Tuesday, 17 December 2013

WOYWW - New Festive Friends !

Not much time for crafting with our Christmas preparations in full swing !

The house is starting to look festive - I love it when all the Christmas lights are hung up !

My hand is still sore & achy after my fall so stitching has been slow & laborious - but I was determined to finish my 2 new festive friends !

Meet Angelina - the ice skating angel - I really enjoy making up these Tilda patterns !
The fur on this pattern was a new challenge !

Now here too is Herr Penguin - taken from the pattern I bought in Germany - resplendent in his Christmas hat !

What little time I have found for crafting has been focussed on making sure I keep up each day with my Christmas Journal - I really enjoy my annual month of journalling !

So there is a collection of JYC pages on my desk this week ..

Although there are email prompts each day, I seldom stick to them in order and just write about whatever captures my imagination that day.

Here's my cover !
So far it has seen an eclectic mix of  subjects !
Here's a record of how I have wrapped my presents this year ..
My record of the most talked about advert of the season - John Lewis' Bear & the Hare ..
The phenomen-owl rise of the owl in every form of crafting, clothing, home-wear & accessories ...
And how a festive pie is bang on a whole range of consumer trends ...

And I never bind the pages to the end when the journal is finished - you just never know how dimensional & bulging the book will turn out !

Hope all your Christmas plans are going smoothly !
Have a festive, fun & stress free Christmas !
Love Ali xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

WOYWW - Christmas Catch Up !

Many thanks to everyone who left a kind message for me after my accident last week - sorry I didn't get to visit as many desks as I would have liked but I was laid up pretty much for the whole week in a haze of painkillers & bruises !
Happily all is on the mend now -so the weekend was a frantic Christmas catch up !
I had a frenzy of wrapping to do, as I am meeting my side of the family this coming weekend to swap presents because we won't be together over Christmas :(
Then we had Christmas shopping to do plus putting up the Christmas Tree & decorating the house to look Christmassy as we are entertaining my "in laws" this year.
So a collection of Christmas clutter on the desk this week !

The one thing I have tried to keep up with is my daily Journal Your Christmas for 2013 - I have found that the secret to keeping to a daily schedule of journal pages is preparation !

So at the beginning of the month I had cut a lot of pages to 8"x8" (down from 12"x12"scrapbooking papers) which is my favourite size to work on for this project, then I cut a lot of Project Life sized cards from the off cuts - so I have them right on hand to journal before I go to sleep each night.
I find if I can just get the words down on paper each day, I can always catch up with photos or some relevant embellishments or stamping etc later on !!
I have some lovely Christmas stamps this year & would love to add some extra little crafted bits but time isn't on my side ! So only this one so far !

So here are a few Christmas cards I can now show as they are safely posted & with their intended recipients !
How cute are these guys from Lilli of the Valley !

These are Chloe's stamps - embossed with WOW Vintage Jade sparkling embossing powder - my favourite of this year - you can't see it very well in this photo but it a lovely colour & so sparkly !

 I liked the effect Jo Firth Young had done with this stamp of her's - stamp onto three types of papers - then cut & reconstruct the piles of presents with the different papers - a bit of red Stickles & voila !

This card was using a wooden embellishment plus some Christmasy ribbon !

Also here is my Scrapclub Secret Santa entry - Lynda gave us all a mini canvas and we each created a Christmas themed mini project which we then wrapped up, put in the centre of the table & each selected one as our gift !

And this month it was Lynda's turn in our ABC ATC challenge she had C - so here is her lovely vintage Christmas style ATC for December - great isn't it !

Have a great week & I hope your Christmas preparations are all serenely underway with no stressing for you ! Love Ali x

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

WOYWW - Finnabair Fun !

Well after months of waiting, finally the day dawned for me to head off for my workshop in Derbyshire with the talented Anna - aka Finnabair or Finn.

I have admired her style on her blog & in articles from afar - so it was wonderful to have the chance to find out how she goes about creating her lovely highly dimensional designs !

The weekend was ably organised by Jamie & Sharon of the Artist's Trading Post and the venue an Eco Centre in the Peak District - we enjoyed good facilities & the room was just the right temperature all day which is always a blessing at a workshop !

The only small feedback would be that the space we had to work in was very cramped given how much glue, paint & embellishments were involved - but when so many people want to attend I suppose it is inevitable !

Our main project for the day was to create covers for a journal - we were given great big kits of goodies to play with - loads of dimensional embellishments from Prima & were free to choose our own colour schemes - just encouraged to make sure we had a bold colour & a contrasting a highlight colour.
As you can see I chose deep blues, greens with a hint of purple and gold as a background. I was very happy with how my designs came out considering it was my first attempt !!

I always much prefer this as it is rather dreary to work a whole project up in a colour scheme that doesn't appeal just because you have been allocated it !

