The #InkTober 2017 Initiative.

A couple of weeks ago I read about something called Inktober from a fabulously talented fellow blogger.  She talked about Inktober and gave a link, [Inktober Linkwill open in another web page for you] so I went to have a look.

In 2009, Illustrator Jake Parker set out to refine his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.  That year, for the month of October, he challenged himself to create a drawing every day using only ink-based products.  After watching how his technique evolved, Jake decided to dedicate every October to his passion for ink drawing – and “InkTober” was born.  Since then, InkTober has grown into a worldwide movement with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

Jake says on his blog that anyone can join in the fun.  You don’t have to be a fully paid up member of anything, nor wait to be invited.  You just pick up your ink pen and draw!  You might not call yourself an artist … but once you pick up your pen and draw … YOU ARE AN ARTIST!

The ‘rules’ are:

Inktober rules

You don’t have to do it every day.  You can do it daily if you wish, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. InkTober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.

So … now it’s my turn! 

I roughly pencilled out my drawing first then using my Kuretake Zig Millenium (005 size) in Pure Black (this pen is recommended for drawing and scrapbooking) I drew a Daisy.

#Inktober Daisy by Cobs

But … me being me, I couldn’t leave it there, and I had to add a little colour so … this is what happened:

#INKTOBER DAISY BY COBS 2

The pens used in this drawing/picture are all made by Kuretake, and the colouring pens used are called Clean Colour, Real Brush pens.

The colours used are:

  • Flesh
  • Gray Tint
  • Yellow
  • Bright Yellow
  • Mid Green
  • Pale Green

I bought a full set of these pens after seeing them demonstrated.  I’m not a colourist by nature, I’m a painter – and because of that I have a real problem making colourists colouring pens behave in the way I want them to.  But … I’m finding these Clean Colour pens to be outstanding.  There is no need to use those special blending pens which I’ve found you need to use with some other artists colourist pens.  These just know exactly what you want them to do and do it – as if by magic.   And clean up is moments.

So …  now you know what InkTober is about … how do you fancy joining me on a bit of drawing this month?  You don’t have to be Picasso, Dali, or Degas.  You just have to be able to pick up and pen and draw anything you want to.  Boxes, triangles, trains, fish, mouse, sheep, a flower, … anything.

Please ….  come and join me in the journey with a pen.  Any journey is way better when you have a friend to hold hands with.

NB – Although I’ve sung the praises of Kuretake pens, please know that I receive nothing by way of a gift or monies or payment of any sort or description.  I simply tell you what works for me and what I’m impressed with.  I don’t work for Kuretake or represent them in any way.  (It might be a dream, wish or even on my bucket list. But it’s only on a post it note pinned to the wall of my brain.  lol)

Please consider having a ‘go’ at this.  It’s all just a bit of fun and you’re not competing with anyone, and there’s no prize.  It’s just a few minutes of fun every day, while you’re having a coffee.  Do it.  Take a photo and simply post it on your blog!

Happy October, by the way!  WHITE RABBITS!

Have a blessed rest of your day. 

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Teachers help little ones to Bloom and Grow!

Daughter No.2 is Little Cobs’ (my Grandson) Mummy.  She’s not been too well and I knew she was in a pickle to get out to buy thank you cards for teachers and helpers at the end of term time for Little Cobs.  (Why she doesn’t just get all her cards from me -f.o.c. – is a mystery!).  So I offered to make the cards.  She needed three altogether and she left it up to me to design and make them.  (she trusts me!   Yup, she’s crazy,  I know!)

So for his teacher, who he loves, worships and adores to the moon and back … I made this card….

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…  Made using Altenew Stamps (roses).  I decided upon the wording first,  – oh, and where it says  ‘Little Cobs’  on the photo there … in real life it actually has his name there, in the same font as the one I used for the sentiment, just smaller in size.  It says beneath his name, if you can’t quite read itaged 6 – because he is!  See … he and I are so close in age (’cause I’m 7 as you know) and this is why we get along so well and understand each other. 😀

Once the sentiment was printed, I stamped the images – 6 roses and some leaves, and then onto some spare card, I stamped two more roses, and fussy cut those out then added double-sided foam tape to the back to fix them to the card, in order to give it a little dimension.

To finish the front off, I added some Aurora Borealis sequins and a sprinkle of pearls in three different sizes.

The back of the card … well I resisted the urge to write:  Made by Grammy Cobs  …. and instead did the proper thing …

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… if you can’t read it, try this one – I blew it up a little ….

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And that …  is all there was to it!  To be truthful, it sounds harder than it really is.   There are two more cards, but I need to re-size photo’s of those so it’s just ‘Show and Tell’ for this one today.  😀

There was sadly no painting going on over the weekend as I had a doozer of a headache and even the thought of painting was too much.  I doubt I could have come up with an idea to make into a picture other than black, black and more black.

But normal service is resumed today.  I began to paint earlier but then ended up having a mega chat via text messages with daughter.  It would have been so much easier had I spoken to her on the phone – and darn quicker too.

These kids now, they have this monkey thing going on with their thumbs and can type out a chapter of a book quicker than I can find my smilies on my phone to add to a three word message!  I’m just  tooo  s…..l….o…..w  at texting.  Typing on a proper key board I’m fine at.  I’m a trained touch typist. (not bragging, just tellin’ ya)   But longish nails combined with teeny tiny keys and then add a sprinking of idiot to the mix – all that, in charge of a cell phone,  – well let’s just say it doesn’t make the perfect scenario!

So anyhoo…   … I began to paint, but ended up having to pack things away and continue the hour-long texting session.  However,  … I’ll be back in my craft room tomorrow and hopefully finish the painting off and photos will follow.

  • For the girls reading:  It’s a watercolour life study of a naked man –  Mr.Cobs posed.
  • For the men …  it’s a painting of a Kentucky Fried Chicken Family Bucket, with a bottle of Coke sat next to it. 

…  (and if you believe it’s either of those things then you’ll also believe I can knit jelly!)

In the meantime …  Have a Happy Tuesday.  Be kind.  Be brave.  Be beautiful.  Be youFor  you  are truly amazing,  just the way you are.

Thank you for coming.  It means the world to me to see you.

Have a good day, where ever you are.  And where ever you are, may your God go with you.  

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A bunch of Christmases all at once.

Happy December the 1st!

Yes  …  it scared me too and I didn’t see why I should be feeling that feeling all alone, so decided to drag you in there too.  And now that I’ve sent your brain into a spin, let’s get on with enjoying the day shall we?

So, to start with  … smile, even if you don’t feel like it.  S.M.I.L.E. …  and remember that even if the day is grey and you don’t feel like anything like happy …. just the act of smiling can trick your brain into sending out the feel good hormones which can turn your day around.  So stand up … go and stand in front of a mirror and smile your biggest cheesy smile at yourself for 30 seconds. 

Look into your eyes while you’re stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat – and although your cheeks might ache a littlekeep the smile going until either:  you crack and begin to laugh at yourself.  OR …  30 seconds is up.  Then go off and do something to get your day kicking and alive.  (And if you feel miserable at all any time today – do the smile thing again.  30 seconds remember!).  Even if it only works for half an hour, that’s half an hour of feeling better that you would have missed if you hadn’t tried the smiling trick.

I’ve been trying to post these Christmas Cards since last week!  I haven’t been tardy or lazy, I’m fighting an infection which is causing me the most dreadful pain on the right hand side of my back and partly in my tummy;  and it’s also affecting the skin on my back, making it feel as if the skin is burnt – like it’s been ironed with a hot iron, and it feels like it’s been sandpapered and should be red raw.  Just awful.  I’m now on my third (different) lot of antibiotics,  and if these latest ones don’t start making a difference within 24 hours,  I have to call my GP, and I think they may admit me to hospital so that they can plug me into the ‘powerful drug army’,  filling me up intravenously with infection fighting soldiers who will (hopefully) beat the infection to a pulp.  (I have my fingers crossed that these new antibiotics which they’ve given me, begin to work, so that I don’t have to go in, as I don’t like hospitals). 

