Little Cottages at the Harbour.

We have a saying, here in Great Britain, which is said to someone you haven’t seen for a time.  It’s:  ‘Well look what the cat dragged in!’,  and it seems pretty apt right now, for I haven’t been able to blog for almost 4 weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  And …. I haven’t even brought a note from my mother either!  Tsk tsk. (more about why I haven’t been, in a minute).

Well … I’m here, dragged in by the cat (so to speak), and sharing a little thing I actually made during July.  I photographed it … and then couldn’t find where I’d saved the photos, so I’ve ended up photographing it all over again, so that I could come and share it with you.  It’s called:  The Little Cottages at the Harbour.

the Little Cottages at the Harbour

I have a small bundle of driftwood, here in my craft room.  It’s all incredibly lovely to handle – so smooth and has its own story,  a  life as being part of something else – I’d love to know what, but that’s a secret kept only by the sea.  The sea did what the sea does and made this wood something incredible, but now I needed to give a piece of this driftwood a new life to lead.

I sat with a little piece of it on my desk for a few days before finally deciding that it would be a base for some little fishing cottages that would be found by the sea – perhaps not quite as close to the sea as I’ve put them here, but a little artistic licence came into play in the creating process as I very much wanted to include a boat in the scene, so water was (obviously) a must!

Close up of the Little Sail boat
see the sea-foam where it’s splashed up the bottom of the boat, and is slowly ‘dripping and draining’ away again?

The houses and the two seagulls (stood having a chat on the top of one of the houses) I made from clay.  The clothes hanging on the washing line were all cut by hand, from felt;  and the grass,  the slate pathway, the wet looking sea with its sea-foam, and all the other various bits and pieces, were all made from things I have knocking about my craft room, all stored in wee little pots, just waiting for their chance to pop out and play.

the rear of The Little Cottages at the Harbour
a view around the back of the little cottages.

Of course …  the smoke coming out of the chimney is real.  [cough-porky pie-cough]  🙂

The whole thing measures just 5.25″ long (or 13.3cm) and 1.75″ wide (4.4cm) at its widest point.

Well that’s the crafty bit over and done with … now comes why I wasn’t at school for ages.  So … if you only came to have some crafty joy, please stop reading now.  Those of you who are gluttons for punishment, read on….

An Alternative Note than one from my mother:

I shall put it all in as few words as I can:  An ongoing, long-standing medical problem is being a problem, but after six and a half years with my new doctors sending me for test after test;  so many x-rays I swear I glow in the dark;  huge great hollow needles being shoved into my hands (had to mention that one as it horrified me when I saw what they were about to do), which was testing nerve responses;  and so much blood taken from me for tests that I now put every phlebotomist under the one title of:  ‘The Dracula Brigade’ – …  I’ve finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – which,  for those who don’t know what it is,  is a disease of the central nervous system.

For years I’ve been blaming my spinal injury (result of a RTA some years ago) for all these things that had begun to happen, and they were getting worse and worse and driving me crazy, but it was something else which was happening all the time!

Apparently Heaven is determined to get its hands on me and is wearing me down, one injury, one illness, one ‘broken’ bit at a time, until I eventually give in or give out!

Then . . .  the oven [in the kitchen] decided to turn up its toes.

Then . . . the dishwasher apparently couldn’t cope with life without the oven and it died of a broken heart.

Then . . .  Mr.Cobs, in his attempt to get the dishwasher out of the kitchen, manoeuvred it out of its hole which it lived in, (under the work top).  He got the machine out but then had to crawl into the now vacated spot to unplug the dishwasher from the hidden electrical socket …. and upon completing the unplugging task, he was backing out of the space …. thought he’d backed out far enough and . . .  lifted his head . . . only to find that he’d misjudged the distance and WHAM … he hit the top of his head on the underside edge of our wooden, 2″ thick work tops and cut his head open!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!  SOOOooooo much blood!  Clean tea-towel after clean tea-towel came into use and I folded one into a firm pad and gave it to Mr.C with the instructions of putting it on the cut and holding it firmly in place.  I managed to get him to a comfortable place to sit (I was scared silly that he’d pass out on the floor, as this is not a weedy chap we’re talking about here.  He’s a tall, meaty chap and there would be no way I could pick him up or drag him anywhere!

After asking him various questions (who’s the Prime Minister of our country.  What year is it.  What’s his date of birth etc) to establish that he was still in mental working order, I feared to look but knowing that I had to . . .  with torch in hand I carefully examined the site and found that damage was a small cut of less than half an inch!  From the amount of blood I honestly thought that there would be a huge gaping gap of around 4/5 inches.  I’d already planned to call an ambulance as I feared him bleeding to death if I drove him in the car to the hospital.

He suffered a bit of a headache (as you’d expect) but a couple of pain killers and sitting quietly for a while made him feel a little better.  And … the blood flow stopped … which I’m guessing is down to the amount of prayers I shot out of my heart and head from the moment I saw the blood dripping down his face.

Rest assured though dear reader, he is perfectly fine and totally groovy now.

Of course, while all the above was going on, normal life was also taking place – as it does – but somethings got left, pushed to one side, or put on the back burner, and sadly blogging was one of those things.  Sorry about that.

I don’t know what’s going on this summer.  Is it the heat?  Is it the fact that we in Great Britain aren’t used to this amount of ‘Summer’ happening all at once?  I have no idea.  I only know that this Summer has [personally] brought trouble with it and I’ll be really rather glad to see the back of it.  I’m looking forward to Sunday, 23rd September – for that’s the official date that Autumn begins here in the UK, and from that date I’ve decided that there will be no more trouble.

Autumn is one of my most favourite times and I’m in talks with God about how life hasn’t been very fair recently.  God, though, has an answer for everything – and says if not me, then who?  And I and my heart truthfully can’t answer that one.

Anyhoo . . .  I hope that you haven’t met with any problems or even disasters, which were too much for you to cope with.  Remember – into each life a little rain must fall, so don’t feel that you’re alone when something happens out of the blue which you would rather hadn’t happened.  I can guarantee that at least one other person reading these words as you read them right now, will have gone through pretty much the same thing and can relate to how you feel.

So  . . .  If you’re going through ‘it’ … we’re all standing right beside you, cheering you on and shouting words of encouragement.  You’re not alone.  We’re right here.

Thanks for coming and taking a peep at the Little Cottages at the Harbour, and having a read of this ‘diary entry’ for what happened in August!  It’s truly great to see you.  I’ve missed you all so very much.

Have a fabulous Monday and a truly blessed week.  Much love ~ 

Sig coffee copy

 

 

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination . . .

That was the first line of one of my most favourite songs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Last week I shared with you an altered, little Altoids (mints) sized tin for which I’d created a ‘Little bit of Dorset in a Tin’ – which was a [sort of] diorama inside a tin.

If you missed the blog post I paste a link here:-   A little bit of Dorset in a little Tinwhich, if you click on it, will open up in a new page for you.

I created that little tin for a friend of Mr.Cobs, who’s coming for a visit in a few weeks time.

Mr.Friend told Mr.Cobs on the phone that he rather fancied a trip to somewhere called Brownsea Island  –  which is here in Dorset where we live, but it’s an island all by itself and you have to board a boat to get to.

I wanted to make Mr.Friend something of a souvenir but couldn’t think of anything about Brownsea Island which I could work into a souvenir, so instead, I chose a famous lighthouse here in Dorset,  – and the Little Tin I shared last week had Portland Bill  Lighthouse inside the Little Tin.

Funny thing was …  two days later, just as I was dropping off to sleep in bed … a stray thought popped into my mind which woke me up, and in that moment a plan formed.  That plan is the little bit of fun that I’ve come to share with you now.

Brownsea Island is probably most famous all around the world for the ‘invention’ of the Scouts, for Brownsea Island is where is all began.  My sleepy brain remembered this and led me to an idea which would be the perfect thing to give Mr.Cobs Friend, instead of the Portland Bill Lighthouse!  So …  this is what happened after the brain cell gave me the vision. . .

brownsea island tin B
The English penny in the above photo, (to the left, at the bottom)  is for a kind of size reference.  It measures roughly 18mm and so almost the same size as an American dime

I thought that perhaps I could do a little research and see if I could find any details about what the first Scout boys had used by way of tents – style and colour etc.  I found enough information to tell me to make the classic upturned V style of tent, in a kind of khaki colour, and that’s what I created from some clay.

brownsea Island tin CAMP TENT copy
A close up of the ten, showing the flap gently blowing in the breeze.  The ‘guy rope’ is held securely to a tiny wooden tent peg, and I made the Union Jack Flag from paper.

I wasn’t absolutely sure that the tents would have been this Khaki colour – but it seemed right and looked so right that I was convinced that it had to be so.

 

brownsea Island e
The purple rule is showing the measurement of the tin, in centimetres. There are roughly 2.5cm to an inch.  So:  the tin is 9cm tall, and that would mean that it’s 3.54″ in inches.

The tree in the tin is made from a twig which was found in my back garden.

I built the campfire from some broken twigs which I’d found in my garden at the end of last summer, and had dried them out and kept them in my craft room, waiting for the right project.  Ahhh …. don’t you love it when you plan for something –  that you have no idea about at the time, – but when it happens …. YOU’RE READY FOR IT!  😀

brownsea Island tin CAMP FIRE
The Camp Fire

I thought that all the best scout camps would have a lit fire, cracking, sparkling and sending up smoke signals which floated tiny bits of burning embers up, up, up into the sky ….  so I built a camp fire exactly as I’d expect to see one!

I think that the most difficult part of this little Diorama Tin was the Red Squirrel you see hiding in the tree.  Made from clay, it took me three ‘goes’ before I got the size right.

brownsea island C
Can you see the red squirrel?

The red squirrel is the UK’s only native squirrel species, and was once a common sight across the UK. But for decades they’ve been in decline in the UK, and today,  red squirrels are sadly absent from most of the UK,  affected by the spread of the introduced non-native grey squirrel.

The Pine woods of Brownsea Island are home to one of the few remaining red squirrel populations in England.  Naturally because of this, I had to include a red squirrel in the tin!

I added a little pull out booklet to the inner lid of the altered tin . . .

brownsea Island tin Words

When pulled out, it tells the story of how the Scouts began . . .

brownsea Island tin c

I so enjoyed making this Little Tin.  It wasn’t a quick make by any standards, but so very enjoyable and once it was eventually finished, I felt as if I’d been smiling for days and days.  Such a fun make.  But then….  as we all know ….  I do like to make Little things.  lol.

brownsea Island tin A

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee moment with me.  It’s so lovely to see you here and I really do appreciate you coming.

I take this moment to say hello to some new followers that have joined us.  I won’t embarrass anyone by naming names, but will say ….  I hope you find something(s) to enjoy here in the Cobweborium Emporium, and that you eventually pluck up the courage to say hello in a comment.

Remember … until someone sees you here, we can’t click to come and see you on your blog if you have one!  So please, don’t be shy.  No one bites here, and we’d all love to meet you.

I hope your Monday has been fabulous, and that the weather, where you are, is such that it leaves you smiling.

And … now that we are near my signing off …  remember the song I began singing right at the start of this blog post?  Well …. I include the song, and a click for you, if you fancy a listen and a bit of a read:

Dorset Wildlife Trust   <– CLICK.  A thoroughly lovely website (will open up in a new window for you) which has various pages of loveliness for you to look at.  Hover your mouse over the various sections of the black bar across the top of the page (just under the Title: Dorset Wildlife Trust) and each section will open up a little window so that you can click on any of them to have a read.

Have a truly blessed rest of your day my friends  ~

Coffee Sig

 

A little bit of Dorset in a little Tin!

Those of you who have known me for some time,  know that I love working in ‘little’.  I love the quirkiness of making little things, and I’ve made things in tins before and posted them on the blog here, but not very often.  However, just as the world turns, I’m kind of coming back to tins again. I first began making things in tins about 25 years ago, (obviously I was only … ooo…  erm ...  two and a half at the time – cough-fibber-cough), and I remember the Master Craftsman – who was teaching me to sculpt in clay –  commenting many times that …  “… It’s all in the details with you, Cobs, isn’t it!”.  He noticed something that had never occurred to me – but once he said it, I could see that indeed, it really was!

Portland Bill Lighthouse in a Tin 1
Will you open the box …. or will you take the money?!!!

But anyhoo …. Mr.Cobs has a friend who lives back where we used to live – (someone Cobs Snr. used to work with) – who comes and visits every now and again, and both of them go out and make a day of having jolly fun together, eating, visiting places of interest, and generally doing what lads like to do.  Well, Mr.Cobs Friend is coming in a few weeks for a visit, and I got to thinking that here I was, making things for __________ (fill in blank space), but I’d never made anything for him.  So I set about thinking of what I could make him which would be a memory of Dorset (where we now live).

I know that when he comes to visit this time, Mr.Cobs and he have made a plan to get on a boat and go over to Brownsea Island.  Now … I will freely admit that since we’ve lived in Dorset, I’ve had absolutely no inclination to visit the island.  I will sometimes sit in the harbour on the mainland, with a coffee, and get the binoculars out to have a bit of a nose at what’s going on around the island – but have never wanted to go.

Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island – circled to make it easier to spot.

When I found out the chaps planned to go there, I thought I could make something relating to Brownsea Island, as a surprise for Mr.Cobs Friend, which he could take home.  BUT . . . after doing some research I was stumped about what on earth I could fit into a little tin Diorama,  which would be interesting, but also decorative, if he and his wife wanted to display the gift. which related to Brownsea Island.   Nothing.  My brain gave me either a red squirrel or a tree.  No.  Those wouldn’t do at all!

Brownsea Island – A link to the National Trust Website  if you’d like to see/read about the island.

So I had to think about other places which might be on the agenda for another time, and Portland Bill Lighthouse popped into my head.  The more I thought about it the more solid it became – so …. I made it.  Well …  I made an artist’s impression of just the actual lighthouse.  It does have a cottage building attached to it – but I chose not to include that as it would have made the tin too crowded – so just made the lighthouse itself, from lightweight clay (so that the tin remained light in weight) – adding the windows, door, the ‘foghorn’ sounder on the side …  and the railing around the walkway which runs around the big lamp at the top.

Portland Bill Lighthouse in a Tin 3

I set the lighthouse atop of some ‘Portland rock’well, an artistic impression of it anyway. 

Portland Stone is a limestone which has been used for centuries and can be seen in many buildings such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.  (you can read more about this on Wikipedia by clicking  HERE)

Behind the lighthouse you can see a section of map which shows the position of Portland Bill Lighthouse,  and on the inside of the lid [of the tin] is a little bit of information relating to Portland Bill Lighthouse.

Portland Bill Lighthouse in a Tin 4

For anyone interested in reading more about Portland Bill – I offer two clickable links:

Trinity House  – a website which gives information about a lot of the Lighthouses here in the UK – but this link will take you directly to the Portland Bill page.

Wikipedia – Portland Bill – a short read.

Portland Bill Lighthouse in a Tin 5

You can just about see the flag waving in the breeze, on top of the Lighthouse – it’s the British Red Ensign, which is the flag used by civilian vessels.

The tin is roughly the size of an Altoids Tin – at (approx) 95mm x 60mm x 20mm (ish).  And …  the lighthouse isn’t flat backed (which it seems to look in the photos).  When I created it, I made it completely round from base to top.  So when you look at it, you can turn the tin a little, and see around to the back.

