Some Happy Times

PicMonkey Collage

Half term has been and gone, and I took the opportunity to lay down the paint brushes and have some heavenly time out.  Above is a mosaic, capturing some snapshots of that delicious week.  First off, a trip the seaside with my sister and her family; we went to the Norfolk coast and took a long walk on the sea front breathing in the deep gulps of tangy salted air.  The sea was like a mill pond, as calm as you like and dark silhouettes were framed on the shore line as folks walked their dogs, stark against the milky blue sea.

In the park, the aconites were a bright carpet of yellow and a cheery sight for a winter weary soul…there was also time indoors, leisurely breakfasts, time spent baking with my little girl and the acquisition of some new, shiny tins to put our freshly iced fairy buns in.  There were lots of sofa moments too where we just collapsed in front of the telly, where I crocheted or sipped hot, frothy coffee in my pyjamas.

I think we all need time out like this, time away from the computer, from work, from our commitments.  It’s a chance to recharge, reflect and relax.  It was bliss.

Back to work though this week – paintings for the exhibition continue to emerge and I’m on with this one at the moment:

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And I’m also on with some of these…

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These Easter hearts have been a nice little diversion for me, and I continue to sneak the odd one in here and there between my more Serious Paintings.  I am currently offering these through my Facebook Page, so if you are interested in acquiring one for yourself, you are welcome to message me although I must hasten to add that they are very Limited Edition due to time constraints and so only a very small number will be made.

I have some extra time on my hands today, my little girl is at an after school craft club so I’m away now to take advantage of this extra hour, and get busy with my paint brushes again.

See you soon x

Snow, yarn and other such ramblings

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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:

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The Coastguard Cottages

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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.

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

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

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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…

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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.

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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…

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…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

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I’ve been busy of an evening this last week…

…hugely inspired by Attic 24’s latest creation, I felt a sudden need for a crocheted Christmas wreath of my own.  So the yarn basket was ransacked for suitable colours and once I had a decent pile (variations of DK yarn; acrylic, merino and cashmerino) I got busy making a long stripy rectangle to cover my polystyrene wreath (it’s a flat backed one which I picked up quite cheaply in Hobbycraft).

I wasn’t quite sure how the crocheted rectangle would fit around the wreath, but as Lucy reassured us on her blog; despite it looking like it won’t,  it somehow just does – and it did.

My wreath was going to need some adornments too…and there was a sudden flurry of pom-pom making the other night, and cutting out of holly from felt.  A little jaunt to Homebase resulted in a top find of some Jingle Bells – only £2.99 for a tube of 10, and a chance find of some mini decorative baubles on wires in Paperchase were just too good to ignore.

Once home, I raided the button tin and ribbon stash, and got busy.

I sewed the Jingle Bells on, but the rest of the ribbons, pom-poms and holly leaves are pinned on.  It’s very easy to attach them to the polystyrene using pins, and you can move things about a bit too, if you change your mind.

I think the mini decorative baubles and bells are lovely, they really catch the light.

We decided that it would be nice to have our new wreath hanging on the door which leads into our lounge, where everyone would see it best:

I’m so pleased with how this turned out, and I’m already planning another one for Springtime, full of juicy colours, flowers and lots more pom-poms!

As we huddle indoors of an evening now, and cosy up on the sofa under our crochted blankets, watching telly and reading books by the glow of candles and Christmas lights, we are grateful to be tucked up warm with one another as the weather has turned decidedly cold.

Yesterday morning there was a thick frost which glittered beautifully in the rising sun.  The trees down the valley were gauzy white; the sky was a soft shell pink and the air was very still.  As I made my way down to the little wall to peek at the river, a flock of wintering goosanders that had been swimming downstream suddenly took off into the air, their beating wings a percussion of noise which broke the freezing silence.

