Saturday, 31 January 2015

What a mess!

Hi there!
Better late than never, eh!
Well, it’s Saturday evening,
we really should have left for Peterborough by now, 
but I wanted to blog before we go.
So I came upstairs to make a card,
and right at the last hurdle, 
completely hashed it.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?
And it was going so well, too!
“Oh drat!” I said, (or words to that effect).
So rather than lose my hair over it,


because let’s face it, it really isn’t that crucial, is it,
I decided to just post a close-up of a nice Valentines project 
I shall be attempting in the morning!
But then my Ipad started playing up. 
“Oh double drat!” 
Keep smiling.



Turn Ipad off. Turn Ipad on again.
Success. Works every time.


I’d better go and do my hair ready for tomorrow.


See you in the morning, bright and early!
Create & Craft. 9am-11am

And if I can’t get the blue and white paint off my hands 
from this holy mess that I’ve made here, 
you understand.


much love,

Friday, 30 January 2015

Words from the heart.

Hi there.
Thanks for stopping by. 
Friday's blog a private peek, 
so here's a poem I wrote last week.

If I had a penny for every time I have heard "I could never do that".
So here's a rhyming thought for the doubters,

FOR YOU. AND YOU. AND YOU.

The things I make with pens and ink
Aren't anything like as hard as you think!
Just have a go, just do as I do,
And after a while it will grow inside you!
You'll start to have ideas of your own
And your art will develop its very own tone.
You"ll play with the colours and invent your own blends,
Create new techniques and develop fresh trends!
And folks may well wonder if I'm threatened by you,
With your brilliance and passion and the work that you do.
But the truth is quite simple and I'll say it out loud!
Your art is exquisite and you make me so proud!


Much love,

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Join in the fun a win a prize!

Hi there!
Thanks for stopping by.
Just looked at the clock. 6.30 already! 
Where did that day go??
Everything’s a bit topsy turvy today.
Got 4 demos to prep for the SUnday afternoon show.
Spent way too long on one demo, which I will never be able to complete in 10 minutes on the show, 
and now I’ve got to cram the rest. Silly girl. No, really.
5 hours work for a 10 minute demo? Now I’ve got to do a dozen stages, so that I can fast forward and cram it in on the day!!



That said, I quite enjoyed doing it, 
and am pleased with the result thus far....

Then just now, the Blog bell rang in my head, and I thought,
“Oh confound it.” (confound is synonymous with sod, right?)
But then I had a lightbulb moment. Ding!!!
I know! Let’s have a competition!
Let’s get you lovely peeps at home involved in this 
Pre-Show chaos!   
I’m going to show you the start of the 5 hour labour of love: 


and the middle.


This is where you come in. It’s a 2-parta.
You love these challenges don’t ya!
Tell me exactly what I did to arrive at this place.
No. Not my life story. 
I know only too well how I ended up here! And it would take a lot longer than 5 hours to write it down!
Focus on the artwork...


List the ingredients: what card, what colours, etc etc etc.
Then list the steps.
Sound like a lot of work? Give over! That’s the easy part.
Once you’ve worked this bit out, I want you to get in my head (scary place today!)  and work out where I went next...
Yep. List the steps right through to the end. 

If you’ve got the stamp and a lot of time on your hands, great! 
You can even make it!

But the name of the game is to figure out how I got to this stage, and where I went from here.

Email me your results before midnight Saturday,

barbaragray123@hotmail.com

 and then watch Create & Craft on Sunday at 5pm 
to see if you got it right!
I will know if we have a winner, and will shout about it for sure.

If somebody nails it exactly, I will send them a £50 Gift Voucher on Monday, and a Job Application Form! No, bypass the formalities, my job’s yours!!

Even if we don’t find the owner of the Magic Slipper, 
I’ll draw a winner for a £20 Gift Voucher just for trying.
But you’ve got to be in it to win it as they say.

So join in the creative process, 
and put your creative mastermind to work!

Must dash, said the Mexican.
Must go, said the Russian.

much love,

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sneak Peek at Sundays TV Shows....

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by.
I’ve been working on the demos for the Sunday TV Shows today.
I am so lucky to have this lovely art-room to work in.
What a difference to have a whole room to myself.
I spent many a happy year on the dining-room table though!
Let me rephrase that...

Thought I’d whet your arty appetite here,
Wednesday’s blog is something new, after all.

Really liking the new Tree stamps which are coming up 
on Sunday morning.
They almost threw me, because I could see so many possibilities, 
I got a little lost in my head that became a forest!
Tell you what, if you invested in the Wee Folk last month

(who actually sold out completely before we even finished our walk down the counter last month!), 
then these trees are a Gotta have.
See what I mean?? They just fit so beautifully!


I’m not going to show you the finished artwork,  
but please join me on Sunday and see what I get up to!
And yes, the Wee Folk are back in stock, too.






I would love to show you my favourite stamp this month, 
a magnificent Panel, a whole window of birds. Mel drew it, 
and it is precious. But no. I can resist...
Otherwise there’ll be nothing under the tree!

I’ve also been asked to do an extra show at 5pm on Sunday.
It’s a Special Extra Hour, to showcase our lovely American Style stamps and stencils 
which we launched at the CHA earlier this month.
Remember?



Well, I'm looking forward to that hour, too!
We can have another look at the fab artwork samples 
the Clarity Design Team sent me to L.A. with. 
It definitely deserves another airing. 

So tune in:
Createandcraft  9am-11am  and 5pm
Freesat 813  Virgin 748  Freeview 36  Sky 674

And if none of those work, then go to createandcraft.co.uk.
And if you haven’t got a computer, go next door!

Much Love,

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Gilding Flake technique revisited on You Tube Tuesday


Hi there.
You Tube Tuesday!
Here’s another cool clip from another one of our DVDs.
The Double DVD No. 5.
Over 6 hours!
Now to many of you, this technique may well be Oh so yesterday!
But I am very aware that there are always newcomers 
to the Clarity Crafting field, and so for those good people,  
we are revisiting a few old favourites.

I never watch my old DVDs ; why would I?
So it’s quite interesting to see how much I’ve changed, aged,  
and chilled since this recording!
And one thing made me cringe: Ok Ok Ok Ok Ok....
It’s a nervous habit; do I still say OK so much??



OK, so here are a few special offers to accompany the project.


Remountable Allium Set £17.99
SAVE £5






See you tomorrow, OK?

Much love,

Monday, 26 January 2015

Monday. Take me back to New Mexico!


Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
What a luxury it is to be able to write this blog on a proper Mac!
Having cobbled together blogs every day for weeks
 from 7,000 miles away
on an Ipad, and 7 or 8 hours behind you,
it is great to be back in real time, in sync so to speak!

So back to the grindstone, eh.
Monday’s blog is Flowers and Trees,
so here’s a very simple card, 
made with our ultra glossy Chromo Card.


Let’s begin, shall we?

Run the quirky Flare frame stencil


through an embossing machine with the Chromo Card first.


Mask off the centre with Post-Its, to the inner edge.


With a pencil, lightly etch the Post-Its on the left and right, 
so that you can see the embossed lines. 


Now stamp the Forest Ridge stamp into place 
lining up the trees with the etched lines, like so:


Stamp the trees onto the sticky end of a Post-It, 
so that we can cut a line mask.


Add a small Moon mask from our Moons masks,

 and cover up the land area with the Post-It mask.


Now for the Make-up Sponges. 
I brought a whole suitcase of them back from the States!
We really must source these....leave it with Dave...

Dab the wonderful Mountain Rose colour along the base, 
along the horizon. 
Then dab the Stonewashed Blue into the top half of the sky.


Remove the Post-Its and cover up the centre, 
to the outer line this time.
Add a little Stonewashed to one of our Stencil brushes
and dust back and forth.
The ink will catch the embossed edges beautifully.


Remove all the masks.
Doesn’t that look lovely?
I have been staring at these vistas all week in New Mexico!


Trim back to square.
I use my Fiskars Trimmer for that. It is ideal.

Frame with black card.


Told you it was easy!


 Hope you like it.


Anyway, must crack on!
You can imagine the stack of work which has piled up after being away for almost 3 weeks!
Yikes!!!



Much love,

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Best. Let's play dress ups!

Hi there!
Thanks for stopping by! I'm blogging on a plane! Yep. 
This is the new Mile High Clarity Club!
Headed from Albuquerque to Atlanta, and then on to London.
So what better way to spent this transit time in the air than pretend you're here, sitting next to me, and we're chatting arty!

I've even worked out how to insert pictures! So let's take a look at a really retro set of Style Stencils we showcased at the CHA in Los Angeles. My oh my. That seems like months ago!

Well, there are 3 stencils, each with 2 stylish 50's ladies. - inny and outy stencils included.


And then there's an ingenious dress-me-up set of remountable Claritystamps,
complete with 2 speech bubbles! So hours of fun there!


Bit dark, this picture, but I cannot wait to spend an afternoon dolling these girls up with the stamps.


I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was a kid,


So this set of stencils and stamps


Is right up me street. Or should I say catwalk?


You can see here that the ladies have been paper embossed, then coloured with our stencil brushes through the stencil, all ready for adding the finishing touches.


Here's a pink lady I want to dress up before I go to town on the catwalk.
Just attach the stencil over the embossed figure, and gently apply colour using a Clarity brush and make up sponges.


It's best to stamp the extras and the patterns into place with the stencil still in position.
Not the hat and flowers of course !
Smear any pink Picked Raspberry ink from the stencil into the dress, to create shade.


They come later! Mask the hand so that it looks like she is clutching the bouquet.
Add shadow, shoes, detail to the clutch bag and skirt pleats with a pink pencil
 (Spectrum Noir for me all the way!)


A same colour pencil is all you need to define the dress, the sleeves, the legs. It really is that simple!


Add a little bling to the hat and shoes; maybe a little accent on the clutch bag?  Perfect!


The Thank you line sentiment will make a great base. Just stamp it into place, mask it off and add the flower spray below. 


Nice. Now I just want to get going on the other 6 lovely ladies! But it just got turbulent, and we're coming into Atlanta. So I'd best say bye for now!

See you on the flipside!
Much love,
Barb xxx