Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow, yarn and other such ramblings

PicMonkey Collage2

There's been a spot of colourful hooky going on in these parts.

After a bit of pootling on Pinterest and various and delightful craft blogs, I discovered a newish craze for granny square blankets emerging.  Aha! I thought; I could do with one of those very things for my own sweet bed!  However, Christmas was upon us, and I had neither the time nor inclination to contemplate a new blanket project, so I filed the idea away for future reference...fast forward to January, and I eventually caved in and bought a new stash of Stylecraft Special DK wool to set about making a granny square blanket of my very own.  My heart had been well and truly taken the moment I cast my eyes upon this beautiful blanket here although there are many fine specimens to be found upon the interweb as I'm sure you will discover.

I cannot lie to you, I was so smitten with Sandra's colourway that I ordered pretty much the same shades of wool that she had used for her blanket.  And it's coming on a treat; its a fine way to pass a happy hour on a winters eve, curled up on the sofa watching Miranda, gigglesnorting like billy-o and knocking up a few squares in deliciously vintage coloured yarn.

I'm using the join-as-you-go method, fiddly as heck, but saving me a lot of sewing at the end which can be a tad time consuming to say the least.

During the day, I've been working my little socks off on some new pieces of art for my solo exhibition...would you like a peek?  You would?  Here you are then:

The Coastguard Cottages

Beside the Waves

I also have a plan to create some coastal inspired characters on some small box canvases, with an element of collage and stamped text about them.  I'm mighty excited by this sudden flurry of inspiration and I'm making sure I write down lots of notes about these ideas in my book, should they happen to dissolve and disappear from my busy little head forever.

After a colourful week, our world suddenly turned very grey and white.  The snow finally came to our little corner of the world and we decided that we would go out and enjoy ourselves enormously.

There was sledging and snowman making, the obligatory snowball fights and wanderings down the back garden to see the river which had turned into a magical winter wonderland...

I love the sculptural shapes of the branches and seed heads, and that glorious blue sky!

As I work, I see my little feathered friends making more frequent visits to the feeder (which is hung a couple of feet away from my window).  I love to watch them, and wonder how something so small can survive such terribly cold nights...

Another feathered soul paid us a visit too...can you spot him?  He's a regular visitor, and can often be seen stooping in the shallows, waiting to catch a plump trout for his lunch.

Back inside after our snowy meanderings, hot chocolate of the best kind, topped with the squirtiest of cream and tiniest of marshmallows is consumed and jammies are put on.  It's only 3 o'clock in the afternoon, but it's a snow day from school and there's no need to be going out again; may as well just cosy up indoors and do a spot of painting with C...

...and on a whim, I dug out some papier mache style hearts and painted a whimsical little Valentine's scene.  These hearts are secretly magnets, but would look rather dandy in a nice box frame I think.

So my week is only just begun, but already it is filled with the simplest and nicest of things.  And if it needed icing on the cake, it came in the form of an email from my lovely agent, who wrote to tell me that three pieces of my artwork have been accepted for licensing by a client, and therefore shall become cards or suchlike.  I am delirious with delight, because this is another one of my dreams come true.

And dreams do come true you know, if you believe they will.

I'll see you again soon, have a wonderful week and thank you for coming to see me today.

Love J x


  1. Love the new pictures. I'm not on Pinterest but I do love looking at everybody's boards, trouble is you find too many things you want to make and not enough hours in the day. I've also copied one of Sandra's blankets, the giant granny square, they are lovely aren't they. Sue

  2. A lovely post Julia, your recent paintings are really beautiful, no wonder you've been snapped up by a licensing company! Of course the ones that look like St Ives are my favourite, so lovely to look at these on this very cold January day!
    Jess x

  3. Oooh, lovely crochet! I'm working on a similar project :-)

  4. happy for you Julia, your work is lovely! Heather x

  5. Hi Julia,

    Yes, I love the blue sky behind the snow too. It is so lovely to see the snow photos from the other side of the planet.

    Great to see you are steaming ahead with your painting. I tried to get back in to the studio (read 'shed') yesterday, but it was thunder and lightning and the dog was going crazy jumping all over me, I gave up.

    Congratulations on the licensing.


  6. I love your little hearts. Yes fab in a frame. Can you email me when you have time, I want to ask you about the cost of a small commission. To paint a picture of the cottage I am moving into. I love your style and it would really suit the cottage.

    Thank you.


  7. Beautiful photography and I love the valentine heart you painted.

  8. Just love your new paintings, and that sweet little heart too.
    And Sandra's blanket colourway is beautiful... like you, I think I may just copy it! Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all!

  9. Brilliant! I love the new paintings. That Valentine's heart is the best!
    Congratulations and all the best this year!

  10. Hi Julia! I love your winter photos, crochet and painting! You have so lovely, sweet imagination and beautiful colours in your works! x Teje

  11. Love your pictures and delightful artwork, that one with the windbreaks especially. Fond memories of holidays with windbreaks! Love your blanket and thanks for the shout out for mine too :-)

    S x

  12. Thank you so much Sandra, your blog is a huge inspiration - thank you for sharing your lovely creations :) x x x

  13. I love the coastguard cottages - looked at it for ages!

  14. Pati from London9 February 2013 at 21:33

    Hi Julia! you have chosen a very nice palette of colours in both your blanket and your lovely piaintings! I wish I had a bit more time to do crochet but am in the middle of Uni essay writing and I hardly have a minute. Have a lovely weekend,
    Pati x

  15. Lovely photos and I personally appreciate your reminder about dreams coming true - they do don't they? :) Sometimes we forget when it seems that nothing is happening... if we press on and keep picking up our hook, our paintbrush, our pencils and continue to be creative the world will eventually see what we have to share. Sometimes so much later or earlier than we could think or imagine :). Congratulations on your newest licensing! That's wonderful! :) Happy creating and thank you again! ~Dawn


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