Hi there.

Greetings from the Clarity SHAC-Shack! I hope you are safe and well? Day 4 in the house, and all is well. It occurred to me this morning that I am experiencing a shift in my attitude. I can only speak for myself, but today for example, Dave had to run the gauntlet and go shopping for Mum, Dad, and ourselves. Check out the message on his hat…

When he finally got home, we had a pretty weird half hour, dancing around each other in the garden with gloves on, wiping down all the packets and disinfecting the shopping. Very strange really. But suddenly, I am accepting of things which would have irked me, and I am grateful for things I so took for granted a month ago. He couldn’t get bread. Never mind. We’ll bake some. He couldn’t get spuds. Never mind. We’ve got plenty of rice. Then I saw the lemons – and I was so grateful! Happy even! There is a shift inside me – and I dare say in many others too, where things that we didn’t even register, like lemons, bread and loo roll, are now a comparative luxury. I am actually enjoying the sense of gratitude and humility.

Speaking for myself, I think I have lived in excess and surplus for far too long, and whilst I don’t want to be boiling nettles for tea, and wiping my derriere with dock leaves, I’m certainly coming to the realisation that we musn’t take anything for granted. Hahahaahahah! You wouldn’t want to get that the wrong way round, would ya! Boiling dock leaves for tea …..

Today, I want to step up the little card I made yesterday, using Sam’s Shape stamps. They are so addictive and fun to use! When you hone in on the sets, you see just how many designs there are! Look!

I may have another little play later. I like the look of that scribble stamp underneath the rectangle one.

Right. Here goes. A good little exercise in Less is more….

To recap, a whole sheet of A4 Adhesive on the back of the copy paper scrap – er… sorry, print. A4 double-sided adhesive HERE. Special Offer .

Now we can chop it up and make loads of pieces of art!

Next stop, decided which stamps you want to play with. I used Distress Oxides on top of Black Archival. Because the Oxides are quite chalky, they sit on top of the black

A stencil and Spot-on Sponge are perfect for adding block colour too.

Wanted to try the stamp with paint. Sam always uses paint, so I thought I’d try and add a little highlight on the black. Only wanted the swirl, not the block. So covered it up with masking tape. Used a brayer to roll the paint out and add it to the stamp. Worked quite well. Using concentrated acrylic paint instead of diluted certainly keeps the white white.

To add an edge to the piece, I placed it on a blending mat, so that the sponge moves easily, and then added the same Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick by using small circular motions all the way round.

Tell you what! This is where you appreciate the double-sided adhesive sheet on the back! It makes the copy paper rigid and thick enough to take the rubbing and the ink very easily.

Next thing is which way up on the black 5×5 inch cardblank.

Eenie meenie miney mo…..

It’s time to give this random piece a little meaning. Reaches for her sticker booklet. Great thing, even if I say so myself.

And then she roots around for that little boy from the Wee Folk Stampset, (No. 1), who is welcoming the world – or observing the 6ft apart rule! I prefer to think that he will not be beaten, that he will keep going in the face of adversity.

Both kids, Mark and Grace, are in the States, as you know. One in New York and one in San Francisco. Mark has been on lockdown in San Fran for 3 weeks now, working from home. He is doing ok. Runs round the Presidio near where he lives every day, to get some exercise, but otherwise he’s indoors.

Grace is not leaving the apartment in Brooklyn either, but her partner, another lovely Mark, has to still go to work. His company is insisting. Now you see, that make me wild. That poor bloke has to walk one and a half hours to work, in an attempt to avoid contact with anybody, in a mask and gloves. Sit in a damned office avoiding people all day, then walk back. WTF??? I wish I had his boss’s phone number. No wonder New York is the Epicentre of the pandemic in the States now, if they are still forcing people to go to work! I feel so sorry for them. Gracie is putting on a big smile, and they are taking all the necessary precautions, but you have to wonder about the mentality of a company who INSISTS on making staff run the gauntlet when they could easily do their work at home.

I have to calm it Kermit, can’t change it, let it go and hope that it will be okay, that his bosses will see sense. For once I wish we were wealthy, so we could tell Mark to tell them to shove their job, and stay home. That we will cover their rent and they can stay safe. It sucks.

Thanks for keeping me company.

Stay safe, keep calm and carry on crafting!

Love and Hugs,

Barb xxx

Tomorrow, we’ve got a crossword puzzle for you, created by our lovely Hazel. I do like a crossword, don’t you?

22 thoughts on “NEVER GIVE UP.

