Tuesday, 30 December 2014

WOYWW - Happy New Year 2015 !

Well where did the past year go - the weeks and months just seem to gallop past !
Here we are again with Christmas past and slipping into memories and a fresh new year ahead of us !

We had a lovely Christmas - rather different as we had decided to stay in a hotel for Christmas this year. With the loss of Much Beloved's Step-father in July my MIL had asked that we do something completely different to make the day less painful for her.
Both my side & Rich's side of the family got to celebrate together. And I got to hang out with my 2 Nephews !

We had a brilliant time at the hotel which they had decorated beautifully - the staff were so kind and nothing was too much trouble for them !
We even woke on Christmas morning to find Santa's footprints along the corridor outside the rooms ! And the food was delicious too !
So we glided happily through the Christmas break without anyone so much as peeling a sprout !
And got to spend some time with my family in Sussex too.

And came home on Sunday to an empty fridge and avoiding the temptation to munch through endless leftovers !

So no crafting done at all as we were back to work on Monday - and my desk is a complete tip !
I have just dumped everything on the desk in the desperate hope I may be able to get to finish my Christmas Journal next weekend !!

And if I do get to play I have some great new stash & books that Santa (with a little help from my Sister !) bought for me !

I try to have a sentiment for each year - for next year I have thought it might be something like - "Be The Change That You Want To See In the World".
Rather than just expecting things to change around me, maybe it needs to start with me !
I don't know why I have a premonition of change coming .. who of us ever knows what lies ahead - better to embrace or instigate it than fight it !

 We are looking forward to Lynda & Robert coming to see in the New Year with us - we'll raise a glass of something bubbly to you all at Midnight & wish you all a Very Happy 2015 !

Monday, 22 December 2014

WOYWW - Merry Christmas Everyone !

Well just a quick update - a bit early this week due to family plans ! - to wish everyone A Very Merry Christmas !!

On my desk tonight are the ongoing bits & bobs of my Journal Your Christmas - some more pages pretty much finished and I am keeping up with my daily entries !

Planning to hit my laptop each night over the next week to keep up each day !

Lynda & I have finished our ABC ATC challenge for the year - we have had great fun with this !

I had the Z as my final letter and came up with ... Zentangles !

I hope you & your families have a wonderful time over Christmas - low on stress and high on fun !

Love Ali xx

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

WOYWW - All Wrapped Up !

Well my desk is finally free of Christmas cards as they are all safely delivered to the post box !

This week it is covered in the components that are building up into my Journal Your Christmas project !

I have been doing this for several years now & it really makes me feel Christmassy !
I am not really following the prompts as they haven't really changed year on year - it is more of a diary this year - tracking how the month progresses.

So this week it has been about a frenzy of present wrapping over the weekend whilst Much Beloved was in Manchester for the footie ! 

Sunday night Lynda & I went to a bilingual Carol Concert at a traditional Welsh Chapel - fabulous Welsh Male Voice Choir, mixed Choir, Ladies Choral Society, 3 school choirs and a full Brass Band - given the Welsh talent for singing as you can imagine the musical sound was amazing !

Mind you we both felt seriously Ex-Pat - being English & speaking no Welsh we could only follow 50% of the service and it was a slightly surreal experience to hear all the tunes - so familiar since childhood - of all the traditional carols - but not to be able to understand a word that was being sung !

I drove home though the small local village of Llanedi - where the village green is dominated by this huge Christmas Tree - it certainly made me stop in my tracks to take a photo !!

Also saw this Brass Band in M&S at Parc Trostre on Sunday morning & immediately thought of Lunch lady Jan - as she is a Band Lady - and they were from Burry Port just like her !
Apart from JYC the only little bit of crafting was to make a tree ornament to be swapped at Craft Club tomorrow night - it is our annual Christmas Nibbles Night !
Hope you Christmas preparations are going smoothly & your stress levels are low !
Have a great week !

Ali xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WOYWW - Better Late Than Never !

Well we have had internet connection problems all week - so I am only now finally able to blog my post this week !

Not too much to report in all truth !

From my feeling at the start of the month of being quite in control of Christmas - here I am with just a fortnight to go and feeling slightly panicky that everything will get done !

