Friday, 29 August 2014

Suck it and see!

Hello there.
Thanks for stopping by.
TGIF, eh !!!
This is going to be the last weekend off for us in a while, 
so I really want to spend it well.
In fact, as soon as I hit Publish
I’m off to spend the day with my parents. 

Friday’s blog a private peek?
Well, what little secret shall I let you into today....

Shall I tell you that Laura had a bad turn but is home happy and safe with her little baby Evie now? No.

Shall I tell you I bought a new car? And it goes like a rocket? No.

Shall I tell you that Grace booked another voice-over ad for Tampax, and I have threatened to stop feeding Mark if he takes the micky? No.

Shall I tell you that I’ve booked my flight to go see her 
in New York for a week in October? No.

Let me tell you about my new challenge to myself.
And NO! It doesn’t involve a bucket of ice. 
That said, can you believe that we have raised close to £2,000 ??
I think that this is phenomenal. 
The power of the Internet and our Clarity community!
Thank you to everybody who contributed.
It’s still going on!
In fact, this afternoon, lovely Janice here at work is rising to the challenge, and the lads are drawing straws on who gets to do the honours! 



And Tesco’s are donating all profit on bags of ice sold to MND. £20,000 to date. 
Moreover, they have nominated Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons to do the same. That impresses me.

But I digress.
My new challenge to myself. 
I went in to Tunbridge Wells yesterday and bought some 
lino + blades (a lot cheaper than a car!)
Why? Because I want to teach myself Lino-cutting. 
You may or may not be familiar with this art form.
Here is a snapshot of wonderful samples...



I just think it will be great to develop a line of original stamps which have that woodcut or linocut quality.
Also, I just want to make some art. Art for art’s sake. 
Just feast your eyes on these masterpieces...






You know how so many of you read this daily blog, gather up some ideas and then get creative?
Well, I have decided to stretch myself, too. 
It can’t be that hard, can it, this lino-cutting?

The plaster speaks volumes....



Dave and I were in Rye recently, and there was an art exhibition of local artists. Well, one artist was displaying the most delightful linocuts. The lady herself happened to be at the door, and I overheard her say to another visitor who was admiring her work, “I’ve only been doing it for a year.”
Blimey! I thought. 
Linocutting is achievable. 
She’s probably some art-guru prodigy, and I’m in for a hiding.
But do you know what?
Until I try it, I will never know. 
Who knows??
You could be reading the blog of the world’s next great Linocut artist! Barbara Gray may go down in history as the woman who changed the way we cut lino!
I confided my new adventure to a good friend in a private Facebook message.
“I want to learn Lino-cutting”
Her response?
“What? For your new floor?” 
Priceless.

So what’s my point?
Clearly, you can’t know that you can’t do a thing 
until you’ve tried it. 

 much love,


BLOGSALE.
Don’t forget to check out all the items we have been adding by and by. For all offers thus far, 
click here

BLOGCANDY
The random winner of yesterday’s blog candy is...
Elaine Shelley
(email me your address, and we will send you a little surprise)


As for today’s Blogcandy,
leave an uplifting response to today’s ramblings, 
and tomorrow you could be the winner of 
a £25 Clarity Gift voucher.
If you don’t know how to leave a message, then make it your personal challenge to find out how!
x

107 comments:

  1. I love lino cutting, first did it at school and last year did a refresher lesson. It'a bit tough on the hands though. Can't wait to see what stamps you come up with.

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  2. Hi Barb,
    Want to lay some new lino in the bathroom for me?
    I have absolutely no doubt that this new hobby will turn out to be another line in masterpieces that you produce. I'm looking forward to hearing, and seeing, all about it.
    When will you be advertising the new equipment? love xx

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  3. I'm sure you will succeed at this just as you have excelled at everything else you have touched! Have a great weekend everyone, at long last the weather's improving. Pat x

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  4. Hello Barbara,

    Good luck with your new project. I look forward with interest and anticipation as to how you translate lino cutting into stamps! Although it would be good for you to do something completely divorced from Clarity.

    Enjoy your day with your parents and also your weekend. Make the most of your 'time off' (although I don't suppose you ever switch off completely).

