Tuesday, 29 May 2012


UPDATE POST ABOVE THIS ONE - CLICK ON NEWER POST - we finally have faster internet!!!


I am only a very recent member of the WOYWW community, but this Wednesday sees the third anniversary of Julia starting her weekly tour around the workdesks of the world.  Her blog, Stamping Ground, is the place to go to link into this.

As part of the birthday celebration, many of us are making ATCs to send to one or more of the other crafters on the list.  I will be sending to the person above and below me, Julia (when you have time to send your address to me) and I have also arranged to swap with another lady.  Haven't actually made these ATCs yet, but I will get them done in the next few days.

I couldn't show my workdesk this week, as my craft room is in a terrible mess as I gradually sort out my stash and move everything around to make room for my new 6' table.  I have started selling excess stash on Ebay and there will be lots more in the coming weeks.

My set of Copic pens arrived yesterday and I took a photo of them.  Lots to learn to make best use of them, and already planning the next colours I NEED !!!

I haven't done a huge amount of crafting, as the fantastic weather has kept me outside a lot - plus we went away for the weekend in our caravan (a mountain biking event - my amazing hubby managed to finish the long route - 72km over the mountains).  I made my 2nd Xmas card, but missed the deadline for entering Hazel's challenge.  Oh well, I will wait until I see another challenge that it can match up to.

Apologies again to the many who commented on my blog post last week, but did not receive a comment from me.  Still battling with very slow internet.  It literally can take hours to do a few simple tasks.  I had fast internet when we were away - and I was stunned at how much more I could with my day if we had that speed all the time.  Most people take their fast broadband for granted.  We are hoping to trial a new device soon that may give us faster speeds.

Happy WOYWW everyone and I look forward to sending out my ATCs.

Ali x

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


I am up late on Tuesday night, so may even publish this just after midnight! (In fact it was just in Tuesday when I published - couldn't stay up any longer.)  This is the weekly chance to share our crafting workspaces and lives through Julia's Stamping Ground.  Join in - it is highly addictive and really friendly.

I have spent a lot of time in my craft room in the past week, but my slow internet stops me from entering as many challenges as I would like to.  Thank you for all the lovely comments last week.  My health has improved - some new tablets seem to be having a positive effect.  Lets hope this good phase continues for a while.

I finally got round to ordering my extra table - and it arrived yesterday.  It is 6' long, so even longer than my current main table.  I am itching to start sorting out my craft room and get the layout improved, but I have other stuff going on that annoyingly takes priority.  We have the long-awaited sunshine and warm temperatures here in the UK, so feeling that I should be outside most of the day.  I love this weather, but it does mean that any time in my craft room is restricted to early mornings.  My hubby is taking part in a mountain biking event this weekend, and we have decided to take our caravan.  This hasn't been used for over a year and was sitting looking very green and unloved.  It took 3 hours of scrubbing to get it white again!  Thankfully, it did tow ok and now I just need to get the inside sorted (it was left clean, but lots of cobwebs etc now) and polish up the outside.  I have very limited energy each day anyway, so I will start tomorrow with what I can manage.  That is one of the problems with Fibromyalgia - we have to accept that we can't do everything.  Really looking forward to getting away with our friends - we used to go to lots of events, but haven't for a few years because of the work involved in expanding our farm business.  I DO NOT CYCLE - but enjoy the scenery, shopping, food and crowds of men in tight shorts (there are lots of very fit women too).  Our dogs are coming too, so they will keep me company whilst Rich exhausts himself in the mountains.

My photo this week shows the view towards the window.  My computer and printer take up a lot of that view, but they are definitely a major tool in my crafting.  You can see why I bought another table!  I plan to keep that table clear for crafting projects - so the other one can purely be for paperwork/computer etc.  I have already started to sort out stash to sell on Ebay - and sold a punch that I never used.  My other big news is that I treated myself to a big set of Copic pens from Create & Craft last week.  They haven't arrived yet, but they cost a lot so I definitely need to sell off what I will never use.  Looking forward to improving my colouring skills.  Other new stash includes 2 DI pads, Debbi Moore magazine (with stamps), Stazon stamp cleaner, makeup sponges and another magazine.

I will try to visit as many workspaces as possible - it is interesting to travel around the world and see what other crafters are upto.

Ali x

Easy Elegance - CD Sunday


I always try to enter the weekly challenge at CD Sunday, as I have an ever-growing collection of CD and DVD-Roms, and love the chance to play with them.

The theme this week is 'Easy Elegance', which isn't my usual sort of style, but I really enjoyed making my card.  My new Iris Folding CD-Rom by AnnaMarie Designs provided the main dress design, which I made up with glitter and pearlescent paper strips.  The bodice, backing papers and card for the flowers/leaves came from the Papermania DVD-Roms (using Digital Designer software).  The pearls and gems are from stash.  The sentiment is a Kanban stamp - blue Le Plume pen used to colour it.  I made a base card from an A3 sheet, as this is quite a large design - and the Digital Designer software was used again to make a matching insert.

Ali x

Thursday, 17 May 2012

CD Sunday - Reflections

The CD Sunday Challenge this week is Reflections.  I used a Cupcake Crafting image from their 'Cottonball Capers'  CD-Rom (full of really cute images). 

Some of the papers are from the same CD, the others are Nitwit (free with a magazine).  The ribbon is from stash, and I created the base card from Kanban cardstock.

Ali x

Xmas Card No.1

I was going to wait until June to start on the cards for the season beginning with 'C' - but gave in after seeing Hazel's Christmas Challenge Blog every week and wanting to join in.  I dragged out my Xmas crafting box from under our bed, staggered downstairs with it and it is now back on my craft room floor, tripping over it regularly!

I had a good search through it - again, amazed at the lovely stash, a lot of which I have never actually used - and a pile of magazines to read through again.  Every year I say I will not buy any more Xmas-related stash, but every year I always buy more.  A new craft shop has opened in our local town and they had boxes of scraps for 10p each.  Some cute Xmas designs, which I can get 3 or 4 cards from, so I bought three.  In fact I left with a bag of bits (including ribbons) for just over £3.  I love that sort of shopping.  He had some fab stamps - but just ordered a large set of Copics from Create & Craft, so definitely no usage of my credit card for a while.

My first Xmas card for Hazel's challenge this weeks (theme = Red & Green) started with a lovely red & green stripy design card (should have entered last week!), and I worked from there.  Everything is scraps, apart from the base card (I bought a set of red and green cards last year) and the stickers came with a magazine.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Being prepared and typing this up on Tuesday evening!  I so often seem to forget the actual day, and have to go into town in the afternoon (hairdressers etc), so don't want to be way down on Julia's list again.

Go to Julia's Stamping Ground where the full meaning of why so many of us are addicted to Wednesday is explained.

I have had health issues this week, so haven't done as much crafting as I wanted to - but have got my monthly stuff done (ATCs, Twinchies and a postcard).

When I recovered enough to get out shopping I treated myself to 2 craft magazines.  My photo shows them, along with the fab book of papers that came with one of them.  The other one had a parchment kit, so I am really spoilt.  Also spent some more pennies in the craft shop - a 'Sticky Pick Up Tool' (which I have seen on C&C many times), some distress embossing powder, a cute stamp from the bargain bin, a piece of gorgeous sparkly vellum and a pen.

SHOCK HORROR!!!!  My Christmas Crafty Box is now downstairs and yet again taking up far too much space in my craft room.  I did promise myself that I wouldn't start on Xmas cards until June to give me a clear 6 months to get them done, but a certain person beginning with H kept telling us about her Xmas Challenge blog and I caved in this week.  Having a lovely time going through it - oohing and aahing over stash I forgot I had, and the first card is being planned as I type.  Sorry!!