Finn was a charming tutor & clearly explained each step before we set off to complete it .. we had a completely free hand to create our design exactly as we desired - and we were kept seriously busy all day !

It is always great to see how everyone in the room, whilst ostensibly creating the same project turns out a complete different creation - each composition was unique and every colour scheme completely & utterly different !

After we had created our covers we went on to create a couple of Finn style journal pages - it was good to have some inspiration on new ways to compose a page as it is so easy just to keep trundling round in a loop & getting stale - this is what I love about classes & workshops - as well as the fun of the day, you get the inspiration & spark of new ideas to take home !

So when Journal Your Christmas started this week & it came to creating a cover - are you surprised it is looking Finn style !!

Feeling a bit sorry for myself today as took a fall in the dark carpark at work last night !
So apart from going to an emergency appointment at the dentist to have the big cut inside my mouth checked out, I have been huddled in the house nursing black & blue knees, aching hands & arms & a swollen face that looks like the result of a bad botox session !!
I'm hoping the swelling will go down by tomorrow so I can get back to work - and eat something solid !

Hope you all have a great crafty week !
Ali xx

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

WOYWW - It's beginning to look a lot like ....

.... Christmas on the desk !

This weekend was very Christmas orientated !

So here you can see the evidence - Snowflake punches, Stickles & sparkly embossing powders - a small mound of home-made Christmas cards - and a half painted Christmas tree !

Saturday was freezing cold - but sunny with blue skies!

I was up & out early for a hair cut & caught this stunning heavy frost on the grasses & the winter sun through the vivid Autumnal leaves !

Much beloved & I had great day out over in Cardiff - Christmas shopping - we even sat outside the coffee shop in the sun to drink our coffee !!
Then headed down for a Latino Tapas lunch on Mermaid Quay in Cardiff.

So still on the Christmas theme, here  you can see my Christmas Project Box - all my paraphernalia for card making and ready to go for Journal Your Christmas starting on Sunday !

And here is my other project box - packed all ready as I am heading off for the Finnabair class at The Artist's Trading Post in Derbyshire - really looking forward to it !

So hope you have a great week ! Ali xx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

WOYWW - Glitter or Fluff - What's Your Debris of Choice !!

Well although the desk is looking relatively calm & tidy this week (well by my standards !!), it was a busy & messy weekend !!

What's your debris of choice ? Mine switched by day over the weekend !!

Saturday was a massive tidy up & getting my Christmas project box ready ... well the start of Journal Your Christmas is only a couple of week's away !!

Then I started playing with the Christmas stamps I had bought either at the NEC last week or which were free with magazines !

At the back of my desk you can see the test card I made so I could see how the new WOW sparkly embossing powders I had bought would look once heat embossed ... it was a great help to choose the right colour for the right card !

I had tried to use some of the inspiration I had seen at the show & do my own versions ...
No cards to show you yet - thought I had better keep them under wraps until I had sent them for Christmas or I'd be giving the game away !

So Saturday my world ended up covered in glitter - desk, hands, trousers, stamping mat, Versamark pad .. face & hair - how can it get simply EVERYWHERE !!!

Sunday I hauled my trusty sewing machine out onto the table of my quilt cupboard & set about my Christmas stitching !

First up was my Tilda Ice Skating Angel - and so the debris of the day was fluff from the fur fabric !

I mean I only made a couple of cuts & I was covered in white fluff from head to foot - literally !

So having chosen to wear black trousers & a black T-Shirt just showed my naivety at never having worked with fur fabric before !!!!!!!!!!

I was amazed at the mess ! But I have to say that the end effect is going to be worth it - the fur fabric feels gorgeous - I keep stopping stitching to stroke it !!

Next up was my attempt at translating the German pattern to make my penguin.
My brain must have picked up the fluff too, as I hadn't put 2 & 2 together from the pattern pieces that he would be quite so big !!

I have used up half a pillow full of stuffing !! (I tend to buy a synthetic pillow & use the filling as my toy stuffing).

I had bought one piece of gold felt that I thought would give me enough for the beaks & feet for all three penguins - and only did one ... so heading back to the shop next Saturday !!

Well that's me for this week - looking forward to seeing what you have been up to !
Have a good week ! Ali xxx

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

WOYWW - Deskers Gathering !

Well I am late writing this post tonight as Lynda & I have been out for supper with a fellow desker !

After being blog buddies we finally met "Lunch Lady Jan" in the real world !
We had a lovely evening & Lynda has the photos to prove it !

We even got to speak to Julia, our lovely creator & hostess of WOYWW on the phone !!

And here on my desk is Jan super gift - stunning festive bunting !
How gorgeous is that ! Thanks Jan !

My gift was rather smaller ! Just an ATC - one for each of us - I am really getting into these - probably only 5 years behind the trend !
But it makes me happy !

On this design I have used one of the new Lavinia Zentangle House stamps & a little Dragon - well we are in Wales !!

