I would like to use this opportunity to introduce myself and put a face to the name. I am Sinéad and I live in a beautiful wooden topped narrowboat. It has been my home for the last 4 years with my husband and 2 cats.
We are travelling around the English and Welsh waterways and make all kinds of handcrafted items. My inspiration comes from nature and the fairy tales I read as a child. Surrounded by magical woodland and waterways, it is a stunning setting for creativity.
We travel through both countryside and urban areas. It is an exciting part of narrowboat life to be able to experience different parts of the country. I love the changing views and people we meet along the way.
We are currently on the Staffordshire and Worcester canal heading for Stourport-on- Severn. A beautiful stretch of canal that cuts through sandstone and woodland, passing by the Severn Valley Railway and towns such as Bewdley.
As part of our licence conditions we continuously cruise which means that we don’t have a home mooring and must keep moving. This is a lot of hard work but all part of the adventure! We move every 2 weeks so there is an ever changing landscape. Our lives are affected greatly by the seasons but this has made me feel closer to nature than ever before.
ll started 5 years ago when I had the idea to make some wooden angel wings. An idea that quite literally took off ( pun intended! )and allowed me to leave my job as a welfare adviser and for us to start the Anzi’s Wood business.I make the wings for many reasons, sometimes it is just a decoration for a room but often they are made in memory of a loved one. It is very touching to hear the stories behind the reason for ordering the wings. I can’t lie, I have shed many a tear!
Our Facebook page Anzi’s Wood has been going for around 6 years now and we have many loyal customers and supporters. We have made firm friends all over the world and our wings often go to America and Australia. One set was even worn at the Mardis Gras in New Orleans!
We were in the process of rebuilding a seventy foot narrowboat at the time, using recycled wood and other treasures that we had collected. This allowed me to move onto the boat and start my nomadic crafting life. Living the dream! Serendipity at its magical best! Everything just fell into place.
A year ago, almost to the day, I went to a “learn to crochet” class. I had decided that it was something I just had to do after trying on and off since I was 16 with no success .
In the days before the internet existed it was much harder to learn new skills. I lost count of how many times I threw my terrible attempts at crochet across the room and vowed “never again!”
Captivated by some beautiful shawls that I found on Etsy, I was hooked! They were unlike anything I had seen before. Applique flowers, mushrooms, hearts and animals on bright colourful wraps. I was fascinated by this wonderful freestyle crochet and it sparked a desire to create something of my own. The crochet artist was Pollevie, a Dutch lady with an incredibly colourful and beautiful style.
Hours were spent on Pinterest , pinning like a mad woman! Blankets by Lucy at Attic 24 kept coming up and when I discovered a Facebook page dedicated to sharing and supporting the making of these wonderful blanket designs I knew I was going to do it this time.I was determined to learn to crochet! The crochet class set me off on my way, my first granny square was complete!
Since that first pivotal moment in my crochet life I have barely put my hook down. If I’m not crocheting then I will be thinking about crocheting. Total obsession! I love everything about crochet and the community is amazing! Incredible talent and wonderful designs to inspire and admire. The colours, the textures I love it all!
So many people have said to me that they wish they could crochet! I am determined to get as many people as possible to achieve that dream. It is a hobby for anyone, relatively cheap with no expensive equipment to buy. Once you learn to crochet you will never be bored again! That’s a promise!
I hope you will join me as I travel around the UK waterways and that you will enjoy this magical journey as much as I do.