Home Sweet Home – an Apron, using Graphic 45

One of my lovely neighbours is moving to a new home.  She put her property up for sale just a few weeks ago and it sold really quickly, too quickly for me, because I’m not ready to lose her yet.  (She has a lovely home so I’m really not surprised it sold so quickly). 

Obviously I wanted to make her a ‘New Home’ card, but I didn’t want the usual sort of ‘new home’ card that can normally be found on the mantel shelves of new homes.

So I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea of making her a shaped card using my Graphic 45 ‘Home Sweet Home’ papers.  And here’s what my fingers came up with…

Home Sweet Home 1

An Apron card, made using Graphic 45 Papers

Fortunately for me, I already had in my stash some Apron shaped cards, so I didn’t have to measure and cut that, it was already done.   I chose my patterned papers ensuring that the patterns were of the right size for the card and the plan I had in my head.  I used 4 different patterned papers from Graphic 45, and one paper from another brand of papers, which I had in my stash.

The pocket on the front of the apron was easy to make.  I simply drew half around a big pot of paint in my craft room and cut it out.   I added a toning paper to the top of the pocket, and then added some lovely green seam binding which I’d had in my ribbons for ages but never had the chance to use that particular colour of green.  It was a total delight to use it, as it’s such a fabulous vintage colour.

The Oven Glove (mitt) I drew out onto some card, then traced around the card in order to get a glove which matched the patterns on the card itself.  The additions of some buttons helped to hang things off the apron, and also anchor the ribbon neck to the top of the apron.

Home Sweet Home 5

Inside the Home Sweet Home card.

Again, the inside of the card was decorated with Graphic 45 papers and I added a Recipe Card for ‘Grandma’s Apple Pie’.  Yum!

Home Sweet Home 4

On the facing (inside) page is where I wanted to write the dedication (To/from) and the best wishes etc.  But I also wanted to add some little wooden embellishments which I had in my crafty stash, and thought they might look kind of cute, and tie the front of the card to the inside of the card ….Home Sweet Home 2

If you look on the ‘scoop’ you can just see a scoop of …. something ….

Home Sweet Home 3

. . .   is it sugar?  Salt?  . . . .  Maybe Grandma seasons her apple pies with something more ‘exotic’!  Who knows.  It’s her secret and it will remain her secret.

Home Sweet Home 1

And that’s all there was to it!

I haven’t taken it to my neighbour yet.  I’ll do that on Thursday as she’ll be busy moving on Friday.  I shall be so sorry to see her leave.  She’s an incredibly lovely lady and so kind.  I’ll miss her very much.

Anyhoo …. Here in the UK and Ireland, we have received a bit of a bashing from Hurricane Ophelia.  Although it was no longer a Hurricane by the time it reached the land of my heart and home, it still brought with it devastation and took 3 lives in Ireland.

On Monday afternoon here in the south of England, it went very quiet outside.  No bird song was heard.  Nothing.  Inside Cobweb Towers it became black as midnight and we had to put lamps on around the cottage because we just couldn’t see.  Outside – now that’s where things got a little freaky.  Everything turned, first, a warm orange colour.  But then it got darker ….  and darker …. and darker as the minutes passed until it became almost blood orange colour.   It was very strange and rather unsettling.

This didn’t look at all like a regular ‘natural’ phenomenon.   And from what I’ve read in the news this happened over quite a large area of the UK.  Apparently, in London, they experienced a double sun. 

The weird thing is … that those  ‘in the know’  are telling us that it’s dust picked up perhaps in the Sahara,  by the Hurricane, and it was being carried in the winds.  But, and here’s the thing … it really wasn’t that windy here where I live.  I had washing on the line (which was brought in when it began to get ‘orange’ outside) and it was barely wafting in the gentle breeze we had going on here.  The breeze did pick up a little – but it really was only a little.  But the orange … well I’ll be truthful and say that it felt almost apocalyptic.

The rain came later in the day, and it was a good old downpour, but not for long.   Then … just to add a bit of interest to the day (as if we hadn’t had enough) …. we lost all power to our cottage.  Mr.C popped to the neighbours and they’d lost power too, and our other neighbour had obviously lost power as her burglar alarm was announcing it’s shock and horror at what had happened!  We got the candles out, and for a time we were living back in a strange Victorian age.

