Monday, January 13, 2014


    Tough Guy claims to be the world's most demanding 1 day survival contest.
First stages in 1986, the Tough Guy Challenge is held on a 600 acre farm in Perton, Staffordshire, near Wolverhampton, England, and is organized by Billy Wilson. It has been widely described as "the toughest race in the world", with up to 1/3rd of the starters of the racing failing to finish in a typical year.
    After the 24 stages of this winter event, Wilson still claimed nobody had ever finished all the course according to his extremely demanding rules. The race, and its summer equivalent, has suffered 2 deaths during its history.
    Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is staged over a course of between 7 and 8 miles. It consists of a cross country run followed by an assault course. The organizers claim that running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.
Although the course is adjusted each year, its features have included a 40 foot crawl through flooded underground tunnels, balancing planks across a fire pit, and a 1-2 mile wade through chest deep muddy water. Marshals dressed as commandos fire machine-gun blanks and let off thunder flashes and smoke bombs over the heads of competitors as they crawl under a 210 foot section of barbed wire. Until 2000, some runners took part in the event carrying heavy wooden crosses.

    Entry fees range from 80 British pounds to 1000, depending on the sign up date. Entrants have to be 16 years old or older. The event regularly attracts fields of up to 6,000 competitors, many from the U.S. and more than 20 countries around the world.
Before taking part, entrants must sign a "death warrant", which acknowledges the risks and dangers, and which the organizers claim absolves them of any legally liability. First aid is provided.
    The winner of Tough Guy in 2009 was James Appleton, a 23 year old student from Cambridge University in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
    In 2010, despite especially cold conditions, Paul Jones (1:18:53) won the race and 5 other men were
inside 1 hr. 21 min.

Deaths and Injuries

     In 2000, 1 competitor collapsed midway through the race and later died in the hospital, reportedly of a massive heart attack brought on by extreme hypothermia. According to race records, this was the first fatality in 15 years of the race.
In 2007 a man in his 30's collapsed and died when taking part in the summer version of the competition, the "Nettle Warrior".
    Other injuries suffered in the event are common. Local newspaper reports suggested that among the competitors in the 2009 event, one suffered a broken neck, while there were a dozen broken or dislocated bones and 600 runners, including the winner, suffered hypothermia.

The Nettle Warrior

    Nettle Warrior is the summer version of Tough Guy, first stages in 1998, and is normally run at the end of July. Though the course is essentially the same as Tough Guy, there are some differences. Nettle Warrior involves 2 laps of an area the organizers have called "The killing fields", a log carry and some rafting as part of "The Lake" obstacle.

The Competition Course

    The Race consists of a cross country run, followed by an obstacle course, referred as the "Killing Fields".

  • Country miles-A 6 mile cross country run.
  • Slalom-An up and down slalom, consisting of running up a hill and back down.
  • Ghurkha Grand National-A series of fences, ditches and jumps with cargo nets to scramble under.
  • The Tiger (followed by Sting in the Tail)-A 40 foot A-frame, crossing through hanging electrified cables and another 40 foot A-frame.
  • Scaffold Bridge-This is traditionally the location of a water break.
  • Colditz Walls-Three progressively higher walls-6, 9 and 12 feet high.
  • Behemoth-Four tall platforms with ropes stretching between them.

Battle of the Somme

  • Fiery Holes-A series of muddy water ditches, followed by burning bales of hay.
  • Tire Crawl-Tunnels created from tires.
  • Swamp-Knee deep mud crossing with a vacuum that will suck in the strongest of men.
  • Vietcong Tunnels-Underground tunnels created from concrete pipes.
  • Sky Walk and Paradise Climb-A cargo net which leads out to ropes draped across a pond.
  • Splosh Pool-A recreation of walking the plank.
  • Underwater Tunnel-Three poles to duck under, leading up to the underwater tunnel.
  • Brandenburger Gate-40 foot vertical wall climb.

