Hello friends!

Happy Tuesday!  Hope your Tuesday is going well. I have had a week of technology problems that started Saturday week ago thanks to some Windows updates that broke my laptop, and continued to last weekend when my phone tried to leap to its death into half a cup of leftover cold coffee!

This phone seems to be able to fall off any flat surface and on to the floor and I am constantly having to watch where I sit it as I’d really rather it didn’t break.  So on Friday, I was listening to a book while I made dinner and the next thing I knew, it sounded like the narrator was gargling!  I looked over and the phone had slipped off the safe place I had sat it on and into a half cup of cold, leftover coffee, speaker end first!  I know some people might be thinking – who leaves half a cup of coffee undrunk lol – but I was going to reheat it later honest.  Anyway, after fishing it out and drying it off, it wouldn’t play and no sound was coming out of the speaker, so I quickly put it in a ziploc bag full of dry rice and left it there for the weekend.
Meanwhile, after a week of trying to get my laptop working properly again and undoing the damage the Windows update had done – success!  That is one thing I don’t like about Windows 10 – the automatic updates!  There is no way to turn them off, only delay them but eventually it will update, unless you never have it connected to the internet in which case, why bother having it at all.  But having two devices out of action was very inconvenient as there is a lot of stuff on the laptop and there were photos on the phone that I couldn’t access, plus I was in the middle of a book that I was enjoying and suddenly had no access to until the phone dried out.

However, now that I have cancelled Prime, and btw that is hard to do, they really don’t want to let you go lol, I am enjoying the free shows on FreeVee as a regular amazon customer.  There is so much on there that is really good stuff, not least the new Bosch spin off that I watched a few months ago, but I noticed yesterday that they have added all six seasons of Longmire on there, a show that I loved and wished they hadn’t cancelled, so I have started a rewatch!  There are supposed to be ads on FreeVee but I have never seen a single one since I have ads blocked on my devices.  And speaking of Prime, I was paying £7.99 a month but I see it has gone up to £8.99 now!  Apart from watching FreeVee I am taking a break from amazon and not ordering anything from them.  My last break lasted two years and was only broken because of the first lockdown and scarcity of cat food, so we shall see how long this one lasts.

And speaking of annoying things, I sent a birthday gift to my friend in the Netherlands, filled in the customs form with the items and value, and made sure it was under $10, and got it tracked to speed it up, and what happened?  It arrived with a fee to pay of nearly $6 – why?  Well her husband was on the phone with them, complaining about this charge they had to pay, and the mail service was asking them what was inside!  Well it’s a gift so how are they supposed to know what is inside, plus it is written on the customs form what is inside the package, so they already know.  They also said there was no name on the package, just UNKNOWN, despite the fact that there was a very large, very clear name and address label on it.  Anyway, there was no way around it, and they had to pay in order to receive it even though their website says no fees for receiving “gifts” from outside Europe.  But in my tracking info, it said that there would be fees to pay for any packages received in NL from outside Europe. So sadly, this means the end of our gift exchanges for Xmas and birthdays as we will both be getting import fees from now on thanks to Brexit.  I refuse to pay any more custom fees as we also get a handling charge on top of the import fees, and it can end up being $20+ and I just can’t keep paying fees in this current climate.  The only way around it is to order something from a shop in the same country eg order from an Netherlands Etsy seller and she could do the same with a UK Etsy seller, but it means an end to our handmade gift exchanges unless we limit it to something very small that fits inside a card and that should pass through with no problems and no charges.

Currently Reading . . .

The Untold Story

This is book 8 in the Invisible Library series and I believe it is the final book in the series as she has a new series coming out next year. This book doesn’t close the door completely, so there could be more books sometime down the line.

Librarian Spy Irene is heading into danger. Not for the first time, but could this be her last? She’s tasked with a terrifyingly dangerous solo mission to eliminate an old enemy, which must be kept secret at all costs. But even more troubling news emerges. Multiple worlds are disappearing – and the Library may have something to do with it.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the vanished worlds, Irene and her friends must descend into the unplumbed depths of the Library. And what they find will change everything they know. This may be Irene’s most dangerous assignment of her hazardous career.

Today’s Art . . .

Today’s art is something I made at the weekend for a friend’s daughter’s birthday.  First the card, she has two cats, which were the inspiration for the card.  Note also the teacup pattern on the envelope I made, which is my first ticket to tea.

I started by painting lots of little cat paintings in three inch squares.  I made more than I needed so I could chose which ones I liked best.

Then put them together to make the card.

The card is made of more watercolour paper and some origami paper.

On the back of the card, I stamped the happy 16th birthday message.

For her present, I made her a tote bag, quite a big one as I wanted to include as much of the pattern repeat as possible – and as many Alices as possible.  She loves all things Alice in Wonderland.

It might have been a good idea to iron it before taking the photos lol.

This is a beautiful Japanese heavy cotton fabric that I have been saving in my stash, so it was good to be able to use some of it.  It’s not clear in the photo but all the gold leaves are actually shiny metallic gold.  You might also notice more tickets for tea with the red tea cup, red coffee pots, and the stack of four tea cups right in the centre of the photo.

T Stands For . . .

What else have I been making since last Tuesday…have a look at these blog posts which are the latest seven pages for my daily challenge…

I moved a table into the art room and two cats instantly appeared on it just like magic!  Miss Lily and Mr G appreciate a fresh horizontal surface to perch on and would appreciate it even more if I could keep it clear of art supplies!

