Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. Wednesday’s blog comes from the heart, doesn’t it. This is the day we look at WHY we craft, rather than WHAT we craft.

And I don’t know that there has EVER been a more appropriate Wednesday than today, for taking a step back, having a good think – then reaching out.

Which is precisely what I have done today. It is difficult to see the spot you’re standing on, so sometimes you just have to move to the side and observe, as it were.

We’ve been going like the clappers at Clarity, moving, planning, getting our more vulnerable team members to higher ground, putting damage limitation measures in place, doing what we think is best for our customers, our staff and our families.

Today I spent time with my parents before they go on lockdown, went to the farm shop to buy some vegetables to make a soup for the soul, then went to the last pottery lesson until further notice. Priorities.

But I have also been thinking about how we can all make the best of an unprecedented situation over the coming months. And to coin an old phrase of mine – I’ve got a plan !!!


It’s simple really. We all have to stay SAFE, protect our more fragile people, have a care. We’re busy making provisions for a possible Lock in, right? Blimey! A Lock in used to mean a whole other thing back in the day when I was a party girl !! Cor, those were wild times, when the landlord used to lock you in the pub after hours !! Just as well I’ve swopped the hooch for the HOCHANDA!!!

Anyway, I digress. Yes, SAFE. Wiping, cleaning, washing, wiping, cleaning, washing. We do what we can, right? And we help where we can, right?

Many of our crafting family fall into the high risk group during this time, the people whom we have to protect, who have to isolate to stay safe. This is where Clarity & Friends comes in. As a large established online community, now is our chance to rally and reach out. Use Clarity as your SAFE HUB. Use Clarity as your SAFE MEETING PLACE. Facebook groups Groovi Worldwide, Clarity Worldwide. Use them to meet like-minded people. They are there for you, and we have greeters at the door ready to welcome you. During the coming days, we will say more about all the different meeting places and options on the Clarity Matters blog too. Stay tuned…


This is so important! The head! Whilst I know of course, that this pandemic is no laughing matter and that this is a calamity at many many levels, I also know that getting fearful and depressed will not change a damned thing. So we at Clarity are getting set to rally – and lift your spirits. We can’t control the situation, but we can do our level best to cheer you up and try to help you smile. Smiling and laughing is a great tonic, isn’t it.


Now THIS is where we really can be of service to you! We are getting set to entertain you and serve you loads of interesting crafty ideas! Tomorrow we’re having a CREATIVE meeting, and are putting an action plan together. We’ll have to wait till Grace wakes up in New York, so we can have a proper Conference! Youtubes, competitions, projects, craftalongs, galleries – and that’s just what’s on MY list to bring to the table! Yes. That’s what we want to do to weather this storm together.


The reality is that at Clarity, we’ve never really done anything different. Most of you good people reading this blog will be Clarity friends, and you will know this to be true. Safe, Happy and Creative underpins pretty much everything that we do, doesn’t it? We just feel that now would be a good time to double our efforts, to reach out and offer you more project ideas, more techniques to learn, more things to do during our collective time out of everyday life.

We’re so lucky we’re crafters, you know. I’m quietly looking forward to starting my lino-cutting. I’ve got all the gear; now I just need the time.

Remember: when Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Stay Safe,

Love and Hugs,
Barb xxx

43 thoughts on “SAFE, HAPPY AND CREATIVE

  1. Glad to see you re keeping busy!!! Hope your mum and dad stay well and that you continue to take good care of yourselves. Our schools are stopping on Friday. Our Church services have stopped. Everything is grinding to a standstill but it’s all good. So far, we are all well and actually, I’m looking forward to the break. There will still be things I can do online for my folk but I will also get time to craftalongabarbie! I really do love what you did on parchment with the blue tit – the picture on today’s blog. I must give that a go while I have time. The good thing is that we can go for a walk here if the weather is good because there are so many open spaces and beautiful scenery as well. We are very fortunate. Take care. Love Hilda

  2. Bravo Barbara, the crafting community is a therapy group for us all. This blog and the comments attached give us a window on the lives of fellow crafters who have their own troubles and how they overcome/manage them. Frequently it puts our own personal issues into perspective and is truly humbling. Everyone at clarity and in the clarity universe give yourself a round of applause . You’re worth it.

  3. Hoping to find some peace next week from all this mayhem. Just got to get through my mums funeral on Friday. Glad to know that there is somewhere I can go for some light relief.

