Wednesday, 27 March 2013


This cold March morning sees me at my desk in my craft room - with a heat pad on my lap - and my Silhouette Cameo singing to itself whilst it cuts out lots of designs on a 12 x 12 Core'dinations card sheet.  I wanted a particular design for a card, but usually then fill up the sheet with other designs, so I have a folder of ready-cut stuff for another day.

This is the Cameo working away.

.... and this is what I cut out

I am loving getting to know my Cameo.  So much it can do - and so many wonderful cutting designs out there.  I would recommend one to any crafter.  Yes, they may seem expensive to buy BUT you don't need to buy/collect all the Spellbinders and other dies.  You can cut out in any size, design your own shapes/words ......

Sorry, I have been rude and not told you what WOYWW stands for.  Well it is, What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Julia and her blog, Stamping Ground, will explain more and provide the linky for your post, if you would like to join in with this addictive weekly tour of workspaces.

I have had a sort of busy crafting week.  Quite a few cards finished and put in the post.  I didn't get to the HobbyCrafts show at the NEC.  My hip has been hurting whilst driving, so didn't want to attempt a 4-5 hour drive each way - and then, of course, the weather didn't help.  No snow at all down here in Pembrokeshire - but I know it was a different story in Mid Wales and the West Midlands.  Hope everyone is ok.  It was shocking to see the pictures on the news last night of sheep being rescued from snow drifts.

I have also started to be involved in swapping again.  Used to do several per month with Swap-Bot, but stopped when life was getting too hectic.  However, I have missed getting 'happy mail', so just doing 2-3 per month now.  This month I have joined an International Penpal swap, a 'Small Candy' swap and a 'Horse ATC' swap.

Happy WOYWW to all those I do not manage to visit - or comment on.

Ali x

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Easter card

I have made a few Easter cards for family and friends this year.  This one is possibly my favourite.

It features some embossed card (loving my new toy!), sweet background paper (from Wilkinsons) and a sentiment/embellies from a Daisy Trail digikit.

I enter this into -

Little Miss Muffet Challenges - #57, Happy Easter

Cute Card Thursday - #261, Easter Parade

Little Red Wagon - #177, Easter

Ruby's Rainbow - #50, Easter

Friday, 22 March 2013

House of Bears Monthly Literary Challenge

Every month our favourite crafting bears host a 'JFF' challenge with a theme based on a book of their choice.  You can see more details and link up HERE

This month it is a book that I had not heard of, and I have not read it yet - but after reading the many reviews it is definitely on my reading list.  It sounds like it may be a 'hard read'.  I cry easily and get very emotionally involved with the characters when reading a book - so tissues at the ready!

It is 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini.

For my Mini Book Page, I selected what came to me first - images of a sun and bright/warm colours.  I then introduced text - loyalty, friendship, violence, fear, hope, faith.  All of these words came up again and again in the reviews that I read.

I used Serif Craft Artist 2 Professional and several digikits.

Here is my double-sided page -


Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Confused?  WOYWW stands for 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' and is located at The Stamping Ground, where you can add your post to the long list.  All you need is at least one photo of your workspace/projects.  Simple!

This week has been busy for me.  Lots of the usual animal care/housework/shopping/sorting out the Farmhouse/office work etc.  However, I have also been creating in my craft room.  I seem to have lots of birthday cards to do at the moment, plus swaps/challenges/Easter.

My new little Sizzix Texture Boutique has worked very well, and I am now officially collecting the smaller embossing folders again.  Bought myself 2 already on Ebay and, if I go to HobbyCrafts at the NEC tomorrow, you will see me rummaging around looking for more bargains.  Most people seem to have moved onto the larger format folders for the Grand Caliber/Ebosser etc, so I am hoping that the smaller folders will now be on sale. 

This is what I have embossed already - just waiting to be used in projects.

Regarding HobbyCrafts.  I selected 3 winners of tickets yesterday.  Anne, Debs and Shazronnie will all be enjoying a fab day out at the show.  Thank you for ICHF for the chance to give away tickets.  I plan to have more to give away for the show in November.
I had another crafty delivery this week.  This time from QVC, who are my favourite craft tv channel at the moment, due to their speedy delivery and the fact that they have Anna Griffin on!  I was lucky enough to get one of the Paper Weaving kits last week (everything was selling out so quick, she wasn't even getting time to properly show each product!).  I am desperate to open it up and have a play - but was good and sorted out some officework yesterday, as well as going for a short run with the dogs in the afternoon (will do a separate post about my health and my continued attempt to keep active).  Busy day again today - Rich is hoping to get away from the farm for a few hours, so we will be off to look at tiling/kitchens/bathrooms/wooden flooring AGAIN - as the builder wants to tile the main bathroom in 3 weeks time!  I am rushing to get this finished, as we have a meeting with him at 8 am to discuss radiators and the airing cupboard (my life just gets more glamorous!).   Our living room is literally covered in kitchen/bathroom/tiling brochures and house/lifestyle magazines.  I will definitely be glad when this part of our lives is over and we can settle down into some sort of routine.  For those who do not know what I am rattling on about.  We are renovating our old farmhouse - and the project can be seen on its own blog - Lower Tancredston
Enough for now.  Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit.  I am still continuing to struggle with leaving comments, so it may appear that I am not visiting you - but in fact I managed to visit nearly all the blogs on the list last week!
Ali x

Sunday, 17 March 2013

It's A Dog's Life

This is the theme for the latest challenge over at Stampin With the Dragon.

I used their 'Jack the Doxie'  digistamp, and coloured with a selection of Spectrum Noir pens (TN3, TN4, TN7, TN5, EB8, CR9).  The pawprint and bone backing paper came from the Cute Puppies Collection CD-Rom by Kraftyhands.  The sentiment topper with 'lead' frame was created on my Serif Craft Artist 2 Professional software.  The other papers and bakers twine came from stash.  The bone die-cut was cut on my Silhouette Cameo.

I also enter this into -
Lady Anne's Stamp Challenge - #6, Anything Goes
Art Impressions Stamps - #104. "Check It Out"
Pennys Challenges - #118. Ribbons & Diecuts
Ali x

Blog Lovin

It seems that Google Reader will not be available after July, so I am signing up with Blog Lovin.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

ETA - It was very quick and easy to import my followed blogs from Google Reader (which, incidentally, I had not been using - always just read the blogs through my Reading List on Blogger).  Seems like a fab tool to make our days go easier.

There really aren't enough hours in the day

I have just spent nearly 1 hour going through Facebook/Twitter/emails and then all the blogs/sites that I see a link to which looks interesting.

There are so many challenges that I want to enter, so many blogs to follow, forums to join, discussions to join in with .....  However, I do have to look after the husband/animals/house etc!!

Therefore, I will continue to 'waste' time on the internet, when I could be making more cards.  It is a vicious circle - but I am learning a lot and getting lots of inspiration.

If anyone has worked out how to avoid sleeping (and still function during the day), let me know!

Ali x

ps  Don't forget that I have pairs of tickets for the HobbyCrafts Show at the NEC next week to give away.  Just leave a comment HERE  I will be making the draw at 11 am tomorrow, to allow time to post the tickets to you.

My random photo today - a fab image from Claire Keay (available on and the background was created with the new Secret Rose Garden digikit (designed by Sarah Hurley and Phill Martin).

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Cheeky Fairy

When I saw the freebie digistamp for the latest challenge (theme: Fairies) over at Just Some Lines, I knew that I had to colour it in.  It is so cute!

I used my Spectrum Noir pens to colour the image in (FS1, FS3, FS4, TN9, EB8, TN8, TN4, PP2, PP4 PL1, PL2, JG1, JG2, GG1) and added a bit of sparkle with a silver glitter pen (for the wings and roses).  This was layered onto a doily from stash.  The actual base card was designed with my Serif Craft Artist 2 Professional software - using content from various digikits.

I also enter this into -

Crafty Catz Weekly Challenge - #174, Are You Up For A Laugh?

Cute Card Thursday - #260, Anything Goes

Flutterby Wednesdays - #231, Any Winged Creature

Ali x

Friday, 15 March 2013

A blog recommendation

I am still a member of the Technique Junkies Yahoo Group and on their newsletter yesterday I saw a link to a Blogazine.  Now, I thought that sounded interesting (amazing what my brain catches on to early in the morning when I am in pain!), so went to investigate.

The blog is Unruly Paper Arts and it seems to concentrate on ATCs - with a Facebook and Yahoo group for swaps.  The inspiration is truly 'inspiring'.  Go and have a look.

