Can you believe that December is with us again? Today being 1st December we can allow Christmas into our lives! Today we can play Christmas music, shop for gifts and even eat mince pies. Christmas should be banned until 1st December and then celebrated in all its glory. We can now buy a tree, decorate our homes and write Christmas cards.
I have a busy few days ahead with a trip to Liverpool with girl friends. We have ambitious plans with afternoon tea, cabaret, cocktails, spa massage and Prosecco. Oh and we might fit in a little Christmas shopping. All this and a hotel sleepover as well!
This was the week that I closed up my caravan for the winter. I could have stayed until January start but Criccieth closes almost completely at the end of October. It always seems like the town that time forgot but that is what I like about it. A sleepy old fashioned town on the coast at the top of the Llyn Peninsula. What more could you ask for?
Reasons to be grateful: beautiful coast, historical backdrop, beach combing, stormy promenade walking, Snowdonia views and happy times.
Roll on the Spring to return to my little piece of heaven. Not to wish my life away but by then we will have had Christmas, I will have been to India and maybe be a little older ( and hopefully not any fatter!!)
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?
No I’m sailing out of Heraklion Greece on a wonderful cruise ship Fred Olsen Boudicca.
Where are you?
Hello from Valletta Malta. The best thing about cruising is that it feels like a “day out” in different countries. You get more or less a day to explore before moving on to the next destination. This presents the idea if you want to return for a longer holiday. I like 🇲🇹 Malta.
Of course I am teaching crafts on board and really having a ball with a great group of ladies . I will tell you more about the crafts in another blog.
In the meantime I’m currently enjoying my second coffee stop in this lovely city. I’m in the local Marks and Spencer’s as I can guarantee free WIFI nice toilets and good coffee!
Malta is quite rightly proud of its history. It is immediately obvious how it’s walls protected the people, troops and refugees during WW2. It is also a moment to reflect on those who lost their lives for us.
Now it feels a happy, sunny 😎 free place to live
Hello from Ibiza. My crafty cruise has paused in Ibiza to explore and enjoy. I hitched a lift on the shuttle bus into Ibiza Town and wandered around the old walled town. A lovely place with many shops but a serious lack of crafty emporiums. There was an excess of white lacy garments that fit all!
I walked up to the old town and wandered along the walls. The views were lovely even through the fine rain.
This is a very sad view of a beach by Ibiza town. It appears that garbage, even a kitchen sink have been thrown over the cliff! Come on Ibiza clean your beach
Beautiful stone walls
Colours of Spain
Don’t forget that this is a working holiday so I will tell you about the craft classes on another day .