Friday, 19 December 2008

Christmas Blues

Christmas is a particularly bitter-sweet time for me for one reason or another. I usually have a brief five minutes with the tissues then pull myself together but I was nearly, publically, brought down to a sobbing heap the other day in WH Smiths when I came across a series of Christmas cards with quotes on.

The particular one that threatened to send me blubbering from the shop was by American author and humourist Erma Bombeck and had on the front the following:

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."

And I thought 'OMG thats it!' (Well, not all of IT, but certainly part of IT) but I'm not sure how appropriate it is for a Christmas Card?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Mouthy Cow

How fab is this?
As I seem to be collecting all things cow I thought I'd get these gorgeous compact tins of raspberry lip gloss to pass on to the faithful!
Tillymint has been my tester and had given it the all clear. Officially, the voice of youth has spoken... the tin is 'sooo cool'.
I tried to argue that, by association therefore, I was cool. But, apparently, it doesn't work like that! Actually, I have noticed that my coolness goes up in direct proportion to the number of shops we visit that require me to dig out my purse! Mmmmm, funny that!
Anyway, the lip gloss can be bought on the The Stroppy Cow web site or The Stroppy Cow on eBay

Monday, 8 December 2008

What a weekend!

Good grief, what a weekend! I've just done my 3rd Saturday in a row at work which means all my web orders for The Stroppy Cow and eBay have had to be done on Sundays. 40 orders this weekend...took me 4 hours! (Note to self...get help!)

It didn't help that we'd had a late night on Saturday out watching a UB40 tribute band and having a good dance. The band ~Johnny 2 Bad and here ~was brilliant (much better than UB40 the last couple of years we've been to see them). Brilliant night but difficult to get up on Sunday.

Anyway, all that work and being tired meant the decorating of the Christmas tree had to be delayed (poor thing, it's stood there all naked til I find time to dress it), so the sitting room is full of boxes of decorations. Fortunately the delay has given me time to actually go through the boxes and I discover I have no lights...where did they go then???? Had time to list some more Christmas badges in the week and you can find them on eBay and The Stroppy Cow.

Snowflake Badge Pack

Thursday, 4 December 2008


I have a new day job, well an 'every-other-day job', in a public building. And I love it. OK, its not being at home doing my 'thing', but I enjoy it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm an easy going person and fairly tolerant (although I do get pissed off at constantly being asked if I want a store credit card or would I like to buy the latest soft toy 'only £12 as I've spent 50p' BHS~be warned, ask me again and I'll stuff your teddy).
I'm a sucker for politeness, even from the most uncouth of youths. It costs nothing and I'll usually cut someone a lot of slack, even if they don't necessarily mean it (at least they're making an effort). But was is it today about some of these young people ~ I'm talking about mainly youngsters between the age of 14 and 17 ~ who don't like to be told 'No'?
I had a brush with a young man yesterday who had had more than his allotted time using one of our public facilities but came back again after lunch. I explained that he'd already had over his daily allowance and he would have to come back next time we were open. He tried arguing his point but left fairly resigned.

Ten minutes later he was caught trying to burn the building down.

Of course, it won't be his fault. But don't even get me started down that road.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Top Gear

Had a recent commission for a hand mirror that makes me smile each time I look at the art work so I thought I'd share it.

Maybe I'm having an embolism but old JC looks quite attractive there and he'd certainly cheer me up every time I got him out to check my lippy! Mmmm maybe I'm not well...

Saturday, 15 November 2008

How to sweep your Missus of her feet...

Its official...I am a geek!
And so easily seduced by a trip to Staples and a new bit of kit!
I've been hankering after a new printer for ages and while we were in the store looking for a new router Himself whipped this off the shelf and bought it for me...I love it, who needs flowers?

AND...its now up in the office with the rest of my pc! Woo hoo, no more draughty garage.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

How to Decorate a Christmas Stocking

How's this for a fabulous idea for personalising your Christmas Stockings this year! Found it in the Idealhome's Magazine Christmas issue.

