Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 6)

Greetings from Rome! I can’t believe I am actually writing this! Rome is a place I have wanted to visit for so long and in fact Italy itself has been on my must visit list of countries for as long as I can remember.

Last year I set myself a challenge of doing something crafty every day during the 8 week long summer holiday from school in a bid to maintain my sanity. This year I decided to do the same, although I am actually doing it theoughout the whole of July and August. Here’s the sixth installment of my summer craft challenge for 2017.

Day 36 : Saturday 5th August

We arrived back at home in Gibraltar after our lovely holiday in Portugal today. After completing my Little Box of Crochet Blue Sky Hug scarf while away on holiday, I thought it appropriate to crack open another Little Box of Crochet and begin something new; Jenny’s Mandala, named after the daughter of Amanda Bloom (creator of Little Box of Crochet), who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

I have been itching to get started on this since it arrived!

Day 37 : Sunday 6th August


I’ve been laid low with a nasty bug overnight and I’m afraid that looking at crochet books in bed was as crafty as I could muster today!

Day 38 : Monday 7th August

I’m back in the land of the living again today thankfully and human enough to pick up my hook again. 

Day 39 : Tuesday 8th August

Ooh this is a fun project, considering how long I’ve spent doing it, it’s very small, but that doesn’t matter! 

Day 40 : Wednesday 9th August


I am totally addicted to this pattern, I just can’t put it down as I want to see what the next row brings. Sadly I have to as the Little Postcards need feeding and housework has to be done!

Day 41 : Thursday 10th August


No Mandala today I’m afraid, but Europa the Unicorn has come with me and my crochet hook on another flight…. to Rome! It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for so long and I’m thrilled to be here 😊.

Day 42 : Friday 11th August


My Fitbit tells me I have walked over 20,000 steps around the streets of Rome and the Vatican City today. My word I’m worn out! Could only muster a solitary row of Crochet this evening on my Scheepjes Whirl shawl. Poor show, but I’m off to bed, night night! 

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 5)

Another week done, I really can’t believe how quickly this summer is whizzing by! I set myself a summer craft challenge to do something crafty throughout July and August in order to save my sanity throughout the long school summer holidays; here’s installment number 5 of my weekly updates for my summer craft challenge this year.

Day 29 : Saturday 29th July

We had a bit of a road trip last Saturday, 5 and a half hours to be precise, from Gibraltar to Southern Portugal. We packed up the car and headed off for a wonderful week in the Algarve. A bit of passenger seat hooky helped pass the time as we traveled across Andalusia. This photo was taken as we were crossing the Reina Sofia bridge in Seville.

Day 30 : Sunday 30th July

At last my holiday meant there was time for me to be able to concentrate on one of my medium term WIPs (works in progress), my Blue Sky Hug scarf from Little Box of Crochet. I have been working in this off and on for a couple of months now, but the pattern requires a decent amount of concentration and I have had to rip a good few mistakes out and start large sections again several times. It was put back in its little box until I was in the right frame of mind.

Peace on holiday (well briefly 😉), meant I had the brain capacity to have another go at unraveling mistakes and figuring out where I was up to with the pattern.

Day 31 : Monday 31st July

Clear blue skies overhead were the perfect conditions to push on with my Blue Skies Hug scarf!

Day 32 : Tuesday 1st August

Arghhh, oh no! I’ve done it again… another mistake! It looks ok, but I’ve actually got an extra two stitches on two rows. Time to out it away again after giving it a stern talking to.

Day 33 : Wednesday 2nd August

I’m in a huff with the blue scarf, so enjoyed a few rows of mindless trebles between a trip to the beach and dinner… Oh I do like holidays!

Day 34 : Thursday 3rd August

Alfresco coffee and crochet by the River estuary in pretty Alvor… A perfect morning break.

Day 35 : Friday 4th August

You’ll never believe it, but I actually finished my Blue Sky Hug Scarf! It hasn’t been blocked yet (as you can probably tell) but in my eagerness to photograph it against the backdrop of the brilliant blue skies we were enjoying yesterday I am sharing it with you already..

