Sunday Sevens #62 18.12.16

Well Christmas is literally round the corner and all the associated events are stacking up. This week I have had one Christmas party and a school nativity – which was incredibly cute. My parents arrived from England to spend Christmas with us just in time to see the school performance, so for once I Littlest wasn’t craning his neck to see just me in the audience.

Here’s this week’s rather rushed Sunday Sevens – there hasn’t been a great deal of spare time this week to put too much thought into it. I’m not sure whether next week, as the schools close it will improve matters for me or not! Still I have a few more child free days to attempt to get organised before the big day….

It’s up

It would appear that I am the meanest Mum on the planet for not allowing the Little Postcards to put up the Christmas tree in November or indeed the first week of December. But at last it is up. We got a real tree this year (unusual for us). As my parents are over visiting for Christmas it’s a bit more special this year and warranted a real tree I thought.

All change

There have been so many changes in Gibraltar since we arrived a little over 7 years ago. It’s even grown quite considerably as more land was reclaimed from the sea and several large buildings have sprung up along with three large government housing estates. This is the latest development near the centre of town and it’s huge. I wonder if the powers that be realised it would be so tall when they agreed to it?

It’s finished!


Just in time for the end of term, my top was finished in dressmaking class this week. I’m really pleased with it. It’s fully lined and will be very useful in the summertime.

Bunny vet trip


Snowflake, our newest furry companion, went to the vets for her second scan to check for baby bunnies along with her jabs. As we found her abandoned we had no idea as to her age, health or whether she was expecting the pitter patter of tiny paws.

We were relieved to find out that she isn’t in the family way and she’s perfectly healthy. Did you know that rabbits can give birth to a litter of 12 baby bunnies? Eek!

If you missed my post about how Snowflake came to join our family, you can see it here.

All posted!


This was my last Christmas card being posted. Phew what a relief! I sent around 60 and spent a small fortune on stamps but I like to do it still. It’s a weight off knowing that’s one pre-Christmas job ticked off the list!

Christmas Jumper Day


We all did our bit for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. On seeing me on Friday morning Littlest said “Ooh Mummy I love your sparkly pigeon jumper!”

Saturday night giggle


I must have walked past this shop dozens, if not hundreds of times since we’ve lived here and I never really read the sign properly. It caught my eye when I was out last night and it really made me chuckle. You can’t beat a bit of frish frut.

So there you have it, I had my last watercolour lesson of 2016 this week too, but as I only got part way through a painting which isn’t wonderful I shall save showing that one until it’s properly finished.

Where ever you are and whatever you are doing next week, I hope it isn’t too hectic for you. I’m just taking one day at a time and doing my best to remember which school function, special outfit, party, event I am supposed to be ready for at a time too – there’s so much going on! Take care and have a good week!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #61 11.12.16

Morning all, I cannot believe we are on 11th December already! Can someone please have a word and get time to slow down a bit – there’s too much still to do…

It’s Sunday Sevens time again, here’s a little look back at my week:

Stormy skies

If you caught my last blog post on Wednesday about the weather we’ve been having lately (Nice weather for ducks…) you will know it’s been a bit stormy and wet of late in Gibraltar. I’m relieved to report that we are currently enjoying a dry spell, although it is very grey here most of the time at the minute. This was the scene on Monday between showers. I’m so glad I’ve been able to temporarily retire my wellies for a bit.

Christmas gift crochet

I can’t show you any more of this because it’s a gift, but I’m thrilled to say that I managed to finish a mermaid tail blanket for a friend in just over a week. She came with me to choose and buy the wool and we managed to have a lunch out too into the bargain – we had a great giggle. She asked me to make it for her daughter and I actually met my self imposed deadline… as for everything else I need to make for Christmas, well that’s not faring so well!

Zip’s in… thank goodness!

It’s in… It’s taken the best part of two dressmaking lessons to get this blighter of an invisible zip into this top. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like zips. Perhaps I need to insert a few more before they come easy to me.

Christmas Parties get underway 

Christmas party season has arrived. I had my first party this week – a great night out with friends. I have learned something from the whole experience – dancing after eating a big bowl of Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce isn’t a good idea. I couldn’t sleep for ages when I got home!

Present making flurry


Holy moly, the time’s rushing away with me and I can’t seem to make any headway with all of my Christmas makes. This is a work-in-progress. I can’t divulge any more as, well err, it’s a gift. I just hope I can make the last posting date in time…

Happy bunnies

On Thursday this week, there was no school in Gibraltar as it was a religious holiday (Immaculate Conception) and then on Friday two of the Little Postcards enjoyed an in-service day. I put Littlest to work helping me build an indoor run for our newest addition Snowflake. I now know the reason why I bought that fire guard when it was on special offer at Morrisons three years ago…. Snowflake loved her new freedom.

