Let’s Light up the Christmas Village

I’ve been finally making Christmas cards (did I hear someone say “about time too!” at the back there?!).  At the moment I seem to be having a love affair with white and most of the cards I’m making are, in the main, white.  Maybe with a touch of colour from a ribbon, or some such, but on the whole I’m loving the white, so I’m going with it because it’s the path of happiness – and, I’ll admit, ease, because ease is what I’m aiming for right now.

I’m here sharing the card which, inside my head, as I planned it out, I could see how easy it would be to do what I wanted to do.  The planning was easier than the making, for once I got to the making, cutting, piecing together, sitting back and thinking it out a bit more and trying again …  well, I’m willing to share with you that I left this all in a pile on my desk twice and walked off to do something else because I fell out with it – due mainly to my lack of patience I think. (And a die which took six passes through the machineI have no idea why because the second time I cut it out, it cut it out properly on the very first pass! doh!)

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I know that looking at this first photograph, you’re perhaps wondering why I was having such a struggle with this card.  After all …  it’s just a fairly simple card, with a black silhouette of a village scene, and a couple of die cut ‘wreaths’ in white.  Ahh …  but it’s not…

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Getting any clues from this silhouette now?  (sorry about the fuzzy photo …  the camera didn’t want to focus on the village, it wanted to gaze longingly at the flame on the t.light, like some love struck nincompoop!)  Shall I give you a clue?  ….  ok …. look at the colour of the card, compared with the colour behind the (black) silhouette.

“Ahhhhh!”   . . .  I hear you say

OK … well this one will give it away ….

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The t-light is actually a battery operated t-light,  so safe to use with (or in this case inside) a card.

Made using a 7″x 7″ folded white card;  parchment (for behind the silhouette) and die cut wreaths which I overlayed, in different positions, and used one for the inside of the card also, in order to finish off the inside, around the parchment, in a decorative fashion.

If you look really carefully at the house on the top  ‘snow’ drift slope (over to your right as you’re looking at the photo above) you can see some ‘smoke’ coming out of the chimney pot!  Sadly, what you can’t see in any of the photo’s, even though I tried my very hardest, is the snow which I drew on the back of the parchment, which you can actually see even if the t-light isn’t lit.  It just wouldn’t make itself known to you in the photos.

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Taken with the t-light inside lit, and a desk lamp on, so that you could see it as you’d see it if it were on your shelf at home.

To be fair – I could have made this easier for myself to make, had I not wanted to die cut a wreath into the card itself, so making it able to see the light from the flickering t-light through a die cut wreath shape as well as a silhouette through the ‘picture’ window, and also wanting to use acetate to suspend the village scene in the window.   Yes … I really could have made this SO much easier on myself.  And believe you  me …. I’m going to on the next one, I’m telling you!

Well that’s me done and dusted for today.  All that’s left for me to say is:   Happy Monday.  May today bring you a cup filled with happiness,  with a few spoonfuls of joy, and as many dashes of love as you can fit into your hours.

Say something nice to someone today and make them smile.  I bet it will make you yourself smile more than you would believe.

Sending warm squidges to you in your corner from me in mine.

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Ye Olde Christmas Past!

Dickens seems to be a theme running through my mind over the past week or so.  Maybe it’s just because it’s Christmas time, maybe because there was the old Alistaire Sim, A Christmas Carol, film on TV about a week or so ago – one which is a favourite of Mr.Cobs, so it was, of course, something which was a ‘must watch’ film for the dear man.

I don’t know what it is but I do know that it’s settled itself into my brain, and now my craft room, as you can see by the latest card I’ve made, pictured above, along with the Charles Dickens book – A Christmas Carol.

Made on a 6″x 6″ white cardstock.  I used an embossing folder to make the brickwork impression behind everything.

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I stamped the window and the street lamp using Penny Black stamps: Winter Illumination – which come as the set of two.  Then hand painted them using watercolours, and dried them with my heat gun, so not to let the cardstock get too wet and floppy.

