Pricking and Snipping….

Pricking and Snipping….

Hi there!
It’s been a busy few days here.
In fact, Dave has resorted to pulling a night shift, 
just so we can keep up with orders.
We may have upset a few people who got impatient,
but to be frank, it’s as it is.
When we are working round the clock, 
When Dave has turned his day into night and night into day,
when my brother has quit his job to climb aboard the Clarity Boat
and roll his sleeves up,
when more laser machines are on the way,
there’s not much more to say except we are doing the best we can.
So while Dave is having a sleep,
I have been having a parching session
and a little parchment lesson from our Clarity Parchers 
Susan Moran and Emma Burns!
You see, on Sunday I am supposed to be demonstrating 
our fabulous new and very cool
Groovi Grids.
They are precision drilled and purpose built 
to fit into our Groovi Plate mate.
Beautiful, aren’t they.
one straight and one diagonal/offset . 

Away with the bendy metal grids!
These are very very special.
You know how parching experts do all that fancy cutting 
and pricking?
And loads of us have been thinking “nah, not for me”.
Well today I decided to learn how to.
After all, I can hardly go on telly and sell something 
I don’t know how to use!
First thing, good scissors.
Since we have partnered up with Pergamano,
we can now happily use and sell the best scissors too.
So I started by making a box, because I intend to cut it out
picot-style. Picot being that lovely little triangle edge.
Then used a couple of the flowers from the new lace plate set,
Double box…

A bit of Rennie Mackintosh and Emma Burns here….

Nearly ready to try my hand at picot…

The good news is, I had four edges to go round, to practice on.
First side a bit ropey. 

Time to call a friend.
Question: How close do I go to the line-edge with the pricking?
Answer: As close as  possible.

too far away then.
My triangles aren’t very triangally.
Question “How do I hold the scissors?”
Answer: “Only put the tips of the scissors in the holes, 
then drop the scissors right down,
so they are parallel with the parchment.
Then twist the scissors in one direction and snip.
Twist and snip.”
Many thanks Susan and Emma for coaching me through these first baby steps – I feel like a real parcher now!!

I also figured out how to use the grid as a kind of texture mat.
Note to self: Use the No. 2 Stylus.
The No. 1 Stylus can puncture the parchment.
Next note to self: work from the back.

Getting there…

Susan even showed me this little trick:
4 holes.
Then do the picot from the centre on all 4 sides.
Easy when you know how!

So in the space of an hour, 
with the help of two clever friends
I have worked out how to do picot 
AND little crosses.

That doesn’t mean I have mastered it. 
It just means I know how it goes!
Which is great. 
The Groovi Grids are being launched on Hochanda 
on Mother’s Day Sunday afternoon 2pm.
By that time I’ll have an -ology in picot! NOT !!!
I love to learn.
Love & hugs,

98 thoughts on “Pricking and Snipping….

  1. Wow! Sorry I have just ordered and so added to your workload, now it looks like I will be ordering again next week!
    I will watch you a few times first – moving image of course.
    I think Clarity Towers will soon have to move to Clarity Castle!!

  2. I've been waiting for this, don't know why as I'm still learning the basics ! I have got the scissors already and will be watching you very carefully. I'll have a practice from what you've said above. got to get a birthday card mounted first and then Mother's Day card. Sorry you're so busy but just think what a success it is! I hope you're remembering to eat more than chocolate and liquorice all sorts like Paul in that pic! Just make sure you manage some rest amongst all that. Looking forward to Sunday xx

  3. Wow Barbara, what a fantastic invention! I can't wait to see what you've got planned for Sunday 🙂 Things have certainly gone into overdrive at Clarity and pleased that your brother has joined you too. Best of luck with the snipping, I've always loved it but not been brave enough to try it as it always looked so complicated, I know I'm finally going to learn from your demos. No pressure hey;-) xxx

  4. Ooo! At long last, I might be able to do "proper" parchment if I get these grids and scissors! Wonder if the kids could buy me them for mothers day!!
    Please remember to look after yourselves as well.

