Thursday 28 November 2013

Anything goes, but not cake!

This week on Cute Card Thursday it's an anything goes theme, and our sponsor is Rick St Dennis, do stop by the CCT blog to read about the prize and see the DTs inspirational paper crafts!

Well, I didn't get time to create something from paper, but I did have a very successful day baking on Tuesday .. .. sadly this gluten free and lactose free coffee and walnut cake has now disappeared! It's a recipe from the DK Gluten Free cook book and I just substituted the lactose free buttery spread for the butter in the recipe.  The only slight problem is that the spread is softer than butter so the cake needs to be kept in the fridge or the icing will melt. Yesterday I had the dogs in the morning, well only one at a time as they took it in turns to visit Debby, my dog grooming neighbour, for a cut and blow dry.  Then as soon as they were done it was my turn, but not with Debby .. .. I did go to the local hairdressing salon!  When I got home, Jason was here busy with DIY jobs and of course he needed cake to keep going .. .. and Mark had been around to collect the dogs and he had some too, and Mum had some, and I had some, and then some more .. ..

No challenges to enter my cake into .. .. and I have a list of 'easy' diy jobs to do before the boys can do bigger things so crafting, and baking, will have to wait for a while longer.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Christmas Stocking

I am loving the new pine cone die set from Marianne Design, and they work so well along with lots of other MD dies, especially these fronds I think.

It's taken me a while to put this creation together is I kept being interrupted by dogs, life and diy! Originally it was a tag but I got a bit carried away with the twiddly bits so have stuck it with 3d foam tape to make the card, although it is hard to see the original tag. The pretty patterned paper is from an old K&Co Classic stack, a bit flowery perhaps but the perfect colours for Christmas with the wine red, greens and creams.  I've inked the edges of the die and paper layers as well as the embossed areas of the die cuts with Versamagic chalk inks in Jumbo Java and Tea Leaves, you can see the effect on the pine cones and the leaf fronds.

Here's the card:

There are a couple of things I wish I could change, like the label should be around the other way perhaps but perhaps it's not noticeable .. .. and the stocking does look a bit lopsided as does the bird house - I got the tag a bit skewif there!  Apart from that though, I really like the way this one turned out.

These are the Marianne Design dies I've used:
stocking with heart and snowflake - CR1256
pine cones with branch - LR0286
leaf fronds - LRO245
ivy leaves - CR1213
bird and bird house - LR0205
flowers - CR1203, with stamens from LR0142 (large flower) and LR0122 (small flower)
tag - LR0187 with letters from a Joy alphabet die

The Charisma Cardz challenge blog have a Christmas theme running so I'll enter my card with them, and Crafty Creations' theme is for Christmas or American Thanksgiving - I've gone with Christmas then!

I am not getting around to blogging much at the moment, or crafting either.  I have been spending more time with DH, looking after the dogs and consequently going for walks, as well as getting to grips with the gluten free and dairy free way of eating.  I'm still updating my diary page if you are interested - this afternoon I am going to make a coffee and walnut sponge (DH's favourite) and a lasagna .. .. and see if my lemon drizzle cake will 'convert' although I will have to use yogurt in the mix.  I've been avoiding any dairy for the past couple of days and am happy to report no more excruciating tummy aches .. .. so it might be an experiment on the baking and eating levels to see what happens!

Friday 22 November 2013


I am late sharing my DT project for Cute Card Thursday with you as by now it's Friday!  I do have a good excuse though .. .. DH turned up Wednesday evening and took a day off work yesterday.  We went to the Eden Project as he hadn't been for many years and they are doing discount yearly passes for the locals.  We took the dogs so couldn't go into the domes, but just walking around was pleasant and enough exercise for me!  They are busy preparing for Santa's arrival this weekend and Aero was very keen to say hello to his reindeer!

Anyhow, here is my project for the CCT challenge of anything but a card, do stop by the blog to read about the prize and see the rest of the DTs creations.  I have up-cycled an old coffee jar with a big t-light in the bottom (I need to get the epsom salts to add around the base to make things more sparkly).  The sparkly organza ribbon I recently won from the Ribbon Girl and the sleigh and reindeer are Marianne Design dies that I've cut from white card then inked with blue so they would stand out a little more.  I used sleigh - LR0178 and reindeer - LR0179.