  1. Hi Barb, I have lived that for years, the under siege mentality has been my norm for years. I always felt grateful every time I got a delivery and it was fine, every time I managed to source the food and cat litter my wee cat likes, every time I sourced a product that didn’t trigger any of my many intolerances and allergies, every time I got my messages and everything I needed was in it, and none of the fresh stuff was past it’s best or rotten (this happens a lot…). Rationing, doing without, trying to work out alternatives, that’s also my norm. So aye, welcome to my world everyone!

    Day 13 for me of total lockdown. My volunteer did give me a wee phone call the other day, which was nice.

    As for contaminated things coming in. Obviously I can’t go outside to clean them. What I have worked out is any delivery, or mail, open it if needed, where it is, just inside the door, keeping my wee cat away. Then I put it all in a room I have designated as the quarantine area, and leave it for at least 3 days, so any virus is dead. Messages, if it doesn’t need the fridge I put it all in a big storage box in the room, again for at least 3 days. Fresh stuff I am trying to buy prepacked versions where possible. They get emptied into containers in another big storage box, making sure the wrappers and my hands don’t touch the contents. That is technically virus free then. I then wash my hands (not even tried to get disposable gloves…), and clean the door handles, and the floor area where anything touched, then wash my hands again. I still can’t get Dettol spray so I need to prioritise what I have for the hard surface cleaning. I couldn’t get kitchen roll either, nor peas, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes, broad beans, only half the fresh tomatoes, and only 2 thirds of the oat milk I needed, sardines in oil instead of water, that I will struggle to eat. And that’s only the stuff that was supposedly in stock. Other stuff I couldn’t even order… And now I can’t even get a delivery slot…

    Anyway, love your artwork, thank you for the step-by-step, much appreciated. I’m going to try do a wee bit craft I think, head in a mess after the daily update, and cfs bad today, so might not manage. Maybe a wee bit crochet or something, sadly I don’t think I could manage the papercraft I intended.

    So relieved to hear Grace and both Mark’s re doing ok. I’m with you on Grace’s mark being forced to work. That poor soul, both of them, knowing he is risking everything to go to work when he should be safe at home, like all non key workers.

    Freezing up here today, and been raining, feels like winter, not clocks going forward time. I’m feeling so cold.

    Thank you for keeping us company dear friend. You’re amazing, and I love you xxx

    1. Hi Brenda, some good tips here for people as always, so sorry to hear you are struggling to get everything you need. Think a bit of crafting will definitely help, just simple act of focusing on a piece stills those swirling thoughts. If it helps sending you lots of good thoughts, keep well, keep safe, thinking of you. Karen xxx

    2. Hi Brenda
      Have you tried white vinegar? I use half vinegar half water in a spray bottle for the bath, shower, tiles and toilet seats etc. You could look up the uses of vinegar on the internet. I’ve got a book somewhere. It’s quite amazing what it can do. I’m not good with some of the cleaning products.

    3. Thanks Karen, and Karen, very kind of you both.
      Yes I use white vinegar too, skin sensitivities to cleaning products. Unfortunately it doesn’t kill viruses. I also use a mixture of tea tree oil, white cider vinegar and water as a disinfectant. Tea tree oil dosen’t kill viruses either. Surely the panic buying has to stop soon, these folk must by now be living climbing over their stash to get anywhere in their houses… Worse than us crafters eh!!! At least our stashes make us happy and we can make happy things with them😉 xx

      1. Brenda lots of our little local suppliers are doing deliveries and some big companies like QVC and Amazon who might have what you need it that is an option for you in your area. We are certainly thinking differently in our shopping habits these days

        1. Thanks Karen. I’ll say to my volunteer, he could maybe check out the wee shops down the road to see if they have the type of things I can eat, and if they would deliver, if he can’t come out. Sadly, Amazon aren’t delivering until May now! Even more problems for me as Amazon is like my corner shop… xx

  2. Very simple and arty! Love those stamps, but I’m really trying not to buy more before we move – whenever that will be.

    Still I have a lovely home to live in, so we are trying to just live in today and not to worry too much about tomorrow. I did the grocery shop yesterday, and there was better stock in the supermarket than last time. Still no bread flour or yeast, so we’re making do with store baked bread rather than my home made bread.

