Breaking News : 64 Million Artists and The January Challenge

Day 8: #TheJanuaryChallenge  @64M_Artists
Breaking News
This just in: artists and creatively inclined people from around the world are gathering on social media to share, inspire and be a little more mindful. It’s all part of a new year initiative to get us all creating and it seems to be working. Hundred, if not thousands of individuals from all walks of life, of all ages, have joined together and created a community, forging friendships, sharing stories of joy and misadventure; and bolstering each others confidence and sense of wellbeing.
One artist (me) from a little rural village in the middle of the middle of Wales said, “Yesterday was wonderful, I spent the whole day thinking about the challenge and checking in but i just could not get my head around it.  I don’t know why, maybe lack of sleep, maybe because I don’t wear jumpers, anyway I just could not get creative over the ‘jumper challenge’ so i just came clean to the group,.  They supported me through it.  Another artist, Ven, even created one for me ! How great is that! It gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Well I guess jumpers do that: especially when you’re from America and finally realise that a ‘jumper’ is really a ‘sweater’ and not a pinafore… and they say we speak the same language!
As the January Challenge embarks on its second week , people are already excited about what the organisers at 64 Million Artists have in store for them but say they’re up for the challenges and to keep them coming…
This is Berni Benton from llanwrtyd Wells, saying goodbye for now and see you next time

Press notes:

taken from their FB page….
64 Million Artists is a charity campaigning to unlock the creative potential of every human being in Britain. It began life as 53 Million Artists in 2014 and they’ve been working with people all over the country to help them get creative on their own terms, celebrating their passion and flair and encouraging them to Do, Think and Share

Were you always told you couldn’t sing? Draw? Write? Dance? Cook? We’re here to tell you different.

64 Million Artists is about having a go, not about being an expert. We’re inviting everyone in Britain to do something new and celebrate their creativity, to be proud of their passion, and show their flair.

Why not join in, it doesn’t matter that you missed the start …. www.dothinkshare.com

Further notes:

Each challenge only needs to take 5-10 minutes.  Its not about the quality of the work its more about the thought process and how it made you feel… getting us all to be a bit more mindful…

Today is day 8 the challenge: “Breaking News – My Life”

DO: What is your day to day life like? Pretend you’re a news reporter and report on your day. It can be a video of you telling us what you’re getting up to today, a cooking show for when you’re making your dinner, a newspaper article with key headlines for the day or just a series of photos. If you do choose to do a video report you don’t have to show your face – we just want to see what everyone is getting up to today!

THINK: Did your day turn out differently than you expected it to? Did you feel comfortable filming your every day life?

SHAREShow us your day!

Facebook Page: 64millionartists
Closed Facebook Group: 64 Million Artists – The January Challengers
Instagram: 64millionartists
Twitter: @64M_Artists
Website: www.dothinkshare.com/submit

IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME ; Create a report at the end of the day, how is your day different to when you started it? Did you complete the tasks you set out to do? Did it turn out to be completely different than expected?

One Messy Mama

 

Rhyming with Wine

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

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!

All for a good cause… the give and take of life

There’s far more to a good cause than raising money for a registered charity.  I’m not belittling fund raising, its vital and a great thing to do.  What I’m saying is its a great thing to do for lots of reasons other than the actual cash result. Perhaps this is something that we are programmed to not admit as charitable fundraising is seen as an altruistic and selfless activity.

However, if I dare suggest that fundraising is also a good thing for the benefits the fundraiser gets.  Its a boost to ones self-esteem, a pat on the shoulder of one’s conscience, an opportunity to make your views and passions public and express a side of your personality.  I suggest that there is nothing wrong with accepting that fundraising is a mutually beneficial  activity.

I’d also suggest that the raising of awareness; the engaging of like-minded people,  the pro-activity, the community engagement are also important benefits of doing something for a good cause.

In fact quite often its the little charitable acts that are more effective in achieving all of the above than big actions for registered charities.  After all, registered charities cost a lot to run , so large proportions of monies raised go into paying staff, websites, literature, mail drops etc etc.  Obviously I’m not advocating we stop giving to the large charities but what I want to do is ‘big’ up the little acts because you don’t need to splash the cash to be able to help a good cause.  Which is handy in these times of austerity.

It takes nothing, for example to check in on the old lady or gentleman living on their own down the road.  even sharing a FB status advertising a fundraising event or gig is helpful.

A couple of weeks ago my son and various friends of his and their joint musical talents and bands performed officially and then unofficially amongst other local musicians in the pubs around Brecon as part ofOxjam.  They ended up jamming until 4am.  It was an awesome day.

Rock n Roll with The Hurricanes at Markets Tavern in Brecon for Oxjam
Rock n Roll with The Hurricanes at Markets Tavern in Brecon for Oxjam

More importantly is the realisation that the benefit is mutual.  money, I’m pleased to say was raised for a very good cause – in a non-pressure way – there were collection buckets on the bar- people gave what they could or wanted.  the music was FREE.  The musicians got exposure, got to perform (their passion), enjoyed the atmosphere, networked, laughed and felt fan-bloody-tastic.  The audience, staff, parents, friends got to be entertained, had the opportunity to help/give, laughed, shared, made new friends….

(Check out this you tube video out – cover of Sympathy for the Devil by young band, The Hurricanes)

When I started writing this blog piece I knew what I wanted to say but not really now to get it out.  Then an opportunity presented itself to me and through blogging and face-booking and the general network of social media communication that I find helpful, soulful and satisfying,  It was enlightening, almost an epiphany!  i chanced upon two things.  The first was author and blogger Alana Munro, and a subsequent comment on her blog lead me to Pulp Literature.  From there I was lead to the most inspirational TED TALK, “The Art of Asking”.  If you only have 13 minutes to spare all day may I humbly suggest you spend it watching this .  This talk just about gets to the heart of everything I feel and wanted to say in this blog.  Give and take, asking for help, reaching out, touching.  Life is bloody marvelous and if you open your mind and heart you let in the best of people and they get the best of you too.