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.

Friday, 31 May 2013

being old fashion or just plain vintage

I don't usually nor want to talk about my work on my blog being that it is my escape zone but this week a couple of things have occurred that have left me amazed .......totally amazed.

We are coming to the end of the academic year here and in this particular part of Spain due to the local festival week all schools,colleges and the university finish on 21st June and the new academic year starts the first week in September.  Therefore its a very busy time indeed with prep for in-school exams, for the Cambridge international examinations and for recruitment of new teaching staff for the next academic year in the language school my daughter runs.
I have been giving her a hand with the interviews. I did a lot of this in the past so I am familiar with the procedure and also know what type of teachers my daughter needs to recruit.

Perhaps I'm just plain old fashion and it's just not done anymore but....what happened to giving a good impression when you go for a job interview!!!

I admit to being a bit irritated when one of the interviewees indicated that under no circumstances could he put up with children ( actually his precise words were.... I can't stand the little B****s)  and another who stated that he would be taking his Christmas holidays as from 16th December and that was not negotiable,even though I had not even started to give him details about the position. Another, although not qualified was English from England so she said and therefore could understandably teach English and she could converse with the students in English and they could teach her Spanish .....sigh!! but....oh dear me MR Backpacker Surfer King was the limit!!

Lets see if  you can visualize this :
A tall sunburnt chap sauntering along into the school office,half-hardheartedly apologizing for being late to the interview because he couldn't find the school.  His attire or  what there was of it was a dirty sweaty T-shirt, Bermuda trunks and well worn flip-flops and a towel flung over his shoulder; nothing wrong with that ...on the beach!
 I don't expect a suit and tie but a nice clean shirt and jeans can look quite nice for an interview.
 I swear to you I had a terrible urge to poke my head out of the school door to see if he had left his surf board propped up against the wall outside. 
I will be truthful and tell you I felt like sending him on his way but I did interview him and it was awful experience,no qualifications (of any kind) and again obviously thought being a holder of a British passport automatically qualifies for teaching English as a second language,as well. The last straw was when he offered to draw my portrait as he was also an artist.....tch and tch!!!

I am going to give the world out there a little bit of advice........its no good thinking you can come to Spain during the summer months to work as an ESL teacher even if you are a qualified teacher. The majority of the language schools close during the summer months or have very very little work. The population decreases in the cities as many people move to their beach or mountain second homes away from the city. It is also the holiday season and people go on holiday and a lot of students go to English speaking countries on study visits to learn English anyhow. The only teaching jobs you can get in Spain in the summer are in the holiday camps. These jobs are few and far between and last for one month or six weeks.

After such a strenuous week and with a large dose of inspiration from the Yarn fairy ........

I was lucky to be able to find a little weeny bit of time to do some yarn shopping.


The four balls of yarn to the rear of the photo I bought at the local market. I've never tried this yarn before, its a Spanish brand,like cotton but a perle acrylic. What I do like is it comes in a 200grm ball.

.......I'm feeling much better already!!!!

Welcome to my new followers!
 Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please don't be shy I love to receive comments.

You do know it is Friday...don't you?????

Amanda :-)

PS:Have a great weekend :-)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

about Gleam and a swap

Distraction Nº 2
Here we go again another distraction!!!!

My Puff cover is still a W.I.P, it is taking a bit longer than I thought it would. Its for me of course so it would,wouldn't it!
My daughter commented on the progress of the puff cover the other day and she mentioned something I had to laugh at this rate Mama you'll be filling your home with crochet!!!" to which I replied " have you looked around my home lately and how many bits of crochet can you see?" .... and she counted....... two ...... the large patchwork cushion with crochet rosettes I posted about here and the granny cushion cover I posted about here .
 I just keep making things for others and not for myself or my home!!!! tch! and tch! 

Getting back to my Distraction Nº 2 well this came about because my niece in Brisbane saw Lalia the Turtle on my facebook page and she liked it sooooo much. However in her case as she is a passionate horse lover I decided to make a pony for her and therefore here you have Gleam the pony. Gleam will be travelling to Brisbane in the very near future, he is just waiting for his future Mum to move into their new home.

