Monthly Archives: August 2009

Opinel

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A new batch of Opinel knives have just arrived at Brook Farm General Store. These knives, widely considered a design classic, have been made in the Savoie region of France by the Opinel family for over one hundred years.

Joseph Opinel

Joseph Opinel

Joseph Opinel invented the Opinel folding knife in 1890, and had sold over 20 million by World War II. In 1985 the Victoria and Albert museum included the knife in their exhibition, 100 Most Beautiful Objects in the World. 

Early Opinel Knife

Early Opinel Knife

The folding knife has hardly changed since its creation. Some safety features have been added including a lock ring.

Opinel No.8

Opinel No.8

We sell the classic No.8, which has a beechwood handle and stainless steel blade. Buy here.

Opinel knife with bone handle.

Opinel knife with horn handle.

We also have a fancier version with a horn handle. Buy here.

Recently Opinel have introduced a line of kitchen knives. We sell the Bread Knife and a set of assorted essential kitchen knives.

 

Opinel bread knife.

Opinel bread knife.

Buy here.

Opinel small kitchen knife set.

Opinel small kitchen knife set.

Buy here.

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Filed under art & design, gift giving, made in france, opinel, Tools, Uncategorized

Linen Day Blankets

So the Brahms Mount Linen Day Blankets have finally arrived, and they are just as beautiful as we hoped they would be…

Natural with Chocolate Stripe

Natural with Chocolate Stripe

Pearl with Natural and Pearl with Blue stripe.

Pearl with Natural and Pearl with Blue Stripe.

Natural with Red Stripe.

Natural with Red Stripe.

Linen gets better with age. The more you use it, the softer and cozier it becomes. It has natural antimicrobial properties, as well as natural wicking and insulating properties to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.

This really might be the perfect blanket.

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Filed under eco home, gift giving, Maine, shop online

Screwdrivers

After the hammer, screwdrivers are, perhaps, the most basic of tools. Everyone has one, and most people never really think about them. But cabinet makers and carpenters, who have been using screwdrivers since the late Middle Ages, know that a comfortable, well-made tool can make any job easier and more enjoyable. Traditionally, people made their own tools, and whether hastily crafted, or elaborate works of art, they were always made to fit the specific hand and requirements of the user.  Most tools today are manufactured by the thousand, with little or no difference between them. But the satisfaction that comes from doing a job well, with the perfect tool, has not dissipated over time. That is why we were so excited to find these wooden handled screwdriver sets with interchangeable heads. Made by a cabinet maker in England to traditional specifications, they are the only screwdriver you will ever need. The handles are gently curved and cured with linseed oil, which helps preserve and protect the wood as it slowly forms to the contours of your hand each time you use it. We think it is the perfect present.

No. 1 Set

No. 1 Set

More Pictures.

No. 2 Set

No. 2 Set

More pictures.

No. 1 & 2 Set

No. 1 & 2 Set

More Pictures.

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Filed under art & design, gift giving, made in England, Tools

Sidewalk Chalk

One of our favorite summer items is sidewalk chalk.

If you’re stuck on what to draw, these amazing three-dimensional drawings might provide some inspiration:

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sidewalkart4

chalk1

sidewalkart10

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Great Camp Sagamore

This weekend we went to a wedding at Great Camp Sagamore in upstate New York. Smack in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains, this former vacation home of the Vanderbilt family is an excellent example of how to camp in style.

Here are some pics…

the main lodge.

the main lodge.

After purchasing the camp from its designer, William Durant, in 1901, Vanderbilt promptly ordered flush toilets, a sewer system, and hot and cold running water installed. He added a hydroelectric plant and an outdoor bowling alley, tennis court, and croquet lawn, as well as a 100,000 gallon reservoir, and a working farm.

camp building

one of the camp buildings.

Although Vanderbilt went down with the Lusitania in 1915, his widow, Margaret Emerson, and all of the Vanderbilt children and grandchildren returned to the Sagamore faithfully for the next thirty-nine years. Not a bad place to spend your summer vacation…

birds eye view of the camp from our window.

birds eye view of the camp from our window.

Raquette Lake- as seen from our canoe

Sagamore Lake- as seen from our canoe

Now that Great Camp Sagamore is a National Landmark, they have frequent tours and all sorts of activities available. The Guilded Age Tour sounds especially fun.

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Vintage Water Bottles

Ever since the earliest humans realized that they could carry water in gourds and animal skins, transporting fresh, clean water has been a serious enterprise.  In 218 BCE, Hannibal and his troops recuperated from battle at Source Perrier in France. A hundred years later the Romans were building huge aqueducts to carry fresh water to their cities. Leonardo Da Vinci was fond of water from San Pellegrino,  and Napoleon was known to carry fresh spring water with him at all times.

Many of today’s most famous water companies have been operating for over a hundred years. In 1845, Poland Spring Water Company was founded when tourists wanted to bring home the delicious spring water as a souvenir of their vacation. Perrier was first bottled in 1863 under the rule of Napoleon III, and Deer Park spring water was founded in 1863. President Taft and his wife spent their honeymoon at Deer Park, and as was fashionable then, they “took the waters.”

Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct in Southern France.

Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct in Southern France.

President Taft and family.

President Taft and family.

Great Bear was founded in 1888 to transport spring water from New York State to Manhattan’s growing population.

The water bottles were packed in wooden crates and delivered to homes and offices just like they are today.

water delivery.

water delivery.

antique water cooler

antique water coolers

We found our Great Bear water bottle at one of our favorite antique stores.

three of our favorites

three of our favorites

We also use one as a doorstop.

We also use one as a doorstop.

We buy them whenever we find them- which lately has been less and less frequently. Maybe people are starting to catch on…

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Filed under eco home, vintage