Saturday, 13 August 2011

The sad tale of Mouse Merrick

The urban dictionary's definition of a Domestic Goddess is:

A female who excels at baking, cooking, cleaning-housework of all sorts. She loves to please and enjoys hearing compliments about her awesomeness around the house/kitchen. She may sew, knit, have domestic hobbies that come out well. She doesn't have to have children to be considered a domestic goddess.

So, the true queen of the house doesn't just make perfect buns and look like she's just climbed out of a 1950's washing up liquid advert, she sews and is a skilled craftwoman too. Her home is full of crochet, cross stitch, embroidery, soft furnishings and lots of pink gingham, all lovingly created by her own fair hands.

As with the baking, I like to convince myself I am good at crafts. Actually, I am ALRIGHT at them..some of them. I do a good job at the school fetes and used to run family learning courses in my old job- kids and their parents used to go away happy with their scrapbooks, modelling clay Pingus and stained glass angels- they probably fell apart as soon as they got home, but they went away happy and that was the main thing.

I get bored quickly with craft activities and the end result is always better from a distance than up close (a bit like me in fact). I made my own kitchen curtains, which are pretty good until you really examine them and realise they're wonky at the bottom, and the house is full of abstract art, mosaics and clay trinket pots all created on rainy afternoons. When a new branch of the craft chain store (you know the one I mean) opened a few weeks ago in my town I was in heaven- it's an Alladin's Cave of shiny, fluffy, beady, bakey stuff and I had to try hard not to let myself let out little squeaks of excitement at every new aisle. I could have remortaged my house in there and still not got everything I wanted. For fear of bankruptcy I only got a few bits and bobs to try- a decoupage kit in the shape of a cat, some jewellery making stuff and a cuddly mouse making kit that I bought because I thought it would be something Rosie and I could do together, and she kept nagging me to get it.

This is how it was supposed to look
£40 and an unexpected additional purchase of polysomething cuddly toy filling later we went home and started on the cuddly mouse. I say we- Rosie took one look at the instructions, decided it looked too much like hard work and went off to play on her Playstation- I was left sat on my own, examining all the different components of said mouse and wishing I'd just bought another bracelet kit instead.

Now, I am not about to sit here and say the intructions that came with this kit were complicated; they weren't, and are so readily available in the aforementioned shop that I would show myself off to be more than a little bit bakward were I to pretend otherwise. But I HATE instructions, probably because I am not very good at being told what to do, even when it's by a little sheet of paper with a diagram on it, so decided, as usual, that the thing looked pretty simple so I wouldn't bother with them. The picture on the front of the packet would be enough and I could easily work the rest out for myself.

I don't know how long the average domestic goddess would take to make a small cuddly mouse complete with whiskers, cute twitchy pink nose and a fluffy white tummy, but after about 20 minutes I'd sewn mine up and all that was left to do was stuff it- literally and metaphorically, so it turned out. There were a few issues with the front/tummy panel, which I think I might have put in upside down, and I lost the button eyes down the back of the sofa and didn't want to risk going in to rescue them for fear of what else might be lurking down there, but I improvised and it was starting to take shape. Ish.

I didn't really know how much stuffing you're supposed to put in these things, so kept going til it felt "pleasantly plump" (clinically obese). Having stuffed the body the head looked a little bit wonky and hollow, so it seemed sensible to put a but of filler up there too. I hadn't factored in the pre- cut eye holes, which now had yellow foamy stuff seeping out of them and were starting to look slightly horrific. Ever the optimist, I remained certain that it would all work out ok in the end and sewed the rest of it up. I found some thick wool that worked as replacement eyes and at least covered up the brain matter that had been poking through and stood back to admire my work.

Sadly, the mouse looked near to death, and would have not been out of place in a freak show- probably in jar held by a lady with a spectacular moustache. Its left ear was about 6cm lower than the right one, which considering the mouse itself was no more than 20cm from top to bottom was quite disturbing to see, and it seemed to have an unfeasably large brain. It certainly looked nothing like the cute, fluffy thing on the instructions and had more in common with the elephant man than the photo on the packet.

Rosie took one look and burst out laughing, and the cat sniffed it suspiciously before slinking off with that weird sideways walk they do when they've seen something terrifying. I, however, have grown strangely attached to this poor unfortunate creature that I have named Mouse Merrick, after poor misshapen John, and he now sits proudly on top of the bookcase- just incase we get any persistent door to door salesmen who need scaring away.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post. Glad I'm not the only non-crafty person. I can't even put an Ikea side-table together!