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Although the stamped image of the lamp does have a wreath as part of its image, I wanted to give the lamp a touch of ‘3D’, so made a teeny tiny wreath for over the top of the stamped wreath, and added a red silk ribbon bow to top it off.

The wooden fence, actually is wooden fencing.  I bought a length of it a few years ago, and have used little bits of it now and again for various projects.  It’s lovely stuff because the wood will take colour really well.  Here I painted it black, and dried it off using my heat gun, as I wanted it to ‘be encouraged’ to be a matt finish, rather than give a slightly shiny finish, which it has a tendency to do if you leave it to dry naturally.

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A side on view, to show the various layers and depth to the card.

The Poinsettia flowers were made using a die, from pages cut from an old book and then inked up to colour the petals and leaves, with the addition of a few glass beads for the centres.

I added the snow using ‘Glossy White’ stencil dimension medium,  and then added some Pinflair Snow Dust to give it that crunchy snow look, and finally assemble everything with the use of black foam tape, Pinflair Glue Gel and a few dabs of glue from my trusty glue gun.

I think I’ve told you everything, but if there’s something I’ve missed or something you want more information about, don’t be shy about asking.  I’m more than delighted to help out a fellow crafter.

On a personal health note … It would appear that the infection I had has now cleared up  (hurrah!) but I’m still suffering this doggam awful pain and the doctor can’t figure that one out.  He’s checked me for any signs of a rash (thinking possibly Shingles) but there is none.  He’s booked me for a blood test (tomorrow) to take a look at my kidneys and see if something is going on there.  After that …  I think Mr.Cobs is taking me to our vets to see if they can sort me out.

Well that’s me done and dusted.  Have a wonderful, bright start to your new week.  May your Monday be peaceful.  Gentle.  Mild.  And may you end the day with a smile, and the thought that, if you consider what COULD have gone wrong today – all things considered, you had a fairly good day.

Sending warm wishes and snuggly hugs your way ~

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Things I’ve Learned This Week

Happy Friday!  . . .  Apparently it’s now officially winter – as far as ‘weather reports’ are concerned.  I don’t know why this happens or the reasons for this.  I only heard it on the weather report this morning but I was so busy taking in this information and trying to work out if I’d heard it correctly that I didn’t hear the reasoning behind it.  But there you have it.  It’s winter.

They are reporting that the UK set for the heaviest snowfall for years, and the Long-range forecast warns that the Winter of 2016 is going to be THE BIG FREEZE!   Saying that Britain is facing the heaviest snowfalls in years this winter, as the country’s first icy blast arrives soon, and it will unleash (apparently)  four months –  (FOUR MONTHS!?) –  of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures.  I read that forecasters have announced this,  and they added:  “expect a very ‘exciting’ December with the possibility of a White Christmas this year“.  OK….  so  NOW I’M GETTING EXCITED! 

The last white Christmas I remember was in the 1980’s …  so this would be such a huge event and I’m already feeling the excitement of it.  In fact … so much so that I’ve even bought a woolly bobble hat!   (If you read one of my posts a few weeks ago, you’ll already know that I look like an extraordinarily comical, female, over-sized unwanted 8th Dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves  when wearing ANY hat.  So this new bobble hat is a BIG thing for me to have bought!).

It’s a chilly, cold wind which is already blowing around outside.  This morning, here where we live in the South of Great Britain,  it was minus 6.  Mr. Cobs informed me of this when he came back in the house from letting the chickens out to play.  I believed entirely that it was minus 6, for I could feel that minus 6 blow right through our little cottage when he opened the door to come back in!  It made me want to hibernate!  Brrrr!

Oh anyhoo…  we’re here to find out what I’ve learned this week so let’s get on with it, shall we?

This weeks Lessons in the Key of Life seem to have been (in a lot of circumstances)  about things which start with the letter H!  I have no idea why, but I thought I’d go with it and share this Letter H stuff with you.  Hats on?  Had your shots?  Here we go …

Henge Stonehenge to be precise.  I learned that Stonehenge was in private ownership until 1916, when it was bought,  on the spur of the moment by Sir Cecil Chubb, who was the owner of a local lunatic asylum,  as a present for his wife. Three years later she gave the site to the nation. 

