Summer craft challenge 2018 (week 1)

School’s out for summer! As I stare down the barrel of another 8 week-long summer break from school, yet again, I thought there was only one way I would survive it with my sanity intact; to craft every day.

As in the past two previous years, I have set myself the challenge to do something crafty each day (even if it’s just 10 minutes). Each day I will put a crafty photo up on my Instagram account and at the end of each week (probably on Saturdays), I’ll publish a post about my crafty week. It’ll be as much to encourage me to keep at it as much as it is to share my crafty summer and it’s worked before (twice).

Here goes…

Day 1 (Saturday 7th July)

Life has been rather hectic in the past couple of weeks and my ability to take a few moments out for crochet or anything else crafty has been severely restricted. So now I intend to put that right, and I started with a bit of a catch up on my Seaside Stash Busting Blanket from the Coastal Crochet CAL by the lovely Eleonora. I’m about 3 weeks behind… but I’m catching up!

Day 2 (Sunday 8th July)

On Sunday we took a drive into Spain and I brought my crochet with me in case there was a long queue getting back into Gib. As you can see there wasn’t, as it happens, but at least I was prepared just in case!

Day 3 Monday 9th July

I know I really should finish some of my existing projects, but I happen to know that a little baby girl is due to be born very soon, and I thought she might like to have her own Little Donovan Lamb. This Little Box of Crochet has been waiting patiently since it arrived back in March.

Day 4 Tuesday 10th July

One Donovan head completed!

Day 5 Wednesday 11th July

And now he has a body.

Day 6 Thursday 12th July

Much of the day was spent at the beach and as this is a gift for a new born, I didn’t want to take it out with me. The busy day out and about only allowed time for a little bit of arm-making!

Day 7 Friday 13th July

And now he has arms! One comment on Instagram, when I posted this, was that it looks like he’s sunken in a field of clover – I like that image.

So there you have it, one week done already, I can hardly believe it’s gone so quickly! Seven left to go on this Summer Craft Challenge.

Sunday Sevens #144 8.7.18

It’s scorchio in Gibraltar today, I’m sitting by my open window out of the sun, slowly melting… here’s this week’s slightly sticky edition of Sunday Sevens…

Sunday lunch

Last Sunday we took an impromptu trip into Ocean Village for a lovely lunch. It wasn’t planned and it just worked to perfection; the food was lovely, everyone behaved well and we went home contented!

Party time

There was a birthday party this week… one of the Little Postcards is due to have his birthday in the summer holidays when many of his classmates are on holiday, so we brought the birthday celebrations forwards a bit so he could spend it with his friends. I find (my) children’s parties very stressful as a rule and approach them with great dread. I’m thrilled to say that on this occasion it went off without incident and the play zone we hired for the party had hardly anyone else in there at the same time so we almost had it to ourselves – which was bliss!

A floral rainbow

There seems to be a plethora of bright blousy blooms about at the moment in Gibraltar’s municipal flower beds. Here’s just a small selection.

Sewing school’s out for summer

My sewing lessons have come to an end for the summer break, I shall miss my morning sessions with sewing and banter with the girls. As it’s the end of term, I can now show you my finished dress… it’s taken almost a whole academic year to draft the pattern, make a cotton version to check for fitting and get the correct drape on the frill before making the actual dress.

I’m very pleased with it, especially as the fabric cost about €20 from La Linea market!! I just need the right occasion to wear it!

Happy post!

I have been watching Instagram enviously over the past few weeks seeing people announce that their latest Little Box of Crochet had arrived through the post. As usual mine arrived much later, as it has a longer distance to travel, on Thursday it finally arrived.

As I was in Catalan Bay anyway and the box has a special summer seaside theme, it seemed the perfect photo opportunity. I swear the folk watching me position it on an upturned boat and getting my focus right though I was bonkers…

Anyway, it arrived just in time for my annual summer craft challenge, which I started yesterday. My aim this year, as in the last two, is to do something crafty everyday throughout the school holidays in a bid to carve out a little bit of tranquil creativity while the world is going wild around me.

Last breakfast

Also on Thursday (in fact just before the above photo was taken) I popped out for one last moment of calm and tranquility before the end of term chaos ensued. The eggs Benedict I had was truly lovely! (Schools broke up on Friday and I had too many jobs to take care of to have my last breakfast then.)

A curry before kick off

Please excuse the repetitive food theme to these photos…. yesterday we decided to make a meal of it (well of a certain football match). It’s not every day England gets to the quarter finals of the World Cup is it? We headed out for a lovely curry before kick off and then stayed in the restaurant to watch the match. It was a perfect place – not too rowdy – as we had the Little Postcards with us.

Now, thanks to Messrs Maguire and Dele Alli we need to think of how we are going to spend the next semi-final match. I’m not sure my nerves can take it….

I wonder what I will be writing about England’s progress in next week’s Sunday Sevens??

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the one ahead is kind to you too. Until next time, bye for now.

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

Sunday Sevens #131 15.4.18

Hello there, and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. It’s been a bit of a busy day, hence the lateness of this!

Sunshine ☀️

After a dodgy start, last Sunday was glorious. In the afternoon we took the Little Postcards to the park to run off a bit of energy ahead of school starting back the next day. On our return, Mr Postcard and I, took a few minutes to sit out on the balcony before dinner to soak up a few rays – rain was forecast for the next seven days – you have to take the opportunity while you can!

Back in the groove

Oh, how I missed my crochet while I was in the UK over Easter. I took a portable project with me but sadly the hook recommended was too small for my tension and although I had the next size up with me that was too small too… I did the first two rows of 300+ stitches and frogged it three times before giving up.

There was a lovely looking yarn shop in Sidmouth where we stayed but it was closed (understandably) over Easter weekend, and in London, we took a big diversion one day to visit Loop in Islington (a gorgeous yarn emporium). They had every size hook imaginable in stock apart from the size I needed – grrr! Never mind, I got to scratch my crochet itch on our return and managed to catch up on about 3 weeks worth of rows of the Coastal Crochet Seaside Stash Busting Blanket.

Med Steps training

I’m committed to doing the Med Steps 5 Challenge again in May this year, but so far my training hasn’t gone to plan very well. On Monday I managed a first for this year, twice round! The second trip was not easy at all but it feels like I’m finally getting somewhere!

As you can see above, I started the first trip up in drizzle with a rainbow in the Bay and finished the second in sunshine….

Back to art class

It feels like it’s been a long, long time since my last watercolour class. It’s got to be about a month since I last put pencil or brush to paper. This week I headed back to my class and began a new ink and watercolour painting, freesias this time.

Happy post & a bumble bee 🐝

I have been meaning to go and pick up a parcel from the post office since we returned from our Easter trip to England and a message on the radio gave me the kick up the behind I needed. The parcel post is moving locations across Gibraltar this weekend, to make way for a new school building project.

I didn’t want my parcel to get lost in the move, so hot footed it over to pick up my latest Little Box of Crochet. Being a native Mancunian, I just love my bumble bee brooch! I also have a friend who’s expecting a baby girl, so I have just the person in mind for that crochet project, once it’s complete!

Wet, wet, wet!

This week, we had storms on Tuesday and again on Thursday. It was pretty wet for us on Friday too but I persevered and climbed up the again on Friday. The Steps were closed on Wednesday and Friday after the storms so I went up the road on the other side instead. I’m chuffed with myself that I managed 3 training sessions in total this week.

Football crazy

Yesterday meant lots of football, and with it lots of very welcome sunshine. We had a league match to attend in the morning for one Little Postcard and then a 5-a-side tournament in the afternoon. Never a dull moment in this house!

And that, as they say, is that. Sunday Sevens complete for another week. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have had a good week and that the week ahead is kind to you.

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for the Sunday Sevens blog series.

Review of 2017

Crumbs, it’s looking awfully like we are on the cusp of another New Year, it surely can’t be a whole year since the last one, it’s gone far too fast. I guess now’s as good a time as any to have a look back at some of my Postcard from Gibraltar highlights from the past 12 months….

January 2017

A new year meant a new challenge for me this year, a photo challenge. Last year I read Nana Cathy’s blog and was intrigued by her weekly photo challenge. When January came around I thought I’d join in myself. It’s been such fun and quite inspiring throughout the year to have weekly prompts to find pictures for. If you fancy joining in check out Wild Daffodil’s blog for more information.

Also in January I joined forces with my friend Kate of H and FlossieDoodle to start the Gibraltar Crochet Collective. We did meet weekly to crochet and chat over coffee although our meetings have got less and less frequent due to other commitments lately. Our mascots Gib and Rocksy went for a bit of an adventure.

Another new project for me this month was my podcast, you can find my blogposts and the related podcasts here.

February 2017

In February I ran my Creative Gibraltar series looking at some of the very talented craftspeople who live in Gibraltar. I began with my lovely watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson and ended with local craftswoman and up-cycling guru Sue Orfila. February also brought us the 2017 installment of Gib Talks. I was also fortunate to be able to speak to Gib Talks organiser Julian Felice before the event for one of my podcasts.

March 2017

March was a month for Lenten crochet (far easier than giving up chocolate) which helped support the Sixty Million Trebles effort, a beautiful Suffolk family wedding and a sad goodbye to our rescue bunny Snowflake.