  4. Such troubling times. Who knows how long these restrictions will go on for? I feel so sorry for the businesses who will crash and all those people who will be out of work. It is hard to see what life will be like when we come out of this.
    Yes, thank goodness for crafting and the crafting community. Your words are so inspirational Barbara. Thank you.
    I hope you all keep safe and healthy especially your parents. Good luck with the rest of the move.

  5. Oh Barbara so true, really uplifting blog. I got very down today after a fruitless trip to the supermarkets seeing all those empty selves and lots of our more mature community wandering around looking for stuff not there. All day that awful figure quoted on the news of potential 20,000 dead, with the knowledge that both my parents are in the high risk group, both nearly 80 and both with underlying health issues. I rang them this afternoon to find they had been out shopping in their local supermarket and to the bank and still going daily to the newsagent. I am so afraid for them and just want to wrap them up tight until this is over but I live far away from them so can’t make sure they are taking this seriously. A mixture of concern, near tears and threats to come down and put up somewhere so I can do the fetching and carrying finally seemed to get through. The promise of sorting out Skype in time for Mother’s Day seemed to help ease the disappointment of me not being there for Sunday for first time in years. Just talking to them did help but so did a little spell of stitching. Then I read your blog and remembered why I craft. So yes, so timely, there are things we can do and absolutely this meeting place is the safe, happy creative space to be. Thanks for lifting my spirits, means so much. Karen xxx

  6. Hi Barb and all our lovely Clarity/Groovi group, thanks so much Barb for plans to keep us all entertained and crafting, hubby planning on painting the hall & stairs, then when weather suitable get out in the garden & design, we are blessed, garden, children to get errands, music, TV, books etc etc, hope Mum & Dad stay well, take care everyone, stay safe ♥️

  7. Hi Barb, you are one amazing lady.

    I am still here everyone, struggling immensely, immense fear 24/7 too. Fingers crossed getting my messages every week could be about to be solved. My “cool buddy” needs to self isolate for health reasons but refuses to as his elderly parents are self isolating, his dad has symptoms. Another load of huge fear. And, my fellow autistic service users are inundating them with phone calls, the service is completely shut down to everything except phone contact! Being autistic, at the best of times, even just one of these changes, unknowns, fears, would be massive for each of us and need much help and support. So you can imagine what we are all going through right now, on top of what everyone else is going through with regard to this pandemic.

    I’ve been in complete isolation since Monday morning. I’m in a health at risk group. Deliveries being left on my doorstep.

    Don’t have my words just now.

    Too scared to rejoin the groups as I wasn’t made welcome the last time.

    But, I think I have found something I can do to do my bit here for everyone. Please don’t be offended anyone (just in case), it’s meant with the best of intentions.

    I can offer my services as oor wee resident Covid-19 dos and don’t s expert for anyone who wants to know something, either the facts, or how to do something. May as well make use of my scientific/medical orientated brain, and my obsessive endless watching and reading, and sieving out the rubbish. I’m also an expert at being housebound and living in isolation. And, I’m a dab hand at working out ways for things, if there’s a way I’ll find it. I can also help, if I can, with anyone needing techy help on your devices or how to do etc. So, folks, go ahead and ask me anything, no question is a silly question, so don’t be put off asking. If I can’t answer, and can’t find an answe online, I’ll let you know, maybe someone else here will help us out with an answer. Until I get myself sorted a bit in my head I might not manage to get back to you right away, but I will always get back to you.

    Glad you got to pottery barb, and you have another new craft to get your teeth into as a replacement. Glad you had a good day with your parents too. Love you xxx
    Thank you for all your replies/words/well wishes.

    1. Brenda, you are a real trooper. With all your difficulties you still manage to offer help to others and I am sure this will be appreciated by many. Hope you get some help too.
      Hugs 🍒

    2. Hey Brenda, great comments from you as always and thought I take you up on your kind offer about answering technical questions. I want to be able to talk to my Mum on video on Sunday for Mum’s Day as we can’t be together. Dad does not have very sophisticated mobile phone, mine not that much better but we both have laptops with webcams and tablets, Kindles, and good broadband. What’s the best App to use Skype, Facetime or something else. Needs to be fairly simple to set up for my Dad. I really want to see them on Sunday just to make sure they are OK and share Mothering Sunday with them. Great idea to reach out like this, think you are fab. If you are OK with it, we must get Barbara to share a pic of you, as would be great to put a face to your name. Feels like we all know you even though we have never met. Keep yourself well, thinking of you. Karen xxx

