Sunday, 30 April 2017

March

March kicked off with world book day which was exciting for me as I got sent lots of pictures of children who had dressed up as Isadora Moon. I must admit I did not expect so many of them. I was amazed and delighted! Here's a little collage of some of them that I saw. It makes me so happy to think that children like Isadora Moon enough to want to dress up as her for world book day.

I received an advance copy of Isadora Moon FIVE in the post during March. Very exciting to see. I finished that book only one week before I was due to give birth to Celestine so I hadn't really looked at it since then. I actually really love the story for Isadora five. It includes many things that I love including a dolls house and a baby dragon.

Love the glitter as always!


Celestine wearing her starry dress to match!



I love it when I get sent letters from readers. I do try to reply to every letter but sometimes it can take me a while to get around to doing. I was charmed to be sent this drawing of Isadora Moon by a little girl called Rebecca. She was so sweet to include this little Isadora Moon inspired sleepsuit for Celestine as she had heard I had a baby. Celestine has been wearing it a lot! I couldn't resist to take a photo of her in it and post it here.

I got some more foreign editions of Isadora Moon in the post. These ones are Danish and I really like them because they are a bit bigger and in hardback. They feel really nice. I can't believe that Isadora Moon is now in 18 languages!!


I started painting the finals for Isadora 6 in March. Here's a sneaky peek!

And a bit more...

In March it was both mine and Henry's birthday. On Henry's birthday we went up to Nottingham to visit his Gran and Dad. Henry's gran had not met Celestine before. We had some lunch at a garden centre. I picked up some cute fairy books for Celestine when she is a bit older (I so hope she likes fairies! I think there is a lack of oldy woldy charming fairy books available nowadays so you have to end up buying vintage ones) we went to the Southwell chocolate shop and also bought a big fairy painting in a frame. it was a really nice sunny day and so lovely to be driving along in the Nottinghamshire countryside. I mean obviously it would be better to be walking, and not polluting all the nice nature with a car but there we go. We had a nice dinner that Henry's dad cooked for us and then drove home in the dark. I am rubbish at staying up late - especially in cars, so I fell asleep!

I saw these first blossoms while in Nottingham and they were such a pretty shade of pink.


I made Henry a cake for his birthday - well I helped make him a cake, I went over to my friend Rebecca's house and she helped me make it. Rebecca is a chef so it turnmed out reeeeally good. It had four layers and three different types of chocolate icing, piping on the top, shaved chocolate round the edge and was soaked in brandy. Yum! Hnery's dad also baked him a cake so we had two cakes!

My birthday was on a week day and I didn't do much. I saw my friend Rebecca again. We went to a Japanese restaurant and then took Celestine swimming for the first time which was really cute. I think she liked the water! Henry got me these two tiny Brambly Hedge books which will go in the castle of course. He also got me a massage at a spa! That's the kind of thing I have never had before. I am quite excited about that actually.

I love Brambly hedge so much. I tried to read some of it to Celestine one morning but I think she's still a bit young haha. She seems to respond to bolder, more brightly coloured books at the moment.

She preferred Mrs Pepperpot it seemed! 

Also on my birthday my online friend Jennifer messaged me to ask if I would like this tiny book of Mrs Tittlemouse. She didn't know it was my brithday so it was coincidentally very good timing. It arrived a few days later and it is the most beautiful book. Such high quality. Little thigns like that make me so happy. I am going to make her a miniature Witch's Cat book in return - as soon as I have time!


We actually went to the Japanese restaurant twice in March. It is SUCH good food there. We went back with our friends Ash and Rebecca on a Saturday lunch (kind of as a birthday thing for me) and had a really good time. All the food is so interesting. Nothing like anything I have tried before. I love, love the raw fish sushi - the salmon one. After the restaurant we went to my grandmothers to meet my cousin Henrietta who has also had a baby called Samuel! Celestine and Samuel are only a few weeks apart and it was so sweet to see them together.



It's amazing to see Celestine changing all the time. She has started smiling so gleefully when you woosh her around and smiling and blinking so sweetly when you sing to her. She has also started to chuckle at herself in the mirror. I had to buy her some more clothes because she grew out of all the 0-3 month ones. She now has a little pink sleepsuit with mice all over it and frills which I really love and some other new things. 

