It was a book – and now it’s a card!

Firstly … sorry to still be posting Christmas cards,  in the middle of January, but this was one which I couldn’t post before Christmas as it would have spoilt the surprise, so sharing it with you now.

Originally this was a children’s book called Dear Zoo.

made from this book

It was one of those books which is ‘interactive’.  It had opening doors on each page.  So I began by cutting those doors out so that the pages lay closely together.

book before

I set to work and first measured out how much of a section I wanted to cut out of the book in order to leave the right size ‘hole’ inside the card/book at the end.  Once I’d cut through the pages, I then glued and used double-sided tape to ensure that the pages I wanted to stay shut actually stay that way.

Then …  I went to town.  Papers, card, ribbons, flowers, baubles, a sleigh, handmade hearts, berries, printed pictures from a CD Rom, cutting, pearls, snowflakes, die cutting …  you name it, I think I probably either did it or thought about doing it.

Mr. Cobs Christmas 2017 2
Inside, showing page 1, of the book/card.

I die cut the Christmas trees, then painted them roughly with a little paint then once dry I added some dimensional ‘snow’ and added a little twinkling glitter.  While those dried I stamped the blue backing paper with clear embossing ink and added some softly twinkly embossing powder so that it gave the background a bit of twinkle.  The snowflakes are all die cuts too.

Mr. Cobs Christmas 2017 3
Inside of the book/card  –  page 2

I printed this page (above) three times, and cut out various parts of the page so that I could do a little decoupage and give the page some depth.

I added a little white glitter here and there, on these layers, just to catch the light and again, add some depth.

Mr. Cobs Christmas 2017 4
The back of the card/book

The spine of the book (and spreading round to the front and back) …  when you see it in real life, looks like leather.  It’s not.  It’s actually made from regular craft card and glycerine. (and an embossing folder – but you can use any embossing folder you like).  I won’t bore you to death with a ‘how to’, because people have posted how to’s about doing it all over the web.  But instead, I’ll give you a video of the fabulous lady who taught me how to make this faux leather:  (her name is Sheena Douglass and she’s Scottish – so give yourself chance to adjust to her accent and you’ll be fine then). . .

Mr. Cobs Christmas 2017 5

Mr. Cobs Christmas 2017 1

And that’s all there was to it!

Have to admit that the most difficult bit was actually cutting through those individual pages.  Coooo, those were thick and really tough work. But then …  I’m a bit of a weakling so taking the top off a bottle can challenge me most days!  tsk tsk.  drat these muscleless arms!

Well .. it’s Tuesday (or Chewsday as my friend pronounces it), and I think we need a little Tuesday fun, so here are a few jokes to turn the corners of your mouth up . . .

  • Why don’t you ever see hippopotamus hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it.
  • How does NASA organise their company parties? They planet.
  • My friend recently got crushed by a pile of books, but he’s only got his shelf to blame.
  • What did Jay-Z call his girlfriend before they got married? Feyoncé.
  • What do you call dangerous precipitation? A rain of terror.
  • What do you call a big pile of kittens? A meowntain.
  • …. and finally ….
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.

Well even if only one of them made you smile, then I’ve done my job.  😀

Thank you so much for coming.  I love seeing you here.  Each blog post is, for me, like opening up my front door and waiting for you to arrive  . . .  and then you all come, one by one, and stop for a coffee with me.  I just love it.  (and I love it even more when you stay for a chat – so please feel free to chat away in comments.  I can promise I’ll reply because, as everyone will tell you, I love to chat!)  😀

Have a truly blessed rest of your day!

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A card for Aunt Beulah . . .

I heard that another of the cards I’d made for a blogging friend who lives in the USA arrived on time for Christmas and so I can now share the card with you.

I know that to some of you, you might think that I’ve made the same card that I sent to someone else, (Rabbit, at The Rabbit Patch),  but I haven’t.  (see below) 

I made a card for Rabbit at The Rabbit Patch – which had a similar look about it – but it was different, and the insides were completely different from each other too.  This was the card I made for Rabbit – which I shared with you a few weeks ago:

Christmas card for Rabbit 2017 1
… this (above) was the card I made for Rabbit – at The Rabbit Patch – but it’s completely different from the card for Aunt Beulah.  The flowers, the pearls, the leaves, the backgrounds – everything is different.  Even the hanging hearts are different.  😀

But this (below) is the card I made for Aunt Beulah . . .

