Monday, November 30, 2009

GoMA Twilight Designer's Market - 11 December

Flying Star Toys will be at the Twilight Designer's Market being held at the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in the Southbank cultural precinct. This year the clever people at GoMA decided that the cool air and romance of a summer's evening would be the best time to browse for that special gift for Christmas...which should make it a lovely walk before heading out on the town for dinner or a show ;)

Twilight Designer's Market
GoMA forecourt
Southbank Brisbane
Friday 11th December
4pm to 8pm

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flying Star Toys at the Brisbane Finders Keepers Market

Flying Star Toys along with a bevy of extremely talented craft/arts designer makers will be featured at the Brisbane Finders Keepers Market this weekend.

Please "do yourself a favour" and come to this market...if I wasn't in it I'd be organising a bus tour so that all my friends could come and see it :) I'm so very honoured to be among so many talented artist. If you can't find something you like here then the planet just isn't big enough....and don't forget Christmas is poking his big smiley Santa face around the corner...I suggest starting your Christmas shopping this weekend at the Brisbane Finders Keepers market...oh and at the Flying Star Toys stand ;)

Saturday 31st October from 12pm – 9pm
Sunday 1st November from 10am – 5pm
The markets will be held at:
The Old Museum
Cnr Bowen Bridge Road & Gregory Terrace,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Afternoon Moon by the Sea

Two Afternoon Moons by the sea. Sit and chat merrily. Big moon looks after little moon and little moon loves to laugh at funny big moon. Happy Afternoon Moons - so very friendly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flying Star Toys at the Bayside Arts Fair

Not long now until the Bayside Arts Fair at Redcliffe on Sunday 6th of September. There will be music, wine bar, coffee, food, an art auction and as well as the arts market. That's where I come in. I'll be there flying the toy makers' flag. I've just bought a market gazebo so I'll be testing it out.

If you're thinking of cooling down by the seaside that weekend then head out to Redcliffe, stop in, say hello and take in the groovy market atmosphere.

Psst!! I'll have special market discounts and some new work I haven't shown yet...could be something special there for you ;)

Bayside Arts Fair
Sunday 6th September
10am - 3pm
Redcliffe Foreshore Amplitheatre
(next to the Redcliffe Lagoon)
Settlement Cove
Redcliffe Pde

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In my sewing basket

I'm loving working with these pretty colours. Rainbow is my favourite colour :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chic-Chic Rattle redesign series 3

After awhile of my partner John calling them fish I thought it was time to tweak the Chic-Chic Rattle design. So I've added a sewn beak detail which I think is ver cute.

This third series comes in white flannelette and lemon ausnerberg cotton with hand embroidered details in sashiko cotton in either pink, blue or grey.

They are now available on the Flying Star Toys on Etsy shop ($USD) and in the Flying Star Toys Big Cartel shop ($AUD).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Always Apple - Cushion Friend

Commissions are often an inspiration. Recently I was asked to do a large version of Always Apple and as you can see Always Apple Cushion Friend was the result. I've added this new version to the permanent collection. I hope you like this big red Always Apple Cushion Friend as much as I do :)

Always Apple Cushion Friend is made of cotton homespun and is about 11 inches wide with a hand embroidered face. Now Available in Flying Star Toys on Etsy shop ($US) and the Flying Star Toys on Big Cartel ($AUD).

Alway Apple is one of the Fruits of Eve: Always Apple and Perfect Pear are wholesome and succulent. Taste the good life, make a happy home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Incense on Thursday

Watching incense,
a flashing dragon,
shards of light from an early afternoon sun.

Japanese sandalwood incense Byakudan Kobunboku by Baieido from Prima Materia: Botanical Perfumes and Aromatics.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Udessi at Portside August 9th

This Sunday Udessi will be at the Boutique markets at Portside Whalf, Brisbane. You'll find Flying Star Toys and many other talented Australian makers wares available.

