There’s a Rang-Tan in my bedroom . . .

Please,  please  watch this short video from You Tube.  It’s just one minute and 31 seconds long.  Please, please, please watch it.

I don’t know about you, but this video made me cry and I vowed that I’d share it on the blog here.

If you don’t know anything about Palm Oil, maybe I can help just a tiny bit and give you a little information:

Palm Oil is harmful is to animals if eaten, obviously causing a problem to marine life, and  a vet here in the UK even had to save the lives of 5 dogs  (<— LINK will open in another window for you)  after they ingested some on the beach.

Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil derived from palm fruit grown on oil palm trees, and it’s one of the most unsustainable industries in the world.

Causing mass deforestation around the world (specifically Africa, Asia, and America, but mostly Indonesia and Malaysia),  palm oil growth is destructive to the environment and the habitats of many now-endangered species, as well as the homes of native communities.  Because of huge demand; it’s in everything.

More than 50% (yes, you read that right – more than FIFTY PER-CENT) of the items on sale in your grocery stores, contain Palm Oil.

Most of the time, it’s a completely unnecessary ingredient but it’s so hard to find alternatives to products that don’t contain it. But at least if we’re all made aware, we can try our hardest to avoid it…

10 things you’re probably buying which contain Palm Oil and you didn’t realise it …

1.  BREAD

Most loaves of bread you buy at the supermarket will contain palm oil, so next time you go for your weekly shop, check the ingredients carefully, or even better – buy bread from the counter or a local baker and actually ask them for the list of ingredients they use!

2.  CRISPS  –  (‘Chips’ for our American readers)

It makes sense that making crisps requires some kind of oil, but sadly most of them use palm oil. The packet will likely say ‘vegetable oil’ though, so be aware (this is another commonly used name for Palm Oil). The best thing is to look for crisps that expressly use an oil like olive, sunflower or coconut, or find savoury crunchy snacks that don’t contain any oil at all!

3.  MARGARINE

Margarine is a commonly used substitute for butter and dairy spreads, but even though you’re doing a good thing by avoiding the dairy industry, most of these products contain palm/vegetable oil. Try substituting margarine in recipes with coconut oil, or olive oil.

4.  VEGAN CHEESE

Same as above, many of the dairy substitutes sadly seem to contain palm oil in some form. Keep an eye out on the ingredients and shop sustainably;  many vegan cheeses come in plastic packaging and contain loads of random additives!  (One of the reasons I don’t eat Vegan cheese!)

5.  SOAP

Many supermarket soaps seem to contain palm oil for some reason, buy from local artisans, or brands that use only natural ingredients who don’t test on animals.

6.  ICE CREAM

I have no idea why there needs to be palm oil in ice cream… odd that!  Not all brands do, so always check the label. 

7.  PIZZA BASES

Many supermarket oven pizzas or ready-made pizza bases contain palm/vegetable oil in the base.  But again, check the label because not all will.

8.  INSTANT NOODLES

A staple for all budgeters and quick-lunch-addicts alike, vegan or otherwise.  They’re probably not great for our health anyway.  Oh and yes, this includes Supernoodles, Pot Noodles and Tesco Instant Noodles (for readers in the UK).

9.  SHAMPOO

As with the soap (mentioned above),  try to support ethical/environmental brands when buying personal care/beauty products.  Places like Lush and the Body Shop are good places to start.

10.  CHOCOLATE

Palm oil in chocolate is a more rare occurrence, but still something to check on the ingredients labels.  It can be easy to avoid, so why buy it by accident?

It’s almost impossible to never buy anything with palm oil in it, but if we all are made aware of the issues and try our very best to cut down on palm oil purchases and avoid it where we can, then maybe we can each make a small difference.  All those small differences will add up to a BIG difference.

BE  A  PART  OF  THE  DIFFERENCE!

LINKS (all will open up in another window for you)

Say NO to Palm Oil

25 Sneaky Names for Palm Oil

Palm Oil is Everywhere.  Here’s what to do about it.

My BIG thanks to Anna at ‘The Cornish Life’  for help in putting this post together in a short way, as I’m totally unable to ‘do’ short because words just keep tumbling out of my head and my fingers are compelled to share those words!  tsk tsk.

Have a truly blessed rest of your day, my wonderful friend.  Thank you so much for coming, reading, and BIG THANKS particularly for watching the short video at the head of this post.  Be a part of the difference.  Alone we can achieve a small thing.  Together, we can change the world!

Sending you much love, from me in my corner, to you in yours.

Ivy Fairy Cobwebs Siggy

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Altered Spoons – Cobwebs Spoonie Spoons

In my last post I told The Story of the Spoons, which, if you missed it, or would like a refresh of the story,  you can find HERE (it will open up in a new window for you).

I shared a glimpse, at the end of The Spoon Story, of my own personal spoons which related to me and my own story, and promised that I would share each of the spoons in the photograph with you in a separate blog post — and here I am, as promised, sharing my spoons.

Cobwebs own Spoons

In the photograph above, I’ve numbered each spoon so that you can check it against which spoon you’re reading about and looking at.  There are 12 (twelve) spoons in total and each one is decorated differently than any other in the set, and each of them has a meaning to me.  I’ll give a little explanation of each spoon as I share them.  Shall we get on with it?

SPOON 1

The photo on the left shows spoon 1 and a spoon before I’ve given it a make-over.  (The purple rule at the bottom is showing measurements in centimetres).

The close up photo on the right, is the best one out of about ten that I took.  I think it’s the glitter which made this spoon difficult for the camera to know where to focus.  All that twinkling.

The spoon was coloured using Alcohol Inks, then the bowl of the spoon was treated to three different colours of glitter, and I would like to believe it looks like a magical Fairy sky would look at Sunset, with twinkles of many colours.  The crescent moon is a Tibetan Silver charm, of which:-  the moon part I covered in very fine silver glitter dust.  The bright yellow/gold, is a star.  And the Fairy Wings were given a white glitter covering.

SPOON 2

Spoon 2.  This second spoon talks of my love of Poppies. 

