Friday, 7 April 2017

Crafting while you are away on holiday

On our holidays as a couple before children I had no time to sit still. We would get up early, spend the day out and about packing in as much as we could, have a late dinner and then retire to bed exhausted. Since then our holidays have changed, and we now tend more towards the Center Parcs or package holiday style break - still keeping busy but with plenty of time to chill out in our cottage or hotel room. The children need to be in bed at a reasonable time in order to enjoy the next day, so we tend to eat dinner early and then have a few hours in the evening to ourselves to relax once they are asleep.

So holidays have become the perfect time for catching up on a few crafty projects, and I always try to pack a few things to take along and keep me occupied. I thought I'd share some of the most successful crafts that you can take away on holiday with you.

Crafting while you are on holiday or travelling

The main consideration when deciding what to take is that it needs to be portable and not too large. Taking along my Sky Blanket last yea rfor example was out of the question, firstly because it quickly became to large to carry about easily, and secondly because I also needed to take along lots of different colours of yarn.

You also need to think about a project that can be transported safely, for example perhaps not pots of paint or glue, or anything that could be easily damaged.

If you are planning on crafting during your journey then you need a project that is safe, for example no long knitting needles that might spike you or someone else. If you are flying then obviously scissors and other tools with a blade will need to be placed in checked baggage, but it seems to be down to airport security whether or not you can take things like knitting needles or crochet hooks in your hand baggage on a plane. If you do pack them in hand luggage it's probably worth taking ones that you are prepared to lose if they are confiscated, and perhaps check with the airport directly before you travel.

It's also important to pack spares, for example needles or hooks, as it would be very annoying to lose one a couple of days in and not be able to continue the project! Make sure that you have enough extras, for example embroidery threads and balls of yarn.

It's also worth thinking about a project that is easy to pick up and put down in case you only have short periods of time to work on something, especially if you are travelling with demanding family members!

* Here are some ideal projects that you can pack and work on while you are away, I'd love to hear if you have any more ideas!

Crochet - although it's not practical to work on a large project like a blanket, you can work on a blanket if it is made up of, for example, granny squares as they are very portable and quick to work on. Make sure that you remember to pack a needle for sewing in all the ends!

Knitting - again a smaller project would work best, and it's best to stick to one that uses only one or two different colours of yarn so you don't need to pack loads of balls.

Cross stitch - I took my cross stitch sampler to work on during the evenings of our first cruise, cross stitch is very portable because it can all pack down very small and it doesn't take too much space when you are working on it. I look out for little mini cross stitch kits that I can take around with me.

A holiday scrapbook - all you need to bring with you is a blank journal, scissors, pen and a glue stick, then collect leaflets, postcards, tickets etc. while you are away. If you work on it as you go then you have a ready made souvenir when you get home!

Drawing - just take a sketch book, pencils and an eraser with you and you can enjoy drawing some of the sights that you see

Writing or journalling - again, you just need a blank journal and some pens, and you can write about all sorts of things! Perhaps a diary of the things that you've done and the things that you've seen (there are some ideas for travel writing in my list of Travel Blog Post Ideas). If you need a few prompts then you can buy some lovely journals which contain both general and themed pages to spark your imagination and get the creative juices flowing.

Blogging - If you have internet access, share your adventures in a travel blog that you can write while you are away

Photography - Being in a different environment and seeing different things is a great way to inspire you to take photographs of the things that you have seen. Then when you get home you can use them to create photo collages or books.

* Inspiring your creativity while you are away

Being in a new environment and away from the stresses of work and home means that you can relax and think about the things that you enjoy and make plans for when you get back.

If you have internet access and a phone or laptop you can spend time browsing Pinterest or blogs to gather ideas for new projects. I take a notebook and make lists of things that I want to do when I get home, crafts that I want to try, blog posts that I want to write and so on.

You might find that you are inspired by things that you spot while you are away - mosaics on the street, pottery and other handmade goods, tapestries or embroidery in a museum - that spark an interest that you want to have a go at when you get home. Remember to take lots of photographs when you see something that inspires you, like these tiles that I spotted and loved in Tenerife!

Pretty tiles on steps in Tenerife

I hope I've inspired you to continue your creativity on your travels! When you get back, I've also shared some crafts that you can do to remember your travel and holidays.

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