Saturday, 12 April 2014

A box full of love / gluten free meatballs

Good evening

Tonight I have a teeny tiny box to share

The box is the same size as those jewellery boxes intended for earrings 

I received a similar one of these boxes at christmas from my dear friend Margaret, my mum saw it and wanted a similar one to send her friend

It was an absolute pleasure to make as I know Elizabeth is a very good and dear friend to my mum

I used Bo Bunny papers
A flower from Wild Orchid Crafts
The ribbon and charm were both in my stash

The special thing about the box is that it is full of love

And from there we have a totally unconnected leap to meatballs !

I am sharing another gluten free recipe this evening

I am sure we have Italian blood in our family as all things pasta related are consumed with passion

I had to adjust our normal recipe as the addition of breadcrumbs is a no-no, we could have used some of AJ's GF bread but I thought out of the box for this recipe and went down a totally different route

Rustic Parmesan Meatballs


1lb minced beef ( I use lean minced steak, fry in fry light then drain of any excess fat)
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/2 large mild onion (diced)
4 tbsp parmesan cheese
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 tsp oregano

Method :

Combine all ingredients (except mince) in a large mixing bowl, mix really well and then add minced beef ( I find it is much easier to mix together with my hands)
Roll into small balls, I usually end up with 24/25 meatballs
Brown in a little oil, then simmer in sauce of choice for approx 20 minutes or until cooked through

Trust me - the addition of parmesan in these meatballs is divine, so much tastier and more moist than breadcrumbs !

We served ours with Glutafin Gluten free penne

I make my own sauce and call it hidden vegi sauce, as I like to hide lots and lots of vegetables in it,  cunning 'mum speak' for getting the boys to eat their five - a - day, although even that is not good enough now apparently as there is now talk of us supposedly having to consume anywhere from 7 to 10 fruits and veggies a day to meet the minimum healthy requirements

For my sauce I generally start with the basics of a tin of tomatoes, fresh garlic, tomato puree or passata (whichever I have handy), chopped onion, fresh basil from the herb pot in my kitchen and a stock cube, I use the Knorr stock pots as they are totally gluten free, and then I throw in a selection of whatever veggies I have in, for this sauce I added a courgette, a stick of celery, a couple of diced carrots, mushrooms and a red bell pepper

All the veggies are lightly softened in a little fry light, I add in the tomatoes, passata, stock cubes and seasonings, I simmer on a low heat until all the veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened and then throw in a handful of fresh herbs just before serving

A few quick thankyou's before I say goodnight

Thankyou to Andrea for the gorgeous little bunch of sunshine by way of yellow roses
Thankyou to Trish for the stunning bouquets of spring flowers 
Thankyou to Ann E for the beautiful daffodils
Thankyou to Kate for the two new mugs added to my collection

The house looks so happy and cheerful with all the pretty blooms

Also thankyou to Ann N and Margaret who both helped with drinks this week

Hope you all have a restful weekend

Love and meatballs


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Santa on Sunday

Just a quick fly by from me this evening

I have nipped in to post my Christmas card for this week, I am quite proud of myself and have only missed three weeks since the new year

I used an old acetate overlay from Habico for the image
The papers are K and Co (green ) and Nitwits (red)
Sentiment stamp is from Stampin' Up
Charm from The Works
Brads are Woodware (they were orginally pink but I coloured them with my copic markers)

It has been another busy weekend after another busy week and I have not had time to upload the challenge on the shop blog, but it is there now, so please pop along HERE if you would like to know the themes for this months 'Take Three Things' challenge

Love and laughing Santas

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mums are like buttons

 Good evening

Did you all have a lovely and loving mothers day ? I hope so 

I did, I had an utterly lazy day, watched the new Monsters Inc film whilst crafting, Neil waited on me hand and foot, I got some lovely treats with my money and gift vouchers, the only thing missing was my lovely daughter but she will be home soon and we will make up for her absence then

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

This quote totally sums my mum up, utterly selfless and always thinking of others
Love you mum xxx

This is the card I made for my mum

Papers are by Tim Holtz and Melissa Frances
Die is Nellie Snellen
Sentiment is computer generated

And here is a similar version which I created for Neil's mum

I also made this little treasure trove for my mum, thankyou so much to Jan for teaching this gorgeous box at the class on saturday, for once I actually managed to finish my project.