A couple more pictures so you can see the two reindeer .. .. I thought about 3 - what do you think? should I cut and add another one?  The little stars at the back of the jar are pale blue sticky back ones from my stash that I've had for ages so needed using up.  All in all a quick and cheap make for Christmas.

I am dog sitting now for the next few days as DH has gone 'up north' to visit his brother who is having an operation today, he should be back Sunday evening so I hope I last out and Piper doesn't decide to howl tonight.  I doubt I'll get much crafting done, but who knows .. .. I am still trying with the Gluten Free way and will update my page with what's happened over the last couple of days .. ..

Enjoy your weekend, and have fun with whatever you get up to!

Monday 18 November 2013

Frosty the Snowman

I've had another busy weekend with no crafting, but lots of DIY, shopping and cooking, and sharing time with family.  On Saturday DH drove us to the Farmer's Market at Bodmin Herbery where we picked up lots of lovely goodies, chatted to the stall holders and made plans for ordering the festive food.  We then went for a walk with the dogs along the Camel Trail and after a general shop at Tescos came home to find the new laminate flooring going down .. .. albeit with a few curses when things didn't quite go according to Jason's plans!  His girlfriend is on a gluten free diet, and mostly dairy free too, and as this way of eating is something I'd been thinking about trying for some time I decided to see how it would go over the weekend.  I've added a short blow by blow account at the bottom of this post if you are interested .. .. ..

I made this card on Friday but have only just got around to uploading it to my blog, it's a Serendipity Stamps snowman stamp, coloured with Copics and then lots of Stardust Stickles added for sparkle .. .. gotta be done at Christmas!

The card is a scallop base with paper scraps from an old K&Co pad plus a piece of white paper I've embossed with a swirly folder.  All the layers have been given the Stickles sparkle treatment, and my organza ribbon is also shimmery with a pretty ruffled edge. The Marianne die cuts to create a snowflake are embellished with lots of little gems, and more added to the corners of the white layer - oh yes it sparkles!  So, perfect for the Christmas Card challenge this time which is for bling! and the Papertake Weekly challenge for snow and ice. Divas by Design would like to see something snowy too, while the Crafty Little Fairies are asking you to be inspired by song .. .. Frosty the Snowman of course!  And, look what I got .. ..

I might not have a card to share with you for a while as my stash is still put away, although I have managed to get the dining room table back into the lounge so if there's no pressing DIY chores for me to tackle I might be able to get around to making something to share with you, fingers crossed!

Here's my Gluten Free diary: now tweaked and transferred to a separate page so you can keep up with me if you are interested.
Day 1 on Saturday I certainly didn't feel like snacking so much and didn't get the mid afternoon foggy head, in fact I only had breakfast (banana, Greek FF yogurt, honey and my seed mix sprinkle), a mid afternoon slice of GF bread and spread, then our evening meal of GF pasta, locally smoked GF sausages and a tomato based sauce.  I did add a little of my favourite Cornish Gouda cheese with Italian herbs .. .. and perhaps that is what caused the tummy ache later!  I browsed the GF recipe book they had brought along with them and it did explain that dairy can be a temporary problem until your gut gets back to normal and you can digest it properly again.  The symptoms are bloating and wind - oh yes we know that feeling!

Day 2 Sunday - Jason's birthday (36 years old already!) so after all his hard work on the DIY front the least I could do was make him, and us, a proper breakfast - with the GF twist of course.  We had more lovely local sausages and bacon, eggs, tomatoes and hash browns (from the supermarket, just check the labels - the ones I got were from Morrisons and had a lovely onion addition).  That set me up for the day and although DH kept asking me if I wanted a snack/lunch/biscuit etc (bad man) I really didn't feel hungry.  My brain was certainly less foggy and I managed to clean and rearrange the conservatory now that the furniture got moved back into the lounge - I even cleaned the inside of all the windows!  And swept up lots of sawdust and plaster dust that seemed to get everywhere, then prepared the evening meal of venison steaks with roast potatoes and veg, followed by apple crumble I made with the GF flour. I did start to feel tired, so Jason took over cooking the steaks and dished up the meal, it was delicious, but a little naughty again with a dollop of pepper Boursin on top of the steaks!  The down side of two days without gluten or chocolate (I can have it I just didn't feel like it!) .. .. constipation .. .. so a milk thistle tablet before going to bed.

Day 3 Monday (today) with just me and Mum here and biscuit temptation in the cupboard, but so far so good.  I had the same breakfast as on Saturday then baked beans on a slice of GF bread and spread for lunch.  I am not being as picky as the book says to be with separate toasters and watching out for cross contamination.  I have a 4 slot toaster and generally just use the 2 slots on the right hand side, so will keep the 2 slots on the left for my GF toast.  Hopefully I wont need to go down the route of cleaning and separating the contents of the cupboards and using separate utensils for the GF all the time.  The milk thistle tablets have worked but I am rather windy now .. .. perhaps the little cheddar cheese I had on top of the beans, or the milk in my coffee?  I can easily get the lactose free milk from the supermarket so that might help, and as it's only me that has it in coffee I don't mind the extra expense as long as it lasts (I wonder if it will freeze).  Giving up cheese though is going to be a BIG issue for me - I might not eat a lot of it, but I do like it little and often, perhaps not if I am going to be going out in public though if the windy situation continues!  Tonight I have a large chicken breast defrosted so I will do something with it, not sure what though.  There is left over crumble too - and the Kelly's Cornish ice cream is gluten free so a scoop of that to melt into the crumble will be perfect!  I am hoping that if I eat a good meal this evening I wont be tempted to nibble chocolate or biscuits later on - being on my own in the evenings can be a bit lonely and depressing and I know I comfort eat if I'm just watching tv.  It will be better when the tv is connected back up in the living area then I can craft at the same time so my fingers wont be tempted by the packet of biscuits or chocolate nibbles!

Thursday 14 November 2013

Angelic for CCT

This week's challenge at Cute Card Thursday is titled 'So Angelic' and as always we leave it up to you to interpret in any way you like!  Our sponsor for this challenge is Katharina at Whiff of Joy, stop by the CCT blog to read about the prize and take inspiration from the rest of the DT's creations.

For my DT card I've inked up my Lili of the Valley Christmas Angel with oval bauble then coloured with my Copic pens.  I've added a glaze pen over the little stars and dots, but as usual the shine doesn't show even though I had to take the pictures under my work light (see the shadow of the twig).

I've followed the sketch by Wench from the Sketchy Colours blog with papers from the Simple Joys Too digi collection by NitWits, but you can get a paper pad of the same name from LOTV (saves messing about with the printer too).

Here's the card.  I'm lovin' the new Marianne Design pine cones die set LR0286, and on this card I've cut the twigs and the little fat pine cones from a pale brown card then inked the embossed areas and edges with Walnut Stain DI.  The pine fronds are from LR0227 cut from bright green card to match the papers then I've dabbed them with a Pearl Dabber to look like frost.  Finally, a little red bow and the pearl dots created with my white Wacco Pearl Maker pen to correspond with the sketch.

The Addicted to Stamps challenge is to use your favourite punches or dies, my favourite pine cones and fronds then! The Creative Card Crew are looking for pearls, whilst at the ABC Christmas blog the challenge is W for Winter Wishes (I hope my card is ok with Happy Holidays for the text - it is a Winter Wish!)

Monday 11 November 2013

Santa's Helpers

I'm back! I took a few days away from crafting and the computer to spend time with DH.  It was lovely to have him around for a long weekend, even if some of it was spent shopping, working (him), gardening and DIY.

Today I am back with my 3rd card created with the Penny Johnson Santa stamps for Stampavie, and another effort at using the Fancy Labels 8s.  I've stamped the image then coloured with my Copics before cutting out the image to fit inside the medium die cut shape - but found that my plain label 8 was either too big or too small so I had to cut by hand to get the image to fit the shape properly.  A little inking around the edge hides any unevenness, hopefully, and gives a shadow at the same time.  I found some old gold card in my stash so have used that for the fancy cutting, and it wasn't too bad so I reason some card is better than others with these dies.  The base is a kraft card that I'd chopped a piece off for some reason, and rather than keep it for chopping up I went with the shape .. .. ..

