Wednesday, 23 November 2016

WOYWW 390 An Alternative “Desk,” Mandalas and More Gold

Nothing to show my fellow deskers in the studio dept. this week because nothing has gone on in there except adding to the tip. I’ve been really busy. Today, I decamped into the kitchen and have been cooking most of the day. I love getting stuck in in my lovely kitchen. Here’s what I’ve been up to. Sorry it’s a bit long, but just flip through the photos!

General view:

01 General View

Preparing the pastry for two quiches and some mince pies:

08 Preparing the Pastry

One quiche pastry ready for blind baking. The foil is to stop the pastry rising. It’s resting on my favourite recipe book, which I had for a 21st birthday present!

02 Quiche Ready for Blind Baking

Making the first batch of mince pies.

03 Making Mince Pies

The filling for the quiches, made with onion, yellow pepper, diced sweet potatoes (some roasted in sesame oil, the rest softened in the microwave), garlic, herbs, seasoning, cooked in olive oil. Once cooked, I added some grated cheddar cheese.

04 Sweet Potato Filling for Quiches

Steaming some beetroots ready for the freezer.

05 Steaming Beetroot

A nice big batch of butternut squash soup being cooked – with onions, carrots, yellow pepper, garlic, herbs, broccoli stalks that I’ve been saving and freezing, vegetable stock.

06 Cooking the Butternut Squash Soup

Preparing supper in advance – a lump of lamb’s liver and bacon casserole defrosting, and some potatoes and carrots ready to cook. I steamed sprouts and sliced courgette with sage in the steamer part, over the other vegetables. Four veges cooked on one ring!

07 Supper Being Prepared in Advance

The blind pastry cases for the quiches, cooked and ready for filling.

09 Quiche Pastry Cooked

Two batches of mince pies and two quiches ready for the oven. The filling was spooned into the pastry cases, and a “custard” made with eggs and milk, herbs and seasoning poured over, with a final sprinkling of grated cheddar on top.

10 Mince Pies and Quiches Ready for the Oven

The butternut squash soup, liquidised. You can see the blender jug on the left.

11 Butternut Squash Soup

The fruits of my labours today: butternut squash soup, two sweet potato quiches, two dozen mince pies and some steamed and peeled beetroot. All freezer fodder for now!

12 The Fruits of Today's Labours

The Before photo (chaos!):

13 Before

and After!

14 After

I like the final clearing up, when you end up with a nice clean tidy kitchen again – a sense of satisfaction of a job completed, and lots of nice nosh to enjoy in the coming weeks!

Art Projects – iPad Pro, using PaintStorm and Procreate apps

I’ve been working on another mandala and this time I’ve put some “gold” in the centre rather than a Zengem, since I’m on a gold roll at the moment. I went a bit mad with this one because I started with a canvas on PaintStorm that was much too big, so I shall never be able to print this out at full size! It’s very intricate-looking at a smaller scale. Here’s the outline:

Lotus Mandala Outline

and here’s the colouring I’ve done so far – note the touches of “gold”:

Lotus Mandala Colour WIP

I’ve done a bit more gold for my Bible study group visuals too – this is the final one for last week’s session, not done in time for the last WOYWW:

Menorah Decorations

and here’s the finished visual, showing how I used this image:

05 The Menorah Decorations

For this week’s session, these are the drawings I have done:

Golden Altar of Incense Colour

Veil Pillars


Golden Altar of Incense and Veil

I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do to finish preparing the session by Friday!

Shoshi Health Update

I’ve got my 6-monthly oncology appointment tomorrow morning. I’m not worried, as the latest CT scan came back clear of cancer, and I’m sure the appointment will be fine – just a chat about how I’m getting on. I shall tell her about my hernia (Miss Piggy) and the support garment that is coming, and also about the clots on my lungs but she may already know about this, as my surgeon, who ordered the CT scan, has probably shared the results with the MDT (multi-disciplinary team) who have overseen my care since my diagnosis back in January last year.

I lost another pound this week – if I lose one more pound, I will have lost a total of 3 stone (42 lb) in 2 1/2 years – not that I really count last year because I lost a huge amount in hospital and then put it all on again, having to abandon my diet while undergoing surgery and treatment, and ended up only losing 1 lb last year! Ideally I’d like to lose another stone, but it’s coming off very slowly these days and that may be a bit optimistic!

