Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Happy Valentines Day and WOYWW (go to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details).

It is still just about morning here in really wet/windy/cold Pembrokeshire, and I am in my craft room keeping warm and resting.  I stupidly offered to make bacon rolls for hubby and our employees, as they are all working long hours at the moment as we battle through calving.  I am struggling with pain and some nasty symptoms of Fibromyalgia at the moment - and also a possible kidney infection - but I managed the cooking of said rolls and delivered them (by car!) up to our yard about 1 mile up the road. 

I am lacking the energy to do any crafting right now.  My crafty table does have a magazine on there that I have read, and now going to go and through and cut out any useful bits.  If you haven't read Flow magazine before, I would definitely recommend it. 

I also received a fantastic ATC yesterday as part of a butterfly swap in our Facebook group.  The spoon, words and charms were just perfect for me.  If you are not aware of what a 'Spoonie' is - you can read more HERE.  Purple is the colour used by several chronic pain/fatigue groups, as well as the butterfly.

I had a lovely visit to Jan (LLJ) last week - and met Margaret there too (so doubly blessed).  We talked a lot, ate a tasty lunch and did some crafting (well, I did some embossing of Spring-coloured card).  Jan is a natural-born papercrafter of course!  It was wonderful to finally meet up in person with some 'Deskers'.  How about a crop in West Wales this year??

We took over - there was more on the floor!

Look at how happy Jan is (papercraft brings joy!) and her lovely card
Jan enthusiastically points at her gorgeous card, whilst Margaret is busy with the glue

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

WOYWW 453 - Butterflies, Dragonflies and a Llama

It is early morning in Pembrokeshire, and still dark and cold.  I was awake anyway at 5 am due to pain, but then heard cats fighting outside.  Ran outside to save our house cat, Milky, from injury (she was knocked down by a car back in 2009 and has metal in her leg) - but no sign of any felines.  Come back inside to be greeted by Milky just waking up from her bed!  Oh well, no chance of any more sleep now, so I am in my craft room attempting to keep busy when the internet keeps cutting out.

I am too tired to do anything useful - like crafting, studying or admin - but I have written out the 'backs' for some ATCs and stuck them on.  I have just discovered that one card is too small, so need to get an ATC base card to stick it to.  Once that is done, perhaps I will go downstairs now and watch some tv.  I have a busy day ahead of me, so I may even try to have a nap (yes, people with chronic pain need to take a nap whenever they feel able).

Tomorrow I take the train up the coast for lunch with Jan (LLJ) and Margaret (GlitterandGlue).  I promise to take at least one photograph.

Here is my crafty table with various ATCs -

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

Ali x

ps  I forgot to add a link so that you can join in or just have a browse around other crafty workspaces.  Click HERE.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

WOYWW 452 - monoprinting takes over

Good morning to you all.  I am very happy that the days are getting longer now.  It is great to get home from a craft workshop and actually be able to see my way from the garage to the back door!

I went to a monoprinting workshop yesterday afternoon and now my 'work' has taken over my craft room!  It seems that the ink takes a while to dry naturally (didn't try my heat tool, perhaps next time I will), so everything was spread out overnight when I returned in the early evening (after stopping to do some shopping in town).

Here it all is - some were more successful than others, but at least I have lots of material for journal pages/ATCs.  It is a simple technique and one that I will do more of.

I used different sorts of paper - tissue, parchment, plain copier paper and a thicker mixed media one.

I also went to a stencilling workshop on Friday and created two cards.

Workshops are great for me, as they force me to get out and be creative.  My health always takes a down turn in the UK winter and I just don't seem to have the energy to do much when I am at home.  By the time all the housework/animal care/cooking/shopping/paperwork etc is done, I usually just collapse in front of the tv.  Calving has started on the farm, so hubby is super-busy and stressed.  We go to Spain again at the end of April, so I am looking forward to escaping to the sunshine.

Ali x

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

WOYWW 451 - more TK Maxx loveliness

It is nearly afternoon here in sunny Pembrokeshire (yes, the sun is out - although it is cold and windy) and I have had a busy morning getting various 'must haves' done, and now I can sit down and show you what is going on in my craft room.

If you would like to join in, go on over to Stamping Ground.

My crafty table is actually fairly quiet for now, but I do have lots of ATCs to make, so it will be less tidy later on.

There are 2 owl embellies that I have printed out and heat embossed with gold - both for ATCs.  The left over part from cutting out a butterfly - in turn from some paper that was left over when making a journal page background.  My dachshund clipboard and notepad from The Works.  The usual pile of journals waiting for more creativity and my box of pens.

Stanley, my Brother Scan n'Cut (people seem to name them!) is currently set up on the small table against the wall, right behind where I sit at my PC and next to my crafty table.  I used to have my small sewing machine on there, but I haven't used it once yet, so that has gone in a cupboard (one advantage of having a small machine).  I will need to connect it to my pc with a usb cable and don't want that trailing across the floor, so going to reorganise my craft room to get it onto the table where one of my printers is currently.  No time today, so that will have to wait for another day.

So far, Stanley has behaved well.  I did some test cuts and a bit of direct scan/cut.  There will be a blog post eventually.

I treated myself to a visit to T K Maxx yesterday - and as usual I went in for 3 items and came out with as much as I could carry!  There are so many brilliant bargains and just lovely items in our local store, Haverfordwest.  Didn't get any actual craft stash this time - they had paint, pens. canvases, sewing kits and more, but nothing that I HAD to have - but did get a couple of lovely photo albums/scrapbooks.  I may fill them with a few of my digital scrapbook layouts and give them as gifts, but will probably keep them for myself.

The butterfly one is big enough at around 8 x 8 inches, but the other one is huge (at least 12 x 12) - and they are both heavy.  Really good quality and less than £10 each.

BTW - I did the get 3 items I needed.

Ali x

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

WOYWW 450 - an empty desk, but not for much longer

Happy WOYWW to everyone.  This is 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' and you can join in HERE.

My crafty table is currently quite empty and quiet.  I have moved my daylight desk lamp onto that table (it used to be by my pc - where I often sit and craft, so now want another lamp!), so that is the shadow/base you can see.  It is a useful place to put finished ATCs and the llama diecuts.  Otherwise there are the usual journals etc waiting for action, and a pile of stash/printed out images also waiting for action.

I have been taking a break from the production of ATCs to concentrate on other projects, but after finishing a journal page it seems to have slowed to a snail pace!  I started a new exercise routine this week and was over-optimistic about how much I could do (it is meant to be suitable for elderly people and those who have not exercised for a while - but of course I should have realised that did not include those with Fibromyalgia and a fairly active life anyway).  I have also been tackling some extra housework and my body just said 'STOP'.  Meant to do a session every day for 6 days, then one day off.  However, after 2 days my pain levels (and stiffness) were unmanageable, so I took yesterday off and I think it would be sensible to leave the 3rd session until tomorrow.  I remind myself that I need to be gentle on myself (physically and emotionally).  It is based on Tai Chi and I really want to perservere, so will spend far longer than the suggested 90 days on the entire course and make sure I get lots of rest days.

I finally treated myself to a Brother Scan n' Cut last week when Create & Craft had their latest 'extra special offer' on (30% off a package, plus an additional £5 off when I bought 3 accessories - and I did it all through my TopCashBack account, so another £11 there).  It arrived yesterday just before we had to go out and pick up a Tesco order, and I have been really strong and not opened the box up yet (as I know I will then want to stay in my craft room for the rest of the day!).  Going to do that shortly - and will do a blog post in the next few days with pictures.

(My latest gift for taking out insurance through a well-known comparison website arrived this week too - so cute.)

Friday, 12 January 2018

Soul Journey 2018 - my first project

This post is mainly a place to share the links to the new mixed media communities in my life.

Soul Journey 2018 is a mixed media group run from Facebook - with a fortnightly tutorial from amazing artists.  Go HERE for more details.

The first tutorial was from Fiona Paltridge.  She used fabrics and made a wall hanging, but I used her great videos and the basic design idea as inspiration to create a journal page.

It is mainly a collage piece - using some images from Google and a digikit that I already had.

The background used techniques from a tutorial on the Mixed Up Magazine member site - go HERE for more details and to subscribe.

The stencil I used is by Seth Apter - the December 2017 stencils with the Stencil Club.

Here is a video of my progress photos - apologies for the lack of editing and probably poor image quality (something for me to learn more about in 2018)

I will be back on Wednesday for the next WOYWW post.

Ali x

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

WOYWW 449 - lots of ATCs

Good morning/afternoon/evening to you all.  I am here on a Wednesday morning (still dark outside) to show what is on my crafty table - go to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details and a linky thing.

As it is so early, my table is just showing how I left it last night.  There are a few finished ATCs, some scrap pieces of paper that I put in the envies with them to help protect them, and the result of an accident with embossing powder. 

Namely, I forgot to put down my usual piece of paper, so that I can neatly tip the unused powder back in the container.  I did it on my craft 'non stick' mat instead, which is not non-stick when it comes to 'Metal Magic'.  It defied all attempts to clean it up - and in the end I grabbed various pieces of paper/card that had leftover paint on them or were from other projects, applied Versa inkpad directly to them and then rubbed in the embossing powder.  Actually turned out to be a good technique and one I will do again - but on top of a piece of paper next time!

There are also some journals/sketchbooks waiting for me to actually do something with them.

Close up of my favourite 'random embossing'

I will be doing a blog post showing the stages in finishing off my first project with Soul Journey 2018 (see last week's WOYWW post for links - a free mixed media community for the whole year, with a fortnightly lesson from amazing crafters) - when I have finished it, which should be today.  I have the new term starting of my Spanish evening class tonight, so a bit of extra revision is needed, and I never know what is going to happen with the farm business to take me away from my craft room.  Hopefully I will have a quiet day.

Ali x