Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year!!

Hello folks and Happy New Year to you all!

I hope 2016 is a good one for you.
I am staying with my sister at over the new year holiday and we have just cracked open the Bailey's! Let's hope we can stay awake long enough to see in 2016!
I am showing a couple of cards I made for the last show Barbara did on Hochanda (don't forget the next one is on Sunday and also there is a one day special starting at 8.00pm and for several hours on Monday - my recorder is all set up!)
For these cards, I used the lovely ThankYou framer set and added a couple of trees from the Wee Trees set  You can never have too many tree stamps in my opinion!

For the first card, I did a watercolour background with oranges and pinks, then splattered a bit of pink over it and let it dry.
Once dry, I used a green ink pad to do most of the stamping - the swirls round the edge and the butterflies in the background.
Then added the ThankYou framer and the butterfly inside the O in a dark green archival ink
I glittered that one butterfly.

For my second one, I stamped the Thank you framer in place first, then masked round the O and did my little scene inside in colour, then continued the line of trees outside the O in black and added a couple of the delightful little birds.

Thank you all very much for visiting my little blog and I hope we will meet up again in 2016.
I'm off for another glass of Bailey's (just a small one!) so I'll leave you and wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Have fun!
Janet xxx

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas one and all!

Just popped in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, I hope you have a happy day and spare a thought for those who are working and for those who are not so happy for whatever reason.

I am spending the day with my family, and am looking forward to it, so will leave you with a seasonal card which I made a while ago.
Thank you all for visiting my little blog this year
Janet xxx

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Good morning everyone,

I am in the lucky position of being off work until after Christmas now, I took an extra day off to get some samples done for the TV show Barbara is doing in the new year.  I know there are many people who have to work over Christmas - I was one of them!  Many a year, I had to work Christmas day or night and/or Boxing day or night.  My thoughts are with you if you are working Christmas this year x

Today's card is one I did for Paul's show last time. I used:
one of the background stencils from the Pattern Stencil set,
the square aperture from the Framer Stencil set,
the swallows from the wonderful Journaling set 
'Celebrate' from  Word Chain 3 set 

I started with the square aperture - I attached it to my card, then slid the pattern stencil under it and added shades of green distress ink with a sponge; darkest at the bottom, getting lighter to the top.
I stamped the swallows with black archival.
The stamped the word on a separate piece of card.
I drew straight lines round the edge of the pattern with a ruler and coloured in with a fine black pen.
Mat everything on black card, then on to the white base card
Nice and simple!
Hope you have a lovely day!
Janet xx

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Birds on a wire!

Good evening,

How is it going with the Christmas Prep?  I'm getting there, although I don't actually have too much to do as we are going out for Christmas day.

Today's card is one I did for Paul's show using one of my all time favourite Clarity sets - The Journaling set and the Bird and Flower Rows set

I started with an A4 piece of card and added colour using Fresco finish chalk acrylics.  I picked up the colour with a baby wipe and swished it round the card until it blended.
I cut off a strip at this point (this is the piece behind the birds)
I added a light colour over the remaining piece and waited for it all to dry
Once dry, I did the stamping, I used lots of the background stamps from the journaling set and used the chalk acrylics, I also stamped the flowers from the birds and flower rows set.
On the darker strip I first cut off, I stamped and embossed the birds, and also stamped and embossed them on a spare piece of my background piece, then cut out all the birds and added them over the top of the image stamped on the strip.  Back everything with black card.
I'm off to watch the Strictly final...
Take care
Janet xx

Monday, 14 December 2015

Time to 'fess up

Hello folks,
Thanks for popping by.  I really enjoyed watching Paul's shows on Hochanda, he has such an air of calm about him doesn't he?  and he does brilliant demos!

Today's card is from his show and it seems to be the most popular of my samples, but I have a little confession......
We didn't get much time to make the samples for this show and I hadn't got quite as many done as I would have liked,  I had started one with the lovely stencils, but it hadn't worked out and I had to abandon it and go to bed on Monday night, knowing I had to post the samples the next day because it was my last chance to get to the post office in time.
I woke up early the next morning (a work day!) with an idea of how to salvage what I'd started, so I had a bit of a mad rush getting this card done as well as scan it, pack it for posting and get to work (I was a bit late!) on the Monday evening, I'd decided I wanted to use three of the stencils and do a sort of triptych with three long strips, using one row of each of the different stencils.  I used shades of blue for one, green and orange for the other two, but it didn't look right.  I did really like the way the blue one looked though, but it was getting very late, so I had to go to bed.
The next morning, I had the idea for using just the blue strip, tracing round it with a fine black pen and doodling patterns through each piece.  I was very short of time, so decided to do each bit of the pattern the same (I think I would have done more variety if I'd had longer), Normally, I take a long time over doing this, but this was speed-doodling!
I quickly mounted it onto blue card (luckily there was a piece of the right colour to hand, then I was just going to put it on plain card, but the script stamp from the journalling set was right under my nose, so I grabbed a blue ink pad and used that in the background, more blue car, then onto the white base...PHEW!!

