Saturday, 31 March 2018

All in a day’s work? NOT!!!

Hi there.
Thanks for joining me on this overcast, cloudy day.
Just ticking a few boxes for the TV shows on HOCHANDA tomorrow. Demo Boxes packed, tick. Art samples packed, tick. 
Producer notes written and photocopied, tick. 
That’s another little hidden job which always needs doing, you see.
When I do a demo, I list absolutely everything I am going to use, including product codes. I write down what I’m going to do, how long it’s going to take, which demos and in what order.
The producers have to jump from one show to the next, and there is very little time for them to prepare. So it’s in my interest and theirs, and it helps the overall flow of the show if the producer has a ready tailored list of what to go to and what to flag up. I have always done this, right from the first TV show on Create & Craft! I think it started as a prop for me, so I knew what I was doing! Like a Linus blanket. And it seemed to make the TV team very happy too, so it’s par for the course nowadays. 

The weather’s not great is it? Which is pants for the nation, but at least more people will be indoors and watching (I hope!!)

Remember the beautiful Groovi Rounds which Rosie launched recently? Well, due to popular demand - here they are as stamps.

And not just any old stamps. These are the superb super fineline Claritystamps we have reently developed. 
You now get the ultra-fine line and intricate detail of a red rubber stamp, but with the added transparency factor. Bingo!!


What a joy to use these stamps are.
They are available as trios, too.
We have the fairies...



the California Landscapes...


...and the perfect for mens’ cards Boating trio

All illustrated by our clever Mel Turner, who is just brilliant.

Here are a few lovely art samples which have been created by the Clever Clarity Team:


Dee Paramour

Jane Telford
Barbara Lancaster


Janet Pring



Linda Spencer

Sheelagh Metselaar


Carole Panksztelo

Thank you, lovely team! 
What a lot of time and work you put into these art pieces!

The whole TV process is very, very time consuming. So much effort goes into one show! From conceptualization, to planning, to design, to production, to marketing - it is massive actually. It’s all about communication too. I am involved in the first instance, ie. what we’re doing when. And then I pretty much hand over the TV reins to the various departments, and they run with the plan. Just once a month I do a little dance on the telly, but the rest is out of my hands. There’s a whole Clarity Cabaret nowadays! 

So I shall say it one more time:

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

Time to go and pack my outfit.

Love & Hugs,
Barb 

xxx
Barbara on Stamps Sunday 2-4pm
Linda on Groovi Parchment 6pm One Day Special Launch
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Friday, 30 March 2018

Friday The Clarity Easter Egg Hunt Competition has begun!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Easter already? Where is this year going?

It’s a busy weekend for Linda, Paul and myself.
Lots of live TV shows on Sunday and Monday on HOCHANDA.
I do hope you find time to keep us company!

We are making a bit of a weekend of it actually. If you’ve got to work on the Bank Holiday, you may as well enjoy it!
So we are all staying in a swanky hotel up near the studios.
Upgraded to posh rooms, and the table is booked for our evening meal on Saturday too. 

And why not ?!?!? How else was I going to get Linda Williams to hop about like the proverbial Easter Chick on Easter Sunday AND Easter Monday!!! Not only has she designed some spectacular Flowers and Lace Groovi plates for your pleasure, but she is even going to show us how to use them! Wayhay!



The least I could do was treat her and Rob to a posh weekend and a slap up meal !!
Wait till you see what she has in store for you. My word. 
It’s not hard to figure out how she gained the Master Tutor title.

I’ve even had a modest go at making a card using one of the new plates for the Sunday blog. It’s no masterpiece, but I am happy with it, and if only a few of you pick up a few tricks through it, then -
Mission accomplished!

Now for something completely different...
 the lads at work have came up with a little competition for you to do whilst putting your feet up this weekend....

An Easter Egg Hunt! 



Here’s what to do:
1) Visit our website and find the 10 products with easter eggs

2) Jot down the product names

3) Email us your list of all 10 items to the address below:

Egghunt2018@claritystamp.com


FYI -  the products in the image above are NOT the products to look out for on the website!!!

If you find all 10 eggs, then you will go into a prize draw.
And if I pull your name out of the Easter Basket next Tuesday, you will win a wonderful Crafty Easter Hamper, picked and packed by me myself personally. (So the way that works is I walk through the warehouse loading up a box!) 
And if I know me but a little, the box will be well worth winning!!!

So instead of piling on the pounds eating chocolate eggs, 
how about going on a virtual Easter Egg Hunt on the Clarity Website? You KNOW it’s better for you!!!

Love and Hugs,
Barb
xxxx

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Everybody’s got Something.

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
I’ve been busy today, getting ready for the TV shows on Sunday.
It’s been a pleasant day, actually. 

But today I want to talk about my friend, Brenda.
Many of you know her. 
She and I write to each other often, and enjoy a very special friendship. She lives in Scotland and I live darn sarf, so writing is our way to stay in touch and support each other.

She sent me the most beautiful handmade little donkey for my birthday! 


He is soooooo adorable! 
Look!!!


How kind and thoughtful is that?! I also received so many beautiful handmade cards from other friends too, and I would like to show them off to you next week, when I finally take them all down off the window ledges and mantelpiece.

Did you know that it’s World Autism Awareness Week this week? 
Brenda asked me if I would mention it here, to do just that: 
create some awareness.

She is autistic; she has Asperger’s syndrome, 
which is a form of autism. So do a lot a lot a lot of people.
But until we reach out and try to understand HOW these individuals tick, HOW they process things, we cannot be of much use to them at all. Thank goodness Brenda and I have a mutual trust and respect for each other, so that we can share.

What is Autism?
Do we really know? 
I recently watched a documentary with Chris Packham the TV Presenter, who suffers with Asperger’s too. 
That was a real eye opener. Below I have found a short explanation of what these good people like Brenda and Chris have to endure. 
Talk about misunderstood!




I have also included a link to a Donation Page here. 


World Autism Awareness Week

on the note, I shall go indoors and have some supper.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Let’s get passionate!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
It’s all go here at Clarity, I can tell you!
It’s all good though. 

Teamwork makes the dream work, that’s for sure.

I wanted to talk about passion today.
No, no, no. Not fruity!! Not that torrid sex kinda passion!
I do have a vague recollection of that though....saw a film once.
Something about a Last Tango in Paris...
(which is all very well until you realise Marlon Brando was only 5ft 7” !)


Anyway, back to passion.
Dave and I went to the theatre the other evening, to see a brilliant performance of John Steinbeck’s play, ‘Of Mice and Men’. We were in the stalls at the front, so could see the facial expressions of the characters and really feel the energy. I was gripped from start to finish. They made me laugh, they made me jump, they made me cry and they made me think. 
I got to thinking about the actors. These guys were all seasoned professionals. This is their chosen career. This is what they do for a living and have done for many years. They’re not on Broadway or up in Shaftesbury Avenue, or mega famous, although several have been cast on TV and in films. Many of these guys were older - the play was all about old age and futility, laced with hope.
I don’t imagine they make a lot of money performing on stage at the Assembly Halls in Tunbridge Wells.


And yet. They clearly had a passion for what they do, and they did it remarkably well.
All the actors were Brits, and yet they spoke with very authentic American dialects. Not easy to do. 
Several very controversial topics were served the audience; easy to misconstrue or offend, and yet they delivered it in a poignant and powerful way.

One thing that struck me - perhaps because I am a woman - was that the only woman in the play didn’t have a name. She was simply referred to as “Curley’s Wife”.

My point is that these guys were performing a play on a Monday evening in a provincial town to a half empty theatre for probably peanuts, but boy oh boy - did they pack a punch.

And even if they don’t earn the ridiculous millions that far less talented actors do in Hollywood and in Film world, their passion and conviction was almost enviable. 

There was a party of school kids in the audience too. I guess the play is part of their school curriculum. During the interval I heard one of the girls loudly tell a friend that she was bored. 
I cringed. 
For me personally, this play was as far away from boring as it gets. 
But there you have it. 
She HAD to be there - under school pressure. 
I WANTED to be there - for distraction and escape.

Funny old life, isn’t it?
What’s your passion?
Do you have one?

Mine? It’s Clarity. All aspects of it. I love Clarity. 

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xx


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Youtube Tuesday Glitter and Sticky Ink

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in!

YouTube Tuesday this week broaches a subject which is often brought up: Mapping pens, Sticky Ink and Perga Glitter. 

I love that the Sticky Ink stays sticky until I am ready to apply the glitter. That means I can draw beautiful fine lines of liquid glue wherever I want to add glitter - and  don’t have to rush. 

Watch Rosie this week, as she take us down the Pergamano Glitter road....
As always, there is a 20% discount offer on the products we have highlighted in the video. This offer will last a week, until next Tuesday in fact - when the next YouTube Tuesday offer kicks in!


20% OFF


Sticky Ink
The Perga Glitter is something we have developed since taking over Pergamano. Selling points for me:
Ultra fine, 
Anti-static (doesn’t cling)
 Large pot opening (for funnelling back in)
Beautiful pastel hues, rather than brash colour glitter.
Perga-Glitter
Mapping Pen
It’s worth having a nib just for the liquid glue, and as Rosie says, just rinse it in water between jobs.
I use the mapping nips with the liquid gold we sell too, but I use another nib for that.
Here is a set of refill nibs on offer this week, too.

refill nibs

All current offers on our website can be found here.

I hope you find our weekly tutorial useful. 
I have done a pretty messy inky one for next week!
Not sure about it. Looks like I have lost the plot!!!

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

Monday, 26 March 2018

Out on the Town!

Good evening everyone, Paul here standing in for Barb.

I hope you are all keeping well and staying out of trouble!

Barb and Dave have gone out for the evening.

To the theatre darlings! 

 

So I am taking over the blog for tonight!

Whilst the cats away, the mice will play!!!!
(get it?)
Did you know we currently have a fantastic offer running until the 3rd April 2018 on a bundle of the Adirondack Alchohol Inks

Available HERE

Normally £26.80, but now just £20 and if you are in any of the New Design Clubs, your discount also applies.

If we happen to run out of any of the colours,  the Clarity team will automatically replace it with a different one from the same colour family.

So what is the reason for the special offer?

If you missed Barb's blog from Saturday, then you can check it out HERE

I must admit, it never crossed my mind that the alcohol inks would work so well on a Gel Press plate. I have only ever used mine in the "traditional" way, on coated card stock, Yupo paper, acetate etc. 

Barb kept sending me pictures of what she was creating, asking me how I thought she had created it. Never in a million years, would I have thought it was with alcohol inks!

If you want to give this technique a go and maybe you have "misplaced" aka "can't find it" your Gel Plate, then we also have a couple of special offers on those as well HERE

If you are looking for other uses for the alcohol inks or the Gel Plate, then don't forget to check out the Claritystamp You Tube channel HERE lots of ideas and inspiration!

Well, that's enough from me tonight!
Enjoy the rest of your evening!

Happy crafting

Paul xxx

Sunday, 25 March 2018

New labels new Plates!

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Wanted to flag a couple of things up:

firstly, when your new Groovi plates arrive now, 
they should come with a label on them. These labels are not just intended to irritate you! No, No, No!

(first thing I do when I buy a new top is cut the label out!
Brand name be gone! Cannot stand itchy scratchy at the back!)

But these labels are there for a very good reason.
It’s called indexing.


#newplates#lindawilliams#fantastic
If you peel them carefully, they will come off,


and you can restick them in your storage folders. 
That way, when you use a plate, it has a home and you can easily relocate it.



Look! Maria Maidment’s lovely plates are all stored and ready to go too! In this chaotic, fly by the seat of your pants life that I lead, you cannot imagine how comforting it is to be able to find things. 


Did you notice the magnificent new plates which Linda Williams has designed? They are modestly brilliant. There is so much to do with these! A set of four A5sq. plates, with infinite combination possibilities!
She will be launching her Flowers and Lace Collection on HOCHANDA TV next Sunday evening at 6pm.
And I want to work on one of the plates this week, so that I can blog a nice tutorial which ties in next Sunday. I just want to keep up with the parchment side of things here at Clarity!! Now I am back on the Mixed Media and Stamping train, I don’t want to forget my lovely Grooviness, do I ?!?

Let’s go with the  Aquilegia, shall we?


The first thing I like is that the lines don’t actually touch. You think they do, and they look as though they do. But when you begin to trace them, you realise immediately that you can extract shapes and elements entirely, like this:


Looking ahead to my next move, i want to do whitework in the little frill on the inside. So I have flipped to a larger tool, the No. 2 from the Starter Kit. I could use the No. 1 and not press so hard too. 


Now to join up the shape...
If I flip the parchment and simply repeat the whole piece, 
I get an oval, see?


But. If I overlap one of the scallops and join up the opposite side, 
I get a perfect circle.

BRILLIANT


So now, let the games begin.
This is my starting place. 
I shall do a little every day, 
and then blog the finished project next Sunday.



I shall enjoy thinking about my next move, the next thing to do,
as the week progresses. I know for sure that Linda will blow the doors off on Sunday evening. How long these will last on the TV I cannot guess. I DO know my brother is on permanent nights at the moment, trying to keep up. Do we sell out because we don’t give enough stock ? NOPE. We increase the stock levels every month! 

But now we are off to watch little Evie, Dave’s granddaughter, in her ballet. How quickly they grow up....


Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx

PS. If you missed it, we have compiled a pack of labels for all the plates we have produced thus far. It was a big job and cost a packet, but they are available to buy online.
click here to investigate

Going forward, the labels come on the plates. This is just a catch-up of the 500+ plates we have designed in not even 3 years.
Blimey. That’s insane.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Alcohol Ink and Gelpress project - Highly addictive! SPECIAL OFFER

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Been busy working on a Magazine project, and getting ahead of Monday, and thought I would lay down the step by step for the Woodland Animals Project I showed you the other day.

So this is how it works....

Drip some alcohol ink on the 8" x 10" Gelpress plate, which is mounted on one of our megamounts.
Then spread the ink out over the plate with a brayer.


I think we’ll have a special price offer on the inks I used here for a week. You will chomp through the inks with this technique
- especially because it is highly addictive!!

Lay the stencil down on the wet ink and blot the ink out of the animals with a scrap of copy paper. It will already have dried a bit, but that’s ok. That’s what we want.


Next, dab a black archival ink pad all over the stencil, making sure to get in the cracks and little areas.
Whilst the ink is still wet, lay a piece of copy paper on the stencil, rub lightly and pull the copy paper back.
See the first print? Neat. 


Remove the stencil, and you can see the alcohol ink on the Gelpress. 


This one below will give us the darker print if we leave it to dry. 


If you blot it and get rid of a lot of the wet alcohol ink, then you will pull a lighter print. 


Just by the by, there will be a lot of ink still on the stencil. It will dry quickly, but it can be easily rejuvenated with a spritz of blending solution....


I did this and ran it through my mangle aka Gemini. with our large stencil card. 
Got a beautiful, arty print from it!
Look


Anyway, back to the other job...
Once the alcohol ink has dried on the Gelpress, it’s time to lift the print. Spread a small amount of white acrylic paint over the whole surface with a brayer.



Flip the Gelpress over and position on a piece of our large Stencil Card. It works a treat for this application.


Flip back, rub the back of the card, and carefully peel your print.


I lost a tiny bit near the owl, but I can stain that down with a little ink on a baby-wipe if I want to hide it.
See?



There you go.
A delightful arty play session.


In a minute, I shall have another go with a different stencil. 
I am getting the hang of this now....

So to the special offer on the Alcohol Ink Bundle of 8 bottles: 

BOTTLE
CARAMEL
CURRANT
MOUNTAIN ROSE
AQUA
EGGPLANT
PEBBLE
TEAKWOOD

£20 instead of £26.80 (+ club discounts)

What else do you need? 
Alcohol Blending Solution to do the stencil trick through the mangle with the dry ink





New in. Good gear.
A free afternoon.
And that’s what it is: FREE.

Stash? Costaplenty.
Time? Costanuffink.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
xxx