Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thank You!


Sometimes you feel just a little bit shy.
A little in need of a little bit of rest and relaxation.
A little reassurance that all will be well.

And then--
 Maybe in just a day.

Things seem brighter,fuller,more complete and just sunnier.

Thank you so much to all my lovely followers.
Old and new!
Often it is you taking the time to encourage me with your lovely comments and becoming a follower of this little bit of Blogland that makes this happen. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

On The Road Again!

The Sunshine Bus is packed!
The blanket knitted by "The Sporty Ones" Nana is just perfect on the bed.
Nana would be so proud to be sought after Vintage material.
We just love it!

I'm packed!

I couldn't resist a little try with the colour  combinations and the new project for the long journey home.

I bet the good intentions of sewing in the ends as I go soon disappears!
The back  looks as good as the front.

And the tails will make the van look so pretty!

So it's Granny Love for about 1500 miles and a new blanket to show for the road trip of 2012.
I will be back on line as son as I can but I would like to thank my lovely followers for taking the time to comment on my posts and I have got 130 followers so it is nearly time for a Giveaway methinks!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Hearts and hooking!

I have worked really hard on trying to develop a more optimistic approach to life!
It has not always been this way.
I vividly remember trying to start the car with a banana when I was working full time with the "littlies" and had  three children of my own!
That has got to be a sign of stress-- Trying to start a car with a banana ought to be documented in the Lancet or somewhere else noteworthy!

Anyway since retirement bananas have taken their rightful place in the fruit bowl and we now have a healthy relationship.

I have talked about my love of heart shaped things before.
Today I wanted to just follow my heart again and just hook.

First with the finest cotton and teeny hook.
Funny shape for a heart!

Then when that tested my patience and eyesight some thicker yarn came out of the stash.
I have crocheted hearts before -- there are lots of patterns in Blogland to refresh my memory!
But, I am still thinking about Creative Carmelina and her crochet projects.
Beautiful creams and lovely images.

This is where I love my optimism -- Yesterday I really believed I could quilt like the best.
The machine came out, I cut pretty shapes in gorgeous colours.
I knew exactly what I had in mind.
Optimistic -- Oh yes.
The machine ate the material, the tension was all wrong.
  So in disgust the machine went back into the box and was seriously sent to Coventry.

But I am optimistic and that was yesterday!
So today, a new day has dawned!
So back to hearts.
 My first did not have a pointy enough point!

My second did not have a dipped enough top!
And then all of a sudden I let my hook do the walking,talking and deciding, and things immediately began to look up!

Lovely hearts all in a row and just perfect for a little bit of extra love and attention.

A little white edging.

Dressed with a  little fine cotton heart and pretty button.

Flip the colours and work a white heart and  pop on a pretty red button.

And layer heart on heart.

Just loving them!

If you would like to make some here is the pattern I ended up with.

1. Chain 4 and slip stitch to make a ring.If you can make the magic ring it will work right now!

2. Working in the loop you have made, chain 2 ( This represents your first treble) Work 2 more trebles. 3 double crochets. 1 chain. 1 treble. 1 chain. 3 double crochets.3 trebles . Chain 2. Slip stitch in to the middle of the ring to finish your first round.

3.Chain 2 and work a single crochet in the very first space from your previous round. 3 trebles in the next space.Then work 1 treble in each of the next 4 spaces.You will find your are in the 1 chain space from the previous row.Work 1 chain and then I treble in the actual stitch of the treble in your previous round. By working in the stitch you will keep a nice point on your heart. Chain 1. 1 treble in each of the next 4 spaces. Work 3 trebles in the next space and finish with 2 chains and slip stitch in the last space in the previous row. When you sew your tail in it creates a perfect dip at the top of your heart.

 I hope it works for you. When I write all those instructions it sounds really complicated but I promise you it is not, and once you get hooking and see the symmetry you will be hooked!

Love and hearts!

Friday, 15 June 2012

I have swapped!

It has been so hot here I have had to swap the woolly yarn for the cooler cotton.

It is funny how I seem to naturally gravitate to blue when I am hot, and red when I am cold!
So. at the moment with soaring temperatures it's blue all the way!

Usually I have a project in mind but with all the football going on I just started working with the cotton with nothing in mind at all.

It is a totally different way to approach things but actually I just enjoyed the pattern making.

Some single crochet,some double crochet and lots of trebles!

Some in clusters of three!
And then I had,had enough and decided to stop.
That is so like me!

Butterfly brain at the very best of times!
Then of course it was a case of looking at the piece of work and picturing what it could become.
Well luckily the imaginative muses and craft fairies were with me and very soon I had a finished project.
Two straps made of double crochet stitches.

The piece neatly sewn in half!

Pretty buttons of course!

Some subtle Chalky flowers!

You can see it coming together--- So could I.
And more importantly I was beginning to be very happy with it.
Most of all because the piece of crochet with no purpose was not,not,not going to end up in the Work In Progress bag!

I was liking it so much I decided it deserved a lovely emerald green lining.
I love those two colours together.

And look just a piece of football distraction has become something lovely and rather useful for these warm summer days.

And actually I love it.
I am sure you hardly ever work in this way.
So try it.
Leave Flikr,Ravelry,Gorgeous blogs,Tempting Books and just make some stitches and see what happens.
You might, like me, be glad you did!
If you follow my lead I would love to hear about where you ended on your journey!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Blog Hopping -- The latest disease but I don't want to find a cure!

I absolutely love blog hopping.

I love having new followers here at Chalky's World!
Sometimes I seriously worry about my ego when I get excited by someone who enjoys my little bit of Blogland enough to follow my path!

I also seriosly worry that sometimes, I feel a little fed up when some blogs have a zillion followers as soon as the first letter of a new post is typed!
Seriously my problems!

BUT-- Today I wrote this comment about this absolutely beautiful blog.

I have just spent a VERY special hour looking through your beautiful blog and do you know how I found it? Because you have started following me -- Well. Thank you, Thank you so much. I am going to blog about you next -- just because your blog is truly beautiful,different and inspiring and I want to visit again often!

Here it is -- I hope you like it too

And do you know what she was kind enough to become a follower of  Chalky's World.
I am so pleased she did!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Len Goodman and seven!
Everybody who watches Strictly knows Len!

Well, thankfully my Mojo has come back.
 I know that it has been helped find it's way back because I have returned to my Charity knitting.
I wanted to make complete sets for tiny premature babies and I am really pleased with them.

Little jackets, jackets, hats and booties.

I am actually going to give these seven to the Neo-Natal unit at our local hospital here in Spain!

1.2,3,4,5,6,7 !!

I ran out of wool for the matching items for the last little jacket!
But,I have enjoyed making them so much I shall soon make some more!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

What a sweetie!

I knew it would happen!
Of course I did!
I just did not realise how LOVELY it would be!
Being a Grandma for the first time is soooo SPECIAL!
And so is William.

5 months old already and ready for his first Fancy Dress Party!
Can't wait to see him and give him a big cuddle!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Refrigerator Pickles! Delicious.

Being a child of the 1950's means you can remember very vividly the arrival of a Refrigerator,Twin Tub Washing machine ( That used to bounce around the kitchen when it was on spin!) and Black and White television!
The excitement in the house was amazing!
My Grandma who lived with us particularly thought them life changing!

So the marble shelf and wire hanging wire basket were not so vital for keeping things fresh--- ish!!

Anyway I love Gherkins,Piccalilli in fact anything pickled.

Now this morning on our little village market here in Spain  5 cucumbers were 1 Euro!!!!
Now I thought pickles.
 Usually, I think chutney, and the 3 kilos of tomatoes for 1 Euro are in the fridge waiting for the trusty preserving pan tomorrow!

So back to Cucumbers!

Sterilised jars -- I always wash them well and pop them upside down in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

All the other ingredients ready for their photo shoot!

And then it is all really easy.
Slice the end bits off the cucumber in case they are bitter.
Slice the cucumbers into three.
And then each portion into six pieces.
I leave both the skin and seeds in place.

Next slice half a small onion finely.
Peel and smash 2 cloves of garlic

And lastly make the pickling brine.
Take 2 cups of cold water.
1/3 of a cup of white wine vinegar.
1 tablespoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
5 whole peppercorns
A few twists of freshly ground pepper.
( I doubled this quantity a I wanted to make 2 jars of pickled cucumbers!)

Stir the liquid well because you want the sugar to dissolve as much as possible.

And then the fun bit begins.
Pack the cucumber spears in your jar adding the sliced onion,garlic,5 peppercorns as you go.

When you have filled the jar cover with the pickling brine.
Cover and store in the fridge.
Leave for at least 2 days before eating!
That is my instructions to you but you are a more restrained character than me if you can achieve this!

I added a little fresh thyme to mine and I could not resist some chilli in one jar!

I think as long as you get the brine proportions right to stop bacteria you can experiment as you want and add all kinds of little extras.

Now, I am thinking of adding some to natural yogurt.
Some in sandwiches and some -- Well straight out of the jar.
Just to test the quality of course!
I hope you make some soon.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Outside my front door this morning!

I looked outside my front door this morning and was delighted by what I saw!
We are not usually in Spain at this time of year and I must say we are loving it!
The clear blue skies!

Swimming at Garrucha in the evenings as it gets a little cooler.

The cherries on the market. Priced at 3 Euros for a whole Kilo!

But lets get back to my morning. 
I am always slow in the morning and here in Spain that can mean seriously slow but nobody cares!
So I opened the door and---

The beautiful palm we bought nine years ago.
It has just had a new layer of leaves and they are looking so fresh and green.

Lush new foliage.
And then there is our trusty lemon tree.
It was a mere twig when we bought the house but now---

I always tell people we are self sufficient in lemons-- now this is true but that is because we have one trusty tree which gives us all things lemony all year!
Then we have the jasmine plant.

A true triffid, but its vigour is forgiven because its sweet scent especially in the evening is just intoxicating.
Now water is an issue so we have tried to surround ourselves with indigenous plants.
I have come to love cacti and succulents.
Outside our door they really are our most faithful friends.

And every now and again these plants will give you a surprise for a day.
And today it was my day!

And as I was enjoying my view I noticed somebody else was having a good look!

I wonder what you saw outside your door this morning?