Sunday Sevens #200 11.8.19

Did you catch the title of this post? Sunday Sevens number 200 – eek how did that happen? Have I really been writing about what’s happened during my weeks for 200 weeks? If you have been with me from the start I reckon you deserve some kind of reward for your stamina! Thank you to everyone who’s been reading my posts for so long whether you’re a newbie to Postcard from Gibraltar or have been dipping in and out for years, I appreciate your company – thank you!

By the way, I had lots of fun walking around the town centre looking for ‘200’s for this photo collage (thank goodness Gibraltar’s dialing code is 200!!).

Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

Beach day

Last Sunday and Monday were spent doing laundry from our trip to Portugal last week and putting our home back together after having contractors in to do some much needed jobs in our absence. Tuesday, though, was a beach day. It was lovely down at Sandy Bay. I stupidly thought that after a long summer of using factor 50 suncream I could throw caution to the wind and go down to factor 30. I was wrong. a bit of previously unexposed flesh couldn’t cope with it and I got a bit frazzled. That’ll teach me. I’m back on The factor 50.

Market day in La Linea

I’m on the hunt for some fabric to recover our dining room chairs. I have a design in my mind and headed to La Linda’s Wednesday market to try and buy some. Unfortunately the stall holders didn’t have what I wanted. We did have a nice lunch at Cafe Modelo in La Linea town centre (their chips are really rather nice) and had a bit of a walk about – it made a nice change,

Lovely sunset

On Wednesday evening we enjoyed a glorious sunset over the Bay. The photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Thursday swim

I took the Little Postcards to the Europa open air pool on Thursday, it was lovely. I didn’t take any photos in the pool but am always amazed at the waterfall above it.

Bougainvillea blooms

I have included this bougainvillea a few times in Sunday Sevens over the years. It always seems to be in bloom and was laden with flowers when we walk past it this week.

Squeezing the last bit out of the day

On Friday we stayed on the beach until the last rays of sunshine had disappeared over the Rock. The Little Postcards were having so much fun in the sea and burying each other in the sand. It seemed such a shame to leave.

Busy day in the Bay

I happened to look out of the window yesterday and thought it looked really rather busy out in the Bay. There were ferries heading back and to to Morocco and tankers bunkering in Gibraltar waters as well as huge container ships heading to Algeciras port. I think the only day it’s quiet out there is Christmas Day.

And that brings this week’s 200th Sunday Sevens to a close.

I forgot to include this last week… here’s a little compilation of my July highlights.

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Craft Challenge 2019 (Week 6)

And so we are now two thirds of the way through our school summer break here in Gibraltar, and so far, I’m pleased to say, we have all survived!!

Here’s week 6 of my summer craft challenge…

Day 36 Saturday 3rd August

Last Saturday we made our way home from our lovely holiday in Portugal. I managed a little spot of crochet while we sat in the border queue to cross back into Gibraltar.

Day 37 Sunday 4th August

Sunday was all about post holiday laundry duties and putting our home back together after the contractors had done their stuff while we were away.,.. as I write this on Saturday, almost a week later, the apartment is still a work in progress! On Sunday, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for crochet but I did find ten minutes to flick through the latest edition of Simply Crochet. Does that count?!

Day 38 Monday 5th August

A plump Dino body in progress in front of the telly…

Day 39 Tuesday 6th August

A Dino tail in progress on the beach…

Day 40 Wednesday 7th August

Dino arms today…

Day 41 Thursday 8th August

This is pretty much all I can show you of this little chap for now until he’s gifted in a couple of weeks’ time. I promise I will share a picture then…

Day 42 Friday 9th August

Another spot of beach crochet and another little dinosaur part…

And that brings this week’s Summer Craft Challenge to a close. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens #199 4.8.19

Hello there! I hope you’re well and have had a good week. Last Saturday we packed up the car and headed off on a road trip to Portugal…. here’s some of what we got up to:

Olá Portugal!

We drove to the lovely seaside town of Alvor in the Algarve. We have visited this part of the world before and spent some time on day trips here before but really fancied being able to spend the evening enjoying the many bars & restaurants rather than just grabbing a quick lunch or ice cream before heading back to our accommodation. This time we rented an apartment in the fishing town and really enjoyed all it had to offer.

Alvor medieval fair

For most of our stay there was a Medieval fair going on at night. There were multiple food stalls, entertainment with ye olde worlde musicians and characters wandering about. There was even a medieval merry-go-round – it didn’t get many takers as far as we could see, the more modern one with hobby horses and fire engines next door was more of a pull for the little ones.

Down at the waterpark

We had a day at a water park on Tuesday – not something you’d normally catch us doing but we met up with old friends while we were away and one of their sons had his birthday last week so this was his choice. I was very brave and went on the ‘Disco River’ slide and screamed all the way down. Littlest asked me not to ride with him again after that…

Beach day

The Little Postcards had a great time last week, not only did we go water sliding, we had 4 trips to the beach. I have to admit, this one is rather spectacular don’t you agree?

Chocolate heaven!

Now do you remember those evening delights to enjoy in Alvor? This has got to be one of them. (I may be regretting some of the naughty things we ate now I’m home and reunited with my scales :-/ ) How about this for a build your own dessert? What a treat…. I went for chocolate centre, dark chocolate coating with Oreo and KitKat crumbly topping on mine ;-).

One last Portuguese sunset

And so our time in Alvor came to an end, a lovely holiday and some lovely memories.

Back home!

There she is! The Rock in which we stand, back home to Gibraltar, just in time for a plane to land and another to take off again!

Thanks for stopping by! Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

If you would like to see a bit more about Alvor, you can pop over to my post all about it from four years ago.

Summer Craft Challenge 2019 (Week 5)

Well that week flew by in a flash – might have had something to do with us being on holiday. My hook came with us to Portugal! Here’s what I got up to craft-wise this week…

Day 29 – Saturday 27th July

A new week and being on holiday means a new project. My changing tides blanket is a bit warm and large to bring with me on holiday, so I brought a little crochet commission with me.

Day 30 – Sunday 28th July

It’s growing, but slowly. Too much fun being had to pick up my hook!

Day 31 – Monday 29th July

When your creation & hook match your outfit…

Day 32 – Tuesday 30th July

Crochet fun at the water park between slides…

Day 33 – Wednesday 31st July

Decisions, decisions. This holiday I have really enjoyed reading. I have finished two books and am now on my third, hence the crochet has been rather slow.

(In case you’re interested the books were: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and a book stall purchase while on holiday… The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer).

Day 34 – Thursday 1st August

… a few more rounds this evening.

Day 35 – Friday 2nd August

And so our Portuguese holiday came to an end last night with Crochet & Prosecco on the balcony..

My Yarndale 2016 (featuring Llanita’s Yorkshire adventures)


My Yarndale adventure began late on Friday night as I boarded my plane to Manchester. I’d left the rest of the Postcard family at home and it felt very strange to be heading off on an adventure without them this time. I was lucky that I was able to stay at my parent’s house in Manchester on the Friday night (well Saturday morning) because I didn’t get to bed until 2am Gibraltar time.

Despite the late night, we were up bright and early on Saturday morning and set off on the train to Skipton. I had the company of my lovely Mum for the whole day, that’s something which very rarely happens these days. In fact I can’t remember the last time we spent so long together on our own. We had a really good chat all the way across the Pennines.

Of course, I couldn’t go to Yarndale without taking Llanita with me. Well when I say Llanita, I actually mean Llanita II. If you have read my post The adventures of Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep, you’ll know all about Llanita I and Lanita II. Llanita I was already at Yarndale having made the trip by post (sorry about that my little sheepy friend). Llanita II was able to enjoy the passing Yorkshire countryside from the train window!

It was pretty obvious which of the other passengers on the train were travelling to Yarndale. There were rather a lot of knitting needles clicking away on nearby seats and much yarny talk. Before we knew it, we’d arrived in Skipton.

There was a special double-decker bus decorated with lovely crochet bunting and mandalas ferrying festival-goers between the station and the Auction Mart where all the fun was happening. We opted to walk though, so we could see all the yarnbombing we’d heard about en-route.

Our first port of call, after such an early start was the legendary Coopers cafe, venue for much crochet activity and of course the home of Lucy from Attic24’s studio.

We were very lucky as we seemed to be ahead of the lunchtime rush. We ordered sandwiches and coffee and considered our plan of attack for the day.

Even Llanita got in on the Coopers coffee action!

Readers of Attic24 will know that upstairs above the cafe is a very special place. The scene of much colourful inspiration, Lucy’s Studio, was open for all visitors to the cafe to see for themselves. There was even wool and knitting needles on the stair on the way up to the studio.

Crochet bunting greeted us at the top of the stairs too.

And there it was, that room which has featured in so many blog posts and some of the beautiful creations made by Lucy over the years. It felt slightly odd to be in there, as if I was trespassing on someone’s private space even though it was open for anyone to call in.

It felt as though I’d been sucked through the screen on my computer into the virtual world on the other side!!

It was wonderful to be able to see examples of Lucy’s work for real rather than on a screen. It was so tidy – unlike my crafty corner. I feel inspired to have a tidy up and sort out!

The beautiful wreaths which inspired me to have a go at making my own Wild flowers of the Med Steps wreath were right there on the wall in front of me…

Even Lucy’s bowl of yarn pegs was out on the window ledge.

It felt like such a privilege to be there. Even the beautiful fabric appliqué and embroidered logo for the Attic 24 blog was lying out on the dresser for all to admire.

The time had come for Mum and I to head off to Yarndale. (Thank you to the lovely lady at Coopers who came out from behind the counter to point us in the right direction, we would have been going completely the wrong way if it had been down to me!)

 

Our walk up to the Auction Mart took us along the canal tow path where even a narrow boat was decorated with knitted bunting and pompoms in honour of Yarndale.

Soon we caught sight of the lovely handmade signs pointing us in the right direction towards the Yarn Walk and our goal.

The bridge across the canal brought us to the entrance of Aireville Park where every lamp post was yarn bombed. This is just a small selection of the many which lined the path that cuts through the park and up the hill towards Yarndale.

There was no fear that we’d get lost on the way – it was so well signposted!

The yarnbombs grew in the their complexity as we neared the Auction Mart. Mum and I spent ages outside the building just admiring the amazing creations adorning the bollards! Made by the Thirsk Yarnbombers, the level of detail that had gone into making these was just incredible. I have since realised that we missed a few but here’s a selection of what we admired.

The Yorkshire Vet

 

Nora Batty sweeping Compo off her front steps from Last of the Summer Wine (complete with Compo’s ill fitting jacket and Nora’s wrinkled stockings)
I fell a little bit in love with Shaun the sheep
This rather buxom lady on the beach had an ample bottom too!
A zingy bright weather bollard

 

 

Bunnies everywhere!

 

Flowers galore!

 

A Yorkshire farm complete with a flock of yarny sheep

So much exquisite creativity and we hadn’t even crossed the threshold of the auction mart venue!

Lucy’s huge mandalas blew about suspended from the branches of a tree.

Even this converted ice cream van selling finger puppets was completely yarnbombed as well!

The 200th anniversary of the Leeds to Liverpool canal was celebrated by this watery yarn walk across the lawn.

Enough of outside, let’s go in. Tickets were inspected, wristbands attached and we were in…


The first sight which met us was the beautiful bunting made for the first Yarndale back in 2013. I looked hard to spot my Gibraltar bunting triangle but couldn’t see it. There were literally thousands of bunting triangles festooned around the venue, but this section was a real show stopper!

