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 their shape! 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!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cloudy Dawn

 Blogger is a pain!!!

Once again or should I say after three tries I've finally been able to reinstate my followers´ blog roll once more.  I shudder and hesitate anytime I add or delete from the blog roll now because when I do this these glitches seem to occur.....occasionally.... but not always.....temperamental B*****!

This means once again dear peeps I am not sure if I have added everyone to my blog roll. I'm sorry I know this is a pain (Blogger's fault remember!) but please just check you are there on my list. If you aren't just shout out and I'll add you.  They say Third time lucky well if this happens a fourth time I'm seriously considering another blog page designer.

 You may remember I did mention in my previous china post here that I had to go and block something big... and here it is:

Perhaps I should have said long instead of big!

The length of a single bed;that's 90cms

A summer wrap which I call Cloudy Dawn. It is my own design. I used that stitch in the past on something(that long ago I can't even remember what but I had a little sample of it) so I thought I would try it out. 
I used Katia Belice a varigated yarn which is gorgeous to work with. It has a stretchy feel to it and it is light.

I bought the yarn from the little Katia shop that I go to and they wanted to put it on show.....which was nice of them.

In a parcel I am sending to my sister B in Australia I wanted to add a little something extra so I made this dishcloth using up some Catania Grande 10ply cotton from my stash.
I found this pattern on the Red Heart website

A big welcome to my new followers ,many thanks for calling in and I hope you enjoy following my blog!

Amanda :-)

Monday, 14 July 2014

A Tiff over Le Tour de France

He said it was in France and I said it wasn't it was in England. He said it is called the Tour de France so it is held in France. I replied I recognize English green when I see it,even if it is on the TV and look there those fields like a patchwork quilt!  
This twittering went on back and forth and tempers were getting a tad bit uppity and then I saw ...

one of these .... and I said THAT is not a French telephone box and although HE went on to add that some people collect them you know!   Immediately after that comment we both saw this ...

 No further comments were made!

 HE is not going to get off that lightly ....." I told you so!"

I have been crochet doodling! 

This was to be a jar lid cover ....just a little trifle

It sort of grew and I got just a little bit carried away

with a few bells

 a button,some overlay crochet  and ....

a bit of imagination and it became a jar lid cover pin cushion. :-)

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Car boot roaming in spirit!

Have you ever felt you are missing out on the something extraordinary you should be creating???
I have this restlessness on me !!!!

How to obtain UK market and car boot sales china????
Tell ones sister frequently that one misses the car boot sales and markets we used to go to together lots and lots .... and lo and behold when said sister and sisters come on a surprise visit (read about it here) one acquires fantastic presents like these:

from Reesvby Village ,Lincolnshire, car boot sale sometime end of May
Village cottages and the market is held on the Green in front of these cottages. Lovely village! As I recall it is just down the road from my sister's cottage but from a Whats app message received today my sister says it is 10 miles away. That is a long just down the road distance!!! 

France 1930s Cheese dish. There is a mark inside but I can't quite make it out. No matter I love it!

I have looked and looked here for a china cheese dish and not found one. I am thrilled with this one!!!! Nice and big too.

Midwinter Burslem Jug and sugar bowl

Have I ever told you I collect china jugs? Strange!!! you haven't heard?  I thought I had told everyone by now!!!

Royal Doulton Gravy Boat

 Shame I didn't take a photo as my sister B was handing this beautiful piece over to me. You would have noticed great reluctance reflected on her face as she liked it very much herself!!!! :-)

 Art Deco Roslyn China Marigold Hand painted Tea plates x 6

These beauties are very fine...wafer thin too.
These were all the car boot sale finds for me ......... I had a glorious time unwrapping them all and today I had a great time again, washing them all and drying them and admiring them and.......Have you seen Oliver Twist??? Do you remember Fagin and the way he would rub his hands grinning and drooling over his booty. If you can remember that scene then you can visualize what I do as I contemplate my hoard of china!!!

BUT I haven't finished yet!!!   This was my birthday present which I was so delighted with. You see  I have to build up my Portmerion collection little by little. It is difficult to find here and very expensive so I have to bring it piece by piece from the UK .  Every time I go home I bring a few bits more with me. I love it when I have another new piece!

Portmerion Botanic Garden Butter Dish
contented sigh!!!!

Hello and welcome to my latest follower. Thank you for visiting :-)

That is it for the moment peeps. I'm off to block my latest make and it is big so it is going to take me awhile.

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mediterranean fiesta

It is the second day of Alicante's midsummer festival! It is a wonderfully beautiful day although it did try to rain a little at 10ish this morning ...... As I said it tried!

We set off this morning to walk down to the Town Hall plaza to admire the Hogueras float erected there.Each suburb in the city presents a float ( a monument) in the competition the city gives for the best monument.  The monument all represent something that has happened throughout the year usually caricaturing politicians or other famous people. The Town Hall monument is not included in the competition as it is built using public funds.It is therefore always the largest one and the last one to be burnt in the Bonfire on St john's night on 24th june, so everyone goes to admire or criticize it before it disappears in the flames.

It took us about 30 minutes to get down to the Town Hall with a few distractions on the way to stop and greet friends who were walking down as well. It's crazy to even think of driving down as streets are closed for some of the street parties or for the floats which do take up a lot of space. Although there are many car parks they are packed full with all the visitors' cars who come to enjoy the festival! The locals know it is best to leave the car at home or park in the suburbs. There are buses of course but they have to take an alternative route and the stop is out of the way.
We walk and it is enjoyable ..... It is hot coming back but there are lots of places to stop off to have a cool drink of limon granizado or leche preparada on our way home.
My but the city is packed! It is quite impressive as you come around the corner and enter the plaza and see the size of the float.

Impressive work! It seems a shame it is going to all go up in smoke!

Wonderful mass of colour!

I asked Sr P to hold my bag while I took photos,with so many people around you do have to be careful! The camera caught him hugging my bag so hard that any possible thief would think he had gold bullion there! Mind you I think they'd have a hard time getting hold of it!

We stopped and sat down on a park bench on our way back.
The following snapshots have nothing to do with the fiestas ...... Or perhaps they do have....perhaps these pigeons were having a fiesta of their own!

Enjoy your sunday

Amanda x

Friday, 20 June 2014

Down to earth!

The excitement is over and I have to come back down to earth now and carry on......

but ....... I have lots of things to enjoy thinking about and will do so for a very long time. It was the most wonderful birthday ever. The most wonderful birthday present ever too!!!
Thank you so much everyone for your birthday wishes. I do wish I could have shared my happiness with all of you.   My sisters were only with me for five days and then they were gone again ....five much too short days!
 We wined and dined :-
Cookie and Great Auntie H

 at our favourite restaurant El Varadero and although they had both been to Alicante before I managed to grab a few hours from work to show them some of my favourite places in the city

I of course took them to visit Santa Maria Church as it is the oldest church in Alicante after all!

Looking up at the castle and taking photos!

 admiring the beautiful mosaic tiles under the eaves of a house here...

turning back to take photos of the Miradors in this old building....

My sister B said she wanted a knocker for her new front door in NSW and she liked this one....

Unfortunately it was on this door ....


which was the entrance to this ......

monument or rather San Nicholas Cathedral sorry B!!!!

The weather was absolutely perfect!!!

However the thrill and excitement hasn't dispersed totally as Sr P and I have quietly celebrated our 42nd Wedding anniversary today.

Thank you all once again for your very kind words and best wishes 

Amanda :-)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Emotion can make you shiver!!!

Short post but just have to shout this out from the roof tops!!!!
60 today!!!!
I just wanted to show you all very quickly my 60th birthday present!!

These two "gals" are my sisters (sorry about the blurred photo my hand was trembling!). The one on the left lives in Lincolnshire UK the one on the right lives in New South Wales,Australia and as you know I live in Spain!

These minxes concocted this plan to arrive on my birthday as a surprise!  

and it WAS A SURPRISE!!!!
 All the family kept it so quiet even Sr P ...incredible!!!! 

I am lost for words !!!!!   

I am going to have a  WONDERFUL day!!!!    

Amanda xx

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Getting a Buzz

Short and sweet!!!  My post today ........after two weeks of silence....soon,soon,I'll be able to slow down and enjoy getting back to my blog and proper crochet. I might even be able to get back to using my sewing machine.   As the school year draws to an end and preparations for the big fire festival here has already begun, the Alicante City dwellers will be moving out to their beach apartments or villas to spend the summer months near to the sea or up in the mountains. This means my work slacks off and I can breath a little.

I am bone tired ... to the marrow...totally drained! I even think I would have put my crochet hook to one side for awhile (I shudder to think) if I hadn't seen Lucy´s from Attic 24 call out for mandalas to grace a large visual display in Yarndale this year.   As tired as I am I could not resist that!

It has made me feel so good crocheting this mandala which I call Fiery Sun over the Mediterranean. A total balm which has soothed my stressed mind!  It is my own pattern. I just sat down and did it during my restricted spare time and finished it in a week. All my own but greatly influenced by all the beautiful,original and creative crochet I have seen over these nearly three years of blogging. Three wonderful years!!!

My mandala has finally arrived into Lucy at Attic 24 hands and has been displayed here among all the other 275 glorious lovelies ....... a mass of colour and creativity.  It gives me such a buzz to see my mandala there among all the others that have arrived and keep arriving for the Yarndale mural from ALL over the world.

As I said I'm dead beat today but contemplating this ......

 doesn't take away the tiredness but has changed it to a comfy warm feeling that I can handle.

Na night all

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

I lean too much

google image

"Clocking up thoughts" I find this would be a way to describe it!
I do this and frequently, most particularly where my blog is concerned. I often "clock up"  ideas of what I am going to write about on my blog throughout the day and store them to dig into when I find the time to blog.  I actually know for a fact I had some nice tidy ideas stored away since my last posting which was two weeks!!!

Oh! my,I  didn't realize it was so long since my last post!

However my life has not been my own these last two weeks and at present my mind is so dull and idealess (now that is an invented word for you!!!) that I've been looking at my blog thinking I have nothing to write about!  I just cannot find those ideas I had stored in the deep recesses of this dull dull Sunday afternoon mind!

I know I often harp on about I am so busy,I can't blog as much as I would like and the problems of lack of time and I work too much!   I am sure there are many bloggers out there in blogland who have the same problem and I so sympathize with them!  My work dominates my life and I feel more and more stressed. I try to settle with the idea that this is just the way it has to be at present living in a recession torn country where our life has been turned upside down economically. I am not moaning about this just stating a fact and trying to accept my lot and reminding myself constantly that there are many but many people here in worse circumstances than we are. We manage as long as I work. I am lucky in the fact I do have work and a lot of it. I also have to add I am fortunate in that I really enjoy my job. 

I have, as many of us, mentioned in the past that I turn to crochet as therapy. In fact I am inclined to wonder if I don't lean on it rather heavily to eliminate stress, so much so that these last two weeks which have been really work heavy, I haven't been able to get to my crochet as much as I would like and I've been quite grumpy!
My car breaking down as depicted by the cartoon has been one of the main reasons why it has been a very stressful time and having to rely on buses and my daughter as a taxi driver ( I work in some places where there is no bus!). This really upsets my work routine and the time to get from one job to the other. I don't really want to air here much about my work as my blog is about my other life. However  for those of you who wonder what I do. I am a self-employed and a free-lance ESL/BE teacher,Learning facilitator or Instructor depending on my title where I work. I have been doing this for over 30 years in the Uk and Spain. I work for many different organizations and companies and in fact I really enjoy the variety and it means I get to meet a lot of different types of people and travel around Alicante City and the province.

These are some of the places where I am giving courses at present.

Alicante Port
Hospital MediaMar
Red Cross Alicante

Fundesem Business School

Chamber of Commerce Alicante

Getting back to the use of crochet to unwind,I often wonder about this phenomenon,this use of crochet as therapy and have been reading a little here and there and found the following:

Crochet Saved My Life

By Kathryn Vercillo

Kathryn Vercillo writes “Crochet can serve as a form of meditation,” she writes. “It provides you with a focused task that distracts you from the drama that sometimes takes over the brain and tries to wreak havoc there. And it allows you to feel like you are producing and creating something even when you can’t get out of bed and you can barely open your eyes to notice the passing of one day into another.”

 I so like what Kathryn comments here. Her words seem to confirm to me that it is alright to be addictive to crochet and it is alright to use it as therapy and I am not alone as there are many more people out there who use crafts in this way!
Lets face it some people climb mountains ,I constantly crochet....not a great deal of difference!
It is after all meditation ....yes I like to think I am meditating as I wield my hook!!!!

Here is my latest make completed after nearly three weeks....three weeks to make a bonnet tch!!!
This one is all my own pattern and should fit an 18 month to 2 year old .

Hook Nº 2.50   Nº 5 Ofil perle cotton in purple and salmon

This will be sent off tomorrow to a little Devonshire maid who lives in Ellacombe.

I call it a Zinnia Bonnet

Keep smiling!!!!

Amanda :-)
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