Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Sad Announcement - Willow Designs

I was sad to read on Monday that Willow Designs are closing down.  I have long been a fan of Sharon and her gorgeous designs, especially Walter & Winnie, the cute owls.  Get over there and get some bargains (CD-Roms are half price - I bought two that have been on my wish list for a while), and there is a big choice of digistamps.

Therefore, the challenge blog is hosting its final challenge, which closes today at 8 pm.

I am busy making a card and hopefully will have it done in time!

ETA - here is my card.

I didn't follow the theme as well, Happy Birthday, as I haven't put a sentiment on the front, but
obviously it would be suitable to give as a birthday card.

I used the Willow Designs digistamp, Wilbert with Flowers (so cute and I will be using this over and over again), coloured with my Spectrum Noir pens.   Most of the other 'ingredients' came from my scrap folder - a lovely piece of embossed Core-dinations (I forgot how much I love embossing - must get an Ebosser ASAP.  Well, it is my birthday soon!), a strip of orange holographic card and a left-over piece of paper printed out from a CD-Rom (trimmed with 'scallop' scissors).  The little flowers are from a wonderful pad of die-cut embellies that came with my Craftwork Cards Recipe Folder (a great purchase from QVC), and I added a couple of buttons from my button jar (so much fun rummaging in it!).  Nearly forgot to mention, that it is all mounted on one of my favourite kraft base cards.

I also enter this into -

Use It Tuesday - #48, Warm It Up: Use Red, Orange and Yellow

Paper Playtime - #2, Use Some Brown

One Stitch at a Time - #148, Use A Digi

Kraftin Kimmies Stamps - #163, Something Old, Something New!

Speccies used - TN5, TN1, TN3, EB2, CR2,
CR3, GB5, OR2, OR1, OR3, CG4, GG1


A quick post this week (unusually for me!), as I have a busy day ahead - and have some things to get packaged up ready for the post office.  Although, my hip is sore today - so it may mean that I have to postpone my trip into town (which will involve driving to a village to drop a rug off that I have sold to a friend, then into an industrial estate for the saddlery & farm store, then a retail park to collect my tablets, then the town centre for shops and the post office, and then - keep up with me! - to a supermarket for a 'big shop').  It is so annoying when you can't just do what you want/when you want.  Having Fibromyalgia is the worse thing that ever happened to me (and I have had some poor health in the past - including nearly dying when my Psoriasis flared up when I was 19, causing Toxic Shock).

Moan over - and back to the reason why I am typing this at 6.30 am on a Wednesday morning.  Julia at Stamping Ground provides us with a list each week to add our blog post to - we show our crafty workspace and a few words (or many words in my case), and then 'visit' as many others as we can.  Join in - it is highly addictive.

My photo shows a card that I made last year for my niece's 7th birthday (I quite often make cards well in advance of the actual date!), and the 3D project I am working on as part of my Certificate in Papercrafting course (link on the side bar).  This is a lovely notelets set in a box.  Very simple for most, but I am not very good at 3D stuff and I am pleased with the results so far.  The usual piles of 'stuff' all around and behind, including a tall pile of magazines waiting for me to enter the competitions (probably missed the deadlines by now!).

Well, that is me for this week.  Happy WOYWW to everyone I do not visit.

Ali x

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

House of Bears Literary Challenge

My favourite crafting bears host a 'Literary Challenge' each month House of Bears, and I am always hoping to join in, but this new year sees me finally creating a design that links in with their theme, which was The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. 

I had not read this book, so ordered a copy via Amazon and I am slowly making my way through its pages (not available on Kindle!).  It is truly wonderful and so different to anything else I have ever read.  I haven't finished it yet (I don't get much reading time each day), but felt that I could attempt to reproduce my thoughts on paper.

I am mainly doing my crafting digitally now, so opened up my Serif Craft Artist 2 software, added lots of lovely embellishments, backgrounds and text - and here you have it, my first page in a book that I will be producing as my collection grows.

It is double-sided and printed out onto super smooth card.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

CD Sunday - Forever in Blue Jeans

I haven't entered a challenge for ages and when I saw the current one over at CD Sunday I decided to give it a go.

I immediately thought of one of my new CD-Roms; The Best of La Pashe 2012, and found a brilliant image which really made me chuckle.  I printed this onto my new double-sided paper (glossy one side, matt the other) and also used one of the sentiments.  The 'denim' paper was printed via Serif Craft Artist 2; the 'Materials' digikit.  I mounted it onto a red card from my Xmas stash box, and added 'go-faster' zig-zags to reflect those on the main image.

This will be me & Rich one day!!

I also enter this into -

Through the Craft Room Door - Always Anything Goes

Created with Love  - #25, Anything Goes

Inspire Me Fridays - #93, Anything Goes

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Fotor - app for photo editing

Whilst on the Windows8 Store, I saw a photo editing app that was free and had 5 stars, so I installed it.  It is great!

Very easy to use, loads of different effects/borders etc, and you can make a collage.

This is the first one I have done - there will be more!

I haven't got all my crafty pictures on this computer yet, so I only had a limited choice.  However, I just had to share my excitement of my 'new toy'!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Charity Quilt Project

Jozart told us about the wonderful little quilt that her GD received when she was in hospital in Germany going through her Leukaemia (sp?) treatment, and how that really helped.  She suggested that we could get together and make similar quilts for children in the UK, and has now started a blog with information on the sizing etc.

I have never made a quilt before, and my new sewing machine is hardly used, but I am going to give it a go.  If anyone would like to join in, go to LillyBo Quilts.

I will do regular blog posts with my progress - with me luck!


If you need to join in with our weekly tour around crafty workspaces, then go to Stamping Ground and add your blog post to the list.

This week I have actually done some crafting.  In fact I am back to doing at least one project per day.  That may just be a quick and simple card, but at least I feel like I am achieving something, and learning more about the crafting software each day.  My aim to clear out my craft room and mainly stick with digital crafting hasn't progressed any further, apart from not using any of my stamps/inks etc.  I have got an empty box on the floor ready to sort out all the drawers - and perhaps later today I will start that job.  I am so glad that I have made that decision, as already I have seen several products on Create & Craft that I would have bought otherwise!

My photo this week shows a card design that I did yesterday with my new My Craft Studio Elite CD-Roms.  I printed it out in 2 sizes - and will add some sparkle when it is mounted onto a base card.  A lovely bright and versatile design.  I have also put the Friendship Book page for this month's swap on one of the Ebay Groups I am a member of.  We put a photo of ourselves on one side and a quote/sentiment on the back.  I used Serif Craft Artist and a few different digikits for this project, and really enjoyed the process.

The work over at the farmhouse is moving quickly.  Take a look at Farmhouse Renovation for some recent photos.

A busy few days ahead for me.  The ponies are being clipped at lunchtime today (they have been getting really itchy with heavy winter coats), and then I am off to the post office/supermarket/shopping for an outfit for a farmers' dinner on Friday night.  Tomorrow I must get on with some housework and the ironing!  I hope to get round and comment on as many blogs as possible, but HAPPY WOYWW to those I do not get to.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Another Wednesday comes round.  I am glad this has been a quick week, as the days are getting longer and we get closer to Spring. 

WOYWW means What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday and is a highly addictive sharing of our crafty workspaces via Julia's Stamping Ground.  Click on the link and join in.

My piccie this week shows my main crafting area covered in assorted mess/rubbish/who knows what.  It will get cleared away today and then I can get back to creating!  There is a really cute stamp (can't wait to get colouring) which I bought yesterday from a local craft shop (yes, I know I am not meant to be buying anything else, but it was reduced - from £4.99 to £1.99),  a decoupage sheet which I have started to cut out (from the 'Best of La Pashe 2012 CD-Rom, which is absolutely brilliant - I highly rcommend it), a magazine with its free CD, a birthday card I made with my Silhouette Cameo which is waiting for its insert and other assorted 'things'.

For those who do not follow me (yet!!), I also have another blog which is following the renovation of our farmhouse.  The builders started on Monday and are now literally ripping the house apart - it looks awful at the moment, but I am sure we will see improvement soon.  Go to Lower Tancredston for a nose to see what the future home of TeddyBob Crafts is looking like.

We were going to Manchester for 2 nights today - the Caravan Show tomorrow, plus some shopping.  However, weather forecast for Friday is looking rubbish (snow down here - and we have had temperatures of 7 degrees; no ice or even a frost - whilst other areas of the UK have suffered with snow and ice), so I don't think we are going now, which is why you have the pleasure of my company on this fine/dark morning!

Happy WOYWW to everyone that I do not manage to visit. 

Ali x

ps  On a previous post I mentioned that I would be reducing my stash and having a sale.  Several people have already contacted me expressing interest in grabbing items before they go onto Ebay, and I will get round to pricing up/photographing within the next week.

pps  As it will be my first Blogversary soon, I will be preparing some Blog Candy for my followers to enter the draw for.  Cannot believe that 12 months have nearly passed in my blogging life.  What did I do before??

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A little update thingy - and prior warning of Stash Sale!

I was sitting here in front of the pc catching up on other people's blogs, whilst chatting to my mum - and suddenly thought that I haven't done anything with my old trusty favourite blog, ie this one, for ages!  I didn't want it to think that it was being neglected now I have the new shiny blog, Farmhouse Renovation, on the go.

I now do a weekly post on Feline Playful, Friday Winners, and one side-effect of that is that I see loads of amazing crafty creations each week.  I get sidetracked visiting blogs and admiring all the talent that is out there in our crafty world.  I also get a bit disillusioned about my talent (or lack of) and also the very low productivity rate I have currently.  I have so many plans of what I want to do with my time, but the days literally disappear once I have finished sorting out meals, laundry, housework, dogs, cats, guinea pig, ponies, shopping, compulsory resting in front of the tv (which for me, with my health, really is compulsory!) ........  I know I spend too long doing the internet side of crafting, but I really enjoy blogs/websites/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest etc, etc.  I also have my study to do, and try to do a bit most days. 

Looking at this, I see that I do achieve a lot each day - but so much of my time is spent looking after animals.  This is very worthwhile most of the time - tell me this when it is raining/blowing a gale and the ponies are messing me about!  However, very often I would rather stay in my craft room and mess about with designs.  On this front, I have decided to concentrate more on digital crafting.  I am finding it really difficult to avoid spending money I don't have (or should be spending on other things) on the amazing variety of crafty stash that is out there in shops/websites/C&C/QVC (did you all hear about Stephanie leaving QVC and possibly coming back to C&C??).  My craft room is literally full of products that I don't use, but still I keep shopping.  So, I am making a determined effort to have a big clear out and sell lots.  I will list items on here, so get in touch if you want a bargain, and then list on Ebay if anything is left.  Lots of fab stamps, inkpads, papers, embellies ....  I am keeping the pens, ribbon and buttons though!!  The money raised will go towards getting my new saddle, laser printer (so I can use the foiling machine I bought before Xmas), A3 guillotine and possibly an A3 printer.  I am also going to go through my large box of crafting magazines, and there may well be some available to good new homes.

There, I have said it now - so it will happen.  We are off to Manchester for 2 nights on Wednesday (Caravan Show on the Thursday, plus a trip to the Trafford Centre and a break for me from housework/cooking/animal care), so it may not be until the following week before I get items priced up and photographed.

Hi to my new followers.  It will be my first Blogversary next month, and I will put together a celebratory Candy offering for my followers.  Cannot believe that I used to have a life before blogging.

Ali x

Random photo of Frayne (with one of
her cow friends) for her fans!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


The 'techy' part of my craft room.
Silhouette Cameo (fab!) and graphics
tablet/pen (also fab).

For those who do not know what WOYWW is (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday), it is the day when us crafters share piccies of our workspaces/latest projects/wise words through Julia's Stamping Ground.  Add your link to the list and enjoy the tour.

I thought I would start my post with a piccie of my newly organised desk area.  My new Windows 8 desktop pc is to the right of this area - and around to the left on the other big desk is my more traditional crafting area, ie can get messy with inks/glue/glitter etc.  Will show more piccies next week.

I have been busy this week with crafting - but not always the physically productive type.  I think that the internet community, magazines, tv etc are very important - and I really enjoy using my time to keep up to date with trends/techniques.  My certificate course includes a lot of this, so when I am watching tv, reading a magazine or visiting a craft shop, I AM DOING RESEARCH/STUDY!!!  I visited the 2 craft shops in our local town, Haverfordwest, this week and bought a few goodies.  I also went to Hobbycraft in Swansea yesterday (had to go to the dentist for a check up after my surgery) - and found myself purchasing a scrapbooking magazine, some of their wonderful £1 stamps (such a lovely selection of designs) and a big bottle of PVA glue.  Sadly, I witnessed a horrible car crash near to the store - 2 people died and 2 seriously injured.  My thoughts are with the families/friends of those involved - and also to the wonderful emergency services.  The professionalism and care demonstrated by the police/firemen/paramedics is truly amazing. 

All I can say is - SLOW DOWN AND PUT YOUR LIGHTS ON.  All 3 cars involved had no lights on in poor visibility - and the one that caused the accident was going too fast for the road conditions.  When I eventually got on my journey home, I was shocked to see how many cars had no lights on and could hardly be seen.

Rant over.  Hope that everyone is well and enjoying their crafting.  I look forward to touring round this week.  Happy WOYWW to everyone that I don't manage to visit.

ETA - The builder starts on the farmhouse today!!  Scaffolding is going up, and the old kitchen chimney is coming down (it is in a very poor state - and we realised that taking it out would make the kitchen and bedroom above much larger and easier to redesign).  It seemed for ages that this day would never come.  We are renting the house opposite, so easy to keep an eye on the progress and I will be taking lots of piccies.

Ali x

ps  This is proof that the sun does sometimes shine in Pembrokeshire.  We walked down to this beach last week - cold and windy, but at least the sky was blue.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Birdie Heart Bookmark

As part of the RAK group I am a member of through Ebay (see details at the top of my blog if you would like to join in), we are holding a competition this month for an 'Anything Goes' themed bookmark.

There seems to be so many heart/love designs around at the moment, what with Valentines being next month, so I broke open the packet to the Inky Doodles stamp set I bought last year, Birdie Heart, and then designed my bookmark around some of the stamps.

I had a plain cut out shape from my Silhouette Cameo sitting on my desk, so cut another out using some gorgeous Studiolight card (which I bought at the NEC in November) to make the back of the bookmark.  I stamped the front using Picked Raspberry Distress Ink - the 'hessian' background (fab!), heart borders and bird.  The bird was coloured in with Spectrum Noir pens - BP1 and BP6, plus a Gelly Roll Pen (Silver Star) for a bit of bling.  I also inked the edges with the same inkpad.  A piece of gorgeous lace from stash (probably bought from the Ribbon Girl shop) was sandwiched between the 2 pieces of card - and there you have it - a pretty and more unusually shaped bookmark.

Ali x

I enter this into the following challenges -

Totally Gorjuss - #165, Anything Goes with Ribbon

Fun with Shapes and More - #125, A Different Cardshape (not square)

Lady Bug Crafts - #5, Anything but a Card

Lia Stampz - #32, Something New

Front of bookmark

The back of the bookmark

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A Quickie!! (Now updated to include piccies)

I haven't managed to get a blog post done for a while.  You would have thought having a new fancy Windows 8 computer with a big screen would help, but actually it is taking ages to get everything set up and connected properly.  I still haven't got the Blue Tooth connection working properly, so getting photos off my phone is not as simple as it should be.

My main reason for this post is - I CANNOT COMMENT ON BLOGS.  I am going on and reading lots of fabulous posts, but we are struggling to find out why I am being blocked from leaving comments.  Must be something to do with the new security software, but Rich is reluctant to allow me to turn this off completely.  I am not ignoring you all - and hopefully we will get it sorted soon.

I have already broken my New Years Resolution to not buy anything apart from plain paper/card and adhesives.  Both of my local craft shops had sales on, and it would have been rude not to have bought a few nice additions to my craft room! 

I have a long list of craft projects for January, and will be actually creating something tomorrow - rather than spending time on Facebook/Twitter/blogs/forums/Yahoo group.  I could easily be a full-time crafting journalist!

Hope that everyone is ok and adjusting back to 'normal' life.  My biggest news is that the farmhouse renovation starts next week.  Will take photos as work progresses.  We should be in within 7 months.  Exciting!  So looking forward to having our own home, - and the HOT TUB!!

Ali x

ETA - I tried again to leave a comment on a blog post, and it WORKED!!  Not being too optimistic, as this has happened before.  Perhaps the security software is having a little snooze?

Working on my Bluetooth connection now, and then perhaps you can see some piccies later.

The very first card I made with my
Silhouette Cameo.  The base card,
snowflake, banner and sentiment all cut
from their designs.  I then stamped
snowflakes on the base card with a gold
inkpad.  (The snowflake and sentiment were
cut from a gorgeous patterned paper.)

Gorgeous stamps - all in the sale at one
of our local craft shops (if you are in
Haverfordwest, go and see Paul in the
Indoor Market).

Magazines (with free gifts), Gorjuss toppers,
big bag of buttons and some embellies