Sunday, 1 November 2015

Clarity Challenge 33 - Clean & Simple

Hi All
Here we are for the 11th Clarity Challenge this year and we're going "Clean & Simple" this month.  It's a bit more difficult than you think, to try and be minimalistic when crafting - I think for most of us crafters it is a challenge that's for sure!
I thought I'd use the Angelina Fibres on my project - the colours are really pretty and once heat is applied to them, they're even better.

So the ingredients:
6x6 Stencil Card
8x8 Blank Greeting Card
7x7 Clarity MegaMount
Angelina Fibres
Iron (craft or domestic)
Baking parchment
Word Chain No.s 7 & 13
Black Archival Ink
Embossing Tool or pointed implement like a skewer
Glue runner
Paperartsy Acrylics - Limelight & Hyde Park
Gold Pebeo Patinating Wax
Mount the "Magical Christmas" onto the Clarity Megamount and tease-out some of the Angelina Fibres to a piece large enough to cover the words - make sure it's the right shape before you ink up your stamp.

I don't have a crafting iron, but a domestic iron works just as well.  Make sure the iron is empty of water and heat it on the silk setting.
Ink up the words with Black Archival, place the Angelina Fibres over the words, then lay the parchment carefully on top.  With the pre-heated iron, gently press the parchment for a few seconds - I pressed for a few seconds, then lifted the iron to check.  It only takes a matter of seconds to heat-set, so it's better to do it a little at a time and check your progress by peeking under the iron as you go as you don't want to over-cook it.

Next I teezed out some of the fibres round the edge using the No. 1 Embossing Tool so that it looked a bit fluffy round the edges. (Hold the words tightly as you don't want the fibres pulling from the centre).
As I didn't want the fluffy edges stuck to the card, I used the glue runner and just ran a couple of lines across the middle to hold the fibres in place.
Next, I brayered some Paperartsy Acrylics round the edge.
I then stamped a couple of fairies straight onto some fibre that I had ironed between two sheets of parchment, and cut them out.
I thought Limelight was a bit bright on it's own so I called on the help of Hyde Park & Pebeo Wax to tone it down a bit.

So that's it for another month, but before I go......just thought I'd quickly mention the Angelina Fibres.
They're one of those things that are quite difficult to photograph, but they produce some lovely colours, especially if you separate the strands from each colour and mix them together - very pretty

This is all the colours ironed between baking parchment.

Anyway, had better close now as I've got lots to do for my card sale on 5th November.
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone xxx

PS Here's some links to the Clarity goodies I used this month if you want to take a peek

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Clarity Challenge 32 - "Stencils"

Hi everyone - nice to see you back again!  Hope you've all been enjoying the sunny days we've had over the last few weeks? 
For October, our Clarity challenge is giving the Design Team a chance to showcase some fab Stencils to give you some inspiration, and there's some very different ideas from some of my team mates, so there's plenty of choice, and so many possibilities......
For my design this month I've used one of the newer stencils "Circles Box Frame", and to accompany it, the fab "Grace" from the "Elegance & Grace" ballerina set as seen on HOCHANDA last Sunday - Hope you caught the shows!

8x8 blank greeting card & a piece of A5 Chromo card
Adirondack Inks: Eggplant, Stonewashed
Black Archival Ink
Distress Inks: Black Soot, Broken China, Worn Lipstick
Cling film & water in a spritzer bottle
"Circles Box Frame" Stencil, "Grace" Ballerina & mask, "Amazing" from Word Chains Set 9 & the stars from the Wee Folk 3 (Fairies)
Low-tack masking tape
White, Silver & Black pens & a blue Promarker
Perfect Pearls Mists - & the colour I used is "Perfect Pearl"
Brayer, Clarity Stencil Brushes & Blending Tool

If you've been reading Barbara's blog (I strongly recommend it if you haven't - it's a great light-hearted read), you'll know that the piece of Chromo card I've used (available from Claritystamp), was brayered with a couple of blue inks, then a piece of cling film was spritzed with water and laid onto the card and left to dry (Top tip - Be patient!......Go and put the kettle on while you're waiting and make yourself a cuppa!)

Trim the Chromo card to 6x6 and place the stencil centrally to find out where to stamp Grace, then mark in the corners where her head and feet will sit.

Stamp on Grace (not literally of course) using Black Archival ink, placing her head and tippy-toes in between the pencil marks, then mask her off.

Replace the stencil using low-tack masking tape and using the blending tool, dab through the stencil to get the pattern onto the card, using a little less above Grace's head.  Drag the ink in gently with the make-up sponge.

