Tuesday, 31 July 2012

WOYWW - Family Outings !

Hi There - hope you are well & enjoying a crafty week !

Not much crafty action happening with me this past week as my Mum, Dad & Auntie have been staying for a long weekend & just headed back to England today.
We have been living in Wales for 5 years & although Mum & Dad have come twice a year since then, this is the very first time that we have any decent good weather !
Despite a dreary forecast, it all turned out quite sunny & I hope they had a good time exploring the area !

So on my desk today is a map of Picton Castle where we had a lovely day on Saturday.
It is a privately owned stately home & we had a great time exploring the fabulous woodland walks & the beautifully restored walled garden - then a tour of the house & a tasty Tapas lunch in the courtyard.

I have got some great photos - so this map is waiting to be scrapped with those !

I also bought a watercolour card of the courtyard - I am trying to study pictures I like & see how the artist has worked on them and to see what I can learn & practice to build some skills !

On the left is the newsletter from Alpaca Annie at Haguelands in Kent - where I have adopted an adorable Alpaca called Dana - Dana has just had a new "cria" (that's a baby Alpaca !) - so I'm sort an Auntie again ! Visit http://www.alpacaannie.com/Alpaca.aspx for more info ! Here's Penny - my new niece !!!

In the centre of the desk is my ideas pot for Jan & my monthly challenge - with August arrived we will each be pulling out a challenge topic & we will combine these for our challenge to work on during August - as Jan has family to stay & I am away for a week this month we probably need all month to work on it !

Anyway have a lovely crafty week !
Ali x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

WOYWW - Cards & Retail Therapy !

Hi Hope everyone is enjoying having a good old nosey about the work-desks this week !
On my desk you'll see a mixture of crafty activity & some "cheer me up" retail therapy which I succumbed to in last weeks downpours !

On my desk I have couple of new embossing folders - saw a lady on TV doing sanded embossing onto Cordinations card & it looked great - so keen to have a try with these !

Also a card just finished to send off to my Sister for her birthday on Monday - she has had a horrid time at work with the nursery she helped set up for little ones of 2 years old being closed down by their new headmistress & she'll be loosing loads of working hours per week when they go back after the school holidays.
It's all been very sad for her so deserves being pampered so hence the Hot Diggerdy Dog Bubble Bath theme !

Also whilst I do really like arty & distressed & shabby chic style projects - I am also a terrible soft touch for cute ! Couldn't resist this Boofle stuff - need to work out how to make cards with it all now ! All suggestions & ideas welcome !!
And last but not least I was lured by all the Art Journalling blogs raving about them, to "invest" in some of the Dylusions Inks - the colours are so vibrant - really looking forward to creating with them ! I had the Lime one & got lured by the others !!
Does anyone have any tips on just spraying what I want & not everywhere else on the project (and on me !!!) ? Does it work if you squirt some out onto a tile or some such & apply with a brush ?

Told you I'd been a bad girl on the shopping front !

Well, the sun FINALLY shone in Wales this week - just have all my fingers & toes crossed it stays warm for when my Mum & Dad & Auntie come to stay on Thursday !!

Have a great crafty week !

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Love Shack Challenge (PS Can it be Blue Sky ?)

Now don't faint with shock but we have actually had a sunny day - had to blog this photo just to remind myself in future weeks when the rain is hammering down again !

This post is really about finishing my challenge project - Jan & I pulled out 2 ideas from our respective "ideas pots" & we have to incorporate these to form our little Anglo-Spanish challenge - this first time it was a combo of "use an embossing folder" & "inspired by a song" - so my effort is inspired by "Love Shack" by favourite sing along when no-one can hear me - very helpful therapy after a day being wound up at work !
The main body of the house is made from two pieces cut down from a hearts embossing folder run through my Cuttlebug, I have layered this using foam pads & cut a door in the front panel so you can peek inside. The roof is an upsidedown die cut heart, run through in a script folder - and the pole of the sign is an off cut of this. The cloud was done by free hand cutting a cloud mask & then inking around it - have seen this done at the Craft Shows by not tried it before ! The pieces are Distress Inked using a paint brush & a bit of stamping to finish it off !

Also did my August pages for my Book Of Days this morning - have family coming next weekend so knew I needed to get ahead !

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

WOYWW - Will it EVER stop raining ?

