Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brisbane comes to life with its own Toy Story!

Are you are crafty soul and want to give purpose to your passion?
Would you like to give back to your community but don’t know how?
Well read on……
Brisbane’s largest handmade collective, BrisStyle, is joining forces with the Toy Society to co-ordinate a MEGA Toy Drop throughout the South East and beyond during the month of May. Hundreds of toys with notes to “take me home” are set to be anonymously tied to trees, lamp posts or left in other prominent places throughout the immediate Brisbane region, and with BrisStyle’s networks reaching a global audience, drops are set to be made the world over.
The Toy Society started this global gift giving exercise as a way to give random recipients the buzz of receiving a "something for nothing" experience, as well as having creative communities contribute to their local street scape and encourage people to notice and engage with their surroundings.
The local BrisStyle project will give crafty souls near and far purpose to their creative passions by lifting spirits throughout the communities where they secretly drop their handmade toys. The emphasis will be to think big and drop not only in urban areas but also those suburbs which may be in need some extra care and attention, such as those which have been recently affected by natural disasters.
WHEN :: From 9th to 27th May – ending with the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets in King George Square on Friday May 27th from 5pm – 9pm
WHERE :: Think BIG! Drops can be made in your local areas (whether you are local, out of state or overseas), a flood or cyclone affected suburb or any suburb in need of some care and attention.
The May 27th BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets will mark the end of the project with King George Square being transformed into a toy giving hub. Leading up to this celebration, the Square will see random acts of toy giving kindness, bringing it to life as well as highlighting Brisbane’s sense of community.
WHO :: ANYONE! The more the merrier! Whether you are in Queensland, Australia or even the other side of the world we would love you to take part in our mega Toy Drop. Get your Mum and your Nana involved; your friends at work or school – anyone who loves to craft for a purpose.
Read on for all the details……..

1. Make a toy. Make anything you like - some people like to make theirs child friendly, no buttons etc, but of course it's up to you. You can use whatever materials you like and there are lots of free downloadable patterns on the internet
2. Make your tags, print up your letters and maybe even make a cute little envelope (having the letter concealed makes the finding even more exciting - like opening a secret letter). Find all the files here: http://sites.google.com/site/thetoysociety/ and check out the Toy Society blog for inspiration on how to present your letters, tags, etc. There are some really beautiful ideas.

One idea for making the tags is to use cardboard labels from the stationery shop. Cut a printed "Take Me Home" label and another the same size cut from an old story book. Sew them to each side of the cardboard tag using a zig zag stitch and attach some cotton kitchen string.

An idea for the envelope for the letter is to use a page from an old story book. You can get very cheap pre-loved storybooks from any op shop. Just cut out a page and fold up around your letter to make an envelope.

There's a space on the letter for you to write your name (if you want to) to tell the finder who their new toy was made by.

Seal up your letter in your cute little handmade envelope. On the front write "Open Me"
3. Feel free to send an email to BrisStyle at brisstylemarketing@gmail.com in the lead-up to your drop. It can be about what you are working on, your completed toy, where you are planning to drop, etc. We will endeavour to feature as many dropped toys as we can during the period, including the lead-up, with what everyone is making and planning. Please keep images LOW res and include any information you would like featured in our blog posts.
4. Now put it all in a zip lock bag - toy and envelope - and cut some slits in the plastic above the press-seal and tie some string through there so you have a loop to use to hang your toy up. Tie your cute little homemade tag on the bag too - so the finder knows the toy is theirs and they can take it home.

Please don't put any advertising or anything like that with your toy in the bag or in the envelope. The Toy Society is about leaving something for nothing. You'll get kudos on the blog and Flickr, see points 8, 9. Your name label you sew into the seam of your toy is fine though.
5. Take it to the streets! Find a well-positioned spot to put your toy. We recommend urban places that are known for their street art or have a great vibe. As mentioned, areas of need - such as where people have been affected by natural disasters or even those experiencing a challenged socio economic climate - would be great places to leave your toys.
Please steer away from places where a toy (however cute) may not be received well, or those areas which may cause danger to you or the recipient. Therefore please be considerate of local rules, customs, cultures and laws as this is meant to be an exercise in giving, not making any political statement.
6. CLICK! Don't forget to take photos - one good one which shows the location of the drop with the toy, and one a bit closer showing the toy itself. You can see examples on the Flickr Group
7. Once you have done your drop (and taken photos) attach the best photos to an email. (IMPORTANT: Please try to limit to 2 photos if possible. Photos must not be bigger than 500KB each and total sent must not exceed 2mb).
· In the body of the email include the following details with your response:
Dropped: i.e. where you dropped your toy
Number of toys:
Made by:
Dropped by:
please include a link to your blog if you have one - or Flickr
When: day, month, year
And (YOUR NAME) says: any other comments you want to leave
· ENSURE there is NOTHING else in the body - no signatures, no pretty jpegs, no 'have a nice day' etc!
· Make your subject as: Drop # (BrisStyle Mega Drop)
· Address the email to thetoysociety.brisstyle@blogger.com
· Go check the blog and see if it has landed - it might take a few minutes. If it doesn't land, try sizing down your photos or attaching fewer images and re-send. If it doesn't work the second time, please email thetoysociety@gmail.com
· Once your drop is on the blog, The Toy Society will assign a drop number to it and tag it with the appropriate tags
8. When your toy is found, and the finder sends an email to the thetoysociety@gmail.com a "Found" note will be posted on the blog. If possible we will email you as well, but it's best to keep your eyes on the blog.
9. You should of course post details of your drop on your own blog too (if you have one)... but as if you weren't going to do that already! Don't forget to link into The Toy Society blog (www.thetoysociety.blogspot.com) so we can come and visit and comment! You are also more than welcome to use our blog button to spread the news.
A quick word on the finding part... not everyone replies to say they've taken a toy into their home and some people take ages to reply! And for us, that's absolutely fine. This project was started as a way to contribute to the streetscape and encourage people to notice and engage with their surroundings. It was also started to give people the buzz of having a "something for nothing" experience, which unfortunately is not such a common experience these days. So while hearing back from a finder is a great buzz, it's just the cherry on top of the icing on this fun little project.

Now, go forth and share the love!
♥ and don't forget to keep us up to date too


P - temporary said...

So excited that BrisStyle has teamed up with the toy society - what a great way to lift the spirits after all the natural disasters we've had this year!

JDRussell said...

I love this kind of stuff. I've heard about other types of drop offs, like books. So magical. Luckily, I'm a doll maker! And I WILl JOIN IN!

Adriana said...

That is a wonderful idea! Count me in!

Lynette said...

what a great idea, what a pity I only found it now....when its all over. I hope theres a next time and I can join in the fun !

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