The Mouse Lady…

Here are just some of the questions about the work and ministry of Tee Bylo and of the stories she weaves from the Mouse Parish of St M’s in the Village of Merryworth…

Are the Models Used for the Mouse Parish of St M’s ‘Real’ Models?
Yes, they are ‘real’ models! All have been created in 12th scale primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

Can I Visit the Mouse Parish?
As the models used for St M’s have been on private and public display in the past; there are occasions when they can ‘seen’ in person and a subscription to the St M’s Newsletter will keep you informed about our studio open-days and forthcoming exhibitions.

What’s the Story Behind the Creation of St M’s Church and the Mouse Parish?
From her earliest memories the artist has always loved exploring our local parish churches and having worked in many of the churches and chapels in and around the historic town of Malton in North Yorkshire on behalf of the Methodist Church – the opportunity to recreate her world in 12th scale was realised.

It could also said to be ‘in the genes’ as many of the artist’s maternal and paternal ancestors were skilled craftsman, architects and stonemasons who designed, restored and built churches throughout the United Kingdom including the Wilson family chapel in Radford and at York Minster.

And as every parishioner, fictional or otherwise needs a ‘little’ something to buy, eat AND love; the creation of St M’s Parish with its impressive huddle of emporiums has been realised too!

Although the models used for St M’s began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF purchased from several independent dolls’ house suppliers and having ‘tweaked’ the original designs; the creation of these models has been the exclusive work of Tee Bylo.

Does the Mouse Parish of St M’s Follow the Teachings of a Particular Church?
The world of St M’s Parish is inspired by the Church of England ethos and the festivals and holy days are celebrated in accordance with the ecclesiastical calendar; however, the ministry of St M’s remains a unique one.

Can I Follow the Stories About St M’s?
As well as following the ministry, musings and mishaps from St M’s through the Parish Records, you can also catch those mice scurrying around on InstagramFlickrTwitterPinterestFacebookTumblr and Google+

How Can I Learn More About the Work of Tee Bylo?
You can discover more about the artist’s work with a visit to her official website Tee Bylo or by signing up to follow her blog  Creating Life in 12th Scale… and you can now enjoy exclusive access to St M’s by supporting Tee on the crowdfunding site Patreon as she makes the world a better place one mouse at a time.

Tee can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Tell Me the Inspiration for the Mice from St M’s…
Since the beginning of her work on the Parish of St M’s in 2010; Tee has resisted the idea of using any form of character ‘doll’ as her vision had always been to set the scene in which the human presence is keenly felt and to also encourage the visitor to weave their own narrative about the unfolding story before them.

However, as her designs have continued to evolve; Tee fell in love with the idea of creating a community of unique characters who could inhabit the world of St M’s and so the concept of those Mice was born!

And Your Plans for the Mouse Parish?

As there are several models in the design and creation process including the ‘Leaf & Maple Flower Shop’, ‘Merryworth Market’, ‘Mollie’s Tea Room’, Alessa Mia Farm Shop’ and the ‘Hub Barista Church’; there is plenty to keep the artist AND those parishioners busy for some time to come!

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

Can I Share the Information and the Images from St M’s Parish on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all we ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit the artist and her work. Thank you!

 

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The Year’s Last, Loveliest Smile…

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 Yorvik Faerie Etsy 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, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable brother in 2014 and life became difficult with time and financial independence diminished and a wish that sometimes I could live a million miles away BUT as I have continued to dream, plan and create new ‘Small Worlds’ either at home or in the studio and even in my shed at the bottom of the garden; I have come to understand that a loss of freedom can also be strangely liberating!

A few days ago, I discovered the quote by Lewis Carroll 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 create and write stories and to keep moving forward on this road less traveled and it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too!

Your kind support will enable me to create my ‘Small Worlds’ and line the shelves of my two Etsy stores with my uniquely designed miniatures.

I can rejoice as the adventures of Little Big Cat can be found within the pages of a picture book to be cherished and enjoyed by children and adults alike and the anticipated coffee-table book ‘Nicole’s House’ due for publication in late 2018 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who inspired the creation of this 12th scale house.

And who knows what kind of mischief those mice could get up to as they find themselves at the end of a film lens?

There are monthly pledges of $1 and upwards which are charged on the 1st of the month and there are lots of ‘Tee Time’ 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!

While THOSE Mice Are Away, Tee WILL Play! Welcome to St M’s Parish Church..

Welcome to the Parish of St M’s and the ‘Small World’ that the Mice from St M’s inhabit in which they will be sharing their musings, mishaps and ministry, although I should add that I will be the one attending to most of the arduous work including designing, creating, researching, the blogging and the cleaning up afterward!

However, I remain hopeful that I will get to enjoy the occasional ‘hot’ cup of tea and until those Mice have made their presence felt; I shall enjoy sharing a ‘little’ more about me…

The Parish of St M’s consists of (for the moment at least!) a church and parish hall in 12th scale and although both began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF; the creation and design has been entirely my work and with my dislike for stairs and hinge brackets, the original concepts have been ‘tweaked’.

As I have always loved visiting churches, particularly those old churches that upon entering can stir up an evocative history of its’ people which remains as a public monument to their art, architecture and faith and where for centuries they have poured out their hope, joy, struggle and love; my vision has been to create an old church that captures this sense of history and yet is ever changing, a peaceful place for reflection and thanksgiving.

The church has been named the Parish Church of St Margaret in honour of an English Saint who having died in France in 1192 enjoys a Feast Day on February 3 and as both my mother and mother-in-law are also called Margaret; the naming ceremony was simple.

The inspiration for St Margaret’s has come from many sources and as I spent over ten years working in and around some of the most wonderful churches and chapels that surround the market town of Malton in North Yorkshire for both the Church of England and the Methodist Church; I was rather spoilt for choice!

As this little church is full of items that are of personal significance, I will share the story behind some of them with you. The first being the communion table with the inscription In Remembrance of Me created by Mark and Sharon for Stockton Miniatures and although they have created other miniatures of the ecclesiastical kind for me; this remains a personal favourite as it reminds me of the wonderful table I would use in Leavening, a delightful village nestled in the shadow of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Likewise, the simple gold cross that enjoys pride of place on the altar and the primitive wooden reading stand have been inspired by their full-size counterparts from the Church on Saville Street, a place I spent many happy years, as on any given day I could either be packing my craft tools into a plastic stacking box for Tot’s Praise or beavering away in the office preparing for a FloodZone Holiday Club amongst a jumble of papers, boxes of candles, fundraising buckets for ‘Water Aid’ or ‘Action for Children’ and the donations of cereals, pasta and biscuits which would soon be on their way to the Malton Food Bank or else I could be making a cup of tea for someone who just needed a warm drink and a friendly ear…

And on that note, I can hear that kettle boiling!

Adieu for now!

Tee