So on my desk this week is the start of my Journal Your Christmas for 2014 - I have been doing this for many years now and I am determined to keep up my tradition how ever busy I get !! 

So as a minimum I try to make a note of my day and make up my journal pages at the weekend !
And a new pack of photo paper ready to print out the photos for the journal pages.

We have had some bright frosty mornings this week with spectacular moon-falls and the car windows feathered with dramatic plumes of frost !

And I thought you might like to see the over the top Christmas lights on a house in our village - they do all this to raise money for the Air Ambulance Service !!
Have a great crafty week
Ali xx

Sunday, 30 November 2014

WOYWW - Cards Finally Finished - I Hope !

Well having plagued you all for weeks with nothing but Christmas cards, this past weekend was a final frenzied attempt to finish enough to send to everyone on our Christmas Card List !

Much beloved headed to football Saturday afternoon so I lugged all my supplies down to the conservatory & spread out over the whole dining table !

It made creating SO MUCH easier to have everything to hand & made me envy those of you that have much bigger desks or work-benches than I do !
It was a lovely sunny Winter's weekend - so it was a pleasure to sit in the brightness of the conservatory beavering away !
Have to admit I did end up with backache after sitting there for a few hours each day - but productivity was high & I finished what was needed !!!

 Not sure I would do this again - but having set myself the challenge it has been fun to accomplish it - and as I can seldom resist buying some new Christmas Stamps each year it has been such a good way for actually using them !

 More mono-chrome with a slash of red - love these Card-io Stamps & I used a couple of Clarity circular stamps too ...
 A couple more Reindeer to pull the sleigh !
And I am not sure of the official collective noun for a group of Polar Bears - but I have decided that "A Flurry of Snow Bears" suits me just fine !
Here a card with Chloe's stamps inspired by her project book ..

And finally all the cards made .... just all need to be written now !!!!
Another project in itself !

Our clever crafting friend Gill bought in her Advent project to show Lynda & I at Craft Club last week - isn't it just lovely !
Her young Grandson comes for his teatime visit once a week - so they will be opening one of the 4 Advent Chests each week until the Big Day - we think he'll love it - we certainly did and wanted to show you all her super project !

And one more thing I wanted to share - the sun was rising as I stepped out of the house this week to find the bush outside the front door already adorned ! The spiders must have decided that it was time for them to put their decorations up already ! Nature never ceases to surprise me with it's beauty in the most unexpected moments !
Have a great crafty week !
Ali xx

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

WOYWW - 1 Month To Go !

Well here we are with just a month to go until Christmas !
So the card making carries on at a pace !
33 done, 6 more made last Saturday and about 15 to 20 left to make !
Saturday morning was an 8am haircut followed by the normal round of errands to run,followed by the afternoon beavering away at the work-desk on these cards !

Sunday was swimming followed by a Tapas lunch at our favourite Brazilian restaurant on Cardiff Bay before we headed to the Matinee at the Millennium Centre to see The Lion King.
We were very impressed at the production and I especially loved how the clever use of lighting brought the whole story to life.
 So on my desk today you can see a tumble of Christmas activity !
Half made cards, stamps, inks & Stickles plus ribbons & metallic Pro-markers, plus 3 fabric Christmas Trees I bought at a stall in the theatre on Sunday.
As you can see I will be heading back here next weekend to finish off !!

Have a great crafty week
Ali xx

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

WOYWW - Christmas Still Abounding !

With November now over half way gone, the pace picks up at the Christmas production line that is my work-desk this week ! Now I know how Santa's Elves must feel beavering away to hit the Dec 25th deadline !

So on my desk you can see some Christmas stamps ready for action along with ink-pads & embossing powders !
Much beloved has very kindly printed out some photos for me to catch up on Journal 52 - this on the theme "Thinking of You" which was for the week including Remembrance Day when my Great Grandfather who was killed in Flanders was very much on my mind.

Well if you think my desk is messy you should have seen the amazing happy creative mess we made at Craft Club last week ! All of us who had been to the NEC brought along our goodies so we could all have a go playing with each others new stash !

