The Friday Post – 20th October 2017

Hello!  😀  Happy Friday! 

Another week has gone by and we’re still here, so let us give thanks for that blessing.  Time does crack on, but the older I get the faster it flashes past.  Why is that?  I keep asking and no one seems to have the definitive answer.  I’m pretty sure that my days are now a third less long than they used to be.

Well now … let’s have some happy news shall we?  As of today we officially have  66 days to Christmas.  Yup, it scared me too.  I’m going to go Christmas shopping next week and see if I can get ahead of the game.  It will be the first time ever if I do.  lol.  But I seek to improve myself.

So anyhoo …  you haven’t come here to listen to my chin wagging, you’ve come for your weekly dose of Edumacation.  So pencils at the ready.  Crayons are no longer allowed since  the blue crayon eating incident,  – so pencils it is.  Let’s dive straight in shall we?

Edumacation

On this Day in History

1714 – In Great Britain – The Coronation of King George I.  During George’s reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain’s first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.

1818 – The 49th Parallel was established by the USA and Britain as the official boundary between Canada and the United States of America.
1822 – In Great Britain, the first edition of the Sunday Times newspaper.

1910 – The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. RMS Olympic was the lead ship of the Olympic class ocean liners built for the White Star Line, which also included Titanic and Britannic. Unlike her sisters, Olympic served a long and illustrious career (1911 to 1935), becoming known as “Old Reliable.”

1944 – Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130.
1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.
1946 – ‘Muffin the Mule’, a wooden puppet operated by Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills) first appeared in a children’s television programme on BBC TV.

Muffin the Mule with Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills.)

1955 – Publication of The Return of the King, being the last part of The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by the English philologist J. R. R. Tolkien.

The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II.

Although intended as a single-volume work, it was originally published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955, due to post-war paper shortages, and it is in this three-volume form that it is popularly known. It has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many different languages, becoming one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-century literature.

1959 – Women’s colleges at Oxford University were given equal rights to those of the men’s.

1960 – In Great Britain – D.H Lawrence’s controversial novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, London. They were accused of publishing obscene material but were eventually found not guilty.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Wikipedia

1967: Thousands join anti-war movement. Demonstrators in Oakland, California, hold the biggest protest yet against the Vietnam War.
BBC News on the Day
1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1973 – The Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.

The “Saturday Night Massacre” was the term given by political commentators to U.S. President Richard Nixon’s executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus during the Watergate scandal on October 20, 1973.

Richardson appointed Cox in May of that year, after having given assurances to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would appoint an independent counsel to investigate the events surrounding the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972. Cox subsequently issued a subpoena to President Nixon, asking for copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office and authorized by Nixon as evidence. The president initially refused to comply with the subpoena, but on October 19, 1973, he offered what was later known as the Stennis Compromise—asking U.S. Senator John C. Stennis to review and summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office.

Cox refused the compromise that same evening, and it was believed that there would be a short rest in the legal maneuvering while government offices were closed for the weekend. However, President Nixon acted to dismiss Cox from his office the next night – a Saturday. He contacted Attorney General Richardson and ordered him to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson refused, and instead resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest.

Nixon then contacted the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and ordered him as acting head of the Justice Department to fire Cox. Richardson and Ruckelshaus had both personally assured the congressional committee overseeing the special prosecutor investigation that they would not interfere – Bork had made no such assurance to the committee. Thus, Bork complied with Nixon’s order and fired Cox. Initially, the White House claimed to have fired Ruckelshaus, but as the Washington Post article written the next day pointed out “The letter from the President to Bork also said Ruckelshaus resigned.”

Congress was infuriated by the act, which was seen as a gross abuse of Presidential power. In the days that followed, numerous bills of impeachment against the President were introduced in Congress. Nixon defended his actions in a famous press conference on November 17, 1973, in which he stated,

“…in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life that I’ve welcomed this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook! I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” 

Nixon’s presidency would later succumb to mounting pressure resulting from the Watergate scandal and its cover-up. In the face of the by-then certain threat of removal from office through impeachment and conviction, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

The now expired Ethics in Government Act of 1978, also called the Independent Counsel Act, was a direct result of the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Jim Leach resigned his commission in protest of the Saturday Night Massacre.
External Links
 Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit
The New York Times front page story

1973 – Dalai Lama makes his first UK visit. The leader of Tibet’s Buddhists arrives in Britain where he will stay for 10 days to “administer vows”.
BBC News story complete with Video footage

1973 – The Sydney Opera House opens. The Sydney Opera House is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. Based on the competition winning entry by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most distinctive 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world.

1976 – The ferry  ‘George Prince’  is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling, LA. The MV George Prince ferry disaster was a nautical disaster that occurred in the Mississippi River in Louisiana on the morning of October 20, 1976. The ferry George Prince was struck by the Norwegian tanker SS Frosta, which was traveling upriver. The collision occurred at mile post 120.8 above Head of Passes, less than three-quarters of a mile from the construction site of the bridge which would replace the ferry seven years later. The ferry was crossing from Destrehan, Louisiana on the East Bank to Luling, Louisiana on the West Bank. Ninety-six passengers and crew were aboard the ferry when it was struck, and seventy-eight perished.

1977 – A plane carrying band members of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot. Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American Southern rock band. The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition before several members, including lead vocalist and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash in 1977 five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. A tribute band was formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s younger brother, at the helm, and continues to record music today. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.

1979 – The John F Kennedy library is opened in Boston, Massachusetts.

1982 – During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster. October 20th in Moscow was a cold, windy and snowy day, and the number of tickets sold was relatively low. Only the East Stand was open for spectators and for security reasons only one exit from the stand was left open.

Some minutes before the final whistle when FC Spartak was leading 1-0, the spectators began to leave the stadium through this only exit. Then during the injury time, FC Spartak scored its second goal, and some fans who had previously left the stand turned back to return to the stadium. The returning fans collided with those who were leaving the stadium. Militsiya guards would not allow those leaving to change course and return to the stadium. A stampede ensued in which many people died or were injured. The official number of dead was 66, although many people including victims’ relatives claim this number to be significantly higher,as many as 340.

Aftermath
The only information about the disaster in Soviet media was a short article that appeared in the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva on the next day. It said: Yesterday in Luzhniki after the football match an accident occurred. There are some injured among the spectators. Some Soviet officials claimed fans themselves to be responsible. The relatives of the victims were allowed to bury them only after thirteen days. Then on February 8, 1983 a trial was held, but the only man found guilty was the commandant of the stadium Panchikhin who had been working there for only two and a half months before the disaster and was sentenced to 18 months of corrective labour. The governing body of the stadium was tried separately but was not convicted. The actions of militsiya were not examined at all despite the evidence of witnesses. For several years following the tragedy, matches were not held at Luzhniki at the end of October in order to prevent relatives of victims from laying flowers there. Only in 1989 the newspaper Sovetskiy Sport told about the disaster openly. Today, there is a monument at the place of the tragedy.

1983 – Grenada’s prime minister ‘assassinated’. Eyewitnesses say the prime minister and seven of his colleagues have been killed during a hard-line military coup.
BBC News story on the Day
1988 – The British Government announced plans to change the law so that remaining silent could incriminate rather than protect a suspect.

1991 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 was a large urban fire that occurred on the hillsides of northern Oakland, California and southeastern Berkeley on Sunday October 20, 1991, almost exactly two years after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The fire has also been called the Oakland hills firestorm,  the East Bay Hills Fire,  and the Tunnel Fire (because of its origin above the west portal of the Caldecott Tunnel) in Oakland.  The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others.  The 1,520 acres (6.2 km²) destroyed included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units.  The economic loss was estimated at $1.5 billion.

Born on this Day

1632 – Sir Christopher Wren, English architect (d. 1723) responsible for the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral following the Great Fire of London.

1780 – Pauline Bonaparte, princess Borghese, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte (d. 1825)

1785 – George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)

1822 – Thomas Hughes, English author who wrote Tom Brown’s Schooldays

1882 – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-born actor (d. 1956)

1889 – Margaret Dumont, American actress (d. 1965) remembered mostly for being the comic foil to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers movies. Groucho called her “practically the fifth Marx brother.” (In fact, there were five Marx brothers, but only a maximum of four ever performed together.)

1904 – Anna Neagle, English actress (d. 1986)

1905 – Ellery Queen, pseudonym of two American writers (d. 1982)

1913 – Grandpa Jones, American banjo player and singer and “old-time” country and gospel music singer. (d. 1998)

1932 – William Christopher, American actor best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the television series M*A*S*H and Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

1940 – Kathy Kirby, British singer

1950 – Tom Petty, American musician

1958 – Mark King, English musician and singer (Level 42)

1961 – Ian Rush, Welsh footballer

1971 – Dannii Minogue, Australian singer

1971 – Snoop Dogg, American rapper

1978 – Paul Wilson, Irish bass player (Snow Patrol)

Thought for the Day

I’m guessing that most of us, if not all of us, have had at least one ‘something’ that has happened in our lives that perhaps ‘set us back’  or maybe had a  ‘dark time’  in our lives, that we didn’t see coming or didn’t expect.

Pretty much all of us must have faced a time that we really would have rather not have had to go through.  A ‘tragedy’.  A ‘worrying time’.  A time of great struggle and pain – physical or mental pain.  I would even go as far to say that perhaps some of us have had more than one of those times.  In fact, I bet that some of us are going through one of these times right now.  This very moment.

In the darkest hours of your trials, when you’re down and miserable about what’s happening in your life, it’s easy to get even further down and miserable by just mulling over what-ever it is that’s happening to you or around you, which is making you live in a turbulent moment in time within your life span.

Worry, fear, misery, are all things that make the problem much worse for us, and because of this, the whole of our world seems desperately sad.

If you are someone who is going through a dark time, a time of trouble or misery – for whatever reason …  then just for a moment STOP.  Stay completely still. Still your body, and still your mind.  Completely relax your body, just for this one moment.

When you feel  ‘still’  inside …  go back in your memories to another time that felt like the end of the world to you.  Recall, just for a few seconds, that feeling you felt at that sad, heart sore time in your life.

Remembered it?  Recalled his terrible time from the recent or distant past?

Now . . .  remind yourself that you’re still alive.  Even after what happened.  Even after how it made you feel.  Even after all the great pain that it caused to you and your life.

Whatever it was that happened back in time,  which made you feel the way it did … changed you.  Changed your life.

And that’s the key to what’s happening right now…  or to anything that might happen to you in the future.

If you’re going through a bad time now,  or if one comes along in the future, as it surely will,  remind yourself that you have been in this  ‘feeling’  of desperation before.

And then remind yourself that …  It changed your life …   It didn’t end your life.

After every storm comes the peace.  The rain stops.  The Sky brightens.  The world moves on.  But because of the storm,  … because of the rains, …  the Earth blooms flowers again.  Things have changed.  However – the world is still here.  Just different.

Have a really great day.  Have a positive attitude today.  It’s amazing how it changes everything for you.

coffee cup

I’ve been a little lackadaisical about getting round everyone’s blogs over the past couple of weeks, and I think I’m almost caught up but I know that there are a few posts I’m still waiting to get to.

I’ve had some health issues which have been a cause for concern.  I experienced a black-out about three weeks ago now, and during the fall to the floor I badly injured my arm.  The whole episode shocked me so much that I couldn’t go out of the house for about 5 days.  I saw my doctor who ordered some tests.  I’ve had most of them, I just need now to get some blood work done and one other test.  However, he’s told me that at the moment I cannot drive.

Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE to drive.  It gives me such freedom and a feeling of great joy to be able to drive to wherever under my own steam.  Driving is something amazing to me.  I was injured in a road traffic accident some years ago, the result of which was a lower spinal injury.    I was a passenger in a car, which was stationary at a junction.  A car, travelling behind the car I was in made a very bad decision and believed our car would move out onto the main road in a gap she saw coming up.

She put her foot on her accelerator and, doing over 30 miles an hour, drove into the back of our car,  pushing the car I was in, into the middle of the main road.

Well, bringing a long story to an end, the result of that RTA was a lower spinal injury.

Now at the time this was bad enough – but then my doctor told me that although I could stand up  (when apparently they thought I shouldn’t be able to), and after being taught to walk properly again (I adore physiotherapists!) I could walk a little (with the help of walking sticks and/or crutches – but hey, walking is walking), the doctor said that I had to look at the probability that as I got older, I could end up in a wheelchair.

So .. with that thought, I decided that I needed to learn to drive. I took one month of lessons and passed my driving test exactly one month to the day from the day I started.

I LOVE to drive.  It gives me freedom and joy that I can get nowhere else.  So for my doctor to tell me after this recent black-out that I was no longer allowed, for the time being at least, to drive, was a massive upset.  I could see the sense in this, obviously,  but boy oh boy was it painful to my heart.  And … (I’m not telling you anything he doesn’t already know, so I’m not going to get into deep trouble with Cobs Senior) ….  I HATE Mr.Cobs driving.  I love my car, and he’s driving it, and I hate his driving. [sigh] Grrr.

My arm is getting better, the bruising is pretty much gone, but I still flinch if anyone touches it.  Then …  just to add insult to injury … I’ve been told today that I have a cataract.   I’m beginning to feel that God is having a laugh at my expense.

I must admit that my one eye did seem a little foggyfied. (no it’s not a real word, I made it up but it explains everything).   And I was aware that when I was painting something, doing the details became a bit dodgy, and I would get to a place of  “Ah who the heck cares, just blob the paint on it and be done with it!”.  Ha!  And all the time I just thought I needed some new Readers (glasses).  Turned out ….  someone planted a plate in my eye – right in the centre, and I was trying to peer around it, over it and under it.

It’s not that bad, really.  I can see and there isn’t anything in my eye which is visible to you or me.  The Optician could see it and the chap at the hospital could too.  But I’ve looked in the mirror and can’t see it.  New Readers and Long Distance glasses are now on order, so reading books will (I hope) soon be back on the menu!

Added to this chaos …  we’ve been collecting Little Cobs from school each day for the past week, bringing him home here to Cobweb Towers and playing racing cars, building Lego,  singing songs, (he likes that I can make up songs which rhyme, from nowhere …  I hope he’ll be able to do this if I do it enough!), playing Superhero’s – using an apron, put on backwards, for a cape.  He’s discovered the joy of racing around our garden with one arm pointing to the sky and shouting  “SUPER HERO TO THE RESCUE”.  All the neighbours now know I have a Super-Hero for a Grandson.  Not entirely sure what his special power is – but I’m suspecting that it’s making one un-holy mess in his bedroom!

I’ve also introduced him to Tom and Jerry – and he LOVES them!  As soon as he hears the music come on, he’ll race from wherever he is to sit and watch.

Ah .. some things never change.  The old Tom and Jerry cartoons can still thrill a six-year-old.

Little Cobs stayed and had his tea with us, and we would play until his daddy came home from work to collect him and take him home.

But anyhoo …  all these things going on, have made me a little behind on blogs – so please forgive me if I’ve missed any of your blog posts.  If there is one I’ve missed that you really thought I shouldn’t have (for whatever reason), please pop a link to it into a comment below, and I’ll get to it pronto!

Have a truly wonderful Friday.  May the sky be bright, the rains gentle and the winds soft.  May you find something to smile about today, and something which touches your heart and makes you all warm and wriggly inside.

Oh .. and may your weekend be all that you’d like it to be.  If it’s not … remind yourself that you’re in control, so you can change anything you’re having a problem with.  A smile can work wonders.

Sending huge squidges ~

sig-coffee-copy

 

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Tag Art.

Back in 2014 I began the Tag Art category here on the blog and although I did post Tag Art from time to time,  I didn’t post in that category all that often except to add a bit of something or other, every now and again.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a change around in my craft room and came across the box labelled ‘Tag Art’, and I realised that I hadn’t done any Tag Art in …  well I couldn’t even remember when!

I thought I could perhaps wake it up and see if I can interest anyone in trying a little tag art too.

If you haven’t met Tag Art before then can I suggest that you read the opening post in the Tag Art category on this blog, which tells you everything you might need to know about Tag Art.  (There aren’t any rules).  You’ll hopefully find suggestions to get your mind working and your arty fingers itching.

You can find that opening post here:  We’ll start with a Basic (little) Tag … With a (little) basic art.  

The photo at the head of this post is of a Tag that I made ages ago for one of the first posts on Tag Art here on the blog, but felt that it would be nice to begin with an oldy but goody.

I’ve also taken some photo’s of Tags I still have in the box to share with you.  Some are there because I kind of liked them.  Some were ideas for a tag which I never got around to doing anything about.  And some are there because I didn’t throw them away. . .  … and there are a few photos.  So in an effort to take away the mystery and show you that anything YOU make on a tag is great!

1 Christmas Tag

Ho Ho Ho.

3 Material Tag

A card tag, grunged up a little, with a panel of fabric sewn to it.  Halloween!

2. Bamboo Tag

Made using a blue card tag and two colours of a Kuretaki calligraphy pen to make the bamboo tree trunks

4 Kuretaki Coloured Pens Tag

Practise tags.  I was trying to work out the best way to draw a sunflower using my Kuretake Calligraphy pens.  I got there in the end, but sadly forgot to take a photo.  (Margaret is my neighbour)

5 Felt Pen Fairy Tag Art

Of course .. you just KNEW there HAD to be a fairy here  somewhere or other.  lol  She was an idea I had for what a particular type of fairy might look like for another project I had in mind.

6 Painted Ginger Face Tag7

A bit of ginger joy on a tag.  I painted LOTS of these tags a while ago, and put them all on the front of some plain white cards, and sent them out for Christmas.  I loved the fabulous little ginger faces SO much that I decorated some circles and stars shapes made from wood, with these wonderful happy faces and hung them on my christmas tree.  I still have them today, and still hang them on the tree every year.  Love them.

9 Tag Stamped image

If you make Tag Art, you must make sure that you sign the back (and date it) so that your tag can be seen to be made/painted by you.

8 Tag Stamp

I bought the ‘Tag Art’ stamp as an unmounted red rubber stamp, and the moment it arrived I went routing around the scraps of wood in Mr.Cobs shed, found this piece, inked up the stamp and pressed it onto the back and then glued the stamp to the other side.  I’ve had this stamp for about twelve years now.

Tag Art is anything you want it to be.  It can be painted, drawn, stamped, coloured with pencils, felt tip pens, specialist colouring pens, or left with no colour at all.  You can glue things, attach things – lace, ribbon, adornments, bits of wood, leaves, acorns, feathers, anything.  Anything which you want to fix to your tag you can.  (Obviously you can’t attach something which is too heavy – no sticking a car engine to a tag, because it’s just not going to work! lol).  You can add paste – maybe through a stencil to give a texture.  Glitter, small dolls, toy soldiers, plastic animals,  flowers, (pretend and pressed) … anything.  Do anything you like to get the result you have in your head.  Make it complicated or make it simple – like the tag at the head of this post – the one with the blue flower on it.  Just make some art, because it gives you a ‘high’ which you won’t get anywhere else.

Here’s a tag I made especially so that I could include it here.  It’s a simple tag … and to prove that it’s simple I’ve taken photographs of each step along the way which I did to make the tag.  Here’s the finished tag . . . .

6 You are my Special Angel

The finished tag measures 9.5inches or 24.5cm x 5.4″inches or 13.5cm.

I measured out the length of card I would need to put the image of the Angel onto the card, cut the card to size and then gave that card the pointy top you see in the photo.

I stamped the image and began to paint her colours . . .

1 You are my Special Angel

2 You are my Special Angel

I decided to keep her colours to greys and blues in order to give this a cold winter breeze feeling.

3 You are my Special Angel

I coloured up the background with a watery wash of pale grey.  Then turned my attention to the edges and echoed the denim blue of her jacket and wings.  I then added the snow at her feet which she was stood in,  and added dots of snow as it fell from the heavens.

4 You are my Special Angel

image taken from a different angle so that you can see the ‘snow’

5 You are my Special Angel

Mounted the image onto black card to echo the black of the stamped image.

6 You are my Special Angel

Added lengths of lace at the bottom, and towards the top of the tag.  I added charms to hang from that lace – these are made from Tibetan Silver, and the angel coin in the centre at the bottom has a more vintage look about it.  It has an angel cut from the centre, and around that it says ‘You are My Special Angel’.  I embossed all around the edges of the Tag in Silver Embossing Powder.  There are little ‘feathers’ at each end of the lace, along the top of the tag.  These are made of velum.  The card then was mounted onto some royal purple coloured card.  I punched a hole towards the top where the point is, using my Crop-a-dile, and added an eyelet, for the ribbon to hang by.

9 You are my Special Angel

The Tibetan Silver Feathers and the Angel coin hanging at the bottom of the Tag.

And of course .…  don’t forget to sign your Tag Art on the back …  and perhaps date it, even give it a name and any other details you feel you want to add to your art.

8 You are my Special Angel

The end of a really simple bit of Tag Art.

What do people do with their tags once made?  Well you can do pretty much anything you have a mind to do.  I have a tendency to mount them on or in cards, or use them in scrapbooks.  However, I also keep some of them because I fall so deeply in love with them that I simply can’t part with them.  So I store them.  I have a box, and some big clippy pegs which I use to hold bits of art.  People also keep tags in Library Drawers. They make a particular sized tag so that they can be stored in that special draw which they have.  I’ve also seen tags hung on a wire coat hanger, and they look spectacular like that.  I can imagine them hung on a wall in the house, and one tag could be chosen to ‘speak’ for a few days, and then move it along the hanger and choose another tag to display.

Addit tag Alice in Wonderland

I'd Swim Oceans for You Addit

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addition tag

10

Make a Wish or Two!

A dandelion wish, and a wish-bone wish!

easel-card-cobweborium-1

A Tag, which has some surprise Tags!

Make your tag(s) about anything you want.  Anything you have an interest in.  Anything which would make you smile.

Just a crocheted flower on a plain tag … draw a plant pot and a stalk and you’re done!  Maybe a picture of a bike in the newspaper?  Or an advertisement for perfume, hair spray, cosmetics, fishing equipment?  Anything.  Anything at all.  Then build your tag up a little – eg. if you chose the fishing equipment, you could perhaps add a bit of netting somewhere on the tag, or a plastic fish you’ve ‘tidied up’ from your children’s games, maybe a photo of a fish which you fix to card (for stability) and then fix in place using foam tape to give the tag a little depth.  Add ribbon and anything else you’d like and VOILA!  One Art Tag!

You can buy your tags … or you can simply use card and cut tags to the size you want them.  Round Tags, square, triangular, kite shaped, banner shaped.  Anything you like.  Oh … and I almost forgot to say … once you’ve made it, you can also use it on a gift just like a normal gift tag, so when you hand your gift over, what you’ll be giving is actually two gifts.

Go on.  Make some Art.  You KNOW you want to.  Do it.  Go do it now!  Have some fun!

crafting-2

coffee cup

If you’d like to have a go at Tag Art, do it today.  Don’t put it off till a week next Tuesday, do it now while you have the inspiration bubbling inside you.

You can buy tags almost anywhere and for a small amount too.  Add some PVA glue, an empty cereal box so that you can back some images and give them support (for things like pictures cut from magazines and newspapers), and you’re good to go.

We’re only given so many tomorrows and at some point those tomorrows run out.  So do it now.  Enjoy yourself now.  Have a little fun.  You never know, you might like it so much that you decide to buy some proper card to back your pictures/cut-outs and from there … the sky’s the limit!

Have a truly blessed rest of your day.  May you end the day by looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself.  And . . . . Let’s make a brand new rule for life;   as from tonight, always be a little kinder than is necessary.  That’s all the world needs to begin repairing itself.  Us to be a little kinder than is necessary.

Sending my love ~

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Right … It’s Friday and it’s time to  … PIN BACK YOUR LUGHOLES (ears) …. for you are going to be Educationamalised!

Factoid for you Friday  Fun

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

 

It is impossible to out-swim a shark .

The slowest fish is the Sea Horse, which moves along at about 0.016 km/h (0.01 mph).

The tongue of a blue whale is as long as an elephant

A snail has two pairs of tentacles on its head. One pair is longer than the other and houses the eyes. The shorter pair is used for smelling and feeling its way around.

In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.  Technically though, the driest place on earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

A house fly lives only 14 days. (but not if Mr.Cobs and his fly swat is near!)

Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.  Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica.  This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world.  As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.  Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it) Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

Istanbul, Turkey is the only city in the world located on two continents.

In the United States:  The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

~~~~~~~

An Anagram of:
“To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”
Is:
“In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten”

~~~~~~~

Fake trees were invented by a company who made toilet bowl brushes, the Addis Brush Company.  Regardless of how far the technology has come, it’s still interesting to know the first fake Christmas trees were really just big green toilet bowl brushes.

And  ….

Did you know…  The can opener was invented  48 years after  cans were introduced!

coffee cup 

My Contract states that I HAVE to leave you with a smile or a chuckle if it tickles you in the right place.  So ….  here goes:

Fifty-one years ago, Herman James, a North Carolina mountain man, was drafted by the Army.

On his first day in basic training, the Army issued him a comb. That afternoon the Army barber sheared off all his hair.

On his second day, the Army issued Herman a toothbrush. That afternoon the Army dentist yanked out seven of his teeth.

On the third day, the Army issued him a jock strap.

The Army has been looking for Herman for 51 years.

~~~~~~~

Happy Friday my lovely blogging friends.  If you’ve got this far and are still alive  reading then I’m so proud of you for getting through the whole course and your certificate is in the post.  You are now far more Educationamalised than you were a little while ago.

I’m wishing you a truly fabulous Friday, and a truly terrific weekend.

Enjoy every moment of it.  Don’t wait for another day.  Don’t put off doing something until you’ve lost 10lbs.  Don’t bother about the spot on your chin.  Don’t worry that you don’t feel you have the right outfit.  Who cares if you’ll be by yourself doing ‘it’ – walking in the park;  Taking photo’s of the ducks on the lake;  Shopping for something or other.  Just do it.  Don’t put it off.  Do it today.  Now.  Or … this weekend.

Take care of yourself … and each other.  And … whatever you decide to do with your weekend or where-ever you decided to go …  may your God go with you.

Sending huge squidges ~

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Things I’ve learned this Week.

Hello ….  I’m baa-aaaack!

My apologies for being M.I.A (missing in action) – my body is still being bombarded by bugs, but I’m trying to fight ’em.  My bed is winning at the moment.  I seem to get up in the morning;  have a shower, and before you know it, I’m back in bed again.

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Off to see my GP in a couple of days, and he if doesn’t have a magic wand to wave and put things right, – then I’m making plans for a ticket to platform 9 and three-quarters to be purchased, and I’ll be off to Hogwarts to see if they can mix up an elixir which might sort me out once and for all!

ticket-to-hogwarts

Anyhooo .…  let’s dip into the world of lessons, as learned by one Cobwebs of The Cobweborium Emporium and find out what life has taught me this week….

I’ve learned (not for the first time) that if I stay away from my craft room for too long, then my mojo wanders off and it’s really not easy to get the little divil back again and in working order.  This is such a great BIG GRRRRRR!  to me.

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I’ve learned that I’d got SO into making Christmas cards and thinking ‘Christmas’, that it’s been an absolute pain in the rear end to try and get myself out of that Christmas frame of mind.

And while on the subject of Christmas ….  With the help of Mr. Cobs, I’ve packed away all the Christmassy Craft things into my special Christmas Box (a red box labelled  “Christmas”), and have learned this week that I won’t need to buy even so much as a rubber stamp or even an extra die … or indeed any Christmas papers …  for at least two or three years, because I have SO much stuff that I haven’t used, and yet I keep adding to the pile!   tut tut.

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I’ve also learned …  that because of being pretty much confined to the house, I’ve discovered the attraction of dipping into the sales on-line at this time of year and have …  (this one will surprise you) … done some shopping for Christmas gifts for NEXT CHRISTMAS!  Me!  Yes!!!  My mother wouldn’t have believed me if I’d have told her that.

There are (or have been) some really fabulous bargains to be found on the interwebby thing.  Particularly some really beautiful pieces of jewellery.  Although … the downside of this shopping is that I’ve found rather a lot of things which I want myself.  [sigh].  I admit to buying myself a (late) Christmas present of an Electric Blue Swiss Topaz ring and also a pair of silver earrings – both of which I bought for a bargain price and both of which have become my favourites in the jewellery box.  – However …  they haven’t had chance to make it to the jewellery box.  They’re both living on a little ring saucer on my dressing table, and I keep putting them on, and wearing them for a few minutes, just so that I can look at them and love them for a while.  Just to make my heart smile.

I’ve also learned …  that, in this country (Great Britain – land of my heart and home) – the TV programme schedulers (planners) obviously go totally brain-dead once they’ve planned the Television programmes for the Christmas week, because the offerings they’ve given us here in the UK as choices to watch on TV are TOTAL RUBBISH!

Seriously … I could have done better given three hours, some coffee and a laptop!

So here’s the plan:  British people reading this blog …  I think we should get our brain cells working and make a list of the things we’d like to be watching in the TV programmes schedule for after Christmas this year.  Each of us can then email that list to the good old BBC,  ITV  and Channels 4 & 5.  If we all do this, then maybe they might get the hint that they’re not doing their job properly, should buck up their ideas, and maybe follow our suggestions and play the programmes we suggest.

Now I don’t ‘do’ Facebook, but I know some of you do, so please feel free to quote this idea to your friends and let’s get this thing going.  We’ll beat ’em into submission!  We have to pay a licence fee (we have no option), so let’s make them work for what they charge us.

I also learned some really great stuff this week.  Give your mind a work out with these:

Giraffes have the same number of teeth as humans.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a vegetarian and was known to buy caged birds simply to let them free.  He was also questioning man’s superiority over animals and his right to raise them for slaughter – this attitude was unheard of in his time.

Your lips don’t touch when you say the word ‘touch’ but they do touch when you say the word ‘separate’.

When you cut a hole in your fishing net, it has fewer holes.  (Think about that one for a moment)

Japan now has a new class of citizens – the cyber homeless. They live in cyber cafes because it is cheaper than an apartment. The cafes oblige with free showers and even sell underwear.  (This one really surprised me, until I thought about it for a moment, and then I realised that actually … nothing that happens in Japan which fulfills one of their needs or requirements, surprises me any more.  They seem to have a simple solution of solving any problem).

AND FINALLY . . . . .

 . . .  the bit I know you’ve been waiting for.  The Jokes!

Q: “What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?”
A: “You can’t tuna fish.”
 ❤
Q: Did you hear about the hungry clock?
A: It went back four seconds
Q: What do lawyers wear to court?
A: Lawsuits!
Q: What do you call a fat psychic?
A: A four chin teller.
Q: What is it called when a cat wins a dog show?
A: A CAT-HAS-TROPHY!
Q: What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
A: a thesaurus.
Q: What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?
A: “Where’s Popcorn?”
Q: What do you call sad coffee?”
A: Despresso.
Q: What do you call a man with no body and just a nose?
A: Nobody nose.
Q: What is brown and has a head and a tail but no legs?
A: A penny.
Q: What has one head, one foot and four legs?
A: A Bed
and finally . . .
Q: What do you call a bee that lives in America?
A:  a USB
I hope your chuckle muscles got a workout.
Let’s get this Friday the 13th off to a great start shall we?  Remember …  there’s nothing especially unlucky about it being Friday the 13th and the only scary thing about it is attempting to say this: paraskavedekatriaphobia,  – which is the name given for people who fear Friday the 13th.  Bad things, carelessness, something breaking, car accidents, falling over, breaking your toe, losing your phone … these and many more things, can, and do,  happen on any given day.  So please don’t worry over it.  But … if it makes you feel better to spend the day in bed and not go out of the house, then do whatever makes you happy.
Have a really great day.  Share your smile with someone.  You never know … your smile could be the very thing that changes someone’s day around and makes it a good one.

Sending you oodles of love and squidges ~

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Things I’ve Learned This Week

Happy Christmas (well, nearly)!

We’ve all got two more sleeps before Christmas, and I would like to remind you that Father Christmas is STILL taking note of his naughty list, so don’t you think you can get away with swearing behind your mothers back, or blaming your brother/sister for breaking the window … OR blaming Grandma for that noise! (or the smell which followed it!).

On my own personal Naughty List is the name of one certain blogging site who, I think, must be doing some changes or updates or geeky gizmo stuff which has prevented me from working on this post yesterday and scheduling it to post in the early hours of this morning!  I tried again to bring this post to the blog here, at around 9.30 this morning, but each time I loaded the admin pages, the whole thing stalled and eventually the window closed down.  Everything else worked perfectly – I could get up any page on the web I asked it to – from Google to Amazon to an online newspaper site which is heavy on images and script (and adverts) and they all loaded perfectly.  But WordPress … wouldn’t.  So WordPress is currently on the Naughty List.  Hmmmpff!

