Thursday, 31 March 2011

Happy Birthday to a Special Friend and a day off Crafting!!

Birthdays and Special Days!
Last year after nearly 30 years of friendship my friend and I decided to stop wracking our brains for presents for each other!
Instead we would share a special treat together.
Last year she took me to see Calendar Girls which was brilliant.
Well today is her birthday.
 Last year she was with us in Spain to share her special day.
But not today!
So this morning I rang her early and left a message on her answering machine as she was obviously already out enjoying herself!
And then I thought, well the answer is to go out and celebrate her birthday without her!
What a lovely roadside welcome!

And it wasn't long before we arrived at one of my favourite villages -- Aqua Amarga!
The village square has been restored with the most wonderful tile work depicting life in the surrounding area.

Almost like Delft ware!
And the blue just prepares you for glimpses of the sea!

Too early for a Birthday Lunch!

So onwards to Las Negras.
Old windmills you pass on your journeys!

The perfect spot for a snack!

Great  little restaurants and bars you tumble upon.
 We ordered the tomato baguette but the pork skewers were free!
And they were delicious!

What a view!

Just a few kilometres on is another of our favourite spots!
Lots of places to relax!
It always makes me think of Greece and Mama Mia!

But first a climb up the hill to enjoy the view of Isleta Del Moro.

Of course we could not really have a lunch without our friends but it was definitely the day to raise a glass and send wishes for Feliz Compleanos or Happy Birthday from your quirky friend!

She would have hated the Tapas which came free in this little bar too!

So, I did enjoy this special friends Birthday -- I hope she did too!
As with all good things they have to come to an end and we were homeward bound.
Only a short delay to wait for the goats!

Now all that is left is to come up with a treat for us both when we are next together!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Snakes -- Let's hear it for the BOYS!

All the little boys I have ever known love toy snakes!
They like the rubber ones that stretch and stretch and seem to appear in Grandmas's Chair!
They like to keep them in their pockets and pretend to make them bite you.
I used to keep a pot of plastic snakes to interest the "littlies," especially the boys in some counting, when in truth they would rather be playing with cars on the carpet!
So I thought snakes would be a good filler for the Christmas boxes with boys in mind!
Kathy uses a simple pattern, so I was off, using all the scraps in my stash!

Here are the instructions if you would like to make a snake for someone in your life!

I think they look particularly effective if you use 2 strands of different coloured wool together.
Row1Chain 3 and slip stitch in the first stitch to make a loop.

 Row 2. Work 8  Double Crochet stitches into the loop. You may have to wiggle your hook a little to fit them all in and slip stitch stitch into the first stitch to complete your round.

Row3. Work 8 more Double Crochets into the top of  the stitches on the previous row not the central loop. By keeping your tension quite tight you will see the beginning of an acorn cup shape starting to appear which will become the snakes head.

Row 4. Repeat Row 3 but at the end of your row close the head by working a few Double Crochet stitches across the open circle.

This makes the head. You could always work a few more rounds of double crochet if you wanted a bigger head or experiment with the closing double crochets if you wanted a flatter shape.


Row 5. Chain 40 and turn.

Row 6. Double Crochet back to the head with 1 stitch in each chain. It's magic, it curls as you work with no effort whatsoever!

When you reach the head place 1 Double Crochet into the head shape to make the body firm.

Now the fun begins. Make your snake as fierce as you like!

Make a loop and stitch the wool backwards and forwards through the centre of the head ( you should not be able to see these stitches ) to make the tongue secure.
Snip the loop and here we have a hissing snake!

If you have any problems with this pattern please email me.
BUT one of the things I love about crochet is you really don't have to worry as it always seems to work out just right!
One word of warning--- they are totally addictive and seem to multiply all on their own and you end up with snakes everywhere!

The " Sporty One" even requested 1 for his pull along suitcase to distinguish it from the others at the airport.
I would have thought his label was sufficient!

Mine certainly is!

I am also have a fiddle with another boys toy for Operation Christmas Child.
 Can you guess what it is?

Will fiddle a bit more and then pop the instructions on here if you want to be overun by a different kind of beast!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Don't Worry Be Happy! And a pretty bracelet!

These few words mean so much to me!
When our eldest daughter was navigating her way through teenage years the "Sporty One" often sang that little refrain to her!
Even though she is now nearly 30 when we were in Australia he saw a car sticker with those words on and he had to buy it for her.
 It did made her smile when she opened it!

One of those precious,sweet memories they will always share!

Well I tried to copy a pretty crochet patterns this morning ---
Some sweet little bracelets perfect for those Christmas boxes.
Now I do realise I am back on to girlie things but these were too good to resist!

But as often happens to me when the instructions say you should end with a double crochet I find myself working a single crochet or suchlike!
Well this morning instead of getting frustrated, I thought, " Why Worry"
 These little friendship bracelets will be loved by someone who opens a shoebox at Christmas!

Encouraged by these thoughts, just look what I achieved!

Not a copy -- actually nothing like, but, " Why Worry!!!" They have made me so happy!

And here, if you would like to make some, are the simplest of instructions which will not cause you any worry at all!!

Chain up to 30 depending on the size you want to make the bracelet and chain 1 for turning.
Work 1 row of single crochet and 1 chain for turning.
Now the fun begins  -------
You could just work 2 rows in trebles using 2 chain for turning.
Work 2 last rows of single crochet using 1 chain for turning.
To finish work around your work in single crochet which gives it a neat finish.
 On one end you need to work 2 single crochet. Chain 5 for the button loop and finish the end with 2 more single crochet.

 Sew a pretty button on the other end!

Or try one made with Granny type groups of trebles!

And I love the effect of doing a long double crochet stitch at regular intervals!

To work the longer stitch simply poke your hook through the base of the stitch on the previous row. Put your yarn over and pull the loop through to the front of your work.Pull up your loop so it is level with your other double crochet stitches. 
You should have 2 loops on your hook so through both loops and carry on repeating the pattern of short and long double crochet stitches as you wish.
If like me this morning you end up doing a stitch in a different way --- You've got it!
Don't worry I am sure yours will be just as lovely!