Sunday, July 27, 2008

a Hamble bimble and posing pouches

I will never ever cease to appreciate how lucky I am to be living where I do. After growing up in landlocked Birmingham I just love the fact that we are so close to the coast in Southampton.

However, although we have done a fair bit of exploring in our ten years here, we have many more places to get to know.

Somewhere very close, and hitherto unfamiliar, to us is Hamble, of Howard's Way fame, and we headed there today for a lovely al fresco pub lunch with the in-laws, a bit of crabbing, a wander around this very pretty village and plenty of sitting and watching the boaty comings and goings on the busy River Hamble.

This beautiful old building has every window bricked up. We asked a very lovely local lady why and she told is it had to be or it would fall down!!

A very obliging tern whizzed past as we sat on the quay.

They were even ready for us with a reserved parking space :)

As if that's not enough loveliness for one weekend, I even got left 'home alone' yesterday to do some sewing!

The result was a whole batch of zippy pouches. The elephant ones are for an order, the pink and blue flowery jobs are for my friend Maggie and her daughter who we will be catching up with later this week in their caravan in Dorset and the final one, with the red gnome braid is to be given away!

It came to my notice a week or two back that I had missed my 200th blog post! I was too busy to sort this immediately so to remedy this I have opted to shamelessly copy Jodie and Lucy and do a retrospective giveaway.

My 200th post was on June 20th and 13 of you lovely peeps left me a comment.

Using this random number generator, I am pleased to say that number 4 is the winner of this pouch and maybe one or two other goodies!

OMG - I'm suddenly deafened with the bloggy shouts of FIX, FIX....ref, it's a FIX!!!

In my defence yer honour, I did the random number thing ONCE and ONCE ONLY...saw who it was and seriously considered doing it again...and then thought 'Hang on a minute - if I do that it won't be random, will it?!'

So, my barmy funny friend Mrs L your bloggy present will be on it's way up north very soon!

Best make sure I wrap it well to keep it warm!!!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

So far so great

The holidays - all two days of them - have been great so far.

We've unearthed our first homegrowns spuds (var. Edzel Blue). They were yummy and had so much flavour. They also turned potato-coloured once cooked.

The paddling/not quite swimming pool has been in almost constant use....

.....and the Lego is out :)

I asked Monster to tell me about the little scene he'd made. Apparently, it is Indiana Jones escaping from the Nancies.


The Nancies?

'Who are the Nancies?' I asked.

Eyes rolling from Monster here at his mother's stupidity.

'The baddy Germans of course!!'

'Ahem, that'll be the Nazis then may not want to go round calling them Nancies'

And here is the chicken news:

Jazzy chicken is still on this mortal coil. News from the farm is that she is still in a little pen receiving TLC from Farmer Brian :)

Advice: Do not wear open toed sandals in the chicken run. Having your toes chased after and pecked is not fun!!!

Hope you have a fab weekend. We have the outlaws here, which is why I'm up at silly o'clock blogging as it's the only chance I'll get! Also, if I so much as look at the computer when the kids are home, they start nagging to have a go ....on my computer?!!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The holidays have started in Moogsville!!!

It feels like it's been a long time coming but at last the kids have finished school for the summer and I have finished work.

What better way could there be to start a holiday than with the receiving of a blog award from the very lovely Jennie :)

Thank you so much Jennie, this really made my day!

There are, of course, some rules to the receiving of this award:

1)Put the logo on your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on yours
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

I'm fine at following rules 1 and 2. It's 3, 4 and 5 where I come unstuck! I never seem able to choose blogs to nominate in case I leave anyone out!

As usual, I'll duck out of this bit and instead will say...if you read my blog, whether as commenter or lurker, or if I read yours then consider yourself well and truly awarded!!

The Summer Survival Plan is now under way:

Manky kitchen cupboards now decorated with Mr Strong, Mr Happy and Mr Grumpy and The Warning Triangle.

This idea is pilched from Minx's school.

Everyone starts the day on Mr Strong.

Anyone found to be behaving in a manner unbecoming to harmonious summer loveliness is placed on The Warning Triangle.

Persistent offenders will find themselves on Mr Grumpy!

I'm pleased to say that both naughty bubs ended today on Mr Happy :)

This was no doubt helped by the fact that Monster went to his friend's after school until 8pm and thus was not there to argue with his sister!!

Summer Survival Plan stage 2:

Paddling/not quite swimming pool pumped up and filled.

and stage 3 - something lovely just waiting for me to come out and play.

and stage 4 - the start of some sewing action:

My totally gorgeous and very very clever cello and electric guitar playing little tiny niece will be 17 this Saturday!!!!!

Happy Birthday L - I love you xxxxxxxxx

I bought this guitar fabric ages ago with my niece very much in mind.
You can never have enough purses and key rings, right?

This is a one week (and a bit!) late birthday present for my sister-in-law (scroll down a bit) - I do hope she likes it!

Had to smile though as she 'HATES' carnations (WTF???) and it wasn't until this was made and photographed that I realised the lining fabric has carnations on. Do I care? Why, no I don't!!!! ( Don't think family members read this as they all think I'm weird - if I'm proven wrong then 'hey, shoot me'!!!)


Seems I'm chillin' already ;)

If you want something really funny to make your day you need to pay a visit to my lovely bloggy friend VC - oh and follow her links cos there's nothing like a bit of context for making something even funnier :)

The chicken news:
No news yet about Jazzy chicken - should find out tomorrow.

Re: the whole 'Optimus Prime' shenanigans - I chose my words most unwisely in my previous post and feel I should clear my name of any wrongdoings.

I didn't actually ever tell Monster he could not call his chicken Optimus Prime...or Megatron....or Indiana Jones...or Luke Skywalker.

He decided for himself that he'd choose Jazz and Bumble Bee as more 'chickeny' names.

Bumble Bee Update: bless her little scaly socks she's settled in like a dream. Not quite confident enough to share the roosting perch with the others yet but quite snuggly in the nest box, thank you very much. Also started laying straight away:)

We are still on two eggs a day. Flossie and Beryl (we think) are not yet laying regularly.

I'm now going to peruse your lovely blogs and hey, who cares if I have a late night? NO WORK TOMORROW!!!!!



Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's been a funny old day...

We've had to say a very sad goodbye to one of our lovely girls today.

Sausage Monster's chicken, Jazz, has had to go back to the farm :(

We noticed her crop was enlarged earlier in the week and followed all the proper advice to help alleviate the problem. However, it did not improve and she became less perky than usual and then, yesterday, stopped laying.

She was our first, and most reliable, layer. She was also, we think, top hen and a very friendly girl too.

We spoke to the very lovely Farmer Brian who asked us to take her back to the farm today. He is going to treat her as he thinks she has an infection. Apparently it's nothing we've done wrong but just one of those unfortunate things that can happen to chickies. If she does not improve in the next three days he will have to put her to sleep :( :( :(

So, it's goodbye to the lovely Jazzy but get well soon chicky!

I've grown really attached to her the past few days as I've massaged and cuddled her.

Farmer Brian told Moogsdad he could take another chookie to replace Jazzyboo. He chose the one who looked the most like her predecessor.

So here is Bumble Bee - in case you're wondering Jazz and Bumble Bee are both Transformers characters. These were the best names, believe me! I had to tell Monster we could not possibly name a chicken Optimus Prime!!!

There may be a bit of peckage for a couple of days as the newcomer establishes her place in the pecking order but we're watching them closely to make sure they play nice!

I'm glad I only keep them for eggs. I'd be in bits if we had to give them the chop so we could eat them!!!

In non-chicken news, I scored at the charity shop today.

The candlewick blanket is going to be a very soft and cuddly back for the red and turquoise quilt and cost me a princely £3.

The Russian dolls are a nest of four rather forlorn looking girls but I've always always wanted some and for £1.50 thought they'd be a good start!

The button box cost me 50p and for a rather extravagant £4 I got a fab build a robot puzzle kit for Monster - three hours of happy peace and quiet.....priceless!!

Now onto something lovely that happened earlier this week.

A most delicious delivery from the postman.



Michaela's scrumptious homemade fudge, which was kept entirely for adult consumption, did not last long but every morsel was appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed :)

Thank you so much Michaela! What's the agreement? Do I keep returning the pretty box for refills?

...just asking....... ;)

Onto some sewing action then.

My naughty bubs don't finish school until Wednesday and there are teachers' presents to sort out. My mind was a big fat blank as I'm so obsessed with other sewing projects right now!

However, I gave myself a big talking to and opted for a simple approach. Zippy pouches for all of them, inspired by perusing a back copy of Cotton Time.

I may buy some pretty tissues to go with them and I have a cushion to make but I'm so relieved these are all done.

I now have to turn my attention to a birthday pressie for my 17 year old niece (17!!!!! little niece!!!!!) and of course my latest craze.....

......crazy patchwork!

Each square is roughly 12"x 12" and the grand plan is to keep going through my scrap box until I have enough panels for a big king-size quilt.....well possibly.....maybe.....

Oh....and three more days at work of course!!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend xxxxxx

p.s. I've got a whole day of just me and my boy tomorrow as Moogsdad and Minx are off for the day, rowing a mile along Southsea sea front and going to Longleat with Brownies, respectively. He has plans for me that will involve some emptying of my bank account apparently!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quilt 1 progress

Moogsdad and the little beasties went to the cinema yesterday afternoon, leaving me to stay home and sew :)

Of course I had to get cracking on my current obsession.

It was surprisingly quick to piece together and now awaits a border, some batting and quilting, then binding.

This is where I will need some advice from you seasoned quilty peeps.

Hand or machine quilt (bearing in mind that even with a 'walking foot' I invariably end up with major puckers!!)??

How to quilt? Along the seams, freehand squiggly stylee, in lines??

What's the best thread for quilting?

If there's anything else I should know, do tell!!

I haven't started the second quilt yet as I've been working today.

Working involved a bit of this:

Preparing newspaper mush for a papermaking project with a special needs school tomorrow :)

I love my job.......and I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!!


Sunday, July 13, 2008 fabric shopping for me then!

My yearning to make a red and turquoisy quilt RIGHT NOW led me to delve a bit deeper into my stash today and it would seem I won't be needing to do any emergency fabric buying after all!

It's amazing what you can unearth when a new obsession strikes!!

As it's my first attempt I've gone for simple squares.

My second attempt will also be in simple squares!!

Now all I need to do is get stitching.

I can see this leading me down a slippery slope - before I know it I'll be hand piecing hexagons!!

Sort of wondering if I should ever have started as I'm now visualising all sorts of patchy projects - oh deary me ;)


Saturday, July 12, 2008

A bimbling about sort of a day

My blog posts these days seem to be a bit....well...a bit y'know...a bit boring really.

I'm not saying that so that you'll all go 'Ooo no no Mrs Moogsmum, not boring at all' in your best Frankie Howerd voices.

It's just I seem to be lacking in the chuckle department. I may try and remedy that before this post is out.....depending on what I stumble across on the interwebs.

In the meantime, how about some plum jam?

Rather tough-skinned, under-ripe, transcontinental plums half price from the Co-op.

Transformed by a miracle of culinary magic into the runniest but yummiest six and a half rather disparate jars of deep ruby red jam. I used jam sugar and everything and boiled it for longer than the recipe told me and still it is runny - Locket said I should call it Plum Compote and be done with it!

Maybe I should distract you further with a very last minute bit of craftiness that occurred this afternoon.

Minx has had an unexpected but very welcome invitation to a birthday party tomorrow and this gave me the perfect excuse to ignore the ironing (again!) and have a lovely couple of hours playing with fabric.

This is for a seven year old girl - I hope she likes turquoisy blue and red.

I seem to have developed a bit of a thing for this colour combo as a result of the school quilt and can see me having to make a big quilty something in these colours soon........which isn't ideal as my fabric stash is somewhat lacking in both these colours and will cause me to have to buy lots more fabric ;)

Oh dear.

What a shame.

Never mind :)

So, where were we?

Oh, yeh - in need of funny stuff.

Still working on it.

How about a slow worm that Monster discovered in the garden this afternoon?

Look away now if you have an aversion to slithery snakelike critters.

It's our resident slug murderer 'legless lizard' Sidney Slowworm. You can tell it's Monster pointing at him on account of the rows of cabbages growing under his disgusting finger nails!

Moogsdad - being a helpful sort of chap - not only took the photos (with MY best camera - ack!!) but carefully laid a £1 coin alongside Sid so you could get an idea of scale.

That sort of meticulous attention to detail is what you get when you marry a scientist :)

Oooh - I know what'll make you chuckle.

Moogsdad nipped out to the shops this afternoon for chicken shed disinfectant and came back with that and a big fat book about Tanks - of the military persuasion. He is now utterly engrossed in this fascinating tome and will, I daresay, be regailing me with hitherto unknown to me facts about armoured military vehicles.

This - dear blog reader - is why we don't have to spend a fortune on babysitters on a Saturday night - 'cos we reeeeally know how to enjoy ourselves!

Ok - here it is - I asked You Tube for some funny stuff :


3 and 4 were my favourites...what's yours?

Bye then.......


Friday, July 11, 2008

Seven days and counting....

I have just seven working days left until I break up for the summer holidays and, quite frankly, I can't wait. Although I really enjoy my 'new' job, I really enjoy being at home even more.

As the end of term is so nearly here I had to get a wriggle on with my 'Thank You for having us' present for the infants' school that my naughty babes have attended over the course of the past four years.

Here it is - in blog finished form as I still need to fix a message to the reverse.

(Moogsdad - being of a security conscious and untrusting nature - requested I blur the school's name if I was putting this on the interwebs!!)

I used red for the school colours and found this lovely cloudy fabric in Hobbycraft for the reverse. Monster and Minx obligingly drew the animal pictures for me, which I then appliqued.

This was my first foray into the world of patchwork and quilting, apart from a couple of mini-quilts, and I'm quite pleased with it. I know it's not perfect but hopefully the recipients will like it.

I now seem to have an overwhelming urge to make a patchwork throw for the living room, so this little package, that I ordered from a lovely etsy seller, may be very timely.

There's a beautiful (and simple!) throw pattern in Amy Butler's book (an accidental Amazon order that arrived today!!) that I may use.

Before I whizz off to catch up on all your lovely blogs here is the chicken news:

2 eggs every day this week and, for the past three days, a soggy shelled one too. It seems that we may soon be onto three eggs a day, as someone is practising :)

I hope the sun shines on you this weekend xxxxx

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside.....

Good evening bloggers and here is the news.

Photo from here.

I am sad to report that the superb 'Birdman of Bognor' event that was to be held in Worthing today was cancelled.

Doomed from the start it seems. First off, someone broke the pier at Bognor causing this spectacularly British event to be moved to neighbouring Worthing.

Then the fabulous British summer weather took it's toll.

After the rescue boats capsized three times the powers that be called a halt to the 2008 event. (Huh - softies!!!).

Some nutters still ventured out in the atrocious inclement conditions.

That'd be us then...

Good job we were able to enjoy good food, good chat and fine company with our dear friends! We've asked them to make sure the weather is booked well in advance for the 2009 event!

In other news, the blackbirds in Moogsvile were rewarded for all their hard work this week when one (is that all???) healthy, fluffsome chick fledged successfully.

There may have been others but they/it flew the nest very early in the morning thus robbing us 'guardians of the nest' of the joy of witnessing the event.

Chicky news - 2 eggs today, thank you for asking :)

Off now to get some sleep in readiness for another week of doings in Moog's house.