How pretty is this?

I was thrilled to be given a beautiful Christmas card this week made by a very talented friend who can ‘do’ felting. This gorgeous card featuring snowdrops was made by her. She told me the whole process of how it was created and it sounds like an awful lot of hard work – but well worth it. Lots of layering of wool and soap and water and throwing! Then stitching on top of the whole piece of felt. I certainly appreciate all the hard work which went into making this gorgeous card and feel honoured to be one of the select few who received one. Thank you V x

 

Just one more thing… I don’t normally mention much about my kids for fear of exposing them to the big wide world before they’re ready but this little gem is just too good not to share.

On collecting Littlest from school the other day, I asked how his day was.”Good – we went to the desert” was his reply. “Which desert?” I asked. “The Sahara, we went on the school plane and we found dinosaur fossils and one came alive! It tried to eat me so I had to kill it.”

Who knew when I sent him off to school that morning that such excitement lay ahead? Hats off to the Gibraltar Education Department for not only having a school plane at their disposal but also safely getting Littlest and his classmates home from such an adventure in one piece and on time. Perhaps a warning note may be advisable next time? 😂

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for all the lovely comments I receive through the blog, on Instagram, on Facebook or wherever, it’s lovely to hear from you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. If you would like to join in, pop over to see how to do it.

Happy Christmas!

  
Hello and happy Christmas to you, I hope you are in a healthy and happy place as you read this. I have read so many profound and touching posts online recently pertaining to Christmas and I do not have the words to do this great season justice. I am also acutely aware that for many people this Christmas will not be the happy one which many of us will share because of illness, loss and difficult circumstances, please know that you are thought of and not forgotten amongst all the tinsel and frivolity. Instead of waffling on, I will just leave you with some images of Christmas for us here in Gibraltar. 
 Advent candles at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland. This vivid tree in a courtyard off the beaten track caught my eye.Every year we visit the ‘Crib’ (or Nativity as we call it at home) which is displayed under the Parliament building at the Piazza. It has twinkly stars, running water and moving figures and tells the story of Christmas.  

  I am so grateful for the fact I still get handmade Christmas cards home from school – they are so precious.
 Wishing peace, health and happiness to you this Christmas x  

Sunday sevens #10 20.12.15

Sunday sevens is a weekly blog series in association with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

‘Special’ Christmas card production line  
 Well if the technological option has let me down (or at least my operation of the technology) I’ll go back to what I can do!  Scrap the home produced printed versions and bring out the watercolours! I have to say it was so nice to be able to sit calmly one morning in amongst the chaos of end of term plays, parties and concerts and just play with my paints guilt free (because they were necessary!).

Christmas cards … Tick!  And for the other 50+ recipients on my Christmas card list, sadly it was shop bought ones this year. But they are all in the post now and sigh, it feels like a weight has been lifted! Aaahhhh!

A parcel for me!  I love it when crafty things arrive here and these little beauties took a rather circuitous route south to Gibraltar. I’d been hunting for some fabric to complete a WIP patchwork quilt for a young man in my life as well as fabric for other projects and on reading a Sunday sevens post from fellow blogger Nana Cathy some weeks ago about her trip to a wonderful looking fabric shop in Harrogate I browsed their website and found just what I was after. An inconvenient consequence of living so far away means that shipping costs can often be very expensive, so I arranged to have the parcel shipped to an office Mr Postcard often visits in London. Unfortunately his pre-Christmas trip to London got cancelled so the parcel sat on a desk in London going nowhere until a kind colleague visiting Gibraltar this week brought it for me in her hand luggage. Thank you Mariana from The Copper Kettle blog for bringing it over for me! Once Christmas has passed, I shall set to work on the quilt :-).

Another beautiful sunset 

 I rarely pass the Europa Point lighthouse in the evening but on Tuesday, our trip between football training and a piano lesson took us that way. Dusk was approaching and the lighthouse looked very atmospheric with a backdrop of misty clouds shrouding the hills of Morocco across the Straits. The photo I took unfortunately didn’t quite do it justice. The sunset which happened literally minutes later was a real beauty, I just wish I’d had the time to sit down and  fully appreciate the colours before dashing off to our next engagement.

Panic!  There has been a bit of baking going on in the Postcard kitchen this week. In amongst the chaos of end of term and the Christmas countdown I had a moment of sheer panic when I ran out of icing sugar at 9:45pm… Morrisons shuts at 10… The cakes needed to be at school for the cake stall at 9am the following day… Would I get there in time?!! Yes, yes I did- phew! A lie down in a darkened room was required!

