Saturday, November 18, 2017

Caves and finishes

Years ago now, I made Rebecca an advent calendar with little pockets, its a bit of a ritual now to fill it up and she enjoys her daily treat. I have done really well this year and by mid November I had only two presents to find.
We both enjoy our crystals and so I decided I wanted to go to the gift shop of some local caves to find something that would suit.
The caves are about 40 minutes away, not far and it was a nice ride in the sunshine.
Now I do not ´do´ caves, can´t even watch cavers or pot holers, gives me the creeps, however Chris persuaded me to give it a go.
It was very interesting of course, I just had to keep a lid on my thoughts, have a look at the video he took






I found what I wanted in the shop so we headed of to pay Rebecca a surprise visit as she had a day off work. Just need to wrap the presents up now.

I have been adding to the dolls set made for Leocia adding some things for Maia
A little blanket to keep dolly warm
I am making an elephant for Maia, still in bits! and thought a little sleeping bag would keep her snuggly
Leocia has started dancing lessons and ballet so I thought leg warmers would be just the ticket
Need to make some for Maia too

Finished off a jumper for me, but I´ll save that for another post
Take care
xcx




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dorset buttons

Rebecca has been having a declutter and I have been helping her.
Firstly to keep her company but also because it seemed to be a huge mountain.
We have worked hard for the last couple of weeks
then on Sunday we took a car load to the local Rastro (market)
This one is held on a local industrial estate and the pitches were on the road and only cost 10e
We had reasonable success, but I think Rebecca was a little disappointed to have to bring a lot back home. Still we can always try again, each Sunday will be different.
We had to set up before 8 which meant leaving home at 7 then we couldn´t pack up or leave before 2pm, then unpacking the car again, so it was a long day.

Yesterday we went for a ride down to Javea and had a sorbet by the arenal beach.
Rebecca joined us which was lovely and I managed to get a couple of small Christmas pressies





It was quite windy and cooler which whipped the waves nicely for the surfers.

I saw a clip on the telly the other week about Dorset buttons and decided to have a go.
I improvised slightly on the materials but I was really pleased with the results
Then I made some into brooches


The Dorset button originated from the 18th century in Dorset. Originally they were made on a disc cut from the horn of a Dorset horn sheep which was then covered with needlework.

The buttons were made by outworkers working from their homes as piece work and was an important source of income. The buttons were graded by quality and fixed to different coloured cards, ranging from export to domestic. A good buttoner could make around six dozen (72) buttons a day and could earn up to three shillings. The buttons sold at retail for between eight pence and three shillings a dozen. Perhaps better than working on the land in all weathers but it was certainly a hard graft.

Something I enjoy, looking into the history of these old and sometimes forgotten crafts.

Take care
xcx


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blooms

As the summer temps cool down, the plants and flowers are having a second bloom, which gives the garden a nice bright feel.
We have Chinese bazaars, independent shops that seem to sell everything, although not always a good quality, but they do tend to sell nice plants at reasonable prices.
Rebecca bought me some petunias a few weeks ago from her local chino and once repotted they have flourished nicely, so I asked her to keep her eyes open for other nice plants. 

Beautiful, and both for only 8 euros
Here Puff is enjoying their colour, Merlin is in another part of the courtyard!
I used to enjoy buying crysants in Tiverton at this time of year, they always gave, lasting a long time and creating a lovely colour as the days drew in.
Here, these types of plants are mainly used to celebrate All Saint´s day (a national holiday) 1st November, (the day of the dead)
However as I don´t associate them with this day, I shall just enjoy their blooms.

Bit of DIY too this week, our log burner had gone a little tarnished due to the chimney leaking a bit.
The prep took the time, protecting all the walls, floors etc from the spray paint.
Before
and after, all ready to go now
Have fun, enjoy your extra hour
take care
xcx

Monday, October 23, 2017

Tasty morsels

Bit of an autumn clean going on here today, I decided the gas hob was due for a bit of elbow grease, then somehow moved on to sorting out kitchen cupboards. Made good progress making space to put things away instead of being left on the counters. Next question though, will hubby find anything lol

Jo from Through the keyhole put a post up referring to Walkers crisps, choose or lose campaign
http://jo-throughthekeyhole.blogspot.com.es/2017/10/choose-or-lose.html
It was fun to see the flavours people preferred, including the marmite love or hate ones.
Today Chris popped into the supermarket and came home with these
Allioli is a popular garlic mayo here, I did try them, but not many because of the milk coating, but have to admit they were rather delicious.

This is a spinach, goats cheese and onion tart I made for Saturday´s bbq

Apart from the button on the cardi, I have finished the dress set for Leocia´s doll. The pattern was for a 16" doll, so I hope it fits hers.


