another mouse in a new home

shine

Just wanted to share with you my little gift to my clay lady.

shine1

I am sorry that I did not get back into my routine of writing. I am still scattered in my thoughts and my life.

I thought taking a time out before Christmas and the New Year would give me a fresh wind and a few new ideas. None of that happened. I kind of spiraled down the other end. I am still creating, but more for myself, my family and immediate friends. I find myself grabbing my sock needles and starting one sock after the other. Just sent another pair to my friend in Germany, which I know will be greatly appreciated.

Why is it that I have my brain full of thoughts and things and I can’t quiet them down enough to create something new?

I have found out that it is really hard for my to just relax and just be. Meditating which I really want to try is proving to me to be  a real steep hill to climb. Just simple exercises seem to be undo able to me at the moment. I am just to tense, tightly wound like a clock spring. I know that this is also the reason for some of my health hiccups. But trying not to be so tens and relax is easier said than done. But I am working on it.

I did enjoy a good half an hour in my hammock the other day when it was nice and sunny outside. Just laying in it and looking at the clouds passing by without feeling guilty that I am not “doing” anything.

I kind of feel like I have lost my direction, my sense of where I am going. I am not actively searching for anything, just floating along.

Pretty sure I will find what ever it is that will get me creating again. I just have to be patient and walk what ever path I have to walk on right now. I didn’t lose hope and that’s a good thing, but it’s often buried under a big pile of crap and it’s tough to dig yourself out under it. Luckily I have a lot of dear friends near and far that have an open ear for me.

 

080f5692da3ac7bb294eae07dc949ac7

I can’t believe that we are already at the end of January of 2017, where did the last 4 weeks go?

getting sidetracked

I said I was going to show you the end result of my mouse family. I got them finished on time, even though there where some postal hiccups. They made it to their final destination in time before Christmas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I heard that they made it there safely and that the recipient loves the family “picture”.

That made my heart smile. I love hearing how other people react to my mice. I know not everybody is fond of those little creatures.

I am working on a little mouse right now as a thank you gift to my clay person (2Beths’ Creation). She is great to work with. It was the first time we had worked together. And it was  a little vague for me. I was under a time crunch, because I had lost my person that I usually had worked with together.  Find someone who loves doing clay miniatures is not as easy as you think. There are not many that do that little tiny stuff.  I  can’t do the clay work, I tried many times and failed miserable. So it was either, lose the order or jump in both feet first. I had contacted Beth to see if she was interested. And I was so happy when she said she loved doing the small things. So I told her what I needed. And she got to work.

I don’t like to limit someones creativity. I like to have the pieces have their own “personality”. I know that makes it kind of vague for the creator while making something for someone else. Beth showed me her progress and I love the way she works. All I needed was little hooks on some things and that was all. I hope we will get more possibilities to work together.

I fell in a little bit of a slump right before Christmas. Something sucked all my creative juices out. I did get some things done, like the kit my daughter got for Christmas. A little stuffed cat. It was just too fuzzy for her to work with.

She named him “Mr. Meows a lot” kittyp

 

I also  made a pair of socks for my friend. She had seen them on the internet and sent me a picture. So I went off to see if there is an available pattern to work with. I did find it on ravelry. A knitting and crocheting community that I have been part of for quite some time. Luckily you can buy the pattern on line. I calculated how much yarn I would need and told my friend to pick some colors. She went ahead and ordered it and dropped it off at my house.

I learned a few new techniques, thanks to youtube I learned them a little quicker and only had to unravel and start over 3 times. I am a visual learner and sometimes find it hard to visualize something when it is only written.

The socks worked up quite fast. What took a little longer where all these yarn ends that needed to be woven in secure, so they will withstand wearing and washing. mjsocks

After sewing all the ends in it was time to crochet some flowers.  That’s where I needed youtube again. I can pretty much tackle anything with a knitting needle but when it comes to a hook it seems like I get my brain all knotted up. But I managed and sowed 3 flowers on each sock. mjssocks

I still have a poncho waiting to be finished. It is 90% done. But I get distracted to knit socks all the time. They are an easy project, where I don’t have to think a lot. I am not talking about the sock you see up there. I am talking about simple socks. socks

I can take those with me to appointments, sport events etc.

I do have some other things in planning. Kind of shying away from them right now, because there I would have to sit down and get all knitty gritty with the pattern and probably start over a 1000 times.

Plus I got some nice fabric waiting for me to sew some cute things out of. I don’t have enough time in my day…..aaahhhhh…

I will get to those things when it’s time.

Hopefully you had a splendid start into the new year and looking forward to what it will bring.

How I make my mice #4

So, once a mouse body is knitted and put together, I try to figure out what he or she would be. If I have an order I usually make more then one and pick the one that seems to fit more the requested personality.

One of the requests was do make a Bavarian Female.  Well the typical Bavarian Female Tracht (refers to traditional garments in German-speaking countries. Although the word is most often associated with Bavarian and Austrian garments, many other peoples of Germany have them.) is usually a Dirndl.

dirndl-lang-stockerpoint-amber-schwarz-sc195-tanne_215x337

A dirndl (German:ˈdɜrnd(ə)l ) is the name of a traditional feminine dress worn in Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria. It is based on the traditional clothing of Alps peasants.

Nowadays the come in all kind of different colors and lengths.

One detail is always the same, the shape of the top part, slimming and pushing up the boobige (boobs pouring over an outfit) In Bavaria it is called to have a lot of “Holz vor der Huette” directly translates to “wood in front of the cottage”

So I had a little bit of a problem. My mice do not come with boobs.  Now I had to figure out how to make this possible.

Then I had an idea. I made a corset, for the little mouse and stuffed it a little bit and sewed it down on the right places. This was the result.

mouse-boobs1

A Mouse in Lingerie.

I like to have the mice wear bright bold colors to offset it from their body color. So I picked a yellow for the dress and then the apron in a rose to give it a little bit more splash of color.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The corset got some sleeves and was turned into the blouse that is worn under the Dirndl.

As a final touch the stitching in the front was added. The strings in the Dirndl are there to tighten the dress and function more like a corset.

I would say she is ready for the Oktoberfest in Munich !

dirndl2

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.