This post has been a long time coming and I know some lovely folk are waiting on it. Sorry.
I did buy new silk for the second batch of mice last year, but COVID kind of got in the way at the stage where I’d cut and stitched the skirts but hadn’t chosen the felt colours yet, cue this year and some ‘research’ which mainly involved trying not to eat the inspiration.
The pink girls were easy; mid pink silk and a darker pink cloak (looking very matchy with a tapestry in the background which is waiting to be stitched into a new chair cushion).
I then stumbled when choosing the cloak colour for the teal girls. I work in wool felt only (I’m really funny about fabrics, I prefer natural fibres for sewing and wearing) and it’s interesting to me that the colour pallet of different suppliers often don’t quite match, even though they appear to be the same colours at first glance; I assume it’s the dye particles used which then creates a cohesive set? The mint on the right comes from a different supplier but the teal, which matched the other felts used, was closer to the silk skirt colour than I’d like. In the end, I went with the teal, as the mint just felt slightly ‘off’. Looking back I find myself re-thinking the decision yet again, which is just me being a perfectionist. In the words of Frozen lady, “Let It Go.”
Then came the arduous task of choosing the felt colour for the boys. I was thinking I’d go with the same yellow as the original girl capes (to tie them all in together) and bright bubble gum pink was mooted too, but I got a bit obsessed by the fact purple would be like a mini mouse ‘Willy Wonka’ (I can’t put the boys’ photos up anywhere any more but this is an old one that’s already been on the blog, back from when they were cute and could stand next to each other without arguing…and when they allowed me to take their photo!) and so purple won. (As a separate project I’m tempted to make a set of ‘character’ hanging mice including a Mr Wonka with a little top hat etc).
Then the production line begins. I do love a little production line. I have mostly stopped taking these kinds of photos, partly because I am less enthusiastic about remembering that I should take photos and write a blog post and also because I got fed-up of the photos appearing in people’s ‘what I’m going to make for my next craft fair’ Pinterest album. I do know people copy, but it tends to feel a bit blatant when they’ve pinned all of my making photos so they can work out how best to go about it and for me, half the fun/battle of my work is finding clever processes that allow me to make things in a really neat and tidy way because that’s how my brain works.
The next decision was the dickie bow colour. I ordered the caramel felt in especially, stitched half of them then decided it was wrong! It toned too much with the waistcoat beads and the tails and meant that there was no pop of colour when all three mice were together as a set.
The original mice have contrasting green ties, so this seemed to fit better and the golden yellow matches the capes on the original girls, so for lovely people who buy both sets, they are all matchy, matchy (and if I could go back in time, I’d probably give the original boys teal dickie bows).
I had forgotten just how much hand sewing is involved in these mice and it took a lot longer than I’d expected to get them stitched. We did all get COVID a few weeks back too, and for the record, it’s a myth that children and people double jabbed don’t get ill. It was very satisfying to see the little ‘army’ of them grow on my desk and right now, I only have three left to finish
along with one set of the originals which I found in my project box, half-completed (and now rather aptly hanging out in a Robert Thompson the ‘Mouseman’ wooden bowl that lives in my studio).
I got annoyed trying to take and edit the photos, the light wasn’t really cooperating plus, after over twelve years of doing this I still haven’t learnt how to use my camera properly, that and I’m refusing to buy Adobe Photoshop, my version being on my old laptop (now donated to the oldest teen) and out of date to run with newer operating systems anyway.
I really enjoyed stitching the teal ones as the silk rustles a lot (in a good way) and I love the bright pink nose with the colour of the skirt.
I am going to have to re-take the shop front photo and the one of the little boy as his colour is very off and I can’t correct it, but as I know people are waiting, they are listed here for now.