WOYWW 577 – Water Ripple & New Stash

Firstly, apologies for being so late. I won’t even go into why I am only sitting down at 7.25 pm to type this post!

Secondly, I do actually have something to show you.

Thirdly, if you are as late as me (or in a different time zone) and would like to join in with WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday), then go and visit Julia’s Stamping Ground.

Here is my crafty table. I am mid-way through the next module of lessons for my Ink Lily pens, and have just left everything out ready for my next colouring session. I am known for usually tidying everything up as I go along, but a flare up of hip pain has meant that I am in a ‘can’t be bothered’ mood. I resorted to taking pain relief today and applying pain gel (prescribed by a hospital doctor a few years ago and only used when I really need some relief). That did work and I have had a productive day – editing this blog (got a few new affiliates to work with – companies with holiday cottages etc in Pembrokeshire and a national company – so get in touch if you want to book a holiday to this wonderful county or anywhere else in the UK) and farm business.

I have also had some crafty stash delivered today. The ‘Swiffer’ was recommended by Tim Holtz for cleaning down after using embossing powder etc, and he is right, it does work really well. I ordered a new set to replace the one that must be several years old now. I have received the fantastic set of TwiMarkers from Arteza – going to test them out and blog the results. There are 100 pens, so you can imagine how excited I am! Then there is part of an order from Create & Craft (the new Sizzix dies and embossing folders should arrive tomorrow). Mel Heaton had a bundle including some Poppy stencils, a pack of Sumi Paper (I still haven’t found out what I am going to use this for – will contact Mel directly tomorrow and ask her!) and various mixed media products from the new Cadence range. I thought this would be a good opportunity to test them out, and the stencils will be fabulous for all sorts of different projects. The Cadence range seems to be well priced and has good reviews, but I do like to see for myself.

I hope everyone is well and enjoying this mini heatwave (known as an early summer day in Spain!). I have had some time today to sit out in the sun (and hubby has taken over the grasscutting duties now that we have grass in the back garden too, so it was doubly wonderful to sit and relax whilst he used the mower!). Planning a trip out for an icecream tomorrow (we can travel 5 miles here in Wales).

Will settle down in front of the tv with my iPad now (got The Bakeoff Professionals to watch and I think that Sewing Bee is on too) and visit some of your wonderful blogs.

Ali x

(ps Don’t think you are going mad – this blog has been changed to a new template – I was asked to blog about Pembrokeshire, so I have had to move things around to reflect the widening of my blogging activity. )

(pps Update on crafty stash delivery. The 3rd courier today has just brought my 2nd parcel from Create & Craft – Sizzix goodies. Will show them off next week. If you want to see them sooner, I will put some pictures up on Instagram tomorrow @aliwadedesigns).

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

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.

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.

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.

WOYWW 559 – new tech & crackle glaze

Hi, everyone. Long time no type! Today is a day when I need to get on with various jobs before I hibernate in my craft room for the rest of the day. Last night I had an exciting delivery – the new Cricut Maker machine, which I ordered from Hobbycraft a few days ago. Obviously I just want to get it out of the box and start playing, but I am being strict with myself and getting the basics done first (typing this blog post, having breakfast, walking the dog and doing some floor cleaning downstairs). I will be doing a series of blog posts about my ‘journey’ with the Cricut Maker in the coming weeks/months/years.

This is my latest post for WOYWW (What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday), hosted by Julia over at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/. Join in. We love to see new craft spaces – room, table, floor, shed …..

I have been tidying my craft room for a while now – getting more stuff sold/donated and generally making it feel less crowded, as I was struggling to be in here surrounded by too many things. It isn’t finished, but at least I can move around without falling over things! Currently I have my ex-sewing machine table set up next to my main pc area, and the old Silhouette Cameo machine (which I bought very cheaply a couple of weeks ago) sits on there. Obviously, I need space for the Cricut Maker, so the Cameo will be moved to the windowsill immediately behind, so I can still plug it into the pc when I need to use it (the Cricut is wireless and will be connected to my iPad a lot of the time). I bought the Cameo, as it was so cheap and I really wanted to be able to use the large library of designs that I built up several years ago (over 2100). However, I knew that I would need one of the latest machines within the near future, so I could cut more materials/do more processes etc. I had been looking at the Cricut for a while – watching YouTube videos etc. It was a difficult decision not to buy one of the latest Cameo 4, but I do enjoy having new tech to play with and when I had an offer to buy through HobbyCraft with interest free payments for 4 months, I decided to treat myself. I already have my first client – a lady who needs lots of felt flowers cut out – so get in touch if there is anything you want personalised, large quantities of anything cut out, foiling, etc etc.