Ali x

Random Photo Alert

A cute Mini Schnauzer picture by Susan Alison (available on, which I incorporated into a digital card.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

WOYWW 197 & NEC Tickets

Another Wednesday is upon us - and many crafters from around the world will now be typing their little fingers off, trying to get higher up the list on our place of worship, that is Julia's Stamping Ground.  For those very few who do not know what I am talking about, basically we share pictures of our workspaces on a Wednesday, and then tour around making comments as we go.  Come and join in.

Firstly, I had some blog candy last week (Spellbinders Bird Flourishes dies).  As always, entry to the draw only required a comment - and there were 48 of those.  This was thrown into the pot and No. 37 was thrown out.  The lucky winner is Kaz at Donemark Crafts.  Congratulations, Kaz.  Can you get in touch with your snail mail address and the dies will be on their way to your craft room soon.

Now, here are my photos for this week.

I love it when a parcel arrives!
This was in it.  I sold my Cuttlebug last year, as I was struggling to use it.
Really want an Ebosser, but will have to wait for one of those.  I was missing
my embossing, so had a look on Ebay and found this bargain.  It is light and easy to use, just embosses, which is fine, as I now have my Silhouette Cameo for cutting out.
My 'techy' work area, which gets a lot of work now.  The card is from a lady
in Sweden - I was a member of a swap group on Facebook and received this recently.
Another part of my craft room, much tidied and emptied.
The chest of drawers contain my base cards, envelopes, plain & textured
card/paper, patterned papers and a few decoupage sheets/iris folding supplies.
On top you can see my Craftwork Cards Recipe Folder (a great buy from QVC),
buttons jar, various folders and boxes, piggy bank, cross stitched picture (that I did
for my Nan, and then came back to me when she died) .......
I hope everyone is having a good week - and Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit.
Lots is going on at the Farmhouse Renovation project - take a look on the blog Farmhouse Blog
Finally - I have some more Blog Candy.  Two pairs of tickets for the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC.  This starts next Thursday, 21st March and runs until Sunday 24th March.  Therefore, I will be doing the draw on Monday 18th March, in order to post the tickets to the lucky winners in time.  Thank you to the organisers, ICHF, for kindly giving these tickets to me for blog candy.  As everyone who has been to one of these shows in the past will know, they are amazing events and even I make every effort to drive the 4-5 hours each way to attend!!  Not just for papercrafters, but also lots of sewing/cross stitching/knitting etc.  As always with my draws, just leave a comment (let me know if you do not want to enter) and perhaps I will be contacting you with good news on Monday!
Ali x

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Win a magazine subscription

Competion Link

Found this fab competition and thought I should share with you all.

Quick and easy to enter.

Ali x

Welcome to my newest follower

Jo Hood from A Little Piece of Tinkability !!!

She is No. 61 on the list.  Take a look at her blog (with links to her website and Etsy shop).  She is a super-talented crafter - on the DT for Jems Designs, Stamping with Dragons and Scrappers' Delight.

Just a reminder that I will be making the draw for my latest Candy, Spellbinders dies (Bird Flourishes), tonight.  Leave a comment on my WOYWW post

Leave a comment to enter the draw for a Spellbinders die

Random Photo Alert !!

I seem to make a lot of 'card fronts' - just need to make them up into actual cards!
The result of receiving my new Party Paws CD-Roms (including digikits) from Crafters Companion,
and also a fab cow design that was cut from a shop-bought birthday card.
Ali x

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Pretty Backing Paper - Free to a Good Home

I have been playing around with my Craft Artist software today and designed a backing paper (I needed something to go with a topper and frame from the new Crafters Companion Party Paws CD-Rom).

If anyone would like to have a sheet emailed to them (I can do it in any colour), then just get in touch (email address on the side bar).

If you would like some co-ordinating envelopes, tags ...... or even would like a completely different design made up for you, then me and my computer are ready for action!

Ali x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

WOYWW 196 (With Candy)

WOYWW stands for 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' and brings many crafters from around the world together to share pictures of their desks/storage/floors/latest projects, and we all link up through Julia's Stamping Ground.  Come and be nosey with us.

Not a lot of crafty action has taken place in my craft room in the past week.  I had my mum staying over the weekend until yesterday (when I jumped in here and spent a few hours completing one module of my Equine Nutrition course - only 2 to go and then I can get back to my papercraft studies - see link on the sidebar).

