Charlie, Quinn and Queenie, and a hot Christmas Craft Fair!

I thought I would just share with you a little update of some of the crafting projects I mentioned in my previous post. I have been very busy getting everything done for this week, in between my increasingly hectic social life 😉

It is so lovely to have so many things to do and people to spend time with, I really never expected this when I came here. I thought I would be mainly in my new craft space making, and instead I am out so many evenings with new friends.

First to be finished was the Luna rabbit, who I named Charlie. This was a commission from one of the people who entered the ‘guess the name’ earlier on this year. She had requested a rabbit for her grandson in neutral colours so I made one out of linen again and made him a winter and a summer outfit, all from charity shop clothes in my stash.

I was very pleased with the way that the formal shirt turned out, it was very fiddly but well worth it. I am very happy with my neat top stitching, that is getting so much better. It helps to have such a lovely new machine.

I finished the reindeer last weekend, they are probably the cutest things that I have ever knitted, look at that little face!

The draw for the reindeer took place yesterday, I sold some of the names earlier this week to friends at my knitting and sewing groups and the rest at the Christmas Craft Fair that was organised to support the local foodbank charity.

All of the names were sold and the winning choice was Quinn and Queenie. They have gone off to their new homes today. This raised 100 euros for the charity and we raised a lot more with the tombola and other stalls.

All of the patterns for the reindeer and clothes are from Little Cotton Rabbits. The reindeer pattern is a free supplement to the fox pattern, I knitted two of those last year for Ellen and Sarah and you just adjust the placement of the ears and add antlers and speckles.

The Christmas dress and jumper are both from the seasonal pattern sets and the spare dress from the textured dress set of patterns. I particularly loved making the textured dress as it looks so lovely and the yarn knits up beautifully.

The craft fair was held outside the charity shop on a rather hot day yesterday, it has been unseasonably warm here and it was about 24 degrees yesterday so I was glad that I was in the shade. Many of my friends had their crafting for sale. I bought this gorgeous mandala dream catcher for my bedroom from Gale.

Gale also had lots of other dreamcatchers and key rings, she is going to teach us some macrame at knitting group at some point.

These cute little Christmas puddings with chocolates in were made by Mary who had lots of other versions on her stall.

Tracy and Isla had a beautiful selection of knitted and crocheted toys and clothes.

I bought one of Edith’s gorgeous candle holders last year and this year bought some of her crochet pot holders that match my kitchen.

Lynne and Linda were manning the donations stall.

I also bought these amazing hand embroidered silk handkerchiefs from Vivien, who selling them on behalf of a friend. They are so delicate and I plan to turn them into some gorgeous outfits for the Barbie dolls. I am going to spend a little bit of time in my atelier over the next few weeks getting back to Barbie haute couture.

I have also been cycling, the sky was so clear this week and the views across to the mountains have been wonderful.

My latest knitting project is Rainbow Rascals from Dollytime on Etsy. The picture below is from her website.

I love the bright colours of these dolls and have previously knitted her little snowmen. They are a very easy knit as the legs, head and body are all knitted as one piece and that includes the stripy jumper. I am looking forward to making some cute skirts to go with them. I’m not sure where these will go as they might just be kept until next year for Christmas boxes for the local charities.

I have about 6 weeks now until I go off on further travels so am looking forward to lots of lovely adventures on my bike and knitting and stitching on the sofa! I hope that you are all having a lovely time whatever you are doing. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

La Marina Wildlife

Although I live on what is called an ‘urbanizacion’ it is very rural and not urban at all. The word just means residential development and there are many in this area. To one side we have the mountains, in front of us is the sea, and behind us endless farmland. I have never seen so many artichokes in my life 😉 and that is why we have such lovely fresh, and cheap food in our local markets.

I have posted previously about the verdes, the green areas in between the housing blocks, and the lovely gardens that many people create there. Most of the verdes are natural though and they are lovely to walk though. I usually chose that route to my Mum’s house, in the hope that I can spot squirrels who live in the more forested ones.

The squirrels here are very different to those in the UK, they are neither red nor grey in colour but a beautiful brown with cream stomachs, and are very tiny and nimble. Apologies that my pictures are not that clear as I was using zoom but I found this great blog with some clear pictures and lots of information so this close up is from there. They have such cute ears as well!

They are a species of red squirrel but are a lot darker and their coats can appear black. The Spanish word for squirrel is ‘ardilla’ (the double l is pronounced as a y).

The very wet weather in March, (where we actually had rain here for about 3 weeks!), has meant that the more open verdes have been transformed into the most gorgeous wildflower areas.

There are so many lovely yellow and purple flowers that have bloomed here, lots of varieties of what look like daisies and a small purple bell shaped flower which covers large areas. You can see that one on the top left of the above picture.

I love to explore the farmland on my bike, as well as great cycle trails there are also the ‘caminos’ which are the rougher roads into the farmland area. Often these run along the ‘azarbes’ or irrigation channels. There are amazing views out towards the mountains.

This week I came across a wetland area on one of the fields where one of the irrigation channels had pumped water onto the field and flooded it. Whether this was deliberate or not I don’t know but it had created a wonderful habitat for birds.

As well as a large flock of ‘gaviotas’, seagulls, there were also white egrets, which we see often here on the azarbes. There were also a few darker egret type birds with a wonderful dark purple plumage under their wings. I think they might be a glossy ibis from my research, this site has some great close up pictures which is where I got this one from.

We also have little lizards that I encounter on my bike rides or walking around, they are far too quick for me to take pictures of but I love to see them!

A little further away we also have the salinas where the flamingos live. I was very excited the other evening as a whole flock of them flew over my house while I was sitting on the terrace. I have seen a few flying over before but never as many of this and it was an amazing sight. No pictures sadly 😦 as the camera was inside.

I did take these ones of the sun setting over the salinas on the way back from Caceres last year. They always look amazing when there are clouds. They are are often a pinky grey colour in the sunlight which is why the flamingos come as eating the sea creatures there turns them pinker. These salinas are some of the best places to see flamingos in Europe. I love the fact that the Spanish for flamingo is ‘flamenco’ 😉

I am really enjoying finding out more about all the birds here, my sister is really into birds and so I have got more used to looking out for unusual ones. Many of the salinas are bird reserves now, as they are no longer used commercially for the salt.

It really is a lovely area to live in, so different from my gorgeous moors and reservoirs of Marsden but still with the same all important access for me to rural areas.

I am looking forward to more nature exploration in the autumn, it will probably too hot in June to go far on the bike so I will be planning lots more cycle routes for when I get back in October. I have also started planning where I will spend January and February next year, nothing confirmed yet but I am very excited!

Meanwhile there are cushions to be finished, the hand stitching is taking a lot longer than I envisaged but I am hoping to done this weekend, so will be able to share that soon. I hope that you have lots of nice things planned for the weekend as well. Do have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.