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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Etsy Sellers Tip: Managing Expectations

 Managing expectations is a big key to running a successful business, because if you "Exceed Expectations" we all know this means we are doing a great job.

I'll try to explain what Managing Expectations is: Imagine you have arrived at a busy restaurant and are told that there is a 30 minute wait for a table. You put your name down on the list, sit at the bar and make yourself comfortable. Only 15 minutes later, the staff come to tell you that your table is ready. You're thrilled right? Because you only have to wait 15 minutes when you were told it would be 30. Now imagine if you had come to the same busy restaurant, and you are told that there should be a table ready in 5 minutes. You sit down at the bar and impatiently wait for the staff to come and tell you your table is ready, but they don't arrive until 15 minutes after you sat down. Now you are downright annoyed because you only expected to be waiting for 5 minutes.

Can you see how the expectation was set in each situation, and how much of an affect this has on a customers reaction to the same amount of waiting time?

Managing expectations is about telling your customers what to expect from you, and then exceeding the expectations you gave them. This requires good communication, because if you don't tell your customers what to expect then they will have their own ideas (which may or may not be totally impossible for you to meet). So the first step is to communicate all the information your customer will need to them.

Examples of this include:
- When an order is made, send an email to thank them and at the same time let them know when their package will be shipped, and how long you expect it to take to arrive.
- When dealing with a custom order, always let your customer know how long it will take to make.
- Fill out your shop policies with information on everything you do as a business, from the way you pack your shipping boxes to the speed at which you answer emails. Have all the information there for your buyers so it is easy to find.

To make sure that you exceed expectations, always add a little extra "wiggle room" in case of unexpected problems.

Another important way of managing expectations is how you deal with a major problem when it comes up, when your wiggle room is just not going to be enough. Perhaps you took an order for something but the shop you get the materials from has run out and it will be 3 weeks before they have more. What do you do? You let your customer know, give them options and other choices to replace the item they needed or ask them if they mind waiting until you have the materials in stock. Don't leave them in the dark expecting everything to be going fine, because they will be very unhappy to receive the perfect item 3 weeks later than they expected. 

Managing expectations is about communication, which is so important when it comes to building a good relationship with your customer. Good relationships help your business grow faster than anything else, if people know you for being honest and that you meet your deadlines they will come back and they will tell their friends about you too. 

Weekly Happy Stats

Things that made Anna happy this week:
- Finally getting over a week long flu
- Getting my happy boy back after his illness
- Getting dressed up for a Halloween party and having a perfect day out with my boy on Sunday. Lots of cuddles, smiles and laughs.

Things that made Naomi happy this week:
- Seeing this picture of my beautiful Nephew Declan!
- Listening to Wayne Dyer each day
- Making my very first Terry, the Mouse in a Cat Suit (I'm so pleased with how he turned out!)
- Helping Frances to achieve her goal and to find all of the funding needed for the amazing Olive Tree Project!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Interview with a Mouse: Gwendolyn the Witch Mouse

This month we will be interviewing Gwendolyn the Witch Mouse. She was first sold from The House of Mouse in September 2009, in plenty of time to join her first adoptive family by halloween of that year. She has been a much loved character in the House since then!

Hello there, Gwendolyn! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.
Hello dearie! Thank you kindly for having me. Do you mind if I lean my broomstick against this wall? Thanks ever so much.

No, of course, please go ahead. Don't take this the wrong way, but it's somewhat surprising to hear a witch speak so sweetly and kindly! We had expected you to be a little scarier...
(Gwendlyn chuckles warmly at this) Ohhh, that'll be the kiddies, giving me a fearsome reputation. It's all silliness really. Being a witch is just a job, and I'm good at it because I happen to be blessed with these good looks! (She points out her fabulously hairy warts and olive green skin). Isn't that lucky?!

Erm, yes... So you mentioned "the kiddies" – Are they friends of yours from The House of Mouse?
The cheeky little darlings! They love to play along, you know. They swear blind that I turned their friend into a toad! Little Anakin Skywalker Mouse and Frodo Baggins Mouse do love to pretend to fight the scary old witch and impress the girlies, and I humour them sometimes.

