🌟Free Download!🌟 Angel's Great Escape Make Your Own Decorations PDF

I have a little Christmas treat for you! While you’re enjoying reading Angel’s Great Escape in the lead up to Christmas, you can now enjoy making your own decorations too.

Simply click on the picture and download the PDF. Print the pages out and colour the decorations in with your favourite Christmassy colours. I like to add a bit of sparkle to mine by sprinkling some glitter around!

Thread each character on a pretty ribbon and pop them on your Christmas tree to enjoy throughout the festive season!

Illustrations by Kristyna Litten : )

Angel's Great Escape's 2nd Birthday!

Two years ago today I released my first picture book into the wild! Angel’s Great Escape: A Christmas Story was an absolute labour of love for me & I did everything I could to get it published. It was an animation script & an app before the story became a picture book. I taught myself how to independently publish, worked with fabulous illustrator Kristyna Litten, learned from my brilliant book designer Sarah & muddled my way through the processes of CreateSpace & now KDP. It’s been a brilliant journey & I love knowing that each Christmas children will pick up my book & it will make them feel cosy & Christmassy just as The Story of Father Christmas by Ann & Dennis Mallet made me feel when I was little. Thank you for buying, sharing & reviewing, it really means the world to me.

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Angel's Great Escape Reviewed On Toddler Things

"This book is very sweet, with a lovely flowing rhyming story and beautiful illustrations that bring the story to life. Definitely one to add to your Christmas book collection!" It's SO lovely to see our first review for Angel's Great Escape: A Christmas Story on the Toddler Things website...

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#illo_advent 2017

This is the third year I've taken part in #illo_advent over on Twitter. It's what started me drawing when I was having a really tough time in my personal life. I took up the challenge of drawing a Christmas themed illustration from 1st - 24th December and it helped to distract me. I shared my drawings and become part of a lovely community of creative people. It was therapy, company and just good fun.

This year the illustrations that are being shared by everyone are absolutely beautiful. If you've got five minutes to while away I highly recommend a browse. Here are my 24 pictures for 2016.

Angel's Great Escape Available On Amazon!

Today, I am very excited to announce that my first self-published picture book Angel's Great Escape, illustrated by Kristyna Litten, is finally available in print! For those who have followed my progress you will know that this has been quite a journey that has taken more than four years to complete. And quite a bit longer than that when I realise I first had the idea over ten years ago!

I will write a detailed blog post soon about my self-publishing journey but for now I wanted to celebrate the fact that a long-held dream is now a reality and I'm so excited to finally be sharing my little Christmas story in print! I really hope that you and the little ones in your life enjoy it this festive season!

Click here to buy your copy today!

And don't forget you can also download a fully narrated version of the book on your tablet from iBooks or Me Books. Narration is by West End superstar David McMullan and the Me Books version even has additional character voices which you can hear a sneak preview of in the video below!

Mini Mirrors

As well as cards, notebooks and prints, I'd like to sell some little stocking fillers on my stall at the craft fairs I am attending and in my Etsy shop. Today I have sent these little lovelies off to print. Each of these four designs will be printed on a little pocket mirror (just 6cm wide). I'd love to find one of these in my stocking and hope you'll enjoy giving them to your friends as a mini treat. Perfect for handbags and purses.

A Christmas Photoshoot

My Christmas cards arrived super speedily from Printed.com so this morning I was able to photograph them to pop them onto my Etsy shop. The light was just right with a lovely autumnal blue sky and I had already bought some *props* (aka snacks) in preparation.

Once again I used white card as a base so that the photos had a clean, light background and I sprinkled some silver stars around to add a little bit of sparkle. I took several snaps of each card to ensure I had plenty of pictures to choose from and then tweaked them a little in Photoshop before adding my new listings to Etsy while enjoying a very yummy mince pie.

I'll soon be adding more Christmas cards and some little stocking fillers to my shop but in the meantime please enjoy a little browse around (preferably while eating a mince pie).

Let The Festivities Begin!

This week my desk has been all about Christmas! I popped my fairy lights on and put Arthur Christmas on Netflix to get me in the mood and got started on the first of my Christmas cards. The four designs below will be in my Etsy shop and on Choosey.com late next week. There are two more designs to come, plus a little collection of Christmas stocking fillers that I am working on. I also used it as a good excuse to have my first mince pie of the season. Let the festivities begin!

Paper Goods & Pretty Things

In the past six months, while being wrapped up in freelance event work, I have been giving a lot of thought to the direction I want to go in with And So We Begin. In 2012, I started out wanting to tell stories and although writing will always be my first love, drawing and illustration have sneaked up on me, like an unexpected gift.

When I started drawing in 2014, I decided to share pretty much everything I created on social media. I didn't quite understand this decision at the time and I thought it was to do with wanting to take away the fear of being judged. I've since realised it's much more about wanting to share something that I love so much. Drawing to me is light and fun, challenging and absorbing, meditative and so, SO enjoyable. When I am lost in a drawing I feel cosy and warm. I wanted to somehow share this feeling with other people.

As part of my thought process, I visited PaperFest at Top Drawer London last week. I saw several talks, two of which made a real impression on me. The first was by Audrey Woollen from Urbanic who spoke about her passion for her company even after ten years of trading. She explained how she loves to bring a little joy to the every day and how she really enjoys the one to one interactions with her customers. Her genuine love for what she does really moved me.

Secondly, was The Brand Stylist, Fiona Humberstone who spoke about creating your brand. What seemed like practical advice was again underpinned with genuine passion and care. Fiona advises that you write down ten words that describe your vision of your brand and then narrow this list down to three words. I did this exercise and found it really hard to keep the initial list to ten. Then narrowing these down was even harder. Eventually I settled for warm, calm and kind.

Another idea I've been reading a lot about lately is the Danish concept of hygge. Hygge is not simply feeling cosy, it's simplicity, being with loved ones, warmth, indulgence and kindness. I really want And So We Begin to feel all of these things.

There's one illustration from my childhood that has stayed with me. It's this image from The Story Of Father Christmas by Ann & Dennis Mallett. This book, and this picture in particular, made me feel like everything was ok. To me, it embodies hygge, with it's candles, camaraderie and cosiness.

I would love every card, print and gift from And So We Begin to give you the same feeling of warmth, calm and kindness. Who doesn't love a lovely piece of snail mail appearing in their letterbox in amongst the bills and sales pitches? Something that says someone has thought of you in the middle of their busy day and puts a smile on your face.

I really hope you enjoy my new ideas. Please get in touch via my contact form if you have any comments or suggestions. I'd love to hear from you.  

As Cosy As A Christmas Jumper

While we are busy uploading, submitting and waiting for approval of our first app, I am busying myself by starting to plan my Christmas viewing 'must-haves'. I would really love <em>Angel's Great Escape: A Christmas Story</em> to become as familiar as my favourite Christmas movies, as cosy as a Christmas jumper. What are your favourites?

Elf
“SAAAANTA!!”

A Charlie Brown Christmas
“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!”

Robbie The Reindeer
“Do children sing a song about me? No!”

The Snowman
All together now… “We’re walking in the aaaaaair…”

A Muppet Christmas Carol
“Heatwave! This is my island in the sun!”