The Wand of Dooom ~ by Little Cobs aged 7 (almost)

Little Cobs, my scrumptious Grandson (aged nearly 7 – as he’s fond of reminding me), has never, up till now, been that ‘into’ crafting.  It was such a heart-sore to me but it was something that every now and again I’d have a play around with, at the dining room table, to see if I could spark him up and get him going.  That was until last week when I asked him if he wanted to do a little painting or something …  he positively JUMPED at it!  So, acting upon his instructions I got various colours of paint, and bits of card, and he went off to his bedroom, (here in Cobweb Towers) coming back with an armful of Dinosaurs.  “Lets do Dinosaur footprints!”  he said excitedly.  So … we did.  We painted (with a cut sponge) the dinosaurs feet and made them ‘walk’ across the bits of card!

Not wanting to end this sudden change of craftiness, I said …. “Oooo, I know … let’s paint a proper painting.  On a canvas – just like an artist does!”  He was all for this … so another trip to the craft room, and I returned to the table with a small canvas – about 6″x 4″ (roughly) … and we painted birds – …. well, actually he painted different coloured splodged finger prints, and I said I would do some magic and turn them into anything he wanted – except dinosaurs (because we’d already done those) … birds was chosen – along with a special request from him of …  “A SLUG!” – which we named Cecil.  We left the painting to dry, I added some details to the back (name, date etc) and then sealed the acrylics lightly so that he could take it home and impress mummy and daddy.  (They were by the way (impressed).

So this week I thought I’d try to get him to do something else crafty …. and … we made his very own Wand!

Wand of Dooom 1

 

 

I’ve seen wands on Pinterest made for children, using a hot glue gun.  Personally – I don’t think the making of anything using a Hot Glue Gun is child friendly.  But that’s just me and my over-protective Grammyness!.

Most of you know that Little Cobs has Cerebral Palsy – which,  along with other problems, can affect his hand/eye co-ordination a little, and sometimes he can be a bit shaky – hence the reason I wanted to get the main hot glue stuff out of the way.  BUT … I knew we would still have to use the glue gun for fixing adornments. 

Wand of Dooom 3

He  chose three different coloured jewels, a red one, a blue one and a black one, all which had one side covered in aurora borealis and made the jewel flash all sorts of colours as you moved them.

I explained that Grammy would have to fix these jewels to the wand using some very special glue and a hot glue gun.  I told him that this was very dangerous stuff and only for grown ups to do – so although he could tell me where he wanted his jewels to be, I would have to glue them.

Bless his heart, he was so good about it.  He sat patiently, watching – and playing with all the jewels in the pots – (he even went and got his little matchbox digger/earth mover and made a building site on the table while waiting).

Then came the painting bit – and after that …. best of all ….  we added shine and glimmer, which gave it “the MAGIC!” (apparently) – at least that’s what Little Cobs said, and he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to magic. (apparently).  🙂

I gave him a little make up sponge and showed him how to gently add the glimmer and shine to the wand, in the places he wanted it to be.  He had an absolute ball of a time with it.  So much so that I had beautiful gold fingernails where he’d sponged me with it too.

Wand of Dooom 2

 

The glimmer and shine (the MAGIC) comes from one of my favourite products in my craft room.  Pinflair Buff It.  Available HERE. (scroll down just a little to find where the Buff It products are listed).  I use the original Buff-it rather than the liquid Buff-it.  I’ve never tried the liquid so can’t comment on it.  As you can see in the above photo … the buff it will ‘go’ just about anywhere.  On the wood and on the glue, beads, jewels and on Grammys too!   Then after a gentle polish with a soft tissue, the wand was finished and ready to wave, with a swish and a flick!  (Harry Potter fans will ‘get’ that).

And that’s all there was to it!

I thought a great name for this wand would be:  The Three Eyed Dragon Wand (because the jewels look like three dragon eyes peeping out) …  but Little Cobs felt that he could come up with something far better … so while I went and washed my gold fingernails, young Cobs turned his Grandad into a Frog and when I got back into the living room Little Cobs proclaimed that this (waving his wand about with abandon) was  …  “THE WAND  OF  DOOOM!”  –  you have to say it in a deeper voice than normal and prolong that ‘Dooom’, so that it gives the listener a feeling of impending … dooom.  LOL.  When I said it as The Wand of Doom, I was corrected and made to say it several times until I got it right.

