So many of you have contacted me and asked what is Mr.AP going to get for Christmas. And I have to say the majority of you demonstrated a bravery of epic proportions, because you decided to wait out this post. The not so brave? Well, let’s just say they did not have a choice…

As is usually the case I suddenly, out of the blue had this idea to make him a Little Mole and a rocket. Most of the time I don’t sit around biting my nails or agonize for weeks on what to make. It just suddenly hits me like a meteor (literally in this case). What I did know is, that we have a warm spot in our hearts for Zdenek Miler’s Little Mole character, so I was sure Mr.AP would love it.

This year I decided to actually learn from the mistakes of previous years and give myself plenty of time for the project. I thought a month would be just right. I blocked my calendar, I gave it a top priority and declined some other activities, postponed projects to avoid unnecessary pressure. I was relaxed. This time I was having FUN. Only problem was that Mr.AP was so used to me doing everything (after) the very last moment, that pretty soon he could not deal with the pressure of me constantly tinkering with his gift. He was visibly jittery and kept asking me these weird questions. “What on Earth are you making? A rocket?”, “I hope you are not making another creature!”, “You are surely not making a Little Mole, are you?”

So by pacing myself I learned three very important things:

  1. Making a plan and sticking to it does prevent stress and anxiety. For some, at least;
  2. I’d actually be pretty good at bluffing, because I held a steady poker face each and every time he asked these questions; and
  3. Mr.AP has somehow gotten into my head and is clearly reading my thoughts!

To start the project I took the original Miler drawing and scaled it to the size I wanted my finished rocket to be. And with that my technical drawing of the Moleyuz rocket was born.

Then I proceeded to source material, to cut, glue, reinforce and glue some more. The wind space-shield posed the biggest problem. What could I use that is as clear as glass, yet as flexible as paper? One night, while licking a yogurt container clean I suddenly had an epiphany. With the rocket’s paint I wanted to recreate the patina (or rusty exterior if I am totally honest) of a 40 year old Hungarian Hajdú boiler. And I think it is actually spot on! And the Little Mole, you ask? Well, the brave furry creature is adamant on following on Gagarin’s pawsteps and being the first Mole in space.

Click on the images to enlarge

On Christmas day Mr.AP was beyond excited. As a true gentleman he usually urges me to open my present first and prefers to go last. Not this year! He could hardly contain himself! He opened the package and gave such a joyous, sweet little laugh. He carefully took each of the little things in his hand. He was examining the Little Mole, then the rocket, turning them around and looking at every little detail. He was so taken by them that he did not quite get that the pilot should sit inside his Moleyuz rocket! I took them gently from his hand and I sat the little creature inside the vehicle. Then I felt a very warm squeeze of my hand. And that was the moment he asked me to share the story of Little Mole and his rocket with you all.

We have not yet decided where the rocket will live. Right now it is hung in the central, most prominent spot of our Christmas tree. Once we take it down though, we’ll have to figure out a place. I am sure we’ll find just the right spot.

If you liked this post you might also enjoy seeing what else I made Mr.AP over the years…