Thursday, 20 January 2011

Paint, Crochet and Cake


Today is Ta-Dah day, of the painty kind.  I don't know if you will remember as far back as November, but I began a painting which I was going to call Heading for Home and it didn't see the light of day again because life became very busy because of Christmas and all things related.

Today, after a long, long absence I retrieved it from it's unplanned hibernation, stuck Jack Johnson on the stereo, made a nice cup of green lemon tea and slowly...oh so slowly, sank back into that happy place of mine that I haven't been to in a long while.
It felt very, very good to pick up the paintbrushes again, to daub them in soft acrylic paint, to layer and draw into the have a random idea which finalised the whole thing...and then hear the new name of the painting from somewhere very quiet deep inside emerge:  And it was 'Home'.  Just that.  Plain and simple.

I am very contented with how this one has turned out.  I like the warm, peaceful ambience of it, and the colours (which are quite a departure from my usual colourful palette).  I like the migrating birds, you can almost hear them calling in that far off way that you occasionally hear - it's lonely and wonderful all at once.
I know this is an Autumnal scene, and at the moment I am feeling the first optimistic sensations of Spring being around the I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you if you are also looking very much forward rather than back.

(getting there...pausing for a very necessary tea break at this point)

This painting will soon be available to buy on my website - and as a print too, and I will keep you posted as and when.

Well...since my last post I have been doing a bit more hooky stuff of an evening, working on my long standing Rainbow Ripple blanket.  And I've also been busy ordering some new wool for a New Project...I wonder if you can guess what that might be?  Aha!! You ought to, you are responsible for it coming about if I'm honest - I noticed that quite a few of you who kindly posted comments left very encouraging messages about my Summer Shawl idea.  It doesn't take much persuading to get me started on something exciting and woolly, so for now let me say, it is most definately on the cards and something I will be sharing with you soon.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the Small Blanket I did, and silly old me forgot to post this pic on the last post!  OOooops!

Just look at that yummy stripy lovliness people!! Isn't it zingy?  Just looking at it makes me feel like getting hooky again, right now, right this minute!
But I have more pressing matters to attend to.

I need to go and eat one of these:

Me and the Little One baked these scrumptious chocolate brownies a couple of days ago.  Now I must admit, no, they are not strictly part of the GL way of eating as they contain flour and sugar etc; but I do think that one of life's pleasures is allowing ourselves a good treat here and there.

For the most part, my diet is very good - better now than it has been in years, but I cannot turn my nose up at organic chocolate brownies, made from good ingredients in our own little home.

Well, would you?

It's all about balance - and just before I go, I want to try and answer a question a few people have asked me since my last post.  It's the one about time, and creating more of it for yourself in a busy, full life.

A simple answer to this is to think carefully about how you spend your time.  Count up how many hours you veg out in front of the TV in an evening, how many hours you spend online, how many hours you devote to doing activities that don't really fulfill you etc.  Then make the necessary changes: Par down your TV and internet time (seriously, get an alarm or something to remind you to turn it off), cancel things you don't enjoy, stop going running if you hate it, and use that same time to do something you do enjoy!  It sounds ridiculously simple and that's because it is.  We each of us have 24 hours a day to play with - and it really is up to us how we do that :)

I hope your day is a blue sky one, full of sunshine ~ thanks for popping in.

See you soon,
Julia x


  1. Your painting is gorgeous and "Home" is just perfect! the chocolate brownie looks good too!!!

  2. I really love your latest creation Julia and I hope you don't mind but I really did enjoy my piece of Chocolate brownie with my cuppa :-)
    A x

  3. Love Love Love your new painting!!!!!

  4. Wow, that has turned out beautifully, it's name is very apt.It has such a cosy welcoming feel to it; the light from the cottage welcoming you back in the last of the sun, it's a very calming picture I love it.
    Thos brownies look divine I wouldn't resist either!
    Kandi x

  5. Your painting is exquisite Julia and I love the title, just perfect. I like the idea of rainbow happy colours all knotted by crochet toghether to make somethng beautifully functional like your blanket. And as for the brownies...go for it, it's true it's all about balance xox

  6. Congrats on having such a fulfilling day..the results speak for themselves!!
    Agreed... quality"me"time is an important thing in todays funny old world!!

  7. Oooooh love the new painting. Your changes in how you spend your time have surely paid off. Yumm at the brownies too. They look delicious. I have been using a lot of recipes from the Good Food website this week. Really good. I'll have to blog about it. Haha... some time. x

  8. Julia, what a stunning painting - so restful to look at, almost wistful to me, and I do love hearing artists working their mojo! For me, the formation of birds at the top, and the frame of hogweed at the bottom really make it sing, one's eye bounces between the two, bringing all the elements together. Can you tell, I love it?!

