Thursday, 24 June 2010

Days Full of Sunshine


I've been busy painting this afternoon. I've been having a play with my watercolour paints and enjoying myself with this little camping scene. I admit it, I'm very inspired by the current camping excitement that has swamped our little house of late and so it seemed quite natural to create a picture with a camping scene in it. There's quite a bit to do to it yet, but I have decided to do this blog post after having a small argument with the trees in the painting (that is, they weren't going to plan) and I find it's usually a Jolly Good Idea to come away from a picture when I feel cross with it, otherwise I usually spoil it.

Oh I do love painting, why oh why weren't we blessed with more hours in a day than what we've got - as I never seem to have enough time to do enough! It's absolutely not possible to paint a Proper Picture when the Little Bean is about, as quite naturally (and rightly so) she wants a turn, she wants to do a picture, and of course she wants to help Mummy with can imagine it can't you?

So painting is still very much an As-and-When sort of occupation, and I'm beginning to feel that when she begins her little pre-school sessions in September, I might just be able to manage to squeeze a few extra hours in each week while she's there...Lately I am sensing a big urgency to paint more and more, I have Little Voices telling me it is Very Necessary to build up my illustration portfolio to bursting point. And I have to listen to those Little Voices as they are generally right.


Summer is still very much in evidence in this little corner of Yorkshire. The sun has been blazing hot and we have been gifted with stunning blue skies.
Summer to me is an excuse to indulge in certain things.

Things like this:

We had a little baking day the Little One and I, and this was the result of our efforts...the lightest, most scrumptious scones (thanks to Queen Nigella's recipe) ~ onto which we lavished Roddas clotted cream (hastily purchased by the other half on his way home) and generous amounts of strawberry jam.


That's all I can say. :D

As well as nice things to eat, the sunshine has created an explosion of delicious colour in our garden...

Oh I do love this time of year!! Everything is so colourful and alive. Our hanging baskets are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds - we have tiny wild strawberries growing in one and cannot help but pinch them as we pass!

On Monday we decided to celebrate the solstice by having a special picnic tea. We drove out to Fox House and set up our rugs by the little stream that twists and turns, gurgling it's way into the valley. We told the Little One that she could have a late night as a treat and she was delirious with excitement! A picnic, a late night AND a place to paddle!

It was a relief to stand in the cool water, splash about and plop stones into the deep bits. It was still 27 degrees at 7 o'clock...but by then, someone had had just about enough...

There is something so very special about the Summer Solstice...

...and that night, I went to bed with the curtains and the windows wide open. There was a warm breeze blowing, filling the room full of the scents of, grass, and a slightly peppery scent that you only get when it's been really boiling hot. It was still light as I drifted off to sleep.

Now, I'm changing the subject a bit here - this is one of those rambling sorts of posts full of all sorts of things isn't it ~ are you still with me? Well done if you are!
Well, I can finally show you my Pot Holder that I was telling you about last week. As you know, I sussed out that I'd been using the wrong sized hook and after starting again and persevering with a teeny tiny (very fiddly) 2.50 hook, I came up with this:

I created it from a pattern in one of my Japanese crochet's this one here.

It's ever so slightly bigger than the 15cm it says it ought to be...but I don't mind a bit!! I am rather thrilled that I managed to navigate a symbol only pattern in a Japanese book and come up with it at all!

Here's the back:

I'm wondering if to take it camping with me...or is that going a bit too far? ;D

Well, now I've had a rather lengthy chat with you on here, I suppose I'd best get back to my painting! Look, there it is on the table (aka my studio)!
Hopefully if the trees behave themselves and turn out how I want them to, I will be able to share the finished piece with you next week.

Best get cracking!

Have a lovely weekend folks, thanks for dropping by!

Love J x

PS: OOH! Almost forgot - thank you so very much for your excellent and helpful camping tips on the last post ~ please send more if you think of any won't you! x


  1. Oh my goodness gracious me, I so love your potholder. I am glad that you persisted, it's marvellous.
    Take care x

  2. Ooooh, I love your painting!!!
    I am a big fan!
    And the photo's too, beautifull taken!

    Greetz Tamara.

  3. I love your "rambling" posts - they are like an episode of a favourite programme!! I love it out by Fox House by the stream - its great for a paddle. Love your paintings (as usual) and your crochet. xxx

  4. Your words are as beautifully creative as your exhibits! I can smell the air taste the scones and feel the warmth on my skin! I hope that when your little one goes to nursery that they also indulge her creative side,working as I do in a preschool,I know how important this is and it's so magical to see this side of them develop. Thanks for my little virtual trip to your part of the country,Julie x

  5. What a lovely blog. Your painting is beautiful, the scones look scrummy, the pot holder is really colourful and that stream looks so inviting :-) Thanks for sharing it all.
    A x

  6. Little Bean looks so sweet and snug wrapped up there! I know what you mean about painting, it EATS up time like nothing else doesn't it?! I love the wide-eyed expressions on the faces, the trees look great, I'd never have guessed you'd been struggling. xx

  7. Such a beautiful blog post, lots of fab pictures of fruit and flowers and general summery gorgeousness, thank you. The scones made my mouth water... the stream to paddle in made me envious, even though I have the whole of the North Sea on my doorstep... well, not the WHOLE of it of course, but enough for a foot-wetting and much more! We have an incredible lemony gold sun behind the house, and a heavy black sky to the front, which is making such gorgeous contrasts of light and dark,, sun shining on all the various green trees in my neighbours garden across the road, with a backdrop of Lakeland slate grey, incredible.
    By the way, have you heard, and this will make all you young mums laugh, but some American chap has been doing research and come up with the amazing fact that you all have thirty hours of leisure time each week. Don't shoot the messenger, please......

