Blue Sky Tag Award Nomination

Mrs. Craft of: craftandothercrazyplans  totally made my day by nominating me for this ‘Blue Sky Tag’ award.  Thank you Mrs.Craft.  I’m truly honoured and totally cock-a-hoop at being bestowed such a lovely award.  It sort of lets me know that I must be doing  OK’ish’  for you to have thought of me.  Bless your heart.  I’m so very grateful to you. xxx

The task I have to complete in order to win the award is…

  1. Answer a set of questions which have been set by Mrs.Craft.
  2. Nominate 5 other blogs/people for the Blue Sky Tag award
  3. Set 5 Questions for the people I’ve nominated to answer. (it was supposed to be six, but I felt Five questions were more do-able,  any more could be a pain.  So five is what I’ve kept it to).

And that’s it.  Nothing more to do.

Soooo…  I’ll jump straight in and answer the questions Mrs.Craft has set, and I hope to both make her proud of her choice, and also give you a little entertainment along the way.  🙂

      1. What time of day are you most creative?    In the afternoons, leading into early evening.  Never in the mornings, unless something is pressingly urgent.  ...  for that read:  I’ve forgotten someone’s birthday and can’t simply buy a card because I know there are expectations for me to have made one.  A special one.  A VERY special one.  More special than anything ever seen before.  And I know that if I don’t come up with the goods, then someone is going to feel really upset and even quietly cross, that I didn’t obviously care enough to go the extra mile.  (Guilt plays a HUGE part in my life.  I am a slave to Master/Mistress Guilt).
      2. If you could try any new creative art, what would it be and why?  Well, I’ve tried rather a lot of them.  You see …  I’ve been a crafter almost all of my life.  I’ve done:  Card Making;  Pottery;  Jewellery Making;  Knitting;  Sewing;  Embroidery;  Felting;  Scrapbooking;  Melt Potting;  Painting – on canvas and paper;  Painting – decorative painting for house things;  Wreath making;   Floristry;  Tag Art;  Stone painting;  Decorative Painting on walls  (I even painted a woodland scene on a reception wall at my daughters first school). ATC’s and ACEO’s. …   Oh heck …  there’s more but my brain is beginning to hurt now as I’m trying to rememberise all this stuff! lol  …  But – there is one craft which I’m currently trying to master, and that’s Crochet.  I’m teaching myself and I have had a little bit of a success, but  my efforts do not live up to my aspirations.  :/   So work continues.  lol
        Raggedy Old Stool 1

        Evidence that if something sits still long enough, I’ll paint it.  This is now rather an old stool.  We tried to work out how old, and we think it’s between 15 and 17 years old

        Raggedy Old Stool 2

        I took FLASH ON and Flash OFF photo’s and none of them were particularly any good, but I’ll share them both with you so that you get an idea.

        Raggedy Old Stool 3

        A happy little chicken keeps guard on one side of the stool.

        Raggedy Old Stool 4

        A funky chicken keeps guard on the one side of the stool.

        Raggedy Old Stool 5

        Getting close up and personal!

        Raggedy Old Stool 6

        Two hanging hearts, hanging from a (painted) nail.

        Raggedy Old Stool 7

        that’s all folks!  😀

      3. Which famous artist/author/crafter would you like to meet?  Oh My Goodness!  Coo that’s a question and a half.  There are TONS of crafters I would like to meet.  Far too many of them to list just a few, and it would be awful to miss anyone out, so I won’t name any names as I love too many.  (is it possible to love too many crafters?  I think not).  😀  Authors  … ahhh now then, I could begin in my childhood and continue through to my daughters childhoods and name tons.   An elderly neighbour, Mrs. Cooke, from my young child years got me reading Catherine Cookson books from around the age of 7, and I ADORED them and her style of writing.  She has such a wonderful way of  ‘writing a picture’ and I could see everything inside my little head as if I were stood quietly in the corner watching things unfold.  From that came a life long love of Catherine Cookson … and I cried when they announced that she’d passed on, back in 1998.  I had at that point, every single book she’d written.  As I bought the books,  I read and kept every one.  With my first weeks wages I earned, the first thing I did was go into town and buy a Catherine Cookson book. And I never stopped buying until she passed away.  After that, books began to be produced, still in her name, and written in the same way and style, but they weren’t HER.  So I simply couldn’t buy them.  A few years ago I decided that I needed to pare down  the books I owned (not just Cookson – I read a LOT), and I chose certain books which were my absolute, never to part with, favourites as my ‘keeps’,  and gave all but a favourite few of my Cookson collection to the secretary at my daughters school.  Her mother (the secretary’s mother) was living in an Elderly Peoples home, and the residents didn’t have a great selection of reading material at that point.  They were trying to build a library for the residents,  so I donated all my Cookson books to that library, and apparently they went down a smash hit with the ladies there.  But I still own my favourites and still read them – even though I know them like the old friends they are.  Now we come to Artist …  awww again, I have a selection….  One would have to be  Beryl Cook.
        Beryl Cook - A Full House

        a painting by Beryl Cook – titled  ‘A Full House’

