A Weekus Horribilis, A Fabulous Blogging Friend .. and Beetroot Chutney!

The Queen once said that she’d had an ‘Annus Horribilis’ [Latin for A Horrible Year] and I agree that, at the time, she really had.

Now I can’t lay claim to having a horrible year, but  …  last week was absolutely a Weekus Horribilis (well, ten days to be precise).  One thing, then another, then another, then another – all seemed to either get the better of me, spoil things, upset me, or just made me bl**dy cross.

Individually,  they were just annoying or upsetting things which we all get – but we deal with them and move on.   However last week, they seemed to be coming at me like arrows from a battalion of Archers – all at once, – and I began to feel totally snowed under.

THEN, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse,  the cherry on the top of the cake was delivered . . .

I received a text message from the bank.  It said that they had declined a particular transaction for the amount of   £627  – which, they told me,  was an attempt to purchase some tickets for something or other.  The text message asked if it actually was Mr.Cobs or myself trying to make this purchase.

I called the Bank straight away in a right old panic and was put through to their Fraud department.

The lady on the Fraud section told me that someone was trying to use the details of our cards to obtain goods via our account.

Once I’d told her that it wasn’t us trying to buy anything for that amount,  our cards were frozenand she told us to cut them up, – then we had to wait for replacement cards to be sent to us, with different numbers and different security codes.  Happily no money was lost (thanks to the banks security systems which stopped and waved a flag when it saw this unusual (for us) transaction appeared) and we’ve double checked every single thing on our account.  But it scared me at how easily someone had tried to get money/purchase goods out of our account.

Something has to change regarding these types of bank/credit/debit cards.  If it’s THAT easy to do this type of thieving, then the financial organisations need to come up with something way better than we currently have.

So anyhoo . . .  last week had it’s ‘moments’ which would have tried the patience of an Angel with nothing on her mind.   BUT … one truly lovely,  incredibly kind,  beautiful hearted blogger changed all of that around.  She knew nothing of the pains/strains/ and Weekus Horribilis and yet … she turned my world around and made it better.

I follow the blog of Mrs.Craft of Craft and Other Crazy Plans and she’d written a post on her blog called:  Recipe Post – Beetroot Chutney  which I found totally enthralling.  I’ve never pickled or made Chutney or even made Jam before, but I’ve wanted to.  Everything I looked at seemed really quite complicated, so it put me off.  However this post of Mrs. Crafts was written for a numbskull like me.   After reading I was raring to go.  I wanted to go and buy the equipment there and then.

Mrs. Crafts Beetroot Chutney

photograph credit:  Mrs. Craft,  – borrow from her blog post to show you her mixing her chutney

I told Mrs. Craft, (in a comment) how amazing her Beetroot Chutney sounded and that I was going to go on-line to see if I could buy the things she’d mentioned in her post, and Mrs. Craft replied saying she’d found some of the things at Aldi in their weekly specials.   That was it!!!  I went straight to the Aldi site to see what they had left.   After all, Mrs.C had used them, so they must be ok!

What happened next was a magical happening which touched me so deeply that it made me cry.

Mrs.Craft emailed me and told me that she would like to send me a jar of her Chutney!  ME!!  A WHOLE JAR OF HER CHUTNEY!!!  Just for ME

Oh my goodness!  I wrote back to her saying I would love a jar, and that I would pay her for the jar, along with the postage costs,  maybe via PayPal, or even some money in an envelope – but she was having none of it.

I gave her my details and within a few short days a box wrapped up in brown paper arrived.  The scissors were summoned the paper was cut off, and the lid to the box was gently opened.  I was so scared that this jar of delight would have got broken in the post, but no.  There is was, nestled snug in its box bed.  I was over-come with thankfulness, both for the jar not being broken but more importantly to Mrs.Craft.

But it didn’t stop there …  also in the box was one of those special thermometers which you use when making jam, to ensure that you get the mixture to the right temperature!  I had this little gadget on my list to go and buy!

But then … another surprise in the box ….  a Handmade Card with a Unicorn on the front.  Of course, this wee Unicorn looks exactly like the Unicorn I keep in my back garden!  How did she know?  *GASP*

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft b

Mr. Cobs laughed at me as I began to bubble.  Tears welled up in my eyes and tipped over the edge of them and I sat there sniffling and snuffling as he chuckled.

See … here’s the thing;  If someone is horrid to me I cry.  But if someone is nice – well then I cry too.  I blubber and bubble and get all sniffly.  People don’t even have to be nice to me.  Someone being nice to anyone will set me off.  Kindness’s which come from the heart are the things which can start me off and I become like a tap which won’t turn off.

tsk tsk…  like Cobs Snr says …  I’m a blubber baby.  But I don’t care.  I’d rather be one of those than one of the other things.

I have thanked Mrs.Craft, and I take this opportunity to publicly thank her for this incredible kindness which she’s shown me and which has totally blown me away.

Please do go and visit her blog.  I know you’ll love her just as much as I do.  She’s lots of fun, and if she can put up with me then she must be brilliant!  (There are links to her blog, and to the Beetroot Chutney post, above.  They’ll open in another page for you).

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft A

I’ve found a place to buy one of those heavy bottomed saucepans and am planning a trip to buy one, hopefully this week.  So . . . If I don’t poison anyone, expect a blog post about the results.   [insert fearful face]  lol

I made Mrs.Craft a handmade card to say thank you … and I was going to share it with you in this post, but I’ve talked the hind leg off a donkey, so I’ll shut up and share the card with you in another post, another day.

Thank you so much for coming and sharing my Chutney with me.  Oh … nearly forgot to tell you….  I have no idea (yet) what the Beetroot Chutney tastes like because I’m saving it until Christmas, at which point I’ll have the Opening of the Jar Ceremony and all the family present will have a taste with some cheese and crackers.  (Can’t wait!  YUM).

May your Monday have been wonderful and may your tomorrow be truly blessed.

Sending great big squidges from my corner to yours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fluttering-wishes-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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