    Love, Roz x

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  5. WOW! I've never seen anything like this before. I'm certain you will master this also, can't wait to see what you do. Must admit when you first said you'd bought lino I did think "why is she laying her own flooring?" Ha ha!!

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  6. I remember making an owl lino print at secondary school I loved making it, but one slip of the blade & it can be ruined (or your finger). Pretty sure that you'll love it.
    I'll be listening hard to all the Tampax adds now to see if it's Grace, although I've only heard her voice on the ice-bycket challenge, so that might be tricky! ! Have a lovely day with your parents and driving there in your new car. Enjoy your last work-free weekend. Jeanette xx

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  7. Wow Barbara you have already changed the way people do things - clear stamps, people now use the Gelli plate in your unique way so why not change the future of Lino cutting!! I remember doing this at school but they probably wouldn't be allowed to do that now cus of elf and safety!!!
    After all you must be able to change the world if you can get me to do the ice bucket challenge - £2,000 just amazing.
    Bet it was that Sam Crowe who made the comment about your flooring - she's the master of the quick quip!
    Looking forward to seeing all the exciting things you bring to us, good luck Janice and Barbara enjoy your time with your parents.
    Happy weekend everyone xxxx

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  8. Wow Barbara, I am in awe, your lino cut looks fantastic. The reason I love stamping so much is that I cannot draw to save my life and I greatly admire anyone who can. I hope you show us the finished cut and print when it's done, I bet it will be brilliant. :)

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  9. You do nudge me in the right direction!
    So I will go and find the lovely soft Lino I bought at Christmas, sketch a design and just do it.
    So many connections here that make life more interesting. Have a lovely day with family x

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  10. I did Lino cutting at school, that was about 50 years ago, my attempts were not good. Yours I am sure will be fantastic as you are so artistic. When I think back they were brave letting us all loose with those sharp blades, would probably have to use plastic knives these days ( health and safety) . It is good to challenge yourself, I keep trying to learn new things, got to keep those grey cells working. Enjoy your day with your mum and dad good to spend time with family. xx

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  11. Wow that is some week! Enjoy the car, little Evie, the ice challenge and the lino. They are really fab - not got a clue how it all works but fairly sure you'll have fun trying! Hope you don't need too many players tho. As for mark ... I can understand his mirth - and will never view those ads in quite the same way!
    I'll look forward to seeing what you make. I'm going on an art course in 2 weeks. Not sure what we will do (2 hours a week for 8 weeks trying different things) so quite excited. new is good sometimes. Enjoy!

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  12. GOOD LUCK with the lino cutting - I still bear the scars of believing I knew better than the teacher who said "be sure to cut AWAY from you!!!" Guess what? Turns out he was right!!!

    Happy Friday

    Kathyk

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  13. Another new challenge for you, I am sure you will master it. I've just found out I have a job, been out of work for a while so I am really excited by it, this will be a new challenge for me instead of working as a PA at Director level I am going to work for our new local ASDA and I am really looking forward to it. At 60 it's great to learn new things which is exactly what I do reading your blog, thanks for all the ideas.. I'm off now to hopefully complete my entry into this months challenge. Have a wonderful weekend with your parents. Jx

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    1. That is fantastic news. So pleased for you. Hubby has been out of work since being made redundant. Tis tough out there right now. Good luck!

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    2. Good news. Rise to the challenge and enjoy each day!

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    3. Thanks both. Alsion, sorry to hear your Husband is out of work, hang in there and I hope he finds something soon. Enjoy the weekend.

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    4. Congrats on the new job x

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  14. Players = plasters!! Flipping auto correct! Would help if if brought my reading specs with me!

