Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sometimes in the Winds of Change....

Hi there.
Thanks for popping in.
Happy to report that the website has calmed down, 
and business has resumed its normal flow.
Well, no. Let me qualify that.
It has calmed down to the point where it stops getting 
so hot it boils over!
Calm infers quiet, but that is not the case!

Thank you so much for you patience and gracious attitude.
The website debacle really was beyond our control; 
I suppose on a positive note, 
it gave us as a Clarity Team the opportunity to put our service to the real test. I am so proud of our crew!

Next test is filling the orders as fast and efficiently as possible!
We were working out a strategy today!

Last night, very late, I called a customer to help out with her order.
She, like so many others, had had no joy on the website.
Anyway, what can I say except that in one sentence, 
she right-sized the whole website crash situation for me.
She told me that she was so happy and excited about our Groovi Parchment system, because she was now able to resume crafting. 
“I only have the use of one hand nowadays”, she told me,
“I struggle to dress, to feed myself - most things are a challenge and I was so sad I couldn’t stamp or craft anymore.
But with the Groovi Plate Mate, I just rest my dead arm on the work and off I go !!”
Can you imagine how instantly the commercial chaos of the day evaporated for me?
She and I spent a while on the phone trying to work out a good way for her to be able to stamp well again. And I have been thinking about it a lot today. I think I have a solution, but shall have to put one hand behind my back to test it out first. 
She told me it had been very important for her not to give up, 
but to work with what she had. 

So this step by step is for her...

Blotchy, watery  Gelli Plate background for my Distress Ink stash.
Easy. Just drip a couple of drop of Distress ink on the plate 
and spritz with water.
Pat with a poly bag to spread the ink.
Lay a piece of 7" x 7" stencil card on the Gelli Plate. 
Done.


Use a large flat 5" x 5 " Megamount and ink the tree stamp 


with Black Archival.



Same with the man losing his brolly;
I love this image.


Attach a torn piece of cope paper with masking tape behind,
and dust in a hill or two with a Clarity Brush and Evergreen Bough.


Add a little shade beneath his feet too, so he’s not floating.
Notice I have placed the artwork on one of those new mats.
The Best ever Craft Mat.
Stops the card slipping while I’m working on it.


Place the message from the set on the large mount and twist it.
it will cling where you put it. 

Ink it up now, flip it over and position it on the card.


See how the stamp pings straight back to normal?


There we are. 
I did this just using my left hand.
I wanted to know.
It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

The two main helps for me were the flat 5" x 5"' mount


easy to load with the stamp and small enough to grip;
and the non-slip mat. 



The mat was what held the artwork in place for me. 


Added a little white here and there with a pencil, and that’ll do.


And did I remember that a year ago yesterday 
our dear friend Jane Crosby died?

Oh yes, I remembered.
But I thought it would be disrespectful to her and her family to talk about her on Black Friday, with all its commercial mayhem.
Next Wednesday, I’d like to spend the day thinking about and remembering Jane. 


Love and Peace ,

63 comments:

  1. How lovely is this? The background is especially gorgeous and I'm really impressed (no pun intended) with your one-handed stamping! Are you left-handed - ashamed to say I hadn't noticed.
    Tonbridge Sue

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    1. I am Sue. And so is the lady I spoke to! Kindred spirits xx

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  2. Wow! You never cease to amaze me Barbara - in this crazy world we live in, you still appreciate every single one of us.

    What a fantastic piece of artwork using just one hand - it is all about the right products, and you certainly have plenty of those.

    Wishing you well after all the craziness yesterday, and I hope Clarity Towers returns to its usual self in due course.

    Hugz, Jan xx

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  3. I love the way you really care for your customers and fellow crafters. That's what makes you and Clarity so very special.
    Lynne T

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  4. In all the mayhem of yesterday you are still helping friends. Bless you Barbara! I managed to place an order early yesterday morning then panicked and thought must order more! Couldn't get on line then saw your very generous extension of the special offers! Thankfully placed another order this morning ......... I told my husband it would solve a Christmas present problem for him!
    Thanks once again to you and the caring Clarity team! Hope you manage to relax sometime over the weekend xx

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  5. Lovely card Barb... love the story of the inspiration for it too! It shows just how much you (and the Clarity Team) value your customers and strive to make it easier for those who have 'obstacles' or difficulties imposed in their desires to be creative. Long may this last as I'm sure it will. Hope things are down to a steady influx of orders now so you can all breathe a sigh of relief after Friday's madness, I managed to place a couple of orders on the website.... eventually..... but it did take a bit of persistent determination - lol!

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  6. You are such a caring person..this step by step is fab....my mat is on order xx

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  7. You are such a caring person..this step by step is fab....my mat is on order xx

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    1. You will love it, Linda. I lost my first one to my granddaughter, who is having problems keeping her paper still enough to write since she broke her elbow.

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  8. Wow Barbara stunning piece of artwork you are so thoughtful and your clarity team are wonderful
    I managed to place my order in the early hours so thank you for the extension. .xxx

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    1. Evening Donna hope your feeling brighter today get well hugs comming your way
      Evening Brenda
      Evening Diane
      Evening pam
      Evening Dorothy
      Hugs to all on the blog xxx

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    2. Hello Sheila hope you managed some crafting today, I've managed to put together a few cards. Julian was working today, trying to keep a client happy, so Christmas shopping was abandoned - I'm just going to sit down with him and he can order me some bits for Christmas. Keep warm there's quite a nippy wind out there today. Xxxx

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    3. Morning Sheila was sure I said hi last night where did it go? anyway youll get this with yer tea and toast...xx

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  9. What a wonderful surprise that lady will have had when you were on the phone especially considering the chaotic day you and the crew of Clarity had yesterday. But even when you were so very busy you took the time to really listen and have a good old chinwag.

    Your artistic skills amaze me daily but this one is extra special because you've taken the time to reflect on the conversation and thought of something that the person you spoke to may be able replicate and have given hope that crafting doors could re-open to her

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  10. That is amazing to do it one handed , it's nice to know you care about us all ,.
    I have just put my order in , and seeing your project I want to put another one in lol,,,. xx

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  11. Fab step by step Barbara. I too was one handed (albeit temporary a couple of weeks back) when I had to do some Parchment samples for you. Was a bit tricky then I had to do a last minute birthday card. I could not have done it one handed without the aid of your ergonomic handles. I also had a thought about people being left handed like yourself.....parchment scissors don't come left handed....so I had a bit of a play with the parchment and my left hand when my arm was better. Happy to report that the picot edging can be achieved using the scissors whether you are right or left handed!!! I managed to get in on the sale today over the phone. I was served by the lovely Pete, who despite having a bad line and my scottish accent did get all my order sorted out for me. So thank you Barbara for the extension to the sale. I needed a pick me up after yesterday. Hugs to all. xxxx

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    1. I'm a lefty too. Never occurred to me that the parchment scissors wouldn't be any use to me as I normally use right handed scissors in my left hand. Guess they would be angled the wrong way for me.

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    2. Hiya. Not to worry. The parchment scissors are angled downwards in a curve. It is this which helps make the Picot edge. As soon as I have time I will do a little picture post showing the differences. Hugs xx

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  12. how wonderful this is and so lovely that it will help your customer continue to craft. Glad business continuing to boom. I never got a chance to look on website yesterday xx

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  13. Hi Barbara
    I expect the lovely lady you phoned nearly fell of her chair when she realised she was talking directly to you! How many companies these days have the owner phoning customers! But this just goes to show that you are still in touch with your customers so a huge thank you for that. I do hope the lady reads the blog today and has a big grin on her face and the urge to give it a go. This is fabulous, how wonderful you did it all one handed too. Stamp is quite appropriate today as it was quite windy when I popped to the shops for milk! Thank you for sharing. Right, hubby home so we are going to put in a Christmas prezzie order :)
    I was thinking of Jane this week, sending a hug to her family and to you too Barbara.
    Love Diane xxxx

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    1. Hi Donna hope you are wrapped up warm and have dosed yourself up. Hope you feel better soon xxxx
      Hi Pam, Hi Brenda Hi Dot, hope everyone is ok. Love and hugs to you all xxxxx

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    2. Hi Diane, what a stormy day today, have you had that. I put another order in today, glad when it's closed as its so tempting to order more. Forgot the new craft mat, will order that when I renew my membership. Hope you've had a good day.

      Hi Donna hope you are feeling a bit more yourself today.

      Hi Sheila, Brenda and Dot hope you have had a good day, I will remember you in my prayers Brenda, sending you positivity along with hugs. Lovely to see you and Dot on here again. Love & hugs to you all.xxx

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    3. Hi Diane and Pam bit late the night but glad to be here Hugs to you both....xx

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  14. How thoughtful of you in the midst of all the sales and hubub to take the time to help a fellow crafter. I'm left handed too, Barbara. It would be really interesting to see what proportion of crafters who visit this blog are left handed. If only 20% of the poulation are supposedly left handed and a larger proportion of crafty folk are it could say something about 'left brain / right brain' dominance. I think I read that left handed people are right brain dominant. Does the crafty artistic side reside in the right hemisphere of the brain? I don't know but I'm now inspired to go and read up a little more on the subject. Any chance of a quick survey fellow Clarity stampers? I'm really curious to know the answer now.

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    1. I'm a leftie too, and I'm sure we have a quirky crafting brain xxx

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  15. Evening a very thought provoking blog. Crafting means so much to me too and these last few days I have been under the weather and not up to crafting. But this too shall pass. Very interesting question ....how would I cope ???

    Crafty hugs Pen x

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  16. Wow, love this artwork, the colours are great too. Love the stamps, bought them at Catterick, must use them now, hope I have the reinker, I have the Distress inkpad. Ordered again at lunchtime, lots of goodies coming. Thank you again and again Barbara for your generosity. Wonderful of you to ring that customer to help her, you are so lovely. I thought it must be coming up to the anniversary of when Jane died as my friends husband died last year on the 29th and I remember it was close to Jane. Where has that year gone. Received a parcel from Clarity this morning, my groovi folder is almost full, so I have another on order. Take care Barbara, try and have a chill out you must all be shattered.xxx

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  17. Once again you demonstrate what we all love about Clarity and especially about you Barbara. It's more than just good customer service, it's caring for us and our differing needs. Thanks you xx

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  18. Just lovely, art work and the thought for the day. In all the chaos of day to day, when feeling you have got many problems, there is nothing like speaking with others to find there is always someone else with problems worse than yours. I think the chaos of yesterday just made us appreciate the service your staff provide, it was nice to actually speak with someone and have a bit of a giggle with them, reminded me of importance of human contact, much more fun way to shop. Maybe we need to all have a go at one handed stamping and crafting, put ourselves in other people's shoes for awhile. Many thanks for making me think about things again, it's why I return here again and again. Hope you and the team are able to have a restful day tomorrow. Much love Karen xxx

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  19. I must confess that I have just treated myself to a TODO, as my stamping isn't good these days, and a pal who has VERY little use in either of her hands and could no longer stamp was singing its praises,as she can now go back to her favourite hobby and every image turns out perfectly every time. I know this isn't one of your products - but Barbara you have course have also benefited, as I ordered stamps, and stencils (to use for embossing) in the sale. The first time I have really looked forward to stamping for years! So yay - I shall be back to stamping in earnest very soon too as my machine arrived this evening and I can't wait to play!

    I felt guilty buying the machine, but I could hear my husband telling me to buy it - so basically although a christmas present to myself, I like to think that it is his Christmas pressie to me.

