Bucket Lists

When I moved back to the UK, I had a bucket lists of sorts, of places around Europe I have always wanted to visit. I’ve managed to do a few of them, for example:

  • See the Book of Kells
  • Visit Rome and see the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain
  • Visit Greece and see Delphi, Olympia and the Acropolis
  • Visit Pompeii

Book of Kells
But I still have many I want to do:

  • Eat black forest cake in the Black Forest
  • Cruise down the Rhine to see the Bavarian Castles
  • See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • See the famous balcony of Romeo and Juliet fame
  • See heather in bloom
  • Visit the Statue of the Little Mermaid
  • Visit tulip fields
  • Visit Loch Lomond
  • Have a romantic break in Paris
  • See the Great Pyramids

I also find myself making mini bucket lists, like a few weekends ago I went to London, so I took the opportunity to visit the Tate Modern, seeing some artwork by some very famous artists, such as Picasso, Klee, Warhol, etc, or I’ve locally walked Moor Copse, Calleva Atrebatum and Dinton Pastures, but I want to do Fobney Island. A bucket list gives me things to look forward to, even if at the moment I am too busy with getting Didi Lou Crafts up and running to be able to do another longer overseas trip.

green tulips pot_tnceltic circle box_tntulip pot_tnceltic oval box_tn

Some of the crafts available at Didi Lou Crafts are influenced by my interest in history, culture and nature, for example, the tulips and the celtic influence can be found on the items shown above. These and many other items are available at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

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Upcycling

upcycle
/ˈʌpsʌɪk(ə)l/
verb
gerund or present participle: upcycling

reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.
“the opportunity to upcycle trash, or turn it into new products, was vast”

Upcycling is the process of changing something that would be considered useless by most into something more useful. I use recycling for the storage of craft items, so two old shoe boxes now hold the silk and acrylic paints, and I have papermached the outside of 3 old cardboard biscuit tubes to hold the glass paints, jewellery findings and jewellery wires and threads. Looking up at my shelves I also see that my two sewing boxes are actually old metal biscuit tins from Christmases past.

Creating some upcycled items for sale is certainly one aspiration of Didi Lou Crafts and there are a few items available on Etsy which already meet that desire. In time, I would like to do more, but it is finding the right ideas and having the right resources available, for example, there are some lovely planters made from old tyres, but I don’t have old tyres laying around to use, and I would like to upcycle some old drawers for sale as I have some nice ideas, but again I need to find those drawers at a reasonable price first.

fashion bag_tnfisherman card_tnembossed notelet set_tn

The examples I do have are the upcycled gift bags, made from the pages of catalogs, a few of the cards, made from an old writing set, and the set of notelets, which are new cards, but the paper and even the embossing powder are left over from my wedding stationery. You will find all these items at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts. I’ve also reused the packing string from my weekly vegetable box on the back of some of the hanging items, so I have made a start, but I am sure there is more I can and will do in the future as I get the business more established.

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Crafting Holidays

It is that time of year, when the schools are closed and people are jetting off to different (mostly sunnier) climes. My holidays are usually one of the following: visiting family, visiting historic places on my bucket list or activity holidays, where said activities are mostly craft. My regular favourite is the Manor House Hotel in Okehampton.

Tumblers1floral sandblasted vase_tn

I made the Mass Effect inspired glasses for my husband at one of the activity holidays. Unfortunately items like these could break copyright rules even though I drew them freehand from a picture, so I wouldn’t sell them, but as a gift for my husband, they were very well received. I don’t have my own sandblaster at home, or I would make a lot more sandblasted glass items for sale. Currently Didi Lou Crafts have one available on the Etsy website, the abstract floral square vase. I will probably book another crafting trip for next May and make new items for sale for next summer.

Don’t forget to get any orders in early for the holiday period so they arrive in plenty of time as crafters take holidays too.

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Sun Care

shelterAs people start to head off for their summer holidays, can I remind people to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day, to find some shade, drink plenty of water, cover up when possible, to use sunscreen as needed and wear a hat and sunglasses.

I grew up in Australia. I have fair skin and red hair. As you may guess, I had problems in the sun. Our primary school uniform was a sleeveless dress, but my mother made one with sleeves to protect the tops of my arms. Every time I wore that dress there were comments made about it and my parents were called into the school several times about the issue, but they insisted I wear that dress on the sunniest days. It wasn’t until my secondary school days that the “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaign started about sun protection. In full, it was “Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunblock and Slap on a hat”. I am glad to report that the primary school uniform was eventually changed to include short sleeves and a hat.

Please take care this summer, sun protectionnot just for yourself, but for those around you who need your help to understand the risks of the sun and the need to cover up, whether with clothes, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses or a shaded area.

Didi Lou Crafts does not have any items that will help with protecting your skin in the sun, but this is an issue I feel strongly about, so forgive the lack of product recommendation today.

A handmade craft item can be a wonderful gift for a summer birthday, but don’t forget to order well in advance to allow for your vacation time. Our range of products can be found at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

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Music

musical notesI like a range of music. I think we are influenced by our parents and by what is popular in our teenage years, but our taste in music can change over the years too. I listen to less music nowadays, spending more time in front of my computer and crafting of course, although crafting whilst listening to music is relaxing. I mostly listen to music when driving in the car and when working out or gardening, especially when mowing the lawn. My tastes are eclectic from classical to techno and popular music, I also like a lot of 70s music (which I attribute to my father) and musicals (which is very much my mother’s influence). I’m not really a concert or festival person, but I have seen a few musicals in my time. What I listen to when working out is probably the most varied as it is music with a beat to keep me moving, whereas in the car I either listen to the radio and admit I am a Heart Radio listener, or I listen to CDs.

musical oval box_tn There are a few musically talented members of the extended family. I studied music in lower secondary school and was better at the theory than practical side, although I did enjoy being in the school and district choirs. I’ve also participated in a few shows, although found I enjoyed the behind the scenes roles, such as props and stage setting, rather than performance.

If you want a musical themed item, commissioned items are possible. Email me with details at sales@didiloucrafts.co.uk. For ideas of the type of items I make, see https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DidiLouCrafts.

 

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