Now this posed a question for me.  Why would a chap buy his wife some big stones which weren’t of the diamond variety?  Did he think this would earn him brownie points?  Well … the fact that she gave this gift away just three years later, must surely have told him something.

So, in the interests of happy Christmas days to come, may I make a suggestion to all the fabulous chaps who read this Friday post (and I know there are a few of you because I have the class register with your names clearly shown on it) ….  Here’s my tip for Christmas Gifts for the fabulous women in your life.   If you’re struggling to find something she’ll be happy to receive,  I truthfully think that if you go by this one rule, you’ll probably strike the right chord:  Buy:-  Something with a Hallmark on it.

You can thank me later.

Hypnotism.  Did you know that:  English writer – Charles Dickens’ marriage broke down partly because of his obsession with Hypnotism Now this surprised me, because if you read a little bit of information about Mr. Dickens you’d find a whole lot more stuff which would and could have broken down his marriage way before this obsession!

I learned this week that:  Apparently Chickens can be hypnotised.   From what I learned:  The record period for a chicken remaining in a hypnotic state is 3 hours 47 minutes.  

Holidays.  Let’s start with a Holiday inspired joke, just to lighten the mood, shall we?

The girl at the Ryanair check-in desk said,   –   “Window or aisle?”
I replied,  –  “Window or you’ll what?”

fnar fnar!

 I have to explain –  here in Great Britain (at least), a ‘Holiday’ is what people of the USA call a ‘Vacation’.  Where-as Christmas is NOT a holiday to the folk of the UK. Christmas is exactly as it says.  It’s CHRISTMAS – and we don’t call it anything but that.

So now we know that  ….

I learned this week that popular Holiday island Hawaii was discovered by Captain Cook in 1778 and named the Sandwich Islands in memory of his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. On landing, he and every man on his crew became completely constipated: one man suffered for 44 days in a row. The men became the first Westerners to witness the traditional Hawaiian sport of surfing.  Cook was murdered in Hawaii in 1779.

The Hawaiian State flag is the only US flag to feature a Union Jack.  It also has eight red white and blue stripes representing the eight main Hawaiian islands.

The ‘wiki’ in Wikipedia is Hawaiian for ‘fast’.

Here’s a question for you: 

I want those of you who have had Haemorrhoids to put your hand up.  Go on.  No one is going to see you, you’re all alone!

Those of you who didn’t put your hands up . . .  are fibbers!

Haemorrhoids : everyone has them!  I learned this week, from watching a TV programme at about 2am in the morning, (sleep escaped me), that EVERYONE has haemorrhoids (UK spelling).  They’re apparently like little cushions in the walls of your B.T.M. and live there quite happily.  However … something happens to upset them, and that’s when they become a problem.  It could be childbirth, carrying a little extra weight, ‘straining’, or even, apparently, a sneeze can cause them to inflame.  However – that old wives tale that sitting on a radiator gives you piles or haemorrhoids, is exactly that.  An old wives tale.  There’s nothing to prove that this causes the problem.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we come to the final H of our ‘What I’ve Learned This Week’ list…..  Happiness.  Or Happiness in the form of Jokes, to be precise.  Are you ready for a chuckle?

Q)  What’s green and fuzzy and would kill you if it fell out of a tree? 

A)  A pool table.

Q)  What did the Pirate say when he turned 80?

A)  Aye Matey.

I tried to catch fog yesterday.    Mist.

Q)  Why does a Chicken Coop have two doors?   A)  If it had four, it’d be a chicken sedan.

Doctor: “I’m sorry but you suffer from a terminal illness and have only 10 to live.”. . . . 
Patient: “What do you mean, 10? 10 what? Months? Weeks?!”  . . . . .
Doctor: “Nine.”

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.