I made up a new song for Celestine. It goes to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus but it has a magic forest in it and fairies and elves and pixies. I MIGHT illustrate it.

I tried a blue streak in my hair one morning just quickly and for fun but then I really liked it. It went kind of purple over the pink. It wasn't very 'sticky' hairdye so it came out after one wash but I might try and get some better hairdye and make it a permanent thing. I also went to an ice cream parlour with some friends one evening and had raspberry, chocolate and smarites. The reason I was excited to go there is that I once had the most amazing dark chocolate ice cream there and so I am always hoping that they will have it again. They have not so far sniff sniff. It was a really nice day that day and I remember walking Celestine home, back through the dark town at night with her staring up at all the streetlamps with wide eyes. Her eyes always get so wide in dim light.One of the things I love best about having a baby is pushing her around in her pram and seeing her all snuggled up in there.

I forget how nice it is when spring starts coming around and all the flowers come out! 

I think it must be nice to be a baby, being wheeled under the blossom trees in your pram in the sunshine. I have loved feeling recovered enough to go on proper walks now. I was finally able to do a proper countryside walk up a hill which felt sooo good! I was seriously craving walking and countryside this last few months.

 Vinetta hopped into the pram one morning and had a photo in a blossom tree. 


I finally made it up and round the hills near our house which was a milestone acheived after the pregnancy and birth. It's made me want to spend as much time in the countryside as possible this year. The photo below was taken on Mother's day.

More pictures of the hills near where I live. I love going up there so much.
   
View from my studio window.

One thing I wanted to do for my birthday this year was go to Miniatura in Birmingham. I picked it as a birthday treat because I needed Henry to come with me and look after Celestine outside while I went in to look. It was a lovely sunny day and a nice drive up. Vinetta hopped into my pocket because she wanted to come too. Miniatura is a very exciting if you are a miniature person! I know it's geeky but I really enjoyed looking around and trying to get inspiration for my castle. I really want to make a room for Vinetta in there. I didn't end up buying much - just some flowers to make miniature flower crowns with and a tiny wicker picnic basket. I don't have time to be doing miniatures at the moment so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on things I didn't have time to play with. I so enjoyed looking around though. It was a lovely day and when we got home we went on an evening walk round the hills. 

I saw my friend Henrietta in March which was so nice - we don't get to see each other that often anymore. Anyway, I chatted to her about an idea for a book that I have had and she really helped me sort out some of the logistics which was actually a big thing for me. I have been thinking about this book for years. It's got Victoria Stitch in it. Every year I plan to start writing it and every year things get in the way. I feel like that will happen again this year but I really hope I can start writing it soon. 

I know I am writing a lot of waffle about general life but I feel like I can use this blog as a bit more of a diary now as I think hardly anyone reads it anymore. I want to remember lots about this year as it's Celestine's first year of life. 

I'll finish off with a picture of Pink Rabbit that never made it into the books:

Friday, 10 March 2017

February

Well! Time continues to fly... life has mainly consisted of looking after Celestine and getting work done when I can. Similar to January except better - because I am more healed now and able to do so much more stuff. Also everything feels a bit more settled now not so crazy and intense. I have really enjoyed this last few weeks.

Starting on an Isadora Moon related note, I noticed that book six is now up on Amazon! So I can share the front cover with you now:


I love her cute pink little cape. On the actual cover it is glittery.

I received some more foreign editions of Isadora Moon in the post. Spanish and Dutch!

Also I finished sketching out book six which was great. It was quite the juggling act alongside looking after a new baby, though I did really enjoy doing it. It is nice to feel like my brain is fully focusing again now. When I was pregnant I didn't feel like my brain was all there - probably because my body was so busy creating a baby. I felt distracted all the time. It was quite annoying actually, I found it really difficult to concentrate. So it is so nice to be able to focus properly again now. I am still revelling in that!


Here's little Pink Rabbit sparkling away on the front cover of Isadora Moon goes to the Ballet.


And I discovered this beautiful styling of the book by @micasaencualquierparte on instagram.

In February I decided to do an instagram challenge #tcdafeb just focusing on my dolls/miniatures. Simply just for fun. So I uploaded a photo relating to that almost every day. I really, really enjoyed doing that. I love my little doll characters and getting lost in a miniature world. I find it comforting. I did re use a lot of old photos for the challenge (I don't have a lot of time to do things at the moment!) but I did take a few new ones too.

