Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It’s Good To Meet Together

It is good to meet together

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Fun

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Food

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Fellowship

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More Food

Monday, 23 January 2012

Reading – How Am I Doing?

One of my goals for 2012 is to read more books. I love to read, and I read loads, but not books. I am pragmatic in character and I often read only what relates to me or the occasion and go on. Yes, I am the person that has 12 books on the go and will never read them in their entirety. There is something to be said for this if time is against you and you only need certain information or if a book is rubbish and you don’t want to slog through it. However, if you read like this it is more research than enjoyment and lacks a certain satisfaction. I aim to change my habits this year. 

Armed with my Kindle I now have a book on hand at all times so there is no excuse. AND, if you have ever visited my house you will see there is no short supply of good books.

Milestone – To read more books

Goal – 24 books in 2012

I know It’s not 175 books like Tammy over at Lens and Pens but it is a start. I have joined the community at GoodReads  to keep me accountable and to be on the look out for good books. You can log your progress and they will make reading suggestions based on books you have rated.  Now if I can figure out how to get the little digi button on my blog page I will.

How about you any reading goals for this year?

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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Skinny mini e-course–Day 6

 

BarnUSA

I supplied my own picture for this. I took this wonderful picture in the USA years ago and always wanted to use it for something spectacular.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Longing

Skinny e-course; adding texture.

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Thinking of Summer

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

We Are The Sum of Our Personal Habits.

We are the sum of our personal habits and that speaks volumes to me. Today I have started the book “52 Small Changes: One Year to A Healthier Happier You” by Brett Blumenthal.  (on sale for Kindle at Amazon)  The strategy is to make one small change a week as you work through the year. So each Monday I will attempt to make one small change. Todays change is “Drink Lots of Water” More later.

This picture has absolutely no relevance but I couldn’t resist posting it!

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Taking Down The Tree

Sunday, 15 January 2012

One Little Word 2012

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Last year I was intrigued by this idea and tried to go it alone. However, this year I have decided to jump in and take the class. ‘One Little Word’, by Ali Edwards, is a year long class. Every month I will look forward to the next installment of inspiration. 

So, here is my word for 2012; Listen

This felt like such a meaningful word for me this year and I suppose that was one of the reasons I signed up for the class. More Later!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Scrappin’ How Am I Doing

This is the second in my series of Goals for 2012.

The answer my “What do I do well” question is that I take loads of pictures (approx. 8,,000 on my computer) but, sadly, I need to work on doing something with them. I love to Scrapbook but no longer am afforded the time. I take infinitely more pictures than I have time to process so I have got to have a new strategy.

My Milestone for 2012 Scrap my year on and off line!

Goal – Scrap as I go and build an album

project-life-logoI am very tactile so I need to keep some form of album going. However, I don’t work fast, so the old 12x12 ‘build a page’ style has to go on a backburner. At the present I need something quick that will be structured and do most of the basic work for me. I am excited that we are finally getting Project Life in the UK.  This will be the way forward for me. It will be a nice gift from my in-laws for Christmas and well worth the investment.

Goal – Add scrap pages as I journal online.

I love to blog and my family and I enjoy the online picture/journal approach so I would like to enhance that by further developing my digital Up___Running_Wit_4c5d8f4b514b4skills. I bought Photoshop Elements 7 last year and it was so over my head I have decided I need a class or two to make it work  So (As a gift from my lovely brother-in-law) I took advantage of Jessica Sprague’s sale and registered in the beginners digi class. I also bought a 13 week subscription to the Photoshop Friday classes. hopefully this will keep me Scrapping online.  I was careful to purchase 13 weeks and not 52 as, in all honesty, those thirteen classes will probably take all year to finish.

For my managing of these goals I have scheduled the digi classes for school hols. I am still waiting for the news of Project Life and ready to swoop in for the kill! If you are also awaiting news you can sign up for email alerts with Tammy Morales.

What about your Scrap goals for 2012?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

More Digi Goodness

More Digi goodness from my Kim Klassen eCourse.  Today we looked at enhancing layers. Fab!

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Look What I Made

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One of my goals this year was to develop my skills with Photoshop. I was thrilled to find this free eCourse with Kim Klassen. YES I SAID FREE! 

She is offering a ten day course beginning on 9th January and you can still register up until Wednesday the 12th.  I have already done part of the first day and as a beginner I can say Yipee! finally the fog is clearing.

Look what I made

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Blogging. How Am I Doing? Part 2