My mother grew some spectacular Poppies in her garden, and after she passed, Mr.Cobs collected the dried out Poppy heads so that I could grow her Poppies in our garden.  And then, after we sold our old cottage a few years ago, Mr.Cobs made sure that I had a plentiful supply of Poppy seeds from dried out Poppy heads to take 200 miles to our new cottage and we began to grow those Poppies all over again in our new garden, here in ‘Cobweb Cottage’.

The handle of the spoon is painted in the Poppies and the colours of them – red, black and yellow – using alcohol inks.  The Poppy in the bowl of the spoon is decoupaged, using printed tissue paper and Modge Podge.  The plant pot on the bowl of the spoon which the poppy is ‘growing’ out of, was made by me from clay and I ‘mossed’ it up a little to give it a bit of texture.

SPOON 3

Spoon 3:  Spoon three is about being a Spoonie – as you might have guessed by the teeny tiny spoon on the handle.  I talked about and explained what being a Spoonie was in my last post:  The Story of the Spoons (link supplied in the first paragraph of this post).  The colours of the spoon don’t quite show up as the true colours – but they represent pain, discomfort, golden days of fabulousness, and a touch of black because pain can be a real meanie.  The teeny tiny spoon on the handle basically tells you what the tea-spoon is about.  Again, the colour on the spoon are made using alcohol inks.

SPOON 4 

Spoon 4 is Butterflies.  I love butterflies.  They have a love of life which shows itself in the way they get so excited when they’re flying.  It’s as if, with every flap of their wings, they’re mind-blowing, excitedly saying, over and over,  “I’m alive!  I’m Alive!  I’M ALIVE!”.

I think it was my very first visit to a Butterfly Farm many years ago, which sealed the deal for me regarding butterflies.  I never knew there were SO many  truly  AMAZING  species of butterflies in the world,  and … I found out on that visit, that some butterflies love painted toe nails!!   One butterfly kept me captive, sat on a bench, with my leg stretched out, while it investigated the pinky red nail polish which I had on my toes.  I think it was at that moment that my heart was stolen by that butterfly and I have an allegiance to them for ever more.

Spoon 4 was created using Alcohol Inks,  and I decoupaged the bowl of the spoon.  The silver butterfly is a Tibetan silver charm, and I added those teeny tiny balls, in three colours.  There’s a name for those teeny tiny balls, and right at this moment of typing I cannot remember what the dickens they’re called.  (sigh – brain fog). If any of you can remember, do give my brain a prod in a comment, and I’ll add it here.  (Big Thank You in advance!)

MICRO BEADS!!!  They’re called Micro Beads!   I would dearly love to tell you that my brain started working again, but I won’t tell fibs.  It was the FANTABULOUS  BEVERLY PARKISON from More Ink Please who has a fully working brain and instantly knew what these brilliant beads are called.  Thank you Bev!  ❤

SPOON 5 

Spoon 5  . .  awww, I love, love, love this spoon.  It’s WAY prettier and filled with heaps more magic, than the photo’s show it to be.  It’s what I think a Galaxy should look like.  And … Magic.  I reckon every magic spell should work only after you’ve waved your wand and a flash of magic happens in the colours and ‘amazingness’ of that spoon.

The colours are all made using alcohol inks,  and I then added different types of glitters and teeny, tiny sequins to, and finished it off with some flat backed pearls on the handle.

SPOONs  6  and  7

Spoon 6  (above)  – is one of a pair.  There’s Mr.Bear (as seen on Spoon 6 above),  and there is a Mrs.Bear which is . . .  SPOON 7 (below)

These bear spoons talk about my affection for Teddy Bears.  Not all of them, but there are some bears which ‘speak’ to me and it’s those bears which I fall in love with.  I don’t collect bears though.

I still have my very first Teddy Bear which was given to me not long after I was born, and is actually older than me – (so there IS something which is older than dirt then!).  As a child I loved that bear so much and he went everywhere with me.  Many years have passed since I arrived on this planet, and I still love him (‘Teddy’ – his name is simply ‘Teddy’)  just as much now,  and there are times that I will pick him up and give him a hug – just like I used to all those years ago.

I did have another bear, bought as a Christmas gift by Mr.Cobs, some years ago.  However, one incredible little boy,  Grandson: Little Cobs,  fell in love with him and,  following an urgent phone call one night from his mummy,  I ended up driving like a speed demon, carrying a certain bear on board, to Daughter (No.2) and Son-in-laws house and taking that bear to a sobbing Little Cobs.  He apparently couldn’t continue in life without it.  Being 2 years old, as he was at the time,  is so tough.  😉

Mr and Mrs. Bear spoons were both made using alcohol inks and decoupaged with bear patterned tissue paper, and finally, some of those tiny beads (which I still can’t remember the name of).   amended to add:  They’re called Micro Beads – thank you Beverly Parkison of More Ink Please, for your brain power!

SPOON 8

Spoon 8

Spoon 8 . . . tells of my incredulous awe of Dragonflies.  I  LOVE them! They’re the most astonishing, magical little creatures,  made by One who knows more than any artist will ever know.

Dragonfly’s are incredible insects and I am convinced that they’re magical beasts made for fairyland flight.  (hey, Goblins and the like, who have no wings,  have to get around somehow!)

Alcohol Inks were used to create the magical colours to spoon 8.

SPOON 9

Spoon 9 . . .  kind of speaks for itself.  It has a Cobweb (guess why) on the handle, and a tiny handmade (by me) Fairy House nestled in the bowl of the spoon.

I couldn’t get all the colours to shown up in the photo’s, but there’s blue, green, red, yellow, and peach – all of which were obtained using Alcohol Inks.  The bowl of the spoon is decoupaged in tissue and the tiny Fairy Home is finally attached to the bowl.

SPOON 10

Spoon 10 . . . well there had to be a ‘loving spoon’  somewhere in the mix,  because ‘love’ is what I’m all about!  Again, this spoon has some really beautiful colours to the handle, and I love the way the Alcohol Inks blended together in the forming of the pattern down the handle.

