Saturday, 26 December 2009

No longer dreaming of a White Christmas

This blog comes to you from the snowy lands of Colorado, Broomfield to be precise just outside of Denver where I've just had my first white Christmas in recent memory. It's been lovely just chilling out here, spending time with family, having a much greater choice of gluten free foods and fantastic shopping.

I also picked up my Cricut which I got in the Black Friday sales here. For anyone who doesn't know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when Christmas shopping starts in earnest and there are huge sales on, probably bigger than the UK New Years sales. I was lucky and managed to get it for only $75, about £50, and this is my first, very simple project created with it.

I did bring some scrapping tools with me, but it's never the same as having your full stash and I've found I'm not really good at planning in advance what I'm going to need, which meant this had to be very simple.

This is my favourite picture so far:

But will post more of the drive up into the Rocky Mountains soon, especially the ones of the Elk herd we saw.

Unfortunately I had some very sad news. My lovely friend Jill, wife of Phil, lost her battle with cancer a few days after Christmas. It was very quick, which meant she didn't suffer any more than she had already, and also meant she died with dignity, at home, in the arms of the man she loved with all her heart with her Sister present. She is missed.

Hoping you've all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year. Remember to cherish your loved ones, tell them you adore them, hold them and don't waste a moment of your time with them.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Mixed media blog

And by that I mean this is going to be a cooking and scrapping blog. I'm a bit of a slow scrapper, particularly at the moment but I am really pleased with how this one has turned out. I love blue, it's my favourite colour so I have a lot of blue patterend papers in my stash. I have a terrible habbit of defaulting to plain papers as the basis for my pages, then regretting it later on so I bit the bullet and started this layout with the paper.

My kittens loved this old paper tray when they first came to me and both cuddled up in it frequently. Bee's just a tad big for it now but still manages, somehow, to get comfortable enough to sleep in it. They really can sleep anywhere.

Last weekend I stayed with my lovely friend Alan, who always pushes the boat out for my in a culinary sense by finding and making gluten free recipes. This time it was a tart with caramelised onions and goats cheese, scrummy! So having had some GF ready made pastry in the freezer for a while made by Dietary Specials, I thought I'd recreate it. I made it into more of a quiche by adding an egg/milk custard to it and this is the outcome.

I made it up as I went along but essentially the recipe goes like this.

I sliced three large onions and cooked them slowly in a knob of butter over a low flame til they were gently browning and sweet, then allowed them to cool. I lined a pie tin with pastry - with gluten free pastry it works best to press into the tin rather than trying to roll it out due to the fragile nature of the dough. I then filled it with the cooled onions and two rounds of goats cheese which I cut in half. In a small bowl I beat together two eggs with a splash of cream and milk, and some fresh thyme leaves and pepper and poured this over the filling. I then topped it off with a small amount of grated cheddar and baked at 200c for 25 mins. I'd probably do it at 190c (or 170c in my fan oven) but it wasn't by any means burnt.

My Sugar and Spice blog is also up today. Please take a peek if you can :)

I've also now booked by Christmas trip to Family in the USA. This now means of course that I can start planning and preshopping my crafting bits :) Can't wait! My passport renewal also came through in double quick time, I posted it on Monday and got it back on Friday. How's that for service?!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Last weekend was a kitchen one, rather than papercrafting. Over the two days I managed to make a batch of gluten free almond butter chocolate chip cookies. And very yummy they were too. I did a lasagne for dinner, cream of mushroom soup with white wine for the week, braised lamb shanks with a redcurrant and mint gravy with mashed potatoes and parsnips and a batch of peach chutney.

With peaches being in season they are lovely and ripe, large and firm, and very cheap! There was a bit more liquid in the chutney than I'd like but I wanted to retain firm chunks of peaches rather than have a soupy mess, I kind of made up the recipe as I went along but it contained:

1 cup of champagne vinegar
0.75 of a cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 finely chopped small onion
1 cinnamon stick
8 skinned and chopped peaches - firm ones are better
Handful of raisins

I just put all ingredients into a non stick saucepan, brought to the boiled and simmered for about an hour. Now the jar will sit in the fridge for about 5 weeks to mature before I can tell you how it turned out. Next time I'd either add more peaches or reduce the vinegar down to two thirds of a cup with half a cup of sugar.

