Thursday, 27 December 2012

WOYWW - Back to Work Blues !

Where did Christmas go ?
One minute it was 5.30am on Saturday morning & I was heading back to Sussex to my family all full of anticipation - and then suddenly it was time to go back to work at half seven this morning !
But I did have a fun weekend with my family & a lovely Christmas Day with Rich's family too !

Just a very short post today - to show you the crafting goodies that Santa brought me - clever of those Elves to know just what I wanted !!
Hope that you enjoyed your Christmas & wishing you all Peace, Good Health & Prosperity for the New Year of 2013 !
See you in the new year xxxx

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Well not much time for crafty things this week - so a rather bare desk !

But amongst the shopping & wrapping I have managed to keep up with my Journal Your Christmas !

It has been a big help to have everything collected together into one Project Box - it has top spot in my new storage unit !

As you can see by Day 18 my box is looking well rummaged !!

And in the background my Christmas CD which keeps me company whilst I am JYC-ing and wrapping presents too !

And I have found some stitched reindeer in Hobbycraft - we are having "Festive Jumper Friday" at work this Friday - wear something Christmassy and make a donation to our local hospice !
One of these chaps will be pinned to my red jacket !

And I picked up the Winter limited addition Promarkers in the sale - really soft pretty colours !
So will be decorating these cut out canvasses for my Journal ..

And here are my JYC pages
Last weeks Scrap Club Christmas get together ...

Our Food Safari  & night out at the Glitter Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
My friend, who invited my colleague & I to the ball, sadly lost her Dad very suddenly on Sunday - so my thoughts & prayers are with her this week.

This was a prompt about the weather this month ...

And pretty Christmassy things ..

Well - wishing you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas - looking forward to seeing all your projects & desks in the New Year !

Have a lovely Christmas !
Ali xx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

WOYWW - JYC So Far !

So hello everyone - hope all those of you who celebrate the season are starting to feel suitably festive !!
The week seems to be careering past at a rate of knots ! (Well the whole year has - so why should I be surprised !!)

So just a short post today as the only crafty project on the go on my desk this week is Journal Your Christmas ! Check out Shimelle Laine's blog for more details of how to join in !

I thought I would show you where I have got to so far !

The pages are a bit plain & functional at the moment, but I have evolved my own little way of keeping up !
As a minimum each day I try to read the prompts - both the Journal Prompt & the In Focus Photography challenge one as well.
I endeavour to type up my thoughts about each day's prompt into a PowerPoint presentation (I use these all the time at work so it's my comfort zone for writing & printing out !) and save them.

Then I try out a few of the photography challenges when I have a camera in my hand & capture Christmas images too - I drop all those photos into the PowerPoint too & size them to what I think will fit nicely onto a page.

When I get a spare hour I print out a few days at a time & get the basics done on each page.

I'll go back at a later date & add embellishments & a bit of Christmas bling for good measure.
But not getting much time off this Christmas plus away for most of that so this may be a bit of a challenge !
After it is all done I bind the pages onto book rings, add festive ribbons & trimmings and pop it somewhere safe for future years of looking back !

Anyway - here are the front cover, welcome page with my 2012 Christmas manifesto & pages 1 to 3

Here we go with the next 4 pages

And the last one's up to the 11th ...

Anyway - that's it from me for this week !
Looking forward to seeing what you are all up to & hope you have a fun Christmas-sy week !

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

WOYWW - Cards & Masks !

Hi hope everyone is well & not too stressed with too many things to cram into life before Christmas !

Just a short post this week as, although I have been busy crafting, I can't show you too much until my Christmas cards are received where they are headed !

So just a few photos to show you all !

 This was me crafting away on Saturday afternoon, Christmas songs CD on the player & making cards for my family & my friends at Scrapclub !

This is my desk now - with a whole flurry of card stuff still under way & the new masks that arrived from Stamps Away today ...

 These cards for for my nephews - cute découpage & papers free with a card making magazine !

