Happy Monday, Happy Mail!

Happy, happy Monday!  A brand new day with no mistakes.  A new beginning of a new week.  A new opportunity filled with new opportunities!

Last week, on two separate days, I was the luckiest girl,  for I received some very happy mail.  The first was from a fellow WordPress Blogger, Beverly, (of  MoreInkPlease blog).  Beverly won the very first Giveaway on the Cobweborium Blog here, when the Random Number Generator picked her number to win the ‘ Just for you . . . if you’d like it.‘  <—(clickable link) which was a handmade Card, with a country theme and featured some chickens in their hen house, (and even had a feather donated by one of my own chickens!).

Beverly and I have got to know each other through blogging comments, on each others blogs, over the last couple of years, and a few weeks ago I got a message from her telling me that something had happened and that she’d write again when she could.  True to her word she wrote,  . . .  telling me that her husband had passed on.  I will admit that I read that message I don’t know how many times, trying to make sense of it.  Just a few weeks previously to this, on June 30th this year, Beverly had posted a picture of her and her husband on their wedding day,  and told everyone that they were, that day, celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

I truthfully thought that I’d read that wrong, or that I was getting mixed up and that she was talking about someone else – because, had someone asked me to guess how old Beverly was, I’d have said she was maybe somewhere between about 38/39  and 44/45.  So to hear she’d been married for 50 years was a real surprise.

When I learned of her husbands passing,  I felt the need to write to her.  Send a card.  Send an EmailSomething.  But Beverly and I were only on-line friends.  We’d never given each other our snail mail address’ – in fact, we’d never even exchanged email addresses!  Yet I loved her like she was as real to me as one of my neighbours.  She really is such an absolute darling.

I know, at the moment, she’s not able to post crafty things.  She’s still in that ‘waiting area’ ….  waiting for ….  what?  You see, that’s exactly it.  WHAT?  What next?  What now?  Where?  Why? Who?  How?  Why?  WHY?

That ‘why?’ is something that she probably won’t get an answer to.  And as for all the other questions (and there are more than I’ve written), they will, perhaps, be acknowledged eventually.  However, until the ‘numbness’ is over-come, moving forward is something which is difficult to do.

So anyway …  I was overjoyed when I realised that the Random Number Generator had picked  Beverly as the winner of the card.  Even though this was a more light-hearted ‘something’ it didn’t matter.  It was something that I knew would deliver a smile when it arrived.  But …  I didn’t want Beverly feel that she had to send something in return … so…  I was a little bit sneaky.  I didn’t put my full address on the back of the package I sent to her.  I simply put the name of our cottage, and the number, and the post code.  (a bit like the US zip code).

I guessed that this would be enough for the Customs department, but that Beverly would look at it, see that it wasn’t a ‘proper’ address, and so not feel she had to send anything.  PERFECT!

Then, last week,  a package arrived from her.  [tsk tsk Beverly!]  Beverly had trusted both the US postal system, and then the UK postal system  (I can hear people of the UK laughing up and down the land right now!),  and the address on the package that she’d sent to  me had been carefully read, de-coded and then the UK postal system had written the full address onto the package and my postman had brought it to the door with a grin.  Bless him.  I love my postman.

When I opened the parcel I couldn’t believe what was inside!  My eyes grew to the size of saucers.  I’d never received this type of Happy Mail before.  Beautiful die cuts, for me to use  – images, note cards, flowers, incredible sea related die cuts,  pretty butterflies, die cut words,  OH!  all manner of things which I can use in craftingand tucked inside was a fabulous handmade card, made by Beverly herself.  It was an amazing easel card, which could be displayed as it was, or … with the addition of a battery operated t-light,  which she’d even packed into the parcel for me,  the card would suddenly burst into life and glow!  I’ve taken photographs …..

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The beautiful card from Beverly, with all the Happy Mail items which she’d packed into the box which she’d sent to me.

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Without the flash.

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Close up, with the big over-head light on.

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photograph taken without any lights, just the glow from the battery operated t-light.

This started my week off in such a wonderful way.  I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

Then … the following day I received another happy mail!

The second Happy Mail was from another wonderful lady who is a truly fabulous Jewellery artist:  Hannah – of  The Artisan Duck  <—click

Hannah is a multi talented, amazing Artist –  continually making jewellery,  changing, and developing new ideas,  and I can see how her style is really coming out,  for her makes are incredible.