Aunt Beulah Two

All the cards I made for blogging friends were made using things which had something from my home about them.  On this, Aunt Beulah’s card, – the little Pine Cones – came from my garden, where the four 100 foot tall pine trees in my garden had dropped their cones.  (I reckon those trees are in a competition with each other to see which one of them can trip me up and leave me flat out on the decking!  tsk tsk).  Of course – I had the professional help of my assistant,  Little Cobs,  in the collecting of the pine cones, and he was paid his pocket-money for helping.  (He’s going to end up with more money in his money-box than I’ve got, at this rate!)

The background, wooden planks ‘look’ paper …. well now that’s actually cut from a spare roll of wallpaper.  I have this wallpaper on the wall behind my big wooden bed in the bedroom.  I kept around half a roll of the wallpaper  *just in case of some accident or other* – and I wanted to ensure that I sent a little bit of ‘me’ in the card,  so I cut a square of the paper to make the card look like it was a timber wall.  It’s great paper, as it has a texture of old wood.  Very soft and gentle, but it does have that look about it.  (I have no other wallpaper in my home – just that on the one wall.  I saw it and fell in love, so ordered it there and then!).

The hearts were all handmade by me out of very light weight clay, and coloured up using Buff-it,  which is made by Pinflair. (Highly recommend this product – I would use it on every card if I could – I love it soooo much!)

The string of red pearls are pearls that I used to use on one of my own Christmas Trees, but every time someone walked too close to the tree, those pearls would jump off the branches in an attempt to make an escape bid for the floor … so I said ‘no more’ and decided that I wouldn’t use them again.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I took them to my craft room and squirreled them away in there, knowing that at some point, I would use them.  And … I did.  For the first time – I cut a length off the long string and decorated the card for Aunt Beulah with them.  I antiqued them up a little using some silver wax – which I simply rubbed on with my finger, to give the pearls a shimmer.

The flowers, red and white berries and the dried corn …. etc,  all came from my stash of flowers, and I touched them with a little ‘snow’ and dusted them with ice crystals to make them twinkle.

Finally … I stamped the sentiment onto a length of card which I manipulated so that it bent and ‘travelled’ over the page in a pretty way,  – popped it into a memo pick and fixed it to the card.

And that’s all there was to it!

I was SO relieved to hear that the card had made its way to Aunt Beulah, and that she liked it.  If you would like to find out why I love this fabulous lady so much, please just click on her name and her blog will open up in a new window for you.

Aunt Beulah ~ thank you for the wonderful reads that I find on your blog.  Thank you for the thoughts, the smiles, the joy and sometimes even the tears.  Thank you for being the person you are, for the person you are is totally incredible.  Sending you much love for the New Year, and wishing for you – contentment.  May a blanket of contentment come to rest upon your home and wrap itself around your heart and life. ~ love ~ Cobs. xxx

Thank you too, reader, for being who you are.  I thank you for coming and spending time here with me on this blog and hopefully enjoying the read too.

Happy Tuesday.  May your day be bright and may the sun shine enough to melt any snow that’s hanging around, and melt the ice on your car windows.  May you find something to smile about, and may love wrap itself around your heart and keep you warm inside.  Even if it’s only the love I send you here….  because love is love is love.  It’s all good!

Take care out there …  much love and plenty of squidges ~

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Christmas Wishes, Ho Ho Ho, and a Snowman ~ all handmade cards!

Like the proverbial bad penny, I’m back again, this time showing you some more of the cards I made for neighbours.  I’d got to a point this week where time was of the essence and I needed to find quick, simple cards which contained a smile – so these are a tiny selection.

Christmas Neighbours 2

I made quite a few of these Ho Ho Ho cards, on different shaped and sizes of card – some of which went into the post – but the ones going through the mail system: I lined one side of the envelope with some good gsm cardstock, so that the buttons wouldn’t split the envelope, or get damaged.  So if you make some of these which are going through the mail system, just line your envelopes with something which will take the brunt of any machinery or bad handling.

Christmas Neighbours 4

I made these with different coloured buttons and really mixed it up, depending on who I was sending them to.  But have to admit that my favourites were red buttons.

Christmas Neighbours 3

Another red button Ho Ho Ho,  ↑  but this time made with a square card as a base.

Christmas Neighbours 5

This Snowman card is destined for a neighbour with two children.  I thought it would raise a smile with them.  (And you can never go wrong when you add googly eyes.  Doesn’t matter what you add them to…  letter box…  CCTV camera warning signs …  wrapped sandwiches in lunch boxes.  Nope, you can never go wrong with googly eyes).  👀

Christmas Neighbours 6

Finally … the one that I think is my favourite …  more buttons again, but used as hanging baubles.  There’s something so friendly about these that they just make me smile.

