Tuesday, 8 December 2009


I'm getting there with this flu stuff although my sense of humour appears to have abandoned ship!
That could be down to the fact that I've had little time to wallow in my own self pity or even enjoy time reclining on my sofa suffering silently (but stoically you understand) because others decided they were going to get it too.

How mean & selfish of them! This was supposed to be about me, me, ME!

Oh well, they'll get theirs when there's nowt under the tree but a dry old satsuma and a box of PG Tips.

Anyway, still looking for some Christmas Cheer, don't see anything but Humbug at the moment.

Yours wallowing

Cindy Lou Who xxx

Friday, 4 December 2009

Tamiflu and hot Timto

When my son was small & learning to talk, and later doing the talking for his baby sister (who didn't utter a comprehensible word for 2 years but has not shut up since) many new words entered our family vocabulary.
To be honest, it's a whole new language often leaving both strangers and less close family members confused & bewildered, but these things stick.

I'm resting at home at the moment into my 5th day of The Flu. I guess it's of the swine variety as they've issued me with Tamiflu and, by jove, it's marvelous stuff!

However, as I was moping about earlier in the week, not knowing where to put myself to ease the pain my body was in, wondering if my headache would ease with the aid of a knitting needle through my eyesocket & debating whether or not I should take the on-line flu test ("I couldn't possibly have Swine Flu that's what other people get...") I winge-text my sister looking for sympathy & reassurance (not much chance of that I'd say judging by the reply and I quote: "oink").

Finally though, she came through "hot bath and hot timto" she says...just those 5 simple words and the world seemed brighter. OK, OK, so I was still in pain and desperately looking for a knitting needle but I found the energy to get onto the National Pan Flu Service get myself & my 38deg fever diagnosed.
So 3 days of Tamiflu & hot timto and I'm recovering. No hot baths though, I'm too sweaty as it is ~is that too much sharing?
Holding up my bottle of timto in traditional Oscar style, I'd like to that all the people who made this possible
  • NHS for the Tamiflu
  • Himself for going to the chemist to fetch it & bringing me back a jar of pickled onions (still trying to figure that one out)
  • Suey for the hot timto recommendation
  • my kids for talking funny and even never shutting up

Hot 'timto'...the elixier of life, warmer of cold hands & great sledging companion

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Chocolate Cake Part 2

Another cake? Oh yeah....

Great success with the first for Red Nose Day so, for Children in Need and with a more Christmassy feel,
Chocolate Cake Part 2:

Raised £43.00 for Children In Need.

Thank you NSN Birmingham

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hallowe'en treats

Tardis Tilly & her Doctor
How cool does Tilly look as the Tardis? Although she didn't grow up with Blue Peter like I did, her creative skills have obviously been inherited from me!

Customer Gary looking fab in his Rorschach costume with large Watchmen badge

"I've attached a choice of photos for you to see how the badge rounded off my Rorschach costume brilliantly. Thanks again"

What brilliant costumes, makes me wish I'd made an effort...maybe next year!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A moment of weakness?

JML ads get right up my nose! They're right up there with that dreadful Glade ad (incidentally the badges are selling like hot cakes); who the heck is Paul and, quite frankly, the little snot is welcome to go as far as I'm concerned.
However, in a moment of weakness that I can only put down to my bitter disappointment at the lack of eggs coming from my 3-taking-the-piss-soon-to-be-spit-roast chickens and failure to recover from a retching fit (chicken poop is evil) that left me in tears for the 5 miles to Focus, not only did I buy a bright green tub of Doktor Power but also a Magic Carpet!
As I already own a Pedegg obviously I'm a low involvement processing marketing dream!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I've lost a minute!

For reasons that have been lost in the deep, dark, murky sludge of my brain I keep my digital clocks 6 minutes fast. I have one by my side of the bed and there's the one in my car.
Now, while we were settling down in bed to watch Flash Forward on Monday night (how gorgeous is Joseph Fiennes??), I noticed the Channel 5 clock was now 7 minutes behind mine. Odd!

Then, yesterday, while I was driving up to Bolton there was a time check on the radio and my clock in the car was 7 minutes fast!

