In this post I will be looking at tapestries and mosaic kits. These can be done from home, or even in bed if you want to. I would advise having a little table designed for use for the bed though. I love mine! I have experience with both hobbies and have worked out the pros and cons.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that if you choose to use I will receive a small commission to help with the running costs of this blog. This is no way affects the price that you pay. All opinions are my own.
I was big into doing tapestries years ago and I am most proud of a tapestry I did of two arctic wolves in the snow. It’s now hanging on my mum’s wall. Sadly, I don’t have a photograph to show you as it never occurred to me back then to take one.
What I love about tapestries is that it is done with wool instead of thread as with cross stitch or embroidery. To be quite honest, I can’t sew for toffee! Just ask my mum who still alters my clothes when needed! Thanks Mum. But with tapestries the wool is so much thicker that I’m ok with them. I can better see what I’m doing and I don’t get in a mess like I do with thread. If you are someone who can do counted cross stitch then I applaud you.
The other advantage with using wool for tapestry is that the needle is bigger and I can better feel it. Due to fibromyalgia I don’t have very good feeling in my hands and fingers any more and often have to go by sight rather than feel. With a larger needle I stand a much better chance of success.
Don’t forget that tapestries don’t have to just be a piece for the wall, like The Bayeux Tapestry that I saw last year. (Well recommended by the way but take a wheelchair for the queues if you need one.) Tapestries are often made into cushions and rugs as well.
Here’s a lovely cushion kit that I’ve found. The shop that it’s from has lots of lovely ones to choose from. It’s called Brigantia Needlework.
This one is done as cross stitch but still uses wool rather than thread.
This shop also does larger projects such as rugs if this is something that you love. Just click the photo and it will take you to the shop where you can then browse everything on offer.
This little cutie makes a lovely gift or hanging. I think it would look great on the Christmas tree as well. Although I think I would keep it out all year. It’s also a great little project to get a taster for tapestry to see how you feel.
I’m actually surprised at how difficult it is to find good tapestry kits as it always seems to be cross stitch that is favoured.
So please let me know how you get on with tapestry. Also do you do cross stitch? I’d love to see your projects. Post them in the comments for me to see. You inspire me to try out new things then. 🙂
The chat about cross stitch and my complete ineptness (is that a word?) at them brings me nicely to the next section which is…
These are a recent discovery of mine. I suck so bad at cross stitch that when I found these kits I was so excited. The end result looks like a shiny cross stitch but it’s actually made up of faceted resin mosaic blocks. So instead of each cross in cross stitch you have a single mosaic block.
The kits come with a canvas that has the picture already printed for you with a code telling you what colour mosaic block to use. It’s like a cross between embroidery and painting by numbers except that you use mosaic blocks. How wonderful is that!
I have never seen these in the UK before so to check them out I ordered one of a squirrel, because I’m nuts about squirrels! See what I did there! 😉 I’ve been doing it for a while now as I ordered the biggest size!
I was concerned about the mosaic blocks not sticking to the canvas but actually the canvas has an adhesive on it that it really, really, sticky. I can’t see those suckers coming off! You can pull it off if you make a mistake but how hard you have to pull says it all to me. I have a couple of work in progress photos to show you so you can get the idea.
I took these when I first started the kit. In the top photo you can see what came with it, a canvas with the picture printed on and of course, very sticky! There are the mosaic blocks all coloured coded in little bags, a pair of forceps for adding the mosaic blocks and a very useful tray for keeping those little blocks in one place!
The bottom photo shows where I have started placing some of the mosaic blocks and the symbols for the colour coding are clearly visible.
I recommend doing these with your favourite music in the background and a glass of wine (or in my boring case, a cup of tea!) nearby. It is surprisingly relaxing and has enough focus that it’s very much in line with the mindful way that I am learning to live.
Here is my finished mosaic. I’m really, really pleased with it and it now hangs proudly in my office.
One word of caution, these mosaic blocks are much smaller than I was expecting, which is why they give you forceps. If your eye sight isn’t very good then I recommend using a magnifier preferably with a light to help. That said, because the mosaic blocks are small you get a far better resolution of your final picture.
If you do have trouble with forceps there is another type that you might find much easier. I sometimes used these back in my lab days.
They are called cross lock tweezers and work in reverse to normal tweezers. So you only need to squeeze the tweezers to open them and when you let go it grips. This way it is easier to control the smaller mosaic blocks. I have used both and either works fine depending on your preference.
This particular pair of tweezers is perfect as it also have a fine tip (important) and a curved tip, which makes it easier on your arm and more natural feeling. The other thing I like is that it has a handle for comfort. Mine doesn’t.
The kits that I supply here also come with a glue block and a pen tool that are even easier to use. Since doing more designs I’ve actually favoured the pen tool as my hand is fusing now with arthritis. You can find more details on it in a later post here.
If you are interested then I have various designs to choose from in my Etsy shop. If you are new to this I recommend starting with a smaller kit to see how you get on and so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They are selling well and I have expanded my selection. So any feedback, good or bad (constructive please) is welcome. There might be a particular style you can’t find maybe. I haven’t stocked any religious ones as they as niche but I have seen them.
Here are a few examples of what I have. Click the picture to follow the links.
So there we have it! My run down on two potential hobbies that I have done along with the pros and cons. Again, I’d love to hear from you and see what you are up to so please use the comments below. Also, please sign up for email updates notifying you when a new post is published. I’ll be doing more in this series so stay tuned. You can find my subscribe box in the side bar and at the very bottom of the page.
Keep crafting! xx