Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Introducing Miki & Mini, the mice on a red pinecone, which is my sixth Christmas tree decoration. They are part of my pinecone craft series in Japanese style. Of which, I’d share basic techniques of Chirimen Zaiku (ちりめん細工/Crepe Handicrafts) that I am learning from books. Okay, here is how I make the chirimen pinecone rodents. Step by step, here we go!
(1) I drew an odd-looking oval shaped pattern on a thick paper. Traced it on a white crepe fabric and added sufficient seam allowance around it before cutting it. (2) Then, I flipped and traced the pattern onto a second piece. (3) On the right side of the fabric, I applied a little glue to attach the tail (which is just a piece of white cord.) It was to ensure that I did sew the tail between the two pieces of fabric. I also rubbed a bit of glue on the tail’s end to prevent it from fraying.(4) I placed the fabrics together (right sides touching), sewed along the seam on the wrong sides, and left an opening. (5) After I flipped the fabric right sides out, I stuffed in some fillings through the opening. (6) Then, I proceeded to create its facial features. For its nose, I used pink floss. Black beads for its eyes. Golden threads for its whiskers.
(1) I made the ears using two types of fabric scraps (fleece and chirimen). Two different colors for each group. (2) I sewed them along the lines, turned it inside out, and attached the ears to the head using craft glue. After the glue dried, I further secured the ears by sewing them to the fabric.
Once the head was done, I stitched up the little mouse. And made him a buddy.Then I glued flower designed fabrics (cut out from patterned chirimen) to further decorate the mice.
My pinecones were baked before I used them for crafts. Here is how I baked my pinecones. I wanted the colors to be vibrant in this project, so I used yellow acrylic as a base paint. Once it was completely dry, I added red acrylic.
(1) Material used: a completely dried red pinecone, red cords for hanging, the two cuties and a gold bell (for a Christmasy touch). (2) The cord/string I used was 25 cm long. Once the bell was attached to the string, I tied a knot at the end, glued it around the pinecone.(3) Then, I glued one of the mouse in between the string. Once it was well secured, I just glued the second mouse next to it. DONE!
When the cat’s away, the mice will play!