Sunday Sevens #145 15.7.18

That week went fast! First week of the school holidays over already, and we got through unscathed! It’s been a week of sporting activities for the children and lazy beach trips, and a fair bit of eating… the diet starts tomorrow 😉

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens …

Things didn’t go to plan

Last Sunday, we did something we don’t normally do, we took a drive out into Spain to go for lunch. Unfortunately our trip got slightly scuppered by long tailbacks on the motorway very soon after joining it. We took the executive decision to cut our trip short, not fancying spending longer than necessary in a hot car with children in the back. Fortunately for us, the next motorway exit was in sight, so we turned round and came back to Gibraltar for lunch. If we hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to gorge myself on this lovely chocolatey dessert….

Getting nowhere fast

More traffic problems happened on Monday, this time in Gibraltar. After almost 9 years living here you would have thought by now I’d learn to avoid the roads around the airport when there are planes due to land! (For those unfamiliar with Gibraltar: the main road to the border with Spain cuts across the airport runway, so when a plane’s due to land or takeoff, that road has to be closed and it has an impact on traffic nearby bringing it to a standstill).

A summer stroll

Bearing in mind my recent traffic problems, I opted for walking for much of the rest of the week! You certainly get to see and experience a lot more, even if you are a bit sweaty when you get to your destination!

Got enough toppings on that?!

So, at the end of that walk (above) there was this lovely pizza waiting for my lunch! It was super tasty but I had to opt for a knife and fork to eat it with all those toppings!!

Stargazing

I’m rather pleased with my lillies from last year, I think they’re call stargazer lillies. They have come back again, and flowered this week and are even better than last year!

School holiday sports programme

We are very lucky here in Gibraltar to have a comprehensive summer sports and leisure programme set up for school children during the summer holidays. There are all sorts of things from summer training for different sports, art and design classes and even history walks around the town. It gives the 8 week-long summer holiday a bit of structure and in many cases is free, or requires a small fee to be paid.

Sanctuary

One of the few benefits of visiting the beach on a windy day, is that the chiringuito was empty! We popped to the beach at Sandy Bay on Friday morning not realising quite how windy it was going to be. After half an hour of being sand blasted, we headed to the beach bar/cafe for refuge and coffee. Normally packed out with beach goers seeking shade and refreshment, we almost had the place to ourselves!we’ve enjoyed a couple of beach days this week, it would be rude not to seeing as we have so many beaches nearby! (You can read all about Gibraltar’s beaches here.)

Thanks for stopping by to read my Sunday Sevens, I’ve noticed I have a few new people following my blog lately, thank you for that! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series, and I’ll be back again next week!

Summer craft challenge 2018 (week 1)

School’s out for summer! As I stare down the barrel of another 8 week-long summer break from school, yet again, I thought there was only one way I would survive it with my sanity intact; to craft every day.

As in the past two previous years, I have set myself the challenge to do something crafty each day (even if it’s just 10 minutes). Each day I will put a crafty photo up on my Instagram account and at the end of each week (probably on Saturdays), I’ll publish a post about my crafty week. It’ll be as much to encourage me to keep at it as much as it is to share my crafty summer and it’s worked before (twice).

Here goes…

Day 1 (Saturday 7th July)

Life has been rather hectic in the past couple of weeks and my ability to take a few moments out for crochet or anything else crafty has been severely restricted. So now I intend to put that right, and I started with a bit of a catch up on my Seaside Stash Busting Blanket from the Coastal Crochet CAL by the lovely Eleonora. I’m about 3 weeks behind… but I’m catching up!

Day 2 (Sunday 8th July)

On Sunday we took a drive into Spain and I brought my crochet with me in case there was a long queue getting back into Gib. As you can see there wasn’t, as it happens, but at least I was prepared just in case!

Day 3 Monday 9th July

I know I really should finish some of my existing projects, but I happen to know that a little baby girl is due to be born very soon, and I thought she might like to have her own Little Donovan Lamb. This Little Box of Crochet has been waiting patiently since it arrived back in March.

Day 4 Tuesday 10th July

One Donovan head completed!

Day 5 Wednesday 11th July

And now he has a body.

Day 6 Thursday 12th July

Much of the day was spent at the beach and as this is a gift for a new born, I didn’t want to take it out with me. The busy day out and about only allowed time for a little bit of arm-making!

Day 7 Friday 13th July

And now he has arms! One comment on Instagram, when I posted this, was that it looks like he’s sunken in a field of clover – I like that image.

So there you have it, one week done already, I can hardly believe it’s gone so quickly! Seven left to go on this Summer Craft Challenge.

2018 Friday photo challenge (Week 28) Favourite

Favourite… that’s a bit of a loose prompt. Favourite what? Well this photo seems to be a bit of a favourite over on Instagram – it’s had more likes than any other on my account. It dates back to April last year.

My favourite photo taken in Gibraltar has to be this one, taken after walking up through the mist and low cloud on the Med Steps.

My favourite pass time has to be crochet…

And my favourite finished blanket so far has to be this rainbow granny square one…

Next week’s photo challenge is button.

Monthly meet-up July : Sculpture

July’s prompt for the monthly blogger’s meet-up arranged by Sandra at Wild Daffodil is sculpture.

Last summer we saw many, many sculptures on our travels, especially in Rome, but this one stuck with me most of all. It was a fountain in Toulouse, in southern France, and was erected to commemorate the 210 victims of a flood in 1875. It was beautiful and poignant.

The fountain can be found in Place Olivier in Toulouse.

Sunday Sevens #144 8.7.18

It’s scorchio in Gibraltar today, I’m sitting by my open window out of the sun, slowly melting… here’s this week’s slightly sticky edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunday lunch

Last Sunday we took an impromptu trip into Ocean Village for a lovely lunch. It wasn’t planned and it just worked to perfection; the food was lovely, everyone behaved well and we went home contented!

Party time

There was a birthday party this week… one of the Little Postcards is due to have his birthday in the summer holidays when many of his classmates are on holiday, so we brought the birthday celebrations forwards a bit so he could spend it with his friends. I find (my) children’s parties very stressful as a rule and approach them with great dread. I’m thrilled to say that on this occasion it went off without incident and the play zone we hired for the party had hardly anyone else in there at the same time so we almost had it to ourselves – which was bliss!

A floral rainbow

There seems to be a plethora of bright blousy blooms about at the moment in Gibraltar’s municipal flower beds. Here’s just a small selection.

Sewing school’s out for summer

My sewing lessons have come to an end for the summer break, I shall miss my morning sessions with sewing and banter with the girls. As it’s the end of term, I can now show you my finished dress… it’s taken almost a whole academic year to draft the pattern, make a cotton version to check for fitting and get the correct drape on the frill before making the actual dress.

I’m very pleased with it, especially as the fabric cost about €20 from La Linea market!! I just need the right occasion to wear it!

Happy post!

I have been watching Instagram enviously over the past few weeks seeing people announce that their latest Little Box of Crochet had arrived through the post. As usual mine arrived much later, as it has a longer distance to travel, on Thursday it finally arrived.

As I was in Catalan Bay anyway and the box has a special summer seaside theme, it seemed the perfect photo opportunity. I swear the folk watching me position it on an upturned boat and getting my focus right though I was bonkers…

Anyway, it arrived just in time for my annual summer craft challenge, which I started yesterday. My aim this year, as in the last two, is to do something crafty everyday throughout the school holidays in a bid to carve out a little bit of tranquil creativity while the world is going wild around me.

Last breakfast

Also on Thursday (in fact just before the above photo was taken) I popped out for one last moment of calm and tranquility before the end of term chaos ensued. The eggs Benedict I had was truly lovely! (Schools broke up on Friday and I had too many jobs to take care of to have my last breakfast then.)

A curry before kick off

Please excuse the repetitive food theme to these photos…. yesterday we decided to make a meal of it (well of a certain football match). It’s not every day England gets to the quarter finals of the World Cup is it? We headed out for a lovely curry before kick off and then stayed in the restaurant to watch the match. It was a perfect place – not too rowdy – as we had the Little Postcards with us.

Now, thanks to Messrs Maguire and Dele Alli we need to think of how we are going to spend the next semi-final match. I’m not sure my nerves can take it….

I wonder what I will be writing about England’s progress in next week’s Sunday Sevens??

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the one ahead is kind to you too. Until next time, bye for now.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday photo challenge (week 27) Golden & June round up

I’ve chosen the ‘golden hour’ as the sun sets for my golden photo challenge entry this week. I love how the colour just fills our home for those glorious few moments as it drops down behind the hills across the Bay from us.

However, at the moment, this is my favourite type of golden…

…just the ticket after a long hot day!

Next week’s Friday Photo Challenge will be ‘Favourite’.

June round-up

Sunshine

We kicked off June with sunshine and Crafty creek had some stunning shots in her Sunshine post, I just love the sunrise photo over the sea. So beautiful! You can see it here . Sunshine and trees featured this week on Instagram @mrsscjohnson4 shared a beautiful sunset photo with a line of trees silhouetted in the foreground, while @randallpeck captured the sun’s rays through the branches of a tree.

