Friday, 18 August 2017

We have a winner!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Have enjoyed a pleasant day off with our good friends 
Linda and Rob Williams, who are down for the weekend.

Looked through the fantastic new tool book which Linda has written, so now that she has Ok’d the layout, we can move forward with production. You just cannot believe what this woman can do  with a few needle tools. Blows my mind. 

Went for a saunter through the Pantiles, and sat outside in the sunshine watching the world go by.

It felt quite nice to do something normal. 
But hey! What’s normal? Goodness knows.
But it was good to not work for a day.

Remember the other day, I challenged you to write out the instructions for the card below? Tell us how I made it?
 So many of you sent me your interpretations, and several of you got soooo close!
But the winner of the £30 Gift Voucher has to be 

She not only got the instructions pretty much bang on,
but she even replicated the technique and put her own spin on it!

And she even gave them a series title:

How long’s a piece of string?

So please let me know your postal address in an email, Margaret, so that we can send out the card and voucher to you xxxx

Ink pad: it looks like the Artistry "Groovy Grape" - which is what I think you must have been on when you set us this challenge!!
Of course there is also Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink Pad
Stamps: Ducks & Saplings set - you've used both sizes of Sapling but only one of the three Ducks
Gel Press Petites Set 1 - using the Square from this set
7" x 7" Stencil Card (3 sheets)
Pigma Micron 01 Fine Point Pen (Black)
Sharpie pen (black)
The trusty Speedball Brayer
A piece of string (cut into 3)

So, I figure that you start by laying your pieces of string in an artistic shape across the centre of the Stencil Card.
Then, spread the Groovy Grape ink over the gel press with the brayer. 
With the gel press mounted on a mega mount, use it like a stamp, squishing the ink onto the stencil card with the string still in place, which therefore acts as a mask.  Remove the string to reveal the white card beneath.
Take a second sheet of card and pull a second generation print from the gel press – put to one side for another project and a BIG clue!
Stamp the Saplings and Duck strategically in Archival Black
Take the Micron Pen and draw a squiggly line around the whole thing, weaving between the leaves and don’t draw over the duck’s wings, so it looks like the line is behind.
Trim – to about 6” square, then give the card a thin black border by running the Sharpie pen along all four edges.
Mount onto another piece of 7x7 stencil card – leaving a little of the string (which has picked up the colour of the ink) sticking out between the 2 layers (OK, maybe you left the string in the photo to provide an extra clue, but Dawn and I decided it added a little interest/intrigue to include it in the finished piece!)


Almost absolutely spot on. 

I actually used a Plum Archival ink pad. Just dabbed it on the little Petite Gelpress. Didn’t even bother with a brayer; the archival ink would have stained it. But your idea would work perfect too.
Well done Margaret, and everybody who stretched themselves to figure it out. That’s how we learn, folks!

Love & hugs,

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Bags galore!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Having some real computer issues today.
In fact, my Big Mac has died !!
Well, it’s in Apple A&E; 
hopefully they will be able to resussitate him !!

So I’m struggling with blogging,
and shall keep this short n sweet.

Rosie is launching a superb One Day Special this evening at 6pm.

It’s a Pergamano Template launch.
New and improved, so I do hope you like them!
Wait till you see what the team has made with them!

Both teams actually. 
We went ahead and changed the templates a little, so that they work as well for paper craft as for parchment craft.
Rosie will show you exactly what I mean. 

Dave drove all the way to Peterborough and back, just so that these little beauties and many more besides didn’t get damaged in transit. 

Rosie wil also be showcasing some wonderful handmade flowers,
which you can see here on this blue bag by Linda,
who used the blue parchment in the bundle too.

Linda Page

Jane used them here too...

Jane Telford

And so did Glynis, here! 
She used the pink parchment in the bundle too.

Glynis Whitehead

In fact, even Wendy managed to sneak one in!!!
Welcome aboard Wendy!

Wendy Thorburn

See how Wendy has used papers instead of parchment?

Wendy Thorburn

And Gail has gone very Pergamano parchment traditional.
In fact, it was Gail who got them out of the cupboard and said we ought to dust them off!

Gail Sydenham

And just look at this one by Glynis.
I forgot to mention that in the bundle there is some very expensive, very smooth and lovely black and buff paper, perfect for  layering like this.
I love how Glynis has added clear parchment as the final layer,
 like lace. 

Glynis Whitehead

An impressive One Day Special at a great price,
a fantastic display of beautiful artwork by both teams,
and a great presenter: Rosie.

What’s in the offer?

There are 4 different bag templates
Handmade flowers in 3 colourways and several different sizes,
Pink and Blue A4 parchment
Buff and black paper.

I hope you can tune in for what promises to be another top banana show. 
And may I say a BIG THANK YOU to Clare at work, Jim’s mum?
She made every single one of these templates. That’s thousands. 

Watch live on
6pm 8pm 9am 1pm 5pm

Love & Hugs,

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,