Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Small Print Fail

I wanted another one of the silicone pan covers.  I've got two.  One is unfeasibly large but covers all sorts and one is about the right size for a small pan.  Both can be used on the stove and in the microwave and apparently can be airtight in the fridge.  I haven't tested them in the fridge, but they are awesome when cooking and I've stashed the pan lids in a far cupbard and have two easy to store silicone thingies in the shape of poppies at hand.  They look a bit like this...


But I would prefer another mid sized one and I keep wistfully thinking of a blue and white kitchen.

I saw another type of lid, this time in blue and much plainer.  I saw this image and didn't check the small print.


What I got was something that would comfortably cover a medium sized to small mug, 105mm or around four inches.  I didn't read the small print, but it is all there in black and white.  I'm going to have to send it back.  I cannot think of any use I would have to cover a not very big mug.

I could look for the bigger size, as they do look very nice, and seem very reasonably priced, but the ones who make the poppies also make the lids to look like daisies and tomatoes.  On the other hand the pretty ones are not inexpensive and the postage on top is horrific.

I should have read the small print.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

I Nearly Ordered

I was tootling around Approved Food again today.  I nearly ordered stuff, but it didn't really have the stuff I wanted at the price I wanted.  It seems to have some high end stuff at good prices, but I suspect I'm not that high end.

I only looked because the Easter holidays are nearly on us and I will be feeding bear and his pals.  He is still not a teenager and only ten, but I am confident that the snack cupboard will need a lot more stocking in the next few weeks.  I'm going to have to get back to baking.  It isn't always as inexpensive as the cheapest cookies and biscuits, but it isn't too dear and a lot healthier.  There weren't enough snacks at the right price, but I'll keep an eye out and see how it goes.  I very nearly almost ordered because they had some very inexpensive male hair removal cream.

DH has a lot to put up with, and that includes random orders of male hair removal cream.  I want to be very clear - as far as I'm concerned, the hair on DH's body, wherever it's distributed, is perfect.  However the hair removal cream was the cheapest I've ever seen and I was wondering if I should try the cleaning hack where you put hair removal cream down the bathroom plugs to dissolve any lumps and mats of hair that may be lurking in the pipes.  It's never been enough of a problem for me to want to pay for hair removal cream, but this was a good price.  I decided against it.  The rest of the order wasn't awesome and I still hadn't tried the liversalts and vinegar trick.

Bear was urging me to order a tonne of potatoes today.  I've seen a recipe where you mash potatoes and use it to line a baking dish, I think you bake it briefly.  Then you fill it with cooked chicken and mushrooms and top with a cheese sauce and put it back in the oven to heat through.  Cheese does not agree with DH or I, but I'm sure that if I filled it with cooked chicken and onion and did a mushroom sauce it would work just as well.  If I ever get around to trying it, I'll share.

btw, for those who enjoy history, I found these lectures on YouTube.  They're history lectures aimed at university undergraduates, and I'll be honest, it's at the top of my understanding, but I've enjoyed it, and I thought I would share - here.  They also do podcasts - here.  I haven't tried the podcats, but I will see if I can knit to them.  I'm desperate to stay away from craft ideas, so I'm digging out all sorts.

I Managed Monday

I had a meh Monday.  I tootled around and faffed and while the house is marginally cleaner than yesterday and the ironing is very slightly less, I can't take it as a win.

One thing I can take as a win is dinner tonight.  The gluten free sausages and frozen mixed veg were nothing special, but I did a sort of version of potato bourgeoise and the men almost inhaled it.  Unfortunately it's one of those 'make it up as I go' versions' and the basic measurement is 'some'.

I had bought a rotary grater, a little like this...


... but mine is cheap white plastic and has three drums, one of which is a sort of slicer thing.  I used up the last of the potatoes by slicing them incredibly thinly, quickly and easily with this (and it washed up nicely as well) and layered the potato with some onion sliced in the same way.  I poured some stock over it, covered it and bunged it in the microwave for twenty minutes.  It would have been fine then but I cooked it for another ten as DH hadn't got in then.  DH and bear both insist that I do this again soon.  It's incredibly flattering.  Next time I may add a tiny taste of garlic or herbs, but it worked well.  I got the original recipe from Hardup Hester but used the microwave for a change.

