Friday, 30 June 2017


Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Friday’s blog a private peak, right?

Today something popped into my head which I haven’t thought of for years.

(Pronounced Niggysob)

Please allow me to explain...

Many years ago, I embarked on a course of study which involved TA. No, not the Territorial Army. Transactional Analysis. 
Very interesting psychology theory.
My marriage had fallen apart, I had come back to England from the States with two little kids, and was trying to figure out who I was, what had happened, and my part in the breakdown. 
Well, part of the course involved learning about games that people play. In fact, there’s a great little book by Eric Berne called just that: “Games People Play”

NIGYSOB is one that is played a lot.
It stands for Now I’ve Got You, you Son of a Bitch.

You know, when somebody baits you, provokes you, goads you, wants to get a reaction out of you. 
You keep your distance, you keep your mouth shut, you don’t buy into it. Or: you react.
And the minute you react, or bite, as my Dad would say, 
they’ve got you on the hook - like a fish.
In their minds they have won.
That is precisely where they get their kicks, their empowerment.

Hence the name NIGYSOB.
The SOB’s a bit strong, I know, but you get the idea. 

I inadvertently got caught up in it yesterday, quite innocently.
But suddenly I was on the hook.
And the only way to escape at that point is to detach, walk away, step away from the situation. 

If there are any psychoanalists reading this blog, please forgive the layterms and the simple thinking, but I like it that way; it clarifies things for me.

By the time we are 5 or 6 years old, the theory is that we already have a firm belief of who we are and how the world perceives us. 
Let’s take R. She thinks she is a pain in the backside and that nobody likes her. She has felt this to be true since she was a little girl. She will go through life putting herself in situations to reaffirm that. She will upset people, not intentionally or consciously - this runs much much deeper than that - but she will, and they will either abandon her, leave her or avoid her. 
Now here’s the rub: every time it happens, she will think to herself,
“See? I told you! I told you nobody loves you!” 
And her core belief about herself gets further entrenched.  

Anyway. Enough of that.
Yesterday somebody wanted to pay NIGYSOB, and I bit.
Not for long mind! I was off that hook within minutes, as soon as I recognised the game. But I wanted to share the little I know about NIGYSOB, because it may be helpful to you. It certainly is to me. 

Love & Hugs,

PS If your name begins with R, don’t get paranoid on me! 
It’s just a random letter I picked.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Groovi Jayne Bauble!

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Thursday’s Blog is always blue, right? Well mostly!
Paul and I have spent a lovely day together, prepping the Christmas launch on Jayne’s beautiful childrens’ stamps and Groovi Plates.
Jayne LOVED Christmas. It was her favourite time of year.
In fact, I’m pretty certain she hung on last Christmas for Christmas. She just wanted to spend one more with her family before she went on ahead....

So here’s a demo which I have prepped for Sunday evening,
but which I may not get to, so here it is step by step.

Trace out the bauble from the Christmas stencil shapes

I used the No. 1 tool from the Starter Kit on the soft black mat.
Not hard; best to practice on scrap first though, just to get the pressure right.

Fill the bauble with one of Jayne’s illustrations. 
I went with the little girl waiting for Santa,
or wishing on a star.

Next switch to an embossing mat. 
The black one or the Pergamano pink Excellent mat.
I have to admit, the pink one is very forgiving.

Use your embossing tools for the whitework.
The Ball Tools Set is comprehensive
I like the shader too, the one that looks like a paper clip.
All these tools and gadgets!

Working from the back, cover up the centre with the stencil inny.
Load a brush with Midnight Blue ink or any dark blue ink, 
and build up colour around the bauble.

When you remove the stencil, you really see the difference.

Make a square frame with a nested square plate 
around the bauble and trim the parchment.
Tape the square down, and reload your brush.
Add a second layer of blue, leaving the parchment light in the centre.

When you remove the masking tape and turn to the front, 
it’s magic.

Mount on a matching background.
I liked this one from the Designer Pad New England Fall
it reminded me of old bedroom wallpaper.

Mount again on A4 blue parchment
and trim to mount on white card.

The stripey wallpaper justs peeps through the blue.

Glitter is optional.
The new Perga Glitters are very, very good.
And the 6 colours are exclusive to us. 
I think Jayne would definitely have added glitter!
She loved a bit of bling!
I will finish it off on Sunday with glitter if I get time.

Paul and I are both enjoying working with Jayne’s artwork again;
it’s like she’s back in the building!
The demos have come together really easily too.
So maybe she is!

Love & hugs,

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Celebrating Jayne Nestorenko

Hi there.
Thanks for joining me here.
Back to work today, and it’s like we’ve never been away!
Except the pile is just a little bit taller...
But that’s okay. I’m ticking boxes as I go, which always feels good.

