Wednesday, 15 August 2018

WOYWW 480 - Monster Truck

I am actually typing this on Tuesday evening, as I know I will be too busy (or exhausted and on the sofa!) on Wednesday.  We have a group of farmers from Ireland coming to visit the farm, and I have to finish cleaning/tidying in the morning and get Welsh Cakes/Bara Brith ready!  I haven't baked these myself.  We have been to the Pembrokeshire County Show today and I took advantage of having so many wonderful local producers of food there.

My craft room has actually got some physical crafting going on!  I needed to make a birthday card for my nephew and found a great design that I could cut out on my Brother Scan n Cut.  (ETA - I bought the design from PerfectCutSVGfiles on Etsy.)  I love the Monster Truck, but it was fiddly to stick down the tiny pieces.  I need to get it mounted onto a card and do an insert before posting tomorrow.


I am off to my next Scan n Cut workshop on Saturday.  We will be doing drawing this time, which I am looking forward to.  Haven't tried that yet.

I have blogged about our trip to Cardiff to see the Geraint Thomas Homecoming Ceremony - read the post HERE.  It was fantastic to be there, but my body decided to react negatively and I was very ill that night (didn't get much sleep until 5 am).  Annoying, as on our recent travels to Spain I have been ok, so thought that I had got myself out of the habit of being sick overnight when travelling (last time we went to Cardiff we were in our campervan, and I ended up spending most of the night in the campsite toilet block!).  I am now reluctant to do much travelling within the UK, but any trips to Spain are ok with me!

Therefore, and also because hubby is busy with the farm/cycling events next month, it is unlikely that I will be able to get to the Crop in September.  Come to South West Wales (or the Costa Blanca if we are in Spain) next year!

If anyone else would like to join in with the weekly tour of crafty workspaces, go HERE for more details.

Ali x


Sunday, 12 August 2018

#WelcomeHomeG

We had already arranged to be in Cardiff last Thursday (car needing a replacement satnav screen and family to visit - 4th grandchild due on the 10th!), and then Geraint Thomas kindly announced that his homecoming ceremony would be that day.  Edited to add - if you have no idea who/what I am blogging about, Geraint Thomas was the first Welshman to win the Tour de France this year. 

As a big G fan (since most people hadn't even heard of him) and general cycling fans, it was essential that we be there, dressed in yellow and waving Welsh flags.

The atmosphere before and during was incredible.  G (as I will now refer to him) was due at the Senedd (National Assembly building) at 4.15 pm, where there would be a ceremony and interview.  He was then coming to the street leading to Cardiff Castle to cycle up slowly with young cyclists from Welsh clubs.  At 5 pm there would be another ceremony/interviews etc.  Several hours before, barriers/stage etc were in place and people getting the best positions to watch.

We got into the area about one hour before and I worked out where would be best to see a big screen, G actually cycling past and the main stage.  After having some refreshments in a Portuguese cafe and meeting up with friends, I went over to my chosen spot early (despite the pain in my feet, which I have struggled with all week - I was determined to be there for the whole event).  This proved to be sensible, as the crowd rapidly grew and it would have been really disappointing not to be right at the front.

We were annoyed that they did not show the entire event from 4.15 pm on the big screens, but we did see him cycling up St Marys Street.  He then went straight up onto the stage.  One of the highlights was Max Boyce reading his poem, and the crowd singing the national anthem (which I videoed, and will post on here once I have edited it).  Being there live was fantastic for the atmosphere, but the helicopters overhead and the varying volume from microphones meant that we did not hear it all.  I have recorded the special BBC1 Wales programme, so will watch that when time allows and see what we missed.  G then came back to go round some of the barriers and do autographs.  There was a wedding in the castle and the entire party came out, and G had photos taken with the happy couple.  What an amazing addition to the wedding album!

I was able to take photos of G close up, but missed getting my flag signed (hubby called for me to turn round to take a photo with G in the background, and when I turned back G was already moving on down the barrier!).

We had to fight our way out through the crowd to get back to our hotel for some drinks with friends (we stayed at The Angel Hotel, which is literally yards from the castle).

The whole event was a fabulous experience and so glad we could be there.

Here is my photo montage.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

WOYWW 479 - progress is being made

Morning to you all.  I had planned to get up early and tackle computer stuff before breakfast, but my body has decided to be in a lot of pain this morning.  Therefore, I sat on the sofa and watched tv instead! 

I am now in my craft room and feeling productive, despite the pain.  I was very proud to finish designing my first ever planner sticker kit yesterday.  I even used Photoshop!  It took me ages, as I have to keep stopping and going on Google to see how to do something or watch a YouTube video.  I have learnt how to create a zipped file and it is printing off ok.  Now I need to test it in my digital planner and, if all is good there, then it will be sent out to my subscribers later.  If all isn't good, then it will probably be left until the weekend.  I don't think I will have the strength to tackle any more tech issues today.

