Sunday, 23 July 2017

A miniature swimming pool!

A little while ago, after seeing someone else's post on instagram, I became obsessed with the idea of making a miniature swimming pool. I just could not get the idea out of my head and so in the end, even though I had other work to do, I had to make one!! I am one of those people who can't concentrate on what I am 'supposed' to be doing if I have a burning desire to do something else. Once my pool was made and photographed I could finally concentrate on my work again. It was quite a relief!

Vinetta is extremely pleased that she has her own personal swimming pool and she has spent lots of time sunning herself by in and dipping in and out of it. It has been so hot lately!

I thought I would share a few pictures of how I made it. My first idea was to use one of those blue plastic ice cream tubs but I couldn't find one anywhere! I went into all the supermarkets but all the ice cream tubs seem to be white nowadays. When did that happen? Instead I decided to use a wooden box that I just had sitting on my desk. I quite liked the idea of that because I would be able to paint it in the exact shade of sky blue that I wanted to. I did also think of doing a mosaic sort of pattern inside it but as this was an extra project I was giving myself on top of my other work and looking after my baby, I couldn't really justify spending the time on that. 

Once I had painted the box I gave it lots of layers of yacht varnish so that it would be waterproof. My next thing was to find some sort of base to sink the box into. I bought a big cheap photo frame and used the board at the back of it. I cut a rectangle into the piece of board stuck the box into it with loads of hot glue. For the tiles I went to the pound shop and bought a four pack of plastic lino tiles. They were actually wood effect tiles but I knew that if I cut the tiles small enough, it wouldn't look like wood but just nice warm coloured outdoor tiling. It was easy to cut the lino as you just have to score a line down it with a craft knife and then you can actually snap it off in strips and squares. I stuck the squares down with PVA glue, leaving little gaps between each square so that I could put grouting between them. It was quite fun doing the grouting! I reinforced the underside of the pool by sticking beams of wood along the edges and this also served as somewhere to stick the fencing onto. The fencing was made from lolly sticks which I already had lying around. And then that was it! My pool was made. 

I so enjoyed taking it outside and filling it up with water. I loved how it looked. I must admit, I am very, very pleased with it! I wish I could shrink and jump in it myself!

However, I have actually been swimming in my grandparents pool lately so I can't complain too much. It's been so fun introducing Celestine to the water. She doesn't actually seem that excited by swimming yet but I think she is warming to it! Here's a bit of a blurry picture (just because it's very zoomed in) of us in the pool taken by our friend Becky a few weekends ago. I really like it though. It's so summery. Wish we could have got one of us all together! We had such a nice weekend when she and her boyfriend came to stay. We had a picnic in the park, went swimming, played games, made chocolate cake and ate nice food.

Vinetta has also been in the big pool a few times. Before I made her her own personal pool she had no other choice! Well, actually when you're that tiny, you can just hop into any old bucket or bowl of water I suppose, but still! 

I always think: imagine how deep a human size swimming pool would be if you were only four inches tall!!

So there we go. A miniature pool and a big pool. Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Isadora Moon News

Firstly, here is Isadora Moon having a teaparty with Pink Rabbit! She doesn't have real tea for the teapot so they use glitter instead.

Secondly I am planning in loads of events for the next few months. I will update with times/places as soon as I can but for now here is one of them. I will be at the Bath Children's Literature Festival in October. So that's exciting! You can book tickets on the website for the festival. 

By that time my next Isadora Moon book will be out. Isadora Moon goes on a school trip. Can't wait for this one.

Isadora Moon t-shirts!

Here is Isadora Moon in Slovakian:

And lastly, Vinetta now has her own Pink Rabbit like Isadora Moon! Made by Everbelles on etsy. I think it is so cute and Vinetta is very pleased.

Wrest Park

The other day I took Celestine for a walk in her pram at Wrest Park. It was a lovely, almost too hot, sunny afternoon. I am lucky to live only five minutes down the road from Wrest Park and I have a season ticket that my mum bought for us so I can go whenever I want. It's such a lovely place to walk around with a man made lake and a pavilion and foresty bits and little hidden statues and things. 

I am especially taken with the miniature hedges (below) as they are perfect size for Vinetta. I couldn't resist to take a photo of her in front of them.

Vinetta again. This time with her sunnies on.

Monday, 12 June 2017


I had two Isadora Moon events recently. One of them was at the St Ive's Book Jam and here I am (above) all dressed up for it in an Isadora Moon style! Stars and flower crowns to create a vampire/fairy vibe. There's little Celestine too, my little Honeyblossom, very pleased to be in her new high chair!

The St Ive's Book jam was great. I really enjoyed it and loads of children came to my event. I did some drawing for them and we played a game. I actually had loads prepared but I didn't get through it all in the time. I was a little nervous because I had not done any events since October when I was seven months pregnant but it was all fine. It was sooo much nicer not being pregnant during the event!

This was something I had prepared but didn't end up using. All the different characters from the books!

I used my magic wand as a pointer!

I did another event at Hitchin Waterstones the other week as well. That also went well and was good fun.

We had vampire and fairy star cookies!

I did a reading and we played a game...

There was also a craft activity where the children could design an outfit for Isadora with glitter paper and sequins and gems.

It was great to meet all the children! Some of them had even come from far away which was very flattering.

In other Isadora related news: Isadora Moon in Czech arrived recently and so did the Slovakian edition. Is it just me or is there more glitter on this one than the other ones? I love it. I find it interesting to see all the books in different languages. This one has a different font as well. 

Just for interest, here is my rough version of the cover for Isadora Moon gets in Trouble against the final version:

And I posted this for the #mermay challenge on instagram recently. I wish I had time to do the challenge properly.

From Isadora Moon goes Camping.
This spot illustration is from Isadora Moon has a Birthday:
In non-Isadora Moon related news:

Here is Vinetta with her mini Brambly Hedge book.

One day I thought I would just 'pop' up to London to see the Brambly Hedge exhibition on my own with a pram and a baby on a baking hot day. I also planned that I would walk across London with the pram so I didn't have to use the tube. All I will say is that I am never ever doing it again!! I ended up jumping in two taxis because it was all too hot and crowded and stressful. The upside was that I did manage to make it to the exhibition and the original Brambly Hedge paintings are BEAUTIFUL. Very inspiring. But still. Never again!!

In May we had my Grandpa's 80th birthday and Henry, Celestine and I all dressed up wearing stars! We couldn't get a photo where we were all looking at the camera (babies!!) so we did a silly one where none of us are looking at all. 

I did a Victoria Stitch drawing!!! The meaning behind this picture is explained in my instagram post.
Vinetta wrote a tiny letter and sent off a tiny parcel...

And I returned to my picture book that I am working on for Penguin!

The End!

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Last week we visited Castleton in the peak district just for two nights. It ended up being one of those little breaks that I will remember as a lovely memory forever. I loved Castleton so much. To me it felt like the sort of magical, picturesque little village that you might find in the film 'Stardust.' It was beautiful and charming and everyone there was so friendly.

We booked our trip to Castleton a few months ago when I was sitting on the sofa, recoving from my c section and desperate to get out into the countryside and walk about. I craved it so much! I had come across some pictures of Mam Tor online and I decided that I wanted to walk up it as soon as I was recovered. I thought it might be suitable for our off road buggy as it has paved walkways.

I was a little naive in thinking that. When it came to it, getting the buggy up the hill was not an easy feat. BUT we did manage it. Most credit to Hnery though I did help to lift it over rocks and stiles whilst Celestine slept like a little empress. The weather wasn't the greatest on the day we did the Mam Tor walk and I did freak out a few times that it might start thundering and lightening (it didn't) but over all it didn't matter. I'm going to say it was... atomospheric!

It was so, so great to be up walking on that ridge. I love being at the top of hills and looking down. Castleton seemed like a toy village from up there. We had our lunch at the top which we had bought from one of the shops in Castleton. Cheese salad sandwich for me, pasty for Hnery and milk for Celestine. I thought it was quite cool to breastfeed Celestine at the top of Mam Tor as it's name means 'mother hill.'

After we walked up Mam Tor we walked up to Pevril Castle where I took this photo of Vinetta having a tea break! The sun came out for a little bit which was nice.

Right now, what with looking after my baby and trying to continue with my work, I ahve little time to indulge in miniature photography but one day I would love to go back to Castleton with the intention of being able to take my time and photograph Vinetta around and about. There were so many little mossy bits, flowers, beautiful trees around that would have made for wonderful fairy-like photos.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A miniature Witch's Cat book

If you know me then you'll know I love tiny things. I had an idea about creating one of my published books in miniature recently and once the thought had entered my head I just had to do it!

I decided on 'I am a Witch's Cat.' I am not sure why. Now I think about it my book 'The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present' would have been more apt as it is about a miniature girl! But never mind. 

It's not actually one twelfth scale it's about one sixth scale as I was making it for a friend. I am really pleased with how it came out. I got it printed on laserjet so the quality is good and it is fully readable througout. I bound it using the bookbinding technique I learned at university so I am hoping the pages will stay intact! 

I was extremely pleased that I managed to print the pages doublesided! It bamboozled my brain a bit though working out how to do that!

The only thing I did a bit wrong was I misjudged where the writing went on the spine so it is not quite on the spine. But oh well!

Once I had made that one I felt inspired to put together another smaller one to go in my own castle.

Now I feel inspIred to make a miniature version of every one of my published books and maybe one day I will!