Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Clarity Challenge March 2017 - "It's a man's world"

Hi there - good of you to pay me a visit.  Trust you are doing ok?
Well spring is on it's way....lots of flowers showing off their colourful blooms, so hopefully the sun will shine a little more often now that we're into March?!?
Our theme for the March Clarity Challenge is "It's a man's world" so I've chosen to go with the Filigraphy Hot Air Balloons teamed up with the fab Northern Lights Designer Paper (from the collection of four - good value and great quality too).
So what you need is:
Filigraphy Hot Air Balloon Stamp Set
A piece of Northern Lights Designer Paper
A page out of an old book
Black & Purple Archival Inks
Cloud Mask, VersaMagic Cloud White ink & blending tool
Contrasting colouring pencils
Clear Star Gelly Roll Pen and a white pen (I used a Posca, but any will do)
Promarker to edge the artwork
5x7 blank greeting card
Firstly stamp the large Filigraphy Balloon onto a book page in Archival Black ink and cut it out - just the balloon, not the basket.
Choose a sheet of Northern Lights Designer Paper and stamp the large Filigraphy Balloon and trim it down to the required size to fit onto the base card.
Using the Cloud Mask, the VersaMagic Ink & a blending tool, put in some dreamy clouds around the balloon (it doesn't matter if you go over the balloon as this will be covered by the cut-out).

Next, stamp the smaller balloon in second generation ink (ink, blot, plot), and use the blending tool and Purple Archival Ink to add some depth and shadow to the artwork before sticking the cut-out balloon in place.  I used a glue runner for this. Colour in some of the balloon with contrasting colouring pencils.  Run a Promarker or Sharpie around the edge of the designer paper and glue to the base card.
Add some highlights with the Clear Star & white pens and that's it finished!
An easy one this month, but I quite like the colours and simplicity of it.
Hope March turns out to be a good month for you, and I look forward to you visiting my blog again soon.  Would be lovely if you left me a message...........
Happy crafting and good luck if you enter the Challenge.  I look forward to seeing your artwork on the Clarity Worldwide Facebook page. xxx

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Clarity Challenge February 2017 - "Flower Power"

Hi everyone, thanks for coming to visit my blog.
For this month's Challenge, we have Flower Power and there are countless floral Clarity stamps & stencils, so there's plenty of choice for creating a piece of artwork and entering the competition!
I thought I would go with the January 2017 New Design Club stamp - this is a great club to belong to and for just £5 per month, per club  - either stamp, stencil and/or Groovi, any combination of whatever you fancy.  For each membership, you receive a monthly brand new design with a great inspirational pamphlet from Barbara with a couple of ideas to start you off.  Well worth considering joining up if you're not already a member - visit for details.  This also entitles you to 10% off your Clarity purchases!
So on with my piece of artwork.....
7x7 piece of watercolour paper & an 8x8 base card
Jan 2017 New Design Club stamp No. 123 Rose Vase
Word Chains - No.'s 2, 3, 6 & 8
Bursts Powders by Ken Oliver
Embossing powder - Clear & White
Corner stamp from Sketchy Paris Fashion set
Black Archival, Versamagic Watermark  & Ocean Reef Artistry Inks
Perfect Pearls Mists
Black Promarker, a Stabilo point .88 pen & Watercolour pencils

Firstly, dust the watercolour card with talc and stamp the Rose Vase inked up with the Versamagic. Sprinkle with White Embossing Powder and heat set. (I cut masks for the Rose Vase at the beginning, but decided it was better to use the masking fluid as the masks didn't stick down all the way round in order to protect the whole image whilst using the Bursts).
Paint on the masking fluid and allow to dry before continuing.  Choose the colour Bursts that you want to use - I chose Pthalo Green & Ultramarine mix for the top and Alizarin Crimson & Sepia for the base of my piece.
Cover each section with post it notes where you want the divide where the vase is and VERY LIGHTLY sprinkle the Bursts onto the artwork - a little goes a long way with these powders as they are so vibrant. (Brilliant value and last ages). Spritz with water and watch the magic happen.  Do each of the colour combinations separately and wait for them to dry (As you can see I got a cool second background piece by placing another piece of watercolour paper onto the bursts whilst wet).  You could always speed up the drying process with a heat gun - using this method, if there's enough water on your paper you can direct the heat to get some cool patterns too if you wanted to by blowing the water with the heat.
Wait for the whole thing to dry completely before continuing. Mask off with post its as before and spray with the contrasting Perfect Pearl Mists.  For mine, I used Blue Raspberry at the top and Interference Red & Perfect Copper at the bottom.  Leave to dry.

