janewilliams20: (geek)
2020-06-07 09:22 am

Sticky note for visitors

Hello. This is dated in the future so it stays visible, and for most people, it's probably irrelevant.

Dear potential burglar. It might occur to you that you can use my online information to work out when I'm away from home, where I live, and therefore when would be a good time for you to visit.
Yes, you probably can.
Hint - don't waste your time.
Quite apart from the friendly and watchful neighbours, I have a husband who is a professional security guard, and who likes playing with computers, networks, cameras, and mobile Internet. I don't know myself from one day to the next what he's got installed, but I do know he was getting all excited recently about being able to not only view the cameras from abroad, once the alert to say someone's been spotted has arrived, but also steer them. This isn't because we've got a lot of stuff worth nicking, he just likes to play.
We've already had one arrest resulting from this little lot (well, in so far as one can arrest a kid under 18). You don't want the next one to be you. You're a professional, right, not a kid who wants to play with a "challenge"? Go and find a softer target. There's plenty around who don't have this sort of nuisance to get in your way.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2017-09-17 03:25 pm

Urgent - friends of Brian & Dawn Biddle, please share

Message passed to me by Catherine Biddle. Brian was rushed to Southampton General Hospital this morning, after having a heart attack while driving home from work. He has a dislocated and fractured hip, a bruised liver, a few broken ribs and some fractures to the spine and leg bruising. When we last spoke, he was going into theatre.
At the moment, Catherine and Dawn are with him. Transport for today is being provided by a family friend, who is also looking after the two younger children.
Brian is expected to be in intensive care for a few days at least, and visiting will be very limited. Please contact Dawn to arrange it, but not today - tomorrow at the earliest. Please do NOT just show up at either house or hospital, that stresses Dawn out, as we know, and she has more than enough stress at the moment.
Dawn may be able to post more detail tonight, but no promises.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2017-03-27 11:13 am

That rye bread recipe worked.

 So let me make a note here for future reference, since I got exactly the result I wanted - a dense even loaf with a good taste of rye and so on, and a crisp but thin crust.
200g water (yes, g, a baking book pointed out that you can get a lot more accuracy by weighing than by using a measuring jug)
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp Xylitol
Flours: 150g brown bread flour, 100g rye, 50g buckwheat
1/2 tsp yeast (no, not the whole sachet)
About 1 tsp caraway seeds (that was all I had left), 2 tsp onion seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds
Bread maker program 3 (wholemeal), small size.

The shape was a little odd, as if there wasn't enough mix to cover the bottom of the pan. I might do a larger loaf in the same proportions next time.

It's very nice to spread goat's cheese on. But too solid (and too small) for sandwiches, but that was never the intention. I@ll have to try it with pate, too.
janewilliams20: (Default)
2017-03-17 10:28 pm

Yes, still alive

 I usually post my updates on Facebook, and they get tweeted, and...
At the moment, my rather odd brain interprets Facebook as "stress". So I'm not posting, not reading, not on there. Yes, still around, Bit of a stomach bug, needing far too much sleep, and with rewiring/bathroom issues, but nothing serious. If you need to talk to me, email works, Messenger works, in fact just about anything but Facebook works.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2017-01-25 07:46 pm

A dual-purpose post

Been a while since I've wanted to post anything long enough to merit more than a Facebook status update, but today is Burns Night, and tomorrow I go on a course to teach me how to use Microsoft Word properly.
So, here's something I "found" a few years back, that seems to be the result of Rabbie meeting something very similar.

Sometimes to write I lack the will
When from the bottle ink doth spill
The box yields but a broken quill
My thought I lose
Sich mundane tasks my mind must fill
This foils the Muse


So when a salesman, keen and bright
Accosts me on a Friday night
And wishes me to see the light
Of his new tool
The ale is guid: he may be right
I am a fule.

But what avail, to tell me how
I should spell? I ken, I trow
More words than this beast will allow
T'would suit me fine
If I should ne'er more see, I vow
Red underline

I'll throw the damn thing in the brook
Ill health to him from whom I took
This cursed device that wrecks each book
(and there it breaks off)

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-11-02 07:39 pm

Teaching myself book-folding.

