The south Atlantic is HUGE! We have been sailing for days and no sign of land. We all know this but sailing the high seas expresses just what a vast wilderness it is. I suppose that all this water is teaming with ocean life just below us but we haven’t seen any sign of it! To keep the cruising guests busy I have been teaching crafts
Today’s crafts were a Silk Tie project and s wet felting gorgeous bars of luscious soap. The classes are well attended with a group of lovely ladies and one man. We giggle chat and generally have a good time whilst creating and crafting.
My Sis and Daughter decided to teach ourselves how to make felted soap ( OK it was my idea!) We spent an evening watching “how to videos” on YouTube and much of the next day experimenting. We soaped, squished, laughed and felted.
I then dry felted a heart onto one of my bars. The results were quite good with some room for improvement.
This is an eco friendly craft which will be great in the shower. The soap continues to shrink within the wool which also shrinks. Every piece of soap is used up leaving a piece of felted wool behind.
Well! Our hands were clean and we smelled delicious.
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…
Do 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.
I 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.
On this last cruise Sis also took along a craft. She was teaching herself needle felting. Now there’s an idea!!
Our recent Scottish Lochs cruise took us to Fort William where we Tendered ashore. This involves going from big ship to small boat to land because the loch is not deep enough to allow the ship to berth at the landing place. A degree of agility may be required if the water is at all rough. Going back to the Beautiful Boudicca ship was a little exciting as the wind created a rougher return. The ships staff were delightful in “man handling” some of the passengers aboard.
Meanwhile back to Fort William…….
Sis and I were lucky to stumble across a great craft fair in this iconic Scottish town. There was much to ooh and ahh about but best of all there was a stall selling beautiful hand felted items. We both fell in love with book covers hand made by Corrine at email@example.com Sis is using hers as a tablet cover.
Isn’t this a delight? It contains a note book and as you know a girl cant have too many note books! Not only that but when fully open the book cover is gorgeous.well done Corrine and thank you.
I had to add this photo as I couldn’t resist. Kennedy was my maiden name so fame at last!
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!
Well dear friends some of you may remember that theTour de France 2014 started in Yorkshire, England. I’m not sure why or how to be honest, but Yorkshire sure made the most of the short lived fame! All along the route there are still flags,bunting and bicycles. The cycles have been dressed,painted,hung from walls, and placed in shop windows, roadside verges and anywhere else they could think of. Most of the bikes are painted yellow but today I stumbled across the best that I have seen.
This particular bike was in the church graveyard in the tiny village of Hardraw near Hawes North Yorkshire. It had been covered in crochet. There were tiny mice,daffodils, hedgehogs, leaves and a multitude of other country artifacts all lovingly crocheted in multi coloured yarns. The work that it had taken was huge and very impressive. It was leaning on the church notice board in the graveyard. I particularly like the fact that it rests amongst very old tomb stones in such a peaceful location.
In the same village (Hardraw) I visited the Focus on Felt Studio/gallery. This is owned and run by Andrea Hunter who specialises in original felt artwork. Her work is absolutely beautiful and depicts gorgeous landscapes and horses. It is hard to believe that the pictures are created from traditional felt work. Well worth a visit www focusonfelt.co.uk
Today was a good day, although a lot of days are! Today was a craft day, well few hours. I attended a felting workshop in the garden of The Old Post Office Tintagel. This is a a 14th Century stone house owned by The National Trust. Imagine that! Built in 1300’s as a medieval manor house about 700 years ago! Wow!
The course was about how to make a felt flower brooch. Dee-Anne McCoull was the delightful teacher and a handful of interesting ladies attended. Dee-Anne demonstrated how to felt wool tops and let our imaginations lead the way. My “flower” turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt. Although we didn’t have long the afternoon turned out very sucessfully.
Of course I bought another future project. This will join my project stash but will be made up into a lovely bag in the fullness of time.
See http://www.dee-anne-textile-artist-painter.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I started to knit a felted bag today. Oh boy did I get in a mess!
Number one problem was the circular needle. I’m not used to knitting in the round and found it really hard to get going. I was uber careful not to get the knitting twisted as advised in the pattern. I started with a needle too long and had to “un knit”.
Number two problem was having to use three strands of yarn, one of which is a lovely fluffy black. Needless to say the three balls of wool got knotted, knotted and knotted. I “un knitted” and started again.
Number three problem was that Benji the dog thought that the large balls of yarn were a good game and nosed them all around the carpet trying to pick them up!
Number four problem was that the Hubby kept talking to me when I was trying to concentrate. But don’t tell him he was a problem!
Not to be defeated I carried on and started the haute couture hand bag to be modelled at the spring fashion shows. Well you have to have a dream 💃👜
Current knitting project is nearly complete! Yippee! I now face the challenge of blocking the cardigan pieces before finishing. I don’t usually block my knitting but I have decided that this time it is essential as the fair isle pattern is a little tight and needs evening out. We will see how successful it is.
Unable to wait any longer I decided to start a bag that will be felted. According to instructions I started by using a circular needle- well trying to. I had to use double wool which was harder. I think that I had a fight with the needle and maybe it was too long. Anyhow I gave up, unravelled and went to bed!
I’m busy this week getting ready for another Christmas fair next Friday at the local school. Today I have made more bunting using vintage embroidery,lace doilies and old pearl buttons. I’m quite pleased with the results and worse case it will add interest to my stall!
I don’t cut up good items only those with holes or very worn,or stained beyond cleaning. I like to think that by doing this I am extending the useful life of these old textiles.
I am trying very hard not to start more knitting until I’ve finished at least one current project. But I’m biting at the bit to start a felted bag, having bought a book I’m inspired to give it a go. I’ve also bought some wool so watch this space!