Friday, 23 July 2010

I Heart Camping...and Crochet!

Hello there!

Remember last week I tormented you with a picture of some tiny granny squares? Well, here is my little reveal!! This is what those teeny tiny grannies became...can you guess what it is yet from the picture above?

Did you guess right? It's a rather pretty little table mat! What do you think of it? I'm very pleased with it, those bright squares and the picot edging makes me quite deliriously happy, and the Little One has already asked if she can have it for her very can guess what the answer to that was of course!

So! What else did I have to tell you this week...hmm, let me think. Ah yes, as if I could forget!! Our first foray into the world of camping!
Oh people, I have to tell you I am absolutely, completely and ridunculously hooked.

Here we are, all pitched up and oooooooooh it was so exciting!

We arrived in Oxfordshire under warm blue skies, the day looked promising and the weather held as we pitched out tent. Of course, the instructions said it would take about 10 minutes, in reality it took about an hour...and a half... ;)

Summer was blooming in abundance, wild flowers bobbed their cheerfully bright heads at us and the landscape unfolded as far as the eye could see into a patchwork of fields the colour of clotted cream fudge and faded limes.

As soon as the tent was pitched, an ominously dark grey cloud floated over and dispatched a large rainstorm onto us. We didn't care, we were cosy in out tent boiling a kettle for our first cup of camping tea and giggled outrageously at how much fun it all was!

Our friends arrived and over the weekend we visited some gorgeous little villages. Nature seemed to be wearing her prettiest dresses as everywhere we looked were colourful feasts for the eyes...

...hanging baskets and window boxes burst at the seams with vibrant colour, every village was festooned with tall hollyhocks that swayed gently in warm breezes, in wonderful shades of darkest burgundy to the softest pink tinged with lemon. The wild flowers were in competition, putting on their own gloriously technicolour show in hedgerows and fields and glades!

We took a trip to Oxford, so much beautiful architecture, and bustling with 100 languages of visiting students and tourists...
...I loved Oxford, I loved the atmosphere of it and the delicious little shops, but I was glad to come away to the serenity of Woodstock where there was a photo opportunity around every corner!
We also visited Burford, I am completely taken with this little corner of our country folks, it is chocolate box perfect in every way, gentle on the eyes and the soul and a pleasure to visit.

We found gorgeous little shops like this one above, boutiques and delicatessens housed in age old tipsy buildings with dark beams running higgledy-piggledy across the much to see, Iwas bursting with delight at everything we found!

The buildings in the villages are built from that famous golden stone that seems to glow with a warmth even on a grey day. They are enhanced by lavender frothing onto the pavements, geraniums bobbing their scarlet heads from terracotta pots and tiny windows that lean crazily at odd angles under swags of gauzy lilac wisteria.

Back at camp, some of the simple moments were the best ~ hot coffee and freshly baked pain au chocolat from the tiny camp store made a perfect breakfast...

...and in the evening, we told ghost stories as we sipped fizzy rose wine. As twilight cast its luminous blue glow over us a japanese lantern was cast off from the opposite field with much ooohing and aahhhing. We watched silently as the flickering amber lantern made its way up toward the first twinkling stars of the night, it was a lovely moment.

So, I think you can probably gather that we had a good old time of it. We were lucky with the weather and after that first afternoon downpour it only showered during the night.

I have to say, I cannot wait to go again!

I think that's about it for today, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and before I go, there is just one last thing I would like to share with you all, and that is I'm having a bit of a sale at my website - and if you fancy having a nosey, you can see more here:

Thanks for stopping by today, and for all your lovely comments that you leave for me. I love hearing from you so if this is your first visit, it would be lovely of you to say 'hello' as it means I will be able to come and find you and your blog (if I haven't already!)

Sending love to you all for a delicious weekend!