It just goes so well with the colours of the sea and sky don’t you think?

I’m really pleased with it now it’s finished.. I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell out with it a few times while I was in the process of making it though!

That’s all for this week’s Summer Craft Challenge, I was supposed to post this yesterday, but painfully slow internet and then none at all meant I decided to wait until we were back in Gibraltar, which we are now. It’s bright and sunny and thankfully not as hot here as the 41.5 C temperatures we ‘enjoyed’ on the drive back!

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 4)

This week’s crafting took place in three different locations, beginning at our friends’ home in Reading, Berkshire, then returning to my parents’ home in Manchester and finally heading home to Gibraltar! 

I set myself a summer craft challenge to do something crafty throughout July and August in order to save my sanity throughout the long school summer holidays. Here’s week four’s installment:

Day 22 : Saturday 22nd July

There wasn’t much time for crafting today – a trip to Reading town centre to have a meal out and take the Little Postcards to the cinema and later a chance for my friend and I to pop out to the pub for a while on our own, meant this Crochet photo was taken at ten to midnight! Only just made it!

Day 23 : Sunday 23rd July 


Coffee and crochet in the garden, what could be better? Well a crochet lesson perhaps? I had a go at teaching my friend and her daughter some crochet…


The green chain belongs to my friend’s daughter, the pink to my friend and the grey on the red hook was mine…


Tadaaaah! That pink granny square is my friend’s first ever attempt at crochet, not at all bad I don’t think! However I did get theimpression that she was mightily pleased when she got to the end!! 

Day 24 : Monday 24th July


Back in Manchester this evening at my parents’ house and time for a little crochet before collapsing into bed… it was a long day of travelling back up thanks to rail engineering works!

Day 25 : Tuesday 25th July

You’ve got to love a municipal floral border haven’t you?! A trip to the park with the two youngest Postcards to make the most of a sunny spell in the afternoon – crochet and Europa the Unicorn came too…

Day 26 : Wednesday 26th July


Airport delays and a very late arrival meant that crochet was done in the hours of darkness again on Wednesday- I couldn’t face it while travelling this time. Back at home in Gibraltar after a wonderful, interesting and very enjoyable two and a half weeks in England (and briefly Wales). But blimey it’s very hot!!!

Day 27 : Thursday 27th July


I bought myself a present when we were in England – a yarn winder. My stash of left overs has been getting a bit unruly of late so fancied having a go at winding some nice neat balls… I need a bit of practice for that – my first attempt was a little loose!

I also returned home to two cards to collect goodies from the parcel post – my June edition of Little Box of Crochet and my latest subscription to Simply Crochet Magazine. Now I have loads of fab ideas to work on over the coming weeks!

Day 28 : Friday 28th July

Coffee and crochet, the perfect way to start the day. Don’t you agree? A moment of calm before the chaos of the day!

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Sunday Sevens #87 11.6.17

Hello there, you may be forgiven for thinking that this week’s Sunday Sevens is rather reminiscent of last week’s. For the second week in a row I climbed aboard a plane and flew out of Gibraltar to visit family in England. I normally go at least 6 months between such trips but happy circumstances meant I was able to make a quick return visit to the North West of England.

Summer’s here!


Last Sunday was a bit of a scorcher – summer has definitely arrived here in Gibraltar. We went for our first dip of the season in the pool. My latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket came with me too.

World Environment Day

Monday was World Environment Day, and Gibraltar put on a series of stalls in Commonwealth Park to highlight the work being done by the various environmental organisations, governmental and charity. The TV cameras were down there filming while we were passing through.

 
Here we go again!

Tuesday evening saw me heading back onto the tarmac to catch a plane to Manchester. A long awaited solo trip back to see my parents without children…. bliss (although I did miss them a little bit 😉).

Cheshire & crochet

Wednesday was beautifully sunny and we headed off into Cheshire, which is pretty close to where I was brought up. I just love the wide open green spaces – so different to what we are used to seeing each day in Gibraltar.

We called into my new favourite wool shop: Black Sheep Wools. My goodness the yarn, the colours, the inspiration… I could spend all day and a fortune in here! I love it. 

I added to my stash and even convinced my Mum into dusting off her knitting needles and buying a pattern to make herself something. I don’t think she has knitted since my eldest (now a teenager) was very little, I do hope she enjoys her new project.

So here’s my stash, which includes a very nice surprise of a belated birthday gift (pink & white Sugar n’ Cream yarn and my first ever Caron Cake) and my missing April edition of Little Box of Crochet which I was able to collect thanks to the lovely Emma at Little Box of Crochet.

Homeward bound

All too soon it was time for me to board another plane to take me back to Gibraltar and my boys. Bye bye Cheshire countryside!

It was only the next day that I discovered I had had a very close call. The plane I was travelling on and the next departure to Malaga were the last two allowed to takeoff from Manchester before the airport was evacuated because of a suspect package. It was two hours before planes took off again. As far as I’m aware no one was harmed thankfully, just a lot of waiting around for passengers and staff.

En route to Gibraltar I carried on working on my Sixty Million Trebles blanket, it’s working up really fast. Very quickly I could spy the Rock out of my window!

Calentita!


Yesterday the 11th annual Calentita Food Festival came to Casemates Square. It’s got to be 6 years since we last attended due to small children. We had a nice evening and ate some interesting food. I will share some more photos very soon…

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from the  Threads and Bobbins blog.

Sunday Sevens #84 21.5.17

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a good week, it’s been a crazy busy one for me with endless to-do lists and jobs but somehow we made it through and I think almost all the jobs got done (which is a minor miracle). 

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens (it’s Sunday Tens this week actually but never mind!):

A Sunday stroll


Last Sunday my legs were a little achey from the exertions of the Med Steps 5 the day before, but we went for a bit of a walk nonetheless. We found ourselves in the Alameda Botanical Gardens, which was just stunning in the spring sunshine.

We also had the rare opportunity to walk in the middle of Europa Road, as rather large crane was being removed from the site of a very big house which has been built. Normally it’s quite busy with traffic along here, but on Sunday it was so peaceful.

Beautiful balcony


This has got to be my favourite balcony in Gibraltar (apart from our own). It always looks so lovely. It looked stunning in the Monday morning sunshine.

Dress finished!


At last my princess line, lined dress with sleeves is complete! It’s been a long slog, but I got there in the end. Next project at my dressmaking class is a blouse!! With loads of buttons eek 😬 and a collar! Holy Moly! I may get that finished by Christmas 2018?!

Sad news and a crochet escape

At the beginning of last week, the crochet world heard the sad news that Jenny, the 19-year-old daughter of Little Box of Crochet founder, Amanda Bloom had died. Jenny had been living with cancer and was taken to the hearts of many of us as we contributed squares to her ‘blanket of hugs‘ late last summer. 

The outpouring of love and support for Amanda and the Little Box of Crochet team has been huge online and I hope it goes someway to helping her and those close to her now and in the future.

On Wednesday, I began a new Little Box of Crochet project, designed by Lucy at Attic24 and including rainbow colours. I think we all need hope in our lives and to me that’s what a rainbow means.

Making bias binding 

I have never attempted to make my own bias binding before, but I had a go on Thursday for a secret project I’m working on. I had been putting it off, but really there was no need. It was pretty easy – apart from the bit when I kept scalding my fingers and thumb with the steam from the iron while I tried to fold and press the edges at the same time! 

Cake anyone?

Our church held a cake stall on Main Street yesterday to raise funds for Christian Aid week. People were incredibly generous, so if you bought a cake, a second hand book or made a donation, thank you! Your money will go to help those who need it most.

While on the stall, we were treated to a march past by the usual Saturday historical reenactment:


Later, the Royal Anglian Regiment marched by with a band to celebrate their newly awarded freedom of the city.

It was quite a sight to see.

We headed home before the classic car rally drove up Main Street… it was a busy day in Gibraltar yesterday (and I didn’t even mention the Convent Garden Paty or Museum Open Day!!).

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins. It features seven (ten in this case) photos from the last seven days, if you would like to join in with your blog, pop over the Natalie’s website to find out more.

Sunday Sevens #80 23.4.17

Hello there, this Sunday Sevens has come around quickly. I have had a quiet week in Postcard terms with no midweek posts, I figured that after four posts last week, you wouldn’t miss me too much! 

Schools started back here on Tuesday after just over a week off for Easter, so it’s been a bit more like normal again. We’ve had a vey mixed bag here weather wise with warm sunny days to begin with and gale force winds to end the week!

Bitten by the Med Steps

My Med Steps training hasn’t gone too well this week. On Monday afternoon I tried to repeat my two times round from last week, but failed. It was a gorgeous warm day and the heat of the sun was just too much. I got to the top in superquick time on the first lap but nearly wilted. A second attempt would have been silly. The views were lovely on the way down though…

Lent crochet update


So, finally on Easter Monday, I completed my Lent square Sixty Million Trebles blanket. The blanket will go to help Syrian refugees. 

Also this Lent I have managed to make a couple of baby blankets for Cherished Gowns, who support bereaved parents and I’m part way through another Sixty Million Trebles blanket too – this one is being worked corner to corner. I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve managed to make.



Naughty bunny

Hmmm, this bunny is in the dog house. Every evening we let Diamond out of his run for a bit of freedom in the lounge. Each day we move all hazards away from his level so that he can’t eat anything he shouldn’t. This week we failed…

In the corner where the phone and internet router live there’s a rats nest of wires, which although it annoys me, I hadn’t found a solution to. That was until Diamond chewed through the phone cable!!! I saw him go for it and in the time it took me to get off the sofa and walk less than a metre, the deed was done.

The wire has been replaced, and the incident was incentive enough for me to sort the wires out. Some electrical conduit, a hacksaw and drill later and the wires are rabbit proof! Diamond was none the worse for his evening snack.

Sunset


On Wednesday evening there was a lovely Saharan Dust enhanced sunset. The way the clouds were lying across the sun was lovely so I grabbed my camera with my big lens attached and realised I had a flat camera battery – grrr! This shot was taken on my phone, but isn’t a patch on how the camera would have captured the image. The battery is now charged and ready for the next snap…

Cruise ship season 


Now Easter has passed, cruise ship season is well and truly upon us. There have been several large ships in this week and the difference it makes when you are in town is quite dramatic. It’s great for Gibraltar’s economy, but it can make negotiating Main Street quite a slow affair!

Crochet reward


I was so determined throughout Lent to only crochet things for other people (gifts, Sixty Million Trebles and Cherished Gowns baby blankets) that I abstained from looking at all other things crochet. My monthly subscription from Little Box of Crochet remained unopened, as I knew I would be desperate to make a start on it straight away. 

On Tuesday I had the time to start my blue sky hug scarf from Little Box of Crochet, and on Thursday my monthly Simply Crochet magazine subscription appeared in my post box – oh how I enjoyed immersing myself in both!

Med Steps failure part II 


On Thursday morning I attempted the Med Steps again, but failed to even start them. The wind was so gusty as I climbed up to Jews Gate, where the Steps begin, I was almost blown off my feet. Perhaps not the best conditions to attempt scaling the side of the Rock of Gibraltar…

A more tame walk was undertaken instead. Just look at the wind whipping up the water out in the Bay! Apologies for the blurred focus – I didn’t realise that I’d focused onto the wall – doh (slaps forehead) another photography fail this week!

The stormy weather continued into Friday too. The Upper Rock was closed for safety due to high winds and we had literally hours of thunder rumbling from mid afternoon and into the evening. The first dramatic boom came just as I was heading out on the school run so I had to dash back in to pick up raincoats for us all. Thankfully the shower was light so we didn’t get soaked!