My photo shows the left-hand side of my desk area - where currently things seem to pile up, but it is all organised, honest!  There are some magazines waiting to have the competitions entered.  A cable for my new laser printer, which is still sitting in its box.  My Spectrum Noir pens in their storage racks.  The various trays/pots with adhesives/baby wipes, scissors, pens etc, etc.  My gorgeous WOYWW badge.  A little pot of lipsalve which I have got for my stepdaughter's birthday next month (she loves VW Campers).  A 'tangle', in fact my very first! ..........................

Blog Candy - I revved up the Random Generator-thingy and it threw out the No. 19, which is Nan G.  Congratulations - you are the winner of the fab Toreads Rubber Stamps.  I will be emailing you to get your snail mail address.
This week, my Candy is a Spellbinders die set - Bird Flourishes.  All you have to do is leave a comment and I will enter you in the draw (to be drawn next Tuesday, 12th March).
(I have had a few queries as to where I am getting my fab Candy from - well, I have been lucky with competitions recently and won a few prizes from magazines - also I am very good at asking for things!  If you don't ask, you don't get!!)
Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not get to visit.
Ali x

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Proof that it was working ....

Food Combining - the diet that really helps with my IBS.

For those who did not know - I have Fibromyalgia, Hyper-Mobility Syndrome and Psoriasis.  IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) was a horrible part of my Fibro.  Often giving me a lot of pain and sickness; making travelling very difficult, and getting increasingly worse over the past few months (I was having to take my tablets for it most days, and suffering most mornings with terrible stomach cramps and nausea).

My doctor recommended a diet - but it was gluten-free (something I had tried in the past and not enjoyed) and generally very restrictive on what I could eat.  I was going to try it, as I had to do something, but then read about Food Combining.  This sounded so much more 'doable', so I ordered the books (which arrived within 3 days from the US!) and started on Thursday 14th February.  Well, immediately I felt better.  No cramps, no nausea, bloating improved.  Even lost 4lbs in weight.  Didn't have to take a single tablet until this morning.  What happened to make me have cramps this morning?  Well, Rich had a meat pie with vegetables and chips for tea last night.  I stupidly thought that I would give this a go as well - but couldn't finish the meal (obviously my body was telling me it wasn't right).  I shouldn't combine meat with wheat, and also shouldn't have potatoes with meat - so this meal was wrong on 2 counts.

Oh well, at least it was proof that the Food Combining was working.

Back to enjoying fresh food and never feeling hungry.  Nothing is totally out of bounds on this diet (although we are recommended to keep dairy to a minimum, and obviously processed foods/high sugar/high salt etc are to be avoided); you just need to think about how you combine foods on your plate.  For instance, I am making beef stew for tea.  I will just have some of the stew, with extra vegetables.  Hubby and my mum will have potatoes with their's.  It will be interesting to see if the beef causes me to have issues tomorrow.  If so, then I know that going vegetarian again is the best option (I have been mainly veggie for the past 2 weeks, as it means that I can enjoy my favourite pasta and potatoes).

Even if you feel that you don't have problems with your food, this diet is so much healthier anyway ( your energy levels will improve, prevent illness and heal faster, lose weight ...).

Would love to hear from anyone who is on this diet, or has tried it.

Ali x

Friday, 1 March 2013

Welcome to a New Follower

Gill is No.60 on my Followers List.

Take a look at her fab blog, Stamping Lemons.  We just missed out on Blog Candy.  Congrats to the House of Bears and Laura for winning.

*Remember that I have Blog Candy again this week.  Take a look at my WOYWW post and leave a comment

Ali x

My first DT post for Ladybug Crafts

Not only is this my first DT post for Ladybug Crafts, but it is also my first DT post EVER!  I was thrilled to be asked by Sam to join her team. 

The new challenge for the month is The Colour Blue.  I note that there has already been one entry - Sarah was very quick off the mark.

My card came about when I found an already stamped image of this cute mouse, and I thought she looked a little 'blue'.  Various shades of blue Spectrum Noir pens were used to colour her in, and then paper from my scraps folder were used for the background.  I created an insert with the MCS Elite software, using their wonderful Inserts & Backgrounds CD-Rom, and the sentiment also came from them, the Only Way is Words CD-Rom.

We would love to see your entries in the challenge, and also go and visit the other DT members.  They are friendly!
I also enter the card into -
Creative Moments - ##11, Shades of Blue
Addicted to Stamps - Anything Goes
Lexi's Creations - #84, Monochromatic
Ali x