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  15. Oh Barbara, Barbara, Barbara.. I know you will create some masterpieces, add your own spin and then roll it out to the rest of us, lesser mortals! ( I bet we finish up with another section on the website lol.) Have fun with it looking forward to seeing your work x

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  16. Wow lino cutting sounds like a great new challenge. I have just ordered the pack of charcoal pencils from you so I will be challenging myself to use them without making everything look like its just come out the coal hole (now that takes me back to my childhood, I can smell it now!) Off to read yesterdays blog as I was out the whole day. Hope Laura and baby are ok now. XX

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  17. Hi Barbara, I attempted lino cutting as part of my O level art. Don't know how but I passed it!
    I was gobsmacked to see you had drawn my name out for £20 voucher. Can you please tell me what your email is as I can't find it! Thanks

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  18. Thank you for todays bog as it brought back so many memories and made me finally learn how to reply to blogs. As the saying goes you can teach old dogs new tricks.

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  19. Barbara, you have more in common with my daughter than I ever realised - cutting yourself with a blade in the name of art. She ended up in A&E while we were on holiday once, using a Stanley blade. Take care but have a whale of a time. Once I have finished this week's tidying, I am going to have a go with stamps and scraper board. I look forward to seeing your new masterpieces and tutorials. Have a great day with your family. Grace, well done, and Mark, leave her alone, just be proud of your sister. Barbara, have you got any embarrassing videos of Mark that you could post? xxx Maggie

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  20. I have memories, not particularly fond ones of Lino cutting for my GCSE Art. Now that dates me somewhat. I can even remember calling it Inundation. Good luck with learning. It's always good to try something new.

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  21. Hi Barbara, I remember doing Lino cutting at school, very badly, but that was in the day when I was told I was no good at anything arty but now I know different.
    I look forward with eager anticipation to what you come up with as I'm sure you will make some fabulous stamps this way.
    Enjoy your day at tour Mum and Dads and your weekend
    Jackie x

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  22. Hello Barb, I have ruined so many blades by slipping onto the table, so many pieces of 'artwork' by cutting off a hand, or hair or the like, and definitely decided lino cutting is just not for me. However, I'm always up for something new so maybe you'll inspire us all once again and open new doors. Never say never again as the phrase goes (I think!). xx Margaret Col.

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  23. Ich habe Linolschnitt auch schon vor 40 Jahren in der Schule gelernt....und immer mal zwischendurch was gemacht....und habe mein kompettes SchneideWerkzeug noch aus dieser Zeit...und weiß du was noch in dem Kasten ist....eine Rolle Pflaster.....das von vor 40 Jahren...hahahaha...klebt gar nicht mehr....;-(.....werde es austauschen....denn sollte ich durch dich wieder damit anfangen......werde ich es brauchen.....Hahahaha..

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  24. Barbara, Can I also suggest you check out Laura Boswell www.lauraboswell.co.uk. I did a great course with her on reduction lino, which is a great technique for building pictures. You build up a picture by cutting away more lino with each colour. Sounds complicated but isn't in practice. As a stamped this also really appealed to me, because where you go can be dictated by what you get with each layer. Probably doing a rubbish sales job on this but you get a real thrill from just going on the journey and see where you end up. A great leap of faith, which I have to say is better when you have someone like Laura to support you, but it gives you the confidence to explore your capabilities. In my case IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU CAN'T DRAW! You are really exploring pattern making and the discipline of using limited colour palate to achieve results. As you can tell I am hooked! So have a go but also think about working with someone to help you get your head around what you want to explore. Please, please let us see how you get on even if you think they are rubbish, because one of us I am sure can pick you up again and point you in another direction so you are off again. That is what your blog does for me, so let us do the same for you! Karen

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    1. Thanks for the tip. Will go straight there xx

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  25. The lino cutting looks fantastic, I am sure you will succeed in this venture even with cut fingers.xx

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  26. Hi Barbara, good luck with the lino cutting, that's such a coincidence because I was at Mum's yesterday going through all my A level artwork, which I haven't looked at in 32 years!!! Anyway I found some lino sheets amongst it, I thought about bringing it home, but thought I won't be doing that again so left it there, maybe I should pick it up next time and give it a go! It was strange looking at all my drawings and paintings again and I surprised myself. My youngest took a look and was impressed even said he wanted one of my silk screen prints to frame and put on his wall, you don't know how chuffed I was :-) Anyway, sorry to waffle, but it's made me want to carry on with my art where I left off all those years ago! I will wait in anticipation to see how you get on, I love your blog Barbara xxx

