2018 Friday Photo Challenge (Week 1) New Beginnings

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Hello there and welcome to this, the first 2018 Friday Photo Challenge.

Last year I really enjoyed being part of a weekly photo challenge which was organised by Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy. Each week, we were given a one word prompt to use to inspire a photograph based blog post. This year (after several years spent organising other photo challenges) they have decided not to carry on with this on a weekly basis. Sandra at Wild Daffodil is now hosting a Monthly Meet-Up instead.

That left me with a yearning for a weekly photo challenge for this year, so I decided to come up with my own. It will (all being well) happen on a Friday – hence the name, and I would love it if you would like to join in too. At the end of this post, you will find the list of prompts for each of the 52 weeks of the year. All you need to do is publish your post and tag me in it. That way I can keep track of anyone who’s joining in and I can share your lovely posts with everyone else. If you don’t have a blog and want to join in on Instagram, just use the hashtag #postcardfromgibfridayphoto

There’s absolutely no pressure, if you don’t want to commit to every week, that’s fine. Just dip in and out as you fancy.

So here’s my first entry for the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge. It’s the photo I took as we drove back home towards Gibraltar after a few lovely days along the coast in Spain. We drove back on New Year’s Day morning full of enthusiasm and raring to go. A fresh start and a New Year.

If you aren’t familiar with this part of the world, Gibraltar is the great big rock standing in the distance to the right hand-side of the photo, the mountains in the back ground stand across the Strait of Gibraltar in Morocco in northern Africa.

Here’s the list of prompts for the 2018 Friday Photo Challenge:

Sunday Sevens #104 8.10.17

Good morning, I hope you are having a good weekend. This week has seen a return to my watercolour class after a very long summer haiatus. It was so nice to be back…

Sunday afternoon on the beach

Sandy Bay

Last Sunday we did something rather out of character — we went to the beach. We aren’t huge beach goers normally as we don’t enjoy the crowds or the heat at the height of summer. We do, though, rather like sneaking down there out of season.

As you can see from the photo above, we weren’t alone, but there was loads of open space where we could sit, chat, splash and dig without upsetting anyone else. 

My neighbours may not agree with me but I really do try to keep a lid on the level of noise coming from our apartment (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to living so close to other people). Being somewhere where the Little Postcards can scream and shout without upsetting anyone is a very valuable space for me.

Oh, and I got a bit of crochet done too…

Monday Med Steps

Last week on one of my Med Steps trips I was surrounded by a pack (troop?) of apes, on Monday it was Barbary Partridge bingo! There were loads about. This pair were very tame and I got very close before they scarpered.

Dressmaking whoops

Don’t you just hate it when that happens? I was making great strides with attaching my collar to my blouse at Dressmaking class when I managed to accidentally sew my underarm seam to the collar by accident – whoops!

Med stepping into the Levanter 


These two photos were taken about 20 minutes apart. One below the cloud in bright (and rather hot) sunshine. The other at the top of the Rock and slap bang in the middle of the Levanter cloud.

I started Wednesday morning’s walk in hot sun but was relieved to hit the cool, damp Levanter near the top. I almost took an amazing photo at the top… as I gazed up at the misty summit, on that low bit of wall to the right of the fence was the silhouette of a mother ape with a baby on her back. By the time I’d got my phone camera on, they’d vanished into the mist. Never mind…

Watercolour refresher

Thursday morning saw my return to watercolour class.  I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it over the summer. Our teacher began the new term with a refresher lesson on washes. It came just in time for me to get back to a picture I was working on before summer which had a very dodgy wash for the sky. My new aim for this term is to be less wishy washy with my colours – I need to embrace BOLD!

Beautiful Botanic Gardens 

You may have noticed that my excercise levels have gone up in recent weeks. After a rather sedentary summer I have a good few kilos which I need to shed. On Friday I took a trip into town and on the way home I opted to walk rather than catching the bus. I was rewarded by with a walk through the beautiful Alameda Botanical Gardens.

Autumnal WIP-along

On Instagram recently I have noticed lots of  crafty people publishing photos of the WIPs (work in progress) they have completed as part of a WIP-along with Gosling & Plumb. Check out the blog post in the link above  to find out more about it.

