Friday, 22 May 2015

Flowers for Celestine

I mentioned before that my mums friend gave me a pack of Liberty print patchwork squares to make clothes for Celestine with. Well, here are the clothes I have made. Celestine is definitely going flowery this summer. 

Here she is standing on the front garden path, ready to model two of the dresses. She demanded an ice cream as payment. This was an outtake actually as her antennae are cut off but I like it anyway.

This dress I call her garden party/wedding guest outfit. I made her some pale pink tights and white boots to go with it.

When you're that tiny, even the smallest patch of flowers can seem like a fairy garden.

And that one above, I don't know what I call it but I like it and it goes perfectly with her purple necklace. She was trying out Victoria Stitch's shimmer pearls. Victoria Stitch came to visit last weekend and left all her make up behind. All over Celestine's dressing table too! She is very inconsiderate like that. 

Celestine is keeping it safe for next time Victoria Stitch visits. She has cleared it off her dressing table though. It's a bit gothic for her taste. 

It's so cute though!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Little Girl And The Tiny Doll

I was just browsing Pinterest the other day and came across a book called The Little Girl And The Tiny Doll. It was so pleasing to me because it was a story I read and loved as a child but up until now had forgotten about. Well, almost forgotton. Every now and then I would vaguely remember a story I had read about a tiny doll who lived in the freezer of a grocery store among the frozen peas and wished I could remember what it had been called.

And now I know! It's by Edward Ardizzone and Angela Ardizzone

If you read this blog or know me you will understand why this story appeals to me so much. And it's such a sweet story I wanted to post a few images from it. They aren't in any order by the way. I just picked the images I liked best.

(I took these images from this blog HERE because the ones in my version of the book are just in black and white. There's a lot more images of the book over there too.)

It's about an unwanted doll who gets thrown into the freezer in a shop. A nice girl comes along and feels sorry for the doll and makes her tiny parcels of clothes and a matchbox bed. 

Talking of books I got the first couple of copies of my next Witch's Cat books in the post the other day. It was exciting to see them. It's not out for another month or so but you can preorder it if you wish HERE! Or from most other places that sell books...

 As you might have noticed (or not!) I have changed my blog header in anticipation.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

an ice cream kind of day

I thought it would be fun for the kids at craft club to make some miniature ice creams. So I set about making some examples this morning. It ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. But I was pretty pleased with how this first batch came out. I don't think they're bad for a first try!

Here is Celestine modelling one- a Mr Whippy (without the flake) in the garden. I must admit she was quite disappointed that it wasn't real. I promised her some real ice cream afterwards!


Thursday, 16 April 2015


These past few weeks have been all warm golden sunshine. Celestine has been eating ice lollies in the garden (grape and raspberry flavoured) and we have been eating outside, putting up tents outside (to test them for camping later this year) lying outside, reading outside, walking outside. It's been especially nice because Henry has been on his Easter holiday- perks of being a teacher! Some days have just been actual summer springy perfection with lunch outside on the picnic rug with friends, playing in the park and walking round the hills. We have been up to Nottingham to see Henry's family and we took his Gran to a miniatures fair where I found THE perfect boat for Celestine. I know she already has a boat but this one is far FAR better. I need to varnish it before it can go in the water but I am so pleased because I have been looking for something exactly like it for an age! I often scour ebay for the perfect miniature boat but it has been hard to find. I think because miniature boats are either plasticky and for kids or they are model makers boats so not very suitable for going in the water, or not the right scale. I THINK I've found the holy grail of miniature boats now, finally! I seem to have done well for miniatures lately.

Do you like Celestine's hat in the picture above? I thought it was quite sweet but Henry thought it looked too 'perched' on top of her head. Perchy hat! Celestine and her funny little perchy hat. I think it's just quite shallow.

Now I am going to try this for fun. What have I been doing?

MAKING pictures. For books. In 2d (!!!) for a change.

