Sunday 31 March 2013

Happy Easter dear friends.....

I hope everyone who celebrates Easter had a lovely weekend and for those who don't celebrate it, then I wish you a Happy Spring!!!

I took a few photos of Olive today in her pink Easter dress!  It's not really an Easter dress as such but it's one I made for her in anticipation of her arrival and I think these are the first photos I've taken of her wearing it, although she has tried it on before.  It's a little long in the sleeves because I thought her arms were longer than they actually are!!!  But she doesn't seem to mind and I'm sure she'll grow into it!! 

She has teemed it with ORANGE tights!  Yes orange!  Because apparently, according to little Olive, they go with one of the umbrellas on the skirt part of her dress!!!  Fair enough, can't argue with that!!  She also wears her tulle underskirt and her brown boots!!!  Quite a combination!

Here she is amongst the Jasmine, which I have to say smells beautiful at the moment!!

Thursday 28 March 2013

Oreo Cookie Cupcakes

Virginia (pronounced Ber-hin-eee-ah in Spanish), my sons fiancee, made us two boxes of lovely Oreo Cookie Cupcakes for Easter.  We decided we'd not eat them until later so I put them up high on the worksurface on the kitchen, out of the way of the dogs.....obvioiusly not high enough though!!

Three little girls are very interested in the boxes, peering through the celophane at the cupcakes!  Me thinks they have a Cunning Plan!!

Olive, being the biggest, gets the task of opening the lid and looks for the BIGGEST cupcake! 

"This one looks lovely!"

 The girls look a little bit guilty though, it has to be said!!!

Ellory, wandering what all the whispering is about, comes to investigate, but finds the three girls just 'hanging out' by the Cupcakes box!!!!

"Such sweet good little girls" she thinks!!!  Ha ha, little does she know!

(I love the way Olive is looking up at Ellory in this photo....and holding her hand too of course!
And I realised that of the four girls I brought with me to the coast, three of them are redheads.  I do like red hair on my dolls!!)

Wednesday 27 March 2013

A new dress for Ellory...

Yesterday I made a new dress for Ellory.  I wanted to use a pattern that a friend had sent me some time ago as the picture on the front looked quite cute.  Girly enough, but not frilly because Ellory really is NOT a frilly dress sort of girl.  Well first of all the pattern pieces weren't right.  I could see straight away that the sides of the front and back bodice parts did not match.  One was shorter than the other and the shoulders were not the same width either and each sloped in at a different angle.  I am glad that I noticed it before I started cutting out the fabric or I'd have wasted it.  So I made a new bodice front but copied the placement of the 'pleats'....then cut it all out and started sewing.  I didn't like the placement of the pleats one little bit, I don't think they add anything to the bodice, but I did them all the same.  Once I'd finally finished sewing the dress, I tried ironing out the creases that were in the fabric (I'd already done them a couple of times as I went along, without much success) had obviously been folded in the fabric shop for some time, because the little buggars wouldn't come out, even with a very hot steam iron!  So I gave up on that.  Then the collar wouldn't lie flat!  And the strange pleats in the sleeves also wouldn't sit nicely!  In the end I just put the dress on her and hoped for the best.  I also added a scrunchy hair band of the same fabric, white socks and nice lime green leather sandals from Boneka in Germany.

As it happens, I'm quite happy now with how it looks on her, Ellory calls it her 'beach ball' dress because she thinks it looks like the coloured beach balls that they sell in the tourist shops in town.  I thought it reminded me of those clove boiled sweets that come in large jars at the sweet shop and they weigh them out for you!!!!  Either way, we both like how colourful it is!

Then because Ellory had been so good modelling for me, she decided to hang out with Lucy, our Miniature Pinscher.  Ellory loves animals and Lucy is very good with her, gentle and not interested in biting (read chewing) her!!!!  

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Semana Santa.....

Because we are not at home for Easter, and therefore not watching the Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions, I thought that I would share a some photos of previous years.  Although Spain is a Catholic country, the number of people who regularly attend Mass has declined considerably over the years, however when it comes to the Easter processions, everyone and his brother are there to watch the 'floats' go by.

In our town, Estepa in the Province of Sevilla, as in many towns throughout Spain,  the processions start on Palm Sunday.  The various 'floats' are carried by 'Brotherhoods' through the streets of the town and the 'worshippers' follow along behind the procession.  Different days 'belong' to different Brotherhoods and each Brotherhood wears a different coloured pointed hood and cloak, which often displays their 'coat of arms' plus a floor length tunic.  The floats are heavy and can be carried by hundreds of men on their shoulders and in most cases they are unable to see ahead and are therefore guided by someone who walks in front.  These men and the others, both male, female and children, who follow behind, are called Penitents, or Nazarenos.  I understand that the Penitents represent the followers of Jesus, but it's not really clear why their heads are covered.  I did read that it dates back to the Inquisition when the heads of the accused were covered with a sack.  It is also not unusual to see the Penitents marching an additional atonement for their sins.

Each procession takes approx 5 hours depending on the route.  Because of the weight of the floats they go at a very slow pace.   A person at the front walks along with a long pole which is used to push the electrical cables up above the height of the statues on the float!!

