Summer Craft Challenge 2016 Part 7 

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Day 43 : Saturday 20th August


I made up for the crafty inactivity of our journey home last Friday by cracking open my watercolour paints. I’d intended to take them on holiday with me but forgot to pack them! I missed them… I also managed to finish a very small rainbow scarf for Littlest Postcard too. 

Day 44 : Sunday 21st August

Another day, another new project… This one’s for Middle Postcard (apologies little man I can’t think of a better pseudonym for you). He chose the yarn and asked for a winter hat. Having failed to find a suitable pattern online I’m making it up as I go along… Let’s see how this turns out😉

Day 45 : Monday 22nd August


It’s beginning to look less like a big blue & green boob and more like a hat. Hurrah for that!😉

Day 46 : Tuesday 23rd August

It’s finished! One completed bobble hat = one happy Little Postcard.


I’ve had loads of fun working on this – can you guess what it is?

Introducing Llanita the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep. Llanita will soon be jetting off to the yarn festival in Skipton, North Yorkshire, known as Yarndale. Along with hundreds of other handmade sheep, she will be auctioned off to raise much needed funds for Martin House Hospice. 


Baa!

Day 47 : Wednesday 24th August


A day at the beach in Sandy Bay meant portable crochet was required. A few circles were hooked up on the sand.

Day 48 : Thursday 25th August


If sewing name tapes into school uniform counts as craft, then here’s what I was doing yesterday. So far, with three new sets of school uniform for three Little Postcards all going to new schools, I have sewn in 13, just a gazillion left to do!

Day 49 : Friday 26th August


Back on Day 12 of this challenge I tried, and failed, to have a go at free-motion machine embroidery. After posting my failed attempt on Instagram the lovely Karen at Wakeymakes, Shiela at Sewchet and Laura at Holly’s Kitchen came forward with great advice. 

I am now the proud owner of a special presser foot for the job and know how to drop the feed dog on my machine to it doesn’t chew everything up. What has now become evident is the fact it’s not as easy as it looks…. Practice, practice, practice is required. I’ll keep you posted, but it could be some time before I produce anything worth showing so please bear with me.

Another Dino


Do you remember the little Dino I made back in Part 2?  Well the little baby boy he was made for arrived safely and this little chap has moved in with him so I can show him to you now (his Nana reads this blog so I had to keep him under wraps).

That’s it for this latest week of my craft challenge and it’s the penultimate one for me as the school gates reopen in Gibraltar on 1st September. Thanks for joining me on my crafty journey through the school summer holidays. 

Sunday Sevens #46 28.8.16

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Catalan Bay


It was so hot in our apartment last Sunday, there was a heavy Levanter in town and strong winds there too but up in our corner of Gibraltar  it was still and hot and very humid. We escaped round to Catalan Bay in the afternoon for a short walk and most importantly for ice cream for the smaller folk. You wouldn’t believe the difference in tempterature on other side of the Rock. 

The beach was very quiet for a Sunday, but then perhaps people had been put off by the overcast weather. We enjoyed the cool anyway🙂

Animal rescue


This little chap found himself trapped in our lounge on Monday, he must have flown in through the window. He got stuck between the two sashes as I tried to open them more to let him out. My little animal lover (Middle Postcard) stepped in to rescue him from between the two parts of window while I held them still. 

He flew out of the window and sat on the balcony to get his breath back for a few moments before flying off to find his Mum. My Dad tells me he’s probably a Great Tit chick. Whatever he is, he’s cute and was happy to be close to us after his rescue. I hope he found his Mum ok. 

Beach day


We had a lovely beach day on Wednesday. We’d arranged to meet a family there and ended up seeing another two families from school, so the Little Postcards had a fab time with their friends. All in all, our trip to Sandy Bay was a huge success.

All the fun of the fair


The fair’s in town at the moment. It can only mean one thing… The school summer holidays are coming to an end. We made our annual pilgrimage to look at the rides but not go on any and I am  amazed and pleased to say that we did partake of a couple of rides. 

