Posted in Challenges

Floral Thinking Of You

Over at the Design Cuts Facebook group they have a challenge every week to use their latest freebie. I entered #89 with this pretty hybrid card.

I designed the backing paper and topper with My Craft Studio, coloured the topper with pencils and layered up with some gorgeous mermaid glitter card from Hobbycraft. The base card (with punched edging) is from stash.

I enter this card into the following challenges:

Aud Sentiments #252 Flowers & Sentiment

Little Red Wagon #552 Patterned Paper or Create Your Own Backing Paper

Word Art Wednesday #442&443 Anything Goes

Jan’s Digi Stamps Challenges June 2020 Anything Goes

Crafting Happiness Challenges #51 Anything Goes

(Note to my newer readers – I started this blog on Blogspot many years ago purely to be able to enter papercraft challenges. I then found the WOYWW community and even when I stopped entering challenges due to my health/caring for animals, I still kept on blogging. It was wonderful to be back entering challenges again and so happy to see that ‘Paper Playful‘ is still busy listing them – I used to create a weekly list for them. I will write a blog post soon with tips on how to find and enter challenges.)

Ali x

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 574 – moving on with my colouring

Good morning, everyone. We are gathered here today to show off our crafty workspaces for WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday) and you can join in HERE.

It seemed that I had spent a very long time colouring in mushrooms/toadstools etc for Module 1 of the Ink Lily colouring classes. Yesterday I decided that I needed to move on, so took photographs and submitted them for assessment before I spent a few more hours fiddling with the blending.

This morning on my crafty table I have started Module 2, which includes some rocks and foliage. Relatively small stamps this time too, so less time consuming to cover the areas with small dots (a new technique to me).

I went into a big Fibromyalgia flare yesterday evening (probably caused by going out cycling, my electric failing to start properly and attempting to cycle up a steep hill without the additional power!) and was actually forced to go to bed early. I didn’t get a restful night’s sleep, so I am taking it very slow today and may even have a nap this morning!

At the end of last week I made a card. I have good intentions to do a blog post for it and enter some challenges (just like the old times), but that hasn’t happened yet. I used the latest freebies from Design Cuts to create the backing paper and topper. How many of you remember My Craft Studio (or even still use it now)? I hadn’t used it for years (it was always a really good program and I used it a lot for inserts/address labels), but then found a Facebook group and now I am hooked again. Even bought a few CD roms to add to my collection. I have the fancy new software/apps, but sometimes it is nice to just keep it simple.

I hope everyone is well and have enjoyed the wonderful warm/sunny weather. Back to a cold northerly wind in Pembrokeshire and a bit of rain last night. Not enough for the farm, but better than nothing.

Ali x

Posted in Weekly Update

Weekly Update – Week Ending 1st June 2020

This post will contain affiliate links, where I will receive some income when you click on the link and purchase through it. You will not be charged anything additional.

Firstly, where did May go?! I blinked and it was June. Despite time rushing past far too quickly, I have had a ‘goodish’ week. This glorious weather is definitely helping, although we do really need rain on the farm. I have been so busy editing this website, sorting out new affiliate links, planning on starting an email list etc etc. I do enjoy all the marketing/tech/content, but have to restrict myself to mainly only office hours in the mornings, otherwise I would just do too much and burn myself out.


In the afternoons I do some colouring – continuing with the Ink Lily lessons (just about to start the 2nd set of designs with some gorgeous green colours) – and other crafting. Please note that the next scheduled TV appearance for the Ink Lily pens is Friday 5th June @ 8.15 am on Create & Craft.

Another TV appearance to note in your diary/planner/calendar is Altenew on Sunday 7th June @ 3.45 pm – again on Create & Craft TV.


I made a card (for my sister who is working with Covid-19 patients in a hospice) using My Craft Studio (who else remembers that program?). It was really popular several years ago, and then a few weeks ago I noticed there was a Facebook group for it. It turns out that Create & Craft are still selling designs with the program, but now they are USBs rather than CDs. I bought the latest release last week and it has arrived, but haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. (It has sold out, but will keep an eye on stock and let you know when it is available again.)

For this card I used the freebie available last week from Design Cuts to create this hybrid project.


If you are shopping at Arteza, make sure you use the code DRAW10 to get a 10% discount.


