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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.

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 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 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.

Bluprint (previously Craftsy) have lots of classes for papercrafting, including scrapbooking. Click on the image below to get a 7 day free trial (and please note that annual membership is half price at the moment – perfect if you know that you will want to do lots of classes in the next 12 months)

myBluprint.com

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

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 569 – the boxes are revealed

Morning everyone. There has been some crafting in my craft room this week, but all digital – and mostly designed on my new love, Canva. If you haven’t used that for crafting, or used it at all, then go and try it out. Here is a scrapbook page I designed.

I have had some new crafty goodies delivered though, so will show them. Firstly, the contents of the Hobbycraft box from last week. You can see why I wasn’t in a rush to unpack it. Just a new glue gun, mat and glue sticks. Useful though, and will be much better having a cordless one.

I had the first Artful box delivered. Always exciting to get a mystery box. I ordered with a discount code and knew it was stash for illustrating/sketching, so not a total mystery. I was pleased to get a sketch book with really nice paper, a magazine and an assortment of pens/pencil/eraser. I love Posca Pens and have a small collection already, and these ones are lovely colours.

I have also ordered some Scrawlr boxes. They have been highly recommended, so now impatiently waiting for the postman each day!

Apologies for not leaving comments on as many blog posts as I was intending to last week. It was an honour to be at No.1 in the list and I was going to visit every blog – but, then my health decided that wasn’t going to be possible. A nasty flare of some painful symptoms meant that I spent a few days on painkillers and doing as little as possible. I started feeling better yesterday (I actually did some cleaning of the house – much needed!), so hoping that I can be back to my usually fairly active self for at least the next week.

This website is being developed daily – with plans to do 2 blog posts per week, plus this one! I have some new affiliate links, which are more closely aligned with papercraft (and other crafts) – one of which came about because I fell in love with some washi tape!

Hope that everyone is ok, getting the groceries they need (I actually have a supermarket delivery booked weekly for the next 3 weeks, so hoping that things are getting back to normal in that respect?) and doing more crafting than me.

Ali x

ps As usual, I nearly forgot to say why I am posting about what is on my crafty table. It is WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday) and a grand selection of crafters around the world post each week. Come and join us HERE.

Posted in Useful Links For Beginners

Illustrating – useful links for beginners (*Updated)

After the success of my first blog post in this series, Lettering, I will be listing some useful links for Illustration beginners. These will be mainly digital, as that is what I concentrate on. However, there are some links for those who love to work with physical mediums.

Digital Illustration

Bardot Brush is known for her fantastic Procreate brushes. However, her tutorials are amazing too. Go to her website – lots of freebies, tutorials (subscribe to her YouTube channel) and colourful inspiration. She is doing daily live streams too – on Instagram and YouTube. Her Making Art Everyday Facebook group and weekly email is something else to sign up for. Plenty to keep you busy!

Teela Cunningham from Every Tuesday is often noted as a Lettering expert, but her illustration tutorials are amazing. I have been doing one each day this week and gained so much confidence. Sign up for her freebies and also subscribe to her YouTube channel.

One of the designs I created this week after following an Every Tuesday tutorial.

Lettie Blue has a particular talent for watercolour on Procreate, including a great bundle of brushes. She teaches in several places, including Skillshare.

Some great channels to subscribe to on YouTube –

James Julier (who has got a Patreon channel too). Lots of videos for beginners.

Teela Cunningham – my favourite teacher.

Pretty Little Lines. A really cute and pastel style.

Jungle of Colors. Includes some Affinity Designer videos.

Ghost Paper. A real Procreate specialist.

Karina Drow. Watercolour.

Artists Network. Free tutorials for drawing beginners.

Art With Flo. Lots of freebies, a great YouTube channel and on SkillShare now.

Speaking of SkillShare. Here is a list of great teachers on there that specialise in illustration.

Yasmina Creates.

Lettie Blue.

Christine Nishiyama.

Liz Kohler Brown (click on the image below to go to her website. Subscribe for a very useful freebie for Procreate Beginners.)

