Thursday, 19 November 2009

Your Mission......

If you saw this advert would you apply???


One helper to assist 40 ladies for 48 hours by handing out inkpads, stamps, paper, kits, brushes, glue, paint and other assorted items. Must be able to scoop out gesso and gel at least 40 times, paying special attention to handing it out again and again and again (usually AFTER you have just cleaned the palette knife and put the lid back on!). Be able to know exactly where everything is in the whole room and locate within a nanno second, whilst seamlessly spooning out more gesso and gel! The ability to keep awake during the whole 48 hours is essential, as is experience at cleaning tables, resetting them and eating your meal in less time than the other 40 participants (please note: indigestion will not be allowed as you won't have time!) Standing may be required, smiling is a must and you will have to have had a practice session first - by spending at least five days at previous major event! Must be able to count to 6400, have a sense of humour, give out gold leaf (whilst not breathing!) and on no account will you be able to play with the other 40 or so people in the room. Successful candidates will be recruited for future similar events!

Well I chose to accept the above mission and spent a wonderful, tiring, happy and rewarding weekend on the first Graphicus crafting Retreat - aptly named the Paradise Retreat. The whole event was all of the above and more - it was creative, emotional, exhilarating and a little hectic at times but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. To coin one of my own phrases I may be 2" shorter and about 5 years older but it was worth it. A big thank you to all the lovely ladies I met - you were all stars and I think that every piece of artwork you created was AMAZING. Huge thanks must go Glenda who allowed me to be part of this experience in the first place. Also a big round of applause to Lynn, Adrian, Kath, Annette and the man who kept hanging around the gents loos all weekend emptying wash pots and cleaning brushes - Oh that would be my husband David! (he only came to help us set up in the afternoon and stayed during the whole weekend - I think it was being surrounded by all those ladies that did it!!). These people put up with me spooning gesso over their hands, standing on their feet and being a little fraught when I couldn't just lay my hand on whatever it was that was needed immediately. I think I can safely say it was a fantastic success. Would I do it all again - now what did that advert say??

Take care until I have time to recover!


Sunday, 23 August 2009


Yes, I know I haven't blogged for some time and for that I can only apologise, but I have been rather busy with lots of exciting things. Samples for Barbara's TV shows - isn't she doing well? Demoing at Doncaster - one day only but felt like three, we were so busy. Working with Glenda on the new CD - Decadent Brocade - what a blast (and such a privilege). Demoing at the Open Days, putting together workshops for the new season at Graphicus and samples for the evening launch of the new Elusive Images Christmas stamps. Visiting my grand-daughter and giving her her very first set of rubber stamps - she's not three yet but you can't start too young! She's got the direct to paper technique with an inkpad off to a tee. Hope that's the only place she 'directs' it to though, otherwise I will have a very unhappy daughter and son-in-law on my case! In between there have been the mundane things of life (whisper- housework) and general living. So I hope you will accept my apology for being marked absent for a while.

Now I look at the calendar and it is almost September. Where did the summer go - has it been or, like me, has it gone missing? School holidays are almost over, the last Bank Holiday is only a week away and then the show season starts again. I know they say time passes quicker as you get older but, gracious, this year has flown at the speed of sound! I've also just realised that this blog is nearly a year old, at the rate the rest of the year has gone it will be walking, talking and off to university before I know it!! I've recently been reading the thread on the Graphicus Guild forum about why people blog and I hadn't really thought about it until I read some of the wonderful reasons given by this crafty group. I certainly cannot claim it is a way of regularly keeping in touch with people - can once in a blue moon be classed as regular? In the beginning (is that a line from something?) I said I would probably ramble - tick that box then; hopefully pass on some useful crafting gossip and info - 5 out of 10 for that one; and once in a while you might find something interesting here - only the lovely people that read this and take the time to leave such encouraging comments can judge that one. The one thing I do know for certain, although I don't tend it as lovingly as I should, I do find blogging very therapeutic and enjoy sharing my (sometimes off the wall) thoughts with the world. So I intend to keep going, will light the candle on the birthday cake and when I blow it out will make a wish (but if I tell you it won't come true).

So in traditional almost birthday fashion I have a present - not for me but for you. To say thank you for taking the trouble to join me here and I hope you will continue the journey. Sorry I can't send you the birthday cake but maybe this will do instead.

Click on the word link, download, then print and play. As usual, the papers can be printed borderless if your printer allows this.
Right, off I go again - does anyone know the receipe for a good cake??

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Is this the Sun I see before Me?

Yes, I do believe that the sun IS shining, could this be the start of Summer? Well I've probably just put the jinx on that then! Still, isn't is great to be able to go out without 6 layers of clothing and a mac and a scarf? Is it just me or didn't the warm weather start when we went back to school after the Easter holidays? According to school it did because we had to wear our summer unifom (dresses) and I don't remember shivering with frostbite! Perhaps I just didn't feel the cold when I was younger. Anyway I'm officially accepting that summer may just have arrived and to celebrate I have designed a new freebie with a fluttering theme. Here we go then
As usual, the paper can be printed borderless if your printer allows this, whilst the butterflies would look ab fab printed on acetate or vellum. The frame is new one for you; it is actually transparent (although you can't tell here), so you can print it over a coloured background or just print out on plain paper and cut out. Click on the link, download and have fun.

A quick reminder before I go, Barbara from ClarityStamp will be live on Ideal World and Create and Craft tomorrow at 11.00am. Check your TV schedules, it is advertised as Crafting with Clear Stamps, and just sit down and enjoy (or record if you can). I'm sure it will be just a wonderful as the last one.
Hope you enjoy the freebie.

'Til next time

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

And now for the Good News

Well, finally, I'm back. Yes the curtain has come down on the craft exhibition season until the autumn, apart from one brief appearance at Doncaster in June. The lights have gone out, the stands are packed away and all the strolling players have wandered off! It's very sad really, but on the other hand it's good being at home again and I am hoping to be running some workshops during the summer, which I love doing, so it is more like an adieu than a goodbye.

However I come back bearing good news... (small fanfare here)... are you ready, then get tuning into your TV. Tomorrow, yes that's TOMORROW Thursday 7th May, Barbara Gray from ClarityStamp is doing her very first TV show on Ideal World at 11.00am. Big round of applause. I'm also reliably informed that her show is being shown simultaneaously on Create and Craft, but check your schedules just to make sure. It's all very exciting and I am sure you will all join me in wishing her well with her screen debut; I just know she is going to be fab. Hope it's the first of many Barb.

And if that's not enough, Glenda's new Elusive Images show launches this evening at 6.00pm, another not to be missed hour. I just know we are going to be treated to more fab new stamps, wonderful techniques and Glenda's unique mini tutorials.

So what are we going to do everyone?? Tune in our TVs and watch two of the most talented and inspiring people I have the great honour of working with. Just sit back and ENJOY!

Back again soon.


PS Don't forget the Craft Open days at Graphicus this Friday and Saturday, I'm appearing at that one too.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Here's the Freebie!

As promised, if not a few days late, is your new freebie. There are actually 3 this time, a paper, a set of flowers and leaves and a complete alphabet. To the right is a card I have made to give you an idea of how it all comes together, but I am sure you clever people out there will have loads of ways of using it.

They are all based on a rusted pattern I have designed.

Click on this link and you can download all three freebies. As before, the paper has been designed to print borderless. Hope you like this and enjoy playing with it.

See you soon.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Phantom Blogger (plus sneeky peek of new freebie!!)

I'm beginning to think that Dr Who and Captain Kirk et al got it right! I would love to be able turn a dial in the TARDIS and find myself exactly where I had to be in the blink of an eye. Or how about 'Beam me up Scottie', wouldn't that be fantastic. No more packing and unpacking cases, getting on trains, off planes, up and down motorways and in and out of cars and vans. Just a quick 'shimmer' and I'd be THERE!! Maybe I could twitch my nose like Samantha and just appear, in the right place, at the right time and at the right demo table - amazing. Unfortunately I am neither a space captain, a witch or a time lord and therefore I can only explain my absence from blogging is because I am human and have to travel through real time. And what a time I've had. From the trade show in Birmingham to now I've hardly had time to catch breath and it isn't over yet; although I'm not due to be at another show until after Easter (Ally Pally). But there will be lots to do in the meantime, preparing for TV shows, arranging workshop dates for the summer etc, so I'm making the most of a semi free evening and trying to give my blog an airing.

I've had a blast the last few weeks, except for being uncermoniously being taken out of the NECC in a wheelchair a couple of weeks ago (long story involving being unable to breathe, the emergency room in the NECC, Doncaster Royal Infirmary and anaphylatic shock) and as usual have met lots of old friends and hopefully made loads of new ones. A great big thank you to everyone who has stopped at my demo stand on Clarity Stamp, or who came to the Graphicus Open Days last weekend. Your kind words and interest are what keep me going. To the lady who came to me at the stand at Glasgow and was upset to see I wasn't Barbara I apologise. To Phree, who remained at the stand in Glasgow and watched me demonstrating, even though I wasn't Barabara, thank you. To everyone else who has stood patiently while I've waited for my craft iron to heat up, while I've been cutting out or while I've searched for something that I knew I had when I started the day, but seemed to have disappeared under a pile of something else and to those of you that have kindly brought me everything from samples of your beautiful work, to cups of coffee and homemade cakes, my heartfelt gratitude. A big thank you to Glenda, Lynn, Judith and Carrie for stopping by yesterday at Harrogate, it was quite strange to see them as 'tourists' and I'm sure you all had a great day. And finally, to those that I have not been able to chat to, or whom I have missed because I took a quick five minute break I am sorry and I hope to be able to catch up with you again somewhere very soon.

Ok, before I leave blog land again, I mentioned at the beginning a new freebie. Providing I am not sabotaged along the way, I'm hoping you will be able to download this within the next couple of days. But just to whet your appetite, here is a sneeky peek

This is just one small corner, think you might like it though (it 's actually a game of two halves!).

I'm now off to see if I can convert the shed into a time machine - 'Beam me up David'!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Once again I find myself blogging in arrears i.e. no postings since the beginning of the year. Memo to self - PULL YOUR SOCKS UP LESLEY!!

However, it's getting to that time of year again; the Trade show looms large on the horizon followed by a list of craft shows as long as your arm (from Glasgow to Farnborough and quite a few points in between!) So, with this in mind I hope to see some of you, somewhere in the country, sometime during the next few weeks. You'll soon recognise me, just look for the stand where the demonstrator is half asleep (apparently I also snore so there's another good pointer in my direction!). Seriously, I have a load of prep to do for all sorts of things and so blogging may take a back seat yet again. In the meantime, what with the dreadful weather, the credit crunch and any other horrid thing you can think of, I thought you might need cheering up. So here, designed especially for you, is a paper that you can use for Valentines day, weddings, anniversaries, just about anything really.

If you would like the freebie, just click on this link, download and save to your computer, then just print and play. If your printer will allow it has been designed to print borderless. Enjoy.

See you on the road.