Wednesday, 6 December 2017

WOYWW 444 - more time needed

Happy WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday) to you all.  This will be my last before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you all too.

Go to Julia's Stamping Ground to join in with this weekly global tour.

I have posted my pile of cards (all either from charities or an independent artist - the first year that I have not made any cards).  Just got the ones to hand out locally - and I have promised myself that I will make one for hubby.  Presents are either waiting to be wrapped or I am still waiting for delivery.  Most of the pile in our spare room need to be sent with a courier, so that job awaits before the weekend.  Also got to get the tree/decorations up before we depart for Spain early next week, as we return just before Christmas, and I know that I will not have the strength to start battling with lights/tinsel etc then!

My crafty table shows an assortment of things - some of which is crafty. 


The lovely fabric case is for my new Kindle (so I can read in the Spanish sunshine).  Bought it from an Etsy shop, who made it up really quickly for me (as I had left it late to order, as usual) - and it turns out she is from Carmarthen, so not far from me in terms of the Etsy World. 

There are two snowman ATCs - created for the Facebook swap group I am in. 

A piece of card that I tried putting through my little embossing machine with a very thin embossing die - just about worked, and was clearer once I tried rubbing my new Gelatos over it, but then I decided to try the DecoArt Glamour Dust paint over it, and that just merged with the Gelato.  A lovely sparkly piece of card, but you can't see the embossing very well. 

A wooden butterfly that I bought from our local 'Catalogue Shop' for a bargain price (love that place).  It is going to be thoroughly decorated on both sides, but so far I have used some chalk paint.

Behind are the remaining figures from the M&S Advent Calendar I bought for myself.  I had to colour in and construct it myself - and these are spare figures to add detail to it.  I will be cutting out/colouring some more, hopefully before the 24th.

The green card is another piece of embossing practice.  It has a Christmas Tree design on it, and I will try to incorporate it into a card for hubby.

I hope that everyone is well and not buried under festive crafting.

I might blog whilst in Spain, so keep an eye out for photos of blue skies and glorious scenery!

Ali x

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

WOYWW 443 - marbling and a different style for me

It is another early morning start for me today on this dark and cold Wednesday morning.  I went to the latest fortnightly workshop held by the Cheerful Project yesterday afternoon, and stupidly got carried away by the sheer enjoyment of trying out a new technique (marbling) and also by the unexpected large number of people who turned up for it (which was wonderful to see, but took the organisers by surprise, so I got stuck in with helping to keep everything tidy/assisting others/clearing up afterwards etc).  I was on my feet for nearly 3 hours, which was far too long for me.  By the evening I was in a lot of pain and extremely tired, so had an early night with a heat pad, which of course meant that I was awake early this morning (Restless Legs and then leg pain took over).  A quiet day and much pampering/distraction will be needed, so I can get to my Spanish evening class later.

However, enough over-sharing of my annoying health, and here is my crafty work table this morning.  The papers and pot that I 'marbled' (not sure if that is a word?!) - now thoroughly addicted, and going to buy the necessary things missing from my craft room to try it out here. 

A very fancy card that I made in a craft workshop on Saturday.  This was advertised as 'Sue Wilson style' - and is a style that I have not tried for many a year, ie ornate dies/flowers etc etc.  It was a very enjoyable workshop and the card I made is gorgeous, but I won't be rushing to buy lots of dies.  I did get a sneak peak of the card being made in the next workshop - and it involved the new Steam Punk dies, particularly the butterfly/dragonfly combo.  These I did love and bought a set (they were on sale, so would have been rude not to!).

Go and visit Julia's Stamping Ground if you would like to join in with the weekly tour of Craft Land.


Followed by close ups of the pot and papers.  I need to varnish the pot, plus paint inside and do a metallic rim on it.  The papers will be used in some journaling projects.



Apologies for the picture-heavy post - these are close ups of the card and all its fancyness.





