Monday, 31 August 2015

Turkey!

A few weeks ago we went to Marmaris in Turkey with Henry's Mum. Celestine came too of course. She was excited to go for a hot holiday in the sun. She made sure she was kitted out with all the right things for a place like Marmaris. Sunglasses, sundresses, bathing suit, a plastic beach bag... and of course her passport. Here she is waiting for the plane in the airport.


As we flew it got dark quickly because of the time difference. Celestine enjoyed looking out of the plane window.

We arrived in Dalaman airport and took the dolmus to Marmaris. We were pretty tired by the time we got to our hotel at around midnight. This was the view from our hotel balcony when we arrived. It wasn't exactly quiet... but then what do you expect from Marmaris? it's a party place. 

Above is Henry's Mum, looking glamourous on the boat trip. I have a very glamourous mother-in-law. Celestine was jealous of her heart sunglasses (I'll have to try and make some miniature ones for her). The boat trip was nice and relaxing because we just sat on the top deck on cushions and chatted and had drinks and jumped in and out of the sea when the boat stopped in various different bays.

In Marmaris the air smells of suncream and cigarettes and it is also hot, hot, HOT. So hot! It was too hot to do anything in the day really apart from lie around on sunbeds or go on a boat trip. It was even too hot to lie on the beach really. We tried that one day but ended up going back to sit by the hotel pool. The sand at the beach is burning hot and you either hop across it really fast or wear your shoes! You spend the days just dipping in and out of water all the time to try and cool down and you absolutely live in your bikini. I put mine on every day straight after breakfast and didn't take it off until the evening time!


Here's Henry jumping off the boat on one of the boat trips we went on. (We went on two because Henry's Mum's boyfriend works on the boat!) 

Celestine on the boat trip. It was lucky they heard she was coming and provided her with her own miniature bottles of coke to drink. Everyone seems to drink coke in Marmaris. It's like the new water. In every restaurant you see tables and tables of people with the coke glass bottles, drinking from them with straws. Celestine did not want to be left out.  

We had lots of meals out. Here's Celestine about to tuck into a burger and chips. The chef had to make the burger tiny for her. It's not hard to find food like that in Marmaris. There are signs all over the place for 'full english breakfast!' and 'burger and chips!' You have to hunt a little harder to find the authentic turkish food which is mine and Henry's favourite. 

 Celestine enjoyed sunbathing on the beach under the shade of her own little parasol.

Let's just talk about the ice cream because Turkish ice cream is hands down the best I have ever tasted. Usually I'm not fussed by ice cream but Turkish ice cream I cannot get enough of. It's a different texture, kind of chewier and less creamy and it stretches like chewing gum. It is absolutely delicious and I love it so so much! Especially the combination of blackcurrant and chocolate.

Here are some snaps from one of the boat trips. We stopped in some really beautiful bays with clear aqua water. It was so nice to be able to hop into the sea and swim about. Henry brought his flippers and goggles so he could do underwater swimming.





I want to go back!!

One night we went to a really nice restaurant called the Love Boat in the neighbouring town of Icmeler. The food was deleicious and presented so fancily. This was just the starter I had (below right) when I ordered a prawn cocktail.

One thing about Marmaris is that everyone rides scooters. The streets are full of people scooting about. Celestine was quite envious of everyone on their scooters. She has such small legs that she thought that if she had a scooter she would be able to get about so much faster. Well, as luck would have it (I am not making this up!) they sold miniature scooters in the shop next to our hotel! They only cost a couple of pounds! All different colours. Celestine chose red because it matched her sunglasses.





I even did a little video of Celestine whizzing about on her scooter. Press play below.

 

I was so chuffed about finding that scooter! 

Here's a snap of Celestine by the hotel pool. I miss just sitting by the pool with Henry and his Mum and relaxing and ordering food to eat on the sunbed.

 We ate at one of the Turkish restuarants quite a few times (below right.) 

 One night Henry's Mum's boyfriend organised a meal for us on the boat with all sorts of different delicious foods. Grilled aubergine and salad and chips and chicken and turkish pizza and some beany thing and other things I can't remember. It was really nice. 



Here we are all together on the boat!

It was such a nice holiday! I only wish we had had a bit more time there. We went for five days. Most of all though, we just really really enjoyed spending time with Henry's Mum and all being there together on holiday. It was so fun and relaxing. Hopefully we will all be able to go there again together one day.

Celestine enjoyed herself too. She really got into the sunbed-lying, cocktail-drinking, beach-lazing mode and she loved her leopard print dress and sparkly red sunglasses which fitted in just perfectly in Marmaris.


See our last trip to Marmaris here.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Happy Halloween Witch's cat!

'My Mom is a Witch and I am her special Witch's Cat. She is a good witch and together we are just right.'

My little witch's cat (who I have always called Tabitha) returns for a second story where she has to decide whats she wants to wear for Halloween. Should she be a white ghost? Or a green frog? Or a pink ballerina? Or...?

Again, I created all the pictures by making 3d dollhouse size sets and then photographing them.

Here are a few of my favourite scenes from the book:

I do really love the kitchen scene because I like how I managed to get the light coming in through the window and on to the table. That took me hundreds of shots to get right! I also really enjoyed making all the tiny cookies and the bar of chocolate.

The cookies are all made from cardboard and painted and the rolling pin is made from rolled up paper!


My other favourite scene is the one I have used as my blog header where Mom and Witch's Cat are going shopping.  In the book it says 'COSTUME SHOP' on the blue banner bit but I don't have that version on my computer as the publisher put the writing on. 


I really loved trying out different lighting for this image. I am a fan of dramatic lighting so I enjoyed trying out a quick snapshot where it was darker and it looks like Mom and Witch's Cat are going late night shopping. I think it looks cosy when the shop is all lit up like that. However, I know the lighter, brighter one works much better for the book. I was just experimenting for fun.


Another scene I enjoyed making was the one with the ballet tutus in it. I loved making all the tiny little tulle skirts and all the glittery crowns. I remember my string of multicoloured miniature fairy lights broke during making this scene. I was being too rough with them, pulling them on and off the blu tack too hard. I had to rush to the nearest miniatures shop (40 mins away) to buy more!


This one was just a quick snapshot taken on my smaller camera. You can see the whole set. I had it mirrored on one side as I thought that would be fitting for a costume shop but that part never made it into the shot in the end.


Here are Mom and Witch's Cat entering the costume shop. I think this was the first set I made of the whole book.


And here is Witch's cat looking at the vampire section. Should she be a vampire?... or is a vampire too toothy maybe?

What about the tutu? (I don't know why she looks so unimpressed here. I would have LOVED a tutu like this as a child!)

What about a skeleton?

Here's a view of the whole skeleton set. I actually made it quite a lot bigger that it ended up needing to be. I was originally going to have lots of things in the box that the skeleton is on top of but ended up zooming in on the image more.

All the little boxes in the background I constructed out of card and hung up on wire hooks. It took a long time!


And here's just a work in progress shot of Witch's Cat eating her boiled egg for tea.


I have to say I absolutely loved illustrating this book. I had about six weeks to do it and I remember that it was intense. I actually enjoy intense bursts of work though, I think I work quite well under pressure. It was the middle of summer and some days were quite hot and I just remember sitting in my studio/bedroom at the time, just working solidly every single day. I had breaks for bike rides and eating but that was it. I don't think I even really socialized during that time. It felt so good to finish the whole thing at the end of those six weeks and especially because we went to Cornwall with friends straight afterwards which was so fun and relaxing after doing all that work. It was a good time in my life. I think back on it all with fondness. :)


I hope you enjoyed my post about the book!

X

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Celestine at the pool (+ my instagram account!)

Yesterday was such a nice sunny day. I was supposed to be working but I have been working so so much lately (Like every single second!) that I thought (hoped!) a quick break would probably be quite productive... 

So we decided to go swimming at my grandparents pool.

Celestine refused to come unless I made her a pair of sunglasses to match her swimsuit. Honestly! (roll eyes) She does insist on being fashionable at all times. I tell you, it can get quite exhausting.

So I quickly made this pair of yellow sunglasses and she perched them on her head. The lenses are made from a ginger beer bottle!

She enjoyed floating about in her new rubber ring.

See how small she is! ^ (Celestine not me haha)


And it was very nice. 

Then Celestine decided to do some sunbathing. So she put her sunglasses... 

on her EYES. 

Like one is supposed to. (sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory for wearing on the head Celestine)

And she got the shock of her life. Because they looked awful. Absolutely awful.

Not fashionable at all.


They really didn't suit her. I thought she looked quite comical.

She wasn't very impressed with them. But she said she will keep them for wearing on her head as they do match her yellow swimsuit with the ruffles. 

So that was something at least. 

***

Now moving on... Instagram! I finally have my own instagram account. Long story short, Henry got a new phone last week so I am having his old one to use for instagram! (my phone is practically prehistoric and can not do fancy things like instagram)

Here's my account if you are interested in following: LINK


I am going to try and upload there quite often as I realise I have not been updating my blog much lately. It's just easier and quicker to upload little posts on instagram when you don't have time for blogging.

Just to say though I have no intention of stopping blogging. I just have absolutely no time to do it right now. I have so so much work on this summer and blog posts take quite a while to get together. I cannot WAIT until I have more time to make proper blog posts though. I have SO much stuff to blog about! Celestine's trip to Turkey, Celestine's camping trip, all my Witch's Cat book stuff.... and hopefully I will be able to blog about them soon. But for now... you're most likely to find me on instagram!

See you soon!

X