That’s all for this week, not the most inspiring edition of Sunday Sevens I’m afraid, let’s hope next week brings more good photo opportunities!

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins blog. It features seven (or maybe more) photos from the past seven days.

Sunday Sevens #73 5.3.17

Hello and welcome to another edition of Sunday Sevens. It’s not quite turned out to be the week I expected, plans went out of the window as I nursed a sick child and two sick bunnies… so here are my seven, oh ok, eight photos from the last seven days.

Citrus blossom scents the air

The citrus trees in our patio are covered in blossom at the moment. The lemon and orange trees are laden with the beautifully scented flowers. As soon as you head out the door you can smell it. In fact if you bring your nose right up close to the screen you may even be able to smell it it’s so strong!

Sunset 

This is the lovely sunset we saw on Monday night. Monday didn’t quite pan out as I expected as I got a call from school at 10 am to go and collect a Little Postcard from school who had suddenly fallen ill. I’m pleased to report that he is completely recovered now and he only missed two days of school. It did mean that no sewing got done this week though.

Poor little bunny

We’ve had a bit of a week as far as the Postcard Bunnies are concerned (four visits to the vet in total for me!). This little chap had to have an op. I won’t go into details but as we have a boy and a girl rabbit and we don’t want to be over run with rabbit babies, Diamond needed a ‘procedure’. 

He is normally a tad crazy and bounces from one side of his cage to the other when you walk in the room. After his trip to the vet, he was a sorry little soul and didn’t move much for two days.

I’m pleased to say that he has recovered well and is due for a post op check next week. He is eating voraciously and is bouncing again. He’s back to his crazy self.

Welcome back blue skies!!


Wednesday brought us some gorgeous blue skies. I had a trip into town and took this lovely photo from the ICC multi story car park. You can just make out Morocco in the distance peaking out above the buildings in the distance.

Tranquility


On Thursday morning I felt like I’d got a bit of normality back and headed off up the Med Steps before going to my watercolour class. It was so tranquil up there. It was very cloudy but the shafts of sunlight on the sea looked magical.

Painting…


If you’ve seen the last few Sunday Sevens you’ll know that we’ve been slapping the paint about all over and been looking for our ‘inner abstract’ at watercolour class. This week we’ve been developing those abstracts into something a bit more recognizable. So here’s my flamingo and citrus blossom…

Another poor rabbit


So, since last weekend our other bunny, Snowflake who we rescued from the Alameda Gardens, has been a bit off. She hasn’t been eating her food – in fact I had to empty her bowl at the end of the day on Wednesday because she had barely touched her carrots and kale. I finally decided to take her to the vet on Thursday. It turned out after an x-ray that she had an intestinal blockage caused by eating her winter fur coat.

As we are heading into spring, she is losing some of her fur and like cats, rabbits lick themselves to make themselves presentable. Unlike cats, rabbits don’t bring up fur balls, and this one is having trouble passing said fur the only other way. She is currently having four different medicines at different times of the day and is being fed a syringe of baby food every two hours. Honestly I thought it was hard looking after sick children….Anyway I am pleased to say that we have had results, the treatment is working! 

This photo was of her at the vet on Friday. You might notice the missing patches of fur on her ears and nose. That’s from the mange she must have had when she first came to us – that’s all cleared up and her fur is slowly growing back. Check out the EasyJet tail fin going past in the background. There can’t be too many vet consulting rooms in the world with a runway at the end of the road!!

Happy post

I had a real treat yesterday morning. I had to collect two parcels from the Post Office on Friday but was too busy to open them. I knew what was inside and wanted to take my time and enjoy opening them. It was like Christmas morning unwrapping this gorgeous bundle of fabric and my February subscription to the Little Box of Crochet. 🙂 It was a grim old day weatherise yesterday, so it was a real highlight to have these before heading out in the wind and rain!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins.