Boost Your Following with the Bloggers Bash Twitter Chat!

15 Sep

i LOVE to chat
i MUST join in these #BlogBashChat hours on Sundays… perhaps I’ll set myself an alarm…
see you there

Suzie Speaks

One of the earliest (and most fun!) ways that I learned about networking and boosting my Twitter (and consequently, my blog) following was through the use of Twitter chats. They’re exciting, fast paced and a great way to meet new bloggers without leaving links or spamming the community with content. It is important to note that there any no links allowed until the very end.

The premise of a blogging chat is simple: the person hosting the chat will ask a question and include the hashtag associated with the chat eg.

Q1. What’s your favourite social media to use for blog promotion? #BlogBashChat

Everyone participating in the chat will answer the question and include the same hashtag eg.

Q1. My favourite is Twitter because… #BlogBashChat

You can then use that hashtag to see everyone else’s answers – if you type in the hashtag in the search bar at the top…

View original post 414 more words

Advertisements

Free (non)Thinking…

25 Aug

A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it.  I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.

Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box.  Sounds like perfect sense to me.  In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths.  I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example.  I really thought I was living without a box.

Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.

My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists.  I’m still constrained by them.

A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.

I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’;  moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed.  I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.

freedom butterfly

Perhaps silent is the wrong word.  I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.

Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons.  I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.

Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….

Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.  In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially.  She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head.  When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational.  i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her…  you can find her here... or here…

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
 

 

Please don’t bring me flowers….

31 Jul

My attitude to cut flowers is funny old thing.  After all I love gardening, dead-heading, weeding, pruning.  I lo20170731_183610ve seeing the garden in full bloom and I’m aware that some flowers need picking to encourage more flowers to grow.  Plus sometimes the rain, wind or our chickens damage a flower stalk so I’ll pick it up and stick it in a vase.

On the whole though, I’m not a cut flower person.  I mean they look lovely in a vase in someone elses house in full bloom on a visit or in an arrangement at a wedding or on a table in a restaurant.  But when I actually have them at home they just make me sad.  They arrive at their peak and then you plonk them in water with a bit of food to prolong their life and you just watch them wither and die.  Its tragic.  Not to mention that in the confines of the house either, and sometimes, both Hubby and I will have an allergic reaction to the scent which is often quite overpowering when indoors.

I remember sometime back writing about my wishes for end of life.  I wasn’t being morbid but I felt I should document the things I feel strongly about.  One of my key requests was to have snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodil bulbs buried with me and absolutely no cut flowers.  I don’t want my relatives and friends coming back to dead flowers, a bit too much morbid symbolism.  But with bulbs they will flower and multiply year on year, and my plot, under what ever tree wherever that will be, will live on and bring joy and colour long after I’m gone.

funnily enough i also have a problem with house plants.  In a garden I will nurture and tend, water and maintain but the minute a plant is in a pot in my house I look at it with bemusement as it droops or withers.  I never remember to water it, or re-pot it or feed it.  I’m an indoor plant murderer (remember that should you ever feel inclined to gift me a plant – if it has to live indoors I WILL KILL IT!!! ).  It’s a shame really because I actually love orchids but once the initial flowers die off I have absolutely no clue how to tend it to ensure I get new life in future years.  I’ve had two sad-looking specimens on top

of the piano for a year!  I kid you not, in fact I am going to provide photographic evidence right now…

see, I told you!

 

 

Our garden here at Cerdyn Villa B&B

3 Little Buttons

Lucy At Home

Designed by Berni

30 Jul

A very good friend of mine keeps telling me to take credit where its due and to shout from the roof tops that I design stained glass windows.  She tells me now is the time because this latest design of mine was recently officially unveiled by HRH Prince Charles and its a blooming masterpiece!

Community Stained glass Project – Welsh Legends themed window at Myddfai Hall

HRH Prince Charles unveiling our window on 9th July 2017

 

stained glass window, mabinopion, welsh legends, physicians of myddfai

the finalised design for the 3 panels making up the window

She is right of course. (because she is very wise).  This window is the culmination of six months work, created through a most wonderful community project in Myddfai Hall, Brecon Beacons.  I had the honour of designing it.  Pulling together the ideas from those engaging in the project and translating those ideas into this image and then scaling it up and selecting the appropriate glass to make their imaginings a reality.

It’s hard to put into words the joy, pride and sense of achievement this project brough not only to me and the co-teacher, Lesley Griffiths (if you ever need a bespoke table or lamp, she’s your woman) but also to every one of the 30 members of the community who took part.  I think I should leave it to them to articulate our joint achievement

 

If you are looking for a bespoke stained glass panel, window or sun catcher then get in touch, I am happy to do design and scaling up only; design, and make; or design and teach you to make it!!  No obligation quotes.  Pricing depends on size and complexity of design.  If you have a budget in mind I will happily let you know if your dream piece is possible within it!

