I am so happy to be back in Norway for the third time. Life is good! I’m fortunate to be working my passage by teaching crafts! How good is that?
Moored off Flam on a Lazy Sunday Morning
This particular cruise is just seven days long so we have just three planned projects. In some respects it’s harder than planning a longer cruise as there isn’t a lot of time to start a bigger project. I’m not complaining however.
Then there is always the gym!! I’m on a pre surgery fitness plan so am working hard. I need a new hip and don’t want it to affect my current wonderful life style!! “Sadly” there is also the food! And don’t forget Wine! But aren’t I a lucky girl?
Sail away Party with Cocktails
By the way I am enjoying the ship Boudicca one of the wonderful Fred Olsen fleet.
I will tell you more about our crafts in a later blog so watch this space!
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.
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!
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.
Cruising along the coast of Norway we had a total of seven craft classes. One very popular class is using our Textile Inspiration Packs. We make these packs up using a variety of textiles, colours and buttons and bows. The idea is that during the class the ladies( it’s usually women) choose a pack and let the fabrics inspire what they make. We guide, suggest and help the ladies with what they make. In one case we actually made it!
The ladies enjoy this project and often make a rosette or flower brooch.
One day I went on an excursion to The Troll Mountains. The scenery was awesome. This picture of the mountains is jaw dropping. This is where adventurers BASE jump from the top! Now a banned sport following many accidents. Apparently (mad) some still attempt the BASE jump in secret. I won’t be joining them, it’s one ” thrill” that I shall forgo.
Because we were in Norway the home of Trolls I was on high alert to see a real Troll. They are notoriously shy, mischievous and cheeky. But guess what! I found one willing to pose for a photograph!
Good bye dear reader, see you soon.
On my recent adventure to Norway I was lucky enough to visit The Igloo Hotel in Sorrisniva. This trip was arranged whilst we were docked in Alta and was a journey of about 45 minutes by coach.
The Igloo Hotel was AMAZING. It is possibly the most awesome place I have visited, and I’ve visited a lot of places! The structure is entirely ice and lasts from approximately November until it melts in April. Each year it is rebuilt and has a different theme. This year the theme was (appropriately) Ice Age.
On entering the Igloo Hotel I was struck by the beautiful blue misty light. Which helps to explain the poor quality indoor images-sorry! There was an entrance hall with various spaces or wings off. One wing had 10 bedrooms, including a Bridal suite with a four poster bed. The beds were covered in Reindeer skins for cosines as EVERYTHING was ice.
There were carved animals including a Mammoth, Siber toothed Tiger, Bears and People. There was a beautiful ice chapel and an ice bar. The ice bar was very well attended and I sampled the local blue drink which was very warming whilst sitting on an ice bench at an ice table! They did say that we could take the ice glass home with us…..
Outside in the snow a few Reindeer were waiting patiently to give someone a sleigh ride.
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!
One day I might meet myself coming backwards! Well I wouldn’t want it any other way Busy is good, interesting, exhausting and fun! In the last month I have been on a Caribbean cruise with Hubs. Oh the glorious beaches, spicy aromas and hot hot sun! We left Christmas in the freezer returning home to a very cold stone cottage in the Welsh hills the day before Christmas. Once we had warmed up the cottage we put up some decorations and cooked Christmas dinner for 10 family members.
The next day I made another project for my imminent craft cruise. Three weeks on Friday I go to The Norwegian Fiords on another cruise. This time I will be teaching crafts whilst onboard. I have nearly completed assembling the craft projects that we will be doing on this cruise so phew! Another job done.
This bag is made using iconic Liberty fabric. It is quite simple because it has to be hand stitched. The bag is just the right size to use on board ship to carry your book and sun tan lotion. ( Although I don’t think we will need much sun protection during the very short Norwegian days of Winter!) I have added a pocket to carry the ships card in.
I will update you again soon dear friends so may 2017 bring peace, health and love to you all.
People really are nice! As part of my “Craft Cruising” prep I need lots of white/pearl buttons to use as embellishment on a couple of the projects. I sent out a generic email to some of my friends asking if they had any suitable buttons that they didn’t want. What a great response! White buttons have arrived nearly every day. They were posted through my letter box! They were handed to me in the pub! A friend posted some attached to a card! Some were handed over when I went out for dinner! One kind friend handed over her button box for me to check out!
It really does restore my faith in kindness and simple generosity. Friends have raided their button boxes galore.Where craft work is concerned there is always a sharing, not only of ideas but supplies and stash. It’s a wonderful world! Thank you dear friends for sharing, helping and friendship.
By the way, the cruise programme is now complete and sent off to the cruise company. The sample projects are nearly all done and we just have to go to a sale on Thursday and purchase lots of Liberty fabrics. Great fun! The actual cruise that I will be teaching on is in January when I am off to Norway! Yippee! Actually I have quite a few more trips to fit in before then! Watch this space and I will tell you all about it.