So what about your work as a witch? What does it involve, and do you enjoy it?
Well, since I joined The House of Mouse, my work involves joining new families and amazing them all with my spells and broomstick skills. I can show that Harry Potter Mouse a thing or two on a broomstick, you know! The spells are a little trickier... I do tend to get in a bit of a muddle sometimes. Last month I was trying to conjure a plate of crackers, but I had a bit of a swollen lip at the time and somehow I manged to fill the room with ducks instead... The noise was atrocious, not to mention the mess! But I love my work as a witch. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do.

What is your earliest childhood memory as a young mouse?
Ahhh, well I'm afraid it's not such a happy one. I remember my school days, though they were a fair old while ago now. I was teased terribly for my colour and my warts. Children can be so cruel! But I learned to use humour to deflect it, and it's made me a stronger mouse today for certain.

Oh, we are sorry to hear that. Has your time at The House of Mouse been more enjoyable?
Oh without a shadow of a doubt! The kiddies here are much more playful, and it is so exciting to get a new adoptive family to get to know. I love how treasured I feel in each new home, and especially the excitement around Halloween! Abercrombie the Zombie Mouse and I get carried away when it's time to decorate the House in cobwebs and fake blood! (She chuckles again).

How wonderful! Thank you so much for talking with us today Gwendolyn, it has been lovely to get to know you a little. We hope this Halloween is a very special time for you.
And thank you, dearies! It was a pleasure indeed. (She flies off on her tiny broomstick).

All interviews with the mice are published first in our monthly newsletter. Subscribe to be the first to read the next one, receive special discount codes for our store and get updated on all our newest designs. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Michael Jackson Mouse

Little Michael Jackson Mouse has been turned into a zombie?! What out as he dances his way into your heart. This iconic character from MJs music video "Thriller" is dressed in the red and black jacket, trousers and signature black shoes with white socks. We hope you enjoy this newest edition to The House of Mouse family.

See more pics here

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space - Painting

Some of you may already know that I am also a painter. I haven't painted that much in the last 3 years however, since The House of Mouse took over my imagination. But a friend recently asked me if I would make a painting for her, it was wonderful to get back in front of a canvas again. Here is the painting I made, and I feel quite inspired to paint again very soon. I have so many wonderful photographs of Declan that I should paint. 

Wishing you a creative day!
Anna x

See more creative spaces here

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

Feed your inner artist regularly.

...No, I'm not talking about eating a varied diet, though that is of course important ;-)
What I'm refering to is filling your artistic "pool", or nourishing your imagination. If you're any kind of artist or you rely on your creativity for any part of your life, then the chances are you've had days when you just don't feel very inspired or creative. I've realised that many people are trying to call on their imagination to help them when they haven't been taking proper care of it!
Your creative mind needs fuel and some time to spark that fuel into a flame before it will start working for you. For me, the very best way to allow this to happen has always been taking some time to appreciate nature. My second in line is listening to music that makes my spirit soar.

Please treat your inner artist this week to something that makes YOU feel inspired, and see how rewarding it is! I don't want to hear "but I don't have the time..." - There is always time enough to invest in yourself ;-) and in the long run, you will find that it is always worth it.

Much love,
Naomi xxx

We invite all of you to share your Wisdom with the blogosphere by
posting a link to your Wednesday Wisdom in Mister Linky below!
(Just the individual WW post please, not your whole blog- that way we can find your post later!)
Photograph from PetitPlat

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Artist Interview - ThongbaiTatong

Each week we invite a different Etsy seller to visit us at our home; The House of Mouse, where all the mice live. This weeks guest is Dutch based Fashion Designer and textile artist Bai from ThongbaiTatong.etsy.com

Bai has joined us for lunch in The House of Mouse. We sit together at the long wooden table in our kitchen, breathing in the wonderful cooking smells as Chris the Chef mouse bakes fresh bread and prepares all kinds of tasty treats for Bai and our family of mice to enjoy. He loves that we have guests every week, because he gets to show off his culinary talents to new people. Anna grabs a piece of bread fresh from the oven, looks down at her notes and starts the interview:

Welcome to our home Bai! Thank you so much for talking to us today.
Thank you for inviting me. Sorry I am a little late. But anyway I am here now ;) Oh.. and the bread smells so nice. You must be Chris the Chef. I know you. I have seen your pictures on Etsy before. Nice to meet you.

We'd like to begin by asking you a little bit about your Etsy store and what it means to you: when telling someone about your shop for the first time, what do you say about it?
Oh, do we begin now? OK. I hope you don’t mind me eating while talking. This bread is so yummy!

About my Etsy shop? Everything that you see in my shop is the products of my love and passion for design and arts. When you love something so much you would even do it for free. And my clothes and bags are something that I would make for free.

Ohh, this is such a yummy bread. You guys are so lucky to have Chris in the house cooking for us. Sorry but I have to take another piece now. Cannot help it. Yummm.. umm..

Seriously, I would make my clothes for free! But it is so great that people are willing to pay for them. And I am grateful to these people who help me pay my bills. It enables me continue to create more and more of what I love, and to spread the love.

Would you share a memory with us of when you first fell in love with your craft? 
Good that you ask. I have been looking at this lovely wooden table and the wooden chairs we are sitting on now. They are practical and the design is really amazing. I thought of my father straight away. He is a very talented carpenter. When I was about 12 years old I had to make something for my art and craft subject. I wanted to make a very big wooden key of about one foot long, with some hooks attached to it to hang keys. My father taught me how to draw the design on the wood and how to carefully saw the wood and sand the piece so it would be smooth and neat. I watched him and listened to him. There was so much love. And my key was so amazingly beautiful.

Maybe I can take some pictures of your table and chairs and send to my father. May I?

Sure you can! This table has been in my family from when my grandfather made it many years ago. I am sure he would be happy to know that you like it so much.

How do you plan for a new item in your Etsy Shop, if at all? Do you know how something will look before you start?
I make what comes in my mind and usually begin with a sketch. When I have a great idea about something, let’s say a dress, I spend a lot of time drawing. My designs involve a lot of decorative elements, especially appliqué. In each sketch I place the decorative elements on different parts of the dress. Then I decide which design looks the best. Out of one design I usually make at least two dresses from different color combinations. I have many meters of many different kinds of fabric. It allows me to be as creative as I want with my design and fabric combination.

Actually I just saw someone walking past. Was that Heather the Artist Mouse? I love how she dresses herself. So cute and artful. Just tell her if she needs a place for her work placement she is welcome in my studio any time.

(Heather peeks her nose through the doorway looking very pleased that Bai noticed her clothes. She wore her best things today. She does a little twirl.)

Your shop is your full-time job, we know this takes a lot of careful time management, how do you keep yourself organized?
When I design something new I make a number of it for my stock. Only when I have enough stock I list the product for sale. That is why I only have 30 products for sale even though my shop is already one and a half years old. It takes about 2-3 days to design something from start to finish. But I usually need another 2-3 weeks to make the stock, before this product is put in the market. During these 2-3 weeks there is no pressure because I focus only on one thing. There is also no deadline and I only have to work as hard as I want and can. The quality of work is also better when you do not sew in a hurry.

I want to be able to list something new often like a lot of sellers do too, especially when I know I already have the design and the photos have already been made. I feel the itch. But I have to concentrate and stay patient. I wait. When things are already in stock they are also ready to ship. If you read the customers’ Feedback in my shop, you will see that the ‘fast shipping’ has been much appreciated.

I offer made to order and custom orders only on items that are easy to make and therefore less time consuming. It is stated on my shop policies that I ship my orders only on Tuesdays and Fridays. Between the two shipments I can spend some hours for custom orders. And the rest of the time I just focus on my new designs and stock.

We do hope that you're a keen Etsy buyer as well as seller. What is one of your favorite shops on Etsy and why?
Only one shop? Oh.. this is so difficult. It is just like asking me which mouse in the house I like the most. I love them all but if I have to choose I would say I love Chris the Chef mouse because he makes the best coffee in the world. Wink Wink! Chris, my dear, you wouldn’t have just one more cup of coffee for me, would you? Oh you are a darling.

Only one Etsy shop? Then I will say gufobardo by Stefania Morgante from Italy. Most of her products are original pieces. Stefania is a trained artist. And you can see how much she loves her work. Each line is drawn with skill and joy. You can see it. And I can see it because I own a few pieces of her work and I love them so much.

We'd love to get a little snippet of your home life, please describe your home in just 5 words.
1) Messy
2) Most
3) Of
4) The
5) Time

Musculus Maximouse gets terrible midnight cravings. If he were to raid your refrigerator right now, what treats might he find there?
Grapefruit juice, yoghurt, and cheese.

If you were a mouse living in The House of Mouse, which one would you be and why?
I would love to be Happy Birthday Mouse because I will get to go to different birthday parties with singing and dancing. Would be great fun.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us, Bai. Please let us know how we can find you on the internet by sharing some links!
You are welcome. And thanks so much for the lovely food and drink. I really enjoyed the interview.

My personal website: www.thongbaitatong.com.
My blog www.thongbaitatong.blogspot.com
My twitter: thongbaitatong
My Facebook: thongbaitatong

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mort the Mouse of Death

Mort is a Grim Reaper. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. He keeps himself cheerful through the unpleasant work of dragging lonely souls off to their eternal resting places by constantly humming popular tunes. This week it's "Another One Bites The Dust". Mort would love to come home with you and sit on your shelf, day after day, watching and waiting until it's your turn...

See more pics here

Monday Moodboard: Creepy!

Maybe it's because I have always been a bit weird, but I just love Halloween! . xAnna

Hearts Gone Wild by Morrgan
Cute Salmon Soft Creature by kritureart
Forbidden Fruit. black plush apple by lapomme
A Cat's Tale by pinipiru

Love moodboards? See more on Fleur's blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekly Happy Stats

Things that made Anna happy this week:
  • Seeing the AMAZING job Naomi did on the first house for The House of Mouse. I am so proud of my sister for creating such a beautiful new section for our store.
  • Looking forward to Halloween, my favourite holiday!
  • Deciding I want to do an MA in Marketing, as usual I have more dreams than time, but I hope when Declan starts school I can do this.
  • Sending out our Monthly Newsletter, complete with brilliant interview Naomi wrote with Gwendolyn the Witch mouse. (Subscribe here)
  • Thinking about selling off my old student paintings from my Fine Art Degree (more dreams!) it's better than them sitting in storage like they do now.
Things that made Naomi happy this week:
  • Introducing Mouse Houses into The House of Mouse!
  • The awesome comments on the new TARDIS and Halloween House from our wonderful fans.
  • Making lots of Halloween mice and generally getting excited about Halloween.
  • Seeing Vincent really settling in and having loads of fun at Nursery.
  • Catching up a little with the lovely European Street Team on Etsy.
Think of all the things you've got to smile about this week! :-)

Happy Pic of Naomi's boy, Vincent, with their family dog, Ben.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Day in the Life

A couple of months ago I did a blog post for My Day is Friday, I thought I would share it with you here too:

Hello! My name is Anna and I am half of the team at The House of Mouse. I founded the business 3 years ago, and my sister Naomi joined to help me with the workload 4 months ago. As well as running my Etsy store, I am a full time housewife and Mom to baby Declan, who is 8 months old. (6 months old when I made this post) I hope you will enjoy spending the day with me.

My day starts whenever Declan wakes up for the day, normally this is somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00, today it's almost 6am. Which - believe it or not - is actually a bit of a treat for me. Once he is dressed and changed we go downstairs to give him is breakfast.

Declan waits patiently in his high chair while I make his breakfast: apple, peach and kiwi all mashed up together. He loves it and gobbles up the whole lot. After breakfast we sit and play together on the sofa, then say goodbye to Hubby as he goes off to work.

At 8:30, Declan has just gone down for a nap and I realise I have not had any breakfast yet. So I have a quick bowl of cereal and some tea, mustn't forget my vitamins either. While I munch I check Etsy, my emails and blog. I also look to see if Naomi has left me any messages on msn. Once I'm done with that I head for the shower.

9:30 and Declan is still sleeping. I love days when he has long naps, I can get so much more done! A load of mice arrived from Naomi yesterday so I need to finish editing the photos I took of them last night.

10:00 Declan has just woken up, this is the fun sight I see when I go into his room. He has to check that his feet are still there when he wakes up!

10:30 Declan and I go to the shops. We need food for dinner tonight and I have a couple of mice to ship off to new homes.

11:30 On the way back from the shops we go to the park to feed the birds. Declan is too young to feed them himself, but he likes to watch. Especially when a big bird like a heron swoops over.

12:00 All that shopping and bird feeding has tired him out; he fell asleep on the way back home. He sleeps in his pushchair while I do some housework, eat a quick lunch and sort out the washing.

