It all started with my quest for the perfect stuffing material to add weight to some of my toys. Weighted stuffing give a toy substance and make a doll feel more real, or simply help it sit or stand or hug better with that bit of heft. Often children who need sensory therapies get extra benefits from handling weighted toys.
I prefer natural materials so I considered all the ones I heard of or could imagine. Sometimes millet or rice are used for weight, but I don’t want something that will deteriorate quickly especially if it were to get wet. Other commonly used options are sand and glass beads, and I did not like either option. I considered aquarium pebbles but that sounded clumsy. I was almost ready to purchase sand when I noticed the bag of shiny mother-of-pearl crushed shells. They were so tiny and clean and had the perfect weight. So for a while each little bunny and mini doll received a few spoonfuls of the shells at just the right time, and it seemed I had just the right solution. Then, when my supplies dwindled,
I discovered that the crushed shells were out of stock everywhere and also that no one sells them online! After many phone calls and internet searches I was back to square one again.
In desperation I searched for crushed shells on Etsy and surprisingly found some, ordered them, and then received them only to discover they were too big and wouldn’t work after all. Finally I ran across Janit Calvo who could ship me the tiniest clean white pebbles I ever saw — because she is a miniature gardener who even wrote a book about miniature gardening. Her website for miniature garden supplies is here: http://www.twogreenthumbs.com/ What a distracting discovery! I was so enchanted that I started feeling ready to take up a new hobby (that was a pleasantly delusional moment for this mama without spare time). After looking for Janet’s book, “Gardening in Miniature” I went on to find lots of other books are miniature gardening and fairy gardening and placed a little order… Yep, really distracting.
Once I got back on track I had to work on other toys and patterns until I could finally run these little pebbles through my fingers. After a thorough rinse and dry, the pebbles were tested and pass the bunny-bottom test with flying colors.