At the crack of Dawn…

At the crack of Dawn…

Good morning.
Thanks for popping in!
It’s very early and I’m up with the larks, because I have to go to work and meet up with Jim, before he goes on holiday for a fortnight. There are a few things we need to tie up, so to speak, before he can fly away!
So I’m thoroughly enjoying the big new open, empty space that is my new artroom.
You know that adage, it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it improves? Well, it’s a happenin’!!!
My attitude is that if Philip Pullman can write The Northern Lights in his garden shed, then I can make a card or 2 up here !!!

Ok. Let’s get started.
On Thursday’s TV shows, I used 
the Christmas Olive Branch Wreath

together with the Doves of Peace round Claritystamp.

You probably know by now, that here at Clarity we have a thing about birds; our stamps and stencils reflect that!
So let’s take that Christmas Wreath, and change the birds!


Using our ClarityStencil brushes and a make-up sponge, 
dust Juniper, Wild Honey or Butterscotch and a little Cranberry through the stencil.

Stamp our beautiful Lacey Swallows,


and small

on top of the wreath
using Black Archival

Colour them in. I used the Spectrum Noir Essentials tin.

These pencils are super. 
There are 5 tins in the collection.

Now we need a pair of masks of the 2 birds.
Cut out on a Post-it.

Let’s make a subtle shadow underneath the birds 
with Juniper and a make-up sponge.


Time to add a hint of a frame with Wild Honey Distress pad
or Butterscotch Adirondack.
The easiest and neatest way is with our Clarity Brushes
You just keep sweeping round the edges,
until the little voice tells you to stop!

Let’s make the birds jump out more 
by adding a fine black line around the edges 
with a black Sharpie pen and a ruler.

So the Christmas wreath takes on a whole new meaning.

The birds swoop through the aperture,

 twittering away to one another.

Just like outside in the garden right now. 
I love it.
 Have a great Saturday! 
And take a little time to listen to the birds…

much love,

43 thoughts on “At the crack of Dawn…

  1. What a wonderful way of using the wreath stencil and not make it look like a wreath. I have these beautiful birds so will be giving this a go. Just wanted to say THANK YOU to the whole team at Clarity for the shows on C&C. Such dedication from everyone involved. Hope you can rest now for a bit. XX

  2. What a fab combination of stencil and stamps 🙂 Hope you manage to achieve all your tasks with Jim. (Happy holidays Jim!) I'm about to fill in my bespoke christmas form as it arrived this morning so I am a very happy bunny.
    Enjoy your day,
    Jeanette xxx

  3. Hi Barb,
    This is very beautiful, and the colours divine. No doubt you'll soon have that new art room broken in and looking more "normal", i.e. cluttered!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the shows that I taped and second Donna's thanks, you all work so hard xx

  4. Lovely combo. Our garden is also full of birds singing, so will take your advice and sit outside with my book and listen to the birds. Have a great Saturday.
    Laurence xx

  5. Wow Barbara that's beautiful! I do like that stencil and its perfect with the lacey Swallows! Hope you get Jim sorted and off on his holidays!
    Your art room is really taking shape now…won't be long before you can sit up there all day and be creative!! Love and hugs xx

  6. Lovely design. Don't have to use it as a Christmas card. Thank you for flying away from a specifically Christmas design. I'm not ready for Christmas yet, we're still full of summer holidaymakers here on Anglesey.

  7. Ooh, another idea for a pretty use for my lacy bird stamps. I made two cards yesterday with them, and I'm really enjoying them. Love your space, it will be great once you are all sorted.

  8. Hello Barb. How absolutely gorgeous is that. Anyone with a garden would appreciate a wonderful work of art that says it all. And we have the sunshine today. It doesn't get any better. xx Margaret Col.

  9. Lovely. Hubbie and I have just got back from a lovely walk thro our local park (Peasholm, Scarborough) and it was wonderful, we made sure to stop regularly to enjoy the beautiful birdsong and enjoy the moment xx

  10. Beautiful Barbara. My lacy swallows arrived yesterday and I'll add this idea to my list to try out. I love listening to birdsong, it always brings a smile to my face. Have a lovely day. xx

  11. Beautiful Barbara, can you blog all the demo's you did on Thursday as trying to watch them as much as I can as they were all lovely, I think a lot of people would like this idea, or is it just me, seeing the end picture helps us to achieve something like you do. Hope you have a good play in your craft room, I have quite a big one and it now needs to be bigger !!!, well that's my excuse as full of Clarity and one or two other bits. Off to have a play now, take care

  12. Hi Barb Thank you so mush for todays post. Now that I'm wide awake, my intention was to do something with the bird and the brushes that arrived at my home on Thursday and you have filled my thoughts perfectly. Hope mine turns out half as good as yours and I will be over the moon
    Crafty hugs
    Pauline B

  13. Beautiful love the colours I bought the essential pencils set they are lovley to use I used them to colour in my blog challenge card which I have entered ,your craft room looks lovley so much room to fill my craft room is filling up and expanding with your felt bags stencil folders stamps and stencils ect clarity addict happy crafting to all xxx

  14. Hi Barb,
    Your new space will be fantastic when completely finished. I would love an area like that! The swallow stamps are fabulous . For me they were a must have and in real life they are gorgeous. Dave ( my other half) loves swallows and he gets quite upset when he sees them all gathering on the wires ready for their long flight back to Africa. It amazes me how such little birds can make that journey. Love the wreath stencil too although I haven't got that (YET) . My bespoke Christmas set came this morning and I've posted it back to you, so can't wait to receive that. Going back to the swallows, is there any chance that you could do a stencil to fit the stamps, so that they could be done in texture paste/ grunge paste and then stamped over and coloured in? Hope you enjoyed the coast yesterday and are having a rest after you've been to see Jim. Love Alisonxxx

  15. Hi Barbara. Firstly I want to say thank you for the great shows, had to record them and have watched the first two so far,. Yesterdays blog was a great insight into just what goes on! Glad that you enjoyed yourself : ) I hope the seaside refreshed you, it always makes me feel so good that I think it should be on prescription!
    Love todays beautiful swallows and Wreath, a great way of using Chtistmas goodies all year round. Have a lovely day. Take care.

  16. These birds are growing on me as to begin with I just thought they might be to fussy for me but this has made me refocus and as I was doodling ideas down to justify buying them ( I have to do this as when I started out I bought whatever and most of it was so under used it was a waste of money and this is what I did to stop it ) …… Anyway my Freind popped in and asked me to show her what I was planing on buying and with one of my idea sketches and her seeing the stamps I was planning to use we have solved her wedding invite dilemma ( we will have hours of work but these stamps are very her so I now have a reason to order and think we need the bunting letterbox shapes set too lol!

  17. Afternoon Barbara – sooooo jealous of that loft space of yours!!!! Would so love something like that! How pretty the birds look with the stencil – it really shows how versatile that particular stencil is!!!
    I am loving that wild honey ink colour too – its a really warm yellow colour – I like it a lot.
    Hope you didn't have to spend too much time at work and have had time to be in your loft space sorting out your floor plan!!!
    Much love
    Kim xx

  18. Hi Barbara
    Stunning card, as soon as you coloured the swallows in the whole card popped.Thoroughly enjoyed Thursdays shows and yesterdays insight to your day at C&C and the people behind it all.I enjoyed the shows so much I forgot to order the ODW so will have to wait till the stamps appear on your web(Gutted):(

  19. I love the Olive Branches Wreath and the substitution with the Lacy Swallows works wonderfully. The colouring with the SN pencils looks lovely too, and that defined edge draws your eye in perfectly. That new art room is a fabulous space and I'm sure it won't be long before it looks much more lived in. Have a good weekend Barbara. x

  20. Brilliant 3D effect with those swallows. So clever. Would love the space you have in that art room. Hope you get to play in there-not just work. Thanks, Jan

  21. Hi Barbara loving the stencil and those beautiful Lacey swallows (sorry had a little snigger again there – I must grow up!)aren't those spectrum noir pencils great, I might have to buy them for my daughters birthday present and use them myself ( sneaky I know but technically art equipment then not craft stuff! Lol) . Almost finished watching Thursday just got the 7pm show to watch, I've really enjoyed the program's . You and the design team work so hard. I hope Jim has a great holiday and you have a wonderful weekend. Love Diane xxx

  22. Thank you Barbara, we all love watching you but you do not have enough demo time so a step by step guide, I think will be appreciated by all, look forward to adding to my collection for play time

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