Items used for these cards are:  an assortment of buttons, a black fine nib pen, Dovecraft Ribbon, Kuretake Clean Colour Brush Pens in 2 different colours of orange – for the snowmans nose;  Googly eyes; and the letter  ‘h’  from a set of alphabet stamps which I got free with a magazine about 12/14 months ago.

You may have noticed a Tree on one card, in the feature photo at the top of this post ….  (I repost this picture, to save you scrolling up again). . .

white collection 1

….  the tree card is in the middle at the back.  I forgot to take an individual photo of that particular card, but it’s made using a Christmas Tree made from Bark, which I bought from Anna Marie (in the UK), and I added a glass star to the top then used Stickles to add red baubles and Stickles in Christmas Green (a mix of green and red) to add ‘tinsel’.

And that …. as they say … is all there was to it.

I got the idea for almost all of these cards from Pinterest last year – but didn’t use the idea.  However, with time running out fast I looked around my craft room for things that could make plenty of cards in a short time …. the buttons yelled and waved at me from the shelf, so I took them up on their offer.   If you get yourself a little production line going, you can get plenty of these done in the blink of an eye.  I highly recommend them to those of you who are attempting to stretch the remaining hours before the day.

Thank you so much for coming, I love knowing that you’re here, so do stop and say hello in a comment, if you have time.

Sending Christmas squidges to all ~

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Wishes of Joy, Love and Peace via a Christmas Card!

I received an email telling me that another of my cards, which I’d made and sent to the USA, had arrived!  I cannot begin to tell you how filled with gratitude I am when I hear that something has arrived.  I think maybe it’s more of a joy to me when I’ve actually made something and put all my love into making that item for a special person.

This card was made for my most favourite of Rabbits.  Rabbit of  Rabbit Patch Diaries.  She’s a wonderful writer and has this magical way of picking me up and carrying me along with her as I read her posts.  Aww, I love her to pieces.

I wanted to make her a card for Christmas and send it to her, so I asked if I could, and she said yes!  I went to work and this is the card I made especially for my fabulous Rabbit blogging friend….

Christmas card for Rabbit 2017 1

The hearts, reading Joy, Love and Peace, are hearts I made myself, from a very lightweight, white clay.  Once they were dry (I always leave it for 24 hours), I coloured up the hearts using ‘Buff It’ (made by Pinflair).  The ‘Joy’ heart was done in Gold Buff It.  The middle (Love) heart was coloured using Red Buff It, and the ‘Peace’ heart was coloured using Pearl Buff It.

The Poinsettia flowers are handmade, with yellow glass beads at their centres, and they were kissed by the snow.  (Or rather: stuff I used as pretend snow).

Behind the flowers and leaves is a little muslin, some loofah strands, green moss, and some twigs – which are from my garden.  I was helped in the collection of said twigs, by Little Cobs.  He wasn’t quite as selective with the size of the twigs as he was with the collection of “tiny pine cones”, which I told you about a couple of days ago.  I was getting what could only be described as branches.  Large branches.  The type you’d make a fire with, but not the type you’d glue to a card.  Bless him.

There are pine cones fixed to the card, and you can just about see them in the photographs.  These pine cones were collected by Little Cobs, in his tin bucket, from the garden.

Finally …  I added a string of creamy pearls in different sizes.  Just to add a touch of ladylike glamour to the card.  What can I say….  I’m a twin set and pearls sort of gal.  And then I ended the card making session with ‘snow’.  (The same ‘snow’ which kissed the poinsettia flowers earlier on).

And that’s all there was to it!   😀

The card was my way of saying ‘Thank You’ to Rabbit for all the enjoyment I get from reading her posts.  So .. Thank You Rabbit.

The joy I receive from your blog posts is beyond measure.  Each post is book ended with love, and, when I get to the end of each post, it leaves me both filled with peace, and not wanting it to end.  Almost like a book that one is enjoying so much, that one doesn’t want the books final page to arrive.

Thank you Rabbit, for the wonderful reads, and ….oh,  for so, so much more.  May God Bless and keep you, my friend.

And … Thank You  my lovely reader, so much for coming and sharing some time with me.  It’s especially lovely to see you here I think because it’s Christmas.  It’s always so lovely to see friends at any time, but to see them at Christmas time is like a gift.  You  and your time, are as a gift to me.  So thank you, from my heart, for coming and spending some of your time with me.

