Sunday, 14 February 2016

A moment or two or three or four of Clarity!

It really is hard to believe that I have only been working at Clarity for a month and a half.

It feels as if I have always been there.

So much has been going on at Clarity Towers since I have arrived and whatever is thrown at the team, they take it all in there stride - amazing!

From what I have seen and been involved with in the past month - things at Clarity are about to rise to to the next level of awesomeness! 

There has been so much going on behind the scenes to get everything up and running for the launch of the brand new Members Design Cubs in January, including a brand new website ( so that we could offer customers the option of paying by monthly installments. 
(You still need to carry on shopping at

Like most things technical, until it goes "Live" you never can be sure how it is going to go despite all the behind the scenes testing - so yes we had a few glitches, hiccups and delays but pleased to say that all is now running okay.

A big
to all the customers who have been patient and understanding as we have worked through the new process of getting things up and running - it has been great talking to so many customers and friends and sharing the excitement.

The uptake has been amazing with the phones ringing off the hook ever since!

Don't worry if you are still undecided or have not joined up yet - the clubs will never sell out and will always be available!

If you want to know more, check out Barbara's Blog with more information HERE

Well that is all from me for now. I will be back soon with more exciting news and all things Clarity!

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 17 January 2016

What's it all about? Clarity

The title of today's post reminds me of the song Alfie

What's it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie
I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie
When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie

The past 2 weeks have flashed past with a hive of activity with all things crafty!

My new job at Clarity, really doesn't feel like a new job, it's as if I have always been there - a brand new ready made family.

Barbara and Dave have created a great team and I feel very lucky to be part of it.

What a view!

2016 at Clarity is looking mighty fine!

When Barbara first created Claritystamp, the name told you what the company was about - Clarity and Stamps. 

Over the years, the company has grown and to keep up with the ever growing crafting industry. Clarity has added to it's core product range to include Stencils and the new Groovi Parchment System.

The Groovi Parchment System is taking the crafting industry by storm and opened the doors on Parchment to existing parchers and new parchers, young and old.

Do you remember when Barbara introduced the Gelli Plate and then the Stencils? It was everywhere and rightly so as it was something different to dies, decoupage, CD's.

Has Clarity forgotten about stamping?

Working alongside the team at Clarity tells me that this is not the case.

Like any new popular, unique product launch, any company in their right mind would be silly not to promote and advertise it as much as possible. Look at when a car company launches a new model, the adverts are all over the place, TV, newspapers, magazines, hoardings etc.

So although it seems that everything is Groovi, Groovi, Groovi at the moment, stamps are and always will be the core of the business.

So, I thought that I would share some of my creations from over the years - Facebook is amazing of keeping a virtually memory of times gone by.........

If you are free on Sunday 24th January - I will be live on Hochanda at 10am, 2pm and 5pm with All things Clarity!

After any of the Clarity TV shows, the amazing Design Team post pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and on there Blogs - so make sure you check them out for some amazing inspiration.

Did you know that there is a Clarity Challenge Blog?
Here is the link: CHALLENGE BLOG 

and don't forget Barbara's Blog where she blogs every day

Happy Crafting

Paul x

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year and what a year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a safe and peaceful New Years Eve. 

As one door closes, another opens and a magical and crafty door has opened for me in a very big way............ in 2015 I made a massive decision to give up my job of nearly 14 years and follow my dream of working in the craft industry.

I am very lucky to have worked for such a great company for nearly 14 years - a massive part of my adult life, an extended family - so many memories that will last forever...........

But a new door has opened and on Monday 4th January 2016 I officially start work at one of the top businesses in the craft industry - Claritystamp Limited. Clarity is run by my very good friends Barbara and Dave and I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work alongside them both. 

Clarity is known for top quality products and in the past 2 years the product range has increased to include stencils and the amazing Groovi system. It does not feel like I will be starting a new job as I know all of the staff already - it will be just like joining another family..........

The Clarity diary for 2016 is crammed full of so many exciting things and I can't wait to share!!!!!!!! 

My new role will see me have many heads just like Worzel Gummidge! (Am I showing my age?)

Me on a good day!

To list a few of my many heads - Operations Manager, Trade Account Manager, Show Planner, TV Demonstrator...........

A song that seems to sum up the year ahead from my favourite artist - Barbra Streisand

On a clear day
Rise and look around you
And you'll see who you are
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star
You'll feel part of every mountain sea and shore
You can hear
From far and near
A word you've never, never heard before...
And on a clear day...On a clear day...
You can see forever...
And ever...
And ever...
And ever more. . .

