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Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Crafting Adventures with Naomi - Gently Does It...

I thought it would be fun and useful to share with you all some things I've been learning in my new role as a Mousemaker. Not necessarily things about making mice, but important stuff that is helping me to enter a craft that is brand new to me. You see, I have done bits of sewing throughout my life, but never in so particular a fashion as this, and Anna is helping me to learn so much in a very short space of time. But this is still very new to me, and so I am finding that I have a lot of new knowledge and insights that I'd love to share.

The first mouse I made when I joined The House of Mouse was made without a "pattern" or any instructions, because I was just too impatient to wait for the parcel that Anna had posted to me! But even though I was only making him for my own pleasure, I knew to be gentle with my first attempts at this new craft. I've learned that whenever we try some new creative endeavours, we become something like a little child again, experimenting and making mistakes. That little child inside of us is delicate and can be emotionally immature, so it's really important to make sure that the harsh adult part of our brain doesn't squash that fragile little thing: it will one day grow into a magnificent artist, but it has to start somewhere! So even though his nose was wonky, even though his eyes were sunken and his ears lop-sided, I cherished that little mouse and let myself see the potential and feel some pride. And sweet Anna showered me with praise for my clumsy first attempt! She, too, knows how important it is to treat your inner artist child gently.

And, as we both hoped, my learning was very quick! Paired with Anna's wonderful patience and our natural ease of communication together, as well as some fantastic tutorial videos, I was quickly making mice that are fit to sell in our Etsy shop... And here they are, with Anna's Chewy mouse!

And so my first piece of advice for anyone considering trying something new or changing some part of their creative work is this: If you are, I must tell you that it can be the most liberating, exciting and rewarding experience if you give yourself space and time to learn. It is also important that in those first early days of your new crafting, you are careful about the people you share your work with. Some people might not understand how to see the potential in your new work, and may judge you harshly (including yourself!!). Be gentle and patient and see what develops.

I will share some other thoughts with you soon, but we'd love to hear from you if you're thinking of starting something new or have already started, especially art or crafts or anything business- or Etsy-related! It's very exciting to play around with your creativity and freshen things up with something totally different once in a while.

Much love,

Naomi xx


  1. Very wise words Naomi! I could not agree more about allowing yourself to make mistakes, and protecting your newborn work from people who may not understand the "ugly duckling" stage of creating something new. Not that your mice were EVER ugly! You learned at an impressive rate.

    This is a beautiful first "helpful" post for our blog, I'm so proud of my little sister! I can't wait to read your next one.

  2. This is a wonderful post Naomi. It touches me in many ways.
    You know I just started my art necklaces and you describe exactly how I am dealing with this new product.....Be gentle....and patient....haha, yes I should be to myself too!
    I look forward to your next post sharing your thoughts with us.
    I am so glad for you and Anna, the mice, the audience, everyone!
    Nancy xox

  3. Wonderful and wise words! So exciting to be in partnership with big sis and learn from each other in this way!

  4. Starting something new is always difficult and easy at the same time, it is fresh and new therefor fun but also unknown therefor difficult :)

  5. A wonderful post!
    Thank you so very much for sharing!
    Good luck in trying and learning new things!

  6. Congrats and good luck on your partnership with Anna! Excellent post, I look forward to reading more and seeing more great mice! :)

  7. What a lovely, inspiring post, thanks for sharing!

    Also, I love the title "Mousemaker". :D

  8. nice work!!!!! I have just started with my crafts too and sometimes feel undecided about many things.. but it's good to know everyone goes through the same! =)

  9. really wonderful post! thanks for sharing

  10. It's such a great and helpful post! Thank you, Naomi! Nancy gave me the link. I had my first attempt of making hair accessories and, of course, as always I'm having some doubts... Is it good enough? Or is it even wearable? The result is here http://www.etsy.com/listing/52366738/silent-forest-small-barrette
    Your post really cheered me up! ;)

  11. Thanks you all, this blog post was one such creative endeavour for me as it was my first for this blog that was completely of my own "design" if you see what I mean! I am so glad it had the desired effect, to make you all feel really wonderful about your creations and to give you a boost to keep going!
    Jana, your work is wonderful, so detailed and lovely! Beautiful, clean photographs too :-) Keep up the great work! xx


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