Sending love, squidges and Christmas wishes ~

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Christmas Cards ~ a handmade assortment …

I began making some Christmas cards for my neighbours a few weeks ago, but then had to stop because I realised that there were some more pressing cards and handmade makes which needed to be made and posted over-seas, and also other things which needed to be started in their ‘making process’.

Christmas 2017 8

Christmas 2017 6

 

So I’m here today sharing a few photos of some cards I made for a few of my neighbours and all of these have been made from free die-cuts which I got with a magazine a couple of months ago.  I liked the die-cuts so much that I just had to use them.

Christmas 2017 2

Christmas 2017 3

 

There are more cards, but I forgot to take photo’s of them.  But I do have some other cards which are totally different from these, and I’ll share those in the next day or so – because they haven’t been posted through letter boxes yet, so I’m still in with a chance of taking photos of them!

 

Christmas 2017 10

I hope this last Tuesday before Christmas is finding you stress free and in a calm state of mind.  And …  not having that feeling of dread when you ‘feel’ like you’re forgetting something really important, but don’t know what it is.  (which is where I’m currently finding myself – and it’s making me panic! eeek!)

Sending warm winter wishes to you, along with squidges (as always)  ~

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Victorian Christmas ~ a handmade card.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’d been making some cards which were being sent to the USA, and I was a bit worried that none of them would get there before Christmas.  Well … I had an email a couple of days ago telling me that the one card had arrived at its destination!  So I’m thrilled to pieces to finally be able to share one of them.

This particular card was made especially for Beverly of More Ink Please.  Beverly is a fellow crafter.  She makes the most incredible cards – some of them are amazingly intricate and so, so pretty.  She is also a very talented hand-made book maker.  But … she has but one fault.  She never finds time to blog about them!  She will chat with me about some things that she’s making, but even though I push her to take a photo and pop it onto her blog …. she’s a proper rascal and never does!  tsk tsk.

I decided back at the beginning of November what sort of card I wanted to make for Beverly.  I wanted to make a card with a very Victorian feel, with lots of layers.

Christmas Card for Beverly 2017

The Poinsettia flowers are all handmade and although I cut the centre (black) stamens from cardstock, I gave the flowers their yellow centres by adding some tiny glass beads.

The tiny pine cones you see on the card (covered in [fake] snow) are actually from my garden.   I put Little Cobs to work during the summer, and asked him to collect me some fallen pine cones, but, I told him,  “I want the teeny, weeny, baby ones, because Grammy wants to craft with them and put them on cards”,  and, Bless his little heart, he took his bucket and went around my garden, picking up pine cones and either putting them in his bucket or, after doing a spot check, declaring them  “Too Big!” and discarding them.

He then helped me to put all the baby Pine Cones inside a plastic bag, and zipped it up for me, so that I could force out any insects and part company with them.

I’ve put him on the payroll, and he now gets paid weekly, in cash.

Well look ….  a week before Christmas and I’m only just posting a Christmas Card. Sorry about that  … making them all is taking time and by the time I’ve finished making one, I’m onto the next ‘making’ and … well, time just runs away from me.  It’s that things fault.  Time.  It’s times fault.   Awww, let’s not get into Time and it’s horrors. grrrr.

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee with me while I chatted away.  I love seeing you.  Especially on a Monday morning before Christmas.  😀

Have a blessed rest of your day my fabulous friend  ~ 

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The Friday Post ~ 15th December 2017

OK …. let’s get this over and done with.  It’s unpleasant, and I know that it will cause you some anguish and pain, and even cause you to close all the curtains and lie down with either a cake, a bar of chocolate or a stiff drink ….  or maybe all three if the first one doesn’t work …  so we’ll just do it and get it over with, OK?

Get ready. Sit up straight and gird your loins.

We know that this may be dangerous or difficult for your brain to compute, but we’re going to do it because we is ADULTS!

Ready?

Deep breath in …..  let it out slowly as if you are blowing down a straw ….

….  ….  ….  there are … … … …  nine days till Christmas (not counting today or the day itself).

I know… I know.  Some of you will find that a thoroughly unpleasant thought.  But we have to face it at some point.  No good skirting around it or believing that, if no one mentions it then it’s not really that close.  Your advent calendar should be telling you the truth!  Look on me as your unpaid for, not stolen, loving,  living, breathing, caring, Advent Calendar.

So anyhoo … we’ve got that over and done with so shall we get on with some edumacation?  Good.  Let’s get on with it then . . .

On This Day in History

1791 – The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia legislature.

