Sunday, 21 May 2017

A miniature Witch's Cat book

If you know me then you'll know I love tiny things. I had an idea about creating one of my published books in miniature recently and once the thought had entered my head I just had to do it!

I decided on 'I am a Witch's Cat.' I am not sure why. Now I think about it my book 'The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present' would have been more apt as it is about a miniature girl! But never mind. 


It's not actually one twelfth scale it's about one sixth scale as I was making it for a friend. I am really pleased with how it came out. I got it printed on laserjet so the quality is good and it is fully readable througout. I bound it using the bookbinding technique I learned at university so I am hoping the pages will stay intact! 

I was extremely pleased that I managed to print the pages doublesided! It bamboozled my brain a bit though working out how to do that!

The only thing I did a bit wrong was I misjudged where the writing went on the spine so it is not quite on the spine. But oh well!

Once I had made that one I felt inspired to put together another smaller one to go in my own castle.

Now I feel inspIred to make a miniature version of every one of my published books and maybe one day I will!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Isadora Moon gets into Trouble

Today is the day Isadora Moon gets into Trouble is published!

I really enjoyed writing this book and I think it is one of my favourite Isadora Moon stories so far. I love it because it includes a dolls house, a baby dragon and a witch. I think it's the sort of story I would have loved to read myself as a child. 


this (below) is part of one of my favourite spreads from the book. It is Isadora Moon's dolls house. 

* Spoiler alert *

*** I love that Isadora and her cousin Mirabelle make a magic potion to miniaturize themselves and go and play inside the dolls house themselves. They have fun whizzing down the twisty slide but it all ends in disastrous consequences. That part is actually my favourite of the book! I also really love that at the end they sit and make their own miniature dolls house dolls out of scraps and fabric and things. That's exactly the sort of thing I used to when I was young. Actually I suppose I still do that now! Another thing I used to do was make food for my dolls but it had to all be real food. I included that in the book too. Isadora makes teeny tiny sandwiches and sets out bowls of cake sprinkles which her and Mirabelle eat. ***

I feel like this book reflects most the games I used to play as a child. That's basically my bedroom floor right there! Covered in dolls and tiny clothes and furniture. 

You can buy Isadora Moon gets into Trouble in all good book shops! 


.✮*¨*•★•*¨*✮Happy reading!✮*¨*•☆•*¨*•.

Monday, 1 May 2017

April

Starting with Isadora Moon as always, here she is at Easter!
I got some more foreign editions in the post which are always fun to see.

And here's a very sneaky peek of Isadora 5! Not long until it's out now!

I took these pictures of Vinetta in the front garden. I love the purple flowers that always come up by our fence every year. She is looking for the perfect place to picnic!


Our car got smashed into by a hit and run driver which was not so fun. We weren't in it, it was parked but it was a complete write off. The person hit it so hard that it had spun into the middle of the road! So that was a shame as we only got that car in January. We had to get another one a couple of weeks later which we drove to Oxfordshire to get on Easter Sunday evening. It was a nice drive actually, in the sunshine. We seem to have had such lovely spring weather all April long (and so many flowers everywhere!) I am so happy to have a car again.

A lot of April was spent desperately trying to find the time to get my work done for Isadora Moon 6. I never realised how hard it would be to get work done when you are also trying to look after a baby. Haha. I was so naive when I thought it would be easy. Thankfully I managed it though and I am proud I have done it. Now that work has eased slightly (I am moving on to a picture book now) I have been going back to baby groups with Celestine. She seems to really enjoy being around other babies and people so I feel I ought to make an effort to take her to them more often. I took her swimming too, to a proper swimming lesson which was really good. 



We went back AGAIN to the Japanese restaurant. The food is so good there. We went with a group of friends and then for ice cream.

We went on our first holiday with Celestine, to Bath. We stayed in a beautiful countryside-y area in a littel eco house. The view from the house went on for miles and miles - all the way to Wales apparantly! We had a nice time in Bath although we both decided at the end of it that we probably wouldn't bother returning. We are not really city break kind of people and the surrounding countryside was nice but not stunning. We like beaches and hills more. We chose Bath becasue it wasn't too far away fro a first trip away with a baby but we can't wait until we can drive all the way up to Scotland instead!

Talking of Scotland, we have been thinking about our dream a lot lately. Our dream is to move to a Scottish island for a year or so in about five years time. We have started saving up to do it - to the point that I let Henry cut my hair in the kitchen rather than go to the hairdressers. I don't care that much about my hair right now anwyay, it's all started falling out post pregnancy!  This picture was taken the other weekend when we walked round Wrest Park chatting about our Scottish island dream. We were both feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and it was nice to imagine escaping to a beautiful place like that.


Anyway, back to Bath. the first day we were there we spent our time walking round the city and lookig in all the shops. We had a really nice meal out in a French restaurant - steak and frites, and I bought some children's books in a lovely book shop. I was especially inspired by The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd Stanton. I think it is a beautiful book. 

I found a pale pink scarf with silver stars on it for four pounds and we had cake in Patisserie Valerie. It was so, so nice to be away as a little family. Henry and I have been so busy working and trying to fit everything in lately that we haven't had a lot of time to just be and enjoy Celestine together. We could tell she really thrived on the quality time we spent together. She had her first laughing fit on the park and ride bus on the way home which was so adorable.

This was the roof of the house we stayed in.

On the second day we went to Wells and walked around a bit.

I also really enjoyed seeing this miniature wooden treehouse in the window of a toyshop in Bath. Vinetta and Mini C would love to explore that!


On Easter day Celestine wore a new dress with a big yellow bow on the front of it. She also got a new pair of bunny rabbit booties knitted for her by my sister's boyfriend's mum. They are pink and sparkly and so cute. I had a dark chocolate Easter egg because dark chocolate is my favourite.

Here's Vinetta out in the garden one morning among the dew drop sparkling grass. 


It was my sister's birthday in April and she had a teaparty at my parents house on the Sunday. There were sandwiches and scones and so much cake. Celestine got passed around like a parcel but I think she loved it. She seems to be a very sociable baby. It was a really nice day. She got more knitted goodies from my sister's boyfriend's mum including a red cardigan and a mermaid tail! I have a real thing about red cardigans on babies. I am so pleased with it and Celestine has been wearing it non stop. The mermaid tail is really cool as well and I want to take a photo of Celestine wearing it when we go to the beach.

Speaking of beaches I have thought of something I want to add to my bucket list. How cool would it be to walk round the whole Cornish coast? I think it would be an amazing thing to do. Not very possible at the moment but it's an idea I am going to remember for the future. 


There have been some not so great parts of April but who wants to remember those? I only like to put my highlights on my blog. But not everything is sunshine and roses as I always make it seem. Overall, April has been good, but not my favourite month so far.

I'll leave this post with an advert for an event I am doing on the 2nd June in Hitchin Waterstones. I think it will be from 10 -1 but you might want to check with Waterstone's. I ma sure I will advertise it more nearer the time.


I will also be at the St Ive's Book Jam on 20th May!

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: