Leigh Bodie, Smucci Superseamstress, New Smucci team member, Ray Stoll,
sewing tirelessly for Smucci shipment serves as Supermastercarpenter and
to California celebs! sets up shop in his Michigan garage.
Meet Wild Thing. He stands over 5 feet tall and is a well loved, much visited, permanent fixture at Dr. Frank Barone's beautiful office in Toledo, OH.
While waiting to see Frank , you can watch the flat screen which simulates an aquarium with salt water fish and coral, sip on green tea while reading the latest publications on heath, beauty, and wellness, or close your eyes in the dimly lit waiting room and enjoy aromatherapy and soothing music.
Or... you can spend some time with Wild Thing!
When Frank asked me to take Wild Thing home and give him a "make-over", I agreed thinking this would be a lot of fun, a deviation from my normal Smucci routine, and relatively easy. Well, it was alot of fun and definitely a break from my routine, but in no way was this easy!!!
Wild Thing does not bend! Expecting that his legs would move just a smidge, I thought I'd plop him onto the front passenger seat of my truck. Just imagine the scene...
with the seat all the way back and reclined, WT fit with
his body angled and his head falling repeatedly
towards me all the way home.
At some point I just gave up and let him flop onto my
shoulder. No, really, my vision wasn't obstructed at all! I
couldn't see through my tears! I was laughing so hard...
what the heck, Frank!!
So, finally we arrive. I force Wild Thing out of the truck
and carry him through the front door and into my
kitchen, where he stood for the next week while I
worked on his image makeover....
Ah Hah! I would turn him into "Lawn Man"!!!
Tractor Supply, here I come! All my favorite things!
During the week long transformation, I had to pin, prod,
and push so things would remain where I put them. Wild
Things white & black saddle shoes are permanently
attached to his feet (or legs, he has no feet, just lots of
concrete inside the shoes!) A big pair of John Deere garden boots had to be cut in half and reassembled with staples and tape.
my dogs growled at Wild
Thing during the entire week.
My son and I jumped every
time we walked into the
kitchen. But we are
looking forward to having
him back for his next
hmmmm, I think perhaps
an Italian artist would
be great. Leonardo, a canvas
of Mona Lisa... in progress,
a drop cloth splattered with
Kinda like Frank and his
incredible talent, artistry,
in assisting so many as they
continue to evolv.
"Pas de Quatre" was choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845 with music by Cesare Pugni at Her Majesty's Theater in London. In the 19th century, ballerinas were worshiped and idolized, their salaries the equivalent of what star athletes are paid today. They were beautiful, had enormous egos, and had feuds with their rivals. This particular ballet was composed for the four greatest ballerinas of all time...Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Lucille Grahn. The first performance was sensational sending critics into a frenzy. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were in the audience.
The order of appearance was considered, contemplated, debated, and finally assigned by age, from youngest to oldest with each solo spot choreographed to enhance the dancers' strengths. Taglioni danced last, took the top position in the classical opening and ending pose, and was humbly portrayed by me at the tender age of 15 in the following Toledo Blade photos.
Dancing the lead in "Pas de Quatre"
was a dynamic role and will always be a memorable highlight of my dance career. I have somehow hung on to the 4 pink tulle, classically crafted costumes, and have moved them, as many times as I have moved, to new locations over my lifetime. I love to look at them and remember the hundreds of hours I spent perfecting the delicate yet incredibly strong movements that Taglioni was famous for. Somewhat of a rebel, as I have been known to be as well, she was the first ballerina ever to dance entirely en pointe in Les Sylphide (1832), designed as a showcase for her talent, for the full length of the ballet.
It is interesting to note that at Maria's retirement from professional ballet at the age of 45 (uh, wow!), a pair of her pointe shoes was sold for a notable sum, reportedly to be cooked and served as a sauce for a group of balletomanes! She continued her involvement with dance for many years after that, however, teaching, guiding and choreographing. She was 80 years old when she died, and will always be remembered as the famous Italian ballerina of the Romantic ballet era. I feel privileged to have danced in her famous footsteps.
The wonderfully full and very classically styled costumes are worn by me, Debora Draheim Kahn as Maria Taglioni (center), and Cassandra Macino of The Cassandra School of
Ballet as Grisi (left), my sister Cynthia Draheim Dickey as Lucille Grahn (right back), and Barbara Tansey as Fanny Cerito (right front). We danced our hearts out as live music played by The Toledo Orchestra directed by Serge Fournier, produced by Gail Grant Theatre and photographed by The Toledo Blade in 1968. We were... awesome!
The Smucci Ballerina Bed is a tribute to the incredible strength and perseverance required to make it as a great ballerina, and simultaneously honors the beauty of fragility, grace and vulnerability as equal requirements. I designed this bed to honor the strength within us to protect the pets we love, and to outwardly express this sentiment as we tuck our beloved pets into this beautiful bed each night.