Now, I wouldn't recommend this type of pressure for making cards, it is supposed to be a fun and relaxing thing to do, after all, but I have been in this position a few times and somehow, it always seems to work out really well - maybe not having time to think too much is a good thing!  I have also had another idea for a zentangle on this stencil, but that will have to wait until I have more time--watch this space!
Take care
Janet xxx

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Elephant in the Room

Hello Bloggers,

I hope the weather is nicer where you are, it is very dismal here, but I am not in danger of being flooded which makes me luckier than many in the North of England.

Today's card is one of the samples I made for Paul Church's last show - I thought I'd better get it blogged before his next show (Sunday 13th)

It features an elephant stencil and a trellis stencil which were in a set together on the TV

I attached the elephant stencil to a pice of card, drew all round it then removed the stencil and set about adding my pattern with a fine black pen.  I used a zentangle called Diva Dance for most of it.

Once finished, I put the trellis stencil over the top and brushed ink round the edges.

If you follow me on facebook, you will probably know I have a bit of a thing about the way elephants are 'trained' (tortured is the truth!!) to perform for the entertainment of humans - I am not going to go on about it here, just to say that if you or anyone you know is going to Asia and are considering any form of tourist attraction that features elephants, please do your research first. There are some wonderful places which put the welfare of the elephant first and there are some hideous places where they are thought of pretty much like a machine with no thought for their welfare at all - choose wisely!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend
Thanks for popping in
Janet xxx

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Wee Trees and Grasses

Good afternoon,

I have to say, this is not my most favourite time of year, I really don't like it being dark and dismal. Cold bright days I can cope with but not dreary overcast ones.  Still, it will soon be the longest night, then the days will start getting longer again, which always cheers me up!

I have two cards to blog today, both using the wonderful new wee trees and grasses stamp sets - you can never have too many tree and grasses stamps in my opinion!

I decided to do a pink and grey colour scheme for this one, so I masked off a strip across the card, then stamped a selection of the trees in various pinks and greys to make the background.
I reversed the masking and brushed a little pink ink across, then stamped the trees in a dark grey.
Remove the mask, ink round the edges, ten mat onto dark grey and white card.

The next one is pretty much the same as the card in my previous post.  I actually did this one first, and liked the design - so I repeated it for a workshop.
The background is done by squishing ink on a glass mat, spritzing, then picking up the colour onto card.  I always try and get a darker and lighter version with the same inks, so I can stamp on one and use the other for a background.
I cut a one inch srtip of the lighter card and stamped one of the grasses across it in a pale colour, then cut a wider strip and inked the black across the bottom, then cut it into squares and stamped the birds and grasses inplace.  Ink round with black, mat onto black and stick together.
Don't forget that the very lovely Paul Church is on Hochanda on Sunday 13th with three Clarity shows and some lovely stamps and srencils.
Take care and thanks very much for dropping in
Janet xxx

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Diva Red Saturday

Good morning! 

Another weekend closer to Christmas and I've still got lots to do....but not today!  I have samples to make for next Sunday's shows with Paul Church, they're going to be good, so remember to tune in.
Don't forget Barbara is on TV today too Hochanda at 14:00-6:00, Clarity with Barbara is back on the first Sunday of the month.

Yesterday was the last of the Diva Red workshops this year - this is a small and very friendly group of ladies, we get together on the first Saturday of the month for lots of craftiness.  Moira and I have been doing this for many years and some of the ladies have been coming along ever since we started, so it's more like a group of friends meeting for a chat, as well as making some cards.

These are my two projects...
This is actually the card we did in the afternoon, The background is made by squishing some inks onto a glass mat, then spritzing with water and picking up the colour with the card.  I did two pieces of card, so one is darker and one is lighter.  On the darker piece (which will be the backing piece) is stamped some snowflakes with distress ink while the background was still wet, so they go all nice and smudgy.  When all the card is dry, I cut the three squares and did the little scenes and also cut a background 1 inch strip to go behind them.  Ink all the edges , mat onto black card and there you have it!

For the other card, we decorated an A4 piece of card which can then be cut up to make several cards.  Everything was done with Fresco finish Chalk Acrylic paints....
Start by brayering a pale colour over the whole sheet, then add different colours with a baby wipe or damp kitchen roll  (it looked a right mess at this point and the ladies weren't at all convinced!!)
Once that is dry, add a pale translucent colour over the whole sheet to mute everything down, then stamp the snowflake and bauble images on in paint.  Let them dry, then add the words across the whole lot in 'snowflake'
Let it all dry, then cut up to use on your cards.

I used one square and die cut a poinsettia  - leaving enough to make at least two more cards.

A bit messy, but great fun to do!

Stamps used all from Claritystamp Ltd..