Some people are so bossy!  😀

We did actually make something else too ...  but I’ll leave that for another day.

Well ….  Happy Monday!  The start of another week.  Another one!  Coo, aren’t we lucky that we get given these weeks, and we don’t even ask for them or add them to our shopping lists!  We get them free too – which is my very most favourite price!

 Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee with me.  May today be a really great day for you.  Remember … you’re in charge of your mood, so pick a good one! 

Sending love and squidges,  from me, here in my corner, to you, there in yours ~

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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 Peacock made from Stamp Soup!

I saw the technique for making this card demonstrated about 3 weeks ago and the whole thing fascinated me so much that I tried to remember every little thing about how the demonstrator made her creation.  Now I know that I haven’t got it exactly the way she did it, but it’s close enough.

Made on an 8″x8″ scored and folded card, using Polkadoodles Stamp Soup stamps, called Regal Peacock.  But … that name really is just a suggestion, for you could make a million different creations with these stamps because the results will come from your imagination.  You and I could begin with the same stamps and yet we’d make something way different from each other.

Here ….  take a look at them:

Polkadoodle Stamp Soup

. . . can you see the peacock stamp in there? . . .  No?  That’s probably because there isn’t one!   I used 7 different stamps to make the peacock.  You can pick them out … they’re the ones which are a little darker in colour.  I used a black Stazon Ink Pad (solvent ink) so that I could then colour the images using watercolours.

Polkadoodle Peacock close up

You don’t have to be ‘neat and tidy’ when painting the Peacock feathers,  just free-handed with the paint.  Then once dry, all the feathers (which were stamped onto spare card, then painted) have to be cut out and then ‘feathered’ at the edges by cutting into the images with light, small cuts.  Those peacock feathers are then adhered to the main peacock body which I’d previously stamped and coloured using the watercolour paints, directly onto the card.

Finally …. some parts of the peacock were embossed with gold and green embossing powders.

Polkadoodle bright light

. . .  and that’s all there was to it!

Although simple to make … I had to spread it over three days so it kind of felt a little time-consuming.  All the waiting for paint to dry, and cutting out of all the feathers….  little things, but they all added up to time.  But it was a totally, thoroughly enjoyable make, I have to admit.  A lot of fun – and I can’t wait to make something else with those stamps now.

coffee cup

So anyway …  how the divil are you?  I feel as if we haven’t got together for a coffee and chat for weeks and weeks.

In my world … the chubby dog (aka the Belly on legs) had to go to the vet this week.  I noticed that she had some tiny patches of hair loss on her back so off to the vets we went and after some examination and a bit of testing, we were told she’s got a Bacterial Skin Infection. (That’s the dog not the vet who has the skin infection).  So we have a little bottle of stuff which we have to massage into her skin … wait 5 minutes, then thoroughly wash off.  And we were given some tablets, which she has to have twice a day.

Now she really doesn’t mind the tablets.  She’s called ‘My Little Fat Bitch‘ for a reason.  She can eat as if it’s going out of fashion, and she thinks those tablets are treats, so woofs them down!

And  . . .   she really loves the massage bit of the stuff in the bottle … but … the bit she’s not at all happy with, is the  ‘wash it all off’  bit.  She HATES the shower.  HATES it.  Did I say that strongly enough? I’m not sure I did so let me repeat myself:    SHE HATES THE SHOWER.

She’s told me time and time again;  . . .   “Belly is not designed for getting wet.  Don’t let Belly get wet.  That umbrella …. that’s for Belly. Hold it down here, over Belly – NOT over you!   Don’t let Belly Get Wet!! 

She SO hates getting wet that she would rather plait her legs,  (‘braids’ for folks in the USA),  than go out into the garden to have a tiddle if it’s raining outside.  This adorable, much loved pooch  even squints in the rain.  Yes, seriously. I kid ye not!

So the massage and shower isn’t the most enjoyable task … but then … I don’t have to do it.  Mr. Cobs Senior takes on that job, (bless him)  because I feel like Cruella de Vil  if I try to do it.

