The Mouse Project

You guys… I thought the 50th birthday shenanigans ended on Thursday when my blogging besties threw me a virtual birthday party, but no. They upped the ante with what has been known on Twitter as #TMPWatch2013. When it first popped up in my Twitter feed, I admit – I ignored it. I have goofy friends and there’s always some kind of ‘watch of the week’ going on. But when they started mentioning crafts, injuries, cat-tastrophes and swearing, it got my attention. Eventually, I wailed “I WANT IN!” Bet that got a laugh.

Kat stepped up and explained that it was a craft project. A “stitch & bitch” of sorts. She even produced a photo of an apron she was working on. There was embroidery of cilantro. (Yes, cilantro.) But she was a deceiver because that apron was distraction bait. They were scheming behind my back. My suspicions were confirmed when six boxes arrived, all with the same taunt written across the outside – “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL ALL PACKAGES ARRIVE”.

Three days I waited. There was a lot of tweeting back & forth. I kept saying “I can’t stand it!” and they kept saying “Don’t you dare touch them until they’re all there!” When the final box arrived last night, it was on like Donkey Kong. I did my best to live tweet as each box was opened, but I couldn’t help but wish they were all perched in my living room drinking margaritas with me.

Side Note: Now I know why my Felt Mouse Tutorial got so many hits last month.

Here’s a photo line-up of The Mouse Project. I still can’t stopped laughing.

Collage - Kirsten
So many wonderful things in Kirsten’s box. The mice are hilarious. Old MouseDonald comes with a pig that oinks (and the eyes light up). The Ranger Mouse was a joint project with her oldest son. He sent a book to go along with it. There’s Laverne & Squirrely, a travel mouse, a pie baker, Jeanne Cash (dressed in black & an inside joke with TCP), and an adorable garden gnome mouse complete with shears. Bonus swag: Danish chocolate & girly bling. Hey, Kirsten… I think this birthday brought both Freaked Out and peeing my pants a little.

Collage - Allison
Allison’s mice are a perfect blend of sweet, touching and hilarious. Examples:
Duchess Emouska – who look a little like Cruella DeVille; she rocks zebra print
Mousy Gras – raise your hand if you know how she got all those beads
Dr. Pellet – the mousetroenterologist reminding us to help prevent colon cancer
Havarti Marti – she’s here for the party; we’re gonna get along fine

Allison always keeps me in stitches. Even her card made me laugh out loud.

Collage - Carrie
I don’t know who to feel sorrier for – Carrie or her Vlad the Impaler mouse. She had the week from hell and yet still made time to make these mice. There’s a lady mouse in pearls, a gentleman mouse in a bowtie, Little Willie who sings Texas classics on his guitar, and the mouse that was obviously the last straw. Yes – those are real sewing needles protruding from his body, and yes – she shipped it that way. I’d love to know what her post office thought. Not just for the voodoo-like use of needles, but for the toddler meltdown that went with shipping it. Despite it all, her mice are testimony to her perseverance. Thank you for hanging in there, Carrie. I am completely charmed.

Collage - Megan
Sweet Megan. She writes the blog Country Cleaver. In her blog archives, you’ll find the story about how she chose the name for her blog. It involved a photo shoot in which she did her best June Cleaver impersonation. She channeled her Country Cleaver persona into this sweet little mouse, complete with a stylish apron and pearls. I’m guessing she loves Nutella and salmon, although not at the same time. I’m also pretty sure she’s addicted to Downton Abbey and all things Royal. Her dream man can wield an ax and wear flannel like a boss. She’s lovely and has her act together, just like Megan.

Collage - Monica
Meet Leilani. She is the Spirit of Aloha, and she traveled the furthest to be here. She is sporting the latest in swimwear from the great state of Hawaii and bears the traditional greeting of a lei. This cutie is the creation of Monica, the Grommom, who shares her life homeschooling four adorable surfer dudes (groms) without seeming to rub our noses in the fact that she lives in paradise. Her tropical flair brings sunshine into our lives and her iPhone shots of sunsets and beaches inspire us. Monica is a doll, and so is her sweet mouse.

Collage - Beka
Beka of Kvetchin’ Kitchen is many things – smart, funny, strong – but I had no idea she was a crafter. She is responsible for most uses of the hashtag #AllTheSwears on Twitter while #TMP2013 was being chatted about. Girlfriend has hidden talents, and felt mice is one of them. Who knew? Beka made five mice, but one got ripped to shreds by her cats. Such a shame. We could have created a killer Walking Dead diorama for him. But let’s celebrate the survivors – a mustached gentleman with an engagement ring at the ready, a sweetie holding a pink rose who I suspect is about to say “Yes!”, a Mouscasso portrait (very creative) and The Birthday Queen, complete with royal crown & scepter.

Collage - Katie
I think it takes a fellow Texan to understand why a tie-dyed “Keep Austin Weird” mouse named Leslie would make me furiously happy, and Katie from The Hill Country Cook is just that Texan. Her mice are so reflective of her personality – fun & fabulous. There is a polka dot “Surprise!” mouse, a little sweetie hugging a birthday candle, and a trademarked Peace, Love & Baking mouse. Those symbols on the bottom of the blue mouse are a peace sign, a heart and a whisk. Peace, Love & Baking is how Katie ends each blog post, so it’s only fitting that one of her mice bears her emblem. Also stashed in Katie’s box – a mylar birthday banner & a party horn. Party on, Katie!

Collage - Madeline
I think it’s safe to say that Madeline surprised us all. We had no idea she was a closet crafter. Check out her mice. There is a sweet gray mouse in an apron with buttons, a daring hot pink lady bringing the bling, a sweetheart of a purple mouse embellished with red heart buttons (five hearts representing the fact that we both come from families with five girls), and the most adorable little aviator mouse complete with flight wings and a tiny toy airplane. Wow. Just wow.

Collage - Kat
Of course Kat, our resident fashionista, would go full-on glamorpuss. She created not one but SIX fearless females she calls the “Cougar Cocktail Conga Mice”. Here it is in Kat’s own words: “They’re all named Tammy. Naturally, they’ll paint your nails, tease your hair and cover you in rhinestones. It’s just how they operate.” Only Kat would send All The Tammys. It’s like ZsaZsa Gabor had a box of mice babies, and they are priceless! All is forgiven for the great Cilantro Apron Deception, Kat. All is forgiven. PS – they came with hooch!

Collage - Mads
Next up was Mads’ two mouse besties – Mildred & Sophie. They’re the Thelma & Louise of mice. Mildred just turned 50, and just like me she likes to stir up mischief and enjoys a good Bloody Mary. Her BFF Sophie is more inclined to pink fruity cocktails and riding in convertibles. Together, they are unstoppable and despite a few incidents involving glue they still look marvelous. Must be all that sunshine and beautiful weather on the California coast. Real Mousewives?

Collage - Anne
Anne of From My Sweet Heart blog is known for her beautiful desserts. Each of her sweet creations is a masterpiece and each will have you licking your computer screen. It should be no surprise then that she would channel that same artistic ability into felt mice, but we were still surprised. Just look at her beautiful works of art – there is a sweet berry-laden Flour Power mouse, a pie maker wielding a spatula, a cookie baker complete with cookie jar and slotted spatula, a rolling pin baker who loves her job, a sweet pink donut mouse (a girl after my own heart), a hot pink party mouse, and a sweet cotton candy confection that is as sweet as her treat. From My Sweet Heart in mouse form. Bravo, Anne. Bravo!

So much love. So much fun. So much anticipation followed by so much squeeing. And so many back stories – both for the mice and for all the secrecy, the glue gun & sewing needle injuries, and the swearing. Apparently there was a LOT of swearing. Beka’s two cats even brought violence and drama to the mix. RIP Unknown Soldier. You will not be forgotten.

To all the ladies who helped make my 50th birthday one for the record books, thank you a MILLION times over. Words can’t express not only how much I feel loved, but how much I love each of them in return. Some day we’ll all get together, and when we do it will look like one of those rugby tussles where all the sweaty men tackle each other and roll around on the ground. Except that we’ll be laughing instead of sweating. Everyone knows women don’t sweat – they mist.

PS – Special thanks to Kirsten, whom I suspect was the ringleader in all of this, but who is too modest to take the credit. Blame. No, credit. It was ALL amazing. I never saw any of this coming, so either she is a Super Sneak, or I am a mullet. Please refrain from voting out loud. Thank you.

PPS – I have no idea how I’m going to display all these mice, but rest assured that they will not be hidden away and forgotten. If I have to ask The Complete Package build a wall of shelves in my sewing room, so be it. (Right, honey? Right pookie bear? Right snoogie oogums? Right sugar booger? Honey? Hello?)

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37 Comments

Filed under Blogger Collaborations, Craft Projects, Things I Love

37 responses to “The Mouse Project

  1. The Baby

    Awesome! I’d of liked to be in on that. I haven’t made a mouse since I was a kid, don’t know what ever happened to them all… I did little ones and giant door stop ones. I think you should invest in a doll house for your sewing room and let them all live happily ever after.

  2. What a fabulous collection! Happy Birthday!!! :)

  3. I’m so glad you put this together, it is so fun to see everyone’s mice up close! XOXO

    • Thanks, Madeline. I had a great time taking their ‘glamour shots’ yesterday. I was shocked at how long it took to snap, edit & collage them until I counted them all. I think the final count was 48. Crikey! That’s a lot of hilarity. Thanks so very much for helping make 50 one for the record books!

      • The total count should be 49…50 if you count the Unknown Soldier that perished at the claws of Beka’s cats. The cats must feel you don’t look a day over 49. ;)

      • Allison helped me figure that out. I had not included Mousadora from my February OKMH box. Technically, I do have 50 mice now since I still have the one I created in that tutorial. She was so lonely until Mousadora arrived. And now she lives in a mouse sorority house. Or shall we call it The Compound (in minature)?

      • I’ll give them a little mouse sorority, but I’m afraid The Compound is all ours.

  4. What a fabulous Birthday gift! These are adorable!

    • Thanks, Anne! They really are adorable, and so diverse! I love their little histories and personalities. The ladies really outdid themselves on this one, and it caught me totally off guard. What a fabulous surprise.

  5. Awww….Jeanne…..these are so special. Thanks so much for taking the time to put together this post to feature them! Please forgive my slopping stitching! But it was so much fun…and kind of addictive! I might have to make one for myself now! Hope your birthday was truly as fabulous as you are! (LOL….I love the Tammys!)

    • I loved the Tammys, too. And yours blew us all away. We had no idea you were a crafting savant! All of my mouse babies are special to me. It’s like your kids – they’re all unique and special and lovable. I’m just blown away by how much creativity and love was put into each of them. I cannot stop smiling. You ladies really pulled out all the stops for this, and I could never say thank you enough. It was all so fabulous!

  6. Our plan was for 50. Mousadora was a ruse, but she was part of the count, and then then Beka’s murderous cats took our poor #50 out.
    Just so you know, The Husband was concerned that I was creating my very own mouse army (apparently I can MAKE them but not NAME them…) and asked me about dioramas. He was very, very, VERY relieved when they deployed. I’m just so tickled that you liked them – we were all on pins and needles that you might freak out at having to suddenly find space for 50 felt rodents! Happy birthday!!!!! XOXO

    • Well then we’re still 50 because I have the one I made for that tutorial. She’s been up in the sewing room all by herself, and now she’s the Queen Mother of an entire kingdom. It better not go to her head. I guess Mousadora will have to move off the coffee station. I’d hate for her to miss the party. When we were making them for my sister’s house, TCP kept saying, “Are you done NOW?” after each. I would say “Sure, sure” but the next day, I’d make 3 or 4 more. Like Anne said, they’re kind of addicting. Once I finish one little character, I want to make another. I’m not freaked out at all; I’m just trying to come to grips with how fabulous they all are. I love you girls so much!

  7. First of all: THRILLED that you love your new felted friends.

    Secondly: No Ringleaders are required with this enthusiastic bunch. This was a Group Project from start to finish.

    And lastly: We were all laughing at our respective spouses because they started out ignoring The Mouse Project, but became a little worried when we were incessantly emailing/tweeting/texting about them, stalking potential mousie accessories at every retail establishment in town, and writing individual biographies for the crew. I think All the Husbands breathed a collective sigh of relief when we packaged the critters and shipped them off. SO glad you posted a full montage so that we could see the entire collection. Awesome.

  8. mjskit

    this is pretty freaking amazing if you ask me!!! Crazy! Girl – you are loved!!! All of the mice are fabulous. Anne told me about them a while back and I have been dying to see them. You did a wonderful job of showing them off and displaying your appreciation for every single one of them. What a great birthday you have had this past week and weekend! I think you need to keep celebrating all week. You’re just getting started. :)

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  10. How blessed you are to have such great friends. I hope you have many more happy birthdays.

  11. You have a treasury of amazing girlfriends, now you have a treasury of their adorable mice. Such a sweet collection, because of the utter cuteness of each mice and because of the love that each friend put into making them. A birthday to remember for the ages and friends to cherish for all time.

  12. bakeaholicmama

    Do you know my husband thinks I’m off my rocker after this little project. haha… for 2 weeks All I have talked about are mice…. and giggling at twitter on account of mice crafting. I think he is quite relieved the project is over and might possibly be scared of anymore crafting adventures I might take. As much as I complain…. I really did have fun and I’m so glad we surprised you!

    • Surprised would be an understatement, Carrie! I never saw it coming, and I LOVED IT! Thanks for being part of something so special. And tell your husband I said thanks for putting up with it all. It was SO worth it.

  13. I’m so so so glad you loved your mice. Admittedly, I was very anxious to send out Mildred and Sophie…they were so badly traumatized by a glueing accident. Your comment that they must have been boozing cracked me up! I love to think of those pals as two drunk meeskas who got into a glue fight. :) Here’s hoping 50 was the best birthday yet!!!!

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