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2018 – Learn, Apply, Interact…my positive words to guide me through

2 Jan

2017 for me was guided by Focus, Aspire, Inspire and if you read by last blog post; which you may not have as it came bang slap in the middle of Christmas and New Year and we were all largely too stuffed and too busy partying to keep up with many of our social media activities; but fear not you can find it here; you can find out how I got on in 2017.

2017 was super duper kind to me.  It was a truly magnificent year.  I created and helped make a legacy that will long outlast me and for that I will be forever proud.

The Welsh Legends themed window installed at Myddfai Hall in Carmarthenshire; I designed it; members of the community helped make it; Prince Charles revealed it and we are all unbelievably proud of it – 2.5 meters by 1.5 meters with a lovely plaque listing every single person involved

My son finished his first year at of his Mechanical Engineering Degree at Cardiff Uni with the equivalent of a first and is thriving and enjoying his second year.  He loves me and Hubby and is not afraid to show it.  We have a great relationship and see him and his friends loads..

I turned 50 and was overwhelmed by the number of cards, gifts and, most importantly, people, who came and celebrated it with me , it was the most joyous and long, celebration

I became a (step) grandma.  I say “step” purely to accentuate what a young grandmother I am (tee hee) ; I love him as my own as I do my two absolutely gorgeous stepsons.

And….. I am about to have the preview of my first ever solo art exhibition ….eek…on the 12th January.  I am setting it up with the curator at the Radnorshire Mueum  in Llandrindod Wells this Friday.  Wish me luck.

On reviewing my 2017 goals it became apparent to me that to progress and achieve what I want not only do I need to get myself more organised (have ordered white board and wall planners/calendar) but I need to learn some new skills.  I’ve been using twitter for a good 18 months now but I really feel like I’m missing the trick but I don’t know what the trick is so don’t know what questions to ask.  I also don’t use Instagram or Pinterest even though I have accounts as I really can’t see how to use them properly .  I need some social media courses.

This is what I want to do;

I want to LEARN, I want to APPLY that learning by INTERACTING more appropriately

  1. I need to find a local guru who will run a small group or one to one workshop relatively locally, even in my house – I’m happy to provide the venue.  LEARN advanced skills for Twitter.  LEARN how to get the best out of Pinterest and Instagram and decide whether it it is advantageous to use all these platforms in relation to the time I would need to commit to maintaining all these platforms
  2. Sort out my blog/website.  At the moment I have an old website that I can’t update http://www.cerdynvilla.co.uk.  I also have a new blog/website cerdynvilla.wales which is supposed to be my ‘lifestyle’ hub and link all my facets together B&B , stained glass and art, teaching, blogging etc…needs completely restructuring…. its on wordpress so in theory I should be able to do it myself but am happy to pay someone (you know who you are 😉 ) for a half day or full day of their time to get it right and remove the old site
  3. Decide what I want each platform to achieve and either get them working together or seperate them.  For example twitter is pretty much the place I rant on about politics, religion, women’s issues, mental health etc   but I also want it to enjoy all the linkys and maybe I also want it to generate business for art and glass.  So does this mean I should have 2 accounts?
  4. FB – should I be using FB pages instead of websites for Cerdyn Villa B&B and Berni Benton Art and Glass or do the pages suffice?  Should they link to blogs instead?

Once I’ve embraced the learning I should be able to work towards some measurable goals, so, following on from 2017 and my review of how that went here are my 2018 measurable goals

