Sunday, July 31, 2011

Field Trip!

Last week the Denver area experienced a first ~ the opening of a 415,000 sq. ft. IKEA store.  The first in Colorado and actually the first in the Rocky Mountain region (east of Salt Lake City).

What - you may ask - does that have to do with cmh design?  Nothing. :)  But all work and no play makes Cindi grumpy.  So the mister, the son and I took a little field trip to IKEA the other afternoon.  None of us had ever set foot into an IKEA store, so we didn't really know what to expect.

What we found was:
*Roads blocked off and policemen directing traffic - just to get into the parking lots (lots - plural)
*Once inside the store - people wearing "Event Staff" shirts guiding us
*Signs and employees giving tutorials on how to shop @ IKEA
*For every square foot of the 415,00 sq. ft. - just about as many people
*The discovery that this isn't a store - it's a city!

We all found things we liked in the store - I seemed to have a thing for light fixtures and lighting in general that particular day.  The mister was attracted to all the little kitchen and techy gadgets and the son was interested in bookcases, shelving and couches.  But with that many people and all the body heat generated by said amount of people, we were in and out as quickly as could be - vowing to come back in a few weeks when things settle down.

Which seems to run counter intuitive to my recent thoughts of downsizing, paring down, purging, sorting, tossing, donating most of the "stuff" we currently own.  Thoughts of waving goodbye to the suburbs and moving more urban have been pervading my days of quietly sewing and letting my mind wander.  Perhaps it is best for me to keep my distance from the temptations of IKEA ~ and think about how nice it would be to walk a couple of blocks on the weekend and enjoy this, as we did after our field trip:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Long Live the Dinosaurs!

With the most recent request for a Bronte pillow (this one in purple and grey), I reflected back on the many requests I've had for Bronte in various incarnations.

The original and still most popular is the green on green.  But I love seeing the imaginative ways people envision Bronte - and how they incorporate him into their own special home decor.

Well, that and it warms my heart to know that dinosaurs are still as popular with kiddos as when my guys were little. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

La' Tease...

Someone very cute is coming.  *wink*

Monday, July 18, 2011


Seriously.  Hollywood.

That's where these pillows and bunnies are headed.  To join a sweet set of twins.

Who live in Hollywood.  Seriously.  :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Boy. Boys...

Remember ET?  *wink*

I had a request a couple of weeks ago to make a "wee clone" of this cute little pup.  Well, actually seven "wee clones."  As always it is tricky business recreating someone's beloved pet.  It was a bit of a challenge (think two prototypes to get it right), but in the end, definitely worth it.

The real pup has met the rest of his "litter" now and I would say they look pretty comfortable with each other. Happy trails wee ones all.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Booga Booga All Year 'Round!

Last Halloween time was the first time I created Halloween-themed critters.  I had to really think about it ~ and remember that I somehow found inspiration in the long, long, long drive from central Iowa (visiting my Mom and siblings) back to Denver last September.  I guess I just had so much time on my hands (quite unlike me) so while listening to various podcasts, I just pulled out my sketch book and started thinking about things one associates with Halloween.

Before long I was sketching all sorts of monsters and witches and pumpkins.  Once home, I began developing patterns and well ~ the rest is history.  I was astonished how popular Halloween items were!  In fact, Halloween season proved to be a better-selling season for me than Christmas!  My sister - whom I affectionately refer to as "Martha" (you know the one... and has done awesome crafts over the years) predicted that.  She said she always sold more at Halloween time than Christmas.  Go figure.

But what has surprised me even more is that my little monsters, et al, have sold sporadically all year long.  Again - go figure.  Which kind of raises the bar to come up with some new creatures for this Halloween (which is like - tomorrow - you know).  But until then ~

Mum and Susan the Zombie are going to take up residence at A Show of Hands in Cherry Creek North  (Denver) tomorrow ~ along with 26 of their closest friends.    *wink*  Stop by and say hi.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And then there were 6...

I am so excited to share the news that cmh design has been accepted into the prestigious A Show of Hands Gallery in Cherry Creek North in Denver!

Coco and I visited the gallery today.  We were thrilled to be given an online application and filled that out once we arrived home.  We were told it could take up to a month to hear if we were accepted or not.  Ok, I thought... that will make it all the sweeter if we do get accepted.  Within 30 minutes I received a call from the ever so friendly co-owner of the gallery inviting us to join them.  She said they had been searching for items for children that were American-made and my guys fit the bill.  Yay!

Thought I was thrilled before?  I am over the moon now!  The Wee Ones and a few other items will be in the gallery on Friday.  This brings the number of shops featuring the Wee Ones, et al, to six.  A Show of Hands can be found at 210 Clayton ~ half a block north of the JW Marriott and two blocks north of Cherry Creek Mall.  Cherry Creek North is a delightful area - full of galleries and boutiques and fabulous little shops and restaurants.  It has long been a favorite haunt of the mister and me.  So now to know that my Wee Ones will be a part of that part of town kind of blows me away, ya' know?  I don't know whether to laugh, cry or panic.  ;-)

For tonight ~ I celebrate.  So that noise you just heard?  It is me doing a happy dance whilst popping champagne!  Thank you, A Show of Hands Gallery!  I am super excited.

(And no - I'm not at the Bellagio in Las Vegas as the photo might indicate.  I wish I was!  I shot that a few years ago during a lovely stay...)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yoshi the Brave

One of my favorite things about what I do is meeting people ~ especially the shop owners I do consignment with.  I have learned that people who own gift shops/boutiques are fun-loving and caring people.  And often they are animal lovers.

Much like Stephanie and Scout in New York City, Janet of Hapa Collective in Seal Beach, California runs her shop daily with the help of her 14 year old poodle, Yoshi.  Yoshi (which means "the best" in Japanese) is no ordinary poodle.  Janet shared his remarkable story with me:

(Photo courtesy of Janet Peters, Hapa Collective)
Yoshi was found running (on three legs) on a highway in Denver.  A motorist stopped to pick him up (all four pounds of him) and took him to a local animal shelter, thinking for sure his owners would come to claim him.  How could they not?  He is adorable.  All by himself in a cell, no one ever came and his days were up.  A shelter employee felt so sorry for Yoshi she took him home and asked Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanaab, Utah to send an email on their adoption site to see if there was someone who could adopt him and give him a forever home.  They estimated Yoshi's age at the time to be between 10-12 years old.

I [Janet]saw the email and convinced my husband to drive halfway (we were living in Utah at the time) to meet with Yoshi and his foster parents.  For me it was love at first site.  A wee one indeed ~ on three good legs running around the park where we met. 

We quickly adopted him and took him home.  The vet indicated that Yoshi's leg had been fractured years ago and never set or taken care of.  That is why he only has the use of three legs.

He has a 17 pound, 14 year old "brother" cat, Murf.  Although the papers said Yoshi gets along well with cats, we found that to be not quite true.  Yoshi chases Murf around the house, is very possesive of us and growls anytime Murf walks by him.  But all Murf has to do to get away is jump up on the first stair on the staircase and sit there licking his paws and sneering at Yoshi.  Yoshi can not negotiate the stairs due to his leg so all he can do is sit and growl.

His favorite hobbies are eating, walking a few blocks then being pushed in his stroller (he gets tired fast), sleeping and hanging out with us.

Yoshi is a wise soul; he often has a faraway look and I wonder what he is thinking, where he has been, what he experienced in his 12 years before we met him.  One can only wonder.
Hearing his amazing story, I decided that if any puppy deserved to have a Wee One made in his likeness, it was Yoshi!  So last week Wee Yoshi met real Yoshi.  I think they have become best friends.
(Photo courtesy of Janet Peters, Hapa Collective)
(Photo courtesy of Janet Peters, Hapa Collective)
I was also struck by the series of coincidental happenings between Yoshi and me. I live in Denver and he was found in Denver. I have a 14 year old dog (Simba) and Yoshi is 14.  I have an 18 year old cat (A-choo) and Yoshi has an older cat in his life.  Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanaab, Utah is an animal rescue organization I have personally supported for a long time.  So in honor of Yoshi, the best dog in Seal Beach, $1.00 from every sale of pet toys in my Etsy shop (more will be added soon!) will go to Best Friends.  Thank you, Yoshi (and Janet) for being such an inspiration!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scout 2.0

Meet the new and improved Scout 2.0!

On the heels of some wonderful publicity Scout and his Wee "clone" received recently in the Manhattan press, the Wee Scouts have become quite the popular item at Stoopher and Boots!  So we took another look at Scout and his likeness and decided Wee Scout needed a little updating. We found the perfect fabric to make some curly ears like the real Scout.

A few of the revised versions are on their way to New York City as we speak (or write.  or read...) and are available exclusively at Stoopher & Boots, 385 Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and on the Stoopher & Boots website.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Vacation

Days off around here are few and far between.  And vacations?  Really? Successive days off in a row?  Really?

One thing my mister and I make time for every year is a day to visit Denver's  Cherry Creek Arts Festival.  It is one of the largest in the country and growing every year.  Artists come from across the country to participate in this prestigious juried show.  And every year, the 4th of July weekend lives up to it's reputation of being HOT.  Blazing HOT.  (A little shout out and  huge thank you to the people under the green umbrella who offer free sunscreen lotion.  Because every year we forget to bring it.)  With over 230 artists showing and temperatures in the 90's and the heat beating off the pavement, you walk fast and practice a discerning eye.  So much amazing and unique art that it is overwhelming.

But, of course, my mind is never really too far from my Wee Ones.  I came home with business cards from a few shops/galleries in the very cool and hip Cherry Creek North 'hood that looked promising.  Coco the Wee Dog and I will be visiting them soon, business cards in hand (or in paw, if you will).

My favorite part every year? Getting out of the heat and escaping into the cool respite of Second Home in the JW Marriott. It is quiet and peaceful - just what one needs after hours in the sun. This year we were entertained with a birthday book ~ you look up the day you were born and it reveals your personality. Scary. But entertaining. We got to choose our own music; we chose Bob Marley. As close to vacation as we will get that day.  *wink*

We enjoyed delicious hummus, veggies and to-die-for focaccia bread along with a nice chardonnay and the mister's choice, a Guinness.

I loved my vacation. :)  Now back to work.  Stay tuned because I have another request for what I affectionately call a "wee clone."  Yup, my impressionistic version of a darling pup.  Oh boy.  Can't wait to share. :)