The bauble is an old stamp and I'm not sure if it is still available (sorry!)

Thanks very much for visiting - I'm off to make samples, hope you enjoy your day.
Janet xxx

Monday, 30 November 2015

Claritystamper weekends

Good evening,

The last two weekends were taken up with the last Claritystampers East workshops for this year.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the lovely ladies who have joined in over the last two or three years, depending on whether you come to Bawburgh or Great Blakenham.  I never tire of seeing how varied the results are, given that everyone starts with the same set of instructions and it fascinates me how using different colour schemes or change in position of the images can make such a big difference to the result. 
These projects are a case in point, we did a canvas picture this time and there were some absolutely brilliant works of art produced and all very different  Everyone started with the same techniques and stencil, and every one looked completely different.

This is my version...using a 6x6 canvas board, fresco finish chalk acrylic paints and the  Filigraphy Flower stencil
 Start by brayering a pale colour all over the canvas as a base, then brayer the other colours over the top, sometimes adding a heavier layer and sometimes using a very light touch so you just get a hint of colour.  Leave to dry, then put the stencil in place and add grunge paste through it.  Leave to dry - ideal time for coffee and cake!!
Once dry, add place the stencil back over the image and sponge some paint through to colour the flower.
Add a few decorative dots if you fancy.
Another version of the same thing..

As we were being messy, we got out the gelli plates, some Festive Stencils and Wee folk stamps and made a card. 

If you live in the Norfolk/Suffolk area and would like to join us, please use the contact link on the page to get in touch for more details.  Keep an eye on the Claritystampers East pages on the blog, I will post the 2016 dates very soon.

Thanks vey much for visiting,
Janet xxx

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Starry tree

Hello folks and happy Thursday to you.

Today's cards are the last of my samples for Barbara's show.  I used two stencils for this, the Christmas Tree and Starry background from the festive set of stencils for the first card, and the holly background from the same set.  

 The first card is done by using the inner part of the stencil and adding ink to it, then spritzing and picking up the ink on watercolour card.  I used the same colours of ink on my craft mat and spritzed, then pick up the colour to create a more solid background.
I also splattered some ink on the tree image too.
Once everything was dry, I put the other part of the stencil over the image, then put the starry background over that and sponged some ink through, I also added some glitter glue with the stencil in place, so it was just on the stars.
I used the same ink to sponge through the stars onto the background piece, then added the main image to one side.

For the second card, I added some background colour to a piece of card, then used grunge paste through the Holly background.  Once it was dry, I added more ink and red glitter on the berries and added the words on a separate piece of card.

Thanks very much for visiting
Janet xxx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Watercolour tree

Good morning all,

Thursday again, yay!  My day off work.  I'm off to have my hair cut soon, but time for a quick blog before I go.  This card is one I did at the Diva Red workshop I do with Moira.  I used the Spruce Tree stencil, the children from the Wee Folk set 8 and the lovely Merry Christmas, all from Claritystamp Ltd

We started with the tree, squish a few co;lours of ink on the inner part of the stencil, then spritz with water to mix the colours a bit, make sure you have a clean background, the place watercolour card over the stencil and pick up the print, leave to dry.  While it was drying, I flicked some ink over it too.
Once dry, put the outer part of the stencil over the image and stamp the stars from the Santa and Star Corner set through the stencil.
Stamp the children and message in place
Add a touch of glitter to the stars

Have a great day!
Thanks for dropping by
Janet xx

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A simple stencil

Good morning to you!

I hope your Sunday is going well.  I am relaxing a bit after having done the Claritystampers East workshop yesterday.  It was a lovely day with lots of lovely ladies, but I will post more about that after next Sunday when I've done the workshop at Great Blakenham too.

Don't forget that Paul Church is on Hochanda next Sunday with three Clarity shows - obviously I can't give too much away, but let's just say there will be colour bursting going on!

My sample today is done with one of the fab Festive Stencil Set apertures and the words from the Christmas Word Chains 13 and 14

I attached the stencil to my card then added shades of yellow by brushing and sponging ink through the aperture. I used a black pen to trace round the edge of the image too
I wanted to add the lines across the centre of the image, so I found a part of the stencil which had the right curve and used that to draw two lines across.
I used a zentangle pattern to fill in the lines

To finish off, I drew two squares round the edge of the card and used the same pattern to fill in.

Stamp the lovely Christmas greeting in place and add a bit of yellow round the edges, then mat and layer.

I added a touch of glitter glue round the base of the bell.
Thank you for visiting
Love Janet xx

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Vintage Snowman Bauble

Hello folks,

I thought I had better start with a sample from the last TV show before the next one comes round!  Talking of which, Maria is on Hochanda on Wednesday with an extra couple of Clarity shows ...should be good.  I will be at work, so will record it and watch later.

