“So will my dog eat this sofa?”

I had an interesting conversation that turned into a mini article featured at work. Figured I’d share it here…

When our customers are shopping, they often ask our designers, “what material is best for dogs?” or “is this going to hold up with pets?”

One of our designers Nicole offers some insight.

“Pets are a number one concern for customers buying furniture,” says Nicole. And for good reason – nails, teeth and fur are hardly sofa-friendly. Some people end up looking for fabric upholstery because leather is more expensive and they don’t want Fido to ruin their investment. Others feel like fabric doesn’t have the durability of leather so they opt to spend more for their piece of mind.

“You’d be amazed how many times people tell me they’re just going to wait until their pets pass on before they buy anything,” Nicole says.

But what is the BEST solution for people wanting new furniture when pets are in the picture?

“I try to direct my clients to performance fabrics. They are thick and leather-like in appearance and texture, so pet nails don’t tear through or pull any fiber threads. And the best part is pet hair sweeps right off! I also recommend something with a distressed or worn appearance already, which many performance fabrics have, that way scratches and rub marks blend right in.”

Bottom line? Nothing is 100% pet proof. But there ARE options available for dog and cat lovers that Nicole and all the designers at Michael Alan are confident will look and feel great for years.

‪#‎protip‬ ‪#‎dogs‬ ‪#‎cats‬ ‪#‎petfriendly‬ ‪#‎quality‬

a little poetry after supper

So I’ve tried to be a blogger and a poet all over the internet for years and years. I fear that if I ever become famous those little pieces of me that I can’t recall the passwords to edit will be found and exposed to all. So it isn’t really a good idea for me to open up yet another venue and showcase more poetry here.

But I’m gonna anyway.

Here are the handful of poems I’ve developed with the help and support of a fabulous group of women.


I see candles without their flames
and I feel badly for them.
They’re not sexy.
They’re not even alive.
Just wax pillars of missed opportunities,
but I’m drawn to them
like a magnet.

Does that make us the same?

I spiral.
I need to light them. Us.
But nothing burns forever,
and so we both wait for the
Right time…



it’s shaped like a bone
not the real thing
not the stuff of life and being
a re-imagination. whimsy.

it’s thin and small
lacks structure and substance
but there’s none of that
in a memory.


Generic for feeling
Take one for every failure

Not Nikki

They were Nicole
Both Nicole M.
Nicole M. who liked music
and art and outer space
Long hair
Big hearts and imaginations
Coincidental twins
Loved for being the same
Until she had to be different

They were Nikki and Coley
One good at English,
the other at math
One shy and one daring
Secretly competing
Learning how to be the only
Nicole M.
And then she moved away,
and they were
Too late and too soon

On Any Given Sunday

I loooove painting eggs on Easter. But there’s little reason to when you’re a family of three adults who don’t actively practice any sort of religion. But I was still feeling creative so I took to some watercolor paper instead.


I can’t get this Sugar Zombie girl character out of my head, as you can see.

The initial drawing of her here was so sharp and I wish I had taken a picture of it or kept it as it was. But I wanted to try watercolor and once again found that it’s not really my thing. So I slapped some charcoal and whatever else I could reach on this and…voila. It’s very dark and although it’s a mistake I think it suits the mood. I’ll probably redo this at some point. Good exercise.


I also have this concept I have to get in color for a client. But I’m an artist so I can only be productive in small doses…