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


  1. Morning Paul, oh you have been busy and what fantastic results. I am so pleased that you now love your Gelli plate...we all learnt so much in France and it is so good to be able to pass this on to other crafters. Your workshops look fab, have a good weekend...Jo. X

  2. Hi Paul, you do like to keep yourself busy. What a month. You will have to write yourself a reminder on your phone, to take pictures at workshops. Great cards and wonderful backgrounds. You are an wonderful teacher, hope you have a good weekend.

  3. great results Paul. glad you have taken the plunge xx what will you be doing at the coventry workshop?