Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Back in Blighty.

Hi there!

Thanks for popping in.
Back in blighty, after a very long drive from Frankfurt in torrential rain. Fortunately, I had Rosie for company, which was fun.

Dave and Paul were in the van, which we faithfully tailed all the way. We got to Calais with minutes to spare and cruised straight onto the train. 

But now, having taken my boots off and had a brew, I have to say, 
enough is enough.

Tomorrow, after a good nights sleep, I’ll take a look at things with a clear head, and make a new plan of action.
 But tonight, I’m done. Done in and done for!

But let me leave you with a snippet on a super duper scooter.
I want one of these!!!!

Love & Hugs,

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Youtube Tuesday and the Heels are alive!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.

Greetings from Frankfurt. Still here, but
that’s it. All done and dusted. Show’s over.

And I have to tell you, we had the smoothest, fastest, easiest breakdown for a show EVER!

We got the golden ticket for van placement on the roof, and were in and out before most of the others could even get their trucks on site. What a result. 
I had secretly been dreading the breakdown, because it is usually gruelling and just gutty. So I had been saying to myself, ‘This too shall pass, this too shall pass’ every time it crossed my mind.

But nay! It was a breeze. German organization mixed with a bit of luck, a good connection and balls of steel behind the wheel!

Was it worth coming? I should say so!
Quite aside from all the new contacts and customers we have gathered, that one little-massive meeting yesterday will change the course of history for Clarity. You will see. 

So yes. Very very excited.

And today is You Tube Tuesday!
So here’s a really neat little demonstration on the Lightwave, our lightbox. And there’s 20% off till next week, plus your members discount. Can’t be bad.
And all the other things Rosie reaches for and talks about...

20% OFF

Light Panel Bundle + FREE piercing mat

But now, I am going to kick back and take the weight off these poor feet of mine. The damage was done on the very first day actually, you know, when I rammed the stand wall with my head. I had already had to go buy blister plasters round the corner, because I had worn the wrong boots/socks combo (when will she learn?) And there was no coming back from that really. We have walked at least 15,000 steps each day, sometimes as many as 25,000, and I have just had to walk through the pain. What a state.

You know that song in the Sound of Music?

Well, Dave wrote an alternative verse just for me.
Romantic sod that he is.

My heels are alive 
from the constant friction;
New boots are to blame
but that’s my addiction.

My feet have a pulse
which is all of their own;
I can feel my heart beat in my feet
right to the bone.

But it has been a super week.
Quite aside from the business benefits, 
great company, and so much hilarity with Clarity!

Schlafi schlafi xx

Love & hugs,

Monday, 29 January 2018

Sharing the love.....

Thanks for popping in.

Been another very long day in Frankfurt, but who cares?!?

We had a great day, met a whole bunch of lovely people again, 
took a rake of orders and made two massively important plans -
real game changers. 

Until I get it officially in writing though, I won’t spill the beans.
It would only be frustrating if these tectonic plate shifters fell through.

In the meantime, please allow me to introduce you to a group of charming young women, who were such a delight to meet:

These ladies are all from Russia. 

They were totally excited about our Groovi system. Really got it.

So it looks like they’ll be getting in the groove in Russia before too long. And then they presented us with Russian honey! How lovely is that?! Such friendliness.

Met so many neat people from all over.
Many came back today, and ordered, which was great. And many found us for the first time. There were a couple of ii’s - irritating individuals, who tried my tired patience, but nobody was harmed or injured, and I stayed cool. Dave didn’t, but that’s ok too. We haven’t put ourselves through this fiasco to have some clueless suit start telling us how to run our business. So yeah, he got it double-barrel from what I hear. I was busy hanging out with the Russians and Rosie!

Last day tomorrow.
And then, we have to figure out an exit strategy. 
And that ain’t gonna be easy!

Love & Hugs,

Sunday, 28 January 2018

There’s a kinda buzz all over the room tonight.....

Had a good Sunday?
Ours started with hilarity in the hotel breakfast room, because we threw the English etiquette book away, and made a picnic load of cheese, ham and sausage rolls to take for lunch, and smuggled them out in my handbag. Mum, if you’re reading this - you’d have been proud of us!!! The fact is, we just aren’t hungry at 7 in the morning, but at lunchtime we could eat a horse! So we took it for Ron - lateron!

Then we had a Busy day!!
Saw lots of familiar faces and friends from the industry.
And so many international visitors came to the stand!
From Slovakia and South Africa, to Columbia and the Seychelles!

Here’s Paul taking an order, and myself talking to guests.

Here’s Rosie, showing off Groovi to a crowd from Spain, 
Crete and Poland.

And tomorrow, tomorrow morning, all things being equal, we will have a business meeting which we having anticipated and hoped for for 3 years.

Finger crossed, please wish us luck!

Time for bed said Zebedee

Love and Hugs,

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Saturday- Give us a twirl!

Hi there!
Greeting from Frankfurt.
One down, three to go!
And I am absolutely cream crackered already!
Don’t think I’m cut out for these hardcore long days in exhibition halls any more. Until you’ve done Frankfurt, you can’t know just how gruelling it is. 
And you wouldn’t believe what I did when we were unloading the van on Wednesday night, which hasn’t helped at all. 

There we were on the stand, having just unloaded all the gear up onto the second floor, and Dave went to move one of the large wall units in the aisle. It started to tip, and I, who was standing a ways away, dashed to catch it and stop it from smashing into the next one and then the next one, like a domino drop. Well, my heel caught in the plastic cover which was protecting the carpet, but I was already going very fast, so instead of stopping the unit cascade, I hurtled head first into the stand wall. And I mean hard. Hit the ground like a sack of spuds. Didn’t dare get up, because I was sure there would be blood. But no. Just the palm of my left hand came up black in an instant and the side of my leg. Must have been comical to watch mind, and I can only laugh at it; it’s a miracle I didn’t break my neck! Or at least an arm. But I didn’t. Just plenty of bruises and stiffness, which seem to have come out today. I feel like I’ve run full speed,  headlong and head first into a wall.

Today’s visitors to the stand were very lovely. We met loads of excited and motivated crafters and shop keepers. I was the stand translator, so that kept me hopping. Or should I say limping?!? My Fitbit tells me I did 15,500 steps, so no wonder my feet hurt!!!

But I also got to demo, whilst Paul took the orders.
Rosie was on Parchment, Groovi and Pergamano demos, 
Dave was on Suppliers and general crowd control,
Paul was on Stamps and stencils demos,
 and I was on product descriptions and company promotion.
Once somebody wanted to place a firm order, I handed over to Paul to do the paperwork, which gave me a bit of time on demos.

Here’s a simple stencil one I did...

Talk about back to basics!!
But it was greatly admired. Shopkeepers are looking for things they can demonstrate themselves when they’re back home, so this kind of thing was a big hit.

And tomorrow, we shall do it all again.
With a smile.

And if all the people who said they were coming back actually come back, we will be in a spin cycle!!!

Time for bed, said Zebedee....

Love & Hugs,

Friday, 26 January 2018

Brits abroad!!

Hi there.
Greetings from Frankfurt.

Been pedalling hard all day, getting the stand ready here. 

BRITS abroad, honestly!
First thing we did before we even started, 
was sit down and have a coffee with some chocolate.

7 hours later, and it’s all done and dusted 
- even polished to a high shine!

We are so excited to be here.
Whether we meet lots of new customers or just a few, the bit that impresses me is we’re here!
 We got all this gear and ourselves down to Frankfurt from Kent, through the city centre, found the Messehalle, and the hotel, got the gear in a lift, up to the 2nd floor and unloaded it all without any aggro whatsoever. And that was yesterday!!

Today, we ate chocolate, drank coffee, set the scene
and titivated!!

So wish us luck.
It’s as I always say:
We have put in the action, done everything we could possible do to make this a success. The outcome is now out of our hands.

I can rest easy now, in the knowledge that I can’t control any of it  from tomorrow. All I can do is smile, and accept what is dealt us.

Love & Hugs,

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Sold out in 37 minutes - WOW!

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Vhilst ve vend our merry vay to the Trade Show in Frankfurt, 
Maria has been launching a superb Celtic collection of Groovi Plates and the brand new XL Groovi Plate Mate, to house all those larger plates.

We knew you'd like them, but we didn't know how much. SOLD OUT in 37 mins! WOW! Thank you so much. More stock has been added to the show, so let's see how long that lasts (looks like brother Steve's on permanent nights again). 

So, here’s a little gallery of wonderful art samples from our Groovi Design team extraordinaire... These samples didn't get a chance for the airing they deserved, but I hope you can enjoy them here, now.
Welcome by Amanda Williams

Easter Blessings by Gail Sydenham
Mum by Amanda Williams

A Celtic knot by Maggie Byford

Happy Birthday by Josie Davidson

A Birthday Flower by Karen Jackson

So Proud by Carole Pankzstelo

Beautiful Samples!
I hope you have had time to tune in to Maria.
She will be on today, at 9am 1pm and 5pm.
And you can certainly watch her on Hochanda Catch-up.

Dave and I binged on the new Sky series BRITTANIA this week, so these Groovi Celtic designs couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for me! 

But now we are in the Fatherland for a week, 
so expect a travelog!

Love & Hugs

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Heads up! The Celts are in town!!

Hi there.
Welcome to wainy, wet and windy !

The countdown is on for Maria’s Celtic One Day Special, 
which starts this evening at 6pm on HOCHANDA.

The Special Celtic Bundle is superb, 

and as has been requested by so many of you, there is a brand new Groovi Plate Mate included, an extra large one, to house your large A4 Square plates, such as Tina Cox’s 3-D Flowers etc. 

What we’ve done though, to make it easier to store and more convenient all round, is split it in two.
See the joins down the sides? 
Watch Maria and let her show you how it works...

There are aso illuminated Alphabets, both large and small.
These are simply delightful, and work a treat with the Celtic ABC font on the new Groovi Plate Mate. 

There are also another two Celtic plates, with borders, frames, corners, symbols - and a beautiful Celtic Peacock.

I do hope you have time to watch Maria, enjoy her demos and take advantage of the super price we have attached to this 
One Day Special. 
Maria loves Celtic designs, as do I,
and I am sure she will wow us with her ideas.

Have you been watching the new Sky series Brittania?
Bit gory jackanory, but very, very good.
The druids look a bit under-nourished I must say!

Now I really must go pack for Germany.
And knowing me, I will probably pack for Germany!

Love & Hugs,

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

YouTube Tuesday - Basic Brayering.

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in to YouTube Tuesday!

Today it’s BRAYER TIME.
So many of you have asked about how NOT to get stripes,
that a little video just highlighting the remedy follows:

I hope that helped a bit. 
There are plenty of other brayering Youtubes if you go the the Claritystamp Youtube channel, they are all listed. 

Here are all the products I have used in this week’s VT, 
which are 20% off until next Tuesday. Now’s the time to stock up on a new brayer and some card!

And here is a simple project, using what we learned in the first video and applying it to a landscape.
But this time I show you how to combine using permanent ink...

If you have time, look up the Harbour video I did a while ago. Just a variation on the same technique here using the Clarity Card.

The brayer has always played a huge role in my crafty life!
You can easily see why...

Love and Hugs,

Monday, 22 January 2018

Happy bunny! No. Five happy Bunnies!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

I wrote this blog, then it got gobbled up.
And now I have to write it again.
Deep breathe. Maybe a little shorter than the original. 
I HATE it when this happens.

Right. Take it from the top.

Great day at work today. Very productive.
All set for Frankfurt, TV proposals on track - yep. 
It’s all going swimmingly - despite the Blogger gremlins.

I really wanted to get home early and have a play with the second of the three stencils which Mel has designed for us. I think it kept me focussed at work, so that I could get home sooner than later!

Remember the Woodland Animal Montage we looked at this weekend?
Well, here’s No. 2...

The Earth has Music for those who Listen.

How delightful is this?

I know I ought to be keeping these a surprise for the Sunday 2-4 Clarity Art Show on Feb 4th, but I just HAD to see how they work!

Let me show you how simple this technique is, too, and how you can get 2 pieces of artwork out of the same process.

Place the stencil face down on the 8"x10" Gelpress plate

Brayer Paynes Gray Golden Open Acrylic over the stencil and plate.

Carefully peel the stencil off the plate and place it paint side down on a scrap of A5 inky copy paper.

Place a piece of clean copy paper over this, and run it through an 
E-Bosser or similar embossing machine aka mangle.


And don’t forget about the paint still left on the Gel Press plate!
Next masterpiece coming up!!!

Blot the black around the edges with copy paper.

Pick a paper, any paper, and flip the Gel press on the Mega Mount over onto the paper.

Rub the back of the paper to transfer the paint, and pull your print.

Voila !

It was so easy, I ran through it all again, to be sure to be sure 
- and to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke.

No fluke. And now I remember why I hang onto every scrap of inky paper I ever make!

The second time, on the negative print below, I didn’t rub so hard,

...and was able to pull a cool ghost print.

So yes. Fantabulous stencil again. 
Thank you Mel. You make my job such a pleasure.

Love & Hugs,