Celebrate good times!!!!

Celebrate good times!!!!

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by.
Today’s blog is blue, so I am going to have another run at the 
Word Chain and Panel Stencil. Somebody asked me how I got the 3-D shading on this, so I thought I’d go step-by-step for you.
It is very easy actually.
What have I used?
The Word Chain
Denim Blue Promarker
Pastel Blue Promarker
So take the stencil and using the Pastel Blue Promarker, 
draw round the inside of whichever shape you are opting for.
Fill either end with the Promarker.

Stamp Celebrate into the outlined shape.
Using the same Pastel Blue Promarker, add shadow to the letters. Always think bottom left. 
So you only add lines at the bottom and to the left.
It will dry lighter on Theuva Card. 

Now add a Promarker nib to Denim Blue (a darker shade), and go back into the same area, next to the black letters, 
bottom left again.

Lay the inny of the banner over the artwork, 
and make a mark where the holes are.
Punch them out.
Keep the banner covered up,
load a stencil brush with Cloudy Blue ink, and dust over the banner. 

Use a make-up sponge to drag the ink in off the plastic cover.
Add a tiny amount of black to the make-up sponge and add a little depth to the lower edge.

When you remove the mask, the banner itself is white,
the background is cloudy blue,
and the shadow is 

So if you didn’t know better, 
you would think the banner was stuck on.
Very very easy.
Last weekend, Jan and I went to Frankie & Bennies for supper. 
You know, the New York Diner, where they sing to celebrate your birthday.
Well, there were several birthdays on Saturday in Peterborough, so it was quite raucous; they were dipping the lights and singing Happy Birthday and Cliff Richard’s Congratulations and Celebrations over and over. 
Now Jan and I always joined in, but there was this couple sitting behind Jan, and the woman was getting so angry at the jubilations, it was almost comical. 
Jan missed it all, because she had her back to them, but I saw this old girl having a right hissy fit. No sooner had she calmed down and taken a mouthful, than the lights went out again and everybody started singing again! She was NOT impressed. 
So she had a right regal moan to the people at the next table about how pathetic it was. And guess what? 2 minutes later, the lights went out and the little sparkler cake came to the people she had been bitching to! 
Moral of the story?
If you are a miserable moanie minnie, don’t go to Franky & Bennies on a Saturday night and expect that your poor, long-suffering husband will be able a hear a blimming word.
Maybe he takes her there so he can get a break….
So let’s celebrate something together, shall we?
Let’s have a Blog comment candy Giveaway!
Leave a lovely, uplifting comment, 
giving us something to celebrate, 
and then on Friday, 
I will send a £20 Gift Voucher to a lucky winner. 
much love,

122 thoughts on “Celebrate good times!!!!

  1. This is brilliant. I love the way you make things looks 3D with your shading, so it is great to have something more detailed to follow, so I can try it myself! Your F&B tale is funny. It is definitely not the place for a quiet Saturday night out! x

    1. As for celebrating, my three year old is celebrating getting his first big bed today. He is very excited particularly as the new duvet cover has the alphabet all over it. I have been busy buying the new bed, putting it together, dismantling the old cot bed and moving furniture about. Didn't have time to squeeze in any crafting but with a very happy boy, it was worth the effort today! x

  2. Hi Barb, lovely step by step, to show the shading, need to try it, as I have a card order that it would be perfect for. Laughed about the people in F & B, it is much the same at TGI Friday, and yes some people just have the grumps. The hubz and I also noticed recently when we went for a meal, several couples just sitting, eating and hardly saying a word to each other! Why? Surely you go out to socialise and talk, I know we do, it is the perfect time to talk about things other than ordinary day to day issues, oh and also to people watch. Thank you for another great post, the giggles set me up for the day. Bx

  3. This is Just fab a simple word stamp and you turn it into something that could tgen bevthe main focus of a card. Your story today is funny you aee a great story teller. Have you started your book yet…it will fly off the shelves I am sure xx

  4. How lovely – I have never been to Frankie and Bennies – I know where I am going for my birthday next year .The more you celebrate in life – the more there is to celebrate – love the word strings mine arrived yesterday but cant play till to-nite as work calls jx

  5. Good morning,
    Celebrate indeed. I loved the story about the grumpy lady, bless her heart, we all need to celebrate every day. My word chain stamps arrived yesterday and no card will ever be the same again, Tada! Also just booked a room in Birmingham for the NEC adventure…celebrate. Thanks for today's blog.

  6. I will never understand people like that! I work with children with severe learning difficulties……..and feel people (including myself) should stop moaning about petty things and be grateful for what we have. Lecture over!!! Great post…..simple and effective. Thanks! x

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us Barbara. Something to celebrate, let me think, the Brownies Big Birthday (100 this year), RNLI (190 year's old), and of course the awards that Clarity have won.

  8. Celebrate every day just because you can! You never know when the day will come and you can't. Life is too short and precious to be a moaning Minnie. Today's blog did make me chuckle. Great as always. X

  9. Great work, Barb! The effect is amazing! F & B is great! Always love the atmosphere in there and the music is great! Love the Spanish lessons in the loo, too!!! TGIF is similar especially in London, amazing atmosphere and lots of fun for people who like fun! I always ask for my J20 in a giant cocktail glass and they don't bat an eyelid! A bit of eccentricity goes down well, there! Have a lovely day everyone! I am going to make a lime traybake, today, for fun, of course! Helen xxx

  10. Great blog today. Love the shadow effect very much. Much celebrating going on at ours just now as husband just turned 60 I'm 60 in April one of my 4 daughters is 40 in December and my wonderful wonderful dad will be celebrating his 90th birthday in August. So plenty of celebrations going on through out the year! Whew exciting. Xx

  11. I am loving the new word chain stamps and they have to come and live with me. … The way you have created the shadow is great and so effective, very 3d…. my reason to celebrate today is my friend had her baby yesterday…. After the heartache last year when she sadly lost the baby she was carrying she had a beautiful baby girl safely yesterday. … today is a good day…..x

  12. Your shadowing is so effective at lifting the banner off the page and your tutorial gives us all a chance at achieving it. Think the grumpy lady maybe didn't like Cliff Richard, although it gives Frankie & Bennies such a great celebratory atmosphere. Shame we don't have one near me. Thanks again. Happy Thursday to you x

  13. wow I quite agree Barbara … live laugh love isn't that what they say !! glad you had a great time … thank your for your lovely cheery post and demo … have a great Thursday I am off to lunch with my old friend no doubt we will be having a lot of giggles … happy crafting and love Sandy xx

  14. Great not too difficult step by step today. Nothing to celebrate this end, but happy to celebrate for the awards Clarity got a few wekks ago. xx

  15. That really is a great technique. I feel sorry for moaning minie shes missing out on all the fun lol. IM saving up for these stamps and the journal kit cant wait to get them x

  16. Good morning Barbara, let's celebrate being alive to see another Spring springing. The daffodils are lighting up the gardens with their beautiful yellow heads like little rays of sunshine. Let's also celebrate all those that share their crafty inspiration with us, and help to make our lives more interesting and our projects more challenging. Hurray xx

  17. Haha love the Franky and Bennys story, Made me smile on a dreary morning. However it may be gray outside (excuse the pun!) but I see Spring a Springing and I have half the day off work and shall be crafting so lots to celebrate here. Hoping we will be celebrating a successful German GCSE oral exam for my 14yr old later too as she's taking that this morning. Have a great day x

  18. ramblin' sid rumpole you aint! you insppire, entertain, amuse and teach us every day. THANK YOU. as long as you can laugh at yourself every day i think life is good. keep on truckin'

  19. Hi Barbara….EVERY DAY I wake up is a day to celebrate! 🙂 And your blog keeps me laughing and crafting! Your talent for finding humour and positivity in everything is a great boost to all, and I look forward to the day when I can turn out a piece of art half as good as yours! Thanks, Barb… 🙂

  20. Oh, I've seen that a few times! Lol! What are they like! I always feel sorry for the ones who moan… Life can't be much fun if you can't celebrate something! Me… I find the best days to celebrate are the ones where you feel down… It doesn't take long to think of something to celebrate! … Must remember it's Miss P's birthday next week!

  21. Oh, I've seen that a few times! Lol! What are they like! I always feel sorry for the ones who moan… Life can't be much fun if you can't celebrate something! Me… I find the best days to celebrate are the ones where you feel down… It doesn't take long to think of something to celebrate! … Must remember it's Miss P's birthday next week!

  22. Thanks for the demo on the 3D effect. I am just off to school dressed as Jane Eyre! We are celebrating World Book Day so everyone – including staff – are coming as their favourite book character.

  23. Something to celebrate……………. Well I have finally started my first attempt at brayering!!!! I have the image stamped, ink colours chosen, brayer out of its box, moon mask applied and an image in my head! Now I just need time to start the inking but I am nearly there! Xx

  24. Zippedy doo da zipped ay, my oh my it's a wonderful day. Looking forward to seeing you at Harrogate.I'.m stopping over with my hubby and we're going to the Turkish baths and then after the show are haying a posh afternoon tea, can't wait. I love the new stamps and tag stencils, they're at the top of a long shopping list.

  25. Hilarious! She may be miserable, but at least the rest of us can see the funny side. 🙂
    Love your 3d effect. And I'm celebrating my friends engagement……Happy days!

