Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pay it forward giveaway !

There is still time to leave me a comment and I will pay forward a little bit of love . I received my parcel from Kimbles few days ago and I am preparing three parcels myself. Here are a couple of little photos but I think this giveaway is going to be a surprise...

Are you curious ?

Wishing you Comfort and Joy this Christmas.
Louise xx

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pay It Forward ....

I just received a parcel from the postman. ( One of my favourite things, even not tied up with string....I love whiskers on cats as well...sorry I seem to have strayed into the Sound of Music !)

It turned out to be a fabulous handmade pot holder from Kimbles

Isn't it a beauty ??

And a heart shaped decoration for my Christmas tree....

It is sooo beautifully made, as you can see.

I'm not sure where the paying it forward began but I am honoured to receive such lovely tokens of friendship , especially at this time of year. I am thrilled to be able to continue this chain of good will. Leave me a comment and I will put your name in Santa's hat on Christmas Day and send three of you a little bit of Handmade in Gibraltar's stitching and making in time for the dark January days when the parcels have finished arriving.

Have a lovely week

Louise xx

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keeping Warm and Cosy

Temperatures are set to fall both here and in UK tomorrow, we have a low of only 5 degrees forecast. I can hear you shouting "that's not cold !" , but we have no central heating here so it feels definitely nippy ! We are also off to UK shortly for some post Christmas jollying so we are getting in practice.
I have been hat making, I seem to be a bit obsessed I'm afraid...

I bought more wool yesterday with the idea of making a hat and scarf for myself, my daughter claimed these two as being " ideal for skiing "!
She has been wanting a knitted hot water bottle cover from Marks and Spencer so I made her this one,

I can make up patterns in crochet better than with knitting.

If you want to make one...

... make a chain long enough to wrap round the hot water bottle and join it into a circle, treble into each chain all the way round and join with a slip stitch. Keep making rows of trebles until you have a tube large enough to cover most of the bottle. I double crocheted through both layers to close the bottom. Then I started working round the top closing the sides and working round the neck increasing and decreasing to make it fit. Finally I made 2 trebles in each of the trebles in the top row to make a bit of a frill at the top. Easy !! You didn't need a pattern either did you ?

Thinking of patterns , I followed a link from Karin to this super pattern site. It makes me so happy to keep looking at it every few days and see the new patterns that have been opened as advent progresses. I made Santa's little helper from one of their patterns, it was very nice and clear too. Isn't he sweet ?

I hope you keep cosy if you are having cold weather,if it's sunny...enjoy !!

Louise xx

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happiness in small things

I've been pottering around blogland this afternoon and sending comments to friends old and new and thinking how happy I feel to read about all the things that make other people feel happy. From chocolates to Christmas trees and craft projects, it's a wonderful world isn't it?

So I decided to share a few things that are making me happy in Gibraltar today.

I have a pile of fresh oranges on a plate on my table. They have just come into season and are so fresh and juicy they can't be eaten in polite company. You need a plate and a pile of tissues and still have to clean up afterwards !

My Christmas cards are all written and ready to post. Most will have to battle with the snow in UK but some are staying here in Gibraltar and a few winging their way to more far flung friends.

I have put up my Christmas decorations, I love to be re-united with these old friends I haven't seen all year don't you? My daughter has inherited my enthusiasm and shrieks " I forgot about the snowman that holds the stars !" even more excitedly than I do ( poor neighbours ..)

Christmas Carols always make me happy too. I love listening but most of all I love singing along. Have I told you I sing in a choir ? We are performing on Friday night in St Michael's Cave with the regiment band. I will try and remember to take photos.

It's a great thing to think of happy things- it has taken my mind off the list of "things I haven't done yet for Christmas "

Wishing you happiness too

Louise x

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Traditions

It's only a few days until the beginning of December so I have been scrabbling about in difficult to reach cupboards where baby photos and Christmas decorations live. It's not time for full on fairy lights and Christmas trees, but our family tradition is to bring out the CDs, DVDs, story books and Advent calenders for the first of December.

First is the Playmobil Calender.

Each little animal is returned to its numbered box in January ready to join the scene for Christmas. I'll take another photo when it fills up.

It really is a beauty. I bought it for the Christmas after my lovely girl was born while I was working in Germany.

The second I made from a pre-printed fabric the same year and I fill the pockets with sweeties and small gifts. It hangs at the end of the kitchen. Of course since lovely boy came along two chocs need to fit in each pocket.

I'll leave you with a photo of the woolly baubles, I have another commission for yet more- who would have thought they would be so popular ? I've made 20 already!

Louise xx

Ps You can find the pattern at Meet me at Mike's

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Feling Festive Part 2

It's the Convent Christmas fair today. I should make it plain that the Convent is the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar and not a residence of nuns. I believe it was , but hundreds of years ago.It's a beautiful old building and our table has been set up in the ballroom.

The arts and crafts Association put together a table of Christmas cheer and hand-made goodness. I put out my woolly baubles and trees and they've sold well. I even have a commission for 10 more woolly balls ( stop being naughty) . I never quite got to make the wreaths but there's another craft fair coming soon and another month to go. Surely I can get at least one done ?

Of course I couldn't resist buying a few lovelies for myself...

Yummy chutney , the flavour sounds strange but is reputedly delicious...

Notelets with a painting of the Garrison Library ( another grand old building)

Fab robin ( I wish I had the patience for paper pulp)...

Alas the plate of cakes and goodies didn't last long enough for a photo !!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feeling Festive

It seems that Christmas is in the air all over blogland. I have seen lovely Christmas wreaths...( Handmade with love)

Crochet baubles ...( Meet me at Mike's)

I want to make some of these lovely trees to make into a garland too. ( The Royal Sisters)

So it seems the right time to share with you my Christmas card progress. This year I have made two original embroideries, next I will take them to the printers to be reduced and copied onto card.I get them for 30 something pence each. Hey presto, original, cheap and quick !

Now I think of it , jingle needs some gold sequins to finish it off, I'll do that this evening...

I've been doing some supply teaching this week in school so I have sung "Away in a Manger" for the first time this year. You know Christmas is coming when 5 year olds are asking you " What is a manger anyway ?"

Hope you are feeling festive wherever you are and that you have a festive project to work on too.
love Louise x

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feeling better...

Dear Friends

You are so kind to send me messages even when I have been away so much.It makes me feel warm all over to know there is so much kindness around. Things have been pretty grim and I just couldn't write. Lovely boy is still not in the clear but he is well enough to be in school- so life is kind of moving on again. I have been feeling a bit low and not really in the mood for doing much, I haven't been making or baking, and hardly even seeing my friends( most unususal). If you have had any very stressful times you will probably know just how I was feeling.

However, we went away for a little holiday last week in the mountains. We went for lots of walk and ate lovely food and really got away from hospital appointments and medical things.I am feeling so much better that when we came back I was tempted by some lovely yarn. The shade is called heather and it shades between grey, cream,lilac and pink. My daughter wanted a hat for her skiiing trip which is coming up soon so I was inspired to get out my knitting needles.

Knitting !! It's true , I can occasionally be tempted to play with yarn and two needles instead of my trusty hook. This is what I made her- I persauded her to model it for you. Apparently hats with ear flaps are IT at the moment. She has shown me her magazines and it appears to be true. All mad if you ask me, but she does look very cute.

Well just fiddling around with a bit of knitting seems to have got my creative side back , and I have started working on my granny stripes again.
I have also been making a couple of simple cot quilts for the hospital.

I have even started to make my Christmas cards , I'll show you them next time. In the next few days I'm going to be pottering around the blogs and seeing what you are all up to. It's so nice to be back with you all.

Thank you all again

lots of love

Louise xx

Friday, October 1, 2010

Out of Action...

Hello dear friends

My little boy is still unwell. He has had pneumonia and been in hospital again since I last wrote, and he is still having massive doses of IV antibiotics now. He has to sleep at the hospital every night ( and so do we ! ) , so until life returns to what laughingly passes for normal I'm not able to enjoy my blogging. I can't tell you how I miss our little chats, but hopefully it will only be for another week or so.

Thankyou so much for all your prayers and messages, they really help us a lot.

Louise xx

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Gibraltar Day !

It's Gibraltar day today, and we are celebrating. My lovely boy is well on the road to recovery . He has had a very unusual bacteria which has got into a lymph gland in his neck and set up an abscess.
Of course lumps in the neck ring all kinds of alarm bells so the doctors have had to do various tests until they found out what it was. I can't tell you how relieved I am.Thank you so much to all the kind friends who left messages for me.

Today we had a lovely walk in town where every one was dressed up in red and white,we watched the release of 30,000 red and white balloons- one for every Gibraltarian!

Later we had lunch in a restaurant with tables outside, and a drive up to the top of the rock to admire the view and wish the apes a Happy National Day!

Hope you have had a happy day today too.

love Louise x

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hospital Beds

Do you remember all those creative plans I had last week? I had lots of material ready for curtains, and tea towels and cards. I was all fired up with enthusiasm for my creative activities.

That was before I spent the weekend in hospital with my little boy. He has been really unwell and until I know what all the test results are I can't really bring myself to write a lot about it.

Suffice it to say he has been hooked up to IV antibiotics for 3 days, and we have both been sleeping at the hospital for 3 nights.We've only been allowed home beacuse they've changed to oral antibitics, we still have to go every day to see the specialist until things calm down.

My boy loved the beds, the kind with a remote control which raises the back or the feet or both. Every time I looked at him he had the bed in a different position!

We were fantastically well looked after by the staff, but it is so good to be home. I am so looking forward to sleeping in sheets not printed with Gibraltar Health Authority in large letters.

Please keep my boy in your prayers and if you don't hear much from me it's because there's no wi-fi connection at the hospital!

Louise x

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Studio Space

At last , it's done !

I am now the proud tenant of a little bit of workshop at the Arts and Crafts Centre where I sell my things ( sometimes) . I have taken a bit of time taking things there and setting up, about 6 of us are taking up studio spaces so we will have a little creative community. My Husband is thrilled because he now has unresticted access to various parts of the house which were full of my sewing things- most notably our dining table...

I am also thrilled because I won't spend ages getting it all out and putting it all away again. I am really looking forward to making things alongside other makers , it should be quite exciting. I usually show things I'm making to my family and their feedback is limited by what they are watching on tv/playing with...It generally goes along the lines of " Very nice, What's it for ?"

I think I may have mentioned my storage obsession before, I've had such a nice time putting all my fabrics and threads in boxes and tins. Now it is all set for action next week.

My work in the shop has moved onto this nice dresser which I'm sharing with a lovely lady who makes jam and paints fans.

We have also brought in some lovely old bits of furniture to display the craft work in the shop - looks great doesn't it ?

I particularly love the red sofa...

Hopefully my next post will be full of creativity , with lots of lovely new things, or at the very least I will have made my curtains!

love Louise x

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This post is all about me making excuses for not having done a lot lately. Bear with me please !!

I haven't been posting this week because I've been working on my new studio space- I'm dying to show you but I haven't photographed it yet... I'll get there really I will.
I want to show you some photos of the Craft Shop too, it's looking really great, another little job.

I have a couple of little crochet projects on the go...
A shrug in lovely lovely baby bamboo. This is such great yarn to work with.

My granny square blanket is also growing, rather slow by my usual standards, but it is hot here you know !!

This is the curtain fabric I bought this morning at the market,no excuse now not to make the curtains...

And these are the rings I bought for 1 euro each on the same market...can't resist a bargain.

I'll be back soon with some photos of the studio space soon - (so exciting)

Right I'd better get on with it hadn't I?

Louise x

Ps I have been reading lots of blogs but my computer time is limited until the children go back to school, I don't always have time to comment- Sorry x

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Picking up the threads

Dear friends
I'm back from under my palm tree. We had 3 lovely weeks, the only decision to be made was where to put my lounger in the morning and what to eat and drink. No housework, no errands,no work!!It feels like we've been on a retreat from the real world and we're just beginning to pick up the threads. Luckily still two more weeks until early mornings,packed lunches and homework begin again.

The children, in contrast to their horizontal parents have had a very busy three weeks. There were pools to be swum in, waves to be surfed, friends to play Pool with(a new obsession), and kids club activities to join in with.

They are chilling out this weekend and recovering their energy, I hope they've had a good rest because tomorrow we go on our annual pilgrimage to buy school uniform and sensible shoes. My lovely girl is 13 now and our ideas on suitable footwear are wildly divergent.I have actually come to be glad that her school allows the wearing of trainers, at least they don't have high heels...

I haven't been able to crochet much during my holiday, just too hot and my hands were always sticky with factor 30 suncream. I'm quite in the mood now I'm back so we'll see what comes along.I also have some boring sewing projects to do...a new zip to be put in a skirt... some curtains to make...

Like I said, just starting to pick up the threads. I'm really looking forward to getting round the blogs and seeing what everyone has been up to. I'm sure that will inspire me to get my hook and yarn out later!!

Lots of love to you all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Projects

Most of the last week has been taken up with this ...

and this ...

and a bit more of this ....

It's very hot now and the coolest place to be is on the beach.

However I have found a little time for hooky happiness...

I've finished the granny striped blanket for my boy's bed. I put this jaunty red edging on after I read a comment by Karin that everything looks better with a red edging. It seems she could be right!

I've started making granny squares for a granny square blanket. Squares don't make me hot and they are easy to carry around. It's all my usual favourite colours with the addition of red and bright pink. I want to use a red/pink edging so I want lots of those colours sprinkled through. Should have it finished by the time I come back from my holiday but I'm taking the book stash with me as well...

I'm off to Spain for 3 weeks this Saturday so Iwon't be around the blogs for a little while. I'll have a lot of catching up to do when I come back . See you soon-
"hasta luego" . xx