Crafty in the Med

I'm here to enjoy meeting other bloggers and to share my ideas,thoughts and projects. I love to crochet,cross stitch and embroidery but I'm keen to try new crafts too. usic and I love to sing! I belong to a local choir. 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 read lots......sci´fi/fantasy,buried treasure, and off world adventures. I have a passion for history! I walk and walk and walk about 10 months per year during the hot months I swim.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Weather kills

An hour away from here!


keep an eye on flood warnings for MURCIA and Torrevieja if you are travelling in this area.
We are lucky here in Alicante City  no problems as yet just torrential rains but it has been a nice morning today.
In Lorca MURCIA thats an hour's drive away from us its been very bad as you can see in this photo. There have been five deaths to date ....... my heart goes out to the family in Lorca who lost the grandfather who was out with his nine year old grandson and both were washed away in the flood. So sad!
Be sensible stay in the tourist areas until this passes.
If you have family or friends on holiday in this area tell them to keep their eye on the flood warnings. Coastal areas seem ok though.

Storm turning its way back in over the city and the birds are getting the hell out of it!


Finding stuff among stuff!

First of all I'd like to apologize I've been rather lax lately and not welcomed new followers nor have I been commenting on blogs as much as I would like. My excuse is LIFE and the things that pop up unexpectedly and also at present my time is very much not my own....a 15 hour working day is no joke!  I've just started several new courses, one starts at 8am in the morning, a 150 mins slot twice a week for Red Cross social workers and Teleassistance operators. Lovely bunch of people but...... groan....who wants to learn English at 8am in the morning!


WELCOME and hello to my new followers Lynette at Sweet Posy Dreams and Sarajan at Fleachic thanks for visiting my blog and hope you'll visit often.

 Its been a very long time since I last visited the Reto a la Esperanza warehouse probably a couple of years ago now.  I've only occasionally found anything there of interest and the majority of the things they sell are so used that it has all become unusable junk. I don't like to criticize the organisation because they do a very good job rehabilitating drug addicts and depend on donations and what they can earn from selling second hand goods. They get very little government aid. They mainly obtain funds from going around Alicante and the province picking up unwanted furniture and other household goods which they give a face lift to and sell in this warehouse situated on the Madrid road leading out of Alicante.

As I mentioned previously they have a great deal of junk there and you have to rifle through the stuff but occasionally one can be lucky and find something and I found these:

They remind me of wild roses!

There were five but there were two which were supposedly repaired.....that is they were just stuck together with sellotape! I thought just the three could come away with me!   I paid 3.50€ for each plate I thought it was a bit more than what I should have paid but I really felt it would be mean and nasty quibbling over that price considering where the money goes.

I don't recall seeing Royal Kent china before so I don't know much about it....but from the  very little information that I got from Google they are from a set of 12 plates,; a limited edition.

If anyone knows about Royal Kent china I'd love to find out  more. At  least I have an objective now which is to find the other 9 plates to make up the set!   These could be copies though...not sure how to check that out.

Google image

It started with a gentle pitter patter and now its coming down full blast!
Its glorious and the streets are being washed clean at last!

Enjoy your weekend!!!!!

Amanda :-)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Getting rid of the blues!!!

Personal strategy for getting the blues under control!!!

1. Saturday morning: Loaded with backpack containing flask of tea,banana,bottle of water,lesson plan drafts,coursebook,pen,glasses,mobile,tissues and sunglasses. Walk! Energetic pace, plugged into an ipod. Over the pedestrian bridge over the busy motorway down into the San Gabriel suburbs,up the hill to the Palmeral Estate ,pausing for a sip of water and to wipe sweat perspiration from my brow, a wriggle and discrete pull here and there to get certain item of intimate clothing back into place! 
Cursing not remembering my hat! 
Pop into bakery buy churros for snack. Pick up pace again down past the Palmeral football club and around El Palmeral housing estate:
Palmeral Housing Estate

Feet dragging! 
Enter El Palmeral park ....look for shady secluded corner to sit and work.
choose secluded picnic table hidden behind some trees in the cool shade. Set up work area and chill out munching churros and cuppa tea for two hours. Sr P pickup at 13:30; blues totally dispersed for the day!

2. Weekend crochet marathon.
Determined focus on completion of Poncho project (previous details here)
Friday evening pickup hook ....Sunday morning completion = better state of mind and 1 poncho for daughter Nº 1 using 1 50 gram ball of  Gedifra Balsini Colori by Coats and a bit more from my own stash; Coats SMC Bravo in purple,orange,brown,green,yellow and bronze Gedifra Balidini Coats and a size Nº 9 crochet hook. Basic pattern from Plymouth Yarn Company/Lainie Hering free patterns generously tweaked by yours truly and renamed Crinkle Poncho.
As usual no model available making do with large hanger

The neckline
Loopy and stretchy as daughter Nº 1 requested, so garments underneath can be seen!

3. Sunday morning excursion to Elche street market...minimal shade...crowds of people.....over 100 stalls.

Replenished trims and buttons stash .

 results = hot sun burns blues and everything else away ...crawl to the car and refreshments sort on sea front ----seafood paella at El Gamba restaurant.

El Gamba Restaurant Urbanova Beach

Anger and hurt not gone but eliminated one track mind mode and able to think, analyse and decide the best option. Hurt won't go for a long time but its manageable.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented on my last post and for your good wishes and advice....incredibly supportive.

"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."
Will Shakespeare 


Friday, 21 September 2012

only hurt and thoughts!

There have been no posts from me recently and that's a fact!!!
I have been commenting here and there when I've had a minute which is rare but i didn't want to miss the enjoyment of blogging...I find I need it too! 
I did mention in my last post that I am inundated with work which is true I am but
...always a but right?   I'm also a bit upset lately and trying to get my feelings under control before posting a proper post . A couple of things in my life at present are making me very angry and also unhappy.I do want you to know I'm still here reading and enjoying your posts. I'll get things straight in my mind soon and will get the upper hand! I won't allow it to get the better of me!
I'm turning to crochet to help me sort my thoughts. Its helped many times in the past and hope it will once again :-)

Pausing but not going anywhere.

keep well

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Shout out and on its way!

Summer leisure is over!

It has been difficult this week for me to find time to post. New courses are starting up and my employers have inundated me with demands such as:
Placement tests,drafts of course syllabus,interview with College language dept Director,evaluation of course material and anything else the organisers of the courses can shove on to the teaching staff for us to do.   The school year has commenced and I also have to help my daughter in the business as she is short staffed and run off her feet.  Very little time to blog......GRR!!!!
I've also been busy busy getting my Autumn swap bits finished which I cannot show you yet as its TOP SECRET for the moment but.....
GLORY BE!!!!   
at last they are now winging their way to the USA as I sent them off to Sharon on From my front porch over there in Tennessee, this morning.

 Now the waiting begins until she receives them and I hear from her!

I would also like to give a couple of shout outs today.
First of all Claire at Thriftwood who is celebrating 100 posts and has a fab giveaway on the go
and then  A load of old Tat   who has posted about tea towels and the dreaded C which has inspired part of my post today.
Now I wish to share with you a few comments about obsession or obsessions. I have been inspired to comment on this from the interesting post that I read this morning at  A load of Old Tat which she has published on her obsession for tea towels. It instantly came to mind my obsession with napkins. Therefore I thought that you would really like to hear about it or not !

I really hate paper napkins I must but MUST use a cotton or linen napkin...I love my napkins...I like to see them clean ,ironed and stored away in rolls...wacky eh?  Now I imagine you are thinking napkins are not something you use too much over there in the UK except Sundays perhaps or at a party or dinner out. Am I wrong? What about elsewhere in the States or Australia?

