Craft Crush: Cacti!

After a week with no wifi (what did people do before internet?!?!?) I’m back with a new craft crush.

I noticed a while back that cacti are very ‘on trend’ this year. But to be honest I wasn’t really on board with this trend. I had two little cacti when I was younger and never really liked the spiky little things. That was until I started seeing this trend being translated into craft!

Handmade cacti made from all sorts of materials have been popping up on pinterest and in etsy newsletters for the past few weeks and I think they are just adorable. You have the chic look without the actual prickles.

So here are a few of my favourites:

These stained glass cacti by MooncalfGlass are adorable. I love them lined up by the window, bringing in colour without blocking the light. There is also a hanging version.

Pet Plant Knitting Kit, Succulent Kit, Christmas Gift, UK Shop, Scotland. Plant craft kit. Plant felt kit. Christmas Stocking Filler

If you want to have a go at making a cactus yourself try out mybaboo‘s Mini Knit Kit! This looks more like aloe vera to me but you can find lots more knitted cacti on etsy. I particularly like this luxury wool pin cushion.

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I love this project by Veronika Richterova featured on Colossal made from recycled PET plastic. It is visually stunning and has an inspiring message. Her website a tribute to PET bottles is really informative and in the gallery of her work you can see many more examples of her sculptures made from PET plastic. Time to start collecting bottles and having a go myself I think.

Here’s another simple cactus craft kit, this time made from felt. Probably easy enough to be a nice craft project for kids. The great thing about this one is that it is in flower all year round 🙂

10 Cactus Crafts 2

I’ve seen an awful lot of variations of stones painted to be cacti. They are cute and fun and is an easy craft project for kids. Here (above) you can see some by Salt and Pepper Moms.

Kim Sielbeck

I just love these colouful and quirky paper cacti by illustrator Kim Sielbeck featured on Brown Paper Bag.

And finally, what is life without some concrete? These concrete cacti could make a great paperweight or bookend.

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My Top Craft-Travel Ideas

Today I thought I would share a little of my craft-travel wisdom with y’all. For those, like me, interested in crafts and travelling there are several great opportunities available to combine the two.

Craft Holidays

The Raku Garden – Brac, Croatia

Maybe, like me, you have been watching the BBC’s Pottery Throwdown and were inspired by the Raku challenge. Well here’s your opportunity to try it out yourself! Join Julie and Tim on a beautiful Croatian island to experiment with this exciting ceramics technique. I spent a week on the island of Brac last year so I can attest to its beauty and I’m sure it would make a great place to get creative.

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Dipping my toes in the beautifully clear water of the Adriatic Sea. Brac, Croatia.

Stitchtopia

From a weekend of knitting in Yorkshire to a fortnight exploring the textiles of South Africa or India – Stitchtopia has it all! As the name suggests these holidays are a real utopia for all you stitch lovers including knitting, crocheting, quilting embroidery and all things textiles.

Responsible Travel, Craft Holidays in the Scottish Highlands

Responsible Travel is a website dedicated to tours, holidays and excursions which invest locally, save water and energy, and protect local wildlife and culture. They have several craft related holiday options, but the one that particularly caught my eye was a holiday in the Highlands of Scotland learning about organic wool, natural dyes and felting techniques. Sign me up!

Helpx and Workaway

For a totally unique experience and craft-travel on a budget, check out these websites.They offer free accommodation, food and  cultural exchange in return for 4-5 hours work a day (can be more, or less, depending on the host) all over the world. Alongside farms and family-run accommodation businesses several makers are listed.

Searching using keywords such as ‘ceramics’ or ‘weaving’ in the websites’ host lists will unearth some amazing opportunities to live and work with makers. You can help a ceramicist in the Netherlands, learn about natural leather tanning in Austria or join a weaving project in Portugal. Not all helpers offer hands-on experience with their craft (some require help around the house or garden or looking after children), so be sure to read the profiles carefully.

Whether you are an experienced maker or a total novice, looking for a short break or longer learning experience, there is plenty on offer here!

Last year I spent two weeks in Slovenia with a couple who grow herbs and berries and collect wild flowers to make various teas, herbal salts etc. You can read more about my crafty adventures in Slovenia here, here and here. And finally, here a few photos from my HelpX experience in Slovenia to inspire your craft-travel:

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Experimenting with weaving and wild flowers in Slovenia
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Explore amazing places that your average tourist never sees
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The view from my bedroom during my helpx experience in Slovenia.

Handmade in Slovenia – A day in Ljubljana, Part 3: Baby Shoes

Now, baby shoes may not be something that would usually interest me, but in Ljubljana they seemed to be in many of the design and craft shops. Alongside the ceramics and jewellery, the baby shoes were so lovingly made and of such high quality I couldn’t help but snap a photo (or two or three).

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I don’t have much information about these super cute shoes apart from the fact they were all found in shops in Ciril-Metodov trg, Mestni trg and Stari trg, which is the area between the river and the castle. I do know that I found the amazing lace shoes (below) at the Idrija Lace Gallery, where I also saw a great necklace and lots of other great lace.

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Don’t you think they would be perfect for a christening?

Find it at Mestni Trg 17 and www.idrija-lace.com.

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And finally, I saw this little display in a shop window. I like the use of a cake stand to show off the tiny little shoes, and they definitely look good enough to eat!