Boutique Markets
Sunday 9 August, 8am – 4pm
Portside Wharf, Hamilton Qld

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Charity Ladies Lunch - Oakey

Some images of my stall at the Ladies Lunch market at Oakey. It was a great road trip with my sister and a lovely day out too.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Some images of the preparations for a market day on Thursday. My sister (and baby) and I are having a little road trip out to Oakey. Flying Star Toys will be on display to delight the Ladies Annual Luncheon in support of the historical St Anne's Church at Jondaryan. Thanks to artist friend Rachel Arthur for inviting us :)

I'll take some photos of the event to show you how it went.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Commission - three fish mini line

A cute story for this commission is that a dear patron of Flying Star Toys had previously bought a Fishing Line mobile and her boys had taken to "cooking" the fish on their toy stove, so Abby wrote to me asking if I could make her a mini fishing line of three fish for the boys to play with. Of course!! How charming :)

Abby gives me a bit of creative space, trusting me to come up with something special for her, so I was quite excited to try something new with the Fishing Line. You can see the colours, fabrics and threads I've chosen for her mini line. The two blue fish have different fabrics on the reverse so that the boys will have in effect five different fish. I hope the colours and the textures of the fabrics will be fun for the boys to play with.

Abby said that the little mini line of fish will look delightful hanging on the side of their toy stove :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mathilda's Market this Sunday!

After cute and groovy things for little one's? Now that my sister has had a baby, I'm suddenly very keen to see what little treats I can pick for them both. And the mathilda's Market is the place I'd start looking!

The next one is this Sunday the 19th. The Mathilda's Markets are now at the Brisbane City Hall Main Auditorium and have over 60 stalls. It's a market I've participated in the past and will be again in the future.  Highly recommended!!

Mathilda's Market,
Brisbane City Hall,
Main Auditorium,
Sunday July 19th, 9am - 1pm.

Koh-Yama and the Ten Virtues of Incense

Just back from a couple of days with mum and dad on the Gold Coast. I came home to find "The Book of Incense" by Kiyoko Morita had arrive much early than expected from the US! This coupled with the little pots I had picked up from a delightful bonsai shop on Chevron Island meant I could enjoy an evening listening and reading about incense. I learned that incense appreciation is referred to as listening to incense, and this rings true for me. I find the process thoroughly intriguing...I imagine this is the same feeling that wine connoissieurs must have about tastings.

I'm just in love with this tiny three mouth ceramic pot. Filled with sand it's perfect for planting the fine sticks of Japanese koh. When planted with three sticks it looks like the kanji for mountain, so I've called it Koh-Yama, that is, Incense Mountain :)

Some of my favourite Japanese books are featured in the picture next to my Incense Mountain. They are "The Tale of Genji", "The Tales of Ise" and "A Chime of Wind Bells."

I'll leave you with the Ten Virtues of Incense said to have been written by a Zen priest in the sixteenth century.

It brings communication with the transcendent.
It purifies mind and body.
It removes uncleanliness.
It keeps one alert.
It can be a companion in the midst of solitude.
In the middle of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.
When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.
When there is little, still one is satisfied.
Age does not change its efficacy.
Used everyday, it does no harm.

How many things can be said to have so many virtues!

May your week be fragrant :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Koh delightful - Japanese incence and wrapping cloths

This week I treated myself to something I'm personally very fond of - Koh, that is, Japanese Incense. However, this was my first time acquiring premium koh by Baieido. They arrived yesterday morning from Prima Materia and to give them a proper place to reside I spent an equally indulgent day making wrapping cloths using fabrics I've been saving for a long time.

Koh is a solid stick of pure ingredients, no synthetics, without a wooden support like joss sticks have. Premium koh uses aloeswood which comes in many grades. Truly I didn't know what to expect as I had only known the more common yet very beautiful scents of everyday koh. What delights was I to experience?

I burn koh in my studio while I work, it helps to create an envelop around me while I tune out the worries of the world and become empty to all but the splendor of the work at hand. So, of course, I had to try a stick while making the wrapping cloths. I chose a stick from the single bundle of Kokonoe Koh (Incense of the Imperial Palace).

At first, it seemed that she was holding back on me, that she skirted about the room fine and aloof. My attention easily went back to my work while the light smoke drifted clean, white and supple. It wasn't until, having finished and some time had passed, that walking back into the room I truly began to know her. She, in private, had bodied forth like great invisible silk curtains - full, regal and flowering in gentle cascades to the floor. "Ah! This is what aloeswood is all about," I thought. Everyday Koh is a delight, impressing the senses like a young girl, all colour and verve, but once gone leaves only a wisp of her presence behind. On the contrary this Princess of the Palace, who holds court elegantly behind the curtains of her bower, is unforgetable once beheld.