        If you don’t know who she is, Google her name and then view ‘Images’.  She paints in quite a naive(ish) sort of way, but includes such a ton of fun into her fabulous cheeky pieces and they tickle the heck out of me.  I think she and I would have got along fine and dandy.   Also Stanley Spencer – another English artist, who had such great talent for detail.  (Something I love).  His paintings can keep you looking, and looking, and looking – until you don’t realise how much time has passed and you’ve been hypnotised to the spot and held captive.

        Stanley Spencer Angels of the Apocalypse

        a painting by Stanley Spencer – entitled Angels of the Apocalypse

        Of course … there are the world known (paint) artists such as Raphael, (The Deliverance of Saint Peter is a fabulously pure work of heart)

        The Deliverance of St. Peter - by Raphael

        a painting by RaphaelThe Deliverance of Saint Peter.

        Then there’s Michelangelo who I’d love to have met and watched working.  I could add also Walter Crane – who’s paintings can make me gasp with delight.  And Theodor Severin Kittelsen …  such a huge talent and fabulously rich style.  Aw heck.. I could go on.  Please do Google any names you’re not familiar with and take a look at their art.

      4. What has been your longest craft project?  MeI’m my longest craft project.  I’m continually trying to make me a ‘better’ me.  It’s a never-ending project.
      5. What injuries have you sustained as a result of being creative?  Oh Lord!  My most continual one has to be the HOT GLUE GUN!  People out there who have never used one ….  I give you the biggest tip I can give to anyone …  When you plug in your glue gun to heat up, in the time you’re waiting, go and half fill a bowl with cold water.  This is so that when you get that hot glue on your fingers (and particularly your finger nails) you can instantly plunged the affected part into cold water and hold it there for a time.  You will never know pain like hot glue until you learn about it and feel it for yourself.  This tip is a SERIOUS ONE.  No jokes.
      6. What was your first ever creative project?  Probably painting when I was little.  Or … maybe pasta shapes stuck to card.  Something like that I would guess.  But my first serious one was making myself a nightdress out of one of my mothers old sheets.  She was going to throw it out and I begged for it.  She didn’t have a clue what I was going to make, but coooo – was she surprised when, some weeks later, I’d finished my project (which I’d been doing in secret) and put it on to show her.  It was all hand sewn, and even had little flowers and leaves which I’d embroidered, at the neckline.  I was so chuffed with how that turned out, and I wore it  until I eventually grew out of it.

Now it’s time for the nomination of 5 Crafters ….

I would like to nominate the following 5 crafters. It was a tough job to get it down to 5 as I personally would want all the blogs I follow to be awarded solid gold stars, simply for allowing me to follow them and putting up with my ramblings when I comment on their blogsBelieve me … they need awards for that alone!  🙂

  1.  Kim Styles Cards
  2. GluCrafted.com
  3. Puddleside Musings
  4. Paper and Ink Imaginings
  5. More Ink Please

Congratulations all!  You all have such fabulous style and I really enjoy and love your blogs.

All you now have to do is answer the 5 Questions below in a blog post on your blog.  You have to link back to this post, so that any of your readers can follow the chain and read other blogs so they’re not missing out on even more crafty fun!   After that you yourself get to nominate 5 blogs you follow and set questions for them!

Now I have to set 5 questions for these blog owners to answer, so listen up you folks, you have to answer these 5 questions:

  1.  When the crafting bug bit you  what was the first thing you made which gave you a sense of joy when you looked at your creation?
  2. Do you drive anyone in your family crazy with your crafting?  And if so … why?
  3. Do you buy anyone elses hand crafted items, and if so, what is that item likely to be?
  4. I have no doubt that you craft for other people … but do you ever make anything for yourself?  And if so … what things have you made for yourself?
  5. Do you sell your items, and  ... Where do you sell them?  Perhaps you could give us all a link so that if we’d like to buy from you we can!  (go on …  advertise yourself!)

And that, as they say, is all there is to it.  Once you’ve done this, you can then pick up the Blue Tag award from the top of this post, and take it to your own blog to use as the head of your post, and also put it in your awards over in your widget bar, if you do that.

Thank you so much for coming and having a bit of a read and a coffee with me.  It means so much to me and I love seeing you.  I normally try to post something crafty which I’ve made on a Monday, but I thought that I really should work on this nomination as I’ve had it for a whole week (or so) and really shouldn’t sit around crafting when I have something of importance to do.  tsk tsk Cobs!

