Author Archives: Noddfacrafts

About Noddfacrafts

I live in a small cottage in the Clwydian hills of North Wales. I left a career in Radiology management to pursue a country life of crafts, vintiquing, and wine tasting. I adore to travel but love to come home. I have a great husband and three fantastic children with three gorgeous grand children. Life is good but I believe it is also what you make it. My current mantra is "adventure before dementia"

To make you smile!

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Crafts and Caravan

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I recently had a lovely weekend with my Sister in my caravan in Criccieth. The weather was not good but we snuggled down with the heating and crafted all weekend.

We did have one break from crafting when we went to a bonfire on the beach. It was good fun and interesting to watch the fire by the waves. There was a lot of people there but everyone was happy and having fun.

During the weekend I put together some quilt kits for a craft fair next week. Sis made some tapestry cases, I knit, the sewing machine misbehaved, and we had fun.

Beading and Blogging

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I have never been interested in beading but recently became hooked. It is a fiddly and often frustrating craft but ultimately rewarding. I started to make a bracelet using safety pins and beads.Every craft you try leads into a whole new World of crafting and beading is no exception. I have bought books, various threads, lots of beads. I’ve watched YouTube and Googled for information. Most importantly I was introduced to the craft after reading blogs on beading.

Here is my first attempt. However if you count the number of times that I dropped the beads or Miss threaded them it’s by no means my first attempt. Hey ho! Practice makes perfect

Where are you crafting?

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This week I drove to a beautiful place in North Wales called Rhyd du. I parked in a gorgeous place at the foot of Snowdon whilst Hubs checked out a future walk. Rhyd du is one of the quieter paths that goes up Snowdon.

Whilst Hubs strode upwards I sat in the car with the radio on, sun shining and birds singing and oh yes! Stitching away. Bliss! Where were you crafting this week?

Ps just realised that it looks like I have stitched the steering wheel! I haven’t!

Practice Piece

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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?

Cruise Crafts Bargello Canvas Work

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?