Gleam was made from leftovers of DK Coats SMC Brava Yarn and I used a 3.00 hook. His rosette was made with Nº 8 crochet cottons and I used a 2.00 hook . The centre is adorned with a tiny heart face button. Eyes and nose with Anchor embroidery cotton.

The pattern comes from Janet McMahon on Yellow Pink and Sparkly. It was a pattern of a cute unicorn but I tweaked it a bit because I wanted a pony not a unicorn.

 What's next other than my puff cover ......   its time to catch up on the swap I am participating in!
I am taking part in the Grand Tea Swap hosted by Lucy at Lucy in the Sky. Thanks goodness Lucy mentioned the following in the Swap rules, and I quote:
  The Rules are…there are no rules.  Just choose as many recipients as you like whenever you like and send some tea.  We will all be delighted to receive tea in the post at any time.  
 I have taken to heart the bit where it says whenever you like as its several months since this swap started....... but I am a great one to abide by the rules or rather the no rules!!!
I have already started my first make to include in my swap because I am not just going to send tea but something to do with tea too.....and who to ahhhhhhhha not telling as yet.


Hello and welcome to my new follower Daphne on Ivy,Phyllis and Me. Many thanks for visiting my blog. Do pop in again when you can :-)

I feel a new weekend coming on!!!!

Amanda :-)


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Food and china

Happy Happy times dear bloggers !!!!!

and why would that be you may ask......I don't know I just feel happy! There must be a reason I suppose but it escapes me at present....

but JUST a MINUTE.......  could it be these that make me feel so good and I picked up for a pittance in the IFA Antique fair  at the end of April.

I was very pleased at being able to buy something there ! I thoroughly enjoy visiting this fair and drooling over their wares but I cannot usually afford to buy anything. This is the real thing and the antique dealers certainly know what they have got and are very pricey. 

However I was lucky this time and came away with these two little Wedgewood trinket boxes:
Wedgewood JasperBlue and Wedgewood Clio trinket boxes


Why do I like china so much?????...sigh!!!

Many thanks to all for your interesting comments related to the recognition of other people's work  and ownership and your thoughts on the fine borderline between inspiration and copying.
Can I suggest you pop over to Sophie's blog Hettie Brown . Sophie's post is really interesting with numerous thought provoking comments on the same theme. It just goes to show that this subject is  very popular at present which I see as positive because there are obviously a lot of bloggers out there who doubt just what is ethically right and need clarification .
In the end my conclusion is at present and as I commented on Sophie's post, the following:

"After considering bloggers' comments on my post I've come to the conclusion that copying is exactly that copying and though there seems to be a fine margin between inspiration and copying, that is false. Copying is a replica of the item/pattern and then calling it your own and not acknowledging the real ownership. As for inspiration I'm inclined to think its the essence of something that inspires you to make something similar but then you add your particular essence to it and you make it your own."

and now a little about food........ just simple food; aubergines to be exact.

 Cut aubergine into thin slices (no I didn't say wafer thin just thin) and leave to soak in water for a couple of hours. 
aubergines soak up much too much olive oil when you fry it ,if you soak it in water beforehand it reduces that effect.


coat in seasoned flour:

fry in olive oil

and ........... there you have it a delicious accompaniment to any meal! 
You can eat them hot or cold.

High-fibre food!

Enjoy your Sunday.

Amanda :-)


Friday, 10 May 2013

Happy Ending

Good news! 
Harvey has been found and has been returned to his Mum.
He scared his Mum something rotten though!!!

You can read about it here on Harvey's Mum's blog

Amanda :-)

Dog Lost,Please Help!!!


  If you live in the Wimblington, near March in Cambridgeshire (UK) area and can  help  please contact Harvey's Mum here:


I don't usually beg for help, but my lovely boy is still out there somewhere- If you have a large blog following, or even if you don't, please can you include my last blog as a guest post tonight. I would be so grateful.
I am offering a large reward to anyone who finds my lovely boy.
Please Please help- I am heartbroken
Frantic Antics Blog 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

i was distracted!

I have been ....totally distracted!!!
What from?

from the granny hexagons that I am making to cover the grottiest ugliest puff in all of Alicante which actually inhabits my living room. A hand-me-down from my husband's Auntie's furniture which .... ... but thats another story dear bloggers!

I am enjoying the combination of colours I am using and I have the the design of my Puff cover firmly in my mind.  The granny hexagon patterns I have created myself with no pattern. Not that they are anything out of the ordinary and I am pretty convinced these hexies of mine are inspired by other hexagons that I've seen out there on the world wide web,so I don't think a great deal of originality has been involved in their making.     Therefore I hesitate to say I created them.

These sort of things often leave me wondering does INSPIRED mean COPIED ?
Lets see!
What am I trying to get at here.
We store things! Our memory can be a fabulous natural external disc drive ! Has it never occurred to you that your memory can make you create something subconsciously that isn't original but you think it is original?

There are occasions when I look at something I've made and I ask myself where did I get the idea from. Is it totally from an idea of my own or is it partially from the ideas of others.
How original is that?
I don't mean tweaking ,I understand tweaking as using the main pattern from another and adapting it to ones own likes but the main body of the pattern is still respected and acknowledged.

Do you think we are using the word INSPIRED as an excuse?

Ahhh these thoughts of about tying myself in knots!!!

Right I was talking about a distraction and as much as I like my present WIP I have been well and truly distracted by these cuties

Here you have Laila who at present is winging her way to New Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire to live with my sister. 

I would have liked Laila to stay with me but on giving it careful consideration and as I am trying to think what would be best for a turtle, I have to send her to the Uk . Laila needs a wetter climate to survive and Alicante is not a watery place at all. The long summer gets super dry. Laila would not be happy here.

She'll be happier with my sister and she'll have company;Misty the poodle

 and Billie the Retriever ......  they'll look after her.

and tomorrow is...... yes friday....happy days!!!!


Sunday, 5 May 2013


It is such a lovely lovely spring day!!!

This morning we went for a bit of a walk downtown........wandering around with no purpose really which is such a relaxing feeling and returning to some favourite old spots,the port,Town Hall square and the old quarter of the city where my husband was born and grew up.
They call Alicante the city of light and it lived up to its name today! I was thinking as I took some photos that Alicante must be a photographer's paradise because the light is incredible. Then I thought of June on Catsdogs and eiderdowns and her hobby, as I am sure you know she always delights us with some really impressive photos of different places in the Uk and of her family.
If your ears were burning this morning June than I am the culprit, as it was me talking to Sr P about your photos and also we both agreed that you would be sure to love the light here.:-)

WARNING ......image heavy!

The surfer Alicante harbour
Alicante Harbour and Hotel Melia in the background. Personally I think that is an eyesore as it blocks the view of the Postiguet beach and sea.

 Carbonell House which faces the harbour

The Town hall.....some lovely weddings are held here.

The other door!

Alleyway leading from the Town Hall to Mayor Street....sometimes people just don't remember to look up ....there's some very interesting ironwork under the balconies and lovely ceramic tiles under the eaves of the roofs.
On the other side

front view of the Town Hall .....the balcony where public proclamations are given from. I wouldn't mind one of those door knockers on my front door!

  walking up into the old quarter where Sr P is from.

up ,up,up huffing and puffing   into Santa Cruz 
 a bit more.... still huffing

jeez!!! I forgot how far it is....

Looking back down!

Having a bit of a rest!

The castle...nearly there!

At the top!

 and ......... now I need a nice cold cold glass of white wine and some tapas :-)

Welcome welcome to my new followers!  I haven't been able to find out exactly who you are on my friend connect lists. Its getting a bit confusing now there are 178 followers. I really don't know how those bloggers who have 500 or more manage!  However when you have the time please pop in to say hello. I always love to receive comments on my posts. 

Keep well

 Amanda :-)