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I’ve learned one or two things this week, and I’m here to share them with you.   Have you got your drink ready on the side?;  seatbelt on?;  suitcase packed and stored in the over-head locker?;  false teeth in the private cup to your left?  Ready?  Steady?  GO ….

This week I’ve learned that I shouldn’t give my dog – the beautiful Belly [on Legs], one of her Christmas Presents early.  I bought her an incredibly soft new blankey for her bed.  It’s vintage Christmas red on one side – looks and feels like the most expensive velvet known to man.  On the reverse is some sort of furry fleecy stuff which HAD to have been spun in Heaven I’m convinced that it’s the stuff which Angels must sleep on.

The whole blanket looks like I’ve stolen a throw from Father Christmas’s house!

I couldn’t wait to give it to Miss Belly [on legs] so I untied it from its red ribbon, and held it for her to sniff.   She got ridiculously excited . . .  so I unfolded it and draped it over her bed.  She sniffed ….  wagged her tail and jumped straight on.

Well, this obviously hissed Alf Capone (Used Furniture Dealer  –  and one of our 3 Cats)  off royally,  and to show his hissed offness he clambered all over The Belly until she got cross and got off her new blankey and came to tell me to make him stop it.  Sadly, Alf Capone (Used Furniture Dealer) by this time had snuggled himself into the blanket and when I mentioned his name (with a complaining whine to my voice) he gave me one of *those* looks which clearly said “You have NO chance of getting me off this blanket.  EVER

alf-capone-on-bellys-new-santa-blankey

Alf Capone snuggled down and pretending to be asleep on Belly’s new Christmas Blanket. tsk tsk.

The result of this was – the following day Mr. Cobs and I went back to the shop and bought two more of the blankeys.  Both of them in the same colour as this red one, so that none of our four legs  could tell the difference.  Now all the beds in the Living Room match, and they all look like I’ve mugged Santa.

Now comes a warning.

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Meet Sewchi.  (Say it like you’d say Sushi – the Japanese cooked vinegared rice dish, normally combined with other ingredients such as seafood,  vegetables,  etc.  Other rice dishes are available – as they say on TV here in the UK).

The above photograph tells you all you need to know about Sewchi.  She’s not my cat.  She belongs to Daughter No.2.  Well, no, to be really truthful, she actually belongs to Little Cobs (Grandson), son of Daughter No.2 and Son-in-law.  Sewchi was bought for Little Cobs, and he adores her.  He’ll freely tell you that Sewchi is his “bestest fwend”.  But, as the above photograph shows, Sewchi is a few sandwiches short of the full picnic.

 

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Little Cobs and his Cat.  Where ever he is, she is.  He loves her, and the feeling is entirely mutual.

Daughter No.2 has now proven what I’ve always suspected  . . .  she, like the cat, has a few screws missing.    Read on, dear reader. Read on.  For this is a story which must be told  . . .

No.2 is married to the handsome SiL, and they have miracle child, who most of you know by the name I call him:-  ‘Little Cobs‘.  She also has a dog and three cats.  I think she’s copying me, but if she’s going to copy anyone then I can’t think of a better person.  (yes, I really am joking).

She loves her animals and looks after them really well.  Tiny tidbits of treats now and again, lovely bedding, special beds, toys, etc.  They aren’t spoilt, but they’re very much loved.

One of the little ‘treats’ she gives her cats is Catnip. Catnip is another name for the herb Nepeta cataria  and  relative of oregano and spearmint.   Nepeta cataria is a pretty common plant, often found along highways.  HOWEVER ….  Don’t feed your cat any wild Nepeta cataria  which you might find along the side of the road, as it could contain an array of pesticides and very harmful chemicals.

There’s a substance in the make up of Catnip which it’s thought mimics a cat pheromone which binds to a cat’s olfactory receptors to produce catnip’s unique response.  The effects of catnip on pets range from arousal to euphoria,  and some cats drool and meow with pleasure.

 You can find more about Catnip  HERE.

No.2 was dishing out a tiny bit of catnip and turned around, forgetting that she’d left the lid off the catnip jar.  Using the photographs that Daughter No.2 took at the time, I’ll help tell the story of

What Happened the Day Sewchi Catnipped Herself!

Sewchi is a truly beautiful British Short-hair Cat with incredible fur of soft, smokey grey She really is a bit of a dopey sort of thing.  She behaves and re-acts to things in such comical ways, but her over-riding best character trait is that she’s an amazing friend to Little Cobs, and loves nothing more than to snuggle with him or sit by him while Little Cobs is playing.  However … like a lot of cats, she has a weakness for Catnip.

When she saw that the lid had been left off the Capnip jar she moseyed on over and ….

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. . .  stuck her head into the open jar, and took a looooong deeeeeep  sniff.  However, she couldn’t reach it with her nose,  or her tongue, so she tried another way . . .

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. . .  this gave her more success (as you can see by the bits on the floor) …  but it still wasn’t satisfactory to her.  So she ‘accidentally’  tipped the jar over.

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Ohh, she rolled in it, rubbing her cheeks, her head, her back … everywhere she could rub, she rubbed.  She was so much in pleasure land that eventually,  this happened  . . .

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See the pleasure in those paws?  She lay on her back, on a fluffy blanket,  and crashed into pleasureland.  Her feet were curled up all tight and she was so incredibly happy at that moment that nothing on earth could have upset her.  Nothing.  Mummy could have offered her fresh Salmon and she couldn’t have cared less.  She was the most ultimate H.A.P.P.Y.  she could ever have been.  A little later …. she slept it off, peacefully – if ever so slightly drunk.

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And now ... she’s looking forward to Father Christmas bringing her own supply of the stuff of her dreams ….  but Mummy doesn’t hold out any hope.  Mummy says that she’s going to be fully in charge of catnip in future.  Sewchi wishes you a very . . .

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So … let that be a warning to all you cat people out there.  Don’t expect your cat to be sensible about these things, because sensible doesn’t work when Catnip is involved.  😀  And I’ve learned that any Catnip toys I make for my own four leg family members will have to have very tough seams!

Oh … and it’s not just house cats or domesticated cats who like Catnip . . .

 

I’ve also learned this week:

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

If you have children or Grandchildren visiting or in your home coming up to Christmas day, there is a lovely Google Santa Tracker you can visit, both to track Santa’s progress and also some games to play and various bits and clicks, which you can find  HERE <— CLICK

NEARLY 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.

THE word Christmas comes from the Old English “Cristes maesse” meaning “Christ’s Mass”.

KISSING under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.

THE highest-grossing Christmas movie is 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in £175m so far.  And … as a little bit of extra information …  I’m actually watching this very film as I type this!

GOLD-wrapped chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.

THE first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.

Do we have a ‘Christmas spirit’ network in our brains?

A Danish study has identified what could be described as a “Christmas spirit” network in the brain.  The researchers recruited a group of people who celebrate Christmas, and a group who do not.  Using fMRI scans – which detect blood flow in the brain to identify which areas are activated – they investigated which parts of the subjects’ brains responded to be being shown Christmassy and non-Christmassy images. They found that certain areas of the brain were much more highly activated in the festive group than the control group when they were shown the former group of pictures.  The Christmas spirit network exists in the sensory motor cortex, pre-motor and primary motor cortex and the parietal lobule; these areas have been associated with spirituality and recognition of facial emotion, among other functions.

Exchanging Christmas cards could be a form of social-climbing

Far from being an act of generosity, exchange of Christmas cards is sometimes used as an opportunity for social-climbing, as people are more likely to reciprocate card-giving with people they are interested in scoring points with. Previous research has shown that people reciprocate card-giving even with complete strangers. A study conducted in 2000 at West Texas A&M University took this a step further, arranging the exchange of nearly 600 Christmas cards between strangers of different social classes. They found that perception of high status increased the likelihood of a sender getting a response, and the effect was even more pronounced among low-income receivers of the cards. High-status strangers – such as doctors, lawyers and CEOs – received responses for 1 in every 5 cards they sent, with few recipients so much as asking about their identity.

Candy canes used to be “pure white”

Few things say Christmas more than those sugary sticks of red and white deliciousness. There was a time, however, when they weren’t red and white.(Although we imagine they were still pretty tasty.) The familiar Christmas treats started popping up around the 17th century as Europeans started using trees to celebrate the Christian holiday season and made special foods to decorate them with. Candy canes first appeared around 1670 when a cathedral choirmaster would hand out the all-white confections to children to keep them occupied during Christmas mass. While no one knows exactly who gave candy canes their stripes, one (unproven) theory has it that the “J” shape was once meant to stand for Jesus and the three stripes represent the Holy Trinity. (Red is meant to represent the blood of Christ).  Chew over that the next time you bite into a candy cane!
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Mr. Cobs taught me something this week which I didn’t know before and I wondered if you knew this … so I’m including it so that you can quote this over Christmas, and everyone will knocked out by how clever you are.  Not Christmas themed, but ….
Do you know where the ‘sleep tight’ bit came from when you say  “Night night. Sleep tight”?
It derives from the fact that they used to use ropes on beds to support mattresses.  And the tighter the rope, the more comfortable the sleep.  Hence … Night Night,  Sleep Tight.
I’d never heard that before!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A few jokes to tell once you’ve had your Christmas Day Sherry …
Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Wayne
Wayne who?
Wayne in a manger…!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Oakham
Oakham who?
Oakham all ye faithful…!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Knock Knock
Who’s there!
Anna!
Anna who?
Anna partridge in a pear tree.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Igloo
Igloo who?
Igloo Suzie like I knew Suzie!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Q: Whats the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet?
A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
A: Claustrophobic.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What do you call an obnoxious reindeer?
RUDEolph.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Q: What do you call an elf who sings?   . . . . .
A: a wrapper!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Why are Christmas trees so fond of the past?
Because the present’s beneath them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soot’s him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
and finally . . .
What do reindeer hang on their Christmas trees?

Horn-aments!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All that is left for me to do now is . . . .   wish you a very happy Christmas.  May Peace fill your home and love fill your heart.  Presents are just such a lovely way of someone showing they love you enough to go to the trouble of shopping with you on their mind.  However, the very greatest gift someone can give you is their time, for in giving their time, they are giving you themselves.  So just because someone might not spend money to say I love and care about you,  if they’re giving you their time, even if it’s just to stop and have a few friendly words at the front gate, then that’s a show of their respect and admiration for you, because, right now it’s a busy time of year, so if they spare a few of their minutes to share with you, then I think that’s the most wonderful, caring gift.

If I could send you a gift, I would send you a box of 365 rolled up little notes and quotes.  One for each day of the coming year.  Each note/quote would be designed to make you smile as you read it.  For I would love to know that I could make you smile even on those days when a smile is the last thing you think you can muster.

Sending you the happiest of Christmas Wishes.  Be good to each other.

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It’s a Blizzard out there!

Hello, and a Happy Wednesday to you!  Although mind … saying that doesn’t give this Wednesday the importance it deserves, does it.  December 21st is the 355th day of the year OR … in THIS year, it’s the 356th  – for this years is a leap year!  There are exactly 10 days remaining until the end of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the shortest day of the year and is sometimes regarded as the first day of winter (the December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23).  In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the longest day of the year and occurs during the southern summer.

And..  did you know that this date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday than on Saturday or Sunday, and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Thursday.

  • Born on this day (in) among many others:
  • 1118 – Thomas Becket, English archbishop and saint (d. 1170)
  • 1795 – Jack Russell, English priest, hunter, and dog breeder
  • 1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress
  • 1940 – Frank Zappa, American singer-songwriter
  • 1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor

Anyhoo . . .  I’ve bought another Christmas Card to the School ‘Show and Tell‘ this morning,  and this poor little tree is outside in an absolute blizzard!

Another Shaker Card – but this one doesn’t have the ‘streamers’ I ‘invented’ and showed you in the last shaker card I made, (which act as ‘stoppers’ – or ‘pauses’ – and slow down the flow of the sprinkles within the shaker).

 

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Close up of the shaker card I shared last week, showing the ‘streamers’ idea I invented to slow down the fall of the sprinkles within the shaker.  You can find the blog post about this card —> HERE  <— click

In this card, on the suggestion of a lovely crafter (Kathy D),  I instead used a few glued down sequins to see if it would do the same trick as the streamers.

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you can just about see a couple of the ‘glued in place’ sequins further up the tree, in this photo.

They didn’t do quite the same thing, but the card still retained a little twinkle and interest even though the majority of the sprinkles fell to the bottom of the tree.  And, since this tree is in a blizzard, a bit of ballast is perhaps needed to keep the poor thing upright and in one place! lol.

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close up of the tree, when it’s laid flat, so you can see a couple of the ‘glued in place’ sequins lower down

In the photographs the snowy paper comes over as a shade of purple, but in real life, it’s actually a lovely, warm grey colour.  The snow drift at the bottom of the card was simply hand cut from a piece of white card,  just using good old-fashioned scissors.

close-up-of-sprinkles

I always put a selection of sprinkly bits into a shaker card – a few regular sized sequins, teeny tiny cut out stars, flowers, hearts, hexagons, small cuts of mylar, and teeny tiny, miniscule little balls in various colours (amongst other things).  And although it looks like there’s a lot in that little Christmas tree – there’s actually only a small amount.  Just little pinches of your chosen things.  But I don’t recommend putting glitter in a shaker, as it sticks to the acetate and sometimes you can’t get it to budge, even if you tried to bribe it!

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  • The Snow paper was free in a selection, which came with a magazine.
  • As did the paper used within the shaker section.
  • The tree was cut out using a Die which came free with a magazine.
  • The white card snow drift was made using a scrap of card from my scraps drawer.