  1. STAINED GLASS DESIGNING, COMMISSIONS, TEACHING : create a pricing sheet so people can access my services and know what they are likely to be charged and how.  I think sometimes people don’t ask for a window or a design because they are embarrassed about asking the cost and then having to decline the service.  Likewise, because I don’t have a structure for costing, I always find I’m underselling myself.  Sometimes I think I lose business because I am too cheap, it gives a false message that I’m either not very confident in my abilities or my work isn’t good enough to charge the going rate.  SO in JANUARY I need to create a charging/costing structure and then advertise it somewhere (using the social media learning that I will have implemented by then or not long after)
  2. TEACHING: organise and advertise the first private workshop at my home studio for late January / early February and RUN IT !!! Get my head around a stained glass retreat combining teaching with staying at my B&B , possibly engage with other crafters/artists.  Decide a format and advertise it in JANUARY. Run a trial retreat early MARCH.  I’d also like to continue to co teach at Myddfai, offer more workshops and hopefully have the opportunity to deliver a window project similar to the one Jan-Jun 2017, from SEPTEMBER 2018.  This means keeping up the momentum within the team at Myddai to source a funding stream and create the opportunity.   I need to be proactive in that.
  3. COMMISSIONS: target is to obtain commitment and complete 6 glass or art commissions in 2018.  I have one painting commission deadline November 2018, a small glass commission for this month.  I hope that two window commission I did the drawings for and quoted for last year will come to fruition this year, if not I need new ones to replace them and two more.
  4.  PUBLIC SPEAKING – I have offered to do two, Womens Institute talks already during 2018.  I want to run them with a view to obtaining commissions or teaching opportunities.  My goal is to write the talk and decide the demo, prepare a ‘talk pack’ so I know exactly what I need and how long it will take.  I want to have this ready by EASTER.
  5. TWITTER: I wonder if 750 followers is too much to ask of myself by the end of 2018?  Most importantly I want to be more INTERACTIVE; LEARN how to set up useful lists;  use my lists; what the point of moments are; and engage in more linkys.  I think setting a follower target is probably the only way to measure progress on Twitter.  However. I get the vague feeling that there are better ways to analyse twitter success / failure.  That will come with the learning… you can find me on twitter @Berni_Benton
  6. I’ve joined @64M_Artists and their #TheJanuaryChallenge.  My goal is to complete all the daily tasks and share (some) of them.  its a great idea.  5-10 minutes a day to do something creative and be a bit mindful about how you felt doing it.  Then share via their FB ( @64millionartists )and/or Twitter ( @64M_Artists )
  7. BLOGGING – another area where I really want to be able to measure my success in terms of interaction, what I want to do is know who is reading, responding to and sharing my blog.  However, at the moment my prime reason for blogging is my need to ‘mind dump’.  But I do like it when other people find my ramblings interesting in some way.  I also love to read other peoples blogs.  For want of a better measuring tool I will pick these two arbitary numbers by which to measure my blogging success in 2018.  Please bloggers out there, advise me of a better way to measure.  Followers  – increase from 143 to 200; views from 18.000 to 25,000.  There must be better stats to keep watch of.
  8. FACEBOOK:  I went back in 2017 and redivided my Cerdyn Villa B&B page from my Berni Benton Glass and Art page.   For a while it made total sense to combine them but now I’m a ‘real’ Artist  (what with having both commission and an exhibition under my belt – ooo eer get me!), I think they need to stand independently whilst supporting each other.  Again its the interaction that really matters and I guess I could measure that by targeting reviews.  so here we go.  For @BerniBentonGlassArt, I’d love to have 35 reviews by year end.   I’d also like to have 1000 followers (thats a step up from 11 and 753 respectively).   @CerdynVillaBandB I’ll aim for 35 reviews and 500 followers (from 11 and 375).
  9. OK here’s the target that I least want to do but most need to achieve.  I need to make stock items for outlets in the area.  I have a catalogue of my own designs made into light catchers which sell well – garden birds, Easter themes, Christmas themes, potted flowers etc but I never have any made.  I advertise some of them for sale ‘made to order’ over at my Etsy shop but I really must get some stock made…. so (even as I’m typing this my head is shouting ‘won’t happen’.) I’m setting myself a target of 2 stock items a week on top of any that are specific orders…  that’s 100 speculative items to make before Christmas.  Keep asking me how I’m doing folks otherwise this one may drop by the wayside again this year and I will be so ashamed of myself.
  10. The Vlog… I’m not setting this as a target as I failed to embrace it last year.  What I am hoping is that it will organically become part of my social media development once I engage in the learning process.

So there we go, 10 (well 9) measurable targets for the business me for 2018. I’ll keep you posted (whether you like it or not!)

In life my goal remains my mantra Love, Laugh, Live; and, as I shimmy my way into 2018, I feel full of hope for a glorious 12 months.

Happy New Year xxx

Rhyming with Wine
Mission Mindfulness

#ablogginggoodtime

 

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Focus Aspire Inspire – How Did I Do In 2017?

29 Dec

 


It wasn’t until late February of 2017 that I set my ‘goals’ for the year. One of them being, ‘get more organised’! I was INSPIRED at the time by Debbie of My Random Musings to write down measurable, realistic yet Aspiring goals to FOCUS my mind on my art and my social media. My plan was to review my own progress and tweak my activity throughout the year to meet or even succeed my targets (arbitary numbers that I liked the sound of).

In the original post which you can read in full by following the link I set myself targets relating to Twitter, blogging, teaching, making stock items, obtaining art commissions,, obtaining exhibitions, vlogging and setting up retreats and events at our B&B, Cerdyn Villa.

In August I did my first quarterly review. Seemingly I still had more work to do on the ‘get more organised’ resolution! I was pretty pleased with my progress, some targets had been exceeded, others were in my sights; but a couple had lost direction completely. I resolved to resolve these issues. Four months left to get full marks in my end of year review. In October I blogged an update and sadly the same weak spots remained.

So all in all how did 2017 go for me?

Aside from the goals set. 2017 can best be described as BLOODY FANTASTIC.

A year full of joy and laughter, friendship and parties. I had a massive celebration on reaching my half century in tact; Hubby and I became grandparents.

But lets focus on the 2017 challenges I set myself

1. Twitter – 500 followers : as of today I have 574… I notice that I picked a realistic 500 but had a wild dream of 1000. I think to achieve that I need a course. I need to know how to use lists and analyse my stats. I suspect in 2018 the important thing should be concentrating on engagement and interaction rather than followers. No point in getting 1000 likes if only 6 people ever ‘speak’ to me. Any tips and recommendations people?

2. Sort out my twitter lists. – well I did, but now feel like I need to split them and review them. I also need to know how to make use of them because I’m sure twitter would be a more useful tool if I had some more skills knowledge. I suspect there are loads more I can do with it than I can do now.. so 2018 is about LEARNING and APPLYING that learning to achieve more meaningful INTERACTION

3 & 4. Blog – 150 followers / 20,000 views… well I have 143 followers and 17796 views – I need to work harder at the blog … problem is I don’t know what I want to achieve with it. I write for my sanity. As I have said many times it’s my place to ‘brain dump’, sometimes posts never get published. Would I want blogging to be a money spinner for me rather than a social and mental outlet? I am a little reticent, I generally scan over or don’t read sponsored blog posts. I’m a skeptic, I don’t watch adverts. If someone is being paid to like a product, how do I know they really like it, or really like it more than any similar product. In an ideal world I’d like to continue to write what wanted about anything I wanted to AND earn money from it…hey, wouldn’t we all. It would make me feel less guilty about the amount of time I spend writing and reading blogs. At the moment as we edge into 2018, it remains my guilty pleasure. I have a feeling it may stay that way

5. Teaching – I spent the first 6 months of 2017 co-teaching a fantastic community stained glass project in Myddfai. As a result of that I had the opportunity to co-run three one day stained glass workshops. Incentivised by this I have ‘tidied’ (inverted commas as it’s already messy again) my home studio with a view to running private and small group workshops in 2018. Problem is I can’t work out the structure, format and how to promote them. I’d like to offer bespoke sessions to 1-4 people; tailored to the level and desires of the individuals attending. How do you price that? A one day workshop could include lunch. Maybe somehow I can incorporate our B&B business; that is, to offer stained glass breaks or artistic retreats. So a 2 night package with a day and a half of workshops including lunches. Our B&B can take a max of 8 people. Perhaps I should engage with other creatives so there is a choice of activities, eg photography safaris, watercolour / knitting /needle felting workshops. A build your own break type scenario. I feel I need find another course to teach me how to progress with this idea. Is there a course out there to teach me how to package, price and promote?

6. I got caught out in 2016 by promoting my stained glass light catcher designs but not making any ahead of time. Orders normally trickle in and I make to order. As an artist I prefer the one offs and commissions; on a commercial basis (I suck at being commercially viable) I should have a number of units of each of my own designs already made for times like say, Christmas, especially if I plan to shout about it. Anyway my challenge was to start making Christmas stock in August. Did I? Did I heck!!! So this year I simply didn’t advertise either, so as a result hardly sold anything too.

7. I wanted to have new stained glass standard designs in my portfolio so I set my sights on creating two new designs. I didn’t do it. Full stop. No comment

8. I aimed  to get 3 commissions in 2017. Interesting one this. I did get asked for more than three but none of them came to fruition. Problem is with 3 of them I spent a lot of time doing the design work and getting it approved without charging for the design phase. I do however suspect that at least one of the three might well happen in 2018. In addition I was commissioned to make 3 other much smaller bespoke stained glass items. Two were for before Christmas, one is for sometime in the first quarter of 2018. I also had a painting commission I thought had fallen by the wayside. I’d written it off but in December they confirmed with me. I have until November 2018 to do it and the recipient is paying a deposit before I start and making monthly payments towards the finished painting throughout the year. So what have I learned? Again, I need to be more business like in my approach. I need a charge card and I need to take some money up front. If I am going to spend time doing designs I need to charge for them. They take a lot of time. Plus if they invest in the process from the beginning they are more likely to be genuine and more likely to follow through. The other issue I have is under charging / undervaluing my services. One commission, were I to be asked to do similar again, would definitely be three times the price I charged. How does one value oneself? Especially when the items being made are one offs , made to order. Perhaps there’s a course I can go on for this too ?

9. Run a retreat at our B&B – didn’t happen. Not been forgotten. I refer back to 5. and 8.

10. Complete 2 more paintings in my sky-scape series and exhibit. Job done. Four more paintings, three glass installations and an exhibition with the preview set for 12th January 2018. My first ever solo exhibition. Despite it being in a small, local venue I am bricking it. Thank goodness for supportive friends.

11. Facebook. I wanted to increase likes/following of our combined B&B and my arts page to 1000. In the end I decided to split the two back up. It was all getting too confusing. So this is where you find Cerdyn Villa B&B with its 375 followers and Berni Benton Art and Glass with its 753 followers. I do suspect however that whilst followers may be important, I should be concentrating more on understanding my stats and looking at interaction and engagement. I should also be trying to actively generate commissions and bookings from these pages, particularly as my websites are redundant/none existent. Yet again, there must be a course that I can attend to improve and develop these skills.

12. start Vlogging. ….well….. I did one. better add it to my 2018 list.

So for 2017 three key doing words to work by: focus, aspire, inspire

They’re good valid words that helped me move forward and progress

My work mantra for 2018…

LEARNING, APPLICATION, INTERACTION

… Meanwhile I shall carry along my life with LOVE, LAUGH, LIVE

What words are you living and working by in the coming year?

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

May your futures be full of love, peace, happiness, laughter and prosperity xxxxx

Letters to my Daughter

The Beautiful City of Oxford…

8 Dec

 

It’s been a wonderful but hard year.  Hubby and I have been busy busy busy, and last month, whilst in the throes of celebrating my big birthday (I know its hard to believe , looking at me that I’m 50), I had a bit of a mishap with a vat of bolognaise sauce and have since spent 4 weeks back and forth to minor injuries unit at our local hospital in Llandrindod Wells for the burns to be dressed.  They’re nearly better… What a wonderful team of nurses they have…

Add to that the ‘end of season’ cold/flu bug, and Hubby and I were just about ready to drop. We needed a break.

I booked two days in Oxford.  It’s one of those places we pass all the time, to and from our family in London and Essex and back home to Mid Wales, but we have never stopped there, always skirting around the bypass.

I found Abodes B&B on booking.com and, OMG, if there was ever a lovelier, more comfortable and more homely, warm welcome (other than at our own B&B #blowourowntrumpet 😉  ), I can’t image  (although there is also one in Harlech… I’ll write about that another day).  When I booked I was full of the worst cold, still boob bandaged and , still had guests in the B&B.  I did try to contact the B&B to postpone but , like us, its family run and out of season, she’d gone away for the weekend and , like here, she was in a pocket of the UK that still has limited internet/phone access (hard to believe in 2017/2018 that we still have these problems).  Anyway.  having messaged the B&B asking to change the dates and being unable to contact them I was a little worried that they would not be expecting us so when we arrived and met Lliwen Williams we were so delighted.  The B&B is basically her home, with a couple of rooms open to guests and all the comforts and trappings of visiting your fave family member or friends for a couple of nights.  The double en-suite we had was warm and cosy, well equipped (beyond expectation) and, whilst it said ‘continental breakfast only’ the array and quality of food and flexibility over breakfast timings was exceptional.  Just what I needed with feeling so rough.

It was also great to tap into Lliwen’s local knowledge.  We found a great pub for in an idyllic location for our first night evening meal, thanks to her; and we used the local bus instead of park and ride saving us both time and money getting into and out of Oxford

Lliwen and her daughter, Seren (Welsh for ‘star’) were so lovely, we left feeling like we had new friends.  I cannot rate Abodes B&B highly enough.  The corporate looking  website doesn’t begin to represent the unique, warm welcome you will receive.