Square wrapping cloths are called furoshiki in Japanese and bojagi in Korean. When I want to wrap special things to store at home or to give as gifts I'll sometimes make a double-sided furoshiki. Choosing just the right fabrics from my collection to suit the object being wrapped is very enjoyable. Making a simple square of quality fabric is a pleasure as the textures and colours sing a solo aria. For these, I used the trimmings (cut off to square the fabric) to plait their matching ties, leaving the edges rough to create a contrast to the tailored finish of the cloth.

Wrapping becomes simple and elegant using a furoshiki. But most especially I love the way the special cloth adds an aura of preciousness to what one stores inside.

Udessi at the Portside Markets

This Sunday get along to the Boutique Markets at Portside Wharf in Brisbane. Udessi will be having a stand their so say hi to the lovely Kim and the talented Renee who will be on hand wearing their new super smart mini market aprons (designed and made by yours truly :)

And if all the great handmade work by some of Australia's most talented crafters, artists and designers is not enough to tempt you then you should also know that Portside Wharf is holding a Strawberry and Chocolate fair on the same day! Yum!

You'll be able to find Flying Star Toys on the Udessi stand on Sunday too.

Boutique Markets
Sunday 12 July, 8am – 4pm
Portside Wharf, Hamilton Qld

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Meditations with Matisse

Last night I picked up the book "Matisse: His Art and His Textiles" I had waiting for me on the studio work bench. I would share a few sections of the first essay by Hilary Spurling that I liked.

"Matisse's Fabric collection served him as a combined archive and tool-store all his life. He called it 'my working library', taking sections of it with him whenever he switched studios between Nice and Paris, sending for others as and when he needed them, constantly replenishing the collection from oriental carpet shops and clothing stores, radically extending it at intervals in the bazaars, souks and market stalls of Algeria, Morocco and Tahiti, or at end-of-season sales of Parisian Haute Couture."

"Mattise drew on his working library to furnish, order, and on a deep, instinctual level, to compose his paintings. Fabrics made him feel at home. Like virtually all his northern compatriots, he had an inborn appreciation of their texture and design. He understood the propertites of weight and hang, he knew how to use pins and paper patterns, and he was supremely confident with the sissors."

"He said that sissors in his hands became a tool 'as sensitive as pencil, pen or charcol - maybe even more sensitive'."

Afterwards, as I sat pinning bunting triangles, watching the fabric, its treads, admiring the richness of colour dyed into the textile, I remember the lines above and smiled.

*text from pages 16 and 17. Image above "Still Life with Geraniums", Henri Matisse, 1910, oil on canvas, 94.5 x 116 cm.

Monday, June 29, 2009

French Connection - Madame Chacha exclusive

Morgane of Madame ChaCha (online childrens designer boutique based in Paris) commissioned this exclusive range of Flying Star Toys Home Away from Home to reflect real French houses. She's just launched them on her website (available to be read in both French and English) Madame ChaCha.  These are some of the gorgeous images she's taken of them recently posted on her blog.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sail Away Boats - series 2

Holiday at the Seaside is the second series of Sail Away Boats. I've called it "Holiday by the Seaside" because the colours remind me of sun-shiny days watching sparkling water and seeing the blithe boats sailing serenely in the distance.

Currently series 2 has three limited edition variations: Sunlight Blue, Nautica and Sunlight Red.

Dimensions: 16cm (6 1/2 in) high, 15.5cm (6 1/4 in) wide. Eash boat is weighted to stand independently.

Sail Away boats series 2 is now available both on the Flying Star Toys Etsy shop ($USD) and Bigcartel ($AUD)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Introducing Home Away from Home

Please welcome Home Away from Home to the Flying Star Toys collections. Their story goes: Take a piece of home with you wherever you make go, to keep you safe in love's embrace who knows your sweetest wish.

A little home to call your own. These little friendly homes have chimneys with soft, curling smoke that look like clouds. This is how you know someone is at home and thinking of you, keeping the rooms all snug and warm.

Using limited edition designer fabrics and hand embroidered with sashiko cotton they are backed with grey cotton velvet. Available in four sizes: small A, small B, large A (chimney side) and large B (chimney middle). Weighted to stand independently.

Dimensions: each stands approximately 26cm (10 1/4 in) tall. The base widths are; small A 5cm (2 in), small B 6.5cm (2 12 in), Large A 10cm (4 in), Large B 11cm (4 1/4 in).

The Home Away from Home in the image just above have been made as an exclusive set for Madame Cha-Cha in Paris, France.

