Saturday, 31 May 2014

When is a bow a flower?

As  some of you will know, I love to pattern build when crafting, especially when using my Clarity Stamps

These 2 samples use the Claritystamp Filigraphy Dolphins:

And this one uses the Filigraphy Hot Air Balloon

However, I have also found that you can do it with certain dies - Tattered Lace Peacock Die

At the beginning of May, at the Big Demo Day at Coleman's Craft Warehouse in Rushden, I got the chance to play with some of the new dies and stamps from Sue Wilson. However, some of you may have read on my Facebook page that on the morning of the demo, I just happened to knock a whole mug off coffee over all of them which resulted in them been thrown in the bin!!!!!

Anyway, every few months I get invited to the Big Demo Days at Coleman's Craft Warehouse and then a week or a few weeks after, I go back and do a workshop using the same products that I have demo'd. 

Here are the cards I made for the workshop today:

The flowers in the centre of the cards were made using the Sue Wilson Bow Stamps:

 You can also use the dies as well and here are 2 little display boards I made up to show the difference

Now I am not sure if Sue Wilson has already done this with the ribbon dies/stamps as I don't get the time to follow her blog or to watch all the TV shows - all of the above was created with me just "playing"

Here is a pic of the ladies from todays workshop (I remembered to take pics this time!)

Happy Crafting

Paul x

Friday, 30 May 2014

Non stop craftyness!

Well it seems like it has been ages since my last blog - I have no idea where the time has gone and my fun crafty time in France is fading into the distance...........................

So, what has been keeping me occupied the past few weeks? Well apart from the "day job" I have been having fun passing on what I learnt in France with the Gelli Plate & Clarity Stencils to lots of other crafters.

I was lucky enough to be one of the very first people to get a Gelli Plate when Clarity started stocking them and spent an evening at Barbara's watching her play and experiment with lots of different colours, tools, bubble wrap and lots and lots and lots of huffing and puffing. I remember at the end of the evening, the kitchen looked as if a crafty bomb had gone off!!!!

After a few months I remember Barbara telling me why there was always "huffing & puffing". As stampers, when we ink up a stamp and stamp it out, we know exactly what we are going to get - we know what the end result is going to be. With a Gelli Plate, we don't, well not to start with anyway!!!!!  So therefore she said that we need to re-train the brain (scary I know!) to accept what we end up with and go with it! Sometimes, if you really, really don't like what you end up with, depending on what the result is, you can print over it with another design.

When I first tried, my results went straight in the bin as they looked like pieces of card that had been dragged through a muddy puddle - so like most crafters, if it doesn't work straight away, give up!!!

So whilst in France, I watched some of the Gelli Experts work there magic - I spent an after watching them play with Acrylic paints - they made it look so easy - but then again, if you keep at something, it is bound to get easy - life would be dull if everything always worked the first time! So after watching, I delved in. The first few results were less like a muddy puddle and more like dirty dishwater! But with some great encouragement and help and guidance, I soon got into the flow of things.

Here are some of the the better results:

The second afternoon I watched them play with Adirondack ink pads on the Gelli and again was amazed at the results.

Here are some of the results using Adirondack ink pads:

Gelli Plates, Stamps and Stencils are available from Claritystamp or the retailers detailed below

So, with my new love of the Gelli Plate, my first stop was my local crafty store, The Pantiles Crafts, Games, Books & Coffee Shop in Tunbridge Wells. Now this was the first time I would be demoing the Gelli Plate and also doing it in a workshop and knew this would be the best place to test the waters and build my confidence. I had decided that I would show what I had created in France and then explain some of them. Then for the workshop, I thought that rather than add to the pressure of doing a step-by-step to make a finished card, I would let them play and see what they came up with and then give them a load of Clarity Stamps and let them turn there creations into a piece of art - I am pleased to say that it worked well - sadly I didn't take any pictures, despite having a camera on my phone!!!

Here are some of the cards made during the demo:

I just need to add that the first 2 cards were made from my scrap paper ie it was paper that I used to clean off the brayer and where I tested the stamps before stamping onto my finished cards - I was about to throw the pieces of paper away when I thought I could do something with them 

Next stop was Oyster Paper Crafts in Rochester - now the plan was to play with Clarity Stencils and inks and stuff, but I wanted to share the Gelli Plate with everyone. So out came the Gelli's and a quick demo and then I let them have a play for about half an hour with just ink pads and I was surprised at how easy they all picked it up. 

So then it was time to get on with making a few cards with the stencils and some Heartfelt Creations stamps - the idea of the workshop was to show a few simple, but effective techniques which would hopefully encourage people to revisit there stash of stencils and do something with them. The plan was to make these cards:


We only managed one of them, but what I got them to do was to take one of the pieces they created using the Gelli and then incorporate it into something. Again, I forgot to take pictures!
Next stop was Poppy Crafts in Sheerness - another of my favourite independent craft shops. So it started with a quick demo using both acrylic paints and Adirondack ink pads and then I let the ladies loose!!!!!

Here are some pics from the day:

and here are some more bits that I made to add to my stash for later use:

So next stop is Coleman's Craft Warehouse in Rushden this Saturday (31st May) where I am doing 2 workshops using Sue Wilson dies - I will try and blog on Saturday evening as I don't want to ruin the surprise for the ladies that are coming!

Happy Crafting!

Paul x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Home Sweet Home................

This time last week, I was sitting in the garden, enjoying the view, not any view, but this view

No, it's okay, I didn't win the Lotto, this was part of the gardens where the Clarity Design Team were staying, courtesy of Barbara Gray and Dave Roe - now known as the Clarity Treat Retreat - 19 of use shacked up in 3 wonderful gites/cottages

Tuesday saw the start of the journey back to the UK - we departed from Languidic in Brittany at 8am (French Time) with several stops along the way for coffee, petrol and toilet breaks, finally arriving at the port of Calais at 3pm (French Time) - yep, 7ish hours of driving in a convoy of 5 cars - this time we all managed to stay together for the who trip! The ferry was late departing by half an hour, so we finally arrived back in the UK at 5pm (UK Time) to be met by glorious sunshine, quickly followed by torrential rain - welcome home! We arrived back at Barbara & Dave's just before 6.30pm to unload some of the cars of crafty bits and pieces, then I dropped Jayne off who lives in the same village and finally walked through my front door at 7pm (UK Time) - 12 hours door to door - just over 1,000 covered  from departing the UK a week earlier and returning home!

As I walked through the door, Shep woke up from his sleep on the sofa, looked at me and then went back to sleep - nice to know I had been missed!!! Don't worry, he wasn't home alone whilst I was away, he went on his own holiday to my Aunt & Uncle who live about 20 minutes away.

Then it was time to unload the car - I managed to get 2 loads of washing done, before heading up to bed at 11pm, I was not looking forward to the alarm going off at 4:00am! I actually woke up just before the alarm went off - it was light outside which threw me into a panic as I thought I had overslept, but no, it was just that the mornings had gotten lighter whilst I was away! Wednesday felt like a long day at the office and by the time I got home I was totally shattered and went to bed at 8:30pm feeling all achy. Things didn't improve on Thursday and was in bed again by 9pm! I thought holiday's were meant to be good for you!

Below are some pieces I created whilst away in France using various products from Claritystamp - HERE
Gelli Plate

Gelli Card Stock
Acrylic Paints
Adirondack Ink Pads

Happy Crafting!

Paul x