I know you will be delighted to hear that we are having a 
Jayne Nestorenko Celebration 
over the next few days.

Firstly, Rosie is on Hochanda on Thursday, showing off Jayne’s wonderful floral frames. There were four summer and two winter ones. Remember them from last year?
Jayne was so chuffed that her artwork was so well received;
it really lifted her spirits.
But who wouldn’t want these flowers in their craft box?
That’s why we have loaded them onto the 
They ARE an Essential in my book!

Groovi Agapanthus

Stamps Agapanthus

We made them all into both Claritystamps and Groovi, 
and they both sold exceptionally well.

To celebrate Jayne and her art, 
Rosie will be showcasing two brand new little iiBooks 
(ii stands for Ideas & Inpsiration):
one for Groovi art and one for stamped art.

They contain beautiful photographs and 20+ projects by our talented Design team.

The Groovi book also includes 11 patterns at the back, 
for our traditional parchers.

So much time goes into the art samples, and we thought it would be helpful to create little collections of inspiration with close up pictures. 

As with Tina’s iiBooks, these are also wirobound. 
I just think they are much more user-friendly. When you are trying to follow instructions, it really helps if the picture and instructions stay open at the desired page!

Jayne also left us other exquisite artwork to run with.
She knew she wouldn’t be around to see these Christmas pictures come to life, but I think we have done her proud. I think she would be really pleased with what we have done with her Childrens’ designs...

On Sunday evening at 6pm I shall be launching a very beautiful collection of Christmas Children by Jayne Nestorenko.

Both as Claritystamps 
(Official One Day Special)

and as Groovi Plates
(because we know you will want them!)

The images are so amazingly intricate, we really couldn’t go any smaller without losing the detail. So we didn’t.
I think you will be impressed.

And will there be iiBooks created to accompany these designs?
You are too right there will be! Not this weekend, but certainly very soon. 

So yes. We are celebrating Jayne and her inimitable style. 
She certainly was one very classy, talented lady,
and aren’t we lucky she had the foresight to call for Clarity?!

Love & Hugs,

TV Times:
  • SKY 663 (24/7)
  • FREEVIEW 85 (6AM-7PM)
  • FREESAT 817 (24/7)

Thursday 8am, 12noon, 4pm with Rosie

Sunday 2-4pm with Tina and Barb

Sunday ODS: 6pm, 8pm
Monday 7am (Dutch TV) 9am, 1pm, 5pm with Barb and Paul

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

And then the Heavens opened.....

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Boy oh boy!
Were the gods smiling on us in Glastonbury, or what ?!?
The one day I did wear my wellies because the sky looked rather ominous and it felt a bit cold, I regretted it, 
because the sun came out and we had another fabulously warm day.
Nope. It was flip-flops the entire time.

We packed up our camp this morning and headed home.
No traffic, a straight and easy run.
Just as Dave parked the caravan in the drive,
(he makes it look so easy!)
the sky turned black - and down it came.
In bucketfuls!

Within half an hour the rain was coming in the kitchen,
so aren’t we glad we were home! 

I thought I’d make a simple and very appropriate card 
with one of my very favourite stencils:
the mother and daughter one:
Umbrellas Girls!
Pounded Black Archival ink through the daughter aperture
directly onto a piece of the Northern Lights paper.

Tore a piece of copy paper and pounded a little ground underneath her feet.

Trimmed the paper, ran a black marker around the outer edges,
then mounted the piece on the back of another sheet of the same paper. Mounted that on an 8"x8" folded blank. Done

She’s up on the Tor, looking out over the fields.
In the distance, she can still hear the music.
They have all gone home now, but the beat goes on...

But now it’s time to sort this room out and get cracking with the prep for the telly and the retreats.

Work begins again tomorrow.

Love & Hugs,

Monday, 26 June 2017

The Morning after....

Hi there.
Thanks for joining me.
It’s Monday; Dave and I are still hanging out in the caravan,
eating pizza, listening to the festival radio, Worthy FM, and hanging on to the last strands of a crazy, wonderful week.

How did yesterday go?
What did we do? Who did we see?
It all rolls into one great long procession of sights, smells and sounds. 
The weather was lovely, and there seemed to be more people than ever. We fled to the upper fields, away from the madness. We did venture down to see The Rag n Bone Man, but it was gridlock around The Other Stage where he was performing.
So we turned on our heels and left them to it.

The Green Fields, The Craft Fields, The Healing Fields, The Stone Circle, The Park.
These areas are so much more Love and Peace man!
It’s about letting the loud traffic pass you by, not getting caught up in the river of noise, booze and drugs. I found a perfect retreat...

We listened to a couple of very cool people in The Park:
Lisa Hannigan and Nick Mulvey.
Both very talented and easy on the ear.
So we lay in the sunshine on the grass and let the breeze carry the music over us. I think if there was a moment when we finally understood what a festival can do for you, it was then. 

But we couldn’t leave without saying hi to Ed Sheeran on the main stage, The Pyramid.
He was immense. One young lad with nothing but a guitar and a loop pedal, and a blimming great effects team.
You had to be there.
I knew a few of the songs, but all the many thousands of young kids around us knew all the lyrics - word perfect (around 180,000 were there).  And they sang their hearts out with a conviction which was both touching and humbling.
You know, we sometimes look at the youth of today, and say they are lost. All they do is play games and text. Well, I beg to differ.
You had to be there, to see all these blokes and young girls with tattoos and glittery faces, just singing every heartfelt song with such passion and meaning. His lyrics spoke to everyone.
It is the way of today. It may not be our old way, but they are very passionate about what they believe too. They’re anything but indifferent.

We hummed along!
Don’t think for a minute that we were at the back! When I turned around there were many thousands more behind us. 

So that’s it for another two years. No Glastonbury next year; it’s a fallow year. Gives the fields and the area a chance to recover.
And us!!!

Just wondering how I’m going to get this new chair in the boot!

Love & Peace,
Spotty Barb

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Of all the Joints in the World...

Hi there,
Thanks for dropping in.
Can’t stop long - we overslept and have to head off for Day 3 soon!
My old bones are starting to creak now mind.
We been walking an average of 25,000 steps a day, 
which doesn’t count dancing!
Yesterday, at knackered o'clock, we sat down for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Earle noticed an older lady in a light blue mac in the tent, and was just saying how he thought she looked really endearing and sweet. So I turned to check her out, and we both looked at each other and smiled. 
She came straight towards me, beaming from ear to ear.

“Fancy seeing you here!” she smiled, “You’re more famous to me than most of them on the stages!”

Can you believe it ?!?!? 
She absolutely made my day.

Meet Glyn

How charming she was too!

Highlights yesterday?
Jools Holland with Ruby Turner.
Solange (BeyoncĂ©’s little sister) - very good.
Alison Moyet
Foo Fighters - bit loud for me...

Highlights today?
Ed Sheeran
Rag n Bone Man
Ruby Wax

One more day. It’s certainly quite an endurance test, 
but no rain and no mud! Hallelujah!

Hooking up with Leonie today for a brew. 
Been drinking a lot of tea! Fortifying stuff!

I’ve also developed an unpleasant rash.
On my face, Mildred! Behave!
Yeah, don’t start spreading a rumour that Barb’s picked up an unpleasant rash at Glastonbury!
Not sure what I’m allergic to. Could have been the Ostrich Burger, the Goan Fish Curry or the new shower gel I broke into.

Only the process of elimination will tell.
I’ll just avoid those three for starters, and forge ahead. 
Looks worse than it is. No itchy, no scratchy. 
Glyn didn’t notice.
And Dave still loves me.


Love & Hugs
Spotty Muldoon.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Saturday - My word! They’re tall!!!!

Greetings from Glastonbury!
Thanks for popping in.
It’s great being in a different world for a week,
with Dave, Paul and Earle.

Blogging not easy though, because in this world there is next to no internet! But I really wanted to show you some of the quirky characters here!

Meet Gareth the Mighty.
He was brilliant. So funny!
Look him up.
His Facebook page is

And check out the old men carrying the mermaid and merman.
Fantastic costumes.

Check out these two!

All the artists get right into the act;
completely immersed in character.

And then they got really tall!

This impressed me muchly.
Bless these guys.
They were giving strollers parking tickets,
joshing with the kids and parents,
and having a blast xxxx

And the crows!
They were phenomenal!
Dave was stood with one for a photo, 
when suddenly the others swooped in, calling photo bomb!!

So, peace and happiness from Glastonbury...

Highlights yesterday?
Royal Blood, Future Islands Lianne La Havas,
the Silent Disco
and all the performing artists.

Ding Ding.
Round two.
Up and at ‘em on Day 2.
Highlights for us today?
Well, Foo Fighters, Solange, Katy Perry, KT Tunstall, 
Corinne Bailey Rae, The Jacksons...

Love & Hugs,

Friday, 23 June 2017

Meet you at the Chip Shop!!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in!

All set for Glastonbury today!
Baby wipes. Tick.
Water. Tick.
Tickets. Tick.
I’ve even got a really lovely old hippy thing on, which I bought donkey’s ago, when I must have been either on a high or high back in the day, but have never dared wear before; and have even got a flower garland in my hair, which I bought here last year, but never had the nerve to put on.

What is wrong with me? Why so self conscious, eh?
Who gives a monkeys what I look like ??
And I remember last year seeing some real eye openers, so what the heck, hey! Let’s get into the Glasto groove for once!