Hi There - tonight it is mid-July - supposedly Mid-Summer in Wales & the foggy rain is so thick I can't even clearly see the house straight across the street !!!
So here we are zooming downhill towards winter & no hint of summer !! Grr !!!
Oh well, the only upside is some creative activities from being forced to stay indoors !!
This is more "what's on my work floor" than my desk ! We are frantically trying to get Rich's Mum's 80th birthday surprise scrapbook finished - so we have a mixture of finished &  not even started pages laid out all over the study floor !
Rich has sorted out stacks of photos into themes & we are attacking each layout one by one !!
It all seemed a great idea in January - now with a month to go we are feeling the stress !!
Hope she will like it !
In between scrapping on Sunday we made Lime marmalade !
Our friend Jan in Spain gave us a jar of hers when we were out there & Rich loved it - so he inveigled the recipe from her & made his first batch on Sunday ! I make a lot of chutney - but have never tried anything sweet - so it was great fun to see it all thicken - and we are desperately hoping it has set !!
Thanks to Jan for the recipe !

Speaking of whom - Jan & I have decided to push our crafty comfort zones with a little challenge - we have each picked 6 challenge topics & put them in a pot - one on my desk in rain soaked Wales - hers on her desk in scorching Murcia Region in Spain !!

We plan to each pull one idea at random out of our respective pots once a month & then combine the challenge topics.
Then we plan to make a little 6" x 4" project starting with the same plain paper record cards of that size & see what we end up with !!
Jan is a seasoned card maker & I am more of a messy paint & stamper kind of a girl - so it should be fun to see where we both end up & we're looking forward to picking up tips & ideas from each other !!!
As of today a batch of blank record cards are winging their way in the post to Jan and our challenge for July is a combo of "use an embossing folder" & "inspired by a song" !

So on my desk today - in the centre you see the embossing folder of hearts, the pot with my challenge ideas in it & this month's strip pulled out.
I am planning for my song inspiration to be "Love Shack" by the B52's - I always play it a full blast in the car on the way home when I am feeling wound up by the day at work - happily that way no one has to listen to my completely tone deaf singing  !!!

I also have some new "Strictly Party" stamps that were a freebie with Creativity Magazine, a sneaky bar of my favourite chocolate (only allowed white choccie as real choccie gives me migraine !), the Visual Journal I am using for my watercolour lessons - oh and on the left a Smash Book I have made.
I had fun choosing the pages & cute little plastic folder inserts then making the covers etc but am at a bit of a loss what to actually USE it for !!!

Anyone out there have one & have any suggestions !!!
Might just go with it being my "Happy Book" & fill it with things that make me happy !!

Well sorry to have rambled on - have a great crafty week & looking forward to cruising around your desks ! Ali in soggy Wales !! x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

WOYWW - Back in Rainy Wales !

Hi there - missed you all last week as was away in Spain - 35oC & sunny all week !
on the Well didn't miss my friend Jan as she lives there & this time last week we were having a fun BBQ at ours - 16 of us in shirt sleeves 'til midnight !! Not much chance of any of that in Wales !!

Anyway if you can see the top one of the pile of my photos which I've printed out to scrap at Scrapclub Wednesday night - Jan is on the left in the black top ! Hope you get to visit her blog too this week !!(Jan S).

Anyway as I only got back on Sunday my desk is full of projects in progress & things to get round to !

My new Summer Distress Inks had arrived when I got back - I was surprised how vivid they are in comparison to the older colours ! Waht do you think ?
I have labelled them & done the swatches of colour I do for my little home made book which I use as a reference guide when I'm working on a project - that's them drying on my desk !
I have also printed some photos out on my Pogo - the colours are a bit random but they will be fun enough to play around with in my journal.
To the left is a great book I read on hols - Personal Geographies by Jill K Berry (available on Amazon) - its all about creating art with maps of you & your life - there are some great projects I'm dying to have a go at !
Do check it out for yourself if you get a chance ! More info here http://personal-geographies.com/

Also a new DVD about travel art journals which I hoped would come in time for my hols but didn't - so still to be watched !

I did do some practising of my drawing & water-colouring whilst I was away - a couple of pictures here - still only doing plants !!! Need to get some tuition on how to do scenery !!!

I am really enjoying the Watercolour Pencils class I am taking on the Joggles.com website & even just doing the basic exercise on creating a set of colour swatches proved really useful - I could take the swatches to the plants & choose the closest colour to match - which made the pictures look more realistic (well I hope so !!). Just need to keep practising & practising !!

Oh & the funny green thing in the middle was a spoon/fork thingamajig which came in a pack of Kiwifruit in Spain - I thought all those grooves would make it a fabby thing for making textures in paint for projects & journals !! Either inspired - or I am an inveterate hoarder by nature (or maybe both !!)
So have a great week & looking forward to seeing your crafty places & projects this week ! Ali x