Saturday, 30 November 2013

In The Classroom - December 2013



Today Barbara was joined in the last classroom of 2013 by Stephanie Weightman who was eager to get crafting. We all know she is a seasoned crafter, but she was really concentrating and enjoying it at the same time wasn't she?  There were some tricky projects today.

Here's a reminder of the materials used in todays lessons:

Lesson 22 (part 2)

This was a second look at this stamp set, having used mica powders in last months classroom with Genevieve.

Here's a look at the stamp and stencil set used in this project:

(click on the title above to take you to the Clarity website)

Here's some artwork from our facebook watchers that were crafting along today:

Wendy Thorburn


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Lesson 23
(click on the titles above to take you to the Clarity website)




Here's some artwork from our facebook watchers that were crafting along today:

Carol Morgan



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We'll be back tomorrow with an update from the Sunday shows and also to show you some of the design teams artwork to give you even more inspiration.



xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Friday, 22 November 2013

Spotlight on Lesley Walden - Top 5 from Challenge 8


For our current challenge "CHRISTMAS" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "WINTER"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



I have always enjoyed arts and crafts and dabbled in most of them over the years, but having taken early retirement from teaching Maths and ICT last year, when my school closed due to reorganisation, I have more time to indulge in my hobbies.

I have taken up my paintbrushes again after many, many years and joined an art class one morning a week.  My two knitting machines have also come back out of their boxes with Grandsons to knit for now.

I was introduced to card making by one of my two daughters about six years ago.  She made me a beautiful stamped and embossed birthday card and I was fascinated to know how she had made it. After she explained, I opened my birthday present to find all the craft items I needed to make the card. Stamps, inks, embossing powders, heat gun etc.  We had a wonderful afternoon playing and I was hooked.  I don’t think I have bought a shop card since that day!

I came across Clarity stamps and Barbara by chance on the Create and Craft channel and loved her arty designs.  I now regularly tune in to her shows and have joined her New Design Club.  My collection of Clarity stamps is ever growing and have recently bought the gelli plate with the intention of using it in my art classes as well as card making.

Thank you for choosing my card as one of the top five.  I enjoy entering the competition every month and the theme often inspires me to look at my stamps in different ways.

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Here's Lesley's moonlight scene with the hare's in silhouette and the snow gently falling.  Brrrrr.... it's cold outside!



Lesley entered the challenge via email as she doesn't have
a blog so you could do the same too!

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Spotlight on Shelagh Metselaar - Top 5 from Challenge 8


For our current challenge "CHRISTMAS" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "WINTER"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.

Shelagh Metselaar


Although I have always been interested in art and craft (my gran taught me to knit when I was three and I studied child-centred Art at teacher-training college) my real crafting journey began in The Hague, Holland.  I had broken my arm and couldn't teach but needed something to occupy myself as well as therapy for my fingers – the only part of my left arm I could move!  I found a decoupage kit, complete with light box and scissors which I had purchased earlier for my school Christmas craft lessons and card making followed.

Fast forward three months and we were then living in Houston, Texas. Two months after joining an international group and four months since arriving in Houston, I was appointed Membership VP and kept over two hundred ladies up-to-date with information and events. A ‘sunshine’ policy was instigated whereby I was asked to send cards to members for a special birthday/anniversary, bereavement, illness, welcome or farewell.  As we were a non-profit making group who sponsored overseas students at one of the universities, I volunteered to make the cards as my donation.  Many of the ladies wished to learn how to create their own cards and thus I brought my teaching and card-making skills together by holding weekly classes in my home until I left to return to UK.

My hobby continued once back in Aberdeen and my skills have developed to include stamping, embossing and inking.  I returned with a loads of goodies from the USA, half of which I didn’t know what to do with and although I made cards, I didn’t stamp seriously until catching Barbara on Create and Craft, one Sunday morning a couple of years ago.  The stamps with the ‘unusual’ handles I had bought a few years before suddenly made sense. Furthermore, meeting Barbara twice at The Papeterie in Aberdeen (my favourite shop - I no longer spend a fortune on clothes, it all goes on crafting goodies) and also twice at the SECC was a joy on every occasion; the sharing of tips, techniques and time given over to helping us with our trouble spots shows such a generosity in spirit. (Barbara also kindly chose to air one of my cards during Create and Craft ‘Scottish Cities’ episode.)

I regularly make cards for family and friends. My latest projects are to design and make thank-you gifts for my mum’s team of carers, as well as creating Christmas cards for various family members - a number possibly in excess of three hundred and they are well under way.  Another ‘must do soon’ are the advent boxes for my mother and mother-in-law.  For a decade or so, both have received a box of goodies to open daily on the run up to Christmas; it used to be small gifts but now, with their advancing years, it is a chocolate or similar in a handmade, decorated container.  Then of course, is the Clarity ‘Christmas’ challenge.  As a primary teacher with over thirty five years of teaching experience both national and international, I have always linked creativity with education and various art and craft activities were always to be found in my classroom.  I no longer teach but I feel creativity lives on in my cards. I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as one of your top five, particularly as it was my first entry. Thank you!

