Monday, 30 November 2015

Trees trees and more trees!!

Hello there.
Thanks for popping in.
I’m late tonight, but that is due largely to a very long day, 
wading through orders and Groovi Plates with my teamies!
We have a plan!

Now I have to trust in the good people at Clarity to
make and pick and pack and stack and
move the orders out !
Suffice it to say that we have never, ever, 
in the history of the company,
known a weekend like it.
I just hope we can dispatch faster than our blimming website 
was going on Friday!!! 

And me? What am I up to?
 I have to focus on the next TV Show,
which is Sunday 2-4pm.
Oh what a bind! I get to prep demos and do art...

One little voice in my head, (we call him Niggle) says,
“Well, nobody’s going to buy anything on Sunday, 
because they’ve just had a massive spend-up on the Gray Days!”
Then Giggle, the other voice in my head, laughs and says,
“Yeah, but hang on! Wait till they see the beautiful new stamps and Groovi Plates!”

So I’m going with Giggle.
Monday’s Blog is Flowers and Trees, right?
Well, on Sunday, on HOCHANDA,
I am showcasing a brand new pair of 
fabulous Wee Trees and Wee Grasses ClarityStamps.
Brilliant for landscapes and country scenes.

Quite by chance today, 
I found an old card I made donkeys ago,
with little scenes.
Remember the old Woodland inkpad?
The rainbow pad from Ranger?
Why they frequently discontinue such excellent lines
is beyond me. 
(Oops! Niggle’s woken up again)
I suppose you can make your own rainbow pads now, with the bottled Distress inks and Cut n Dry Felt 
(There’s Giggle pitching in, bless her)

Just 3 little panels,


with a larger tree and a moon mask.


a smaller tree,


torn paper and the side of the larger tree for the hedgerows.


And now, finally a set of Wee trees and Grasses!



These are going to be so brilliant for all the 
Wee Fairies and Wee Children too.

Anyway, I really must take my shoes off
and kick back for an hour before we hit the hay!

Love and Peace,

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Pulling up the kitchen floor!


Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Have you had a good Sunday?
Dave and I went for lunch with our good friend Mel.
You know, the cartographer friend who illustrates so many of our stamps stencils and now Groovi plates.


Look Mum! Clogs!!!

Then she and I and her two dogs, Rosie and Moth,
 went for a really long walk through the fields and woods.

Didn’t stop talking and sharing ideas and bouncing off each other.
I love spending time with her.
She and I want to learn lino cutting together.
So I showed her my first modest Paris effort.


She was impressed!
So we scoured the  internet looking at the masters,
and I stumbled across this video.

Not lino cutting, but so fascinating!
Check it out...



We humans really are creative, aren’t we.
How can that mural be made out of lino?!

Anyway, time to do a little tidying here before the 
order-filling onslaught tomorrow!

Thank you so very much for your patience around this weekend’s sale and the website crash.

TV  show next Sunday 2-4pm.
I really ought to prep for that too...
mmm...Orders? Prep? Colouring book? Lino-cutting?

Life will never be long enough!!!!


love and peace,

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sometimes in the Winds of Change....

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Happy to report that the website has calmed down, 
and business has resumed its normal flow.
Well, no. Let me qualify that.
It has calmed down to the point where it stops getting 
so hot it boils over!
Calm infers quiet, but that is not the case!

Thank you so much for you patience and gracious attitude.
The website debacle really was beyond our control; 
I suppose on a positive note, 
it gave us as a Clarity Team the opportunity to put our service to the real test. I am so proud of our crew!

Next test is filling the orders as fast and efficiently as possible!
We were working out a strategy today!

Last night, very late, I called a customer to help out with her order.
She, like so many others, had had no joy on the website.
Anyway, what can I say except that in one sentence, 
she right-sized the whole website crash situation for me.
She told me that she was so happy and excited about our Groovi Parchment system, because she was now able to resume crafting. 
“I only have the use of one hand nowadays”, she told me,
“I struggle to dress, to feed myself - most things are a challenge and I was so sad I couldn’t stamp or craft anymore.
But with the Groovi Plate Mate, I just rest my dead arm on the work and off I go !!”
Can you imagine how instantly the commercial chaos of the day evaporated for me?
She and I spent a while on the phone trying to work out a good way for her to be able to stamp well again. And I have been thinking about it a lot today. I think I have a solution, but shall have to put one hand behind my back to test it out first. 
She told me it had been very important for her not to give up, 
but to work with what she had. 

