Sunday, 24 February 2013

Yellow...

...because Spring is just around the corner!

Also, a heart shaped chocolate chip cake. Celetine had her own heart shaped cake too! 


X

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Brambly Hedge: Spring Story

With Spring just around the corner I am reminded of the Brambly Hedge books from my childhood- specifically this one:


I used to love the Brambly hedge books (still do!) and one reason is because the pictures are so beautifully detailed.  I especially like the 'cut-through' scenes where you can see all the little rooms through the wall of the tree.  It looks like a mouse dolls house!


In case you havn't come across Brambly Hedge before they are a series of quaint little books about the mice who live in the hedgerow.  There is Spring Story, Summer Story, Autumn Story and Winter Story and then a few others besides.

Spring Story is all about the birthday of Wilfred Toadflax- an overexciteable little mouse who lives with his family in the hornbeam tree.  It's a gentle, joyful, sunny story about how the mice of Brambly hedge organise a surprise picnic for his birthday. 



I love the tranquil, magical world which Jill Barklem creates in the Brambly Hedge books.  I also love how in a way this world is based in the real English countryside.  It makes you really appreciate the beauty of nature because whilst the mice and their houses etc are all fantasy, the surroundings are not.  The English countryside can be really beautiful!

Did you used to read Brambly Hedge?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Tiny Valentine

This year for Valentines day I gave Henry the same thing I gave him for the last two years- a tiny illustrated book. Eventually I am planning for him to have a whole library of them when we are very old! He keeps them in his wallet at the moment but as they accumulate I think he is going to start storing some of them in the Castle Library (when it is finished!)

Anyway here's a taster of what was inside this years book:






See last years tiny book here and the year before here.

And guess who else got a Valentines too?


Hope you had a good Valentines. Did you do anything nice? We decided to do something on Saturday instead and spent ages preparing a Lebanese themed dinner- including some flatbread which took hours to make! But it was worth it.
X

Other things lately: A birthday dinner with some close friends- a cheese on cheese pizza (it was cheesy!) lots of frog hat wearing and castle building, ate a cakey tea with cousins, Henry had a friend to stay, I made a Valentines dress for Celestine, thought of some wedding table themes, had a grumpy trip to the supermarket, ate pancakes for pancake day, went fabric and carpet shopping for my castle and bought a load of miniature chandeliers.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Castle progress!

I haven't updated in a while and that's because I've been in the midst of wood shavings, paint and superglue for the past two weeks.  I've been sawing and cutting and measuring- all in the aid of getting on further with my castle.  This year WILL be the year I finish it!  I never put myself down as a 'woodwork' kind of person before but I've actually been enjoying myself quite a lot!

To you it may not look too much different than before but this is now the current state of my castle:


I have wallpapered all of the outsides with stone patterned paper and painted the edges and tops grey (it took me three coats of grey paint to find the perfect shade!).  I have ALSO- and this is the part I am most proud of- made a flight of twisty stairs for it!  (I don't like dollhouses without stairs.) 

To make the stairs I bought a length of wood doweling and chopped it up into three inch pieces. Then I stuck them all together with superglue and voila!


Then came the hard part- how to cut a hole in the floor.  I watched a you tube video and realised it was possible to do with a craft knife.  When I say possible I mean possible if you're happy to sit there for three hours doing it.... Still it was worth it and created quite a neat, precise effect.


I am so proud of myself for doing it!  Since then I have also cut another hole in the floor above (to the top/attic room) and made a little ladder to go up to it. 

I am now very almost (apart from a last coat of ceiling paint) ready to start putting in the carpets and wallpaper and lighting.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Victoria Stitch day

The other day I had a Victoria Stitch day which meant that I only worked on Victoria Stitch pictures and ideas.  Spidery hair and glitter everywhere.

Victoria Stitch loves these kind of days as it means she gets to be the centre of attention.

Here's a little sketch I coloured. I like her expression in this one...

Speaking of Victoria Stitch, you may or may not have noticed that I have changed my blog header again! I was actually really unhappy with the onther one and meant to change it for a while.  When I say change, I sort of mean edit-a-little-bit as it's so similar!  Anyway I am way more happy with this one. 


And a few progress shots... I experimented with giving her a rainbow colour paintbox but ended up sticking with the pink and black theme.

Other things that have happened recently: The frog hat my mum made for me finally got finished (see below) Henry and I made and iced some chocolate fairycakes for a friend's birthday. We went bowling for said birthday (first time bowling in years! Was surprisingly good fun.) We had a nice meal with friends also for said birthday. I went to a new and marvellous craft shop with my mum. I bought fabric and a pattern to make a ball gown. Went to London at least 3 times for various reasons. Watched Woman in Black (I screamed) and the last part of Lord of the Rings.


It's been a pretty good week. Hope yours has too!

X

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Water Babies / Mabel Lucie Attwell

Last week when Henry and I went to Nottingham to visit his family,  I mentioned that his grandmother let me have some books that she was clearing out. As you know I looove books so I was a very appreciative recipient of them!

Anyway one of the books was this one- The Water Babies by Mabel Lucie Attwell.  Even if you already own a copy of the water Babies (like me!), this one is worth having for the illustrations alone. I was delighted to take it off Henry's Grandmother's hands!


I was already a fan of Mabel Lucie Attwell's illustrations but this book definitely made me more of a fan!  I love the decisive lines, the vivid colours and the watery/summery atmosphere she manages to get into the pictures.


This book is a mixture of colour illustrations and black and white line drawings. I can't decided which I like more! They are both so charming.

Happy Sunday!