It’s a Blizzard out there!

Hello, and a Happy Wednesday to you!  Although mind … saying that doesn’t give this Wednesday the importance it deserves, does it.  December 21st is the 355th day of the year OR … in THIS year, it’s the 356th  – for this years is a leap year!  There are exactly 10 days remaining until the end of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the shortest day of the year and is sometimes regarded as the first day of winter (the December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23).  In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st is usually the longest day of the year and occurs during the southern summer.

And..  did you know that this date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday than on Saturday or Sunday, and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Thursday.

  • Born on this day (in) among many others:
  • 1118 – Thomas Becket, English archbishop and saint (d. 1170)
  • 1795 – Jack Russell, English priest, hunter, and dog breeder
  • 1804 – Benjamin Disraeli, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress
  • 1940 – Frank Zappa, American singer-songwriter
  • 1948 – Samuel L. Jackson, American actor

Anyhoo . . .  I’ve bought another Christmas Card to the School ‘Show and Tell‘ this morning,  and this poor little tree is outside in an absolute blizzard!

Another Shaker Card – but this one doesn’t have the ‘streamers’ I ‘invented’ and showed you in the last shaker card I made, (which act as ‘stoppers’ – or ‘pauses’ – and slow down the flow of the sprinkles within the shaker).

 

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Close up of the shaker card I shared last week, showing the ‘streamers’ idea I invented to slow down the fall of the sprinkles within the shaker.  You can find the blog post about this card —> HERE  <— click

In this card, on the suggestion of a lovely crafter (Kathy D),  I instead used a few glued down sequins to see if it would do the same trick as the streamers.

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you can just about see a couple of the ‘glued in place’ sequins further up the tree, in this photo.

They didn’t do quite the same thing, but the card still retained a little twinkle and interest even though the majority of the sprinkles fell to the bottom of the tree.  And, since this tree is in a blizzard, a bit of ballast is perhaps needed to keep the poor thing upright and in one place! lol.

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close up of the tree, when it’s laid flat, so you can see a couple of the ‘glued in place’ sequins lower down

In the photographs the snowy paper comes over as a shade of purple, but in real life, it’s actually a lovely, warm grey colour.  The snow drift at the bottom of the card was simply hand cut from a piece of white card,  just using good old-fashioned scissors.

close-up-of-sprinkles

I always put a selection of sprinkly bits into a shaker card – a few regular sized sequins, teeny tiny cut out stars, flowers, hearts, hexagons, small cuts of mylar, and teeny tiny, miniscule little balls in various colours (amongst other things).  And although it looks like there’s a lot in that little Christmas tree – there’s actually only a small amount.  Just little pinches of your chosen things.  But I don’t recommend putting glitter in a shaker, as it sticks to the acetate and sometimes you can’t get it to budge, even if you tried to bribe it!

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  • The Snow paper was free in a selection, which came with a magazine.
  • As did the paper used within the shaker section.
  • The tree was cut out using a Die which came free with a magazine.
  • The white card snow drift was made using a scrap of card from my scraps drawer.
  • The Die Cut star(s) were made using a die which came free with a magazine.
  • The sentiment (Oh Christmas Tree) was stamped using a stamp which came free with a magazine.
  • The Die used to cut out the sentiment was cut using a Die which came free with  magazine earlier this year.

The ribbons – the glittery silver and the lavender twine, I always have in my stash.  I love ribbons – so always have a big selection simply because I can’t resist buying it.  The glittery ribbon looks as if it would be scratchy – but it’s really not. It’s soft, gentle and very pliable.

And finally .. the shaker bits – all come from my stash.  I have sequins which I’ve had for donkeys years and all the other things – different coloured mylar, hexagons, tiny stars, hearts, flowers, and the miniscule multi-coloured balls etc – are all things I’ve had for years.  As a crafter, we may only need a pinch of something, but we have to buy a whole bag of ‘it’ – so of course we’re left with amounts of some things which we have in storage.

My crafty ‘shaker bits’ are all kept in two large-sized, flowery metal pencil tins, and when you open the tins, it’s like the best box of twinkly magic ever invented.  Pots of this, packs of that.  Boxes of those, a packet of something amazing.  This shape, that shape, no real shape.  Flowers, stars, hearts, circles, hexagons, dots.  Silver, gold, green, blue, purple, red, white, iridescent, pink, bronze, black.  Every colour and every shape you can think of has its place in those tins.

Well…  this post began with me thinking that I’d keep it short.  [sigh]  Well that aim went by the by, didn’t it!  lol.

Let’s finish with a fewThings you might not know about Christmas shall we?

Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

I reckon those scientists have too many liquid lunches.

All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code.

The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches (32.56 m) long and 49 feet and 1 inch (14.97 m) wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.  Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

In Germany, ‘Heiligabend’, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.

During the Christmas season, nearly 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second.

Well, that should be enough to pepper your conversations with throughout the day, and make people think you’re massively intelligent.  (I mean … I know you are, but others need to be shown that fact!) 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  I hope that today glides along, and that no gremlins get into your day.  If they do … simply show them the door, open it, and send them out.

Heaps of Christmassy squidges  ~

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may I introduce Noel, ~ The ‘Merry Christmas’ Shaker Tree

Hello, and Happy Thursday!  I have another mainly white, with a dash of colour from the ribbon, and also from the sprinkles inside the shaker tree  –  card to share with you, direct from my craft desk.

Made on a 7″x7″ square white, scored card, and with a sheet of 7″x 7″ white card which the tree was cut from.

I love shaker cards – but the one thing I don’t love about them is how boring they can look when they’re stood up on the mantel shelf, and all the fabulous sprinkles fall to the bottom of the tree.  It leaves a card looking slightly sad and a bit miserable, because the receiver can only enjoy the card if they sit like a saddo, shaking the card.  (Which is fine if they’re a child, but a tad boring if in their 30’s and above).  So I devised a way of keeping some interest in the cut of part of a shaker card, and it’s really simple to do.  Just add a few ‘stops’ or streamers along the way, which the sprinkles get caught on, and will hold there, so that the shape you’ve cut out stays looking more interesting.

I’ve blown the tree part up in some photos – one with flash, one without, so that you can hopefully actually see the ‘streamers’ I built into this card.  This first photograph is with the flash on . . .

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can you see how I’ve added some cut and shaped ‘streamers’ to the layer between the acetate and the back of the cut out – which I devised so that the sprinkles would get caught up in the shapes and wouldn’t all fall to the base of the tree, so keeping the shape (in this case a tree) more interesting to look at.

This next photo was taken with the flash off, so that it might show the ‘streamers’ better …

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Can you see the ‘streamers’?

If you decide to have a go at this and do it yourself – don’t make your ‘streamers’ straight lines Give them some curves, so that you don’t end up with lines across your image – which could end up looking worse than nothing being there at all.  Oh … and don’t use glitter – because that can totally ruin a shaker card, as it’s a little divil and sticks to the acetate in such a way that it almost ‘fogs out’ anything else you may have in your shaker.

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The greeting:  NOEL, was stamped using silver embossing ink,  teamed up with Tonic Embossing Crystals.  The stamp used was from a set of 6 greetings, made by Crafty Individuals.   I can recommend this company, both for their service and their products.  You can find this particular stamp set HERE  <— clickable link.  (I ordered these stamps and they were in my hands 3 days later.  I can’t say that you’ll get that ‘quickness’ right now, because we’re all living in the silly season right now, but I’ve found them, each time I’ve used them, to be very quick and efficient.)

To make the colours chosen for the sprinkles ‘pop’,  I added two lengths of Merry Christmas ribbon, in a lovely rich teal colour.  This ribbon was from the DoCrafts selection, and is a really fabulous weight of grosgrain.  Finally, I added a pearl star to the top of the tree, and voila …  Noel the Christmas Shaker Tree came to life.

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I was aiming to get this card posted yesterday (Wednesday) …  but you know what they say about ‘plans’:-   If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.  He must be having a right old riot of a time up there in Heaven right now, as he reads down my list of ‘plans’.

Mr. Cobs and I went to see Little Cobs in his Christmas Concert with the other young members of his school year, at the Church near his home.  Ohhhhh…  I was wriggling in my seat and beside myself with joy.  I wanted to sprinkle rainbows from my eyes with happy and love.  Little Cobs was so over-joyed to see his Grammy and Grandad at the concert that he could be heard over and above any other noise, telling his teacher:  “That’s my Grammy!  It’s MY Grammy!  Look.  LOOK.  She’s there ”  <points finger>.  He’s such a darling, and it was such a privilege to be there.  (Not really well enough to go, but down right determined that I was going to be there, pain or no pain).

We came home,  and Mr. Cobs fed me lunch and then sent me straight to bed, where I spent the rest of the afternoon worn out from trying to escape the awful pain in my back.  He (my GP) has given me pain killers – and they do kind of work (they make the pain easier to live with) but they don’t last long enough, and even the smallest bit of doing ‘something’ causes whatever this is to flare up.  It’s become one step forward and two steps back.

OK.. moan and grizzle over with.  tsk tsk.

Well it’s Thursday ...  and I cannot believe how fast this week is flying past.  We have ten days until  YOU KNOW WHAT DAY!  But .. actually, I suppose I should say NINE days – because you can’t count the day itself – so  IT’S NINE DAYS TILL YOU KNOW WHAT DAY(and I still haven’t found a gift for Mr.C!  eek!)

Wishing you a truly lovely Thursday.  Make someone happy today.  Do something to make someones day a little brighter.  Buy them one of those big chocolate cookies?  Or maybe a magazine to read?  Perhaps a cupcake?  Something funny to put on their desk?  Some Christmas Socks? (men might find those a bit of a laugh).  Or just write down your most favourite joke, pop it into an envelope and deliver it to them with a wink.  That might get their heart racing, before they open it and fall about laughing.

Or maybe just tell someone how much you like them.  That’s bound to have a great affect upon someone.

Sending you love … oh … and do you know why I like YOU so much?  It’s because you have that special ‘spark’ about you which makes you fun to be around.  I really love seeing you here, and love knowing that you’re on the other side of my computer screen, having a bit of a smile with me.  So thank you for that.

Have a great day.  ~

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