There was a lovely set of aperture stencils on the last show the Festive Stencil Set - really useful set
 I also used the Wee Folk set 7

I started by stamping the snowman in a brown archival ink and masking him.  Using the outer part of the stencil, I brushed some brown distress ink through the aperture, then stamped the line of trees in place and added some 'snow'
I removed the mask then squished some versa mark through the aperture (clean the stencil first!!) remove the stencil and add glittery embossing powder and heat to give a glittery/glaze finish.
I trimmed the edges of the card, then added some brown ink.
I covered the bauble with the inny part of the stencil, then splattered a bit of ink.
The final touch was the fine lines drawn round the edge.

Thanks for visiting
Janet xxx

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Best Wishes x

Good Morning to you,

Have you got good things planned this weekend?  Me- a nice quiet one at home catching up with stuff and relaxing a bit.
I thought I'd better do my blog before I relaxed too much!

This is my last sample from a month ago.  I used the ribbon writing Best Wishes sentiment set There are others in the range, I think they are brilliant - I love the style of the main image, but also all the sentiments, if you get them all, you can write just about anything for special occasions.

I used a couple of color burst/brusho backgrounds I had in my stash.  I like to do a darker and a lighter version of the same colours -one for the background and one to stamp on.  Just add more water for the lighter version.
I stamped some of the little words in two colours of ink all over the darker piece for the background.
I stamped the Best Wishes on the paler piece, the coloured it in and glittered over the top - very pretty effect!
I stamped the 'on your special day' words on another bit of the paler card, then cut out each word by hand.
I inked round all my edges (it's the law!), squiggled a black line round the edge of the main image, then matted and layered on matching card stock.
Hope you have a fab weekend, whatever you are doing....
Janet xxx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Santa and Stars

Hello folks,
Thank you for visiting today - I hope you have had a good day!
Have you been watching the Groovi shows with Barbara?  I have just got my storage bundle - wonderful quality.  I am going to sort all my plates out this evening......

Today's cards are not my latest samples, I am still catching up from last time!  I have used the fab Santa and Star Corner set for these

The first card involves using a mask for Santa, which comes with the set.
I stamped Santa in place, then masked him.
Tear some copy paper and cover the bottom edge of the card, then I brushed a light colouring of ink all over and used a sponge to darken the colour at the bottom.
Stamp the stars and holly branches in place (all in the set), then remove the mask and colour in.  I used glitter pens on the stars and leaves, and pencils for the rest.

The second card is done with Fresco finish chalk acrylics, I brayered the colours lightly round the card,  then stamped the stars with the paint and added some gold paint dots round the edge.  The centre strip is done the same way, but I added some snowflake paint over the background to lighten it a bit for stamping on.
I used black archival to do all the stamping, then distress markers to colour in.

Hope you like them!

Take care,
Janet x

Saturday, 24 October 2015


Good morning and I hope you all have a great weekend.

Simon and I had a tough day yesterday, it was the funeral of his great friend and fishing buddy of many, many years.  Simon said a few words at the service and spoke beautifully of the times they had spent together.  It was a very sad occasion, but as is often the way, it was also lovely to catch up with people you haven't seen for years.  It was a 4 hour drive for us to get there (and another 4 hours back!) so we had plenty of time for reminiscing.

Anyway, back to normality - It is Clarity Sunday on Hochanda this weekend, Barbara has two shows 14:00-16:00 and 18:00-19:00 make sure you tune in!
I still haven't got round to posting all of last month's samples, so I am doing two today, both using the lovely set of snowflake stamps

 For the first one, I also used the fab set of words:
Best Wishes sentiments I love these ribbon style words - so versatile!
I did the background first, by brushing chalk acrylics on some card - once it was dry, I did the stamping with blue ink, and crystal embossing powder, then 'coloured in' with a white pen.  I also added some dots of white too.
The little At and Christmas are stamped and embossed on separate card and added over the top.
It does actually look quite sparkly, but doesn't show so much in the picture.

For the second card, I stamped and embossed the snowflakes with white powder, then added Color busts over the top ~(not too much!!!) and spritzed.  The embossing resists the colour, especially if you give it a wipe once it is dry.  I just added the words and some gems

Thanks very much for dropping in
Janet xxx

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Three ladies dancing

Good evening,

I hope you are having a good weekend.  I have finally got a weekend at home, after a few busy weeks.

The weather hasn't been up to much, so I am making cards for the next Clarity TV show on Hochanda on Sunday 25th October, there are some good things coming up so don't forget to tune in!

These cards are samples from the last show
 The first card is stamped and coloured with pencils, then I drew an edge round with a black pen and coloured that in too.
The background is spritzed ink picked up on card, then some more ink splattered over it.   

The main image on the second card is stamped and coloured with pencils.  The background is done by dragging distress inks though the stencil, I add dots of paint in the centres.

For number three, I made the background by painting fresco finish chalk acrylics onto some card, then stamped the image in archival ink and coloured with distress markers.
I dotted more paint round the edge and printed the words out, cut them out and added them on top.

