Wednesday, 20 April 2016

WOYWW 359 - Cute diecutting machine

ETA - just noticed this is my 300th post on this blog.  I look forward to reaching 500.

Happy WOYWW to everyone - and apologies for those I did not get to visit last week.  My health took a down-turn, at the same time that my Tarot reading business got busier, and I just didn't have the strength to read blogs in the late evenings.

WOYWW means What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday and is hosted by Julia at her blog, Stamping Ground.  Click on the link and join in.

A little bit of crafting has occurred on my workdesk this week.  Not a lot though!  (Reminds me of the wonderful Paul Daniels, who sadly left us last month.)

I have not taken any photos to show evidence of this crafting, but I do have pictures of my new toy - a Spellbinders Sapphire mini diecutting machine.  It has been a while since I turned the handle on a diecutter.  I had a Cuttlebug many years ago, then moved into the world of Silhouette Cameo.  That was a fabulous machine in many ways, but I just wasn't doing enough crafting to justify it - and I was offered a reasonable amount to sell it, so off it went to a new home.  I watch all the craziness of collecting dies (and the many different machines) from a distance and sigh a huge sigh of relief that I am not getting myself into more debt over all that.  However, I also watch the crafting shows on tv and wish that I could cut out some circles/basic shapes easily.

I had seen the Sapphire a few times and thought it looked great, and then last week there was a special offer on tv with a pack of card to go with it.  On impulse I bought one - perhaps as I am really suffering with my health at the moment, which raises my stress levels, and I just needed something to look forward to.

It arrived in 2 days and I have had a little play with it.  It is easy to use, gives good results and now I am watching on Ebay to see if anyone is selling any suitable dies cheaply.

Here it is -


It came with all the necessary cutting plates and a nice selection of dies.


It really is as small as a deck of Tarot cards!

I will get this published now and then visit a few blogs straightaway.  I am feeling very sorry for myself today.  Had a nasty cold for a few days that is making me feel really miserable (I read that Fibro/CFS makes cold symptoms far worse, and I definitely can vouch for that) and now my hip pain has flared up again.  Got a lot to do with my Tarot business (Crystal Pendulum readings are proving very popular at the moment), which helps to keep me distracted and sitting mostly still, but there is so much housework/animal care etc, etc that is shouting at me constantly.  I have given in today, taking maximum doses of painkillers/pain gel etc and just think of the day when I wake up and my cold has gone.  Positive thinking!

Hope you are all well.

Ali x


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

WOYWW 358 - Starting my Doodle Journal

Hi, 'WOYWW'ers of the World

There was a definite WOYWW- shaped hole in my life last week.  I was quite simply overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on my business/study To Do list, so I had to admit (again!) that I cannot do everything and this blog was one of the things I shamefully decided to not do.

I have been struggling more and more with my health - with some symptoms that are not classically part of Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was suspected.  My doctor confirmed that I do have this when I saw him on Friday - and I think my body is now feeling it is ok to throw even more issues at me, because since then I have become a walking symptom list!

I try to look at it in a positive way and see that it is making me stop and reconsider everything I do.  My Tarot business and blog is a big priority, but even with that I am having to take one project at a time and not try to multi-task.  I have been editing my website for a lot of today (this is being written on Tuesday, as I am totally rubbish until the afternoons now), so took a break to sort out one of my crafty storage wardrobes.  I found my calligraphy set and other pens, which have never been used, and spent an enjoyable time on YouTube looking at doodling/hand lettering videos.  I found one on making a Doodle Journal, so I have taken the plastic wrapping off a lovely notebook that had been sitting in my room for ages and just about to take the scary first step of putting ink onto blank page.

My photo today shows my desk immediately in front of my computer screen. The notebook and pens are there ready for action - and the Tarot card which is my Card For The Week (The Hermit).

My craft room is quite a dark space, as it is in the oldest part of the farmhouse - with a sloping ceiling and the original beams.  However, it is not as dark as this photo makes it look!  There are 3 windows and a bright green wall, so it is a very pleasant place to be.  The 2nd photo shows off my green wall, sewing machine table and stripy rug.




I hope that you are all having a happy and crafty week.

Go over to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details about WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday) and to join in.

Ali x

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

WOYWW 356 - designing a card digitally

WOYWW is What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday - expertly organised by Julia at her blog, Stamping Ground, for several years now.  Go over there and have a nose around lots of fabulous crafty blogs.  Join in too.  We are a friendly bunch!

I am attempting to get more organised and use Tuesday as a block day for writing blog posts - this should help productivity, but I have already been distracted by an email from a client this morning and then my brain took over.  I found myself reading a blog about designing your own Tarot/Oracle cards and then I made the decision to re-start my Reiki training.  Yes, definitely very random!

I then realised I needed some actual crafting to be happening, or I would not have anything to write about, except for my general rambling which I can do for a long time.

I have lots of cards to make for April, so started up my Serif CraftArtist 2 Professional software and got a card designed for a friend very quickly.  I love this software - and after many years of digital crafting I have built up a huge collection of digikits.  I truly can make anything for any occasion.

If you are not aware of how fantastic Serif software is (I think I have the full collection), go to www.serif.com and download the free version of CraftArtist to give it a go.  It is marketed for scrapbooking, but can be used for absolutely anything.  I make a lot of my cards with it, stationery, signs for the farm business etc, etc, etc.

You can do simple designs or really get creative and do incredible digital art.  Just the photo editing element within it is worth the purchase price alone.  No need to spend a lot of money on Photoshop!

Here is my screenshot of the birthday card I literally spent 2 minutes on.  It will be printed off on good quality card and there you go - a unique card.  I have also designed the insert and back of the card, and it prints double-sided on one A4 sheet, ready to be trimmed and scored.


I will be blogging again about Serif and, if you have any questions, leave a comment below or email me at teddybob@live.co.uk.

Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit.

Ali x

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

WOYWW 355 - my YouTube debut

Hi, everyone.

It is almost late afternoon now and I have been aiming to get this written since early this morning.  Oh well, I am here now

Firstly, you need to get over to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details and to join in with the weekly tour of crafty workspaces, which happens to be on a Wednesday.

Secondly, I am late today for two reasons.  I stupidly overdid it in the past two days - walking with Buzz for longer than usual because of the dry weather and also driving into town on consecutive days.  I woke this morning absolutely exhausted and in a lot of pain.  This did ease once I got up and slowly started my day, and I have been 'resting' more than I planned.  So frustrating when I had planned to get some extra cleaning done - in the house and out in the yard.

I also finally got some YouTube videos made for the channel I set up over a year ago!  Just some short 'Incoming Mail' videos - but feel free to go and watch if you like stationery/penpalling/mail swaps etc.

Ali on YouTube

Going to be making regular videos now I have found my confidence - the animals, farm, countryside, crafting etc.

I will have a separate channel for my Tarot and business stuff.

Here is what the 2nd table in my craft room looks like now.

The incredible ATC Flipbook I received in a mail swap is underneath the brilliant new stamps from John Bloodworth, plus various sticky notes/scissors/memo pad/smart phone tripod ....
Those stamps persuaded me to break my several years ban on buying more stamps, as I had practically stopped doing stamping.  Unfortunately these are now sold out.  If you NEED some, as I did, then contact John Bloodworth on Facebook or his blog, Gentleman Crafter, and he can let you know when they are back in stock.

I was going to make several Easter cards this week - and even bought some fab paper from Lidl (plus a hot glue gun and punch set) - but I now realise that I lack the time and motivation!!

Happy WOYWW to everyone who I do not manage to visit later.

Ali x

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

WOYWW 354 - The Raskog is built

Happy WOYWW everyone and I hope that the sun is shining where you are.  I am late to this weekly party again, but 'better late than never'!

Hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground for a chance to join in and more details.

I finally finished my Ikea Raskog cart/trolley this morning.  It was not too difficult to assemble, once I had located the correct size screwdriver and managed to crouch on my craft room floor with instructions (they are much better than I remember them - not bought anything from Ikea for years - I used to live only 2 miles from the one at J.9 of the M6 and we treated it as a place to wander around when we had nothing better to do).  It seems sturdy and the colour is gorgeous.

Here he is (definitely a boy!) -


I have put my baskets of washi tape on the top, journals/notebooks/scrapbooks in the middle, and stickers in the bottom.  There is more to add, lots of rearranging and possibly some general 'prettifying'.

I also feel another purchase coming on - for all my Tarot and Oracle Card decks, plus runes/crystals etc.

Perhaps I can organise my whole house into Raskog trolleys?!

There has been absolutely no crafting happening this week.  I have started a new course on running an online Tarot business and have 2 more lined up (one on Pinterest and another on writing email newsletters), so only essential crafting will be happening (birthday cards etc).  Lots of birthdays/special events happening in April and May, so I am looking for my special 'Extra Hours in the Day Cloak' to wear.

Will be doing some blog-surfing later.

Ali x

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

WOYWW 353

OMG.  Who made this year go so quickly?  Please ask them to slow it down.  I missed last week and really should be missing this week - but I had written it down in my Planner and hate putting a cross against any tasks not done.  There is no crafting happening on my desk - but I took a photo anyway.

To see some really crafty workspaces, go to the links in Julia's Stamping Ground.  Not everyone is attempting to get their online Tarot Reading business moving more smoothly and studying as well.

Here is my main desk in front of my pc screen.


My fab A4 Ultimate Diary Planner sits to the left of my keyboard (it is usually open on the current page - but thought it best to keep my scribbles private), with my notebook and pretty clipboard pad (from Aldi) on top.  You can see my water bottle, pen/pencil/scissor tubs, handcream (again from Aldi), all my various sticky note pads that I love to write notes on, essential oil sprays, crystals/pendulums etc - and in front of my keyboard, the most gorgeous little shopping basket (with purple handles) that I got from the Works to hold the extra Washi Tapes that did not fit in my current W.T storage basket.  They also do little shopping trolleys - and I think I will go back tomorrow to get one.  It will be fun to wheel stuff around on my desk!

This is what is on my floor at the moment - no time to put it together for at least a few days (unless I take it downstairs tonight - good idea!).  I think a few of you already have a Raskog?  I have wanted one for ages and after selling a few extra Tarot readings last month, I treated myself.  Going to use it for all my penpalling/scrapbooking/planner stuff, so they can be all together and right next to my chair.


Hope that everyone is ok.  I will attempt to do some blog commenting later/tomorrow.

Love and peace

Ali x

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WOYWW 351

I think a couple of weeks have gone by without me joining in with the weekly global wonder that is What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday (see Julia's Stamping Ground for more details).

Some crafting has occurred, but mainly designing cards digitally and then just printing them off (which is not always as simple as it should be).

I have been getting annoyed with myself that I am not finding time to continue with my sewing adventures, so have sorted out some fabrics to make a quilt/pillow set for my eldest step-granddaughter's doll pram.

Here are the pretty cotton fabrics -


and I also found some random fleecy fabric, which can be used to make them more cosy.

No idea of where to go from here, except to go through my stash of magazines/Pinterest/YouTube/National Sewing Circle (something I joined last month when they had a ridiculously good subscription offer - lots of videos/articles) and find a pattern/instructions.

Will keep you updated.

I was hoping to be able to show off my Ikea Raskog trolley, which should have been delivered yesterday, but just done the tracking of parcel and for some reason it was returned to the depot last night and now they should be re-attempting today.  I am going to use it for my scrapbooking supplies - in the hope that having them all prettily displayed next to me will actually force me to use them!

I hope that you are all well.

Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not get round to visiting.

Ali x