Wednesday’s blog An exercise in shading.

Wednesday’s blog An exercise in shading.

Hi there!
Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday’s blog is something new, right? 
So here’s a new look at an existing stencil.
It’s not so much a greeting card, as an exercise in shading.
Let’s just take a look, shall we?
The stencil I decided to go with is this abstract one:
I taped the A5 stencil to a piece of A5 Theuva card
and ran it through an embossing machine for starters.
Then I stamped our Laurel Hedge Claritystamp through it, 
using an ink pad I had made for the big Lupin stamp with Cut n Dry felt and Distress reinkers.

Stamp it all over. 
Missed a few bits because I didn’t press hard enough, 
but hey! It’s been a long day!

Left a gap, because I want to do a sky.
Next, load a stencil brush with Juniper Adirondack, 
and brush over the whole thing.

Do the same with Cloudy Blue.
Already looks quite dimensional.
Colour in the little leaves with Spectrum Noirs.
Use one of the light green pencils and a ruler to define the posts at the front and to the back. Because that’s what they are. 
I see planks, posts…
These 3 Distress pads look a little boring at first glance, 
but they are super for shade and depth.
Mask off each post and add these muted colours with a stencil brush.

Bring some posts to the front and put some further to the back, working with masking tape and brushes.
At about this point, I started thinking this wasn’t going where I wanted it to, so it was time to get radical. 
Replace the stencil, add a moon mask and add a load more sky!
Bring out the Charcoal Pencils and the yellow. 
It’s do or die!
The Derwent Charcoal Pencils are excellent. I bought much more expensive ones, which didn’t smudge and blend half as well as these. A must have.
The charcoal smears beautifully with your finger, 
and the yellow adds a sun reflection beautifully.
Don’t the posts look 3D now?

Keep adding charcoal and a little blue or grey to the areas 
of the posts which are supposed to be at the back.

 Trim back, mount on white.
Add a flock of birds from the Harbour set.
Done. Just a pretty exercise,
time for me to cogitate…

So let’s take a look at the special offers today…
Every day I add something to the sale. 
It will stay there until the end of the month.
Then it will all go back to normal.
So go back and check last week’s blogs! 
There are some pretty good deals…
Abstract Stencil rrp £4.99 just £4
Laurel Hedge (rrp £9.25) just £6 + FREE unmounted mini birds
Charcoal Pencils, (rrp £8.99) £8 + FREE Moon masks (rrp £3)
(rrp £4.50 ea.) just £4 each.
Yesterday’s Prize winner:
A ClarityApron is on its way to Liz Maitland!
 Will all the Ice flinging that has been going on, 
I have been doing a lot of thinking about all those poor souls 
with MND or ALS. 
Did you know we have raised over £1500 for them thus far?
Thank you so much !!!!
In fact, yesterday evening, when I was doing this artwork, 
I was making a gratitude list in my head.
Healthy kids.
Healthy Mum
Healthy Dad
Healthy brother
Healthy Dave
Healthy me.
I mean My God!!! How blessed are we???

So leave an uplifting message about something 
you are grateful for!
And tomorrow, I will randomly pick a lucky winner, 
to receive a £20 Gift Voucher.

Much love,

65 thoughts on “Wednesday’s blog An exercise in shading.

  1. Barbara, Great card and glad you are raising so much for charity. You must make so many samples – how about having a sale of some of them for about £10 and the money going to a charity of your choice. I am sure that there are lots of us that would pay that for a Barbara original!!!

  2. Great blog today again . Barbara I have so much to be greatful for my wonderful husband my daughters my 10 grandchildren who all have good health. My wonderful wonderful dad who just celebrated his 90th birthday and although he has advanced prostate cancer always has a cheery smile and never complains. Super family network all around me so I'm truly truly blessed x

  3. Morning Barbara!
    Great card….it's amazing how a bit of shading fools the eye!
    And what am I grateful for?
    1. an Amazing Hubby
    2. a clever and wonderful daughter
    3. a good and satisfying job…even though I moan about it sometimes
    4. an ability to be creative
    5. having you as a friend.

    Have a good day. Love and hugs to you xx

  4. This is lovely. Love the shading. Definitely something I need to work on! Congratulations to Liz! There are so many things I am grateful for. Your blog for one as it is always a joy to read and is so inspiring with lots of great ideas and techniques. I am also extremely grateful for my four year old son, he is our miracle. x

  5. Hi Barb, wow this is a great idea, I tend to be a bit heavy handed sometimes when trying to do shading, but this inspires me to try again. Congrats to Liz. I am grateful for my family and friends who are very supportive, and especially my Hubs who does not really complain when I keep buying craft stuff, and yes I am grateful for your blog, which is always inspirational, whether it be art or insight into life. Always something I look forward to reading every day, and not forgetting the NDC club. That always makes me think that there are wonderful people out there in the big wide world, willing to give up time to share their talent with us all. Have a lovely day and well done on the money raised. Bx

  6. Super depth and dimension today with your shading. I am grateful for a fantastic family who are always there for me when I need them. I am grateful that I can spend time doing what I love, and I am grateful for a fluffy presence at my side snoring gently as I type this (sometimes she rattles the windows!) XX

  7. Hello Barbara,

    I am grateful for four healthy children and their families. I am grateful that my recently widowed son is coping with the loss of my darling daughter-in-law after an eight year battle with a brain tumour. I am grateful for having had Nikki in my life for 17 years. She was so inspirational.

    I am also grateful that I am able to craft and for Clarity Stamp and the NDC.

    Love, Roz.x

  8. Hiya Barb, fantastic tutorial, I love how things come to life with some careful shading. I'm thankful that I have a loving, caring husband, 2 healthy, happy, responsible grown up kids, lovely family, a dearly loved dad now settled in a nursing home, lovely friends, a gorgeous, mad pooch, a comfy, warm house, and no money worries. I'm a very lucky lady, and I am so, so thankful x

  9. I am grateful every day when I see my beautiful daughter and my handsome son! They are growing into fine young people (9 and 7 so far), and they are well behaved, well adjusted people, despite a broken home. I am grateful for my home, my health (most of the time!), having just enough to get by, my friends and my wonderful boyfriend.
    I don't have everything I want, but I have more than I need, and that's enough to be happy!!

    Alana x

    Ps fab shading!

  10. Wow! great effect.

    I'm grateful for

    my family (Dad is very poorly and I'm grateful that he's peaceful and not in pain)
    my friends
    my fur babies
    my friends fur babies
    for being at work in the same place for 37 years this month
    for being healthy
    for being comfortable financially
    for the memories I have of those no longer with us

    there is so much when you think about it like that and I could go on….

    Thanks for making me take five minutes to think about it. xx

    Well done Liz for winning the apron x

  11. Hi Barbara – thanks for another great idea with all the instructions of how to get there – if ONLY I had some of your talent my creations might look like yours … I know, I know, practice makes perfect (or at least good enough)! I have lots to be grateful for – my lovely partner, a successful business, no debts, and today sunshine in the Highlands so that I can enjoy my day off and go and explore an area that I haven't yet been to around the Kyle of Tongue! Thanks, Susan x

  12. Thank you Barbara for a great tutorial- your ideas inspire and you show me how to do stuff!!
    Every day I thank God for all He has given me , both in the past and in the present and for what's to come.
    For healthy husband , children and grandchild ( such a blessing ) for friends , family , a roof over my head, food to eat , safe keeping , health and just being able to walk and see and hear!
    For nature and all it's wonders and wisdom that comes with age!!
    The stuff that's been hard I am grateful for getting through and most of all the LOVE I have received form wonderful people !!
    Thanks for the opportunity to say it Barbara and thanks for your blog!!

  13. Lovely intricate card.
    I am grateful that the rest of my family are all healthy.
    I am grateful for many things too numerous to mention.
    There are so many things that we all take for granted.

  14. Great card, excellent blog piece as always. Blessings? Love, life and most especially laughter; family and friends; crafting, books, sport, food. So much, so many blessings how grateful I feel.

