Friday, 25 April 2014

THE NEW DESIGN CLUB IS NEW ALL OVER AGAIN!

Hello there!
TGIF, eh!



How can such a short week last so long???

But anyway, thanks for stopping by, and spending some time with me.

Friday’s blog a private peek, remember?
Yesterday, I was thinking about the Clarity New Design Club, and I thought I would roll back the years a few, and tell you how it started...

Way back when, I forget which year, but it was years before I appeared on the telly, I started the first Mail order stamp club in the UK. Let me tell you how the idea was born, because I remember it very well. In those days, the Ally Pally Exhibition took place at the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington. 



Well, there was an elderly lady at the stand, and I noticed her filling her basket. And I mean filling it! So I started chatting to her, and it came to light that she really wasn’t sure what she was buying or what to do with it all. Sound familiar? She had watched me do a few demos, and wanted to reproduce what I had done. And then I had a lightbulb moment. Start a Project Club, so that people could build a sensible and meaningful collection of stamps and ink pads and accessories, whilst learning what to do with it.
 And that, my friends, was where it all began. 

 Every month, I would make a card, take a photo of it, get them developed at the Chocolate Box sweet shop in Edenbridge, write and type the card instructions, write a newsletter, photocopy the lot, stick the photos on - and stuff loads of envelopes. 
The kids helped, too, I can tell you!!
 That’s how they earned their pocket-money.
I can remember they would sit in the living-room, surrounded by little stamps, inserts and poly-bags. And if their friends came round, they got roped in, too!
All I can tell you is: 
PIECE WORK RULES!!!!




So many little photos and bags and envelopes!
It was quite an undertaking. 

Then down to Sid the Postmaster in Edenbridge again, with sack fulls! Many of you reading this blog will remember those days! 
I certainly do! 

A poignant moment here: 
The Chocolate Box and Silesh are gone,
The Post Office and Sid are gone.
But I’m not !! No way! 
Have Ipad, will rock!
The Project Club was superseded some years ago, by a much improved New Design Club, which includes a 
brand new stamp each month. 
The Clarity-Club has gone from strength to strength; our members run to well over 2,500 now, and although I still do most of the design and layout - several others are now involved in the process. Wanda works pretty much full time at it!
Yesterday, we were putting the finishing touches to the latest monthly instalment, No. 91. Wow. 
And I have to say, I am so proud of it now. I think you really do get value for money. The new full colour printed step-by-step photos are a welcome change. No more gluing the photos on for a start! But more than that, it’s a real team effort. Jim, Wanda, the stamp-makers and myself are always either planning ahead, or scrambling to meet deadlines! I invariably hold the game up because I haven’t written the Newsletter!
It was the first and is now the largest Stamp Club in Britain.
We don’t shout about it, but that’s a fact.
Quite amazing, when you know where and how it started...

So if you are in our club, thank you for keeping it going, 
and giving us a reason to keep going!
If you aren’t in our Club, 
but you really like Claritystamps and the way I put it,
then perhaps now is a good time to join! 
There are lots of reasons for joining, 
not least 10% Member’s discount.  



To celebrate our longevity today, 
let’s have a special subscription price this weekend.
(Rejoiners can take advantage, too; even if your subs aren’t due, we can add the next 12 months to your account!)

If you want to know more about the Club
and what it entails,
click here 
for the 
SPECIAL OFFER 




much love,

51 comments:

  1. WOW ! Just look what you can achieve from small beginnings. I have to be honest & say that I've never read about the design club on the blog, but I will put the kettle on & take it all in. You must be very proud of the family / team effort over all that time. I shall go & whet my appetite

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been a member for quite a while and look forward to the new stamp and designs each month.....but the best bit is the newsletter. Always a good read and invariably a snippet to make me laugh! Love the discount too! Thank you Barbara......

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love being in the NDC, I get a guaranteed crafty treat every month. The new improved step by step guide is so helpful and well the newsletter, it's definitely the way you tells 'em. Keep up the good work team X

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Barbara. From little acorns grow..... You should be very proud of all that you have achieved so far : ) Sadly can't afford to join at the moment and I know it's far too early to be mentioning it but that is my Christmas present from my husband sorted out, thank you. Have a great weekend. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, got that wrong didn't I. Should read Great Oaks from little acorns grow! x

      Delete
  5. I love this club but tell you what would be great, in the manage my account on the clarity website, can it tell you when your subscription is due. Maybe it does but dopey dian here cant find it. It ran out last year and I didn't realise and missed my stamp. Thats when I realised!!

