Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Mouse Project

Earlier this month, 12 blogging friends and I surprised our friend Jeanne with a virtual birthday party.  It was a blast, especially because Jeanne was so not clued in to what we were doing that Kirsten, our fearless leader in this endeavor, had to text her to tell her to get her arse on the computer after an entire morning of radio silence (the full story can be found here).
But since it was her 50th birthday, and 50th birthdays only come along once in a lifetime, we decided to Go Big or Go Home.
And thus, The Mouse Project was born.
It started rather innocently.  Jeanne posted this tutorial of how to make cute little felt mice and told a funny story about how she and one of her sisters left an entire army of mice at another sister's house.  Once our own birthday shenanigans got started, all of a sudden, we decided that we needed 50 mice.
And then things got crazy.
We upped the ante and starting sending out cryptic tweets under the hashtag #TMPWatch2013 (which, for some reason, I can't pull up on the Twitterverse).  For a while, Jeanne didn't notice, but when she did, it got even more fun when Kat ran interference with a gem of a red herring, posting a picture of some embroidery that she allegedly did.  We told Jeanne that it was a virtual "stitch n' bitch," that the "TMP" in #TMPWatch2013 stood for "The March Project," and we were able to continue all of our shenanigans under the guise of both successful and failed crafting attempts.
These mice are super fun to make, and since they go relatively fast, they're darn addictive, too.  I had started with Mousadora, who arrived in February with the OKMH package that I sent to Jeanne at that time.  She had no idea that this was just the beginning.  Forty-nine mice later (one horrible cat-related tragedy led to the demise of #50), we were off to the post office.
During the week of her birthday, it literally rained packages at the NanaBread house.  And to make sure that she didn't open any of them until all packages had been received, we added a few embellishments to the boxes.

I had so much fun making mine that I had to name each of them and give them a bit of a back story.  I'd wanted to post this earlier, but then real life got in the way.  But now I have some more time, so I'd like to introduce you to the crew.  To see the entire army of felt rodents that invaded Texas, click here.

Arisa, Purveyor of Potted Mouse Plants
There actually is a plant called the mouse plant, so named because the flowers look like the have little mice tails.  The scientific name: Arisarum proboscideum, hence the name Arisa for this little sweetie.  Her thumb is as green as her fur, and she likes nothing more than puttering around in her garden, which has both gorgeous blooms and an abundance of all things mouse-edible.  Rain doesn't bother her, but heaven forbid she find an aphid among her beauties.

A total beach bum, this dude just came from the ocean, sporting his own towel and a pail full of shells he picked up for his collection.    When he's not ripping killer waves or sculpting amazing sand castles, he's noshing on a lobster roll or a big bowl of chowdah.
Gnarly, dude!

Mousy Gras
Don't even ask where she got those beads.  She's a party girl if I've ever met one, and she had a bit of fun on Fat Tuesday, if you know what I mean.  It's likely she spent the first day of Lent nursing a hangover with some coffee at Cafe Du Monde.  She loves costume parties and always comes with her own mask, just in case.

Dr. Pellet, Mouse-troenterologist
Age 50 is the AMA guideline to begin colon cancer screenings (except in the case of family history, like me), so I wanted to send Jeanne someone who would be a good reminder that this is an important milestone.  Who better than her own personal physician?  The good doctor comes with an awareness bracelet and pin, so once Jeanne gets herself screened, she can pass along the message to others.  Someday, we will make the need for raising awareness a thing of the past, and someday, our actions will bring an end to this terrible disease.

Harvarti Marti
She's the life of the party!  My husband hates the fact that every single time we have havarti cheese in the house, I can't help but say, "It's a party with havarti."  The last time I did it, he seriously considered leaving me at the grocery store.  Yet he continues to buy the stuff.  Havarti Marti makes that saying ring true - she comes bearing gifts and never goes anywhere without an awesome party hat.

Duchess Emouseka
This is my favorite mouse that I've made thus far.  Walking through Hobby Lobby, I saw, thanks to HRH's keen eyes, a small patch of fake zebra fur, and I knew that I needed to do something with it.  I can't even sew a sarong for myself, so the Duchess got a cape and a hat to keep her warm during those cold Mousecow nights.  As a Duchess, she's used to the finer things in life, and she makes sure that she's always wearing a 20-carrot diamond somewhere prominent.

This was such a fun project, and the best part was being able to surprise a friend.  Bonus points that we were able to pleasantly surprise her, as you never know how someone will react to being suddenly beset with 49 felt critters.  I talk a great deal on here about how I run for me and that I am healthy for me, and blah blah blah, but at the end of the day, if I can do something for me by doing something for someone else, then, well, that's the Perfect Thing, isn't it?
What have you done recently that was a pleasant surprise for someone else?  What have you been inspired to do by someone else's generosity or kindness?

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