Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 in review

Here we go again. I know I always say I hate these things and I kind of do but I also think they are useful for really seeing what you have achieved over a year, especially if (like me) you are feeling like you haven't achieved all that much. Once you see it all together you realise it's more than you thought!


started with house hunting. Though we were still not able to get a house at that point, it did bring the realisation of the perfect place we wanted to live. I did lots of flat paintings for practice and also started on the front cover for my second Witch's Cat book.  I like this sketch of Celestine I did with her sledge.

I can't actually remember much of what I did! I'm sure it involved a lot of wedding planning though. I made Henry another tiny valentines day book and Celestine made lots of tiny cards. She made tons of tiny cards this year. These aren't even all of them!

was mine and Henry's birthdays, which were uneventful this year. I didn't like it and I won't be doing that again! I didn't bother planning anything because I was going to Dubai but I wish I had. I usually go all out for birthdays so it felt weird to not celebrate it properly. But yes, I went to Dubai for the last time while my parents were living there. I love Dubai. I got my wedding ring made out there and also (in a moment of madness, but great madness) bought a Victoria Stitch ring there which I never posted about here before (I felt a little bit bad about it I guess, or maybe I feel like it's boasting). It's diamond stars. It's exactly the kind of ring Victoria Stitch would wear and I love it. That's why I call it my 'Victoria Stitch' ring.

Also I got to see my beloved star necklace again. I can't express how much I love this necklace. I will never own it unless I ever become extremely rich. I'm glad I got a photo of it now and saw it again. Legitimate highlight of the year.

Sidenote: The 'Victoria Stitch' ring is actually the ring that goes with this necklace, so I sort of have a small small part of it... Henry was not pleased when I rang him on skype and told him about the ring (he would have stopped me if he'd been there)... so yes that was one massive splurge in March. But... I do not regret it one bit.

I think was quite full of wedding planning and maybe a bit of illustration practice. I made all the fairies for the wedding which took quite a while. I hand painted them all. It was good for practicing faces and hair. I kept my favourite one and gave the rest away in thank you letters.

I took quite a lot of photos of Celestine this year in various surroundings. This one is one of my favourites because I think she looks pretty in it, but actually I have quite a few favourites from this year. 

I was pleased with a lot of the Celestine photos I took during 2014. I think I have learned how to photograph her better than when I first started photographing her, if that makes sense.

was hen party time, organised by my sister. It was very nice although I'm still not sure about the necessity of having a hen party. I think it's a bit of a weird thing to have a separate party that your husband-to-be is not involved with. When you're used to doing everything together it feels a bit funny to have a big event that he is specifically not allowed to go to.

Anyhow, mine was lovely. Thanks George and everyone else who had a hand in organising it!

I think in May I also re created a couple of 3d sets for a publisher of scenes that I had made before for the Princess range. I made a replica of the bathroom and the kitchen (and then later on in the year I made another bathroom and a ballroom!) 

I always love to make the bathroom cabinet with all its lotions and potions.

was the big one this year because it was our wedding.

Celestine was very disappointed to not have been a proper bridesmaid, but she got over it when she got to write her own bog post about it.

And I got to marry the absolute love of my life. I can't express how much I love Henry in words really.  I love love being married, it definitely feels different. But very good different. 

My favourite parts of the wedding were the actual 'marrying' bit in the church and also the end part when I was just relaxed and having fun and dancing. It was a wonderful day. We were lucky to have so much support from family and friends for it too.

After the wedding was the honeymoon of course, which was in Scotland and unlike any holiday we've been on before. The Outer Hebrides of Scotland is really an incredible place. Very epic and beautiful. I took so many photos it took me about a month to sort through them all.

Celestine had a whole new wardrobe of tartan clothes made for the event because yes, she did crash our honeymoon.

And then after that, my first picture book came out! So that was exciting.

It got a starred review from Publishers Weekly so that was a definite highlight of the year!

Also in July we did lots of house hunting because we were finally in a position where we were able to buy.

Mainly because HENRY GOT A JOB! That was a big thing to happen too. He finished his PGCE course, graduated and got a teaching job straight away.

