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. 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, 23 June 2012

Fiestas and Siestas...for five days!!!!

Heaven ....... no work !!!


Alicante City is in fiestas until 25th June

The city is alive a round the clock.
The Saint John Bonfires are to celebrate the arrival of the summer and the whole festival pays tribute to fire.
How do I explain the fiestas......the Spanish love a good fiesta for sure... and what do they consider a good fiesta here in Alicante...well of socializing and over five days .....oh yes and fireworks lots of lots of fireworks. They live the night during fiesta week .....a siesta is a must every day because they go to the numerous street parties during the night which do not finish until 5:00am approx and then after that its off to drink hot chocolate and churros.

The bonfires are made up of enormous cardboard and wooden figures which are quite comical ,made to portray good humour but you get a lot of political ridicule involved in the theme of each hoguera. They are real works of art and cost thousands of Euros. They are paid by the members of the different guilds throughout all the year. Sr P pays his monthly subscription of course for the one built by his neighbourhood guild, every Alicantino does to keep the tradition alive.

 The Town Hall Bonfire always the first to be burnt.

 The queen of the fiesta, known as the “Beauty of Fire”, is chosen in May from among the candidates presented by a committee in each neighbourhood.  On 21 June the parade of musical groups and the various bonfire committees takes place, with their respective “beauties” and the maids of honour dressed in traditional costumes.
 The Queen of the Fiesta

 The following day there is a floral offering to the city’s patron saint, the Virgen del Remedio; and on 23 June there is the international folkloric dance parade, a colourful procession of dance troupes from all around the world.
In addition, every day at two in the afternoon from 20 to 24 June, there are firework displays in the Luceros square: the ear-splitting “mascletás”, which should be seen wearing ear-plugs because of the racket of the firecrackers and rockets. It is a racket too...but they love it. I've been once and that was enough for me...nearly suffocated on the smoke. And finally at midnight on 24 June is the “cremá” (burning), the high point of the fiestas. After a spectacular display of fireworks, the bonfires all over the city are set alight and blaze away amind a mass of people dancing and singing, while fire-fighters shower them with water in what is known as the “banyá”.

From 25 to 29 June there is a fireworks competition on the el Postiguet beach, and the historic centre of the town comes alive with a medieval market.Lots and lots of puppet shows and theatre performances in the parks for everyone especially for the children...and then I die of exhaustion while I float in the swimming pool!!!

Here is my granddaughter, participating in the procession presenting the floral offering  to the city's patron saint the Virgen del Remedio.
taken from a video clip so not very good photos I'm afraid

The dress is quite something.  Everyone buys their own costume but all the family help and every member has something stored away. I bought her bits and pieces towards it. The fan and the stockings which incidentally are white heavy wool stockings not socks but kept up with a garter this heat... but the children put up with it ,they won't even consider being different. I suggested some cool light white tights but I was told "you don't understand Nana" !

The necklace my grand-daughter is wearing was on loan from my daughter's Aunt and it goes straight back because it belongs in their family.

This is the photo I really like. They started at 7:00pm and did not finish parading until 11.30pm. Cookie baby was one exhausted but very very happy little girl.

best get ready to go out!!!!

Hello to my new follower Uma at Creative Mau ....pop in and visit whenever you like! :-)

Amanda :-)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

How much will go in a jar and blog change.


Now when was the last time I did a swap....I used to swap conkers,stamps and comics at school but that was trizilions of years ago.....and for a few seconds here I am having to think how do I do do you do a cyberswap? This is a totally different type of swap something I have never done before...well never mind though...its's interesting and I have this bubbly feeling ,a get up and go feeling of excitement which I'd say is motivation..... !

I have been hovering over Katie's blog last few days wondering who I would get as my swap partner and NOW I KNOW I've been teamed with Sandi who lives over the pond in Oz...brilliant.....
I am so looking forward to getting to know my new blog swap partner and to start filling my jar for her.

Our host on this first Jar of Love Swap is Katie at
and these are the rules and regulations that we should abide by:

THE JAR  the size, shape, colour, material as we like. There must also be a minimum of 5 items inside the jar and one has to be handmade.
THE GOODIES to be sent to your swap partner must fit and be inside your chosen jar and should be items we think our partner will like this means of course that one has to undergo a bit of a research of the other blogger (or have a nosey as Katie describes it ...he! he! ) .  So better grease my dormant strategy skills folks to find out what makes my blog swap partner trill !!!   :-)
Parcels must be posted by 1st August

Just one more thing thanks to Katie who came up with this brilliant idea! Thank you.

and so the prep begins .....

I went into two Eurostetcher shops today to look for a jar. There were plenty of glass jars but I don't think its a very good idea sending a glass jar by post and weight has to be considered as well. I did find some plastic jars but....I hesitated because they looked very "nothing" sort of jars so I am going to look some more and also look in the house to see what I've got. I want something different! I might find something at the Sunday craft market too.