And my new masks - I love poppies as you may know - so that one was irresistible -
! Loved the leaf border too & think that will be great for garden & nature type scrapbook layouts as it is 12" long.
On the left are the new aperture masks for inking frames and things - these will need to be played with - they looked good when demo-ed on the telly though !

To get you in the Christmas spirit - here is a house in the next village who go mad for the festive lights - raising money for charity - by the way that's Welsh for Merry Christmas written in lights over on the right !

And I couldn't resist showing you the photos I took of these teasels on a misty freezing morning on Sunday !

Have a great week & look forward to seeing you work desks this week !
Ali x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

WOYWW - It's Starting to Feel A lot Like Christmas ....

Hi fellow WOYWW's - hope all well with you this week !
Last weekend I had a "home alone" weekend as his nibs went to footie in Manchester on Saturday & then at Swansea on Sunday (didn't even come home in between !!) - I was very much surplus to requirements !
So I made a determined assault on Christmas !
Saturday was Christmas shopping - hardly found anything I wanted in the shops in Carmarthen & ended up soaked & fed up after 3 hours trudging from shop to shop in the rain!
So I headed home & did an Amazon order online instead !
I tried on posh frocks for a Ball I have in London next month - nothing within my budget looked right and I wasn't going to pay out a fortune for something I would only ever wear for a few hours ! So looks like I am rummaging at the back of the wardrobe to recycle an old frock !!
Anyway once home I wrapped up all the presents I have bought so far & wrote 30 cards.
I am ashamed to admit to all you card-makers out there that they are bought ones not hand made ! But they are to support the Meniere's Society and as my DH suffers from Meniere's Disease, I have placated myself with that thought !
Then I tackled some Christmas crafting - so on my desk this week you can see a few bits & bobs .. this is my Project Box all ready to start this year's Journal Your Christmas - which is the daily journal project that runs from December 1st until 12th Night on Shimelle Laine's website.

This is my 5th year (you pay once & then are joined up for life!) and experience has taught me to be organised in order to keep up making a page every day in what is usually a busy month !
So I set up a temporary craft table in front of the telly in the lounge & watched slushy Christmas films whilst I made my covers  & cut all my pages to size ready - I like to work on an 8"x 8" sized page as I find this just right for the photos & journalling I like to include.
This is my front cover - I love the whole Nordic/ Scandinavian Christmas that is everywhere this year - but it doesn't suit any other decorations I have for the house - so I am going to enjoy it in my journal instead !
This is mount board (cadged as a freebie from the framing shop !) wrapped in one of the papers I have chosen. I am using (Papermania's "Home For Christmas" collection and the tag is what I made at the "let's get inky" night at our Scrapbook club last week - the tree stamp matches the papers.

Thought you might like to see what a work-desk can look like when 6 girls get inky !
So here's us in action ..

We all agreed it was a great fun night & declared we must have play-dates more often !!
And yes we did clear all that mess up !!

The final bit of Christmas on my desk is my last "Book of Days" page for the year - a Christmas-y December page - and Nordic again - can you tell I like the look - with wrapping paper & a scrap strip of scrapbook paper too !!
I have enjoyed doing the Book of Days this year - and have written one of those 2" squares each & every day ! But I don't think I shall do it next year as it's been a big project - I might have a go at a Smash Book or just do more art journalling & normal scrapbooking -or some of all three !
But I am glad I have done it & that in years to come I'll have a day by day snapshot of my life in 2012 to look back on !

Anyway enough of my ramblings - several of you asked me last week what the tag on the Friendship Bag that my friend Lynda gave me for my birthday said - so I have tried a close up - hope it's a bit more readable !

Hope you all have a good week - and have avoided the floods that are taking their toll across the UK in the past week !
Looking forward to seeing what you have all been up to !
Take care Ali xx

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

WOYWW - Art Deco Cards

Hi there - hope everyone is keeping the flu bugs & tummy bugs at bay ?
Both are doing the rounds here in West Wales - not hit us yet - keeping fingers & toes crossed we dodge them both !

