Perfection – NOT!!!!

Perfection – NOT!!!!

Hello there.
Welcome to our Mindful Wednesday blog.
I say OUR, 
because we are certainly building a little community here.
I get it. I really do.
We obviously want to enjoy our days more than perhaps we sometimes do.
And here is a place where we can go to,
to perhaps pick up a few pointers.
Not everything I say here will resonate with everyone.
That would be impossible.
But if anything, just one little thing, 
can help somebody, anybody, 
to relax and focus on their NOW, 
instead of fretting about the future or crying about the past,
then I would say it was a blog worth writing.
And today I want to write about something very close to my heart:
What’s that got to do with Mindfulness?
Well, if mindfulness means clearing the mind 
by concentrating on a simple pure action, 
like the drinking of good tea, 
colouring in a picture,
getting in the Groovi groove,
 then I would say that a need to do everything perfectly 
could stifle that relaxing moment perfectly!
You’re setting yourself up to probably fail 
every time you do ANYTHING!
I can only speak from my own experience.
I used to be plagued by PERFECTIONISM.
It tormented me, it tore me down, 
it made me feel useless, fat and ugly.
It robbed me of my sleep and my serenity. 
It drove me to distraction and embarrassed me.
But not anymore.
Hahaha! This sounds like one of those miracle diet ads!
All that’s missing is the next line:
Then I discovered Dr Droppastone…
(say it with an American accent!)
But actually, the thing that cured me was the Gelli Plate.
I have the Gelli Plate to thank for quashing my perfectionism.
Let me explain…
A couple of years ago, we took on the distribution for the Gelli Plate, an ingenious piece of kit from America, which helps you create Monoprints without a printing press.
(We still sell them and I still love them)
Up until that point, I had focussed primarily on inks and card, 
on brayering etc. You know!
Well, when the Gelli Plate landed, I was forced out of my comfort zone, because I had to start using acrylic paints, a medium I had never known how to use – so never had.
But the thing about the paint and the Gelli Plate was that I couldn’t really control the outcome, couldn’t get it to do what I had planned in my head.
Every time I pulled a print, it was in my opinion, rubbish.
Not good enough. In the bin.
Not what I wanted. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
Try again. In the bin.
You get the picture. 
I had a huge bin, 
was piling through paint and card like there was no tomorrow,
and nothing I was producing was anywhere near good enough.
You would laugh at me and I would make a fool of myself.
I was supposed to be launching these pesky things on TV,
 and no way no how was I going to be able to pull it off. 
Let alone pull a print off!
Then these two sad individuals, 
Dispare and Despuration – 
( second cousins of Wurka and Hollick )
moved in upstairs,
and announced that Pannick was coming to the party, too.
I hate Pannick.
He makes me feel physically sick. Good for nothing toad.
Remember when you deliberated about whether or not to invest in a Gelli Plate, or a Groovi Plate?
Imagine what was going on in my head, with 4 PALLET LOADS en route from Taiwan, and I couldn’t perfect the skill !! 
That’s a whole heap of Gelli Plates!!!!
Well, one morning, I was given the gift of Despuration.
He clearly felt sorry for me, and while I was frantically trying and failing to get a perfect paint print, he whispered in my ear,
“Stop trying to get it perfect, fucrineoutloud!
Work with what you get.”
Ping. The penny dropped.
And you have to believe me when I tell you:
Those 5 words set me free.
Finally, I gave myself permission to just enjoy the process,
and not doggedly try to control the outcome.
From then on, whenever I peeled the card back to reveal my print,
I accepted that it was what it was what it was.
But the strangest thing is that the day I stopped being so destructively critical about my work, therefore myself, 
was the day my artwork came alive. 