So it’s no surprise that we like cosying up in our little home together…

We love hunkering down of a Sunday afternoon to watch Elf and other favourite Christmas films, and we’ve also been enjoying a bit of Festive Makery together too…

This last Sunday saw an industrious bout of paper chain making (these are from Phoenix Cards), which we strung up alongside some of those funky and fabulous retro tissue paper balls.  I’ve seen these featured in a couple of magazines and on the internet but found them way too expensive to justify shelling out on.  Then we discovered some in Wilkinsons for just a pound a piece (the larger ones are still good value at £1.75 for a whopping 30cm sized ball) and we brought home some cheery red and white ones to go with our paper chains.

We think it looks very cool.

So, the house is finally decorated; the order book is closed and I’m winding up the last few hand painted goodies to go out to their new homes.  It’s been a whirlwind these last few weeks and I am now looking forward enormously to relaxing and enjoying the holidays.

I like this time of year, as we head towards the end of December.  It’s a very good time for Creative Percolation, and as I step back from my painting for a while to spend time with family and friends, I usually find new ideas blooming.  These are written down in my planner, for things to come back to in January.  But for now, the games will be brought downstairs and we’ll play Monopoly and Guess Who; we’ll eat too many mince pies and drink a tad too much mulled wine.  We’ll see the little ones sing in the choir at church on Christmas Eve and go to the panto on New Years Eve.  We’ll look forward to driving out to Castleton in Derbyshire to see the little trees lit up, a tradition almost as old as I am (my parents would take me and my sister, and now as we take our own daughter).  I like the gentle traditions of this time of year, and also the new ones that my own family are creating alongside them.

Sending love and peace to you and yours, wherever you are in the world.

Vintage Flower Doily Garland

Once upon a time, I discovered a crochet artist called Sophie Digard.  I fell into immediate rapturous love with her intricate lace like scarves; an alchemy of design and colour that had the inspiration levels soaring into overdrive!  I had never worked with cotton before, but decided it was something that I’d like to try crocheting with very much indeed.  My dear old Nan used to crochet doilies when she was alive, and these too held the same fragile allure for me.  Such care had been taken with the beautiful patterns, the elegant stitches creating a floral masterpiece that would have taken quite some time to create.

The thing was, a doily seemed doable, but a scarf or a shawl made with such fine threads seemed a little daunting.  Did I have the patience to work diligently at something that would surely be a labour of love, an endurance, a project that would take a Very Long Time?

In short, no.

I’m one of these people who sometimes like a quick result, a fast and happy little project that can be quickly made and installed; a project that I can work at alongside my Bigger Blanket projects.  And whilst I love the vintage feel of a crocheted doily, I wanted something a little more colourful and festive; something that would feel inspiring and exciting to look at.  So I decided to make a garland; a flowery, autumnal garland that I could hang in my home.  A garland inspired by my Nan’s pretty doilies and the delicate threads of Sophie’s beautiful creations, indeed it would be a miniature floral doily garland!

Oh the excitement at realising a new project is about to be undertaken!

So a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a handful of skeins of cotton thread.  I spent a happy half hour winding them onto old style wooden laundry pegs (my preferred method of storing all embroidery cottons).  I chose DMC perle cotton skeins #8, but you can also buy this in balls.

And then I dug out my Crochet Motifs book and looked for some pretty doily style flowers to make.

As most of the patterns are from the book, Im sorry to say that I cannot reproduce them here – but if you have the book yourself I can point you in the general direction of the flowers I chose (numbers 41 and 53).

I also designed a little flower myself – for which the pattern is here:

The stitches are written in US terms.

  • Ch4, SS to join to form ring.
  • Ch3, 14DC into ring, SS to join (15 stitches).
  • *Ch5, SS into 3rd stitch along* Repeat ** around circle, until you have 5 half circle loops made from the chain stitches.  SS to finish round in first stitch.
  • *6DC into each half circle loop*  Repeat ** into each loop to make petals, SS to finish and tie off.  Secure ends by sewing into the back of the flower.

You can use this pattern with any yarn of course, but for those of you who’d like to try out the cotton perle flowers that I made here, I used a 2.5 hook.

But now…it’s time for a little Ta~Dah moment!

I’ve hung my little flowery doily garland over some photos and decopatched letters.

What do you think??  I’m rather smitten by it, and am now contemplating making one for my kitchen!  The flowers, although a little fiddly to start with do crochet up quite quickly once you get the hang of working with the cotton (I’m used to working with DK yarn, so it was quite a difference to me and took a little getting used to).  However, I think it’s worth persevering with as the outcome is so delicate and pretty.

To  join your flowers to form a garland, choose a cotton/yarn colour and start by attaching with a SS to the top of a flower; then chain across (I chained 25 here) and SS to join your next flower.  Just carry on in this way until all flowers are attached and finish off with a SS in the top of the last flower, secure and tie in ends.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial; I’m going to love you and leave you now as I feel a big mug of tea coming on!! Thanks for coming by today!

Much love

Autumn’s Pleasures

It’s the time of year when I get the urge to nestle and make my house cosy.  I want to make a new blind for my window and tie backs for my curtains…I have a desire to sort through my fabric stash, and fold it into neat piles whilst dreaming of things I can make with it.  I discover enticing projects in magazines and on Pinterest that I suddenly need to be making.  I want to be cooking delicious, seasonal soups and soul warming food; like French toast on a Sunday morning, gently scorched golden and crisp, and generously dressed with a spoon of my favourite Berries and Cherries jam.

Such simple things like making my home cosy for the colder months, and preparing good food makes me feel very contented.

I also like the colours of this time of year – if ever there were a siren from nature that Summer was up and Autumn was in it’s the glorious rainbow leaves that adorn our trees so briefly, before the high winds have them spiralling and spinning to the ground.  Green melts quietly into the palest of yellow and deepest of ochres; and then the dramatic russets and golds, tarnished with bronze and amber illuminate the stark branches against vivid blue or wildly dark grey skies.  I see firey reds, scarlet and purple ~ the city is ablaze with colour and it’s beautiful.

Out shopping the other day I stumbled upon a bunch of sunflowers, very reasonably priced in my little supermarket I might add,  that were just begging me to take them home.  I put them in a crochet covered jam jar and enjoyed seeing their happy yellow faces enormously.

The simple things…

…like winding crochet cotton onto wooden pegs and planning a little project with those faded, vintage colours on a tiny little hook…something to brighten up my little house…

… and making a warming chicken and vegetable soup to eat whilst escaping amongst the pages of Country Living magazine…

It was whilst I was enjoying this very bowl of soup that the Postie brought me something rather exciting.  I’d been waiting for this particular parcel for some time, with a mixture of trepidation and expectation.  You see, I’d made the decision to have a collection of my art work printed professionally as greetings cards and had sent my images off to a lovely printing company to be turned into proofs.  I was over the moon with how they have turned out, what do you think?

From the Christmas Collection:

From the Coastal Collection:

I’m going to be busy placing an order for these now, and they’ll be available in my Gallery Shop very soon.

There is much to do on the art front; I’m making plans for the work I’ll be taking to the Christmas Fair in December, as well as keeping busy with several commission pieces.  In the midst of all this, I would love to make space to create a brand new Christmas card design – I suppose I’m rather late with this compared to some, but I’m sure I can make it materialise in time if I try!

I wish you all a beautiful weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Psssst!!! Have you subscribed to my monthly Art E-zine yet? I can promise you some wonderful seasonal discounts to come in the next couple of months on my art!  Just complete the box up in the side bar and look forward to it plopping into your inbox x

The Land of Procrastination

(a little corner of my newest painting…which is being created during small chunks of time)
Hello dear souls,

I hope September finds you well.  I am writing this blog post as monsoonal rains lash the window and the trees opposite the house sway dangerously in a tornado style wind; it feels as if Autumn has arrived early in these parts!

So anyway, I wanted to write a wee post to follow on from the one I wrote about the Creativity Hiatus.  I felt it might be useful to those of you who find that your Hiatus has turned into Procrastination and Stuck and if you’re wondering how the heck to get past that part.