I looked at what is working well? in Part 1 so now lets take a look at what I need to improve?
  • I would like to work on building community. I have recognized that there is community in Blogland and it is not a matter of how many people visit us but it is about how many people respond and follow with interest.  I am going to work on generating SUPPORTIVE traffic this year.
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How I will do that is for another post but here is:-
my first milestone = generate big friendly traffic
               my goal = 50 members by Christmas 2012
  • I would like to make my Blog a little more pleasing to the eye. Last year I learned how to add a background and alter html code. I would really like to personalize my title and add some photos. I like to visit blogs that are a nice place to be and after all what is photography and craft if not aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
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my second milestone = make my Blog beautiful in 2011
               my goal = Make a new title and add some panache
  • I would like to develop a regular interest piece.  I would like it to be something interactive that people will come back for. It needs to be sustainable and something no one else is doing.
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my third milestone = provide an attractive service
               my goal = be up and running by summer
This would be a good place to ask what long range goals need to be looked at to maximize potential?
  • I am not really sure what I want to be when I grow up so this is where my milestones can be wild and crazy dreams.
my fourth milestone = blogging to pave the way to financial freedom
    my goals
  1. develop my writing skills by writing some guest posts
  2. develop my photography skills by moving into the camera I am using
  3. develop a marketing strategy by the end of the year based on the need of my readers
Now I have my measurable goals in place next come the baby steps. Baby steps are all the crucial and strategic steps that make it happen. It’s my when, how, where, and with what.
If any of my lovely, supportive, readers would like to give any leads, info, or feedback on any of the items mentioned here it would be welcomed and appreciated.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Blogging, How am I doing? Part 1

Continuing on with the theme of planning and goal setting I have made a batch of drafts for each of my categories in my blog writer.  I want it to be a creative process and not a task list so I will work through each of them at random as I feel inspired.  I thought the most obvious place to start would be about blogging.

Why do we blog?  Many reasons, I imagine, and to each their own. One of the reasons I blog is because I am a journaler at heart.  I love to record my journey.

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It ticks all the right box’s for me. I get to do the things I am good at like, teach, motivate, write and I get to do it about the things I love like, family, spiritual life, photography, crafts etc.,

I took Shimelle Laine’s online Blogging For Scrapbookers Class and it helped me develop my confidence; at the very least it helped me with the basics. I also took The Beyond Blogging For Scrapbookers class and maybe put 10% into practice. She always invites people back for free so I look forward to doing it again.

Equally it was interesting to see my path through 2011 in print. I won’t bore you with endless hyperlinks because you can follow the links in the post bar if you so desire.

Remember my assessment questions; - What do I do well in these areas or what do I need to work on?

The whole process of blogging has been a thrill in and of itself. It took me so long to jump in but once I plunged into the warm inviting waters I recognized how creatively refreshing it could be. 239 posts and 5877 page views later tells me I am doing swimmingly well.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Scheduling My Adventures

Calendars, Schedules and timelines are intrinsic to planning.

We can make a list of goals as long as your arm but if you don’t consider when they can feasibly take place they are only a wish list.  Making goals and not being practical about your time and energy will only leave you feeling defeated and less productive. If you imagine your goal to be on the other side of the river then imagine your scheduling to be the bridge. You have to schedule time to accomplish your goals or else they just become another to do list. 

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Being intentional with your schedule doesn’t need to be stressful. I know some people find it to demanding to be time oriented and like to go with the flow. I know people that have two appointments on their schedule “At Work” and “At Home”. I don’t have the discipline to make that work so I find rest in a little more structure.

So here’s my plan:-

1. Consider your current work load. Fixed times such as work schedule, daily routines and home life. Schedule this on your weekly calendar so that you can recognize your free time.  Make sure you schedule a buffer for those occasional things that come up. You will learn by experience how much buffer time you need as time goes on. At this point I would suggest 2 hours a week. If those occasional things don’t occur (lucky you!) your buffer can be used for catch up time. We always overschedule rather than under!

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2. Consider your breaks and bank holidays.  If you are fortunate like me and happen to work in school you get scheduled breaks. I will not use all of these breaks for family holidays so I can use some of that time for special projects. Get those highlighted on the calendar early. 

3. Consider seasonal changes and holidays.  Plan it out on a year-to-a-view calendar. Creative people draw their inspiration from the seasons and celebrations throughout the year. I love technology and like to keep a digital schedule but there is nothing more settling than seeing the big picture before me.  I will take that into account when planning my adventures.

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With this done I can now look more realistically at what can be accomplished. It will also help me better assess how I spend my time. Maybe something needs to be cut to make room for something better? Being intentional with my time is part of smiling at my future

If you need free Calendar Templates for 2012 here’s one I like. They have a great three month to a page one that has space for notes.

Free calendar templates

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Think Big for 2012

Before I can make goals  I need to assess how I am doing in each of the areas uncovered in my brainstorming.
Questions like; What do I do well in these areas or what do I need to work on.
Then I can ask, what is in the immediate future that needs my attention and support and what long range goals need to be looked at to maximize potential.
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These are the areas of responsibility that I carry.
wife, mother, schoolwork, overseas work
Roles specific to me alone.
wife to Jim, mother to James, daughter, sister, friend. Afterschool Club
What I am good at.
listener, teacher, writer, motivator, homemaker,
What I love
books, photography, blogging, talking, teaching, relating, all things creative, God, family and friends and my dog Lilly
What of the future
financial security for me and my loved ones, a spiritual legacy for my kin, to continue to have an impact in a needy world, to smile at the future!
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In some of these instances you would be better to ask the input of others. You might be surprised by the answers. We often have blind spots.
I asked both husband and son about what I do well and the expected answers came back about my cooking and housekeeping abilities but a couple of unexpected and very appreciated answers came back. Helps me know what is appreciated and needed!
As I take each one of these and examine where I am and where I want to be I can begin to formulate some milestones.  I can be as pragmatic or as creative as I want. I can think big on this level because I will break it down into measurable goals and timelines in the steps following.