Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mignonette and Her Teal Trunk

The sun is out and my puppies are dashing about in the backyard getting muddy nose to tail! How good it is to see the sun again.

I just completed Mignonette and Her Teal Trunk. It was quite an adventure as I haven't dressed little dolls like this in a long time. I also had to make the trunk twice because covering it in cloth is such a different process than creating one in wood and painting it. After cutting the wood, each little piece has to be covered fully before assembly. I then covered the exterior with a lovely pinwhale corduroy. The little mignonette, or French "pocket doll" seems to be very happy with her tiny dolly and the toys I added of a miniature Eiffel Tower, a teeny sailboat and bitty basket. A second dress and straw hat completed the collection. If you'd like to see close ups, please visit my website

With the teal projects behind me, I am beginning anew with one of my peg wooden paper dolls. This one is of Lettie Lane and her Punch and Judy Theatre.

Last night as I lay in bed, snug in my little hole in the wall, I was looking at a book of Etrennes by Theriaults. It occurred to me that I'd made so many little items similar to those in the book, but it is always a source of inspiration for me. I decided to carefully explore the contents a bit further and begin a dedicated pursuit of creating many more of these exceptional luxury items. There will never again be a time to match the high art of miniatures and doll amusements during this period in French history, but I will continue to do my best to follow these artisans example of timeless collectibles.

To quote a passage from the Foreward in the book , Etrennes, French Nineteenth Century Holiday Dolls and Playthings (Theriaults), "We noticed that the French inevitabilty pushed the definition of deluxe, yet understood the precise point when too much was too much. Their touch was, always, just right." In this vein, I create.

Did I mention that my ancestry was French and Scottish?

Miss E. Mouse

Monday, January 25, 2010

Casting Off!

Well, its been raining here in Auburn for two weeks solid and there is no relief in sight! I can't believe that I'm laid up with a broken ankle, but this is how things are. So I hobble around on two paws since the kindly doctor put a scurrying cast on my paw. Its a perfect time to sit and work on little things.

I've been working on a huge box of teal fabrics and leathers and trims since it arrived about three weeks ago. I belong to the Bleuette Sewing Club, and while I don't make big doll clothes, I do make little ones and Etrennes for this doll. She's such a delight to create for! The teal project came as a "challenge" for January and February and most of the seamstresses are busy sewing ball gowns and party dresses for a ball at the end of this month. I made two beautiful accessory sets comprising of slippers, purses and pretties for these dolls to wear with their gowns. Also included were items for the terrier, Fripon, who is little Bleuette's beloved companion. The Venetian mask was my pride and joy. Form fitted just like a real one to Bleuette's little face.

This week I'm hoping to finish a lovely little project for Bleuette to play with. Its a 3 1/2" domed trunk, covered in the teal fabrics, with two little porcelain dolls inside. One little doll is just under 3" and the other is her play doll, about 1 1/2" tall. My goodness they are fun to dress! Although I am looking forward to new projects as the month comes to a close.

Teal is a lovely color and this pallete, as well as shades of blue are the designer colors for the decade! I read in the Mouse Chronicles that it is a color to soothe our stressful lives. But, think of all the things in nature of this hue. The ocean, the sky, lakes, Morning Glories, Forget-Me-Nots... Its endless!

I'd better scurry back into my hole and start working now. The day waits for no mouse!

Miss E. Mouse

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Welcome To My Little Hole in the Wall

I’ve finally decided to poke my nose outside my little hole in the wall and say hello! I’d like to invite you to take a journey with me as I continue to create one-of-a-kind Etrennes and heirloom doll accessories for the advanced collector. As a miniaturist and doll collector myself, I’ve been making beautiful works of art for several years now. I began doing so because I could not find what I sought for my own dolls.

Now you might ask, “What is an Etrennes?” Simply put, it’s a New Year’s Day gift tradition that hit the pinnacle of craftsmanship in Paris during the 1850’s. Luxury boutiques would offer exquisitely crafted and perfectly made miniatures for dolls, and other such fascinations as mechanical toys and wondrous playthings. It is from these expert craftsmen that I gain inspiration and drive to offer such things of beauty for your dolls. Next you may ask, “How do you pronounce it?” Ah-tren, like “then”.

When I sit here struggling over just the right way to do something, I often ask myself, “Why I do this?” The answer is easy…because I can. And, I love it.

Friends and customers often asked if I had a website, to which I would reply “no” to their disappointment. Technology often scares me off, but finally, FINALLY, I did create a website the first of this year and I’d like to invite you to view it at

Next was to create a blog so you could follow my creative process and get to know me a little.

Please join me on a new adventure as I continue to create these lovely Etrennes, and try not to pull my whiskers out doing so!

Miss E. Mouse