Friday, March 11, 2016

Rocking Your World 2016; Week 11

I've said it before and no doubt I'll say it again, but "Don't these weeks just fly by?" I can't believe it is Friday again, but Friday means one thing - time to look back at all the positives of the week, and share them with you.

My big smile for this week was delivered by the post-lady yesterday morning. I came home from my sewing group to find what looked like two fat, plastic cushions waiting for me. And inside them were two organza bags filled with big balls of wool, in lots of yummy colours. Yes it was my latest order from Wool Warehouse. I have to say they are a super company to deal with. I love the way they pack their wool, and their service is excellent. I ordered on Tuesday 3rd at bedtime, and woke up to find a message to say my order had been dispatched. And one week later, it has arrived here in Spain, which is pretty good going by anyone's standards.
You probably think I am making quite a fuss about some fairly ordinary wool, but out here wool is not so good. It is mainly very thick, or very thin, and there is nothing that is equivalent to the Double Knitting yarn I am used to. Also the colours are very limited. And as I love colour, and enjoy  making my bright crocheted blankets etc, this little lot has set me up nicely for the next few months.
When I get a delivery of this type, I start by making myself a colour chart, because the colour names are written on the paper band around each ball, so once you have started using it, you have lost its name.
Some of these are more balls of the colours used in my sunny log cabin blanket that I finished last month, but I have added several new ones as well.
I have started on a new project which is to make a square called Sophie's Universe. Some of you may have seen it on the internet. A few years ago the designer, Dedri Ulys, released the pattern for a small circular motif called Sophie's mandala. Later she expanded it to make a large mandala called Sophie's Garden, and then she turned it into a square called Sophie's Universe, and that is what I am attempting to make. Her pattern gives good, clear instructions, supported by lots of photos, and I am managing to follow it so far. The wool in the box above is the colour selection for this project.
Here I have just started round 14, and now I have finished round 15, (which is somewhere between the mandala and the garden!), but looking on through the pattern, the later rounds are much more complicated. I am just hoping they will make sense when I come to do them. There are 36 rounds in the completed square, so it is hard to tell what size it will be, which means I have no idea how many I will have to make to form a blanket, but I am excited to be trying it, as the pattern has sat in my files for ages, waiting for me to be inspired to give it a go.
The week started with lots of smiles as I had long messages and skype chats with all our boys for Mother's Day. As one of them said, "It is not the same as being able to pop in to see you" but it is the next best thing.

We have had some very positive moments and the good feeling that comes from finally getting something done. This week, that included us both passing medicals so we can change our British driving licenses to Spanish ones. We also sent off the applications for new passports as ours expire in June. Today Chris had his visit to the hospital to see the anesthetist who confirmed he will get his long awaited hernia operation within the next couple of months. And at my Wednesday sewing group, three of the ladies I have been teaching to crochet, each made a granny square. They were so pleased with themselves, and next week they want to try ripple stitch and learn to read a pattern. There's no stopping them now!

It has been another grey and very windy week, and it is colder too because the wind has changed direction and is now coming from the north. So, it was good weather to stay indoors and crochet, but I have been out and about too, and some days the sun came out with me. On Sunday I went to church in the morning as usual, and it was a nice service as we celebrated Mothering Sunday. While we were enjoying a cup of tea/coffee afterwards, I slipped away to take a photo of a special plant that a friend had spotted growing by the wayside, just down the road from the church. It is a strange plant that I read about when I first came here, and have seen occasionally but always in a place where I can't just stop the car to take a picture. So I couldn't miss the opportunity to walk to some on Sunday.

I think they are really pretty. They grow in the most barren looking places, shooting up in bud rather like a long thin pine cone. Then these lovely yellow flowers open. The ground can't be as barren as it looks though, because these plants are parasitic, and draw their nutrients by draining them from the roots of other plants that run along under the ground. It's family name is Orobanchaceae but it goes by the common name of Broom rape.
I looked around the campo where I saw these, and there were several other flowers managing to thrive on what looks like really poor soil. I love these flowers that grow as weeds all along the roadside here. They are so delicate and they blow around on long thin stems, seemingly much stronger than they look. They remind me of a plant that I used to pay quite a lot of money for in UK as a garden plant. I have forgotten its name though.
But in fact, most of the wild flowers in bloom at the moment are yellow. One of my first blog posts after we moved to this house, was titled "March is yellow", and that seems to be the case every year. I love these hardy yellow daisies with their dark brown centres.
And there are fields and fields that are covered with the wild yellow chrysanthemums. I often pick a few of these to brighten up a corner of the house, and they last in water for ages if you pick them fresh enough.
It was another blowy and chilly day on Sunday, but the sun was shining and there were some pretty cloud formations breaking up the blue of the sky, and I stood a while to enjoy the view, and think how very lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.

A week or two ago we received an invitation to our friends' Golden wedding anniversary. The party was on Tuesday afternoon, so I arranged for our home group to meet at my house in the morning, so that as soon as we had finished, I just had to change into a "posh frock" and walk up the road. Fortunately I am not one of those ladies who needs hours to get ready for an outing, and by 1.00 we were enjoying some fun time with a lovely bunch of people. Someone had made a cake for John and Eileen.
And here they are cutting it and looking very much as though they were enjoying their special day.
Of course I made them a card which was this one, but I haven't written a blog post about it as it is very similar to a birthday card I made sometime last year.
I cut the sentiment from gold vinyl, using my Silhouette Cameo machine, and I was very pleased at how well it cut.
I have only made one other card this week; a birthday card needed for a family member, but I have managed a few more scrapbook layouts. I am still trying to make a scrapbook of the holiday we had in Ireland in 2012! We had such a lovely time there, and I took so many photos that have to be sifted through. It is hard to know which ones to use. But I really must crack on with it as we are intending to go back to one town - Clonakilty - where Chris' mother was born, in October to celebrate Chris' 70th birthday. All five of our boys and their partners are hoping to join us there, so there will be lots more photos and more layouts to make then. So here are three I have made this week about our visit to Clonakilty in 2012. I also did two about the local beach there - Inchydoney - which I posted on here back in September.

