Star Village is the magical place where my very special dolls and animals are born and play together. As I create my village and its little villagers I always think of what we learn from imaginative play as children: We learn to make meaning and to be the creators of the future. With our dolls we practice priceless things like being friends and caring for one another, imagining the feelings of others, and solving problems together. I create in order to add beauty to our lives, and I make each doll or toy a unique work of touchable art.
THE STARHORSE DESIGN STORY: The Starhorses were the first toy design I developed fully. The idea began with a folk art horse my children adored, which I crossed with my observation that there were a lot of dolls out there who would love to have a horse to ride. That big horse was stiff and tall rather than soft and cuddly. What, I wondered, made him so compelling? He was certainly big and strong, and the dolls really could sit on him. Most of the toy horses didn’t have those qualities. I asked myself what qualities would make my horses good for riding as well and among the results were narrow bodies and leg engineering that insured that the legs would never splay outward when supporting dolls. (This is common in homemade stuffed animals.) My children’s beloved horse was made with synthetic stuffing and yarn with plastic eyes but my Starhorses would be made with natural fibers. A woven fabric would be sturdier than a knit, so I searched for the perfect material and discovered cotton velveteen. Unfortunately this fabric is only available in a few solid colors, and I envisioned a rainbow of colored horses, which led me to learning various LWI dye processes. Everything gets finished off by hand with carefully stuffed hooves, embroidered faces, and just the right amount of fluffy woolen hair. I improve my pattern and process on an ongoing basis, such as the nip-and-tuck darts that improved the legs and stance (by countering the inward curve caused by the fabric bias) in 2011 and 2012 design adjustments. There are a lot of details, but when the horses come out just right, it feels worth it.
I sell my creations in my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/StarVillageToys and I offer custom colors by request and I also offer occasional giveaways. Blogging is completely new to me! I plan to use this blog for giveaways and to share practical information about options, pricing, and shop updates as well as other more playful goodies and inspirations.