Using my Christmas badges I'm going to have a go! There's a pattern in the mag but if you can't be bothered have a look here.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Tilly and I are Dr Who and Torchwood nerds. Well, I say nerds...we don't know the name and order of each and every episode, the inside leg measurement of David Tennant's tailor's cousin's brother-in-law or have a friend of a friend who knows someone who walked past John Barrowman; BUT Tilly went to a comic book convention and spoke to a chap who had been a monster in a Dr Who episode! LOL

What I'm getting round to is, Himself and I had a couple of days in South Wales and visited the Dr Who Up Close Exhibit in Cardiff. Should've borrowed a couple of children then I could have justified jumping up and down in the queue with excitement!

Didn't need to go much further.....this was free to see!

Always thought that the original Cybermen were more scarey...used to be terrified of walking past those yellow moulded plastic workmen's huts as a child (I think they came out of them in one series but I'm not sure and can't find any photographic evidence on the web...cor, now that is nerdy!)

Ah, legend! Where's the sofa?

I have a line in Dr Who badges and magnets in my shop The Stroppy Cow and on eBay which are very popular.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Feel a bit thrown-together myself today, only without the smile!

Monday, 20 October 2008

In training

I'm hoping we'll be walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path for our jollies next year so I'm in training!

Starting off slowly by trying to walk 10,000 steps a day, I cheerfully declined the garage's offer of a lift home after dropping Pink-bot off for a safety check this morning and decided to walk the 1 mile and a bit back home.

Convinced it would easily be my quota for the day, I smiled serenely through the sheeting rain that hit me halfway back soaking my legs and wetting me though to my undies where by cagoule met my ass, grinned smugly at the lazy commuters queuing on the ring road and almost skipped through the font door a good 20 minutes later.
I've just checked my pedometer, 2776 steps...2776!

I'm sat here, wet socks, wet knickers and desperate for a biscuit that I can't even justify now!

Maybe I better ring the garage and tell 'em I'll walk back and pick Pinky up...

Just the One of these would stop my ass getting wet!

PS Just worked out that 10,000 steps is about 5 miles! 5 miles! Who's got time to walk 5 miles a day? Oh well, we'll see what a day a work measures up to tomorrow!

Found this site and feel a little better now!

...and I'm not paying for it!

Did something last night that I've never done before...sent a plate of food back!

It was the crowning glory to what had been a weekend of mediocre crap eating out.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Baby its cold outside...

It's not very elegant I know, but the IT side of my little empire is in the garage. In fact the pc has been in the garage for about 4 years now and, to be quite honest, I've had enough!

Its bad enough that I have to go upstairs to my office with a handful of printed invoices and artwork only to find I have to go back down because I've forgotten to check something. But I'd forgotten how flippin cold and draughty it is when the temperature drops.

Then, there's the rattling of the garage door as the wind whips round the drive and the harmonious sound of next door tuning their various cars and motorbikes as the fragrant choking fumes sneak stealthily under the Grand Canyon that is the gap below the door. Gosh, it sounds almost romantic!

So (and to be fair Himself said last year he would 'get someone in' to cable it up but I didn't want the fuss and the expense) with a fresh brew in my hand for Himself, strategically held out to him at an angle that would cause him more damage than me in the event of an over-reaction, I casually mentioned what a great help it would be to have the pc in the office!
Should've brought biscuits too!

Any hoo, nothing that couldn't be fixed with a smile and a kiss!

So, having sat here in the garage for nearly 12 hours (with breaks to get the washing outside, then in and 3 or 4 cups of tea of course) doing housekeeping on The Stroppy Cow and listing all the new stuff that came yesterday onto eBay, I am wrapped in 2 fleeces, socks and slippers and am dreaming of the time when I can sit in my cosy office looking out onto the garden...wonder if there's room for a kettle!

During surfing moments between auction listing I like to type in random colours names into Google images and see if anything pops up that may be a source of inspiration. Not much today in response to 'pink turquoise' except these adorable socks from Baby Me :

Cute eh?

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

New Goodies

A big box of yummy goodies arrived this morning. New, gorgeous sellables from
Like a big kid at Christmas, I couldn't wait to get in that box! Need to get them all photographed and onto eBay and the The Stroppy Cow but here's a sneak preview!

Lovely embroidered hand mirrors

Hand knitted ear flap hats ~ got my eye on that top one, it might not get as far as the shop!

Beaded rings

Hand made embroidered Mirror detail

Great selection of fleece lined hats

Woo hoo, can't waited to get them listed!

Meet Buttercup

Himself bought me a lovely print...said it reminded him of me! I love it, it's on the wall in the bedroom now. It's by Valerie Davide

I seem to be accumulating cows (not real ones thank goodness, at least not yet!!). I have soft toys and numerous cards in the office, I even have a singing cow card from Tilly (I'm in the mood for dancing~ Nolans!) in pride of place where I can open it for a short burst of instant nostalgia.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Badge Stories

Had a lovely bulk order from the National Register of Reflexology (Ireland) last's the story of those badges!

Printing and punching out the logo

Badge Blanks and cut-outs

Into the machine (Love my badge machine!)

First batch ready

All done, ready for dispatch.

That's just short of 3 hours work (not including tea breaks)...wouldn't believe it would you? Phew!

My right bicep is becoming very quite well developed!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day click here for details.
Don't forget your badges mateys, Arr....
Buy here

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Beaded Charm Bracelet Tutorial

I've just made a gorgeous charm bracelet, not my usual style, but one I think is worth is worth sharing 'cos it looks fabulously expensive!
So, welcome to my first tutorial!

This beaded charm bracelet is very easy to make, it takes a couple of hours depending on your skill with the pliers and how fat your fingers feel!!

You will need:
Pair of short nosed pliers
Pair of cutter pliers

Findings etc
  • Enough jewellery elastic to go round your wrist twice (or play it safe like I did and use 90cm)

  • Approx 60cm of large link chain (I used 1cm) Tip: avoid chain with links that aren’t closed as it tends to come off the bracelet when the elastic is stretched…oops!)

  • 8 x 14mm round or oval beads plus 1 focus bead (I used a silver coloured bead)

  • 3 x smaller complimentary beads (I used 1 x 10mm and 2 x 6mm)
  • Approx 11 charms and/or buttons

  • 14 x 9mm jump rings
  • 4 x calottes (Necklace Ends, also known as calottes or clamshells, are used to attach the necklace or bracelet thread~ we're going to use them to attach our ball chain to a jump ring. Calottes and bead tips are metal findings that cover the knot at the end of a string of beads. Calottes (also called clam shells) clamp sideways over the knot. Adding a drop of glue or clear nail polish secures the knot/chain. Close the bead tip with pliers.
  • 4 x headpins (Headpins look like small thin nails. Put a bead on a head pin, bend a loop in the top, and you have a dangle! )
  • approx 13mm of ball chain

  • Calottes, headpins, jumprings and ball chain

  • optional (but VERY handy) florist wire or beading needle

Ok, lets get started.

Step 1

Thread the jewellery elastic through the chain, this is where a bent bit of florist's wire or a beading needle really helps.

Step 2

Your chain should now be 'scrunched' up along your threading material.

Now add your large beads.

Step 3

Open your jump rings by twisting them front to back, do not pull them apart as this pulls them out of shape, and pop them onto your charms and/or buttons

Step 4

You will need to thread the smaller remaining beads onto the head pins to make some dangle charms.

Step 5

Tie the loose ends of your threading material, adjusting for fit before cutting off the excess. Tip: try adding a drop of clear glue to the knot for extra security.

Step 6

Cut your ball chain into 3 different lengths.

Step 7

Attach a calotte to each piece of chain securing with a small blob of clear glue if preferred.

Step 8

You are now ready to attach the charms/buttons, beads and chain to your bracelet, pausing to admire your handiwork at regular intervals!

Step 9

Ta da.... finished!

How smug do you feel now?