The cookie recipe is exceedingly easy, and probably a good one to make with kids.

1 cup of almond butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
2tsps of baking powder

Mix the almond butter and the sugar, add the egg and blend in. Next add the baking powder. You can also throw in some chocolate chips to taste as I did.

Next take about a walnut sized lump of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on greased proof paper on a baking tray, flatten with a fork to give a tines pattern and bake at 180c (160c fan oven) for about 11 mins. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before cooling completely on a wire rack.

Minor disaster was the oven element blowing up again as I started the weekend off, meaning I had to bake the cookies in the small convection oven in batches which took a while. I will be taking delivery of a lovely new oven tomorrow, as my old one sounded like an airplane taking off I'm looking forward to a bit more tranquility as the smells of baking cakes and roasting meats wafts through the house on the impending Wintery afternoons.
Only one day off this weekend as I'm working today (Sunday) on office moves. Yesterday was dedicated to getting my layout for the Sugar and Spice blog done. You can see it here. There's another layout on it's way of one of the kittens sleeping in what appears to be a very uncomfortable place, but he looks happy.

I also finished my friend's having a baby card which is doing the rounds at work, photo of that to follow.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cats, cookies and cards

I'm finally coming out of the other side of a flare up of what's probably arthritis. I can now walk without the crutch and I'm not in screaming agony all the time, and it's amazing at how much more energised I am because of it.

Woke up invigorated yesterday and started on my first batch of Almond butter, the prime ingredient in some cookies I want to make. You can buy it in Health Food shops but there isn't one conveniently placed and I'm all for having a go myself. A bit of research on the net showed it was pretty straight forward. So, one 800g bag of almonds and some serious food processing brought me to this. No additives, just the almond butter, though I think if I was making this for straight eating purposes, like peanut butter, I might add a small amount of sugar and salt. Or use more expensive almonds. In the cookies though they only need to provide a nutty flavour and the bulk of the biscuits themselves. And frankly, it's still pretty good as is. Off a spoon. If I get round to making the cookies today I'll post pictures in a later blog.

Two cards also need to be made this weekend, my brother's birthday is Tuesday. I find it more difficult to make masculine cards, but think the trick is to just keep it simple. Picking the right colours right at the start makes it a lot easier. This is made from scraps from a class by Bananafrog owner Bev, and stamps from Sugar and Spice.

I punched out lots of circles from scraps, stamped and punched the Happy Birthday and the lettering inside. My next card is for a friend at work who'll be leaving soon to have a baby girl. That one I suspect is going to be a whole lot girlier!

My boys also had a bit of trauma on Friday courtesy of a trip to the vets for their neutering. I'm very relieved to say that they came through it ok, stressed out by being around the other animals, particularly the dogs, but recovering nicely. I love this picture of them, taken pre the chop.

And now, as I was still awake with PMT induced sleeplessness at 3.30am this morning I'm off for a nap.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Oooh, an award. How exciting!

The lovely Louise aka FairyQueen has given me my first blog award. Thank you ever so much!
The rules are simple, you need to pass on the award to five other people. So I nominate:

and to list five things I'm addicted to:

Shopping - no big surprise here
Amish Culture

I'm now off to indulge at least two of those this evening :)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Mojo is Back

The mojo has returned and I'm in a creative mood. I didn't get round to baking cookies last weekend, my local supermarkets don't stock almond butter and my legs were too achy to head into Lakeside to Holland & Barrett, so I'm going to have a go at making my own which appears to be relatively easy with a food processor.

I'm just waiting for some pink vellum to come so I can finish the first of this month's design team postings, which is due on Friday so I'm actually ahead. I also got the new cuttlebug out of it's box last night and attached the handle so it's time to play around with that and my new sizzix dies. I'm feeling the need to play with my stash, and have an idea focused around Bee, one of my kittens, snoozing in what looks like a very uncomfortable position, and another one around one of my loves, Geisha. I hope this drive lasts til the weekend, which seems a long, long way off.

Friday I'm taking the boys for the cruelest cut of all at the vets. I feel very guilty, I'm reliably informed that this is the best thing for them and for the local cat population. It still feels like it's better for me than for them.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Stampin Up! Madness and Shopping

If you follow Craft Critique on twitter this won't be news to you, but for those who haven't Stampin Up! have issued a new contract to their Demonstrators in the US. They all have to sign this or effectively they'll be cut off from all SU services.

It essentially includes clauses to control all SU Demo's forms of internet presence, from Twitter and Facebook through to blogs and websites, not just those used for SU business but those strictly for personal use. It even specifies that links to other sites, including personal friends, who mention or link to competing products are now forbidden. So, for example, if you're an SU Demo with a facebook account, and your best friend owns a stamp company or sells stamps of another brand and mentions this on their facebook account, you can't have them as a friend on Facebook. You can't link to their website or blog.

I've never heard the like. It's draconionan, 1984'esque, unreasonable and unworkable. I hope many Demo's vote with their feet, I certainly won't be buying from.

On a more positive note, what was supposed to be a quick in and out trip on Saturday to pick up a pair of crutches the lovely Polly had left for me at Sugar and Spice turned into a very lovely chatty afternoon with the gorgeous Marion. She valiantly tried to debate the nature of need versus want when it came to the Cuttlebugs she had on special offer. I've been debating getting a bigger die cutting machine for a while, I love my Sizzix Sidekick and use it quite a lot but I want to be able to cut chipboard and I love the Cuttlebug embossing texture folders. She then very kindly helped carry it to the car :D

I haven't had a chance to even unpack it yet as Saturday night was spent cooking - GF cheesecake, Chicken and Pork Terrine with a cranberry and orange sauce and tomato and pepper salsa for a party in Chester on Sunday. Which was brilliant, and a fab night was had by all, but 430 miles of driving in 48 hours was exhausting. I met some lovely people who I'd ony chatted to online before, one of whom is also gluten intolerant and she brought along the most gorgeous Almond butter cookies, which I'm going to be doing a batch of this weekend.

Results will be posted here!

Thursday, 27 August 2009


More confessions.

Yes, it's true, I'm a heretic. I don't like Summer. I hate the heat and the flies, I like clear blue days but I prefer those of Spring and Autumn. Autumn is by far my favourite season of the year, bounteous with produce, Halloween, Guy Fawkes, cold crisp nights, planning for Christmas and cuddling up on cold afternoons with a good film and a hot chocolate.

However this weekend I got a layout finished that screams Spring and Summer, so I'm not a complete grump about it all :)

Another layout of my gorgeous neice. Hope you like it. I love the daisies and my new Catslife Press stamps.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Design team postings

I'm very fortunate to have a place on the Sugar and Spice design team, so if you haven't seen that blog already - and I do recommend it, here's some of my work for them so far. Marion has designed some really lovely and versatile stamps some of which have recently been featured on QVC.
My kittens make layouts easy, I'm completely biased but I think they're very photogenic.

A friend's wedding provided the inspiration for this card.
I really wanted to try something different for my third project, I'd had some of these frames at home for ages and had a couple of ideas in mind, one of which was this:
I hope you like them.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Confessions of a lapsed blogger

I've just realised how long it's been since last I blogged. Shame on me!

It has been a very busy time, a time of decorating the front room, dinners out with friends, a concert in the rain soaked to my undergrundies but fab music, and a hectic work schedule.

I have found some time to do some crafting, good job really as my friend's wedding is next weekend and I've still got stuff to do for her. The orders of service I've shown you already, they now have their inserts all done. The table plan is almost complete and as it's my first go I'm inordinately pleased with how it's come out. And, more to the point, the Bride and Groom are pretty pleased too.

So, tonight it's continuing on with the place cards - thankfully it's a simple design to do but it still takes a long while to get 60 odd done. Then, 8 table numbers and I'm done. Woo hoo. You've already seen the wedding card in another posting, now, the next big step? Remembering to take everything and keeping the kittens and their very dirty paws off of it all. Today was also my day for the Sugar and Spice Design Blog, take a look if you have a mo.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Interesting Times

There's an old chinese curse,
"May you Live in Interesting Times".
And last week really qualifies as that, it was pretty lousy as weeks go with all sorts of work shenanigans and issues, and it culminated on Friday with getting rear ended at a T junction on the way home from the office. No major damage, just a cracked rear bumper but I felt pretty shocked and very rough all evening, with lovely friends concerned that I might have a concussion. A good night's sleep sorted all but the headache fortunately.