Stamps used


Thanks very much for dropping by, take care, Janet xxx

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Claritystampers East

Hello again,

Thank you for dropping in.  I am finally blogging cards again and thought I would start with the ones we did over the last two weekends, today at Bawburgh and last Sunday at Great Blakenham.

We used the Spruce Tree stencil and the Santa and Star corners set of stamps

The first card was made using the Spruce Tree stencil, sponging distress ink through, then stamping the outline star group all over the image and using part of the larger corner stamp round the edges, then add a black outline with a fineliner pen.
 Stamp the solid star cluster on the background and the corner round the edges, then colour in the leaves

We used the same stencil again for the second card - a nice messy one!  Splodge some distress ink on to the inner part of the stencil, spritz with water then place some watercolour paper over it to pick up the image (make sure you move it to a clean background first!)  Splatter a bit of ink around, then leave to dry.  In the meantime, make a background piece of card by splodging ink on a mat, spritzing, then picking the ink up on the card and leave that to dry too.
After you've had your coffee and cake (thank you Veronica!) place the outer part of the stencil over the image and stamp some stars on the tree.
Then it is just a case of matting and layering.
There were some very lovely versions of this made by the ladies - a bit of glitter on the tree looks lovely

The last card was stamping and colouring really.  We masked the Santa before doing the background and added some shade around him by dragging some ink off the mask with a make up sponge.

Thank you to both groups of ladies, I always enjoy spending my weekend with you!
Janet xxx

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Back in blogland

Good morning ,

Sorry I haven't blogged for a long while, it has been a busy time.

We had a weekend away in Dorset to attend the wedding of Simon's stepson.  It was a lovely time, meeting with old friends and family and the weather was fab, which was just as well as they chose a beautiful old castle as the venue for the wedding (it had no roof!).

The next weekend, my sister and I took my parents to Leicester to see the Richard 111 exhibition as a treat for my Mum's 80th birthday later in the year.  We stayed in a lovely hotel and Mum met with some friends as well.

The next weekend was the Diva Red workshop with Moira on Saturday and the Claritystampers East workshop in Great Blakenham on Sunday, I will blog the cards from Claritystampers after this weekend's Claritystampers Bawburgh workshop.

We have also had a devastating event: Simon's best friend and fishing buddy of over 20 years was taken ill on Monday while they were fishing together - they were on a boat in a lake and his friend toppled out of the boat, unconscious and in spite of all the correct safety equipment and quick response of people near by, he sadly lost his life.  He was a lovely man, who enjoyed being outdoors in nature and we (especially Simon) will miss him immensely.

So it has been a bit of a roller coaster, especially for Simon, but I thought I would try and get back on track with my blogging.  I am sorry if I haven't been commenting as much as usual, but I will get back into it  again soon.

I will put cards on a separate post, it doesn't seem quite right to put them on here.

Take care
Janet xx

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Spot the tree

Hello folks and happy Thursday!

Thank you for popping by on this lovely sunny day (well, it is here!)

Today's card is one I did for the Sundae Club I go to once a month.  We are a small group of friends who have been meeting for many years to chat, eat cake and make an odd card or two in the process.

This was my offering....
It couldn't be simpler...stamp the tree in place and add the star over the top, then add loads of dots!  They are great fun to do and it is very easy to get carried away - expect to see lots of dots on my future cards!!
All you do is dip the end of a ball tool into a tiny bit of Fresca finish chalk paint and dot it on the card.  You will get different sized dots depending on the size of your ball ( jokes please!)  I am sure other paints will work too, but I haven't tried any yet.
The background is a lovely paper I found while having a bit of a clear out of my crafty stash - I matched the colour of the dots to the paper.
I used stamps from the Christmas Trees and Stars unmounted stamp set form Clarity

Thanks for visiting
Janet xxx

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Random Groovi

Hello folks,
Another week just flown by - they definitely are getting quicker!  I have had a very nice week to myself - it has been lovely to not have to go to work, so I've got lots of spring cleaning done (I know it's a bit late in the year - but better late than never, as they say!) and I've got some samples done for the next Clarity show coming up on Hochanda at the end of the month.  Just don't ask if my craft stuff is all neat and tidy...
Today's card is a sample I did for the last show, just using the Groovi Square nested frames and borders sets 1 & 2

This was one of those where I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do, but it was pretty much made up as I went along.
I started by doing the outside double square to make a frame then filled it with the scallop from the border plate, I added a row of dots round the inside.
I added a double square in the centre, then filled that with the ribbon pattern.
I added another square at an angle in the centre of that then used the leaft border to fill in the spaces.
I was left with the centre square empty, so I had a bit of a think, then decided to add a Zentangle pattern called Rick's Paradox.  I used the lines from the square to build the pattern.
Then I embossed it all - my favourite bit, I enjoy the way it all slowly builds up.
I used a piece of brusho'd card as a background and attached it with brads.  I have to confess, I was rather pleased with the result.
As I have said before, I am not a parchment expert, but I have been picking up tips, the two most useful are: 1.don't overwork the parchment, do some embossing, then leave it to rest and go over it again and 2. use really light strokes.
Thanks for visiting, I hope you have a good weekend and for those of you going to the Clarity open days near Catterick I hope you have a fab time (of course you will!)
Janet xx

Monday, 7 September 2015

Crafty weekend

Good morning and happy Monday!

