Sunday banter …

Sunday banter …

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. I was up with the lark this morning. The birds were tweeting up a symphony outside the bedroom window, the sun was peeping through the curtains – and I just couldn’t lie still any more! So I’ve done my yoga session, fired up the washing machine, cleaned the kitchen, hoovered and dusted the dining room – and it’s not even 8am yet! Dave and I even had a deep conversation about Oscar Wilde, Reading Gaol, where he was incarcerated, the Alan Turing Law, and the injustices against homosexuality not that very long ago.

So, copious cups of tea and coffee later, I thought I’d write a Sunday blog, before I venture outside to my little pottery studio in the garage. Fired up the kiln yesterday evening, but it’s a very slow firing, to ensure the large lampstands warm up gradually. I actually find that glazing works best on pottery that has been slow fired to bisque, rather than fast fired. Something about releasing gases gradually seems to prevent pitting in the glaze. I must have read it somewhere, because I certainly couldn’t have figured that out myself!

The other port of call will be my little SHAC studio, which is located upstairs (above said pottery space). I left it exactly as it was at 9.30 on Friday evening after our Craftalong, so I really should go tidy up that mess before tomorrow’s SHAC session! H for Hummingbird tomorrow. Fancy learning how to draw a humming bird? Me too !! 😂 😂 😂. Never fear -Gray is here! And she’s got all afternoon to work that out!

If you missed the Craftalong-a-Barbie, you can always go back and use it as a tutorial. I’ve loaded it below for you.

I served a 4-course meal. 4 cards. Clean and tidy for starters, then inky grungy for the main course. Pudding was a light and simple spritzy affair, then finally we did a little paper cutting and collage to cleanse the palate.

The stampset we used was a really neat and versatile heart set and an ABC, with masks. Can be bought HERE. All the things you will use are listed here too. Just go to the front page of the website, and click the Moment of Clarity button.

Downloadable ingredients list available HERE

Watch below

or visit our YouTube page HERE

We have scheduled another Craftalong too, using a brand new SHAC set of stamps. Remember the F for fashion Calligraphy Girls we drew a couple of weeks ago?

Well, we’ve made them into a fab little stampset already. And I’d like to use them in the next Craftalong!

When? Thursday, 30 May 7pm. Loads of time to get them! Loads of time for me to rustle up another 4-course meal too! CLICK HERE to buy.

There were over 200 people watching on Friday. That doesn’t mean we sold 200 sets of stamps mind! I wish!! No, no, no. But that’s ok. Sometimes folks just want the tips and tricks, or the fellowship, or the banter. Sometimes they want to see what they can do with the stamps before they buy them. But a fair few do actually craft along with me in real time – and that’s brilliant too. I’m just chuffed to be able to host a get together that brings in so many guests!

If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, check out our other Blog, our Clarity Matters blog, that Grace hosts, all the way from America. Every Saturday, she posts a wonderful selection of YOUR artwork. And every Sunday, there is a super photo step-by-step tutorial, written by one of our talented designer team. Mostly Groovi and parchment art. Today, Maggie Byford has created a very special pair of cards for you. CLICK HERE

If you know me and our company even a little, you will also know that the whole ethos of Clarity is centred around our Clarity community. Whether you enjoy stamping, mixed media or parchment, we strive to bring out the artist in you. We design it, we make it, we demonstrate it. As long as you join in, we’ll keep going! We’ve got a considerable library of Youtube videos, all available to you any time, and FREE, of course. Claritystamp Youtube.

Can I be honest here? Sometimes, a worm of doubt creeps into my head. You know the one. He worms his way into your head, and starts telling you you’re too old, you’re a has been, you’re missing out on young Tic Toc, you’re losing your way, you ought to throw in the towel, give up. Bla bla bla . And THAT is when I have to step away from paper craft for a day, get a little distance. You just can’t see the spot you’re standing on, can you? I do something else, anything else, which has no performance attached to it, no business, no responsibility. Like pottery. The worm gets bored then; he usually leaves when he’s got nothing to nibble at.

Time to go get arty! What are you up to today? Making something?

Love always,

Barb x x x

17 thoughts on “Sunday banter …

  1. Good morning, Barbara and All.
    I enjoyed the craft along very much.
    I’m no stamper but had purchased the set and was prepared to follow your expert tuition, but, as our son was visiting (a rare occurrence due to his work schedule – his own newish business – you understand) I decided to just watch what I could. As it happens I saw it all as hubby and son were watching a recording of the Harlequins game.
    Selfishly, I ask you not to throw in the towel just yet, you are such an inspiration and greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi Barb. Great blog today!
    Funny, I was awake with the birdsong too, but then went back to sleep. I’m not an early riser these days! I’m a night owl by nature, so some of my best creations are produced at silly hour in the morning before I go to bed, 🤣
    I think we all have that doubt in our mature years! I often wonder where I fit in in life today, seem to have got myself lost. Having a long distance family doesn’t help, as I’m sure you understand.
    Any way, ramble over, I’m sure you’ll bounce back in that studio, and not let age become a deciding factor in the great scheme of things. Clarity/Groovi have certainly kept me going! X

  3. Morning! How I wish that I could get through as much as you do before 8am! Those ladies are fantastic! It’s incredible how you can turn something so simple into a wonderful stamp for those of us who don’t have the confidence to trust our own drawings! I’m feeling rather under the weather at the mo, but hopefully I will improve soon and be able to pick up the great sessions you do! I don’t think you realise how much you help us all with your lovely chat and banter plus the way you help us draw! Never thought I could! Haha. Don’t let that worm take over! Hope the pottery in the kiln looks just as you want it! X

  4. I really enjoyed the craftalong on Friday. It was just up my street. I love creating inky backgrounds but am terrible at making them up into cards! My kitchen table is still covered with the backgrounds I made on Friday and I’m determined to make them into cards today (looking after sick hubby allowing!)

    I hope your time in your pottery studio will remind you of what a wonderfully creative and innovative person you are. I get breathless just following you, let alone keeping up with all the wonderful creations you make! I’m constantly wowed by all the lovely artwork you create and the wonderful products you make for us to use. You are a constant source of inspiration to us all. There’s no way you’re losing it girl!

    Much love xxx

  5. It was a lovely evening on Friday, thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you. I didn’t join in but was finishing of something Groovi instead. Picked up loads of tips too.

    Just realised we’re off to H for Hayling Island tomorrow for 5 days at Warners (first time) so wont be able to join in the Shac but will listen and try to catch some and then catch up. I’ll take some paper etc to have a go if I get chance while away.

    The worm is often in my head …. Why do I make cards, spend so much on craft etc. but I usually talk myself round in the end and spend some more. I’ll be getting the fashion ladies as love those and can’t draw them so well. I’ll order later in the week so they don’t come while we’re away. I don’t think you can ever give up with need your enthusiasm and inspiration ! Saying that I’ll catch you up in Oct in age and I’ve been retired a while but in your favour, you’re doing something you love and it’s creative and you don’t have to buy your ingredients (ok I know you do really in another way 😹) and are surrounded by beautiful, colourful things and lovely people who give you the chance to have a break when you need, we’d be lost without you !

    Enjoy your pottery today. Hope Erik is ok. I’m off to find a suitcase …..


  6. Errr. SNAP – I was recently covered in self doubt due to being exhausted after all that cancer business last year (Mr G has just has his 6 month test and IS CLEAR!!!!!). Again, it was the crafting/stamping which brought me back to earth. So thank you Barb, you are the best.
    Off to play with my new florals (am I the only one that can see a koi carp in your ‘strength’ floral curve?)
    Maggie (York UK) – PS ‘owst cat?)

    1. That is really good news. I have been through the worry of my husbands cancer, we are now 6 years on and he is still clear but I well remember the keeping of fingers crossed for the 1st 5 years , so my thoughts are with you both.

  7. I am new to Clarity only discovered all you have to offer in January. I don’t always watch the SHAC live but always catch it up, we are house hunting at the moment and were away last week, I missed crafting so much I went and bought a pad of paper so I could draw the giraffes. I can’t actually believe I managed to draw them.
    I’ve bought the set of stamps for last Fridays crafatalong and look forward to catching up with it soon. You fill us with confidence and inspiration and it’s such a pleasure to spend time with you. I hope you continue to inspire us for many years to come in what ever way you choose.

  8. I think we all have moments of doubt as to why we do things at times but I think for many of us crafting is our escape/motivator whilst you turn to pottery for yours. I really enjoyed the craft along on Friday & finished off my pieces yesterday rather than putting them away for another day. My aim is to use up some of my card stash that is lurking in my craft room aka as 2nd bedroom before the floor collapses into the lounge. It was not until I carried the necessary items downstairs to the dining room on Friday that I realised how heavy things are !! As to age I think as long as we are sensible we can carry on doing things for as long as we are able – there again I am now retired & have been for 14 years so that is not like you running a business – but I hope like many others that you will continue for a few more years – perhaps get a few more apprentices to do the hard bits !! OH has found gardening & a greenhouse for his latest pastime so I am off to my craft room to play with my stencils rather than look at them !!
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend & see you tomorrow in the SHAC – I have just realised my screen saver has a hummingbird on it at the moment. xx

  9. I just love this stamp set! Sadly won’t be able to craft-along as I’ll be on a coach between Calgary & Banff, as we head up towards the Rockies for our train journey (there are compensations…!!)
    Hope you have a good & productive afternoon. Don’t listen to the voices in your hear – they’re just out to get you!!
    Love to poor Erik xx

  10. Loved the craft along with all your hints, tips and banter, just a great way to spend a couple of hours instead of sitting watching rubbish on the TV as there’s nothing better to do. I often wonder why I bother making cards as the recipient list is getting smaller as time goes on & most people these days seem to think a quick press of a few buttons will suffice. However I’ll never forget you saying to me I should do it for myself because I love the process and that is what I do these days – I do it because I like doing it & no other reason. Long may you continue to encourage & inspire us xxx

  11. Hi, couldn’t make it the craftalong on Friday, Sao caught up yesterday. amazing dinner. will have to get going and do a few things. maybe not this week as one of my crafty friends is poorly, so will spend time with her and tell her about all the wonderful things you have shown us. Looking forwards to H. not sure about the humming bird.
    Love and blessing and thank you Barbara.

  12. I bought these fashion stamps after a disastrous attempt to draw something similar. The crescent and panel stamps are wonderful, so pleased they arrived before the weekend.
    I know what you mean about feeling being past it, my reaching 80 this year was a bit of a blow , but I pulled my socks up and told myself to get on with life. It’s too short to be miserable.
    We have had a few stressful weeks but thankfully results show hubby’s prostate cancer has not spread to his bones or other organs, now we have to see just how much lung capacity he still has. The asbestosis is not being kind to him. At the moment he is on oxygen and just about coping.
    Crafting kept me going during this horrid spell. I’ve even tried some “messy” stuff, turned out better than I expected as this is not my usual style.
    Remember Barbara, age is just a number, old is a state of mind. As long as you enjoy what you do, and don’t over stress yourself, you will stay young at heart. All being well I hope to live to at least 100!!!!! Only 20 years to go and I intend making the most of them. Lots of crafting planned, lots of books still to be read and lots more clarity magic to look forward to.
    Stay well, stay safe and enjoy your pottery.

  13. Just caught up with Fridays craft along – absolutely brilliant – well done!
    Great mix of demos!

  14. Wow you are a early bird orca busy bee ❤️ I love those days where everything just seems to fall in place , real productive days!

    I have missed my crafty space while I was away and feel exhausted after a very busy 5 days with my little grandson- not enough rest 🤣🤣🤣. I won’t get time for me till Wednesday- can’t wait to get crafty! I did manage to watch the c and c shows on catch up and part of the craft along. Love how you showcased so many different ways to use one stamp set.

    I’ll be listening tomorrow while looking after my grandson. The SHAC alphabet is brilliant- loved all the giraffes- I painted one for my grandsons room for a Christmas present so I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s drawings. It’s great getting back to drawing and can’t wait to draw a humming bird.

    Early night for me 😴😴😴

  15. Hello Barb, Glad to hear Erik is on the mend. Loved this blog post and the comments, have not caught up with the Craft-along yet, but will do so. I would love to join the Shac live, but hey ho, bills have to be paid, so it’s the day job that has to come first today. Love the Calligraphy Ladies stamps, such fun. Tell that worm to take a hike!. Take care everyone. Bx

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