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

 

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