How weird is that?? Have I lost a minute somewhere in the last week? Can digital clocks simultaneously jump forward? Maybe I was abducted by aliens, or maybe time in my bedroom and car are parallel universes that have slipped through the Rift...maybe I watch too much Dr Who?

Still, it's very odd!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

He's not getting up!

I had put aside 3 days this week to work on my accounts. I lost one day last week when I offered to accompany Himself to a funeral in Bristol on Wednesday. So, left with 2 days I planned...
An extra hour in bed this morning to get stuck into the new Dan Brown, then a gentle gathering of receipts and invoices before moving downstairs to boot up my new Notebook.


Hopefully fortified by a Double Chocca Mocha and a slice of toast with cashew nut butter (tried it yet...OMG it's delicious) I could tackle my new Sage Accounting programme (that's why I needed 3 days!!!). A break around 10ish to nip across the road to the garden centre for a birthday pressie, then head down, full tilt for the rest of the day and Thursday.

HOWEVER! As I staggered to the bathroom in the dark this morning I thought 'How odd' (I did!) U-oh, the first stirrings of panic, is He not getting up? He's not dead, I'm sure He's not dead,I felt him shuffling about in bed...back to peer at the LED alarm, 05.48, is He not getting up????

'Alright love?' I asked ( is He not getting up?) 'Poorly!' He said (bugga, He's not getting up).

Now I feel guilty, cos he really is full of a nasty cold and he will stay in bed (he isn't a martyr when he's ill) but I'm a motherer - I can't help it . I need to supply warm tea, toast (no cashew nut butter though), paracetamol, comfort & sympathy, check his fevered brow and generally make him feel desperate to go back to work! I'll feel guilty if I get sucked into work & forget he's there so I'll not get stuck in as much as I should and then feel equally guilty for not focusing! Deep eh?

Anyhoo, I'm going to give it a go. He's pretty hot on Sage so at least I've a captive advisor if I'm really stuck and I do love having him at home...honest I do! HONEST!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

September Newsletter

I'm constantly mystified by the ratio of work achieved to time available. (Actually, I'm constantly mystified by life in general, but there's only so much space in this newsletter!) Summer is, traditionally, a quite time for us. Students are away from campus, foreign places & holidays beckon for some and the weather draws us -hopefully- outdoors. It's a time when we, here at The Stroppy Cow, should be taking stock, re-charging our batteries & getting all the admin up to date. There should be time for all those little things that get left for 'when its quieter'. But that's not how it happens...why? I've got the time? Sure, batteries are recharged (thank you, glorious Northumberland), but is my office tidy? Have I reorganised my storage? Are my old files deleted?
Nope! Hey ho, I guess it'll get done when I'm up to my eyes in it!
Hope you had a wonderful summer!

Coming soon:
Oh, I've had a lovely time buying new quirky gifts. They'll all be on the website by the end of the month but here's a sneak preview.

Owl phone charms

£2.99 each

60's Retro Shoppers
£9.99 each

Wonder Woman Shopping Bag

£12.99 each

New Badges
It's that time of year again and, as well as the old favourites, we've added some new badges to our Halloween Collection.

Baby Monster set of 4 Halloween badges


TV & Movie
Lots of demand for movie related badges with the fantastic choice we've had this summer at the cinema.

44mm Harry Potter Badge
and get ready for the new Dr Who season...
Timelord badge
from 70p each

Hope to see you soon and, don't forget, we make custom badges too!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Fear of Flying Part 2

I hate flying. I've said it before.
I fly, but the desire to see strange exotic places is beginning to take second place to the certainty that I will drop from the sky. As I type this I can feel the need to dash to the loo, the familiar gut wrenching liquid mass that was once my insides is threatening to leave my, well, insides.

If it was just me, I wouldn't bother. I'd leave the UK by other means if I had to (although I am claustrophobic and the Channel Tunnel is a bit of a challenge and I do get seasick ....) I can't NOT go on holiday abroad and spoil it for every one else - can I?

We're off to the Algarve in just over a week with some great friends who have promised to ignore me as I go into melt down as the airport. I have a feeling that this is not out of respect for my privacy but more a case of 'avoiding the leper'. And who can blame them?

