I Wish for Spring

I don’t like to wish my life away, but I wish for Spring.  I wish for warm air as I open my back door and step into a new morning.  I wish for a scent of promise and optimism in the morning breeze as I hang out my laundry, a wish for that feeling of contentment as the sun arcs the sky like a splendid white gold ball.  I wish to sit outside on my bench with a cup of tea and a magazine and close my eyes to feel that warmth on my face, and to open my eyes to a blue, cloudless sky.

I long for days when colourful flowers open their tender buds and share their colourful beauty, and I wish for the days that are cerulean blue and forever posted in my memory like hazy snapshots that makes me feel deeply happy whenever I remember them.

I look around my little home, my tiny, crochet strewn home and I feel grateful for it’s warmth and cosy interior on this cold Winter day; the sky is the colour of dirty dishwater and even the skeletal trees that stand like sentinels on the riverbank seem sullen and miserable.  I buy a bunch of Spring flowers and they instantly cheer me, remind me that Spring is just a whisper away, that already we are flying into February at the speed of sound and the first month of our new year is almost over.

We take walks in our nearby countryside, the air is cold and bites your skin, and there are icy puddles for jumping in.  There is a weak sun, and at a lone farmhouse someone is burning wood; fingers of blue grey smoke curl up into the still air and hang like fine gauzy ribbons along the valley.
We wander through enchanted forests and hear birdsong from the treetops. Now and then something small and unseen flits between the branches, we sense movement and life, but see nothing.

We come across a gaggle of geese on one of our jaunts, their bright orange feet a cheery contrast to their snow white bodies and the hard white frosty ground.

We admire the frostbitten seedheads, wintery sculptures that line the side of the river before turning towards the cafe to warm our hands around fat mugs of hot tea.
Winter is making the most of the crisp outdoors, and cosying up indoors with gentle projects and crocheted blankets.

There are lots of things to cherish and enjoy in the Winter…but oh, I wish for Spring.

J x

Tiny Crochet Inspiration


I’ve decided that I am rapturously in love with tiny crochet.  Have you ever seen it?  It all began a few months ago when I also fell in deep throes of love with a little website that is known as Pinterest…oh my goodness, this place is the stuff of serious addiction, and it was on here that I got a glimpse of something that knocked my socks off, made me almost collapse with desire; that gave me a serious dose of the Wanties….and then a serious dose of the I Can Make It Myself’s.

Pinterest, for those of you who are not yet familiar with it, is a place of many beautiful, virtual pin boards.  You can take pictures off the internet to create your own pinboards, or repin other peoples pins from their Pinterest boards.  If you decide to venture into this world of gorgeous, desirable things, then prepare to lose several hours of your life to it.  You will be hooked!

This is a link to my boards…you can see how much fun I’ve been having can’t you!

Anyway, I digress…I was talking about Tiny Crochet.  And after being inspired by this here, and this here I got myself a teeny tiny crochet hook, and some very fine thread.

I confess to it being very tricksy to do, after spending most of my Crocheting Years using much bigger hooks and much thicker wool.  But I’m not giving up!
The downside of teeny hooks and teeny crochet thread is that it will obviously take a lot longer to make anything wearable than it would using DK yarn.  But…on the other hand the fragile, web like nature of the finished item is so utterly desirable then I figure it’s worth the time and the effort.

So.  Another WIP begins.  Slowly.  Gradually.  


Seedheads & Boats is now available as an open edition signed and titled print!  You can find it in my gallery shop, just click here to go directly to the page and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

I have also just launched a special offer on my fine art cards; you can now buy 5 of your favourites for £10.00, saving £2.50 when buying individually.  You can click here to see this offer.

On the painting front I’m cracking on with my Christmas card design, but struggling to be Christmassy at this time of year.  It all seems so early (and I’m sure most of you will agree that it is) but at the same time it’s necessary.  So snow and reindeer it is then!  Perhaps it will come together once I get my mitts on Michael Buble’s new Christmas CD –  yes, I’m certain that will help as I’m rather partial to that twinkly eyed chap and his dreamy voice!

But back to Autumn…

…The nights are really drawing in fast now.  I am lighting little lanterns and tea lights of an evening.  I quite like this time of year, when we naturally retreat indoors; I love the wild weather when I can snuggle down and work on my Christmas Gifts ~ did I tell you how much I’m enjoying making my little hand embroidered lavender pillows?  You may remember this one, I shared it a few posts back:

I’m just about done with my second one too, which has a blue and white Cornish ware jug on it full of daisies.  It’s such a gentle and relaxing pass time and I think I like it as much as I like my crocheting.  I look forward to the darker evenings when the little one is in bed, when I can get on with my Projects…and by the way, this project is almost done too!

I’ve really enjoyed working with that beautiful Andes yarn.  I’m going to have a bit left over too, and I’m wondering if it will stretch to make a pair of arm warmers…oh my word, I think I need to put the brakes on a bit with all these ideas and WIP’s I’ve got on the go!!  Anyway, that’s about it from me today – I send you mugs of spiced hot chocolate, golden forest walks, warm candle light and lots of love.  Thanks for visiting today,

Julia x x x

Embroider Me Happy

Apologies for my absence in Blogland of late – it’s been a while hasn’t it?  I’m afraid I had a little disagreement with a hand blender (aka an Awful Accident) at the beginning of last week and ended up with a huge bandage which made it very difficult to type.  It took me an age to type an e-newsletter for the Being Creative Group and I just didn’t have the juice to write a post!  You might be wondering what on earth happened, but I certainly don’t want to upset those of you who might be reading this with a nice piece of cake and a cuppa…i’ll just say I was Very Lucky I didn’t lose an important finger whilst cooking something and leave the rest to your imaginations.  It’s all healing nicely and yes, I also felt awfully silly for being so absent minded. 
Moving swiftly on…. 
Being one handed meant an abrupt end to crocheting.  This realisation made my heart sink as I was intent on finishing my Rainbow Bliss Scarf.  But if crocheting was impossible, then so was doing the dishes and I didn’t mind about that part!!  Itching to create something though, I had a flash of an idea to set about making some Christmas gifts…and decided the sewing stuff could come out for a play.
A little jaunt to the haberdashery was had, and I came home with some lovely vintagey coloured embroidery threads.  My idea was to make some Lavender Pillows, and you can see my first effort at the top there.
I haven’t done any embroidery work since…ooh, let me think…forever!! No, I did it as a young girl and used to spend hours working on cross stitch pieces too.  It proved to be a lovely distraction (as I stroked yarn and missed it dreadfully) and also very relaxing.  I could easily hold the embroidery hoop in my poorly hand and stitch with my right – oh yes, I was very lucky in that I didn’t damage my Painting Hand!! Can you imagine if I’d done that??!  
My first design has been stolen by my daughter – she slept with it inside her pillowcase last night and went out like a light!  I ordered a little bag of French Lavender which has the most beautiful fresh and heavenly scent (my garden supplies were harvested but ended up looking rather magnificent in an ancient stone marmalade jar and it was unanimous that they should stay there, so they have – they’re in my kitchen looking gloriously summery).
I’m looking forward to making some more of these, with plans for some seedhead designs and a request for a Peppa Pig one…I hope the recipients will be pleased with them!
Although we are still only in September, and it feels awfully early to be chattering away about Christmas gifts and the like, I’m afraid I have to get ahead of myself even though I don’t naturally start to feel Christmassy until the very end of November.  There is so much to achieve it seems, and I have already begun work on one of this years card designs…want a peek?

I managed to sneak an hour of painting in this morning, despite it feeling very wrong to be painting Rudolph and snow as the sun cracks the pavements and we waft about in our summer clothes that we’d just packed away.  An Indian Summer is a lovely gift though isn’t it?  A last taste of warmth; lazy golden days that give way to cool evenings and peach melba sunsets.  In a few weeks we will be trudging up to school in horizontal rain and tornado style winds that rush down the valley from the Pennines, so we are making the most of it whilst it lasts.

It’s time for me to pick my little bean up from nursery now, so I will bid you farewell!  Thanks for dropping in to see me, I’m looking forward to properly catching up with you now that all my digits are back in working order!

Sending love
Julia x x x

ps – note to the Being Creative Project people ~ Gallery will be posted on 1st October, not 30th September as mentioned in the e-letter!

Just for fun today…

Hello dear souls, hope your week is flowing in a lovely and sunny way – the weather has been glorious here, we are in t-shirts and slathering on the suncream, eating al-fresco and contemplating summer holidays!
As you can see, Ive been busy today on some new textile art – its a little beach scene that Ive done onto felt backing with a mixture of fabric remnants I have in my sewing box, although its not quite finished yet – Ive still got a fair bit of hand embellishment to do, such as adding sparkly fish and some embroidered text.
I wonder if you can see the lovely stuff that the little boat is sewn on to? Its a glorious product that no doubt many of you might have heard of, called Angelina Fibres which is the most magical and amazing thing Ive been playing about with today! For those of you who are shaking your head and thinking, ‘haven’t got a clue what you’re on about’ I’ll explain 🙂
Angelina Fibres are lovely shimmery strands that look like angel hair, they are mostly irredescent and when they catch the light they glow like the wings of damsel flies in the sun. You lay down your choice of fibres (you can mingle in various other colours, you dont have to stick to one shade) onto a piece of baking parchment, and then when you are satisfied with your design, you lay another piece of parchment over the top and with a medium heated iron, just glide over the top a few times to bind the fibres…here’s the best bit…when you peel away the top parchment, you have a piece of shimmery fabric!! The possibilities for this beautiful stuff are endless – oh, and you can also add in threads, feathers and the like for extra texture!
I thought this would be a great way to get the effect of a shimmery sea without it being too over the top. Im just beginning to hand embroider my little glittery fish onto it, Im after a shoal in front of the boat but my fingers are worn out today so Im going to pick it up again tomorrow.
Im now debating whether it would be fun to enter this for the art show…musing on it at the moment but I think I’ll get the feeling whether or not its the right thing to do when its finished.
Indecisive as ever eh?!!
Onto other things now, the crochet cushion front is now complete (hurrah!!) and Im now on the lookout for a suitable backing, perhaps later in the week, the little one and I will pootle over to Ecclesall Road at the other side of the city to browse the charity shops (alot of them on there) and will hopefully strike lucky! I can’t wait to have it finished and plonked on the bed 🙂 …Ive already got another cushion pad at the ready, so taken am I with this ripply style that Im planning another one in contrasting shades! Do I ever stop?? No.
Well, as usual there are too many things I want to be doing and not enough hours in the day to do them all, so I think its time to take a break – get the kettle on and make a nice cuppa to go with those scrumptious chocolate cookies Mr Tesco just brought! 😀
Have a lovely week, sending joy~full surprises and sunshine to you
J x