Of course … the power would go just when I was three quarters the way through on a ink painting!  tsk tsk.

It’s been raining again here today (typing this on Tuesday 17th Oct.) –  a downpour again this afternoon, but turning into just regular raining after that.

Here in the South, we’ve been really lucky, and I’ve given thanks over and over, because I was seriously worried that it could have been very much worse.  But, that orange  …  that is still puzzling me.  I checked my car over today to see how much of this  “dust”  had landed on my car, and considering how orange it got outside … there was very little dust on my car.  Certainly not enough to tell the tale of what happened here on Monday.

The more I think … the more difficult it gets to understand it.  So I’m stopping thinking.

Thank you so much for coming to visit and staying to read.  I truly love your company and love to see you here.  So thank you.  Without you, blogging would be a very lonely, silent affair, and I’d probably give up.  I continue to blog because I love the wonderful people I’ve met through blogging and have made friends with a lot of them.  Of course … there are one or two who I love to pieces … but they know who they are.

Wishing you a truly wonderful Wednesday.  May you be in receipt of joy, supplied to you from someone who likes you.  May you also be free of Orange Air and Red Suns.  Avoid those.  They’re freaky and I’m really very unsure about what they are caused by.

Have a truly blessed day.  ❤

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#InkTober2017 – If the Hat fits, Wear It!

Well since we are in the Bewitching Month of Ghosts, Ghouls, and adorable little ones dressed up in their finery …  I thought I’d better get in the mood, so I ‘inked’ a Witches Hat while the Witch was wearing it …. but she’s only allowing you to see her Ruby Red Lips!  She’s clever like that.  Magic!

I made this inking for #InkTober2017 on a Postcard!

I bagged a bargain of over 90 Kanban Postcards for just £3.99 a few weeks ago in a Create and Craft sale.  The postcards came in a selection of 3 different sizes, with sweet little pictures on the address side,  and a simple, decorative background on the other side.

Kanban Postcard Cutie AssortmentSince I like to use postcards quite often in crafting projects, it was a no brainer.  I jumped at the chance of buying them, as they were such a bargain.

They’re rather good quality and very thick, so I knew that they’d take the ink without it bleeding through to the other side.

The Witches hat was first drawn with an ink pen, then I filled in the colour of the hat using black writing ink as I wanted to ensure that the writing I was planning to team with the hat were the exact same colour of black.  The ribbon band on the hat was made using teal coloured Drawing Ink.  (The buckle was added with a fine paint brush, using copper drawing ink)

#InkTober2017 If the Hat Fits 4

#InkTober2017  – If the Hat Fits ….

The Witches Ruby Red Lips were coloured with an Ink Pen in a deep red colour.

I added highlights where the light would naturally hit the hat, using a silver drawing ink, applying it first with a brush and then moved it around with my finger tip.  I’ve taken the next photo with the flash on, so that it really showed up where I’d added the highlights.

 

#InkTober2017 If the Hat Fits 2

#InkTober2017 – Taken with the flash turned on, so that you could see where I added the highlights.

Once the hat was inked and the lips were in place … I first pencilled out the words (to make sure I got them in the right places), and then inked them.  The highlights on the letters were all done with a Gelly Roll Pen.

Finally …. I dabbled some black ink on my glass mat and added a few drops of water, then picking up a little ink on my brush I spattered some ink over the card.  I then did the same with some copper ink.

Of course … any Witch worth a cauldron, wouldn’t be complete without a Wand!  ….

#InkTober2017 If the Hat Fits 3

#InkTober2017 – The Wand was also made by Cobwebs from The Cobweborium Emporium

The Wand  was one I made a while ago, meaning to put it for sale, but it got packed away when we were moving house and was never sold.  I came across it, along with a couple of others, fairly recently, so thought I’d include it as the Witches Wand to make the whole thing ‘complete’.  All she needed now was her black cat.  Which I have (Alf Capone) … but it’s so difficult to photograph black cats!

Anyhoo …  as I am want to say …  That’s all there was to it!  🙂

Happy Monday!  May your day be blessed with love and may you bless someone else with your own love.

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The Friday Post – 13th October 2017

Today is … FRIDAY THE 13th.

