Wednesday, 22 March 2017

London

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Grace just called me from New York.
“Mum! What’s going on in London? You ok?”
I didn’t even know there was a problem.
Had pulled the early shift at work, and had come home for a 
little nap before doing the blog and some artwork. 

Boom.
In the hour it took me to have a little sleep,
the Mother of all Parliaments came under siege,
people were killed and maimed on Westminster Bridge
and the heart of London was thrown into turmoil.

How quickly it goes.

Shocked, sad, angry, disgusted.
BLOODY EVIL COWARDS.


London under attack.

I had planned to blog something completely different,
but in light of the events in the last few hours, that would seem inappropriate, infelicitous.

So instead, I want to just stop and think about the poor poor innocents who got caught up in the hour of evil insanity just an hour up the road from here.

Please will you join me?
Close your eyes and just speak to them.
Tell them how you feel. 


Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

I’ve finally crackled!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.

Back to reality with a bump today!
Did I really sign us up for that many TV shows 
on HOCHANDA in April ? ? !
Well, today was spent making plans, drafting proposals, 
figuring out what was what.



Rosie oh Rosie! aka Rossella.
If you’re reading this, brace yourself!

Maria, Tina, Paul and I are all over it too mind!
BUT:
Now we’ve got another parchment expert in Rosie, to join Tina,
Maria and I can start playing with our stamps and stencils again.
Not that we are abandoning Groovi! No way! That would be daft.
But now we can getter a better balance of all things Clarity!

So, no matter what your preference of crafting is - 
Groovi, Pergamano, Stamps or Stencils -
we are sure to have it covered !

Last week Maria showcased some beautiful floral stamps

on Hochanda. They are so pretty, and very, very versatile. 
Birthdays, Easter, Anniversaries, Get Well Soon - the list goes on.



together with some very elegant Celtic framers.
(Ideal for mens’ cards)

Here is a project that I did a while back,
a set of little notelet cards. Ideal for selling.
And yes, we are an Angel Company.


The technique for these little toppers 
is using the crackle stamp from 
together with triple embossing.


Stamp the flower image onto a piece of 
Theuva Card in Black Archival 


Decide on what colour you are going to use on the flowers
 and then choose a complimentary colour from 
the Artistry Ink Pad range and stamp randomly around the edge.

Colour in your flowers with pencils or pens
or you can watercolour with the Artistry Ink Pads


Take a Versamark ink pad and squidge it
(technical term!) over the whole of the topper.

Tap off the excess and heat with a heat gun.
When it is set, repeat the same process 2 more times
squidge, pour, heat, squidge, pour, heat.

This will give you the effect of a glazed tile.

Whilst it is still warm, gently bend the topper
and it will crack!


I mounted the little boxes on pieces of black mount board 
to raise them. Nice. 

That’ll do for today.
Time to kick back.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Monday, 20 March 2017

Hard Work? Give me more!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Well, it’s Monday, and it’s time to come home.


Could I stay a little longer?
Has the Pope got a balcony?!?!

Linda and I were exploring Maribor yesterday, and we even found an old, delapidated building by the river which we decided had great potential.

“Would you buy it Linda?” I asked.
“I think I’d have to ask Rob first, but he’d love it too I’m sure” she replied. 
And so would Dave.
I can’t wait to bring him back here.

My Mum has been to Slovenia, and she also told me that of all the places she has been in the world (and she has been to quite a few!) Slovenia is the place she would come back to. 

We have been so lucky!

Firstly, the wonderful people who organise this annual art event,
Mihaela and Primoz, and their team of lovely people.  The hospitality and kindness has been second to none. In all my days, I have never known such generosity and cordiality.

Seriously, this is an annual event, and were I a passionate crafter/arty person like you guys, this is a definite go-to destination.
I will give you the details later on in the week, so you can consider a week in Slovenia doing some workshops with some of the most talented artists around. 

I was lucky enough to join in at one of the water-colour sessions.
WOW.
But more of that later.

And the food! My word! I have NEVER eaten such fantastic food.
Primoz and Mihaela treated us all to unique and super culinary delights every single evening. 

Back to the diet tomorrow!

Then there was meeting the other artists from all over the world, soaking up their creative energy and watching them perform.
What an eye opener this has been.

And the workshop guests!
So alert and willing to try anything.
Just like you actually.