Tomorrow we set off for Cardiff.  We had arranged for the car to go to the dealership to have a replacement satnav screen fitted anyway, and also to go and see my stepdaughter (whose 2nd baby is due on Friday) and granddaughter.  However, then Geraint Thomas very kindly arranged his homecoming event for the same day!  I managed to book a hotel room right next to Cardiff Castle (where he will be cycling to and then 'addressing the crowd'), so we are now having a much-needed mini break.  Food will be eaten and shops explored.  This means that hubby is now freed from having to milk the cows every day.  Our new manager is here and freedom is on the horizon.  I am already making a list of the places in the UK that I have wanted to visit for a long time.



My photo (sideways) today shows the pile of stash that I am gathering for my first giveaway (follow me on Instagram, like my Facebook page or subscribe to my email list - at www.plannerfreebies.com), and my planner sticker kit (Bugs n Berries).  Obviously all of this can be used in any sort of crafting - paper or digital.  I will be making some cards and scrapbook layouts next week, and sharing.  Well, I plan to do that.  We have a very busy few weeks - with the local agricultural shows, a group of Irish farmers visiting (perhaps some of them will like to view my craft room too?!) and the arrival of 4th grandchild (our first grandson).  Oh, and hubby announced yesterday that the grass has grown enough after the recent rain to actually do some silage making next week too.  Not sure when he is going to sleep! 

The heatwave stopped in Pembrokeshire a while ago - but I know a lot of you have still been sweltering in 30+.  It should be cooler for all in the next few days.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.  If you would like to join in with the weekly tour of crafty workspaces, go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Now I will go straight to Instagram and post my picture, before I forget like I normally do.

Ali x

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

WOYWW 478 - the Procreate App

Another Wednesday comes round - and now we have a new month too.  I love August, but it is going to be another busy month for me, and it hasn't started brilliantly (woke up with a big pain flare, probably from going to the supermarket yesterday).  I have taken a painkiller (which I normally cope without, but sometimes I need some extra support) and settled down in front of the tv (new series of Katie Price - I love some rubbish tv!!) with my laptop.  At least I can get going with my day early and then relax later.

Therefore, my crafty workspace this morning will be my Ipad.  I have been really enjoying getting my new blog, Planner Freebies, going.  I have got my email list started (and one freebie for those subscribing) and need to get my first monthly newsletter out this week too.  This is relatively easy, but I also need to get a freebie finished to go with it.  Therefore, my Ipad and the Procreate app is needed.  This is a digital illustration app and is the main reason why I finally decided that my life needed an Ipad in it (also the new 2018 Ipad works with an Apple pencil when previously you had to buy the very expensive Pro version).  It is used by most crafty designers.  I now have online tutorials to watch (this one with Skillshare is particularly good) and then I can get my ideas for 2 freebies (I am very generous!) down on 'paper/screen'.  The 2 freebies are a Pineapple mood tracker (I am loving pineapples and flamingos at the moment!) and a lovely design kit with a summery feel (I am keen to stress that it is not just for planners, as it can be used in all forms of digital crafting/hybrid crafting).


This is one page from my Big Happy Planner, which I am using for memory keeping (and some of the 'stickers' from the freebie for my email list).

My life seemed to be fairly settled until I looked into digital crafting more at the weekend.  I had been asked about it a few times on social media, but knew nothing about it.  It turns out that planning on your Ipad or phone is a rapidly growing 'thing'.  There are a few clever people setting up systems, but the one name that kept coming up is Boho Berry.  She not only sells really gorgeous digital planners and the stickers etc in her Etsy shop, but also has a friendly Facebook group.  It is ideal for me and enables me to combine my love of all things digital with organisation/planning/stationery.  Therefore, I am now including information on digital crafting and any freebies for it in my other blog.  Lots to learn, which is what I love.  It keeps my brain active and distracts me from my pain and other symptoms.

The weather in Pembrokeshire is finally back to normal, ie regular rain.  The fields are slowly greening up and I noticed that one of our neighbours managed to cut a field for silage yesterday.  It is the last week that my hardworking hubby is by himself on the farm.  The person taking the farm over on a contract will be out there next week (as an employee until 1st January).  It is still our business, so Rich will be involved with the long term development of the farm (which includes buying more land) and some of the work/meetings involved with that.  However, he will also have more time for his cycling and travelling.  We hope to get back to Spain in September and are going to investigate the areas closer to Alicante Airport where our budget will stretch further.

I hope that everyone is well and happy.  I apologise for not getting to visit many blogs last week.

