Things I’ve Learned this Week

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

So … what have I learned this week?

magnum

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

chocolate-2

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

chocolate-1

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

silhouette-1

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

silhouette-2

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

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

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

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

kick-the-can

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

grrrrr

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

darn-it

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

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

chocolate-3

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

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

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

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

new-ron

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

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

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

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Love is like a butterfly, as soft and gentle as a sigh . . .

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Before I get to talking about card making ….  I’m sorry about the invite above saying: ‘Follow my blog with Bloglovin’ … I had to insert a bit of computer code into a new post order to ‘claim my blog‘. I’m not really sure why I need to claim my blog, but I noticed some other bloggers have done this so, in order to find out what it’s all about, I registered with Bloglovin. Will see what’s so exciting about it.  You can ignore it … you don’t have to click to follow me on there – unless you want to, of course.

There are cards for every sort of occasion and every type of person, (or personality) and I sat for 20 minutes trying to decide on what sort of card I was going to make for a relatives 89th Birthday.  I’ve made her cards  (Birthday, Christmas etc) for a few years, but I felt that she needed something different this year.  Not so fussy, but still with something going on.  Hmm… something with butterflies I think.

I knew I had a little kit which made up two jars of either butterflies or sweeties so I went in search of them among the box of Hunkydory stuffs.  I’d forgotten how pretty they were and the moment I saw them I knew that I’d make her one of these.

In ‘kit’ form this is what you get:kit

The pink jar is the sweet jar, and the blue, as you saw at the head of this post, is the butterfly jar.  But … there’s nothing to say that you can’t mix them up and swap butterflies for sweets.

Now … I have a bit of a problem in making ‘kit cards’.  I ALWAYS feel like I’ve cheated and let the whole crafting community down.  I don’t know why I feel like that, I just do.  But, I know that there very much is a place for kits and also know my relative will love this card.  It’s very ‘her’.

You begin by popping out the ‘front’ central part of the jar, and then cutting some clear acetate  to match the shape of the ‘hole’ in the front of the jar, you then fix that to the inside of the card front.

fluttering-wishes-2

showing the rear of the card and the acetate fitted and fixed to the front of the jar.

It’s when you get to this point in the making that you need to stop and think about how you’re going to write the card out when it’s made.  Yup… you need to do that now before you fix any of the butterflies into the jar, because once fixed in place, you’ll have a difficult time trying to write on the back of the card.

The reason the card has that 3D effect is because of the roundedness of the front.  And that happens because the front is cut slightly bigger than the back. So once you’ve fixed the butterflies into the inside of the jar you then fix that card (jar) front in place.  If you scroll up to the photo of the unmade kits, you’ll notice that on the one edge of the card front, there’s a little flap.  That little flap allows you to adhere the front to the back … but because the card front is too big it ’rounds out’ and so gives the jar it’s shape.  (The use of craft clamps comes into use for this part).

fluttering-wishes-1

This is the finished card as far as the kit is concerned, however you can then add your own touches to it to make it yours.

I added some deep pink with white dots ribbon ‘ties’ which I made (look like bows but not bows), and a silver metal, dangly charm fixed onto a large white paperclip,   which had a little more of the ribbon looped onto the top of it,  which I attached it to the back of the card so that the charm was dangling down next to the hand-written message.

I totally forgot to take a photo of the extra touches until it was packaged and sealed inside its postal box so you’ll just have to imagine the end result.  [sigh…  I’d be terribly dangerous if I had a brain]

And, as they say, that was it!  VOILA!  It’s an easy to put together card, the majority of the time is taken up with trimming off the little ‘tabs’ from where the die cuts were still attached to the cardstock.  Other than that it’s a simple card to make.  But looks so pretty when made.

As I was putting this card together I kept singing the theme song to a lovely, gentle sitcom, called Butterflies,  which was made and shown on the BBC, here in the UK,  between 1978 to 1983, and if I find it showing now, I’ll actually sit and watch it, just to be reminded of a more gentle time.  The theme tune is the Dolly Parton song Butterflies, but for this programme it was recorded by a singer called Clare Torry, and I think this may have been because Ms Torry had a little softer and more gentle tone to her voice.

It’s only 38 seconds long, so I share it with you here:

If I’ve got an earworm I think I should share it with everyone so that you can have it too.  I was taught that it’s nice to share.  [grins]

Have a beautiful Wednesday, whatever you’re doing.  Thank you for coming and having a coffee with me, I love having your company.

Sending my love,  from here in my corner to you in yours.

Sig coffee copy

 

 

Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka-ya-ya! No not the song, it’s a Cup Mat Make-over!

