Practice Piece

Standard

Here is a practice piece that I did to play with Long Stitch. I learned a lot from this mini project. I decided to vary the length of the long stitch on the sky but I don’t like the result. It was meant to look more ” skyish” but with hindsight would have looked better with sky all one stitch length.

Whilst it was a canvas printed project from Twilleys of Stamford, I added my own variations. One change was the creamer underneath of the sheep on the right. It would have been better to do the whole sheep ( or more of the sheep) in the creamier white.

I also learnt to go up and down with the stitch on the reverse as well as the front. This technique produces a more even, padded effect on the front.

As I said it was a practice piece and worth the work to learn the lesson! I don’t usually like a practice sampler that is useless or not made into something useful! Have you any ideas what I can do with it?

Advertisements

Cruise Crafts Bargello Canvas Work

Standard

I was delighted to discover that my Bargello canvas work was so popular on the latest cruise. Some ladies ( men were conspicuously absent!) were waiting, not so patiently, for the craft to be on offer. We had a small ” introductory ” project providing canvas, yarns and some samples, and they were off.

What fun it was to teach those who’d never done canvas work and to learn from skilled participants. The sample we made could be turned into a needle case or a glasses pouch. I hate making a sample that is of no use so always try to make a useful item. On a ship there are serious time constraints preventing us from making larger items. It is much better if the ladies can take home a completed project so that they go away feeling good.

Cruise Crafts Decoupage

Standard

Another craft that we did on our latest cruise! Decoupage is always a popular and a well attended craft class. I’ve come to the conclusion that we all enjoy messing about with glue, paper and being creative. We had some lovely and colourful boxes and hearts on display at our final exhibition. Above is just a sample! There is always a discussion about decoupage versus decoupatch. An explanation follows.

Decoupage requires gluing the paper in place followed by varnishing. In order to achieve a smooth finish, many layers of varnish are required and the object would need to be sanded between coats. (The term decoupage is also used for the technique often seen on handmade card where stiff cut-outs are layered to give a 3-D effect.) Decopatch is the modern version of decoupage. (Strictly speaking, Decopatch is the trade name of the French company that makes the special papers, glue etc, but it has rapidly become a generic term.) Decopatch paper selectionDecopatch papers are thinner, so it doesn’t require layers of varnish to give a smooth finish. The combined glue and varnish also makes the whole process much easier. The decopatch glue-varnish and aquapro varnishes are water based so you won’t be inhaling solvents as you work.

I have just one more cruise craft to show you from my recent working vacation, so watch this space!

Cruise Crafts Log Book

Standard

On the recent cruise one of the crafts that I taught was the making of a log book or Journal about the cruise. The loose leaf file was covered in fabric and then embellished and used as a scrapbook. It was possible to embellish the cover using wooden printing blocks and many participants also used buttons, beads or fabric to add interest to the cover.

The passengers collected maps, tickets, postcards, photographs, and any other memorabilia to put into their log. At the end of the cruise everyone was delighted with their souvenir and maybe we have some converts to Smash booking.

Key Elements of a Smash Book. Instead of buying a scrapbook album and page protectors, a smash book is a journal in which you can write, draw, paint and glue in embellishments and memorabilia as you’re on-the-move. No planning is involved – you simply decorate as you feel

Cruise Crafts Block Printing

Standard

Block printing is always so popular in my Craft Classes on board cruise ships. Everyone just loves to play with paint, colour, textiles and Block printing ticks all the boxes. I do have a wide selection of wooden printing blocks but due to weight restrictions, I have to limit the ones I take. I provide “ready to print” linen bags or tea towels and away we go.

I also provide buttons, beads and embroidery threads so that the bags can be embellished if the ladies wish. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to see someone have fun and be delighted with the result. Often the ladies are unhappy because the printing hasn’t gone to plan. Usually we can recover from the mistakes using paint brushes and embellishments. And, as they say, turn the frown into a smile!

Cruise Crafts Silk Ties

Standard

Hi lovely readers! I have talked a lot about the destinations on my recent,wonderful cruise but not about the crafts! The very reason for me being on the cruise in the first place is that I was actually teaching crafts! And what a great time we had!

One of the very popular crafts that we made was silk purses. We used silk ties to make these simple colourful make up pouches. I did start buying ties from charity shops but was not very happy. Silk ties in charity shops are quite expensive. They are often not too clean! They do not wash very well ( my Mother was right) I ended up buying lots of silk ties from China. These are sold as wedding ties and are colourful, good quality and nice to work with.

The purses are quite simple to make and the only other requirement is a zip. If you place the tie longways and use the zip as a measure, you can wind the tie round and round until the length is used. Pin and then slip stitch as you go. Slip stitch the base and insert the zip. Job done!

These are a small collection of the finished purses that were in our final Exhibition of Crafts. Didn’t we do well?

Cruise Crafts at Petra

Standard

What an awesome,exciting, historic place! I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to visit this wonder of the World!

The cruise ship docked in Aqaba Jordan and I joined a day tour to the interesting Historic remains of Petra. The coach journey was in itself very interesting, made better by our brilliant guide. On the two hour journey we saw something of Jordan. A peaceful, hot, desert country. We drove along the main highway of Jordan which is a very busy and ancient trade route. Interestingly this original route was built with the profits from the transportation of Myrrh and Frankincense.

We saw Bedouin people living their centuries old life style in Bedouin tents and herding goats. We drove past Wadi Rum, an amazing rock formation in the desert where “Laurence  of Arabia” was filmed. On the way back we saw a wonderful desert sunset.

Petra was a magic place completed around 100 BC. It is worthy of the title “seventh New wonder of the World”

The Treasury is the main archeological structure of the park and is displayed in all of its 3000 year old glory. If you look closely to either side of the facia you will see square holes carved into the stone. These holes were carved in order to support the wooden scaffolding to enable the original carving of the facia?

A great day out and a wonderful opportunity.

I haven’t yet mentioned the beautiful crafts that we worked on board the cruise ship so watch this space!

Cruise Crafts Crete

Standard

I do like alliteration don’t you? As you may guess today I’m in Crete. Apparently the fifth largest Greek island and a great producer of olive oil. I did a tour around rural Crete. Field after field of olive groves and beautiful vineyards.

We visited a winery and sampled the local produce. We had a snack lunch in a Taverna which was lovely with the exception of the herbal tea. I’m a Morning Breakfast sort of a girl.

The weather was hot but with a gentle breeze. Perfect touring weather. I am told that September is the best month to visit. I haven’t , however had chance to see any beaches. So there’s nothing more to be said I will have to return. If it’s only to get some decent pictures.