Ali x

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

WOYWW 477 - Christmas in July

I am rapidly running out of Wednesday - and July.  Happy WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday) to you all.  I am really struggling with mornings at the moment.  Was blaming that on the new allergy tablets that doctor suggested, but not taking them any more, so obviously it is just my new reality.  I have always been the sort of person who was up before everyone else and done all the housework/laundry/animal care etc by 9 am, but now it is not until around 11 am before I get the essentials done (the list of which gets shorter!) and into my craft room.

Today I have my Christmas Stash Box out for the first time.  I have some ATCs to make for a Christmas in July group swap.  I decluttered this a lot last year, but still got plenty to keep me occupied.


The 2 plastic bags contain cards and envelopes (some of which are recycled Christmas cards) and a bit of ribbon/partially finished projects etc.

I bought this paper pad from The Works last year and already used up a lot of it.  "Such fun"!!


I have been busy with being a Landlord, Blogger and Planner Newbie, so my main form of crafting has been printing/cutting out planner stickers to decorate my planner pages each week.  I am really enjoying discovering freebies to use, plus the stash I already have.  I am also providing a printing and/or cutting service for the Planner Babes who do not have a printer/cutting machine, but still want to take advantage of all the wonderful free stuff available online.  Email me at admin@plannerfreebies.com if you need my help (£1 per sheet plus postage).

There is a link in the sidebar to my new blog - and I am currently looking for people to write guest blog posts.

Apart from getting to grips with my Brother Scan n Cut and some new software, I also finally bought myself an Ipad.  Wanted one for years, but could not afford the Pro.  Now the latest edition can work with the Apple Pencil too, which I really wanted to do my own designs on.  It will enable my old laptop to be retired partially (it will only be needed for using the Serif CraftArtist software when I am downstairs in the house or we are away in Spain).  I restarted lessons in using Photoshop, so perhaps that will take over as my main software for all my digital crafting.

If you would like to share what is going on in your craft area, go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Ali x

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

WOYWW 476 - some actual crafting!

Good afternoon to you all.  I was determined to actually get some crafting done before I typed up this post, so it is after 5 pm in Pembrokeshire!

If you would like to know more about the global crafty desk hop that always happens on a Wednesday, then click HERE.

After leaving the stash needed to start making the 'Under the Sea' ATCs on my table all week, it didn't take too long to get them made.  Here is my table with paint, stencils, brush and the ATCs with the background finished (blog post coming showing the entire process - including making stickers with my Brother Scan n Cut for the first time).



In other news - I have my Landlord hat on at the moment and sorting out the Cottage for a new family to move in (we have found someone to take over the farm business on a contract basis, which will free us up to spend more time in Spain and look at other ways of spending our time).  The new windows and front door were fitted on Monday.  The top photo shows it as before (with 28 year old windows/door) and then the new ones.  The outside will be painted around the windows to cover up where we had new drainage trays/sills fitted, and that annoying tree on the left cut down!  There is some decorating to do inside too, and new carpets to be fitted - but otherwise it is mostly ready.




It was always a lovely home (we lived there for several years), but now with the extension it is truly amazing.  This is the huge kitchen with views out onto the garden.


I hope everyone is well and enjoying this summer so far.  We were really happy to get some rain this week, but still a lot more needed.

I have a 2nd blog post live on my Planner Freebies site - and some more to be typed up in the next few days. 

Ali x

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

WOYWW 475 - Under the Sea ATCs

Happy Wednesday to you all.  If you would like to join in with this global desk hop, then click HERE.

A quick post today, as I have lots of To Do's going through my mind, and I get very restless.  Anxious to get stuff done!



On my crafty table for the 3rd day are the stash needed to get some ATCs made - Under the Sea theme.  I was meant to do them for a Facebook group swap at the weekend, but missed the deadline.  As I have 2 lovely images already cut out and a suitable stencil chosen (one of Seth Apter's), I must make the effort to actually sit down and get them made.  Later!

The images are from a printable planner freebie (I will post a link when I remember where I got them from!).  A good reminder that we can mix and match our crafting.  I bought my very first planner last week, and now started a new blog about planning on a budget (it is easy to get carried away and want to buy ALL the stuff).  I published my first post yesterday.  Click HERE to have a read.

You can also see part of my online order with Bon Marche (they are having a sale and I wanted to try some dresses - 2 of which are too big and I will return when I am in town tomorrow) and some pages I ripped out of magazines to use for collage/planning.

The heatwave is over in Pembrokeshire - cooler and partially cloudy today.  Still no rain though, but that is forecast for Monday when we have booked to have new windows/front door in the cottage.  We won't mind if rain delays that - but remind me of this in a few months time and we are moaning it is too wet!

I am hoping to get out on my bike again this evening when the roads are quieter due to the football.  I went out for 3 miles on Saturday (only met 2 cars), but been too sore to cycle since.  My pain levels and other symptoms are all over the place.  May well be related to starting on HRT.  

Thanks for reading.

Ali x