Here are the three of them together. Celestine, Topaz and Vinetta.


One of the prompts for one of the days was 'red' so I took a photo of all my favourite miniature red clothes. I am especially fond of the little sunglasses I made. If I have time this year I want to make a jewel encrusted pair for Vinetta.

Talking of tiny red clothes, I got a miniature red cardigan in the post in February. I had actually ordered it for Christmas but it never arrived. I think it got lost in the post sniff sniff so I ordered it again. The maker put in an extra miniature jumper with a star on it as a surprise which was so sweet! 

The challenge encouraged me to look back at all the miniature scenes I have created over the years which was nice to do. I made this collage of the time we went camping in Cornwall a couple of years ago. This is probably my favourite set of photos I have ever taken on holiday.

Another prompt was 'waht inspires you.' There are so many things that inspire me but nature is one of them - especially right now when I have not been able to do a lot of countryside walks while recovering from my c section. I wanted to look back on the time when Henry and I went to the outer hebredes in Scotland. It was such an incredible place. We have been tallking this last couple of weeks about how we would so love to go and live there for a year once Celestine is old enough to experience it properly - so maybe in six years or so! We have sort of made a pact to do it.  


One of the prompts was 'collection' so I decided to show off my miniature jewellery collection. I didn't relaise how much of it I had until I put it all together! I mainly got them for birthdays and things over the past few years. I don't know what it is about miniature jewelley but I love it so much. It's just so fairy-esque. I actually realised after I took this photo that I left two necklaces out. There are also tiaras as well but I they didn't fit neatly into the layout haha.

These two necklaces are ones I got for Christmas this year. I found them at a minatures fair and was amazed at the tiny little beading. 

They really are miniscule these necklaces, that's a five pence piece next to them!

Another prompt was 'favourite colour,' so I took this picture. I don't think I can actually pick a favourite colour but I do love gold. I found this little bath in the window of a pharmacy in my home town when I was on my way to a dentist appointment. It was full of bath products but I took them out obviously. It thought it would go well in my castle - not in the entrance hall of course, but I wanted to photo it there becasue it matched the decor.  I would love  gold bathtub like that in real life!


And one last one of my miniatures. One of the prompts was 'eyes,' so I made this collage of my three characters looking in all different directions.

It was so nice to do this challenge. I didn't manage to do all the days as I am too busy at the moment but I enjoyed the ones I did do.


I have enjoyed seeing the first few signs of Spring in February. Loads of purple flowers sprouted up all over our front garden. The look really pretty but I have no idea where they came from as they wern't there last year and we didn't plant them!


Vinetta went out to investigate! She got lost among them in her purple hat.


I went on my first countryside walk since having Celestine - at last! I didn't get to go up the hills, we just went down by the river near where I used to live. It was after lunch on Sunday and we walked my grandparent's dog for about an hour. It was the first proper countryside walk I have done since being about six months pregnant and it was so nice even though it was really grey and Celestine cried in her pram and there were dogs running around absolutely everywhere.


We really enjoyed watching Apple Tree yard when it was on the TV and also we have been watching a lot of Outnumbered on Netflix. Henry's Mum came to stay and we had a chocolate fondue which was so yummy. Strawberries and chocolate is such a good combo. I do find it's the little things that make life good sometimes! I got a phone in February - finally! I ahve not had a phone for ages as I didn't need one before I had a car and a baby. I was always just in the house working and contactable by facebook and house phone. It's nice to have one again though and feel more connected.  I had an exciting meeting in London. I don't know if anything will come of it but we shall see. Henry and Celestine had to come with me as I am breastfeeding Celestine so she had her first train trip. She loved it! I adore this photo of her on the train. She looks so cheeky and happy. She was only about 7 or 8 weeks old here I think.

My friend Anna came and we had such a nice day. We went for lunch and a little walk in the sunshine and then we made things with fimo. I made a tiny cake inspired by one Anna had made but I never got around to painting it. Henry made me my fave cherry choc slices as my birthday was coming up. I managed to get out of the house early enough to take Celestine to church for the first time. Also I got my hair cut for the first time since 2013!! I just couldn't deal with the length of it while having a baby. It was too annoying and anyway it kept flicking in Celestine's face when she was feeding which wasn't very nice for her. Because I can't be away from Celestine for very long at the moment (feeding!) I had to have two sessions in the hairdressers as I also wanted to get the pink put back in so I was blonde for a few days which was novel. I do honestly hate taking selfies, they make me feel like I'm being really vain! But... I wanted to remember the blonde! So... pictures.


I didn't get the pink all the way to the roots because this way I don't have to worry about roots. I have no time for roots right now! This hair is SO much easier to deal with and I am so glad I got it cut. It was so long before.

I'll finish with this adorable shot of Celestine with the gifts Penguin sent her in the post. I couldn't resist to take a photo of her wearing the Future Reader vest.


So there we go. That's February!

Friday, 3 February 2017

January

I can't believe our little Celestine is already six weeks old! She seems huge to me now compared to when she was first born. She's chubbing out and getting all the cute baby rolls and she has started smiling which is just the best thing! January seems to have gone by in a blur but here are some things I can remember.

We went to Wrest Park a couple of weeks ago and I did the longest and best walk I have done since the c section which was good. The recovery is quite frustrating because it is long and I find I set myself back if I do too much but I am getting there. I have started driving again (we got another car! So now I can get around during the day which Henry takes the other car to work) and going to baby groups. I didn't meet any other mums before the birth as I didn't do any antenatal classes so I am trying to do so now. I take Celestine to baby massage which is just the cutest thing and I can't wait to take her swimming at some point. 

Here she is at Wrest Park in the little knitted bobble hat that my mum made for her. There are matching booties but she seems to always kick booties off her feet so we don't really bother putting them on.

I must admit, I am quite shocked at how much my life has changed by having a baby. It's a whole other world this mummy business! I find it almost impossible to get anything done because Celestine likes to be held a lot. I have had to learn to eat with one hand. Even right now she is sitting on my lap as I type this. I don't mind though, it's sweet and I know this stage will fly by so fast. It already is! My favourite things are the little froggy cuddles. I love them so much.

The thing I am most looking forward to right now is being able to properly exercise again. I cannot WAIT to be able to go on proper walks in the countryside again. I thought I was healed enough to start doing that last week but after a half hour walk round the block I felt like my stomach was broken in two again so I think I need to wait a bit longer. I have been consoling myself with booking a few little holidays in nice places for later in the year - I have booked a couple of days for us in the peak district which I am really excited about. I miss being out in nature so much.

Henry went on a walk round the hills and took this picture for me. So can't wait to be up there again. It will be a personal milestone when I can do that as I haven't been up there since I was about six months pregnant. Last time I saw those hills it was autumn and there were red berries everywhere!

Work wise I have actually started working on Isadora Moon book six! I have been snatching any moment I can to try and get the sketches done. I am not going to lie - it's not easy to do with a baby around but I am determined to do it! It also keeps me mentally sane to have work to do. It can get a bit intense only focusing on baby things. I just love Celestine so much that the emotions can get a bit overwhelming if I don't balance out life with other things too. 

Speaking of Isadora Moon, I have been getting foreign editions of the books in the post which is exciting to see! here are the Danish editions. they are really nice becasue they are in hardback.

And here are the Isadora Moon audio cd's! These came through before Christmas.

So that's January! I am definitely still finding my way with this new life at the moment and the past few weeks have been all about adjusting. I am sure it will be more of the same in February!

One thing though - I thought that I would lose interest in miniatures and things when I had a baby as I would be so preoccupied but actually that hasn't happened which I am pleased about. I even managed to take a photo of Vinetta wearing her rainbow knitted hat the other day to join in with a rainbow tag on Instagram. It still needs a bobble. I think a gold sparkly one would look best.


And look at these absolutely adorable miniature Chanel bottles I got for Christmas. The 50p is further away so they actually look smaller in real life. They are tiny!


I think I will do a post about my favourite miniatures of 2016 at some point.

Other things that happened in January: I accompanied Henry to some rock climbing sessions though of course I did not do it myself! I sat and watched with Celestine. That took up two weekends. Also my beloved dog Barney died a couple of weeks ago. He was fifteen and not very well so it was a relief in a way but I will miss him. He was the best dog in the world! I love you Barney!