November 21, 2013

new website!


please visit me at the new site:

see you on the flipside!


November 11, 2013

catalog photoshoot outakes

I had such a blast working with Heather Morrow to shoot some lifestyle photos of my throws. My kids came along as I thought I'd have Heather snap a few of them. Heather also asked her friend Gina and her family to come along as well. Gina is a makeup and hair stylist and has a killer closet, so she needed no guidance- and was a perfect model! We were trying to get quite a bit in during that golden hour (more like minutes!) and were experimenting with what looked good and showed off the product best, all the while juggling a bunch of kids and fading light. In the end, I think we came away with some fantastic shots! If you haven't already looked through the catalog, here's some of what made it to the catalog, and some outtakes as well.

work it. 
i could live in there. if it was bigger, and there was something on the floor, and...
ahhhh, the gazing shot. beautiful, but can't see the blankets enough. how cute are Gina and her hubby!?
my favorite!
also my favorite!

love this shot of the girl's tea party
she enjoyed this modeling gig just a little too much.

this is what it's all about. 

November 05, 2013

Martha Stewart American Made- MY WINNERS!

Continuing with my favorite nominations from the Martha Stewart American Made contest, I am officially congratulating Caravan Pacific as one of my winners (meaning they officially won the not-official Happy Habitat version of Martha Stewart's American Made Contest. Did you catch that?)

What's not to love? Clean lines. Simple. Functional. Made from responsibly managed lumber. And of course, made here in the US. Oregon to be exact. Beautiful, right!?


You can custom-build your own combination choosing the wood type, color and lampshade color to make it to your own specifications.

And this little cutie is the definitely on my Christmas list!

Keep up the good work, Caravan Pacific!

October 30, 2013

Autumn Eco Throws

The trees here in Kansas City right now are AMAZING. Burning gold, plum, bright red, lime and gold. I'm in awe everywhere I turn. The colors were extra dramatic today against a dark stormy sky, it was a beautiful show of nature's fireworks. Not to be Debbie Downer, but I always feel like it's Mother Nature's last big hurrah before the winter hibernation. A big finale before things turn sparse, simple and blah. I'm trying to soak in all this color and was inspired to make some autumn colored throws for some of my favorite patterned blankets. Trellis, Gate and Triangles all got some new fall hues. Get 'em in the Happy Habitat Shop. Stay cozy!

October 27, 2013

Spotlight On: Kilim Pattern Eco Throws

modern ethnic pattern blankets
If you checked out the latest Happy Habitat catalog, you would have spied the Kilim Pattern Eco Throw. I kept seeing so many cool patterned kilim rugs, and was inspired to make a throw.  Here's where some of my inspiration came from:

To find one of these colorful beauties, check out Amber Interiors Shoppe or Furbish Studio-- 2 of my faves!

Digging deeper-- I looked at some different patterns: 
And here's my take on it. I simplified a bit, since on a throw you don't always see the pattern as a whole like you would on a rug. You can find my version of the kilim patterned Eco Throw in the Happy Habitat Shop. Here are the latest colorways:

October 23, 2013

October 21, 2013

All New! Modern Eco Throws- graphic patterns for everyone!

Introducing the newest Happy Habitat patterns! Modern, graphic patterned blankets-- that are bright and POP! Or go muted and neutral, but still add a subtle zing to a boring room. As always my Eco Throws are made from recycled cotton-- so there's no itch and they can be thrown in the washing machine. 

October 16, 2013

Bentonville Arkansas-- who knew!?

Last weekend I took a quick trip with some friends to Bentonville Arkansas. Bentonville ARKANSAS. And it was awesome. Probably a strange and unexpected scene if you were following along on Instagram! Bentonville is a surprising hidden gem. There's old: the charming city square complete with a quaint Saturday Farmer's Market. And there is some serious NEW. Let's start with the hotel. I was not expecting my Bentonville accomodations to be anything like this:

Photos of 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, Bentonville
Photos of 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville, Bentonville
The 21c Hotel also had a pretty amazing museum (I call it more of a gallery). As you stroll through the lobby and restaurant, there are plenty of interesting pieces to look at. Some of them are interactive-- which I love. The restaurant (lounge shown above) was gorgeous and had some delish local food. Rooms were stark and modern, but oh so comfortable. I cannot mention 21c Hotel without saying something about the green penguins-- they are everywhere. And move from day to day. Luckily there was never a surprise penguin in our shower-- that would have given me a heart attack! 5 stars from me.

