Friday, 9 July 2010

Salt Breezes and Other Stories


This has been a funny old week - one of restless mind (yes, again) which was partially soothed by a nice morning making Rocky Road but followed by a general unsettled~ness which began with a very tiny need to be by the sea, and which turned into a bigger and bigger one as the week drew on.

Saturday promised to be a fine day, and without much persuading we gathered ourselves, buckets, spades, shrimping nets and hefty picnic and drove off pronto to the east coast, to Filey, where we set up camp on the vast sandy beach and enjoyed a warm and happy day which we finished off with delicious salt and vinegary fish and chips on a bench overlooking the Brigg.

I'm so happy by the sea, I can hardly put it into words. Its all the simple things like the wonderful scent of the salty sea breezes, the fresh and tangy air, the views, the light heartedness that inevitably comes from being by the coast...There are other little moments too, like that divine feeling of soft white sand under your feet, and cool crystal waves lapping about your ankles as a seagull cries overhead...

It was a tonic, but alas we had to drive home that evening as the following day there was a rather Important Job to be done.

We were off to buy our tent!

Well, at long last we have brought it home, along with a few other goodies such as a little stove and cooking set...and you probably want a peep at it don't you? Oh - well alright then!! Here you go!
This is our new portable home!! Next weekend it will be coming with us to the Cotswolds for its first outing. We are having a trial run (a sensible thing to do we've been told) and are going to put it up in my parents back garden first, to familiarise ourselves with it, and then probably go loopy with excitement and jump about in it a bit, like you do!

We are all looking forward to the adventures we are no doubt going to have, and I will try my hardest to remember to squeeze the camera in the car somewhere and take lots of pictures.

So what else has been going on here?

Well, some art work has been done - here are a couple of line drawings that I did and rendered with greyscale watercolour. These sorts of drawings are fairly quick to do and great fun, it's almost like messing about and not 'proper' drawing at all, the imagination can go wild!

This one above looks a bit like me, going wild in the kitchen on baking day...!
...and this one was inspired by my two little nephews, I think they're monster hunting or something boyish that boys generally do when equiped with torches and much mischief!

The picture at the bottom of this post is from my sketch book, and was done using watercolour and inks. It was just something I did for fun, but overall I'm liking the effect of ink and watercolour together, and the rather scratchy way I've edged it all. I generally work with acrylic paints and so it's nice to experiment with new stuff to see what works (and what doesn't) and move away from what's familiar. I think I'll be making some new pictures with the ink in future!

Well, someone Small is in the sandpit, the sun is shining and I can feel a spot of crochet coming on, a nice and relaxing pursuit for as long as I can get away with it methinks!!

I hope you all have a nice weekend, we are off to my Mum's village tomorrow for the yearly Carnival, I just hope the weather holds!

Til next time, much love and thanks for visiting me today!
J x


  1. Your sketch book must be an amazing place! As for me I cannot draw for tuppence!! LOL!! You are a very talented lady! Cx

  2. Hi Julia, your drawings are wonderful! I love to try different media but usually come back to watercolour each time. I'm with you on the sea-side thing, I just LOVE the smell and gazing out to sea feels so calming doesn't it? We're off to Devon soon so I can get recharged!xx

  3. Hi Julia! It's been a funny old week here at my end too......although I think it's the manic end to term and the impending dread of the holidays! I am trying very hard to keep the feelings of restlessnes under control. We are due to go to cornwall for a week as soon as term ends, and whilst I am really looking forward to going, I know, coming back will send me into a total fizz of constant dreaming and...well....complete depression!!!!!!

    Yay on getting the tent!!!!! Well done! We are only at the 'agree it's a good idea to get one' stage and i'm not sure whether one will ever get bought this year! Do make sure you find the space to put your camera in to get some nice pics of your expedition!!!

    I am in awe of your talent Julia! You are just so wonderful. Your paintings are so beautiful....I hope you manage to reach your dream of seeing them in print. I would be the first person to buy one!

    Rocky Roads! The boys go crazy for them. I try really hard not to make them too often as I like them too (although they are usually scoffed very fast in our household!).

    Well, my lovely, enjoy the rest of your day in the garden and with your hook and I hope the sun shines brightly for you this weekend!

    Take care my friend
    much love Vanessa xxxx

  4. Ooh Julia, I'm very excited for you and your tent is fabby. Now is that a Vango Icarus by any chance? We bought the Sangari. Did you consider a canopy? They mean you don't have to be putting your things in and out of the tent if it's showery and really helps with the wind. I really recommend one! I know though that it's an extra expense and I don't suppose you NEED one.
    Loving your drawings and I so agree with you about the sea. I love it when it's wild and stormy, makes me think romantic thoughts about lighthouses!
    Have a lovely weekend Mrs!

  5. Love your artwork Julia. Happy camping.
    A x

  6. Oh that picture you think looks like you in the kitchen is the SPIT of SmallerBean. Truly, it is.

    I love the watercolour/ink combo, possibly my favourite. And all your work this week is very pleasing to look at indeed.

    Please don't jump up and down with happiness IN the tent- wait until you're outside. Have a fab time trying it out and I hope it has a little trip to the sea very soon. Ax

  7. I am inspired to be here again Julia! Every year I yearn to visit the seaside but it never happens!!! Your painting and drawing are wonderful. I like the 'frantic in the kitchen' one. I look forward to hearing about your tent adventures. Have a lovely weekend. x

  8. Tent looks great Julia. I'm sure you'll have lots of enjoyable times with it!!
    As always your drawings are wonderful.
    Enjoy the rest of your day, hope you get lots of crochet done. )
    Vivienne x

    P.S. Tried your lemon shortbread, it was yum!!