13:00 and he's awake again. We spend the early afternoon playing more games, and reading some books together. I really enjoy story time.

At 16:15 Hubby gets home from work. I make him some tea and he plays with Declan while I check some emails, pay the bills and make a couple of phone calls.

17:30 is the start of Declan's bedtime routine, he has his dinner, a nice bath with daddy and a last feed with me. No fuss or tears at bedtime tonight, so he is asleep by 18:15.

I make dinner and at 19:00 Hubby and I sit down together to eat and chat about our day. I am very grateful for this time we have in the evening, just the two of us.

Once dinner is cleared up at 19:30 I finally have some time to sew, but first I need to pack some shipping boxes because we had some sales today.

Now the boxes are ready for the morning, I can sit and sew while Naomi and I chat and webcam on MSN. We sew together for ages until I realise I am so tired I can't keep my eyes open. At 22:00 I'm off to bed. Declan will probably wake up a couple of times in the night, but I am used to that now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brand new product! Mouse Houses!!!

We are so proud to announce the release of a brand new product in The House of Mouse: Mouse Houses! These are the brain-child of Naomi, and the first two are all her own creation too. We hope you enjoy these as much as Naomi enjoyed making them. 

All the mice know that Spook Street is the best street in the neighborhood for trick-or-treating on Halloween, but very few mice dare to go near number 13. Rumor has it, this house was built on an ancient mouse graveyard, and the evil spirits haunt it to this day! Complete with creepy shutters that slam eerily in the wind, cobwebs and bats visible in the windows (even from the safe distance of the end of the driveway!), a broken old fence, a boarded-up window, a little mousie gravestone, a witches cauldron and one very spooky tree with a suspicious-looking axe leaning up against it, this mouse house is the ultimate Halloween spook-fest! Do you dare to investigate the perils within 13 Spook Street?

TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. This is the amazing home of The Doctor Mouse. Big and little at the same time; brand new and ancient and the... bluest... blue... ever. Little Matt Smith Mouse loves to fly off through time and space, getting into adventures and meeting lots of interesting mice (and other creatures, sometimes!) None of it would be possible without his incredible time machine. 

Both available in our store now!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space: Sneak Preview

Hello, Mouse-fans! It's Naomi here from the UK to share my Creative Space with you.

It looks like this week will be a very exciting week for The House of Mouse. We'll soon be releasing a brand new item, the like of which has never been seen in our store before. I've been hard at work from my UK studio, having so much fun with this exciting new addition! I am just desperate to show you all what I've been up to, but for now you will have to settle for a sneaky preview... A few little glimpses of this Halloween-themed mousie accessory.

Can you tell what it is??

Keep your eyes peeled, it will be appearing in our store very soon!

Naomi xx

Check out Kootoyoo's blog for more creative spaces!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calling the Universe to help an amazing Artist!

A good friend of ours from the European Street Team on Etsy, Frances J. Melhop, is on an amazing adventure, and she needs your help! Frances is an amazingly talented New Zealand-born photographer, and her wonderful Etsy shop matchstickgirl is filled with her unique artwork.

At the beginning of October, Frances embarked upon a singular journey through Italy after being awarded an artist's residency with the Mira foundation in Puglia, Italy. On her photographic adventure, she came across the most amazing ancient trees which she believes can symbolise worldwide peace.

She has been using her artistic skills to photograph these wonderful creatures which appear to have human bodies and faces interwoven inside the trunks, and her vision is to create a giant exhibition of these natural beauties. She also hopes to publish a book on the Ancient Olive tree portraits, which will include a collection of recipes and dark stories from the Italian grandmothers that she meets on her travels.

Frances is depending on us to help make her dream come to life. She is an amazing artist on a magical journey, and we truly believe that the Universe can pull through for her and help her to reach her goal of $4000 by 3rd November. She doesn't have a lot of time left, so come on Universe, find it in your heart to help this girl to achieve her dream! These amazing trees and the stories that Frances has picked up are timeless, they need to be shared with the world and kept alive! There are some wonderful treats in store if you want to become a backer of Frances's unique project, and a sliding scale of pledge amounts available for any budget.

We believe so strongly in this project that we have decided to dedicate 10% of all profits from The House of Mouse between now and 3rdNovember to the Ancient Olive Tree Project. Alternatively (or as well as this!) you can be a part of the amazing universal energy that will help to bring this project to life by pledging any amount here.
Thank you so much, and all the best to you!

Naomi and Anna x x x x

Wednesday Wisdom

Be comfortable in your workspace.

Whether you're crafting or working online, please be gentle with your body when sitting for long periods in one place! This week I'm suffering a little from not remembering to do this, so next on my shopping list is a super comfortable chair for sewing and working on my laptop.

Take care ;-)
Naomi xx

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Artist Interview - Heartshapedcreations

Each week we invite a different Etsy seller to visit us at our home: The House of Mouse, where all the mice live. This weeks guest is Athens based polymer clay artist Maria from HeartshapedCreations.etsy.com.

Maria and Anna are sitting in The House of Mouse garden, a place in our home that is very special to the mice as they love to spend time outdoors. Buddy the Gardener mouse spends all day looking after the plants that grow here. We sip wine and nibble on cheese while we enjoy this beautiful autumn evening. Anna pulls out her notepad and begins the interview.

A - Welcome to our home Maria! Thank you so much for talking to us today.
M - Thank you for inviting me over in your wonderful garden on such a lovely day. I already feel like home!

A - We'd like to begin by asking you a little bit about your Etsy store and what it means to you: when telling someone about your shop for the first time, what do you say about it?
M- Well, I can say for sure that my Etsy shop means quite a lot to me. I decided to open it during a rather hard period in my life and it was one of the things that truly helped me and filled my heart with joy and positive emotions. When I talk to someone for the first time about what I do, it is a bit difficult to express all the feelings that I have inside of me. The one thing for sure is that I talk about it with a lot of love and as something that gives me great joy, inner peace and lots of happy creative moments.

A - Would you share a memory with us of when you first fell in love with your craft?
M - My first attempts to create something out of clay were not very successful I must say. As with everything new you must have patience and practice a lot in order to say that you are happy with the outcome. The most important think is not to give up and try your best for something you truly love and speaks to your heart. I think that I fell in love with what I do the very first time I saw that I was able to create something from a shapeless piece of clay. I never knew that I was able to do something like that and my enthusiasm was so big that for the first months I was literally in a creating frenzy! Of course the more I worked, the better were the results and that motivated me even more, I haven’t stopped ever since.

A - How do you plan for a new item in your Etsy Shop, if at all? Do you know how something will look before you start?
M - My ideas change constantly, even during the creation process. However, I always start with a basic idea and then make changes or additions as the sculpture starts to take its form. I usually have brainstorming during night time, so I always keep a little note book by my side to write my thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard to sleep afterwards coz I wanna get up in the middle of the night and start working right away! So, yes I can say that I do have an image of what I will make beforehand.

A - We do hope that you're a keen Etsy buyer as well as seller. What is your favourite shop on Etsy and why?

M -Yes, I do love Etsy as a marketplace. The variety of items is amazing and the creativity of people never seizes to amaze me. I know that when I own something from another Etsy seller is something unique and that the person who made it devoted not only time but also his/her heart and soul, to make that special item. It’s really hard for me to pick just one shop among my favourites. The only thing for sure is that I buy things (either for me or my loved ones) that stir something within me, either with their beauty, their sensitivity or warm up my heart and make me smile.

A - We'd love to get a little snippet of your home life, please describe your home in just 5 words!
M - Peaceful, Creative, Love, Organized, Cosy.

A - Musculus Maximouse gets terrible midnight cravings. If he were to raid your refrigerator right now, what treats might he find there?
M -I think that Maximouse would be delighted if he raided my fridge, since there are always fresh fruit and veggies. But if he craves for something sweet, chocolate is never absent from there as well!

A - If you were a mouse living in The House of Mouse, which one would you be and why?
M - Let’s see… I guess I would be Lizzy the Guitarist Mouse, because I have always wanted to know how to play the guitar :)

A - And finally, one of the mice would like to ask you a question. This one comes from Mr Applecheeks the Librarian Mouse. He'd like to ask you: What is your favourite book or author?
M - My favourite book has to be the: "Manual Of The Warrior Of Light" By Paolo Coelho. It has a very special meaning to me as it refers to the warrior each one of us hides within him/herself and the battles we have to face during our journey in life. Every difficulty we come across must be faced with strength, faith, hope and positivity in order to mature as individuals and achieve personal growth and inner peace.

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

My Gallery in Deviantart:
My Gallery in Flickr:
My Twitter page:
My FaceBook FanPage:

Thank you for honouring me with this wonderful interview. I had tons of fun and I really enjoyed talking to you and your little furry friends!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Moodboard - Mmmm, brains...

Fat Bat Bird by Sabahnur
Zombie Mini Art Feeling by ArtMind
Tiny Veiny Blue Eyeball Studs by MistyAurora
Secret Society Photography Print
by eleanors

See more Moodboards on fleur's blog

Friday, October 8, 2010

Scary Mice!

Lots of Halloween mice here to scare you silly! 
Happy Halloween everyone :) 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Artist Interview - ingermaaike

Each week we invite a different Etsy seller to visit us at our home: The House of Mouse, where all the mice live. This weeks guest is Inger from ingermaaike.etsy.com. Inger is originally from Holland but now lives in Norway.

We find Inger sat comfortably in our living room, she has chosen a seat next to the fireplace because it is a cold day today. Many little mice are huddled together on chairs with cups of hot chocolate in their paws and some blankets that they made to keep their toes warm. Chris the Chef mouse wobbles into the room carrying 2 large mugs of tea for Inger and Anna. Anna sits down on the sofa, takes a sip of her tea and then begins the interview.

A - Hi Inger, welcome to our home! Thank you so much for talking to us today. We'd like to begin by asking you a little bit about your Etsy store and what it means to you: when telling someone about your shop for the first time, what do you say about it?
I - I do not reside in artistic circles so usually people are a little incredulous that I would earn my money with felting, if they even know what felting is. So first I explain what felting is and what I make and then they say 'oh nice' and we move on to other things :)

For me this shop means I can keep on learning and improving my skill, one can only own so many scarves,bags and dresses after all. If there would be no place to send them to then it all would just have remained a hobby and probably I would have lost interest by now. This shop has given me so much confidence and validation which I would otherwise never have found.

A - Would you share a memory with us of when you first fell in love with your craft?

I - I have always been crafting but never considered making it a way to make a living, I did various studies to prepare me for a professional 'grown-up' life. Never finished a study and never grew up either..I tried working a regular job for about a year and ran off with slamming doors. Then one day saw advertised a workshop for felting,signed up and nearly cancelled as I do not do so well in groups..but went in the end. And it was love at first sight. Obsessively I started felting at home, experimenting,reading,learning...I continue to do so to this day.

A - How do you plan for a new item in your Etsy Shop, if at all? Do you know how something will look before you start?
I - Planning is not something I do at all, I pull open a drawer and see what is in there. Or suddenly I jump up to go dye wool with colors that just popped in my head. All rather random except for the fact that it all is inspired by the nature around me.

A - We do hope that you're a keen Etsy buyer as well as seller. What is your favourite shop on Etsy and why?
I - Oooooh just the one?? I love well made clothes that are comfy but feminine ,most I make myself but NYHop and IheartFink do things I can not do myself so I totally love those shops.

A - We'd love to get a little snippet of your home life, please describe your home in just 5 words!
I - Warm, open, happy, chaotic, loving.

A - Musculus Maximouse gets terrible midnight cravings. If he were to raid your refrigerator right now, what treats might he find there?
I - Umm not particularly much I fear, we never have much in there but for some jam, cheese, milk and a few odd pots of this and that. The most exotic thing in there at present is a bloc of Norwegian brown caramelised goats cheese. An acquired taste to be sure :D

A - If you were a mouse living in The House of Mouse, which one would you be and why?
I - That is a very hard question...but I think Indiana Jones mouse. I always wanted to be him when growing up.

A - 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 Spidermouse. He'd like to ask you: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I - To travel in the blink of an eye from here to there and back again, I would love to see so much but dislike being away from home too long. So zipping back and forth would be just perfect :) Plus I could go get food in a flash from all over the world and never need to think up what to eat any more :D

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


I - Thank you very much for this most pleasant chat :)


We're back!

Hi everyone. It's good to be back after a nice break! Naomi has a lovely new house and Anna had a wonderful time in the UK with her family. We are all refreshed and ready to go!

Congratulations to the winner 
of the September giveaway:  

You win a $35.00 gift voucher to spend in our store

Sorry to those who didn't win, we wish you lots of luck in the new giveaway starting very soon.

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