The fear of Friday the 13th is so big that it has its own name.  It’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia – or triskaidekaphobia for short.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words Triskaidekaphobia, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

Now Friday the 13th is not universally seen as a day of misery. For example, in Italy, Friday the 17th and not Friday the 13th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck.  In fact, the number 13 is thought to be a lucky number!

In many Spanish-speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune. And  ….   For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.

OK, that’s enough of this Friday 13th silliness!  Get your notebooks ready, and put your chewing gum in the bin!  Edumacation coming up!

On this Day in History

1773The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier. The famous Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51, NGC 5194) is one of the most conspicuous, and probably the most well-known spiral galaxy in the sky.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici.  It is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky.

The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

M51 is visible through binoculars on a dark night, but with modern amateur telescopes this galaxy is truly a sight to behold. It is very forgiving on the instrument, when seen even through a humble 10 cm telescope the basic outlines of M51 and its companion are visible. Under dark skies, and with a moderate eyepiece through a 15 cm telescope, one can detect M51’s intrinsic spiral structure. With larger (>30 cm) instruments M51 is simply breathtaking. The various spiral bands are very obvious and several HII regions appear to be visible, and M51 can be seen to be attached to M51B. The shape of the X-formation in the nucleus has often been compared to the Christian cross.

1775 – The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).
1792 – In Washington, D.C., the cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid.

1843 – In New York City, Henry Jones and 11 others found B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

membership_certificate_
The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith – Membership Certificate

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (IPA: /bəneɪ ‘brɪθ/; Hebrew: בני ברית, “Sons of the Covenant”) is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others, on October 13, 1843.

The organization is engaged in a wide variety of community service and welfare activities, including the promotion of Jewish rights, assisting hospitals and victims of natural disasters, awarding scholarships to Jewish college students, and opposing anti-Semitism and racism through its Centre for Human Rights and Public Policy.

The organization’s main body is B’nai B’rith International, the entity that works with hundreds of countries around the world to increase the welfare of resident Jews.

1845A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, will make Texas a U.S. state.

1881 – Revival of the Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (a key figure in the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language) and friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations.

1884 – Greenwich is established as universal time meridian of longitude. Greenwich is a district in south-east London, England, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is best known for its maritime history and as giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Which was chosen as the universal time meridian of longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich – as depicted on a picture postcard in 1902

The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music.

Stood on the Meridian Line

A favourite thing to do when visiting is to stand with one foot either side of the Meridian Line and be photographed.

The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the sitting of the Cutty Sark and Gypsy Moth IV next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School in 1934. Greenwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created.
(Greenwich is pronounced: Gren–itch = ‘Grenitch’.)

1894 – The first Merseyside ‘derby’ football match was played at Goodison Park between Liverpool and Everton, with Everton winning 3 – 0.

1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.  Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry.”

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000-40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.

The miracle was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on 13 July, 19 August, and 13 September 1917.  The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on 13 October reveal her identity to them and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”

According to these reports, the miracle of the sun lasted approximately ten minutes.  The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principles at undisturbed length.  In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, “their ranks (those present on 13 October) included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men.  Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun.”

Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi’s several books on the matter.

• “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.” ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal’s most widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time Almeida’s previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).

    • “The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem.

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” ― Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.

• “As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multi-colored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.” ― Dr. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarem, and a priest.

    • “I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.” ― Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.

• “On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda…” ― Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.

Critical evaluation of the event
No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have “danced”, and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than forty miles out from Cova da Iria.
De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely. That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometers away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria, according to De Marchi.

Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fátima and concludes:

    The … solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon …Either all the observers in Fátima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention.

Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, postulated that a cloud of stratospheric dust changed the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easy to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.

Joe Nickell, a skeptic and investigator of paranormal phenomena, claims that the position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or “mock sun”, a sundog is a relatively common atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the “dancing sun”. Nickell suggests an explanation for this and other similar phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light and/or by the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, after image and movement). Nickell concludes that there was

“likely a combination of factors, including optical and meteorological phenomena (the sun being seen through thin clouds, causing it to appear as a silver disc; an alteration in the density of the passing clouds, so that the sun would alternatively brighten and dim, thus appearing to advance and recede; dust or moisture droplets in the atmosphere, imparting a variety of colours to sunlight; and/or other phenomena).”

