Sunday Sevens #37 26.6.16

Well then, that was quite a week on all sorts of levels. I shall refrain from mentioning anything political in this post as it makes references to mundane everyday stuff, well err mundane and perhaps a little irrelevant. So here goes, it feels like a lot longer than seven days since my last Sunday Sevens, but it’s not. Who knew this time last week what was about to happen?

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. If you fancy joining in, pop over to her blog and find out how to have a go.

 

A crafty paradise

Last Sunday was Father’s Day in the UK and I spent it in England with my lovely Dad for the first time in years. My little Postcards took good care of their Dad when I was away and I think they really enjoyed their time with just Daddy. My Sunday was completely different from the usual routine. I wasn’t woken early with the pitter patter of small feet coming into the bedroom to ask for a cuddle/juice/breakfast/the TV remote. I had a lie-in (bliss) and after breakfast we jumped into the car and headed out into the Cheshire countryside to the fabulous Black Sheep Wools at Culcheth in Warrington.

It was wonderful to be surrounded with all this wool of every colour imaginable, there were fantastic books, fabric, sewing kits and all sorts of crafty delights. I was in heaven. We stopped for a tasty lunch in the cafe there aptly named ‘Tea Bags Full’ and before heading to our next destination I made use of the facilities.

On the way to the loo, I spotted these cute pompom sheep (above) and a fascinating series of maps on the wall. The maps were of the British Isles and also the world. People had written their names and where they were visiting from on tags. It was such a good idea as it showed how far their customers had travelled from. In the scheme of things Gibraltar wasn’t that far. South Africa and New Zealand featured tags from customers as well as many other exotic destinations. There were no spare tags for me to write on and say I was visiting from Gibraltar so this is my tag. Hello Black Sheep Wools, my crafty stash grew quite a bit thanks to you. I hope to be back again one day!

 
Back home

Monday meant time to head back home to Gibraltar. I had a really great time with my parents and was also able to see my little brother and his lovely fiancee. My weekend away flew by so quickly that I was on my way back to the airport before I knew it. On the flight I was blessed with a window seat on the right hand side which gave me a wonderful view as we circled the Rock. As we approached along the Spanish Mediterranean coast from Malaga, Gibraltar was shrouded in cloud caused by the levanter winds. Moments later, after we came around the southern tip of Europa Point I got this great view of the Rock  with it’s cloudy hat on. It’s amazing to think that these two pictures were taken just moments apart.

Dressmaking class


I’m growing to love this fabric. After buying it I was worried it was a bit too Hawaiian shirt-esque but it’s so bright and summery it’s really growing on me. This week the side seams of my final skirt project were stitched, the lining was attached to the skirt and front pleats stitched into place. In theory there’s just a waistband and hem standing between me and a finished garment. It doesn’t sound a lot if you just say it quickly but I have a feeling it may not be straightforward…

Another dinosaur gets a new home

Meet Wonkysaurus. He’s my fourth dinosaur crocheted from a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine. I do rather like him, he’s got slightly wonky spikes, hence the name. This week he went to his new home to meet his new owner. I’m not sure what his new owner makes of him yet (he’s just 4 weeks old) but his Mummy approves.

Time for another one…

No sooner had one dinosaur left me and I received a request for another one. This one’s for a baby not yet born so I have a little while yet to make him, however as the little Postcards are on summer hours at school (i.e. they finish at lunchtime) my crafting time is vastly reduced so I’m making hay while the sun shines, or should that be making heads while the sun shines? (Sorry – couldn’t resist that one 😉 )

Convent Garden Open Day

Saturday saw the annual Convent Garden Open Day in Gibraltar. It’s a regular event on the Gibraltar social calendar and gives us mere mortals the chance to wander round the Govenor’s back garden. The planting is gorgeous and a riot of colour beneath the lovely shade giving trees – many of which were planted by visiting Royals in years gone by. It was hot hot hot so that shade was very welcome. I’ll share a few more photos of this soon.

Postcard birthday

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I’m amazed to be saying this but yesterday Postcard from Gibraltar had it’s first birthday. I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since I made my first post. It’s been such fun. I have come into contact with so many lovely, encouraging people during the past 12 months both online and in person. Thank you to all of my new friends as well as my old friends and family who have supported my fledgling blogging adventure so far. Here’s to the next 12 months! Now it’s time for cake don’t you think?

Sunday Sevens #21 6.3.16

Happy Mothering Sunday to you, I hope that if you are a mother or grandmother you are being well looked after and appreciated. 

Welcome to the latest edition of the Postcard from Gibraltar Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Nat at the Threads & Bobbins blog. If you fancy joining in, pop over to Nat’s  blog to find out more. 

Sunday sunset  I’m afraid I have nothing profound to say about this photo other than I spotted the sunset & clouds during a brief glimpse out of the window so I grabbed my phone and dashed outside to try and get a picture. The shafts of sunshine reminded me of those sunburst stained glass windows you get on houses of a certain age who have dodged the uPVC treatment. 

