Thursday, 30 January 2014

CCT Something New

This week at Cute Card Thursday our challenge theme is 'Something New' and we would like to see you use a new stamp or maybe try out a new technique.  We have a new sponsor too, All Dressed Up, with a unique range of digi stamps. Stop by the CCT blog to read all about it and see what the rest of the DT has created.

Back to my card - my new something is the cute Lili of the Valley baby buggy stamp that I coloured with my Copic pens then added white dots to the fabric of the buggy.  It's an easy image to colour and perfect for a more modern look baby card - and here's my take:

Apologies for the rather dull picture, with the awful weather we've been having the light is poor even during the day time so I had to snap with the flash.  The papers are more pieces of digi designs from my basket, these are from an Eline's baby set at Cuddly Buddly.  I stamped up the LOTV baby text that came with another stamp and cut it out with a fancy die shape, added the stripy blue ribbon as it was a perfect match for my papers, and decorated with various Marianne Design die cut bits and pieces, here's the list:

Baby word - LR0217
lace edge - LR0161
image cut with scallop edge heart die - CR1225
daisy flowers - LR0106, stamens from LR0105
leaves - LR0227

And it's a fairly flat card as I stuck everything down with craft glue, no foam or tape on this one, I might even get away with the knot on the ribbon through the slim slot at the post office. The pearls in the centres of the flowers are made with my pearl pen and are flattish so shouldn't be a problem - I think I'm getting the hang of adding the interest without the depth.

Craft Your Passion challenge is for spots and stripes, I have spots on my dp, and the buggy, and stripes on my ribbon.  At Created with Love it's anything goes, while at Everybody Art they are looking for hearts - mine is the one big one used to die cut my image.

Well I had my chest x-ray yesterday but the radiographer couldn't tell me anything, other than if there's a problem my GP will be phoning in a couple of days .. .. so it's a waiting game.  I just want to know why I am feeling so tired all the time.  I was hoping to drive to the craft fair at Westpoint, Exeter today, hubby says it's a pretty easy drive from here and will take me just over the hour - but I feel exhausted and not entirely with it for driving.  Friends are going up by train tomorrow, but the weather forecast is not good and I would still have a fair bit of driving to do to get me to the main line station for the train to Exeter and then there's the shuttle bus to the show - not a pleasant prospect in a storm and it would mean getting up early too .. .. ah well, maybe next year!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Baby Girl

I have another of my little 5" square cards to share with you, and still using up the stash.

The adorable baby image is one of the recent new baby releases from Lili of the Valley, but it's taken me a while to get around to making anything with it, even though I had the image coloured with my Copics for quite a while and sat on my desk.  I eventually raided my basket of digi printed paper and came across this matching pink piece (Cuddly Buddly I believe) with the lace edge already punched .. .. see on the card .. ..

I created the base with some pink SU! card (it's more raspberry in real life and a better match for the paper), then added the white and pink layer with faux embossed stitches around the edge - I think you can just make it out on the white layer, and I've repeated the layers inside too. The white organza ribbon seemed perfect for a baby card and added a little extra interest, without weight although I fear the ribbon bow won't slip through the narrow slot at the post office.  I've die cut my image with a Marianne Design pretty circle die and mounted that with 1mm 3d foam then finished off with a MD die cut flower and leaves, a little stamped text and pretty pink pearls.

I used the following Marianne Design dies on this card:
faux stitches with LR0161
die cut image with CR1248
flower with LR0105
and skeleton leaves from LR0156

Creative Inspirations are looking for ribbons for their challenge, while Incy Wincy Designs would like to see ribbons and pearls, so I'll enter with both of them.

And yes, I am up late tonight. Yet another storm is raging and the rain lashing against my bedroom windows and the wind whistling through the slightest crack. And on top of that I'm having a few problems with breathing which the doctor is trying to figure out, but so far apart from knowing that my lungs are only working at 80% capacity, nothing is certain. To me it's more throat/upper chest that feels constricted and I have no problems taking deep breaths or exhaling them, at least I didn't think I had a problem.  I've never been athletic or sporty, preferring to walk rather than run as I've always gotten out of breath quickly - so it's nothing new.  I spent Friday afternoon on an inhaling machine but all it did was make my nose drip! Most people, but not me, see and feel a significant improvement after time on the machine - me, zilch!  I now have a gadget to blow into twice a day and record how much I blow out - it pretty much stays the same in the low 30s .. .. it would be better in the 40s.  I have to have an x-ray on Wednesday and then take it from there.  The inhaler doesn't seem to make much difference to my tight chest feeling, and all I seem to have gotten from it is a sore throat, or maybe that's the huffin' and blowin' into the gadget.  I will admit that I'm a little on edge, which of course doesn't help, so I am trying to keep busy and craft as that doesn't make me out of breath, although I am changing my mind and fiddling about a lot with half a dozen projects scattered over the table in various stages of completion - at least I might have something to share with you soon!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Barely there Christmas

I treated myself in the recent LOTV stamp sale and got this cute angel with the round bauble, I already had the oval one and found it very useful for Mum's cards, so that was my excuse for getting this one!  I've stamped him out and coloured with my Copic pens, then used the same Marianne Design die that cut the mat to add the little stitch holes right on the edge of the design.  Everything is flat again, and kept simple for the ABC Christmas challenge where it's the letter 'B' for barely there, i.e. limit the frills and embellishments.  And, I made the top pick in their previous challenge too!

I've gone over the yellow stars with a clear glaze pen and added additional white snow dots to the background.  I think Mum will like it for next year .. .. ..

And here is my card.  I found a scrap of blue Nitwit digi paper in my stash, it's not particularly Christmas but I think it works, gave it a white mat and stuck down onto a scallop 5" square card I had in my stash.  The little ticket is one I had printed out from Cuddly Buddly so I coloured it to match and stuck with 1mm foam pads so it will squish down and everything should go through the thin slot at the post office.

I can also enter my card into Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas challenge for shades of blue, seeing as I've quite a lot of blue on my festive card!  And the Cutie Pie challenge is called January blues, so I'm in with them too!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

CCT So Sweet!

It's Thursday so time for another challenge on the Cute Card Thursday blog, and the theme this time around is 'So Sweet'.  Do stop by the CCT blog to read all about it and see what the rest of the DT have made.

I've been in tidy up/use it up mode again, and this little cutie is a Nellies Choice stamp I've had for ages that was already stamped up, although not too well, so it was simply a question of colouring her in with my Copics.

Rather than add layers with mats for the image I've simply cut her out with a pretty Marianne Design die - still trying to keep things flat-ish!

Here she is on the card.  I already had the coral gingham inked, glittered and stuck to a piece of white card, but with a strip of lace that didn't go .. .. so I peeled that off and substituted the ribbon.  I just noticed in the picture that a little of the original tape is showing so I've moved the tail of the ribbon knot over it, there was just enough sticky left to hold it.  The coral pink card is more from my SU! stash and as the image is quite small I was able to keep to a 5" square base, even with the layers.  Although I have used 1mm foam pads to layer up the image, flower and text, everything else is flat so it might squash down for the slim slot at the post office.  I finished off with the little red heart gens and had just enough coral gingham paper left to add a match inside the card too, with a greeting stamped onto a corresponding MD die cut shape.

These are the Marianne Design dies I used on this card:
image cut out with CR1249
daisy flower - LR0106
leaves - LR0226

Stampin' for the Weekend have 'Happy Birthday' as their current theme so I'll enter my card with them.

If I'm AWOL from blogging it's because I'm trying to work in the garden when the weather and my health allow .. .. I'm waiting for an estimate to level and gravel the front area where the builders had all their kit, the idea of a vegetable plot has been shelved as I'm just not going to be able to look after it on my own.  The area at the north side that was going to be a car port is now looking more like turning into a shady shrubbery with a utility area created with left over gravel and slabs by the water butt, shed and compost bin (when I move it).  The rose bed at the front of the bungalow needs serious attention, my idea of just raking back the gravel and adding some lavenders around the edge has had to be re-thought.  The soil is compacted clay .. .. yuk!  So, I am thinking of moving the gravel completely (it will go in the utility area) ditching the weed membrane and then have the job of forking in tons of soil improver and grit to make it suitable for the lavenders and the dianthus that I need to move to this sunny spot.  It will mean another area to weed by hand but once the plants are settled in I'm hoping it'll just be a case of hoeing and mulching.  However, until a strong armed man turns up to move some paving slabs about in the utility area and help me take up the turf/weeds, I'm kinda stuck .. .. itching to get on when the weather will let me but annoyed that I don't have the strength to do it all myself.  Ah well .. .. there's still plenty of doors left to paint inside!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Baby card

Hello again! I've not been doing much crafting over the past few days .. .. after a visit to the doctors last Friday I've found another prescription med that doesn't agree with me - I'm better off not going!

Anyway, yesterday I was feeling like having a play and planned to create a card for the LIM challenge for baby creations using the sketch from Sketch Saturday.  Well that idea didn't quite come off as I'm a bit 'more than less' and I couldn't get my heart CB folder through my CB machine to get the right 50/50 embossing split under my horizontal layer.  Plus there are 3 little dangly bits on the sketch and I've only got 2 baby shoes, well 3 would just be too weird!

Being good, I've created a base 5" square card using up some old pale plum SU! cardstock and dipped into the ream of pearl paper .. .. that's going to last me an awfully long time!  The baby shoes are a die from Joy Crafts, the rest are from Marianne Design, and I finished off with little pearls from my stash.

The Marianne Design dies I used are:
Baby word - LR0217
butterfly - LR0153
fancy rectangle - LR0117
and the faux stitching around the edge of the embossed layer and my base I've created with LR0161.

Divas by Design have an anything goes theme this week and at Fab 'n' Funky it's all about words so I can enter my card with both of them instead!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Warming it Up!

This week on Cute Card Thursday we are asking you to warm things up a little - it's certainly been rather chilly in the Northern climes just recently!  Our sponsor for this challenge is Whimsy Stamps who are offering 5 digis as a prize this week - stop by the blog to read the details and see the rest of the DTs inspiring work.

Well, with my own life being rather topsy turvey again just at the moment, I didn't think I was going to join in this week as colouring just isn't working for me.  But when tidying up I found the base of this card already cut, distressed and stuck down (originally planned for a manly design), and as I hadn't yet used one of my Christmas pressie dies, the bird on a branch, I started playing .. .. .. this is the result - a card to remind me that Spring is just around the corner.  All the die cuts are by Marianne Design and I have either distressed the embossed areas with an emery board, or inked them as on the ivy circlet.  The text is also from a MD set of dies and stamps, then to finish off I've simply stuck tiny pearls to the centres of my flowers. It's another flat card with just the bigger bird lifted on 1mm foam pads that will squish down and the little pearls that I should be able to get away with through the narrow slot at the post office.

Here's the list of Marianne Design dies I used:
ivy circlet - CR1213
bird on branch - LR0137
bird with bird house - LR0205
tiny flowers and itty bitty leaves - CR1210
text stamp from COL1333

The Die Cuttin' Divas challenge is for old and new stash, mine's mostly old but with the new bird and branch die.

And here is what's left of a chocolate cake I made, another recipe from the DK Gluten Free cook book.  It's actually the Devil's Food Cake recipe but made with lighter muscavado sugar as I didn't have any dark, and without the sickly topping and filling.  I've added cherry jam and vanilla butter cream to the middle and just dusted the top with icing sugar.  In my opinion there is too much cocoa powder as there is that overpowering bitter cocoa taste .. .. I had the same with some chocolate fairy cakes I made a while back.  Again it's crumbly, not too much of a problem though!  Without cutting back, eating what and when I like, I've dropped a dress size since starting the GF and Lactose free eating plan .. .. I occasionally slip up on the lacto but then suffer for it with bloating and indigestion so it seems that's more of an issue for me than perhaps the gluten, but I'm not ready to jump back yet!  I feel better in myself and don't crave the sweet stuff as much.  I'm sleeping better most nights, although still feeling terribly tired all the time - but hopefully that is just the SAD that tends to kick in around now and will lift once I can get out in the garden, and get some St John's Wort from the health food shop.  I'm off to get ready to go shopping now so will go get my sunshine pills and report back in a couple of days!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Best Wishes for Easter!

Another flattish card to share with you today, I think I am getting the hang of adding interest without depth, but it is a challenge not to go overboard with the embellishments!