However, there are marked problems with the sundog theory because the meteorological conditions at the time of the Miracle of the Sun were not conducive to such an occurrence.  Sundogs occur in the presence of cirrus clouds, which are made out of ice, not water droplets. A sundog could have occurred prior to the rainstorm but not trailing the rainstorm, which is when the phenomenon occurred. A sundog would have to have occurred, at very least, hours prior to the storm, since cirrus clouds can precede a rainstorm by a few hours. The short and brief rain experienced before the sun event, on the other hand, indicates cumulonimbus clouds.

Not everyone reported seeing the sun “dance, including the children, who reported seeing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph blessing the people. Some people only saw the radiant colours. Others saw nothing at all.

Paul Simons, in an article entitled “Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fátima”, states that he believes it possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.

Kevin McClure claims that the crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, as similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle. On this basis he believes that the crowd saw what it wanted to see. But it has been objected that McClure’s account fails to explain similar reports of people miles away, who by their own testimony were not even thinking of the event at the time, or the sudden drying of people’s sodden, rain-soaked clothes. Kevin McClure stated that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years.

Leo Madigan believes that the various witness reports of a miracle are accurate, however he alleges inconsistency of witnesses, and suggests that astonishment, fear, exaltation and imagination must have played roles in both the observing and the retelling. Madigan likens the experiences to prayer, and considers that the spiritual nature of the phenomenon explains what he describes as the inconsistency of the witnesses.

Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon. Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not unique – there have been several reported cases of high-pitched religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky.

It has been argued that the Fátima phenomenon and many UFO sights share a common cause, or even that the phenomenon was an alien craft.

Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism, proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle. Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature, but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a miracle.

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, papal legate Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.

External Links
Pictures of the crowd from, “Fatima Portugal Our Lady of Fatima”
“The True Story of Fatima” by Father John De Marchi

1924 – In Great Britain, – Labour Party leader Ramsay MacDonald became the first Prime Minister to make an election broadcast on BBC radio.

1940 – Princess Elizabeth, aged 14, (now Queen Elizabeth II), made her first radio broadcast to child evacuees.
1943 – World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.
The New York Times – front page news story

1958 – Burial of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII on the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”.

1958 – Michael Bond publishes the first story on Paddington Bear.  Michael Bond, OBE, is an English children’s author.  He is the creator of Paddington Bear and has also written about the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, as well as the animated BBC TV series The Herbs.  Bond also writes culinary mystery stories for adults featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites.

Paddington Bear 1

Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England on 13th January 1926.  He was educated at Presentation College, Reading.  During World War II Michael Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

He began writing in 1945 and sold his first short story to a magazine called ‘London Opinion’. This experience helped him decide that he wanted to be a writer.

It was while Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington and he recalls in his own words how this came about:

“I bought a small toy bear on Christmas Eve 1956. I saw it left on a shelf in a London store and felt sorry for it. I took it home as a present for my wife Brenda and named it Paddington as we were living near Paddington Station at the time. I wrote some stories about the bear, more for fun than with the idea of having them published. After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn’t written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind things I liked reading about when I was young.”

Michael Bond sent the book to his agent, Harvey Unna, who liked it and after sending it to several publishers it was eventually accepted by William Collins & Sons (now Harper Collins).  The publishers commissioned an illustrator, Peggy Fortnum, and the very first book “A Bear Called Paddington” was published on 13th October 1958.  After the first Paddington book was accepted, Michael Bond went on to write a whole series.

The polite immigrant bear from Darkest Peru, with his old bush hat, battered suitcase and marmalade sandwiches became a classic English children’s literature icon.

In fact – by 1965 his books were so successful that Michael was able to give up his job with the BBC in order to become a full-time writer.

Paddington Bear 2

Since the first publication the Paddington books have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages, including Latin.

Paddington books have been translated into thirty languages across seventy titles and sold worldwide.  Over 265 licensees, making thousands of different products across the UK, Europe, USA, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and South Africa all benefit from the universal recognition of Paddington Bear.

In total Michael Bond has written almost 150 books, including his autobiography ‘Bears and Forebears’.

Paddington with Michael Bond

Michael Bond with Paddington – Britain’s most politest Bear!

Michael Bond sadly passed away 4 1/2 months ago, in London on 27 June 2017, at the wonderful age of 91.  Thank you Michael, for adding wonderfulness to children’s lives, and to the world in general.

1963 – The term Beatlemania was coined after The Beatles appeared at the Palladium, in London. They made their debut as the top of the bill on ITV’s ‘Sunday Night at The London Palladium.’
1967 – The first game in the history of the American Basketball Association is played as the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks 134-129 in Oakland, California.

1971 – ‘World’ Series: The first night game in ‘World’ Series history is played at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes mountains, in between the borders of Argentina and Chile. By December 23, 1972 only 16 out of 45 people lived long enough to be rescued.

1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois. A cellular network is a radio network made up of a number of radio cells (or just cells) each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a cell site or base station. These cells are used to cover different areas in order to provide radio coverage over a wider area than the area of one cell. Cellular networks are inherently asymmetric with a set of fixed main transceivers each serving a cell and a set of distributed (generally, but not always, mobile) transceivers which provide services to the network’s users.
Cellular networks offer a number of advantages over alternative solutions:

    • • increased capacity
      • reduced power usage
      • better coverage

A good (and simple) example of a cellular system is an old taxi driver’s radio system where the taxi company will have several transmitters based around a city each operated by an individual operator.

1992 – In Great Britain, thousands of miners lose their jobs. The government announced plans to close one-third of Britain’s deep coal mines, putting 31,000 miners out of work.
BBC News Story

1993 – Captured American Pilot Mike Durant is filmed in an interview in captivity by a CNN camera crew.

Michael ‘Mike’ J. Durant (born July 23, 1961) is the American pilot who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Durant served in the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a CW4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others. He and his wife Lisa have six children.

1994 – In Northern IrelandThree main loyalist paramilitary groups announced a ceasefire following an IRA announcement weeks earlier.
BBC News on the Day complete with Video footage and Timeline of events

Born on this Day

1853 – Lillie Langtry, British actress (d. 1929)

1904 – Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster (d. 1978)

1917 – George Virl Osmond, Osmond family patriarch (d. 2007)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.  Known as ‘The Iron Lady’ she was the longest-serving Prime Minister for more than 150 years.

1934 – Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician

1941 – Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon and Garfunkel)

1944 – Robert Lamm, American musician (Chicago)

1946 – Edwina Currie, British politician

1947 – Sammy Hagar, American singer (Van Halen)

1948 – John Ford Coley, American musician – most well-known for his partnership in the musical duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.

1959 – Marie Osmond, American entertainer

1962 – Kelly Preston, American actress – married to John Travolta since 1991.

1969 – Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater

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Thought for the Day 

What makes you think that what you’ve done in the past is worth carrying with you, like an old burden,  into this perfect moment.?  

Let go of it.

Mentally, envisage it as a way too big, dirty, old, overcoat that you have forced yourself to wear, day in, day out, for years.

It’s heavy, … it’s grubby,  …  it’s horrible.

Imagine yourself shrugging your shoulders and shrugging the overcoat off.  Feel it slipping down your arms, falling free of your hands and sliding to the floor around your feet.

Step out of it.  Now take your first step away from it.  Then stand for a moment and feel how much lighter your life feels without it.

Now – slowly – but in a better frame of mind . . .  walk away from it.

DON’T  look back.  DON’T  turn around.  You don’t need to look at it – it’s of no use to you.

You don’t need it anymore.  Leg it go.

With every step that you take away from it, feel how much lighter you become.  Feel how your footsteps become faster . . .  until you are almost skipping with joy!

Don’t drag old baggage around with you.  Each day is a new start.  What’s gone is gone.  Start anew.  Start NOW.

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Well we’ve reached our full input of Edumacation for Friday, and now that you’re filled with information which will surprise and astound some of your family and friends, I want you to go out there and spread that information around, for just like spreading fertiliser around your garden, which helps makes things grow … so your newly learned edumacation will enrich the world.  And quite frankly, at the moment, the world really needs as much enriching as possible.

Please, have a truly beautiful Friday.  There may be a gremlin that might just get into the day, but remember, it’s not what happens to you which matters in the long run, it’s how you react to what happens to you.  You have a choice.  Choose wisely because I want you to do the best you can possibly do, for YOU.

Sending squidges in wheel barrow loads …. right to your door!

