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!


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

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

365 Days of Journaling

I haven't done a lot of blogging recently - but suddenly today I felt the urge to get typing.

I was doing my latest project in LifeBook 2017 (progress pictures below) -

I found a page in a little journal that I created last year - 
this was 'leftover' paint from another project - often
the best backgrounds!

Added some more paint - with fingers and brayer.

Random white shapes painted on.

Started adding words/lines/colour.

This really scary pink paint was actually more subtle
when a small amount is applied with my finger.

More detailing with white and black pens.

Finished page.

- when I went to a book for some inspiration of quotes.  

Click on the Amazon graphic in the sidebar to purchase your own copy.

It helped with that - and then I started flicking through.  It was one of those purchases a couple of years ago that ended up on my bookshelves without being throroughly read or actioned.  Then I found myself thinking that I would start journaling every day using this book, it was written in my diary and now this blog post is more evidence of my decision.

For those who are more curious about the contents of this book, here are a few chapter titles.

  • Journal size & style.
  • Why make the time?
  • The fear of the blank page.
  • Get messy.
  • Year-long photography challenge.
  • Give your journal an identity.
  • Flashbacks.
Obviously I am tempted to buy a 'proper' art journal for this (like the one in my sidebar - another affiliate link) - but I will be good and select something from my pile of unused notebooks (have added that journal to my Amazon Wishlist and hopefully someone will purchase it for me for Christmas!).

Lunchtime now - so this afternoon will see me starting properly.

I should be back tomorrow for my regular WOYWW post - but cannot promise anything!

Ali x

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

WOYWW 409 - craft room chaos

Morning everyone.  I missed last week and cannot remember why now - must have run out of time and/or energy.  Nothing crafty to show this week - my big plans and even my small plans to actually create something have not been realised yet.  I have been slowly clearing out my craft room for about a year now - but 2 days ago I sorted out my paper/card stash (a local charity are having lots from me), and now the rest of the room is getting finished off.  This means bags/boxes etc etc are all over the floor, and I need to dust/hoover certain areas before tidying up.  That will hopefully happen today - but had to fight with Doris the Donkey this morning so that the vet could sedate her.  She is surprisingly strong and heavy for her size (and her usual quiet temperament), and now my pain levels are flying up.  What fun!!

Doris finally sleep - after the vet had done the treatment and gone home!

Just some of the paper/card/CD-Roms that are going to a local charity.
I have to sort through my embellishments/ribbon etc now.

I bought this pad of lovely papers from Lidl last year and not used them yet.
Going to make some simple Easter cards this week.

My paper/card/topper storage is slimmed down and tidy.
That is my A3 inkjet printer (I also have an A4 and a laser one).

I will get round as many blogs as possible this week.  F1 is on this weekend, so always a good chance to sit down with the laptop.

Ali x

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

WOYWW 407 - a jumble of washi tape

Happy WOYWW.  I am up early this morning (well, early for me - I have been sleeping more recently) with leg pain, and really lacking inspiration for taking a photo of my rather neglected craft room.  So, one of my Ikea Raskog trollies with two baskets of washi tape on top caught my eye.  Wasn't sure what you called a group of washi tape, but jumble seemed appropriate!

My big craft room clearout continues, and I am giving 2 bags of CD-Roms and a lot of paper/card to a local charity group tomorrow.  It is ridiculous how much money I have spent on stash over the past 9 years - and so much I will never use.  Our crafting habits change over time, and now I am not making many cards - and definitely not printing toppers from CDs or using the old die-cut sheets (that they still seem to sell on the TV).  I have enough digital images on my computer to keep me going for life anyway!

I have done some crafting this week - two ATCs and a postcard (all for swaps) - but I must get back into actually doing some of the LifeBook 2017 lessons.  I download the videos on a Monday and then the week just disappears!

Ali x

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

WOYWW 406 - hanging stencils

Hello to all my fellow WOYWWers.  I have been absent for a while - getting our cottage ready for the tenants, who moved in on Friday.  The builders need to return there for a few small jobs in the next week or so, and then more substantial work inside and out when the weather improves - but for now I can get back to sorting out our own home and even doing some art/craft.

I have literally nothing on my crafty table right now - so took a photo of my small collection of stencils, which are hung up in one of the old wardrobes in my craft room.  I saw this method of storing them on another blog (sorry, cannot remember which one) - and it really helps to be able to see what I have got, rather than having them piled up in a drawer.

Just to brighten your day here is a photo of my latest display of daffodils in the kitchen.  We are really lucky to have some amazing wild flowers in the hedges outside the farmhouse, and I pick a few regularly.  My favourite flowers.

(ETA - just seen that WOYWW is featured in this magazine - Featuring Magazine Issue 4 - is it worth buying?)

