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Friday, 22 August 2014

Fussy & Fancy Friday Challenge

Hi there, today is the launch of the new Fussy & Fancy Friday Challenge and the theme is "Pets". Well I have been thinking about one pet in particular lately, not mine, one I met on Holiday in Cornwall.  It was a Cockatoo.. He had been born in captivity.  He was a beautiful white Bird who was very friendly.  If he wanted a stroke he would come right up to where you were standing and perch there, then turn his back to you, stick his neck out and put his claw up to his face.  As you tickled his neck on one side he would scratch his neck on the other.  I didn't want to leave him, I wanted to bring him home with me.  There was just something about him.  I whispered to him in a very low voice and he swung his head round and stared right into my eyes.  Honestly, he turned his head and with his one Red eye he looked right at me.
 
Here he is.
 Meet Toby the Cockatoo
 
He had a lovely big cage and was obviously very well looked after.  When I said goodbye to him, he jumped up on his perch and said "Hello"!  So I said, Goodbye, and he said Hello! Then he turned his head for one more stroke/tickle and wandered off to his central perch. Isn't he Gorgeous. 
 
Well my sister Pauline used to have one of these birds as a Pet.  She lives in California.  Her bird used to sit on her shoulder and walk about the house with her.  I was a bit nervous of it outside its cage, those beaks are very powerful.  He used to get a bit jealous and protective of our Pauline too.
 
Yes lovely Grin there Toby, I mean Matthew!??
 
See how the bird  has his beak through the bars, a form of contact I reckon he did it all the time.  
 
The thing  with these birds is that they can live up to 50 Years so sometimes they get passed around a little, and that makes me feel sad, when that bird looked right at me, well I can't explain what that was like.  You can see it in these pictures look how he is looking directly at the camera and at Matthew. But he would turn and get a closer look with one eye!  If he could say more than Hello, I wonder what he would say.
 
 I love this stamp it just looks cute whatever you do with it.
It makes a great Anniversary card, Faythers/Mothers day card, New Baby Card..   etc.
 
Well as you probably know I am on the ClarityStamp Design Team and at Clarity we love birds and have lots of lovely bird stamps (I am a secret Twitter)  Aha nearly got you Theresa Pace I knew it was twitcher!!!!! xxx So I think my card for this Fussy & Fancy Challenge is quite appropriate.  I have used a Clarity Stamp, some Grunge Paste and a Gelli Plate to make my card for this Challenge. Sorry there is no tutorial, in fact I haven't done one for a while.  I am just a very busy lady lately.  Yes I did say Lady.
 
So why don't you nip along and take a look at the lovely cards the rest of the Team B have made for this challenge, all very lovely, and then give it a go yourself. 
 What Pet do you have, or miss, or want?
Thank you for nipping by, all nice comments are welcome.
So its Goodbye from me and its Hello from him.
Toby. xx
Sam xx
 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

ClarityStamp All Day Special on C&C


Hi there, I have blogged my DT cards from the one day special held by Clarity Stamp on 14th, I am currently on holiday and have been getting internet on and off.  Boy even though it drives me crazy sometimes, I do miss it when I am sat with a cuppa and half an hour to spare, or when I want to see what my FB mates have been up to. I did blog the other day but I think that Google+ stole my post and hid it somewhere, or maybe it was Blogger. So back to my lovely lap top where I feel in control of everything and back to Clarity Stamp and Barbara Gray.
 
This was born from a Happy Accident - I will be honest, I think it is very me!
From what I have been able to catch on my phone app. Most of the Clarity Specials, or maybe all of them, were a sell out.  I am not surprised I think the personalised stamps are great, especially for people wanting to make their own business cards, you can make each one unique and show some crafting methods in the process which is what I was doing with the Tags in this MDF Door Hanger and the Tag Book I made. 
This one definitely was not a Happy Accident, it was all planned and lovingly put together.
I Enjoyed making this Tear Off Personal Stamp/Business Card Book.  I can think of lots of ways to improve it though and will have another go at a later date.  I do love making admin projects, I used to design PR leaflets in one of my jobs, I loved it and couldn't believe I was getting paid to do it. Proper professional ones too, for a very large company.  
 
