I love travelling slowly. A train journey, a boat trip, a day as a car passenger are all fantastic opportunities to get creative. I always think that the journey in craft is as important as the end destination and so it is with real harmony that the joy of the slow travel compliments the joy of making.
It was with great excitement that I prepared for a three day train journey from London to Bulgaria. No email or phone distraction, just inspirational views out the window. I was to travel on five trains through France, Germany, Austria, Hungry, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. A real opportunity to Make on the Move.
I decided that my craft of choice would be needle felting. This involves taking soft wool and working felting needles into it. This mats the wool together and creates felt. The idea is to pinch and shape the wool while running the needle up and down through it to create specific shapes and designs. I would take a selection of coloured wool and be inspired by the flora and fauna out the window.
It was in Germany that I saw the flash of a bright blue breasted bird. Not being a twitcher I couldn’t identify this bird, but I took it’s blue breast and ran with it. I also saw some wonderful rabbits and created a small impression of one.
If needle felting isn’t for you, or if you want to try your hand at something different, here are a few ideas to turn your long journey into a crafting adventure.
– Knit a scarf and let the length of the journey determine the length of the scarf. If you were on a train journey you could change wool at every station stop.
– Photograph something every hour of your journey. Then later print the photos onto fabric or use an image transfer gel to create a set of material images that could be incorporated into a quilt of your journey.
– Customise a piece of clothing you’re wearing. A plain cardigan could become embroidered with names and scenes from your trip.
– Make a flip book of a part of your route.
– Collect all the scraps of paper that you accumulate on a long journey (train tickets, receipts, leaflets etc.), and make a set of origami items from them.
There is so much scope to create your own crafting journey. These three quick tips will help make it a successful venture.
1) Pack an exciting craft bag. I included pencils, paper, a rubber, a sharpener, colouring pencils, needle, thread, felting needles and felting wool.
2) Try and get a window seat which will give you lots of inspirational views to fuel your work.
3) Plan your projects so that you can make sure you have all the right tools and materials to make your ideas come to life.