This too shall pass…

This too shall pass…

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. How are you? How am I? Or perhaps the question we should be asking is WHO are you? And WHO am I? I seem to wake up most mornings wondering what the hell is going on in England, in Europe, in the world. And I often catch myself wondering what I am supposed to be doing, and which role I should be playing in response to the world we live in now. Which brings me to the point – at 62 years of age – that I am seriously wondering WHO I am and what my part in Life is. Too deep? Sorry. It’s not meant to sound negative. I am often genuinely at a loss for a reaction, and the only thing to do at that point is go clear out a cupboard, sort out a drawer, do some filing. In other words, DO something which is neat and tidy, which establishes a modicum of order – even if it’s only taking control of my knicker drawer !!

Of course the cats, Ragnar and Erik, are a great source of unconditional love and comfort. There’s nothing quite like cuddling a cat and listening to its contented purring. Untroubled and uncomplicated.

Here we see them, listening to the rain pounding on the porch this morning.

Still little cats. Maybe because they are identical twins they are small. But I love that they are like two half portions of one whole. Wonderful little characters too, and ever changing. Erik, who was the less cuddly one, is definitely the one who stays closer to home and follows me round all day, happy for a lap and a cuddle nowadays. Ragnar, who is still as affectionate as ever, is the wanderer, the explorer. Which one’s which? Ragnar is whiter under his chin. That is really the only way I can tell them apart until they’re together. Then I can see that Ragnar is a little more ginger too. Boring you? They are keeping me sane.

Remember when they first came to us coming up for a year ago now? Look! Same cushion, same position! Ragnar on the right and Erik on the left.

So yes. Staying upbeat and optimistic seems to be the best way forward. Keeping it in the day, not looking too far ahead, too far back or too far beyond our 4 walls.

Oh. And making something. Get with my hands. Draw something, throw a bowl (and I don’t mean at the telly!). I’ve had a great idea for a set of stamps, so I am writing extra fast, so that I can get on with putting the sketches onto paper. That’ll keep me occupied for most of the afternoon. And then there are those test tiles which are drying slowly. I have to dry them slowly so they don’t warp or curl. What are they for? The testing glazes, and figuring out oxides and such. Who knows. They may even make nice little wall hangings in the pottery studio. A whole wall of colourful little tiles.

And tomorrow we’re heading up to the studios, to take over from Paul and Josie. Didn’t they do well with those circular grids. Many thanks to the DT for so many wonderful art samples. I look forward to having a play. I was thinking, those new round grid plates would make a great frame for a new baby photo, or a happy couple wedding photo, for an anniversary card. Quick to do too!

What am I doing? Well, here are the main products on the counter, although there are also some fab Clarity classic stamps and masks…

Love this artwork! Wait till you see what the inky Clarity DT have rustled up for you! SUperb.

Jane Telford
Linda Spencer
Sarah Brennan
Dee Paramour

So I shall leave you with a piece of artwork I made a while ago, which uses just ONE tree from the excellent Claritystampset on the counter tomorrow…(Old is Gold ). It is the word sticker that tells the story.

And here’s the scene I hope to build for you tomorrow. The sticker stamp this time…

If you want to dip your toe in the scene-building pond, then this is the set for you.

So I hope you can join me 2pm-4pm on

  • Also on Freeview and Sky. Sky 673 (24/7)
  • Freesat 817 (24/7)
  • Freeview 85 (7am – 10pm)

Stay safe, stay dry, make something!

Love and hugs

Barb xxx

22 thoughts on “This too shall pass…

  1. I’m lost for words!! (that doesn’t often happen).
    I love the tile idea for trying out glazes etc – that is just how I would do trying out new paints. I seem to be more and more arty these days – HELP!!
    Break legs tomorrow – liking the look of the stag dies.
    Love (to you, Dave and the cats)
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)
    PS is there a New Design stamp official archive – I would love to see a few older examples?

  2. Tiddling down at the moment and very cold,my fingers are freezing. Just gave in and put the heating on as I don’t suppose it will get any warmer now.
    I understand your feelings, since the pandemic started things have been very different , but we must be positive and look forward to better days. We are lucky to have our hobbies to keep us busy as I cannot just sit and do nothing. I have spent the last few mornings clearing out cupboards and drawers upstairs and will do the same in the kitchen next week. Afternoons are for crafting but I’m keeping tidy as I go. Surprising how much clutter we keep and how much space there is when we get shot of it all. Feeling quite proud of my ruthless self at the moment.
    Received the folded bells plate today and already started a card. So much potential in this design.
    Loved Josie’s designs and placed an order. Another great addition to the stash.
    Stay well, stay safe, and most of all keep smiling.
    Love and hugs.
    Looking forward to Sunday’s shows.

  3. Safe journey tomorrow as it’s pouring here in West Sussex. Looking forward to watching the shows. Love your pottery pieces just don’t know how you juggle it all!

  4. Dear Barb… you echo the thoughts I’ve had, along with friends and neighbours, so articulately! What can we do but keep on keeping on?! Trying not to succumb to negativity… (gorgeous seven month old granddaughter helps there!!) cos guilt follows the “blues”, knowing so many people much worse off… what do I have to complain about? Sooo… daily exercise and crafty “doings”… didn’t manage to sit on my hands so looking forward to Josie’s new duo’s!!!
    Thank you for being there… safe travels, take good care 💐💐

  5. I have loved watching Josie but still not sure that I have the patience for all that cutting. And my fingers seem to be constantly inky which makes me feel I will spoil more than I keep. But never say never. Looking forward to your shows and my postcards have been despatched for the Moment of Clarity so I think staying at home and keeping busy will be the order of the day. Love your mountain of tiles

  6. Know exactly what you mean. I stopped work at the end of December and retirement has been nothing like I imagined it would be. We are all in strange and trying times just taking each day as it comes one foot in front of the other. Am really looking forward to the shows tomorrow. Drive safely xx

  7. I totally get what you mean by “Who am I ?”, etc.
    I am exactly the same age as you (ok I’m about 6 weeks older!!) and sometimes I feel like the whole world has gone completely mad, and I’ve travelled into The Twilight Zone. I guess all we can do is take “one day at a time” as you so wisely say, and find something to do that makes us happy.
    Never underestimate the power of YOU though Barbara! If ever I’m feeling a bit low, I watch one of your You tubes and it always ends up making me smile. I never share what I make as it usually looks like a 5 year old has made it (insult to 5 year olds!), but never mind….I keep trying!! One day…………..(at a time!) Travel safely to the TV…..and watch the fuel gauge !! Don’t want you travelling home Flinstone’s style!! x

  8. Your two lovely cats are gorgeous. Feel like you quite often but we must just carry on as best we can remembering to be careful always. Have a safe journey to the studio tomorrow promising awful weather here. Received my Gud Gnomes crackers and postcards this morning so ready for the moment of

  9. Barb, I know just how you feel about the madness of our World. But don’t underestimate your worth; as others say, your YouTube sessions make us laugh and inspire us to expand our lives to contain art. I don’t know how I would have coped without crafting. You obviously enjoy pottery, so keep on going, gaining experience as you go.
    I love your beautiful cats. I feel too old at 74 to take on pets and envy you their joyous unconditional love.
    Enjoy your family and friends and take life one day at a time. You are loved by so many.

  10. How lovely to see so much of the cats today. They are so sweet. Ragnar looks as if he dipped his mouth in the milk as he is much whiter than his brother in that area, or so it looks on the photos.
    I’m looking forward to the new dies. I have the stamps and the masks so the dies are a must! I hope the journey goes well and you have a lovely day tomorrow. I’m glad to see the ‘old’ stamps used. New ideas for them are always most welcome.

  11. Hi Barbara
    I have to admit all your worries and feeling about our word at the moment are exactly what I have been feeling I totally despair So many terrible things happening .
    One day at a time
    I’m loving all the samples and had to have the new plates Looking forward to your shows

  12. I have to say that I have no idea what is happening in the world just now as I have been avoiding the news for weeks now, rightly or wrongly! I am gradually settling into my craft room (former study!) and using some of the stuff I have gathered over the last few years. My world is a whole lot better although the world my car is living in is not! It’s going to cost me a fortune at the end of the week, but I’ll stick with today! Looking forward to the shows tomorrow afternoon. Safe journey. Enjoy. Lots of love. Hxx

  13. Thank you SO MUCH for photos of your lovely cats….really needed that….never ever boring! Cheers us up a lot….a lovely long blog today, thanks again.

  14. I forgot it’s my birthday in a couple of weeks -I now have an excellent excuse to treat myself to the new dies -Hooray!! Looking forward to the shows (which I’ll record for future reference)

  15. Lovely pictures of both the cats & the projects for tomorrow.
    Looking forward to seeing how the new items work with some of our existing stash to give a new look.
    Have been using the Winter lino cut stamps this afternoon – love the effect – 12 cards made so far. My Gud family crackers & postcards are on their way ready for Thursday & have the lino cut stamps ready for the pj party. Plenty to look forward to so no time to think too much of what is happening in the big wide world !!
    Will be there at 2 tomorrow x

  16. It must be the weather, dismal, that’s causing us all the same problems. Have got all my craft bits packed away ready to move house but that has had a hold up but as as you always say travel slowly one day at a time. Watching one of your old YouTube Tuesdays is usually the tonic I need especially when my granddaughter asks to see the giggly one , puts a smile on anyone face. Keep up the good work your team is a credit to you, the receptionist is always so helpful when I have telephoned thank you all of you.

  17. What a lovely pair of pussies ! I think they ground us, well ours do that’s for sure, always there, never very far away and when I move, they move to their feeding stations, even the one from down the road ! Can’t wait to get the new plates of Josie’s and I think the Guds are coming along as well, hoping for a voucher for my birthday – not that I need one as money will do! Look forward to shows tomorrow, we’ve been spoilt with Clarity this weekend. Good luck, not that you need it. X

  18. Hi lovely lady, Did any one tell you, they probably did, you are a wonderful person, that keeps everybody sane in this crazy world. I live on the other side (Australia) and love watching your shows and just listening to you. And learning and picking up tips on drawing and colouring too. Its as if you are sitting in the same room with us. Keep up the good work Barb and good luck with the show.

  19. I’m trying to focus on the things I can control each day. Mindfulness is really helping! Enjoy your TV shows – I’ll be watching later x

  20. Hello Barb, it is so strange at the moment, and how we react is not always good for us. You always bring a sense of thoughtfulness to us, so thank you. Love the boys, they are beautiful cats. Can’t wait to see the tiles finished, a wall hanging sounds good. Hope you had a safe trip to the studio, will be watching later. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  21. Hi All, I try to miss any news programmes these day, they make me feel so inadequate and sad for the state of the world any all that is happening. I don’t know what I can do to make anything any better so I just donate to charities as and when I can and hope that humankind will finally wake up and try to fix it. I could cry when I think about what the world generally thinks of women and how they are treated. The tile idea is a genius idea and they look so good and they’re not finished yet.

  22. Goodness me Barbara! I have an anxiety disorder and wake up feeling like this every morning. It’s comforting to know that even those who don’t have a mental health problem, feel inadequate, alone and unable to take in the sadness and general bad news that surrounds this world of ours. Not that I wish these thoughts on anyone. No! Of course I don’t. It’s just that it helps me to see that I’m not going completely round the twist. Thank you for showing us all this joyful artwork. It truly makes a difference.

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