A Blog from the SHAC Shack!

A Blog from the SHAC Shack!

Hi there,

Thanks for popping. I hope you are well and safe. As we have watched this week unfold at home and abroad, Dave and I decided last night to stop all production for a while, and send our lovely team home at the end of play today. You get that, don’t you? It would be irresponsible – no, reprehensible – to do anything else. Their wellbeing is paramount to Dave and me. They’ve done a brilliant and loyal job keeping things going for the last mad month, but now it’s time. I just checked, and all orders received have been picked, packed and sent! Well done team Clarity!!

Are we shutting down? Are we heck!!!

Going forward, we will be steering the good ship Clarity remotely. We will be monitoring orders as they come in, then once or twice a week, Dave and I will go into the building, pick and pack the orders, and get them to the local Post office. We would anyway! Just to check it’s still standing, and the burglars didn’t nick all the parchment! I hope I haven’t forgotten how to pick n pack! Certainly did it for long enough! And we’ve moved all the HOCHANDA stock into the same building, so we can honour those orders too. They may not come out as fast usual, but we will move them through.

Speaking of parchment, Grace just contacted me from New York, and told me that Claritystamp on Amazon USA has sold out of all parchment. Darn. That’s frustrating. We packed a big shipment to go weeks ago, but Amazon stopped taking supplies in. Understandably. I bet they’re tapdancing right now too! We have plenty in the UK and it seems we can still send to America and abroad at this point. Until that changes, we will endeavour to keep going. I wouldn’t worry about anything else that ran out, but parchment! If you haven’t got a stash of that as a parcher, what can you use?!? Loo roll?? Maybe THAT’S what happened!!

A non-crafter would think we’re mad to be panicking about parchment, wouldn’t they? But a parcher gets it! (P.S. Way too scratchy for the bathroom, not to mention pricey!!!)

If you’re on our mailing list, you will have received today’s update, telling you all this. if you’re not, then why not just send me your email address, to Barbara@claritystamp.com. Then I can get you added and you will know what we’re up to.

If you didn’t receive the e-letter from me, then I must tell you about our little SHAC- Shack! Jim and I have built a proper little 3-camera recording studio in my artroom over the garage.

We went from this…

to this……

…to this….

Welcome to the SHAC Shack!!!

Lights, camera, action!!!

Thank goodness I didn’t move all my art and craft tackle to the new Clarity building! We were going to, but decided to wait till after the NEC. Do you know, that exhibition was supposed to have been held last weekend? Surreal.

So now I just need to figure out how to switch it all on, and flick between the 3 cameras – and woohoo!!

Live Streaming on Facebook and Youtube!

Give me a few days. Once I settle down a bit I will work out a proper plan – like when we’re going to do this daily, and which projects we’re going to tackle. How we’re going to handle this. Who’s we? You and Me!!!!

We’re in this nightmare together. And a real nightmare it is, that’s the truth of it. But we have to stay upbeat and try to enjoy our days. We have to be Safe Happy And Creative. SHAC. We just have to make the most of this time, so let’s hang out together, let’s learn new things.

While I learn how to be a cameraman, director and presenter at the same time as doing arty demos, (yikes!) why don’t you make a list of things you would like to learn during the next few months? Write some suggestions below. Give me some pointers. I can weave your lists into my list.

But now I’m going to sit in the garden for 10 minutes, have a cuppa, catch my breath and Calm it Kermit! It has been a challenging day. An old friend of mine always used to say, we have good days and growing days.

Well, I’ve done a fair bit of growing today!

Love and Hugs

Barb xxx

PS. Did you spot the Elk?

55 thoughts on “A Blog from the SHAC Shack!

  1. Good decision for all your staff. I’m sure everyone understands and is behind your decision. I did spot the elk, he will get a toasty bottom hanging there when you are live! Hope you enjoy doing them, I have been watching lots on FB recently and it does make me feel less cut off so I am looking forward to a Clarity live. XX

  2. I’d appreciate any little demos with the gel press and and the artistry ink. Maybe even some demo’s of the reverse printing on the yupo type card. I wrote the instructions for that in such a safe place, I can’t find it. Meanwhile, keep safe team Clarity

  3. Mine must have been a growing day yesterday hehe. I’ve just competed my gem parchlet card. Loved the step by step and shared it to my parchment posse ladies for them to have a go too!