Yesterday afternoon, once Paul and Earle had unpacked, 
we headed into town via the Tor on the hill.

As we climbed up and up, I suddenly heard the wonderful sounds of a saxophone wafting across on the breeze. 
My favourite instrument!
And sure enough, when we got to the top, there he was.

#amazing talent

So we listened to this guy for a while, who lives down in a nearby village (and who incidentally, was very, very talented), had a great conversation with him, and then strolled on down the other side to town.

And as we strolled,  I thought some...
he got dressed in his spiffing, whacky suit (which he bought in San Francisco) and Doc Martens, climbed to the top of the Tor with his sax, and played it, for himself and for anybody who cared to listen.
He wasn’t busking, or playing for money. No cap in sight.
And if he was, he picked a really bad spot!
Nope. He was playing for the love of it and because he can.

Oh! to have that confidence, to wear what you want, to go where you want and do what you want - and in an unassuming, modest, beautiful way.

But we were on a mission to meet our dear friends,
Wendy and Steve Thorburn, for award winning fish n chips!

Here we see the motley crew in the middle of the road...

It was super to hook up with these good people. 

So good of them to ride over to see us!
Cool, or what?

But now it’s time to catch the bus to the festival.
We like being day visitors, not immersed in it completely.
It’s nice to retreat, regroup and go again!
We won’t get back here before 1am, so I shall blog in the mornings and share my Glastonbury findings with you !!!

Love & Hugs,

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Grasp the Nettle

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Am having a wonderful day today.
I knew it would be a good one, when I was still in bed at 10am, 
drinking tea and eating cashew nuts.
Lying in and not feeling guilty is indicative of being able to switch off ! Well, as much as I - doomed workaholic - can!

But there was a point this afternoon, when the noise in my head completely stopped. All the thoughts, forward planning and TV-traffic just vanished. It was magical.
Don’t know if you get me. It is very rare for me to be able to simply sit and stare, without a care. 

And at precisely that moment when there is an opening, a vacant gap, it seems that other fresh ideas, really cool ones, come flooding in. And off we go again!

We went for a walk through the woods earlier.
Dave went ahead of me and cleared the path, because it was pretty overgrown where we wandered off the beaten track. 

He simply took hold of the stingers and bent them back.
“Blimey!” I exclaimed, “don’t they sting you?”

“Not at all”, he replied.
“Grasp the nettle firmly, and carefully bend it back. 
It is more likely to sting you if you brush against it.” 

So this got me thinking about the analogy,
“Grasp the nettle”.

If you have a problem which is clearly unpleasant, and likely to get ugly, it is much better to tackle it full on with courage and confidence, than hesitantly and fearfully.

The thought of actually taking a stinger in your hand and bending it backwards is really not something most would relish.
But do you know what? Dave did this at every kissing gate and stile along the way, and didn’t get stung once. 
To coin an old phrase, the thought is often worse than the deed. 

PS. Always keep a dockleaf in your back pocket if you decide to try this!

Got to go.
Paul and Earle have just arrived!

Love & Hugs 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Thinking about getting a tattoo done....

Hi there.
Greetings from Glastonbury!

Dave and I went up up up the hill to the Tor today.
It was beautiful and breezy up there on the top of the world...

But down here below, IT IS HOT!
Looking forward to a little rain which is forecast for later.

Maria was on TV today, with some spectacular and original artwork by our very talented  Mel Turner.

Earth, Fire and Water.


We made them in Groovi format too, because they are so exceptional.


click Here

The artwork is absolutely perfect for Glastonbury and this region.
The people here seem to embody that sense of nature and the elements. There are lots of tattoos on display here too, 
(lots of everything actually!)  
and I can see all 3 of these images as tattoos, can’t you?
If you were going to get a tattoo done, which one would you go for? And where would you have it?

Tell you what. Let me get some skin friendly ink....

Here are some of the beautiful samples that our Clarity Design Team rustled up to support Maria on TV. We never really get to show them off adequately in my humble opinion, so here is a little selection:

Dee Paramour - Stamped
Glynis Whitehead -Parchment

Josie Davidson - Parchment
Josie Davidson - Parchment
Linda Page - Parchment
Dee Paramour - Stamped
Dee Paramour - Stamped

It’s quite a mission uploading photos from Messenger in the middle of a field! So that’ll have to do.
Thanks to all the DT - both Groovi and Stampi - for all the lovely work!
But if I spend much more time blogging, then one has to wonder why I didn’t just stay at home!

But I really did want you to see these stamps and Groovi plates, and the artwork to show them off.
They are so totally Glastonbury and everything it represents here.

I look forward to having a play with them myself. 
Especially the Water Stamp, if I may say so.
But that may have as much to do with this heatwave as the artwork!
Time to go for a cold shower !

Love & Hugs