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  27. Oh gosh, I thought about buying some Lino and cutters just after christmas but my daughter diverted me onto appliqué ----so maybe this winter will have a new project. Look forward to hearing about your progress, good luck X

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  28. Good morning,
    Wow lots to share this week, glad you continue to challenge yourself. Happy weekend. Xxx

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  29. Good for you, ever the adventurer. I never thought I would be able to stamp, but thanks to you, your team and Clarity, I am getting there. Your encouragement at Crowborough spurred me on further. I just enter my own little world, de-stress and create. Thank you so much
    Best wishes
    Anne

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  30. Hi Barbara what a great idea the artwork you have shown is amazing. Emma tried it as part of her as level art and used my brayer to ink it up. She hada sort of chisel thing to use as well as a blade, much safer on the fingers!! I hope Laura is ok now and enjoying baby Evie. Enjoy your day with your parents. Love Diane G xxxx

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  31. You make me laugh Barbara. whatever will you come up with next? I love your optimism and "can do" attitude. Good luck with the Lino and watch those fingers! I love the artwork you have featured.

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  32. I love how you keep learning and evolving, because we, in turn, get to learn along with you. Thanks for sharing all you do. Have a great weekend xx

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  33. Just a thought. Can you get a knife with a finger guard? Perhaps you could get one developed and get us all Lino cutting. Maybe a softer Lino so easier to cut. You could develop a kit, complete with squares of Lino, scalpels with finger guard in a range of sizes and shapes. Also patterns to follow when cutting. Oh dear, I think I may well need another section in my already overcrowded craft room.

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  34. Thank you for a wonderful blog another mountain to climb Barbara but you will do it and the craft of Lino cutting will great love June xxxx

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  35. I love your blog every day you are a very inspiring lady. I look forward to seeing your art with the Lino cutting. Have a good weekend.

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  36. I am amazed you can find time to take on something new but you know what they say is you want something done give it to a busy person. You are so talented you will make a success out of any new venture. Thank you for continuing to inspire us.

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  37. Lino cutting I haven't seen this but the pictures look lovley your talents with new Lino art cannot wait to see a finished piece happy crafting xxx

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  38. I can remember doing this at school long before 'elf n safety' was invented & it was great fun. Can't wait to see your finished creation I'm sure it will be amazing. I have taken up your challenge (if this actually works) as this is my very first post, so fingers crossed that it works. Beverley xxxxx

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    1. Blooming health and safety has gone mad as some schools are not aloud to use loo roll tubes or egg boxes due it infection risk - some of my best creations at school were using these two items and a bit of imagination !

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  39. You'll end up 7 foot tall if you continue to stretch yourself Barbara! I love the look of the lino cuts, so will eagerly await any new stamp designs that come out of your creativity good luck with mastering your new skill. I did a stained glass course years ago, and constantly had plasters all over my hands for the 3 months of the course - hope to have a garage in my next home so that I can take it up again, as I don't think it's safe to have all those little shards of glass inside the house on the carpets! Enjoy your new challenge, and your day out with your parents, Susan x

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  40. Good luck. If you don't try something new you'll never know. It's no good waiting till you can't do it to say 'I wish.........

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  41. I remember Lino cutting! so does that make me old?...can you still get Lino????.......lol

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  42. This looks fascinating, not seen it before so would love one of your excellent tutorials, demo when you master this technique which I'm sure won't be too long. How lovely that you include your non-crafty news too. Hope that you & the family are all well, that the new car goes well for you and how terrific that you have raised so much for the ALS #icebucketchallenge and good to see that the supermarkets are helping out too! Enjoy the day with your parents and a relaxing weekend before you get busy (even busier!). Finally, it's so good of you to always add a blog prize as you know we crafters can never have too much crafty stuff! Enjoy we weekend.

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  43. Lino cutting is so relaxing. I love all the bits of lino left that don't get cut away and how they come out on the print.

