ScrapHappy November 2022

This month I have been busy on several scrappy projects, but the ones I had intended to post about today will have to wait a month or two because I completely failed to take any photographs and I’ve left them at the shop (I’m writing this at home). Anyway, I have an on-going mission to decorate the bollards outside my shop throughout the year, so I’m currently working on my winter offering… not just the two outside my shop, though, but the two outside Y Becws next door. All of them are works in progress, so there’s only a sneak peek this month, but all of them are made from scrap yarn, given to me by some very kind friends. Well, all that is except the little stockings, which were left over from a previous Christmas display in Red Apple Yarn (now sadly closed) and which I am re-purposing.

Finally, I’ve managed to find a use for some of the eyelash yarn that so many people buy and then decide that they hate!

Hopefully next month, you’ll get to see four finished creations… wish me luck!

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate,  Gun, Eva,  Sue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy October 2022

After the success of the decorated bollards over the summer, it seemed a good idea to ring the changes and make some for autumn.

These two are not entirely scrappy, as I did have to use some new yarn for the little witch, but her hair, stuffing and the buttons on her hat and wand and for her eyes are all scraps. All the rest is either from my scrap collection or is other people’s unwanted (unloved) yarn.

I think these are my most photographed creations ever… do look out for them on social media and let me know if they crop up.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate,  Gun, Eva,  Sue, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys, ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Geotourism

I must start by apologising for the lack of posts recently, but I have been on holiday… to Norway. Somehow the snow seems to have followed me home, though, so I am still making use of my down jacket and snow boots! Anyway, since I can’t get out in the garden, my plans are (1) to write a new blog post; (2) to do some work on my permaculture diploma; and (3) to order some seeds and dream of warmer weather to come.

Our first stop: Torvik... we go off for about 10 minutes

Our first stop: Torvik… we got off for about 10 minutes

When I mentioned to friends that we were going on holiday, most people asked if we were going somewhere sunny… nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, for part of our holiday we were in places where the sun simply never appears over the horizon at this time of year… way up in the Arctic Circle (I now even have a certificate to prove I’ve been there). It may seem an odd thing to choose to do when the days are already short here, but I really wanted to experience the polar night and to see the northern lights. The former was guaranteed, the latter relied on luck.

The sun failing to appear once we were in the Arctic Circle

The sun failing to appear once we were in the Arctic Circle

I’m conscious that going on holiday is, often, not the most sustainable activity, but I feel that meeting people from other parts of the world and seeing different lands helps me feel part of the whole and gives me some perspective. In fact, because we wanted to see the fjords, we knew the best way to achieve this… a trip on the Norwegian Coastal Express – Hurtigruten. The company originated in 1893 as the post boats, travelling up and down the coast of Norway. providing links to many remarkably inaccessible communities. And the company continues to do this – their boats travel up and down the coast, calling at 34 ports every day all year round, transporting goods and acting as a ferry service (including taking cars). They used to carry livestock too, but have stopped doing this now! Instead, they carry tourists – encouraging them to disembark and look round even the smallest town that they visit… experiencing the local culture and supporting local businesses.

This is, I have discovered, known as Geotourism – something I do naturally when I visit another country, but clearly a concept that needs to be promoted to others. National Geographic state on their website:

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place’s character. Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin,—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place.

Me with our racing team!

Me with our racing team!

And it made for a brilliant holiday. All of the on-shore activities involved local people and businesses: a Viking Feast at the Borg Viking Museum on the Lofoten Islands; dog sledging with teams from the Tromsø Wilderness Centre (we were lucky enough to have the owner, Tove Sørensen, as our musher and be pulled by her racing team); a fascinating trip to North Cape, lead by Jerome, a local from Honningsvåg, who gave us real insight what it is like to live at the northern-most tip of Europe; plus we wandered around villages and towns – meeting really friendly folks as we went. In addition, the majority of the crew on the boat were Norwegian and the food served was representative of local cuisine – lots of fish, berries and, or course, reindeer meat. So, rather than just being on a floating hotel, we experienced some real Norwegian culture and, hopefully, supported the livelihood of the people who live along the coast of the country.

It was snowy at North Cape

It was snowy at North Cape

We also got to see the Northern Lights – one clear night we experienced them as green beams extending into the sky, then later we saw the brightest stars that we have ever encountered, so bright that they were perfectly reflected in the dead calm waters of the fjord that we were sailing through. Much of the holiday was spent gazing in wonder at the natural beauty of Norway: the tiny settlements perched precariously along the coast below towering mountains; the snow-capped peaks; the barren islands with a single house on them; the twilight of the polar night at mid-day; the black storm clouds. So many memories and a truly unforgettable trip.

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