I love you to the Moon and back!

It’s true.  I do.  I really do.  Cross my heart, and pinky finger promise.

I wanted to make a card which was fun, but sweet.  Not sickly sweet, and certainly not cute, but something which had a nod towards the inner child of a ‘bloke’.  A man of years, but still a boy inside.

So I decided that the ‘Love you to the Moon and back’ sentiment sounded perfect … but instead of making the card a more serious ‘love you’, I made one which suggested a rocket …. going forth to the Moon, landing …. collecting moon and star-dust …. and then returning to Earth, spreading sparkly Moon dust as it flew through the atmosphere.

I began by hand painting the background on some watercolour paper, using a combination of purples, blues and white from my Kuretake watercolours.  Once dry I embossed all around the edge with silver Tonic powder, which was meant to look like star-dust and moon dust.

I threw a few pinches of embossing powders over the painted background and then heated them slowly and gently so that they melted onto the watercolour background, and looked like twinkly stars in the sky.

o the moon tabs

Apart from the  ‘happy birthday sentiment (bottom right of the card), the stamps I used are from Altenew.  But the happy birthday sentiment ….well that came from my ‘sentiment stamps draw’.  I cannot remember who the maker was.  I just knew that I wanted swirly writing, which might look like the trail of a rocket as it swooshed and swooped and looped the loop through the heavens, and that stamp fitted the bill perfectly.

to the MOON

The Moon is stamped using two stamps, and two different coloured inks,  and then using an embossing pen I ‘coloured’ in some areas and then embossed it in Tonic Silver powder.

I used the embossing pen to add a Moon dust trail to the ‘happy birthday’ sentiment.  The words themselves were stamped and firstly embossed in black, then stamped over again, but this time I stamped slightly ‘off’ from the first stamp so that just tiny bits of the black (meant to look like a sooty residue) peeped from behind the silver.

I have no idea if space ships leave a sooty trail behind them, but the idea was ticklish to me so I went with it.  I loved the silver over the top of it because it kind of pushed the sentiment into the whole picture.  Instead of it standing out and shouting, it was just there ….  part of the whole moon dust/star shine thing.

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And that, as I am want to say, … is all there was to it!

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I trust you are well and that nothing is wonky in your world.  Although …  having said that I know that some of you are having a bit of a ‘wonky’ time at the moment.  Please know that I think of you often, and each time I do, I push a prayer out of my heart and head, and send it heaven bound, asking for help to be given to you.

There are some of you who are missing family members, and I know how difficult that can be to deal with the trauma of losing someone.  My thoughts are with you, and I send you my love.

One of our blogging friends suffered a stroke just a few weeks ago, while she was off on her holibobs with her husband.  There was no warning, nothing odd going on, when suddenly…  out of the blue…  a stroke happened while she was sat there in the car.  Thankfully she wasn’t driving the car at the time. 

I know that there are some blogging friends who suffer with depression, for whatever reason(s), and having a family member who suffers with this, I know only too well how difficult life and times can be because of that.

And there are more … lots of people, who have worries of one sort of another.  A difficult time. Some difficulty that they are experiencing.   Please know that I’m thinking about you.  About you all.  I may not know you personally, but I know you by heart.  By the words you type on your keypad.  And because of that I’ve come to care.

You … reading right now.  I care about you.  I may not always comment on your blog(s), but it’s not because I don’t care.  Sometimes I just run out of words.  Sometimes I think how grand or brilliant you are.  Sometimes I sit here on my side of the computer and smile, giggle, laugh.  And sometimes I cry.

But then … there are those of you who are SO amazingly talented that I just sit here wondering how I can possibly tell you how brilliant you are without sounding like I want to stalk you;  or those of you who I want to kiss all over the face, leaving visible lipstick marks,  for making me laugh like a drain.

