The last Day of the Year

The last Day of the Year

Thanks for popping in.
Thanks also for reading every day, if you do,
thereby giving me a reason to blog every day.
1,552 consecutive daily posts.
In real time, that means I have written a blog every day since 
13th October 2013.
Blimey! How times flies!!!
That’s substantial! And so much has happened in that time,
at a personal AND global level!
From Obama to Trump,
From Europe to Brexit,
From Create & Craft to Hochanda
(hahaha. Nothing like a list for getting things in perspective!)
You just have to dip into past blogs to be reminded..
I guess that this blog is a bit like a public diary mixed with a journal, isn’t it? Bit of art, bit of heart.
The last year has been a good one for our business.
We have grafted and grown, bought Pergamano and expanded, and the New Year is looking very bright too. Back on the stamp trail for me mind; looking forward to that. 
Dare I admit that on a few occasions I got quite overwhelmed and lost my way. The worm of doubt crept in and messed with my mind, as it does from time to time. There’s just so much to think about, to consider, to defend. So thank goodness for good people, who can take the reins and guide the ship until the fog clears.
Clarity may only be a little UK-based boutique craft company, 
but it’s also a cracking little family business, and a lot of other families have come to rely on it for a living. 
I would like to think that we spread good creative energy all year round, too. Thousands of loyal customers – your good selves included – will surely nod in agreement.
We aren’t perfect either; there’s always room for improvement, but we do try very, very hard to do the next right thing, to stay in our lane and to dare to be different. 
Some new creative people also joined the team this year; they have been instrumental in opening new doors and hatching new plans. The family is growing!
In a nutshell, we are just a bunch of friendly people who really enjoy working together to design and produce things which you in turn can use to bring out the artist in you.
And as long as I think that this blog is important to YOU, and that you get something out of it, I shall keep going. 
On behalf of the Clarity Family, I would like to thank you for your loyal custom, friendship and support throughout 2017,
and wish you and yours a healthy, happy 2018, 
filled with peace and creativity.
Love & Hugs,

181 thoughts on “The last Day of the Year

  1. Good Afternoon Barbara!
    I read your blog everyday…. It's my way of keeping up to date with what's going on and it's also like having a friend drop by. So I make a cuppa and settle to read! I've just made one so perfect timing!
    I'm proud to be a Part of your team and keeps me on my toes! There are so many people who show a flair and talent that it makes me realise how lucky I am!
    Here's to another successful year but also one filled with love and kindness and good health!
    Love and hugs! Xxxx

  2. Hi Barbara, happy new year to you and all at Clarity-you all have kept me sane this year and I really enjoy my daily visit to your blog. In fact if I haven't seen it I worry that you are ok😊
    Looking forward to seeing all the good stuff from you guys next year and of course spending more than my monthly allowance on clarity goodies xx

  3. Hello Barbara

    What do you mean 'not perfect'? I have looked and looked and can't find anything wrong. If you do make mistakes none of us notice.

    A Happy New Year to you and yours and here is to 2018. See you in March.


  4. Hi Barbara. I read your blog each and every day. Sometimes I read it quickly as I am dashing around and don't comment and other days when I have a bit more time I read and comment. There are days when you make me stop and think, days when you make me howl and days when I just wanna rush round and give you a hug. You (& Clarity) are a big part of my life and I never want that to change. I am so happy to read that you are back on the stamp trail – it is why I joined your fabulous club many years ago – so now I am excited for the future. Clarity may only be – in your words – a small UK boutique company but many of the bigger companies could learn so so much from you – but then you already know I think your customer relations are second to none. Have a fantastic New Year and remember to take time to enjoy the planning for later in the year!! 😊😉😍

  5. I haven't read every one of your blogs, Barbara, as I only 'found' you in 2015, but I do now read every day. I always get something out of them: crafty ideas; a giggle; something to think about… I may not always comment but I'm always there. Thank you for the time and effort you but in.
    Wishing you and all the Clarity team a happy and peaceful 2018 xx

  6. Wish a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and Dave and your all your family, clarity family included. I so look forward to reading your blog every day Barbara, its a daily or nightly routine. Thank you for everything you do for us. Heres to another successful year for you all in 2018. Lovely news and so pleased for you and Dave tying the knot next year. love Pam xxx

  7. Thank you for all you and your creative family do for us ,, wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year ,, love and best wishes to you all ,,,xxxxxx

  8. Happy New Year, Barbara, Dave, your family and all the Clarity crew. I read your blog every day – wouldn't miss it for the world. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it pulls me up with a jolt and other times I get inspired by your lovely ideas. Thanks tons. Don't get too frazzled – you've got a big day coming up and you must make time to enjoy it including the build-up to it. Xx

  9. Merci beaucoup Barbara ! Thank so much for putting the light on and encouraging the inner child in such a joyfull creation with everything You propose. I have re-discovered mine since You came at Guergaro, sharing your art and your heart. What can I say More that GRATITUDE. So, I wish You, David and yours Love and Joy in your heart and around You and … Some Time to rest. And If You wish to visit us one day, be sure that we Will be More than happy to welcome You again! Take Care. Elisabeth Abeguile

  10. Thank you Barbara and all of the Clarity family You all are the reason I have no money !!!!! lol but I love it Keep going into 2018 with the same great service, ideas, inspiration and friendship
    Happy New Year to you all X

  11. Happy New Year to you Barbara, and to your family too – which includes all of Team Clarity! I always try to read your blog every day, unless I don't have internet or when I am unwell. The highlight of my year was meeting you at Leyburn! What a truly wonderful day that was, as I also go to meet in person some of my bloggy friends. What made it even better was that Neill enjoyed it too – he really enjoyed watching your demos. So pleased that you and Dave are getting maried – you can't rush these thing! It took Neill and I 13 years to get around to it. Love and hugs, Gilly xxx

  12. Ditto Jane. Have been so blessed to be part of the team have made some lovely friends along the way. I read every day and share to Facebook Friends and my parchment posse too. Like Jane said, it's like having a pal drop by for a cuppa and natter. Happy New Year to you Barbara, Dave and all at Clarity Towers. From Glynis and Pete xxx

  13. A happy and fantastic new year to you all at Clarity and thank you for a the inspiration and wonderful products.
    I look forward to another year of crafting with Clarity and attending the retreat and open day again .
    Thank you once again xx

  14. Your blog is an essential part of my day and I really miss it if I cannot get to read it. When I went up to Leyburn in September, my first hotel had wifi in every room but mine and I really missed my daily fix. I don't always comment but I always read. It is like having a friend there talking to you, putting this crazy life into some sort of perspective. Clarity may be a small company physically but it is huge in our lives, and, for us, has things just right. Everyone is made to feel like a personal friend. No matter what idiotic problems we come up with, people like Jeannine and the rest of the team sort out for us with efficiency and humour. The whole team is an example to larger companies. Long may it continue. A very Happy New Year to every one of you. xxx Maggie

  15. Hi Barbara, I don't very often comment on here, but I do read your blog every day.
    It sure has been a great year for Clarity, and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to be part of your fantastic design teams.
    Thank you for everything, and I look forward to another great year ahead.
    My two retreats are already booked so I'm excited and looking forward to those, (both dates are written neatly on my 2018 Clarity calendar!)
    The hard work you, Dave and the team put in all year is certainly appreciated by me for sure – thank you all!
    Have a wonderful new year's eve, and I hope that 2018 will bring love, happiness and luck your way.
    Love to all, Carole (a.k.a. Mrs Panky :-)) xxx

  16. A Happy New Year to you all ! A lot has certainly happened to me since you started the blog on my birthday! Lost my Dad, retired, and gained two more baby members of the family, the latest being on 29 Dec. There’s also been some other big things, good and bad, which I will remember and forget or try to forget. Groovi took off and kept me going at times. We should be thankful for our families and that we can eat and live in comfort. The inspiration of everyone on the facebook pages and design team keep me going with their inspiration and fabulous designs ! Please don’t bring out anything else new in 2018 as I can’t afford it LOL !!!


  17. Thank you Barbara, you give us so much pleasure. I love reading your blogs and watching demos on TV.
    Many thanks also to your terrific team. They are wonderful. Best wishes for 2018.

  18. I love reading your blog…..and do every day. Sometimes uplifting, sometime thought provoking, sometimes inspiring, but never boring! Long may they continue.
    I have only been a member of the Clarity family for just over 12 months but love it…..and have learnt to love baked beans too on occasion.
    May Clarity continue with it's ethics for a long time. A healthy and happy 2018 to all the Clarity team x

  19. hello, thank you for another year of Blogging every day, about Company ,friends , Family, youself in good days and bad days. We almost know everything about your life and we all love to share it . Even if I dont comment every day, but only once in a while, I read it every day !
    Have a great evening tonight with the Family and all the best for an exciting new year ! Gisela

  20. I read your blog every day it has become part of my daily life. Some days it's arty stuff some days it's hearty stuff. I can't believe how fast the years have gone since you started it.
    A happy healthy prosperous new year to you,Dave all the family and every one at team all Rock xxx

  21. We are only human so of course we all make mistakes now and again. You and the team make products to allow us to make cards etc. . If there is the odd mistake by you or us, isn’t that the definition of hand made. After all that’s why we have Tina’s flowers and doodles to cover up any mistakes. I wish you and the team much success in the coming year. For you and Dave I wish you much happiness and good health before and after the wedding. I look forward to seeing you all at Ally Pally

    1. Thank you ladies but it’s Tina actually. The google account that lets us comment is in hubbys name and I don’t know how to change it. But Barbara yourself and Dave will probably remember me for my spending spree at Ally Pally last year.

  22. Dear Barbara, a very happy New Year to you,Dave and your family. I would like also to say thank you to everyone who is involved in helping Clarity be the wonderful success it is. Everyone is so gracious with their advice, help and inspiration and nothing seems too much trouble. Looking forward to 2018 and hearing about the exciting things to come! xx

  23. Happy New Year Barbara and all in the Clarity family 😃 your presence and contribution to the crafting world is second to none. Your love and passion for creating beautiful Art is an inspiration because you totally bring us with you on your journey both teaching and sharing your ideas. 🤗 Thank you Barbara Gray 😊 please know that you’re loved and appreciated by all of us 💝💕💝 🍾🥂🍰🍫🍭🍾

  24. Happy New year to you Barbara. I don't often comment but I do read your blog everyday and really enjoy how open and honest you are. Your mindful Wednesday are very insightful too and your wonder ful creativity endless. Thank you. Wishing you and yours a very happy New year and every success too xx

  25. I found your blog several years ago and enjoy reading it every day Barbara and your products and creativity are second to none and you have a wonderful team of people behind you to make the dream work for sure. I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and creative 2018. x

  26. I love reading your bl.og I think you are such a caring person . You have a lovely team and it shows with the smiles on your faces. Look forward to see what you have planned for 2018a guid new year from up here in Scotland and as us scots say Lang mae yer lum reek xxHNY

  27. Happy and healthy New Year to you, Dave and family as well. I am ready to put 2017 behind us it has not been the kindest but we are starting the new one on a positive note. Clarity is just the greatest for quality and customer service. You are all doing a fab job. So Happy New Year to your team as well. xx

  28. I read and enjoy your blog everyday, and so often your words and thoughts anwords resonate with me. I love your stamps and stensils, as yet not put my toe in the groovi world. Wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous 2018

  29. Love reading your blog everyday and sharing a small corner of the Clarity world with some great people. Hope that the new year is a kind and Peaceful place to be. xx

  30. All the very best to you and the team for 2018! Your blog is a must-read every day, and I really appreciate the time and effort you put in for us. Thank you for all you do. Xx

  31. Hi Barb,
    I for one would be absolutely gutted if you ever decide to stop writing your blog. I really look forward to reading it every day and do try to comment every day. I have watched Clarity grow and grow and was delighted when you introduced Groovi – although my bank manager would probably disagree! I love the clubs and of course the latest acquisition of Pergamano was another success. The Open Day at Leyburn ( or Catterick before) is one of the highlights of the year for me as I get to meet you ,Dave,the Team and my new bloggy friends which has been brilliant – long may it continue. I was seriously thinking of going to the Groovi retreat but unfortunately my knee operation will put an end to that as it is scheduled for sometime in February so won't be able to make it down to Kent. I am looking forward to seeing what Clarity gets up to in the New Year and then of course there's the matter of a little wedding! Wishing you, Dave, Grace,Mark and all of your family, Team Clarity and everyone on this blog a very, happy,healthy,prosperous and peaceful New Year, love and hugs Alison xxx

  32. I have read every blog since I found Clarity and have laughed, cried and learned along the way with you. I don't comment every day as I find it tedious when I have to use the phone but I love the whole community and friends I have made, some I have met and some I haven't.
    It's good that you have built a support team around for TV and demonstration work to go along with your office team, it will give you time to keep an overview and spend time with family, friends – and wedding planning!
    Very best wishes to you all for 2018, love and thanks Chris xx

  33. Your daily blog has brought me so much pleasure and, I must admit to tears on occasion. I love that you share so much with us all and I can’t do without my daily fix.
    I love Clarity and everything that it stands for, so my very best wishes go to you, your family and all the team for a health, Happy and successful 2018. Love to you all and Everyone who reads your daily missive. Annette X

  34. So many things going on, lots of things to do, so much I want to create. My crafting life has taken lots of new directions this year, lots of new and messy things to try but I still check in here every day because it still inspires me to try something new. There is always something interesting to either think about or to try or both. So whatever 2018 brings I do hope you will continue to blog every day because your ramblings, as you describe them, bring much joy to many and long may it continue. Much hugs, joy and Happy New Year. Karen xxx

  35. Love your daily blogs, they always put a smile on my face… Wishing you, Dave, your family & your Clarity Crew a very Happy & Prosperous 2018 – can’t wait to see what you have in store for us over the next 12 months… Xx 😘

  36. I very much enjoyed reading your blog and always look forward to it. Clarity for me stands for great quality and innovative craft products, great service from your wonderful team and amazing inspiration from the DT. Carry on doing what you do and I wish you all at Clarity a Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year xx

  37. I would like to thank you for your blog and the inspiration that you always give us, I have far too much of your craft stuff, it will keep me going for years ahead, stamping was my favourite Groovi is trying to supersede that, but both run side by side.
    Here's wishing you and all the crew a very happy future, Anne

  38. Well done, Barbara, on a great daily blog. Yes I read it daily, except when I'm not well. I haven't read it recently – not since about 7th December, when I came down with the worst bout of illness I've had in 3 or 4 decades. My last order from the sale arrived while I was in the throes of it, barely able to breathe for coughing. I remember looking at the Clarity label on the envelope and thinking Oh, I'll open it tomorrow… It lay for a week before I finally managed it, that's how sick I was 🙂 But it was lovely once I got well and could play with all the goodies. So, thank you for all the many goodies over the year that you and your lovely talented team have given us. Happy New Year to all of you! I'm now off to catch upon weeks and weeks of your blog! Kay xx

  39. I too read your blog every day and comment every now & then, would really miss you if you ever stopped writing. Looking forward to 2018 & wish you, your family, your team & all crafter's a very happy, healthy New Year.
    Love & best wishes Lynne xx

    Ps special happy New Year wishes to you Brenda xx

  40. Happy new year to you and the whole Clarity family. I read your blog every day although I don't always comment. I know what hard work it is to blog every day. You inspire me so much!

  41. Hello Barbara, I may not always comment but I read your blog every day and love it! Keep sharing your news and views, entertaining and inspiring us! Here's to you, Dave, all your family (especially your lovely Mutti), all the Clarity team and also to everyone on here – have a great start into 2018 and a Healthy and Happy New Year! Or as we say in Germany "Einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr und ein Gesundes und Frohes Neues Jahr! Hugs and Lots of Love / Ganz liebe Grüße Heidi xxx

  42. Happy New Year Barbara, Dave, Clarity and everyone on the blog!! Been reading since day one and will continue to read and travel on your arty train into 2018 and beyond. Thank you for all the crafty inspiration this year you really are very special. Sending love to all. Xx

  43. Happy New Year Barbara, Dave and all at Clarity….wishing you health and happiness. Here’s to 2018….hope it brings you even more success…you all deserve it….and thank you for all you bring us. Love and hugs xx.

  44. Happy New Year everyone. I too, read your blog every day, and don't often leave a comment, but I just need to say How glad a am that you're going to concentrate on stamping. Yay

  45. Happy 😃 New Year 2018 to you and your family and to all Clarity Teams. Excellent Claritystamp. Excellent Groovi. Excellent Stencil. All the best for your customers of Worldwide Clarity.

  46. Have to be honest and say I'm not sorry to see the end of 2017, we thought 2016 wasn't good (personally) for us but sadly 2017 was no improvement! However, no good being 'down' so here's onwards and upwards to 2018! Wishing everyone a peaceful, healthy and happy 2018 and looking forward to all the new 'goodies' you tempt us with! Hugs xxx

  47. I also read every day, though don't often comment. I tried Groovi (as a former avid parchment crafter)but sadly my hands and back just won't let me do very much . I've done a few small pieces but I'm back to stamping, thanks to the stamp platforms available now, so looking forward to more from you in 2018. Also want to try more with your stencils. So I wish you all a very happy and productive new year.

  48. Happy New Year from Utah! Love your blog, don't ever stop. I follow you and your team on Hochanda and can't wait for the first of the month each time to watch You Tina and Paul. Of course I watch any and all presentations of Clarity/Groovi too. So jealous of those who get to meet and watch you work at the craft shows. Since that will never happen for me, I will remain your #1 fan on Hochanda

  49. Good evening to you Barbara and all crafters
    I always visit the blog I love to read your ramblings and check out your brilliant artworks
    Looking forward to 2018 and all the new goodies from Clarity
    Thank you all for the inspiration
    Happy New Year xxx

  50. Hallo Barbara

    auch aus Deutschland ein gutes neues Jahr. Auch ich schaue jeden Tag in deinen Blog.

    Ich wünschen Dir, deine Familie und dem Clarity Team viel Glück, Schaffenskraft und viel Gesundheit in 2018.

    Danke für deine tollen Ideen, egal ob beim Stempeln, bei den Schablonen oder Groovi.

    Ihr seid Spitze🖒

    Freue mich schon auf alle Neuigkeiten aus dem Hause Clarity.

    seid gedrückt und geküsst


  51. Happy New Year to you and yours Barbara. And huge thanks for all the good work that you do. Where would we all be without you. Not quite so poor, maybe, but oh so much more miserable!!

  52. Please don't even think about stopping the blogging Barbara!! I look forward to, and read your blogs every day and often dip into the older ones. I love them. Full of thought, wise comments, inspiration, tips and warmth. Thank you for letting us peek into your family life too. How you achieve so much I will never know and I'm sure we are all so grateful to you for your dedication. Hope you, Dave and all the Clarity Team have a great and successful 2018. X X Pam

  53. Happy Healthy Peaceful New Year to you Barbara, Dave, your family, all the Clarity team, a No 1 company, brilliant. Love reading your blog, read it every day, and also as Pam, have a look at some of the older posts. Happy New Year wishes to

  54. Happy New Year to you and the whole Clarity community. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself in your blog, Barbara – you inspire us with your artwork and it's a joy to be able to join you on the journey. As so many others have already said, your blog is essential reading.

  55. Happy New Year to you all at Clarity & all the blog followers. Barbara, your daily blog means so much to so many people as shown by the number of lovely comments that are above mine, will you make the 100 comments I wonder. Here’s to another successful Clarity year in 2018, looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us. Sue xx

    1. Happy New Year to you Sue! I don’t usually answer every comment, but today i thought it was important to. And now I realise that hahahaha! I will get over 100 messages – because I will have written half of them !! xxx

  56. Dear Barb. All the others have said it all……. I too read your wonderful blog every day – my day isn't complete if I haven't absorbed all the interesting informative words…. Thankyou and Happy New Year to you, your team and all my fellow blogger friends. Xxx

  57. Wonderful friend we’re would we be with out you lovely bing caring for us all so look forward to your blogs sometime I miss commenting may have to rush of and then forget to come back other times to a few days comments at once so much to look forward to hearing all about your wedding photos seeing you and Dave happily married then coming to my first clarity retreat all ready the year has good things to look forward to thank you you and all clarity team pray blessing over you lol and good fortune and lots love thank you for being you xxx

  58. Same to you too, with knobs on! Thank you – not just for the crafty stuff but even more so for the ethos and delightful humanity of Clarity. Have a great 2018 xxx

  59. Happy New Year Barbara and all at Team Clarity and all who follow the blog. I always enjoy reading the blog and all the comments (what a lot today). Sounds as if we have lots to look forward to xx

  60. Barbara you seriously must have read my mind. I've not long been in bed and my nightly routine is to log into your Blogg and read your daily tips, hints and chat in general. With it being daft o'clock on New Years Eve the Internet is slower than usual, and whilst waiting for it to load, I wondered just how long you have been doing these daily blogs, and if u have ever missed a day (ya know some days you must feel like u can't be bothered) especially with such a busy life as yours. I have to admit, I've only recently started reading your Blogg after seeing you on Hochanda one day you was with Tina and she was full of a cold. Watching you amazed me, the honesty in you sold me Groovi, you were in no way pushing and pushing the product, you were simply having fun, you weren't afraid to admit you weren't a pro at parchment and when Tina's plates started to sell out, you told her well done. That is you I guess, you praise where praise is due and I love that. I've received the Clarity calling and I'm Grooving along with you all into this New Year. Im also looking forward to the Tuesday UTube videos. I'm slowly going back previous day's one by one on your blog, as it's simply amazing to read. Thank You for all your inspiration. I do hope you manage to read this message, as i give credit where it's due and your my inspiration 2018 and I'm looking forward to learning more about Groovi and traditional parchment craft. Happy New Year to all at Clarity and all your fellow customers. Xx

  61. Hi Barbara
    Happy new year to you and all the family and everyone at Clarity. I love reading your blog, you make us laugh you make us cry, you make us think outside the box and look at things differently. You inspire and nudge those creative juices so a huge thank you from me. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next year, I know it's going to be good. Enjoy spending time with your family.
    Love Diane xxxx

  62. Happy New Year to you and the team. Thank you for your inspiration with all that you do and the wonderful craft equipment that gives lots of us hours of fun and a way to relax. Your friendly helpfulness and creative efforts are much appreciated as is your support to Britain by keeping things like the production of the plates at home.

  63. Happy New Year to you Barbara and all at Clarity. You don't know me as I am a lurker and have never posted a comment before but I read your blog every day and am so inspired by you as a person as well as your artwork skills. I am in awe of your seemingly boundless energy as I am sure some days you find it hard to fit in writing your blog yet you always do. You must know how many of us look forward to hearing from you every day. Please keep it up and thank you.

  64. Happy New Year to you all at Clarity … cant wait to see what new things you have planned for us in 2018. Looking forward to the retreat in March and also to sharing your "special day" later in the year (via piccies of course!!)
    Keep doing what you are doing and you will have another fabulous year xxx

  65. Hello Barb, and a heartfelt very Happy New Year to you, Dave, the family and all the Clarity team, as well as the blog family. 2018 is going to be an exciting year for you and Dave and I hope and pray that it is successful and prosperous for Clarity. May everyone be blessed in abundance. Bx

  66. Hello Barbara, I wish you, your family and Clarity a Very Happy New Year. I take great pleasure In ordering from you, either through Hochanda or Clarity direct as the products are excellent, the service supreme.
    I never thought I would become a parcher until Groovi came along, and I now stamp and am learning to stencil thanks to you. I know from experience the worries of running a small family business, ours sadly did not survive in The 70s, so I admire you so much, you inspire, educate and make us smile, what more can we ask for? Again, Happy New Year. Ros X

  67. Dearest Barbara, I don't always comment but read your blog everyday and love to hear all your news. I have been following you for 15 years almost since seeing you at Bolton when you were on your own, how times have changed, but you are still one of the most generous and sincere people I have come across. Happy New Year and all the best for the future, look forward to seeing you very soon at one of the craft shows that I am able to attend as not now good on my legs. Take good care of yourself and Dave too Annette Pope xx

  68. Dear Barbara, I’ve just written out a long missive and managed to delete it when trying to send it, so I’ll keep it short this time, we love YOU, YOUR BLOG and everything CLARITYSTAMP is and stands for- love, friendship, inspiration and quality. I don’t know where a lot of us would be without you. I’m sure 2018 will bring even more love, laughs and success. If I don’t get round to reading the blog everyday I bingeblog but have not missed a single one! Love and hugs always to you, Dave, your lovely family and all at Clarity Towers! Wendy (and Stephen)xxx

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