Words from the heart.

Words from the heart.

Hi there.
Thanks for stopping by. 
Friday’s blog a private peek, 
so here’s a poem I wrote last week.

If I had a penny for every time I have heard “I could never do that”.
So here’s a rhyming thought for the doubters,


The things I make with pens and ink
Aren’t anything like as hard as you think!
Just have a go, just do as I do,
And after a while it will grow inside you!
You’ll start to have ideas of your own
And your art will develop its very own tone.
You”ll play with the colours and invent your own blends,
Create new techniques and develop fresh trends!
And folks may well wonder if I’m threatened by you,
With your brilliance and passion and the work that you do.
But the truth is quite simple and I’ll say it out loud!
Your art is exquisite and you make me so proud!

Much love,

82 thoughts on “Words from the heart.

  1. What wonderful words Barbara. I agree with Pauline – would make a great stamp!! I always look at your work and think "I might have a go at that" and then I start and it looks nothing like yours and I think – "hey ho – I will never be a Barbara Gray" – but now I think "I could be LIKE Barbara Gray – not as good but I could give it a go!" I am gonna print this out and put it in my craft room for inspiration!! Thank you. xx

  2. Great verse, great sentiment. I wouldn't be crafting the way I am now without your blog, TV demos, DVDs and inspiration! Someone once asked me if I can say I did it if I've 'copied' a design, made me sad at first but then my skills improved and I now use the techniques to do my own thing. Thank you for all your time you spend with us every day. XX

  3. Ooooo. And I so like your advice to go with what you have rather than be too too picky if it isn't perfect!! So often it turns out quite different (and often better) than the plan. If you feel proud of our efforts that's well good enough for me!

  4. I echo all of the above! We need your inspiration and the building of skills and that gives you confidence to have a go at something a bit different, in time from the tentative steps big strides emerge!
    Thanks for the daily inspiration x

  5. Great words Barbara. I was just talking to Jo yesterday about self doubt. Why do we give ourselves so much grief? You have been such an inspiration to me – I'm certain that I wouldn't have tried some of the things I have without your continual encouragement. Thank you! Hugs xxx

  6. There's encouragement for us all, thank you so much for those wonderful words Barbara. You give us so much inspiration & it will rub off on us eventually. All the best for Sunday's show, drive safely.x

  7. All I know is that if I hadn't seen you demo with the brayer on C & C back in 2006, I wouldn't be where I am in my craftiness. So thank you for the poem and for all the inspiration and encouragement. Love Emma. xx

  8. Once again – inspired by you. I am on a journey and I think getting better with practice. You have given me so much encouragement to keep going.
    I look forward to more on Sunday. A big thank you
    Best wishes
    Anne (Reading)

  9. Hi Barbara. What a great poem and yes you should make it a stamp! You really inspire us all and yes, we must believe in ourselves more! Safe travels Barbara. Love Diane xxx

  10. Hi Barb,
    Great verse and very true too. I have been so inspired and influenced by you and now have far more confidence to have a go, even if it doesn't work out! I have done a couple of canvasses that I'm quite proud of and that would never happened without you. So all I can say is thank you so much. Looking forward to Sunday. Love Alison xx

  11. That is just so beautiful. There is no way you could be threatened by me, but you, and the wonderful team you have gathered around you, have inspired me to have a go at all sorts of things would never have attempted even twelve months ago. It has also made me determined to encourage others to have a go and have more confidence in themselves. Things that would have gone straight in the bin now wait around while I think how to make them work in some way, even if they are not what I intended at first. Thank you for all you do for us and please keep on doing what you do so well. xxxx Maggie

  12. Oh Barbara, that's making me cry (in a good way), just totally hits the spot today. Feeling so down and so rubbish and useless in all ways. It feels like your poem is written just for me, I know it is not, but it gives me that kind of feeling and just what I needed right now. I'm going to print it out big and keep it up in my craft room to remind me. Yes, I'm going to try really hard to do as you do and to stay on your arty train this time, even with the new altered art you're going to be bringing us. People think it's in me to be proper arty, maybe this poem of yours will be the thing to give me the courage and strength to go with it.

    Thank you soooo much
    love Brenda xx

    1. Hi Brenda, glad you commented as I haven't seen you on here for a couple of days so was wondering if you were ok. Sorry to hear you've been feeling down, hope that turns around soon. I've missed your comments. XX

    2. Aww, thank you Donna, that means a lot to me. I commented on Barbara's previous post earlier today too. I'm not that well just now (chronic fatigue syndrome), been like this a few weeks now, and struggling in all ways at the minute. And struggling a bit more than normal to communicate with people (that's Asperger's!), struggling to think of something to say and when I do struggling to write it on here, and thinking to myself no one wants to hear what I have to say anyway (that's total lack of self confidence and self worth!!!!) – you've just proved that one wrong then!!! 🙂 xx

    3. Hi Brenda. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say. I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling more than usual. We are all here for you x

    4. That's me crying again, in a good way, and I'm feeling that warm feeling inside too from all of you taking the time to reply to me, wanting to and for all the things you are saying. You are all so lovely to me, this all means a huge amount to me, and it is making things feel a little less bleak at the moment. I will try hard to keep commenting, even when I can't think of something to say. Nicola is on holiday from now and I think she's been worrying a bit that I'll retreat even more inside without her talking to me each week, support worker visits are still a big mess, and other than Nicola not had any since before Christmas, supposed to have a new one this week if I'm a bit better.

      I really really do want to take the plunge on the art front too, I keep feeling I'm being left behind because of me, my gremlins, maybe keeping talking on here will help me have a go and to keep having a go, it did last time for a short while. All 4 people seemed to really like the first piece of artwork I did before Christmas, and they've been telling me it's been hung up on their walls at home, so maybe I do have the ability, if I can get round all my gremlins! And I did so enjoy card making, and the little dabble I had at drawing a few years back, now I don't even make a simple card! I'm like Penny below, I have all the stuff, most of it not yet used, I say to myself I'm going to try this today /tomorrow and when the time comes it never happens. I think I too need a shove and a helping hand to start the snowball rolling!! I know it's silly to be scared of failure especially when it is just a piece of card, but for me it's also the fear of what if I can't do it, I'm rubbish at it, what do I do then. What I was doing craft wise is no longer enough for me, I've moved on, and yes I'll still do those but I need more than that now, it's a feeling inside I don't know the name of, that drives me to so want to be aboard Barbara's arty train and a part of that, doing actual arty stuff, and to be a proper part of this extended Clarity family too.

      Thank you so much Donna, Barbara and Mrs B 🙂 xx

  13. Barbara that's perfect !
    I for one have you to thank for so much.if I hadn't stood and watched you create magic with that clever corner I would not be where I am today. And not only have you been such an inspiration to me but you have become a good and very lovely friend! I am so proud to say that and to be a part of your team! Xxx

  14. I love that you have inspired me to try new techniques, to have more courage in my crafting, and to just have a go! Not just with a piece of paper and ink, but with other sorts of crafts too. Thank you, and thanks for the great poem too, Susan x

  15. You started me on my crafting road and I haven't looked back or tried to find a more satisfying hobby. I just just don't see an end to it which is fantastic cos I love it so much!……I see many more sunsets ahead in the far, far distant future, so I'll dig out all those, yellow, orange and red inks and carry on crafting! There are endless possibilities which you prove to us all time, & time again. Thank you for being you! Carole x

  16. i can definitely say that you have inspired me immensely. before you there were paper kits. you started me on the creative journey allowing me to express myself more freely and getting closer to one of my biggest dreams….. to be able to paint. your stamps especially the 'old' style allow me to do that to some extent. so thank you.
    and for anybody ho is still titillating…… just give it a go and you will be surprised…. hugs xx

  17. Your poem certainly fits the bill today and even a week ago I would not have believed I'd be using unfamiliar materials in such a fashion; it's so messy I can't experiment in my craft room so I have a bit of the kitchen which Mike calls my alchemy corner! Nothing to display yet but with a few tweeks, who knows! Thanks for all the inspiration and confidence – not to try but DO it!

  18. Barbara, that is so lovely. You have played a very big part in me not giving up craft altogether. I love the new type of art you have been doing and you have helped me progress into something I really love which is canvas artwork.
    Thank you. Xxxx

  19. Oh Barbara Gray, a real "truth sayer"
    A mistress of inks, some stamps and a brayer
    A dab hand with gelli plate, fantastic with masks
    Is there no limit? we novices ask.
    She's brilliant, a genius, it's true as she says
    You can always add it but not take it away

    We love you, Barbara!

  20. Thank you for such a beautiful verse I am going to make a copy and hang it in my craft room if that is ok by you Barbara you give me so much inspiration and I love crafting have been following you since you made your first v s h tape and you used the lady dipping her toe in the water at a show in Exeter Happy Crafting Pauline xx

  21. Dear Barb, that is beautiful, so much thought and emotion. And it comes right back to you, with tons of love and thanks, for all your inspiration and teaching. Take care please, we all love you loads. I know I look forward to my daily dose of Barb and Clarity. Please make this into a verse stamp or at least give us the poetic license to use it in our work. Bx

  22. Great poem Barbara and hits the spot exactly. We all have our doubts and good and bad crafting days but the more we try the more we are likely to succeed, so thanks for this!! x

  23. Another boost to the confidence. You are a wonder! Craft in general has come such a long way and we may be one step behind you but at least we are on the same road! Thanks for such a beautiful expression of your belief in us. xx Margaret Col.

  24. Brilliant poem. I am looking forward to a weekend of crafting, creating cards that I need to send in February. I look forward every day to seeing what you have created for us, and then working out how I could do it with what I have in my stash. Your blog is my guilty pleasure every day, ensuring that I take a few moments out for me!

  25. What lovely kind and encouraging words. My problem is I don't "play" enough, I'm so busy looking at what everyone else is doing, I get nothing done, convince myself I can't be as good but then every so often I do something I'm proud of and it makes me feel really good so I must try harder to focus on that, right talking to over, time for bed xx

  26. Love it . Love it . Love it .

    Great poem Barbara. Here's one from me. I had it all written out earlier this evening but when I clicked 'publish' it just disappeared! Had to go back in your blog, to last October's blog lesson, to find out how to do it again! I am now the last to post so I do hope my poem will be read as I need all the help I can get.

    Words from MY heart.

    Barbara, your drive, enthusiasm, talent and creativity
    Make you an inspiring teacher with an amazing personality.
    I enjoy all your artwork, it gives so much pleasure,
    Your creations are truly something to treasure.
    I've bought the paints, inks, stamps and brushes too,
    Stencils, gelli plate, card and brayer all new
    But now, and I think you'll find this quite strange,
    I just can't take the first step and I so want to change!
    I watch you on TV and follow your blog,
    I love what you do but my mind's in a fog.
    I know I should try it, I wake up each day
    Saying "I'm going to do it, I'll do it today!"
    Is it failure I'm scared of? Yes, I know it could be
    That's what I'm afraid of, how silly of me!
    What I need is a workshop or club to go to,
    Friendly advice and support to help me get through
    This insurmountable block, and be just like you.
    I live in NE Derbyshire, a pretty place to be
    But search as I might, I can't find a club anywhere near me.
    Can anyone help me, I just need a shove?
    Any help, tips, suggestions, I really would love!

    Finished at last, now I can go to bed!

    1. Penny, great poem! Well done for persevering with the publishing issue! North Derbyshire. Mmm.Nottingham/Wollaton. Our lovely Sazz runs a club and workshops there. Then there's my retreat in Crowborough in August, which is a distance, but a total immersion for 2 days, with like- minded people. Or maybe even both, if you really want to break through the wall. Email me if you like, and I will get the ball rolling. X

    2. Great poem Penny. Go on – have a go! I had my gelli plate for MONTHS before I tried, then had lots of less than successful attempts, but only wasted a bit of paint and paper! Kept them all to remind me what not to do, and then just thought of it as experimentation and have had lots of fun since!!

    3. As Susan has said just give it a go, it is only a bit of card. I have taken the plunge this year and booked a couple of workshops with Sazz and really hoping to get on the retreat. So be brave come and give it a go, I won't be the only apprentice then. Fab poem by the way Penny. xx

    4. Great little ditty, can relate to much of what you have written. I go to my crafty bestie's house every other saturday afternoon for crafty aftys, there can be 6 of us sometimes, love it, only way I can get any crafting done sometimes 🙂

  27. Wonderful poems! What a talented bunch you all are! I have watched you Barbara for about ten years ( the first time I saw you was in Glasgow demonstrating the little boy reflection) and I was hooked, but seven years ago I moved up to north west Scotland and like Penny above I have bought the gelli plate etc. but have never really moved on from stamping as I lack confidence in trying new things( I need classes! ) so maybe your inspirational poem is just what I need to keep in mind. Will you be doing any workshops in Glasgow this year?

    1. Anne – I'd happily craft with you sometimes – I'm no expert, but it's less scary to try new things with someone else. I so miss my crafty friends from the south since I moved up to Inverness – let me know if you'd like to meet up, Susan x

  28. Brilliant poem Barbara I'm 76and was thinking of packing it in after many years of making pictures and cards fund raising.and of course for pleasure your blog is brilliant Barbara I never miss it part of my day. After your poem I'm not giving up well done barb thank you love June horrocks xxx

  29. What lovely words, had to make a comment today! Read your blog everyday, but am one of those lurkers who does't say much. lol
    I often " have a go at the projects both from the blog and the stamp club and if they don't turn out just like yours, well that's not wrong!!! just different. Which usually inspires me to look at things from a different angle.
    Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration to us all. xxx
    (Following on from what others have said, anyone know of a club etc in the southend on sea area would love to meet some like minded people).

  30. Lovely poem. I follow some of your projects and have learned a lot from doing as you say. It is great sometimes to just play, it is only a piece of card after all. Your blog is amazing so many wonderful tips . Thankyou xx

  31. An Ode to Barbara Gray

    There was a young Lady call Barbara Gray
    who picked up a stamp and to herself did say
    this should be clear so I can see what I do
    and then I can learn and teach it to you
    I will build an alphabet so you can see
    the artiness I have, deep within me
    then I will build an empire of crafters galore
    and they will come gather and they will want more
    and we will buy a brayer and roll it out
    and paint a picture with nowt sticking owt!!!!
    and more people will gather to Barbara Gray
    and they will listen to her knowledge
    and take it away, they will pass on the
    artiness to me and you and we will all gather
    and Brayer in Pink, Green & Blue
    Clarity Stamp shall be the name of this, Ower Barbara's domain!
    and retreats and classes will follow too
    and a Blog and a You Tube and a weird picture or two
    and we all will be happy when we sit in our seat
    and watch Barbara control Dean, that's no easy feat?
    and we will applaud her conviction, and her genuine wish to teach
    as she takes us on a crafty journey that we all can reach.
    Now this Lady called Barbara is kind through and through
    and generous and loving and a bit silly too
    she is admired by many and more each day
    because from start to finish
    she does it in her own special way. xxxx

    Luv Sam – Love your Poem Barbara. xxxx

  32. You have helped me through hard times, we've giggled and laughed through some wonderful times, and always you have encouraged me to believe in what I can do' what I can create… With love and thanks for the strength, friendship and belief Barbara. You so make us proud too xxx

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