    Will be taking advantage of the special offer however, when ever mine runs out for this year

    Mx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Morning Barbara, the Club is the best one I have ever been in. Can't wait every month to see what we're going to be treated with. And you should see my face beaming when I open my post box, and see the enveloppe. My neighbours probably think I am "the Mad hatter" at least once a month...... Thanks ever so much to that lady at the Ally Pally shows, years ago and to you to keep creating new projects and stamps or stencils for us.
    Laurence xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love it each month when that lovely big clarity envelope comes through the door. The newsletters are an added bonus to the great stamps and stencils that come with it . Thank you Barbara
    Lynne x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good morning,
    I think Friday is so delightful with a peak into some wonderful memory, idea, and always inspirational. Fantastic,,,

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Barb,
    Great to read how the NDC began all those years ago and thanks to that old lady! I heard about your club when you started on the telly, but always thought I couldn't afford it because I had different subscriptions going on at the time. Anyway last October I thought I would cancel other things and as I love Clarity , I would join the NDC. Didn't really know what I would get but I wasn't disappointed! I love it! Every month my little treat to myself comes through the letterbox - a stamp or a stencil (don't mind which!) and a couple of step by steps and of course the newsletter which I love - your humour is infectious by the way! To anybody wondering whether to join - all I can say is - just go for it, you won't be disappointed AND there's the discount too!! Thanks Barb and everyone involved. Love Alison xxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember the days of the stuck on photos - the club is such a good idea. Circumstances meant I let my membership lapse a couple of years ago but now it's time for me to rejoin. I got some money unexpectedly the other day and with the special offer for joining this seems like the ideal way to spend my windfall.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A wonderful trip down memory lane! I am in my second year of club membership and I love, love love it! It's so cool waiting for my Clarity envelope to arrive! Thank you! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too let my membership lapse as it's renewal date was the end of December .... need I say more. I've been meaning to organise a renewal but always something else more pressing comes up. Fact of life, particularly when you have kids! Anyway this discount will spur me on to treat myself to an early birthday present. I love the design club stamps I've collect, they have been really useful to dip into. The only thing is they come in a envelope with Clarity emblazoned across it ... how can I hide that from husband when it lands on the door mat! Thanks Barbara and all the team for your continued hard work and inspiration. Ela x

    ReplyDelete
  13. love getting your stamps every month cannot wait for the next newsletter to come xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm in my third year of being a member of the NDC and just love getting my monthly newsletter and stamp/stencil. If you're considering becoming a member you won't be disappointed. Lovely to hear how it all started Barbara, it's amazing how such an idea has grown from a conversation with an elderly lady keen on replicating your demonstrations. Thank you! xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your ability to go from thought to making it happen is amazing and yet it always starts with a thought of how to help the people who buy your products. xx Peace work Yeh my Mam believed in that too, we used to have to count bags and bags of money for her from the school funds which she had to bring home to keep safe???? and fill envelopes with letters going to parents. Them were the days eh. I love the new NDC Magazine it was good before but now its great. Some companies doing this would stick in any old stamp, but not Clarity, it always feels really special when you see what lovely stamps or stencils you get with the newsletters. Where do you find your pictures, it makes me laugh because you always have just the right picture???

    ReplyDelete
  16. I look forward to receiving mine catching up on what you and dave been up to the surprise stamp or stencil just love it and the waiting when others got there's teasing each other all adds to the fun xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Barb, well how it has grown, I think I am in my 4th year now, and absolutely love it. I look forward to that envelope every month, and the first thing I do is put the stamp/stencil and how to instructions aside, sit down with a cuppa and read the newsletter, then go look at what stamp was there and the instructions, and try think what I can do with them. I have them all since I joined, in my folder with the instructions, all in separate sections, and I often page through for a giggle, inspiration or just to enjoy the images. Which has reminded me, I think I will need a new folder soon. Thank you to you and all the team involved Barb, it is pure joy, and long may it continue. Bx

