Sunday 21 April 2024

...William the Whimsical Waltzing Mouse

Towards the end of last year the Instagram algorithm introduced me to the work of a wonderful artist - Rosanna Dell. I was absolutely entranced by the delightful little creatures she was making from cotton wool, PVA glue, pipe cleaners and florist's wire, and thrilled when she generously made a "how-to" tutorial for Youtube. It's my sister's 50th birthday this week, and she has been saying for a long time that she would like me to make her something mouse-themed after she saw the little felt mouse and the little needle-felted mouse that live in my mouse-house.
So I decided to make her a Rosanna-inspired mouse as a present. At first I struggled with the materials - cotton wool and sticky fingers don't mix terribly well, and I kept accidentally pulling bits off in one area whilst adding to another - but I eventually managed to produce a basic mouse shaped figure... 
...and after leaving it to dry on the clothes-airer above the dehumidifier overnight, things got an awful lot easier. Being patient and allowing things to dry between layers is definitely the way to go with this medium. Cotton wool mixed with glue actually functions like a very fine, very responsive papier mâché - it is surprisingly sturdy (though very lightweight) when it dries, and once you have that basic shape to build on, you're away. The texture is perfect for creating a soft, furry effect, and as soon as  you start adding colour (and some little beady eyes) the whole thing comes to life. Look at that plump little mouse belly, and those paper-thin little mouse ears!
I'm not sure where the idea for a daisy chain garland initially came from - although I know the "how to" aspect of it came to me in the shower one morning (the shower is where most of my best "how-to" thinking occurs). I have a paper punch that cuts little eight-petal-flower shapes, so I figured that I could glue two together in an offset position with a strand of embroidery floss sandwiched between them to make perfect little daisies, with sunshine yellow centres and delicate pink-tipped petals. I coated the 'stems' with a PVA and water mix to stiffen them up and stop them unravelling when I threaded the 'chain' together. 

The final touch was a bunch of daisies tied with a tiny piece of pink ribbon, and my happy little mouse, full of the joys of Spring was complete. 
All that remained was to have a photo-shoot in the garden against a back-drop of forget-me-nots, violets and bluebells...

...and to give him a name - because at some stage along the way it became apparent that he was a 'he' - a name in keeping with the air of solid dependability underpinning his sprightly demeanour and obvious theatrical flair... William!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. William is an adorable little mouse. You are very talented. The daisy chain was inspired x

    1. Thanks Beverley, that's very kind! I did say my best how-to thinking happens in the shower! :-)

  2. Oh my goodness! That is the cutest thing ever! I'm currently working on a dollhouse for myself and just might need some mice to fill it!

    1. I think mice make good dollhouse tenants - I'm probably biased because I love Beatrix Potter. Although her Two Bad Mice (Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca) *did* trash the dollhouse in a fit of rage and disappointment when they discovered the food wasn't real!