Friday, 28 May 2010

A New Love Affair

Hello dear souls.

I'm here at last, and I'm a day late blogging (which means I'm a day late with my 100th Post Celebration Draw ~ sorry about that!) but it has been a whirlwind week involving a Very Important 3rd Birthday for a Little Someone amongst other things!
First of all though, I would like to share some of my photographs with you from our trip last weekend...

I never expected to be so totally smitten by a place...I never expected such a huge expanse of blue sky to greet me and an amazing sense of space. I never believed that beaches could be this white on the east coast, I never realised such a beautiful corner of England existed until last weekend when we journeyed north to Northumberland.

My dear friends, a new love affair has begun!

Beyond the sea grasses lay miles of soft white sand, and crystal clear seas which turned gently turquoise and then denim blue upon the horizon. Surely places like this are only found on foreign shores...?

Cheerful bunting was hung across the lane that wound its way down to the harbour at Seahouses.

And we were all quite in love with the soft calls of the beautiful eider ducks..

There were far too many beautiful views, I love looking at the beach through the fronds of dusty green sea grass...a magical descent to the beach below through warm sand dunes...

...and from the sandy path that ran along the low cliffs, we could see the Farne Islands clustered in that crystal clear water, the sun shone all day long and we felt so happy to be in this beautiful place...

Our travels took us to Alnmouth, where huge blousy red poppies grew in abundance by the estuary.

I was completely and utterly blown away by the brilliance and size of these wild flowers - and I thought, if I tried to paint this scene with the vivid blue sky and the scarlet petals it would look too much somehow. Only nature can carry off this sort of beauty I think!

Come evening, molten sunsets bathed everything in a rose gold glow...'s 9:30pm here, but Someone Small cares nothing about the time...there's always time for a paddle at the seaside!

I won't forget those long days in the fresh air and the sun which was hot from early morning when we first opened the door of our caravan at just turned seven o'clock. There's nothing quite like scent of wild flowers, grass and salt breezes as you sip a good cup of coffee and know that a whole new day lies ahead, full of wanderings and discoveries.

Now, I have always had a deep fondness for Cornwall and Devon, having holidayed and lived there over the years, but I'm starting to think those places may just have a teeny weeny bit of competition! I'm looking forward to going back to Northumberland some day not so far off, there is much more to see and do and three days, although heavenly, just weren't long enough!

But anyway...I think an important matter needs to be sorted out!!

Who, you may be wondering, is the winner of the 100th Post Draw?

Well my dear friends, I carefully checked and counted up the comments that you all kindly left for me (and they were all so very lovely, thank you all so much for taking the time to write them) and then I found me a Random Number Generator...

The number it drew for me was.....23!

And the winner of the little Cath Kidston address book, and two of my art print cards is
Well done! And thank you to everyone else who took part :D

So, at the beginning of this post I mentioned a 3rd Birthday, which is one of the reasons that I'm a day late with my draw - you see we didn't get back until late on Monday evening, and Tuesday was spent in a whirlwind of shopping and last minute present buying (and wrapping) not to mention cake baking at 8:30pm that same evening...whew!! Im weary again just thinking about it!! Wednesday was our Little One's birthday and she had a lovely day, although how she got to be 3 so fast is beyond me!

We had a little tea party for her, and here is a picture of the Smartie Cake she requested (I used the vanilla sponge recipe from 'Cupcakes from the Primrose Hill Bakery and it's a really good one).

Needless to say, yesterday was spent catching up with chores and the like (how come there is always so much washing after only 3 days away??) and before I knew it, it was early evening.

Ah well, better late than never eh?!

Before I go...(are you still with me?), I wanted to share an illustration piece that I've just finished for my portfolio.

I thought I'd continue with my animal theme, hence the bear. I painted this slightly different to how I usually do, in that I used my acrylic paint very thinly and in lots of layers. It built up gradually and I think it gives a nice depth, which I finished off with some soft crayon here and there.

Whilst on the subject of paintings etc, I'm going to be sharing some new cards with you soon. They are going to be hand illustrated, so therefore very unique and special, and I'll be posting them here for you to see very soon.

Just before I go, I'd like to welcome some new followers, and to say once again Thank You Very Much for visiting my blog, for your kindness and support ~ it means such a lot and I do enjoy reading your little messages!

Anyway, I'm off now, I don't know about you but after this I need a nice cuppa!! :D

See you all again soon~
(I'll be catching up properly with your blogs now life has settled back into a slightly more gentle pace again!!)

Much love
Happy Bank Holiday to you!

