All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Big Ass Diary Update Part 1

Well, can’t believe it’s been nearly three weeks since I did an All Counties Craft Challenge diary update so, you’re definitely going to need a brew whilst you make your way through this one … I did – several!

Because it is such a big ass update I have split into down into three smaller posts – gives you chance for a loo break between ‘episodes’, lol.

Anyway, I’m ready. Are you?

All Counties Challenge Header

When I left you I had just completed the workshop in Hereford. Sooo much has happened since that I am doing one big ass diary update but splitting it down into three posts to make it more manageable.

After the workshop in Hereford it was off to Wales and I decided to have a ‘base’ from which I could get to the majority of the workshops so I found a lovely place just round the back of Tredegar House.

Proper above board and everything.


A couple of surprises in Wales and beyond but more about these later as they become relevant.

First workshop stop was in Carmarthen at B Crafty. A lovely fledgling store that has been open just five months – at the time of writing this post.


Here I met some lovely folk, all happy to give a broad smile and a lovely Welsh welcome.


The store owners like to celebrate their heritage and stock a range of Welsh themed items, including this cheeky chappy.


This workshop was on stamping however we did have a little time for a play with the Zig Real Colour Brush pens.

One of the smaller workshops that I have done with just two attendees. Two beautiful and lovely ladies who enjoyed the day and shared a good deal of natter!

Even thought there were just the three of us, somehow we managed to make enough mess for more.


The day came to an end all too soon and it was back into Maisy and onto the next Welsh venue.

This time it was Craft Of Hearts in Tonypandy. A wonderfully eclectic and creative space nestled in the backstreets.

Walking in and I immediately felt like I was home.


Jo met me and gave me the lay of the land and a guided tour around all of the goodies in the shop.


For this event we were doing a presentation on the Scan N Cut and we had two groups of ladies that took part. All quite shy but I managed to get a couple of secret snaps – hehe!

Just a short one here with only the afternoon covered so this one REALLY flew by and after a natter and a cuppa with Jo I headed back out onto the road and started planning the next workshop which was to be in Barmouth.

It was a three hour drive North of Tredegar to get to the caravan location that I was to park at overnight for this one. Lots of surprises here!

Surprise one – I was on my own on the site and had a stunning view!


Surprise 2 – I suit a flat cap – hahaha!


While here I did a quick bit of micro photography – if you would like to see these, please visit this blog post >>> it was super cool!

Surprise 3 – The farm owner was actually an artist with a very unique style – he paints on feathers!

If you would like to see some of his work, please feel free to visit

Anyway, a lovely and VERY peaceful night I headed over to Barmouth, a lovely little coastal town in west Wales. The town has the sea to one side and a large hill to the other. Buildings are set into the hill and this gives a very unique look to the town.


For this workshop I Alison, bottom left catching me taking this secret selfie, had requested a Scan N Cut day. So, machines out of the box and on we went.


Much questioning and scratching of heads later and the ladies went home very happy – there were even some gleeful hands in the air!

Time to drive back down to Tredegar to await my next workshop which was to be at Tonic Studios HQ!

On the day I arrived early …


… in the wrong place. How was I supposed to know they had TWO HQs!? LOL!

Luckily the other HQ was around the corner – looking all swish and modern.


One of the bigger workshops here with fifteen fabulous characters packing themselves in among the Tangerine machines and wonderful dies.


For this workshop their in house workshop coordinator came up with three projects, which meant that I got to take part too!

Lots of cutting and creating went on during the day – and the coffee was kept flowing too.

Alison – yes, another Alison, may have gone a little mad by the end of the day …


It’s just a thought. LoL!

Want to see what I made?

We even managed a couple of broadcast opportunities with a Skype call to Dean & Mel in the Create and Craft studios in Peterborough …


… and a guest appearance on a live YouTube/Facebook broadcast via Tonic LIVE with the lovely warm tones of Owain. Seriously, watch this while not watching it, i.e. listen to it, and you will see what I mean.


Hadn’t had an opportunity for the Maisy shot in the last few workshops so it was great to be able to get her back involved at the end of this workshop. :)


Sad to say but it was time to move on and leave Wales. Back on the 17th Feb though so please do check out the itinerary!

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2 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Big Ass Diary Update Part 1

  1. I am all for helping mind I have got a son with mental health issue since the age of 12 nowith his is 43 and is able to live a structured life to be able to cope, but once a year he goes into deep depression and asked to be let alone until he can cope again. So yes I took crafting up when my health went down and no longer can work I make things to sell for charities and I have not heard of mind and certainly will put this charity on my list.
    I am very new to crafting and find hard to have confidence to see if my work is good enough to sell. I brought a scanNcutCM900 in December and need urgent lesson on how to use it is looked on utube but find it hard to follow I really need lessons on it please can you inform me when you will be doing another workshop with the machine in the Kent area thank you gentleman crafter.


  2. Thanks, John for the big ass catch up. I’m so pleased with what you’ve been able to achieve so far for Mind and I hope that my few measly pounds “dropped in the bucket” will help you reach your goal for such a worthy organisation. I’m quite proud that there is a Mind office in my town and that I was fortunate enough to have a sympathetic GP who did listen to me a few years back. You’re my hero. Thanks.


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