A male friend met a Dutch girl with inflatable shoes last week. He rang her up to arrange a date, but unfortunately she’d popped her clogs.

How do you make a tissue dance?  You put a little boogie into it.

Where does a sheep go for a haircut?  To the baaa baaa shop!

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl in the bathroom?  Because it has a silent pee.

And finally ….  I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee with me.  I love seeing you here.
Have a wonderful day, doing whatever it is that you’ll be doing.  Remember … you have a choice of what sort of day you have.  Choose a Good one!
Oh …   and have a fabulous weekend.  May you find peace and rest, and maybe a few smiles along the way.

Sending squidges to you in your corner,  from me in mine.  ~

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The First Christmas Card of 2016

I finally did it.  I jumped in and made my very first Christmas Card of 2016.  I don’t in the least feel anything like it’s coming up to Christmas, but there was a little niggle forming inside me telling me that I really should do SOMETHING,  and I think it was simply because other blogs have all started featuring their own Christmas cards.  It kind of made me feel like I was being a total lay-about.  Like that pupil in school who never turned in their homework.

So I did my first Card for Christmas this year …  but with a twist.  It’s not the normal ‘opening’ card with four sides (front, open left, open right and then finally the back).  Nope.  This one is made on a great big post card (as you can see) which measure 21cm long – or for those of us who still work on the fabulous, can’t be beaten, original measuring system in the UK – that’s 8.25inches.

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The Post Card doesn’t open up.  Instead I cut a stand for the back of the card which folds out, and makes the card stand up all by itself.  If you can’t imagine what this looks like …  go back to your school photos, the ones which came in a mount.  On the back of those mounts was a fold out stand, with another little bit to it which then folded down, and locked the stand in place.  Well that’s exactly the same as the stand on the back of this card.

I totally forgot to take photo’s of the making, apart from one .… so this is all I’ve got to show you how it all came together …  so I’ll try to tell you, but if there’s anything I miss or anything you want to know, just ask away in a comment.

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I began by tearing up some corrugated card, and then some paper which I’ve had in my stash for a while, pale beige with white snow flakes on it.  I distressed and inked the paper and fixed it onto the card next to the corrugated.  Added some Polyfilla in appropriate places and in order to give it all that frost appearance, I added, to the Polyfilla while still wet, some Mica Flakes;  Chunky glitter, and some very fine glitter dust.

I used a mixture of Polyfilla (yes the type you use on the walls – but buy the flexible Polyfilla in the tube – so that it doesn’t crack and flake) and in some places (along the top) a little dimensional paste, in order to achieve the snowy, icy look I was after.

The Father Christmas ‘postage stamp’ you see in the top right hand corner, is a stamped image, which I stamped onto some brown paper and then fussy cut out.  Then added the white berry twig, twisted into a wreath.

While that all dried I used some Buff It  (by  Pinflair) in red and gold, to the sleigh.

I cannot recommend Buff It highly enough.  It’s a fantastic product, which you use very little of, and mix it with a tiny bit of water.  If, while you’re working on your project, the Buff it on your plate, or tile or glass mat, dries up, you simply add another little tiny drop of water, and it all starts working again.  It dries super quick.  You then buff it with a soft cloth (I use a dried baby wipe) and it positively gleams!  You can find it HERE on the Pinflair website.

Then I began to build up the elements . . .  using the holly and berries (which are made from felt), and the red tinsel (which I curled) along the bottom.   The Poinsettia flower and leaves are made from a set of dies – (which I bought from a fellow blogger about 3 months ago).  I cut the flower itself out of red card, but the leaves were cut from three different shades of green card.

I wanted everything to have that crisp, icy look,  so after I put the flower parts together, I dragged a tiny bit of dimensional paste around the edges of some of the petals and leaves, and using some Tonic Glitter Accent in Fresh Snowfall I ‘iced up’ the flower & leaves.  This Tonic Glitter Accent in their Fresh Snowfall,  is ‘like’ a Stickles (only in a much bigger bottle) but this particular one, in the Fresh Snowfall, is very thick.  Very sticky, and sets hard.