When I finished my last crochet project (Jenny’s Mandala from Little Box of Crochet) I almost started something new but I could hear some of my many WIPs calling me from carrier bags hidden in my secret hidey hole. So far I have worked on three; circles in granny squares (see beach crochet photo), a green granny square blanket and a cute crochet cactus pin cushion from a Simply Crochet Magazine kit.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a read about my week. It’s been lovely to have your company.

I’m linking with Natalie of Threads & Bobbins for the Weekly Sunday Sevens series.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 9)

Welcome to the slightly late final edition of my Summer Craft Challenge 2017. A return to school for the Little Postcards and the wonderful MTV Gibraltar Calling music festival this weekend slightly threw me off track… here goes!

Day 57 : Saturday 26th August

Saturday was our last night in beautiful Carcassonne.  I will always remember Carcassonne when I wear this shawl once it’s finished.

Day 58 : Sunday 27th August

Back in Toulouse on Sunday the colour blue began to emerge in the yarn. I’m really enjoying the colours of this Scheepjes Whirl yarn.

Day 59 : Monday 28th August

With a few hours to kill between checking out and heading to the airport it meant a little while in one of Toulouse’s gorgeous public parks crocheting on a bench…

….and then more time for hooky on the plane. I ended up sitting next to a lovely Spanish lady who loves to crochet too. She showed me her bag which she had made herself.

Day 60 : Tuesday 29th August

Back at home in Gibraltar now, with just the chance for a couple of rows between the multiple loads of post holiday laundry!

Day 61 : Wednesday 30th August


Time for a change today and a return to this lovely ‘Jenny’s Mandala’ from Little Box of Crochet. I know I have said it before but I just love how the pattern and look of the mandala changes with each new row.

Day 63 : Thursday 31st August

More mandala time, and as the sun went down on Thursday, it went down on the school summer holidays and indeed my summer craft challenge for this year. I felt a glass of wine was in order to celebrate over 60 days of craftiness (I missed just 2 days this year) and to spare a thought for all the wonderful teachers who will be nurturing all our kiddiwinks over the next academic year.

My Summer Craft Challenge this year has been such fun and has come with us all over the place on a mini European tour. Europa the Unicorn, who I made on the very first day of the challenge back on 1st July has been to the U.K., France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I have been getting weird glances from not just my children, but passers-by as I have been attempting to take photos of her in various locations, I have been disowned on more than one occasion.

Thanks so much for joining me! 

Sunday Sevens #99 3.9.17

Last Sunday we woke up in Carcassonne and packed up and headed back to Toulouse for our final day and night in France. One week on, we are back at home in Gibraltar and school has restarted, the events of a week ago, almost feel like a dream already! 

Back in Toulouse

On our final afternoon in Toulouse we went out for a walking tour once we had returned the hire car and done our packing. We headed past the museum (above) and into the beautiful cathedral of St Sernin. I haven’t had the chance to download any photos off my camera yet, so sadly this is the only one I snapped on my phone. You can just about spot the spire of St Sernin poking up on the left.

One last trip to the park

Between checking out and going to the airport, we had a few hours to kill on Monday morning, so we headed back to the beautiful parks. I can’t get enough of these floral bridges linking them together. The play park was beautifully equipped for the youngest Postcards, what a wonderful place to end our holiday, there was even a coffee bar and cafe under the shady trees.

Back to the queues

Once back home, we had to head into Spain to do a spot of back to school shopping. The long queue back into Gib reminded us why we don’t do it very often…


#InstagrammerOfGibraltar

This week, I was very honoured to be featured as Your Gibraltar TV’s Instagrammer of Gibraltar. It made my day! 

End of the summer…

Thursday’s sunset marked not just the end of  August, but also the end of the school summer holidays in Gibraltar. Rather annoyingly, the children returned to school on Friday for 3 or 3 and 3/4 hours depending on their ages, and they won’t return until Tuesday as we have a bank holiday this weekend. Doesn’t strike me as being the best planning, but what do I know?! 

Dinner out

Friday night meant a lovely dinner out for me with my Mum and Dad. They arrived in Gibraltar on Wednesday and are over for a few weeks. It was so nice to catch up with their news and fill them in on all our holiday adventures. 