So Saturday had an unsurprisingly slow start, with an enormous reluctance on my part to do much of anything. Plans to decorate had to be changed as my Brother who was going to come over and help was in quarantine, his wife has suspected swine flu. With only four weeks to go to Irene and Mike's wedding it was a great opportunity to get the supplies in. So, off to Hobbycraft for A0 sized card for a table plan, coordinately place cards and table numbers and other sundries. Well it'd have been rude to go and just buy the essentials wouldn't it?

Another drive onto my scrapping home, Sugar and Spice for some personal fun bits and then to another local place for the peel offs. Followed up by a quick trip to Waitrose and by now my feet were in full on protest, so I dropped into some friends for tea and cake.
Sunday saw the welcome return of an old friend. My get up and go! I dd three loads of laundry, made a wedding card which will also double as my next Design Team post, and the first Order of Service card. Just waiting for the boss' approval on this one before I do the next 19. She wanted something plan and simple along the lines of her invites which were done by someone else. I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Big News - Cats Purr when they want something!!! Grumpy old woman speaks.

It's true, some people are paid to do research that is just, well, excuse the pun, BARKING. According to research, which some highly intelligent people have been paid to do cats use purring to get what they want. Wow. Who knew? Well apparently we did....

"Cat owners may have suspected as much, but it seems our feline friends have found a way to manipulate us humans."

As the proud owner of these two very naughty boys , I can tell you this is no surprise. In fact it's no suprise to anyone who's even met a cat, let alone owned one. Really, is this a good use of time and money? What's next? I can see the headlines now.....

BREAKING NEWS - Research shows that the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, although the time of these two events varies through the year, scientists confidently predict this will continue happening for the foreseable future, with one quoted as saying "we believe this phenomenon might even go on for as long as the earth continues to turn. Next we want to study if traffic slows down people's journies and if people actually do get wet when they stand out in the rain".

Speaking of cats, mine brought home their first trophy last night, in the shape of a pterodactyl. Ok, that might be a tiny exageration but it was a very large flying insect, with a wing span of around 5-6", and a thick body measuring 4". When I first saw it flapping about at the edge of the conservatory I thought they'd got hold of a bat. Of course, it had to come in the house, still flapping in a vain attempt to get away, and it's at times like those when you really need a big strong bloke about to rescue you! Instead I slunk upstairs and ignored it. Corpse clear up job tonight. Lovely.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mrs Crimbles/Genius Gluten Free Bread Reviews

Fantastic, now, not only do coeliacs finally have the option of fresh GF bread available to buy in normal supermarkets, there are actually two to choose from.

I've now tried both, so wanted to write down my views on both the options.

Genius Bread
Available from: Tescos
Price: around £2.50 mark

this was the first one I tried, and it says to squeeze it on the side of the bag. Because it's the holy grail of gluten free bread, a loaf that doesn't disintigrate when you look at it the wrong way. It's a good size, comparable to a small, standard sized loaf.

It cuts well, it's squishy. The taste is ok uncooked and it doesn't need refreshing. Toasted it really comes into it's own though.

I've noticed problems with the supply though, they've moved the bread from the fresh aisle to the Free from section, and like other products there it suffers from the sections not being maintained properly, this meant last time I tried to get it there were a load of green loaves that were well out of date, and the freshest stuff had a very short shelf life.

Mrs Crimbles Gluten Free Loaf
Available from: Sainsburys
Price: currently on special at around £1.50 a loaf

Again, nice and squishy. Cuts well, though a little crumblier than the Genius version still a respectable slice. The loaf itself is a slightly odd shape, long and short, giving small slices. The loaf I had also had a collapsed end and lots of large air pockets, as if it hadn't been properly knocked back. It was the last loaf on the shelf though, perhaps for these reasons, so it wouldn't be entirely fair to judge it on that basis.

On balance I think I prefer the Genius bread, however Sainsburys still has a much better GF bread selection overall so I think Mrs Crimbles will be a regular guest chez moi.

Happy munching.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Easy like Sunday morning

It's a beautiful day, the sun is out but it's not excrutiatingly hot. Brunch, of eggs, bacon and gf muffins has been consumed and the rest of the day stretches out before me, with nothing more than a few housework chores, scrapping and catching up on my sky plus'd series to do. How lovely.