    Royal Mail will be a bit slower too, as they are spreading their staff out. On the round where we are, they usually have one driving the van and one collecting and delivering. Only one person per van now.

    Keep safe everyone. We will come out the other end if we sit tight and just craft our little fingers off! Xxx

  4. You’ve made the right decision, Barb, the only decision you could make in the light of what is happening. I discovered last night I had no 6×6 cards and envelopes and they are on the way already. That’s dedication for you. I had to laugh at your craft room before! I’m just imagining an almighty pile of craft stuff just out of view of the camera now!! It’ll be nice to have you in my front room for the foreseeable. Just stay safe, whatever you do. I’l think up a wee list for you of things you could do! That won’t be hard knowing my skills in certain departments!! Lol. Just take care of yourself. Really scunnered that you are sitting in your garden drinking tea!! It is grey, damp and miserable here so I hope the cameras are pointing to the sunshine, never mind the craft table. That said, you’ll just have spread a little sunshine yourself! Lol. Thank you for your email. It means a lot that you are keeping in touch. Stay safe and I’ll see you soon – albeit virtually! Sorry I’m not closer to help you pack up stuff but then that might just add to your problems!! Lots of love to you and Dave. Going to put the fire on now!! That’ll brighten things up a bit. Hx

    1. Hi Hilda, I had the same thought as you about Barbara’s craft stuff being out of camera shot. I did laugh when I read your comment.

  5. Elk for company then. Seriously you’ve made the right decision, when we are in isolation it’s not fair to expect clarity dream team to put themselves in danger. All will be well. Chill and relax more. We will all be here when the emergency is over. Lots of crafty time ahead. Looking forward to your crafty sessions. Love you keep safe. X

  6. Wow you have been busy but sometimes when needs must we just get on with the job in hand rather than stopping to look at the things we find in the process which is my normal trick. Have read your email & quite understand why you have decided to do what you have planned. Look forward to seeing the Live events from the Craft SHAC.
    Have spent the morning catching up with housework, washing on the line, kitchen floor washed & carpets vacuumed. Now I can sit down & look at my Happy Post that arrived this morning . Still waiting for 2 Clarity parcels that have been dispatched – 1(Hochanda) last Monday & 1 (Clarity)Friday but I am sure they will be here soon. Meanwhile I can have a dabble with the gems & PTC challenges.

  7. Hi Barbara
    You have done the right thing you have to keep everyone safe, and not put your dream team at risk
    Looking forward to seeing all your videos etc
    Not sure why but I didn’t get the email you sent out again today haven’t had the tv guide ones either for a while now think there must be a big sign over my email address saying do not send any emails to this person lol
    Not to worry it will sort itself out before too long
    You and Dave stay safe xxx

  8. Thank you for the email, your decision it’s quite understandable. Best to keep yourselves and everyone safe. Ordered few things on Sunday, received email yesterday to say despatched, so another happy post soon. Looking forward to Craft SHAC shows. Lovely and sunny as well in my neck of the woods, spent this morning in the garden with my dog Meg, then ironed the washing I’d done, the housework can wait a bit longer.xx

  9. Hi Barbara, yes of course we understand the decision you and Dave have made. For all of you and the Clarity Dream team now is the time to stay safe and look after yourselves and your families. Particularly your mum who has recently undergone surgery. Look forward to seeing what happens with the Shaq! Gives me an opportunity to perhaps get out those stamps that I haven’t used yet!
    In the meantime stay safe, keep smiling and see you on the flip side! Xx

  10. I’m sure you are doing the right thing Barbara, you all need to stay safe as well. Really appreciate you helping us to stay positive by doing u-tubes and learning sessions on Craft SHAC. Love to you your family and all your lovely Clarity staff. We will all get through this. xxx

  11. Think the best decision to be made at this time for all your health and safety it’s so surreal isn’t just listening to news update today really not good think really we all have lots goodies to play with and sure we can do big shops at end of this all those lovely goodies we want when it’s safe for you all to work we all love you all and clarity goodies to much not to treat are selfs and I’m sure you all will come up with lots more new ideas during this period of stand still look after your selfs lots love Joy xxx

  12. Glad you could get out in the sunshine. It’s been glorious here in Berkshire. (Sorry Scotland.) I haven’t made it to my craft room yet as we are busy coordinating information for the village. The garden is getting some attention too. When I do, I’d love ideas to encourage me to get out some of the club stamps etc which were just filed and haven’t been used…yet. Take care everyone. Xx

  13. Definitely the right thing to do. Thanks for dispatching my pencils before you left ! Stay safe everyone xx

  14. Hi Barbara,
    You’ve done the right thing, we must keep everyone safe. Can’t wait for the live demos etc. Stay safe all at clarity towers

  15. A sensible decision, and the sort of people-focused one I’d expect you and Dave to make. Yet, still you carry on and support us all the same 🙂

    Today was some more gardening, and the first card I’ve made in ages, adapting an NDC project to make a sympathy card.

    I love the fact that ‘arry the Elk will be learning along with the rest of us – he’s got the prime viewing spot!
    Claire x

  16. SHAC – also could read Stay Home and Craft ! It really is important ! The team at Clarity have all gone home now and the reason is simple we need to all stay safe to protect not only ourselves but one another … Simple numbers ….In our main Factory/Offices there would be 36 people, most come from a household of 4 , some more some less, so contact wise , 36 x 4= 144. Now those others in the household probably will have at contact with at least another 4 ! 144 x 4 = 576…and so on and so on .. Stay safe , stay creative xx David (Dave)

  17. Hi Barbara, good decision you all need to be safe.
    Looking forward to your new venture of director ect , you will be fine knowing you.
    Look after yourself and Dave and your staff ,you will be fine.
    Lots of Hugs
    Lynn xx💖

  18. Hi Barbara and Dave.
    Thank you and the Clarity team so much for the effort that you have all made to keep us crafting during this crisis. I don’t usually comment but I do read this blog every day and always find it interesting. And I am enjoying receiving the emails each week. Barbara, you are an inspiration. I don’t know how you manage to come up with all this amazing stuff, but keep on doing it!! Can’t wait for the live videos!!
    Stay safe and well.
    Diane (Cards2Di4) x

  19. I know, what a difference a week makes. Every morning I wake up and can’t really believe what’s been happening. But some people have really stepped up to keep people’s spirits up. A lot of theatre is being put online for free or a small donation, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach on Facebook) has been producing exercise routines for children and senior citizens to do at home for free, and now you’re motivating crafters and giving us some much-needed headspace. What would I like to see craftwise? Well… I never did get the brayering close to right. Always intended to perfect it, but other things got in the way and I haven’t touched a brayer for a couple of years now. I’d like to be able to do different skies depending on the seasons. I’ve got the Clarity card, I’ve got the inks, I’ve got the brayer and now I’ve got the time…

  20. Hi Barbara, Absolutely the right decision. The health of you and your staff is far more important than keeping us supplied with craft goodies. I look forward to seeing the Craft Shack shows. Thank you so much for dealing with my order so promptly. I only placed it this morning and it is now on it’s way. You are all stars. Love to you both. Rachel xx

  21. Thank you for all you’re doing. I’ve just come in from garden to catch up. Now, tell me, where is it all – that stuff on your desk? Did you just shove it all on the floor ?! X. Have a good evening. X

  22. I wasn’t surprised to read the email. As important as crafting is to all of us, it certainly does not outweigh the need for your people to stay safe. This virus goes unnoticed for many people, or shows up as what we might think are just seasonal sniffles. Then it gets passed on to our beloved elders who might not be able to handle it.

    I’d love to see a video about how to color, with explanations of shading and how to choose colors that work. I’ve seen you do this on Hochanda, but those videos can be hard to find and they go away.

  23. Thanks for the e-mail Barb, I know you have made the right decision. None of your devoted followers will mind waiting a little bit longer for their orders to be delivered. We are so lucky to have someone so dedicated to keeping us in touch and happy with all things Clarity.
    Beautiful sunshine here today, really lifts the spirits.
    Is HOCHANDA still going to have presenters/demonstrators in the studio? It would be a shame not to be able to follow the demos but understandable if they can’t get round the problem somehow.
    Will have to have a think about what I would like you to cover in the live lessons, the only thing I can think of at the moment is new ideas for using some of the older stamps.
    Keep safe and well.

