Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Clarity Challenge - December 2015 A Christmas Story

Clarity Challenge - December 2015
A Christmas Story
Hi there and thanks for taking a peek at Shelagh-land. This challenge is a bit of a departure for me as I have included parchment work for the first time. 
I spent a couple of months earlier in the year in Kuwait where Mike was working and as I knew I'd have plenty of time on my hands during the day, I went armed with my Groovi collection - and being fresh from the Clarity retreat at Crowborough, the stash had certainly multiplied! The only thing I found myself somewhat lacking was the beautiful, high quality Clarity parchment so I had to be very economical. Once back home, an order was promptly placed for more and I was more able to experiment and the above just developed. Hope you like it despite the lack of stage photos - sorry - I forgot!


·         Clarity Stamps Groovi Plates:- Groovi Plate Starter Kit, Santa and Stars, Christmas Tree, Nested Squares, Nested Circles; Set 1 and 2,  Christmas, Holly and Art Deco Groovi Borders
·         Clarity Stamps:- NDC Alice, Santa and Sleigh from Christmas Miniatures and Window Set
·         Clarity Stencils:- Peace, Noel Snowflake stencil; Curly Strip 2in1
·         Texture Paste with Glass Beads
·         Gilding Wax
·         Black Soft Paste
·         Perfect Pearls Mist - Pearl, Pewter
·         Parchment and Parchment Tools
·         White Pencil.


1.       Stamp ‘Alice’ onto card and trace onto parchment using a white pencil.
(I think I was finally successful on my seventh attempt, between 1) changing backgrounds, 2) Alice at first sitting on a leaf - hence the stamped leaves above, 3) positioning of Alice and 4) dissatisfaction with my white work. Oh and I'll post my favourite 'blooper' at the end!)

2.       Create a circular border from two offset nested circles and decorate – I used small holly leaves from the Holly border plate.

3.       Using the two plates from the Groovi Starter kit, create a background of trees, hills and moon. Add trees from the Christmas Border and stars from Santa and Stars plate.
4.       Stamp the Santa and sleigh image onto card then trace onto parchment to suit background.

5.        Create an outer square border using the Nested Squares and decorate – I used the ribbon from Borders 1&2.

6.       Decorate the area between the circle and square with patterns of choice – I used stars from the Santa plate for the top and swirls and dots from the Christmas tree plate.

7.       Using the blue mat, I placed low tack tape along one of the lines the embossed using the letters for the sentiment from the Bunting Border.
8.       The parchment was then trimmed to 14cm square then I played about with 2,3,4 stylus to create some white work.
9.       Cut a sheet of parchment to a 16cm square, draw a double line border and embellish corners – I used a flower from the Art Deco border and swirls from the Christmas tree.

10.   Cut a sheet of parchment into an 18cm, draw a double line border then embellish with a trio of flowers from the Art Deco border. (I had the idea to use these as corners, and with a little bit of piercing, use them to contain the main picture. This was very much a trial as I hadn’t tried it before, so it did take me a couple of attempts to produce something reasonable, although by no means perfect.)

11.   To ensure all was secure, I added a few little bits of 2mm double sided sticky tape to areas where it would not show.

Canvas Mount
1.       Using low tack tape, mask off a double border around the perimeter of 30cm square Clarity Canvas.

2.       Paint white area with diluted black Soft Paste.
3.       Mask off the words on the Snowflake stencil, leaving only the snowflake exposed and tape onto the dry black canvas.
4.       Mix some black Soft Paste into some glass bead texture paste and apply through the positioned stencil. Repeat if necessary when paste is dry. (Remember the stencil needs to be washed in between applications.
5.       Before removing any tape – spray the stencilled canvas with Perfect Pearls Mist ‘Pearl’ and ‘Pewter.’ Allow to dry.

6.       Carefully remove the outer line of masking tape to reveal a white border. Apply gilding wax all round – I started with silver then gold then a touch of copper.

7.       Remove the inner line of masking tape and add the parchment. (I used a small square of Clarity Double Sided Sticky in the centre to attach the parchment.)
(NB When I removed the inner masking tape, the pliable nature of the texture paste allowed most of the stencil work which overlapped the border to remain. I had thought of trimming these off but decided I quite liked the link they provided between the background and the white surround. Another happy accident!)

Et voila! My take on 'A Christmas Story!'
I hope you have found the explanation helpful and apologies for not taking as many photos of each stage but it was one of those 'carried away' moments and I forgot!

A now for the mistakes (the second Santa was a positioning trial as the piece was ruined anyway!)
. . . . and some other trials!

Thank you again for visiting; I very much look forward to all of your wonderful contributions to the Clarity Challenge. Remember  - there is a Clarity gift voucher for the lucky winner! Most of my materials are available from the Clarity Stamps website so be sure to have a look at all the gorgeous products.
Little more to be said than see you again next year!
Kind regards and best wishes for a wonderfully enjoyable festive season!