Thursday, 23 April 2015

an ice cream kind of day

I thought it would be fun for the kids at craft club to make some miniature ice creams. So I set about making some examples this morning. It ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. But I was pretty pleased with how this first batch came out. I don't think they're bad for a first try!

Here is Celestine modelling one- a Mr Whippy (without the flake) in the garden. I must admit she was quite disappointed that it wasn't real. I promised her some real ice cream afterwards!


Thursday, 16 April 2015


These past few weeks have been all warm golden sunshine. Celestine has been eating ice lollies in the garden (grape and raspberry flavoured) and we have been eating outside, putting up tents outside (to test them for camping later this year) lying outside, reading outside, walking outside. It's been especially nice because Henry has been on his Easter holiday- perks of being a teacher! Some days have just been actual summer springy perfection with lunch outside on the picnic rug with friends, playing in the park and walking round the hills. We have been up to Nottingham to see Henry's family and we took his Gran to a miniatures fair where I found THE perfect boat for Celestine. I know she already has a boat but this one is far FAR better. I need to varnish it before it can go in the water but I am so pleased because I have been looking for something exactly like it for an age! I often scour ebay for the perfect miniature boat but it has been hard to find. I think because miniature boats are either plasticky and for kids or they are model makers boats so not very suitable for going in the water, or not the right scale. I THINK I've found the holy grail of miniature boats now, finally! I seem to have done well for miniatures lately.

Do you like Celestine's hat in the picture above? I thought it was quite sweet but Henry thought it looked too 'perched' on top of her head. Perchy hat! Celestine and her funny little perchy hat. I think it's just quite shallow.

Now I am going to try this for fun. What have I been doing?

MAKING pictures. For books. In 2d (!!!) for a change.

WATCHING we just finished the first series of True Detective - SO good. Also for some reason we watched Jane Eyre last night which was also pretty good.

COOKING Over Easter Henry cooked me a special dinner from our middle eastern cookbook which was all aubergines and tabbouleh and hummus and stuff. It was delicious.

DRINKING gallons of sparkling water as always!

READING various different things. Book hopping! I am currently listening to The Night Circus on audiobook too.

LOOKING forward to being able to go to Turkey with Henry's mum when we can afford it (HOPEFULLY sometime this year). It's going to be so exciting when we do go! Celestine has started planning for the trip too, she has been looking up miniature sun loungers. We are crossing our fingers that we might be able to go sometime this summer... maybe. We will have to see.

These ones look good:
Lundby Stockholm Sunbeds and Parasol set
via amazon
BUYING not a lot but a few miniatures. The day before yesterday, the last day of Henrys Easter holidays, we walked to this mini shopping village place near our village. It has an old fashioned style sweetshop and a wedding dress shop and a bear shop etc, all fun shops. And and antique shop where I found a tiny little bureau for Celestine's castle. I've been looking for the perfect desk for her 'study/office' room in the castle for ages. So that was a great find. It does need painting and touching up though. I am thinking either silver of black with silver stars.

PLAYING  with my castle! haha. I have been sorting out all my miniatures and organising them into boxes and arranging a few things in the actual castle. You can see Celestine's dining room is coming along nicely. I got the little silver plates at the weekend when we visited Henry's family. 

WISHING  I could multitask more rather that always having to be so focused on just one thing. I can't seem to work any other way though.

BAKING  my ideal chocolate cake with buttery buttercream and crackly chocolate on the top and m&ms. All gone now.

ENJOYING  the sunshine and the way the light shines into our house all the time. Also I am enjoying the challenge of creating books in 2d (flat art) rather than building 3d sets all the time. It's a lot less messy.

WALKING  round the hills nearly every day. We found a rope swing there the other day when we were walking with a friend and we all had a go on it, swinging out over a very very steep hill.

NEEDING more time!! I feel like my life is slipping by way too fast at the moment. It seemed like only yesterday it was Christmas. I just can't believe how fast time is flying. Stop!!

SMELLING my FAVOURITE perfume, the one by Hotel Chocolat. It smells of sun and holdiays and Dubai for some reason. I love it.

EATING well Celestine has been wading through her Easter egg. She got a pink spotty one this year.

I think that's enough now - I'm running out of things!

I hope you are having a nice sunny springy spring!

Until next time! X

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Miniatura 2015 and other things

Let's start with a selfie! A Celestine selfie!

This was taken on Saturday at a train station in Birmingham. We went to visit Henrys mum in Derby  for the weekend and I took a train across to Birmingham on the Saturday so I could go to Miniatura as Birmingham is not too far from Derby. It was a fun little trip. Of course Celestine came too. She wouldn't miss out on a trip to Miniatura!

The other picture is a little pack of patchwork fabric that my mums friend brought back for me from Liberty in London. That's the exact kind of little present I love to receive! I am going to make some summer clothes for Celestine with the fabric when I have time. She's going to go all flowery!

Back to Miniatura. It was nice to go there on my own actually, not having to worry that Henry is bored outside when I take an absolute age to look at everything. Also it was nice that I had birthday money so didn't feel too bad buying quite a few things. 

I bought the most beautiful little string of miniature colour changing multicoloured fairy lights! Celestine's tree is going to be a stunner this Christmas. That was my favourite thing I bought. I don't have a good picture of them though. 

Here we are on the train on the way to Miniatura. We had to change at Birmingham New Street station to get a train to the NEC. I have to say, Birmingham train station is horrible. Really! So gloomy! I have never seen such a gloomy train station. I felt like i was in Jacobs Ladder or underground. It was all dark and covered and massive.

Celestine wasn't that impressed either. Look how dark it is!

Anyway. So that was fun. Miniatura. 

On the subject of miniatures here are a few of Celestine's castle since she has been home. She is very pleased to be home back in her castle with all her favourite things and all her jewels.

What else? Craft club! recently in craft club I have been introducing the idea of 'mascots' and miniatures. Some of the kids have really taken to it. I think it's one of those things you just get or your just not bothered about. 

Here's one of the 'mascots' with its growing wardrobe of clothes:

On the last session before Easter we had an easter teaparty using mini chairs and tables that the children had made in previous weeks (from lolly sticks). there was a treasure hunt and real tiny cake. I always like the miniature food to be real if possible. The eggs on the cake are mini eggs but mini mini ones! I found them in Sainsburys.

The children made tiny sandwiches for the mascots and also their own miniature Easter cakes. There they are sitting round the table with their sandwiches!

So that was fun.

Let's finish with a very serious selfie (to go full circle!) because it's not all about Celestine.. and some other pictures... just of life and stuff and stuff...

We are still LOVING being in our own house. Loving the evening sunlight coming through the windows. I am working and practicing my 2d, flat illustration for a book I am illustrating. Going to London, walking on the hills, eating the cherry choc slices that Henry made for me (they are the most delicious things ever invented I swear, I'll have to share them here one day) dreaming of all the tiny sunshiny yellow, red, orange, flower crown, summery things I want to make for Celestine, eating berries for breakfast every day, I love berries, wanting platinum blonde scarecrow hair- what am I thinking? watching lots of films and series, seeing friends, trying to keep to my new years resolutions, trying to focus, reorganising my studio into a much better configuration... sleeping a lot. Henry goes on Easter holidays tomorrow which is nice.

And that is all!