      1. Brenda,
        You are such a thoughtful soul. It’s a real shame that there aren’t more like you. It is so kind of you to think of others at this uncertain time. Stay safe, love Alison xx

    3. Thanks everyone, very kind of you xx

      Karen, I’ll get on it tomorrow, well that’ll be today now… I better go to bed, eh…! Video calls are one of the few techy things I don’t know about, yet, ha, ha. I’m sure you’re not the only one wanting to know this just now. It’s something I wanted to look into myself at some point, and it will be good distraction for me. So leave it with me, and I’ll get back to you soon xx

      A wee positive, there’s a gin distillery up here about to start producing 400l of sanitiser gel a week for the local care companies in it’s area. They approached them and asked if it’s something they could do. After checking out the ingredients involved they said, aye, we can do that. Now they are asking for donations of glass jars to use as they have sterilising equipment they can use too. I don’t know, I’ve just been feeling this week that all sorts of things like this will be springing up all over the place, and folk losing their jobs will be taken on where other things are needed in bigger demand. We’re a resilient lot, and very innovative, look at all the British inventors of amazing things over the centuries… Hopefully soon the good in humanity will start to surface in a big way, and drown out all the badness and selfishness going on with endless food and loo roll buying, and folk not adhering being in lockdown when at all possible… Apparently, cat litter is another odd thing that is being snapped up. Well, if I can’t get any for my wee cat, I’ll just shred the cardboard piling up from deliveries, that I can’t get out in the bins…!!😉

      By the way, there’s a cartoon in one of tomorrow’s papers –
      There’ll be loo rolls over the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, just you wait and see…
      (And I’ve worked out, if you sing it twice it’s just over 20 seconds…😉)

    4. Me again! Alison is saying about finding exercise to do at home. Everyone should be, every day.
      Check out these everyone, the first 5 on the list. (Copy and paste this link into your browser) Or just google “dancewithshelly videos”

      There should be something suitable whatever your level of fitness/disability. Even if you are just picking out one bit from here, one bit from there, and doing them in 5 or 10 minute chunks over the day, 30 minutes a day in total. As long as it gets your heart pumping, makes you feel out of breath enough so you can still talk but can’t sing, and you feel warm. Housework counts as exercise too, if you do it hard enough to get your heart going. If you have stairs in your house walking up and down them too. Sitting in a chair with a tin of beans or whatever in each arm, flexing them up and down, and lifting (straightening) your legs up and down too. There’s all sorts. I can probably find easier stuff on video that can be done sitting in a chair if anyone would like me to?

  8. Keeping busy is a good start. I have very clean kitchen cupboards now neat and tidy too. Fred is busy around the house and garden. Thank goodness we should be getting some better weather.
    On a sadder note my son was laid off work today, he is in the events industry, just not needed at the moment. His job is hopefully safe though for after the crisis. That is the good bit.
    I am missing the grandchildren already. Video calls to Taylor so he remembers us for when we can have him again. Greg sending pictures of baby Mollie.
    We will get through it just going to be a long haul.
    Plenty of craft is definitely the answer. X X

  9. The clarity community that you have built is going to come into its own over the next wee while, actually probably big while. So thankful that we all have each other to help get through.
    I am looking forward to what you bring us to keep us entertained.
    Now the schools are closing I will have to come up with more activities for the kids I look after (while I can) which will no doubt include my clarity craft stuff!
    Stay safe xx

  10. You and the team at Clarity are an inspiration to us all. Despite all the pressure you are under moving premises, etc., you find time to think of others. Well done and thanks to you and all the team.

  11. Your blog today will lift the spirits of many people. So many things/events are being cancelled but while we have the Clarity community to bolster us we will survive.
    Went to the supermarket early this morning hoping to get ahead of the crowds. No such luck. The car park ,normally half empty even at busy times, was chokka block, most of the trolleys gone from their usual places.
    I had just a few items on my list, all essentials, but only spuds some veg and Bananas came home with me. Most of the shelves were stripped and the staff were looking glum. Where some items were being replaced people were snatching them out of the hands of the staff. What has happened to the good manners and consideration we were brought up with? Spoke to a lovely man, 82 years old, who smiled at us when he heard me say this and said he lived through the war and he would live through this crisis.
    What is really sad is that things are being bought in bulk and then re-sold on the web eg: 100 ml hand sanitiser £20, or paracetamol for anything between £10 & £100 for 32 tabs.
    Enjoyed Maria’s show this afternoon but recording the rest as I want to get on with some crafting tomorrow.
    Keep smiling, keep well, and we will get through this.
    Love and hugs 🍒🍒🍒

  12. thank you Barbara for your kind words and thoughts in this trying time for everyone. You are one angel i am sure many will be looking too. Take time for yourself aswell and stay safe.

  13. Oh my, wonder if that lino-cutting is what we did at school, I forgot all about it, you reminded me. I remember cutting my fingers to pieces and taking a chunk out of my hand, blood everywhere. Too heavy handed in them days, wanted everything doing NOW.
    Looking forward to your SAFE, HAPPY, CREATIVE posts. Take great care.

  14. Looking forward to joining in with the activities. I’m trying to do the same with my class ladies in my little facebook group.

    Doing our best to stay positive and creative xx

    You stay safe too Barb xx

  15. Just can’t think how the near future is going to shape up, so many things happening its hard to keep up with the changes. I will find out tomorrow what my job has in store for me, as I work in a school everything is up in the air. Don’t do well with change, so I will take one day at a time…

  16. Stay safe my lovely.
    It’s difficult times for us all at the moment but we have our arty crafty things to take our mind off things for a respite from things going on around us.
    I hope you’re mum and dad stay safe and wish them well.
    I am just finishing off some secret stuff then I think I’m going to resurrect my blog. I will have to think about how I can make it into a more inspirational place.
    And please Barbara will you take some time out for yourself. I know you are the boss and you are looking after your staff and customers but you and Dave must look after yourselves too.
    Lots of love and hugs xxx (virtual of course)

  17. Dear Barbara. Thank you for your wonderful blog, something to look forward to. I haven’t been to the shops for ages, but it sounds awful. Hope you are all ok. Look forward to all the things you have got planned, I am sure it will be good. You are such a wonderful team . Take care. Xxxx

  18. Look forward to your blogs and the crafty things you are going to be doing. Just make sure you and Dave have plenty of rest you’ll need your strength too, watching out for your parents as well. Thank you for all you do already to keep us going. Really appreciate it. First and foremost look after

  19. Thank you for all the lovely things you do & plan to do for us lovely Claritystamp team! Thank you to everyone else too, we’re in the at risk group so we’re self isolating just in case. We’re struggling to get shopping delivered right now, so fingers crossed we get some soon x

  20. Hi Barb,
    I’m looking forward to all of these things you have planned for us. Clarity is a wonderful company especially with you at the helm. I think that in the coming weeks/ months we are all going to have to dig deep and there’s a lot of people out there who should be taking a long,hard look at themselves now – ie the panic buyers and those that are bulk buying to rip others off by selling at extortionate prices! Sorry , rant over! I hope your Mum and Dad will be ok ,it will be hard for them but I’m sure they will be fine. I’m just hoping that my sister will get back from Switzerland next week. Had word today that our leisure centres are closed from tonight so that’s my swimming gone ( even though the chlorine would probably kill any germs) . Don’t know what I’m going to do for exercise now as I can’t walk very far because of my knee – I’ll have to devise something in house. Thank you for thinking of us all and please remember to keep yourself and Dave safe. Love and hugs,Alison xx

  21. Glad you managed to get to the last pottery session and see your parents Barbara. What you are planning sounds like a great idea and will be sure to help keep everybody busy and their spirits up. Take care. x

  22. We have sort of been on lock down since Monday when are girls said dad mum you need to isolate you are high risk then today they safe it safe to spend mother’s day without as children are Cariers so was upset not to be seeing them poor Leannah found out today the exams she has spend last two years preparing for are cancelled thank God for video call in all ways so can at least see each other. Look after yourself a Hope dad and mum stay sane and you Barbara and Dave lots love everyone cx

  23. Thanks for this blog post Barb, inspiration to everyone. Clarity is just brilliant. Hope your Mum and Dad are ok. Stay safe everyone. Bx

  24. Thank you for the wonderful words Barbara. Looking forward to the new activities. Take care of your Mum and Dad, the Clarity team and yourselves.

  25. I thoroughly agree with your comments. In a small way, for me personally, it will be a time to take stock and realise that we don’t have to be rushing around all the time and we can find that still, small space in ourselves to think about what is really important in our lives. I have so many unfinished crafty projects and this will give me plenty of time to work through them at my own pace. We are in lock down now and I’ve suddenly realised how good it is to slow down a bit. I hope that all my crafty friends will find something meaningful in this time and that we will all come out the other end well and happy.

  26. I have to say what an uplifting group the Clarity community are! Looking forward to seeing all your plans and ideas for the coming months. I’m in a strange position because , unlike everyone else who is starting to reduce social contact, I’m going back to work on Monday! I retired as a senior nurse at the end of December & they’ve asked me to go back to help run the maternity service. So I’m back to getting up early every day and less time for Crafting than I had planned! Take care everyone and look after yourselves.

    1. Hi Deborah,
      What would we do workout people like you.
      To all the people who had retired , who worked on the NHS and are now going back to help out in this terrible time , I thank you for all you do to look after us in the good times and the bad.
      Thank you.
      Lynn xxx 💖

  27. Thank you for all your efforts on our behalf. We’re in it for the long haul now. I have self-isolated but can still get out on the Forest each day with the dog. I hope you will have time to enjoy the spring unfolding; so much changes every day, often the four seasons in one day up here, of course!
    Take care, all of you. Judy x

  28. Thank you Barbara to you and your team for always sharing positivity, creativity, happiness and inspiration. Unfortunately, I am not on facebook to join your groups but do read both blogs everyday – would never not read. Always watch the videos which I really enjoy and learn from. Everything the Clarity Team does is exceptional – blogs, videos, products, blogs, etc,etc. I truly appreciate and admire you and the Clarity Team. I live in Canada so have never attended your events but always know you and your Team always share positivity, kindness, creativity and happiness which is always needed and truly appreciated.

    Thank you for caring for your crafty family and “doubling” your efforts. It would be awesome to be a fly on the wall at a Clarity planning session – I can just imagine how amazing it would be- the energy, excitement and creative thinking shared would be incredible.

    Truly appreciate all you do but please remember to take care of you and your families.
    Wishing the Clarity Team well during these very challenging times. Keep well and safe!

  29. Thanks Barb and the team for all of your past and future input to myself and fellow crafters, I think you may have lots of surprises for us to keep us all busy and challenged, nothing like a new craft challenge to keep the old brain distracted from negative thoughts. My husband and myself have been in lockdown since Monday, with the kids dropping off bits of shopping at the door and taking the dogs out. I am in my 70’s healthy but with c..p spine and joints and himself 80 with heart and breathing problems, but he ain’t going anywhere soon as if he goes does go down his defib shocks back him into action. He has “come back” from a massive heart attack and last year a significant bleed on the brain, owing his recoveries to the wonderful Liverpool Heart hospital and Liverpool Walton Neuro Centre. The kids fondly call their Dad Lazerus, for the obvious reasons. Taking advantage of the lockdown I have lots to do. 1) keeping on top of the dog hairs from Madam Nuala our whippet and Gizmo our son’s trail hound who has a permanent heavy moult, but never goes bald! Gizmo comes to us Mon. to Fri. 8.30 to 5.30 and has sleepovers if our son and his partner have a night out or a holiday, a bit like a four legged grand child really! haha. 2) I shall be making all my 60 plus Christmas cards with my lovely Groovi plates, no last minute rush this year!!! 3) After years of nagging from our kids, I will be getting out ALL the boxes of old family photographs, (including the ones I inherited from my Mum, Nan and my husbands Nan and Auntie) and writing on the back of the photo’s who the people are, where they are and who they are to my family. Because after all I am going to pop my clogs at sometime, just not now! Most things old or historical end up in our house (no quips about me and himself please). I am now the eldest in my small extended family and allegedly ” the fount of all knowledge” as far as the family history is concerned. It’s a good job I love delving into this with the help of my history and heritage site along with all those snippets of conversation that little ears, all those years ago picked up, haha, plus I was always as a child and in later life interested in the “olden days”, gleaning lots of verbal local history from my older relatives. I now answer questions for her school work from my great granddaughter, about MY olden days. 4) Going out in my garden to do some light gardening work, at the same time getting my quota of fresh air, vitamin D and exercise, no hardship as I love working in my garden, whatever the weather. I am well stocked up compost so I can prick out and pot on all my seedlings. 5) If and only if I have time, I may get around to some ironing, not REALLY needed as I am a keen folder of clean washing. 6)I am a member of or local Rock Choir but we have had to abandon our session for the time being, on the plus side I have our song downloads on line, so hopefully I will be word and pitch perfect by the time we start up again. On the minus side, I have seen your SHACC tag and I now have a “song worm” in my ear, playing a continuous loop of Love Shack, love shack baby! Thanks for that Barb. Sorry if this missive has taken up a lot of space, but if I have been able to give at least one person a much needed laugh then my job is done. Keep safe, keep happy and keep on crafting, you know it makes sense. xx

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