Sunday, 19 November 2017

SUNDAY 24 hour BLOG BLITZ SALE

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.


Working this afternoon, getting our ducks in a row for next week, if you’ll pardon the expression...

Forgive me for not blogging a step by step or anything arty for the next few days (although I’m really excited to tell you about my arty morning. Very messy - but oh what a result)

PAINT NEEDED. LOTSNLOTSAPAINT! 


But the next week here is going to be our CLARITY SALE WEEK.

Pretty chilly outside,
but here at Clarity Towers things are hotting up in readiness for GRAY FRIDAY.


In case you are new to this ’ere bloggy fold, let me explain...
We don’t do Black Friday. Sounds way too dark. 
No, no. We prefer to go for GRAY!

Gray Friday is our BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR
33% off all Clarity-Branded products.

If we sell out of a certain stamp or stencil or Groovi plate, we will make more. So your order may take a little longer, but this is a bonafide sale. The third off price is guaranteed.

If you’re a member of our clubs, 
your 10% - 15% discounts are added too. That’s substantial.

So it might be a very good idea to join today if you haven’t already!
(Check out the info Youtube below). 

I have just spoken to Jeannine, and she has said she will activate the club discounts on the website by 9am tomorrow morning if you join today.

Yep. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Here we see the Clarity team all set to chirp n serve!




But what about the other things we sell? I
hear you ask,




Are they not in the GRAY FRIDAY sale?
No, sorry, can’t swing that...



 but I thought we’d have a cracking 24 hour BLOG BLITZ SALE leading up to Friday, and cover some cool craft items which won’t be in the weekend line-up. 
Starting tomorrow, I’ll launch cool daily sales here.
These items will sell out though, so first come first serve.
Online, and on the phone 01732 868215.

All next Weekend? Not just the Friday?

You may recall that our website crashed spectacularly a couple of years ago. The only redeeming factor was that cyberspace went into global meltdown, and all the big boys, like Amazon and John Lewis, fried too!
So to play it safe, rather than risk a repeat performance, we decided to spread the sale window over the whole weekend. 

The 24 hours BLOG BLITZ SALE will start tomorrow - 

MONDAY

Tell all your friends - Share the news.
Or don’t. Buy them presents instead!
See you on the other side!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Brayer Time! A step by step...

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Saturday’s blog a new technique, right?

Thought I’d get my brayer out. 
It’s been a while....
Time to get the comfy slippers on again.
This may be one of the oldest tricks in my toolbox, but who’s to say it isn’t new to somebody ?! Hands up if you haven’t seen me do this before??? There MUST be somebody!

Okay, let’s start...

Stamp the church onto our Coated Claritycard using a black Archival ink pad. Stamp the base along a torn scrap.


Church comes from the Village Scene Stampset
We do have a mask for this set, but can I find mine? Nope.
So I’ve cut it out of a Post-It, just like in the good ol’ days!


Add a Moon mask, then load the Brayer with Midnight Blue Artistry ink, or Denim Adirondack, or any BLUE dye-based inkpad.

Best way to load the brayer with ink is from the blending mat.
Place the card on a sheet of copy paper. Work your way in from a top corner.
Make sure there’s no ink on the edge of the brayer which hits the card first, or else you’ll get stripes.


Add some black ink over the top for a really dark night sky.


Tear a piece of copy paper, load the brayer again with blue/black ink, and let’s get some hills going. See how I have moved the paper down towards the bottom and the hills have got lighter?

The magic about this coated Claritycard is you don’t re-ink the brayer to get these graduations. The ink sits on the card, so as it starts to run out and fade you just move the hill!



Remove the masks.


Buff the card to a high sheen now.


Time to add the forest.
The little stamps which come with the Outline stamps (especially the Holly, the Snowglobe and the Stag) are just absolutely perfect for this kind of scenery....

THREE WORDS:
INK, BLOT, PLOT.



I just had to dig out a larger larchtree for the front, 
to give the pic perspective.
larchtree and deer set


Now we need some real snow! Cover up the moon again,
and spritz lightly with water.
Blot with a kitchen towel.


Super-glossy piece, see?


The Distress Markers are what we need for colouring in on coated stock with permanent, Archival ink pads. If you use a Promarker or alcohol pen, the archival ink will bleed.


I thought the straight punch No. 1 would be great for mounting on more of the same white card.,


Then on black, then on white.


Hope you like it.
I still enjoy doing this kind of art with a brayer.


We are always forging ahead, new new new new new.
Sometimes I think it’s healthy to go back and remember where we’ve been and what we know.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx


Friday, 17 November 2017

Meet Melanie! One in a Million

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.

Went to Brighton yesterday, to spend some time with Dave and mel, and go listen to Chris Wood, the folk singer, 
at the Komedia Club.

What a BRILLIANT time we had.

Mel is such a character. Great company. Very interesting woman.
One in a million.
We were sitting in the front row of the little studio, right in front of the stage.
When Chris Woods came on stage, he was having a banter about his guitar - a 1965 Epiphone.
Suddenly, Mel pointed at the big E and the logo on his guitar -
“My dad designed that logo,” she whispered to me.
That’s quite something in the music world, you know.
As I say, one in a million.



Hahaha. When you look at the full picture, and then at her face, 
it speaks volumes!


And quite by chance we walked straight into the Switching on the Christmas Lights festivities, which was very cool too.


I do love Brighton. And I do love Mel.
She illustrates so many of our images, our stamps and stencils and Groovi. You only have to look at the new calendar to see how much she influences our little art company!


I can see at a glance here from the thumbnails that Mel has her stamp all over it!

So I shall sign another 100 for this weekend. 
If you would like a signed calendar, then get yours soon - 
when they’re gone, they’re gone.


I’m going for a walk with Mel and the dogs this afternoon.
We are making arty plans for the New Year, and it’s time to gather up the bits and start construction!

On the subject of One in a Million, I would like you to listen to this song by Chris Wood. he is such a great story teller.
In the space of a song I smiled, I cried, I was horrified, I felt terrible and I felt joy.  Now that’s what I call powerful.



Love & Hugs,
Barb

xxx

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Like Clockwork....

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Remember a couple of days ago I invited you to guess the recipe for this artwork?


Sorry, no winners today, I’m afraid.
So the £20 gift voucher goes back in the pot for next time,
and I shall just show you quickly, because ironically, the clock is ticking, and we’re off out to Brighton this afternoon!

Right. Ready, steady go!

Lay the pocket watch stencil down back to front on the clean plate.
Brayer some green acrylic paint across one side and let it dry.
Heads up! I’m just about to prep a Bloggy Blitz Paint Sale for next week, so just hang on if you are wanting paint. 


Brayer some teal acrylic paint up the other side and let it dry.
(hang on with buying a brayer too - I will add him to the Bloggy Sale!) 


Cover the whole printing plate and stencil with off-white acrylic paint, and - yep you guessed it - let it dry.


Once dry, remove the stencil.


Now brayer white paint over the whole plate again.
How much? Start with about a 2p size squirt. Keep rolling up and down, left and right, until you can see the clock peeping through. 
This time we have to move quickly, while the paint is still wet.



Flip the Gelpress plate over and place the wet white paint side down onto a sheet of our cut to fit white stencil card.
(White card? Wait for the sale!)


Flip back. Rub the back of the card well, and then slowly peel back your print. Voila! And the plate is clean too.


Let’s look up close. See all the different colours peeping through?


And the clock is the right way round.
Use a pencil to add a drop shadow underneath the clock hands and around the lower edges.


Trim the art back to the white edge, using a blade and a ruler with a strip of the Groovi grip attached underneath.
Seriously, this is a game changer.


Now attach the art to an 8" x 8" white folding card,
using a glue runner.


Pick a piece of designer parchment from one of the pads 
and trim it back an inch on 2 sides.
Run the glue runner along the outer edge of all four sides, 
as close to the edge as you dare.
Now I decided to use the back of the parchment, the more vibrant side where the colour is, as the front. So I have used the adhesive on the front of the parchment, the more muted side.


Attach it over the top of the clockpiece.


Easy when you know how, eh.


I used a leaf from the Shenandoah parchment pad.
(And thrice I say, WAIT FOR THE SALE!!)

GRAY FRIDAY IS COMING....

Love & Hugs
Barb
xxx





Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Modern Day Millie!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.

Do you ever think to yourself,
“I’m getting too old for this lark” ?

I do! But then I give myself a kick up the proverbial, 
a good talking to - and get on with it!
Keep on truckin’ !

One of the things about Clarity and all those who sail in her is that we actually DO move with the times at most levels.

Let’s consider the NEC.
I did that show in the 90’s, when I had just come back from California. There aren’t many of us left from way back then, I can tell you! But I do know we have evolved massively as a company.
Back in the day, we had a 4m x 2m stand, and we sold mounted Claritystamps and brayers mainly. 
This November,  we had a 15m x 2m stand + a free make & take area, to house our stamps, stencils, Groovi and Pergamano - 
and it was still tight!
In fact, next March we have booked another few metres, 
so that we can give Pergamano the space it deserves. 
After all, it is an entire company in its own right, isn’t it? 
Yes, we are certainly evolving.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re not empire-building, we’re not going for world domination! We are just slowly slowy catchee monkee expanding, peu a peu. 
The team is getting bigger, the dynamics are changing. I spend more time working on the business instead of in the business, which is necessary. But that’s okay too.

Where are we headed? Well, we always have a plan, don’t we, and of course I am hatching one! The day I stop doing that I will be pushing up daisies! But that’s a good thing.

I was looking at this blog this morning. The content is fine. The photos do the job. I am still happy with the direction, and by asking for feedback, the word is that you good people like how I put it all together, too.

But I am fed up with the wallpaper. I don’t want to completely renovate it, to the point where you think you’re in the wrong building, don’t know which button to press or where to look first. No no no...that’s just confusing. 
But I do want to give it a bit of a makeover. 

So if it looks a bit different in the coming days, worry not!
The dustsheets will be hidden - the paint will be dry!
I may even shuffle the furniture around a bit,
but it won’t cost a penny - just a little time.
Steve and Stuart at work are quite handy with a paintbrush, 
so I may even let them have a go!

I think that’s it, for me.
A good clear out and a splash of paint can work wonders, can’t it?
Fresh feel. Makes you feel younger too.

And on another note, I am LOVE LOVE LOVING listening to novels. I have just finished Phillip Pullman’s trilogy, 
The Dark Materials.

Yep, I fall asleep when I read a book, but I can listen for hours while I’m ironing ! It’s called using what’s available to us.

Love & Hugs
Barb
xxx




Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Birds Eye View...

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Here’s a Groovi step by step which Paul did on TV recently,
using one of the beautiful new Autumn Round plates, 
illustrated by our Mel.




Simply emboss a portion of the image on this yellow landscape from the Shenandoah Parchment - as much as you want - 
and leave the rest behind.



Here’s a flash of the paper pad:


Here’s a top tip which Paul demonstrated on the TV:
By embossing one of the birds from the back of the parchment, 
and then debossing the same bird from the front of the parchment, 
you can achieve perfect symmetry -
aka a reflection.


Tomorrow it’s Maria’s turn to wow you!
She will be gracing your screens on HOCHANDA again,
12 noon and 4pm.
  • SKY 663 (24/7)
  •  
  • FREEVIEW 85 (6AM-7PM)
  •  
  • FREESAT 817 (24/7)
I do hope you can tune it to watch her work her magic with some spectacular stencils, illustrated by guess who?
Yep, that’s right: our Mel again!

Off to do some ironing now....
a woman’s work is never done and all that!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx