Wednesday, 30 November 2016

On the Scrapheap? Never!

Hi there.
Sunny Wednesday here in the south-east of England.
Our Groovi Worldwide Facebook page is alive!
So many visitors, so much art!
Amazing what happens when we have a common ground 
and a safe, warm meeting place, isn’t it?

Yesterday I was stencil happy, and playing 
with Colour Burst water-colour powders.

I had trimmed the art just before mounting it on black,
and was just about to bin the scraps, the trimmed slivers, 

when a little voice said NO NO!
There’s art in there somewhere!

So out with a sheet of A6 double-sided adhesive,
and let’s see where we end up...

One at a time, I laid the scrap slivers down 
on the adhesive lengthways. 

Nudged them up tight to one another,
flipped them round, so that the colours contrasted.

Just kept going until all the scraps were used up,

like so:

Trimmed the edges with a ruler with a steel inlay and a craft-knife, 

then started cutting down in the other direction,
making mosaic strips.

See? They’ve all got tape on the back, 
so suddenly they have gone from being offcuts and in the bin
to really interesting.

I think I’ll make myself a coaster for next to where I work, 
to remind me.
2 packs (8 coasters) on special offer.

Stripey coaster?

No, mosaic coaster!

Time to layer up onto another piece of paper.

Bit thick for the coaster too. Keeps popping open.
The Purple glue runner round the edge of the artwork 
back and front. Slip it into the coaster at press.
Now it’s sealed!

Only one thing:
it looks too new.

I wonder what would happen if I sanded the plastic coaster,
took the shine off it and dulled it down....

That’s more like it!
Looks like it’s been around for years.
Feels lovely too.

compare brightness

That’s what I mean though.

It all depends how you look at a thing.

Never look at scrap as scraps.
There’s great pleasure to be found in making art out of nowt.

In the same way, I must never look at myself as over the hill or on the scrap heap either. 

It’s so easy to do when the clock’s ticking, 
your teeth are falling out, your derrière is spreading
and a wicked witch has nicked your legs 
and given you her horrible ones. 

In the words of somebody else, clearly with a similar plight,
“the day you finally get your head sorted out, your arse falls apart.”

But I have to be grateful for what I have 
and enjoy my days as they roll by. 
All my parts are still working, 
and so what if I no longer have the body of a 25 year old? 
Wouldn’t that look a bit wierd?

Who’s with me on growing old gracefully and gratefully?

And now on with the TV prep.

Love & hugs,

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Our Favourite Stencil

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
As promised, this week I am looking at all the things you bought  in the sale last week,
and trying to provide you with some ideas and inspiration.
Last Tuesday we sold out of the Colour Burst Powders very quickly. Nonetheless, here’s a little play session,
which might give you a new idea or two...

Our dear friend Mel drew this stencil a while ago now,
together with a number of other seed heads and pods.

They’re all brilliant, but Mel and I both agree that this one, 
the seed heads one, is our fave.

Ready for a play?
Lay the 7"x7" stencil down on a piece of 7"x7" Clarity stencil card.

Spritz the whole thing with water.

Puff a few puffs of Colour Burst at the wet stencil.
Then lightly spritz again.

Now in theory, you’re supposed to lift the stencil and go
oooh! aaah! 
Didn’t happen.
Way too much water. 
When I said lightly spritz, I meant lightly spritz.
Not hose it down Gray!! All bled under the stencil.
A right merry mess.
Note to self: less spritz!

So that little masterpiece went destination BIN.
But then I looked at all the wet puff powder on the stencil,
and I thought to myself...
mmmm.... I wonder....

So I laid a piece of 7" x 7" stencil card straight down on the wet messy stencil,
and a kind of promising result.

Plenty more mileage where that came from!

Spritz stencil again without adding any extra powder puff.
Let’s see what happens when it starts to fade...

Wow! Now that’s better!

This time, let’s try a different idea.
Same grubby stencil.
Puff a little green and blue at it.
Spritz with water again.

This time, lightly spritz the piece of stencil card with water 
before you lay it down on the soggy stencil.

Love it. Let the colour bleed and spread.

Revive the stencil with a little water spritz,

Just keep pulling prints. Dry ones, wet ones, damp ones.
Use the stencil as a stamp.
It is so arty!
And no two are ever the same.

Ran it through the E-Bosser too.
That’s cool.

Now for something different again.
Dab a black dye-based ink pad like Black Soot over the stencil,
on the same side all the puff powder has been.

Remember this one?

I’m going to lay the inky stencil face down on it.

and run it through the E-Bosser.
I do love my E-bosser.
Don’t do dies. Never have.
But I do love my E-Bosser for embossing.
I use it like a mangle, not a cutter. 

What do we think....


Trim the sides and mount on black...

Trim back and mount on white, to lift it.

Happy with that.
Enjoyed that stencil session with Colour Burst too.

Lesson for the day:
And if it happens to be a soggy stencil caked in Colour Burst,
then that’s your challenge!
For me, that IS the definition of creativity.
Not knowing exactly where you are headed, 
but using your imagination to develop the arty process 
as you go along.
And then, when you get to the end, you feel satisfied and content.
No matter what others say, YOU are OK with it. 

Mel has drawn a fab new stencil with various seed heads. 
She’s already given me the artwork, 
but we haven’t had time to turn it into a stencil yet. 
But when I went round Mel’s for the day the other day, 
I was puzzled, because she had loads of prints piled up using this stencil!  She had been so excited to try it out, couldn’t wait for us to get our act together, so she had hand cut it out of card to use it. Exquisite. 
It was taped to the window, drying out, 
and looking really well loved!

Now THAT’s what I call an artist!

Love & hugs,

Monday, 28 November 2016

Colouring pencils meet parchment....

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

What a busy GRAY SALE weekend it has been!
I’ve been cracking up reading all the comments you have been posting, about beans on toast till Christmas.

Somebody is opening up a help group for those of you 
who are willing to admit you are powerless over Groovi.

Somebody else suggested we open up another area on the new website where we should sell baked beans, bread, milk and teabags,
so you can order in food at the same time,
and then never have to leave the house again 
when the stash arrives.

Very, very funny.
Almost made me feel guilty. 
But then saw the mountain of orders
which now need picking, packing and sending!
No guilt here girls!

You will be relieved to know however, that this week’s blogs
are all demo based.
I will not mention any prices,
I will not add any links
(well maybe I will, just in case you need to find stuff on the new website...)
No no no. This week we will take a look at what to do with all the gear you bought last week!

Last Monday, we had a sale on the Spectrum Noir Colourblend pencils, which work so well on parchment.

So I thought we would have a little play with them, and I will show you how to get a really good result on parchment.
Forgive me for not producing a masterpiece here, 
but you KNOW how long parchment craft takes 
- even using Groovi!
And I’ve got 7 hours of live TV shows to prep some time 
between now and Sunday too!

S H I T !!!!


Fast forward to the colouring stage.
Found this in a stash from last year...

Spectrum Noir is a waxy consistency which grips the parchment .
Like Faber-Castell Polychromos.

When colouring on parchment, we usually work on the back.
Light cover of Holly green.

Add a little shade to the tips with the same pencil.

Add a contrasting green down the middle.
Don’t worry about going over the white lines - they aren’t affected. 

Now here’s the thing.
You could spend all day, carefully adding shade,
and then when you turn to the front, you can barely see anything!

So the answer is to either not be too pedantic,
or press harder!

Add a touch of blue too ; the waxy pigment blends well.

If the colouring looks a little gritty from the front, 
you can use paper stumps and the special blending solution 
to blend the colours beautifully and get a reallt smooth result.

Or you can add the blending solution before you colour in.
Just paint the area with the blending solution on a paper stump.
let it dry and then do your colouring in.

Very smooth too.

The back always looks great!!

Mind you, to be honest, the more time you take on the back, 
the better the front will look.
Logical really.

Pencil first

Paper stump with blending solution in tiny circular motions, working from the bottom up into the blue. 

Same with head.
let’s go again...


Paper stump with Blending solution


I’m only using the same few Colourblend colours.
Some from the new Naturals tin, 
and a couple of the old sets I have handy all the time.

If you lay it on white, it looks insipid.

Lay it on Kraft. Always works.

Funky Gelpress backgrounds are great.

Or maybe a remnant from my stash?

Not bad...

Mmm. Very interesting on this water colour and rocksalt effort...

Or you can play it safe and just use coloured parchment behind
and then on white.
Always nice and crisp.

That’ll do for today.

In case you hadn’t heard, 
we at Clarity have launched a 
Groovi Worldwide Facebook page.
Why not join us?
I think it will be awesome.

Time to call it a day.

And by the way.
Thank you so very much for supporting the Gray Sale Days 
this weekend and last week. 
Thank you for working out the new website.
Thank you for being such amazing customers. 

It is easy to be successful when you are all there!

Love & hugs,