The trusty Work-Desk is relatively under control this week, as I had a good tidy up at the weekend. Well if I can see the middle of the desk I count that as tidied !
I sort of tune out the clutter across the back !!

So on my desk this week is a half finished journal page - I saw this image & couldn't get the first line of this poem out of my head - Lord knows how long that has been filed in the depths of my brain - since school - so that is over 30 years !!
Anyway it kept sneaking into my conciousness when my concentration lapsed on something else - so I had to give in & look up the poem !!
It obviously wanted to make it into my journal - so I am using the first stanza - but this is all I have managed on the page so far !

I also have a Christmas card I am part way through making .... I'm not really a card maker as you may know, so am struggling to think how it will go together & how to Christmas it up ! Think I just need to sit & play around a bit !

Most of my limited crafting time last weekend was spent finishing off my Art Deco decoupage cards - they are A5 which is huge compared to what I have made before !!
So it was a bit of a leap of faith to put them together !
The images were big to start with - and a frenzy of matting later they were even bigger !!

Also on my desk I have a Friendship bag which my friend Lynda gave me for my birthday - it was so cute & I appreciated the thoughts behind it so much, I have kept it on my desk but I thought that the sweetie was likely to go sticky & spoil everything else - so I thought I better eat that bit !

And here on the floor by my desk are my bags packed to take to Scrap Club tomorrow night - we are doing inky techniques onto tags - which should be some good messy fun !!

Hope you all have a fun crafty week & looking forward to seeing what you are all up to !!
Ali xx

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

WOYWW - Gorgeous Goodies !

Well last week was the big Hobbycrafts show at the NEC in Birmingham - and on Saturday I took 3 other friends from our little Scrapbook Club up there for a fun day's shopping !
It was a long day - 2 3/4 hours driving each way & 5 hours walking around the show - so I was pretty shattered by the evening - but I found some really lovely goodies so it felt all worth while !

So here on my desk are some of my new playthings !

There are some stunning masks & stencils available now - and I have found some great Autumn & Winter themed ones & I am looking forward to working on some scrap pages, art journal pages and cards with these over the next few months ...

As you may know I have a passion for stamps !
And the stalls had such an array of great stamps to choose from .. I have a cute one from Little Clare with owls on a tree, some nature & art journal ones from Inkylicious - do check them out - they offer some lovely stamps ..

And a couple from new designers - a new young designer called Chloe who has only just finished school but now has her own business ( & Jo Firth Young at Paperartsy - I have met Jo at various Artsycrafty weekends & she is a lovely lady ..

I also love Lavinia Stamps I mainly have her nature stamps but she was the first to offer fairy silhouettes - and although many have copied her - I believe Tracy's are still the original & the best !

So I succumbed to a fairy stamp and had a little play !

We had a gorgeous crisp, cold, azure-skied winter's day here on Sunday.
As we drove in the early morning light, to go to the swimming pool, we went through the forest.
The morning mist was rising wraith like from the damp ground & over the river valley and the sun was slanting through the russet trees making the glowing leaves come alive with Autumn fire - it was one of those "great to be alive moments" & I really wanted to share a couple of my photos with you !

I hope your week brings you a "good to be alive moment" - it may just be a moment but do take the time to savour it - I find it feeds the soul ! have a great week ! Ali x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

WOYWW - Art Deco & Club Projects

Hi hope everyone is well ?

For those of us in the Northern half of the world the dark nights are totally upon us - it's virtually dark by 4pm on wet days - oh and boy did it pour all weekend !
Never mind it was nice just to huddled up in the house  !
On Saturday I had a lovely quite afternoon with my new crafty goodies whilst DH was off watching football in the lashing rain & with hail stones thrown in !

Then on Sunday we were happy "cwtch up" (as they say here in Wales !!) together & watch the episode of Strictly Come dancing we had recorded - whilst the rain pounded on the windows !

On my desk this week are a mixture of things - from projects ready to take to Scrap Club tomorrow night to some new extra long plates from my Cuttlebug & some leafy dies ..

I have bought some 13" plates & some long dies - they are Sizzix & I am trying to get them to cut through my Bug - I am not getting a great cut - so I think I need to play with some shamming layers - any advice very welcome !!

 We are having a challenge night at Club - we are all bringing along something that we think the rest of the group would enjoy doing - and we hope to plan the projects all we fancy doing in for the meetings to come next year.

My first idea are to scrap "My Life Right Now" - we often scrap our holidays, big events & our friends & families - but I think in years to come it will be fascinating to look back on the everyday things - our handbags, our shampoo, our lunch, our favourite TV programme, the book we are reading - in fact just snippets of our daily lives - I hope to do one each year & it will be fun to compare them !!

Then I have a couple of ideas for mini tag books - I have played with making one from a single 12"x 12" sheet of paper - but it was a bit small - so I messed about with one from made from 2 sheets.  Lets see if the rest of the girls fancy my ideas !!

This week I have delved back into my Wellington Bear card making stash & whipped up a card for my nephew ...

And last but not least I have been layering up the decoupage pieces from the new Art Deco Docrafts kit I bought on Saturday (went in for Nordic Christmas stash but got lured in my this !!) - I'm not sure if my card making skills are up to using these - but I am taking the kit to Club tomorrow in the hope of some advice ! So any tips or ideas you have for me would be much appreciated !!

Take care & have a great crafty week - hope I may see some of you at the NEC Hobbycrafts show on Saturday ?

Ali xx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

WOYWW - The Dark Side ...

Hi hope you WOYWW's are all well ?
Just a few art journalling things going on on the desk this week - not much time for anything else what with work & an Amy MacDonald concert in Cardiff on Sunday !

The only thing other than journalling is some poppy stamping I am preparing to decorate the November page of my Book of  Days - to commemorate Remembrance day ..

I have just finished a page to enter in the House of Bears literature inspired challenge- this month is inspired by Dracula - with the challenge of using red and or bats !

I blended this red colour to match a leaf from my acer tree ... and the page is about why these spooky stories appeal to our Dark Side ....

Those of you who have visited me before may know that my lovely husband has a number of serious health problems - and last week, having been experiencing shortness of breath, he has been having tests .. the doctor now wants to send him for more tests in case he has a heart murmur ...

I am so sorry for him - with the possibility of yet another health issue to deal with ... as I was lying awake worrying about it all - this phrase came into my mind & I felt the need to create a page ...

It's a bit personal but I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you ?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WOYWW - From My Autumn Painty Playdate !

Very late posting this week - have just got back from the big Food Trade Fair in Paris - so more than a bit weary !

On my work-desk this week is the start of an altered book cum journal - its going to be about how I feel about Autumn.

Last Saturday, whilst the menfolk were off watching "The Swans" play football, my friend Lynda & I had a lovely afternoon getting all messy & painty - I recently suggested she try art journalling & now she seems to be really enjoying it - and has created some lovely pages already !

We decided to have a go at altering books - so raided the Charity shops in Carmarthen and found some suitable candidates !

We camped out in the conservatory - great light to work in ! And moved down my stash of paints so we could choose what we wanted to create with

Then we set to .. getting creative & messy in equal part ! Here's Lynda  working on her journal ...

And me gesso-ing over a page in my book .. I had started at one end but then we decided the book would work much better upside-down - so I had to gesso it all out again !

My book started as a child's jigsaw board book ...
and got a good smothering of gesso and I discovered a new textured effect completely by accident - as I was gesso-ing the later pages the initial ones were sticking together.

When I pulled them apart they left an amazing crackled textured effect - it wasn't planned but it looked really good !

So I went with it and it will get incorporated it into the look of the book !

So next it working up each page with colours & images ... hopefully not quite so messy !!

Anyway - have a brilliant crafty week ! Ali x