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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going on Vacation

Naomi is moving house and I am off on holiday this week, so The House of Mouse will be closed from Tuesday 14th September until October. If you need a mouse before then, this is your last chance to get it until October.

x Anna x

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gourdon the Pumpkin Mouse

Gourdon has chosen to go trick-or-treating dressed as a pumpkin this Halloween! All of his friends have stocked up on silly string and smelly cheese just in case anyone in their neighbourhood chooses the "trick" option, but so far everyone has given them lots of delicious candy. Gourdon likes to stuff the candy inside his plump pumpkin costume (you can carry so much more that way!) and tip it all out at the end of the day to feast on the Halloween treats. He would love to come home with you and share some yummy goodies! Gourdon is the perfect gift for Halloween, or perhaps anyone whose birthday falls around Halloween.

Available in our store here today

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Miss Universe Mouse

Miss Universe Mouse - the only one of her kind that will ever be made by The House of Mouse - is available for you to bid on, here on Ebay.

ALL the proceeds will go to the
Macmillan Cancer Support Charity.

This is your only chance to own this One of a Kind mouse. She is on sale on Ebay because Etsy does not allow items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

A few weeks ago we ran a very special giveaway to celebrate our 1000th sale on Etsy. As the prize we offered a One of a Kind Miss Universe Mouse to the person who we felt deserved her the most. We received some very special comments, but felt that Cat's comment was the sweetest and most deserving:

"I would love to win this mouse! Here is my story. A couple of years ago my mum met a man who changed our lives. I'm in my 30s, he was 80! He was a very special friend to my mother and he had a way of touching hearts that I had never seen in anybody. He also taught me so much about life and I grew to love him like a dad. I was getting married last May but sadly my friend was diagnosed with cancer in the October before, and he passed away in the December, four days before Christmas and didn't make it to our wedding. He left us some money to spend on our wedding. It was a small amount and we decided that we would buy custom wedding mice from The House of Mouse (as I had already purchased three before and I love them). But upon request, custom mice were no longer available and I was so upset! But when I told my story to Anna, she so kindly agreed, and made the mice for us. They are fabulous, they now sit in our living room and when I look at them I think of my friend....

If I were to win this unique mouse I would request that it go on sale in The House of Mouse shop and be under offer. The person with the highest offer would win the mouse and the money they pay for the mouse go to a cancer charity - The Macmillan Cancer Support. I think it would be something nice I could give as a gesture to my friend in return for the time he gave us. Kind of like a pay it forward xxx"

So, as the Cat wished: Her mouse is now up for auction on Ebay. You can find the listing HERE We are covering all the PayPal, Ebay and Shipping charges, so every penny you pay for her will go to Cat's chosen charity.

Artist Interview - Nancy van den Boom

Welcome to the first of our interviews here at The House of Mouse. Each week we will invite a different Etsy seller to visit us in our home, where all the mice live. We chose someone very special to be the first to meet the mice: our friend Nancy van den Boom. Nancy is a Dutch painter based in her studio in The Netherlands, in the little village Uitgeest.

Nancy is greeted at the front door by several thoroughly overexcited mice, they clamour to take her coat and show her into our home. In the centre of the hallway in The House of Mouse is a long wooden staircase that twists out of view. Several quivering mouse noses are peeking out of little gaps in the banister, their owners are very curious about the new arrival but too shy to come downstairs just yet.

Nancy is shown into the heart of our home: the kitchen, where 20 or so other mice are sitting expectantly on the kitchen table, some are bouncing up and down in their joy to finally meet her. Naomi pulls out her clipboard and begins the interview.

Welcome Nancy to our home! As you can see, the mice are very excited to meet you. You are their first visitor, and as both Anna and I are good friends with you online, they feel as if you are their friend too. Thank you so much for talking to us today.
Thank you so much dear Naomi, I am so glad with your invitation.

We'd like to begin by asking you a little bit about your Etsy store and what it means to you: when talking about your store to someone for the first time, what do you tell them?
I am very proud to be able to tell I have a webshop on Etsy. I really feel like an owner of a shop! I tell I paint (which is a surprise sometimes too) and that I sell very vibrant paintings and necklaces with small oil paintings. I love to see the surprised faces!

Oh, why do you think they are surprised to learn that you paint? Do you think that you don't look like a painter?
Well, how could people tell I paint lol? From the paint in my hair sometimes perhaps... But I think too that most people admire artists and when I tell them I paint, it is like "Wow! She paints!"

Would you share a memory with us of when you first fell in love with your craft?
I remember the first time in 2004 I painted the Tree of my Life with acrylic paint. I loved painting light and dark right away. This took me back to my childhood when I looked at the work of my Dad, who painted and worked with dark and light a lot. It felt so good to work with this again, after, lets say 30 years.

So your father was a painter. That's fabulous! Y
ou're carrying on a sort of family heritage with your artwork!
And my mother painted watercolours years ago. She was very good with colours. I am sorry she doesn't paint any more nowadays.

How do you plan for a new item in your Etsy Shop, if at all?
When I feel like painting, creating... I look forward to listing!

So do you choose what you will paint before you start, or does the inspiration come once you pick up your brushes?
The feeling of inspiration starts somewhere in the day... then I think of colours and what to paint, finally I pick up the brushes, decide on the format... put my stuff ready... and then I decide what to paint and start painting! And the excitement begins, the magic of the colours, the structure filling the blank canvas

We do hope that you're a keen Etsy buyer as well as seller. What is your
favourite shop on Etsy and why?
Listen Naomi please! I love the mice around here, I really do and you too Naomi, but this is a very mean question. How could I possibly give an answer on this? I love shops like www.staroftheeast.etsy.com, www.jealousydesign.etsy.com, www.jkphotography.etsy.com, www.stephmel.etsy.com and many many others... just too many to mention!

Hehehe, we know it's a bit cruel to ask you to choose just one! All of those are favourite shops of mine, too.
But I must say too that I never was in a shop before like I was here in the House of Mouse. So this shop (I am looking around and seeing lovely and cute mousies everywhere around me) is very special to me! To see all the mice in real!

We'd love to get a little snippet of your home life, please describe your home in just 5 words!
Kids, Cor, cats, studio, garden!

Ah yes, Cor is your lovely husband, is that right? Does he love your artwork?
Yes, Cor is very fond of my artwork indeed! He loves the colours and vibrancy of them!
He shows his admiration all the time and he is very encouraging and supporting me with all that goes with painting, framing, making pictures. He likes it a lot I found painting, he knows it makes me really happy.

Musculus Maximouse gets terrible midnight cravings. If he were to raid your refrigerator right now, what treats might he find there?
Not so very exciting stuff really: beans, yoghurt, tomatoes, cheese (ahhhh cheese!, THAT's exciting for mice), lettuce.

That all sounds fairly healthy really, no chocolate?? Would you say you're a fairly healthy household then?
No chocolate left. I have eaten it all! Sorry!

If you were a mouse living in The House of Mouse, which one would you be and why?
Only one answer possible: the Witchy Mouse since I am a witch!

We are intrigued! Do you have a broomstick and a black cat?
I do have a black cat (Zorroluna) and a broomstick indeed. I am connected to nature like witches are. I love the night, the moon and lots more!

And finally, one of the mice would like to ask you a question. The mice tend to be a little random with their choice of questions! This one comes from Terry, the Mouse in a Cat Suit. He'd like to ask you: who do you think would win in a fight, a cat or a hedgehog, and why?!
If it is Terry in the catsuit, it would be Terry who wins of course.

(Terry looks very pleased with himself on hearing this answer!)

While Nancy has been talking, even the shyest mice have crept downstairs and are now crowding the kitchen table and floor, looking up at her with adoring eyes. She has fit right in here at the House of Mouse, we'll be sorry to see her leave so soon but the mice will doubtless be gossiping proudly about her visit for weeks!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us, Nancy. Please let us know how we can find you on the internet by sharing some lovely links!

Thanks for the hospitality Naomi and bunch of lovely mice. It was great being with you.

Here you can find me online:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Moodboard - Autumn

Handmade felted wool scarf FIRE by JaneBoFelt
Feather Brooch by lacravatteduchien
Wetfelted Lamp by viltalakim
Spicy curry and chili - Crocheted necklace/bracelet by TomBjornDesigns

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Stats

Naomi is taking a holiday while she and her family move house, so just Anna's happy stats for today.

My little moments of Happy:
  • Receiving a box full of geeky goodies for Declan that his daddy ordered online, including a Star Trek Captain's T-shirt!
  • Admiring all the amazing details in Naomi's new Teacher Mice. Check out the tiny little calculator that the Math Teacher has!
  • Celebrating the 9 year anniversary of starting a relationship with my wonderful hubby.
  • Interviewing our friend Nancy for the first of our Featured Artist Interviews (To be published on Tuesday)
  • Meeting up with Nancy at her home, seeing all her beautiful paintings and hanging out with her and her lovely husband Cor, who took some amazing photos of Declan.
  • Being inspired to start painting again.
  • Completing a big Wholesale order.

What made you happy this week?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Visiting Nancy and Cor

Thanks to our shop on Etsy.com , we have made many good friends who live all over the world, though many of them we will probably never meet in real life. So it is wonderful when we become friends with someone through Etsy that only lives 30 minutes drive from Anna's home!

Today Declan and Anna went to visit Nancy (aka NancyvdBoom) and her husband Cor at their beautiful home in Uitgeest. Cor is a photographer and while Nancy and I were chatting away his camera was clicking. He was kind enough to send me copies of his photos this evening, I am blown away by how beautiful they are.

You can find Cor's website at www.corvanderplaat.nl

All photos by Cor van der Plaat

2 features in one day!

Today is a very busy day for us!
We have 2 features on other blogs.

The first is a My Day is Friday post,
where Anna takes you through a day in her life!

The second is a feature on The Curious Pug,
where both Anna and Naomi answer some interview questions.

5 NEW Teacher Mice

Just in time for going back to school, 5 new teacher mice have arrived at The House of Mouse! Wouldn't it be great if these little guys had been your teachers? We know we would have learned a lot more.

Mrs Quill the English Teacher would love to quote Shakespeare to you all day long. She's rather a new-age style teacher and often hums or sings to her students as they work. At the end of a long day at school she loves nothing more than to kick off her mousie shoes and snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a Jane Austen novel. She's the perfect gift for any English or drama teacher, or anyone who inspires people to pick up a good book. See more pics of her here

Mr Vector is the hippest, coolest Math Teacher around. He's definitely in the 'prime' of his life! He has his little pupil mice in fits of laughter every lesson as he attempts to come up with some crazy method to remember Pythagoras's Theorem. All the mice look forward to his lessons, and he is slowly turning math into the most exciting subject at his school. Let him come home with you and teach you to love math, too! He's the perfect gift for any math geek. See more photos of him here

Mr Beaker the Science Teacher is a very practical Mouse. To him, Science is the art of the Universe, and the most important topic for any Mouse student to learn. Unfortunately, not all of his students agree, and he has trouble controlling his class sometimes! During his lunch break, he can most often be found sitting in the staff room, nibbling crackers, which has earned him the delightful nickname "Crackpot"! He's the perfect gift for any Science Teacher or Science lover. More photos of him here

Miss Sugarplum the Teacher Mouse loves teaching the little ones! Every day is an adventure to her, as she takes her tiny pupils on wild flights of fancy through the amazing world of education. She's loving and funny and makes everybody grin! No wonder she gets so many apples from her pupils! She'd love to come and teach you to see the world in new and exciting ways. Miss Sugarplum is the perfect gift for any much-loved teacher, new or old. More photos of her here

Mr Morse the Teacher Mouse spends 15 minutes every morning perfecting his moustache before school. It is his pride and joy! His teaching style is a little zany, each morning he bursts into the classroom full of energy and superlatives on what a glorious day it is. His enthusiasm for everything in life is infectious, and even though all his students are convinced he is mad, they can't help enjoying his lessons. See more photos of him here

All are available in our store
The House of Mouse

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Creative Space

A couple of years ago the local craft store ran out of mini flowers just as I got a load of orders for Wedding Topper Mice. Now every time I go into town I feel the compulsion to "stock up" on them. I think I have enough for now right? ;)

Hop on over to Kootoyoo's blog for more Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Giveaway

Every Month we give you the
chance to win a FREE MOUSE
from The House of Mouse

The winner of the September Giveaway
will receive a $35
.00 gift voucher
to spend in our store as their prize!

To enter this months giveaway all you need to do is
leave a comment under this post
telling us about your favourite mouse or mice
from The House of Mouse

(you can choose more than one)


We are away on Vacation right now
so you can check out our flickr page
to see every design we have ever made!

This competition is open to everyone!
Our shop is international, we will ship to anywhere in the world.

The winners will be announced on September 30th


Wednesday Wisdom

Understand how to make the
best of your thumbnail photos

When someone views your store they usually do so in "gallery mode" this is when the images are the same size as the ones in your featured items bar at the top of your shop. To put your store in gallery mode just click the little box with 4 squares in it under your featured items. This is your store "window", the first thing your buyers see when they come to your shop. If you try to make each thumbnail look the best it can, taking into account the way your first image is cropped to fit it, this will make your shop look really great. To get the best out of your thumbnails try to take the photo you will use for the first image as a "horizontal" rectangle, aka "landscape" so that little of the composition of the photo is lost when viewed as a thumbnail.

These thumbnail photos are also how your listings are viewed in treasuries, having a great thumbnail increases your chances of making it into a treasury and therefore your chance of making it onto the Etsy Home Page. Always make sure that the first photo for your listing is the best one from your collection!

Do you have wisdom to share?
Post a link to your Wednesday Wisdom in Mister Linkey below!

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