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#InkTober2017 ~ Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…

Another painting for InkTober, but this one is more simple in its design.  However, it’s ALL done in drawing inks. Even the colours are drawing inks.

You can buy drawing inks from various places and from cheap as chips to a years salary.  The inks I have are on the cheap as chips scale but, as you can see, if you know how to make them work for you then they’ll work for you.  And, since I was, for the first time, joining in with Inktober, and wasn’t sure that I would take this form of art up as part of my crafty loves, I didn’t want to invest in expensive equipment.

Crawford & Black Acrylic Drawing Ink

The drawing inks in the above photo are the coloured inks I bought to try, and which I used for this inking.  I bought this whole set of glass bottles of coloured drawing inks, 6 bottles of Black, Brown, Green, Blue, Yellow and Red, all of them in screw top bottles with an ‘eye dropper’ set into the lids, so that you can lift as much or as little ink out as you need.  The whole set cost me just £6.00, and (so long as you’re in the UK) you can buy them from The Works  <–Link to these inks, opens up in a new window for you.

It’s quite a thick looking ink and not the thin runny stuff you might be used to. It’s not the sort of stuff you can use in an ink pen.  But you can, to some extent, manipulate it and dilute it with water a little.  I would strongly suggest that if you buy some, you play with it first on some scraps of watercolour paper so that you get accustomed to how it likes you to play.

I also have some Rose Gold, Copper and Light Silver Drawing Ink, made by Ocaldo.  Again, I found these as a set of three for £6.00 at  The Works  <– link opens in a new window for you.  The link takes you to the set of three inks, but they are available as individual inks for £2.50 each. (in the search bar at The Works simply type ‘Drawing Ink’, and it should give you the various selections it has).

I used the silver for the central rod of the umbrella, and tiny touches of it for the silver bits inside the umbrella which make it hold its shape when it’s open.  (I have no idea what those silvery bits are – possibly, maybe the ‘frame’ – perhaps?).

#InkTober2017 Raindrops keep falling on my head 2

#Inktober2017 – Taken with the flash on to make the silver ink show up – but the flash has dampened down the red of the umbrella.  It looks more like the first photo at the head of this post

The blue of the raindrops was made using the blue from the Crawford and Black set of inks, and the pinky red of the umbrella was created using the Red from the same set.

And that’s about all there is to it.  A simple little ink drawing.  It was about all I could come up with as  ‘inspiration’ has apparently taken a sick day.

For those who are singing the song … (and for those who like a little movie nostagia now and again) …  the song and clip from the movie ….

I hope your Tuesday is or has been a truly lovely one.  May the rest of your day be blessed.

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#InkTober2017 6th ~ Love – is all you need!

I’ve not really ‘done’ a Zentangle before.  I’ve dabbled and kind of began drawing one, but begin is as far as it ever got.  Words were said, such as:  “I can’t quite understand the joy of this…”  and ….  “.. it’s pretty … but … I’m not sure I’m cut out for it.”.  And that’s as far as my venture into this unknown thing got.

Inktober

So when I was trying to think of something to draw for a daily drawing #InkTober2017 and Zentangling popped into my head, I should have wondered why.

What was I thinking?  I know that a Zentangle looks like a quick bit of doodling, but I’m here to tell all those of you who haven’t tried their hand at this form of artwork, that it’s anything but quick.  Of course, it would have been a couple of hours shorter had I not began by measuring it out, cutting the right size of paper and got to the drawing of ‘V’ (I’d already drawn and coloured L and O – I didn’t want to lean on any artwork and dirty it, so thought I’d colour it in one letter at a time) …  and it was after I began to draw the letter V that a slow dawning realisation came about that although I’d measured out correctly the size of the letters, I’d forgotten to add in the space between the letters which I’d require, so I had to start aaalllll over AGAIN!  Grrrr!

To be honest I’m not sure if it’s the planning and sketching out which takes the time, or the then drawing and colouring, but the whole lot adds up to a lot of work. It’s harder than it looks and I now have a new-found respect for anyone who does this as their chosen form of art.  Seriously so.

Anyhoo …  I didn’t get to post a photo yesterday for Inktober 5th so I’m missing a day, but I’m sure I won’t be expelled for it.  So this colourful bit of Zentangled Art is my #InkTober 6th inking.

#InkTober2017 Love is all you Need 2

When I look at it, now that it’s done, I can’t help feeling that maybe this type of Artwork is this modern ages version of Illuminated Manuscript.

I kind of planned it out in pencil before hand, but then added the loops and coils and danglings and curly bits, twirly bits, hearts, dots etc etc, as I inked the words using a Zig Memory System Ink Pen by Kuretake.  Everything was drawn out in that pen.  From thin to thick lines – all the black you see is that one pen.

All the colour on the other hand comes from ‘Kuretake Clean Color, Real Brush’ Ink Pens.  Try as I might I cannot find a better pen than these to colour with ink.  They blend so, so beautifully, and with so little effort on my part.  And clean up is so easy.  If you (for example) use a bright yellow pen against a deep red one and get a dirty brush (nib)  you simply do a tiny scribble on a scrap of paper and the pen is clean again.  VOILA!

Well … that’s my  #InkTober 6th offering which was missing.

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Now the observant among you will notice that there was something missing from today.  I’ll give the unobservant a clue:  Today is Friday.

Ding  Ding  Ding  Ding  Ding.

Yup …  there was no Friday Post.  There is a very good reason for that.  A very good reason indeed.  And when I think of it I’ll let you know.

No … actually, to be serious.  The truth is …  [hangs head, looks down at toes and kicks imaginary dirt around with the toe of her shoes] . . .   I er, umm … well … it’s like this … . . . .   I  [cough] …  I fell asleep in the chair and when I woke up I went straight to bed and forgot that I had a date with you.  I’m sorry.  I shall feel guilty for ages about it.  Well … for a moment or two anyway.  I shall make up for it by inviting you all round for coffee and cakes next week.

Until then

Have a truly wonderful weekend.  May you find something to smile about;  find something to do which you enjoy;  and …. don’t forget to put your feet up at some stage and just watch what’s going on outside … even if nothing appears to be going on outside.  Just keep watching.  Something is bound to happen – even if it’s just a bird flying past; a squirrel running up a tree or a cloud floating by.

Sending love ~

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Autumn ~ a time when every leaf becomes a flower!

I mentioned in yesterdays post,  a card I made for Beverly of More Ink Please which I couldn’t post yesterday because I hadn’t re-sized the photos .. well I have now, and I’m here to share.

I previously made just one leaf like these some time ago after I saw one on Pinterest, and fell in love with it.  The leaf I made that time, I made using the Ranger Melting Pot, however these leaves I made using a regular heat gun, to see if I could make them in the same sort of way, as I know that not everyone has a Melt Pot, and this was the result:

Autumn Leaves 1

I stamped leaves in various sizes then cut them out,  and using ink I coloured the leaves so that they had those wonderful autumnal colours.  I then shaped them and manipulated them gently so that they had ‘groves’ and bends where the should be.  Then smoothed an embossing pad over them and using extra thick embossing powders I heated the leaves using a regular heat gun.  I found that roughly three layers was enough to make the leaves have that deep, thick glow which suggested that they were made of porcelain or glass and precious.

Once cool I dragged a gold ink pen around the outside of the leaf, and finally I wrapped some gold wire around the leaves.

Then using a hot glue gun I attached them to a card which I’d prior to this, embossed the background in a tree bark look, and framed that background with a cut out,  –  but I’d embossed around the edges of that cut out in a random way using two colours of embossing powders and carefully melting them into each other.

I added a sentiment, and a bow and that was it.  Finished!  It was ready to be sent to Beverly.

Autumn Leaves 3

And that was all there was to it!  😊

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I’m still taking part in the InkTober challenge, but I ran out of time today to finish my drawing, so I’ll hopefully finish it tomorrow and post a blog post about it then.

Thank you so much for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  It’s so lovely of you to visit, and I just love seeing you.

Oh … and before you go  …  Let’s all wish Britt Ekland a Happy Birthday for today. She was born on this day, in 1942.  This fabulous fact about this lovely lady leaves me feeling wonderful and very young.    If she looks that good (I Googled to find an up to date photo of her) at her age today, then there is hope for me. (I was born a good maaany years after 1942!).  

I’m off now to put on a full face of cosmetics, find my favourite outfit out of the wardrobe and go somewhere where my glamour will be appreciated.  Somehow, Tesco’s just won’t cut it today.

