Friday, 31 August 2012

A little bit of Clarity

Evening everyone,
Here it is, the final post for today (who said Thank goodness?!! - I heard you.  Only joking).

I've been going on about what I've been doing since getting back from my recent trip, but I haven't said much about what I got up to whilst I was across in the UK.
Well, where do I begin ........ it was craft, craft and more craft - with very little sleep in between.  I'm still buzzing from it all though, and I've been home since Monday.

The Indigo Blu Secret Retreat was my first stop, but more about that later - I need to finish off my projects before I can share them with you.  I will just say though, we had a FANTASTIC time.  I've already put my name down for the next one.  Haven't got the exact dates but I'm going, whenever it  is!  Maybe some of you will be there too.

On the Saturday I was booked on a workshop with the lovely Maria Simms, amongst other things, she's the North West's Queen of Clarity Stamps.  What she can't do with a Barbara Gray stamp and a brayer, well, it's just not worth doing!
As this workshop was a Clarity one I was so excited. Though I must admit that my brayer hasn't seen the light of day for months (years possibly), and as it's the one craft tool that puts the fear of God in me, I was also a little nervous.  Especially when I was on a workshop with an expert!!

We did have fun though, it was a lovely bunch of ladies, some of which had also been on the Indigo Blu retreat so you can imagine what it was like when we all got together again. 
We did two lovely, very different, projects using the same Clarity stamp - Butterfly Montage
First up we did a card in the morning.  This is where the brayer came in,  to create a resist background.  Not sure if it comes across in the picture though, but believe me it's there.
Yes, I did use my brayer, with Maria stood behind me - nervous or what!  Thank goodness for my Splodgeaway mat.  If you're not familiar with these check them out here on their website - fabulous product.  You may have seen Maria on Create and Craft with them. They're great when using a brayer too - no lines! And they just wipe clean with a bit of water. 

The colours we used on the workshop were a bit different for me, Lettuce and Willow Adirondak and Mustard Seed Distress Ink, but they worked. Always nice to try something different.

After lunch Maria really worked us hard and we made a beautiful box card, with matching gift box, sleeve and tag.
We used the same stamp and the same inks and masks but ended up with a completely different look. I love the steampunk look to the frame.  As you can imagine, all the masks had to come home with me.  Well, it would have been rude not to have them.

Here you can see the stamp in full, isn't it pretty.  We actually stamped it a few times and cut layers of it to decoupage, finishing with the butterfly embossed in gold onto acetate.
I was really pleased with my results.  Maria always comes up with such beautiful designs. it's a pleasure doing one of her workshops. I'm just sorry I can't get to do more. 

Well that was one of my days away.  Like I've said, we didn't get an awful lot of sleep and every day was packed with something.  We never stopped.  We did workshops, and shopping - lots of shopping (you've seen the stuff I brought back with me).  I went back to where I used to work - Inspirations in Preston - it was nice to see everyone again, and I also managed to pop into a lovely little craft shop I used to go to called The Stampers Gallery in Tarleton, near to where Lauren lives.  I even managed a visit to the hairdressers while I was over there.
When I finally met up with Stephen again properly (Saturday evening) I was shattered.

We got to spend a couple of lovely days with Lauren and Alex.  He's growing up so fast.  I can't believe he's 2 next month - where did that time go?!!
what a cutie pie
strike a pose ....
chillin with Grandad
We spent a glorious afternoon at the Owl and Bird Sanctuary at Trebaron Garden Centre in Whitestake near Preston.  Alex has this thing about birds, but he couldn't quite understand why these were all in cages.  He kept pointing to the sky as if to say 'they should be up there'.
They had some pretty big birds in there though, and it was feeding time - not nice (yuck!)  The birds were pretty spectacular though

........... even if some of them were a little shy.

Well, if you've read to the end of this post you've probably had enough of me by now. 
Would you believe I'm off on another workshop tomorrow, Christmas themed this time.  I'd better go and put my tool kit back together, then I'm afraid the ironing is calling me.  Back to nomal now eh!!

Thanks for sticking with me today.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back again soon.



  1. A lovely post Linda, and wow Maria did work you hard but what fabulous results! I love all your makes but as I am a butterfly girl I love the last card best, would never have thought to use those colours but they are stunning! The owls are beautiful too, that first one has really angry eyes and lovely pics of Alex. Crafty hugs, Anne x

  2. Hi Linda, Looks like a fabulous workshop, and what great 'makes', and I love the colours!
    Love the pics of the owls, sounds like a good day!
    Avril xx


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment!
In line with new Data Protection legislation (GDPR - May 2018) by commenting you do so in the knowledge that your name & comment are visible to anyone who visits this blog and thereby consent to the use of that personal information for that specific purpose ..... Linda xx