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 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

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.

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. (Scroll down to see details for her new Digital Watercolour Course.)

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.


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


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.


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!

Edited to add. Teela Cunningham of EveryTuesday has just released her Watercolor Florals in Procreate course.


Hand Illustration

Artists Network. Free tutorials for drawing beginners.


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.


I haven’t tried Tombow pens, but this set looks gorgeous.

A fantastic set of pens in the current sale
(only a few left as of 2nd June)

These skin tone pens from Arteza sell out really quickly, so grab a set now! SORRY THESE ARE SOLD OUT. I WILL KEEP LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION.

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!

Funky Easter Bunny

Whilst having a look on Pinterest yesterday I saw a drawing project involving a bunny outline and assorted pairs of glasses. I loved the finished examples being shown, so this morning I downloaded the template, converted it it into PNG files with Affinity Designer (free 90 day trial at the moment), and got drawing/colouring on my iPad with Procreate.

It has taken me a lot of the day to get it finished (in a few sessions in front of the tv). A lot of extra time was spent getting the pair of glasses I wanted to use converted into a clear background (using the Magic Eraser app). However, I then realised I could have just traced over in a new layer, deleted the original layer, and saved as PNG with transparent background! I definitely learn every time I do a project.

Here he is (definitely a boy!). Click on the image to download the template for yourself from teachstarter.com.

Obviously this was originally for children, but anyone of any age can have fun filling in the different sections, perhaps use different colours/textures. You can definitely print it out and do it all on paper/card.

It kept me entertained for another day whilst on ‘lockdown’.

Give it a go, and tag me if you post on Instagram @aliwadedesigns.

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