Friday photo challenge (week 13) Rainbow

This week’s photo challenge prompt is ‘rainbow’. I’m rather partial to a rainbow, in fact I love them, so this week’s challenge was rather easy… My first photo is a close-up of my first Sixty Million Trebles blanket.

Next up is one of my current WIPs, my rainbow ripple.

And then, there’s this… my next portable project – a rainbow Scheepjes Whirl by the name of Jumpin Jelly ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

And here’s a double rainbow which appeared outside our front door a while back…

I think this photo may have appeared in a Sunday Sevens once upon a time. In fact, as I was looking back through the Postcard from Gibraltar archives to find a photo of a ‘real’ rainbow I realised that almost exactly a year ago I wrote this post, which seems very apt to include today.

Fancy joining in the Friday photo challenge? You can do that on your blog or on Instagram:

Next week, our focus is ‘sweet’. Just make sure you tag me (@postcardfromgibraltar) or #postcardfromgibfridayphoto so I can see you on Instagram and leave a link to your post in the comments below this post. Happy snapping! 😊❤️🌈

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

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (Week 2)

Last week, I began my summer craft challenge for this year. Beginning on the first day of July seemed as good a time as any! So this is the second installment of my weekly craft challenge round up. It began in Gibraltar and ended in Manchester as the Little Postcards and I started our summer holidays.

Day 8 : Saturday 8th July

Our last chance to take a dip in the pool and my last chance for some Mediterranean alfresco crochet for a while. A simple granny square by the pool was as exciting as it got.

Day 9 : Sunday 9th July



On Sunday, we flew from Gibraltar to Manchester to visit my family. I was rather tired by the end of the day after wrangling three Little Postcards through the airport without Mr Postcard (we left him at home). I managed to begin a project using my new Caron Cake, but just a few rows as I was a bit jaded!

Day 10 : Monday 10th July

Monday saw a bit more progress on my Caron Cake project, although not a lot!

Day 11 : Tuesday 11th July

By Tuesday I was getting into the swing of it and really loving the colour changes in the yarn.

Day 12 : Wednesday 12th July

On Wednesday it was rather busy, so I didn’t have much time for crochet, just a lonely little granny square to add to a long standing WIP back at home.

Day 13 : Thursday 13th July

After a bit of a slow start to my week, craft wise Thursday was brim full of yarny goodness… First stop Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth, near Warrington to drop off three Sixty Million Trebles blankets which had been made in Gibraltar. One was made as a collaboration through the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, the other two by me. They will now be parceled up and sent off to child refugees.

Oh how I do like Black Sheep Wools… So many lovely balls of wool to squidge and gorgeous colours to feast your eyes upon. Europa felt rather at home there 😉.


Next stop, a nearby pub for a spot of lunch. Then, while the Little Postcards played nearby, I managed to get a bit of surreptitious under the picnic table hooky done!

Back at my parents’ home I finished it… I played yarn chicken (going in for another row) and won!

The finished article… Perfect for snuggling up in winter.



Day 14 : Friday 14th July


Time for another new project using birthday present wool (the Caron Cake used for my scarf this week was also a birthday gift). I got into a raspberry swirl with this lovely yarn as I began a string bag pattern.

So, there you have it, my second weekly round up. If you feel inspired, why not join in too, just tag your Instagram photos with #summercraftchallenge2017.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens #90 2.7.17

Sunday Sevens number 90?? Crumbs have I really been doing it that long? I hope I’m not boring you! Thanks for coming along for the ride! 😊

So here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens…

Another beautiful evening sky

I thought the clouds looked particularly pretty on Sunday evening last week. Unfortunately the camera on my phone didn’t quite do them justice. We are being really spoiled with gorgeous sunsets this summer.

End of term for dressmaking class

I can hardly believe that I have reached the end of my second year of dressmaking classes with the immensely clever Dorcas Hammond (you can read all about Dorcas in this post). It may seem a silly thing to do to end the year with the beginnings of a new project, but for various reasons I got a bit behind with my work this year.

I am now all ready to get cracking in September stitching this gorgeous Kafe Fassett fabric into a blouse.

Last watercolour lesson of the term

Similar to dressmaking I had my last watercolour lesson this week and again I spent my lesson working on a new project. I am attempting to paint a sunset I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed playing with the colours to find the right tones for the sky and sea. I do fear that the trial run may turn out better than the real thing though!! You can also see my post about my hugely talented watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson here.

Crochet therapy

Life seems to be very hectic at the moment, it shouldn’t surprise me but it always is at this time of year. As the school year draws to a close and we are inundated with notes and emails detailing special days and meetings and a flurry of birthday party invitations for children whose birthdays fall during the long summer break. 

There have been days when I am sure I have had steam coming out of my ears and I’ve been contemplating running away and locking myself in a darkened room until September. However, I did make it to the weekend and next week is the last week of term for the Little Postcards. I did realise this week that I need to keep crafting to retain my sanity, so whenever I could, I grabbed a crochet hook and got busy on the border for this blanket. 

Poniente breezes

Something which has gone in our favour this week is is the fact that the wind direction changed. Of late we have ‘enjoyed’ a Levante (easterly) wind which has brought with it hot and humid weather, this week we received a welcome break with Poniente (westerly) breezes bringing much cooler weather. 

You could see the North Moroccan coast really clearly on Friday but blimey the water in the Strait was choppy. I don’t fancy being on that little boat! 

Another blanket finished

TA-dah! The latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket is completed. This one is the result of a collaboration and was created by the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, I just joined it and added the border. This is a slightly smaller baby blanket and will go with two others to a drop off point in England when I am over visiting family this summer. For more on Sixty Million Trebles, you can see their website here

Yesterday the organisation revealed the big news that they have reached the 3/4 point in their goal of reaching 60 million treble stitches. Hopefully they will hit 60 by the time the blankets are shipped to help Syrian refugee children in September.

Summer craft challenge 2017

Last year during the school summer holidays I challenged myself to do a little bit of craft every day in order to maintain my sanity. I amazed myself at managing to fulfill the challenge on all bar one day over the eight week long school break. 

This year, I have decided to do the same thing. I began my challenge yesterday seeing as it was the first of July and it felt like the start of summer proper. I wonder whether I’ll be able to maintain my challenge again this year?  Fancy joining in? If you do, you can follow my progress on Instagram, just use the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 with your creations.

Thanks for joining me this week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins

Sunday Sevens #88 18.6.17

Hello from a very warm Gibraltar. Blimey summer has definitely arrived. The temperature has risen considerably and I don’t mind admitting I’m wilting a little! It’s ok in this temperature when you are on holiday and doing nothing in particular but it’s hard work when you still have to cook and clean and rush around doing things. 

Anyway, enough moaning – we are never happy with the weather are we?! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sixty Million Trebles corner to corner complete 

This blanket was started during Lent when I was crocheting a granny square each day. On days when I was super keen and wanted to do more crochet I did a bit of this. Once Lent was over I put it aside to do a few other bits and pieces and only revisited this last week when I headed back to Manchester to visit my parents. 

It was completed on Sunday and I took it to the pool for an arty photo shoot 😉 it’s comprised of 10,608 treble stitches and brings my total Sixty Million Trebles tally up to 33,864 for my three blankets to date. 

For those of you who haven’t heard of Sixty Million Trebles before it’s a charity and awareness raising appeal to make crochet blankets totalling sixty million treble stitches (one treble stitch represents one refugee in the world – figures from the UN in 2016). The blankets will be sent to Syrian child refugees. For more information see: the Sixty Million Trebles Facebook page.

Walking 

I abandoned the car for most of this week and decided to walk whenever I could. It meant that I wasn’t able to fit quite as much into my child free hours while the Little Postcards were in school, but I did enjoy being able to appreciate my surroundings a lot more. There are so many interesting buildings and nooks and crannies here in Gibraltar which you can drive past in a blur so easily. 

I won’t have a body fit for a bikini, but I have walked a good few miles this week!

Watercolour seashells 

I put the finishing touches to some of my seashells this week at my watercolour class. I have really enjoyed painting them and have come to the conclusion that perhaps I’m better at small focused pieces than larger landscapes and compositions. 

Trumpet flowers

I have to confess that I don’t know what these flowers are called but I have seen quite a few about of late. In fact there are a lot of gorgeous plants in bloom around Gibraltar at the moment. They seem to be at their peak before getting frazzled in the hot summer sun. 

A new hobby?


“Not another one?” I hear you say. Well there is blogging, taking loads of photos (although I am not a photographer by any means), sewing, painting, crochet, reading… I really don’t need another one but I may have found a new way to dodge doing housework! 

A friend of mine is a rather accomplished ‘felter’ – is that a word? (Well someone who makes delightful pictures with felted yarn). This week she very kindly showed me how to do it too over the course of two lovely lunches and afternoons. 

I took loads of photos and at some point in the next few weeks I hope to be able to share my foray into felting with you too. Ooh it’s such fun! 

Summer hours

The time has finally come, that time of the year where you no longer have to make school packed lunches, but you do have to come up with afternoon entertainment for the kiddiwinks. Friday saw the end of full days for school children in Gibraltar. With just three weeks left until the end of the summer term, it’s half days from here on in. 9am to 12 noon for first schools and 9am to 12:45 for the older children. 

Hmmm, I will be so happy not to have to figure our what tasty delights to put in the lunch boxes of an evening until mid September, but crikey, what am I going to do with them for all that extra time? I don’t remember constantly asking my Mum what her plans for the day were as far as entertaining me and my brother were concerned, but that seems be the norm for me and the mums I’ve spoken to. We may be exploring boredom and room tidying in the coming weeks… I cannot face the beach everyday! 

A roof with a view

I shall round up this week’s Sunday Sevens with a photo of last night’s Saharan Dust sunset. It was lovely and completely different from the rainbow sunsets we’ve had in recent weeks. I grabbed my camera as I spotted some seagulls sitting on a nearby roof enjoying the view as much as me!

We are enjoying a Bank Holiday weekend this weekend, schools and many workplaces are closed tomorrow in honour of the Queen’s birthday. That means that many Dads who are able to enjoy Father’s Day today, can get a second lie in tomorrow too! However you spend your day, I hope it’s a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

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.

2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 23) Favourite

So this week’s prompt for the photo challenge is ‘favourite’. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one thing, so here are a selection of my favourite things…

Favourite thing:

If I could close my eyes and be anywhere right now, it would be on a leafy woodland walk in the English countryside on a spring or summer’s day. It’s something I miss a lot living where I do, and it’s always one of the highlights of my trips home to visit my family in the summer – we always have to have a woodland walk and a picnic!

Favourite place:

That said, I do live in a very beautiful part of the world and my very favourite place in Gibraltar has to be the Med Steps! I have a bit of a thing about greenery… did you notice? 



Favourite pastime:

I have been inclined towards crafty things since being a child, I remember attending my first craft fair at the age of about 8 or 9. It was at a National Trust venue near to where I grew up (Tatton Park I think) and was in a series of huge marquees. 

I was blown away by, first of all, being in these big tents, but also the sights and smells that greeted me and the wonderful array of crafts on offer. Suddenly my eyes were opened to the possibilities that I could one day make some of these wonderful things myself.

I left with a burgundy leather wristband to match my corduroy pinafore (child of the 70s/80s you see) which smelt divine and my heart had been lost to the world of crafting. My lovely Gran helped forge that love of craft. On my annual summer holidays up to her home in Scotland, she introduced me to embroidery, sewing, knitting, crochet and through her next door neighbours, smocking as well. 

My favourite make from my holidays spent with her has to be this duckling embroidery made from a kit. I made it on a visit up north of the border and gave it to her as a thank you for having me to stay one summer (when I was about 14). It now hangs in my parents’ house and it reminds me of Gran and our summers whenever I see it.

In more recent times my favourite make has got to be this rainbow granny square blanket I made for the Sixty Million Trebles project. I love the colours on it.

Favourite food:

It’s a tough one this, as eating is one of my favourite things of all time… would it be roast beef with Yorkshire puddings? Chocolate? Cream cakes? No, it has to be fish and chips eaten out of paper by the seaside! You just can’t beat it! 

I’m linking with Nana Cathy and Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.