Thursday, 1 September 2016

Clarity Challenge #43 - In the Garden.

Hi everyone!
Thank you for stopping by.

September’s theme is

“In the Garden”

This is such a great topic!
There are so many possibilities!

From flowers to trees;
From sunset to sunrise;
From an English country garden to a Japanese Water House.
The wonderful Jayne Nestorenko designs would be perfect for this too.

The Clarity Challenge team are on hand to give you some ideas....

Shelagh Metselaar has created a wonderful night scene
with a huge full moon.

Very atmospheric.

Angela Simpson has travelled across the globe to Japan,
to excite you with Cherry blossom and our Weeping Ashtree.

In fact, if you pop in over the coming days, 
we will show you more inspiration from 
 some of our other Clarity Team members!

If you have the ingredients to go Japanesey, brilliant.
If you have the Birdhouse Stencil, great.
Whatever garden themed Clarity stash you have will be super. 

Going forward, we will drop several Challenge of the Month themed products into the Offers section on the website. 


So, if you would like to be in with a chance of winning a £50 Clarity Gift Voucher, then see below on how to enter.

Don't forget, you have got be in it to win it!!!!

If you would like to join in, it couldn’t be simpler.
We have a few rules which can be found HERE

There are 2 ways of entering the challenge:

BLOG - if you have a blog, click at the bottom where its says "Click here to enter" and follow the instructions, remembering to link to your blog post and not just your blog

EMAIL - if you don't have a blog you can send a photo of your project via email to us an we’ll enter it for you.

And now to introduce our winner of Challenge No. 41

Wendy Thorburn is this month’s Guest Designer!

Hi there it's Wendy here! 

I'm delighted to have won last month’s challenge, and been invited to be a guest designer  for September. I've enjoyed doing my artwork for this months challenge, I have been lucky enough to have lots of birds feeding in my garden and the flowers are looking really good this year too so I knew which stamps I wanted to use as soon I was told what the theme was.

Now what do I tell you about myself?

I'm 50, have been married for 29 years to Stephen who is a wonderful husband and doesn't mind all my crafty stash which has grown over the years.We have a 21 year old son Kieran who is in the army and who I am immensely proud of. Our daughter Rebecca would have been 25 now but she passed away in January 2013. We live in Warminster in Wiltshire not far from Stonehenge and Bath.

I have always enjoyed crafting but started rubber stamping when Rebecca was a baby, I needed something else to do other than changing nappies, plumping cushions and being a mum, so joined a Quilling group. A lady came in one week to demonstrate stamping and heat embossing and that was it I was hooked! 

When Stephen was posted to Warminster in 1998 I started going to craft shows, it was at one in Exeter when I first saw Barbara and was transfixed by what she was doing with a brayer and how she could produce amazing scenes with inks and her stamps. I always made a beeline for her stalls at any shows I then went to.

Rebecca suffered a brain injury after contracting viral encephalitis when she was 11 which left her with severe epilepsy, learning difficulties and no short term memory.
After a couple of very difficult years trying to cope with Rebecca at home we made the difficult decision to place her at a specialist epilepsy school in Lingfield. 
We had picked Rebecca up from the school for a day out and popped into an open day the craft shop in the village was holding.I couldn't believe it when I saw Barbara there! I didn't realise she lived not far from there. It was then that we got chatting with Barbara, and her lovely partner Dave. 

We ended up going round to Barbara's house for tea and meeting the rest of her family and I feel very privileged to say we have been friends ever since. I used to pop in sometimes to have a quick chat and a cuppa before my long journey home after dropping Rebecca back at school after her holidays. One time we sat outside in the sun putting together the stamp boxes just before Barbara was going on the TV for the first time! 

It has been wonderful to see how well Clarity has done over the years and has just gone from strength to strength. With fabulous stamp and stencil designs and the innovative Groovy system as well as the best customer service and the caring community Barbara has developed, I know it will continue to flourish. 

It has been in part due to crafting with Clarity and of course my husband that I was able to get through the hard times with Rebecca especially when she died very suddenly. It would seem I was practicing mindfulness with Barbara even before it became popular with the masses so I can definitely  say that staying focused and getting lost in crafting really is beneficial so let's keep it going! 

Love and hugs




  1. Gorgeous card Wendy and what a very moving beautiful story. How lovely to have such an artful friend to be able to turn to throughout such a difficult time. Friendships like that last a lifetime. Great new look blog too - well done and fabulously nurtured for the last three and a half years by Sazz. Xxx

  2. Wendy your card is so beautiful thank you for sharing your story sending lots of caring hugs xxx

  3. Sazzle I would like to say a big thank you for always entering my cards into the challenges for
    over the past 2 years and the calendar challenges also crafting hugs xxx

    1. You're welcome Sheila, good luck in future challenges xx

  4. A lovely card, Wendy accompanied by a moving but nevertheless uplifting story. As for Warminster, I know it well as I taught at the Minster CE Primary School when we lived in Bath - albeit a bit before you arrived there. Looking forward to your future Challenge entries. Best wishes. ;~}

