Blog No 170 – Postage Stamps Artistry

Outer Space Copyright Postage Stamp Artistry 2021

I will update you on my health in a few weeks in regards to scans etc. In the meantime, let me introduce “Postage Stamp Artistry”. I’ve starting creating artwork using postage stamps.

Hope, Heal & Happiness. Copyright Postage Stamp Artistry 2021

Here’s the profile from Etsy shop.

I’ve always been creative, had a passion for colour and loved all things vintage. I’ve always been fascinated by stamps and how they can travel the world, if only they could tell us their story. Every stamp has a history and shouldn’t just be thrown away but recycled to create additional memories. I’m using stamps from various decades. Original
ink markings stamped by the postal service can be found on some of the stamps, which adds further character.

Postage Stamp Artistry brings every stamp/stamps back to life by creating wall art and other products. I like to design a visual piece of nostalgia that can be hung in both modern or character homes. All the products are designed by Postage Stamp Artistry and are handmade with love.

I’m also able to make custom or personalised pieces, therefore please send me a message request. Most pieces of art can be personalised with a word or a choice of words more relevant to you but there will be a word limit, which we can discuss.

I do intend to extend the range continuously so please favour ❤️ my shop in order to receive instant updates of new listings. I will welcome your reviews & photos of your purchases.

I’m currently just finishing the Statue of Liberty using USA stamps.

Statue of Liberty Copyright Postage Stamp Artistry 2021

Link to shop http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/postagestampartistry

I also have a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the shop name Postage Stamp Artistry pls connect with me on one of the social media platforms.

Blog No 168 – UK Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK, therefore Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. I’m unfortunately not a mother but I’m a Godmother and Aunt so I’m as good as a mother on another level. I got a beautiful card from my Goddaughter H for Mothers Day. Thank you H 💕

Considering I was living in Canada for years, I’m still tuned in to Mother’s Day being in May, I guess its hard to switch off. This year all mothers are in lockdown so I hope all children have been very creative. I’m sure more thought has to go into gifts and trying to make their day as special due to covid restrictions.

I’ve already spoke to my mother today and she is lavished with cards & gifts. She said she was going to have a relaxing day and have some chocolate.

To all those children who have lost their mother’s, I’m sure it’s a very hard day for you. Nevertheless, I’m confident that all your mothers are smiling as they’ve never been forgotten by their loved ones.

Can I include pets as my children, I’m sure there is a lot of people who do. My pets Lottie (dog) & Hamish (cat) have selfishly absorbed all the love today with cuddles and belly rubs.