However,  as if being a Jewellery Designer and Maker wasn’t enough;  her talents don’t stop there  … she also makes beautiful handmade cards, and is a most talented artist of the pen/pencil & ink (drawing) variety.

If I ever actually set about writing the children’s book which I’ve had buzzing around my head and heart for a couple of years or so now, I’ve already told Hannah that I would love her to do the illustrations for the book, as I adore her artwork.

Hannah recently did a craft fair but because of a  ‘mix up’  . . .

(for that  ‘mix up’  read: someone put an ill equipped nincompoop in charge of the craft fair two weeks before the due date and he completely ruined the craft fair in various different ways – for ALL the crafters and artists who were there,  –   apart from,  strangely enough,   those artists who were his personal friends  . . . . enough said,  as I zip my mouth

. . .  although she sold some of her beautifully hand crafted items, she only sold a fraction of what she could have sold, so she’s told me that she’s going to fill up her Etsy Shop with items for sale.  (So if you’re interested in taking a peep, go to her blog, and find the link to her Etsy Shop – she’s currently filling it with goodies, so you might have to wait for the link to appear).

Hannah made some blog posts showing everyone what she was making, and it was in one blog post where I saw some really lovely earrings.  I wrote her a comment, and asked her if she made Brooches in the same design.  (I’m a bit of a scarf and shawl wearer, and use brooches to keep them pinned to me so that they don’t fly off in the wind.).  Hannah said that she hadn’t thought of making a matching brooch, but she’d make one for me if I’d like her to.

WOULD I LIKE HER TO MAKE ME A BROOCH???    I darn well nearly passed out with excitement!   I wrote to her and said a polite yes please, (all the time panting like a dog whose owner has bought her a new tennis ball!)  and asked her to let me know how much, and how she would like me to pay her for it (paypal, bank transfer etc).

Last week …. the brooch arrived!!  I could barely contain myself. It’s SO pretty.  SO beautiful.  And … I felt like such a peacock when I wore it for the first time a few days ago.

I’ve tried to take photographs – but you all know that photography really isn’t my forte, so these photo’s don’t show the true beauty of this magnificent brooch . . .

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The brooch was carefully crafted in Polymer and then treated to an Abalone Leaf Metal finish, which then, as the piece is heated, cracks and shows the background colour of the Polymer.

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A  close-up, to show the cracks.

It looks, in these photo’s that the brooch would be rough to the touch.  It’s not.  It’s very smooth and very tactile.  You don’t ‘feel’ the cracks.  But you do see the amazing colours – which again, I’ve tried to capture but failed.  Imagine a rain puddle on a black asphalt road,  then gentle float some motor oil onto the puddle, and see the colours which suddenly appear, like magic!  That’s what this brooch looks like.

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The brooch shown from a little further away…. so that you can get an idea of what you’d see if I was wearing it on my scarf and you were stood in front of me.

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Hannah also made the card you see in the photographs.  See … I told you she’s multi-talented!

The brooch, in real life, is far more beautiful than these photo’s show it to be.  The colours change as the light hits it in a different way or from a slightly different angle.  So as you turn or walk, the various colours show up and catch people’s eye.  It looks really rather expensive.

BIG THANK YOU  to Beverly for her box of happy mail – which is already now sitting in my craft room and I have plans to use something out of the box later this afternoon.

BIG THANK YOU to Hannah for the making of my beautiful brooch.  I’m thrilled to pieces with it Hannah, and it works so well with my scarves – be they light, floaty scarves or woollen ones.  This brooch is perfection.  Thank you.

And now I’ve talked the hind legs off a donkey … I shall turn to something which will give you a smile …

How to Shock a Time Traveller:

  • If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared,  what do you think would be the most difficult thing to explain about life today?
  • One answer: . . . .  “I possess a device in my pocket that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look 
at pictures of cats and get into arguments with strangers.”

Have a truly blessed rest of your day all.

Sending squidges from my corner to yours ~

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Things I’ve Learned This Week

Welcome, dear readers, to the Friday Postcard from the land of Cobwebs, where you learn about the lessons life has taught me in the past week.

Without further ado, I’m going to plunge you straight into the shallow pool in which I paddle…..

I’ve learnt that it’s bloomin’ annoying when they suddenly take my hair shampoo off sale and instead bring out a NEW, IMPROVED variety, without any warning.  Had they put out a notification that they were going to do this, I would have gone and bought up as many bottles as possible and kept them in storage, for use whenever I needed it.  I’m now left with yet another seek and find operation to find a shampoo which doesn’t make my hair hang like it’s suffering with a bad bout of depression, or my head itch or burn. Or any number of combinationsWhy do companies do this?  It’s most impolite!

