Who likes Brussels ?!

Who likes Brussels ?!

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. Friday’s blog a private peek, right?

Back at the office this morning, for the first time in ages it feels. Everybody here is pedal to the metal; we’ve never been busier. December isn’t usually this crazy! And the Christmas designs are flying out the door, which is unseasonably late. Traditionally, our Crafter’s Christmas season begins much, much earlier, but perhaps the trends are changing and we are actually coming more in line with the Gregorian calendar!

All stamp orders are taking longer than usual to fill, and I do apologise for this. But last week – right at the critical point – there was a serious issue which I would prefer not to talk about, because it is not my story to tell. But stamp production pretty much came to a standstill. Whilst we are up and running again now, still not 100%, but getting there, this caused a knock-on effect and delay. Just when we launched a load of fabulous stamps, too. Typical. But hey. They will all go out next week, and then it will be Christmas.

Unexpected things happen all the time, don’t they? Like yesterday at the TV studios. Paul was merrily doing the live Pergamano show at 8 am, when the main studio – Studio 1 – was suddenly plunged into darkness. Fortunately, Paul was able to keep going using the Lightwave as THE light source! I was next door in Studio 2, setting up the Christmas pre-records when the lights went down, but all was fine in Studio 2. Quick reaction, moved like grease lightning! Within 5 minutes, we had moved my tabletops off the tressle legs, carried the 9am tabletops from Studio 1 to Studio 2 (in virtual darkness), reset the counter – and seamlessly, at 9am Nicky from Heartfelt Creations carried on in Studio 2 with a smile. Teamwork.

It’s never the event but how we react to it which will ultimately affect us. I can apply this to everything. Absolutely everything in my life. Every time.

Just got called downstairs for the annual Clarity Secret Santa draw. Ahhh. They were waiting for me to come in to the office. How nice. This year is ingenious! Lovely Anna came up with this one!

ping pong balls wrapped in green tissue paper?
and inside a nylon turkey?!? What?!?

Can you guess what it is yet???


So we all picked a brussel sprout! Written on the ping pong ball inside is the name of the colleague for whom we have to buy a special gift, to put under the tree at our Christmas lunch on the 23rd. Clever.

Must dash. Making a delicious ratatouille for our supper, and don’t want it to spoil. I do love a good homemade ratatouille, don’t you? And when you’re on a carb-free drive, it’s perfect winter food. I could do a step by step you know. Of how to make a ratatouille! Complete with pics!! Maybe one day…

Love & Hugs,

Barb xxx

20 thoughts on “Who likes Brussels ?!

  1. Enjoy your supper & I do hope you can rest up this weekend. Don’t rush my order , I can wait.
    Take care of yourself xxx

  2. Hi Barbara,
    Sorry to hear about the “problems” affecting the stamp production but as I have said before the quality of Clarity is worth waiting for! If I can “wait for Christmas” I can certainly wait for the best stamps in the crafting world! And brilliant teamwork “when the lights went out” at Hochanda – helping each other out, something we can all learn from!
    Well done Anna on coming up with a magic idea for the Clarity Secret Santa – one time everyone will like a sprout! Have a great time all of you at the Clarity Christmas Dinner – you deserve it with all the hard work you put in, the inspiration you give us and the magic goodies you provide us to create with!
    Enjoy your tasty ratatouille Barbara, with or without the carbs!

  3. Hi Barb,
    Sorry to hear about your stamp production problem but I’m sure everyone won’t mind waiting a little. I got word today that my new texture stamps are on there way to me – can’t wait! What an ingenious idea for picking the secret Santa partners! Enjoy your ratatouille, love and hugs Alison xxxx

  4. Hi Barb, I like Brussel Sprouts, steamed! Paul was that good when the lights went out, Not sure that was when they first went out, can’t remember how much i saw of that show. I thought it was an ingenious idea from the crew, so the Groovi on the light panel would show up more for us to see it better…

    I’m sorry you’ve had some problems at Clarity Towers. It’s amazing your team are still churning out the orders despite this. I got my last Gray sale parcel today and it did have a stamp in it (ordered later on the Sunday for anyone wondering where the amazing team have got up to). Thank you Team Clarity. Thank you Barb for the free stencil, and amazing sale. Love your new designer papers, I think they are your best yet. The telly doesn’t do them justice.

    I would like your step by step ratatouille recipe please, I think that’s something I could eat?

    I’m proper scratching my head here with today’s Misself clue. What I thought it might be it isn’t. I don’t understand the rhyme, it doesn’t make any sense to me, like I need more words or different words or something (something I say when I can’t understand what someone is saying because of my autism). Don’t suppose I can have an extra wee clue, or explanation?

    I hope you enjoy your ratatouille, and you have a lovely weekend planned. Love you xxx

    1. Glad I’m not the only one not understanding the clue today!!! I’ve even looked through the section I thought it would be in… I must be totally off the mark! And this winding myself up about it at this time of night, and no getting done what I need to for looming deadlines is nae good…

      1. Yay, found her. I managed to get my head to not think of the obvious, no idea how I did it, but when I went to look at an obscure thought, there she was… Being autistic means a lot of the time I am not understood or I can’t understand, which feels horrible feelings and can end with things going bad. So I try to avoid any competitions, challenges, the classroom on telly etc. if I think there’s a chance of me not understanding as it then changes from being fun or learning or whatever to being a bad thing for me, and I end up with all those horrible feelings and upset. That’s what happened with yesterday’s clue. Maybe I need to step off the Misself Hunt train, knowing Barb, this won’t be the only obscure clue…!!!😉

  5. We love Brussels sprouts, wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without them.
    Sorry you have had problems with stamp production. Hope it all gets sorted soon.
    Can’t believe it’s only 3 weeks to Christmas, where has this year gone?
    For some reason I couldn’t get my head round the elf hunt clue this morning. Usually I find the items easily so I was a bit miffed at myself. Then while having lunch I had a light bulb moment 💡- Found it !!!
    Hope the Hochanda lights are now all working OK.
    Have a good evening.

  6. I’ve just posted a comment on the Clarity Matters Blog because I thought Missy Elf had been missed off the website for today with all the Clarity busy Christmas going on!
    Well! Shine a light!!Ha ha!! She is hiding in an obvious place but not the first thing you would think of!! I didn’t have time to make ratatouille, I was so intent on finding that elf!! It’s hard work trying to win a lovely prize!!!xx
    Keeeep searching! x

  7. Err….yes please (what is ratatouille?) If it’s easy to make, count me in please. Do you need a big pot? If so, did you make the pot too?
    No rush for my stamps, your staff are F.A.B. …..whenevaahh is OK with me.
    Hope you are all well.
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite) – Bendy (the cat) is moving nearer and nearer to the log burner every day, I think he likey it!

  8. I actually like Brussel sprouts, wonder if littlest grandson will, think I will try him out this week. Next baby almost due, getting excited again, could be a Christmas baby. Glad you are keeping busy but sorry to hear you have had some problems, hope all stays well now. Loving looking for Missy elf, she was well hidden today, sneaky. xx

  9. Would also like the rat recipe!! Found Misself -was so pleased with mesself!! It was much harder today – though once found the clue made sense!!
    Loved the sprout idea -you have such clever staff. Enjoy your restful evening.

  10. Hope you enjoyed your ratatouille. I’d love the recipe, please, and I see I’m not alone! The scales gave me a lot to think about this morning but that didn’t stop me opening a box of of Baklava I actually bought for a present! However, I really need to get my act together and cut out carbs again. High fat, low fat. Perfect.

    The darkness in the studio the other day was a blessing in disguise as the light panel let us see very clearly what Paul was doing. Well done to everyone at Hochanda in making it all seem so trouble free.

    Sorry to hear that life has been a bit tough in the office. You have a good team of folks round you, folk you care about, so hopefully things will improve for whoever’s story it is. Hang on in there. Hx

  11. Ooooo I love brussel sprouts. Wouldn’t be the same Christmas dinner without them. I do the secret Santa draw at work and every year I think I must jazz it up a bit…then every year all I manage in the rush is names folded up and put in a box! Xx

  12. I have just 1 Brussels sprout a year on Christmas Day and that’s quite enough for me.
    When I was in a local shop last week I saw a party game called Pass the Sprout- layers of green tissue paper with little gifts in between. Later thinking about Boxing Day buffet when all the family are around I thought it would be good fun for the children. However when I went back there were none left. I think I could make my own – one for the grownups and one for the children. Just have to find lots of little gifts.

  13. Hi barb, what a fab idea for the Secret Santa draw, your team are just so clever. Loved the Elf clue #6, took me a while. Hope the Ratatouille was good, have not made one in years. Take care all. Bx

  14. Hi Barbara,
    Sorry to hear you had a few problems at the office , but you all have sorted things out .
    love the secret Santa a great idea, well my sale items arrived the other day all safe and sound and a lovely stencil to thank you very much.
    May i take this opportunity to thank you all for all your hard work through this year bringing us all such brilliant items to craft with .
    I never worry about any order i place it comes when it comes as you all are busy all the time.
    Many i say a Happy Christmas to you all and a wonderful New Year .
    Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2020.
    Regards Lynn xxx

  15. Hello Barbara
    Thanks for telling us that there were problems with the stamp production, I was getting a little worried (living in Germany and your elections and maybe brexit imminent). But even if things do go really wrong it will not be the end of the world, so I have decided just to wait and see, (not that there is anything I could do about it anyway).
    I am really looking forward to the new background stamps and am sure I will enjoy them when I get them, so, please don’t stress about a little delay.
    Your gift lottery looks like a lot of fun and what a creative way of doing it too. Shows once more what a creative lot of people all of you are.
    I do hope all of you clarity people get a chance to enjoy the time of the year a bit, even if we silly customers buy like there is no tomorrow.
    Anja from Germany

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