Y’know … you’re all uniquely, amazingly, incredibly wonderful.  I’m SO so glad that I began blogging, for I’ve found a world of the most fascinating, beautiful people who I never knew existed.  Crumbs …. how did I ever get along without you all?  My life is so busy now, keeping up with you, sharing your days, getting to know you, your families, your ‘stuff’.  I have no idea what on earth I did before blogging.  I must have had hours wasted,  doing nothing at all!

Blogging really is a magical thing.

So … thank you.  Thank you for being the most amazing person.  Thank you for keeping me reading, entertained, teaching me, and giving me something truly extraordinary.    What would I do without you.? [shakes head while smiling to self].  I’d be terribly bored, that’s for sure!

I am so very blessed.  Thank you.  Each and every one of you.

Have an incredible day.  Be good to yourself….  and to everyone else you meet.

Much love from me in my corner to you in yours.  ~ 

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In Fairy Land ~ an ATC painted for World Watercolour Month

Once upon a Time, there was a Princess Fairy who lived in a tall tower in Fairy Land.  From the window she would wave her magic wand over all the people of the Land which would sprinkle them with magical wishes.

Aaaand … back here in the real world….

Maaaaany years ago –  at least 10 but probably around 15 to be honest, Daughter No.2 bought me a Birthday card which was just a total delight to me.  It was like all of a sudden my daughter ‘got’ me.  She saw a card so perfect for my birthday that going against everything that I’ve always taught my girls (buying cards is just such an expense – yes you have to purchase one, but don’t spend half a weeks wages on one!), she spent a little fortune on.

Now,  I keep greetings cards.  All types.  For Birthdays or just for ‘Hello I thought of you and am sending you this‘ types of card.  I’m very much into the whole physical memories of something, and will keep cards and little mementoes for ever!  I have a drawer in my craft room where I’ve kept cards from years gone by and every now and then I get them out just to make me feel wonderful.  Each one holds a special memory, and a ‘trick’ to get that memory from the back of my mind so that I can enjoy the moment all over again.  And there, in that drawer is a humongous card – very very tall but not very wide, – which I have cherished from the moment Daughter No.2 gave it to me.  Here it is . . .

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It’s about (guessing here) 18″ – 22″ tall.  (I should have measured it and I didn’t think.  I’m not tip toeing over to the craft room now because it’s belting down with rain outside!).  You can now see why I’m showing you this card.  It has a picture of Fairy Land on the front and I just loved it from the moment I opened the envelope.  When I saw it in the drawer I instantly thought I’d have a go at turning it into a tiny ATC of 2.5inches wide by 3.5 inches tall.

(yes, that photo was taken in my craft room)

Some of you might remember me telling you that I taught my little girls, when they were knee-high to an ant, that if anyone should ask them how old their mommy was, they were to say ….  “My Mommy is ONLY 27″ …  and I have remained 27 since I was 27.  Each year Daughter No.2 remembers this and sends me a birthday celebrating my 27th Birthday.  Have a look inside this card .. . . .

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…  ah… you’ll need that blown up a little to read it …..

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Her name has been removed (to protect the innocent) ….  she writes:  “To Mom, have a great  (27th)  Birthday!  Have fun,  love and snuggles ______ x“.  I thought that since I was using the picture on the card as my inspiration for a little watercolour for World Watercolour Month, I might as well share the inside of the card so that you can see that I trained my girls sooooooo well!  LOL

Anyhoo … back to this little watercolour.  This one was a real struggle. It’s difficult to go into detail when you’re reducing something to a ridiculous size like this, so I had a real problem with the Princess Fairy.  I perhaps, in hindsight, should have left her out – as I did the shutters on the windows (not enough room to keep them in).

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an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

I couldn’t make my mind up on the mount … green or blue?  You choose and tell me what you think …

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an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

…  Green?  …  OR ….

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an ATC for  #WorldWatercolorMonth

 

…  Blue?   Each one brings out something different.  The Blue one brings out the shooting star and seems to make the colours just a little more vivid.  Where-as the Green mount makes it look more subtle and … ‘fairyfied’.  OOoo… choices, choices!

