Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The Crafters' Way 43 - Traveling Craft

I write a weekly column for a local paper. I share it here with bloggers.

Traveling Crafts

By the time you read this I will have flown to Melbourne to watch this year’s Formula One Race. As usual when I travel I take along craftwork. My husband calls it my security craft. I never leave home without it. Security restrictions on aircraft have limited the choices available however there are still a few ways to while those hours. Traveling on buses, trains and cars can also challenge crafters. Portable, lightweight and uncomplicated crafts are essential for a carefree break. Here are a few ideas.

Bead Making: Last year when I traveled to Japan this was my activity on the flights there. I precut my fabric and paper strips. Very long narrow triangles work well. My winding tool is a plastic straw. Cut the straw in half. Take one half and fold it flat along its length. Insert this inside the other half. I also took along a piece of Baking Paper and a Snap Lock Bag to store them in. I use clear paper glue in a see through pen shape bottle. Some airlines specify that no adhesives be taken on board. I popped my glue in the Liquid, Aerosol and Gel bag and declared it. I further checked with the airline staff on boarding. It didn’t prove to be a problem.

Kumihimo: This art becomes portable when you use one of the hand held discs available. I prepare my threads prior to traveling to avoid the scissor dilemma. If you want to take along long threads try winding them around the little tags that come with your bread. This will prevent tangling. I find that they work better than embroidery tags.

Suffolk Puffs: Not suitable for planes, but still great for traveling. They are portable, lightweight and with the use of the templates available become uncomplicated. I take these with me to the actual race days. I love my motor racing but find the down time between races a bit of a snooze. I precut my fabric squares to the required size before leaving. I find the ticket pouch doubles as a scissor and thread holder. Tip: take along extra needles, if you drop one you will never find it.

Friendship Bracelets: If traveling with children this will keep them amused. The threads can be secured to the airline table or the back of a car seat with a strip of sticky tape. Let the children choose their thread colour and precut them. There are many bracelet patterns available however I would avoid the ones where you insert a bead. You just know that little hands will spill them and who wants to be picking them up off the floor.

Have fun!

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