Almost nothing puts a bigger smile on a child’s face than watching someone twist a simple balloon into a colorful animal right before his or her eyes. So, as Cynthia Delaney watched a group of kids sit mesmerized while a clown worked his inflationary magic in a local market, inspiration hit her.
She had been struggling to create homemade bags for her sister-in-law when Delaney’s five-year-old son started playing with the material. She decided to make a special blanket out of the soft jersey cloth just for him.
But rather than mimic the “real”-looking animal designs she saw everywhere, Delaney fashioned something more fanciful: balloon-animal silhouettes. Calling upon her graphic-design and illustration background and using her two dogs, Ellie and Hildie as muses, Delaney created a simple, yet eye-catching, design. Through her etsy textile shop, CheekySod, she began selling handmade blankets and pillows that feature balloon animals and capture their whimsy – but without “the horrible squeak-twisting balloon or the flinching, wondering if it will pop,” she notes on the store’s web site.
Whether it’s a bold trio of animals parading across a 55-in. by 31-in. blanket ($80) or a cerulean and red pair on a 16-in. by 16-in. pillow ($40), each creation is made with the soft and heavy jersey material that is her staple. And Delaney will happily customize the colors for you.