Exciting news ….

Exciting news ….

Hi there!
Thanks for joining me here today.
Blimey – the calendars flew out today!
Signed 100 last night. Sold 100 overnight!
Thank you.
Been busy prepping the Sunday TV shows.
One hour done – six to go.
Was thinking about a little cat nap.
I read in the Guardian this week that according to research,
 a 30 minute power nap gives you renewed energy.
Did they actually pay somebody to tell them that ???
The bit that was interesting however, was that they recommend 
you knock back a cup of coffee before you go to sleep, 
so when you wake up, the coffee has kicked in 
and you’re full of beans.
But there we are.
Decided to drink a glass of water and keep going instead. 
Just received a really cool email…
Hi Barbara,
I am thrilled to be able to inform you that you have been nominated for all 5 categories of the British Craft Awards 2017.

Here are your nominations :

All 5 in the Papercraft Section.

The Groovi System from Claritystamp – Product of the Year

Barbara Gray – Designer of the Year

barbaragrayblog.blogspot.co.uk – Blog of the Year

Claritystamp – Brand of the Year

Claritystamp – Retailer of the Year

If you think we’re worth it, and you think we deserve any of the categories above,
then please vote for us at
(everyone who votes will be entered into a draw to win one of 5 £100 amazon Vouchers.)
This is a different set of awards to the International Craft Awards which we were recently talking about.

The International Craft Awards are still open for you to cast your vote too. We were nominated for about 14 over on that side!
Here’s the link for those awards.
All very exciting.
What would we do without our customers and Clarity friends?

I have to say, I do get it.
I know that over 8 years of regular TV 
has put us on the map for awards.
There are so many worthy contenders out there, who get overlooked because they don’t get the exposure that we do.
I know this, because I was one of them for 20 years !

Don’t ever think of me and Clarity as an overnight sensation!
I remember what my darling brother said to me many years ago, 
when I was working at stupid o’clock again, 
when the kids were asleep.

He said, “I have never met anybody who works so hard for so little return, Barb”.
And my response? “It’ll come good in the end, Steve. You’ll see”.

There we are. 
Steve and I worked together then.
And we work together now. 
Back then, there was only us two though!

So yeah.
We’ve certainly taken the scenic route…

Steve deserved a medal too.
So does Dave!
And Paul,
And Jim,
And Leigh,
And Jeanine,
And Jayne,
And Tom,
and and and and and…

Always know that I may be the one on telly with the nice tops,
but Clarity is a lot lot bigger nowadays…

There was something very cool about those times though.
Hand-coloured signs.

Handstamped boxes, 

Hahaha! I’ve just remembered something amusing.
When we lived in California in the early 90’s, and we launched the Nursery Rhyme ABC charts, Steve used to have to work at night laminating them, because the industrial laminator in our garage used to knock all the electric out in the cul-de-sac !
Here we are, 25 years on, and he’s now working the night shift at Clarity, because we can’t keep up with Groovi demand unless we run a 24-hour production operation!
So much has changed, and so little has changed. 

Time to stop today.
Yeah. if you think WE deserve it,
then please vote for US.

Love & Hugs,

94 thoughts on “Exciting news ….

  1. Hello there,
    I "just" found you on YouTube and started to see all of them. What I admire a lot is the Gelli plate thingy and the way you are teaching, so I am looking forward to see what will come to me each month now. I am crazy but I love it 😉 You inspire me so much that you can't believe it. Thank you for YOU!!

  2. Hi Barbara. Lovely blog today! And well done on the nominations! I have cast my vote and now have fingers crossed for you!
    Love and hugs xxxx

  3. Barbara Gray of course you deserve it. You have inspired so many people, helped so many people, including myself, so yes you you very much deserve it and a big congratulations xxx

  4. You and your team deserve every award you win. You make us all feel that we are special customers, which is a remarkable thing to be able to do. We all know that you need and value every one of the Clarity team, and we value everyone there too. Clarity rocks! xxx Maggie

  5. You and your family and team are true stars. Of course I have voted again for you and all my family. You keep me going when the going gets tough and it has the past few months. The retreat did me the world of good and the blogs and the tv just add to it. Sorry I did not make the first 100 calendar orders – can you do a few more hundred! RSI may occur!
    Lots of love
    Anne *Reading*

  6. Hi Barb,
    I've voted ( for you and Clarity of course) and can I say congratulations for all of the nominations . They are so well deserved. You have a fantastic team around you, a loving brother, two fabulous kids, wonderful parents and one very special partner. Love and hugs Alison xx

  7. Oh yes Barbara you, and all at Clarity towers deserve every award going. And especially you, devoting so much of your life for all these years trying to make ends meet, and build a successful business in such a cut-throat industry. And to also still be the special person you are despite it all. I'm so glad it all came good for you, for you and your family. But also good for me, to see someone who gives it their all their whole life and finally it pays off for you. It inspires me to think there is still hope of a life for me, if I keep fighting away, giving it my all. For that dear Barbara, I am more grateful to you than you will ever know xxxxx Getting a wee bit emotional now…

    Voting done, very hard decisions, NOT, easiest form I've filled in. (Never ever thought I'd say a form was easy to fill in, not with my Asperger's brain!!!!) You and Clarity all the way of course, and I filled their wee box with endless praise for your company.

    Hope hearing of your nominations gave you a wee energy boost for your demo prepping. Mind and have wee breaks too though, helps the brain to keep fired up, on the ball, like it does when studying.

    Love Brenda xx
    P.s. very cute kitten photo

  8. My goodness Barbara, thats some nominations and you and clarity deserve every single one. Voted on the first ones and will vote tonight on the others. As you've told us before time and again what a wonderful team, partner and family you have who support you every step of the way and who are fantastic, we know, but without you it wouldn't be Barbara Gray or Clarity. Ordered my calendar today and groovy cracker. Forgot to say received my design club goodies the other day, absolutely brilliant all of them. Good Luck with the awards.xxx

  9. Hi Barbara
    What fantastic news and very well deserved too. Sounds like that's made your day. I'm off to vote when I've done this. It's really interesting sharing your journey, you've worked do hard foe do many years and here you are receiving fantastic nominations – well done you and all at Clarity. Now we know Dave is a top bloke but your brother is a fabulous bloke too helping you out all those years ago and running the night shift now – I did laugh at the laminator memory – what a hoot. Have a lovely evening.
    Love Diane xxx

  10. Hi Barbara and Clarity crew of course you deserve the nominations and more. What would we do without all of you I don't have to look far when I run out of mojo .Congratulations x

  11. Hello Barbara, I would really love to vote for you and Claritystamp, but I'm not permitted as I'm from Germany. Really sorry because you do deserve it. Good luck, I'll keep everything crossed. xxxLiane

  12. Well done Barb and team, think you should be made a 'dame' – Dame Barbara Gray hmmm sounds good to me! Put both my votes in now, think Claritystamp did quite well, I'm sure the other retailers are pretty good in their own right, but you're the star at the top of my tree! Love the photos. Got to go, final of Bake Off is on! Love ya! Xxx

  13. Of course you deserve every nomination and award you receive Barbara. Your perseverance and determination has improved so many lives. I know you hear this all the time. But for me it is an absolute fact. My life has changed totally because of this blog. It has given me the confidence to do things and meet people that I never thought I'd be able to do again. You have my vote every time. Already done it!!! Love and Hugs xxx

  14. Congratulations on your nominations Barbara which are so well deserved and all the years of slogging away virtually alone, with just Steve's help, have paid off and now you have a wonderful team who all pull together to make Clarity great. Hope the rest of the prep for the shows goes well. x

  15. Congratulations on your nominations. You certainly deserve them all
    If there was a category for most dedicated craft team your team would win hands down.
    Enjoy your success, you have worked so hard to get there.

  16. Hello Barb,
    I've done as I've been told and have voted! Yes, you've worked so hard and deserve all the benefits after all the trials and tribulations. You and your team deserve everything you get and I mean that in the nicest possible way!!!
    Maureen xxx

  17. Off to vote in a mo… but first wanted to say it's great to see how you and the team have grown and developed since the early days, "from little acorns" etc and also how life does indeed go in circles… amazing when you stop and think about it. Anyhoo off to cast my votes, because that's what I want to do!! xx

  18. Congratulations. It is very well deserved as you have been determined and put in the work to make it happen with a close team around you.
    Just had a lovely evening crafting with friends. It was lovely as we were experimenting with paint and comparing how the different paints work on different mediums. A fantastic learning experience. It was also good to sit with those friends and put the world to rights and discuss our craft wish lists that we might fufilled some of at the SECC tomorrow at the craft fair. I got to play with my new stencil that arrived today along with some lovely coloured velum.

  19. Hello Barb, a fitting accolade to a great company, with a very strong and determined group of people. I wish you every success. Love your reminiscing. Take care. Bx

  20. Wow! Congratulations! You and your team really deserve all the nominations! Ever since my dear friend Carol introduced me to you and Clarity I've been a fan. Love how dedicated you are to your work and your team, how you inspire people and love your products. Viel Glück! xx

  21. Wonderful, you and team deserve all the awards. Fantastic caring company. Coffee off the menu for me caffeine is having a bad effect on my heart rhythm. A nap is great though just never get the time and I am retired. X

  22. Hi Dot. I've just put my Christmas Cake in the oven. There's only me that eats it now…but old habits can't be just be forgotten!! Do you think this may be the reason I pile pounds on after Christmas? hahaha! I hope you've got something nice to do too. Love and Hugs xxx

  23. Morning Barb

    You and your Clarity Team most certainly deserve these awards! I wish you and the team all the very best

    What a gorgeous picture of your babies too

    I'm not surprised the calendars are a huge success!

    June x

  24. That was such a lovely insight into your early day with your brother juggling family and trying to make a living .You deserve the rewards now for all your hard work.
    Clearly you are the best. xxx

  25. My votes are cast and it couldn't have been easier, it was a clarity clean sweep. Over the years I've bought
    stamps from all sorts of manufacturers and the rubber ones tho' still in good condition are difficult to use, the none clarity polymer stamps are just not up to it. They've gone soft and squishy but clarity are as good today as they were years ago, the subjects are ageless and they are my first 'go to' stamps so it was a no brainier to vote clarity. Now Groovi and gelli plates are new to my stash and I love them. Clarity all the way!!!!!

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