On Saturday I joined in with the Bible Journaling Festival hosted by the Bible Art Journaling UK group on Facebook. I only managed to do one page in my Bible, but really enjoyed the inspiration and chat, and have a few YouTube videos to watch another day. The Pocket Letter tutorial with Faith Treasury is first on my To Do list.


I had some crafty deliveries last week – some gel pens from Arteza, the latest Scrawlr box, some specialist colouring card, and the fabulous Sizzix Big Shot Express Bundle from Create & Craft (there is an unboxing on my Instagram @aliwadedesigns). More details, blog posts and videos to come.

The Sizzix Express seems to be sold out everywhere (I will let you know when it is back in stock), but a good alternative is the manual machine and here is a great bundle from Create & Craft.


Enjoy your week, and please email me or comment below if you have any questions.

Ali x


ps I will attending the Creative Christianity Summit from 17-21 June hosted by Cheerfully Given – a 5 day virtual conference. Click on the image below for lots of extra information and to buy your ticket.

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 573 – Sunflowers

Good morning from a sunny Pembrokeshire. After a cloudy day yesterday, I plan to get some suncream on and spend a few hours in the garden later. The grass needs cutting, garage needs cleaning out and I may even hoover my car out! We have our weekly delivery from a local veg/fruit shop, which includes one each of the 3 mini cheesecakes she makes each week (I have appointed us as ‘official cheesecake tester’!). That is dessert sorted for the next 3 days (they are big enough to cut in half). I also think that our Hermes courier will be bringing my next delivery from Create & Craft – a Sizzix Express die cutting machine. I treated myself when they had the recent special bundle. I will show it off next week.

We gather on a Wednesday to show what our crafty workspaces contain – whether they are full of fantastic projects, piled with new stash, or just empty and waiting for action! Join in HERE.

Back to my crafty table. It is tidy at the moment. I got a bit overwhelmed by having my Ink Lily pens and paper etc out there all the time, so I tidied up and now just get the supplies out that I need each day.

I follow Catherine Davis on Instagram and she mentioned her colouring book, so I went straight to Amazon and ordered one. There are loads of fabulous pages in there for me to practise on.

The notecards (and address labels underneath) came from Mixbook. The sunflowers were drawn by my own fair hand on my iPad (using Procreate). Obviously I was following instructions in a YouTube tutorial very closely! I was really impressed by Mixbook. The website was very easy to use (lots of lovely products and templates/embellishments etc to use) and they arrived from the US in 7 days (which included a 2 day delay whilst they waited for a missing invoice to be sorted). I was fully prepared to wait for a few weeks, especially at the moment. I am going to test out a few UK-based print companies too, and then offer some products for sale in my Etsy shop.

I did some more digital design on my iPad this week. With Affinity Designer this time, which definitely has a steeper learning curve than Procreate. I followed a Skillshare class and learnt a lot. Here is one of the leaf designs I finished. (Edited to add – for some reason the photo will not display properly this morning, so here is my weekly update post from yesterday – scroll down to the bottom to see the 2 leaf designs.)

Have a good week everyone. It is going to continue to be sunny and dry for much of the UK, I think. We need rain for the farm, so hoping that we get some heavy showers soon.

Stay safe.

Ali x

Posted in Weekly Update

Week ending 25th May 2020

This post will contain affiliate links, where I will receive some income when you click on the link and purchase through it. You will not be charged anything additional.

I had very good intentions to get this post written and published yesterday, but instead I spent some time outside enjoying the warm sunshine. Creating this website and community is all about having a flexible lifestyle, as my health demands that (physical and mental). I hope you also enjoyed your Bank Holiday.


I have had a busy week. Colouring took up several hours. Continuing with the Ink Lily classes.

One of my final assessment pieces for Module 1.
I do a few layers and then leave it to see how the colour/texture develops.

I also signed up to a Copic Colouring Course with Udemy. Although I am not using Copic pens, it is still really useful – with explanations about colour tones/blending and lots of projects for me to practice with. No progress pictures yet, as the first few classes were purely theory and talking about the different Copic pens.

