The sun is shining (well some of the time) and its a great opportunity to get your craft on in the great outdoors – just be prepared to pack up your things quickly in case of an unexpected downpour! There are some crafts which aren’t so great when its really hot – knitting for example can get very hot and down right irritating when its really warm (in the summer in Sydney, its really hard to buy wool as people just don’t knit, and metal needles are a big no no!).
The following suggestions will help you make the most of your summertime craft:
1. Keep it small and light – when its hot, the last thing you want is to be carting round heaps of crafty stuff. Why not take a small cross stitch or some quilting squares. Small, easy to carry and benefits from some direct sunlight so you can see the fiddly bits!
2. Make something for summer – lots of the crafts we make seem to be very winter orientated – scarves, hats, jumpers, blankets etc so it makes a nice change to create something that works in the summer. Have a look at
for a whole section on summertime crafts (and spring, autumn and winter come to that).
3. Make it quick – another thing about the summer is that there is always something else to do, so your time for crafting is competing with BBQs, picnics, days at the park and a whole range on sun based activities so chose a project that is quick and easy to finish. Instant satisfaction and more time to make the most of the potentially limited good weather.
4. Craft in the great outdoors – go to the park, go to the beach, find a spot under a shady tree and enjoy crafting in the fresh air.
5. Combinations – why not organise a BBQ or similar for your group of friends and encourage everyone to bring a project to work on – those not of the crafty persuasion can hang out or play sports while your like minded friends can relax and work on your crafts.
Hopefully the weather doesn’t let me down and is nice enough for you to take advantage of the suggestions above. Happy crafting!
Photo by Jiaren Lau on flickr.com
Crafting can be seen as a particularly solitary pursuit – most people craft on their own, working on their own individual projects. One notable exception to this of course is quilting, where groups of (usually) women have got together to work on a shared project.
Regardless of whether you are working on a shared project, there are loads of benefits to crafting with friends and here are just a few:
• You learn new skills – crafting with friends inevitably exposes you to some new skills and techniques. You might find a better way to cast on or off if you are a knitting fan, or you might learn something new completely. Its also really nice to teach your friends something new, so go on, share your knowledge.
• Crafting in Public – ah the old UCC mission of crafting in public! For those that are a little embarrassed . . . → Read More: Crafting with friends
As indicated by our name – Urban Craft Collective – we are keen to establish a community of crafters and would really value input from you guys about what we could do to make UCC work for you. In particular we would love your feedback on:
• What topics you would like to see covered in our blogs – more step by step instructions, more general crafty musings….. we’re open to offers. • How we can make UCC more of a community – would you like to see interactive message boards, specific members only areas, areas where you can post your designs and pictures of completed projects. • How many of you attend crafting in public events? If you don’t, what is stopping you? • Would you be interested in setting up a UCC group in your local area? We’re really keen to help . . . → Read More: Your ideas for UCC
Crafting is more fun with friends. But what if none of your friends are into being crafty? No matter where you live, there are crafty and creative people around, you just have to find them!
So how can you find these crafty & creative people who also want to turn crafting into a social activity? Here are our top tips.
1) Ask your friends. I know, you said that none of your friends are into crafting. But have you asked them? Lots of people loved to craft as kids, or have always wanted to craft, but then life got in the way. People aren’t always comfortable talking about crafting – and here at Urban Craft Collective we’re trying to change that attitude – so ask them if they’re interested and you might uncover a new side of your friendship.
2) Search online for groups. If you live near an . . . → Read More: How to find your tribe of public crafters
Do any of these describe you?
You love to craft, but your friends just don’t get it. You were really crafty & creative as a child, but now you just don’t have the time. You think you would like to knit/crochet/cross stitch/embroider, but you don’t know anyone who can teach you.
If so … you may be a closet crafter.
And closet crafting is exactly what we’re trying to bring into the light here at Urban Craft Collective!
Gone are the days of crafting on solo Friday nights in your spare bedroom. Or devoting entire days to crafting (this is amazing if you can do it! But who has the time?) Crafting is cool again, and it’s a fantastic social activity – you just have to find your group.
If you’re a closet crafter, the first thing to change is your mindset. Crafting doesn’t have to be all-consuming. It . . . → Read More: Are you a closet crafter?
Now making a bead bracelet is not a craft you can do on the go – visions of pushing your way though a crowded train carriage, chasing after your beads is not an appealing one. However, you can take it with you on a weekend away or just something to do when you have a quiet moment at home Its really quick, easy and fun.
Step 1 – Getting Ready
Along with the beads (obviously!), there are a few essential items you need: small flat or long nose pliers, tiger tail wire, a clasp, crimps, a peg and jump rings. You can buy all of these things in your local craft store and there are very cheap versions which I’d recommend buying if you are just trying it out.
Step 2 – Starting Out
Cut a length of wire – cut it so it fits around 1.5 times . . . → Read More: Making a bead bracelet
As you know, at UCC we are all about building crafting into your everyday life and making most of every opportunity to get your craft on. However, once in a while it would be nice to take some time out and really immerse yourself in crafting.
There are lots and lots of great craft based holidays out there and here are our top 3 ideas across the world:
1. Visit www.craftybreaks.com to see the best Wales has to offer in all things crafty. You can take workshops in pottery and ceramics, glass painting, felt making and mosaics to name but a few all amid the beautiful Welsh countryside.
2. On the other side on the world, a slightly different approach is offered by the craft retreat near Melbourne (www.thecraftretreat.com.au). Rather than offering classes, it provides a base for you and your friends to dedicate yourself to crafting. There is . . . → Read More: Holidays with a difference
Here is a quick tip that has changed my craft-in-public life!
Recently I’ve been working on some crochet projects with patterns I just can’t memorize. (Ok, I’ll admit it, almost every crochet project has a pattern I can’t memorize – I’m really bad at patterns! )
So to craft on the go, I either switched to a simpler project, or I would print patterns from the internet and carry a printout in my crafting kit. Having a paper pattern is kind of annoying actually when you’re on a crowded train, and it threatens to blow away every time the door opens!
A few weeks ago as I was heading out of town for the weekend, I realized I needed to crochet a hat as a last-minute gift. Of course, the hat pattern I wanted to use was in a book! Problem: either carry a book with me all weekend, . . . → Read More: How to take your patterns when crafting in public
A friend told me the other day that she has got her mojo back – now that was in relation to her life in general but it got me thinking about my crafty mojo. Now as much as I like crafting, sometimes I can’t settle to anything. I’ll start a project but not finish it and just generally be a bit slack . In short, I’ve lost my crafting mojo!
So, if your crafting enthusiasm is waning, how can you go about regaining that passion?
1 – Set yourself a goal – whether that goal is to spend 15 minutes every day on your crafting or to complete your crafty project by a certain date, its really worthwhile putting a little bit of pressure on yourself. Yes its a hobby but if you are struggling to get motivated a bit of routine will work wonders.
2 – Try . . . → Read More: Your crafting mojo
We love to craft in public … and so do lots of other people! If you love to craft in public, or are thinking about taking the first steps, you’re not alone! There are lots of us out there, and in this interview series, we’ll introduce you to some of them and hear their stories & tips!
This is the first in our interview series with fellow mobile crafters. This week we’re talking with Jane from Tea & Crafting in London.
Tell us about Tea & Crafting
Tea & Crafting are short 2 hour craft workshops based in central London. The aim is to teach people a craft in two hours but whilst teaching they get to make something and take it home to show off. I could never commit to a 4-6 week long course because life gets busy and this is what gave me the idea . . . → Read More: Who else crafts in public? An interview with Tea & Crafting