Saturday, September 27, 2008

The chicken has landed

When a box like this lands on your doorstep ...

....with a letter like this from the overwhelmingly brilliant Charlie P.... just know it's something very special indeed :-)

I would like to introduce you to the latest addition to the chicken run - Miss Gloria Hennypenny. So called because Gloria was my first choice for a chicken name way back here but when our girls arrived my chicken was most definately a Beryl.

My first task was, of course, to introduce Gloria to the inmates of Moogstowers.

Moog studiously ignored her in the hope she'd go away ....

....mmm, how would the other chickens react?

....can we eat it? wot is it? can we eat it? is it a worm? can we eat it?....bit pecky...

...she tried out the accomodation.....not too comfy...

....and sampled the menu....bit bland...

....and was told what was expected of our fowl a day please...

....oh dear!! All too much for a chicken made of crochet :-(

Fortunately Gloria soon picked up when she saw the alternative menu...

....and realised she had a good deal in common with Freda Feltchicken - except Gloria is the more advanced spun wool version :)

To say I was excited when I managed to bag one of Charlie's beautiful creations is a major understatement! Thank you so much Charlie - Gloria has made one whizzened old blogger very happy indeed xxxx

Before, I head off to make the house 'in-law visit' spotless, here's a bit of sewing news.

Two more pairs of 'lounge pants' for me

and two for my baby girl who, as I type, is waking up at Brownie camp 13 miles away.
She's out on loan to Brownies for the weekend. Her first ever time away without parents or grandparents.

Did she seem bothered when we dropped her off last night?

Nope. Not even a little bit :-)

At least with her new pj's she'll have something to read when she wakes up...

Have a great weekend xxxx

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sweetbreads anyone?

It seems that many of you crafty bloggers have been making these this year.

Not wishing to miss out and having an upcoming hotel stay with a friend of mine that requires something other than my usual manky Virgin Atlantic freebie pj's, we set ourselves a challenge. To make some Lounge Pants using the pattern from Amy Butler's In Stitches.

Wishing to be thrifty.....and also slightly ridiculous....we decided on children's duvet covers from the charity shop. Paddington Bear for Mrs Locket and 101 Dalmations for me!

Whilst there I also bagged a bargain kingsize denim duvet cover for £4.99. Metres and metres of lightweight denim, in great condition and just perfect for a whole host of future sewing projects :)

Mrs Locket's duvet cover will be winging it's way up north very soon to be converted into loungey pants.

I felt suitably inspired to run a little pair up for the Minx too. Hers are the white ones and mine are the blue ones covered in mahoosive spotty dogs! (Two pairs for £1.99 - not bad, huh?).

To make Minx's ones I drew a pattern from a pair of non-stretchy pj bottoms that fit her pretty well, added a bit more length and width, and in under an hour she had some new puppy pants. She's wearing them right now and they look mighty cute :)

Of course, one pair each is not enough so today I've cut out two more pairs each and will, naturally, just have to spend some of my day off scouring the charity shops for another duvet cover or two!

...and now for something completely different.....

My ever thoughtful husband presented me with a romantic present on his return from the supermarket last night:

Is it any wonder I couldn't resist his romantic charm when we first met?

I've been reading up on offal, so if you want to know what to do with your brains, tongue or testicles then I'm the person to ask!!

Off out now to a Stampin' Up party and leaving Moogsdad in charge of two very grumpy children ;-)


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Miscellaneous doings

As promised, we did some papermaking.

Using the leftover paper pulp from Thursday's school session, we took ourselves outside and got busy.

1. First prepare your pulp. Soak ripped up newspaper for at least 24 hours in a bucket of water, then blitz it with an electric hand blender (this will ruin your blender BTW!). 2. Take your papermaking frame (cobbled together from a couple of cheapo Ikea frames and some spare netting). 3. Dip the frame down into a bowl of paper pulp and give it a wiggle. 4. Lift out and remove spare pulp from around the frame. 5. Quickly tip the frame over onto a J-cloth on a tray. 6. Using a piece of board press down firmly on the frame to squeeze out the water. 7. Lay your paper out to dry .8. You will have far more paper pulp than you ever thought possible so strain the rest through a teatowel and squeeze out all the water 9. Make yourself some models with the rest - these should take about 15 years to dry!!

Now for some 'normal' stuff.

The Raiders' of the Box parcel arrived in Moogshouse this week - I was sooo excited!! The box is starting to look very well travelled :)

I did some choosing and spent ages agonising over what to take out and what to put in!

Trashy, I took the butter muslin! What was the question?

Postie also delivered this gorgeous Little Girl from Jodie. Isn't she lovely?

She's my next sewing project, once I've sent Michaela's blanket on it's way :)

Thank you so much Jodie - I love her and can't wait to see what she says!

Moving on to the weather now.

Did you imagine for a moment there that autumn had arrived?

Yup, me too!

Apparently not.

This weekend has been one of the sunniest and warmest this year.

To celebrate, we have all ventured out into the garden.

Some of us even managed a spot of sunbathing!

Now then folks. Y'know that sometimes even the best ideas have their issues?

Well here's a thing.....I don't like to think of myself as a quitter. I do tend to get very excited about things and get maybe a little too obsessed...and then burn out.

.....(embarrassed cough)......I've decided to draw the Geek League to a close sooner than initially planned. Mainly 'cos I want to get back to my normal bloggy wittering and maybe do some sewing rather than spend hours on the 'puter looking for geeky stuff. I'm also waaaay behind on reading all your lovely blogs.

Therefore, the League will conclude on 30th September rather than 31st October. Yippeee!!!

That way we can all get back to 'normal' and leave the geekery to him:

Note : I have not mentioned anything about the Geek League to Monster. I was therefore very surprised when he brought these toy glasses downstairs yesterday and commenced to wrap them with Sellotape.
I asked him what he was doing.
'Making myself some Geek glasses, Mum!'

Don't know where he gets it from!!!!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

My geeky effort for today

I love you guys! Did you know that?

I write a long wittery post and you Geektastic types pick up a tiny throw away comment and're off!

Little did I appreciate the can of worms that would open when I mentioned the abundance of silver cars on the roads these days. I honestly thought I was the only one who'd noticed!

Seems I was wrong...which is why I think you're great...'cos you 'get it' :)

Anyhoo, apart from playing the 'find the natural resources globe game' and making recycled paper at a junior school's 'Green Day' today I have managed another deliciously geeky moment.

My good friend picked the beasties up from school for me today. When I went to fetch them we got to chatting about the fact that she's just started another module in her degree. She's studying creative writing and has had a novel brewing for some time.

To mark the start of the next stage she's purchased this lovely, and very weighty, tome. So, whilst the kiddlies played on the PS2, we had a lovely time drinking coffee and cooing over this brand new example of wordy goodness. I confess we may even have stroked a crisp new page or two. As she's heading up a new emotional literacy unit at school we also delved in to search for suitable names for her sparkly new facility. You just can't beat a good dictionary. Marvellous :)

Did you have a geeky moment today? Did you do/notice/read something that entertained the geek in you whilst the world passed by, oblivious to your geekery?

You can tell us...we'll understand....


p.s. whilst doing some geeky market research I found this. Maybe you know just the chap to wear it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The League of Geeks

Votes have been cast.

The majority (37 'Yes pleases' to 4 'Wots') have voted in favour of The Geek League.

For those of you who may be unsure as to whether or not you qualify for Geekery, let me enlighten you further. (Please note, these thoughts are entirely personal, not intended to cause offence and have been amassed through years of experience as 'the odd one out'!)

If you find yourself getting overexcited/obsessed about/doing any of the following you may be slightly/totally Geeky:

-science-type stuff such as this, or this

-interesting things such as this, or this

-bad spelling/grammar/punctuation on shop signs, in newspapers, newsletters or magazines

-finding new recycling facilities for hitherto unrecyclable rubbish(might just be me who gets excited about this one!)

-having long and animated chats with friends about the thrill of growing your own veg, keeping chickens etc

-providing fascinating links on your blog to help illustrate just why you find something soooo interesting

-being in any way married to/related to/ good friends with, other geeky folk

Do you find yourself getting strange looks from eavesdroppers?

etc etc etc....get the picture?

After days of list-writing, number crunching and brain-storming I've decided to keep things simple (maybe I'm not as geeky as I thought!).

Geek Points will be awarded on a purely arbitrary and ad-hoc basis. If I read something on your blog that I consider Geekworthy, points will be awarded. If you leave a deliciously Geeky comment on my blog...or indeed any that I read..points will be awarded. If you email me to notify me of geeky doings, points will be awarded.

