m wood pen

freelance illustrator

m wood garnet hill catalog 2012It’s still like a dream.

You have to realize: as I pushed babies around in a (new, but gorgeously vintage-looking) stroller two decades ago, the dancing faeries of coolest baby-stuff ever floated around me constantly.  The pragmatic approach took charge, where my priciest fantasies of dolling up these tots in only the best looking, best feeling, best imported, best everything was immediately replaced with: put them in what’s clean and within my reach (literally and financially).

That being said, I indulged when I couldn’t resist: still marching around atop shelves are the brightly colored german, italian, british and french wooden toys that invariably ended up in my shopping cart.  Justification?  Design matters!  At that time, merely to the mother, but eventually, by pure osmosis, my children succumbed to careful assessment and a european sense of taste.

One of the golden, glorious meccas that flaunted it’s coolness to me in the early and mid 90s was each and every Garnet Hill catalogue that Frank, our moody mailman, would shove (with an angry gusto) into the mailbox slot in our front door.

Goody two shoes!

Savoring each beautiful, new Hamshirey-Euro page after page, I’d sit nearby as the kiddos regaled the zany goings on of a Doris Day, Cary Grant or James Garner caper on our vcr.  I remember folding the page corners of the top delicious offerings, taking a deep breath when perusing the prices (hello, single mom, try to be rational!), and eventually learn to be sated only by the visual journey if not the actual call to order for quick shipping journey.

There was one special birthday when gal #1 fell in love with a Garnet Hill comforter: adorned with happy japanese lanterns, a perfect match for her happy pink walls.  Spying the calendar, and noting that a very important birthday would soon be upon her (who am i kidding? she was just 6 or 7!), i bought the german-made, thick 100% cotton duvet cover and felt pure joy.

Now, as I walk past her room, more of a museum and storage locker for her less frequent stays here back at the ranch (these college kids and their city apartments!), I smile with the same satisfaction as I spy her happy japanese lanterns still welcoming sweet slumber and happy dreams to whoever rests their weary head on those gorgeous pillows.

So, if I haven’t been obvious with all of this reminiscing, you can only imagine my thrill (and near collapse of excitement) when the fabulous folks of Garnet Hill came a-calling, requesting a selection of holiday designs for children’s bedding.

I think I had the gumption to reply that I’d get a few designs sent within a day or two, and then, madly, set about sketching, scanning, coloring, patterning and presenting an assortment that nearly reached a total of 50 designs via my old buddy, the internet.  This was beyond important to me, personally, to luck into opening that catalogue one day, sipping a freshly perked cup of coffee, and spotting my very own sketches dancing across those beautiful textiles.

So, dreams really do come true, in case you doubted, and even more delightful news?  They’re back for more, which of course found me two weeks ago, on a particularly hot spring day, cranking my Pandora Bing Crosby Christmas station for festive inspiration.

Fingers crossed.

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