  15. Hi Barbara wow what great shading and yes I can see broken wooden fence, can even see the texture of the wood how fantastic. What am I thankful for, my lovely husband and daughter who both work so hard , my great family and friends who are so supportive and always there even when we are rubbish at keeping in touch! Living in a country that is safe and beautiful even though we all moan about the weather politics prices you name it we are very lucky, for being able to hear see and smell the wonderful world around us and, although my feet are really aching today the fact that I can walk around and see wonderful places and yes although mobile phones etc drive us mad technology so we can stay in touch with loved ones when they are far away and we know they are safe and happy and so we can check your blog! Have a great day Barbara and I hope the sun is shining with you. You are amazing raising so much money for a worthwhile cause. Love Diane G xxx

  16. Terrific post Barbara, I am thankful everyday for the health of all my family, and that I live in a country where we are safe to speak up when we see wrong, where the weather is delightfully varied and unpredictable and where people are charitable always, who even in bad times can see and be generous to others so much worse off than we are. Long may it continue because in all things it is true that you don't know what you have until it is gone

  17. Barbara,i love your artwork and i have a look on your blog every day since i found it, and i am very happy about your german blog 🙂
    i am grateful for living in Austria, a land without war , very good health care and much culture.
    But there are many other things i am grateful, love ludeke

  18. Fantastic news about the fundraising – makes being hit on the head with all those icy lumps and freezing water all the more worth while….unless you like that sort of thing of course! 🙂
    Beautiful compostion – very dreamy……another one to try when I get my Clarity order, as this is one stencil I don't have yet and it wouldn't be the same with a brick wall in front of the hedge!
    Have a lovely day, Carole x

    1. Oh – and I'm very grateful to Clarity for introducing me to a talent that has laid dormant for so long, and now I have found something I really love doing in my spare time 🙂 x

  19. Loved this card will have ago. Have so much to be thankful for well it will be a year on 9th sept since I lost my beautiful daughter Sandie I survived this year with out her been hard but had a wonderful 27 years with her I have a wonderful husband three more beautiful daughters two wonderful son in laws 3 beautiful grandchildren who I treasure and we are expecting a further grandchild in next five weeks love having you and all clarity team in my life and Sazz and all clarity East Midlands as my craft friends and family I am truly blessed. Thank you barbara for what you have created in clarity stamps it's more than a company selling stamps etc but one big Amazing family love you all xx

  20. Hi Barbara, thanks for a great tutorial. I am very grateful that I have a loving and supportive husband. He has put up with me and our daughter as we both have fibromyalgia amomg other health problems.

  21. Great artwork. Wow and I have to say is there an award for the Best, best customer service. Yours is second to none and what a lovely work team – happy, friendly and helpful. A sure sign of a good "manager". Problem solved in a turn round of royal mail.
    As for being blessed – wonderful husband of 45 years! – he deserves a medal. Three lovely grown up children, two lovely "ankle-biters"! and not forgetting a big stress relieving in being able to craft with your expertise.
    Best wishes

  22. Wonderful, love it!
    I am grateful for:
    My eyes to see the beauty around me
    My heart to give and feel love
    My lips to kiss my three very grown up boys (they protest but I ignore because I am sure they love it really!) oh and hubby gets one too sometimes 🙂

  23. Wow Barbara beautiful colours lovley art work
    Fantastic amount of money raised
    I'm very grateful to my friend Debbie who introducing me to crafting it changed my life as I had been told I had M.E. And had to give up my job ,
    I'm grateful to my partner who is my full time carer how life has changed for him too ,
    As long as I can still craft a little each day it makes each day worth while
    Hugs to all us crafters xxx

  24. Wonderful piece of art
    I am greatful for
    My wonderful family all of whom are healthy
    The beautiful place we live and the ability to see and appreciate it
    All my craft friends who teach me so much

  25. Beautiful work of art Barbara…and yes we are blessed, my dad is nearly 102 and I am blessed to still have him in my life…thanks for your wonderful tutorials…waiting on an order to arrive …yipppeee. xx

  26. Lovely artwork.
    I didn't like the cold bucket of ice and water, but when I re-played the video the joy of listening to my granddaughter as she giggled whilst filming my husband tipping the water was immeasurable. Nothing can be better than listening to her laughter.

