Thursday, 1 December 2016

Clarity Challenge 46 Carol Singing and Christmas Joy December 2016

Carol Singing and Christmas Joy!

Hello, good day and welcome! Another year NEARLY over and a new one just about to begin, as I slightly paraphrase John and Yoko! Last Clarity Challenge for 2016!
This month's challenge simply reflects the joy I had in creating a special card for my mum. It has to be 1) easily seen; 2) sit up on the mantle piece without falling down the back - as some of my other fancy fold cards have threatened to do; 3) be colourful and joyful and 4) a bit of a centre piece! With this in mind, I combined both parchment and stamping then threw in some die-cutting for the card base. I did have to be a bit 'creative' when stamping 'Mum' but it worked in the end.
Apologies for not showing a complete 'step by step' but as is almost the norm for me, my inspiration is there, but I have no conviction the idea will work until the project is complete!
What I have found out though, is that Faber Castell 'Albrecht Durer' water-colour pencils work nicely on the reverse of small areas of parchment if blended with a fine, almost-dry paint brush. (I used a size 3 sable mix which can be rolled into a very fine point.)

·         Stamps:- Clarity ‘Merry Christmas,’ Jayne’s Holy and Ivy set (holly leaves and berries)
·         Ink Pads:- Versafine Onyx Black
·         Groovi:-  Jayne’s Holly and Ivy plate (small holly leaf from holly corner), Jayne’s Poinsettia plate, Spring Swirl plate, Nested Circles
·         Dies:- Fancy circles, plain circles
·         Card:- Double-sided Pearlescent
·         Clarity parchment:- white, red, green
·         Miscellaneous:- Faber Castell Polychromos, Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Water Colour pencils, Micron pen - fine


1.       Fold an A4 piece of pearlescent card and cut a 14cm circular card blank using a plain die.

2.       Open and cut out a central circle using a 12.5cm die on one side only to create a top frame. Score and fold along mid-point.

3.       With a fancy circle die, die-cut two 15cm circles from same pearlescent cardstock as previous and cut a central circle from one using the 12.5cm die. Attach the complete circle to the bottom of the card base and the fancy frame to the top frame.

4.       Cut a 14cm fancy circle, again from pearlescent. Stamp large Merry Christmas onto this circle, heat-set and draw oblique lines with Micron pen. Colour the areas red and green, time about.

5.       For ‘Mum’ – ink the ‘M’ from ‘Merry’ and cover the rest either with sticky notes or low tack tape. Stamp below ‘Christmas.’
For the ‘u’ ink top of ‘y’ from ‘Merry,’ cover the rest with clean sticky notes or low tack tape and stamp as near to ‘M’ as possible.
For the ‘m,’ ink the ‘M’ in ‘Christmas,’ again covering surrounding letters with stickies or low tack. Stamp next to ‘u.’
6.       As before, draw oblique lines with a Micron pen and colour.
7.       Stamp holly leaves and berries; colour with Polychromos; decoupage and layer with foam pads. Set aside. (Card stopper.)

8.       Emboss all the layered poinsettia components from Poinsettia plate – four in total – on red parchment, pierce with a two needle tool and cut to produce a picot edge.
9.       Emboss largest image on green; pierce and picot as above.
10.   Shape each layer slightly and fix all together with a brad of choice.

11.   On white parchment, emboss largest and third largest rings. Using a variety of small holly leaves from Holly and Ivy plate, emboss a design around this circlet. Emboss berries to suit.  On this same side of parchment, lightly colour with water colour pencils. Taking a fine, almost dry paintbrush, work the colour to the edge of each leaf and berry. Pierce and picot inside and outside of circles.
12.   On another sheet of white parchment, emboss largest and fourth largest circles. Emboss a pattern from the Spring Swirl plate around ring and colour with lighter green water colour pencils using technique as previously explained.
13.   Pierce and picot inside and outside circles.
To construct:-

14.   Attach wider circlet to top frame; add holly circlet.
15.   Attach poinsettia to suit.

16.   Attach decoupaged holly for back-stop but check card opens and sits correctly.
17.   Add tiny dots using the Micron pen around the circumference of each fancy circle to suit.
(Throughout I used pieces of Craft Dots for the parchment work and wet glue for the card.)
Et voila! A little bit of Christmas joy for my beloved mum!

To join in Clarity Challenge 46 - last for 2016 - you may do so from the link on or email your themed project to Why not have a go? Nothing ventured, nothing gained as the old proverb goes AND you may just gain a £50 voucher to spend on the Clarity website. Hope to see you soon.
Best wishes,


  1. Lovely work as always Shelagh x

    1. Thanks, Julie. This is my kind of parchment work - a kind of amalgam of techniques! ;~}

  2. This is such a wonderful card Shelagh, so well thought out. A beautiful design for your Mum, I'm sure she'll be thrilled with it :-) xxx

    1. Thank you, Carole. It should be on her mantelpiece today as I left it with her last week. It's good to do something that I know will be appreciated. ;~}

  3. This is gorgeous Shelagh and such a comprehensive step by step. Merry Christmas x

    1. Thank you, Angela. Now I've to come up with a 90th birthday card for 4th January! Happy New Year! ;~}