Deux Chevaux Island

  • Death Plunge-Planks of wood extending out over a lake.
  • Jesus Bridge-A bridge of barrels and planks of wood.
  • Dans Deceiver-A vertical cargo net, followed by a declined cargo net.
  • Dragon Pools-Series of ropes stretched across the pool.
  • Somme Surprise-Barrel rafts tied together to form a bridge.
  • Stalag Escape-20 foot crawl through mud, under barbed wire.
  • Tire Torture-A path of randomly laid tires to stumble across.
Pedestrian Bridge

  • The Anaconda-A series of large concrete pipes.
  • Viagra Falls-A steep muddy hill.

Last Man Standing

    There is also a smaller course for participant of that day's event. It consits of:
  • 45 foot underwater swim.
  • Scottish Thistle Hill roll.
  • Lassoed Legs Lake Lope.
  • Highwire Brandenburg Bootlace Struggle.
  • Highwire TG bootlace Blaney Kiss.
  • Bite electric wire.


   This diy comes from www.makethebestofthings.blogspot.com .  I used to buy a special crackling medium that would cost quite a few bucks, but know anyone can get the same look for next to nothing.  Good luck and enjoy!

Crackle finish with Elmer's Glue

Thanks to Dollar Store Crafts for featuring this post!

For years whenever I wanted a cool crackled effect on my painted projects I used the very expensive (to me) crackle medium and even bought some paints that were supposed to crack on their own. Because of the cost I did not do anything large and I was sparing in what I did do. Well, thanks to this cheap alternative, I can go a bit crazy and experiment because I found out how to get the crackle effect with Elmer's Glue! It's alot less expensive than any size bottle of crackle medium and just before school it's downright CHEAP.
Align Center
I've been doing this for awhile but if you go to the Elmer's faq site, you can see the instructions towards the bottom of the page. Four sentences of instructions. Four sentences! I had more than four sentences worth of questions when I first did this!


On their page Elmer's used wood glue. I used Elmer's school glue or multi purpose glue for ALL of my projects and have always had great results. Even the Dollar Store no name glue works in a pinch. I have never had a "failure to crackle" with these glues.

So this tutorial, as requested, will have lots of pictures and step by steps so you can see what to expect. If you have used crackle medium you know the basics, they are the same, but you will use Elmer's glue. I used multi purpose but I see online that others have used the school glue and even generic school glues. For this project I used Elmer's.

I painted this piece of foam board with flat black acrylic. This is my base coat.

Here is the piece of painted foam board and a piece of painted muslin I have smeared with a generous amount of glue. I used alot so it would show up in the pictures. Let the glue dry til it is tacky, just a few minutes, then paint your contrasting base coat on top. Do NOT wait for the glue to dry all the way or the top coat will not crack. This is one point that you desire tackiness, lol! Let's call it sticky. Alrighty then. For these pics I did NOT thin the top coat of paint.

Try to use long strokes in one direction when painting your top coat. Do not go back and forth. Use long, steady strokes to cover your entire base coat with your top coat. Here is the foam board within a few minutes of painting the top coat of white paint. You can see the cracks forming pretty quickly, it is cool to watch!

Here is the top coat on the painted muslin.

And here is the painted muslin with the crackle effect. Since the muslin has a bit of give the cracks are smaller than the cracks on the wood board.

Here are two more pieces of painted muslin. The piece on the left is painted using turquoise and black. The black on the top left piece has been thinned slightly. The turquoise on the bottom left has not been thinned so it's cracks are not as delicate as the black. The big piece of fabric on the right has been undercoated with burnt umber and chocolate brown, then top coated with THINNED glue and THINNED white paint. The cracks are very small and delicate and hard to see in the pic. They are what I prefer for a doll face or something with alot of fine detail.

And here are some close ups of my sample boards. I tried to give you lots of pics so you can see what to expect when trying this technique.

Foam board with black base coat and white top coat. Glue is not thinned and either is the white paint. Board is about 2" x 4".

The wood boards in the following pics are about 1.5" tall x 5" wide.

Base coated brown on the left and black on the right. Glue is not thinned. Top coat of black on the left is thinned alot, brown top coat on right is thinned just a little.

Black base on the left, turquoise/teal base coat on the right. Glue is not thinned. Turquoise/teal top coat is not thinned. Black top coat on right is thinned alot, very watery.

I used gold Patio Paint for this board and it reacts differently to the glue. Perhaps because Patio Paint stretches a bit? The base coat on the left is P P gold with a watery black top coat. The base coat on the right is black with a Patio Paint top coat. It cracked, but not much. The glue was not thinned for this board.

I hope I've given you enough options that you can see what to expect with this technique. I would suggest experimenting a little til you find the combination that you like the best before using it on a final project. But have fun, it's easy to do and it's really really CHEAP!


   This come to us from www.sweetopia.net .  Live it, Love it, Learn it!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday hustle and bustle, and hope you have some time to fit a little cookie decorating in. The cookies I’m about to show you in this video are great in that they’re versatile… Make your icing to match the theme and voila, colour co-ordinated decorated cookies for any type of event! The icing lines may seem daunting at first, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make these too.

{Video} How to Pipe Straight Lines with Royal Icing

Click here if you can’t see the video.
If you’d like to try making these, here’s what you’ll need…


What you’ll need to make decorated cookies with royal icing lines:


How to Pipe Royal Icing Lines – Top 10 Tips

1. Royal Icing Consistency is Key

One of the most important tips has to do with the consistency of your royal icing. Too thick and your lines might curl, crumble and break. Too thin, and they’ll look like a soupy mess. I use the 10 Second Rule to help me find the right consistency for piping. You can find a post and video on the 10 second rule by clicking here.

2. Piping Tip PME #1.5

My favourite piping tip is #1.5 made by PME. It’s fine enough to be able to pipe details, but large enough so that it doesn’t clog like piping tip #’s 1, #0 or #00 often do. If you don’t have access to the #1.5, #2 is the next best thing (in my humble opinion). One thing to note – If you’re using a tiny piping tip, such as #00, #0 or #1 you should let the icing come together (See Consistency Video), at about the 5 second mark, instead of the 10 second mark. You might also want to check the post on Avoiding Clogging in Piping Tips.

3. Don’t Overfill your Piping Bags

It’s easier to pipe detail when your piping bag isn’t too full. Much like writing with a pen, a large, fat pen would make it more difficult to write nicely.

4. Practice First

Your hand may need a little practice to get the feel of the piping motion, and practicing on parchment paper first ensures that you’ll be piping nicely when you’re ready, instead of possibly wasting a few cookies.

5. Let Your Icing Fall

Gently squeeze the icing out of your piping tip, let the icing catch on the surface you’re piping on, lift the tip away from the surface, and let your icing fall, while guiding the piping tip/bag. You’ll end up with a smoother line which is easier to control.

6. Piping Pressure

When you’re piping, try and use the same amount of pressure on the piping bag to squeeze the icing out.

7. Piping Direction

Pipe in the direction you feel comfortable with. I prefer piping from left to right, probably because it’s similar to writing. You can pipe right to left, top to bottom or bottom to top. Have fun experimenting!

8. Avoid Pulling

While you’re piping and letting the icing fall into place, it’s easy to move your hand a little too fast, while not pressing enough icing out. The result is usually a broken line.

9. Speed

Tying in to #8, sometimes piping too fast can lead to icing lines breaking. I find that mistakes happen more when I’m going too fast, and piping at a slower speed gives me more control over how the icing falls.

10. Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Toothpicks are a great tool to fix mistakes with. Anything from a broken line, a ball of icing at the beginning of your line due to too much pressure, or just general mistakes. Use your toothpick to remove excess icing, move icing around or scrape your mistakes off.

These tips are what have helped me improve in terms of piping lines – now I just need help lining up my lines so that they’re symmetrical… maybe I could have measured out the angles/spacing and marked the edges with a dot of icing and then just connected the dots with the lines. Buuut, was having too much fun to bother doing that. Maaaaybe next time. Could also use some help in the photography department. I have got to get a better handle on my camera settings, lighting and editing. Oh well. Hope you like the pics anyways.

Thanks to the ├╝ber-talented Yukiko of Rosey Confectionary Sugar Art for letting me use her Christmas ornament design (above in pink – top right of the photo), and for basing my fan cookie design on hers. I absolutely adore her work, and have a hunch you might too.