Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Christmas Maypole

Is it already November? And, the 7th at that! Well this little mouse gathers no moss and with that, I'm rolling along. Ah! I finished the wee Pipos Kitty Trunk and she is with her little 7" mama and happy owner. I really love the way this came out, more so because in the course of finishing it, I found out that the artist who commissioned it, paints flowers. So, I added the little framed flower painting to the inside of the trunk to make it a wee painter's studio. A pink dress, a teeny pallette and brush, a wee wood framed canvas, and an easel that folds down completed this precious little set.

And now with Christmas upon us shortly, I am once again inspired by my muse, the French cartoon character, Becassine. As you may have noticed, I wear the Becassine costume proudly. It is around this time of year that I begin to ponder what cute little etrennes I might come up with to tickle the fancies of prospective patrons out there. While awaiting an appointment, I was playing with this darling little wooden, kitty "Maypole", for lack of a better description. You'd wind it up at the top, and the platform of kitties would go spinning down. I then thought, What would it look like in miniature with wee Becassines going around it? And, so I began to cut out the little Becassine figures, sand them, and paint them. They are 1 1/8" tall and painted all around. I fastened them onto straight pins at the bottom so that I could fit them into an old sanding block to dry in stages. No less than three coats of each color decorate the little wood figures. These were cut in 1/8" basswood, gessoed, sanded, then painted. At present, I am exhausted from finishing the paintwork on them, but had to share the work in progress. My guess is that the finished Maypole will be about 3 1/2" tall, a toy for the French doll, Bleuette.

Another folk toy I am considering is a Becassine jumping jack of wood. The kind with the strings you pull down so the legs and arms pop up! This, and several peg wooden paper dolls are being made, and it occurs to me that none may sell as prospectives are holding tight to their dolly dollars. I have often thought in slow times that I would simply stop creating these wonderful little heirlooms, but then inspiration hits, and I am back working my little paws in wood and paint again.

My friend in The Netherlands was celebrating Sinterklaas this past weekend, and then gets to celebrate the fun of Santa Claus for the rest of the year. We American mice must wait until after our Thanksgiving to begin. Well, some do. I like to have my tree up, undecorated a bit before Thanksgiving, and decorate it the day after. This rainy weather surely puts us in the mood for a little holiday cheer. A warm fire burns in the fireplace, the snow has begun to gather up in mountains, and I'll be busy with my muse for the next month or so.

Warmest wishes as the holidays approach!

Miss E. Mouse

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