I am not normally much of a fan of Mondays as it usually means back to work after a much too short weekend, but I am having a day off today, so this is a good Monday for me!  I thought I would do my blog first, then I have lots of jobs planned.....  Also, my stamps have arrived for the next Clarity TV show on Hochanda, so I will get started on making samples.  That was exciting! The move to the new channel, I like the relaxed style they have there, so it should be good, once they have chased out a few gremlins!  Barbara will be on the last Sunday of each month 2-4pm .
There are also the Clarity Open Days coming up at the weekend in Colburn, near Catterick - tickets are still available from Claritystamp
It was the Diva Red workshop on Saturday, fortunately it passed without incident - no medical emergencies this time, all the mica safely out of the way!
These are the two cards I did....

We did this one in the afternoon, I am getting a bit braver with my parching, so as well as colouring and embossing the lovely tree, this time I also pricked through all the little circles and I used the borders to edge it (I cut out with scissors - I know that proper parchers do a pricked edge!) and added a greeting - once you get used to the idea that everything is back to front, it gets easier!
I also added a little bit of extra detail to the star - just because I could!
Items used:
Groovi plate Christmas tree
Groovi border plates 1& 2 set
Groovi border plate Alphabet

This card is actually one I did at another workshop a while ago, but I rather like it, so I thought I would repeat it at Diva Red.  The trick is to stamp the baubles first, then mask and stencil the background pine leaves in place.  I used three different greens to do the stencilling and moved the stencil slightly each time.
The baubles are coloured with promarkers and Moira added glossy accents over the top of hers, which is lovely, so I may well do that too.
Items used:
Remountable Christmas bauble rounds
International Christmas words
Pine needle stencil

We made two other lovely cards, which were Moira's design, but one of them I haven't quite finished yet, so will post later the other is one that needs to be photographed, not scanned, so I can't show that one - it is fab though!

Thanks very much for taking the time to join me
Janet xx

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blues and twos

Hello everyone,

Thank you for dropping in.  Sorry I haven't been here for a while, but I have a bit of time off work now, so I will do some catching up.

We were at the Claritystampers East Bawburgh workshop last Saturday and we got off to a better start this time as someone did turn up to let us in!  The day was not free from excitement though!  One of the cards involved using Perfect Pearls and I had forgotten that Moira is allergic to mica (she forgot too and did begin using it) and a few minutes after we started, she started getting hot and bothered, a bit itchy and turned a rather bright shade of red!  One of the ladies at the class dashed home to get some antihistamine cream, which helped considerably, we cleaned up Moira's workspace, she stopped using the powder and all was well.  This serves as a bit of a warning though - people can react to anything and mica is in a lot of products, not just in the crafty world!  Moira now has antihistamine in her craft box!

On to the cards.....

Let's get the mica ones done first - we used the lovely Window Stamps, they come in several designs, I chose Madonna and the Shepherds for mine.  so what you do is stamp the image on one side of a double-sided adhesive sheet, then stick that side to some card.  Using a craft knife, score through the cover on the other side of the adhesive sheet, following the lines of the stamp.
Then one bit at a time, take off the cover and add Perfect Pearls to the adhesive (run off to get antihistamines if required!).  Once the whole piece is finished, cut out, then 'polish' lightly with a soft tissue to remove any loose powder, add a sheet of acetate over the top - it may not stick immediately but after a day or two, it will be properly stuck.
The background is a piece of card with juniper and denim ink brayered in diagonal corners.

I seem to have cut the end off this picture, but the card had a black border all round - honest!
For this card, we masked off a strip across the centre of the card, then stamped the small baubles  in place.  Cut out masks to cover them, then add juniper ink with a stencil brush, I also added some denim round the edges of the images with a sponge.
On a separate pice of card, stamp the large Santa bauble (I used the same design - others are available!)colour in all the images, then add a clear glaze over the top of the large bauble, I used glossy accents and sprinkled some crystal glitter over it.  This does take a while to dry, so leave it out of the way so you don't keep prodding it.  (Only one got left on a windowsill!)
Once dry, cut out and add to the card.

In the afternoon, we relaxed and got groovi with Sylvia Marshall's lovely Christmas tree design, mounted onto a brush background - sorry, it doesn't show up very well in the picture.
Check out for the full range of Groovi products.

