mouse in a box

modflowers: mouse in a boxI’ve been having a bit of a think recently.

About new things to make. Or more, rather, about new ways of presenting things I make, to make them more attractive and desirable.

I still want to make little characters, because that’s what brings me most joy to create.

Like this one…

modflowers: mouse in a boxmodflowers: mouse in a boxMolly Mouse turned out all right in the end, although at one point I wasn’t sure that she was going to.

I was only just able to turn her right-side-out, a common problem when making new tiny things. It’s really hard to know exactly how tiny to go first-time-around, and bits of her got stuck in the turning, which caused me some mutterings.

But we got there in the end.

This is how tiny Molly is:

modflowers: mouse in a boxI’d go even smaller if I could, but I’m not sure my equipment (including my eyes) is up to it.

Anyway, Molly is a bit little and not really up for any rough handling, so I thought that she might appreciate being decorative, rather than useful.

She, and other creatures like her, are going to be given little boxes to live in, to hang on the wall…

modflowers: mouse in a boxI’m not sure yet about the background. That fabric, a very recent acquisition from Ticking Stripes, is lovely, but just one of many possibilities.

I could also add other bits and bobs to her little home…

modflowers: mouse in a boxmodflowers: mouse in a boxAnyway, I have more thing-in-a-box ideas brewing.

I just need to find me a supply of suitable boxes now. ♥

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an a-plus for mrs b

modflowers: textile art by mrs bertimus People sometimes ask me why I do workshops.

“You can already sew” they say, “so why do you need to go to a sewing workshop?” These, I hasten to add, are usually people who don’t know me very well and who don’t go to workshops themselves.

One thing they fail to grasp is that however much you sew, or otherwise create, and however hard you work to perfect your techniques, there is always more to learn.

modflowers: textile art by mrs bertimus (and others)But the best workshops do more than teach a skill or technique. And they are also more than just an excuse for a pleasant chinwag, with cake thrown in.

I went to my second workshop at Hope and Elvis on Saturday. (You may remember that the previous one I went to was with Jess Quinn, just over a year ago.)

I was inspired to book myself a place on one of Mrs Bertimus’s shindigs having heard others tell of her loveliness, charisma and ability to inspire.

All of which mean that her workshops sell out almost as soon as they are announced.

modflowers: a workshop with Mrs BIt took me two goes to bag a place, so the level of anticipation was high.

And let me say, it didn’t disappoint.

modflowers: a corner of Hope and ElvisHope and Elvis is the very best kind of creative space.

There are inspiring bits and bobs squirrelled away on shelves and inside vintage cabinets and cupboards, and spilling out of baskets and boxes, all over the place. modflowers: the back room at Hope and ElvisThere are big tables and chairs with comfy padded seats and nice tablecloths.

There is amazing art on the walls…

modflowers: art at Hope and Elvismodflowers: art at Hope and ElvisAnd then, in the middle of all that, there is Mrs Bertimus. Who is definitely the most generous tutor I have ever met.

And I don’t just mean because of the homemade cakes and little presents she provides for everyone…

modflowers: presents and name badges from mrs bertimusMrs B sort of bubbles with enthusiasm and inclusivity.

She doesn’t lecture or pontificate, she just shares her energy and skills and experience with the whole room in such a way that you can feel it sinking in and lifting you up, a bit like that part with the fizzy lifting drink in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Only without the horrid bit at the end, where they nearly get chopped up by the ceiling fan. And then get shouted at by Willy Wonka.)

You feel… and normally I hate this word and therefore don’t use it lightly… empowered, rather than taught.

And then there is her work, which is just gorgeous and so very her.

modflowers: mixed media art by mrs bertimus A scrap of paint, a stitch of embroidery, a smidge of technical know-how and a sliver of colour-wisdom…

And before your very eyes, Mrs B transforms little random morsels of vintage lace, old blanket, photocopies, acrylic paint, sellotape and elastic bands into wonderful art.

modflowers: textile art by mrs bertimus It seems insufficient to say that I came away inspired.

Buzzing, more like.

I’ll show you what I made, and what I bought, tomorrow.

And for those of you who don’t get the workshop thing, I hope that sort of explains it a little.

That’s why I go to them anyway. ♥

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blog crush: my vintage avenue

modflowers: illustration from Everyone Likes to Draw; via My Vintage AvenueI don’t have as much time to read blogs as I used to.

Or rather, I don’t seem to manage to make enough time to read blogs as much as I used to.

I browse Pinterest for inspiration over breakfast most mornings; I check my Facebook feeds (one for my page, one for my personal stuff) periodically during breaks through the day, and I tend to go to sleep following a quick catch-up on Instagram.

modflowers: illustration from  Den Store Quillow ; via My Vintage AvenueBut although I have both Bloglovin’ and WordPress feeds filled with blogs I chose to follow, plus notifications via email, I just don’t seem to manage to get around to browsing other people’s blogs very often.

Which is a shame.

Because every time I do get around to a spot of blog-hopping, as I did yesterday, I love it.

modflowers: The Road to Oz; via My Vintage AvenueBlogs are better at telling you stuff.

They are more personal, more eclectic, more complete than a Facebook page or Instagram feed. And therefore more satisfying.

But they are less instant. They require a bit of commitment. Like all the best things in life, they take time.

modflowers: illustration from The Thanksgiving Story; via My Vintage AvenueIt really makes me appreciate every single person who visits or comments on my own blog.

Because I know the time it takes to do so is precious, and to have it directed it my way really means a lot.

So I apologise to all those people out there whose blogs I sign up to follow, in good faith, but in practise don’t find the time to read or comment on as much as I should.

modflowers: illustration from Straight Hair, Curly Hair; via My Vintage AvenueFor those who do find – or make – time, I’d like to offer my latest blog crush.

Because on Sunday morning, the slowest and best time of the week for blog browsing, I discovered My Vintage Avenue.

It isn’t big on words; in fact, there is no reading involved.

It is filled simply with wonderful vintage children’s book illustrations from the personal collection of Sarah Andreacchio, a talented illustrator herself. And that’s it.

And it’s great.

modflowers: illustration from The Road to Oz; via My Vintage AvenueSo what’s your latest blog crush? Who do you carve out the precious time to follow? Which blogs lift your spirits and keep you coming back again and again?

I’m going to be featuring other blog crushes on an occasional basis.

So I’d love to know… ♥

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