Come and join the party!

Come and join the party!

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. It’s a winter wonderland here in the southeast. Bit of chaos on the roads as always too. Dave had a time of it trying to navigate the company van through Kent early this morning, but he’s a good driver. I think he was glad to get back behind the wheel of his 4-wheel drive truck though!

As for me, I’m on drawing duty, editing duty and general planning duty. And now I’m feeling brighter and more switched on, I’m also looking ahead – not only to the up and coming TV shows, but also our own Clarity Events. So this blog is about the bigger picture events, the Open Day Festival, the retreats etc.

We have attracted a lot of new customers since Hochanda acquired Create & Craft, and they may not be aware that we have these special occasion events.

First up, it’s the Open Days Festival.

I mentioned yesterday that this year’s Open Day festivities in June are being planned already. Now we have made the tickets available online, so I hope you can come and join in the fun. It’s a real celebration of all things Clarity. We take over a huge hall in Ditton near Maidstone for 2 days. Massive carpark, easy to find, great facilities, kitchen for making sandwiches and refreshments – perfect for us. Then we fill it. With some of the best art and craft demonstrators in the business. They show you tricks and techniques all day every day. This year we’ve already got Leonie Pujol, Eileen Godwin and Sam Crowe headlining on the stamps, ink and mixed media front. Tina Cox and Jane Telford are confirmed on the Groovi parchment side, Glynis Whitehead is manning the snip clinic. Hazel Edwards is leaping into action with her Groovi Make n Takes, and Sonia Goodliff and Tina Morris are running the stamping Make n Takes together. Paul’s in charge of the Fresh cut Die and Paper demos – and we’re still waiting on confirmation from others. I may even sneak in a cheeky demo or two myself! Thing is, I just love talking and mingling and catching up with friends – old and new.

I shall be hopping about, giving away loads of excellent raffle prizes on the hour every hour. And that’s what your entry ticket buys you: not only a superb day spent with like minded people, but a raffle ticket for the whole day too!

Of course, we set out a huge shop all around the outside, with loads of wonderful artboards, which you can look at and take pictures of. Dave is heads down at the till, always smiling, always chatting.

Yes, all in all, a great couple of days – that biggest event in our Clarity Calendar. People come from all over the country. They stay in local hotels and make a mini holiday of it. They hook up with Facebook friends, with SHAC mates. Over the years I have watched true and lasting friendships be born at these events. It is quite something.

Clarity Open Days in Ditton (near Maidstone, Kent)

Available HERE £8 per day (club discount does not apply)

Next on the agenda are our Ditton Summer Retreats

Every year for many many years now, I have run 2-day workshops in the summer. We also use the Ditton Community Centre, because as I say, the facilities are excellent, and the staff there are just lovely. Usually we do 3 blocks of 2 days, but this year, given my health, I have reduced it to 2 blocks. I’m sure you understand.

Two days of just immersing yourself in ink, stamping, stencils, a Groovi session – just being arty with like-minded people. I run the workshop, and my dear friend Paul helps me.

8th & 9th August – SOLD OUT
10th & 11 August – Available HERE £220 (less club discount)

Finally to round of the year off, our annual Parchment Retreat at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells

This year Tina Cox and I will be hosting the event together, with our helpers Paul and Hazel. The theme will be Colour and Composition. You know when you see Tina’s work the first thing that you think is “How does she layer up her art?! And know how does she work out which parts to colour and expose?!?” Well, that’s what we‘re going to work on. It will be excellent. It always is. And again, this year, instead of two 2-day sessions, we are just doing one. Travelling gently, and all that.

Available HERE £250 (less club discount)

You can either book online HERE or give Jeannine a call and she will take your booking for you. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8am until 4.30pm – 01732 868215

So there you go. That’s looking ahead, across the Clarity Calendar.

If you have been to the Open Days, why not tell us how you found the experience below? We strive to ensure that it is a kind, generous and FEEL GOOD experience for our guests.

Today‘s Quote of the Day?

The only way to have a friend is to be one

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love always,

Barb x x x

22 thoughts on “Come and join the party!

  1. You are right about good friends being made, I joined th East Northants Groovi Group when they had dinner in the hotel we stayed at for the Open Day at Leyburn. Then met and encourage someone to join ENGG at our first Parchment Retreat. Crafting makes friendships.

  2. Booked both days and local Airbnb to make a holiday from the trip down south. Well worth the effort, 2 wonderful days of crafty hints and tips along with make & takes whilst OH goes off exploring on the local trains and buses. It is great to meet up with people you have only seen as a name in the SHAC or on FB. The hourly raffle is a bonus so don’t lose your raffle ticket after the first draw thinking it is all done 😂.
    A few familiar faces in the photos !!

  3. Hello Barbara
    The Open Days and Retreats are brilliant and I have met and made some fantastic friends. I am booked on the parchment retreat but am holding fire on the others at the moment. Will see if I have recovered from my Christmas/New Year adventure before I sign up.

  4. Already booked again for the Groovi Retreat, if you are dubious about going alone please dont be, have been twice on my own and each time have met more friendly people. You learn so much its well worth the money and cant wait to meet the lovely Tina Cox this year xxx

  5. I do wish I could be in England for all of these. Perhaps one of these years I will be able to arrange it and spend a great few days being surrounded by everything clarity.

  6. Hello Barbara, I attended the clarity open day last year for the first time-I went on my own and although I was a bit apprehensive about being on my own I had nothing to worry about.
    I would love to go again but unfortunately I think I will have to give it a miss this year.
    I’m sure you will all have a great time.
    I so wish there was a stampers group near me.

  7. I’ve booked my tickets for the Open Days and am really looking forward to them. Loved last year that’s why I’m attending both days this.
    For the first time, I am not going to be able to attend the Spa Retreat. I have always attended the event on my own and have enjoyed every minute so if you are at all apprehensive about going alone, don’t be, your fellow parchers are a warm and welcoming bunch and the tuition is excellent.

  8. The Clarity Open days are just amazing! – It really is a show case of team Clarity at their best. A wonderful family business that just goes one step further than the others. The demos are so inspiring and then there’s the shopping! – It’s like being in the best sweetie shop ever! And while immersing yourself in the joy of it all, you, Barbara jump on your chair and give away the most generous prizes to the lucky ticket holder. I wouldn’t miss it for anything and yes, I go on my own and thoroughly enjoy myself! 😊

  9. What are the Clarity Open Days like? Well, Lionel Bart put it quite nicely in his little musical –
    “Consider yourself at home,
    Consider youself one of the family,
    We’ve taken to you so strong,
    It’s clear we’re going to get along!”
    Lots of friends, even if you haven’t met them yet! Plenty of inspiration and tuition from awesome crafters and artists!
    So much time to meet lovely like minded people in an amazingly friendly and happy environment!
    As young Oliver said, “Please sir, can I have some more?”
    So I’ve got tickets for both days!

  10. Booked the 2 day retreat ages ago. Even though I could drive to and fro each day I prefer to book a couple of nights away from home so it really does feel like a mini holiday. If anyone is concerned about being on their own don’t be it’s lovely being able to put faces to names from fb and the Shac and you soon get to know other people. Wouldn’t miss it.

  11. I managed to get to Ditton last year and can assure you whether you are on your own or with friends you will be amongst friends there and feel at home amongst so many names you know. What a treat. I have to get some appointments done at Cardiology before I shall know if can go but go I will if humanly possible. Take it east Barbara.x

  12. I really do wish I could still attend these events as I thoroughly enjoyed the parchment retreat a couple of years ago. Unfortunately distance and health matters restrict our travel but I know all who attend will have a thoroughly good time.
    Good to see you getting back in the swing of things and planning your activities carefully. Great you have so much support.
    No frost or snow here so far but the new knitted cardigans will keep me warm when it arrives.
    Stay well. 🍒🍒🍒

  13. Car full from Ravenswood WI card making club booked for the Friday and looking forward to it. I’m also booked on a retreat as a mini holiday again.

  14. Compared to a lot of people I am a newcomer to all things Clarity. I had seen one or two videos on YouTube and I do remember meeting Paul at the NEC once but it was really lockdown in 2020 that got me hooked. No idea how I came to find the SHAC but I was hooked….and so very grateful to have something to look forward to each day. I told my husband that “I would love to meet that lady (Barbara) one day and tell her face to face how grateful I am”. Last year when the open days were announced I SO wanted to go, but knew I would never drive that far (a horrible experience with an uninsured drunk driver meant that my confidence in driving long distances had gone….even as a passenger!). I booked my ticket, my train ticket, my hotel room…..completely out of my comfort zone but I was determined to go! I HAD THE LOVELIEST TIME! I really didn’t even notice that I was on my own. Everyone was so friendly. The only concern I have this year is the flippin train strikes!!

  15. So looking forward to the retreat. Miffed I am working on the Friday of the Open Days and can’t get down for the Saturday. Roll on retirement from teaching in August 2025.

  16. Hi Barbara
    Went to an open day when it was at the Rugby club had a great day my sister won a great raffle prize as well just a bit far this year maybe next year. Love the quote have joined a couple of craft clubs down here since moving and made some great friends. I’m even going to help someone on their groovi journey she has Parkinson’s so will find it a challenge but if she’s willing so will I be.
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  17. such a great quote Barbara!. I love the Open Days – booked tickets for the Saturday with my sister & friend, who are coming to stay with me. Am already booked on the retreat – it’s my annual treat to myself and worth every penny!
    I always have a fab time at Clarity events catching up with people and making new friends x

  18. Hi Barbara it’s wonderful that you are feeling so much better but please don’t run before you can walk and listen to
    your body. This event as always sounds wonderful but we are on holiday on those dates. One day I’ll be able to visit.

    Best wishes

  19. Hello Barb, great to hear that your health is on the Up and Up. Take care of yourself though. I would love to come to the events in Ditton, but we will be away. One year when we have both retired, we will be able to travel around more freely without having to book leave in advance. Love the quote, and it is very true isn’t it. Take care and stay safe and warm everyone. Bx

  20. Love the Open Days, been going for quite a few years now usually for the two days, hoping we can be there again this year. If you are in doubt about going, don’t be, everyone is so friendly and helpful. We all get to wear name badges as we go in so you’ll soon recognise lots of familiar names from Barb’s Blog and the Clarity Communiity on Facebook. Great demonstrations from the Clarity Team, lots of super prizes in the raffles, the highlight of the year for me.xx

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