Flying Star Toys

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Thou shalt not covet thy children's toys. We can't help ourselves - Flying Star Toys have a nuanced, magical quality that makes us feel as if they just stepped out of a favorite children's tale. Each piece of soft art is hand crafted and most are intended primarily as display objects or, in the words of their creator, artist Florence Forest, "guardians rather than playmates." Forest finds inspiration in native Australian wildlife (the sulfur-crested cockatoo and the kangaroo for example) as well as myths and legends. Her manifesto is: To bring joy to the weary heart, to be a light in the darkness, and to be a vision of compassion is what it means to be a Flying Star.

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We were first attracted by this gorgeous fishing line which can be hung as a mobile or stretched out like a garland. The catch of the day is seven fabric fish in subdued, silvery colors strung on a crocheted line. We don't normally think of fish as particularly romantic, but that's the feeling we get from this piece.

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Whales, birds, mice, cats and bunnies round out the collection and are constructed from a variety of materials including wool, corduroy, brushed cotton, muslin, linen and silk thread.

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The creatures of Flying Star Toys may cost more ($25-$150) than you're accustomed to paying for "stuffed animals" but might be just the thing to commemorate a special occasion or to invest in a long-term keepsake.

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