Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010!

... seems a lifetime ago now.  It began with a snowman called Whitey Jefferson, long boots, a Tinkerbell dissertation, a new diet, some rubbish hypnotherapy, swinging in the moonlit snow, slipping all over the ice and a visit to Walsingham.

...still snow, glittery and crunchy, creepy creaky swings, sparkly bat and moon and star tutu, The beginnings of Victoria Stitch...
...camomile tea, evensong at the Cathederal, a critical crit, tiara buying, Princess Terribelle and a tetris card for Valentines day.

 ...meditation, my birthday, watching Rome, a haircut, going out for the first time in ages, cupcakes with edible glitter that I couldn't eat, princess icing set,  the amazing Butler and Wilson necklace I coveted for ages...
... more Victoria Stitch, pineapple rings and intense painting sessions.

 ...painting, drawing, painting, Easter in Oxford, a visit to Yarmouth beach and an interview offer for my MA.


...a dream about a a castle made of cake. It was white and I could taste the sugar in my mouth.  I got onto my MA course! backgammon playing... major project hand in, picnics in Norwich plantation gardens and Victoria Stitch completed!


...wanting a siamese cat, dog drawing for a competition...
...pastel coloured poodles, sunshine, frisbee playing...
 ...a visit to Lowestoft, leaving uni forever! graduation...
...the exhibition, and the grad ball!


home, holiday, sunshine, room decorating, the misadventures of Victoria Stitch...


Dubai, Pegsdon hill...
reading the moomins, duty free, Dior addict, arabic perfume smelling of marzipan...

tiny rugs, The Palace Hotel in Adu Dhabi and its amazing little cakes and puddings...


Istanbul, Turkey, seeing the eighty six carat diamond, a box of emeralds, black cats, drawing Castles and Palaces...
Starting the MA course, Henry moving in and the sugarplum fairy dance from fantasia.

This inspires me to buld a glitterbomb, which will rain down on the entire city.  For the rest of your lives you sniffs will be sparkly.

...more castles and palaces, a castle dollhouse, 'Ottoline at sea,' a mini halloween party, Little My, starting a creative writing course and crafting fairies from glue and glitter and ribbons...


cycling to the station, getting up at 6am, creating a paper palace...
...finding a book of snowflake photographs, knitting a long multicoloured scarf for Henry and having a chocolate tea at the Hilton in London...


feeling Christmassy, walking Barney in the snow, blue porridge and cinnamon, a baby dragon in my stocking...
...sledging in the dark, shopping with my little cousin, essay writing and seeing best friends on Christmas Eve...

All in all I think it's been a pretty good year!  I hope yours has too!  I've made a few New Years resolutions which I am going to try my best to stick to as well.

1- Go to church every Sunday
2- Pray every night
3- Write ten positive things each day
4- Go to yoga every week
5- Do two hours of life drawing every week

Let's see how long they'll last!


Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I'm feeling extremely Christmassy this year.  Today I iced the cakes and sprinkled edible glitter all over them.  I saw my friends and we did Secret Santa and played silly games.  Erin and I stopped off at Sainsburys so she could get some chocolates for her mum and all the Christmas stuff was half price so I got some reindeer earrings.
Last night I watched this version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer which was really cute actually.  I love the design of the Reindeers, especially the girl one with the spotty bow.  

This month I've made mince pies with Henry (he made most of them but I helped spoon some mince meat into the pastry) we went to a carol service and watched the Tailor of Gloucester. I'd never seen it before but it has a very Christmassy vibe.  I am a fan!

The other day I created marzipan figures for the Christmas cake.

I decorated the tree.  
And Henrys mothers and Grandmothers tree too!

This is my favourite decoration from our tree.  My mum made it, I think before I was born:

It snowed and we went sledging in the dark.
Tonight I still want to watch the Hogfather at some point.  It's my favourite Christmas film. Not sure I'll have time though.
All in all it's been a very Christmassy December! (I'm making up for last year)

So all that's left for me to say is

Happy Christmas!

Have a sparkling glittertastic one!

I will leave you with this picture I drew yesterday of my Grandparents dog, Millie.  It's their Christmas present and as my blog is supposed to be about my own artwork I feel it is reasonably fitting. 
and of course I also mustn't forget to say,

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

Christmas books

The Grinch
One of my all time favourite stories.  I love the Who's!  Especially in the film.  In fact I can't quite decide whether I prefer the film or the book.  Martha May Whovier is my favourite.  I love the scene where she gets the gun and fires fairylights all over her house!

But anyway, the book.  I'm sure you all know the story so I won't bother explaining it but just feast your eyes on the illustrations.  Dr Seuss is a genuis with his energetic and quirky drawings and funny rhyme.  I think so anyway.
'I know just what to do!' The Grinch laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santa Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled and clucked, 'What a great Grinchy trick!
'With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick!'

Betty Bib's Fairy Christmas
Now here's a book I really really love.  I can look at it for hours and always find something new!  The first time I read it i was just mesmerised.  There are a nice mix of paintings and photographs of crafted fairies which work together really well.  It's just so quirky and charming!
Included in the book is information about festive fairy food, how to make home made cards and presents and gingerbread wings and wands and wreaths, the snow queen fairy, fairy games, the christmas fairies, and any other snippet of information you could care to know about how fairies celebrate Christmas.

The Snowman

Beautiful book.  Beautiful film.  I love the drawings, the music, the atmosphere.  It's perfect.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Elf

As you know if you read my blog, I made a a lot of little fairy Christmas tree decorations this year, all gold and silver and glittery and sparkly.  Well someone requested that I make a boy one.  I kind of improvised seeing as I hadn't made a boy one before but I am very pleased with how he turned out!  And I was quite sad to see him go this morning.  I think I might make some more!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Books

Angelina's Christmas
I remember loving this book when i was younger.  I was a definite Angelina Ballerina fan! I think I still am!  Angelina at Christmas is a charming story about loneliness and giving at christmas time.
Mr Bell is an old retired postman mouse who lives on his own.  One day, whilst walking home, Angelina peeps into his window and sees him all alon huddled over his fire.  

Angelina being the kind hearted little mouse that she is, decides to bake some biscuits for him as a surprise.  Henry (Angelina's little cousin) decides he would like to make some biscuits too, so he proudly makes a big Father Christmas shaped biscuit.  He wants to give his biscuit to Father Christmas!  Angelina tells him not to be silly and Henry bursts into tears.
The next day the mice all go to Mr Bells house with the biscuits and some other presents for him.  Henry is still upset and lags behind.  Mr Bell is delighted to see them. Then, 'Wait here a moment,' he says and disappears up the stairs.

When he comes down he is dressed just like Father Christmas!  Henry is astonished and immediately perks up.  Mr Bell explains that one year he had to wear the costume at the village Christmas party when Father Christmas needed someone to take his place. 

At the end of the visit, Henry gives Mr Bell the special father christmas shaped biscuit that he made.  Mr Bell is delighted and says that it is the best present he has ever received.  He then agrees to come to Angelinas school show in his Father Christmas costume.

Of course there is a happy ending and Mr Bell is never lonely at Christmas again because every year after that he is invited to come to Angelinas show dressed as Father Christmas!

The Oxford Christmas Storybook
Now this book, (mine actually has a slightly different cover to this one here) is one of my top top favourite chrildren's books at Christmas time!  It really really gets you into the festive mood.  'Stories about robins, trees, bells, cakes, puddings, presents, snowmen, goblins, carol singers, Brer Rabbit, the Wise Men, Father Christmas (and his dog)- they're all here!'

My two favourite stories from the whole collection are 'Gifts' by Adele Geras and The christmas cake by John Gordon.  

I like 'Gifts' becasue it really captures that magical feeling you get on Christmas Eve.  It's about a girl called Rachel who's ornaments come to life and start talking to her.  'All animals, even ones made of wood and clay and metal can speak on Christmas Eve.'  The animals persuade Rachel to give a christmas gift to her friend Rukshana even though Rukshana does not celebrate Christmas.   'Gifts at Christmas tiem are lovely.'

Rachel decided to give Rukshana her beautiful snowstorm.  And this is the reason why I love this story so much.  Just look at the picture of the snowstorm! It's magical!

'The Christmas Cake,' is another story which really captures the atmosphere of Christmas.  'Nisha had nothing to do.  She had played with all her toys, christmas dinner was over, and now it was dark outside and everyone in the house seemed to be asleep.'

You can really hear the silence in this story.  'It was so quiet she could very nearly hear the tinsel glittering.'

Nisha wanders into the room where the table is all set for tea.  She peers into a cracker and sees a little man inside singing carols.  Suddenly she finds herself inside the cracker too!  She follows the little man (called Crackerjack) out of the other side of the cracker and across the table to the Christmas cake.  

Then follows an adventure on top of the Christmas cake which to Nisha has now become a huge white snowy sugary expanse!  I think this is a wonderful concept for a story!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas in a biscuit tin

These are drawings for an idea I had recently about a tiny character who lives inside a biscuit tin on the kitchen dresser. The story follows her as she gets ready for Christmas.  This came before I started doing all the cut out stuff and in a way is the original story! 

dreaming of sugarplums...
Waking up.  Oh it's Christmas Eve!
yes definitely Christmas Eve, it says so on the calendar...
Better get dressed then...
And stick some candycanes and a teacup in my hair...
Porridge for breakfast?
Now what's on the to do list for today?
Then the story continues with the character leaving her biscuit tin house and exploring the dresser, finding things to help her with her preperation for Chistmas.  If you look carefully at this picture, you can spot her walking along...