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!

Friday, 6 November 2015

My Worst enemy is me!

I am my own worst enemy!!!   I really must learn to say NO!

Last Friday I gave my very first Public lecture (quite a learning curve!). It did not go as well as I had hoped! I was quite nervous at the beginning but when I got past the heebies jeebies stage and realised there were people behind the distant faces I was looking at it went better.

I plan to do another in April or May of next year!  I shall do it better next time!!! :-)

I'm preparing Macarrones con tomate (Pasta in tomatoe sauce) for lunch today (My Cookie Baby i.e grandaughter loves them) and ....horror of horrors.......
..oh! ...silly me I have to dash to the shop quick as I have no pasta!!!!  Be back in a tickle!!!

It came out something like this although I like to add mushrooms as well. It was demolished rather quickly and even Sr P who usually says he does not like pasta much said it was good.

Cookie Baby has now gone off to her Zumba class ... Sr P gone for his siesta so I have some quiet moments to correct exam papers. I deserve a nice hot cup of tea I think.

They say it is going to be a lovely weekend...they say it is like spring again...a very false spring but we plan to enjoy it all the same!

Taken from the castle last Sunday morning.

You may have seen similar photos to this that I have posted before. It is my favourite part of the castle!!!

Have a great weekend!

keep well

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Plans never go as planned!

I am back to my frenetic lifestyle again and as you can see it has been over a month since I posted last.  The last hastily written post does not count!
I have to be thankful that offers of work have come in earlier than usual and I have been out giving classes since the beginning of September.
Plans never go as planned and that is a fact!!!   I am sure you will agree!
My holiday in August came to an abrupt end at the end of the first week in August.  I won't go into the reason why.... all to do with family and having to lend a hand which stretched into the first few days of September.  I had also planned to pop down to Benidorm for a day to meet Linda from Linda's Craft Corner  and have a natter over a coffee that was disrupted too thanks to my car breaking down again. That was a big disappointment for me! I was finally going to be able to meet one of my blogfriends here in Spain!!!   Soo annoying!!!
It is hell when I don't have the car as I have in-company courses situated on industrial estates out of the way, in the back of beyond which are not on regular bus routes. Well it was mended and now it has broken down again and mended again but I feel it is time to consider buying a new car . I don't want to but I just can't put up with this stress of trying to get to work.

Enough grousing!!!!

First of all let me tell you I won a giveaway at the beginning of September from Leah on Faith's Craftsbox blog .
Very sorry Leah I didn't post about this lovely giveaway until now!!!  Time is my enemy!!
 Lots of wonderful goodies!!  I am dying to get hold of that book!  A little bit of everything love these craft giveaways!!!   Thanks Leah!!!

At least I have still been able to crochet and I have finally finished the stool cover I have been making since August. I was so fed up of the drab colours in my hallway that I dived into my cotton stash and got cracking.  A pure stash buster!!!
 The grotty stool!!   Before!!


Can you see the dangly bit is a crystal angel and I have four . I would really like to put some more dangly bits on each side but I can't find anything similar to these angels. If anyone sells these type of dangly bits please contact me so I can place an order.

Just to finish up I'd like to send you these two photos I have been holding on to to show you . They were taken by Mary Bradley at the beach here in Alicante. This is during the first week in September when there were some pretty horrendous storms.

Impressive right????

 I'll vouch for this .......the sky was this dark!!!!

Welcome to a new follower!!!   Debbie at  Fairy Bluebell's craft adventure blog

Keep well now!!!

Amanda xxx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sending a smile

Over a month since I posted last....tch!!!

I am still around in blogland just fighting to find a moment to write up a decent post!!   I AM reading lots of posts on lots of blogs over breakfast...I allow myself that at least!!!

I haven't bought my crochet borders book yet but still want to!! Life is a hassle at present.... bright new academic year!!

Sending a BIG smile to you all!!!

keep well now!!!!

Amanda :-)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Asking nicely!

Can anyone recommend a book on crochet borders, edgings or trims please ???

I have been looking on the internet, mostly on Amazon and there are quite a few.
I am only going to buy one so I really do not want to waste my money.

I thought to ask you .....kind bloggers..... for your advice.

I am not a beginner but neither do I want a super advanced book  :-)

Look forward to your comments :-)

 and....this is another story!!!

keep well!!! Amanda :-)

Thursday, 6 August 2015


Such a delight to be able to sit and crochet,crochet and crochet with the occasional break to cool off in the swimming pool or pop out for lunch. We aren't going away for summer holidays in fact we don't very often do in the summer as we have it all here ,the sun,the pool,the beaches, plenty of socializing,occasional BBQs with our neighbours and lots of quality time for ourselves.

I have managed to finish off my wedding present to my great niece and send it off to the UK, all in plenty of time as she is getting married at the beginning of September.
Blocking sofa throw
I call it the Happy family sofa throw. It looks great after blocking and I added a little something extra so it would be that little bit more special.

Can you see them?  A little crocheted bride and groom sewn onto the corner of the throw.

As you can see I used the Granny ripple pattern,hook Nº 4 and DK yarn. The edging my own invention... just what seemed right.
 It was a wonderful stash buster as I used up loads of wool from my stash.

I have had time for more too (love to say that) and made a sun catcher as a birthday present for my sister. I didn't use any particular pattern just copied an old doily that I had. I did about three quarters of the doily's pattern up to where it fitted into the hoop.  I used Schachenmayr Tahiti Lace Peach Beach variegated cotton and a 2.00 hook. Lovely Lace cotton and in fact I am going to use the same cotton again but I have chosen a different shade for that, Bermuda;it is for a shawlette.

The bit of purple on the right is a little silk butterfly
The hoop is an old embroidery hoop which I covered in dc and a Nº 5 hook using Catania Grande. I have covered plastic rings like this in the past but never anything as big of this was a bit tedious as the hoop was thick and awkward to hold. I think I would like to find a thinner metal hoop if I do another one. Something similar to the ones used for dreamcatchers.   The glittery bits and beads from my beads jar.

and ...hold on to your horses there
here's a photo of me ....a rather wet me ....feeling cool and relaxed :-)

keep well

Amanda :-)

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!


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