To be true to the art work,  real Babushka’s are spelt just as I’ve just typed it: BABUSHKA,  and not as in the Kate Bush song ‘Babooshka’Or to give them their usual name that we mostly all know them as Russian Dolls.

I had a set of Russian Dolls when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  It had 8 nesting dolls altogether – each of them getting smaller and smaller, and I loved it.  However, at some point in my life it went missing and I’ve thought about it off and on as the years passed.  Then something really weird but totally wonderful happened last year.

Our neighbours went away on holiday, and when they go away we look after their cat for them.  They’d gone to Russia.  When they came back they called round with the gift of a set of genuine Russian nesting Dolls.  I was absolutely beside myself with joy. My neighbours didn’t know about my lost dolls.  I was in a state of total joy for days on end.

The set is so lovely and every now and again I take them apart and set them up as their individual dolls, just so I can look at them and enjoy them.  Then I very carefully pack them all back into each other and pop them back where they ‘live’ on top of my grandmother clock – out-of-the-way of cats, dogs  and Little Cobs!

Anyhooo...  regular readers will remember that I did a make-over on a rather tired cup-mat last week, painting a Goose on it.  Today is the turn of a Babushka, a Russian Doll, to grace a cup mat in the craft room.

Babushka Cup Mat 2

The ‘half way mark’ of the make-over of the cup mat.

Just like last weeks cup mat,  this mat was rubbed down,  painted with a coat of white Gesso, then two coats of black acrylic paint.  I don’t normally draw a detailed drawing when I’m going to paint, I generally just go straight in with the paint.  But I had to get the proportions of the big round body and smaller round head right, so I used a pencil to draw gently on top of the black acrylic and ‘place’ everything where I needed it to be.  Once I’d painted her, and took the above photo, I decided that the colours weren’t quite as I wanted them to be, so I re-mixed some paints and painted her scarf and apron a slightly warmer colour.

Babushka Cup Mat 1

If you compare the two pictures you can just about tell the difference in her scarf and apron.

So … you might be wondering why I haven’t shown you a photo of my Russian nesting dolls, the gift from my neighbours.  Well I wouldn’t because these are different from the Russian lady dolls . . . . . .

Russian Dolls

They’re cats!   Five beautiful, fabulous cats – and the biggest has just come back from a fishing trip where he caught a rather pretty fish.  I’m certain that he caught it as a pet for them all.  [I totally refuse to believe anything else].  The Dog in the photo, (on the left as you’re looking at it), is a sculpture, and he really does actually have two ears … it’s just that the one you can’t see is on the other side of his head and I didn’t notice when I took the photo that it wasn’t showing.  I only realised that he looked like he had an ear missing when I was re-sizing the photo to post here, and by that time …. well … it was a case of ‘Oh sod it.  I can’t be bothered to set it all up again’.  LOL.

Soooo  Happy Monday!  Got anything planned this week?  Birthdays?  Anniversary?   Holiday anywhere?  Visiting somewhere which you’re looking forward to?  Someone coming to visit you?  Orgoing back to the theme of re-cycling or doing a make-over .. have you or are you planning to do a make-over on something?  If you’ve done one and posted on your blog about it, then put a link to it, here in the comments below, so that we can all come and visit your blog!  (Who knows, you may pick up one or two followers in the process!)

Have a truly lovely day today I know that traditionally Monday can be Misery Monday because it’s the first day back at the daily grind … but look … it’s a Monday.  A brand new day.  What if this was going to be the very last Monday ever?  Wouldn’t you make sure that you had a darn good, memorable last Monday?  Go and have THAT darn good day!  (Then come back and tell me about it!).

Sending big squidges, from my corner to yours

Sig coffee copy

Things I’ve learned this week

Aaand  it’s Friday again.  Can you believe how quickly Fridays seem to arrive?  Or is that just me being old and weird? 

Well we’re here to find out what I’ve learned this week  and I’ve learned a lot…

Dragonfly

I’ve learned that although I’m scared stupid of spiders, I’m not scared of Dragonflies.  In fact, I’m SO not scared of them that I tried to collect up and save the life of a Dragonfly who’d popping into my craft room, through the open window.  I was trying to be so very careful with him and not hurt his little wings or anything – but I was being too careful and so couldn’t catch him.  In the end I called on Mr.Cobs to come and help, as I was concerned that he could end up not being able to get out and then I’d find his little body,  lifeless, on the windowsill …  and then I’d feel a huge sense of guilt,  for ever and ever, that I hadn’t tried harder.

