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Featured Artist: Sole Mate Toys

December 6, 2011

Laura’s Blog Entry

By now you probably have figured out that I love the creative process. Talking about it, learning about it and experiencing it. Today I thought it would be fun to get a fresh look at the whole deal by chatting with my friend and fellow craft artist, Michelle. She makes adorable, original sock toys that she sells at Sole Mate Toys. Here’s a little interview I did with her. Enjoy!

So Michelle, tell us about what you make and how you make it.

I make sock toys. Yes I know, crazy glamorous right? The “how” is pretty straightforward. I get a request or an idea then I sketch how it might work. Often this includes staring at socks and huffing. 😉 Once I have a direction I draw templates; then its just cutting, sewing, turning, stuffing with fluff and finished off all the details. All of my toys are hand stitched which takes longer but I prefer the process.

Why socks? How did this whole toy thing get started?

It was actually a total accident. One of my internet friends sent me a care package and it included a book on how to make silly sock monsters. I made a few monsters, then frogs and it just took on a life of its own from there. Socks are great though because they are so easy to get and come in super fun colors and designs.

What inspires your designs? It seems that you never make the same creature twice!

Many of my toys are requests or suggestions from clients and friends. Some are just things I thought would be a cute toy. I have a list in my design book of possible new toys to try and I’m always adding to it and trying to stretch myself.

Have you always been an artsy-crafty person?

Well… I’ve always dabbled. I can do lots of things but none of them especially well, LOL. I’m not really happy unless I have some kind of project going. I love making things for my family and friends, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

You are the mom of two home schooled kids. How do you manage to find time to make  things while you are educating your children and maintaining your household?

My toys are actually a perfect fit because it is a quiet craft and I can easily stop to help out a kid or answer questions. Plus as they get older they need me so much less so that frees up my time. Now as for house maintenance… while we aren’t ready for an episode of “Hoarders”, pet hair tumbleweeds are pretty common around here.

Lastly, here’s a totally random and unrelated question: what’s your favorite cocktail?

Is all of them too lushy of an answer? 😉

OK, this is actually the last question… How can someone contact your about ordering a custom toy?

They can pop by my  facebook page  and they can visit my website

Thanks for answering my questions, Michelle! Be sure to check out her links and do some toy shopping, dear Internet!

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