Well obviously these aren't for a very large company though but I think they are perfectly acceptable for a small business or just to say that your crafty items are hand made.
This is another set of personalised Labels I made to go on the back of cards.  See even though you already have your personalised stamp it doesn't mean you can't make it look different each time by adding nice backgrounds or like in the top right corner adding more stamps to your label/business card.  After all if you are trying to sell yourself as an Artist you want your work to look arty don't you.  Or even just to show off a little when you make Xmas labets etc. Your stamps are already individual so just on their own they look lovely too.
Well today is the day that Clarity Stamp hold their one day special on Create and Craft TV. It's also the launch of the next stage in personalised stamps which I personally think are great. 

 Because  I am on Holiday, and having a great time by the way, I was struggling with Blogger a little the other day, so I think it only showed up on Google +  For those who have already seen my original Blog on my DT cards I have added a few more in especially for you.  Theresa Pace you can correct away because my computer is so slow at the moment I am making do, no amendments. Not sure I will get any links in either but you all know where to find all these lovely ClarityStamp products I think? Ah its OK, I got the link in.

 
I have only been able to see bits of the shows but the lovely Margaret Craner is making me a DVD of the shows, thank you Margaret I really appreciate it and might be ordering more in the future too!!!xxx


So this is one of my favourites, I struggle a little with scenes because I have not been practicing, but then I realised I could just use a scene off  my stamp set, Job Done?! Thank you Barbara. xx


So another successful show with Clarity Stamp, are you surprised, I'm not.  My next project when I get back off my Holidays, is to Set up my next Gelli Plate Class, Decide on my Products and design to start my Mixed Media classes - I have a great idea for some wall art, but most importantly to me and my highest priority to set up some new samples ready for the
 Clarity Open Days on 13th and 14th  September 2014.  I absolutely loved working at the open days at Crowborough and everyone who attended were buzzing about it, so its a real treat to be able to do it all again on my home turf at Catterick. You can find details about tickets for this event here!  AND WHAT IS EVEN MORE EXCITING is I have only just realised that the advert for it has a picture of ME on it!! How many times have I looked at that and I just realised this very minute???
So are you coming?  It will be great fun and all my team mates demonstrating have some great techniques to share with everyone even OWER BARBARA!! . xxx 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Clarity Stamp Challenge For August

Hi there its that time again, the Clarity Stamp Challenge starts again today for another month.  The theme is Feminine.  Well I love the theme Feminine because I love Dress Form and I love the Clarity Stamp, Ladies stamps too, all of them!!.  I actually made a few things for this challenge but in the end I decided on a Journal Page I made, well actually they were all Journal Pages.  The reason for a journal page is that I wanted to try out some minimalist work, for me to leave white space I need a big page!!!

This had been my first choice for this Challenge, obviously I had a better picture than this. But I changed my mind, not enough to it, also Jo Rice has done a beautiful card with this Stamp so I thought I would show you another one.
Its funny really because in my head when I design, cards, interiors, in furniture I am very minimalist and very symmetrical too. But when I make a Gap or a white space I suddenly get the urge to fill it. Then when I clear out a corner I  really appreciate the feeling of space again?

When I lived in my own in my Flat in Swindon, nothing was ever out of place, everything matched but was a little quirky and I NEVER had to tidy up for visitors coming!! Mmmm wish my house was like that now?  But with kids, Dogs a Husband a hobby and part time job comes the need for a 3 hour warning before people come to see you!!

So this was my other Journal Page and my Second choice.  I was trying to do  little techniques that play tricks with the eye. Not sure if it works on here but it does when you look at the page in real life. A little bit anyway. See I didn't cut the jacket out of the strip? 

I remember in my Flat the bathroom could have done with a bit of a re-tile but I didn't have that kind of spare cash so I decided to draw a Dolphin on the tiles, and then used tile paints to paint it.  It had finns and everything and I must admit, I can't draw at all but this Dolphin was really big and actually looked like a Dolphin.  Everyone was really impressed with it! Well most people who saw it were. I painted my Front room in the most up to date colours from Crown or Dulux, I always liked a bit of colour but always had a feature wall so that the colour was never engulfing you. I put up coving too, not the real heavy stuff  but a really good copy of it in polystyrene, no-one knew that it was made of polystyrene  and used to ask how I managed to do that on my own? I painted it in a good Matt paint so you couldn't tell the difference, but it took about 10 coats!!!   I remember the room took me a whole week to paint, I am very particular when I am painting walls, and focus on the smallest overlap of paint, can't be doing with that in my corners, the line has to be perfectly straight!! Or it did then? I had just finished my Painter and Decorators course before I moved into my Flat. Anyway, I think there is a point to this waffle? Although it might look like I am a bit slap dash with my Designs, I'm really not, BUT I do like to have a play with products and discover new things for myself.

So this was my third and final choice, see how I have cut the Jacket out this time.  All the clothes in all of them are Gelli Plate Prints.
White spaces aren't new and they aren't even new to me either but I am re-discovering it.  Sometimes when I make my cards I stand them up in a line and keep looking at them, then suddenly I go off them and have to get them out of my craft room, so most of them get put in the post but a few become self-rejects. I have one of those in front of me right now, I know I will reject it, but its a shame because I spent so long on it.  But sometimes with my rejects I have a last minute attempt to revive them and sometimes they turn out to be the best ones.

Here it is in "card" view.  Would you have known if I put it in as a card?  Well I think you would have thought it was a very poor photo, it doesn't sit flat enough for a card.

The white spaces well if you are not going in a positive direction, or you haven't started from the right point and finished at the right point, then they are ruined, so they are actually quite hard to do.  I know lots of very talented ladies who are really good at the white spaces and a lot of them seem to be going for the more filled in areas right now, isn't that odd?? Its the make a gap and then fill it syndrome I think?
And here is the full page, hey how minimalist is that!!! I have just bought the Follow Your Dreams Stamp, I think I will be using it quite a lot.  For the lady well you can get her here - I will never tire of this stamp she has had more dresses than I have had in my entire life!!!

So this Journal Page, I feel I have cheated you a little bit because there is hardly anything on it, but I like it personally, I like the checks I love the stamp, and that's about all there is too it?  Oh except it took me about an hour to decide which two half's of the stamped Gelli Print dress to use and weather the bit in the middle should be a full strip or cut out. I have posted two versions to show you what I mean.
So I discovered something when using my new Clarity small version of the Mega Mount that I bought at the Clarity Retreat, You can find them here on the  Website?  See these squiggly lines?? I did them with the side of the Mega Mount, the gripper bits! I was really impressed.
Look !! Good isn't it! You can get it here, the 9"by3" Mega Mount

So minimalist or full on all over colour, or the lovely traditional Clarity Scenes, which one are you in the mood for doing for our Challenge???? Everyone who enters is in with a chance of winning the very generous £50 Clarity Stamp Gift Voucher.  Also 5 people will be picked by the Design Team as the Top Five and will be featured on the Challenge Blog throughout the month. 
Look I even practiced a few doubles at the bottom there!

So I look forward to seeing you on the Challenge Blog, (click here) . I do appreciate all your comments on my Blog, except for you Theresa Pace !!!!!  Ha ha  I am kidding, I think it is lovely that you are my personal Spell Checker, carry on checking!!!

Bye for now, must get prepped and ready for my Mixed Media/ Gelli Plate Class tonight, I have two new ladies joining me.  Bye for now, Sam
Ps My Gelli class was last night - see I am organised sometimes!!! 


Friday, 25 July 2014

Fussy & Fancy Friday Challenge

Oh Boy its all go for me lately.  I have just got back from the Clarity Stamp Retreat up at Crowborough in Kent, I mean literally today.  I went to bed at around 1am and got in my Taxi for the Airport  at 5.10am.  I had half made my challenge card for the Fussy and Fancy Challenge which was renewed today but had to finish it off this afternoon.

So here I am now just writing my Blog to go with my card.  I have already fallen to sleep twice at my Computer so I am going to make it really short and sweet today. 

