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.

Summer craft challenge 2016 Part 5

Day 29 : Saturday 6th August 


Making circles while sitting outside the Red Lion at South Green in Southwold. We drank Adnams Spindrift out of plastic glasses in the evening sun, the perfect end to a sunny summer day. 

Day 30 : Sunday 7th August


Another Adnam’s beer to accompany my circle making on Sunday evening. I am on holiday and I’m supporting the local brewery so I think it’s a good thing… food miles and all that 😉 Slowly does it with this blanket…

Day 31 : Monday 8th August


Making the most of a few spare moments before heading out for dinner by squaring a few circles.

Day 32 : Tuesday 9th August


Early morning on the beach and we were lucky to have much of it to ourselves. While a major feat of civil engineering was begun (a sand fort with double walls) I set about on my first pink circles for my current blanket project.


Back at home with a cup of tea in the late afternoon, once the cloud rolled in and made the beach a bit too cool the cross stitch beach huts made another appearance. 

Day 33 : Wednesday 10th August


Making a few more Fondant Pink circles while sitting in the driveway of our holiday cottage waiting for Little Postcards to wake from their hire car slumbers… Silence was golden but it didn’t last too long 😉

Day 34 : Thursday 11th August


A spot of evening crochet before heading to bed 🙂

Day 35 : Friday 12th August


Time for a colour change on a picnic in Rendlesham Forest.

And finally…


Do you remember the crochet wreath I was working on last week? Well it’s finished and has arrived at its new home so I can reveal it in all it’s glory now. I think it turned out ok 🙂


Summer craft challenge 2016 Part 4

Day 22 : Saturday 30th July


A woodland walk and a picnic in the countryside on Saturday meant portable crafting was required. After lunch, while the Little Postcards played football I made some little crochet flowers.

Day 23 : Sunday 31st July


Slowly but surely a little bit of progress is happening on my summer holiday cross stitch picture. A little bit each evening in front of the TV seems to be working so far.

Day 24 : Monday 1st August


Can you see a little green & white stripes beach hut appearing. I’m really enjoying this cross stitch picture so far…

Day 25 : Tuesday 2nd August


I’ve been working on this crochet wreath as a birthday present. I had originally chosen pale pink to go along side the fuschia shade against the pearly cream wreath but it was lacking something. A quick trip to the wool shop in the afternoon solved the problem… a variegated yarn. 

It will live in a pale blue bedroom when it’s completed so I wanted a hint of blue but not too much as I don’t want it to clash with the walls!

Day 26 : Wednesday 3rd August 


Just adding the finishing touches to the crochet wreath. I will reveal all shortly…

Day 27 : Thursday 4th August


My last few woolly hearts for Yarndale were finished off and parceled up ready to be posted to Skipton. If you aren’t aware of the 7000 challenge check out @bonnies_little_crafts on Instagram. This lovely lady’s trying to make and collect 7000 woolly hearts to give to visitors to the Yarndale festival in September this year.

Day 28 : Friday 5th August


Today began a little too early with crochet on the platform of Manchester Oxford Road station just after 8am waiting for the train to take us to the next destination on our holiday. We waved goodbye to the north of England and hello to the East. 

A new destination seemed as good a reason as any to begin a new project. This one’s a blanket using square the circle squares. I used a very clear pattern called Bullseye by Little Tin Bird but instead of changing the colours on each round I kept the square to just two colours.

Summer Craft Challenge 2016 Part 3

Day 15 : Saturday 23rd July 


A new project and a new location… Saturday was our first full day in Manchester and the first day of our ‘summer holiday’. As all loose ends had been darned in on my ongoing WIP before I left Gibraltar, it was time I cracked open a new ball of yarn and got cracking on my next project. This is another gift, but I have almost two weeks to complete it so no pressure 🙂

Day 16 : Sunday 24th July


Sunday’s crafting session was a family affair. I continued with my crochet I started the day before and two of the Little Postcards began their summer sewing projects. One is of landmarks in London worked in cross stitch, the other is a football tapestry worked in long stitch.  

Day 17 : Monday 25th July


Flower making on a cross country train to visit special friends who used to live in Gibraltar 🙂 …. Who now live in:

Spotted this gorgeous crochet sign in the restaurant we are dinner in – isn’t it gorgeous? 🙂 It has pride of place at the top of a community notice board.

Day 18 : Tuesday 26th July

We had such a busy day out having fun with friends that the only crafting I managed was just before bedtime. I sewed these two little flowers together which I had crocheted on our train trip the day before. Not much to show I’m afraid but a brilliant day was had by all, Mums and children alike 🙂

Day 19 : Wednesday 27th July


Another train journey – this one taking us back up north to Manchester meant time for leaves to go with all those flowers made on the southbound journey. Once the leaves were complete, this little pile of #woollyheartsforyarndale got their ends darned in and a few buttons attached. They’ll be winging their way to Skipton very soon 🙂

Day 20 : Thursday 28th July


My wreath base is complete. I just need to add the flowers & leaves.

Day 21 : Friday 29th July


I cracked open my summer holiday cross stitch picture today. It’s a lovely summery beach scene, so the big question is – will I finish it be the end of the summer? Or more likely by the end of the decade? I’m a bit slow at cross stitch as a rule, time will tell… I have never stitched on coloured Aida before and I found stitching blue thread on blue material made my eyes a bit funny even in bright daylight. The jury’s out on whether it’ll be a success or not. 


Wild flowers of the Med Steps


You will have noticed that of late, the Med Steps have featured very heavily in my blog posts, mainly because I’ve spent quite a lot of time climbing them recently. The one thing which has really left an impression on me, apart from the aching muscles, is just how beautiful it looks at the moment with all the wild flowers in bloom. I believe in these last few weeks I have been lucky enough to see them at their absolute peak. The poppies, candytufts, and countless other flowers which have fleetingly made their presence known and brightened up my walks.

I have been taking lots of photos of them to share with those of you who haven’t seen them for real, and I had intended to do a blog post all about them, so here it is. 

The only problem is, I don’t know much about wild flowers and the idea of researching their names etc left me cold (it would most probably make the most boring blog post anyway), so that would just leave along stream of photos of random flowers (also boring). I thought long and hard about how I could bring them to life and capture their magic both for you and for me.


 

Then I came up with an idea, (a slightly strange idea perhaps) to try to recreate the flowers in yarn. I have a book of flower patterns 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield and the internet is full of ideas and patterns for crocheting all sorts of wierd and wonderful things so I started investigating. Wow, the world was my oyster, there was so much potential out there that I thought I could really do this. 

But what would I make? A blanket? No, the last one took over a year to make – I’d lose interest. A bag? No, it would soon get battered and spoiled as I used it, plus, it may look a bit odd for everyday use. Then inspiration hit…Remember I made a wreath at Christmas?

Last summer, when I was in England and blessed with lots of fantastic craft supply shops to frequent, I bought two polystyrene wreaths but so far I’d only used one. Inspired by the beautiful wreaths made by Lucy of Attic 24, I thought what if I covered it in crochet to represent the Rock of Gibraltar? There’s the greenery of the steps, the sky and sea and then add the crocheted wildflowers to that? Oh my, that’s it! I have got loads of creative ideas fizz popping in my head now, I need to get cracking.

So first things first, how on earth do I chose which flowers to include? Well Gibraltar’s National Flower, the candytuft is an obvious choice.

Then we have the poppies, with their papery thin petals nodding gently in the sea breeze. They are so delicate and yet stunning against the other greenery of the Upper Rock.

There’s a fair amount of lavender too, and that’s one of my all time favourite plants. The fragrance is so calming and comforting.

So it’s time to get started. I began with crocheting the cover for the polystyrene wreath in shades of green, grey and blue.

And here it is…

It looks a little bare don’t you think? Time to decorate… first a daisy?

Next a thistle…


I made a couple of sprigs of lavender using this pattern.          

There are some really dainty wild sweet pea kind of plants up there at the moment:


We can’t forget the poppies (this one I had to knit):

So to one of Gibraltar’s national flowers… The Candytuft. Could I find a pattern for one anywhere? Could I heck. I had to ‘invent’ one. Based on a pattern in my flower book but with a candytuft twist:


And of course, I can’t forget the little critters who enjoy the wild flowers too…

The butterfly came from the flower book and the bumble bee was made using this pattern from Attic 24. One of my favourite critters in this part of the world though is the lizards, I used this free Ellie Skene Ravelry pattern to make Gordon the gecko:

Next it was time to assemble the wreath…

I played about with the arrangement for a while and added a dandelion, a buttercup and various different shaped leaves before sewing them into place. Are you ready? Here goes :


Time for a few gratuitous close ups ;-)… The wildlife:

Florals:

Perhaps the world’s first ever crocheted Gibraltar Candytuft!:

I’m pleased with how it turned out, it’s currently hanging on the back of my front door. It brightens up my hall and reminds me of the many hours I’ve spent walking past the gorgeous wild flowers of the Med Steps and the fun I had making it. I now promise I’ll stop banging on about the Med Steps for a little while, I know I’m getting boring ;-).

Thanks for stopping by!