I joined the Kit & Clowder community, which is a fantastic website stuffed full of resources/education/inspiration. I definitely recommend subscribing to the newsletter. There are several free classes, but I bought the monthly colouring class and joined in with the friendly Facebook group. There is a Pencil or Markers option (you can do both) and I decided to try Pencils, as a contrast to the Ink Lily classes. However, I soon realised that holding the slim pencils was very painful for me, very quickly. Yes, I can buy some foam tubing to reduce the pain for me, but I have decided to concentrate on markers for now, so I am swapping over to the Markers class next month. Watch this space!


Learning Affinity Designer (or at least starting on the basics) was on my agenda for the past week too. I started a really thorough Skillshare course with Tracey Smigielski Capone – Affinity Designer for iPad: Creating Textured Florals. The projects that other students had completed first caught my eye on Instagram and Facebook, and I allocated some time for the past 3 days to go through the course. I will be honest and admit I haven’t finished it yet. I am struggling with the complexities of Affinity Designer. It is so powerful and crammed full of possibilities. Due to Fibromyalgia (and chronic pain disturbing my sleep at night) my brain gets easily overwhelmed. I definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn how to use Affinity Designer. I moved away from the monthly payment of Adobe last year, when Affinity was being offered at a reduced price (it is half price at the moment – and with a 90 day free trial). I have all 3 programs – on my pc and the iPad apps. I will be returning to this regularly and gradually building up my knowledge/confidence.

Two of the designs that I did finish, which I love.


I have done a lot of editing to this website. New affiliates have been added, and more coming this week. I have always been the one person that everyone comes to when they have a question, so it is great having blog posts and pages to direct people towards. I have a long list of blog posts to write and new projects to share with you.

I am very slowly working my way through the Floral & Nature Design Masterclass with the wonderful MakeItInDesign.com. If you have any interest in Surface Pattern Design, then this is the website for you – with lots of classes to choose from and amazing inspiration. Their Summer School is back in July/August, and you can sign up at a Super Early Bird Price until 29th May. I have signed up for the Beginner Track, which covers all forms of media including digital. Something to look forward to in the coming months.


I will be starting to send out a monthly newsletter in June. Some of the goodies that I am starting to sort out will be – discount codes for the companies that feature on my website and in my blog posts, exclusive freebies (from myself and other companies/designers) and regular giveaways. I have got lots of possible freebies lined up for you – brushes for Procreate and Affinity Designer, colour palettes, digikits for digital scrapbooking/papercraft, and beginner projects.


If you are starting to think about crafting for the holiday that begins with C !!
The Sue Wilson range sells out really quickly, so go and pre-order from Craft Stash now.

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 572 – lots of ink

Happy 11th Anniversary of WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday – click HERE to join in with this global tour around crafty workspaces).

I wonder if this is a record for a weekly blog hop? Huge thanks to Julia for putting up with us for this long!

… and now I must admit that my UFO selected for this occasion is still sitting downstairs untouched! At least I took it downstairs. The intent was very strong. I promise to get it finished ASAP and will then post very proud photos.

Back to the important task of sharing my crafty table. This week it has seen lots of ink – mostly on stamping card, but some on my hands. I started the classes that come with the Ink Lily pens, and have got my first test images done. I have stamped up those images again and will now get those carefully done for the assessment (we can get all of our work assessed by Mel Heaton and then get a certificate at the end of the course, and I am planning to teach classes myself/write blog posts etc).

I also have some new stash to show off. I bought a set of Rare Earth stamping platforms and some inkpads (Mememto – black, brown and sand – not showing in the photo) from Create & Craft, and also remembered to order the Member’s product, which was this very useful set of stamps this month.

I had seen a bargain scrapbooking set on Amazon (which I posted a link on my blog and Instagram, and within 1 hour the current stock had gone – now only available for delivery at the end of July). I found one in Amazon Warehouse (always worth looking in if you really want something in particular – usually just the outer packaging is damaged), so ordered that. Yes, the outer box was a bit crushed and held together with sellotape, but all ok inside, except for one of the pen lids has come off and it definitely looks like the inkpads have been thrown around. The rest of the contents look ok though and I will be doing some projects with it in the coming weeks).

I have also been busy with my website – design and contents – gardening (we have finally sown the grass and wildflower meadow seed in the back garden and now anxiously awaiting for the first green to appear), and just general life under Lockdown (here in Wales there have been very few relaxing of rules, which I am personally happy with. We feel a lot safer over here in the far west).