The theme for the Challenge is "All About the Words".  Well as a Clarity Stamp DT member I definitely have lots of lovely word stamps.  There is such a wide range of verses and sayings and Arty Words sold by Clarity Stamp I was spoilt for choice.  Our F&F Challenge is sponsored by Marianne Designs using their Dies.  Well I do love the Marianne Dies and have a little favourite  one LR0116  which I usually use sparingly to just add the odd finishing touch here and there.

For this card I used one of my recent favourite Gelli Plate Prints and a new stamp from Clarity Stamp which I absolutely love and it has been top of my list for a couple of weeks so I picked it up at the Clarity Retreat and this is the first time I have put it to use.  The saying on it is perfect for this Challenge I think.


 So once I prepared the Gelli Print I  did a bit of accessory stamping around the edges again with Clarity Stamps and a little bit of doodling. 
So this is the card without the Marianne Die LR0116
Then with a separate Gelli Print I cut out the little swirly Marianne die to add to the top right corner of the centrepiece.   These dies do look good when cut from Grungy Gelli Prints.
And this is the Card WITH the Die LR0116
It just adds a nice finishing touch to it don't you think?

It will be lovely to see a lot of you entering our Fussy and Fancy Challenge this week especially as it is being hosted by the lovely Annie.  You can visit the Blog from the link just above here to see all the lovely work from the rest of the DT and enter the Challenge. So I look forward to seeing all the lovely designs you send in.

Right I think I am off for a real kip now before my Daughter gets back from Swimming. 
All good comments are appreciated all bad ones are Deleted Ha ha !!! xxx
 




Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog

Hello there the New Clarity Stamp Challenge has just launched, with the theme "Anything Goes" so this gives you lots of play.  You can go for your favourite style, colours, stamps etc or try something completely new.  Whatever it is you do with your entry we will definitely look forward to seeing it. Obviously you will need to use Clarity Stamps/Stencils otherwise it wouldn't be a Clarity Challenge would it?  There is a £50 voucher as the main prize and us, the DT will pick our Top 5 who will be featured on the blog. Not bad eh. ?!
 
I will be honest, I was a little late putting in my DT piece for this - I could give lots of excuses or say my design was so complicated it took me more than a month to do?? But that would be an absolute lie and there aren't really any excuses for forgetting to do your DT piece for a new Challenge, well actually if it makes you feel any better I forgot two!! I also had one due last week.  A little reminder that I had forgotten would have been nice? Except all of my equipment has been going mental again, eew aar madam!!  But seriously you know what the problem was? well one of the problems?  I had had to change my password on my Google account, I had the same one for years but some idiot decided to put a trogen or something into Google and they adviced me to change my well remembered password? then I decided to sign into Google+  well can you guess the rest of this sentence??  Yep I forgot what I had changed my password to, but it didn't matter because now I had a Google+ account, but of course that Google+ account didn't know I had a normal Google account  because I couldn't sign in and my PASSWORD HAD CHANGED!!!!!!! Uuuurgghhh, then I lost Safari on my brand new IPhone 5S so nothing recognised any of my spaces, Blogs, email etc etc etc.  I am so fed up of it I can't even be bothered to explain  the rest???
 
Anyway the bottom line is, I can now comment on Blog posts from my phone, the one that is still without Safari,  but I have lost some of  my blogging friends now because they think I have been ignoring them. Please come back??
 
So what are we here for again?? Ah the Challenge, I think enough waffle has been said so here are a few pictures of my DT piece for this Challenge, I am not sure if it is on the Blog yet but it will appear soon. I will put the link below.
 
 
Well guess how long my project took me to do???
HALF AN HOUR and it only took that long because I couldn't make my mind up on the colours and ideas.  I had three of each in my head??
 
This is one of my ideas.

But really I should have undercoated it first even though I was going to do the whole thing in Inks

 
So I ditched that idea and paintd it out,my next idea was black and green - yummy. 
 You can see a brush here, but at this point I ditched it and got my foam out instead.
 
It needed a little red/orange somewhere though to break it up a little, so distress it, I thought? 

This is what it was all about anyway, apart from me wanting yet another box for in my craft room to keep my Ipod and wires in, they keep ending up under the wheels of my chair? 
This Chess Board Stencil from ... of course Clarity Stamp was my main item in this project.