I have had several readers enquire about Watercolour on Procreate. I personally would go to Skillshare and just type “Procreate watercolour” into the search bar. There are so many wonderful classes to choose from. Liz Kohler Brown could be the ‘Watercolour Procreate Queen’, but Lettie Blue is definitely fighting her for the crown!

I will be editing this series of posts as and when I find some fantastic new links for you. Please tag me in on Instagram when you create any illustrations #aliwadedesigns.

A fantastic set of pens for less than £20 in the current sale.
If you want to try some Copic pens, these are at a great price.

These skin tone pens from Arteza sell out really quickly, so grab a set now!

Posted in Canva

Canva – Android mobile app

Ali Wade Designs on YouTube! A quickly filmed video showing the main features of the Canva Android app – with specific reference to using it for scrapbooking or greeting cards etc.

This was the first time I had really looked at the Android app, but I was very impressed with the capabilities and resources. Will be going back in and finding out a lot more, so I can share Tips & Tricks with you in another video.

If you have any questions or want me to look at anything in particular – with the Android app, iPad app or the full desktop version on Windows 10 (sorry, I don’t have a Mac or iPhone) – then email me at hello@aliwade.com.

(My next video will be showing the iPad app and then another with the Desktop version on Windows PC.)

Click HERE to get a free 30 day trial with Canva Pro. You will love it!

Posted in WOYWW

WOYWW 568 – Projects In Waiting (edited version)

Apologies – I opened up Stamping Ground and just went with the number of the latest blog post showing at the time, 567, and added my post to the linky thing. I then went back to read what I thought would be last week’s posts and realised that 567 was last week, and that the post for this week (22nd April) was not showing yet (I had wondered why there were so many people linking up at 7.30 am!!). Julia – can you delete my post at #34, and I will link to No. 568 when you have published. I will comment again!!

Good morning all. I didn’t type a post last week, as there simply was nothing crafty happening in my craft room. Nothing to show this week either, except for the sad sight of a box of goodies from Hobbycraft still not unpacked (I received this weeks ago) and a Crystal Card Kit (which I nearly started at the weekend, but then didn’t!). Am I the only one who thought I would be completing loads of crafty projects during this Lockdown? In fact, I have been busy with digital projects/online courses/social media and blogging for business purposes etc.

This week is the Scrapbooking Live event with Design Cuts – so that has been my afternoons filled up (last one today, so tomorrow I will get a birthday card made for hubby – determined not to be so last minute – his birthday is on Monday). I also started an online course yesterday about creating Floral & Nature designs (with the aim of creating surface pattern designs professionally). Later today I will be going out in the garden/fields to gather cuttings for reference sketches. At least next week I will have something to show you.

On Saturday I have a craft workshop – online, via Zoom. It is screen printing and we have to make our own ‘paints’ using flowers/leaves etc. I have been told that dandelions make a particular good colour, and we have lots of them in our fields at the moment. There are a couple of places left (it is a donation only) if anyone is interested. 2 pm on Saturday (and then another session in May) and we have a list of supplies needed (most of which we should have in our homes already). Email me – hello@aliwade.com – if you would like to register and I will send the link.

Health-wise – no Covid-19 symptoms – but lots of Hay Fever and Fibromyalgia. I was particularly ill yesterday and welcomed the opportunity to sit in my craft room for several hours. I have only ventured out into public once – had to go and collect medication last week and do a Tesco Click n Collect. Did not enjoy going to Boots – very unnerving with all the staff in full suits/masks etc. I do not plan to go out again for several weeks at least. Managing to get a few delivery slots with either Tesco or Asda, and local shops/farms are delivering too (including our local pub, which is starting a takeaway/delivery service for meals on Fridays/Saturdays – I will be definitely ordering weekly!). Today, we have a delivery from a fantastic independent fruit/veg shop (which also sells all sorts of locally produced goodies), including some handmade mini cheesecakes, so dessert will be special tonight.

Stay Safe everyone.

Ali x

ps If you would like to join in with What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday, click HERE.