A postcard (& hearts) received from Gibraltar  
 
You may remember a few weeks ago, whilst housebound caring for poorly children I set about using my sofa cuddle time wisely (apart from just cuddling up with my little patients). I decided to help a very lovely lady on Instagram attempt to collect 7000 hearts to give to visitors to her hometown of Skipton for the Yarndale 2016 festival of all things wooly in September. About a fortnight ago, I finally got around to posting off my little hearts and I’m pleased to say they reached their destination (along with a postcard from Gibraltar- naturally). I received this lovely photo collage on Instagram as a thank you :-). It really was a fun distraction from my nursing duties and so easy to make as they are tiny and take very little time at all to make. The pattern I used was the  Attic 24 Teeny Tiny Hearts pattern. To find out more about Bonnie’s Little Crafts 7000 heart challenge, have a look at her page on Instagram. 

A finished pair of curtains & valance 

 Well it was a struggle to make this sample at my home furnishing class this week. I found out to my cost the the fabric I chose and the use of a hot iron don’t mix. Not only does it make it shrink, it also makes it stretch at times – very bizarre! Anyway, after much pinning and remeasuring and repinning and measuring again I finally got there! I think they’re rather cute 🙂

Full circle skirt – complete!  I’m really very pleased with this one. I’m sure I’ll get loads of wear out of it in the hotter weather (the winter boots don’t quite work with it!). This was the most complicated skirt to prepare for on my dressmaking course but by far the easiest to sew. I’m thrilled – it doesn’t look homemade!! I’m now on the lookout for some more special fabric to make another longer one.

World Book Day 

  Can you tell who he went as??! 

(Clue: It was on a Wizard of Oz theme!)

The silver material wasn’t the easiest thing to sew and the planning time taken up with this meant that my other little character ended up in an improved shop bought outfit (which I’m pleased to say he loved – he wore it until bedtime!). Thankfully my biggest character had chosen a book from the 21st Century so his clothing came directly from his own wardrobe – phew!! World Book Day really is a great event, and (most of) the children I saw arriving at school seemed to really enjoy it. That said I’m so glad it only comes around once a year!

 Bunny
 I haven’t shared any photos of Bunny for a while, so here he is. Somehow he gets  taken out of his run of an evening and I find him hopping about my bed (he’s always got a young/not-so-young man looking after him at the time). He seems to love having a wider space to explore. If he nibbles my blanket I won’t be happy though!

Mother’s Day  I am one lucky Mummy, I shall be taking full advantage of this special day and try to get a bit of crochet time fitted in between being looked after by my boys. The sun is shining and we’re off to the park!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a good week!

Sunday Sevens #20 28.2.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at the  Threads & Bobbins  blog. It features seven photos from the past seven days. If you would like to join in, pop over to her blog to find out more. 

Saharan dust  

You may remember that in last week’s Sunday Sevens I had a rather dramatic photo of the waves crashing onto the rocks at Europa Point. Well, that stormy weather whipped up a lot of Saharan dust and on Sunday we were treated to a rather murky and strangely atmospheric day. We decided to go to the cinema in the afternoon and walked across the grass at Commonwealth Park on our way home. All our shoes were coated in orange dust by the time we got to the car. The car was pretty orange too – so glad I washed it at the end of last week!

 Curtain valance  

In my home furnishings class this week we began to make a curtain valance which  will be attached to a small pair of matching curtains. I love this cute boat fabric – I got it in a sale (even better). I’ve been working on my curtains as homework but they are proving to be problematic- I measured them and cut them accurately. Then I measured my seam allowance exactly and pinned the seams. Then when I remeasured them before machining them they were wonky and the measurements were way out. They have been put away in disgust…

And so it begins… 

 

In my dressmaking class I cut out the fabric for my full circle skirt. I love it so much – it has flowers embroidered on it in coordinating thread which you can’t see in the above picture. I have done my back seam and inserted my zip already. Just need to finish the waistband and hem and it’s sorted. I had a lot more success in this class than with my curtains!

Lemon curd 

 

We are lucky enough to be able to grow lemons on our back patio. Last year with our homegrown ones and a few gifted to us by friends & neighbours I ended up with a bit of a glut so made some lemon curd. I had never tasted it before that first time making it – it was delicious. So, as I found myself with rather a lot of lemons in the fruit bowl this week I thought I’d have another go. This photo doesn’t do it justice, believe me when I say it’s glorious.

Med steps, the revenge! 

 

Due to poorly children and wild weather conditions I haven’t made it up the Med Steps for a whole month. This week, though, accompanied by two crazy friends, we restarted our training for the Med Steps Challenge (which involves climbing them 5 times in the one day – yes I know, utter madness). Anyway, we set off and it was rather hard work after 4 weeks without training. It was a foregone conclusion that we would do it twice and at the end of the second circuit we were feeling pretty energized so decided to have a go at a third trip up – BIG MISTAKE. Cor blimey it was tough. If I hadn’t have been with my training buddies I truly would have laid down part way up and finished it on my hands and knees. It was utterly exhausting. I got home and only had the energy to kick off my shoes before flopping on the bed and falling asleep for over an hour!! I’ve been feeling like a very old woman ever since. Any pleasure at having completed the 3 circuits in 2 hours 50 minutes has been overshadowed with the terror of wondering how awful number 4 & number 5 will be… Anyway the above photos were taken one on each trip up the steps. I took loads of photos on the third trip just for an excuse to stop!!

Watercolour daffs 

 This week at my watercolour class I was planning to begin my next architectural painting. However, when I arrived for my lesson, my teacher had a beautiful vase of  daffodils in the middle of the table and I decided to put the ‘window’ picture off until next week and have a stab at the daffs. I’ve had some successes with painting flowers so I somewhat arrogantly thought ‘how hard can this be?’. How wrong I was – they are flipping hard in spite of their relatively simple shape. Perhaps their apparent simplicity is the hard part as they can very easily look out of proportion. They are gorgeous ‘spring-y’ colours though :-).

 Sunny skies 

Yesterday we enjoyed beautiful skies after the morning’s showers had cleared away. I think fluffy clouds like this against the blue are so beautiful. 
I’ve had a great week, although looking back through this post I realise I sound a bit moany as a few things were harder than expected – I don’t mean to be! I do hope the week has been good for you too. Thank you for stopping by and for those of you who take the time to leave a comment – thank you, it’s lovely to hear from you. 🙂 

Sunday Sevens #19 21.2.16

A special Sunday 

 Last Sunday was a rather special day for me, on a personal note, one of my best friends (who used to live in Gibraltar) came back to visit with her family for half term. Despite being on a flight at the crack of dawn, failing to land at Gibraltar due to 80km per hour winds and the plane being struck by lightning they successfully landed at Malaga and got the bus down to Gibraltar to meet up with nearly 30 friends for a great (late) lunch at Queensway Quay marina. It was so lovely to have the old gang reunited and there were a few emotional moments. The photo above was taken as we left the marina to head home between the storms! 

Aside from that on a Postcard from Gibraltar note I had my most successful day yet. My post from last Saturday, about Gib Talks went bananas on social media locally and my viewing figures went through the roof. I woke to find I already had 39 views that day and that grew every time I looked at my phone to the hundreds!!! Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my blogging journey so far and hello and welcome to anyone who’s new to Postcard from Gibraltar, it’s lovely to have you along for the journey!

Curtain 3 completed! 

 I’m very pleased to say I’ve managed to make up any lost ground in my Home Furnishings course and in this week’s lesson I started and completed a curtain! It was a standard tape topped curtain in a very bland sample material. I have already bought the fabric for my next project and I promise it’s a bit jazzier than the previous three off-white offerings as I’m bored of that colour now.

A new week, a new skirt 

 As soon as one skirt had been completed on my dressmaking course it was time to crack on with the next one. From gathers to a full-circle skirt. This week’s lesson saw no sewing at all, instead there was measuring, drawing, cutting out and sticking. Firstly I had to redraw the pattern for a plain simple skirt to my own measurements, then adjust it to make a full skirt. That’s my carefully drawn out pattern sliced into strips like a grass skirt and then fanned out and stuck onto a bigger piece of paper. Also in the picture is the material I’m using to make it. I love this fabric, I bought it from a reduced / special offer basket at a fabric shop near my parents’ home before we moved to Gibraltar – that makes it coming up to 7 years old. I liked it so much I was frightened of making a hash of it. Now I can make my skirt with the help of an expert dressmaker, and not just bodge it together on my own – I’m so glad I waited!

Watercolour florals 

 After finishing my door painting last week, I decided to take a floral break from architecture for a change. I’m happier with the top 2/3 of this painting of fuschias than I am with the buds at the bottom, but it made a refreshing change before I get architectural again next week. I think I’ll try a window next. 

A bit of flower power 

 Our bougainvillea is doing really well on our balcony at the moment. It’s been such a grey and damp week weather wise, but this shot of magenta is a real pick-me-up as you walk past!

Founder’s Day   Yesterday, Gibraltar’s Scouts & Guides joined together to celebrate International Founder’s Day & Thinking Day. It was so nice to see all the different sections of the groups out in force. There was a lovely ceremony attended by dignitaries including the Governor of Gibraltar and his wife, who are the patrons of the Scouts & Guides on the Rock. The young people had been due to parade along Main Street, as is the tradition on Founder’s Day, but strong winds meant that part of the event had to be cancelled sadly. 

Stormy seas  

Those same winds made for spectacular scenes on the Eastern side of Gibraltar and at it’s most Southerly point, Europa Point. As we drove along the coast we could see the sea was very rough and stopped to admire the huge breakers crashing into the cliffs. The road was soaked by the spray and you needed the windscreen wipers going in order to see where to drive! It was very dramatic although perhaps a little scary to see the true power of the sea.