Any points that you have received so far will count towards your Geek League score. They are all noted down in my un-techy but very geeky notebook :)

If you are of a competitive bent you can earn more points by posting about experiments that you have done; techy computery and camera-type stuff; any geeky hobbies you may have ( I am the daughter of birdwatchers and the sister of a coin collector...and used to collect antique glass bottles!) ; noticing things that 'normal' people might not notice e.g. a buzzard flying overhead or the fact that there seem to be soooo many silver cars on the roads these days (is that just me that notices that?).

Hopefully you get the idea....sort of!

To give you lots of chance to earn your points The Geek League will run until 31st October (see how I did that great bit of Geeky linking?)

On 1st November the results will be checked and verified by an independent adjudicator. The lucky winner will be awarded the title 'Top Geek 2008' and will, in due course, receive a suitably geeky prize.

In the meantime, here's a little something exciting that I've been doing:

Tomorrow I'm paper-making with a class of 30 pupils and needed an extra paper-making frame. So what's a geeky girl to do?

- First take two cheapo Ikea photo frames (had them for years and never used them) and remove the glass and other bits.

- Find some scraps of netting amongst the bursting boxes of fabric stash in the loft and staple to one of the frames with a staple gun.

Like so....

If you're very lucky I will show you in my next post how to use this fabulous piece of equipment :)

Now for some more normal doings.

The postman left me something very very lovely indeed in my postbox this week.

Some very gorgeous fabrics from my lovely bloggy buddy WMK (who earned herself 30 Geek Points this week for having an in depth discussion about snakes with her entire family)!

I love them WMK - thank you very much!! (p.s. get well soon!)

I'll be getting my sewing head on soon to make the very most of these goodies :)


p.s. the judge's decision is final.

Monday, September 15, 2008

NEWSFLASH: sewing has happened!

Hard as it is to believe, some craftiness has returned to Moogsville.

Friday was my first proper day off, all to myself, for two months and to celebrate I cracked open the sewing machine!

Some sneaky peaks of something that went in the post on Saturday.

...and there's more...

The front piece for a little girl's cushion I've been asked to make. The order specified 'pink....very pink'.

What do you reckon? Pink enough?

I also received Michaela's St. Dunstan's blanket in the post. This is a 'round robin'-y blanket, whereby each knitter knits up a 50g ball's worth of knittage and then posts it on to the next knittist.

The two stripes before mine are so beautifully knitted and it took a lot of courage for me to start my contribution. So far so good though as I've done four whole rows....woohoo!

It's been so lovely, after the geeky madness of late, to get stuck into something slightly sane :)

I even made a start on clearing this:

Having caught the veg growing bug in a huge way, I am now planning on turning more of Moog's garden over to production. Which is why I'm aching so much today.

The majority of this has now gone. Fruit trees are to be trained up the wall (there's a seven foot concrete wall in there somewhere!) and another raised bed will be artfully constructed by Moogsdad. Eat your heart out Hugh :)

In other news.....

For those of you already signed up to the Geek League - fear not!

I love the fact that an obscure and quite bonkers gauntlet can be thrown down to you lovely bloggers and you can be relied upon to pick it up and run with it!

At the last count 38 votes had been cast. 34 'Yes please' votes and 4 'Wot's'!! Not a single 'No way' or 'Couldn't care less'. Marvellous :)

Looks like a League of Geekiness will commence very soon. I just need to iron out what on Earth it's going to entail as I'm not sure even I know what I'm on about!

I have a feeling it may be rather an informal affair, with points awarded on a somewhat ad hoc and arbitrary basis.....mainly 'cos my brain starts to hurt when I consider creating categories, actions and scores....but don't worry as I will be keeping score and there will be a Top Geek award in due course! (Plus I've been handing points out willy nilly for the past week and I dare not ask for them back!!)

....and now for the weather....

The recent improvement in weather conditions across much of the southern part of the UK can be solely attributed to the fact that I now have new winter boots.

So happy that I found boots to fit my 'well-built' legs :) Just love wearing boots and a skirt. Love love love it!

Now too hot to wear them. I love how predictable our weather is.

Buy sunscreen and it'll rain.

Buy new boots and there'll be a mini heatwave.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Calling all geeks

There are times when something sparks the beginnings of an idea. Yesterday's geekage seems to have had this effect.

I have a proposition for it's ages since someone said that ;)

I feel the time may be right to launch a Geek League.

Vote now using my geekily prepared widget ------------------------>>>>>>

If the outcome of the vote is a big geeky YES then I'll do some equations and put together some suitably geeky actions and the points earned by doing them.

If you think I've finally lost the plot and would much rather I just shut up and did some sewing do please tell me......

The poll will be open until Monday night at 8pm...or later if no-one votes!!

If anyone knows how to do fancy schmancy geeky league tabley type html blog widgets please shout now......there's a hefty bonus 50 geek points in it for you


edited to say: the Geek League will take place over a set time period, after which there will be a suitably geeky award for Top Geek .

You've got to be in it to win it :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bringing out the geek in me

Just a very quick post...or not....checking that you are all still there. I've had a most wonderfully geeky day listening to Big Bang Day on Radio 4 whilst working. The whole Cern experiment thing has really gripped me.

Part of it was wishful thinking. Like 'Well, if the world does end today it won't matter that the house is a mess and I haven't done the ironing!'

Surprisingly Moogsdad has been totally ambivalent to the whole thing.

I say surprisingly because this man did a PhD on Superconductors (this link is not Moogsdad's's just in case you fancied reading up on this most fascinating of subjects).

This man used to jump up at the least likely moments to scribble a quick equation on his whiteboard in his bedroom at uni (!).

This man spent nearly an hour this week discussing maths on the phone with his dad as he needed to know the tangent of the elevation in something that was bothering him (or something).

This man has gone here this evening.

Today I've almost outgeeked the geek :)

To round off my geeky day I spent some time doing some research and got very excited when I found that there is now a Tetrapak recycling point at a Tesco store not too far away.

I've always been a keen recycler but since starting my job I've become even more aware of what we throw away.

I now understand that it's not ok just to chuck yogurt pots into my household recycling bin (in the deluded hope that someone would realise I wanted it to be recycled please thank you) as there is, as yet, no facility for recycling them. If they do get chucked in with the recycling they get separated at the MRF and end up in landfill. Whereas if I put them in with my normal waste they'd at least go to the incinerator to be turned into electricity.

I'm a woman on a mission. A mission to find some way of recycling as much as possible.

Hence the geeky thrill I get when I find a juice carton collection point.

Takes all sorts :)

Onto more normal matters then. I've just been perusing Folksy and stumbled across my friend's new shop where she sells her ceramic jewellery and pots. I thought you might like to see it too :)

Like I said....just a quick post....ahem....

Going now to see if there's anything geeky on telly.

Live long and prosper :)


Saturday, September 6, 2008

...and the winner is....

To avoid cries of 'fix!!' I held a very random draw for the winner of my 1st Bloggy Birthday giveaway.

This is the random draw receptacle, with every name on an identical piece of paper.....

......Minx was tonights draw master.....

......and the winner is........on the very first and one and only attempt.........

This is getting kind of embarrassing!

So Gina - something will be on it's way to you in the not too distant future...once whatever it is has been thought up and made!!

Thank you all for your lovely comments - both hardened commenters and lurkers alike. I appreciate every single one of them and it's been lovely to 'meet' some of you lurkers!

Love and hugs xxxxxx

Friday, September 5, 2008

A tag and something of interest to Trashy

I was tagged recently by Julia with a Tree of Happiness meme:

I need to list six things that make me happy. Thinking about this has made me realise that, in general, I'm quite a happy and ,dare I say it, contented person but it also made me realise that it's also very very easy to put together a list of all the things that don't make me happy.

Let's stick with the positive.

My six things:

1. My family.
The past year and a half has been a rough ride for my family and relationships have had to adjust to life without the pivotal figure that was my Mum. However, there is plenty of love there and as we all deal with managing without her we know that we still love each other and that her memory keeps us strong.
What makes me happiest is my own little family, here in Moogshouse. I have two delightful (often exasperating!) children, who still love nothing more than kisses and cuddles. A husband who is a tower of strength and supportive of my need to be me. Then there's the geriatric loon that is the Moog, those crazy chickens and three little furry chaps that are the gerbils :)

2. Home.
It's not huge. It's not perfect. It's rarely tidy. I love it!

Wherever we go I am always happy to come home.