Line (week 23)

Sandra at Wild Daffodil shared her post about a beautiful lino print she’d made for this challenge. Meanwhile on Instagram, Randall Peck shared the most beautiful photograph of a solitary bird sitting on a power line against an orange sky. Thinking outside the box, Sandra @capanosandra opted for the plimsoll line on a large tanker moored in Gibraltar’s port.

Tiny (week 24)

The most adorable tiny floral arrangement in a little tea cup was Sandra at Wild Daffodil’s entry for Tiny. Tammy (@tsdailytreasures) captured a little bug on a blade of grass, and insects also featured in the pictures by @randallpeck and @capanosandra too. Randall caught the moment as one bird flew to another to share an insect for dinner and Sandra opted for the bane of my life in the summer months… ants!

Midsummer (week 25)

‘Phonhenge’ was the title of @randallpeck’s summer solstice Instagram photograph which made me chuckle. He managed to catch a picture of the sun just peeping out around the side of his mobile phone. Jan @isisjem opted for a beautiful shot of a path across a green field which was taken on her summer solstice countryside walk. For @hookstitchsew, marigolds mean midsummer to her.

Tall (week 26)

Over on Instagram @mrsscjohnson4 shared a photo of the control tower at Mallory Park race track for her ‘tall’ image, Sandra (@capanosandra) chose to share a photo of The Four Columns (Les Quatre Columnes in Catalan) which she photographed on her recent trip to Barcelona. While Susan @bluejake235 chose Blackpool Tower as the subject of her ‘tall’ photo, @hookstitchsew featured her very tall pea plants as the stars of her tall entry. Perhaps the tallest thing of all to feature was Alison (@alisoninandalucia)’s picture of the Burj Khalifa.

Thank you to everyone who has joined in with the Postcard from Gibraltar Friday Photo Challenge so far this year, it’s amazing to think that we are already more than halfway through already! Here’s to lots more lovely photographs over the next 6 months!

A foray into felting

It’s been such a long time since I wrote a post just about crafty endeavours, so I figured this is long overdue. That and the fact it’s been sitting in my pending posts list since June last year! Without further ado, here’s my first foray into felting under the tutelage of my friend V. (Sorry it’s taken so terribly long to write up V!).

Let’s turn the clock back to December 2016 when we were the lucky recipients of this beautiful hand felted snowdrop card. It had been made by our friend V who I had often had long chats about all things crafty with. She had mentioned that she did a bit of felting but until I received this gorgeous card, I hadn’t seen any of her work.

She invited me to come to her place and have a go myself – I couldn’t say no to that could I?

V asked me to come with an idea for a picture in mind, it had to be Gibraltar didn’t it? I had a huge range of colours to chose from before beginning…

The first job was to layer up the fibres of white wool vertically and horizontally across a sheet of bubble wrap to form a base.


Once about three layers were laid out, I pulled thin amounts of yarn fibres in various shades of blue to form the basic background of the picture.

In order to get the fibres to lie flat, we combed the yarn between two large paddle hairbrushes.

Slowly the shape of the Rock began to emerge.



Once the rough shape was in place, it was time to get felting. Hot soapy water was splashed onto the picture…

… before enveloping the whole thing with bubble wrap and rubbing. And there was a whole lot of rubbing involved to try and get the fibres to ‘knit’ together.

The image had changed a bit after this.

Then it was time to peel off the felted picture and get ready to squeeze the water out.

To do this, we laid it on an off cut of a bamboo blind, then rolled it up.

We rolled and rolled to squeeze the soapy water out and to further bind the fibres together.

Then it was time for a bit of throwing practice. It was a good workout this felting business! Splat into the kitchen sink time and time again!!

It was then pegged out to dry. The base was finished, ready to reconvene on another day to embellish it further and add more details.

Inspired by this photo I took on a trip out into the Bay of Gibraltar on a dolphin trip, I decided to attempt to add a boat to my picture. Some of the details were added using a barbed felting needle to add yarn fibres to the background picture.


Once the yacht and a few tower blocks were added, I got the sewing machine out.

So that was my machine embroidery complete, now it was time for a bit of hand stitched embellishments.

Finally, a whole year after I began this picture, the time had come to finish it!

Are you ready? Drum roll please……

Ta-dah!

And here it is on the wall…

Thank you so much V for your expert tutelage…. looks like I have another hobby!!

Perhaps next time it won’t take a year to finish it!!