Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Technology? I don't think so !

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
This here gadget below is a folder. A paper folder.
Yes, I know. But when you have to fold thousands of sheets, then a paper folder saves lots of time.
And it appears that time is of the essence.

However, the paper folder can only handle single sheet feed.
Here we see a New Design Club folder very quickly being sucked into the top,

and just as quickly being spat out the back. 
Very folded, but not quite as we had hoped.

However, we have now decided to make paper hats.
And we can pump them out!
Hundreds to the minute!

We had an overrun of these, so - 
Hat anyone?

Seriously though, I often think that machines just can’t replace us.
Not yet anyway.

I remember fretting years ago when I was a language translator, that computers would replace me. 
And still today, if I ever want a real hearty laugh, 
I just have to click Google translate. 

I remember seeing my buddy Sue on a German channel once.
 She was selling her dies. Sue Wilson Dies.  But what it actually read when translated into German  was Sue Wilson stirbt. Which translated back into English means she has actually died! 
Poor woman!!!
Or how about Free shipping with every order over 30 Euros ?
It said: Freie Schiffahrt mit jeder Bestellung, which translated back into English means Free Cruise with every order !!!!

As I was saying, Google translate is great fun;
and I also think translators are safe. 

Time to go home.

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Getting in Shape with Maria - clever and new

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Wanted to give you the heads up for our Maria’s TV shows tomorrow on HOCHANDA. 12 noon and 4pm.
She will be showcasing some very clever and exceedingly useful stencils AND Groovi Plates. It was her idea actually. She sent us a sketch of what she had in mind, and Jim put Maria’s thoughts into motion. Like I always say, teamwork makes the dream work...

Such a simple idea - but OH! So very very versatile. 
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones.
Perfect for layout and positioning.
Let’s look at the Groovi pair first.
Nested Circles and Squares. But little ones which are all perfectly positioned to make fab grids and windows....

nested circles

Check out the lovely square artwork from members of the Design Team! All the samples are with Maria, so tune in tomorrow to see some round artwork!
Maggie Byford

Jane Telford

Chris Walker

Glynis Whitehead

Now let’s check out the stencils.

circle grid

These are perfect for the same easy layout. See? 
Maria Simms
Ah. Clever Jane. Round and square combined.

Jane Telford
This is so right up Sam Crowe’s street! 
I bet she LOVES these stencils!
Sam Crowe

Yes indeed.
A very clever idea had by a very clever woman.
I hope you can tune in to watch Maria work her magic tomorrow.

Love and Hugs,

Monday, 14 August 2017


Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Monday’s Blog is Flowers and Trees, right?

Well, I know many of you like a challenge, 
so this evening how about you get those cogs a-whirring?

Here’s a little project I just did for you, except I am only showing you the very last picture....

How about you figure out how I made this, and then email me the step by step instructions to

You’ve got until Friday to get all your ducks in a row! 
Then I will pick the winner. The most accurate.
And that most accurate winner will receive 

a £30 Clarity Gift Voucher.
(in the card of course!)

Now accurate means the colour ink pad, the type of ink pad, the name of the stamps, the type of card, the size of the card, the finishing tricks - in short, the works.

So duckies, get your deerstalker on and write out the instructions for this little card.

Love & hugs,

PS. The little card on the right is a BIG clue.....

Sunday, 13 August 2017

A puffer flower and some forward planning...

Hi there,
Thanks for joining me!
I have been up above the garage all day, 
making papers for 2 more Northern Lights type books....

Now these ones here are not for next week, you understand!
No no no. Those ones (which I was teasing about yesterday), are already back from the printers, and waiting for launch when Rosie and I take them on Hochanda’s Birthday bash on Saturday 26th !
Very excited to be bringing them to you - I think they will be very VERY popular! My only fear is we haven’t made enough.

No. These ones are all set for the next production run,
because these production runs can take up to 10 weeks !
It’s not us - it’s the parchment manufacturers who can’t keep up!
So if we’ve got to wait that long, then we may as well plan ahead!
In fact, I had the meeting with the printers on Friday, and am already organising a repeat order before we’ve even sold a single new Designer pad. I just have a feeling.....

Right old mess.
But you know how it is when you’re in the zone...
Sunday Roast chicken got moved to Monday’s menu, 
Dave got into his music -
and I just kept on truckin’!

I tried something different today, which was really fun, and I think I could get the knack of it with a little more practice. 

Alcohol ink on Yupo spread with a puffer. 
Like working with a straw, but without getting lightheaded!

Added a little interest with a pencil and ruler, 
which was far easier than making a stalk!

Yes. I reckon this is very achievable with a little more practice...

If you want the Yupo Paper, click here.
If you want the blending tools and felt, click here and here
If you want the Alcohol Inks, click here.
If you want the existing papers, click here (special offer)

Time to go find Dave and go for a walk.
It has been an extremely productive day.

Work? I suppose so. But wow!
What a job, eh?

Love & Hugs

Saturday, 12 August 2017

If only.....

Hi there
Thanks for popping in.

Had a little play today, with one of the Northern Lights papers 
and a new stamp set which I am in love with:

Mmm.... I see a landscape coming on....

Perch the ladder on a cliff top.

Erase a little blackness from the moon with a pencil eraser

and add a little whiteness with one of our Pergamano white pencils.

Use a black Micron pen to secure the ladder to the clifftop...

then trim back and add the words.
Craft knife and C-Thru ruler 
with a strip of our Groovi Grip attached to the back, 
so you don’t slide around.

Highlight the letters with a white pencil
(any one of the twelve will do the job!)

Time to add the background.
Use the black Micron pen to define the hillside and the cliff.
And now let’s add a lake.
Masking tape,

Make-up sponge and a turquoise ink pad

Now for a mountain in the distance...
Grey or black ink. Archival ink sits better on this paper.

Edge the edges with a Sharpie pen.
Can you see the waterfall now? White pencil again...

So just by finding a landscape in the paper, 
I was able to bring it out with a white pencil.

If only we had this paper in parchment!
Imagine that. Then you could add whiteness from behind...

And wouldn’t it be great to have some new colours too, just like the Northern Lights Collection, but another lovely selection.

Mmmm.....if only......

Love & hugs,

Friday, 11 August 2017

Dave, Donny Michael AND Marc in my bedroom at the same time..

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Friday’s blog a private peek, right?
Well I want to take you back to my teenage years.
I was having a really good chat with lovely Lisa at work today, 
and this just came up, because we were talking about wallpaper of all things!

Remember when we were teenagers, we used to get a magazine every month which had a life size pullout pin-up of some super star or other. I even remember the name of the mag:

David Cassidy,

Donny Osmond (cringe), 

Michael Jackson, 

Marc Bolan 

David Bowie

to name just 5. I plastered the bedroom walls with them - much to my dad’s displeasure. From the ceiling to the floor. 
Favourites at a kissable height... 
Go on! Admit it! Tell me I wasn’t the only one who used to snog Marc Bolan’s poster!

The thing was, they were all quite short, weren’t they? 
Even Bowie was only 5’ 8” - same as me. 
And I had quite a few life size posters, like full length, so to speak.

So I used to hang them about a foot above the skirting board, 
so they weren’t quite so short!

Anyway, Lisa found this highly amusing today.

Cor blimey, that takes me back...
Remember Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening, 
after Tomorrow’s World?
Used to stand in the corner of the living room and dance away all by myself, while Dad hid behind the newspaper.
Hahaha ... those were the days..

my friend, I thought they’d never end, 
we’d sing and dance for ever and a day.
We’d live the life we choose,
we’d fight and never lose.
those were the days, oh yes those were the days.....

Do you know, I just wrote that out without flinching. 
Some things you never forget.

Come on! Singalong!
You will feel brilliant afterwards, especially knowing hundreds of us all remember every single word, and we’re all having a go!

Where did the time go, eh?

Love & hugs,

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Busy but enjoyable day here. Rosie has been down here for a couple of days, and we have been drinking lots of tea and making loads of plans!
We are certainly making progress in many different areas.

One of the things that happens every time there is a TV show is we send out an email to all those customers of ours who have signed up to receive our emails.
Now what you may not know is that these emails also include a super digital download of a pertinent project -
a so-called Ideas & Inspiration Sheet.

Here is a great example of an E-Shot which our Stuart has created, all ready to send. It tells you 

WHEN the next TV show is on, 
WHO is hosting it, 
WHERE you can find it, 
WHAT exactly is being showcased,
and the FREE digi download 
at the bottom by one of our clever Design team members is well worth downloading, printing off and storing in a folder.

We send you a FREE Ideas & Inspiration Project every single weekend. All you have to do is sign up!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

You can sign up to our mailing list by simply filling in the blanks above, by visiting our facebook page Click here

Or you can go to our website
 and scroll to the bottom of the page and use the form in the footer.

Ideas & Inspiration. 
That’s it really, isn’t it? 

So do consider signing up for our emails. 
You get a lot more than just a heads up.

And now onto other things...


I had a little chuckle to myself reading all the caption ideas for the SNOW GLOBE caption competition earlier this week. Remember I asked you to come up with a caption for this picture?

Then I scrolled the screen with my eyes shut and picked the winner who is going to receive not only my little piece of artwork, but also a £20 Clarity Gift Voucher.

And that person this time is:

Blimey, he's early
These stampsets are a joy to use.
Click here for the bundle (also available individually).

Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Light a Candle! Calm down!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Wednesday’s blog is where we talk about matters of the head and heart, don’t we? Well, we had best leave my head out of it today, because it’s wild in there!
Not a place you want to enter alone, that’s for sure!
Not without a hardhat!

Don’t ask. This too shall pass.
There’s no point in keep talking about what is getting under your skin, to be honest. You just keep rehashing it and re-feeling it, 
don’t you? The word RESENTMENT says it all.
My smattering of French tells me that sentir means to feel.
So resentment mean to re-feel then. 

Instead of winding myself up over and over,
and letting some little creep live rent-free inside my head 
even though it is a VDL (Very Dangerous Location),
let’s light a candle and be glad we are creative. 

New Outline stamp in black archival on Northern Lights paper.

Mask and repeat

And a third time.

Mask all 3 and add a table with a brush

Now let’s go back the other way. 
Remove the back mask and place the negative mask over the top. 

Add a little shade and decorate the candle with some tiny stamps from the same set.

Start work on the next one

Decorate that one with wise men. 
And their names are?
Dave, Steve and Paul.

Finally, when you remove the front mask, it really pops!

Yellow paint to add a word.

This way of applying the paint works well....


Easy. So now it’s time to light a real candle 
and write a gratitude list.

Love & hugs,