Saturday, 18 October 2014

Autumn



Autumn is definitely here and Celestine is enjoying wearing her red coat and looking at all the red berries. She likes autumn especially because it is her birthday season. 

I made Henry the scarf that he is wearing in that picture. I made it for him as a surprise. He was very pleased with it and her wears it every day to work if it is cold enough. I guess you can't really see the colours that well in the picture above but it is all autumnal colours, browns, greys, oranges. I like to make surprises for Henry.

The evening that we took those photos was a beautiful evening. I barely did any photoshop on any of those photos! We went to a place that we don't often go to I think because we needed to get out of the house. To get there we drove past the place that we are moving to and had a peep at the house we are (hopefully) moving to. We are so so so so so so so SO looking forward to moving into our own house and we have all our fingers crossed that we will be able to move in soon. It has seemed to take a while to get everything though- it has been almost 3 months now what with all the bank stuff and solicitors etc. I don't know why it takes so long!?! Anyway hopefully I won't jinx it by talking about it because we haven't actually signed anything yet so it could still fall through at this point.

Please don't let it fall through!


A few weekends ago - I know I am really behind! - Henry and I went up to Derby to stay in his mum's house while she was away and to visit his gran in Nottingham. We took a trip to Dovedale park in the peak district which was quite nice though for some reason we both felt really lethargic so just walked slowly up the side of the river for a couple of miles. Last time we went we were scrambling up the side of the steep hills! 

Dovedale park is really nice. There's a river with these wooden pontoon type walkways along it in places and it's surrounded by hills. The weather wasn't particularly great, it was a bit grey, but it was still nice to go. This would have been just at the beginning of autumn I think so Celestine was wearing her special autumnal cape and she also had her brown satchel with her that she's never actually used before, even though she's owned it for well over a year. She has so many clothes and bags that she struggles to use them all- what a hard life!


Also here are some close ups of some of the cards Celestine made and wrote when she did her great card making spree the other week.

One to Polly,


One to her friend Matilda the mouse. You might remember her from here.


And one to Steph who is an old schoolfriend and who had been doing amazing things lately like skydiving for charity.


Workwise I have been doing various different things including character designing for a new picture book which is turning out to be harder than expected. These are NOT the final designs by any means! (still haven't got a final design but I did think some of these were cute)


I got the f & g's for my second witch's cat book in the post which was exciting to see. That's coming out next July. Still quite a while to wait...

Here's a very small snippet from it, don't think I should show more than that at this stage. It's sort of appropriate as we are coming up to Halloween. I am looking forward to this book coming out. I created and finished it over a year ago now! 

They are in a fancy dress shop and there is lots of glitter and multicoloured fairylights. 


Been seeing the Glitterbelle books that I illustrated popping up online recently. They're out in January or sometime around then. There's four. Three are activity books and one is a picture book. I am especially pleased with the princess secrets one. I can't wait to see them in real life!


Also my secret project that I mentioned a while back has been sent to publishers now so I have my fingers crossed that someone likes it!

Here's a teeny snippet from it:

So I have lots of little things going on at the moment work wise but I am not intensely stuck into one major project, kind of flitting about doing little things for a few projects. That doesn't actually work well for me, I like to get really focused on one main thing and see it though until the end. Sometimes things don't work out like that though and then it's a juggling act. Which I hate and my brain find hard to do. I am compulsive that's why.

While I seem to be listing all the things I'm doing right now I may as well also mention that I am writing a YA book to practice my writing. I find Wednesday nights are very good for doing this when Henry is out at Tai Chi. For some reason I find it really easy to get into the mood for more adult writing then. 

ALSO been continuing with my Celestine book. Really want to get that finished but I'm not sure if I'm going to manage that before Christmas.

Here's a couple more spreads from that:


A few people mentioned in the comments that they would like a Celestine book when it is finished so I will address that here. I am going to make it on blurb.com becasue I've used them before and I like the quality of their books. It's going to be a pretty long book, may even need to be two volumes so I think it's going to be very expensive to buy. I printed my Witch's Cat book on there when it was a university project and that cost me about 30 pounds for a 32 page book. This one is going to be waaaaay longer! I imagine it's going to end up being about 50 pounds upwards. Maybe. So I'm not expecting anyone to want to buy it apart from me! What I will do though is I will make it available on blurb in case there is anyone who still wants to buy it. There's nothing I can do about the price though, that's just the cost of printing on blurb unfortunately. 