The stamp was part of my haul from the NEC Hobbycrafts show this Sunday.
My Much Beloved & I were in the Cotswolds for the weekend to see Jools Holland in Concert in Cheltenham on Saturday night.
We each took our own car as on Sunday we were on separate hobby based missions !
Whilst he headed to Manchester to watch the football at Old Trafford, I went to spend a happy few hours shopping at the show ! I know who I think got the best deal there !!

I did have a list - and permission to buy some "from the family to me" Christmas presents !
But obviously some things did just call my name as I passed too !! Here's my goodies !!

Mainly stamps - some Christmassy - well they will come in SO handy every year won't they ?!!

Stamps by Chloe - this talented girl is only about 20 years old but has her own company !
She had made some lovely cards & I fell for the stamps & a very competitive deal on embossing powders - lots of Christmas sparkle !

And my favourite Lavinia stamps - I love the new Zentangle designs & can't wait to play !

Whoever said "never meet your heroes" had never met Barbara Grey - I love her classroom shows on Create & Craft - she shows great techniques in a really approachable way - and it was lovely to meet her on her Clarity Stamps stand - she was so approachable herself !
The light in the photo is pretty dreadful but I wanted to show you anyway !

One last desk photo ... a lifetime ago I learnt German at school ..
I really want to pick it up again - so when I was there last month I "invested in" some German craft magazines - what a great way to practice !!

So last night, there I was sitting up in bed with my 30 year old German dictionary checking my understanding & translating a Christmas Penguin pattern !!
Now I know the words for "seam allowance", "stuffing", "beak" & "turn the feet inside out from a slit in the upper fabric" ...
I mean, how can that not be handy when I need to buy a train ticket or a cup of coffee next time I am in Germany !!!!!!!!!

Anyway just to finish, last week I left you with a photo of my bag packed to have a Gelli plate evening at our little Scrapbook club - so I thought you might like to see us with our pinnies on & in action !

Here's some of our efforts ...

And me turning into a lizard !!!
Have a great crafty week ! Ali xx

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

WOYWW - It's an Ill Gale ...

Well the weekend again decided to throw every type of weather at us - but Saturday was especially wild here in West Wales - so after a quick trip into the city for food shopping - I spent the rest of a happy day crafting at my trusty workdesk !

One of these days I will have to look up "housework" in the dictionary, but whilst I can still feign ignorance not much gets done when my craft desk is calling !!
So I have quite a few things to show you this week !

Last week I told you about the Alphabet ATC Challenge that Lynda (check her out at her Sparks of Art Blog !) and I have set ourselves.
Lynda had done A - so it was my turn with B!

Being an indecisive Libra - I was torn between doing something for Bonfire Night and enjoying a bit of Hallowe'en - so here's a second one I have made called Boo !

When we went to Manchester I fell in love with this Woodland Creatures paper - so I turned to my big Dylusions Journal - for once the size was perfect so I could leave the paper intact !

I took on the woodland theme with a quote from the poet Robert Frost that I had tucked in the back of my memory from my long distant school-days !
"The Woods Are Lovely, Wild & Deep, But I Have Promises to Keep & Miles to Go Before I Sleep".
On the tag I brayered the background & did several stencils to build up the leafy & tree images.

Then I had a go at decorating the Sleigh I bought a few weeks ago.

I had remembered I had this striped paper somewhere in the depths of my scrapping stash ! So after much rummaging I dug it out !

I drew round the sleigh to make templates to cut the internal & external panels.

The inside sides of the sleigh were too difficult to draw round so I used bronze Crocco on these & painted the runners with Chocolate Pudding Fresco Paint.

I also remembered I had this copper tape which I have used to edge the body of the sleigh. Then dug out these reindeer - they need more work but I plan to add them in due course !!

A couple of weeks ago I found that my Much Beloved had thrown these 2 charity coasters into the recycling - so I did a bit of recycling of my own !

They are decorated with Finnabair papers & stickers then I added a couple of coats of Glossy Accents to seal them ... just in case a drip escapes from my G&T with ice & slice !!

So what about the desk right now ?

I slipped into Hobbycraft on the way back from the city on Saturday as my birthday gift voucher was burning a hole in my pocket !

I had really enjoyed stitching the Seaside Girl from Tilda & was delighted to find the Christmas Ice Skating Angel kit - should be a fun winter project !

Also on the desk is my Junk Journal - with one last project from the weekend.

I had a big tidy up of my stamps & found these poppy stamps again & dug out a poppy stencil for the background. With Remembrance Day next week I wanted to make a page to honour my Great Grandfather, Thomas Blackman who died in Flanders in 1915.  Here's my remembrance to him.

Just before I go ..
Tomorrow night we are going to have a Gelli Plate play night at our Scrap Club - so here's the bag packed ready to go !!

Have a great week !
Love Ali xxx