  5. Really well done. I had a lesson from a very kind Maggie Craner to help me with the edging and wonderful Emma gave me some tips on how to use my scissors properly. I love it, so easy to get hooked on all the piercing and snipping. You will be fine on Sunday and those grids are looking good. I am always happy to wait for my Clarity products shame if you are getting grief. Quality more important to me. xx

  6. I have yet to master the picot edges but I will get there! Great idea those grids – my poor bank balance!! Lol. Looking forward to your shows – just the thing for Mother's Day. My order arrived yesterday and I am really pleased with it. I never mind waiting cos I know that it will be worth waiting for. Poor Dave – perhaps you could set him up a workstation above the bed then he could do it in his sleep – if he's not already that is. Lol. Xxx

  7. hi we in Germany have Mother's Day in May. Do you have a Mother's day in March ? next Sunday ?I did not know that. So I don't have to wait that long and I am looking forward to Sunday , too. Best wishes Gisela

  8. Good for you, Barbara. It is a very old saying but true, nevertheless, "practice makes perfect". You have said yourself that it is often a good thing to only be a couple of steps ahead of your pupils, so I know you will be brilliant on Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing those new grids and how they work. As someone who has never had a lesson in parching, I am looking forward to having lessons from Susan Moran to get rid of bad habits and learn new things. You are starting in the right way with such a talented design team to teach you. In the meantime, you all need to find a way to slow down a little at work and find a way to de-stress, before one of you collapses under the strain. Take care. xxx Maggie

  9. Hi Barb,
    Well now I feel guilty for placing an order yesterday lol! I don't mind if you take your time in delivering my plates, I just look forward to using them when they come. These grids look fabulous – I love that they fir into the plate mate too. I have been waiting for these to appear do can't wait for Sunday. How lovely of Steve to come and join in the fun of Clarity too. You all must be shattered so please remember to have some rests in between baking and polishing. We don't want you making yourselves ill. Take care and sending lots of love and hugs, Alison xxx

  10. Glad you know got Steve extra pair hands sounds like business is expanding alround you must be growing out of your building hope you soon have enough staff space etc to cope with such a growing business don't wear yourself's out we all love you to much and clarity team you are all amazing xxx

  11. Oh Barb, fantastic, I am so glad I am not the only one who used the stylus 1 and tore the parchment, but I think I can salvage it with a bit of cutting, not going to attempt the picot just yet. So looking forward to Sunday, Groovi programmes yiphee. Don't anyone bother me on Mothers Day will you………….well you can in between shows.

    Stay safe,healthy and happy, hugs, June Smith xxx

  12. Star pupil Barbara. Now chill for five!! Looking forward to the shows….I will be sat with my feet up. All the kids will be working, hubby too so I shall have the house to myself.
    Hugs xx

    1. Oh Emma wishing you all the best in Glasgow you'll knock there socks off wish I could manage to get there it would be lovely to meet you maybe next time the show is their but Granny duties call wish I had known earlier love Dot..x

  13. I don't know how you and your Clarity team keep coming up with all these fantastic ideas which just make a product grow and expand and so quickly too. The designs that you already have out on the Groovi plates are amazing. I am lucky enough to be out on a Mother's Day treat on Sunday so I will have to record the show but hope all goes well.

  14. I hope these laser machines are not too big otherwise you soon won't have anywhere to sit How lovely to have your brother on board too and you are obviously working flat out so people should try being patient! Just don't burn yourself out with this or you and Dave will be no use to man nor beast! I think your picot work looks great and although I won't be around on Sunday I will definitely view on catch-up. x

  15. I think it's great that you are taking us on the parchment journey with you. Lovely that your brother has jumped on board too. It's good to have people you know and trust by your side. Mxx

  16. Hi Barbara, och those moaning minnies, just folk that can't see past the ends of their noses, nor how fortunate they are in life, if that's all they've got to moan about. Don't let them pull you down, they're not worth it. I'll take my time sorting out my want/need list then! Have you thought about putting in big print, on the front page of website, updated notifications of how long orders are taking? They can hardly complain then. if they know this before placing an order. And doing the same with phone orders, letting the customer know how long it could take when they phone up to place an order.

    looks like a great first attempt to me. Plates and scissors definitely going on my need list. I did a wee bit Groovi last night, started putting my made up design using the starter kit onto proper parchment. Happy to report I'm managing to make it look white so far, but then it is just the lineart, not got to the white work yet! I did somehow manage to go right through the parchment while making a line using the groovi plate, how I managed that I've no idea, must have been a millisecond of power surge to my muscles eh!!!!

    I love your take on Rennie Mackintosh, I do like his style. I'd be delighted to see some designs in that kind of style, stamps, stencils or Groovi, and Celtic knots may make good Groovi designs ;-)!!!! By the way what happened to that first piece, half way through the border design disappeared, hope it's because you decided to keep it, and not that it got messed up while trying the pricking and snipping.

    Glad to hear Steve has climbed aboard. Did he arrive with his lunch piece in a white plastic bag!!!!! If you come and get me and Daisy, I'll happily sit for hours in a corner in my beanbag, sorting/packing or whatever anything you put down beside me. I'm cheap, a bed and some simple food, and the odd Clarity product handed my way if there's any going spare!!!!

    Please, please, please you and Dave have some chill time. I'm getting really worried about you both now

    love Brenda xx

    1. Ha ha ha peice in the white plastic bag you do make me laugh Brenda if your goin I, I'm coming tae to sit on a beanbag with you and Daisy oh we can dream can't …we love your banter bits Brenda and glad your easing yourself back to a wee bit crafty stuff.. cuddle on its way…xx

    2. Hugs back Sheila and Dot xx
      Me thinks we may have found one of Barb's moaning minnies! As always – if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all! kind regards

    3. Hi Brenda, I love Mackintosh too. I have some stamps using the Glasgow rose design from years ago sadly not Clarity quality (very snotty) that I used over and over. Glad to hear you are getting Groovi, I bet your starter plate design is beautiful. Xx

    4. Hello Brenda, if you and Dot squash up on that bean bag a bit I will come and join you – can you imagine what we would be like!! Good to hear you are getting in the groove. Sending hugs for you and Daisy xxx

    5. Aye Diane, it's a big bean bag! The song – three craws sat upon a wa' comes tae mind!!! (It's an old Scottish kid's song, bet Dot knows it.) xx

  17. Great work Barbara, you really are diversifying. Can I just pop a quick thought across. I bought the same scissors as you and then found out later that the spring action ones are so much easier to use. Pergamano sell those too. Much easier to weild and so much easier on the hands. Don't know if anyone agrees. Xx

    1. I have both types of scissors, but I prefer the traditional parchment scissors as being more controllable. Each to his own choice for comfort. Look forward to Sunday, even though my bank card isn't. xxx Maggie

  18. Barb, can I just say after reading your blog today aarrrrrhhhh.A few weeks ago I posted that I did not like parchment! Having tried it it was NOT for me. But it was days before the groovi club launch. I thought I could manage a small groovi board!
    SO as I watched carefully and against better judgment I have joined the groovi club, my pack arrived, and wow I was a diamond member! Having got a few accessories I am now willing to get in the groov in a small way, but your blog has just caused me to say whoop hold on I can't do this, being ill an unable to craft at the moment I will try and start the groovi group but dreading it. Will let you know how we go!!!!

    1. Sara, the beauty of the Groovi is that you take it at your own pace and progress when you are ready. If you never want to go further, that is your choice and right for you, don't panic. The extra bits will be there if and when you decide to try them. Just enjoy what you do. xxx Maggie

    2. Sara enjoy your groovi you can pick up and do a little then pop back to it as you wish
      I am also unwel but find my groovi so good as can do it when I'm feeling able to craft even a little even on days I have to stay in bed I can still do a little baby steps but the card comes together in the end it doesn't matter how long it takes its your achievement give it a go crafting hugs xxx

    3. Hello Sara, Groovi really is relaxing. Something I can also do when I can't do much of anything else. As has been said, it is something you can do just when you feel like it. It looks great whether it's embossed or not, coloured or not, and definitely looks equally good when it is just cut round. I often just use a die to cut out an aperture in my card and glue the parchment piece behind looks really effective, and the parchment doesn't even need to be cut straight! So there are so many ways that the groovi can be used simply.
      I hope you find that you do indeed enjoy playing with it. xxx

  19. Hi Barbara, Woweee !! you have done brilliantly with your picot edge, well done.
    I can hardly wait to see your new shows, these grids look fantastic.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  20. Hi Barbara, Woweee !! you have done brilliantly with your picot edge, well done.
    I can hardly wait to see your new shows, these grids look fantastic.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

  21. Hi Barbara, I'm like most on this blog, my parcel arrives when it arrives. Gives me time to come up with as many ideas on how to use the products as I can. Don't let the moaning minnies/minners get to you just remember the saying "you can't please everyone all of the time so best please yourself". You and your team do a great job I can't wait for Sunday I have already told hubby and fur babies that I am going to be glued to the telly!!!. Lol Lynne m

  22. Hi Barbara
    Well done with the awards and glad to hear the groovi ig flying out of the window, some people do not have any patience. Looking forward to the shows on Sunday. That picot edging looks out of this world, still getting to grips with things but for me lovr the idea of stamping and Groovi.
    All the best for Sunday.

    Lots of good wishes.

    Lynn xx

  23. So looking forward to learning this with you, Barbara. I bought the scissors ages ago and haven't known how to use them. And grids… scary. All seemed a step too far. But I love learning about this new (very old) craft!

