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Hello, my name is Sandy.

Shepherd's pie soup

sloppy shepherd's pie

This was meant to be a shepherd's pie, but nooooo~

shepherd's pie landslide

If we'd been trying to make pie soup, we'd call this a roaring success.

Everything was too wet. The pie was pretty much layers of sloppy slops, but not from the meat - from the creamed potato. Perhaps leaving it in the oven longer, or cooking it at a higher temperature might have saved it.

TIL blendered potato isn't right for a pie top. Deb or hand mash only.

Luckily, we love slops, particularly when it's cold, rainy, or a night in, watching Alan Partridge.

Btw, if you're wondering why the potato is orange, it's cos we substituted one of the spuds for a sweet potato. Adds a lovely sweet potatoey flavour.

a serve of slops pie

This #baketober thing is pretty good. I had my doubts at first, but I've already found a new recipe from some random guy on twitter. Mm~

Tree stump adventures

my tree stump

When that tree came down last year, it left us with a wide, awkwardly angled stump in the middle of everything. So my sweet dream is to turn it into a small planter box, reclaiming the space and helping the wood rot and disintegrate.

The plan was to drill holes in the stump, then chisel away at the insides. Easier said than done, of course, and I got totally schooled today.

shallow divet after 10 minutes of drilling the wrong way

Lesson 1: Make sure the drill bit is spinning the right way otherwise 10 minutes of drilling yields but a divet, plus another 10 minutes of someone laughing at you.

Lesson 2: Make sure the batteries are fully charged before starting so you don't run out of juice halfway in and get stuck.

my drill stuck in the stump

Lesson 3: Chiselling is tiresome, noisy work. That is all.

After four hours, I am nowhere near done with my tree stump planter box. The volume of wood I dug out was about half a golf ball in size.

But it's fine. I have tasted what's required. Onward, we go.

a wooden toolbox

Meanwhile, Niaal made a whole toolbox that now holds all our tools. At least one of us was useful today. :)

Sewing an apron

Sewing an apron is completely different to being any good at it. I might take it to show Mum tomorrow. She could use a laugh.

It's nice to finally have the apron finished! Even if it's a mess. Let us count the ways...

apron from front with faults highlighted

Fit is awkward, despite the body being made to measure. This is partly due to fabric choice (calico), partly to placement of the straps. The waist straps are too low to sit on the waist, yet too high to sit around the hips, so the torso part puffs out. Better to have picked slightly higher or lower than middling like this.

The neck straps are too far apart, and warp the shape when tied around the neck. They either need to be closer OR made longer so they can be tied cross-back to the waist. Cross-back still sort of works because I am short, albeit a tangle.

a frayed knot

I thought it would work to sew the straps and turn them inside-out, but I'm... afraid not. ;D They were much too narrow. Raw edges should be all right for now. Maybe I can seal them with a PVA + water solution. Maybe later.

triangle shape to secure a neck strap

Straps were secured with triangles and squares. There was much pivoting of fabric in the armpit of my machine.

I am pleased to be reacquainted with my Brother after all these years. We may not have made beautiful garment together, but we are on speaking terms again.

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