Friday, November 8, 2013

Business Travel Meets Creative Happiness

I had to travel to Berlin for most of this past week to meet several work collaborators and discuss science.  The people I was meeting with are always kind, smart, helpful and quickly volunteer an idea or two.  These are always great meetings.  However, no matter how beneficial the meeting is I am always missing my evening creating time when I travel for work.

I was stuck in a generic hotel room in the central part of Berlin.  Nothing makes this feel more comfortable than scattering around a few "travel handmade" goodies like zippy pouches or totes for touring town.


On this trip I had two zippy pouches with me, each one containing a different project.  I was super lucky to score both zippy pouches in swaps.  The first was made for me by Kat (pictured with the generic check in desk orchid) and the second was made for me by Di (pictured with the hotel bar tea light and fake plants).



More on that later.  We did get out for one morning and one afternoon to do a bit of sight seeing....



But the only location not to be missed on my list was the local fabric shop.  This trip I went to visit Volksfaden.  Not only did they have a fabulous selection of modern fabrics, but they also created the most wonderful atmosphere in which to shop.  I loved the bits and bobs they had scattered around to keep your interest or inspire you.





I picked up a few goodies, but not too much as my suitcase was awfully full on the way over!  I'd be mocked by my boss man if I was over the limit on the way home due to fabric shopping.  After a bit more sight seeing and dinner, we headed off to the airport to kill time....

Out of Kat's zippy pouch I pulled a knitting project.


That travelled right with me from those uncomfortable airport gate seats into even more uncomfortable air plane seats.  I have travelled a good bit through Europe and to/from the US lately, each time bringing a knitting project.  The needles have never been a problem with airport security.  I do tell the security screener that they're in my bag and usually they can't even be bothered to look at them.


Once I was on the flight and I could settle into my fold-down table top, I pulled out a hand sewing project from Di's zippy pouch.  I am making a cathedral windows wall hanging (if I have a short attention span) or quilt (if I am into a 20+ year project), so I have my little window fabric already folded, pressed and ready to go.  My focus fabrics are pre-cut and ready to use.  Inside my pouch is also a printed version of the instructions (just in case...) as well as a spool of Aurifil, a needle book and....


little scissors!  Yes, they will let you on a flight with small scissors so long as they are less than 6 cm from the fulcrum to the tip.  You might check the detailed information your airline carrier supplies online, but this has been generally true for me time and time again.  I always pull them out of my carry on, show them to the screener and leave them out, free in the x-ray bin.  Again, the screener barely bats an eye.


I finished a few cathedral window blocks on this flight, but more importantly just having to sit here with this project re-ignited my interest in hand sewing.  That alone made carrying these supplies on my travels worthwhile.  Anyway, I thought you might like a little peek into how I bring crafty goodness on my travels.  Might you have another suggestion of how your creative endeavours travel with you?  I am always open to suggestions!

17 comments:

Canadian Abroad said...

Go you, travelling handmade, and making in the go. I took hand sewing to holland this summer and never got it out once.

Patchwork and Play said...

Lucky you to travel with scissors! Not so here in Australia! I had to give up a treasured pair of nail scissors, which I had in my handbag, prior to a flight to Sydney last year! Our customs officers are PARANOID!

pennydog said...

I went to Toronto and back with some hand sewing and never got it out once, such is my dislike for hand sewing!

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

I never travel without a cross stitch project in my bag! I have a round Clover thread cutter that gets through security easily.

Keela said...

Thank you so much for this post, off to Berlin for the Christmas Markets in 3 weeks but will definitely stop by Volksfaden now:)

giddy99 said...

I take my hand-sewing with me, too. I keep my little scissors tethered to my zip pouch (that I carry the hexies in) - dropping things on planes is trying, as dropped items have a way of sliding away from you inflight.

I have a pin cushion ring that I keep in an old medicine bottle, with my needles, magnet and paper clips, and it all fits in the zip pouch. :)

cheeky monkey said...

I am impressed! I know that people had to show baby scissors and they are not even pointed. I love Berlin!

Leanne said...

I would love to see Berlin, too bad you could not stay an extra day or two. I love that you are making so much progress on that knitting too. I am going to check our rules on little scissors too.

Wendy Kemp said...

Fab pouches! Lucky you :)
Air France told me no-no to scissors or pins or sewing needles in the cabin for my upcoming trip to South Africa - spoils sports :(

Catherine said...

My dad has just returned from Berlin and now I want go to go too. Love the handmade, homemade touches

memmens said...

I can only dream of travel these days, the school run is far enough for me! Glad you managed to fit a quilt shop in to your trip!

Ella said...

I've never had trouble with kid's (rounded ends) scissors) and a full sewing kit. I bring wooden needles as aluminum ones can have a tragic end in the air pressurization process.

Katy Cameron said...

I once spent a week prior to a bear fair shut up in a hotel room in Luton desperately trying to finish off stuff for about 5 bears! Last year I took stuff to sew on the way too/from/around the US and barely touched it, oh well...

Tina said...

Ooh, what a fabulous fabric shop!! And well done on actually working on your projects... I always pack stuff and then never get round to it.

diane said...

That fabric shop looks lovely. I hope you had fun on your business trip. Looks like the zipper pouches served you well. It's always nice to see something I made in use. Thanks for sharing. That Hotel actually looks really nice, although like you said rather generic

Sarah said...

Gorgeous fabric shop in Berlin. I notice on the tourist map a place called Rotes Rath. Like our last name, minus the h! My husbands family did emigrate from Germany to Australia in the 1850s so I wonder if it is connected to the same name. I've never been game to travel with my hand stitching in carry on. The rules are different from airline to airline and I'd hate to have it confiscated.

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

What a thrill to see my little bunny scrappy pouch travelling all around the world. Love that you are using it and love it so!!
Hello craft shops - they looked gorgeous!

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