Much love
J x


  1. Hello Julia,

    I have made tablemats too, from little granny squares done in four ply with a fine hook, in just two shades and was really pleased with the outcome. Actually, if I am to be honest, I didn't start out to make tablemats, I just had small amounts of the wool, made tiny squares and when the wool ran out, then decided what to do! I had some old quilted placemats which were a bit sad, faded and raggedy in places, so cut them up, and used them as inners so they can be used for warm plates. Did the same with some vintage fabrics recently.
    Would love to buy your 'Morning Light' but sadly husband may be without job in a months' time as his company are making one in three redundant, so it's a tense time and not one for fripperies. Sadly. But very best of luck with it all x

  2. Julia, what a lovely trip through English villages that was. I am an "ex-pat" and those photos are exactly how I think of home...bursting with colour and the buildings a little tipsy and uneven....I lived in Windsor...where that very famous crooked house I know tipsy!!! Thanks for the fabulous visit!!! :)

  3. Hi Julia
    Well I have just taken a break from my sewing to read your delightful tale of camping, you make it sound idyllic and those lovely cotswold houses and shops!Did you resist? Love your photos and of course your lovely placemat.

  4. Your table mat is gorgeous, I love the colours, and so many beautiful pics of your camping adventure. The flowers are truly stunning how wonderful xxxx

  5. Really love your crocheted mat and would like to thank you for sharing your camping holiday with us. We used to do a lot of camping while our family were little and it brought back a lot of very happy memories for me.
    Thanks again,
    A x

  6. What a pleasure it is to visit your site. The colors in that tablemat are splendid...wonderful balance, and that edging just frames the squares perfectly.

    Thank you for those photos of Oxford et al. It's been a while since I have been to the UK and I do miss walking around the beautiful old streets and visiting friends' gardens. Your pictures gave me a bit of a vacation!

    Best wishes.

  7. Very glad you enjoyed yourself after all that build-up! Beautiful photos too! Have a great weekend xx

  8. Oh Julia,it sounds like an idyllic little trip,what an adventure for your little one. Just a little idea if you've not already thought of it but we took little solar lights with us when we camped with little ones,the dark is so very dark when there's no street lights,we have some pretty fairy solar lights well take if my family are ever tempted to camp again. I love Reading your ramblings I'm sure you could not only illustrate books but also write them with your gift of words! Have a lovely weekend,Julie x

  9. gorgeous teeny tiny crochet. love it x

  10. I love your table mat!!! You will have to make one for the little one as a dolls blanket! You have made camping sound wonderful and do-able! I love reading your blog Julia. You have such away with words and your enthusiasm bubbles through! Have a lovely weekend. x

  11. Yay for camping!!
    So glad it turned out how you dreamed it would be!

  12. You make camping sound so lovely, I'm glad you enjoyed the trip - thanks for sharing.

    What a sweet little table mat - great colours. x

  13. The camping trip seemed to go really well, love all the girly detail!

    Love the photos of Woodstock, I used to have a branch there, it was always one of my favourite places.

    Vanessa x

  14. Hi there. I found you via your comments on Attic 24s blog! I notice you live near the Peak District. I live in the High Peak area. How about that!! Loving your crochet. Very inspiring. Seems everyone is goign camping at the moment. Looks like a lot of fun. Hope to visit again soon. xx

  15. I knew you would love it - We are just back fro a few days away in the tent - soooooooo relaxing. xxxxx
    PS forgot to tell you THE MOST IMPORTANT camping tip. A wine box is much more practical than a bottle for drinking in a field - it doesnt fall over and you can use it as a little table for your glass!!! I should write a book!!!

  16. Hi Julia, love your crochet pretty.
    Your camping trip looks amazing.The cornflowers and poppies have to be my favourite image .Just love it .
    Well I may even be persuaded to give camping a try now :0)
    Jacquie x

  17. Hello Julia,
    Oxford is a beautiful city and not too far from me and Burford.
    We are holidaying at home so may take a few day trips out.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photo's.x

  18. Julia your little tablemat looks soooo gorgeous and cheery!
    Your camping trip looks like it was a lot of fun (love that red kettle on your little blue burner) and the sights of the English villages in full bloom are beautiful.
    Jacky xox

  19. so glad you had a great camping experience - the weather always helps - love the mat - Vannessa will like it too I'm sure

  20. so glad you enjoyed your camp trip, we are off in Connievan next week for a whole WEEK and am so excited!!

    Been oohing and ahhing over your paintings Julia, I am still very much in love with the daffodils and bunting picture...sadly it is out of my price range (even in the sale) do you ever plan to make a print????? I would love it if you did (erm, take that as a huge hint)

    lots of love to you, need to go see to shouting babe
    ps your table mat is glorious. i could see it expanded and made into a blankie :o)xxxxxxxxxxx


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