My first Sugar and Spice design team posting went up yesterday,, please have a look if you have the time. I'd had a safe option to post, something I'd done for the entry competition, but decided in the end to do something new whilst I had the time and the mojo going. It's always good to have a fall back option in the future for those moments when I feel lacking. Crafting for me isn't a business, it's something I do when I feel the mood, when I feel creative, a little like baking. I know I don't produce as much as lots of other people, I know if I used sketches and kits I could get a lot more done, and there's a lot to do in my mental queue, and whilst both are completely valid ways of crafting it's just not me.

I'm going to make a start today on my friend's table plan for her wedding in August. And I've got an Ikea set of drawers that need labelling up, got a great bookplate die to use, so it's sizzix time here.

Enjoy your Sunday, hope it's easy too.

Monday, 6 July 2009


I had a lovely weekend over in Bracknell with my scrapping partner in crime, Lynne, and her lovely two little girls. We had a barbecue, my first of the year, and it was lovely being able to have everything that was on offer. Hats off to Tesco's for having some gluten free stuff in their BBQ range, the ribs were particularly good and the lamb kebabs (organic only GF) are probably my favourite. Lynne made burgers, so no junk there, and I had some Genius bread to go with. In an exciting development, Mrs Crimbles have brought out their own range of fresh gluten free bread, available from Sainsbury's. I'll be giving that a go and reporting back on my next shopping trip.

Having a 7 and 4 year old running about doesn't leave much time for getting out the papers and the glitter, so we only got some scrapping done after their bedtimes, but it has put both of us in the mood to get on with more. So last night I set to work on my first Design Team blog, due next weekend. I'm really pleased with progress so far, it's got a lovely, summery feel to it but won't say too much about it at the moment or Marion will tell me off, she's small but fierce :)

I'm really enjoying my stamping, there are some gorgeous designs about and I particularly love both the Sugar and Spice stamps and the Bananafrog ones. I'm a big fan of stamps you can use again and again, patterns, shapes, flourishes all work well on both cards and layouts. I suggested to Bev of Bananafrog that they have a 'pick and mix' option, pay one price, pick as many stamps as will fit on an A5 acetate. She said they're considering it, I think that would be an excellent way to buy just the ones you like.

Busy week coming up, and friend's Hen Night on Friday - dinner and a Bjorn Again concert. Should be ace!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A crafty weekend

Yesterday was the interactive album class organised by Sugar and Spice with Bev from the Bananafrog company. I had a fantastic time learning new stamping techniques, and whilst the papers we used weren't our thing the final album was. So thanks to Marion and Bev for a brilliant day, it's amazing we didn't all melt in the heat! We got a set of Bananafrog stamps, and of course, it would have been rude not to purchase a few more from the shop. After a gorgeous cream tea with friends using a gluten free scone from Waitrose which was surprisingly good, it was home in the pouring rain.

My inner librarian was filled with glee today then when I had all these new stamps to organise in my favourite Tim Holtz stamp binder. Mmmmmm. Then, I spent the rest of the day in idle pleasure, watching the last three episodes of Greys Anatomy and the first Private Practice, whilst doing my entry for the Delectables Circle Journal for this month. This month's theme was favourite recipes, a subject close to my heart and I'm quite pleased with the results:

You can see Bev's inspiration in the photo on a flap. There wasn't room for all the pictures I wanted to use so that worked well and provided additional interest to the layout.

And now, the worst evening of the week, Sunday. When next weekend seems an eternity away and the weekend all done. I think this week I shall be opting to work in the building that has aircon as much as possible, it's going to be a scorcher apparently.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Good morning all. Today I'm working from home (yay), so I can do a repeat fasting blood test (boo). I do like working from home, I can get lots done both for my job, and little house work things in between. You know the sort of thing, making a cup of tea? Empty the dishwasher or washing machine. And of course the best bit, no commute!

I had some clothes delivered yesterday, an outfit for a wedding/tea at the Ritz and some general tops from Evans who have taken the hint this year and brought out a lot of longer tops. I'm still not sure about the dress, it looks a bit 'old lady' though the shrug changes the look a lot and the designer, Sixteen47 is anything but crusty.

