Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Single Woodland Leaf Scene.

Hello there.
Happy Sunday!
Sun’s shining and I’m feeling much better today. 
Must have been one of those 48 hour bugs that knocked me 
on my derrière.

Many of you had some good ideas yesterday, 
with what to do with the fossil leaves. 

If you missed yesterday’s blog, let’s have a speedy recap, 
and then carry on....

Brayer Fired Brick or another autumnal colour over the fossil leaf.

Lay it face down on A5 Theuva card

Lay a piece of copy paper or another sheet of A5 Theuva card on top, and brayer thoroughly, to transfer ink from leaf to card

Nice leaf print

Pick a tree. I picked the tall one from this set of 3
which all come on one mount, but which can be peeled off. :

I then picked a colour. Coffee Archival.
The next part is easy. 
I removed the other two trees from the mount,
bent the tall tree to the same angle as the spine of the fossil leaf print, and stamped it straight down the centre.

Using a piece of copy paper for a mask, I laid the paper along veins of the leaf, as though they were hills, 
and added varying portions of the tree, either blotting or not blotting, to get lighter trees. Or not!

Then I went round the fossil leaf print with a Beige, light Promarker, with a fine nib (pack of 3) attached.
The Skintone set is great.

My word! Am I describing a set of colouring pens? Pack of 3??? Skintone??? Now I am laughing my head off!!! 
Ahh those were the days....

Decorum, decorum!
Cut back and dust round the edge with a Clarity Stencil brush and Butterscotch Adirondack. Can’t beat Butterscotch for this job. 

We need a little something...

Oh boy! I spend ages deciding which animal to use! 
The owl looked great perched on the top of the leaf.
The rabbit was great in the bottom corner.
The squirrel was wonderful tripping along one of the leaf veins. 
But I went with the fawn. 
He sat perfectly in the opening. 

Frame the piece with the chisel end of another Promarker. 
A brown one!

Now for the background. 
I had stained several leaves, and decided they could be used. 
Spray-mounted them to another piece of Theuvacard, like so:

This is the Spraymount I have started using. Very good. 
We sell it now, too. 

Then I trimmed the card back and mounted the leafy scene.

A craft card was the final solution.

 Waste not, want not. Spray mounted an offcut inside, too.

So who shall I send this card to?

The winner of Yesterday’s blog candy is 

So Rolf, send me your mailing address, and your wishlist for 3 inkpads, and I will send you the card, some leaves and the ink pads of your choice!

So today is the last day of the Blogsale. 
If you look back at the last two weeks of blogs, or go to the website and look under offers, today’s the last day.
In fact, let’s add the woodland set. 

Buy the Woodland set, 
and we will send you the trees as a gift. 
click here

Have a great Sunday!
Leave an uplifting comment here and 

much love,

Saturday, 30 August 2014

I will leaf it with you....

Hi there
Thanks for stopping by.
Feeling a bit pants today. Typical.
So apologies for this late hour, but I just couldn’t get it together!

I was clearing up, moving my stash into the new Art-Studio, and I came across a box of fossil leaves. Remember these?

Mmm, I thought. Could have some fun with these.

So I tried an old trick, and put a new spin on it - as you do...

So because I feel so rough, this is what I am going to do:

first part today and the second half, the new spin, tomorrow! 

Take a dye based ink pad, a Cranberry Adirondack or a Fired Brick, or whatever you have in the cupboard.

Load your brayer, and roll back and forth over the fossil leaf.
It’s best to put a piece of scrap underneath....

Place the inky fossil leaf WET SIDE down on card. 
I used A5 Theuva Card.
Now we have to lay another piece over the top, 
to keep the white card white!

I worked out that if you sandwich the leaf between two good pieces, rather than just a bit of copy paper to blot, 
you can get two good pieces!

Here I used copy paper,

Here I used Theuva Card.

I got into various colours and different leaf shapes, too.

Did layers and all sorts.

And then I stared at it, and stared. But nothing happened.
Usually, it just flows.
That’s when I knew I was not 100%.
I know it’s not terminal! I went to see the doctor last week, because I am so tired all the time.
When he called me with the results, the only things that were 
off-kilter, were Vitamin D and Cholesterol. 
In other words, I need sunshine, and to lay off the cheese!
But the body is saying go back to bed, veg out. 

So here’s what I want to do:
Somebody said the other day on Facebook,
 that I should delegate more. 
Oh boy! Can I delegate !!! You have no idea.
Ask Dee, Jayne, Jim or Dave, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich!
So here’s the deal.
I want YOU to take over. Stare at the leafy prints, and see if you can work out where I might be headed....

Leave a message with an idea.
I can only assure you I HAVE finished it!
One clue: Fawn

Then tomorrow, I will post the rest of the story!

As for the Blogsale, which has been going on for a couple of weeks, all the items I have been adding are listed together in one place on our website.
At midnight tomorrow, they go back to normal again.

Blog Candy.
We have also been having some prize draws, 
or Blog Candy if you like. 
So leave a message, tell me what you would do with these leaves now, and tomorrow, I will send a winner the card I have made, a pack of the Fossil leaves and 3 Adirondack or Distress ink pads of your choice!

The winner of yesterday’s blog candy is:
Gill Prescott
Gill, send your postal address to
and we will send you a £25 Gift Voucher!

Much Love,

Friday, 29 August 2014

Suck it and see!

Hello there.
Thanks for stopping by.
TGIF, eh !!!
This is going to be the last weekend off for us in a while, 
so I really want to spend it well.
In fact, as soon as I hit Publish
I’m off to spend the day with my parents. 

Friday’s blog a private peek?
Well, what little secret shall I let you into today....

Shall I tell you that Laura had a bad turn but is home happy and safe with her little baby Evie now? No.

Shall I tell you I bought a new car? And it goes like a rocket? No.

Shall I tell you that Grace booked another voice-over ad for Tampax, and I have threatened to stop feeding Mark if he takes the micky? No.

Shall I tell you that I’ve booked my flight to go see her 
in New York for a week in October? No.

Let me tell you about my new challenge to myself.
And NO! It doesn’t involve a bucket of ice. 
That said, can you believe that we have raised close to £2,000 ??
I think that this is phenomenal. 
The power of the Internet and our Clarity community!
Thank you to everybody who contributed.
It’s still going on!
In fact, this afternoon, lovely Janice here at work is rising to the challenge, and the lads are drawing straws on who gets to do the honours! 

And Tesco’s are donating all profit on bags of ice sold to MND. £20,000 to date. 
Moreover, they have nominated Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons to do the same. That impresses me.

But I digress.
My new challenge to myself. 
I went in to Tunbridge Wells yesterday and bought some 
lino + blades (a lot cheaper than a car!)
Why? Because I want to teach myself Lino-cutting. 
You may or may not be familiar with this art form.
Here is a snapshot of wonderful samples...

I just think it will be great to develop a line of original stamps which have that woodcut or linocut quality.
Also, I just want to make some art. Art for art’s sake. 
Just feast your eyes on these masterpieces...

You know how so many of you read this daily blog, gather up some ideas and then get creative?
Well, I have decided to stretch myself, too. 
It can’t be that hard, can it, this lino-cutting?

The plaster speaks volumes....

Dave and I were in Rye recently, and there was an art exhibition of local artists. Well, one artist was displaying the most delightful linocuts. The lady herself happened to be at the door, and I overheard her say to another visitor who was admiring her work, “I’ve only been doing it for a year.”
Blimey! I thought. 
Linocutting is achievable. 
She’s probably some art-guru prodigy, and I’m in for a hiding.
But do you know what?
Until I try it, I will never know. 
Who knows??
You could be reading the blog of the world’s next great Linocut artist! Barbara Gray may go down in history as the woman who changed the way we cut lino!
I confided my new adventure to a good friend in a private Facebook message.
“I want to learn Lino-cutting”
Her response?
“What? For your new floor?” 

So what’s my point?
Clearly, you can’t know that you can’t do a thing 
until you’ve tried it. 

 much love,

Don’t forget to check out all the items we have been adding by and by. For all offers thus far, 
click here

The random winner of yesterday’s blog candy is...
Elaine Shelley
(email me your address, and we will send you a little surprise)

As for today’s Blogcandy,
leave an uplifting response to today’s ramblings, 
and tomorrow you could be the winner of 
a £25 Clarity Gift voucher.
If you don’t know how to leave a message, then make it your personal challenge to find out how!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Boy who could fly...

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by.
Well, Thursday’s blog is always blue, 
so here’s a blue piece.
I have to say, I am really pleased with this artwork. 
You know how it is; every now and then, you make something or create something that just makes your heart sing. 
See what you think...

It starts out with a page from a book.
The paper is good quality, almost satin, and quite thick. 
I tried it on basic paperback print - not so good; the print on the reverse side came through.

So let’s assume you have found a good book that 
you are prepared to cut up.
The other ingredients you probably already have, too:

The stamps I used are:

and my favourite stamp ever:

Remove the indexing from the stamps with either Blending solution or a mild nail varnish remover.
This will stop your Versamark ink pad going blue.
(Although Thursday’s blog IS a blue one!)

Stamp and emboss the trees along the baseline with clear embossing powder.

Use torn paper to make hills.

Stamp and heat emboss the boy and birds stamp, too.

Can’t see much right now. So let’s take a closer look....
Time to bring out the boy!

Starting at the bottom of the page, tear a hill out of copy paper, and position at the baseline, like so:

and brush in the hills, from left to right - and back again!.
Wipe the ink off the trees with a paper towel.

Make another hill-line further up, but this time use Tumbled Glass - a lighter blue.

3rd hill’s Antique Linen

Then I think we’ll go back to Chipped Sapphire, or Faded Jeans
for the mountains in the way back.

To do the sky, I think we’ll use a Brayer
It will give us greater coverage faster.
Let’s do an undercoat with Tumbled Glass first.
Roll it out on the Clarity Blending mat first.

Once we’ve travelled from top to bottom with the lighter colour,

it’s time to get out the big guns - Chipped Sapphire

See how he comes out as soon as we brayer a darker colour 
over him? Wipe the ink off the glazed image into the paper background.

Let’s take a step back and look at the surrounding page. 
I continued the hills into the margins, too.

This is cool. If you dab a little Squeezed Lemon onto the glazed tress and bushes with a make-up sponge, not only does it clean the image beautifully, but when you move it out beyond the glaze, the yellow blends with the blues to create a fab green hue.

Now dab some Black Soot on the embossed areas and gently sweep them into the printed paper, to create shadows. 

The ink will glide and move on satin printed paper.

Trim the edges back. YOU decide how much.
All depends how good the landscape in the margins is!

Very happy with this.

I think this one is going in my gallery....

So let’s see.
The BLOGSALE continues until 31st.
Let’s add a couple of things from this tutorial.

Large Meadow Tree (rrp £7.25)  £5
Tall Meadow Tree (rrp £7.25)  £5
Boy in Flight (rrp £9.25)  £8
Squeezed Lemon Distress ink pad (£4.50) £4

If you go to the website OFFERS page, you will see all the items which have been added through the BLOGSALE.

Yesterday’s lucky winner is Beryltreble
(Beryl, email me your address, and we will get a £20 Gift Voucher off to you!)

Leave a lovely comment today, and give this piece of Artwork a title. If this were the cover of a book, what would be the title of the book?
And if you say “The Boy who could fly”, that’s mine!!!!

much love,