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  44. I did try lino cutting at school (back before health and safety) and know how painful cuts can be. Just remember the sharper the blade the safer it is - seems daft but you don't apply as much pressure so it's less likely to slip and cut you.
    I do think if you can master the technique the results can be amazing so I look forward to seeing your creations in the coming weeks and months.

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  45. wow they lovely ,and to think i used to do that at school xxxx

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  46. Well Hello Barbara!!

    Firstly - my book arrived today - am so chuffed - have not had a chance to look at it properly as work was calling! But later I will - treasured for ever.

    Lino Cutting!!!! Oh goodness - that takes me back to the third year at secondary school in the 70's and art lessons. I have often thought that the gelli plate is very like lino printing without the cut fingers!!! My memories being multiple plasters all over my hands - I am a very accident prone person - only this morning I burnt two fingers on my coffee maker whilst making myself a latte!!!
    That said - I can remember really really enjoying lino printing - using all the different tools to achieve different cuts and shapes - so I will watch to see what you do!!! And wonder where this venture will take us!!!
    How fantastic are the illustrations as well!!! Wow!! some people are so talented aren't they - and I am sure you will be too.
    Sorry that Laura had a bit of a turn but glad she is home, new car - ooh what did you get? Grace - hey if it pays the bills and its the step on her growing career then go for it!!! out in the states those adverts are always on the TV!!!
    Any way - must go - just dropped in very quickly

    Good luck Janice!!!

    Much Love
    Kim xxx

    ps - hope today and your whole weekend are really enjoyable!

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  47. So love hearing your gossip! I did Lino cutting at school and loved it! I don't think I was very good but it didn't matter, I was happy having a go and the results were pleasing to me! That's what it's all about and if other people love what you do too, it's a great big bonus! Have a fab day! xxxx

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  48. Hi Barb,

    Well done for giving it a go. We teach the kids at school Lino printing in their Art lessons, most love it and most end up cutting their fingers, we have lost count how many times we tell them to keep their fingers away from the blades but Noooo!!! It can produce some beautiful work and you can get the blades in all different sizes.

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk/

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  49. Hi Barbara,

    I am not familiar with lino-art-cutting. And there was a big Questionmark in my mind and I thought as well - carpets???.
    But what wonderful Artworks, amazing!

    For me you are already a fab artist and my advice would be - if I am aloud to - just have fun !

    Alles Liebe und von ganzem Herzen
    Josefine

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  50. What a wonderful idea to try lino cutting. I must say it is something I have never tried but the results, especially on those you have highlighted, look stunning. I'm sure you will be very good as you seem to be great at everything you do. but I'm sure that your maxim is practice makes perfect, because I can see you are a 'can do' person and you will not give up easily on anything. Will look forward to seeing the results. x

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  51. Well done you, Barbara. Lino cutting is something I have always wanted to try, but held off because of the investment in yet another set of tools, paints etc, and time - the results look well worth it though. Have fun and try to keep all your fingers :)
    PS I am sure there is an easy-carve [soft] version on the market.

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  52. My grandson has shown me how to write a thread

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  53. Hi Barbara, unlike some I did not do any Lino cutting at school , so will be very interested to hear and see your progress.
    The samples you have shown are wonderful.
    Be as careful with the blades as you are in your new zippy car!
    XxxRuth

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  54. There's so much going on in life, and you are so busy all the time.
    i think having a project like this to unwind and sink into will be brilliant.
    Im sorry to hear Laura was unwell. Glad she is home safely.
    cannot wait to see what you get up too.
    Im sure we will get a picture of something you have mustered up soon,
    We did lino cutting at college and it does take quite a bit of getting used to!
    So don't be disappointed if the first few go straight in the bin.
    Put the kettle on and just let yourself go.

    Lots of love.
    will speak to you next week: RE meeting up.