We had a great fun evening all working on something new and sharing supplies, chatter & ideas !

Sorry I didn't get to visit many desks last week but I was away for a few days - it was rather a mixed experience !
We went to Bath Thursday which was a disaster as it rained all day & the disabled access was mostly dreadful - every shop seemed to be up two steps & so completely inaccessible for Much Beloved and the pavements had no dropped kerbs so we had to walk in the roads ! Oh the pleasures of disabled living ! We did have lovely Thai meal in the evening to redeem the day !
Friday was better - would you believe the sun came out - 1 day too late typically as we had moved onto to Bristol by then !
And we got some Christmas shopping done, had a fun supper at a microbrewery pizzeria and enjoyed our annual jaunt to see Jools Holland in concert !

Back home at my Desk more Christmas cards made an appearance as I got to play with new stamps, embossing powders and I have come to think that there is no card that can't be enhanced with the judicious use of Stickles !!

Here are some of the latest efforts !
Here Lynda had shared her fun snowman stamp which I enjoyed colouring in !
I saw cards very similar to these below on the Card-io stand at the NEC & just HAD to have this Pinecone mini stamp set .. so here's a Christmas Tree with ribbons ...
And more Pine-cones with ribbons !
Here I used the Pine-cones with some Inkadinkadoo branches stamps and some cute mini robbins from Little Claire's Designs ...
 And rather than black & white monochrome here's navy & white !
And it wouldn't be me this Christmas without a bit of cute decoupage !
I also got to play with Lynda's new Clarity stencil at craft club last week - and trudging around Bath in the rain I did find a Market we could get into which had an amazing ribbon stall.

I just loved this ribbon with the Winter Trees on it and this open weave black one too !

The idea for this Journal page just leapt to mind & insisted on being created !!

So here is my page called November, November The Year's Sad Daughter ... inspired by Eleanor Farjeon's poem - she lived much of her life in Sussex near where I hail from - so maybe this is why this poem has been lurking in the deep recesses of my mind !

 My Dad loathes November - he always says it is the dreariest month of the year - so the sentiments of this poem reflect his views !
Here's November,
The year's sad daughter,
A loverless maid,
A lamb for the slaughter,
An empty mirror,
A sunless morn,
A withered wreath,
The husk of the corn,
A night that falls
Without a tomorrow,
Here's November,
The month of sorrow.

Enjoy your week ! Love Ali xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

WOYWW - NEC Goodies !

Well, I picked up a carload of crafty-girls at half six on Saturday morning - the early start speaks of crafty dedication don't you think !!
We headed up to the NEC in Birmingham for the Hobbycraft show - 3 hours journey each way but what a fun day we had !
We arrived early enough to get to the stands we wanted to see before the crowds got too manic !
And we got to meet up with Shaz Silverwolf from amongst our Deskers for lunch which was lovely too !

So my desk this week is laden with lots of lovely goodies that I bought at the show !

Some amazing new Lavinia Stamps, a couple of Clarity stencils, plus some of the new longer thinner stencils from Imagination Crafts and a couple of Chloe stamps ...

Sunday afternoon Much Beloved went to Footie & so I had a couple of hours to play at my desk to try some of the lovely inspiring things we saw on display or being demo-ed on Saturday !

Here I have had a play with my new Lavinia funky seed-head (well I do adore a seed-head as you know !!) and toadstool stamps - and a good dollop of Stickles - sadly they haven't showed up too well on the photo !

Wow Embossing powders had a great stand and an amazing Show Special set called Planet Earth - these have proven to be gorgeous colours and an amazing deal at 6 for a Fiver !!

Then we saw that Chloe from Chloe's Stamps had been stamping & embossing on velum - I had great fun with this new technique !

Being November, Christmas was everywhere - and we saw lots of amazing stamps - this long tall stamp of a Reindeer was great fun and I enjoyed having a 1st play with the stamp on this card !

And just a few of the Mini Distress Inks we spotted at a great price - and I am finding it so handy to have all these mini ink pads on my desk and to hand !

We have planned to have a sharing session at Craft Club tomorrow night so everyone can have a play with our new stash !

Have a great crafty week !
Ali xxx