Mr.Cobs thankfully managed to guide him to the open window where he neatly popped out and flew away.  (The dragonfly flew away, not Mr.Cobs.  I think Mr. Cobs would have great difficulty getting off the ground).

and

I learned that the ampersand (in the picture above and here: &) has a most fascinating history.  It first came to light over 2,000 years ago!  Now that alone was enough to turn my eyes into the size of saucers.  I mean to say … look at that funky shape (above) …  that isn’t something which you perhaps would have expected to be around over 2,000 years ago.  But there’s more: …  It started out as the Latin word: et – which meant  ‘and’.  But because of the way Latin was written (all curls and flicks) the ‘e‘ and the ‘t‘  sometimes looked as if they were as one letter, which was the beginning of the ampersand  ‘&’.

BUT … the actual name ‘ampersand‘ didn’t exist until around the 1830’s, when ‘&’ was (would you believe it ..) … the 27th letter of the alphabet!  WHO KNEW?!    The ‘&’ mark ended the alphabet like this: X  ..  Y  ..  Z  ..   and per se and‘  (and=&)  –  and since ‘and per se’ meant: ‘and by itself’  …  this final phrase ‘and per se’ was lazily mumbled and stumbled over by English school children when they were reciting the alphabet,  it was, through use of the mumbled English,  eventually re-born as  ‘ampersand’

(If you say the original  ‘and per se and’  out loud a few times until your mouth gets used to saying it, you can eventually ‘hear’ how you could slur it, as a bored child would do when being made to recite the alphabet for the fourth time, and make it sound like ‘ampersand’)

I’ve also learned this week that a picture very much like this little picture (below) hit just the right spot in me and spoke to me like it was the Lord talking gently over my shoulder, into my ear:

Love what you do 02.09.16

My incredible, amazing,  the funshine of my life Grandson,  Little Cobs, has developed an all-encompassing love of his teddy bear over the summer (school) holidays, and that teddy bear travels everywhere with him.  From morning till night, that little bear is carted around like it’s tied to him.  His mummy (our daughter) sent a text message to her father (Mr. Cobs)  asking if he could make a bed for ‘Round‘ (the name of Little Cobs teddy bear.  I know!  RoundI have no idea why either, but that’s the name Little C. gave the bear and we know better than to question it).   I said I’d design it, and Mr. Cobs could make it.  But until it’s made we sorted out a lightweight (so easy to pick up and carry for a small boy), plastic (but that flexible plastic which you can bend – so that it won’t break) box,  which I donated from my craft room, as a bed for ‘Round’,  and when Little Cobs came to visit for the day on Wednesday this week, I told Little C that I would make a pillow and bed throw (duvet) for Round so that she (oh yes, ‘Round’ is a girl, I think I forgot to say that) .. so that Round would have a comfy pillow to rest her head and a lovely bed throw to cover herself up with so that she was snuggly in her bed.

Mr. Cobs lifted my sewing machine from its sewing bag and set it down on the table for me, . . .  and as I sat cutting some material to make the throw …  I became aware of a performance over to my right, coming from the living room.  I stopped what I was doing to see Little Cobs fighting his way through the living room with one of the chairs from his drawing table.  …. huff, puff, huff  ….  He was rather firmly informing Grandad that  NO, he didn’t need any help, he could do it himself!  So Mr. Cobs opened the door wider so that Little C could manly bring in his own chair to sit and keep me company as I sat sewing bed ‘stuff’ for Round. (Keep in mind that this little boy has cerebral palsy which affects his walking and co-ordination, and his articulation of words to some degree, and you’ll understand why seeing him struggling purposefully with this chair made my heart sing).   It was right then, as I looked at the little man now sat to my right, that I realised I couldn’t have a more perfect moment than those few seconds.  Here was this tiny scrap, sat on a chair a quarter of the size of mine, keeping me company and watching me sew and make things for his beloved bear,   as he sat hugging said bear and waited for the magic to happen.  In that moment I knew that I LOVED what I am able to do.  I love that I can craft.  That I can paint, stamp and colour things with him. I love that I have a pile of stuff in my craft room which is just for him.  I love that there is a huge jar filled with all manner of wonderful craft goodies, which he’s seen and knows is sat waiting until this Saturday when he and I are going to have a crafting day, just Grammy and Little Cobs.

And I loved and gave thanks, in that very moment, that I knew enough about sewing dolly and teddy things from when our girls were young,  to quickly make a quilted bed throw and soft, squishy pillow for  Round the Bear, who has a fluffy  heart on her bottom, and holds my grandsons heart in her paw.

