Cruising along the coast of Norway we had a total of seven craft classes. One very popular class is using our Textile Inspiration Packs. We make these packs up using a variety of textiles, colours and buttons and bows. The idea is that during the class the ladies( it’s usually women) choose a pack and let the fabrics inspire what they make. We guide, suggest and help the ladies with what they make. In one case we actually made it!
The ladies enjoy this project and often make a rosette or flower brooch.
One day I went on an excursion to The Troll Mountains. The scenery was awesome. This picture of the mountains is jaw dropping. This is where adventurers BASE jump from the top! Now a banned sport following many accidents. Apparently (mad) some still attempt the BASE jump in secret. I won’t be joining them, it’s one ” thrill” that I shall forgo.
Because we were in Norway the home of Trolls I was on high alert to see a real Troll. They are notoriously shy, mischievous and cheeky. But guess what! I found one willing to pose for a photograph!
Good bye dear reader, see you soon.
On my recent adventure to Norway I was lucky enough to visit The Igloo Hotel in Sorrisniva. This trip was arranged whilst we were docked in Alta and was a journey of about 45 minutes by coach.
The Igloo Hotel was AMAZING. It is possibly the most awesome place I have visited, and I’ve visited a lot of places! The structure is entirely ice and lasts from approximately November until it melts in April. Each year it is rebuilt and has a different theme. This year the theme was (appropriately) Ice Age.
On entering the Igloo Hotel I was struck by the beautiful blue misty light. Which helps to explain the poor quality indoor images-sorry! There was an entrance hall with various spaces or wings off. One wing had 10 bedrooms, including a Bridal suite with a four poster bed. The beds were covered in Reindeer skins for cosines as EVERYTHING was ice.
There were carved animals including a Mammoth, Siber toothed Tiger, Bears and People. There was a beautiful ice chapel and an ice bar. The ice bar was very well attended and I sampled the local blue drink which was very warming whilst sitting on an ice bench at an ice table! They did say that we could take the ice glass home with us…..
Outside in the snow a few Reindeer were waiting patiently to give someone a sleigh ride.
One of the great things about cruising is getting dressed up for dinner. On our recent Fred Olsen cruise to Norway there was a choice of casual or smart dining. Mostly I chose dressing for dinner, just to make eating an occasion. The problem with this cruise was the need to take so many warm clothes! Sweaters, thermals and woolly hats don’t blend well with cocktail dresses and high heeled shoes ( In fact I mainly wore snow boots!!). Anyhow a great time was had.
We arrived In Alta, Norway our most Northerly port of call. It was very cloudy and mild (ish) so not too bad underfoot for a walk around the town. The cathedral was the first place that I visited. It was small, modern and peaceful.
In this beautiful building in the photograph above right, I lit a candle for a small person that I had lost and sat for some thoughtful moments in the peaceful pews.
I explored the town. All of the shops are located in “malls”and from the outside don’t look very interesting. Inside I found many shops and coffee places and FREE WIFI! I felt very clever when I used Google maps for the first time ever. This directed me to what is reputed to be Norway’s largest craft and wool store.
I had been warned of the high prices in Norway. Apparently a beer cost £9 but I didn’t try that! A coffee and cake cost £5 and I did try that! As money was no object(ha ha!) I gave in and purchased some Aida fabric and an embroidery hoop. Hopefully not destined to become another UFO.
It was interesting to get back onto the ship and compare craft finds with my new crafty friends!
We continue to cruise North along the gorgeous coast of Norway on Fred Olsen’s ship MS Balmoral. We glide along past the colourless but awesome scenery. Colourless because the coast and mountains are shrouded in mist and mystery, but with glimpses of coastal villages and amazingly long road bridges.
The classes on the ship are really well attended, with over thirty ladies ( and a couple of random husbands) attending each session. Today we were doing ” decoupage” which proved incredibly popular.This is good as I don’t now have to carry home lots of wooden boxes. We are using a wide choice of papers including old maps and a vintage Whinnie the Pooh book. The glue used is a glossy glue which means that you don’t need to varnish the end product. It’s a great thrill to see the variety of creations that emerge from the same raw materials.
We have bonded as a craft group as we share, help each other and chat.
And to think that I thought no-one would come!
Today was our first craft class on board the lovely Cruise ship” Balmoral “. We have cruised with Fred Olsen many times. This time it was a working holiday as friend K and I were teaching crafts On board during the cruise. This particular cruise was to North of the Arctic circle and along the coast of Norway, very exciting.
As you lovely readers will know, we have been working hard on the crafts to take with us. We arrived on board with a large suitcase, various shopping bags and a serious overflow of crafty supplies.
We are always very apprehensive about our first class and think that no one will turn up! But they did! 20 ladies arrived eager to tack and chat. Today we were making small tote bags using the iconic Liberty fabrics.
There were ladies who maintained that they hadn’t sewed for many years and girls that had never sewed at all. We chatted and sewed and it was quickly time to finish the class as lunch beckoned. It was a delight to see ladies finishing their bags in the various lounges around the ship. Good marketing for our next class.
That’s it! Two suitcases packed full to bursting and ready to go. Tomorrow I’m off to meet a cruise ship in Southampton and sail to Norway. It’s not all holiday as I will be working my passage teaching crafts on board. One of the cases is full of the handcrafts that we will be using on board. We have Liberty fabrics, up cycling and re purposing crafts. We have some gorgeous truly vintage fabrics to upcycle.
I am on a steep learning curve and one thing I’ve just learned is not to choose crafts that take up a lot of space. K my crafty friend who is helping out, also has bags of stuff we can’t manage without!
We should have enough free time to explore a little of Norway and if we’re really lucky we will see the Northern Lights. I’m not sure of Internet access but I’ll try to blog in various venues. I’m actually trying to change the way that I take photos. Really I want to move from an old fashioned camera to my phone. The cameras on phones are so good these days but I have to work out how to transfer images from phone to iPad. I’m sure it’s easy but…….. I will take lots of pictures and report back as soon as I can-promise!
I am spending the weekend in a log cabin at Llangollen
It is middle child’s 40th birthday. How the heck have I got a child aged 40? Any how I digress. A few friends and family are away for the weekend in lovely Llangollen. The log cabins are really nice and fully equipped with a hot tub. There are squirrels, ducks and birds enjoying the winter landscape.
Toby dog (one of the family) is slightly obsessed with the scenery as Cyril the squirrel keeps coming to the window to say hello.
The hot tub is being well used.
One of my Christmas gifts was a pair of earrings from Darling Daughter. They are not made from precious metals or valuable gem stones but from threads and wire. They were made by women displaced by the Syrian conflict.
The earrings are sold under the strap line “Drop Earrings Not Bombs” by a women’s cooperative known as “The Olive Tree Craft Cooperative”. I have no desire to be political but these women are just like you and I . They are mothers, grandmothers, daughters and friends just like you and I . They could be your sister. Caught up in global conflict is not fun.
If you would like to find out more visit http://www.smallprojectsistanbul.org