it would help to know my Physics….

So the last thing you saw was this

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I think by now it’s safe to say that this will be a wreath with two trees, some sky and grass.

I then made a hammock, that I attached to the tree trunks. And went on to making the mouse and the accessories. I had to wait for the feedback from my kiddo on the teachers eyes. I like making my mice personal.

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The hammock looked pretty comfy to me. I am one to spend a lot of time in my own hammock, enjoying the sounds of nature, soaking up the sun or reading a good book. Or sometimes just taking a nap.

What I didn’t take in account that the mouse would not have the same weight distribution as I did.

After I had finished up the mouse I sewed it to the hammock and picked the wreath up on it’s hanger.

Guess what???

Yes, the mouse did a flip and was hanging belly down!!! Sorry, I have no picture of that. I was just too frustrated with myself. Why didn’t it dawn on me, that the lightweight hammock would not hold the “heavy” mouse.

I had to ponder on that for a little and tried a few options.

I finally managed to find one that wouldn’t look too funny and awkward.

This morning I printed out some book covers and cut out little book pages and sewed the books together. I then glued them to the wreath.Hammock5

Attached my little tag and wrapped it up. Sat the kiddo down to write a little note for the teacher as soon we got back from School.

I hope the teacher gets to enjoy her Summer Break with some good books in a hammock.

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lots of green

remember this? ham

 

Over the last few days I worked with a lot of browns and greens, to add more definition to this wreath.

This is how it looks like, at the moment. ham4

I am not quite sure if I want to fill in some more leaves and leave the roots as they are.

In the meantime I will start on my mouse and on something else that will be added to this wreath. As well as some accessories that I still have to get started on. The good thing is, that it doesn’t have to be ready until the last day of School, so I have a little time to experiment and see how it is coming together and what I like best.

At the same time my yard is calling me, we need to get things planted, some bushes and grasses so our sand / yard doesn’t get washed away. But I am waiting on the people from 811 to spray their orange color so I know where the lines are, they are taking their sweet time though.

and then there was this…..what will this be?

while I was at it……  I mean, while I had my mouse supply out I figured it wouldn’t hurt to start on my youngest teacher gift, for the end of the year. Just finished the music teachers gift yesterday.

These are the wreaths I made last year for the teachers.

After my kiddo has the same teacher she had last year, I have to come up with something different.

She did love her wreath though and had it out in the hall as deco for a while.

 

So I found this ham2

and then I added a little bit of this

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The end product for today is this

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I still have to figure out how to add a few distinctive things, to make it more 3 dimensional, but that will happen the next few days.

At the same time I have to start on a mouse that will go on this wreath.

What do you think this will be?

 

 

the little virtuous

Oh my, I have been pushing the envelope on this one. I was procrastinating until the last minute.

My youngest started playing the violin around October last year. And in April they had their Spring concert, which was pretty good.  They had only been playing since 5 months and they played us the “Can Can” and “We will rock you”.

After this was the last year in Elementary School, I thought the wonderful music teacher would need a special “thank you gift”. So I put on my thinking cap. Contacted my miniature clay artist with a request for a violin.

I had it in my head for quite a while and I knew that the last lesson would be this Friday. Yesterday I finally started on the mouse. Just to get sidetracked this morning by my friend, who asked me to hang out with her a little bit. So I did, which I enjoyed. But I had to get back and finish my musician. I was expecting the violin late this afternoon in the mail.

So when the mail lady came in our street and stopped at our mailbox and unbuckled I was happy because I knew it had made it.

By this time my mouse was all knitted,  had all ears and eyes as well as the tail.

I am a little unhappy with my hot glue skills on this project. Guess I have to practice a little bit more.

This is the finished project for the Violin Teacher:

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It is all wrapped up and ready to be taken to School tomorrow. I sure hope the teacher will like the little virtuous.

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.

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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.

Christmas Mouse

A few weeks back I saw a post on FB saying it was 100 days until Christmas. Wow, that’s not much time, I thought.  Time for me to think about gifts for friends and family. Because when you make handmade gifts one thing you don’t have enough of is time.

While one night I couldn’t sleep I thought of my mice and what I had created so far. It was quite a few over the last years.

Some of them you can see here in my collection  (they are not in chronically order, but a little get together of my mice)

But I thought, I have not made any Christmas themed mice yet. I mentioned that to my friend while we where strolling through our Craft store. One of our favorite places to go.

“oh, I would like one, would you make one for me???” is what she said.  Excited to get the chance of making one, I said ” sure, if you buy the supplies”

Which she promptly answered with “what do we need to get?”

So off we go to buy all the essentials.

ring

This was our starting point, a Styrofoam ring, big enough for one mouse and a Christmas tree.  The tree we had saw while we where roaming the Christmas aisles earlier.  So we went back to pick out the nicest we could find. Some decoration for the wreath, some yarn and other little nick knacks.

At home I got right to it. First I had to cover the ugly tube wreath.  It always takes a while until I figure out how many stitches it will need. Every yarn is different, it will stretch different, either needs smaller or bigger needle size to cover up proper. strip

This “tube” knitting I love doing while watching TV, because you don’t have to think while doing it. No counting, no decreasing or increasing. All  I need to pay attention to is the length, to fit around the whole wreath.  I chain it off and start looking for my mending needle. Cut off  a super long thread and start stretching and sewing, while making sure the seam stays in the back. Not always a easy task. Yarn often has a mind of its own.

sew

Ok, now that was done. I had to figure out how it would look best. The tree on the side or better in the middle. And how am I going to attach it? Needed a little pondering on that, but came up with a solution.

chriswreath

Don’t ask my thumb, but I hit it a few times. I decided just gluing it to the wreath was not sturdy enough.

But first I needed to get started on my mouse. I usually start out with the head, nose first. Then attach the body and get knitting in the round, build up the little belly, stuff it and sew it shut. Then I make the ears, first the outside, then the inside and sew it together. And make another one. The arms get knitted right out of the body, as well as the legs. I usually do them last, because I’d like to know what or who the mouse will be so I can make the right colored shoes for them. Or sometimes the mouse needs to be able to stand and then I have to add wire while I am knitting. I am pretty sure I make funny faces while doing that, because it’s a pain in the behind.

So I finished my mouse body. Then of course he needed some Santa pants. Let me go back to the internet real quick and see how the should look. Ah yeah, I need red and white for that. I pick up the stitches around his belly and get to work, fiddle around until I have all the stitches evenly on my needles.

When I get to the tail I make sure there is a whole to pull it through. Because who want their tail stuck in their pants?

What I don’t like is always hiding away all those loose ends.

santas

But I want him to look nice, so getting my sewing needle and scissors and sew all those threads into place.

What else does a Santa mouse need?

Oh yeah a coat.

Yikes, this mouse has quite a belly on him. Well he needed to, he is Santa. But not much fun to get the right size for the coat. santajack

I hope the bottom is wide enough and will go around his jolly belly. And not too wide on the top. We will see, first I have to sew those pesky threads in again.

santajack1

I usually attach the sleeves after I have put the jacket on. Like that they don’t get too long. It would be easier the other way around. But I like a challenge and want to have it look right.

So now that’s done, I still need a Santa hat. My friend requested a little bell to be on it as well. OMG….where did I put my little bells???? I had really tiny ones at some point, but where did I put them, don’t tell me I gave them away! Well I didn’t find them. But I found a golden little jingle rolling around in my key chain drawer….phew, just the right size. This will work just fine.

Ok, so how far are his ears apart?  I don’t ever sew them on the same spot. Gives them their own personality, plus the heads are never the same size. Due to different yarn, different stuffing and the tension while I am knitting.

Picking up stitches, knitting a few rounds…… ah…. forgot, I was supposed to start with the white thread. Unravel.  Start again. Hm…this looks too small…. unravel ….pick up stitches again, knit a few rounds…. aghh…this looks too big…unravel…pick up stitches, knit. Ok this looks like it could fit.  Change over to red and start decreasing. Ugh….why did I pick this mohair yarn, it’s so fuzzy and it likes clinging to itself.  I lost track of my decreasing. Oh crap, no it’s lopsided. ….unravel again… fix it.

And yes, there is threads again, that need to be tucked away neatly. hat

Holding it to the head, seams to fit. Maybe I’ll stuff it a little bit. While sewing the hat to the mouse I think “shouldn’t of stuffed the hat, it’s all wandering up to the end of the cap. And it’s so not cooperating while I try to attach it to the head.

I think I need a break, stupid  Santa hat.

Let me surf a little on the internet to get some inspiration on how I could do the belt, or does Santa have buttons?  Oh no, it’s a belt. Where did I get the idea of buttons? Sometimes you second guess yourself while doing stuff.

Hm, what could I use for his belt, let me go through my ribbon box, see if there is anything in there that would fit. Oh yeah, I like this one, let’s see how it looks. Oh and for the belt closure?  Na…. I will find that tomorrow, I need some sleep.

