarks. The list goes on.

We’re so glad to now be selling the toys and sharing their magic with families for the holidays. Find out more what makes them special in this Q&A with Eric, who talks about how his business came to be and what inspires it.

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Unison: You are bringing back the joy in traditional games and toys. Why was it important to you to start a company like Treehopper Toys?

Eric: It’s a fun, exciting, non-stop education. Every day we learn more about making things and working as a small team to make toys for thousands of families to enjoy. It’s SO fun to see kids (and especially my own) having fun with something we created!

Unison: How long have you been doing this and what did you do prior?

Eric: I’ve been doing Tree Hopper for almost six years, and prior to that I studied art and design and worked as a picture framer in Chicago as well as doing graphic design on the side.

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Unison: Tell us about your craftsmanship — everything from the choice of wood to process.

Eric: Everything we make has some handmade element, and we use a variety of materials, based on what is best suited for a particular product.  Many of our parts are made for us, and then we do all of the printing, assembly and finishing in house.

Unison: What is your studio like and how does it serve to inspire you?

Eric: We just moved into a shiny new shop/office/warehouse/studio this summer. It’s basically just big open spaces, sectioned off for printing, woodworking, etc. Our previous space was half the size of our new one, so having room to spread out has been really nice!

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Unison: Your toys have gotten a lot of buzz. What are some fan favorites?

Eric: We have a variety depending on the market, but in general the Match Stacks, Whoa-Bots, and Hipster ABCs are our top sellers.

Unison: The Hipster ABC Blocks have a cult following. How did you come up with the idea?

Eric: There are SO many educational ABC blocks and matching sets, books, etc., but they all have the same vocabulary. I just wanted to do a random fun assortment of things I like, and when I looked at the whole collection and tried to figure out the common theme, it mostly seemed to be hipster stuff, so I just went with it!

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Unison: How do you come up with new toy and game ideas?

Eric: Really just by playing and messing around in the shop. We don’t try to reinvent the wheel — we just put our own personal spin on educational and play concepts that have been around for ages.

Unison: Any kids in your life that test-drive your creations and ideas? Do you have any little helpers?

Eric: Yes. I have a 4 year old and 5 1/2 year old, both boys, with another boy due any day now! I also have a TON of nieces and nephews that help test things out.

Unison: Do you also create products for adults? If so, what?

Eric: I actually just launched a side project called Product Public (www.productpublic.com), which is a catch all for all of the non-kid related objects I want to make.  We just launched a series of wall clocks, and will soon be adding a variety of durable goods and gifts for the home.

Unison: What do you think is the future of toys and games for kids? How would you like to play a role in it?

Eric: Obviously iPads and video games are becoming more and more popular, but I think there will always be a place for traditional tactile toys and games. As a parent of young kids, I definitely try to strike a balance between tech and tradition, because both have their benefits and limitations.

Thanks, Eric! And for all of you toy and design fans out there, shop the Tree Hopper Toys collection at unisonhome.com