  26. Great post, you have made this so much clearer now so I can try it with confidence, great timing too as I received an Invitation yesterday to a wedding in Gretna, my lovely god daughter is getting married there, something to celebrate indeed ……….

  27. Hi Barb, great blog and great tale – can imagine you and Jan in F&B having a right giggle about the lady behind – begs the question why go to F&B on a Saturday night if you want a quiet meal – F&B and TGI Fridays both well known for their Celebration of birthdays – and why not – its a special day after all!!!
    So Celebrate – lets celebrate the return of the sunshine – another sunny morning is breaking out – how it lifts your spirits – after so many months of rain, floods and grey skies it does the soul good to feel the warmth of the sun on your face – it makes you smile – Spring is just beginning – new life bursting forth.
    If you can take a chair outside today when you are at work – just sit there for a few minutes – enjoy that sun – it will re-charge those batteries xxx

  28. Posted my comment on the wrong page so here it is (or something similar) again for today! Your brilliant blog is a cause to CELEBRATE every day. Great instructions on how to create a 3-D effect. Can't wait to try it out.

  29. It's the way you tell 'em Barb, blooming hilarious. Great step by step tutorial, you give such encouragement and confidence that I can achieve much more than I think I can, thank you xx

  30. Hi Barbara. Love this technique. It makes me want to go up to my craft room as I do every time I read your blog.
    Today is my son in laws birthday. He´s 42. Because it´s not a specialish birthday he thinks he´s working all day then coming home for tea as usual. Wrong. My daughter has arranged for him to finish work at 2pm and we are going to his favourite restaurant where we´ve ordered a cake etc. He´ll be so surprised. So we´ll be singing happy birthday today.
    Enjoy your day. I know I will.
    Love Val in Spain x

  31. She was a miserable old thing, it's just a bit of fun, something to make us all smile and feel happy – it's the best medicine. Love the Wordchains, and love the shading on this, will give it a try today. thanks Jx

  32. this is fab Barb – love the little bottom left tip – will try to remember that! Loving your Frankie and Benny's story – so funny xx

  33. Love technique. Love the story. Some people should be happy that they can go out for a meal somewhere nice and enjoy it. Justvthink of the people starving in the world! You just cant please some.

  34. I am celebrating that today I am going to the SECC to the craft show. I am meeting my friend there who I haven't seen for a while so it will be fantastic spending time with her while looking at all the stands and choosing which clarity pencils I am going to buy!
    It is a good day when you get to do what you want instead of having to do stuff for everyone else. Definitely a day to celebrate! (might just need to by the celebrate stamp!)

  35. Love your 3D shading projects Barbara. Am trying the cogs and Time and Tide at the moment but I have BIG trouble with my Pro Marker nibs. Ink won't flow through them I have 6 and they are all the same. I've tried everything including washing them in warm water. No luck. Any suggestions anyone? Pleeeeeeeeease

    1. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure that they really click into place when you put them on. I am assuming that you are talking about the fine nibs that you can get to add on. I had trouble with a couple and it did seem to be because they had not clicked into place so they were not in contact with the ink underneath. I am presuming that you are putting the fine nibs over the top of the original nib underneath. Hopefully someone else will have more ideas for you to try. xx Maggie

    2. Thanks for the ideas Maggie. I am pretty sure they are clicked into place but I will go and re-try now making absolutely sure about the click. All your assumptions are correct – fine tip nibs to add on, nibs on top of bullet end of ProMarker. I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks again x

    3. Hi Maggie Well mixed success. I tried all six again making sure they were well clicked home and I actually got 2 to work but no luck with the other 4. Still 2 is good I can crack on with those I'll just have to change more often. Thank you so much for your help. :o))

  36. Life is for celebrating ! Have fun, laugh and smile and think it would be boring if everyone was the same …..
    Love todays post , made me smile x

  37. Oh barbara, if you hadn't find your thing in Stamping, your amazing artistic skills, and the joy you bring to us with your work and stamps, you most certainly should have been a writer! The way you write makes me giggle everytime, and what better way to start the morning then with a good giggle! And lovely artwork to look at!!

