To see the World in a grain of sand…

To see the World in a grain of sand…

Hi there!
Well, it’s the Sunday before Christmas, so before we get caught up in the festivities, let’s just escape to an arty corner for a minute, and read a lovely poem by William Blake.

In fact, let’s just savour the moment, and make a nice piece of artwork while we’re here…
We will need:
Blade and ruler
Right. So Add the dragonfly to the verse on the A5 Claritycard, using Black Adirondack.
Stamp all 3 images onto post-Its and cut out box masks,

like this.

Cover the two images

and stamp the grasses .

Cover that up, too

Using a Versamark ink pad, stamp the grasses and the dragonfly randomly around the white card. It’s a good idea to remove the blue indexing from the stamps first, so that the Versamark pad doesn’t go blue. 
Use nail varnish remover, or rub hard with a baby-wipe. 
Both work.

Load the brayer with Juniper and go over the whole card.

Load the brayer with Denim and go over the top part.

Load the brayer with Black and go over the bottom card.
See how the Versamark images pop out on Claritycard? 
Secret ingredient: the card.

Now for the optical illusion. Remove two of the masks.
The Box with the dragonfly has to sit on top of the box with the grasses, so put it back in place. Can you see that?

Using a make-up sponge and a little black ink, dab dab dab shade along that overlap illusion.

Try not to stray out beyond the boxes though.

See how it looks as though they are layered up already?

 You can always go back in and add depth of colour. Also, you can add shadow around the outside of the boxes. Just get rid of plenty of ink from your make-up sponge first. And dab dab dab, don’t smear, smear, smear!

Add a thin black line around the edge and polish your card. 
I didn’t do it here, but you could always take a black micron pen and do a deckle-edge line around the actual boxes, to make them really look like they are stacked.

Hope you like this one. 
Hope you are having a good time getting ready for Christmas.
I spent the whole day wrapping gifts and thinking about my friends and family. 
Spend ages catching up with Mark, who flew in from San Francisco yesterday.
And I am so happy Grace is on her way home from New York, too! How far away my kids live! Ah well, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, I guess. After all, I lived abroad for many years, too. Grace was born in Germany and Mark was born in Monterey! So I wonder where they got their Wanderlust from…
Tell you what. Let’s have a GIVEAWAY! 
Let’s do a New Year’s Day Draw. 
Who wants to win a £50 Gift Voucher? 
Here’s what to do. 
1) Follow this blog and 
2) then leave a comment on the blog (once a day is even better!) and
3) email your postal details to me at

1st January 2014, I will get Grace or Mark to pick a random Winner. 

And don’t forget! When we reach 700 followers (it’s at 649 just now), there’s £100 Clarity Goody Bag packed by myself, going to somebody who has got the Giveaway Button on their blog! And that is going to be very soon, methinks! Don’t forget to let me know you have done it though. Just click the Giveaway button on my panel here, and leave a comment

love from

106 thoughts on “To see the World in a grain of sand…

  1. Oh Barbara! I do like this card! It's so effective yet when you break it down its quite simple…. Well it is if you practice!
    It sounds like you are really getting into the spirit of Christmas with Mark home already and Grace soon to be there! And how marvellous that some lucky person will get a nice surprise come January and even sooner if you reach 700 before then!!! Hugs to you and all your loved ones! X

  2. Love that we do sometimes go back and revisit the lovely old techniques we all started with…it's easy to get caught up in the exciting new ideas, lovely though they are. I sometimes see you blogging something and I think 'oh yes I used to love doing that' like this resist technique today and masking to make faux layers …it still gives me a buzz when I 'do' the reveal. Enjoy every precious moment with your children over the holidays xx

  3. I love this card- it is so beautiful and so effective -another one to have a try at. Your blog is helping me get my crafty mojo back and will be so good for the new year diet. When I'm crafting I forget to eat. Enjoy having your birds back in the nest for the holidays. Lx

  4. Love your blog Barbara.So many ideas so little time! Celebrating my birthday 2day so going to treat myself and join your club.Thankyou for all your inspiration and hoping you snd your family have a happy peaceful healthy Christmas x

  5. Stunning, I'm excited to have a go at this. Have a wonderful christmas with your family.

    I've had the worst day today, loosing "our Amber", thanks for leaving the kind comment xx

  6. I love the way you use masks & shadows to create illusions. It's what makes your cards so different but achievable (with a bit of practise). Glad your family are returning to the nest. Thank you for the chace to win yet more goodies. X

  7. Beautiful card , I have the verse but not the other two but I'm sure I can improvise with what I do have! So nice your children will be home for Xmas, im very fortunate that my 4 girls all live fairly close by and I can see the grandchildren often! I'm truly blessed. Thanks for yet another chance to win some goodies your ever so generous x

  8. Glad your family is nearly altogether. Ours are all,close by. Great technique to show something standing proud with just slight shading. Just need to remember all this! Made a simple card with the bowl of cherries

    1. Stencil and cherry stamp last night for my sisters birthday on Monday. Wanted something quick and not related to December! Had to reply to myself to finish this as was having trouble leaving a comment and fed up of retyping!!

  9. Another gorgeous card Barbara! I am following by email, have yours as one of my favourite blogs on my own blog side bar and will email you my postall details. Thanks for your generousity again!

  10. Thank you Barbara I have 'lost'my mojo and this looks really easy to do ( when you know how!) I will definitely be having a go even though I don't have these particular stamps I can improvise. Fantastic as this is the first time I have read your blog

  11. Another brilliant card, I am so looking forward to trying all these techniques in the New Year. Glad you are enjoying time with Mark, both my children and grandaughter live within a 3 minute walk from me so we see them all the time, we are so lucky.Spent yesterday afternoon at the hospital as my 9 year old grandaughter she's fractured her ankle and is now in a cast for the holidays! Have a great day

  12. Such an effective thing to do with lots of your stamps Barbara – may I ask how did you discover this technique? Anyway, the wrapping is calling so I must go (but I will certainly be back again tomorrow) x

  13. stunning technique as ever love the poem and the dragon fly stamp is ace, its amazing what effect can be achieved with the tiniest amount of ink although you do make it look easy! have a wonderful time with your family and children this christmas.. mine too is back home for a year after uni ( much to my surprise but delight ) then she off again next sept ..she will always be my baby though …have a great and happy christmas thank you Andrea

  14. Great technique Barbara love resist and you make it look so easy with the brayer, although I love to use a brayer when I use postage notes like this I always get a line transfer any tips gratefully received :). putting shadow around the box really does make a difference will try to remember this tip!
    Hoping Santa or the birthday fairy (January) is bringing me Clarity Club Membership 😀 everything is crossed……
    Merry Christmas

  15. Another lovely design! New to clarity, have one set and now I know how to remove the blue off my stamps! Lol. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly Barbara! Nikki x

  16. Hi Barb, love the effect of the stacked boxes, and the resist stamped images. Still getting ready for Christmas here, but will get there eventually. Have a great day. Bx

  17. Good Morning Barb!
    I love the Grasses stamp, and go back to it often when I need to enhance a card!
    Keep going Barb soon be here, and then in a flash! ….GONE…. for another year.
    Take care
    Love Marg

  18. Oh wow. This is amazing . So pleased you've blogged this as I can refer back to it time and time and again until I get it right. This is definitely one to try over the Christmas break. Thank you.
    Beryl xx

  19. Love this card and verse the effect is as you say very effective and so pleased you and your delightful children will all be sharing Christmas under the same roof after all that's what Christmas is for these days, getting together with family ….. Merry Christmas to you all xx

  20. Another one for me to try, I love reading your blog every day and getting more and more inspiration. I am going to pin this one so I dont loose it if you don't mind 🙂

  21. What a fab effect, another own to try over the Christmas break. Your blog is so inspirational and can't wait to play after the festivities. Glad Mark got back safely and hope that Grace is soon with you. xx

  22. Wonderful card, so glad you revisited this technique love it. Great for you and Mark to have time to spend together and to be able to look forward to Grace's arrival.

  23. Good morning Barbara, I love the step by step you've done for this card and just wish I wasn't having to pack my craft stash away ( to reveal the dinning room table) as I would love to have a go at this design. My time between now and Wednesday is spoken for as I have yet to finish the shopping and have barely started the wrapping! Eeeek! Love the idea of a give away, you're so generous, thank you! x

  24. Stunning design and fab step by step guides always a great help. I'm so looking forward to putting my christmas stuff away and getting on with some other cards! I wish you a wonderful Christmas with your children, thank goodness for air travel! Elaine x

  25. Hi Barb,
    Gorgeous card and great techniques. Will have a go after Christmas, no time for my crafting at moment, still got house to sort, food to get and presents to wrap and the dreaded pile of ironing that needs to be attacked this afternoon! Have a fabulous time with your family. Alison xxx

  26. this looks fabulous barbara. i love the stacking effect and that verse is one of my favourites. i hope i remember to email you later about the giveaway! my email doesn't work on my phone! xx

  27. Argh, I don't have a blog! So I hope I'll be included in the giveaway. Today's card is a stunner, I love the idea of leaving the stamps in a 'box' – I hadn't ever thought ot that, only that some stamps are too fussy to be able to cut round easily. Did my present wrapping on Friday, so I'm feeling smug.