I work from my home studio in our B&B in the Heart of Wales  Berni Benton, Pink Butterfly Art and Glass at Cerdyn Villa

email: pinkbutterfly@cerdynvilla.co.uk

 

 

Lesley and I with the panel we gifted designed, made and gifted to The Prince of Wales

 

 

Today can go poke it…

7 Jul

im_having_a_bad_dayMost days you will find me in ‘fine fettle’; rubbing along nicely with the world; positive outlook; pretty confident in my abilities; very happy with my lot.

Today is not one of those days.

Today I am over-tired, stressed and tearful.  Every single action is a slog, every single tiny request is overwhelming. civility in communication is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m not unique.  I skip along with my multi-faceted life, doing a million and one different jobs, perfectly happily.  I juggle an overloaded diary and still enjoy a night out.  And then, sometimes, I don’t.

Today I woke up after a fitful night – too hot, lots of irritating midge bites and a fly buzzing around the room all night.  I woke up with a start an hour before I needed to, with a heavy heart and a disturbed gut.  And then the day assaulted me. It went from nought to sixty in record time and I could barely breathe from the force of it.  Hubby trying to leave to take my car  (a classic, 1968 Hillman Husky named Ffloyd) the 13 miles for its MOT only to discover that it had a completely flat battery and needed push starting; B&B guests an hour earlier than expected for breakfast AND at the exact same moment as the car pushing incident; teen son trying to pack and get away for a long road trip in his classic 1965 singer Chamois and all the last-minute questions and requests that involved.

This followed an exceptionally busy week.  An exceptionally busy diary for the next three weeks.  And a phone call from the guys who manages a flat I own near where we used to live saying that the boiler needs replacing…. The “we need £3000  out of thin air by tomorrow” type nightmare that brings you out in a blind panic.

So this afternoon I went for a nap.  Woke up, felt worse.  Not heard from son as no phone signal in my own house and he’s probably not there yet so there’s nothing to be told.   Ffloyd did pass his MOT. normally that would have me euphoric.

Room changes, last-minute bookings, ironing.  This whole summer, rather than seeing us through winter will pay for that bloody boiler , in that bloody flat, that I wish I never bought but can’t sell.  I must be the only person with Essex based property that suffers with negative equity.  NEVER, listen to those TV programs that tell you its a great deal to buy off plan.  Been stuck with this millstone for 12 years now.  Its one of those “luxury complexes” that turned out to be a bag of shit; built cheap by cowboys and has suffered from fire, flood and plague of locusts (well cockroaches…and no I am not making it up), in the years I’ve had it; never mind destructive tenants; illegal immigrants and enforcement officers battering down the doors (at my expense).  I could go on; but I can feel myself building to a crescendo of self destruct.

Today I’ve shouted, and shed tears.

Tomorrow is another day.  May my more positive and happy-go-lucky normality resume.  In the meantime, today can go poke it.

Community Project – completion report

28 Jun

Well, that’s it.  Six months of work and today we polished the panels and have handed them over to our tame glaziers (actually our husbands/handymen/builders) to install them in the space provided.   Yes there is still the official VIP unveiling to attend; the media coverage and photos from that to exclaim over; and most exciting the grand unveiling to our family, friends and peers at an afternoon celebration.  But today marks the culmination of an idea that began as a seed over a year ago, when the possibility of a grant to fund a project was first discussed.

Then the planning, costing, being on the periphery of providing information for the bid writing; not really expecting it to come to fruition.  Then the announcement that the project would run: the time-tabling, the advertising, the organising; again I was on the periphery dropping in my two pennies worth on occasion but largely uninvolved in the process.

Then the reality; the first class on 4th january 2017; the teaching; the design planning; the drawing; the design approval; scaling up; creating templates; chosing and ordering glass

And now here we are. Window complete. How do i feel?…  Pretty damned emotional actually…..

Privileged, to have been part of such a great community project; to have been entrusted with the design and been afforded the opportunity to teach

Inspired, by the stories, and achievements of those who attended and the personal growth they each have felt

Proud, of the 27 people I have co-taught, who have developed and achieved so much;  some who have chosen to stay since the beginning and others who have joined more recently

Joy, at the friendships formed; the community engagement achieved; the memories made and the legacy we have created

Touched; by the gratitude of those we have taught

Exhilarated, by the finished product and the reaction of students, community members and visitors alike throughout the weeks

Positive, about my skills and abilities and what I am capable of creativity in the future

Nervous, that the installation is yet to happen and anything could happen

Tearful, as it comes to an end….

…and a little flat, after all the go, go, go.

But mostly I feel exuberant, in the knowledge that this community project has achieved so much… that it has proved to be far more than the sum of its parts.

What we have as a group produced will continue to be admired, and inspire long after today; and I don’t just mean the 2.5m by 1.5m semi circular, glass window depicting Welsh Legend and local imagery.

There are strong and true friendships that have developed; there are talents that have been uncovered and will continue to develop; micro-businesses that might emerge; there is a whole new community craft group been formed; new goals have been set; new plans have been made; horizons have been expanded; confidences have been built…..

What an inspirational bunch of people.

thank you all xxxx

mid way progress report

its more than just a community class

 

 

 

 

What makes THE Perfect Wedding……

22 Jun

I feel compelled to try to vocalise (in print!) the wedding experience of this week.  I’ve never been married , I’ve been to a scattering of weddings; all beautiful and perfect for the respective couple; all memorable for their uniqueness; investment of energy; time and thought; money; love; passion; location etc.

I don’t know where I would begin if I had to plan a wedding (even assuming ££££ were no object) so I have great admiration for anyone who has made the commitment to get married and then kept it together enough to make all the planning decisions required to present for themselves and to their family and friends their representation of ‘the perfect day’. For me the thought of picking THE dress; never mind doing so several months before wearing it; is enough to give me a minor panic attack.

I can see the appeal though having planned a garden party or two over a 6 month period, planning props and stage setting the garden; liaising with invitees to get some momentum going re costume and theme; making costumes; organising the music etc etc, but a wedding is a much bigger deal.

Maybe though it’s a much bigger adventure.

I’ve always thought that if I had a spare £10,£20, £30, £50 thousand in my bank there would be a million things I would feel the need to spend it on first… getting the chimney rebuilt; replacing my car for something reliable; clearing my immense credit card debt; finishing decorating the house after 12 years; filling the potholes in the drive; felling a few of the overgrown trees in the garden etc etc.  Maybe I’m just not the marrying kind.

Fortunately, my nephew and his beautiful, now wife, are definitely the marrying kind.  And having been on the periphery of privy to the planning I realise now that whatever the budget, it’s not just an expensive day; it’s a period of months/years of excitement; discussion; research; adventure; decision-making; stage setting; engaging with friends; window shopping; shopping; preparing; making things; talking about it; building excitement over it; looking forward to it; and sharing your joy with everyone you know.  The day itself is a culmination of a long period of time and a lifetime of memories made.

So this week I attended ‘THE perfect wedding’

mzpwedding, Mark & Zoe Pearce, The perfect couple

 two people whose destiny it is to be together forever

 

gorgeous bride with THE perfect dress

 

 

 

groom with really funny friends who know how to recount a story

 

 

 

  really attractive best friends to be bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls etc

 

 

the most idyllic location and some hot line to mother nature to provide the best weather

 

 

 caterers who make food to die for

 

 

a cake that is a work of art

 

 

 

 

free-flowing Pimms and lager

 

 

 

 

alcoholic wedding favours

 

 

 

 

the most delightful bunch of family members and friends to share your day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springwatch at Cerdyn Villa…

26 May

Here at Cerdyn Villa we appear to have sublet our garage to a fair collection of our feathered friends

The swallow are setting up home in there again, they did so our first few years here but haven’t been back for some time.  in anticipation we always leave the door open

Hubby managed to set up a camera and catch them building their nest… looks like we might be grandparents soon !

As for the Blackbirds, here’s an update. family is doing well, kids are growing up fast, eating us out of house and home though, as teenagers do!

As for the sparrows you saw in a previous post, they all grew up and left home, mum and dad have started a second brood

….and yesterday, Hubby was sat having a wee drinkie in the garden and noticed the blue tits using one of our boxes in amongst the trees

We’re still trying to catch the wrens and robins on camera….

We will always have Humanity..

25 May

What is it with this need to hate? People hating people because they are sick or disabled and need support; because they need help housing and feeding their family;  because they have chosen here as a safe haven from war and tyranny; because their homes have been destroyed and they have asked for our help to find a place; because they can’t find work; because they dress differently; have different coloured skin; different accents; different sexual desires; different houses to pray to their god(s). How petty do these sound? .. say it ‘ I’m afraid of you because you pray in a mosque”; “I hate you because you like to wear women’s clothes” ; “I hate you  a because you are too ill to work and have sought help”; ” I fear you because irrespective of the fact you were born here, three generations ago your ancestors came here from….”…. It’s takes a crazy and sad person to think like this.  

If you want to be angry, be angry about the corporation that control supply and demand across the globe; be angry about a system that makes the wealthy wealthier but keeps the poor poorer; be angry about our political disregard  for the longevity of our planets resources; about the millions of people starving, raped,beaten, mutilated ,murdered in corrupt regimes; about the misguided individuals with pathetic weak minds who follow radical extremism; about those who target the susceptible and innocent and abuse their trust, sex traffickers, slave  traders etc.

Terrible atrocities happen across the globe on a daily basis. We as humans often ignore or don’t hear about the those horrific incidents outside of our own country.  In light of the terrible happenings in Manchester this week a friend of mine wrote this:

I wanted to say something – and its so hard because everyone is hurting but I hope you get where I’m coming from if you read this – now is not the time for opinions on who or why – its not a time for division or conspiracy theories or even politics …..

….Humans are suffering every day at the hands of evil. Simple as. We are led to believe that we are separate. That somehow borders and seas and distance make us ‘different’. But love and compassion and humanity should recognise no such borders. I am not ‘British’ or ‘European’ or anything else. I AM TERRAN. I AM OF THIS EARTH.

ALL suffering hurts my heart.

ALL injustice makes my soul weep.

And so as I stand with Manchester 22.05.17 and I hold in my heart all those who are suffering and the 22 souls lost and the 50 plus injured and the people who have seen such terrible things I also stand with Deir ez-Zur  21.05.17 and the 15 lost and the 60 plus injured – most of whom were also women and children.

Baghdad – 20.05.17 – 35 killed, 45 injured.

Tuz Khurma. Maiduguri. Hamah. Mastung…

The list goes on.

I’ve not listed which countries these places are on purpose – because an innocent soul is an innocent soul and leaves a hole where once there was light.

Hold your loved ones tight. Love love love. Be kind. Be compassionate. Educate yourself. Help others on each and every occasion that you can.

I love all the light being sent to Manchester today…what power, what beauty.

Imagine if we could send out that wave each day to each person who needed it – how powerful we truly would become.

‘There is more that unites us than separates us’

Look at us all on that tiny sphere. So fragile and yet so very strong. Separateness is an illusion used to control us. I send love to my brothers and sisters all over this beautiful planet today and everyday

Andrew Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, quite rightly said that the “Manchester terrorist no more represents Muslims than Jo Cox’s killer represents white people”.

Exactly.
Ignorance and laziness cause people to condemn an entire race, religion or country because of the act of the odd nutter/extremist… this plays right into the hands of every extremist movement, creating fear, hate and intolerance within communities… we are all people of the Earth , we may elect to follow a religion (generally based on which country we were raised and what our parents believed), we may follow a cultural behaviours based on the same, but these evil behaviours are not the result of any religious scriptures or cultural behaviours, they are the behaviours of weak-minded, warped individuals with a twisted sense of reality and a total disregard for humanity… we must stand together, arm in arm with our neighbours, irrespective of their skin colour, their dress code, their age, their sexuality, their religious beliefs or their ancestry….
We must not let the media propaganda (media terrorism) warp our minds into believing their rhetoric… Everyone is an individual being of our earth.

My only faith is the one I hold for Humanity; that humans are predominantly compassionate and kind and that we can, as humankind, drive out this culture of intolerance and hate without resorting to vilification of entire groups … we must stand together and give of our hearts, share of our minds and support of our being…
I may not have the best words or the most articulate response, but as always, I speak straight from my heart and mind and these are the only words I can find for the horrendous atrocities of this week… and I speak not just of what happened in Manchester …

If Music is the Food of Love, Play On…

16 May

when i was writing Tra-la-hahaha I had a funny feeling I’d mentioned my lack of singing ability before… and sure enough I had…

Rose Tinted Ramblings of a less ordinary life

Despite my varied but relatively limited artistic talents, a propensity to any type of musical skill has always evaded me.  From simply remembering songs/tunes/writers/performers through to singing or playing any musical instrument.

I was the only child in junior school, where choir was compulsory, to be told I could mime the words.  Something that had a profound effect on me throughout adolescence and adulthood until recently .  I was always embarrassed to sing and would always mime.  Now I blast it out and to hell with it.  Everyone is entitled to sing , whether they are in tune or not, its good for the soul.

i think about this a lot these days. Having been engulfed in music and musical initiatives since arriving in Llanwrtyd.  I am in awe of anyone who can sing or play an instrument.  I even have trouble keeping rhythm with a triangle.  Which, incidentally, was…

View original post 351 more words