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While everything was drying I made some ‘gifts’.  These gifts took me ages!  Bits of paper and card.  Tiny bits of bakers twine. Sticking the paper down without sticking the whole thing to my fingers!  Ugh!  I popped the presents into the sleigh then turned my attention to making ‘snow’.

I found some fabulous little tiny round dots which twinkle like a million stars, in The Range (in the UK – sorry to folks in other places) when I went shopping last week and fell in love with them.  I wish I could show you how fabulous they are but I can’t get a photo of the twinkles.  They look more like sequins in the photos, but they’re really nothing like them at all.  So so lovely, and, would you believe, all made from a tiny bit of plastic.

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I added Christmas Red Stickle ‘berries’ to the wreath surrounding the Father Christmas stamp and some Red and Green ribbon and string bows at the left hand side of the card.  A metal silver charm in the shape of a snowflake hanging from the berry wreath, and some more red tinsel around the seating area of the sleigh.  Aaaaand  that’s all there was to it.

So there you have it  … I’ve made my first Christmas Card!  I have no idea who I’ve made it for as I didn’t have anyone in mind while I was making it, I just knew I wanted to make a Christmas Card on a big Vintage Style Post Card, with a sleigh on it and some tinsel.  After that I just kind of winged it!  But have to admit that when I stood back and looked at it once finished,   I loved it  …  and hope you like it too.

Have you made any Christmas Cards yet?  I’ve done a little Christmas Shopping, but making cards just …. well, it still feels too early for me.  Tell me what you feel about it.  I’d like to know that I’m not alone in this feeling … but I’m starting to think I am.  eeeek!

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Come and see . . . the Christmas Trees!

Day two of a selection of Christmas cards, made using Card-io Stamps – but on this card I’ve added a stamp made by another company:  Clarity Stamps.

I wanted to make another wreath stamp, but one totally different from the one I made yesterday.  I began by stamping one of the bunnies from a set of Clarity Stamps  – (re-mountable Bunnies and Grass,  clear stamp set – should you wish to buy some, I’ll put a link to the Clarity site at the bottom of this post).

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I used a mask to cover the bunny so that I could stamp the wreath using a little ‘branch’ type stamp from one of the sets in my Card-io stamps, and using the same method I used yesterday – second generation stamping, in order to give the wreath a little depth and dimension.

I blended three colours from my Versa Color ink pads, to get the sunset effect, and then using two shades of blue – one chosen from my Whisper Archival ink pads and the other from my Memento ink pads, I did the rest of the ‘sky’.

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I then stamped the Pine trees and birds, stamped the bare oak tree, and then drew in the short length of fencing using a very fine tipped black pen.  Finally I added the tiny stamped image of the family – father, mother and the two children, heading off across the snow-covered meadow to go and choose their Christmas Tree.

Then it was time to add ‘snow’.  Using some Pinflair glitter glue and some Pinflair Ice Diamond, and some of their Snow Dust – I added crystal like snow to parts of the wreath, and to the snow scene within the wreath.  I also added some around the fluffy tailed bottom of the little rabbit who’s peering through the wreath and watching the family walking away.  (No doubt so that he can perhaps find a way into the garden and snaffle any winter vegetables which might be there for the taking!)

I had a terrible time trying to photograph this snow – it just didn’t want to show up on the photo’s.  So I tried taking a photo which was just a tiny bit out of focus to see if that would work and … it did!  So although this photo isn’t the best in the world – you do actually get to see the ‘snow’ and where I applied it

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. . . .  and a little closer up so that you can see both the second generation stamping and the snow a tiny bit better:-

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I had such fun making this card.  It was quick,  easy,  very little planning,  and no fiddling about with die cuts, embellishments or fussing.

As promised yesterday, I am working on a post which will tell you more about Card-io stamps, and that will be appearing on my blog this week, so please look out for it.

Thank you so much for coming to visit today.

Have a truly wonderful Wednesday!  love ~

Cobs siggy sml