Number 1 tip for a relaxing holiday…

Don’t have a 6 year old to stay! It may not have been relaxing but it was so much fun and one of the best weeks I’ve had in a very long time. It helps that she’s funny, her sense of humour is hysterical. On the only tricky bedtime we had (midweek) I said ‘come on now, it’s time for bed’, the husband then said the exact same thing. There was a pause and then she said in such a quizzical voice ‘Is there an echo in here?’. I fell apart and that was the end of that.

It was a week of walks, baking and sewing. I taught her to use the sewing machine, slowly I might add and in continual fear of sending her back to her mother with two fingers sewn together. She made a mouse! We used a lot of textile glue as she stuck the ears on (I’m still not comfortable giving her a very sharp needle) and she picked all of the fabric and beads, hence why it looks like it has cataracts…

She’s the image of my daughter at that age and it brought so many memories flooding back. I was so sad to wave her off on Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a blue funk to tell you the truth but just need to push on and get busy to distract me. I’m now working on some extra products!

First up are the keyrings. I was given a huge stash of Harris Tweed including lots of small fabric swatch samples, very small but too good to waste. I’ve toyed around with mini versions of my mice, they haven’t proved so popular for some reason but that’s ok, it’s all a learning curve. I’m using one of those for this month’s giveaway over on my Facebook page. Anyway, back to the keyrings. My birds are actually a great size to fit in your hand and it struck me the other day as I was looking at one of them, what a great size it would be for a keyring. It was also really important to me that they still looked like my little birds rather than a generic bird shape. I hope I’ve managed that!

I made quite a few purple ones but that’s because I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be arsed to change the thread or the bobbin. I’ll be cutting out some different colours today though changing it up a little.

Brooches are also at the planning stage but it’s so hard to be original these days, with so many very talented designers out there already making similar things, it’s really stretching the imagination to come up with something new. But, it’s important that I do, not only for me but for my customers. Every person who buys from me is getting something unique, even if its made of the same fabric as five other items and using the same beads, I try to make something different about it. It could be the wings or the butterfly, even with these keyrings, they are all different.

As an artist it’s incredibly flattering when someone tells you that you’ve inspired them to try making similar things. I did it. I bought Ann Wood’s pattern for her little birds and it is the one thing that pushed me to making my own patterns. I give a lot of credit to her for that. I’m forever grateful that she fired up a spark in me to create. What isn’t so flattering is when someone comes to my facebook page and tags a crafty friend in one of the posts and it’s screamingly obvious what their intent is. Why they don’t just write ‘LOOK AT THIS!! You could so make this’ – it would be less obvious. This happened recently, when I looked at the tagged person’s profile, yep, she was a crafter, yep, she works in tweed, yep, she makes keyrings. Might I suggest, that if you want to tell your crafty mate to copy my ideas, you do it in a personal message because at least then I don’t have to see it and sit on my hands to prevent myself having a rant at you on my posts…..

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Don’t copy my work. In fact, don’t copy anyone’s work. There’s a massive difference between people who love what they do, pouring every hour into designing and making, often earning below minimum wage and those who think ‘Oh I can do that, that looks easy, that’ll make me money’.

Picasso said ‘Bad artists copy. Great artists steal’.

On that note, I’m off to rub some voltarol into my aching back and start on a brooch or two…

Every now and then I’m asked…

“Where can I buy your mice?”

 

Well, I have an Etsy shop which I’m trying to keep stocked. If you see a mouse that you like but would like it in a different colour or with different accessories, just send me a message. I also have a shop on NuMonday which is new. Visit my Facebook page where you can send me a message and I can invoice you via Paypal.

“Do you ship outside of the UK?”

Yes I do!

“Do you do commissions?”

Yes. I can even make you a mouse with your own fabric. Do you have an item of clothing from someone special or a special day? I can make you an Angel Wings mouse using your fabric to give your little mouse extra meaning.

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“How will I receive my Mouse?”

All of my mice are wrapped in a brightly coloured tissue paper and then put into a lovely recycled card pillow box, tied up with a coloured ribbon and then put into a padded envelope. I always try to take extra care when wrapping, it’s lovely to receive something that has been wrapped nicely!

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“Do you make anything else?”

I make birds 🙂 Pop over to my portfolio page to see what type of birds I’ve made in the past. One of my favourites is the swan, although all of the white is a pain, it’s still a beautiful bird.

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If you have any other questions, please send me a message or leave it in the comments below. I’m always happy to answer and love to talk to people who like my creations!

Ear worms and cosplaying mice…

I feel sometimes as though I’m in cloud cuckoo land. I’m lucky enough that I have endless support in my crafting adventures from a very patient husband. He listens to me rattling on about nonsense on a regular basis and smiles and nods. I know he’s really going through guitar chords in his head but it’s the thought that counts.

I’ve made a few more butterfly catchers, another beekeeper but I’m always looking to make something different.

This week my little mouse making adventures has taken me down a whole new avenue.

Cosplay.

For those of you not in the know, its this…

noun
  1. 1.
    the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga or anime.

I spent most of Friday making a start on my accounts. April and May are already gone and I have a lot of receipts floating around. I do not want to wait till next year, having a mad panic so I downloaded Quickbooks and set to work. 3 hours later, I kid you not, I’m only halfway through. I had to take a break.

I’ve introduced the husband to The Walking Dead. Having seen it all the way through three times, it was bugging him what I found so great about it. Friday night I knew we were due to get to the episode that introduced Negan. I love Negan. Well, to be accurate, I love Jeffery Dean Morgan and have ever since he was Sam & Dean Winchester’s dad in Supernatural.

What better way to relax than making a Negan Mouse…..or rather a Cosplaying Mouse who likes Negan.

The ideas are coming thick and fast now 🙂

If you are interested in any of my mice, you can find them at my Etsy Shop 

P.S I’m sorry for putting Easy Street into your head…..