When it’s all over and done with … you have to see that rotund little dog absolutely barrel out of that bathroom!   She’s like a bullet out of a gun!   It’s among the funniest things to watch …  and boy can her little legs can move when she wants them to!

So anyhoo  . . .  what’s going on in your corner that you’d like to share with me while we drink the last few sips of coffee from our cups?

Won the Lottery?  Got a new job?  Sold your house?  Adopted a new pet?  Or … by any chance . . .   Does your dog have a bacterial skin infection?  Your cat?  YOU?  I can recommend a vet!   🙂

Wishing you a thoroughly enjoyable Thursday.   May the hours go as fast, or as slow, as you would like them to.  Just find the fun and enjoy it.

Be the reason someone smiles today.  Heaps of squidges from me in my corner, to you in yours.

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Things I’ve Learned This Week.

Hello, good morning and …. HAPPY FRIDAY!

I don’t know about you, but Fridays give me this funny little feeling somewhere between my tummy button and my … erm … my uhm  …  chest. (phew – that was touch and go there for a minute).  It’s an odd sort of feeling,  like my body is having a quiet giggle to itself.  A cross between a giggle and a tickle – but right inside me.  In the centre of my body.  Funniest little feeling.  Nice one though.

Aww … hush up Cobs.  Get on with the post already!

Right .. you’re here to read about how I’ve had my edumacation improved this week, so without further ado, I shall plunge straight in and get on with it.

This week I learned . . . that Liechtenstein is a tiny, doubly landlocked country tucked away between Switzerland and Austria.  It owes much of its wealth to its traditional status as a tax haven, though it has in recent years taken steps to shake off its image as a tax haven and to reposition itself as a legitimate financial centre.

However …  do you know that Liechtenstein is the Worlds Leading Manufacturer in  _______.   If you don’t know the answer to that …. have a guess.  Think about the country.  Think about where it is.  Imagine what you think that Liechtenstein is the Worlds Leading Manufacturer in.  Just take a wild guess.

Vaduz Castle, overlooking the capital, is home to the Prince of Liechtenstein

Let’s see if you guessed correctly shall we?  In actual fact, Liechtenstein is the Worlds Leading Manufacturer in  —>left click on your mouse and hold the click as you drag your cursor over this blank spot here —>FALSE TEETH<—  😀   If you’re anything like me you’ll have guessed that it would be some sort of speciality Beer.  But no…  such a beautiful place with such romantic feel about it – who could have guessed that fact?  lol

If you’d like to learn a little more about this enchanting place you can read more here:  The Spectator – Liechtenstein  the link will open up in another page for you.  If when the page loads, it asks you to ‘join up’ to their site, either close that smaller window or simply click back, then click forward and the Spectators efforts to get you to sign up will disappear so that you can read.

Now thenwhat else have I learned this week?….  ohhhhh… I know…

I learned this week that when you have a plan,  the world laughs at you and makes other plans just to see how you handle the new stuff which life has thrown at you.

My craft room is all set up in our converted garage.  The whole thing was already converted when we bought the cottage – so it seemed to be fate that brought us to it.

It took about a year before we were able to set up the room properly so that I could craft in it.  (we had to do renovations to the cottage after we bought it).  And I love it in there.  However … I did have to make a teensy bit of room for our washing machine.  But it’s located at the other end of the room, away from where I sit, so I didn’t bother too much about it.  BUT … this week it suddenly began making the most dreadful noise when it started to spin.  BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!  It got louder too.

So scared was I that I picked up the phone and called Mr.Cobs (he was in the cottage – our phones can call each other – so my phone in the garage can, at the press of a button, call the phone in the house.  It works!.  When Himself answered the phone I had to shout to hear myself talk….  “come to the craft room QUICK!”,   I was scared silly that the Washing Machine was going to suddenly blow up!

Well, shortening the tale … the Washing Machine has gone to Washing Machine Heaven.  So .. a new machine was found, delivery arranged, payment was made AT GREAT EXPENSE I might add!,  (I hope this new machine makes me my coffee, I’m telling you!).  Then Mr.Cobs said he’d have to get the old machine out, ready for the men to make delivery of new machine, and take old machine away with them.  And that’s where the trouble started.

It sounded like such a simple thing – remove old washing machine, make space for new one.  Oh. My. Goodmiss!  I hadn’t quite realised that there was a small(ish) Ikea unit which although not ‘in front’ of our old machine … it was enough in front, to stop the machine moving fully out of its position.  So that unit had to be moved.  Which meant that a whole load of stuff on the unit had to move, and then all the stuff which was on top of the unit had to be moved … and well, shortening the tale even further … a mess the size of a volcano happened.  I haven’t been able to work at my desk(s) all week.  I decided that since we’d got that unit out, then perhaps the best thing would be to re-site it and attach it to the sewing desk, so that the unit wouldn’t be in the way.

I won’t bore you with the jiggling which happened after that, but suffice to say … I could, at 7.30pm on Thursday night (yesterday) finally see a bit of my desk again.    So from all this I learned …  That I rather envied my Grandmother and how she told me about she used to do the washing for her growing family …. in a ‘dolly tub’ in the back garden.  BRING BACK THE DOLLY TUB!  It’s cheaper, and it doesn’t break down!

Credit: East Cleveland Image Archive

I also learned this week:  in quick, ‘bullet’ form ….

That . . .  80% of food has sugar added to it.

That . . .  Wasps must wear ‘uniforms’ by smearing themselves with wax from their nest, and then on their return, fellow wasps recognise they are from the same colony and accept them in.

That . . .  Mark Twain invented and patented the bra-strap clasp.  I kid ye not.  This really is true.

That . . .   Abulia is the word for the inability to make decisions.

A musophobist is a person who distrusts poetry.  As someone who will make up a bit of silly poetry at the drop of a hat – this was a real upset to me!

Depp means ‘twit’ in German.  This kind of upset me for a moment, because I used to have rather a soft spot for Johnny Depp …  but then I outgrew him so no longer upset.  🙂

The first commercial chewing gum appeared in 1871, after Thomas Adams had failed to make car tyres from the same ingredients.  Yes … that stopped me in my tracks too when I learned that.

The Pantone colour chart has 104 shades of grey.  So that means  *that fellow*  in  *that ’50 shades’ book*  was well below par.  (snigger I’m so glad that I didn’t read it.

and finally . . .

Male Ladybirds can spend up to four hours mating with a dead female before realising something is wrong.  Ok… I’m going to stand up and admit that I actually laughed.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry to the Men Ladybirds.  I don’t think I meant to find that funny … but … well … it just kinda snuck up on me and before I knew it I was giggling like a schoolgirl.  (And each time I think of it, I start giggling all over again).  I don’t know why it tickles the heck out of me …  well, maybe I do…  but I’m not going to say.  Let’s just say that I apologise.  (and yes…. I’m giggling right now too).

I’ve learned rather a lot this week.  How I’ve managed to remember all of it so that I can share it with you, is way out of my understanding.  But I’m so glad that I did.  (Especially so the Lady(man)bird one.  LOLOL.  [now stop it Cobs.  Behave yourself!  tsk tsk.]

Well there’s only enough time for some jokes now, so I’d better get on with it….  ready?  OK.. let’s go!

Why did the bicycle fall over?  . . . Because it was two tired!

Why did the prune go out with the raisin?  . . .  They couldn’t find dates!

Did you hear about the corduroy pillow?  . . .   It made the headlines.

Why do they call them light bulbs?  …  Because they don’t weigh very much.

What’s red and looks like a bucket? . . .  A red bucket.

What’s blue and smells like red paint?  . . .  Blue paint

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?  . . . A carrot

Why does Beethoven hate chickens? . . .  Because all they ask for is Bach Bach Bach Bach Bach.

and finally . . .

What is Beethoven up to now? . . . Decomposing.

I did say that we could talk more about Time Travelling this week … but I ran out of …..  lol.

Truth is, I think I’ve talked more than enough, so I’m going to shut up and give your brain a rest.

Also ….  My apologies to all the crafters out there, because I haven’t shared anything crafty with you this week.  Having had my craft room turned upside down hasn’t helped with any crafty endeavours  … but …  I’m filled with ideas for what I want to do, so I’ll try to be back next week with something lovely to look at.