Best get on. No breakfast for me until the blood test is done.

Monday, 22 June 2009

My subscription copy of Scrapbook Inspirations arrived today, and I've got a layout in it in the Sketch Challenge section. This one in fact.

I think I probably played it too safe, in sticking so closely to the sketch but I love the effect of the paw prints and the ribbons. The only thing I'd have done differently is to get over my sewing machine 'thang' and have stitched along the ribbons. It really is time I had a go at that.

Thankfully I'm feeling physically more energetic, and I've got more done in the front garden, and finished off the first layout from an amazing 80's weekend away with some of my oldest friends. It was a huge giggle, I can't believe they convinced me to dress up but I'm very glad I did, I'd have stuck out more if I hadn't of done. I've collected together photos and embellishments for a mini book of the weekend but had scrappers block, and decided to do this to get me going. I love altering chipboard, I tend to buy chipboard on sale and not worry about the colour, as i know I can and probably will paint, ink, glitter or cover it in paper to suit the design. It does make things more time consuming but I really enjoy the preparation. And I love the sizzix font (baby says yeah), which gives the illusion of welded letters.
Have a CJ that needs to be sent on the 3rd July, and my first Sugar and Spice designs to be ready for the 11th, so plenty of time. As long as I don't procrastinate too much :)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Stamptastic and Pasta Disasters

I've had a busy weekend. Firstly, I can now officially say I won a place on the Sugar and Spice Design Team, thanks to Marion and the crew for your faith in me, I'm looking forward to using all the lovely stamps over the next year.

This meant a trip down to Billericay to pick up my goodies (and, of course, a few more bits and bobs, well, you have to really don't you?). As it was also the Essex Garden Show it was heaving both in the car parks and surrounding roads, which meant my plan to meet up with lovely Phil and Jill didn't come off, but, with a bit of scrapping shopping, it was off to the farm shop, then Sainsbury's then to a friend's Gran in Aveley to drop off some flowers, pop in on a friend on the way home and back to my place to unpack and collapse. Amongst all this I also managed to have a go at making gluten free pasta.

It started out promisingly enough, a fair bit of research on the web brought me to a flour/egg ratio. One US sized cup of Doves Farm GF flour, two eggs and a splash of olive oil brought me to this - which looked right. I gave it a couple of hours to rest before kneading it again and passing it for the first time through the pasta roller. The results were less than impressive, the dough was far too weak and disintegrated the second I tried to move it in anyway. So, this lot sadly ended binwards and I used my normal glutafin instead. Ravioli continues to be a distant dream but at least the pasta machine's cherry got popped. Thanks again to Lynne for giving it to me.

Sunday was a house day, I made another 8 christmas cards and finished off my Dad's Father's Day card for next weekend, along with some more boring tasks but my inner librarian really enjoyed adding the new stamps to my Tim Holtz binder. One day I will customise that, when I'm feeling brave enough. There's an easy to follow guide how to on you tube, where Tim makes it look easy peasy lemon squeezy.

With a short week ahead (I've got a day off on Friday just because), it should be a good one.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Renewed energy

I'm having a very welcome burst of energy and drive, both at work and at home. My Mother reminded me it's my Step Father's 50 Years of Service presentation this weekend. I'd started a card but it had got left by the way side, so, this evening I got on and finished it, and worked out what was wrong with my Dad's father's day card.

This is my first foray into using vellum on cards, it's difficult finding glue that won't show through, even the specialist velum tape I have sometimes does.

I attached the vellum using star shaped brads to an additional layer of bazzill. The numbers are hand cut from grey board, and the letters are sizzix.

I really hope this improvement lasts into the weekend, I have so much I would like to get done.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Gluten Free McChicken Burger

I was never a huge McDonalds fan pre diagnosis, nothing wrong with them but I just had other preferences... chinese food for example. Since being told that I can't eat gluten again, the chinese takeaways are a dim and distant memory and I've had to change my approach. Believe it or not, McDonalds food quality is good, and their nutritional information excellent. Now if stuck for a meal when out, a Big Mac sans the bun goes down very well thank you, and the staff are rarely phased by my request.

