What’s the Story, Jackanory?

What’s the Story, Jackanory?

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Jackanory. Who remembers Jackanory? I LOVED it!! I would wait patiently, legs crossed, in front of the TV every afternoon after school, and wait for the story. Just for 15 minutes every day, wasn’t it. I’d rush home from school, just to catch the next chapter! You couldn’t miss it, because you couldn’t catch up or watch later. It was then or never.

How times have changed. Back then, an adult – mostly a famous actor or actress – just sat on a sofa or in a chair and read from a book. From time to time there were a few still illustrations added, but mostly I remember just listening to the story.

Leading on from that story line, somebody asked me the other day what was my favourite piece of pottery that I’ve made so far, and although I haven’t been doing pottery long enough really, to have built a library of art, my very first pinch pots do conjure up fond memories. It was the start , my pottery honeymoon phase!

Then I was thinking about my favourite stamped artwork, and I came up with a couple almost immediately: The Moon Fairy on Shenandoah parchment

and My tribute to Orla Kiely – fashion icon extraordinaire – who went into adminstration not that long ago, in 2018 I think.

Again, I reckon this is down to the fact that, apart from being easy on the eye, both pieces had stories attached to them.

I’m sure that you will be able to name a couple of pieces of yours too, that you are particularly pleased with, that you were very chuffed with. These two even made it into the 2019 Clarity Calendar – and Orla Kiely took front page. Her plight affected me deeply.

Then I remembered that today is the last day of the Designer parchment Half Price Offer of the Week, so my mind was made up. I had to show you the Fairy project again, to highlight the magnificent Parchment papers and what you can do with them. And tell you the little anecdote that accompanied the girl picture.

Do you remember these Fairy Stamps? So unique, so original, so Mel Turner!

CLICK HEREhttps://claritystamp.com/collections/stamps/products/fairies-rounds-fine-line-trio-masks-unmounted-clear-stamps

Here’s how you use the beautiful Moon Fairy, but without the circle – just the moon.

Mask off the line and ink up with Archival black.

Remove the masking tape and stamp on the fornt of a piece of Shenandoah Parchment. The duller side is the front.

Yep. that worked. Missed a tiny detail on the tip of the moon…

Touch up with a Micron pen, and you’ll never know.

Flip over to the back and erase colour from the hares and fairy. Also add highlights in the moon using the eraser, and even add a full moon above.

If a circular moon is proving a challenge, use one of our masks.

Time for the city…

Add the skyline Clarity mask at the base. I worked from the front to get a really dark black silhouette. Brush and Archival black – BINGO.

Remove the mask and allow to dry. Flip the parchment to the back and add a faded skyline too, but don’t reink the brush.

Our blending nibs are excellent on parchment. Here I have used black Archival ink straight from the pad. Couldn’t do that easily with a paint brush; not hard enough.

See the houses in the background now?

Now let’s have some fun… I need a line, a slightly curved line. So I have an artist’s thing I can bend… On scrap first of course!

Then overlay the parchment and figure out where you want to actually add it.

Next, decide which angle you want the line to take underneath her toes. And suddenly, she’s on the highwire.

Just to confirm that, why not add a few little feathered friends? And all of us Shackers certainly know how to draw them!

But in case not, here’s how. Draw a heart on the wire.

Colour the heart in.

Add a tiny head, flick in a little beak and two tail feathers.

Add as many as you fancy.

Time to add a flash of interest to her little dress. Add detail with a Micron pen, and colour with a Perga Liner pencil. Up to you whether you work from the back of the front. I used the blending nib to smooth out the colour with no additive whatsoever. Perfect. Oh ! And draw a line to the balloon moon, too….

Trim the work and let’s mount it on a white cardblank. But before we commit, how about a black Sharpie pen around the edge?

Works soooo lovely on parchment, you know. I used Shenandoah here, but I’m telling you: there are dozens of papers to choose from!

So what’s the story, Jackanory?

Old Father Moon is protecting her as she trips innocently along, on the precarious highwire of life. So preoccupied is she with hanging on to the full moon balloon, she doesn’t even stop to glance down into the sleeping city. And why would she?

Once you have been up there above the clouds and danced in the light of the moon, you will always hold your gaze skywards.

Decision, decisions. And this is the wondrous thing about parchment. The underside is as lovely as  the topside. So which direction should she take?

To investigate these stamps, the formidable artstamps illustrated by Mel Turner, click here

I think that this week I’d like to consider artwork and the Jackanory behind it.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the Orla Kiely card, the OK card, and take a look behind the scenes.

And don’t forget about the Designer parchment. It is pretty epic. And a great offer till midnight tonight.


Love always

Barb xx

PS. I bet you want to know the end of the little bird story from Friday too. Dave located the nest in the honeysuckle, and put the little fella back again.

We watched from a distance and waited, but within minutes he had fallen out again. Put him on a perch in hopes he might fly, or his Mum might see him. Nada. He just sat there.

And all the time, Ragnar and Erik were watching from indoors. He had no chance once they were out and on the prowl.

So we took him to the local animal rescue hospital in the woods, and they took him in happily. Good folks. He’s a baby blackbird apparently.

And so, he lived to see another day.


17 thoughts on “What’s the Story, Jackanory?

  1. I just posted wondering about the bird! I’m glad it had a happy ending. So much harder when you’ve got cats eying up their ‘tea’! Well done for the rescue. I remember the pieces you have posted. I also enjoyed Jackanory and something we always watched too. Look forward to this week’s blogs to hear more. X

  2. Awwwww, Barbara, I loved Jackanory too – have you seen the recent CBeebies ‘Bedtime Stories’ read by Tom Hardy? Can’t remember the stories but Tom was riveting!! 😇
    I think my favourite piece of art is the Under the Sea project we did wagyu back last year in the Shac Shack – it’s actually framed and on my lounge wall – was a very early bit of art for me – thanks to you of course! x ❤

    Debbie Lee

  3. I remember Jackanory and Listen with Mother on the radio too! Great news about the baby blackbird – what a shame he wasn’t reunited with his mum, but he is safe and fostered which is just as important x

  4. So glad your wee bird had a happy ending or, at least, I’m happy to believe that! One of my wee siskin hit the kitchen door yesterday head on! It sadly didn’t make it. It was such a beautiful wee bird. Gorgeous markings. Two others which have hit the windows in the last few weeks have made it, I’m pleased to say. Time to go and feed them and decided whether I really need more parchment!! Lol. Enjoy the rest of your day. Lots of love. Hxx

  5. Hi Barbara, I loved doing this project at the retreat a couple of years ago, I still have it-just can’t part with it!

  6. Happy to hear the little fellow is save unfortunaly not with the parents.
    Your Moon project is lovely.
    Have a lovely Sunday evening and see you tomorrow in the Shac.
    Take care and stay save
    Lots of love, Trijntje Huppel

  7. Never watched Jackanory, I was 21 and had left home when it started to air in 1965. Apparently there was a story telling prog before it for a short time and which was the source of the idea for Jackanory. Hubby, being a bit younger than me, says he loved it. He still watches kids programmes and cartoons from time to time. Keeps him young he says!!!!!!
    This is a lovely project you have blogged for us and the story that goes with it is poetic.
    The new plate mate has arrived and the parchment is winging it’s way to me. Lots to play with this week.
    Hope the little blackbird is OK in it’s new home. Looks like he is fledging so it will not be long before he can fly.
    Have a good evening. Stay safe.

  8. I will try again, pressed the wrong button & it all disappeared. Comes of trying to watch the football & read your blog at the same time.
    We listened with Mother & occasionally went next door to Watch with Mother as we didn’t have a TV – Andy Pandy, Bill & Ben with little Weed & the Wooden Tops are some that I remember.
    Glad little bird has found a safe home after his adventures on Thursday.
    Now to check my parchment stock before it is too late. Love the artwork, with you breaking it down step by step it makes it seem so much more achievable.
    Off to do some more to my Poppet birthday card for my granddaughter as it needs to go in the post by Friday. The weeks seem to be flying by – doesn’t seem 5 minutes since Christmas 2020 yet its nearly 6 months ago – which means its just over 6 months to this Christmas so no doubt the new Christmas designs will be showing their presence soon !! Sorry if that’s too many Christmas’s for some readers !!

  9. Glad the little bird is safe. Thank goodness for the rescue centres. He probably won’t need to be there for too long hopefully.
    I remember doing the parchment design at one of your summer retreats must still have it upstairs. Lovely one to try though.
    Spent some precious time with our little grandaughter this morning trying to get to know her at long last. Not too sure about us yet but was happy for me to help her with her dinner. xx

  10. I was of the Watch with Mother era, so Bill and Ben for me and then my children grew up in South Africa, so missed out on those lovely programmes.
    My favourite piece was Maya Angelou’s ‘People may forget…’, which I attached to designer paper, framed and gave to a lovely friend on her 70th birthday. One of my first attempts at picot and I was very proud of it.
    So glad the little bird fared well, as I had been wondering all weekend. Hugs. Annette X

  11. So pleased the little bird has another chance to survive. A few weeks ago, my cat Charlie (a girl cat)
    first caught a sweet little mouse which sadly died, while we held it, it’s little body was stretched out, little pink arms and legs, so it was laid to rest in our orchard. Same day Charlie dropped a very live mouse at our feet…which scurried under the cooker…many hours followed making sure it did not go to other areas…finally caught in a safe box and let free in the middle of the night. Next morning I felt the urge to turn it into a story…makes us cry! The mice were given names. Now because of that…I am now writing children’s stories about mice in our garden, we have a big garden with orchard so plenty of inspiration….they are family members so really funny. So watch out Barbara…a new hobby could be lurking around the corner,about your cat’s etc.

  12. I loved Jackanory and also watched it with my children. I remember Bernard Cribbins telling a series of stories, I cannot for the life of me tell you what the story was but I always remember him and his voice. Wonderful days.

  13. So glad the little bird is safe.
    I used to love Jackanory, the story that stuck in my mind was Kenneth Williams reading The Land of Green Ginger, very memorable!

  14. Hello Barb, oh bless the little fledgling, at least he is at the animal hospital and will be raised there. Perhaps he will find his mother one day, Blackbirds are usually very protective of their young. Love the step by step on parchment, very ethereal. I was not in this country when Jackanory was on, but my husband often talks about it when we watch throwback shows. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  15. I loved making the fairy moon picture. I have repeated it for new baby pictures,but the original stays on the wall of the room where my grandchildren sleep x

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