I have a busy weekend coming ….  I’m hosting Little Cobs Birthday Party in our cottage.  I’ve been busy ordering, buying, finding and all manner of things.  So I’m really looking forward to his party on Saturday (tomorrow).  All I have to remember to do before then is find half an hour to wrap his gifts, instead of realising ten minutes before the party starts, that I haven’t wrapped them!  eeeek! 

So … what about you?  Do you have anything planned for this weekend?  Do share.  I’d love to hear about what you’re up to in your corner of the world.

Whatever you’re doing, may you find happiness and joy.  May the weather be what you’d like it to be, and may love enter your life softly, gently, and leave footprints on your heart.  Be good to each other, and . . . may your God go with you.

Brightly woven, cobwebby squidges, to you in your corner, from me in mine  ~

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Craft Living with Anne and Malcolm – 2

We first met Anne and Malcolm a few weeks ago (if you missed the first post you can find it HERE), and now they’re back again for another visit, to share with us all their unique observations on Life living with a Crafter via the use of photographs.

For those who haven’t ‘met’  Anne and Malcolm,  then  . . .  Crafters, Ladies and Gentlemen … May I introduce you to Malcolm and Anne. A glimpse into the exciting world of Crafters and their spouses.   

(Anne and Malcolm exist solely inside my imagination and for the purpose of…) . . . .

THE  COBWEB  CATALOGUE

of a Living  (in my imaginationCrafter & Spouse

voodoo-dolly-1

Malcolm loved that Anne was so happy in the craft room he’d ‘built’ for her, but one thing didn’t go down well with him at all.  The Voodoo Dolly strapped to the big star.  He wished with all his heart that she’d part company with that, because it gave him the heebie-jeebies and he didn’t like to go into the craftroom to get any of his cooking spices which Anne insisted should be in her craft room.  It made him wonder exactly what sort of ‘craft’ Anne was practising!

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the-sewing-room-2

Anne had dropped (very) heavy hints to Malcolm, and even left brochures around the house  in the hope he’d get the idea about what she dearly wanted as a Birthday gift this year.  But on her Birthday, all he’d bought her was a wall mounted thingy-ma-jiggy-me-bob on which to store all her cotton reels,  and he still hadn’t noticed the lack of a sewing machine in her Sewing Room!

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naughty-basket-and-glass-jar-jails-3

Anne was far happier now that she’d finally got
a ‘Naughty Basket’ for the fabrics which were
misbehaving,  and two Glass Jail Jars for those really
BAD fabrics who were the real trouble makers in
the bunch!  She was determined to teach them
a lesson!

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hastily-packed-suitcases-4

Back from their shopping trip, Malcolm took Anne’s new blue basket, filled with all the ribbons she’d bought that morning, down to her basement craft room.  That’s when he noticed the hastily packed suitcases under her fabric cutting desk.   The neighbours could hear that trouble was brewing in  ‘Chez Malcanne’,   as Malcolm climbed the stairs from the basement, two at a time, shouting:  “Anne!  ANNE!!”    with a rather cross tone to his voice.

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clean-up-5

While Anne was away visiting her mother for a couple of days, Malcolm had planned to clean up her crafting room as a surprise for her upon her return.  He thought she’d love how clean and tidy it was now, and also thought she’d adore all the storage boxes with all their little drawers which he’d sorted her things into, and then spent four hours writing little sticky labels out for each drawer.  Sadly, we crafters among us know exactly what was going to happen the minute she stepped inside that door.  She would look around that room with horror mounting and registering on her face.  It was going to take her years to find all her lovely things – which despite what he might have thought,   were all in their correct places (for her) and she prided herself on knowing that she could put her hand on ANYTHING she required because she’d known exactly where it all was!  But not any longer!    Malcolm was going to be TOAST!

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not-so-much-a-craft-room-as-a-breeding-programme-6

One corner of Anne’s Stitch, Knit and Sew Crafting Room was dedicated to what Anne affectionately called her ‘woolly life‘.  However,  Malcolm suspected that this corner had nothing to do with crafting, and instead believed it was a secret Breeding Programme.  The mound seemed to increase weekly, and yet Anne always laughed and denied it when he suggested to her that she’d been out buying more wool again.

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Well,  we’ve turned over few more pages of the ‘COBWEB CATALOGUE of life with a Crafter  & Spouse’,  for a bit of Wednesday afternoon fun.  I hope they’ve raised a few smiles, a smattering of gentle laughs,  or even modicum of cheer.

Have a truly blessed rest of your day.

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The photos chosen for this post are randomly chosen and found on the internet, so publicly available.   I sadly don’t know who the photos belong to, so if you are the owner of any of them, please drop me a comment detailing which photo is yours, and giving me a link to the original posting of it, and  I’ll be thrilled to credit you to the photo.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 …

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

Happy Friday all. We’ve survived another week!

But .. I seemed to wake on Monday morning and by the time I’d showered, got dressed and done my hair, it was Friday!  Someone is stealing time and I’m going on a mission to find the beastly boy who’s doing this!  (It’s a boy.  I know it’s a boy.  Don’t ask me how, I just feel it,  and I know it’s a boy).

Shall we dive into my diary and find out what I’ve learned and am wiser because of, this week?  Seat belts on, I’m unlocking the fancy lock on the cover of my diary ...ready?  …. in we go   . . .

I learned this week  . . .  that I have too many clothes and I don’t wear half of them. Now just stop and think about what I’ve just said.  Chaps … this is a gal talking and she’s just said she’s got too many clothes.  Yup, you read it rightGirls …  I’ve just told all your men that a girl can have too many clothes.  When your man points this out to you remember to say:  “Yes but that’s Cobs, and her husband is a millionaire.”  I’m only giving you that ‘get out clause’  so that you don’t hate me for telling the chaps that I have too many clothes.  (N.B.  Mr.Cobs isn’t a millionaire.  I have access to his wallet, his pockets, our bank account is joint,  and … I’ve had up every floorboard in this place and found nothing.  Definitely NOT a millionaire.)

I’ve learned this week  that there is only one particular Christmas Advertising Video this year which makes me cry.

Here in the UK  (from mid November’ish’)  various different (big) companies release their Christmas videos and it’s become a bit of a thing to try to out-do the other companies for the best video.  Normally, it’s John Lewis who win hands down.  They make some really magical Christmas videos which melt my (and an awful lot of others) hearts.  However this year, their video just makes me howl with laughter and joy.

BUT …  there is one video which seems to (at the moment) have passed by unnoticed by some folks here, but for me, it’s the one which turns me into a big girly wreck, crying, sniffing, dabbing with a tissue and wanting to watch it again – even though I know it will make me cry all over again.  (I’ve so far watched it six times, and after each one, I’ve cried like a baby).  I have to share this one with you.  Guys might not ‘get it’ … but I’m pretty certain that most ladies will….  –   it’s only just over a minute long  (and totally child safe in case you have one of those in the room with you) 

So…  are you crying?  Did it make you cry? ….  Almost cry?  …  Not cry at all???

I’ve also learned this week .…  that some Craft Companies expect their customer to be clairvoyant when they don’t send you an item which is clearly shown on a delivery note, which they’ve enclosed in the parcel along with all the other items you ordered at the same time.

Customers are apparently expected to automatically know  that because these companies haven’t included *that* item in the parcel,  it’s not that they’ve forgotten to pack it in with the rest of the order,  but that they’re waiting for it to come back into stock.  And when you phone them up to tell them who you are, what the order number was, and which item it is which is missing,  their attitude is as if you should have known in the first place and you’re wasting their time by phoning.

This forces me to ask …  EXACTLY  HOW  DIFFICULT  IS  IT –  to simply write on the delivery note:  “To Follow” or words to that effect?

CRAFT COMPANIES  take note:  …  I’m going to begin naming and praising very soon, the companies which I’ve shopped at, or with,  which have given me good or excellent service.

BUT   I’m also going to begin naming and shaming  those companies who need to pull their socks up;  buck up their act;  or generally  GET WITH THE PROGRAMME!

Give good service, get more custom.  Give poor service, customers will shop elsewhere. It’s as simple as that.