And lastly, there was Linda. A whole week of Linda Williams.
What a marvellous time we have had.
I haven’t laughted so much in years. 
Talk about click! 
What a great friend she is, and what super company.


But now I must dash.
Breakfast is calling.
A coachload of Chinese tourists landed late last night;
I wonder whether they will love it as much as we have.....

Love & hugs,
Barb
xxxx


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Mum! It's art! Honestly!



Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
The third day in Slovenia and a great success.
Full workshops and everybody happy to be in the Pergamano seat or doing Groovi.

Linda was in fine fettle, 



The guests were soaking up all the techniques 
and ideas.



Next to us there was something quite different going on.
Now you’ve all seen face painting at the mall, 
when the kids queue up and get Spiderman or Ariel painted on their face,
and then it all drips onto their white T-Shirts when they start wingeing because you tell them they can’t have an ice-cream too.
Yep, been there.. Got the T-Shirt too!

Well, here was body painting at its absolute world-class best.
Ready?



She is wearing a bra and thong.
Everything else is painted on.

Wonder if it tickles....



Dad, if you’re reading this, I TOLD you art was enjoyable,
and you ought to have a go!



Linda and I said we might ask him to do us next.
Yikes!
Now THAT would pull a crowd.
Us two in our cor blimey knickers,
 standing on a black box waiting patiently to be painted in the middle of a shopping mall.

The mind boggles!

BUT LOOK AT THIS WORK OF ART:

I mean, photoshop out the shopping trolley 
and the group making cards in the background,
and this truly is aesthetically wonderful.


It helps that the young woman was exceptionally beautiful of course, but I reckon I could see our Linda strutting her stuff.
Maybe at the Crowborough Open Days.
She’s been saying she wanted to do something different....

Time to go.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxxx

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Day 2 and all is well.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Sometimes technology and I just don’t synch.
This morning I got up at stupid o’clock to blog before I went off to work.

Wrote the whole thing,
came back to the hotel just now, after another fab day -
and whay do I find?
Blob link no worky,
and all text been deletey!

Don’t you hate it when you have written a whole script,
and the gremlins go and delete it for you?

Darnit!!!

So here goes again....

Yesterday we go taken up to the top of a mountain 


in a gondola.
The weather has been fantastic,
and the hospitality of our hosts here second to none.
Really amazing.


Then I had a workshop in the afternoon,
which nearly went wrong.

I don’t know who was more surprised, them or me.
They were expected Pergamano, and I was all set to do a stampy workshop using the Silver Birch!

Not a stamper among them!


Well, what do you do?
I switched on the charm and lept into entertainment mode,
but my heart was in my boots, I can tell you.

But there we are you see.
We know nothing.
They were brilliant and the work they produced was super.

There was much hilarity and we actually had a fine old time.


They really got into it, and one step at a time, we worked throug all the different techniques...


This lovely lady was delightful.
She was very creative, but no stamper or parcher.
Just interested in learning. 


It was so warm too !
Bit strange being in a shopping mall, with all the public, 
but actually, it was quite fun too,
once you got over the white noise...


and Anna the interpreter was an angel!


So there we are.
A proud group of Claritystampers in Slovenia.
New friends!


Now, let‘s see if I can post this blog before midnight!!

Love & hugs,
Barb
xxx

Friday, 17 March 2017

Day 1 of Workshops in Slovenia...

Greeting from Maribor!

Home of the oldest vine in the world, and in the Guiness Book of records. Yesterday morning, a lovely young lady called Laura took us on a guided tour of the city.

I know.
It’s a hard task -
but somebody’s got to do it!


Blue skies,
and spring is most certainly in the air.

These trees are all along the water’s edge.
We couldn’t work out what they were...


Asked Laura, and believe it or not, it’s a Magnolia tree!


The bridge couldn’t take the weight of all the padlocks here, 
so they made a  heart construction next to the water,
for lovers to hook up to!


Solid white marble statue of the Madonna.


And a puppeteer on a corner.
Sad but happy.
I always have mixed emotions about street artists.


But he was doing it! So hats off to him.


Then Laura took us to a fantastic roof cafe with a panoramic view of the whole town and the mountains in the distance. 


I love the feel of new spring and new life everywhere here!


This was comical.
There was actually a love seat with a frame on the roof, 
for folks like us to pose and take pics!


