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.

International Yarnbombing Day 2018

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember that 2 years ago, I undertook some guerrilla crochet and yarnbombed the Alameda Gardens for it’s 200th anniversary. You can read all about in this post from International Yarnbombing Day 2016.

Alameda Botanical Gardens Yarnbombs June 2016

Well it turns out, today is International Yarnbombing Day 2018 and I fancied getting my yarnbombs out of storage to see the light of day again. This time though, it was a bit less guerrilla (I actually had permission this time – must be getting old and more responsible!).

I dusted off my original yarnbombs and added a few new ones including this handful of butterflies…

Want to see them in situ? Here goes…

Molly Bloom’s got her necklace back on…

Giuseppe Codali’s got his scarf back on too…

He’s looking rather dapper as he stands guard overlooking his bridge:

My mini blanket is now hanging up alongside the fundraising plaques for the Alameda BioDome.

This time it has some little crocheted butterflies holding it in place.

More of those little butterflies are fluttering about nearby…

And last of all, vines of little crocheted flowers have wound themselves around the railings too.

If you would like to go and see them for yourself, they should hopefully be there until Wednesday.

Happy International Yarnbombing Day!

For more information about the Alameda BioDome Project, why not check out their blog?

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.

Review of the year : 2016

As the clock ticks inexorably towards midnight on 31st December and we close the door on 2016, I thought it was time to take a look back at the year we have just had. Most of the newspaper reviews I’ve read so far have focussed on the negative aspects, celebrity deaths, the seismic political changes afoot both in Europe, America and the rest of the world, and general doom and gloom.

I am very fortunate in that for us, in our little corner of the world, apart from the uncertainties of Brexit and what that could mean for us in the years to come, we’ve had a pretty good year. Looking back at all the interesting things we’ve done makes me think about how fortunate we are. If your 2016 has been a difficult one, I sincerely hope that 2017 will be better for you and your loved ones.

January 2016

The New Year saw us spending a few days up the coast from Gibraltar on the Costa del Sol, but we were back on the Rock in plenty of time to see the Three Kings Cavalcade. It was also back in January when I went for the first of my strolls around Gibraltar the first one was an homage to the many beautiful balconies, the second one paid tribute to the many steps we ‘enjoy’ here!

February 2016

February brought us some misty and stormy weather, but there was plenty of indoors activities to keep us busy here in Gibraltar. The second annual Gib Talks event saw speakers from all walks of life take to the stage for short talks on a huge range of subjects. Later in the month, the extraordinary Gibraltar Womens Association celebrated their 50th Anniversary, I found  their story fascinating.

March 2016

In March, we were blessed with some beautiful sunny days with bright blue skies. Along with completing a tin man outfit for World Book Day, I finally managed to finish my Attic 24 Cosy Stripe Blanket after a year of hooking! We made the most of the lovely spring weather and took a dolphin trip out into the Bay of Gibraltar. There was also a beautiful exhibition in Gib celebrating  women’s creativity.

April 2016

During April we made another short trip up the coast and headed inland to Ronda a beautiful Andalucian town. I was very productive at my dressmaking and home furnishing courses inserting my first invisible zip and producing curtain tie-backs for the public transport fan in my life. A tall ship called into port at Gibraltar and members of the public had the chance to go on board and have a snoop around.

May 2016

May meant Med Steps for me big time as I completed my final training sessions for, and then finished, the Med Steps 5 Challenge with my two stepping buddies. It was a rather intense day but we were so proud of ourselves for climbing to the top of the Rock five times in quick succession. We also managed to raise a fair amount of sponsorship money for the brilliant Cancer Relief Gibraltar. Some of my sponsors are readers of this blog and I am so touched that you took the time and effort to support our fundraising efforts – thank you.

