Well dear Friend as many of you know I live to travel, and travel I do! I have just returned from a cruise with my Sister. We flew to Barbados and cruised some of the Caribbean and then across the Atlantic to Madeira. After various stops in Spain we finally flew home from Malaga.
Six days at sea across the Atlantic is pretty hard core cruising but we coped between extended meals, sun bathing and relaxing in the beauty spa! It was great to be with Sis sharing childhood memories, giggling and reading each other’s books. Happy days.
Sis did get sun burned legs that required some attention!
We visited food markets in Madeira, but didn’t buy any chillies 🌶 or 🌿 herbs
We found an unusual post box!
We visited the monkeys in Gibraltar ( well I hid on the mini bus whilst Sis said hello to the Wild Barbery Apes)
Ive just spent a great week end in Madeira with four girl friends. We chose Madeira to celebrate our twenty years of friendship. We go away twice a year for a long weekend but we usually have destination UK. This particular weekend was special so we went to a 5* Hotel called The Vine. My room was very modern, very chic with a stunning wet room and the best toy of all- remote controlled blinds. I am easily impressed!
We didn’t know when we booked, but it was Carnival time. On Saturday night there was an amazing carnival parade through the streets of Funchal. We thought that we would eat street food and then catch the Carnival at 9pm. Little did we know that the viewing points would be full to bursting the whole length of the parade. The crowds were six deep every part of the way. In fact we were forced to watch the whole parade as we couldn’t cross the road to our hotel anywhere!
The parade contained floats, lights, scantily clad young women with impossibly long legs and neat bottoms, and very load music. A happy time, cheerful crowds and piped music everywhere completed the late night. We collapsed onto our high thread count sheets in our hotel room, with glass bathrooms and rainforest showers. Joy!!
These photos are not the best and I’m sorry that there are no scantily clad ladies!
The final project that we worked on whilst on our recent crafty cruise was a gadget bag. It started out as an iPad cover and then I realised not everyone would have or want an iPad! The patchwork quilted bag evolved into a project that could be adapted for tablet case, make up purse, sun glasses case or whatever your imagination decided. This guided but flexible project allowed the crafty ladies on the cruise to sew wherever their ideas took them.
The original idea was to use a “Grandmothers Fan” pattern which is attractive and a challenge for novice patch workers. I seriously underestimated the ability of many ladies on the course. The majority wanted to give the “Grandmothers Fan” a go. We provided the template, choice of fabrics and guidance and away we went. It was great fun and wonderful to see the delight when the padded bag was finished. I
have to admit to there being minimum quilting due to time constraints. Many of the ladies wanted to carry on crafting long after the class finished. It was rewarding to see many ladies on deck, enjoying the sun and stitching with enthusiasm between formal sessions.
The cruise was a great delight. We visited Portugal, Madeira, Canaries and Spain. I explored crafting emporiums, fabric shops and market stalls. We met lovely people and an adorable crafting group of ladies ( men tended to come just to see what their wives were up to!). Most of all we had fun! We have been so very lucky to have this opportunity and hope with fingers crossed that we can do more cruises. I have an ambition to craft my way around the World so watch this space!
Whilst we on our recent cruise we produced special Textile Inspiration Packs for our craft group. These packs were put together before we left to join the ship. Each pack contained a mix of textiles including lace, leather, cotton, net, silk or tweed, to name a few. The pieces were vaguely colour co ordinated and each pack also contained a few beads or buttons or ribbon. The packs created great interest and provided a source of much imagination.
We did did not have a great deal of time to craft as we were about to dock in Madeira where there was a flower festival. Because of this I encouraged the ladies to make a flower brooch. The inspiration was all theirs and they certainly used their own imaginations. I suggested that a simple flower was made by cutting discs of reducing size from the various textiles. I provided a template for simplicity. The various discs were then stacked on top of one another and held together with beads or buttons. The edges could be embroidered, frayed or pinked with the shears. After attaching a “finding” to the back it was ready to be worn. Some people fastened them to their bags made in the days before. Others took them home and some attached them to plain tee shirts.
It was a great delight later in the day when we met a lady from the group going ashore. She was wearing the brooch that she had made that morning. Result!!
These Textile Inspiration Packs were a great success and I will certainly use them again.
On my recent trip to Madeira, Portugal I was intrigued to see beautiful samples of the lace and embroidery worked locally.
The work is very fine and mostly done by hand. The cheaper items such as tea towels and cheaper cloths are machine made. It was lovely to see the demonstrations at the Spring flower festival. I didn’t buy any on this occasion as I have so much linen I could ( in fact might!) open my own shop.
extremely high or steep.
“vertiginous drops to the valleys below”
relating to or affected by vertigo.
I first came across the word “vertiginous” when walking the Levadas of Madeira
Madeira Levada Walks are trails along the paths beside the Levadas (mini-canals). The Levadas are situated on the steep sided slopes of the mountains and certainly induce vertigo when your eyes are drawn down into the valleys