It was so busy inside when we first arrived that it was hard to see what everyone was looking at. After a moment of trying to peer over people’s shoulders I spotted a huge flock of Yarndale sheep perched on bales of straw. I couldn’t get close enough to spot whether Llanita I was there so resolved to pop back later when the crowds had thinned out.

As we set foot into the main area where all the stalls were, it was an assault on the senses. The noise of the chattering crowds and the riot of colour was quite overwhelming. Mum and I decided to have a quick wander round to get our bearings before attempting to do anything. I was given some very useful advice by Instagram friends to just explore before buying anything because otherwise, you’ll have spent all your money by the third stall! It was wise advice indeed -thank you!

The yarns on display were unlike anything I have ever seen before, so many colours and textures and endless possibilities of what you could use them for.

There were huge boards decorating the livestock pens with some of the mandalas from the 2014 festival.

The skill which had gone into the work on display was just amazing and far beyond anything I could contemplate attempting.

Even the Moomins put in an appearance!

It wasn’t just about knitting and crochet though, there were many stalls selling the unspun wool as well as all the equipment needed to have a go at home yourself. Despite this lady assuring the fascinated onlookers that it’s a lot simpler than it looks, I resisted the temptation to embark on another hobby for now. I don’t think a spinning wheel would have fitted into my case!

This was a day of firsts for me. Never before had I seen yarn and needles on such a BIG scale! This stand by Woolly Mahoosive had attracted loads of people wanting to have a go at knitting with needles as broad as my arm!

There was so much to see and take in.

Just look at these blankets….

At the heart of the Auction Mart was the Knit and Natter Lounge where people were gathering to eat their packed lunches and take advantage of some sitting down time to do a bit of crochet or knitting. It was also a magnet for fans and followers of Attic 24. The gate into this section was decorated by the beautiful Attic 24 logo created by crochet blogger Little Tin Bird. And of course, Lucy was there too.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous approaching Lucy, her’s is the first blog I ever followed and I am in awe of her work, but I seized the moment and introduced myself. Her first reaction was to give me a hug and say that her son loved my Yarndale sheep. I was a little stunned that she even knew who I was! Lucy’s youngest son ‘Little B’ had been helping her in the run up to the festival, unwrapping the sheep as they arrived through the post to Yarndale HQ and he’d been rather taken by Llanita.

I explained that I’d temporarily lost my original Llanita and ended up making two but had brought the second one with me to Yarndale. I asked if she would like to take her home for Little B and she said she would like that very much. So here is Llanita and Lucy, I am so happy that she has gone to a good home (and the home of the person behind the Yarndale sheep project).

I have since heard from Lucy that Little B was thrilled that Llanita had come home to live at his house. I’m so pleased that I brought her along with me for the ride!

After the excitement of meeting my crochet hero, I was beaming as I headed into the Workshop Theatre ready for a class that I’d signed up for. I was about to make a ‘Rip and Stitch Brooch’ with textile artist Jaki Bogg. I arrived to find a tray of goodies in front of me to make the brooch.

Jaki was a great help and offered much advice and encouragement as our group set to work on our creations.

(Apologies for the back lighting on this photo)

Jaki Bogg

 

We were set to work choosing some embroidery cotton to embellish our brooches with.

And we were advised to layer up and position our fabric then take a photo so that we could remember exactly how we wanted it to look at the end.

I thought it rather appropriate that some of my fabric had print of handwriting and a stamp on seeing as I am Postcard from Gibraltar!

The hour and a quarter flew by in a flurry of stitching and chatter with my next door neighbour Katherine who had visited Yarndale several times before.

Before we knew it, our time was up. I enjoyed the process and would never have attempted anything along these lines before. I have filed all the information and and advice from Jaki away for future reference, perhaps I should attempt a fabric and stitch picture instead of a painting one of these days….

My finished brooch

 

Once we’d left the workshop area, where Mum had taken advantage of the time to have a sit down and chat with a lady from Wales who had come with her crochet hook, I called my Instagram & blogging friend Wakey Makes to find her and meet up for the first time. Sadly, I had left it too late and she was already on her way home to Wakefield by then.

It’s such a shame we missed each other but she was able to tell me a very interesting bit of news… she had bought Llanita I!! I cannot believe that I found out where Llanita ended up. Of all the people she could have gone home with, I’m thrilled that she’s with Karen. I’m sure she will look after her well.

Mum and I made our way around the rest of the stalls for a mooch about. While I had been in the workshop, the crowds had thinned out considerably and it was a lot easier to see what was on offer.

Toft Alpaca

I have long admired the work of Toft Alpaca and love the animals from the Edward’s Menagerie pattern books. It was just lovely to see so many of them on display together. I particularly liked the little bearded dog!

The Craven Guild of Lacemakers were on hand to talk to visitors about the intricate work that they do and offer demonstrations too. The intricacy and number of threads they work at the one time just boggles my mind!

Craven Guild of Lacemakers

After my recent foray into shawl making over the summer I was on a quest to buy some yarn to make another one for the winter months. I went to stall after stall looking for the right thing, but was very indecisive until I reached Esgair Fibres. Stall holder, Joanna, took the time to explain the qualities of her yarn and showed a crochet shawl she had made using just one ball of the beautiful wool she stocks, so I bought this lovely variegated yarn.

Louisa Harding Fine Merino with Bamboo

It was great to be able to see Janie Crow’s Lily Pond blanket ‘in the flesh’.

And I loved these cards… the one in the centre of the picture is particularly apt in my case I think!! 😉

All in all the day was a total woolly overload!

By the time we’d returned to the flock of woolly Yarndale sheep, their number was rather depleted, but this little chap from the Isle of Man came with me for the trip back to Gibraltar. Allow me to introduce you to Laxey, my Manx Yarndale sheep. If anyone recognises him and knows who made him, please let them know that I’ll look after him well!

Laxey, the Manx Yarndale Sheep

 

Before leaving I spotted a map for people to attach pins to show where they had come from. Can you spot my red pin for Gibraltar?

As we headed out of the Auction Mart to catch the double decker bus back to town and the station, we passed a table with a box filled with some of the ‘Woolly Hearts for Yarndale’.  Just with that, another lady approached with a fresh box of hearts and put them down on the table.

I asked her whether the appeal had been successful and if they’d reached the target of 7000. She beamed as she said that well over 7000 had been received and it had been a huge success. Could this lady be @bonnies_little_crafts from Instagram, the mastermind of the appeal? Yes it was! I was so pleased to be able to meet Yvonne and chat with the person whom I’d sent my consignment of hearts to.

And here’s my very own woolly Yarndale heart, it’s come home with me on my bag!

It was time to head home, Mum and I went out to catch the beautifully decorated bus back towards the station. For a donation towards Martin House children’s hospice (also the recipient of the money raised from the Yarndale sheep sale) we got our passage onto the top deck and found our seats.

Even the interior was decorated for the festival!

A lovely mandala hung in the window next to me.

The bus soon filled up with festival goers weighed down with their yarny purchases.

So I guess you want to see what I bought then? 17 balls of wool, a calendar, notebook, Yarndale sheep, stitch markers and a scissor keeper with a tiny silver sheep on to remember my time at Yarndale.

This little lot should keep me busy!

I also loved this greeting card so much that I had to get one – it will be my motto from now on… 😜

After a very long journey back to Manchester (we sort of got the wrong train – which stopped at every station between Leeds and Manchester!!), Mum and I had an early night before heading back to airport to fly back to Gibraltar.

And so I am back where I began, if it weren’t for the photos and the large stash of yarn I’ve returned with, I’d swear it had all been a dream. Yarndale 2016 was everything I’d hoped for and more. I met lovely people including the lovely Lucy at Attic24 who has inspired me so much over the past few years, I saw such amazing yarny creations and have come back brimming with ideas and enthusiasm to carry on creating… now where did I leave my hook?


Footnote : Would you like to see a photo of Llanita I in her new West Yorkshire home? Well here she is along side a very appropriately coloured pair of socks in the making… Thank you Wakeymakes for giving her a good home xxx


Sunday – no – Saturday Sevens – no – Fives #198 27.7.19

Hello all, this week I’m ringing the changes, Sunday Sevens is making an appearance a day early… I shall explain why at the end!

Tortilla fail

Last Sunday I attempted to make a Spanish Tortilla or Torta de Patata as it’s know round these parts… I failed! It didn’t taste too bad with the burned bits cut off… my Gibraltarian friends will despair of me!

Blue skies in Blighty

I can’t take credit for this beautiful photo, it was sent to me by my Dad as he and my Mum took a walk along a canal tow-path in Cheshire. I have his permission to feature it in this week’s Sunday Saturday Sevens Fives. We have had some very humid weather in Gibraltar this week, but I know that it’s been sizzling in the UK, with temperatures higher than we’ve experienced.

Saharan dust sunset

This beautiful sunset caught my eye one evening this week – Wednesday I think. It was a stunner, thanks to the Saharan dust which is knocking about a lot at the moment.

Evening stroll by the sea

This week has been rather hectic in our apartment, we have got some contractors coming in to do some much needed work. As a consequence I have spent a lot of time over the past few days packing our things/junk and moving them into rooms which won’t be touched by the workers.

First world problems I know, but it’s been a bit crazy added to the fact I have 3 young men at home who were hoping to spend some time at the beach this week but were stuck indoors while I did jobs and Mr Postcard has been away with work. To try and make up for the fact we had been in a hot sweaty flat all day I took them out for a walk to Catalan Bay on Thursday evening and we stopped off for an ice cream after dinner. Not quite the beach day I’d promised them at the start of the week, but it will have to do!

Restful sleeping environment – not

And this, my friends is the view from my side of the bed. Most of the contents of the lounge are in our bedroom. The flat is in chaos and I’m a bit frazzled with it all, so I’ve decided to take a week off my phone and try to unwind a bit after a rather stressy week. That’s why this week’s Sunday Sevens is actually a Saturday Fives – and not the most uplifting one either – apologies for that!

I’ll be back again next Sunday, all being well, and between now and then I’m going offline – I’m not being rude – just reclaiming my sanity after a busy few days. See you on the other side x

Summer Craft Challenge 2019 (Week 4)

Good evening, here’s week 4 of my Summer Craft Challenge…

Day 22 Saturday 20th July

Back on the aqua blues after that pop of colour last week…. do those bobbles remind you of anything?

Day 23 Sunday 21st July

…more waves.

Day 24 Monday 22nd July

… and still more waves!

Day 25 Tuesday 23rd July

And here is my first row of land… a spot of wet sand!

Day 26 Wednesday 24th July

I have a grey stripe now…. looks a bit like pebbles don’t you think?

Day 27 Thursday 25th July

We spent a lovely hour in Catalan Bay on Thursday evening which made me think perhaps it was as good a time as any to reveal that this year my seaside blanket will be made with a Catalan Bay theme – I can’t wait to capture some of the colours of those Catalan Bay homes!

Day 28 Friday 26th July

Today I did a bit of planning for my Sandy beach rows, then a spot of ruffling…

We have had a rather busy week this week and as it’s the summer holidays I’m taking a little holiday from my phone as from tomorrow. I’ll keep up with my Craft challenge and will tell you all about it when I return!

Until then, bye for now and thanks for stopping by! 🙂