    I had to go up to Glasgow recently, and visited the Art Store near George Square – as I have for decades, every time I went home. I love that shop. Was gutted to learn it was closing down (staff got 2 weeks' notice. Awful). They were selling everything at 75% off! … so guess who got every colour of Faber Castell Polychromos pencils she could carry? They're lovely, so I was delighted with that. But still sad to lose such a great magical arty shop.

    Look forward to seeing you weave your own brand of magic on Sunday, Barbara.

  24. Well done you – always challenging us, and now challenging yourself! I'm so pleased that Steve has joined you and the team to help share the load. Looking forward to the shows on Sunday – good luck with the live snipping x

  25. So pleased that your brother has now joined the ever growing team. You really are going from strength to strength. Well done on always coming up with something new and innovative xx
    Amanda. Xx

  26. Great to know you are doing your own grids! Love it and also we are right behind you, learning with you. Fantastic job you are all doing, hope the night shifts are temporary!
    Looking forward to seeing the show on Sunday at some point. Spending a few days in London at the weekend. X X

  27. Hi, Barb….I started parching nearly 20 years ago, doing it the hard way! It was so time-consuming, but well worth the effort when I saw the finished piece. It's great to see that I can get the same beautiful results in much less time using the Groovi system. My stash isn't huge…. (yet…)….but I'm working on it!!!
    Really looking forward to the shows on Sunday… 🙂
    Jo xx

  28. Wow Barbara I've read all that but it's gone in and out the other side, will record as usual and have to watch a few times first as I too would love to know how to do all these fancy cuttings.
    You won't be able to call clarity a little family business soon as you grow and grow year after year it will soon be known as clarity castle and not towers.
    Bless you all for all your hard work and I've already got a list for Sunday but waiting to see what else I will be adding to it. Xx

  29. Working hard on the 'picot' but still have difficulty in getting it even. Perhaps the new boards will help; principles are understood but the execution still leaves a lot to be desired. ;~}

  30. I have done parchment for years but have always struggled with the 'bendy' grids..getting the parchment piece lined up straight! These grids are going to be a godsend! Thank you so much!
    My friend is going to be phoning you tomorrow with her first order. I have explained to her how quality takes time and how busy you all are, so she is, like me, quite happy to wait for perfection.
    Please try and pace yourself a little…I know..easier said than done! I can't wait for Sunday. It's so lovely having you back regularly once a month doing what I call my one to one class. xx

    1. Evening morag later today had a podiatry appointment this afternoon I'm very fatigued think my body is saying you are doing too much but my craft room does look so lovley that I want to craft each day sending lots of hugs xxx

    2. Evening Morag, I started parchment craft years ago too, bought all the tools, grids, scissors etc. then gave up on it as it took so long. So grateful for the Groovi as it saves all the tracing/drawing etc and therefore so much quicker to make a card. I do several at a time, then the white work over a few days hour here,and there on each. Then the colouring and layering up. Then it all comes together quite quickly and I've 3 cards read at once. Haven't got to the cutting yet but with patience I'm hoping to get there. I'm sure your friend will love it. Hugs to you Pam xx

    3. Glad you are enjoying the Groovi, I love mine too. Can't wait for Sunday to see what is on the shows. Have fun with your friend now you can craft and get groovi together. Xx

  31. Hi Barbara
    Oh I'm so looking forward to Sunday and watching you demo the new piercing plates.
    Hope you all manage to catch your breathes soon,but isn't it great that your doing so well.That's down to great ideas,planning and damned hard work which I'm sure your very proud of.Please make time to relax or you may not enjoy the journey any more you'll all be to exhausted.
    I must I'm always wondering whats coming next and never disappointed when you bring new things to us.

  32. Evening Barbara I am so looking forward to Sunday shows and Monday's too .i know I cannot do the parchment picot ect due to the fibromyalgia and the athritic pain in my hands wrist ect but I love what I can achieve with the groovi .
    Hope Dave doesn't do to many nights we don't want him I'll again and you must try to rest too please, wow another family member joining the clarity crew wishing you all the success you deserve crafting hugs xxx

    1. Hi Sheila – sorry to hear that you are suffering today, we both seem to struggle with this pacing!! Never mind, sounds like you are loving your craft room! Special hugs Gilly xxx

    2. Evening Sheila, sorry that you are in pain again today, overdone it a bit I expect. More rest needed then do a little bit at a time. Hope it gets easier for you. Lots of love and hugs Pam xxx