The bowl of the spoon was decoupaged with tissue, and I added a wiggly line of three different colours of glitter all around the edge of the spoon.  Finally, I fixed the pink gemstone heart, set in a rose gold colour metal bezel, to the centre of the bowl, added two gems to the handle and VOILA!  Spoon 10 was complete.

SPOON 11

Spoon 11 is another spoon which features a Dragonfly.  But this one is flying ….and there’s a story behind it:

I once captured a dragonflywell … I’m not really sure I ‘captured’ it or if it simply wanted me to share its beauty. . . .

It landed on the windowsill outside the dining room window, and I put my hand slowly and carefully next to it as you would if you wanted a bird to step onto your hand.  The dragonfly did that very thing, and I then got Mr.Cobs to put some leaves into a large round glass vase thing.  I offered up the big glass bowl/vase to the dragonfly and . . .  he walked in!!!  (The dragonfly walked in, not Mr.Cobs! eeek! lol).

I knew that Daughter No.2 would have loved to have seen it, but she was only (around) 8 years old at the time, and it was a school day  . . .  the school was only across the road. . .  and I was known at the school as I did some voluntary teaching there with children who had learning difficulties,  . . . so  . . .  I walked the glass vase/bowl over the road to the school, knocked on the classroom door and spoke to the teacher, showing her what I’d got.  She was thrilled to bits, and asked if perhaps I would leave it with them for the afternoon.  I did …. and then when I collected daughter No.2 at the end of the day I took the vase/bowl outside and we released the dragonfly together.  He took off and we watched him until we could see him no more.

That Dragonfly put a memory in my heart so strong and so magical, that I simply had to dedicate a spoon to it.

And finally . . . 

SPOON 12

Spoon 12. . .    the final spoon in the set of twelve spoons, and is a celebration of my love of Pearls.  I have long strings of pearls, short sets of pearls;  medium lengths of Pearls.   One strand, two strands, three strands and four strands.

I have my Grandmothers Pearls (which I got married in, despite everyone telling me that it was bad luck to wear pearls on your Wedding Day).  I’ve got Pearl Earrings – drops, studs and clips, and pearls in different colours.  I have rings with pearls in them – my oldest is a Pearl and Ruby ring bought for me for Mothers Day when our girls were little.

And I have a brand new set of Pearls, shorter than my smallest set, but they’re BIG pearls and the lustre is like they’ve been dusted in Fairy Dust.  They were bought for me as an early Christmas Present, last month.  I saw them, fell in loooooooove with them, and then discovered that they were (just for ten days) on sale at 50% off!  BARGAIN OF THE YEAR!  Mr.Cobs said ‘yes’ straight away when I mentioned them to him, and so the deal was done.

I only have one set of ‘pretend’ pearls – which I wear when I’m with Little Cobs.  Not saying that he would break them – but I would cry a lot less about those being broken than I would about any of my other pearls being broken.

BIG TIP OF THE DAY .. for all you fellow necklace of any sort wearers:  If ever you break your string of beads or pearls, and A) can’t get them re-strung for whatever reason;  and  B) don’t have the special beading string to re-string them with;  then you can use the second best thing….  Dental Floss to re-string them yourself!

Yes, I kid ye not.  Dental floss is really strong and thin enough to go through a bead/pearl and hold a whole length of beads/pearls.

And that’s it.  Cobs Spoons because she’s a spoonie.  (again, if you don’t know what that is, see the link at the top of this post and you’ll be able to read).

continuation of The Spoon Story Cobwebs Spoons

Of course …  you don’t have to be a Spoonie to have a set of decorated spoons.  You could have a set just to celebrate who you are.  Or maybe tell a story which is a favourite of yours or someone elses:   Maybe Christmas Bear Spoons?:  Night Before Christmas Spoons?:  Hungry Caterpillar Spoons?:  Harry Potter Spoons:  Wuthering Heights Spoons?:  Apostle Spoons?  – or any thing,  any person,  any story etc etc which means something to you.

You could make one, two, three or as many spoons as you would like, to keep or to give as a gift to someone else.  For a child.  A Wedding Couple.  Anniversary.  Birthday (maybe even give one each year).  Easter.  Christmas.   Spoons in a theme – cats;  dogs;  birds;  cars; fancy handbags;  expensive shoes;  etc.  A spoon for a nurse, your doctor, your childs teachers.  ANYONE.  Obviously, if it’s a gift you’re going to want to present it nicely,  simply wrapped in beautiful tissue and a ribbon.  But it would make such a great gift and because you were making it for a particular person, for a particular reason, it would be personal, and how much more perfect could that be?!!

Do let me know if you feel inspired to make a spoon or two.  You don’t have to spend tons of money.  Just some Tissue Paper, some Modge Podge,  maybe a little glitter or a small decoration (try looking for junk jewellery at your charity shop which  you can break apart and use some of the elements from), and that could be all you need!  Obviously you can get as decorative as you like.  But these metal spoons are a really easy project to make.  Even a total non-crafter could make these.  Truthfully.

Thank you so much for coming and spending some time with me.  It’s great to have your company. 

Wishing you a blessed rest of your day, and a truly fabulous new week . . . 

Ivy Fairy Cobwebs Siggy

[Cobwebs:  Cleverly Disguised as an Adult]

The Story of the Spoons.

For the next few minutes I’d like to invite you to come on a [sort of] journey with me.  We’re going to run through a typical day of yours,   but,  we’re going to do it in a way that most of you might not have done before.

There is a saying which goes:  “Everything in life has to be paid for” …  and, when you think about it, it’s pretty much correct.   Now for your journey, I’m going to give you 12 (twelve) spoons.

Here they are.  Your 12 spoons,  all laid out nice and tidy.  

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 12 spoons

These just happen to be little wooden spoons, but they could just as easily be metal or plastic.  Or maybe big wooden cooking spoons.  Dessert spoons;  tea spoons;  table spoons …  any spoons you like.  Even a total mixture of spoons.  But just twelve of them.

These spoons are going to be your ‘currency’ – but not for buying clothes, sweets, furnishings, etc.  These spoons are a currency for something else entirely.  Something which we all take for granted.