  27. Hello Barb. Not to be out done by her mum and dad my 4 year granddaughter did the ice bucket challenge. So cute seeing the video on FB. I'm grateful for family and for the days I can get out of bed and lead a normal life……xx

  28. YAY, YAY & thrice YAY!!! I won a Clarity pinny 🙂 Thank you, Barb!

    I always try to count my blessings:

    my renewed health & mobility
    my gorgeous puss-cats – MACK & MABEL & MILO 🙂
    my good & great friends
    my dear cousins: TAZ, VIDA & NEIL
    my favourite place to be – Sennen Cove, West Cornwall
    music, singing, colours, art, good food & NATURE – & the ability to enjoy all these, though not necessarily at the same time!
    my ability to create beautiful cards & to share techniques & ideas with:
    the friends I have made through card-making

    & my soon-to-arrive Clarity pinny from my dear friend, Barbara!

    Life is good, on the whole, isn't it?

    lots of love, Liz M xxx

  29. Hi Barb,

    Beautiful card. Love it all.

    I thank the lord for two wonderful, healthy children who I couldn't live without. Also for all the decent, good people out there who do so much for everyone else, whatever race, culture or religion they go that extra mile to help.

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  30. What a wonderful shading lesson ! I am so grateful for it.

    I am grateful that I am healthy that I do have wonderful friends.

    I am very grateful that the Internet makes it possible to join a community in a different Country than mine and even worldwide.

    I am grateful for the sun that is just shining and the peace in my Country.

    So much to be grateful for. Thanks for sharing – xxx

  31. Fantastic shading! Such a fab picture! I am grateful for having the best husband in the world! My son Michael and my Daughter Sarah are awesome and very happy with cool girlfriend and husband. I also am grateful for the most gorgeous Granddaughter ever. Add to that such awesome friends, in person and by blog! Discovering craft is another thing I am grateful for! Wow, there is so much! I am lucky! xxx

  32. We should always remember to count the blessings in our life because it makes us happy! We all have bad things but there are also so many good ones too. Have a fabulous day and thank you for sharing this beauty Karen x

  33. Hi Barb,
    Another masterpiece from the Gray Stable (how about that for a name?).
    I am grateful that I live in England with a Queen at the head, and not a Dictator.
    I am grateful to my George, nearly 48 years and he still loves me – although he often says "The great train robbers didn't get this long!
    I am grateful for my daughter, my only child – God was good to me in that he gave me one but said "that's your lot".
    I am grateful for her husband, because he became the father of her two children, whom I adore and who always tell us they love us.
    I am grateful for my friends and wonderful neighbours.
    The list could go on and on so thank YOU for reminding me of my blessings, and giving us all so much pleasure with your "ramblings" and crafty ideas.
    Oh, congratulations to Liz, lucky lady xx

  34. Another fantastic masterpieces, Barbara, thank you for sharing it with us.

    We should all be thankful for our life, around the world there are millions who do not have the freedom we do in the UK. No matter what problems we have in our families, there is always someone worse off than we are.

    I have a fantastic husband, daughter and son, many good friends and often think how lucky I am.

  35. A very clever idea Barbara and love the shading which brings it all to life. I am thankful for my family – I have a wonderful husband and son, also for us all being healthy – well hubby and I are pretty good for our ages, a happy retirement – being able to do lots of things which in earlier years may have seemed out of reach, having good friends, enjoying hobbies – my husband and I sing and then I have my cardmaking which I adore, and living in a part of the world which is really beautiful and being able to go out and enjoy all the wonderful things around us, but also enjoying the everyday things too. x

  36. Hi Barbara,
    At the beginning I thought 'my goodness she's lost her mind', half way down I thought 'I would have had it in the scrap pile by now' but WOW after all that shading and patience you really made it POP
    well done! and thank you for all your inspiration.

    Well done also on the fund raising.
    Lorna D

  37. Hi a barb,
    Lovely creation today and some excellent advice re shading etc. well done to Liz on winning the fabulous pencils – you will love them. As for blessing well I've just come back from hospital with my aunt ( who's 89) who has been told that the dreaded C has spread and there's nothing more really that they can do other than manage her pain. So all in all I'm grateful for my hubbie, my family and more importantly being relatively healthy and Alive! Thanks for your continued inspiration. Love Alisonxxx

  38. After cooking a rather impromptu lunch today for both sons, a girlfriend and grandchildren, during which there was loads of laughter, I am so grateful for my lovely family. We are healthy, happy and all good friends, what more could I want. The Ice Bucket challenge has been fantastic you alone have raised a lot of money and hopefully lots of awareness. Well done, my son took part this afternoon.
    Your card is amazing, did wonder where it was going and not sure I would manage to re-create. Beautiful. Enjoy your last few days of break. xx

  39. The card is lovely Barbara thank you for sharing you have done so well with your charity work well done xx I feel very lucky cliff and I have been married 57years 3wonderful kids 4grandchildren and 3yeard ago we got our beautiful great grandson bailey. He is autistic non verbal he lights up our lives a true gift. Love June xxxx

  40. this is beautiful Barbara. I am grateful for my two healthy boys, healthy parents and even though my gran suffers from dementia am grateful that she is otherwise healthy, very happy and well looked after in an excellent care home x

  41. Hello Barb, just back from a funeral to say goodbye to a much loved Uncle. And yet we were all grateful and counting our blessings for family to get together and share memories and treasure the time we have even at sad occasions. Arriving home to my daughter and her one year old baby who housesat for us so felt blessed all over again. Life is good even during the tough times. Thank you for making it better! xx Margaret Col.

  42. Lovely exercise in shading Barbara. I am grateful for each day as I suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2003 and made a complete recovery. Two years prior to that my eldest daughter was not so fortunate. She died from a massive brain haemorrhage at just 34 years of age. A lesson to us all, be grateful for the gift of each day, especially if you are surrounded by wonderful family and friends as am I.

  43. Good Evening Barbara!!!
    Well another long day at work and here I am playing catch up with the blog!
    Do you know it was not until almost the end that I actually realised you had taken the stencil off!!! Goodness me what was I thinking – I love it!!! I felt I was looking through bamboo stick fencing at a world beyond!!!
    Now I do hope you did not go to work!!!!!! Lets see now, some perspective…is it urgent?, can you delegate, will Clarity come to a halt????? Measured against….TV, Open Days, Ally Pally, more TV, NEC…. hmmmmmmmm, now come on Barbara!!!!

    Much Love as ever
    Kim xxx

  44. Fantastic Barbara, well done with the fundraising. Did my ice bucket challenge last night & boy was it cold. I'm grateful for having married the man of my dreams, a job and a chance to relax in the form of craft. I'm a lucky girl !

  45. Awesome card and something I am going to try myself as really want to master shading, perhaps then I can improve my colouring.

    I often count my blessings Barbara. I have been very lucky to be involved with a charity that helps children in Africa and have been to Ethiopia and Uganda (it's a relationship built up between the organisation I work for and the charity and we have to fundraise). To see the extreme poverty is beyond words. Ethiopia in particular was so extreme that a few of us vomited a few times.

    I am so thankful for
    * my job
    * my health
    * food in my belly
    * a roof over my head
    * a warm bed
    * my family/friends/loved ones
    * my crafting – this truly helps me escape into another world 🙂
    * my PC/iPad so that I can interact with so many people across the world – how amazing is that! as a child I never foresaw that happening, we didn't even have a house phone let alone the gadgets available nowadays

    Take care x

  46. Very interesting artwork, great end result.

    I'm very grateful that my mum's recent health scare turned out to be nothing serious.
    Loving Husband and wonderful family.
    I'm very grateful for all the lovely friends I've met thro' Clarity xx

  47. Hi Barbara, what a great exercise in shading. The finished result looks amazing. I'm grateful for my family and friends; for my health; for the opportunities each day brings, for my craft and most importantly for my faith. Hope you've had a lovely day xx

  48. Wow, how clever. I don't think I'd manage the posts without getting them all confused, but it looks good.
    Apart from the usual gratitude for a healthy, loving family, at the moment we're just very thankful that our three daughters were spared the awful trouble that's been happening in Rotherham, where we live. We pray for the people who have been involved.
    Thank you, Barbara. Jan

  49. Love the card and the shading. I'm grateful for our family unit and the way we work together to help each other, it's a system that works for us. Thanks j

  50. Wow, another beautiful piece you've created.Fab step by steps. I am grateful for so many things:
    My hubby of 20 years who is my carer who never complains, my beautiful daughter who is so kind and thoughtful, My Mum who's my best friend, My Dad and Sister who I'd be lost without and my lovely friend Sheila who is so kind and caring.She messages me everyday via her ipad to chat and check how I'm doing.Through both of us being ill we support each other through everything – big or small.
    I feel very blessed.Hugs Debbie x

  51. A beautiful piece of art today and using so little equipment. I am very thankful at the moment for my family, who have spent so much time this week tackling the jobs I could not do, emptying the garage of years of stuff, and the spare bedroom and doing so many tip runs that the folks down at the tip thought we were taking up residence there., and becoming best friends with the people running the shop for the Primrose Hospice with all the bags of clothes, books etc. I am also very grateful to all my Clarity friends, who have been such a support all this last year. xxx Maggie

  52. Hi Barbara. How clever you are, once again a piece of card, a stencil and a few colours become a fantastic 3D picture! One day I hope I can be half as good as you. I must keep on practicing : )
    I am truly grateful that I have a wonderful family and friends and that I have a home, water, food, warmth and clothes on my back, my freedom to live in and enjoy our beautiful country…..what more could I ask for! Thank you for the nudge to remind ourselves just how fortunate we are. Take care.

  53. Wow! You are so clever to be able to create that 3d effect with shading. You have such a talent Barbara.
    I am grateful for my 2 children and my partner, Neil, for bringing me to live in such a beautiful part of the country. I am grateful for finding the Cĺarity family and all the wonderful friends that it has brought me.
    There are many more and for this I am also truly grateful.
    Hugs Jeanette xx

  54. Feeling quite melancholy tonight. Two things happened today. I was nominated for the ice bucket challenge and I met someone who has suffered with MS for 18 yrs and has just been diagnosed with MND !!!!!!!! How ironic!. I know what MND is, I have heard of people who have suffered with it, but today I actually met someone… it just hit me hard. This person has suffered for 18 yrs with a devastating illness and an uncertain future and then fate deals him another devastating blow to finish his last days/weeks/months with a terminal illness that beggars belief with its cruel, torturous demise. So tomorrow when I do the challenge, it will be tinged with sadness as I actually know somebody this will affect. Sorry to sound so down but happy the just giving donations are going well… Vxxx

  55. Very arty card, and you make it look so easy!
    It's good to take stock of our blessings. I'm grateful for having had enjoyed my wonderful job that took me to so many places with lovely, happy people who were so much worse off than us. So like most of the respondents I thank my lucky stars for my beloved family members, our health, financial security and the communities of our great country, including, of course, crafters.

  56. Shading scares me enormously but this step by step walk through makes it look so easy…. why am I holding back ? I think I should just take the bull by the horns. What am I grateful for ? Everything ! Been through one hell of a ride over the last few years but coming out the end with a wonderful, supportive family, a great man & a happy, healthy son…. as long as they're all OK then I'm OK & the rest will run it's course

  57. A lot of these comments made me tear up Like Joy I suppose I must be grateful that I have survived another year without my gorgeous son who lost his fight to heart disease at 29 I am grateful that my husband and daughter.are fantastic support I'm grateful that I can lose myself in a craft when the horrors of the world disappears for a few hours

  58. Lovely shading tutorial. I am grateful for biologic drugs. These amazing drugs have transformed the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, from which I suffer. Without these new drugs, I would be a lot worse off than I am and I am grateful that I live in a time when advances in science and medicine have made my life better than it would have been just a few years ago. I'm about to start on a new one and am looking forward to feeling even better soon.

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