Monday, 27 May 2013

Spotlight on Jo Rice - Top 5 from Challenge 2


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to the top 5 winners from challenge two "IN THE GARDEN".  We've already had four out of the five so here we are with the final one before we announce the new winner and top 5 from the current challenge.

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Although originally from Kendal in the Lake District, I now live in Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire with my husband Karl, our two sons Adam and Mikey and our wonderful labrador Tess.

I'm a 49 year old craftaholic (I had to get that in as it's my last chance as tomorrow will be my birthday).

I've crafted from an early age, tried a variety of things and am always eager to try something new.  As a cub leader for many years I had the opportunity to craft with, and pass on knowledge to, the cubs.

After illness made me give up my job as a Therapy Radiographer at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, I found more time to craft, was introduced to Create and Craft and to Clarity stamps.  I first met Barbara at the NEC in Birmingham and was hooked and have never looked back.  I love to stamp and especially love the crispness of Clarity stamps.  I'm learning to love my brayer (with lessons from the wonderful Maria Simms) but poor Billy Brayer still spends most of his time in his box!

My favourite type of card is one that starts as a white piece of paper and evolves as I play.  I love to learn lots of new techniques and see what my fellow crafters get up to.  In The Classroom with Barbara once a month on a Saturday morning is one of my all time favourite shows and I love to watch, learn and then have a play and send some homework to teacher.  My other passion is pyrography (burning pictures and words into wood) and I find it a very relaxing way to spend my time.

I'm fairly new to the world of blogging, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it.  I was thrilled to be in the top 5 for the second Clarity challenge and what was even better is that it was the first card that I'd ever made using my Gelli plate.  Do you have one?  I have to say I do love to create using it, the only thing is I have to wash everything at the end.  Sorry, but I do like clean crafting, daft I know but that's me.....

Have you entered this month's challenge?  I do hope so!  If not please go along and have a look at the entries so far and there are some truly inspirational pieces of work from the design team too.

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Here's Jo's card using her Gelli plate, doesn't it look fab?  I bet you want one now don't you?  If you do you'll find them here along with hints and tips and tutorials


If you'd like to see more of Jo's creations
you can visit her blog


Thanks for sharing your crafty story with us Jo
and Happy 50th Birthday for tomorrow!



xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx



Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Spotlight on Emily Follett - Top 5 from Challenge 2


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" please click here

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We though it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to the top 5 winners from  challenge 2 "IN THE GARDEN". We've already had the first three of our spotlight posts, so here we are with number four.



Hi I'm Emily and I'm 35 years old and live down on the beautiful east Devon coast with my husband Glenn and our 7 year old son Henry.

My introduction to crafting came when I developed post natal depression following Henry's birth and was told by the medical professionals to take up a hobby.  I chose crafting and took to watching the crafting channels on TV.  This was where I had my first taste of Clarity.  I was amazed by the idea that you could take a blank piece of card and turn it into a stunning piece of artwork.  I bought a few stamps and the rest, as they say, is history!  I was completely self taught until very recently, taking inspiration from the artwork on TV and from my crafty friends on the internet.  Then I had the great pleasure of meeting the wonderful Bernie  Simmons who said she was going to be setting up a Clarity South West craft group and asked if I'd like to join.  Of course I jumped at the chance and we now meet once a month to learn and practice different techniques under the expertise of our fabulous tutor!

My other hobbies are quite varied.  I love animals and have a lilac point Tonkinese cat and 2 Peruvian (very long haired) guinea pigs who take a fair amount of looking after.  I enjoy exercise classes and currently attend aerobics, zumba and aquafit.  I also love to travel and my big passion is cruising.  I've been cruising now for 25 years and have been lucky enough to visit quite a lot of wonderful places.  On top of all of this I work 3 days a week in a primary school with children aged 3 - 5 years of age.  As you can imagine I love getting the crafty things out and regularly come home covered in paint, glitter and glue!

The inspiration for my card came from a photo I saw of a lovely country cottage scene and I thought to myself maybe I could create something similar to that, so I delved through my ever expanding Clarity stash and this is what I came up with.  I was totally amazed and very honoured when I discovered I'd been selected as 1 of the top 5.

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Here's Emily's country cottage scene using quite a few techniques and showing us the skills she's learnt


If you'd like to see more of Emily's work and see what she gets up to in class please visit her blog


Thanks for sharing your crafty story with us Emily!


xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx


Friday, 17 May 2013

Spotlight on Rosemary Hardy - Top 5 from Challenge 2


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to the top 5 winners from challenge 2 "IN THE GARDEN".  We've already had the first two of our spotlight posts, so here we are with number three.



Hi I'm Rosemary and I'll be 64 years young in October.  I've been married to Keith for 45 years and we have 2 sons.  I had John for my 21st and Douglas for my 22nd birthday.  After that I asked for presents!

In the photo of me above I'm wearing my Christmas cook's hat 2012 - they made me wear it!!!!

I'm a knitter, both hand and machine, and enjoy other crafts such as jewellery making.  When the boys were young I made their clothes and mine with a hand sewing machine before moving onto an electric sewing machine.  I still do a bit of sewing and knitting now.

I started card making when there was a birthday at work and usually I would only remember right at the last minute and have to make a card at home.  I used my computer and printed out a card and then added ribbons and peel offs.  I would then add a photo sometimes as a topper and the words I would make up depending on the subject.  That's how I got into card making.

I've moved on from there now to stamping and embossing and trying lots of different things and love to make Christmas and birthday cards for both family and friends.  I've not mastered the brayer yet but keep having a go, but use brushes to do the background instead if the brayer isn't working for me.

Since I retired from working at a large school, I'm doing more with stamps and techniques and joined the Clarity New Design Club last November.  My granddaughter Natasha joined the year before and on some of her days off she comes round and we have a craft day.

This was the second time of entering the Clarity Challenge and also the first competition I've ever entered where I've been chosen in the top 5.  I like watching Barbara on Create and Craft but record the shows to watch in peace and quiet later as my husband comes to watch with me and he laughs so much at the antics that I miss some of what's going on!  Keith enjoys the show and likes the way Barbara uses the stamps so cleverly.  I'm also enjoying Clarity "Take Two" for the hints and tips.

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Here's Rosemary's card where she's cleverly stacked the pots
on top of each other.  The verse is one that Rosemary has
created herself and the background has been taken
of her husband Keith's flowers

Rosemary entered the challenge via email as she doesn't have
a blog so you could do the same too!

Thank you for sharing your story with us Rosemary

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Look for our email address in right hand side bar to enter
the challenges.  You don't have to miss out because you
don't have a blog!


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xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Spotlight on Julie Little - Top 5 from Challenge 2


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" please click here.

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to the top 5 winners from challenge two "IN THE GARDEN".  We've already seen the first of our posts this month, so here's the second.



I live in a converted barn in beautiful countryside near Barnsley with my husband Michael, son Joe, daughter Alice and beautiful granddaughter Marley who's 22 months old.We run a small business so life's extremely hectic juggling hours at work and attempting to keep our very busy home running.

It's difficult to say when I first started crafting as I've dabbled in a lot of crafty things over the years, starting as a child with my lovely sister Suzanne.  We tried everything that was around at the time including the potters wheel, plasticraft, beads, those wire flowers with the glaze you used to dip into that I can't remember the name of and of course knitting and crocheting.  We also helped our lovely Mum with her dressmaking and were both very good at laying out patterns and doing the cutting out by the time we were knee high.

We first started to make our own cards many years ago when Joe was about 7 (he's now 20).  There was very little crafting materials around at that time but we had fun trying.  Now there's so many products and materials available that it's mind boggling but we're gradually trying out as many techniques as we can.

I stumbled upon Barbara on Create and Craft last November when she was making the card with the deer scene and the reflection.  I was transfixed that I didn't even think to hit record!I've been hooked ever since and gradually building my collection of Clarity stamps which are fabulous.  My gorgeous nephew Louis (8) is addicted to Clarity stamps too.  We've had a few 'family' workshops and he entered the first challenge with me, Louis is a superstar with the sponge.  Little Marley likes watching Barbara on the TV and always says "Oh wow!" when she sees the results.  She especially loved the bunnies and chicks and made her own Easter cards.  Her colouring needs a little work but I definitely have a budding apprentice.

I love Barbara's demos and DVDs and her total enthusiasm.  I joined the April classroom, crafting along live and the results aren't too bad.  I learnt loads and am looking forward to the next classroom.  She's a real inspiration and so are all the ladies and gents who share their fabulous work on the Clarity stamp facebook page, website and challenge blog.  My head is completely full of ideas to try, my only problem is finding enough time to play.  I find crafting very therapeutic and it really helps me to de-stress.

