Saturday, 22 November 2014


Sewing is a great love of mine. But, no matter how hard I try gremlins often come into my sewing space uninvited.

My eldest daughter loves cuddly pyjama bottoms. Cuddly,warm,soothing and soft. Her favourite pair came to pieces when she was staying with us a little while back.



So, I thought how hard can making a pair of pyjamas be? Surely not hard. So, I set to work carefully unpicking the well loved pair to use as a pattern.




I ironed them flat and carefully pinned them on some new material and thought I was on a definite roll!

Ok, I worked with the door closed. The Gremlins were not invited in!

I even tacked them carefully together and thought I just had to get the sewing machine out to finish them off!

But, as it folded them up I thought they looked a bit small. But how could they be?

Well my daughter and I are more or less the same size.

Umm . Well the gremlins must have moved the pieces because no matter how I tried to pretend they were fine. They are not!!! Too small,too skimpy too underwhelming. What a shame . I am going to finish them and pop them into the Charity shop here. I hope a size eight pyjama lover walks by .



Bottoms! Bottoms!! Bottoms!!!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Tips! They work for me! Could you join in?

Tip number 1

I was thinking the other day as I was making my home made yogurt how much I love cooking at home. A friend was in the kitchen chatting and she watched with interest as I carefully warmed the milk and then put it to one side to reach blood heat to start the culture. I initially use one shop bought pot and mix it with a litre of milk and that makes just over a litre of home made yummy yogurt. Perfect for adding to my fruit and cereals at breakfast time and also in sauces or dips.


She laughed and said " But you are using UHT milk. There is no need to boil that at all." Well what a brilliant tip. All that time saved. We only use UHT milk in Spain but I am going to buy it specially for yogurt making in the UK.


Tip number 2.

Anyone who follows life here at Chalky's must be aware of my love of yarn. I like to keep it organised and ready to use. And here in Spain Andy converted the garage into a Craft Room for me. Amazing I know and it has proved to be the perfect cosy place when the football is on!!

My days with the " littlies" is so obvious here with everything in boxes. But I love this basket I bought in a market in France and I keep my favourite colour palette in here.


I had a bar of soap which smelled delicous and I dropped it in the basket. It is so lovely to have a waft of sweet smelling soap when I pull out a ball of wool.



Tip number 3.

Spend some time/ hours and hours getting to know Pinterest. I bet you do already. But I wanted to make some home made Christmas cards for friends and neighbours here. And I loved this simple idea.

Just perfect as they will think of me and my love of crafting when they open the envelope.

Button love. What could be better!




Tip number 4.

Have Crafty friends. I have met the most creative,lovely friend here. Look at these cuties she is making.

She will fill some with cacti. Some with herbs and some with sweets. I just love them.





And Tip number 5 .

Keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities. Of course Christmas is getting closer but I try not to rush or panic.

I keep my eyes open and try to spot things that really match the person rather than buying a random present or worse still something I like rather than thinking what they would like. A huge difference there!

Well of course one of the people I love buying for is young William. He had his first riding lesson the other day on a horse called Prince. Actually I think he looks like a little Prince too.




And this morning at our local market I was delighted when I saw these. Perfect for a budding cowboy. They will be tucked away ready for his stocking on Christmas morning. Could be " Yee Haa " all day !



I would love it if anyone wanted to join in with this ideas of 5 useful tips. Please blog about yours and link back here to mine. We could spread some great ideas around Blogland.

I am so glad I dipped my toes back into Blogkand. I was thinking maybe I was going to dry them off and pop my blog away. But,it's only when I resume posting that I realise how much I would miss it and you all if I were to stop.

So Thank You for making me feel like that. Communicating is so important in this world of ours and friends are even more so!


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cutting cactus!

I have come to love cactii and succulents so much since we have spent time in our little Spanish house. Their patience and fortitude fills me with gratitude.

They wait patiently for water and they endure the blistering heat. Our garden here is so,so different than the one we love in the UK. But, I still get the same pleasure from walking around daily and seeing how things have changed,grown and developed.

Simple pleasures that I love. When we have been back in the UK for many months I often wonder how the plants will be. And one of my rituals on our return to Spain is to walk around our little garden and terraces as soon as we return.

Here were some of the things I saw this morning.

First a little wander around the back terrace with the sun trying to shine weakly through the clouds.

I have grown nearly all the ones in these pictures from small plants people have given to us.

Our newest cacti looking resplendent on the tiles.

This one in the Moroccan fountain is a climber and I am hoping to train it up the Yucca nearby.
Gorgeous verdant green.
And a relative with gentle maroon leaf tips.
I tried herbs in this little box but they did not survive the temperatures at all.
So this trio soon took up residence.



And then a wander in the front garden. Just this year we took out a very old lemon tree and a crazy Jasmine that thought it was a triffid in a sweet smelling disguise!



A new bed in the corner. And here it is so easy to see how forgiving these amazing plants are . The Cathedral cactus ( because they remind me of organ pipes in a Cathedral) on the left was a broken stump when we put it in and just since May it has been on a mission not to be left behind in the race to the sky.
It is clear to see these three have loved coming out of the pot they were in and going into the stony ground.the darker green growth is just what has happened this summer. And it's been a hot one!


And I love the different textures,colours and architectural shapes in this little group.


My nursery pot. Where I tuck in baby plants and hope they grow.


And sometimes it works so well.

This beauty started as a tiny, tiny offshoot.


I am always on the lookout for unusual containers and these are my latest. An old bicycle basket put beside the rubbish bins and a strawberry box making me remember the juicy fruits of summer on the market. The Yukka fronds are just baby ones from the big Yukkas on the back terrace. I just pop them in compost and give them some Reiki!

I just love the spotty appearance of this little cacti. And one new part is in the shape of a heart!

And after rain I always make a move to the garden early because magical raindrop jewels will have tucked themselves in amongst the fleshy leaves.


This morning as I was wandering and perusing I noticed one sad little pot.

Patiently waiting but confined in far too small a pot. I think this little feller will soon become about eight new cacti plants. But, my goodness some serious preparation is needed before I start on that job.

Thick gloves,cutlery and some new pots. And plenty of time with the tweezers afterwards because no matter how hard I try a prickle always seems to find its way into a new home in my thumb.

The only downside of cacti I can think of!

I hope you gave enjoyed a prickly, succulent wander with me this morning.

Love Linda x



Monday, 10 November 2014

Tiptoeing back to Blogland!

We seem to have been racing at a breakneck speed through this Autumn with celebratory days. But now as the gentle dawn awoke me this morning I realised I could lie in bed and give thanks for a new day and not have to worry about anyone else.... The whole little house here in Spain sounded as if it had a tiny puncture ..... pffffff .... shhhhh ....and the air was just sighing.

I went to Yoga and practiced my brick like postures. Lots more gentle breathing and calming thoughts. And then to top it all off I had a Shiatsu massage from a dear friend. It felt like a feather of peace was slowly weaving its way downwards from my crown to my heart.

I am just going to do more of these gentle pursuits for a few days.

I am going to sit and read more than a few pages of this great book.


Dream of fabrics,India, and Kashmir.

Eat simple food.

Scrambled eggs always fit the bill for me.


And this healthy,hearty soup full of vegetables makes the perfect anecdote to the rich food we have been eating of late!

Give it a try. So easy,healthy and delicous.


And, I need to think about a new project.
I would love to try these .. But need to be full of energy to attempt a new technique.

Tablet weaving.

There are lots of sites on You Tube if you would love to give this a try.

And in the back of my mind That Christmas word is stirring.

These stars look like fun.

But, also I am going to catch up with all the lovely blogs I follow. I have missed your news,your photos,your lives. So, if you see some tiptoeing footprints across your words you will know its me tiptoeing back in.



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Already the idea of the Blanket of Hope is feeling full of positivity.

I promised an update about my " Blanket of Hope" and this is a happy post.

The idea of this blanket for Fund Raising to help the abused women and children working in the horticultural industry in Almeria came from the Treasure Hunt stalls that are often to be found at fetes.


William is very much into pirates,treasure maps and the suchlike so I think they have been on my mind too!

He is growing so fast and wants a pirate cake for his 3rd birthday. I shall enjoy making that special cake when he arrives home on his actual birthday from Dubai for Christmas! I can't wait to see this cheeky smile and have a cuddle!

It's hard to believe how fast he is growing!


Anyway as you can see he is very close to my mind. This post was supposed to be about the blanket!


I cut out 25 pieces of card. I numbered them from 1 to 25. I then attached one to every square.



My yoga teacher chose the winning number and it was tucked away in an envelope to be opened when all the squares have been sold for 1 Euro each.


I always worry about bothering people for money but I have been brave and also overwhelmed by the support I have received already. Everyone sees it as a brilliant fund raising idea and really they really want to support such a worthwhile cause. The blanket is receiving lots of admiration too. So it's a winning combination on all counts.

I added a little silk bag to pop in all the Euros and it is filling up nicely.


And I have not even been to my next a Yoga lesson yet!

And added to that little bag I have been incredibly touched by the generosity of friends I have made here in Blogland and my online knitting thread. 13 Euros have been sent to me via Paypal already and 25 Dollars donated to the Red Cross in honour of this appeal to help abused women and children.

I am a very happy lady just now.

Thank you for every kind word of encouragement and penny sent.

I ,of course will update you all again soon.

Love Linda x x x



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

25 Squares of hope. Please read about my latest Afghan.

It is always so hard ... Maybe the hardest part of donating anything to Charity is to know if your efforts actually make the slightest bit of difference. YES, I do worry about that. But I have come to the conclusion that too much thinking could equate to........ too much of nothing.

I just want each stitch that I make, each stitch that I crochet to count. And this last week while I have been counting stitches to make my latest Lappycuddlyghan I have been thinking about finding a way to make each stitch really count.

A while back I made an Afghan blanket for a charity, and later when visiting that same Charity shop I found my Lappy in a horrible wire basket with a £2 ticket on it. I picked it up and thought of how I had dreamt it might make a difference. So, quietly i picked it up and took it to the till . The lady serving said... " a kind lady is making these for us,but no one wants to pay any money for home made things" Surely in anyone's language this Lappy was worth more than £2 !

Thankfully this was only one experience . My efforts with ' share a shirt for September " were greeted with sensible pricing strategies and a sense of acknowledgement of the work that goes into hand crafted goodies!


I felt sorry that in a Charity Shop no one would even want to pay the costs of one ball of wool, never mind the love. Or maybe the person setting the prices have never crafted themselves.

So, after paying that £2 myself and buying that Lappy back I sent it on to another charity and if nothing else changes it has doubled its value!!!

So, with a new autumn in Spain and another cry for help concerning the atrocities surrounding Female abuse and Human Trafficking in the Almeria region.I have made another blanket. And as I was hooking I thought about each square. And I came up with an idea.


25 Squares.



25 squares of hope.



I wonder if anyone would be willing to donate £1,1 Euro or a Dollar for one square.

I promise that if such a sum is donated I will give every penny raised to the charity helping these unfortunate women enslaved in Almeria.

Added to that I will donate the blanket to the fund raising efforts at my Yoga Class and then this lovely Lappycuddlyghan will make a difference.



If you feel able to donate a few pennies ,a pound, a euro or a dollar please look at my email address on the top of my sidebar. Using that email address as a contact to my PayPal account. PayPal itself will will do the rest of the magic making a little pile of money.

I would hate to mislead anyone. Any donation will go to help swell the charity funds and the blanket itself will be donated to the Yoga Centre which is collecting money by selling such donations to help these poor people.

And I promise to update you all about how much this little bit of woolly love generates..... Surely more than £2... I do hope so.

Of course I understand that maybe you already give to your favourite charities. In this case could you just send a thought,a wish or a prayer for these poor souls.

Thank you all my lovely followers for so generously supporting me in thought and deed xxxx

Ps. I am feeling very nervous about posting this. But after the generosity displayed by my lovely blogging friends in support of my September Challenge I have decided to give it a whirl.



Saturday, 25 October 2014

Let's eat that elephant one bite at a time !

Now to be fair I would never want to eat an elephant.... A species too special and too precious.

Thank you for all the kind and supportive comments about my latest charity initiative. To try and spare the effects of the trauma of human female trafficking. It is not only here in Spain. And not only females but whatever the nitty gritty details .. It's wrong. So today I have been chutney making!!! The house now stinks but it it surely tastes good! Just a little bit of yummy goodness to help swell the funds.


These pretty jars should generate over 30 Euros.