Oh and here is that half cup of coffee that caused so much trouble! My final ticket to tea this week.

(Strawberry Tart and Black Coffee – I was out of almond milk)

Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading!


Altered Book Lover – T Stands forGrab button for T stands for Tuesday
Art Journal August –
see original post here

Art Journal Journey – When We Were Young

#SeekGatherCreate IG challenge week 3 – items required 1. by the sea 2. something vintage 3. a ticket 4. something rusty  5. a face

Country View Challenges – Happy Birthday August Challenge


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29 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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August 25, 2022 12:57 pm

Did the rest in the bag of rice bring your phone back to life? A shame about the import duties for postage. I worry about that if I send gifts overseas. The kitty cat card and Alice tote are very cute. As are Miss Lily and Mr. G. posing on the table. Happy T Day

Sharon Madson
Sharon Madson
August 24, 2022 1:13 am

What a fabulous card you made. She will love it and the wonderful tote bag. Great Alice & Wonderland fabric. Lots of tickets to the party! Oh, I had a mishap with my phone a year ago May. I put my travel mug in my purse with my phone, thinking it would stay upright and not leak.
When I realized everything in the purse was wet, including the phone, I put the phone in rice. It was too far gone. I had to get a new phone. What was worse, is it wasn’t a smart phone, no sim card, so lost all contacts, everything. EEK! Happy T Day.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
August 23, 2022 11:29 pm

When I had my friend Scott build my new computer, I had two requirements. It had to last a minimum of 10 years and it could not have Windows. I am sure my gamer machine (which is way more than I need, but love) will last more than I expected it would. Scott also gave me Linux, so there is nothing Windows on my PC.

When I got my new tv, Scott gave me his Prime account for watching movies, etc. I found FreeVee, too right before I was going to ask Scott to order Acron TV for a month. Now I have 20 seasons of Midsomer Murders. I also saw a couple of episodes of the Bosch, not knowing how to use the new smart tv remote (grin). I didn’t know it was from before. Like you, I LOVE Longmire. I wish they hadn’t canceled it a second time.

I will make sure any and all napkins going to the UK will read “used napkins, free.” That should make sure no international napkin player has to pay anything.

Glad you got your phone working again. I often drink my coffee cold, or not warm, is a better term.

LOVE those kitties and the kitty (multiple) card. It is beautiful.

Your coffee may be cold, but that tart really made me smile, even though I don’t like strawberry.

Thanks for sharing your card, your Alice bag. and your coffee and tart with us for T this Tuesday, dear Elle.

Kate Yetter
August 23, 2022 9:45 pm

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Alice tote. I have seen this fabric and if it were in my stash, I would keep hoarding it. That is lovely of you to make it for a friend. I am sure she will love it!
I will look into that book as the synopsis sounds very interesting. I too love audiobooks and would be SO sad and irritated if my phone fell into a drink and interrupted my read. Glad that you were able to “rice it” in time.
Your cat art it adorable!
Also, thanks for telling us about freevee. We have regular Amazon and never got into Prime. We just didn’t want to save the money when we could do the free super saver shipping.
Happy Tea Day,

Carola Bartz
August 23, 2022 7:36 pm

Hi Elle, first, your cat card is super adorable! And when I see how much you get done in a week on the creative front I feel totally unaccomplished. I feel your pain about Windows updates, I deeply dislike them myself. My husband recently updated to Windows 11 and said it’s horrible and went back to Windows 10 (he’s a software engineer, so if he thinks it’s horrible I might be totally lost). I’m glad your phone works again. Oh boy, Brexit brought a ton of disadvantages with it. I wonder whether the people who so happily voted for it, were aware of this. But all in all, I don’t have much trust in the postal service anymore which is a real shame. Happy T day!

Iris Flavia
August 23, 2022 5:55 pm

I still can´t make myself get the “technology” to listen to books.
Love your Birthday cards/sketches! And the bag, ohhhh! And your beautiful cats – and the fish-rest on your cup!!!
Hubby would love that – happy T-Day! xx

August 23, 2022 5:39 pm

I don’t blame you for being upset abou the fees… They have taken any fun out of mailing things.. Often the mail i send never reaches its destination.. where does it go? I love to send things to my granddaughters but the cost of sending it really stops me from sending as much as i would like to.. I love your kitty drawings and ofccourse the REAL kitties! They look gorgeous and so well cared for and loved.. Happy T day! Hugs! deb

Divers and Sundry
August 23, 2022 4:06 pm

I’m glad you got your computer back on track. It sounds like Brexit will have some unintended consequences 🙁 That strawberry tart looks like a real treat. Happy T Tuesday!

August 23, 2022 3:48 pm

Hi Elle, I am always astonished at how much you get done each week, and always appreciate your art. I love your beautiful catty pieces, and it’s easy to see where your inspiration came from. Parcels – even small ones – abroad are so expensive in the meantime that I send gift vouchers which are redeemable in their land. It’s sad that the post is pricing itself out of the market! Gift vouchers are, of course, nothing like a home-made gift. Your little tart looks very delici ous, too, yummy! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

August 23, 2022 3:39 pm

So sorry about your phone. Yes, the updates can be horrible too. Love your art though and that strawberry tart looks so good. Have a really nice day.

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