Thanks for visiting,, I hope to see you again soon,

Janet xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Hi folks,

I am getting a bit behind with blogging, so I have got three cards, all featuring birds today.

The first two are done with the fab Wise Old Owl set.

 The background for this one is done with brushos,  I used a brown one (sorry, can't remember which one!) and sprinkled very lightly onto card, then spritzed.  I used one piece to stamp the owls on and one pice as the background.  I did add some colour to the owls with pencils.  In the set, there are also little spectacles, a morter board and a monacle - so ideal for graduation cards!

The second card is a very simple design. Stamp the owls in place, then mask and place the arch stencil over the top put a moon/sun mask in place, then add colour - blue at the top and green at the bottom.  Draw round the stencil with a black pen.

Remove the mask, then colour the owls.
The arch stencil comes from a set of fantastic aperture shapes, they are really useful
Stencil Framer Shapes set 1

The last card is another simple one, this time with the lovely goose from the Goose set I stamped him in place, then used another framer stencil, this time from set 2.  I think this has to be my favourite shape from both sets. I love the deckle edge!
I drew round the stencil with pencil, then all the colour and shading is done with pencil and blending with a paper stump - I find this a very relaxing thing to do.  I was originally going to keep just to black/grey, but decided to add blue to the sky.
I added extra pecil round the edge of the frame and blended that too, to make it a bot more smudgy.

Thanks for visiting today, I hope you have a great Sunday.
Janet xxx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Color burst for Christmas

Hello everyone,

I hope you are having a great weekend - it would be nice if they were three days long wouldn't it?

Today's card is one I did for the last Clarity show, I am a long way behind with blogging it!

It seemed strange without Clarity on the TV last month didn't it, but Dave's health must come first!

I made the background with color burst - have you tried these yet?  They are little pots of granulated pigment powder.  I light;y spritzed some watercolour paper, then added the tiniest amount of powder and spritzed some more - the colours just burst into life!

If the colour looks a bit intense, you can blot with some paper towel (just make sure Kirsty Goodwill isn't looking, she shouts 'don't you dare blot that!!' at you)
Once it is all dry, select a bit you like, then stamp on it!  I used black archival for Santa and the Reindeer and green archival for the trees - all stamps from the new Christmas Wee Folk sets 7 & 8.
I added the reins with a black pen.

I am having a quick break from making sample cards for some upcoming new sets of stamps, but I need to get back to it now....
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Take care,
Janet xx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Catching up a bit

Good morning all, I hope you have a good weekend,

I am home again after spending a lovely few days in Kent.  I went to the Clarity retreats in Crowborough, which are brilliant - lovely projects and a fun and friendly atmosphere.  Barbara, Paul Church, Jayne and the Clarity team work hard to make it all run smoothly.  There is always a lovely atmosphere.
We have been asked not to show what we did until all the workshops are over, so today's cards are the one we did at the last Claritystampers East workshops.
I know we are still having summer, but as card-makers, we have to start thinking about Christmas cards if we are going to make some to sell or even just to get ahead for making them for friends and family - one of the ladies who came on Sunday said she had already got all her cards done for this year!

The first card is actually more green/grey but for some reason, it doesn't show up here.  We did the background first - using Fresco finish chalk acrylic paints and sweeping it on the card with a stencil brush, I start with pale colours and add darker as I go.  If you add too much dark, you can just go over the top with a bit more light.
Wash your brush quickly after use and the paint will come out easily.
Once the back ground is dry (it doesn't take long, the paint is quick drying!) use an archival inkpad to stamp over the top.  Stamps are from Christmas Wee Folk 7 and the Christmas word chain 14 I also added some shadow under the folk and trees.  The final touch is to add some white dots with a white pen.

The second card is done with inks - I used adirondack Denim and Eggplant.  I tore a mask using the base of the Clarity blending mat as a guide.  I brushed denim ink at the top of the card, then move the mask and add a layer of eggplant.
Stamp the Merry Christmas from the Merry Christmas sentiment set  in place, then add the Santa Sleigh and Reindeer from the Christmas Wee Folk 8 set.
I added lots of trees in eggplant at the bottom of the card.
I coloured in the Merry Christmas with matching Spectrum Noir pencils with glitter over the top, and added touches of glitter on the sleigh and reindeer.
The other card we did was the parchment one I showed you in my last blog.
I am off to do some gardening and enjoy being in the sunshine.
Take care,
Janet xx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Groovin' for Christmas

Good morning to you!

It have had a bit of sorting out to do recently!  My poor old car which I've had for 13 years was due for scrapping in a month or so and I was going to get a new (used!) car.  Unfortunately, the exhaust blew over the weekend and I had to hurry things along!  We went round garages on Saturday and I found a car I liked the look of, but wanted to go home and chew it Monday morning, I phoned the dealers and asked if I could take it for a test drive and how quickly could they get it ready for me - they did it the same day!  Amazing!! I am now the proud owner of a lovely Audi A1.

