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

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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.

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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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may I introduce Noel, ~ The ‘Merry Christmas’ Shaker Tree

Hello, and Happy Thursday!  I have another mainly white, with a dash of colour from the ribbon, and also from the sprinkles inside the shaker tree  –  card to share with you, direct from my craft desk.

Made on a 7″x7″ square white, scored card, and with a sheet of 7″x 7″ white card which the tree was cut from.

I love shaker cards – but the one thing I don’t love about them is how boring they can look when they’re stood up on the mantel shelf, and all the fabulous sprinkles fall to the bottom of the tree.  It leaves a card looking slightly sad and a bit miserable, because the receiver can only enjoy the card if they sit like a saddo, shaking the card.  (Which is fine if they’re a child, but a tad boring if in their 30’s and above).  So I devised a way of keeping some interest in the cut of part of a shaker card, and it’s really simple to do.  Just add a few ‘stops’ or streamers along the way, which the sprinkles get caught on, and will hold there, so that the shape you’ve cut out stays looking more interesting.

I’ve blown the tree part up in some photos – one with flash, one without, so that you can hopefully actually see the ‘streamers’ I built into this card.  This first photograph is with the flash on . . .

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can you see how I’ve added some cut and shaped ‘streamers’ to the layer between the acetate and the back of the cut out – which I devised so that the sprinkles would get caught up in the shapes and wouldn’t all fall to the base of the tree, so keeping the shape (in this case a tree) more interesting to look at.

This next photo was taken with the flash off, so that it might show the ‘streamers’ better …

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Can you see the ‘streamers’?

If you decide to have a go at this and do it yourself – don’t make your ‘streamers’ straight lines Give them some curves, so that you don’t end up with lines across your image – which could end up looking worse than nothing being there at all.  Oh … and don’t use glitter – because that can totally ruin a shaker card, as it’s a little divil and sticks to the acetate in such a way that it almost ‘fogs out’ anything else you may have in your shaker.

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The greeting:  NOEL, was stamped using silver embossing ink,  teamed up with Tonic Embossing Crystals.  The stamp used was from a set of 6 greetings, made by Crafty Individuals.   I can recommend this company, both for their service and their products.  You can find this particular stamp set HERE  <— clickable link.  (I ordered these stamps and they were in my hands 3 days later.  I can’t say that you’ll get that ‘quickness’ right now, because we’re all living in the silly season right now, but I’ve found them, each time I’ve used them, to be very quick and efficient.)

To make the colours chosen for the sprinkles ‘pop’,  I added two lengths of Merry Christmas ribbon, in a lovely rich teal colour.  This ribbon was from the DoCrafts selection, and is a really fabulous weight of grosgrain.  Finally, I added a pearl star to the top of the tree, and voila …  Noel the Christmas Shaker Tree came to life.

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I was aiming to get this card posted yesterday (Wednesday) …  but you know what they say about ‘plans’:-   If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.  He must be having a right old riot of a time up there in Heaven right now, as he reads down my list of ‘plans’.

Mr. Cobs and I went to see Little Cobs in his Christmas Concert with the other young members of his school year, at the Church near his home.  Ohhhhh…  I was wriggling in my seat and beside myself with joy.  I wanted to sprinkle rainbows from my eyes with happy and love.  Little Cobs was so over-joyed to see his Grammy and Grandad at the concert that he could be heard over and above any other noise, telling his teacher:  “That’s my Grammy!  It’s MY Grammy!  Look.  LOOK.  She’s there ”  <points finger>.  He’s such a darling, and it was such a privilege to be there.  (Not really well enough to go, but down right determined that I was going to be there, pain or no pain).

We came home,  and Mr. Cobs fed me lunch and then sent me straight to bed, where I spent the rest of the afternoon worn out from trying to escape the awful pain in my back.  He (my GP) has given me pain killers – and they do kind of work (they make the pain easier to live with) but they don’t last long enough, and even the smallest bit of doing ‘something’ causes whatever this is to flare up.  It’s become one step forward and two steps back.

OK.. moan and grizzle over with.  tsk tsk.

Well it’s Thursday ...  and I cannot believe how fast this week is flying past.  We have ten days until  YOU KNOW WHAT DAY!  But .. actually, I suppose I should say NINE days – because you can’t count the day itself – so  IT’S NINE DAYS TILL YOU KNOW WHAT DAY(and I still haven’t found a gift for Mr.C!  eek!)

Wishing you a truly lovely Thursday.  Make someone happy today.  Do something to make someones day a little brighter.  Buy them one of those big chocolate cookies?  Or maybe a magazine to read?  Perhaps a cupcake?  Something funny to put on their desk?  Some Christmas Socks? (men might find those a bit of a laugh).  Or just write down your most favourite joke, pop it into an envelope and deliver it to them with a wink.  That might get their heart racing, before they open it and fall about laughing.

Or maybe just tell someone how much you like them.  That’s bound to have a great affect upon someone.

