Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pleasures and Treasures

Today, a parcel arrived. A very exciting looking brown box.
A couple of days ago, Rachael from the fabulously lovely 'Made With Love' blog sent me a delightful message to tell me that I was the winner of her giveaway! Woo-hooooo!! Very exciting stuff indeed!! And look at what arrived...the most stunning handmade cushion with a patchwork of vibrant red fabrics shaped into a heart...a gorgeous card and 4 little gifts, each carefully wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper.
Little helping hands were soon at the ready, I think the Little One thought it was Christmas come again!!
The delight of finding what was wrapped in these little parcels was beyond words - exquisite lavender hearts, hand embroidered...
...the most eye catching corsage, which I have the very jacket for it to adorn, and a gorgeous floral vintage keyring (a timely arrival for isn't mine just falling to bits??!)
Here is that stunning cushion, given pride of place in my most comfortable arm chair!

I am absolutely over the moon happy, the generosity of dear Rachael has blown me sidewards in delight - and you do find this in the world of blogging, that there are wonderfully talented people out there prepared to share their makings and doings with us, for no other reason than that its nice to do it, its nice to give - and its that generosity and loving spirit that has filled my soul with happiness this grey and miserable day. Thank you Rachael, very very much.

So, like I was saying, its a cold damp and dreary day here in Yorkshire. The fog occasionally swirls around the garden and we feel grateful when it lifts to reveal the trees on the opposite side of the river.
The Little One who is full of an awful cold declared 'Baking would be a good idea' and I had to agree. What better way to spend a morning stuck indoors amidst tissues and calpol than to bake something scrumptious!

So first of all, we peruse the recipie books...
Inspired by Kate Shirazi's Cupcake Magic book, work begins in earnest:

I don't get a look in with licking the spoon these days, no, that is a job reserved for the Head Chef. However, once they were cooked and cooled and a messy ten minutes of spooning jam into the middles had ensued, Head Icing Chef took over to finish these glorious little vanilla cupcakes with a swirl of rich buttercream...well, nothing else will suffice really when it comes down to it!
And here they are, in all their vanilla-jammy-creamy glory!

They taste pretty damn good too, even if we do say so ourselves!!

And so, on the Character Illustration front, you will be pleased to see that they are finally finished. She looks a bit different to the girl on my last post doesn't she!! I had a niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right with the face I'd done, and this is what its all about you see - to keep recreating the work until it feels right, until suddenley its a little person that has a character, and also, most importantly that you believe in it.

So at last, these little girls will be heading south. Im pleased to have completed them as it means I can set to work on a new painting now! I love that delicious feeling that settles upon me when a new idea takes hold. I like doodling in my sketch book until the idea ripens, and then the journey from sketchbook to canvas/paper is an adventure in itself, sometimes its an easy ride and other times its fraught with trouble and a great dose of perseverence is necessary.

So my next post will probably be about my next new artwork, an unfolding of the ripple blanket, which is rippling marvellously at the moment and providing a nice half hour of escapism here and there for me. It might be about the next baking project, or something completely different. And I hope you'll come by again, its lovely of you to visit me today and its lovely to have your company here - all of your comments make me smile and its a real gift to be getting to know so many nice people and discovering a world of hidden talent on your individual blogs.

And with that, its time to go! You know the routine by now don't you...its at about this time that the kettle goes on and a nice bit of sweet something is popped on a plate to be eaten slowly with a steaming cup of hot tea...simple pleasures...

They're the best ones.

With love
Julia x x x


  1. Couldn't agree more about the simple pleasures Julia. And those yummy little cakes are so yummy, I am going now to the kitchen, to make some, for it is a dreary day here, I've been unable to start anything due to waiting for the engineer to come and replace the timer on the central heating system, so have felt a bit unsettled. Now I know what to do for the next little while... thank you!

  2. Julia, Your artwork is such a delight. I really enjoyed watching Moe progress and I'm impressed, as always, with the outcome.

    What a lovely giveaway you received. The pillow is very inspiring for a girl who wants to conquer the sewing machine!

    That Head Chef is a keeper! Such a yummy treat!

    I look forward to seeing the ripple blanket. I have almost completed my first crochet project. I really have become...hooked! : )

    Be well!

  3. Just caught up with your blog again Julia. I do love it so, but seem to be chasing my tail doing nothing at the moment. Lovely to read through with my cuppa to hand. Thank you x

  4. Your posts are always delightful, Julia! I wish I could come to your house for a cuppa, those cupcakes look delicious. Thats obviously an excellent Head Chef you've got there. :)
    Vivienne x

  5. Like the idea of spooning jam in the buns. Yum yum. We're back from the pictures, tired and hungry and oh we could do with one or two of those buns right now.

    Looks like you've had a perfect day there Julia.

    Lisa x

  6. Lucky you what a lovely win,love the cushion!!
    Those buns look scrummy too. x

  7. Hi Julia....
    what a fun treasure to get in the mail! it was cute to see your little one unwrap the treats...and then the baking began...
    i could sure use one of those...with my cup of coffee...I need some icing to go with it! lol

    great post!

  8. I have three head chefs - one gets the spoon and the other two the bowl. I have to make cakes secretly to get a look in these days!!

    I love your little girl and her face is adorable - though she looks like she could be a cheeky one.

    take care,

    Nina xxxx

  9. Baking cupcakes, good call!! Love the cases.
    Lucky you with all those goodies and that cushion definitely deserves pride of place. Lovely!
    Enjoy those yummy cupcakes!
    Ali XX

  10. Julia, I am loving your finshed artwork. You are so very very talented.
    Your cakes look divine, especially with the yummy jam filling and vanilla cream on the top. My mouth is watering thinking of them.
    I am thrilled to bits that you liked all your giveaway gifts and would like to say a great big thankyou to you for the beautiful blogpost. You are so very kind.
    Hope the weather cheers up for you.
    Love Rachael XX

  11. Oh wow, what a fab giveaway prize! and my mouth is watering just looking at those cupcakes.Good luck with your illustrations Julia, they look great x x x

  12. Simple pleasures are definitely the best! Those cupcakes look scrumptious... well done Head Chef! As usual, your illustrations are fantastic... I Love little Mo.. she certainly looks like she could find some mischief!!
    Happy evening
    Love Yvonne xx

  13. Hi Julia, I see on Twiglet,s blog that you would like to have your name put in our shop blog. If you would like to leave us a comment in the shop to say you have become a follower of the shop and then put a link to it on your blog I will add you name in the draw.
    You write a really lovely blog and make some very gorgeous things. I will be back.
    A x

  14. Your little girl character drawings are lovely! So cute!! And the buns look very yummy too... :-)
    Joey x

  15. Fabulous looking cakes - save me one!!! I love your new little charachter - Ive seen her face on my daughter before!! Great prize xxxx

  16. Lovely cupcakes!
    It's so nice to bake with a small child, it's a proper adventure!
    Lucky you withe giveaway!! Such gorgeous hand made gifts...
    Take care

  17. oh wow, goodies galore in this posting. Such yummy cakes. What a fabulous blog :o)

  18. Hi, first time on your blog, cute, like the art work too. Found you on have a great day....


  19. Julia, I love your beautiful artwork! And the cupcakes of course.
    You received a lovely prize. Lucky you!

    You asked about the bobbly crochet stitch. I did an effort to explain the making of the stitch on my blog.... so maybe you can try it out...

    Have a lovely day!


  20. What a fabulous prize you won!

    Cuppa and something sweet - sounds right up my street.


  21. Hi Julia,

    Congratulations on winning all of those super creations!! You have a lot of fun with your little one baking :)

    Cut illustration character - I hope that it works out well for you with the Literary agency.

    Hope to see you soon.

  22. Oh dear - my last post reads 'Cut' illustration character.

    I thought I'd typed Cute - sorry about that!!


  23. A Gorgeous giveaway and Delightful cupcakes :o)



  24. Julia,

    I am so happy I stumbled across your blog, I am also an illustrator and avid knitter. Your work is beautiful.



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