Wednesday, 20 September 2017

WOYWW 433 - colouring and Spanish

Perhaps I should be learning the colours in Spanish?  My crafty table this week is showing what is really important to me right now, ie getting some ATCs coloured and in the post, and continuing with my quest to finally learn Spanish properly.

Happy WOYWW to you all - What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday for those who have not encountered these initials before.  If you would like to join in, then go to Julia's Stamping Ground.


My cheap pencils from WH Smith do a satisfactory job so haven't invested in any of the more expensive brands.  The stamps used to create the ATCs are from PaperArtsy.  You can see one of the ATC 'backs' that I designed for myself - easy to print out and stick on the reverse side.

I have signed up for a Spanish evening class - starting next week, if there are enough people signed up to run the class (it seems that Spanish Year One is not particularly popular in our part of West Wales.  The classes a bit further east are fully booked, so hoping that at least two more people decide that this is the year to learn Spanish!).  When I went to pay (you have to pay for the whole year in advance), the lady mentioned that they followed the BBC course and to look on Amazon for used bargains.  I found this one for 7p, plus postage!  Looks almost unread.

My health has worsened in the past week, so today I am attempting to take it a bit easier (after a day yesterday of gardening, cleaning out the woodburner and driving to and fro from our 'hopefully sold' bungalow trying to meet up with people collecting furniture - and that is another long/depressing story!).  Some crafting, my next Spanish lesson online (I will blog about that, as it has been fantastic although difficult) and lots of tv watching!

Hope everyone is safe with all of this horrible global weather/natural disasters.

Ali x

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOYWW 432 - I now have Distress Oxides in my life

Good morning to everyone.  I was missing last week, as when it came to Wednesday morning I just didn't have the energy to sit down and type a post.  I have had a stressful few weeks - and last Monday 4th September my two ponies were put to sleep.  They were both struggling with health issues and I knew that none of us could cope with another winter.  Now that I am not having to go out on the yard for mucking out/lifting heavy hay etc, I cannot imagine how I coped for so long.

Here they are (my last photo of them; taken earlier in the summer) -


I am not one to sit about and be bored, so I have filled my extra time with more seriously concentrating on learning Spanish (ready for our planned purchase of a property there) and getting our house in order.  There is still lots of decluttering/spring cleaning to be done, but slowly I can see progress.

Crafting is still my main way of distracting myself and I went to another workshop last week.  This one was an Introduction to Mixed Media, and we made a tag using Distress Oxides.  I had been thinking of trying some for a while, but had been resisting making any purchases until I knew that I would really use them.  I enjoyed the class so much that I came home with two of my favourite colours!


In the photo (taken quickly this morning whilst it is still dark - and we have the heating on now, so it is definitely autumn!) you can see the finished tag (although I want to add some more vivid colour to the butterflies, and perhaps some sparkle), the Distress Oxides ready for some action, a paperbag that an ATC came in, along with an ATC-sized diecut (thought I could make an ATC out of both of those), some A3 collages that I made from magazine cuttings at an art group a couple of years ago, which I have folded to make covers for future journal projects, and some Etsy shopping (washi tapes and a truly gorgeous planner charm, which I hope to attach to my new Journaling Bible when I have it).

Looking out of the window as it gets lighter slowly, it looks like the worst of Storm Aileen has passed over Pembrokeshire.  We went to Barry yesterday to visit family and had lovely sunshine there.  It started raining just as we got home at 5 pm, and by the evening it was very windy.  Will venture out later and see how many branches are down in the roads.

I hope that everyone is safe after all of the horrible global weather we have had in the past few weeks.

If you want to join in with the mid-week tour of crafty workspaces, trot along to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Ali x

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

WOYWW 430 - a bit of shopping

Good morning to you all - and Happy Wednesday.  Nearly another month has gone by.  A difficult month for me approaches (difficult stuff with animals and learning to live with that), but all I can do is live moment by moment - and it will pass.

What do us crafters do when we are stressed?  Go shopping of course!  In the UK that normally includes a visit to The Works, because at least we can save money whilst treating ourselves.

I did actually go there to look for a specific mixed media book that had been spotted at other branches around the UK.  Did not find it in our small branch, but a few other items caught my eye and ended up in my shopping bag.


Just a small book on abstract art - but lots of interesting stuff in it.  Cheap 3D paints, which were worth trying at that price.  A cute crochet kit.  I cannot crochet.  Therefore, I may give that away as a present.

I also bought some Skittles whilst in the supermarket.

The dark fairy digital designs were for a specific ATC swap, so one has been coloured and cut out.  I bought them from Etsy as a digital download.

The palette has some left-over Pixie Powder in a small amount of water.  You only need a tiny amount, so I leave the rest for another day (it is easily refreshed with a bit of water).

I have lots of projects to complete/start, but I really need to tackle some housework/gardening today (the amount of white hair from cat & dog, and cobwebs/dust, are threatening to take over the house) before I can sit down in my craft room again.

Ali x

Thursday, 24 August 2017

We all need to find joy in our lives

I was super-excited and proud to be selected as a member of the Launch Team for Candace Payne's first book, Laugh It Up.  Click HERE to pre-order.



Haven't we all been a fan of hers since 'that' video?!  Click HERE if you either haven't seen it, or just need to cry with laughter all over again.  I watch it often, always with tissues ready.

I am not as good with words or positivity as she is, so I suggest that you at least go and view her trailer on her official Facebook page - Candace Payne Official

There are fab bonuses if you pre-order - including a Bible Journaling Tutorial video, The Simple Joys ebook and a taco recipe!

I will share more details about the book, including my review, upto the release date of 7th November.

Ali x

Do you go back and read old blog posts?

I do fairly often.

It is interesting to see how my crafting has progressed - or not!

Also interesting to see how other aspects of my life have effected me (never sure whether it should be affected or effected!).

I should be getting on with a sketching project, but seem to have found myself going through the Blogger archives.

I will have more to blog about later, but for now here is a short video from my earlier walk with Buzz the dog.

video



Wednesday, 23 August 2017

WOYWW 429 - Just waiting for creativity

Happy WOYWW to you all (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday - click HERE to join in).

There is lots going on in my life and I am struggling to keep my brain still enough to actually sit down and do some crafting.  Therefore, my desk has some random stuff on it.



Firstly - does anyone else have as many craft mats/cutting boards etc etc?  There is definitely room for a couple more on that table.

The tiny alphabet stamps from my new WeR Memory Keepers Precision Press+ set waiting to be cut up and put into the storage box.  (Read my initial review HERE.)

Alphabet stencils that are sticky on the back and I use all the time.

Some embellishments and ATC backgrounds (I am still trying to finish off an Alphabet ATC set).

Box of pens.

Book of toppers/papers from a magazine.

Mat gel, foam brush and stamp cleaning spray.

You can just see some completed ATCs.

The day is rapidly disappearing and soon it will be lunch.  This afternoon I plan a trip into town - post office, Aldi and hopefully a few balls at the golf driving range.

Perhaps I will sit down and do some Zentangle this evening - or not!

Ali x


Saturday, 19 August 2017

My latest We R Memory Keepers purchase

I haven't done any stamping for a long time, but with a constant stream of ATCs to make and also planning to make more time for my journaling, I seem to have taken up the 'dark art' again.  I also found myself watching Create & Craft (any show title with We R Memory Keepers attracts me - I love my Envelope Board, Tag Punch and more), and the Precision Press+ sold itself to me (as well as the great demo's and DT makes).

I will update this post once I have played with it more (and tried out the fab selection of stencils), but here is my first attempt at using one of the layered stamp set that also fell into my basket (they were at a literally give-away price!).  I must admit it was the camera stamp that I really wanted (got a thing about illustration-style stamps).  I also got a floral set and will show that tomorrow.


It turned out really well.  I haven't got many inkpads now (stupidly sold my collection of TH Distress Inkpads a few years back), but the brown and grey looks very good.  I remembered that I can use my old Marvy LePlume pens to colour on the stamps, so going to try some bright colours tomorrow.  It also fits on an ATC.


Easy to use - and just works, like all WRMK stuff.

I mentioned the stencils, but it also has a typesetting board.  I am going to use this a lot, as I love to use words in my crafting.  It was simple once I worked out having it upside down.


Look - it comes out the right way up!


I need to cut all of the tiny alphabet stamps now - and put them in the included storage box.


Here are the stamps that also came with this bundle.  They are going to be well used.


I will be back tomorrow with more details/prices/photos.

Ali x

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WOYWW 428 - stash haul and the Patchwork board game

Good morning and Happy WOYWW to you all.  WOYWW is 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' and you can join in at Stamping Ground.

I staged these photos on Monday night, as we were off to our local agricultural show, Pembrokeshire County Show yesterday - and I knew that I would be exhausted this morning (and I was right - despite going to bed early I feel like a truck has run over me twice!).  We had a great time at the show, and plan to return tomorrow as well (we are Members, as it works out cheaper if you go for at least 2 days - and you get closer parking to the entrance and a very nice Members' restaurant/bar - so we can have a sit-down lunch and rest our weary limbs).

Stamps ordered from Create & Craft - with my £10 renewal of membership voucher and their various discounts, they almost had to pay me to have these!  My latest crafty bargains from TK Maxx - washi tape, napkins (it seems that they are 'thing' in crafting - will search Pinterest for instructions) and some modelling clay.

The washi tape set in closer detail - doesn't really show how glittery they are.

We enjoy playing board games in this household, and I always buy a couple of new ones every Christmas.  Yes, I know it is only August - but I started my festive shopping early, as usual - and could not resist buying this one as well.  Not had a chance to give it a go yet, but the reviews on Amazon are excellent.  I can imagine hubby's reaction, but he will enjoy it once he gets over the fact it is craft-themed!



I plan to visit as many blogs as possible this week, and also write some new blog posts (our visit to the Pembrokeshire County Show, ATC trading, starting a new embroidery project, Encaustic Art).

Ali x

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOYWW 427 - I was being creative outside today

It is 'only' 7.30 pm here, so still plenty of Wednesday left!  I went to a sketching workshop at a local National Trust property this afternoon, and left early to treat myself to lunch there - so no time to blog earlier and nothing crafty on my table anyway (except for a delivery from Create & Craft which I am itching to open, but leaving it until tomorrow when I should have time to play with the contents - will be blogging separately about that).

My photos show some of the wonderful surroundings at Colby Woodland Gardens - and also a page from the lovely sketch book we were given as part of the workshop (it has a kraft cover, so will be decorating of course!).  We met in the Bothy first (a lovely room in the old building which also includes the fabulous tea rooms where I had my lunch, and then bought an icecream afterwards) and did some exercises to get us going with the pencils/pens.  The tutor was an illustrator and print maker, and really great with us all (all beginners and 2 youngish children).







The page I am showing was where we had 2 minutes to start drawing an object of our choice (there were lots of flowers/leaves etc on the table), and when the alarm went off we moved on to the sketchbook of the person next to us, and so on until we were back at our own book.  This was a really fun exercise and lovely to have some sketching from each of us as a memory.  Mine was the favourite of the group - I think it could be a Christmas design!



I am tired now after driving there and back (50 minutes of country roads each way), and then getting my usual jobs with ponies/cats/dog etc done.  Tea is cooking, and I am grabbing a bit of time to sit down with my laptop in front of the athletics (have you been watching the World Championships?  It seems to be raining hard in London now - been warm/blue skies all day here).

Will hopefully get round to as many blogs as possible this week, and not as late as last week!  I am doing lots of challenges and trades through Facebook groups at the moment, and also started to learn Spanish 'again' (have attempted to do some daily on a couple of occasions, but always not given it the priority it needs).  When did I ever have time to work outside the home???

Ali x

ps  If you want to go and see some actual crafty workspaces each Wednesday and perhaps join in yourself, go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

WOYWW 426 - new sewing machine

I hope that at least some of my readers are enjoying some warm sunshine today.  It has been raining hard in Pembrokeshire - and also 'breezy' (as the weather girl said, ie blowing a gale!).

I am very happy to be in my craft room, listening to Stephen Fry reading the Sherlock Holmes stories (I got a free credit and one month's membership to Audible, and even the 70 hours+ of this was included).  It is wonderful to have his voice accompanying my crafting/decluttering/computer work.  All schools should play these and far more would be in love with literature.

The other new thing in my life is the little sewing machine I ordered from Hobbycraft last week (and which arrived within 2 days).  Only just got it out of the packaging this morning, and looking forward to having a play with it.  Not sure when exactly - life just seems to get more busy.  Priority in my craft room today is finishing a few more ATCs for the Alphabet challenge, as trading starts on 1st September, and getting some filing done before my trays collapse!


 Isn't it cute?!  Really light and easy to move around, but seems to have lots of features for its size - and all the reviews are excellent.  
(I will do a blog post about it once I have had a chance to try it out.)

If you would like to share what is on your craft table this morning, go to Julia's Stamping Ground to join in.

Ali x

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

WOYWW 425 - Pixie Powder, Butterflies and a Sketchbook

Good morning everyone.  It is raining and a Wednesday again.  Rain was needed here, so I won't moan too much - and at least I can get some crafting done without feeling I should be outside pulling up weeds!

I am going to share some photos of what is going on in my craft room this morning, and if you would like to join in, then go to Julia's Stamping Ground for the linky thing.

Firstly,  I actually went out and crafted in a group setting last week.  Not been able to get to a workshop for a while (they are normally expensive, on a day that I couldn't make or my health has got in the way).  There was a big birthday being celebrated at our local craft shop, and several workshops were hosted by the birthday boy to raise money for charity.  Despite him never doing anything like this before, he did brilliantly - and I really enjoyed it.

I was introduced to Cosmic Shimmer's Pixie Powders, which I had never heard of (seems they are the latest 'thing' in the craft world - but I had missed the programmes on the craft channel and do not read magazines now).  We used them in a simple but very effective way - mix a tiny bit with varying amounts of water and paint on to vellum (butterfly stamps had been used with black embossing powder and they were stunning).  Embossing onto black card created the backing of this wonderful project, vellum stuck on top, butterflies cut out and added, and voila!  I had time and some spare already-mixed up powder, so did two more butterflies, ready for another project some time when I get round to it.  They are really shiny and fab.


Of course I had to buy some - and the Metal 3D Paste (which was in their sale area at a bargain price).  If you are in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, then go and see Ben and his team.  They also sell online - SET Crafts.  (ETA - I have had lots of questions about the Pixie Powders.  I will blog again in more detail about how I am using them, but click here for a video.)




Here is my much-awaited Sketchbook Project book.  I am now thinking of ways to fill it - but I don't want to think too much, which I tend to do - so will be jumping in and at least getting some photos of the farm in there (especially the older buildings before they completely collapse!).



For those who are not aware of the Brooklyn Art Library (we must go on a visit there!) Sketchbook Project, it is basically the world's largest library of artists' books from every corner of the globe.  Order a book, fill it up, send it back (and you can have it digitised too).

I am going to have my breakfast now, sort out kitchen etc, feed dog/ponies/cats.  I went to the dentists yesterday for a big filling and couldn't eat much last night - so will make up for it today!  Then I can return to my cosy craft room (it is actually dark enough this morning to put lights on) and make 2 heart-themed ATCs for a trade I did last week.

Keep safe everyone.

Ali x

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

WOYWW 424 - Christmas In July

It is just about afternoon here and I am forcing myself to get this published, or the day will disappear.  I do wonder how time goes so fast.  I haven't managed to get a post typed for the past 2 weeks - due to other stuff in my life taking over, and probably not having anything to show on my craft table.

If you would like to join in with this global tour of crafty workspaces, get on over to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Today I am showing the space immediately in front of my pc, as I seem to be doing several things at once, which involve the computer, my phone, making notes, making phone calls and even doing some crafting.  I am starting on my first Christmas projects - some ATCs for a Christmas in July event in a Facebook ATC group, and also planning my very first Pocket Letter (need to do some more research into what they are exactly before I start) - just joined a Facebook group for those too.


I dusted down my Texture Boutique embossing machine (I always forget how much I love embossing), some toppers cut out ready, some ATC bases and a set of stamps from a magazine.  

I also show the floor behind my chair - my Christmas stash box needed sorting (which I do every year) and now I need to get some more bags to put the stuff in to, so it is easier to find stuff.  Buzz the Jack Russell is in his usual place - in the cat's bed.


I hope everyone is well and enjoying their summer (or winter).

Ali x



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

WOYWW 422 - Artist Trading Cards

I have to work quickly here.  Our internet service is getting worse by the day, and often disappears completely throughout the day.  Whilst we have no wifi (we can use our mobile, which is 4G and faster, which is ridiculous when we live in such a remote rural area, but I worry about using too much data), I do other stuff, like getting my hands messy with paint/modelling paste and creating 'random art' (in a modern style, but absolutely none of those 'intelligent' meanings or stories).

Wednesdays are the day when we link up with other crafters around the world.  Go to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details.  This week I am showing a desk that includes some crafting.  Since getting back into ATC trading (via some Facebook groups), it has encouraged me to create, which is all good.

(Now is the time when I rush downstairs because the live coverage of the Tour de France is about to start - very exciting with Cav/Sagan crash yesterday - I will continue on my laptop.)



Since taking this photo earlier this morning, the scene has changed (more stamping on the 'City' ATC, those strips of card stuck onto the larger pieces of paper in the middle, and another ATC and some tags have been worked on).

The rest hasn't moved - stencils on top of a precious photo that needs to be reframed, wooden stamp set (a bargain from TK Maxx) and other 'stuff'.

I look forward to taking a tour around other desks this week.