We went in a group with friends and peer pressure may have had something to do with it. Nothing was too ‘wild’ but it’s progress on last year’s visit where the only thing we tried was the food!! 

An evening in Catalan Bay part 1


On Friday evening I went to Catalan Bay to meet a new friend (more on that shortly). When I arrived, it was a muggy overcast evening but the Bay looked as beautiful as ever. As the evening wore on and darkness fell the sky was lit by lightning and there were a couple of rumbles of thunder. 

When I got home and mentioned the storm out at sea, the Postcard family had been completely oblivious on this side of the Rock! 

An evening in Catalan Bay part 2 : Gin & Crochet


I went to Catalan Bay to meet up with the crochet guru Marisa also known as @mariwish on Instagram. We spent a lovely evening chatting, eating tapas, drinking gin and crocheting. Marisa teaches crochet in London but is visiting her native Gibraltar to see her family and decided to offer some crochet classes while she’s here on holiday too. 

I got tips and advice on making lacy shawls – not that I needed to start another project, but I’m well and truly hooked. It’s been great fun learning a new technique🙂


Luscious lavender 


The lavender in Commonwealth Park is just lovely at the moment. I have walked through in the evening several times this week and the scent has been just lovely. It’s one of my favourite scents!

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins if you fancy joining in, check out her blog. 

Until next time, thanks for stopping by 

🙂



Sunday Sevens #45 21.8.16

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An evening stroll up the pier

We were really blessed with perfect British Summer weather last week, even into the evenings. We enjoyed a lovely walk one evening and found ourselves back down at the beach and went for a wander along the lovely pier at Southwold. It’s a very interesting place – unlike any other pier I’ve visited elsewhere. Watch this space, there’ll be more coming up soon about this great venue.

Willow dragon

On Tuesday morning we drove to Potter Heigham and collected a day boat we’d hired to spend the day cruising the Norfolk Broads with four other Postcard family members. We have hired a small boat for a few hours before but this one was a bit bigger (to take 6 adults and 3 children) and we were able to explore a lot more. We moored up at St Benet’s Abbey and had a walk up to the ruins.

I had never heard of St Benet’s before this visit and it was a really beautiful surprise. It was  so peaceful and really picturesque. A local community project had produced this great willow dragon sculpture with yarn, ribbon and fabric woven into the willow body. There’s a local legend that a dragon lives in the tunnels below the Abbey and this was their representation of the mythical creature.

Rainbow cloud at sunset

Can you see the vertical rainbow in the cloud to the right of the biggest mast? I have never seen anything like this before. We had walked along to the harbour on the River Blyth from our little holiday home in Southwold one evening to get dinner at the Harbour Inn. As we sat outside on the picnic tables waiting for our food to arrive, I spotted the rainbow in the sky and thought it was just my sunglasses playing tricks on my eyes so paid it little attention until Mr Postcard spotted it and said he could see it too.

Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do the colours full justice but you can still just make it out. Have you ever seen such a thing before at sunset?

Now that’s a beach…

I’m afraid this section deserves two photos (Sunday Eights again this week…) This is the beautiful wide sandy beach at Gorleston-on-Sea. I know Gibraltar’s very proud of its beaches and rightly so, but come on… that is a BEACH! Also that’s a beach at peak season and there’s still loads of space. It’s even got a small paddling pool for young children and a boating lake (below).

A trip up the lighthouse


After two weeks admiring the lighthouse from below, both at night and during the day, we finally decided to climb it on our final day. It is a really elegant building and our tour guide was excellent, injecting humour into his extensive knowledge about the important role the lighthouse plays (thank you Brad).

I thought it would be a piece of cake to climb the 155 (I think) steps to the top, what with all my Med Steps training. What I hadn’t taken into account was the fact that the handrail on the stairs was a little lower than I would have liked and I had to walk up and down the staircase afraid to look down and pressed like a limpet to the wall! I’m such a wimp. I was very glad to be back on the ground at the end. The view from the top was worth it though.

