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.
I’ve been crafting away getting ready to cruise and teach crafts on a cruise ship. The cost for me is in stocking up on materials, making the crafts and organising the programme. Making the crafts is great because I get to let my ideas run riot and ( hopefully) materialise as something people would like to make. The initial outlay is not inconsiderable but also good fun. Today I bought safety pins! The plan is to make bracelets.
These are fairly easy to make but you do need a degree of dexterity as they can be quite fiddly.
I have just ordered 20 boxes of these pins! It’s surprising the variety of pins available but as I have to cater for up to thirty participants this seems the easiest way to stock up
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.
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!
On the recent cruise one of the crafts that I taught was the making of a log book or Journal about the cruise. The loose leaf file was covered in fabric and then embellished and used as a scrapbook. It was possible to embellish the cover using wooden printing blocks and many participants also used buttons, beads or fabric to add interest to the cover.
The passengers collected maps, tickets, postcards, photographs, and any other memorabilia to put into their log. At the end of the cruise everyone was delighted with their souvenir and maybe we have some converts to Smash booking.
Key Elements of a Smash Book. Instead of buying a scrapbook album and page protectors, a smash book is a journal in which you can write, draw, paint and glue in embellishments and memorabilia as you’re on-the-move. No planning is involved – you simply decorate as you feel
Block printing is always so popular in my Craft Classes on board cruise ships. Everyone just loves to play with paint, colour, textiles and Block printing ticks all the boxes. I do have a wide selection of wooden printing blocks but due to weight restrictions, I have to limit the ones I take. I provide “ready to print” linen bags or tea towels and away we go.
I also provide buttons, beads and embroidery threads so that the bags can be embellished if the ladies wish. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to see someone have fun and be delighted with the result. Often the ladies are unhappy because the printing hasn’t gone to plan. Usually we can recover from the mistakes using paint brushes and embellishments. And, as they say, turn the frown into a smile!
Hi lovely readers! I have talked a lot about the destinations on my recent,wonderful cruise but not about the crafts! The very reason for me being on the cruise in the first place is that I was actually teaching crafts! And what a great time we had!
One of the very popular crafts that we made was silk purses. We used silk ties to make these simple colourful make up pouches. I did start buying ties from charity shops but was not very happy. Silk ties in charity shops are quite expensive. They are often not too clean! They do not wash very well ( my Mother was right) I ended up buying lots of silk ties from China. These are sold as wedding ties and are colourful, good quality and nice to work with.
The purses are quite simple to make and the only other requirement is a zip. If you place the tie longways and use the zip as a measure, you can wind the tie round and round until the length is used. Pin and then slip stitch as you go. Slip stitch the base and insert the zip. Job done!
These are a small collection of the finished purses that were in our final Exhibition of Crafts. Didn’t we do well?
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.
As you know my friends, I occasionally work on cruise ships teaching crafts. I am always on the look out for interesting, new crafty ideas, and as such have come up with a project using silk ties. I could use polyester but silk would be much nicer. I therefore started to search charity shops and quite frankly can’t believe the price of second hand ties! Polyester are generally around £2 but silk ones are about £4.50 Why on earth are they charging so much more for silk ties? There are dozens of them in the shops and are obviously not selling. I don’t want to pay too much as I need at least 30!
That took me to eBay where the plot thickens. I found great silk ties at a cheap rate (£1) so I decided to order three as samples to see if they will work. OK they are coming from China and won’t arrive until May! But hey! I can wait. I placed the order and then realised that they might be clip on or elasticated! I contacted seller who seemed very sweet but there was a language problem Chinese v English.
A short search later I found a private seller with one silk tie for sale. Well it was a start! A lovely silk tie in girly colours and great condition.
The tie arrived promptly this morning and it is very nice. I then turned it over and Amazingly Naked ladies! Tasteful but naked.
This is an interesting craft project indeed.