Friday, 23 November 2012

Fab Digi Images - lots of 'alternative' Xmas images

I quite often come across a website that I think is particularly inspiring and this is one of them.

I saw them on a challenge blog where they were sponsoring the latest challenge, ATCs with Attitude, and the images that the DT had used were stunning.

Went to their shop and I WANT/NEED all of their designs!!

Go and take a look.  Lots of 'alternative' Christmas images - fab for those who love to colour in.

Ali x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Another male birthday card

I seem to have lots of cards to make for men at the moment.  This is for my uncle in America.  I saw a card layout in my Craftworks Cards recipe folder and used the basic design to suit what I had in my craft room.  The letter 'tiles' were simply stamped with a Versamark pad (alphabet stamps from my hugely versatile 3Birds collection) and double-embossed with a white embossing powder.  These were mounted onto paper from the much-used WeRMemoryKeepers pad that came free with a magazine (Simply Cards & Papercraft) earlier in the year.  The base card is kraft - my favourite!  A simple card - and the colours/backing paper could be changed to suit any recipient.

I enter this into -

Oldie but a Goodie Challenge - Anything but Christmas (most of it is over 6 months old!)

Artistic Inspirations - #16, Anything Goes

Incy Wincy Designs - Hip to be Square

Ali x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


In order to keep this post shorter, I did an extra update yesterday - see here if you want to read more about my life at the moment (long and chatty comments very welcome!).

Happy WOYWW to everyone that I do not manage to visit.  As usual, if you have no idea what WOYWW is, take a trip over to Julia at her blog, Stamping Ground, and there you will find a very long list of crafters showing off their workspaces on a Wednesday - and a linky for you to join in (Panic - It is 6 am in the UK and no post from Julia yet!!!!  ETA - panic over; Julia has changed her posting time to give us in this part of the world a better chance of getting higher on the list - yes, there is a competition to get to No.1 ).

My first photo is of an item that I have admired from afar for a while.  Yes, Julia's 'Ipad Holder/deckchair-thingy' !!  I was shopping in Lakeland in Llanelli on Saturday - and there they were.  A lovely big pile of them - and one just fell into my basket.  I do not even have an Ipad or any other tablet - but my notebooks sit nicely on it, and even my hubby admired it (and it was a good opportunity to then hint that everyone else has a tablet on their's - and how much I would like one!!).

I then have 2 photos of my desk from yesterday - yes, I do get it messy occasionally!  I even left it slightly untidy overnight, as I had started attempting to do some teabag folding for the first time (as part of my study course), and didn't want to lose any of the annoying little bits of paper!!  (I don't think that teabag folding will be a big part of my crafting in the future.)

Apologies for the first one being a bit blurry - must have moved my phone as I took the piccy.

They show a tag being produced.  Glue, papers, inkpads, stamp, card ......

Now, a quick piccy of the wonderful angel that JoZart sent to me as part of her Angel Swap.  I now have to make 2 angels (another panic coming on!). Wish me luck - I have never done anything like this before, not even in primary school.  I have some ideas, but my physical crafting skills will probably not live up to what is in my head.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A quick update so my WOYWW post is not so long!!!

1.  I survived my 2nd round of dental surgery yesterday.  He gave me a different combo of drugs, so I was not so sick/dizzy afterwards, but my pain levels were worse - but I would rather have that (although I still have a good moan about it!!) than the horrible feeling of actually being ill (if that makes sense?).  I have a temperature this morning, along with very stiff and sore shoulders/neck/throat.  At least it is over and we can now concentrate on looking forward to our holiday in Spain next week.

2.  More Xmas shopping was done on Saturday.  We went to Llanelli this time (if anyone from our area hasn't been, there are loads of good shops in 2 separate retail parks - including Dunelm Mill, Lakeland and Debenhams).  Had another look for a new computer for me.  I think we will be getting a good desktop with one of the latest 'processors' and lots of memory, but get a TV that can also be used as a monitor (better picture, more uses and cheaper).  I also got 2 more little pressies for female relatives from Lakeland - along with a few bits for me (I love that shop).  See my WOYWW post tomorrow for a piccie for something that now lives in my craft room.