    3. Hi Sheila sorry to hear you have been struggling today. Your new craft room sounds wonderful and if it's tempting you to craft that's not such a bad thing. Take care
      Love Diane xxxx

  33. Well Barbara! You never cease to amaze me – this all looks incredible! It's amazing how Clarity have developed this system, opening up this incredible craft to so many more people! Not surprised that your orders are coming in so thick and fast. Pleased to hear that your brother is joining the Clarity Team – you must be so pleased! Make sure that you and Dave look after yourselves. Hugs Gilly x

  34. Hi Barbara looks like your getting the hang of the wee fancy cutting don't know where you're finding all this time, once you have mastered it I cant wait to see what beautiful work you will come up with although I love what youve done with it so far.
    Good luck Steve think your going to be busy.
    Take care. Love Dot xx

    1. Evening Dot, miserable day today overcast all day, rain all morning. Feeling a bit down. Never mind the sun may be out tomorrow, I'm sure I suffer from S.A.D. the weather always affects me. Did get a card done this evening though. Hope you are well. Love and hugs Pam xx

    2. Hi Dot had to have a lazy day after a chiropractor visit, thought about taking my Groovi with me when I went for a lie down but thought I'd best not! Hope you are ok and managing to play xxx

  35. Impatient customers – hmm. Remember that not all your customers read this blog. Look at it from their perspective. They probably think that their order has got lost. If you know there is going to be a delay, send them an email to let them know – it is about managing expectations. You will probably get less chasing calls to the office too!!!

  36. I have the scissors and the perga cutters and find the cutters so much easier to use. I am however self taught so I'll be interested to see if I have any bad habits. Very much looking forward to the shows on Sunday.

  37. Evening Barbara, you're getting on really well with the pivot edging hope I can get around to it soon. Great news,about Steve joining the team. Stop worrying about the moaners, some people have to moan about anything. Things are bound to take a bit longer with all the orders you are getting, and well worth waiting for. Love Pam xx

    1. Hi Pam oh yes pivot edging – now that would be different! Oh I love autocorrect , it can cause all sorts of mischief!! Hope you are ok xxx

  38. I'm so excited to see this on Sunday – ever since you started hinting about the piercing I've been impatient! The grids look so good. Hubby has been asking what I want for out anniversary later this month…..

  39. Hoping this makes it onto the blog, the internet is not being friendly today! I am typing very quickly so as to beat the crash! All I will say is roll on Sunday, can't wait for the pricking grids and will be ordering. Sorry Dave! XX

    1. Hi Donna
      Oh I know what you mean, you type quickly hoping to get it done and posted before it plays up again! Don't you love computers. Hope you've had a good day xxx

  40. Hi Barbara
    What lovely news that Steve is joining the company, it really is a family business isn't it. Has your mum said she will come and give you a hand too – I remember you saying your mum and dad used to stick the stamps on the handles for you. People will always moan if they don't get their orders the next day, they forget they are dealing with a small company and not Amazon ( and this small company pays its taxes!). This cutting lark looks fun, I'm looking forward to seeing how you do it then I can join the journey when I'm ready.
    I hope Dave doesn't wear himself out and you both get some quality time together.
    Take care
    Love Diane xxx

  41. I wish i lived near by cause i would volunteer my services free of charge just to be part of this continually expanding venture and be able to enjoy the excitement of it all. Looking forward to seeing the new plates. Keep trying to resist getting into the groove but my resolve gets weaker and weaker. Much love jayne

    1. Well said Jayne. I would gladly help too. So all that can be done is to let Barbara, Dave and the Clarity team know that we are behind them 100 percent. Is the Groovi resolve weakening? I hope so as it's so much fun even though I'm only doing things on a very basic level.

  42. I can't wait for those grids, so will have to add to your workload, still it's a good burden for you to bear, better than the alternative. I am bouncing back from a fling with bronchial pneumonia, never had it before and never want it again xx

  43. Hi Barb, wow these grids look great, so lovely to have friends to help you along the way. And family too, jumping in and helping out. Bet none of you saw this explosion called Groovi coming your way, but how wonderful for all of you that it is so successful. Well done. Looking forward to the shows. Take care. Bx

  44. Hello Barbara

    Can't wait for the NEC, only another two weeks! My list is getting longer and longer.

    I am sorry to hear some customers are getting impatient. Those of us who read your blog on a daily basis know how hard you and the team are working to meet the demand. Perhaps LucyLB's notion of letting people know by email that their orders are in hand is a good idea. On the other side of the coin it just gives the team yet another job to do.


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