There was a bit of urgency as I am going to the Clarity workshops Wed/Thurs and my old car wasn't going to make it!

The cards today are featuring the Groovi system - pop over to Barbara Gray's blog, there is a fab offer on at the moment - spend £40.00 and get a free Christmas Tree plate (very lovely it looks too!!) or check out Claritystamp's website

I am not the world's best at parchment, but the Groovi plates make it much easier to get the line work in place - I think of them in terms of stamps, they provide the outline, then you do the rest!  My work is pretty basic, but I am looking forward to getting more adventurous!

These are two that I've done, just embossing and a bit of colour on the second one.

..and finally a little picture of the car I got!  Look out for me whizzing down the M11 very soon!!

Take care and I look forward to seeing some of you at the Clarity retreat!
Janet xxx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A strange day!

Good morning everyone,
I hope you are having a great weekend!
This blog post is a bit different - no pictures of cards - more focus on the 'cat' part of my blog name today.
It was the Claritystampers East workshop at Bawburgh yesterday and for me it was a very strange one!  It all started on Friday evening when we realised that Merlin, our big black cat was in serious trouble - his breathing was all wrong and he was flopped out, his abdomen was a bit swollen and he was not very responsive, so we took him to the vet.  She said it was a problem with his heart and kept him in overnight...
So Saturday morning , still very worried about Merlin, we set off for the workshop, only to find that there was no-one there to open the hall - it took us a while to find someone to speak to, but eventually we got someone and a lady came to open up.  This was about 9:45, and normally I am in by 9:00.  Some of the ladies had arrived, so they set to and there were tables being set up, cups being got out (getting the water heater on was the first job, obviously!!) chairs being whisked around and all my sale items being set out.  No-one complained, I didn't ask, they just got straight on with helping me and as a result, we were pretty much set up on time.
While all this was going on, we had a call from the vet to say that Merlin hadn't responded to treatment and would we give permission for her to Xray his heart, so we agreed....
Finally, the workshop was under way, much the same as always.
I got a call from Simon at lunchtime which confirmed my worst fears, that Merlin wasn't going to pull through, he had probably got blood clots in his legs and that could be causing him pain, so we decided to have him put to sleep (he was pretty much unconscious anyway)  Simon went over to be with him while the deed was done and to bring him home afterwards.
I went back to the workshop...and it carried on as normal.
At the end, the lovely ladies helped wash up and pack up and put the tables away and just left me my own stuff to sort out while I waited for Simon to come and pick me up.  He arrived at 16:00 and we packed the car, but no sign of anyone from the hall, so we had to call and wait for someone to come and lock up.  Apparently they hadn't been able to contact the lovely man who should have been opening and closing the hall (let's hope he wasn't having a strange day too!!)
So we got home, I said goodbye to Merlin and we buried him under a bush in the back garden.
I was a bit numb to it all yesterday, but I feel very sad today.

Merlin turned up in the back garden about 5 years ago, thin, hungry, very nervous and with a big tick on his head.  I fed him, got rid of his tick and made friends.  He moved in, put on weight and became the most gentle, lovely cat who loved a cuddle and a fuss, so although I am very sad to see him go, I also know he had a happy and contented life with me.

Thank you if you have got through this long post, I am not the sort to dwell on this sort of thing, so it should all be back to normal soon.

I will post cards  from the workshop after the Great Blakenham one next Sunday.

Finally, I would like to say a huge Thank You to the ladies at Bawburgh for your help and support, you guys really are the best!

Janet xxx

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Black and White Christmas in July

Good morning and happy weekend to you,

It looks like another lovely day here.  I have been lucky recently, it has been raining while I'm at work and sunny on my days off. (so many times it is the other way round!!)

Today, I will be mostly preparing for the workshops over the next two weekends, will we be getting Groovi...?

Today's card is one of the ones I did for the last TV show.  It was very surreal...Barbara brought all the stamps with her to France, so we could work on them while we were there, which was brilliant.  So on the longest and hottest day of the year, there we were making Christmas cards!
I had taken my Zentangle gear with me (a pen, pencil, blender and card - not a big kit!) with the intention of doing some serious relaxing, so when I got the fab ribbon Merry Christmas stamp, I knew it just had to be tangled!

I stamped the Merry Christmas in black archival, then spent a wonderful few hours just taking my time, sitting outside in the sun, with my fine black pen, tangling patterns in the letters.  I also outlined all the letters too.  Then I used a lovely smudgy pencil and added some shading.
I wanted to use the stars from the Christmas Sprig and Decorations set so I decided to add a border across the top. I drew two lines, then filled them in and added the stars and a bauble from the set.
The lovely elf is from the brilliant Christmas Wee Folk set 7
I did add a bit of glitter to the stars.
Not really one to do if you have to make a huge batch of cards, but if you want to sit and relax, it is a perfect thing to do.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope the sun is shining on you!
Janet xxx