Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seasons Greetings!

Thank-you to all those friends of Flying Star Toys who have supported me this year - for reading my blog, writing to me and collecting my toys. You all have meant a great deal to me.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and warm wishes for the season and of course a very happy new year!!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

"Why have you ceased to speak of the tree, of which he who eats its fruit shall never hunger?"

"Again, plant this tree on the stone, that it fear not the buffetings of the winds; that the birds of heaven may come and multiply on it branches, for thence cometh wisdom."

quotes from various alchemical treatises taken from Alchemical Studies, C. G.Jung page 314
Image: The Big Way, Hundertwasser, 1955.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Luv-able + Hug-able Exhibition, NYC

Flying Star was invited to participated in the plush artists' exhibition Luv-Able + Hug-able at Gallery Hanahou in New York City.

Luv-able + Hug-able: made with love by 30+ artists and crafters from all over the world, these original soft toys will range from cooky critters to adorable anthropomorphic objects. Nab an armful of plushes at the December 4th opening party, or order from our online shop at galleryhanahou.com for your hug-able holiday gifts!

Participating Artists
Anna Chambers * Anna Hrachovec * Ayumi Sato - Junie Moon * Betz White * Blythe Church * Christina Gordon (Jamfancy) * Corinne Dean * Doinky Doodles * Eloole * Forest Creatures * girlsavage * Heide Murray * Heidi Kenney * Helle Jorgensen * Hello, Brute * IMAI SAYAKA * Katie Park (caffaknitted) * Kup Kup Land * Lexi Franks * Lizette Greco + Grecolaborativo * Lynda Lye * Nicole Gastonguay * The Ossu! Syugeibu * rei☆komurasaki * SPOOKS by Kobayashi Mayu * Weebco * Yuko Hara * Yuriko Sera * Ariana Marinelli * Coco Howard * Flying Star Toys by Florence Forrest * Hansigurumi * Jenny Harada * Made By Moxie * Robyn Fabsits * Aaron B of SOWA

Luv-able + Hug-able opens December 4th showing until January 7th 2009.

For this exhibition I've sent 4 of an as yet to be released toy called Home Away from Home. This picture above is a sneak peak for you :) Home Away from Home will be offically released early next year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

GoMA Christmas Design Market

Flying Star Toys will be attending the Brisbane GoMA Christmas Design Market on Saturday the 6th of December.

The good news is that all Flying Star Toys on the stand will be at special market prices!

The GoMA Christmas Design Market will be located on the Sculpture Lawn outside the Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane located in the Arts precinct of South Bank.

The GoMA Christmas Design market Saturday 6th December from 9am -5pm.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

(click image for large version to see the list of other participants.)

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


"I resist anything better than my own diversity,
And breathe the air and leave plenty after me,
And am not stuck up, and am in my place.

The moth and the fisheggs are in their place,
The suns I see and the suns I cannot see are in there place,
The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place.

These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not
original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing,
If they do not enclose everything they are nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This is the common air that bathes the globe.

This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour,
This is the tasteless water of souls....this is the true sustenance,
It is for the illiterate....it is for the judges of the supreme court....
it is for the federal capitol and the state capitols,
It is for the admirable communes of literary men and composers and
singers and lecturers and engineers and savants,
It is for the endless races of working people and farmers and seamen."

from Leaves of Grass {Song of Myself} by Walt Whitman in 1855.

Image: Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, as herdsman and flautist pictured here with His beloved, Radha, on the banks of the river Yamuna.

from the book The Hindu Pantheon - An Introduction, Illustrated with 19th century Indian Miniatures from the St. Petersburg Collection, E. Tyomkin and M. Voryobyova-Desyatovska, Garnet Publishing, UK, 1994.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cracker! KickArts Christmas Retail Show

Tonight the KickArts Christmas retail show Cracker! opens. There should be heaps of wonderful gifts to choose from. If you live in Cairns or will be by that way soon I recommend popping in.

Cracker! runs from the 14th of November until January 3rd 2009.

For this show I've made six special Star Boomer joeys called White Star Boomers as a tribute to the iconic Australian Christmas song "Six White Boomers" by Rolf Harris. They are made with natural linen and creamy white pin corduroy with the cream star hand embroidered in linen thread.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Plush You! (2) at Double Punch Gallery

This month Flying Star Toys will be on show at Plush You! This year the Plush You! exhibition of plush toy artist at Schmancy in Seattle is having a sister show in San Francisco at Double Punch Gallery.

A new version of a Flying Star Toys original Novas Infinite called Novas Infinite Neon are representing Flying Star Toys for this exhibition. Novas Infinite Neon will be officially launched next year. These two Novas Infinite Neon are called Silver Arrow and Blue Lightning.

Plush You! (2) will be opening on Friday November 7th at Double Punch - 1821 Powell St, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mathilda's Market this Sunday!

The Mathilda's Market began in Melbourne and became so successful they have branched out to hold them in Brisbane and Sydney with other states to follow. They feature quality handmade designer wares suitable for children and mothers. Being a toy maker they asked if I would be interested - and I was :)

So if you would like to treat your little one, yourself, or thinking of someone who needs a treat this Christmas please come along.