Hands up if you knew me before the dawning of the Gelli Plate. 
Now. Those with your hands up, tell the others how my artwork has evolved during the last two years.
The overriding need to do everything perfectly has been replaced by an overwhelming thirst for discovery.
I want to try new things and stretch myself,
whereas before, in the years BGP (Before Gelli Plate)
 I pretty much stuck to what I was really good at.
Which explains why I was really good at it! 
I always used to joke that I was going to have a brayer grafted to my left hand, because that was pretty much all I ever did. 
Brayered skies and hills on Claritycard.
Now that’s very nice I know. 
But 20 years of brayered skies and hills ??
No wonder I’m bloody good at it !!
If anybody had told me 2 years ago that I would be creating really cool canvases, I would have laughed at them.
All it took was an open mind and a little guidance from my friend Gill, who showed me some tips and tricks, and I was off.
This was my first canvas. 

I never really know where I’m headed when I start.
I just WORK WITH WHAT I GET, and go from there.
No pressure. Just an enjoyable arty session with myself. 
I have learned so much !
And most of it was where things didn’t quite go according to plan.
You know on Monday’s blog when the feet came off the geese,
 so I made a flowery meadow?
That’s a prefect example of W.W.W.I.G
Admit defeat?
Or say no De Feet?
Hah! So I learned how to make a flowery meadow 
with a Paper stump.

I shall leave it there.
I think you get my drift.
As promise on Monday, a half-price sale on all canvases.
Apprehensive about moving from card to canvas boards?
Don’t be.

love and hugs,

87 thoughts on “Perfection – NOT!!!!

  1. Barbara, you are so funny and clever to boot – thanks for putting things in perspective once again. Seen our Saz today and she's on the mend, so CEM are very happy x

  2. I am guilty of owning the jelly plate and giving up because I didn't think the results " looked right" I must get it out again and have another go.

  3. Wise words from a wise old owl – less of the old, you say! What does JFDI – mean – sorry bit challenged with abbreviations. Will get out the old geli plate and make a mess – no – a piece of artwork.
    See you soon
    Best wishes
    Anne (Reading)

  4. I very rarely throw anything away that I've started, partly because I've put a lot of time into it and also because the money I've spent on art materials can't be wasted, I put it to one side and get it out the next day and everything works and they sometimes become some of my favourite creations.
    You're such a great teacher Barbarba, both for my art and my soul, thankyou xxx

  5. I feel the same about my gelli plate. I was a little ( well a lot if truth be told) apprehensive about getting one but I saw your demos and thought how cool the results were that I didn't waver for long. It too took me a long time to be free enough creatively to just accept what came off the plate. Work with it even it wasn't the best print in the world (which they weren't ) . Now I love it because it is unpredictable, I can do the same colours, same stencil and get different results each time. Without you and your gelli plate demos I would never have been able to do my art journaling which I have recently started. I use ink sprays, paints, stencils, stamps, paper cutouts etc in it and I love that is is just do a page and see what you get! Very creative even dare I say arty? In fact when I started gelli and art journaling I even felt cheated by my art teachers at school, because if you couldn't draw you were made to feel you were no good at art. Thanks to you I now know that being able to draw and being artistic are two very different skills. Nothing better than being covered in paint and ink! Xx

    1. Donna, in my case I could draw but was told at school that I was useless at art because I could not then paint the intricate drawings I had done, using wallpaper paste sized brushes. That treatment stopped me from drawing or doing anything artistic until the last two or three years. Now I love trying to get back into drawing for my own fun.. xxx Maggie

    2. Hi Donna fell of the CCA wagon again the canvas sale was just too good to miss
      Like you and Maggie I was told always must try harder was never good enough yet now I get such lovely comments on my cards ,parchment, gelli plate ,ect it's means a lot to be part of this blog xxx

    3. You lot are a bad influence on me! I think that's 4 Clarity orders in the space of a month!!!! Never heard of for me to do that!!!! I'm definitely attending CCA, although it seems that's what's made me fall off the wagon!!!! I think I'm going to be suffering withdrawal symptoms for a looooong time!!! But at least I'll still have my club stamp and stencil every month 🙂 Hmm, now that I think about it, I've bought canvases and I don't have any of those lovely chalk paints, but I do have some proper acrylic paints, guess they'll be good enough, just no one tell me how good the Fresco ones are please!!!! 😉 Barbara, you're allowed to make as many new products and sales as you like just so long as there is nothing in the next few months that I want /need 😉 xx