I could have just enjoyed the hotel, but we did meander through the 'art walk' trail to Crystal Bridges. If you didn't already know this--- Bentonville is the home of Sam Walton-- founder of Wal-Mart. Cyrstal Bridges was founded by Sam's daughter Alice. It's my guess that they were trying to klass-up the Wal-Mart name with some pretigious art and a fancy shmancy museum. Well, I think it worked. Crstyal Bridges is truly stunning-- there are panoramic views of the river from inside the Museum. The museum holds a permanent collection of American art from the 19th & 20th centuries. My faves were Lichtenstein, Warhol, and . Although it was a wonderful colllection, I almost enjoyed the architecture of the museum and restaurant as much as the art itself. Food at the Eleven restaurant was good, but made even better by the live music that echoed through the gorgeous space.

Crystal Bridges Museum
Eleven Restaurant at Cyrstal Bridges Museum
Here's my Instagram take on my Bentonville Trip.

October 09, 2013

Martha Stewart American Made Follow Up- MY WINNERS!

I didn't win the Martha Stewart American Made Contest. But oh man did I feel the love. So much supoort and votes from y'all out there. Thank you for taking the time to vote every day! I was proud to be a part of the movement, and proud to see votes coming in.

As I was getting set up as a nominee, I was going through all the nominations to check out my competition, and I was worried! I thought no way am I going to win, there was such cool stuff out there-- and it got me EXCITED! I wanted to blog about all the amazing stuff I saw, but thought I'd wait til the contest was over (I didn't want my votes going elsewhere--- it IS a contest afterall!)

So now that the contest is over, I wanted to share some of my favorite nominees from the Design Category

Moonish truly blew me away. They are the #1 winner in my opinion. The designs are on trend, the product is beautifully executed and most amazing is the ingenuity behind it. I've never seen anything quite like this before. I have never seen a 'tile' made from wood-- that has real wood grain to it, and I've never seen a 'tile' that is installed in this way--- using magnets and adhesive. Genius!

Simply gorgeous.

There are so many amazing options, check out their website to see more. I would love to do this in my dining room. I'm going to order a sample-- the only question is which one to get!

So congratulations to Moonish-- an inspiring american made company that is a winner in my book.

Look for more of my American Made nominee favorites to come in future posts.

September 17, 2013

Is stainless steel out?

I've got kitchen on my mind. A friend just installed new gorgeous countertops and backsplash, and it's got me looking at my kitchen. It could be worse, but there's some sad parts too. We haven't touched it since we moved in. Cabinets are white, which is good, but it's that weird thermofoil stuff. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's like the cabinets are wrapped in a plastic, laminate layer. It actually wipes really easy, and is scratch resistant. Some of the edges have started to peel where things get steamy-- above the oven and espresso maker, but I think I can repair those. Countertops are a weird laminate with a linen texture-- in pale green, and the pergo floor matches-- a grey-green- hate them both. All of my applicances work-- although I'm not sure how as they are the cheapest available and are probably 20 years old. My dishwasher just won't die. Same with the oven. The fridge we bought new 10 years ago... but I can't believe the other pieces are still ticking. I'm not wasteful (nor do I have the money anyway!) but I wouldn't replace them just for looks-- well maybe if I donated to Restore or something. So I'm dreaming of a mini-make over-- new countertops and backsplash. Is it possible to not let the domino effect happen? Once I start thinking about it, I want to close off an exterior door, knock down a wall and expand to the backyard, open up the kitchen to a larger sunroom/livingroom. But maybe just a backslpash and countertops would help. Second step would be to replace the appliances as the current ones start dying. So that leads me to the topic of the day: are stainless steel appliances here to stay? For some reason I've never been a big fan. Not sure why. But I'm starting to see some cool alternatives to stainless steel.

I'm just looking at white as my cabinets are white. Looks like Viking is the clear winner here. Although there are some options at Ikea and Jenn Air makes a Floating Glass Series in white. It looks extra shiny though, like it would get fingerprints, and would be hard to match cabinets. Samsung and Bosch also have a few options. Of course the more expensive, the better looking. So what do you think? Is stainless going to be around for another 10-20 years? Or will it soon be retired to the appliance graveyard with harvest gold and avocado?

August 29, 2013

Martha Stewart American Made + Happy Habitat

Have you guys heard of the Martha Stewart American Made Contest? I came across it online, and thought 'why not?' And then coincidentally, I got invited to the American Made Minneapolis Meet Up at Forage Modern Workshop--- a killer shop that carries my eco throws. My family was planning a vacation to St. Louis for that week, so we instead moved our family getaway to Minneapolis. I got a chance to meet the kind and cool folks at Forage and also met the Martha Stewart American Made editors-- both so genuine and sincere in their interest of being there. I listened to a heartfelt toast that celebrated the local designers and inspired us by learning of Martha Stewart's humble beginnings as a caterer. The whole thing was so cool. To think that Martha's empire is stripping down business right to the core. A single person. A maker. And celebrating what we can create right here on our own turf. It is so invigorating to be a part of this movement.

SOOOOO--- I would love your vote. Happy Habitat Eco Throws are made here in the USA. Designed and sold by myself-- an American living the dream. The Audience Choice winner takes home $10,000 and a trip to New York to attend the American Made Workshop and a feature in This would be SO BIG for me-- it could mean a chance to go to the New York International Gift Fair where I would have the opportutnity to show off my product to buyers and press from around the world. If you've ever held an Eco Throw in your hands, you get it. They look good in photographs definitely, but they really feel good- so getting my product in the hands of so many people would be unreal.

To nominate myself, I had to include 6 photos, so this kicked my butt in gear to do a photo session. The photos are AMAZING. I had ideas in my head of what the photographs should look like, but was completely blown away when I actually saw the end result. Heather Morrow-- you are MAGIC. This was so much fun! And I can't wait to do it again because good photographs make a big difference. More to share on the photos, but for now,  to see the 6 we chose for American Made, head over there and while you are at it, VOTE for Happy Habitat. Please. Pretty pretty please!? After you vote, check out the nominees-- I've never seen so much talent in one place. Very inspiring indeed.

Here's one of my favorites...
modern eco geometric blanket
photo by Heather Morrow

August 26, 2013

hmong textiles

Oh hello. You're still there? That's nice. Thanks for sticking around while I've been MIA. Mama duties called towards the end of summer. Lots of soccer, baseball, hitting the pool. Barely keeping my head above water, but I somehow made it through summer.

Lots of inspiration this summer-- and here's one that I can't stop thinking about. Hmong textiles. So bright and cheerful. Somehow I totally missed this whole thing when I visited Thailand-- as there is a large population of Hmong there. Hmong people are also from the mountainous regions of China, Laos and Vietnam. In case you were wondering.

Hmong textiles use batik, block print and lots of embroidery for a good ethnic mix. I'm so inspired by the indigo blue with pink and orange that Amber uses a lot and sells in her shoppe:

These colors together are gorgeous:

Hmong Christmas Stockings? Sure, why not.

I am foreseeing a hmong inspired throw coming soon!

July 24, 2013

being a do-gooder- one percent for the planet

I've been in business almost 2 years now and it's been an amazing ride. I didn't know what to expect when I started designing patterns and started this blog. So far Happy Habitat has had some good press, some great partnerships with companies such as, One Kings Lane and Joss & Main, I've put out 2 catalogs and added baby blankets to my product line. It's still just me here. I am Happy Habitat's customer service representative, salesperson, designer, owner, finance associate, public relations, administrative assistant, CEO, shipping expert, social media strategist, and writer. I'm not great at all those things and I don't enjoy each of those jobs, but it does make for good variety. I would prefer to be just designer and owner. But there is some satisfaction with learning something new. I think because this is my baby, I'm scared to let any of it be out of my hands so instead of paying someone, I figure out how to do it myself. I suppose that's the practical side of me too. Maybe there will come a day when I can't do it all, but for now it works.

Back to the point of this-- I had told myself when I was first designing products that there had to be some good in my business. It was an immediate win for me to have my patterned throws made from recycled cotton-- a perfect fit. Bright colors, washable, family friendly, made in the USA and helping out mother nature. Keeping with that theme-- I'm partnering with 1% for the Planet. I'm not exactly rolling in the riches here, but I can handle giving 1% of my income to causes that help Earth. Did Jack Johnson persuade me to join? Maybe a little. Does giving back feel good? Yep. Am I proud to have this logo on my website? For sure.

Find out more by watching this cool video or check out their website.

(Side note: I have not decided which non-profit I'm going to be donating to yet, but when I do, I'll make sure and update.)

Thanks for reading and buying and supporting Happy Habitat!

July 15, 2013

Happy Habitat + Young House Love = GIVEAWAY!

Remember this cute room from Young House Love

Sherry and John did such a beautiful job with the Fuego Throw in their little girl's playroom that I wanted to partner with them  for a giveaway-- and it's happening NOW. Git yo'self over there for your chance to win a Happy Habitat Eco Throw AND Letter Pillow.

July 14, 2013

cross + trend

Emily Henderson's Living Room
Is anyone else seeing these plus signs everywhere? Or are they shortend crosses? About 2 years ago my friend Annie asked me to make a cross throw (she's always so ahead of her time). I couldn't because I didn't get it. Is it just a design, or does it mean something? A symbol that's making a point: Help people? Jesus? Additon? Peace? I know, I'm reading WAY too much into it, but it is very well known as being the symbol for the American Red Cross:
Switzerland's Flag:
So I felt like it was making some kind of statement. I think I've gotten over it, and any association that comes with it is at least a peaceful and kind one. Something about the symplicity is nice. Will this be a lasting trend? Do I need to make a cross blanket? These sure are cool:
And these little cuties are what got me thinking about all this cross business again:

The baby blanket sure is adorable, and you know I'm a sucker for triangles:

Passing trend? Or modern design staple?