When I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I found a book called Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart. I had just heard of the website and loved the embroidery patterns in it, so bought it and rekindled my love of decorative stitching. I also bought her other book Embroidered Effects which has this great pattern of Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls in it. My friend on the ship loved it too so we decided to find her a white dress to embroider it on. While in Roatan, Honduras we found the prefect dress and I got going… in a couple of evenings I had finished and this is the final result. My friend loves it and wore it around the ship all the time! I’m really proud of this one and can’t wait to get started o my next embroidery project!
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
Yuletide Greetings readers!
Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, a day where we give each other gifts to raise each others spirits in the dark as we look forward to the coming spring!
I thought I’d give you a little update on the Yuletide festivities going on around me right now…
This is the first time I have spent the holidays on the ship; it’s also the firsttime I have spent the holidays away from my family, ever, so this is a very new experience for me. I have heard all about what happens over the holidays on the ship, but never experienced it, and it is an experience!! We are almost at full capacity of guests for the Christmas cruise, which means we have over 2800 guests, 700 of which are children. It is a little hard to see families enjoying the holidays together when we are so far away from ours, but my cast is my family right now and we are having a good time.
I am spending most of my time making and adjusting costumes for the Christmas show we are going to have on Christmas day. We are also going out to villages in Roatan and giving presents to under privileged children tomorrow.
The most fun aspect of Christmas here, however, is Secret Santa! We are giving out five small presents from the 20th to the 24th, then we all get together and give one big gift to our Secret Santa person on Christmas day… so far I have been given fruit Tootsies rolls, strawberry Mentos and a Starbucks frappuccino – well done Secret Santa!!
More Christmasy things to follow!!
Have a Happy Holidays!
Thursday, 10 December 2009
I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but I’m Pagan. So I don’t celebrate Christmas, I celebrate Yule. I do participate in the season with family and friends though, and event though every year I try to convince my Mum that she should
give me my presents on the 21st December (which is when Yule falls), she doesn’t let me!
As it is said, Santa Claus is Pagan too! So here is my first Yule craft – stockings! I made one for me and one for my friend for on the ship. Now I just have to find stuff to go in them!
On a side note, I am thinking about moving this blog to my own website, when I can get it up and running... so if you read this, keep an eye out for the moved notice...
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I don’t have any clasps with me on the ship so I decided to use a large bead and make a loop from smaller beads to close it. I then used a beading board to arrange my pattern – very handy! I made the cream version first and liked it so much I made the blue version. I hope they like them as much as I do!!
Don’t worry, my family members are also getting crafty gifts – I’m making them photos books ;-)
Sunday, 29 November 2009
This year for Christmas I have been making people presents. My first completed project is a sampler for my best friend’s family. I have incorporated symbols and colours that remind me of them. They are from Texas and Mexican; I have used the Lone Star, red, white and blue for America and the State of Texas. I added a Mexican Day Of The Dead skull to represent their heritage and a Cross to show their faith which is very important to them. In the centre I have put a heart to symbolise their love for one another and for me – they have always made me feel very welcome.
I’m really proud of this piece, I really like the way it finally came out. I can’t wait to find out what they think of it!
Friday, 13 November 2009
For the Summer and Winter seasons, cruise ships change the areas that they visit. This is known as repositioning and is often a long cruise of between 12-21 days visiting ports that you may never get to see again. Crew call this time ‘repo’ for short. We are currently on repo from New York to Miami to start our winter Caribbean run. On the way I realised what my niche is for ‘Lost & Found’
I have been collecting shells, pebbles, coral and beads from all the ports we have visited. This is my niche. I will make jewellery and clothing out of the things I pick up while I travel!
I currently have bags of shells, coral and such from Samana, St. Kitts, Aruba and Roatan. During our Caribbean run we will be going to Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya… I think I should be able to pick up some interesting things there. Keep and eye out for my creations!
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Yes, Halloween has been and gone, with only the left over decorations and a costume in the corner remaining.
I love Halloween! I particularly love Halloween on ships. There is always at least one big party, often two. My first year on ships there were two parties – the crew party and the passenger party. For the crew party you can basically go as whatever you want – as slutty, messy, pornographic, usual craziness you like…. However, for the passenger party you have to be a bit more sedate ;-) As with always when you work on a ship, you are on display when in passenger areas, which means you represent the cruise line, and in my case my production company as well. So, you have to be a bit careful about what outfit you choose. My first year I was a vampire for the crew party and then Ginger Spice with a bunch of my dancers as the other Spice Girls for the passenger party. The second year my ship was in dry dock being mended so we had no passengers… cue huge crew party on the pool deck! That year I went as slutty Dorothy, mainly for my boyfriend at the time who had a thing for the Wizard of Oz and pig tails!
This year I got to dress up twice again. For the crew party I was going to go as Jem from Jem and the Holograms, that great 80’s cartoon. I have the whole costume made…. Then I got with my friends on the ship and we decided to go as the witches from Hocus Pocus! I made my costume on the fly out of vintage dresses and I think it came out pretty well! We had a great time taking photos with everyone and posing, as all good performers do! For the passenger party we went sexy, but covered! I bought a black and purple pirate wench outfit from Ricky’s in New York and made bloomers to go under it to cover me up more. It worked out pretty well, and I love having extra costumes around!
What do you think of my Halloween creation? Leave me comment to let me know!
Thursday, 29 October 2009
As I’ve said before, I’m a wardrobe supervisor on a cruise ship. Now, both of these things individually are fairly unique and people generally don’t know much about them. So imagine them both mashed together. I thought I’d take the time to explain a little about the two things that I love most about my job…
1. Working on a Cruise Ship
First of all, this sounds very glamorous. In a way, I guess it is. I get to live in the middle of the ocean, travelling around while doing my job and seeing places which I would never have thought to go. In almost three years of being on a cruise ship I have been to Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Europe, through the Panama Canal three times, Central America and the Caribbean. I’ve drunk coffee in Columbia, sat in the rainforest in Costa Rica, snorkelled in Bermuda and Aruba and seen the snow on the Canadian border. I had an hour in Barcelona so ran up Las Ramblas and back. All very exciting, no? Then we get to the everyday stuff…
You know how much money you spend on a 7 day vacation? I spend that every week. Sure, working on a cruise ship means you can save money as you live on the ship rent free and they provide meals. However, imagine living in a little metal box for at least 6 months with no window to the outside world… sometimes with at least one other person…. Yeah, you’d want to go outside a lot too! And then you spend money! On my current contract I have my own room (yay!) but it’s tiny. It is a wide as a single bed at it’s widest point, now fill the rest of the room with a shower unit, toilet and sink in one corner and a desk in the other – welcome to my coffin! Don’t get me wrong, I love my room, because it’s MY coffin, but still! Usually I share a room with one other person. That person could be a dancer, a youth councillor who looks after the kids, a member of the cruise staff who entertain the passengers and ply bingo, or a broadcast technician who sorts out the movies you can watch. Sometimes you get good roommates… and sometimes not! And usually there is nothing you can do about it! Last contract I had 6 different room mates in three months, just because that’s how quickly they came and went! But despite all this I LOVE working on cruise ships! You meet so many people from around the world. I can go anywhere and have a sofa to sleep on now!!
2. Working in Wardrobe
This needs less explaining. I work in theatre. On the ship I work with the resident production company cast and usually do three different shows a cruise, performed twice each. I launder the costumes, mend them, rebuild them when necessary, I dress the performers during shows and generally look after them. All on my own. I am a one woman show all to myself! I am my own boss and work my own hours – I just have to be at rehearsals and shows. The rest is up to me. This makes me very organised and motivated. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be good at my job, and I wouldn’t have been doing it for three years with the same company! And I love it! The best thing about it? The challenge! You cannot go out and buy a new costume if it breaks. If you don’t have the right zip, you need to find a solution because there ain’t no haberdashery shop in the middle of the ocean! I also get to work on lots of different shows so my skill set grows every contract. So far I’ve done musicals, latin, dance, cirque-style, Indian, showgirl, Asian, and Country to name a few!
In short I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. Working on ships is an acquired taste - you either love it or hate it, but I heart it!
So I’m going to share it here with you!!
Feel free to ask me any questions! But most of all enjoy!
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Hello and Welcome to the third edition of A Crafter At Sea!
My Halloween costume is finished! I have a coat, a dress, earrings and bootie covers. I’m going to put up a Halloween edition after all the parties so you can see my creations ;-) Along wit doing my own costume, being the lady at sea with the needles I had to help my fellow Sanders sisters with theirs. We look awesome, even if I do say so myself!
I was in Boston the other day and made the mistake of going into Borders and buying books. I now own Jenny Hart’s Embroidered Effects and Beyond Fashion, the second Generation T book. I am designing a sampler right now that I want to stitch for my friend’s family. I’d like it to be done for Christmas, but I don’t think that is going to happen…. But maybe. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
I got my craft on creating new tshirts for my girls on the ship. My dancers have to dance at a theme party every cruise wearing logo tshirts. I took my trusty Generation T book and made them look pretty! Photos to follow!
Look out for the Halloween edition coming soon!
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Welcome to the second edition of A Crafter At Sea… I am actually at sea now! I’ve only been on board for 7 days and already I have several projects in the pipeline. Of course, because it’s almost Halloween I have people queing up trying to get me to make/alter/find them costumes. I anticipated this of course so made my costume before I got there…. But then I changed my mind! I’m going in a group now as one of the Sanders Sisters from Hocus Pocus. I’m going as Winifred! Red wig here I come.
I’m in Charlottetown, Canada today and found pieces for my costume in a thrift store… bring on the craft! I need to make a dress, jacket and boot covers. Shouldn’t been too bad. I still have my other costume too, I’m sure it will come in handy for something. Photos will appear after Halloween.
More soon! J
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Hello! And welcome to A Crafter At Sea! My name is Bowiegirl1982 and I will be your guide!
Let me give you an idea of what is going on here. I am, by profession, a Wardrobe Supervisor on cruise ships. All my life I have been crafty; I cannot remember a time when I didn’t have a bag of scrap fabric, paint, paper and scissors making anything and everything.
While I’m working I have a bit of down time, which I use to be crafty. It can sometimes be interesting what comes from this as I am in the middle of the ocean and finding the right supplies for what I want to do doesn’t always happen! This contract, however, I have tried to organise my craftiness and have brought some projects with me. Then there are the costume pieces that I make for other people and often for myself for parties along the way. That’s the main thing I will write about here, but I also intend to air my thoughts and other things that interest me.
I am trying to get a small craft business going for when I am off ships. I think I want to have an Etsy storefront that sells my makes and hope to start making my stock during this contract. I have a few ideas for where my business is going to go.
I would like to call it “Lost and Found”. I plan to make jewellery out of old items I find and inspired by things I see while on my travels. I also would like to make deconstructed tshirts – making the old into something new. I plan to spend some time researching all of this during this contract. Then we’ll see where it all goes!
Hopefully I will upload a new blog every week, depending on how busy my work makes me. Currently I am packed and ready to fly out to New York tomorrow to join my new ship on Saturday…. The sea is calling me back again!
I’ll let you know how my travels are going next week!