Sunday Postcard #17 27.12.20

Hello there! I hope you have had a decent Christmas – it’s been a strange one hasn’t it? Just like probably everyone else, we had a quiet one seeing limited people, but it was nice nonetheless. Now it’s the countdown to the end of the year and all that 2021 will bring – good things I hope!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

Del Boy…

Last Sunday as Littlest and I popped out for a walk to deliver the last of our local Christmas cards, we were stopped in our tracks by a certain yellow Robin Reliant belting out music and shouting happy Christmas messages to bemused looking passers-by! It was quite a sight!

A Manchester Bee for our tree

As I picked up the last few last minute gifts for Christmas I happened across a fabulous selection of stalls in John Lewis in the Trafford Centre called Curated Makers. It’s a cooperative of local makers who create the most lovely crafts of all sorts. I treated myself to a Manchester bee for our tree. You can find Curated Makers on Instagram.

A pre Christmas walk at Dunham Massey

When we first arrived in Manchester in the summer I imagined that we would be regular visitors to our nearest National Trust property ‘Dunham Massey’ however because I didn’t have a National Trust membership at the time and because of lockdown that didn’t happen until this week. I treated us to a NT membership and booked for us to visit the deer park and gardens. It was wonderful.

The grounds were decorated for a special after dark Christmas experience but we enjoyed it in the daylight.

It’s such a lovely tranquil place and was managed so well by the staff and volunteers to be Covid safe. We will be back again soon if we can.

Christmas visitors

When we first moved into our new home in October, we bought a bird feeder for the back garden. It’s been rather unloved by our feathered friends so far but this week there were sparrows and thrushes fighting to get to the seed! Word must have got out that there were tasty treats available! I look forward to seeing many more birds in future!

Finished for Christmas?

‘Christmas Eve’ blanket from The Crochet Sanctuary

Did I finish my Crochet Sanctuary Christmas CAL in time for Christmas? Sadly not, but I am on the final part, so I’ll take that as a win! I’m hoping I can manage to get it finished before the end of the year if I possibly can.

Happy Stitchmas in podcast news!

On Christmas Day morning the latest episode of Making Stitches went online. This extra long bumper Christmas episode features several different makers sharing their ‘Stitch Stories’ from 2020. Among my guests were Eleonora from Coastal Crochet and Lisa & Lynda-Rose from the Crochet Sanctuary as well as four Making Stitches listeners who spoke to me about how their crafts have helped them this year.

You can listen by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or just Google Making Stitches.

Thank you Eleonora!

Eleonora is top middle of the above mosaic

My lovely blogging friend Eleonora from Coastal Crochet published the most amazing blog post today all about Making Stitches! I’m utterly thrilled and chuffed to bits that she did this for me. Do please have a read…. you can find it here.

Eleonora’s Instagram post from today featuring Eleonora in a rather lovely red coat on Christmas Eve!

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. Thank you for stopping by. Do take care of yourself, and I’ll be back again soon. Happy New Year when it comes.

Lindsay x

A Catalan Bay Blanket Story

Once upon a time (about a year ago) a lovely crochet designer called Eleonora published a crochet-along (or CAL) pattern for a new blanket called ‘Changing Tides’. The previous year, Eleonora had published another seaside themed blanket on her Coastal Crochet blog called the ‘Seaside Stash Buster’ which I joined in with and created my Sandy Bay Blanket.

Even though I had approximately 7,248 other crochet projects on the go at the time (well not quite, but it felt like it), I couldn’t resist having a go at Eleonora’s new project, and so it began…

Just like the previous year, Eleonora posted helpful You Tube videos along the way to help with tricky stitches and rows and soon had us all crocheting like pros!

I set off like a bull at a gate and didn’t take the time to plan what my colour choices would be, and decided (resonably early on) that I didn’t like what I had done so started again…

My project came with me on holiday…

…and before I knew it, I had a rather nice ‘changing tides’ sea developing in front of me. The name ‘changing tides’ is very appropriate because at the end of each row you turn your work and travel back the way you came in much the same way the waves do as they land on the beach.

It even made it down to the beach…

…those bobbles are rather time consuming, so I did a spot of bobbling on the bus…

…and still the tide came in.

And look … it even featured on Eleonora’s Instagram feed on one of her weekly round-ups! That made my day I can tell you.

By this point I felt that perhaps it was time to think about something other than just sea and waves…

And inspiration hit me. Last year’s blanket was based on Sandy Bay.

My Sandy Bay blanket from last year

Why not make a blanket based on another of Gibraltar’s lovely beaches…. Catalan Bay?

The brightly coloured houses gave me lots of excuses to use some different vibrant colours.

But what colour should I opt for first? What about the aptly named ‘shrimp’?

Shrimp was just the ticket for another row of bobbles and they could represent the buoys which hold up the nets in the family swimming area.

It felt good to see a pop of colour against all that blue. The buoys were finished during a short break in Spain while sitting under the cool of some trees.

And again, my blanket made it into one of Eleonora’s weekly round ups! What a thrill.

Time for more waves, and then finally dry land and a beach!

Then came the sandy bobbles, a terracotta coloured sea wall, and those brightly coloured houses which populate Catalan Bay. Behind the houses came the green vegetation which then gave way to the grey of the upper Rock and finally the sky and wispy Levanter clouds forming on the crest of the Rock.

I tell you what, those different colours were a bit fiddly and you do not want to see the loose ends that were on the back!

It’s taken an inordinately long amount of time to get to the end, but get to the end I have! It’s time for the big unveiling!

Last year, I was able to do my big ta-dah moment on Sandy Bay beach itself. This year, because of our current situation in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, my big ta-dah is just having to happen on my balcony… at least the sun’s shining!

Thank you very much Eleonora for yet another fabulous crochet-along pattern. Thank goodness I managed to get this one finished before you launch this year’s blanket (just a week before I believe!). The online community which was formed because of these blankets is truly wonderful. It’s so important to feel like you are part of a community, especially at times like this.

Until we meet again, Catalan Bay, thank you for your inspiration!

Sunday Sevens #135 6.5.18

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens, a little later than usual, but I still made it on Sunday! It’s been a busy day with lots of boring jobs to do. You don’t want to hear about that, so without further ado, here’s this week’s series of seven (or perhaps slightly more) photos from the last seven days.

Bank holiday getaway

Last weekend was a bumper long weekend for us here in Gibraltar. We had Monday off work and school for Worker’s Memorial Day and then Tuesday too for May Day (as it was 1st of May). We have the first of May off here rather than waiting for the first Monday in May as is the tradition in the UK. To all of my readers in the UK, I hope you are being blessed with some of the gorgeous Bank Holiday weather I have seen on the telly over these past couple of days.

We headed out of Gibraltar for a few days and went along the coast to Estepona. The above picture was of the queue of traffic trying to leave Gibraltar last Sunday, the photo below was taken on a tranquil evening stroll at the end of the day, along the coast in Spain.

A hole in one!

This mini golf course was the site of the greatest golfing moment ever seen in Andalucia. Forget Valderrama and the European Open, this is where I scored a hole in one! It took hours of practice too ;-).

Heading home

Our long weekend came to an end on Tuesday and it was time to head home and back to reality, but not before another round of crazy golf and the chance to admire some of the beautiful blooms on show in the hotel gardens. Isn’t this one a beauty?

Seaside blanket makes it to the beach!

I took my hook and yarn away with me on our short break and managed to catch up on the rows I had fallen behind on with the Coastal Crochet Seaside Stash-busting Crochet Along. I really enjoyed working on it while I was away from all the usual distractions of being at home. I even took it down onto the beach at Estepona with me for a photo shoot. And that shot made it into Eleonora’s weekly round-up of the CAL on Instagram. It’s slap bang in the middle – that made my day!

May Day Celebrations

We headed back into Gibraltar in time to catch the end of the May Day celebrations in Casemates Square. There was a political rally (which we missed) followed by a number of local bands and dance schools performing on the stage for the crowds. As you can see, we were blessed with some beautiful weather.

Say what you see…

Apologies in advance for the toilet humour, but one day this week I found myself sitting at the bus stop (our car is rather unwell and has been into the garage this week) and I spotted a sign for parking which I have passed countless times and not really looked at before. It’s funny that you can suddenly see something for the first time, years after looking at it. It made me chuckle anyway…

Gibraltar International Comic Con

The second Gibraltar International Comic Con came to the Rock this weekend. We went along yesterday and hung out with stars of Star Wars (there was a real life Ewok there), three Game of Thrones actors (yes, I know – how cool is that??) and Star Trek amongst other shows. One of the things which I really enjoyed seeing was the art work. These amazing comic-style illustrations were drawn by a local artist  (@liam_p_art on Instagram).

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. Thanks very much for stopping by! I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series. I’ll leave you with a few photos from April including Gibraltar and our trip to London & the Jurassic Coast.

Sunday Sevens #119 21.1.18

After last week’s sad demise of my trusty iPhone after 3 years of loyal service, I was very fortunate to have Mr Postcard buy me a new one (hooray!). As a result, normal Sunday Sevens service is restored and I have lots of photos to celebrate. Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunshine after the rain

Last Sunday was a rather damp, grey and dull affair but we were treated to a rather lovely sunset. It’s amazing how a little bit of sunshine, even if it’s fleeting, can lift the spirits.

Joining squares

One of my many New Years resolutions was to finish some of the many on-going WiPs (works in progress) I have going on. This blanket was begun back in the summer of 2016, when I undertook my first Summer Craft Challenge.

The plan had initially been to create a blanket for our bed, but it soon became apparent that that would require a gazillion squares and I kind of ran out of oomph. Recently, I became aware of a place which is in need of small blankets for needy children, so I decided to pick up where I left off and get cracking with this again. When it’s complete I’ll show you how it ends up.

Dressmaking class

Over Christmas I was supposed to go shopping for some new fabric for my next dressmaking project in class. Unfortunately I failed in that matter. The local fabric shop in Gibraltar is up for sale and their stock is quickly dwindling. I had hoped to pop over to Spain to buy some fabric from a shop in La Linea, but unfortunately didn’t reckon on the whole 3 Kings holidays so that rather scuppered my purchase too. So, when it came to my dressmaking class this week, I decided to take one of my WiPs out of storage and use my time fruitfully pushing that towards the final straight.

Those of you who have been following my Sunday Sevens for a while may remember this skirt which was supposed to be made for me to wear to two special family weddings last year. I ended up falling in love with a dress in a shop window and that ended up being my wedding outfit, while this skirt was rather, well, forgotten about. Now it’s back out of its bag and ironed, I think I rather like it again, so I got busy on the hems. We’re not finished yet, but I’m heading in the right direction.

Med Steps training

I have managed to get up the Med Steps a couple of times this week. The first trip was on Wednesday, when it was gloriously sunny. Although we did have a water feature to get our socks wet in. A fresh water pipe which was coming out of the Rock high up above our heads had burst and for part of the route, the path had effectively become a stream. It made conditions a bit slippy underfoot. We reported it to the wardens but they were waiting for the appropriate authorities to come out and fix it. As it was high up on the Rock, it wasn’t a straight forward job.

The next day, Thursday, we went back up and what a difference a day makes! The two photos below were taken 24 hours apart. It was very blustery and grey but on a positive note, the water leak had been fixed, so we didn’t get wet feet this time!

Fabric shopping

On Wednesday, after my trip up the Steps I happened upon a good idea. I had been racking my brains on when I would get the chance to get into Spain to buy my dressmaking fabric whilst the Little Postcards were at school, and in between all my other commitments, when I suddenly realised it was Wednesday and that’s market day in La Linea. The market stands just on the other side of the border between Gibraltar and Spain, and is easily walkable from Gib in just a few minutes.

I keep meaning to visit the market but there always seems to be something which I need to do on a Wednesday morning, and I always forget until it’s too late. This week, though, I remembered. I’m ashamed to say that after eight and a half years of living in Gibraltar, this week was only my second visit to the market. Thankfully, my memory served me well and they did have fabric stalls. After much mooching I found some black stretchy satin and black crepey fabric for my next project. Here’s hoping I bought the right thing or I’ll be going back again next week!

My Year of Colour

Over on Instagram this week, there has been a mini trend of creating your year of colour. I thought I would have a go myself and was rather pleased with this rainbow of bright dots. The idea is, that the year of colour website sifts through all your photographs from the past year and picks out the predominant colours and weighs up how popular certain photos were before generating your year of colour. It’s just a bit of fun, but I enjoyed playing with the site.

Watercolour production line

I was on a bit of a roll at my watercolour class this week, working on three paintings at once! I finished last week’s jam jar posy, did some cyclamen in a pot and had a go at some purple foliage in another jam jar.

Another crochet project

I know, I know I didn’t need another new crochet project when I have others on the go (2 x blankets, 2 Little Box of Crochet projects, 2 shawls & 2 unicorns waiting in the wings) but I just couldn’t resist. I’m joining along with Eleonora of Coastal Crochet and her Seaside Stash-busting blanket CAL (crochet-along) well, it is stash-busting so it’s got to be a good thing right? Each week Eleonora will publish four rows of her pattern for you to crochet along with. I think I can manage 4 rows a week… maybe. Check out her blog or Instagram (@coastalcrochet) for all the details.

So there you have it, a rather longer than usual Sunday Sevens, but then I did have a new camera phone to play with. I hope you have had a good week this week and that the next seven days are kind to you. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for the Sunday Sevens weekly blog series.