Hello there!
Nice to see you again.
Friday’s blog a private peek? 
So here’s a little glimpse into our Friday last week.
And you thought all we do is make stamps & stencils…
We attended the Annual Family Business Place Conference at the Royal Institution, London. 
Fabulous place. Busy, interesting day.
You may recognise some of the Clarity Team mingling here.
Last year, I was honoured to be the Opening Speaker.

Must have done something right, because
I was privileged to be asked to speak again.
And you’ll never guess what my subject was!
Yep. Embracing the Social Media and the Power of Blogging!
I wished you all could have been in the audience!
We could definitely show them how it works!
This lady, Penny Power, was a veritable powerhouse in the field, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her.
This lady was fabulous, too. 
Chairman and owner of Fortnum and Mason.
I was delighted to be able to spend a little time with my favourite, Peter Thornton, as in the chocolates.
See the lady behind Peter in the background? 
That’s Helen Thomas, owner of Weston Ciders.
Now this lady, Anita Brightley-Hodges, is the Conference organiser. She and her family did a stirling job.
If you run a family business, and you want to get involved, then please email me, and I will put you in touch. 
It’s a fantastic support service. And when you consider that 

She is also a dear friend, which might explain why I got the part!

And I got to talk about blogging mostly. 
About our community here and how we all get together most days. One lady in the audience asked me how much time I spend daily on blogging. I told her about 2 hours.
The audience gasped. You can imagine a room full of suits and corporate whiz kids would struggle with that notion.
So I laughed, and pointed out that, 
not only was it the font of our business nowadays, 
To be able to spend two hours of my day, EVERY DAY, being creative, is like manna from heaven.
Somebody else asked whether I couldn’t delegate it. (Obviously that person sat up and logged the business benefits of blogging, but wasn’t too pumped about wasting 2 hours a day actually writing one).
My answer?  “No! I just said I enjoy it!”
To me, this blog is vital. 
At so many levels. 
Facebook and Twitter are great for spreading the word, 
but the blog is my personal key to Clarity.   
Long may it continue.
much love,
PS. Just wanted to mention that this blog has been nominated for two awards! If you think it’s worth voting for, please do, using the links below.
If you already have, then Thank you!!!!
(voting closes 24.12)
(voting closes 19.12)

46 thoughts on “LONG LIVE THIS BLOG!

  1. Hi Barb,
    Someone else blog for you??? Excuse me, do they not realise the enjoyment and creativity we get from you?
    Of course you would be invited to be a guest speaker, opening speaker, only speaker etc. etc. You are more than able to beat them all xx.

  2. Brilliant Barb, you deserve every accolade going. Your blog is a daily visit for me and an essential part of my day for inspiration and fun and laughter. Pleeeeeease don't stop. Crafty love n hugs Ruth x

  3. So you enjoy blogging, being creative and having two hours a day to work on it – and someone asks why not delegate it…..mmmmm doesn't sound like they were listening too well. Like the other commentators I love your blog and it is one of the few I read on a regular basis. I tend to dip in and out of others as I need to. I've already voted for your blog – well it would be rude not too!! 🙂

    The pictures show how much you enjoyed yourself last Friday! What an honour to be asked to speak again.

    Hope you have a good day today – looking forward to seeing wht you are going to reveal on Sunday – though sadly I won't be able to watch you live 🙁 xx

  4. Very well done, Barbara!!!
    And your blog is one of the most interesting blogs for creative people…
    Especially for those who are not a member of facebook or twitter!!!
    Rolf xxx

  5. I would have loved to heard your talk Barbara, along with all the other people. Well done you. I think you have an amazing creative gift, and a brilliant business acumen, to have both is very rare. xx Claire

  6. I bet it was a man!! Honestly why does he think it is called Barbara Gray.blogspot.co.uk?? Numpty. Why would we want to read what you say in someone else's words anyway – what you say/write comes from your heart – other people cannot convey that!! Silly man. You keep doing what you do lovely lady – I may not always commwnt but be sure I stop in EVERY day. Could you introduce me to Peter Thornton…… pweeeese?? Lol xxxxx

  7. The artistic flair, humour and commitment you put into your blog… Nobody else could do that. Yes please, long live your blog Barbara. It brightens my day. Keep on enjoying it and we'll keep on enjoying it too. Thank you

  8. What fun to be asked to speak again this year – it's really terrifying standing in front of so many people so well done you! Mind you, after doing the telly, live, in front of thousands of people it must be a breeze for you!!! I've already voted for you and your brilliant blog, but might ask my OH to cast another vote as he does get to listen to your u-tube videos every week – he even knows the music now!!! Susan x

  9. Wow Barbara. I have really enjoyed your blogs for the last 3 weeks while I have been at my home in Spain. I especially enjoyed reading about your trip to Granada and Cordoba, so much so that we are gong to go next May when we are out here.

