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.

Will do a regular update - and would love to have other people journal-along with me.  Get in touch if you would like - I can do a Facebook group if there are a few of us.  (BTW - if you are reading this blog post at a later date, then the fact that this is 11th April shows that you do not need a 'special' date to start journaling.  JUST START - and comment how you are getting on.)

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