Mice Habitats, 1980s, Pat Arnell with mouse figures by Diane Freeman
Narrator: Walter Arnell is English so over the years the family travelled to England often. While visitingOxford Patdiscovered a shop on the main street that carried some charming little mice created by Diane Freeman.
Pat Arnell: Each time we returned to the area I would purchase a couple of the mice. While in London, I found some of the micein the hotel gift shop so I snatched them up.Pretty soon I had a nice collection.
Narrator:Pat decided to make a series of roomboxes each with a different theme to suit the costumes of the characters.
Pat Arnell: I thought the rooms should be furnished with things that the mice would find lying around soI had to think like a mouse.Play track. I looked for anything I thought a mouse would find poking around a human’s house.
Narrator:The floor in one of the rooms is tiled with coins from a variety of countries.
Pat Arnell: Whenever we return from travel abroad there always seems to be a few coins from the places we visited left in my purse. Since change often falls on the floor and gets kicked under furniture or into corners I figured this was something mice might find and make use of.
Narrator: Making this floor was difficult. Pat started the project by tracing the coins on a sheet of cork then used an X-acto knife to cut holes in the cork for each coin. Next she painting the cork then inlaid the coins.
The walls in a couple rooms are papered with matchbook covers. Pat had a collection of matchbooks and figured they would be something that would appeal to mice.
While you explore the Mouse Habitats look for other items from the human world including patchwork quilt scraps for flooring and acanvas needlework wall covering.