Gibraltar calling …


It’s that time of the year again – Music Festival time. This year it’s been run by MTV, and is being broadcast all over the world. Yesterday was the first day and featured artists as diverse as The Amazons, Jonas Blue, the Village People And Ricky Martin. Doing the YMCA dance with the Village People has to be my highlight of the day!

It’s hard to believe that we are into September already, the long summer holiday has flown really quickly for me. Mind you, we have beeen incredibly lucky to be able to have several trips away to amazing places; Portugal, Rome, and France in just one month! Watch out for up coming posts with loads of photos of these beautiful places.

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

Summer craft challenge 2016 part 1

In my Sunday Sevens #39 10.7.16 post last weekend I mentioned that I’d set myself a craft challenge to do something crafty on every day of the school summer holidays. It’s for my benefit (to maintain a tiny bit of sanity restoring craft time) and for the benefit of those around me (hopefully I’ll be a slightly less grumpy Mum).

Last weekend we were staring down the barrel of 8 long weeks of school holiday. It’s my favourite time of year in that we no longer need to clock watch and get to so many activities. The flip side of the situation is that at times it can be like spinning plates trying to keep all 3 Little Postcards happy. All three have different ideas about how they would like to spend their holidays and the conflicting opinions can often lead to well, er conflict.

By promising myself a tiny window of crafting each day I have a little bit of sanctuary in among the warring factions and general chaos! Each day I have posted a daily #summercraftchallenge2016 photo on Instagram and I have even had fellow crafters saying they’ll join in too once their childrens’ schools break up for summer. If you are a crafter and fancy joining in please use the #summercraftchallenge2016 on your Instagram photos and we can all link together to share our creations.

Here’s my first seven days of the challenge:

Day 1 : Saturday 9th July

A visit from an old friend at the weekend gave us the perfect excuse to have a barbecue. Fruit punch and a new crochet project went hand in hand.

Day 2 : Sunday 10th July 

A shady spot at the Alameda Gardens park was lovely and cool on a very hot day.

Day 3 : Monday 11th July

This micro-second of bliss was shattered as I became the target of 3 water pistols…

Day 4 : Tuesday 12th July


A picnic lunch gave me the chance to make a few Attic 24 May Roses.

Day 4 : Wednesday 13th July

The first summer craft challenge project completed! A dinky wreath for our bedroom wall using my May Roses.  It measures just 13cm across.

Day 5 : Thursday 14th July


Al fresco crochet again, this time an amigurumi dinosaur which is for a soon-to-arrive little baby. Spot the deliberate mistake? A dropped stitch wasn’t noticed in the bright sun/sunglasses/camera combo. It was put right shortly before a water bomb hurled my way cut this crochet session short…

Day 7 : Friday 15th July


Learning from my previous poolside crochet mistakes I opted for an activity today which didn’t require too much concentration from me while I was supervising the Little Postcards in the pool. I hooked up quite a few little woolly hearts for this year’s Yarndale festival in Skipton recently and the ends needed darning in and buttons sewn on. These will be winging their way to my Instagram friend @bonnies_little_crafts who has set herself the challenge of creating and collecting 7000 wooly hearts to give to visitors to Yarndale this September. Check her out on Instagram and search the #woollyheartsforyarndale2016 tag if you fancy joining in, in a recent post she revealed that she has received more than 4,500 already!

So all in all, it’s not been a bad first seven days of the holiday. I wonder what next week holds in store… Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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 #16 31.1.16

Earthquake excitement  We awoke on Monday morning to hear that there had been an earthquake in the Straits of Gibraltar in the early hours of the morning. It turned out that there were several in actual fact (last I heard there had been 160 aftershocks!). Despite being up several times in the night to tend to a poorly 4 year old the whole drama passed me and the rest of the Postcard household by! Friends described their beds shaking and the rush to make sure their kids were moved away from windows, social media in Gib was humming with the excitement of it all, we didn’t notice a thing!!

Whoops spoke too soon 

 Last week I crocheted the last row of my Cosy stripe blanket and then began sewing my ends in. On Tuesday I had a few quiet moments out on the balcony and thought I’d begin my border… I looked on the Attic 24 blog for the instructions only to discover that when I’d transcribed the order of the coloured rows into my notebook (way back in 2014 – I’m not a fast worker ;-)!) I’d missed off the last 15 colours – that means another 30, yes 30, rows!!! It’ll be a while before I get to crack on with that border after all!!

#7000 challenge 

 One of my Instagram friends @bonnies_little_crafts has set herself the rather grand goal of making and collecting 7000 little crocheted hearts in time for the Yarndale yarn festival in September. Her intention is to give visitors to the festival a heart each as a welcome gift to her home town of Skipton. In previous years I have sent woolly offerings to Lucy at Attic 24 (one of the founders of the festival) for exhibition displays, so although I have failed to attend myself, a little bit of me has made it over to the Yorkshire based festival of woolliness in past years. One day I would love to go, as I have seen all the lovely pictures posted by crafty bloggers who have been already, and it looks amazing. As I have spent a large chunk of this week sitting on the sofa with poorly children I thought I’d hook up a few to send off to Skipton. If you want to have a go at making some little hearts to support the #7000 challenge, look up @bonnies_little_crafts on Instagram for more details.

Instagram photo challenge 

 I have really enjoyed taking part in the #30daysofcraftiness photo challenge this month. It has forced me to think a bit more about the photos I take and encouraged me to take photos I wouldn’t ordinarily capture. The photo above is for day 28 and the title is ‘quote’. I didn’t want to just use a Google image of an inspirational quote or cat picture (ref: The Lego Movie) so had a go at making my own. And it’s true – I get grumpy when I haven’t been near a crochet hook or needle or paintbrush for a while, to me crafts truly are my therapy!

Stormy night 

 On Friday night we had a belter of a thunderstorm. The rain and thunder had been forecast, so it wasn’t a surprise but the intensity and noise was really quite unsettling. Living in an old building with original wooden sash windows which are a little past their best, we almost felt like the roof was coming in on us. The windows and floors were rattling with the noise and the brightness of the lightening was off the scale. Thankfully it was late in the evening so our two youngest were tucked up in bed and oblivious to the storm. As the storm had taken out our TV signal, No 1 son sat up with me colouring. It was a nice way to spend quite a dramatic hour or so!

Calm after the storm 

 Looking at this, it seems hard to believe that less than 12 hours before the lightening was splitting the sky and the thunder was rattling the chimney pots! What a beautiful way to start the weekend – hello Saturday!

Med Steps in the sunshine! 

 After 6 days of poorly children, we are all healthy again (touch wood) and I managed to escape to do the Med Steps yesterday afternoon. It was hard work because it had been over a week since my last trip up AND it was warm. The sun made it absolutely glorious though, the butterflies were out, the gorse bushes were flowering and just look at the colour of that sea! I also had a first – I saw a Barbary Partridge for the first time. He was too quick for me to photograph though so you’ll just have to make do with this picture 🙂 .
Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday sevens #15 24.1.16

Processionary caterpillars  At this time of year we see this interesting phenomenon – the march of the progressionary caterpillars. They are pine caterpillars which live in pine trees (as the name suggests) and when they are on the hunt for food they head off for a walk to the next nearest pine tree in a long line. They are not as cute as they appear though as they give off a poison in the hairs on their backs which can cause irritation to humans and be very dangerous to animals. A good friend of mine almost lost her family dog after she tried and eat one of these. Anyway, these were taking a walk across one of the paths in the Alameda Botanical Gardens last Sunday and Mr Postcard took the photo for me.

Med Steps challenge update  I only managed one trip up the Med Steps this week but I am very pleased to say that I reached a huge personal milestone and did the double. I managed to climb them twice in one hour and forty minutes. I’m very pleased with that effort and delighted that I have overcome the hurdle of being able to do it more than once. I am still a long way off managing the five times required for the Med Steps challenge but I’m closer to achieving it than I was this time last week!

Curtain no 1 finished In my home furnishings class I completed my first sample curtain this week – a rod pocket curtain. Here it is in all it’s glory. Next stop a tab top version…
Meet the newest member of the Postcard family  Please allow me to introduce you to our newest family member. He’s cute, fluffy and doesn’t say much. We’ve only ever kept goldfish before now, so we’re on a steep learning curve with bunny.  He’s going to be a ‘house rabbit’ as both our balcony and patio get a lot of direct sunlight so we worry it would be too hot for him to stay outside permanently. He’s currently residing indoors in the biggest cage we could find in the pet shop but we are hoping to make him a bigger ‘run’ so that he can stretch his legs without us having to watch him constantly. So far his trips out of the cage have seen him making bee line for the edge of rugs and electric wires for a bit of a nibble! It feels so mean to keep him locked up but there are too many hazards for him at the moment to let him have free reign. Any tips on indoor rabbit keeping you can share would be gratefully appreciated. You may be seeing more of him…🐰

Skirt number 2 underway Two weeks into term and my second skirt is coming together quickly in my dressmaking class. This time it’s a corduroy gathered skirt. Its pockets, seams & zip are done. Bring on the waistband, gathers & hem :-). I shall do a big reveal once it’s completed (and if I’m happy with the finished article 🙂 ).

Star struck
I got a little bit star struck this week. I posted this photo on Instagram of me darning in my endy bits on my Attic 24 Cosy Stripe blanket and just look at who liked it… only Lucy from Attic 24. Oh my word – how exciting is that??? I told Mr Postcard and Number 1 son, their reaction to this momentous bit of news was total bewilderment…. Well I was chuffed anyway!

Watercolour door

 Well folks, the cling-film came off and it left me with nice textured stripes on my door. I’m not sure how happy I am with the whole picture but it was just a practice. I cannot take any credit for the techniques or the composition, as I mentioned last week, I was copying an exercise in a Jean Haines book called Atmospheric Watercolours (it’s based on a building in Venice). I would love to try painting a real Gibraltar doorway and I’m just gearing myself up for it!

 

That’s all from me this week for Sunday Sevens. I do hope you have had a good week and are enjoying a nice weekend. Sunday Sevens is a blog series and I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. Have a great day! 🙂

 

Sunday sevens #14 17.1.16

‘Materials’  
Over on Instagram I’m taking part in a 30 day long photo challenge (#30daysofcraftiness). On Monday the theme was ‘materials’. It was such a gloomy, wet & windy day I chose rainbow bright yarn, fabric, paints and buttons to cheer myself up. I thought I’d share them with you!

Home furnishings WARNING: bland photo alert!

 Monday also meant the start of a new course for me. Home furnishings this time. We’re learning to make curtains and cushions (the proper way – rather than making it up as I go along!). This photo shows the mess I made of my side seams on my sample curtain – turns out I’d sewn the top and bottom by accident and I had to unpick them and start again! Such a shame as they were rather neat…

 Med steps training I’ve only managed one trip up the steps so far this week, I’m hoping to fit another one in this afternoon. Thursday was a stunningly beautiful day and as I set off at 10am the sun was already rather hot making it harder work than my previous recent attempts. These seagulls were taking in the view of the Bay on my descent.
 

Dozing apes

 On my way back down from the top of the Rock I spotted these two large apes having a snooze on the bonnet of a car. I felt like having a lie down myself after that big climb!
Watercolour class  Oh how I have missed my painting these last few weeks over the Christmas break. My class restarted this week and my word it was utterly fantastic to sit down and get totally immersed in something calming and peaceful. It’s been a bit hectic for us lately and my head has been so busy with lots of thoughts about what I need to do and where I need to be etc etc. I really loved it! The above painting will hopefully resemble a doorway once it’s finished. The cling film on the wet paint should create a stripy effect on the door. I’m following a technique in a Jean Haines book (which my teacher has) to create a very loose impressionistic style.  Time will tell if I achieve it!
 

Tulips I treated myself to a bunch of these beauties this week at the supermarket- aren’t they gorgeous?
 

New flower Out on our balcony yesterday afternoon  I was having a bit of a potter and I lifted a leaf to find this lovely surprise hiding underneath. I do love these lilies, they were a gift from a friend who lives across the border in Spain. I have tried growing them several times from the corm or bulb but with limited success. This Spanish clump though has never let me down. 

I hope you have had a good week, thank you for stopping by to visit 🙂 . Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.