Oxford itself is magical, historical, romantic, stunning.  There is a brand new indoor shopping complex called Westgate, filled with all the big High Street names if that’s what floats your boat.  We didn’t go there. We wanted to discover the real Oxford.  We walked through the whole of the old city; round the ancient castle, and old prison complex; along the river and canal; through the college grounds and park; taking in the gorgeous sandstone historic architecture; enjoying the riverside tranquility and wildlife; relaxing in some of the quaint historic free-houses and buying gifts from gorgeous boutique shops selling handmade crafts and gifts.

I’d recommend this little shop which lived up to the sign outside with buckets full of quirky, unique gifts, many of which were sourced from UK-based artisans, and with the most lovely shop manager, Salleanne, who told us the stories behind some of the makers.  We came out with a bag of booty, which I can’t show you because some of it might be for you…

I can also recommend The Chequers, a Nicholson pub squeezed into a back alley of old Oxford and brimming with character, great ales and comfy sofas.  Again, the corporate website does not represent its unique warmth and friendliness.   We sat in there for ages.  Hubby tried a few real ales, they do third pints so you can have tasters , but once he’d found Saltaires Triple Chocoholic Ale, he was smitten.  the young barman, Dave, guided me through the gin menu, I settled on Nicholsons, which apparently is distilled by the great-grandson of the original Nicholsons who founded the original brewery chain/freehold pubs back in 1837 (who says drinking isn’t educational).  He also helped me work out how to use my new phone (I couldn’t work out where and how to send and receive texts!!! #nocomment )

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Lucy At Home

Focus Aspire Inspire – an update…

12 Oct

So way back in February (because by resolve somehow missed January ), I wrote a blog Focus, Aspire, Inspire.  I meant to assess my progress quarterly by Blog and ‘regularly’ (?!) in my thought process.  and to be fair I did review my progress in May, and was actually pretty chuffed with myself.  Somehow I was largely on track with my aspirations and inspirations.  I’d tried to keep them realistic and it seemed to be working.  Now its blooming well October and  it seems I have lost a little focus, as I do, so I thought a little readdress would be a good thing

Goal 1: Twitter following:  @Berni_Benton I have 556 followers but to be honest I’m more interested in engagement and interaction.  I love it when the little counter shows a notification for a comment or retweet .  I have become needy for these affirmations of my wit and relevance.  I don’t know if I’m getting it right.  I spend most of my time on twitter slagging off Donald Trump. AND I’M NOT EVEN AMERICAN!!! – See, loss of focus.  But he is such an easy target….

Goal 2: Sort out my twitter lists: yep, pretty much done that, but now I have ’em what shall I do with ’em.  Still.  Tick.

Goal 3: Blog following: I just looked.  I always forget to look.  I have 140.  which, considering I only aspire to 150 by year-end is not bad.  In Feb there was 114 of you, so weyhey and ‘welcome’ my new friends.  Perhaps you might share me and help me find that final 10 souls who might like to read my random rantings, musings and insights on no particular subject and no particular time.  I can but ask eh?

Goal 4: Blog viewings: well they are heading in the right direction, but I guess they would, you can’t ‘unview’ something so the only way is up, baby (sorry, just Yazoo popped into my head right then…Focus damn it!)_

Goal 5: Teaching:  Yes. Am doing more this year and am planning to run private sessions for small groups from my home studio in 2018 so again, tick. tick

Goal 6 & 7: OOPS – this was the big old one that required FOCUS .  Start making Christmas stock of stained glass goodies by August including two new bespoke designs.  Are we there yet?  Oh shit its mid October.

colleen commissionGoal 8: Commissions – well I have done the preliminary drawings for 3, that was my target, but none of them, to date have resulted in any glass being cut….however, i remain optimistic for this one

Goal 9: Run retreats: Nope.  This one involves the coordination and cooperation of Hubby and we’re just not that organised together.  Maybe 2018.

Goal 10: YEAH – if you read the interim report in May you know I’ve got an exhibition pending!!! My first EVER solo exhibition.  I actually visited the exhibition space yesterday and spoke to the curator.  So now I’ve paced it out and I know exactly how many pieces of work i need (15) and how many I have ready (13).  Well, 12.  Actually 11.5… the point is, I’m (almost) on track and most importantly I have some friends who want to sort out the private viewing and promotion for me , so that means there’ll be prosecco and CAKE.

Goal 11. Facebook:  I’ve been pretty proactive here.  I split myself in two.  There is now a page @CerdynvillaBandB for all things relating to life at the guesthouse and tourism related snippets; and there’s @BerniGlassArt for all things arty and crafty, including news on my own imminent exhibition and any classes I might be teaching…. I’ve even included a shop…..  Between the 2 there are 1000 followers  but again its interaction that’s needed and i have no idea how to improve that (don’t worry, I’m going to book a course!)

Goal 12: Vlogging…well. Errr. Um… I’m going to blame technology.  No?  Ok I’ll blame my relationship with my technology.  I guess that won’t wash either.  I will get on with it.  Promise. Sorry Dinah. #hangsheadinshameandgoestositonthenaughtystep

So that’s how I’m doing against my overall targets.  I’m going to pat myself on the back, because I’m pretty happy with what I have done and I promised myself I would focus on what I had done rather than what I hadn’t.  I also have to remember all the other things I have done that weren’t on the list like;

  • Joined and started using Instagram and Pintrest (again, I’m booking a course as I have no idea whats going on really!)
  • Busy season in the B&B – more new and loads of repeat visitors
  • Massive stained glass community project (Jan – June)
  • Several regular gardening jobs
  • Extra work for my friends who run a caffi
  • fitted in a little mini break to Rome
  • Family wedding
  • New grandson

little D

and there are still two and a half months to go…..

how are you getting on with your annual targets, if you have them?

 

 

It’s all about the Blog/Vlog etc…

12 May

omega centuri

I love the blogger Rhyming with Wine, her poetic interpretations and observations have me in stitches.  Her most recent blog “The Stats Race”, sits perfectly with my views of social media and the knots I tie myself up with in an attempt to achieve my goals.  Basically, this blog is where I dump all the shit that pops into my head!.  However, I do it in the hope of entertaining, inspiring or provoking a reaction in you lovely lot (my readers…I say in the hope that there really is someone or sometwo out there).

Three months ago I set myself some challenges for 2017

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

18404167_10154396062188204_35978332313909345_o

I thought it would be helpful to me and hopefully not too boring for you, if I were to check out my own progress and possibly re-evaluate

  1. Twitter: my following has just overtopped the 500 mark and I’m delighted, For me its quality rather than quantity so I shall start focusing on interactors more (when I work out exactly how to do that)… but if you are following me on @berni_Benton, then “thanks” and if you are also interacting with me then I think I’m a little bit in love with you because I love a good bit of banter
  2. I’m still trying to tidy up my twitter lists – I’ve started some, “fave bloggers”, ” fave artists”, ” fave…” etc… then i need to talk to these groups more – so I can get more out of them – I’d prefer dialog to monologue, and that’s down to me, timing and organisation (neither of which are in my current ‘strengths’ corner)
  3. Blog: my following is now 133, from 114, I’m aiming for 150 and my views are up from 13.5K to 15K and there’s still 6 months to go to make my 20K goal
  4. Teaching: I have massively enjoyed and proved myself to be pretty darned good at teaching, check out Community Project – progress report to see whats been going on.  I wanted another teaching commission out of it and the group I’m teaching are keen to have more sessions so we-hey!!! more teaching is on the cards
  5. Vlogging: I’ve started in a very very very small way, to vlog, I’ve not included my face or my voice so far but I have started to include video content into my blogs….I don’t know if you guys like it, perhaps you can let me know.
  6. I’ve joined Instagram – that’s an extra, wasn’t on my list at all but I think I can get to grips with that – lovely visual app and quick and easy to use… still working out how to use it properly but early days
  7. Facebook: not sure whats happening here , page likes down from 778 to 768… anyone fancy taking a look? It’s where I share stuff going on in and around our home and village, it’s a B&B in Mid Wales, very rural, extremely tranquil, and slightly crazy.. Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa…
  8. Art: I’ve already done 3 more pieces of art this year, speculative spacescapes, have booked my FIRST EVER solo exhibition slot for March/April 2018 and have the rest of the pieces sketching out nicely in my head… it’s going to play on light and dark.  With black canvasses painting with colours and patterns emulation images from outer space and then representations of space made from stained glass and back-lit by natural light.  I have one commission glass panel confirmed and one pending approval (god i hope to get to make it, I always get excited once I’ve done the drawings).

perseus galaxy cluster witches broom nebula

Glass panel - based on Whirlpool Galaxy

All in all I’m pretty pleased with my progress.  I think my report card might read ” Is trying hard, achieving many of her goals, still some way to go, but with sustained commitment and the right support and determination there is no reason why Berni can’t make it”

Do you have a bucket list for your year? Hows it going?

