Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Long Time No Post !

Well I am almost shamefaced to be coming back to my poor neglected blog after so many months away !
The neglect started when I had been suffering from trigger finger in the little fingers of both hands which made any sort of gripping painful & a struggle in fact - so with everyday tasks a struggle, crafting was pretty impossible !

So I stepped away from my craft desk for a several months.
Meanwhile injections in both hands have helped significantly and I am a lot better now - but I can feel the underlying aching hovering if I overdo things with my hands - lifting, gardening etc - so I am pacing myself !

So not much to share from the past few weeks -I have just been making a few birthday cards as they are needed !
But the one thing that I have had great fun with is making hand made journals.
Back in April Lynda & I saw a great selection of Journals on a craft stall in the street market in Wilmslow.
I bought one & saw that it was made with papers from an online shop called Ephemera's Vintage Garden, so I bought & downloaded these amazing papers and with lots of help from Lynda we set about making journals.
We had such great fun & I was really happy with how it turned out !
But it was almost so pretty I couldn't think what to do with it - but at the weekend I found a Vintage Junk Journal group on Facebook who are holding a 30 Days of Gratitude challenge - it seemed a lovely idea for my Journal - so here I am at Day 3.

Hoping life is treating you all well & looking forward to catching up with you all soon.
Have a great crafty week
Ali xxx

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

WOYWW - Happy Easter !

Hi wishing you all a Happy Easter !
Just a few Easter cards and a Journal page on my desk this week

I have been having a bit of a ongoing problem with pain in my hands and so action at my work-desk has been limited, as my ability to grip & my dexterity has been something of a problem !

So as the cards had to be easy to put together, toppers from Hobbycraft were pressed into service !

Along with some wooden bunnies,eggs & lambs with ribbons and papers from the Country Crafts collection.

These lambs remind me of the ones we see in the fields around us here in West Wales !

This card isn't very Easter themed but I made it for my friend Helen, who has just opened a cake making & baking shop - so when I saw these papers they just demanded to be made into a card for her !

And finally I made a page for my Wanderlust Book - this challenge was "What I See When I Look In The Mirror" - which is an older, wrinklier, if wiser & slimmer - version of the women I think I am in my head !!  Time wreaking its inevitable havoc !

Wishing you all a lovely Easter ! Ali xx

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

WOYWW - History & Literature !

Another weekend away visiting my MIL in Hampshire means that not much action has occurred on my trusty workdesk in the past few days !

Today I have made a tentative start on my Easter cards.
I know some of you are already well into making your Christmas cards for 2016 - but I am really rather fond of making Easter cards !
 I have bought some of the new Country Life papers from Docrafts - not specifically meant for Easter but the bright & breezy colours attracted me in !!

I have a couple of freebies- a peacock die & "homemade/ handmade" stamps - from magazines - and a stencil that called out to fall into my basket a few weeks ago - with all the rain we get in Wales I can imagine it getting good use !

 Last weekend we enjoyed our trip to Hampshire - we visited Jane Austen's House where she wrote most of her later novels.
It was very easy to imagine her sitting writing at her little wooden table or sitting reading, stitching or playing her piano - keeping company with her sister & mother.

The house was cosy & homely but bigger than I had expected with a separate kitchen & bakehouse - also used for the washing & preparing pork from the pigs they kept in the extensive gardens.

 We have grown very fond of Winchester since my MIL moved to Hampshire in December-a great mix of history - here you can see us visiting the Great Hall - used by the Kings of England when Winchester was the Capital City in the Dark Ages - and excellent modern day shops too !!.

The Round Table is hung here as the city is associated as being the capital of the legendary King Arthur & his court.

Enjoy a crafty week !
Ali x

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

WOYWW - Scrappy Catch Up

A combination of events conspired to keep my crafting time limited this past weekend.
So not much on my desk this week !

The weather on Saturday was bright & sunny so I got to spend a couple of hours tidying up in the garden. 

 Sunday being Mother's Day, we headed a couple of hours up the M4 to near Marlborough where we had arranged to meet up with Much Beloved's Mum, Sister and her family - this being sort of mid-way between our two homes !
We had a really delicious & convivial lunch !

So crafting this week was limited to working on some of the layouts of photos from my trip to Tokyo.

As the point of the trip was trying all the different food, I suppose I shouldn't have been so surprised that the layouts are pretty dominated by all sorts of meals, ingredients & foods !!

The layouts are started but need some of the bits & bobs of ephemera added to finsih them off.

Hope you all have a fun crafty week
Ali xxx

Monday, 29 February 2016

WOYWW - A Blogless Month !

Just when you thought I had disappeared off the face of the Earth, here I am back like a bad penny !
The past month has been something of a whirl with lots of travelling for work & a weekend away too. It seems I have been away from home every Wednesday for the last month - and hence no report from my trusty work-desk. Even this week I am blogging early as I will be back in Dublin on Wednesday !

So a bit about my travels !
Earlier in the month, I had to go to Girona in Northern Spain to review some machinery - that bit was interesting if not glamorous ! - but we did get to walk around in the evening we were there and it was a most beautiful, atmospheric ancient city. 

And the views over the Pyrenees were gorgeous !

Much Beloved & I went up to Hampshire to see his Mum and had a lovely weekend - despite the endless mizzling rain - and took in a local National Trust House - with beautiful swathes of snowdrops in the grounds - and had a lovely meal out at a local pub.
Last week I was away on business, first at a packaging exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham - not as much fun as as Hobbycrafts of course !          Then onto Llandudno for a Welsh Government "Food For the Future" conference where we had a number of interesting speakers.                           And onto Nottingham for a meeting on Friday .... it was good to get home Friday night !
I did get to keep up with my Art Journalling for Wanderlust we have had two challenges ..
One was "Fill Your Page With Writing" ...
And one about "Your Bravest Moment" - but I don't think I am a brave person - so I did my page pondering on whether I could be brave if I needed to be !

For Journal 52 we had "Journal About What you Love Most" ...
"What Your heart Know Rather Than Your Head" 
 And this week was "One Of Your Pet Hates"

And I made my Mum a card for Mother's Day on Sunday too .. these are using the new Kay Carley stamps from Paperartsy - with a couple of their stencils in the background. 
The agapanthus & cosmos stamps are gorgeous !

Hope everyone is enjoying life ! 
Have a great crafty week !
Ali xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

WOYWW - From Sashimi & Shrines to Acrobatics !

I have been missing from the Blogasphere for a few weeks as my work has been taking me on a few travels !

Dublin overnight for a training course, then a very memorable trip to Tokyo !

Given it was a 12 hour flight there & 13 hours back, it was a lot of travelling for 4 days there but we packed a lot in !

The purpose of the trip included eating & seeing lots of the unique foods of Japan - and I got to try lots of amazing new dishes & flavours !

The perks of working in the food industry !

And I managed to squeeze in a couple of cultural sights too - a Buddhist Temple & Shinto Shrine.
It was all so very different & fascinating !

Back home & refusing to give in to jetlag, we set back off for London to The Royal Albert Hall to see Cirque Du Soleil - what an amazing show !

The acrobatic acts, the costumes & lighting were all brilliant and absorbed our attention so that the evening just  flew by !
As did the acrobats !

So It was Sunday before I got to play in my Journal - I am trying to do Journal 52 this year.
Here are the past 3 weeks challenges

This was week 3 - done before I went away.
Iin the week that he passed away, we were challenged to create a page inspired by David Bowie's lyrics.

Week 4 was inspired by the Full Moon.

This image came into my head on the long flight home - I was in Tokyo for the full moon - so this image of a shrine against the full moon seemed apt !
And I created a little verse to go with it ...

And week 5 was Monochrome and it seemed a good way to express how I feel about the long grey winter !

On my desk this week are a mountain of photos printed & ready for a scrapathon of my Tokyo trip !

Have a great crafty week !
Ali x

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

WOYWW - From Scrapheap to Scrapped !

Hi !
This past Sunday - as the 63rd consecutive day of rain did it's worst outside - I had a mad urge to gather up photos & mementoes I had  abandoned after printing them out 9 YEARS AGO and scrap them !

Where did that come from ?
The rain must be driving us all batty !
Anyway in 2007 my sister turned 40 and I took her on a surprise weekend to Barcelona with our Mum & my sister's own sister in law.

She didn't know we were going abroad until we got the airport as I had smuggled her passport out of her house !

Anyway we had a fabulous weekend jam-packed with sightseeing, great food and invented a new catchphrase - "Drink girls ? Mines a Cava !"

At the time we got back, I was in temporary digs having sold one house but not found another & in the turmoil I lost the original photos and only had some printed out on ordinary paper - so never really got around to scrapping them.

Last week I found the Gaudi themed book I had bought on our trip, the mementoes & just sort of plunged in !

The quality of the photos isn't great - but the memories were precious & so enjoyable to revisit what fun we had !

Mind you it was a bit of a shock how young we all look !!

As I mentioned last week I am also doing the Wanderlust mixed media course - I "lifted" the ticket they emailed us as our confirmation of payment on the course and used it here on my title page.

The first journal page is on the theme what word describes you right now - my mood is "open" - open to new experiences & opportunities - so that's the theme for my page.

I also did a quick page of this weeks Journal 52 - well it never did stop raining !
The challenge this week was "What are you saying "yes" to right now".
I needed all these bright colours to banish the rain-soaked blues !

Have a great crafty week !
Ali x