Tonight, I enlisted the help of my talented son, Jamie, to photograph the Smucci Ballerina Bed with P-Nut, our rescued papillion, serving as the model for the shoot. For the backdrop, I tucked the original Pas de Quatre costumes behind the bed along with some of my pointe shoes, and the results are amazing! I have been inspired to rework the presentation of the tulle tutu beneath the Smucci Ballerina Bed into a freer form, much like the backdrop of the photo. I will also offer this pet bed without the tulle skirt, for those who are just not ballerina connoisseurs, highlighting the beauty of the rose crown molding, custom colors and hand stenciled silver leaf.
Admittedly, some of our greatest creations are simple, purposeful, and a result of our first impulse. But then again, refinement and grace have a place...sometimes the best is saved for last.
Vision and discipline are the key ingredients that keep a new business moving forward. Talent is also a requirement along with a strong belief in your abilities. The caveat is...loving what you do.
These combined ingredients are merely the "backdrop" of my company, upon which is placed the most important element of all...incredible people who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively with me. Over the past 2 months, I have mentioned certain individuals as situations arise and my company evolves. Now I would like to succinctly list all of the people, groups, entities, and firms that have been directly involved with ddkdesigns,llc.
This is what it takes to start a pet bed company:
I am so fussy about the quality and appearance of my pet beds, and it is wonderful to have expert advice on hand at all times. I am working on a Matisse Bed, on a grander scale for a German Shepherd, and have almost doubled the size of the original bed. In doing so, there are more variables to consider such as the strength of the curved walls, and the selection of appropriate materials. I am fortunate to have the engineering expertise of Paul Walker, as he was able to increase the strength of the bed's exterior walls while maintaining aesthetic qualities, as well as the invaluable assistance of master carpenter Rody Shroyer who addressed the implementation of Paul's plan. Rody had many suggestions, and stood by to assist in seeing the large Matisse Bed become a reality. At one point, as I was plastering the walls and the tool in my hand literally broke in half, Rody calmly walked over to the miter saw and made 4 plaster spatulas from the bendable plywood I keep in stock. It was brilliant, and it worked beautifully. It is great to have a team who can not only solve problems. but has the ingenuity to adapt when progress is haulted.
Both Paul and Rody are making plans for a fun-filled motocross weekend, and have enjoyed the thrilling, adventurous aspects of racing for many years together. They have been best friends for as long as they can remember, at least 40 years, which is so evident in the way they communicate and relate to each other. How rare to find 2 people who have known each other for such a long time, and who continue to truly value, respect, and honor each other. It is so refreshing to watch. And I just may pull away this weekend from the Walker Workshop myself, and enjoy watching these two best friends coach their children on the motocross track. I am certain I will not be surprised that their kids are, by far, the best guys on that track. They have had the priveledge of being taught how to play with a champion spirit. Details are forthcoming about the national motocross championship of Paul Walker and the international racing career of Rody Shroyer. When Paul and Rody's kids race, they do so with honesty and integrity, and leave everyone else behind in the dust. I just love it when the good guys win.
copyright© 2008 ddkdesigns, llc. Smucci Bubble Bed by ddkdesigns,llc
all rights reserved.
copyright© 2008 ddkdesigns, llc. Smucci Ballerina Bed by ddkdesigns,llc
copyright© 2008 ddkdesigns, llc. Smucci One-of-a-Kind by ddkdesigns,llc
all rights reserved.
distinctively designed... exquisitely hand crafted...uniquely original...extraordinarily beautiful...
beds that smooch our pets as they sleep, with designer appeal by ddkdesigns,llc.
SMUCCI tm is the official registered trademark for ddkdesigns designer pet beds.
I am in the midst of production, and working long hours at the Walker Workshop for SMUCCI tm beds by ddkdesigns,llc. There is a long and wonderful story, that will soon follow, as to how I finally decided on the trademark for my company. Suffice to say it has been well thought and widely discussed. There are people close to me that I wish to thank, most of all my sister Carol, and the wise counsel of my ip attorneys that I would like to acknowledge at Fraser, Clemens, Martin, and Miller, LLC.
Each step in the process of putting my company together has been incredibly meaningful and life changing. The integrity and honesty of the people I have met, the steps I have taken forward, and the character required to get here is worth the journey...no matter what the outcome is of ddkdesigns.
These are not just words, and the emotion is indescribable. Sometimes viewed as one of my faults, I am incapapble of being anything less than authentic. I am out there for anyone to see, examine, guess, judge, and/or ridicule. I don't hide anything. I won't inflate my successes or minimize my failures. I simply look forward to learning, and moving down my path.