At last! Finished! Looks great! And it works!
At last my craft room is finished! Painting done, desk delivered, chair assembled and finally the cause of all this trouble, the sewing machine is unpacked.
I’ve sorted out most of my craft books and displayed them in the room. There are a few more to sort through but you get the idea? It’s lovely having them in the same place and a chance to “remember” the books that I have.
I invested in a lovely oak desk with some storage, which fortunately was delivered ready assembled. The new linen box and swivel chair were a different story. I had to face the IKEA challenge and put them together. This did require a degree of DIY skills and ingenuity. Neither of which I have in abundance.
Best of all is the new sewing machine. You may remember that it was delivered two or three weeks ago. I had only checked that there was actually a sewing machine in the box but hadn’t taken it out. I can now confirm that it works, it’s fab, and I love it! Watch this space for some creativity and sewing.
Another busy busy week. Not that I’m complaining as, fortunately, all is good.
I took Damnvan1 out of winter storage this week. I am very fortunate in that friends let the camper van live in their barn, so it has been warm and sheltered all winter. This year she did however need a new battery and a minor repair- all down to age I’m afraid. She’s not too old and low mileage but I keep thinking about changing/upgrading her. Shshsh! Don’t tell her! I might keep her forever!
This week I’ve also been on a felting course which was free! I like free! It was a two hour introduction course, very relaxed and very informative. We were supposed to make an egg, which I did and then got bored. I went onto make a small piece of felted Textile which is destined to become a Wild Woman! More about that at a later date!
Thats all folk see you soon!
The best thing about completing a project is that you can start another one! Having completed Darling daughters shrug I have now started a scarf! Not too difficult. This scarf is a little different and goes under the name of “Hitchhiker”. It is a pattern by Martina Behm and can be found and bought from Ravelry.com I am working it in a Superwash Marino 4ply yarn called Vivacious by Fyberpates
I also keep dipping into my multi coloured stash buster blanket.
OK I confess it should have been finished for last Christmas but hey ho the thought was there! I finally gave this shrug to Darling Daughter. It fit and dare I say it, looked good! Amazing after the catalogue of disasters that it had become. I must emphasise in no way the fault of the yarn but the fault of the knitter. Me!
I purchased the yarn from Woolfest nearly a year ago. I fell in love with this beautiful fibre and bought Darling Daughter’s favourite colour. I checked the yarn thickness and yardage against the pattern and away I went. First mistake. When I came to knit the yarn I realised it was knit with double yarn so I quickly ordered more to be sure of the same dye lot. This yarn was very expensive so the garment felt as if it should be gold plated!(I would never have payed the full amount had I realised, but mistakes happen!)
I now found the double yarn difficult to work with as I kept spitting the two and creating holes. Second Mistake.
Third Mistake. I knitted happily away until the second front. For some reason known to no one I knit this front much too long and had to unpick the hard work.
I picked up over 400 stitches around the front and back using a circular needle as instructed. Fourth Mistake. When knitting this welt the circular needle broke. Disaster!
In fact it’s something of a miracle that I completed it at all! But I did so Whoo Hoo another WIP done.
Eldest child turns up and says”Can you make some cushions for my new house Mum?”
“Of course I can son – no problem” I reply.
And the result is:
Eldest son arrived clutching a bag containing off cuts of Harris Tweed. Irregular shapes with some from a sample book as they had appropriate holes in them. I put them together in a random patchwork pattern and stitched them ktogether. I chose a lush silver grey velvet from my stash ( Hoorah more stash used up) and inserted a zip along one long side. There were some Harris Tweed labels which I stitched onto the cushions and whoo hoo! Two really nice cushions. They look great in son’s new house and coordinate nicely with the decor.
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!
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!
Finally! Last project for my forthcoming craft cruise.
This project is decoupage. I’ve got lots of wooden boxes, shiny glue and various papers. I have used a Winny The Pooh book that I picked up in a charity shop last year for the demo project. The result is really attractive. I lined the inside of the box with a contrasting paper and have sealed it with three layers of shiny glue. Had I had more time I would have done more coats as this then gives you the ability to finely sand the surface producing a better result.
A lesson learned from this cruise is to choose smaller projects next time! I have packed the craft case but there is a considerable overflow. At least we are not flying so we can have the remainder in our hand luggage.
I don’t do New Years Resolutions! I rarely keep them and can’t see the point. However….
THIS year I’m not going to start another craft project until I’ve finished at least one Work in Progress.
In 2017 I will NOT add to my stash.
Its a good time to start (another) diet.
By the end of January I will sort out my wardrobe.
This is the year that I will blog more, blog smarter and blog in a timely fashion
will be am happy, eager to learn and indulge in positivity.
I will practice acts of random kindness whenever possible.
And finally ……I will NOT make any New Years Resolutions.