Crafty in the Med

I'm here to enjoy meeting other crafters and to share my ideas and projects. I love to crochet,cross stitch and embroidery but I'm keen to try new crafts too. I love music and I love to sing! Singing makes me happy. I collect jugs....its their shape I think! I am addicted to yarn and buttons. I get lost in book shops and can spend all morning there and I absolutely adore rummaging in flea markets.When we are out and about my camera goes with me and I take photos of anything that catches my eye;usually doors! I love to read sci´fi/fantasy,buried treasure, and off world adventures. I have a passion for history! I would be the first passenger on the first time machine ! I BELIEVE IN MAGIC!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Finding joy in the little things.

The little things in life......

I have often mentioned I have no garden and that I quite envy people who do have one. 
 I am no gardener. I don't have green fingers like my mother and grandmother had. They both had exceptionally beautiful gardens and were fervent gardeners.
A garden is certainly one of the things I still miss from home.
My longing for a bit of green scenery in my home is somewhat appeased by having plants on my small balcony. They do extremely well there actually and I presume it must be due to a greenhouse effect that is produced from the sliding glasses panels we put in some years back which make it into a type of conservatory.  They also seem to thrive on the AC water I water the plants with. We don't do much else except occasionally feed the plants during the summer and give them some new top soil. That doesn't mean they all thrive of course.  A lavender shrub I bought has been struggling and struggling to survive but it has dried up, so that is going in the bin tomorrow.  
I got quite a lift this morning to see this little hanging plant I bought last year has produced a delicate little pink flower. I am being particularly careful to keep it well watered and the sun blind down during the morning as we get the full scorching morning sun on the balcony. I am hoping there will be more flowers.
I have no idea of the name of this plant.   I think it was a plant Sr P bought for me at the street market.

As I am being able to relax a little more during the summer months although I still have some classes throughout July I find I am quite enjoying the little things even the mundane things like having time to do a bit of baking
Cream cheese choc chip cookies ...went down very well with the family.
Choc and Apricot Muffins and Cherry cupcakes.   They disappeared "pronto" !

and Pear cake which I made this morning.      It isn't like that anymore either!

Delight of delights.... I have also been able to get back to my crochet.
I am making this sofa throw for my great niece who is getting married in September. It is nearly finished. I am doing the last row of the edging to night.  

 I will display it better when it is finished and I have blocked it too.

Well that's all for now.

Keep well

Amanda :-)

Friday, 19 June 2015

Alicante is alive!!!

It is that!!!   
The first night of the long fire festival week!!!

Alicante is dressed for a party!!!!

I'll be out and about throughout this week so lets see if I can get some interesting photos for you!!!

one of the official photos

It's so beautiful and the firework displays are beyond impressive.

This is the Postiguet beach and in the background you can see the Santa Barbara castle. 

I'll be sleeping by day probably because its daft to stay in and the fun starts from 11pm onwards!!! 
He! he!

It's 11:41pm and we are off out. I have had my siesta so I am ready to go!!

Keep well now

Amanda :-)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

It is invisable me!!!

It's over a month since I posted last ....

I know it is a cliche but the expression time flies obviously comes to mind .....

and this is also going to be a quick post but I really wanted to let you all know that I have not given up blogging nor intend to do so.  

Lots and lots of things have been occupying my time this last month and you already know I'm a busy busy bee with much too much work!!..sigh....

but ...on top of that my daughter has had supreme bad luck with her teaching staff this school year.  I won't go into details really as it is tedious I'll just add she got lumbered with what we call "backpacker teachers". They say they are teachers...their CVs say they are teachers but they don't act like teachers! They are in Spain for a good time,sun,beach and partying and pay me for sitting in class but don't expect too much of me as I was on the booze last night!!!  
She had to fire them of course and I had to step in and cover classes here there and everywhere.
Poor girl she has been working like mad around the clock!!!

This is my daughter's school.


The front door

Horror of horrors I haven't even had time for crochet!!!     Now that does make me annoyed!!!

It looks like things are beginning to calm down at last and soon we will be enjoying the big fiesta week here so I hope I'll be able to get to it and set up my next post which will be to celebrate my 4th blogiversary with a super giveaway!!!