April 2017

April began for us in Southwold in Suffolk, one of our favourite places and involved a lot of Med Steps training, which was very handy for burning off those seaside fish and chips! I was also able to finish another Sixty Million Trebles blanket – this one from the Gibraltar Crochet Collective.

May 2017

May meant Med Steps 5 Challenge again this year and I even managed to beat my time from last year! You can hear my podcast about it here. We also flew back to the UK for our second family wedding of the year.

June 2017

June started for us in Wigan in Lancashire, the location of our latest wedding and the perfect setting for a lovely walk. It was also the Calentita! food festival in Gibraltar. (For some reason the same aerial photo of Gibraltar appeared in May and June’s collages – not sure why that was. It is a good photo though don’t you think?).

July 2017

In July our big summer of travel began with a trip up to the North West of England and a flying visit to North Wales. We also drove to Portugal.

August 2017

This has got to be my most cosmopolitan of all months, featuring travel in Portugal, Rome, France and of course good old Gibraltar. Which reminds me, I have loads of holiday photos on my phone and camera SD card which are crying out to become blog posts – watch this space in the New Year.

September 2017

September is a big month on the Rock, this year more than most as Gibraltarians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum when they voted overwhelmingly to remain British. Gibraltar National Day on 10th September coincidentally happened to be the day of my 100th Sunday Sevens. We also had a fabulous music festival.

October 2017

October brought with it some interesting weather, beautiful sunshine, murky mists and exciting lightning storms.

November 2017

November was a good crochet month for me as I finally got around to making last year’s Little Box of Crochet autumn wreath. I also greatly enjoyed this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival with talks by Nicholas Parsons, Patrick Gale and local photographers and naturalists Clive, Geraldine and Stewart Finlayson.

December 2017

December seems to have rushed by in a flurry of end of term carol concerts and panicked making of Christmas presents (some of which failed to get finished in time). There have been some opportunities for peace and quiet though, namely the last Saturday before Christmas when we avoided the shops and headed for the beach for peace and tranquility.

Summer craft challenge

For the second year running, during the long summer holiday we get in Gibraltar, I decided to set aside a little time each day to do something crafty and I documented this with my Summer Craft Challenge. Each day I featured a photo on Instagram and each week I wrote a blog post on my progress.

At the beginning of the challenge I made a little amigurumi unicorn which I got the kit for in an edition of Simply Crochet magazine. I christened her Europa and she became my Summer Craft Challenge mascot and came on our travels with us. There were several occasions when the Little Postcards thought Mummy had lost her marbles posing a crocheted unicorn in various European locations for photographs…

This year, I returned to work part-time after 13 years as a full-time, stay at home Mum. I have to admit that during the last few months I have found it hard to make time for Postcard from Gibraltar alongside my new commitments and at times I’ve wondered whether I can actually keep it up. I have had some really lovely comments and support from my online friends and that’s kept me going. Thank goodness I have Sunday Sevens and the weekly photo challenge to keep me ticking over during ‘dry’ spells.

I think I would really miss the community I have ‘met’ through Postcard from Gibraltar, and if I’m honest, it’s you and the support you’ve given me which gave me the confidence to apply for the job in the first place. Thank you very much to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts over the past 2 and a half years, and for the virtual friendship you have given me too – it’s not taken for granted. Every comment and like is very much appreciated.

Here’s to 2018 and all the wonderful challenges it may bring!

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

Sunday Sevens #114 17.12.17

Hello there, can it really be true that we are only one week away from Christmas Eve? I’m not ready!!! It’s been quite a long week with loads going on and I’ve been on my own with the Little Postcards as Mr Postcard was traveling with work.

I feel as though I have been running about a lot and achieved very little, but hey-ho we all have weeks like that sometimes. The result of all this rushing about has left me with few interesting photos for this week’s Sunday Sevens – it won’t win any awards I’m afraid. Here goes…

Christmas carol service

Last Sunday night I was lucky enough to attend the annual Christmas carol service at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment band played the accompaniment to the carols and it was just beautiful. There’s something about carol services which transport me right back to being little again with that sense of expectation that something exciting’s about to happen.

Here comes the rain

Sunday night also brought with it a storm with winds of 100 km per hour at Europa Point. We have been spoiled recently with some lovely (if cold) weather. That was all about to change.

Wet Monday morning

And so the rain came… it was wet.

Happy mail

In a brief moment of calm and tranquility I was lucky enough to crack open this delightful box of loveliness from Little Box of Crochet. I only had time to look at it mind you, it’s been put away for a quiet moment!