My favourite of all the processions is that which takes place on Monday night.  This is the Monday before Easter and not Easter Monday as it is known in the UK, which isn't a holiday here at all.  The Lunes Santo (Holy Monday) procession leaves the church of Santa Ana at 10pm and is referred to as a 'silent' procession.  Although the participants must not speak, in fact it is not totally silent as there is the steady beat from a lone drummer...I find it very moving.  It actually passes our front door at about 1.30am and it is amazing to watch several hundred Penitents passing by, many of them carrying very large heavy wooden crosses as an extra burden for their sins.

This photo was taken as the 'float' left the church.  The statues represent Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as she craddles her son in her arms.....

The following photos were not taken by me,  but they give a much better idea of the Lunes Santo (Holy Monday) procession in our town:  You can see the guys in front with the 'hooked' poles, these are used for lifting the electrical cables up above the statues as they mentioned above. 

Next time I will show some photos of the Penitents and one of the daylight processions.

Sunday 24 March 2013

A little Pea in a pod!

Yoda hates mornings....and mornings when I go out without her, so she hates even more!!!!

Thursday 21 March 2013

Ellory enjoys the beginning of Spring....

My little red haired Sasha, Ellory, is enjoying the start of spring with a trip to the coast.  We will be down here for a couple of weeks over Easter as my dogs really don't like the marching bands and fireworks that are all part of Easter in towns here in we spend the time down here instead.  I decided to bring four dolls with me this time, and so Ellory got her turn this time!

I have also brought all my sewing things with me, as usual, and Ellory hopes to get some new clothes!  (Well it really is about time, poor thing!)

A few days ago I emailed Jackie Rydstrom, who also lives here in Spain, and asked her about the possibility of her rerooting Ellory's fringe as it is a little bit sparce and I'd like it a bit thicker.  Jackie gave me a couple of suggestions for improving the fringe without Ellory having to go 'under the needle' and so yesterday I had a go at it myself and now Ell's fringe is lovely and thick!  Basically what Jackie suggested is what I do with my Blythe dolls when I want them to have a fringe, I pulled hair forward from the crown and then I trimmed it in line with her existing fringe.  Then, using a damp cloth to completely cover her hair, I used a hot iron to lightly press the hair into place!  And voila once the hair was dried, she had a perfectly thickened fringe!  I couldn't believe that I never thought to try this before and was actually thinking of having her rerooted, especially as she has such lovely thick bobbed hair anyway!! 

I took some photos of her today as she enjoyed the flowers and Spring sunshine, as usual I couldn't pick just a couple!!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

1969 Blond Gregor on Ebay

Today I listed Devon, my 1969 blond Gregor on Ebay.  I originally had said that I wanted just two Sashas, a girl and a boy.  Then of course I got carried away and ended up buying a blond girl and before she even arrived from Shelly, I'd bid for and won a blond Gregor on Ebay.  Then I added a brunette boy and my red haired 'waif' girl.  So I decided that I would try to go back to my original plan.....well a little bit anyway....and put Devon up for adoption.  I hope that someone will give him a good home, he's such a lovely boy and in such good condition!!

Here is the listing:

And a few photos of the handsome boy:

Sunday 17 March 2013

Flowers or weeds.....who decides?

This morning was beautiful and warm, definitely what I call 'short sleeves weather' so I decided to make a start on the weeding.  The weeds have really taken over in the last couple of months and because of the cold I was reluctant to go out and get rid of the darn things.  I quite enjoy weeding, it's one of those 'mindless' jobs, I know, but it gives me time to ponder things.  And today's pondering was this......

"Who decides what are weeds and what are flowers?" LOL

After all, some flowering weeds are every bit as pretty as some flowers, aren't they!!

Well I filled two sacks with some pretty flowering weeds, as well as nettles which kindly stung me in the process!!  I've got a long way to go yet but I got a bit cleared as well as some sunshine on my paled winter skin.  And took some photos too!!

A Margarita, as all Daisy type plants are called here!

Fresias (oh the scent of these is just wonderful!)

Blossoms on the Nectarine tree

A little bee collecting pollen from one of the succulents

Tiny little 'flowers' on another type of succulent

Purple Irises

And then the weeds!!!

And finally, the 'skeletal' remains of a leaf, probably from the Lemon trees

Isn't Nature wonderful!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Blue skies...nothing but blue skies.....

Today was another beautifully sunny one although there was a sharp wind coming from the north....but the sky was such a gorgeous blue that I had to take a photo to share.  When the sky looks like this then I can put up with almost anything!!!

Which is just as well that I can put up with anything because today some eejit hacked my Yahoo account and sent a link containing a virus to all of my contacts.  There was even a 'blog' entry on here containing just the link.  It makes me mad when people do things like this, but more than that I feel saddened that someone who is obviously very technically talented, wastes their time putting viruses onto other peoples accounts, when they could be doing something much more worthwhile with their computer talents.

On the dolly front, I've been playing with my little Olive again.  I really love this funny little girl, she is so cute and her posing is second to none.  Today she is wearing a colourful little outfit that looks very sweet on her.   Sorry about all the photos of her, but once again I couldn't choose which to post so posted a whole bunch of them!! 

I love this profile shot, she has such a cute little upturned nose!

I know I said it before, but I'm so pleased with the way her face turned out with the matt spray!

The usual 'lemon tree' photo...the light filters through the leaves so nicely here!