It’s happened to me alot – I’m actually a fantastic procrastinator!  I’ve been through the Hiatus part where nothing happens and then I start to feel glimmers of inspiration returning.  I’ve felt the excitement as new ideas manifest and new opportunities present themselves, and I’ve also felt the hesitation as I do nothing about them and find a million and one different reasons to avoid starting.  Here are a few I use, you may recognise them:

I’m too busy
I have household chores to take care of
I have to go shopping
This cupboard looks interesting, lets empty it!
Ooh, I’ve been on Facebook for three days!
I’m too tired…

This is the part when the Hiatus has transformed into Procrastination – and you need to watch out for it.  We can get seriously stuck here, because the Land of Procrastination is a nice place to be.  We get to dream our dreams, languish with the nice feelings those ideas bring us, and we get to wander around imagining how it will all turn out…and we don’t lift a finger to do anything beyond that, because that’s when it becomes real.

And that is what scares us.

When you’ve had an absence from creating, it can be pretty scary to start again and it can also be tough to rouse yourself out of the feelings of inertia.  I’m going to give you a couple of ideas on how to move through the Stuck and get going again – and these ideas work because I still use them myself.

  • Choose to take a Small Step:  For example – get your pens and a sketch book out, and lay them on the table for a day or so.  You don’t have to physically start drawing right away if you don’t want to (the idea is to keep these Small Steps very minimal).  The energy that will arise from the motion of actually getting your stuff out is momentous and not to be underestimated.
  • Take Five Minutes:  Literally, yes. It’s enough to begin with although you may find (as I do) that five minutes can elapse into an hour or so without you being aware of it.  Next time you pass your creative pile on the table, and you feel moved to do something, do it.
  • Do Something Different:  To get the creative energy moving, you might want to try something a little different.  I sometimes make cakes or do a bit of gardening to get myself into a creative frame of mind.  This is a great energy shifter.  You may notice that it fuels you up to get started on what it is you’ve been putting off doing.  I recently made bead bracelets with my daughter, and then that same day had a cracking design idea for a Christmas Card which I hurriedly drew in my sketch book (conveniently laying on the table just in case).

I hope these little ideas help – I’ll be sharing more ways of dealing with Procrastination and moving through Stuck in my new E-Book which is nearly completed and which I’m really excited about sharing with you!  Meanwhile, you can also check the resources out in the side bar where there is a list of Inspiring Posts that may be useful to you.

Wishing you a bright and delight~filled weekend, thanks as always for dropping in to see me!

Much love, Julia x

How To Charge the Right Price for Your Work

‘The Rainbow Painter’ watercolour and ink illustration

Hello!

I wanted to write about how to price your work today; it’s one of those subjects that can be quite mind boggling if you’re just starting out on your creative selling venture, but also an icky one for those who are already selling their wares and don’t feel as if they’re getting the right price for their lovely stuff.

Moolah is a funny subject, and most people feel a bit self concious talking about it – luckily I’m not one of those people and I’m happy to share my thoughts and some little bits of wisdom on the subject of selling online with you here.  I have learnt many lessons along the way, and I hope what I’m going to share with you will be useful.


First off, there’s a story.



Once upon a time there was an artist who used to paint bright and colourful pictures.  She wasn’t confident about selling her work so she would give it away for free.  If someone in her family, or a friend said they liked a painting, she would give it to them and this went on for some time.  However, an emptiness and a slight feeling of annoyance was growing.  The artist knew that alot of effort had gone into her paintings, and she was thrilled that other people liked them, but the balance of the energy exchange was all out of kilter.  

For 100’s of years, people have used money as a tool of exchange – in the olden days, people used to trade in 2 piglets for a cow, that kind of thing…but nowadays we tend to use cash.  Whichever way you look at it, it’s still an exchange which keeps the balance happy.  What’s the balance?  it’s this:  You and your customer both receive value from your product ~ you get some well deserved moolah for creating something marvellous, and your customer gets to become the new owner of your marvellous creation.  Balanced energy exchange ~ all happy ~ Hurrah!! 

So anyways, back to the story:  The artist here who had been giving away her work and getting nothing given back in return, was starting to feel pretty lousy…and she realised that in order to feel better, and for the beneficiarys of her pictures to feel better too, then she had to start charging a price for her work.


So how do you work out what the right price is?
This can seem like the hardest thing in the world to work out, but it’s actually pretty easy.
First off, you need to work out your costs and come up with a total.   When I say costs, I mean things like materials and sundries such as box canvases, paints, mounts for prints, paper, printing inks, shipping materials, postage costs etc…Time is also a factor that you might want to consider.  Many artists find that they earn below the minimum wage per hour when they divide up the price of their painting by the number of hours it took to create it!  Write everything down in a notebook; you might be surprised by how much you are spending (both materials and time) when you see it all written down in front of you.

Now, you need to figure out your profit.  No point spending all that precious time and energy creating something hot, just to charge the recipient for the materials it’s cost you – you’re not going to feel too great unless you’re earning something for your effort.

If you’re still unsure what to charge…

HOT TIP: Have a look online at other artists or craftspeople who’s work is of a similar nature and level to your own.  You can easily find these people by visiting Folksy or Etsy.  See what they are charging for their products, find the average and use these prices as a guideline when pricing up your own work.  It doesn’t hurt to do a bit of homework and see what the competition is up to.
Next question you want to ask yourself is: “Does this price feel right to me?”
Does it make you feel good?  Does it feel uncomfortable, like it’s a bit too much?  Does it feel like it’s not enough?  Only you can be the judge of this; only you know what went into the item you’re pricing, so listen to your gut on this one.
The right price will feel good, and that you’re getting what the product is truly worth to you.  When you get that feeling, that’s your price – but feel free to tweak it accordingly.  
I often revisit my own gallery pages and investigate the online marketplaces to compare how my stuff sits in relation to others.  I don’t want to price myself out of the market by charging too much, and I don’t want to underprice myself just for the sake of saying I got a sale (a sale under those circumstances is a bitter sweet affair I can tell you!).  Whilst in Cornwall recently I made a point of noticing what galleries were charging for prints and originals – the recession is showing and generally the prices of original art is down a tad and I like to make a habit of keeping an eye on the market.  I sometimes have to change my prices if the cost of my materials, or shipping goes up.  It all has to be reflective or I’m making a loss and that tips the Balance into the negative for me.

I hope that this post has been of help to some of you who have been struggling with making the first steps at selling your work – listen to your instinct and don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.

Big love
Julia x

BIG PS:  Thank you SO MUCH for all your gorgeous and kind comments about the magazine feature, it made my day to discover and read them all!  Have a happy weekend, see you soon.



Being Creative Project: New Mailing List and FREE Creativity E-Book!

Hi!

I’ve just popped in to tell you about the brand new Being Creative Project E-Newsletter that you can now sign up for.

The group is slowly growing as new people subscribe on the blog, and sign up to the Flickr Group.  I felt it was time to introduce an email newsletter to keep the group focus going, and to provide a better way of connecting with participants regarding gallery days and other relative stuff.  I’ve also had feedback through the blog and by email from participants who think this would be a good thing to have too.

About the newsletter…



If you sign up, you will receive at least one monthly newsletter which will let you know about Gallery Day (when you get the chance to share links on my blog to images of your work on the web) as well as relevant tips, stories, support and advice.
There is also a FREE Creativity E-Book for you to download, to help get you started on your creative journey!


I love the emails that I’ve had from participants, that have said how the group has provided a safe place to start creating again ~ some people who have taken part haven’t done anything in years and it has been a catalyst for them starting again ~ others have used it as a platform to try new mediums to create work for the monthly themes.  I love that the group is expanding and helping people make creativity a part of their lives.


If you want to sign up, you can do so by clicking on the Being Creative tab at the top of the page here, and scrolling down to the sign up form on the page.
Just fill in your details, it’s free and it’s easy and you will receive an email with a download to your free Creativity E-Book!

Meanwhile…

The gallery is open for you to share links for June’s theme of OCEAN.  You can find it here, or by clicking on the link in the sidebar.

If you are not a part of the group already, are new here and would like to find out how to start taking part, then click here to read all about it.  You are very welcome to sign up and join in the monthly projects, and all ages and abilities are invited.

Thanks to all who have signed up so far, and taken part.  Don’t forget to share this with family or friends you think might like to hear about it!  
With love, have a great weekend!
Julia x 

Start Off Small

Hello friends,

Yesterday me and Carys were painting some little pendants we had made from air drying clay.  And not for the first time I noticed the completely unconcious way my little girl used the paint, happily daubing her creations with turquoise, pink and blue.  She wasn’t afraid to ask how to mix the colours, and what would happen if we mixed them all together.  There was no hesitation in her experimenting, no element of self conciousness, no fear, and no shame in what she was creating.  Carys made art from her happy little soul, she didn’t care a bit what anyone else might think, that didn’t even come into it – she was happy with paint on her hands, making something that she thought was fabulous.



Once upon a time, I went through a phase of being afraid of creating stuff.  I would sit in panic looking at my art pad, paralysed by fear that I couldn’t do it – I mean, what if someone laughed at what I’d done or critiscised it?  And, shock of shocks, what if I made a mess on the paper and ruined it!!!  I was horrified that my work wouldn’t look as good as the artists that I admired, and I felt awkwardness and shame because I didn’t think I wasn’t good enough.

happy, painty hands!

Taking the first steps in art can be a scary process – and it’s because creating something that comes from deep within us is a personal expression, whether it’s painting, knitting or sculpture.  To lay that bare for people to see, for even ourselves to see, can be a big deal; especially if we’ve been listening to those Little Voices.

Ah yes.  Those.

You might be familiar with them; they’re the ones that whisper that we’re no good, and tell us our work sucks.  They’re the ones who make us feel hopeless.

Children don’t hear those voices – they create stuff because it feels good to them.  They don’t care.  Children shine their little lights and everything they do is wonderful, the best part about this is that they know it too; nobody has told them otherwise yet.


Start off Small.  That is, think like a small person – ignore the critical voices, whether they be in your mind or for real and create something just for fun.  Let your guard down, be brave, don’t be afraid to make a mark on the paper now.  Try something new, a medium you’ve never worked with but secretly always wanted to.  Do something that feels outrageous to you, life is very short and it’s vital that we believe that we are able to do what we enjoy, whether as a new part time hobby or a full scale venture that we hope to turn into a business someday.

Find yourself a scoop of inner courage and think Small.  Do it.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be sat  here writing this to you today.

Much love to you, and thanks for visiting today
Julia x

Our Biggest Project

So…going back a few months, and Im talking mid August here, we decided our next project in our little riverside house to be tackled was the kitchen. By September I had packed precious things into boxes and moved everything else into our dining room so the work could begin. As you can see, the kitchen is covered in a horrendous lemon meringue style artex – I guess at some point someone thought it looked fabulous!!
The plasterers came in and worked their magic (oh the joy of smooooooth walls!!) and we started to take apart the damaged and old units. Our idea was to reuse the original solid oak doors and update them with fresh paint and new handles and make the units solid and secure…thrifty eh?!

Jumping forward a few weeks to early December and after alot of hard work our kitchen is complete! Mellow sage cupboards and chalk white walls make the room look much more spacious, and the wall tiles which were a bit of a splurge (and from Italy) and the slate floor tiles bring the look together.

A new shelf with wrought iron brackets is a great place for my favourite cook books and shabby chic decor!

Little hearts find their way into all sorts of places!





I would really like to thank my folks and my dear partner for all the help they gave in creating this beautiful little room – anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy cooking and baking delicious things and now I have a gorgeous place to do it in!!

Our little house has been a work in progress since we bought it 3 years ago, its over 125 years old and there has been a heap of decorating disasters to overcome! Our next major project is our lounge/dining room which we will begin next year…its time to kick back now and enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends now the hard work is over!

This isn’t an art related post as such, but I wanted to share what we did with you here. I feel that this blog is evolving quite organically to encompass other areas of my life where creativity spills over – be it kitchen makeovers or fresh batches of deliciously decorated cupcakes, inspired inspiration doesn’t just belong to paint and canvas, it appears marvellously in the ordinary areas of our lives and I think its wonderful to be able to put that stuff out there.


Sending you spiced, heart warming mugs of mulled wine and fresh mince pies…come on, its Christmas time and you know you want to!

J x