Sunday, 22 December 2013

Spotlight on Sue Holmes - Top 5 from Challenge 9


For our current challenge "SCENE BUILDING" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "CHRISTMAS"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



I started off as a cross stitcher many, many years ago creating numerous cross stitch pieces.  One day I was flicking through the channels on the television and found the Create and Craft channel, which got me totally addicted to making cards.  I then ditched my cross stitch obsession to a card making one!  I tried many techniques, which included decoupage, iris folding, paper pricking, parchment and many more.  My craft stash was growing and growing!

Just over a year ago I was off work poorly laying on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  I turned on Create and Craft and Barbara was on doing one of the classroom programmes.  I was totally amazed by her techniques, she made them seem so easy to do and from that day forward I was addicted to Clarity!

My next Clarity step was when I spotted a new workshop opening in Peterborough run by Sally-Ann Hanes, which was totally dedicated to Clarity.  I was scared at going on my own, but I did it and I am soooooo glad that I did.  I have met some great crafting buddies who I can't wait to meet up with every month.  A high point of one of the workshops was when Barbara turned up whilst taking a break from the shows at Create and Craft.  I'm not sure how the group managed to finish the last project of the day as we were all so star struck by Barbara!



Now to top it off Barbara starts blogging and I absolutely love tuning in each day to see what fantastic creations or great stories she has next.  My Christmas challenge card was totally inspired by one of her postings.

So thank you to all the Clarity friends that I have made, Sazz for her great workshops and lastly to Barbara for truly inspiring me!

I am a Clarity addict, I'm not sure if there is a cure for it but my husband says it keeps me happy.  I'm not sure if he would still be as happy if he actually knew how much money I have recently spent on Clarity items!

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Here's Sue's card taking her inspiration from Barbara's daily posts


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

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Spotlight on Sue Cramp - Top 5 from Challenge 9




For our current challenge "SCENE BUILDING" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "CHRISTMAS"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



I've always enjoyed crafting of some kind, Spirograph as a child, then knitting, dressmaking and cross stitch.  My one regret is that I've never been able to draw.

I started making cards from kits a few years ago and discovered that I was good at combining colours and patterns then I watched Barbara in one of her early television shows on Create and Craft and have been hooked on stamping.  My stash of Clarity stamps is getting quite large and we've even had to convert one of our spare bedrooms into a dual purpose craft room cum bedroom although my husband always wonders how I manage to clear all my craft stuff away when we need to use it as a bedroom!

For the last two years I've attended the two day Clarity retreats in Cowden and learned so much from Barbara.  The retreats are great, a relaxing time with the opportunity to craft all day and try out new techniques with such expert tuition.  I'm also very fortunate to have Janet Pring living nearly which means I can attend her monthly Clarity workshops too.  These have given me confidence and new ideas and my next goal is to try out the alcohol inks I purchased recently.

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Here's Sue's card using the New Design Club stencil from November as well as some of the lovely Clarity Christmas stamps in the apertures.


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


Thanks for sharing your crafting background Sue!



xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Spotlight on Dawn Parker - Top 5 from Challenge 9


For our current challenge "SCENE BUILDING" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "CHRISTMAS"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



My journey with art began as a child, making scrapbooks and drawings of the moon landings broadcast on the tv… black and white!  So imagination and colour became important.  I would end up with lots of bits and pieces all over the sofa, floor and wherever I travelled (poor mum).


I was a Nursery Nurse in education for 23 years and the art of creating using mixed media was a big part of the teaching and learning process for the children.  Their delight in giving their own handmade cards on mother’s day and Christmas was infectious, a lifetime disease was born, however, onset was delayed.


During the evenings I belonged to a painting group, my passion being watercolours where patience and perseverance are key.  Unfortunately after 10 years and for various reasons the group disbanded and I found myself looking for another challenge involving artistic ability.  Also at this time I changed my working environment and became a Complementary Therapist.  My shopping time no longer limited to weekends due to the job, I found a local craft shop and soon became a regular customer (as one does!!!)  I discovered stamps and found I had a problem, a new addiction.  On one of my visits the owner showed me some new miniature stamps she was trialling, a new company called Clarity stamp and, surprise surprise, I was hooked.


One morning I turned on the television to Create and Craft just as they were introducing a new guest and there was Barbara with even more fabulous stamps!

This hobby has become a big part of my life. The joy of it is making individual cards to reflect the personality of family and friends both in colour and design.  This has a knock on effect because they in turn know what to buy me for birthdays and Christmas.  Needless to say being selected for your top five is an enormous pleasure for me and reflects the importance of perseverance, not to mention your excellent demonstrations and super stamps.

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Here's Dawn's artwork for her top 5 pick showing the range of techniques she has picked up and the versatility of Clarity stamps.



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

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Spotlight on Emily Follett - Top 5 from Challenge 9


For our current challenge "SCENE BUILDING" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "CHRISTMAS"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.



Hello, I'm Emily Follett.  I'm 35, a wife to Glenn and mum to 8 year old Henry.

I started crafting during a bout of severe post natal depression following the birth of my son in 2005 and was told to take up a hobby.  I chose crafting and soon began tuning into craft programmes.  One day I caught a show called "Stamping with Clarity" presented by the wonderfully talented Barbara Gray and from that moment onwards I was hooked.  Before this I hadn't been a stamper, but watching what Barbara could achieve with a brayer, the correct inks and coated card stock was amazing.  I particularly liked the fact that she took a blank piece of card and turned it into a piece of art.  To me this was 'real' art but with the help of superb stamps and great for someone like me who can't draw for toffee!

I started to follow the Clarity website and facebook pages and realised that they ran classes around the country.  I tried very hard to find one in my area (Devon) to no avail.  However, as luck would have it, not long after I heard that a group was starting up in the south west and I contacted a lovely lady by the name of Bernie Simmons.  It was with slight trepidation that I embarked on my first 100 mile round trip from just outside of Exeter to my first Clarity workshop in Plymouth, but I needn't have worried though as everyone was very welcoming.

Over the last 10 months we have taken a different technique and stamp (or stamps) each month and practised our skills under the watchful eye of our very talented tutor Bernie.  We have undertaken lots of topics from brayering and scene building to gelli plate and altered art.  All the sessions are very thought provoking and we share ideas and tips as well as having a good laugh too.  The whole group get on brilliantly and I come away full of enthusiasm, raring to try out my new found techniques.  My stamping has improved no end since starting the workshops and I've entered the monthly challenge and sent in homework for Barbara's "In the Classroom" shows.  I finally feel like my artwork is worthy of being shown off and this is in a large part due to all the encouragement I receive at class.

I feel honoured to have been chosen as one of the top five and will continue to improve my skills as a crafter as time goes on.

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Here's Emily's star card featuring the 'Twas the Night' stamps.


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


Thanks for sharing your crafting background Emily!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Friday, 6 December 2013

Spotlight on Sarah Dixon - Top 5 from Challenge 9


For our current challenge "SCENE BUILDING" please click here

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We thought it would be nice to have spotlight posts throughout the month dedicated to our top 5 from the last challenge "CHRISTMAS"  We hope you enjoy reading about their crafting journey and you never know it could be you in the spotlight next month.


I started doing cross stitch not long after I'd had my first baby, as I wanted something to relax with in the evenings.  I quickly became absorbed by it and produced finished pieces at an alarming rate.  I then decided to try other forms of needlework as well such as blackwork, Bargello, Lagartera, crewel work and Hardanger and also bought some computer software allowing me to design my own cross stitch patterns.

I slowed down after 3 or 4 years and fancied trying something else so signed up for a course in stained glass art at the local adult education centre.  Loved this, designed and made my own pieces - mirror frames, tea lights holders, trinket boxes and light catchers.  Enjoyed this for a couple of years before signing up for a drawing and painting night class.  Had great fun exploring drawing with different media like pencil, charcoal, pastels and tried painting with watercolour and acrylics for the first time.

Sadly, it was then time to consider doing more hours at work now both the children were properly settled at school.  It was during the school summer holidays that I stumbled across Create and Craft, bought my first stamps and some promarkers.  Barbara was a great source of inspiration and still is.

From there my crafting spiralled out of control, much to the dismay of my husband!  I now have my own small, enormously untidy craft room, which I get far too little time in - priority is the kids come first!

I love trying out all the techniques I see, especially the Gelli plate, although I don't feel like I've had much success with it yet.  I do like things to be precise so I struggle with the randomness.  Am enjoying playing with the new stencils and trying to make my own backgrounds.

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Here's Sarah's Christmas arch window and a lovely snowy scene outside.



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

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Send your entries to us at:

Claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com

You don't have to miss out because you don't have a blog!




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

Winner and Top 5 - Challenge 9 (plus DVD redraw)


For our current challenge "Scene Building" please click here.

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Good morning Clarity crafters.

We hope you enjoyed our Christmas challenge as much as we enjoyed looking at your creative artwork. It's nice to see that we had some newcomers this month and hope to see their entries again for the next challenge.

Our winner is chosen at random to give everyone a chance regardless of their ability, standard and how long they've been crafting etc.  We thought this was the fairest way all around. So...

With the help of Random.org


The winner is:

Sheila Simpson

Congratulations Sheila!
Please contact Sazzle at claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com
to claim your voucher

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Now onto our top 5
(in no particular order)

This has been the most difficult challenge to judge so far with so many excellent entries, but we eventually whittled it down to a top 5.

#1 Emily Follett


#20 Sue Holmes

#29 Sue Cramp



#43 Dawn Parker


#44 Sarah Dixon


Congratulations to you all!

If you have a blog please make sure you grab either
our top 5 badge or our winners badge

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Thank you to everyone that took part, we'd loved to have chosen you all but there can only be one winner. Our new challenge has now gone live (see post below) so why not have a go?  You never know next month it might be your name in the winners slot winning the £50 Clarity voucher

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If you cast your mind back, we had a DVD giveaway to go along with the launch of Barbara's new blog and the winner was announced along with the winner and top 5 from the last challenge.  Well the winner hasn't contacted us so we are going to draw another winner. So...

With the help of Random.org


The winner is:

Congratulations Jannet!
Please contact Sazzle at claritystampchallenge@hotmail.com
to claim your prize

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xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

December Clarity Shows


For our current challenge "Scene Building" please click here.

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The Clarity shows continued today with another three hours of Barbara on our screens to tempt us with more new Clarity stamp designs as well as Clarity stencils and masks too!  It was another sellout show.

If you want a reminder of what was on todays shows we've got all of the stamps listed below along with some of the design teams artwork too.  We've even linked the stamps to the Clarity website to make it even easier to shop, aren't we kind to you?


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









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




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




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Circle Dots & Sun Arch Stencils (7"x7")
(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)





Kelly Ketteringham



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







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






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





Kelly Ketteringham



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





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






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





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Madeleine & Flowers Stencil (7"x7")
(click on the links above to take you to the Clarity website)


Kelly Ketteringham

Kelly Ketteringham









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We hope you enjoyed watching the shows, that you've picked
up some new techniques and are rushing off to your craft
space to try them out.

We'd love to see your artwork on our new Facebook fan page:

www.facebook.com/claritystamp




xx Happy crafting and Clarity hugs xx