1863 – Romania used for the first time a mountain railway (from Anina to Oravita). A mountain railway is a railway that ascends and descends a mountain slope that has a steep grade.  Such railways can use a number of different technologies to overcome the steepness of the grade. Mountain railways commonly have a narrow gauge to allow for tight curves in the track and reduce tunnel size and structure gauge, and hence construction cost and effort.

1891 – James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school’s gymnasium, and two teams of nine players.

1905 – The Pushkin House is established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin. Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (June 6 1799 – February 10 1837) was a Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling – mixing drama, romance, and satire – associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Russian writers.

Born in Moscow, Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoe Selo. Pushkin gradually became committed to social reform and emerged as a spokesman for literary radicals; in the early 1820s he clashed with the government, which sent him into exile in southern Russia. While under the strict surveillance of government censors and unable to travel or publish at will, he wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov, but could not publish it until years later. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was published serially from 1825 to 1832.

Pushkin and his wife Natalya Goncharova, whom he married in 1831, later became regulars of court society. In 1837, while falling into greater and greater debt amidst rumors that his wife had started conducting a scandalous affair, Pushkin challenged her alleged lover, Georges d’Anthe’s, to a duel. Pushkin was mortally wounded and died two days later.

Because of his liberal political views and influence on generations of Russian rebels, Pushkin was portrayed by Bolsheviks as an opponent to bourgeois literature and culture and a predecessor of Soviet literature and poetry. In 1937, the town of Tsarskoe Selo was renamed Pushkin in his honor.

1914 – Gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine Japan, 687 killed. This accident is the worst coal mine disaster in Japanese history.

1939 – Gone with the Wind premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta, GA, USA. Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American dramatic-romantic-war film adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name and directed by Victor Fleming (Fleming replaced George Cukor).  The epic film, set in the American South in and around the time of the Civil War, stars Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland, and tells a story of the Civil War and its aftermath from a white Southern viewpoint.

Gone with the wind

It received ten Academy Awards, a record that stood for twenty years. In the American Film Institute’s inaugural Top 100 American Films of All Time list of 1998, it was ranked number four, although in the 2007 10th Anniversary edition of that list, it was dropped two places, to number six. In June 2008, AFI revealed its 10 top 10 the best ten films in ten American film genres after polling over 1,500 persons from the creative community. Gone with the Wind was acknowledged as the fourth best film in the Epic genre. It has sold more tickets in the U.S. than any other film in history, and is considered a prototype of a Hollywood blockbuster. Today, it is considered one of the greatest and most popular films of all time and one of the most enduring symbols of the golden age of Hollywood. (I haven’t ever managed to watch this film all the way through. I’ve seen bits of it, but never seen the film from start to finish, in full).

1960 – Richard Paul Pavlick is arrested for attempting to blow up and assassinate the U.S. President-Elect, John F. Kennedy only four days earlier. Richard Paul Pavlick (February 13, 1887 ¨C November 11, 1975) was a retired postal worker from New Hampshire who stalked and then attempted to assassinate U.S. President-Elect John F. Kennedy on Sunday, December 11, 1960 in Palm Beach, Florida. He failed, but 3 years later in Dallas, Texas, Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Richard Paul Pavlick The Cobweborium
Richard Paul Pavlick

Pavlick, 73 years old at the time of the assassination attempt, had previously lived in the small town of Belmont, New Hampshire with no family. He became known at local public meetings for his angry political rants, which included complaints that the American flag was not being displayed appropriately, and also criticized the government and disparaged Catholics, focusing much of his anger on the Kennedy family and their wealth. On one occasion, Pavlick’s anger erupted when he met the supervisor of the local water company at his home with a gun, which was then confiscated.

Pavlick’s enmity toward John F. Kennedy boiled over after the close 1960 U.S. Presidential election, in which Kennedy had defeated Republican Richard Nixon by 118,000 votes. Turning over his run-down property to a local youth camp, Pavlick disappeared after loading his meager possessions into his 1950 Buick.

After Pavlick left town, Thomas M. Murphy, the 34-year-old U.S. Postmaster of the town of Belmont, New Hampshire began receiving bizarre postcards from Pavlick that stated the town would hear from him soon “in a big way.” Murphy soon noticed that the postmarked dates coincided with visits by John F. Kennedy to the communities and he then called the local police. The local police, in turn, contacted the Secret Service, who interviewed locals and learned of his previous outbursts. In the midst of these conversations, they also found out that Pavlick had purchased dynamite.

During his travels, Pavlick had visited the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, photographing the Kennedy home while also checking out the compound’s security.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 11, as John F. Kennedy was preparing to leave for Mass at St. Edward Church in Palm Beach, Pavlick waited in his dynamite-laden car hoping to crash his car into Kennedy’s vehicle to cause a fatal explosion. However, Pavlick changed his mind after seeing John F. Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and the couple’s two small children.