  38. We have a Frankie & Benny's here in Spalding. When it first came I was so excited. It's now a bit of a standing joke between my Son and me. When he comes to visit I usually suggest we go, to which he replies:-
    " Wow, have you got a Frankie & Benny's?"
    He's such a sarky moo, all six foot four of him, but I love him to bits. 🙂
    Love both these sets too, great techniques. Missed out on Sunday, but ordered from the Website yesterday. Only got one thing to say now, Postman postman, don't be slow, be like Elvis, GO MAN GO. xxxx

  39. Hi Barb,
    Love the way you have done this & the step by steps are brilliant – even I should be able to manage this! Now I just need the stamps and the stencils!, had to laugh at your F&B story. Why on earth would you go there if you didn't want to join in. Something to celebrate , let me think- got my mammogram results and all clear – yeah!!! All I can say is love the life you live. Thanks Barb, Alison xx

  40. You make me giggle! Poor old stick must have nothing to smile about. Try and find humour in every day things. I love a good laugh and do it often, that why I have so many laughter lines around the eyes!! Joan x

    1. Such a positive attitude to life, Joan. If you don't look for the positive and humour in life, you might just as well give up. A good giggle every day is better than any vitamins or tonic. xx Maggie

  41. Thanks for this step by step Barbara , it is such a help.
    My shading skills need working on!
    Looks like this set will be so useful.
    It's sad that people can't join in the fun sometimes-life is short and it's a shame to miss others joy.
    I think that loosing oneself in creating something how ever small, is wonderful – so let's celebrate all the opportunities we have to do it !! Thanks for helping us as we travel on ,

  42. Hi O dear so sad . Life is wonderful ! Love life , Love Family , Be Happy and enjoy all the free things in life , warm sun , soft rain , cold ,cold winter mornings and star light nights ,but most of all be thankful for what we have . I love my life ,my family and my crafting , Glad you enjoyed your night out .xxp

  43. Fab step by step Barbara – I think even I could manage this. I LOVE the Italian restaurants that sing to those people having a celebration – wouldn't it be great if moaning Minnie's husband booked F&B for her birthday! Pat x

  44. Hi Barbara I love f &b been ther a few times with my daughteri got told off by her last time because I said the waiter war very handsome and I loved his tatoo perhaps 75 year olds shouldn't say such things I had a tattoo at age 73.ilove the step by step project today lovely card thank you for the pleasure you bring to my life love June xxxx

    1. Go, June! Tell your daughter that she should be celebrating the idea that you are still able to enjoy the sight of a handsome waiter. Anyway, part of your job as a mother is to embarrass your family as they embarrassed you as children. You enjoy every minute of your life and all the beauty you can see around you. xx Maggie

  45. Celebrate good times – that sentiment really strikes a chord with me as you might imagine. That has really become a mantra with me. that and "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". It is so easy in life to be ground down by all the bad things to the extent that you lose sight of the joys still out there, and then you become a miserable moaning minnie like that woman in the restaurant. We spent my 50th birthday with friends in the restaurant at the Château Impney at Droitwich, and they do the same with singing and bringing out cakes with candles, and we all joined in and just laughed at it all. More lovely memories to celebrate! I really love how you can create so much depth with just the tiniest bit of ink, perfectly placed, and I really love how much I can learn from reading your blog every day and practising your tips and techniques. Thank you for giving us lessons and fun all in one great post every day, and long may it continue. Hope you neck is recovering, Barb. Take care. xx Maggie

  46. I have been to my local F and B but usually for breakfast or lunch.. On my next birthday I am going to ask my daughters if we can go there for our celebration on a Sat eve.. So cheerful. Thanks Barbara.

  47. I'm really enjoying this shading technique with the banner stencils and hope I'll be able to pick some up at Port Sunlight shortly (and I'm sure they won't be the only things that fall into my basket.)
    I would love to have seen Moaning Minnie's face when the celebrations came to the table she had been whinging to (the folks at it – not the actual table).
    Beryl xx

  48. We're celebrating two whole years in our new life – it feels like we haven't stopped,since we moved up here, but I guess that time flies when you're having fun! And today I'm celebrating that the sun is shining again and I can get out and dig up all the weeds! Later the birds will be celebrating when I fix the birdtable and put out all the breakfast left-overs – although to be fair they sound like they're having a pretty good time already with all the singing that's going on!!! Hope you have a great day whatever you are doing. Thanks for the wonderful step by step instructions – so easy to follow. Susan x

  49. Hi Barbara,
    Fantastic blog today. I have always considered F&B to be a younger persons & Family place to eat and by this very notion will therefore be LOUDER !! Surely a place to be avoided on a Saturday night unless you want a quiet dinner for 20!! Life should be a celebration, afterall this is not a dress rehearsal THIS IS IT !!
    Regards Bev xxx

  50. Love the demo today, similar to yesterday but a little simpler for us newbies to try. Only been to F & B's once in USA a long time ago. I loved the interaction with fellow diners, mainly because both myself and husband are people watchers and delight in their delights. Quite agree with Barbara's statement, but might also add that THERE ARE NO POCKETS IN A SHROUD. So enjoy your life now and everyone else's. Happy Crafting Valerie

  51. Thanks for another brilliant tutorial Barbara. We went to Frankie and Bennies last week and there were lots of birthdays and that was on a week night so lots of fun. I'm celebrating the return of some warm sunshine today. We need to make the most of our life and enjoy it each and every day. There's no point being miserable it doesn't get you anywhere people prefer to be with happy people
    Have a great day
    Jackie x

  52. I know a few people that woman might get on really well with!!!! I think you are right, I bet her Husband loves it there. I love it when you hear that music crank up again it is really uplifting. Love your word card and shadowing. Something to Celebrate, the fact that you are No. 3 in the bloomin Blog Charts with all your Bloomin followers!!!! Watch out though I am not that far behind, where can I find 872 Blog followers???? x

  53. that story was funny… as a friend would say 'think she put her thong on back to front' oh errr!
    celebrations this week, became a Great Aunt for first time…. memories of crimpelene, moth balls and headscarves!

  54. Good morning Barbara, I giggled at you story, I've come across some like that and I long to put them down for being such a moaner. Goodness BevF, I remember all those too. I also remember wearing my white cotton gloves when I went out. I always wore the gloves – I had them in different colours to go with my outfits.

    1. I can remember wearing gloves everywhere when we went out in the sixties. There was, and I think still is, a lovely glove factory in Worcester called Dents. We used to go over there and into the factory shop where you could buy lovely gloves at a serious discount, ordinary day to day gloves and beautiful full length gloves for evening wear, all made of the softest finest leather. I do wish I had kept some of them just to show my grandchildren. And headscarves were definitely the thing, and I remember buying a different one for each of my friends for Christmas – half a crown each from Marks and Spencers, lovely and silky too. And do you remember the shaped and padded scarves, that you tied behind your head? xx Maggie

  55. Barbara, loving the word chains. They are so, well, artistic! The 3d trick is very effective. I have a request please – now that we are coming out of the end of this horrid wet winter, I'm starting to think of sunny days at the beach. Can we have some beach themed stamps – particularly a lovely beach hut please? (pretty please?). Love the blog – keep it up! Jean.x

  56. Hi Barbara. I am addicted to your blog. I keep NEEDING all the stamps, masks and stencils you use. There is no hope for me. I love this one today and naturally I need the word chain stamps. See you at Port Sunlight.

  57. Love the story, I know I am weird but nothing makes me giggle more than a moaning minnie in a lighthearted situation. Told you I was weird. PS Fortunately I have a lot of weird friends and hubby. Going to try your technique now Barbara, I love it.

  58. Thanks for the warning about Frankie and Bennie's – I have never been, I have been warned about the poor food at our local restaurant. Reason to celebrate – I am going to Harrogate on 16th March – for a spend and a natter. See you then.

  59. When you are feeling blue you should think of a birthday celebration and try to capture that wonderful feeling of being with your special people. Thanks for making me smile and lord keep me from turning into a sad old lady!

  60. Hi Barbara. Thank you for a fantastic tutorial today, well, they are always great but I really struggle with shading and you have made it all so clear and easy that even i will be able to get good results. Just telling us to remember bottom and left is so helpful. Yes I am a fairly new crafter who is not naturally artistic so it don't come easy to me : ) So I have this blog to celebrate finally starting to get shading. And have to celebrate the lighter evenings and not shutting the curtains so early, and seeing the beautiful Crocus, Daffodils etc waving their happy bright and cheerful faces at us and that oh so soft green haze that is appearing on the headgerows where new growth is starting to appear : ) What a sad lady at F & B's. She is missing so much. Smiling and laughing, and making others smile and laugh makes for a good life all round : )

  61. Morning Barbara, super blog, you forget how simple shading makes such a difference, and what a difference. What fun you must have had trying to keep a straight face when the cake arrived to that other table. Super fun, any reason to laugh, and sing is a good one. Hope you have plently of reason to do both today. Hugs.

  62. I love going to Frankie and Benny's anytime except the nearest one is in Cardiff! When the lights go out and everybody sings it feels so friendly and like one big family. When my granddaughter was 7 we went as a family for a weekend away which included a day at Cadbury's World (chocolate heaven) and then for an evening meal in Frankie and Benny's. My daughter had sneaked a big birthday cake with candles into the restaurant and arranged everything. It was so good sing all night and especially when Holly's cake appeared, the expression on her face pure joy. Yep we definitely love Frankie and Benny's. Oh yes, thank you for the shading instructions. I really do get myself in a muddle with those. Please some more with just and ordinary (non coloured) pencil. I watched you use them once on telly and have been totally fascinated by the technique ever since, but I can't get it right.

  63. What a great demo Barbara as shading makes the look of the finished piece more professional, and well, just that much more 'yummy'. You are so right about finding the positives and not the negatives, and your observations make me smile. My conclusion is: if I want a quiet romantic dinner for two F & B's won't be my first choice lol! Hope your neck is improving. x

  64. Lol! Your blog always makes me laugh, I can just imagine you in hysterics at the woman antics in the Restaurant, so funny. bet she wont go there again old meanie!

