Friday, April 15, 2016

Rocking Your World 2016; Week 16

My smile today is this pretty flower that has just
opened on a little tree in our garden. It isn't the one we have been watching for the past coupe of weeks. That hasn't made much progress so far, but I guess having taken forty years to reach the bud stage, it is going to take its time to actually open as well! This goes by the grand name of Caesalpinia gillesii, or as it is known here, the Bird of Paradise Tree, though it is not related to the Bird of Paradise flowers, and is in fact, a member of the bean family. We bought it in a little pot last year and I nearly lost it because I couldn't keep up with watering it as much as it needed. But later we planted it into our tiny patch of soil and it has flourished. It died right back during the Winter and we didn't know if it would revive with the Spring, but it certainly has, and this is its first flower of the year. I think it is so pretty. It is right outside our sitting room window so I see it each morning when I open up the windows, and it always makes me smile. It has long branching stems of tiny leaves which fold up and sleep at night, and open again with the morning sun. This morning I counted at least ten more buds forming on it so we will have flowers for many week to come.
And here is one more smile from my garden. Aren't these adorable? I planted them way before Christmas and they are still full of flowers. And you really can't help but smile at their little faces.

This week has not been quite my usual list of activities, as we heard at very short notice, that my husband Chris could go to hospital on Wednesday for his long-awaited hernia operation. It was done as day-surgery, and they seem to do most operations here with an epidural now instead of a general anesthetic, so the recovery time is much shorter. It was a long day as we left home at 7.00 in the morning and got back at 9.30 that night, but he is fine, and as long as he is careful what he does for a few weeks, he will soon be right as rain. In Spanish hospitals the nurses only do the medical work and you are expected to have a family member or friend with you most of the time for the care aspects - straightening the bed, helping with food etc. It is quite a good idea as long you have someone who can do it, but I feel sorry for the elderly folk who have lost their partner, and need to depend more on the staff. Be we have great respect for the medical system out here, and are very happy with the treatment we have received.
It did mean I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting but I went well prepared with a fully charged Kindle and my crochet. During the operation the relatives have a special waiting room where they sit until it is over, and then the doctor comes and tells you how it went. I caused quite a stir in there when I sat working on my Sophie's Universe blanket. The older Spanish ladies took turns to come and sit by me and look at what I had done so far. I showed them the pattern and talked about the colours, which all helped to pass the time. The rounds on Sophie are long now but I got four or five done while I was there. I am now on round 69, and have finished part 8 of the Crochet-Along. There are twenty parts altogether but I am missing out a few which tell you how to make rows of matching squares along the two ends before working the border, to turn it from a square into a rectangle. But I am happy to have the square one which will fit nicely on a double bed over the douvet, mainly for show. She is getting quite heavy so maybe after one more part I shall put her away until the Autumn.
I am looking forward to Tuesday when the second part of my Frida CAL will be published and I shall have another set of hexagonal motifs to make. I wonder what they will be like this time. More complex than last week's I think, but still relatively straightforward. The fortnight after that, when part 3 comes out, I will be starting on those lovely dimensional flowers.
But to get me ready for that I have been working on a smaller project to make a Frida's Flowers tote bag, for storing and carrying the wool for the big project. It is a cubic box with a twelve inch square for each side and for the base. Then it is stiffened and lined. It may take me a while to finish it as I only get my sewing machine out when I have to, and will really have to be in the mood to make a bag liner! But here are the sides I have done so far. Two are finished and the other two are on their way. Then I will need to do one plainer one for the base as of course, it will not need to have a raised flower in the centre of it.
It is made with chunky wool and a big fat hook which is very hard for my hands, but this afternoon I sat out on the porch on a lovely warm day, and got quite a bit of it done. My arms will be stiff tomorrow! I never choose to work with chunky wool  but it is the main yarn they sell in our todo shops. It is very thick and I would never wear a garment made from it, but it is cheap and tough and works well for a bag. I had almost enough purples and pinks in my stash and bought a few more, plus some very dark purple to join up the panels and make some handles. It seemed a better idea to use it for the bag rather than my good wool that I buy from UK, and it has kept me busy while I wait for the next part of the blanket pattern.
I will also not be rushing to go out for the next week so I can make sure Chris is OK and not trying to do anything that he shouldn't, so I am looking forward to some more craft time. 
Last week I mentioned that Lisca had sent me some small lace patterns and was translating the instructions from Dutch for me. So when the start of the bell arrived, I decided to dust off my lace pillow and bobbins and have a go. The outer edge was reasonably easy and I have done most of it, but now I am stuck. I don't think I understand the next part of the instructions and neither does Lisca, so we are going to help one another try to figure it out. Here is what I have done so far. There are another fourteen pairs of bobbins wound, ready to fill in the centre, but I have no idea where they go yet.
If I get it sorted out I will show you the finished bell, but don't hold your breath; it could take a while!

Last Sunday after church, I drove to Mojacar for a meeting where I heard some rather sad news. No need to share that with you, but afterwards I wanted to sit and reflect for a while, so I pulled into a little beach at the very far end of the Playa. It was so peaceful and beautiful there, and I took a few photos so I could recapture that feeling later. There was hardly anyone else around. The sky was blue and the sea was a deeper blue. The beach was only recently formed and the seating area where I was, is mostly 'imported' sand which is very yellow. It was windy and I watched a flock of seagulls trying to take off against the gusts of wind, but by the time I had retrieved my phone from the car to take some pictures, they had all gone. I did however take some very interesting cacti flowers or seeds. I'm not sure which they were.