We used adhesive foil tape for the metallic elements with alcohol ink
I added a Prima butterfly and a Prima metal flower to add a feminine finishing touch

And the treasure inside ?

Maltesers of course - mums favourite!

Love and loot


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A bow for christmas

Good evening

I am back tonight with this weeks christmas card which I made yesterday afternoon

I used the Stampin' Up envelope board punch to create the bow

Thankyou so much to Linda for bringing in the instructions and giving us tuesday afternoon girls an impromptu class on lots of uses for the envelope board punch ( I think it is my current favourite tool)

Love and paper bows

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Treasure trove class and GF cupcakes

We are holding the Treasure Trove class this coming saturday at the shop, all the details can be found HERE on the shop blog

Here is the treasure trove Jan made for me for my birthday, she will be teaching a version of this on saturday - you will be able to chose your own colours and style of embellishment

 In between glossing the radiators I squeezed in a little baking for the boys yesterday

Here is my latest gluten free endeavour

And they were the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes I have ever made so it will be gluten free from here on in

Here is the recipe for anyone who is interested

5 oz gluten free all purpose flour ( I used Glutafin White mix)
1 tsp gluten free baking powder ( I used Barkat)
4oz butter ( not margarine ! it doesn't work as well)
4oz sugar
2 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla extract

Icing for the topping, I made my own simply with icing sugar and water

Eggs and butter should be at room temperature, oven set to GM3/170degC/160degC fan/325degF

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in eggs and vanilla essence
Add sieved flour and baking powder ( I added half and beat til smooth and then folded the rest in gently mixing)

This mix makes 12 large cupcakes, bake for 10-15mins, keep your eye on them , mine came out after 13mins

Love and frosting

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saturday night catch up

Hello all

What a week !

Totally exhausted this week, we had the extra cuttlebug classes at the shop and dad is still on his jollies,  I am decorating the whole of the bungalow, I think I could do with a lie in, might pop that on my never ending to do list !

We said goodbye to one of our class members at the shop this week

Inga-Lill is leaving us to go back to her homeland - Sweden, this is the card I made on behalf of the whole class

It is an 8in x 8in scalloped easel
Stamps are by Stampin' Up and Stampendous
Dies are Stampendous
Papers Melissa Frances and Magenta
Flowers are by Prima and Wild Orchid crafts
Pearls are Mark Richards

We will all miss Inga-Lill very much, she is such a lovely person and has such a fabulous sense of humour. She has even already given me my Christmas present as she won't be here to hand it to me in person - how sweet is that !

Good luck in your new home Inga-Lill, we all wish you all the very best

A few thankyou's this evening too, two great big fat thankyou's to my lovely friends Anita and Margaret who have both been helping me in the shop whilst dad is away
Thankyou to Jan who helped with the drinks on friday afternoon
Thankyou to Joan for the scrummy cakes for Inga-Lill's leaving and to her hubby Alan too for the rather lovely and large jar of chutney
And to June and Robbie who both brought in bickies and flapjacks for the classes to share
Thankyou to my afternoon Cuttlebuggers for helping me clean up after class
And also to Pat and Beryl who both slip quietly into the kitchen and do the washing up

Thankyou to everyone who has asked about Amy, AJ and Neil, it is so heartwarming to know so many people care 

Amy is doing much better, she has her pot off now and only has to wear her boot for long walks, she isn't in much pain at all now and has also had good news from student finance, they had made a massive mistake with her funding but it has all been rectified now and she will be receiving the missing funds in the next couple of weeks
AJ is doing brilliantly with his new diet, being very sensible and using his Coeliac app on his phone to make sure he is eating all the right stuff, he is starting to put on a little bit of weight, has had no headaches for over two weeks, he is eating enough to sink a small battleship! Great to see a little colour in his cheeks and a spring in his step
Not so good news for Neil, he has been signed of work for a further three weeks, his series of injections in his scapula and facet joints did not work, he is in as much pain as before but the Tramadol he was prescribed did not agree with him. He is now back on codeine based pain relief as his only other option is opiates which is a road we are reluctant to travel. The vertigo is still with him so movement on any level is utter torture for him, he can't do anything without the sickness and nausea, any advice from fellow sufferers would be very gratefully received.

With all that said I have had a very productive week craftwise so there will be some little nuggets of inspiration to share over the next few days

Happy weekend to all my lovely readers

Love and farewell wishes

Monday, 17 March 2014

Monday night round up

Good evening

I have a real mixed bag of an update to share tonight

First up is this weeks class card, I had been asked by a few class members to repeat this, as the only other one I have created like this in class was a christmas version, so I fashioned this one with a view to making it suitable for all manner of occasions ( bearing in mind that Mothers day is also just around the corner)

On friday we had a very special little guest in the shop and she was a little angel all afternoon, Carine April Foster came to visit, she brought along her lovely mummy Nicki too, thanks girls you made my day

On Saturday we held our Stampin' Up demo and make and take day, there are many more photos and details of the day HERE on the shop blog

Thankyou so much to Linda for all her hard work and inspiration and especially her patience, it was a busy day and Linda made sure everyone got make to make what they wanted

AJ got more happy mail this week in the shape of another massive hamper of gluten free goodies, this time from Glutafin

After Saturdays super busy make and take day I treat the boys to homemade ribs and pizza, the ribs were bought from the local butcher (Birketts) and the very kindly ( if a little cheeky) butcher kindly offered to seal them in bags with my own gluten free sauce

I dropped the sauce into the butchers in the morning and he added the ribs and vacuum sealed them for me to boil and then roast at home and they were delish !!!

If anyone is interested in the gluten free recipe for the sauce, this is how I made it
1 full bottle of Heinz classic BBQ sauce
Bunch of spring onions
Half a dozen small chopped pickled red chilli peppers (Pickled in spirit vinegar not malt)
4 cloves garlic

The ribs are marinated in the sauce and then brushed with it during roasting to maintain their succulence

The pizza was easy, we used the gluten free pizza bases from Juvela, adding homemade garlic butter and lashing of grated cheese

Finally I will leave you with a photo of the flowers Linda and Paul bought me - aren't they gorgeous and happy looking ! and not orange (thankyou Paul lol)

What a wonderful week, very full and busy but one with lots of little happy happenings

Love and happy wishes


Friday, 14 March 2014

Festive friday

Good evening

I am catching up a little with my christmas card for this week, I did have it made for my self set tuesday night deadline so no forfeits this week ( insert evil laugh here)

I used mainly scraps left over from other projects

Papers - Bo Bunny
Butterfly dies - Stampin' Up
Sentiment stamp - Stampin' Up
Ribbon  - DCWV
Pearls - Mark Richards
Punches - Stampin' Up
Embossing folder - Cuttlebug

A quick reminder 

Tomorrow is make and take day at the shop with the very lovely Linda demonstrating with some gorgeous Stampin' Up products

Everyone is welcome

Each item is just £1.00 each to make and you are welcome to make as many as you like

So come down and have some fun, we will be making and taking from 11am til 3pm

See you there

Love and butterflies


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

New York, New York

Good evening

 I was recently asked to make a document wallet for a lovely young man to give to his girlfriend containing tickets to New York, he had been disappointed when he picked them up to see they were just computer printouts, so he wanted something to pretty them up a little

The whole thing was a surprise for the girlfriend - how romantic - awwwww

As there was quite a lot of documentation I made a 3D wallet with a little depth to contain all the sheets of paper, I created the basic shape from a single sheet of Tim Holtz kraft 12 x 12in patterned paper and then created a fancy belly band to wrap around and keep safe those tickets

It was a real pleasure to make these for such a lovely couple

Love and romance

Tracey xxx

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Saturday night catch up

Good evening

Another special 'card' to share this evening

This time I wanted something a little different for my lovely friend Jan, who celebrated a milestone birthday this week

So, rather than a normal card I decorated a large chipboard tag

The chipboard tag and fancy die cut are both by Aspire Crafts
the flower spray is Prima
Special thoughts stamp is by Inkadinkadoo

And the back of the tag, where I added a couple of smaller tags, one for the sentiment which is a Stampendous rubber stamp and the other was for me to write my birthday message on 

Jan is such a generous person and does a lot to help the other ladies both on my wednesday morning class and in the crop on a friday afternoon, she has the patience of a saint and is always happy to demonstrate and share techniques which is one of the reasons I invited her to be on our design team. So, keep your eye out on the shop blog for some of Jan's stunning creations, she will also be teaching a regular saturday workshop, I personally can't wait for them to start - more details regarding those coming soon

You can see Jan's work HERE on her blog

I also have a scrapbook page to share tonight, I taught this one this week in our regular scrapbooking class and it also fits the challenge 'take three things' which we have running over on the Running With Scissors shop blog HERE

We have been receiving lots of lovely happy mail for AJ this week. When we were given AJ's Coeliacs help and information pack, it contained lots of manufacturers cards and we were advised to fill them in and send them off, Neil dutifully completed them all and we have been receiving sample packs ever since

They always contain full size and full quantity samples, no titchy little packets, but this one from Juvela really did shock us

All this for free, for AJ to sample their range of gluten free products

Very, very generous and much appreciated, so - thankyou Juvela !

Also three lovely friends from the shop also brought yummy treats for the family

The purple sprouting broccoli was from June who had grown and then picked it especially for us from her allotment this week

The utterly delish Victoria sandwich was a very thoughtful gift for AJ from Wendy and her mum Pat ( AJ says thankyou )

And finally the homemade chutney is from the ever lovely Alan and Joan, I don't think I will be sharing this as it is sooooooooo tasty, I keep trying to find new things to put a dollop on !

Amy is home from uni again as she had an appointment to review her foot at the local hospital, thankfully she has healed incredibly quickly and all her swelling has gone down. The done doctor decided another full pot was not necessary so now she just has a plastic boot for the next three weeks, so much easier for her

Her boyfriend Ben is home too, he has been an angel as usual and been there for Amy through all of this drama, just like he was when she was mugged

He baked and sent us cookies ( I am beginning to think she has found the perfect boyfriend - but shhhhh let's keep it to ourselves,  I don't want to jinx anything)

These were the nicest cookies I have tasted in a long time and trust me I have tried just about every cookie on the planet, so - thankyou Ben xxx

 Ann - thankyou for the box of eggs, far better than free range, farm reared or Tesco's finest

And yes ! There are still six in the box, I am going to treat myself to one a week if the scales show I have been a good girl for the rest of the week

What a lovely caring and sharing week it has been. I did get one other little gift too, it was a cute project from one of my class ladies Ann C but I will share that another day as I want to post a photo as evidence that I did indeed finish it (it is still a work in progress at present)

So I will end the post with a massive THANKYOU to each and every one of those people who made me smile this week

Love and thanks


Friday, 7 March 2014

Flowers for a friend

Good evening

What a lovely day it has been today, the sun came out in the afternoon and chased those rainclouds away

I spent the day as always in the shop scrapbooking and cropping with my ladies

Lots of laughs as always

Tonight I have a card I recently made for my lovely friend Margaret, she is a rare and lovely friend who ALWAYS puts everyone else before herself, and, anyone who knows her will agree

This was one of those 'just because' type of cards - just because - I love her !

The papers are Papermania, the flowers were made from the Sizzix dogwood die

Before anyone worries  - Margaret is ok, the 'thinking of you' sentiment was because she has recently had a lot on her mind,  I just wanted to send a hug that would last and to let her know how much we all care about her,  all is well now

See you tomorrow with a round up of this weeks news and some more creative endeavours

Love and friendship


Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Good evening

This card was made for one of my very special ladies at the shop who is a truly wonderful friend.

Trish recently celebrated a milestone birthday, in fact she is still celebrating this week as her family had arranged for her to be pampered at a health spa

Trish has been one of my ladies for the whole time I have had the shop and is always one of the first to offer help, not just to me but to others too, she is kind and funny and genuine so I am not surprised she has been spoilt on her birthday - she totally and utterly deserves it.

The sentiment on this card is one of my all time favourites and in this case is very apt as Trish will always have a special place in my heart

Much love and thanks to you Trish, I hope you have had a lovely, restful pampering this week

Love and footprints


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Turkey and tinsel tuesday

This weeks christmas card

I used papers left over from a class and some die cut snowflakes, a Hero Arts sentiment stamp and a little bling, easy peasy this week

Why not have two celebrations mentioned in one post, so, following on from Christmas I am posting my first ever gluten free pancake for Shrove Tuesday

Pancake day might not be a big thing in many households but in mine I can tell you it's rather a big deal ( so much so that number one son and hubby both felt the need to remind me that tonight was the night and not to forget the pancake ingredients on my way home).

I think I had only been in the door two minutes and the 'p' word was mentioned at least three times

Gluten free flour may pose a little of a problem with baking bread, cakes and pastries but honestly these were so yummy, after my resounding success with yorkshire puddings I can at least rest assured that the batter side of cooking has been mastered. We all had the same rather than trying to cope with two hot pans and simultaneous flipping and we all concurred that they were delicious, so much so that I have been coerced into making them for breakfast on Sunday as a treat.

I used :

200g of Doves Farm gluten/wheat free plain flour
2 large eggs
500ml semi-skimmed milk

And then cooked exactly the same as I would do regular pancakes

Love and christmas wishes on shrove tuesday


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday night round up

Good evening

It has been a super busy couple of weeks and I have had lots of cards and projects to sink my teeth into

I have a very eclectic mix of photos to share this evening

First up is the card I made for Robbie ( one of my lovely customers not my son)

Robbie recently celebrated a milestone birthday and she loves all shades of purple

This is the card in a box I made for my gorgeous niece Katie who has just celebrated her 16th birthday

And then a very basic looking design but one AJ loves so much it is still up next to his computer in his bedroom, he is Minecraft mad at the moment, Minecraft is a pc game that is made up of blocks, hence the design and the green critter you can see is a creeper

I have more cards to share but will save them for another day.

In other - non crafting news

I have been experimenting with our gluten free cooking

So far, the best recipe I have tried is the one for yorkshire puddings, I replaced regular flour with a mix of cornflour and gluten free plain flour

Light fluffy and a little crispy, these were even better than regular yorkie puds and got a thumbs up from everyone

I tried bread too but so far have had mixed results with texture being a little bit of a problem, it is notoriously awkward so I will be tweaking the recipe until I get a lighter and more open texture.

AJ has started to show signs of feeling a little better, he has a little bit of colour to his cheeks, his skin doesn't look quite so sallow, he has only had two days where medication was required for his headaches, whereas they were almost a daily occurrence and his appetite is slowly becoming more normal, his nausea after eating is also lessening so we are delighted that his diet is working as it should.

We all received good news this week too, the rest of the family are clear and not suffering from Coeliacs disease - our blood tests were all negative.

Finally I have one last photo to share

Iris-  one of my tuesday morning ladies - bought me an amaryllis for Christmas and for once I have actually managed to keep a houseplant alive

Isn't it gorgeous, nestled next to it, is a miniature rose bought for my birthday by one of my wednesday morning ladies - Joan, they look so pretty together on my kitchen table

So, thankyou very much to both Iris and Joan for my lovely gifts, they really bring a lot of cheer to my kitchen ( and they perfectly match my pink Ikea seat pads !)

Love and luscious blooms


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tinsel and Turkey tuesday

Good evening

Here are the least three weeks worth of Christmas cards that I have been making

I have been keeping up with the making of them but have not always uploaded them to my blog on time - another goal to aim for !

Love and festive fun



Sunday, 16 February 2014

Saturday catch up

Good evening

This is going to be a very personal and totally non crafting post

There are going to be no pictures and lots of words

If you have arrived here for crafting inspiration, this is not the post for you so please feel free to move on down your blog list

This week has been one of the most trying weeks of our little family's life

We have had three family members (AJ, Amy and Neil)
In three different hospitals ( Sheffield, Leeds and Scunthorpe)
On three days of the same week (more if you count AJ's separate visits)

Neil has had to have a pain relieving procedure on his back as his scoliosis has become unbearable, this was performed on friday, totally nail biting experience as I was unable to go with him and they had informed him that the injections would be going incredibly close to his lungs, being warned that a punctured lung is often a result is not terribly comforting.

Thankfully no mishaps and although his pain is worse at the moment we are hoping that once everything has settled down he should be a little more comfortable. Although we are very disappointed in his treatment at Scunthorpe, lost notes, misinformation, complete lack of care and consideration, no explanation of the procedure etc etc, to say Neil had this done privately under our health scheme, we both feel that he would have fared far better under the NHS in a different hospital

On wednesday Amy rang from uni at Leeds to tell me she had fallen down a step and broken her foot, she was on her way to 'a and e' and is now struggling on crutches with a knee high pot on her foot.
Mum and dad are bringing her home tomorrow for some much needed TLC, it's the worse feeling in the world being on the other end of a telephone line when all you want to do is wrap your arms round your babies and tell them it is going to be ok. She did tell me her treatment at Leeds hospital was first class and her boyfriend Ben has been an absolute rock yet again. I am going to owe that lad big time at this rate.

And AJ finally got his consultation at Sheffield on Monday, we took him and all went smoothly, we were told it would be a couple of weeks for the biopsy appointment to come through but as it happened we got a phone call just 2 days later saying they had a cancellation and could we come on thursday for the biopsy

Cutting a very long story short, AJ had his biopsy and has been diagnosed as Coeliac, we still have to wait for the biopsy results for it to bee 100% confirmed but his consultant said there was very little doubt
AJ's gut has been quite severely damaged and he is lacking in all his vitamins and iron as a result

But the good news is, as along as he follows a very strict diet, his gut will repair itself and medication can bring all his iron and vitamin levels back up to a normal range

Coeliac disease is NOT gluten intolerance, Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease, it is incurable and lifelong, it can lead to many other diseases and health problems should AJ make regular mistakes with his diet, he does have to completely cut out all gluten and any gluten related ingredients and trust me it is EVERYWHERE even where you would not think

His diet started immediately but it will be at least a month before he starts to feel much benefit

I cannot praise all the staff at Sheffield children's hospital enough, they were absolutely amazing, so kind and helpful, truly organised and nothing was too much trouble, they were absolutely brilliant

So, basically although I have been keeping busy with the shop and all the other regular family,work and household commitments my mind has been on my three poorly family members (I think I might need to wrap Robbie up in cotton wool and lock him in his room - can't be doing with another one being ill or injured !)

Thank you so much to everyone who has been sending emails and text messages, those friends and customers who took time out to offer a little support and all those lovely kind words really did make a difference

But most of all thank you so much to my mum and dad who actually managed to get me through this week without losing my mind completely, they have taxied Neil to and from hospital, Amy from Leeds, me from work, they have helped so much with implementing AJ's diet, dad has been invaluable as always with the running of the shop and mum has done what mums do best - listened and hugged
Love you both so very much, you are my best friends and the reason my sanity is still in tact

Love and TLC


Friday, 14 February 2014

UFO friday

Well my promise of updating you the following day went out of the window, I have had 'one of those' weeks but will update fully tomorrow as tonight I have a little project to share with you

I started this plaque with the tuesday afternoon girls a couple of weeks ago

I got the tag shape cut out of chipboard, undercoated and painted the tags and the letters and then had a brief hiatus

That's what I do ! Then a brief hiatus turns into a long break and before I know it, I have another UFO (un finished object) to add to my ever increasing collection

I am determined to start finishing all those little started projects, I need to capture that initial enthusiasm and channel it into actually completing something

So from this week onwards I am aiming to have a UFO friday whereby I complete and post on my blog one of my many started but not finished articles ( no forfeits though this time thank God!!!)

For this project I must thank Margaret for the chipboard, little wooden letters and the little pots of tester paint she shared with us all, thankyou Margaret xxx
the little bird cage which I painted was a gift from Carole and the trees were die cut using a die also borrowed from Carole, so, thankyou Carole xxx

Love and home blessings