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  20. This is beautiful Barbara and all done with just one hand! I think a lot of things are possible with perseverence and good quality products and I hope the lady you were talking to will give it a try, especially with that new non slip mat which looks fantastic, and I'm sure the lady was thrilled that you took the time to chat and think about how best to help her. x

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  21. so far i have tried 3 times to place order and this morning i was nearly there and then it crashed again :(. now i have to restart again....
    glad you managed to help that lady, hugs xx

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  22. A year!! I can't believe that. Respect to her family x

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  23. Lovely, thoughtful blog and great artwork. You have also enabled me to help my friend who also has one dead hand because of a stroke. She is delighted that she can now start crafting again. Thank you so much and also to the lovely telephone girl who took my second order today.
    Lots of love
    Anne (Reading)

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  24. What a lovely lady you are Barbara and how fantastic for the lady and the Groovi plates. It opens up a whole new meaning to your product, thinking how many people will benefit from using them and there you are straight on the case thinking of ways and means to help. I am waiting for a cataract operation and find colouring difficult at the moment but really enjoy doing your backgrounds and using the Clarity silhouette stamps of which there are a varied collection. Thank you

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  25. A delightful and thoughtful read with beautiful artwork to inspire. It's good to take the time with people and to get something back too. Puts our computer crash vexations into perspective.

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  26. Now that is customer service, that is why you and your team are so wonderful, you go the extra mile and beyond. Fantastic that you can help this lady. So important to keep occupied, helps so much. Well done Barbara, hope you get a bit of rest tomorrow. Thoughts are with Jane's family, I can't believe it is a year already. xx

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  27. I can't believe it is a year since Jane passed. I look forward to Wednesday's blog to commemorate her passing. xxx

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  28. Thank you Barbara, and how special of you to spend time with that lady and then trying to work out a way she can stamp and craft again. You truly are one of the special people in the world. Really puts me to shame too, I can use both my arms although not at full strength for very long these days, and yet I can't make myself do any craft. Useless failure at everything life I am. I think I've lost total motivation for anything. And when I do try to deal with some of the problems piling up here it's not working, even when I think I have managed to! So what's the point in even trying, putting myself through all that stress and fear for nothing.
    Hope you all manage to have a rest tomorrow. And please don't make yourselves ill trying to fulfil orders, we can wait, nae worries, I'm happy to wait until last for mine.
    Love Brenda xx

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    1. p.s. is somebody able to tell me how to make roast parsnips and carrots with the honey on them please? And if anyone has any ideas of an easier way of cutting them up please? And do I need to peel them or just scrub them please? Thank you

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    2. Evening Brenda nae worries here tae will wait for my wee parcel... like yerself hae plenty ti faw back oan that a havnae even touched yet what we like, life just holds us back from doing what we really want to. I know its a lot harder for you but you do give me hope for the future for Amy she is coming out with we words now we always knew she had a wee voice there is just something that stops the words coming I know you'll understand, but the other day she came to me and said McDonald's never got ma coat oan say fast loves her happy meal does our Amy....well Brenda stay strong and keep warm ..Luv yi....Dot...xx

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    3. That's brilliant news Dot. The new school must be getting it right for her. Hopefully Amy will be encouraged by her word getting what she wanted and she'll try more communication. I sometimes still struggle to talk to people too. Apparently I had my own wee language that no one could understand until after I started school. I also had selective mutism for even longer. Thank you for telling me, love Brenda xx

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    4. Hi Brenda peel them slice them Julian style not thin though put in a glass dish with a small amount of oil and a little butter for 30mins on180 then take out dish turn over drizzle honey on each one put back in oven for 10 mins hope that helps xxx

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    5. Thank you Sheila for taking the time, and you've explained it in the right way for me to understand too (I can struggle to understand recipes) love Brenda xx

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  29. Your thoughts behind the artwork today make it all the more special. Your taking the trouble to phone your customer led to a beautiful design and food for thought for you and for us. The benefits of kindness and humanity! Glad things are under control now. I managed an order online today with no problem. Carol

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  30. So glad you could help this lady! She sounds wonderfully positive and determined - we could all learn from her. Also, other companies could learn from your fabulous customer service - definitely above and beyond and no doubt appreciated oodles! Fab artwork too! xxx

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  31. Now I know why I love coming here can anyone else think of another craft personality that would be so kind as to help there struggling customers personally I don't think so.
    God bless you Barbara Gray don't ever change....xx

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    1. Evening Donna ehhh well morning really hope your well soon ......xx

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  32. Hi Barb, your lady might find the help of a Buddy Board, designed to help people with problems, I bought one after seeing it on C&C a while ago, it holds stuff in place like another hand, I haven't got any disability but have found this quite useful, maybe if your caller sees this it maybe useful idea for her....

