Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 6)

I won’t say it’s gone by in a flash, it has in some ways but in others it’s gone slowly. The school summer holidays are over (two of my three are back in school today, Number 3 goes tomorrow) and that means this year’s Summer Craft Challenge is over too.

Back in the summer of 2016 I set myself the challenge of doing something crafty, even if it was just for 5 minutes, every day of the school summer holidays. At the time we were living in Gibraltar, far from family in the UK, and although we would fly home to Blighty for a few weeks, the 9-week-long Gibraltarian school break was more than a little bit daunting. By doing something fun and crafty each day, I thought that would break things up for me. Also by blogging about it, it forced me to keep going.

I find it’s so easy (when you’re busy) to forget about crafts. They get put on a back burner and forgotten about as I get consumed with everything else going on. However, the longer I am without a crochet hook or needle in my hand the worse my mood becomes. By setting myself this challenge it reminded me to not forget my crafty projects and also made me consciously plan what I would do ie. Was it portable to take on holiday or for a day out?

I managed to fill that first 9 weeks with fun makes, and every summer holiday since (apart from last year when we moved house and country over the summer back to the UK). This year I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep the momentum going in a new (old) country with fewer days at the beach and lazing about, but I did. I achieved something crafty on every day bar one – as you will see.

Here’s my final installment…

Day 36: Saturday 28th August

Just over a week ago, I packed up the car and drove us all to Whitby for a little holiday. This was the one day all summer that I didn’t manage to do anything crafty (unless packing and unpacking fall into that category). It was a lovely day nonetheless and the sunshine welcomed us to the North Yorkshire coast!

Day 37: Sunday 29th August

After a day exploring Whitby, I had the chance for an evening with a chilled vino and my hook… now that’s what holidays are for!

Day 38: Monday 30th August

I brought my liberty patchwork kit with me on holiday and day 38 meant hexies.

Day 39: Tuesday 31st August

Our last night of the holiday – by the time we were all packed up there was only a little bit of time to sit down and crochet.

Day 40: Wednesday 1st September

Back home again and after all the washing was done I sat down to make a few more hexies.

Day 41: Thursday 2nd September

This is my least favourite sewing job of the year… school trouser hems and name tags. The most monotonous job! It can only be improved to my mind with a decent podcast playing in your ears and a cup of coffee by your side!!

Day 42: Friday 3rd September

Back on the crochet again, playing with amigurumi patterns.

Day 43: Saturday 4th September

Saturday evening in front of the telly gave me the time to work on another seven hexies, in blues & greens this time. I’m really looking forward to joining them all together.

Day 44: Sunday 5th September

I ended this year’s summer craft challenge with a very unremarkable bit of crochet … a mistletoe leaf – well at least that’s what it’s supposed to look like!! It was a busy day yesterday making the most of good dry sunny weather to get to the bottom of the laundry pile and getting the last few bits and pieces sorted ready for returning to school this week. I was almost falling asleep as I did this last night!

So that marks the end of this summer’s challenge, it’s been good fun and just the impetus I needed to keep me going with my crafting when all things family seem to get between me and few moments of craftiness. I managed to either crochet or sew on all but one day of the past 44 days so I’ll take that as a victory.

I also managed to complete a couple of things…

My Making Stitches craft room wreath from Simply crochet Magazine

And….

My Little Box of Crochet heart cushion

Thanks so much for joining me in this daily quest and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021

A postcard from a flock of Canary Craftivists

Hello there. Sorry I’ve not been about much of late. Life has been very busy and I’ve just not had the time for blogging lately. However, I did something yesterday which I simply had to share. Here goes…

Mrs Pankhurst helping the Craftivist cause!

I’m not sure when I first heard about Craftivism, but I know it was well over a year ago. I have followed the work of Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective for quite some time and found her method of ‘gentle protest’ so inspiring. The act of making for a cause; to raise awareness about something which needs to be spoken and thought about but in a quiet, gentle, thoughtful way rather than by shouting and waving placards. Whilst there is always a place for such things sometimes being quiet has a bigger impact than getting peoples’ backs up and shouting loudly.

