How to get organised enough to work at home effectively…

If I knew this, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this and slurping my coffee at 6am. Although, maybe I would…

morning coffee

I used to work as an Account Manager for an online company that sold training to companies. I left the house at 7am and didn’t often get home till 7pm. I loved my job, I loved being a grown up and I was really happy working for my boss, a totally insane and manic guy who raced around at 500 miles an hour. He was a great fan of Tony Robbins, the self help/motivational guru and if there was a tour, my boss made sure he got at least one of the tickets if not one for every tour date. He would go off on all sorts of retreats and weekends, he came back after one such event, ripped his socks off and enthused about how he’d walked on burning coals and hadn’t burnt his feet. He also believed in guardian angels. One business meeting journey terrified me so much with his driving that my fingertips wore grooves into the dashboard. He said ‘Amanda, you don’t need to worry, my guardian angel is watching over me’ to which I replied, ‘Yes Nigel, YOUR guardian angel, not mine!!’

Anyway, for someone who was so bonkers and practically ran on fumes ‘I don’t have time to eat’, he was extremely organised. His first thing to do every day was write a list of things he had to do and as he went through the day, he would tick them off his list. I became that person, I used to write lists everywhere. It works. It worked for me. However, I’m not that organised anymore and in fact I haven’t been for a long time. I usually write a grocery list and leave it on the kitchen table when I go to the supermarket.

Working from home (successfully) requires discipline and as I’m often still in my pyjamas at lunchtime, I’m not that disciplined. That has to change. So I am now writing lists of what I’m hoping to do each day. Actually, not ‘hoping’ – let’s try ‘going’. A list of what I’m GOING to do today.

First on my list, complete another one of those lovely green and blue mice. I’ve already made a start, this one has shiny green thread on his ears instead of blue.

small green and blue fabric mouse

After this I’m making a tweed pig, I’m thinking of trying to make a couple of piglets so that should be interesting. Fingers crossed that some of my orders turn up today as I’m planning a steampunk mouse! I already have a bag of aged looking keys in readiness!

aged keys

I’m also working on content for my first newsletter which I’ll send out at the end of this week, there will be an etsy coupon code sent out with the confirmation email when you subscribe but a bigger code sent out in that first email! So please subscribe. I promise not to bombard you with absolute nonsense 🙂

Have a great week!

 

 

So much fabric and so little time…

I have an admirable fabric stash (not including the tweed which deserves a room all of it’s own) and I’ll never use it all. Ever. That doesn’t stop me buying more though and although I have been trying to cut down, there’s still that rash moment when I’m in the fabric shop to buy thread and I wander up to the counter with 6 fat quarters of assorted colours. I did that this weekend. Went in for thread and came out with extra fabric, more Oliver Twist threads and some amazingly red sequins in various sizes. I need an intervention. At least I don’t live in the same town as the fabric shop anymore!

One of the fabrics I bought was this gorgeously vibrant green and blue patterned cotton. The moment I saw it, it was in my hand. Not a good start, I’d only been in the shop 30 seconds.

I was worried about the kind of mouse it would make, I’ve bought vivid and crazy fabric before thinking how awesome it would look, only to be disappointed. But I wasn’t this time. This mouse is stupidly lovely.

 

He was so popular that he sold within minutes. I know I’ll have to make another one or two but I try desperately hard to make each mouse unique, so that’ll involve changing the butterfly or something.

The second batch of fabric from my splurge yesterday was made into this lovely little mouse.

My plans for this week involve nipple pasties for a burlesque themed mouse, considering mice have 10 nipples, this could get tricky! Oh and one of my lovely facebook fans gave me the cracking idea of a steampunk style mouse so I’ve ordered some miniature cogs etc in preparation for making one of those this week, thank you Lucy!

Don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter, your confirmation email will include an exclusive code for £5 off anything in my Etsy shop over £15. It works for the whole of July! How cool is that??? My newsletter will hopefully contain exclusive offers, tips and other nonsense but I promise you won’t get inundated!

I’m now off to make a little Angel Wings Mouse and then look at some options for my festive stock…I didn’t mention the C word so relax 🙂

Have a great week!!

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

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.

FullSizeRender 101

“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!

parcels

 

“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.

swans four

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!

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 😀