Wednesday, 22 November 2017

WOYWW 442 - a too early start and a cleanish craft table

Morning to you all.  I am up far too early.  Even after having a late night (practising Spanish), I struggled to get to sleep last night and I knew that this would mean that I would be awake early too.  My rib pain was troubling me and also that annoying tickly cough which often affects me when I least need it (I also have trouble with choking/swallowing, which is another Fibromyalgia symptom).

After persuading the dog that he would love to leave his cosy bed and go outside in the rain/gale to go to toilet, I am back in my craft room (and Buzz is back in his bed until at least 9 am) and a photo has been taken of my craft table.


Doesn't seem that there is a lot going on, but those new brushes that I chucked into my trolley when I visited our new Lidl store last week will soon be slapping paint onto canvases/journal pages (well, when I have the energy and inclination), the rocks from Newgale beach (well, the carpark - thrown there by a storm!) will be decorated some how and returned to somewhere in Pembrokeshire for other people to discover and re-hide, the paper stars were cut from random scraps of paper with the new punch I also got in Lidl - and the Sketchbook is there because I need to have it completed and sent back to Brooklyn by March (and I haven't started it yet - and there are 30 pages !!!).

My craft table really is a snapshot of my life - and that is just part of it.  I obviously like to have loads of projects on the go.  Probably part of needing to be distracted from my chronic pain.

If you would like to know more about The Sketchbook Project, click HERE.

If you would also like to show off what is on your crafty workspace, go and visit Julia at her Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Messy crafting - and why I struggle with it; especially gilding flakes

Read my blog post from yesterday to see the Christmas card that I finished.  There was some messy crafting involved with that - heat embossing, glue, very sticky double-sided tape ...  However, I can just about cope with that.  I can also generally cope with other mixed media projects that involve paint, pencils, pens etc.

HOWEVER, I do have a real issue with more messy stuff.  Think of spray inks (which I always regret using - they look fantastic on other people's projects, but when I attempt to use them, I always regret it as it goes everywhere), glitter (I will try to get sparkle into my projects by using metallic paints, glitter pens etc) and my worst enemy - gilding flakes!

(Just sitting there looking very beautiful and innocent.)

Why am I attempting to decorate a bauble with gilding flakes then, you may ask?  I am asking myself that very same question right now, as the bauble sits in a plastic box with gilding flakes seeming to adhere themselves to every surface apart from the sticky bauble.  I have the specialist glue (from Cosmic Shimmer), I left it to dry for AGES, but still the flakes seem to be combining with the glue and then going into clumps.  I left it to dry for a lot longer, but when trying to carefully remove excess flakes with a sponge, there are still areas of wet glue.  I even had a mad moment and thought that using my heat tool would help to dry it!!!  Obviously I managed to rein myself in before actually turning the tool on and decorating my whole craft room with flakes!

Currently the bauble is sitting in the plastic box with areas of still-wet glue (been nearly 45 minutes now), and I will tackle it again later.



I need to watch some YouTube videos and see where I am going wrong.  I have seen using double-sided tape being mentioned - and that would make a lovely striped background.  I have also seen using stamps being mentioned - but that you need to very thoroughly wash your stamps afterwards.  I think that may be something I should avoid?!

Digital crafting is looking very attractive to me right now, so I will design some more digital scrapbooking pages for a photo book that I am putting together for family this Christmas - and then I will return to the messy crafting for one last attempt to make a reasonably attractive bauble (by the way - I put some of the lights that I bought in Lidl inside it, and of course I cannot get them back out again, so that is why they are also getting covered in flakes).

Wish me luck!

Ali x

ps  If anyone can offer any tips, please comment below.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A Christmas Card - and a renewed love for peel-off stickers

Yes,  I have made a Christmas card!  I wasn't sure if I was going to make any this year (I have really slowed down on cardmaking in general for the past 2 years), but started to make one (with a decorated bauble too - which I will get finished and blog about separately) at a craft workshop yesterday.  It is a beautiful design, so I sat down this afternoon (after getting distracted by Spanish videos on YouTube) and got it finished off in my own way.

Here it is.




A square of background paper was stuck onto a card base.  The wording was diecut from silver card and stuck on.  The snowflakes in the centre were made by using Iridescent Shimmering Watercolour Paints from Creative Expressions on watercolour paper.  We then used a die to cut out the snowflakes and then they were heat embossed to make them shiny.  An acetate sleeve was added to the card blank and the snowflakes/pearl stuck to the outside.  You could make lots of cards using these methods - perhaps a Christmas tree in the centre, stamp/heat emboss on the acetate with a plain background card?

 I used some peel-off stickers for the inside message and decoration, and also a snowflake on the back of the card.  A new larger Lidl store opened in our local town this week, Haverfordwest, and I was excited to find a good range of crafty stash.  Here are the peel-off stickers that I bought - there were different packs available - and also some of the other items that fell into my trolley!


(The lights are going to go in the bauble, if they fit.)

I will actually attempt to enter some challenges (which is why I started this blog, but haven't done any challenges for years).

CHNC Challenge #360 - Anything Goes Christmas (optional theme of Blue - which I didn't use this time).

CHN Patterned Paper Challenge November - Anything Goes Patterned Paper.

Crafting With Friends #55 - Anything Goes


Thanks for reading this.

I will blog again once I have finished the decorated bauble - I need to attempt to use gilding flakes on it (wish me luck!).

Ali x


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WOYWW 441 - Crafty Workshops

Happy Wednesday to you all.  If you would like to join in with the global tour around crafty workspaces, go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

I have been busy again going to craft workshops.  The craft/stationery shop in Haverfordwest (SET Crafts) holds regular workshops - lots of different lovely tutors.  I have particularly enjoyed the recent mixed media ones.  Last week we made a dragonfly-theme tag.  I need to do some more work to it (the seed beads clumped together and need to be 'thinned out' and there is  more colour/ribbon to add).  Here it is - with the butterfly tag that we made with the same tutor a couple of months ago.



A lot of the wonderful shine came from using these paints, so I was forced to buy a set!  Look at those colours.  There were several sets to choose from - and it was difficult to choose just one.


Then, yesterday I went along to a fortnightly workshop (they do something different each time) that is hosted by a charity (they have 3 years of funding to introduce crafts to this county) called the Cheerful Project.  I went to one of their summer workshops where we did sketching outdoors at a National Trust property (here is the blog post).  Unfortunately I have missed the others since (either my health or travelling), so was excited to go along yesterday afternoon (and have signed up for the next one, which is marbelling).  We made Mexican Shrines from tomato puree tubes.  Here is mine.


(We made a box from card and taped it to the back and then cut out the window, and I put doors on mine on.  I lined my box with glitter.  Going to stick in a photo of one/all of my most recently 'passed' pets when the glitter is properly dry.  The decoration on the metal was made with a metal skewer and embossing with a pencil.  The colour was added with Sharpies.)

Here are all the wonderful creations - so different.  I am going to make some more - different sizes and shapes - and perhaps a Christmas-theme one.


I have signed up for another papercrafting workshop at our local shop on Friday (Christmas bauble and matching card), a sewing workshop at another new local workshop venue on Monday (Christmas bunting) and then another papercraft one later in the month.  I have seen many more advertised, but finances/time/energy do not allow me to try them all.  After years of no workshops locally, now there are too many for me to attend!

I had better get back to revising for the test in my Spanish evening class later.

Ali x

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WOYWW 440 - art journaling

Happy Wednesday to everyone.  If you would like to join in with this weekly tour around craft workspaces, go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

 My life has been taken over by learning Spanish lately (very addictive), so I haven't been doing a lot of crafting.  However, I have been working through some art journaling lessons provided by Marieke Blokland.  Click HERE to get the free e-course.

Here are a couple of pages that I am adding layers to.




Otherwise, life has been busy with travelling to visit family last weekend, starting to look for a property to buy in Spain and generally making sure that I get the rest/quiet time that I need.