Somethings in life are always beautiful.

I had my Ranger Melt Pot out last week aka:  The Cauldron.,  and made a few pretties with it but … well, one thing turned to another and a little memory crept into my mind of a card I remembered seeing about four or five years ago.  Once the memory had taken shape inside my mind (in other words, I remembered enough to give it a good old bash) I thought I’d have try at making the beautiful leaf I remembered.

The leaf itself is a stamped leaf, but, after cutting it out, I turned it over and using bottles of re-inkers, I set about colouring the leaf up.  The first one I made didn’t give off the feeling I was trying for.  The colours were too deep and kind of flat.  So I scrapped that one, (my motto:  If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried!)…  and began again, this time using different colours.  I knew what I was after:  A leaf coloured for all the seasons.    And this was the result:-

Somethings in life are always beautiful. 2

I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  It went from a brighter summer green, into a deep, rich, dark green, which then changed into rust and orange, which in turn changed into that fabulous autumn yellow.

I took LOADS of photographs of the leaf … and couldn’t for the life of me, get it to show the ultra thick embossing which I’d toiled over until it was perfection.  I wanted to catch the shine on the leaf so that you could see that this was something really pretty.  It looked like the most beautiful leaf captured inside glass. [sigh]  Sadly, I failed.  Nothing I did would catch the shine of what looked like glass.  So you’ll have to imagine that it’s there.

The sentiment – is partly something I read a while back, but I changed it round a little, added a line and changed a few words, and so made it more what I wanted the card to say.

Somethings in life are always beautiful. 3

In case you can’t read it, it says:

Whispering winds which scatter leaves at the end of Summer;  A gentle stroll on an Autumn Day;  The chill in the air on a Winters morning;  The chirrup of bird song which Spring brings.  Somethings in life are always beautiful.

I really enjoyed putting this card together and love the leaf.  In fact I loved making it so much that I think I’m going to make it again, only next time a little different.  If it works, I’ll share it with you.  If it doesn’t …  you may never hear another word about it.  But ..  I might share it if it fails miserably – just so that you and I can have a laugh.  LOL.

On the day I made this card,  I made some other things too – only this time with my Cauldron (Ranger Melt Pot), and I’ll share those things with you next time.

Anyhoo  . . .  HAPPY MONDAY!

Just to get the week off to a grrrrrreat start, I give you a joke in the hope of making your heart smile….

I just watched a wildlife documentary about beavers.  —  Best dam programme I’ve seen in a long time!  😀

Pass the smile around.  Share the joke.  Let’s see if we can get the whole world smiling.  We could use a little amusement now and again.

Have a truly lovely Monday.  May today be a good one.  Sending you squidges from my corner to yours….

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Orthopedist? … or a CARD-iologist?

One of my fabulous blogging friends, Paper Puff,  told me on the 10th of Feb  – in a chat we had via the comments on one of my blog posts –  about her lovely mum who had broken her ankle.

The next day Paper Puff published a post on her blog in which she told all her lovely followers about why she’d been M.I.A, and about her moms accident, and also told us all about the little matter regarding her Ninja cat (that’s not his name, that’s his skill levelread her post and you’ll see).

You can find her post here:  “Broken bones, real and imagined. And a ninja cat”   .. it will open in another window.

After hearing about her moms accident I asked if perhaps I could send her mum a card wishing her well,  just to make her smile. It was all arranged, and I made a card, then sent it to P.Puff so that she could hand it over to Mrs.Puff Snr.

And thisis the card I made:-

broken-ankle-of-puffs-mom

How do you say I hope your broken ankle heals soon?  Well that question gave me a real moment of puzzlement.  Then as quick as a flash, I KNEW what I needed to do.

Now … where to get big enough cutters to cut a leg off Barbie?

I tried.  I really did try.   I took the cutters and offered them up to Barbie’s leg.  I think it was about 4 times I did this.  I even managed to press on the handles just once.  Enough to see the ‘skin’ on her leg ‘bend’ under the pressure of being pressed.  But I failed.

Mr.Cobs was summoned, and he arrived in the craft room with the most amazing  BIG BOY TOOL.  An  ENORMOUS  pair of wire cutters.  SURGICAL Wire Cutters!

We donned our surgical gowns, and put on our face masks, then I, as the dutiful nurse on duty, marked the patients leg to show where the cut had to be made.  The Senior Surgeon took his  Big Boy Tool  in his hands and ….. with one smooth, scissor like motion ….  he amputated the lower limb of the patient in one clean-cut.