Ohh…. and yes, those really are teeny tiny,  real  sea shells in front of the tin!  So delicate and so pretty.

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to in the last few days, in my newly painted craft room.  I’m still in a bit of a fiddle with the organisation – but my fingers were itching to make and create, so I left everything as it was, and instead sat and made something.  I could stand it no longer!  (A gals gotta do what a gals gotta do!).

Thank you so much for coming for a visit.  I love to see you here.  Do let me know that you’ve been and shared a coffee moment with me.  I love to know who I’m talking to – so just say ‘hello’ in a comment if you can’t think of anything to say, and I promise I’ll say hello right back!

Wishing you a truly blessed Monday and a happy week ahead.  Everything here in Great Britain is gearing up for the Royal Wedding in a week and a bit’s time.  Flags and bunting are coming out all over the land.  It’s all looking very jolly!  Anything going on where you live?

Sending you much love and squidges ~ 

Coffee Sig

 

Things I’ve Learned This Week

Happy Friday!  These Fridays are still coming round far too fast for my liking.  I swear that Fridays always seemed waaaay  further apart when I was younger.  What’s happened to make this change?  No .. seriously … why are Fridays so close together now?  I really don’t understand why.

I’ve learned some strange things this week and I’d like to share them with you so that your wisdom is improved in the same way mine has been!  (improved?  really??) [cough]  Ready?  Hold hands, and on the count of three we’ll all jump together. . . . .   ONE …..  TWO ….  THREE!

I learned this week:  That one in 20 couples argue so much on their wedding night they fail to consummate their marriage.  Aw this made me so sad.  I don’t mind much about the ‘consummate’ bit – but it’s the falling out with each other which saddens me.  Such a wondrous day and they end it with a row!  What a rotten way to spoil the memories. 😦

I learned . . .  That there are enough diamonds in existence to give everyone on the planet a cupful.  Kindly form an orderly queue behind me, and hold onto your cup tightly.  No mugs are allowed.  Cups only.

I also learned. . .

. . . that thirty-seven people were injured so seriously by tea cosies in 1999 that they were admitted to hospital.

Can you believe it?  Nope, me neither!  Dog only knows what on earth they were doing with a tea-cosy which they injured themselves on!

67,000 people are injured each year trying to peel the cellophane off a packet of sandwiches, open a ready meal or open a ring-pull can.
. . .

More than 150 people a day – have accidentally stabbed themselves when trying to prise the top off a jar or opening a ready meal with a knife.

The number of injuries perpetrated by trousers on their wearers in 2002 – (the last year for which such figures were collated by the Home Accident Surveillance System) – stood at 5310, while putting on socks, tights or stockings saw 11,788 people taken to hospital.  Falls caused by getting stuck during an over-hasty attempt to get dressed were mainly responsible, with trips in messy bedrooms close behind.
. . .

379,000 injuries are caused by trainers, high heels, sandals, platforms and countless other types of footwear.

An Exeter (in the UK)  College student was making Italian bread in a bread maker, but when it clogged the machine he proceeded to pull out the dough with his hands, to free the mixing arm.  However, he didn’t switch it off, and once the clog was unblocked the mixer arm swung into action – and broke his arm in four places.  Nine weeks later, the student was asked how he had managed to break his arm while making bread.  He felt obliged to demonstrate, so plunged his hand in – and  snap  went his arm, again!
 . . .
And…  do you know what’s really embarrassing?  ….  All the above examples of injuries in the home were all ….  in the UK!!!  What the heck?  Are we really all  ‘eff-wits’  here?  This must be going on world wide … and if so … shouldn’t there be more padded rooms where these daft people are put for their own safety?
 . . .
I also learned this week that, in the world, – only 2% of women describe themselves as beautiful.  When I gave this some thought, it didn’t surprise me in the way it did before I gave it some serious thinking.  We girls always ‘see’ where we believe we could be improved.  Iron out a few wrinkles.  Lose the baby tummy.  Be taller.  Nose a little more turned up and cute.  etc etc.  But if you asked other women what could be improved about their friends or a random woman they were being shown a photo of,  they’d more often than not say “Nothing!“.  We girls really do need to be very much kinder to ourselves.
 . . .

photo found on Google ~ if you know who to credit please let me know and I’ll add it.  thanks!

I learned from something I read that Reindeer are particularly partial to magic mushrooms.  I thought about this one for a minute or two and it suddenly made total sense.  This would explain how we humans had seen Santa on his sleigh, pulled by 8 dashing reindeer!  The reindeer had eaten magic mushrooms!  ha!

And finally, in my mode of edumacation this week,  ….

I learned that when a shop or store says its got an item you want to buy “in stock” on its website, it actually isn’t what it probably has in stock.  And even when the computers in the store say that there are 11 (ELEVEN) of the items you wish to buy …  the staff say they’ve seen those items …and come with you to search the shelves that you’ve already searched 14 times ….  those items are NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!

HOMEBASE in Dorset UK,  HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME!!!   Perhaps if you

Tidied the store now and again

Made it look less like a warehouse for empty boxes – and a dumping ground for products no member of staff knows what to do with so they leave boxes of stuff in the aisles for customers, to navigate and fall over.

Had more staff to deal with customers (there were 9 in a queue waiting to pay and only one member of staff on your tills)

And perhaps if you had a better system to your stocking of plants in your outdoor gardening centre …

Maybe the store would be a more pleasant and easier place to shop in.  Just saying.

I think Homebase might  like to  hear from me via an email to their Customer Services (although I do wonder if that’s a non entity too, like their 11 items in stock).  Hmpfffft!  ☹️

Soo ….  I have shared with you all my newly learned edumacation which was lovingly (?) delivered to me this week.  I’m unsure if I’m any wiser, but I do feel my brain complaining.  What of I don’t know … but it will soon be fine again … once it’s dumped some old information out of my right ear while I’m sleeping tonight.  (I hope it hangs onto my:  name, address, telephone number and passwords.  The rest of the stuff I’m sure I can muddle through. lol).

Now we come to the most important bit of the Friday ‘What I learned’  posts …. 

 

❤   THE JOKES   ❤

The Energizer bunny was arrested on a charge of battery
 . . .
  . . . 
Q: What’s the best thing about Switzerland?
A:I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.
 . . .  
  . . . 
Why did the chicken cross the playground?
To get to the other slide!
  . . . 
  . . . 
Q: Have you heard about the new restaurant called Karma?
A: There’s no menu; you get what you deserve.
  . . . 
  . . . 
Son: “Dad, when will I be old enough so I don’t have to ask mom for her permission to go out?”
Dad: “Son, even I haven’t grown old enough to go out without her permission!”
  . . . 
. . .
and finally . . .
  . . . 
 . . .  
Conjunctivitis.com   . . .   It’s a site for sore eyes.
 . . .  
 . . .
Well, that’s me done and dusted.  I hope you’ve learned and little and gained a few smiles that you’ll be able to share with someone else today.
 . . .
I wish you a most excellent Friday, and a totally wonderful weekend.  May the weather be good,  may your days feel restful,  and may you feel a sense of happiness and protection settle upon your world, like a covering of a gentle blanket of love.
  . . . 

Until we meet again, be good to each other and …  may your God go with you.

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Sometimes . . .

. . .  we really do need to let it all slip away and trust.  Give it a try this weekend.  Let go and   just.  see.  what.  happens.

*if you need the image to be a little bigger, rightclick on the photo/picture and choose ‘view image’ – and the photo will open up in a larger size.

~ ~ ~

May you have a blessed Saturday,  and a truly wonderful weekend my friends.

Sig coffee copy

P.S.  The photograph in the background of the above quote is of a place called Lulworth Cove, which is in Dorset, England (UK), and it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from our (Mr Cobs and I) little cottage home. ~ Cobs. x

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