Laugh! Smile! We’re still Here!!

Laugh! Smile! We’re still Here!!

Greetings from the CLARITY SHAC-SHACK !

Thanks for popping in. I hope you are safe. We had our daily 9am conference call with some of the Clarity team earlier – the guys and gals who are helping keep the good ship Clarity afloat during this time. I have worked from home for many years, so this is nothing new to me. But for most of the team, working in isolation when you’re used to working across the desk from one another will take a little getting used to. It requires quite a lot of self-discipline and grit actually. So checking in every morning and making a team plan is paramount at many different levels. We need a new routine now, and communication is vital. Lots of goodness came through this morning, plenty of humour and laughter.

Some may say there’s very little to laugh about at this moment in time, and they’re right! We have to look for reasons to laugh and smile. I have seen some hilarious cartoons and stuff on Facebook which curled me up this week. Did you see the one with what we are going to look like after 18 months of cutting our own hair? Hang on….

See, now that made me curl up laughing. My darling smashing friend Carron, who is one of my best friends, who was my bridesmaid, and who also happens to be my hairdresser, texted me to tell me she was going to have to close her banging little hairdressing business; and then as a PS, she sent me this picture. I went from absolutely gutted – not for my hair, but for her – to creased up laughing out loud. Thank you Carron.

Call it gallows humour if you like; I call it healing. I always feel better after a good laugh, don’t you? Which can only be a good thing. It doesn’t mean I’m being flippant; just means I NEED a laugh.

It’s a fact that smiling and laughing is good for our wellbeing. It relieves stress, it elevates our mood, it lowers our blood pressure, it cheers others up, it boosts our immune system, it makes us feel more positive – the list goes on.

So keep smiling. And if you haven’t got anybody to smile at, find a mirror! It works – it really does.

Smile. Go on. Do it right now as you read this. Put a great big, warm smile on your face. Not a fake one, a proper smile. So I’m pretending Carron has just walked through the door (with her scissors!). That has made me grin from ear to ear. While you’re smiling, think of something unhappy, but keep smiling. It is actually hard – very hard – to maintain a negative thought whilst keeping a smile on your face. Try it. You’ll see.

There’s plenty to worry about and be unhappy about right now. Speaking for myself, it would be so easy for me to get miserable. Not even going to justify that comment. What would be the point? Wouldn’t change a damned thing, except make Dave avoid me! And since we’re in it together, and since he’s the only human I am allowed to be with, I really need to keep him happy too!

Or we could be facing this….

Paul made me smile today. He has insisted on going into work every day, to pick and pack orders as they come in, so that we can keep going. I called him, to make sure he’s ok. He answered the phone, and we just both started laughing. Then he started, “Who would you like to speak to? The picker? The packer? The sample scanner? The TV proposal drafter?” Silly sod.

But that’s the good news. Paul is working alone, to ensure his safety. I am working alone here in the SHAC-Shack, getting set to start recording demos for HOCHANDA and Facebook/Youtube Live.

Sam Crowe’s shows are still going ahead on Friday HOCHANDA 8am and 12 noon. She sent in Video demos which will be shown on TV, so she can stay safe at home too. Provided the tiny team at HOCHANDA can keep going, and Paul can keep going, and I can keep going – guess what !!


Grace has written a super appropriate blog over on the Clarity Matters Blog. It is scheduled to be posted live at 2pm our time, 10am New York time. I’m so glad she remembers that story.

We’re here to keep you company, keep you smiling and keep you crafting!!

I think I want to do a little crafting for an hour, just to calm this old washing machine head down a bit..Did you see this week’s Youtube throwback, using our “The Earth has Music” stencil, illustrated by our Mel? Very fitting just now… In fact, the other stencil in the pair is poignant too…

So let’s have a little bloggy offer ! I KNOW we’ve got these in the cupboard, but I shall just check with our Head picker….

left him with plenty of doughnuts to keep him going….

Head Picker Paul had a quick check, and he says we’ve got about 15 of each of both A5 stencils, and the Groovi plates, and the 3-way overlay stamps! and plenty of the Freshcut dies ! So that is brilliant!!! Something for everyone!! And the prices are pretty special too!

Next thing, call Steve Ellen at home, and get him to drop the prices on the website, and load the product photos into this ’ere blog. Done.


Be Safe, Happy and Creative !

Love and Hugs,

Barb xxx

42 thoughts on “Laugh! Smile! We’re still Here!!