For more images of Home Away from Home see their Gallery page.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Morning

Laying back on the veranda lounge, eyes closed, wasting my time imagining the day's work.

Then pow! open eyes! the intensity of light, such blue, such white...truly colour is God's delight.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Gifts from Margaret B. Thank you - they're so very beautiful!

Monday, June 01, 2009

flower girl

Read some interesting things about Ikebana today. This little miniature not really connected but seeing it again I thought I would share it with you. I used it to illustrate the Chinese tale "Princess Lily" on my folktale blog Crackle Mountain. I haven't written anything there for a while....maybe I'll get back into it one of these days. Seeing this painting reminds me of all the wonderful art works I found to illustrate the tales.

The piece is refered to as Young Ladies Seated at a Table, shown here is one half of an attached pair of miniature glass paintings. Qing Dynasty, 19th Century.

She reminds me of the butterflies I posted about previously.  I love the blue of her gown, the lace details of her cuffs, the intensity of the red in the table cloth, the glow of the white jade vase holding the upright flowers that rise in the air in companionship to her sweet and demure little face....oh, and what about those bold stripes on the ends of her pants?! lovely!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's a Boy!

On Tuesday evening my dear sister gave birth to a little boy. His name is Wil. The proud parents have taken him home today. I'm already loving being an Aunty! 

Congratulations Emma and Heath and welcome baby Wil.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fruits of Eve Mini - sneak peek

I love mini versions of things ... soon Fruits of Eve will also have a mini version too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Flight of Butterflies

"Hoping to see the spring violets, I walked out into the fields. The wind had died down and I could hear nothing but the sound of bees. I began to make a poem in the warm sleepy atmosphere, when down the hill where dandelions were blooming came a group of girls.

One was dressed in dark violet; another in patterns of red, blue and yellow; still others wore white, black, brown, pink, navy or green. They were coloured as exquisitely as flowers in the field. They came closer and danced in a flock under a blossom.

As I drank another cup of sake, they came and said,'You are watching the flowers all alone! Do come where we are dancing. We thought we were the only ones who delight in the flowers of spring. We are pleased to know you enjoy them too....'"

Yesterday Nadine let me borrow a much cherished book of hers called "A Flight of Butterflies", one thousand kinds of butterflies by Kanzanka Sekka originally published in Japan 1904. Part of the preface by Yoshi Zo is quoted above. It's a beautiful facsimile of the original and is printed and bound in the original Japanese album style.

Within, every page is an oasis.....What scents of perfume waft up to colour the subtle senses?...What string is beginning to hum along its length into the distance? The symbol of the butterfly keeps lighting ever so gently upon my shoulder...let me not move too awkwardly, disturbing its fragile heart.

It's Raining! It's Pouring!

(side of the house, view from lounge room window)

(next door's backyard, view from my bedroom window)

"It's raining! It's pouring!
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed
and he bumped his head
and he didn't get up in the morning."

(Yikes! the poor old man.)

My sister and I used to sing this nursery rhyme when we were little.

It is definitely wet today! Lucky the house is on stilts.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Miniature Collection - three painting by Caroline Gaedechens

Patience...the Buddha said, "the reward for patience is patience"....and these gorgeous little paintings have been waiting for their frames very patiently indeed. After much sewing and selling of toys I had saved enough to take them to Peter, my framer, for the deluxe treatment.

These little miniature painting by Caroline Gaedechens are little jewels and like all jewels they should be lovingly protected in a special jewel box. That was the image I had in mind for framing these treasures. I'm not shy when it comes to the rich colours of black and gold and was more than happy to be extravagant when it came to incorporating them into the framing. While the photos above can't do them justice, Peter mentioned how every now and then a framer feels great reluctance to hand back the artwork...such it was on this occasion he confessed. I can't say I blame him either. I'm thrilled to sneak little glimpses into their world as I pass them through out the day.

Caroline has titled them: Little Soul, Princess and Little Bird of Paradise (from left to right). Little Bird of Paradise as a print is now available in her Etsy shop - I highly recommend her work to you.

(click on the images above for a closer look)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Craft Australia - new web address

A little shout out to Belinda J. at Craft Australia who reads my blog. Hello!! I've had some arts writing published in 716 on their site in the past. So it was very kind of Belinda to write to let me know Craft Australia has a new website address. I'm happy to pass it along and suggest you pop over and have a look and maybe even subscribe to their newsletter :-)

Craft....Australia...What could be better?!