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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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(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

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JAPANESE PAGODA Vintage Travel Poster Switch Plate (single or double) – – FREE Shipping – –
by FreckleFaceSwitchPlates

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Paper Bead Jewelry- Japanese Paper Bead Bracelet Cuff
by Tanith

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Japanese Taiko Drum Pendent by ShinrinArt

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Japanese Courage Pendant , Japanese Courage Kanji Necklace by WizardofCharms

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Manga ACEO PRINT, Japanese Boy Artwork, Anime Bishie Print by NamiyaKou

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kokeshi doll japan crochet keychain cute amulets bag charm unique gift girl accessory by KrugerShop

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Embroidered Christmas ornament, Pink mini Temari, Japanese chrysanthemum by MonaSaadHandmade

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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.