But I have a secret weapon this year. I have bought a hypnotherapy CD 'Overcome the Fear of Flying'. It promises a pleasant voice to guide me into a deep state of mental & physical relaxation. Mmmm not sure it's helping so far but I'm certainly sleeping like a baby at night!

I'm not susceptible to hypnosis. I've tried it before and it just gave me wind. But I do believe in the power of positive affirmations and if I can get myself under control I will cope.
So, I'm off to lie down, plug Glenn in & think positive thoughts of warm weather, glorious beaches, great company, yummy food & decent coffee. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Here come the girls - I hope!

So, our main holidays are out of the way. The chicken run is (more or less) finished, just a last minute hey-there's-a-good-idea perch to put in and an OMG-how-are-they-supposed-to get-into-their-house ramp to fit (we forgot about that!!)

Those trousers look MUCH better from the front (honestly)

I've backed down on the Ex-Batts idea from my last posting. The 'could go wrongs' far outweigh the ethics as far as a newbie keeper like myself is concerned. However, the idea has not been shelved and I hope to add a couple once I'm confident with my ladies.

We intend collecting our girls on Sunday so watch this space.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Domesticity & Ex Batts

What a lovely morning! OK, the sun's not shining, it's 18*C, clammy, sticky and warm BUT it's very peaceful in the garden. I was up at stupid o'clock (05.30) as usual, making Himself some butties for lunch & sticking a potato in the microwave for mine, when I came over all domesticated!
Now this is a phenomenon that doesn't happen very often so I grabbed it by the horns, put all thoughts of leaping on the PC, once He'd tootled off on his way to Brum, out of my head and began sorting the washing. I slightly startled the chap from down the road, on his bike, on his way to work, by nipping out with the re-cycling in nowt but my jammies and turquoise Crocs. I didn't have my glasses on so ~ it never happened!
I know! Get a life!

Mmmm lovely!

However....I did decide that I would take some fruit to work and picked some fresh raspberries and strawberries from the garden, at which point I was hit by how peaceful it was and only the presence of my chooks would have made it perfect! I could picture them scratching away in their little run gently chuckling away to themselves.

Chicken Shack Phase 1

We're getting our Ex-Batts in August but I have to treat/paint the hen house first and Himself has big plans for extending the run. I must confess to being slightly nervous having bought a book and reading about what dreadful things they can get in terms of lice (yuk, yuk, yuk I hate stuff like that makes my skin crawl!) but, hey, I've had kids! Nuff said!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Government Expenses...the answer:

Just a quickie...resurrected an old favourite which might just give us a solution to present farce:

Thursday, 21 May 2009

That darn cat...again!

We have a cat, well 2 actually, one is sweet & gorgeous & snuggles and looks up at you adoringly from your lap but never hangs around for photos then, there's the other. She's not evil, she can be affectionate, she's a bit lot of a tart & is very un-ladylike in the manner in which she likes to be stroked. She prefers you to lift her up to her food (we keep it out of reach of the dog) but will jump if she thinks you're not watching ; she's the runt, but boy, is she in charge!
Merry (yes, the other is Pippin - Tilly could/can quote whole scenes of dialogue from Lord of The Rings!) has already had a mention in this blog and deserves another for her chuffin cheek. Apart for sneaking in once again while I'm taking stock photos, she thought it would be more comfortable if the bedding she had her eye on for snuggling on top of, was more accessible...

She won't notice if I just stick my head under here, then it'll be a quick shove and 'ooops did I do that...me bad'

Tadah....easy peasey. Look out duvet....incoming!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I get lots of lovely emails from customers of The Stroppy Cow and I thought it would be nice to share...

We received a request for a customised charm bracelet with a butterfly and star theme from Jade in Glasgow. Here's what her mum had to say:
Hello just to let u know recieved bracelet today jade was over the moon with it she loved it many thanks for being able to create what she was looking for . ( It was just a wee gift from me to her for her highers this week ) and Jade: Hi, It's absolutely gorgeous. Thank-you so much.