As I spent so long prattling on about the Med Steps during my training, I figured I should tell you all about it:  The Med Steps: a few facts & figures . May also meant saying goodbye to a good friend to me and my blogging adventures. One of the sad things about living an expat life is that many of the friends you make are in the same boat as you and therefore may not be around for long Saying goodbye…

June 2016

June was a very eventful month not only for me but for Gibraltar and the rest of the UK as a whole as BREXIT loomed large (this post was my most read of all time and by a very long way). Six months on, we are still no further forward knowing what it all means.

Another unexpected thing to happen to me in June, was when I chose to go back up the Med Steps one foggy morning. I thought that the mist would make the climb cool as the summer heat had begun to build. I was wrong. As I climbed up the Rock, I climbed out of the mist and fog. I was nearly roasted alive, but I did manage to take a rather good photo of the Rock emerging out of the mist below (see second left image on the bottom row above). I got loads of likes and shares and retweets with that picture taken on  A mini stroll in the mist!

11th June 2016 marked International Yarnbombing Day 2016 and I had a little go myself with my first guerrilla crochet project as I attempted to Yarnbomb the Alameda Gardens to celebrate the park’s 200th anniversary.

July 2016

July equals the beginning of the very long school summer holiday in Gibraltar. As I stared down the barrel of 8 weeks of no school and the prospect of entertaining the three Little Postcards I felt a little overwhelmed. In an effort to find some way of surviving (with my marbles intact) I decided on day one that I would set myself the challenge of doing something crafty every single day of the holidays…. and the Summer Craft Challenge was born. One of our summer holiday outings took us up into the Upper Rock Nature Reserve to visit one of Gibraltar’s newest attractions, the  Windsor Suspension Bridge .

August 2016

August, for us, was mainly spent in England. I travelled back with the Little Postcards to spend two weeks based in the North West with my parents (with a lovely trip down to Berkshire to visit friends) and then two weeks with Mr Postcard visiting his family in East Anglia. We were blessed with the best of English summer weather. When the sun shines – there really is no better place to be. Our East Anglia holiday base was Southwold in Suffolk, it gave us the perfect opportunity for multiple visits to a special place for us Southwold Pier .

The end of the month brought the school summer holidays to an end. After eight weeks of full-time kiddiwinks and eight weeks of the summer craft challenge, I was very proud to still be in full possession of my marbles (I think) and I also managed to do something crafty on every day except for one (the day we travelled back to Gibraltar). The final instalment of my challenge is here.

September 2016

September is always a very busy month in Gibtraltar. Just after the children return to school, we all have a day off for Gibraltar National Day on 10th September. Around this time we now have the Gibraltar Music Festival to enjoy too. This year saw the Stereophonics headline and Europe played the air guitarist’s dream of The Final Countdown live on the Rock.

Towards the end of the month, I was able to fulfil an ambition of mine to visit the Yarn Festival of Yarndale. It was everything I had expected and more, with bells on. My absolute highlight was meeting my crochet hero Lucy from Attic 24 and being able to give her one of my Llanitas (Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep that is). The sheep were made to raise funds to support a children’s hospice in North Yorkshire, I made two and they have both gone to live in Yorkshire!  My Yarndale 2016 (featuring Llanita’s Yorkshire adventures)

October 2016

In October I was still determined to keep up some of the crochet momentum I had achieved during the summertime and finished off my contribution to the Sixty Million Trebles project. I made a rainbow granny square blanket which will go towards the World Record breaking attempt to create a huge crochet blanket made up of sixty million treble stitches. Each treble stitch represents a displaced person or refugee. After the world record attempt the giant blanket will be made into smaller blankets and handed out to charities in the UK and those helping Syrian refugees. The organisers also hope to raise a considerable amount of funds too to help Syrian refugees.

A big event locally was the fourth annual Gibraltar Literary Festival 2016 I was lucky enough to be able to attend several events this year and really loved it.

November 2016

At the beginning of November we had just one Bunny in the Postcard household, then one Sunday afternoon during a walk through the Alameda Gardens, we found some abandoned rabbits. One of them, Blizzard, came home with us (Blizzard turned out to be a girl and she is now known as Snowflake). It was back in November when I had my first attempt at Podcasting I had such fun making it, and hope to be able to share another one with you soon.

December

In December we sadly said goodbye to Bunny Postcard. She had only been with us for 11 months but she’d quickly become a much loved member of the family.

This month I also headed out for my most recent stroll, to see some of the Christmas lights  we have on the Rock – amazingly it was the 16th stroll post I’ve written this year. I also took the plunge (literally) and joined with the annual Boxing Day Polar Bear Swim at Catalan Bay – I’m still feeling proud of myself for doing it!

 

Thank you so much for joining me this year, I have loved having your company and enjoy reading all the lovely comments. Here’s to next year, who knows what it will have in store for us all, here’s hoping it will be a good one.

A Postcard birthday

 

1

 

 

It’s been a whole 12 months since my first blog post on Postcard from Gibraltar and what a fun and busy year it has been. I started out publishing my first post and wondering if anyone out there in cyberspace would actually read it but I soon discovered a lovely community who share my interest in craft and want to hear about this lovely Rock I live on.

Thank you very much for all the lovely comments and likes over the past year, I appreciate you taking the time to leave them. I read them all although sometimes it can take me a while to reply.

I know that an important part of being in this community is that it’s not just a one way street and we should all take the time to read each others posts and sometimes I’m not too great at that as life tends to get in the way a bit. Please know that I always mean to, and I usually get around to taking a look at my fellow bloggers posts eventually!

I’m afraid I’m being very lazy this week with my midweek post and I’m just going to share a few of my highlights from the last year with you. I hope you enjoy this trip down Memory Lane 🙂

 

Expat life:

Moving countries with two small children and leaving all our family and friends behind was no small feat. I have to admit that when I was faced with the prospect of moving here (due to Mr Postcard’s work relocating) I wasn’t impressed. I had my life sorted and was happy where I was, the prospect of having to start all over again didn’t fill me with joy.

Back in September last year the annual cardboard boat race in Ocean Village reminded me of what life was like back when we first arrived and that the warm welcome we received as a family helped us on the road to settling in: Cardboard boats and memories of moving

Apart from arriving here and making a fresh start, one of the hardest things about being an ‘expat’ is that many of our community are transient. For those who come with work or their partner’s job, rather than just making the choice to move here for good, their tenure in Gibraltar can be short.

However short that stay may be, friendships can develop fast. In the absence of family nearby friends very soon become each other’s support network and that makes saying goodbye all the harder: Saying goodbye…

 

Crafty highlights

I love, love, love making things. If you’ve caught any of my Sunday Sevens posts you’ll know that most of my weeks are dominated by crafty things including watercolour lessons, dressmaking lessons and of course, my love of crochet. In May, I was inspired to make a wreath celebrating the wild flowers I’d seen this Spring while I trained for the Med Steps 5 Challenge : Wild flowers of the Med Steps

 

Along with the Med Steps I have become very fond of the Alameda Botanical gardens during our almost seven years here in Gibraltar.  International Yarnbombing Day 2016 proved too much of an opportunity to miss paying homage to the Alameda Gardens bicentennial celebrations.

 

Gibraltar highlights

Last Saturday was the Convent Garden Party, an annual event which the Postcard family usually attends. It’s the one chance in the year for ‘normal’ folk to have a wander around the beautiful back garden which belongs to the Governor of Gibraltar. My post about last year’s event ended up being my first ever blog post based on a walk (a theme which has featured heavily in the last few months): A stroll up the garden path…

As I mentioned earlier, I am a bit of a fan of the Med Steps. So much so that I climbed them five times in the one day last month as part of the Med Steps 5 Challenge. If you have never had the pleasure of climbing them yourself, here’s what you’re missing! The Med Steps: a few facts & figures

 

On 9th June, Gibraltar woke to find itself wrapped up with a blanket of fog. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to climb the Med Steps again (as it had been getting a bit warm to do it in recent weeks). On that walk I experienced the most amazing view (the one you can see above). I had been misguided in thinking that the fog would help me with its cool damp air, as I climbed the steps I soon realised that I had, in fact, climbed up out of the fog and was viewing it from above.

At one of my many rest points on that morning, I witnessed this stunning view of the Rock swathed in fog. It was otherworldly and truly mesmerising. I was also only one of a handful of people who had braved the Med Steps that morning, we were incredibly lucky to see this weather phenomenon from such an elevated vantage point.

As soon as I got home I posted this photo online and got the most amazing response. So far, more than 12,000 people have viewed it on Facebook! I also wrote a post about my foggy walk and featured a lot more photos: A mini stroll in the mist

 

A year on the Rock

IMG_6071

One of the great things about living in Gibraltar is that despite it’s size (which is really quite tiny) there is so much to do. The social calendar includes the Three Kings Cavalcade, the Calentita food festival, the Gibraltar Fair, National Day, the Gibraltar Music Festival, the Gibraltar Literary Festival, and the Christmas Light switch on to name just a few.

Here are a couple of my highlights from the last 12 months: Rock stars & heart throbs: Gibraltar Music Festival 2015 & So many books, so little time… Gibraltar Literary Festival 2015

Looking back at all that makes me realize we’ve packed a lot into our last year on the Rock. I know we are very lucky to live in such a great place and to have the opportunity to experience all we have. 

I first started this blog after being encouraged to do so by friends and family and I’m really glad I did. Postcard from Gibraltar has opened doors for me both virtually and in real life, it’s been a great adventure so far, here’s hoping the next 12 months are as good if not better!

Thank you for dropping by!

 

Mr Bumble free crochet pattern

Since the Alameda Gardens Yarnbombing at the weekend I’ve had loads of lovely comments about Mr Bumble. He was obviously so popular that he’d actually buzzed off home with someone else by the time I went back to take the yarnbomb down (either that or he’d checked into the Bee Hotel).

To make your own Mr Bumble, you’ll need a small amount of yellow, black and grey double knitting yarn (and a little bit of white for the eyes), a 3mm crochet hook and a stitch marker. The pattern is worked in a spiral like amigurumi and uses UK crochet terms. 

(If you are a seasoned crocheter, apologies if these instructions are a little basic – this is my first attempt at writing a pattern of my own!)

Body (make 1)

Using black yarn, make a magic circle and crochet 6 double crochets (DC) into the circle. 


Pull the tail of the yarn to close the magic circle – row 1 is now complete.

Row 2: 2 DC into each of the stitches on the previous row = 12 stitches 

(It can be useful to mark the first stitch in each row with a stitch marker so you can keep track of where your rows begin and end).

Row 3: (1 DC into the first stitch, 2 DC into the second stitch) and repeat to the end of the row = 18 stitches 

Row 4: (1 DC in first stitch, 1 DC in second stitch, 2 DC in third stitch), and repeat to the end of the row = 24 stitches.

Row 5: (1 DC in first stitch, 1 DC in second stitch, 1 DC in third stitch, 2 DC in fourth stitch) and repeat to the end of the row = 30 stitches

Row 6: 1 DC into each stitch = 30 stitches (At this point the flat piece of crochet will begin to be 3-dimensional)

Row 7: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches. It’s starting to look a little bee-like now!

Continue the stripes in this fashion:

Row 8: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 9: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches 

Row 10: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 11: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 12: Change to black yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 13: Change to yellow yarn. 1 DC in each stitch = 30 stitches

Row 14: Change to black yarn. (1 DC in first stitch, DC next two stitches together) and repeat to the end of the row = 18 stitches

Row 15: (1 DC in first stitch, DC next two stitches together) and repeat to the last stitch of the row DC into the final stitch = 13 stitches. 

Now is a good time to stuff the body of your bee with toy filling before the opening in his tail end gets too small to fill him. 

Row 16: DC next 2 stitches together 6 times 

Row 17: DC next 2 stitches together 3 times

The hole in the end of your bee should now be closed, cut the yarn leaving a tail. Pull the tail through the loop on your hook and tighten. You should have a little point on your bee’s bottom a bit like a sting. 

Darn in the yarn end being careful not to flatten the sting.

Wings (make 2)

Row 1: Make a magic circle and DC 5 stitches into it. Pull the tail of the yarn to tighten the magic circle before beginning row 2.

Row 2: Crochet 2 DC into each of the 5 stitches in the previous row = 10 stitches.

Row 3 : (1 DC into the first stitch, 2 DC into the second stitch) and repeat until you reach the end of the row = 15 stitches

Fasten off.

Then make another.


Attach your wings securely to the top of your bee’s body using the tails of yarn. 


Using the white wool embroider two eyes onto the face with French knots.

And there you have it, your own Mr Bumble!

He does look rather at home amongst the flowers don’t you think?

Please feel free to make your own Mr Bumble, but I would greatly appreciate it if you were to credit Postcard from Gibraltar with the pattern of you do. Happy hooking!  🙂

Sunday Sevens #35 12.6.16

Wow, it’s been quite a week for me, it started off quietly but built to a crescendo after I posted a photo I took on a walk up the Rock. More on that later…

#gotgotneed

I’m sure I’m not the only Mum to be swamped with Panini football stickers at the moment. In a family of five I’m the only one without an album. Somehow that doesn’t excuse me from the delights of having to try to peel the backs off the awkward ones! 

A sunset walk

When I escaped one evening this week for a walk after the little Postcards were in bed, I saw this gorgeous sunset. The tower in the photo is the Royal Naval dockyard here in Gibraltar, it looked so pretty lit from behind. 

New skirt


Work has commenced on my final skirt for my dressmaking course. I took a drive across the border to La Linea last week and bought some rather bright floral fabric (think pink and orange orchids). I’ll save the delights of the fabric choice until next week, as I don’t think I’ll have too many other crafty things going on. 

Anyway, the design was drawn, the pattern made and now the fabric’s been cut and sewing the seams has begun – I do hope it turns out ok! 

Sports Day part 1


This week we have experienced the first of two school sports days we have on the calendar. Because there’s no such thing as large school playgrounds or school sports fields in Gibraltar, the teachers, pupils and parents all decamp to the Victoria Stadium for the event. There can’t be too many places in the world where school sports days take place in the national stadium can there?

That photo…

On Thursday morning I set off for a walk as soon as the little Postcards were safely deposited at school. As I set off I wasn’t necessarily intending on climbing up the Rock but my feet just took me there (force of habit perhaps). It appeared to be a perfect morning for the Med Steps, cool and foggy. If you’ve read my Mini stroll in the mist post you’ll know my reading of the weather conditions were way off the mark, as I climbed higher I climbed out of the fog and into the baking sunshine! 

One positive from that predicament was this view. I snapped it and then posted it as I got home. That’s when the crazy stuff happened… As I write it’s been seen by more than 12,000 people on Facebook and a good few more on Twitter. That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me everyday!!! 

Summer’s here


In between the foggy and misty days we have enjoyed some high temperatures and sunshine. The municipal areas like parks, traffic roundabouts and flower beds are looking glorious in town. Perhaps at their best, as they are not yet wilting under the intense heat of the mid-summer sun. This plant (it’s name is a mystery to me) grows close to a car park I frequent regularly and it’s blooms are looking glorious at the minute. It looks rather tropical don’t you think?

International Yarnbombing Day 2016


In case you missed my post yesterday on my little Yarnbomb, well I did one. It was my homage to one of the most beautiful places in Gibraltar, the Alameda Botanical Gardens, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. 

I have had a truly amazing week in the world of blogging. All of a sudden my tiny corner of the Internet came to the attention of many people who’d never heard of Postcard from Gibraltar before. It’s been incredibly flattering and I’m very grateful for all the lovely comments I’ve read over the last few days. 

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog and features seven photos from the last seven days.