  28. So clever, these trick of the eye techniques are my favourites, so much dimension on just one layer – they look like they are floating in the air. Best wishes to you Barbara for a very happy Christmas with friends and family, sounds like you are set for just that with Grace and Mark coming home. The best things in life are free x

  29. Oh I love this.. the boxes look so 3d will be using rgis for one of my last min xmas cards.. I have close family ones to do next. Enjoy the time with mark and grace xx Claire ( off to add your button to my blog)

  30. I don't use my Clarity Card enough – it scares me a little. But after your advice at the workshop in Scone last year I'm not adding as much ink to the brayer and I'm spinning it more so I'm not getting those stripes as much any more. So, I'm definitely going to give this a go and see how I get on. I need to make sure to keep my fingers off the card too! Double checked and definitely managed to get the Giveaway Button on my blog! Have a lovely day – off to finish the Clarity family Christmas cards 🙂

  31. Love everything about your Blog and your step by steps and artwork are so good. I just want to myself away in my craft room and work my way through all the techniques and use all the Clarityvstamps I have.

  32. That was meant to read shut myself away, good job I checked what I'd written but for some reason I can't type anything else when I've deleted anything! It would have been quite funny though. Merry Christmas to all the clarity team and fans.wx

  33. Oh lovely, another one for me to try. Keep em coming Barbara. As I am new to crafting I buy the stamps, stencils, dies and everything and just looking at what you do gives me inspiration. I say to myself right here goes. I don't feel I can share my efforts yet – but soon hopefully. Wishing you and your family and all the Clarity bloggers (what a lovely bunch) a Merry Christmas and a happy stamping, stenciling, gelli plating 2014. xxx

  34. Amazing as ever. I will try this technique after Christmas. I am just starting out, but am seeing so many wonderful and inspiring ideas to try out. I just need to find some spare time now!

  35. Keep the ideas coming, putting the wool away after Christmas and going back to the paper crafts. Will pop in everyday for more ideas. Thanks. Wishing you and your followers a good Christmas and a Happy Crafting New Year.

  36. What a lovely card. Now that looks straightforward till I give it a go, have not got these stamps but sure I can adapt with some others. Have just been brave enough to submit my first entry for NDC challenge. Got a lot to improve on but got to start somewhere. Glad all going well for Xmas celebrations, we always get it all done in the end. Just enjoy your kids while you got them over here. Lynne xx

  37. Absolutely gorgeous! I forget about this technique so thank you for reminding me! Am already a follower and try to come over every day as I love reading what you are saying as well as looking at what you have made. Thanks for the inspiration, glad to hear Mark arrived safely and you get to cuddle your Grace soon. As always thank you for the fabulous inspirations and have a lovely jubbly Xmas! xx

  38. All your blogs are lovely reminders of all those techniques we have seen you use and may have forgotten. Thank you. Have a lovely time with your family and enjoy.

  39. Another amazing technique – you never cease to make me wonder what you will do next with a bit of sponge, a few post-its or bits of paper and some ink! Enjoy your family time and have a Merry Christmas! Susan x

  40. What a lovely card. Very effective technique. I will have to have a go at this. I have been busy tidying up my craft stuff and reorganising it to make it easier to find everything. I didn't know I had some of the things I have found today! As I have quite a few days off over the next few weeks I plan to be crafting a lot more and your blog inspires me. Thankyou xx

  41. Such an apparently simple card, so effective. Another technique to have a go at after Christmas. Hope you are now having a great time with all your family together again. Have a wonderful Christmas. xx Maggie
    PS I do wish I knew how the twinkly pictures happen. A couple of mine have turned twinkly without me doing anything as far as I know. Weird!

  42. Only just had chanced to switch the computer on today as I have been busy wrapping presents and finishing off the last of the Christmas cards. I really love this card and enjoy reading your blog every day. Glad Mark has arrived home safely and hope Grace has a safe journey home tomorrow.

  43. it is great to be revisiting these techniques. 2 Christmases ago i did a bunch of my cards with the layered look and i love it. i have also used the resist technique a few times. it works beautifully on the thinner clarity paper as well. now i need to combine the 2 techniques……xx

  44. Another lovely card reminding us of these clever techniques. I think I will try them out but to frame them instead of giving them away. How lucky you are to have your children home for christmas, my daughter and two of my grandchildren live in Turkey so it is not possible for them to come home for christmas as they do not have holidays from school and work. Have a lovely time, all the more precious as they are not always there. xxx

  45. I just love doing this technique. It is so effective and then when you put it with the clarity stamps well you certainly have a winner. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas xxxx

  46. Only problem with this blog is it is going to get expensive as I know that I will be able to make these beautiful cards with your excellent step by steps. Husband has already bought the Gelli Hamper for Christmas for me. Glad both children(!) will be with you for Christmas.

  47. Hi Barb, hope you had a restful Christmas despite the flooding in the cellar. I have just caught up with all of your blogs, wow, what a clever lady!
    I found some books on Amazon on collage, they really look like they have been created on the Gelli plate. Food for thought on mixing all types of media. The book is by Julie Nutting, Amazon put some other suggestions for books, it's good that you can flick through without purchasing.
    Wishing you and your family an enjoyable rest over the rest of the holidays. Elaine x

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