Kitty Health Update

Phoebe and N Drooping 11-10-13

Phoebe has got to go in to the vet sometime in the next week or two to have some teeth extracted – they’ve put this off for some time until her epilepsy was stabilised. They reduced the dose of her epilepsy meds recently and her liver function has improved which is good – they take regular bloods to check on her general health, in order to balance therapeutic levels against adverse side effects. She will have to stay in overnight when she has her operation and it’s going to be very strange without her here! Hope she doesn’t get too stressed… Both kitties are eating quite well these day (little and often – it’s like having kittens in the house again) and both have gained weight and seem very well. They are 16 and 13 respectively. Both are on medication permanently and have to be fed separately because Beatrice is on a special diet. Life is complicated Chez Shosh!

Sorry I didn’t visit many of you last week, and those I did, were rather late! It may be the same again this week as I’ve got a lot on and not a lot of time to do it.

Happy WOYWW everyone.


  1. So much to see here Shoshi.I can almost sense your satisfaction after your cooking session.I can see how much of the day you spent in there cooking up a storm. your house smelt wonderful. Those gold works..gorgeous!!
    Have a good week. Poor kitty.Hope she's ok.

  2. Wonderful lot of edible goodies. Wish I was at your house! I love a tidy kitchen again after accomplishing a bout of cooking and the house always smells delicious.

    Hope the appointment goes well. Glad the kitties are doing better. My poor old cat is not liking the cold. He is sixteen and it seems to be hitting him harder this year. Sometimes he doesn't move from his spot on the sofa when I get up in the morning - very unusual for him, especially when the heat comes on. He is eating well so I suppose the rest is just old age.

    Love the artwork! Your digital artwork is fantastic - you're definitely getting to be an expert.

    Happy WOYWW
    Sharon K #37

  3. Wow - you were a busy lady. Such yummy dishes. Glad you are doing well and are not worried about your appointment. I hope your kitty comes through the teeth extraction well.
    April #34

  4. no wonder you were so late posting, what a busy productive day you had! Helen #1

  5. Gosh you've been busy Shoshi maybe now you should take it easy for a while. Happy belayed woyww, Angela x 18

  6. I love your Mandalas - how do you make them? I'm glad to hear you are clear of cancer, but it sounds like you aren't quite out of the wood yet, but the trees seem to be thinning out! Poor kitty, with epilepsy and teeth problems, you are such a good kitty Mom to them! I also have an older cat - 17 years old, thankfully in good health. We keep her on her toes with a 3 year old kitten! Thanks for sharing, Lindart #41

  7. Oh - and I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your cooking frenzy pics! I wish I had a big enough freezer to do things like this! Lindart #41

  8. Happy Belated WOYWW. After a busy couple of days I am up early today (4.30 am - unable to sleep with various symptoms) and determined to do some blog touring today. Now my stomach wants breakfast after seeing the photos of your wonderful cooking (we had a meal out last night - so I am surprised that I am hungry so early). Every now and then I have a strange compulsion to do some baking - but always regret it afterwards, as my results are never particularly attractive (but usually taste ok) and I am exhausted after all the work/clearing up. I always vow not to try again and stick to buying from the shops! Fantastic digital art. I have started doing some bible journaling, and would love to have a group to join in with locally, but cannot find anything within reasonable travelling distance. Hope your hospital appointment went ok, and that also Phoebe's vet treatment is successful. Ali x #32

  9. I've only just spotted your blog post Shoshi! My, you were busy in the kitchen! I must say, I used to enjoy cooking a lot more when I was single. Nowadays it seems more like a chore, especially that my family likes eating the same dishes over and over again - where's the adventure in that? Lovely new digital projects and I'm glad to hear you're doing well healthwise. Miss Piggy, LOL - I'll have to get into the habit of naming everything - so much more fun than referring to things by name - especially nasty things like a hernia. Loving that photo of Nicholas dozing with Phoebe - how cure are they? Poor Phoebs, I hope she will not be too traumatised by the hospitalisation. Let us know how it goes. Well done on the weight loss! Losing weight progressively is the best way to keep it off. I'm getting to that age where I should really start watching my weight a bit more too! Hope you're having a great weekend with lots of fun activities.

  10. I'm sorry I'm so late this week, but I've managed to squeeze in visits before tomorrows WOYWW!! I love the cooking photos - I have to admit to buying ready made pastry cases as my pastry has never been very good, I've heard say that people with cold hands make the best pastry - I don't know how true that is! I do love butternut squash soup and really need to knuckle down and make some batches for the freezer - you are making me feel guilty for not being so industrious!! It's great you are getting so much art work done too - I love the mandala and it's fascinating seeing how you are using your new software. Good luck to Phoebe for her operation, hope it all goes well for her.
    Diana x

  11. Forgot to say thank you for visiting my desk and leaving such kind comments!


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