A super popular craft that we worked on whilst on our recent cruise to Canada, was Twiddlemuffs. I donated the yarn from my personal stash, with the intention of “making space” at home. Ha ha! Should have known better. We used loads of yarn but the stuff must grow in the dark as we certainly brought a lot more home. Honestly? I confess we actually bought more in Canada. I can’t resist!
This was a great project to bring a group together and was extremely popular. The ladies discussed and chatted, swapped yarn and helped each other. The finished muffs were put into the final cruise exhibition. Some were taken home for elderly family or friends suffering from dementia and we brought the remaining ones home. We intend to donate the remaining muffs to a home for the elderly where, hopefully they will be put to good use. A TwiddleMuff is a woollen muff, with twiddles attached inside and out, designed to provide a stimulation activity for the restless hands of disoriented or confused patients particularly those with dementia. When distributed at a hospital, they are labelled with the patient’s name to prevent any cross infection and patients will be able to take them home with them so there will always be a need for many more to be made.
During my recent working craft cruise one of the “makes” was a wall clock. I have done this project on a previous cruise and it always proves popular. We used vintage fabrics, wadding, strong card for backing, embroidery hoops and of course, a clock mechanism. It does prove to be fiddly and the clock mechanism is temperamental. Although, that could be because they had travelled by mail all the way from China! The ladies who made the clocks were delighted with the outcome.
Use round doilies to minimise cutting and bulk.
Make sure backing card is strong but cuttable.
Provide smaller embroidery hoops (but not too small)
This project will defiantly be repeated if I’m lucky enough to be asked onto another cruise!
Another craft that we enjoyed on our recent Scottish cruise was Textile printing. We used a selection of stamps, some of which were lovely hand carved ones from India.
We had taken linen tea towels and tote bags. This is a lovely creative craft that anyone can enjoy.
The people who came to the class enjoyed creating their own designs. One lady designed a grey and black tea towel to match her new kitchen.
Another lady came who was severely sight impaired. It was a delight to help her choose the colours and print a towel. Sometimes life is so rewarding!
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.
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.
Finally! Last project for my forthcoming craft cruise.
This project is decoupage. I’ve got lots of wooden boxes, shiny glue and various papers. I have used a Winny The Pooh book that I picked up in a charity shop last year for the demo project. The result is really attractive. I lined the inside of the box with a contrasting paper and have sealed it with three layers of shiny glue. Had I had more time I would have done more coats as this then gives you the ability to finely sand the surface producing a better result.
A lesson learned from this cruise is to choose smaller projects next time! I have packed the craft case but there is a considerable overflow. At least we are not flying so we can have the remainder in our hand luggage.
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.
Another project “in the bag” for when we go on our crafty cruise in January. K and I are working hard at putting the ideas, examples, and textiles together. We aim for all this to be done prior to Christmas so that we can sit back and relax. The preparation is hampered by the fact that we both have other cruises booked with our husbands in December. How lucky are we?
The latest project is a cover for coat hangers using upcycled vintage textiles. Many of these vintage cloths have beautiful embroidery and have lace on them. Many are damaged with wear and tear so this is a good way to re purpose these lovely old textiles. The project is worked using hand stitching, lots of imagination and is great fun. Hopefully this project will appeal to people who can sew and people who can’t as part of the delight of demonstrating these items is helping them to finish an item. And enjoy the result.
Each coat hanger cover includes a pocket in which I have put a perfumed piece of linen or could be used to hide jewellery. Neat!
Just two more projects to go so watch this space……
I might have mentioned ( just a few times?) that I am going on a cruise ship teaching crafts! This career change and next adventure is only a couple of weeks away so it has been heads down and fingers nimble to make the items to be demonstrated on board.
This explains the scarcity of recent blog posts. But I do have a lot to blog about and just need to find the space in my day! Whoo Hoo!
We are nearly there with fabric cut and classes prepared. I intend to make a selection of textile brooches as one class. The problem has been how to present the various textiles in an interesting and exciting way. I have come up with the idea to make up “Inspirational Textile Packs”. These packs contain an interesting variety of textiles including lace pieces, delicate leather, colourful net, organza and gold thread or vintage buttons-plus much more. Hopefully these packs will inspire beginners and experts alike.
Here is the first of a few sample brooches. If you want to know more you will need to book on the cruise!
As as I mentioned a few blog posts ago I am going to run a couple of craft classes demonstrating how to make vintage bunting. The courses have now “gone public” and it will be interesting to see what the uptake is-hopefully good. I’m in a win win situation, happy if I do and happy if I done! Mind you it would be nice to have some candidates!
I have been constantly been sorting through my stash of vintage linens which is fun. I have more than enough for these courses. My head is full of exciting ideas on how to use these textiles. I have thought of linen aprons, upcycled bags, rag dolls made from beautiful old linens and possibly book covers. Trawling though Pinterest provides a constant source of inspiration. The BIG problem is that there is a danger of spending more time thinking about what to make than actually making anything.