So that was just marvellous. 

And we saw some horrible pokey, dark, dirty houses and some nicer houses and then a really beautiful little flat that we put an offer in on.

Which then, four months later, fell though.

BUT we did at least get into the position of being able to look for houses so that was something.

I worked on this 3d fairy scene which I am not sure if it's going anywhere now, we waited to get a move in date for the house and I started work on a 'secret project' which was very important to me and I really hope it will get published at some point.

I started compiling all my Celestine photos into a book. This was quite an important personal project too. I have taken so many photos of her that it would be a shame if they were never displayed properly. I felt they needed to be put into a book.  

However this did take me absolutely AGES and it was a love-hate relationship because it was such a massive massive task. But I FINISHED IT!!!

I also made (shorter) Celestine books for all my family for Christmas using the pages I created for the main Celestine book which, in case you are interested, is over 400 pages long.

Also in September, Celestine had a birthday which did get celebrated (unlike mine! haha)

She had a pink birthday cake and her friend White Rabbit came round for tea.

Celestine did a mini mail exchange with Dixie and Percy which was fun.

Also, we went to Cornwall. I think I broke my toe in October too which was annoying and meant we couldn't walk around a lot in Cornwall but it didn't matter too much because the weather wasn't that great.
I loved to be back on my favourite beach of all time. It was such a good holiday.

was quite frustrating because of the house falling through and things. We thought we would be in by Christmas. I created a new little picture book character that I may or may not do some further work on at some point. Henry and I passed the five year mark of being together but I think it went unmarked haha and I had an important meeting about my secret project which I really hope I will be able to reveal to you one day! Also we put in an offer for a different house which was quite a big and important thing.
December. Well. I finished one of the rooms in the castle which is quite an achievement... I can't remember what else. Obviously nothing that major happened! Oh also I started work on a new picture book, and got a new idea for a book I want to write.

Also this year: I created a total of three dummy books discovered some great new books read (and listened to) more books than last year though not as much as I would have liked made tons of sparkly stars for the wedding progressed a bit with world building and ideas for the 'ultimate' novel I want to write one day watched some good films: Elysium, Ernest et Celestine, Mr Brooks, Sea Prince and Fire Child went to life drawing a few times though not nearly as much as I should have discovered a new fabulous miniature jeweller made my wedding necklace which I love and hope to be able to wear again at some point my parents moved back home from Dubai ★  and I started working at a different craft club.

When I look back at all those things I realise I have filled my time but not so much in the way I would like. I feel like I let my career slide a bit this year because of focusing on 'life' stuff too much, like wedding, house buying etc... also there were scheduling issues with certain books I was meant to be doing during 2014 which meant they never got done and I didn't do anything about it (which maybe I should have) I feel like a lot of time was wasted.

That is why I am determined to focus on my career in 2015.

And not waste any more time!

2014 had some great points, obviously, but overall it was full of a lot of waiting: waiting for the wedding; waiting for the house; waiting again for the house; waiting to be in our own space; waiting for book related things. I am fed up of waiting for things, and wasting time waiting. It's been frustrating.

In 2015 I am just going to get on with stuff regardless. I feel like I've been in a transition period or a limbo this last six months or so and now I am so ready to start a new phase.

So I'm going to start it whatever. I have devised an action plan for 2015. I have been tying up all my ends and am ready to start some new things. Explore new ideas. I am really excited about it.

I do have specific goals but it's too much pressure (and too boring for everyone- it's a long list!) to write them on the INTERNET so instead I will write them on a piece of paper for now but do a blog post about them during or at the end of the year to see how many, if any (!) I achieved.

Bring on 2015!!! I have great plans for you!




miniacollection said...

Thank you for this beautiful review!
Happy New Year to you too!

Jane Chérie said...

Great review and great pictures! Congrats on all your achievements in 2014! And good luck for your 2015 goals! Planning is the best way to start the year!

Anonymous said...

I love your wonderful review!
Happy New year to you and Célestine!

Plushpussycat said...

Fun! Love the photos! Sounds like a great and memorable year! xo Jennifer