Guess who’s back in the building……

Guess who’s back in the building……


Good of you to drop in! Did ya miss me?!? It’s been weeks since I logged on here – what a strange feeling it was to not have the ipad with me on holiday at all ! Nope. Left it at home, shut off Facebook and emails, switched off almost entirely. I say almost, because let’s be honest: the day I switch off from work completely, I’ll be pushing up daisies. I must say though, it has done Dave and myself the power of good to step away from the Clarity coalface for a bit and regroup. Lovely to see the kids. Epic holiday. Dream vacation. Even a Surprise birthday party in Maui!

Hauʻoli Lā Hānau = Happy Birthday in Hawaian.

I’ve got so much to tell you about! From rattle snakes to tiger sharks! Even kept a little diary so that I would remember, too…

Good to be back though!

And look what an amazing list of craft award nominations was waiting on my desk for us! Absolutely blown away. Thank you so much for considering us worthy of these prestigious commendations.

We’ve been nominated for:

Best for Crafts – Claritystamp

Best Customer Service – Claritystamp

Best Venue for Workshops – Claritystamp, Kent

Favourite Die-Cutting Range – Fresh Cut Dies

Most Loved Papercraft Range – Designer Papers, Claritystamp

Designer of the Year – Barbara Gray

Crafting Woman of the Year – Barbara Gray

Most Inspiring Blog – Barbara Gray

The doors actually open for voting today. Please click here to vote .

Coolio! But now back to this ’ere blog. Paul has been doing such a stellar job in my absence. Absolutely epic effort! Many, many thanks to him and the Clarity Crew for holding the fort so we could chill a while. Which brings me to the next thing….

Over the last however many months, our business has grown and grown, and my little blog has changed shape accordingly. It started out as a fun, arty projects, from the heart, personal little daily blog. Remember the poem I used to work to?

Monday’s blog is trees and flowers

Tuesday’s blog rolls back the hours

Wednesday’s blog : mindful you.

Thursday’s blog is always blue

Friday’s blog a private peek

Saturday’s blog a new technique

And the blog which is posted on the sabbath day is step by step – and typical Gray.

Nowadays there are so many Clarity TV shows, Clarity Youtubes, Clarity events, which we want to tell you about, that by and by the blog has all but been taken over by these actually very important things, and there’s very little daily space for my kind of stuff.

So Paul and I had a chat, and we have a perfect solution! TWO BLOGS!!! Hahahaahahahaha. Yep. Tomorrow we are launching a brand new beautiful DAILY Clarity blog, called

Clarity Matters.

Because it does.

Clarity Matters will be just exactly what you have come to read here: New Product news. Upcoming TV shows. Competitions. We want to add regional workshop news to that blog, too.

Which frees up this old BARBARA GRAY blog, you see! That means I can go back to doing more arty stuff, projects, step by steps, mindful soulsearching, banter, pottery – you get the gist. Taking it back….One Day at a Time.

I hope you agree that this will be a good thing. It means you will have twice as much to read, but hey! If we can write it – you can surely read it!! I’ll bounce between the two for sure. Best of both worlds, that’s what we think. Keeping you in the loop with all things Clarity, and giving me back my little arty haven.

So on that constructive note, I shall love you and leave you. Be sure to subscribe to the new blog when it is launched tomorrow. So much to share, we just can’t squeeze it all in here!

Love & Hugs,

Barb xx

PS Remind me to tell you about the rattle snake and the tiger shark tomorrow! Scary Mary or what?!?!? No no no. They weren’t in the same fishtank. Not even in the same state!

52 thoughts on “Guess who’s back in the building……

  1. Welcome back. Paul and team did a fantastic job while you were away. Love the idea of 2 blogs I have to say I rarely continue to read blogs as they get very same old same old but love reading about your creations and what everyone is up too. Even more inspiration to look forward to. Xx

  2. Welcome home – and yes, we surely missed you but as you know, Paul and the team have done a fantastic job. The two blogs is definitely a brilliant idea too.
    Love and hugs – Beryl S xxx

  3. Woohoo, welcome home. What a lovely photo, full of happiness and relaxation. Paul has been fabulous, and maybe even a wee bit naughty, lol, but that’s why we love him. So glad you had a lovely, happy family time. Looking forward to the new blog and to seeing more of your arty work and chat. Xxxx

  4. Welcome back, I certainly missed you, although Paul was brilliant. I can’t wait to here all about your hols.
    I think two blogs is most definitely a great idea, I like reading your personal news, seeing your artwork and your latest pottery makes, hearing about Grace and Mark, I’m looking forward to it xx