Anyhoo  …  here’s where we begin your journey through your day, and where we ‘spend’ your spoons.   Let’s start with …

  • You wake up in the morning.  You sit up and sit on the side of the bed while you put your slippers on and contemplate standing up.  Now doing that  ‘effort’  has just cost you a spoon.  Your balance is now 11 spoons.

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 11 spoons

  • You stand up and make your way to the bathroom.  That effort cost you a spoon.  10 spoons left. . . .

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 10 spoons

Now … do you have a shower or go and have a coffee first?  Ah, let’s have a shower. . .

  • So … shower, towel dry,  and brush your teeth.  Phew!  That was quite an effort!  You just used 2 spoons.  (yes TWO!).  The balance is now 8 spoons.

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 8 spoons

  • You take yourself off to the kitchen,  make a coffee,  eat some breakfast.  Then either watch a little news on the TV,  or read the paper,  or perhaps you log onto your computer and check the news on-line or read/reply to emails.  Pay another 2 spoons.  The Balance on your spoon account is6 spoons.

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 6

Let’s see …  next on the list is getting to work – by bus or train or car.  Or ... you may be taking the children to school.  Or perhaps you stay home and so maybe cleaning the house or even maybe going shopping!

  • Now I know from experience how frustrating getting to work can be, whether you go by car, bus or train (or a combination of all) so just getting to work is going to cost you at the very least 2 spoons.   Your balance is now 4 spoons.
  • BUT…  if you don’t go to work and instead you do some cleaning and tidying of the house, then a short walk of the dog, or just a walk yourself for the fresh air and exercise,   then you too will have used up 2 spoons, so that means your balance is 4 spoons also.

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 4

Let’s say that it’s now 11.30am.  You began the day with 12 spoons, and you now have  only 4 spoons left.

4 spoons.  It’s only 11.30am, and you still have things to do before lunch, and still have to get through lunch!  You’d better pace yourself.

You decide to just sit at your desk and work.  Not getting out of your seat or expending more than the necessary energy you absolutely need to, just to get you to lunch time.  Orif you’re at home, you decide the best thing to do would be to sit and watch some day time TV and relax as much as possible.  You need to hang on to your spoons!!!

  • Lunch time arrives.  You have to leave your desk to go and buy lunch, or leave the sofa to go and make lunch.  This effort costs you 1 spoon.  3 spoons left.

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 3

Three spoons, and you know that you still have to get home from work,  and, or – if you don’t go out to work, then you have to prepare and cook dinner.  Even if it’s only for yourself, you still have to make yourself something … and there are only 3 spoons left.  It’s now 2.30pm.  You’re going to have to work out how to go through till dinner time with only three spoons.

The afternoon sat at your desk (or on the sofa) sounds like the best thing – but you won’t be able to go and get yourself a coffee or tea, or even water …. because that would cost you a spoon.  But you’re going to get thirsty and then you’ll get dehydrated which will give you a headache.  Oh dear, what to do?

  • It’s now 4.30pm and you’re hot, dehydrated, uncomfortable and getting just a little ratty because you’re in need of water.  You HAVE to get water.  You think carefully . . .  and tell yourself to get TWO cups or glasses of water so that you don’t have to stand up and get another glass if you get thirsty again.  So you do that very thing.  Two glasses of water.  You’re happy.  You feel like you’ve beaten the system.  YAY!

But you’ve lost another spoon!  Spoon Balance:  TWO

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 2

It’s now time to go home from work, – or time to get off the sofa and begin the preparation of food for dinner.  The journey into work cost you 2 spoons – so you have just enough spoons to get you home.  RELIEF!   All your spoons used up, but you’re on your way home!  phew!  That was a close thing!

Or … if you don’t go out to work:  you use up one spoon preparing a simple dinner.  So therefore you have one spoon left. 

The Spoon Story told by Cobwebs 1

Then doorbell rings.  Aw who the heck can that be? 

  • You go and answer the door.  It’s the next door neighbour bringing the big punch bowl that she borrowed for her party last weekend.  She stays for a chat on the doorstep – which is lovely because you haven’t seen a soul all day, so it’s really fabulous to see someone and chat!   She shares with you how the party went and how thrilled she was that she’d borrowed your punch bowl.  A five-minute chat quickly turns into 12 minutes of laughing and talking about the weather, the garden, the cost of living.  But eventually she leaves.  You bring the punch bowl into the kitchen and realise how drained you feel, having had to stand at the door with that heavy crystal glass punch bowl in your arms, getting heavier and heavier as the minutes pass by …. and all the time knowing that if you didn’t sit down in a moment you were going to fall down!

You go into the living room and flop down, exhausted, on the sofa....  and as you do so, you realise that you just used up your last spoon standing at the door chatting.

BALANCE  =  ZERO  –  NO SPOONS LEFT.

You’re home, you’re in a safe place ….  but  you’re hungry.  It’s been a long day.  You’re looking forward to dinner.  But . . .  hang on . . .  how are you going to find the necessary effort to cook dinner, then clear away afterwards, do the washing up and tidy the kitchen up again?  You have no spoons left.

This is a problem.  You can’t have what you can’t pay for.  Spoons have been your currency all day, and you’ve had to spend those spoons carefully.  But …  you now don’t have any left to get you through the last few hours of your day, feed yourself or even take yourself to bed.

So … what if you were able to borrow a couple of spoons?   2 spoons from tomorrows 12.  It will mean that you’ll only get 10 spoons tomorrow – but at least you’ll have an extra two spoons today, which will let you cook the dinner, eat it and then clean up afterwards.

Do you take the spoons?  Knowing that tomorrow you won’t then have enough spoons to last the whole day … or do you decide that you won’t eat dinner?

Lets say you take the offer … you cook dinner, eat and clean up. There. All done and dusted.

However,  later . . .  you want to go to bed – so you’ll need to get undressed, take a shower, brush the teeth, and finally … clamber into bed.