    4. Heeeee heeeeee me too! CCA is not working very well is it? 🙂 But there is nothing better than a crafty parcel.
      I don't have any of the Fresco paints yet (opps did I just say yet?) I was going to use my acrylic paints that I use on my Gelli plate. Xx

    5. It's so good too read this blog is a wonderful tonic get the chalk paints they brilliant I've only got 5 colours but rest on my wish list hugs xxx

    6. Oh Donna, Sheila and Brenda what are you all like! You do make me laugh. I think my husband would have a pink fit backwards if there were 4 Clarity orders a month! I would be sent out to work again and then not have time to play with my goodies. Enjoy your goodies ladies, I think the chalk paints need trying … Tee hee xxx

    7. Diane, my head is having a fit realising what a bad influence this lot are on me!!!! And now you're joining in too with the Fresco paints!!!! In my defence there are lots of months I buy nothing, so technically I've saved up all those months allowances to spend this past month! Thank you very much for the two brilliant suggestions, I'll definitely tell my support person tomorrow (this morning yikes better try to get some sleep!!!) when I talk to her about them. I'm sure Nicola or her will be able to pick up some of those bags for me, and I'd only need to use them for the soft fruits in the summer so not that much extra cost to enable me to have fresh nutritious fruit that I like 🙂 xx

    8. Dot my dear, they say the best things come in small packets, well that's not me!!!! I call myself economy size- better value for money 🙂 I'm very good at persuading people to buy things as you may have guessed! Xxx

  6. Hi Barbara
    A wonderful post today. You do some amazing art. I have always been a great admirer of your precise stamping and skilled brayer work. I also love how you have introduced us ( and yourself ) to the Gelliplate. The wonderful thing about it is the fact that it's a lovely surprise each time you pull a print. The quest for perfection causes so much stress in all aspects of life. We worry far to much about what others think of us, how we look, is it good enough. Unfortunately there are far too many sad people who just love to belittle others. Social media has a lot to answer for. Today is a lovely sunny day. I have visited old friends, had a delicious lunch and just put a cake in the oven- it smells
    lovely. Hubby has just brought me a cuppa too. Cake's nearly ready to come out so I have to go.
    Hugs from Chris X

  7. Wow Barbara, I’m you pre gelli plate, totally and utterly and with everything, not just craft. It sounds like you’re writing from in my head, totally! I’ve got a whole army of dispares, despurations and pannicks residing in my head, nipping away at me the whole time. Ugly, fat, useless, worthless, total failure, not worth the air I breathe, not worth people being nice /good to me, not worth anything….. I’m also now wondering if that’s why I spend so much time doing avoidance of all these arty products I’ve got, bought with every intention of using, and never even taken out of their packets /tubes etc!

    And yes, you’re so right, the artist in you was properly unleashed with you learning to use the gelli plate (not that you weren’t an artist before, just concentrated on one type). It’s like the artwork you produce post gelli plate is done by a totally different person. And I love it all, and you 😉

    I’ve JFDI!!! I’ve thought about canvases, wanted to go there, eventually, when I’ve learned to be arty! And then the other day the penny dropped that I don’t need to be scared about wasting a canvas as I can just paint over my rubbish attempts. And a half price sale on canvases. And my mental arithmetic last week went a bit awry – I must have added something twice or added the single plates as if they were doubles, so I spent less on the Groovi order than we thought it would be. So, a big breathe, a shaky finger hitting the confirm order button and I’ve joined you all with my first wee stash of canvases. Something else to clutter up in here and gather dust!!!! No, I’ve got to crack this fear of me trying anything arty, for sure. Even my Jane art got relinquished to the to do basket and nothing has been brought out of it since, only added! And wee canvases would make great presents, I can fill everyone’s walls up!

