Friday, 8 February 2013


Welcome to the first in a new series of "Getting to know you" interviews where each month we will meet one or more of the many amazing crafters that go to make up the Crafty Ireland Team.  This month I would like to introduce you all to Mouse from

Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do?
I am an actor and expressive artist with a keen interest in crafts, particularly textile crafts. Most of all, I love to knit because it’s a very portable craft.  I also enjoy needlecrafts, crochet, costume design and construction as well as gardening and helping people express themselves.

How did you get involved with your craft? and with Etsy?
29 8 '83 on the allotment with Dad.jpg
1983 On the allotment with Dad
I have been crafting since I was very little. My parents and grandparents were all very creative people.  They upcycled our furniture, Mum made my clothes, our toys and games, and our food was predominantly home grown, processed and cooked.

Creatively, there was baking, cutting, sticking, drawing and painting, junk-box modelling and playing with the home-made playdough.  Even our storybooks reinforced this very creative, natural world for us. Among my particular favourites, was Beatrix Potter’s Ginger and Pickles. 

After leaving a very bad marriage, in early 2008, I needed something low impact to do but I also realised that if I continued crafting as a therapy and relaxation, I would very quickly run out of space for all my crafting materials so I built a website and a catalogue of my crafts and set my first store up under the tongue-in-cheek name, “The Basket Case”.
hedgerow basket.jpg
 MyHedgerow” style hand-woven basket

 A local crafting supply store held paper copies of my catalogue and also commissioned one of my brooms to hang above the shop lintel.   I heard about ETSY soon after and joined just as a customer initially and then in 2010, after I closed my online shop, Mrs Mouse was born.
Describe a typical day?
One of the things I like best about my life is that there really isn’t a ‘typical day’ as such, which is great for me as I’m not built to do the same thing every day.  I craft when time allows. 

  froggy booties (newborn).jpg        jack's blankey.jpg    
When not involved in theatre or filming, I work for an online marketing firm in California in the evenings and I belong to 2 Knitting and Crochet groups which are both lively and encouraging.  Weekends are great for catching up on all things creative, both knitting and writing.   I also use this time to work on any outstanding repairs, alterations and toys’ hospital commissions I pick up through my physical world service offered via the “Green Branch” second hand and sustainability store, which operates out of the downstairs of the Cultural Quarters in Ballinamore.

Future goals and ambitions?
My crafty goals and ambitions tend to be slow, but intensely burning.  So far, in my Etsy shop, while I’ll never make money at this (not something that concerns me hugely), I am really proud to now have at least one of my own designed and crafted items on every continent. I also have met some wonderful friends among my customers and colleagues in craft.
cosmos scarf.jpg

My ambitions include; to rebuild my website; reintroduce some favourite items and possibly my e-catalogue; and develop some ideas that I have been thinking about. I also am working on raising €500 through my crafting for the charity Dogs for the Disabled Ireland this year.

Designers, blogs, crafters, arty people you follow?
*There are so many great crafters in the Etsy team well worth following;
* Shirley Hughes and Jill Barklem whose stories and pictures addicted me to books forever!;
*The Kaffe Fassett Collective (Just love their use of colours!);
* Treenah of Magic Stitches (at weebly, twitter and on facebook)
* The wonderful members of the “Addicted to Knitting and Crochet” community ;
* Bob Mackie
* Susan Hilferty
* Valerie Halverson (who did the costuming for Stargate: Atlantis)
* Joan Bergin (notably got an ITFA for her work on The Tudors)
* Nancy Devlin ( whose crafty expertise is simply entrancing.

Blogs include:
 My jumper design based on the dvd sleeve of the movie “Serenity”

Advice for new Crafters
I think that time spent in experimenting and developing new ideas is never lost. So long as your overall progress is forward and you’re feeling good about it, it’s all good – and keep going and growing.

Links for your facebook/twitter/blog etc.
                     NB: – Website is currently down for redesign

A big thank you to Mouse for being my first interview of the year.  Be sure and go and visit her shop and say hello.
Thats it for now.  More next month.  If you would like to be featured please get in touch through my shop


Next interview is due on the 2nd Friday of March, catch you then........


  1. Hurrah for Mrs Mouse - love ya honey :)

  2. Such a lovely interview, nice to get to know you a little! (Shirley Hughes and Jill Barklem are favorites of mine also!)