Sunday, November 1, 2009

Squeak Squeak

I feel like a mouse on a treadmill at the moment. I seem to no sooner finish one job when it needs to be done again.
But anyway...

Zoe from "Playing by the Book" has a new website. To celebrate she is giving away a book (chosen from those she has reviewed) to one lucky visitor who leaves a comment on her new blog.

So in honour of Zoe I decided to do a 'Zoe Style' entry.

On Thursday Rainbow and I read "Say Hello, Little Mouse" by Libby Hamilton It's not a new book for us and is a little too cutesy for me. It is a favourite of my "baby enchanted" daughter. (Though one day last week she said "Can we leave ---(Moonshine) at creche all day?" and then later in the week "When ---(Moonshine) is grown up, next year, you can have another baby.")

Little Mouse's extended family and friends are very busy but Little Mouse doesn't know why. Little Mouse helps Granddad paint a starry sky in the littlest bedroom and accompanys Grandma to pick up a tiny quilt and a tiny bath. Finally Little Mouse finds out why. It kept Rainbow wondering too.
Having read the story we made a family of salt dough mice.Here's the recipe we used (we just made a 1/4 batch)
2 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
1 T oil
Basically measure and mix.

These were then baked for 120. As you can see by the photos our mice have cracks in their backs because some silly person didn't look at the temperature when she turned the oven on. How long depends on the size of the object. You can always bake then leave it to cool in the turned off oven. It should sound hollow when tapped, just like baked bread.

Because this is an uncooked playdough the dough only keeps (in the fridge) for about a week.
From past experience I'd suggest that if you want coloured objects it's easier to knead a drop of food colouring into tiny portions before creating then to paint baked objects)

It's really good to use playdough everynow and then without tools. Rainbow finds it easier to roll balls on the table than in her hand.

After making mice Rainbow set about making "wedding people like we saw in Fremantle". Sadly she lost interest and mashed it up not long before the photo of the bride and the groom's head was taken. This photo is far more exciting as it shows her own ideas and processes.

We embellished our little mice with eyes (permanent marker), colourful tails (wool), ears (half circles of felt) and noses (small pieces of embroidery thread tied in the middle). Obviously given that Rainbow is only 2 so I prepared a lot of these little bits then Rainbow dipped the mice in PVA glue and stuck on the bits.

The next day Rainbow and I made "the littlest bedroom" and the mice have been busy acting out the story.

The mice have also been singing "Three Blind Mice" (not one I would have chosen to teach but Rainbow enjoys the poetry of it and often now ends comments with "Have you ever seen such a thing in your life, Mum?") and "Hickory Dickory Dock"
I've also been having fun leaving mischevious mice arranged around the house, such as this.

I'm also thinking about some mice sized holes in her food in her next snack pack. I also stumbled across this the other day chocolate mice. I wonder where you get cherries with tails (stalks).


  1. Forget "Zoe style" - this is great "Kristine style" - it made me smile and wish I could say "hey, why don't we go out for coffee together sometime, and let the girls play together?". The mice are totally adorable and I love their home - congrats to Rainbow! And now I'm curious about Australian cherry culture - do you mean you only get stalk-less cherries over there? I've never seen stalk-less cherries on sale here in the UK...

  2. Fresh cherries come with tails though they cost a fortune in the west as our climate is too hot except for a small corner of the south west. The chocolate mice used Maraschino Cherries with stalks. I know my Granddad use to have a bottle behind his bar but I've never seen them in a shop. Glace cherries yes but they don't have stalks. Actually Nigella Lawson recommends natural coloured glace cherries for her pudding but I've never ever seen those.

  3. Hi Kristine, I used to make coloured salt dough when the kids were little using powdered food colour-I found the liquid food colour made the salt dough a little sticky. Actually I still have some of their salt dough creations (although they are a little worse for wear)!
    As for those maraschino cherries with stalks you're looking for, I have a bottle in the fridge! Pop over if you'd like them!!
    The brand is Tania and they are imported by Exclusive Food House, Chesterfield rd Moorabin, Victoria. They should be able to tell you where you can buy them on your side of Australia!