A postcard from March 2022

Cariad & Dave

Hello, hello, hello! Only one week into April, and here’s my Postcard from March. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself that I managed to pull this one off before the end of the month!

How are you doing? I hope you are ok. It’s a worrying world we are living in at the moment, and the over-riding feelings of being utterly helpless to make a difference is something I think a lot of us are feeling at the moment. Whilst this postcard focuses on the more frivolous aspects of life for me, I hope you are ok with that. I feel I have to look at the positives whilst being all to aware of what’s going on in the world too.

Here’s what I’ve been getting up to recently then…

Crochet news

At the beginning of March, to mark St David’s Day, I launched the next of my series of Up the Garden Path amigurumi crochet patterns on my Etsy shop. Again, fabulously assisted by my childhood friend and super-talented artist, Emma Jackson, the pattern looks lovely, full of process photos and the most gorgeous illustrations of Cariad & Dave the Daffodils.

However, Dave and Cariad aren’t the only new patterns to appear in my shop. I decided I simply had to do something to raise funds for Ukraine, so sticking with the floral theme I set to work creating a sunflower doll seeing as sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

Meet Sophia the Sunflower, named after St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv.

The PDF pattern to make Sophia the Sunflower is available in my Etsy shop here . All the profits from the sale of this pattern are being donated to the UNHCR appeal to support refugees affected by the war in Ukraine. So far £65 has been sent to the appeal thanks to sales of Sophia. Thank you to everyone who has bought one!

In other crochet news I joined in with an appeal to make crochet squares for blankets to raise funds for Ukraine through the DEC appeal. The Blanket of Hugs Ukraine is the brain child of lovely Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet. She’s asking for crocheted squares to be sent to her and then she’s joining them into blankets which are being ‘raffled off’ to raise funds. The last time I checked there had been donations of £3,500 already! Well done Amanda. You can find all the information for the appeal here if you would like to get involved too.

Also can you spot my Ukraine button badge too? Made by the lovely Mrs G Makes.

There’s been quite a lot of yellow yarn on my hooks this month… an appeal locally for crocheters to make sunflowers came my way so I made some as part of a charity virtual bike ride from where I live in Manchester to Kyiv last Saturday. Those amazing cyclists managed to ride the distance between the cities raising £8,000+ at the last count. Well done everyone!

Sunny Skipton

In other news, I had a lovely day trip to Skipton in March to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. The weather was exceptionally kind to us and we had a lovely wander around the town.

It was such a lovely treat to leave the usual jobs for the day and jump into the car to go somewhere different. It felt like a mini holiday!

And thanks to the lovely Cathy at Dear Emma Designs we had a tip off of where to avoid the crowds and enjoy a lovely lunch. Thank you Cathy!

A lunch of flat breads at Bean Loved in Skipton

Spring in the garden

Garden-wise, spring has definitely sprung, although as I’m writing this there are hail stones battering the window next to me and I had to rescue my little green house which had broken free from it’s moorings and was half way up the garden along with a pot of compost!

The prunus (above) which looked like a stick when we moved in in October 2020 has been covered in beautiful pale pink blossom for a couple of weeks now – I just hope the current weather doesn’t bash it to bits.

And this Pieris (below) was destined for the compost bin as it was a wash out last year. It may well have redeemed itself!

Glorious Manchester

One day a couple of weeks ago I was able to hop on a train into the city centre in order to record an interview for a forthcoming episode of Making Stitches. It was a stunningly sunny day.

Blossom tree outside Manchester Art Gallery

It was such a joy to be able to mooch about in the city after the interview was done. It felt like a window into another world watching the office workers sitting out on any patch of grass or bench to eat their lunches! I’m really looking forward to being able to share the interview with you soon – it was truly fascinating!

Podcast news

Olesya Lebedenko

My guest for the latest episode of Making Stitches and the first of the new 5th series was Ukrainian textile artist Olesya Lebedenko. Olesya, who is now based in Canada, makes the most beautiful quilt blocks and appliquéd pieces.

It was a joy to get to know her a little over the last few weeks. In the episode as well as talking about her craft, she spoke about her fears for her friends and family back at home in Ukraine and the online abuse she and other Ukrainian artists are facing since the war began.

You can hear her episode here.

One of Olesya’s projects featuring a tradition Ukrainian house

In print!

Issue 120 of Simply Crochet Magazine

I’m thrilled that another of my articles have appeared in Simply Crochet Magazine. This one looks at how designers can get their designs in print and featured in books and magazines. It was a fascinating piece to work on and a thrill to be able to speak to so many truly inspirational designers. Thank you Simply Crochet for giving me the opportunity to write again!

And that’s just about it for my Postcard from March. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m off now to finish getting my next podcast episode sorted in time for tomorrow – and in keeping with the last month I’ve had it’s crochet-tastic! If you haven’t already subscribed to or followed Making Stitches Podcast on your podcast app of choice, please do – it means you’ll be able to hear the latest episodes as soon as they are released.

Take care, and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Introducing: Flora my crochet gardening alter-ego

Please excuse this flight of fancy, it may be lockdown isolation which is getting to me, or perhaps the home-schooling but my mind has wandered off into a fantasy land where my alter-ego Flora lives.

Flora lives for her plants and adores her garden…

She has all the gear (and no idea) and can’t wait for the spring flowers to fully appear once the snow and frosts have passed. Flora is like a tightly coiled spring ready to burst into action once winter loosens its grip on her new garden.

After years spent living abroad without a proper garden to call her own and all that time spent watching Gardeners World from afar and dreaming of having a huge garden like Monty’s she now finds herself living in the suburbs with a rather smaller plot than ‘Long Meadow’ but it’s hers nonetheless.

What will this year have in store for her as she sees shoots of new life appear in her new plot?

Watch this space…

Sunday Sevens #141 17.6.18

Hello there and happy Father’s Day to any Dads out there who might read this. Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens 🙂

International Yarnbombing Day preparations

This time last week I was installing my yarn bomb in the Alameda Gardens close to the fundraising sponsors plaques for the BioDome outdoor classroom. It was fun to do, and less pressure than the last time I did it (which was without permission). I had some lovely comments, which was fab to hear.

A pair of cuties

On Monday we had another bank holiday here in Gibraltar. My parents were over visiting so we did the touristy thing and caught the cable car to the top of the Rock. Up there, we encountered this pair of cuties. I posted the photo on social media asking for possible captions… the hands down winner has to be Sandra from Wild Daffodil with the comment “So, yarnbombing – what’s that about?” Very appropriate seeing as it was actually International Yarnbombing Day 🙂

Evening out

I enjoyed a lovely evening out on Wednesday with my book club ladies. There was a lot of chat, a bit of wine and good food and it was such fun.

Nasturtiums

I think I have finished this paining of wild nasturtiums now. I’ve been working on it for weeks at my watercolour class and I think I should probably stop now before I make a mess of it!

Passion Flower

Talking of flowers, I spotted this beautiful passion flower on a walk around town this week. It looks so exotic and interesting.

A day of sea mist

In late spring/early summer it’s quite common for us to experience fog and sea mists. The mist arrived on Friday and was ever changing throughout the day. It was fun to watch it change direction, thickness and shape. I also love listening to the ships singing to each other as they blast their fog horns!

Tiny coffee

Yesterday morning we had an early drive to Malaga airport to take my parents for their flight home. We decided to take a trip to IKEA while we were in that neck of the woods. We were there so early, Ikea hadn’t yet opened, so popped into McDonald’s next door for a small coffee. When I asked for a small cappuccino, I hadn’t bargained on it being a ‘tiny’ one! It came a day too late for my Friday photo challenge for this week.

I hadn’t been to Ikea for about 5 years. I had a wonderful time and bought so many things I hadn’t realised I needed in my life, like lampshades and picture frames!!! 😉

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a great week! I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #140 10.6.18

Hello there! We are in the middle of yet another lovely bank holiday weekend here in Gibraltar, this time it’s to commemorate the Queen’s birthday. Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens:

Birthday cake and sewing

It was my friend’s birthday this week and it coincided with our sewing class. I wasn’t expecting a generous slice of this gorgeous plate of chocolatey heaven when I turned up! As you can probably tell from the photo, it was divine. I was very careful not to drop any crumb on my dress I’m sewing!!

World Environment Day

World Environment Day was celebrated in Gibraltar on Tuesday in Commonwealth Park. Local school choirs performed on the bandstand and organisations and companies with an interest in the environment like the Alameda Wildlife & Conservation Park and the Nautilus Project had stalls to raise awareness about environmental concerns. It was a lovely afternoon in a beautiful setting.

Alameda Gardens

We are in the midst of a bit of home improvement Chez Postcard at present. The place is in utter chaos with stuff moved from it’s normal locations, floor tiles lifted, power tool noise and lots and lots of dust. I ran away one morning to escape the noise and mess and sat for half an hour in the tranquility of the Alameda Gardens. While I was there, these beautiful day lillies caught my eye. Aren’t they beautiful with their deep purple edges?

