The top 5 things…

….not to say to a crafter or artist.

We’re a fragile bunch. We sit at home on our lonesomes, drawing, cutting, sewing, glueing, writing, wringing our hands. Some of us are mums, carers or have a day job that soaks up our creative time, making every stitch precious when we finally get to ‘make’. Some of us actually get to interact with other human beings on a regular basis. But all of us, to a one, struggle with having confidence in our work and what we do. You, the husband, the daughter, the mother, the sister tell us it’s great but we don’t believe you, you’re supposed to say that sort of thing. It’s only when strangers tell us these things that we sort of believe it and even then that’s a struggle for us, wondering what their game is, being kind!!

This is why, when you hear a certain phrase, that your blood runs cold and you wonder why you even bloody bother. There’s a hot mass in your stomach and your body tries to turn itself inside out. Most of the time we don’t get to hear these lines. I’m sure there are people who look at my mice on my FB page and think ‘HOW MUCH?’ but I’m lucky, Facebook hasn’t yet invented eavesdropping via post/comment. Not yet anyway.  I’ve had some comments in the past, which I respond to. How I respond, depends on my hormone balance on that given day. Catch me on a good day and I’m smiley and jolly, all the while imagining the commenter’s death at the hands of the sharks in my shark tank that I now have in my Volcano lair.

No one has caught me on a bad day. Yet. If they do, you’ll know it.

Here’s the list, in no particular order…because frankly, they’re all bloody rude!

‘I could make that’ – could you? really? You star! Go home, buy all the materials, draw the pattern, sew it up. Let’s see how long that takes you. Then bring it to me and show me.

‘My kid could make that’ – please refer to the previous comment. Off you trot and take your amazingly talented Tarquinus-Jackajohn (age 5 and 3/4) with you.

‘How much? I could get that cheaper in *insert retailer here’ – Off you jolly well go then. Then bring said item back and show it to me. It will often be mass produced, usually by children in far away countries for a pittance. That is why they are so cheap to buy. I’m not dissing major retailers by the way but anything you buy from them is going to be mass produced, it’s how they keep the prices so low.

‘I’ll get my friend to make me one’ – This one grinds my gears. It’s on a par with the people who come onto my facebook page and tag a friend who’ll then say ‘sure, I’ll have a go’. Let me tell you buttercup, that’s copying and if you want to do that, kindly bugger off. I’ve seen too many lovely people torn apart by finding out they’ve been copied. Trust me, if you are rude enough and so lacking in social etiquette to write that stuff on my page and I find out that you have copied my work, not only will I be sending a cease and desist letter but I’ll name you on my page and let my lovely followers loose on you. Think Liam Neeson from Taken, only more soft, womanly and angrier….some may even carry knitting needles and trust me, they know how to use them!

‘I’m running a charity event and would love to have one of your pieces for a draw’

NO! In my early days of crafting, I did this twice. The first time I got a lovely response from the organiser, with a thank you email afterwards. The second time, I didn’t get so much as a thank you message on facebook. That was someone doing a charity trek thing. I can only assume she fell off a damn cliff because she was obviously unable to write a simple ‘ta very much’. I’ll choose my charities thank you.

These kind of comments are why I don’t do craft fairs. I don’t think I could handle it. The extra loud whisper as they walk away or if they are extra rude, say it to your face. I also don’t want to have to bail my husband out of jail after he’s rugby tackled said offender to the floor and kept them there till they’ve apologised.

If you lovely lot have any other priceless lines of rudeness you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. As a crafter I’m pretty sure I’ve heard most of them but you never know, one of you might have a rare gem to make us all chuckle 🙂

We are all thinking, sentient beings. Crafters and Artists are just that little bit more sensitive, please try to remember that when you are holding a piece of their precious work in your hands. Try to be kind. You don’t have to say it’s awesome. Just something like ‘you must put so much time into your work’ makes all the difference.

Amanda x

 

 

 

Small Creatures…..

That’s the new range. I know, I know, I’ve had at least 20 new ranges this year, Angel Mice, Cosplay Mice, the Artists etc but I think that’s what you have to do in this line of work, constantly evolve and try new things. I don’t want you lovely lot to get bored now do I?

First up are the meeces! Both made of gorgeous Harris Tweed and with individual decorations, including a bead necklace and a headdress of ribbon roses a la Frida Kahlo.

 

 

Then came the fox and the badger…

And then of course, being the owner of one of these strange beasts, I had to make a Frenchie!

You can now buy my little creations directly from this blog via Paypal, so why not treat yourself! Or if you prefer, head over to my etsy page for more information!

I’m still adding stock to the shop but you can soon find all of my available mice and brooches on the following link….. ‘Shop’

Right, I’m off to do some work on my Christmas stock…yes it’s still August but I need to get ahead of the game!

 

x

 

Like a pig in…

Clover!

You thought I was going to write something else then didn’t you? 😀

May and early June was a busy month on the old mouse front which I’m over the moon about but I was worried that I would bore myself to the point of not wanting to do anymore so I’ve taken a bit of a break from them.

I met a really, really lovely lady last week who runs a fabulous shop in Aberdeen called Peapod! It’s full of vintage treasures from teacups to sewing paraphernalia. She gave me absolutely tons of Tweed in all sorts of sumptuous colours so I’ve been experimenting with different little creatures, including owls and pigs. Yes, bit of a random leap there but everyone loves a pig!


Those back legs were tricky (and still are if the truth be told) but I’m getting there and I’m not a fan of perfection anyway!

I’ll be working on this site over the next few days/weeks, it really needs a shake up and I’m hoping to have some lovely new logos to show you soon as well. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter, where you’ll get some tasty offers and maybe the odd pattern or two over the next few months!

Be Happy x

It has been…

an insane week of sewing.

I feel almost possessed, if I’m not sewing, I’m thinking about sewing, dreaming about sewing or talking about sewing. I’m exhausted by it so god alone knows how the husband is feeling, having to listen to me witter on.

It’s 9.56pm on a Tuesday night and I’m only just putting down tools. I’ve spent the past 2 hours packing up parcels for tomorrow’s post, cutting out mice and making feet, hands and tails. Normally I make them as I go but tonight I just felt like getting some of the time consuming bits out of the way.

I have been searching for a weaver of Harris Tweed for a while now. I had been buying from a great little shop on Etsy but it didn’t seem as though I was getting much for my money and they were very generic colours. There wasn’t any ‘history’ to the fabric either. It said ‘Harris Tweed’ and came with the official labels but I didn’t know who made it or what part of the Outer Hebrides it came from. As I now spend my Sunday mornings in bed with a coffee perusing the ipad for craft supplies, I stumbled across a Harris weaver from Stornaway. She had literally just put up a facebook post about some new tweeds that she had ready and I was off and running. It’s a great price (it’s still expensive compared to normal fabrics but that’s to be expected, it’s Harris Tweed!) and the colours were perfect. She had a gorgeous grey and an almost mustardy brown available.

I bought them on Sunday, they arrived today, Tuesday and they were every bit as lovely as I thought they would be. So lovely in fact that I’ve just invested in a metre of a gorgeous Red which will be put aside for Christmas mice. It’s a good job I did because she sold out very quickly.

This week on the making front, we’ve had a real smorgasbord of mice! Mice with binoculars, mice with a gardening trug. I went NUTS!

 

Anyway, more tweed is now cut and I have plans for at least one Great British Bake Off inspired mouse tomorrow, with cakes and all 🙂

Have a great night, oh wait, it’s over, I’m going to bed 😀

Birds, birds, birds…

How are we in the middle of January already? We had snow for about three days last week but the same came out on Sunday and it was gone in a flash. Apparently we are heading for temperatures of 8 or 9 this week, with some sunshine so I’m planning to steam clean the patio and sort out my potting shed ready for planting some seeds. That’s going to involve putting the window and the door back on my greenhouse after those high winds last week though! 😀

Painting wise has involved me experimenting with feathers and fur! I’ve tried to incorporate some of the techniques I’ve learned with Anna Mason’s tutorials, they have proved to be invaluable and I will continue to recommend her online school to anyone who is interested in trying watercolours.

Flamingos are a favourite of mine, I’ve made quite a few in the last couple of years so it was only natural that I’d attempt one. I’m really happy with the feather work, not sure if the images are good enough to show the detail but there are LOTS of tiny brush strokes. I think the beak could do with a bit of work but I’ll go back to that at some point.

 

Someone suggested a puffin because of the beak, we all love puffins, they are real characters.

 

I’m having a few problems capturing the silveryness of the fish but I’m thinking of adding a bit of silver ink to it, that’s cheating isn’t it? I’m giving each layer of work, time to dry and also giving myself time away from the paintings so that I can go back to them with a fresh eye.

The other painting I’ve been working on, is a present for my husband. He’s not on Facebook so he won’t see the photo. It’s my attempt at painting one of our first dogs, Archie. Archie was this gorgeous little Jack Russell who we lost in the spring of 2001, 16 years ago but he is still a big memory for us. This is a very difficult painting for me as it’s one thing to paint a bird or flower from photos because it’s impersonal and easy to be happy with the result. As I work on this one, I’m finding so many errors and issues because I knew that little dog so, so well, it’s harder to capture his essence and personality. I know it’s at the early stages so I’m not giving myself too hard a time but even so it’s quite difficult.

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So far, I’m happy with the left eye! LOL

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing this week…..