So this step by step is for her...

Blotchy, watery  Gelli Plate background for my Distress Ink stash.
Easy. Just drip a couple of drop of Distress ink on the plate 
and spritz with water.
Pat with a poly bag to spread the ink.
Lay a piece of 7" x 7" stencil card on the Gelli Plate. 
Done.


Use a large flat 5" x 5 " Megamount and ink the tree stamp 


with Black Archival.



Same with the man losing his brolly;
I love this image.


Attach a torn piece of cope paper with masking tape behind,
and dust in a hill or two with a Clarity Brush and Evergreen Bough.


Add a little shade beneath his feet too, so he’s not floating.
Notice I have placed the artwork on one of those new mats.
The Best ever Craft Mat.
Stops the card slipping while I’m working on it.


Place the message from the set on the large mount and twist it.
it will cling where you put it. 

Ink it up now, flip it over and position it on the card.


See how the stamp pings straight back to normal?


There we are. 
I did this just using my left hand.
I wanted to know.
It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

The two main helps for me were the flat 5" x 5"' mount


easy to load with the stamp and small enough to grip;
and the non-slip mat. 



The mat was what held the artwork in place for me. 


Added a little white here and there with a pencil, and that’ll do.


And did I remember that a year ago yesterday 
our dear friend Jane Crosby died?

Oh yes, I remembered.
But I thought it would be disrespectful to her and her family to talk about her on Black Friday, with all its commercial mayhem.
Next Wednesday, I’d like to spend the day thinking about and remembering Jane. 


Love and Peace ,

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Wicked Witch of the West!!!!

That is what I think the internet feels like today - meltingggggggggg


Just a quick post to fill you in if you haven’t picked it up from Facebook.

It would appear that the whole of the world wide web has been having issues today as a result of Black Friday.

The team back at base have been running around like headless chickens, trying to make sure that phones and emails are being answered as quickly as possible and dealt with.

So in order to help ease the pressure all round, I have decided to extend “Gray Friday” until midnight on Sunday - phew! On top of that, the phones in the office will be manned until 8pm tonight (Friday) and again tomorrow from 8am until 5pm (Saturday).


I will just add, don't panic! We make most of our products in house at Clarity, so we will not run out of our own range! It may just take 6 months to fill the order!!

Dave’s pulling a night shift. I think that’s what he called it...


Jim was last seen leaving the building with a big sign ...

Seriously though folks, we are doing our best.
Nobody saw this coming.
Have a Gray evening!
Have a Gray weekend!

Love & Peace

Thursday, 26 November 2015

SAVE SAVE SAVE.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in!
Ready for Gray Friday tomorrow?


In case you hadn’t heard,
 at Midnight tonight, 
we are having a 24-hour sale on 
ALL THINGS CLARITY.
Yep, a third off all Clarity-branded products, 
including stamps, stencils, brushes, card, canvas,
Groovi and storage.
The doors open at midnight tonight,
and we are all set to welcome you!
Jim promised to stay up and make sure the Website doesn’t crash,
and Ann & the telephone team will be raring to go from 8am.

This is NOT a clearance sale.
We aren’t trying to offload old stock.
We are simply dropping prices by a third. 
Club Members’ 10% discount applies in addition,
AND
FREE P&P ON ALL ORDERS UK MAINLAND.
(no minimum spend either)

Are we desperate?
Not at all. 
Quite the contrary. 

We just don’t like BLACK FRIDAY.
So we’re having a GRAY FRIDAY instead !!!

Sorry, but I ran out of steam as far as Blog-art goes.
I spent hours today, prepping and writing the inside cover 
and a how-to project for the new colouring book,
which is hopefully going to print next week.
And then promptly lost the lot.
My own fault.
I really should know at the ripe old age of 56, 
to hit the SAVE button frequently. 
Dipstick.
SAVE SAVE SAVE.

(Ha! And you thought I meant save save save on the sale!!!)

Have to say, I was surprised at how quickly I accepted 
that I had cocked up. 
Nonetheless, a second run at what was really good is never fun, 
is it. 
So I shall love you and leave you with a little preview of 
what’s coming up in our new Artist’s Colouring Book...

How to get from this...


to this....



love & peace,

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Free Abstract Download Papers. Purple, Green - both!

Hi there,
Welcome to Mindful Wednesday’s Blog!
This is the day of the week when we look at 
LIFE
and how we handle it,
and where craft comes into play.

The more I consciously use art and crafting to switch off
my washing machine head,
the more effective it is becoming.
How about you?
Starting to feel the benefits yet?



I have always actually resorted to some form of creative release,
but without realising what it was doing for me.
During the past few months I have really started to develop 
an awareness of how focussing on the action stops my wandering mind in its tracks.
 Whatever it may be, concentrating on what I am doing or making helps me stay with my hands in the present, in the now.

Yesterday’s blog was a prime example of how we as a creative group have the ability to concentrate on something and really focus.

I asked you to take a look at two colour splashes I had made with 
Color Burst Pigment Powders.

Purple


 Green

I was blown away by the response, by the creative input,
by what you all saw.
And without reservation you shared your findings, too.

This proves to me that we are collectively moving forward.
A year ago, I don’t think we would have had the same open, uninhibited response. 

So to celebrate, I am offering you the two splashes to download.
That way, you can explore.

Click here to download Green Splash


Click here to download Purple Splash


You’ve already told me what you can see.
Now print of a few of these backgrounds and see if you can translate what’s in your head to paper.

Like I did yesterday, with the whimsy houses on the cliff.

From this, 


to this:


Several of you yesterday said how much you enjoyed getting into what you could see in the splashes.
Well, let’s go to the next step;
let’s get them thar pencils out !!

Have fun.
If you would like to send me a pic of what you create, 
I would LOVE that.
I really, really would. 

love & peace.

P.S. 
Even if you just download the papers and add them to your stash, 
they make a great background for something!




Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Looking beyond the splat...

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Have just had the cleanest Messy Hour ever!
So I want to share my little arty intermezzo with you.
Now don’t worry; she hasn’t lost the plot.
She was getting to grips with the new Mat we have started selling,
The Best Ever Mat.
It really is excellent!
I wanted to see how it reacted to water, and just have a play.
I lost my temper at work today. Not without reason, but I hate the aftermath, and could really do without it at my age, to be honest!
So I came home and decided to just get it out of my system actually.
Call it a mindful workout for the soul....





Spritz mat with a line of water.


Puff a  couple of Color Burst pigment powders into the water.





Lower the centre of a sheet of our stencil card down onto the beaded, colourful water, and rock it gently to the left and right.

Lift the card and turn it, to let the puddles of ink move around.


Chase the drops and streams of colour.
By moving and bending the card, 
you can manipulate light and shade.


If it’s too dark,
you can always lift the colour by spritzing the card


and blotting it with a paper towel.
Flip it round. Who says which way is up?
YOU DO.


Ahh.
Let’s stop here for a moment.
Do the old Barbie squint, and see what you can see....


Anything?


Well, let me show you what I can see.
Loads of little whimsy houses.
They just need little rooftops and a few windows.
The Spectrum Noir pencils and Faber-Castell pencils
work beautifully on top of the Color Burst.

I could spend hours on this!


Highlights and lowlights.
Just use the drips and runs to create 
rocky foundations and interest.


 How about a few little stairs and balconies?
And now I see a cliff wall!
Yep.
All the houses are at the top, on the cliff edge.
So with a darker pencil and light flick, 
let’s define the crags and rock face all along the beach.


No stamps, no stencils, no Groovi Plates.
Just a clever mat which repels water (key ingredient)
some ultra-fine pigment powder, aka Color Burst


A couple of colouring pencils,


and a mighty fine squint!!!!
Let’s hone our squinting skills together.
Here are a couple of other pieces I made whilst playing.

I want you to look at each of them, stare at them.
See what you see.
Whether you see the same as me....

I am particularly delighted with this one....

Purple Picture

And this one! Well!
Can’t wait to bring out what I see with a pencil!

Green Picture
Pray do tell us below what you can see.
Then others can go back and check.
It would be great if you have the printing capability
to download these two and add your artwork to mine.
Then email me your take on my Color Burst Bases.

These little bottles and the Mat have serious artistic potential.
They have zoomed straight into my top 3 chart of
favourite things to use.

Clear mind, and ready to go again tomorrow.



love and peace,