This IS NOT the JAR !!!! If I find one of these its for me...sorry Sandi :-)

 Blog Changes                 

I have been tweaking my blog design a little bit....I'm a bit of a tidy freak ,my blog included. Now I have 60 reciprocal followers I find it difficult to remember who is who among the icons on my long list of blogs on the sidebar and I do like to keep up with your posts and send in comments regularly if I can. Therefore to make this easier for me and also to save time I have two Blog lists now. I have separated the Blogs of reciprocal followers(the RFs) from the Blogs which are read only (ROs). The reciprocal followers  blog list speaks for itself but the read only one includes the blogs where a reciprocal follower relationship has not been established as yet or they are blogs I just read and drool over. I have placed this list on the right sidebar of my blog.
Please do tell me if I have placed you in the wrong list. I feel better now that's tidier :-)

Hello to my new followers Katie at  Grannytaughtmetocrochet  and Sangeetha at  Crochetkari              a very warm welcome and thanks for your comments and for following my blog .   

Amanda :-)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

and in the 70s

Some of you I am sure will remember the 70s. Heath was prime minister,the first mobile phone call was made,Jesus Christ Superstar debuted in the West End and one of my favourite groups won the Eurovision Song contest.
Abba 1974
Look at those bell bottoms and the boots.....I used to wear them too, I loved my boots, white patent with a silver strip up the side and a huge platform heel .... sigh ....:-)

We had mini-skirts, frizzy hair......and hot pants!!!

I got married

what induced me to take the plunge!

Well I was totally smitten because Sr P said he had......







Plenty plenty sunshine

now how could a girl say no to that.....

oh! nearly forgot and also a generous dose of 

and it just gets better and better.

Have a great day...... I plan to!

Amanda :-)

Bit dull but shades are down over the window.....sun heats up the room very quickly!

 Bless him! He didn't forget :-)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bombarding the UK


At popular request
I live to please..........

strongest sun-rays on their way.......

 OK sun rays and next stop is the Pacific Northwest of the USA...... your first shine over Carolynn's house please!!!!

Let me know if they get through ok!

Have a sunny Sunday!!!

Amanda :-)

PS: All very well nice hot sunny days but the mozzies are on the rampage tonight !!!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Makes and Makes

Firstly I'd like to welcome some lovely new followers Maria @ Rosey Tinted Spectacles , ? @ Pretty Shabby UK and Magie @ Teacups & Bunting...thank you so much for popping in and I look forward to your comments.

As mentioned in a previous post recently I've been rather morose and lacked motivation where my crafty inclinations are concerned and been stuck in a bit of a mire of uncertainty
(love that description!!! how are you feeling today darling? not so bad love... in a bit of a mire of know!)  .

Its very unsettling as I do need to have something to look forward to craftywise that's an important part of my quality time and my de-stress therapy. I am lost without it.
Blogging is partially to blame and YOU out there who make such lovely lovely things and distract me and make me impatient and make me long to start something new and,and,and.....yes ok excuses excuses!!!!

My DEcision
I have decided that I'm going to start several projects at the same time and when I get bored of one I'll turn to the other and turn back to the first one when I get bored of the one I turned to and so on....... emm..... did you get that?

So here are my new makes underway :
1.An Afghan throw
I've already completed the centre piece I added my favourite popcorn stitch on the tips it that little something extra.

 the rest will be mutlicoloured squares contrasting with these colours and the throw will be finished off with a black edging all done in DK using a 5.50 hook.  I am not following any pattern, I'll go with the flow and what I have in my head.

and then the turn to project is the following:
I started this awhile back to put on a towel but it got put to one side when the crochet addiction took over. I think its going to be a sheet edging because I brought a nice new set of sheets but when I opened the packet and shook out the sheets I saw the edging on them and thought Yuk!!!...that has to go.

oh! and here's my little contribution to the food-cooking theme.
I do know how to cook but rarely do at present...I work and Sr P does the cooking at least usually but when I have a day off or days off I like to get the family together and make a meal for all.
Here you have lemon chicken marinating in white wine and ......looking at the time its got to go in the oven now! Its a Spanish recipe with a bit of  a la Amanda's own thing added.

Have a great weekend!!

.....and be good now

Amanda :-)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sunshine Awards

 All four in just one day....what a wonderful surprise!!!!

Many Many thanks to Shari @ Shari's Crochet , Linda @  Linda's Crafty Corner ,                                 Cheryl @ My little piece of England  and  Angeliki @ My Hobbies place .
 I am really touched that you have thought of me.  

Sunshine Award Rules.
 1. Thank the blogger who nominated you -that's completed above ,although I would have done that couldn't I... :-)
Now I must continue to follow the Sunshine Award rules  by answering 10 questions about myself
2. Answer the 10 questions on your favorite things.

Favorite animal  mammal : dolphins
and I still haven't seen one in the wild but I refuse to see one in captivity....
 Favorite number: 8  and if I can't get an 8 I'll go for 6 or 4
Favorite non alcoholic drink: Tea   PG Tips and Darjeerling!
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
 My passion: It goes with out saying My Family!  but otherwise  I have several,crochet,china,cross-stitch and family history
Getting or giving presents : I love receiving and enjoy giving just as much.
Favorite pattern:popcorn using it
Favorite day of the week: Saturdays
Favorite flower:Jasmine...Spanish nights....
Favorite country:difficult!!! due to my circumstances I am torn between England the country of my youth and Spain the country where I have lived for the last 37 years. Lets just say Spain for the winter and autumn and England for spring and summer

 3. Nominate ten blogs to receive the Sunshine Award and let them know they've been nominated.
This is going to be very difficult........ I love them ALL!!!!
but I have chosen these because I can only choose 10:

1.Emma at The Blooming Times
2.Hawthorn at Hawthorntime
back in a minute this is really exhausting ...need some think time
3.Nina at Tabiboo
4.Jan at Stand and Stare
5.Elaine at Pear Tree Log
6.Julie at Dragonfly Gems
7.Gill at Gillyflower
8.Lexie at Pieces of Wonderful
9.Trudy at Playing in the Attic
10.Elyse at Shabby sweet tea

Whew!!!! think I need a glass of red now!!!

Dear nominees...please don't worry if you do not wish to accept this award or nominate blogs yourself for the Sunshine Award, if you do not wish too. I did because I wanted to say I really enjoy my blog time with you and all the other blogs I follow as well.

Happy blogging to all !!!

Amanda :-)

Monday, 11 June 2012

When a quilt is not a quilt!

 Hello and welcome to my new followers Ali at Ali Bee Creations,Lynne at Pieceful, Faye at Cartwheels & Bubbles,Trudy at Playing in the Attic and Meredith at Mereknits,hope you enjoy visiting my blog.
Many Many thanks to all for your warm comments on my last was really an awful week.

Last Saturday I received a lovely surprise when I returned from my five hours class in the Business College, my giveaway prize from Alison/Dormouse had arrived, all the way from France. Good delivery timing.

My first prize and I am so pleased.
Dear must be telepathy did you know that I needed a book last one got decidedly mangled by Willie when he was having a kittenish day and attacked the tassel on the end of the marker and then sucked and chewed it to a disgusting mess. Then he started to choke on the threads from the tassel and was sick ,so book marker went straight in the bin.

I love this book marker you have sent me, its far better than the last one.

As for the cookery book well I am always looking for new recipes and although I speak only a little French I have no problem understanding it as I speak some Valenciano (the language of this province)and its really similar to French. Although should I have problems Sr P will be of great help because he speaks some French which he picked up when staying with his family in Le Harve.
 So in all its a lovely gift...thank you :-)

I am totally and utterly jealous to the gills of people who make quilts and patchwork ones at that. I have been seeing some REALLY impressive ones out there in blog land.
However I know this isn't the real thing but this was my effort at making something similar to a quilt,patchwork or a duvet cover.
Back in April 2000 when my daughter phoned me from Chicago to give me the wonderful news that she was expecting well I just couldn't keep still and wait I had to get cracking doing something crafty for that grandchild. Therefore before I even knew it was going to be a girl or boy I started the duvet cover. I wanted to do a big project because it was for a big event in my life and I also wanted to do something my grand-child could keep for the great grand-children.

As I said I started it before I knew if the babe was boy or girl so I picked teddy bears because I am a Winnie the Pooh Fan (may he live for ever)and also every child loves a Teddy.

 It took me nine months to complete.

 I had no sewing machine so after tacking it all together how I wanted it to look, I took it along to a sewing lady to finish it off for me.

I also made a rectangle cushion in the same material with a hidden purse inside for the tooth fairy but as yet I don't know what has happened to that. Its 11 years old now and wearing well but my Cookie Baby thinks its too babyish for her .......which is understandable at 11 so it'll be put away for my next grand-child or my first great-grandchild.

All the love and excitement and the waiting was wound into those threads ...and I made it to last. I traveled to Chicago in November 2000 to be with my daughter at the birth and gave it to her then, my old Aunty May down in Somerset would have said  "er were right struck with it!"

Better looking week ahead for me than last one I am pleased to say ....hope its going to be a good one for you all too.
Amanda :-)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Bitty definitely bitty!


A big welcome to new followers Miss in Bloom at The Blooming Times,Stephanie at Millefeuilles,Lenka (pls send me your link),Charlotte at A little bit of Wooliness & Sophie at Sophie's pleased you have visited my blog. Now,don't be shy I live for your comments :-)

 It seems that the powers that control my life and destiny have the impression that blogging is not an important factor in my life and that any tiny weeny bit of quality time I have managed to scrap away from my 12 hour daily schedule over this week, is not for an enjoyable task such as posting on my blog but for teacher designing the new summer course programme and material starting next week!
I don't consider myself a workaholic but suffer from stupid me ....oh I'll do it then = martyrdom syndrome.

Therefore this post is going to be a bitty post, a bit here and there when I can write something post. Its also a bitty post because I have a lot of bits of this and that tumbling around in my mind, things to talk about and others to query here. Perhaps this way I can settle my own thoughts to be able continue facing the rest of this horrendously work packed week which doesn't finish until Sunday morning!

The week didn't start very well for me....we are told at work that they expect teachers to respect a dress code which we were told is a conservative approach...therefore I have in my wardrobe several jackets,blouses and other garments which I consider fits within the college's dress code requirements.

Don't you just know when  a week is going to go badly? The setbacks usually start on a Monday...something happens to mark the rest of the week.
I normally prepare my clothes for work the evening before or occasionally the same morning              ( I really hate being rushed)... this time it was the latter. I'm setting out my clothes in the bathroom to go and get my shower and horrors of horrors this looms at me from the blouse on its hanger...             it sort of shouted out at me...hey look at me I'm a stain on your blouse na na naAAAAA!

a white stain which looks like the bl***ing map of the British Isles!!!!  Now this is a new blouse that I've worn twice and I washed it by hand (I'm a bit fussy like that with my good clothes) did it get a white stain on the back of the blouse...and then plus plus ..... more horrors, after a closer inspection of the garments I find this on the sleeve
and another HERE!!!!

on the other sleeve.
I went into a split second cold sweat... rapidly thinking I've no time now to sort out other clothes...I can't go to work looking like this.....
the solution...was at hand in my crochet bits basket.....I had been fiddling around the other day making flowers out of embroidery cotton so I quickly tacked on a few to cover up the stains ...yesss we women can think real quick and off to work.

 The above photos were taken later the same day , prior to the incident when I removed the star flowers and sewed them on properly.I liked the effect so I've decided to leave them there, a blouse emergency makeover.

I've finally found an online shop here in Spain where prices of yarn are not so exorbitant as in the two local shops in this area. However I am reserving my opinion on quality until I use these yarns..... its a Spanish company no particular brand...doesn't carry the famous Brands like Sirdar, Rowan.
I am very tempted to order from a UK based online store. Any recommendations???? I am not particularly worried about brand more about quality.

I feel a giveaway coming on very first....I'm thinking when I get to 100 followers but I have 51 now and that does seem ages away so perhaps I better think around the 80 mark...that gives me time to prepare. After all the preparation is lots of fun too and I want to get lots of fun out of it...there is great pleasure in giving!
My giveaway is going to be made up in categories to represent all craft bloggers and that way something among my giveaway bits will please everyone. I'm thinking along the lines of :
  • culture
  • yarns
  • makeover
  • frugal
  • cooking
  • photography
  • china
  • crochet
  • vintage
and so on....perhaps you can suggest others??'

I really don't know what the matter is with me lately my urge to crochet has not diminished in anyway but I don't seem to be motivated to finish a project I get bored and flitter from one thing to the other ... I just don't seem to be able to settle to something. I have a couple of gifts to prepare for friends' babies and I have done an elvish beanie and some Mary Jane booties are in progress  and will be finished if I can shift this stagnant feeling I have looming over me!

and now then why have I added a picture of someone's feet and blue nail varnish well they are my Cookie baby's feet.

My 11 year old grand-daughter is a very fancy child and colour is her middle name... she prepares what she is going to wear to school the night before (does that remind you of someone ... LOL ) and not just her clothes but her extras...bracelets...belt...sash on her jeans (its all about jeans at the moment...dresses and skirts are a no no)..something  attached to her sandals,her dangly bits on her school backpack and her nail varnish. She is straining at the bit already where make-up is concerned but thank goodness my daughter is very adamant about that....she told Cookie baby that the discussion on make -up can be reopened when she is 16. There was a very long face about that for awhile but my daughter will not be swayed...good for her I say...make-up at 11....unbelievable. After deliberation her Mama allowed the nail varnish because this means Cookie baby keeps her nails lovely and clean and nice looking.

That's it for the moment dear bloggers ....hoping you are enjoying the summer....send some rain this way please its hot, dusty and parched looking everywhere.

Hey! I nearly forgot ...I have a confession to make....I've been very very naughty:

I have had such a rotten week and so I sinned!!!!!    (cackling...evil laughter!!!)

Amanda :-)

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