Just for fun, I took a photo of a 1/12 scale dress I made ages ago to see the size comparison, this was made using 1mm needles, a tad fiddly
 
Take care
xcx

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunsets

Last night was the end of the season for the BBQ´s in the plaza. A nice, warm, clear evening, that was well attended. We started earlier than usual at 8pm instead of 10pm just in case it got cold, but this also meant that it wasn't such a late night (early morning!)
As is the way here, as more people arrived another table was set out and the sharing of our goodies began, Chris had already set his gear up and played for most of the evening.
Good fun had by all

The other evening Chris captured this lovely sunset


Last December I made various items for the first little market held in the plaza to raise funds for the village, but then it was discovered this wasn't permitted by the council so was invited to have a table just for me. I had made various fingerless gloves and was chuffed to sell 5 pairs.

Pilar, one of our neighbours came round to ask me to make her another pair to give as a present. Luckily I had a Blue Peter moment and showed her the ones I still had left over. Another pleasing result.
I needed to know how much yarn they took to make so decided to weigh the gloves then the leftover yarn rather than start to knit and not have enough. I am glad I did, as there wasn't enough. Saved some time and effort there!
Hope everyone had a good weekend
Take care
xcx



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thunder and lightening

We have just had a huge storm, hail, thunder, lightening and torrential rain, but now its all gone, the sun is shining and we have power back. We shall have to wait for everything to dry before clearing up, tree debris, our gravel drive half way into the plaza, soil washed into strange places, oh well it watered the garden!



The other day Rebecca helped me to sort out one of our garages, you know the scenario, boxes still packed with things, not sure what to do with others and then turning a blind eye. This was also where I had stored some of my Dad´s Tiffany style glassware he had made, as I didn't have enough room in the house. Anyway after various comments mostly, why did we keep this? we made excellent progress and cleared loads.
Amongst the ´finds´ was this
Does anyone else remember this, or even had one, I loved doing this as a kid. The box was complete, even the pens were in the box, ok totally unusable, but still. 
Be nice in a few years time to play with the girls and say this was Grandma´s toy.

The other totally awesome find was a cassette tape with my Mother reading the story she wrote for my son, some 33 odd years ago. Chris, very carefully, sorted it out to be able to play, you remember, the pencil in the hole trick etc! it worked!
I haven't plucked up courage to listen yet, probably need a box of tissues at the ready, but what a lovely legacy to be able to produce copies using modern techniques, reprint her written words and let her great grand children hear her story.

I encouraged my grandparents to record some of their lifetime stories and so now have both a lovely family history and a social one too. Do encourage your older family members to record/write some of their stories too, once they are gone, they´re gone.
Only thing is Rebecca too is now asking me to do the same, her excuse is she can´t remember the stories, opps time flies!

take care
xcx



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Minies again

Yesterday was our Miniatures club meeting, getting a bit thin on the ground now with only 4 of us there this time!  We haven't met up since May due to every ones own commitments, but we decided to carry on the last theme, window boxes and planters.

I took the workshop this month as everyone wanted me to show them how to make embroidered ferns. A lovely variegated effect is achieved by tweeding two threads together. The technique is needle weaving, which allows the fern leaf to fall free once completed, the longer you make it, the more it twists. They also resemble spider plants
(Just viewed the photos, opps, sorry bit blurrey!)


Its a very soothing technique and everyone enjoyed doing it, you can be as wild and full on as the fancy takes you and when finished, by cutting quite close to the finish petals they can be inserted into troughs and pots. Next time it creeping plants, ie aubretia

There have been builders in the square today, one of the stone walls to the plaza store is in need of some serious tlc. They have rebuilt the wall and added a new window surround. At the end of the day we realised we didn't have any furries around. Cat trap! there were four of them investigating all the work giving their opinion. True to word of being inquisitive. Where the others were is a mystery lol....

Lucy was the only one who owned up!
Take care
xcx






Sunday, October 15, 2017

A visitor

This wasn't going to be my post for today, but we had a visitor last night and Chris was clever and quick enough to film it.

During the day we had been watching an eagle, circling and swooping around in the valley, but this evening this huge owl suddenly appeared. We have heard the odd hoot now and again but its the first time we have seen one here.

Look at his huge claws


We do get concerned for the furries when huge birds like this appear, some of ours are quite light and tiny, no match for talons
take care
xcx



Sunday, October 8, 2017

A trip out

We decided on a little trip out to explore some of the little coves along the coast. It was about an hours drive, pleasant with less traffic now the main season has ended, very sunny and bright.
First up was Grandella, a pretty spot, but my was the wind blowing, made me smile as the information board said it was renowned for ´gentle breezes´!  


Being hungry we decided to visit the local restaurant - Oh my - talk about captive audience,
A small bottle of sparkling water for me was 2.95e, Chris had a coffee, a reasonable 1.65e, with a mixed salad and potatas bravas (spicy potatoes) to share the bill came to 20e. Moral of the story - take a picnic!

We visited another cove further along, but this was a cliff top view only and again extremely windy.
On our way home we passed through an area that was totally devastated in last years horrific bush fires. Amazingly the area is now covered in greenery as everything starts to replenish.
This whole area had to be evacuated, in this park area a sculptor has used the remaining tree stumps to carve the most wonderful animals.




As you can see there are a few more stumps left, so I do hope they continue carving, lovely to see the inspiration after such a tragedy. Apparently it is one of the bomberos (fireman). Probably most of it done with a chain saw.