And that’s all there was to it!

We have an almighty storm going on here as I type.  The thunder is so loud that it’s making the dog bark and me jump.  It’s pelting down with rain and I’m thinking that all my flowers are going to get a right old bashing!

I’m not entirely surprised that the weather has changed like this.  It’s been far too hot for it to continue without some sort of storm cooling things down. (although I don’t feel any cooling down happening at the moment.  I’m still boiling hot!)   I feel dreadfully sorry for the county next but one to where I live  …  Cornwall.  They’ve had some awful flash floods there today (Tuesday) and they’ve had to go out in helicopters and rescue folks who have been trapped in their houses by rising waters.  I watched it on the TV news at 6pm and it looked awful!

Well… that’s me done and dusted.  I’m now going to schedule this post to happen in the early hours of (UK time) the morning, and I’m then taking myself to bed and taking the wee little  chubby  doggy with me.

Whatever you’re doing today do it with a smile on your face and hope in your heart.   To prove to yourself exactly how blessed you are, imagine that you woke up this morning only with the things that you gave thanks for yesterday.  Puts things into order does that little thought.

Sending you love, and a bucket of squidges which should last you all day long …  sig-coffee-copy

 

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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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A bunch of Christmases all at once.

Happy December the 1st!

Yes  …  it scared me too and I didn’t see why I should be feeling that feeling all alone, so decided to drag you in there too.  And now that I’ve sent your brain into a spin, let’s get on with enjoying the day shall we?

So, to start with  … smile, even if you don’t feel like it.  S.M.I.L.E. …  and remember that even if the day is grey and you don’t feel like anything like happy …. just the act of smiling can trick your brain into sending out the feel good hormones which can turn your day around.  So stand up … go and stand in front of a mirror and smile your biggest cheesy smile at yourself for 30 seconds. 

Look into your eyes while you’re stood there grinning like a Cheshire cat – and although your cheeks might ache a littlekeep the smile going until either:  you crack and begin to laugh at yourself.  OR …  30 seconds is up.  Then go off and do something to get your day kicking and alive.  (And if you feel miserable at all any time today – do the smile thing again.  30 seconds remember!).  Even if it only works for half an hour, that’s half an hour of feeling better that you would have missed if you hadn’t tried the smiling trick.

I’ve been trying to post these Christmas Cards since last week!  I haven’t been tardy or lazy, I’m fighting an infection which is causing me the most dreadful pain on the right hand side of my back and partly in my tummy;  and it’s also affecting the skin on my back, making it feel as if the skin is burnt – like it’s been ironed with a hot iron, and it feels like it’s been sandpapered and should be red raw.  Just awful.  I’m now on my third (different) lot of antibiotics,  and if these latest ones don’t start making a difference within 24 hours,  I have to call my GP, and I think they may admit me to hospital so that they can plug me into the ‘powerful drug army’,  filling me up intravenously with infection fighting soldiers who will (hopefully) beat the infection to a pulp.  (I have my fingers crossed that these new antibiotics which they’ve given me, begin to work, so that I don’t have to go in, as I don’t like hospitals). 

Right, enough talking about rubbish stuff  …  let’s get these cards shared with you …

I wanted to make a few quick and easy cards for various people.  I have to send some through the post so wanted cards which will fit into an envelope and not have them damaged or bits knocked off them, so they had to be of few ‘adornments’, and flat enough to go into a regular envelope.  AND … just to add a bit of a challenge to the task, I wanted to make them from bits and pieces I’ve had left-over from projects I’ve made for Christmas cards of long ago.  So I went through my Christmas Box and by the time I’d finished I had a pile on my desk all the things which were left overs from previous Christmases.  Cor!  Did I have a lot of left overs! 

I found some card stock and bits of adornments from about 7 years ago (I think – but this is just a guess).  All of the following cards are made from those left overs.

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Frost and Ice Christmas Tree.

This first card …. is made on a background of a rich, dark blue card on which is printed a music score, with the addition of some script writing.  I embossed around the outer edges of the card background to make it look more icy and wintery cold, using the silver embossing powders by Tonic. (This icy cold doesn’t show up in the photo, but in reality it actually does look really wintery and like looking through a window which you’d scratched off the ice so that you could look through it).

I added a length of [plastic] balls on a ‘string’ around the tree (and glued it in place on the back) then added some red gems to represent baubles on the tree.

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I then mounted the decorated die cut Christmas Tree onto a square of printed velum using foam tape.  The addition of the greeting  ‘Merry Christmas’ finished the card off.

This next card was shamefully easy, but in real life looks far lovelier than in the photograph.

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The card background is actually white with a sort of shimmery silvery white patterning all over it.  If you hold it one way, then you see everything as white.  But if you hold it another way, you can clearly see the patterns on the cardstock.  It’s really beautiful, and so tactile too!

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I added tiny red gems to the die cut wreath and a die-cut bow – mounted on foam dots, to give it depth, then fixed the decorated wreath to the cardstock using foam tape, and Voila!  Card 2 done and dusted.

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Card 3 was made using the same cardstock as card 1 – the deep dark blue, with the musical score printed on it.  Two die cut snowflakes adorn this card.  One large, and one small,  along with a length of silvery balls, onto which I threaded a silver bead, and glued it in place on the length of silver balls using Tonic Glue.  Whilst that was drying I fixed the largest of the snowflakes in place …

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…  and added three little red gems to the middle of it, to give the card a nod of a third colour.

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Then added the second, smaller snowflake, which was die cut from holographic card, and twinkled like crazy.  I added a little clear gem to the middle of this snowflake, to give it an added dimension.

Finished the card off with the ‘Merry Christmas‘ greeting and this was then Card number 3 ticked off the list.

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The fourth card …  I love this background!  All those fabulous little Christmas Trees, with the great big star on the top, complete with the baubles.  Love it!

Using a rule, I drew lines with a thicker nibbed embossing pen all around the card, and using Tonic Silver embossing powder, I embossed those lines.

Then taking a square of velum, I embossed the edges of the card with a frosty looking Dtsilver Embossing Powder and then did the same thing on the edges of a die cut and embossed Christmas Tree.

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Using foam tape, I mounted the tree onto the velum, and fixed the velum and tree to the cardstock.  I wanted a silver star for the top of the tree, but sadly couldn’t find one big enough,  in the end I chose this lovely blue pearly star, which looks slightly different in colour in the photos, but it’s nearer in colour to the blues in the card background.

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And that was card 4 ticked off the list!  Now onto card 5 …

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For this final card, I chose to make another snowflake card, but this time on a different background, and with a more complicated snowflake as the main attraction.

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I’ve tried to capture the various layers of this snowflake but have failed miserably.  Because it’s cut from holographic paper and card, it twinkles madly, and I’ve tried taking photographs with the flash, without the flash, with the spotlights, without them, with and without a desk lamp and all sorts of combinations, I couldn’t find the right one to show you all the layers, so I’m afraid you’ll  just have to imagine them showing up – for they are there in that photo above!

And that, was a big tick against quick and simple card number 5.

Normal service of cards which need a box or a security guard, will be resumed as soon as possible – dependant upon how this darned infection behaves on these new drugs.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running at a more reasonable speed on Friday, when we have the regular ‘Things I’ve Learned This Week‘ post, where I share with you the stuff life has taught me during the last seven days.  (I already have a list made,  and I think you might enjoy this list …  and get a few laughs out of it at the same time).

In the meantime …  do me a great big favour and spread a little joy about your home and your neighbourhood.  Do something lovely which will make someone else smile.