    Thank you Barbara, if only I could come down there and give you a massive big hug right now. You are one very special lady and I just connect so much with you, love Brenda xx

    1. I am so glad your shaky finger had the courage to go for those canvasses, Brenda. I had a major panic over my Jane artwork and dithered for ages. I sat talking to my daughter on the phone with the brush in my hand, and suddenly went for it. The end result will never make millions in an auction but I no longer care. Its significance was that I was doing something new in the name of Jane Crosby and beating the demons from school. So when you get your canvasses, get your paint out and attack those demons. It does not matter if it does not come out as you thought, let it do what it wants. Have another go at some Jane art, and let it develop as it goes. xxxx Maggie

    2. Hi Brenda glad you bought some canvases like you they will stack up in my craft room but whenever you want to craft they will be there big hugs xxx

    3. Hi Brenda, give that Gollum a swift kick out the window!
      How strange we both had the same lightbulb moment of if its rubbish I can just paint over it! Funny, such a simple thing but suddenly you feel free to get started. Xx

    4. Yeah, trouble is when I kick him out the window there's a queue of his clones eagerly waiting to take his place!!!!! Happens every time!!!! You're so right, something as simple as you can paint over and start again shuts up a lot of those pesky gremlins ?Gollums, holding you back from having a go. Yeah Gollum is so right isn't it, wonder if my eyes change too when they're shouting at me from in my head!!!! It's like when I practise something on scrap fine, relaxed and it just flows but when I then go to do it on the real thing suddenly my arm tenses up and it's all jerky and looks rubbish. I've endlessly tried telling myself, it's no different to the scrap paper, so what if I mess it up it's a few pence in card, a wee bit time it took to make it, never works though! Have you found a way round that one? It's probably why I like everything on separate bits of scrap paper, if I tried doing the ideas and practise in a notebook I'd have the same problem, a scrap bit paper is easy chucked out and replaced with another attempt and without having to always see /be reminded of the rubbish or mess I've made in all previous attempts!!!

      I've got to get up early in the morning :-(. My garden visit is 10-12, but at least it's someone I know and who isn't going to harm me, and can garden so she's going to help me catch up on pruning and planting out, the grass cutting can be the workers problem next week, it's the only thing she can do without causing any problems. This person that's coming is the acrylic artist, not at the stage of getting her help with anything but I'm going to talk to her about signing art work as I've been thinking I could maybe just put my initials in a bottom corner of the front and sign it properly on the back. My name is a rubbish one for nice signature stuff, no curly letters or anything. I'm going to see if she can help me work out what to do about my food shopping too as that changes next week. I've sourced an organic box place but that doesn't really solve the problem in the summer as they don't do summer fruit and I pretty much live on summer fruit at this time of the year, so I'd still have to get two weeks of fresh fruit and hope it keeps ok in the fridge, and obviously not as nutritious being kept that long. But at least I've got it narrowed down to summer fruit only being the problem now.

      Can't be long until you're on holiday, 6 weeks, loads of craft time eh? What else do you do with yourself in the long holiday. I know you're going to Wales with your mum and step dad (wish I could have a bit of that, but glad you're getting away for a bit) xx

    5. Thank you for the encouragement Maggie, much appreciated :-). I think that was part of the problem, that it was all new to me it literally is one of those no ideas where this is going to end up, only know the starting point. xx

      Hi Sheila, sounds like you've fallen off the wagon too!!! xx

    6. Yep not long now last day is a week on Friday!!!!! I do tons of crafting, reading, catching up on box sets of TV programmes and also catching up on all the jobs I put off till its the holidays. I also do all the things I can't do during school time like dentist visits and eye tests. I always make myself spend an hour just sitting in the garden with a good book, love reading outside in the garden. Can't wait to visit Wales, soooo looking forward to some beautiful scenery and lots of quiet reflection time.
      I think you need a notebook (I have a couple of spares!) to keep your bits of paper in so that you can see yourself getting better with each attempt instead of throwing them away. Then you will be able to see your progress, the things that went right, the things that didn't go to plan. It would be your own learning library.
      Glad you have your food delivery sorted out. An organic box sounds good, and your fruit should be OK in the fridge. I've seen something similar for vegetables but it didn't have much variety unfortunately. Xx

    7. I bet you've got more than a couple of spares!!!!
      The organic boxes are fruit and veg, you choose exactly what you want in any combination of fruit and veg each time, and most of the veg I eat are on the list 🙂
      Maybe I could start with a notebook I can tear the pages out of?!!!! 😉
      Have you watched Under The Dome, Lost, Orphan Black? They're my favourites. And if you've watched Lost you can explain the final ending to me, no one I know has watched it, and with my Asperger's I often need to get someone to explain endings of movies /series and stuff to me, which is extremely frustrating. And I've been waiting years for someone to explain Lost to me!!!! Don't suppose you can? xx

    8. I did watch Lost on TV but then it went to Sky which I don't get so couldn't watch anymore. I got to the season where they had to keep pressing a button or else! Haven't thought to get them on DVD so can't help you with the ending I'm afraid.
      I watched the first season of Under The Dome, and have been recording the current one so I will catch up with it soon. I have a box set (borrowed from my Sister) of How I Met Your Mother and series 8&9 of Greys Anatomy to catch up on.
      You are right about my notebooks! Have you seen my stack……………?

    9. Hi Brenda just to let you know I'm connecting to you to.. big time I.m learning so much from you about your feelings and stuff which will help me understand Amy and how her thoughts work She like you is beautiful inside and out.
      As for Lost I lost it in episode 2 mind you I lost it years ago but I can laugh at myself just say …shit ya daft bugger and giggle….Love Dot…xx

    10. Donna I know, taking Lost off the telly. I got the box sets as presents, brother happy for several years of knowing exactly what to buy for me 😉 xx

      Aww, thank you for your lovely words Dot 🙂 Dot Da Vinci eh, I'll be more like Brenda

      Oh, I've just had a very scary time, microsoft update restart, laptop failed to restart, startup repair couldn't fix it, system restore to before update did the trick, then antivirus not working so had to do a restart and restore for that! I think it's all ok for now, but I'LL better run some scans in case something came in with the update, I'm using the tablet. Trouble is the update will happen again…

    11. Well Re..falling of the wagon well nobody stopped me did you…. and it was to good a deal to miss but it will be a Granny Dot creation signed and going on the wall I promise you all (I;ve got a feeling wooo oooo tonights gonna be a good night wooo ooo) sorry went in to nutter mode for a bit but hey ho life's to short not to have a laugh …

    12. Brenda I don't know if this will help but have a play with your initials to see if you can link them in some way to make an artistic signature. My daughter was commissioned by my friend to paint a picture for her husband, Emma found it quite tricky because it wasn't her style of painting but was pleased with it when it was finished. My friend asked her to sign it – that took another week as she didn't know what to do, in the end she linked her initials. I'm looking forward to hearing the adventures of your canvasses – Emma has said I can play with some of the dozens she has got. Enjoy your garden time tomorrow, I hope the weather stays fine for you. Lakeland (used to be Lakeland plastics) used to sell stay fresh longer bags to keep fruit and veg fresher for longer in the fridge. They are a good company to use and really test their products before they sell them ( reliable like Clarity). Hope that helps xxx

  8. I am chuckling, but actually so much of this resonates with me. I live in constant secret fear that one day someone will find me out and the pack of cards that is my career, home, relationships, life will come tumbling down around my ears. But you are right of course – just work with what I have and it will be okay (it has been so far despite my best efforts to screw it all up!). Methinks I need a gelli plate.

  9. 'Just Flippin Do It' (or words to that effect)! How right you are Barbara. If talking yourself out of things was an Olympic sport, I'd have several Gold Medals. I'll remember that abbreviation next time…… love it, thank you xx

  10. Dear Barb, oh boy are you ever good for my mind and soul! I am amassing gelli prints like there is no tomorrow. Yes, learn to go with the flow. And I will some day soon. JFDI, I like that idea. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations with us. You should be prescribed on the nhs. Take care and know that you are raising the spirits and mindfulness of many out there. Going to mosey on over to the website and have a look at the sale. Bx

