Monday, 29 June 2015

A Groovi week away

Bonjour mes amies!

I am back from the most wonderful week in France with Barbara, Dave and the Clarity Design team and friends. We were staying at the same place as last year, a very beautiful place.
 There are three Gites on the site and we have them all.  I stayed in the little one facing you in the first picture, back in 'my' room from last year. Sharing with me (the house, not the room!) were Sam Crowe, Kirsty Goodwill and Jules and Sally-Ann Hanes
It is an idyllic loation, peaceful and beautiful with a lake at the back

If I ever win the lottery.....!

This time, we were lucky with the weather too and had wall to wall sunshine right into late evening, so we sat outside and had our evening meal together.  Dave kept an eye on how much ice cream I was eating!!
There is a pool too and although I am not comfortable in water, I sat with my legs in the water while some of the others were swimming

The atmosphere was very relaxed, you could craft or sunbathe, chat or spend time on your own, sit and admire the view or walk round the lake.
The lovely couple who own the place looked after us so very well, providing home made bread, cakes and creme brulee to die for.  We had an evening of pizza and music - Alain fired up the oven outside and made pizzas, then he played the bagpipes, which encouraged Dave to get out his guitar and play us the most superb music, he is very talented!

All too quickly, the week was over and we were on our way home, sad to be leaving the beautiful place and the lovely people - but it's nice to be home and the sun is shining here too!

One of the good things with so many talented people around is that you can pick up helpful hints and tips: Sylvia and Maria were giving out tips on the Groovi system, Sam tried to overcome my fear of paints and mess and Kirsty managed to stop me blotting colour off my color burst backgrounds - more of them later.

This is my fisrt go on the Groovi board, I really enjoyed this, it isn't a quick thing to do, but it is very relaxing.  One of the main tips I learnt is not to use too much pressure, especially when embossing the back of the parchment, the first stroke you make shouldn't even mark the parchment, you just have to use lots of light strokes to stretch the fibres, then leave it to rest and do more later.

I did this sitting in the sun!  I have coloured the back of the flowery bits with Spectrum Noir pencils, but I don't know if that shows very well.  This isn't finished yet, it needs mounting up properly, I just used a green background to scan it, but it isn't attached yet, I just wanted to prove that I hadn't spent ALL my time eating and sunbathing!!!

Thank you to Barbara and Dave for their generosity and hard work making this all possible and Thank you to all the lovely people there for making it such a great week.

Normal service will now be resumed!!
Thanks for visiting,
Janet xxx

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Good evening!
I hope you are all well,  I have finished work for a week and a bit and am looking forward to spending time with some of the design team soon.
Don't forget Barbara has a Christmas show on Thursday - more with the Groovi gear!

This card is one I did for the last show, using the wonderful Cockerel stamp - he is rather magnificent isn't he??

I had promised myself that I would tangle him, but I couldn't help myself!  I just added the lovely arch round him, lightly coloured with blue (at the top for the sky) and green (at the bottom for the grass!)  The 'cock-a-doodle-doo!' stamp is also part of the set and the grassy bit is hand drawn.
Thanks very much for dropping in and don't forget to set the recorder for the Clarity show tomorrow!
Take care,
Janet xxx

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Chrysanthemums and Gelatos

Good morning and happy Sunday to you!

Today's card is one I did with the ladies at the Diva Red workshop last Saturday.  I treated myself to some Gelatos - these are water soluble wax 'crayons' and are great fun to play with.  I used them in  three different ways on this card

1.  For the background to the flowers, I scribbled the colour on watercolour card, then spritzed with water and used a brush to blend the colour.  You do need to blend quite quickly after you've applied the colour to get it to blend.
2. For the Chrysanthemums I stamped them in place, then stamped a spare one on a separate piece of watercolour paper.  I added little bits of colour directly from the crayon then blended with a waterbrush.  I also added extra colour picking colour up directly from the crayon onto the brush
3.  For the background, I used leather effect card and applied colour round the edge and blended with my finger.  Just do a small area at a time, so you blend soon after you've applied the colour.