Hello God, it’s me again.  Please don’t let him lose Round,  for he will be inconsolable if he ever does. Thank you.

When I had finally finished sewing, and cut off all the loose threads, I gave the new bedding to Little Cobs and helped him put them in Rounds temporary bed, with Round tucked up snuggly, like a bear should be.  He gazed at the bed throw and touched it gently.  Feeling how soft and squishy it was and then he looked at me in a way which I hadn’t seen him look at me before.  I saw that his little brain was trying to work out something that he hadn’t noticed before – that being that his Grammy obviously had a magic wand and was a witch who could magic up wondrous things he’d never dreamed of.  I’m dreading him coming on Saturday and asking me to make him a full size Racing Car.  There’s only so far that my magic can stretch to.  I’m great with ‘swish and flick’  for small things   … but anything big requires Harry Potter himself!  lol

And finally …

I’ve learned that I care more deeply about the blogging friends I’ve made here than I realised.

I received a message from a blogging friend who I ‘met’ when I first began blogging (2 years ago).  I clicked to follow her, she clicked to follow me, and so it went on.  We would read each others blog posts and comment, like you do.  Then … she posted a blog post on June the 30th this year in celebration of being married to her husband for 50 years!  I can tell you that this surprised the heck out of me – and told myself that I’d obviously read it incorrectly because I ‘knew’ she couldn’t be anywhere near 50 years old!  She was too vibrant, too ‘with it’, too …. aw – just TOO.   No way could she have been married for 50 years!  However, when I checked with her, she told me that yes indeed, she and her wonderful husband had been married for 50 years!  (You could have knocked me down with a feather!  I was SO surprised).

Then, last week, I heard from Beverly after a  period of ‘quiet’  (I’d noticed a lack of posts on her blog for about a month, but guessed that they may be away on a summer holiday or off seeing relatives).

Last week Beverly commented on a post on the blog here and told me that she had something to tell me and she would tell me later.  True to her word, she came back and told me that she has lost her husband a few short weeks after their 5oth Wedding Anniversary.  He’d had a fatal heart attack.  When I read the message I felt like someone had placed a hand around my throat and was holding it in a tight grip.  I couldn’t swallow, couldn’t breathe properly and neither could I make this news register with my brain. This surely couldn’t be correct.  It COULDN’T be.  They’d only just celebrated their anniversary.

I read that message three times,  and on the third reading I had to read it out loud so that I could be sure that I was understanding what I was reading.  And then … I didn’t understand why.  Why was this man taken?  What exactly was the ‘plan’ here?  How could it be that there were really bad people left alive and roaming the planet, killing people, blowing them up, and causing so much heartache, anguish and pain, and yet, here was this man,  a wonderful husband to Beverly and father to their children, taken – without warning.  Why?   I don’t understand the plan.

Hello God, it’s me again.  I don’t understand.  Forgive me.  I know you have a plan and that it’s probably a great plan, but sometimes I have to admit that I wonder why some things happen, when there are, to me, more obvious things that could have happened which surely would make the world a better place.  Aw, I know I probably don’t know what I’m talking about … but you know how I like to run these things past you when I can’t figure them out for myself.  Thank you for listening.  ~ me. x

I’ve always known that I develop a feeling of ‘caring’ for people I get to know via my blog here.  The ‘comments’ facility is such a wonderful thing.  I get to know people because of it, and more often than not, we get to have a bit of a giggle together.

And … if one of you doesn’t post for a while then you’ll no doubt find me putting a comment on your blog saying hello and trying to make sure that everything in your world is groovy.

This heartbreaking loss which Beverly is coping with,  has shown me exactly how much I care for all of my blogging friends.   Don’t get me wrong I knew I cared …  I care enough to go up and down my list of blogs that I follow, every month,  in order to look for names of people who I haven’t heard from for a few weeks and will pop to their blog and leave a message saying hello.  But I didn’t realise how much I cared.  I do now.

I’ve learned a lot this week.

And now … it’s your turn my friend(s).  Tell me, in the ‘comments’ facility,  what you’ve learned this week.  Let’s turn this into a mutual learning experience.

Don’t think you have to use the comments to ‘comment on a post’any post.  You can use the comments simply because you have something you wanted to say.  You can chat away to your hearts desire.  If you have a problem and need to off-load it, then you’re very welcome to do so.  It can be a craft thing, a worldly thing, a ‘which dress to wear’ thing …. a heart thing …  any  thing.  If you want to talk about ‘it’  then go for it.  I think the ‘Comments’ should be re-named.  Not sure what to …  maybe you have a suggestion?

Sending you my love and good wishes for a wonderful weekend my friends.  Be safe out there.  Oh … and make memories.  Days are made for you to make memories.

Thanks for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  I love seeing you here.  Have a truly blessed rest of your day,

Sig coffee copy

There’s more to make-overs than surgery, clothes and cosmetics!

I have a couple of cup/mug coasters (mats) in my craftroom.  One to the right of my computer (no-one can sit at a computer without a coffee or a tea to one side), and another on what I call my ‘work desk’ – where I do the majority of my crafty things.  BUT … both of these mats are rather, umm…  old and grubby looking.  Bits of paint; spills – which although I’ve wiped up, have still stained;  little bits pull off where I’ve sat some Sellotape (well-known brand of sticky tape in the UK – yes, I know that Sellotape is the name of .. erm .. something else in another country).  Well look … why don’t I just face the shame and show you what one mat looked like.  Are you ready?  ……

Cup Mat Make-over 1

When these were new, I absolutely adored them.  I have some  Cornishware  storage pots and other bits and pieces in my kitchen, and my dining room (in our previous cottage) linked to the kitchen and was very English country cottagey in style so these mats fitted in perfectly.

But …  years later . . .  they really aren’t good for man nor beast, as you can see,  hence the reason they’re in my craft room.  However … I looked at them a couple of days ago and said [to no one in particular]  … “those really need to be thrown away”.

A voice boomed over me like it came from out of the Heavens.  “WHAT DOES?”  (made me jump I can tell you!) … “Uh?”  I swung around on my chair to see Mr. Cobs stood behind me.  “Ohh… these.  <picking up the cup mat>  Look at these . . .   they really have seen their day and I sadly think it’s time to go.”   “No!  Don’t throw them away … paint them!  Paint something on them.  Flowers or something.  Paint something, like you used to!“.

Hmmm… Ok, I could see where he was going with this.  “That’s a good idea, you clever chap.  I shall do that very thing.  But … would you rub them down for me?”  (He knows I hate sandpaper.  It makes my flesh recoil.  <shudder>).  So he did … and this was the result:

Cup Mat Make-over 2

The top layer was actually a paper/card layer, so rubbing the top down wasn’t difficult, but it did leave ridges which were impossible to totally get rid of.  Since the cup mats were only for me in my craft room I thought that I could get away with a few ridges.  So I set to work with some paints.  I first did two coats of Gesso – to help give it a ‘base’ to work on, and also to kind of help smooth out the ridges a little.  Then I gave it a coat of good quality black acrylic.

Cup Mat Make-over 3

If you look carefully at the above photo you can see some of the ridges.  The coat of black paint was done in order to dull the next coat a little.  Kind of ‘knock back’ the colour I was going to apply next – a deep blue colour which I’d hand mixed –  and the black would ensure that the navy stayed ‘flat’ or kind of dull, in colour.

Once the navy was dry I could then begin a ‘picture’ of some description.  ….  Can you tell what it is yet?

Cup Mat Make-over 4

Well I’m committed now so I’d better get on with it …

Cup Mat Make-over 5

Now can you see what it is?  🙂  Yeah, it’s a Goose!  But … the chest is a bit flat there, isn’t it?  Aw, don’t worry … that bit is going to be hidden anyway so I won’t trouble myself about it.

Cup Mat Make-over 6

This photo (above) I took with a flash, with the blind up, and two craft lamps on, so that you can see some of the details which I’ve added … like the shading under his/her chin, shading under the tummy and some detail to the feet.

Cup Mat Make-over 7

I realised that I hadn’t shown you the colours of paints I’d used/be using on this project, so I took the opportunity of adding in the pots of colours while showing you that I’d changed his/her bow from looking like a Christmas red, into a tartan bow.  (I didn’t want anyone to think he was the fatted goose which we were all going to feast on at Christmas!  eeek!).

Cup Mat Make-over 8

Surrounded by a vine, and four freshly laid eggs.

Cup Mat Make-over 9

Finally … three LIGHT coats of a spray varnish and it’s finished.  You can see  from the background in this photo –  that the ridges from the sanded paper were still there … but they really aren’t that noticeable anymore.

Cup Mat Make-over 10

Want to know the funny thing about this?  I am scared of geese (and horses, but we’ll talk about those another time)  … and what’s more … they KNOW IT TOO!  If ever I go anywhere where there are geese  … they surround my car until they’ve discovered the door which I need to get out of and then they  gather around the door and stand there LAUGHING AT ME.  They know I’m scared silly, and they mock me with their gaggling honks and giggling laughs.

