Thursday, January 31, 2008

Very quick manky dog update!

This is a very quick post (yeah, right!!) to update you on the fabric painted Westie disaster. The first one was beyond rescueing so here is Westie MkII:

The damp patches on the fabric are where I had to scrub away a couple of bits if white fabric paint that occurred when I dropped my stupid paint brush!!

Here's a tip - don't leave your freshly redone fabric painted nightmare on the dining table. It will attract spots of homemade tomato soup from a small boy's dinner.

It is now damp again having had said tomato soup hurriedly scrubbed off.

I have a feeling I may need to do some 'freehand' embroidery on the background!

I had a lovely surprise in the postbox today - not that I was in the post box - but this was:

A lovely pink carnation from the blogger with the bestest name ever to aid recognition when I meet up with her and Mrs Locket and Mrs Locket's big scary sister at the Country Living Fair.

I'm so relieved I have my beautiful carnation and don't need to send her a photo as I'm not photogenic and don't have many photos of me that pass muster.
Mind you, my latest photo is actually not bad.
In fact, it's a really good likeness!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm not blogging today.....

I really really wasn't planning on blogging today.

I've had a plodding sort of day craftwise and the children have been a bl**dy nightmare interestingly challenging and the inspiration to blog had flown away.

I did a bit more on my cushion orders today:

You may be wondering why I'm here then.

Then again you might not!!

I got back from taking the naughty children to their swimming class, bathed and put them to bed and settled down with my hand sewing.

I was starting to stuff my rabbit (as you do) for this week's challenge with Mrs Locket when I noticed a nice big black mark in the middle of what will be the rabbit's face.

Oh pants!!!

The rabbit's body is now washed and drying on the radiator. I'll have to leave the stuffing for tomorrow.

'Oh well', thought I 'I'll get on and do some more of my West Highland cow Terrier fabric painting'.

Before I proceed may I humbly offer up a word of advice - don't shake either printer cartridges or paint pots when they are not securely lidded.

A while back our printer cartridge wasn't working. Brains here decided to give it a good shake to get the ink through. Lovely colourful splodges of ink flew everywhere - up the walls, up the (untreated and very porous) pine shelf unit, all over the dining room carpet.

Amazingly I did find something to remove the ink from the carpet but the walls and pine drawers still bear the scars!!

As I settled down to paint tonight I did a similarly stupid thing with my paints as you can see:

Oh pants!!!

Maybe if I wipe it with a damp cloth?

Bl**dy great - now it's roadkill!!!!

It's so gratifying that something that was bugging me anyway and proving to be a big mental block is now trashed and I have to start the whole stupid thing again.

Big grey saggy pants!!!

Don't 'spose you have any crafting disasters to share that might cheer me up? I'd just like to know I'm not the only total muppet out here.....................

I can finish on a very very extremely totally and utterly brilliantly breathlessly exciting note though!!!!!!!!!!

Really really.

Moogsdad has done something so fantabulous that I can barely breath when I so much as think about it.

I don't get the whole celebrity thing and really don't idolise famous folk.

However, I am prepared to make certain exceptions.

One of these is the marvellously gorgeously marvellous Dawn French who I love with all my heart in a platonic sort of an idolising sort of a way.

Moogsdad knows my feelings for this perfect specimen of womanhood.

He's fine with it.

In fact he's more than fine 'cos he's bought tickets to this for my birthday present!!!!!

I'll be breathing her air!!! Albeit only a bit of it as we are somewhere near the back.

I am, as they do say, beside myself :)

(I don't want you to think I don't like Dawn's comedy partner, the very lovely and talented Jennifer Saunders, as I do - very much. It's just that Dawn French strikes a chord with me - maybe it's because she can fit four Cadbury's Cream Eggs in her mouth at once that does it - or maybe it's that she gave Hugh Grant the snogging of his life live on Comic Relief just because she could!!)

That is why murdering a stupid fabric painting can't really ruin my day :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WIPping, wonky stitching and a nearly one legged rabbit

In addition to the envy inducing fabrics I scored at the Scrapstore yesterday I also got a wodge of A3 drawing paper for the kids to use. Minx made immediate use of it when she got in from school last night.

First she wrote and illustrated a book called 'Mr Apple's First Job' in which Mr Apple and his next door neighbour Mr Blackberry secure themselves great new jobs as chefs. My favourite line has to be 'Why didn't I do this job before IT'S BRILLIANT!' The book has been 'bound' and taken into school today :)

She also did some sketching and here's a little sample:

I was looking at these drawings this morning and thinking of how I could use them. By a strange coincidence I then went over to Mollychicken's blog and just look at the fab ideas there!!!
This may be turned into a crafty challenge very soon!

Apart from me, is anyone else out there an impatient crafter who likes things to be started and finished as quickly as possible?

I get all twitchy with 'works in progress' but I'm getting better (slightly) at taking my time.

I seem to have a whole load of WIPs this week and all at various stages of assembly. Rather than just get on and finish some I decided to start another today!!

An almost one-legged rabbit for this week's crafty challenge:

I say almost as I, luckily, realised in the nick of time that I'd only made one leg and quickly addressed the limb shortage!!!

I started fabric painting this last night for an order:

It's supposed to be a West Highland Terrier but it needs more work - especially around its rather strange mouth!!

I've blanket stitched the elephant applique- oooooooh, I looooooooooooove having blanket stitch on my new machine:) !! He needs a tail and an eye.

Then I wonkily topstitched ratty for my other order:

He now requires some handstitching.
I seem to have suddenly accumulated a large number of hand sewing projects. They were scattered everywhere so I've organised myself and put them all together in a basket ready to get on with this evening.

Here's my handstitching to do list: ('cause I know you are desperate to know!!!)
Handstitch 3 name labels for cushion orders.
Stitch elephant's eye and tail.
Stitch ratty's face.
Turn, stuff, and assemble Tilda bunny body and handstitch face.
Stitch something on a surprise Valentine swap something.
That should stop me reaching for the wine and chocolate in front of the telly tonight :)
Once I've finished that I can get on with my crochet!!!
My friend was telling me just yesterday how bored she gets at home.
I can't seem to find the time to get bored!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My kind of retail therapy...

Hey you guys - thank you sooooooooooooooo much for all the wonderful words of support that you left on my last post :) The prospect of cooking big family meals and entertaining in-laws seemed to strike a chord!! Sorry I'm crubbish and have not answered your lovely comments - heck, I even lost several batches of lovely ebay fabrics this weekend due to enforced computer rationing!!!

The weekend went well and M-i-L seemed to enjoy it which was after all the whole point of the exercise! I'm very lucky to have a lovely M-i-L and I was happy to be able to do something nice for her.

The beef was very tasty but I would have liked it more if I'd taken it out of the oven earlier - not so that it was still mooing but not quite as 'done' as it was. I did the whole Yorkshire pudding thing without incident though and made the most fab dessert 'apple tarte au citron' from this book by the goddess Mary Berry :)

Sadly no photos of the feast as it took all my wits to get it to the table never mind set up attractive photo opportunities!!!!

Now onto all things crafty. I have been busy today starting to get some work done on some cushions for an order.
This is for a little boy who loves rats - especially their ratty tails - nice :)

This is for his elephant loving brother:

I have to topstitch them and put red and blue checked borders round them tomorrow. I have another to do with a West Highland Terrier which I will be fabric painting this evening.
I also started this over the weekend to keep my hands busy whilst watching telly:

This is Gary's Ripple - ripple pattern no.160 in this book and is even easier than the one I did on Minx's blanket. Every row is treble crochet so it grows nice and quickly. If it grows quickly enough it will be a present for my Aunty's birthday at the beginning of March.
Moogsdad has been home poorly today as he woke in the wee small hours feeling very nauseous. Hopefully it's nothing nasty but he spent the day in bed and has brightened up a bit now. Maybe it was the fact that he ate two doorstep sandwiches filled with half a roast cow yesterday evening!!!
After doing my cushion pictures today I just had to get out of the house so I rang my friend and we ran away to the Scrapstore. I needed some retail therapy but funds are low. However, a trip to the Scrapstore satisfied my urge for new fabric.
I came home with this carrier bag load for £1!!!! This time nearly all the pieces are at least 1metre lengths and some are 2 metres. Several of them are Sanderson and Crowson fabrics - all gorgeous!! There was so much there and I was very restrained but I may have to go back for more very soon.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

I can see the (1.5 metres!!!!) green wool fabric making lovely toys and I just love the (2 metres!!!) of black with cream circles.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow to get some sewing done and to start this week's Tilda Bunny challenge!!!
If you haven't done so already pop over to Mrs Locket's place to find out about our 'blind date' coming up soon!!! I need to start losing weight right now......well, maybe tomorrow :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Where domestic chores lead to a desperate need to be crafty

In honour of M-i-L's birthday tomorrow I have been rushing around like a loony this morning. First stop was the butcher's for a very nice piece of beef (M-i-L is most definately a roast dinner & red meat fan and did not respond well to suggestions of salmon or lasagne).

At the grand old age of 41 I was a beef-joint-buying-virgin! Therefore, it came as a bit of a shock to me that a piece of fine Scottish beef for one meal (albeit for 6 adults, 2 good-eating children, 2 nightmare-eating children and a nearly two year old = 11) cost me nearly a third of a week's grocery money - I hope the kids don't mind if I don't feed them next week!!

My only consolation is that if DH's highly carnivorous relatives don't make meaty pigs of themselves we may have enough to have with pickles and salad on Sunday - otherwise it's veg rissotto, take it or leave it.

With the in-laws and DH's brother and wife + 3 kids here for lunch and tea tomorrow and in-laws staying overnight I have had no choice but to abandon all crafting and do housework.

I even found some surfaces under the clutter and they responded well to a polish:

I'm pleased to say there have been some rays of sunshine in this begrudgingly housewifely day of mine :)

Postie delivered again - some gorgeous Melly & Me patterns from here.

I don't know if I can handle much more housey stuff today, although a trip to the supermarket is inevitable and then there's washing to hide, cakes to bake, dinner to cook, beds to change in the morning.................... oh, maaaaaan :(

I have plans for this evening, however, as I will be choosing a new pattern to try from this book and will be doing a totally random (possibly rather pink) rippled crochet lap blanket either for my Aunty or for keepsies - depending on how it turns out and when it turns out as her birthday is less than 6 weeks away and that is no time when I'm rippling!!

Just to round off a dreadfully dreary drudgy deliciously domestic day here's some advice you never knew you needed from this valuable reference 'bible':

Handy hint or tip No.1: Adapting a table - Cut down the legs of a small table to make a surface for food or hobbies when you are in bed.

Handy hint or tip No.2: Two-handed dusting - Using two dusters - one in each hand - will help you get around the surfaces in a room in half the time with half the effort. (what about needing a spare hand to lift all the crubbish so you can dust under it? - oh, yeh - just dust round it of course!!!)

Handy hint or tip No.3: Marking the spot - When removing curtain hooks, mark their spaces with nail varnish. This way you will not have to spend time guessing the correct spacing when replacing the hooks.

Handy hint or tip No.4: Removing smells - A clever way to get rid of a smell in the bathroom is by striking a match. The flame literally burns away noxious gases. (or causes a dramatic whoooosh of flame and fetches your eyebrows off!!!!!!!!!!)

Handy hint or tip No.5: Paying for energy - Keep a money jar by main light switches, and fine family members each time a light is left on in an empty room. (might try this as I can see it being quite a money-spinner in this house!!)

Handy hint or tip No.6: Substituting cocoa - if you run out of cooking chocolate, use 45ml(3 tbsp) of cocoa and 15ml (1tbsp) butter for every 25g (1 oz) needed. (mmmmmmmmmmm - will try this and report back!)

Handy hint or tip No.7: Making a low-fat filling - For a low-fat filling, mix together 200g (7 oz) soft cheese made from skimmed milk with 30ml (2 tbsp) honey, then flavour with finely grated citrus zest. Use as a filling or topping for a sponge or carrot cake as an alternative to a rich cream-cheese frosting. (another one I shall try and then feedback the findings!!)

So there you have it. I may or may not do lists of 7 somethings next week - I'll have to see what our bookshelves have to offer first!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and please think of me when I'm roasting half a cow and dashing around like Gordon Ramsay only much less polite ;)

Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Please do not adjust your sets - this is Moogsmum's blog!

Are you sitting down in a safe place with no sharp obstacles nearby? You sure?


Then it will be okay for me to show you something totally out of character that I did first thing this morning.

I got down on my hands and knees and cleaned this: and then I turned 180 degrees and cleaned the world's smallest kitchen floor!!
The kitchen floor tiles are so old and nasty that this is as good as it gets :(

Luckily I soon got over that ridiculous behaviour and got stuck into making a present for my lovely cousin's birthday on Monday. I sent her an email to ask what her favourite colours were and she said red and green.

Do you think I took her too literally? It is very red and green isn't it?!

Lined with Postman Pat duvet cover fabric :)

With a little bit of fancy stitching for good measure.

I also made a little coin purse to match. The front fabric and the large red flower fabric on the bag are both from a piece of vintage Mary Quant fabric that my M-i-L gave to Minx me a while back.

I've still to handstitch the lining in but that is an in front of the telly job for this evening.

Once that was done I could reward myself with a nice cup of tea and a slice of this:

Homemade Yorkshire Tea Bread - the easiest cake in the world.


8oz dried mixed fruit
40z soft brown sugar
1 egg
8oz self raising flour
half a pint of strong tea (without the milk!!!)

Soak fruit in tea overnight. Add sugar, egg and flour and mix to a runny consistency. Pour into a greased and lined large loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees C for about an hour.
I test it with a skewer - if it comes out clean it's done.
I also add about 2 teaspoons of whatever spices I fancy such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mixed spice.

Yum yum yum AND FAT FREE TOO!!!!!!
In the midst of all that the postman arrived with some fabric I ordered only yesterday!!! Fantastic service and beautiful quality fabrics.

To restore the Goddess:Slut balance here's a picture of the current state of my kitchen window - this is indicative of every window in the house right now. Reroofing and sparkly windows do not go hand in hand!!!I'm glad you all liked my 7 random things on yesterday's post.
How do you fancy another 7? This time from this timeless classic:
Here goes:
Thing to do No.1: Realize that good looks aren't the be-all and end-all, but learn to make the most of what you've been given. (yes to the first bit - could do better on the second bit!!!).
Thing to do No.2: Compose your own ringtone for your cell phone. (okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay......)
Thing to do No.3: Whittle something from a piece of wood. (uh huh......)
Thing to do No.4: Hold a snake, a lizard, or a frog. (may pass on this one)
Thing to do No.5: Learn how to whistle through a blade of grass (been there done that!!!)
Thing to do No.6: Live your life in a fully awake state (except when you're in bed at night). (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
Thing to do No.7: Smile at everyone you pass in the street for one day (and just wait for the guys with the strait jackets to roll up!!!).
If you are not 40 already (grrrrr) then hey, you have sooooooooooo much to look forward to!!!
If you are 40+ - good for you!!! You'll have realised there is actually a whole world of post 40 fun to be had and most of it is the same as the fun you had before!!!!
Now, where did I put that penknife?
Whittle whittle whittle......

p.s. the next Crafty Challenge is now well and truly on over here .
Don't forget - you can join in too if you'd like to :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pay It Forward

As if yesterday's gorgeous parcel from Kaz was not enough the postman came up trumps again today!!

Again I forgot to give the sender my actual surname (doh!) and I think it's fab that the postman had to deliver a parcel addressed to Mrs Moogsmum :)

I was expecting this one as the lovely Jo at French Knots emailed me last week to tell me that a Pay It Forward that she had blogged in October was on it's way to me.

Jo apologised for the delay which really was not a problem as I had forgotten that I'd actually signed up!!

I feel like the luckiest blogger in the world this week!!

Isn't this the prettiest peg bag? I shall have to wear a pinny to hang my washing out now :) Look at those fab pegs too - I want to hang my whitest whites out with those ones! I bet you're thinking 'that chocolate can't have lasted long' - you may be surprised.

It's a very timely gift as I overheard two ladies chatting about being able to hang their washing out in the sunshine yesterday. I was feeling quietly envious as I can't put anything out there right now with all the muck that the reroof is generating.

I'll photograph the first load I put out as I know you'll enjoy that bit of domestic loveliness!!

My lovely new peg bag is a definite improvement on this. I'm going to treat myself to some new wooden pegs too :)

The card that Jo enclosed is now adorning my fridge as I just love it!!!

Thank you so much Jo - I am absolutely delighted with my goodies!!

So now it's my turn to Pay It Forward. I will send a little handmade gift to the first three people to comment on this post. It may not be straight away, it may be a month or two but you will receive a little something lovely and of course you will then need to Pay It Forward on your blog.

For those of you in the Blogland Women's Army who have been steeling yourselves for giving Moogsdad a good prodding for keeping me off the internets I am pleased to announce that a solution has been found - and a very comfortable one too!

Now I really am pleased I bought my company laptop when I finished work :) (When offered the chance to buy my 1 year old laptop plus free printer/copier/fax/scanner machine thingy at a fraction of it's original cost I did so as I thought it would be ideal for the children to use in future for homework etc.)

Here's a tip though. Do not place your delicious bar of whole milk goodness next to the fan outlet of your laptop. It will melt.

That is why the chocolate has not been eaten - yet! It's in the fridge recovering. Having said that now that I've reminded myself about it it won't be there for long!!!

Before I go to lurk around on everyone else's blogs I have a job to do for Trashalou - she has tagged me for seven things of interest. I suppose it should be about me but the children discovered this hidden on the bookshelf not half an hour ago:

So here's a treat.....instead of facts about me, 'cause hey, what don't you know already?!, I will find seven fascinating facts from this weighty tome.

Fascinating fact No.1: Twenty percent of all road accidents in Sweden involve a moose!