Finally my Funky Bunny design was entered into a cushion competition and this was the result (I wasn’t placed, but at least I get to see his cheery face on our spare bed!). I am planning to get this design into my Etsy store soon.

Funky Bunny cushion on bed

I hope that all are happy and safe.

Ali x

(This would have been published a lot earlier, but having issues getting photos from phone to either Google Drive or Dropbox. This used to take seconds, but over the past few months it seems to take longer and longer. I blame my new phone! In the end I took photos again with my iPad. Note to self – if I need a photo within 24 hours, then use my iPad.)

Posted in Weekly Update

Drawing Flowers on Procreate with my iPad – 1st Weekly Update

I am aiming to write a blog post at the beginning of each week showing you what I have been up to the week before. There may well be a theme for that week, as in last week when I did one of Teela Cunningham’s YouTube (Every Tuesday) tutorials each day. Otherwise it will be a general round-up of my very varied weeks.

I was struggling with my Fibromyalgia last week, so only managed to do 4 of Teela’s tutorials, and focused on flower illustration (definitely going back to do some of the lettering ones soon). It was so useful. I gained lots of confidence using Procreate, which I recommend to everyone – and is the reason why I finally bought an iPad. I am really proud of what I created, and have already used the sunflower design to order some new address labels and notecards for myself.

I would love to see what you create by following a tutorial. It doesn’t have to be flowers, illustration or on Procreate. Tag me #aliwadedesigns on Instagram, or comment below with an image.

If you would like to have some ideas of tutorials to follow, read my Lettering and Illustration blog posts.

Otherwise I started the colouring classes that come with the full set of Ink Lily alcohol marker pens. I post regular updates on my Instagram (@aliwadedesigns) and also within the Facebook group for Ink Lily (everyone welcome who loves colouring). If you want to see more of these pens, then click HERE.

I noticed that at 2.15 pm and 7.30 pm today (Monday 18th May 2020) there is a launch on Create & Craft of a range of pen sets, which are very affordable and would be great for general colouring. Click HERE to take a look.

Happy Monday and enjoy your creative week.

This week I will be using Canva for some personal projects each day (I use it daily anyway for my blogging and social media) – scrapbook pages and more.

Try Canva Pro Today

Ali x

If you want to try some Copic pens, this set is at a great price.
Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 571 – a busy day

Morning everyone. A bright and sunny day in Pembrokeshire, but still got a chilly wind. Definitely not suitable for sunbathing! If you would like to join in with this global hop around crafty workspaces, then get on over to Stamping Ground.

I am having one of those days. I seem to be doing several things at once, so made the decision to concentrate more and here I am typing this post out later in the day than intended (I did actually get some sleep last night, so wasn’t rushing to get up). Haven’t taken the photos yet, so will go and do that now.

My new alcohol markers from Ink Lily and a finished colouring page.
My WIP – which has been sitting in my craft cupboard for a year.
My progress so far.

The first photo shows my fantastic new set of alcohol markers from Ink Lily (bought from Create & Craft – which will be linked in my Shopping section soon). I decided to buy these (which came with 29 stamps too) when I happened to watch Create & Craft one early morning and Mel was demonstrating these pens. I have never learnt to use alcohol markers properly, which I have always regretted when I see the wonderful results by other crafters. The magic of these pens is that video tutorials are included, so I can work through gradually developing my skills. I am going to start with the first lesson later, and will be blogging regularly (and posting on social media).

The finished colouring page is part of a Creativebug class. I just used my cheap pencils from WH Smith, but was pleased with the result. As part of the class you get the downloads of several different colouring pages.

The other two photos show the UFO I have selected as part of the WOYWW 11th Anniversary celebration. I bought this sweet needle felting kit (from Hochanda) over a year ago. I did start off well, but then stopped because I needed to order some eyes. These were delivered, but I never picked up the kit again. It has been in my craft cupboard ever since. I had good intentions to get going on it at the weekend, but I have been too tired in the evenings. I have a Tesco Click n Collect this evening, but I promise that tomorrow night (Thursday) I will get stabbing with a needle again! Therefore, next week (the actual anniversary), I will have a different photo to show you.