  5. Welcome back , glad you had such a wonderful time. I was off last week, motorhoming round Yorkshire with Hubby and the dogs. Switched off from social media completely, bliss.
    Looking forward to more blog posts. You write them, we will read them x

  6. Oh boy, sooooo good to have you back Barb, and to have this ‘ere blog going back to it’s roots. Happy dance here on both counts 🤗🤗🤗. Been missing the old style blog (in silence, because I know things out there change, and normal folk seem to like lots of change, which being autistic I’m the opposite.) And two blogs to read each day now, bonus. But this one of yours will still be dearest to my heart, always ♥️ Glad you had the best holiday, and it’s done the trick. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us. Welcome home. Sorry we couldn’t do anything about the weather… If it’s anything like up here, bet you’ve got the fire on!!! Love you xxx

    Thank you Paul, for keeping the blog going, and giving us our daily fix, something for some of us who don’t have anything else, to look forward to in our day. You did a grand job xx

    1. Congratulations on all the nominations, much deserved. I’ve voted. All things Clarity and Barbara of course. C’mon everyone, especially those of you who don’t normally vote for whatever reason. Lets show Barbara and Clarity how highly we think of them. Get voting everyone, please. And for those who aren’t sure, wondering if it’s safe, especially as you need to leave your name, address, and email. YES, IT’S SAFE, HONEST. There’s no way I would do it if it wasn’t. The worst that will happen is you get emails from Crafts Beautiful, send them to your spam/junk folder, or just unsubscribe at the bottom of the email, that’s safe too. Anyone needing any help, or reassurance with voting, please just ask me, I’m always happy to help when I can. Thanks everyone xx

  7. Welcome Back. Paul and the team did a great job in your absence.
    Yay 2 Blogs to read. Yep if you can write the I can read them. Looking forward to them.
    Congratulations on all your worthy nominations. I’m sure you’ll clean up this year as well. Good luck.

  8. Welcome home to you Barbara! Paul has really kept the home fire burning brightly in between him being on TV and in work. And being introduced to the mixed media world by our lovely Lou!
    Two blogs sounds like a perfect solution and I will look forward to seeing the new blog and of course continuing to keep up with you on yours too!!!
    Rattle snake and tiger shark sounds scary.
    Anyway I must get back to what I’m doing. You’ll see it soon enough!
    Love and hugs Xxxx

  9. Just back and already changing things. Sounds a good idea though. Welcome home Barbara and Dave. Glad you have had a good time. x

  10. Welcome home and glad you had a great time away. Thank you to Paul for keeping the blog running smoothly. Two blogs sounds like a great idea, as long as it doesn’t get to time consuming for you, but I’m sure you have it in hand and it will be good to get back to being all about the arty creative side on one blog and more about shows and TV dates etc on the other. Looking forward to reading all about your holiday and scary things like snakes and sharks over the coming days. XX

  11. Afternoon bloggy friends, I do love being on holiday and being able to craft when I want and spread out projects rather than trying to fit in a hour or two after all the jobs are done in the evening. Still, glad I have a hobby as I would be bored twiddling my thumbs! XX

  12. Welcome back. We have missed you so much! Paul has done an amazing job with the original blog while you’ve been on your holibobs (just felt the need for a rhyme lol ) xx

  13. Welcome back Barbara, we’ve enjoyed Paul on his temporary stint, he’s been quite naughty you know! I’d like to see the old blog and what a good idea to start a new one too ! Glad you had a great time, I knew when I was at work it was hard – I used to even answer the odd email – but must be harder still when the business is yours! Still, you have a more than capable team behind you ! X

  14. I’m so glad you got to go away and have such a lovely time with your beautiful family, Barbara. Paul did a magnificent job of holding up the fort and keeping us amused in your absence. I’m all for another blog…can’t get enough of Clarity as a newbie to the wonderful products, especially the Groovi system. And, of course I voted for you and for Clarity wherever possible 🙂

  15. Welcome back Barbara ,glad to hear you had a wonderful time with family and hopefully recharged your batteries! Warm Regards Carmel

  16. Welcome back. So glad you got some much needed time off. It is so important to take care of YOU 🙂
    Hugs, Rockin’ Robin

  17. Welcome back . So pleased you enjoyed your time off , greatly deserved . Do like the idea of 2 blogs will definitely join up . Have just voted fingers crossed for a heap of awards .your lovely company certainly deserve it .😁😁

  18. Welcome home Barbara glad you had a wonderful holiday. Can’t believe how much you & Steve are alike, it really shows in that photo. Paul has done a great job for you & now we have 2 blogs to look forward to. Fantastic news as are your much deserved nominations.

  19. Hello Barbara
    I am glad you are back, even though Paul did a splendid job of keeping the blog going, he isn’t you..
    Glad that you successfully took the time out from social media, being who you are you would never have been able to switch off from work otherwise (though I bet you thought up lots of splendid crafty things).
    I read your blog every day, even though I haven’t commented yet.
    I am pretty new to paper-crafts but have been crafting all my life. Clarity is the only company I ever came across that has brilliant products and on top of that does so much for us, your customers to ensure that we get the best fun out of using them. So thanks loads and yes, two blogs sounds brilliant can’t wait to read them.
    My only worry craft-wise is the looming Brexit wich might cut me off from clarity products. But hopefully the final word has not been spoken on that yet.
    Lots of love from Hamburg, Germany

  20. Welcome home Barbara and Dave. 👋So glad you had such a great holiday and managed to completely switch off, relax and move away from everything Clarity.👍😊 Sounds like you had the holiday of a lifetime!😊 Really so pleased! Paul did a wonderful job while you were away as did the rest of your team. So a round of applause for them! 👏👏👏
    Congratulations too on all your nominations! Super! Hope you win all the awards! You deserve it!
    Do like the idea of 2 blogs in future. Great idea!
    Have a good rest of the week.
    Hugs and Lots of Love
    Heidi xxx

  21. Welcome home! Glad you had a fab time. Looking forward to reading your adventures. GREAT idea about the double blog 😄 Though how the heck you are going to fit it all in remains to be seen …… 🤠
    Three cheers for Team Clarity 🥳

  22. Nice to have you back – Paul has really looked after us! 2 blogs are fine – much neater!
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite) – nice to see Dave smiling so heartily too.

  23. Hi Barb,
    Welcome back, we’ve missed you. However, I do have to say that Paul has done a fantastic job filling in for you ( thank you Paul) and being a little bit naughty. So pleased that you’ve all had a fabulous holiday and that it has done you the world of good. Great that you got to spend time as a family as well ( still can’t get over how alike the two Mark’s are either!!) Think the idea of two blogs is a brilliant idea as long as it isn’t too much work for you ( although I expect you will have helpers) . I’ve already voted – had an email this morning, so voted as soon as I could – needless to say I voted for all Clarity and you! Great to have you back, hope there’s not too much jet lag tomorrow. Love Alison xx

  24. Looking forward to the two blogs! Love all things Clarity but have missed the daily quirky bits from Barbara that gives us an insight to the other side of Barbara! Glad the holiday was a success. Well done to all for the nominations! Oh and thanks Paul for keeping us amused whilst you were away!

  25. Hopeless! You go away exhausted and come back to take on more work… You can do anything but you can’t do everything. Of course, we like arty stuff from you but we all know we can’t have everything. How can we protect you? You haven’t even caught up yet. Welcome home, mind. Congratulations on all the well-deserved nominations. Paul & Co did a great job here. You should be proud of them. I just wish you would spend time looking after you!

  26. Welcome back and I’m so happy that you could switch off and really enjoy your holiday with your lovely family. We all need some down time once in a while. Two blogs – oh boy, I hope the team are going to jump in and help you with the second one? I’m in need of a bit of a break myself – luckily I’m coming to the retreat next week!!! Yippee x

  27. Lovely photo and great to have you back. Two blogs is a brilliant idea. Lovely to see all those nominations votes all entered. So well deserved for a brilliant company and such a great team of people

  28. Welcome home Barbara And Dave can’t wait for you to tell us all about your exploits.
    I love the way you tell a story, Paul has done a Stirling job all round and as always the clarity team watched over your Clarity creation
    Hugs 🤗

  29. Hi Barbara & Dave,
    Good to see you had a great time and it sounds such a special on.
    Love the idea of two Blogs , lots to read .
    Paul has looked after us all while you were away, did a great job and so did the rest of the Clarity Crew.
    Lynn xx

  30. Welcome back and glad you had a great time. Hope the battery recharge will last a long time!
    Paul and the team did a brilliant job and the idea of two blogs is fantastic. It should provide the perfect balance.
    I did my voting as soon as I received the e Mail this morning, so good luck and hope you win all those well deserved awards. It would have been nice to see Paul nominated for best male crafter as well though. Have a good evening. hugs. Annette X

  31. Hi Barbara
    Welcome home, looks like you’ve had an amazing time, looking forward to hearing all about it. Good for you leaving all social media and emails behind, just what you needed. Paul and the gang did a wonderful job, the naughty step was full most days and the session with Lou and Paul was hilarious. Love the idea of the two blogs, might be playing catch-up as life keeps getting busy but I know I will enjoy reading them. Just off to vote for you now.
    Love Diane xxx

  32. Good to hear you’ve all had a fab time and the pics show just that! Paul’s looked after us well in your absence and I’m sure the Clarity team looked after him too! Look forward to signing up for the new blog tomorrow ease yourself (Dave and Steve too) back into the ‘madness’ as gently as possible so the benefits of your wonderful break last as long as possible. Xx

  33. Aloha – welcome back. Yes we missed you but so pleased you had such a good holiday, you certainly deserved it. Lovely photos, looking forward to seeing more.
    Seems that you have dived straight in to work but please don’t undo all the good your break has done for you by overdoing it.
    Tried to vote in the Craft Awards but my temperamental lap top kept throwing me out as there was some interference. Will try on the main machine tomorrow.
    Paul has been a joy to watch on TV as usual. The Clarity team has been as efficient as usual.
    2 blogs? Yes this format will be great. I’ve missed the insight into the personal side of Clarity but also appreciate the product info too. Clarity certainly matters so this is a good move. Just hope you will have some help from Paul and others.
    Received the Groovi Baby Floral Alphabet today, was blown away, they are so much better than they looked on screen. The font style is one of my favourites and the plain letters sit well with Celtic designs and my calligraphy. You are a fantastic designer.
    Off to bed now – had a hectic day.
    Love and hugs 🍒🍒🍒

  34. Lovely to have you back Barb really missed you, even though Paul did a spiving job keeping up your blog along with all his TV shows and his occasional naughtiness. Sounds like a holiday of a lifetime you’ve had, how wonderful too that you had most of your family to enjoy it with. Good that you could forget about work and blogs and all things clarity and chill out. Beautiful photos of you all, looking forward to seeing more and hearing more about your fabulous holiday. Be nice to have the blog back to its original form, have missed your artyness although I don’t know how you manage to keep up with everything. Voted for you today on all your nominations too, loads, all well deserved I must say. Hope you aren’t pressurising yourself too much with another blog, but I expect Paul will help with that when the pressure is on. Does that mean we won’t be getting the Clarity newsy emails about what shows are on, if it’s all going to be in the new blog? I suppose we may as its probably all automated. Xxx

  35. Welcome back Barbara and Dave. It looks like you had a fantastic time. Well done for leaving social media behind, the only way to truly switch off.
    I think the idea of 2 blogs is a great one.
    Thank you to Paul and team for keeping everything going. xx

  36. Wow you look like had a great rest and family time Paul and time done a great job two blogs to read how exciting sounds great. Looking forward to my mini break and coming to play along at the retreat and hearing more of your holiday night night xx

  37. How great to have you back Barbara, and looking and sounding as though you had a fabulous time. It will be fantastic to hear about what you have been up to, well some of it anyway. Lovely photos of you all too. x

    1. Sorry I forgot to say that taking this blog back to more where it started will be really good, and the bonus of a second one to look at too. Paul kept everything going perfectly, we actually saw more of his playful side this time round. x

  38. Welcome back, Barbara. I’m glad you had a great holiday with all your family. Looks like you had great weather too, not to mention the odd cocktail! I missed your chat but Paul did a great job and I look forward to the new blog and seeing what you produce on this one. Take care of yourselves now you are back. Hx

  39. Welcome home, lovely pics, looks as if you all had a wonderful time. Looking forward to the new blog, and thank you to Paul for looking after your blog while you were away. Already voted earlier. xxx

  40. Welcome Back! Great news about the new blog. I check your blog every day. Perfect way to unwind after work. Now I’ll have two waiting for me. Life is good. 🙂

    Looking forward to more pictures and stories from your vacation.

  41. Welcome back Barb, great photos, and it sounds like you had a wonderful family holiday. You all look so tanned and relaxed. Paul and the crew did a fab job, and really looking forward to 2 Blogs to read and your holiday stories. Take care all. Bx

  42. So pleased you had a fab hols and with the family….such treasured memories. Congrats on all the truly deserved nominations you have been selected for such a great company. Love to see you back and hope you can hang onto the benefit and well factor feeling for a little longer….life is precious

  43. Welcome back! It looks like you had a fabulous and very well deserved holiday!
    Paul looked after us and entertained us brilliantly, so thank you Paul!

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