Tag Archives: vacation

Taj Mahal

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Memorable visit to Taj Mahal today in this wonderful, amazing land of contrasts.The poverty is difficult to swallow but the culture is immersive. I love love love the textiles and crafts. I am with a specialist textile company called Colouricious who have taken us to hidden gems. Whilst I am devastated that we have not had a block printing workshop ( my reason for coming) I am loving the other textiles. I am learning as much from my travel companions as we are all like minded.Marble inlaid with semi precious stones

Only a few more days to go before home.

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Textile Treasure Hunt

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This Textile Treasure Hunt here in Varanasi India just keeps on giving. Today we visited silk weaving. This is carried out in the homes of local people in rural areas. I

am in a permanent state of shock, both culturally and dietary. The people are lovely and regard us as odd because many rural communities have not seen “white”faces before, especially the children.

The silk weaving is the main occupation and carried out by the men. It is a patriarchal society.

The silk produced is beautiful, colourful and hand woven. It is mainly produced for Saris, scarves and for dressmaking.

This morning we visited a Hindu village where the looms are hand driven just as they have been for hundreds of years. During the afternoon we went to a Muslim area of Varanasi where the looms are motor driven . We had the inevitable shopping opportunity where a beautiful silk scarf found its way into my bag!

just an example of some of the intricate weaving.

Let the Adventure Begin

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Today is the start of my latest big adventure. India here I come! I’ve packed everything that is important. The most important being my sewing! Oh and my books and just a few clothes!

I’m currently on my way to Heathrow where I meet the group I’m travelling with! Just hoping that they are a good group but I’m sure they will be I am travelling with a specialist textile holiday company called http://www.Colouriciousholidays.com

I will blog all about it as it is going to be bloggylicious!

Change of plan, again!

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I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!

On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.

I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.

I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!

This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.

I

Not A Good Result

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For the last few days I’ve been busy making a cotton tunic for my forth coming Indian trip. I finished today and am pleased with the result. Well…..actually I like the tiger fabric, the pattern went together fine and it fit well. Ok I confess! I don’t like it. There’s nothing technically wrong I just wouldn’t have bought it in a shop! Which is the acid test for home dressmaking. Whilst I love the tiger fabric perhaps it’s too busy?I like the tunic pattern but it’s just not “me”. Ah well! Lesson learned and all that! I’m sure as Hell trying!

Well Hello!u

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Happy New Year. Better late than never! I’ve been busy as usual. Busy sewing, Busy crafting. Busy going to the gym Shock! Horror you might say. But to be honest it’s needs must! After spending last year conquering my addiction to chocolate I can now move on and maybe get addicted to the gym. I’ve not eaten chocolate since March 2018 and I truly was a chocoholic. The only solution was to go cold turkey and it worked. I don’t even WANT chocolate now so gym stand by your treadmills.

I’ve also been busy preparing for an imminent trip to India. Lots more about that to come.

Hello December

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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!

Good year!

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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!!)

Cruise Crafts Bargello Canvas Work

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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.

Cruise Crafts Decoupage

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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!