A Sandy Bay Blanket story

Way back in January, when I already had several different crochet projects on the go, I spotted that one of my favourite bloggers was starting a new CAL (Crochet-Along). That blogger was Eleonora at Coastal Crochet. In my experience up to this point CALs usually involve purchasing a wool pack to accompany the project (which is absolutely fine) but the thing that made me want to join was that this was completely open to interpretation. You could use any coloured yarn from your stash, which meant I could start right away! So I did.

Another great attraction for me was that Eleonora released the pattern for just a couple of rows twice a week, so it was really easy to keep up with, and if I fell a few weeks behind, I soon caught up! At no point did I feel overwhelmed.

I decided early on that as the name was ‘seaside’ related it had to have marine inspired colours to begin with;

But I also wanted it somehow to have a connection to Gibraltar. But how? The western side of the Rock is its best known angle but that’s a bit complicated, so I opted for the eastern side. But Catalan Bay has so many colours that I couldn’t envisage how to include them all.

Then it hit me, Sandy Bay! It has one long developement across the whole of the Bay, with white apartments, terracotta roofing and yellow sun canopies!

The blanket became my companion and came away with us on holiday…

I soon found myself chosing colours to reflect the surroundings in Sandy Bay; beach umbrellas and paddle boards, the houses and the spring flowers growing on the Rock behind.

Above the houses are the old water catchments, which in spring are green and covered with wild flowers…

I chose yarn colours to reflect the yellow and pink flowers, then the greys and dark greens of the rocky face and shrubs above.

Last of all, it was time for the sky, and well, Gibraltar can often be found wearing its cloudy Levanter hat, so that had to feature too!

Before I knew it, I was completing the last few rows and it was almost time for the border. But first, there was the messy/boring job of weaving in all my endy bits… this was about a third of them!!

Then time for the border…

So, are you ready for the big reveal?

Can you see it? That’s my Dad humouring my silliness and holding it up for me on Sandy Bay beach!

Thanks Dad!

For the border I used grey (for the Rock), dark green for the shrubs on the Rock and blue with white wiggles which could represent the cloudy sky or the waves.

I’m really happy with it now it’s all finished and a bit sorry this lovely project has come to an end. A lovely community of crocheters from around the globe came together on Instagram and in Blogland, all united by this project – thank you Eleonora for taking us all along for the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket ride!

Sunday Sevens #156 30.9.18

Sunday again, I was supposed to post midweek all about the Music Festival last weekend but unfortunately time got the better of me, perhaps I’ll manage it this week…. here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

And relax…

It’s been quite a week for me this week, we have had visitors over – which has been lovely (and I couldn’t have managed without their help), I’ve been doing a bit of extra work too this week and it’s been a bit non-stop at times. It has made realise that there’s no way I could work full-time. I take my hat off to all those parents out there who hold down a full-time job as well has looking after children.

Pattern making

There wasn’t a lot of sewing going on at my dressmaking class this week but my jacket pattern is moving on apace.

Under a cloud…

The hot and sweaty Levanter weather conditions have continued for most of this week. As you can see, up above the thick cloud (which sits above Gibraltar at the minute) there’s some lovely blue sky. Everyone’s complaining about the humidity at the moment, I hope it comes to an end soon.

A lovely lunch

As I alluded to before, we have special visitors over at the minute, my parents are here for a visit. That gave us the perfect excuse to go out to lunch while the Little Postcards are at school. It’s amazing being able to hold uninterrupted conversations!!

Whoops!

I’m on the final push for my Coastal Crochet CAL. The Seaside Stash Busting Blanket has seen a bit of action this week, but as you can see, I got it a bit wrong…. it took me 4 rows to realise that I’d made a mistake – whoops! Thankfully it’s sorted now!

The end of summer…

It looks like summer beach season is over… I was at Sandy Bay on Friday and although there were quite a few people on the beach and in the sea, work was underway removing the net from the family end of the beach. It doesn’t feel like autumn yet, that’s for sure!

A new arrival in Gibraltar

There’s much excitement in our household about the arrival of a new eatery in Gibraltar. When we visited Sidmouth and Lyme Regis on our Easter trip to the south coast of England, we first encountered the delights of the Cornish Bakery. Then, on our trip to Southwold in Suffolk, we discovered a branch had just opened there too. Imagine our surprise when this signage appeared in Casemates Square… is this an anti-diet conspiracy??!! Is the Cornish Bakery stalking the Postcard family? Methinks a few pasties may be consumed…

Thanks for stopping by to visit this week, that’s all for this Sunday Sevens. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Summer Craft Challenge 2018 (week 6)

Another week gone already, I can hardly believe it. The summer holidays are whizzing by, and we have just 2 weeks left here in Gibraltar. Here’s what I’ve been getting up to this week in my craft challenge….

Day 36 (Saturday 11th August)

I enjoyed doing my Jennie Maizels sketchbook club picture so much last week, that I thought I’d have another go on Saturday and give some Southwold Beachhuts the Jennie Maizels treatment. This time, though, I couldn’t leave them black and white, I just had to colour them in.

Day 37 (Sunday 12th August)

Done! Now, I wonder what I should draw next?

Monday

A trip to Commonwealth Park which running some errands in town meant a few moments of Crochet calm on a bench in the dappled shade. The perfect excuse to crack open another Little Box of Crochet!

Later on, in the evening, I got reacquainted with an old friend…

Day 39 (Tuesday 14th August)

A few more rows were completed on my Coastal Crochet CAL after dark on Tuesday.

Day 40 (Wednesday 15th August)

It was International Granny Square Day on Wednesday, so I had to join in!

Day 41 (Thursday 16th August)

We spent most of the day at the beach on Thursday so my crochet came too!

Day 42 (Friday 17th August)

I’ve been working on my Sandy Bay Seaside Stash Busting Blanket a bit this week, as I had a lot to catch up on. On Friday I spent quite a bit of time on it and am working on making a crochet version of the Rock of Gibraltar (hence the grey & green rows). I think I’ve done about 17 rows this week. Here it is in all its glory:

That’s it for this week. The end of week 6 means we are three quarters of the way through the long school summer break already! Thanks for stopping by!

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 #138 27.5.18

Crumbs, is it just me, or is this year flying by? I can’t believe we are at the end of May bank holiday weekend already! Slow down please!!! I hope this Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you are enjoying your long weekend (if you are in a part of the world which has one). Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

First barbecue of the year

And relax… feeling a little achey after the Med Steps 5 Challenge last Saturday, our first barbecue of the year, my new book and a cold beer were just what the Dr ordered!

Down by the sea

Two Little Postcards had an in service day on Monday. We headed down to Camp Bay for a bit of a kick around and ice cream. What with bank holidays and extra days off school at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘normal’ week at the moment – perhaps that’s why it feels like time is whizzing by!

Bird’s eye view

I had a trip up to the Great Siege Tunnels this week as a parent helper on a school trip. We got a bird’s eye view of the tunnel being built at the end of the runway, can you see it? There are two tunnels with what looks like a spine and ribs over the top. It was the first time I’d been to the Siege Tunnels with a guide (well a teacher who knew all about it) and I learned quite a few new things. Which reminds me, I went there with the Little Postcards a few months ago during a school holiday and I was meaning to write a post all about it…. one day!

Beautiful blossoms

I love the colour of Jacaranda blossom. This tree sits on Main Street and you could easily miss it as you go about your business. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look up!

Sandy Bay blanket

My seaside stash busting blanket now has a name; the Sandy Bay blanket. I wanted it to have a Gibraltar theme so reflected colours I see about the place. The white and yellow section was inspired by the Both Worlds housing development which sits above Sandy Bay and the green and magenta by the succulents growing above on the old water catchment slopes. Here’s the whole thing so far:

A green future for Gibraltar’s School children

On Thursday I was invited to a special reception in the Alameda Botanical Gardens. A community group I used to be involved with has sponsored a plaque to raise funds for a bio dome and learning facility for school children. It’s a very exciting project and has already garnered a lot of support, but there is still a way to go to raise all the cash needed to build it. For more information about the Alameda BioDome, you can read about it here.

A breezy trip to the beach

My Sandy Bay blanket made it to Sandy Bay on Friday morning. It was gloriously sunny between the wispy clouds skudding across the sky but the breeze was rather brisk. I had to kneel on my blanket to take the photo to prevent it blowing into the sea! Thank goodness I went while the Little Postcards were at school – they would have well and truly disowned me as I clambered over the rocks to try and get a decent photo!!

That’s all from Sunday Sevens for this week, I hope you have had a great weekend. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Sunday Sevens #135 6.5.18

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens, a little later than usual, but I still made it on Sunday! It’s been a busy day with lots of boring jobs to do. You don’t want to hear about that, so without further ado, here’s this week’s series of seven (or perhaps slightly more) photos from the last seven days.

Bank holiday getaway

Last weekend was a bumper long weekend for us here in Gibraltar. We had Monday off work and school for Worker’s Memorial Day and then Tuesday too for May Day (as it was 1st of May). We have the first of May off here rather than waiting for the first Monday in May as is the tradition in the UK. To all of my readers in the UK, I hope you are being blessed with some of the gorgeous Bank Holiday weather I have seen on the telly over these past couple of days.

We headed out of Gibraltar for a few days and went along the coast to Estepona. The above picture was of the queue of traffic trying to leave Gibraltar last Sunday, the photo below was taken on a tranquil evening stroll at the end of the day, along the coast in Spain.

A hole in one!

This mini golf course was the site of the greatest golfing moment ever seen in Andalucia. Forget Valderrama and the European Open, this is where I scored a hole in one! It took hours of practice too ;-).

Heading home

Our long weekend came to an end on Tuesday and it was time to head home and back to reality, but not before another round of crazy golf and the chance to admire some of the beautiful blooms on show in the hotel gardens. Isn’t this one a beauty?

Seaside blanket makes it to the beach!

I took my hook and yarn away with me on our short break and managed to catch up on the rows I had fallen behind on with the Coastal Crochet Seaside Stash-busting Crochet Along. I really enjoyed working on it while I was away from all the usual distractions of being at home. I even took it down onto the beach at Estepona with me for a photo shoot. And that shot made it into Eleonora’s weekly round-up of the CAL on Instagram. It’s slap bang in the middle – that made my day!

May Day Celebrations

We headed back into Gibraltar in time to catch the end of the May Day celebrations in Casemates Square. There was a political rally (which we missed) followed by a number of local bands and dance schools performing on the stage for the crowds. As you can see, we were blessed with some beautiful weather.

Say what you see…

Apologies in advance for the toilet humour, but one day this week I found myself sitting at the bus stop (our car is rather unwell and has been into the garage this week) and I spotted a sign for parking which I have passed countless times and not really looked at before. It’s funny that you can suddenly see something for the first time, years after looking at it. It made me chuckle anyway…

Gibraltar International Comic Con

The second Gibraltar International Comic Con came to the Rock this weekend. We went along yesterday and hung out with stars of Star Wars (there was a real life Ewok there), three Game of Thrones actors (yes, I know – how cool is that??) and Star Trek amongst other shows. One of the things which I really enjoyed seeing was the art work. These amazing comic-style illustrations were drawn by a local artist  (@liam_p_art on Instagram).

And that brings this week’s Sunday Sevens to a close. Thanks very much for stopping by! I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for this weekly blog series. I’ll leave you with a few photos from April including Gibraltar and our trip to London & the Jurassic Coast.

Sunday Sevens #132 22.4.18

Hello there, welcome to the latest Sunday Sevens, a week which began in bright sunshine and ended with grey cloudy skies….

Don’t go into the water!

There were reports in the media last week that lots of Portuguese Man-o-war were being washed up on Gibrataltar’s beaches. Not wishing to miss out on seeing them, I headed down to Camp Bay with the Little Postcards last Sunday to see if we could see any. We weren’t disappointed. I had never seen them before and found them rather mesmerising with their bright blue colour and tentacles drifting below the waves.

We kept our distance though, as they can be very dangerous, even lethal in some cases. I thought it best to show the children what they looked like in case they should ever encounter them again. Now they will know to avoid them in future.

I’ve got a beach!

This week I managed to keep up with the Coastal Crochet CAL (Crochet along) and now have the beginnings of a beach on my Seaside Stash-busting Blanket. It was very nautical for a while there, but now I have wet sand, seaweed and pebbles.

3 times round

I can’t quite believe I am writing this, but although I didn’t plan it, I managed three times round the Med Steps this week. I had intended to do twice round but something Mr Postcard said as he went to work (along the lines of “two not three?”) planted the seed and once I’d completed number 2, thought, why not? I went for it. It was very difficult. This photo was taken at the bottom of the final set of steps. I was sitting on the bottom step at the time! I’ve got less than a month to go now before the Med Steps 5 Challenge, so there’s no time to waste!

Princess line seams

This week’s dressmaking class was all about the princess line seams. Boring photo I’m afraid.

Double daffs

I went crazy and splashed out £2 on a bunch of daffodils for myself this week. They had beautiful double heads and made me smile.

More stepping

The beautiful sunny weather we had at the start of the week had disappeared by Friday. I headed back up the steps. It was very blustery up there and just a little bit scary as I turned the corner onto the east side. It was blowing me backwards as if I wasn’t allowed to go up. Once I was properly round onto the eastern side, it was much more sheltered and not a problem at all.

Seeing as I can’t show you blue skies on this one, I took a few pictures of the beautiful wild flowers up there, including the Gibraltar national flower (the Gibraltar Candytuft: bottom right) which is in flower in a few sheltered spots now.

Gib Rocks

There is a phenomenon sweeping Gibraltar at the moment, especially for families with young children, called Gib Rocks. It started just a few short weeks ago, and the idea is to paint rocks and stones with bright colours, a message or a picture, then hide them somewhere in Gibraltar for someone else to find. It was sparked by one Gibraltar-based family’s trip to Battle in the South of England at Easter, where a similar scheme is in operation. On their return, they set up a Facebook page called Gib Rocks and at the last count it had over 3,600 members. It’s kind of mushroomed!

Anyway, we decided to join in too. I shan’t show you what the Little Postcards painted, as they wanted to keep it a secret, but I’m rather partial to rainbows so I could only paint one thing couldn’t I? It’s drying off nicely now ready for it’s final touches, I’ll keep you posted on where it ends up…. watch this space!

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