I’ve been re-freshing a couple of old dining chairs for my cottage kitchen. One done and the other a work in progress. I am using a great “chalk like” paint called Frenchic Furniture paint which is lovely to work with. The paint requires little or no prep, covers well and is self levelling.
The house is in a permanent state of upheaval as I am constantly prepping crafts for a cruise or actually going away. I’m off to Norway soon and then Southampton to Cape Town in October. It’s all good fun and very exciting and don’t forget, I am working! Most of the work is before hand, deciding what crafts to offer, buying the materials and preparing the actual lessons. I love it!(and I’m seeing the World) More about my adventures at a later date.
No I’m sailing out of Heraklion Greece on a wonderful cruise ship Fred Olsen Boudicca.
Where are you?
My crafty cruise takes me to Cadiz today. The actual crafts are usually taught when we are at sea so today there is time to explore.The Cathedral is lovely and the city square provides plenty of coffee opportunities
It’s a special day today for Fred Olsen Cruises as all four of their ships are docked together to celebrate 170 years of the company.
For the businesses of Cadiz “their boat has truly come in”In fact three boats each spilling around 1000 people into the shops and restaurants
Well the sun has shone, the entertainment has entertained and I’m about to get ready for the sail away party. All three cruise ships will sail out of Cadiz in convoy. It’s then Ibiza here we come.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
I recently enjoyed a “crafty cruise” on board Fred Olsen’s MS Boudicca. It wasn’t all crafts just that I was teaching crafts on board. I was also craft hunting at every port of call and every opportunity. I think that I might need therapy for this craft and stash obsession! Please note that two of the three suitcases were full of craft kit equipment!
Poor Benji dog couldn’t understand that he wasn’t going with me. He stayed at home and enjoyed quality time with Hubs.
Back to the ship. A small but perfectly formed ship that was able to nose her way into many of the Scottish Lochs. We were only away a week but packed a lot into the very interesting itinerary.
Tarbert Loch Fyne
Tobermory Isle of Mull
It was great sailing out of Liverpool as this is not too far from home. It was a little like getting a bus! I will tell you more about the ports of call and our craftiness soon.
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.
Well dear friends I am off on another cruise teaching crafts to fellow cruisers. OK I don’t go until January but I am busy preparing.
Quite a lot of work goes into the prep beforehand. This includes working out how many classes will be required, what to make and what we hope will interest any crafters from beginners to experts.
This next cruise I am planning on using some of my mountainous stash of vintage linens to make up cycled/re purposed items. This project sits nicely with my recent spell of clearing out, making space and de cluttering. I really do have an almost limitless stash of vintage linens but can’t bear just to throw it away. This way someone else will take pleasure from some of it and ( hopefully) make something useful and definitely have fun
I have spent the past week thinking about a one day project, what to do and how to do it. The prototype is now done so one project down, quite a few more to go. This project is a hanging heart made from vintage linens. It is gently perfumed with Lavender and embellished with lace, buttons and ribbons. It is aimed at taking one hour to make although we will find more time on the day.
The cruise line that we are going on is Fred Olsen and this voyage goes to Norway in early January. Fred Olsen provide wonderful cruises and look after their guest lecturers (aka craft instructors!) very well
I will update you as and when I have sorted more projects so watch this space.
A small number of large vintage cloths