I'm desperately trying to run down the freezer as I'm not sure how safe it is now.  The seal is very limp and the frost is building up inside.  It may make for some interesting meals.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Actually Did Knitting

I've been knitting.  I'm working on the sleeveless version of this which is knitted side to side and I am intrigued to see it work out.


I did nine inches today, which wasn't bad as I was taking it all steady.  I've stayed away from the craft YouTube videos and instead I've been watching videos about Medieval Europe and Dinosaurs, which should be safe.  

Unfortunately the videos didn't take up all of my attention.  I didn't buy the Doctor Who fabric that I saw yesterday because I have sacks of fabric and I really shouldn't get any more without getting using some of the current pile first.  Besides, I couldn't think of anything to make for bear or DH and it was £14 per metre (which is a good price considering I can't get it anywhere else!).  Today bear was 'sorting' his pencils by colour, which is always interesting as it shows exactly how colour blind he is.  He announced that he needed more pencil cases and gave me an expectant look.  

There are a gazillion YouTube videos on how to sew a pencil case, many of them use zips.  I've never sewn a zip, but I do feel that it is time to accept the challenge as it will give me an excuse to buy the Doctor Who fabric and make some awesome stuff.  Bear won't mind, I'm sure.  

I also caved and opened the parcel from India.  I bought a sari, sold as suitable to reuse as craft projects.  It's very frayed at both ends, but apparently is pure silk and the design on it is gorgeous.  I don't think I will every get used to how beautiful sari fabric is.  I plan to use Bless's idea and use a bigger piece of cardboard and make a bag like this one but bigger.  If it happens, I'll share.  The fabric is a lovely old gold with a small pattern of red and green and looks amazing.  I've given it a quick wash and it is now draped over my ironing board looking magnificent.

I am now going back to the knitting and dinosaurs.  

Saturday, 25 March 2017

I Went to York

I thought it was time I called in to York, as I am trying to write about stuff set there.  There was a complete absence of werewolves, vampires and mayhem but there were lots and lots and lots of crowds.  I could barely move.  It was absolutely packed.  York is a tourist town and also the centre of a lot of countryside.  There are some glorious shops there if you like expensive shops.  Even the market had a lot of upmarket and expensive stalls next to the ones selling cauliflower and rhubarb.

I tried taking photos but my camera wasn't co-operating.  What I need is a cheap camera that transfers to the laptop.  I have no idea where to start.  There was a camera shop in York, but the cheapest camera in the window was over £300 so probably not what I am looking for.

I did buy some fabric when I got back to Leeds.  There is a shop selling fabric and yarn on George Street, next to the market (not Great George Street next to the hospital, easily confused).  I recommend it.  They are very tolerant of amateurs such as myself, are very competitively priced and even have some Doctor Who fabric that I haven't seen anywhere else, not even on eBay.  I didn't have anything in my stash to make a table cloth for the little chest of drawers that are now next to my chair.  I think it needs it as I keep splashing it with my drink, and I love fabric everywhere anyway.  I managed to take this photo of the fabric.


I haven't seen this on eBay either.

Tomorrow I plan to concentrate on knitting.  I wonder what I'll actually end up doing.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Where do I Start?

Do you remember a while back when I mentioned that I had bought a fleece king sized sheet set that was not only very red but absolutely enormous?  I was planning to use it for craft projects.  Bear had different ideas.

Bear has issues with his bed.  He cannot keep his blankets on at night.  He has been the same since he was a newborn in a cot - blankets don't stay on!  At the moment he has layers of duvets, blankets, throws and the huge, massive, ginormous red fleece flat sheet that bear claimed.  I try to tuck it into the back of the bed but only have limited success.  I am considering nails.

I had hopes for the fitted sheet, but bear has also claimed that.  I trimmed the elastic off and he coccoons himself in it when he comes down in the morning (being all cold from having kicked all his bedclothes off).  I am going to use the pillowcases to have bed sized pillows on the big chair in the study.

