Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A Moonlight Adventure

'A Moonlight Adventure'

Im all done. Whew! Its always a journey, painting a picture, and this one was no different to the rest in that it was completely enjoyable and fun, but not without the moments of pondering and glaring at it, before launching off on a rocket of an idea to add a bit more blue, to scuff it back a bit, then add some crayon marks and so on, before a familiar feeling of 'its almost done' began to settle.

I was quite determined that this picture would have a feeling of movement about it, that the viewer would have a birds eye view of the landscape that the little boys were sailing over in their balloon...do you think Ive managed to achieve that?

I used my old faithful acrylics for this piece (Daler Rowney Cryla) and sharp watercolour crayons, which come in hundreds of scrumptious shades.

This piece is going to be sent to the Agency, I was asked to do some illustrative pieces for them to add to the ones I already had - in all fairness that was only a handful as its only been the last few months which has seen a move into a more illustrative way of painting for me. However, I enjoy a challenge and Im now plotting what my next picture will be about, Im going to be trying hard to convey all manner of my capabilities along the next few months or so!

...on the crafting front...hmmm, confession coming up.
I am officially, a crochet harlot.
Yes, I have succumbed to yet another project, despite being in a fully fledged love affair with my big blanket and my hexagon throw, not to mention a granny square cushion cover, I am now also in the throes of passion with another cushion cover to boot - this time a plain double crochet effort in soft blue which I intend to adorn with several of my seablooms when its completed in its intended envelope style. I think I may have an addiction, and I can hear some of you giggling as you recognise these symptoms yourself - but isn't it just lovely to be able to pick and choose who you hang out with of an afternoon or evening, when you have an hour to spare or relax with? I love it.
My current obsession with all things cushiony stems from the huge changes we are starting (this very friday in fact) to make to our house. I have already picked the colour scheme (very light and bright in comparisson to its lurid terracotta sponge effect of now - (oh, I cant wait to share the photos with you all as we progress!) and seem to have an urgent need to make those necessary accessories which make a house a home, hence a few new cushion covers on the go, and throws etc.
I feel the need to get the kettle on, spend half an hour with my new love interest!!
I shall post as and when I get the opportunity over the next few weeks, as from friday me and Little Bean are camping at Mums and any time I spend here will no doubt see me in dust mask wielding a sledge hammer, or more serenely, slapping on the paint!
I wish you all a happy week, and hope to catch up soon.
Love Julia xxx

Friday, 14 August 2009

Colour~Full Days

Ive been painting today. At last, after a couple of weeks of not doing, it feels marvellous to swirl my brushes in thick acrylic and sketch ideas furiously in my little book. I have felt quite at sea without my painting of late. Due to nasty cold bugs and family visiting, I just haven't been able to get down to work, but at last, I have and its been wonderful - and I wanted to share how its going with you all. Its not finished, not by a long way but lets call it a Work In Progress (by the way, the white blobs on the picture above are going to be sheep :)
Two little boys in their pyjamas are on a night time adventure, by the light of their lantern and the full moon, they head off in their basket propelled along by a large bunch of bright party balloons...
Im hoping to finish it before the work starts on our house. Next friday the skip arrives and me and the other half will be happily wielding heavy instruments and smashing vile 1970's decor to bits! Ha! We can't wait. However, it does mean that in the week or so that follows me and the Little One will be decamping to Mums house to escape the mess but the temporary accomodation will be welcome compared with what this place is going to look like when we get stuck in!

Well, talking of the Little One, we had a colourful time of it yesterday making bead bracelets. I was rather excited when Postie brought me a box from Amazon which contained a couple of books Id treated myself to, one being a Christmas Gifts to make and sew, the other being Homemade which I eagerly pounced on first, cup of tea in one hand, other wrapped around Little Daughter's middle as she lodged herself firmly on my lap to look at the pictures. At two years old, she's very involved in all things creative and exclaimed with delight at the heart shaped bracelet which you will come across within the first few pages, if you happen to have this gorgeous book yourself.
'Shall we make some?' I asked her.
'Yes, Ess, Yess!' she responded eagerly, and accompanied me upstairs to where I keep my bead making stash, helped me bring it all downstairs again and onto the lounge rug where she made jewel bright piles of different little beads. We were both rather delighted with the finished pieces, she picked out all the beads herself, and helped to thread them onto the elastic - I think I will treasure mine for a long while to come.
Meanwhile in the garden...the dahlia is something of a spectacle! I cannot believe how stunning this flower really is, the sunny golden glow within the pink of the petals reminds me of a sunrise, I could stare at it for hours.

Im off out for my tea in a minute, it being an Art Day, we are child free and we are going to a nice pub to indulge ourselves!
I hope you all have glowing weekends, full of sunshine and nice things.

And I hope to see you all again soon.
Sending love
J xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

On the Home Front

All is blooming in the riverside garden, despite the heavy downpours! August arrived with yet more rain and whirling winds, leaves being blown off the trees and a very autumnal air was felt by all. Surreptitious thoughts of warm soup and tarte tatin seemed to drift as if by magic, into my mind, obliterating in an instant all ideas of crisp summery salads and dining outdoors!
We have all been struck down by a rather awful head cold here. This last week has seen us snuffling around the house with tissues permanently stuck to our faces, coughing and sneezing and feeling generally worse for wear. However, light at the end of the tunnel, we now seem to be over the worst of it and I for one am starting to feel a little more like my old self again. Which means feeling more like doing Things.
My newest Thing is a new blanket - oh dear yes, Im not content with having a big blanket on the go already (which is only a third complete) - no, I found myself in Cole Brothers (like Diane at Heartshaped, I just cant call it John Lewis ;) and I found myself holding the lovliest organic wool in the lovliest muted shades and, before I knew what I was doing I found myself handing over my stash to the smiley lady at the counter.
Now how did that happen?
I have to confess to being too easily inspired by lovely Lucy at Attic24, I had been perusing her patterns and was rather smitten with her hexagons, even through the fug of a cold I sat and read the instructions until I was sure I could do it and then rustled up a prototype (which the Little Daughter is now delightedly using as a coaster).
As soon as I was able, I set about starting it - big blanket has been shoved back into its project bag til a later date...I haven't forgotten it, no, I will absolutely most definately complete it...I just need to have small crocheted love affairs with other projects in the meantime. :)
So this is how it looks so far. Lots of sea blues and soft turquoise with white, and a couple of driftwood shades with a bit of sea thrift pink thrown in. The idea is to make a throw for the lounge when its finally decorated - yes, in approximately 3 weeks we will see delivery of a big skip and we will be demolishing our lounge and dining room of all its 1970's wood and grim stone corniches. Bring in Danny on the 1st of September and my lust for Smooth Walls will be quenched! Im going to take pictures of the project as it unfolds - we are most excited to be able to finally make a start on our living area, our intention was to do this work in 2007 but a certain Little Girl put in an appearance and any of you with little people will know how all plans go out the window when children arrive on the scene!

One thing my Little One does enjoy doing now that she is 2 is Helping. She likes to Stir and she loves to Bake. The other day we made bread.

Here is our loaf, resting and rising...

Exciting moment...popping it in the oven! (Little Daughter so excited and wants me to keep opening the door to peep at it).

...and finally ready to eat!

Its most satisfying to slice into a loaf of bread that you have made yourself, especially when it is still slightly warm...spread it with butter and jam...MMMMMMmmmmmmmm!
My sister and her family are staying at my parents cottage this week, so if the weather holds we will be out and about - already we have been to our favourite local farm, Cannon Hall which is a happy balance of animals and playpark for the small ones and a very good farm shop/deli and coffee shop for the big people - not to mention a rather gorgeous garden centre across the road.
Everyone happy. :)
Hope you are all well, oh - a quick mention here for Kar who often leaves lovely comments for me here, I want to tell you I have tried in earnest to respond to your delightful posts at your blog, but for some unknown reason my computer freezes everytime I try. I will persist I promise, but I do think your blog is very lovely and thankyou for visiting mine!
Sending love, sunshine, peach iced tea and homemade cookies!
'Til next time ~
Julia xxx
Ps: It seems my little blog has been nominated by the lovely people at Dorset Cereals for a Little Blog Award, so if you enjoy it too, why not give me a little vote? Just click the picture link up there on the right - thank you ever so much, its really very, very nice of you. :)
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