    ReplyDelete
  18. I too am a member of your fabulous Design Club Barbara and get very excited when the envelope comes through the door. It is a good excuse to sit down with a cup of tea, look at the stamp and project and have a good chuckle at your newsletter . Even though Clarity has grown over the years it still has a really good family feel about it which is lovely and your service is always fantastic. Shame your little village has changed so much over the years though but they say change is good. What do I like about the design club? You get stamps you may not have chosen yourself and you surprise yourself by achieving things you probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. It's great for the little grey (Gray!) cells. Have a good weekend when it gets here Barbara. Love Diane xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. This month's stamp is absolutely gorgeous Barbara. I look forward to the Clarity envelope dropping through the letterbox each month and seeing another new stamp - not to mention reading your newsletter! Good value for money, just £1 a week with this special offer, and I would certainly recommend membership. Pat x

    ReplyDelete
  20. Morning Barbara,
    From small beginnings.........
    I love being a member of the club, newsletter and free stamp every month plus the 10% discount it is great value for money. :-)
    Lorna D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Another member here and I too look forward to my envelope popping through the letterbox. Next job, renew membership. Thank you Barbara and it was lovely to hear how your Club got started and well done on so many members. SueL x

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have been a member for two years and love the stamps and the step by step that you give and the newsletter which invariably is a real laugh. I too look forward to my envelope coming through the door and would say to anyone reading this if your not a member.. why not its a win win. Joan x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello, I have been in the club since the second year I think, I have kept every edition and now have 3 folders on e for the news letters, one for the projects and another one for the chapters you used to do. I love the fact the stamps are brand new designs and the newsletters make me laugh every month. It has been a privilege to be part of the club for so long and am so proud of how far Clarity has come and how successful it is now. Well done to all at Clarity towers, long may it continue!i am truely addicted to all things Clarity!Wx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello Barb. Love the new design club and have been a member for ages and still get a little thrill each time a new stamp arrives - not forgetting your chatty newsletter of course. May you continue for many more years and keep us all in the Clarity family. xx Margaret Col.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been a member for a long time now, and it's one of the best investments you can make. Love the newsletter and stamp or stencil every month - some challenge me a bit, and sit on the craft table until I get a spark of inspiration, but they are all lovely, and it's good to be taken out of your comfort zone once in a while!! I too have a number of folders now...Won't say how many boxes of stamps either! Susan x

    ReplyDelete
  26. I look forward to the envelope dropping on the mat each month - it never fails to delight! Thank you xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Barbara I was a member in the mid 90's but then circumstances changed and when my membership was due I had to leave sadly. I'd love to join again and maybe I will use my birthday money to join again. It's interesting to read how it all started
    Have a great weekend
    Jackie x

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Barbara NDC Love it and usually have a good laugh in the newsletter will be taking up the offer my renewal is due next month anyway so brilliantly timed from my point of view. will be on holiday when the next one is due but guess what envelope will the first i open on returning. Sandyx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well I don't know what happened to my thoughts, took ages to write it pressed the button and whoosh it disappeared never to be seen again-anyway here I go again
    Thank you Barbara and your team for all the hard work over the years, what would we do without your fertile mind xxx
    I've just bought the Cinch and I am going to use the stamps to make my own folder with the stamps on the front showing the contents + another one for the stencils yessssss ..........
    Your newsletter makes lovely teabreak when it arrives through the door every month. One of my favourite stamp was the Robin, I am a bird fanatic and this was a lovely stamp as all are and it's fun seeing your ramblings.... keep up the good work xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Barbara, I have to say I love being in the design club and just renewed my membership two weeks ago so missed out on the offer but that doesn't matter as the club is worth the money and one of my favourite things about receiving each addition is definitely the news letter. Thank you for giving us such a great product xxx

    ReplyDelete
  31. I joined the n.d.c. Club last September as my birthday treat and I have never been disappointed it's like getting a present every month a wonderful stamp or stencil instructions on what you can make and the news letter is fabulous. Thank you for the great offer to renew early and receive the discount crafting hugs to all xxx

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am a fairly new member of the club and have just renewed for another year. I love the idea of having a stamp and instructions on what to do with it, but my favourite part is the newsletter. Barbara I love your writing style, when I read it I can hear your voice saying it! (I know, people who hear voices ..... but you know what I mean.) Long may it continue. x

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Barbara.... love being a member.....happy crafting .....x

    ReplyDelete
  34. I joined the club late last year and I LOVE it. The newsletter is always a joy to read and I really enjoy trying the step by step projects. Your stamp designs are superb and go with so many different projects. Just after I joined there was a half price sale so I ordered some of my favourites (well........... maybe it was a few more than I care to admit!!) I think it's great that your club is the biggest stamp club, you all should feel very proud of all the hard work it takes every month. Here's to many more fantastic years as a member! Thank you for the chance of taking up the special price for subscription, how many times do you see 'brand new customers only' online or in shops. XX

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love the club and look forward to the newsletter just as much as the stamp and project- you have such a way with words!!! Thank you for the great renewal offer. What a super photo of Mark and Grace, I can't imagine ever capturing a photo of my two like that - unfortunately ! x

    ReplyDelete
  36. I really look forward to the newsletter and stamp every month,its a nice surprise when I open it.Well worth joining the club.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Barbara , I only joined sept last year and look forward so much to my monthly "Happy" envelope coming through my letterbox, not just for the stamp, but your newsletter, its so well written and I so enjoy reading it. I want to thank you for your inspiration that you give us. You are such a lovely and talented lady. Also want to say "thank you" to Dave and your team for all their hard work. Take care xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is my first year as a member boy am I happy, I thought it was expensive at first, but I have more than had my money back already.

    Today I had my first wirly stencil the men one, it brilliant bigger than I had in my mine, but now I am desperate for a ladies one too. Please think about it Barbara. xx

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have been a member of the project club and the NDC for many, many years and I still look forward to that envelope every month. I remember my first newsletter - you had just had a motor bike stolen!
    Long may it continue xxx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement. My Clarity white A4 envelope is my most exciting post (apart from the Clarity boxes) It's like getting a jamboree bag as a kid...what will the new stamp be...? What tale will have me in stitches in the newsletter...? Think I may renew early to get your special offer. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have just started my second year and I must say what fantastic value for money the Clarity club is. I love it when my envelope arrives x

    ReplyDelete
  42. A great & inspiring read Barbara - I'm glad you persevered with your vision...and thank goodness the kids helped out too - amazing what a few extra pennies pocket money can encourage them to do eh?
    I look forward to sharing many more years with you as Captain at the helm of the Clarity ship :-)
    Enjoy your evening. Take care, Carole xxx

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you thank you thank you for all your lovely comments re our Clarity Club! Can I quote you ? Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Bit late today, just got back from a fab trip to Hampton Court Palace. Terrible amount of traffic though on way home glad we were on a coach. I could not go to bed without catching up on your blog. Thank goodness for that light bulb moment when you decided on Design club. It is just wonderful, like everyone else I so enjoy receiving that envelope each month. A real treat. Also being able to have a go at the challenge, that really makes me think.
    By the way when I just got back there was nice Clarity box waiting for me , so new stamps and stencils to play with tomorrow. Just great.. Lynne xx

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have put in for my renewal today so that is sorted. Could not do without my monthly Clarity fix. xx Maggie

    ReplyDelete
  46. I will shortly be coming up to the end of my second year of membership. so i will certainly be renewing. i think it is an amazing club to be part of and the newsletter tends to be an entertaining read. hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
  47. That must have been a good family bonding session each month :).
    I wish I had the money to join the club just now :(. One day soon will keep me content.
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy Oyster Stamps
    Denise x

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Barbara, playing catchup with your Blog sorry. I am PROUD to say I am a member of the New Design Club...in my second year now (and will be taking you up on the offer this weekend). I think it is great what you have done with your "little" business ( I should say Family ). Every chance I get I show of my collection of Clarity Stamps and then I show off all my Club Stamps to my friends...I told them to put a pound away each week and not touch it if a lump sum is too much to pay out in one go and then you go and give an offer so they have £6 to spend on a stamp BONUS. Your stamps have changed the way I do all my crafting completely and I so look forward to your newsletter, you make it feel as though you are writing to us individually ( a gift you have ). Long Live Clarity Stamp !!!! Big Hugs to all the team !

    ReplyDelete
  49. I received the membership for Christmas last year and can definitely say that it is well worth the money. I enjoy receiving the newsletter, stamp and project ideas every month and can't wait for the postman to arrive with the next instalment.

    ReplyDelete
  50. The Design Club sounds great and I am certainly thinking about joining. x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x