Thursday, 15 July 2010

Lindisfarne and Friends

As promised this post is mostly about our visit to Lindisfarne, a precious and magical island off the coast of Northumberland which is cut off by the tide twice a day.  We were really lucky in that the tides were right for our visit and we were able to get a bus from Berwick which left us on the island just before 11 in the morning and came back for us shortly before 7 in the evening.  We have been to Lindisfarne twice in the past including a week spent in a cottage 9 years ago.  If you click on the link above you will find a wealth of information about this beautiful place which has an ancient history that is almost tangible.

First things first, as we got off our bus we were met by Julia and her husband who we know through blogging.  Julia loves working in mixed media but she is also a very talented digital artist and I would love to live near enough to have some lessons from her ;o)  Speaking of mixed media, Julia spoiled me totally with some beautiful gifts that overwhelmed me with her generosity and also her skill.

This beautiful cutwork is called 'Lovers' Knot'.  It is a Celtic knot, which is very appropriate for a visit to Lindisfarne, and Julie has skilfully cut out the negative shapes to leave this intricate shape.  It has beautiful beading too and rests on an interesting piece of organza with a thread running through it.  It is in fact framed but I had difficulty photographing it in its entirety due to reflected light.

Not content with giving me the Lovers Knot Julia also gave me this pretty bag, distressed sheers and felt brooch and another beautiful knot that I am going to use in the sketchbook I am making with Carole.  Thank you so much Julia for your beautiful gifts. 

So what's the first thing you do when you meet up with friends?  Go for a cuppa of course!  These sparrows were amazingly tame and came to Keith's hand for crumbs of cake.  I'm afraid we ate the cakes before I thought to take any photos.  Suitably refreshed we headed out to Lindisfarne Castle which is a National Trust property.

The castle was originally an Elizabethan fort but was converted to an Edwardian home by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  I had not been familiar with Lutyens' designs before but I liked the simple lines of his furniture and architectural motifs.  There was lots of inspiration in surface patterns and textures.

Standing apart form the castle and protected by a stone wall is the Castle garden which was designed by Gertrude Jekyll, who worked in conjunction with Lutyens on many gardens.

Considering its proximity to the sea and its relatively exposed position the garden had a beautiful array of plants in flower.

I think this plant above is fennel and I was struck by the delicate fronds and the movement made by the lines of the stems.  I'm sure this could be interpreted in stitch.  There were lots of beautiful poppy seedheads too. (I've lost the photos I took of the patterns on the seedheads). :o(

These delicate harebells were growing out of the parapet around the castle terrace.   You can see it was a bit of a showery day but that just added to the atmosphere.

The sheds in the photograph above are made from upturned boats that have been cut down and doors fitted to the 'front'.  There are more down on the foreshore that are used by local fishermen for their fishing tackle.

Once the causeway reopened Julie and Keith headed off for home and DH and I took a walk down to the beach for a quick beachcomb.  The tide was well on its way out and the clouds were quite low down on the mainland.

As I wandered about the beach I could hear seals 'singing' in the distance.  It was a most haunting sound.  I have been trying to find a sound clip on You Tube but I can't find anything that approaches what we heard.  We could see the seals just the other side of the small island you can see in the photograph above. 

The shingle beaches gave me several sources for potential future design work.

Having spent a day on Lindisfarne again we are now thinking that we really should go back again for a proper visit.  Maybe we'll see you there?


kiwicarole said...

Loving your photos Julie! Gertrude Jekyll is one of my favs I love her garden design.
Let me say I'm all in favor of pink pjs and castles, we don't have castles here in NZ.
(Oh and your journal is looking very exciting!!)

Bea said...

Most of those photographs are not only good enough to frame and hang but oooooooooh you could paint them. BEAUTIFUL. What fun to meet up with a blogging buddy. I think my favorite picture is those blue Harebells. :)Bea

Ro Bruhn said...

Memories. I went there twenty years ago on a trip back to England. I don't remember the castle looking as good as it does now. Have they restored it or is my memory not like it used to be?

ju-north said...

Thanks for showing my gifts Julie! Your pics are wonderful - you have a good eye for capturing the atmosphere of a place!


Stunning photos. Glad you had such a lovely time. Your blog friend's gifts were gorgeous. Lucky you!

I got your latest email thanks. I've now had 4 emails I sent you bounce back to me, but have tried again. I will keep trying to re-send them. I'm not having a problem with anyone else's emails

Hope you have a great weekend Julie
Love to you and DH too

Carolyn xo

Heather said...

Thankyou for sharing your beautiful photos of Lindisfarne Julie - I feel as if I have really been there now. It is a magical place and full of inspiration for all artists. How lovely to meet bloggy friends there too and I love those wonderful gifts you were given. Your sketchbook will be very special.


Just to say I have resorted to sending you a flickr message as emails have bounced back again today :o(

Cameron said...

How great it is to live across the pond and yet travel to such wonderful places in a matter of moments. Thank you for the great pictures and taking the time to share with us. Love and hugs, Cameron

maggi said...

Gorgeous photos Julie. The textures and patterns are inspirational. Lovely gifts from Julia too.

pam said...

Oh Lindisfarne sounds wonderful and looks great - another place on our list of places to visit I think.
Your friend is very talented the celtic know was lovely.

Angela said...

You clearly had an enjoyable time. Your photos are great .

Jackie said...

How lovely. I've been to Lindisfarne a couple of times and i entirely agree about its magic. I think its the being cut off that does it for me. How lovely you met Julia of Ju North. Those gifts are stunning. I enjoyed your previous post about Berwick too. Haven't been there so its good to have a preview.

Lottie said...

How I love Lindisfarne - and surrounding areas - you take the most amazing photos.

Becky Vigor said...

I'm also recently returned from Northumberland but not made it to Lindesfarne yet, an ambition of several years standing! No surprise that despite the picturesque surroundings my eye is drawn straight to the photo of cobbles! Then the amazing shingle scapes, yes, definitely plenty of design inspiration there. And yes also to seeing you on Lindesfarne - kill 2 birds with 1 stone so to speak - been wanting to meet you almost as long as I've wanted to go there :)

Emma said...

Wow, I have just been catching up with your latest posts & visiting some links - you've been so busy! Wonferful gifts from Julia, I must get my organza out! Lucky you to meet her. Some great photos.

Following your link to Margaret C I see she did a Cas Holmes course, very envious! don't quite get the travelling lines.

Debating whether to join in the sketchbook thing, the themes didn't appeal to me but can you choose your own? The 12" patch looks good, tho.

Good to catch up! Leg getting better :)

Cameron said...

Julie, Don't think me fresh when I ask what size jacket do you wear? Looking at pictures on a blog really doesn't let one know. Please get back to me. Hugs