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Here's Shelagh's Winter themed card using different shades of blue to create her scene.


Shelagh entered the challenge via email as she doesn't have
a blog so you could do the same too!

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Saturday, 16 November 2013

NEC - November 2013


Welcome to the weekend Clarity crafters!

It doesn't feel like a week has passed since we were at the NEC does it?  Were you there?  Did you have fun?

I got to meet many of you either personally or whilst you were watching my demonstrations and it's such a delight every time I do a show to spend time with you.  None of this would be possible though without your support and of course from the Clarity team too, so thank you to everyone.

We thought it would be nice to share a few special moments with you from last weekend.

Now I'm not sure whether this is my youngest crafter or not, but Massimo Pace is only 5 years old and produces some wonderful artwork and I had the pleasure of meeting him on Saturday.  He dressed up in a shirt a tie especially for the occasion.


Crafting is all about spending time with friends, so a few of the design team along with the Clarity gang on the stand got together on the Friday night for a meal and boy did we have a laugh.  Here we all are with the napkin holders pretending to be Zorro.



Did anyone watch the Fiskars challenge on Saturday?  There was Joanna Sheen, Dawny P and myself with Rob (the MDF man) as compare and we were given the challenge of creating a Christmas card using the new Fuse Creativity System.  To start off with we all had to be shown how to use it as we didn't have a clue and then we set to work.  Then we were marked down for copying other peoples ideas, talking too much, borrowing other peoples craft tools etc.  We then had a health and safety rule we had to follow along with a piece of health and safety equipment we had to wear, this scored us extra points. Joanna's was a pair of ear defenders, Dawny P's was a life jacket and mine was a breathing mask. Great fun was had by all and we all walked away with a bottle of bubbly for our efforts.


Clarity and I would like to thank you for your continued support and to show my gratitude I've got a couple of giveaways on my personal blog - One Day at A Time.

Barbara Gray Blog

I hope you're enjoying my daily blog posts and are able to join in with the step-by-steps as well as trying out some of the other ideas too.  Crafting is all about sharing isn't it?

Why not use what you've learnt so far and take part in the monthly Clarity challenge?  You could win a £50 Clarity voucher to spend on the website. This months challenge is Christmas, so come on give it a go, I love looking at your artwork.



Have a great weekend xx




Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Spotlight on Vanessa Hodgson - Top 5 from Challenge 8


For our current challenge "CHRISTMAS" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "WINTER"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



Hello, my name's is Vanessa Hodgson and I live in Northallerton, North Yorkshire with my Husband Richard and my Scottish terrier Hamish.

I've been crafting since I was a child, mainly drawing, painting and sewing.  I first got into paper crafting 3 years ago, but only discovered Clarity Stamps two years ago when I turned onto Create and Craft one Saturday to find Barbara doing a lesson.  I was amazed how she could build up a scene using the stamps, a brayer and some scrap paper, but didn’t really get brave enough to try using them until I had a morning lesson with Barbara at the Harrogate Papercraft show.  I loved it and couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to try it.

I've since learnt many new techniques and ideas both from all of Barbara’s lessons on Create and Craft and the DVD’s which I think are a great investment.  I've even got into using the Gelli Plate with lots and lots of messy fun resulting in some lovely prints.

I've really enjoyed sharing my creations on the Clarity FaceBook page and it's such a thrill to know what other crafters think of your work and to see what they are doing as well.

I'm really glad that I finally got the courage to enter the Clarity Stamp Challenge and was literally grinning from ear to ear when I discovered that I had made the top 5, it really did make my day. Thank you very much to Sam from the design team for encouraging me to enter in the first place.
I'm looking forward to entering the next challenge and who knows maybe even winning that £50 voucher!

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Here's Vanessa's winter scene using the wonderful holly sprig, sitting and standing deer and tree silhouette. A perfect reminder of those crisp winter days in the snow.



Vanessa entered the challenge via email as she doesn't have
a blog so you could do the same too!

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November Clarity Shows


For our current challenge "CHRISTMAS" please click here

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The Clarity shows continued today with another three hours of Barbara on our screens to tempt us with more new Clarity stamp designs as well as Clarity stencils and masks too!

If you want a reminder of what was on todays shows we've got all of the stamps listed below along with some of the design teams artwork too.  We've even linked the stamps to the Clarity website to make it even easier to shop, aren't we kind to you?

(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)



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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)



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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)







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Squiggles Stencils (7"x7")
(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)



Kelly Ketteringham




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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)








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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)








Kelly Ketteringham




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& Branch Stencil (7"x7")
(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)









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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)




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(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)










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We hope you enjoyed watching the shows, that you've picked
up some new techniques and are rushing off to your craft
space to try them out.

We'd love to see your artwork on our new Facebook fan page:

www.facebook.com/claritystamp




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx