Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Another Blanket is Born (and some other bits and bobs)

My dear blogging friends!
I was overwhelmed to receive so many wonderful comments from you about my new painting and the Big Blanket. I can't tell you how much they made me smile, and how much it meant that you all took time to write them. Thank you very much, from the bottom of my little skippy-happy heart.

Needless to say, on the crochet front there was a slight anti climax when it finally dawned on me that the BB was well and truly finished. What's a girl to do??? Oh its obvious isn't it!! Start another one of course!! And thats a wee corner of it above there - I have to tell you that my inspiration for the colours in this one came from some photographs of Seville I'd been looking at. The whitewashed walls of the old houses were drenched with beautiful and vibrantly coloured flowers, and the juicy orange trees in the little squares quite inspired me! So upon realising I did not have any white wool, it was hurriedly purchased on Saturday in John Lewis (who have a splendid selection of Rowan at the moment, and 15p a ball cheaper than most of my favourite internet wool shops!! Hurrah!!)

New Blanket began in earnest on Saturday afternoon. The little squares are quite fast to do and I can easily whip a couple up in 10-15 mins while the pasta is bubbling on the hob! (I think this counts as obsessive crocheting doesn't it?)

Now today was meant to be an art day - but I had one of those rare and untimely moments of utter creative blockage. I sat and stared at the paper, meddled with some inferior sketches and scrunched it all up and threw it (mindfully) into the recycling bin.

The best thing to do when creative flow stops flowing in one particular medium, is to mess about with an entirely different one. I had a yen to crochet some more little squares, but I had to be strict with myself about that - today was Art Day, a whole day with Little Person at Nanny Mum's and so therefore it was a day designated for other things.

So I thought Id have a go at the Valentine's cards that the gallery had asked me to supply.
And I remembered that somewhere online, a month or so ago I had seen the most inspiring idea of sewing writing paper. Some of you may have seen this, and its brilliant - I can only apologise for not having a link to the original piece I saw but I thought Id try my own hand at it and embroider some little love notes to turn into cards...and here are a couple to show you!

...and this one here is a bit different, playing about with a heart theme...
I had tremendous fun making them and as I sewed, I had a couple of ideas for the character work I need to do for the Agency...Oh yes. I had a terrific email on friday, and it said that another couple of publishing houses had been pleased with my work and taken copies...and...asked to see character studies and line drawings! The character studies involve drawing the same little person/animal over and over in different positions, with various facial expressions. It is to show that I can create characters that would be recognisable throughout a whole book no matter what they were doing.

So that's what Im doing next. And line drawings, which as most of you will know are black ink on white paper usually.

Busy busy...as usual... :D

And so, to relax this weekend, despite the gloom and the cold we took off to Old Moor RSPB reserve and had a good walk around. Little Person was delighted to go into the bird hides and peep out through the windows. She didn't quite understand the concept of being quiet so as not to disturb the birds, and at one point announced quite loudly (and much to our amusement) that 'it would be quite nice to have a cup of tea in here!'

At which point we had to get out of the hide as we were laughing so much.

I was quite taken with the colours though. Faded browns and greys were predominant with the odd russet bull behind the reed beds giving the scene a warm burst of colour against the milky blue/grey sky.

As late afternoon approached, a large flock of geese came into land. We could hear them calling in that lonely distant way that they seem to have, darkly sillhouetted against the lilac clouds.

Before I go...its Award Time.

I was given this sunshine award by Louise Broomhead
and the rules state I have to pass it on to another 12 bloggers who are inspiring and delightful!
Well here I encounter a humungous problem. You are all inspiring and delightful. I can't bear to pick just 12 of you - its far too difficult. And so Im about to break blogging protocol and be very naughty.

I think you're all marvellous, you all bring me huge scoops of joy and inspiration and so I would like to invite each of you to take the award to your blog if it cheers you and proudly display it there - and if you wish to send it to 12 bloggers yourself then that would be lovely too!

Oh dear, am I terribly bad for doing that?

I hope the bloggers who do take this seriously will forgive me for being a little lame, but I honestly would struggle awfully trying to choose 12 favourites, when I have at least 120 favourites if not more...! (but then again, sharing sunshine with everyone seems to me to be a rather pleasant thing to do, especially in dreary January!)

Well, this was rather a long post! If you've got this far, well done!! Thank you for reading my ramblings today, and Im now off for a well deserved cup of hot tea and to sit down and do some character sketches.

See you all soon!!
Love Julia x x x


  1. Oh..such a lovely lovely post! It has made me feel all warm and happy :o) The new blanket is already looking spectacular....I can't believe how much you have done in so little time, and the source of inspiration is wonderful.
    You cards a Lovely too. I needed some inspiration for Valentines cards..even if mine are only going to my sweet daughter and our labrador (actualy, what more important people could they posssibly be going too!).
    I have just posted a magical mystery on my blog :o)

    Have a magical week xxx


  2. The Valentine's cards are a delight, so clever you are! I sometimes make a surprise one for Himself, and for close friends. This year I am sending those who sent me a Christmas gift, a little gift instead, prettily wrapped with heart-shaped gift tags - I dont 'DO' Christmas you see, much prefer to send Anywhen presents as a surprise. I love nice surprises, don't you?

  3. I am loving those Valentine Cards. Beautiful.
    Great news about the art work. I am not surprised though, you are very talented.
    Rachael XX

  4. lovely, lovely post, I was engrossed....
    The blanket is beautiful and the cards are...well !!! gorgeous....
    and the photos??? yes, you've guessed it...lovely!!

  5. Hi Julia
    The colours in the blanket are lovely and as for the cards, they are so, so sweet.x

  6. I love your cards...wonderful...wish I could make some like that...hope you are well just going to look at your other post and the BIG blanket!

  7. fab cards, what a great idea! Congratulations with your art work, how exciting x x

  8. I can't believe it, another blanket started already. You're seriously addicted to this crochet lark now aren't you. You're also turning into one of those people who actually finishes projects. Wish I could join in with that one Julia.

    Well done on how well it's all going at the moment too. You deserve it.

    Lisa x

  9. Your Valentine cards are so lovely. Well done with the artwork! :)

  10. Oooh, nice blanket. Gorgeous colours and I love how the white borders makes them stand out like flowers - it's not Lucy (Attic 24)'s garden granny square pattern is it?

  11. Ooooh that sneak peek at the new blanket is very enticing! Cannot wait to see it in all its finished glory! Your cards are totally beautiful. | am in awe of your fantastic talent! Hope you have a great day! xxx

  12. Lovely stitched valentines and beautiful blanket, Julia. You have many creative directions

  13. Loved this post julia. I can hear your voice throughout and your enjoyment of what you are doing. I can never understand how illustrators manage to re-produce characters in different poses as I would only manage to draw it the once! Well done on all the interest in your amazing work xx

  14. I love the look of your 'Big Blanket' and the colours are gorgeous and........the free style valentines embroidery is fabulous.

    Have a wonderful day,

    Nina xxxxx

  15. Julia, you never fail to inspire and uplift me. You are officially my mentor!!! Well done on all the work you have lined up. I can draw characters but would find it difficult having to draw them in various positions. I guess this is something I need to practice. I love the sewn writing paper and may have to put this on my 'to do someday' list! Your crochet is beautiful too but it is your artwork that I am most inspired by. I haven't worked on the creativity book for a while as I am finding it hard to fit it all in the day. How are you getting on with yours? Enjoy the rest of the week.x

  16. Hello Julia

    I hope that you are well, thanks for popping by.
    I love your latest painting with the fox lurking.

    Your crochet skills are fantastic, I love the colours of your last blanket and this new project looks like a very promissing one too.

    Then we have the Valentines cards, wonderful too. How do you fit it all in. So envious as lately all I seem to be able to do on the crafting side is a granny square or 2 a week. Very poor isn't it ;-(

    I can't wait for all this decotating to be over so that I may get creating again which I REALLY miss!

    Really hope to meet you at an exhibition or fair one day.

    Warm wishes
    Isabelle x

  17. Another gorgeous blanket and the colours are lovely. Will this be a year long project as well? I am busy crocheting flower bag charms for Littlest Fairy's party bags next week...seemed like a good idea at the time...sigh! Dev x

  18. P.S. I meant to ask you, are you joining your squares as you go, ie, are you crocheting them together or sewing them? Dev x

  19. There is nothing like a ripple. I would choose it everytime I think. Devx

  20. What a lovely blog Julia, and a lovely post too. The cards are fabulous. Elaine

  21. Hi Julia
    Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog. Your cards are great and I adore your blanket! Will stop by often! By for now, Kirsty x

  22. Great post - and loving both blankets finished and unfinished!

  23. 15p a ball? Its never that price when I go looking!! I think we may venture to Old Moor tomorrow. Its another place that is so close and yet we have never been!! Lovin the Valentines cards. xx

  24. all beautifully done....love the blog

  25. Thank you for submitting your blog to Craft Blog UK I have just added you to the listings - Happy Blogging x :o)

  26. Hello Julia

    I just want to Thank You for Your lovely comment and the link. I am going to get that book :o)


    Big 1st of Feb. Hug


  27. Hello Julia

    Thank you so much for your kind and comforting words, they mean a lot to me.

    I talked about you last night as it happens. My daughter saw something on TV which had a scary bit in it. I wasn't expecting it to come up either. This image stayed with her and she couldn't get to sleep. I reassured her by telling her that the angel in the picture I bought from you was watching over her so that she would be safe. Miss P asked me to tell her more about it so I told her a bit more about you.
    It is a wonderful picture, Miss P and I love it.
    Your words, thoughts and your picture have been comforting all round, thank you.

    I hope you are well and enjoying all that creativity! I love your blankets, the white one and the blue one.

    Take care
    Warm wishes
    Isabelle x

  28. The cards are just lovely. Made with love. I can't wait to stop by your blog again!

  29. What a treat I have just had looking through your blog. The crochet blanket is just scrumptious and as for your paintings, they are amazing. I am so glad you left a comment so I could find you. Lots of love, Kate (from greedy for colour) xxooxxooxx.

  30. The cards are gorgeous, and the blanket fantastic...I long for the day when I get some time to crochet something that lovely :)

  31. Wowwww!
    I love the Valentine Cards. What a great idea. Not only for Valentine cards.....

    ~X~ Karin

  32. your cards are lovely really pretty! fliss xx


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