Julia x


  1. Lovely photos Julia, especially the one with your little girl paddling. We holidayed in that area when our kids were younger and it is indeed very beautiful.
    Glad the little one had a great birthday, she certainly had a super cake!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Vivienne x

  2. beautiful photos! it was wonderful weather here last weekend that's for sure x

  3. What a beautiful, beautiful spot in Northumberland. Thanks so much for taking us along. Those poppies are stunning!

    Congratulations Jacquie!

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  4. Such amazing photos Julia, I can see why you were so touched by it all.
    Congrats to Jacquie!
    p.s loving that smartie cake, me wants!

  5. Beautiful photos. Thanks for showing us Northumberland, wouldn't have thought of going there. Belated happy birthday to your little one and congratulations to Jacquie.

  6. such wonderful images and I too didn't know about this corner of England - I must visit!

    I am sorry to miss the give-away too, lucky person!

    Belated birthday greeting for little one :)


  7. Hello Julia

    Eeek! Northumberland is beautiful - I cannot wait to go back, the pictures are beautiful & have brought a flood of memories from last August (pop across & compare our memories!)

    I have 2 prints that need framing, Craster & Seahouses, I think the colours would be right up your street!!

    As usual your work is delightful, you are a talented lady...

    Have a very lovely bank holiday weekend.

    Love Lydia xx

  8. Hi Julia, I've never been to Northumberland it looks beautiful! I love this time of year when the poppies are out, so pretty. Your illustration is lovely, I love the expression on the bear's face, like he's lost in the moment. And well done to Jacquie -lucky thing! ;o)xx

  9. It's me,me, me !!
    Can't believe I won !!!
    My youngest has already requested your lovely cards .I think I will frame them for his Bedroom wall.
    The address book is the first CK thing I will own,and I so love her pretty things .
    Thankyou so much Julia !!
    Jacquie xxx
    I've left my address on the "contact me" page of your website

  10. beautiful isn't it , best beaches I've been lucky enough to visit. Love your photo's they capture the moment perfectly .... belated birthday wishes to your little one too

  11. Northumberland looks wonderful! What a beautiful part of England. Happy Birthday to your little girl. I could be doing with a slice of her delicious Birthday cake right now! Your painting is superb as usual - I love your style Julia. Congratulations to the winner of your giveaway. Have a lovely weekend Julia. x

  12. Wonderful Photo's I have never visited this part of the UK.
    Love the bear hug.x

  13. Lovely photos of your hol!
    Yummy looking cake!
    Have a good weekend!

  14. What glorious photos Julia, I'm gald you had a great time.
    A happy birthday to the a lovely little lady.
    I really do have to say a great big thankyou for your beautiful comment about my makes on my blog. You really have made my day. Thankyou,
    Have a lovely bank holiday, typically, it's raining here!!
    Love to you all,
    Rachael xx

  15. Hello, I have a few minutes free and am visiting lots of new blogs.

    What a fantastic holiday you've just had- so beautiful. Aren't we lucky to live on such a teeny island with such a vast range of surprises? We are heading up that way in a couple of weeks, can't wait to see wide beaches and big skies.

    Smartie cakes are definately the way to go for birthdays. YUM

    Will be back soon.

  16. Oh Julia, thank you so much for enlightening me to this area. I can't wait to come home and go there on my way to Scotland! Happy birthday little one! Lynne

  17. Well far be it from me to say 'I told you so' but I knew you would fall in love on your holiday! For me, this part of the country is more appealing than Cornwall etc., because it seems less popular, there is more space to move around. Or that's how it felt to us when we were there a few years ago.



  19. yes yes yes I soooo know about how you feel, we are huge fans of the NOrthumberland coast and have holidayed there every yr since the LP were tiny tots. It feels like a delicious discovery, although did notice last summer that it was very much busier than ever before. Did you visit holy island, oh my you HAVE to go there, it's magical.
    Your photos are amazing Julia, I esp loved the poppies, so vibrant.
    love to you

  20. so glad you had a good time we are there for a week at the end of June

  21. Hi Julia
    Northumberland looks lovely and you are right Devon will have to look out for a rival, glad you enjoyed your break. Love the illustration!!

  22. Fantastic beach photos, beautiful.

  23. Wonderful photos Julia. Absolutely beautiful.
    Happy birthday to the littlest one. That cake looks scrummy. My littlest one is 15 but still insists on a smarty birthday cake, although ours has to be chocolate!

    Beautiful painting, I'm afraid I'm lacking in inspiration at the moment but it will pass. lol.

    love fi x

  24. Thank you for the comment on my blog. Back soon, A x

  25. Seahouses! Thats where my grandpa's house is and where I spent every school holiday growing up - its a truly beautiful and rather wild place - especially in winter - the wind is so bracing and stormy seas!!


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