Fascinating fact No.2: In the average lifetime a person will breathe in nearly 20kg (44lb) of dust! - unless they live here, in which case double it!!

Fascinating fact No.3: Gnosiophobia is the fear of knowledge!

Fascinating fact No.4: Geniophobia is the fear of chins! Good job I don't have that seeing as I have two of them!!!

Fascinating fact No.5 : Turkeys often look up at the sky during a rainstorm. Unfortunately, some have drowned as a result! ( I didn't make that last bit up - IT'S IN THE BOOK!!!!)

Fascinating fact No.6: (FOR MONKEE MAKER!) - a monkey was made a corporal in the South African army during World War II!!!!!!!!! :)

Fascinating fact No.7: Statistically you are more likely to be attacked by a cow than a shark!!

I do hope you enjoyed them - I have a creeping dread that I may have found myself something new with which to entertain myself. Tomorrow I may post 7 tips from my Book Of Household Hints and Tips, or 7 ideas from Things To Do Now You're 40 - or I may post 7 knots from the Book of Knots and Knot Tying.

You'll just have to come back to find out, won't you? :)

Night night xxx

p.s. accidentally ate the chocolate whilst writing this as DH has taken kids to swimming lesson!!! It was lovely :)

p.p.s. in case you are, for some unearthly reason, visiting this post for a second time I have just edited this several hours after first posting - on this occasion you are not, in fact, going mad ;-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Totally terrific Tuesday!

Cor blimey it is one extreme to the other round here!!

Yesterday was, it has to be said, somewhat pants on the satisfyingly lovely scale.

I must say, however, that the words of support from the Blogland Women's Army were very much appreciated!!! So far I have not had to call on your services with knitting needles or malarial pathogens but there is disturbing news afoot!

But first (and I know you don't start sentences with but!) just feast your eyes on the loveliness that fell into my hands shortly after I had grappled the postie to the ground this very morning:

Hello, is that for little ol' me?

As you can see I unwrapped this beautifully parcelled gift very delicately :)

I opened this first and may have become slightly overexicited judging by the disapproving and matronly look on Moog's face! A beautiful handbag charm - see how pretty it is and so girlie and gorgeous and can it really be for me?

A little more maniacal tearing assunder gentle unwrapping led me to a lot more gorgeousness. Just feast your eyes on this:

I have to say an enormous THANK YOU to the very lovely Kaz for this beautiful gift that I was lucky enough to win in her 100th post giveaway just last week.

I really don't want to give any of those lovely cards away but I have some special birthdays coming up soon and may force myself to relinquish one or two!

As for my beautiful Ideas book, complete with a fab pen might I add, I shall be using that for my good ideas that have gone through the initial stages on the back of an envelope!!!

Once the initial excitement had subsided (but still with a delirious grin on my face) I got down to making the most of my Moogsdadfree time.

If you want to see how this turned out go here!

Then I got onto something secretive for my swap partner:
How, you may well be asking, can such a fableous day have any sort of anything go wrong?

1. Send son to school without swimming kit even though it clearly states on 'family calendar' that he has swimming today (despite sending said kit in last Tuesday when he did, in fact, have no swimming at all).

2. Learn the disturbing news that one's husband will be 'working from home' again on the morrow and will be requiring use of computer and all available work/personal/air space to be able to complete highly important top secret manly task (suffice it to say he has the type of job whereby if I told you what his paper was about I'd then have to kill you!)

As my lovely Mum always used to say (and you have most definately read this here before) 'It's no good moping about. You've just got to get on with it!'

Therefore, to avoid any feelings of 'how very dare you interrupt my very important lady pursuits!' tomorrow I shall be occupying myself by visiting the council planning department on a roofy type errand for Moogsdad PhD (yes really - and he married little ol' me!) and then accidentally driving to Romsey to accidentally search out a fabric shop that I have been led to believe, by the internets, is there somewhere......

If I need liberating by the BWA I shall let you know - not sure how I'll let you know but I may have to make an assault on a public library!!!!!!

Now, where did I leave my combat trousers?................


1. overly dark photos - in spite of a much brighter day my house is very dark due to being enveloped in a big scaffoldy blanket. Too dodgy to venture outside to take photos as various missiles keep falling from roof at least expected moments.

2. possible odd blog spacing - Blogger seems to be having a 'how crubbish can we make the gappage tonight?' thing going on!!!!

3. I haven't ignored your request for 7 spurious facts about me Mrs Trash - I just felt there was only so much of my wittering everyone could stand in one day!!!

Aaaaaaaaa-at ease!

You may stand down until the morning but be aware you may be called upon at any time. Please polish your knitting needles before retiring for the night :)