Friday, August 17, 2012

Hack Attack!

My children recently met a local "no-makeup" clown and juggler at a library presentation. They thought he was the coolest ever! 

He gave the crowd tips and advice on how to juggle so my son wants to try. He came home and googled "hacky sacks" and then promptly decided he didn't want to pay the prices he was seeing. So he puppy eyed me and begged me to make a set for him.

So, I give you the first ever Unofficial SMT Hacky Socks. lol Free and lifetime repairs and replacement, can't beat that. ;)

Having a crafty mom really comes in handy at times... Since I recently made this for my daughter's dance recital, a few juggling balls aren't too big of a request for my darling first born.

I have to say that I really do like crafting for and with my kids (even when I get stressed and think it's 'All going wrong!!' lol) and I hope that they will keep these memories and special moments in their hearts forever. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We are moving slow today...

No, not because of lack of sleep. Because the "my favorite animal" reveal is today, did you guess it? 

My most favorite, adored, cherished animal in the whole world is... *drumroll*  A Manatee!  Seeing these giant sweeties is one of the things I miss most about Florida, where I was born and raised.  HaHa, I just found this. It's pretty perfect for me.  Yep, now I totally need a rainbow manatee!


Our next slow moving friend is a new toy design prototype. This little guy generated a lot of facebook traffic. He is pretty adorable and the plus side is no slime! 

Now I think I will make a few adjustments to the design. He body will be slightly longer. I might make the eye end of his stalks a bit bigger and roundier. Just little tweaks. This snail, just like the new Whale are lower price point toys. I want a wide range of prices so that there is something for everyone, regardless of your budget.  I never want price to keep someone from being able to have or give a special gift. We can work within your price range and even do payments. I'm flexible. :D

We do have one more toy to share to catch up on our backlog but I think I will wait and stretch that out just a little bit longer. And I need to get to work on some new designs!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Well, I HAD a plan.

For blogging regularly, especially catching you all up with recent designs and toys. I had a plan... and then my daughter started not feeling so well. I wasn't worried about it at first but it didn't go away. We were on the fence of taking her in and she took a turn for the worst.

We took her to E-Care, still hoping it was nothing serious. It took quite a few hours and a CT scan for the Dr. to decide that it was indeed appendicitis. Her appendix pointed the wrong way (apparently she is one of 10% of the population that has this) so it threw off where her pain presented. 

We ended up in Dallas at Children's Medical Center. Long story short, surgery, recovery, home finally. PHEW!

So now, I owe you guys a blog post... with photos! I aim to please.

One of my facebook friends asked if I'd ever had a request for a dolphin... so of course I had to try. I LOVE IT! I think he is just perfect. Can't get much more dolphiny than this :D

My happy little Whale is a new prototype. I realized that after I took the photos that I meant to make little arm fins for him and I totally spaced on it. But really I think he has a super cute cartoonish quality and doesn't really need them, but I can add them of course. Look at that face, isn't it precious! And the water spout.... how can you resist that!?

Do you have a favorite animal? Ironically, I've not made a sock version of my favorite. I wonder if you can guess what it is? :D

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Well, THAT takes the wind out of your sails.

cute? yes.  tech wiz? not so much
So here is the deal... I'm blogging more, working on my site, trying to get more traffic, etc. because soon I'm going to have a contest. A free giveaway contest
"YAY, Michelle, you rock. We love you!" *crowd noise*

So yesterday I decided to do a little sprucing up of the ol' site. I changed out some of the older toy pics on the Homepage and added a photo and some more info to the ME! page. I was so jazzed about those changes and feeling so good about myself that I thought... "Hey Awesome, you should look at what the new blogger upgrade options are!" And I thought that sounded like a fabulous idea. I'm going to mention here that at this point it was about 12:20ish pm and I'd been working on my site for a while.

Do you see where this is going? Well if you've noticed that my blog no longer looks like the other pages of my website you might indeed realized what I did. 

See, I thought I was just previewing the new template options when in fact I had actually upgraded... without saving my previous code. So poof, it was gone. I nearly cried, big fat tears. I was smart enough then to just GO TO BED (wish I had done that a few minutes before, huh? lol).

The plus side is I was able to delete some crazy old widgets and gunk that were hanging around and added in some new, really sweet stuff like easy share buttons.  Please tell me that someone else out there can relate to a bonehead move like this. I can't be the only one.. right!?  

Friday, August 3, 2012

New, New, New!

WOW, I just realized there are a LOT of toy photos that I haven't posted here on the bloggy side. I get so caught up on the facebook page for Sole Mate Toys that I neglect this part and that is not cool. 

I think I will split this up over the next few days so that I don't have to squeeze a million things into one insanely long, photo heavy blog post. Spread around the awesome, sounds like a plan to me!
I love collages! Great way to smush in ALL the poses and angles without dragging it out in individual shots.

So WAY back in March I received a toy request for a Gorilla obsessed little girl. You know how I LOVE a new toy design so of course I was excited! Here was the result...
Isn't it cute!? I love the nose. LOVE!

Still in the Way Back Machine.... In April I got to do a First Birthday gift for the sweetest little peanut. Her mom wanted a giraffe, no other restrictions, just a giraffe. I did one years ago, you can see a photo of it here on the homepage . It was huge and very realistic... as far as sock toys go, that is. This time I wanted to design a more youthful toy so I tried a baby-ish giraffe.  Here are some facts about baby giraffes that I bet you might not know....  
  • Gestation period is 15 months
  • Interval between births is generally 20 months
  • Life expectancy of 25 years in the wild
  • A baby is generally 6 feet tall and will weigh about 150 pounds at birth
  • A baby will fall approximately 6 feet during birth before hitting the ground
  • A baby will begin nursing within one hour
  • A baby will generally also begin walking within one hour
Is that not one of the cutest things you've seen recently, or what!? Ok we will pause here for now, in the upcoming posts you will get to see some of the fabulous new toy prototypes I've been making. I have lots of big ideas coming your way. :D

Thursday, August 2, 2012

In Living Color!

And in a total departure from vintage....  Modern Modern Modern. Crazy patterns, Bright colors, FUN.

This is total my sock toy approach. I love big and loud! I was recently attacked the the store by all of these new wonderful socks and they forced me to buy them. ;) Okay, I may have a bit of an addiction. But I just can't pass them up when I can see how amazingly they will be as new toys. I'm weak I tells ya, WEAK! Look how fabulous they are though....

Had to grab the blues, boyish colors are harder to find.

Hearts, dots, zebra, stripes!!! Yes, please!

They are just begging to be animals, how can I say no? 

And this is where they live when I bring them home. Isn't it cozy. So when you order a toy I come and stare at the 'Wall Of Sock' and pull out all the options that might fit your color preferences. I also have a cart of bits and pieces. I save everything, never know when it will come in handy. :D

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How far we have come.

Years ago, shortly after stumbling into the "sock toy" world, I happened upon these books and I just had to buy them. 


This one, published in 1958

And this one from 1974

The 1958 one is especially hilarious, just looks at the cover. Woot, now we can make toys for bazaars AND shut-ins!  Apparently, back in the day, cuddliness wasn't the highest priority. The instructions for this bunny tell you to add "broom straw" for the whiskers. How would you like to snuggle up to that at night?

The crafters of our past were also not concerned about the mental health of their gift recipients... there is no other word for this puppet but terrifying!  

We won't even get into some of the vaguely racist toys included. EEK! It really is amazing to see how much has changed,not only in the design style but also the sock options and crafting supplies in general. In reading through these books basically your choices were a plain, dark colored dress sock or a red heeled sock. Not a lot of variety, to say the least!

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