I cut out my spare flower and added it over the top of the others once it was mounted.

All stamps used are from Claritystamp Ltd
Have a lovely day, whatever you are doing
Thanks for visiting,
Janet xxx

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Owl in a tangle!

Hello and welcome along to my blog,

Tonight I am starting to show the samples from the Clarity TV show last weekend.  Along with the fantastic new Groovi system for parchment, there were some lovely new bird stamps too!

I was very much in Zentangle mode when I received these stamps and was delighted to find they are prefect to tangle.

This is the single owl from the 'Wise owls' set they come with a little set of spectacles, a monocle and a morter board, but I thought I would just use him on his own.
We also had two fab sets of Framer shape stencils and the oval from set 1 fitted the owl perfectly.

I started by outlining the stencil shape with a fine black pen, then removed the stencil and did another line round the inside
I stamped the owl and drew in the 'branch ' he is standing on, then spent several hours doing all the tangling.  There are lots and lots of patterns on the internet, but the original is an excellent place to start.
Once I had finished  everything in the oval, I was wondering how to finish it and I realised that I could draw a pattern on the outside too, so I added my corners by hand.
I also added some shading to the owl with a graphite 2B pencil and a bit of blending with a paper stump. having spent 3-4 hours doing that, what did I do once I finished??  Another one!!  I enjoyed it so much, I just wanted to carry on!  I used the triangle stencil from the other stencil set and just kept going.  I did stop after this one though!

Thanks for dropping by,
Take care,

Sunday, 7 June 2015


Good evening all,
I hope you had a great weekend.
Did you see the Clarity show with the new Groovi gear?  Doesn't that make parchment look much easier to get going.  I love parchment craft but don't have the eyesight or the patience to do it - the groovi system looks like a brilliant way to get started.  I am definitely going to give it a go!

In the mean time, here is the third card from last week's Claritystampers East workshop.
Apart from the stamping, this was all coloured with Spectrum Noir pencils and blended with the blending solution and a paper stump.  I think I am going to stamp a 'Happy Father's Day' in the gap at the bottom.

Take care,
'Janet xx

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Horses for courses

Hi there,

A second blog from me today because I wanted to enter a card for the Less is More challenge 'Two or Four Legs'  I missed the last two challenges because, although I had ideas for the card, I ran out of time.  Today I wanted to make sure I got this entered.
It is a beautiful Clarity stamp and oval stencil, very simply tangled and shaded

I asked Simon if it needed any more doing to it -'No'
Just a hint of blue for the sky? - 'No!'
so I left it alone - it is a less is more card after all

Janet xxx

Two more tangles

Hi folks,

Looks like a lovely day today, I am always a bit biased towards Thursdays being lovely, as it is my day off work! 
Today's offering is two more Zentangles.  I am learning new tangle patterns every day and getting more confident in what I am doing.  This is number 3 and 4

If you are interested in giving this a go, check out where there is lots of information and inspiration
Enjoy your day,
Janet xx

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Learning to tangle


Today I am showing my first couple of Zentangles.  I am only just learning this, but I am enjoying it immensely and tangling will turn up in all sorts of places from now on!  Zentangle is a copyrighted term and you can learn more about it here on the original website.  A true Zentangle is an abstract work on a 3.5" square, anything else is 'Zentangle inspired art'.  I have a book by Beckah Krahula and am learning new tangles day by day.
These are my first two Zentangles:

I am not so keen on the first one, I got the shading wrong, but I learnt my first 3 tangles and enjoyed doing it - which is the main thing!!

The second one I did, I like much better - I learnt another 3 tangles and like the composition much better.  I don't think I am really supposed to be analysing these so much!!
There will be more to follow...
Take care,
Janet xxx