But then we had to go to work!
There was one slight complication, 
when only 1 of the 3 boxes of workshop stuff got dropped off.
S H I T
It wasn’t as if we could even attempt to wing it;
the parchment and scissors were in box 2,
and ALL the Groovi plates were in box 3.

YIKES.

But about 5 minutes before the bell rang, the boxes pitched up, and after an unpacking frenzy, Linda kicked off with a lovely Pergamano-style workshop.



The girl did great!!!


I was just the assistant.


In the evening it was down to me and the Groovi.
Also went down very well, I’m pleased to report.

But now I must dash again.
Laura is taking us up the mountain in a gondola before our afternoon and evening workshop shift.

I’m stamping today, so we shall see how they get on with a brayer and torn paper hills....


Love & hugs,

Barb
xxx

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Maribor and the Artists....

Hiya!
Thanks for popping in!
Just a quickie before we set off on our adventure today.
We are being collected at 9 from the hotel to do some sightseeing for the morning.
I know.
It’s a hard task, but somebody’s got to do it!!

Then we’re off to the shopping mall for lunch
before the work begins!

It is brilliant. All through the mall are tables of crafters,
being taught be artists and artisans from all over the world.

This beautiful lady here, Mihaela, is the organiser.
You couldn’t want for a kinder, more hospitable and lovely host.

The little girl in the front is Shaiya.

How do I know her name?


She made her name at one of the tables!


See if you can spot Linda’s and my workshops...


See??
I wasn’t kidding when I said we were in a mall!!!


Look look look!!


And here we all are in the evening, being wined and dined,
and having the best time!
What an international gathering!


I have to go now,
but this lady making a little presentation is from Israel.
She was reading out a poem she had written.
It was pretty special


What a lucky woman I am, to be part of this.
And to be spending the week with Linda.
She is a diamond, a real gem.
You know when you laugh so much, you have to stand with your legs crossed and can’t move ?
Yeah, well there have been a few of those.

Love and Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Must dash! Said the Mexican..
Must go!  Said the Russian...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Miss you bunnies

Hi there!
Perga/Burger Man again!

Just had a garbled call from Barbara & Linda.....
Apparently, they are stuck in a shopping centre 
with a poor signal (yeah right!) and 
could I post the blog that she prepped earlier!

Mmmmmm, what do we think?
"Stuck" in a shopping centre?
Don't you call that late night shopping?
I think Barbara mentioned something about
2 new dresses, a handbag, shoes, 
chocolate before the call cut out!

Anyway, I'll let you decide if they are "stuck" or not!

Over to Barb
xxxx


When I was last on the telly, I did a quick demo 


Take a piece of the A6 coated Clarity card,
tape down using some low-tack tape onto a piece of A4 paper.
Ink up the set of 3 boxes using Pitch Black Adirondack and stamp into position.

Be careful not to slip and slide!

When the ink is dry,
cover up with the mask and then stamp the single box at the end


Cover up the 4th box and then stamp the 
3 boxes underneath and cover them up as well.

You have plenty of masks on the sheet.


Now take one of the bunnies,
you have 4 to choose from 
and stamp him on top of the boxes.


Cover him up with the mask.


Take a Moon Mask and position as below


Ink up the brayer with Denim Adirondack and
 starting in the top right hand corner, 
gradually work your way down,
making sure you stop near the top of the boxes

Now ink up the brayer with Pitch Black Adirondack
and starting in the same place, gradually work down
this time stopping half way across the moon.


Next take a torn piece of A4 paper to create the hills.
(If you struggle to create hills, did you know that 
our blending mats have 2 different edges to help!)
Ink up the brayer with Pitch Black Adirondack and 
this time, start at the bottom.
Move your hills, but don't add anymore ink to the brayer.

Now for the reveal!
Remove all the masks and place back onto 
the sheets they came from.


Now ink up the foliage stamps with Pitch Black
Adirondack and stamp across the bottom.

Slowly remove the low-tack tape.


Stamp your letters into the boxes and
then when the ink is dry, polish using a soft tissue.

Can you see the shine?
That is the coated Clarity card doing
what it is meant to do!

Finally, take a black micron pen and go
around the edge of your work.

Mount on a piece of Designer paper 
and then on to a card blank

The coated Clarity card really does look stunning


One of the great things about having the
 Letterbox Set of stamps, 
you can create whatever message/greeting you want!

Love and hugs,
Barb
xxx