Journal

Early Bird Preview

Early Bird Preview

H E L L O  F R I E N D S ! 

 

Happy New Year to you all. We are enjoying a quiet beginning at the studio, taking time to consider our favorite ways to bring our chicken dreams to life this year. We have a few shifts and an exciting project to share with you today.

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EARLY BIRD PREVIEW

In our newsletters this year, we are going to send Early Bird Preview images of chickens-in-process to give you first dibs on available chickens before they are promoted online. We are excited for this new rhythm of releasing chickens in this manner on a regular basis. You'll no longer miss opportunities to see the newest chickens before they're adopted!

Here is how the Early Bird Preview process will work:

1. We send a preview email (like this!) to you with images of chickens-in-process in our studio.

2. Enjoy browsing the flock but be aware that we are not taking pre-orders so keep your eyes open for our next email. 

3. When the chickens are complete we will send an email announcing their adoption availability on our website. You, our subscribers, will have first dibs before we promote them online.

4. Adopt away!

**All preview chickens are subject to our creative process and may change before they are released.



 . . . . . 

CUSTOM ORDER PAUSE

Another shift that has taken place is we have decided to pause custom chicken design offerings in 2022. Thank you to everyone who has engaged us in custom work these past years. We have been enriched by the relationships and artistic exploration that have grown out of your special stories. 

We will honor our current list of promised custom orders, but will not be accepting any more custom orders moving forward this year.

We are motivated to focus the creative energy of our incredible team towards studio flocks, special collections, and collaborations. There are so many ideas to be explored! We look forward to dazzling you with the expanding variety and artistry of chickens that will be available for adoption this year.

. . . . . 

SPECIAL COLLECTION IN-PROGRESS

The first special collection of the year is truly a dream-coming-true. We have reached out to fiber artists we admire from around the world (!) and invited them to join us in a ‘progressive collaboration.’ Six different countries will be represented in the collection. The artists are making fiber feathers and sending them to us to sculpt and upholster onto our chicken forms. We already received some of the feathers at the studio and they are absolutely spectacular.

We have been invited by the Crossroads Hotel to exhibit the collection for two weeks later this Spring. Mark your calendars for the First Friday of May! Of course, we will be in touch with more details once they develop.

. . . . . 


Looking forward to sharing another year of chicken adventures with this incredible community of makers, collectors, and followers. You all inspire and encourage me every day.

With thanks,

Sally & thecgf studio
Founder/Creative Director 

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Results of The Little Red Raffle

Results of The Little Red Raffle

Dear friends and collectors, 
 

As we near the end of 2021, we want to share about a special collaborative event that brought us a great deal of joy and delight in this magical yet sometimes challenging time of year.  

This holiday season we partnered with Thelma's Kitchen to raffle off one of our Chicken Footstools, Little Thelma, and raise money to support their mission. This little red hen was named after Thelma's Kitchen's namesake, a woman known for her generosity and feeding those in need. We encourage you to learn more about her and the cafe here.

 

We are amazed and grateful for the generosity of our community. Your donations through The Little Red Raffle raised $12,750 and will provide more than 1,200 meals to those facing food insecurity in Kansas City!
 

The winner of Chicken Little Thelma is a local woman who is deeply connected to the work of Reconciliation Services and has been admiring our chickens for years. The perfect combination! When we called her last Friday afternoon after drawing her name, it felt like a game show– especially when she cinematically shrieked in delight at the perfect time. 
 

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU to all who participated in this fantastic event. We wish we had enough Little Thelmas to give to each of you!
 

We bid you goodbye for this year and look forward to many creative adventures to come in the New Year. Please stay in touch!


Happiest Holidays,

Sally & thecgf studio

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The Little Red Raffle - Your chance to win Little Thelma

The Little Red Raffle - Your chance to win Little Thelma

This holiday season we are excited to present an opportunity to join together with you to spread the joy of chickens and care for people in our Kansas City community. The City Girl Farm has partnered with Thelma's Kitchen to offer a chance to win this fabulous footstool, Little Thelma. We are raffling off this little red hen to support the mission of Thelma’s Kitchen benefiting those in need in Kansas City.

”Every Box Lunch helps provide social & mental health services and reduce food insecurity for KC neighbors in need.” 

Ok, Listen up! 

Here’s how to enter to win our Little Thelma:

  • To enter, make a donation of $150 to Thelma's Kitchen by following the link in our bio.

    * Each $150 donation equals one raffle entry - multiple entries welcome!

    ** $150 will provide 15 boxed lunches for people in need in Kansas City

    *** Little Thelma’s retail value is $1850.00. 

  • Enter by Noon Friday, December 17th

  • Winner announced Friday, December 17th

  • Raffle open to anyone in the US

    *If the winner is not local, shipping’s on us!

The creation of Chicken Footstools is joyful work. I am surrounded by a community that shares their love and gifts with me every day. The process of making and adopting our chickens brings together special people and moments that I truly cherish.

Sometimes, when considering the hardships that people are facing in the world, I start to doubt the importance of what we are doing. Is it meaningful enough?


Then I remember how beautiful people are when they smile. How their faces light up. How that light spreads from person to person. And I think, YES! More light, please.

This is why I deeply appreciate the work of Reconciliation Services and Thelma's Kitchen. My husband also supports the community RS serves through his work in an inner-city school. The stories of children and their families are a testimony to the beauty and reconciliation that can come through challenging circumstances.

Every person is precious and valuable, and more light shining through the lives of these neighbors is exactly what the world needs. We are thankful for this partnership, adding depth of meaning to our work to support Thelma’s Kitchen in nourishing others and helping their light shine brighter!
 

Thank you for joining us.

Sally 

Founder/Creative Director

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Chicken Tales: A story of Little Emma Harriet

Chicken Tales: A story of Little Emma Harriet

Hello friends!

We are constantly inspired by stories of our Chicken Footstools making people smile. Every chicken carries the imprints of the natural materials from which they are made, the diligent artisans who create them, and the loving families and special spaces in which they come to reside. We are excited -to share more of these stories with you in a new series we are calling Chicken Tales!

Today, we are delighted to introduce Little Emma Harriet. This custom Chicken Little Footstool was commissioned earlier this year by one of our very own chickeners, Karen, before she became a chickener. Karen lives in Kansas City and has been a part of our team for about six months now. She quickly adapted her life-long seamstress skills to our unique feather upholstery work. Karen is a joy to have around the studio— she tells the best stories, is one of the most considerate and generous people on the planet, and she won’t quit stitching until every feather is perfectly secured and all of the “underpants” are covered! Karen identifies as a long-time chicken lover, which is always a helpful chickener trait. We sat down with Karen and asked some questions about her custom design adoption process for Little Emma Harriet…

How did you come to know The City Girl Farm?

One day, my daughter Amanda sent me an email and a link to The City Girl Farm. She said, "My neighbor, Carly, does this, and you have to see it because it is just like you mom!" She knows me well. I like funny things that are kind of quirky. I love sewing! I like textiles and that kind of stuff. So I looked at the chickens and thought, oh my gosh, those are so cool. I must have one. Later on, my husband Bill, for some occasion or probably no occasion at all because he's that kind of a guy, came home with a wooden egg in a ‘Nest Egg Box,’ a gift certificate for a chicken. My first chicken, Little Linus, has amazing grey and white checked felt feathers. I named him after my grandson.

What inspired Little Emma Harriet?

For Christmas last year, Amanda gave me two fabric bundles from Wallace & Sewell, a fabric design studio based out of London. Little Emma Harriet is named after the founders, Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell. They don't waste anything and sell bundles of fabric off-cuts from their products. It's like treasure. I knew I had to do something really special with it. One day I was in the living room and I looked over and noticed Little Linus looking at me. I thought— that's it! I could have the girls at the studio make another chicken and incorporate this wonderful fabric.

What was the custom design process like?

I met up with Sally and a few of the girls at the studio. They got out a “naked” chicken. It was just amazing— they started playing with it, pinning on sample felt pieces in combination with my fabric pieces. We determined the general design together and I left with confidence that they would do something great. When I got the fabric bundles they were tied together with the selvage of the fabrics. The girls ended up sewing the selvage around the edges of round felt pieces and incorporating the larger pieces of fabric into ruffles and tail feathers. It all felt extra-special.

For someone thinking of custom-designing a chicken, what advice would you give?

For my first chicken, Little Linus, I spent a lot of time on The City Girl Farm website. Most of the chickens that have been made are in the ‘Adopted’ section online and are also categorized in color, breed, and collection galleries. So, you can sit there and say: I like this tail, I like this color, and design your own. Talk with them about what you like and your inspiration.

Thank you, Karen, for sharing your Chicken Tale!

To learn more about Wallace & Sewell and the beautiful work they are doing, you can find them on their website (https://www.wallacesewell.com/) . If you are interested in sharing your Chicken Tale, please reach out to hello@thecitygirlfarm.com. We would love to hear from you!

 

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Craftsmanship on Display

Our dream of making a video to showcase the craftsmanship behind Chicken Footstools has finally come true! We are so excited to share it with you all soon. Until then, here is a story of our field trip to film the artisans at work on a cold day last December...

  

The first destination was Ad Astra Art Bronze outside of Lawrence, Kansas, where Chicken Footstool feet and beaks are created. The tour of their fascinating facility demonstrated each step in the lost-wax casting process. Witnessing 2,000 degree molten bronze pours is truly an amazing sight! With care and expertise, this talented crew continues to capture the intricate details of our sculptures in solid bronze, forever.

 

The wooden egg cores of our Chicken Footstools are unseen treasures, hidden beneath their natural fiber upholstery. We visited Roy, self-proclaimed 'Egg-man,' in Hesston, Kansas. Roy finds fallen trees, saws their trunks and sculpts them into eggs on a lathe. In the design process of our original Chicken Footstools, Henny and Penny, many shapes and materials were considered to function as the core of the structure. A wooden egg won the honor for many reasons: the weight helps with stability, fallen trees are abundant around the farm, turning on the lathe is fun, and eggs remind us to be mindful of the cycle of life. Additionally, we answered the age-old question: Which comes first? The egg. :)

 

Our final stop along the journey was a return to the family farm in Lyons, Kansas. Here my dad, Harlan, composes the wood and bronze elements- bending, screwing, drilling, welding, and pounding- until each Chicken Footstool stands proudly on flat feet. We lovingly refer to these as 'naked chickens.'

(The next day was spent filming the upholstery and fiber magic that happens at our studio in Kansas City, Missouri. We will share more on that another day!)

As I watched our artisans work and saw the light in their eyes as they explained their process, I fell in love with Chicken Footstools all over again.

To all of our makers: Like a Chicken Footstool, each of you is one-of-a-kind, but better. Thank you.

Also, thank you Worth It Films!

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Meet the Chickeners: Carly

> Guest post by Allison Branch, Kansas City-based freelance writer. Professional page: www.writerbranch.com / Personal site: www.towardthelamppost.com

- - - - -

“There’s always a chicken in my house,” Carly Pumphrey says with a smile.

Her warm brown eyes light up as she talks about “chickening,” the catch-all term used by Sally Linville and her artisans to describe the process of handcrafting Chicken Footstools at thecitygirlfarm. Since 2012, Carly has been a part-time “chickener,” one of the first friends of Sally’s to participate in creating the chickens. Having known Sally from their Kansas State University days, when the two were part of the same Interior Architecture and Product Design program, Carly says it was a no-brainer to agree to help Sally create more chickens. “I couldn’t help but say yes,” she says.

For Carly, there is real pleasure in doing the work of chickening. “It’s, quite simply, this creative outlet that I want to make for, even though I don’t have time for it,” referring to her very full life that is overflowing with her part-time job at an architecture firm as well as her husband and their three children. “It’s an opportunity to contribute to these beautiful things within my skill that are outside of work and home. I don’t feel I invest in things that don’t have a deeper purpose and meaning behind it. These chickens do have that [purpose and meaning], which is another reason I want to make time for it.”

There are many steps to building the chicken footstools, but Carly particularly enjoys arranging the felt pieces onto the chickens to create their whimsical wool plumage: “Felt has a way of showing you where it wants to go. It’s like a puzzle that could go lots of ways. There’s always this discovery process in the details. No one chicken is the same.”

Carly describes chickening for thecitygirlfarm as pure “joy. It’s probably what anyone would say in seeing a chicken for the first time...I see this big picture of joy coupled with this art and design world we both come from. I am continually asking myself, how am I inspired? I feel as though [when chickening] I can be an artist, even though my business card doesn’t say ‘artist.’”

Although the important demands of work and family are her priorities, Carly says she will always make time for chickening: “I’m in it as long as I can be in it.”

> Allison Branch

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Lava's Betty + Claudette's Flight

The launch of our website in 2012 happened with a glimmer of hope: If we made Chicken Footsools available online, maybe somebody somewhere might want to adopt one... someday... maybe? Much to our surprise, one of our first orders came quickly from a delightful man named Gary in California. His family lovingly accepted 'Betty' into their home. A few years later Gary shared that the family cat 'Lava' had taken a particular liking to Betty, perching and kneading on her daily. Betty was quite ready for a body lift.