  1. Look forward to reading your blogs as they always make me chuckle. Is Paul the chief bottle washer too??,x

  2. I already have these plates and although have used them had to be very selective to whom i sent them too, who would of thought that now they can be sent to anyone we are all in this together and the words are so appropiate Thanks barbara ,when his is all over could we have some more little verses i use mine so often

  3. Hello Barb,
    I didn’t just smile I was laughing out loud reading your blog today, such a great sense of humour you have. Thank you, just what I needed and so many others do too.


  4. I think I have to smile and laugh at the moment or I will cry…and I can’t crack now…everyone is doing what they can to keep things going as best they can. Been planning craft projects and have started a few. Head is a bit distracted but with the music on and the sound up, singing along I can forget everything…just for a bit. Xx

  5. Hi Barb,
    Paul’s a good ‘un isn’t he?! Been a beautiful day up here today. Actually managed to walk a bit today – Dave dropped me off about 3/4 mile from home and I walked back from there. Bless him, he was worried that I might not manage ,so after taking the car home, he walked up to meet me to make sure I got back safely. I managed, but my knee was really sore by the time I got back, but at least I did it! I’m very thankful that I have my crafting(& my ukulele) to keep me going. Take care and stay safe, love and hugs Alison xx

  6. Teamwork – that’s what Clarity thrives on. Love the picture – I saw one the other day that said when your hair salon is closed but the dog groomer has a slot & there was a picture of a lady with a poodle hair cut , short on the top & long on the bottom- took me back to when they were all the rage but I think we called it the lion cut then. As you say it always makes you feel better when you have a good laugh. Need to go & sort my stash for all the projects that have popped up – my orders arrived this morning so I can sit this evening & have a go at Maria’s Challenge from when she was on TV last week with Yiannis. I did a trial run at the gems last night that turned out ok so now I need to add the technique to a card. I haven’t time to go out at the moment LOL x

  7. Hi Barbara
    Sorry I’ve been missing again, but I’ve finally caught up again! Glad you are all ok and keeping safe. Your blog always makes me smile so I’ve given myself a talking to to make sure I read it every day. I’ve been cleaning this morning but think a spot of crafting is in order now. Love to you all and thank you for keeping us going.
    Love Diane xx

  8. Just read Grace’s blog, what a lovely person she is.
    Today started well, the sun is shining, the window cleaner confirmed he is coming tomorrow to clean the conservatory roof (it will let more light in) our butcher has made his delivery and we are all set for the next 2 weeks. It’s years since I’ve had the time or the inclination but I am going to make my own bread and rolls this weekend.
    Hubby is trotting out all the old corny jokes and has dug out a couple of books of cartoons which had me chuckling. I didn’t know he had them but they are going to go on the ‘keeper’ shelves.
    My hairdresser couldn’t come last week so I was looking forward to having a trim this week as I’m getting a bit woolly. Unfortunately I will not be seeing her for at least another 12 weeks so may end up looking like a woolly mammoth as my hair grows so fast. Should cause a few laughs if and when people see me!!!!! Still, rather this than a bad hair cut.
    Paul really does step up to the plate when needed. Wish we’d had a few like him when I was working.
    Although there have been some moaners and thoughtless people about, in the main most are being considerate, helping neighbours and volunteering. It seems that the good old British ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude is never too far below the surface and whatever the crisis, be it war or disease, we all manage to overcome the negative and boost the positive in the end.
    These stamps, stencils, Groovi plates and dies are so useful for all occasions. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t have any of them to treat themselves to at least one set. There is so much that can be done with them I guarantee no-one will be bored during this lockdown.
    Keep smiling, keep well.

    1. I know what you mean about hair! I have a short style, so have taken photographs from all angles for when I look like a yeti at a future appointment. Otherwise the stylist would never remember, having so many clients.

  9. Hi Barbara and Clarity team, I look forward so much each day it’s such a happy blog.i had seen that picture with hair cut before it made me laugh and it has made me laugh again😄 I received my order today thank you so much,but it looks like I will be doing another order as I need a White Gel pen , so I looking again.
    Keep safe and well
    Mary Lang x

  10. Hi Barbara and everyone, hope you are all ok today.
    A very big thank you for my order it arrived today as the husband says that will keep you busy!!!

    He is going down the allotment very day for his exercise , we have been planted seeds in our big flower tubs so will be great if they come up.
    Just something different for this year.!!!!!
    Look after yourselves and keep safe.
    Lynn xxx

  11. Hi Barbara
    Reading your Blog certainly puts a smile on my face and a laugh in my voice each time I read it! Thank you for that, and thank you for all that you and the rest of Team Clarity are doing to keeping the rest of us in our Happy Crafting Place! Paul is amazing – I reckon he would give the Duracell Bunny a run for its money! He deserves every extra doughnut you can give him!
    Just read Grace’s Blog which also put a smile on my face especially because of the music I was listening to at the time! Music along with the crafting really helps to get me through each day – whether it’s good or not so good. Which is why I had to have these wonderful designs as soon as they were available! And they are designed by the wonderful Mel – need say no more!

  12. I love those stencils, will need to get them out and play with them again.
    Today I have been Tidying up and I have filed my most recent club booklets. I have also been sorting my stamps out a bit, and have discovered that I have too many to fit into the bigger box I put them I to last month. So now I have the bigger box filled and the original box is more than half filled. It feels good to have all my clarity stamps together and organised in their folders and labeled.
    Must go and make dinner and some soup too. Amazing how I have slowed down now I am not working and dashing about.

  13. Laughter is always good. Had to send out a working from home accident form, one of our teachers asked if you needed to fill it in if you throttled your husband. No I replied only if you sprain your wrist doing it!!!! Gave us a good laugh and relieves the stress. Hope everyone stays safe ❤️

  14. I had to laugh at the knitter. Suits my sense of humour! Must be the job! Lol. I got my ATC and card posted today and my PTC and card posted yesterday so all up to date at this end – well, with crafting, at least! You’ve got a good man there as picker, packer, pecker, poker, pucker! In all of this, you make sure that you and Dave take care of yourselves. Let hope that we all feed the good wolf in you when the bad one raises it head, because that, my friend, is what you do for us. Heard from Hazel, my swap partner for today, that she and her hubby were having lunch in the garden!!! Not something you would do in Argyll today but it did stay dry even if overcast. Good to know the sun is shining brightly above the clouds! There is hope for tomorrow! Looking forward to all the demos that are coming our way from one place or another! Stay safe and well. Lots of love, Hxx

  15. Hi Barbara, another uplifting humorous blog, thanks so much for keeping the Clarity ship going and for supporting us all on this perilous journey we find ourselves in. Loved Grace’s today (as always) she’s definitely your daughter ☺️ love to all, keep smiling 😊😊 ♥️ and 🙏 to all xx

  16. That was funny. Got to have a giggle every now and then. Speaking of which I used that stencil with the Alcohol ink and chromo card through the machine. Not sure what I did but managed to stick the two fast together, now that made me giggle at the time couldn’t get them apart at all.
    Keep safe everyone xx

  17. Thank you Paul – you probably packed my parchment order, which is on it’s way, so I am grateful.
    Thanks again Barb for your ever positive blog. I watched This Morning today and belly laughed, along with Philip and Holly, at so many things. They are doing a great job of keeping spirits up as well.
    My daughter in Canada has also been sending funny videos of my 3 grandchildren. Laughter really is the best medicine.
    Hugs. Annette X

  18. Am I allowed to copy/paste a funny article I was sent? Don’t want to do it if not allowed but it was SO funny. I posted it to a private FB group and they loved it.
    Well done to Paul and all the team and many thanks from another grateful customer/viewer.

    I’ll post funny article if Barb says I can!

  19. Received my package of Linda’s gorgeous Garden Plates from Clarity this morning so looking forward to doing some groovi in the next few days. Had a good day ringing a few friends to catch up and messaging a friend on messenger. Had a walk locally just around the streets here, very quiet, the park is better but that will be the day we shop so we can go by car on the way. Thank you for all you are doing to keep us entertained, and to Paul (a great guy) for getting our orders out. Saw some really funny videos on facebook maybe a little naughty but a good laugh. Talking about hair, (that was funny) I got Pete to cut the back of my hair just to take it up my neck a little as it’s got so long. The last two cuts at the hairdressers way before Christmss weren’t at all good so was going to try somewhere else, just not round to it with one thing and another, so now it’ll be a while before I get to go. Off to read Grace’s blog now, then get the tea dishes washed. Take care Barb and Dave and team also each of you all on here stay

  20. Hello from a totally locked down New Zealand. I love your blogs. You always are so positive. Take good care in England. Every morning I turn on my iPad to get my dose of laughter and loving thoughts from you. Thanks so very much. Keep it up. Warmest wishes from Tauranga in the North Island of NZ. 😎😎😎🥂🥂🥂🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧Xxxx

  21. Oh dear, that hairstyle’s a bit Andy Fairweather-Lowe isn’t it! 😀 I’ve been finding things to laugh at, like the priest who accidentally hit the wrong button on his phone while broadcasting his sermon and gave himself cat ears, googly eyes, etc. Classic! He didn’t realise he’d done it himself, he thought he’d been pranked. People have been sending me amusing tidbits too, but not many are shareable – or at least, I have to choose very carefully with whom I do share them! hahahaha. Stay safe everyone. xx

  22. Thanks Barbara for an uplifting blog! I went out and “clapped” for the NHS and there were lots of people out there which gave me a real high and sense of community. Several of my friends tell me about their cleaning plans during the lock in – poor things! I have clarity stamps!! Just sorting out something suitable for Easter cards this year. Stay safe everyone.

  23. Have been out in front garden, clapping our NHS
    Lots of others doing the same, cars hooting, ships at the docks hooting too, to should our gratitude. Quite
    emotional….felt good! Everyone cheered….good for the soul.

  24. Hey Jilly I was clapping too. Very emotional wasn’t it! Also stayed out to watch the ISS pass over but missed it. I’m going to try again tomorrow though & the next day & the next until I see it. Love the explosion of all boundaries that the stars give, especially when they’re as bright as tonight & while we’re in this pandemic. Though exercising while “social distancing” seems to be bringing out the best in the guys round by me. I’ve had a smile and an hello, at 2m distance, from more people than I’d usually meet in a week of walking. Every cloud👍

  25. I have been smiling today, not really felt like it at all this week. Trying to sort out how to get shopping when there are no online slots and then how to get our prescriptions all got a bit too much. Anyway shopping sorted, well for two weeks anyway so today I decided no social media, no news until evening and I put the stereo on. Bit of George Ezra and I was singing along. This evening our little community turned out to clap for the NHS, that was emotional
    The hairstyle picture made me smile as well, I am in grave danger of looking like that. xx

  26. Thanks for helping us all keep so upbeat, Barbara. Its been a long & difficult day at work, but I’ve got a day off tomorrow, so planning to settle down for a bit of crafting therapy. Take care & stay safe everyone

  27. It’s good to have a laugh. I don’t think I will be cutting my own hair, it will just have to keep growing. One thing all the hairdressers can be sure of, they’re all going to be busy when this is all over, we’ll be lucky to get an appointment.
    Went out at 8pm to join in with clapping for the NHS and could hear it echoing all around. Quite an emotional moment.
    Keep safe and healthy everyone xx

  28. My sister cut my mum’s hair today! Made a decent job of it too! I’ve stayed off iPad quite a but again today and it’s quite liberating! Went out to clap and was pleased to see everyone in our tiny part of the road. Quite emotional really. I’m waiting for weather to change to get crafting. X

  29. Joined in with the clapping and cheering this evening, the least I could do considering what they’re dealing with, thanks also to the other ‘essential’ workers, including supermarket staff trying to keep us fed. Spent a little time in the garden with my OH as that’s as far as he’s allowed for at least 12 weeks to get our dose of Vitamin D and some fresh air, spring sunshine was lovely until our neighbour appeared in his garden with a friend…but they were having a ‘distanced’ beer…obviously some people feel the guidelines dont apply to them. Needless to say we quickly came indoors…ggrrr. Rant over! As for haircuts my OH reckons he’ll need a supply of ‘bobbles’ before this is all over which gave us both a good giggle…so yes laughter is definitely good for the soul xx stay safe everyone xx

  30. Great blog as always Barbara! I use the dies quite often and when I don’t want to use the words I snip them out and dangle a message from the top line with some thread (if you get what I mean). I saw the knitter picture the other day which made me laugh because I have only recently taken up knitting again after about 40 years all because I wanted to knit a snowman golf club cover. I had to Youtube how to cast on because I couldn’t remember how 😀. Needless to say it will be next winter before it will be finished! Because we live very close to our golf course we are able to get our daily exercise walking around it and so far have only seen a couple of other people across the fairways so that’s been great. Keep safe and thank you for all you do for your Clarity family. PS Jeannine is amazing. I had a problem with an order I received yesterday and minutes after sending an email she had sorted it.

  31. Hi Barb, you always manage to bring so much thought provoking, smile causing input to our lives. Thank you to you and all the team for all the inspiration, support and constant fab offers. Stay safe and take care all. Bx

  32. Hi Barbara,

    You’re so right about laughter helping through difficult times and the pictures made me laugh out loud.
    I have managed to do a bit of crafting this morning in spite of having very limited stash at present. I have these designs in stencil, stamp and die and I just love them. We have recently moved house and some of my stash has been packed up for months and some is stored at a family members house. It seemed like a good idea at the time! Anyway I am fortunate that I do have some crafty goodies to keep me going and constantly trying to remember that “this too shall pass”.
    Thank you for all the inspiration crafting and wellbeing wise.
    Take care

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