As I went back to the car to drive home, I noticed a wooden pathway winding up the rocks behind me. I have not seen it before though I don't think it was all that new. There was a notice board telling you about some of the things you will see if you walk along it. The whole route was ten kilometers each way, which is a bit further than we could manage right now, but I am hoping when Chris is fully recovered, we can at least do the first half of it.

Finally I have a couple of sky photos, not sunsets this time, but the sunrise as it developed during our ride to the hospital on Wednesday. They are not brilliant photos as they were taken with my phone through a grubby car window, while we were moving along. 
We started out in almost darkness with just a fine line of light in the sky.
Gradually it got brighter and the sky glowed golden.
Then as we arrived, the early morning cloud turned red. In the end it was a lovely day.

Now I will link up at Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and say 'Adios' until next week.


  1. I'm glad Chris is OK after his op, it sounds like it was a long day.
    Your little tree's flower is beautiful and I love the little pansies, I have a pot of similar ones on the kitchen windowsill. Mandy gave it to me at Easter and it has got loads of flowers on it now.
    Lovely photos of the beach too, I love the look of the cacti and shrubs right beside the sea.
    Jean x

  2. I love your sunrise photos and beach photos, too. The bobbin lace is amazing. I've always wanted to learn this craft. I hope your husband has a speedy recovery. Have a wonderful day. Pat

  3. I really love sharing a little of your life out there in Spain Kate. The flowers, plants and scenery always make me smile. Glad to hear Chris has had his op and is now the other side of it to make a good recovery at home.
    Hoping you have a good week playing nurse maid.
    Annie x

  4. Ah a fabulous post, hope hubby is recovering well from his op, my hubby had the same op (although a double hernia) last year and had general anaesthetic which caused all sorts of issues and resulted in him staying in, so I'm glad that all went well in the day as it were.

    Loving the sky photos and the lace - wow - lace making as well, I can't crochet - although I do a mean chain stitch tee hee and I definitely wouldn't have a clue with lace. Said 15 year old is growing increasingly frustrated with his art textile at school as they aren't teaching any new techniques - so I'm on the look out for other things he could learn!

    I'm sorry you had sad news in church and hope that stopping at the beach and taking in the news and the view helped provide some solace for you. In times of sadness taking a step back to reminisce and then remind ourselves of what we have in our lives that makes us happy, remind us that life is exceptionally precious.

    I hope the coming week is a restful one as hubby recovers and that you manage plenty of crafting too!

    Much love


  5. Hello Kate, sorry I missed you last week. I'm glad to hear that Chris is doing well after his operation. You'll both soon be walking that wooden path near the beach.

    Your crochet bag is looking lovely and what beautiful colours. I can imagine that it is difficult to crochet with chunky wool but it will look beautiful when it's done, I'm sure. Your lace making is looking good too. I went to classes for a few years many years ago now. I did make several pictures and edges for a number of hankies. I've still got lace pillows and lots of bobbins hidden away somewhere but doubt I'd remember how to do it now. I look forward to seeing how your bell progresses.

    I wish you both a peaceful and happy week. Barbxx

  6. Hi Kate, lovely photos. Pleased everything went well for Chris. Love your flowers and what a busy lady, all those crafts you've been working on. Have a great week, Angela x

  7. So happy to hear about Chris having a successful operation and now he is on the right side of it and recovering with your good care.
    I love to hear of the progress of your crochet and it reminds me of the quilts I crocheted for my family during travel time. I can look and remember the rows I did travelling to Germany and then when it was too big to carry I did rows in the car on the motorway down to Brighton so no doubt you will remember those you completed waiting for Chris to come out of surgery.
    Lovely pics of the skies you've enjoyed.
    I hope your sad news was not too painful for you but I feel you are dealing with it in a good way. you are well blesses and it's shines through how much you appreciate your life and experiences.
    With love
    Jo x

  8. I'm glad to hear Chris' operation went well.
    Those flowers are absolutely gorgeous.I remember the violets. You had them flowering when we came to see you.
    The sky photos are beautiful as usual. And I love that bit of beach. Very beautiful. I trust the sad news is something you are working through in your own way.
    Keep me updated on the bell. Did you meet your lacemaking friend on Saturday? Are you any the wiser?

  9. Beautiful photos there Kate. I love the lace. I would guess that you do a background in there and on first glance I would say a roseground (one of my favourite backgrounds. Let me know if you would like me to scan over some instructions. Use a lazy susan tool to add the bobbins around the inside edge. Sorry if I am teaching you to suck eggs!
    I hope the Mr is feeling better very soon. I would not share the jokes with him as he is already down right now!!

  10. Glad to hear your hubby is doing well after the surgery.
    Your sky photos are lovely as usual, and your plants are very nice.
    Those beach photos though, they really took my breath away--love them, it looks so peaceful there I'd love to visit and just sit and watch the ocean.
    Have a great week!


Thank you for visiting my blog. Your comments are appreciated.