  5. Hi Wendy - after seeing your name on here and Facebook so many times, it's lovely to see you appearing as guest designer, and get to know a little bit about you.
    I can vouch for crafting being such a big help through tough times and I know the crafting community provide wonderful support and friendship to us all.
    That's a pretty piece of artwork to inspire others this month, a beautiful peaceful garden scene.
    Lovely to meet you and I look forward to seeing all your artwork in future.
    Take care, Carole xxx

  6. Lovely card but even more important and lovely is you and your inspiring story of crafting and love . It is amazing and miraculous to me how we all manage to survive and continue on despite the challenges in life that we face . Wishing you much love and happiness and joy . Jan

  7. Hello Wendy welcome love your card xx

  8. Congratulations Wendy, really like your garden card.

    Thank you for all your hard work Sazz with the challenge entries, well done. Xx

    1. Thanks Donna, I've enjoyed looking at all of your crafty makes xx

  9. A big thank you to Sazz for processing all our email entries for so long (supported, I think, by Kim Shaw?) - I really appreciate the opportunity to enter without having to have a blog - it must have been a fairly time-consuming task, with so many email entries coming through - and not helped by people like me and Mum who are so often at entering at the very last minute! I hope this hand-over will free up some time for you to allow you to concentrate on your own crafting again - and hopefully we'll see some of your work, either as DT inspiration or maybe even as Challenge entries!
    Lovely DT samples, as ever - I look forward to seeing more over the coming days/weeks.
    Yours is a beautiful garden scene, Wendy - that bird-feeder really seems to pop off the page!
    And, Paul, please forgive us if we have a momentary lapse and address our emails "Dear Saz"!!

    1. Ha, ha, ha that made me laugh - I wonder how many people will address their emails to me and not Paul!!!!

      I've enjoyed bringing the challenge blog to life and encouraging you all to enter each month and of course couldn't have done it recently without my crafty buddy and best friend Kim Shaw. Our friendship was formed through crafting and now she lives up the road from me after moving to Peterborough from London. the power of crafting eh?

      Good luck with the challenges to both you and your mum xx

    2. Hi Saz
      I can only re-iterate all that Dawn has said. We both enjoy entering the Challenge esch month and appreciate the comments we get from the Design Team, and other Clarity followers.
      Margaret, Dawn's Mum

  10. What a beautiful Wendy. Thank you for sharing your moving and inspiring story. I'm so glad crafting and the crafting community has helped you through the difficult times. x

  11. Thank you for your kind comments! And thank you Saz for you hard work with the challenges keeping us on our toes!Wx

  12. Lovely artwork Wendy and thank you for sharing your story with us. Xx

  13. Gorgeous artwork from the team and from Wendy. It is lovely to read all about you too Wendy, an inspiring story! Thank you to Sazz for all your challenge blog work too! xxx

  14. beautiful card Wendy and thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to seeing more of your entries in the coming months

  15. I love your card Wendy with its great sense of perspective. Thanks for sharing your story with us and letting us get to know you a bit better. Xxx

  16. Oh Wendy, you fill my heart! A hard story to tell, I'm sure... it was hard to read too! Lots of love as always, Mandy xxx

    Sazz - You have been a star and Kimmy (your amazing sidekick! soz sis!)Thank you both for all of your help! Paul, you have some very large shoes to follow in - good luck chuck!

  17. Your card is beautiful Wendy. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have inspired me to finally have a go at this challenge. xxx

  18. So, here are three people I think the world of. Firstly Sazz who introduced me to Challenge Blogs Many Moons ago and really boosted my ego at a time When I had no faith in what I did by asking me to be on a DT for a challenge blog. Then later on I joined the Clarity Challenge DT and again dealt with the lovely Sazz who was always so helpful. X Thank you Sazz I still appreciate your faith in me in the early days. Of course you are a good friend now and I do Miss you. Xxx. Wendy you are such a lovely lady and I love spending time with you. I was dissapointed we didn't get chance for a chat at the last event. Congratulations on winning and becoming guest designer next month, you so deserve it , your work is beautiful . Xx. Paul good luck with the Blog , I know you will do a good job though. Xxx Sam x

  19. Hi Wendy,
    Your card is lovely and your story is very moving. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Sazz - thank you for all your work with the challenge blog and for entering my pieces into the challenges.
    Love Alison xx

  20. Wendy, your card is beautiful. Thank-you for telling us your story. Also many thanks to Sazz for all your work over the last few years, entering my cards in the early days before I managed to set up a blog. Good luck for the future xx

  21. Loving your card Wendy could imagine sitting in garden on swing. Can sympathise as I to lost my daughter the September of 2013 and how craft and craft friends aspecailly clarity and Barbara who have been fantastic helping us through, Also thanks Sazz for all you did on blog sorting me out when mucked up trying to enter blog challange entry and cause our kimmy and are friendships. Thanks Paul fro taking over the task of blog. And sorting us all out on here xxx

  22. Wow Wendy your card is so beautiful. Inspiring. Hugs xxxx

  23. What a lovely set of people you all are. Well done Wendy and thank you for sharing your story with us. Good luck to all who enter the challenge and thank you Sazz for all you have done to make it possible.
    Hugs to all from Chris X


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