YInMn Blue: A New Blue Color has Been Discovered

YInMn, a new synthetic blue pigment has been discovered.  It's burst onto the art and industrial design scene; bright, clear and pure. Perhaps not since mauveine (an aniline dye of purple) was discovered in 1856 by Sir William Henry Perkins as the very first synthetic color, have we seen such a fuss over a new hue.

Developed during an ongoing experiment in electronics in 2009 at University of Oregon by chemist Mas Subramanian and his team, it is created by mixing essentially Yttrium, Indium and Manganese (hence the name Yinmn) at high heat.  The resulting substance was a vivid new blue with unique properties that allow it to be fade resistant in both water and oil. This blue also reflects a significant amount of infrared rays, lending it to future use in a colored surface to prevent the transfer of sunlight's heat into a building or other object.

While we wait for it to enter industrial use, we can wonder: will our cars all have blue roofs? Will our homes be shingled in blue? And what about beach umbrellas, camping tents, sun hats and just about everything else that protects us from the sun?

And then, there's simply the artistic application of an easily available brilliant blue that won't fade: blue carpeting, blue sofas, blue wall paper, blue drapes.

Oh My!


Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Robert Kjer Jakobsen, Designer for Virtue Brothers of California

Mid-century modern furniture came in many affordable styles. I found this advertisement for a 1950s dining room set and it lead me to the designer, Robert Kjer Jakobsen who designed it in 1956 while working for Virtue Brothers of California.  Virtue Brothers is well known for producing the iconic 50s formica and chrome dining sets, but lesser known was their transition into the sleeker Danish modern furniture styles that were popular after the middle of that decade.


Danish Modern: Steel and Wood Tableware in Mid-Century Modern Style

Danish modern wood and stainless steel tableware has a classic look with a mid-century modern vibe. Serving pieces from this era never looked so good, or were so easy and affordable to find as they are now.  Here's just a few of the wonderful vintage pieces that I found in vintage shops online.

From upper left: Coffee Pot, Flatware set, Cheese Grater, Salt and Pepper set


High Desert Cabin: Before--The Kitchen

Like almost every home, working on the kitchen is a high priority with the cabin. While it has some great features, there are a few projects here that I know I will need to put at the top of my 'to do' list.


Cactus Garden in Old Southern California: Riverside Cactus Garden, 1920

I love old regional post cards, and this c. 1920 colored card is distinctive, with cacti that look alive with dancing, like something from Disney's Fantasia.  It was at gardens like this one in Riverside, CA, that southern California began it's romance with all things cactus.