Ali x

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WOYWW 420 - French Bulldogs, Dragonfly & More

I made it!  Our internet was not working from yesterday evening and it required a phone call from me to the company that provide our community wifi system (we cannot get 'normal' broadband due to our rural location) to get the engineers to 'look at it'.  It took them nearly 2 hours, but now we are connected again.

Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit this week - and get on over to Julia's Stamping Ground for the linky thing.

I have spent the morning getting various little jobs done - old coffee machine cleaned and stored away (I would rather chuck it out, but hubby insists it might be needed one day!), nails varnished and grass cut.  Inbetween these bursts of activity, I mainly constantly checked the internet to see if it was working!  I had plenty of non-computer stuff to do, but this warmer weather has just meant that I have even less inclination to get on with useful stuff.

It has not been as hot as other areas of the UK in Pembrokeshire, but certainly warm enough for me to get some sunbathing done over the past few days.  Magazines have been read (cannot see the screen of my phone in the sunlight to read books via the Kindle app - for those who have an IPad, is that better in the sunshine?) and I have gained a few more freckles (I do not tan as easily as everyone else who seems to spend one day on the beach and go golden the next day).

I was up early this morning to let our aging Jack Russell, Buzz, out in the garden.  He seems to need a toilet trip a lot more often now (I know how he feels).  Therefore, I tackled some of the half-finished ATCs that have been sitting on my desk all week.


I used some of the really cute French Bulldog images that came with a craft magazine recently, plus various peel-offs/washi tape (remember when we all bought loads of peel-offs !!!).  I then added some acrylic paint in two of my favourite colours right now.

The remaining cards are either cut from some packaging or a scrap from a journal page - again with further embellies added.  No idea how to finish these ones off - but I am sure that inspiration will hit eventually.

There is a story to go with the tags in the top left - and I will do a blog post - but basically they were attached to cocktail glasses as a surprise gift from the restaurant owner that we went to on Friday night to celebrate our wedding anniversary (12th).  Such a sweet thing to do.  For anyone anywhere near Swansea or visiting, the restaurant is Mosaic and I would recommend that you all go (tapas of incredible quality).

The strip of card was used to 'mop up' the leftover acrylic paints from doing the ATCs - and I plan to cut it into narrow strips to make up some more ATCs.

The Costa Blanca book and map are there, as we are off to the area in October and I am already dreaming/planning.

Will get this published and then it is time for lunch.  I plan to go and investigate a local golf driving range (with cafe and 9 hole course too) this afternoon, so I have somewhere to practice in less pleasant weather.  I really need to practice - went up to Haverfordwest Golf Club on Monday evening and attempted 4 holes; was rubbish, but enjoyed myself (only lost one ball in the water).

Ali x

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

WOYWW 419 - building up ATC stocks and my new golf addiction

Hi, everyone.  I had decided that I was going to have to miss this week, due to hosting a farmers' meeting today.  However, I left it early (my body wanted some rest!) and escaped to my craft room.



My photo shows my 'computer' area - but I am sorting out ATCs (some traded ones to post) and also some suitable card to make up more ATC bases.  I have recently got back into ATC trading - and joined two Facebook Groups.  I only have one spare one left, so trying to get some batches made to keep me going for a while.

You can also see a scorecard from the golf club I am having lessons at.  At our last lesson of the previous 6-week course we went out on the actual course and managed to play two holes.  Exhausted after that!  Now we are spending a few weeks going back to basics - last week was putting (and I won the competition - no idea how!) and I think tomorrow night we are doing chipping, which is my favourite.  I am really enjoying golf - I do struggle with all the bending down and walking (I know that a golf buggy will need to be used if we are doing more than a couple of holes) - but it is very addictive.  Now I know why so many men disappear off to the course all the time!  I have even upgraded to Sky Sports so I can watch the US Open this week.  It does involve some shopping (one of my favourite pastimes) - a set of clubs, trolley, shoes, coat and other clothes bought so far - and need balls/tees etc this week.

Back to cutting up card into ATC sizes.

Hope everyone is having a good week (and my thoughts are with all affected by the tragic fire in London last night).

Ali x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

WOYWW 417 - furry companions

Good morning to everyone taking part in this weekly tour of crafty workspaces (go to Stamping Ground for more details), or even if you are just reading my blog in a random way!

I have literally nothing to show on my craft table this morning.  Having a busy week as usual and off to Silverstone tomorrow for a F1 event on Friday, so I can't even show a half-finished project.

I do have a couple of furry companions whilst I read my Bible - here they are.

Buzz the Dog

Milky the Cat

Note that Milky has the comfy bed next to the radiator, whilst Buzz has his mat !  He does sneak onto her bed when she is not around.  They are both 10 this month and doing pretty well for their age.

This may be my shortest blog post ever - I will show some crafting next week.

Ali x





Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WOYWW 416 - 8 years, ATCs and my Bible

Happy 8th Birthday WOYWW.  Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?!  Julia over at Stamping Ground is the creator of this weekly event, and you can join in there.

We are doing an ATC swap to celebrate - and I have one spare to give away.  Let me know if you would like to swap with me. (gone)

Some creative stuff is happening on my craft table this morning.


I wanted to journal the image that has appearing on the television and social media since the horrible events in Manchester, so I searched for a Bible verse that would represent courage.  Psalms 31:24 caught my eye.  Simple words.



I had read about how good Crayola Twistables were for Bible Journaling, so I bought myself a selection of pencils and crayons to try out.  They are brilliant - definitely no bleed through, and can hardly see any shadowing either (even with the very thin paper in my particular Bible).  Using them for highlighting text and adding colour to images.  Definitely need to get the big packs now, so I have even more colours to play with.

You can see my little pile of ATCs ready to go in envelopes.  I used some left-over pieces of card from a project making affirmation cards.  Lovely shades of blue.

I rarely buy craft magazines now, but Making Cards this month had some really cute Boston Terrier designs that I couldn't resist - and when I opened up the wrapping there were a set of really useful border stamps too as a bonus.

Otherwise you can see my pen box etc.

I hope to visit some blogs today, but Wednesdays are always busy with my evening golf lesson, and we also have to go into town for a solicitors appointment (finalising stuff on the sale of a property), and I plan to visit the post office too.

I will be blogging in more detail about my Bible Journaling this week, plus finally showing some of my scrapbooking.

Ali x

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

WOYWW 415 - my first scrapbook layout

Good morning to you all.  I am a bit later than planned due to my new morning routine of staying in bed until the dog asks to go out, plus Tesco delivery this morning.

No crafting - yet.  I fully intend to do some Bible Journaling later and perhaps even start on my next scrapbook layout (another cycling event).  However, I may run out of time - with financial stuff to sort out and my next golf lesson at 6 pm.  I accept now that I never get everything done in one day.  My health - physical and emotional - is more important.

My craft table is showing the completed layout, which now I see needs some more journaling, a pile of photos/event number, my new Bible, and my 'scrap journal' (for using up leftover paint, doodling etc).  Apologies for the blurriness - hands shaking this morning.


I hope to get round and visit some crafters in the next few days.

Ali x

ps  Whoops - forgot to add the link to the lovely lady who is the Queen of WOYWW!  Click HERE

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Crafting Fun For Kids Aged 3-8

I had a card with my latest HelloFresh Box (send me your email address and I will get a code over to you for a free trial box of 3 meals) with a link to a new company called Toucan Box.  I rarely turn down the chance to get something for free, so have signed up for my free Petite box to be sent direct to our eldest granddaughter.  She is 3 and she loves to craft, so this will be perfect for her.

children crafting having fun


I will come back and update this once she has received the box and we know what the contents are, but basically you receive a personalised box addressed to the child.  All materials are included for a fun craft activity.  Free delivery to the UK.

You can cancel your subscription at any time (I only sign up for free trials where this is the case) - and the Petite boxes are £5.95 fortnightly.  You can also receive a box monthly.  There are two larger boxes - £12.90 and £19.90 per month - and you can add in a sibling for a smaller fee.

Click HERE to receive your very own free box to try out.

Come back and comment below when you have received it.  I would love to know what you think about it.

Ali x

Thursday, 4 May 2017

CBD oil - what is it and is it helping me?

CBD oil - or cannabidiol oil - or medical marijuana - or many other names!

I had heard of it as medical marijuana and thought it was only available in the US and perhaps other countries.  I had heard a lot of good things about its use for chronic health conditions, but always assumed that it was illegal in the UK (as I did not know what it was exactly) and something I would never get to try.

Well, then someone on a Fibromyalgia Facebook group in the UK mentioned that she was trying it, and gave a link to the Facebook group set up for people in the UK who would like to try CBD.  I joined immediately and a new world was opened up to me.  It turns out there are lots of very good suppliers of CBD based in the UK, it is legal and it could definitely help me.  (If anyone would like to join the Facebook group, it is CBD Users UK.)

I went to the website of the most-mentioned company, CBD Bros, and ordered some capsules first of all.  I had been warned of the horrible taste of the oil and thought that capsules would be a gentle introduction (turns out that the taste is ok and that dropping under the tongue is a better way of absorbing the oil, so I am now buying the oil).

The smart packaging of oil from CBD Bros.

I have been taking the oil for nearly 10 weeks now, and am still experimenting with different types/doses to see which best helps me (I take it for increasing energy, improving sleep, reducing pain/stiffness and also my Psoriasis).  Just about to order a different oil to take in the day which has been recommended by other Fibromyalgia sufferers.  (I will blog again in a few months with an update.)

I could not even start to explain all the different types of CBD oil and how it works, but this website seems to be very useful - CBD Family Information Centre

Cost - the oil I have been taking in the day costs around £20 per month for the dose I am taking currently.  A very small price to pay for reduced symptoms.

If you have any questions, then I would definitely suggest joining the Facebook group.

Ali x

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

HelloFresh - inspiration ... tasty food ... no waste

I received a free trial box from HelloFresh last week.  This is one of those companies that sends you the ingredients and recipes for meals for you to prepare.  I have been posting pictures of the results on my Instagram feed (come over and join in, if you haven't already discovered the delights of Instagram!).

I was really impressed.  Lovely fresh ingredients in just the right amounts (or sometimes a few left-overs that can be used in other meals - for instance last week I had a pack of tortillas and there are enough for 2 more meals - and the suggested way of serving them, crisped up in the oven, is fantastic).  I had the Classic Box with 3 meals (you can also have 5, but I knew that would be too much for me to cope with - I get tired when having to work in the kitchen) - there are also Family and Vegetarian boxes.

The meals were Mexican Broth, Sri Lanken Spiced Cod and Rosemary Glazed Chicken.  I would never have tried cooking anything like these, but the clear instructions (with photos) were simple to follow and I was very proud of the results.




Portion sizes were generous and both plates were cleared each time.

I continued with it this week (box due to be delivered any minute) and looking forward to learning some new skills and tastes.

You can cancel/pause at any time - just notify them via the website by midnight Wednesday.

If you would like to try a free box too, send me your email address.  


If you have any further questions about HelloFresh, look at the FAQs on their website or leave a comment below.

Ali x

WOYWW 413 - scrapbooking starts

Happy Wednesday to you all.  It is sunny in Pembrokeshire this morning, but chilly.  If you would like to join in with WOYWW today, go to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details.




It is fairly early for me (I really struggle with mornings now), so haven't actually started any crafting yet - but I have got out of the cupboard the scrapbook I bought years ago, and have the memorabilia from a recent cycling event that hubby did ready to create my very first spread!  I have done some digital scrapbooking, but this is the first time that I will be venturing into 'the dark art'!  

I will blog about the process and results (two other blog posts to come this week - about HelloFresh and my experience of using CBD so far).

I have also laid out the postcards I have received so far from the Spring Postcard Swap I took part in.  All so different and amazing.

I was planning a trip into town today with my trusty shopping trolley (Xmas pressie from hubby), but just seen that one of our local golf clubs is starting a series of free golf lessons this evening at 6 pm.  I cannot drive out twice (only just started driving again on Saturday), so will postpone the shopping to Friday.

A nice short post today.

Ali x

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Yummy Vegan Oat Bars - very easy recipe

I posted a picture of my favourite Vegan sweet snack on my Instagram account yesterday, and promised to blog the recipe, so here I am.



It is so easy to make - and really quick.  Less than 30 minutes to when they come out of the oven.  I had not made them for a while, but had some over-ripe bananas and then wanted a sweet treat yesterday, so my trusty recipe book came out of the cupboard.

BTW - these are US measurements (will put the UK equivalent next to each)

3 ripe mashed bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce (5 tbsp + 1 tsp)
2 cups oats (454g)
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk (4 tbsp)
1/2 cup raisins (or blueberries, cherries, rough chopped dairy free chocolate) (113g)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

(I also add some chopped nuts quite often.  This is such a flexible recipe - use up whatever you have left in your fridge/pantry.)

Just mix together well, spread out in a lined baking tray, and bake at 160 degrees celcius (fan) for 15-20 minutes (320 degrees fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3).

I cut it into pieces when it is still warm - and make sure you taste one!

Enjoy.

Ali x

ps  Look at my cute piggy Cup Measures (from a pound shop in the UK)


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

WOYWW 412 - Inktense blocks and postcards

Morning/afternoon/evening to you all.  It is Wednesday again (I thought it was Thursday first thing and nearly put the rubbish out!) and I am joining in with Julia's WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday).  Check out more details HERE.

