Tag Archives: social media

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?

 

 

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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

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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

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!

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

22 Oct

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.