Friday, January 15, 2010

Ballet and Baby Mice

It might not seem like those two things go together - but in our world they do, especially during the month of December.

This year Little K was cast as a Baby Mouse in Ballet Etudes Production of The Nutcracker. It was a step up from last year when she was a Doll in the same production. Plus, she was one of only two mice who did cartwheels (whoo hoo - that gymnastics training is paying off).

The production ran for 3 weekends this year - 12 performances. By the end of the run, the girls get to know each other pretty well and have the opportunity to make lots of new friends. It's a tradition for the cast members to exchange simple little gifts at the last show.

See - that's the problem. I'm not sure I know the meaning of the word "simple".

This is what we made:

Each Baby Mouse in Little K's cast received one. It's only 6 girls! They are only a few inches tall! How hard could it be?

As usual - the idea in my head turned out to be a little more involved than I thought. My typical dilemma - they were not difficult to make - only a little time consuming. And certainly not something you want to tackle if you've had too much coffee....way to many tiny parts for jittery hands to handle.

Thanks (again) to my mom who helped me get them done. Phew!

They are made from Skulpy Polymer Clay. Various sized little balls of clay, some flattened, some rolled, stuck together and then baked.

I glued them to a wooden disc painted pink. Added a little sparkle paint and an embroidery floss bow.

Each one was personalized with their name. On the bottom I added a note with the year.

We found these simple silver Chinese take out containers (at the dollar store) to pack them in. Embellished with a pink snowflake and tulle ribbon and they were packed and ready to go.

Then it was time to make a little something for her Ballet Teacher - and the two teenage assistants who help in her classes.

Did I mention I don't know the meaning of the word "little".

This is what we made:

A Clothespin Doll for her Teacher Miss Sharon.

And one for each of her two assistants - Perry and Kelsey - who just happen to be identical Twins. They were deliberately made to look alike (I wasn't just being lazy) with a few subtle differences.

The girls were principal dancers in the Nutcracker this year, that's why they get fluffy tutu's on their dolls.

There is that little mouse again.

Not only does it represent Little K and her role, but Kelsey and Perry were also Baby Mice when they first danced in the Nutcracker 8 years ago.

Just in case that wasn't sappy enough. I added this poem to the bottom of each figurine:

Eyes Upon a Dance Teacher

There are little eyes upon you, they are watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And a little girl who's dreaming of the day she'll be like you.

There's a wide eyed little girl who believes you're always right;
And her eyes are always opened, and she watches day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do,
for the little girl who's waiting to grow up to be like you.

Note: This all took place in December...but I haven't had a chance to edit and post until now. So Sorry.


  1. ....*wiping tear as it rolls down my cheek....Thanks again for making my day Karina!!

  2. Actually it's me, Roma....I forgot that Sara was logged in.....oops!

  3. OH MY! You are so talented Karina, these are so cute. I love the ballerinas and the little mice!

  4. omg!! adorable!!! You are so talented, I am always blown away by your delicate and sweetly detailed art. Wonderful.

  5. Hehehe... this brings back memories: when I was a kid, I was the mouse in a play once too.