Something I'm trying to pick up as a result of a charity/craft shop declining to sell my cards, because everything they sell has to be mainly from recycled products. Fair enough, good for them. So after a bit of a char last week, I left them with a couple of jam jars I'd painted Halloween things on, and took some of the hardbacks that they reckon will never sell and are only fit for recycling. Some hopelessly out of date reference books, and a work of fiction which... well, I tried, but folding it was much more interesting.

Anyway. You can, it seems obtain "patterns" that tell you the measurements at which to fold each page. A few are free, most, you pay for.
The first book I did (last night) was from one of them. It forms a heart. But having looked at it, and noted that it only used the middle 40 sheets of a 300-page (150 sheet) book, I started interpolating things... and refusing to do the folds all at a right angle as suggested, because that makes the top edge look awful and the first few folds simply not work, and.... yes. Well, this is me, what did you expect?

Obviously, I won't be purchasing any "patterns" of measurements. Done it once with a freebie, now we move on. I've read a few tutorials on how to best make your own, and some advice on where to end the "other" end of the fold, the one near the spine of the book. This post is pretty much "notes to myself".

Aspect ratio. If you close the book, draw the shape you want on the edge of the pages, and then open it and spread the pages out as if they'd been folded, the pattern will become wider as a result. How much wider? Double is what's suggested (makes sense, fold a sheet, it becomes twice as thick), but the results looked more than that to my eye. Thinking about it, the doubling will occur at the closest point to the spine where we have double thickness - and that's the fixed point about an inch from the spine, where you're folding everything to. If I measure that first book I did, the 1.5cm section I folded expands to 9cm at the front of the display. So an expansion of about 6 times.

Areas with more than one "solid" part - you can cut the page down the middle so that you can fold it twice, but the preferred method is to alternate pages, so that sheet 1 is folded for area A, sheet 2 for area B, sheet 3 back to area A, and so on.

Patterns and templates. If you can draw the letters you want directly on the edges of the pages, good for you, but it's described as being hard. What's easier (and easier to reproduce if you want to make several books) is a graphic with lines across for each sheet and a mark on each showing you where to fold.You slide this between pages, keeping it lined up neatly with the edge of the book. Aspect ratio can be exaggerated so as to make it easy to read. This is what I'm going to try next, I think.

Oh, and here's the first one I did.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-06-21 10:10 pm

Can't decide whether to write a snotty email or not, nor who to

Something needs to be done. It isn't my job to do it, not by several levels of indirection, but.... and the obvious passive-aggressive answer won't help anyone, least of all me.
I still go along to MIND as a service user - just. On a bad day, it gets me out of the house. The Friday session is purely social, the Wednesday one is analysis / therapy (I'm told - it's new, and I haven't been there yet), and the Tuesday one is where the WEA come in and run courses for us. Free courses. Well, free to us... I know how much WEA tutors get paid, and someone is paying quite a lot of money for this. We have excellent tutors, I'm learning a lot and having a great time.
Some people turn up on Tuesday and don't take part in the classes. OK, their loss. A few terms back, they'd go off to another room, and Do Nothing there (I assume - whatever they did was out of the way). Now, unfortunately, they stay in the classroom.
This wouldn't be a problem really, as long as they remember that they're in a classroom. But they don't.
Every week for the last couple of terms, we've had irritating background noise. Sometimes they only stay for an hour, and we postpone doing any serious work for that hour, as we can't really hear the tutor. Sometimes they stay for the full session.
To start with, the staff who run the place agreed that there was a problem, and tried to keep things in order. But then they stopped trying.... and the noise got worse... and the "extras" stayed hanging around for the whole of both courses...
And every week, we and the tutors pointed out, again, that we had a problem, and the staff, at best, said "yes, we know", and still did FA about it...
and then this week it got to the point of one of them bellowing as if he imagined he was at a football match or in a pub of the "live sport" variety" rather than a classroom, while the rest made animal noises. And the staff did FA.
So the tutor took action. Which involved practically screaming to make herself heard. And STILL the staff are doing absolutely nothing about this. It's ridiculous. Someone, as I say, is paying good money for this, and it's being wasted because of a group who can't be bothered to make the most of it and can't act like civilised human beings. If they'd just keep their conversation to the level you'd expect when not drunk, all might be well, but it's like a group of oversized toddlers who haven't yet learnt volume control. I've had  - shall we say educationally challenged? - people like this in the courses I act as classroom assistant on, and keeping them quiet so that others can study is half the reason I'm there. So why aren't the staff here doing that?
I can't work out what to do about this - as I say, it isn't my job to do anything anyway. Nor is it the WEA tutor's job, but they had no choice, because the MIND staff weren't doing theirs. I could simply not sign up for the course next term, and say why - that's the passive aggressive option. I'd been wondering about dropping MIND anyway, I'm usually beyond the point of needing it, and stress like today is a backward step.
But... I'm an adult, I have responsibility to do what I can for the world around me. What, in this case, can/should I do?

