Friday 30 May 2014

Sea Salty Air :: Part 2

The coast for me is a treasure trove of inspiration.  I am drawn towards magical looking shop windows, full of enticing wares, souvenirs and art.  I relish impromtu visits to favourite coffee shops, to catch my breath and relax with a warming drink and a slice of something delicious.  I like simply wandering around and noticing the little details that inevitably make up the tapestry of a coastal village; small windows, lobster pots, a tangle of bright orange buoys, peeling paint on the hull of an old boat.  All of this is balm for the soul, to be surrounded with such pleasing visuals, textures, tastes and sounds.  For me it is part of the experience of being by the sea, the threads that help to weave the memories that I will look back upon in years to come.

Here are a few memories of our days away, of places and objects I found.


I don't know about you, but I love peeking into shop windows whose shelves are laden with enticing treats and souvenirs...

There aren't many shops in Robin Hood's Bay, but two that I like the best are Treat Therapy (top photo above) where you can indulge in an aromatherapy massage, or buy one of their deliciously scented handmade soaps or beach inspired gifts.  The second place is Wave Contemporary Crafts (bottom photo here), which is a beautiful coastal-inspired gallery full of amazing art and craft.

My family and I also love to visit Swell, in our opinion, the nicest cafe for miles.  The staff are superbly friendly and welcoming.  The coffee is delicious, as are their mouth watering baked goodies, and if you're lucky you might get a table on their outdoor terrace with sweeping views of the bay.

Despite the rough weather that we endured in places we did have a few spells of hot sunshine to remind us that we were indeed at the end of May and not the beginning of November.  But that aside, even in the bad weather the beach is magnetic, it draws us down to it's damp sands and churning waves.  The wind whips up the scent of seaweed and ozone, an irresistable perfume that one cannot help but inhale deeply.  Wrapped up in waterproofs against the random showers, we enjoy the simple pleasures of castle building and walking along the waters edge.

Til next time...

J xxx

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Sea Salty Air :: Part 1

Sometimes I feel a yearning for the coast.  The lure of sea salty air, the call of gulls and distant blue horizons prove too much to resist, and so we fill the car and head off to our beautiful Yorkshire coast.  We can be there in just under two hours on a good day, and so it doesn't seem too far to travel, to quench that longing, that thirst that I have to be near to the sea.

Robin Hood's Bay was our destination this time, my favourite little jewel of a place on the east coast.  We were very lucky this time that our visit included a stay in a comfortable Bed and Breakfast with breathtaking views of the bay - a special treat to celebrate our daughter's 7th birthday no less.  Waking up to the cry of seabirds, a glittering sea and a brilliant blue sky was a tonic for the soul, not to mention a delicious home cooked breakfast, rustled up from the tastiest local ingredients.

Robin Hood's Bay, for those of you not familar with the place is a gem of a place steeped in history and legend.  Tiny fishermen's cottages with their cheery terracotta roof tiles, tumble down the steep incline of a hill towards the tiny slipway at the bottom.  Apparently in days gone by, Robin Hood's Bay was a smuggling hot spot, and apparently a bolt of silk could make its way from the bottom of the village to the top without ever leaving a house.  It is exciting to imagine the secret underground passages that linked the little houses in the olden days, and the people who used them to transport their contraband.

The houses here are an artist's dream!  Climbing roses smother the old stone walls and hidden pathways with street names, lead to tiny doors and hidden gardens.  There are enticing glimpses into windows; a table laid for supper, candles flickering in glass votives, a bottle of wine and a fresh rustic loaf in a bread basket...buckets and spades litter the doorways, and the scent of an outdoor barbecue fills the air with mouth watering aromas.

I think I could quite happily live here!

There's much more to tell, but I'll save these bits to share with you soon; think boats, beaches, coffee and cake, heavenly peeks into shop windows and other delightful coastal details that I noticed on my wanderings.

See you again soon.
J xxx

Saturday 24 May 2014

A New Start

Hello friends,

I'm really not sure where the last few months have gone - to find myself in May already, and realise that my last blog post was way back in February is pretty mind boggling to say the least.

In case you've been wondering where I've been, and what I've been up to then let me fill you in.

I have been spending alot of my down time taking some e-courses; including Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way (BYW) which has just concluded, and the Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp, which I'm working on now - the artwork below is part of our current assignment which is for an editorial on meditation.

BYW is really very good; I wasn't sure what I'd glean from it, but considering I felt that my blogging mojo had taken a pretty long hike with no forseeable return date, I figured there was probably something I could learn from it, and I absolutely did!!  I'd highly recommend Holly's course for anyone who feels remotely stuck or bored with their blogging efforts.  It's also for people who want to tidy up their blogs and learn exciting tips and techniques for making their blogs stand out from the crowd.

As well as this, I've been busy working away behind the scenes, boosting my portolio with some much needed new art work (see top for new birthday card art) for which I have some new plans for.  I'm also working with a talented graphic designer on some proper grown up branding, which I am really excited about!

In the middle of my blogging hiatus, I turned 41, and decided that I really needed to invest more energy into my dreams and making them real.  Being one of lifes natural dreamers, Im easily seduced into rolling with what life offers and being happy with that, but now, I feel that I'm at a point in my life where I'd like to make some big leaps of faith.

So, together with some creative friends and the help of this book we've decided to start working on some goal setting and I'm immersing myself into learning about creative business more deeply.  I think 2014 is turning into a year of self education!!  My friends and I have agreed to provide mentoring and support for one another, and it's really postive to know they're there behind the scenes to listen and help because stepping out of my comfort zone isn't always going to be easy.

I'm really happy to be back here, blogging again.  Look forward to sharing so much more with you all.

J x

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