pandaemonaeum: (Default) NOT talk about my LiveJournal :)

The second rule of my LiveJournal is do NOT talk about my LiveJournal :D

Seriously, though, if you want to add me, please read my profile page :

If, after ploughing through all that you still want to add me, fine, comment here, and we'll talk :)
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It depends on how you class 'frequent'. I tend to have bouts of insomnia, times where I find it difficult to sleep. Usually if I have one night of insomnia, I'll have several.

I don't really have any tips or tricks. I work for myself so I can work at pretty much any time I like. If I have a late night then I sleep in and work slightly odd hours.

I don't think it really impacts my life that much, I cope slightly better on less sleep than some of my friends. I have the odd day where I am crabby and irritable because I haven't had enough sleep. That's about it.
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I used a recipe from Asda magazine for chilli brownies, without the chilli.

225g unsalted butter
100g cocoa powder (I used Bournville mmmm)
4 eggs
350g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
150g self raising flour

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a small, deep baking tray and line with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the cocoa powder. Set aside.
3. Mix the eggs, the vanilla, and the sugar until pale and foamy.
4. Fold in the flour and the butter/ chocolate mixture.
5. Pour into baking tray.
6. Bake for 35 minutes. The top will be crisp and the insides will be moist and sticky - you are aiming to put a skewer in and have it come out all sticky and chocolatey :)
7. Leave to cool.

You can sift the top with icing sugar to make it more pretty if you like :)

Warning: these are very rich!
pandaemonaeum: (Default)
I made these to use up leftover mashed potato!

Basically you need 5 parts potato to 2 parts flour, so

200g leftover mash (mmmmm mash)
80g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix the above with your hands to form a ball of dough - you may need to work this a little! Don't worry about the lack of egg or any other binding agent, the starch from the potato and flour bind it pretty well.

Lightly flour a surface and your dough, then roll out. The traditional way is very thin (less than 5mm thick!) and circular, which you then cut into triangles, but you can make these as thick or thin as you like. The thicker they are, the less oil they absorb.

Chill for 5-10 minutes in the fridge and heat some oil or butter in a frying pan. Once again, traditionally these were fried in lard or bacon grease. Fry on each side until brown and crisp.

If you want to 'liven them up', add some chopped spring onion, or spice them up with chilli/ curry powder.

I had mine with bacon. OMNOMNOMNOMNOM :)
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1. I am in the UK, not the US. This doesn't even apply to me.

2. In the course of my degree, we examined the effects of various psychotropic substances, both at the cellular level and upon the whole body. I find marijuana a particularly thorny issue, as two of my friends at school committed suicide after imbibing a large amount of marijuana (one threw himself off a roof, another took a whole bottle of painkillers and died in agony). Several more progressed to hard drugs. It's all very well to look at marijuana as a recreational drug from the viewpoint of the occasional user from a nice home; the reality is vulnerable people in the worst areas. I have seen the actual, peer-reviewed, scientific papers on the effects of marijuana, and it's not easy reading. I have never touched the stuff and have no intention of doing so.

Besides which, if we're working on banning one kind of smoking, what point is there in encouraging another?

I should probably point out that there is no worse trigger for my asthma than marijuana smoke...

Although, the one thing it would do is deprive organised crime of an income stream. That's the only positive I can think of right now.

If a government legislature must legalise it, then controls must be rigorous. It's an individual's choice and I don't agree with the state dictating what we do to our own bodies, but I do think that some substances need to be controlled.
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Yes. Waaaaaay too far.

Yes. I used to have a 'friend' who would try to impress other people by repeatedly drawing their attention to my imagined failings. I know I have faults, but telling a complete stranger about them in vulgar language is well over the line. Strangely enough, it rarely worked, and on at least one occasion led to both the 'friend' and the stranger being utterly humiliated. :D  If you need to insult someone else to make yourself look good, you seriously need to improve your personality, in my opinion. I suppose I am over-sensitive, but most teasing just offends me. And I tell the culprit in no uncertain terms where to go!

