Monday, 16 October 2017

Carpay Deeum - Bright on !

Happy Monday!
Thanks for popping in!
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and we’re on our way out to Brighton as soon as Gracie gets back from the hairdressers!
She’ll only let my friend Carron near it, so by the time she gets home twice or thrice a year - she NEEDS a trim !!!

In the meantime, Mark is out for the count upstairs. The Jetlag hits you hard when you come east from California.

The fires are pretty shocking, aren’t they. 
So sad and sorry for the victims who have lost their homes, 
families - and lives.
Here we are partying and eating roast lamb, 
and there they are, in an inferno.
Mark lives south of the hotspot, in Oakland,
but friends and family have already been evacuated from Green Valley. Mark said the smell of smoke all around the bay when we left last Thursday was extreme. 

So tomorrow both Grace and Mark fly away again.
She to New York.
He to San Francisco.

I thought I would make a quick card to celebrate today with you though. Quick being the operative word!

Stamped out my two favourite stamps in the world
(I wonder why...)
on a lovely new Designer Paper leaf which is being launched by myself on HOCHANDA in a fortnight, on Sunday 29th October, 
the week before the NEC.


Trim and outline.

Mount on a white fold card.

See the wise old finger pointing the way?

I cannot wait to present these new papers and parchment papers to you. Look up Shenandoah, Virginia.
It must be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

#chuffedtobits #clarityrocks #madebyme

But now we are off to Brighton.
Got to make the most of it while they’re here.

Ain’t that the truth.

Love & Hugs,

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Roast lamb

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Cor dearie me!!
All this partying is hard work!
I shall be glad to get back to work for a break!


The birthday celebrations continued this morning with 
Breakfast at the Spa! 
After which we finally waved tataa to Mum and Dad.  

Aunty Esther and I took a slow stroll down Mount Ephraim to the Pantiles. We had no choice there,
because Mark had gone off with my car keys!

But the sun came out, and we spent an enjoyable hour together, before she caught her train back home too.

Just enough time to get home, get the lamb in the oven, 
and set the table again for the next guests:
Grace’s best friend Lizzie and her fella. 

I know the kids love a good old English roast, 
and there’s nothing like a grateful eater - or 4 !!

So it was my absolute pleasure to cook for the kids.

So while I’m whizzing round the island, trying to dish it up hot,

Grace sees the comedy sketch in it.

You KNOW how hot I am getting here,
because you KNOW that this is the crucial part of the job.
Have already kicked the slippers off, burnt my fingers sharing out the roast potatoes quickly, and am now ladling the gravy double smart....

And here’s my No. 1 helper. 
Cool and collected, ready to assist, to stir the gravy, 
be the royal taster - whatever it takes.

Ahhhh .
But it was worth it.

And bless Grace!  “Nothing” she said, “nothing any restaurant could ever serve, would ever beat my mum’s roast lamb.”

Now that is indeed a compliment.
But guess what?
My Mum, the lady whose birthday we have been celebrating all week, taught me how to cook. And I know for a fact, that Grace could serve this meal beautifully too, if she were of a mind to.

I know a Sunday Roast is not a card, not a craft project.
but there are those who would argue 
that serving an English Roast is an art of sorts!

Love & Hugs,
Barb and the Happy Eaters!

Saturday, 14 October 2017


Hi there!
Thanks for popping in!

Well, you know I said yesterday I’m rubbish at keeping secrets
because of the beautiful new Designer Papers I had to show you?
So not true!!

I have been hanging on to this one for months!
Mum’s 80th today.

Coffee and Cake at our house was the plan...

And I have spent days making the tea party table lovely,
 titivating and prettifying.

I was up at 7.30 sharp this morning, started making posh sandwiches with the crusts cut off whilst watching Rosie on the telly. Didn’t she do well ?!?

The fridge was chocablock, 

and didn’t the new porsche come in handy!!
Where would I have put the sandwiches otherwise?!?

Mum’s face was priceless when she saw Grace and Mark.
And Steve’s boys, Ben and Harry, too.

In fact, the whole Gray clan turned out to sing and celebrate.

And this evening we are off to dinner at the Spa Hotel.

So I shall go and get dressed now.
There are secrets and then there are secrets, aren’t there?
And this one, getting the kids over, and planning the tea party - right down to the lovely Strawberry Flan and the Black Forest Gateau which is already sitting in a cool room at the hotel - has probably given ME more pleasure than anybody else involved!

I have been the keeper of the secret’s key.
And oh how exciting when you can finally open the door on it.

Love & Hugs,

What to wear? Who cares! Not me!!!!

Friday, 13 October 2017

A quick outline of what’s coming up today....

Hi there,
Happy Friday!
Thanks for popping in.

Rosie is on HOCHANDA this evening, launching a rather lovely little set of Groovi Baby plates. 
Remember the outline stamps ? The stag? The toadstool? The bird? The candle etc etc etc?

Well, we got asked by many of you to turn them into Groovi plates.
So we did.
They are delightful!
I like that we can do that - respond to requests.

Here are a couple of very Groovi samples from Josie and Jane.
If you tune in to see Rosie at 6pm this evening, 
you will get to see lots more of the clever Team’s efforts!

Josie Davidson

Jane Telford

The stamps are on the show too, in case you missed them the first time round. I did a snow-globe demo.

Actually, I liked it so much, 
it has been included in the new calendar.
Coming up very soon too!

Love & Hugs,

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

Thursday, 12 October 2017

What a load of Scrap!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Was having a sort out this afternoon, and came across a load of old scraps I have been hanging onto - as you do!

I mean, honestly? 
This old shaving foam scrap! I mean, who in their right mind saves this? But hang on! If I squint at it for a while, I start to see more.

Do you? Go on, squint...

Ok. Let me help you.
Now can you see the valley?

Alright. How about the sky now?

Ok. Let’s add a little more depth...

Nope. Now I’ve killed the moment.

 Moonshadow be gone!

Bit radical, but I’m liking this little whatever-it-is!
Outline with a Promarker of an unobtrusive shade.

Perhaps do a little pencilwork, to ground the animals...

Now for a pleasing backdrop.
But which Designer Pad is this? I hear you ask...
I recognise this not!

I am rubbish at keeping surprises, aren’t I !!
But there’s been so much twittering going on among the Clarity Design team since they received the 2 newest sets of Paper and Parchment this week. 
I have to show you! Just one of the sheets from one of the pads won’t hurt, will it? See the cavern? 

(love that word!)

Coming your way in about a fortnight. 
You could literally takes those little stamps from the 

and stamp them directly into the scene, couldn’t you?

But just for today, I shall cover up the cavern, and just enjoy the blue.
Thursday’s Blog always being blue, right?

Trimmed and mounted.

I have to say,
I am sooo chuffed with these new papers.

They really do open up a whole new world 
into stamping and parchment art.

Launch Date: 
Sunday 29th October on Hochanda.
The weekend before the NEC Exhibition.

More will be revealed....

If you like the look of the Outline stamps, 
tune in tomorrow on HOCHANDA at 6pm.
Our Rosie is launching a fabulous Baby Groovi Collection of the same but different.
And the stamps will be on the counter too.

Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What a Wind up!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Been going like the clappers today -
Have ticked a load of boxes!

Got up really early and came into the office in the dark.
Decided to power through some TV proposals and play catch up.

On the way into work, I was listening to the radio. The DJ was going on and on and on about nothing in particular, talking a load of rubbish really. I could feel myself gradually getting wound up, like a coil. It was a combination of his pitch and the inane babble. 

So I did the obvious: switched the radio off.

Same with the news. When it gets to me, I stop watching it.
Same with Facebook. When it winds me up, I stop going to it. 
Same with individuals. When they upset me, I shut them out. 
It doesn’t matter what they think of me; that’s their business.
what matters to me is what I think of them.

In fact, I stopped buying newspapers years ago, for the selfsame reason. I could feel myself getting agitated and angry, and since there is absolutely nothing I can do about any of it, 
I  D E T A T C H.     I  D I S E N G A G E.

No point in spending my vital energy on bull, on stuff that gets me down, but over which I have absolutely no say or control. In fact, it seems the more energy I give it, the more I fuel it in my mind.

Life’s too short to waste it, don’t you agree?

It’s not a cop out; it’s self preservation. 
Blocking negativity or senseless drivel can only be a good thing.
I find I have much more positive energy to spend on more constructive things, and my head doesn’t get clogged up with other peoples’ stuff. Because that’s what it is: just STUFF.

Then drink a smoothie instead of coffee, 
and the whole world looks different! 

Love & Hugs,

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


Hi there!
Thanks for dropping by.
Just got home after a thoroughly lovely few days with Mum.

The Five Arrows Hotel at Waddesdon was the perfect retreat, and the service was second to none.

If you ever fancy a really lovely weekend away, book yourself in there - and enjoy Waddesdon Manor.

So after stepping away from work for a few days, 
it’s back on the Clarity trail! 
Tomorrow Maria will be back on your screens, 
after their honeymoon in Ireland.
Mrs Maria Moorhouse now actually!

And what has she got in store for you?
Well actually, there’s a beautiful range of autumnal Groovi plates and stamps  lined up at 12 noon and 4pm on HOCHANDA:
  • SKY 663 (24/7)
  • FREEVIEW 85 (6AM-7PM)
  • FREESAT 817 (24/7)

Gorgeous brand new plate designs by Mel:

Lots of superb art samples by the Clarity team
Maggie Byford

Josie Davidson

If you’re into your parchment Groovi style,  then I think you will absolutely LOVE these Autumn Plates.
The really intricate forest frame with the pines cones and the snail is one of mine. I hope you like it. 
Glynis Whitehead

My butterflies and vines are also on the same plate.

Josie Davidson

Both of theses frames are on the show as stamps too.

And since we have ventured into the woods, 
we really must have an owl!


Dee Paramour

So yes. Having just left the beautiful gardens of Waddesdon Manor behind us, with its mantle of wonderful autumnal colours, I really can’t think of a more appropriate tribute to this fantastic season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Hope you can join Mrs Maria !
What a beautiful bride she was !!!
And what a wonderful wedding !!!

Love & Hugs as always,