    Your blogs are amazing and give us all inspiration, please don't stop, no one else could do them for you.

    Jane xx

  10. Congratulations Barbara what an accolade! You are the perfect person to speak about blogging, and the perfect subject too, as I think a lot of people underestimate the power of it and it is definitely a personal thing not to be delegated. Yours has become a firm favourite of mine because not only do we learn a lot from you but you give of yourself and connect with everyone which is so important and makes this a special place to be. What can be better than loving what you do and sharing this with so many like minded people. x

  11. Pffft! Deligate? I agree with the others. This is so much a part of my daily routine now mainly because it's a very personal blog. It would be like suggesting Mr Thornton make chocolate – oh but without the chocolate! LOL, today my computer is poorly – too many cookies i think! Instead of dealing with the cookies and spending an hour, at least, to clean up my comp, I chose to get my daily dose of clarity! The cookies can wait! Have a great weekend, recorder set up for Sunday.

  12. Have always said that if the day job is also your passion you are a very lucky person. That is why you can talk with such enthusiasm and it comes brought ever day in your blog xx

  13. Facebook -no! Twitter -no!
    Blog -yes!!!
    Not sure if I am missing something with the first two but am very happy with the blogging!
    Well done on being re invited Barbara , and speaking about your passion.
    Long may it last,

  14. Hallo liebe Barbara,
    ich bin immer wieder begeistert von deinen inspirierenden Werken. Ich liebe das bloggen sehr. Der Austausch ist so wohltuend und ich habe so viel gelernt, was ich mir vor 20 Jahren niemals vorgestellt habe jemals tun zu können. Das stempeln und kreativ sein ist so eine Bereicherung in meinem Leben geworden. Ich habe schon 5 Schlaganfälle gehabt und bin inzwischen berentet. Ich glaube wenn ich nicht mehr kreativ sein kann und darf, dann höre ich auf zu leben.
    Ich danke dir für deine vielen wundervollen Blogbeiträge und ich hoffe du wirst auch in diesem Jahr wieder eine Auszeichnung erhalten. Zu deinem Erfolg die Eröffnungsrede halten zu dürfen gratuliere ich dir ganz herzlich. Ich wünsche dir und deiner lieben Familie und dem Team alles erdenklich Gute und eine geruhsame Adventszeit. Ganz liebe Grüße Hugs Silvi

  15. Your blog I follow everyday and comment each day you give your time to show your clarity followers lots of crafting ideas and ive learnt so much xxx

  16. Sorry Barbara, I tried to vote for you. First link didn't let me choose you, or I couldn't find you. Second link insisted on me putting in answers to questions I couldn't answer, and I couldn't proceed to get to you until I invented local shops that I don't' have.

  17. Every day you write it and every day I read it! I love learning through reading and watching your demos. I can see why you say it is front line for the business as I have often put an order in for the items you have used so I can play as well. 2 hours well spent in my humble opinion. XX

  18. Good for you Barbara! You promised to Blog every day which you've done since you started it, I was never really in
    terested Before but I have read every blog you've written and I know I'm not the Only one by far. You have opened my eyes to all the great Bloggers out there but am still plucking up the courage to start one myself.Wxx

  19. Hi Barbara
    Thanks for a look into your private life.Brave of you to stand up on stage and speak,I personally could not do that.
    I may not comment every day but enjoy the blog every day and the fact you personally do it yourself,so I thank you for that.

  20. Wow up with the rich and famous. How proud you must feel and very well deserved. Your blog is superb. I shall certainly vote for my favourite crafter and blogger. Have a celebration drink tonight. I am so pleased for you and the company
    Best wishes

  21. You thoroughly deserve your place amongst the "rich and famous". It is great to see you and Clarity right up there with them. That person who thought you should delegate your blog, needs to think a bit harder about how it gives you a real feel for your customers and friends. It is such a shame when some people lost touch with their grass roots supporters. They lose something more important than just money. I have already been over there and voted for your wonderful blog. Good luck when the results come out. xxxx Maggie

  22. Hey Barb, well, YOU GO GIRL! Well done to you and the team, bust especially you, and thanks for sharing the pics. You are an amazing woman Barb, and I wish I had just 1 iota of your drive an determination. I may be CEO by now! Why would anyone want to delegate their blog? It is about them, what they do, and yours is from the heart. Please don't go becoming a mogul of some empire, that is not the gracious person we know. Votes done a while ago. Thank you for all that you do. Take care. Bx

  23. Hi Barbara congratulations on being such a fabulous spokesperson and for your amazing blog. Would you all like us to come with you next year so we can give our side on how you have changed lives and given us all courage?! Hmm delegating blogging and that's a family run business? Delegating too much and loosing sight of their customers I think! Keep up the good work, we all love what you do. Enjoy your weekend. Love Diane xxx

  24. Evening Barbara, thank you for sharing this with us and I for one as you know love your blog – I love reading what you have to share with us – it is part of my daily routine and I love it. I love how it has evolved over the time you have been running it and especially love the youtube aspect and the private peeks – in turn I feel that i share things back with you as I feel feedback to you so that you know how you are being received by so many of us is as important for you as your time spent writing it.
    So keep it coming – and I for one am extremely grateful for those 2 hours a dayxx
    Much love as ever
    Kim xx

  25. You keep blogging and delegate other things. Your blog is great and deserves every award. I have already voted and hope you do well. Glad you getting the recognition you deserve. xx

  26. Hi Barbara
    Well done, you looked like you really enjoyed it. I hope you managed to get across to at least some of the suits not only what blogging can do for their business but for their fellow humans too. You are a very special lady and this blog of yours is a very special place you've made too. Far, far bigger than you inspiring people to become arty and buy Clarity products. This blog is a very special place for me, I don't have the words to explain just how special and how much it is helping me and in far more ways than just encouraging me to be brave enough to have a go at being arty. Me who is soo scared of people and who has never ever felt part of something ever – I haven't had the opportunity to for many years and before then I always felt on the outside looking in. Now I come on here, feel the warmth and caring from you and the people who comment on here and feel you all pulling me in, embracing me, and I really want to be included and join in. That's you that has made this happen, that's massive. I feel like I want to come and give you massive hug and tell you a massive thank you, and to show you what it means to me and how much it has helped me and given me something special every day, something to look forward to, as well as helping me start to get back into craft with new and better end results and trying to do arty stuff for the first time in my life (art at school – after the first few weeks, as soon as I entered the class each week I was asked if I had homework to do instead!!!).

    I am still struggling to post comments but I do keep trying, you and the people on here encourage me to, and make me want to. I've not managed as many as I was doing, I'm struggling a lot just now with stuff plus this time of year is always extra bad for me, it reinforces big time the 'normal' I have missed out on and always will miss out on in my time alive, the stuff that is all I ever wanted. But at least this time I can feel included here on your blog.

    Sorry I don't have anything funny /upbeat to say tonight (that's my thing, I love to make people smile, laugh, feel a bit better, and that makes me feel a bit better inside too). I did vote for you though, in everything it was possible to, another thing I really struggle with, but you, your blog and Clarity winning the awards you deserve was well worth the effort it took :-).

    Love Brenda xx
    p.s. hope your pal Peter gave you a doggy bag!!!!

    1. Hi Brenda,
      I cannot agree with you more. I have always been shy of people, but posting comments is my way of showing (myself mostly) that I can have opinions and feel that I have something to say. I only post on this and Jo Rice's blog and I enjoy reading all the comments from people, like you said it makes you feel part of something. XX

  27. Hi Barbara,
    thanks so much for the 2 hours a day you give to your lovely blog, I love the private insights, the ideas and offers, but feel like I'm touching base with a friend each day.
    take care,
    Jackie, x

  28. Hi Barbara. I hope you areas proud of yourself as we are on being asked to talk to all of those people, even if some were your friends. I, like everyone else on here, am so grateful for the couple of hours work you put into this blog every day, thank you so much. Your love of the blog comes over clearly and no one else could possibly take your place. Long live this blog, and Clarity. Take care.

  29. You've got my vote already. I really admire you for your dedication to this blog. Two hours a day is a lot of time to spend but I for one really appreciate that you do and to read that you enjoy it so much too is fantastic. It sounds like you had a great time last Friday too.
    Jackie x

  30. I always take time to read your daily blog i only write on here some times.
    I think you do a fantastic job and i wish you all the best please keep up yout daily blog we all love it so.
    Just going to vote.
    Looking forward to my new design letter coming just rejoined plus the stencil one as well.

  31. Love this blog, it's the only one I read. That person who suggested you delegate obviously hasn't got a clue about how a blog really works, and the connection it provides between you and us. How the heck could someone do it for you? It's such a personal thing.
    Looking forward to Sunday x

  32. Hi Barb,
    I've already voted and love the blog. I'm always surprised at how you manage to do it every day being the busy lady that you are, but I'm grateful that you do. You are certainly getting to mix with the rich and famous aren't you! Well done though and what an honour to be asked to speak to such a prestigious group again. Love Alison xx

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