All good things come to an end

It took 11 hours door-to-door, taxi, plane, taxi – one of the down sides of living so far away from family, but we finally made it home to Gibraltar from our summer holiday in England late on Friday evening. The day began with handing in the keys to our home for the past two weeks in Southwold, then our final Adnam’s breakfast (don’t tell anyone, but we’ve had a few Adnam’s breakfasts during our stay). We then got a taxi to drive us all the way from Southwold to Gatwick Airport.

As we set off the rain started, so I guess it was time for us to leave😉. We had never seen Dartford Bridge before and the Little Postcards were all very impressed as we crossed the Thames and headed closer to the airport. Then as we flew south, a chance look out of the plane window gave me my last glimpse of the English south coast. So long England, we’ve had a wonderful month… I hope it won’t be too long until next time.

Post holiday blues

I know I’m spoiled, I’ve just had a fab month away in England, and I have returned to our lovely home in Gibraltar but I’m feeling a little blue. I have nothing at all to complain about but I do miss our family back in England and I miss lots of other things about living there. See I told you I was spoiled – how can I say that with this kind of view from our windows? I’m sure I’ll soon snap out of it once the reality of the huge pile of laundry has reduced and we get back into our routines!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the past seven days. It was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, pop along to her blog to find out more.


Summer Craft Challenge 2016 Part 6

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Day 36 : Saturday 13th August


I know I’d only been working on this blanket for 8 days when I took this photo but there’s an awfully long way still to go!! I have crocheted every day so far and have used a complete ball of white wool edging the circles so far. As one Instagram and blogging friend Wakeymakes pointed out at least I’ll have good memories of the different locations where I’ve made all of the squares🙂

Day 37 : Sunday 14th August 


Time for a spot of slow Sunday morning stitching at breakfast time…

Day 38 : Monday 15th August


It was the turn of the Little Postcards to be crafty on Monday morning with a pottery painting session at Gallery Thea in Southwold. This effort was a lighthouse, just like the one at Europa Point, by the Littlest.


Did you know that Monday was Granny Square Day 2016? Here’s my contribution to the collage blanket collated by @suregal27 on Instagram. I only had a few colours with me on holiday so I used the colours in my current blanket WIP. 

Day 39 : Tuesday 16th August


A new chunky wool project was begun on a boat on the Norfolk Broads. We hired a day boat and chugged around the Broads for about six hours, it was really lovely. I have run out of my white wool for my blanket WIP (cue : shock, horror, teeth gnashing) so I had to start something new that was portable. Littlest Postcard saw this rainbow wool in a wool shop last week and asked me to buy it and make him something. He’s getting a scarf if the wool lasts long enough…

Day 40 : Wednesday 17th August


We loved it so much at Rendlesham Forest last week that we made a return trip. We had a lovely woodland walk and I enjoyed a quiet few moments of crochet while Littlest Postcard enjoyed the adventure playground. 

I was also able to collect our pottery productions from Gallery Thea, they had rushed our painted bits and bobs through the kiln in time for us to pack them and take them back to Gibraltar with us. Littlest’s lighthouse came out really well🙂

Day 41 : Thursday 18th August


One last pint of Adnams Spindrift sitting on the South Green in Southwold on the last night of our holiday.  We’ve had a wonderful two weeks here and are sad to be saying goodbye…

Day 42 : Friday 19th August


No craft today I’m afraid, for the first time this summer craft challenge I haven’t picked up a needle, hook or brush. This was our last glimpse of Blighty as we flew home to Gibraltar (I think we were near Southampton when I took it). Eleven hours door to door, we’re a little jaded, normal service will be resumed tomorrow…

A postcard from Walberswick

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Earlier this week we were joined by six other members of the Postcard family and took a short trip across the River Blyth from Southwold to Walberswick. For the princely sum of £1 you can be rowed across the river, but we were traveling in such a large group that we opted for four wheels rather than two oars to get there.

It’s a picturesque and peaceful spot popular with families who were out enjoying a bright summer’s day.

Walberswick is famous for something other than being pretty…. crabbing. It’s the home of the World Crabbing Championships after all, so we thought we’d have a go.  Armed with bait (bacon), a crabbing bucket, net and several crabbing lines we set off on a crabbing adventure.

After a long wait with our lines, we got a nibble, we got 3 or 4 in fact but each time we tried to pull the line up and out of the water the crab let go and plopped back into the water. Eventually, one of our party waded into the shallows and scooped up the ultimate prize in the net… a crab!!!

A neighboring family had much more success with a multitude of crabs, fish and even a bucketful of jellyfish. 

After Crabby the crab was returned to his home, we walked back towards the village centre – there are crabs everywhere round here!

And we ended up in this gorgeous little place nestled behind the Bell Inn. It’s called the Barn Café.

I had a gorgeous lunch of locally bred pork pie – delicious!

In the loos of the neighbouring pub there were crabs there too!

After lunch a short stroll took us into the village centre with its lovely village green.

Ooh it’s so pretty here with thatched cottages and gorgeous little gardens.

There are a few small shops selling local crafts, cakes and souvenirs.

We really enjoyed our trip to Walberswick- it was a treat for all the family.

We even brought a crab home with us!

A postcard from Southwold 

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Unless you are completely new to this blog, it won’t have gone unnoticed that we are currently on our summer holidays at Southwold in Suffolk. It’s a beautiful English seaside town which has loads of charm and character. 

It’s famous for its beach huts, lighthouse, beach and pier as well as the Adnams beer which is brewed locally. Mr Postcard grew up quite nearby, so Southwold has been a regular venue for day trips for us many times over the years while in Norfolk and Suffolk visiting his family. This time, however, is the first time we’ve actually stayed in the town. 

I thought we had probably seen all that it has to offer in the 20+ years we’ve been coming but I was wrong, one and a half weeks into our stay we are still finding quaint alleyways and new places we have never seen before. 


Would you like to join me for a look around? 

Southwold Museum

The little museum seems like as good a place as any to start… Manned by volunteers and open for just two hours a day it holds all sorts of relics from the towns past.

From figureheads from boats to fossils and mammoth teeth.

It has all sorts of bits and bobs relating to the town’s past, this little display was connected to the town’s tailor which is still operating as a clothes shop known as Denny’s. Whether they’ll make you a three piece suit out of tweed in this day and age, I’m not sure.

There were also lots of items relating to the religious life of the town with fragments of stained glass windows from the church of St Edmund’s which was close to a direct hit by German bombs during World War II.

Church of St Edmund’s

The church is home to Southwold Jack, a figure who strikes a bell with his sword. He was once part of a clock and chimed the time. He is an emblem for Southwold and even appears on the bottles of beer produced in the town.

It’s a beautiful big church…

There’s a fair amount of needlework on display here; in the choir stalls…

And in all the pews.

Riverside & harbour

Beside Southwold lies the River Blyth which offers the town a natural harbour. Here you can catch a ferry (rowing boat) across to the picturesque village of Walberswick on the other side.

It’s a really beautiful spot. We took a walk along the riverside on evening on a quest to find somewhere to have dinner. We were lucky enough to see a seal swimming in the harbour.

Along the riverside lie many black huts belonging to the fishermen who work these waters.


After a very pleasant walk we found ourselves at the Harbour Inn and enjoyed a lovely meal outside with the Little Postcards as the sun went down.


The Sailors’ Reading Room 

The Southwold Sailors’ Reading Room is a really special place. It’s a kind of club for sailors but it’s open to the public to visit for free. It’s filled with photographs of sailors from years gone by and photos, paintings and models of their boats too. Cameras are not permitted inside, so I can’t show you the interior but it really is worth a visit. 



Lighthouse

The town is dominated by the Trinity Lighthouse. Nestled in amongst the terraced cottages and next to a pub, it’s open for visitors to climb the many steps to the top to look out across the sea and coastline.

RNLI

The RNLI has a strong presence in Southwold. In summertime there’s a lifeguard station and all year round there’s a lifeboat station, manned as always by brave volunteers. There’s even a museum dedicated to the great work these amazing people do and have done over the many years they’ve been on duty here. 

On our first day here, we were lucky enough to see a display by the local lifeboat and the larger lifeboat (below) from nearby Lowestoft. As you can see, hundreds of people turned out to see the event from the cliffs and the beach as the lifeboat crews staged rescues of surfers, a fishing boat crew and swimmers.

The town 

The town of Southwold itself is beautiful. It’s filled with many independent shops including great food shops, a big favourite of ours was the Two Magpies Bakery (my waistline will testify to that fact!)


Behind the town lies the common complete with it’s two striking water towers, and also currently, the circus.


There are so many beautiful buildings lying up alleyways and tucked away off the beaten track.

Oh, and there’s a brewery here too… I think I may have found a new favourite tipple😉

If you should happen to be in this neck of the woods, I would really recommend a trip to Southwold. We just can’t help keep coming back for more…

Sunday Sevens #44 14.8.16

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We’re still on our summer holidays in Suffolk and have had a really lovely week. The weather has been kind to us most of the time and we’ve been able to get out and about a lot, here’s a few of the things we’ve been up to:

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…


I had the prom to myself on my Monday morning run. It meant I could ogle the gorgeous beach huts without feeling too self conscious. I have long been an admirer of these little wooden huts in all their gorgeous rainbow colours…

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo


We had a lovely day out at Kessingland Africa Alive Zoo near Lowestoft. The sun shone (most of the time) and we saw loads of lovely animals. Two of the bravest little Postcards got to hold millipedes at the minibeast presentation. Apparently they tickled… Needless to say I was too squeamish to attempt such a thing😉

Paddling


We got up bright and early one morning and almost had the beach to ourselves. We had a few hours there before heading off to do other things. One of the joys of staying close to the beach has meant we can have several shorter beach trips rather than committing to a whole day there. 

Transport Museum


As one of the Little Postcards is an avid fan of all things public transport related, we often pay a visit to the East Anglia Transport Museum at Lowestoft when we’re in this part of the world. There are trams, trolley buses, a steam train, buses galore and a steam powered road roller. 

Manned by enthusiastic volunteers the museum is an interesting day out for young and old alike (even those of us who don’t get over excited by such things😉 ).  It’s really well maintained and the collection is constantly being added to and restored. A great favourite for us was the ‘Half-decker bus’ which was designed to hold more passengers than a single decker but still be able to fit under low bridges:


The staggered seating areas were like small train compartments and really cosy. The central corridor led to both upper level and lower level seating. It was a really ingenious use of space – shame this is the only example of this kind of bus still remaining today.

The Cathedral of the Marshes


The church of the Holy Trinity at Blythburgh is striking as it rises above the marshes of the Blyth estuary. Known as the Cathedral of the Marshes, a church has stood on this site for 1400 years. It has a stunning carved wooden ceiling with angels running the length of the roof. The cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary which is maintained in such a way as to promote both the plants and creatures which live there. We always stop and pay the church a visit on the way past, it’s really tranquil spot. 

Rendlesham


We headed to Rendlesham Forest for a lovely woodland walk on a very sunny morning last week. It is such a beautiful place, one we have never visited before. It was the site of a series of famous UFO sightings in 1980 and there’s a specially marked out UFO Trail you can follow to see where the sightings were. Aside from the extra terrestrial side of things it’s a really lovely spot.

For the love of lemon bonbons 


There’s a lovely old-fashioned sweet shop here in Southwold and we have found ourselves drawn to it a couple of times. I have reaquainted myself with the delights of the bonbon on this holiday, rhubarb and custard flavour were very nice but my all time favourite has to be lemon… Yum!

I hope the last seven days have been kind to you. Thank you very much for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven (whoops eight again this week😉 ) photos from the past seven days. It was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog, check her blog out if you want to find out more.