Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. Just got back from spending a few hours with Dave and Mum. She is doing well, looking well, and getting ready for The Clarity Open Days! Yep. She’ll be selling her dingles, handbag charms and spectacle chains again – just like every year. She spends an age getting it all ready, and is really looking forward to seeing everybody again. So much has happened since the last time ; it will be good to get her out of the house. I see Mum flourishing – as long as she keeps herself busy. She packs blending nibs, she packs Groovi Tabs, she refuses to get a home help. “As long as I can, I will” she insists. I totally get it. And I bet a lot of you do too.

Thanks also for watching and supporting the TV shows last Thursday and Friday. Blimey! We sold a lot of stamps!! Thank goodness! I haven’t unpacked the demo boxes yet, but I do have a couple of pictures of bits n bobs I prepped prior to departure!

Here’s one I didn’t get to, using the Mandala SHAC stamps we drew together. Complete with ingredients list . CLICK HERE

Here’s another one I did get to, but the clock was ticking! I used the large mandala stamp with mask to make a dangle on Stampboard.

Hearts work too. ANY shapes in fact!

Here’s one more I prepped but didn’t show, using the Spring centrepiece, and one of the miniature butterflies from the next day’s TV show, to make a busy background. All one layer. Masked the circle and brushed in a dropshadow.

Busy week last week. Busy week ahead! And in between I managed to squeeze in a Totem Pole base! Very happy to report that the construction idea worked a treat! It‘s quite big! The base measures about 14”

Only fly in the ointment is that there’s an empty cardboard loo roll trapped inside now, which helped hold the sides apart while I wrapped the top ! Ah well, nay bother. It’ll burn off in the kiln, said the teacher! Just needs cleaning up and burnishing now…

Mmm…. Totem Pole. Why am I embarking on such a mammoth project ? It is a series of smaller interconnected projects, which all stack to create a huge artpiece. Less like a novel, more like a load of chapters. It sits perfectly with my work schedule, missing class because of TV etc. and not being able to work on a complex project where all the elements are integrated, if you get me. With a totem pole, I can treat each basic piece as a finished, independent part of a greater whole.

Look! Here comes the next section; a sphere…Wrapped now, and ready to make the holes in and join the two halves together the next time I get to the studio.

Just like life. So often we focus on the goal, the end game, and we get so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work involved we lose the joy in the process of the project. I find it easier always to break everything down into smaller parts, and work on the smaller parts – one at a time. Less overwhelming, more achievable. Of course, the bigger picture is always there, whatever it is, but it invariably comprises loads of elements. Be it a day, a wedding, a coronation, a totem pole or a quilt – they can all be achieved one part at a time.

The totem pole represents that for me, that elemental notion; that everything is made up of constituent parts.

Quote for the day:

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” 


Love always,

Barb x x x

13 thoughts on “Happy May Day!

  1. Happy May Day! I’ve been breaking things down into small parts today. 1. A dog walk, 2. Cases out of loft, 3. A read of my book, 4. Some pruning in front garden (doing parts at a time – more tomorrow, 5. Another read of book, 6. Finish off a card and back to the book and a look on here ! Glad you had a nice time with Dave and your Mum. X

  2. So glad your mum is doing ok and keeping as busy as possible! I cannot see any nail marks in your totem pole piece! (You were remarking last time that your nails got in the way!) come to that, Hope your nails are still in one piece ready for the garden party! You must be so excited! I know I would be!

  3. Totem Pole coming along nicely and your workshop looks a nice place to be in. Lovely and light. I was going to do a bit of gardening but the heavens opened – nice now but too late.Is the garden party this week ? Have a lovely time and say hello from me. Take care.

  4. I’m so glad your mum is ok. I too want to stay independent as long as I can so
    I understand that totally. Happy May Day and thank you for your wise words they always help. I hope that you too are well now. Take care. 😊

  5. Great to see that your base has been a success. Seeing it come together will be a treat. Lovely also to hear your Mum is doing well and keeping busy. Her independence is important and she is right to preserve it for as long as she is able. Have a great time at the Garden Party.

  6. Good to hear your mum is keeping busy, she sounds like a determined lady.
    Your totem pole Stay safe.is coming along nicely.Everything is achievable if broken down into small segments.
    As we have a fairly clear week this week I made a list of all the things I needed to do, allocated some for each day and fitted in some reading and crafting. That way I don’t get too worn out.
    Stay safe.🍒

  7. Glad your mom is doing ok & coming out of retirement to have her stall at the Open Days again. As long as she can manage with every day stuff that will keep her occupied & feeling that she is not a burden on anybody will be great for her wellbeing. You just have to do things with her when you are there so that she doesn’t realise you are helping !!
    Meanwhile the step by step mandala projects look great & your idea of breaking down the process of building your totem pole is like you do with the SHAC projects for us. Doing a bit at a time makes the process so much less daunting than thinking of the whole project.
    So far Wednesday is looking good on the weather front so fingers crossed it stays that way xx

  8. So happy mum is coping well- a strong woman! I can’t believe mine is 95 and still lives alone and no carers. Made of strong stuff that generation.

    The mandala art was fantastic and the pottery project in all its stages is looking very interesting – be great to see how you decorate it. One step at a time no rush eh!!! As you say it’s all about the end goal and enjoying the journey to get there.

    I hope you and Dave enjoy the Coronation party- I bet you are getting excited. Well deserved recognition for what you did during the pandemic and beyond.

    I’ve had an exciting week – birth of my grandson Jaxon on 27th. I try to pace myself and tackle things in stages but think I’m going to write lists- find I achieve more that way.

    Take care Barbara and anyone else that takes the time to slot reading this into their time.

  9. Nice to hear you were able to spend time with your mum, and that she is doing well and keeping busy. Rain this morning, so housework after walking my dog, played with the Coronation Bunting stamps to make two cards this afternoon, and this evening, started to make some bunting, though not sure where I will hang it! Take care. xx

  10. Great blog today Barbara, I’m knitting a square shawl for my eldest granddaughter to lay away for future use. Now it’s a big project and a bit daunting but just like your totem pole it’s done in sections so that’s a great bit of advice to enjoy each section and stop fretting about the whole thing . So glad to hear your mums keeping herself busy . Enjoy your day xx

  11. Well I know what I’m going to be doing today, playing with mount board shapes and mandala stamps, thanks Barb for the inspiration. Hope you have a fabulous time at Buckingham Palace Garden Party and Dave takes a photo of you all dressed up and ready to party! And one of him of course! What an exciting time, well deserved.

  12. Hello Barb, so glad you had a good day with your Mum and Dave. She is really a feisty Lady, very inspiring. Loved the shows, ordered the stencils and one of the stamp sets. Your totem is looking good. Take care everyone. Bx

  13. Brilliant clay work Barbara,very impressive.
    Enjoy your time at the Palace and make some great memories. Well deserved !! XX

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