How about using a piece of chalk and leaving little messages on the pavement (sidewalk) for other people to see, read, and smile about.  What would you say?  How about “Hello!” for starters?  Or: “You have a beautiful smile“,  or maybe  “Hello Beautiful!“.  Just say something you know would tickle you if you saw it chalked on the pavement.

Or .. maybe make someone’s birthday extra special …  don’t buy them flowers or chocolates, buy them something they may never have received before … balloons!  A bunch of  Helium balloons, chosen just for them, by you, and either deliver them yourself or have them delivered if you can’t get to them.  They’re a reminder of childhood, and seem to make everyone smile.  So give it a try.  (Even if it’s not their birthday … if you want to make them smile, then send them a bunch of helium balloons.  It will make their day!)

And . . .  for you;   I wish you a thoroughly tip-top Thursday!  May the day bring you smiles and at the end of your day, may you look back over the hours and realise that you’ve had a really O.K. kind of day, in a thoroughly good way.  May you have found something wonderful to smile about today.

Be careful out there … oh ….  and ….  be good to each other.

love and squidges ~

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I’ll Rope You A Star ~ a handmade, little stars, Wand.

Rope a Star  Wand

Did you know … that a Wand isn’t in the least bit magical?  It can’t do a thing.  It has absolutely NO power. NOTHING Let me explain more . . .

All a wand actually is,  is a ‘tool’ on which to focus your attention.  Believe me, if wands themselves really could do ‘stuff’ all on their own, I certainly wouldn’t collect the pretty wands which I do! (or any other sort of wand for that matter!).

Let me take you back to your school days   Imagine for a moment that you’re sat in the classroom, and you’re giggling and whispering with the girl next to you.  Suddenly the teacher’s voice BOOMS out, and shouts your name!  You look up and see him standing there, with a cross face,  hands on hips.  He looks right at you,  gives you a stern telling off and tells you that you’re disrupting his class.

Embarrassing eh?

Now let’s replay that scene again . . . 

The teacher’s voice  BOOMS  out, and shouts your name!  You look up and see your teacher standing there pointing his index right at you.  He’s looking very cross.  Looking directly at you but still pointing his finger at you, shaking it the merest amount, he raises his voice and tells you off, – all the time he’s doing this he continues to point that finger at you.

Can you see (and feel)  how much more ‘menacing’ the whole scene becomes simply because he’s pointing his finger at you?

That finger doesn’t have anything magical about it, and yet it seems to hold so much more ‘power’.

That’s exactly the same as a wand.  All a finger pointing at you is doing is focusing your attention.  (and the person who’s pointing at you’s attention).  A wand is exactly the same thing.   It just focus’ the attention.

Well now I’ve blathered on about how wands don’t have any power, you can perhaps now understand why they don’t ‘freak’ me out, and even why I love to make pretty, magical to the eye, wands!   And this  ‘Rope a Star’ wand is magical to the eye.

Rope a Star  Wand

The inspiration for this wand came from my childhood.  My mother used to tell me a poem, song, or story (I sadly can’t remember which) when I was little, but I do remember that I loved it.  Sadly I cannot remember what the story, song, poem was – and my mother has passed on, so I can’t ask her about it – but I remember a line from it which went something like:  ‘I’ll throw a rope out and rope a star just for you’ …  and that line conjured up such wonderful images inside my little mind,  and it still does now.

So I decided that I would throw a rope out and rope a star –  but this time I’d make mine a rope which wrapped itself around a wand, and the stars would hang from the wand itself.

There are little silver stars which dangle from lot’s of places on the wand, and there’s a crescent moon with stars hanging from the heel of the wand (at the top end as you’re looking at it in the photo.  The ribbon and star cuff around the top of the wand is removable.

Over the years I’ve tried to find the poem, song or story which mentions this ‘roping in a star’ and I’ve never found it.  But if you happen to know it or know where to find it, I’d be thrilled if you could either let me know or pop a link into a comment so that I could go and find it.

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Have a truly blessed rest of your day, all,  . . .  and a fabulously twinkly, star lit night. 

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