But, I had a hankering for a chicken burger. As these almost always come breaded there was no way to get one. Then, Sainsbury's come to the rescue. Sainsbury's have by far the best range of Gluten Free products going, including white rolls and 'breaded' chicken burgers. So, here is tonights unhealthy but very satisfying adventure into gluten free junk eating.

It's fun to play with your food.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fierce Creatures

In a mad fit of energy this evening (and where was THAT all day), I did a bit more hacking and slashing of the front garden. I swear, it grows everytime I turn round. Plastic plants are beginning to look exceedingly appealing as an option.

The kittens are now three months old, and just discovering the outside world in the form of my back garden. It's taken them four days to get more than two foot from the back door - but they've now breached that border and are running around like, well, kittens. I love the way they fluff themselves up to look all scary and big, it's just a tiny bit unconvincing when you weigh less than two kilos and can be picked up in one hand.

The earlier exercise is beginning to tell, and I can see a hot bath and an early night on my horizon. No crafting for me tonight....

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

But it wasn't actually cold enough for a fire. It was grim enough outside to make my plan for some Christmas card making well suited. I managed to make 22 in total, so probably half of my requirement for the festive season. And only six months to go, how WILL I manage to find the time to get the rest done? So, here are the fruits of my labour so far...

I also managed to get a small amount of gardening done. Which has only made me realise how much more there is to do. Good job I have selective eyesight, and can ignore it for a bit longer as I chip away at it bit by bit.

Looks like the gluten free pasta will have to wait til another weekend. Now there's a shocker.

Friday, 5 June 2009

TFI Friday

And now, the end is near.... Don't think Sinatra was referring to the end of the working week on that one, but then I suspect his experience of the 9-5, Monday to Friday routine was limited. You don't have to hate your job to crave the freedom of the weekend, you just have to have a life outside of it.

Had some very good news last night, but can't share it just yet.... Stay tuned for updates.

This weekend is going to be a quiet one, as I nurse yet another virus. Really, it's time they found another victim and left me alone. Blood test results back, some problems with sugar levels and a need to repeat in a couple of weeks.

So, the plan this weekend is for a bit of light housework and garden duties, the latter because the front shrubbery is shocking and about to take over the house, like some bad sci fi B-movie. And Christmas Card making. Yes, I'm aware it's only June. No, I'm not barking. Well, ok I am a bit but again it all goes to my theory that if you leave such things til they have to be done they become a chore. I shall stick on a good movie or two and start a production line going. Results to be published later.

If I manage to work up the wherewithall, the long planned home made pasta/ravioli may finally come to fruition. I should point out though that I've been planning that for about two years, so, I wouldn't advise any breath holding on that subject.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Time, slow clock of the heart

Today in the office I've entered another dimension, where time in my little corner of the universe is running at at least half the rate as it is every where else. I suspect it may have something to do with using another door into the building today, clearly that was a portal. Which also means when I exit work tonight time will return to it's usual brisk pace and there won't be enough of it. Still, tomorrow is working from home which tends to be highly productive.

I have managed to get my Mum's Birthday card made, early I might add, she's not 60 until July but I've got a lot of birthdays and events all within a period of a week. I find if I leave this sort of thing to the last minute it feels pressured and much harder work.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My favourite place for scrapbooking classes, Sugar and Spice, had a competition running to join their new design team. It was predominantly about stamping, which I'm still fairly new to but I thought I'd have a go. This is in the spirit of "you miss 100% of the shots you never take" approach. To apply they wanted a card, a layout and another project of your choice showing your stamping design skills.

These are my submissions:

I'm not that confident about them - but then to be honest I rarely am about my designs even though I've been published twice, and am about to get a third layout in next month's Scrapbook Inspirations. I should really just shut the hell up about it all and stop worrying so much, life would be so much more serene ;) Given I'm an inveterate worrier from a long line of worriers, though that's not likely any time soon.


I thought it was about time I got into this blogging lark, and pretend that I'm the geek I'm actually employed to be.

The plan is to use this blog for stuff I've made, am considering making or am generally plotting, along with any other musings from the morass I call my mind. I'm a papercrafter - I like doing scrapbooking and card making, but I'm also a complete foodie and a coeliac, so recipes and layouts are probably what you're going to see most here. Possibly even layouts of recipes. It's a crazy world and anything can happen, and probably will. Although not necessarily in the next half hour.