If I visit somewhere – a lake, a walk with a stream running along side … and there are geese … those little bu&&ers make it their ambition to get to me and chase me. Honking all the way.

And yet … here I am painting a goose on one of my cup mats.  AM I CRAZY???  Obviously so.

Cup Mat Make-over 8

 

When I’d finished painting this mug mat, I did have a little wonder to myself if perhaps this sort of thing would make a rather nice Christmas present for someone.  You could buy some MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard – sorry folks outside the UK but I don’t know what you call this where you are) and if you’re handy with a saw (or have someone handy with a saw) you could cut the MDF to size and paint a set of four/six coasters for someone special.

OR … if you have a child at school … how about a personalised mug mat for the teacher, as a Christmas present? (or present for anyone at any time).  Just a thought.  🙂

Happy Wednesday all.  Make it a good memory day.

Sending squidges your way  ~

Sig coffee copy

 

Bottoms Up! … in Mr. McGregor’s Garden.

I love making cards for people,  but ‘once in a blue moon’the card I made might not feel like it ‘fits’ the person I’d made it for. And that’s exactly what happened last week.

I made a card to say ‘thank you‘ to my blogging friend, Hannah (she of the wonderful hat pins), but somehow the card didn’t feel right to me.  There was nothing actually wrong with the card, but it didn’t seem to ‘fit’ the person I was making it for.  I wanted something which was fun.  Something with a smile.  One that sort of held a visual ‘squidge’ from me, sent in a card, over the milesSo I decided that I’d have to start again.  I looked around my craft room for inspiration and my eyes rested upon a stamped image held in a big peg, at the back of my desk, and suddenly a  LIGHTBULB MOMENT  happened!  I knew the card to make.

Readers may remember an image I stamped last week, in Part One of the Guide(ish) to Stamping …  this is one of the images I stamped:-

3 Copy for the Bottoms Up Bunnies copy

I’d put that stamped image in one of those big fancy looking pegs which holds notes, receipts and ‘stuff’,   and I knew instantly that the card I needed to make was going to be made using that image of the Mommy Rabbit hugging and giving her baby a squidge.

Mr. McGregor’s Garden (from the wonderful  ‘Tales of …’   stories written by Beatrix Potter) popped into my mind as I looked at the rabbits hugging,   and that’s where the idea for the bit of fun I wanted the card to have, came from!

2 Bunny in Mr. Mcgregor's garden

I got my air dry clay out  …  and made four flat backed plant pots and a little trowel to go with them.  The clay is white, so, when the pots and trowel were dry, I chose two colours of acrylic paint for the pots – but instead mixing them together to make one new colour, I kind of swirled them into each other, in a figure of 8 kind of swirling motion, so that when I picked up some paint on my brush, I picked up both of the colours at the same time, in a sort of smudges of each colour way, rather than just one colour.  What I was hoping to achieve was a set of pots which looked as if they were old;  pots that had been through the wars;  a little battered and looked like they really did belong in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

5 Mr. Mcgregor's garden pots

I wanted pots that looked old and a little bit battered.  Kind of like the ones in this photo.

While the paint on the pots dried,  I worked on the stamped image.  It was stamped on snow white card, but I wanted it to sort of suggest that we were peeping and looking at a tender, private moment of the mummy and baby rabbit having a cuddle together (or as my Grandson calls it … “a tuddle.”).  I blended two tones of browns using Memento stamp pads, (one a soft caramel brown and then went in again using a deeper brown colour),  and blended them  around the sides of the card which the image was stamped on so that it drew your eye ‘into’ the image and make you feel that you’re looking through or ‘into’ something … A port-hole?  A window?  Nooo… you’re looking down a rabbit hole of course!

4 Bottoms Up Down the Rabbit Hole

if you scroll up and compare it to the original stamped image on white card, you can see the difference.

Next …  making rabbit bottoms!  (There’s a phrase you don’t hear every day!)  I wanted to do three different sizes of rabbit bottoms,  (ok, this is making me giggle now.  ‘Making Rabbit Bottoms’ … that’s what I should have called this post! LOL)  … and in three different colours.  I didn’t want to do the accepted tan, brown, black or white which you would normally see as colours of rabbits, but wanted to play up the ‘fun‘ so made rabbit bottoms in unexpected colours.  I had to trim down the purple woollen pom-pom for the middle rabbitand that, I’m tellin’ you, is easier said than done!

