Brilliant day out

This will be two posts in quick succession!  Firstly, I had the most brilliant day at the Claritystamp workshop in Scone earlier this month.  We were away on holiday and I abandoned the family for the day to drive the 80 miles to the workshop! 

There was mild panic when I got there because I wasn’t on the list, but I had my confirmation letter with me so they didn’t throw me out the door.  We did four projects in total and I loved each one.  We got a masterclass in brayering on silk coated card from the lovely Barbara Gray and her trusty companion, Pauline.  We used the Making a Point kit and I was delighted with the end result.

The next lesson was on the Gelli plate.  Now, I’d promised myself that I was not going to get sucked into yet another crafting technique, however, it’s such good fun!  I loved this so much.  Barbara said they were only giving us 3 pieces of card to play with or we’d be there all day and she was right.  Needless to say my trip to the Clarity shop during lunch necessitated in dropping a Gelli kit into my basket 🙂

More brayering onto silk coated card in the afternoon – and we learnt how to use the splodge mat to do reflections.  I was so pleased as I’d tried to do this before and failed – probably because I tried to use the stamp upside down, as it would appear in the reflection.  Didn’t think to do it right way up then turn the card – doh!  Got some great advice to help stop getting lines and shadows on my ink and I’ve been practicing and getting some great results.

By this time we were running over – just having too much fun – so it was agreed that we’d extend the class so everyone could slow down, take their time and enjoy the last lesson, which was alcohol inks on acetate.  I have to say that this didn’t work so well for me but with a bit of time and practice I can see you get the most fantastic and interesting backgrounds. Maybe something to come back to when I’m looking for a new crafty challenge.

I don’t have photos of my projects but here’s a photo of something I did with the techniques I learnt on the day.  I created a frame for the Birdhouse kit that I bought in Scone, using the Gelli plate, the leafy swirl stencil and some bubble wrap.  I have actually sent this off to Create & Craft as In the Classroom homework for the show on 3 August.  Hopefully it might get shown.  It will, however, be passed to Charity with Clarity, where any cards sent in as homework are given to charities to sell for funds – which is brilliant.



It’s all in the Sentiment

Not only was I lucky enough to win the Claritystamp Challenge Blog in March and receive a lovely £50 voucher to spend on their beautiful stamps, I was also invited to be guest designer for their May challenge – It’s all in the Sentiment.  I was absolutely delighted! 

I picked the Gandhi quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” which we had received with the new design club a few months ago.  Using a technique I’d seen on Darlene’s Design blog, I sponged Tim Holtz distress ink, peacock feathers, onto the Clarity card.  I then used the clear Versamark inkpad to stamp on top of the card and embossed it with clear powder.  Using an old black dye based inkpad I rubbed the pad over the top and finally gave it a polish with a tissue which brought the clear writing to the surface.  It was then cut out using a die-cut and placed onto another piece of Clarity card which had been “cling-filmed”.  This is the technique when you brayer over the Clarity card with the ink, spritz a piece of clingfilm with water, lay it on the card and squidge it 🙂  Once it’s dry you get some really lovely effects.  So, that was the sentiment ready to go.

Nothing goes through amazing change like a butterfly so using the Claritystamp butterfly from the pretty petals kit I stamped three onto a piece of Theuva card.  Using Promarkers to colour in the butterflies, all slightly differently, I picked colours that toned with the background of the sentiment.  This is the first piece of colouring that I’ve been really happy with and used all the techniques I’ve learned from watching Barbara in the classroom.  Using a blending pen gives you such beautiful shading.

I masked off the butterflies and used the small leafy swirl stamp, again with the peacock feather inkpad, to create a background.  A bit of “ink, blot, plot” so that it didn’t overshadow the butterflies.  A toning edge down the card using the wide end of the Promarker pen to finish it off. 

Everything was then mounted onto an 8×8 card and I even added a bit of bling with turquoise gems.

I’m absolutely delighted with the end result and being asked to take part as a guest designer was thrilling.  It made me push myself a wee bit more and try something a little different for me – which is no bad thing!

I hope you like it too.  If you’re visiting from the Claritystamp Challenge blog, thanks for coming to take a look, and good luck with this month’s challenge.


Bitten by the bug

I have been thoroughly over excited since being picked at random as the winner of the Claritystamp Anything Goes challenge blog.  Not only have I received a fantastic £50 voucher for my favourite stamps, I even got a mention in the April edition of the Claritystamp new design club newsletter! I feel very lucky and have made my first purchase with my voucher.  I’ve bought a few new inkpads and will keep the rest for stamps that I really want – which is difficult because I want them all!

This month’s challenge is In the Garden so I’ve had my thinking cap on. Claritystamp had a very generous sale on at Easter which included some of the past In the Classroom sets so I bought two that I had been hankering after; the Blooming Corner kit with the remountable insects and also the Birdcage set.

I had thought about doing a children’s card with a lift the flap kind of theme.  My first attempt didn’t go so well as I started by doing the background pictures first and then trying to line up and cut the apertures out of the top piece after.  Once I realised that wasn’t going to work I started from the top down.  Originally the card had featured some of the bunnies but then the blooming corner kit arrived and I was desperate to have a shot of that. 

Having stamped around the A6 Theuva card with the blooming corner stamps I spent a good few nights going round colouring in the flowers with my Promarkers.  I’m not very good at colouring so I remembered all of Barbara’s classroom advice and built the colours up slowly.  I then stamped three wrought iron square stamp in the centre of the card and covered the squares and flowers with Post-it masks.  Using the lovely lettuce green Adirondack I brayers across the card to give me my background colour.  

I then coloured in the wrought iron squares and cut around three edges of each of the squares to give me my lift the flap effect.  I could now mark out the squares’ positions on the background piece and made little pictures using a variety of stamps – I particularly like the ladybirds :).

The finishing touches – I attached the words “What can you find in the garden?” having first of all stamped them using the Letterbox kit onto shrink plastic using a black Stayzon pad and shrunk them in the oven – only took two goes to get it right this time!  A couple of little buzzy bees and I was done.

Finally, both bits were put together and, using double sided sticky tape, were attached to the final A6 card.

I’m delighted with the end result and I am entering this card into the second Claritystamp Challenge, In the Garden.


Claritystamp Challenge Blog – Anything Goes

I was so excited about the new Claritystamp challenge blog when I heard about it, and it’s one of the reasons I started this blog.  Since it started on the 1 March it’s been great to see some of the amazing artwork that’s been posted under the heading of Anything Goes.  But, I’ve really struggled to decide what to enter myself!  However, I’ve now made a decision and this is what I’m going with.


It’s an A4 card and uses the Claritystamp small flourish stamp, the spring bouquet stamp and also a mixture of the letterbox and numbers kits.  I used the Tim Holtz peacock feathers distress ink for the background colour. 

The letters were embossed using extra thick embossing powder and then I crackled the glaze by rubbing an embossing tool over the back of the words while leaning them on a mousemat.  Love the effect it gives. 

I also used the versatile vase stamp and played with the gold gilding flakes that I bought at the SECC a couple of weeks ago.  Really enjoyed that and keep coming up with excuses to gild everything!

Finally the bouquet was coloured using Promarkers.  I think I’m finally getting the hang of shading but I’ve got a long way to go.

Hope you like it as much as I do.

Another quick one…

Both my boys have had birthdays in the past couple of weeks.  15 and 13, can’t believe it!  Here’s the cards I made for them. 


This one had it’s problems – stamped the cake too far forward and it’s actually sitting on what should be the edge of the table!  Also, I stupidly laid a piece of paper over the top – before the glossy accent on the balloons had time to dry.  However, the end result doesn’t look too bad considering.

Clarity stamp balloon and meadowdance stamps with some other birthday ones I had in my stash.




ImageWas happier with this one.  Suited well as he’s off skiing with the school for 10 days.

Claritystamp letterbox kit, skier from Sports set and the miniature spruce tree.  Also used the cloud mask to created the lovely fluffy clouds and the mountain side of the hill mask too.  The Claritystamp masks are great – save a lot of cutting out time.


Weekend Inspiration

I’ve been crafting since I was a little girl but my other great passion I only discovered when I turned 40.  Cycling!  I started out trying to commute to work on a great big pink ladies Claude Butler bike and now I regularly do 50 mile rides with the Edinburgh women’s cycle group, Hervelo, on my lovely Specialized Dolce road bike.  I love planning routes and leading rides – taking some of the other women in the group around Midlothian and East Lothian to places they’ve maybe never been before.

Two weekends ago we had set out to go looking for snowdrops at a place I know in East Lothian.  We took a higher than normal route there and it was bitterly cold with a strong headwind and snow flurries.  We decided to cut the ride short and head to our favourite cafe in Gifford for egg and bacon rolls. 

So, last weekend I was on a snowdrop mission.  We headed out again, taking a lower more direct route to our destination but it was a beautiful day and we managed to keep warm.  Unfortunately the snowdrops weren’t quite out yet but we saw a few just starting to peek through.  An excuse for another visit in a couple of weeks’ time.

Anyway, I was really struck by the changing colours in the roads we cycled around.  The farmers are starting to plow the fields and they’ve gone from a yucky grey colour to an amazing range of reds and browns. 

So, this weekend’s card was inspired by our route.  It also meant I could use one of my favourite stamps, the cyclist from Claritystamp Sport set.  I’m looking forward to changing this card with the seasons, some buds and early leaves on the next one.  I hope you like it.Image


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