As for you …  I wish you a truly blessed day.  Please do something to make someone else smile.  It doesn’t have to cost you anything.  You can simply say a bright ‘good morning’ to them, but just try to make someone smile today.  It costs nothing, and you’ll never run out of them.

Sending buckets of squidges through my computer screen, along the cables and bursting through your computer screen.  Wait for the moment they hit you … get ready …  …. NOW!  Feel that warm little wiggle inside?  You’ve just had a download of Cobs Squidges.  You should now be smiling a little smile.  Just a turn upwards of the corners of your mouth.  YES… THERE IT IS!  Aw my goodness, you look so fabulous when you smile like that.  Your eyes twinkle like little diamonds!

Have a lovely day my friend. 

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#InkTober 4th 2017

Well I did say yesterday that I’d be hard pushed to not, at some point, break open a coloured ink during InkTober this year  … and I didn’t last even a quarter of the month.  How dreadful am I?

There are gazillions of the InkTober Artists around the globe all pushing their black ink pens loyally and here I am being the bad girl.  Oooooohhh  but it’s so delicious to be bad sometimes!  😉

And .. I’m not really bad.  Not really … for I still used ink.  I used Brown Ink instead of black, and I used it straight from the bottle.  A proper glass bottle too!

Aw anyhoo, enough of my bad … let’s crack on and talk about todays inky offering…

This drawing (with some painting) was inspired by a handmade card which I made for Beverly of More Ink Please,  – no the name of her blog isn’t made up for InkTober, that really is the name of her blog. Ha!  I sent her the card just over a week ago, and she emailed me to tell me that it had arrived. YAY!  I’ll blog the card probably tomorrow as I have to re-size the photo’s still, but for today I’m sharing my offering for the 4th day of InkTober2017, which was inspired, as I said, by the card I made for Beverly.

Autumn is a much-loved season by me, so it made sense that I would have to do some sort of nod to Autumn, and here is the inking I created…

#InkTober 4 ..1

#InkTober2017 day 4

I started with the acorns on branches, on the upper left corner, and pencilled in where I wanted them to be before using ink straight from the bottle and a fine paint brush to ink up both the branches and the cups and acorns themselves.  The ink used is called Chronicle Acrylic Dip Pen Ink, in Sepia.  (I’ve had this bottle of never ending ink for years, and I’m not even sure they still make it).  I also used a Kuretake Zig Memory System Ink Pen in black, (size 005) to give some dark shadows to places where they would normally fall.  Those two things were the only colours and items used to make the acorn branches.

#InkTober 4 ..2

#InkTober2017 day 4

The Autumn leaf wreath was first drawn out lightly in pencil, then lightly again using a Zig Memory System Pigment Ink Pen, in Chocolate.  I then used Kuretake Gansai Watercolour Paints to add Autumnal colours to the leaves.  I added the twisted vine to the ‘wreath’ using the same Chronicle Ink I’d used on the Acorn branches, and also added some twisted tumbling vines too.

Using the Zig Memory System Ink Pen in chocolate, I added the ‘Autumn’ word, and that’s all there was to it!

It was quite quick to make, the majority of the time seemed to be waiting for parts to dry before moving on.

I’ve told myself that I have to be a good girl for a few days now and not dip my brushes or pens into the blue ink.  So … fingers crossed…. I might be able to do it without falling off the wagon.  (to borrow a phrase from somewhere else.  lol)

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Autumn has really arrived to the South of England.  It’s so heart stoppingly pretty here right now.  Green is beautiful .. but ohhh.. the yellows, reds and oranges,  those stunning sunburst shades that only nature can summon up from her paint-box … those colours just make me want to lie down in those leaves and do the snow angel thing.  So yummy!

Hot meals have come back onto the menu, and my soft pashmina type scarves have come out and are enjoying the odd outing now and again.

Did you know …. that today, in 1883, it was the first run of the  Orient Express.?  Well, you do now!  You can go and impress someone with your new-found knowledge and watch them as they try to work out why you’re so amazing!!  You’re welcome.  😀

Have a wonderful rest of your day!  And … when you get there … Sleep well, for tomorrow you will be gifted with another 24 hours (if you’re lucky enough) and you can join the rest of us as we do it all again … with some differences.

Sending squidges, from me in my corner to you in yours.

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