    Those brownies are enough to make me fall off the January wagon. Again!xx

  9. Julia I love your painting, especially the seed heads in the foregound they give so much depth. Home is the perfect title. Those brownies look delicous too yum scrum.
    Jo x

  10. Hello Julia I loved your post today - the new painting is sooo lovely, I really like the rolling landscape feel and the flock of soft white sheep and the little home - just gorgeous. Loved your colourful crochet and yummy chocolate brownies too mmmm! Glad you are finding more time for the things you really want to do - it's good to take stock like that and tweak things a bit to improve your life. Enjoy your weekend. Helen x

  11. Lovely new painting, and very delicious brownies...not sure I would find the self-control button with those.

    I find the computer and internet my biggest time waster, and I do resort to using an alarm .... sometimes when I think "right, a half hour sorting papers" or whatever. It works!

    Hope you've had a lovely week!

  12. A stunning blue sky day here - we even found time for a short walk in the sunshine. I love your new picture - so clever - well done you!

  13. A very 'atmospheric' painting when you mentioned it last year I was looking forward to seeing it. Well done.

  14. Oh the painting is utterly lovely, I am so impressed. Clever you....

    & the brownies look scrumptious!


  15. I love the sky in your new painting. So soft and pretty.I'd dearly love one of those browines too. They look scrummy!

  16. Hi Julia,
    Love your latest piece....really rather beautiful and calming. I do so envy your gorgeous artistic talent!

    I cannot wait to see your ripple blanket in all its glory, and as for the shawl.....ooooooh scrummy idea! I bought a crocheted shawl about a year and a half ago from H&M. I thought it was the strangest place to find it, but it was made using thick yarn in shades of cream and green/blue. I love it! I used it all summer when I would wake early before all the bears got up and sit outside with a steaming hot cuppa watching the sun already bright in the sky. It was heaven, and I long for those days again. My favourite film is 'Chocolat', and juliette Binoche and she has the most gorgeous vintage shawl in that which I lust after every time I see it! Long live the shawl....... completely underrated!

    Glad to hear your de-cluttering is going well. I too have been trying to sort out my little cramped abode, getting rid of piles of paper and magazines that accumulate. It is such a lovely feeling to feel like you have achieved something and it really helps to clear the head!

    Those brownies look scrummy. Very, very tempting indeed!

    Have a super day and weekend!

    Much love

    Vanessa xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  17. Maybe it's a sign of getting older, of being selfish, or of finally accepting who I am, what makes me happy and getting rid of the guilt for being like this but... these days I only ever do things which make me smile, feel happy, contented. I also have the luxury of no children, nobody but Myself and Himself to consider, no work, no pressures other than making sure we stay in the black on a third of our previous income, and really, that's not much pressure at all. Most friends think I worry a lot about my health, which isn't brilliant but I do need to take care of it, but the main thing is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that physically I am never going to get any better, but slowly, progressively older and physically weaker, and once you have accepted that, worked with it, life is so much easier.
    I LOVE your painting, but no surprise there really!

  18. Hi Julia...I loved just to sit and look at the detail on your new painting. I love the way that ribbon of road runs across the whole painting and the farmer and his sheep are contained within it. I like the dull light and the sombre greens and ambers...exactly like one of those days that are supremely comfortable outside or cosy inside. You are a very specially talented artist..thank you for sharing your work and the process of its making with us.

  19. Hi Julia! I love your painting! Those warm colours are exactly my colours with 'sky colours' (blue and white)! The Home painting is so beautiful - I enjoy every part of it, and the thought of sweet sheeps returning home! Thank you for showing your work table - would be nice to see more the colours and tools you use when you paint!
    I'm very happy you decided to begin your dream blanket!
    Small happy colour blanket is so sweet - like those delicious brownies - could you send some!
    Have a lovely weekend! xxx Teje

  20. Hi Julia, your latest painting is so lovely,I really ,really like it :0)
    Your colourful crochet is stunning too , can't wait to see your next project .

  21. That is a really uplifting painting Julia, I can almost hear the sheep baaaaing!!(not sure that is a real word but who cares). I totally agree about the time thing, we all have the same 24hours. One other thing I also find useful is the good old list..nothing better to focus your time and such bliss when you can tick something off. Enjoy your weekend,;0)
    Jane x

  22. Hi Julia,
    Beautiful work and chocolate brownies!
    M x

  23. Its so great to see you so absorbed in the painting process.

    I havent had a lot of time to do that lately (my fault, procrastinating), and I miss that 'place' where you really enter in to it and get lost.

    Those brownies look positively dangerous ! (but gorgeous)



  24. Oh what a wonderful post! Your painting is so soothing and lovely to look at. It's such a treat to see and to catch a glimpse of the painting process in action.

    I've just nipped over to Youtube and popped a Jack Johnson track on whilst I'm writing this!

  25. Hi Julia...I love this one makes me yearn for spring...and running through the hills....then to sit down and eat those scrumptious brownies..!!EnJoy YoUr DaY..!

  26. oooooh i love the flock of sheep on the wavy road going up the hill. i always want to jump inside your paintings and visit that charming little world.
    the brownies look totally scrumptious! mmmmmmmmmmmm

    i have blogged about my first adventures in crochet today, i really want to give it a go this year. i have come to have another look at your lovely tutorials, particularly the hearts.
    many thanks for all the inspiration you share dear one ♥ it is such a help to newby's like myself.

    wishing you a magical tuesday xxx


  27. "Home" I love every thing about it!


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