Sunday, March 25, 2012

Naturally dyed flowers

Naturally dyed flowers by pdugmore2001
Naturally dyed flowers, a photo by pdugmore2001 on Flickr.
In preparation for BioBlitz. All (with the exception of one) dyed with New Zealand lichens of varying kinds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In which I felt a Nyan cat hat

One of the young librarians at work is participating in Shave so I decided to make her a hat to cover her head in the cooler weather coming up.

Because we often joke about internet memes, I decided to make a hat based on one of them.  Nyan cat seemed to be one with a lot of scope. 

I made a rainbow pre-felt first.  This was my first attempt at pre-felt so I was a bit nervous about getting it right.  I used the resist I made for my head size with the idea that both J and I have large heads.

I made Nyan cat out of Fimo.  I had originally thought of making it as a button but I forgot to make holes before baking the polymer clay so it ended up as a brooch.

I used some roving Mum had got for me in Rotorua - I'm not sure what sort it it, it appears to have a longer fibre length than merino, but it felts in a very similar way.

The fibre felted nice and thick so the structural folds hold beautifully.

J liked it very much!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - chicken wrap thingies, stir fry veg
Tuesday - crockpot devilled sausages, potatoes, green veges
Wednesday - crockpot lasagne, salad
Thursday - Chicken fricasee*, potatoes, vege
Friday - Thai green curry, rice
Saturday - Indian Lamb burgers, cucumber raita, eggplant chutney <-- trying out a new recipe from a cookbook I borrowed from the library entitled Stoked
Sunday - Beef and vege soup, rolls

*This is from Countdown's recipe files... this is a new recipe too.  I'll be replacing the cream with evaporated milk and will use boneless chicken thighs.  I'll serve potatoes on the side rather than in the fricasee.

Chicken Fricassee


  • 3 Tbsp Select olive oil
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 5 rashers rindless bacon, diced 2cm
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 Macro Free Range chicken thighs skinned and boned, each cut into 3 across the grain of the meat
  • ½ baby waxy potatoes, well scrubbed
  • 4 cups Campbell’s chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp Homebrand cornflour mixed with 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup Homebrand cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup dry white wine
You can use different cuts of chicken for this dish, even a whole chicken cut into pieces.
Servings : 6


Heat the oil over moderate heat in a large wide, deep pan. Add the thyme, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, leek, bacon, and mushrooms. Fry gently, without browning, for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the chicken and mix well, letting the chicken colour all over. Add the wine and let it bubble. Add the potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are tender.

Bring back to the boil and stir in the cornflour mixture so that the fricassée thickens. Stir in the cream and bring back to the boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Add the parsley and mix well. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes so that the chicken absorbs the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with extra parsley.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Filters and their deceptive ways

As a librarian I advocate for freedom of information and open access to information.  For some time I've been watching the way in which personalization of search results has become mainstream, the way in which database vendors have been seeking to make their search algorithms more relevant to searchers.

For the most part I've seen this move as a good thing, particularly for content available on databases MPOW pays thousands for the privilege of accessing. 

However. (There is always a however).

It is worth pointing out that having this personalization on internet searches comes at a cost.  That cost is lack of exposure to points of view that differ from your own.  This is what I find disturbing.

This TED talk describes it very well.

So. What to do. First up - be aware.  Sometimes it's going to be okay to have that bubble.  But sometimes not.

Next - try a different search engine.  This one, DuckDuckGo is on my radar and is proving quite interesting to use.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Leap day

Flickr had special Leap Day photo exercise for the 29th Feb.  I attempted some!  Not as cool as some of the others in the pool. Check them out.

Leap Day 2012

Two kids leaping... reminds me of the Christmas carol

 leap day 2012

Hover Boy!

 Hover Kid!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Pie Odyssey #5: Chicken, Leek and Ham

I like chicken pies and so does Miss5. DH tolerates them. Mr8 thinks they are a bit on the"wrong" side but he eats it up without too much complaint.. he does tend to prefer the Mince thing.

I used bacon because I didn't have ham and bacon make everything better.

Added it to the leek, onion and garlic mixture.

Mixed in some white wine and basically a white sauce... the recipe called for cream but I used milk.

Pastry was straight forward to make but I didn't have time to chill it which would have improved my pie's look!  It is a very short pastry and the day was hot and humid.  Not good pastry making weather.  So it looks like a bit of a dog's breakfast. 

Tasted good none the less.

Handwriting Meme

Been tagged by @flexnib to do this meme :-) In deference to her propensity for fountain pens I dug out mine and sucked up some scented ink I made once to write this.
  1. what is your name - Penelope Jane Dugmore but everyone calls me Penny
  2. blog URL -
  3. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  4. Favorite quote - resistance is futile <-- got aliens on my brain
  5. Favorite song (at the moment) - Really like Bic Runga's "Belle" at present
  6. Favorite band/singers (at the moment) - Dunno -  I go through times when I don't pay attention to music
  7. Say anything you want - Anything you wany
  8. Tag 3-5 bloggers @ParryKylie @ghylene @snailx and Janine but only if you guys want to join in
With a little assistance from Barbie...
 handwriting meme