September has arrived…

bringing with it, more wind and more rain. We had a lovely summer this year, I think it was a thursday some time in July between 1pm and 3.30pm. I think it’s officially autumn now. That means me beavering away at Halloween mice for now with the odd Christmas mouse thrown in.

Last week saw the creation of a Vampire or three…

Then of course there was ‘Adam’, Frankenstein’s monster and his bride. I’m a massive fan of classic horror from the 30s and 40s so it was a real joy to make the Elsa Lanchester version.

 

I really wanted to make a Halloween Trick or Treater but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I knew there had to be a pumpkin in there somewhere. So here is a little brown mouse waering a pumpkin costume, including the little lid and stalk as a hat. Don’t forget your bag for all the sweets!

 

Next on my list (yes, I’ve started writing lists) was a ‘Mummy’. He’s made of grey Harris Tweed and is wrapped in washed linen bandages with undyed silk wool rovings. He is even doing the perfect hands in front lumber…

Next on my list is Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street! Stay tuned 🙂

You can find all of these on my Etsy shop (link is on the left of the screen) or if there’s anything you’d like me to make, please let me know, I love a challenge!

Have a fabumouse week x

The early bird…

catches the worm apparently. I’m not overly fond of worms, the fact that they will just merrily wiggle on their way when you’ve accidentally chopped one in half, disturbs me. By the way, I’m talking about gardening, I’m not some strange serial killer with a penchant for worms…although I think my Halloween vampire mouse might like worms….

 

Anyway, the Crafter’s life is all about being early to the party. Basically if you aren’t, you miss out. Real crafts take time. I can’t knock out a hexagonal candle in 10 minutes as they seemed to suggest on ‘Craft it Yourself’ recently. Even an accomplished candle maker would struggle with that sort of nonsense. My mice and birds take time. They don’t take days like my embroidered birds but they still take time. So when the sun is beating down and you’ve got all the windows open, we ‘The Crafterarti’ as I like to call us, are working on stuff for Halloween and Christmas. I say ‘YOU’VE got all the windows open’ – I don’t mean me. I live in the North East of Scotland, we had summer once, I think it was a thursday in June. We are still firing up the heating and I’m even thinking of investing in fingerless gloves to do my crafting in!

While this isn’t a problem (the early making of stuff) it can cause problems. I’m quite chatty on my page, I share other artists’ work, pages and giveaway. I rattle on about my farting Frenchie or Jensen Ackles (he doesn’t fart, he’s like royalty). I also share photos of everything I make, either during the creative process or when I’ve added it to my etsy shop. Unfortunately, that involves you getting photos of mice made of red velvet pulling a Christmas cracker with his tail….in July.

 

I’m a late November baby. That means that I always thought the lead up to Christmas was a pain in the arse. My birthday used to get muddled up in it and worst of all, the ‘big’ present. You late year babies know what I mean. That present that doubles up for your birthday and Christmas. It sucks. If you have a child late in the year, never do that! Ever! So as I grew up, I put off the Christmas excitement till December. I’m ashamed to say at one point we weren’t putting the tree up until the week before the big day. However…..I live with a man who would leave the decorations up all year if I let him. I even wait till he’s gone back to work after his Christmas break before I take it all down. We now put our decorations up in November…..I kid you not.

I do know what it’s like when smiley happy weirdos start talking about 127 sleeps till Christmas. I have to hide all the Christmas socks from a man who tells me when it’s ‘Christmas Hump Day’ – the day when it’s closer to Christmas than it is further away…

I try to be respectful on my page and always give a warning that it’s going to be a ‘Christmas’ creation and to look away. But I still get the odd message about it being too soon or worse, someone unlikes my page. It’s a difficult balance for us who love what we do. We get so excited when we finish any piece and we just want to share it with you. Please try to remember that we don’t work to the same calendar as you gods and goddesses. Please try to be tolerant of us when we are enthusing about our latest arrival of festive fur or gaudy red velvet. We aren’t doing it to ruin Christmas for you or to make the year zoom by. When that last posting day comes around in December, we ‘The Crafterarti’ are already thinking about Valentines Day or Easter.

If you think the year goes quickly for you. Imagine what it’s like for us!

 

p.s did I mention Christmas enough? LOL

What is wrong with Crafting programmes?

This week saw the start of Craft it Yourself on Channel 4. I remember seeing the call outs for crafters to apply to feature on it and thought ‘oohh finally, a show about crafting that is actually about crafting’.

I really wanted to like this show. I was fully prepped, dinner was out of the way and my kitchen cleaned. Anyone who has ever eaten with us, know that we eat at about 7pm and sit around the table for bloody hours, talking or faffing. I love my kitchen, it was the selling point of this house and I’ve worked to make it the total centre of our home. We’ve always eaten together as a family, it’s a really important part of our day and our family life. So for us to be away from the table by 7.45pm is no mean feat.

I had a glass of wine at the ready and the long suffering husband had taken himself off to his ‘operations room’ to play guitar.

It started well enough, three friendly, smiley presenters. One, Ant Anstead has been on that car show ‘For the Love of Cars’ with Philip Glenister, which I loved by the way. However, every time Ant appeared on screen I was expecting Gene Hunt to wander on and start talking about steering wheels from the MG they were rebuilding.

Clem is lovely, very smiley but with the odd raised eyebrow that all crafters seem to develop when they are explaining what they do and how they do it.

I actually shouted at the telly when they showed those little mini ‘makes’ – especially that bloody macrame style curtain and the tie dye cushion…1973 called and want those decorating no-nos back!

The whole show had the feel of a sort of budget Changing Rooms or similar. I can’t be doing with that. Crafting isn’t just about doing up your boring kitchen (was that kitchen even real?). It was almost as though some hipster bod at the production company announced in one of those brainstorming meetings, ‘hey, you know what’s in now? Crafting! That is big, especially with all those stay at home mums trying to make a few extra quid on the side! Let’s make a craft show!’

No. Let’s not and say we did.

I’m all for sharing the love of craft. I regularly share other crafters and artists on my facebook page, twitter, instagram etc. It’s a huge community of incredibly hard working and talented people who pour their hearts and soul into their work. That’s what I wanted to see. We didn’t see enough last night of the brilliant tile artist or the blacksmith.

I don’t want to watch presenters showing us ‘craft hacks’.  Do you know what this style of Craft Hacks does? It cheapens the work of real crafters who work bloody long hours refining their crafts. When you see the finished article, you are seeing hours and hours of planning, altering and hard work. Then we get it wrong and start all over again. Maybe more than once.

This wasn’t a programme aimed at Crafters. I think this was entirely aimed at encouraging people to craft and if they can achieve that then all power to them. I’ll be sticking with it for now but I’d really like to see it have a bit of a shake up! More emphasis on the crafters, less of the refurb of rooms and please…NO MORE MACRAME OR TIE DYE!

By the way, my post last week about that awful thing ‘doubt’ went wild on Twitter, all thanks to a very lovely retweet by one of my very favourite actresses! It was lovely and gave me a real boost!

 

#Monday Motivation…

is apparently the trending hashtag on Twitter. My #MondayMotivation is coffee, big dollop of cream (I’m still drinking it like that whether we low carb or not) and no sugar. So here I sit, trying to get motivated.

I haven’t written a list, the postit note to remind me fell off my mac and floated under my desk and I haven’t been motivated enough to retrieve it yet. It’s one of those days, can you tell?

Sunday was spent finishing off my newest cosplay mouse, a rather dark and mysterious black Harris Tweed mouse dressed up as Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. It all seemed easy enough until I realised that a. I didn’t have any black shearling and b. I was going to have to replicate his sword ‘Longclaw’ in polymer clay. I’ve only just mastered Negan’s bat….

Negan's bat 'Lucille'

I’m a real bodger and will try to find a substitute at all times and I ended up replacing the shearling with black feathers and they look very good even if I do say so myself.

JonSnow1

 

As for that bloody sword, three attempts later and I finally had one that didn’t fall apart or look like I’d sat on it.

jonsnow2

I really, really love making these cosplay mice. It is so much fun and incredibly satisfying when it’s finished. I was on a bit of a low after finishing the burlesque mouse. It’s very hard to appeal to all the people who like my page. While I like making my cute mice with the butterfly nets or the beekeeping hats, I also like to make things that make people laugh or just go ‘wow!’ It’s strange to think that I’m known for little cutesy mice when I have my nose pierced, a tattoo and own more Doc Marten’s than any other shoe. I love zombie movies and Stephen King. I’m a swearer too. It seems somewhat at odds with the little tweed mice. But that is a side of me too I suppose. I had a few negative messages about Stripper Mouse but that’s ok, not everything is going to be well received. I didn’t actually like her that much, not because of the subject matter but the red and black together is just so in your face. It’s funny but those kind of colour combos never seem to be as well received.

 

I am incredibly proud of her small fascinator though. It’s 1.5cm round and yet I managed to give it a little veil and some beading. However, she just looks like the Countess Dowager from Downton has become a hooker….

Oh well I guess I can put that down to experience.

Steampunk mouse today, in black and white instead of brown. I really like those mice! I am having to increase my prices for those as the amount of time that goes into them and the added materials add up.

I do have a sale album now on Etsy  and don’t forget, if you are subscribed to my newsletter, you will receive a code for 5% off all purchases over £15 and an extra special code as well!

Right, more coffee!!!

 

You’re mad woman!!

This week has been a bit bonkers. I decided on Monday afternoon to tidy my craft room. Just a light tidy you understand, so I could get back to my sewing. Unfortunately, I then decided to move everything around. So what should have been a 30 minute job, stretched into 4 and a half hours. By the time everyone got home from work, I was knackered and halfway through another green and blue mouse.

Tuesday was more my kind of day, I was organised, wrote a blog post, a list, cleaned up and at my desk for 8am and sewing like a demon. I finished that lovely blue and green mouse and this time it was holding a small hummingbird in the same fabric. A 2cm version of my birds! I can’t imagine doing these small parts without my trusty magnifying lamp. I use a Purelite 3 in 1, which can be used as a floor or desk lamp and even unclips so that you can attach it to your desk. It also has a battery pack so that you can be totally mobile with it but I lost the pack somewhere in the depths of my craft room.

After this, it was onto a project I’d been looking forward to since it was first suggested by one of my facebook followers, Lucy. The steampunk mouse….

 

I make no apologies for all of the photos because I think he’s probably my best yet. I’m so proud of him and I know he’ll be treasured in his new home!

Yesterday (Wednesday) saw me making a lovely yellow tweed pig called Daisy with lots of daisies embellished on her!

 

Sadly, I then decided in the afternoon that I needed to clean my oven. This moved swiftly on to me steaming my kitchen cupboards which degenerated into the mad idea of varnishing my worktops at 4.30pm with the special worktop stuff that I bought nearly two years ago and still hadn’t used. This meant that dinner was concocted from a Tesco ready cooked chicken and some pots of salad bought on his way home from work by the lovely husband. God alone knows what we are eating tonight, as I put the second coat on the worktops before 8am this morning. I also think I have varnish fumes poisoning…

varnishing

I fully intend to start on my little burlesque mouse today, hopefully the feathery yarn will turn up today so I can make her boa. If I so much as suggest getting the decorating equipment out to do the hallway, someone call the people who supply strait jackets, I’ll have one in a fetching shade of hot pink please….