A crafty Christmas card

A very talented crafty friend of ours made this beautiful felted poinsettia card. Isn’t it beautiful?

Friday frenzy

So the last day for posting Christmassy things to the UK was Friday. Naturally I left all the wrapping to the last minute… it wasn’t much fun but I got it all done -eventually.

Sunny Saturday morning

The stormy start to the week gave way to a lovely sunny end to the week. This was the scene at our last kids’ football match before Christmas, yesterday morning. It was a bit nippy but a Costa coffee took the edge off and warmed my hands nicely :-).

That’s all from me this week, I hope it’s been a good one for you and you aren’t drowning under Christmas to-do lists!!

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

Sunday Sevens #111 26.11.17

Hello there, I hope you have had a good week. It’s been as busy as always Chez Postcard and I’m staring down the barrel of a frantic few weeks with all the pre-Christmas antics there are are for the Little Postcards. There’s actually one day next week where I need to be in 4 different places at the same time…. I may be calling on the services of Dr Who and his Tardis to get everything done!

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

A sunny start to the week

There was an in-service day for some of the Little Postcards on Monday. I haven’t been feeling too great for the last couple of weeks and they behaved so well for me letting me have an easy day, that we did a late afternoon trip to the park at Europa Point for ice cream as a reward. (My fluey cold from the other week turned into bronchitis 😕). The weather was glorious, as you can see, with just the hint of a Levanter cloud forming on the top of the Rock.

It’s finished #1><

Ta-dah! It’s finished at last! I have actually completed a blouse in my Dressmaking class, with a collar, cuffs and buttons (although I was tempted with velcro when the button holes weren’t behaving as I wanted them to). It’s a bit ‘loud’ colourwise so I’m not sure when I’ll wear it… perhaps under a cardigan!

Cloud free skies!><

We had more beautiful cloud-free skies mid-week. We have been so lucky to have a warm, dry autumn here in Gibraltar so far. I’m dreading having to dig the waterproofs out when the rains come….

It’s finished #2><

It’s been quite the week for finishing things, I managed to finish my autumn crochet wreath – before the end of autumn (a miracle!). I’m thrilled with how it turned out, it looked great in the autumnal sunshine on our front door. The kit came in a Little Box of Crochet and the designer was Kate Eastwood of Just Pootling.

Not much watercolour progress…><

I guess I can’t finish everything at once, so I’m still working on my watercolour painting of town. I’m getting there slowly but surely.

A new project><<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Yesterday I treated myself to starting a new crochet project. I was very disciplined and waited until I’d finished my wreath before cracking open another little box of crochet…

Christmas is coming>

<<

The Gibraltar Christmas lights were turned on on Friday night and yesterday we took a trip into town to visit Gibraltar’s first ever Christmas market. There are artisan stalls set up in little wooden huts, you can even get mulled wine – it smelled lovely (I shall have to go back once I finish my antibiotics!).

I’m linking with Natalie (the proud Mummy of a beautiful new baby girl) from Threads & Bobbins for this weekly Sunday Sevens blog series.

Sunday Sevens #109 12.11.17

Hello there. Please forgive the underwhelming nature of this week’s Sunday Sevens, I’ve been a bit under the weather of late (autumnal sniffles) so my photo taking opportunities have been rather limited this week…

The last rays of sunshine 

Last Sunday afternoon we spent a little while on the Eastside of the Rock at Sandy Bay. You can tell we are heading towards winter as the sun disappeared behind the Rock sooner than it did a few weeks ago…

A posh boat


While on a walk in Ocean Village at the start of the week this rather posh boat caught my eye. I thought it looked unusual with its black hull.

Setting in my sleeves

At my Dressmaking class this week, it was time to set in my sleeves. Amazingly they went in perfectly, at the first attempt!

Under the weather


By midweek I was feeling a little bit off colour. Since then, I have spent a lot of time in bed. It’s just a cold, but I’m a reluctant patient and I’m feeling decidedly frustrated that I’ve run out of energy to achieve anything beyond the basics. Poached eggs are just the ticket when you’re feeling run down don’t you think?

Friday night dusk

I caught sight of this beauty out of the window on Friday evening. You can’t beat a lovely sunset to lift the spirits. 

Autumnal leaves


It has felt decidedly autumnal here this past few days (and I don’t think it’s just because I’ve felt ill). Bright sunny skies yesterday made me yearn to kick through piles of autumn leaves at a National Trust property. I started working on this delightful project from Little Box of Crochet at the end of last week, when we were on holiday and yesterday I added this cute amigurumi toadstool to my autumnal crochet leaf collection. It’s been such fun to work on. 

Thank you for joining me for this week’s sniffly and sneezy edition of Sunday Sevens. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.