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  33. You are simple the best. I am sure you have ended up helping more than just this lady.
    The wicked west of the internet was meant to happen just so you could help this lovely individual.
    I have said this before and i will say it again...this is why clarity is such a wonderful company.
    Have a good day :)

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  34. I look for fare to seeing what you come up with to help that ladybug hone handed stamping I struggled with lot of pain in my fingers the other evening after making lots Christmas cards so was worried I may have to give up at some point and that I don't want to saying that did do a lot that day shoulders were done in to. As for the newmatfantastic good size and everything sticks to it no holding ink pads down will using stencil brush free's a hand for other things few others ordered them yesterday at CEM at workshop after seeing mine thank you for being such scarring person that's why clarity is the best. It has a heart family love Joy xxx

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  35. How lovely of you to take the time to phone the lady, and this artwork is fab. Thank you for extending your sale, having spent most of Friday from 1.20am at the hospital with mum I was most perplexed when I couldn't do an order, but then checking you blog, relived that it wasn't just my computer that was playing up, and I was able to do 2 orders early Saturday morning, so with your great sale offers on your products I shall at last be able to get into the groove.Chill out for the rest of the weekend.
    Janine

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  36. Something like this puts everything back in context, doesn't it Barbara? I have always wanted to parchment craft, but having degenerative arthritis means I can't hold the tools for long periods. I saw the Groovi being used by a fellow crafter at an informal craft session with Annette (Lee), & was hooked. I ordered mine at 1.45am on Friday morning! Can't wait for them to arrive and get playing! Thanks Clarity ❤️❤️❤️

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  37. Thank you so much for sharing and what a lovely thing to do, though your kindness does not come as a surprise to me. It is typical of what I have come to know about you and everyone associated with the Clarity name.
    I hope that you and the team can enjoy a quiet Sunday.

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  38. You are a very special lady Barbara grey that lady must be so happy that you have tried to work out a way for her well done!!!love to Dave June Horrocks xx

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  39. Hello Barb, what a lovely thing to do for someone else. I really respect your customer for not giving up too. Glad the website issues calmed down. Take care all. Bx

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  40. OK....to save you time in future, just ask me which stamp/stencil/ink/whatever I've just bought so you can highlight it - I don't know which of your staff is keeping you informed, but I'm pleased I'm keeping you on your toes! (I must represent Joe public very well indeed!).
    Just to keep you in the loop - I'm seriously thinking of getting the stencil stag, which is F>A>B>U>L>O>U>S darling!!
    Love as ever
    Maggie
    PS - how's Romeo these days?

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  41. Love this card and explanation . Thanks so much

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  42. Also I received a personal message from you to help me with my big order that for some reason that only the technology gods understand would not accept my payment . Don't want to miss out on the sale on this sale . . Ordered too much but then it's on
    Y money and you can't take it with you .

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  43. Hi Barb - lovely heartwarming post today. I have a little stamping gadget thing (a bit like a large, but thinner gelliplate mount with small foam feet at the edges) - you position the stamp between the foam feet, then ink it, then turn the plate over so the feet hold the inked stamp above the paper, then press firmly to stamp the image. Easy to do one handed I would think. Susan x

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  44. What a fab technique for creating backgrounds definitely got to have a session, love the end result. Very pleased the lady that you helped is able to get back to crafting, so lovely to put yourself out like that. It's hard to believe a year has passed since Jane passed away, I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow even more so.
    Like you say Teamwork makes the dream work, all the best to the clarity team x

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

Barb x