Right, enough talking about rubbish stuff  …  let’s get these cards shared with you …

I wanted to make a few quick and easy cards for various people.  I have to send some through the post so wanted cards which will fit into an envelope and not have them damaged or bits knocked off them, so they had to be of few ‘adornments’, and flat enough to go into a regular envelope.  AND … just to add a bit of a challenge to the task, I wanted to make them from bits and pieces I’ve had left-over from projects I’ve made for Christmas cards of long ago.  So I went through my Christmas Box and by the time I’d finished I had a pile on my desk all the things which were left overs from previous Christmases.  Cor!  Did I have a lot of left overs! 

I found some card stock and bits of adornments from about 7 years ago (I think – but this is just a guess).  All of the following cards are made from those left overs.

bauble-tree-3

Frost and Ice Christmas Tree.

This first card …. is made on a background of a rich, dark blue card on which is printed a music score, with the addition of some script writing.  I embossed around the outer edges of the card background to make it look more icy and wintery cold, using the silver embossing powders by Tonic. (This icy cold doesn’t show up in the photo, but in reality it actually does look really wintery and like looking through a window which you’d scratched off the ice so that you could look through it).

I added a length of [plastic] balls on a ‘string’ around the tree (and glued it in place on the back) then added some red gems to represent baubles on the tree.

bauble-tree-2

 

I then mounted the decorated die cut Christmas Tree onto a square of printed velum using foam tape.  The addition of the greeting  ‘Merry Christmas’ finished the card off.

This next card was shamefully easy, but in real life looks far lovelier than in the photograph.

wreath-1

The card background is actually white with a sort of shimmery silvery white patterning all over it.  If you hold it one way, then you see everything as white.  But if you hold it another way, you can clearly see the patterns on the cardstock.  It’s really beautiful, and so tactile too!

wreath-2

I added tiny red gems to the die cut wreath and a die-cut bow – mounted on foam dots, to give it depth, then fixed the decorated wreath to the cardstock using foam tape, and Voila!  Card 2 done and dusted.

snowflake-1

Card 3 was made using the same cardstock as card 1 – the deep dark blue, with the musical score printed on it.  Two die cut snowflakes adorn this card.  One large, and one small,  along with a length of silvery balls, onto which I threaded a silver bead, and glued it in place on the length of silver balls using Tonic Glue.  Whilst that was drying I fixed the largest of the snowflakes in place …

snowflake-3-lrge-flake

…  and added three little red gems to the middle of it, to give the card a nod of a third colour.

snowflake-4-little-flake

Then added the second, smaller snowflake, which was die cut from holographic card, and twinkled like crazy.  I added a little clear gem to the middle of this snowflake, to give it an added dimension.

Finished the card off with the ‘Merry Christmas‘ greeting and this was then Card number 3 ticked off the list.

christmastree-3

The fourth card …  I love this background!  All those fabulous little Christmas Trees, with the great big star on the top, complete with the baubles.  Love it!

Using a rule, I drew lines with a thicker nibbed embossing pen all around the card, and using Tonic Silver embossing powder, I embossed those lines.

Then taking a square of velum, I embossed the edges of the card with a frosty looking Dtsilver Embossing Powder and then did the same thing on the edges of a die cut and embossed Christmas Tree.

christmastree-2

Using foam tape, I mounted the tree onto the velum, and fixed the velum and tree to the cardstock.  I wanted a silver star for the top of the tree, but sadly couldn’t find one big enough,  in the end I chose this lovely blue pearly star, which looks slightly different in colour in the photos, but it’s nearer in colour to the blues in the card background.

christmastree-1

And that was card 4 ticked off the list!  Now onto card 5 …

white-snowflake1

For this final card, I chose to make another snowflake card, but this time on a different background, and with a more complicated snowflake as the main attraction.

white-snowflake-3

I’ve tried to capture the various layers of this snowflake but have failed miserably.  Because it’s cut from holographic paper and card, it twinkles madly, and I’ve tried taking photographs with the flash, without the flash, with the spotlights, without them, with and without a desk lamp and all sorts of combinations, I couldn’t find the right one to show you all the layers, so I’m afraid you’ll  just have to imagine them showing up – for they are there in that photo above!

And that, was a big tick against quick and simple card number 5.

Normal service of cards which need a box or a security guard, will be resumed as soon as possible – dependant upon how this darned infection behaves on these new drugs.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running at a more reasonable speed on Friday, when we have the regular ‘Things I’ve Learned This Week‘ post, where I share with you the stuff life has taught me during the last seven days.  (I already have a list made,  and I think you might enjoy this list …  and get a few laughs out of it at the same time).

In the meantime …  do me a great big favour and spread a little joy about your home and your neighbourhood.  Do something lovely which will make someone else smile.

How about using a piece of chalk and leaving little messages on the pavement (sidewalk) for other people to see, read, and smile about.  What would you say?  How about “Hello!” for starters?  Or: “You have a beautiful smile“,  or maybe  “Hello Beautiful!“.  Just say something you know would tickle you if you saw it chalked on the pavement.

Or .. maybe make someone’s birthday extra special …  don’t buy them flowers or chocolates, buy them something they may never have received before … balloons!  A bunch of  Helium balloons, chosen just for them, by you, and either deliver them yourself or have them delivered if you can’t get to them.  They’re a reminder of childhood, and seem to make everyone smile.  So give it a try.  (Even if it’s not their birthday … if you want to make them smile, then send them a bunch of helium balloons.  It will make their day!)

And . . .  for you;   I wish you a thoroughly tip-top Thursday!  May the day bring you smiles and at the end of your day, may you look back over the hours and realise that you’ve had a really O.K. kind of day, in a thoroughly good way.  May you have found something wonderful to smile about today.

Be careful out there … oh ….  and ….  be good to each other.

love and squidges ~

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Things I’ve Learned this Week

Well, looky here!  It’s Friday again, and we all know what Friday means ….  it means that you come to school to learn all the valuable life gems that I’ve learned this week (whether I wanted to or not) so that you don’t have to!  (It’s my personal kindness to society.  I learn all this stuff and just tell you about it so that you’re warned!). lol

So … what have I learned this week?

magnum

I’ve learned:  That I shouldn’t eat Magnum Ice Creams  . .  because

chocolate-2

. . . .  the Gods of Ice Cream and Chocolate all get together and have an absolutely bally hilarious time laughing at me as tiny bits of the chocolate covering drop off the ice cream lolly, straight onto my top;  my decolletage;   or, if they manage to actually get past my chest, straight onto my lap.  And … sometimes all three!  I end up looking like I can’t feed myself and need a carer to assist!

chocolate-1

I’ve learned:  That a silhouette isn’t just the title of an image of a person, or dog, tree, building etc.,  that you can only see in a solid colour – normally black, grey or brown (but I’ve seen them in other colours).

silhouette-1

In actual fact Silhouette is the name of a French Minister of Finance, way back in the 1700’s.

silhouette-2

Etienne de Silhouette (French Minister of Finance) put up taxes massively for the French upper classes,  during the seven years war.  Because of these high taxes,  paintings (a favourite of the upper classes)  were way too costly (and there were no cameras around during that time – surprising as that might sound),  so they came up with a very cost-effective way to have ‘pictures’ of their loved ones,  family, friends and pets.  They had picture cut outs of them instead of paying a ludicrous amount for a painting.

silhouette-3Having a talented artist cut out your daughter/son, dog, mother etc, out of paper,  was an exceptionally cheap way of getting around the taxes put on paintings.

So because of this ‘high tax’ time in France, anything that could be made cheaply was always linked to Etienne de Silhouette, however the little paper cut outs have retained the name Silhouette to this day and it’s known all around the world.

The final thing I’ve learned this week  . . .  is that when I see something (craft related) which I instantly fall in love with,  but I tell myself that the set is too expensive;  –  and  besides which:  what if I don’t use them enough to get my monies worth out of them?;  –  and … well,  surely I have enough things in my amazing craft room that I really shouldn’t be buying anymore ?. . . .

kick-the-can

I’ve learnt that I should bally well ignore myself and my guilt conscience and purchase the very things I so desperately want when they’re available – and before they’ve sold out. The promised new supply of said things (I was notified by the craft store) would be here in … July. No ..  August.   No ..September …  and then when the date in September rolls around and you call the company up, with your bank card clutched in your grubby little fist … the company say that “the suppliers are really messing around and only half of the stock has turned up from over-seas!” …  AND THE MOST WANTED THINGS OUT  OF ALL THE THINGS I WAS GOING TO BUY,  ISN’T EVEN BEING MADE AT THE MOMENT BY COUTURE CREATIONS (in Australia) YES, STAND UP AND OWN THE SHAME THAT COMPANY!

grrrrr

And the craft store where I was going to buy them from has said that they’re actually not really very sure if the company  (Couture Creations) will even put them through for making them again as they were originally out (in Aus) in the very early part of this year so to Cout.Crea., they’re kind of ‘old stock’ and they may be moving on to a new range now. (These products [dies, papers, embossing folders, chipboard decorations etc]  only came to the UK around the early part of June, and then at that time they were only available from Create & Craft.)

darn-it

I nearly cried when I got off the phone today. It made me cross and miserable,  I think simply because I was getting so excited as the day drew nearer for me to be able to buy them.  I’m now faced with either doing without;   buying them from an eBay seller in Australia (at a higher price and then add the postal charges for posting to the UK);  or … buying a set of these from Create and Craft at a higher price than I could have paid if I’d just have bought a whole bloomin’ lot at the beginning when they were on a Special Offer price.  [sigh]

Ahh [sigh] we live and learn, we live and learn.   Time for more chocolate I think.

chocolate-3

Well …  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had trouble with my days all week.  I thought Tuesday was Monday – all day I kept saying that it was Monday. I’d gone back a day!

But then …  I thought Wednesday was Thursday – so I went forward a day.

And yesterday I thought Thursday was today, Friday,  and I began to panic that I hadn’t got various things done and had run out of time!

Something is wrong with the wiring in my brain It’s shorting somewhere.  Either that … or I’m a dope.  Hmmmm … [thinks for a moment  . . . .]   Yes, I agree with you.  I’m definitely a dope.  Hang on, hang on a cotton pickin’ minute  …  what’s all this talk about a BRAIN?  I’m getting rather ahead of myself here, aren’t I?!   I don’t have ‘a brain’.   I have …  A BRAIN CELLThat, dear reader, is a very different thing altogether!

new-ron

Ahhh, life could be so much more simple if I just listened to my brain cell.  But I insist on confusing it and making it feel like I expect more from it.  Poor New Ron.

Aw look …  Have a wonderful weekend my friends.  If trouble comes a calling, don’t answer the door. Decide to have a great day, each morning you wake up.  It’s as simple as that.  Two choices.  Decide or have:  A)  a good day.  – or – B)  a bad day.  I know which one I’m going to choose. …  well, New Ron does.  lol

Sending my grandest of squidges to you.  Be nice to each other.

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A Celebration? Put it on a Pin Board!

I made a Pinboard Card for someone a couple of years ago and made it really personal to them.  I resized some photographs and made them small enough to ‘pin’ to the pinboard, along with a few other bits and pieces, so that the whole card was themed especially for this person.

I’ve been thinking about that card recently and remembering how much I loved it when it was finished,  and wishing that I’d taken a photograph of it at the time, (as usual, I forgot),  so I thought I’d make another Pinboard card, only this time I’d make it for anyone.  I’d make it in such a way that it could  eventually  be personalised by adding small photos or a note of love or … well – anything really!