I was reminded about Sarah’s work when I watched the BBC2 documentary ‘Craftivism: Making a Difference’ with the comedienne Jenny Eclair. In it she explored different methods of craftivism with different activists on topics from equal pay in the production of fast fashion by placing little notes into the pockets of clothes in shops to encouraging women to have smear tests by putting pairs of miniature knickers in public toilets. Sarah was one of the craftivists Jenny spoke to and she gave a compelling case for the effectiveness of Craftivism and the art of gentle protest.

After watching the documentary I was compelled to buy Sarah’s book ‘How to be a Craftivist’ and on reading it was amazed to see the amount of workshops she had led and the sheer scale of her one-woman mission. She’s spoken to groups all over the UK and many overseas as well. At her workshops she encourages people to mindfully craft something which will help focus attention on a whole host of causes including minimum wage as worker’s rights, to the environment and equality.

The book ‘How to be a Craftivist’ came beautifully wrapped with a ribbon and a yellow ‘Crafterthought’ pencil to write down my own crafterthoughts after reading it!

I decided that I had to contact Sarah and ask if she would consider being a guest on my Making Stitches Podcast. Much to my amazement, despite being a very small scale podcast I was thrilled when I got a positive reply. Our interview date was set and in the intervening weeks my trepidation grew at speaking to such an inspiring woman. There was no need though, she was so lovely.

Sarah Corbett
Photo Credit: Craftivist Collective


We spoke for more than the hour we had planned and by the time our chat finished I was more than won over to the cause of ‘gentle protest’ and offered my services to help with Sarah’s latest campaign to raise awareness about the need to reduce carbon ahead of this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.


You can hear my chat with Sarah for the Making Stitches Podcast here.


I became the contact for a ‘flock’ of Canary Craftivists who would get together in an iconic spot in Manchester (as many flocks will do up and down the UK and further afield), dress in yellow and mindfully create canaries either by sewing, knitting or crocheting them. The plan is to then send the canaries to our local MPs to put pressure on those going to COP26 to remember the need for urgent action to halt the rapid pace of climate change.

I have to admit that this is not my usual kind of thing to do on a Saturday morning. I felt well and truly out of my comfort zone co-ordinating a small group of crafters from across Greater Manchester to get together and quietly make a stand.

My attempt at a crocheted canary

Why Canaries?

First of all canaries are yellow, and yellow is such a happy uplifting colour which inspires hope. Secondly though, canaries played an important role in checking for clean air. Miners would take the birds down pits in the knowledge that if the canaries stayed alive, there were no poisonous gases about in the tunnels and shafts. If the birds died, it was time to get out and up onto the surface quickly. These little fabric birds are our way of saying it’s time to do something before we choke the planet with poisonous gases any more than it is already, and in fact we need to reverse the trend and quickly.


We kept the location and time of our flock secret to avoid attracting the attention of any troublemakers who might want to take advantage of our action. It was also a deliberately small group both for Covid reasons and because all of us are new to this – the aim of this campaign is to attract people who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise join a climate protest. I have to admit that our group was slightly smaller than we had hoped but the dreaded Track and Trace ping hit a few of our planned flock.


Our uniform was to be dressed in some yellow. Yellow isn’t a common feature in my wardrobe, although I did have a pair of yellow jeans. I added to my ensemble by sewing a yellow face mask and crocheting a yellow canary cape.

I finished my cape the night before and added the ribbon which came wrapped around my How to be a Craftivist book to be an appropriate way of fastening it at the front. The words on the ribbon say ‘little by little we travel far’.

The weather was kind to us, we woke up to bright, clear blue skies above Manchester. I jumped onto a yellow (on message) tram into the centre of Manchester ready for the flock.

We chose St Peter’s Square as the venue as it’s easy to get to via public transport, it’s very central and has the iconic backdrop of Central Library, trams & the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst too (someone who could teach us a thing or two about campaigning!).

We set up camp on one of the benches and got busy!

The Manchester ‘flock’

Gemma and her daughter Evie wore the most amazing costumes they had made for the event…

It was a really positive experience- my fellow Craftivists were all lovely as were the people who stopped to ask us what we were doing and why. We were able to direct them to the Craftivist Collective website so that they could find out how to make their own canary to send to their MP.

Crafting by the Emmeline Pankhurst statue

All in all, this ‘flock’ has been a truly positive experience and an opportunity to meet some lovely crafty folk.

Outside Central Library

If you would like to have a go either forming your own flock or making a canary to send to your MP, please visit the Craftivist Collective website for all the help you’ll need.

Photo credit: The Craftivist Collective

Sunday Sevens #204 6.10.19

Hello there! We’re basking in some beautiful autumnal sunshine here at the moment in Gibraltar. If the weather where you are isn’t too great I’ll have a word and see if we can share some of ours with you! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens:

A new skill to start the week

On Monday I went to an extra skills workshop with my Dressmaking teacher Dorcas Hammond to learn how to do shirring and make a shirring dress. I saw some of the work produced by my fellow Dressmaking students on the last workshop and it was beautiful. Shirring is such a useful technique, not only can you make pretty dresses, but also tops, waistbands and sleeves.

I can’t wait to find the time in my busy weeks to actually put my new found skills to the test! I have bought fabric and am raring to go! Now this little dress is ready to go to a young lady I know….

The end of an era

There has been much debate and regret on local social media and in the press about the demolition of the Queen’s Cinema. When we first arrived in Gibraltar we lived very close by and I loved the architectural style of it from the outside. On the two occasions I was able to attend events inside, it was so reminiscent of the old cinema in the town where I grew up, it felt so homely straight away.

It had closed as a cinema by the time we arrived here to live, as the new purpose built leisure complex at Kings Bastion had a couple of brand new screens, so I didn’t see it in its heyday. I think it’s such a shame that a developer or the Government didn’t turn it into a facility for the community. Perhaps showing old films or for local productions? Anyway, that won’t happen now, just the bottom of the walls and the skeleton of the balcony remain. So sad…

Mantis!

Whilst visiting the home of a friend this week I spied this mantis on the window of the stair well. It rather took me by surprise! They are fascinating creatures to see up close!

Sewing in the dark…

Whilst at my regular Dressmaking class this week we had a power cut. It was so frustrating as I was on a roll seaming my trial run trousers. I had just one inside leg left to sew, so I had to finish it off cranking the wheel by hand by the light of my phone torch! It didn’t half make my shoulder ache! A handle or even better, a treadle would have been much easier! There’s a lot to be said for manual power, or pedal power – it won’t let you down in a power cut!!

Stunning sunset

We have had some truly beautiful sunsets this week because we’ve had clear skies and whispy clouds. This is the gorgeous one we enjoyed on Wednesday.

Blue skies

Those clear skies I mentioned… just check out these on Friday. It was absolutely glorious. I went for a very boring trip into town on an admin mission and bumped into Mr Postcard. We had an impromptu lunch in Ocean Village with this lovely view (below):

Guess where we went shopping?

Many months ago I promised Eldest that I would take him to Ikea. (He had his eye on a new desk lamp). We have an affection for all things Scandinavian, you may remember we made a special trip to Stockholm earlier this year. Anyway yesterday was the day we went back to Ikea. We were able to stock up on a few sweet Swedish treats!

We’re into October already, which hardly seems possible. Here’s a few of my September highlights:

That’s all from Sunday Sevens for another week. I hope you have a great week ahead…

Sunday Sevens was first created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #189 2.6.19

Hello there and welcome to the first Sunday Sevens of June! Wowzers, June already! That came around quickly…

Here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens, seven photos from the past seven days:

A morning stroll

One morning this week I found myself wandering around Upper Town. It was glorious up there, the views are amazing.

The sewing begins!

After weeks of pattern cutting, hole disguising and tweaking lining, sewing began in earnest this week at my dressmaking class. I think I’m going to like this top once it’s finished!

Walking on the runway

On Wednesday I had a meeting on the northern side of the runway and had a stroll across it in the sunshine to get there. It never ceases to amaze me that here in Gib, you can actually walk across the runway… I was stopped from crossing on the way back while we waited for a rather sleek private jet to take off before I could head home.

Empowering women

I attended a very inspiring event this week put on by Start Up Grind Gibraltar. It featured successful professional women talking about how they got to where they are and what needs to be done to help more women succeed. It was a great event, and reminded me to just go for it! (I’m not yet sure what ‘it’ is though!)

Bowling fun

On Thursday, the kids had the day off school for Ascension Day. They didn’t want to go to the beach or the park, so we went bowling instead. We will be hosting the Island Games in Gibraltar next month and as bowling is one of the sports on offer, our bowling alley has had a bit of a makeover. It got our seal of approval.

A mahoosive boat

This week I have spent rather a lot of time working at my laptop on the dining table and whilst looking for inspiration I’ve gazed out of the window and I have seen so many boats. There was a very striking yacht with black sails, another yacht which quickly wound in its sails to cope with strong winds, and then, yesterday, this huge container ship came past our window. Just check out how big it is compared to the dolphin safari boat which you can see to the right of the picture.

Sewing the Rock of Gibraltar

I spent a rather fun few hours yesterday doing a spot of sewing. I have been so busy with work stuff lately that crafty fun time has been very low on the agenda. I haven’t picked up my crochet hook in weeks – but that will change soon I hope! I had fun working on this Rock of Gibraltar for a project I’ll tell you about next week.

And that’s it from Sunday Sevens for another week. I’m afraid Postcard from Gibraltar has been rather neglected of late as I have had so much other stuff going on. I’m sure that things will get back to normal again once we head further into the summer (I hope).

Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope it’s a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens was created by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #167 16.12.18

The sixteenth of December already?! Just 9 days to go to the big day – crumbs. Christmas has been looming but at last it’s just around the corner. We have had yet another busy week with end of term excitement, I’m hoping things start to calm down soon!

Visitors arriving

Last Sunday, my Mum and Dad arrived on the Rock for a couple of weeks. As I went to pick them up from the airport, the traffic came to a standstill to allow a plane to take off. It may be a bit of a pain at times but I still find it rather dramatic….

Birthday celebrations

My Dad arrived just in time to celebrate his birthday. Any excuse for a thickly laden chocolate cake! Crazy end of term madness meant no time for a home-baked cake, but this one was rather tasty.

Last dressmaking class of 2018

The jacket I’ve been working on has progressed as far as it can for this year. It’s hanging up now waiting patiently for sleeves…

That’ll be why it was busy in town…

Town has been swarming with people this week, Christmas shoppers, visitors from across the border and one day, two rather large cruise ships paid us a visit too. The one on the left was gigantic!

Double rainbow

We have been blessed with lovely weather this week, Sod’s Law meant that Thursday morning brought rain and strong winds just in time for my long-booked hair appointment! Still at least we had a gorgeous rainbow (and faint double rainbow) in the Bay. That’s always got to lift your spirits. A pair of bunkering ships were the pot of gold at the end.

Bye bye HMS Astute

On Friday the visiting nuclear submarine HMS Astute left Gibraltar. You may have seen it feature in last weekend’s Sunday Sevens as it arrived. I missed seeing it moving away from its moorings but caught a glimpse of it out in the Bay. Never a dull moment in Gibraltar – there’s always something going on!

And relax…

Yesterday evening I found myself on the Eastside of the Rock. It was so peaceful and the sky was changing colour as the sun went down behind me. That’s another week done, just one week left of school term craziness before we can all relax and enjoy our festive celebrations. Things have been at fever pitch in our house just lately with all the extracurricular goings on in the lead up to the big day – I’m ready to stop the ride and get off!

I do hope that you have had a good week and that this week is a good one for you too.

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

Before I go though, I have to recommend a YouTube video. Gibraltar vlogger Ninja Monkey has just posted a fab video showing him climbing the Med Steps. It gives a great idea of what it’s like for anyone who hasn’t walked up them themselves and if you are thinking about tackling them yourself, you’ll see what you’re in for. Do give it a watch – you won’t be disappointed. The link for it is here.

Sunday Sevens #124 25.2.18

Hello there, I hope you’re having a nice weekend. We have been blessed with some lovely weather this week (I wore a T-shirt to do the afternoon school run on Friday), but – and it’s a big but, I have it on good authority that we are in for some very wet weather over the next seven days.

It’s funny you know, whenever there are severe weather warnings for the British Isles, that often means that for us down here on the southern most tip of the Iberian Peninsular get pretty rubbish weather too – admittedly not as cold as ooop north, but, still bad. So, as the UK grabs it’s thermals and digs out the shovels and grit to cope with a big freeze and snowy weather, we are digging out our wellies and rather fetching waterproof trousers to cope with an impending monsoon.

Anyway, weather talk aside, here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sunset across the Bay

Clearly last Sunday nothing of note occurred as I didn’t take any photos. This lovely sunset happened on Monday though. All of a sudden the apartment was bathed in the most beautiful orange glow and I looked out of the window to see that the sun was just about to set behind the hills directly opposite our apartment windows. Each day the sun is setting further to the right (north west) as we get closer to spring and it was a beautiful beam of orange which signalled the end of Monday’s daylight.

Seaside blanket silliness

I’m really enjoying the twice weekly instalments of the Coastal Crochet Seaside stash busting blanket Crochet Along. Last week, one of my fellow CAL-ers uploaded a cute photo to Instagram with a Lego diver, seaweed and fish on her blanket and I thought I’d join in with the silliness. I spent rather longer than I should have digging about in search of a Playmobil diver and his gear, but only managed to locate his breathing apparatus. I gave up and raided the bath toy box for this pair. I have a horrible feeling our diver has met a sticky end somewhere. (Note to self : I really must grow up).

Dressmaking class

At my dressmaking class this week I finished my slice and slide frill around the top of my toile dress. It was removed from the mannequin and converted from lots of jigsaw pieces of fabric to just two to check I had the correct drape for the frill. It’s not looking too bad. I’m awaiting instruction on what to do next….

Crochet confusion

I have been attempting to start a rainbow crochet blanket (requested by a Little Postcard) for a few weeks now, but I have really struggled with it. First of all, I tried a new ripple pattern, which required a lot of concentration by me. I really wanted something I could do without too much thought in front of the telly, but I kept getting so far and having to frog it because I’d made a mistake way back at the start of the row.

On top of this I wasn’t completely happy with the colours I had chosen. I picked them online and got them sent to Gib, but when they sat next to each other, they were a bit harsh. I finally relented and went to the wool shop here in Gibraltar and bought three complimentary shades which evened out the rainbow effect I wanted. I also found a new ripple pattern which worked better for me. Back to the drawing board, but I had a plan!

Blue skies

I mentioned a the start of this post that we have had some beautiful weather this week. This was the gorgeous blue sky on Wednesday lunchtime. I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch but she got a call from school to say one of her little ones was ill, so lunch was postponed and I got the bus home. This was the view from the bus stop over the top of the park and Trinity Cathedral to the top of the Rock in the distance.

Watercolour daffs

I managed to finish my latest watercolour painting at my watercolour class this week. I’m rather pleased with these daffodils. They go well alongside my iris painting from a couple of weeks ago. I have decided to have a go at another painting in this same style with pen and watercolour, and after a bit of a poll on Instagram, it’s been decided that tulips should be my next subject!

I love it when a plan comes together…

My persistence paid off I think, the rainbow blanket is coming along well (although not fast enough for the Little Postcard who wants it for his bed…. “When will it be finished Mummy??” “Errr, don’t hold your breath son.”) I’m finding these ripples so relaxing to make, with not too much counting required by me. I have enjoyed a couple of episodes of Wallander on Netflix as I hooked these rows during a few quiet moments. I have been wanting to work on this all the time and it has come with me to football training and a football match just in case I get the chance to hook a few extra rows! My kids are seriously considering disowning me….

Batman update….

Did you see Batman in my last Sunday Sevens? He’s still up there bless him – I took this photo at 10:30 last night. They must have good helium in Gibraltar!!!

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Sevens, I hope you have a good week. If you are in the snow, keep warm, if you are in the wet, keep dry and I’ll see you next week, same time, same place. Toodleooo!

I’m linking with Natalie from Threads & 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 #105 15.10.17

Another week has flown by and it’s already Sunday afternoon – do you ever want a pause button just to stop the world for a moment or two? We’ve had such a busy week in our household this week and I could do with another weekend to catch my breath and take stock (you can probably appreciate the state of mild chaos I find myself in if you noticed that my previous post was published almost a month early by accident – so far, last week’s photo challenge photo is as yet untaken!).

Anyway without further ado, here’s this week’s edition of Sunday Sevens….

Another Sunday, another beachy crochet pic…

Last Sunday was another glorious autumnal day, perfect for heading down to the beach again, crochet hook in hand. I’m busy working on a Christmas gift, but time’s running away with me already and I’m really not as far along as I would’ve liked to be by this point….

Monday morning Med Steps

The lovely weather continued into the start of the week and I had a lovely trip up the Med Steps again on Monday. I glanced up at one point and saw the Europa Point Lighthouse framed beautifully by the branches of a tree.

Technicolor Tuesday sewing

In my Dressmaking class on Tuesday I started working on the sleeves of my blouse. The photo shows the slit at the cuff of my sleeve which is just waiting for a cuff to be added.

Misty Med Steps 

Wednesday began rather murky and misty. I really enjoyed my walk back down the Rock from the summit of the Med Steps. Looking out to sea from the road, there was nothing but mist and cloud, it was as if I was on the edge of an abyss. I love it when it’s like this, it’s so atmospheric and magical looking.

Light show

After the mist cleared on Wednesday, we had a scorching hot afternoon. Standing outside school waiting for the Little Postcards, I could feel the sun burning my back through my shirt. By dinner time however, the clouds had rolled in and we were treated to a fab lightning storm and then rain shower. Talk about four seasons in one day.

Sunset skies in watercolour 

I’ve been working on sunset skies at watercolour class… this is about the third attempt. Mixing that correct shade of orange has proved tricky…

Mini Olympiad 

Yesterday, hundreds of middle school children from across Gibraltar came together to participate in the annual Mini Olympiad. Organised by the Royal Gibraltar Police, the event is aimed at introducing young people to the joys of sport as a way of avoiding bad life choices later on (ie drugs).

The Olympiad began with a congregation in the Piazza with an address from the Head of Police, Mayor and a priest’s blessing before a parade through town to the Victoria Stadium. The Parade was led by the drums and bagpipes of the Sea Scout band and the members of the historical re-enactment society and their very loud cannon. 

After an opening ceremony and the firing of the cannon, the sports began. It was a great event and was enjoyed by us, although a certain young man was feeling rather achey and tired today after his exertions yesterday!

(Thank you to my friend Sarah for taking this photo for me – I managed to leave home without my phone, but she saved the day!)

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

Sunday Sevens #104 8.10.17

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

Sunday afternoon on the beach

Sandy Bay

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

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

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

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

Monday Med Steps

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

Dressmaking whoops

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

Med stepping into the Levanter 


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

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

Watercolour refresher

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

Beautiful Botanic Gardens 

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

Autumnal WIP-along

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

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

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

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

A Quilt Story

In my Sunday Sevens over the past few months I have alluded to the fact that I was working on a special secret sewing project. I can now reveal what I was making was a wedding gift which was given last month. You have probably guessed by now from the title that it was a quilt…

It isn’t my first attempt at making a quilt, that happened when Eldest was about 6 months old. Coping with being a new parent, selling a house and moving to a new area, I fancied an additional challenge. I decided to make a quilt for his pram and as my sewing machine was well and truly buried under boxes of junk, I sewed it completely by hand. Using paper hexagons and some fabric I had bought on the local market I set to work, much to the bemusement of those around me.

It was rather a long winded affair but I managed to complete it while he was still young enough to need it in his pram! It lasted well, despite my hand stitching, and was used by both of his brothers.

I started and failed to finish a much larger quilt for a double bed after that, it still languishes in a box somewhere in the back of beyond I’m ashamed to say… My next attempt was completed using scraps of material I had in my stash; from new pieces of cotton and a few fat quarters bought many moons ago to salvageable parts of Mr Postcard’s old work shirts and even a pair of my Dad’s old pyjama bottoms!

I made this one especially for Mr Postcard to bring in his suitcase to Gibraltar when he moved here on his own a few months before we came to join him. It was a thin summery quilt and meant that he didn’t have to rush out and buy a whole load of new bedding in the interim before we arrived with the furniture van several months later.

Next was this starry affair for the astronomy fan in the family. Made using a large central panel featuring the solar system this was a quick make over a weekend and a perfect birthday present for a young man who still uses it 6 years on.

And that is where my quilt making endeavours end until my recent make, well apart from another unfinished project – my only other attempt at paper piecing aside from my first ever quilt. I am embarrassed to admit I started this for Middle Postcard when he was still small enough to like sea creatures (well he still does to be honest) and most specifically the Octonauts programme on CBeebies. Then I had another burst of activity when Littlest came along and when he had an interest in pirates and sea creatures. Then I ran out of steam…. Perhaps I will have a grandson one day who might like it?!

Now to the present day and the latest quilt. It was for a very special couple who like the colour green and the great outdoors. With those criteria in mind I ordered some fabric. 

It’s so difficult to order fabric online I find, especially if you want different fabrics to sit closely together – you could end up with something which looks good on the computer screen but in reality clashes hideously. I took a gamble and it paid off, the different fabrics looked just dandy next to each other. (It arrived the same day as a Little Box of Crochet- hence the photo).

So the fabric had arrived, but what to do with it? I had all sorts of grand plans for patterns, log cabins etc but thankfully common sense prevailed before I got scissor happy. I opted for the most straight forward design I could think of – squares. Don’t be fooled by squares though – I have discovered to my cost over the years that squares can be tricky little blighters especially if their corners don’t behave and join up with their neighbours in the right way.

I spent a very happy day planning and cutting. I had an unusually free day with absolutely nothing to do whist the Little Postcards were at school (well apart from the usual housework but that can wait). I had such fun listening to podcasts while I worked, it felt like bliss!

I even managed to get some sewing done as I made up the horizontal rows of the quilt. I worked right down to the bell and had to clear everything up as quick as a flash and run to school in time for pick up time. 

A week or so later I had the chance to get my machine out again and get the rows finished and then join them. I am so pleased with how they went together, clearly my almost two years of dressmaking classes with a very exacting teacher who has taught me the merits of careful measuring and 1cm seam allowances have paid off! Just look at the corners on THAT!

The quilt top then had to be put away for a while as things got too busy. In the meantime I bought a good quality king size white sheet for the backing of the quilt and ordered some nice cotton batting to go in the middle of the quilt sandwich. And finally the time came for me to make that sandwich. I had kind of been dreading it, thinking that this could be the point when I finally make a mess of the good work I had done patching the top together.

I was so so careful laying the three different layers out onto the lounge floor, trying my utmost to make sure there were no lumps, bumps or bulges anywhere. I carefully pinned all the layers together before tacking them all together both horizontally and vertically along all the seams. Perhaps this was a bit belt and braces and over the top but I didn’t want to come a cropper when it was time to machine quilt it and it all go wonky.

I machine quilted in the joins between the squares and held my breath for much of it. I have learned from experience that what looks good on the top of the quilt may look dreadful underneath. It worked though!

Next up, binding. I bought a fifth fabric at the same time as I chose the fabric for the top of the quilt. I had intended to use it in the pattern, but the dark grey looked too much of a contrast with the pale grey and acid green of the other patterns so I held on to it and decided to use it to bind the quilt together.

I have never made my own bias binding before but as a habitual reader of craft books over the years I had a pretty good idea of how to go about it. With a protractor to get my angles right I set about marking out the strips ready to be cut.

The whole process was really easy, the only problem I had with the whole thing came when I discovered that my iron shoots out steam horizontally and as I was holding the folds into place before steaming them my fingers got a bit sore!

The binding went on fine as well, although at times I found it a bit tricky to try and pick up all the fabric on the back of the quilt as well so a little hand stitching had to be done to make sure everything was neat and tidy.


And so it was done. Would you like to see it in all it’s glory?

I am really pleased with how it all turned out. What’s most important is that the recipients of the quilt liked it too. (And when I took it to my dressmaking teacher to show her – she said it was worth a gold star, so that was a real seal of approval 😊).

For interest I bought all of the quilting fabric for this project and the batting from Quilt Room. The staff were really helpful especially when I was slightly dim and did something daft at the online checkout – thank you ladies!