Color Style Kyle

Combining art, creativity, design, family, health, humor and books.

Archive for July, 2007

Paying Respects to Bill Walsh, Legendary Football Coach

Posted by Kyle Design on July 31, 2007

Legendary football coach, Bill Walsh, died today, July 30, 2007 at the age of 75 from leukemia.Custom Football Christmas Ornament in Team Colors Walsh was a local legend here in the San Francisco Bay Area, having coached the 49ers to three Super Bowl wins (1981, 1984 and 1988) as well as being one of the most revolutionary coaches the game has seen. He is know for a style of play known as the West Coast Offense.

Walsh graduated from Hayward High school in 1949, exactly 30 years before I graduated from there, attended San Jose State University in San Jose, CA, the same college my father graduated from albeit a year behind my dad. Walsh later taught at Washington High School in Fremont, CA, (my late brother-in-law’s alma mater). He became coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 where he coached Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley and Ronnie Lott. Lott is married to the daughter of my late father’s best friend from his college days at San Jose state. Talk about six degrees of separation! Or less!

Walsh also was a coach at Stanford University from 1977 – 1978, again from 1992 – 1994, and back once more starting in 2004 as a special assistant to the athletic director and then as the athletic director himself.

If you have a special coach you’d like to acknowledge or pay respects to, please check out our custom Football Christmas Ornament. The one above features the 49ers’ team colors of red and gold with football and goalpost emblem in the center. These striking commemorative ornaments make great coach gifts and also can be engraved with the dates of important games, the name of special coaches, or a big fan’s name.

Posted in Christmas Ornaments, Gifts, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sneak Preview of New Music Designs at Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on July 29, 2007

New Music and Hobbies Patterns from Kyle DesignsAnd now for the final preview of my new designs for summer 2007: Music and Hobbies designs which include some of the most often requested images.

I’ll start out with the Photography design that features aComedy and Tragedy Masks Money Clip digital camera with a traditional film border detail. Complementing this is the new Movie Camera & Film design that has an old fashioned movie camera with the reels on top and with film border accents. These images are perfect for both amateur and professional photographers, directors, film crews and even reporters. They are a nice complement to our current Comedy/Tragedy pattern as shown here on an engravable money clip.

Scrapbooking has been an immensely popular pastime and my design features scrapbook pages, paper, scissors, pens, rubber stamps and cutouts. I even do a bit of scrapbooking myself.

I was particularly motivated to begin creating my scrapbooks when I saw how faded some of my photos from a 1976 high school trip to Japan have become. I don’t want to lose those photographic reminders of a trip which had a huge impact on me as an artist.

I was stunned by the sophistication of contemporary Japanese design, especially in comparison to the very functional packaging and design of American products. It really impressed upon me the value of quality design on everyday items. This really formed my current approach to design – creating useful gifts that are artfully styled. I’ll talk more about all this at a later date.

Iris Decorative Light Switch PlatesI know Gardening is a particularly popular hobby and even I have become more of a gardener in the last few years. I love the irises, roses and lavender in my garden. I have created a Garden Gate design that features a pretty vine-covered arch over the gate along with roses and grasses, flowers and trees, and even a bird’s nest with two eggs. The Gardening image has a montage of a watering can, seed packets, trowel, cultivator and potted plant. My newest flower is a delicate, ruffled Hibiscus. At left is one of my Iris Flowers Light Switch Plates.

Lastly are the Musical Instruments designs. These include Drums, aPersonalized Piano Christmas Ornaments contemporary Saxophone design, a Violin and Guitars – both Acoustic and Electric. These round out our current Piano and Musical Note motifs. These images work for musicians, music teachers and those who enjoy playing and listening to music. We expect these to be especially popular on our Personalized Christmas Ornaments.

Custom Christmas Ornament Color CombinationsAll the gift examples I’ve shown in this post happen to be in black and white with silver, but all the pieces actually come in many, many colors. The color chart at left is just a sampling of some of the custom color combinations that you can choose for the Christmas Ornaments, for example. We have such a range of colors on our gifts that you can usually match the colors of your team, school, wedding, company or just your personal favorite color.