She didn’t feel a thing.  Totally oblivious to the whole procedure.  Although mind, she was seen having rather too many pink cocktails with Ken earlier, so she was more than likely under the affluence of incohol.    (constantly in the grip of the grape from what I’ve heard from some sources!)

close-up-of-broken-ankle-and-bandages

On Duty Nurse, Cobs, made bandages, wrapped the broken ankle in a bandage, then covered it in ‘plaster’, and added more bandages where required.

Obviously the patient had to have a few flowers, so paper ones were made – because, it must be remembered,  this card was being sent to Mrs.PaperPuff Snr. – so Paper flowers were a major requirement!  😀

broken-ankle-get-well-soon

A little sentiment of Get Well wishes was added to the inside of the card, then finally …  the card had to have a box!  You couldn’t send a broken ankle in an envelope after all. A box was of great importance….

broken-ankle-box

. . . .   and that’s all there was to it. A card for a lady, which held a giggle and a laugh, and also a wish of health returning soon …  and keeping it feminine and lady-like too!

broken-ankle-card-and-box-for-puffs-mom

I love quirky cards.  (just in case you hadn’t noticed. lol)  They bring such an element of fun and lots of smiles for the receiver, and I find them so pleasurable to make.  Maybe it’s because I’m quirky.  Or maybe it’s just that I’m as mad as my two girls have always told me I am.  lol.  Bless them. ❤

Hoping the card made you smile too, and also hoping that your Sunday is peaceful, warm, and that you know you are loved.  Even if it’s only by me.  You ARE loved.

Oh, and regarding the title of this post . . .  I’m a CARD-iologist …. an Orthopedist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of bones and muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments and tendons.  😀

Thanks for coming and sharing a coffee moment with me.  Don’t go breaking a leg now!

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We have a WINNER!

A few days ago I shared  a Tag Card I’d made and thought we could have a bit of fun by doing a ‘give away’ of that actual Tag Card which you see in the photo.  If anyone wanted to join in all they had to do was to comment with the word  GIVEAWAY  in their comment, and I’d include them as being one of the people who might like to be the owner of this card.

easel-card-cobweborium-2

Shown here without the easel, but the easel is included as part of the Tag Card Give Away.

Using the word GIVEAWAY typed as all one word, to enter the Give Away – meant that I could find entries easily by just searching for that work on the page.

Earlier on I closed the entries, and made a list of all the names of the people who’d entered, giving each name a number, as I went down the list of people.  These are the people who entered GIVEAWAY into their comment, along with their numbers …

  1.    marijo1245 (can’t find a link for your blog Marijo – sorry)
  2.    Florence
  3.    PaperPuff
  4.    Mrs P
  5.    ChickenGrandma
  6.    Artisan Duck

Then, I went to the Random Number Generator website and asked it to do it’s job and pick us a winner for the Tag Card.  . . . .  [drumroll] . . . .

And the winner is:

11th-oct-rng-for-times-nouveau-tag-giveaway

In case you’re not Lee Majors and don’t have Bionic Man/Woman eyes … here’s a close up of the number which was generated:

11thoctobe-2016-giveaway-for-times-nouveau-tag

The winning number is NUMBER 4 … which means  . . .  [drumroll] . . . .  THE WINNER IS ….  Mrs P!

Many congratulations Mrs. P.  I’m absolutely chuffed to pieces for you.  I’ll contact you and let you know about sending me your snail mail address so that I can send this to you.

easel-card-cobweborium-1

Well that’s our second Give Away and I don’t know about you but.. I loved it!

It’s a lovely bit of fun between us blogging friends.  . . .   and because there aren’t that many people entering, the law of chances tells us that you’re bound to win at some stage – you just have to enter.  (. . . And if you’ve seen my other post today, you can see what happens when you put your name into the mix and hope to win!) So what d’ya think?  Shall we do it again soon?

Congratulations again to Mrs.P.

Sending squidges to all of you in your corners, from me here in mine ~

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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

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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  ~

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A Home, made for Tweety Pie

About 12’ish’ years ago I made myself a paper mache bird house for the corner of my bedroom. I painted it; crackle glazed the roof; hand painted vines around it; sealed it and then I wrapped a length of Ivy around it and secured it in place.   I never got to hang that bird house because when my mother saw it, she loved it so much that she claimed it for her own bedroom!

So … I made another one.  That one ‘walked’  too – this time to a friend.   I made another, and kept it.  But word had got out and by the time I’d finished … I must have ended up making around 20 or so of these darling bird houses. I even made myself a couple more one for my conservatory and another for my living room – it hid the CCTV camera inside it!.

Then three years ago I moved home  (down-sized)  and decided that I would only bring one of those little bird houses with me. So I gave two away and chose the Geranium one I’d made, to keep ….. in fact … this one ….

Cobwebs Birdhouse 1

Yes … that’s the one.  Hanging on my door, right there.   People who have come to my cottage where I live now, and seen it, have always commented and admired it,  – but one person – … my fabulous parcel delivery lady –  (who has become a friend) –  said she really liked it and was trying to work out how I’d made it.  Here’s a close up …

Close up 2

… now –  to be brutally honest … it’s a little tired looking now.  I mean to say … it’s actually about twelve years old and has gone through many things in its little life, so it’s not as ‘freshly made’ and perky looking as it used to be – but I love it.  I love it hanging on my front door during the early summer days, welcoming people as they arrive. (The front door is under cover and very well protected – & doesn’t get any rain on it – so I knew it would be pretty safe hanging there.)

After my parcel lady had said she liked it, I said,  to Mr. Cobs,  that I thought I still had “a bird house waiting for painting, ‘somewhere’ – but goodness knows where!”  (I still have boxes in my loft that I haven’t unpacked from the house move  3 whole years ago!!!    Please don’t judge me. – I never said I was brilliant or anything near it!).

After some searching, the wonderful Mr. Cobs found it!  (give that man a medal, I hear you cry!).   I decided that I’d make my parcel lady a bird house as a surprise.  I got to work and, for the first time ever, I made a Roses bird house.  But ... I couldn’t find a little bird for the perch.  I searched…  I checked out florists, craft supplies … everything I could think of, but no luck.  So I decided to use the only thing I had – a little resin bird, in a gentle pinky colour, to match the roses.  I gave the bird house to her a couple or so weeks ago, and thought that now the surprise was ‘out of the bag’, I could share it with you.

So, dear reader, I present to you …. The Roses Bird House for Tweety Pie  (well, no, not quite.  It was for my parcel lady to be precise – but you know what I mean! lol).

the front 3

Left side 4

the left hand side

In the photo directly above,  you can see the crackle glazed roof, and the little hanging loop over to the left, at the back (top) of the roof.  However – if you make a loop of wire, for something to be hung on the wall etc – try to make sure that you ‘cushion’ the wire against something – (I used a leaf on this bird house) – so that the wire doesn’t damage any painted surface or wallpaper you have on the wall.

Right Side 5

the right hand side

It was such a delight to do a ‘blast from the past’ crafty make again.  It was as if time had rewound itself and I magically found myself back in time, twelve to fourteen years ago – and crafting in ways I’d forgotten I used to do.  It was a really sweet, memorable time in my craft room, and I absolutely loved it.  Memories of my mother;   old friends who my heart misses;  our girls when they were younger;   teachers at the school where I used to help out;  people I’ve known but have now sadly passed on;  others who I’ve lost touched with – like ships that pass in the night.   So many memories, and all so precious to my heart.   It kind of almost felt like a friend who I hadn’t seen for years and years,  had suddenly visited me out of the blue,  and we’d sat together going over old times, laughing together, remembering together.   Awww,  just wonderful!  ❤  

I hope you like the bird house as much as I do.  I was kind of sad to give it away.  It had bought back such wonderful memories as I crafted with it and it had left me all warm and snuggly inside.  But … it was for my lovely parcel lady – so I knew it was going to a great home.

Have you crafted with paper mache at all?  Would you like to?  You don’t have to actually make the paper mache item – there are hundreds of ready-made paper mache things which can be bought pretty cheaply at hobby stores.  You get to use your imagination to decorate them and go mad with paint effects, papers, adornments, twiddly bits and crafty  joy!  If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a ‘go’.  You never know … you might just find out that you love it.  Oh … and if you have little ones on school summer holiday/break – this is something they’ll love to do!  Paint, papers, glue … even coloured magazine pages would be great to stick to the ‘object’ using PVA glue.

Feature photo A

Thank you so much for coming to spend a few minutes with me.   I’m totally thrilled that you do.  Please feel free to leave comments.  I love hearing from you.

Oh,  before I go … Since this post is about a Home for Tweety Pie, I really should bring him in on the post:

Tweety

How very  true!  {smiles}

Have a truly blessed rest of your day ~

Cobs siggy sml