Wednesday, 21 November 2018

WOYWW 494–Turtles and Tortoises, Ants and Pants

Studio Time!

At last I have managed to have a good long session in my studio, so for once I’ve got a real desk to show you for WOYWW. I’ve got a few projects with a deadline, and I’m waiting for some supplies from Ebay, but in the meantime I’ve been able to make a start on embellishments, in the form of a flower factory. Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine, has been working overtime.

01 Flower Pieces Cut

I’m afraid I can’t go into detail about the projects for the usual reasons, but all will be revealed in due course.

A few weeks ago my hubby gave me four little frames that he’d bought at a church sale, and then discovered that they didn’t have glass in them, so he didn’t want them. He offered them to me and I was sure I could do something with them.

01 Four Small Frames for Altering

I dismantled them and took the embellishments apart for use in other projects. The first step will be to paint them with gesso, and then they can be embellished.

02 Frames Taken Apart


After my success last week, I decided to try making two small loaves instead of one large one, so I could use my small bannetons again. I made it on Saturday and ended up with two small turtles again – it collapsed completely. I was very disappointed and frustrated.

56 Sourdough School Turtles 17-11-18

Where it did rise a bit, it had formed one big hole, that you can see in the photo. Again, it tasted delicious. I decided to make some more straight away, so the next day I did a repeat performance, with great success, and ended up with two tortoises instead of turtles!

57 Sourdough School Tortoises 18-11-18

Here they are, with the bannetons.

58 Sourdough School Cut with Bannetons 18-11-18

Really not bad at all. The only problem is, using the Dutch oven method, I have to bake one after the other, which means having the oven on for quite a bit longer, but it’s only once a week.

I realised that I’d made a couple of mistakes with the first batch. I’d put the salt in too soon, before the autolyse had had time to rest, and I definitely over-worked the dough, which results in developing the gluten to the extent that by the final proving, it starts to break down and the dough collapses. Success is all in the handling, and with the second batch, I followed the instructions to the letter and got much better results. It’s still a bit flat but the dough felt a lot less wet and sticky, and it did hold up better.

I did some other cooking as well during the week. I made a couple of big casseroles for the freezer so we’ve got plenty of ready cooked meals – a beef one and a tarragon chicken one, both very tasty.

I also made some sugar-free marmalade at the weekend, adapting a recipe I found on a diabetic site. I adore marmalade and could eat it all the time, but am always conscious of the high sugar content, especially as I am watching my weight. My hubby is no longer pre-diabetic since he gave up added sugar, and when he was last checked he was absolutely fine – normal, with no indication of diabetes at all, which I am sure has been helped by our general change in diet over the past few months, with more low GI carbs, fewer processed foods and all the fermented stuff – kefir, kombucha and sourdough.

The marmalade is sweetened with Stevia, and thickened with soaked chia seeds which produce a natural, unflavoured gel. The recipe warned that the seeds make the marmalade look as if it’s full of ants but I don’t care about that! They are full of nutrients and also prevent dehydration which is good news for ileostomates too! I made the marmalade with one of the tins of Mamade I had in the pantry –this is just prepared Seville oranges with no additives, to which you simply add sugar and water and boil it up, so the next best thing to completely home-made, just without all the hard work! The sugar-free version is delicious, even if it doesn’t look that palatable.

Sugar-Free Marmalade on Sourdough 20-11-18

I’m not sure how long it will keep, so I’ve put the jars in the fridge. I don’t think it will hang around for long, though, especially if we are both digging in!

I’ve got a couple of events coming up for which I need to make some little presents, so I’m hoping to be back in the studio again this coming week.

Health update

I’ve had three days this week when I’ve been completely wiped out and not able to do anything much, which is a bore, and this has not been helped by another dose of hair-tearing frustration today over my ongoing support garments saga.

Not having heard anything, I phoned them a couple of days ago, only to be told that the GP had only prescribed one additional pair instead of two. The first pair (which had to be made twice because they messed up on the first pair, which didn’t fit me) was issued on a single prescription, so getting a further prescription meant more delay. I was annoyed that the company hadn’t seen fit to inform me of this, and if I hadn’t phoned up, I wouldn’t have known, which would have caused more delay again. I emailed the GP surgery straight away (hopeless trying to phone), asking what was going on, and had an immediate reply, saying they had issued another prescription straight away, for two pairs! If all goes according to plan, this will mean that I should end up with a total of four pairs, rather than the maximum of three that I am supposed to have. Three is the absolute minimum – one on, one in the wash, and one for emergencies in case Kermit has a leak or something. I told the GP about all the problems I’ve been having with the company.

The woman I spoke to at the company said she would check with the work room and see what progress was being made on the single pair that they were making, and she would phone me straight back. I sat by the phone for two or three hours and then phoned again because I had heard nothing, only to be told that the woman had phoned back and left a message on our answering machine! I told her the phone had not rung, and when I checked, there was no message. Hopeless. Anyway, she said the pants would be sent out on Friday, which means I won’t get them till early next week. They were supposed to be pushing this through as a matter of urgency, after messing me about with the first pair, and now I’ve got to wait another whole week! I told her that I had been wearing the only pair I have got so far, for nearly 3 weeks and they need a wash!!! The old ones from last year are not giving any support at all so it’s pointless wearing those.

I told her I was fed up with all this messing about, and I was very unimpressed with how unbusinesslike the whole thing was, and how frustrated I felt. I told her my hernia had definitely returned and that these garments are essential medical supplies, and it was completely unreasonable to have to wait for 3 months from when the stoma nurse made the initial appointment, to receive even one pair. I told her I’d had all this nonsense last year as well, and I didn’t know what I would do if they got the subsequent garments wrong, so they’d jolly well better get them right! She said she was very sorry, and completely understood how I felt, etc. etc. I said this is what they all said, but nothing ever got done! What I need is some action, and some results.

