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Monday, 2 January 2017

Diary of a Busy Crafter

Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone enjoyed their new year's eve and New Year's Day  festivities, however you decided to celebrate the start of 2017.

So last year I started a series of posts called 'A Year in Crafting'. I had the idea at the beginning of the year but started late because well I got busy and forgot about it for a while. I didn't quite finish the series as you know, due to my Dad's ill health and subsequent passing, but I thought it was something I'd like to try my hand at again.

I've changed the name from 'A Year in Crafting' to 'Diary of a Busy Crafter', so that I can make posts as an when I can. I will try to do these on a monthly basis, but it may be that if I have a lot going on crafting wise, I'll post twice in a month and if I have a lot going on in real life and not so much new in my crafting I'll miss a month. Anyway we'll see how it goes.

So this is just going to be a post about what things I discovered/rediscovered or got interested in in 2016, and what I think I'll be doing or would like to do in 2017.

Cards without Images

This is something I really picked up and ran with in 2016. I will never lose my love of stamped and coloured images, but sometimes you just don't have the right image for the occasion, or the recipient isn't into that or you just want to get creative with embellishments, inks, embossing pastes etc. without having to worry about how to fit that around a stamped image. This is something I want to carry on doing in 2017, not least to try and use up some of my vast collection of design paper!


So one thing I really got my head around (finally!) in 2016 was CAS cards. While this will never be my true love in quite the way my embellished cards are, I discovered that I actually could make decent looking ones. Some images just lend themselves a little more to the CAS style, sometimes you just need a card in a hurry, and sometimes you want to be able to post a card to get there quickly and safely without costing you a second mortgage lol!  I'll continue to work on my CAS skills in 2017.

I still sometimes feel my cards are missing something when I go CAS which is why I try and use die cuts or techniques or something on a lot of my CAS cards, which makes them clean but maybe not always so simple....and that brings us smoothly along to ....


Now all of us use some kind of techniques on our cards. This could be stamping, colouring (Copic or other alcohol markers, distress inks or other watercolours, pencil work or whatever you use to colour your images, that's a colouring technique), die-cutting, fussing cutting, paper piecing, masking etc.
I have used all of the above previously, but towards the end of 2016 I discovered some new ones, and I'm really loving trying things out.
As you will know if you follow my blog, I have started a series of posts called Technique Tuesday where I share a card using one or two particular techniques. Currently I've just been sharing the card and talking about the techniques I used, but if time permits I would like to add a few tutorials and possibly even a video or two.....which take us neatly to ....

Tutorials and YouTube

So in 2016 I finally made my first YouTube tutorial video. This is something I wanted to do for a long time and something I would very much like to pick up again in 2017. Unfortunately there are several things that make this very difficult for me. First of all I have no craft room. This means that I have nowhere to set up a permanent video rig, which means that making videos is very time consuming, because I have to clear a space and set up everything before I can even start to film. Secondly I work full time, this means that not only do I have limited time, but that in the winter/autumn I am totally limited to filming at a weekend, as it's just too dark to film when I get in from work. We also live a long way from the exchange so sadly my internet speed it slow. While this doesn't affect my posts too much, uploading a video to YouTube can hours and hours. My partner tends to get cross if he can't use the internet properly because I'm uploading, so mostly I can only upload overnight, which isn't always convenient and sometimes clashes with my partner wanting to download a patch for a game or something. So yeah, time....BIG issue.  But I will try and pick up my videos where and when I can, continuing my distress colouring tutorials and also teaching some techniques.  Speaking of teaching.....

Teaching Classes and Retreats

Last year, apart from my video tutorials, I also dipped my toe into the world of teaching and classes by attending and teaching at the first Whimsy Stamps Annual Craft Retreat. This was a total blast, I enjoyed it so much and had so much fun. I was intending on doing a write up of the retreat when I came back to England, but of course I came back to my Dad being in hospital again and having to rush down south to be with him in his final hours, and afterwards I just really couldn't get my head around it. But I have been invited back to teach again this year...YAY!! I will make sure I take plenty or photos and do a big post for you when I return.  Apart from teaching there I would really like to start teaching some classes in the UK. I am happy to teach classes and workshops in distress ink colouring, creative card techniques, and distressed, vintage and shabby chic cards. I'll be doing some research and hopefully if there's enough interest I can make it happen. I'm also thinking of perhaps putting on a little craft retreat for stampers in the UK, if I can work it out, I just need to brainstorm some ideas and see if I can get some others to collaborate with me. Exciting stuff if I can make it work.

So that's 2016 wrapped up and some of my plans for 2017, I hope I didn't bore you too much and that you will continue to join me on my journey in 2017.
Have a great year everyone!


  1. Gorgeous, stunning, sooooo beautiful, different techniques and yet so you! Love being inspired by your beautiful creations! Wishing you all the best for 2017!

  2. I've enjoyed reading about your year - here's hoping you will have a very peaceful and very creative 2017 Linda, hugs from Mary xx

  3. Happy New Year Linda!
    Lovely to read about your year and future plans for 2017 too. I hope all your creative ideas come to fruition and that 2017 treats you kindly.

  4. Happy New Year Linda! Good to read about what you did, and what you're planning to do... and I popped over to on of your videos... number 3 I think! Fabulous colouring - and I LOVE your nails!! hehe!

    Christine x

  5. loveyour cards!
    they are stunning!
    hugs, Ŧĭƙĭ

  6. Looooving all you plan to do and really love these updates. Happy 2017 hope you have an Amazing Year!

  7. Ooh I love reading these posts. I must confess, I popped in and read it earlier, but had no time to stop and comment then, so I'm finally catching a few minutes to myself to do so. I loved watching your journey this past year through crafting. Your 'non image' cards are amazing, gorgeous, fabulous! You've totally got this CAS card thing nailed, no question!! Your technique tips are fabulous. I think it would be amazing to have Youtube tutorials from you too, but with connectivity issues, I get this is tricky. I still love photo tutorials and actually find those easier to follow at times. So there's always that approach. Awesome read Linda, thanks for this post. So looking forward to all 2017 brings in your crafty adventures. Pretty hard to top that Teaching gig though right?! Oh to have been a fly on that wall!! Hugs, Wends xoxo


I love to read your comments and feedback and every one left is read and appreciated. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have, I will always do my best to answer them. Thanks for visiting!

Linda xx