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.
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, 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
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.
I was busy writing a different blog post to this and accidentally clicked on the 'from your phone' bit on the bit where you add images. There were a load of Celestine images there which have snow and sparkles on them! I have absolutely no idea where they are from!? I don't have the first clue about how to put moving effects on images, so I didn't make them! And they certainly can't be from my actual phone because my phone is so old fashioned it belongs in the stone age. It doesn't even have internet. So I have no idea where these images are from?! Weird.
I thought I would post some of them though as I do love them!!
A bit late to the game but Happy Christmas (for a few days ago.) I hope you had a good one.
This is Celestine on Christmas Eve. We went on an afternoon/evening walk. It was dark by the time we got home and the moon was out. She wore her Christmas tree top and red hat with the sparkly bobble.
When we got home we helped to peel and chop the vegetables and sprouts. I found some teeny tiny sprouts at the top of the stalk for Celestine. We finished wrapping presents, drank spiced cider, tidied up, went to midnight mass.
Here is Celestine's tree in her castle on Christmas Eve. Look at all her presents!! She also hung a stocking out for Santa to fill of course. It's lucky Santa knows that some people are only 4 inches high.
Henry and I also did stocking for each other this year for the first time which was fun. We snuck around in the dark filling them up after we turned out the lights. Crackle crackle.
That gold wrapped present (with the pink ribbon) she is opening in the pictures above had something
very special in it from Henry to me. A while ago I wrote about spotting a tiny gold comb in the jeweller shop window. Well guess what appeared under Celestine's tree on Christmas morning?
Also, below is one of my Christmas presents. A very tiny swarovski castle, perfect size for displaying in Celestine's castle, it's just getting silly now! Next year it will be a castle to go in a castle in a castle.
I love it. Celestine is very enamoured with it too and very pleased that it is going to be displayed in her home.
Eventually, hopefully I will be able to put the comb charm on a bracelet. Henry says he's going to buy me more charms over the years to make a charm bracelet. Until then Celestine gets to have it in the castle. Lucky her!
I think Celestine's favourite present this year was this dragon. I bought it in Padstow when we went to Cornwall in October.
For the record, here are all the presents she got this year:
From left to right: A rose quartz bear, a starry satchel, a snowman mug, a crystal coach to display in her castle, a jewelled trinket box, a toy dragon, a picture from the Isle of Harris where we went on honeymoon, a jewelled silver box, a pearl necklace, The Jungle Book, A Christmas tin of sweets, a lucky Cornish pisky, a pair of shoes.
We had a really nice Christmas day. I really enjoy to see family who we don't see all that often. We had sparklers and champagne, smoked salmon and very fancy caviar that my sister got given at work, Barney got a special flashy dog collar for night walks and wore a pink ribbon round his neck. We did indoor fireworks and had chocolate log and Christmas pudding of course. Henry's mum visited, my grandmother got the charm inside the pudding (well we dug it out and gave it to her) which was a brass coloured rabbit ring. She was very pleased with it. My sister made cocktails and my cousins brought a gigantic jelly worm with them which was quite horrific. We went on a short evening walk and looked up at the stars. Barney got snuggly in his blanket, the miniature carousel went round and round all day.
Above is Henry with his stocking. He has this special bear that he's had his whole life called Abe and Abe always has to have something small in his stocking too. It's ok, I am used to catering for tiny people's stockings. I found something good for Abe. I'm going to be great at stockings if we ever have children!
On Christmas Eve my Mum made some tiny marzipan fruits for Celestine which really delighted me. Here's Celestine having her Christmas dinner with the marzipan fruits on the table. She had this Christmas dinner on Boxing day when we visited Henry's Dad and Gran.
(On Christmas day Celestine visited some friends her own size for lunch. Thought I'd mention that, you know, just in case you're worried she had a lonely singleton Christmas dinner on actual Christmas day)
So yes, Boxing day:
Those are the tiny sprouts I was talking about as well. They were PERFECT for Celestine!
She loved her marzipan fruits.
After dinner it was time for some hot chocolate in her new snowman mug...
And then we opened some more presents. I got some really nice stuff including a beautiful starry necklace and also some Ernest et Celestine prints from Carol which we are going to hang on our wall when/if ever we move into our new house!
Celestine got her own tiny Christmas card from Carol and also a lucky chinese cat from Henry's Dad and Gran.
As we opened presents it started to snow really big flakes outside. The next morning the snow was still on the ground. Celestine went outside to investigate.
I love snow in the morning when it is all twinkly in the sunshine.
We drove to see some cousins from my side of the family after that and as we drove down the M1 the snow disappeared. I think it had only snowed in the midlands.
So yes, that was Christmas 2015. We had a really nice time. I hope you did too! We still have one more celebration to go with my mums side of the family. There are always so many family and friends to see around Christmas. I am not complaining though, I love it. We have managed to see a lot this year, it has been busy. And fun. I love having all my family at home too, usually they are all over the place.
Random picture of some canapes from a party/gathering we went to just before Christmas. I was quite pleased with this picture. Rebecca, who invited us, made all the food from scratch, including all the bases for the canapes and everything. It was amazing. She is a proper chef type person and works on cook books and things.
Oh and my little Barney, snuggly dog. He gets nervous when there are lots of people in the house and spent a lot of Christmas day shivering. He's delicate. Haha. He'd calmed down by the evening though and was happily snoozing on a chair.