Look for these new designs on my site in about a week. To see more stylish, useful gifts, please visit our Actor, Director and Drama Student Gifts. For flowers, visit Flowers, Irises and Roses Gifts. For really different holiday ornaments, visit Unique Personalized Christmas Ornaments.

Posted in Film, Gardening, photography, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Here Kitty, Kitty! Oscar The Death Cat? Um, Never Mind

Posted by Kyle Design on July 28, 2007

Oscar, a very special cat in Providence, RI, cuddles up with nursing home patientsCat in Window Business Card Holder who are about to die. This talented cat seems to have the ability to predict death within a four hour window.

An article in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine reports that Oscar has now correctly predicted the deaths of 25 patients at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Parkinson's Awareness Ribbon OrnamentCenter, a facility that cares for patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other dementia illnesses. Most patients that this kitty version of the Grim Reaper identifies are too ill to be aware of the significance of Oscar’s attentions. He jumps up on their bed and cuddles next to the patient while purring loudly.Alzheimer's Purple Ribbon Case for Pills

Oscar is so accurate that the facility staff call in family members to say their last goodbyes to loved ones. Exactly how Oscar does it is still a mystery. Scientists are not sure if the cat is sensing more urgency on the the part of nurses and doctors, whether the cat smells changes in the body that humans can’t or if it is something else. But it definitely is something worth exploring more.

Award Winner Statuette FlasksIf nothing else, maybe Oscar deserves a special award or statuette for the services he provides. Maybe some cat nip, or maybe just a nip of something from this attractive flask as a reward for another safe delivery across the River Styx.

Gray is the Awareness Ribbon color for Parkinson’s and for MS as shown in the Gray Ribbon Memorial Ornament above. Purple is the Awareness Ribbon color for Alzheimer’s disease as shown in the large .

If you’re looking for other unique gift for doctors, nurses or other health care professionals who work with Alzheimer’s patients or those with Parkinson’s disease, visit Awareness Ribbon Gifts and Decor. For a handy color guide, visit Meanings and Colors of Awareness Ribbons.

Posted in Animals, Cats, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Sizes in Ivory Switch Plates – Oversize Choices

Posted by Kyle Design on July 27, 2007

ivory-best-selling-switch-platesIvory is making a big comeback. Our Light Ivory Switchplates have been flying off the shelves, so we’ve decided to stock several new often-requested sizes in both standard and oversize configurations.

We carry some of the most unusual light switch plate sizes and shapes that you’ll find anywhere on the web. Our online store is special because we actually stock all those weird, odd, hard-to-find, jumbo or unusual plates you need, so no waiting. We normally ship within 1 to 2 business days, but can usually accommodate rush jobs as well so you can finish your job on schedule.

Hard to Find Switch Plate Configurations in Ivory

Whether you’re looking for a difficult to find wall plate cover for an old house remodeling project or a multiple gang wall panel for new construction jobs where all devices are stacked up onto one large plate, we are the best place to find what you need. We are a popular resource for contractors, builders and home remodeling specialists.

Look for these new choices in the light ivory finish: Oversized Coax Cable, Oversize Phone Cable, Oversize Centered Toggle Wall Plates, Oversized Centered Outlet Wall Covers. Our ivory switch plate covers are a light ivory enamel paint on steel. These plate coordinate well with both ivory and almond electrical devices. We currently stock these sizes in White Switch Plates and in Satin Brushed Stainless Steel Switch Plates as well.

Two new editions in the standard size plates are Two Gang Single Toggle switchplate and the Two Gang Duplex Outlet wallplates. We have also added these two sizes in Black Switch Plates as well.

One reason the extra large switch plates have been doing well is that so many people are remodeling and switching to solid surface countertops such as granite, marble, cast cement, Silestone, Avonite, Meganite, Corian or Zodiac. Generally, larger holes need to be cut into these surfaces for the electrical devices , so larger light switch plates are the solution to cover the gaps along the edges. Made in America.

Decorative Ivory Switch Plates

Here’s one example of our exclusive line of ivory switch plates with decorative overlays. All of our decorative switch plates are available in ivory – click Specialty Decorative Switch Plates to see all designs.

To see of full collection of plain and decorative light switch plates in more than 100 sizes, go to Kyle Switch Plates Light Switch Plates and Outlet Covers.