Sending you love … oh … and do you know why I like YOU so much?  It’s because you have that special ‘spark’ about you which makes you fun to be around.  I really love seeing you here, and love knowing that you’re on the other side of my computer screen, having a bit of a smile with me.  So thank you for that.

Have a great day.  ~

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Let’s Light up the Christmas Village

I’ve been finally making Christmas cards (did I hear someone say “about time too!” at the back there?!).  At the moment I seem to be having a love affair with white and most of the cards I’m making are, in the main, white.  Maybe with a touch of colour from a ribbon, or some such, but on the whole I’m loving the white, so I’m going with it because it’s the path of happiness – and, I’ll admit, ease, because ease is what I’m aiming for right now.

I’m here sharing the card which, inside my head, as I planned it out, I could see how easy it would be to do what I wanted to do.  The planning was easier than the making, for once I got to the making, cutting, piecing together, sitting back and thinking it out a bit more and trying again …  well, I’m willing to share with you that I left this all in a pile on my desk twice and walked off to do something else because I fell out with it – due mainly to my lack of patience I think. (And a die which took six passes through the machineI have no idea why because the second time I cut it out, it cut it out properly on the very first pass! doh!)

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I know that looking at this first photograph, you’re perhaps wondering why I was having such a struggle with this card.  After all …  it’s just a fairly simple card, with a black silhouette of a village scene, and a couple of die cut ‘wreaths’ in white.  Ahh …  but it’s not…

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Getting any clues from this silhouette now?  (sorry about the fuzzy photo …  the camera didn’t want to focus on the village, it wanted to gaze longingly at the flame on the t.light, like some love struck nincompoop!)  Shall I give you a clue?  ….  ok …. look at the colour of the card, compared with the colour behind the (black) silhouette.

“Ahhhhh!”   . . .  I hear you say

OK … well this one will give it away ….

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The t-light is actually a battery operated t-light,  so safe to use with (or in this case inside) a card.

Made using a 7″x 7″ folded white card;  parchment (for behind the silhouette) and die cut wreaths which I overlayed, in different positions, and used one for the inside of the card also, in order to finish off the inside, around the parchment, in a decorative fashion.

If you look really carefully at the house on the top  ‘snow’ drift slope (over to your right as you’re looking at the photo above) you can see some ‘smoke’ coming out of the chimney pot!  Sadly, what you can’t see in any of the photo’s, even though I tried my very hardest, is the snow which I drew on the back of the parchment, which you can actually see even if the t-light isn’t lit.  It just wouldn’t make itself known to you in the photos.

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Taken with the t-light inside lit, and a desk lamp on, so that you could see it as you’d see it if it were on your shelf at home.

To be fair – I could have made this easier for myself to make, had I not wanted to die cut a wreath into the card itself, so making it able to see the light from the flickering t-light through a die cut wreath shape as well as a silhouette through the ‘picture’ window, and also wanting to use acetate to suspend the village scene in the window.   Yes … I really could have made this SO much easier on myself.  And believe you  me …. I’m going to on the next one, I’m telling you!

Well that’s me done and dusted for today.  All that’s left for me to say is:   Happy Monday.  May today bring you a cup filled with happiness,  with a few spoonfuls of joy, and as many dashes of love as you can fit into your hours.

Say something nice to someone today and make them smile.  I bet it will make you yourself smile more than you would believe.

Sending warm squidges to you in your corner from me in mine.

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Things I’ve Learned This Week

Happy Friday!  . . .  Apparently it’s now officially winter – as far as ‘weather reports’ are concerned.  I don’t know why this happens or the reasons for this.  I only heard it on the weather report this morning but I was so busy taking in this information and trying to work out if I’d heard it correctly that I didn’t hear the reasoning behind it.  But there you have it.  It’s winter.

They are reporting that the UK set for the heaviest snowfall for years, and the Long-range forecast warns that the Winter of 2016 is going to be THE BIG FREEZE!   Saying that Britain is facing the heaviest snowfalls in years this winter, as the country’s first icy blast arrives soon, and it will unleash (apparently)  four months –  (FOUR MONTHS!?) –  of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures.  I read that forecasters have announced this,  and they added:  “expect a very ‘exciting’ December with the possibility of a White Christmas this year“.  OK….  so  NOW I’M GETTING EXCITED! 

The last white Christmas I remember was in the 1980’s …  so this would be such a huge event and I’m already feeling the excitement of it.  In fact … so much so that I’ve even bought a woolly bobble hat!   (If you read one of my posts a few weeks ago, you’ll already know that I look like an extraordinarily comical, female, over-sized unwanted 8th Dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves  when wearing ANY hat.  So this new bobble hat is a BIG thing for me to have bought!).

It’s a chilly, cold wind which is already blowing around outside.  This morning, here where we live in the South of Great Britain,  it was minus 6.  Mr. Cobs informed me of this when he came back in the house from letting the chickens out to play.  I believed entirely that it was minus 6, for I could feel that minus 6 blow right through our little cottage when he opened the door to come back in!  It made me want to hibernate!  Brrrr!

Oh anyhoo…  we’re here to find out what I’ve learned this week so let’s get on with it, shall we?

This weeks Lessons in the Key of Life seem to have been (in a lot of circumstances)  about things which start with the letter H!  I have no idea why, but I thought I’d go with it and share this Letter H stuff with you.  Hats on?  Had your shots?  Here we go …

Henge Stonehenge to be precise.  I learned that Stonehenge was in private ownership until 1916, when it was bought,  on the spur of the moment by Sir Cecil Chubb, who was the owner of a local lunatic asylum,  as a present for his wife. Three years later she gave the site to the nation. 

Now this posed a question for me.  Why would a chap buy his wife some big stones which weren’t of the diamond variety?  Did he think this would earn him brownie points?  Well … the fact that she gave this gift away just three years later, must surely have told him something.

So, in the interests of happy Christmas days to come, may I make a suggestion to all the fabulous chaps who read this Friday post (and I know there are a few of you because I have the class register with your names clearly shown on it) ….  Here’s my tip for Christmas Gifts for the fabulous women in your life.   If you’re struggling to find something she’ll be happy to receive,  I truthfully think that if you go by this one rule, you’ll probably strike the right chord:  Buy:-  Something with a Hallmark on it.

You can thank me later.

Hypnotism.  Did you know that:  English writer – Charles Dickens’ marriage broke down partly because of his obsession with Hypnotism Now this surprised me, because if you read a little bit of information about Mr. Dickens you’d find a whole lot more stuff which would and could have broken down his marriage way before this obsession!

I learned this week that:  Apparently Chickens can be hypnotised.   From what I learned:  The record period for a chicken remaining in a hypnotic state is 3 hours 47 minutes.  

Holidays.  Let’s start with a Holiday inspired joke, just to lighten the mood, shall we?

The girl at the Ryanair check-in desk said,   –   “Window or aisle?”
I replied,  –  “Window or you’ll what?”

fnar fnar!

 I have to explain –  here in Great Britain (at least), a ‘Holiday’ is what people of the USA call a ‘Vacation’.  Where-as Christmas is NOT a holiday to the folk of the UK. Christmas is exactly as it says.  It’s CHRISTMAS – and we don’t call it anything but that.

So now we know that  ….

I learned this week that popular Holiday island Hawaii was discovered by Captain Cook in 1778 and named the Sandwich Islands in memory of his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. On landing, he and every man on his crew became completely constipated: one man suffered for 44 days in a row. The men became the first Westerners to witness the traditional Hawaiian sport of surfing.  Cook was murdered in Hawaii in 1779.

The Hawaiian State flag is the only US flag to feature a Union Jack.  It also has eight red white and blue stripes representing the eight main Hawaiian islands.

The ‘wiki’ in Wikipedia is Hawaiian for ‘fast’.

Here’s a question for you: 

I want those of you who have had Haemorrhoids to put your hand up.  Go on.  No one is going to see you, you’re all alone!

Those of you who didn’t put your hands up . . .  are fibbers!

Haemorrhoids : everyone has them!  I learned this week, from watching a TV programme at about 2am in the morning, (sleep escaped me), that EVERYONE has haemorrhoids (UK spelling).  They’re apparently like little cushions in the walls of your B.T.M. and live there quite happily.  However … something happens to upset them, and that’s when they become a problem.  It could be childbirth, carrying a little extra weight, ‘straining’, or even, apparently, a sneeze can cause them to inflame.  However – that old wives tale that sitting on a radiator gives you piles or haemorrhoids, is exactly that.  An old wives tale.  There’s nothing to prove that this causes the problem.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the final H of our ‘What I’ve Learned This Week’ list…..  Happiness.  Or Happiness in the form of Jokes, to be precise.  Are you ready for a chuckle?

Q)  What’s green and fuzzy and would kill you if it fell out of a tree? 

A)  A pool table.

Q)  What did the Pirate say when he turned 80?

A)  Aye Matey.

I tried to catch fog yesterday.    Mist.

Q)  Why does a Chicken Coop have two doors?   A)  If it had four, it’d be a chicken sedan.

Doctor: “I’m sorry but you suffer from a terminal illness and have only 10 to live.”. . . . 
Patient: “What do you mean, 10? 10 what? Months? Weeks?!”  . . . . .
Doctor: “Nine.”

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.

A male friend met a Dutch girl with inflatable shoes last week. He rang her up to arrange a date, but unfortunately she’d popped her clogs.

How do you make a tissue dance?  You put a little boogie into it.

Where does a sheep go for a haircut?  To the baaa baaa shop!

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl in the bathroom?  Because it has a silent pee.

And finally ….  I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee with me.  I love seeing you here.
Have a wonderful day, doing whatever it is that you’ll be doing.  Remember … you have a choice of what sort of day you have.  Choose a Good one!
Oh …   and have a fabulous weekend.  May you find peace and rest, and maybe a few smiles along the way.

Sending squidges to you in your corner,  from me in mine.  ~

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