Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Clarity Open Days - Crowborough 2016

That title just does not do justice to the fabulous time we all had at the festival of all things ClarityStamp.  The start was not auspicious with a journey of five and a half hours from Redditch down to Tunbridge Wells.  I counted 8 jets trying to land on my roof (well, that is what it felt like) while stuck in stationary or near stationary traffic under the flight path on the M25 at Heathrow.  

However, once we got there, the Spa Hotel was lovely, and I managed to find a very convenient space right outside the front door.  Several of us gathered and set off so that the others could see where we were going in the morning and then back to the Nevill Crest and Gun for a delicious evening meal, before resting up ready for the morning.

Were we in for a treat?  Oh boy, we sure were.  A gathering of some of the most talented crafters you could wish to find in one room, covering all angles of the crafting we love so much.  I will write much more over time about what we saw, but these photos might give you a little flavour.  They were taken at different times over the two days.

Jo Rice showing all things stencils, stamps and inks
Jo Rice again, showing the different effects that are possible with the wonderful Clarity stencil brushes, from very subtle to really intense.

I think this is the only shot I got of Barbara over the two days.  It was hard to get near her as you can imagine with such a popular lady.  You might also spot Dave (looking so well) somewhere in the background.  I don't think he, Steve and Jayne stopped pounding the numbers on the till for two days.

The lovely Tina Cox, who is such a lovely lady and such a brilliant exponent of the art of parchment.  She had us laughing all weekend, and what she can do with those new Clarity border pricking grids is out of this world.  She also kept everyone supplied with sweeties.

I have just found one more shot of Barbara, pulling the numbers for for the hourly raffle prizes.

Linda Williams and Paul Church taking a short break while Barbara did her thing, and easing their throats with Tina's sweets.

Just take a look at what Linda had done, the bra and panties in the frame, all achieved with the most exquisite parching.  Linda was showing us all how to use the full range of Pergamano tools, at least one of which she designed herself, using traditional methods.

You can see Maria in the background.  I think (cos I never got to see her demo this time) she was combining parchment with stencils and stamping brilliantly.

A side view of Maria Simms with some of Jo's audience in the background, listening to Barbara.

Maria again, chatting and demoing to Jilly and others

Sam Crowe, who is just brilliant with the Gelli plate, inks and paints.  Her plate has to be seen to be believed but it produces wonderful designs in Sam's hands.

Sam again, with some of her cards and tags on show.

Gotcha, Sam!


I seem to have missed getting a photo of another lovely lady, Dee Paramour, who can use inks in ways no-one else has thought of and is so generous with her time and tips.

These Open Days are not just a chance to learn new things but also a wonderful chance to meet up with old friends (some of whom travelled huge distances, even from Texas, for the occasion) and to make new friends.  I am not going to name them all, in case I miss someone out, but it was wonderful to meet up with everyone.

All the Clarity team from Barbara and those we see in front of house to those who sorted out all our lunches and those who worked so hard to set things up and to pull things down at the end, were brilliant.  Thank you to every one of you.  You are part of a fantastic team.  Long may it continue.  Roll on July when we all start to convene again for the series of two day Retreats.
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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

WOYWW - 365

This is definitely a picture heavy post today, and is designed to make up a little for my absence from the WOYWW blogs for some time.  I cannot believe how fast this year is passing us by and we are into June already.  I am only just getting used to the long light evenings and before long we shall be heading steadily for the shortening of daylight again.  We need to make the most of what we have every day.

This week, I can actually see most of my table and I am gradually getting my table storage sorted, thanks to a couple of mdf units from Candy Box Crafts (they go together so easily).  At least things are now not quite so easy for my littlest dog to steal and eat, which has to be an advantage.


You might be able to see, tucked into my new completed unit my new possessions, Pixie Powders.  I love them, a bit like Brushos and Colour Bursts but loaded with mica - luscious. 

I have also been busy playing with my Groovi system again, the Clarity system of parchment creation.  I have always loved parchment, especially the traditional pure white version.  Two of these are white but the third is done on coloured parchment and then mounted on mirri card and also has some blended pencil work mixed with the embossing.



The final photo is of one piece already mounted, and using three different Groovi plates to make up the design and then embossed over three days, leaving it to rest in between.

The original design of the fan plate is from the immensely talented Tina Cox  and is so lovely to work with.


I hope to get round as many of you as possible this week and wish all of you good health.  It is great to know that Julia has come safely through her surgery and I pray that her recovery will be equally successful.

Meanwhile, thank.you to Lunch Lady.Jan for acting as our lovely hostess to allow Julia time to rest and recuperate.