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 #120 28.1.18

Hello there and welcome to this edition of Sunday Sevens. I hope you have had a good week. Our lovely weather of late is changing sadly so perhaps this might be the last Sunday Sevens with clear blue skies for a while, so for that reason there are eight pictures not seven this week. I have a feeling next week’s Sunday Sevens will be on the grey side….. Anyway, here it is:

Finished at last!

Last Sunday I finished the last row of the border and weaved the million endy bits in, to complete this green blanket for a certain Little Postcard with a penchant for all things green. It was started as a Christmas gift for Christmas 2016 and actually was going to be based on Minecraft blocks (hence the solid squares). I’m not the best at sticking to a project however, so when it became apparent I wouldn’t hit the December 2016 deadline it was put away for another time. In the meantime, the fascination with Minecraft waned slightly so I opted for just green squares (with a bit of blue variegated yarn too) and a grey border to bring it all together. He’s very happy with his new blanket and snuggles under it on his bed at night time now – perhaps it was worth the wait!

Sunday evening by the water

On Sunday evening we went into Ocean Village for a spot of dinner and as we headed for home were greeted by this lovely view. The sunset was almost gone but the colours of the sky and the Sunborn boat hotel lights looked pretty reflected in the water.

Coastal Crochet CAL (Crochet-along)

As I mentioned in last week’s Sunday Sevens I’ve been cracking on with the Coastal Crochet CAL this week and thankfully Eleonora began this week’s pattern with a reminder to check the stitch count on the blanket so far. It turns out that watching Netflix while working on a foundation chain isn’t a good idea … my first week’s progress was based on 136 stitches and not the 180 it should have been – whoops! I had to start again, needless to say and I’m back on track now – phew!

Car Park Rainbows

I love the way the louvred windows in the new multi-storey carpark make rainbows. I decided to be healthy and take a trip down the stairs this week rather than using the lift and I was rewarded by this rainbow display.

Sacred Heart in the Golden Hour

A late afternoon trip to Upper Town gave me this fab view of Sacred Heart Church during the ‘golden hour’ as the sun was about to set. I have featured the beautiful ceiling inside this church a couple of times before in my posts, but I thought you might like to see it from the outside if you aren’t familiar with Gibraltar.

Watercolour class

In my watercolour class this week, I tried something totally different. I’m using ink to outline my sketch before filling in the colour with watercolours later. I’ve never done something like this before and it was good fun, it even turned out looking like I wanted it to (I’m not the world’s best at drawing – I prefer to attempt to use the paint to make my pictures). Time will tell whether I completely make a mess of it with the paint or not… watch this space!

Dockyard sunshine

I found myself in the industrial estate beside the Dockyard at the end of this week. I don’t often show the more industrial side of Gibraltar as most of the time I get bowled over with views of the beaches and the Med Steps. I thought the view through this big arched shed was pretty with the sun shining on Spain in the distance.

Med Steps training

I know I have already reached seven photos and this one will take me up to Sunday Eights, but I had to include it. I heard that our lovely sunny weather won’t last, so yesterday I made the most of the last of the sun and headed up the Med Steps as I might not get the chance to go again for a few days. It was beautiful up there. This photo was taken looking south west across the Strait towards Morocco at the start of the walk before you get onto the Eastern side of the Rock. In the foreground you can just about make out the building site where diggers are excavating the foundations of the new sports facilities which are being built in time for Gibraltar to host the Island Games in 2019.

Unfortunately the sunshine hasn’t lasted, as forecast a few days ago, the storms have come. As I type the wind is rattling our old wooden sash windows and shutters and when we were out this afternoon we saw that several trees have been damaged by the gusty winds already. Apparently gales are coming this evening along with thunder storms, so it could make for an interesting night. Where ever you are tonight, I hope you are safely tucked up indoors safe and well. Have a great week!

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

2018 Friday Photo Challenge (Week 4) Hobby

It couldn’t just be one photo for this week, I guess I have too many hobbies…

Since putting my career on hold to start a family, and then moving to Gibraltar, I have been lucky enough to be able to carve out a bit of free time to do fun stuff as the children have got older. I was always quite crafty as a young girl and enjoyed sewing and creating things, these days I love to crochet and do some embroidery in my spare time. I also attend watercolour and dressmaking classes during school term times (following the path of creative study I would have liked to do in my youth but opted for the ‘sensible’ academic option which came up trumps and got me a job to pay the for mortgage).

But that’s not all, my other hobby is wandering round Gibraltar taking loads of photos and then turning those into blog posts about where we live. It is that hobby which has broadened my horizons as a stay-at-home Mum and reconnected me to the outside world after over a decade out of the workplace. It also gave me the confidence to go back to work on a part-time basis, something which I am really enjoying.

If you fancy joining in with the Postcard from Gibraltar Friday Photo Challenge, you can do that on your blog or via Instagram. Just tag me in your post or post your blog link into the comments below, or use the tag #postcardfromgibfridayphoto on Instagram so we can all see each other’s photos.

Sunday Sevens #118 14.1.18

Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. This week my trusty iPhone gave up the ghost and packed in after 3 years of loyal service. I managed to limp it through most of the week with a battery pack but it conked out for good (I think) on Thursday. As a consequence, I haven’t taken too many photos, so that’s why there are clusters rather than pictures of more events.

Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Med Steps training

On Sunday I went for a gentle climb up the Med Steps accompanied by Eldest. It was nice to wander up leisurely and stop for more breathers than I do usually. It gave us the chance to admire the interesting clouds which were about as well as some of the wildlife.

Weird weather

This pink sky, complete with a rather strangely coloured rainbow is the sight that greeted us first thing on Monday morning. The first school run of 2018 was a rather soggy affair as the heavens opened just in time for us leaving home! I guess we have been very lucky over the Christmas break to be blessed with some fabulously sunny days so I can’t complain too much.

As the day wore on the skies cleared and school pick up just about stayed dry for us. In the afternoon we were faced with a sky of two halves!

MedSteps training

Wednesday was a beautiful day and in the morning I headed up the Med Steps for the third time in this Sunday Sevens week (I also did Tuesday). This was the beautiful view which me and my training buddy enjoyed near to the top.

Early on in the climb we were overtaken by a team of military men, some running up the route, naturally we stood to the side and let them past. When we reached the top, they were waiting there and congratulated us for completing the steep walk. It turned out they were waiting for a few of their party which had yet to finish. I’ll take that as a win!

Watercolour class

It was so nice to get back to my watercolour painting class this week. It had stopped over the Christmas break and it was great to get back to it again. I thought I’d have a go at painting a glass jar and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I still need to finish the flowers next week.

Car fire drama

We had a bit of drama on Thursday lunchtime. A car caught fire right next to my friend’s apartment. The flames came up to the height of her first floor windows so we had to hide behind the wall for fear that the car engine might explode. The fire brigade arrived pretty quickly and had the fire under control within minutes. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it was rather scary.

That’s all there is for Sunday Sevens this week. What ever you are up to in the next seven days I hope they are good ones for you.

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

Review of 2017

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

January 2017

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

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

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

February 2017

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

March 2017

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

April 2017

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

May 2017

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

June 2017

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

July 2017

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

August 2017

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

September 2017

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

October 2017

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

November 2017

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

December 2017

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

Summer craft challenge

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

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

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

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

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

Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year x

Sunday Sevens #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.

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