Have a wonderful Monday – whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re doing it, and whatever the weather is like.  And remember …  be good to each other.

Great big squidges from me here, to you there  ~ 

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Things I’ve learned this Week.

Hello ….  I’m baa-aaaack!

My apologies for being M.I.A (missing in action) – my body is still being bombarded by bugs, but I’m trying to fight ’em.  My bed is winning at the moment.  I seem to get up in the morning;  have a shower, and before you know it, I’m back in bed again.

platform-9-and-three-quarters

Off to see my GP in a couple of days, and he if doesn’t have a magic wand to wave and put things right, – then I’m making plans for a ticket to platform 9 and three-quarters to be purchased, and I’ll be off to Hogwarts to see if they can mix up an elixir which might sort me out once and for all!

ticket-to-hogwarts

Anyhooo .…  let’s dip into the world of lessons, as learned by one Cobwebs of The Cobweborium Emporium and find out what life has taught me this week….

I’ve learned (not for the first time) that if I stay away from my craft room for too long, then my mojo wanders off and it’s really not easy to get the little divil back again and in working order.  This is such a great BIG GRRRRRR!  to me.

mojo-theft

I’ve learned that I’d got SO into making Christmas cards and thinking ‘Christmas’, that it’s been an absolute pain in the rear end to try and get myself out of that Christmas frame of mind.

And while on the subject of Christmas ….  With the help of Mr. Cobs, I’ve packed away all the Christmassy Craft things into my special Christmas Box (a red box labelled  “Christmas”), and have learned this week that I won’t need to buy even so much as a rubber stamp or even an extra die … or indeed any Christmas papers …  for at least two or three years, because I have SO much stuff that I haven’t used, and yet I keep adding to the pile!   tut tut.

cobweborium-christmas-box

I’ve also learned …  that because of being pretty much confined to the house, I’ve discovered the attraction of dipping into the sales on-line at this time of year and have …  (this one will surprise you) … done some shopping for Christmas gifts for NEXT CHRISTMAS!  Me!  Yes!!!  My mother wouldn’t have believed me if I’d have told her that.

There are (or have been) some really fabulous bargains to be found on the interwebby thing.  Particularly some really beautiful pieces of jewellery.  Although … the downside of this shopping is that I’ve found rather a lot of things which I want myself.  [sigh].  I admit to buying myself a (late) Christmas present of an Electric Blue Swiss Topaz ring and also a pair of silver earrings – both of which I bought for a bargain price and both of which have become my favourites in the jewellery box.  – However …  they haven’t had chance to make it to the jewellery box.  They’re both living on a little ring saucer on my dressing table, and I keep putting them on, and wearing them for a few minutes, just so that I can look at them and love them for a while.  Just to make my heart smile.

I’ve also learned …  that, in this country (Great Britain – land of my heart and home) – the TV programme schedulers (planners) obviously go totally brain-dead once they’ve planned the Television programmes for the Christmas week, because the offerings they’ve given us here in the UK as choices to watch on TV are TOTAL RUBBISH!

Seriously … I could have done better given three hours, some coffee and a laptop!

So here’s the plan:  British people reading this blog …  I think we should get our brain cells working and make a list of the things we’d like to be watching in the TV programmes schedule for after Christmas this year.  Each of us can then email that list to the good old BBC,  ITV  and Channels 4 & 5.  If we all do this, then maybe they might get the hint that they’re not doing their job properly, should buck up their ideas, and maybe follow our suggestions and play the programmes we suggest.

Now I don’t ‘do’ Facebook, but I know some of you do, so please feel free to quote this idea to your friends and let’s get this thing going.  We’ll beat ’em into submission!  We have to pay a licence fee (we have no option), so let’s make them work for what they charge us.

I also learned some really great stuff this week.  Give your mind a work out with these:

Giraffes have the same number of teeth as humans.

Leonardo Da Vinci was a vegetarian and was known to buy caged birds simply to let them free.  He was also questioning man’s superiority over animals and his right to raise them for slaughter – this attitude was unheard of in his time.

Your lips don’t touch when you say the word ‘touch’ but they do touch when you say the word ‘separate’.

When you cut a hole in your fishing net, it has fewer holes.  (Think about that one for a moment)

Japan now has a new class of citizens – the cyber homeless. They live in cyber cafes because it is cheaper than an apartment. The cafes oblige with free showers and even sell underwear.  (This one really surprised me, until I thought about it for a moment, and then I realised that actually … nothing that happens in Japan which fulfills one of their needs or requirements, surprises me any more.  They seem to have a simple solution of solving any problem).

AND FINALLY . . . . .

 . . .  the bit I know you’ve been waiting for.  The Jokes!