Anything else I can add to this mammoth blog post? Oh yes I know, I went to a miniatures fair last weekend and picked up loads of different coloured mini wool so now I am doing more mini knitting which is fun and relaxing. Rainbow scarf here we come! I find knitting to be very therapeutic. I remember the days leading up to the wedding I sat furiously knitting haha.

So yes Celestine is going to get a rainbow scarf at some point when I've finished tying up all the ends.

Also I broke my toe!

And that is all.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A post from Celestine (number 2)

Hello again! It's Celestine here.

It's been a while since I last wrote a blog post but this morning I couldn't sleep. I lay in my bed in my castle (or in my castle turret actually- my bedroom in my castle is still not finished!!!) and I thought 'shall I keep lying here not able to sleep or shall I go and do some excersise on the computer keyboard...' and as you can see I decided on the latter. It's good to keep trim.

sidenote: I know I always complain about what an effort it if for me to use the computer but the upside it that when I want to watch a film I do in fact have an absolutely ginormous screen to watch it on.

I quite like being awake when everyone else is asleep. Outside the sky is getting lighter and throwing orange streaks across the walls. Everything is silent except for the tapping of my feet. It's very atmospheric. I like to have an atmospheric room to write in. It inspires me.

Anyway, I want to talk about my birthday. I don't think my birthday has been given quite enough attention on this blog yet. 

I won't tell you how old I am now - a proper lady never reveals her age, but I will show you my presents!

In fact you can see all my presents in the above photo. I am wearing them all.

I LOVE my new necklace. It is b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. Being a jewellery designer myself, I appreciate stunning jewels. It is so sparkly and pearly and it matches my new purple dress perfectly. 

Here's a close up so you can see it better. 

I actually spotted it online myself - I have a good eye for things on etsy. I said to Harriet 'THAT is what I want for my birthday.' (I maybe said this about a hundred times...)

And I got it! it is mine! Mine, mine, MINE!

link to shop HERE. It's my new top favourite shop.


You see the thing of it is... I have to keep up with Harriet's jewellery collection.


I needed a real statement piece to rival hers.

I mean, who's the jewellery designer here!?

Yes, me! (not Harriet)

So I must have the most fabulous jewellery.

This is all my jewellery to date. I have a pink crystal necklace somewhere too but I couldn't find it.


Yes, I think I am winning in the jewellery competition. That second one to the left is a necklace based on the Queen of Persia's, made by Ursula Sturmer. All swarovski crystal. So is the red one next to it.

The fifth one in is the necklace I wore for the wedding, the sixth is one sent to me by my friend Carol and the two on the ends are ones I got when Henry and Harriet got engaged. 

Definitely winning.

And the purple one just tops it off.  I LOVE it.

Oh here is a birthday card I got this year. I wanted to show it off because it was my favourite one. Jewels galore.

Oh no, Harriet has got up now and she is making me post a picture of her wedding necklace again. She says 'it will go perfectly in this jewellery post of yours Celestine.' 

She obviously hasn't read it properly.

Oh well *sigh* if I must...

Here it is AGAIN.


I suppose it is quite nice. (ok very nice)

If only they made swarovski stars like that for people my size...

Hmm. Now there's a thought...

...I had better write a letter to the swarovski people and get designing!

Bye for now! xXx

p.s I still win!

Monday, 13 October 2014

a mini mail exchange


Using the computer is quite an energetic task for someone as small as Celestine. She has to jump around the keyboard to write anything, and let's not even go into how much effort it takes her to manoeuvre the mouse around! Needless to say she didn't use the computer very much for a long time...

Then she discovered Dixie and Percy and I couldn't get her off the computer!

Dixie and Percy, just in case you don't already know (though I'm sure you will!), are the creation of Clara Vulliamy and Shirley Hughes. You can see all about Dixie and Percy on their website here.

And here are some books written about them which are brilliant (I can vouch for it!)


Well in the books Dixie and Percy are full size characters of course, but (and this is the part that particularly interests Celestine) they also exist as two tiny little needle felted characters with their own shiny red car. Clara Vulliamy takes lots of photos of their travels. You can see lots of photos of them on her twitter feed and also her blog!

Here's a good example of when Dixie and Percy went to the beach.

As I've said, Celestine became very interested in them. She doesn't know a lot of people her own size! She was fascinated by how they had their very own Celestine size car to drive about in and she was rather jealous of all the picnics they went on (I had to remind her that she does in fact go on quite a lot of picnics too!) She avidly followed all the photos of them going on their adventures.

I think it would be fair to say that Celestine has become quite a big fan of Dixie and Percy. And so one day recently, she decided she would write them some fan mail! She does love writing letters as you know.

So she did...


And the exciting thing was, that they wrote back!

Celestine knew they were going to write back because Clara wrote a blog post saying Dixie was preparing to write a reply...

...and then a picture came up on twitter of Dixie and Percy driving to the postbox in their red car holding a letter with Celestine's name on it!

She was so thrilled that she set up camp on the garden wall the next day to wait for the postman.


And she was DELIGHTED with her post when it arrived!

Here's a better picture:


We love the postscript on the envelope and Celestine was especially delighted to see that she was in the picture, driving her own car with her own personalised numberplate! She also enjoyed that Dixie and Percy complimented her on the stripe in her fringe.

I just realised that I should have taken a photo of the inside too, oops!

Also I'd just like to point out that it looks like I planned my nail varnish to match the card but that was actually just a lucky fluke (I'm not that organised!) 

So yes, it was a very exciting morning. Celestine is so pleased with her card that she is going to frame it on the wall of her castle so she can look at it all the time.

Thank you Dixie and Percy! (And also Clara who I suspect had something to do with it too!)

 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

An October Activity

Quite a while back I designed an activity to go along with Witch's Cat. It is a guide for how to make your own little paper diorama based on the kitchen scene in the book. If you have kids maybe it is something they would enjoy as an autumn/Halloweeny activity.


HERE is the link to where you can print out a pdf of the activity. I would suggest printing it out on card if possible.

This is what is included:

A little Witch's Cat character with lots of kitchen items, some of them left blank for you to draw in your own things. 

The table with the red spotted table cloth as seen in the book:




And lots of food boxes which can be cut out and constructed.

Not included in the pdf, not sure why they left them out, are a couple of other things.

A chair:
A saucepan:
 And also the background which you can print out and set behind the character if you so wish.


Harpercollins actually made a little video showing how to make the diorama which is on twitter. This is how theirs looked at the end:

 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Happy Birthday Celestine



Today is Celestine's birthday!

To celebrate she had a tea party with White Rabbit on Sunday afternoon- as that was when White Rabbit was free to come over. Matilda (remember her from last year?) was supposed to come but she was too hungover. She just loves whiskey too much. Really she ought to go to an AA meeting...

Celestine missed Matilda but it was nice to have a more dignified party this time. Last years got a little messy... White Rabbit was very polite except for being a bit greedy. 

Or a lot greedy actually.

Here they are at the start of the teaparty. You can see the whisky was put out ready for Matilda. (I am slightly worried why Celestine owns so many bottles of whiskey actually, I must ask her about that...)


This was the spread:

On the Saturday night I went out with friends and when I got in I iced a tiny pink cake for Celestine in the witching hour. That's now I roll nowadays on a Saturday evening.  I think it looks a little like a fondant fancy. 

On the Sunday Henrietta and I made some tiny biscuit stars and men. They came out of the oven quite puffy and I'm not sure why but they still tasted nice. They were savoury biscuits. We thought White Rabbit and Celestine had enough sweet things to be getting on with.

Then Henrietta had the marvellous idea of making tiny pancakes.

So she whipped some up...


with a lot of smoke...

But they came out ok!


White Rabbit and Celestine certainly enjoyed them.

White Rabbit, as I said before, enjoyed the food a bit too much...

He scoffed all the sweets...


and all the meringues...

 and most of everything else...


Celestine did try to suggest that he slowed down a bit in case he got indigestion. But White Rabbit is not one for listening to advice.

Then they had some birthday cake.

Celestine had quite a large slice for her tiny body.  But after all it was her birthday!


And of course White Rabbit had a much bigger slice!

And he ate it allll up.

And took some home in a napkin for Matilda. Or so he said. We think he took it to eat himself.

And then he said thank you for the lovely tea and Henrietta took him home.

And the next thing we heard was that he was suffering from terrible indigestion.

Poor White Rabbit. 

Don't worry though, he is fine now!

And Celestine had a lovely birthday party. And she is looking forward to seeing both Matilda and White Rabbit again soon!