Sunny Catalan Bay

In another bid to escape the work at home I took a walk through Catalan Bay one lunchtime. It was beautifully sunny and quiet! It won’t be long before this place is full of deck chairs and sun umbrellas cheek by jowl on the beach. Until then, it’s such a peaceful place to be!

Cock a doodle doo to you too!

You can often hear cockerels crowing in the South District of Gibraltar, but until recently, I had never actually seen who was making all the noise! A couple of months ago on an early morning walk I came face to face with a rather impressive black cockerel, but he ran away too fast for me to catch him on camera. This week though, as I walked along Europa Road, I not only heard, but saw two cockerels crowing. They were oblivious to the traffic whizzing by them just a metre or so below them.

Sunny walk on the costa

Yesterday we took a drive along the coast to Puerto Banus near Marbella. It’s a rather swanky place full of designer shops, very (and I mean very) posh cars and mahooosive yatchs in the marina. I quite like going there to people watch and to see how the other half lives. Away from the razzmatazz there’s a lovely promenade where you can walk all the way to Marbella. We had a very pleasant walk there yesterday (not as far as Marbs though) the Little Postcards enjoyed jumping from rock to rock along the wall at the side of the path.

International Yarnbombing Day preparations

Did you know it’s International Yarnbombing Day tomorrow? Well it is, and I may be working on a little yarnbomb of my own… watch this space!

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

May Monthly meet-up: Flower

This beautiful lily is flowering, as I type, beside my front door. May is such a beautiful month for blooms. These ‘trumpet flowers’, as we call them in our house, were glorious at a place we visited in Spain at the weekend.

Isn’t this floral wall display I saw in Spain on Tuesday delightful? They were all genuine geraniums and they were gorgeous.

And of course, the Med Steps is gearing up to be in full bloom any moment…

Which reminds me of my attempts to translate them into yarny creations

I’m linking with Sandra at Wild Daffodil for this monthly meet up.

Sunday Sevens #89 25.6.17

Hello there, I hope this week’s Sunday Sevens finds you well and happy. If you saw my last post, you will know that Postcard from Gibraltar is now the ripe old age of two years old! In some ways it feels like I have been writing these posts for ever, but in many other ways it feels like only recently I plucked up the confidence to start typing out my first blog post. Thank you to all of you for the positivity you have showed me over this last two years.

Now you see it… Now you don’t 


Well, Gib didn’t quite totally disappear, but you get the drift! Last Sunday we had talked about taking a trip into Spain, but we ended up staying a lot closer to home and heading down to Europa Point. We had visitors this week in the form of Mr Postcard’s parents and we went for a walk at Europa Point, the Little Postcards had a play at the park and I took my father-in-law for a walk down to the Europa Foreshore. 

While we sat chatting at the park I was watching the Levanter cloud coming and going over the peak of the Rock of Gibraltar. I kept taking pictures in the hope I would catch it completely obscured but this is as close as I got.

Dressmaking class 

In this week’s dressmaking class i actually managed to get some sewing done! I have lots track of the number of weeks I have spent drawing my new pattern. I am currently working on a blouse and boy, oh boy, it’s been a long drawn out affair. Well, the pattern is finished and this week I got the chance to actually sew. I made a sample collar ahead of the real thing. It was a relatively painless process, let’s see how the real thing turns out….

Chocolate cake and watercolours

We had a real treat at our watercolour class this week when one of my fellow students arrived bearing cake. She was weighed down with homemade flapjack and chocolate birthday cake from her daughter’s birthday party the day before. I was ‘forced’ to have a tiny sliver of flapjack and then was presented with this gorgeous piece of cake. It only slightly distracted me from finishing off my mussel shell…

Sports Day

I know I have featured a photo just like this one before in Sunday Sevens, but it never fails to amaze me when I take a seat at the Victoria Stadium for one of the Little Postcards’ Sports Days and see them running their races at the National Stadium with the Rock of Gibraltar as a back drop. It’s such a far cry from the school field behind a row of terraced houses that I competed on when I was trying to balance a clay egg on a table spoon!

Season of sea mists

We have had some belting sea mists this week. I know it is the season for it, and perhaps with the very hot weather we have been ‘enjoying’ of late, it has added to the phenomenon. Some days it has come all of a sudden and taken me by surprise, other days I have been able to watch it slowly creep up the Bay from the Strait and towards land. I love listening to the huge tankers almost singing to each other with their fog horns.

Dolphins!

As we had our special visitors this week, we decided to go out on a dolphin boat trip one afternoon when the Little Postcards had finished their half day at school. We were not disappointed as you can see. We saw literally hundreds of them. I took lots of photos on our trip and I will share some more of them in the next few weeks.

Against all odds…

You wouldn’t think that a pavement at the side of the beach would be the most fertile place for a flowering plant to thrive would you? One evening this week we took a trip to Catalan Bay to have dinner on a balmy summer evening and as we walked to the restaurant I spotted this plant growing up in a crack between the paving blocks. I am not completely sure what it is, but it does look a bit like the Hawaiian Busy Lizzies my Mum used to grow on her her kitchen windowsill and a woodier version of the Busy Lizzies I used to have in a hanging basket by my front door back in England  (I may be way off the mark with this). Anyway, whatever it is, it made me smile.

 

I hope that this has been a good week for you, whatever you have been up to. Thank you for stopping by, and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post comments on my blog and who have responded to my Tweets this week too, that has made me smile as well.

 

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

Sunday Sevens #88 18.6.17

Hello from a very warm Gibraltar. Blimey summer has definitely arrived. The temperature has risen considerably and I don’t mind admitting I’m wilting a little! It’s ok in this temperature when you are on holiday and doing nothing in particular but it’s hard work when you still have to cook and clean and rush around doing things. 

Anyway, enough moaning – we are never happy with the weather are we?! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sixty Million Trebles corner to corner complete 

This blanket was started during Lent when I was crocheting a granny square each day. On days when I was super keen and wanted to do more crochet I did a bit of this. Once Lent was over I put it aside to do a few other bits and pieces and only revisited this last week when I headed back to Manchester to visit my parents. 

It was completed on Sunday and I took it to the pool for an arty photo shoot 😉 it’s comprised of 10,608 treble stitches and brings my total Sixty Million Trebles tally up to 33,864 for my three blankets to date. 

For those of you who haven’t heard of Sixty Million Trebles before it’s a charity and awareness raising appeal to make crochet blankets totalling sixty million treble stitches (one treble stitch represents one refugee in the world – figures from the UN in 2016). The blankets will be sent to Syrian child refugees. For more information see: the Sixty Million Trebles Facebook page.

Walking 

I abandoned the car for most of this week and decided to walk whenever I could. It meant that I wasn’t able to fit quite as much into my child free hours while the Little Postcards were in school, but I did enjoy being able to appreciate my surroundings a lot more. There are so many interesting buildings and nooks and crannies here in Gibraltar which you can drive past in a blur so easily. 

I won’t have a body fit for a bikini, but I have walked a good few miles this week!

Watercolour seashells 

I put the finishing touches to some of my seashells this week at my watercolour class. I have really enjoyed painting them and have come to the conclusion that perhaps I’m better at small focused pieces than larger landscapes and compositions. 

Trumpet flowers

I have to confess that I don’t know what these flowers are called but I have seen quite a few about of late. In fact there are a lot of gorgeous plants in bloom around Gibraltar at the moment. They seem to be at their peak before getting frazzled in the hot summer sun. 

A new hobby?


“Not another one?” I hear you say. Well there is blogging, taking loads of photos (although I am not a photographer by any means), sewing, painting, crochet, reading… I really don’t need another one but I may have found a new way to dodge doing housework! 

A friend of mine is a rather accomplished ‘felter’ – is that a word? (Well someone who makes delightful pictures with felted yarn). This week she very kindly showed me how to do it too over the course of two lovely lunches and afternoons. 

I took loads of photos and at some point in the next few weeks I hope to be able to share my foray into felting with you too. Ooh it’s such fun! 

Summer hours

The time has finally come, that time of the year where you no longer have to make school packed lunches, but you do have to come up with afternoon entertainment for the kiddiwinks. Friday saw the end of full days for school children in Gibraltar. With just three weeks left until the end of the summer term, it’s half days from here on in. 9am to 12 noon for first schools and 9am to 12:45 for the older children. 

Hmmm, I will be so happy not to have to figure our what tasty delights to put in the lunch boxes of an evening until mid September, but crikey, what am I going to do with them for all that extra time? I don’t remember constantly asking my Mum what her plans for the day were as far as entertaining me and my brother were concerned, but that seems be the norm for me and the mums I’ve spoken to. We may be exploring boredom and room tidying in the coming weeks… I cannot face the beach everyday! 

A roof with a view

I shall round up this week’s Sunday Sevens with a photo of last night’s Saharan Dust sunset. It was lovely and completely different from the rainbow sunsets we’ve had in recent weeks. I grabbed my camera as I spotted some seagulls sitting on a nearby roof enjoying the view as much as me!

We are enjoying a Bank Holiday weekend this weekend, schools and many workplaces are closed tomorrow in honour of the Queen’s birthday. That means that many Dads who are able to enjoy Father’s Day today, can get a second lie in tomorrow too! However you spend your day, I hope it’s a good one for you.

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

A springtime rainbow

This part of the world seems to be very colourful at the moment, from the geraniums and nasturtiums by my front door…


To the bright yellow and acid greens of the wild flowers growing alongside my regular walking routes to school and up the Med Steps.


The blues and purples of the native Scilla Peruviana (impressed? I have the Alameda Gardens to thanks for the name) and decoractive Osteospermum. 

Even some of the trees are putting on a show!


Just look at the calming pastel hues of the Gibraltar Candytuft and more Osteospermum (also known as Cape Daisies). 

Even the sunlight is joining in…. I spotted this plethora of rainbows 🌈 while I was waiting for a lift in the Mid Town car park.

I must have arrived at just the right moment for the sun to be in the best rainbow producing position. The louvred glass window was the perfect vehicle to produce these technicolour stripes.

Even my Lent granny squares for my Sixty Million Trebles project blanket are joining in on the act… 


And please tell me I’m not the only one who finds the arrangement of these recycling bins pleasing to the eye?

What ever you’re up to today, I hope you have a bright and colourful one!

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 5) Happy

This week’s photo challenge has taken more of a personal turn rather than a look at Gibraltar. So here goes… in no particular order, here are some of the things which make me ‘happy’:

My Family (when they’re all getting on!)



Where I live (such a beautiful place and wonderful community)


Blue skies


Flowers


Making…

The Med Steps (when I get to the top!)


I’m linking with Nana Cathy’s blog for this weekly photo challenge. To find out more or to join in yourself, pop over to her page to find out more.

Sunday Sevens #54 23.10.16

1 Spectacular speed boats

Last Sunday afternoon Catalan Bay played host to the ThunderCat Racing UK team and their rather fast speed boats. We took the Little Postcards down to the beach for a while to watch the proceedings.

There were plenty of people out to see what was going on and the beach side restaurant’s were full of spectators viewing while they are their Sunday lunches.

The boats roared off from the edge of the beach at the start of each race and bounced about over the waves on the course out at sea.

We’ve watched the boats on previous occasions when they’ve visited Gibraltar, although this is the first time we’ve seen them in this venue. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.


2 A day at home


Monday meant a day at home – I had a poorly Little Postcard to look after. We made the best of it with a picnic in front of the tv and watched a couple of movies. On a very quick trip to the patio to hang out some washing I spied the bougainvillea in bloom. It looked so great against the cloudless sky.

3 Dressmaking class


My poorly Postcard was well enough for school on Tuesday so work began in earnest on the second top in this academic year’s dressmaking class. The first was a sample sleeveless fitted top, now it’s a princess line, lined sleeveless top. I have made my pattern (as you can see above) and the fabric has been purchased (cream broderie anglaise) next week, I’ll be back in the hot seat behind my sewing machine!

4 Autumn florals


It may be the latter part of October, but the flowers in Gibraltar are still looking glorious. I don’t know whether the cooler damp and misty weather has revived some of them but there are so many blooms out at the moment and they are looking fabulous.

5 Gibraltar Literary Festival

The fourth annual Gibraltar Literary Festival began on Thursday with a bang. This year it’s running over four days for the first time and the organisers have done a great job filling the days with loads of great events. I took this photo outside the Convent (the Governor of Gibraltar’s residence) there can’t be too many literary festivals in the world with a ceremonial guard can there?

I turned  up nice and early to my first talk on Thursday morning and asked the speaker to pose for photographs. I took  some great ones (or so I thought) little did I know the Littlest Postcard had mucked about with  very kindly reset the shutter speed….. blurry pictures galore! Note to self always take a few trial pictures before an event gah!

I will share more about my Gibraltar Literary Festival 2016 experiences soon, I promise!

6 Down in the dell

It’s been so murky and gloomy weather-wise for most of the week here but a sneaky short cut through the beautiful Alameda Gardens gave me the shot of colour to break the greyness. You just can’t beat it!

7 Peek-a-boo boats


The misty weather continued yesterday and things were decidedly murky in the Bay. You could just see the tops of the boats above the sea mist. I love seeing the Bay like this, it’s so atmospheric, it reminds me how lucky we are to live here.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series featuring seven photos from the last seven days. It was created by Natalie of Threads & Bobbins blog, to find out more pop over to her site for all the info.