Here you can see inside a little where I've added a greeting stamped onto a fancy white cut square I had in my stash, and then decorated with the Marianne die cut holly sprays.  The red paper is also from a Marianne Christmas pack, but I can't remember which one.  To finish off I found the little square green gems in my stash - they need glue so are a bit fiddly to put on, but eventually they look 'squared up' and the glue dries clear anyway!

I'm too late to enter a couple of challenges that I had in mind when I created this card, but thankfully there are plenty of Festive ones around just at the moment.  Fab 'n' Funky are looking for traditional Christmas colours, the Winter Wonderland challenge is a Christmas card for a child, and the Sweet Stampin' Challenge blog are looking for Christmas creations too.

I don't have anything else to share with you just at the moment so will probably disappear again for a few days.  I do have to get into Bodmin for shopping and would like to finish tidying the garden if the weather improves this week.  And of course there is still DIY that needs to be done .. .. I need to find someone to hang wallpaper that's been sat on top of my wardrobe for over a year, just on one wall in the bedroom, but I've decided it's too much for me and my wonky neck to tackle these days.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Animal Magic for CCT

Good morning! well it still is just .. .. I've been delayed waiting for the internet upgrade to kick in, the man has been and done whatever needed to be done so now it's a case of let's see if it works!

Here is my second card made with the cute Penny Johnson stamp for Stampavie called 'gifts for you', and my DT card for this week's Cute Card Thursday challenge 'Animal Magic'.  Our sponsor for this challenge is Nikki at Bunny Zoe's crafts, do stop by the CCT blog to see the DT inspiration and read all about the challenge.  The stamped image is coloured with my Copics, plus Stardust Stickles for Santa's fur trims and over the flakes, then I used a white pen for highlights on noses.  I've cut the image out with the fancy labels 8 die and then matted it over a plain red label 8 piece - I am determined to use those dies and this time the fancy one cut a bit better.

Here's the card.  The papers are by Marianne Design and I've added the faux blanket stitch with a white pen then simply decorated with ribbon and Marianne die cuts as the text is printed on the paper already.

I've cut the poinsettias with LR0142 and added the blue snowflakes behind (chopped up a bit to resemble fronds) from one of the flakes in LR0123.  The little red hearts are waste from a previous die cut piece, I keep the bits in a little jar waiting for a 'rainy day' when I need them!

The theme at the Squirrel and the Fox challenge is animal antics so that fit's my card too!  The Papertake Weekly challenge if anything goes with the option of Christmas, and the Crafty Little Fairies theme is Christmas in November.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Shh! Santa's here!

Last week I stamped out 4 of my old Penny Johnson Christmas images for Stampavie and have managed to get 3 of them coloured, and 2 made up into cards - that's on the ball for me!  At least I have something to share with you for a few days, and today my first card is with Shh!  I've coloured the image with my Copic pens and added Stardust Stickles to Santa's fur trims.

 Let's see the card then .. .. ..

I've been playing around with the fancy labels 8 dies again, I'm determined to get some use out of them seeing as they cost so much!  I've created a base card and edged it with red ink, then simply added the layers. I am not happy with the way it cuts, or perhaps it's the paper that stretches on the second pass, see at the bottom there - hopefully one of the non-crafty neighbours wont mind or notice!

 Because it's so plain and simple I added the red patterned paper from Marianne Design to the inside as well with a plain 8 label to write the message on.  The text is from a MD set of banners and stamps, COL1325, and the felt die cut snowflake is from CR1227.

The Allsorts challenge is for Christmas Cheer, I think this Santa with the little pup fits that theme just right!

That's if from me today folks.  I have got my car back, and things were not as bad as expected.  The exhaust was an easy weld for my Smart man, but I did have to have a new back tyre as it was almost flat and he was too scared to pump it up as the canvas was showing in places!! How I didn't have a blow out he doesn't know - probably because I'd been driving around with it almost flat!  Thankfully it didn't cost an arm and a leg - just the leg!  I need to get out to get my happy pills, but as the weather is blowing up a storm here I am thinking one more day of being mildly depressed wont matter .. .. .. .. and I do have a couple more cards to finish off, and there's a carton of fresh chicken soup in the fridge that needs using up as well as some of those part baked rolls to cook, so I reckon there's no need to venture into the storm today!

Monday 4 November 2013

Reindeer Tag

Hi there! I have been playing with my new crafty goodies today, unfortunately I didn't finish until the light had gone so had to take the picture under my craft light - a little bit fuzzy on the focus but hopefully you can make things out!