Spitz with the Perfect Pearl Mists - they're so lovely and well worth investing in!

Remove the stencil and curve "Amazing" on the mount, then stamp in Black Archival above Grace's head!

Next, using a guillotine cut the corners at 45% so that the finished artwork fits onto your base 8x8 card.  Use a black Micron pen to enhance the circles of the stencil (only up as far as Grace's arms), then using the silver pen embellish the design by colouring "Grace" on the skirt and outline "Amazing".  Give Grace some nice eyelashes and a lovely smile with the black Micron pen.
Use the blue Promarker to colour in the bodice of her dress, but be careful not to touch the outline as this will make the line art bleed. 
I never took a photo, but you also need to add shadow around Grace, so I masked her again and used a makeup sponge and Black Soot Distress ink to do this.

Brush the edges of the artwork with Worn Lipstick Distress Ink.......& I felt the need to spritz again with the Perfect Pearls I did!

Thought I'd take a couple of photos to show the card once it had it's final spritz - I love those Perfect Pearls Mists (I couldn't resist buying all the colours available - they add a lovely subtle finish to the artwork), and they catch the light beautifully.

Stamp the base card with the stars using Worn Lipstick and Broken China Distress Inks, then mount the artwork diagonally and trim the base card back to within 1/2" around the artwork.

That's basically it.....I hope you like the end result - I think I may well be making this design in different colours too?

By the time you get to my blog, you've probably already checked out the rest of the Design Team's artwork, but if not, there's some fab inspiration there to spur you on to get creative, so take a peek.
I hope you'll put your thinking caps on to have a go at this month's challenge.....There's some very talented crafters out there, and I'm sure you're one of them, so don't be shy to showcase your work, we'd all love to see it!...There's a £50 Clarity voucher up for grabs for the lucky, randomly selected winner.
Not only will this be a Challenge Competition for you to enter, but every month, it sure is "a BIG Challenge" for us too, to choose our Top 5 favourites!!  Have fun creating and I'll be looking out for your artwork.
Until my next post, hugs to you all xxx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Clarity Challenge 31 - Shaped Cards

Hi All
New month, new Clarity Challenge. 
A great one this month and endless possibilities for "Shaped Cards".
And another Christmassy one from me.

Do you get the idea that I love Christmas?
So the ingredients I used this time are:
8x6 blank base card
Clarity Olive Branch Wreath
Selection of green & blue dye based inks and Fern Green, Red Geranium & Black Archival inks
Clarity Stencil Brushes
Snowy acetate sheet
Trees, Santa & Sleigh stamps
A moon mask
"Christmas Greetings" & Small & Large Holly stamps
Red & iridescent glitter
Glue runner and Ballpoint-tip Glue Pen
Scissors and craft knife
Clear embossing powder
(Links for the Clarity ingredients are below for you)

First place the stencil directly onto the blank greeting card and brush on the different greens to build your wreath

Next, with scissors (or craft knife) cut out the upper part of the card.  At first I just cut the front part  of the card as I was going to build a scene on the inside of the card above the wreath, but then decided it would be better to cut the front & back above the wreath, so fixed that!

Next cut the centre aperture out of the wreath on the front part of the card only.

Use the piece you've cut out as a template to cut the snowy acetate.  Remember to cut slightly larger so that you have enough of a border to run the glue tape round.  Stick the acetate in place inside behind the centre of the wreath.

On the open card, mask off the left-hand side with post-it notes and stamp the trees in first and second generation inks so that they are visible through the aperture when the card is closed.  (For those not familiar with the term -  second generation ink - ink up the stamp, blot on copy paper, then plot on your artwork, giving a paler image).
Add the moon mask and brush on the blues for the moody sky, gives a nice darker edge where the leaf shaped card has been cut too.

Stamp Santa flying to deliver the presents, again so that he is visible through the aperture, and use the white pen to highlight his sleigh.

Add some iridescent glitter to the trees and leave to dry.

Now on the front of the card, stamp the "Christmas Greetings" using Red Geranium Archival ink and clear emboss.
Stamp the holly using first & second generation dye based green ink.
I used some green Spectrum Noir colouring pencils to darken the wreath leaves and a grey to add a bit of shadow to both the wreath & greeting.
Using the Ballpoint-tip Glue Pen, dot on the berries and add red glitter to finish off.

There's another Christmas card made (and an idea for you for the challenge), but still lots more Xmas cards to make, so on my day off today, I guess I may well be doing some crafting!
So get your thinking caps on, and don't be shy, have a try.  You could be in the random selection draw at the end of the month to win a Claritystamp voucher to spend on some fab goodies. 
As the saying goes "You've got to be in it, to win it!"
There's lots of inspiration again this month from the other Design Team members too, so check out their blogs for lots of hints, tips and ideas.
Look forward to seeing your entries this month, and Good Luck to you x

Click on these useful links for ingredients above:

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Get into the "Groovi" with Claritystamp

Hi All
Barbara Gray is having a very "Groovi-week" on both her blog & the Claritystamp website from 1st to 7th August, so the Design Team are all joining in the fun to give you some inspirational ideas.
I thought it would be a good idea to make a card using a piece which was one of my first creations. 
Firstly let me tell you I am by no means a "parchment expert" and this was a "trial & error" piece as you'll see.  I've never, ever done parchment work before, but now I'm hooked as the Groovi system makes it so simple!
I had fun getting in the Groovi making my butterfly & flower design, then I thought, "I wonder what it would look like if I sprayed the reverse side of the parchment with Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Ink Spray Mist?"
Mmmmm, I found out it wasn't one of my best idea's as the parchment buckled when it got damp.......All was not lost though...........Look at the finished article!  Not too bad.....?

It started out as an 8" x 6" piece of parchment which comes with the Clarity Groovi Plate Starter Kit (on special offer at the moment
 As it was a little wrinkly looking.........I cut it down from it's original size to 5" x 4" and just used the piece which had all the work on it.

I was much happier with that and now it looked far smoother and a lot flatter, but still a little crinkly (bit like me!). 
I added a few more flowers within the circle frame and coloured the butterfly and flowers in on the reverse using Spectrum Noir Colouring Pencils (
I punched corners (the same as you would for photos) in a white piece of card and mounted the parchment securing it on the reverse at each corner using a small piece of Cellotape.
To finish the card, I mounted this on a piece of purple card slightly larger than the parchment, then mounted that onto a C5 scalloped white card, which I'd stamped around the edge with second generation ink using the foliage stamp from
Finally, I added a few little white hearts which were the innies from a punch I'd used for another project......And that's it folks - simples!

The Groovi system is a brilliant piece of kit for novices and experts alike - If I can do it, anyone can!  I also know that some of the parchment experts on the Design Team love this too, so go check it out.
You can find the Starter Kit and all the accompanying Groovi plates by following this link: - There's a fab freebie plate too at the moment if you spend over £40.....But hurry - you've only got until 7th August to get the beautiful freebie!!!
Happy Sunday everyone, whatever you may be up to xxx

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Claritystamp Challenge 30 - Bingo

Hello everyone - Hope you've had a great July, albeit that the weather has been a little "iffy" to say the least!  Let's hope August will be a bit warmer & sunnier for those who are having a staycation this year!
So for the August Clarity Challenge 30, we're having a crafty Bingo game by choosing what you'd like to use from the grid on the Challenge website.  So choose a line, diagonally, horizontally, or vertically, or the four corners, or if you're feeling adventurous, a full house using all the elements!
For my project I chose a horizontal line: Stencil, Stamp & Grunge Paste.....and for me it had to be a Christmas card!

Ingredients required:
7x7 Gelli card
Pine needle stencil
Stamps - Unmounted Christmas Banners and unmounted Baubles
Grunge Paste, palette knife & spreader
Clear Embossing powder
Ken Oliver Colour bursts
Inks: Distress - Mowed Lawn/Evergreen Bough/Pumice Stone
Archival - Fern Green/Red Geranium (on special offer this month at £3.98 on the Clarity website)/Coffee/Cobalt Blue
Cool Grey No. 5 Promarker
Coloured twine
Tacky Glue & Glue tape runner
8 x 8 Blank greeting card
So firstly, tape down the stencil at the upper part of the Gelli card and spread the grunge paste across the top with the palette knife.   Using the spreader, drag the paste down from top to bottom through the stencil.  Have some water ready to clean the stencil, knife & spreader as it sets rock-hard if not cleaned off immediately!  Place the Gelli card to one side and leave to dry.....

While you're waiting, make your decorations.  I chose a variety of Christmas baubles, but ended up only using the small ones as I thought the large ones were a little too much for my card, but they'll come in handy for another project...never throw anything away!
I used a leftover piece of card from a Colour Burst session, dusted it with talc and stamped the banner and baubles onto it using the Archival inks, then dusted with clear embossing powder and heat set.

As long as the grunge paste is dry, replace the stencil over it and lightly spritz with water then VERY LIGHTLY puff the Ultramarine Blue & Pthalo Green Colour Bursts onto the dampened branches, then dab with kitchen roll. These little bottles of powder are very intense and you only need a small amount - They are such vibrant colours and great to work with.
Remove the stencil and leave your work to dry naturally.

Now back to your tree decorations & banner - cut them out.

From your chosen twine, make enough little bows for the top of each bauble

When the branches have dried, place the innies over the grunge paste and hold them in place while dusting with a clarity stencil brush & the Pumice Stone ink to colour in the background.  Remove the innies and to intensify the branch colours, I used Mowed Lawn & Evergreen Bough and a Clarity brush to lightly dust over them.  Under each branch, use the grey Promarker to add shadow.

Next mount your Gelli card onto a slightly larger contrasting piece of card using your choice of adhesive (I used my glue tape runner), then mount onto the 8x8 greeting card before hanging your baubles.
Stick on your greeting banner (I used the tape runner for this too), and decorate the branches with the baubles and bows (I thought that liquid glue works best on the grunge paste as it tends to be a bit uneven).
Et Voila!  Christmas card made..............

Don't want to worry you, but there's only 21 weekends left for shopping and crafting before Christmas!
Time to start making those lists for cards and gifts.......
Happy crafting (and Christmas shopping) all xxx

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

"Anything Goes" - Clarity Challenge No. 29

So here we are already with the July Clarity Challenge - the month's seem to be flying by! 
For you this time, I decided to do a canvas made with the Clarity Club stencil (from May I think).  (Just a little aside........The Clarity New Design Club has great benefits - as well as getting a stamp & stencil at the beginning of each month if you're a Gold Member, you get a 10% saving on all purchases and free postage on orders over £10 - I highly recommend it!)
Anyway, back to the challenge........"Anything Goes!", here we go.........My finished artwork and how it came together........

A4 canvas board
Powder watercolours of your choice - I used Ken Oliver Crafts Colour Burst (the little puffer bottles are fab for control) or you could use Brushos
Stencils - Fish (Club Stencil), Seaweed & Seaweed Frame, Jo's Bubbles & sequin waste
Grunge paste, Spreader & palette knife
Pirate Treasure Gilding flakes
Clarity Stencil Brushes, Blending Tool &  Brayer
Inks - Adirondack Stream & Eggplant, Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Mowed Lawn & Peacock Feathers,
Archival Ink - Fern Green, Archival Brilliance Moonlight White
Stamps - Tall Grass, Fish from the Harbour Set & grass from the Foxes Set
Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics - Blueberry & Limelight
So first of all, spritz the canvas board with water and very lightly puff on some yellow powder and gently brush with a clean stencil brush

Next the blue - same process,,,,

Then finally the green

Next you need to compose your background with the seaweed stencils.  Place them around the canvas and using all the inks, gradually build the pattern through the stencils using the brushes.

That'll do!

Allow to dry completely, then attach the fish stencil where you would like him to be swimming in the deep ocean.  Spread some grunge paste on the side of the stencil with the palette knife.
Drag the grunge paste through the stencil with the spreader.  Immediately remove the stencil and place in water, together with the spreader & palette knife - be quick though as you then need to sprinkle the gilding flakes on while the grunge paste is still wet.  Once applied, VERY LIGHTLY press the flakes onto the grunge paste & pray for no drafts!.......
Ooooooo, looks a bit of a mess, but be patient and allow about an hour for it to dry completely........

Once dry, gently brush off the gilding flakes - not too hard as you don't want to remove them all!
Next - the border.....Take the Fresco Chalk paints and squeeze a small amount onto your crafting mat and brayer round the edge of the canvas, lightest colour first until you're happy with it.  I used the Limelight sides & top, and the Blueberry along the bottom.

Next, Jo's bubbles & the sequin waste.  Using the blending tool & Moonlight White Brilliance ink, dab through the stencils adding a few bubbles here & there.

Then stamp the grasses at the bottom of the ocean, which gives the picture depth, and also some little fishy friends - all using the Archival Fern Green ink.
And there you are - all done!

Hope you are inspired to create something for this month's challenge.  There's some fab inspirational pieces from the other Clarity Design Team members too, so please do check out all of their blogs as well.
As "Anything Goes" it doesn't have to be something new, how about looking around the house to see what you can up-cycle?......I've spotted quite a few things which could do with a make-over.....I just hope my other half Peter doesn't stand still for too long - he could end up covered in stamps & paint!!!
Don't forget there's a £50 Clarity Voucher up for grabs for someone picked at random, which means everyone's in with a chance, beginners & experts alike.  (Please check out the Clarity Challenge Blog for the rules).
Anyway, I look forward to seeing all your artwork....Happy crafting all, Carole xxx