Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Each year, Soft Star owners Tricia and Larkin set aside a couple days to be designated playdays at our workshop. On a playday, we stop working for several hours and spend time developing the creative projects of our choice. Sometimes our playdays have a theme, other times it's a free-for-all. The projects we make don't need to have anything to do with our shoes, but we're allowed to use the tools and resources in our shop. At the end of the day all the elves come together for a show-and-tell to share what they created.

The reason we do these playdays to encourage creative thinking, develop new skills, boost morale... and to just have fun!

Our first playday of 2014 took place last week. We had no theme this time, so everyone was cut loose to work on whatever their hearts desired. As usual, we were surprised at the innovative ideas that took shape, and now we'd like to share some of them with you! Here's a recap of our playday projects:

(Sorry, but these items are not available for sale)

 

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

We had a small batch of green sheepskin in the shop, so Elf Elizabeth used it to make a super cozy mitten!

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Karen collected leather scraps from our Rogue shoes and sewed them together to make a new leather fabric. She plans to turn this into a pillowcase.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Patty used our star patterns to make a corn hull game.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Erica has been working on a design for a desert boot for a long time, and she used our Playday to finish her first prototype!

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Erica also made a scissor sheath for Tim (who is always losing his scissors).

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Cindy made leather business card holders.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Cindy also used our LITE leather to make a new mailbag for our outgoing mail.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Martin experimented with homemade leather waterproofing recipes using natural beeswax.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Martin also made a leather wood carving thimble out of our bullhide sole leather.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Keita created a more efficient pattern for cutting out leather straps for our kids' Velcro shoes. This will save us a lot of time!

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Keita had some free time left, so she also whipped together a prototype for a new boot design (this thoroughly impressed all the elves)

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Keoni reused leather scraps to create a composite soling material.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Jodi used our shoe motif patterns to make a woven leather hairband.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Emily experimented with sewing our bullhide leather sole to different types of shoes. This is a variation of our new Portlander with leather laces she cut herself.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Emily also worked on a new sandal design.

Time for the Elves to Play Again! See Our 2014 Winter Playday Projects

Elf Emily also experimented with new ways of sewing our sheepskin boot liners to create less scrap waste.

Click here to see more of our Playday projects

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31 Comments

  1. Victoria
    The more I read about this company the more I fall in love! This is a brilliant idea amoung so many others. You have a lifetime supporter! Thanks Soft Star!
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thank you Victoria!
      Reply
  2. Adin Blankenship
    Adin Blankenship
    These are some great creation and oh my gosh! Those mittens looks so cozy and warm. :) Thank you for sharing all of these.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Adin!
      Reply
  3. Debi Olson
    I want the dessert boots and the tall dress boots too.
    Please and Thank you.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Glad you like them Debi!
      Reply
  4. Laura
    I love the boot design elf Keita came up with! Please please please make these available for sale by next winter!!!!! My feet would be so happy! : )
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Laura, we're glad you like them!
      Reply
  5. David
    Thank you Erica! I've been wanting a pair of those since I first found SoftStar! I can't wait for that design to be finalized.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      So glad you like them David! Please keep in mind that a prototype is a long step away from a finished porduct, so it could be a while. Desert boots are definitely high on our wish list, though!
      Reply
  6. Gordean
    Wow!!! thanks for posting all of those wonderful projects. I love to see all the creativity that goes on in your shop!
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Gordean! Our shop is a fun place to work.
      Reply
  7. Becky L
    Wow...such creative ideas! It's so great that you allow yourselves time to explore and experiment. I can't wait for the Portlanders to hit your website and I'd also love the desert boots. I couldn't help but think about Jan Brett's "The Mitten" when I saw that cozy lone mitten!
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thank you Becky! Portlanders will be out very soon!
      Reply
  8. heather
    Wow, can I work for you? Such diverse and cool ideas! Erica's boots would do well, but Keita's boots....i would buy them in many colours!!
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Heather!
      Reply
  9. Doreen
    You guys are always making me smile! I love your ideas. I would definitely love a pair of the Desert boots and Dress boots when they become available. I adore that pillow front too! Keep those creative juices flowing!
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thank you Doreen!
      Reply
  10. Emily
    I cannot express how much I want those portlanders with leather soles. That right there is my dream shoe! I've always loved the fronts of the ramblers (no seam pieces on the inside), but the backs of the runamocs (padded with no elastic at the heel.) The leather soles take them into the realm of perfection.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Emily!
      Reply
  11. TS
    The Desert Boot! In a winter (lined and a little warmer) and a summer version! I'm hereby volunteering to beta test.
    WTG all of the elves, lots of neat ideas.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thank you TS!
      Reply
  12. Ian
    Yes, please. For the desert boots, that is.

    I prefer the looks of good heavy boots to wear with my kilts. Problem is, well... they're heavy. Having made the transition to minimalist shoes (Vibrams Fivefingers and Merrel Gloves for many years now), my old boots look great, but are too annoying to wear.

    So, Erica's desert boot for the guys, and Keita's boot for the gals. ;)
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks for your feedback Ian!
      Reply
  13. Marian Sanphy
    Love to see the creativity of the elves! I want the desert boot for sure! Some nifty stuff, would like to see an expansion of some of those great projects.
    Reply
  14. Diana
    It looked like a fun and creative day. Both boot prototypes made me very excited.
    Reply
  15. Glen
    I will absolutely buy those desert boots the minute you make them available!

    My wife wants the tall boots as well.

    Keep up the great work, everyone. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Reply
    1. Elf Martin
      Thanks Glen. Glad you like them!
      Reply
  16. Fern
    Definitely love the desert boots. Those would be good in cooler weather as well as in dry, dusty, hot places like where I live. I love the look and concept of boots but most are so heavy. These would truly fit the bill.
    Reply
  17. Sheena
    I would wear those desert boots EVERYWHERE in EVERY color!! Please make them!!
    Reply
  18. Christian
    Man those desert boots look great
    Reply
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