    Take care everyone, and stay safe. x

  3. I am lucky that our daughter lives with us, so she is doing the shopping when needed. She works in a school, but is working from home, due to high risks. I am so grateful, especially as my granddaughter is here too, or we would not be able to see them. We baked cupcakes this afternoon, but the hand mixer broke, so we have very aches arms! Poor Mark, having to put up with that journey, when he could work from home. My brother is also being made to work and has to drive over an hour each way. Long story, but he is 61 and has had two knee replacements over the last year, so they are making him pay for the time off! Unfortunately, he can’t afford to tell them where to stick it.
    Thanks again Barb, for all you are doing. Hugs. Annette X

  4. Great card and very apt. I am in work on Monday and then I will be told when i’m next in. I haven’t been out of the house except to walk the dog since last Monday. I need to go to Tesco soon…just can’t face it! Might do it after work that way I am only out once. It is making everyone think about their daily lives, changing habits, making the best of a worrying situation that’s for sure. XX

  5. Hi Barbara, completely agree that the new normal puts the old moans and pains into context. Did supermarket run myself, my husband is diabetic so trying to keep his contact to minimum. Have to say, went out at 4pm yesterday and had it easy compared to many. Did Lidl shop and got 90% of what I needed and then got rest at other supermarket. Would not have gone to second one but husband needed Beconase and none at Lidl. Anyway got everything on list and supermarket nearly empty, unlike my M&Ds neighbour’s experience of shopping at vulnerable people’s time when supermarket was super busy. So pick your time and vary when you go if you have luxury of being able to choose. Sorry to hear about Grace’s Mark issues with his employer, makes you grateful for understanding employers. My husband’s offices are closed and have been for more than a week, no questions just go home. They are part of the private healthcare support for NHS, staff volunteering to help in the fight, providing vital screening to support diagnosis of those with more severe reactions to the virus and using their phone centres to support 111 calls. So much work, care and support across UK from all sorts of people to help fight this, that is what I am thankful for today. Thanks for everything you are doing to help keep us going too Barbara, much needed and much appreciated. Karen xxx

  6. Hi Barbara, funny you mention nettles and dock leaves as I have been thinking about them all week. My Mum lived in the Channel Islands as a child and this was about the only thing they had to eat during the war and if they didn’t clear their plate of whatever was on it, their grandfather put them over his knee! I hardly remember a day when she didn’t utter the words “If you had lived through the war…” to me, so I am just eating what it is in the house despite being a fussy eater! I can’t face going to the shops, apparently the queues are massive and the shelves are bare.
    I cannot believe it is only three weeks since I saw you in Glasgow, so much has changed it seems like a lifetime ago now. I hope you and all the family stay safe.

    Love Ann x

  7. Poor Mark. If he wasn’t super fit before this, he certainly will be with all the exercise he is getting! I think he was, mind you. So frustrating that he is not allowed to work from home. I really don’t understand that mentality but I am surprised that his boss has not been told to tow the line if there is one in the States. However, it is outwith your control! You can’t change it. Like the message on Dave’s hat. Good man doing the shopping for everyone. We have so much to be thankful for right now. I have a much healthier diet and have even managed to lose 8lbs since the SEC!!! Now for the rest, a pound at at time! I’ve been gardening today as the sun is out today!!! Yippee! Lovely day. I was in planting in the greenhouse yesterday! Does my heart good! Usually have a gardener who lives down in Greenock, a fair bit away, but he is not travelling which is good. I’m enjoying doing a wee bit each day. Cucumber and tomato plants planted, cauliflower planted in the greenhouse and tidying up done! Loads of seeds popping through in trays – that was the gardener’s work! On a different note, caught a cleaning bug this morning! Cleaned some of the windows but that bug was beaten quite quickly! Lol. You’re doing a good job, Barb. Have a good weekend and stay chilled and safe, my friend. Hxx

  8. Glad you and Dave are doing OK Barbara. I must say Dave did look a bit scary with the bank robber look, at least his hat says Hubby and I are being sensible and only taking our walk, keeping the regulation distance, and so far since the beginning of the week have only been in to the shop here in the village . I don’t think I am going to disinfect the shopping , just making sure to wash hands a lot more often , especially after handling things that could be contaminated. Trying not to let paranoia creep in, just trying to keep a sense of proportion otherwise I think we will end up going completely mad…lol. Glad Mark and Grace are coping OK too, sad that Grace’s Mark has to go into work rather than doing it from home, hopefully that will change. Take care. x

  9. Furious to hear about poor mark’s jouney to work. All employees should draw up a form the boss must sign to say he is responsible for any of his employees contracting the virus, by forcing them to leave their homes each day, and will pay compensation in varying amounts depending on seriousness of symptoms with a HUGE amount for death. That might make him think again…… I’m sure a lawyer could draw up a document.

  10. Hi Barb,
    I feel so sorry for Grace’s Mark – how ridiculous that he has to go to work – his boss sounds dreadful! I hope he sees sense before it is too late. We braved Sainsbury’s today and it wasn’t too bad. We queued up keeping 2m apart and they would only allow 5 people in at a time. Dave wasn’t allowed in as they now have a 1 person,1 trolley policy. There were announcements every few minutes telling people to keep 2m apart at all times. Getting around the place was good, no pushing, no crowds. Not much wine ( except the really good stuff!) which upset Dave a bit, but managed to get everything I needed including Bero flour for the first time for weeks! I might even make Yorkshire puddings tomorrow now. The only thing was I had 4 packets of treats for the cat but was only allowed 3! It is strange how we adapt to our circumstances isn’t it? Looking forward to playing with Sam’s stamps when they arrive. Love the little piece you’ve created here . Well done to Dave for doing all of the shopping for you and your Mum and Dad.
    Stay safe and well, love and hugs Alison xxx

  11. So sorry to hear of Mark’s plight, must be a terrible worry for Grace. If Trump got the virus I bet he would put the necessary controls in PDQ.
    We ventured out at 7am to top up our supplies, didn’t need much, mainly skimmed milk, bananas and a few fresh veg. Got to Morrisons about 7.10 and the queue of well spaced people with trolleys was round half the car park. They were operating a one out one in policy. We decided to give it a miss and went to the small Co-op near us. Their stock is not as comprehensive as the big supermarkets but they have all the basics and we managed to get what we needed although we were limited to a kilo of bananas so no banana bread this week. We had a chat with the cashier as there was only one other person shopping and she said it had been crazy earlier in the week. One lady who had not been able to find all she needed had a screaming fit and threatened to bomb the shop. They are so nice and friendly in there and it is a crying shame that people have to behave so badly.
    When hubby was working as a Food Hygiene and Health and Safety trainer we stocked up on hats, gloves, aprons and other protective paraphernalia necessary. When he retired (a sudden event we were not expecting) I wanted to get rid of it all but it got packed away and moved with us. I am now so grateful we kept it as it has not been necessary to buy any protective gear for the current crisis.
    All this hand washing has not been kind to my skin and for the first time in my life I am using hand cream. This does not sit well with parchment craft!!!
    Having said all this I am enjoying the peace and quiet (when hubby is not cracking jokes) and getting a lot of ordinary cards made ready for when the charity shops open again. Have used up most of my “scraps” and things are staying tidy for once.
    Signed up for Facebook today, got totally confused and had to get help from hubby. As usual couldn’t find what I wanted and got a helluva lot of stuff definitely not wanted. Will have another try over the weekend as I do not want to miss the Monday pen and paper gig.
    Thank you to all the Clarity team for keeping things going. It is much appreciated.
    Stay well 🍒🍒🍒

  12. Great post as ever, always enjoy reading them. One and a half hours walk, my, don’t think I could manage the half hour these days.
    Have you noticed how quiet it is outside, it is here at any rate.
    Take care, everyone.

  13. Love these stamps that Sam designed & I’ll purchase them when I can. I know what you mean about disinfecting the shopping: very odd experience that was this week. The other Mark’s job is disgraceful! No wonder New York is so badly hit, shame on them, grr

  14. Hello Barb, a lovely step by step using these stamps from Sam. I had to go out shopping yesterday, and him indoors being in the building industry gave me his new PPE mask and had my gloves on. The shop was really being careful, so many in or out at a time, which is difficult for a big supermarket. What really got to me and danced on my last nerve was the woman in front of me bleating on about having to shop for 4 adults and a baby and having to queue to pay as they were sending people to tills one at a time, but she had the baby in the pram with her!!! And then when they called me forward, another stupid moo climbs over the barrier and goes to the till where I was headed. Nearly rammed her with the trolley! We are all in this together people, be nice and respect what others have put in place to try help us by having to staff the supermarkets. And Barb for Gracie’s Mark, I feel for him (them), how ridiculous if you can actually do your job from home. Hope he stays safe and you win the lottery so he can tell them to take a hike. Take care, stay safe and respect others. Bx

  15. It’s not right about Grace’s boyfriend . My husband has to work , he is a postman (not door to door ) they are sorting mail for blinds companies , pizza express , and well known sofa companies , pallets are stacked up for deliveries with ……. guess what ? Crisps … box upon box . As for me I am in doors all the time cleaning the house and washing his uniform . Lots of Royal Mail staff are off sick , soon only essentials will be posted. stay safe all of you . Jane x

  16. Did catch up with yesterdays blog earlier this morning when I couldn’t sleep but thought stopping to write a reply might wake me up more than I already was – if that makes sense !!
    Can’t believe that they are still making people go to work in New York when they have such a high number already infected. Perhaps things will soon change – fingers crossed.
    For everyone of the Clarity extended family who are classed as front line workers – Thank You – stay safe x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *