How I make my mice #3

I forgot to show you the most important part of my mice and how they get it.

The whiskers: Richly supplied with nerve endings, whiskers give mice information about air movements, air pressure, food and anything they touch. Whiskers are extremely sensitive because they are closely connected to the nervous system. The scientific word for whiskers is vibrissae.

I have tried a few different materials, but wasn’t too satisfied in how they looked, sometimes they would droop, then I added either nail polish or glue to make them stiff. Right now I am working with waxed cords, they are still a little thick for my liking, but the whiskers stand out by themselves and I love how it gives them the cute look. I might have to go hunting again and see if there is any thinner wax cord to work with.

So here it goes, I pick up my mouse

whiskers3

fix the face if it got a little smushed , by moving the stuffing around a little bit. Tug the ears if that helps.

whiskers2

Then I grab my big fat needle and my wax thread. Cut a piece off and get to work.

whiskers1

I push the needle with the wax thread through the little mouse nose. It does get a little tricky sometimes because the filling and the yarn like getting stuck to the wax. A knot on each side and then cut it off. I leave the tails long on purpose so I can trim them after they are all put in. You can always cut something off, but you can’t add it on, if it looks funny.

whiskers

And then they look like this little mousy. Sometimes I go back later and re-trim the whiskers.  And once all the extremities are added, they will get their accessories or clothes.

How I make my mice #2

After I have finished the head I usually start working on the tummy.  I don’t have a picture of how I start on the bottom of the head and how I increase the stitches. mousebelly1

And with every mouse the size of the belly varies. Some are slimmer than others. Then stuff the little belly with the white fluffy stuff. Decrease the stitches and close the belly up. mousebelly2

mousebelly4

Usually I keep that thread pretty long, because I use it to “fine tune” the mouse later once all the legs, arms and tail are attached.

After that I usually move on to the ears. That’s when the transformation happens and the personality of the mouse peeks through. mouseears3Each ear has two pieces , the outer side and the pink inside. Each worked separately and and then sewn together. Some get pinched at the end to give the ear a more curled up look. Or just leave as is. It really depends on the mouse.

 

 

See how the mouse all of a sudden gets a personality?

Off to add the tail. I usually just pick up stitches right at the rear and and start knitting a long cord. mousetail

mousetail1

Once the tail is done all these threads have to be tucked away, can’t have all this mess hanging of the mouse. Then the tail will get a little knot in the end.

Next step is the arms. I eyeball the spot where I want the arms to sit and pick up some stitches and work for a short while then switch over to pink for the mouse hand.  The other side happens the same way. mousearms

Then again a lot of threads need to disappear again. Legs will be attached after, but I didn’t take no pictures of that yet. I have to start a new mouse to show you how I work on that.

So I did all that 6 times and then had few of them half way done.11mice1

Then a few more  and I had a big Clan

family-picture-mice

Now off to the exciting part of getting them either dressed or give them some accessories.

How I make my mice #1

yes I am still here, working away on my mouse order. I did finish all the mouse bodies.

I want to share with you how much work goes in to one of the mice. I do everything by hand. I have a pattern that I kind of stick to, that I established extra for these little fellows. mh5

This is how it all starts. I begin with the nose and work myself all the way up, add stitches so the mouse will get some cheeks. Each mouse has a different amount of stitches, that’s how they get their individuality.

After a certain length I have to stop and pick out the eyes. I use safety eyes. Even though my mice are not intended as toys, but I like being on the safe side.

mh

Here I picked a pair of blue eyes for this mouse. I chose a spot and push the eye part through the knitted face. Then I move on to the second eye, try to level it out. Sometimes the mouse ends up with a little bit of “crooked” eye syndrome. Once the eyes are in place the white discs will be pushed up on  the stem of the eye and then the mouse has a pair of eyes. mh1

Then some of the threads have to be tucked away or sewed in place and hidden. After that comes the fun part. Putting some stuffing in place. mh2

oops it’s a little blurry. But I think you get what I am doing here. I stuff the mouse head, play a little bit with it, push the eyes back into place. Sometimes I add a little bit more stuffing and sometimes I have to take some back out.mh3

Then I start closing the head, row after row less and lesser stitches  until there is only a few left, cut the yarn and pull the thread through to close it up.

mh4

And then I have a mouse head. Looking good so far. Then those two threads still have to be hidden, sewn back into the head, so nothing will unravel.

a little update

yes, no Spotlight for today and maybe for until after Christmas.

The reason why?

Well I got a wonderful order of mice in. I am very happy about that and already got started on them. Three bodies are waiting to get dressed and hoping for accessories.

It is a big order, eleven mice to be precise, and they need to be at their new home before Christmas. So I am a little in a time crunch and need to devote all my free time to them.

Therefor I decided to take a break from my Spotlights and report hopefully once a week my progress of my mice.

It will be a collage of  a mom with her kids and grandchildren.

I hope you will all have a wonderful Thanksgiving  and/ or Advent time.

 

 

Spotlight Friday: Japanese Craft

I am still a little  lost in space at the moment. First I had a few sick people around me and now inherited their sharing and then there was this ominous Election day.  I am trying to find my place. Feathers where ruffled the last year and a half. The nation has decided, and we will move on.

Life goes on, for many of us there are things we are looking forward to, things we have planned for  a while and are excited about.

Friends of ours are getting ready for a 4 month stay in Japan. I am sure they are excited, anxious and looking forward to learning new things.

japa-mmap-md

I don’t know where exactly they will be staying. It does sound like a wonderful opportunity though. Even though it will be Winter the whole time they will be staying.

I read it can snow quite a bit and quite an amount. But doesn’t this look beautiful!

d2fd4045ee48a86f2e007fa4f2e88520

And I am pretty sure it is a blast to go snowboarding or skiing in Japan. I am sure you heard about the snow monkeys as well.

itinerary-header

(source: National Geographic Expeditions)

To learn about a different Country, their customs, their way of life, sounds like a wonderful adventure to me.

I would search for all the amazing fabric stores. I would need an extra container to bring all those pretties back home.

But there is Shodo – the Japanese art of calligraphy,japanese-calligraphy

Ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world”During the Edo Period (1615-1868), a uniquely Japanese art from developed known as ukiyoe, or “pictures of the floating world.” A Buddhist concept, ukiyo originally suggested the sadness (uki) of life (yo). , Japanese Architecture, Manga – the japanese comic books, Origami – the craft of paper folding, Japanese fans, Kirigami – similar to origami, but you can use scissors, amigurumi – crocheting or knitting miniature animals, chochin – paper lanterns , Temari– Temari, literally “hand ball”, are a Japanese folk craft that were historically created with old silk kimono as a toy for children. The outside of the ball are covered in a detailed embroidery, Irezumi – heavily tattooing, Byobu – Byobu are Japanese folding screens that are primarily used to partition a room for privacy.There are so many more.  And I would love to learn quite a few of them.

I hope my friend gets the time to dabble in quite a few new arts and bring home some new skills.


Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Handmade Crochet Pinkie Pie My Little Pony Amigurumi Toy Plush Kawaii Japan MLP
by ParadoxHeart

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
JAPANESE PAGODA Vintage Travel Poster Switch Plate (single or double) – – FREE Shipping – –
by FreckleFaceSwitchPlates

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Paper Bead Jewelry- Japanese Paper Bead Bracelet Cuff
by Tanith

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Japanese Taiko Drum Pendent by ShinrinArt

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Japanese Courage Pendant , Japanese Courage Kanji Necklace by WizardofCharms

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Manga ACEO PRINT, Japanese Boy Artwork, Anime Bishie Print by NamiyaKou

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
kokeshi doll japan crochet keychain cute amulets bag charm unique gift girl accessory by KrugerShop

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Embroidered Christmas ornament, Pink mini Temari, Japanese chrysanthemum by MonaSaadHandmade

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Sake glasses, Set of 4 Shot glasses, Ceramic Shot Glass, Japanese cherry blossom by Ningswonderworld

Just searching all these arts and crafts that are originated in Japan make me want to take a trip and explore.

Spotlight Friday: scarves

It is starting to get a little nippy in the morning. So now is the time to pull out my knitting needles to start working on scarves and gloves and all this warm winter stuff.

So the other day I found some nice soft yarn and I couldn’t resist and bought it. I didn’t just buy it I had a project in mind. One of my friends had asked me to make a scarf.

Digging through my books and magazines I found a nice pattern for this beautifully colored yarn.

While I was going through my patterns some thoughts crossed my mind, about how long are people wearing scarfs, or did they have a different meaning, who was the first one to wear a scarf. Did they have a different function?

A scarf, also known as a Kremer, muffler or neck-wrap, is a piece of fabric worn around the neck, near the head or around the waist for warmth, cleanliness, fashion, or religious reasons. They can come in a variety of different colors.

This is what I found:

timeline_small

(source: http://www.scarves.net/blog/the-history-of-scarves-a-timeline/)

I can’t recall when I knitted my first scarf, but it has been many since. Some just plain in pattern or color and some with luxurious yarn. Some with a intricate pattern. Short ones, super long ones, cowl and triangle ones. So many options. Often quite a “quick” project, the thicker the yarn the faster it grows. Every year there is a new trend in knitting scarves. I usually don’t follow those, I like doing my own thing.

This is how far I got with my scarf, in one day:

wavy

Had a tough time getting the colors photographed.  But you get the idea.

This is how the shape will look like when finished: snapshot_2010-02-02_10-55-21_small2 The pattern is from Debbie O’Neill from the book “60 Quick Knits”.

I like trying something new. It took me a few unravelings (if that is even a word) to get the pattern down pat. The unraveling wasn’t easy because it is a fuzzy yarn,  once you knit it it likes clinging to itself. And taking those stitches out without getting frustrated is a little challenging.


Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Hand Painted Silk Scarf, MADE TO ORDER ONLY, Choose your Colors, Jossiani by Jossiani

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Cable knit womens hood hat scarf peacock feather color
by YANKAcrafts

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Corduroy Cravat Handmade Keyhole Men’s Scarf Stone and Green Fleece Necktie by tlcHaberdashery

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Authentic African Kente Cloth Stole, Scarf, Made in Ghana, Multi-Color
by KenteFashionHouse

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
SALE Argyle scarf, navy blue, green, upcycled, repurposed, very warm
by TheSassyGal

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
London Scarf
by BellaEl

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Hand painted silk scarf – Butterfly wing- butterfly scarves- chiffon scarf by JoannaArtDesign

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Shearling Scarf with Leather Fringe Tassels – Available in Grey Beige or Black. by byloomandhyde

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Large Linen Scarf Fall Blanket Scarf | Fall Fashion Lightweight Scarf | Linen Blanket Scarf with Fringe by TwoSparrowsBoutique

 

Just click on the picture and it will take you to the corresponding shop.

What kind of scarf do you wear?

I like mine warm and long, so I can wrap them around my neck at least two times. I am a cold nature and always have cold feet and hands. I can’t stand having cold air sneaking down my neck.

Spotlight Friday: compositions

I don’t do Halloween, I don’t like dressing up at all. I never liked it, even as a kid.I did participate in some Christmas plays in Elementary School, but only because I had to.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing other people getting all dressed up. For myself, it just makes me feel hm…don’t even know how to describe it…..not me!  I wouldn’t say uncomfortable, it’s just not me, not something I desire. I don’t like slipping in other rolls. I like doing me!  I love watching Theater plays or Opera, how people slip into rolls, and do it so believable. As a Teenager my friends and I had a Theater group, I was always in the background, organizing stuff, creating stuff etc. I didn’t want to stand on the stage and play someone else.

What I loved all my life and really miss living here is going to the Theater, a musical or a classical concert and here and there an Opera.

While I was living with my Grandparents in Munich, my Grandma and I went to the Muenchner Residez Theater at least 2-4 times a year.

It’s a beautiful place.

2624572-residenztheater-munich-0

I still remember the first time we went there. It was an late afternoon play, because it was also for kids.It was cold, close to Christmas and it was snowing on the way there. The Opera was “Haensel und Gretel”, the music was written by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Just a little sneak peek.

The opera premiered in Weimar on 23 December 1893, under the baton of Richard Strauss. With its highly original synthesis of Wagnerian techniques and traditional German folk songs, Hansel and Gretel was an instant and overwhelming success.[1]

Hansel and Gretel has always been Humperdinck’s most popular work. In 1923 the Royal Opera House (London) chose it for their first complete radio opera broadcast. Eight years later, it was the first opera transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera (New York)

I felt all grown up, I must of been 12 years old. My grandma had sewed me a new black skirt and a white blouse just for this occasion. I really enjoyed sitting in those fancy old seats in the bottom.

cuvillies-theater

I remember when it was intermission, everyone went into the halls outside to grab a drink or a snack. My grandma usually got me a glass of orange juice while she had a glass of champagne.

In my early twenties when I moved back to Munich to finish my degree and then started to work there I picked up this habit again. I found some like minded friends to go watch plays or musicals.

Getting dressed up and being excited about what we are about to watch.  Usually we went to the Deutsches Theater downtown Munich. I remember my first Musical there was “West side Story”. Most of the times you could buy a CD on the way out, which I mostly did. So I can relive some of these wonderful evenings.

In later years I also traveled to other big cities in Germany like Frankfurt and Hamburg to go and see Musicals there.

I think I need to do some digging into our Musical scene her and expose my kids to this kind of environment as well.


Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
The Soprano – original 5 x 7 acrylic portrait by CastleOnTheHill

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
1800s Colmont Paris Opera Glasses Mother Of Pearl And Abalone Shell Geivroz Paris Theater Glasses by PowerOfOneDesigns

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Round Cufflinks by Cufflinksforyou2

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Bead loomed movie portrait pendant Lon Chaney as Phantom of the Opera by CatsWire

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Purple Feather Gold Phoenix Masquerade Mask/ Laser Cut with White Rhinestones Venetian Masquerade Mask by ForbiddenIdentity

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
CURTAIN CALL – Piper Bags – ITALIAN MANSCRIPT COLL by RUPiperDesigns

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
BALLERINA by LAUTIR

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Vintage Hard- covered Music Book- Cole’s Library of Familiar Music- Opera Selections
by ScrapPantry

Item Title by Shop Name on Zibbet
Times Square at Night – Broadway Theater – New York Home Decor – Colorful Office Decor – Fine Art Photograph by citiesoftheworld

 

One of my favorite Musicals is still Phantom of the Opera. I read the book, saw the movie and saw the musical twice.

This is one of my favorite songs

Andrew Lloyd Webber did a wonderful job on all his Musicals.

I might just have to dig out my cds and start listening to them.

What is your favorite memories about going to a play, musical or opera?