  24. Hi Barb and all Clarity staff. Thanks very much for all your hard work and dedication, much appreciated. Can’t afford to buy much at present as funds much reduced due to current situation but would like to support you but not put you at ANY risk. Would you prefer us to save up and have a spree when situation is much improved or spend a smaller amount now and again? Is it unfair to expect deliveries of non essential items( in the view of non crafters!)when times are so serious?
    In the meantime keep well and safe, we need you.

  25. Good for you, Barb, Looking after your team.
    Personally, I hope you’ve got the little posable wooden person in your studios. I always look out for him doing his funny poses. Take care xx

  26. Totally understand your need to shut down the office. Your first priority is to yourselves, your family and to your hard working and loyal staff. Rest assured clarity we will stay loyal to you. xxx

  27. Definitely the right decision. Keeping safe has to be the priority. I am sure we all realise that. As for what I would like to learn, brayering and drop shadow would be too of my list i think.
    Take care of you and Dave too xx

  28. Barb, the ‘kids’ are home schooling their kids at the moment and…. I was thinking…I had a look at all my dies and cobbled together a story that the little ‘uns could make with die cuts(adding their own bits). Story so far, the family go for a walk in the woods and find an egg – a dragon egg – It hatches, and makes one of the children a wizard/witch and they have to go on a train (cue fresh cut from a window quarterette die cuts) to find various magical items (cue the earth has music die) I think you get the gist. The grandchildren are all between 2 and 5, help me make up a story please – because that is what you are brilliant at. I know I’m sad, apparently I’ve got cabin fever already!
    Maggie – Bendy Yorkite.

  29. Keep safe and see you on the other side – that’s what we’ve been saying to each other at work as we began to close down for the foreseeable… I collected my pc from the office yesterday so I can work from home, for a while anyway. Not sure how long before I am furloughed like many of my colleagues.
    Some businesses may fall by the wayside, unfortunately, but I think Clarity will rally round – you’re there for us now, helping to keep us focussed on mindful matters, and I’m sure we’ll be there for you as we come out of this and the world gets back to normal. You’ve built a strong and loyal community out of your customer base and we’re not going away!
    I’d really like to see some tutorials using the NDC products – ideally, projects that can be done using just one or two months’ items and not needing multiple other supplies! There must be thousands of NDC members who would enjoy the opportunity to craft along – and what a great advert for the Clubs for anyone who hasn’t yet joined and is wondering what it’s all about. Well, you did ask!
    Keep safe xx

  30. Hi Barb,
    I must admit that I wasn’t really surprised when I read the email. I think that it is the right thing to do. You and Dave would have been gutted if anyone of the Dream Team had fallen ill. Nobody will mind having to wait for a parcel to be delivered. I’m really looking forward to the new videos from the SHAC. I would love if you could do some things on the texture plates, especially backgrounds. Like Dawn’s idea about using NDC goodies too. Thank you for all you are doing for us, stay safe and well. Love to you and Dave,Alison xxxx

  31. Just catching up on the day’s news having got home from work and had something to eat. Totally understand your decision about the business – think its absolutely the right thing to do. The pressure in the hospital is really ramping up now. I know it’s not easy being in social isolation but there’s a tiny bit of me feeling a wee bit jealous of all the folk who’ve got time to catch up on crafting. I’ve got a day off on Friday so planning some crafting therapy for the day, and will probably Facetime my crafting buddy as we can’t meet up. Hope everybody is staying well – am looking forward to lots of gatherings once we’re out the other side of this.

  32. 100% the righ decision. You always do the right thing and total respect.
    Looking forward to your youtube.
    Keep safe and your family.

  33. You have made the right decision certainly. People’s safety is the most important thing. Once the lights, camera, action gets rolling I think you’ll be in for an Oscar nomination Barbara. What would we do without Clarity!

  34. Poor Elk just hanging around lol
    Can’t wait until we can all get together and have some fun Lighten the mood Have a giggle and enjoy
    Thank you Barbara and the Clarity team you have done a sterling job and for that I thank you
    We await your instructions Barbara Looking forward you it As I have to self isolate fir 12 weeks it gets boring when all I do is talk to the walls So miss my friends It’s great to call them but sometimes a hug says so much more X

  35. More demos with stencils as the main focus and not just backgrounders would be nice. Love how you create and think out side the box.

  36. A tough but totally caring decision, that’s typically you Barbara. Looking after the Dream Team and making sure they stay well and healthy is so much more important that ensuring we crafters keep supplied for a few weeks – but you and Dave still intend to do that yourselves! Clarity is a very special family!
    So looking forward to Crafting with Barbara at the Clarity SHAC! No matter what you demo Barb it will be inspirational, educational and totally entertaining! Can’t wait.
    We have a similar Elk that is equipped with skis and comes out each Christmas! It’s on a long spring and bounces around at the most inappropriate moments – does yours?

  37. Well the government asked for volunteers yesterday to help the cause and one of the areas requiring help was for people to contact those on their own in isolation. Barbara, this is something you have been doing for weeks, months even years. We often forget during our busy lives that isolation for some people is a way of life not just during a crisis.
    Your blog and youtube videos are a source of entertainment, learning , escapism, contact with the outside world whatever we want from it.
    So keep up the good work and I’d like to see how to make landscapes on designer paper. I’ve seen you do it on Hochanda but can’t find a video.
    Keep safe everyone x

  38. Totally get your decision to cut things back in these difficult times. Very grateful for my prompt delivery of card. I have plenty of parchment! 🤣. Hopefully should last. Grateful daughter got home from uni…. Trying to complete her fine art degree. Unfortunately this year’s students won’t get their degree ceremony. Really hope they all get through this safely and get their time to shine. Looking forward to live demos…. Would love to see more of your brayering projects and stamping…. Its where you first came to my attention. Take care all. Stay in, stay safe.

  39. Hi Barbara ,received your e mail thank you .It must be so tough for the Clarity family but of course health is your wealth and everyone and extended families are precious .What ever happens I know those of us that love clarity products will wait if need be .
    I have some lovely clarity corner stamps perhaps you could revisit the many ways they can look and be versatile for finishing touches on a card .
    In the meantime wishing you and all your family well stay safe .Warm regards Carmel

  40. Hi Barbara
    Well look at you. A crafter with so many hats 🎩
    Multi talented and an all round good human being
    You stay safe hugs 🤗. And thank you

  41. Hi Barb, I’m in the USA, Texas actually. Looking forward to watching. A bit sad that Hochanda isn’t shipping to the US until further notice. Lots of really tempting products are getting away. But keeping everyone safe is far more important. So I really appreciate all that you are doing to reach out to people. Thank you

    1. Hi Barbara & Dave, absolutely, definitely the safest thing to do for your staff. I’m sure I speak for many when I say we appreciate all that you at Clarity do for us all, your you tubes, demo’s, etc etc, I will still be here following when I can and Thank You. Sincere Thank You. 🙏♥️ To you all xx

  42. Totally agree with your decision, we all must do what we can to get through this.
    I also sat in my garden in the sun with some crochet and watched my grandchildren playing on the patio next door. Mason wanted to come over and play but of course he couldn’t. It’s hard for a 4 year old to understand. I just thought how lucky we are to have this outside space and I can see the little ones and talk to them. Keep safe everyone xx

  43. You have made the right decision for the Clarity team and your set up at home looks terrific Barbara. Looking forward to your videos and I would like some more techniques for the gelli plate as I always end up being totally confused with the steps to use with stencils and stamping? not sure how that works but would be nice to explore this more. x

  44. Looking foreward to the videos . As an idea I would love a lesson on all the different inks and pads that are available and ways to utilise them.
    Stay safe and put your feet up now and again . X

  45. Hi Barbara, thank you for the emails. I am looking forward to watching your demonstrations as being amongst one of the many who have to stay in the walls are beginning to close in. I have the new garden plates and the embroidery plates so it would be nice to be able to see demo’s on them especially the shading you did as I missed that one. Look after yourself and keep safe xx

  46. Hi Barb, I think all the staff are grateful to you keeping them safe and in the best Interests of their health. Love the new studio set-up, and I am sure we will share plenty of lovely hours together. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  47. Thank you so much Barb, for keeping us up to date and for looking after all the Clarity family. The most important thing is that you all stay safe and well and that includes everyone’s extended family as well.
    You are a star for trying so hard to keep us all crafting!
    Can I also just say, that when I went on my daily walk yesterday, the few people I saw smiled, waved and/or shouted hello. That never usually happens and that sense of togetherness is one good thing to come out of all this.
    Much love to everyone. Annette X

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