I wouldn't like to advertise anything on here, but I did find an online store for vitamins/supplements etc that raises money for UK Kids with Cancer.  Lots of great products and excellent service (I received my order the next day).  www.bobbys-healthy-shop.co.uk

If you can spare the time to take part in a charity card challenge, more details are in my post today St Luke's Charity Cards Challenge.

Thanks to everyone who visits my workspace this week - and I will try to get round as many possible to leave comments, but still on slow internet so not always possible.

Ali x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

St Luke's Charity Cards Challenge - One Layer Month

I have only recently come across the Charity Cards Challenge Blog for the St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield.  Please join in if you can - and I will be sending some extra cards each month as well.

St Luke's is a hospice which cares for people aged 18 and above throughout Sheffield who have incurable illnesses. Their aim is always to control the patients symptoms, alleviate pain, and give them the best possible quality of life – all free of charge. It costs £6 million per annum to keep St Luke's open, and government funding, via NHS trusts only provides one third of the funds required, which means the Hospice has to raise a staggering £4 million each year to provide this vital end-of-life care.

This challenge was set up by a St Luke's Supporter who has seen first hand, the amazing care given to patients through St Luke's. The aim is to promote the good work of the charity, provide a fun and welcoming challenge community in which card makers and crafters can come back month after month to play in our challenges, and by sending their cards to the charity, provide a little something to help them keep their doors open.

So, if you feeling creative and want to play along with us, please do - no matter what your age or ability, all are welcome, and if you can "spare" the card you make too, then all the better :-) THANK YOU!

Their theme this month is One Layer.  My card is a ready-embossed card blank from stash, with stamps (using black Stazon) that were free with a magazine.  I coloured the images and the flowers on the card using Promarkers.  Fake stitching added with a marker pen.

Friday, 11 May 2012

In The Garden

I have created this card for the last challenge over at Papercreations Ink.  It is really sad that this challenge blog is closing.  Best of luck to Sara and crew in all their future creativity.

I used the sketch from Challenge #87 at Sketch n Stash.

All of the images/backing paper/border/base card come from the free NitWit collection that came with a magazine recently (which also had some gorgeous stamps with it - we are lucky in the UK with our free gifts).  The green ribbon is from stash.  I made up the sentiment with a Kanban stamp - coloured with a Promarker (love that stamp).

I also enter this into -

Challenge #63 at The Paper Shelter (Anything Goes).  Home to fab digi stamps.

and - Challenge #2 (this is a new Australian challenge blog) at Just Keep On Creating (an additional prize offered for a travel-related story on the comments)You can enter this one as many times as you like, including any blog posts from 5th May onwards.

Ali x

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Another day, and another Wednesday - and it is dry/sunny here (at the moment - rain forecast).  I am even more shaky than normal, as I have a blood test appointment for 8.40 am and I had to fast!!  I love my food - and it was difficult to stop eating at 8.30 pm last night and I REALLY want my breakfast now.  It is only 7 am and it is a 12 mile drive to the doctors, so hope I don't get too sick/dizzy on the way.

Less about my food/health-related problems, and onto the reason for this post.  What is on Your Workspace Wednesday was invented by Julia over at her blog, Stamping Ground.  As a regular contributor now, I should have this link on speed dial.  We join together with crafters from around the planet and show off what has been going in our crafty spaces.

I have 2 photos this week.  Taken this morning, so fresh and covered with dew.

My new best friend!  The little 'thing' from the electric adverts.  I LOVE him (definitely a boy)!  I got this as one of those annoying loose flyers in a magazine, but this didn't end up in the bin - I have scanned him, so can make some cards and the original is proudly stuck on the side of my paper storage shelves - right next to my desk, so I can look at him and smile.

A different angle of my desk.  A finished card - and the stamp set that came with a magazine.  My new heat gun on top of boxes at the back.  Handcream.  Energy beans/bar.  Pots of pens & scissors ... etc, etc ...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Woodland Cuties

The challenge theme at CD Sunday this week is Trees and Shrubs.  I went through my collection of CDs and came up with Woodland Cuties by Debbi Moore Designs.

I printed one of the 'Double Takes' sheets off - where you concertina-fold the design and then you can see a different picture from either direction.  The backing papers, sentiment, border and embellishment are all from the CD.  I mounted them onto a fab quality dark green A5 card.

Something different - and everyone loves these cards.

Ali x

(Apologies for the poor quality piccies - my phone was struggling in the daylight.)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Feel Better Soon

The theme over at Lili's Little Fairies this week is Anything Goes, so I had a lovely time choosing which image to use on my card.  I selected this really cute cat.  He is coloured with Promarkers and I put the paper through my Cuttlebug with a circle die to fit.  The yellow, spotty paper was another freebie from Making Cards magazine and a scrap of Core'dinations card is the other mount.  Green ribbon and gold flower stickers are from stash, and the sentiment is a freebie with another magazine. 

I used the sketch from Stampin' Queens #37.  This is a weekly sketch challenge blog for all those who love to stamp.

Ali x

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Well, I have nearly missed the vital day of the week - WEDNESDAY - where we post details of our workspace over at Julia's Stamping Ground, and then tour around taking a peek at where great crafty creations are made all over the world.

The reason for my lateness is this mystery yellow object that appeared in the sky this morning - I think it is called the sun?!  After what seems like weeks of rain (and a storm on Sunday which saw our hay barn roof fly into the field - thankfully no animals were hurt), we actually had a nice day today.  My hubby is a mountain biker and was off to a local seaside town for a ride, so I went along to do some shopping and have a run by the sea.

My pictures this week show the mantlepiece directly in front of my craft desk - and also the top of the paper storage unit next to my desk.

My new swivel organiser thingy (only about £3 from Tesco) with my brushes, glue pens etc, a gorgeous postcard from a UK Stampers swap, a little Thank You card I made with my new CD-Rom (Nigel from Create & Craft), and an amazing 3D ATC in its own gift box (from another UK Stampers swap).  Oh, and a roll of kitchen paper!

My first Zentangle attempt, pig card, 2 other cards by local artists, fab 3D postcard from a UK Stampers swap, rock collection from Lanzarote .......

I must apologise in advance, as my slow internet means I am not able to visit as many workspaces as I want or leave many comments.

Ali x

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Artful Times - Challenge # 3

The 3rd challenge over at Artful Times is Time (closes on 10th May).

For my card I found some age-related sentiments with a selection that came free with a magazine.  I tore/aged them and brushed over Old Paper Distress Ink.  These were then mounted on kraft card.  The backing paper is part of the latest Digital Designer collection, as well as the sentiment.  The 3 small clock faces are a Tim Holtz stamp.  I stuck 2 layers of lace to the bottom of the card (which is also kraft card). 

I also enter this in Simply Create Too Challenge # 12 - It's About Time.

Ali x

Ali x

A Secret Garden in my mind

This tag is a very good representation (a long word for any time of the day, let alone 5.44 am when I am up early and already on medication!) of what is in my mind - a jumble of assorted things, with the occasional bright spark.

I created it for the Tag It On Challenge # 114 - The Secret Garden over at DragonsDream.  I have only just discovered this blog, and this was the last in a series of book title challenges.  Take a look if you are interested to see what is coming next time.  I love making tags, so think I will be a regular visitor from now on.

I got my trusty 3Birds stamp set out (one of those purchases which I use almost daily), and used Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Walnut Stain and Old Paper) - both on the stamps and then with a brush to colour the leaves/tree.  Watercolour pencils were used dry to add a bit of colour and for the wording.  Two coats of spray varnish completed the tag.  A simple creation.

Ali x