Wednesday 26 July 2017

WOYWW 425: What a ReTREAT!

I can honestly say that I had the best start to the summer holidays.  My crafty friend and I had booked places on a Claritystamp retreat held in Crowborough Community Centre way back in February and were attending one of these two day events for the first time.  These are run by the amazing Barbara Gray, ably helped out by Paul Church and a whole host of others behind the scenes from Claritystamp.  We weren't too sure what to expect as it was the first time that we had been, but we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and learnt such a great deal of different techniques and skills in a jam packed series of workshops.  So here's what my desk looked like on the first morning. (If you want to know why I'm sharing my desk, visit our hostess Julia at The Stamping Ground.)
And here's my version of the project on the day (I still have some colouring and matting and layering to finish at home).

The good folk at Claritystamp had designed some new stamps just for the workshops (although I am sure they are available online too) and the first project involved practising brayering techniques.  The second, using inks on a gel plate and the first afternoon saw us get into the groove with some Groovi parchment work (once again, a new Groovi plate had been designed especially for us).  We had the opportunity to try out some of the more expensive snips and parchment scissors as well as the budget variety.  Nothing was too much trouble.  My crafty friend was always convinced she would never be able to do parchment work, yet came away with some snips and a large flower Groovi plate. The technical set up meant that all 40 crafters could clearly see the step by steps via an overhead camera and large screen; a microphone meant we could all hear every word and we also each had a sheet for each project with list of 'ingredients' and instructions to take away.  As one of the few left handers there Barbara even came round to each of us fellow 'lefties' to help perfect our picot cutting.  Thanks, Barbara, that really helped and I am determined to keep working on it.
The second day saw us all wielding the brayers and gel plates again, this time with acrylic paint, followed by using Alcohol inks on Yupo paper (including stamping with alcohol ink; a brand new technique for me, although I'd worked with Yupo paper before).  The organisation of materials was also exemplary.  As you can see from our table, each pair/person had a set of materials needed for each project and these were rotated out once finished with and the next set appeared.
From left to right, Maureen, Annettea, Carole (one of the talented Clarity DT) and Ros were all friends by the end of the two days, even though we had never met before Sunday morning. 

I was given some great advice by Barbara Gray who blogs every day (I don't always manage to but try my best).  'Go with what you've got and don't aim for perfection every time.'  I will be sure to follow that advice and will definitely be continuing my habit of keeping mop up sheets and offcuts to use as backgrounds for quick art work  when I need a post in a hurry.
The next event is the Open Day at Leyburn, North Yorkshire on 23rd September, so my crafty friend and I will be heading up there for some more Clarity fun; maybe we'll see some of our fellow deskers there too.

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