Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bright October

You are, my dear friends, looking at a prototype - and you are looking at something that has inspired me to make lots and lots of circles, and turn them into some kind of lovely, delicious, crocheted roundness that would eventually take the form of a throw...oh dear (sigh) yes, another one on the cards then.
It all started last night. I was a little bored of tv and trying to get the freeview to tune in properly, so I began to experiment with joining circles together. As those of you with keen eyes may see, I joined as I crocheted and it wasnt until I was almost done that I realised I ought to have joined extra bits in order to stop the piece being too floppy - hence I went back with darning needle and wool and joined by hand. As I said - a prototype. But, terribly therapeutic making those little circles, takes no time at all to suddenley have something useable on your hands, which is how I ended up at 11pm last night with a little flowery doily type affair which is now providing comfort and joy to one of my little jars of autumn flowers!

Hurrah! Lovely, colourful crocheted doily!!

Now October is here, and how fast it arrived don't you think? However, we are still in the lull of an indian summer in these parts, its quite warm enough to swan about in flimsy tops and it's only when the sun has passed the garden that a slight chill begins to pervade, and were it not for it being dark by 7:30 I would be convinced we were still in August.

I enjoy all the seasons and more so as I get a bit older! I also enjoy all the foodie delights that accompany them! At the moment we are purging ourselves on the juiciest figs, well rounded and ripe plums, as well as splendid donations of windfall apples from our neighbours garden which are promptly turning into tatins and crumbles!

I also adore Autumn flowers, and at the moment I am swooning at the firey oranges, yellows and golds of the nasturtiums we have picked from our rather rambling and overgrown garden (its been very neglected of late, what with the decorating, and our hanging baskets are a disgrace having not seen a watering can in weeks). I also love the wonderfully plump dahlias and the brightly coloured asters with their button yellow centres.
Talking of seasons, I have finished my new winter scarf. Here it is in all its little-granny square-glory!
In total there are 135 little squares in shades of milk, driftwood, pale blue and green. The whole thing is edged in the driftwood and milk colours and when I chose the colours, my mind was adrift in memory land, in a Cornish village where a friend and I spent some happy times one January. The shades are very reminiscent of wintery Cornwall, everything on the day in my mind was bleached by a watery sun in a chalky white sky, scudded with smudges of pale grey clouds. The green on the cliffs seemed tired and worn, the very shade in the scarf, and the tide seemed to have a listless energy as it halfheartedly sent cold foam tipped waves up the wet ochre sand. So thats what the scarf is about, that was the inspiration for the colours and I think for my own pleasure, Im going to call it West Penwith.
Being inspired is a daily necessity. As an artist I am always on the lookout for things that light the creative spark. I get alot of pleasure from discovering little bits of things like a beautifully iced cupcake, a jar of fresh flowers and so on, but its work by other artists and creatives that light the fire and I feel very lucky to stumble upon such people whom I can learn from. Its very satisfying to put their ideas to work in my own creative pursuits. I must say, Im not talking about blatant copying here - no, I like to do my own thing art-wise otherwise its not worth the effort, and you can never ever recreate what someone else has done anyway as it lacks the personal energy that you need to infuse your own art/craft with. To me, being inspired is all about seeing and absorbing, looking at different paint techniques, studying a new stitch or trying new colourways, seeing how various mediums are used to create something and then applying those processes to your own work!

I was VERY inspired whilst in Wales this weekend. I took my daughter to Porthcawl and it just so happened to be in the throes of an Elvis Presley festival - I have never seen anything like it - delightful clusters of elderly ladies in bright pink stetsons and Elvis t-shirts singing and bopping outside a cafe that was blasting out 'Viva Las Vegas' into the street! Ha! We found a little deli, stocked up on goodies and made our way to the sands. Once the frivolities of being on the beach for a few hours had been accomplished - donkey rides, picnics, paddling and obligatory ice-cream devoured, we made our way back into the little town for a wander. Now I really like Porthcawl, some might say its a bit time weary but it has a faded seaside charm that I love, it has two lovely beaches close at hand and a marvellous little cafe right on the seafront that does a lovely coffee which you can sip whilst watching the waves!

Anyway, I digress! :D

It was in the bookshop though, up the little high street, that I found creative manna from inspiration heaven! I'd had my eye on the Sew Sunny book for some time but had no idea that Poppy Treffry even had a book out! I had a brief and careful look through them both and my appetite was well and truly whetted - however, I didnt have the necessary £30 to spend there and then on them, so I did what any thrifty young woman would do in a recession, and I came home and bought them on Amazon! :)

Serendipitously, they arrived today, on my art day. For the first time in about 5 weeks my paints have come out, and now I have the perfect reading matter for coffee break time!!

Talking of art, I am going to show you something now and I dont want you to be cross. I know its only October, and I am myself one of those people who wince when I see Christmas Things in shops in August etc, but I dearly wanted to tell you about my charity card. I have just finished working on my design for this year and I will be making A5 sized cards which will be printed, giclee style, and sold to raise a bit of money for the Downs Syndrome Association. Im sure some of you already know that my little nephew has Downs, so its a charity that is very dear to me and each time I sell some cards I send some money to them.

I will be selling this card through my website, etsy and folksy shops. I hope you will forgive me for showing you a Santa in October, but my intentions are good ones! :)

'Father Christmas' Charity Card 2009


I can feel a coffee coming on - and a little bit of browsing in those gorgeous books! I hope you all have a sunny weekend and I look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Love Julia x


  1. Love all the crochet work! The doily and all its color. And the scarf is beautiful! Wonderful colors indeed. Isn't grand to think about where we all get our inspiration from for our creativity!

    Have a great day!


  2. Scarf is perfect Julia. You seem on a finishing stuff roll. Funny how bursts of creative energy come and go like that.

    Good to have you back again bhy the way.

    Lisa x

  3. Hi Julia,
    Beautiful inspiring post...and I love your West Penwith scarf - I can say you've captured our wintry colours perfectly!

  4. The colours on that scarf are just beautiful, in a way reminding me of winter on the moors of Yorkshire, pale grey skies, muted greens and dying heather, a touch of frost here and there... just lovely and so subtle.
    And the card design is gorgeous, you are so clever.
    I have seen crocheted circles in a crochet pattern book, can't remember the title, but think I may just have to buy it, after prevaricating for ages.

  5. Hi Julia, the crochet is wonderful! I posted a pic yesterday of the very same book (sew sunny homestyle) i bought at the creative stitch show, isn,t it gorgeous, lovely pictures!! Lovin your Santa. x x

  6. Oh I love the scarf Julia! Very much Penwith in the winter. I love the way you write which reveals the artist in you all on its own. I've had Christmassy things floating around my sewing room for weeks now, so no complaints from me x

  7. hi julia,i do love your posts!!
    i love the scarf,you are so right about the colours they always remind me of cornwall. we stay on the roseland peninsula a lot & there is a beach there called 'towan',the colours & tones in your scarf could be based around that piece of glorious coastline!
    poppy teffrey too,i love her work again always reminds me of a cornish cottage by the sea! xx

  8. There is so much goodness in this post! I feel inspired to make a crochet doiley after I have completed all my other 'to do' things! The scarf is wonderful too! I have just purchased your Father Christmas charity card. He has such a great face! I couldn't help myself from buying 'A Lovely Dream' art card set too! I can't wait to receive them!x

  9. Whilst I am almost prepared for Christmas in private, I dont want to see it in the shops till December! Lovin all your crochet - this was some might meaty post. xxxx

  10. Where can I start Julia? The crochet is lovely, I also love the scarf, looks like it would keep you cosy. The Christmas card is very pretty and well done, I think October is a good time to start to plan for Christmas myself, gives you something to look forward to!

  11. I love your colourful doilie and scarf! The doilie is so pretty, well done. xxx

  12. I'm back - you've lit my creative fuse and I'm making a crochet scarf now. Blues and mustards. It was the mustard wool that drew me in as it's a gorgeous shade.

    You look very happy in your scarf too. Wish I had such a lovely smile, I always look as if I'm gurning.

    Lisa x

  13. Love the father Christmas Julia!

  14. Julia I love seeing Santa anytime during the year! My daughter and I were talking about listening to Christmas music while putting up Halloween decorations! I love your granny square scarf, the colors are lovely.

  15. Hello Julia! Thanks for letting me know about the cards. I hope you had a lovely weekend too! x

  16. I adore your October quirky and cute!!! I must get the crochet hook out and play with my scraps have inspired me!

    Like you though...think I spend too much time surfing blogland (and being inspired). I really need to start *doing* many ideas, so little time.

    Loving all of your autumn images.

    Jacky xox

  17. p.s. forgot to your card design. Thanks for an early peek.


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