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!

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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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