I hope that everyone is well. We are busy here on the farm, and I am spending a fair bit of time developing this website. Lots of new affiliates – still got more to add to my new Digital/Education/Shopping sections. I am spending each week concentrating on a particular type of digital crafting. This week I am doing one of Teela’s Procreate tutorials (an app for iPad, which I recommend to everyone) each day from her YouTube channel. Here are what I have done so far. More simple flowers today. Next week I am moving onto digital scrapbooking using Canva. Again, I will be blogging and updating social media.

Enjoy the rest of your day. Stay Safe.

Ali x

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 570 – New Pens

Good morning everyone from a sunny Pembrokeshire. It is really showing how dirty our windows are at the moment! The title of this post refers to what is on my crafty table right now – I had a Scrawlr box delivered yesterday – and also to the Ink Lily pen & stamp set I ordered from Create & Craft. This includes monthly video tutorials and I am excited to finally learn how to colour properly with alcohol markers.

I only found out about Scrawlr last month and immediately ordered the latest box to try, and one of the older ones which arrived yesterday. I liked this one because of the pens included (Gelly Roll are one of my all-time favourites and the colours of the alcohol markers are gorgeous) and also the style of artwork of the featured artist. Annika Landberg mostly creates ATCs, a big love of my life.

I am continuing with the Floral & Nature Surface Design course, and got some ‘loose sketching’ done. I used the pens from the first Artful Box for this. There is definitely a pen theme this week! (If anyone is interested in learning about Surface Pattern Designs, they are offering all the courses at 50% off – Make It In Design.

I hope that everyone is ok. My health continues to be up and down, but no Covid-19 symptoms for anyone in our family or immediate friends/neighbours. Our friends in Spain were very excited to be allowed out to exercise again and I definitely don’t take for granted having the farm to walk around.

A short post today, as it is mostly business/website stuff that is filling my head lately. We are watching some good tv though. The very last episode of Homeland this week (anyone else addicted like we are?), loving the return of the Great British Sewing Bee, old episodes of Silent Witness and also Grayson’s Art Club.

Finally, a question for you all. Which stamping platform would you recommend?

Stay safe.

Ali x

ps How rude of me. I nearly forgot to add why we are posting pictures of our crafty workspaces on a Wednesday. It is because it is WOYWW – What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in at Stamping Ground.

Posted in Useful Links For Beginners

Scrapbooking – Useful Links For Beginners

Affiliate links are used throughout this blog post. I will receive a percentage of any spending you do when you click on the link, but you will not be charged anything additional. Thank you.

Scrapbooking: a method of preserving, presenting, and arranging personal and family history in the form of a book, box, or card. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journal entries or written descriptions.

Scrapbooking has also gone digital now – with pages and books being created in a variety of programs on computers, tablets and even phones.

As is the usual format for this series of blog posts, I will be covering both the physical and digital forms, but concentrating on people/companies who offer freebies and/or tutorials etc that will help beginners.

Physical Scrapbooking

The first place to visit is Scrapbook.com (and on YouTube). Lots of free classes (over 50), a great blog and, of course, you can shop for stash!

Paper Wishes – lots of useful information for complete beginners, including their weekly Webisodes.

Skillshare – I recommend Skillshare to everyone, as it has such a great mix of teachers. However, there are specific classes for all types of scrapbooking.

YouTube – doing a quick search it seems that a lot of the beginner videos are from several years ago, but this lovely lady has one which is less than one year old. Loads to watch and learn on her channel. Emilee’s Paper Caper (linking to her video for beginners).

Digital Scrapbooking

One of the best guides to digital scrapbooking is by Kate Hadfield Designs. Lots of freebies and blog posts, and her trademark brightly coloured designs.

Scrapgirls.com – they have high quality lessons for all sorts of scrapbooking and other papercraft, but they are not free.

Digidesignresort.com – many different crafty blog posts and tutorials.

Digital Scrapper – a very long list of free tutorials.

This bargain scrapbooking kit at Amazon caught my eye. (Edited to add – so many people went and grabbed one, they are out of stock until the end of July – sorry! I managed to get one in the Amazon Warehouse, so will be doing a full review soon.)

If you have any questions, either leave a comment below – or email me at hello@aliwade.com