This hare (bigger ears than a bunny) stamp is on the Easter set from Viva Decor My Paper World, and I've used the beautiful Easter script and a corner stamp on the inside (but left them uncoloured).  I've stamped with the Versamagic chalk ink Jumbo Java again as it's giving me the best impression and fine line detail with these acrylic stamps.  As long as I put them aside for 5 mins or so to make sure the ink is dry (or you could waft with a heat gun), I can colour with my Copic pens.  Not much colouring required as there is quite a lot of line detail and the images are small, but I am liking the challenge of creating with something a bit different.

What you can't see in my picture is the subtle shimmer I've added to the flowers with my clear Stardust pen, and the glaze on the pink bow - just for added texture.

Here's the card, a small 5" square created from coloured card to fit the stash of envies I need to use up. Creating coloured card bases does mean I have to add an insert though, but as long as it's not got too much layering on it I should still be ok with the narrow slot at the post office.  Again I've been using up scraps of printed digi papers and adding the embossed faux stitching for added effect.  I die cut the image with one of the fancy labels 8 dies and added the stamped and fussy cut flowers from the same Easter set.  The fussy cut feathers are from the Nautical set - still have to create something with the main images on this one.  I've used a couple of Marianne dies, the curved tag from COL1325 and the lacy edge for my white mat layer cut with CR1250.  The embossed faux stitching I created by lining up the paper and running a ball tool down the edge of LR0161. Everything is glued down flat, except for the little flower spray on the image and the top spray by the text that I fixed with a 1mm foam square - so it will squash down.  An addition of tiny pearls to the top of the card and I was done!  Mum sends out half a dozen Easter cards so this one will be ready for her.

The Squirrel and Fox challenge is to show off your new stuff - that's what I've been doing with my new Paper World stamp sets.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Baby Girl Arrival

What is it with computers? Yesterday I was plodding through at a snails pace, stopping to make a cuppa while a picture loaded and as for trying to leave comments on anyone's blog - well forget that!  And then on top of it all the new ink cartridges for the printer aren't being recognised and it still says there's no ink .. .. argh!  I was so looking forward to printing off pretty papers and adorable Wee digi images to play with today .. .. but no go. So I'm at a loose end, the pc is loading pdq and already I've gotten through all the new pictures on Pinterest, checked my emails and even managed to comment on a couple of blogs .. .. long may it last, but I have my doubts!

I do have a card to share with you - a flat baby design, not that the baby is flat .. .. the card is, so it's postage friendly.  The image is another from the baby sheet by Viva Decor My Paper World that came from Cuddly Buddly, and the papers I've used to put the card together are also scraps of CB digi designs - I am being frightfully good using up my scraps! And, as I took the picture under the light you can see the sparkly areas I went over with my Sakura Stardust pen.

Here's the card, a small square scallop from my stash with two layers of paper stuck down flat.  I dragged a pale green ink pad around the edge of the bottom layer as there's green in the pattern, then added faux blanket stitch with a white pen on the pink dotty layer.  The text is an old one from my stash and the little fussy cut bow is from another MPW set.  The buttons are cut from Marianne Design set LRO188 glued on top of each other and finished with a tiny satin ribbon knot so they are flat on the back and easy to stick down flat on the card - should go through the narrow slot at the post office, I hope.  I haven't decorated the inside yet as I need to print off more paper, if I can ever get the machine to work, but will probably add the bottom layer inside with a white oval to write on - keep it simple and flat!

Now for challenges I can enter with my baby card: Oldie but a Goodie and Moving Along With The Times both have a new beginnings theme, perfect!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Less Is More Winter Blues

I forgot that I had never blogged this card, although it was made quite a while ago .. .. then a quick recap of what is going on in the blogging world and I saw that the Less is More challenge called for Winter Blues for the current theme - but I gotta be quick 'cause it ends in a bit!

I've taken a small square card and run it through my CB snowflake embossing folder then simply added a couple of Marianne Design die cut snowflakes with the blue gems for the centres.  I've dragged a blue ink pad around the edge of the card and stamped the text with it too .. .. hope it's ok.

The snowflakes are MD dies both from set LR0123.

I have been trimming the lawn edges in the garden to make it look at least part way tidy .. .. but with everything so wet I've had to give up.  But, because it's so mild I have self seeded annuals coming through and a pretty little shrub courtesy of a visiting blackbird .. .. now I had better get linked up and warmed up!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Cold and Frosty

I'm back with my DT card for this week's Cute Card Thursday challenge and the theme Cold and Frosty - well better than wet and windy which is all we seem to be getting here in Cornwall!  Our sponsor for this challenge is Whiff of Joy, please stop by the CCT blog to read about the prize and see the rest of the DTs creatiouns.

This cute LOTV snow family stamp came before Christmas, but I never got around to doing anything with it then .. .. so remembering where I'd hidden it I had some fun.  Keeping to my resolution to reduce the paper stash, I've chosen a couple of scraps of digi papers by Cuddly Buddly then coloured the stamped image with my Copics to match.

Here's the card and I've also kept to my keep it flat rule so postage won't cost a fortune next Christmas!  I've added the embossed faux stitching to the layers, I think you can just about make it out, and crystal Stickles to the snow for extra sparkle.  The snowflakes are cut from a scrap of 'mess about' that I'd put through the cracked ice embossing folder then dabbed with a pearl dabber - so lots of extra shimmer if you catch the light just right .. .. which of course I never seem to be able to manage!

Just two Marianne Design dies used on this card, the faux embossing with LR0161. then the big fancy snowflake and waste hearts from it with LR0185.

Just a couple of challenges I can enter with my frosty card, the ABC Christmas challenge has started a new round through the alphabet and it's A for anything goes, Papertake Weekly are also doing anything goes, and it's the same on the new Lili of the Valley monthly challenge too.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Pink Baby Pram

I am rather struggling to get back into crafting and after the Festive Holiday break I seem to have lost my mojo.  I was hoping that a play with some new stamps might do the trick, and I have enjoyed colouring in the images, but putting a card together - oh no way!  When to stop embellishing .. .. and how many layers to include baring in mind it might have to go through the post and these days that costs more than making the card!

Anyway, this is my first attempt with the Viva Decor My Paper World Baby set of acrylic stamps I got from Mum for Chistmas, via Cuddly Buddly.  Being acrylic they don't like Momento ink very much, especially when new, but I found that a juicy Versamagic Jumbo Java chalk ink pad worked to give me a nice stamped line, and once the ink is dry it works well with the Copic pens and doesn't bleed as long as I'm careful and don't saturate ink over the stamped areas.  Anyhow, here's the card .. .. ..

The images are quite small so ideal for using up my stash of smaller cards - I have to reduce my stash this year and felt quite pleased with myself for creating this card from odds and ends.  The spotty paper is from my printed out digi basket but I can't remember who it was by, but thought it matched the pram nicely and in real life is more pink.  The thin ivory card is my last piece, which is a shame as it worked well as a mat for the paper without adding too much weight as well as for the embossed heart layer and to cut the doily.  I even managed to fiddle about with the scraps and cut the button flowers and leaves too.  The pretty pearl hearts are more from my stash from a craft fair several years ago, and to finish I've added little liquid pearls to the image to lighten things up a little   What you can't see is that I've gone over the swirl stamped lines and butterflies with a clear Stardust pen to add a touch of shimmer too.  The pink bow is from another set (Easter) Mum got for me .. .. not sure I like it in the corner up there but too late now as it's well and truly stuck down.

The Marianne dies I used on this creation are:  the doily - CR1201, the leaves - LR0150, and the layered button flowers - LR0188 & LR0160.  I've also used LR0161 to create faux stitches around my layers, you can just about make it out on the ivory mat, and it ties in with the embossed stitch edge on the image (from the doily).

The Allsorts challenge blog have a free and easy theme this week, and over on the Corrosive challenge blog and the Oldie but a Goodie challenge blog the theme is new beginnings, so I'm entering my card into these challenges.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Welcome Little One

I loved the last release of baby stamps from Lili of the Valley and had to have a couple to add to my collection .. .. well you will always need baby cards .. .. they have a habit of keeping on arriving!

I knew I was going to colour up this cutie arriving by balloon for a baby boy, but when it came to finding papers I realised that I have a serious gap in my stash .. .. hardly any baby blue (aqua blue a plenty but no baby blue).  I guess I will have to go shopping .. .. or get my printer fixed so I can print some of my Nitwit digi designs.

Anyway, I've coloured my image with Copic pens and added highlights with a gold Copic Spica and a clear Stardust pen - and of course it's not showing up!

Here then is the card created with scraps of Nitwit papers I did manage to find.  I've added the faux embossed stitching to the edges then used Pumice Stone DI on everything to give a vintage feel - has it worked?  To embellish I've stamped the text, an old one from Cuddly Buddly, and added various Marianne Design die cut bits and pieces.  The little flower centres are actually button die cuts but I've covered up the holes with the big gems .. .. a little larger than I would have liked but all I had in my stash was these big gems or the tiny little ones I've added to the corners.  I cut out the 3 nappy pins and tied them up with a scrap of blue ribbon to match the ribbon in the image.

Here's the list of Marianne dies I've used:
the faux stitches and the lacy edge across the bottom - LR0161
nappy pins - LR0217
swirls - LR0112
leaves - LR0226
flowers - LR0107 & LR0188

I'm entering my card into these challenges:
A Creative Romance for something new, Totally Papercrafts for new beginnings, Crafty Little Fairies with starting over (new things), Creative Inspirations for Celebrations, the Marianne Design Divas have an anything goes theme but you must have at least 3 MD products on your creation (hope all my dies count as more than 1).

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Favourite Five Creations from 2013


I am late again joining in with Debby's Favourite Five .. .. I do hope that in 2014 I get better organised, although I also want to enjoy crafting for pleasure so perhaps you wont see as much of me.  I'm staying on just one Design Team - Cute Card Thursday - where the girls let me come and go as and when I can.  This week's 'banish the blues' challenge is one I've skipped .. .. I realised that I don 't have any humorous images other than Christmas, and I really can't make another Christmas card just yet!

Anyway, here's my favourite five from 2013: The year started off with fabulous news, Sylvia Zett the talented designer of the Wee stamp images asked me if I would be one of the February Guest Designers on her blog - of course I said yes!  So my first creation is one I made for my GD spot with the Wee Shelley mermaid digi image coloured with my Copic pens.

I found the aqua tinsel in my ribbon box and the buttons that were originally white coloured up beautifully with a Copic pen.  I went a little mad with the floral embellishments and die cut layers - everyone seems to have been doing it this year!

And on my second creation I've gone a little mad with the die cuts again!  I made this card for my BIL who got married back in July, the die cuts are by Marianne Design with the addition of little punched butterflies by Nellies Choice.

The shaped card was created with a MD die designed by Anja van Laar and is quite small so I was able to add the overhanging embellishments and it would still fit the gusset envie.  Apart from the base and the centre panel, all the rest is cut from white card and paper with a white ribbon and pearls to finish things off.

With my new Go Kreate Frilly #10 dies I was able to create some slightly bigger fancy shaped cards, something else everyone seems to have been doing.  And, with the new Marianne Design cut and stitch designs I also got out my sewing box to create this card.

The stamped image is one of the Dawn designs by Nellie Snellen and I've coloured her with my Copic pens.

I branched out into felt craft later in the year after getting in a bit of a rut with card making and not always having the space to get out all my pens for colouring. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on new stash so finding that my Marianne Design dies worked brilliantly with felt I got lots of bits and pieces cut out.

This little needle case turned out rather well and I got to use up some pretty beads and embroidery threads too.

And I made several felt hearts to use as key holders or just decorations, here are two quite simple ones cut from the Marianne Design heart dies.  On the pink and white heart I've also cut out the MD mistletoe sprigs and flower then added the little pearls to finish the design.  The red heart has a white sparkly felt layer then the pretty red bow and antique button stuck on with strong pva craft glue.

So that was what I got up to in 2013 .. .. I suspect that next year might see more felt designs and perhaps more 'home' projects instead of cards.  I had a tidy up before Christmas and sent a large bag full of my cards to the Hospice charity shop, Mark dropped them off and said they were pleased to have them.  I am not able to do any craft fairs these days and it seems that the charity shops like simpler designs that they don't have to charge much for .. .. so maybe I'll have another go at the CAS style, but whatever I do it's got to have my MD die cuts on it somewhere!

I'm looking forward to a better 2014, some calmer weather (please no more storms), baking new cakes, and time in the garden.  I'll get around to updating my Gluten Free page in the next day or so - but I am happy to report that Christmas went well and because I couldn't pig out on the mince pies I've actually changed shape .. .. my trousers are falling down!  Here's to fitting in the new pair of jeans I bought at the beginning of last summer and have only squeezed into once .. .. and perhaps even a pair of shorts next summer .. .. now that's something to look forward to!