Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013!

2013 has been a year of 'getting ready.' I knew it was going to be a year of getting ready and preparing when I went into it and it has been just that! 2014 is the big one you see- it's the year I get married, buy a house (hopefully!) and it's the year my first picture book comes out.  So a lot of this year has been spent working towards these things.  It's been a good one though. And here are the highlights:

I'll start with my castle as that was one of my new years resolutions. I really made good progress on it this year!  I didn't finish it as I hoped I would but I am still pleased with how far it has come along. At the beginning of the year it was still just a bare empty shell.



My other resolution for this year was 'career.'  I think I did alright on that one too.  I was a LOT busier the second half of the year than the first but I knew that was going to happen.  Overall this year I have completed two picture books and various other spreads/sets/covers too.

I spent an intense six weeks during the summer creating the sequel to Witch's Cat.


I also did a lot of work for the Glitterbelle (princess) books this year. Overall I really enjoyed working on these books even if at times it got a little stressful! I'm really proud of what I managed to create for these books. I learned a lot doing it too!

A big highlight of this year was going on holiday to Cornwall with friends. It was just such a wonderful holiday and I just adore the place we went to so much.  

Henry and I went on some nice walks this year... and so did Celestine.


We went to a ball in London with my whole family. I wore a black starry dress which I designed and my mum made for me. Also tried out black hair for the occasion (not such a good idea dying it the morning of the ball but never mind...) Henry had a matching starry bow tie.


I ran two different craft clubs in two different schools this year which was great experience even though the children in one of the clubs were very very naughty.


It was a really sunny summer. I did loads of cycling and we did loads of swimming. Celestine did lots of boating.


I discovered some new books (Catharine Susan) and rediscovered my love for some old ones (Tottie, Mrs Pepperpot) 

I made quite a few little animals out of fimo this year which I was pleased with. They are addictive to make!


Celestine had a birthday and had a little teaparty with her mouse friend Matilda.


I was very pleased with my Tinkerbell pumpkin for Halloween this year.


Henry and I bought a car!


I discovered this ring on ebay and didn't win it but then got it for Christmas! It got me thinking about being a jewellery designer for a while.



I tried to draw one picture of Celestine per week but um didn't manage it! I was pleased with some of the ones I did draw though.

I went to Kensington Dollshouse fair in London with my friend Sian and also up to Miniatura in Birmingham.  And to a couple of other local ones where I found the most amazing miniature books.


We went to Bruges this year and we also went skiing in France with my family.


We went sledging. And so did Celestine.


Also this year: I finally got to ride on my beloved carousel this winter! And we had a really nice Christmas- the first Christmas Henry and I have spent together. I made Henry a crazy massive birthday cake which took all day. We went on a lovely trip to Bekonscot model village with friends which was fun. We did some wedding planning and bought the wedding dress. New characters emerged for a book idea I have in my head- just a personal one for my own fun. I bought an underwater camera. I did a LOT of gemming up of things and collected a lot of swarovski stars and crystals. I discovered Celestines feet fit into playmobil sandals which pleased me. I went down to Bath to help direct the photography for the Glitterbelle picture book. We took a trip to St Albans in the rain. Ate quite a few pasties. Discovered a new way of making the most amazing chocolate icing ever. Decided on and booked our honeymoon. Celestine had a birthday. We visited Bakewell. I discovered Tulsi chai tea and sparkly hair extensions. Want some!

aaaaand that's all I can think of and I think that's enough!

My new years resolution for this year is to READ MORE. I have been awful at reading lately and I don't want to be. I want to read more books! 

I hope you have had a great 2013 and I wish you all the best for 2014!

X

Monday, 30 December 2013

Gold and Gems

This year for Christmas Henry and I gave his mum a clock becasue she needed a new one. We thought she would like a bit of an opulant clock so we searched on ebay and found a good rococo gold one.  When it arrived I re painted it a nice gold as I thought the original gold colour wasn't that nice. Also it had spots all over it to make it look vintage or whatever. But I didn't think the spots looked very good. Why would you put spots all over a lovely gold clock?! 

