Meet: Monsieur et Madame Champignon (or, to you and me, that’s Mr. and Mrs. Mushroom)

Bonjour mes amis!  (translation: ‘Hello my friends’).  Ok, that’s about ‘it’ for my schoolgirl french that I’m going to try to impress you with.

Meet: Monsieur et Madame Champignon  also known as: Mr. and Mrs. Mushroom . . . .

Monsieur et madame Champignon 1

I’ve been playing with clay again  (in case you hadn’t guessed).  I actually started out with the intention of making some little-whittle mushrooms for another project I have in mind, but by the time I’d got my clay on my desk, modelling tools all lined up (well, ok, thrown in a jumble onto my desk), my water spray bottle,  and the various other bits and bobs which come into play when modelling/sculpting with clay,  the mushrooms had grown in size and character, and fired by a random memory which popped into my head of some grumpy faced mushrooms I’d seen quite a while ago, (link Caroline McFarlane-Watts <—clickable safe link).  Then the idea grew because of a song which was playing on the radio, I began to think I would make some ‘Mushroom Folks’ (as I’ve Christened them), but doing them my style.  Happy and joyous.  And, from that initial thought, Monsieur et Madame Champignon were born.

Please allow me to walk you all around the home, and friends, of the handsome French Chap and his beautiful Parisian wife . . .

Madame Champignon

Madame Champignon is a well dressed lady, as you would expect, with a swanky french hat complete with snail. And, as you may have noticed, she has the longest of long, silky eyelashes, ruby-red lips and a little rouge to her cheeks.  So Chic!

Monsieur et madame Champignon 2

They sit atop a small mound of grass surrounded by moss – which allows other creatures from Fairy Wood to hide, and they keep the romantic couple company.  There are mice (who love to eat the left over bits of Camembert and Roquefort which picnic makers drop). There are also two slugs, (complete with tentacles) who leave the most delightful shiny trails behind them, and will sometimes have a game of ‘Guess what I’m drawing with my Slime!’ with the Champignons. And of course – there are the two snails, which the the French couple allow to clamber over their hats – although as they climb up to the hats, they do have the tendency to tickle the Monsieur et Madame, and Madame giggles quite audibly. 

Slug on Monsieur et madame Champignon
Mr. Slug – he’s the bigger, and stronger of the two slugs.
Monsieur et madame Champignon 3
The rear view of Monsieur et Madame Champignon.  If you look carefully you can see a tiny mouse to the left and Mrs. Slug, leaving her slug trail behind her on the right.  (that’s a teeny tiny pine cone behind the Monsieur).

 

Monsieur et madame Champignon 4
Both of the snails which adorn the  Mushroom Caps  Champignons Hats have pink bodies and pearly yellow shells.  Sadly the camera didn’t seem able to pick the colours up.  But it did a half good job in this photo.

The curled and ‘frilly’ bits on both of the mushrooms aren’t mistakes.  They’re the bits you sometimes find on your mushrooms which you buy from the greengrocers or supermarket.

There are other little dints and dents on them both …which are there simply because I looked at some mushrooms in the fridge closely and saw that each one had its own character lines … so the Monsieur et Madame have their own dints and dents to add character too. (They also have ‘dirt’ marks –  as you would expect!)  😀

Monsieur et madame Champignon 5

The Monsieur has a lip …. and a half!  As I was creating him I began to think of fabulous French men who I knew from movies … and the one which reigned supreme was Maurice Chevalier, who my mother was all dreamy and doe eyed about.  Inside my head I could see how he used to extend his lower lip, and from there …. Monsieur’s own lip developed.

Monsieur et madame Champignon 6

I’ve been told that Monsieur Champignon calls his wife  “My sweet, my darling, my one true love!”.  ❤  Somehow, I feel that this is probably true, for he looks like he would,  don’t you agree?

Monsieur et madame Champignon 1

The whole scene is set upon a small piece of slate

I had SO much fun making this happy couple of romantics and all the way through the creating process, I kept on singing ‘I Remember it Well’ – sung by Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in the fabulous film:  Gigi . . .  eventually I went to YouTube and found it, and played it while I was sat at my desk, so that I could be reminded of the words.  I share it with you here:

Thank you so much for coming and sharing a coffee moment with me, and to meet Mr. & Mrs. Mushroom.  I hope you liked them, and that you got a smile from them.

I love to know that you’ve visited, so please do let yourself be known and leave a comment and / or a like if you’re a little shy.  (But don’t be shy … we’re all really lovely people here on this blog).

Wishing you a truly magical Monday.  May the weather be calm and beautiful where you are.  May life be treating you kindly … and may you find contentment hidden in the folds of the hours as they pass by.

Much love to you, from me in my corner, to you in yours  . . .  have a blessed rest of your day my friends!

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Once upon a time . . .

Are you sitting comfortably children?  Then I’ll begin . . .

Once upon a time …  when I was a little younger than I am now,  …  not much younger you understand,   just a little, I was watching daytime TV when all of a sudden what should appear on the screen than some darling little houses.  Just for a flash.  A moment.  The longest, they were on-screen was about 3 seconds.  BUTI saw them and that’s what’s important here.

I tried to find the little houses on the internet, by doing a search for the TV programme on which they made their momentary appearance, but, sadly, it was not to be.  I discovered that they were never featured within the programme, so they were just there in the introduction as a colourful addition to the film sequence which ‘introduced’ the programme.

BUT ….  I’d seen them,  and once seen, they could never be forgotten.  They were imprinted upon my brain.  Well … my one brain cell had drawn them on a  post-it note and pinned it to the wall of my brain so that I remembered them.

They were on the ‘back burner’ of my mind for the longest time, when one day, some weeks ago I mention\ed them to Mr.Cobs. 

Mr. Cobs has a collection of scrap bits of wood – off cuts of this, that and the other which he cannot bear to throw away.  As a crafter I can fully understand this behaviour.  I ventured down the garden, pretending to look for one of our cats, but I was sneakily peeping through the windows of his Man Cave.  He caught me at it!

A voice boomed from somewhere and made me jump:  “What are you up to, young lady?”.  I gasped, audibly.  Was that God speaking to me?  A ghost maybe? (because we’re pretty certain we have one – along with many ghosts of cats).  I looked towards the house but could see no one there.  Again, the voice asked “What are you doing?” only this time I knew where the voice was coming from.

…..  “I was just looking in the shed windows.  Y’know….  like y’do.”  I said, feeling that would be enough of an explanation.  But it wasn’t.

Mr.C wandered into the conservatory and I instantly knew I was ‘in trouble’.  He was putting on his gardening shoes, and that meant only one thing . . .  he was coming out!  I’d been caught in the act, and I was going to have to explain myself.

Now Mr.Cobs is a ‘stamper’.  Not a crafting stamper you understand, but a  ‘BANG HIS FEET DOWN ON THE FLOOR AS HE WALKS BECAUSE HE A HUGE BEAST OF MAN’  stamper.  He’s on the other end of the scale when it comes to ‘Ballerina’. In fact … he’s totally off that scale.  Think more Sumo Wrestler – but slimmer.  He’s a tall chap, and does carry a little more timber around the middle than the Doctor is happy about, but he’s not huge.  However …  he’s going to totally stuff up the internal ‘shock absorbers in his legs’ with the way he walks.  He can’t do anything light-footed.  He can’t creep, and I swear to Dog that he can’t walk gently.  He  S.T.A.M.P.S  his heels down with the heaviest feet in the whole wide world.

He exited the conservatory.  The ground was shaking as he approached.

“You were looking for something – I saw you.  What are you looking for?”

“I was just gazing in the windows.  Just, y’know ….  gazing”  I replied.

“So you weren’t hoping to go into the shed to find something and remove it then?” he said as almost an accusation.

“Uhm .. well, no, not quite  ….  not now you’re here.”  I said, grinning,  and feeling the warm glow of guilt coming to my cheeks.

Oh, right, well then I’ll go away.  He said, pretending to turn and walk away.

“Well … actually….  since you are here….”  I ventured, in a cajoling tone…. 

He turned is body back around and lent his head to one side, in a questioning sort of angle – his eyebrows raised, clearly (voicelessly) asking … “What?”

“….  I saw something on TV a little while ago, and I would rather like to make some of them”

“So you WERE looking for something then!”  He said, accusingly, but with a laugh which also showed as fun on his face.

“…..  Welll … Yes  …   I was really.  Sort of.  I need some little bits of wood”.  I said in my most Sunday best, angelic voice that I could muster.

“Bits of wood?  What for?  What do you want to make and what size of wood are you hoping to find?”.  He was warming to the subject matter, I could tell.  Bits of wood are Mr.Cobs ‘currency’.

Lifting my hands to demonstrate,  I said:  “Well, I need three bits ….  around this sort of size”  … (making box shapes with my hands).  “I want to make some little houses”.

“Little Houses?”   He repeated, while his brows furrowed….

“Yes.  Simple, rustic looking little houses, out of cut wood, and I will paint doors and windows on them!”

He’s that used to my hair brained ideas for crafting things – I’ve been a crafter all our married life, so he’s used to me now – that he didn’t flinch or give me one of his  ‘Are You Totally Mad, Woman?’  faces that he can do sometimes.

“Ok…  I think I can do that.  But … what about the roofs?  What are you going to do for those?”  He asked.

“Uhmm … ….  paint them I suppose.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Ok.  Give me a little time.  I’ve got to finish getting the garden in order and  . . . ”  … he reeled off a list of VITs  (Very Important Things), and ended with:  “…  and then I’ll get to your wooden houses.  OK?”

During the weekend just gone he presented me with three little blocks of wood.   I took my pencil and drew how and where they’d need to be cut in order to give them a roof.  He took the blocks of wood away and a few minutes later he presented me with these:

LittleHouses Wood Blocks

Three almost but not quite little houses.

I painted them with an under-coat, and as I did so, Mr.Cobs appeared back in the craft-room and asked me again about the roofs,  telling me that he had some ‘slates’ left over from when we built our porch.  “I could cut you some of those slates to the right sizes, if you’d like Slate for the roofs.”  He said.  I jumped at the chance!

He measured up the little houses and went away humming to himself, and a little while later he came back and gave me six individual little pieces of slate – all cut to the right sizes for each of the houses, and with little holes in them, so that they could be fixed in place!  And this is what they now look like:

Little Houses Pink
Little Pink Painted House

 

Little Houses Yellow
Little Yellow Painted House (a farm-house, maybe?).  You can see, over to the left as you’re looking at this photo, a steel rule which is showing (as best as can be) the height of these houses. They’re measuring at roughly 4″ tall (or 10cm)
Little Houses Blue
Little Blue Painted House.

I painted the backs to look different from the front ….

Little Houses Backs
The backs of the Little Houses

  so that you can compare the fronts and the backs . . .

Little Houses Fronts
The fronts of the little houses

And that’s how the adventures of the Little Houses began.

They’re not Fairy Houses, and they aren’t houses which go in the garden.  They’re rustic, little cottagey type houses – the type of cottages found by the seaside here where I live in the South of England.  They’re just for decoration inside our cottage.  To look sweet on a shelf somewhere, or on a table or bookshelf.  These three are going to sit on my coffee table.

I’m already planning to make some more…. only the next one’s will be a bit different to these.

Thanks for coming and spending some time with me.  I love your company.  But  then …. you know that already.  ❤

Be good to yourselves this month.  Give yourself a smile in the mirror every now and again.  A REAL smile.  One which reaches your eyes.  And …  don’t expect so much of yourself.  It’s great to have goals and ambitions, but sometimes, a body needs to know it’s loved.  Love yourself. Because if YOU don’t love you, how can anyone else be expected to love you.  (But please always remember that I love you in spite of yourself! lol)

Sending love, from me here in my corner, to you there in yours.

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