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-02-26 05:50 pm
Entry tags:

It's sort of a limerick

I can't now remember why I decided I needed a multi-lingual limerick, and this isn't a very good one, but...

Un vieillard de joli Paris
Whose deafness was legendary,
Said "Ich höre nicht
Aber ich bin nicht dicht
Parla piu forte, si si!"

Edited with a little help from a sister who's better at languages than I am.
and third time lucky?

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-02-08 08:22 pm

I have Too Much Stuff

A decision has been made. My craft room / games storage room / painting room / computer room / study is going to have to become dedicated, full-time, to this thing of being a craft teacher. It's no good having the things relevant to that being in piles because all the shelves are full of Stuff.
A "shelf" is an area about three feet long, here.

So, I need to find homes for....
About two shelves of roleplaying books and notes, mostly Gloranthan.
Why do I have so much sheet music up here, when all the instruments are downstairs? Well, apart from the instruments I'm part-way through making, but that counts as "craft".
A quarterstaff? Really? And is that a sword I see lurking in the corner?
Boardgames. No room to play them in here anyway. Looks like about half a shelf.
Two shelves of armies. Ah, looking round at the piles of boxes on the drawers by the door, make that three shelves. How many armies do I have???
About a  shelf and a half of computer manuals - they're all over a year old, so obsolete by definition
Hardback fiction - probably about a shelf. 
Just realised this last two categories are double-stacked. I have no idea what's at the back.
About three shelves of "I have no idea I can't see it behind the boxes"
Paperbacks, 2-foot shelves - ah, one of those is also RPG books. About one shelf-worth is craft books, and can stay. The other 7... hmm.

But I don't want to lose any of this!

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-01-30 10:40 pm

No, not 42 - vegetable soup

The answer to a lot of questions. On Friday it was the answer to "what am I going to do with all these slightly manky bits of things, and that out of date can of pumpkin?". Stick them in the slow cooker and eventually apply a stick blender, that's what.
Tonight, it was the answer to "I fancy a curry". Ladle a portion out into a bowl, add spices, microwave hot, eat with a chapati. Note to self, that random jar of Thai Five Spice Mix is quite hot.
Tomorrow it will probably have some meat added to it. Looking at what's in the fridge, that means chunks of black pudding.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2016-01-25 11:06 am

Warning - haggis hunting in progress

Reading Burns on the subject, and taking note of the warning. On the whole, I think Aldi is the way to go.

Humphrey, the Sinister Haggis

The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn, 
Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawn, 
O'er moors and o'er mosses and mony a hill, 
At length they discover'd a Haggis to kill


I rede you, beware of the haggis, my son,
I rede you, beware of the haggis, my son;
Take what you may get, 
as it fa's in the net, 
But ne'er chase the beast the way Phoebus do run

Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bells 
His white tail betray'd him on yon mossy fells; 
The nooses and trappings, the nets that they bair
They placed them with cunning downhill of his lair.
I rede you,&c.

As still as the fairest he sat in their sight
The horn it was sounded, to put him to flight
But the crafty wee beastie did not as they kent
He had supped wi' the de'il, and widdershins went!
I rede you,&c.

They chased it oe'er gowans, they chased it round hill,
The best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill;
And into the gloaming, and almost to night
Around glaizie craigies continued its flight
I rede you,&c.

Auld Phoebus himself, came and stared in surprise
His rays sae did glitter, it dazzled their eyes
They ne'er saw the cliff till t'was under their feet
An owre they warsl'd: by Haggis well beat!
I rede you,&c.

janewilliams20: (food)
2015-10-01 03:18 pm

Deboning birds

 I seem to have found a few videos on ways of doing this, and all the methods I've seen so far have been faster than the one I know.

Next to no knife work, same end result as I get.

Turkey. This splits it at the breast, not the back. Pliers to pull tendons out - that's a new one on me.

Both of these separate the fillets from the rest of the breast, where I usually try to leave them in place.

Thats econd video has links to all sorts of interesting things, which I wish I had time ot be distracted by. But
 will resist.
janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-09-28 05:25 pm

Everything-free cake

They said it couldn't be done. I disagreed. 
I went to a card-making group - I couldn't have the cake on offer due to sugar overload. "What can we do for you next time?" they asked.
"Don't worry, I'll bake."
So far, so easy. But another lady also wasn't eating cake. Her limits are:
  • No gluten
  • No eggs
  • No dairy
When it comes to sweet things, she eats chocolate.

So, after a bit of research, an Experiment hasd come out of the oven.

200g gluten -free flour (I happened to have white bread flour in stock)
20g Splenda
50g / ml coconut oil
3 tsp bicarb of soda (not baking powder, that contains flour)
About 200g finely chopped apples
250ml boiling water.

Mixed the lot, sprinkled the top with Xylitol to make it caramalise, in at 200 for 45 minutes.
The quantities filled Small Loaf tin and Tiny Loaf Tin.

It's cooling now. We'll see.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-08-20 10:13 am

Note to self

Dear Me,
"I cannot do all of these things" does not mean "I cannot do any of these things". Especially when the only reason I can't do "all" is a shortage of hours in the day. Pick one thing you can do, do it, pick the next one, do it, and by the time you hit the "oh god I can't do that!" one, confidence may have returned. Or it'll be lunchtime. You can make lunch, right?
Also, that job application you're panicking about not being good enough for? It's only been up 23 hours. Plenty of time to deal with it.
Thing to remember: when the New Enterprise people reviewed your business plan and how much of it was already in operation, they were amazed at how much you'd already done, and done well. Drop your standards for productivity to only, say, three times human norm, OK?
Luv, Me.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-08-14 10:51 pm

Stop it, brain. Right now.

Today, I have attended four different "go out of the house and meet people" things, one of which was to a previously unknown location and group.
I have done two different craft projects using techniques previously unknown to me.
I have paid bills, followed up emails, sorted out the diary
I have linked an Ebay account to a Paypal account to a debit card and a bank account (and the foot bone's connected to the....)
I have had some book-keeping tuition from my financial advisor.
I have sorted the crochet projects on the go, and put spare yarn away
I have done a shopping trip, and got good bargains.
I have cooked/prepared four meals (yes, four, Dave and I eat separate evening meals when he's on nights).

Why am I feeling guilty about having done so little?

janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-08-01 05:11 pm

New business, and Finance

I'm working on it, but....
The new business, Porcine Aviation Crafts, needs its own bank account, Paypal account, and Ebay account.
So I go to the Barclays page, and get promised that since I'm an existing customer, setting up a new account will be trivially easy. Would I like a personal account, or a business  account?
Well, "business" is the obvious answer, but....
As a special favour for a new startup, all sorts of charges will be free for the first year. Wheee! So I read through what those charges are, thinking "I have to pay for this?" If I just open a normal current account, all those things are free, period, no question. So, other than the free financial advice (which I have coming out of my ears already), why would I want to choose an account type that has the word "business" attached to it, and apparently nothing else in its favour? I'm sure I'm missing something important here.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-07-27 09:13 pm

Today I have...

 Mended a pair of trousers.
Prepared for, and attended, a workshop on how to start up one's own business
Acquired three more craft/art books (workshop was at the library, library was disposing of excess stock at 3 for £1)
Read a document about how to start a craft business, and whimpered slightly at the insurance implications.
Been told that while I'm on this new scheme (start up own business), I can get JSA without having to job-hunt
Arranged time-place for next job interview
Read description of a couple of jobs that initially looked promising
Chatted to IT recruitment agent about possible part-time IT roles
Read templates for business plan and assorted other financial things
Arranged to attend another parallel workshop on setting up a business for Thursday (about an hour after the job interview and 40 minutes drive away)
Sorted out envelopes and packaging for various commissioned cards.
Ordered most of the party food
Cooked three meals (plus enough leftovers to cover tomorrow as well)
Finished off two brooches I'd been making, and put them plus the previous few into plastic bags ready for sale
Assessed possible methods of acquiring cheap raw materials for business, put some into motion
Felt guilty about how little I'd got done today.

I think I deserve a glass of wine. And after that, back to work - I have a letter to write and another card to design, make, and enter into a competition.

edit: it seems that I also have to work out why LJ doesn't echo to Facebook any more :( So I'm deleting this and reposting, having altered a few settings.
janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-06-23 10:56 pm

Not quite "I got the job", but....

Still worthy of celebration. It's subject to references saying the right things, and a DBS check, but those shouldn't be a problem. MIND in Luton are going to take me on as a volunteer. OK, so three hours or so a week, unpaid, isn't exactly a "job", but it's experience, it's the DBS check done, and it's useful.
So dinner tonight was accompanied by a bottle of Kriek.

janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-06-19 12:51 am

Product review - Big Shot Die Thinlits Snowflake Card

 Catalogue entry here

This is one of the three die-sets that make a "flipper" card, the others being Circle and Label. It just (only just!) fits in the normal BigShot, and produces a card size of 4¼" x 5½" from a piece of card 5½" square.
You also get a number of small dies to go with it
  • two more snowflakes, one 2½" across the diagonal and the other 1"
  • banner, 2" long and ½" high
  • heart, 1¼" across
  • Xmas tree (or simple arrow) 1½" each way excluding trunk. Smaller than that in the Festival Of Trees Photopolymer Bundle.
  • words: "Brr", "joy", "snow"
These all come mounted on a piece of cardboard, held down by sticky tape. A bit of a let-down - some magnetic sheet would have been a nice touch.

The main die does a nice job, including scoring the cardstock where the folds are needed.

The banner, heart, and tree are simple shapes, easy to use.

The snowflakes and words are more complex and delicate, and I'd suggest good quality card-stock. 100gsm worked well for me, but you do need to be sure of something that won't tear apart, and when cutting, keep the die near the centre of the cutting plate. The snowflakes would also be useful as a "negative" cut, but not the words.
janewilliams20: (Default)
2015-06-16 07:27 am

Of envelopes and things

Having made one envelope, I woke up thinking about dimensions, and paper wastage. 12x12 paper ain't cheap, and I don't like using a whole sheet on an envelope, especially with wastage.
First thought - could I get two envelopes (or indeed two anything) out of it? 6" across... go and look up the chart on the envelope punch board. That'll do a 3x4 card. Bit small.
All the paper size for all envelopes are square. (Which seems odd - I'll test out some long thin card shapes later). So, what's the biggest square I can get out of A4? 21cm, 8.25". Check that chart again. Oddly, it lists only dimensions, no marker saying "this one's A6". Marker added.... and that's the biggest card I can fit into an envelope made from A4 paper! A card made from half a sheet of A4, exactly! Happy!