WATCHING we just finished the first series of True Detective - SO good. Also for some reason we watched Jane Eyre last night which was also pretty good.

COOKING Over Easter Henry cooked me a special dinner from our middle eastern cookbook which was all aubergines and tabbouleh and hummus and stuff. It was delicious.

DRINKING gallons of sparkling water as always!

READING various different things. Book hopping! I am currently listening to The Night Circus on audiobook too.

LOOKING forward to being able to go to Turkey with Henry's mum when we can afford it (HOPEFULLY sometime this year). It's going to be so exciting when we do go! Celestine has started planning for the trip too, she has been looking up miniature sun loungers. We are crossing our fingers that we might be able to go sometime this summer... maybe. We will have to see.

These ones look good:
Lundby Stockholm Sunbeds and Parasol set
via amazon
BUYING not a lot but a few miniatures. The day before yesterday, the last day of Henrys Easter holidays, we walked to this mini shopping village place near our village. It has an old fashioned style sweetshop and a wedding dress shop and a bear shop etc, all fun shops. And and antique shop where I found a tiny little bureau for Celestine's castle. I've been looking for the perfect desk for her 'study/office' room in the castle for ages. So that was a great find. It does need painting and touching up though. I am thinking either silver of black with silver stars.

PLAYING  with my castle! haha. I have been sorting out all my miniatures and organising them into boxes and arranging a few things in the actual castle. You can see Celestine's dining room is coming along nicely. I got the little silver plates at the weekend when we visited Henry's family. 

WISHING  I could multitask more rather that always having to be so focused on just one thing. I can't seem to work any other way though.

BAKING  my ideal chocolate cake with buttery buttercream and crackly chocolate on the top and m&ms. All gone now.

ENJOYING  the sunshine and the way the light shines into our house all the time. Also I am enjoying the challenge of creating books in 2d (flat art) rather than building 3d sets all the time. It's a lot less messy.

WALKING  round the hills nearly every day. We found a rope swing there the other day when we were walking with a friend and we all had a go on it, swinging out over a very very steep hill.

NEEDING more time!! I feel like my life is slipping by way too fast at the moment. It seemed like only yesterday it was Christmas. I just can't believe how fast time is flying. Stop!!

SMELLING my FAVOURITE perfume, the one by Hotel Chocolat. It smells of sun and holdiays and Dubai for some reason. I love it.

EATING well Celestine has been wading through her Easter egg. She got a pink spotty one this year.

I think that's enough now - I'm running out of things!

I hope you are having a nice sunny springy spring!

Until next time! X

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Miniatura 2015 and other things

Let's start with a selfie! A Celestine selfie!

This was taken on Saturday at a train station in Birmingham. We went to visit Henrys mum in Derby  for the weekend and I took a train across to Birmingham on the Saturday so I could go to Miniatura as Birmingham is not too far from Derby. It was a fun little trip. Of course Celestine came too. She wouldn't miss out on a trip to Miniatura!

The other picture is a little pack of patchwork fabric that my mums friend brought back for me from Liberty in London. That's the exact kind of little present I love to receive! I am going to make some summer clothes for Celestine with the fabric when I have time. She's going to go all flowery!

Back to Miniatura. It was nice to go there on my own actually, not having to worry that Henry is bored outside when I take an absolute age to look at everything. Also it was nice that I had birthday money so didn't feel too bad buying quite a few things. 

I bought the most beautiful little string of miniature colour changing multicoloured fairy lights! Celestine's tree is going to be a stunner this Christmas. That was my favourite thing I bought. I don't have a good picture of them though. 

Here we are on the train on the way to Miniatura. We had to change at Birmingham New Street station to get a train to the NEC. I have to say, Birmingham train station is horrible. Really! So gloomy! I have never seen such a gloomy train station. I felt like i was in Jacobs Ladder or underground. It was all dark and covered and massive.

Celestine wasn't that impressed either. Look how dark it is!

Anyway. So that was fun. Miniatura. 

On the subject of miniatures here are a few of Celestine's castle since she has been home. She is very pleased to be home back in her castle with all her favourite things and all her jewels.

What else? Craft club! recently in craft club I have been introducing the idea of 'mascots' and miniatures. Some of the kids have really taken to it. I think it's one of those things you just get or your just not bothered about. 

Here's one of the 'mascots' with its growing wardrobe of clothes:

On the last session before Easter we had an easter teaparty using mini chairs and tables that the children had made in previous weeks (from lolly sticks). there was a treasure hunt and real tiny cake. I always like the miniature food to be real if possible. The eggs on the cake are mini eggs but mini mini ones! I found them in Sainsburys.

The children made tiny sandwiches for the mascots and also their own miniature Easter cakes. There they are sitting round the table with their sandwiches!

So that was fun.

Let's finish with a very serious selfie (to go full circle!) because it's not all about Celestine.. and some other pictures... just of life and stuff and stuff...

We are still LOVING being in our own house. Loving the evening sunlight coming through the windows. I am working and practicing my 2d, flat illustration for a book I am illustrating. Going to London, walking on the hills, eating the cherry choc slices that Henry made for me (they are the most delicious things ever invented I swear, I'll have to share them here one day) dreaming of all the tiny sunshiny yellow, red, orange, flower crown, summery things I want to make for Celestine, eating berries for breakfast every day, I love berries, wanting platinum blonde scarecrow hair- what am I thinking? watching lots of films and series, seeing friends, trying to keep to my new years resolutions, trying to focus, reorganising my studio into a much better configuration... sleeping a lot. Henry goes on Easter holidays tomorrow which is nice.

And that is all!


Monday, 23 March 2015

Postcards from Penguin and a miniature fishing rod

As you may or may not know, Celestine has been on holiday for quite a while. A bit too long in my opinion. I received a postcard from her a while back but then nothing. She was obviusly having too good a time. 

Well, Celestine has a friend called Penguin who belongs to my friend Sian. Penguin suddenly went missing for a while too and Sian and I wondered if maybe Celestine and Penguin had gone off together on holiday.

Then, tiny postcards began to appear at Sians house from Penguin. It turned out that indeed he and Celestine were on holiday together. 

And what a holiday they've been on!

They went to Hawaii, Italy, Switzerland, France and Cornwall!

Jealous doesn't begin cover it. 

Anyway, Celestine is finally home from her long holiday. She arrived back home yesterday with a battered suitcase and sand in her hair. She was surprised to see that we had moved house in the time that she'd been away. She went straight out to explore the river nearby and practice using her new fishing rod that Carol made for her.

It was actually made for Celestine a few months ago but the weather has been cold and then Celestine has been on holiday so it didn't get its proper first outing until yesterday. Isn't it amazing though! I am in awe of how Carol has made it out of what looks like a tiny, thin piece of bamboo and some cork and string and wire.

Celestine didn't catch anything but she still had fun.

Hopefully she won't disappear for so long again anytime soon!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Our house / Birthdays

The thing I most looked forward to about moving into our own house was being able to put all my favourite pictures on the walls! So when we moved in it was one of the first things I did.

I decided to do a gallery style wall because I just have so many pictures I want to put up. One or two frames on the wall just wasn't going to cut it.

So... My Celestine wall was born!

I absolutely love this wall of pictures. It makes me so happy to look at. All these pictures are memories of places we've been and things we've done (but through a miniature person's eyes!)- holidays to Cornwall, honeymoon, Dubai, our visit to Brugge, autumn walks etc... so I find it just so nice to look at.

The frames I bought from Wilkinsons. Altogether I think they came to about 65 pounds-ish and I printed out all the photos myself on glossy paper.

My second gallery wall is for illustrations and is above the sofa. For these frames I wanted them all to be gold (to match the rococo mirror theme) and all to look different. I gemmed some of them up with crystals. A lot of these frames I actually bought for one pound at the pound shop and then just painted them gold. Some of the pictures I scanned from my favourite childrens books but most of them are postcards collected up over the last few years.

I have many of my favourite illustrations up there! Also I have a box frame with a little 3d fairy in it made by Betty Bib. It's a domestic fairy with little grey feather wings to help with all the cleaning! I have had it for quite a while and have been so eager to get it up on the wall on display. I love it!

Here's a zoomed out picture of our living room so you can get an idea of what the gallery wall looks like over the sofa.

And there are my beloved lanterns. I can't express how much I love to see the lanterns all lit up (almost) every night!

Oh and now some more lanterns but in the garden this time. They come on automatically when it gets dark and we can see them through the living room window. I love coloured lights.

Back to the inside. Either side of the mirror in the living room, we have two gold twirly frames. Henry put a Zelda picture in one of them and in the other I put (yes another) picture of Celestine because I just thought that this picture of Celestine eating her birthday cake would go so well in a gold twirly frame.

We are still so so so happy to finally be in our own house. We felt at home very very quickly here and we have had some really nice weekends lately. Last weekend Henry's mum came to visit which was really nice. We went to  Turkish restaurant and just chatted loads and watched Gone Girl and cooked Sunday lunch for my grandparents. Henry made poached pears in brandy snap baskets.It was very relaxed.

This weekend we had a birthday/housewarming party and had friends round because it was both mine and Henry's birthday this week. We tried out a local restaurant in our village (calamari for me- yum!) and then came back to the house for drinks and dessert. I just love to see those friends and it was a really good mix of people who came. I was sorry when they all went home at the end. I had a lot of fun. My mum made us birthday cakes, mine a creamy chocolaty pudding thing and Henry's a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. We do like chocolate!

Here's a funny 'family portrait' picture we self-timered of everyone at the party. My friend Sian is holding the squid Henry got for his birthday and Henry has the octopus on his head. Henry got a cuddly toy squid and a cuddly toy octopus for his birthday and he is very enamoured with them. They follow us downstairs in the morning and back up to bed at night.

So yes, I am now twenty seven as I am writing this on the 8th March which is my birthday! -a day after our party. Twenty seven definitely feels like a jump because now I am suddenly in my LATE twenties rather than just my twenties- ahh!

Here I am a week or so ago on a walk on the hills near our house. I try and go up those hills most days. It's necessary I think when you work on your own from home all day. I would be too cooped up otherwise. I absolutely love love love living near them, I am so glad we moved here! You can see the wild horses behind me.

Twenty seven was a good birthday.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

a post about miniatures

This week there was a programme on TV about dolls houses and Lauren Child. Being interested in miniatures and illustration, a programme combining both these things was right up my street. So I watched it, of course (it's on iplayer for another twenty something days if you're interested in watching it too.) It was very inspiring actually.

What I really loved about it was getting to see Lauren Childs own dolls house that she has been working on for 30 years. It was beeeautiful. And it also really looked like Lauren Childs dolls house- if you know what her illustration work is like then you will know what I mean! The colours and the patterns and the shape and design of the furniture... and I love the lighting!

Here, I did a screen shot for you:

And some inside shots. Beautiful kitchen! I love the spindly little coloured glass bottles.

I also love how she has put one of her own illustrations up on the wall in miniature:

And look, there's some tiny alcohol bottles in that red cupboard...

Not sure which room this was in but I like this little cupboard space too:

The programme is called 'Secret Knowledge: The Private Life of a Doll's house. I also liked how it explored the reasons why some people love dolls houses so much- they allow you to control and escape into a tiny little world of your own. Also dolls houses tell stories.

Talking of miniatures, I also just wanted to highlight an etsy shop I discovered last year called Nalladris.  The reason I love this shop so much is because it sell the most exquisite, glittering miniature jewellery. I have mentioned this shop before last year when I bought Celestine a tiny mauve necklace but I thought it was worth mentioning again.

Just look at the tiny sparkles!

I wish I could buy ALL the jewellery in that shop!