Tag Archives: inspiration

Change of plan, again!

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I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!

On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.

I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.

I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!

This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.

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What are you reading?

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I couldn’t make my mind up which of these two books is my favourite. The book “A Trip around the Wool” is a great book and up there among my current favourites. It’s a bi lingual book in both French and English and beautifully illustrated. I’m just starting a project titled “52 Happy Memories of 2007”. The aim is to create an embroidered hexagon each week culminating in a 52 hexi quilt. I’m already falling behind so nothing new there.

The second book “Stitched Memories” by Tilly Rose is a glorious book sub titled “Telling a story through cloth and thread” which sits well alongside the other book. I’m using old embroideries and Harris Tweed to create my memory quilt. But lots more about that as it starts to come together.

Decorating

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One of the best things about this time is the decorations. Forget the dark days and add twinkle to your life with fairy lights. Get all wrapped up with recycled paper. Make your own cool wreath.

This wreath is so easy to make that even I can do it. I made it three Christmases ago. It squashes flat and fluffs out when the decs go up. It also ticks the recycling, upcycling and reusing boxes. Here’s how:

Take a wire coat hanger and bend and twist into a rough circle keeping the hook as,well, a hook.

Cut plastic bags into approximately 2 x 6 inch strips

Take each strip and knot around the wire

Keep going round the circle pushing the knotted strips close and tight.

When the circle is full fluff out the strips and trim if required.

Add decoration of choice or leave without

You can use coloured bags ( I used clear) and adapt for other occasions e.g. Halloween, Baby shower, wedding, Birthday etc.

Hook up the wreath. Stand back. Admire.

Happy decorating to you all dear reader!

Treat

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A friend in Craft Group lent me a book that she thought I’d like. She was right! I liked it so much that I didn’t read it. It’s a lovely book. OK I confess. I didn’t read it or even take too much of a peak. I bought my own copy immediately. I put my friend’s book to one side and shall return it as soon as possible! How mad is that? My own copy has arrived and I shall take it away with me next week to study in peace. Whoo Hoo!

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!

Block Printing Bags and Tea Towels

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When running a craft class on board a cruise ship it is important that I present a variety of crafts. One Craft that is always popular is block printing using mainly hand carved wooden blocks. I provide pre made linen tote bags and tea towels to work with. It’s a great hour or so whilst cruising the Norwegian Fjords.

cold snow sea landscape

Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

Block printing appeals to all ages and abilities. I provide the paint and the equipment and, let’s face it, we all enjoy playing with paint. It must appeal to our inner child! Many of the visitors to my classes are competent crafts people so enjoy going the extra step. To encourage the individuality I also provide embroidery kits and buttons and beads for embelishment. The results are usually a delight and make a great cruise souvenir.

 

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Summer ’18

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Phew! It’s been so hot! Just like summers used to be! Not really, I didn’t used to be a World traveller! I’ve recently returned fro a couple of cruises where I teach crafts on board. A great job!

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Ive just returned from Norway. I’ve been before but last trip was the winter time. This time it was the “midnight sun” fabulous. I cruised on a Fred Olsen ship which is small in comparison to some huge cruise lines. The advantage is that the ship can manoeuvre into the smallest fjords and nearly touch the sides!

I had a great time teaching a variety of passengers a variety of crafts. I will show you what we made over the next few  blogs. As a starter we used silk ties to make lovely makeup purses.This was a very popular and simple project.

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Reclaimation Show

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IMG_0691This last weekend I was looking after my Gorgeous Granddaughter (or maybe she was looking after me!). She lives a couple of hundred miles from me so it’s always very special to see her. Her parents were away so we were home alone. I searched, trawled the net and tried to find something different to do with not a lot of success. Then I found a Salvage and reclaimation show not too far away. The sun was shining and the sat nav worked and we found Ripley Castle without too much trouble.

Despite being told that taking a child to a Reclaimation Show was tantamount to child abuse we had a great time! We saw chairs, nuts, bolts, garden furniture and so much more.imageIMG_0692.JPGWe each bought a lovely snugly throw, we ate Asian take away and  found decorative shells. A very happy day!

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Cruise News Two

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On the recent cruise with my Sis we explored a few of the Caribbean Islands  including Barbados, St Lucia and St KittsimageWe visited a Batik workshop where we saw the Batik process in action followed by the inevitable shopping opportunities IMG_0453IMG_0447don’t you just love the colours?IMG_0487l tasted quite a few Rum punches including this one in a coconut on the beach. We paddled and swam in the beautiful turquoise sea and found shells on the beach.