So yes it got a new coat of gold paint. Then Henry varnished it and then I decorated it with gems! We were both very pleased with it. it is very sparkly. I think it is beautiful and I want one for my own future house now!

Theses photos don't really do it justice. It was a bit of a hard thing to photograph. 

Celestine was extremely jealous of the clock. It is exactly the sort of clock she would like for herself in miniature.  To appease her I made her a gold dress with gems on it.

Here's what the clock looked like before:

and after...

 I much prefer it after- I wish you could just see how sparkly it is in real life!


Celestine was very sad to see it go. But she'll at least get to see it again next time we visit Henry's mum!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

Bruges

Just before Christmas Henry and I went on a short trip to Bruges. We went there with his dad who drove us all the way there and back! It was so windy on the way that our ferry was delayed by two hours. When I went out on deck it was SO windy I could barely stand!

When we got to Bruges we met up with Henry's Dad's friend Carole who is Belgian. She was very nice. She took to Celestine and bought a music box for her to use as a bed! 

Bruges was such a nice place. I really liked it. The shops were exciting, the food was delicious, the buildings were pretty, there was chocolate round every corner and there were lots of things to see.  


on the first night we went out for dinner and I ordered scampi. Bruge's idea of scampi is big prawns in garlic butter.  Not quite what I was expecting but definitely much nicer. It was very rich though.  It was a really nice little restaurant. For pudding we had sabayon which was also delicious- made of egg whites and white wine and sugar. I have never had that before but it was certainly worth trying! Also we had frites- of course.


The hotel foyer was very festive. It had a christmas tree in it and a twirly staircase.



We had nice breakfasts there both mornings. There was cheese and salami and fruit and croissants and such. I enjoyed having cheese and sun dried tomato for breakfast as a novelty.

There were some fabulous shops in Bruges selling all manner of christmassy and sparkly and wooden ornaments. We spent a long time in the Christmas shop! I bought a gold glittery rocking horse ornament. There were also a few miniatures in the same shop. I bought some miniature plates and cups and things for Celestine patterned with Father Christmas.

I love all the wooden toys and ornaments there were in Bruges!

^^ Celestine was fascinated by them too ^^

I rather took to these little green cricket/grasshopper (?) figures below in one of the Christmas shops,

Along with buying Christmas decorations we also bought lots and lots of chocolate! Not all for ourselves- we bought a lot of it as presents for people but we did buy a bit for ourselves too. And I can tell you now it's the best chocolate I've ever tasted in my life. I don't think I'll be able to eat normal chocolate again now! Nothing beats belgian chocolate and we were spoilt for choice with chocolate shops round every corner. Luckily Henry's dad has been to Bruges many times before and knew all the best places to get the best chocolate.

Bruges was so pretty at night. It really lives up to it's name of being a fairytale city. We went on a horse and carriage ride round the city at the end of the day when it was getting dark. It was fun to ride in a horse and carriage and to see all the Christmas lights from it.




Bruges is also famous for lace. There were lots of lace shops there. I bought a star and moon bit of lace- not an expensive handmade bit or anything but still really pretty.

We stopped for a cup of tea in a teashop after the horse and carriage ride to warm up. I had lime leaf tea I think.  There were chandeliers in the teashop. I noticed a lot of chandeliers in various places round Bruges actually. My favourite was a big multicoloured one.

Celestine stopped for tea too. She was tired from all her shopping!

There's the multicoloured chandelier (below) I wish I could have one in my future house!


Other things we did in Bruges: venerated the blood of Christ at the Basilica, saw the Madonna with child statue by Michelangelo, had a lovely lunch of parma ham and mozzarella salad, had a lovely dinner of steak and frites. Best steak I've ever tasted! The food really was all amazing in Bruges.

On the way back home we stopped at Carrefour and bought lots of cheese and wine (for Christmas!) and some things for lunch which we then snacked on the entire way back home. It was good we bought so much food actually as our ferry was cancelled on the way home from bad weather. We had to go on the tunnel instead and then sat for two hours in a traffic jam.  At least we did get home though! I know some people didn't.

All in all it was a marvellous trip and I would like to go back to Bruges one day- especially just before Christmas again. It was a lovely festive thing to do.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas 2013...

...was really great.  It was really great because it was the first Christmas that Henry I spent together. Also his mum came and stayed with us over Christmas which was extra nice too. It was just a really nice Christmas this year. Definitely one of my best. 

Celestine enjoyed it too. She wore gold and sparkles for Christmas day... and boxing day... and the day after. Gold is her favourite colour.

She had her own Christmas table with Christmas crockery which I found in Bruge. The Christmas pudding and chocolate log are actually just chocolates and pretty massive for Celestine to eat on her own... though she still enjoyed what she could eat of them!


We had egg and smoked salmon muffins for breakfast with a grapefruit soaked in sherry. The grapefruit with sherry is something Henry eats every Christmas even though he doesn't like grapefruit (he forces it down for the sake of tradition!) So we thought we would all have one and follow his tradition. It went down well in my family! We all really like grapefruit anyway- the sherry was a Christmas bonus.

Then we all opened presents. I got some really really good presents this year. My biggest surprise was from Henry's mum. If you read this blog you might- though probably won't- remember a ring I posted about a while back. It was a ring I had spotted on ebay and absolutely loved. I really really really loved it- it was the nicest design of ring I had ever seen. I love anything stars and moon and am always searching on ebay for star/moon rings. When this one came up I absolutely love love loved it and really wanted it. I didn't win it though even though I set and alarm and woke up in the middle of the night to bid on it!  

Anyway, I could go on more about how much I loved that ring but to cut a long story short Henry's mum got one made for me while she was in holiday in Turkey! She printed the picture off my blog and took it to a jeweller who made a practically identical one- the only difference is that mine is slightly nicer!

I couldn't believe it! It was honestly one of the best presents I have ever received. I am going to wear it all the time. I can't stop looking at it- it's so sparkly.


I also got some other very nice things this year including a box of 100 miniature multicoloured baubles from my sister, some witchy books from Henry and a book about Gnomes, a glittery green, pink and purple rose from my brother and a massively heavy bag full of different coloured glitters from my parents among other things.

Also this tiny seal from my grandparents. It really is very tiny- smaller than an inch. And so cute. It's small enough to put in my castle. I love seals. 


Now here's a picture of Celestine with her stocking. Santa did very well for her this year. She was very chuffed with all her presents.

Here they are under her tree... And yes she did get a chocolate liqueur almost as big as herself!  If she eats it all in one go she'll be absolutely sozzled!


And here are all Celestine's presents laid out. She got a lot of sparklies this year. She does love gems!  From left to right:  a jewellery box, an amethyst chip, two notebooks, a rainbow jumper, a mirror and comb set, a lucky black cat, where the wild things are miniature book, snowman in a jar decoration, snowman not in a jar decoration, tiny pink mouse.  The jewellery box and jumper weren't actually from Santa- they were from me and the book was from Henry. But everything else was from Santa. He knows Celestine well.


The rainbow jumper is made by suedehead on etsy. The miniature book is made by Little Things of Interest on etsy.

Celestine has named the pink mouse Penelope. It's tinier than my smallest fingernail!

On Boxing day Henry and I drove up to have Chrsitmas number two with his Dad and Gran which was also very nice. Then the day after we drove back down to have Christmas number three with my mums side of the family which again was very nice! So all in all a very nice Christmas.

These photos below were taken at Henry's Dad and Gran's house.

Also here's a little sketch I forgot to post before Christmas. I just re coloured some old Celestine drawings to make them Christmassy. It's her preparing for the big day!

I hope you had a wonderful Chrsitmas too!

X