No. I rarely tease people, and I stop when I think I might hurt their feelings. Often this is well short of when other people would stop, but I'd rather not upset my friends as they are lovely people :)
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Read more... ) Me in full 'Queenie' pose, dressed up like a saloon girl. I was bloody frozen, it was -3 and snowing outside o.O

A few more )

Cross posted to my Facebook
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I distinctly prefer cats. The more vicious and hate-filled the cat, the better I tend to like them - if anyone has seen my old posts about Ba'al, you'll know exactly what I mean :) Cats aren't cute little fluffy balls, they're vicious killing machines with cute faces :D

I don't mind dogs. I don't like yappy dogs, or the ones who sound stupid when they bark. I kind of like highly-strung, clever dogs like Afghan hounds and Irish wolfhounds, and there's a man who lives near me who breeds cross-breeds (wolf and husky) which are absolutely stunning animals, even if they do occasionally turn up in my back garden.

But I'd still rather have cats. I was immensely proud of Golgotha for his mole-killing spree :D And Gethsemane looks like a sweet little thing, but has been depopulating the area of mice for several months now :D

Yes, my cats do all get vaguely biblical names, do you think I'm the kind of person who'd call her cat 'Fluffykins'?
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Goth. Duh.

This one's kind of a no-brainer...
pandaemonaeum: (Default)

100g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
40-50ml strong coffee (I dissolved 2 tablespoons of Kenco in 50mls of boiling water then let it cool)

Cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the coffee. Sift in the flour and fold in. The mixture will be quite loose and look like mousse if you have done this bit right!

Spoon into cake cases and bake at 180 degree celsius for around 15 minutes until risen.

100g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g icing sugar.

Soften the butter and mix in the vanilla essence. Sift in about 1/3 of the icing sugar and cream together. Keep adding the icing sugar until the consistency is stiff and creamy. Apply to cakes.

To finish off, sift on a little cocoa powder or cinammon :)

I managed about 30 little fairy cakes out of this mixture!
pandaemonaeum: (Default)
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I don't care about the personal/ romantic lives of soap 'stars' film stars, footballers, golfers, actors, or anyone else for that matter. I can't stand chat magazines, the vacuousness and viciousness of them drive me to screaming fury.

You can only expect people to be human, not saints. I don't imagine there's any higher a degree of misbehaviour in politics than in any other profession.

There have been plenty of politicians who have successfully held down high profile posts whilst 'misbehaving'. I think it depends on how far something is in the past; if, for example, they're coming to power in their 50s and the indiscretions were whilst they were at University in their 20s, then pffft. People mature, settle down.

If it's not affecting their job, why do we even care? If the man who ran your local chip shop was in his 50s and had an affair, but you could still get cod and chips on a Friday night when you wanted them, you wouldn't care, why should you care if the Secretary for State had a weekend fling with his secretary but is still doing his job well enough? You have to allow people some slack.

Now, if the indiscretions are criminal, then the public has a right to know. But if it's yet another pointless story about a politician having an affair, who gives a toss?

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I always said I would never get married.

Then, after living with Ghost for nearly 10 years, we just upped and decided to get married. We've only had a couple of rows, and generally we get along well, considering we live and work together. I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of nights we've spent apart since I moved in with him.

But an expiration date on a marriage license kind of makes a mockery of 'till death do us part'.

It does kind of make sense, though. You could have a trial marriage, and let the license lapse rather than lining lawyer's pockets with a divorce. You could say 'yes' to marrying someone if you had doubts, because it would only be for X number of years (for the record, I think that if you have any doubts, you should NOT get hitched).

Sometimes I wonder if marriage as an institution is outdated, and we should be coming up with a better model for dealing with coupledom/ children etc.
pandaemonaeum: (Default)

Makes around 12 small, fragrant, tasty cakes :D

50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
50g self raising flour
1 egg
30ml (2 tbsps) absinthe

1. Preheat oven to 180degrees celcius
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg.
4. Sift in the flour, then fold into the mixture.
5. Finally stir in the absinthe.
6. Divide between cake cases and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
7. Remove and cool

50g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
20mls (4 teaspoons) absinthe

Mix until the desired consistency (thick cream) is reached, ice cakes
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I was at University before the Internet really got off the ground, so do the 20+ years before that count? ;)

Probably about 3 months, and it suited me fine. I do like to use t'Interwebz to keep in touch with people, but when I go offline, I do it to get some peace and quiet. Sometimes I just like to be a hermit for a bit :)

I got loads of sewing work done without it :D
pandaemonaeum: (Default)

Photos by Paul Baxter,

 L-R Me, Ghost, Hazel. That's my new bodice, made with silk velvet, silk, antique lace, double faced 2" wide velvet ribbon :) My bOoBaGe is a bit cartoony in this picture!

 L-R Catriona (Cate), Me, Ghost, Hazel


Feb. 20th, 2010 08:21 am
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It's been two nights, and no live or dead rodents have been brought in by our adorable little monsters.

I hope this keeps up, cleaning up mouse guts isn't a nice way to start a morning :)
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Yes. Several times.

And yes, I was always proud of the decision, and stuck by it.
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I very rarely post publically about my work.

Reason number 1 is that there are a dozen communities out there you can follow if you want to know boring day-to-day waffle about making and selling corsets. Reason number 2 is that I am often bogged down in the minutae of it; I love all the aspects of it, the different styles, the weird and wacky patents. Reason number 3 is that most of my friends just couldn't give a toss. Because this is my personal journal, and they're my friends, not my clients.

But I'm doing it today, because I am heartily sick of being called 'obsessive' and 'timid'. These people clearly don't know me.

When I was 14 years old, I started to express my personality in dress. You couldn't buy what I wanted to wear but that wasn't a problem, as I had been sewing since I could hold a needle. My great-aunt had worked in an atelier in Glasgow before her marriage and she taught me 'housewifely' skills. My mother didn't have much money and so made our clothes; she taught me how to use a sewing machine and commercial patterns.

10 years later, I was dressing up in one of my Victorian outfits to go out, and 'Gone With The Wind' was on. Marmee was tightlacing Scarlett (hahahaha) and I thought "I want one of those." There were no commercial patterns; there were no online corset resources; there were hardly any internet forums, let alone specialist ones. So I went to the University library and used the research skills my degree was teaching me to look up primary sources. And I was hooked. It took me 2 years alone to track down somewhere that stocked busks - I had to look it up in huge books of public records in a library, then telephone round places to see if they were still in business. Think of that when your Google-fu is weak.

In the ensuing 15 or so years, I have tried every combination imaginable in getting a wearable corset. I've used everything from buckram through to vintage suede. I regularly look at weird fabrics and think "would that make a nice corset?"

Every corset I make now starts with coutil and steel boning. If I don't use those, I call it a bodice. The reason for this is simple; I've tried everything else and this is what I feel is best.

If your mileage varies, fine. But stop calling me names for doing what I see fit.
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I tend to talk about personal stuff on LJ. I talk more about corsetmaking, my literary tastes, my taste in music and any health issues here. I only use one other social networking site, Facebook, and I must look shallow as a puddle in the middle of the Sahara in hot season on there.

Most of my offline friends are online (except Olly, and he's a bloody luddite). I only get to talk to some of my friends on LJ, some because they live on different continents, and some just because we have never chosen to meet up. I would say there are some things I talk more freely about here, because people can choose not to read them. In person, they're stuck with you droning on and on about stuff they don't give a hoot about!

I think that my LJ is pretty much me, warts and all. I'm fairly certain my friends will back me up on that :)


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