This is a really easy card to make, so easy in fact that I can just give you photo’s with a few details …  you’ll see how easy .

Pin Board Card 1

Made on a white 8″x 8″ white card, of a decent weight, as this has to take a few embellishments.

Pin Board Card 2

Mat and layer mirror board to the card, then before adding the next layer, cut your paper or cardstock to size and fix ribbons in place to make the pin board … then .. 

Pin Board Card 3

Next …  You have to punch holes through your ribbon and paper/card stock so that you can add ‘pins’ (brads) to the pin board.  If you don’t have a long arm punch (Mine is the Crop-a-Dile Big Bite you see in the picture) you could instead fix the ribbon in place on the cross sections using glue dots or double-sided tape, then put buttons as the pins instead of brads.  …

Pin Board Card 4

All my favourite brads are all by Kuretake (and I have a fair old selection of them too!).

I used to live a short distance away from the Kuretake head office and every year they would have one day set aside for crafters to visit them and buy from a large selection of their products all priced at a slightly reduced price.  Ohhhh they were the best ever days!  The people there are SO nice,  truly amazing people, full of advice and help.  Nothing is too much trouble and I can honestly say that because of these days I love the Kuretake Company.  And because of these wonderful days, I have rather a lot of Kuretake products – from specialist pens to embellishments to … brads!, and I love them all.

Aaanyway .. back to the card….   Once you’ve fixed your brads/buttons in place, you can then add your embellishments.

  • If the person you’re sending the card to is poorly, then you could add a ‘fake’ little prescription and make a mini box of tablets to fix to the board.
  • Or if someone is having a baby .. you could add paper booties (or tiny real knitted ones) and hang them on the board using a button.
  • Getting Married?  Put a miniature card on the pin board, of their wedding invitation .. simply scan their invite and then resize it on your computer, print it out and VOILA!
  • Engaged
  • Anniversary
  • …  or anything. (apart from sad occasions – this really wouldn’t work for those days) 

Pin Board Card final

Such an easy card to make and such a versatile design.  You just choose the right colour(s) and personalise it and *there* is the perfect card!

Well now it’s time for a weather report from our new weather girl Cobs:- 

….  as I’m typing this I’m melting like the witch in the Wizard of Oz, who had the water thrown over her.  The weather here is too hot, very humid, very steamy (and not in a good way), and very sticky.  It’s the sort of weather that makes you want to get in the shower two minutes after you’ve stepped out of it.  It’s so blooming tiring too!   I was going to share the temperature with you, but I’m too worn out to walk out to the decking and check the thermometer. tsk tsk! (Is that lazy,  old,  or just heat affected?  Actually,  thinking about it,  it’s probably all three!)

I’ve had a word with God  (“Hello God, it’s me again”   . . .   is the way I usually start off and He doesn’t seem to mind me being so informal) …  and I’ve asked if He could please turn down the Heavenly thermostat which is labelled  ‘Earth’,  and so I’m hoping that things will be cooler tomorrow.

Well that’s me done and dusted, except to wish you a very happy Monday.  May your days this week be gentle, joyous and leave you smiling at bedtime.

Remember to make some happy memories as you go through your daysSmile,  today.  Make that memory, today.   Make someone else smile, today.  Let’s do it to them before they do it to us  (smiling that is.).

Have a truly blessed day my friends ~

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Glitter and Twinkle

How do you photograph an item which has glitter on it?  (insert a red-faced, steam coming out of the ears emoticon here and you’ll get a picture of what I look like right now).

I’ve made something that I want to share with you, but, out of all the photographs I’ve taken, I cannot get a good photo because the glitter which I’ve used shows up in the photographs as dots and blobs and looks like the glitter fairy has flown over it several times, instead of twinkling merrily like very fine glitter dust does.

So … any tips for photographing something which twinkles and sparkles like mad when viewed with the eyes, but looks like a crazy mess on a photo?

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