I am still making postcards.  Ten needed for the Spring Swap I joined in with.  They need to be posted this week, and I am just finishing off the last two.  My excuse is that I only found out about the swap a few weeks ago.  For the next one (in the autumn) I will have them ready before the deadline.

I am completely lacking in any imagination right now, so have relied on a combination of collage/doodling/abstract art so far.  For these final ones I have got out my tin of Derwent Inktense Blocks - and who knows where it will take me!

At least the blue is a pretty colour!

Hubby is 50 tomorrow and we are off to a country hotel in Carmarthenshire for dinner/b&b.  Dog going into the kennels and I am really looking forward to some time away from animal care duties/housework/the farm.  

I have another blog post to write now, along with the promised one on CBD, I had a free box from HelloFresh yesterday (courtesy of a Facebook friend) - one of those companies that send out all the ingredients needed for specific meals along with recipes.  Very impressed so far - made Mexican Chilli Broth last night.  Photos will be on Instagram (@iamaliwade) later, and I will eventually get a blog post written.

Ali x

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WOYWW 411 - postcards and pain

Happy Wednesday to everyone.  I am up earlier than I have been for a while - I slept ok (with regular waking) and actually felt like getting up before the dog/cat demanded their breakfast!

Postcards - I have made a start on the 10 that I need to make for a swap that goes out on Monday.  More 'postcarding' later.  They are probably all going to be simple collages.


My workdesk with postcards ready to be completed (have started on 5 and done the 'backs' for all of them).  TV and huge stand (hubby didn't want to give them away, as it is a really good tv - but I never
watch them, so hoping he will remove it soon), which is a useful photo display area!  
My reduced pile of 'RUBs' with paper/card of various sizes.  My A3 printer with sheep (from Tiger).  The wooden box on the floor is a family heirloom - and the small stool next to it.  
A lovely piece of 'wax art' on top, which I got in a swap several years ago.  
No longer have any Pekes, but kept that hanging bone sign as a memorial.

Pain - I have been having a general flare on several days each week for the past few months (doing too much - well, attempting to do too much), and then on Monday evening (after a busy day of housework and family visiting) my right hip decided to join the party.  It was even worse yesterday and I was forced to take mainly to the sofa to avoid a huge flare, which would mean a trip to A&E for morphine.  It is still right on that edge.  I don't have any prescription painkillers, but have been trying CBD (will do a blog post about that).  I had run out of the capsules and was waiting to see if they had been helping me over the 2 months I had been taking them.  I think I have my answer now!  Have ordered some of the oil to try, alongside the balm I started using yesterday (which is great for smaller areas, but would prove very expensive for hip pain).  That should arrive tomorrow, so hopefully it will make me more comfortable/mobile.

Hope that everyone is ok.

Ali x

ETA - I keep forgetting to add the details for joining in with WOYWW - go HERE.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

WOYWW 410 - some progress

Good morning to everyone.  The dog is walked, ponies/donkey turned out, cats fed, a bit of housework done and the steps leading onto the farmyard have had their regular sweep - and now I am tired/sore!  Time to sit down here and type my weekly post about what is on my workdesk (not much!).  Go to Julia's Stamping Ground to join in.

I did finally stick down the remainder of the paper pieces onto mini canvases yesterday.  Now I have to decide how to finish them off - going to Pinterest for inspiration as usual.  The one in bottom left is finished - some 'crackle glaze' painted on, which seems to just be more sparkle than crackle!  It is many years old though.


Then a slightly different view of part of my craft room.  It is where my 'messy' crafting supplies are stored - paints, inks etc.  The little table was my very first piece of craft furniture (back in the days when I had one drawer of paper/card, and a box with ink pads/stamps/pens - and that was all !!!).  It became my sewing machine table, but that is sold now, so currently I keep my boxes of pens/pencils on it.


Have a read of the blog post I wrote yesterday about my return to LifeBook 2017 (after a break of several weeks - absolutely no motivation) and also starting a 365 day journaling practice.

We went to Barry last week to visit stepdaughter and stepgranddaughter.  Here is the rainbow-bright Big Wheel down at Barry Island Pleasure Park.  Yes, it really did look like 'Barrybados' with that blue sky.


Happy Easter to everyone.  I have bought everyone else chocolate eggs, but managed to miss myself out (I am still on the exclusion diet - no gluten, dairy or egg), so will have to find a non-dairy one this week.  Amazingly my mojo for making cards returned, so I made cards for close family and posted them off early.  

My next crafty task is two ATCs (city theme) for a regular swap, and also ten postcards for a bi-annual swap that I am taking part in for the first time (there is still time to sign up - click HERE for details).

Ali x