I may also get a bedsized pillow for the shrug I knitted.  I finally sewed it up last night and now it looks lovely - and too small.  It's about the right size for bear but in girlie colours that he utterly rejects, preferring to curl up in a hacked up piece of red fleece fitted sheet.  I may sew it up further and try stuffing it with a pillow.  Also, speaking of sewing, and having decided to concentrate on knitting, I sewed a small pouch to hang off the toilet roll holder and hold a small essential oil bottle.  The scent holder I had hung in the bathroom was looking very second hand and now that bear and his pals are older I feel much safer having a few drops off the oil on the cardboard inner tube of the toilet roll (nowhere that can touch skin - most essential oils should not be put neat onto any skin!).


It's about four inches (10cm) high and took me a few goes as I couldn't get the top neat enough.  In the end I just pressed the edges over and left it.  I'll be sick of it before it frays too much.  The background is my laptop screen.  Did you know that you can get university lectures on YouTube?  I rummaged around and was watching dinosaur stuff from the University of Utah like this, which is a little too advanced for me but I'm enjoying.  I found some courses from Yale as well, here, and while I'm not saying I understand all of it, the historical stuff is fascinating.

Today the man came about the new service agreement for the boiler.  Apparently I signed up to the premier version which includes radiators.  This means that he has to fully and thoroughly check over all the radiators in the house.  There is stuff in front of every radiator.  In the study it's a small plastic tower and in the living room has a small table that is easily moved, but in front of the radiators in the kitchen, dining room and my bedroom there are large, heavy tables covered with stuff, bear's room has a storage unit and in front of the radiator in DH's room therea is a computer, two screens, a set top box and eleventy ten wires.  The junk room is the worst.  There's just a huge heap of stuff.  You can get to within a yard - just!

Air circulates around all the radiators, but they are not engineer friendly or easily accessed.  I'm going to have to do some serious sorting out before they come back.  It's a great opportunity to have a sort out, or that's what I'm telling myself, and I've booked them to come back in a month.  I should be able to manage in a month.  Probably.  I just have no idea where to start.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Still Normal for Sybil!

I've been feeling blocked, so I took a break to see if it would rekindle the spark.  So far so ineffective, but I'm living in hope.  While I was sworn off writing anything I decided that I would catch up with all my half started knitting projects and I could sew up the lucet rug.  The rug is being a challenge as I can't seem to keep it flat.  It keeps working up so I am having to repeatedly undo what becomes a large, shallow, floppy bowl.

I had decided that I would definitely stick to knitting.  I had a couple of projects that just needed sewing up and some nice, easy projects half started.  YouTube has all sorts of interesting stuff on, like videos about dinosaurs by university lecturers and, while I can't keep up with everything, it's a lot better than watching videos about crafts which would start new projects.  So, I could watch these and knit, right?

I swear there's something seriously wrong with me.  Forget knitting, I started making the bag shown in this YouTube video.  I recommend it for anyone needing a stash buster.  I used around half a dozen ties - at least I was losing some of the ties!  I started off making a lucet cord from strips of one of the ties.


 Then I took a selection of ties


 I got a remarkable amount of fabric.  Then I threaded up a piece of card as it said in the video.  The threads go both sides, but the other side of the card has my address on so probably best not to show it.

 In the video they used strong thread.  I used dark invisible thread as I had that handy and I only had the invisible thread or cheap polycotton.  I chose the invisible thread.  Invisible thread is from Satan's armpit, but it is strong.  I used it with a lot of bad language.

I cut the ties into sort of around probably half inch wide strips and wove them in and out of the invisible thread on both sides and occasionally through the lucet handle.  I kept missing the threads because invisible thread is from Satan's own armpit and I got distracted as I was watching Shop Well for Less and the episode had someone who had impulse bought at £26k car.  To be fair, the only difference between them and me on eBay is scale, but I was hooked.  As the video said, I kept pushing the strips down and keeping fabric packed tight.  I wish I had remembered to take pictures.  Eventually I came to the end and had this...


 I didn't even need to sew in the handle as it was woven into the bag fabric and I'm remarkably proud of that idea.  I honestly didn't think it would work out, but it did.  Here's a pic with a normal paperback book in for a size guide...


 I'm sure those who are really crafty will be able to do all sorts with this, especially if they stay away from invisible thread because it is so evil that even evil cat would have rejected it.  I have also knitted a scarf.

Tomorrow I am definitely, absolutely, 100% going to start on the knitting projects.  Or possibly the rug.  Definitely nothing else.  Absolutely guaranteed nothing else.