Mathilda's Market Sunday November 9th from 9pm to 1pm at St Joseph's College, 1299 Sandgate Rd, Boondall, Brisbane, Qld.

That's right! This Sunday! and don't forget to say Hi :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Stockist - Atelier Charivari (France)

So many Nature Owls together at one time, so cute! They and a collection of Night-Night Mushrooms and Biscuit Bunnies are on their way to a new Flying Star Toys stockist - Atelier Charivari in Rouen, France. Soizic's blog Atelier Charivari showcases the stunning wares she collects for her stylish children's boutique. I'm so thrilled to have Flying Star Toys become a part of her collections.

Monday, October 27, 2008

delish! new fabrics

I went to the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair yesterday with my Mum and my sister. I picked up some simply delicious fabrics, some of which you can see above - linen, textured weave cottons and gorgeous modern prints. Yum!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In the Press

I was featured in the Northside Chronicle this week about the Mathilda's Market that's happening on the 9th of November at St Joseph's Nudgee College (2199 Sandgate Rd, Boondall, Brisbane) 9am to 1pm. I'll be doing a special post about it soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

WIP - Oatmeal Cream Biscuit Bunnies

Above a layout of Biscuit Bunny pieces in Oatmeal Cream ready for pinning and cutting, soon to be turned into sweet little Biscuit Bunnies like the ones below.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Plush You! 2008 - plush toy art exhibition USA

This month Flying Star Toys will be on show at Plush You! This is a yearly exhibition of plush toy artist at Schmancy in Seattle, USA. With approximately a hundred toy artists exhibiting it has to qualify as the biggest international plush toy art exhibition.

Piccabu Elephant and Molehill Mouse, together with Ishmael's Whale are representing Flying Star Toys for this exhibition.

Plush You! will be opening on Friday October 10th at Schmancy - 1932 Second Ave, Seattle WA, USA.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Red Finch White Finch on Esty front page

Just popped in to check out some art on Etsy and wow! I was so surprised to see my Red Finch White Finch right in the middle! lovely :) ... must be on a roll!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Esty Front Page Surprise

A lovely surprise this morning to see Night-Night Mushrooms on the Front page of Etsy. I took a quick screen shot of it before it disappeared.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who's the Winner?

Every month I hold a little competition for the Friends of Flying Star Toys to win a toy. Those who receive the newsletter have the opportunity to enter and be the first to hear about new toy releases, sales and news. The September prize was very rare Coconut Ice Biscuit Bunny (as seen above).

Who will the winner be? I'll share with you my system of picking the winner - first I take the number of names on my mailing list and then count how many entries have been made in the competition and then use this number to divide into the bigger number. The result is then counted through the entries from the earliest to the last and then around back up to the earliest until the number that resulted from the division is reached....well, it's that simple! ;)

I'm about to do that right now. I email the winner to let them know and then I announce it in the following newsletter. I wonder who the lucky person will be this month?

I haven't yet decided what the October toy prize will be....all will be revealed in the October newsletter! If you would like to enter my monthly competitions all you have to do is email me at florence(at)flyingstartoys.com and have subscribe in the subject line, or click the link to join the Friends of Flying Star Toys in the top section of the blog sidebar, mush easier that selecting the winner (hehehe).

Well, here's good luck to all the Friends of Flying Star Toys who entered this month!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Super Plush! Exhibition LA, USA

Later this month Flying Star Toys will be on show at Super Plush! an exhibition of plush toy artist at Los Angeles gallery Ghetto Gloss. Toy artist Mr Funky has organised a big show featuring such renowned toy artist as While She Naps, One Red Robin, Fern Animals and Soto Softies.....I could go on!

A large collection of delightful one-of-a-kind Pimmie Parrots and three shy Snow Walkers are representing Flying Star Toys for this exhibition.

Super Plush! Art by 22 amazing plush doll and soft sculpture artist will be on from September 25th until October 2nd. Ghetto Gloss - 2380 Glendale Blvd, Silverlake, CA, USA.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fruits of Eve - a commission

I recently had a commission for a hanging line of two little Always Apples and Perfect Pears (Fruits of Eve). The line has two different sizes of each both smaller than the original. I'm always struck how a small difference in size can make so much difference to the making of a design. These smaller ones are much easier to stuff than their larger parents and they're just so cute! I liked them so much I'll be making mini Fruits of Eve in time for the Christmas period.

I've been told that this Fruits of Eve hanging bough now has its home above the fireplace in her two boys' room - how very cosy!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For Spring

"My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So it is now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety."

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Today I finally constructed this nine tile pattern from the base design I made over 9 years ago. This was one of the final piece in a series of work I did using only a large set circle and set triangle. I designed the tiles to create a further progression of pattern once it was joined to itself as you can see above. I am quite pleased with this one :)

(click the image for a clear view)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sydney - a father/daughter trip

I've just returned from three days in Sydney with my Dad. We spent our time seeing the sites and visited relatives.

The weather was simply perfect for the first days of Spring. The atmosphere in the city was bright and exciting.

I haven't been to Sydney for many years and somehow I had forgotten how beautiful Sydney is, but what struck me most was the healthy confidence the city expressed. It reminded me of what the eminent art historian Sir Kenneth Clark said in his television series "Civilisation: A Personal View", that civilisation is bound to the confidence of the people in themselves and their culture.

This pleasant observation was just one of the treasured souvenirs I returned home with.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Chariot - the passions

About 10 years ago I revived my artistic practise. I chose oil pastels as my media, they are very like the oil based crayons we used as children. I've been interested in exploring how far I could take the tools we were offered as children - crayons (oil pastels), set triangles and circles, origami and toys for example. With my oil pastel work I developed a style of simple line drawing coloured using a method of rubbing back the applied colour to produce a staining on the board, building up layers of very thin coats of colour. Do your remember shading the coastlines on maps rubbing the pencil scraping in with a small piece of torn paper? My method is a bit like that only with a thin piece of dish cloth wound around my finger like a thick band-aid. This work culminated in a series of large symbolic paintings which are my version of the major Arcana of the Tarot. I completed about 10 paintings and still have the cartoons for a few more. However, as I became more involved in the Brisbane art scene my interest moved to my work with toys so I put these large paintings away, realising that their style was not "marketable" - this was in 2004.

Four years later, I've journeyed further into the realm of the Spirit and have become more adept in the symbolic language the human psyche uses to communicate its inner reality. I'm thankful for these paintings and their lack of marketability, it has kept them safe for me until the time I would need them - when I could handle and differentiate parts of myself symbolically. Now I see them as more than a pure hope or forecast but instructive of living principles in my own voice - my individual potential.

Jung writes that one can only become that which one has the potential to be.

The painting above is called The Chariot. (click the picture for a larger image)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

looking into the studio - afternoon light

KickArts Promo

What a wonderful surprise to discover my Ishmael's Whales on the front of the flyer for the KickArts shop. KickArts have been very support of my work and those of my other artist friends such as Liana Kabel (the Drip Drop Earrings right hand corner) and Kylie Johnson ( ceramic clouds in the centre), Rebecca Ward (jewellery) and Shannon Garson (porcelain). The team at KickArts work very hard to bring together an exciting range of contemporary exhibitions and work. If you're ever in Cairns I highly recommend a visit.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today - colour follows grey

A cold, drab day that crept across the hours. Then suddenly the sun condensed its power into a splendour of pink and gold before night's mask wrapped our eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aqua Vitae - Exhibition KickArts Cairns

The Umbrella Collective was pleased to be invited to do an exhibition wall at KickArts Contemporary Art Gallery in Cairns, Australia. The exhibition is called Aqua Vitae - The Water of Life. The Umbrella Collective members participating are Kylie Johnson (Paper Boat Press), Liana Kabel (Art, Design, Jewellery), Shannon Garson (Porcelain), Rebecca Ward (Jewellery) and myself.

Aqua Vitae is showing from 5th August until the 30th August 2008.

About Aqua Vitae: Aqua Vitae is Latin for the Water of Life. In the language of medieval alchemists it conveys the sense of a living being of substance as a directly contrast to the rigid immateriality of mind in the abstract. The vital water was the junction of spirit, soul and body and is an apt expression for how makers feel about their process, product and art as they mould, shape and cut their creations into being.

Water is one of most ubiquitous symbols present within the psyche of man - it is a powerful solvent, it brings opposites into unity, it represents the unconscious itself and is the fountain of all life. Here the water symbol unites the work of the five craft artist of the Umbrella Collective.

My 100 Water Houses, Ishmael's Whales and Rain Berries are included in this exhibition.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Etsy Front Page and Friends

Night-Night Mushrooms has been a bit of an Etsy front page star over the last few days. I haven't seen any of them personally but via the number of views I guessed that it had happen. The very lovely Donna AKA Leafpeople saw one of them and sent me a screen shot. I was very touch by her thinking of me. I just love her new Airedale hanging ornaments and adorable Scottish Terrier brooches, see them on her Etsy shop or on her Flickr page. Thanks Donna!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Introducing Night-Night Mushrooms

Sleep time wouldn't be the same without a story. Luckily Night-Night Mushrooms know many magical tales for sleepy heads to dream about.

When I think about bed-time stories I can't help thinking of the magic mushrooms with the red and white tops. The image of these mushrooms takes me immediately to the world of fairy tales and legends - what a wonderful place is the imagination! Fairy tales and myth take us on a journey inside the human psyche and these stories can often be of help in later life. As an artist, I can tell you a little imagination goes along way. Night-Night Mushrooms are a tribute to story time and the land of dreams.

There are 6 different mushrooms (four released at this stage). They are made of wool blend felt and a wonderful, rare random spotted fabric for the top. The face is hand stitched in sashiko cotton thread. Night-Night Mushrooms are weighted to stand independently.

Dimensions: Night-Night Mushrooms range in size from 14cm (5 1/2 inches) to 18cm (7 inches) tall.

For more images of see the Night-Night Mushrooms gallery page.