Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 3 at the NEC

Day 3, Saturd'y, busy at the NEC.

Magpie in the sky, plant a tree, then let it fly.

Take a stencil, stamp and ink; less is more here, don't you think?

But now to sleep, it's been a long stay.

And tomorrow's Day 4. Remembrance Day.

How many years have I done this show?

One day at a time, and blow by blow.

But it's getting harder every season,

Why? Well there's seldom ever just one reason...

Over the years it's changed a lot, and now I struggle when it gets so hot.

My neck really hurts, and my feet are aching, the noise is extreme and the hall is baking.

So if in the future I call it a day, promise me you will continue to play.

Much love to you,

Barb xx

53 comments:

  1. Hey hey my friend you sound down :(
    Never loose focus or strength in what you bring, I know there are so many of us who love what you do, appreciate the oh so hard work and gpfeel that pain with you xxx
    A big cuddle coming your way tomorrow Barbara xx
    Much much love
    Kim xx

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  2. Barbara, we will all continue to support you I am sure even if you do hang up your brayer for the shows, Clarity Stamps are you and they are excellent quality and with a design team such as yours there really is no need to put yourself through this if you feel so awful, nothing is worth that and I am sure that even if you go along occasionally to support your very capable team and show your face, even take over to give whoever is demonstrating a break then I think in light of all the problems with your neck etc people should understand that it isn't because you don't want to do it but your body is protesting in the only way it can to tell you enough is enough lady !! Take care Barbara and if you need to go out for some fresh air, cool down and rest your feet tomorrow then just do it !! ..... Please xx

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    1. Doreen you are so 100% right, hope she listens to you and us, we love her and want her well, not a raggity doll.

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    2. I have to echo this comment too. She could put in an appearance but delegate most of the work.
      We'd rather have that than have you so unwell that you were no use to anyone. Take care please Barbara.

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  3. Barbara, I know how you feel, but as I say, it's better than the alternative. Just one more day, then you can have the holiday you have been looking forwards to. You can recharge the batteries, and come out of the corner fighting. Like you, I'm holding out for my holibobs, just one more week........! Enjoy your rest. X

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  4. Oh dear! You do sound depressed (and tired.) Well, let's face it, you have given so much of yourself to so many of us very appreciative crafters, and instead of slowing down, you seem to be doing more and more! I wish there could be an easy answer to that. Can't help having horrid incidents, and I hope you don't have any more like that. Do hope tomorrow is a good day for you all, and that you have a good holiday .... take care now!
    Cheers
    Cj

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  5. Evening Barbara and it's getting late
    But one more day is nearly done!
    You need a break to rest and how,
    After you have finished and the race is won!
    You and Dave can fly to Spain
    Where sun and warmth will help relax
    And you can meet with your good friend Jane
    And reality will return...that's a fact!

    Lovely card as ever Barbara.. Simple clean and effective!

    Hope it all goes well tomorrow... Try and rest those feet and stretch your neck... You've had a very hard week. Love and hugs! Xxx

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  6. Barbara, your stall is always the first I head to when I arrive at the NEC and was lucky to get prime spot for the beautiful boat demos with the gelli plate. I mentioned that I go to Janet's workshop and to thank you both for your inspiration. Everyone adores what you do, but dont be so hard on yourself. Hugs Elaine x

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  7. It's not just you Barbara, I was only a visitor to NEC and by the time I got home I could barely walk, so for you as exhibitors it is ten times worse. Still I thoroughly enjoyed the show and as usual came back brimming with ideas and inspiration and of course lots of lovely stash. In fact only just finishing looking at everything, including my lovely new stencils from Clarity of course. Even better my very own Barbara picture which I will mount to put on my wall, as my inspiration. One more day to go, just keep chanting that and then you can be off on hols. Thanks for a lovely day.Karen

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  8. Hi Barbara oh I do feel for you it's been a long week for you so I'm not surprised you are feeling down. Look after yourself, take time out to sit and chat rather than stand and brayer, I know people will understand and blow them if they think you are being pretentious . Let them walk in your shoes for a week and see how they cope!!! Lovely artwork today, the tree is lovely - my husband could see a carrot with a bird on top as the frame!!! Sorry!!! Hope you have a good day tomorrow , sleep well love Diane xxx

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  9. Barbara, onward and upward!!! Remember what you are giving people, not just a beautiful stamp or stencil, but for some, something to get up for in the mornings, others an excuse to escape, or the confidence to feel they can be Arty, and / or a sense of community!!! and that was just today??? So good night Hugs - you can do it!!!! xxx

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  10. Will always continue to follow and play,
    with Clarity Stamp and Barbara Gray.

    Hugs xx

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  11. I'm sure you are thinking about whether the pain of the shows are worth the benefit they bring and whilst I love seeing you and watching you in action, I can imagine how hard it is. With the daily blog, you tube Tuesdays and monthly shows and new design club we all get awesome inspiration from you all the time so maybe it's time to stop beating yourself up about the shows and take more care of yourself. Big hugs. Lxxx

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  12. Oh and by the way, you just got a WOW for this card, how clever is this idea!!!

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  13. Barbara fantastic art work ,love the poem, you must think of yourself us loyal clarity folowers will still be there ones body can only take so much and it's telling you to take some time out big clarity hugs xxx

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  14. Another hug is on its way to you tomorrow. Anyone who does not understand the immense pressure, both physically and mentally that these shows create is not worth worrying about. Yes, we will miss you. That goes without saying, but we understand that things must change if you are to continue giving us such wonderful things to play with. One more day and then you can focus on some much needed rest, relaxation and fun with Dave in the sun. On the subject of the card, I think I must be all crafted out today as I did not even notice that the landscape was the magpie, such a clever use of this stencil. Hope you are now tucked up in bed and sound asleep. Night night. xxx Maggie

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  15. I watched to make this Barbara! I then bought the stencil. Great seeing you again. Have a wonderful time in Spain xx

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  16. Belated birthday wishes to lovely Mr Dave. Also best wishes to you and try, try and have a rest next week. We need you to give us inspiration and challenge. sorry I could not make the NEC too busy working and not having fun. Will think of you this weekend as I use my stamps and remember your words of encouragement.
    Best wishes
    Anne x.

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  17. Hang on in there, Barbara... Only one day left... Is there any way you can rig up a desk fan to keep you cool? And could someone organise a high stool so that you can sit down to do your demonstrations? Just one more day to go and then you can fly off to the sun with your lovely Dave for a week of relaxation. My, have you both earned it! We promise to keep playing in your absence... Have a great time. :) Gill xxx

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  18. Always take one day at a time Barb and do what you need to do. You are such an inspiration and reach out to sooo many people. Sheila. X

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  19. Beautiful creation and a beautiful poem Barb. Is there no end to your talents?

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk/

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  20. Sending love and healing thoughts your way xxx

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  21. It's been a very long week in a very long year. Time to relax and regroup. xxx

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  22. Whilst I (along with all of your many fans on here) adore reading your daily blog, why don't you give yourself a week's break from this as well? I'm sure everyone would understand your need to just 'stop' for a few days.... We'd all be very happy to 'see' you again once you've had your hols! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that... Love and mahoosive hugs xxx

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    1. Totally agree Judy
      She needs to rest, we can manage for a week, what did we do before Barbara blogged every day. We will continue to love her and her work, but health is more important.

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  23. Oh bless you Barbara! I feel so sorry for you. You have so many strings to the Clarity bow that it must be exhausting for you. I understand how your neck pain must grind you down. Maybe next year you could just do a few of the days at the NEC, your loyal followers will understand why and support you and Maria, Jo or whoever stands in. Those that don't have your welfare at heart, are not true Clarity fans.

    Those that mind, don't matter
    Those that matter, don't mind

    A few more Open days like Catterick could be an alternative if they are commercially as profitable. Call them "Pure Clarity"
    I'm sure your hols in Spain will help and time spent with Jane will put things in perspective.
    One day at a time!
    Hugs & love Jeanette x

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    1. so agree with you Jeanette. Step back Barbara for whatever you want to do and however long you want to do it for. Your Clarity friends will be there. Xx

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  24. Hi Barbara you've had such a busy year that I believe now is when you take some time for yourself. Your holiday in Spain should help and you and Dave can just relax and be. Seeing Jane will help you too. So sorry to hear that you're struggling with your neck and feet. Hope you get through tomorrow okay. Hugs kisses and lots of love xx

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  25. Let it go, let it go, your followers are right behind you. We'll always be routing for you, you've given us all so much of your time inspiration and tips etc. Time now to think of No.1, you. You can't go on punishing your body without something giving. If customers moan they are only thinking of themselves, that's what you must do. As Judy says have a rest from your blog too, we will all miss it but you'll be more refreshed if you have a complete break. Enjoy your holiday with Dave and delegate the shows or at least some of them to your team. Gosh I don't mean to sound so bossy. Love the Magpie with the tree & your rhyme.xx

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  26. If it's not enjoyable and you don't depend on it then don't do it! It's just not worth it! We will all still be here supporting you whatever. Take care! xxxxx

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  27. I forgot to say that this is a gorgeous piece of artwork! xxx

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  28. This is very clever! I am in awe of just how do you do it all. Take time for you! Sending lots of love.... Xxx

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  29. Oh Barbara we all care so much about you we would rather your health was better than you pushihing yourself so hard it makes you I'll you are such a lovely person please put yourself first your family needs you and nothing is more important than being there for them so you need to look after yourself so if you don't do a few shows so what , we will still buy your products I value your friendship so put number one first big hugs and if tomorrow is to much then only go for few hours people will understand lots love and hugs and plan to slow down in 2015 xxx

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  30. Forgot to say love the picture x

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  31. I feel for you Barbara, I have an illness that means I am in pain most days and is the reason why I am catching up with your blog at this crazy hour, sometimes you just need to put yourself first if you can't do these shows anymore we will all totally understand and support you, you will always be an inspiration to us all regardless. Hope tomorrow is a better day, many hugs xx

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  32. Hi Barbara. People that have done any type of shows/exhibitions will understand just how hard they are. I certainly remember how physically and mentally draining they are when we did our fair share so I do feel for you. Sorry that you think we would stop if you don't put yourself through this torture. It is lovely to see you demoing and to get to talk to you, as I did at Ally Pally (and boy, was that stupidly hot until you got them to open the doors!) but I'm sure I'm not the only one that would prefer you to only do what you enjoy, rather than what you think you must do! You have put in too much to Clarity to let it all become a horrid millstone around your neck, rather than a pleasure. Your art will suffer otherwise and that would be so sad, for you and for your loyal followers. Maybe it's time for a change in the way you do things? The internet means that we could still see you demoing, but you could do the videos in your own time. YOU are the only one that knows what YOU need to do. P is for priority, and also for personal pleasures (now, now!) We are here for you always. Have a great time in Spain with Dave. If possible don't think or talk about work, just relax and smell the roses : ) Take care x

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    1. Love the magpie and tree, by the way. Like Maggie I didn't see it in the first picture : ) x

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  33. Barbara, I think this piece of art is so very clever, and where your talent really lies.
    Listen to the voice within and let go of those things that exhaust you , rest knowing you are LOVED,
    XxxRuth

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  34. Hi Barb, this is such a wonderful idea, And what a lovely poem. People will always follow you and use your products because they are outstanding. Huge hugs, and try get some rest soon. Bx

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  35. You sound like a lady very much in need of a rest. You have a fantastic team around you Barbara delegate. You can pull back a bit and let the others pick up the slack. You inspire so many people me very much along with them but we don't want you dead on your feet, so to speak. Last one today hope it goes well then get away and just relax. That's an order from your clarity followers. Regards Joan x

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  36. Hi Barb,
    This is fab, and like a couple of others, I didn't see the bird at first, then I stepped back and wow, wonderful.
    I also agree with Jeanette about the workshops. Let us come to you (I'm saving already for next year) and delegate the shows to your inspirational team who are willing to do them. I'm off now to look at today's blog.
    P.s. I have spondylitis in the neck and dislodged and crushed vertabra in my back, so know what you're going through. My feet are gorgeous though, size 2 and a half!!!
    You keep a lot of us going Barb, so please delegate and look after yourself. xx

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  37. Barbara - this is just inspired artwork - who but you would think of putting a landscape scene in a magpie?!
    It sounds like it's time to hang up the travelling bayer - at least for the shows. The amount of work you put into your workshops, TV shows, blogs and new designs is phenomenal, so maybe that is enough - I can only speak for myself, but I know I've learnt more from you through all those forums than when I met you years ago at the Farnborough Show standing in a crowd of people!
    Your health, sanity and family life are more important than anything else - believe me, I learned that the hard way, and having changed my life, I wish my friends had told me a few home truths about my workload years ago. If you're too tired to create, then where's the fun in it all? Take care of yourself, Susan x

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  38. You sound as though you need a complete break and you certainly deserve one. Things will still be here if and when you are rested enough to return and while a daily blog is great less frequently would be just as great and a thing to look forward to you really must put yourself first and look after you, those of us who enjoy seeing your genius would certainly want that I am sure. Sending hugs and best wishes for your much deserved trip to Spain

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  39. Brilliant piece of work. I must admit that I didn't see the bird at first and couldn't figure out what the heck you were talking about! Might be time to get the old eyes checked. Hahaha! Sorry to hear that you are at your wit's end. I can't imagine keeping that pace. It won't all come to an end if you just step off the merry go round for a bit and regroup. We'll still be here!

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  40. This is such a quirky and clever idea and typically you Barbara, as you are so good at thinking outside the box. I don't think any of us truly realise how gruelling these shows are, and four days on the trot is a lot of work for all of you. Have a proper break and just forget about Clarity entirely and have some you and Dave time in Spain. Everything will still be here and look entirely different when you return. x

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  41. Ooooh Barbara, you sound so done and so sad, I feel it (I'm having a wee cry here for you). You are a very special lady, and sooo don't deserve to feel this broken. Forgive me if I speak out of turn. Please slow down before it's too late and you end up with a sick body that may never get better. You don't have to always do everything, we totally understand, and anyone who doesn't is not worth making yourself ill over. We'll all still be here, and still buying Clarity products and still playing, promise. I'm part way through making my very first piece of artwork, it's you and your blog that's made that happen, I've never been to a show. You give us all so much, and in ways I don't think you always realise too.

    I know you get so much out of meeting and teaching your loyal customers but like another person said, then let us come to you. Even me with all my problems and being so scared of people (and so far away from Kent), even I have been trying to think of how I could get to one of your retreats if my special person from my support service is allowed to help me do it. I know it wouldn't be possible for everyone and the places would be limited but then the shows are not possible for everyone either. And you can give much more quality time at workshops and open days than is possible at shows which must be so much more rewarding for you. That in itself must be so draining at shows, trying to give quality time to everyone. You and your company would still be represented by your design team and there would be nothing stopping you doing a guest appearance if you felt able to.

    Please try hard to switch off on your holiday. I know that's far easier said than done when you are the boss, and you feel so passionate about your company and customers. But please try, and recharge your batteries, and come back to us here when you feel better and able to, we'll all still be here ready when you are.

    Much love back to you Barb
    take very good care of yourself
    Brenda xx

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    1. p.s. this artwork is amazing, even more so that you've created it when feeling so done xx

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  42. this is a brill idea isn't it? creating a little scene inside a stencil.
    you know you need a break and you shouldn't apologize for it. you are human like the rest of us and we all know that at times we need to stop and draw some breaths and look around us for a bit to recharge batteries before we are ready to go again. so listen to what you feel, hugs xx

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  43. Lovely artwork as always, such an inspiration. Hope you enjoy some serious R&R in Spain. You have a great team behind you at Clarity, lean on them, perhaps consider doing half days at the shows and travel with a personal masseuse ;-) xx

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

Barb x