Friday, May 23, 2008

The Birth of Biscuit Bunnies

I'll be doing some more posts on how some of the Toys in the Flying Star Toys world have been originated. The notion and design for my toys often come from quite unexpected sources and I thought people might find it interesting to see what some of those processes are.

One way I develop a toy is to draw a picture. Biscuit Bunnies was one such toy that came about in this manner....but with all things there are often curious twists on the road of creativity.

This was one of the few toys that I sat down purposely to design. You might not know it but I very rarely work like that as it can often be forced and produce very average results. But on this occasion I was feeling frustrated by a certain inability to make a simple toy that didn't use any buttons and such and would be "baby safe".

With sketch book, in hand after concentrating for a few minutes on my desired toy parameters, I did a tiny little sketch of a bunny. The one seen above is in close up and from the picture above it you can see how small the actual drawing is, only a little bigger than a paper clip. That tiny little drawing had so much innate character that I left it in its original condition and proceeded to translate it into a pattern.

Biscuit Bunnies are a perfect example of what looks simple isn't necessarily so for it takes 13 pieces of fabric to make that one little bunny! So it didn't turn out to be as simple as I had hoped. However, while failing the major parameter - to be simple, it is very successful toy. Biscuit Bunnies have turned out to be one of the most popular toys in the Flying Star Toys collection and what's more I always enjoy making them and seeing what little variation of their personality appear, each is unique every time.

You can see more images of Biscuit Bunnies on their gallery page.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

5 o'clock storm

A red sky delivered heavy storm clouds, rolling over us from the West.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

reflections on the past - Canberra

Recently my Dad and I returned to Canberra to look back at our roots. Neither of us was born in Canberra but we both spent some of our formative years there: Dad was a boarder at Canberra Grammar School and I went to University at the ANU. This trip help me to see how far I had come since that time, not so much in terms of financial or career success, but in terms of a maturing of outlook and of spiritual depth.

Here are a few pictures from the trip. I particularly like the second one which is in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Australia. A divine place that in the golden light of an autumn afternoon was alive to the happy voices of dozens of tiny wrens skipping in and out of the foliage picking up tiny crumbs from between the flagstones.