This Stencil is in my "Favourites" pile, which is quite high really. Its clarity they keep producing really good ones. Just to prove I DO put my Money where my Mouth is, I was looking for this stencil so I could do that link above and while I was there I got engrossed and popped two more stencils into my basket?  The Wheelie Men and Boys Stencil and the New Elegant Ladies 7"by7" stencil that Barbara used on her Blog the other day. I just had to have that one and I have been wanting the Wheelie one for ages.

 Anyway, back to the project. This is what I wanted it to look like.
 
 So how do we achieve it?  You imagine something old and rusty, get your red/orange paint out and brown, rust always has brown in it and maybe a bit of copper. I am going for a rusty type look.
 This Cadmium Orange is gorgeous and is perfect with the Pale Olive Green , you can get these paints from Clarity Stamp,  their paints are a really good price.
 
 
 I added just a tiny bit of brown, but then swapped it for copper, you have to be careful with the copper because it can just overtake the whole project. It isn't see through and is what I call a blocked colour.  See this green acts almost like a semi-translucent paint, which is why it looks so bright.  I painted it onto the background with a sponge so that you don't get any brush strokes and this kind of paint spreads evenly, and very quickly with a sponge.  It dries quick too especially on wood/MDF


 See here is the Burnt Umber - you can see I put too much on here, so if you get a wet wipe you can quickly take some off, we need it to look gappy.
 
 
 
 Here comes the best bit and the bit that gives the real aged look, the Orange.
Just roughly slatter it about with a sponge, no straight edges and no totally filled in spaces.  This is why I say I imagine what I am painting.  Does that sound daft?
 
 Once you are happy with it put the stencil on.  You have to get dirty here I am afraid unless you wear rubber gloves?? I do know some people who do and that's fine.
 
 
So on the top we want a good coverage, just as the Stencil is. It gives us all the pattern we want. It fitted quite well onto the top of this box which  3"by 6" as the thumb measures it?  but I managed to get the small squares on and enough of the big squares to get the effect of the slope.
 
 
 On the Edges you have to fudge it, you can see I messed up a bit on this picture below. But I will go back onto this at some point with some Grunge Paste anyway. Its only finished for the purpose of this Challenge, but I will be going back and putting some little surprises inside. I love doing that to these boxes. My   "Boo Altered Art"??    Mmmmm will that catch on do you think??
 
 
 So here it is, See how the Orange is really patchy, the inked Stencil isn't filled properly, but is filled enough to show you all the edges. But it looks scratchy, well that's just what we want.  But you can always sand it back a bit too to get this effect.
 
 
 And there it is, but the best bit is when you look from the back and it looks like you are looking down into it. I think next time I will put it on the other way round with the small squares at the front, on the top, and the small squares on the top on the side?!! did you get that?   So where the small squares meet it will look almost bent. 
 
 See what a great Stencil this is, the box would be nothing without it.
 
 Ta Da !
 
And you know what, it definitely took me longer to write this Blog than it did to colour this Box.
 
You can see all of the lovely designs the rest of the Design Team have made for this Clarity Stamp Challenge here on our Blog, and gooo awwwn have a go!!!
 
Thank you for stopping by all good comments will be appreciated.
All bad comments will be  deleted!!!
Luv Ya Sam xxx


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Clarity Stamp 2 Day Workshop

What a Blast, what a fantastic atmosphere and what a great idea it was in the first place. xxx

Hi there, I promised you a Blog about the Clarity Stamp open day and here it is.  I did write it a week ago, but in keeping with Sam Crowe tradition, I had problems with an App, a Computer and an Ipad, or in other words, I couldn't get Blogsy to upload the Blog post that I had spent a fair bit of time on???/ Soooo I have my Ipad in front of me with my Blog post on Blogsy and I have my Lap Top on my knee and I will do it the old fashioned way, I will Copy Type my blog and re-load my pictures!!!  See you in about two hours, or quicker if my Internet decides to behave itself.  I used to love technology you know, now it seems to be the bain of my existence!!!

Anyway back to happy thoughts the CLARITY STAMP 2 DAY, OPEN DAY - IN PICTURES!!!


So I packed my bags and I was ready to go....


My Private Jet was ready.....

Well wouldn't you know!

And it rained but in my Heart I had the Sun!!
(can you see where I am going with this?)

Yep I think I will ditch the Song Thing !!!!  Mmmmmmm maybe not????

Barbara waited patiently for Me...

 
and the Three Wise Monkeys sat under the Tree..

Just what was in store for me, I did not know!!!! But I was leaving on a Jet Plane don't know if I'll be shot again??? Back, I mean back again!!
Yep I think I will definitely ditch the song now??


Anyway, things got a lot more friendly once we got the Kettle on..xxx Luv you Maria xx

 
and the Cavalry arrived!!


and the people had gathered.
 Even the Three Wise Monkeys were happy!!
 The Cat was happy
and there was even a cue of people to be groomed.
So we chilled, Hi Jan
 and chatted
 and chatted some more

 
and looked forward to what was to come!!


And Grace said in her acting voice
 "Hey you lot, this is the after party, re-wind and get some work done"!!!!!


 
So we worked, Hahem - can you class this as work??
 
 
 
and people praised the work and took it away!
 
 
 with permission of course, Hi there.
 
and Len helped in his usual way??
 Stop messing on Len and get some work done!!
and I helped too Ta Da!!!
 
 and we made some of it up as we went along..
 
didn't we girls?
and we had loads of fun, didn't we. xx
 You got to try it, at least once? 
 
and I played some more with my GP and Clarity Stamp Stencils and Stamps

 
Oh, and I asked if I could take this for a bit of a "Totty" photo for you Older Ladies out there!!!
 
 
and I took a "non-totty" photo too
 
I Luv you Jayne xxx
 
and I took Chloe's hair so I could mix the colour on my Gelli Plate! thanks Chloe xx
 
 
I wonder who this is??
I will file her under the "non-totty" pile!!
 
 
Dave was there Manning the Tills.!
 
Hi Dave x
 
Look Look I have my own SIGN!!!!
Think I was more excited about that than anything else?!!
 
 
Even Heather was excited for me!
 
A few impersonators turned up!!
We know you are not Barbara!!!!
 
and some people just didn't have a clue who they really are??? Eh Paul??
 
and some people will pretend they are anybody if it gets them in the Party!!
Can you believe I have my own sign?? 
Get off it Mandy Moo!!!
 
and some people just think they have to act stupid every time you take a photo???
they have been working at Clarity Towers far too long!!
 
 
and some people need to learn to keep their Married Life out of it!!!!
 
Yes of course Paul, that Clarity Pinny/Apron REALLY DOES make you look like a Model??!!
 
Look Look I have got my own Till !!
 
"Do I look like a Demonstrator like this Sam"??
 
 "Yes Maria maybe I should follow in your foot steps"??
 
"Do I look like a Demonstrator now Maria"??
"Do I"?

 
"Do I now Maria"?
"Are you still listening Maria"?
"Sam do I look like a Demonstrator if I lean forward like this!??
 
Oh look this is where it all started for me!
 sorting out my demoes
 I love this stencil and stamp

 
And there she is again!!!  The lovely Lady with the Brains, Ambition, and Sense of fun who brought the whole of the Two Day Open Day into fruition and to life.  We Love You Barbara! xxx
 
This Tag sums up the whole weekend for me Xxx
  
 
Bye for now and thanks for dropping by.
No demonstrators were hurt in the making of this Blog xx
You can shop at and find out about future events here:- Clarity Stamp here.
Sam xxx
 

About Me

My Photo
Teesside, United Kingdom
I am proud to be on the Design Team for Claritystamp & for the Clarity Stamp Challenge Blog and the Fussy and Fancy Challenge Blog. I have always had an interest in Arts and Craft and studied for six years and gained certificates in Arts and Crafts, Interior Design, and Soft Furnishings, I even did a Painter & Decorator course. I was originally taught everything I know by my Mam and I now have a passion/obsession for crafts as I develop my techniques. I hope one day to be demonstrating and teaching Crafts.