    Annie & Dorothy xx

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  55. Good to hear Laura and Evie are back home. I want to hear more about your new car! I laughed at your threat to Mark. Will it work? :). Love the look of the Lino cutting. Never seen it myself, so be interested to see how you get on. I am sure you will make a success of it! As I am a bit accident prone, I think this is one thing I will not even attempt. Hope you are enjoying your day with your parents. x

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  56. I have just become a nan to a baby boy. My mum died a few weeks ago and she so wanted to be alive for the baby. I have lost brother, sister, dad to nephews and best friends in the space of ten years.
    Clarity have been a life saver for me as your stamps, stencils are so brilliant. I have loved the tutorials and even when I phone the office in tears they have been so kind.
    My Son lives on NY city with her wife running one woman shows. Ans she is trying to be an actress.i grieve not seeing him. I mostly get to see him once a year, because flight prices have gone up. I understand how you must miss your daughter. My son was only going for a year. This is 6 years later.
    I read your blog regularly and you cheer me up and your down to earth look at life is so refreshing.
    Just wanted to say Hi! And introduce another fan of yours. Good luck with Lino floor laying lol, I mean Lino cutting.
    A Gell plate fan, have just purchased the very small one for ATCs and tags and journals.
    God Bless you all
    Jacqueline Pexton.

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  57. Hi Barbara, have fun, be careful with the blade. Can't wait to see you lovely Lino art. Congratulations Grace. Xxxx

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  58. Really excited to see your new lino creations as & when they appear. Hope you have the relaxing weekend you've planned

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  59. Hi Barbara,
    Fantastic challenge!
    This very afternoon I bought the new Gelatos so I will be challenging myself to use these on stamps.
    So good to continually try something new although I will let you pave the way on Lino cutting!!
    Lorna D

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  60. Oh, well done on trying something new. I can see that lino cutting would be a natural sort of progression from stamp making and you'll be fantastic at it. You're so creative and professional. I've only been crafting for a year, so am still learning new skills all the time-just wish I had time to practice them!!!
    Hope you make yourself enough time to produce the works of art. Take care, Jan

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  61. Oooh, that looks good. Yet another thing I want to try, Small ones might even work as stamps on the Geli plate? Worth a try!
    Vicky. X

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  62. Your blog today takes me back to my school art classes when the art teacher decided that we would have a go at lino cutting. I must say that had a great time but sadly my finished product was not that great. Though I am sure with your talent and creativity your finished product will be amazing. Enjoy your new adventure and your weekend off.

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  63. Well, I finally rose to the challenge and managed to log on to leave a message! More by fluke than good management I think but I achieved the goal! Your blog is now an essential part of my day and todays comment rings true to me, so thank you for the encouragement, inspiration, ideas and prompting!

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  64. Hi Barbara
    Blimey have you brought back memories,I had done some lino cutting in school not that I was any good but great fun.

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  65. Hi Barbara. I found it very interesting reading about your venture into lino cutting. It took me back to my second year at secondary school. We had an art teacher called Miss Pye and we did lino cutting with her. I really enjoyed cutting out the design from the thick lino we were given to work with. We then applied ink with a brayer and took prints. I wish I'd kept some of them now. Not so much art gallery as museum exhibits! Thank you for the trip down memory lane and please be careful not too damage any more digits. xx

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  66. Thankyou for my daily fix Barbara, love the blog so much. Just mentioned to hubby that I may also try lino cutting, he went white, he keeps all knives under lock and key, methinks he doesn't fancy a trip to A & E.

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  67. This cheered me up no end I remember doing something like this at junior school But couldn't have been "proper" Lino and us kids couldn't have been let loose with a "proper" knife But I am talking pre elf and safety! Went into London today to see the poppy tribute at The Tower It was stunning and very moving Well worth a visit

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  68. You go Girl! I think anything in art can be achieved if you just try. I have taught many teens whose reaction to taking art is, 'but I can't draw, miss". And they end up being proud of what they have accomplished. Lino cutting is fun. Remember, cut away from yourself, and always have the bandaids (plasters?) handy.

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  69. Just discovered your blog and clarity stamps, and am hooked already! Lol at the thought of me attempting to Lino cut (I'm dangerous with a butter knife, let alone that!) but wow and massive respect to your examples!

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  70. Well done for raising so much money for charity - I lost my auntie to motor neurone disease. Love reading your blog

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  71. Wow amazing artwork, never heard of lino art, can't wait to see your finished piece. I fancy having a go at pyography, I love the examples By Jo Rice and Julie Owens. I recently saw some amazing pyography artwork produced by one of our amazingly talented volunteers at St Catherine's Hospice (Scarborough) where I work, very inspiring and our Day Hospice patients are helping to decorate it with buttons, it is looking fantastic.

    Hope you've had a lovely day with your parents. Very pleased to read Mum and baby are ok. Well done Grace, though now I have the Bodyform ad going thro head now (it was very memorable- tampax need a catchy song) xx

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  72. Hallo liebe Barbara,

    es ist immer wieder ein Erlebnis für nich hier auf dem Blog zu lesen. Viele private Informationen und die wunderbaren kreativen Werke bestaunen zu dürfen ist einfach genial.
    Es freut mich das es Laura und Evie gut geht. Die Linolschnitte sehen super aus. Ich würde so etwas niemals schaffen. Ich bin sehr beindruckt wieviel durch die Eisaktion schon zusammen gekommen ist. Was für eine wundervolle Idee. Ich wünsche weiterhin viele kreative Ideen damit wir uns noch lange mit dir freuen können. Ganz liebe Grüße Silvi

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  73. wow these look amazing. stamps in this form would be awesome! they will look etched. can't wait to see what this will result in, hugs xx

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  74. Just got back from the Bournemouth Air Show - amazing!! All the displays were brilliant though of course the Red Arrows were the best. I'd love to be able to do what they do or fly a helicopter - though once the rose tinted glasses come off I'll realise that that ambition is a tad unrealistic. I'd like to be able to to do water colouring 'properly' and one day will get around to it. The Lino cut examples are beautiful and I'm sure your efforts will be stunning. Stamps with the effect of Lino cutting would certainly be different. I'm pleased to hear that Laura is doing well and is home, and that Grace has more voice over work. Hope you had a lovely time with your Mum and Dad. xx

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  75. Go for it Barbara! Lino cutting is amazing fun. I have just finished my first one and am quite pleased with the result. I shall definitely be doing more. No plasters required, just a good cleaner - mechanical or human - the bits go everywhere. Can't wait to see how your turns out

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    1. Barbara you are priceless! Lino cutting? Can't wait! Have a wonderful weekend... you deserve it. xxx

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  76. Hi Barbara, I just love your attitude and you have inspired me ( once again). I always used to set myself a personal challenge each year but somehow along the way, I stopped - BUT - now I feel I must re-instate it and, like you, find a challenge! These are amazing pieces of artwork and look forward to hearing and hopefully seeing your results. I am sure they will be equally amazing.

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  77. Hi Barbara
    Lino cutting,I imagined you starting up a new business laying Lino. But no, it's Lino cutting to make pictures. Absolutely brilliant.

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  78. I love the way you are always up for a new challenge. You really do inspire others with your positive attitude, and I thank you for sharing it with us. Good luck with the Lino cutting - it looks amazing. x

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  79. Good luck with your new project. I'm sure you will have fun with it. AliJ x

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  80. Who was that then Barb?? Glad to hear Barbara is OK. Congrats to Grace and Hey you can't blame Mark he's a boy??? xx I tell you what, it would be the best looking floor in town wouldn't it?? xxx

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    1. As well as being glad your YOU are OK I am also glad that Laura is too. ???? xxxx

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  81. I'm looking forward to seeing what you produce. I am not an artist therefore can't imagine being able to do this but will have to give it a go x

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  82. It's going to be hard to leave an uplifting comment today as my dear Dad slipped away at 8.30 this morning. Although we were expecting it it's always a shock when it happens. :(

    This week though I received my blog candy, a £20 voucher and, more importantly it was in a hand made card which has been sitting on the mantelpiece and I just keep gazing at it. A stencil and some zentangle which I really want to try and am going to copy it as a start (mine wont be quite the same though when it's finished!).

    Well done Elaine on being today's winner x

    Barbara, you've been busy with a car and a plane ticket and now looking at lino. I feel sure I did that at school too, together with carving soap if I remember correctly. I'm glad Laura and Evie are both ok.

    It's been a long day, goodnight xxxx

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  83. Never heard of Lino cutting but got to say looks fab ! Not sure I would be any good. I'm sure that what you create will be fab can't wait to see your first piece . Have fun x

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  84. Looks very interesting. It's always good to try something new once in a while. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. As always, a pleasure reading your blog, always makes me smile. Xx

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  85. Go Barbara !
    Well I too remember doing Lino art at school and how I always use to think 'I will just ... '.
    Wish I had the Barbara wise words that now stop me 'over cooking it' or ' you can always add but not take away' ringing in my ears back then lol!
    Look forward to where this takes you and is rather more sophisticated than my latest re-visit to art from my past ..... Have you done the bubble blowing paint effect ? Well it was the in thing at my play school ( best way to learn when to blow one not suck as a mouth full of soapy paint was a great aid lol! Mind you Health and safety would have stopped this now .

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  86. Go for it! I did a few in high school and loved it. Now that I am back to art you have inspired me to try again! Can't wait to see what you do. More inspiration!

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  87. I recently started rubber stamp carving, using lino cutting tools. No I am not trying to put you out of business. I love it. Go for it Barbara.

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  88. I shall look forward to seeing what you create, it will be amazing I'm sure! Funny but I ws admiring some great Lino cut art in St.Ives the other day, I'm sure I did some at school as well. What goes round comes round! Great as always to hear all your other news too!Wx

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  89. We'll Barbara. I didn't know there was such a thing Ss Lino cutting so I would gave made the same mistake. But you gave enlightened me today, so I will look forward to seeing your results. X

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  90. Another first for me. Thank you for the challenge to find out how to comment on a blog. I find this social media stuff scary so trust I've got it right. Since discovering you on TV a couple of years ago I have really enjoyed watching you and following your blog. You truly are inspirational and a fantastic teacher. Good luck with the Lino cutting but promise us you will look after your fingers!!! Sorry just thinking about a moment of madness removing an avocado stone with the heal of a huge knife and missing. Luckily my neighbour was an A&E sister at St Thomas' and had a supply of steri-strips.

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  91. You are such an inspiration Barbara, up to trying everything. I think I must try and do the same, not lino cutting as I am hopeless at drawing, so cutting would never do. But I will make a bit of a challenge for myself and try and craft at least four times a week. Anymore and the golf might suffer!! Keep that scalpel well and truly under control, also let us see the finished articles. Valerie

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  92. Gosh woman, do you ever stop!! They say that learning new things keeps you young! At this rate you will live to be 250! I still need to try Gelli, shrink plastic, grunge paste, shaving foam - but I did get into a holy mess using gilding flakes!! Thanks for all your inspiration.

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  93. Hello Barb, well I can just imagine that like with everything you do, you will learn the art and pass on the inspiration. I love learning something new and with your blog always see something I want to try. So here's looking forward to yet more Barbara Gray magic. And before I forget. Well done Elaine. Bx

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  94. I'm embarking on a new hobby too - with polymer clay. I want to make jewellery. Up until now, apart from some card making, I've always sewed, a lot of it by hand. But I'm 68 and worry about my hands getting to the point that I won't be able to work with a needle, or thread it or whatever, so I thought polymer clay would need less dexterity, and achievable for an even older dear than I am at the moment.

    Go for it Barbara, you are already artistic, so I don't doubt for a minute that you will come up with something beautiful.

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  95. Hi Barbara. Good luck with the lino-cutting! (Your Saturday blog is late today and I have visions of you not being able to type because you have plasters on ALL of your fingers now!....Of course I hope that isn't the real reason.) I did try it at school and didn't get on very well, but then I have never been able to cut a simple shape out of a potato to make a stencil so that's no surprise.
    Sorry to hear that Laura was not so well, but really pleased she is back where she should be now.
    Have a good weekend, enjoy driving the new car : ) Take care.

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  96. have never heard of lino cutting but these are brilliant works of art. Your talents never cease to amaze me and I look forward to seeing the finished result. I am challenging myself to find another job after 27 years in the same one. CV is done, now just to get hunting, scary but life is too short!!!
    x

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x