  9. Ooh, I LOVE camping! we go regularly, it's just so exciting, I find it almost childlike to be on an adventure in a tent! Completely understand what you mean about the sea. I've always lived by the sea & feel lost when I go too far away from it.

    Wonderful art work...very envious of your amazing talent! x

  10. Ooh, I LOVE camping! we go regularly, it's just so exciting, I find it almost childlike to be on an adventure in a tent! Completely understand what you mean about the sea. I've always lived by the sea & feel lost when I go too far away from it.

    Wonderful art work...very envious of your amazing talent! x

  11. Were off to make a visit to Filey next month.Cannot wait to get my mitts on some lovely fish & chips.

    Loving the new drawings.

    Just noticed where you live, we are coming to paddle in the stream at Fox houses this weekend.

    Vanessa x

  12. Hiya Julia!
    I love the orange dinosaur! So bright and happy! :D And wow, just being able to up and go to the seaside like that, I'm very jealous indeed! Sounds like you had a lovely time. The monotone drawings you've done look very proper to me! When is your book coming out?? ;-)

    Best wishes
    Joey x

  13. Well, it seems a bit like overload to carry on praising you for your artwork, and I cannot but add my own thoughts to those already heaped on you. The old lady I love, have a thing about dragons so that it my favourite. But I love the simplicity almost of the grey ones, such a contrast, free and easy looking as opposed to colouring within the lines of the bottom one. I envy you your talent too, but then we all have a talent somewhere, in something.
    And I was with you on that beach with the smells and all.. fish and chips don't taste the same away from the sea!

  14. I love the sketches Julia - the little folk always have such character. Enjoy the camping and do show and tell the crochet too!

  15. What gorgeous doodles, oh how i wish i could draw and paint like that! Hope you have fun in your tent.

  16. Good luck in your tent, an exciting adventure?
    I love your work, you are very talented.

  17. You are going to have so much fun in that tent - Heres to lots of fun and memories!!!

    Love the pictures.

    Are you going to be at craft candy at the weekend? - or will you already be in your tent?

    Mmm the sea - get what you mean.. We are on countdown for Cornwall 4 weeks to go, whoop - whoop!!


  18. Hi Julia

    I totally understand your "need" to be by the sea. I too feel the same, I often long to be on the South Devon Coast or in Helford Cornwall. I really hope to move to the South Hams one day to be closer to the sea. We are not that far from Weston S Mare but it just doesn't do it for me there...Our closest pretty beach is Lyme Regis 1h20 away. Your new tent looks roomy, I look forward to hearing all about your stay in the Cotswolds.Your are such a brilliant artist, I love the facial expressions of your latest characters, especially the one baking ;-)
    Take care and have a great weekend
    Isabelle x

  19. Lovely lovely art work as usual - I would love to be able to paint. We have a tent very similar to that one (we curently have 5 tents!!! ranging from "the love nest" for 2 to "the millenium dome" for a 2 week stint! We call the tent like yours "something for the weekend"!!). Another top tip is to put a seperate groundsheet underneath your tent (I think they have started selling these now calling the "footprints". After the last 3 years of putting muddy tents away, we have found it so much better to have a seperate muddy groundsheet that can be bundled into a bin bag to be washed at home. As well as the cool camping guides, I also use loads. The feedback provided by campers on here has been invaluable when choosing sites. Good luck in the Cotswolds, I sahll cross my fingers for a dry (and still!) week for you. xxxx

  20. Your pictures are great , i love the expressions on their faces!!! Nice tent but where is the bath and the bed!!!!! not a camping type either! x x

  21. I would love to wander through your sketch book, a wonderful adventure I think. Don't forget to wave at a slightly scatty blogger on your cotswold expedition, I'll keep an eye out for you!
    We camped this weekend with friends in our wood, we were clay oven building, it was sooooo much fun, enjoy your hols! hugs Debs xx

  22. Hello Julia. You definitely don't need to explain that need for the sea to me - I understand it with all my heart. Hopefully you will be able to combine the camping with seaside venues. Love your latest drawings. You captured the mischieviousness of little boys so perfectly. x

  23. Wow you have so many comments on here!
    I have just come back from a camping trip and i dont think there is a better way to totally relax then go camping in the english country side!
    Nice choice of tent too :D
    Im glad i stumbled upon your blog

  24. Hi Julia, and thanks for dropping by at Laburnum Cottage... I have most of Rosamund Pilchers books, haven't re-read them in years, but your mention of them has me reaching for one to read after finishing my current read, 'What Alice Forgot' by Liane Moriarty, about a woman who has a fall, bangs her head, comes to and has lost a whole decade, and what she thought was going to be her forever perfect life turns out not to be. By the way, as you love Cornish settings for your summer reading, have you read THE MEMORY GARDEN by RACHEL HORE? Set in Lamorna Cove and a brilliant story.

  25. Top tips for rainy day camping!

    Our first trip was a very rainy one (we went to Matlock and the lady didnt expect us to turn up, but we are very hardy!!). I always think if you prepare for rain - anything else is a bonus. I suggest wellies, waterproof trousers and wine! A pack of playing cards, and whatever will ocupy the weeny one. We always took a big box of duplo (or lego as they got older, a colouring book would be good too). I still keep all of our clothing in the car (don't want them getting wet). Kids sleep incredibly well when camping - ask anyone. The rain might keep you awake a bit, but your little one will be sleeping soundly!! Camping is much better when the weather is hot and sunny, but we have had some great weeks when the weather has not been so good. Just put all illusions of "Glamping" out of your mind!!!
    Also, take some some wheelie bin bags to pack your tent in the car should you have to pack away a wet tent. xxxxx


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