Next, crop the artwork equally on each side and rotate the pieces.  Choose the words to stamp onto the pieces and use Black Archival to stamp them, then clear emboss. 
Colour in the Rose Vase - I used watercolour pencils here. Use the Stabilo pen to define the line between the colours and scribble under the vase for shadow (I used a wet brush to blend the pen lines - it reacts well with water).
Edge the main piece and the outside edges of the other pieces with the Black Promarker and stick the pieces to the base card. With second generation ink, i.e. ink, blot, plot, stamp the Sketchy Corner into the top corners of the centre piece and the bottom corners of the outer pieces. 
 That's it - All done!  (Mmmmm, it's slightly crooked so I may have to remount on another card - lol)
Have fun creating a piece of artwork to enter the Challenge.  The winner will be chosen by Barbara after 28th February, so you have plenty of time to put your thinking caps on to come up with something.  Simple to enter now too, just load your artwork on the pinned post trail on the Clarity Worldwide Facebook page.
Good luck xxx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

January 2017 Clarity Challenge - "Animal Kingdom"

Hi there!  Happy New Year to you and I hope 2017 brings lots of good things your way!

So for the new year, as you will have seen on Barbara's blog, the Claritystamp Challenge has a new location on Facebook where the Design Team will be posting some inspirational pieces throughout the month to give you ideas, and hopefully encourage you all to join in?!? 
Midnight on 31st January is the deadline to get your entries posted. Barbara will then choose a winner who will receive a £50 Clarity Voucher......As you know there's a huge selection of goodies to spend the winnings on!
And so to my card.......
Unlike my usual blog - this one lacks photos - my camera ran out of charge and I'd mislaid the charger.  Happy to report though, a replacement charger arrived today so I'm rockin' & a rollin' again now the camera has power!  The only photos I have this month though, is a start & end photo.

My piece was made using the following ingredients:
Piece of 7x7 Stencil Card
8x8 blank greeting card
Design Club Elephant stencil
Flower Power Stencil
"Elephant" word stamp
Clarity Stencil brushes/blending tool
Versamark pen
Versamagic inkpad
Un-mounted alphabet word chains
Black Sharpie pen for the doodling
A piece of sequin waste or you can use the Dotty Wave Stencil
Black Archival Ink and a selection of pastel Distress or Artistry Inks
Clear Embossing Powder
Perfect Pearls Mist Spray - Colour used is "Perfect Pearl"
(See below for links to the Clarity website for most of the above)

To get the correct place to stamp the "Elephant" word, tape the 7x7 elephant stencil on a piece of stencil card (hinged at the top so that you can lift it), and mark the eye and underside of the elephants belly lightly with a pencil.  Lift the stencil and using Black Archival ink, stamp the "elephant" - placing the first "e" of the word where the eye is marked, and make sure the rest of the word stays within the other line under his belly.  Doodle within the letters with the Sharpie pen and  dust with talc.  Using a Versamark pen fill in the letters and sprinkle with clear embossing powder & heat-set.
Flip the stencil back onto the artwork and using a grey dye based ink with either a Clarity stencil brush or blending tool, colour him in.  Once you're happy with the colour, keep the stencil in place and press a Versamagic Inkpad into the stencil so that you can emboss the whole elephant.  Sprinkle with clear embossing powder and heat-set.
Next pick various parts of the Flower Power stencil and using dye based inks, randomly add colour to the background moving the stencil as you go, for this I used a blending tool.  Fill in the gaps using either the sequin waste or Dotty Wave stencil and the same colours used for the flowers.
Next, to blend all the colours, (I love to use the Perfect Pearls Mists - they manufacture a great range of metallic colours, but for this project I used "Perfect Pearl"), spray the artwork all over with the pearlized spray - it blends all the colours perfectly and gives a lovely sheen to the artwork.  The elephant looks cool too as though he's been splashing around in water!
Once the work is dry, add "Never Forget" using the alphabet stamps and black Archival Ink.
Trim back the stencil card and edge with a grey Promarker or Sharpie and add shadow around the elephant & letters.  Lastly, doodle round the edge with a black Sharpie pen to frame it.  
Mount on contrasting coloured card or paper, then onto an 8x8 blank greeting card.
Hope you like him.
Now that Clarity has a Facebook page dedicated to the Challenge and has a global audience, I look forward to seeing some Clarity art from all over the world.
Good luck everyone - and most of all, have fun creating your Clarity artwork!
Love and best wishes for a great year ahead.
Carole xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Clarity Challenge 46 - "Carol Singing and Christmas Joy"

Hi everyone....'Tis the season to be jolly.......and I do love this time of year.
Our theme this month sums up December for me - let's get Christmassy & joyous with the beautiful stamps & stencils from the Clarity range.
For me, the stars stencil is a great all-rounder, and one that I choose again & again because of it's versatility.  This teamed with some of the older stamps, "The Holly & The Ivy" tree and contrasting Holly & Ivy stamp, forms my design.  (Check out the new website as this set of stamps is on offer this month!)
Here's the finished card, followed by the ingredients & instructions to inspire you.......
7x7 piece of stencil card & blank base card
Star stencil
Stamps - "The Holly & the Ivy" tree verse, Holly & Ivy stamp
Olive Green Archival Ink
Grey & red dye based inks (Distress or Artistry)
Talc, clear embossing powder, low tack masking tape, blending tool, Clarity stencil brushes, thin paint brush, glue pen & colouring pencils
Red Promarker, Decoart Craft Twinkle Crystal Glue, Red Glitter

Place the stencil on the 7x7 piece of stencil card and tape with the masking tape.  Brush through the grey ink and sharpen the lower parts of the circles & stars by using a make-up sponge to drag the ink in off the stencil.

Once done, move the stencil very slightly up and across so that you can then ink with the red using the blending tool - this gives the illusion of shadow and is far quicker on a large design than individually adding shadow with a grey pencil.

Next, dust the work with talc and stamp the tree verse with Olive Archival ink and sprinkle with clear embossing powder.  Heat set with a hot air gun.
 Stamp the Holly & Ivy in each corner before trimming the piece
Evenly cut off a slither from each side of the stencil card so that there is a small white border showing when placed against the base card.
Once trimmed, colour the corner stamps then edge with a red Promarker.  Attach to the base card, then add the red glitter to the circles & holly berries.  Once dry, paint the stars with the glitter glue for that final bit of sparkle - I'm loving the glitter glue as the glitter stays put once dry...I can highly recommend it.
 Hope you like my card and feel inspired to maybe re-visit some of your older stamps and stencils from your Clarity stash........You may even have had a chance to grab a few of the designs in the fantastic sale last Friday?  I know I have some goodies on their way!

I see my tree is a little crooked, but hey, I think it adds to the charm of being hand-made & bespoke!?

Whilst you're making your Christmas cards, why not photograph one and join in the Clarity Challenge?  You'll be in with a chance of winning a £50 Clarity Voucher to cheer yourself up in January!  I'm sure there will be some lovely goodies at the beginning of 2017 on the new website.  Visit to check out what's available now and start thinking about what you could spend your winnings on if you are chosen by the random selector at the end of the month!
Hope to see your artwork appear during the month.  
Have fun & I hope you have a great Christmas with friends & family xxx

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Clarity Challenge 45 - "Blast from the past"

Hi folks, hope you are all well and looking forward to the run-up to Christmas?  I have a feeling the shops must already be fed up with the whole thing by now, as their Christmassy products were on display around the end of August!
Anyway, this month's theme "Blast from the past" will be a great one as you can use any theme from previous Challenges, so the possibilities are endless!
I chose to create a piece of artwork using the "Stencil" theme from Challenge 32 back in October 2015....and of course for me, it had to be a Christmas/New Year card - I think this one would be great for either occasion sporting baubles, glitter glue & stars.

And this month, this card could be yours if you win the Clarity Challenge!.....Along with your £50 Clarity Voucher of course!!

7x7 piece of Stencil Card
Stencils - Fairy Lights Wreath, Framer Shapes  Aperture, Mini Stars, Large Stars
Deer from the "Oak & Deer + Mask" and small baubles from the "Christmas Tree + Mask" Stamp sets
Grunge Paste & Spreader
Selection of bright coloured Distress & Artistry Inks for the lights, Coffee Archival Ink for the deer & mini baubles
Blending Tool, Make-up sponge & Clarity Stencil Brushes
Perfect Pearls Mist (the colour I used is "Perfect Pearl" it has a lovely shimmer)
Colouring Pencils. White Pen, Stardust Clear Sakura Gel Pen, Posca Marker Pens, contrasting Promarker
Decoart Glitter Glue & small paint brush
See links to the Clarity website below for some of the above products
Firstly tape the Fairy Lights Stencil to the Stencil Card and use the spreader to drag grunge paste through it - make sure that you have a bowl of water to wash the stencil & spreader immediately after use. 
Allow the grunge paste to dry completely, then replace the stencil so that you can add the inks with the blending tool to the lights.  The brighter the colours, the better!  (Ignore the Perfect Pearls spray in the second photo as I took the photo before I decided what I was going to do next - I used it later in the project).

Stamp the Deer in Ranger Coffee Archival on the Stencil Card and mask the stamped image.  Take one of the Framer Shape Stencils, (I chose the wiggley-edged one), use low-tack masking tape to attach it, then using a make-up sponge, lightly shade around the deer with the Artistry Wild Bilberry ink, then brush outwards from the stamp and around the edge of the stencil with the Clarity Brush to add colour to the background.  (I didn't worry too  much about the ink on the Fairy Lights as the next stage sorted that out).  Place the mini star stencil over the centre and brush randomly through it highlighting a few stars here and there.  Before removing the shaped stencil, spray the Perfect Pearls in the centre to give a nice sheen.  
Remove the deer mask & stencil and start colouring and shading the artwork.
Enhance the colours of the Fairy Lights with contrasting colouring pencils and gently underline them just under the grunge paste with a black colouring pencil - take it easy as you don't want to disturb the grunge paste. Use a white pen & Sakura Gel Pen to highlight some of the stars and the upper part of the deer's antlers.
Place the Large Star Stencil over the whole piece and lightly swirl around the edge of the artwork with the Stencil Brush with Wild Bilberry to compliment the smaller stars in the centre.

Trim down the artwork. 
Use the make-up sponge again to soften the edge of the work by using a circular movement, then use the chisel end of a blue Promarker to frame the piece.
 I mounted my work onto a blank greeting card using a glue runner, but thought the Deer needed a little something to make him a bit more festive, so I added a few of the little baubles from the Christmas Tree stamp set (launched last month on HOCHANDA).  I coloured the little baubles with Posca Marker pens, and painted those and the Fairy Lights with Decoart Glitter Glue for that little bit of extra sparkle - I've found it's easier to add the glitter glue after you have attached the artwork to the base card as it can sometimes get flattened when you run the glue runner over the back.

The glitter glue is so easy to brush on, a great effect and the glitter stays put, unlike normal glitter flitting off everywhere!
I tried to capture the glitz in this photo.....

Have fun creating something for this month's Challenge, and don't forget, not only do you get a £50 Clarity Voucher if you are randomly selected as this month's winner, but also this card as a helping hand towards your Christmas card creations.
Look forward to seeing which theme you use and all your creative work on the Challenge Blog throughout the month.....Good luck!
Take care all, Carole xxx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Clarity Challenge 44 - "Circles or Squares"

Hi Folks - lovely of you to pop by.
I'm so annoyed with myself as I'd typed my blog earlier and clicked on "publish" without clicking "save" first - and guess what.....IT DISAPPEARED.... no draft to be found anywhere! and technology don't mix too well sometimes I'm afraid.......
So, the October Challenge using Circles or Squares - I decided to use both.  The little ditty on the card was inspired by an entry in my autograph book Mum bought me many, many years ago when I was leaving my infant & junior school.  Friends, teachers  and family wrote in it and Mum's sister (Auntie Win) visited that year and wrote this in it, so Cousin Jen in Canada, this one's for you......
2 Y's u r,
2 Y's u b,
I c u r 2 Y's
4 Me!
I thought it fitted together well with the Wise Owls stamp set.........
7x7 Stencil Card
Archival Black & Deep Purple
Adirondak Eggplant & Artistry Mild Blueberry
Clarity Stencil Brushes
Circle Box Frame Stencil
Wise Owls & Mask set
Spectrum Noir Colouring Pencils
Letterbox Alphabet
Black Micron Pen & White Sharpie
Blending Tool