So the next day while I was going through my beads, I found a few that I thought could work. I asked my kids what they thought would look good. nowhiskers

And this is how Santa looks dressed, in his pants and jacket. While I was looking at the pictures I noticed something…..MY MOUSE DOESN’T HAVE ANY WHISKERS YET…… how did this happen??? Had to fix that immediately , can’t have a mouse with no whiskers.

After that I sewed Santa Mouse to the wreath.

chriswreath1

With his little bell on his hat, whiskers in his face and belt and buckle around his belly.

What should I do next? My friend hat picked out a few felt forms that she wanted on the wreath. So let me lay them on there to see how it will look.

It looked ok, so I glued them on.

ohnepres1

 

And then I wanted some presents under the tree. Yes I could just make some little cardboard boxes and wrap them with paper. But anyone can do that. I wanted them to be knitted. Ugh….why do I do that to myself?

pres

I tried the first one, knitted it like I learned in Geometry how you build a cube out of paper. And then stuffed it with fiber fill. It looked more like a wonky cube to me. So yeah, that would do it. I knitted another one and glued it on card board and then cut it out and sewed it together. Well while it was a good idea I shouldn’t of pulled harder on some sides than on others. It ended up as a little out of shape box.

I showed them to my friend and told her, that I am still working on some more because those are a little funny.

She said “no I like them, they are rustic”

Ok, so let me get some ribbons on them then and see how they will look.

Hahaha….that was a task of it’s own. The ribbon didn’t want to stay where I had planned it to be. I pulled out my weapon. …..my sewing needle and some thread. If you don’t want to stay where I told you to, I will sew you to the present. That’s what I did. On one I even created one of those bows that has a few loops.

Place them on the wreath and sew them to it was my last task. I thought.

I was not quite happy. I thought something was still missing.  Santa needed to have something in his hands.  Called my friend again. “Do you mind if Santa is holding a glass heart?”

Off to go find the right one and attach it to his hand. Now he is done! Now I can bring him over to her house.

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So there you go, now you saw how much time and processing goes into making one of my mice wreath. I love creating those mice, each of them is unique. Has it’s own personality. But because of it it takes me a little longer because there is a lot of undoing before I get it right.

I hope you enjoyed the little insight.

yes, it’s finally done

Last week I went to my craft store, to check out if my motorcycle was in. Well guess what? They had only ordered one and that was sold even before I got there in the morning. Off to find a person that works there and could help me get one before the birthday party on Saturday. I had to do a rain check and it would be in the following Wednesday, but please don’t come in on Wednesday because it takes us all day to unload the truck and it might be the last thing we take out. Give us a call in the evening.

So I went home, tried to finish my mice so they would be ready by the time I’d have the bike. The helmets gave me quite a fit. The first set I made was too big. biker

Looked more like a mouse wearing a coconut shell!

The second set didn’t want to dry, so I was starting to stress a little. I got them dry, more or less. Fitted them to their individual heads. Cut holes into the helmets so their ears would be able to poke through. Then sew on some black ribbon, so the helmet will stay on when they are doing high speeds on the highway.

Off to knit some motorcycle jackets. And accessories.

jacket

Pretty tiny, isn’t it?

The jackets where quite fiddly, the arms are usually only 4 stitches wide. But I think it worked out quite well. biki It even looks like the mouse developed a little bit of muscle. And then I decided to add a zipper. Of course they needed a scarf, because if you drive fast that wind can get pretty cold and you don’t want to have a stiff neck once you get of the bike.

So the mice where done. And I was counting the hours to Wednesday evening. Looked up the craft stores number because I couldn’t find that receipt.  Oh, there…..keep my fingers crossed that it was there. After the 4th person on the phone I was finally told that they have it and it will be at the register for me to be picked up. So Thursday morning I had planned to be there first thing to pick it up. But as usually my plans don’t work out as I had hoped. My youngest came down with something so I had to postpone for a little bit.

I did manage to pick up the motorcycle and was antsy the whole way home to see if the mice would fit on the bike and how it would look.

I got the mice, some thread, the hot glue gun and some scissors and this was the end result:

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My neighbor said the best mice I have made so far. I think they came out quite cute.

Now all I have to do is make a box , so they can be transported and handed over on Saturday.

I had way too much on my plate this week to take the time to create the spotlight treasuries. I should get back to them next week.

I hope you enjoyed the little mice on a motorcycle slide show. Have a wonderful day and happy creating!