The word of the day today on Sesame Street was Persistent. "It pays to be persistent!" one of the furry monsters said, after explaining in very simple terms what the word meant. Which reminded me of a blanket. But before I move on to the ridiculous story of this blanket, I must mention how much I love Sesame Street. Jude and I watch it about twice a week and I find myself glued to this show. I've always loved the Muppets but I'm amazed at how creative, artistic and entertaining they continue to make every episode. Jude lounges on my lap with snacks and his sippy and thoroughly enjoys his program. It's the only TV show he has ever been interested in and that's fine by me. I love their attention to detail and the constant flow of refreshed creative energy. Jack Black and a hilarious spoof of 30 Rock were on today's episode. My mom said I watched Sesame Street 3 times in a row every day when I was little. That's 3 hours straight. Hmmmm, sounds like someone was letting Big Bird do a little babysitting...
So back to the blanket. I have a mild obsession with this blog (Emily, you constantly amaze & inspire me) and when I saw the pictures she'd taken of her little son with one of these blankets I immediately had to have one. I fell in love with how colorful, cozy and rustic it was...so instantly full of personality. I quickly skimmed down her post to read that they were sold at TJ Maxx stores which I was very optimistic about since those stores are like my second home (loads of my eBay boutique inventory comes from the TJ stores). I thought of at least 10 locations that I could hit in a 20 mile radius. Emily had to drive to 4 stores to find her blanket, and mentioned that they'd become the next big obsession within the photography world. She'd posted a link to a forum dedicated to a bunch of photographers desperately trying to find these blankets for themselves and each other across the country. Here is a portrait on Flickr that also helped inspired my craze: a sweet little newborn propped on the blanket. Anyway, I threw Jude in the stroller and headed out. To make an incredibly long story short, I will list the TJ Maxx-owned stores I went to before finding this one lonely, glorious, yarney chenille blanket.
TJ Maxx~ Fountain Valley, Orange, La Habra, Fullerton, Walnut, Chino, Tustin, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Brea.
Marshalls~ Buena Park, Huntington Beach, Tustin, La Mirada, Chino, Irvine, Laguna Hills.
Home Goods~ Walnut, Yorba Linda, Chino.
I found this one hanging all by itself, crammed in the back corner of a tiny Marshalls in Garden Grove. That made a total of 21 stores I went to (within 3 days, not all at once... there are not enough toddler snacks in the world to make that venture possible) before finding the only blanket of its kind in all of Southern California. I guess there are a lot of photographers here. Anyway, persistence does indeed pay off. I was a crazed lunatic on the hunt for my Holy Grail and when I saw it hanging there, it was lit by a single beam of light from the heavens, backed by an angel choir. It was the second happiest day of my life (the first, of course, being when I found a Luna Luna Copenhagen outfit at Nordstrom's Last Chance store in Arizona for $2.97).
You probably think I'm insane, but I prefer "passionate."
I got it home and started noticing its many imperfections, possibly why it was still unsold. It took me 3 episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker to mend the torn chenille and fully reinforce both ends of the loose yarn fringe. It's now hanging on a special blanket hanger covered in plastic. I have big plans for this blanket. It will hang in a future photo studio someday, when that dream of mine is realized. But for now it sits quietly in my closet and makes me so very happy every time I see it.