About Me

My photo
WELCOME to my little arty world! Trying to make art is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Any excuse to play

Here it is ... bus number three!

Wanted to give everyone who attended my workshops a little thank you and a piece to offer further inspiration so, needing no excuse to play, I made everyone one of these (around 65!)

Because Sazz, Kimmie & Margaret did two workshops I made them a different one second time around.

They took ages to make but TOTALLY represent the crafting I love to do most of all.

Oh and the raffle prizes!  
I demo'd using white gesso but wanted to show what could be done with black so made three wooden hearts to offer as raffle prizes at each of the three groups.

These were them:

Tales of a demonstrating virgin

That refers to someone who has never demo'd a workshop before and not a nubile young maiden waiting for love to find her as she holds aloft a plaquard emblazoned with whichever cause she is fighting.

Oh, the visions I now have in my head!

Anyway, the title refers to me ... 
little old Debbie
 Great-Aunt Grubby-Bee 
... who was invited to teach her version of Finnabair's wonderful mixed media pieces at three of Claritystamp's regular workshops hosted by the amazing Sally-Ann Moore (aided and abetted by the equally amazing Kim Shaw) and Maria Simms.

After much hesitation, dithering and contemplation and a huge amount of encouragement by Margaret Craner (Silvercrafter) I decided to bite the bullet and go for it ... worse that could happen would be I totally stuff up and make a fool of myself.

I am given to totally stuffing up and making a fool of myself so what did I have to lose?
Apart from public humiliation.
And pelting with rotten tomatoes.
And scurrying back into the comforts of my craft room never to be seen again.

So after tweaking a sample design to make it cost effective for the workshop and something that would not take too long to dry I got them OK'd by Sally-Ann & Maria and got all the kits put together.

Totally underestimated what a task that would be but will admit to enjoying it ... gave the OCD in me chance to come into play!

Although Sally-Ann was the first to ask me to demo, the dates worked out that I headed to Maria in Shrewsbury first.

I go as often as I can to Maria's workshops and travel with the aforementioned Margaret so off we went in April ... me quaking in my boots and not knowing what to expect.

All I had to do was sit there and do what I do with my eyes closed at home ... how hard can that be?
Er, how hard can it be to THINK about what you do with your eyes closed at home and explain it at the same time to a lot of ladies for whom this was a totally new experience?

Made a few mistakes, I have to admit but also have to admit I have not made those mistakes a second time !!!

Encountered a little negativity at that first demo which threw me totally off kilter - kinda, sorta held it together on the day but lost it completely once home and had serious doubts about myself but then along came a tidal wave of support and before I knew it the second demo, this time for Sally-Ann in Nottingham was upon us.  Again travelling with Margaret and to my regular group so demo'ing to faces I knew well - that actually made me more nervous than to ladies I knew less well as I didn't want to let any of them down.
Was blown away by two of the Peterborough group travelling to do my workshop in Nottingham!

My final demo was yesterday, again for Sally-Ann and this time in Peterborough and as Margaret does not attend that group it fell to hubby-dearest to take me on a roadtrip.  Oh and to a completely new group to me - never having met any of them before. 

Need not have worried.

The welcome, kindness, hugs, love and support totally blew me away. 
One lady even came all the way from Manchester - travelling over three hours to attend ... still can't get my head around that and have even messaged her asking if she was an apparition and I had been dreaming!

Am rambling.
But this is my blog so I can ramble all I like.
And I need to record all this so I never forget my first time demo'ing.
Can never forget the belief my friends had in me.
Can never forget the new friendships forged and just the overwhelming feeling of hoping to inspire even one person to have another go ... even managed to convert a couple of "I don't do messy" & "I don't do mixed media" ladies to my corner of the craft room and so many have, indeed, gone away to have another go!  

I count that as success and that is a word I never, ever apply to anything I do.
But today I am.
Those that know me well know how hard it is for me to say that.

These are my samples and the piece I did on the day for the three groups.



The one I demo'd on the day
Was never happy with it so mounted it on a larger canvas once home
Still not happy with it so might try and prise off the bottom right corner composition and move it in a bit
Or I might leave it as it is and consign it to my ever expanding Box of Failures



The one I demo'd on the day
Will redo the sentiment at some point
Would prefer it to be narrower and longer
Too much space underneath it


Sample (same as Nottingham)

The one I demo'd on the day
This one ain't too bad!

Did I make mistakes?
Sure did!
Did I cope?
Did I shake so much my stencils wobbled?
Oh yes!
Did I enjoy my experiences?
Did I heck!  'Twas amazeballs!!!!

So that's it then
Debbie the Demonstrating Virgin standing down
Watch This Space
because you never know!!!!!

Claritystamp Challenge #39 : Anything Goes

Well, as soon as I saw the theme for this month's challenge at Claritystamp my little creative cells went Psssst to me and I had a vision of what I wanted to do.  

Started off with a plank of wood ...

Gesso'd it ... stencilled it ... crackled it ... 
I used Clarity's CLOCKWORK stencil - one of my all time favourites
And the stamp has always been a favourite verse of mine and I am happy to have any excuse to use it again - again, it is available from Claritystamp

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

WOYWW 364 : The Anniversary Edition

Rolling back the years ...

Should we even think about rolling them back or just go with the flow, pottering along our little journey's through life, changing and adapting as we go ...

Birthdays and anniversaries do this to me ... reflecting of the past and how quickly time is passing - well, that passing of time has brought me here - celebrating the 7th Anniversary of our What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday's blog posts ... the brainchild of our wonderful and very much loved host, Julia who came up with the idea in what must have been 2009 (had to Do Maths there so I could well be wrong!)  I only joined up for the ride in February 2011 after many aborted attempts at getting my dear little blog up and running and I remain eternally grateful to my dear friend, Margaret Craner (Silvercrafter) for her patience and advice and support in helping me battle through the technical stuff ... still no idea what I am doing much of the time but know enough to be part of blogland!

So, what IS on my workdesk today?  
Easier to say what is NOT on my desk as it is utter and complete chaos ... well, ok, it looks that way only because I prefer neat and tidy but that is never going to happen when I am crafting so I just go with the flow ...

seems I do a lot of that - suits me just fine

This was taken yesterday as I was taking a few minutes in my recliner chair  ... I looked up and was torn between Shock Horror at the mess and Ooooh Creativity - safe in the knowledge that by bedtime it would all be cleared away and my desk would  be clear to start all over again - except I hadn't cut enough trees so that plan went out of the window.
However, that desk WILL be clear before breakfast this morning as I left the trees glittered and drying last night all ready for a few minutes of assembly this morning.  

Well, it almost sounds like a plan!

The two boxes with the blue handles contain 150 Christmas cards all made and ready for storing away until the jolly festive season and on my desk are the ones for family and close friends which will join them in the boxes and then, come Christmas I will not be the mad, frenzied Christmas Crafter that I normally am.

Well, it almost sounds like another plan!

We are all linking up over at LLJ's as Jan holds the fort whilst Julia is off on her pre-surgery holibobs - can't wait for her op., to be well and truly behind her and to see her fighting fit once more.  

Am off to link up now and to see to whom I will be sending my ATC ... I have a few names on my list of swappers so have ATC's allocated for them and if anyone else would like one then I also have a few spare so just leave me a message in the comments box-thingy and I will get back to you!

SO time left to simply say


Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Another Wednesday and one I am determined not to let pass until I have joined in the wonderful weekly blog-hop that is WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday for those not in the know).  Brainchild of the beautiful lady that is Julia over at The Stamping Ground

So, what IS on my workdesk this wonderfully drizzly Wednesday morning (had enough of summer thank you very much ... drizzle will do me just nicely!) ???  Easier to say what is NOT on my workdesk as I am trying to gather the stuff I need for Saturday when I am teaching the second of my three mixed-media workshops ... exciting, eh?!?!?!?!

So this is as far as I have got ... yeah, I know, chaos ... BUT it is organised chaos and I pretty much know what is what and where it is all going ... honest I do.

Note to self: remember to unplug heat gun and take it with me!

The birdhouse is waiting for himself to actually put it in the garden for me.  
It's not for the birdies though.
After losing mommy I found it incredibly helpful to post little messages to her in the "ornamental" birdhouse we already had ... then that got full so I got another tiny one ... the messages do rot away, of course, but the whole point is the sending of the little messages and I shall continue to do this for as along as I feel I need to.
Mommy would have been 80 this past April and it will be 10 years since I lost her in September so Phil treated me to this quite beautiful birdhouse and I can't wait to see it in the garden.  

I guess this is my real workdesk at the moment - stuff on a tray for the Christmas cards ... have already got 110  made (in the box in the picture above ... the one with the papers piled on top and behind the spray inks)  110 cards in that box I hear you ask?  Well, they are my much favoured tag style cards you see ... yeah, yeah, heard it all before ... they are not "proper" cards so some on my list will consider them not cards at all ... but tough, I like tag cards so am sending tag cards (AGAIN!)

So am aiming to get 40 more done and then the family & close friends ones and then put them in the loft until the jolly festive season is upon us.

Did aim to have them all done and dusted by the end of March but was just too busy but can live with them being done by the middle of May ... thinking way ahead to the start of advent when I am normally stressed and battling the clock to get all my Christmas preparations done ... not this year!  I shall be an ocean of calm and serenity.

Yeah, right. 

7th Anniversary ATC Swap 

I will be taking part in the Anniversary ATC swap again this year.
Er, actually, ah-hem, already have them made and all ready for posting on 25th May!
I shall send card number 1 to the next person to me on Julia's linky-thing  but that will leave 21 more for anyone wanting to join in.  
Just email me your snail-mail address and I will pop one in the post to you.

Right, must get on ... got bags to pack!

Happy WOYWW'ing!
Happy Crafting!