  11. Oh it is so good to hear others say what is also in my head . Making a card and submitting it to a challenge has been a HUGE step on my journey because I tend to compare myself to others and am embarrassed that they are thinking I'm aweful . So Recently I have stepped forward on the road called imperfection and here I am . In my blog (which took me forever to figure out ) I mentioned that I was on the road to Masters school and instead landed at Imperfection school where I fit in quite well . Lots of us there and happier too .,thank you for your creative team , you and your stamps . I'm going to get me a gelli plate . Hope you start selling in the USA so the postage and conversion isn't so high . Have. Joy filled day and JFDI I have an American accent haha

    1. I have just recently been brave enough to enter the Clarity challenges. Its so good to have been placed in the top 5 a couple of times really boosts your confidence levels. Like you I never thought I would be able to do it either! Xx

    2. I too never would have thought I would blog on here or would enter my cards into the clarity blog challenge or send in my story and a card for janes inspiration day but I have and it's the best things I have done is finding clarity and all you lovely people here on this blog crafting has helped me through some very dark days and with each product Barbara brings to us helps me even more big crafting hugs to all xxx

  12. Wise advice! it was refreshing to read your post.. It's good to know I'm not alone in my madness.. I have learned to let go, but am not totally free of the need for 'getting it just right' when creating. I recently decided to make a few cards for my magazine commission and surprisingly reached for the Gelli Plate! Mixed media art certainly cured me and now I can't get enough of it. 🙂 x

  13. It is nearly two years since I first met you "in the flesh" up at Wollaton, having arrived in a brand new (to me) vehicle with no conception of how to park it in a tight space, and being rescued by the lovely Dave. That was close to the start of the Gelli plate revolution, and where I first bought mine. It is amazing to see how your art work has exploded into so many different directions since that time, and roller coaster does not even come close to describing the journey you have taken yourself and us on during these two years. You have given me the courage to try so much that is new and not to get hung up on perfection and feeling rubbish because that was not possible. My self confidence has grown and I go all over the place to learn more techniques I can add to what I do. I do find that you are often sitting just behind me telling me to "leave it alone and don't overcook it". The Groovi system has actually freed me from the confines of using other people's designs in parchment, and I am now happy to mix the Groovi with stencils, stamps and my own drawing to get what I want. A stencil, a stamp, a make up sponge and an ink pad, and a micron pen was all I had on Saturday (and that was all borrowed from Fi, together with two of her Spectrum pencils) and I was lost and relaxed into my own world. Since the Groovi came out, I have been sleeping better, a real sign of mindfulness. Keep it going, Barbara, and make sure you take your own medicine. xxxx Maggie.

  14. Wow Barbara a wonderfully put blog today oh yes I love my gelli plate it's good that's it's always different each print and how you make a beautiful piece of art work out of your print ,I was a CCA yesterday and today I fell of the wagon again as couldn't resist the canvas sale I have 4 felt bags but couldn't resist another ,you have given us so many wonderful products and the groovi is the best mindfulness yes we all need some of that ,your a wonderful teacher who cares about her clarity followers so a big thank you and a crafting hug for giving me a whole new crafting experience even if I can only craft a little I feel I have achieved my daily goal xxx

  15. Thank you for sharing this Barbara , I am sure it resonates with lots of people , myself included.
    I have very much enjoyed seeing your art work evolving , and am always interested to see where you are heading next! Wherever it goes it is always wonderful.
    These words I read not too long ago , I think fit perfectly with all you are sharing today:
    "Sell cleverness…buy wonder".
    P.s I love your beautiful canvas with its geese and flowering meadow.

  16. I remember the pre-Gelli plate days, I still can't get my reflections right. I bought my first Gelli Plate at the Manchester workshop, a little nervous at first but it's working me ok. No hesitations with Groovie, love it, the perfect calm down and relax mechanism. Thank goodness for your Blog I should be totally lost without it.

  17. This is great Barbara – I so "get it" 🙂
    I'm loving all the new products and learning new techniques along the way and being part of it all. Crafting's a great way of un-winding! Don't ya just love the freedom of it and where it takes you!!
    Have a lovely evening 🙂 xxx

  18. It is very freeing to just let go and go with the flow. Too many times I think too much and do nothing. Trying to make things perfect or not even trying at all because your worried it won't be good enough is very debilitating, think I just need to get messy.

