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!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Autumn Swap

Autumn comes late in this part of Europe and we begin to notice a change in the air and temperature starts dropping around about mid September .



 September is also the thunder storms month; the build up after the hot summer months when the last rain fall was mid June .


Lightening over St Barbara's Castle - this evening-not taken by me!


It is one of my favourite months of the year because it is still warm,still swimming weather but not unbearably hot . I can walk again properly at a good pace without feeling exceedingly hot,devoured by mosquitoes and totally uncomfortable.

Autumn is also the season for participating in the Autumn Glow Swap  generously hosted once again by Blueberry Heart .



 I enjoyed it so much last year that I was very keen to do so again this year.

We now have our partners and I am paired with Helen from Moonstruckcreations .  A tantalizing name for a blog which brings to mind magic,fantasy and mystical things. I wonder now.....would Helen be Gemini?
There you are that is why I delight so in these swaps. I am already wondering!!!
It is the opportunity to meet another blogger virtually,the fun of stalking the swap partner a little to try and determine what is best to send. Then there is the anticipation of the swap partner receiving the goodies and if one has hit the mark....it then turns it all into a success swap story.
I can truly say to date I have had the most wonderful swap partners and thoroughly enjoyed each experience.

Helen has already been in contact and queried what things I like and crafts I like to do. Therefore to be able to offer Helen a coherent answer to her queries I decided to include my reply to her in this post.
My mind is full of rather erratic thoughts as I think of all that I like and the crafts I have done or do therefore to place those thoughts in some sort of order I have decided to do so in list format:

  • Crochet reigns supreme for me where craft is concerned. I am a sworn fanatic and a total addict. It is also my saviour ; therapeutically helping me through difficult days. I used to do a lot of fine lace crochet and some Irish crochet too but I find my eyesight is a problem now . I mostly use yarn or Nº 5 cotton. I rarely make the same thing twice I find it boring repeating things, once I have done it then I want to go on to something else
  •   
  • During the intervals when I would put crochet to one side I have done a lot of cross-stitch and embroidery. However of late I've been finding it more difficult to do, once again because of my eyesight,although I do wear glasses. All the same I still embroider small things if I wish to embellish a crochet project. 
  • Machine sewing. I bought myself a sewing machine last January and little by little  I have been teaching myself how to use it. It is a slow process. I find I like the possibility of making projects where sewing and crochet is combined but I really don't think I am going to be an ardent sewer. I can't see myself making clothes or big projects as yet. I do like the end results but I can't tuck it in my bag and take it with me to do when I want nor can I do it in front of the TV or while I am chatting to someone.  The machine actually scares me and it is all because I don't really know what I am doing . It is quite an odyssey when I have to change a bobbin.
  • Buttons... I love buttons. I am tempted to have a go at button pictures. I've seen some lovely work. I think I could make things with buttons, not sure what...pinterest could probably put me on the right track.
  • I like mixing! That is a crochet project embelished with embroidery,beads or buttons and felt
Now things I like:
  •      I love reading,watching a good film,time to myself,music, a good discussion,history,inspirational quotes, the origin of names, classical art,family history research,swimming,photography (taking and receiving),flittering through a home improvement magazine,  art deco , British comedy,Devonshire clotted cream and my mother's steamed chocolate pudding. I am also an animal lover and have always had pets. I like walking through the woods,cycling and visiting home at least once a year.
Phew!! enough!  If I add anymore I think Helen just might ask to change partners!!! )-:

Amanda :-) 



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

THE PRIZE





I have just finished blocking it and here it is:



No it isn't this these are the extra bits ....some sweeties for your son Barbina, not bubble gum some fruit chewy sticks from a local factory and some Valor chocolate and almonds for you. I have also added four 50 gram balls of COATS SMC yarn which I am sure you will find use for.

Oh! and a Spanish fan...of course :-)  There may even be some other crafty bits and pieces too :-)


Now I know Barbina you do some lovely crochet but I bet you don't do much for yourself very often, so I am sending you this:

That is a three seater settee so you can get the idea of the size!


Now this shawl has been made for this giveaway!



 I do admit to having started it some while ago when I found this pattern on Sacha Loves to knit blog and was curious to try out how the shawl started and I did about five rows and got distracted with something else and pushed it down underneath other W.I.Ps in my crochet basket. The original shawl is practically a shawlette but this is full sized. I based it on the pattern but I have tweaked it a great deal. The edging isn't the same at all or the central pattern.

I thought a shawl is pretty well to everyone's liking.

It is made of Coats SMC Bravo yarn so it is too warm for now but I thought ,before I knew the winner, the person will find it useful in the winter or on a very chilly night.
Now I know it is going to Germany well I know it will be useful!
Anyhow going back to if you are not a shawl person Barbina then wear it while you are blogging :-)

  
Amanda :-)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Winner

We have a winner!!!!!



the response has been wonderful and it is a great shame I can only choose one winner!

"A person does not seek luck;luck seeks the person"  
Turkish quote

the winner is ....

over there in Germany.
CONGRATULATIONS!

but please don't forget that this is a surprise giveaway and as indicated in the original post:
"The winner will be chosen via Random Number generator on 24th August and by 27th August I shall post the winner's prize on my blog. "

Barbina please send me your postal address.


Amanda :-)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Three days left of Giveaway and a sad alarm clock!


 Exactly three days left of my  Two year blogiversary giveaway !

Response has been good ... no not just good but very good. I am so pleased about that. However you still have time to enter as I do not close the giveaway until 24th August at midnight!!!!


Talking about TIME  I have to admit that I do not have a great relationship with my alarm clock.
Google image
I'm going to be quite frank with you and admit to treating the AC quite horrendously!

 In my own defense I have to say I am a night bird and not an early morning chick at all. I do find it extremely difficult to get up in the morning.
Mother used to give me the cold wet flannel treatment when I was a child which is fine if you live in Spain but I didn't then of course but in the freezing cold wilds of Somerset! I have to say as I recall this grossly brutal treatment did get me out of bed in a jiffy and more so if I saw my mother looming towards me for a second swipe.
This flannel abuse most certainly affected me psychologically as I have always faced early morning awakenings in a very aggressive manner and the AC being quite the nearest thing (which cannot hit me back) receives the rough edge of my temper and turning off the alarm can be a rather heavy-handed activity.
This being so another AC gave up the ghost yesterday and I had to resort to Sr P waking me this morning in time for my early morning class.
 I feel I need to add that having to result to the the latter is a most unpleasant experience and something we decided in the first years of our marriage to never repeat unless in an emergency.
Such was the case this morning.
Perhaps you are wondering why I consider such an unpleasant experience having to rely on Sr P to wake me. First of all it irritates me excessively that Sr Ps ability to wake at the precise hour he sets his mind to without an alarm clock is totally alien and unfair practice! Then worst still his exaggerated bawling and shouting in my ear and aggressive shaking to wake me is totally over the top! This treatment naturally produces the very worst reaction in a body and a negative verbal response. It leaves one totally out of sorts for the rest of the day. 
As I do not wish to have to go through that drama again I shall be off to buy myself another alarm clock as soon as I finish this post . I do have a variety of redundant alarm clocks scattered around the house but the alarm parts do not work. I can't think why!

I'd now like to give out a few mentions for fellow bloggers who I'm sure you will enjoy visiting and perhaps even follow. It seems a shame to me that these delightful people aren't in contact with more craft bloggers.
And now I have to show you my very first MANDALA !

I've been hearing about overlay crochet for awhile now and wondering about it. It did actually look familiar so I finally decided to buy Carola's Mandala pattern Nº 1 which is a good example of overlay crochet,from CAROcreate on Ravelry.
It was an exciting make and a great pattern which is relatively easy to follow thanks to the illustrations. It also confirmed the familiar feeling I had when seeing projects using overlay crochet. I have used it before on Beanies but I just didn't know it was called overlay crochet. Never-the-less this pattern has given me much more practice and it has most certainly been a learning curve . I am pleased with the result and I am thinking of framing it on wood.
I used my favourite cotton Coats SMC Catania throughout and a Nº 2 Hook
Something wrong with the light when I took this photo I think! It hasn't brought the colours out very well.

     Happy days!!!!
     
    Amanda :-)




     

Sunday, 11 August 2013

summer menu ... keeping it light!


There are times and most particularly during the summer months when I just do not know what to make for lunch. I try and offer a variety but it gets to the point on the real hot days that its difficult to know what to have because we just haven't much of an appetitie.
We practically live on salads and fruit or at least I do!
Therefore this weekend I thought I'd do something a little different which I haven't done for awhile .


Roast Vegetables.




There are several ways to do roast vegetables but I like to keep it nice and simple.....

so very very easy

Ingredients:
Green peppers,
Aubergines.
Courgettes
Onion
Button mushrooms
Tomatoe
asparagus
Potatoes (microwaved for 4 mins beforehand)
salt
pepper
parsley
Olive oil
a little water

Cut up all veg,pour a little water in the bottom of the dish ( not much a couple of tablespoons) drizzle with olive oil,sprinkle on salt and pepper and parsley. Place in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 20 to 30 mins. Delicious!
You can have boiled rice or couscous to go with this and a little mayonnaise.



I also made up a very summery salad which my husband loves. It has to be served very very cold so I make it up about two or three hours before the meal.

Ingredients:
Tin of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tins of tuna fish in olive oil ( I drain off the olive oil before adding to the salad. I don't like the olive oil they use for tinned fish but even drained of the oil it is better tasting than the tuna fish in brine) 
chopped onion ( half max)
vinegar
olive oil
3 boiled eggs    chopped
olives (green or black)
salt
Water
Several large French loaves (You'll need these! It is so nice that you have to mop up every last bit)

Mix all the ingredients together add a little water but be careful it has to have a light pure consistency no more. Add olive oil, vinagre and salt to taste . Serve very cold. I even pop a few ice cubes in if its not cold enough.

There is none left so the change was well appreciated.


Amanda :-)






Thursday, 8 August 2013

Ice-cream

Amazing  ..........  what is?

All you lovely peeps and the wonderful response to my 2nd blogiversary giveaway post over this last week but if you haven't done so already there is still time to enter!!!
This 2nd blogiversary giveaway is open to all the world and beyond as usual.  However you do have to be a follower of my blog to enter,. You can check if you already are a follower or wish to become one using  the Google friend connect widget at the top of the page on the right hand side bar of my blog. 

Should you wish to be entered twice please give a mention on your blog and link to this giveaway .



Does ice-cream cool you down?    I can answer that ...... IMHO ...I think it's all in the mind!
I am not quite sure why I bothered to google this to find out if it does....I mean I'd classify this as useless information however I was curious and I did:


In Houston Culture Joel Luks writes about the effect of hot and cold foods on our system. Where ice-cream is concerned he says:
Ice cream may feel like it has a cooling effect as it comes in contact with you know, your insides. But after 20 minutes, your body temperature will increase when it begins to work diligently to digest it and store the calories and perhaps convert the ice cream into fat.
and on Diet Detective, Charles Platkin seems to confirm this as he indicates:
15 to 20 minutes after you eat it, ice cream has the opposite effect.
he also quotes Barry Swanson ,a professor and co-chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition  who says eating cold foods does not really change your body temperature.

As I said all in the mind!!!



Nevertheless although this little distraction does not cool me down it certainly makes me feel good!
I thoroughly enjoyed making it!


There is a teeny weeny snag though brought about by my grand-daughter who asked me something which left me wondering!    What is it for?
No idea!!!  It's too small for a pin-cushion but too big for a brooch or for a key ring!!!  ANY IDEAS?


I found this free pattern on Joanita's blog creativegraphicsworkshop. A blog that is well worth a visit and I see she has other free patterns too. 

I used bits of DK Coats SMC Bravo yarn from my stash  and a 3.00 Hook. You can make it up in a day approximately.

I'm popping over to Linda's at Craftycorner's Summer stash bust party now as I think this make qualifies as a stash buster!

Keep smiling the weekend is nearly here!!!

Amanda :-)
Hello to all
I've unfortunately lost three comments from Claire,Tami and Maria Elena. Do you see that large line of text cutting through the second picture on this post???  I've been here the last hour trying to get rid of it ... it is certainly not something I've written so how does that come to be overlapping this post???    Anyone any suggestions????
I have lost the 3 comments because I 've deleted and posted the same post now three times and I still cannot get rid of it!
It annoys me immensely!
Amanda


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