Aahhhh   .. hang on.  You don’t have any spoons left again.  You need an extra couple of spoons for all that, and you’re so very tired.  So weary.  You’re in pain.  Your legs hurt.  Your back is killing you.  Your neck is aching.  You’re having some muscle spasms which are hurting you.  Your arms feel so heavy that you can’t seem to pick them up.  You can’t think straight, your head seems to be all fuzzy.   Your hands keep jerking.  You can feel the nerves all over your body buzzing – as if someone has plugged you into some sort of electrical supply.  You NEED to lie down.  You cannot stand up any longer.

You’re unable to think or even talk properly.  You’re beginning to stutter and you can’t think why on earth your body is letting you down so badly.  Perhaps someone should call an ambulance because this really isn’t right.  You NEED TO LIE DOWN.  But you have no spoons which would enable to get you to your bed.

Readers . . .  what you’ve just read is my version or explanation of something called ‘The Spoon Theory’, originally written by a lady called Christine Miserandino who has Lupus, and who made up the spoon theory in order to explain to her friends how her condition affects her day.

I’ve just walked you/talked you through a typical day for you, or someone you know, and it was my way giving you an idea about what is experienced as a daily life of someone who suffers with a chronic illness and chronic pain.

A healthy person can begin a day with an unlimited amount of spoons (or energy), while a ‘spoonie’ (the term used to describe those who fall under the spoon theory) might have perhaps only 8 spoons at the start of their day, or sometimes even less.

There is no control over the amount of spoons because with chronic illnesses, the person suffering has no control over this important factor..  With a chronic pain syndrome, a ‘spoonie’ could wake up one day feeling great and have 12 spoons, but they could wake up the next day feeling just dreadful and with five or six spoons – it’s always out of the control of the ‘spoonie’ concerned.  Even the simplest of tasks can quickly cause them to run out of spoons.

I know all this because like some other readers here, I myself am a Spoonie, and I have to ration my energy.  I’ve had to seriously ration it over the past X number of months, as things have become more and more of a struggle.

I read about the Spoon Theory (by Christine Miserandino) quite some time ago and it struck me as such a wonderful way of explaining things to someone who had no idea of how a chronic illness and severe pain can seriously affect a sufferers life.  Everyone I’ve talked to about the spoon story and talked them through a typical (for them) day, using an imaginary set of 12 spoons, have had a moment where I actually saw a light bulb go off inside their head as they ‘got it’.  Even Mr.Cobs!

I even have my own set of 12 personalised spoons . . . 

Cobwebs own Spoons

. . .  and these spoons hang in my home, here in Cobweb Cottage.

Each of those spoons started life as an ordinary tea-spoon, but none of them are ordinary any more.  I took photographs of them a couple of weeks ago and have been wanting to share them with you.  But … this blog post has gone on long enough so I won’t bore you to tears with them right now.

However – I will share each teaspoon with you in my next post, so that if you want to make yourself some decorative spoons which mean something special to you, or maybe make one or more decorative spoons for someone else, then you might find a spark of inspiration from gazing at my spoons and it could set you off on a course of creativity which you hadn’t thought of before.

Next blog post in a few days time,  …. I promise 🙂

The reason for sharing the Spoon Story with you today is because I spoke about it,  a couple or so weeks ago,  in a reply to a comment which someone posted on the blog here.  Another blogger read that comment and then we chatted about it, and I promised that I would post a blog post all about the Spoon Story (my version) – and said I’d post it in two weeks time.  Well…. it’s now three weeks (or a bit more), but real life and a poorly doggy have got in the way, but, as the saying goes,  ‘better late than never’, eh?

Thank you so much for coming and for taking time out of your day to spend a coffee moment with me.  Your company is very much appreciated. . .  but then … you know that already.  😉  

May you have a blessed rest of your day, and a truly lovely week.

Sending you much love and a whole bundle of squidges ~

Sig coffee copy

Eloquent Acorns! They speak to you!

I love Acorns – and Pine Cones – and Broken Branches – and Conkers – and Sycamore Seeds (or as Daughters 1 and 2 used to call them:  Helicopters), – and Conkers (seeds of  the horse chestnut tree)  – and … well anything which trees give to us.  They’re all such wonderful gifts from Nature and given to us freely.  So making an Acorn project is an absolute joy!

Eloquent Acorns boxed and single acorn

These particular Acorns aren’t  ‘fallen from a tree’  Acorns.  These are cut and turned pieces of hard wood, shaped into beautiful little Acorns, sanded smooth and ready for me to do something wonderful with.  So I did.  I gave each Acorn a voice of its own and brought forth the positivity which I could feel just from holding the Acorn in my hand.

It was the oddest thing, but with each acorn I could feel a real feeling of uplifting comfort;  encouragement;  calmness;  peaceful and peace filled,   and .. oh … what felt like a hundred different feelings of wonderfulness.  I began to notice that upon holding each acorn in the palm of my hand, I would get a different word pop into my mind.  So I began to write the words down on my note pad.  And, as you can see from the photo’s – now, each acorn travels with its own word emblazoned on its little nut!

Eloquent Acorns hanging on stand copy

Each of the Acorns is meant as symbol of encouragement and positivity. 

An Acorn by Doc Zantamata

Acorns really are little miracles.

I know that people now are too cynical and don’t believe in miracles, or there are some who are of the belief that miracles are the work of a dark force.  Whereas I …  aw,  I see miracles happen every single day.

This summer, I’ve watched the baby squirrels born in the tree tops, in the garden of Cobweb Cottage,  leave their nest,  with mommy in attendance,  and learn to carefully scramble down and back up the tree again.  I watched them day after day, slowly learn to race up and down the huge, tall pine trees, and laugh and cackle and ‘bark’ at each other as they’ve learnt to jump the wide spaces from one tree to another.  All the time they were keeping an eye on Miss Maisie the Cat who cannot understand how these strange, chattering creatures can move so fast!  And there I am,  stood in the garden,  giving thanks for being in the right place, at the right time, to witness the miracle of baby squirrels growing up and learning how to do what they were doing,  and smiling all the time, feeling blessed, because I was watching this miracle of nature.

I’ve sat in my craft room in the garden, and watched a Magpie learn how to play and get a bit of fun by standing on the high ridge of the Cottage and drop a pebble so that it bounces over and over down the roof and then finally hits the conservatory roof and flies off onto the decking where it makes a combined noise of ‘PLOP’ and ‘CRACK’.  And that Magpie LOVES his game.  So much so that he pops off, finds another pebble then comes back and goes through the whole game all over again.  Now … call me daft, but in my mind, him teaching himself this game is a little miracle to me, and I watch him in wonderment, all the time grinning like a fool – so much so that my face begins to ache!

I’ve heard baby birds in our nest boxes, emerging from their eggs and screeching for their food, when they hear the mommy bird land on the nest box with a beak filled with wriggling insects.  The miracle of life.  Nature.  Every day!  FREE!

Nature sends us Postcards all day every day, but unless you look up and see these Postcards then you’ll miss them and not see the Miracles that these Postcards hold.

And likewise …  Acorns are, for me at least, a Postcard.  And these Acorns, are my version of those postcards.  My interpretation, if you like.

Eloquent Acorns selection

Each one has a completely different, uplifting, positive, word of encouragement and meaning.  No two are the same.

They can be popped into your bag or your pocket and taken with you wherever you go.  Or, because they come with a ribbon on them,  they could be hung on a Christmas Tree, or a metal hanger, or maybe one of those crocodile grip/note holders on your desk.  Or simply put somewhere you want them to be, so that you see them now and again and they remind you of their message.

I have to admit that these weren’t a quick make.  I’ve been making these over the past few weeks, doing a bit now and again, then waiting until I can get to the next stage.  I knew how I wanted them to look so had already planned out how to get there.  But …  they did take rather longer than I would have liked.  

What’s that thing Confucius said about going slowly?  …  …  … 

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”

Yeah  …. that about sums up life here in Cobweb Cottage.  🙂  Wise man, that Confucius.

Well, that’s me done and dusted.  Now let’s get to the important bit . . .

How the dickens are you?

Is life treating you kindly?  Is everything fine and groovy in your world, or is something causing you a bit of trouble?  Feel free to unburden yourself and if I can help in any way, or suggest something you might not have thought of then I will.  If I can’t help then I’ll sit with you and just hold your hand.

If someone is bothering you, then you tell me who they are and I’ll put on my boots and come and sort them out!!  I might be little, but when I’m roused I am MIGHTY!  (and I can control a classroom of  noise makers  even when their own teacher can’t – simply by saying  …..  “ERMmmmm  Excuse ME??!!!!!”  In the right way, right tone, and right volume.  And yet … they all still love me afterwards.  LOL! – yes, it’s really true!).  So coming and sorting someone out for you will be a walk in the park!

BUT …  if life is treating you kindly and you’ve won a few pounds on the lottery (or couple of dollars), then do tell because I can then laugh with you as we plan your spending trip!  Maybe you’ve made a new friend?  Got a new job?  New baby?  New House? (Rabbit 🙂 ).  New car?  Old car back from the garage but with a lower bill than you expected?

Whatever it is, if it’s happening or on your mind, then share and/or unburden and we’ll have a coffee together and chew it over.  Oh…  and I have biscuits – so we can chew on those too!

For now, I must thank you so very much for coming, and for spending a coffee moment with me.  I’m so happy to see you here.  Seriously so.  You make the internet such a great place for me to be  . . . and I know that for some folks, it can be a bloomin’ nightmare!  So thank you.  You’re amazing.

Sending much love to you my fabulous blog friend, and wishing you a truly wonderful day.

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Broom Pole Bird Houses.

Stood in the kitchen, a few weeks ago, I saw a movement outside the kitchen window.  Mr.Cobs was out there and up to something.  Hmmm.  [thinks to self:]  I thought I just saw him . . .   or did I?  Was that a . . . ?  Did I see him just . . .?

When he came into the house I asked him:

“Did you, by any chance, just throw a long bit of wood into the bin?” 

“Yes” came the reply, “the broom pole (handle) has broken, so I was throwing it away.  Why?” 

“Nooooooo!” I said (wide-eyed).  “Oh, please don’t throw it away.  Can you get it back out again?”

“Well yes, course I can,  but why?  What the heck do you want it for?”. 

“Well, …  I don’t actually know right at this moment ….  but I will know.  At some point.  There’s something inside my brain cell which is trying to send me a message.  I know I can use that broken broom pole.  Please save it for me?  In the shed perhaps?  Can you?  Pleeeease??  (I said in my sweetest voice).

So, bless his beautiful heart, he went and rescued the broken broom pole (for folks outside the UK – we here in the United Kingdom tend to refer to the handle of a broom as a broom pole), and put it in his shed.  Last week I finally received the message from HQ (aka: my one remaining brain cell), and the message was ….  Make Bird Houses!

I showed Mr.C a drawing and gave him a rough measurement, with the instructions:  “They don’t have to be perfect, in fact not perfect would be perfect  – but can you just cut 3 bits off the broom pole to *this* size, and once they’re cut, if you can give them to me I’ll draw where I want them cut again so that it will make the slope for the roof. Thank Yooooou!”  [said in a singy songy way with a sweet, smiling face].  And, God bless his wonderful heart, he cut the wood bits for me, gave them to me and . . .  I could tell by the look on his face that he thought (not for the first time) that I was bonkers.

However …  he now loves what I did with those three bits of chopped up broom pole.

Let me share them with you, one by one…

3 Broompole Birdhouses (2) WoodenHouse

Broom Pole Bird Houses.  Showing you the wood stained miniature bird house, with the Red Hot Pokers growing at the base.  This bird house measures just 8.8cm – or 3.5inches.  It’s just stopped raining – and you can see the puddles of rain on the stepping-stones at the base, and rain drops on the roof of the bird house.

Each bird house stands on a ‘slice’ of dried wood, which I then decorated to give it that ‘garden’ feel.

3 Broompole Birdhouses (3) BLUEHouse

Broom Pole Bird Houses.  A side view of the little Blue stained Bird House.  This Bird House stands 9.8cm tall (or 3.85″ inches).  It has Ivy growing up around the pole which the Bird House stands on, and the Ivy then winds its way around the black tiled roof.

Each slice of wood, which the bird houses stand on, is of a slightly different size, so that there was nothing matching about any of them, other than they were tiny bird houses, a little wonky perhaps,  but all of them were stood in a charmed, magical garden,  … somewhere.

3 Broompole Birdhouses (4)) GREENHouse

Broom Pole Bird Houses.  A slightly angled view of all three bird houses so that you can see some of the details of the ‘ground’ on which they stand.

As I look at each of the bird houses I try to decide which one is my favourite, and I’m finding it quite difficult.  Mr.Cobs, however, says his favourite is the wood stained one, with the Red Hot Pokers growing around the base.  Right at this moment, I think my favourite is the Copper Roofed bird house – simply because I love that copper roof.

3 Broompole Birdhouses (5)) COPPER ROOF

Broom Pole Bird Houses.  The Copper Roof Bird House – stands 12.2cm tall.  (which is just  4.80″inches).   This bird house stands right at the edge of a small pond in which three golden coloured fish swim happily.

The Copper Roof Bird House has its own Box Tree in the shape of a ball, stood in a teeny tiny (but real) terracotta pot.  There’s a waterfall – which aerates the water for the fish, and a rock sited within the pond which is for any passing frog to sit on and spend a little time there.  The pond is surrounded by slate stones.

I REALLY enjoyed making these delight filled little Bird Houses.  They were so much fun and yet again …. they’re in my favourite size to work with …  LITTLEHope you like them too!

3 Broompole Birdhouses (6) ALL Houses

So … that’s the crafty bit over and done with so now it’s time for coffee . . . 

Fuzzy Coffee

…  and  …  time for me to make you smile:

These are the jokes folks:

Surely every car is a people carrier?

What’s the difference between a hippo and a Zippo?   One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter.

When Clowns divorce – is there a custardy battle?

I usually meet my daughter at 12:59,  because I like that one-to-one time.

My cat is recovering from a massive stroke. (think about it for a moment …. the penny will drop!)

I have a friend whose name is Fin.  Which means it’s very hard for her to end emails without sounding pretentious. 

Smilin’  now?   😀

Well that’s me done and dusted.  But what about you?  What have you been getting up to this week?  Had a birthday?  Planning a trip?  Started Christmas shopping?  Crafted something?  Feeling poorly?  Cooked something new and exciting?  Or … has someone been really lovely and/or displayed some kind of kindness towards you?

Do share with me,  and tell me what’s going on in your corner of the world.

In the meantime …  I send you my love and very best wishes.  I hope that life is treating you kindly, and that you know that everyone here cares about you very much.  

Have a truly blessed rest of your day.  Much love from me  ~

Sig coffee copy

 

Birthday Greetings … of the Hare(y) kind!

I bought these beautiful craft papers a short time ago, and knew that I’d definitely be using the Hare papers to make a particular Birthday card – and, I did, and … this is it.

Actually made in August, I saved the photos and couldn’t find where the darn I’d saved them … but a bit of a search (of around an hour long!  tsk tsk) and I found them again today, so sharing a couple of photos here with you.

Hare Birthday Card made with Wildflower Meadows Paper Craft Consortium

The papers are made by Craft Consortium (I’ll add a link to their website at the bottom of this post for those who might be interested), and are truly beautiful papers.  The images are so crisp and bright (although my photography skills are useless – forgive me), and the papers are a joy to work with.  As you can see in the photo, I used four images from the same ‘Hare’ selection, which I matted and layered onto card-stock I already had.

I used a little muslin square behind the main image, which I laid on top of some deep purple grosgrain ribbon.  Some assorted stamens, in 3 colours of purples, are peeping out from behind the medium image.   There are two tags, made from two smaller Hare images, which I tied with (hairy) string.  And I finally added some paper flowers, which I finished with some buttons for the centres.

Turning my attention to the inside of the card, I stamped an image of a Post Card, and gave it a vintage look with inks, then layered it onto some of the deep purple card which I’d also used on the front for matting and layering – so that the ‘theme’ was carried through into the inside of the card.

Inside the Hare Birthday Wildflower Meadow Card

I stamped a couple of images, which I then water-coloured.  After the above photograph was taken I went back with the water-colours and painted a little more, and just brought the whole thing more ‘to life’.  But … I then forgot to take another photo, so this sadly is the only one I have of the inside.

This was a really enjoyable make, mainly I think, because I’m kind of in love with the beautiful papers.  I have another of their collections, and can’t wait to make some cards with those too.

For those who would like a peep at what they make and who they are, I recommend their website.  It’s easy to navigate and has a great selection of images, if you’re low on inspiration.  You can visit their site here:  https://www.craftconsortium.com/

Thank you so much for coming to share this card with me.  It feels like FOREVER since I shared a card.  I’ve been enjoying myself with the clay for far too long!  (and I’m still hearing it calling to me! lol).

I know that posts are a little infrequent at the moment, but this bloomin’ bout (or flare up) of ‘poorly’ is knocking the stuffing out of me, and I am so thankful to you for all your lovely messages of support, and am so genuinely grateful for your kindness and friendship.

I’ve been thinking about …. (brace yourself) …. Christmas…  and I’ve started to make my version of something I found on Pinterest, which I think you might like.  I still have to finish the project though, so although I’m not quite ready to share it yet, I’m giving you a warning that Christmas is on its way!  EEEeeek!  lol.

Again, thank you for coming.  I love seeing you.  Have a blessed day, my fabulous friends.

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Little Cottages at the Harbour.

We have a saying, here in Great Britain, which is said to someone you haven’t seen for a time.  It’s:  ‘Well look what the cat dragged in!’,  and it seems pretty apt right now, for I haven’t been able to blog for almost 4 weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  And …. I haven’t even brought a note from my mother either!  Tsk tsk. (more about why I haven’t been, in a minute).

