Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Year's Last and Loveliest Smile...

Dear Diary...

The American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant once said that Autumn was the "year's last, loveliest smile" and even though I adore the season's vibrant colours, collecting horse chestnuts, the fallen leaves and the welcome appearance of the humble mince pie, I haven't really had much to smile about lately.

Since September I've been tormented by the 'Tooth of Autumn Present' and although the pesky molar and I finally parted company last week, I'm now haunted by the 'Tooth Ghost of Autumn Past' which has had a severe impact on my daily cookie fix and has also kept me away from the studio lest I scare off any of the fellow artists with my wild look!

And as I'm still confined to barracks for a few days yet, I've been working on some exciting 12th scale projects while trying really hard NOT to feel sorry for myself particularly when I think about all that I achieved this summer over at the Mouse Parish and when the weather was so much nicer...


For yes, the Parish of St M's has continued to grow and and as every parishioner, fictional or otherwise needs a 'little' something to buy, eat AND love; the Mouse Parish now has an impressive huddle of emporiums including the 'Leaf & Maple Flower Shop', 'Merryworth Market', 'Mollie's Tea Room' and the 'Alessa Mia Farm Shop'.

And with plans for the 'Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop' nearing completion, there will soon be an opportunity to buy and enjoy a 'little something' from the Mouse Parish for yourself or a loved one.

Now, all I have to do is to put those mice to work after their extended summer holiday and when they see what I've got planned for Christmas, they may not be smiling for long!


It's just as well that Tim Burton wrote "Every day is Halloween, isn't it?" as I'm still attending to the All Hallows Eve party celebrations over at Nicole's House which includes sharing the recipe for Nicole's delicious 'Toffee Apple Candy Cake"... 


I use the word 'delicious' purely on the feedback received from that Little Big Cat who I know enjoyed more than one slice!



However, I have heard a whisper that after Nicole's Halloween party, Minnie B wandered over to the All Hallows Hamlet with a HUGE bag of treats and was last seen near the Harum Scarum Emporium which is shielded by the prickliest thorn bushes and whispering trees in this bleakest part of the hamlet and managed by the reclusive crone Claire Eno.


As there are no visitors here, Claire's only friend is the ancient book that has been in her family for as long as anyone can remember and from within the dusty pages of this HUGE recipe book she concocts a vast array of nasty potions from the beautiful flowers, nourishing berries and healing plants that she gathers every day at dusk and even though they all gather dust on the cobwebby shelves waiting for the customers who never arrive; Claire is unable to stop weaving her unkind magick.


And having heard the rumour about Claire's sinister remedy of 'Black Cat Scratch Fever', I rather admire the bravery of Minnie B...


And if you too are feeling a little brave, there is now the opportunity to indulge in a 'little' retail therapy while browsing the shelves of this magikcal emporium and linger over the intoxicating array of exclusive notions and potions designed to entice imagination AND wallet!

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials ALL freshly brewed from Claire's ancient recipe book and now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop.


With a pinch of 'This and That' suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world... OR could YOU discover another use for it?

And talking of sinister spells...

For having dithered for nearly a whole year with the design of my Patreon page with so many drafts and deletes that I could have rewritten the novel Les Misérables from a personal point of view; I'm convinced that a spoonful of that old crone's 'Lazy Trout's Procrastination' ended up in my tea by accident.


However, before I procrastinate a little longer and enjoy another cup of tea, let me tell you why I'm now on Patreon.

Having done the parenting bit for my two amazing sons, in 2014, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable adult brother and life became increasingly difficult as my time and financial independence have continue to diminish.

Lewis Carroll said that "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality" and right now, my imagination is all that I have as it gives me the freedom to dream, plan and create new 'Small Worlds' either in the studio or from my shed at the bottom of the garden. 

For even though I may never own a fabulous house in Laguna Beach or live at Newstead Abbey in Sherwood Forest and I know that I could never travel back in time to the year 1815 and live as Lord Byron and Jane Austen once did, nor could I shop at dusk in a hamlet populated by crones and goblins and then enjoy a delicious supper with a talkative hedgehog - I can have wish fulfillment in 12th scale and as I keep moving forward on this road less traveled, it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too.


Your kind support will enable me to continue with the creation of my 'Small Worlds' in some of the following ways:

With the funds to buy glass bottles, paper and other mixed media, I can keep the shelves of my two Etsy stores fully stocked with my uniquely designed miniatures.



I could design and furnish 'Nicole's House' with your support and the anticipated coffee-table book due for publication in June 2019 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who has inspired the creation of this 12th scale house and over at 13 Piccadilly Terrace, I can continue to share the dazzling Regency era with my visitors as we step inside the world of Lord Byron in the year 1815.



And I could continue to make the world a better place one mouse at a time with more parishioners, some flowers for the church and all of the other 'little' things every respectable Mouse Town needs!



You could also help me to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a published author when the Mouse Town adventures are discovered within the pages of a children's picture book.

There are monthly pledges of $1 and upwards which are charged on the 1st of the month and there are lots of  rewards and exclusives for Patrons to enjoy.

A pledge can be cancelled at any time and if you are unable to pledge - that's OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much - Thank you!

Bye for now!

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