Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff...

...Like bingle balls, and Whofoo fluff! No one sings Christmas like the Whos down in Whoville. Memories of watching this darling Dr. Suess cartoon when I was little bring back such bright times. Well, it is a bright time, and despite the cold, rainy day, my little paws are dancing around the tree as I've just finished my 2010 Becassine Toy of the Year. I cannot begin to tell you how difficult a task this was for me! Of course I'd had the 1" Becassine wood cuts painted and ready to mount since, well, November 7th, but when I went out to drill the holes in the little top and turn platform, the drill press was broken! Alas! Tools. Where is a mouse without her tools? So I trotted down to the local Home Depot and bought another one, then quickly went to work again. However, measuring little disks to find an exact center, measuring tiny areas where to drill the hole for the ribbon ties, and getting this thing all put together to function properly was quite the challenge.

As it turns out (that's a pun, hee-hee) it took a couple of tries and lots of wasted silk ribbon. The silk was too fine and hooks onto the pole no matter how much you sand to smooth it. But, I didn't give up. I never do. I found a different kind of 1/16" ribbon to use and in a sweep of looping it all together, it finally came to be! Yay!

You twist the platform around the pole then let it go. As it winds down, back up again, and winds back down, it spins the figures like a top! So cute. I often wonder if I'll ever run out of ideas for these toys and then something comes along and goes off like a light in my furry little head.

And, what am I working on now? Why a zither! The zither is an ancient instrument going back as far or beyond 433BC. It is played very much like a dulcimer, laid across your lap. And, why a zither? Well, the 10" French Fashion doll, Marie Terese, made by Alice Leverette, is being made into Annabelle, from the story A is For Annabelle, by Tasha Tudor. In this story, set in poetry, Annabelle has all the items a French Fashion doll should have A-Z. And, Z is for Zither. So yes, it will be a tiny one.

While I've bent wood on my own before, I may be looking into a wood bending tool soon. Micro-Mark has a miniature one and it bends the wood through a heated device much like an old fashioned washing machine clothes wringer. Indeed! I think the larger ones are used a bit differently, but for my purposes, a miniature one would come in handy. I have, my friend, Martha Nichols, and her wood working husband to thank for this information.

And, so we are on to yet another dear and wonderful project. The holiday season is upon us so trim up tree with Christmas stuff...then run out to get some more!

Miss E. Mouse

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