    Love how you have done this demo, thank you so much for the step by step instructions, you never fail on making them look so easy., love the shadowing detail, brilliant.

    Time to celebrate the better weather I think, lovely and sunny here, though still cold but Spring is just around the corner Yipppeeee!!!

    Hope your neck is better?

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  65. Some people just do not appreciate how wonderful life is, they need to learn to appreciate the small stuff, as well as the big !! LIfe is just too short for moaning minnies – big hugs x

  66. Another fabulous post, I love the way you use the shading to give the depth and I keep practicing! I've been asked to demonstrate brayering and shading at a local craft shop next weekend to a group of ladies what want to learn – having bought brayers and never used them. Wish me luck, I'll be pulling out all the things you've taught us on In the Classroom, on the blog and at the wonderful workshop at Scone last summer. And I've definitely added the banner set to my shopping list for SECC on Sunday! Have a lovely day and thanks again – you make my lunchtime sandwich a lot less boring!

  67. Great demo today and really useful.
    You should try Fortnum and Mason for Afternoon Tea on a Saturday. Not cheap but worth every penny to be pampered with their wonderful service, their scrumptious sandwiches, their splendid cakes and range of teas but especially the player of the grand piano interrupting his relaxing set to strike up, every 15 minutes or so, with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to make someone's special day even more special.
    You have two choices around growing old either you do or you don't and you're dead and I think, on balance, I'd rather grow old.

  68. Hi Barbara. Thanks for your lovely demo, I haven't used this technique before but will do when I find some free time, which I don't have at present.I love you're products and demos(loving this blog too) and am building quite a stash. I am looking after a lady (also called Barbara but the total opposite to you).
    She is very much like the lady you encountered in F&B's. She moans all the time. I believe they are the losers because as you know when you give out love you receive love. My Barbara is very difficult to like and I'm afraid looking after her is a real chore because of this, if she was a nicer person it would be a pleasure to do the things I have to do and I feel we both lose out because of her attitude. Love to you xx

  69. My birthday is on New Years Day so I have always managed to celebrate it with the whole world as they sing, dance and make merry seeing out the old year and toasting the new. These days I cannot do the "hangovers" so it is usually a meal out at our local Indian restaurant. This year we got all dressed up and it was closed because of a gas leak, so we went to a different one which was rubbish, but the company was good and we enjoyed our time anyway. My partner asked what I would like for my birthday present and I suggested NDC membership, so he phoned and organised it all for me. What a most wonderful present it has turned out to be. I don't get to celebrate just one day a year, I get to celebrate every month for the whole year as my birthday "surprise" drops through the letter box each month. I also get to celebrate it each month with my new friends in the East Midlands Clarity Workshop which we not only meet once a month but talk every day on our facebook group. We discuss everything Clarity and discuss our new present. We also set ourselves little challenges through the month using the same stamp, stencil or method (taught by the wonderful Sazzle). This month's challenge is to make an uplifting card with the people and families who are victims of the terrible floods in mind. We are then going to get Sazz to send them to a charity. So you can see Barbara, some of us can make the whole year a celebration and share that happiness… CELEBRATE!

  70. Love your demos from today and yesterday, especially the shading tips. My word chains and journalling set have arrived and I can't wait to have a play. Lots to celebrate as I had last chemo session yesterday and the sun is shining today. I should now have plenty of time to experiment with my new stamps whilst I am recuperating. I will be taking lots of inspiration from your fantastic blog both in terms of creativity and a lifting of the spirits. Keep up the good work Barb

  71. Thank you for the very useful shading tutorial. Your design really does pop off the page as though it was 3D.
    As for the miserable woman in F & B's – she is lucky that she is taken out to a restaraunt at all and should be grateful. I have been unemployed for over two years now and would love to be able to afford for us to go out – and I'd be thrilled to be sung to if it was my birthday! I hope that the party on the next table sang really, really loudly when their cake arrived!

  72. lol you are naughty but right – there are always peeps that think the glass is less than a quarter full let alone half! These days I ignore the moaning if they want to be miserable let them be. But if they expect me to be like that puff! I like to see the world and it's people with my pink tinted lenses on!
    BTW The Life of Brian is going around in my head now – always look on the bright side of life lol!!
    Have a lovely day and thank you for sharing, love the effect and the shade you achieved is fab!

    1. It might sound strange, but at my husband's funeral last year, the exit music was "Always look on the bright side of life". He loved Monty Python and it made everyone smile and remember the good times. Now it is going to be going round in my head tonight, but it also reminds me of the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, a great celebration. xx Maggie

  73. Ah shall have to remember that tip for shading Bottom Left, you created a wonderful effect. Very neat . I love your F&B story, can't see the point in being miserable, just smile and chat to everyone. Sometimes it brightens up a lonely day for another person. We went out for a meal last week to celebrate our anniversary, there was a party in the restaurant then and some other diners obviously did not like the noise. I think the lady in question was entitled to a noisy party, she was celebrating 103 yrs. How wonderful to still be able to go out for dinner at that age. Lynne xx

  74. My Word Chain arrived yesterday and I have the right colour Promarkers (for once!) so am going to try this. Don't have the stencil, but sure I can find something to use 😉
    Fab blog, as usual. You are so talented!

  75. .dear Barbara, just found your blog. Always love your shows on C & C did e mail last week but didn''t get read out. Anyway what I am trying to say is your blog is brilliant, love the inspiration and oh how I agree with you about the kids. Had no money when mine were little but boy did we have some fun, out and about when the weather was good, and playing games and making things indoors when it wasn't. People have lost the art of simple pleasures. So glad you can remind them how lucky they are. Keep up the good work please and of course all the wonderful crafting. Thank you Sue

  76. Well you definitely wouldn't label us as Moanie Minnies in Frankie & Benny's. Some years ago my other half took his 2 young kids there for lunch. They had a great time. At the end of the meal when the bill came round, he said that he hadn't got enough money to pay & asked what he could do to resolve the issue. The waiter threw 2 tea towels at the youngsters & suggested they wash up in lieu of payment. They were horrified ! I think it was more to do with having to do a chore rather than Dad being skint. Of course, it had all been arranged ahead of time with the waiter who was game for a practical joke or two & once the truth surfaced everyone was hysterical including the majority of diners. I say majority 'cos there is always one !!!! The kids still recall the incident as their most embarrassing & Dad gloats as he had a successful mission. Great shading instructions by the way. This technique has always eluded me ….. until now. Thanks I'll give it a go X

  77. Another stunning blog card so easy but so effective ,wonderful f&b story I have took my granddaughter their many times she loves going to ask now ,my wonderful partner tom took me out today to a beautiful fish and chip restaurant mostly housebound now so a very special day thank you for fetching back some lovely memories Barbara, clarity hugs Sheila xxx

  78. Good evening Barbara,
    I would like to thank your team at Glasgow they were outstanding today so friendly and helpful. I got all the new stuff and more! Celebrations all round for the Clarity Team!!!!!
    Lorna D

  79. What a way to celebrate ! I got my word chain stamps yesterday and can't wait to have a play. Keep blogging Barbara, I love seeing your demos and reading your funny stories. Counting down the days to NEC where I am allowed to indulge myself.

  80. Thanks for the detailed instructions for this, I will give it a go for sure.i would like to celebrate all things Clarity for all the great products, demonstrations, blog! New Design Club, inspiration and this Clarity community that is so nice to be part of. thanks Barbara for everything!Wx

  81. Its my daughter's 30th birthday today (I am so not old enough) and we are celebrating:-) PS thanks for the step by step. These stencils are on my shopping list for Harrogate, hope you have plenty in stock

  82. Thanks Barbara for another super tutorial – I shall definitely have a go………… You ask for something to celebrate? – well, since I had my "all clear" mammogram after five years' of treatment, I reckon every day is worth celebrating still being alive to enjoy all that life has to offer; today we walked along the beach in the warm sunshine – wonderful! And this evening, I am going to have a go at today's tutorial. Thanks Barbara for everything………… Beryl x

  83. My children love to go to Frankie and Benny's especially if we are celebrating.
    Thank you for the step by step instructions. The photos are brilliant, they make it so easy to follow. The word chains and stencils are on my wish list.

  84. Great tutorials with the word sets, we have had celebration s for my hubbies 72, our twin grand daughter s 21st and 2 of our 3 daughter in laws birthdays all within 6 days A great week
    Thanks for your blog it brings a bit of" me time" each morning

  85. What a terrific step-by-step!!! Love the effect! Thursday is always a celebration for me as I don't work on Fridays, so I'm celebrating the weekend by making some creme egg cupcakes tomorrow! Thanks for the opportunity 😀
    Margaret C

  86. So pleased to hear your news Beryl. Thanks for another close up with this set Barbara, me I just celebrate life, the older you get the more appreciative you get of living!! Xx

  87. Thanks for the tutorial my stamps came this week – what lovely envelopes they were packed in too.

    It's hard to celebrate as I had sad news yesterday – someone I worked for/with died. A great and lovely man who was described as a scientist who changed the scientific world. I will celebrate his life as he wouldn't want us to be sad.

  88. The shading on this is brilliant, such a handy card to have in ones stash. I purchased this stencil a couple of weeks ago and have used it on 3 cards already as its so useful. Thanks for a super daily blog its much appreciated. Jane x

  89. I will be taking my husband to Frankie and Bennies' next Thursday, it's a BIG one, he will be sixty. I wonder who else he shares his birthday with?!?

  90. This is such an effective use of a very tiny amount of ink – I love the 3-D look….and you can get the effect without wearing the special glasses!! My Clarity order arrived yesterday and when I woke at 3 a.m. this morning, my goodies were the first things on my mind, so I had to get up and see if I could get the effect – I'm happy….it looked brill! Thank you Barbara for all the hints & tips. I look forward to seeing what you've been up to every day! Take care, Carole x

  91. Great day today at the SECC in Glasgow…Missed seeing you there but 'your team' where doing a stirling job. Bought far too much but looking forward to using your stamps and stencils tomorrow and going to try this 3D effect too! Love the quality of your stamps and stencils and you lead where others follow! Crafty hugs x

  92. Thank you for coming to to see us at the SECC, It is always good to see so many old friends there
    and hopefully make some new ones ! Hope the neck is a little easier Barb xx

  93. Wow this sentiment banner really pops, what a clever idea.Inspiring as always dearie. I love the atmosphere in Frankie and Benny's – only been there for breakfast lately – yummy pancakes and bacon……… The music is fab too.I'm sorry if you're going to go somewhere like this at night you have to enter into the spirit of it.Life is too short to be miserable – live each day to the full and have fun.Hugs Debbie x

  94. That is so funny I would just love to have seen the look on the women's face lol.

    I was at the SECC today and Jo was brilliant, I didn't get the chance to chat to her but if you could pass on to her how much I enjoyed her demo. I was in the wheelchair sitting behind her (looking over her shoulder). I might get the chance to speak to her over the weekend as I will be at one of the other or Theuva stalls helping to demonstrate. I have bought your new blending mat and really look forward to using it.

    Keep smiling and keep using the wheaty bags.


  95. Right, that's it, no more phaffing around, I am going to have to get these sets. I've been umming and ahhing now since Sunday (that is to say my bank account has been umming and ahhing) but my heart says yes, yes! Another winner Mrs Gray. Well done!

  96. Excellent tutorial, even I should be able to manage the shading! Celebrate? Well it looks like Spring might be sneaking in (fingers crossed) so let's celebrate that 🙂

  97. I love this technique and use it quite a bit. Maybe it's me being a Rightie but I tend to go for Bottom Right lol x As for celebrating in public I think that if you do not want to share in other peoples happiness (you never know some of it might rub off) then stay at home. Some people just love a moan (listen to me lol). And changing the subject just thought I'd give you a report on Jo Rice! I met her today in Glasgow, got a lovely hug from her and had a little chat. She was very helpful filling my basket up with goodies. Doing great Demo's with the stencils. I would have loved to have stayed and talked to her longer but she had to get back to the demo's and I was distracted….couldn't keep my eyes from wandering over all the stamps. We missed you being there but Jo is doing fine. (she did offer to bribe me but it wasn't necessary) Oh and I have to say what a sales woman Heather is. I asked for the feather stamp so she found me the large and the small and the verse and with a very wicked grin (she was trying to look innocent) held them out to me…seeing them all together like that was just not fair so of course they went in the basket too…no will power when it comes to your stamps! So now I have made an executive decision…not going to bed, going to catalogue my new stamps and stencils and have a little play. I also got the corner flower stamp with the freebie flowers today from the Postie when I got home…brilliant end to a great day xxxx

  98. Another fab demo . I am one of the grateful for the step by step bit as I just struggle with the lighting aspect of art and where shadows fall – not that I let that stop me trying but it never quite looks right But as my Gran would have said 'Practice makes perfect' and with your help I know it's true lol!
    After reading your blog I thought about uplifting comments and I found my self thinking about a Freind who passed away last year . He was a chap who had learning disabilities , he was the one who taught me so much. I was with him when he got his diagnosis of terminal bowel cancer . He took a few days to process the information and about a week later after quite a heavy conversation about what it all meant and what would happen next he seemed to be thinking things over and then said " I can still go out for coffee and cake ?" I reassured him of course he could to which he said "that's good as at least now I don't have to watch my weight" made me stop and review some of my own perspectives as he did during the whole journey we had found ourselves on. For the last birthday I had with him he gave me a little sign saying 'nothing is so bad as long as you have a good Freind and cake !' It truly is the simple pleasures in life and good friends that really matter .
    So it's another big thanks to you Barbara as I have grown in my card making confidence thanks to you and been able to make some extra special , personalised cards to thank my fab friends for being my rocks in a sometimes bumpy road ( as gran would also of said – it's all a learning curve !)

  99. Fabulous card once again Barbara. I love to take my kids to that restaurant for that very reason, their reaction is priceless every time 🙂

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