When I was pregnant with Sayer, Chris & I decided to design a mobile with him in mind. We thought it should be a mobile with bug characters. Each of us had ideas as to what bugs should be included and we chipped away individually at sketches of our little critters. One day, I found a tiny, white piece of paper sitting on my dresser. It was a sketch of centipede named Steve that Chris had modestly placed in spot where it would be noticed. In a matter of hours, a Steve prototype was created.
Where did this image come from you ask? Apparently, there is a real Steve Centipede who lived in Rhode Island in the 70's. Chris has vivid memories of a real centipede that lived in the corner (on the wall) in his living room. Steve came out at night and hung out while Chris' family watched TV and it pretty much freaked him out. I asked him who named Steve and he thinks it must have been his mother. He dad doesn't remember and said, "he just was always Steve". Steve made quite an impression on Chris - particularly his "feathery legs" and the way he quickly scampered around. He later vanished about as mysteriously as he had appeared, but had quite a long stay at the Theiss household (from when Chris was 6-12 years old he thinks). There are rumblings that Steve's children live there still. Even though Steve made Chris a bit uneasy, he wanted to include him on a mobile because not many people get to meet a centipede and he wanted to create one that was a little more friendly. It just seemed like a perfect bug to hang out with kids on their ceiling. It's nice that Sayer gets to enjoy one of Chris' childhood memories. (pictures above & below: from sketch to nursery)
We haven't really explained the story of Steve to Sayer yet, but somehow he must have picked up on the special connection that Chris has with the crazy centipede. One night last week, Sayer looked up at his Crawling Critters Mobile and talked to me about Steve. He said he wanted me to make Steve like his Whoo Whoo (Ollie Plush). He told me he wanted red, then he decided that he wanted blue (he is really into colors these days). I took on this challenge last weekend (in between working on orders). I made two to show him. Of course, in toddler fashion, he hasn't really decided. He keeps going back and forth between the two color combinations.
So, that is how Steve came to be. Regardless of what color the plush ends up, Sayer gave me the kick that I needed to make a pattern for a larger Steve. I always had a plan to do it, but it took a special request from my favorite 2 year old to get the wheels in motion. I think he may have a career as the klt:art director in his future. Do you have a favorite plush or character from your childhood?