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 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

 

 

 

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