OK - May I introduce Pinky the Toymaker! Pinky has been sewing for 20 years - since she was little. She has studied sewing, pattern making and graphic arts at college and now also teaches at college. Pinky says POO POO to factory-made toys, and aims to create gorgeous softies that are just as special as the children they belong to. Pinky has a wonderful Etsy shop here and a Flickr photostream here - please do take a visit!
images and designs copyright Pinky the Toymaker 2010
*Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration for my toys from fabric, my fiancé and my childhood. I didn't have a lot of store bought toys when I was little and I guess that's why I started sewing my own too. My mother had a beautiful wooden Babushka doll when I was little and with all the beautiful bright fabrics available I have always wanted to make a fabric one. I like simple forms because they are quick and easy to make but I've also been know to spend 100's of hours making art dolls too.
*How do you usually start and finish your working day?
I teach and I'm a freelance graphic artist so my days vary. I do a lot of my toy making in the evenings during the week and then spend all weekend sewing some times when I should be doing UNI assessments or marking assignments!
* Tell us something about where you live....
I live on the border of NSW and Victoria, so I'm right on the Murray River. I enjoy the peacefulness of a country town but LOVE trips to Melbourne which is three hours away, that's where I do most of my shopping for fabric :)
* What do you do for fun or relaxation?
Sew, sew, sew and cook! Both things that make LOTS of mess! Hahaha.
* Do you have any pets? Tell us about them...
I have a lovely little cat who thinks he's a dog. He's an Abyssinian which is a short-hair cat with BIG ears and an even BIGGER personality. He loves to help me with anything I'm doing. That's why I keep him locked out of my studio because I'm sure he's love to try and arrange my fabric when I'm not home. He's our little Hero...so that's what we called him!
* Of all your softie creations, do you have a favourite?
You shouldn't have a favorite softie! But... in saying that, there is one that is dear to my heart and he lives with my Nanna. He is the first softie I ever made. I designed and made him when I was about 8 years old by cutting him out of an old blue fleecy jumper. I used the buttons from the front of the jumper to secure his limbs to his body. He's a tatty, disproportionate little fellow and my hand-stitching was very rough but I literally love him to pieces!
* What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is SPOTS! I can't get enough of them. Whenever I venture into a patchwork shop I always come out with at least one little piece of spotty fabric. I find that spots go with everything and there is something so childish about them I just love them. So needless to say, when you see my toys you'll know why their little bellies or clothes are all spotty.
Also, I remember telling myself when I was a little girl to remember what it was like to be a child and promised myself never to forget. At the time I wanted to be a toymaker but also thought that maybe it was a far-fetched dream. But here I am today doing all the grown-up stuff and still doing what I wanted to do when I was little! :)