Shoshi spitting tacks again. Grrrrrrrr and double grrrrrrrrrrrr. I shall definitely tell the stoma nurse when I see her in December at my surgeon’s appointment. She was appalled last year, and said she would contact them about it, and reported back to me that she hadn’t had much joy with them, either.

Hopefully by this time next week, I will at least have got a second pair.


No kitty photos this week. Neither of them has done anything very interesting except eat and sleep and keep me warm, and a bit more mutual washing on my lap! They are both eating well now the weather is colder and they’ve filled out quite a bit. Two nice little substantial kitties! (Or should I say, “Fat and lazy!”)Ruby hasn’t got out again now my hubby has cut that tree right down.


  1. I see you too have been having a mass die cut, i'm glad I have finnished all mine for the moment! Look forward to seeing what you create with all those flowers. What a good find by Hubby, I have to confess frames excite me as there are so many ways to adapt what appears to be other peoples disposal.
    The idea of sugar free marmalade sounds awful but I imagine the natural sweetners of the fruit does the job much better, I bet it tastes delicious.
    How frustrating about the garment, I do hope it's sorted pronto as there is an obvious need for another. Everything crossed for that second pair..!!
    The breakdown of communication has a massive effect on us all. I think all of us know in the UK that the NHS is stretched beyond it's limits and we really should be Thankful of any little of it can give to us all. I'm so grateful to have it on my side although somewhat frustrating at times I would not wish to be without it.
    Woyww Hugs Tracey #6
    P.S I do not blame the Kitties for staying put.. it's the time of year for being Lazy and who really want's to go out and play this weather xx

  2. Interesting to see what you'll be doing with all those lovely little flowers! And I'm sure you'll alter those frames beautifully as well, good spot by your hubby :-D
    Hugs LLJ 7 xxx

  3. Hi Shoshi. I completely get how annoyed you are with them. That is just unacceptable, really. Love all the flower cut outs, and good job with the bread. I'm sure it's practice that makes for perfection! Have a lovely week, Hugs, Shaz #5 X

  4. Glad Ruby has had her wanderings curtailed. Good to know.
    What is not good to know is all about your 'pants'. I can understand your frustration and anger - that is just not on. Surely someone who manufactures medical supplies is aware of the urgency of the orders. One would think so. Hope you get somewhere soon - I would be writing strong letters up and down to complain like billy-oh!
    Oh dear, I thought the sourdough had been sorted, it is going to turn into a 'pants-type' saga. Do hope you get to the bottom of the hit and miss bakings. Interesting to read about the Chia seeds. I just looked up about 'fibre' and see that they are possibly the best source of fibre on the planet. I must get some as I am determined to increase my fibre intake - am sure this could be half of my health problem. Think I have self diagnosed this nausea I am experiencing
    Looking forward to seeing the frames in action.
    Hugs, Neet 4 xx

  5. Happy WOYWW. That is a lot of flowers. Look forward to seeing what you make. No wonder you are tired - with all the breadmaking, marmalade etc etc. My symptoms seem to flare up very readily now. Not sure if it is the weather, fuller days (although I do make sure that I rest a lot), menopause, getting older generally ..... I fell in the shower too on Monday. Very lucky only to get some bruising and increased pain. I am angry on your behalf for the 'pants service'! Just not what you need. Fingers crossed that they arrive soon. Ali x #22

  6. Looking forward to seeing your art projects develop Shoshi - they look very interesting...

  7. Shoshi, I love your ongoing Sourdough diary ......
    I make my own Marmalade and find it keeps well in my pantry. I add finely chopped fresh ginger to the mix but am going to try that Stevia instead of sugar.
    I despair at companies nowadays, they appear to have no knowledge and very little interest in Customer Service. WE were always told to look after the Customers, they paid our wages ....That was just a Saturday Job!
    Hope you have a 'pants' week
    Christine #23

  8. Hi Shoshi, I can well understand your frustration at being messed around yet again. The marmalade sounds delicious and I don't think there is anything ant like about it lol. Happy WOYWW and meow to Lily and Ruby. Sarah #3

  9. I don't know where to start in my annoyance on your behalf.... total incompetence all round with the garments, how do they think people are supposed to cope! I hope you get the new ones (some of them anyway) before too much longer... As for the baking.. you are becoming quite the expert and the marmalade sounds good, too. Have a creative (leak-free!!) week. xxx Helen #1

  10. Wel that’s a host of florals to guarantee a busy time! Strikes me that your under garment supplier must have a monopoly in the area or something. A little competition and some threats to withdraw recommendations from your surgery wouldn’t go a miss. In their defence though, why on earth would they question the quantity on a prescription - absolutely not in their remit I’d have said!

  11. Hi Shoshi, I'm so sorry to hear the garment saga is still on going. It's quite ridiculous and woukd definitely try the patience of a saint. I didn't manage to make the cinnamon loaf yet, my grandsons arrived earlier than expected and stayed longer. They did take home a jar of Apple butter which they were delighted with, particularly as the apples were from the Apple tree I planted for them in my garden. Have a lovely week Heather x #9

  12. How frustrating for you re the pants! Is there only one company making them? Can you go to someone else, or at least threaten to? Your bread looks delicious, I would devour either one! Glad to hear hubby has avoided the dreaded D word. I LOVE your roses (I pinned your tutorial!) It is so deceiving, looking at all the petals, wondering how the heck are these going to look like roses. . .and boom - there they are - gorgeous! Have a great week, Lindart #24


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