Although this looks like a card, it is in fact a bottle tag - imagine a tent fold with a hole cut on the back piece to slip over a bottle.  As the men in my family don't go in for Christmas cards, I decided to make them a fancy tag to go with their favourite tipple.

My first play was with a Darice embossing folder made to look like cracked ice - I embossed a piece of Marianne Design paper that looks like knitting then inked over the result with Walnut Stain DI.  This piece is mounted on the green card stock and forms the base of my tag.  The next layer up is the fancy labels 8 kraft piece I've fixed at a jaunty angle with 3d foam tape then cut another piece of MD paper with the plain labels 8 to fit inside it.  I got these fancy dies a while back thinking they would complement the labels 8 dies that I rarely use, but have I had trouble getting them to cut!  The rest of the design is various die cuts using Marianne Design dies with little roses dusted with glitter and a bow tied with ribbon and twine to finish things off.

These are the dies I used:  the reindeer head LR0177 is new to me but was released back in 2011. The pine cones and twig dies are from the newly released LR0286, and the green fronds I've cut from one of the dies in the LR0227 set, the text is from LR0225, and the snowflakes are from CR1225.  I cut the pine cones, twigs and reindeer from dark brown HOTP card then used an emery board to sand back the embossed areas - I particularly like the effect on the pine cones.  I've added the same Glitz Stickles to the red text but as usual the sparkle isn't showing up too well in my picture - in real life it really twinkles!

The ABC Christmas challenge is up to the letter V for Vixen, one of Santa's reindeer so that's the theme this time around. The Creative Inspirations blog are playing bingo and I have a line with snowflakes, glitter and distressing.  The Christmas Card challenge is for dimension, to pop it up they say, well I have lots of layers popped up, the reindeer with a double layer of tape, plus all the different layers of my die cut embellishments and flowers. And one last challenge to enter, the Incy Wincy Design challenge theme is to use ribbon, twine or fibres - I have ribbon and twine on my reindeer tag.

Oops! I nearly forgot - I can enter the Marianne Design Divas challenge again too!

Saturday 2 November 2013

Winter Snow Scene

oh my is it windy here today, but thankfully the sun is shining so the combination should dry out things after all the rain we had last weekend.

My mojo is taking a holiday somewhere, so I struggled a little putting this card together, but in the end thought it was just right for sending to my oldest grandson who is now 8 years old and growing out of frills and fancies - so it's fairly plain and manly for him!

I have used the Don and Daisy stamps from Marianne Design to create the scene with skiing Don and a couple of the background stamps from the winter scenery set.  I've coloured with my Copics and added lots of loose glitter for the snow.

Here's the finished card.  I found a scrap of red striped paper in my stash and added the embossed faux stitches before inking the edges with a soft blue/grey chalk ink.  You can see I also embossed the faux stitches around my main image and the layer of embossed snow flakes too - I do it with the MD die LR0161 by moving the paper or card along the edge and running a ball tool along to create the stitches.  If anyone from MD is reading this - can you make a ruler with this design along one edge, perhaps the metal side so you could cut with a knife along the outside and emboss the stitches inside, then the measurements - it could be all metal or a mix of plastic with a metal edge. You could even have a couple of stitch designs as long as they are easy to just run along with a ball tool to create the embossed stitches .. .. I'd be happy to try it out!

Back to my card, I've cut some MD snowflakes and fixed a red dome to the centre of the big flake overhanging the image and then used the waste hearts from the big snowflake doily die to finish things off.

The Marianne Design Divas challenge blog has had a bit of a revamp and as long as you have at least 3 things by MD on your creation you can enter the monthly challenge as often as you like.  So here are the things I've used on my card:
dies: LR0161 lace edging for embossed stitches, LR0185 snowflake doily, LR0124 Norwegian Ice Star snowflakes (I used 2 from the set that sit together).
stamps: winter scenery DDS3331, skiing Don DDS3326

The postman has just delivered some new MD goodies I'd ordered; one of the new paper pads, the new pine cones die and the older Rudolph, reindeer and sleigh dies.  I am going to spend a lazy afternoon looking for inspiration on Pinterest for how to use those older dies .. .. I could get lost in there!