Hello there! Thank you ever so much for your many kind comments on my post about my Grandma. It was quite a deep breath moment, posting such personal family memories and photographs, yet it felt right and I am glad I did it.
Well, what with Christmas, New Year, a funeral and lots of travelling up and down the country, it was something of a relief to return to our normal routines yesterday. We spent the weekend taking down decorations, clearing out the garage, going to the tip, washing the car (it is very stupid to give a three year old control of the hose - changes of clothes needed for all four of us) and doing those end of holiday things like writing thank you cards, searching for PE kits and the obligatory Sunday night hair wash. Yesterday morning was unseasonably mild and when I got back from the school run I opened all the windows wide and did some housework. It was satisfying, even - dare I say it? - enjoyable to strip the beds and dust and vacuum with only Radio 4 for company and fresh air blowing into the rooms.
Anyway, to today's business...we have been getting crafty with shoe boxes again. Do you remember when, last September, Bella and I made a little shoe box kitchen from household odds and ends for a competition at Cath Kidston? We enjoyed it so much, and it has been played with endlessly, which is surely the point, and we wanted to make more rooms. So, over the holidays, we (well, I, really) made a bedroom for the lucky mouse. My self-imposed rule is that everything must be made from bits and bobs that are lying around the house - boxes, buttons, bottles and lids, pipe cleaners, straws, that sort of thing. No cheating with Sylvanian Families, Barbie or dolls house accessories!
If you are interested in how we made the mouse boudoir, then read on.
1. A bedside table was created from a pretty box which once contained a tube of hand cream.
2. My favourite bit here - an anglepoise reading lamp was made from a button, a pipe cleaner and the lid from my contact lens solution bottle.
3. An overhead lamp shade is provided by a silicone muffin case.
4. The plant pot is a contact lens container, covered in lace trim, with leaves made from some kind of crafty foam we found lying about the house.
5. The mouse bed is a box covered in felt, with cardboard drinking straw legs.
6. I crocheted a granny square blanket with embroidery threads and a tiny hook. I know this must sound like the behaviour of a mad woman, but actually it did not take that long.
7. A felt pillow is trimmed with lace and stuffed to a suitably plump shape.
8. We made a dressing table from a mini loaf cake tin liner (I think these have never actually been used for baking, but for crafting only) with straw legs and some bobble trim to cheer it up.
9. The same trim adorns a large button for a matching stool.
10. You know how when you get a new child's board game, the sort with counters that you move around, and when you set it up for the first time you have to push the little cardboard squares out of their templates? Well, the bit you are left with, a sort of empty cardboard grid, forms our window frame (and the picture frames too).
11. Lastly, Miss Mouse needs somewhere to hang her frock so we made a clothes rail from (another) drinking straw and fashioned a wonky coat hanger from a pipe cleaner.
It is papered with some yellow spot fabric and carpeted with felt. Miss Mouse likes it, and Bella likes it too. Her favourite part is the bed because she likes tucking them in, she told me.
One last thing - this blog is one year old today! This has completely caught me off guard, I have to say. I knew I started it in January last year, but I thought it was much later in the month. So I am woefully unprepared - I feel I ought to have a giveaway or do something celebratory. Instead, I'll cut myself a slice of Christmas cake and wish myself a happy bloggy birthday, and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for visiting and reading and making this blog such a thing of pleasure for me.