We never used napkins at home when I was a child except as I mentioned for special occasions so you can imagine my surprise to find napkins on the table at every meal time here when I first came to live in Spain 30 odd years ago. At that time I didn't speak Spanish and we lived for a few months in my in-laws house until we got settled. At EVERY meal time there were these napkins on the table! I just kept thinking why is Mama (that was my mother- in- law) putting them on the table all the time....was it because I was there. I was getting quite fed up with these napkins, it was getting to be a problem so in the end I asked my husband to discretely say to his mother that it wasn't necessary to keep putting the napkins on the table just for me. He automatically turned to his mother and told her and although I didn't understand her reply it sounded quite sharp and she straight away strutted into the dining room to lay the table, banging down those napkins on the table quite forcibly as she murmured to herself. It was obvious she was irritated and I was wondering .......jeez!!!!!.... what did I say wrong!!! My husband then turned to me and said having napkins had nothing to do with me being there,that they always have napkins on the table in Spain and its considered if you cannot have napkins on your table here you are poorer than church mice. He explained that his mother was quite offended that I had thought she was only using her napkins because I was there that she could afford to have napkins to use everyday.
I then had a barney with Sr P because he could have been a bit more tactful and explained all this before speaking to his mother.
She was quite cold to me for a few days but I worked hard to erase that and admired all her napkins constantly and helped her lay the table everyday and then she showed me the drawer of napkins that she had , all in their sets, in rolls ...rolls of gold for her. I must admit I was impressed she had a lovely collection but since then I am not quite sure why but I adore napkins and have my own small collection too.
Oh! yes ......and I use napkins everyday so no one can say I'm down and out and cannot afford to have napkins he! he!
PS: However times have changed somewhat and there are two camps in my house, mine which is using linen or cotton napkins for myself and my husband's which is to use kitchen roll. This suits me fine as I get what I like and I also get less laundry.

and finally can I leave you with this philosophical observation from two of the wisest bods in the woods
 I am a dedicated fan of Winnie the Pooh,may he live for ever!!!

Be good now and if you can't be good be kind!

Amanda :-)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

On the cliff tops!

First of all I'd like to welcome my new followers Gilly at Gill makes and A load of old Tat. Thank you for visiting my blog and your comments on my last post. I look forward to seeing you here again :-)

 It has finally rained, not much but at least it has cleared the air. That suffocating heat has dispersed thank goodness and the sensation of having to drag my body around throughout the day has disappeared. It continues to be hot around about 26 to 28C but I can cope with that.

We decided to go for one of our favourite walks across the cliffs at Gran Alacant towards the Santa Pola lighthouse this morning. We hadn't been up there since mid June because it gets far too hot up there and there is very little shade.
Its one of our favourite places because we would like to buy a house in the El Faro housing estate there.......its has the most fantastic view and there is a footpath down to the Carabasi beach. Thats a bit of hike and a steep climb back up but well .......walking is good for the body!

 We never tire of the wonderful view from these cliff tops! It was a very clear day and we could see for miles and miles along the coastline.
As always I peeked into the El Faro housing estate to see if any of the corner houses had a for sale sign on them but not yet tch!

 I used my zoom on my camera to catch this plane coming in over the beach down below and for once the picture wasn't blurred. The buildings you see along this part of the coast are situated in the outskirts of Alicante City.

We decided to continue on a little more...on past the lighthouse. You can in fact walk for miles along the cliff tops and I imagine end up in Santa Pola however we've never been that far . I do like to take photos of the coastline and also Tabarca Island which is frequently hidden behind a mist .
I was lucky today.

Tabarca Island is a marine reserve and the waters there are crystal clear....fantastic for snorkel diving. There is a small village ,wonderful restaurants which serve fresh fish and seafood of course and seafood paella which is delicious. No cars are allowed on the island. There is also one very nice hostal (I've stayed there) which over looks the sea, in fact part of it is built on the rocks. You can only reach the island by ferry. The children go to school on the mainland in Santa Pola and of course get there by boat.

Walking back we noticed the para-gliders were out gently sailing through the sky over the cliffs. These cliffs are very popular with the paragliding club so its not an unusual sight . However this one made me stop and stare, I was a bit apprehensive for him as I thought he was going to collide or get tangled up in the radio tower .
but he skillfully avoided it...phew!!!

Seeing this cruiser shimmering in the heat and sailing away to an unknown destination and considering that it was getting hotter ,we decided enough was enough and a nice cold glass of white wine and some tapas seemed a very attractive option to finish off our Sunday morning stroll.

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend

Amanda :-)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Swap bitten and return of the poncho if it ever left us

Well and truly bitten.....................

but there you are ......I enjoyed my first blog swap so much with the Jar of Love that I was hoping another one would get started soon and so it has. I am now participating in the Cosy Autumn Swap hosted by  Blueberry at Blueberry Heart   and do you know what but I have been partnered with Sharon at From my Front Porch... which is wonderful because we are already reciprocal followers.

The rules of the Cosy Autumn swap are as follows:

.... well chocolate and food stuffs are out for a start as Sharon lives in the States and I am not risking the parcel being opened and any edible goodies confiscated.
When I went to visit my daughter in Chicago,when she lived there, I took a couple of boxes of PG Tips and a few things she asked me for that she missed so much and they were all confiscated by a very nice polite man at customs. Grr!!!
So choccies is a No! No!
No problem.........two handmade items are already being finished and are made of this and that and can be used for this and that too....the third one is in progress and will be handy to help in this and that as well....easy peasy!
Have to get my thinking cap on though for the bits and pieces to keep the rest company so I make sure its bits that Sharon will like or I hope will like.
Fun! Fun! and more Fun!

I'm not doing this one its a pic from google to set the scene

 Daughter Nº 1 has been badgering me for awhile now about making a poncho for her and a full length poncho at that .......that ponchos are very practical...they are back in fashion....and nice and warm for the winter ...and so on and so finally I said I'd make one for her but she was to decide on the colours she wanted and to buy the yarn.
Fine......things went quiet for a few weeks and then she popped in to see me and handed me this one morning:

 It is called Gedifra Balsini Colori by Coats and comes in 50 g balls.
I thought it was an extremely nice choice so I told her she needed to get at least 10 of these.
You can imagine my thoughts when she said NO that was it, that I'd have to manage with that one ball. It was too expensive to buy anymore,she said. She told me it cost her 7.56 pounds (6.00 Euros) for one 50 g ball. I did suggest she return to the shop to choose something cheaper but no that was the one she wanted. She said she was hoping I could do at least half with that ball and add some black or something to make up...well ......I had to laugh and then tried to explain to her that this one ball would perhaps cover the edging on the poncho and no more! Incidentally my daughter is NOT crochet/knitting/sewing/ apt at all she just likes to wear or have the finished product!
So its been left in my hands to sort it out! 
As it would cost me easily 75pounds for the rest of the yarn I have decided to make up a poncho using the chosen yarn for edging,black main background and some how working in the colours from this Balsini yarn from my own stash of yarn and hope daughter Nº 1 will like it.
At present I cannot say its a project I'm looking forward to doing......I'll let you know how it goes :-)

Hello and welcome to my two new followers Blueberry Heart and Sue Butler.  Many thanks for visiting my blog and for joining too. I'm sorry Sue I'd like to visit your blog but I can't work out which is your blog among the list of blogs on your Blogger profile.

Ahhhh!!!! nearly forgot
they have now been filled:

Natillas......a nice cold cold dessert for a very hot day

Have a great week:

Amanda :-)

Saturday, 1 September 2012

My sister's garden


As I haven't got a garden myself.. much is the pity.. I have my sister's permission to show off her garden to you!!

A garden over there in New Bolingbroke,Lincolnshire,England.

ENDORAS COTTAGE  ..........the name came with the cottage.

A 17th century terraced building which was originally a sails factory but was later split up into terraced cottages.

It is said a white witch lived there...a very popular lady during the second world war as she used to have frequent tea parties and visits from the pilots and airmen stationed nearby at what is now the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.

I am pretty sure though that lady must have been turning in her grave at the terrible mess it was in when my sister brought the cottage from the last owner. I was on holiday and staying with my sister in Lincoln at the time and she took me over to see the cottage that she had bought.  I couldn't look inside because the former owner was still in residence but I did try to peek in the filthy dirty windows...what I saw is not worth mentioning!  We did go around the back and I saw the garden if you could have called that a garden more like a tip...what a mess.

My sister has green fingers... no buts about it and she has worked tremendously hard to get rid of all the filth and make it into a garden once again,front and back. I think she has succeeded. Her specialty is the hanging baskets and I keep telling her she should take in orders because they are spectacular!
so here you are:

 The front:

 Look at that basket...I think its fantastic!

 The Mill on the Floss...where the birds come to drink.


THE Back

 Billy Boy the gentle giant...getting a bit old now....

oh! excuse me ..let me introduce you to Misty...she has to be in on it all...she's a hyperactive sweetie pie!! LOL!

I have to agree  with my daughter when she says she loves her Aunty's garden because  its so busy ...where ever you turn there is something different to look at.


Hope you all have a fantastic weekend

Amanda :-)