Keep well now!!!

Amanda :-)

Monday, 4 May 2015

The stuff treasure is made of....

and I mean the real stuff...that glittery gold looking stuff!!!

and buckets and buckets of it!!

 The last voyage of the frigate Our Lady of Mercy or Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes exhibition in the Marq Museum,Alicante.

I had been waiting eagerly for this exhibition to arrive here in Alicante! 
I have been following the discovery of the Mercedes and its treasure,the lawsuit proceedings and the final success of the Spanish authorities in winning the lawsuit against Odyssey Marine Exploration, for several years.
Finally after a long wait and after touring many of the major cities in Spain this exhibition arrived here in Alicante and Friday, May Day, being a fiesta day was perfect for us to go and see it.

This is a story of greed and plunder both latter-day and in the past, as described in this extract:

The Spanish frigates – Medea, Mercedes, Fama and Clara – laden with bullion for the Spanish crown, under the command of the expert seaman Don José Bustamante, were sailing from Montevideo to the coasts of Cadiz. They were intercepted and attacked off Cape St Vincent, south of Portugal, by four English frigates which, despite the existing peace treaties between the two nations, were lying in wait for them to prevent the riches from falling into the hands of Napoleon, their most feared enemy. When the Spanish commanders refused to accompany them to any non-Spanish port, Sir Graham Moore launched the attack, with barely any time to negotiate and seek an alternative that did not involve bloodshed. During the unexpected combat the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes violently exploded and instantly sank. Two hundred and sixty-three people died in the explosion or subsequently drowned. The loss of this frigate, which was carrying many passengers – among them the wife and children of the second-in-command, Don Diego Alvear – swung the combat in favour of the English ships, which eventually captured the three Spanish frigates and escorted them under arrest to Great Britain.

Two hundred and three years on from this historic event, which led directly to the declaration of war on England that December, the ‘treasure hunting’ firm Odyssey Marine Exploration located and plundered part of this frigate’s cargo, illegally transporting it to Tampa (Florida) in 2007. More than 500,000 silver and gold coins, in addition to a few remains of objects belonging to the crew, make up the rich archaeological treasure extracted from the sunken wreck that lay at a depth of 1,500 metres beneath the sea. This gave rise to a lengthy lawsuit in which the US courts finally ruled in favour of the Spanish state, acknowledging its rights to these assets and ordering their immediate return to Spain. The case sets an important international precedent in the defence of Underwater Archaeological Heritage.

The main purpose of the exhibition is to make these assets known and available to society as part of a heritage that belongs to it. The exhibition project aims to go beyond the economic worth of the coins extracted by conveying the cultural values of these objects, which are protected by law as part of Spain’s Historic Heritage.

Although I knew that the treasure itself mainly consisted of a very large amount of silver and gold coins I still looked for and found no evidence of the mundane archaeological items that are usually found and displayed from a shipwreck such as personal items or nautical remains. However except for a gold rape box, part of a silver fork, and one gold cufflink there were none.
I admit to being quite surprised by this until I read the following:

situated near the exit at the end of the exhibition.

A brilliantly presented exhibition which I'd recommend to anyone who is visiting Alicante.

 I am indeed thankful that the Spanish State won the lawsuit otherwise I and others would have never had the opportunity to learn about and see this impressive treasure and also understand the importance of protecting the Archaeological Heritage of every country in the world so we may all enjoy and understand our past.

In the hands of Odyssey everything would have gone to the highest bidder and private collections!!!

Keep well

Amanda :-)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Crazy times!!!

At least that is the way I see it at this moment!   

Easter Holidays pah!!!  so much for holidays... clients have become more and more demanding!
 I won't bother to bore you or me with the fine details of work and my frenetic race to keep up with all those demands . I just wanted to pop in here for a minute to tell you I haven't gone away anywhere or given up on my blog in fact I read blogs every morning while I sip my tea in between phone calls and other morning before going to work chores.

So this is another quickie blog post and I haven't got much to tell you that I think is interesting but....

I thought you'd like to know this useless bit of information that I was curious about and briefly researched on the internet:
In my class yesterday I was asked what the expression chock-a-block meant. I knew the answer to that of course as it means full…something that is crammed in so tightly that there is no space for anything else!
I couldn't help wondering though where did this expression originate from and so I did a little research and here are the results.
As many expressions in English it is of nautical origin and from way back to the 15th century as the word chock was mentioned then to mean "full to choking". Later in the 18th century it was used to describe a chock,a wedge of wood to block a cask or heavy body on board ship to stop it moving around.
It is now a popular expression and used more colloquially than in formal speech.
e.g. My case is chock-a-block! I can't fit anything else in there!
 “Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice   by Lewis Carroll

still windy in Alicante

 Anyhow I am still a presence here in blogland :-)

Keep smiling!


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Father's Day or San Jose

Father's Day today !

At least it is in this part of the world and I expect in parts of South America too!
As Spain is a Catholic nation it follows the catholic calender and today is San Jose.
Fiesta Day!!!!!

A lovely mid-week break too!

so Happy Father's Day to all who celebrate it today as we do in our family :-)

What Is A Dad?

A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.

A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.

A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...
- Unknown

I haven't had much time to crochet but I did manage to finish this hot pad I promised I would make for my sister in Lincolnshire. She uses wood burners in her 17th century cottage.
Something like this :

 and the hand on the door always gets very hot so I made this double thickness hot pad for her.

It isn't my pattern I found it on the internet but it is a great little pattern,clear and quick to do. You can find it at Hooked on Needles


and I used the lovely yarn that Sharon at From my Front Porch sent me. This yarn was included in her Swap parcel that she sent me. That was back in October 2012.

Thank you so much Sharon this yarn was perfect for this make.

Now I have to dash as my oven is calling me!

Keep well

   Amanda :-)  

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Well received.

I feel dull!!!   
Dull in every sense of the word.....there just isn't much interesting in me today,work work ....makes for a dull blogger.
Righty I won't go on or you'll all flitter away . I am betting on tomorrow after a good night's sleep being back to my normal chirpy self once more.

Meanwhile I'll show off to you what I added to the parcel I sent to my great niece with the baby's hooded blanket that I mentioned in my last post here .

Crocheting baby clothes is a dinky!!!

A short cardi with ruffles and flower headband for big sister Edith who is 18 months old now :

I adore this yarn is the softest of soft!!!   
 I used Katia Merino Aran Plus Yarn which is indeed super soft and I just love the colours. 
A friend on facebook commented "So cute. Lovely colours, reminds me of boiled sweets, rhubarb and custard, pineapple chunks, pear drops. " .... I have to agree!!!

The pattern for the short cardi was from The Anarchist Knitter .

Miracles of Miracles, I sent the parcel last Friday morning and my great niece received it on Tuesday!!!   I am speechless (well nearly!!!)   Bravo to GPO and the Spanish Postal Service!!!

Keep well!!!

Amanda :-)

Monday, 16 February 2015

Dressing up!!

It's that time of the year again!!

Carnivals are taking place all over Spain;parade after parade!
Where ever you go in the city you can see fairies,hobbits ,witches, pink policemen,fruits and a variety of animals as they dance and chatter happily off down to the city centre to parade and show off their fancy dress.
 I continue to be amazed at the vast imagination that some people have to create their own fancy dresses....awesome!!!

It is a happy time!!You can practically feel the enthusiasm in the city;for many,many people a release momentarily from stress and social restrictions over a few days full of music and fun!

A WIN!!!!    I have been very lucky this month and for the very first time I have won a giveaway on facebook!!!

 The prize ......YARN ,a clover pom pom maker,some markers and a crochet hook.  Wonderful for a crochet addict like me!  All these lovelies were part of the generous giveaway from Jenny on The Woolly Hook  .    Jenny is very talented! I adore the combination of colours that she uses.
She makes and sells some really gorgeous and varied crochet baby clothing from her Facebook page.

Look Drops Merino yarn!   It is soooo soft!!!

I have never used a pom pom maker before. I think I'll have a pom pom making session with my grand-daughter soon.  I'm sure she'll work out how it works in a jiffy!!!

Here you have one of my latest makes which is for my niece's next baby, due in May. It is my own pattern using a very popular stitch that made it easy and quick  to make. The Hooded blanket is 30 x 30cm in size.The rosebuds at the top of the hood are made using Nº 5 perle cotton and the rest of the blanket is in Aran yarn using a 5.00 hook. I am pleased to say it is a total stash buster using up odds of Aran yarn I had left over from other makes.
I think Pooh Bear approves...he is smiling!!

These photographs were taken during our Sunday morning walk yesterday. It was still very windy there but the icy cold had gone and it was quite warm in the sun.
Looking towards the Albufereta beach (Benidorm is that-away ....about 40 minutes by car!!!)

Looking towards Alicante City

Keep well!

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

blowin in the wind

“The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind”
(Bob Dylan ...of course)

and it is all about the weather this weekend because it is blowing a gale out there!!! Practically all of Spain has been hit by Gale winds some areas like Galicia heavy snow. Snow!!! Never here sometimes up on the mountains.   This Alicante....tch!!! It is beautiful outside sunny and blue skies but that wind is sooo cold!!!

Just to give you an idea just how gusty it is out there these snapshots are from the local newspaper.
Two lorries blown over yesterday on the Carresqueta motorway in the mountains near Alcoy,Alicante province.
Along the Carresqueta motorway in the mountains on the way to Alcoy 

 and we won't be going for a walk along the beach today either.

Early this morning. 

The weather is gloomy but lets go on to nicer things. 
My Grand-daughter Cookie has been complaining that her feet get so cold during the hours she has to sit and do her homework!!!   I do tell her that every so often she should get up and move about because I think part of the problem is circulation. I thought that a small hot water bottle under her feet would help. Would you believe it but it is no easy matter buying a hot water bottle here!! There is just no demand for them. Nevertheless her YiYo (that's Grandpa in Spanish) finally found one! A nice small one just right for under or between her feet and which I've already tried out and found it stayed warm for about 2 hours...not bad I thought.  However as I it was a bit dull looking I decided to crochet a bright hottie cover.  

 I think I can say this is my own pattern although I have been inspired by many crocheter's Hottie covers that I saw on Pinterest and Raverly. They gave me some orientation.  The heart pattern is not my own but from Bella_dia  the edging is mine.  The letter R pattern I found on the Moogly blog ; a free download of all the alphabet.The ring idea is mine! :-) 

I used Katia Planet variegated yarn and a 4.00 hook and some leftover pink yarn.

I'm off now to brave the elements and blow the cobwebs away!!

Keep well


Sunday, 18 January 2015

12 hour void!!!

Do you know what it is like to have a strange empty feeling coursing through your body? A feeling of a void  in time...hands twitching to grab my crochet hook !!!
When I finished this little bonnet for my great niece it dawned on me I had absolutely no other  "make" to complete or project in mind!!!!  

After 12 hours of flittering through Pinterest, Raverly,Google and feeling totally woebegone (just love that word...I wonder if we have Will Shakespeare to thank for it), my sanity was saved by Facebook and a message that came through from my niece with the wonderful news that she is expecting her second child and her babe is another girl!!!!
I so feel "me" again and have another crochet project on the go!!!!   Life is good!!!! :-)

A definite stash buster!!!  This little bonnet for a 1 year old  is based on the pattern from Susan at petitepurls but as we crocheters do it has been tweaked generously by yours truly to adapt it to what I had in mind.  As I said it is a stash buster so it is made up of bits of worsted yarn and I used a  4.00 hook


I have been lagging behind as usual and I had plans to post these photos last Sunday after our walk. It wasn't to be so I am including them now.
Such a beautiful morning!

This is the oldest park in Alicante.

It was built to commemorate a 19th century local politician,  Jose Canalejas who was known as the Protector of Alicante. Thanks to him the port is as you can see it in these photographs,it was just a measly harbour before.  However what really draws me to Canalejas park are the gigantic centenary ficus trees . They are magnificent!!!
Parque Canalejas

Santa Barbara Castle and the old Customs and Excise offices

Happy Sunday to all!!!

Amanda :-)

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