Hello 2015

Well, heylo to the lot of yers! Happy New Year! How are we all, then? Glad to get back to normal or sorry it came and went in a flash?

I’m glad that I can get back to eating normal meals. Yesterday we had liver and onions with mashed potato. It was simple and tasty and such a wonderful change from everything having everything enriched with cranberries, brandy butter, rich sauces and cream… artery clogging special Christmas Chloresterol Cheer and every meal having a full set of accoutrements that table legs just bowed under the sheer weight of!

Haven’t looked at the Sales. No interest. No money, lol! Feeling shopped out and spent in every way. The new freezer is great. It was a wish come true. I boiled up all the carrots, parsnips and potatoes bought for Christmas dinner yesterday morning.  Grilled some streaky bacon.  Then potato bacon alchemy! Mashed them together with butter and seasoning and fab-U-lous. Filled several foil containers with the mash up and popped them in the freezer with a label and date. Job Done. Pat on the back and a new halo for 2015, ha ha.

Ordinarily, the potatoes would have been forgotten and not noticed until their eyes were popping out and reading the paper over my shoulder or the parsnips started looking like something out of Doctor Who. Yesterday’s little mash up makes me very pleased that I didn’t waste toooo much.

 

Ikea Moppe Makeover

Because I can’t just watch telly for long and most places were shut for a couple of days, meaning we were cooped up like battery farm chickens, I had to do something. I got my magic Modge Podge out and vamped up an Ikea Moppe (which I think is now discontinued!!). It was bought about 18 months ago and was plain, bare wood. Taking the measurements and setting up the templates for each panel in Illustrator was easy. The graphics were simple designs I created a long while ago and re-used. The panels were printed out and Modged onto the drawer fronts. I used wall paper Modged onto the top and sides;  they’re not particularly visible but finished it off nicely …and cost nothing when you take a free swatch from the wall paper shop.

How do I know the Moppe is discontinued? My friend came round, saw it, oohed and ahhed and wanted one for her little boy’s playroom. I went online to check how much the Moppe was these days and could not find it. A quick Google and found someone else upset that Ikea have apparently discontinued it. Ack. That’s how I know.

I have a Rast (another piece of furniture from Ikea, not a breathing condition or lung complaint). A much bigger set of drawers so am thinking of designing a row of houses, something like the canal-front houses in Amsterdam and Modging them on.

My visitors came and went. It was such a delight to see them! Christmas presents – all lovely – were handed out and received with smiles and grins and oohs which is always gratifying after the battles and bruisings to buy them in the first place. I was even given a home made draught excluder made from patchwork squares of denim – how fab is that?!

We got the Wii out and played bowling and archery and sat down together and played cards – know Newmarket and Sevens? Played for pennies and sweets not  real moola. The weather was too wet, bitterly cold and foggy like pea soup on occasion so that a visit to the mountains was also out of the question. Whose idea was that?!

 

Gah! Cowboys Ted!

We also had a problem with an adapter that came with a microphone. It shattered. It was made from very brittle plastic. The cost was minimal to replace – a few quid from Maplins but it spoiled the present in that it couldn’t be used until the shops re-opened and we could get a replacement. An inconvenience and a bit of a spoiler.

We left feedback on the website (bought online, you know where from, am sure you can guess) from a third party seller. It wasn’t wholly negative but it did cost the feedback a few stars. So far the mike seems fine but just one defective and, quite frankly, cheap and nasty part, does nurture a dubious feeling as to the quality of the main product (which wasn’t the one actually ordered but an alternative of same quality, we were assured, at the same price).

The reason I’m telling you about it is because of the response we got: the seller sent us an e-mail asking us to remove the negative feedback because if we didn’t, he would lose his job.  Isn’t that just emotional blackmail? It’s definitely unprofessional and inappropriate. Feedback should be a mechanism whereby potential buyers take reassurance that they are  purchasing a good quality product based on reviews from others who bought the same thing. It’s good for the seller so they can  maintain standards and customer satisfaction by being able to monitor the  build quality and materials from their suppliers. At that, we sent a complaint to A*****n about the supplier so they can stop this sort of thing happening again.

 

Gingerbread House – No subsidence or surveyor’s report this year!

While over, the visitors had some fun decorating a gingerbread house. Last year, I had another couple over and they tried but it was a disaster from start to finish! We laughed so hard, though, at how catastrophically it failed, so many times in every way possible that it became one of the high spots of their visit!

Anyhoo, this was the gingerbread house of Christmas 2014. A bit of a licorice allsort theme going on but if you look closely you’ll see Jellytots, silver balls and mini marshmallows, too. It’s a  jolly house and a bit of fun.

 

Gracie liked having a Christmas tree…

My Christmas tree suffered from Gracie’s attentions.  It’s about six foot tall and the branches were able to support her weight. Enough said? She popped the robins off the top and scratched their feathers off… Santa’s feet were amputated, angels had their feathery wings strewn around like plucked chickens, jingly bells and baubles got skittered around the floor… Let’s hope she will have lost interest in such things by next Christmas. Jess was a perfect angel and did no more than have a good smell of it all.

Weirdly, neither of the girls has any particular interest in turkey or salmon! We had both during the Christmas break and each girl got a saucer of tidbits. A quick sniff, maybe a lick or a tiny nibble and that was that. They wanted their Gourmet Perle Seaside Duo as per usual, thank-you-very-much! What’s in that stuff? Crack cocaine?

 

Tea Pot Cosy

I did some sewing before Christmas and made this fat, pouffy tea cosy. A happy toadstool with an olive green oomper-doomper pom-pom trim. See the cat on the left-hand side? Same one I used on the Moppe drawers in the first picture. One design, multiple uses.

And the back of the cosy.

And what of 2015? Resolutions? Ner! Never keep them. I have dreams and goals to pursue and they will hold my attention for this year. .

So, what is left to say? Just Happy New Year and may it bring you and yours health, wealth, love and perfect self-expression.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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