Postcard from Gibraltar Review of 2018

Well here we are at the end of another year, it’s been a year of crafty and photo challenges, and on the whole a good one for the Postcard clan. It’s only now I’ve taken a look back at what we’ve done that I realised that we’ve packed a lot in! Here are some of my highlights from 2018…

January

I started the year off with a lovely walk up the Rock, those paperwhite narcissi were photographed on New Year’s Day. After enjoying participating in a photo challenge in 2017 under the stewardship of Sandra at Wild Daffodil, I decided to have a go at running one in 2018, so #postcardfromgibfridayphoto was born on Instagram and in Blogland. I also embarked on the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket CAL in January too. Little did I know what fun it would become.

February

February saw plenty more crochet and a fair bit of watercolour painting, along with the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth to Gibraltar. The huge Royal Naval aircraft carrier was quite a sight to behold.

March

March, very fortunately for us was a month for travel, first to attempt skiing for the very first time in the Italian Dolomites – it was amazing, and second to take the Little Postcards on an Easter trip to the South of England.

April

We began April on Easter Sunday on the Jurassic Coast in Devon, then headed to London for a few days before heading home. It was a fun trip.

May

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge, Gibraltar’s Comic Con and some lovely spring weather.

June

June brought with it the Calentita! food festival and my very first printed article in the Calentita! magazine. We celebrated World Environment Day and I had a go at Yarnbombing the Alameda Gardens!

July

Summer holidays we the order of the day in July (along with my now traditional annual Summer Craft Challenge). We headed off to Suffolk to help celebrate a big birthday for a member of the Postcard family. We traveled by plane, old trains and kayak! Which reminds me, we went to a fabulous country fair at Worstead, I really should get a post written about that…

August

August was spent in Suffolk, Gibraltar and visiting my family in Manchester. We watched acrobats and magicians in Gib and followed the Bee trail around Manchester.

September

Back to Gibraltar in time for school starting and the end of the Gibraltar Fair. We had National Day celebrations and the MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling Music Festival.

October

At midterm in October we headed off for a short break in Portugal. We’re so lucky to be able to drive to so many lovely places from where we live. This was also the month that I finished my Sandy Bay blanket.

November

November began for us in Portugal and ended with the Christmas light switch on with the fabulous Gibraltar Literary Festival in between. It’s a truly wonderful festival which happens right on our doorstep.

December

December saw the end of the Friday photo challenge I curated as well as a rather pleasant pre Christmas trip up the Med Steps

Thank you to everyone who has followed and read my posts this year, it’s been lovely to know that there’s someone out there actually reading them! I hope that 2018 has been a good year for you and that 2019 is too!

Summer Craft Challenge 2018 (week 8)

So at last, the Little Postcards returned after a (very) long 8 week school summer holiday, and throughout that time, I have used crafty distractions each day to keep me going. Here’s my final week (+2 days) just a week or so after they went back to school! Better late than never!

Saturday

Work began on Percy the Gnome’s head.

Sunday

Head complete with eyes, meant time for a little scarf.

Monday

On Monday evening, we played scrabble and I crocheted along at the same time – not advisable as I kept losing count – however near the start of the game I ended up with the letters to spell sewing in my little rack of tiles. How appropriate for a craft challenge, shame it didn’t spell crochet!

Tuesday

A gnome hat with a bell!

Wednesday

And he’s finished!

Thursday

On Thursday, our last full day in Manchester, Percy came out with us to the park, looking for some fairies to hang out with…

… I didn’t see any, but saw quite a few fairy doors.

While the Little Postcards played and climbed, I found time for a last little bit of English al fresco crochet for this summer.

Friday

In flight crochet, crochet and gin goes so well together don’t you think?

Saturday

As I waited for the copious washing machine cycles to finish as I unpacked from our trip, I caught up with one of my favourite blogs (Attic24). I discovered through reading it that this year’s Yarndale Festival was appealing for butterflies to be made, so quickly made one…

Sunday

A little flurry of butterflies (the correct term I believe is a kaleidoscope) all bound for Yarndale. One had to be red and white for Gibraltar 🇬🇮.

And another thing…

Way back just before I started my craft challenge this year, I started work on a new project which I didn’t want to say too much about until I had showed it to someone special. Earlier this year, my little brother and his lovely wife went on their honeymoon to Bali. They brought me back a beautiful sarong. It was too pretty for just taking to the beach so I decided to make a skirt out of it.

I took it along to my dressmaking teacher to get her advice. She told me how to cut the fabric to take full advantage of the pattern.

And here it is:

I’m thrilled with it 🙂 and now I have showed them, I can share it with you.

That’s the end of my summer Craft Challenge for this year, I managed to do something crafty on all but a handful of days, and I loved it!

Edit: for some reason the photos in this post have been rather tricksy and that’s the main reason this blog post has taken so long to publish. Apologies if they take a long time to load, I’m not sure what the problem is…

Friday photo challenge (week 34) Stitch

Only 24 hours late for my Friday (ahem Saturday) photo challenge for this week. Stitch is the theme. Stitches have been with me ever since I was a child. I first learned to sew, knit and crochet when I was probably younger than 10. Taught by my Mum and Grandma.

It brings me lots of pleasure and I always have several projects on the go at any one time. The first photo of crewel wool honeysuckle has been a work-in-progress for at least 8 years (whoops – I really should get it finished).

Then there’s a pile of some of my crochet blanket creations (the bottom two using lots & patterns from Attic 24).

And as I am currently at my parents’ house on holiday, here’s a couple of my previous projects from years gone by which hang on their walls….

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.

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!!

Sunday Sevens #124 25.2.18

Hello there, I hope you’re having a nice weekend. We have been blessed with some lovely weather this week (I wore a T-shirt to do the afternoon school run on Friday), but – and it’s a big but, I have it on good authority that we are in for some very wet weather over the next seven days.

It’s funny you know, whenever there are severe weather warnings for the British Isles, that often means that for us down here on the southern most tip of the Iberian Peninsular get pretty rubbish weather too – admittedly not as cold as ooop north, but, still bad. So, as the UK grabs it’s thermals and digs out the shovels and grit to cope with a big freeze and snowy weather, we are digging out our wellies and rather fetching waterproof trousers to cope with an impending monsoon.

Anyway, weather talk aside, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sunset across the Bay

Clearly last Sunday nothing of note occurred as I didn’t take any photos. This lovely sunset happened on Monday though. All of a sudden the apartment was bathed in the most beautiful orange glow and I looked out of the window to see that the sun was just about to set behind the hills directly opposite our apartment windows. Each day the sun is setting further to the right (north west) as we get closer to spring and it was a beautiful beam of orange which signalled the end of Monday’s daylight.

Seaside blanket silliness

I’m really enjoying the twice weekly instalments of the Coastal Crochet Seaside stash busting blanket Crochet Along. Last week, one of my fellow CAL-ers uploaded a cute photo to Instagram with a Lego diver, seaweed and fish on her blanket and I thought I’d join in with the silliness. I spent rather longer than I should have digging about in search of a Playmobil diver and his gear, but only managed to locate his breathing apparatus. I gave up and raided the bath toy box for this pair. I have a horrible feeling our diver has met a sticky end somewhere. (Note to self : I really must grow up).

Dressmaking class

At my dressmaking class this week I finished my slice and slide frill around the top of my toile dress. It was removed from the mannequin and converted from lots of jigsaw pieces of fabric to just two to check I had the correct drape for the frill. It’s not looking too bad. I’m awaiting instruction on what to do next….

Crochet confusion

I have been attempting to start a rainbow crochet blanket (requested by a Little Postcard) for a few weeks now, but I have really struggled with it. First of all, I tried a new ripple pattern, which required a lot of concentration by me. I really wanted something I could do without too much thought in front of the telly, but I kept getting so far and having to frog it because I’d made a mistake way back at the start of the row.

On top of this I wasn’t completely happy with the colours I had chosen. I picked them online and got them sent to Gib, but when they sat next to each other, they were a bit harsh. I finally relented and went to the wool shop here in Gibraltar and bought three complimentary shades which evened out the rainbow effect I wanted. I also found a new ripple pattern which worked better for me. Back to the drawing board, but I had a plan!

Blue skies

I mentioned a the start of this post that we have had some beautiful weather this week. This was the gorgeous blue sky on Wednesday lunchtime. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch but she got a call from school to say one of her little ones was ill, so lunch was postponed and I got the bus home. This was the view from the bus stop over the top of the park and Trinity Cathedral to the top of the Rock in the distance.

Watercolour daffs

I managed to finish my latest watercolour painting at my watercolour class this week. I’m rather pleased with these daffodils. They go well alongside my iris painting from a couple of weeks ago. I have decided to have a go at another painting in this same style with pen and watercolour, and after a bit of a poll on Instagram, it’s been decided that tulips should be my next subject!

I love it when a plan comes together…

My persistence paid off I think, the rainbow blanket is coming along well (although not fast enough for the Little Postcard who wants it for his bed…. “When will it be finished Mummy??” “Errr, don’t hold your breath son.”) I’m finding these ripples so relaxing to make, with not too much counting required by me. I have enjoyed a couple of episodes of Wallander on Netflix as I hooked these rows during a few quiet moments. I have been wanting to work on this all the time and it has come with me to football training and a football match just in case I get the chance to hook a few extra rows! My kids are seriously considering disowning me….

Batman update….

Did you see Batman in my last Sunday Sevens? He’s still up there bless him – I took this photo at 10:30 last night. They must have good helium in Gibraltar!!!

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have a good week. If you are in the snow, keep warm, if you are in the wet, keep dry and I’ll see you next week, same time, same place. Toodleooo!

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

Sunday Sevens #122 11.2.18

This week, Gibraltar was paid a visit by a very esteemed visitor; the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. She called in at the Rock on her first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. Also this week, I’m very pleased to say that I’m well on the road to recovery after a nasty bout of bronchitis. I’m still coughing but slowly day by day I’m getting a bit more energy – hallelujah for that. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens.

Storm damage

In last week’s Sunday Sevens I mentioned the stormy weather we experienced at the start of the week. On Sunday, while I was tucked up in bed Mr Postcard headed out for a walk and took this photo of some of the damage caused at Camp Bay. The force of the waves must have been immense to send those rocks and chunks of concrete so far!

Happy mail

My Instagram feed has been filled with beautiful rainbow crochet projects of late and luck would have it that a certain Little Postcard has requested a rainbow blanket after his brother received his green granny square one a few weeks ago. That gave me the perfect excuse to order some new brightly coloured yarn! It arrived on Monday – just right kind of pick me up after a weekend of feeling pretty rough. I just have to resist the temptation to rush headlong into another project without finishing some of my half done ones first!

Another project completed!

My New Year’s resolution to complete all of my on going craft projects is continuing apace. Work-in-progress number 3 is complete! This started life in the summer of 2016 when I had been planning to make a blanket to match the new colour of our bedroom walls (mint green in case you were wondering). Inspired by the colours of the beach huts at Southwold I started hooking up these solid circle in a square granny squares.

It soon became apparent that you need an awful lot of these to cover a king size bed, so I ran out of steam and enjoyment for the project. Recently I heard about a children’s hospital in Romania which a friend of mine regularly visits. She volunteers over there and cuddles babies who are in need of some love and affection. This blanket will be joining her on her next trip.

Sunset after a very grey day

Mid week was a rather grey affair. We did get a nice fleeting sunset on Wednesday evening though.

Watercolour class

I felt well enough to return to my watercolour class on Thursday. I finished the painting I started a couple of weeks ago. I’m pleased with the finished result and think I’d like to try this technique again.

Welcome to Gibraltar Queen Elizabeth!

On Friday morning HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Navy’s new aircraft carrier arrived in Gibraltar. It’s the first overseas visit on her maiden voyage. She’ll head off on more sea trials when she leaves here. It was quite a majestic sight to see as she cruised into the Bay.

I tweeted the photo in the bottom left hand corner (above) of the ship coming into view around the Rock . I may have gone viral (well viral for my usual standards) as I type, it’s been viewed over 12,000 times – crikey!

An early start to the weekend

We were up bright and early yesterday dropping someone off to catch an early coach to Malaga airport. Where we live, facing west we only get to see the sun setting. Yesterday we were lucky to be able to see this lovely sunrise. Even better, we went back home and got back into bed for a bit! 6:30 is too early to get up on a Saturday!!

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

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