Sunday, 30 April 2017

A New Feathered Friend...

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in today.
A rather overcast Sunday, but lovely nonetheless.

We’ve had a super afternoon!
We have a new feathered friend in the garden -
a lovebird! When we first saw him yesterday morning, I dashed over the road to the neighbours, because they have an aviary, and I thought he must be an escapist.
But no. Not from there. They only have budgies. 

He (or she) has been trying out the box Dave made last year, 
but it’s a bit tight; the opening is just a tad too small.

he’s been gnawing away at the opening, 
but he kept looking over at Dave as only a lovebird can, 

until eventually Dave decided to help him out, 
pulled up a ladder,

made a little ledge for him to stand on,

 and widened the opening.

You can see him here, watching from a distance....

Ladder put away, pot of tea made,

and then we waited....
Had Dave frightened him off with his loud drill?

He was back on that little ledge and investigating 
before we could even pull up a seat!

In he went,

Perfect size. Not too big, not too tight.

Back out again. We did the in out game a few times, actually!

Now, he’s sitting on his new home even as I write, 
calling out for his mate to come.

Now I’m no lovebird expert.
Anybody got any ideas about the type from these photos?
Not that it matters what his name is! Won’t it be amazing if there’s a pair and they decide to have babies in our garden!!
He has a peach-coloured cap and chest. I have googled and the closest I can find is the Peach-faced Lovebird.


So we have spent hours watching and enjoying this little fella.
I shall keep you informed...

Before I forget, we need a winner for the quiz.
Many of you sent in your answers, 
and THANK YOU for joining in. 

A few people got all the answers
- even down to the name of the dog!

Here are the 10 questions and their answers:

Which ink pad should I use?
If I want to use Dye-based inks and Distress markers to colour in, which ink pad should I being using?

ANSWER: Archival or other permanent ink

If I wanted to colour in with alcohol inks, or Promarkers, 
or Copics or any of those pens, which ink pad should I use?

ANSWER: Dye Based ink. (Artistry, Distress or similar)

What do you think would happen if I spritzed water at this coated card at this stage? Would the black ink bleed? 


Would the card blister?


What have I done in the next step?

ANSWER: Added a further landscape layer at the front using the same colour as for the sky

Which size paintbrush would you recommend?

ANSWER: No. 2 Sable hair.

Would you add water to the ink?

ANSWER: YES, a tiny amount, just to help it move.

What can I do with this card to get rid of the blotchy inkwork?

ANSWER: Buff it with a tissue.

How have I made the background paper?

ANSWER: Spritz the ink left over on the blending mat lightly with water, and mop up with a piece of stencil card.

What’s the name of the dog?

Lynne Hammond’s chocolate lab is called Maya.

A £20 Clarity gift voucher goes to 
drumroll......close eyes....pick a winner....


And Maggie, 
I shall send the Clarity Voucher to you inside the card in question.

10 perfect answers.

Well done Maggie.
Thanks again to everybody who joined in.

Love & Hugs,

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Life’s a Bowl of Cherries

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.

Since we have a 25% off all stencils sale going on this weekend,
let’s look at some stencils!

We have so many wonderful designs!
All original artwork by Mel, Jim and Annie.

Spoilt for choice here!

So I think I will get one of my favourites out.
It’s a word one, by Mel.

Step by Step -
Here goes....

Mount your 6x6 Gel Press Plate on our 7x7 megamount.
Spread some red acrylic paint (London Bus) over the plate with a brayer and blot with some punchinella or our dotty wave stencil

Patchy is good.

Now let the paint on the plate dry.

Impatient? Blot a bit to speed it up!

Now load another layer of red acrylic paint over the top.

While that layer is still wet, place the Cherry Stencil  
face down in the paint on the plate.

Blimey. Anybody reading this would think it was a cookery lesson!

Blot around the stencil with a sheet of copy paper.
You will see that the wet paint will lift some of the layer underneath, but not all.

Wait until the paint you can see is dry.
Then you have to act fast.

Remove the stencil and quickly lay a sheet of copy paper or card down on the plate. Rub the back of the paper or card.
If you flip the plate over, you will see this:

But when you peel off the paper, 
it will lift a print of the words for you.

And now you can see what is still left on the Gel press Plate.
Cool or what?!

Now to lift the print off the plate.
Let’s use white acrylic paint (Snowflake) to do the job.

Spread it out lightly with the same brayer.

Too much paint won’t work.
Too little paint won’t work.
I know. 

Here’s what I do.
I put a good 2p size portion on the 6x6 plate,
then I roll it out. This is too much, so I start lightly rolling it off and rolling the excess paint onto a sheet of copy paper on the side.
Keep doing this until you see the print underneath peeping through.
When you can see it, it’s time to pull the print.

See it?

Now quickly flip the Megamount over and plant the print onto a piece of our 7x7 Stencil Card. The megamount is the same size as the card; ideal for lining up.
Like so:

Flip the artwork back, rub the back well, to transfer all the paint from the plate to the card.

Peel the card off the plate.
And the plate is totally clean too.

So there you have it:
2 prints from one Cherry stencil.

Let’s define the letters with a red pencil.
Look at the difference above and now below.

Let’s add a little green with a pencil too.
Or not!

Trim the sides with our ruler + the Groovi Grip to stop a slip!

Mount on a piece of Dee’s Brighton Rock Designer Paper.


Enjoyed that arty half hour.
Love this stencil. Ought to spend a little longer on the greenwork, but I have to go cook supper, or Dave will fall off his perch!

And yes, Life is a bowl of cherries.

Some Bitter. Some Sweet.
My favourite fruit.

Maybe next Sunday at 5pm on Hochanda TV,
 I’ll take my Gelpress Plate with me....

I will announce the winner of the quiz tomorrow.
Thank you so much for joining in,
and yes, we do have ONE winner!

Anyway, why not go to the website and have a look at all the lovely original stencils we have designed now. You never know - there may be one or two which tickle your fancy...

Love & hugs,

Friday, 28 April 2017

A Birthday Girl and a Sale Newsflash

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Thought I would just wish you a great May Day Weekend
and give you the heads up on a couple of importants things:

firstly, our Rosie - aka Rossella - is on TV tomorrow.
  • SKY 663 (24/7)
  • FREEVIEW 85 (24/7)
  • FREESAT 817 (24/7)

7am 11am and 3pm.
7am ! Poor woman! 
That means she has to be there at stupid o’clock to get ready.
Pergamano Essentials at dawn!
Then Groovi Essentials at eleven,
and finally, Claritystamping Essentials at 3pm.

She’s got some lovely multi grids, celebration Groovi plates and elegant stamps with her, and she will be showing you loads of tricks and tips on these How-to shows.
Rosie has a wealth of arty craft knowledge, 
and a real gift for explaining things.

7am though. How’s that for dedication?
She’s the real deal alright.
Tomorrow also happens to be her birthday.
Yep. She was quite happy to go on the TV on her birthday. 

So sing to her, give her a virtual hug, cheer her on.
She blimming deserves it!


And she’s had her hair cut!

Tina has too! Right up to her ears, she told me this afternoon!
So that’s 3 of us all set for summer.

Also, we are having a MAY DAY stencil sale all weekend. 
Actually, it has already kicked in. 
(offer ends midnight Tuesday)

Time to go home.
Lucky man - last one tonight! 
Have really enjoyed that series!

Love & Hugs,