As you can see, my layouts tend to be 'busy', but hopefully you can click on them to get a larger view, so you can make some sense of them. I have one more to do before I move on to our next stop - Cork city, so I hope I can get that one done tonight. (It's better than watching football on TV all night anyway!).

So that just leaves me with two lovely sky photos. As you can see, the storm clouds were never far away, but they have their own beauty, and silver linings if you look for them.

So do a bit of positive thinking and join us over at Celtic House, to tell us what positives have Rocked Your World this week.
I am also linking with Annie's Friday Smiles, and there are lots happy people there who would love you to visit them.


  1. I love the colours in your new crochet project, and the anniversary card you made is beautiful. The scrapbook pages are looking good as well.
    Jean x

  2. Wow, what a week. You always amaze me at how busy you are, Kate. I was in awe of that yarn and also that new circle. How big is it after 15 rows?

    I think the bloom rape is beautiful, but I wouldn't want it in my yard, I'm afraid.

    Looks like your friends were having fun. Or was it because of all those bottles they are standing near?

    I actually LIKE your busy layouts. I tend to do the same. Lots to look at, but it was fun to see and read them.

    Sorry I was late visiting. I just got home not long ago, so it's been busy for me today, too. Hope the rest of your weekend is awesome.

  3. Hi Kate, it was fun to see all your bright new yarn. I order my yarn too from Wool Warehouse. You've come up with a great idea for the yarn colors chart. I so enjoyed the pictures of your beautiful countryside and sunsets. We're having cold temps here tonight and had some much needed rain earlier in the day. Enjoy your weekend, Pat xx

  4. Oh what a fabulous post, the crochet looks amazing - very envious of you being able to do that, me and said 15 year old haven't got past the chain stitch - I'm thinking I may never learn to crochet at this rate!

    I can't wait to see how it develops as well, loving the colours of your wool, we take it for granted when its in all the shops here, the assumption is that this is the same no matter where you live - which is obviously not the case.

    I'm glad the medicals went OK for you so you can get the required driving documents!

    Loving the yellow flowers, amazing what nature is capable of growing even in the most difficult of soils.

    Your friends look like they had a fabulous time for their anniversary - I'm loving the well stocked bar!

    Also loving your layouts, having them busy with lots of information is brilliant, I've never done digi scrapping, a little hybrid scrapping in the past but not full digi scrapping but they do look fabulous!

    And sky photos - my favourites - beautiful skies, I hope the weather is a little warmer for you this week.



  5. I love all your yummy colours in your new wool parcel Kate....I bought some wool yesterday because I have exciting knitting to do now ;-)
    It sounds like life is as busy as ever over with you....I love all those wild flowers....doesn't nature serve us well?
    Gorgeous skies this week too.
    Annie x

  6. Hi Kate, I can imagine coming home and finding all that lovely wool did make you smile. The piece that you are working on looks beautiful and I'm going to Google Sophie's Universe later so I can see what your end result will be.

    Isn't technology wonderful now. Being able to talk to your family and see each other too is really special.

    That yellow flower is lovely. It reminded me a little of the top of
    a lupin. We often have little wild flowers growing in the stone wall between us and our neighbour. It amazes me how they manage to survive.

    The card you made for Eileen and John is absolutely beautiful and the cake looked really yummy. It's a lovely happy photo of them cutting the cake. Some beautiful skies you've shared with us again this week. Thank you for your recent visit. Hugs, Barbxx

  7. Another good week there Kate with lots of joy and fun. It reminded me that our 50th Anniversary is in July but that has taken a back seat due to the forthcoming wedding of our elder DD. The LOs of Ireland did remind me that we would love to return there and it brought back many good memories. We stayed in Clonakilty too (loved it) before touring around the West and Southern area. I loved Dingle and Kerry too. In fact the only place I could leave was Killarney as it was so commercialised with lots of shamrocks, leprechauns and shillelagh (spelling???) shops!
    Thanks for the tour of your week and I look forward to seeing how your crochet comes along. The pattern is beautiful.
    Jo x

  8. Oh such a cheerful smiley post Kate - that crochet shape looks amazing - hope it doesn't get too complicated. I think I would be lost by now anyway! x Jo

  9. Another great post. It's one of those posts I put the kettle on for and then sit down with a cuppa to read it all.
    I love all those colours of wool. I looked at the Wool Warehouse website and will keep it in mind. Success with your mandala chrocheting.
    The flowers are gorgeous. Most of them look familiar to me in that we get them as well. But I had never seen the Broom rape before. Very exotic looking thing.
    The happy couple in the photo look indeed very happy. The cake looks yummy and you have excelled again with that card. Your cutting machine is fabulous. I still have your Christmas card hanging up in my studio. It is so beautiful.
    Your Ireland lay outs are great. Yes you have managed to cram in a lot of photos, but that is the point, to show all the lovely moments of your holiday. I like them a lot. You must have had a fab trip.
    We've had a wonderfully warm weekend, with red evening skies. You sky photos are lovely.Today we had lunch on the terrace, something we haven't done for a while as it's been too cold.
    Have another great week. I hope it is a little quieter so that you can get some more crochet done.


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