Thursday 4 March 2010

Simple Things

Hello there! Is the sun shining on you today? From the 1st of March, Yorkshire turned a new leaf weather wise - well, this little corner of the county seemed to anyhow - and we have been basking in sun filled days with high, white cotton wool clouds scudding gently across an impossibly blue sky. Ahhh, we are hoping this is a taste of what is to come, and isn't the sun warm already? Just around lunchtime today as I stood in the back garden, it was just warm enough to feel upon the skin which filled me with a huge sense of optimism I can tell you!

Little things are what keep me afloat - like this jam jar of buttery yellow daffodils. I stopped at the lovely little florist/gift shop 'Hacketts' in nearby Penistone earlier this week and was rewarded with 3 generous bunches for just a couple of pounds. They have filled two jam jars in an abundant manner and are showing off all over the dining table and kitchen windowsill! But aren't they glorious?

Another flowery thing to fill me with delight this week, was the sudden opening of these darling irises, which never cease to astonish me each year that they appear. I love their colours, the blue is quite stunning and such a gift after all that gloomy weather! We have been teased for several weeks by their juicy green buds that didn't seem to do anything, until one day I happened to glance out of the window and 'voila!' there they were!!

And in our kitchen, on our sunny windowsill, the seeds our Little Daughter planted just a few weeks ago are growing in their propagator home at an alarming rate!

These are her dwarf peas, their neighbours, minature cucumbers (La Diva from Sarah Raven should you be curious or tempted to sow your own) are competing height wise, as are the munchkin pumpkins...and we still have seeds to sow!! Where are we going to put them? ( I do wonder out loud, and frequently as it goes), as we have nothing resembling a greenhouse and it is but early March - but I think in a couple of weeks time, these green babies will be taking over the kitchen so I need to get my thinking hat on, regarding a halfway house type of spot for them to go to when they outgrow their current abode!

But all will be resolved, I don't doubt it - most likely over a cup of tea and a nice bit of cake. Oh yes, we've been at it again. Baking. This time: Chocolate brownies crammed full of walnuts and pecans...

It is getting to the point where the Little Baker is demanding we make something every day, which is all well and good but Im running out of tins and slowly getting fatter. Im also out of butter until I visit the next village to do a spot of shopping and so to placate her we had a very messy finger painting session yesterday, instead.

And, Ive been doing a bit of painting myself! I finally found some time to make a start upon my next piece after a rather busy time of it doing lots of other things. Ive been heartily inspired by spring flowers of late and felt I must paint a picture which included a cheery jug of daffs - yet I also had a whim to do a bit of a coastal scene too...doodles and sketches followed and Ive set to work...would you like a peek? Its a work in progress with far to go as yet...but I don't mind showing you how its looking...! Would you like to see it?

Oh, alright then, here you go!

Ive not got a name for the painting yet, but for some reason it had to have a blackbird in it. As I progress, the blackbird will look as if he's spotted something tasty to eat - at the moment Im pondering what that might be! So, for now it just looks as if he's come to have a nosey at the rather nice pebbles doesn't it?! Im quite happy with it so far - any ideas of what treat the blackbird might be finding on the windowsill would be appreciated, so let me know your thoughts!

Well! Another week has passed - (doesn't the time go fast these days), and I want to let you know that next week, I will be officially announcing my Spring Giveaway! The reason behind all this, is that it is my own birthday on the first day of spring (21st March), and to celebrate I wanted to do a little givaway to coincide with my spring birthday celebrations! Hurrah!!
Im planning some lovely treats for you, so do make sure you stop by next week to find out more!

That's all Im saying for now, Im going to do a little bit more work on my painting before I have to go and collect the child - toddlers and acrylic paints don't go very well together you see :)

So I hope you have a delicious weekend, oh - and thank you to everyone who is stopping by to leave such nice comments - I want you to know that I read each one and really appreciate the time you take to pop in and read. Im endeavouring to visit all of your blogs in turn, and look forward to catching up with you soon!

Till next week...sending you a nice cup of chai tea, your favourite song, a spring walk and drifts of snowdrops to smile at!

Much love
Julia x


  1. What beautiful photos. So inspiring. Spring really does feel just around the corner now doesn't it? Yum yum chocolate brownies spoil us :-)
    A x

  2. We also woke up to Spring here on March 1st. I just love this time of year. I've just been on a bike ride with my little one and am now flaked out on the sofa (I'll never be able to walk tomorrow) but it's so good to get outdoors.

    I adore your new painting (blackbirds are my favourite birds). I think Mr BB has come to borrow a little piece ribbon or twine to line his nest.
    Happy Spring!

  3. I'm sharing your optimism, and wishing I was sharing your Brownies too!! Its great when seasons arrive on cue. xxxxxx

  4. Lovely set of photos. I do like the pebbles and spotty jug in your new painting. I wonder what blackbird will be investigating?

  5. Your flowers are beautiful, especially the irises! I love your new painting, the yellow daffodils are striking in the blue jug. Perhaps Mr Blackbird is after some brownie crumbs!!
    Vivienne x

  6. It has been lovely here too. Long may it last.
    I love your painting and am also glad that your little poppet is keeping you busy in the kitchen.
    Have fun,

  7. Great photo's! so cheery. I know what you mean about expectations when baking. As I do so much of it, my two boys are disappointed if there isn't a homemade cake to munch through!

  8. Julia ~ I love your new seasidey painting with the jug of daffodils and the little blackbird ~ it is fantastic. Your mosaic photo of the jam jar full of daffodils is rather wonderful too ~ as is that delicious plate of brownies. How do you find the time to fit in all of that creativity? :O) x

  9. I love your painting, the shades of blue are wonderful as is the spotty jug.x

  10. what a lovely post - don't a few daffs and some sunshine make all the difference - love the picture too

  11. Definately look like spring is on its way...those daffodils and irises are beautiful.
    As is your WIP on your latest painting. I love the blackbird image. What could he be looking at...something shiny perhaps (arent they attracted to shiny things, a bit of bling?) Did you leave your engagement ring on the windowsill after doing the dishes???
    I love the blue in your painting. Is this watercolour paints?

    Have a lovely bright and sunny weekend.

    Jacky xox

  12. Perhaps Mr Blackbird could be investigating a tasy morsel such as a caterpillar or a tiny bug that has maybe fallen from the flowers? Dev x

  13. I'm glad the weather has changed, I was feeling so sorry for everyone over there...
    The painting is fab and I can't wait for the spring giveaway.....
    take care

  14. Lovely post Julia, as ever. Your brownies do look yummy...
    Perhaps blackbird could be eyeing up a snail, just beginning to appear over the edge of the window ledge?

  15. Such a lovely post Julia with so many of my favourite things: food, gardening, art...lovely! Let's hope the gorgeous sun continues for the weekend at least xx

  16. Wonderful painting Julia! I too thought maybe a little bug thingie crawling out of the daff, a caterpillar or ladybird perhaps. You are so very clever x x x

  17. A heartwarming and cheering post as always Julia. What would I do without your weekly posts?!! You have packed so much in I hardly know where to start to comment. I love daffs too. You can get a big bunch for a comparitively small price and they are so uplifting. The brownies look delicious. I have done no baking today so my mouth is watering. The painting is lovely and very intriguing. I just do not know what blackbird has found. A diamond ring maybe? (Oh that would be more suited to a magpie wouldn't it?). Have a lovely weekend. x

  18. We've had sunny days and plus zero temps all this week, up to 10C this weekend! All this sunshine really has gotten to my head...I'm ready to say goodbye to winter without a single backwards glance!


    As always, I love the artwork. : )

  19. Such a beautiful painting already Julia combining many favourite things. I love the blue and white spotty jug and the blackbird and the coastal scene behind. The colours are so cheery for Spring x

  20. Love the new painting and those brownies are calling to me. Very loudly!

  21. Thank you for popping by this week and leaving me a sweet message about Melvin.
    What a treat to visit you and find daffodils and chocolate brownies.
    Alwayslovely to meet me people.
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
    Lisa x

  22. your post is so choc full of the feel good factor, it has had be smiling and sighing with pleasure all the way :o)
    it doesn't suprise me that you are a spring baby, you seem to radiate sunshine and are a joy xxx

    thankyou so very much for your kind comments on my blog xxx i am at last on the mend and hope to be around nore soon.

    wishing you a warm and happy week xxx


  23. I love the painting (spotty jug, pebbles + boat = winner for me!) and beautiful daffs... I love this time of year! x

  24. Hi Julia,
    Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment.
    Spring is so eagerly awaited and the first spring flowers will all be out at once.
    Your brownies look yum! xx

  25. Julia, so lovely to hear from you and a big thankyou for your lovely comments. It is so nice to get reassurance.
    I will make sure I visit tomorrow, thankyou for the notice.
    Hope you are well and that your little chef is keeping you busy.
    Take care and have fun
    Rachael XX

  26. Hi, I just found your blog and wanted to say I love your artwork it is lovely :-)


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