Category Archives: Craft

Hand made treats,luxuries or experiments

Crafts on Board

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Many of you are aware that I occasionally work on cruise ships teaching crafts. I average about three “craft” cruises a year. It is not as simple as it sounds as an awful lot of work goes into the preparation for the cruises both financially and time wise. Trying to remain current and popular with the crafts I teach is a challenge. Deciding which crafts to offer is a major consideration and knowing how to do them is handy!!

This involves watching which crafts are fashionable or even revisiting vintage crafts for ideas. Which brings me to…

IMG_0519Do you remember French Knitting? We used a knitting dolly. This seemed like a possibility for a cruise so I ordered 40 Knitting dollys. (see what I mean about expense?) Then I needed to organise the yarn – more cost! Most importantly I needed to remember how to use it. Guess what? I took the kit on a holiday cruise! I practiced and practiced.

IMG_0607I also thought about Textile printing which I’ve done before. I already have the printing blocks so I bought 30 Textile tote bags and tea towels – more expense! I took a tote bag on the cruise with me so that I could embellish it to demonstrate the possibilities.

IMG_0518On this last cruise Sis also took along a craft. She was teaching herself needle felting. Now there’s an idea!!

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Ties

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As you know my friends, I occasionally work on cruise ships teaching crafts. I am always on the look out for interesting, new crafty ideas, and as such have come up with a project using silk ties. I could use polyester but silk would be much nicer. I therefore started to search charity shops and quite frankly can’t believe the price of second hand ties! Polyester are generally around £2 but silk ones are about £4.50 Why on earth are they charging so much more for silk ties? There are dozens of them in the shops and are obviously not selling. I don’t want to pay too much as I need at least 30!

That took me to eBay where the plot thickens. I found great silk ties at a cheap rate (£1) so I decided to order three as samples to see if they will work. OK they are coming from China and won’t arrive until May! But hey! I can wait. I placed the order and then realised that they might be clip on or elasticated! I contacted seller who seemed very sweet but there was a language problem Chinese v English.

A short search later I found a private seller with one silk tie for sale. Well it was a start! A lovely silk tie in girly colours and great condition.

IMG_0176The tie arrived promptly this morning and it is very nice. I then turned it over and Amazingly Naked ladies! Tasteful but naked.

IMG_0178This is an interesting craft project indeed.

Knitting moan.

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I’m still “dust busting” It’s amazing how having friends to dinner can motivate you to clean your house! That and the dusty remains of a new boiler installation. But even better news! I’ve finally got back to working on my own projects! Maybe I will even finish something.

IMG_1326I was traumatised to find an error on my Miriam pattern from Quince and co. It was only when I reached all the way to the sleeve insertion that I realised the error. The pattern instructions shape at the “sides” as this is knit in one piece. However whilst it does state 4 sts dec’d the instructions only decrease by 2 stitches. When I enquired I was just informed that I must be using an earlier edition of the pattern and subsequent editions had been amended. Well I don’t think that is good enough. Patterns should be fully tested before publishing. I have had to pull back hours of work which is so demoralising. Still lesson learned….. don’t buy un checked patterns from the Internet!

Beads and Stuff

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My Sis gave me a large bag of beads that she had collected. She thought (hopefully) quite rightly that they would make a good cruise project.

IMG_1307I have sorted them all out and now need a project……

All ideas welcome. They are heavy and as you can see quite lovely. All I need to know is what to make with them…….

Thanks Sis! Thinking of you. Go girl go!

Rainy Day Activity

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Welsh Wales weather can be very wet! However, on our recent seaside break in Llanbedrog it wasn’t too bad. We had a few nice beach days and a few variable days. To fill in a dull morning Step Grandaughter and I attempted some block printing. I’d gone well prepared with fabric paint, print blocks and linen tea towels. ( all left from my recent craft cruise)

As usual Benji dog wanted to play as well!IMG_1301IMG_1309IMG_1310Step Grand daughter did amazingly well. She is patient and plans carefully. We were both delighted with the result and great plans are afoot for teachers’ Christmas gifts!

It’s the Final Project

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IMG_1216The recent cruise to Canada was a great success. The one project that I haven’t shown you was Decoupage, which is always popular. It’s the sort of decoupage where you glue torn pieces of pretty paper to a wooden form or box and then varnish it. I think that we all love messing about with glue and creativity.

IMG_1215IMG_1289The photo frames were decoupaged using the ships Daily Times, and cutting outsignificant locations. The end result was a great souvenir to take home.

Perhaps next time I will tell you something of the actual cruise!

Textile Inspiration Packs

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One project that always proves popular at my cruise craft class is what we call “Textile Inspiration Packs”.The packs contain a selection of fabric pieces in various different types. There may be some colour co-ordinated velvet, cotton, corduroy, taffeta and perhaps,lace. They take quite some time to put them together, but it’s good fun.

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The ladies take a pack and it’s over to them! They usually make a fabric brooch, a bag pendant or whatever they wish. Inspiration is the name of the game. We always take along beads, buttons and bows, brooch findings and clips.

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This picture is of a jewellery roll which one lady was inspired to make. It’s lined with plain blue satin and pouches for beads – lovely.

Playing with Paint

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A week or so ago, whilst on a Crafty Canadian Cruise, we had quite a few classes playing with paint. We provided paint, tea towel, linen tote bags and stamps. You’ve guest it, we were creating our own Textile decorations. The linens were especially bought for printing. Colour, imagination and creativity abounded.

The dog related stamps were especially popular, making me realise how much people love their pets (not least of all myself) All of the ladies who joined in were pleased with the results.

These printed projects would need the paint sealing to make it waterproof. It’s very simple you just iron on the wrong side for quite a few minutes. Or you can tumble dry to seal.

Good job well done!

Block Printing

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My latest crafting journey took me to Block printing. This is another craft that I am demonstrating on my next cruise. It’s fairly simple but feels very creative. I have been preparing samples but have realised that the possibilities are endless! I think that I will be blogging a lot more about this creative activity.

IMG_1170I have a large selection of blocks to chose from and there is always a shopping opportunity to buy more!

IMG_1175I have beautiful linen tea towels and a few tote bags just ready to print, paint and play around with.IMG_1253

Whoo Hoo!

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IMG_1146I ordered a “kit” to crochet a shawl that I had been watching on Facebook. It was a Hygge crochet along that had grabbed my attention as it grew. It was designed by http://www.haakmarraak.nl using yarn made possible by Scheepjes. I ordered the yarn from Wool Warehouse and, good for them, it was delivered within 24 hours! What good service!

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As usual I didn’t open the box for a while! I know this is strange but I so enjoy the anticipation! I savour it! When I eventually opened the box I was delighted to discover a box of delights. There was a couple of wooden charms, a “silver” charm a needle, a lovely button and a larger ball of wool than expected. Oh! There was also an organza bag to hold everything in. All of this was delivered in lovely box.IMG_1153

All I need now is time to complete! Does anyone know where I can buy that?