My photos today show my tidy crafting table. I have started to make a birthday card (that is a llama, which needs a blanket pad on its back, so it doesn’t get confused with a deer!). I need to finish a backing paper design that I started with a new software to me – Affinity Designer – and cut out a Happy Birthday sentiment. The pink journal (which I am going to use for photos) was made in a craft workshop last month. The crackle glaze on the covers is delicious!

The boxes on the floor contain the Cricut Maker and the tool kit that came with it.

Photos/videos later on here – and Instagram (@iamaliwade and @growinfaithcreatively).

Time to go and have my breakfast now and then walk Buzz the Dog.

Enjoy your day.

Ali x

WOYWW 545 – all sorts waiting to be done

Afternoon everyone (it is rapidly approaching lunchtime here, so I am typing very quickly). It has been a while since I blogged. There has been some crafting happening, but mainly at workshops (I have two this week). I have restarted Bible journaling again, but that has been purely digital so far (received my delivery from Eden.co.uk yesterday, and will be doing an unboxing video this afternoon). There will be a separate blog post showing the two layouts I have done so far – on Photoshop, which continues to be a steep learning curve.

We have just come back from our most recent trip to Spain – our beloved Northern Costa Blanca again. I will do a separate blog post with some photos, as there is just so much beauty to share. In the meantime, my Instagram accounts always have lots of photos/videos – @iamaliwade (for photos of the farm, animals, Spain, Pembrokeshire, cycling etc), @big_old_farmhouse (for household management, living with chronic illness/perimenopause, natural cleaning etc) and my new one @growinfaithcreatively (for all Bible journaling, faith art etc). I am an Instagram addict!

My crafty table shows some magazines that I bought purely for the stamps, which are all really useful. There is a small pile of cross stitching stash. I hadn’t stitched for years, but then our local chapel crafting group started on Christmas cards last month. I was busy teaching the beginners, but did make a start on a robin design. We will be continuing with these next week, and I will get my card finished at home probably (leading the workshop for the first time). The vellum wrap with foiling was what we made at a workshop a few weeks ago. A battery-powered tealight goes inside. The foiling is done by applying the glue from the Stix2 glue pen, waiting for it to go clear, and then pressing on the foil. I bought a pen home and some of the foils to do some other projects.

I have some birthday cards to make this week, including three cycling-themed ones for members of our local cycling club (we are having a joint birthday meal next week). I also need to get on with my latest needle felting project, and of course I will be continuing to learn Bible journaling techniques. There should be some more interesting photos next Wednesday.

If anyone wants to join in with the weekly global blog hop around crafty workspaces, then visit HERE.

I will attempt to visit some blogs later.

Ali x

About Ali

Hi, my name is Ali Wade. I am 49 at the time of typing, and live in rural Pembrokeshire with my semi-retired/dairy farmer/cycling addict hubby! I have been blogging since 2012 over on Blogger, and in 2019 I transferred over to WordPress (which is definitely a steep learning curve!).

What started as a simple blog, mainly about crafting, is now progressing into a website that will showcase my sources of passive income. I have Fibromyalgia, Hyper Mobility Syndrome and Psoriasis, and have not been able to work outside the home for many years. We are planning to move away from our dairy farm business – both in terms of the actual physical running of it (we have a contractor providing the labour and machinery now) and also spending more of the year in Spain. Therefore, we are looking at other ways of providing income for our later years (we are far too young to retire!). My passion for crafting and design, combined with other interests, is leading me to develop this ‘lifestyle blog’.

I am an affiliate – for several companies that I have been learning/shopping with for years – with others coming soon.

I am concentrating mainly on developing Passive Income, as that fits best with my chronic health conditions.

However, I have started offering Tarot and Rune Readings professionally again. Email me at hello@aliwade.com if you need some guidance (for you and/or your pet).

I have a long To Do List for developing this website, so please bear with me. The design and content will be changing a lot in the next few weeks.

17th June 2020