3.  I still have several crafty projects to complete before we go away next Tuesday.  Should be getting on with one of them now, but I had to tidy up my craft room first - and then decided I should really get a couple of blog posts done.  Trying to get a bigger profile in the wonderful world of the internet.  We are so isolated down here in Pembrokeshire and I can not travel much - so the workshops/events/shops that so many people visit on a regular basis are out of bounds to me, except for occasional brave forays into the outside world!  I am doing more on Twitter and Pinterest in particular (my Facebook account is more about my friends on there - so I don't want to chat endlessly about my crafting - I will get another account set up, which is solely for TeddyBob Crafts).

I am keen to get on at least one design team.  No luck so far, but I will keep on applying when I see a DT Call - and when I have a spare moment will directly contact any blogs/companies that I am particularly drawn to.

As part of my study, I also need to get some media exposure - including magazines.  So look out for me in 2013 !!!

4.  I would love to go out and do workshops or run a 'physical' shop - but I need to be realistic about our location and my health.  I quite simply cannot drive any distance (especially in the dark), be chatty and vibrant and then drive home again - let alone all the preparation involved.   I have worked in craft shops before and know all the work involved with stock control, display, attending trade events/meeting up with suppliers, and the customers - so that is out, which makes me sad, as I see so many empty shop premises in great locations and know that I could make a huge success out of a business like that.  Oh well, I continue with entering challenges, taking part in swaps, making cards for friends/family (but please get in touch if you would like me to do a commission - I can always find the time and enjoy the involvement with someone else's requirements), spending a lot of time on the internet, reading magazines, watching Create & Craft/QVC, and learning as many new techniques as I can.  HAPPY CRAFTING DAYS!!

5.  I have some business ideas that I can do from home - and they will be experimented with in 2013.

Enough rambling from me.  When you only see your husband and animals most days, I have to get my words out some how!

Ali x

ps  So you do get to see a piccie, this is a cute card I made for my niece's birthday - using one of the wonderful 'Teacup Kittie' decoupage designs from Joanna Sheen.


On The Lookout

My Dad has always loved the sea and seaside towns, so one of my Michael Powell stamps was perfect for his birthday card.

Stamped with a Memento Inkpad and coloured with Speccie Pens.  Cut out the image and mounted onto 2 layers of torn Core-dinations paper.  This was mounted onto a base card made from a silver card (my very well-used Kanban assortment pack).

I enter this into -

Challenges4Everybody - #7, Always Anything Goes

Dream Valley Challenges - #45, Anything Goes

Coloured with Spectrum Noirs.
DG1, DG2, DG3
TN1, TN2, TN3, TN6, TN7
GG1, GG2, GG3, GG4, GG5
FS1, FS2
BG1, BG2
BT3, BT7

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Another week has passed and we are back to our Wednesday tour around crafty workspaces.  Go to Julia's blog, Stamping Ground, to join in.

I have recovered from my day at the NEC, and finally unpacked all the stash yesterday!  Although I didn't get everything on my list, I am really pleased with what I got and the prices.  Watching C&C last night (the Tim Holtz show with Hels - brilliant demo's, so watch today; 11 am on C&C, 5 pm on Ideal World), I was particularly impressed at how cheap I got my Distress Inkpads!!

The rest of my week has seen me doing a lot in my craft room, but not a huge amount of actual crafting.   I did use shrink plastic for the first time to make some little embellies for some twinchies, but I forgot to take a photo of them.  They turned out really well.    I seem to spend a lot of time on the computer - but all the 'research' (reading blogs mainly) is all a step in forming a proper business idea.  My hubby has put forward a few suggestions that means that I can continue to be completely mobile (so our plan to move abroad one day could still go ahead).  It will mean that I need to do more digital crafting, but my love of ink/paint/paper/card will still continue in my personal crafting.  I just need more hours in the day, so I can get it all done whilst still getting my much-needed rest.

As part of my study, I asked everyone last week to let me know where they get their inspiration from.
The results are -
Pinterest = 3, Blogs = 12, Magazines = 7, TV = 3, Workshops = 2, Nature = 3, Family = 1, Craft Fairs = 2, Blog Challenges = 4, Craft Shops = 2, Podcasts = 4, Book & Song Titles = 1, Meeting Artists = 1.

This shows how important the internet is to us crafters.  We really are a bunch of technology-savvy people!

My little notebook computer has proved to be a willing partner in my daily life, but he is struggling now with all the software and the screen is just too small.  Hubby has offered to get me a new computer and we started to look this week.  I think a desktop with a large touch screen is the way to go.  What do you all use?  Especially anyone who does a lot of digital crafting.  I also want to get a tablet for internet browsing etc from the sofa/bed/caravan/holidays, and have my eye on the Kindle or the new Google one.

We booked our annual winter holiday this week (my husband does a farming method which means that we do not milk the cows from November - January, so we usually escape to the sunshine whilst the farm is a bit quieter).  We are off to Costa Almeria in Spain on Tuesday 27th November.  Haven't been there before (usually go to Alicante or Malaga), but saw it featured on one of the property programmes and it looks gorgeous.  I have my 2nd dental surgery on Monday, but trying to ignore how quickly the week is going and concentrate on more positive things!

Well, I have rambled on for long enough, so these are my photos this week.

Happy WOYWW to everyone that I don't manage to visit.

Ali x

A gorgeous Thank You card I received from Sue,
who runs the RAK group on Ebay that I have just joined. 
A postcard for the latest UK Stampers swap.
One of my notebooks, which I use for lists - wish lists, addresses,
research lists, Xmas cards etc, etc.


The very first Xmas present I have wrapped, plus the 3 CD-Roms
that are waiting for me to play with them.  The Xmas one is a
magazine freebie, the Beatrix Potter one is the latest Create & Craft
members' gift and the Cute Puppies (which is a double pack with
Cute Kittens as well) was my first purchase at the NEC.


Friday, 9 November 2012

The Ultimate Stash List - from the NEC

I did manage to get to the NEC yesterday.  Up at 4.30 am, started the drive @ 5.50 am, arrived at the NEC around 10.30 am (with 2 stops on the way - my pain gets worse when I drive or sit still for a while).  Left the show at 5.15 pm (definitely get a 2-day ticket next time and stay overnight in a hotel, as there was so much to see - I didn't get round to everything).  Hit the traffic from hell (I lived in the Midlands and London for 13 years, but had forgotten how bad it gets!) and took 40 minutes to go the first 3 miles.  With 2 stops on the way back again (one for food, the other for petrol), I arrived home at 10.15 pm.  Long day - lots of money spent - but so worth it. 

If anyone is considering going to the show this weekend, then definitely go.  There was a fabulous range of exhibitors, bargains galore, demonstrations and workshops (if you get there early enough to sign up).  I watched some Create & Craft filming with Anthea Turner - a good excuse to sit down for a while.

Yes, it was crowded.  Yes, I couldn't get a seat to eat my sandwiches at lunchtime (found a corner with clean purple carpet to sit on - and met 2 lovely ladies, one from Cornwall, another from Scotland, had a good chat about embroidery).  Yes, I had to keep taking painkillers regularly and mid-afternoon was forced to sit down with a cake/drink.  But, I met so many lovely people, saw some really useful demo's and treated myself to a huge amount of stash.  I have got a ticket for the trade show in February and hope to get to the public show in March as well.  However, I will definitely stay in a hotel overnight and get some rest.

For those who asked, this is the stash list -

Packs of Kraft card and Super Smooth Ivory card.
8" square Kraft cards and envelopes.
2 x Xmas Owl decoupage sheets and a backing paper (from House of Zandra).
Angel Fibres.
Mini Cardboard Tiles.
Purple 'Brush Bucket'
Ink Blending foam pads.
3 x Shimmer Magic sprays.
Simply Cards & Papercraft mag.
Hot off The Press Vintage Christmas mag and kit.
PaperArtsy stamps.
Stretched Burlap frame.
Wood buttons.
Xmas Clay Cutters.
Imagination Crafts - stencil tape, 3 x stencil templates and 2 x Sparkle Medium.
Quick Cards Made Easy mag & goody bag.
2 x finger lift tape.
3 x packs of gems.
3 x Distress Inkpads.
2 x 12"x12" file folders.
2 x large acrylic blocks.
Penny Black stamps - Air Mail.
Owl Embellies & Horse World Embellies.
Penny Black 'Slapstick' stamp - Ragged Angel (gorgeous|!!)
Happy Birthday Owl stamp from Ludiec.
Nellie Shellent stamp - Cowboy.
MDF Mini Book.
6 x Xmas ribbons.
Paper pad.
Sub to Creative Cardmaking mag - with Free Docrafts Papermania Wheeled Large Tote (this was the best thing ever.  I was struggling to carry my bags, and this swallowed up everything, plus coat, and it was really easy to wheel around, plus the walk back to the car.  Go for this sub offer when you get to the show, or take a wheeled shopping trolley with you.
Double pack of Cute Puppies & Kittens CD-Roms.
Pack of heart embellies.