  8. Hi Julia,well were to start?
    I love your illustration,can't see anything wrong with your trees!
    I love your potholder,I'm cluless about crochet diagrams.
    Love your solstice photos too
    jacquie x

  9. love the painting and loved the post - it was a lovely gentle look at a great british summer's day

  10. As always your artwork is inspiring and pleasing to the senses. I do hope the trees co-operate!

    Summer is a delight, isn't it? Fleeting as well, I'm enjoying every minute that I can outdoors and when inside, windows wide open, I don't want to miss a second of it.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  11. Why the arborial disagreement? I think the trees look pretty darn good. Am very interested to see how they change by thenext post... Ax

  12. Lots of inspiration here in this post. Oh I just adore the pot holder. great colors.

  13. I love your new painting - inspired by Glastonbury perhaps!!

    I also love your new pot holder - it looks very intricate .......
    .... and who needs an excuse for a gorgeous cream scone - it is Wimbledon fortnight after all!!!!

    Regards Julia:0)

  14. Loving everything about your post! Thank you for sharing! Your painting is ssssssoooo good! Can't wait to see it finished - although it looks pretty perfect to me as it is! :)

  15. Oh Julia, where to begin! Gorgeous post! Camping scene...absolutely love it! Ah, what a beautiful talent you have! Scones....they look amazingly yummy! I am trying SOOO hard to shift a few pounds so have banned any scrummy treats for a while! Your garden...totally puts mine to shame. I need a couple of weeks of solid sorting out, hopefully I will get it looking decent to enjoy next summer, boo hoo. It's the lovliest feeling having all the windows open and seeing the breeze gently drift in to send you into a restful sleep! Your picnic tea looked amazing, what a gorgeous place! My oh my, your pot holder is fab! I was looking through my books just yesterday and my eyes rested longingly over the pot holders! Rice do some and I have always resisted buying them and when I got that book thought I might tackle them at some point. I have managed the hexagon blankets okay from the patterns. Thought about the flower string scarf at some point. Arrrggghhh so many projects to tackle and so little time! It is so hard with little ones isn't it when trying to do arty and crafty?! Whatever I try to tackle, each one of the bears wants to be involved with! It's often too late in the evening to tackle something when they have all gone to bed. Like you, come september I will have a bit more free time during the day to indulge a bit more...just reminds me though that the bears are growing older and so am I!!!! Have a lovely weekend my friend! xxx

  16. Camping Tip - Rag Rugs from Ikea. Super cheap - only a pound or two. May sound extravagant to take rugs with you but if you have a plasticy ground sheet sewn into your tent it will get puddles on it if it rains (even if you are really careful) + it's cold on bare toes.
    A rug will soak up the puddles and avoid you getting a wet sock from standing in a puddle trying to put your welly on.
    (Unless it's a major lake of a puddle in which case - everything will be wet anyway!)
    The rug can be bunged in the washing machine when you get home and adds a little bit of luxury to your camp home while you are away.

    Jules The Girl Guide Leader!

  17. Me back again with a top camping tip - for the tip minded (remember the Victoria Wood sketch?). All I'm saying is "A Bucket" . Its really not nice trip trapping to the loo in the middle of the night. My sis and one of my friends have actually bought proper camping bucket loos!!! Which are basically buckets with a proper loo seat on. xxx

  18. Not only are your days full of sunshine but full of inspiration too, I love reading your blog, and the picnic place looks delightful, keep painting and have time for yourself as well.

  19. gorgeous crochet....and a fantastic day out

  20. Hello Julia. I do so love your pretty blog and your lovely words. The camping painting is gorgeous and I do know what you mean about those little voices - don't they whisper loudly sometimes? x

  21. Fab painting and crochet - don't worry about time to paint - it will come! Enjoy every minute with little Bean. Mine is 30 and I often look back to her pre-school days when we spent days just roaming the woods and playing in the garden - they grow up all too fast!!

  22. Lovely post Julia, Your watercolour is great as always! That potholder is fab but looks ever so complicated!! Enjoy your week x x x

  23. there's something so special about a little one curled up under a blankie! t.x

  24. Hiya Julia!
    What a lot of beautiful photos!! I love the little story of you going up to Fox House as well, I've never been there... laziness, lack of imagination and no car (not that I want a car - I don't!)

    the camping painting is lovely! Before I read what you said about the trees, I already thought, oh the trees are lovely! :D So there was no need to worry!

    You have to savour every moment with your Little Bean because too soon will she grow up. You do right to involve her in painting, I wish my mum had been a cool mum like you!! :D

    Joey xx

  25. Oh I forgot to say, the pot holder is gorgeous!! Will you use it as a potholder?? Do you hold many pots? I would have no need for a pot holder but a great need for a lovely colourful thing to hang on my kitchen wall!!

    Oh and those scones with the clotted cream look divine!!! (slobber!)
    Joey xx


Hello, and thank you for visiting my Blog today. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...