While waiting for another opportunity over the next few days, Pavlick visited the church to learn its interior, but the Secret Service had informed local Palm Beach police to look for Pavlick’s automobile.

Four days after the attempt, on Thursday, December 15, Palm Beach, police officer, Lester Free, spotted Pavlick’s vehicle as he entered the city via the Flagler Memorial Bridge into Royal Poinciana Way. Police immediately surrounded the car (which still contained 10 sticks of dynamite) and arrested him. After his arrest, Pavlick said, “Kennedy money bought the White House and the presidency. I had the crazy idea I wanted to stop Kennedy from being President.”

On January 27, 1961, Pavlick was committed to the United States Public Health Service mental hospital in Springfield, Missouri, then was indicted for threatening Kennedy’s life seven weeks later.

In a tragically ironic twist, charges against Pavlick were dropped on December 2, 1963, ten days after Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. Judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that Pavlick was unable to distinguish between right and wrong in his actions, but kept him in the mental hospital. The federal government also dropped charges in August 1964, and Pavlick was eventually released from the New Hampshire State Mental Hospital on December 13, 1966.

Pavlick died at the age of 88 on November 11, 1975 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire-eleven days short of the 12th anniversary of Kennedy assassination.

1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of J. Paul Getty, American billionaire is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10, 1973.

1993 – History of Northern Ireland: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. The Downing Street Declaration was a joint declaration issued on December 15, 1993 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major and Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach of Ireland. It affirmed the right of the people of Northern Ireland to self-determination, and that the province would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom if and only if a majority of its population was in favour of such a move. It included for the first time in the history of Anglo-Irish relationships, as part of the prospective of the so-called Irish dimension, the principle that the people of the island of Ireland, North and South had the exclusive right to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent. The latter statement was key to produce a positive change of attitude by the Republicans towards a negotiated settlement.

The joint declaration also pledged the governments to seek a peaceful constitutional settlement, and promised that parties linked with paramilitaries (such as Sinn Fein) could take part in the talks, so long as they abandoned violence.

The declaration, after it was ‘clarified’ by the Northern Ireland Office, was considered sufficient by the Provisional Irish Republican Army to announce a ceasefire on August 31, 1994 which was then followed on October 13, by an announcement of a ceasefire from the Combined Loyalist Military Command.

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply The Tower of Pisa (La Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) after the cathedral and the baptistry.

Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate that has allowed the foundation to shift direction. The tower presently leans to the southwest.

The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the lowest side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the highest side.  The width of the walls at the base is 4.09 m (13.42 ft) and at the top 2.48 m (8.14 ft).  Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).  The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.  The tower leans at an angle of 3.97 degrees.  This means that the top of the tower is 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would stand if the tower were perfectly vertical.   BBC News on the Day – The Leaning Tower of Pisa

2005 – The 2005 Atlantic Power Outage began. The Atlantic Power Outage of 2005 caused hundreds of thousands of people along the Atlantic coast of the United States to suffer power outages. Winter ice storms caused power cuts starting on December 15, 2005.

Electricity was not restored in many places until December 20, 2005, by which time one death was blamed on the outage.

 

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Born on This Day

1892 – J. Paul Getty, American oil tycoon (d. 1976)

1939 – Cindy Birdsong, American singer (The Supremes)

1942 – Dave Clark, English musician (The Dave Clark Five)

1948 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (d. 1991) – Born Sandra Colleen Waites in Sydney, Australia, Harris was a student of NIDA acting school from 1960 to 1963 and performed in the successful Sydney stage production of Boeing Boeing from 1964 to 1965. She appeared in The Greek Tycoon (1978), Rough Cut (1980), and the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only as the Countess Lisl von Schlaf, the ill-fated mistress of Milos Colombo (played by Israeli actor Topol). While she was filming this movie, her third husband, Pierce Brosnan, met James Bond series producer Albert R. Broccoli, which eventually led to his casting as the new James Bond with starring roles in four James Bond films. Harris had allegedly always wanted to see her husband portray James Bond, but her death occurred prior to his selection for the role in “Golden Eye.”

1949 – Don Johnson, American actor

1955 – Paul Simonon, English bassist (The Clash)

1963 – Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir

1970 – Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey

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Died on this Day and Remembered here

1944 – Glenn Miller, American musician (later declared dead on this date, exact date of death unknown) (b. 1904)

1962 – Charles Laughton, English actor (b. 1899)

1966 – Walt Disney, American animator (b. 1901)

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Thought for the Day

Every book starts with just one word.