I learnt this week (and this one surprised the heck out of me that (last year) the Hershey Company of the USA had British Chocolate made by Cadbury BANNED in the USA, and because of that two of the biggest importers of Cadbury Chocolate were no longer allowed import and sell the British Chocolate within the USA.

The Hershey Company banned (yes banned) Cadbury Chocolate from the USA!  No I couldn’t believe this either so went in search of the truth.  Turned out … it was true….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcVpp0fGETM

Now I have a handful of friends who were born and bred in the USA and they all love British Chocolate.    So I hope that they will continue to be able to find what they desire.  However … a certain blogger – Chicken Grandma – will (next week) get her first taste of Walnut Whips which I’ve posted to her.  If she loves them … I want her to be able to seek and find them so that she can keep up her supply.  😉

I’ve learned that  when I’m not feeling too well,  I really, really should stop what I’m doing and just let my body heal itself in its own time, and not push my luck.  Because pushing my luck ends up costing me more days of not being too well.  So give in, give up and go to bed.  That’s the rule I’m going to go by from now on.

I learned the hard way that when I see some crafty item or another, and I fall in lurve with it, I should think carefully about whether I should buy two or three packs at the time …  because that store where you bought your item from, might just put the price up to double the price you paid just two days earlier, once it finds out that crafters really, really like this item and want it on their Christmas cards!  DOUBLE THE PRICE IN JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS!  What a liberty!  Grrrr!  😦

I realised (so I guess I learned this about myself this week) that I no longer take myself as seriously as I did when I was younger.  I’ve found that I’m far more relaxed and more chilled now.  Things don’t bother me like they used to.  Appointments being cancelled … [shrugs] that’s ok.  Just make another one.  The store being out of stock of the item I travelled there just to buy ….  ah nevermind.  Find something else, or wait till they get it back in.  Nothing really gets me angry or mad any more.  I’m just the chilled out person I always knew I could be if I tried.  Thing is … I’m not trying.  It just seemed to happen!

I’ve learned that no matter how serious your own life iseveryone needs a friend to be silly with.  Someone you can just be silly with.  Harmlessly so.  Innocent fun.  Just regular silly stuff.  Someone to have a laugh or a giggle with.

I’ve learned that my 5-year-old Grandson, Little Cobs, is apparently  the Worlds Chief Fingernail  Superintendent, and if he feels that my nails are too long for any Grammy of his, then he’s going to tell me about it over and over until I get my nail scissors out and cut that nail to a length he finds acceptable.  (yes … this really did happen.  I josh you not!).

I’ve learnt that Mr. Cobs and I are going to have to resort to trickery to get Little Cobs out of the house when he comes every Saturday for the day.  His daddy drops him off with us, and the moment that front door closes, we cannot get him to come out with us in the car at all.  He just doesn’t want to leave the house, not for weeks on end now – he’ll take his bike out into the garden and race around that, but that’s as far as it goes.

And … we think we may have figured out why.  He knows that if he goes out in Grammys car, it could be that we’re taking him home.  Soooo he might think that we’ll take him home if we go out, soooo …  we’re going to swap things around.  We’re going to pack a winter picnic in the car, then instead of Daddy dropping him off, we’ll instead go there and collect him from daughter and son-in-law’s home….  then we’ll go take him somewhere for this picnic (if it’s too cold to eat outdoors, then we’ll sit in the car and eat it).  Then afterwards we can do something outside.  Something fun.  Even just kicking a ball around the park with Grandad or even something like a hunt for treasure on the beach (if the sun is out).  Anything, just to get him outside having a bit of fun.

And finally ….

I’ve learned that the obnoxious smell which my dog can emit – particularly and only when her bottom is facing my way – be it in our bedroom, the living room or any other room – including my Craft Room (how very dare she)  …. might turn me green;  make me fall off my chair;  go into debt to buy sprays and expensive scented candles which will disguise the smell enough to stop me vomiting ….  but I’ve learned that I can actually live through them …. even when holding my breath and trying to make a hasty retreat to some other room where she can’t follow me!

Mr. Cobs let her eat what was left in one of our cats food dishes today which has caused her a windy pops problem  … and if he EVER does that again I’m going to either:-

A)  D.I.V.O.R.C.E him.  

B)  Cut his ‘pom poms’ off (yes we really do call them that ever since our youngest daughter asked us, when she was knee-high to an ant,  “Why does Daddy have pom poms and I don’t?”.   They’ve been ‘pom poms ever since.      … or 

C)  Shave all his hair off while he’s blissfully snoring the night away.

Be Warned, Cobs The Bogey Man!  Be Warned!.

Well … that’s a list of all the lessons life has taught me in the last seven days.  Or rather … it’s the ones I can remember.   So what about you?  Have you learned anything this week?  Has life taught you the secrets of how to stay forever young?  Win the lottery?  Be forever as beautiful as you are right now?  What?  C’mon, share what lessons you’ve learned this week.

If they’re tough lessons which require us all to gather around you and hug you … then we will.

If they’re lessons which require us to laugh  … then we’ll do that easily.

But if they’re lessons that we can learn from, then we’ll willingly all sit in silence as you tell us what we need to know so that we don’t make that same mistake.

If you’ve learnt nothing at all this week … then for goodness sake tell us your favourite joke!  We all need to laugh far more than we do.  So come on…  share your best joke with us!

Sending oodles of squidges from my corner to yours. ~

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Say Happy Birthday with a Cath Kidston style coat (or 4) and a touch of Gingham!

Do I need to say any more?  Aw … ok, I will.

I’m still on my challenge to use ‘gifts’ which have come free with magazines. I’ve got a drawer full of stamps and loads of free decorative papers for use in card making or scrapbooking, so this weekend I decided that it was time for another ‘make it from magazine gifts’ challenge.

I looked through the stamps and came across a set which had come with a magazine about 18 months to 2 years ago.  (I know, I know.  I should have used them by now).  I can’t understand why I hadn’t unpacked and played with them when I got them to be honest, because they’re just so lovely.  I even remember the magazine had featured some photos inside the mag to show a sample of cards you could make.  One in particular stood out to me.  It had coats on the front stamped on flowery paper, and I liked it.  So I thought I’d make something like it because I have someone in my family who’s birthday is coming up soon and she likes Cath Kidston and cottage style, so my decision was made for me.

Coats Card in style of Cath Kidston 2

The coat actually wasn’t a stamp in itself,  it’s a clear stamp of a little girl wearing a coat,  so I masked off her head and legs, then inked up the coat in a Memento ink pad in brown and stamped out four coats on some creamy white paper which had roses printed all over it, and four coats on some blue paper which was also printed with roses.  Both of these sets of papers were again free but this time with two different magazines.

I had to ‘fussy cut’ the coats out, which was fine at first, but by coat five I began to wonder if this was such a great idea!   (Although you can only see 4 of the coats in the photos, there are actually 8 – they’re layered, using foam pads, to give a little depth to the card).  I chose some vintage style blue paper with creamy white polka dots for the background (which I distressed a little by using a colour duster brush and some ink from the same ink pad I’d used to stamp the coats out.)

After that it was just a case of assembling it all.  I found I had to place the coats at a slightly jaunty angle (and make them ‘hold hands’), because otherwise there wouldn’t be quite enough room for them to sit comfortably (with a little space between them).  I did consider starting again and making the card longer,  but I really quite liked the angle look so kept it.

While sat wondering what sentiment it should be   …  my eyes rested upon the friendly looking  ‘Happy Birthday‘ ribbon and it called out to me to use it,  so I chose the ribbon in place of a sentiment as it added a certain country cottage feel to it.  Finally, I added some gingham buttons to finish the whole thing off.

Coats Card in style of Cath Kidston 3

And that’s all there was to it!  But…  looking at this last photo↑  …  who on earth would tromp through the fields to get the sheep in for the night,  wearing a Cath Kidston style coat?  I mean to say …  look at the Quality!  The fit!  The colours!  These coats would cost an absolute arm and a leg if they were for sale in a Cath Kidston shop!

(The papers  aren’t  Cath Kidston .. but they remind me of her fabulous country-style.)

So that’s me done and dusted so let’s talk about you!   .. how did your weekend go?  Did you make anything?  Did you go anywhere spiffingly wonderful?  Buy anything?  Eat something naughty?  What made you happy this weekend?  Or … what made you sad?  Tell us …  we might just be able to make you smile again, or at the very least, we can all send you love and chat with you about whatever it is.  We’re all friends here.  I’ll put the kettle on, you slip off your shoes, sit down, put your feet up and get comfy.  Tea or coffee?  Sugar?  Milk?

Have a fabulous start to your week all.  Make Monday Memorable.

Sending squidges to your corner from mine,  

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