100 extra bonus points for getting to the end of this - imagine how long it took for me to unpack my tote and write the list!!  And now I have to find homes for everything in my craft room!

Ali x

ps  I forgot to put my WOYWW badge and did look around for anyone else wearing one, but didn't spot any.

Mel, Anthea and Nigel from C&C.
A really good scrapbooking session.

Christmas in Pink

It has been a while since I have entered any challenges, and lovely to be 'back in the saddle'!

CD Sunday is a favourite challenge blog of mine, and their challenge this week is the title of my post.

My card's main focal point is the 3-D bauble - 3 die-cut baubles from a Craftwork pad, folded in half and then stuck together.  The 'CD' element is the backing paper - from DoCrafts Papermania, their 'Christmas Past' DVD.  I also used embossed card from Craftwork Cards, ribbon from stash and the sentiment is stamped with a Molly Bloom clear stamp.  The inked edges are the Tim Holtz Distress Inkpad - Picked Raspberry, and a Spectrum Noir pen for the stamping.  Inspiration for the card came from my Craftworks Recipe Folder.

I also enter this into -

Crafty Bloggers Network - #5, Christmas Anything Goes

Created with Love - #16, Christmas No Red or Green

Hooked on Craft - #26, Christmas No Red or Green

Ooh La La Creations - Christmas

Ali x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Another week has gone by, and we get even closer to Xmas.  We do not have any children or much family, but I still panic a bit about getting the shopping done/presents wrapped and posted/cards made and posted ......  Do not know how you busy mothers cope?!

WOYWW stands for 'What is On Your Workspace Wednesday' and is the baby of Julia on her blog, Stamping Ground.  We all share our links to our workspace/lives every Wednesday, and then take a tour around the world, leaving comments in a trail behind us.

My picture today shows not a lot going on, as I tidied up (as usual) after my crafting/studying session yesterday.  Studying?  You may ask.  Well, I am now a student again - and it is related to one of my favourite pastimes, Paper Craft!  Only just started and it is already proving to be interesting, educational and challenging - all in a good way.  Go to The Craft Qualifications Centre for more details.

As part of my study (we need to do research and explore sources of inspiration - so a good excuse for watching tv, reading magazines and spending time on blogs/forums!), I am hoping to get to the NEC.  It will be a long day for me - at least 4 hours of driving each way - but I am keeping everything crossed that my annoying body allows me to get there.  I have looked at the list of exhibitors, and there are so many fab companies.  My little head is spinning at the thought of it.  I have been involved with the business-side of crafting before (had my own market stalls, and on-line business), and my hubby is encouraging me to think of doing this again.  Not sure which direction I will be going in, but registered to attend the trade show in February again and also the trade magazine (very interesting to read about new products and future trends).  It will be difficult to combine anything new with my existing life and health issues, but I am determined to give it a go.

I did get to the NEC and it was fab!  Take a look at my post today (Friday 9th) for further details.

Can I ask you something?  Could you all comment with what inspires you most in your crafting (a blog, forum, shop, tv show, magazine etc, etc).  Also, if anyone has a commission that they would like made (a card, gift or whatever).  I would be happy to do this for free, as I need to complete projects for my course.  Get in touch at any time.  Thank you.

Ali x

ps  Happy WOYWW to everyone who I do not get round to visiting.

The pink card on my non-stick craft mat is nearly finished.  It will be an entry to some challenges,
as well as an 'Advanced Activity' for my study - I have to fill in a 'Recipe Card',
which means I cannot make a card really quickly.  All this thinking must  be good for me?!
You can see the Recipe Card on the left.  I am being really organised, as usual, and bought files to store
my study paperwork in.  The rest of the desk is covered by the usual 'stuff' that is totally
necessary for my daily crafting, plus some other items that just sit there looking at me.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

I am a student again!

I saw an advert for the Craft Qualifications Centre in a magazine earlier this year and saved the website in my 'Favourites' for future use (like so many other websites - is it just me that has hundreds in there?!).

Last month I finally went and had a proper read, and decided that the Certificate in Papercraft was for me.  It is completed completely via 'distance learning' and is a good way for me to expand my crafting skill, without having to travel to college (which I cannot do).

I have set up my monthly payment and just received my password to start the course.  How exciting!  I will keep my followers updated on how I am doing - but thought it would be good to spread the word about the course for those who have not heard about it.  There are students all over the world, so it will be interesting to chat to others on the forum.

Ali x