Some people wonder where I get the costumes for the mice I make. I don't "get" them, I make them. I make everything by hand.
Here's a glimpse into the making of a mouse. Well, the costume part.
After a week of research, designing and making bad prototypes, I have a good set of patterns in the shape and size I want.
I cut the leather, sew and glue the parts. This jacket is just lightly dyed in black tea, like the British did for the real safari outfits. If a particular design calls for color, I dye the outfit with leather dyes.
Add buttons. Note the cut slits that I'll slip the belts through when I put it on the mouse.
Now on to the hat...
Cut the leather. This leather is a little thicker so it'll hold its shape. In this case, I leave it the natural color.
I glue the sides together and smooth it on a shape I made out of sculpey.
I cut the edges clean, wrap three layers of ribbon around it, and glue one around the edge.
Punch out little circles of leather for the top button and glue it on.
Use an awl to punch the holes on the sides, right above the ribbon.
For the goggles, make a ring out of leather lacing and pour a drop of epoxy in it. Leave it to dry overnight.
Glue a metal jump ring on top, and jewelry connectors on the sides for the strap.
I dye the leather light brown for the little backpacks. The buckles are shaped out of copper wire.
I made a little drawing to slip in the bag. And added a tiny snail.
Archeologists should carry a little trowel. I start with a thick piece of wire, pound it with a hammer and cut it in the correct shape.
Grind the tip of a wooden stick for the handle.
Drill a hole in the middle of the handle.
Glue the pieces together!
Some parts, like the collar and scarf can only be made once the outfit is on the mouse.
All the pieces of costume need to be finished before I can taxidermy the mouse, so that I can dress it quickly before it has a chance to dry.
Fancy frame mouldings are perfect for the pedestals. I cut them vertically at a 45 degrees and make a box. I top it with a wood square and cover it with 9oz thick leather.
Here's the finished mouse:
I hope you enjoyed it.