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Home Decor, Switch Plates, switchplates | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sneak Preview of New Career & Achievement Designs at Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on July 26, 2007

Creative New Careers and Achievements Designs for Unique GiftsToday I am featuring the upcoming designs with new careers and achievements along with fresh suggestions for employee recognition awards and American made gifts.

Notice that I placed the Artist design in the career category. Some of this categorization is quite arbitrary – how many artists paint as a hobby vs. as a profession? Being a professional artist, I made the executive decision to place it with the other new careers, even though I suspect that the hobbyists far outweigh the number of professionals in this particular field.

Next up are the Hand Tools. I’ve included a pipe wrench, wireConstruction Tools Money Clip strippers – cutters, Crescent wrench, pliers, open-end wrench and screwdriver. This design can work for plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics and other tradesmen. This complements our current Construction Tools design, shown here on a money clip.

My Keys design works for both locksmiths and as a general symbol of business professionalism – “The key to success in this business is ….”. Perfect for motivating and rewarding employees. I’ve included everything from traditional house and file cabinet keys to old-fashioned skeleton keys and a handcuff key. This is a fun option for those in law enforcement as well – “Lock ’em up!”Green Housing Business Card Wallets

The new Recycling design acknowledges the strong trend toward environmental protection, green building and renewable energy sources. The design features a fish in water, water evaporating into the sky, a bird flying in the wind, moisture condensing and falling back to the earth in the form of rain. These symbols all surround a tall tree.

The City Lights design features a big city image of skyscrapers, buildings and bridges. Engineers, city planners and businesses in the heart of the city will find this design fitting.

For something a little different, my Uplifted Faces design features the profiles of both aCustom Wooden Ring Boxes in Artistic Designs man and a woman. This image works for cosmetologists, aestheticians (those skilled at giving facials, manicures, pedicures or other beauty treatments) and plastic surgeons, among other fields. It is also an loving and hopeful image appropriate for wedding themed gifts. The new Diamond design will be perfect for engagement ring boxes, as well as fitting for jewelers or jewelry store owners.

Next up: the Stockbroker design featuring both a bull and a bear and the appropriate stylized arrows indicating which way the stock market is going. The new Hourglass design points out how important timing is, not just to the market, but to everything in life. Time is money, as they say.

Our new Achievement Designs start off with the Graduation Elegant Personalized Christmas Tree Ornamentspattern, perfect for students just entering the workforce to commemorate their hard work. We expect this design to be especially popular on our Custom Christmas Ornaments. Holiday ornaments are also a nice trophy alternative because they are useful and yet can still be engraved to commemorate accomplishments.

My new Award Winner and Number One designs will also be appropriate for employee recognition awards. Rather than presenting an executive with (yet another) plaque, a useful gift such as a handsome business card holder or elegant desk accessory may be more appreciated.

Look for all of these artistic new designs at Kyle Design beginning in August. As always, we offer high quality gifts and fast turn-around times.

Posted in business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, Metal Wallets, Money Clips, Weddings | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ocean Party with Dolphin Birthday Cake is a Success!

Posted by Kyle Design on July 25, 2007

This weekend we created an underwater world for Kayden’s 8th birthday party.Jumping Dolphins Birthday Cake Rather than have it strictly be a Dolphin Party, my daughter wanted to mix things up a bit and opted for an Ocean Party. Highlights included a Jumping Dolphins Birthday Cake, mermaid pinata, ocean treasure hunt and kelp bed. We really enjoy putting on a party that has personality and is fun and different. Here’s what we did:

I’m not a professional cake decorator, but I enjoy coming up with cute birthday cake ideas and my girls appreciate the creativity. For this homemade dolphin cake, I baked one large sheet cake and two separate dolphins that I placed on top. For complete instructions and the pattern pieces that you can download, go to Dolphin Cake Instructions. The colorful accents on the cake are edible hard sugar decorations in the shape of sea creatures – dolphins, sea horses, fish and starfish – that we got from The Party Works. The kids loved crunching on them!