It was a lovely surprise to have my card selected in the top 5, especially as I am still a stamping novice.  Many thanks for the inspiration that the challenge gives us all xx

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Here's Julie's garden scene showing us several
techniques such as masking and pointillism.
We definitely don't think you're a novice Julie!


Julie entered the challenge via email as she doesn't
have a blog so you could do the same too!

Thank you for sharing your story with us Julie

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Look for our email address in the right hand side bar to enter
the challenges.  You don't have to miss out because you
don't have a blog!


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xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Spotlight on Annie Mehew - Top 5 from Challenge 2


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" click here


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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to the top 5 winners from challenge two "IN THE GARDEN".  So here is the first of our top 5 to tell us a little about herself.



I live in a beautiful part of north Wales with my husband.  We have 2 sons, three granddaughters and a grandson along with a gorgeous 4 year old black lab called Jasper who spends much of his time with me in the craft room.  I retired five years ago and I honestly don't know how I found the time to go to work and craft!!!

I've crafted for as long as I can remember and some of my earliest memories are of watching my Grandad pulling clocks apart and he would play with me for hours making models out of boxes.  I even had my own little toffee hammer in his shed so that I could 'help' him.

Then my Mum introduced me to all the girly crafts including knitting, cross stitch and dressmaking which paid off years later as I went on to spend 17 years managing a dressmaking shop, I loved it.  My biggest thrill was being able to make bridesmaid dresses and pageboy outfits for both my daughter's in law.

I discovered paper crafting when one of my daughter's in law gave me a handmade card and I've never looked back.  I'm a bit of a butterfly as I flit from one craft to another, I've bought no end of tools I thought I had to have, but I always return to my faves; stamping and die cutting.  There's nothing better than starting from scratch with some blank card and that buzz you get seeing the final result and knowing that you've made it yourself.

I was introduced to Clarity Stamps by my sister, she mentioned that she'd seen this amazing lady called Barbara Gary demoing stamping in a very different way on Create and Craft.  I tuned in and I was totally hooked, I love Barbara's work and can spend hours picture building with Clarity stamps, sometimes I have a result, sometimes I end up with a bin full of failures.  Crafting has seen me through some difficult times because I can get totally lost in what I'm doing, it's so therapeutic and I've heard a lot of crafters say the same thing.

Nowadays I'm interested in learning more about mixed media and art journalling, I do like experimenting with my crafty stash.  I recently started doing craft challenges and enjoy the feedback I've had when I've uploaded my work, so I thought I would give blogging a go to share some of my better makes.  

Once the children had flown the nest and my grandchildren were growing up I found myself crafting on my own but since I ventured ito blogland I've enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of like minded people and it's great!  I would certainly recommend giving crafty challenges a go, having my card selected as one of the top 5 in the "In the Garden" challenge was a real thrill.  

I hope I've persuaded one or two of you to give it a go, you won't regret it...  The only thing is it becomes very addictive!!!

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Here's Annie's gatefold card with a view into her gorgeous
garden along with her Mums favourite quote that Clarity
made into a stamp


If you'd like to see more of Annie's work please pop over
to her blog and have a look around


Thanks for sharing your crafting background with us Annie!



xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx


Monday, 6 May 2013

Clarity Bank Holiday Weekend


For our current challenge "IT'S ALL IN THE SENTIMENT" please click here.

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I've just been reading the post from the last Clarity weekend and the sun was shining in Peterborough then too, so I've got it sorted Barbara.  You're gonna have to move here!!!  Then we could have you on the telly more often as well, double result!!!

So who was watching the shows yesterday (Sunday) or who was won over by the glorious weather that we're having and recorded it to watch later?  Either way we were treated to a marvellous 3 hours from the lovely Barbara along with presenters Dean and Genevieve.  The shows were a complete sell out but we did get to see some great artwork from the design team and some fab demos from the lady herself.  There were even some new techniques in there to keep us on our toes using alcohol inks, laminating pouches and a laminator.  What a great effect that produced.

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Here's a reminder of the stamps used in the programme along with a few samples of the artwork:

(click on the titles above to take you to the Clarity website)

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Lynne Hammond

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(click on the titles above to take you to the Clarity website)

If you've seen Barbara demo'ing this you'll be amazed at the prints it produces but if you want to see more then the Clarity website has now got an inspirational gallery and videos to help you along the way.  Just click on the pictures below to go to directly there.



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Please let us know what you thought about the shows, how you've got on with the new techniques Barbara has show you and what you think to the new stamps.



xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx