Making Mooky


Aren’t they pretty? This was a surprise find when I took a packet of frozen turkey fillets out of the freezer. The ice crystals were on the top of the packaging so I grabbed a shot  to show you and share the loveliness. Makes you feel chilly, though, doesn’t it? Well, those turkey fillets became a Jalfrezi curry with garlic and coriander naans, rice, onion bhajis and vegetable samosas. Nom.


Since getting the freezer, I tend to buy a month’s load of shopping in one go. It doesn’t half save some money! But you have to be organised and do a bit of meal planning and keep records of the sorts of things you ‘need’ or buy regularly. I used to make lists for everything even though I thought making them was a sign of a personality disorder. They’re okay for remembering things but after that, they’re junk (to me).

To do lists are different to aide memoires. I used to work with somebody who itemised every bloody thing she had to do in a day and it looked like such a huge task list you’d almost be moved to share the tears she’d be blubbing pointing to the horrendous work load her poor shoulders had to carry. Until you went through it. It would be like:

Take lid off kettle

Take to the tap

Turn on the tap

Fill kettle with water

Replace lid

Take to worktop and switch on


You get the idea. She would identify all the sub-tasks that are performed on auto-pilot and take nano seconds to do. She spent longer working on the To Do list than actually doing any productive work.

Pivot Tables

To do lists mean nothing without time and once you assign time to things, a To Do becomes a schedule which is much more sensible. I digress. My monthly shop. I keep a (eek – my toes are curling at how – hate this term but it’s applicable – ‘anal’ – I can be – I keep an Excel spreadsheet and work book for the things we buy. I have links to meal ingredients that are needed for different meals and which stores to get the ingredients from. I then pivot table them every month to see what needs topping up and which stores I need to go to buy the necessaries from.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t once the initial loading of data has been done. My motto really is  ‘all work and no play gives me a clininical anxiety disorder’ so I wouldn’t want to be enslaved to a system that left right-brain kicking dirt and staring out at the pretty kites through the window. My pivot table system is so quick and easy that the shopping list just drops out of it and where I’m going to get the stuff from. Maybe you don’t have Excel, check out Libre Office for a free programme that is very similar to it.

Moving on…

The weather has been so dark, dull and demented here for months. Well, it ain’t  stable or predictable so that’s fairly demented to me. The sky has been every shade of grey you can imagine (there are many more than fifty) and usually wet with it. It made me feel a bit … desperate…  for some glorious colour in my life. And when we went to Ikea to pick up a few things and I remembered they do have fabrics pretty cheap there my heart leapt …  like most of us, the one thing we can’t resist is temptation. I  caved.

Stash Busting? Well, I have used up a lot of stuff that would have lingered like Miss Haversham’s nightie had I have not made my monumental effort to use up the bags and bags of bits I had. But I have to confess that on leaving Ikea I took a side road down to Santry where Home Focus Hickeys was calling to me like a Bat Signal in the sky. And they sell fabrics, notions, trimmings, hooks, books, ribbons, rippers, stitchers, pins, needles, thimbles and just… gorgeous things, darling. It was a glorious binge.


I have come to the realisation that I have a preferred palette of pinks and greens. Browns made me feel sludgy. Black is great but can make the place feel a bit like a funeral director’s reception area.   I hit on the idea of photographing some of the stash I bought and picking out the main colours and combinations and ‘cataloguing’ them for future projects. Illustrator got launched,  little spools were quickly created and blocked up with colours. Then I named them all – quite a foody theme emerged, lol.

Friendship bracelet / anklet

I made this very easy to make friendship bracelet with some fine plaited cord intertwined with some of my lucky, lucky bead find. It was made big enough for my hubs wrist but he was having none of it! So I wore it round my ankle with my red DM Mary Jane’s (that I’ve had since my university days!!!!!).

I love these shoes. I love red shoes best of all. These weren’t red originally, in fact, I can’t remember what colour they were but I remember dying them and they have lasted twenty odd years now.

The bracelet is very sweet and I will wear it on my boho days in the summer.



Another lavender-filled stuffy. A cute elephant. Pretty and practical. Does that make it ‘zacca’, I wonder!

 Another foxy lady

Besides me, of course, Lol! Does she have lavender in her middle? Of course she does.


My darling girl, Jess. Outside but sitting in the shade. She loves to smell everything and takes an age wandering round the garden taking her time to enjoy it all. Gracie shoots about like Go-Man-Go Elvis.


And this is Cat. He lives a few houses down from us. Him and Gracie seem to be big mates and he likes to come round and curl up in the conservatory for a long sleep in the warm. He would eat us out of house and home if we let him but we do give him tidbits and pet him cos he’s an affectionate fellow who loves his tummy rubbed. Who can resist that?

Chilling Out

Have you got anything nice to eat? Super little man, isn’t he?

Before I go – saw an ad on the telly for the Vileda Hot Spray. Apparently it gets rid of ‘invisible dirt’. I’d like to buy one; can I pay for it with invisible money, do you know?

Bye for now

One year ago

Just thinking about my lovely boy who died a year ago today.  Here he is, having a good yawn but it looked like a sneeze so I added some flowers to tickle his nose and give him something to sneeze for.

Can’t believe a year has gone by. I hope he is a powerful, fearless, magic tiger having a wonderful life on the other side.

Still missing the young man, bless his beautiful bones.



Personalised chocolate bar wrappers

A great way to personalise and make a gift, even a small one, special, is to customise the wrapping.

As you know, many people buy their pets little presents for Christmas – well, in our house, our cat also buys presents in return! He likes to print a picture of himself and wrap up a bar of chocolate for his support team – ie, cat slaves meaning me and my partner!

I use two images – one for the general background and another to sit on the front of the chocolate bar. The only measurements you really need to take are  the size of the chocolate front, where your smaller image will be positioned, and that of the background to make sure it will cover the bar.

Print out the smaller image on to your background. Score around its edges and fold down. Roughly measure the sides of the chocolate (I’ve used Divine) and score another rectangle around your image to allow for the depth. Fold that and put your chocolate bar in place (remove the outer packaging and leave it in its inner foil).  From there on, wrap it like a little present.

I used various filters on the images and then printed onto Conqueror metallic champagne paper  to get a charming  old fashioned look then parcel-tied a length of  gold thread to finish it off ready to go into a Christmas stocking.

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