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Mrs. English Table lamp in Black

Since the beginning we have named all of our lamps after our friends, family and sometimes, our MVP customers. Last year, a man named Mr. English called to order a set of our Flower Wall Tiles for his wife. It was a splurge for him, but it was his wife's Christmas present! When the set arrived, he emailed us to tell us he was missing one of the 1 of the 9 tiles, OOPS! He sent us a photo if the tiles hung, obviously missing the 9th one. He also sent along a tour of all the Stray Dog Designs pieces in their historic Norfolk, Virginia house. It was quite the walk down memory lane. A Seaweed Chandelier in the kitchen, a Sandy Glass Lamp in the hall...it was so cool to see this collection of our pieces.

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On January 11, 2010 (the date is important here), we had a talk with our Haitian producer of papier mache whom we had helped grow their papier mache department from a handful of employees to over 100 in an effort to bring jobs to the impoverished nation. Without going into specifics, we had a major dispute when the owners of the shop crossed a red line for us. We were sad to part ways, especially since the program was such a success and also because we started the program in Haiti even when we could have done the entire process within our own workshop in San Miguel de Allende, which of course, would have been easier. We explained we would exit the shop slowly so as not to disrupt the workers and their lives. The next day, on January 12, 2010, the horrible earthquake of Haiti struck and the workshop was destroyed. Thankfully it was before work hours and no one was hurt while at work. But the nation lost almost a quarter million people, and those affected were in the millions.Read More

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Twenty five years ago (how could it be that long?!), when Jane and I first strolled the streets of San Miguel de Allende, there was a persistent, repetitive clinking sound that could be found on almost every street— a tap tap tapping sound. Later we discovered these were tin smiths making a host of decorative goods: angels, candelabras, Monrovia stars, picture frames, retabalas primarily for the Mexican market. San Miguel de Allende has been a Mecca for tin products for over 400 years, but that craft tradition is disappearing.Read More

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Moms are the ultimate multi-tasker, problem solver, super women of the world.

This Mother's day, let's celebrate mom and get her what she really wants!

 

 

1. A gorg bouquet from Making Arrangements.

2. A Tink Tray for all her trinkets.

3. This Ace & Jig napkin set.

4. She will love this Gold Bug Lamp

5. Some Tropical earrings, b/c she loves the beach!

6. A pair of fun shoes, great for summer. 

7. Hope & Mary makes the most beautiful serving pieces, and everything else. 

8. Tickets for the Crabtree Farms 100 Dinner.

9. A Blockshop Textiles scarf!

10. Some me-time and a mimosa! Cheers to all the moms out there!

 

 

Have I mentioned how much I love our workshop? Let me say it again, I love working in our workshop because there is generally a happy hum about the place. There is always music, usually Ranchero.There are always stories bandied about (sometimes in whispers); there is a sweet smell of something always simmering in the kitchen; and there is always laughter.Read More

wayne o rama

On a cold, blustery day in November, our little family went to visit the Wayne-O-Rama installation on Rossville Avenue. It was the opening day and the place was packed with other curious Chattanoogans. We all wanted a peek into the wild and wonderful mind of artist Wayne White. Wayne is a native Chattanoogan and came back to the Scenic City to create an installation of Chattanooga’s history and notable figures. Inspired by the tourist attractions of his youth in Chattanooga, White describes Wayne-O-Rama as the "Smithsonian Museum meets Gooey Golf," and you can see his kooky sensibility the moment you walk in. 

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Madre

{Image by Molly Winters, via Domino.}

 

We are constantly inspired by our designers and retail stores! It brings us joy to see how they use our lighting and décor in interior design projects and their own store vignettes. One store that has caught our eye is Madre, a Dallas based childrens furnishings shop that also offers design services. You can stop by for a gift or to have a consultation on your nursery. Their colorful esthetic with tailored touches is oh so appealing. At Madre you can find Biscuit bedding, Little Bean Shop clothing and of course, Stray Dog Designs. We are inspired by this store and the three mothers who run it. Mia took the time to answer some interview questions for us, get ready to be inspired...

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mountain meadows holy cross wilderness cabin

In celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service, Marsi took a whirlwind 2-week summer road trip to explore the mountains and high desert of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, and shares her experiences here:

After four months of planning and anticipation, we set off on our journey west. Although we were eager to make it to the Rockies as quickly as possible, two long days in the car can make one a little squirrelly, so to break up our trip we made several stops along the way out to Colorado. Our favorite "breaks" included a classic diner breakfast at Ernie's Cafe in Columbia, MO, walking the grounds of 2015 world series champ Kansas City Royals' Kauffman Stadium, and "cozy burgers" in Salina, KS at The Cozy Inn (est. 1922).

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 the stray dog designs workshop

Did I ever mention how much I love our Mexican workshop? It is a funny little place, tucked in a neighborhood outside the center of town. It is always busy, usually not the bad, frenetic sort of busy,  but always humming , steady busy. This is our finishing shop where our artisans bring their goods to be painted, assembled, wired and packed. What I like most about it is that there is always laughter. It makes our working days in the lovely in San Miguel de Allende that much more pleasant. 

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Pete Jane Hug

It’s been a big Spring around here. My darling baby boy, Pete Pritchard, turned 18 AND graduated from high school. How is that even possible? There are those of you out there that remember Sweetie Petie as a baby from the trade shows. I’m going way back….to the dark ages... when we barely had the world wide web and long before GOOGLE became a verb. And we all packed up and went to market ALL THE TIME...and Sweetie Petie liked to nurse ALL THE TIME so he was always right there with us in our booth. I’m pretty sure that in his first year of life he made the rounds of the 3 majors (NYIGF, Atlanta Gift, and High Point) 2 times.

Crazy. Carnie. Life.

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