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.