The only special tools you need are the sheet cake pans – I show you photos of how to do everything else. I used the cake and frosting recipes off the back of the Pillsbury Softasilk cake flour box. They were delicious and really no more work than a package mix, but with no trans fats. We really are trying to cut trans fats completely out of our diet, and store bought cakes, cake mixes and frostings are a great place to start.

Mermaid PinataWe bought the 3-1/2′ high mermaid pinata from a local Mexican grocery store. They always have great shapes to work with and the pinatas are really cheap, too! But being an artist, I couldn’t just use the mermaid straight from the store and so reworked it with new clip art eyes, mouth, dolphin earrings and seashells in her palms. I gave her a fresh new bra top and tissue paper sea flowers in her hair and at her waist. I then added sparkly wrapping paper accents to the basic green crepe paper fish scales. I stuck the wrapping paper on our double side adhesive sheets, cut out large fingernail shaped pieces and and had my daughter stick them on. You can use glue sticks, too, but with the adhesive paper there is no sticky mess so you are less likely to tear the crepe paper.

For party decorations, we transformed the kitchen area by taping up plastic sheeting imprinted with an ocean theme along with solid turquoise sheeting above that. It gave a cool blue cast to everything (and everyone!) in the room. We got the coral reef room setter from online party supply store Party America along with an “authentic looking” fish net. We hung up the fishing net with the mermaid (pinata) “caught” in it.

This was a slumber party, so we decided that the kids had to sleep in a “kelp bed“. 😉Kelp Bed Party Decorations for Ocean Theme Party Ideas We created this by taping up various ocean colored crepe paper streamers to the ceiling of the room in which they were going to be sleeping. We had the length end about 18″ – 24″ from the ground so that it wouldn’t tickle the kids later on while they were in their sleeping bags. We opened the windows and turned on the ceiling fan so the breeze would make the “kelp” the sway in the ocean currents. The kids loved it!

The treasure hunt was a huge hit. I taped up clip art clues all around the house as well as the yard. Behind each one I taped the clue to the next image. It is amazing how quickly they memorize the location of all the pictures, so I moved them around at the last minute to mess with the kids’ memories. We also had water balloon races and a sandcastle pit.

For more party tips, photos, games and suggestions, visit the Ocean Party Ideas page where I offer all my tricks for throwing a great party. All the kids said they had a really good time. Success!

Posted in Arts and Crafts Supplies, Birthday, Cakes, Party Ideas | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sneak Preview of New Food & Holiday Designs at Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on July 24, 2007

Fresh New Food and Holiday DesignsI’ve cooked up another batch of new designs, this time focusing on Holiday Themes and Foods. Both family members and customers have encouraged me for years to create holiday specific patterns, so I’m glad to finally be able to accommodate all of you.

Designs for the holidays include Fireworks for 4th of July and New Year’s Day, Pumpkin for Halloween and Thanksgiving, a decorated Christmas Tree, the seven symbols of Kwanzaa superimposed on a map of Africa, Indian Feathers for Native Americans Day and Indigenous Peoples Day (celebrated instead of Columbus Day in many locations).

Crossing into food images are the Margarita and Chili PeppersKnife, Fork and Spoon Refrigerator Magnet designs that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo or summer chillin’. Perfect for refrigerator magnets, too, when you want to clip up that latest recipe for a hot and spicy Chinese chicken dish.

And for those you who enjoy cooking (myself included) I’ve created a design that features pots and pans on a stove top. Just today we received a call from Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine which may be interested in photographing some of our work, including our decorative light switch plates, for their Holiday issue. We’ll keep you updated!

The new Cooking design rounds out our designs for professionalChef Hat Business Card Case chefs, caterers and home cooks by complementing our current Chef Hat and Knife, Spoon and Fork patterns.

Last, but not least, is the new Chocolate Chip Cookies design. Look for my family favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe when the design comes out.

You’ll find all of these new designs available on our site at the beginning of August. Look for them on wooden jewelry boxes, checkbook covers, refrigerator magnet clips, business card holders and Tea Bag or Sweetener cases among many other beautiful, affordable gifts.

Posted in business card holders, Cooking, Food, Holidays, Refrigerator Magnets | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter Book – Killer Sales Stats for Deathly Hallows

Posted by Kyle Design on July 23, 2007

The latest and, sadly, the last installment of the tale of life at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft andMoon and Stars Pocket Flask Wizardry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, broke sales records by selling 8.3 million copies in its first 24 hours. By my calculations, I was responsible for .00000012% of that killer total.

Never has a book been so wanted so badly by so many. Absolutely Eyeglasses Cases for Reading Glasses astonishing, but probably not unexpected. Book sellers can celebrate how finely-tuned a distribution system they have that they were even able to sell that many copies that fast.

Whip out those reading glasses and get started! I saw numerous people carrying around their copy of the book, presumably trying to finish reading as much of it as possible before returning to work today. Might be a slow productivity day at many companies….

Warner Brothers even admitted that movie ticket sales of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were affected this weekend because fans were more interested in reading than watching.

Starry Night Decorative Night LightThe complete collection of books in J.K. Rowling‘s series include Book 1 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ( September 1998*), Book 2 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (June 1999), Book 3 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (September 1999), Book 4 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (July 2000), Book 5 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (August 2003), Book 6 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (August 2005), and lastly Book 7 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (July 2007). Collectively, the series has sold 325 million copies. So far.

*Note: Book 1 was originally published in the UK as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997).

Need a night light for some last minute reading? A crushproof case to carry your reading glasses? A drinking flask for Harry Potter parties? Or perhaps even some moon and stars themed gifts? Just click photos above or visit Celestial Gifts for more.

Posted in Books, Night Lights, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sneak Preview of New Sports Designs at Kyle Design

Posted by Kyle Design on July 23, 2007

New Sport and Games Designs for Fun GiftsThe next group of new designs I’m introducing this summer are the sports and games designs. The Sports images include Ballroom Dancing, Gymnastics, Swimming, Lacrosse and Yoga. The new gaming category includes Chess, Dominoes, Dice and a Retro Robot.

With the popularity of shows like “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “Dancing With the Stars“, I thought it was time to do another Dance themed image.

Gymnastics was a natural for my family because my two girls have been taking gymnastics for the last several years. (But wouldn’t you know, as soon as I create the design, both my girls suddenly drop out of the sport.)

Another natural for us is the swimming design because it is a sport our whole family enjoys. My husband swims butterfly, I strictly swim breaststroke and our girls swim freestyle. My husband even used to coach our local Masters swim team while holding our oldest daughter in his arms on the pool deck.Rowing or Crew Team Flask

Based on the popularity of our Crewing design last year, I decided to try another sport popular on college campuses, namely, Lacrosse. This is definitely gaining popularity with both men and women.

Yoga continues to increase in popularity as more and more doctors recommend it for exercise and relaxation. I have many, many friends who enjoy this activity.

With the games series, I have started out with a couple of traditional favorites – Chess and Dominoes. The dice design should address all of those fans out there who enjoy games like Bunco, <a title="Hasbro Games – Yahtzee" href=", Backgammon, etc. And for all you computer gaming types, I have created a Retro Robot. Given the speed at which new games and consoles come out and computer animation improves, the only way to go was retro for a design.

Look for all these new designs to appear on our <a title="Unique Designer Business Card Holders and Cases" href=", holiday ornaments, drinking flasks, iPod cases and other unique gift items at the beginning of August.

Posted in Sports, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Queen Bees Stay in Control By Using Scent

Posted by Kyle Design on July 21, 2007

Queen bees use scent as a form of mind control to keep the youngest bees in the hiveBee Night Light in Metal and Decorative Stained Glass well-behaved. By controlling their aversive memories, she is able to keep her youngest bees around to help groom her.

A study published this week in the journal Science reports that the queen bee secretes a special pheromone ( queen mandibular pheromone ) that prevents the worker bees from learning from negative experiences, or “aversive experiences”. This smell reduces the likelihood of these young using their stingers and so keeps things calm. This makes life in the crowed hive bearable.

Older bees that leave the hive to gather food aren’t under the control of the scent and so they do learn to protect themselves and use their stingers.

Now, if only I could control my kids with the scent of brownies, for example….

To see more Bee gift ideas like the stained glass night light above, visit Kyle Design Bee Gifts and Home Furnishings.

Posted in Animals, Night Lights, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: