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

 

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…

You’re mad woman!!

This week has been a bit bonkers. I decided on Monday afternoon to tidy my craft room. Just a light tidy you understand, so I could get back to my sewing. Unfortunately, I then decided to move everything around. So what should have been a 30 minute job, stretched into 4 and a half hours. By the time everyone got home from work, I was knackered and halfway through another green and blue mouse.

Tuesday was more my kind of day, I was organised, wrote a blog post, a list, cleaned up and at my desk for 8am and sewing like a demon. I finished that lovely blue and green mouse and this time it was holding a small hummingbird in the same fabric. A 2cm version of my birds! I can’t imagine doing these small parts without my trusty magnifying lamp. I use a Purelite 3 in 1, which can be used as a floor or desk lamp and even unclips so that you can attach it to your desk. It also has a battery pack so that you can be totally mobile with it but I lost the pack somewhere in the depths of my craft room.

After this, it was onto a project I’d been looking forward to since it was first suggested by one of my facebook followers, Lucy. The steampunk mouse….

 

I make no apologies for all of the photos because I think he’s probably my best yet. I’m so proud of him and I know he’ll be treasured in his new home!

Yesterday (Wednesday) saw me making a lovely yellow tweed pig called Daisy with lots of daisies embellished on her!

 

Sadly, I then decided in the afternoon that I needed to clean my oven. This moved swiftly on to me steaming my kitchen cupboards which degenerated into the mad idea of varnishing my worktops at 4.30pm with the special worktop stuff that I bought nearly two years ago and still hadn’t used. This meant that dinner was concocted from a Tesco ready cooked chicken and some pots of salad bought on his way home from work by the lovely husband. God alone knows what we are eating tonight, as I put the second coat on the worktops before 8am this morning. I also think I have varnish fumes poisoning…

varnishing

I fully intend to start on my little burlesque mouse today, hopefully the feathery yarn will turn up today so I can make her boa. If I so much as suggest getting the decorating equipment out to do the hallway, someone call the people who supply strait jackets, I’ll have one in a fetching shade of hot pink please….

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!

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.

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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!