Well … I’m here, dragged in by the cat (so to speak), and sharing a little thing I actually made during July.  I photographed it … and then couldn’t find where I’d saved the photos, so I’ve ended up photographing it all over again, so that I could come and share it with you.  It’s called:  The Little Cottages at the Harbour.

the Little Cottages at the Harbour

I have a small bundle of driftwood, here in my craft room.  It’s all incredibly lovely to handle – so smooth and has its own story,  a  life as being part of something else – I’d love to know what, but that’s a secret kept only by the sea.  The sea did what the sea does and made this wood something incredible, but now I needed to give a piece of this driftwood a new life to lead.

I sat with a little piece of it on my desk for a few days before finally deciding that it would be a base for some little fishing cottages that would be found by the sea – perhaps not quite as close to the sea as I’ve put them here, but a little artistic licence came into play in the creating process as I very much wanted to include a boat in the scene, so water was (obviously) a must!

Close up of the Little Sail boat

see the sea-foam where it’s splashed up the bottom of the boat, and is slowly ‘dripping and draining’ away again?

The houses and the two seagulls (stood having a chat on the top of one of the houses) I made from clay.  The clothes hanging on the washing line were all cut by hand, from felt;  and the grass,  the slate pathway, the wet looking sea with its sea-foam, and all the other various bits and pieces, were all made from things I have knocking about my craft room, all stored in wee little pots, just waiting for their chance to pop out and play.

the rear of The Little Cottages at the Harbour

a view around the back of the little cottages.

Of course …  the smoke coming out of the chimney is real.  [cough-porky pie-cough]  🙂

The whole thing measures just 5.25″ long (or 13.3cm) and 1.75″ wide (4.4cm) at its widest point.

Well that’s the crafty bit over and done with … now comes why I wasn’t at school for ages.  So … if you only came to have some crafty joy, please stop reading now.  Those of you who are gluttons for punishment, read on….

An Alternative Note than one from my mother:

I shall put it all in as few words as I can:  An ongoing, long-standing medical problem is being a problem, but after six and a half years with my new doctors sending me for test after test;  so many x-rays I swear I glow in the dark;  huge great hollow needles being shoved into my hands (had to mention that one as it horrified me when I saw what they were about to do), which was testing nerve responses;  and so much blood taken from me for tests that I now put every phlebotomist under the one title of:  ‘The Dracula Brigade’ – …  I’ve finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – which,  for those who don’t know what it is,  is a disease of the central nervous system.

For years I’ve been blaming my spinal injury (result of a RTA some years ago) for all these things that had begun to happen, and they were getting worse and worse and driving me crazy, but it was something else which was happening all the time!

Apparently Heaven is determined to get its hands on me and is wearing me down, one injury, one illness, one ‘broken’ bit at a time, until I eventually give in or give out!

Then . . .  the oven [in the kitchen] decided to turn up its toes.

Then . . . the dishwasher apparently couldn’t cope with life without the oven and it died of a broken heart.

Then . . .  Mr.Cobs, in his attempt to get the dishwasher out of the kitchen, manoeuvred it out of its hole which it lived in, (under the work top).  He got the machine out but then had to crawl into the now vacated spot to unplug the dishwasher from the hidden electrical socket …. and upon completing the unplugging task, he was backing out of the space …. thought he’d backed out far enough and . . .  lifted his head . . . only to find that he’d misjudged the distance and WHAM … he hit the top of his head on the underside edge of our wooden, 2″ thick work tops and cut his head open!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!  SOOOooooo much blood!  Clean tea-towel after clean tea-towel came into use and I folded one into a firm pad and gave it to Mr.C with the instructions of putting it on the cut and holding it firmly in place.  I managed to get him to a comfortable place to sit (I was scared silly that he’d pass out on the floor, as this is not a weedy chap we’re talking about here.  He’s a tall, meaty chap and there would be no way I could pick him up or drag him anywhere!

After asking him various questions (who’s the Prime Minister of our country.  What year is it.  What’s his date of birth etc) to establish that he was still in mental working order, I feared to look but knowing that I had to . . .  with torch in hand I carefully examined the site and found that damage was a small cut of less than half an inch!  From the amount of blood I honestly thought that there would be a huge gaping gap of around 4/5 inches.  I’d already planned to call an ambulance as I feared him bleeding to death if I drove him in the car to the hospital.

He suffered a bit of a headache (as you’d expect) but a couple of pain killers and sitting quietly for a while made him feel a little better.  And … the blood flow stopped … which I’m guessing is down to the amount of prayers I shot out of my heart and head from the moment I saw the blood dripping down his face.

Rest assured though dear reader, he is perfectly fine and totally groovy now.

Of course, while all the above was going on, normal life was also taking place – as it does – but somethings got left, pushed to one side, or put on the back burner, and sadly blogging was one of those things.  Sorry about that.

I don’t know what’s going on this summer.  Is it the heat?  Is it the fact that we in Great Britain aren’t used to this amount of ‘Summer’ happening all at once?  I have no idea.  I only know that this Summer has [personally] brought trouble with it and I’ll be really rather glad to see the back of it.  I’m looking forward to Sunday, 23rd September – for that’s the official date that Autumn begins here in the UK, and from that date I’ve decided that there will be no more trouble.

Autumn is one of my most favourite times and I’m in talks with God about how life hasn’t been very fair recently.  God, though, has an answer for everything – and says if not me, then who?  And I and my heart truthfully can’t answer that one.

Anyhoo . . .  I hope that you haven’t met with any problems or even disasters, which were too much for you to cope with.  Remember – into each life a little rain must fall, so don’t feel that you’re alone when something happens out of the blue which you would rather hadn’t happened.  I can guarantee that at least one other person reading these words as you read them right now, will have gone through pretty much the same thing and can relate to how you feel.

So  . . .  If you’re going through ‘it’ … we’re all standing right beside you, cheering you on and shouting words of encouragement.  You’re not alone.  We’re right here.

Thanks for coming and taking a peep at the Little Cottages at the Harbour, and having a read of this ‘diary entry’ for what happened in August!  It’s truly great to see you.  I’ve missed you all so very much.

Have a fabulous Monday and a truly blessed week.  Much love ~ 

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