Gibraltar gets ready for a winter party  

 Saturday (yesterday) saw the Winter Party come to Casemates Square in Gibraltar culminating in a Queen tribute act on stage. There was music and dancing, craft stalls and other entertainment on offer.  It showcases something Gibraltar is really good at – putting on events. Despite being such a small place, we have Calentita!, Summer Nights, National Week and the Gibraltar Music Festival in summer and the Gibraltar Literary Festival and Christmas Light switch on in autumn. There really is rarely a dull moment around here!

Wonky weather … nasturtiums in December!  

 
I’ve been reading and hearing about how mild the weather is at the moment in Britain. Well it’s been unseasonably mild here too. I think 22 degrees C was mentioned one day this week as a high. It does mean that it doesn’t feel very Christmassy, well we never get frost and snow, but it’s normally a good deal cooler than it is right now. One happy accident of the warmer temperatures we’re experiencing is that my pot of nasturtiums has bloomed for a third time, these blooms are coming from the seeds dropped by the second flush of flowers in late summer/ early autumn. They are haphazardly climbing up the back of the bench on our balcony. 

Sunday Sevens #9 13.12.15

 Knitted nativity

  

This gorgeous knitted nativity scene greeted us when we arrived at church on Sunday morning. The entire church (St Andrews Church of Scotland) had been decked out in it’s Christmas finery ahead of the annual Carols by Candlelight service on Sunday night. Sadly we couldn’t attend the atmospheric evening service this year due to several in the family becoming under the weather with coughs and sniffles. It’s a real highlight in the church’s year and brings a bumper congregation with many standing at the back when the pews fill up. The service was recorded by GBC to be broadcast in the Christmas schedules on Radio Gibraltar and our local TV channel GBC.  The knitted nativity appears each year and just looks so lovely – so much work must have gone into creating it.

Please allow me a little grumble…

 
Not the most inspiring photo I know (apologies for that) but it highlights a grumble I have about food shopping in Gibraltar. Mr Postcard went supermarket shopping on Sunday (5th December) and came home with this packet of Corn on the Cob. Can you spot what I’m about to grumble about? The date has partially been cut out of the packaging so that it could still be sold at full price. It’s a common occurrence in the fruit and veg section as swedes often have their labels ripped off and new ones attached when they have passed their sell by dates. Other veg get the same treatment too. 

Yes I know it’s our own fault for buying it in the first place, but if you really want an ingredient for your dinner and the only one available is out of date you have to take it, there isn’t a huge amount of choice when it comes to food shopping here. I agree with selling food which is out of date, but still edible, rather than dumping it in landfill but I think it’s extremely cheeky to try and hoodwink the customer with such tactics and charge full price for items when you wouldn’t be allowed to do this in the UK. Rant over, thank you!

Race against time  

So many gifts to make, such little time! Will this one be finished in time for Christmas or will it just get put to the end of the list for a birthday present instead?! Why do I set myself such unrealistic goals? I guess it’s the lot of so many crafters. At what stage do you give up on your Christmas gift to – make list and hit the shops instead? Perhaps if I spent less time online, that would help ;-D.

Buttons… Buttons… Buttons… 

Well another milestone was reached at my dressing class this week: button holes! It may have taken 18, yes 18 attempts at practicing them before I was allowed to go near cutting them or sewing actual buttons on a sample, but my persistence paid off and I did it! Next challenge: a centred zip (rather than one under a flap, which I’ve already done), then work properly begins on skirt no 2 🙂
Christmas cards 
On this issue, I wasn’t so successful. I’m sorry to say that I quit. I must have printed over 20 in various states of disarray with upside down wording and white borders in the wrong place, so I’ve decided to paint a few small cards for the ‘special’ people and have bought the usual ones for everyone else. I shall, however, get some cards printed PROPERLY in time for Christmas next year. On a positive note, I’m really pleased with how my holly turned out, and at least I still have that, so it’s not been a complete waste of time. 

Cooking with small people

  

My 7 year old came home from school recently saying he wanted us to cook a recipe he’d tried at school – this week we managed to gather all the (out of season) fruit for the ‘stew’ he took great delight in washing and stirring the fruit and it was delicious!

Parties galore  

It’s been parties galore for us lately, umpteen Christmas parties with various groups and clubs as well as a superhero birthday party for a friend’s 5 year old. The party bag yielded an old favourite I remember playing with with my brother many moons ago. Sadly this Spitfire didn’t last long in the hands of a 4 year old but it was fun while it lasted!
Sunday sevens in a weekly blog series linking up with Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #9 6.12.15

Sunday Sevens is a blog series devised by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

 Monday morning walk/jog

If I’m going to fit into any of my dresses in time for the soon to arrive Christmas party season without industrial strength under garments I really need to lose a few pounds (weight, not money sadly). With my intention to start the week healthily I headed off for a Monday morning jog. It started and ended with a walk and I stopped to take one or two photos so I can’t claim too much exercise was had, but it was good to get out of the house and get the blood pumping and enjoy the views on my scenic outing. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Gibraltar, the above photo was taken at Camp Bay (or El Quarry as it’s known locally, because it used to be one once upon a time) looking north towards Parsons Lodge, a military building from long ago. Just the other side of Parsons Lodge is a small bay where Nelson’s ship,  HMS Victory, was brought after the Battle of Trafalgar. Anyway, I digress, there was a really moody levante cloud forming over the Rock on Monday morning, that’s the huge dark grey cloud taking up most of the photo. There was blue sky and white fluffy clouds over my shoulder!

I took a detour onto the tiny pebble beach at Camp Bay for a moment before steeling myself for the upward climb through the tunnel towards the Europa Point lighthouse. Although I can see the sea from my home (I know, I’m very privileged to have such a view) it’s so nice to get up close to it every now and again and hear the waves crashing on the rocks.

  

The start of a new month…
 

Good heavens, how did we end up in December so soon? My watercolour class was cancelled this week but I  had a small window of opportunity to crack out my paints at home for a change and spent the last few moments mucking about with the actual paints on the kitchen table rather than actually painting! Will I ever get my Christmas presents/cards done?!

Dressmaking
 
In this week’s class I made a waistband for my little sample gathered skirt. It’s just about big enough to fit round my wrist so would suit a doll I reckon. It really is so gratifying to learn how to do this and find out how garments are put together.

Christmas card frustration

  

I have finally finished my holly watercolour painting to a point where I’m happy with it and decided to turn it into printed Christmas cards. My parcel arrived through the post with my printable cards this week – how hard can it be to get them printed? Well for a complete techno dimwit like myself it’s extremely hard. I have no idea how many hours I’ve spent creating and then losing my virtual cards before attempting to print them. At last! I thought, let’s plug the printer in, I’m on the home straight. Alas, no. I cannot seem to get the image right on the card AND the words inside the correct way up…. I think I may have to resort to buying cards again like always 😦

Tranquil sunset

Aah, that feels better. We have had a very overcast and cloudy week this week so I’m sorry to say there are no ‘blue sky’ photos this week but one evening the clouds did clear in time for sunset. It was beautiful. 

And finally … A surprise party

  

Last night we were invited to a surprise 50th birthday party. This photo was taken in the few tense moments before the birthday girl arrived. It was a lovely evening and very emotional at times. 

I do hope you had a good week. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday sevens #8 29.11.15

 1 Europa Point

 

On Monday morning it was such a crisp clear day, that I took a rather scenic detour home from the school run to see the sea off Europa Point. The Trinity Lighthouse is the only lighthouse outside the UK which is controlled by Trinity House in England and looks out over the Straits of Gibraltar towards Morocco in the distance. It was so clear that you could actually make out buildings and cranes in the port across the water in North Africa.

2 Festive Watercolour 

  

I quite fancy having a go at printing my own Christmas cards this year for a change and have been experimenting with designs, I’m liking this holly but this photo was taken after the first layer of paint – it’s not finished yet. I’ll share the finished article with you when I’m happy with it.

3 Dressmaking class



  
Uninspiring photo I’m afraid, but this week’s dressmaking class was all about gathers and pockets.

4 November sunshine  

 
Wednesday was another glorious day, Main Street was chockablock with shoppers at lunchtime. There was a big cruise ship in and the place was bustling, there was a really positive atmosphere no doubt brought on by the beautiful weather.

5 Christmas purchases 

 
A couple of absolutely essential pre-Christmas purchases. I feel a granny square hot water bottle cover and some snowflake gift tags coming on!

6 Christmas makery has begun…  

  

My present production line has begun, a little later than I’d hoped for, but I’m on my way. You’ve got to love granny squares 🙂 well, I do!

7 Thursday flashback 

 

I’m sorry to be repeating a photo from a previous post, but I REALLY enjoyed the Convent Christmas Fair this year. What’s more, my blog post about it got SO MANY views. Far more than I’ve ever experienced before. Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to have a look at my little blog and for your comments here, on Twitter and Instagram. It’s so nice to hear from you and hear that you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written – it gives me a warm glow just thinking about it 🙂
Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the last seven days. It was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. Take a look at her blog for more information on the series. Have a great week!