Monday, 28 May 2018

Hatching an Eggstraordinary Design!

From the Parish Records...

After the austerity of Lent, Easter always calls for something a little special in the way of floral design and my plans for the 12th scale church in the Parish of St M's last year were NO exception!


And as the liturgical colours for the church at Easter are yellow and gold; I decided to create two arrangements with the use of these fancy pedestals which are typically used for the display of a painted egg.

Using a combination of real chocolate eggs, some stunning paper leaves, snippets of Conifer along with other bits of fauna I had snaffled from my garden and with a handful of fine silver wire and my trusty scissors; my first step was to attach a piece of DRY Floral Foam to the top of the pedestal.

With the snippets of Conifer and inspired by the shape of the humble triangle, I begin the design of my arrangement.

I should add that Conifer remains one of my favourite faunas to work with as it has a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being 'freshly picked' for many weeks and a heady scent which I simply adore!


I also employ the use of fine silver wire for those snippets of Conifer which require more flexibility in which to arrange.

Adding the paper leaves to the arrangement was less troublesome as they were already wired and so it was just a case of arranging them as shown.


And now for the real fun!

In order to add the eggs to the arrangement, I made a tiny hole at the base of the egg with my trusty tool of all trades and having inserted a piece of silver wire which I then cut to size, the egg could be arranged in the dry foam with ease.



As the eggs were a little larger than I would have liked (NOW, there's a first! ME complaining about the size of a piece of chocolate!) I only needed five for this arrangement.



And with all the eggs now in place, I added pieces of dried twig and continued to add more snippets of the Conifer here and there.

For those of you who are familiar with my floral creations, you'll know that I love to use 'real' foliage when I can and that I am an enthusiastic 'harvester' who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!



With the design nearly complete; it's time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss and which I love working with!



I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with the design and after a gentle spray with misted water from top to bottom, my pedestal arrangement is now complete and ready for display.




And with the pedestal arrangements now in place and with those church mice busy elsewhere; I think it's time to put the kettle on and sample one or two of those chocolate eggs that have been surplus to requirement...

Well, it would be rude not to - wouldn't it?

Come On In and Smell the Roses...

From the Parish Records...

As Sunday January 22 was Homeless Sunday here in the UK and having given up the word 'procrastination' as my only New Years' Resolution; I was determined to throw open the doors to St M's Parish Church and having gone to the trouble of creating a feast of tasty goulash in polymer clay for the less fortunate of the parish; I was also determined to put those church mice to work that day.


I should add that several of the mice decided not to put in an appearance that day as I could offer nothing stronger than a mug of tea and those who did finally brave the cold to serve up the hot lunch I had prepared and raised awareness and support for those who have no home they can call their own - well, they did me proud!

However, as the Mice of the St M's Flower Guild were also nowhere to be seen and with neither the time nor the inclination to teach the basics of floral design to those mice I could see who were scurrying around; I decided to take myself off to find a quiet corner in the midst of all of this frantic activity and arrange the church flowers myself.

Our December holiday decorations may have long been packed away but as the liturgical colours for the church are still in honour of Christmastide with white, yellow and gold; I decided to create an arrangement with the use of this fancy pedestal although they are typically used for the display of a painted egg.

Using a combination of white silk roses, some smaller paper roses in a golden yellow colour with snippets of Conifer and some other bits of fauna I snaffled from my garden and with a handful of fine silver wire and my trusty scissors; my first step was to attach a piece of DRY Floral Foam to the top of the pedestal.


With the snippets of Conifer and inspired by the shape of the humble triangle, I begin the design of my arrangement.

I should add that Conifer remains one of my favourite faunas to work with as it has a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being 'freshly picked' for many weeks and a heady scent which I simply adore!


I also employ the use of fine silver wire for those snippets of Conifer which require more flexibility in which to arrange.


For those of you who are familiar with my floral creations, you'll know that I love to use 'real' foliage when I can and that I am an enthusiastic 'harvester' who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!

As I continue to add the snippets of Conifer and Fern to the arrangement, my design takes form.




Now that the basic design has been completed with the fauna; it's time to add the white silk roses.


And with the silk roses in place, I now 'speckle' the arrangement with the use of the paper roses in a delightful colour of golden-yellow.


With all the roses now in place, I continue to add more snippets of the Fern here and there.


With the design nearly complete; it's time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss and which I love working with!


I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with the design and after a gentle spray with misted water from top to bottom, my pedestal arrangement is now complete and ready for display.



And with the pedestal arrangement now in place and with those church mice busy elsewhere; I think it's time to put the kettle on and enjoy some of that delicious shortbread I received as a gift for Christmas.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

Oh! Those Admirable Honorary Mousers!

"All This is Only for Myself and the Mice to Admire!" ~ Catherine the Great

AND with a generous monthly pledge of $3 - YOU too shall have much to admire with exclusive access to the world of the Mouse Town on my Patreon page.


With access to my Patreon musings, you can enjoy an exclusive look at the work in progress and you can watch me as I scurry around the Mouse Town dressing the church, arranging flowers, making cheese and I'll show how how I sculpt those mice while drinking lots of tea!

You'll have the opportunity to see a finished 'Mouse World' before anyone else and you can enjoy other Patreon rewards too!


But what IS Patreon? And how does it work?

Although I love what I do and cannot imagine myself doing anything other than this – I do know that in this crazy world of mine that it's impossible to survive on fresh air with only a diet of hope and the occasional box of donated teabags.

The glue, paint, wood, tools, paintbrushes, fabric and all of the other lovely stuff I use to create my imaginary worlds ALL costs money AND if it didn't - I would either be crawling over hot coals to get to this 'Land of the Free' or else I'd be spending time at Her Majesty's Pleasure...

Which brings me to Patreon!

Patreon is a crowd funding membership site for artists just like me - although I've yet to find anyone else using this site who creates anything quite like I do!

Beginning with a monthly pledge from a $1 and up which is charged to your card on the 1st of every month – not only will you be supporting me in my work but you'll also be invited to cross the portal and step into my world!


​​​​​AND there are also lots of unique rewards to enjoy including exclusive 'behind-the-scenes' images, giveaways, tutorials and an anniversary gift.​

As an 'Honorary Mouser' you can enjoy a discount of 10% to spend on an intoxicating array of unique gifts and assorted food stuffs on sale in the Mallow & Teasel Emporium and a 'little' something designed by me will be posted to you on every yearly anniversary that we have shared together on Patreon - as a 'Thank you' for your wonderful support!

Your pledge means everything to me as it will allow me to the freedom to design, create and teach and it would be wonderful to inspire others to become a 'little' creative too - and you can cancel or amend your pledge at any time!

If you are unable to pledge - that's OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much - Thank you!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Where There's Tee? There's Hope!

The poet Lord Byron once said "IF I don't write to empty my mind, I will go mad" and when I think back to that fateful day many years ago when curiosity got the better of me and I picked up a copy of Dolls' House Magazine in my local supermarket which then went on to change my life - I understand where the man was coming from!

Hello! My name is Tee Bylo and I am a model maker, artist and storyteller creating imaginary worlds in miniature...


Having created an eclectic number of 'Small Worlds' over the years with many now in private collections; my most recent 12th scale ventures include the expansion of the Mouse Town (both in real estate AND with more mice!) the ambitious design for another 'Nicole's House' with completion for Christmas 2018.

And with my passion for the unique and mystical, I'm also creating more weird and wonderful emporiums and abodes populated by the mythical folk of the All Hallows Hamlet.

'Holy Water at the Ready'

And with a passion for anything Lord Byron, I love to escape to the year 1815 at 13 Piccadilly Terrace as I fluff the pillows, arrange the flowers and stoke the fires in the home inspired by the life of this fabulous poet.

Welcome to the Tales from Lord Byron's Abode...

Self-taught and armed with plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage, clay, glue and lots of imagination, I design my 'Small Worlds' using whatever is around me at the time including scrap MDF, cardboard boxes, model kits, a huge plant pot, a tatty dolls house, some chicken wire, a tree stump and even a grotty, old waste bin.

AND wait until you see the 'Small Worlds' I plan to create with an abandoned bicycle wheel, a plastic paint tub and one very large wire mesh basket once used to store a giant firework!

I once jokingly calculated that I would need to live another 250 years to create my dream projects into 12th scale reality.

Remember how I told you about the magazine that changed my life? Well, some years later I was offered a monthly 'Tee Time' column and for one glorious year I got to share my 12th scale musings along with the triumphs, tears and the delicious cake that I had enjoyed and I was paid for it too!


But why am I now on Patreon, you ask?

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.

Welcome to the Crooked Hen Gift Shop...

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.

As the Poppies Blow on Armistice Day...

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.

Read the Rev. Suze's Welcome Letter from the Parish of St M's...

With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of  unique rewards for you to enjoy and there’s a 10% Etsy discount too!

You can cancel your pledge 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!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Full Hearts Despite Empty Pockets!


Dear Friends, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Mouse Parish of St M's in the town of Merryworth.

It has been thrilling for me to have been invited to St M's Parish by the Bishop Martin and my family and I look forward to many happy times living here in this delightful place.


And even though I only arrived at St M's in January of last year, it has been wonderful working with Tee and she has been keeping me and the parishioners of Merryworth VERY busy indeed.

AND when I take a look at the Parish Diary and what she has planned for this month and for 2018; well, it's enough to make my ears spin!

However, Tee's report to the trustees during the last meeting of our parochial church council in October informed us that we are still very much a struggling parish EVEN though we have achieved some great things last year including the hosting of a successful Homeless Sunday, our 'Missing People' campaign and tucking into a Big Brekkie for Christian Aid.

Food and Comfort for Homeless Sunday...

A Candle and Prayers for 'Missing' Claudia Lawrence..

Come and Eat IF You're Hungry Enough!

Tee's report went on to say that even though our collective spirit of faith, hope, charity and love was as strong as ever, the amount remaining in our collection plate was now very little.

Everil - Our Church Angel!

She added that we have seen a HUGE influx of mice arriving here at St M's which is a wonderful cause for celebration; however, it also presents us with a challenge as they ALL need to be clothed and fed AND given the opportunity to work!

Edie Hitch Happy and ALWAYS Helpful!

Planting Our Lent Cross with Johnnie Hitch...

And despite some fabulous donations of fabric, wood and glue, Tee expressed concern that unless we could balance the books of income and expenditure, our lovely parish could begin to suffer.

Raiding the Ribbon Box with Millie...

We were all a bunch of really glum mice upon hearing this news and after Everil had suggested the need for some fundraising (even though I prefer to think of it as 'fun-raising') Tee excitedly told us all about the crowd funding site Patreon which is perfect for creatives like her as a 'patron' pledges some money every month in return for some exclusive rewards!

Still Working Hard for the Money with Everil...

For even though Tee has continued to dream and plan new 'Small Worlds' for St M's including a flower shop, our 'Merryworth Market' and 'Mollie's Tea Room' AND despite having been a parent to her two amazing sons, Tee has also been a full-time care giver to her infirm mother and vulnerable brother since 2014 - and ever since,  life has become difficult as her time and financial independence have diminished BUT she keeps on creating!


And with the planning application approved for the renovation of the Merryworth Windmill and with the exciting work on our 'Hub Barista Church' now underway, there is still plenty to keep Tee, my parishioners AND myself busy for some time to come! 


During our PCC meeting, Tee shared a wonderful quote from Lewis Carroll that "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality" and she said that during this challenging time her imagination is the gift that keeps on giving as it gives her the freedom to create and to write stories as she keeps moving forward on this road less traveled AND how wonderful it would be if we were ALL by her side too!

Enjoying shortbread and Tea with Mark...

Your kind support through Patreon will help Tee with the creation of St M's Parish and it will also enable us to continue sharing our unique mouse ministry on this website, the new mouse parish blog and also on social media.

By pledging an amount every month, you can help Tee as she keeps the shelves of our shops stocked up with her uniquely designed miniatures.

And she could buy lots of polymer clay to create some more parishioners and make sure that they were fed and clothed too!

Tucking into a Cracking and Delicious Pancake Tea!

You could also help Tee to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming a published author when our adventures are discovered within the pages of a picture book cherished and enjoyed by both children and adults.

And who knows what kind of mischief some of my parishioners could get up to if we were ever lucky enough to go on a seaside holiday.

As Tee loves nothing more than a nice mug of tea, we could definitely buy her some more tea bags!


With a monthly pledge of $1 and upwards charged to your card on the 1st of the month, there are lots of  unique rewards for you to enjoy including the chance to indulge in a little retail therapy with a lovely discount to spend in our delightful 'Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop'.

You can cancel your pledge at any time and if you are unable to pledge - knowing that you are still reading this means just as much and you can still support our Mouse Parish in other ways too!

With every blessing for you and your loved ones.


Rev. Suze (Merryworth Manse, The Parish of St M's)