Every great idea is sparked by a single thought.

Every morning sees a new sunrise.

And every journey begins with a single step.

So now, knowing all of this, why are you waiting for whatever you’re waiting for?

If you don’t begin, you can’t win!

❄️  ❄️  ❄️

And finally . . .

I think it’s time, since it’s only NINE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS DAY, to break out the old joke book and give you a few smiles to take out into your day, and annoy other people with.  Obviously, given the time of year, it’s going to be Christmas Jokes, so whine all you like,  I shall simply end up asking you if you’d like a little cheese with that whine.

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?
Claustrophobia!

What do you call an elf who sings?
A wrapper!

Why does Santa have three gardens?
So he can ‘ho ho ho’!

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soot’s him

Why did Santa go to the doctor?
Because of his bad “elf”!

Why are Christmas trees so fond of the past?
Because the present’s beneath them.

What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?
A Holly Davidson!

What do you call a cat in the desert?
Sandy Claws!

And that, indeed, is ‘all folks’!

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee moment with me.  I so love it when we all get together around the table and have a few giggles and laughs over a coffee, and a bit of an Ooooh and Aaaah, over the history of the day.

May your Friday be wonderful.  I hope the day gently does what Fridays normally do – get to the end and give you a sigh.  May you find some fun in the day, and see that the mood you’re in was a choice.  When you realise this, you can then decide to make a better choice.  Choose your mood wisely.  Who knows what might be dependant upon what mood you’re in.

Sending you my warmest wishes during this cold December that most of us are experiencing.  Stay warm, dress right for the weather, and come home safely.

Have a truly blessed day, my fabulous friends ~

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The Friday Post ~ 1st December 2017

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Well it’s here.  That day we were thinking was still miles away and we had plenty of time to do our Christmas shopping …. well today is the first day of December and Christmas day is just 25 days away.  Or … since you can’t actually count Christmas day itself,  24 days away.

But … if you discount today (1st December), because, well, it’s maybe not fair to include today since some of you reading right now will perhaps have just come home from a day at work, so let’s discount today too, – that makes it 23 merry Days, in which to buy the perfect presents for all those people you need to buy for,  and get them home, wrapped beautifully and labelled up, ready to give.  There.  23 days.  That’s ok, isn’t it?

So anyhoo … shall we get on with your Edumacation?  I know it’s Christmas soon, but you still need to be educationamalised so that you can come out with interesting facts at the works ‘do’, or just impress the boss with your magnificent intelligence.

On this Day in History

1824 – U.S. presidential election, Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task to decide the winner (as stipulated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
1919 – Lady Astor becomes first female member of the British Parliament to take her seat (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation. 

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois kills 92 children and three nuns.

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The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois.  The elementary and middle school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.  A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns lost their lives when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways.  Many perished while jumping from second-floor windows (which were as high as a third floor would be on level ground).  Another 100 were seriously injured.

The disaster led to major improvements in standards for school design and fire safety codes.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany for accusation of attempted arson. Former Beatles drummer Pete Best told Absolute Radio that he and Sir Paul had tried to use the condoms for extra lighting.

“We pinned them on the wall and they spluttered. Let’s get it clear, they weren’t used,”  he said. “We were charged with trying to burn our van down.”

Best said the pair were returned to the UK on suspicion of arson.

1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II. On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States held a lottery to determine the order of draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam War.

Method
The days of the year, represented by the numbers from 1 to 366 (including Leap Day), were written on slips of paper and the slips were placed in plastic capsules. The capsules were mixed in a shoebox and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from the jar one at a time.

The first day number drawn was 257 (September 14), so all registrants with that birthday were assigned lottery number 1. Men of draft age (those born between 1944 and 1950) whose birthday fell on the corresponding day of the year would all be drafted at the same time. The highest draft number called from the 1969 lottery was number 195 (September 24).

A secondary lottery was also held on the same day, to construct a random permutation of the 26 letters of the alphabet. For men born on a given day, the order of induction was determined by the rank of the first letters of their last, first, and middle names.