First take a 7x7 piece of stencil card and tape the Circle Box Frame stencil in place.  Brush through Deep Purple Archival Ink (no other reason to use archival ink other than I particularly like this colour).  Mask off around the inner square and stamp the Wise Owls using Black Archival.  

Cover the stamped image with the mask (supplied with the stamps), and add a moon mask.  Brush over the two shades of blue, then remove all the masking   
Apologies for the lack of photos for the final stages, but it's quite simply colouring, stamping the spectacles & letters, outlining and shading.....
Spectacles are stamped in Black Archival, the letters in Deep Purple Archival and outlined with the Black Micron Pen. 
The centre owl was coloured using Spectrum Noir Colouring Pencils.
Shading under the owls, branch & letters were done with a dark grey colouring pencil & above them with the White Sharpie.
The square borders were outlined with the Micron pen and I drew varying sized teeny-weeney circles between the lines to fill them in.
Finally, darken the inner edge of the large square and the outer edge of the small square with one of the purple colouring pencils to give the illusion this part is set further back than the owls in the centre panel.  Use a blending tool to shade the edge of the card with purple and mount the artwork on a blank base card. 
Search through all your Clarity goodies to see what inspires you and get creating so that you can join in the fun and be in with a chance of winning a £50 Clarity Voucher. 
You have until midnight on 31st October to enter - all the rules can be found on the Challenge blog if you are unsure of what's required.
Happy crafting!
Carole x

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Clarity Challenge 43 - "In the Garden"

Hi there, thank you for visiting my blog.
I love the garden - the flowers, the birds, butterflies & bees, and in a funny sort of way, all the other bugs too as they keep the garden in good shape!  My brother used to torment me as a child dangling spiders near me, and for that matter, practically any other creature he could find! 
As I love to potter in the garden, over the years I've learned that the bugs have their space, and I have mine, so we get along fine......and so do my brother & I by the way!!!
So my project is quite a simple one this time, the beautiful Foxgloves
Theuva Clarity Card
Archival inks: Jet Black & Deep Purple. 
Distress inks: Picked Raspberry, Shaded Lilac & Tumbled Glass
Stamps: Foxgloves, "May Flowers" verse stamp, Dragonfly (from the "Blooming" stamp set), Post-It notes for masks, or of course use the Foxglove masks available on the Clarity website
Clarity Stencil Brushes, Moon mask
Colouring pencils of your choice, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (Stardust Clear), White Sharpie Pen

Prepare your masks if you're using Post-It notes, then stamp the Foxgloves onto Theuva card using Jet Black Archival, making sure the flower you want in the foreground is stamped first so that you can mask it off to make sure it's not over-stamped by the other flowers as you add them to your composition.  Stamp the sentiment in Deep Purple.  

Trim back your work and put the Moon Mask in place.  Use the pastel Distress Inks and Stencil Brushes to add colour to your work, lightly brushing and blending the colours across your work.  I didn't mask off the flowers as I used similar coloured Polychromos to colour them in.  Remove the Moon Mask and use your colouring pencils to add colour to the sun.
To finish the artwork, I stamped the Dragonfly in Black Archival Ink, added some shadow under the flowers and leaves, and used the White Sharpie pen above the flowers to add light from the sun. 
To add a little bit of shimmer, I used the Clear Star Gelly Roll Pen on the flower edges and Dragonfly.
Finish off by mounting on a contrasting piece of card, then onto a blank base card.
I love this sentiment as it can be used to brighten anyone's day, and for many occasions.
I hope this will inspire you to join in the fun on the Claritystamp Blog Challenge. 
There are many beautiful floral stamps, stencils & Groovi plates from Clarity that can be used for this month's theme, so put your thinking caps on and check out the other Design Team Blogs for some more inspiration.
I look forward to seeing all the entries during September.
Have a lovely day and thanks again for visiting me xxx