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 :-)