Soft Stories at Markit and an exhibition about Children’s Books

April 18th, 2018

Hello Soft Story Readers!

It’s been a while between updates, but we’ve returned with an exciting news bulletin for you.

rabbit newspaper


Reimagine: The World According to Children’s Books

A couple of weeks back, we travelled to Geelong Gallery to set up Cloud Town as part of ‘Reimagine: The World According to Children’s Books’. There are pictures from Owl Know How on display as well as the original endpapers, characters and sets – even Cornelia & Orvi make an appearance at the front door! It’s a great show and quite an honour to be included amongst our friends and children’s book heroes such as Tai Snaith, Anna Walker, Shaun Tan and many more!


Here we are, standing next to Cloud Town on the opening night:

Isobel Knowles and Cat Rabbit_Hails & Shine_MARCH23-26

The exhibition runs until the 27th of May and there’ll be a family fun day on May the 20th, where families can come and build a Cloud Town with us – make sure to pop past if you’re in Geelong :)


Soft Stories at Markit @ Fed Square

In other news, we’re making our market comeback this weekend at Markit @ Fed Square! We’ll be setting up our soft stall for a day of sweet sales on Sunday the 22nd of April – 10am until 5pm. We’ll have books at market prices, some special limited edition plush toys and a few other surprises – we hope you can pop by for a visit and a chat!

cornelia orvi owl book



The Re-Porpoising Plant at Grand Central

April 7th, 2017

It’s only early in the year, but the cogs are already in motion on a brand new Soft Stories factory!

In January we were given the brief to think up a fictional factory that would entertain all the kids who visited Grand Central shopping centre in Toowoomba for the Easter Holidays. We put on our thinking caps. What could our new fictional factory make? And more importantly, how could this factory make a difference?

Let us present to you The Re-Porpoising Plant!


The Re-Porpoising Plant takes your recyclables and re-purposes them…into porpoises! Allow this little infomercial to explain further:

Through a journey of fictional factory mechanisms, bottles become bodies, coffee cups become flippers and scrunched up paper powers the whole thing.

While the plant is a fun and fictional journey, it also addresses the importance of recycling. If we can recycle our rubbish instead of letting it infiltrate our oceans then perhaps we can save a porpoise, and all the other living things under the sea.

We recruited the very capable Jem from Like Butter to build the factory and its mechanisms, Sharnay from All Of This constructed the cardboard structures and gave it all a lick ‘o’ paint, and Amanda May-Lee came on board as plush porpoise extraordinaire as well as general textile wizard. It was all pulled together by the great people at Engage at Designo. What a team! We’re really grateful to Team Porpoise for doing such an excellent job in bringing our Re-Porpoising plant to life.



If you’re in the Toowoomba area and able to visit Grand Central, you can clock on and become a fictional factory worker. Visit all of our factory contraptions, like this octopus stamper:

Once you make it to the end, make sure to visit the seal for your Seal of Approval!

There are other activities to partake in, such as designing your own factory and taking a selfie with a porpoise, and also a competition to be won! Visit the Grand Central website for a full run down of times and details.


If you get the chance to visit The Re-Porpoising Plant these school holidays, please tag #softstories so we can join in the fun!

A Matter of Factory at the NGV Kids Summer Festival!

January 20th, 2017

Yes, you read that correctly – the factory is back! And this time, it’s at the NGV!
We have been busily reassembling A Matter of Factory to be showcased in the NGV Kids Summer Festival – drilling, stitching and fixing til it was ready to show again. It has been puttering away in the Great Hall for almost a week now!

From tomorrow, we will be present to explain the inner workings of the factory, and to make mechanical dogs with you! From Saturday right through until Thursday the 26th, 10-3. Come and make your own sausage dog with little cog legs!

We hope to see you there!

Cat =^_^= & Isobel {OvO}

The Great Bubble & Squeak Factory!

April 22nd, 2016

We did it! We made a giant Factory!

Over a little more than six weeks, and with the help of over 100 children, the great gang at ArtPlay and some extra helping hands from friends, we created The Bubble & Squeak Factory – a factory that turns your leftover dinner into fun items.

Let us recap the process of how this wonderful factory came to be!

First there was planning:


We had some great ideas, including a factory that turned food scraps into dolphins, a Hot Pink Lamborghini Machine and the unforgettable factory that turned old potatoes into guinea pigs.
After the brainstorming session, we combined all of the ideas into one plan and took it to Jem, the building wizard behind the great business Like Butter.

He helped us turn our fictional factory into moving cogs and conveyor belts, making all our factory dreams come true!

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 5.30.33 pm

The second series of workshops was building:


And then we set to work decorating the factory, adding safety signs, a smokestack and a giant Bubble & Squeak sign!




Once the factory was fully functioning and looking great, it was time to demonstrate it to the public. We trained up our factory workers, who ranged from Potato patters to guinea pig wheel-turners, carrot colourists to pea poppers:



We put the leftover dinner scraps in the microwave and pressed the start button…


And the factory sprang into action! Cogs turned, pulleys pulled, conveyor belts took potatoes, peas and carrots on their journeys to become pencils, tennis balls and guinea pigs!


Thank you to Tatanja Ross & Ella from ArtPlay for the great photos :)

Introducing: The Bubble & Squeak Factory!

March 10th, 2016

Our first series of ArtPlay workshops were a great success! Thank you to everyone who came along and shared their fantastic fictional factory ideas. We have collated all of the great plans and are ready to reveal our collaborative idea: The Bubble & Squeak Factory!


This factory takes your leftover dinner and turns it into decidedly more exciting items. We’ve made all the plans, now it’s time for the Big Build!
orvi plan

How does a Bubble & Squeak factory fit together? Here’s your chance to find out! If you’re aged 5-8 come to a session on Saturday 19th and if you’re aged 9-12 we’ll see you Sunday the 20th!

Bring along your best building brain to construct conveyor belts and put together pulleys using hand tools, building materials, cardboard, felt and other craft materials. Bookings are essential, visit the ArtPlay website for details.


Look out for more workshops to decorate and operate the factory in the first week of the April school holidays.

This project is part of ArtPlay’s New Ideas Lab program, where artists are supported to experiment with ideas as they create new work with children and families.

Factory or Fiction!

February 5th, 2016

ebru pencil
Calling all 5-12 year olds! We want you to help us make a fictional factory!

Together with ArtPlay, we are running Factory or Fiction: a giant project where we will make a giant factory!

Join us for the brainstorming session on February 21st, where we will face the all important task of thinking up what the factory will make, and how it will work. Could it be an ice-cream truck making factory? Or a storm cloud factory? Or a time-warp machine? Will there be secret tunnels and conveyor belts? A tumble drier and an elevator? We’ll brainstorm ideas and draw up the blueprint for this fantastical factory! Down the track we’ll be building and decorating the factory, so if you can’t make it this time around, stay tuned for more details.

Bookings are essential, please go to the Artplay website to secure your spot!

5-8 year olds book here

9-12 year olds book here

We hope you can join us for the fun factory journey!

Win an Owl!

November 19th, 2015

Want to win your own handmade owl, just like the ones from Owl Know How?
Simply give us a review for our Owl Know How app for iPad and go in the running!
You can find the app in the iTunes store here!
The winner will be drawn December 15th, 2015 so get reviewing! ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

On Our Way to WA!

September 15th, 2015

Hello friends!

This week is a big week for us, we’re packing up our felty gang and hopping on board a plane to Western Australia for a week of Soft Stories fun!


Firstly, we’re off to York – a small historic town 100 km outside of Perth – for The York Bzzaar, a 2 day craft and culture extravaganza happening on the 19th and 20th of September. We will be exhibiting A Matter of Factory, Cat will be running a little workshop, Isobel will be giving a little talk and there will be some other surprises, too! Cat made these numbats as special prizes to be given away throughout the festival. Check out the York Bzzaar website for more details.


From York, we will be hitting the road with our sausage dog factory and installing it at the wonderful Turner Galleries in Perth, opening on Tuesday night the 22nd of September and running through until the 10th of October. The exhibition is part of the AWESOME festival which is very exciting. It’s been a busy year for the rickety old factory, let’s hope it makes it through!


As an added extra, Soft Stories has entered the world of instagram. Our handle is @soft_stories – stay tuned for the coming week when Turtle posts a travelogue of her trip to Western Australia!



Let us teach you the ways of felt and careers in craft!

August 29th, 2015

☆☆ We have some workshop and seminar news for you ☆☆

Next weekend we will be teaching a 1-day course titled ‘Thinking in Three Dimensions’, hosted by the great Pop Craft studio. It will be a class dedicated to helping you turn your two dimensional sketches into three dimensional felt objects. Something like this little felt personal music device Isobel whipped up below:



Or maybe your own little bear pin cushion?


You can read more and sign up to the class on the Pop Craft website, here.

In more teaching/learning news, we are honoured to be sharing our knowledge at Craft Victoria’s upcoming Craft & Design as a Career seminar, taking place on Tuesday September the 15th. We will be speaking amid such great crafty minds as Pauline Tran (aforementioned Pop Craft mastermind) Eddy Carroll, Troy Emery and Pip Lincolne so it should be a fun day! We will be sharing our experiences on collaboration and the publishing industry, and a few things in between.


Maybe we’ll see you at one of these events for some making and learning fun times!

Cat =^-^= & Isobel {OvO}


Sausage Dogs in Singapore, Turtle in Tasmania!

May 25th, 2015

We have quite a whirlwind couple of weeks coming up, and we wanted to keep you in the loop!

This week we are packing our sausage dogs into a suitcase and heading to Singapore. We are a part of Ars Electronica’s INTERPLAY – where science meets art. The event is a collaboration project between Science Centre Singapore and Ars Electronica Linz and will feature our A Matter of Factory installation, along with a workshop and artist talk. For more details on the exhibition and related events, visit the Science Centre website.


Next up, we will be taking a flying visit to Hobart for a workshop with Launchpad Workshops, where we will be taking a day-long plush making course. Come join us and make your own felt friend! To sign up, please see their website – please note that this is workshop for people who already have sound basic sewing skills :)

The next day, Sunday the 14th of June, we will host a storytime event at the lovely Fullers Bookshop in Collins St, starting at 2:30pm. Come along to hear us read the book in funny voices, meet Turtle and the gang and colour in your own treehouse!

Phew! That’s it for now!

We hope you are enjoying reading about Turtle and her new friends. Has anyone tried making the tuck-in-turtle pattern yet? We would love to see photos if you have! Send pictures of your turtles to us at and we will put them in the gallery!

Happy making,
Cat =^-^= & Isobel {0v0}