Ali x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

WOYWW 404 - Colour

Morning everyone.  It is actually sunny and dry here at the moment, but rain is forecast to arrive within a few hours.  We could definitely do with some more dry weather.

There isn't anything going on in my craft area right now, as the first picture shows.  Just some scraps of paper used to mop up paint and practice a few techniques, some mini canvases to finish and a slightly larger canvas that will have more of something!

Therefore, I am showing you a bonus picture of a section of my craft room.  Up against my fab green wall you can see the small table that I used to have my sewing machine on, which now has boxes of pens/pencils etc on it.  Then, one of my Ikea Raskog trolleys - with paints/brushes etc, etc.  A wooden 'bedside cabinet' that houses finished cards ready to post out, and then various art supplies on top (including a mixed media piece that needs some time spent on the background).  My bookshelves (Ikea again) have a wide selection of books, plus Tarot cards etc - and a plastic box with my acrylic inks on top, button jar and a lovely canvas of Medina the Lurcher.  So little words to describe a very busy area!

I didn't join in with WOYWW last week due to being very busy with getting one of our properties ready for new tenants.  In Wales landlords need to be registered now, and as I am managing the property myself I also had to do a training course to be licensed.  That is done now and the tenants should be moving in next week.  Still trying to get our builder/electrician/plumber to get the little jobs done - like herding cats!  Yes, I actually do some 'adulting' occasionally !!

Ali x

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WOYWW 402 - more bright colours

I am loving that there is definitely more colour in my life this year.  This week I have created a background for a mixed media piece, which I believe I have to cut into strips next.  I know I keep promising a blog post about more detailed progress in Life Book 2017 so far - but this week I really plan to sit down and get it typed!  Come back and see how the strips are used.

The good old Derwent Inktense Blocks are in use again - along with some Golden acrylic paint, some cheap gesso (must get a better brand, as this one is very watery and doesn't cover much), masking tape etc.

There were 2 layers on the paper - watercolour and then acrylic - and pieces of masking tape were applied first.  I particularly enjoyed getting lots of splatters onto the paper at the end!

It is all dry this morning (photo taken yesterday evening) and I will get it finished later (unless our promised trip up to Cardigan - 1 hour drive each way - to collect our camper van, which has been having some alterations, takes all of my 'spare' energy away!).

If you would like to share a photo of your crafty workspace - come on over to Julia's Stamping Ground.

Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit.

Ali x

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

WOYWW 401 - abstract art

Happy Wednesday Morning to everyone.  I am on here a bit later this week, as I am finally getting some sleep at night now and not so desperate to get out of bed this morning.  After sorting out stuff in the house, having my breakfast, acting as slave to the animals outside and then walking over to our cottage to check that a) the heating was working b) there has been no leaks c) no aliens had moved in (which would have been exciting!), I am having a 'rest' in front of my pc and getting this post published.

For anyone who would like to join in with 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday', go over to Julia's Stamping Ground for the linky thing etc.

I am showing my messy craft desk this week.  It has been like this for a couple of days now - after I excitedly started last week's lesson with Life Book 2017 and then I got too busy to come back to it.

Week 5 was Abstract Art - and so far I have applied 2 layers of Derwent Inktense Blocks and one layer of Liquitex Acrylic Inks.  We had to use our 'word for the year' - and mine is Joy, so I chose some lovely bright colours that remind me of summer.  Acrylic paints come next, so this is a really interesting exercise in using mixed media layers.

Of course, I have been worrying that I am now behind again (I missed a lot of Week 1 too), and so many people are sharing wonderful images of their Week 6 pieces - but I am trying hard to push those thoughts away.  There is no rush.

After getting a cold last week it went to my eyes, and I ended up with Conjunctivitis.  This is clearing up now, but I still get sore eyes particularly at night.  I am really hoping that I am close to full recovery now.  It is our busiest time of year on the farm, with calving started - and hubby is working very long hours.  This puts more pressure on me, with additional errands and the challenge of producing plates of food at strange hours of day/night (the warming drawer was the best thing we had put in our kitchen when we renovated!).  Thankfully we have just booked a week in Spain in October (our first holiday abroad for a few years), so that gives me something to aim for.

Ali x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

WOYWW 400 - ATC production starts again

This is What is On Your Workdesk no.400 (I would be jumping around in celebration if I hadn't caught a cold - only one week after recovering from the flu!).  I haven't been here for all 400 - but it has been a few years on and off that I have been sharing photographs of my craft room on a Wednesday morning.  (ETA - it was WOYWW 143 on 29th February 2012!)

It is early this Wednesday.  The aforementioned cold means that I am sleeping even less than usual.  Looking at it in a positive way, it does mean that I am catching up with all the tv programmes I had recorded.

I am showing the small amount of desk immediately in front of my pc screen this morning, as I am slowly making two ATCs for the monthly swap in the Life Book 2017 community.  (BTW - the 20% off code for joining Life Book has now ended - sorry, I will amend my sidebar today - but it is still incredibly good value for so many fantastic lessons and lots of people are joining, so don't feel it is too late.)  Even my enthusiasm for art/craft has left me, so I am doing simple designs with coloured pencils - but will add some glitter to make them slightly more exciting!  You can also see one of my folders containing ATCs received in past swaps - it is wonderful to look through and remember each theme.

Well, I had better get this published and drink more water (the only way to stop my cough).

Hope you are all feeling better than me.

Ali x

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

WOYWW 399 - bought myself an early birthday present

Happy 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' - find out more and join in at Julia's blog, Stamping Ground.

I am not showing either of my actual tables this week, as they are clear and tidy.  However, I had thought about getting a desk easel for a while now that I am doing more 'arty' stuff.  It is more of a struggle to paint whilst using a flat table.  I walked past our local art shop yesterday (which is for sale - a fantastic opportunity for someone more energetic and knowledgeable than me!!) and there were lots of different easels in the window - all reduced.  So in I went.  I bought this workstation, as it will be useful for lots of different canvases/paper etc.  A couple of Posca pens, a large paintbrush and a paint palette also fell into my bag!  It is my birthday next month - and that is my excuse!

I plan to get it set up later, but got a busy day (and trying to rest more than usual due to a trip to see family tomorrow - my eldest granddaughter's 3rd birthday) so may well run out of play time.

Thank you for all of your lovely comments last week.  I still need to do the blog post showing all of the finished Life Book 2017 pieces so far - soon, I promise.  I have already finished the piece for this week (a quicker bonus lesson to give us all breathing space) - using stick figures to create story boards - "such fun".  The 20% discount code ends at the end of this month, so click on the link in my sidebar and use that code this weekend.  You will love the lessons and the very friendly/supportive community.

Ali x

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

WOYWW 398 - scary eyes

Firstly, if you would like to join in with this weekly tour of crafty workspaces, go to Julia's Stamping Ground for more details and a linky thing.

Secondly, if you are wondering how to fill a few hours each week and would like to learn lots about mixed media/art, then click on the link for Life Book 2017 in my sidebar (yes, the 20% discount is still running too).  I have learnt so much and gained so much confidence already - and we are only on week three!

My messy table is showing signs of real craftiness right now.  In fact, it is exactly as I left it yesterday afternoon - after two sessions of sketching/painting my self portrait I was really tired (mentally and physically), so just downed tools (brushes and palette knife).  Naughty me - the paint will be dried now and the brushes harder to clean, but sometimes I have to think of my health more.  I went downstairs and watched the final two programmes from the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 instead - so very inspiring and educational, as well as resting my body.

Here I am now, fairly early on Wednesday morning (I am getting more general pain throughout my body, which forces me out of bed earlier than I would like, as I get more active again after making a nearly full recovery from the horrible flu), with a messy table and a self portrait with scary green eyes (my eyes are actually blue, and my hair is not blue - but I wanted to relax more and not be so formal with it).  I really need to spend some time on those eyes!

Happy WOYWW to all those that I do not manage to visit this week.

I will be doing a separate blog post about Life Book 2017, so come back to see all of the finished pieces from Weeks One-Three.

Ali x

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WOYWW 397 - a tentative return to crafting

2017 has not been the creative and fun time I hoped it to be when I signed up for Lifebook 2017 (link in my sidebar, if you want to join in with a whole year of fabulous mixed media lessons).  Flu struck our household as the year ended, and we have both been really ill.  Only today (Day 13 for me of symptoms) have I felt able to sit down and do some crafting.

Therefore, my desk shot today shows the Warm Up piece for Week One of Life Book (it will be a while before I catch up).  Well, the first 4 layers are on the paper and now I wait for the rather thick gesso to dry (my heat gun helped, but in the end I decided to step away and get some other stuff done whilst it dries completely).

You can also see my Derwent Inktense Blocks, water pot, brushes etc.

It is wonderful to feel that I am achieving something with my day - rather than just the bare minimum of caring for myself/hubby and animals.

Perhaps Wednesday 11th January can be my own personal New Year!!

If anyone else is suffering with one of these horrible viruses, get well soon.  I know it will be a while before I am back to 'normal'.  Flu is definitely not just a bad cold - and my body has been working hard to fight it.

WOYWW is 'What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday' and more details/link can be found at Julia's Stamping Ground.

Ali x