Interview met Mumsey

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Interview Mumsey

I am known as Mumsey. I live in the United States. I have been creating various craft items for longer than I care to admit. I guess you could say I came by my creativeness naturally. I started as a child making button people while sitting at the edge of my mother's sewing machine. She was quite the seamstress.

I have dabbled in most crafts over the years, but bears then mice became my passion.

How did you get to the idea of making mice?
I started making mouse Christmas ornaments many, many years ago. It was in the early '70's that I saw a pattern that started it all. The picture in the magazine showed skinny little grey mouse ornaments with triangular shaped heads in calico stockings.

A friend once said she never wanted the first one of anything I made. She knew me well enough to know that I might make the first one following the pattern just to see how it was made, but then I would add my personal touch and creativity and the original would evolve into something much different.

At that time, I wasn't fond of either the grey for the mouse or the calico for the stockings. I wanted them to be fancier for my Christmas tree, so mine were white mice with stockings that were more ornate with shiny silver and gold trims and extremely detailed. Often, I spent countless hours creating entire scenes on each little 3 inch stocking. The tiny details were mostly cut from felt, but I was even known to use the tiny feathers that my pet parakeet had molted to make an angel’s feathered dress. I then designed other characters like angels, cowboys, a Jack-in-the-box, soldiers and others. I never made two exactly the same. That was my personal challenge. The first year I made about 20. The following year, I made many more and gave them as gifts to family and friends as well as decorating my Christmas tree. These were just the first of several generations of mice I’ve made.

Later, I saw little mice sleeping in walnut shell swings. They were made of bread dough and were blanketed in calicos. Jute was used for their swing strings. Mine had to be fancier and shinier to show on my tree, so they had “pillows” and “blankets” of tiny pieces of satins and laces or any other fancy fabric or trim of which anyone gave me a little scrap and their swing strings were made from silver cording. Unfortunately over the years, moisture and humidity have taken their toll and most of the mice have disintegrated. I still have a few and plan to, someday, re-make them out of something other than bread dough. (see picture)

Then in the mid 1980’s someone showed me a pattern for little mice dressed in tiny print fabrics and wearing mop caps. I was intrigued by them, but again had to do something to personalize them. Again my challenge was to make each one different and unique. I wanted to make enough to decorate our new 10 ft. tree. That’s when I began to collect as many mini print fabrics in as many colors as I could find. When I finally sat down to make them I had over 80 different pieces of fabric and when I was finished, I had over 200 little dressed mice…and there were no 2 alike.

I shop continuously for fabrics and tiny accessories. Over the years, I have collected quite a vast assortment of fabrics, laces, ribbons and trims. I have all sorts of ideas and make whatever accessories that I can’t find. I have created almost 500 thus far and… If I ever get to make all the ideas I have in my head, I could probably populate the world with MumseyMouse mice.

Friends who saw them wanted them and suggested I share them with other Mouse Lovers, Fanciers, and Collectors. Thus, Mumsey’s Mouse House was born. I began selling them at Craft Shows and now in my online Studios at www.Mumseysmousehouse.artfire.com and www.mumseysmousehouse.etsy.com .

Each MumseyMouse comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity complete with a picture. With the help of my husband, we have created a wooden Cheese House for Collectors to display them. It can be decorated for Christmas or Mardi Gras.

How are the mice made?
Each MumseyMouse begins as a piece of felt, some polyfil and special beads for eyes and noses. I trace pattern pieces, cut them out, sew them together, turn and stuff. Then they get their nose and eyes and that’s when their personalities begin to take shape. I then place their ears and attach their tail and add their whiskers. Each one is original and unique. Some are thinner, some are taller. Each has its own personality.

How long does it take to make a mouse?
Each little “MumseyMouse" is individually handmade and has its own personality. I take pride in attention to little details to make every “MumseyMouse” special. They are approx. 4 inches tall and their tiny accessories add charm and bring their characters to life. It takes me 4-6 hours to complete each mouse, depending on the amount of detail and how many of the accessories I have to custom make.

Since most “MumseyMouse” mice are one-of-a kind originals, sometimes the design stage takes many more hours.

Do you also make custom mice? (color, clothing etc)
Absolutely, I welcome custom orders. I enjoy the challenge of creating a custom MumseyMouse for any mouse lover or collector. If you have a special request or an idea, I can try to make it. The colors of the mouse are only limited by the felt available. I have done white, tan, beige, brown and of course grey.

The clothing and accessories can reflect any theme from sports, hobbies soldiers, brides and grooms, clowns and angels, to most anything someone wants. I recently designed some Mardi Gras mice on request and am now working on a Collection of Flower Mice that make great Everlasting Flowers for Easter, Mother’s Day, Wedding, or to cheer up someone.

I also customize a Keepsake MumseyMouse from a small piece of a special garment such as a prom gown, wedding dress or any other meaningful fabric form a Special Event or incorporate a special theme. A Remembrance MumseyMouse can be made from a small piece of clothing of a loved one, such as Mother’s favorite dress or Dad’s favorite shirt or tie.

I have also recently created a Rainbow Bridge Keepsake / Memory for Mouse Fanciers and breeders who have lost some of their dear pets.

Do you also like real mice?
I have a passion for cute, furry and cuddly. I have never owned any live mice, but have collected all sorts of figurines for years. The first one I can remember having was when I was only 8 years old and my dad was in the hospital. I saw this little mouse that looked real in the gift shop. It was made of rabbit fur and was holding a corn kernel. Someone bought it for me. Since joining several mouse fancier forums, I have seen the most incredibly adorable mice in the most beautiful colors and patterns. I have also learned so much about mice and how sweet and friendly they are, that I am sorry we never had any.

Here are a few more examples of my different Collections. I invite everyone to also follow my blog at: http://www.artfire.com/users/MumseysMouseHouse/blog