Save the Date Magnets for Nicola and Paul in Liverpool for their wedding in 2011, fantastic idea...
Lynn, THANK YOU. My magnets look great! They arrived today and i have printed the cards and stuck them on with didi gluedots! They are perfect! I shall send you some photos as soon as i gt myself organised. Please feel free to put them on your site if you think it will drum up some orders! Nicola

Archery achievement badges for 2020 Archery. Hi Lynn - really pleased with the badges. So pleased in fact that we'd like to order some more!

And they did!

Just some of the Worcester round badges

2020 Archery logo badges

Pub saving in Guernsey:

Hi Lynn
Just a note to say that we have won round one towards saving our pub !! Our badges being worn proudly !!

Brillaint graphic supplied by Ian in the Midlands, made great 44mm magnets.

So happy with the customer service and the actual items, i will order more! Ian

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Custom Badges

What a week! My poor printer has really been hard at it this last few days trying to cope with the custom badge orders we've had this week.
Here are a few of the orders:

Save the Date magnets for Nicola (more details of this service to follow...)

Save the Date Magnets

500 x 58 mm badges for Shelter (UK Charity) being cut out

Several hours later,
badges ready for shipping

Himself has been a great help and is a wiz on the badge machine now. He took this pic
to illustrate the chaos in which I work...didn't like to tell him that this was tidy!!

Archery Club badges

With scores
There were a few others too, but I forgot to take photos!!
Check out flickr for more details.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Successful Advertising

We have seen a marked increase in the number of custom badge sales here at The Stroppy Cow these last few months. This is probably down to a number of factors.

Not only do they represent great value in terms of advertising for your business but the cost is not prohibitive if you want to sell your badges on, either as a band or organisation. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment and getting your name out there in the market place can be expensive.
Here at The Stroppy Cow we've been able to stream-line our prices thanks to careful buying on our part and this is reflected in our new
bulk pricing list.

High quality button badges are a fun, cost effective yet powerful way of getting your message across ~ promoting your business, band, organisation or event.
Just imagine 100's of people promoting YOU from as little as 12p*
By creating an interesting talking point between fans/customers and staff, promotional badges are proven to help increase awareness & sales. So what better way to promote your company, product, service or event than with a button badge?

1 of 100 25mm badges made for Vespa restorer.

*1" badges start from 12p each for 1000 and make brilliant give-aways at Meets, Rallies,Clubs...

1 of 100 25mm badges for campaign to save St Saviour’s Tavern on Guernsey

And what about selling them on?
Well, at 23p each for 100 there is plenty of scope to more than double the cost price to make a very attractive retail price.

But, don't forget, we don't just make badges.
We have magnets and mirrors too.
And we're currently working on Save The Date magnets for Weddings, so watch this space.


"One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy."

Good old Aristotle, I reckon he was a glass half empty sort of chap!
But he may have had a point about the swallow though. I saw my first two on Sunday while enjoying driving though the Cheshire country side in glorious sunshine. They were swooping out of a farm barn chittering as they went (probably going on about the state of the place & wondering whether it was worth popping over to Ikea).
Sending a silent prayer to the goddess of camping (yes, it's staycation for us), I speculated out loud, to my other half, about the coming of summer...
I have now switched the heating back on and am grateful for not being able to disconnect my electric blanket on my bed!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Chocolate Cake!

Last month, Himself asked if I would bake some cakes that he could sell at work for Red Nose Day. Not a problem I said..when would he need them. Monday he said. Ok I said.
Sunday came along and I expressed a need to pop out to get the necessaries to make the cakes. Oh, it's not til Friday he said. Are you sure I said. Yes he said. I'm sure your email said Monday I said. No, he said, Friday, for Red Nose Day. Ok I said.
Next day an email arrives in my Inbox. Hi Love, it WAS today I needed the cakes!
So, not to let the opportunity pass to raise some money I offered to make a big chocolate cake and some cupcakes that he could auction on the Friday.

Naked Chocolate Cake ~ Chocolate sponge with white praline butter cream filling. (The Margarita bottle
was not full when I started!)

Semi-Naked Chocolate Cake ~ covered in chocolate frosting

(drooling yet?)

Layers of dark, milk & white chocolates and fudge

with melted white chocolate drizzle.

Fully dressed chocolate cake ready to go off to be auctioned.

I made the chocolate sponge mix 4 times in all to make an additional 2 dozen cupcakes, each finished off with frosting, sprinkles and a chocolate.

The cake sold for £35 and the cupcakes for £1.00 each.

It's been a long time since I did any baking and I loved every minute. I was asked if I did it professionally....hey, nice compliment and a lovely idea but ALL that washing up?? No thanks!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Cat Sabotage

In like Flynn this cat.
Not five minutes before I'd been stroppily happily taking photo's of all my yummy new goodies for The Stroppy Cow, leave the room to pop them onto the pc and woosh...she's in. AND in my light box too!
Now there's muddy footprints inside. Grrrrrr.
I swear she told me to sod off when I shouted at her. She certainly looked at me as if to say 'what ya gonna do about it loser'.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Ebay Blues

Sometimes I get so pissed off at Ebay. They frustrate me so much, hiding behind cut and paste 'Customer Support' emails which make it so obvious they haven't even read you email, let alone understood your problem.

I don't usually visit the Community Forums but I wandered in there this afternoon in search of comfort and a group hug.
Wasn't feeling the love in there though...just more evidence of frustrated PowerSellers.

However, there was one chink of light that turned out to be a full blown sun beam!
Pop over to YouTube have a larff at this...cheered me right up.

Suitably inspired I came up with this badge.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

How to Shop...

I love shopping...actually, that's not strictly true.
I love buying! Sometimes I HATE shopping.
Take yesterday for example. Frustrated by the number of shops that think the bigger you are, the taller you must be, I just stood, tears rolling down my face, propped up by Himself, unsure whether to collapse pathetically in a heap or to charge, crazed and finger wielding into Evans. However,I'll save that rant for another day...

I visited the NEC on Tuesday to attend the Spring Fair which is the highlight of the trade buying year. I love it. Its like all the Christmas's I've always wanted, all at once! Hundreds of traders with, mostly, amazing stalls and the most gorgeous things you could ever want to buy. With last year's trip still quite fresh in my mind I was determined to stay focused this time and not wear myself out looking at every shiny, bright, colourful,funny and cute item on display. I also had a secret weapon this year...Himself had offered to come with me to see what I found so fascinating. Besides, I'd also made a list! (His Virgo-ness must be catching)

So, within a couple of hours I'd visited all of my existing suppliers, found the ones I wanted to checkout on my list and managed to discover a couple of lovely surprises. Leaving a couple of hours left for wandering to Ooo and Aah at the shiny,bright,colourful,funny and cute things....oh, and buying of course.

Well, what did I buy? Here's a teaser, a taste of what's to come to The Stroppy Cow very soon:

Envirosax...gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous

Apparently Cameron Diaz has had the Envirosax bug since 2007
and check out all the other celebs here

David Arquette with his Envirosax

Cute key rings and phone charms from Hot Munkey

I've also ordered some great handbags made from recycled packaging, but sadly no pics yet and a huge selection of quirky jewelley. I've tried to go Fair Trade and as Eco-Friendly as possible and have generally stuck with the smaller traders (actually the larger ones can be really snooty with 'small-time' retailers so stuff em!).

Watch this space for updates or subscribe to The Stroppy Cow newsletter using the link on the right for regular updates.

Nurse Badges and Magnets

Following a bulk order for the sleep with a nurse magnets for a web based nursing supplies company Nifty Nurses, we've been busy designing some new nursing badges.
Some are on eBay but the complete set can be found on The Stroppy Cow web site.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Ireland Special Order

These mirrors were done towards the end of last year...I'd forgotten about the pics I meant to post! DER!

Made for Waxperts in Ireland as a mail-shot promo

Customer's artwork printed and ready to cut out

Cutouts and components ready to assemble.

Nearly done!

Lots of bubble wrap!

All ready to post, complete with voile gift bags.

It was a great order, shame we were let down by Royal Mail who took 3 days to get it out of the UK on a 'guaranteed' 24 hour service!