Crafters chat to other crafters,  face to face, social media or on their Blogs,  and they share their experiences with and of particular companies.  Don’t lose out on free advertising by giving crafters bad service.

I’ve also learned this week …  That a crafter shouldn’t ever think that they’re great at something just because they’ve been doing it for a while. Even crafters who have been crafting for longer than they care to admit to being alive,  can still be the complete opposite of a genius  and burn her fingers on the bally heat gun;  cover herself in ink which won’t wash off and makes her hands and nails look like she’s a potato farmer with no shovel;   and moves things around in her craft room to make it easier for herself,  then can’t find the blasted things she’s moved when she needs them a day after she moved the blasted things in the first &£%*>^  place!!!

And that same Crafter can suddenly remember at 10pm one night that she needs a particular type of card for the following day,  then frantically goes through everything she has in her craft room trying to find inspiration and at 11.20pm finally gives up, telling herself she’ll look in the morning,   knowing all the time that she may as well just go to the shop and buy whatever they have  because she’s obviously a simpleton with a noodle for a brain and she’ll never be able to make anything ever again so she might as well sell all her equipment in her craft room right now damn it and be done with it!

…… clunk.  screeeeeech.  clunk.  [sound soapbox being put away]

I’ve also learned  that people are some of the nicest things God invented.

When you give people a reason to be lovely, they will (more often than not), be lovely.  When you give them a reason to care, they will (more often than not) care.  When you show them a need which you have to get them involved in praying for someone they maybe have never met before, don’t know and haven’t even heard of that particular persons blog before …  These people will see that their own prayer or ‘wish’ or hope,  could be the one that makes the difference and will pray, or wish, or hope and push that feeling out into the ether.  And they’ll show their support by leaving a few words for that person to read so that they see that they’re not alone.  People care.  People care enough to make an effort for a person they don’t even know.  People care enough to try.  People are hoping. Wishing.  Praying,  for a positive outcome.

I hope it’s ok for me to let you know, and I don’t think that she’ll mind me sharing with you   ….  I had a very short email chat with Michelle today and she said: …  “the outpouring of love and support meant so much, and came at perhaps my lowest point”.

Thank you to those wonderful people who left her a message of support,  who prayed,  who wished,  and/or hoped.  Each and every one of you made a difference.  Sometimes, just knowing that people are rooting for you, praying for you, wishing you well … or are just on your side, is all it takes to give someone the strength to keep on keeping on.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and doing what you did.  (If you left a message for her on her blog and it hasn’t appeared yet, it isn’t that you’ve been forgotten, things are getting done as and when they can be, as you would expect).  

But from me,   many, many thanks xxx  Bless you all. How brilliant you are.  I love you. 

And … finally…

Since I always try to leave you with something funny to smile about …. 

I mentioned a few paragraphs ago about the John Lewis Christmas Video for this year which makes me laugh ….  I share it with you here  (don’t fret, it’s only a little over two minutes long – and again, totally child safe)

 

…..  and in case that wasn’t quite enough . . .

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And a few silly but funnies …  ….

Q: Why can’t you give Elsa a balloon?
A: Because she will . . . Let it go.  Let it go.
Q: Who earns a living driving their customers away?
A: A taxi driver
Q: Where do bees go to the bathroom?
A: At the BP station!
Q: What do you call security guards working outside Samsung shops?
A: Guardians of the Galaxy.
Q: What do you get from a pampered cow?

A: Spoiled milk.

Q: What do you call a belt with a watch on it?
A: A complete waist of time

Well, that’s me done and dusted.  I’ve fessed up, taught you what life and taught me, and given you some jokes to make you smile.  Yes, the oldies are the besties.
Have a truly wonderful Friday, whatever you’re doing.  May the wind blow a little softly, if it has to blow at all.  May the rain be gentle, if it has to rain.  And may your day be filled with happiness and smiles, dotted throughout the hours.   Be kind to someone today.  Say something nice.  Admire their shoes.  Like their hair.  Tell them they’ve lost weight (even if they haven’t – insist that you think they have, just a little).  Let’s do it to them before they do it to us.  (be kind that is).

See you next time.  In the meantime,  I’m sending squidges,  to you there in your corner,  from me here in mine.

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