The lottery was conducted again in 1970 (for those born in 1951), 1971 (1952) and 1972 (1953), although the 1972 lottery went unused as the draft itself was suspended in 1973.  Lotteries were also conducted in 1973, 1974 and 1975 although the assigned numbers went unused.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.
1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the seabed.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

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Born on this Day

1761 – Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussaud’s) (d. 1850)

1913 – Mary Martin, American actor and singer (d. 1990)

1932 – Matt Monro, English singer (d. 1985)

1935 – Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian

1940 – Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian (d. 2005)

1944 – John Densmore, American drummer (The Doors)

1945 – Bette Midler, American actress and singer

1946 – Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer

1958 – Charlene Tilton, American actress

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Thought for the Day

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  We know it’s coming because the lights are already lit-up in the shops.  The trees are decorated and the Advent Calendars all have one door open.

The prophets of anxiety (in the newspapers and on TV) are predicting a difficult time for the shoppers and retailers of our over-stretched, debt-ridden lands.

Some of us feel the imminence of Christmas in the sensations of excitement and dread:  of wishing it would never end … and wanting it to be over with now.  Of the need to be at home, with family and friends – and the desire to escape it all and get as far away as possible.

The Grinch, in Dr. Seuss says:  “Christmas!  It’s practically here!”  …  Then he growled with his fingers nervously drumming.  “I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”

Advent means the arrival  – or coming  –  of an important person or thing.  But break it down into its compound words:  ‘ad’  and  ‘vent’  and it looks alarmingly like something to do with advertising and windows.  It sounds like a big commercial wind!  Which of course it is, and it has been, and probably always will be.  Which is why Grinch-like, seasonal rants about the commercial aspect of Christmas will do nothing to change it.

Priests asking us not to throw out the baby Jesus with the bath water should save their breath.  If they want us to question anything at Christmas it should be the baby:  Do we need the babyDo we want the babyWhat is this baby for?  It’s easy to see that Christmas  “doesn’t come from a store;  easy to guess it means a little bit more” [the Grinch again] .  But the question for all of us is:  What???

Isaiah, a prophet who lived before Christ, framed our need in this way:  “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down”.  There was an ache for a saviour long before one appeared.  As to what this saviour is for – Isaiah put it in these startling terms:  …. “… for those living in darkness, a light has come.”  and later …  “…he will be pierced for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed”.

For Isaiah it took 600 years and a thousand advent calendar windows before the double doors opened on the baby in the manger he predicted would be  “the Saviour of the World”.  That’s a kind of patience – a kind of expectation and waiting – which is hard to grasp.  In theory, for us,  the waiting is over.  The baby – whether we like it or not, is here.  God is with us.

As the Grinch discovered, we can’t stop Christmas from coming:  “Somehow or other, it came just the same”.  The challenge for us this advent is finding the space to think about why it came at all in the first place.   And that applies to those who believe, and those who don’t.

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Well.  I’m all puffed out now and have talked so much that my throat is sore!  I think it must be coffee time, for I need lubrication to the vocal chords.

This last week for me has been another one of crafting up a storm,  but making things I can’t share because I made some things for some lovely people who come and read my blog….  goodness knows why they come and read it. Kindness is the first thing that springs to mind.  lol.

But … I can start on other things now, so can share and will be doing so.  HURRAH!

In the meantime …  I want you to be good.  Don’t eat too many sweets.  Not too much chocolate.  And don’t do that thing which you’re Mother told you would make you blind.  Oh … and don’t stick peas up your nose.

That last one … I should perhaps explain…  Apparently – this was said by an Irish mother many, many moons ago.

She had to go out but had no one to look after her large brood of children, so she gathered them all together and told the three eldest that they were going to be ‘in charge’ for the next half an hour while she was out of the house.  She put her coat and hat on, gathered up her shopping bag and handbag, and put her hand on the door knob …. but paused and looked at them all in a very stern, Irish mother way, saying:  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!”  …  and with that she left.

20 minutes later she was back in the house to find a row of children all sat upon the work tops in the kitchen, with the three eldest children trying to do something which the one child was crying about.  Upon taking in the scene she saw that one of the eldest had his arms tightly wound around a child, so holding the childs arms down.  The second eldest had the child’s head in her hands and was tipping the childs head backwards.  And the eldest of the children had the mothers tweezers from her dressing table and was attempting to shove them up the little childs nose.

“What the divil are you doing to that child?!!”  She yelled.  “… and why they all on the kitchen tops?”

The three eldest children explained . . .  there had been no trouble until they found out that the youngsters had popped the pea pods on the kitchen table, and pushed peas up their noses and couldn’t get them down again.

“Why the dickens did you do that?”  she demanded to know, looking at them very sternly  …..

“Because you told us not to!” came a crying reply.

Hence I say to you ….  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!” 

Have a wickedly wonderful Friday, and a truly fabulous weekend.  May the force be with you.

Sending love and squidges ~

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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 ~

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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!
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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!

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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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