Q: “What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?”
A: “You can’t tuna fish.”
 ❤
Q: Did you hear about the hungry clock?
A: It went back four seconds
Q: What do lawyers wear to court?
A: Lawsuits!
Q: What do you call a fat psychic?
A: A four chin teller.
Q: What is it called when a cat wins a dog show?
A: A CAT-HAS-TROPHY!
Q: What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
A: a thesaurus.
Q: What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?
A: “Where’s Popcorn?”
Q: What do you call sad coffee?”
A: Despresso.
Q: What do you call a man with no body and just a nose?
A: Nobody nose.
Q: What is brown and has a head and a tail but no legs?
A: A penny.
Q: What has one head, one foot and four legs?
A: A Bed
and finally . . .
Q: What do you call a bee that lives in America?
A:  a USB
I hope your chuckle muscles got a workout.
Let’s get this Friday the 13th off to a great start shall we?  Remember …  there’s nothing especially unlucky about it being Friday the 13th and the only scary thing about it is attempting to say this: paraskavedekatriaphobia,  – which is the name given for people who fear Friday the 13th.  Bad things, carelessness, something breaking, car accidents, falling over, breaking your toe, losing your phone … these and many more things, can, and do,  happen on any given day.  So please don’t worry over it.  But … if it makes you feel better to spend the day in bed and not go out of the house, then do whatever makes you happy.
Have a really great day.  Share your smile with someone.  You never know … your smile could be the very thing that changes someone’s day around and makes it a good one.

Sending you oodles of love and squidges ~

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Let’s Light up the Christmas Village

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

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

christmas-silhouette-1

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

christmas-silhouette-3

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

“Ahhhhh!”   . . .  I hear you say

OK … well this one will give it away ….

christmas-silhouette-4

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

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

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

christmas-silhouette-2

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~

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!

~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~

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.

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!

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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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Of Summer Memories

Hello!  Happy Wednesday.  Wednesdays are such friendly days.  Even the name:  “Wednesday”  – sounds sort of made up.  Giggly.  Silly.  Like it’s not a real name at all, but one that someone inserted into the middle of the week, just to see how gullible we really are, and how many of us would notice.

And while we’re on that subject .. did you know that the word ‘Gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?  No .. no it’s not.  Go on… I’ll wait here while you check.  …  …  … … … … .. .. . . . . . . . ..  .  [three minutes passes and I hear footsteps coming back down the hall]  . . . . . .  So,  did you check?   Well those of you who believed me …  and either checked in the dictionary which you keep handy there in the house, or those of you who remembered that you’re on a computer and can ask Mr.Google these things, ….  aw, you GULLIBLE lot!

You do know that the rest of us are all having a giggle now, don’t you?   ahh.. but we love you.

Annnyhoo ...  it’s down to business, and todays business is crafting.

I made a quick card which I titled Summer Memories, and I did this because I’m fed up with Christmas coming all too fast.  At today’s date, (23rd Nov.2016)  we have 4 weeks and 3 days until Christmas day arrives.  FOUR WEEKS AND 3 DAYS.  ARRRRGH!!!

It feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was wearing shorts to craft in.  Now I’m wearing my ultra warm jogging pants and a warm top and even, sometimes, a scarf around my neck!  What the DIVIL is going on here people?

So to do something which was totally opposite of Christmas…  I made a little card of Summer Memories.

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I began this card by giving the glass in the door some dimension by using Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss over each pane.  But then, when it was finally dry, it still didn’t feel like memories.  So I thought I’d give it a watery sort of effect – like looking into a pond or something like that, so that it wasn’t all quite so sharp and in focus.

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Once dried, I loved the effect.  It gave you a focus on all the summer bedding plants, but all the other things like the step, door, porch, bricks .. were all in the background, in a sort of soft focus.

I matt and layered the picture then fixed it to the card front, added the title ‘Summer Memories’ onto the bottom of the picture,  and then added four metal corners to draw the eye in towards the photo.  And that’s all there was to it.

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This card made me think about what my favourite memory of this summer was…  and I came to the decision that it was some poppies which grew in our front garden.  Big, bright and beautiful.  Warm almost sparkling red, and smiling.  When I pulled my car onto the drive I could see them growing against the wall, and I would sit for a moment, smiling at them.  They almost seem to talk to each other in whispers, and I imagined that they had soft, gentle little voices, and one, I imagined, had a lisp. Yes … those Poppies will be my chosen memory to share of Summer just gone.

What about you?  What memory of Summer just gone would you like to share?  Do tell.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Don’t get stressed or annoyed.  Just let the day flow over you and keep a pocketful of joy in your heart, which you can dip into all day long.

I hope today brings you a few smiles along the way.  Be nice to each other.

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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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