I hope all new & old mothers have a wonderful day. Love to you all. 💗

Blog No 167 – 2020 Reading List

My goal for 2020 was to read more than 46 books. If I could beat my previous target of 46 books or more, I was going to be happy. I achieved 66 books in total, therefore I superseded my target and averaged 1 book a week.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Girls in Tin Hats – Annie Murray
  2. Villa of Secrets – Patricia Wilson
  3. Hold on Hope – Jean Fullerton
  4. Perhaps Tomorrow – Jean Fullerton
  5. Sisters of Gold – Annie Murray
  6. A Glimpse of Happiness – Jean Fullerton
  7. I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
  8. The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  9. No Cure for Love – Jean Fullerton
  10. The Secret Midwife – Katy Weitz
  11. The Volunteer – Jack Fairweather
  12. Permanent Records – Edward Snowden
  13. The House Across The Street – Lesley Pearse
  14. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kaye
  15. The Whitechapel Girl – Gilda O’Neil
  16. Christmas With The Teashop Girls – Elaine Everest
  17. Finding Freedom – Carolyn Durand, Omid Scobie
  18. Royal – Danielle Steel
  19. The Orphan Twins – Lesley Eames
  20. The Rag & Bone Girl – Maggie Ford
  21. Going Hime to Liverpool – Kate Eastham
  22. The Country Bride – Dilly Court
  23. Liverpool Daughter – Katie Flynn
  24. A Springtime Affair – Katie Fforde
  25. The Light in Hidden Places – Sharon Cameron
  26. Goodnight Sweetheart – Pam Weaver
  27. Memories are Made of This – June Francis
  28. Pack Up Your Troubles – Anne Bennet
  29. How to Make it Happen – Maria Hatzistefanis
  30. Official Secrets – Marcia Mitchell & Thomas Mitchell
  31. A Daughter Ruin – Kitty Neale
  32. A Village Scandal – Dilly Court
  33. Many a Tear Has to Fall – June Francis
  34. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  35. It’s Now or Never – June Francis
  36. Walking Back to Happiness – June Francis
  37. The Spitfire Sisters – Margaret Dickinson
  38. Love Letters in the Sand – June Francis
  39. Shadows of the Past – June Francis
  40. Her Father Name – Beezy March
  41. How to be British – Tim Benson
  42. The Jones Family Food Roster – Alison Jones
  43. The Man Who Didn’t Call – Rosie Walsh
  44. An Ophran Christmas – Katie Flynn
  45. Diagnosis – Lisa Sanders
  46. The Orphan Thief – Glynis Peters
  47. Mind Over Clutter – Nicola Lewis
  48. The Prison Doctor – Dr Amanda Brown
  49. An Orphans War – Molly Green
  50. A Strong Hand to Hold – Anne Bennett
  51. Time To Say Goodbye – Rosie Goodwin
  52. The Organised Writer – Anthony Johnston
  53. The Christmas Wedding – Dilly Court
  54. Rag and Bone Christmas – Dilly Court
  55. For Better or Worse – June Francis
  56. The Winters Promise – Rosie Goodwin
  57. The Orphans of Halfpenny St – Cathy Sharp
  58. A Daughter Duty – Maggie Hope
  59. Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell – Horace Greasley
  60. Dilly’s Sacrifice – Rosie Goodwin
  61. Dilly’s Lass – Rosie Goodwin
  62. Dilly’s Hope – Rosie Goodwin
  63. The Mill Girl – Rosie Goodwin
  64. Will You Take Me Home – Julie Tottman
  65. The Convent – Maria Hargreaves
  66. Home Front Girls – Rosie Goodwin

Here’s a reading Q&A

What is your favourite time of the day to read.

I tend to read when I go to bed. I can read everything from 10 pages to 100 in a night.

How many hours do you read a day.

I can read anything from 15mins to 2/3 hrs. It all depends how tired I am.

What is my favourite genre.

Historical fiction is my favourite, however I’m trying other genres.

Which author did you first get obsessed with.

I would say it was Lyn Andrews then Katie Flynn

Who are you currently obsessed with.

I would say Dilly Court and June Francis. To be fair my obsession is growing with many authors.

Can you read multiple books at one time.

Yes I can, nevertheless I think two is enough for me.

Which book/books was your favourite this year.

I did love “Rag n Bone Christmas” by Dilly Court. I also enjoyed “Will You Take Me Home” by Julie Tottman. This was a true story, which involved a Yorkie dog, therefore I brought the book for my goddaughter too as she’s a reader.

Who was your favourite author this year.

I would say June Francis because her characters in her books follow through her books, which I loved.

Which new authors did you try this year

I would say June Francis and Jean Fullerton were the most popular as I had read a few of their books.

Which book touched you this year.

It has to “The Convent” by Maria Hargreaves. The true story was about the horrific cruelty to children by a nun in a care home in Oldham, U.K.

How many books do you intend to read in 2021.

I’m not sure I’ll reach that target again but let’s see what happens.

Blog No 166 – Overview of 2020

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Happy New Everyone

Family & Friends

Thank you to friends and family for your continuous support. I have a huge amount of respect for people that consistently care and support Mr Zebrakat and I. Honestly from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Especially all the people who sent cards, flowers, plants, mags, chocs & sweets, biscuits and messages.

The year started with a trip to County Cork, Ireland to celebrate Aunt P, 80th birthday with family. It was was such a heartwarming celebration. Aunt P knows how to provide a party, we had it all, fabulous food, good company and magnificent entertainment. She’s a very courageous lady, she had literally just finished treatment for breast cancer and we were hopping on a plane. Thank you Aunt P for a wonderful time.

To my relatives in Ireland it was wonderful catching up with you all. We will be back when it’s safe to fly again.

Covid 19 played havoc with special birthdays, weddings and new baby’s this year. I’m sure these celebrations were as special as they could be.

Hamish & Lottie

Hamish has been part of the family now for 2 years. Lottie & Hamish are very much in a routine with toilet breaks, feeding and sleeping. Your more than likely to find Lottie at my side and Hamish sleeping on my bed blanket. I’m sure my neighbours must laugh at Lottie and Hamish when they are running into the house together from the garden. It’s quiet comical watching them following each other like sheep. They are known to kiss and lick each other first thing in the morning.

Hamish still looks like a lion and is slightly larger in stature to Lottie. Lottie can hold her own too, if Hamish tries to grab her. Pets are obviously very therapeutic.

Home

Copyright 2019 Zebrakat

We are still tweaking our current residence. It’s certainly changing in appearance and no longer represents a typical terraced house floor plan. We started in the roof space and now we are on the ground floor, working from the front of the property to the rear. I’m waiting for a replacement front door, which has been delayed due to covid 19. It’s been on the order since October.

I wanted to show you a cupboard that I’d designed earlier in the year and finally put into its place. I needed the unit to fit on a plinth in my guest bedroom. It’s made out of scaffolding boards. Anyone who knows me will appreciate I love a little timber in my decor.

The cupboard consists of doors, drawers and shelves. Behind the doors is some hanging space and some additional shelving. Its perfect for guests and now considered a new heirloom.

Health

I’ve already discussed my health in previous blogs. I’m glad treatment is over for now, I’m hoping my body gives me a little respite from medical appointments and health issues. I’m planning to continue as I do, live life and be happy.

Travel

Travel this year has been a bit of a washout, however I’ve still managed a few places. I was able to fly to Ireland earlier in the year, which was amazing. I’ve also visited Bath & York, both historical cities. Bath & York are full of beautiful architecture, fabulous restaurants and quaint shops. I would recommend both cities a visit, magnificent gems of the U.K.

Mr Zebrakat

Mr Zebrakat is working from home and on site as he works in the construction industry. It is nice having him around. On a positive note, covid had Mr Z at home when I was going through treatment. He unquestionably is happy he’s working and is one of the lucky ones still working.

Mr Z is undoubtedly been my tower of strength going through treatment and family hospitalisations etc. Thank you Mr Z for always being there as always as usual, what would I do without you.

Hobbies

Reading, I did about 66 books last year, so beat my previous years record. Watch out for my next blog for my annual list of books.

Covid has allowed me to frame up & hang some travel pictures etc. I’v also been filling up photo albums with old photos. I still have numerous to do but I’m getting there. I’ll then move on to filling up scrapbooks with memories and mementos.

Hopefully 2021 will no longer be a year of doom and gloom. We all need to be vaccinated and getting on with our lives. Love to you all 🤣

Blog No 161 – Museum of London Docklands

This visit was a couple of years ago before a medical appointment. We went to the Museum of London Docklands.

The museum occupies three of the five bays of No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay. A Grade 1 Listed Building, built with stock brick with Portland stone architectural features. The northern elevations of the warehouse are in a cheaper plum brick. Five storeys and attic with a semi basement below quay level. Triple span hipped slate roof.

Here’s some of the Museum exhibits. I’ve provided photo’s and a little info.

No 1 Warehouse

Carts would of be used to move cheese, casks, boxes and bales of tobacco.

Trade Expansion 1600 1800

The stone fragment dated 1619 craved with the coat of arms of the East India Company.

London, Sugar and Slavery

Anti-apprenticeship banner dated 1813 produced by campaigners opposing to the imposition of compulsory apprenticeship on those liberated from slavery.

City and River

Painted wherry seat back dated 1824 middle right hand side. This is awarded to the winner of the 6th Queenhithe Waterman’s race and includes a painted view of Southwarks Bridge.

Sailortown

A pub in one of the streets and alley in the vicinity of the docks and river Thames.

Warehouse of the World

Wine labelling bench dated 1900 – 1939 on the right hand side. The Port of London Authority offered merchants a range of services including wine and sport bottling and labelling.

Docklands at War

Casing of an unexploded German bomb that fell on Millwall dated 1939 – 1945. In 1941 the basement of Bullivant Wharf, Millwall, was in use as an air raid shelter.

Sainsbury’s Study Centre

Sainsbury is one of the nation’s oldest food retailer’s. Sainsbury’s started in London in 1869 thats over a 150 yrs old. That’s enormous achievement and succeed through recessions and pandemics.

The museum offers free admission, however you can make a donation. I would thoroughly recommend this museum, it’s truly amazing.

Blog No 160 – Bath, Somerset

Last February, we went to Bath, Somerset for a weekend away prior to my cancer treatment. I’m truly embarrassed to say that I’ve never been to Bath. Although it has always been on my wish list of places to visit in the U.K.

I’m going to show you some photos in colour but the remaining photos in B & W as the weather was diabolical. The U.K. was experiencing Storm Ciara, so everywhere was very grey, windy and wet. Sorry about the rain droplets on the next photo but the weather was horrendous.

Royal Crescent

Bath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. The Royal Crescent is one of the most desirable addresses in Bath. One of the greatest pieces of Georgian architecture in the U.K. 30 houses built between 1767 -1775. Designed by Architect, John Wood. The Royal Crescent is 538ft long and each building is approximately 50ft high.

The Royal Crescent has been a filming location for the following tv & film appearances. I have listed a few

  • Bridgerton (2020) Netflix
  • The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen (2011)
  • The Duchess (2008)
  • Persuasion (2007)
  • Joseph Andrews (1977)
  • The Girl with a Pistol (1968)
  • The Wrong Box (1966)
  • Having a Wild Weekend (1965)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (1964)
  • The Fighting Pimpernel (1950)

It is believed to be the very first crescent built anywhere in the world. I’ve seen one in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, which is also a spa town. The properties are believed to be regency style.

The Circus just around the corner from the Royal Crescent was also designed by Architect, John Wood. The Georgian Houses form a circle overlooking a green space and were built in 1754 – 1768.

We then went to 25 Gay Street, Bath, now known as The Jane Austen Centre. Jane born 1775 – 1817 was a UK Novelist, she was known more for the 6 novels as below:-

Sense and Sensibility – 1811 Pride and Prejudice – 1813 Mansfield Park – 1814 Emma – 1815 Northanger Abbey – 1818 Persuasion – 1818

Jane only lived at 25 Gay Street, Bath with her mother and sisters following her fathers death

Some of the exhibits at the The Jane Austen Centre.

The Ivy Restaurant is a popular and famous venue in London for celebrities and the media industry in London. The restaurant provides you with excellent food and 5 star service. Furthermore, we hadn’t ever been to The Ivy Collection Restaurants before, however Cambridge is on the radar for our next visit.

Pulinery Bridge

Bath Abbey

Bath Roman Baths

Put Bath are on your list of places to visit in the UK.

Blog No 158 – Chocolate Toothpaste Tart

Completed 1 Tart

Another UK school dinner favorite, although I’m not a huge fan. I’m sure chocolate lovers will love this recipe, as no baking is required, especially if you purchase a ready made pastry case. I assume the name chocolate toothpaste comes from the consistently of the filling representing toothpaste.

Makes 1 Tart

Ingredients

  • 70g margarine
  • 150g sugar
  • 20g instant hot chocolate powder
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 230g dried milk powder
  • 1 ready made pastry case
  • 150ml warm water

Method 

Cream together 70g margarine and 150g sugar until smooth. (I used caster sugar as the granules are smaller)

image

Add 20g hot chocolate powder and 20g cocoa powder to the margarine/sugar mixture and cream together.

image

Mix 230g dried milk powder and 150ml warm water together in a separate bowl until smooth.

Blend both mixes together until smooth and thick .

image

Pour into a ready pastry case and put in the refrigerator until set.

I apologise for the messy edges to the pastry case, I wasn’t having the best of days.  Enjoy

(Written in UK English)

Blog No 157 – Happy 10th Birthday Lottie ❤️

I can’t believe we’ve had Lottie for 10 years. I can still remember the day we got her. If you didn’t know already, she’s my little Canadian. We drove towards the USA border in whiteout conditions. The snow that day was very heavy and visibility was poor. We met the sellers in a Tim Hortons (Coffee Shop) car park and exchanged money for our wee bundle of fluff.

She was a tiny little thing and the rut of the litter. I didn’t care as her advertisement photos were just adorable. She got the name of Lottie from me as I loved the name. She was the cutest thing ever, her legs were so small the actual stairs were bigger than her. She was toilet trained to go to a pee mat, which was a blessing when she arrived.

She’s never been any trouble, ok she does get excited when people come in. I think that’s normal for most dogs and she yaps again when people stand up to leave. I think that little habit came from when she was a puppy. People would love to pick her up as soon as they came in and again when they left because she was so cute.

She’s been by side everyday and still to till this day she is all over me. Mr Zebrakat will spoil her with treats, yet she favours me. She is wise too, I know when the cancer is being naughty again as Lottie will sit on the spot. She loves snuggles and when I sleep, she will sleep too. Here’s some facts about Lottie

  • She still only weights about 4lbs
  • Her favourite drink is water
  • She loves a walk
  • She has no interest in toys
  • She loves cheese and ice cream
  • She paws you for belly rubs
  • She loves snow and the sun
  • She hates rain
  • She’s doesn’t have a go at the postman
  • She’s smaller than Hamish the cat

She’s been my most loyal pet to date. I would be lost without her. Happy Birthday Lottie!!! Thank you for 10 years of snuggles and happiness. ❤️

Blog No 156 – Travel Visualisation Board

I don’t know if anyone has read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The author is huge believer in visualisation boards. Basically having a board with pictures of your dreams, therefore your dreams go out to the universe and they become reality.

When I was looking for artwork for my hall, I decided to do travel visualisation boards with words and not pictures. There is an extended list of places/locations that I want to visit or revisit with Mr Zebrakat. I did 2 visualisation boards of destinations, nevertheless dreams can come true.

Visualisation Board

There is a few destinations that I may have visited with/without Mr Zebrakat. For this reason, I’ve added them to the board for a revisit, for instance New York. We visited December 2005 and we were fortunate enough to see the dropping of the ball on NYE. It was a beautiful place to visit at Christmas time and all the festive decorations were stunning. I remember the weather being freezing cold, which I had never experienced cold like it before. Mr Zebrakat has never been to Dublin, I have done it many times. I really want go with him, to be a tourist and for him to experience my irish culture. Canada, we lived there for god sake but we never got to the west coast. Both of us want to visit Vancouver and I’m sure we will slot back into Canadian life there.

The list was inspired by us both but I want to continue travelling after my cancer treatment/covid-19

Let’s see how well I do within the next 12 months. I will write a blog this time next year and let you all know. X

Blog No 154 – Sywell Aviation Museum

Sywell Aviation Museum, Northamptonshire,

This weekend we had our 10 year old niece (M) over for a sleepover. She’s a beautiful girl with impeccable manners. She is always dancing and singing. She has a comedian type personality with multiple one liners. She’s guaranteed to make you smile and everyone laugh.

Airport Tower

We took (M) to Sywell Aviation Museum, a place of local interest . (M) recently had done a history project of WW2, therefore she would see some artefacts mentioned in her project.

Sywell Aviation Museum is in a nissan hut and is full of wartime artefacts. The entry fee is free and so is car parking. You’re able to make a donation at entry. The museum is managed by a majority of unpaid volunteers who have served in the armed forces.

The nissan huts were originally POW camp huts from Snape Farm, Derbyshire and used to form the museum. The artefacts are British, American & German. Here is some photos of artefacts, I didn’t take photos of everything, nevertheless it gives you an idea.

I understand the aerodrome was used during the wartime as a training ground and for doing repairs to aircrafts.