  • The Die Cut star(s) were made using a die which came free with a magazine.
  • The sentiment (Oh Christmas Tree) was stamped using a stamp which came free with a magazine.
  • The Die used to cut out the sentiment was cut using a Die which came free with  magazine earlier this year.

The ribbons – the glittery silver and the lavender twine, I always have in my stash.  I love ribbons – so always have a big selection simply because I can’t resist buying it.  The glittery ribbon looks as if it would be scratchy – but it’s really not. It’s soft, gentle and very pliable.

And finally .. the shaker bits – all come from my stash.  I have sequins which I’ve had for donkeys years and all the other things – different coloured mylar, hexagons, tiny stars, hearts, flowers, and the miniscule multi-coloured balls etc – are all things I’ve had for years.  As a crafter, we may only need a pinch of something, but we have to buy a whole bag of ‘it’ – so of course we’re left with amounts of some things which we have in storage.

My crafty ‘shaker bits’ are all kept in two large-sized, flowery metal pencil tins, and when you open the tins, it’s like the best box of twinkly magic ever invented.  Pots of this, packs of that.  Boxes of those, a packet of something amazing.  This shape, that shape, no real shape.  Flowers, stars, hearts, circles, hexagons, dots.  Silver, gold, green, blue, purple, red, white, iridescent, pink, bronze, black.  Every colour and every shape you can think of has its place in those tins.

Well…  this post began with me thinking that I’d keep it short.  [sigh]  Well that aim went by the by, didn’t it!  lol.

Let’s finish with a fewThings you might not know about Christmas shall we?

Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

I reckon those scientists have too many liquid lunches.

All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code.

The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches (32.56 m) long and 49 feet and 1 inch (14.97 m) wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.  Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

In Germany, ‘Heiligabend’, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.

During the Christmas season, nearly 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second.

Well, that should be enough to pepper your conversations with throughout the day, and make people think you’re massively intelligent.  (I mean … I know you are, but others need to be shown that fact!) 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  I hope that today glides along, and that no gremlins get into your day.  If they do … simply show them the door, open it, and send them out.

Heaps of Christmassy squidges  ~

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Trees of Three in Blue not Green!

Nearly at the end of Christmas Card making!  HURRAY! I hear you shout.    I haven’t bombarded you with them all, only the ones I thought might entertain you or, like this one today, were a bit different.  I can’t believe how late I am with the making of my Christmas cards this year . . .  and I still have family ones to make!  eeek.

Mr. Cobs is being aaahhhmazing!  He’s put the Christmas tree up all by himself.  Moved the furniture around so that everything flows. The tree still has to be decorated (lights and pretty things) but everything is in place and waiting.  He is such a blessing.  Quite frankly I don’t think, if it were up to me, I’d have bothered putting up a tree this year.  It all felt like an effort too far.  (Not me being a bah humbug, but just the back problem).

I’ve tried to keep most of the cards I’ve made for Christmas this year, very simple, and also flat enough to go into a normal envelope as I really didn’t want to be making boxes on top of making the cards.  This one fills the remit of simple and ‘flattish’.

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The trees are made using the left over ‘hole’ from a die cut tree.  I used the left over cut out as a stencil in order to make all three trees.  Using three different coloured ink pads, and some dried baby wipes, I built all three trees by simply dabbing the dried baby wipe onto the ink pad and then dabbing the inky wipe onto my glass mat in order to distribute the colour so that I could gently rub the inky pad through the ‘stencil’.  Once you’ve done one tree, either find a clean bit of the dried baby wipe and use it for the next colour of tree, or simply use another wipe.  Once you’ve got all three in place, you could leave it right there if you wished to.

The sentiment reads ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ – but it looks a little fuzzy on the photo because the camera was focused on the trees instead of the sentiment.  (my fault I’m afraid because I told it to do that.  (A case of eyes wide open but without supervision,  and the brain was closed for lunch.)

The ‘snow’ effect is made used Sweet Poppy glossy white texture paste, along with Pinflair Snow – which you need so little of that I’ve had my pot of snow for a couple of Christmas’s and still have half a pot.  It goes a long way.

The sequins, in silver, blue for the trees and some clear but iridescent ones used for snowflakes, I dotted around and fixed in place using Pinflair Glue Gel.

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The lovely twinkly stars atop of each tree …  I found in the crafty section of my local charity shop.  There were hundreds of them in a bag, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found them.  I think they cost me something like 50p (I think that works out at about 60 cents USA).

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To give the card a little interest on the inside,  I inked up another blue tree, using the same method I used on the others – only on this one, I used a fine nib glue pen and squiggled all over it, then shook a little glitter dust over it so that it caught on the squiggly bits, added an iridescent sequin to the top and voila!  Finished.

So … how do you fancy a bit of “Things you might not know about Christmas”?

It may not be as popular these days but in the times of Charles Dickens, and as far back as Washington Irving, telling ghost stories was a Christmas tradition.  One of the most famous – “A Christmas Carol” – was written by Dickens himself, but he’d already had some practise. In “The Pickwick Papers” (1836), his first novel, he includes  “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton,”  a Christmas-themed horror tale.

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Denny’s, the US diner chain famous for being ‘Always Open,’ decided to close for Christmas in 1988 to give hard-working employees the day off.  Amazingly, it turned out that many of the restaurants actually had no locks.  Well, they’d never needed them before.  According to the New York Times,  700 branches needed to be fitted with locks so the staff could spend Christmas with their families.

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Wondering what to with your Christmas tree after the festive period?  Why not see if your nearest zoo wants it?  Many animals find them great fun to play with. In 2014,  a zoo in Cambridgeshire, UK,  compared the trees to “catnip for lions.”

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Although the modern image of Santa Claus – the “right jolly old elf” of popular culture – is now widespread, he hasn’t always been seen that way.  Earlier depictions of Saint Nicolas have him as a serious, religious man (the original Saint Nicolas was Bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey).  Sinterklaas, a holiday celebrated on Dec. 5 in the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France,  portray him as an elderly man in bishop’s clothing.

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And finally . . . .

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their Christmas Tree.

Thank Prince Albert for your tree.

The Germans are credited with first bringing evergreens into their homes and decorating them,  a tradition which made its way to the United States in the 1830s.  But it wasn’t until Germany’s Prince Albert introduced the tree to his new wife, England’s Queen Victoria, that the tradition really took off.  The couple were sketched in front of a Christmas tree in 1848 — and royal fever did its work.

Well … that’s me done and dusted!

Hope you like the blue Christmas Trees card, and that at least one of the Christmas ‘Factoids’ taught you something you might not already know.  You can go off and impress friends, relatives and anyone you happen to run into today, with your knowledge of Useless Information About Christmas Taught to you in Mini Lessons from Cobs.  (And you didn’t even have to pay for the class!  lol)

Have a truly lovely last Monday before Christmas. 

Sending squidges from my corner to yours ~

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