Lucy At Home
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Diary of An Imperfect Mum

BC – Socialising with social media…

2 May

This afternoon I had some super quality time with my absolutely fantastic friend and superstar motivator, Dinah. I’ve written about her before, but just in case you missed it I will tell you that she is absolutely amazing, and hugely inspirational.

Today after tea and choc brownies in the garden surrounded by some of my free roaming hens, she set to work helping me to refocus my mind on where I want to be in the mysterious world of social media.

The dark art of www presence and successful social media integration. We (she), added vloggin’ to my bloggin’!

Seriously guys I now have a YouTube channel, the means to upload a video to my (this) blog, and I’m on Instagram (ooo, get me, down with the kids!)

My promise to her was to take photos of EVERYTHING and share my moments on there ( there being the aforementioned Instagram). AND, write a blog EVERY DAY for two weeks under a different category… If you’ve seen my blog ( @and I know you have ‘cos you’re here reading it), then  you can see there are several subject headings under which I ramble.

Anyway. I like a challenge and I hate to disappoint, so you guys are my witnesses and this is the first blog of the fortnight… I shall categorise this under ‘friends….’ but also under ‘social media & networking’ so tomorrow’s will not be there, I promise…

 

Oh, and here’s a little “cerdyn villa cwtch” ( yes I’m calling it that because the phrase came up in conversation with Dinah, and I thought it was brilliant!)…

Lucy At Home

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

23 Feb

I have been inspired, as I often am, by certain bloggers I follow.  This time my muse is Debbie of My Random Musings.

As I flutter around in random formation, flitting from this project to that; this passion to that; this idea to that; this demand on my time to that; I get through my days,week and months in a blink of an eye.  Completing a lot of stuff; dipping my toes in many a pond and having a great deal of fun but it all kinds of floats around in a mishmash of activity without borders, direction or guidelines.

That’s all very well.  A nice, jolly, unfocused existence, guided by optimism and chance, but I really would like to look back on a year without being completely surprised by how I got from January to Christmas and the circuitous route I took to get there.

I’m not saying I don’t love the surprised.  I do.  That’s the problem.  I enjoy the freedom of it a little too much.  Sometimes to the point that at any point in the year I’m not really sure what sort of ground I might find under each footstep.  More importantly I’m not moving forward.  I’m treading the beautiful waters in which I wallow and am allowing myself to enjoy things as they float by; maybe latching onto them for stability for a few moments; but never really reeling myself in.

I’d like to be able to say my starting point was A by goals were B,C and D with a few distractions via M,Q and W, but I made it to D by the end of an allotted time.  I’d like to measure my achievements as well as list them.

So *deep breath* I’m taking Debbie’s advice and starting with a bucket list:

1.TWITTER – I’d love to have over 500 followers before the end of the year, a small hop rather than a leap  – in my mind I already know I really want 1000 but let’s be realistic about these things. This is me

2. ALSO TWITTER – I need to find help and learn how to use it more effectively – I love talking politics, parenting, art, religion, tourism – I don’t want to focus on one topic – I love to RAMBLE and REACT and REFLECT as he mood takes me and the words grab me but I must more effectively access the right people for each topic otherwise I am aware I may bore, or worse, annoy my followers

3.BLOGGING – again I want to ramble randomly so I’m aware I need to be smarter with my tags/metatags/linky’s/sharing . Again I need advice .  I can find lots of blog share site but I’m not interested in fashion, cosmetics, hair and makeup and I’m in the UK… I need to find other companions  – as fun as some of those I follow are – I need more of the random eccentrics out there.  I won’t put a link as you’re already here but feel free to have a look round if you can make it to the end of this post 😉

4.ALSO BLOGGING – I need to set a goal for ‘followers’ but I don’t really want followers so much as interactors – I’ll continue writing it even if no-one reads it because sometimes I can’t sleep until I get whatever it is out of my head.  however, it would be lovely to have a few people who felt inspired to discuss my content… Lets say I’ll aim for 36 new followers / contributors in 2017, 20,000 views

5.TEACHING – this is new to me, I’m loving it – teaching stained glass to members of the community as part of a funded Community Project – my goals are to be proud of the finished product, have it installed by the end of summer and to both blog and Vlog the process.  My aim is to obtain another teaching commission for 2018

6.STAINED GLASS ART- let’s get proactive instead of reactive.  Last year I started thinking about Christmas stock mid October – about 3 months too late when I had zero old stock to sell and had to close by order book on 5th Dec because for some reason we decided a holiday before Christmas would be relaxing.  It was.  The run up to it was definitely not.  So. START making Christmas glass in the summer.

7.ALSO STAINED GLASS – I am really really bad at marketing myself, my skills and my ETSY shop (I bet you are thinking ” whoa, she has an Etsy shop?!”) – I looked at my Etsy shop today and all items have expired.  I’ve not been updating my existing ‘made to order’ items or creating any new ones.  Target – never have my shop empty. Create 2 new designs before summer (lets say end July).  Anyway, here’s a link to the shop ..don’t look yet, I’ve written this but I haven’t done it yet, give me a few hours!!

8. ALSO STAINED GLASS – my favourite moment in the artistic process is creating a new design and making it for the first time.  I love most of all the commissioned one-off pieces.  As an artist rather than a commercial maker, the fun and challenge is in the original design and the presentation of it to the individual who asked for it.That said I really need to focus on marketing myself as a designer and maker of one off commissioned glass panels… If I could get 3 more commissions for 2017 I’d be a very happy bunny.

9.BED AND BREAKFAST – Cerdyn Villa is, in my mind small and perfectly formed .  I love that we run it like we are having friends over.  I love that we spend hours talking to our guests over breakfast or sharing our wine/beer in the garden on a rare warm sunny day.  Yes its a business, but mostly its a lifestyle choice.  What I wanted to do last year was to start running weekenders for like-minded people – eg: an artists retreat, a classic car enthusiasts retreat; that sort of thing.  Basically fill our 3 rooms and maybe have 4 or 5 campers come along – welcome drinks evening around a bonfire, breakfast together, some form of group activity, an evening meal together, possibly everyone heading to the local pub together for a pint, some other activity and away they go – fulfilled, enlightened and loving our home and this little village. My target is to run a first one in 2017…In September *better warn hubby*

10.ART  – as an acrylic artist I am again pretty crap at self promotion.  I would however be very happy to paint 2 more original spacescapes to add to my series and arrange for them to be exhibited somewhere before Christmas.  I’m not a mass creator of sellable art I just want to follow my passion and paint these for me – but be brave enough to put them out there for others to look at.

11.FACEBOOK.  I amalgamated my art page (Pink Butterfly Art & Glass) and our B&B page (Cerdyn Villa B&B into one with a view to create a ‘lifestyle hub’  The page is Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa B&B or @CerdynVilla – I’d love to grow that to 1000 likes.

12.LIFESTYLE HUB – with so many facets to life I set up (with a lot of help from my friend and  mentor, Dinah) a ‘one-stop-shop ‘Lifestyle Hub’ combining my blog, Facebook, B&B website, art and twitter into one place from where everything can be accessed.  I need to make it more visible (how? – ok arrange more time with the gorgeous Dinah – for that but mostly for coffee and cwtches).  Plus I promised I’d start a VLOG... so my target is to set up a VLOG!!!

So there you go.  I shall continue fluttering about randomly rambling my way along but at the same time (yes I do plan to multi task), I shall keep my mind on these goals and moreover I shall report back in January on my success/failure/adaptations to the above.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

I Wanna Know What Love Is… The Ultimate Blog Party!

8 Feb

This sounds like my kind of thing – now I jkjust need to master the ‘less is more’ approach and try and sum up what I feel love is in a few sentenses….. so much to say so little space!

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: I Wanna Know What Love Is… The Ultimate Blog Party!

Episode 2 of #Reid2Write – Suzie from ‘Suzie81speaks’ talks Networking and Building Traffic

5 Feb

i’m still learning about blogging – even if I’d been blogging alll my life i’d still be learning, things constantly change…. I write what pops into my head, i don’t often get it’seen’ but i love doing it and would love to do more… so i will continue to ramble in my usual rose tinted way and see what happens….

Aidan J. Reid

thsthnr-_400x400

SIX DEGREES OF Kevin Bacon is a fun game.

The premise is that the Hollywood actor can be linked to any other celebrity by six degrees of separation – typically through his wide and varied film roles.

If there was a similar game played out in the world of WordPress, Suzie81speaks would be the blog at the centre of that Universe, connected to other bloggers by far fewer than six degrees.

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