Sunday Sevens #64 1.1.17

Happy New Year! Is it really only a week ago that we were celebrating Christmas? It feels like much longer!

Christmas Day Lunch


Mr Postcard reprised his role as Christmas Day chef and was so proud of his turkey, I was called into the kitchen to take a photo for Sunday Sevens! It was delicious.

We had a lovely day at home, joined by my parents. We were all very lucky and got lots of lovely things. Among my favourites were a new lens for my camera from Mr Postcard – watch out for loads more Postcard from Gibraltar sunsets… and some lovely fluffy yarn and an Amigurumi book from my little brother.

This year’s Christmas makes


I can share a few of my festive makes,  now they have been gifted. I was asked by a friend to make a mermaid blanket for her daughter. I made a couple of ring cushions ahead of two weddings next year and the wreath was a request for my Mum.

Polar bear swim


Boxing Day for us was dominated by turkey leftovers and the Catalan Bay Polar Bear Swim. If you haven’t already, you can read all about it in my post here. I’m so glad I did it – I was wavering until about two hours before hand and I just thought what the heck, life’s short and one day I may look back and regret not doing it.

Crochet, rosé & Dirty Dancing 


So in the space of a few days, we lost two people who played a big part in my formative years (and those of countless others) albeit via the silver screen and the radio airwaves. I think an awful lot of people from my generation really felt the loss of George Michael and Carrie Fisher this week. Sometimes only crochet, wine and Dirty Dancing on the telly will do… Thank you Channel 5 – I really needed that.

Legotastic 


Despite all the new toys which appeared in this house over Christmas, the trusty box of Lego featured heavily over the last week. We have had vehicle races and competitions and all sorts of creative fun. The lounge floor was awash with those sharp little bricks but it was a small price to pay for fraternal harmony (for a few hours) and a break from TV and gadget screens.

Beach walk


We revisited Catalan Bay on Thursday afternoon to stretch our legs. It was somewhat quieter than it had been on Monday… and I resisted the temptation to jump into the crashing waves and stayed on the sand. 😉

Shopping in Spain


On Friday we took a drive up the Costa del Sol coast for a brief shopping trip and lunch. We were away from the Rock for less than 6 hours but we enjoyed our mini-mini break!

New Year’s Eve Med Stepping


Yesterday, I ventured up the Med Steps for the first time in weeks. What a change those weeks have meant for the vegetation and wildlife up there. There were loads of delicate white narcissi lining the paths and on the roof of this old army look out post. There was also a lot of these wild clematis type of plants…


It was so pretty up there. The beautiful flowers took my mind off the fact I was out of breath!

One last sunset of 2016

I know I have gone way over the normal seven photos for a Sunday Sevens post, but there has been such a lot going on this week. As Gibraltar was gearing up for a big night of celebrations (see photo below) we headed home for a quiet celebration. Here’s a couple of shots of the last sunset of 2016 as seen in Gibraltar – can you see a sliver of moon among the clouds?


This photo shows the lights in Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar from here we live. It’s slightly blurry (apologies for that) but it gives you a sense of just how close we are.

I do hope that you have a wonderful new year and that 2017 is a happy and healthy one for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all the lovely comments I’ve received over the past year, it’s so nice to know that there are actually people out there (apart from my Mum and Dad) who want to read what I have to write. Thank you!

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

Sunday Sevens #56 6.11.16

Sunday seaside stroll


We started our mid-term near Puerto Banus on the Costa del Sol, I do like it there, but not for the reasons most folk do. It’s very glitzy and has very posh designer shops jostling for position along the marina quayside. The super rich clientele park their large posh cars on the waterside next to the super yachts. It’s a place for people watching and being ‘seen’. 

My favorite part though, is away from the razzmatazz. There’s a lovely promenade which follows the coast from the edge of the glitzy marina along the beach and across the Rio Verde. We’ve had many walks along here over the years with Littlest Postcard at just a few months old and on several different mid-term, Easter or Christmas breaks since.

On Sunday there was a fishing competition going on and we watched the fishermen preparing their vast array of technical equipment – who knew it was such a science? I thought a rod, line, hook and bait was all that was required!

Heatwave colours 


I’ve been waiting for the right time to begin my Weekend Bag kit I bought from the Attic 24 stall at Yarndale in September. I bought two kits, but wanted to work on this one first because I thought the colours were more suited to the autumn and winter.

Our home for the first bit of our holiday really matched the ‘heatwave’ colour scheme don’t you think?

Border Queue fun


On Tuesday we had to return to Gibraltar for a few hours before being able to continue with our holiday. Thankfully we were only an hour away and the border queue into Gibraltar was only 20 minutes or so. In the evening, though, it was a different matter. We were put into a kind of stacking system and had to wait more than 40 minutes before we could cross back into Spain.

I don’t think it was anything more than volume of traffic, but crikey I’m so glad I don’t have to do that every day! I feel sorry for those who have this to contend with on their commute to work. I’m afraid we do avoid crossing over to Spain a lot of the time because of the queue, it’s just not fun with small people in the car.

Giant chess anyone?


I ‘played’ (if that’s what you call it) chess with my Littlest Postcard on Wednesday afternoon. His rules… which meant walking around the board with a knight under his arm and basically claiming all of my pieces. I lost, needless to say. I have only played the game a handful of times but I’m pretty sure that’s not the official version….

Poolside crochet


I quite like swimming, when you are allowed to actually swim. However, these days, trips to the pool invariably end up with me being pummeled, dive bombed or used as a vehicle to transport children around the pool. Perhaps that’s my lot in life as a mother of three boys… 

I struck lucky on Thursday when Mr Postcard offered to ‘take one for the team’ and went in with the boys and let me stay on the side to crochet and observe the usual high jinks from the safety of a lounger. For the record, I did go in the pool and suffered the usual abuse on the following two days… 

I was working on my shawl from the summer after the arrival of the last ball of wool I needed to finish it…. on the final straight!

2 WIPs finished



Oh the joys of holidays and having the time to sit down and crochet! Two of my works-in-progress (WIPs) were completed on Friday. My newly started Attic 24 weekend bag and my first ever lacy shawl begun back in August during my  Summer Craft Challenge – I was waiting for the arrival of the final ball of yarn before I could complete it. Many thanks to Marisa (aka @mariwish on Instagram) for the shawl-making & pattern reading lesson and for the yarn delivery last week!

End of our holiday


Our week away began with lovely sunshine and blue skies, but ended with heavy thundery showers and even tornados a few kilometers away! There were some sunny spells though yesterday and this was one of them. The beach was pretty empty yesterday with the inclement weather but we still managed a table tennis marathon, football, basketball, chess, swimming and I ran for 4kms at the gym without stopping – go me!! I ate my dinner guilt free last night! 🙂

October 2016


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

Sunday Sevens #52 9.10.16

 

Despite the fact we are well into October now, it’s been very warm again here in Gibraltar. As I sit at the dining table writing this, I have steam coming out of my collar!!

This week has been a rather busy one for me, there’s been nothing in particular, just lots of different stuff going on, so there was no midweek post from me this week. I hope you’ve had a good week, whatever you’ve been up to. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

Across the Strait

This photo kind of sums up the weather we’ve been having for about half of this last week. I took the photo on Sunday afternoon when we took the Little Postcards to Europa Point park to let off a bit of steam on their scooters. You know when they are bouncing off the walls that you need to get out and exercise them like dogs!! The sky was crystal clear overhead but in the distance across at Morrocco there was a hazy mist which looked like someone had taken an eraser to the bit where the mountains touch the sea!

So for most of this week, in the afternoons  it has been clear, bright and hot (especially when standing outside the school gates waiting for the bell to go!) but the mornings have been misty and town was sitting under a heavy Levanter cloud with gusty winds whipping up the dust.

Dressmaking class


Sewing continued on the sample top I’m working on in my dressmaking class. The photo doesn’t show it to advantage as the back is still unfinished and open. Part of the exercise for this sample is to make up the front, then remodel the arm holes and neckline. This is before the remodelling takes place.

In addition to working on my sample top, I have also been making a skirt for my Mum who has been over visiting at the moment. A straight skirt with a small slit at the back and in a colour to compliment her new winter coat is underway. After several fittings and alterations, I am now about to machine stitch the side seams and hand sew the hem. Hopefully it will be ready for her when she returns before Christmas.

Watercolour class

After two weeks of pencil sketches, I finally got around to mixing some paint colours and worked my current project at my watercolour class this week. I just love the brightly coloured beach huts at Southwold, and wanted to work on a painting to reflect that. I’m working from a photograph taken by Mr Postcard of a stretch of predominantly blue and white ones, but have used a little artistic licence and injected more colour based on photos I took on our visit in the summer. I’m really enjoying painting this one. 🙂

Sea mist


We had everything crossed on Friday evening. After dropping my parents off at the airport to fly home, we returned to find our home had been engulfed by a real pea-souper of a sea mist. Just as their plane was due to land it got thicker and thicker.

Miraculously the plane landed. The two photos above were taken 30 minutes apart. The first one is of a tree about 100 metres from our apartment – there was no point taking one of the sea, it would have just been grey!

I’m very pleased to say that Mum and Dad made it back home safely and we look forward to seeing them again just before Christmas.

Autumn leaves


It’s October, and of course that means autumn. I do love autumn in the UK in a kind of bitter sweet way. It’s such a beautiful season with the colours of the leaves on woodland walks but it also spells the end of summer and all the fun which that season promises. Back when we lived in England, I kind of dreaded winter with the grey damp urgh kind of weather it could spell for weeks between the odd beautiful crispy frosty day.

One benefit of living here in Gibraltar is that although we do have seasons, they aren’t quite as noticeable as in England. Summer is undboubtedly hot and sunny and winter is often damp and grey but not quite as cold and depressing as I remember English winter days to be. That does mean though that spring and autumn aren’t quite as obvious as what’s experienced in the UK.

I remember feeling a bit homesick that first autumn after we moved to Gibraltar and I just couldn’t put my finger on what the problem was. Suddenly it hit me, the vast majority of the trees here on the Rock are evergreen and that meant there are very few leaves to crunch through and collect with little people. Autumn always used to mean Sunday afternoons spent at one of our nearest National Trust sites or parks collecting sticks, conkers and brown, red and golden leaves of all shapes and sizes to bring home. That just isn’t an option here.

In recent years though, a few new trees have been planted here and some of the ones in Commonwealth Park (which was built a couple of years ago) are deciduous. It was so nice to sit under the browning leaves on a bench for a while yesterday as the Little Postcards played football. We were all in T-shirts and shorts so it’s not really like autumn, but it was nice to pretend.

A new crochet project


After finishing my sixty million trebles blanket last week, I was free to crack open some of the lovely new yarn I bought at Yarndale a fortnight ago with a clear conscience. The gorgeous mohair and bamboo Louisa Harding Yarn I bought from Esgair Fibres had been calling me from my stash and really needed to be worked on as soon as possible! I’m using it to make a shawl/scarf for when the weather here turns a little bit fresher. It’s so lovely to use, the constantly changing colours which change even within just one treble stitch are gorgeous and it feels so nice between my fingers as I hook up another row.

 
PS : just one more thing…

A couple of people asked to see the finished picture that I posted two weeks ago from my watercolour class, here it is, mounted and ready to go to its new home in England.

 

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

(Natalie, if you’re reading this I hope you’re ok! You’ve been very quiet lately.)

Summer Craft Challenge 2016 Part 8

This is my final Summer Craft Challenge 2016 blog post. By making the decision back on Saturday 9th July (the first day of the holidays) to attempt to do something crafty each day throughout the long school summer holiday in order to help me retain my sanity is one I’m very pleased that I made.

Normally the holidays see the end of any crafty endeavours and I get increasingly frustrated at my lack of productiveness. This year though, by just ensuring I spend even a few moments each day with a crochet hook, paintbrush or needle in my hand I have managed to produce a rather varied range of things, my sanity has been retained (almost) and I have still been very much present for fun with the Little Postcards. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

If you have travelled along with me on my crafty summer journey, thank you for your company, I have had some lovely comments along the way. School has now restarted as of yesterday (1st September) and we all survived the long summer break.

Here’s the final instalment of my challenge:

 

Day 50 : Saturday 27th August

On Friday night I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with the crochet guru known as @mariwish on Instagram. Marisa Boseli teaches crochet in London but is actually from Gibraltar originally. Whilst visiting family and friends here this summer, she decided to put on some crochet classes.

So, on Friday night after a meal of tapas in a beach front restaurant at Catalan Bay, we set to work. Marisa has taught me the art of lacy shawl making – something I’ve never attempted before. The lighting was more suited to a romantic evening meal than a crochet class so as you can see above, we hooked by the light of our phone torches!

In daylight, on Saturday it was much easier to make progress…

Day 51 : Sunday 28th August


Oh no… a mistake! I had to unravel almost two entire rows to get back to this part!

Day 52 : Monday 29th August


My shawl so far – I’ve really enjoyed making this and can’t believe how quickly it’s growing.

Day 53 : Tuesday 30th August 


A lovely time was had al fresco hooking in the park with friends in the afternoon, by the end of the evening I had reached the end of the line.


I’ve run out of wool! I think I just need one more ball. This beauty will just have to wait a little while longer before I can get her finished…

Day 54 : Wednesday 31st August

On the final day of my challenge, I thought I’d share something with you which I’ve only become aware of recently: the Sixty Million Trebles project.

At the end of last year, the UN estimated that there are sixty million refugees worldwide. Sixty Million Trebles is a project to create the world’s largest blanket containing sixty million treble stitches. The huge blanket will be used to yarnbomb a venue in London to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees before being split up to make blankets 50% of which will be donated to UK charities, the other 50% will go to ‘Hand in hand for Syria’ an organisation which helps refugees from there. They also hope to raise a penny for every treble crocheted to help refugee charities.

To find out more about the project, check out the Sixty Million Trebles blog or search for them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

The granny square above is the beginning of my contribution, with just 246 trebles included. I’ve decided upon a rainbow colour scheme as rainbows are a sign of hope. I hooked up dozens of square centres on the beach on our last day of the school summer holidays. This may take some time…

And so I guess, this is the end of my Summer Craft Challenge for this year, thank you for all the support and encouragement along the way! I’ll keep you updated on the progress of my Rainbow Hope blanket for the Sixty Million Trebles project in future posts.

Here’s just a few highlights from the past eight weeks:


Thank you for stopping by!