Before:

We completed the operation as quickly as possible out of expressed concern that Lava 'might go into depression' while she was away. In the spirit of preventative maintenance, we included an additional embroidered cover for Lava to quiet any questions of ownership. Gary reported it took Lava all of 10 seconds to find her...

After:

 

The story of Lava and Betty is one of those treasured tales we hold close to our hearts. So, imagine our delight when we recently heard from Gary, this time adopting 'Claudette' to keep Lava and other pets company in their new home. We enthusiastically sent her West into a guaranteed life of adventure! Claudette got to take a helicopter ride to reach her final destination- a true island chicken.

Claudette's new home:

 

Our chickens often live in beautiful places, but most importantly with wonderful people and their child-like hearts. Wishing all our best to this special family and their flock, both furry and feathered.

> Sally Jane

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Driving Ms. Dixie

Every Wednesday morning since last fall, I have had the honor of spending time with a very special lady named Dixie. She is 85 and absolutely full of life! I am her official driver- visiting doctors, picking up groceries and book club books, swinging by the post office, the bank, the pharmacy and our favorite, getting haircuts. Dixie taught school for 40 years, so she is filled to the brim with stories, ready to share if I ask the right questions.

A few weeks ago Dixie and I were both feeling the weight of changes on our respective horizons. As we were chatting at her kitchen table, winter light shone in through the bay windows. Two potted bulbs were there, each with two slender stalks shooting up from the dirt. One of the plants was topped with elegant buds that revealed only hints of color. The other set of buds had just opened, their tremendous splendor once hidden inside now on full display!

As I beheld their intricate design- colors, form, fragrance, shapes- the words, 'Look for the Blossoms,' entered my heart. I shared them with Dixie as an encouragement to us both to remember that even in the midst of hard things, unforeseeable beauty lies ahead.

The invitation to 'Look for the Blossoms' has been present as we fashion our 2016 Spring Flock of Chicken Footstools. May they foster the hope of spring in all of our hearts, especially those of us here in the seasonal Midwest. (Sunshine, welcome! We are ready to feel you.)

To round out the tale, I was eager to return to Dixie's kitchen and discover the mystery of the second set of blossoms. I was not at all disappointed.

> Sally Jane

 

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The State of Chickening Address

Greetings! The turning of the New Year has brought along an extra-fresh sense of hope for 2016 and all that it may hold. Thank you for your love and support along our journey thus far. We cherish relationships- each special meeting, encouraging comment and story shared is truly wind beneath our wings.

Here are updates on our latest and greatest:


We are thrilled to welcome our newest artisan to thecgf gang, Amanda Houston. She is a designer as well as our marketing director, helping to bring stories of Chicken Footstools- from their making through their adoptions- out to shine brightly in the world.


Also, we are transitioning into our first official studio space in Kansas City. Deep-hearted dreams of having a place to welcome and cultivate community are coming true! Operations continue to be shared between the Kansas farm, where chicken bodies are built, and the city, where fiber and upholstery magic happen. Although we are just beginning the move today, my imagination has already filled the space with possibilities- chickening sessions, workshops, creative experiments, collaborations, tea parties, inspiration boards, window displays, bubbles, curious objects, pop-up shops… sigh. I recognize the space as a gift; a place to work and play and be, surrounded by materials and people I love.


This year we will be looking for opportunities to make new friends in the world of fiber, both wooly and not. The seeds that were sewn in my happy childhood with chickens, eventually bringing forth the idea of a Chicken Footstool, seem to be experiencing a re-awakening. I know deeper connections with the farmers and the animals from which our fiber comes will only lead to more inspiration and learning. Last year, new sources of organic merino wool and mohair in Northern California found their way into our hearts, hands and feather designs for our new Spring Flock collection. Some naturally neutral and some enhanced with natural dyes, all are rich in color and texture that seem made to be touched.


Speaking of our new Spring Flock collection, we will be busy stitching away in the studio until the release sometime in March! We can hardly wait to receive your reactions and see which loving families will bring our lucky Chicken Footstools into their homes.


Cheers to 2016, the year of jubilee and possibility! Oh, and cheers to chickens!


> Sally Jane

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