Thursday, 29 October 2009

Did You Know?

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

Halloween is coming!

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

Upon The Sea...

Hello all!

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

Welcome to A Crafter At Sea!

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!