    Thanks for your kind words and understanding and wonderful inspiration Barbara xx

    P's. I've been practising your mindfulness technique from last Wednesday. When I'm at work and my mind is wondering and I really need to focus I make myself stop and focus on what I can hear etc and brings me back to the here and now, very useful, thank you xx

  19. What a great blog! I'm laughing as perfecting the grooviplate is easy but bloody irritating when you've done everything and then realise your words are back to front LOL! I don't despair – I just start again but trying to learn from my mistakes. Or accidentally turning parchment over to look at the right side half way through and then carrying on working with the right side on the top so you have half a right side and half a wrong side if you get me. My grand daughter loved it and did the whole butterfly plate and the letter squares down the side for her name – then turned over and said 'oh I thought the squares would be on the other side' but it didn't matter and we rescued it! I've still got the gelli plate to play with, when I bought it I was so busy with work I really didn't get to use it properly at all, now I have all the time in the world to give it a go and can't wait – wait till granddaughter sees that! She loved the shaving foam effect when we did that. Loving it all ! xx

    1. That's funny :-). Aye, it's not like the stamp letterbox letters where you can work it out first and lay them out exactly as you need to stamp them, and you're working in the right direction with them too. I think I'm going to have lots of backward words on mine!!! Now if it were upside down instead of back to front, nae worries as I have nae bother reading upside down text, one of my weird Autistic 'gifts'!!!!!!!! xx

    2. Good to know I'm not alone in getting it back to front and having a right side and a wrong side too jackiecou thank you for writing it on the blog hugs xxx

  20. Like you I am a perfectionist and it's through using the Gelli plate (though not enough) and starting to work with Brushos that I've had to let that go. I'm enjoying my journey with canvas too though I sometimes struggle to just go with it! xx

  21. Hi Barb,
    Great post today. It so resonates with me. I was exactly the same when I got my Gelli plate (& to some extent still am!) I do struggle with the acrylics but then you introduced me to Fresco Chalk Acrylics and I love them. Now it's the Groovi which is such a brilliant invention. I do like the JFDI principle as well!! Thanks for the half price sale too. Love Alison xx

  22. Hi Barbara I've always felt everything I try to create is rubbish compared to what I see of other peoples creations and what I see on the clarity website.
    But my bin is getting a wee bit emptier now and that's just from being here and watching the demos and step by steps and also the encouragement of the lovely people on this blog.
    It's nice to know you have the same feelings sometimes, mind you I would cherish even one of your binned creations.

    Love Dot…..xx
    P.S. When is your wheelie bin collection day again…lol…xxx

    1. Now where did I put my torch and black outfit, or shall we just pretend we are from the council doing spot checks on bins? Oooh just had a thought, if you shred a geli background into strips then stick the pieces back together on a sticky sheet in a random order I wonder what that would look like???!!! Xxx

    2. Council spot checks, I witnessed one of them here, stood at my kitchen window fascinated and watched them! Two people, one male, one female, female clearly in charge, going round checking all the recycling bins that were put out, male with clip board and bundle of A4 paper in hand. Looking in a bin, female pulling things out for a better look, having a wee confab between them, female telling male what to write down on their clipboard and on the A4 sheet, and putting it inside the bin, then moving onto the next. Ages it was taking them, especially as they clearly felt they hadn't checked some bins well enough so had to come back for another look, and having big confabs in trying to match some up with which property. Gradually up the street they worked. Half an hour later the bin lorry appears and empties the whole lot into the back of their truck, all bins, all contents, A4 sheets the lot! Still haven't worked out the purpose of that exercise…!!!

  23. Wise words, Barbara. I was, as it happens, reflecting yesterday on your journey since I first saw you demonstrate. I appreciate the way you've pushed your boundaries, but still return to your brayer and picture building roots from time to time. I always associated your artwork with neatness and care, 'having a plan' and thinking it through. Still do actually, but I'm glad the perfectionist bit has been ditched.
    I've only experimented with my Gelli Plate a few times but I was stuck for a quick card yesterday and played around with an earlier trial piece. I was really pleased with the end result and sorry that I had to send it off. Anyway I can always have another go and see what happens, possibly on a canvas or two, or three!

  24. Perfectionism…. the curse of the creatives ! I know form my own musical efforts, that it can stifle if not suffocate ones best efforts. So J.F.D.I. & enjoy it ! x

  25. Well, I wasn't around in Clarity Land pre gelli plate, and never would have guessed that it caused such angst! Barbara you always seem so comfortable and in control with it! But how inspiring to have an insight into your journey. And so reassuring – my first dabblings haven't been great, I haven't had the results I wanted, but this gives me hope that it's not me and it is worth persevering and not being too cautious – just give things a go and see what happens!

    I have struggled with perfectionism my whole life, and the fear of not getting something absolutely right. Until things came crashing down and I realised that all my caution had ended up with a life I was miserable with! Cue some major changes and a large dose of life lessons, and I'm now in a very different place. The old patterns are there but I recognise them and mostly keep them in their place!

  26. Fabulous blog today Barbara. I have watched you for many years and remember when you brought the Gelli plate to us! It was genius! I bought one straight away, and then stuck it in the cupboard for about a year! Lol! I do agree with you that your work has changed a lot since then. I love how you have grown and changed so much in your art, and it truly is fantastic artwork that you do. Xx
    Amanda x

  27. Loved reading your blog today it really has given me the kick I needed to get out my gelli plate and JFDI! It's funny how we imagine other people all do things perfectly ( first time ) when in reality it's just Not the case!
    I love your sense of humour and outlook on life also of course your talent for art, thanks for sharing it with us.

  28. I have loved seeing the way your art work has progressed. I love it all, especially the more abstract pieces. And thanks to your generous offers we all get to have a try if we would like to x

  29. Hi Barbara
    The internet connection decided to drop last night just as I posted my comment- how rude of it. What lovely people you meet on this blog, we do have a giggle! Yes I was there pre gelli plate and watched in wonder as you wielded your brayer and came to a workshop with my friend and we both left with loads of goodies. I've got my gelli plate and my friend and I had a good play before she bought hers, we had a lovely time, so out of our comfort zones but really enjoying ourselves. We need a catch up to talk about the Groovi plates, we need a play again.
    Thank you for sharing your journey Barbara
    Love Diane xxx

  30. Such great insight Barb, and yes, I was with you prior to Gelli Plate! Love the humour in your inspirational Wednesdays, and your generosity, so I went mad about bought the whole caboosh! Thank you.

  31. I remember those days well! New to the whole crafting malarkey I was at the time, you captivated me to the max! I consider my self so very fortunate to have a friend to open the crafting doors to me (she is/was a perfectionist too!).

    I love the experimental side of crafting, just going with the flow, using up the scraps and leftovers are just a few of my favourite things and with a great gusto of wanting to try everything new (well, new to me!). Oh Barbara, you have fuelled so many of us with your ideas and techniques (not to mention new and exciting equipment!).

    I am particularly enjoying my new Groovi kit. My eldest sister and I were being very mindful last night (we spend most Wednesday evenings together… just chatting) but last night, I introduced her to the Groovi plate and she was off (having never touched parchment before). We had an amazing evening together – thank you! xxx

  32. Well, I was with you pre-Gelli, and I'm with you post-Gelli too! It took me ages to get my Gelli out of the packet and use it, then I went to a workshop with Pauline in Perth and became a bit of an addict!!! I was also a terrible perfectionist in the past, but after a period of illness I have learnt that good enough and that'll do really are my best friends. Just need to pluck up the courage to put some paint on my canvasses – I'm working on a multi-media design so hope that will be my first attempt – JFDI Susan x

  33. Hi Barbara. The problem is just when I decided that brayering was the technique to master, you introduced the Gelli Plate. Then when that arrived and I left some inhibitions in the cupboard you started using canvases so they had to be tried. Now you introduce the Groovi and I haven't given in yet and followed but I know I will soon. Where will it end – I ask?? I suppose the answer is that it won't and you will give us the courage to try something else. The good thing is that you lead the way and for that many thanks. xx Margaret Col.

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