3. Friends.
I love them as much as family. I love that I can pick up the phone after a couple of months and chat like we saw each other yesterday. I love that we can speak every day and still find lots to talk about....sometimes too much!!
I love that our friendships have continued and evolved as our lives have changed.
I love that I've made new friends through blogging who get what I'm on about!

4. Creativity.
I cannot imagine a life without a creative outlet of some sort. I would go quite mad I am sure if I never made anything! I appreciate how lucky I am to have had such a good teacher in my Mum.

5. Books.
Books make me very happy. Reading makes me happy. Doesn't even have to be books. Back of a cereal packet will do.

6. Nature.
Being out there, experiencing the seasons, spotting the birds, smelling the Autumn smells, listening to the wind in the trees - anything and everything to do with nature makes me happy. That beautiful view, towering cliffs and tiny rockpools - all putting us firmly in our place. It's more wonderful than anything we could manufacture and it will all be there in some form when we are gone.


I do get a bit deep sometimes....when you scratch the surface!!

Back to the usual silliness then.

In light of Trashy's comment about 10lb babies in my last post, just look at what one of our girls made today:

On the right a very normal sized eggy....on the left.....something of an eyewatering surprise I should imagine. What d'yer reckon double yolker or triple? It's the size of a duck egg for Heaven's sake!!!

Keeping on with the Trashy case you were wondering Mrs T, here is what I had for lunch (not using the mahoosive egg, just two normal ones) - homemade omelette, with dried tarragon and a few chilli flakes, with homegrown tomatoes.

.....and here is what we're having for dinner. Defrosted watercress sauce from last Sunday's farmer's market

to be eaten with locally made gnocchi - also from the farmer's market.

I'm very very excited about our farmer's market goodies - can you tell? - as I was previously a farmer's market virgin.

Not any more :)

Don't forget to leave a comment on my previous post for that there Bloggiversary giveaway.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A triple celebration!

It's turning out to be rather an exciting sort of week!!

First off, there was a very important birthday in blogland on Monday when my dear funny imaginary friend Mrs Locket turned 50 celebrated her thirty-somethingth birthday! Happy Birthday Lucy Locket!!!!

Today is a day for a knees-up in Moogshouse as it's Moogsdad's birthday (36 grumble grumble...pah...I'd rather be 42 anyway....pah).

Yup, the man himself is another year older :)

Happy Birthday Moogsdad!!!! (and if you're reading this hubby just remember you are a bloody idiot and you do smell of poo :) love you) (bloggy friends - please don't be shocked, that's our idea of romantic talk....kind of....)

Mmmm...the cake is ready.... is the lasagne....

...and a rather nice red vino plonko. We should have a lovely evening - nice meal, nice cake and wall to wall Hugh as Moogsdad requested this for his birthday :)

After all that excitement you could be forgiven for thinking I would draw a close to this post and saunter off to put the kettle on.

Well no.

It gets even more exciting.

There's another - even bigger and more important - celebration due tomorrow.

This very blog will be one whole year old tomorrow!!!!!!

What a year it's been.

I have loved every single minute of my time (so far) in blogland. I have 'met' (and actually met) some really genuinely lovely well as a few nutters :)

I love being part of this crafty bloggy world.

I love that you'll appreciate gratuitous shots of....

.....crap apple and sloe jelly..... first attempt at sloe gin.....


....bumble bees.....

......and more bumble bees....

.....a sleeping Moog (for you Mr P, by request)...

...a Moog miffed at being shut out of the chicken run.....

.....and very occasionally, if you're lucky, you might get what you came for....

....a tiny bit of crafty action, like this cute and gorgeous birdcage kit from my lovely bloggy buddy in the southern hemisphere Mrs Ric-Rac.

So although my blogging has become sporadic of late, I'm going to carry on for some time yet.

If you feel up to another year of my witterings - plus a whole load of bragging about chutney and jam - then keep on reading.

To reward you for your staying power I'm going to do a little Bloggiversary giveaway. Anyone who leaves a comment on this very post will go into a totally random draw for a special Moogsmum Bloggiversary yet undecided and unmade but it will be something nice....honest :)

In other news - the kiddlies have gone back to school today. Minx's first day at Junior school - eek!

I'm back at work too.

Can you tell?



p.s. I'll do the draw after 12noon (BST) on Saturday (6th).

p.p.s. I dare you to delurk and leave me a comment :)

p.p.p.s. preferably a clean comment....