Twice I cut through the little bits of wool in the middle which holds the whole pom-pom together!,  (talentless or uselessness on my part I fear), and at this point I had just ONE purple pom-pom left  so the pressure was on!  I had to try really hard to not cut through this last one!  By now my desk was covered in bits of purple woolly fluff, and tons of tiny purple wool fibres floating in the airNightmareIt was stuck to my hands, to my face, to my eyelashes.  It was going up my nose (and making me sneeze) and . . .  My clothes looked like I was a purple bunny murderer!

6 Bottoms up bunny bottoms and pot with hand trowel copy

But …  I got there in the endin a fashion.  lol  🙂

I added bunny feet in contrasting coloursdotting on ‘toes’ using some fine liners,  and then adding tails made from fibres of the same coloured felt I’d used for their feet – (just cut up a bit of felt into tiny little bits, then chop them as much as you can with tiny snips until eventually they give in and become fluff).  However … the little yellow bunny on the end … her tail was easy to make.  I had enough purple fluff to make purple bunny tails for all the rabbits of the world!

7 final Bottoms Up

I chose some pretty pink with cream dots background paper from my stashwhich began life as a 12″x 12″ sheet, and I trimmed it to size.   It was already slightly vintaged, so all I had to do to it was add some light(ish) caramel brown ink, but with its toes dabbling in a terracotta colour, into the outer edges of the paper.  I added this same paper to the inside of the card too, to carry the colours through the card.

I fixed the bunny bottoms to the pots, and added the pots to the card.  To finish the card off … I added the sentiment, and voila!  A smiley, fun card for my blogging friend.  It was just as I wanted.  Something to say ‘thank you’, and send warm smiles, and a squidge, through the post. 

My blog friend has received the card, so I can now share it with you without spoiling the surprise.

I don’t think I’ve missed anything …  but if I have please do ask about what you need to know, – by just putting your ‘want’ into a comment. I promise I’ll reply.

(Incase you’re new to the blog here: you can post a comment really easily – simply click the little speech bubble at the head of this post – just to the right hand side of the title – and that will take you directly to the comments)

Aaanyhoo  …  Happy Monday, and Happy 1st of August!   When it gets to August my thoughts always turn to …. the dreaded C word.

Yes, you guessed correctly   … Christmas!

But I shall stop right now  (as the Spice Girls once famously sang)  because before the C word can be dealt with I have a birthday to deal with… or rather …. a couple or so birthdays – so I should concentrate on those first.  (Apart from the one birthday … I never send a card for that particular birthday girls special day because .. well because it’s me and my birthday.  LOL.   Ha!  just when you began to think I was being mean to someone!) LOL  🙂

Well that’s me done and dusted so I shall shut up  –  and you can stop your bottom from going numb.  🙂  ….  are you singing that Spice Girls song now?  “Stop right now, thank you very much, I need someone with a human touch.  Hey you, always on the run better slow it down baby, better have some fun.”.  Well if you weren’t, I bet you are now.  [cackling laugh heard through the corridors]. ut ohhhhh….  I’ve given you an ear worm!  If it gets too annoying start singing the ‘Happy Birthday to you’ song … over and over until you forget to sing it.  And .. if that ear worm comes back, simply repeat the singing of the Happy Birthday song.  Eventually it will push off and leave your brain song free!

May today bring you warm smiles, happy moments and, remember to  . . .  have a memory making moment at some point today.

Sending you ‘tuddles’ and squidges ….

Sig coffee copy

 

 

 

Friday Post:- Things I’ve learned this week!

I’m hoping to begin aFriday Post’, as each Friday comes around (and boy do they come around quicker the older I get!).  Each week I find I’m learning something(s) new and hoping to share these with you  …  if my one remaining brain cell remembers to do this, of course.

Before I branch out into this weeks life’s lessons can I just take a moment to say  ….

Hello and Welcome to a handful of new followers who have joined us.  It’s fabulous to have you joining the team here and so lovely to see and meet new folks.  Please don’t be shy.  Chat to me and the rest of the great team in a comment, so that we can get to know each other.  Talking in blog land is something I heartily encourage as otherwise it’s just like another Facebook – and we don’t need another one of those.  So … in the words of someone famous though sadly not here with us anymore...  Can we talk?

Anyhoohere’s what I’ve learned this week:

1.  As I’m sat here right now, in my favourite grey t.shirt which is all wet down the left hand side (visibly wet), I’ve learned that I should ensure I put the cap  PROPERLY  on my plastic see through squash tumbler/flask before I tuck it into the crook of my arm and hold it firmly against my body (left br3@st) so that when I bend slightly to pick up the crafting freebies which came with my magazine this morning, the said ‘orange squash’ doesn’t leak all over my t.shirt,  causing me to look for all intents and purposes like a heavily lactating new mother!  (*Dear God, it’s me again.  Can you make sure no one comes the door right now because I look a total mess.  thank you God ~ me. x).

2.  I’ve learned this week not to put my glasses (spectacles) down on my crafting surface, anywhere near where I’ve dropped a small bit of the opaque, removable Scotch tape which I use to keep my dies in place during the cutting process in the machineBecause … if  that tiny bit sticks to a lens of my glasses, I instantly think I’ve gone ‘wonky’ in one eye and a tiny bit of panic steps in.  (Hey, so much  is going wrong with me over the past .. what?  Donkeys years??  –  yeah, that will do, – that a wonky eye just seemed like another laugh which my body was having at my expense).

3. I’ve learned to stop checking if air dry clay is  …  dry yet?.  . . .  And now?  . . .   Is it ready Now?  . . .  And NOW? [sigh]  Leave the darn thing alone over-night, woman! [double sigh]

4. I’ve learned that there are some of the most incredibly wonderful people in blog land, who turn from blogging pals, into blogging friends,  into incredible blessings in my life.

Mentioning no names   (The Artisan Duck).  . . .  I had a lightbulb moment a few weeks ago when perusing a blogging pals blog, and I mentioned the idea in a comment to her.

She took that idea and had a play around and improved on it, and from that initial play, she produced the most incredible, darling Hat Pins,  which the scrapbookers and card makers amongst us like to use in our crafting.  But .. Hannah’s  whoops I almost forgot I wasn’t mentioning any namesthese Hat Pins are different and so wonderful for card makers/scrapbookers because …

  • instead of the mile long hat pins (which Hat pins are normally made in), Han  … ‘Miss Maker & Amazing Talented Artist’ makes her hat pins on shorter, lighter weight, pins, so that we crafters don’t face either having to try to cut pins down (a dangerous affair as I know to my cost)
  • or trying to work out a way of covering up a huge stem of a hat pin in ways which we really don’t want to. 
  • Neither do they weight a card in such a way that they cost more to post,
  • nor drag the front of a card forward or even make it fall down because of the weight. 
  • Neither are we faced with trying to ‘hide’ the sharp points of the pins so that the receiver or someone in their family doesn’t get stabbed by the point of a hat pin.

In photographs the pins look great.  But in real life …  the pins are little stunners.  The beads and pearls on the pins twinkle and shine and sparkle beautifully, and the length is totally perfect.  More than perfect.  And on cards – they are the perfect length.

How do I know this?  –  My blogging friend sent me the selection of pins to say thank you for the idea . . .

Hat Pins1

. . .  and a handmade card, made by her herself with two of her pins added as embellishments. 

Hannahs Card

See the two handmade hat pins?  Aren’t they pretty!

I’ve had ideas popping out of my head and fingers for donkey’s years and I’ve shared them with the folks who I thought might like the idea(s), but this is the first time anyone has ever made me feel like Hannah has. She validated my suggestion, and let’s be honest here, we all need validation sometimes in our lives.  I had ‘an idea‘. Nothing else. Just an idea which I shared with her.  Hannah liked the idea, ran with it, (not while holding scissors) and then thanked me and is thinking of making them and putting them for sale.  (I hope she does because I’d buy these.)

 I know I simply won’t be able to give these particular pins up by using them on cards because … well to me, they’re not a ‘for crafting’ item, these are a special gift, handmade and given to me from a special blogging friend.  No, I cannot part with these, not for all the tea in China.  They’re mine

So … I’m wiser (and older) this Friday, but not just for the 4 points mentioned above.

What about you?  Have you learned anything this week?  Do share!  If it’s something funny then you’ll make us laugh.  If it’s something you’ve cried over, we’ll hold your hand and cry with you.  If it’s something which has made you wiser .. tell us and share the wisdom.

[Looks down at her t.shirt]  …..  ooo goody!… it’s dry now!   (Hello God, it’s me again.  You can cancel that last request and let folk come to the door.  The t.shirt is dry now.  Thank you.  ~ me. x)

Wishing you a truly great Friday and promising that normal service (of crafting and making a beautiful mess with scraps and glittery things) will be resumed on Monday.  In the meantime … I’m cleaning my craftroom.  It looks like someone had a right old paddy in there at the moment.  I swear I don’t make THAT much mess when I’m crafting – so it certainly can’t be me! (I bet it’s that cat of mine!) lol.  We also have our own little star coming to stay over the weekend, and although we love, love, love to have him – but we both feel twice our age by the time he’s gone. 🙂

Have a truly wonderful weekend all.

Sig coffee copy

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