A bunch of Christmases all at once.

Happy December the 1st!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Frost and Ice Christmas Tree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

love and squidges ~

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A Sunny Hello!

Hello.  Happy Wednesday all!  Did you see the BIG MOON a couple of nights ago?  We couldn’t see even the glimmer of it where we are.  The sky was SO cloudy that it hid that  moon totally!  Monday’s moon event was billed as the biggest and best moon in a series of three ‘Supermoons’ this year.  The first was on October 16, the second was Monday,  and the third is due on December 14.  Afer that there isn’t going to be another till 2034.

↑  An aeroplane flies past the London Eye on Sunday.   Credit: TOBY MELVILLE

The Moon rising beyond the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Great Britain. Credit- Peter MacDiarmid

↑  A jet flies in front of the moon on its approach to Heathrow airport in west London    Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS

Anyhoooo . . .   enough mooning around, let’s get crafty…

About ten days ago (or so,  – I’ve totally lost track of time) I made a card to send to a fabulous fellow blogger in a wee parcel I was sending to her, so couldn’t post about it here on the blog, until I knew for sure that she’d received it otherwise it would have spoilt the surprise!  But I know it’s safely arrived and so can now share the card.

It was one of those lovely, enjoyable to make, quick to pull together cards that seemed to almost make itself.  I knew I wanted to send a warm smile and visual hug – and as I was sat there trying to summon up what a smile and a hug would look like on a card –  suddenly the Sunflowers I’d seen at the supermarket when I walked through the door a couple of days previously popped into my mind.  They’d me smile instantly when I walked into the store and I even commented on them to Mr.Cobs.  They kind of welcomed me in and made me feel all warm and snuggly so what better ‘thing’ could I put on a warm, sunny Hello card from me, but Sunflowers!

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Closer up of the Sunflowers

For the centres of the sunflowers I used a lovely warm shade of brown, and on some of the petals I added Tonic Studios Nuvo crystal drops in two colours – a pretty lemon and a slightly more warm orange colour. I also added some pale green to the leaves, but to give the leaves a little ‘movement’ I sprinkled a little green Wow glitter so that it added shade and highlights in the right places as the card was moved.

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Photo taken with no flash & just light from the window

I added two lots of three pearls – bottom left and top right, then some seeds in random places;  along with some ‘leaves’ flying around the card, as if whipped up by a passing breeze,  and finally the little envelope for which I made a folded tag for the envelope, on which I wrote a story about the meaning of the Sunflower.  Then,  once the sentiment of ‘hello’ was added, the card was finished and ready to go!

And that, as they say, is all there is!

Wishing you a truly wonderful Wednesday.  Play safely.  Be nice to each other, and … if you can … pray for the next person you see. (or push a wish out of your head/heart, into the world.  Hoping for something good for that person).

Have a blessed day my friends ~

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How could I have forgotten that I loved Anna?

I wanted to make a special card for someone who is such a really lovely person, but I wanted to make it in a way that perhaps she hadn’t seen from me before so I sat and I puzzled over it until my brain got sore and then ….  I spotted a box on a shelf in my craft room and DING!  A big exclamation mark appeared over my head!

I’ve had some Anna Griffin die cuts in a box for quite some time, and, well, you know how it is, you make something, and then another thing, then another, and then you decide that you want a change so you pop things back on the shelf and, over time, they kind of get forgotten.  Well that’s what happened with the Anna Griffin die-cuts.

I sat in my craft room chair and opened the box (feeling a little like Pandora), and it was right at that moment a light inside my brain shone like a Christmas Angel.  “Ohhh dearest die cuts, how could I have forgotten about you, my darlings?  You are perfection” I said lovingly to the die cuts – like some weirdo.

So … I made a card with them!  Other than this (wordy) introduction, there’s not much to say about this card because it kind of tells its own story as you look at the photos, so without further ado …  may I present …  Flowers for my Friend …. [round of applause can be heard as the curtain goes up  …   stops halfway,  . . .  a whirring, grinding noise can be heard,  but then   . . .   with a bit of fiddling,  up it finally rises] . .

Flowers for my Friend A Feature

I had to hold the card in one of those big peg things,   that’s what you can just see at the bottom there.  It’s not my fingers, ’cause those are fatter than that peg. {snigger}

The outside of the card is a pretty card but it’s also pretty ‘normal’.  However … it’s the inside where the action is, for this card is meant to be displayed open.

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When you open the card there’s a lot more going on than you might think from the outside.  {kind of like my good self … only in my case there’s a lot less going on than you hope for}

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As you move the card around you get to see different things which you might not have noticed before .

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Ta daaaah!  Like magic!  You can now see how the individual layers of how the card works.

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Looking from the other side

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Slightly blurry in places.  The camera has a self focusing thing and wanted to focus on those pansies.  In the end I gave up fighting with it and let it do whatever it darn well liked, because it wasn’t going to let me win.

And a final look at the front again, just incase you’ve forgotten what it looked like

Flowers for my Friend final

See … told you it wasn’t my fingers holding the card! {pulls out tongue and waggles it}

And that’s all there is to it!

Ok … let’s get down and dirty now

The HEAT.  The TEMPERATURE HERE IS ALL WRONG.  IT’S TOO,  TOOOOOOOO  HOT!!  I feel dirty all the time and I don’t like dirty.   Mr. Cobs thinks I’ve developed one of those OCD things  … I keep washing my hands, and arms, right up to the elbows, because it’s such horrid, sticky weather.

Now don’t get me wrong…  I’m not complaining about the Summer, nor the fabulous Sunshine. But surely there is no need to roast a Cobweb in this unseemly fashion?

I’m sat here with the ceiling fan on at full throttle.  I have a large desk top fan on the coffee table, doing its gentle wave, back and forth, like the Queen waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.  And … I have a large air coolant machine, (which is darned noisy but worth the noise) in the hallway, facing into the living room, so that all my fur pals can keep cool.

Our living room, and leading halfway into the hallway, looks like the aftermath of a murder scene right now.  Four bodies are waiting for forensic Science to come and put white tape around them,  take swabs, and hairs and … whatever else they do in those white J-Cloth suits which they wear.  

Three Cats and one rather rotund Dogwho has a big, chubby pink belly which I like to blow raspberries on because it makes her wriggle and snuff,  (but enough of my peccadilloes),  are all  looking, for all intents and purposes, like dead things.  I’d love to take a photo, but the minute I turn the darn thing on these four all know that little noise which the camera makes and they all sit up to see what the divil I’m up to now.  So I won’t photograph them, I’ll leave them to rest, because they need it.  If I’m too hot and I only have three items of clothing on, then these wonderful creatures are way hotter because they’re all wearing fur coats!

Oh look at me rambling on.  It’s the heat.  It’s addled that one last remaining brain cell.  I shall shut up – except to say …  Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Do something nice for someone else today.  Give them one of your smiles.  Tell someone you’ve never met before, that they look pretty/handsome/striking/attractive   .. anything nice. Lovely.  Anything to bring them joy.  By doing so, I promise you’ll get far more joy in return.  Go on.  Do something nice for someone else today.  I dares ya!

Have a  blessed day my friends.  Thank you for coming to share a coffee with me round the kitchen table.    Heaps of love  to you and yours ~

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