I leave you with a photo Chris took the other evening of the harvest moon
Enjoy whats left of the weekend
take care
xcx





Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunsets

With the temps being slightly cooler we were able to get out into the wilderness, sorry, garden and do some cutting back and tidying. As we are on the campo and rural we cannot get a burning license until at least 20th October and only then if our local town hall regulations permit. So we had to be careful how big a pile of overgrowth we could make. Nice to make a start though.

Apart from that a very lazy couldn't be bothered to do much weekend, hopefully we can find a little bit of get up and go this month. Repairs and outside projects can kick in now, maybe even a little bit of painting where hopefully it doesn't dry on the brush.
 

Its sunset season with some really spectacular skies. The bottom one show one of our huge cacti flowering, then it will die. Shame
Have a good day
Take care
xcx

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Baking and a little knitting




Rebecca popped over for the afternoon this week, which was lovely and we had a kitchen spree.
First we made another batch of lip balm, this time lime and bergamot, very zingy and fresh.
The we decided to make a batch of carrot and walnut muffins
They were lovely, moist and very yummy, we shared the batch and I had to hurry to take a photo before they all disappeared.

Today we had to pop into the garage to have our brakes checked, they were making the most awful noise. Luckily they did them whilst we waited and replaced all four calipers and brake pads, I was getting a bit concerned as to the final bill, but was pleasantly surprised and relieved at the invoice.
We carried on to Rebecca´s for a cuppa and to collect a parcel, lovely to see her and have a catch up.
As we were leaving she showed me a plant that had self seeded, it was quite amazing and I had never seen anything like it.
The pod was approx. 3" long
One of them had burst and this is what was inside
Gossamer seed heads, very light and fluffy, tightly packed together 
The inside of the pod was covered in a soft membrane similar to that of a horse chestnut, for protection
Some had spilled out and covered quite an area, so Rebecca very wisely decided to collect them before more of them self seeded.

It´s getting a little cooler in the evenings now, you can tell as suddenly the furries are looking for a nice lap to perch on and enough for a little knitting. 
Whilst on a recent skype call to Daniel and the girls, I noted that dolly didn't have a very varied wardrobe, so I´ve hunted about the various knitting sites and found a dress and cardi, start Christmas pressies early!
It´s usually impossible to knit with Benji on my lap, but he was so comfy and tired he completely ignored the tickling yarn and clicking needles.
Well, another weekend, enjoy what ever you choose to do
Take care
xcx








Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another new start

Feel a bit of a fraud! Here I was having a tad dar moment of having internet then I disappear again!
Bit of a catalogue of errors really, I went out on to the bancarles and fell down a huge hole made by the boar, smashed my left knee down, badly bruised but still functioning, just! That was on the Monday, then on Friday we had a day of fine mountain mist and drizzle and the courtyard gate began banging in the wind, so annoying, so I went out to shut it, turned around and slipped on the wet tiles on the slope, yup! straight on the knees, then to add insult, because of the slope I was unable to get up again.
So I sat and pondered, hubby was well away in the lounge and due to the thickness of the walls was unable to hear my cries for help. I even resorted to banging against a metal bucket to raise attention, nope, nada, zilch, it was raining quite heavily by then, hubby eventually came near enough to hear me and I was rescued, nothing broken just badly bruised and very wet.

Been nursing myself, taking it easy and gently going about daily life. So now, feeling better, (Just don't touch the knees) I thought I would share the hand sewing I have been doing during the summer
This was a project I took to the UK back in May, as I hate to be without something to do, and so I continued, it has been quite nice sitting in the warm shade hand stitching all these little blighters together. Then came the next stage....
Piecing it all together on a background design sheet. So now slowly stitching everything together, eventually a cot quilt.

Do you sometimes get to the stage where you think "what can we have for lunch, something different"?
So today I tried slicing sweet potatoes, grilling for 20 minutes then using them to create a pizza, very different but certainly gluten free, well worth a try,
So, hope you have all had a wonderful weekend, catch up soon
take care
xcx




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back online

We have internet!!!!!!!! Yeah..........
At long last we are now back with internet, what a long and frustrating road we have been on. Our provider of 9 years suddenly announced our poor connection was that we were suddenly too far away!? So had we upped and moved our house, certainly got the feeling they couldn´t be asked. Then it was too much interference and too many holiday makers using the system and they wouldn´t review the situation until late September.

We managed to find another provider with a complete package to offer, we waited for the engineer, and waited, only to be told that he had visited the plaza (which is way below us and we know does not receive signal) but not the house and refused all pleas to try again properly. We knew we could get 4g via the wireless because that's the system we use for the house line.

We tried another provider, 4g wireless router, fast connection and lots of bandwidth. Ok it does pop in and out sometimes but its so fast. Now I can catch up on blogs, Ancestry, courses and more. Yes!!!

I´ll leave you with our new visitor who is very industrious and seems to be growing by the day.

She has been named Doris, and already has quite a following, just be careful where you walk at night!
Back soon, take care
xcx