I will try and keep my Blog more up to date (fingers crossed).

Wishing you all a wonderful, safe, happy, healthy and crafty New Year

Paul xxx

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Ho Ho Hochanda!

Well this seems to be a regular thing with it being a month again since my last post and what a month it has been!

It has been a month of quite a few new things.......................

The beginning of the month saw my return to the retail shows and what a way to start - 4 totally manic days at the NEC in Birmingham. It was great being part of Team Clarity, working alongside Barbara and Maria and the team of Jayne, Len and Heather keeping everything running smoothly - totally amazing! A big thanks to everyone that stopped by to say hello, have a chat, congratulate me on my new job and watch me getting Groovi! If the empty shelves had anything to go by at the end of each day, you sure do like getting Groovi too! The only pic I can find of me at the NEC was taken by the lovely Maggie Craner - thanks Maggie - not!!! Despite the slapped arse looking face, I really did enjoy myself

Actually, I think I will run a little caption competition, Whoever can me laugh the most, I will send them a little something :-)

Then on Sunday 22nd saw my very first appearance on Hochanda - Home of Craft Hobbies and Art (Sky 663, Freeview 39 & Freesat 817) I had a 3 fantastic shows, my first one with my very good friend Hayley West

I have known Hayley for many years as she used to run a shop in Redditch - she is a very talented and knowledgeable lady with so much craft expertise. Hayley then turned to demonstrating various products on TV and my very first show was Hayleys 3rd or 4th show as a presenter with no training and she was great. 

So you can imagine how upset and angry I was when I read the negative comments about Hayley. Seriously guys, anyone that has ever done live TV shows will know how stressful they can be - there are so many things you need to be aware of as a guest - as for the presenters, well I take my hat off to each and everyone one of them - they have 2 people talking to them through an earpiece, have a conversation with the guest, make sure that they look at the right camera and read the products off of the screen. I have only ever had an earpiece once and it is very difficult not to respond out loud when the producer/director tells you something.

I really wish that I could give the people who complain about presenters the opportunity to be one themselves and then see what they have to say - moan over. 

Yes, I agree that during the first hour we did spend too long going along the counter, which we changed in the 2nd hour so that I could spend more time on demo's - it was a learning curve for us both. 

Hochanda want to do things differently and after appearing on C&C on and off for nearly 1o years, I also need to change the way in which I do things on the TV - change takes time.......

Anyway, the 3 different hours flew by and I had a great time and made to feel so welcome by everyone at Hochanda.

Thank you to everyone that tuned in to watch, buy and sent me messages - it was very kind of you all x

Hochanda December TV Schedule
Barbara Gray - Sunday 6th
Maria Simms - Wednesday 9th
Paul Church - Sunday 13th 

(I can't remember the times - but keep an eye on my Facebook page and the Clarity Facebook page)

Here are some pics of cards I managed to demo and didn't manage

All things Clarity can be found by clicking the pic below where you can pick up some fantastic offers from the "Gray Weekend"

Don't forget to leave a comment below re the picture from the NEC

Happy Crafting

Paul x

Friday, 30 October 2015

All Change!

It has been just over a month since my last Blog Post and I am half way through working my notice period before heading off to join my new family, Claritystamp Limited.

October has been a mixed month in relation to the craft side of things, although very busy! 

The highlight of the month was doing 4 hours of live TV on Create & Craft for Quay Woodcraft with the most popular product of the 4 hours being the Fantasy Villa which sold out every show - to be honest I was not surprised as it was a silly price. Here are some finished samples that featured on the shows:

You can still get some of them from Create & Craft if you search for Quay or if you are going to the NEC on the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th November you will be able to get them from the Craft Central Stand.

October is also the last month of demoing/workshops with my last one being tomorrow (31st) at a wonderful craft shop on the Isle of Sheppey called Poppy Crafts and we will be getting crafting with some fab products from Claritystamp - 2016 will be Claritystamp all the way!

October also saw the end of me appearing on Create & Craft, I have had the honour and pleasure of doing live TV shows for various companies over the past 10 years and they have always been great fun. However, I will not be disappearing from your TV screens as I am pleased to announce that I will be making my first appearance on Hochanda on Sunday 22nd November with some great products from Clarity - I will be doing 3 live hours and will confirm the details nearer the time.

October also saw me agree to return to the show circuit and I will be joining my new Claritystamp family at the NEC next week - so if you are coming along, pop by and say hello - I will be working alongside the uber talented Barbara Gray, my crafty wife Maria Sims and we will be backed up by the fabulous Clarity Crew of Jayne, Heather & Len. We will have some fantastic show offers as well as the brand new, A3 Clarity Calendar and the also brand new Groovi Storage system

Today is also a special day for me, as it is 3 years since my mum unexpectedly passed away, I posted this poem on my Facebook earlier today and was overwhelmed by all the love and support I have received today and the past 3 years xxx

In memory of my Mum, here is a couple of both of our favourite songs

So, until next time

Happy Crafting xxxx

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Follow the dream...............................

and what a dream it is to follow..................

Some of you will already have seen my Facebook post earlier this week where I made a massive announcement and I was overwhelmed and blown away by the response I received.

For many years I have also been involved in the craft industry and have been lucky enough to turn what was once a hobby into a part-time hobby, working alongside some of the best in the industry - WS Designs, Pinflair, Katy Sue Designs, Jayne Nestorenko to name just a few. It has allowed me to travel up and down the UK attending retail shows, shop demos and workshops as well as appearing on Shopping TV - the only downside was being limited with my time as I had to use my holiday from my day job. 

Yes, a lot of people will be surprised to hear that I have a normal job Monday to Friday

For all of my working life (26 years!) I have always worked in London and commuted to London, either from Peckham in South London where I grew up, or Tunbridge Wells in Kent where I have lived for the past 16 years. 14 of those years have been spent working at an amazing company in Mayfair where I have seen both the company and myself grow. When I first joined, it consisted of just 7 people, now there are in excess of 40 people. The people I work with on a day to day basis are like an extended family.

Over the past 5 years or so, I have also had the opportunity to work alongside Barbara Gray  and the great team at Claritystamp, from making samples, helping at retail shows, demoing at the open days and also on the annual retreats. With the recent launch of a fantastic new product range called Groovi, to say things at Clarity have gone crazy is an understatement. 

For several of these years, Barbara and Dave have been trying to persuade me to join the team on a full time basis and I have always said that it would be a dream job, but it was not to be. That was until recently when Dave had a health scare and I saw from firsthand experience how much pressure they and the whole Clarity team were under and how quickly things can change. So that was when the switch was flicked, you never know what is around the corner..........................

It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life, giving up a job that I have enjoyed for the past 14 years, working with some of the most amazing people who are like family, but it is a decision I know is for the best. There will be lots of changes to to be made and adapt to, but all in a good way. When I finally leave and join Clarity, it will not be like starting a new job, it will be like becoming part of another family. 

So even though the decision has been made and I have handed in my notice, I still have to work through the 3 month notice period and still have existing crafting commitments to fulfill, it looks like 2016 is going to be a year to remember!

Over the next few months, I will continue to juggle my daily commute, my crafting and giving a helping hand to the Clarity team.

Crafting wise - In October I will be at my favourite craft store, Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden, a couple of TV shows and a few more appearances here and there!

So, once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for the love and support and all I can say is....................................

Watch this space!

Happy Crafting :-)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Fit to burst with Clarity & Color Burst!

Wowser, what a mad and wonderful past few days.

Some of you will know that on Friday & Saturday, Clarity held another 2 day Open Day in Crowborough where people could come along and watch Barbara and some of her design team members getting all creative with all things Clarity and other crafty stuff.

Thursday was the set up day, we started around 9.30am and finished by 7pm - a long but very worthwhile day

On Friday this was taken around 11am when everyone had started to arrive

It was a fantastic 2 days and I had great fun using Fusible Film and Fusible Fibres as well as a brand new product from the USA called Color Burst, created by Ken Oliver (more details to follow)

This was some of the team at the end of day 1 having Fish & Chips back at Barbara's

It was great to see so many lovely crafty friends, new and old

Here is a pic of all the demonstrators

Left to right: Sam Crowe, me, Maria Simms, Barbara, Dee Paramour and Sally-Ann Haynes - a great team to work with

Once the 2nd day was done and dusted and the truck had been loaded up and the hall had been cleaned, I went back to Barbara's for more food with some of the "Behind the Scenes Team" from Clarity

Barbara has just done a Step-By-Step Blog Post using the magic that is Color Burst and you can check it out HERE

Here are some more samples of what I got upto over the past few days

Color Burst is an amazing product and later in the week I will be explaining more about it and what it can do 

Happy Crafting :-)