Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

June 22- a day at the sea, originally uploaded by rufusandco.
Fish and chips
Buckets and spades
Beach huts
A stroll on the pier ....

A perfect day out at the quintessential English seaside town of Southwold.
A fantastic way to recharge batteries and soak up some sun.

PS. Back to the 365 life plan tomorrow!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Designing a 365 life plan

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. 
And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." 
Jim Rohn

This quote really struck home to me today when I read it in Michael Bungay Stanier's thought provoking newsletter.
Maybe it is because I am on holiday in the Uk and the change of air/light/ water is having an effect or perhaps it is time for change in me.
 Anyone else out there who is also wanting to stop and think about plans?

A few weeks ago I wrote about my fabulous 365 group on Flickr. Now I want to make a 365 plan for my life. I wondered how I could reincarnate my motivation  to take a photo a day into a 365 life plan.

~ just commit to writing a thought each day when I journal - not exciting enough

I realised
~ I am a visual person and one reason the photo a day project works for me is because I see a result every day. I need that.
~ So TODAY I am going to take note cards and make a card for each area I want to move steadily forwards on in the next 365 days.
Make a note card for each and then I can work on one of those areas daily. There is nothing more encouraging than looking back on work you've done to make you feel like you want to go further - so add the date.

All this sounds so wordy so here are some of my plans for the next year:
~ planning the family get together in our new house at Christmas 
~ developing my future retail business
~ shedding the things we don't want to move back to the Uk with (a mammoth task!)
~ finding a solution to getting Rufus, our dog, looked after in Europe for 6 months - he can't go straight back to Uk
~ creating new product lines to sell from business
~ planning house extension for new house
~ plans for the garden

I want to see that everyday I get something done on one of these areas. I also know that I will add new ones .
That's the beauty of using note cards - just add another one. I don't need to know now what it is going to look like at the end of 365 days.
Oh I almost forgot - COLOUR - we have to have colour on our cards.
Frame the card with thematic colours- everything on Rufus can be golden!!
Stick clippings onto the card. 
Add photos

This is going to be what the view from our kitchen 
I just need to get started now. So check back tomorrow and I hope I have something to show you.
Any ideas on how to build on this idea? Please share because I need all the help I can get to be organised.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

* Thank your lucky stars *

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances, be more active. Show up more often." ~ Brian Tracy
Who doesn't want to feel lucky today?

When I read this quote in my daily email from charity I got me thinking about luck.

I never seem to win at raffle draws but I do think I'm lucky. So ... does it depend on how you view luck, or is it just down to taking more chances?

Well, when I say I don't win at raffle draws that is not quite true - I circumvented my low track record of wins by cheating fate recently.
This year at the school spring fair I wrote 'Rufus' on all my raffle tickets (Rufus is my wheaten terrier). You had to be there to see the surprise on people's faces when his name was read out. In total, Rufus won 3 prizes for me - including a 2 night stay at Novotel in downtown Beijing, 288 KitKat chocolate bars and 1000 rmb ($160) of IKEA products.

I am 100% certain my name would not have been so lucky. 
I am also sure that next year Rufus would not be lucky.

I wanted to read more about luck and found this article has some fascinating ideas.

In a nutshell :
Lucky people often follow their intuition
Lucky people like to introduce variety in how they do things.
Lucky people can see the good in their misfortunes - things could have been much worse.

What is amazing is that the researcher, Richard Wiseman, found that when 'unlucky' people were encouraged to act as a lucky person would, they too became luckier (as well as happier and more contented).

So if you want to join Rufus and his KitKat's you could take a few minutes 
to read the article and generate some good fortune for yourself.

Let me know if you get lucky!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Making a special space

Last week I was reflecting on sacred as part of the Unravelling course I am on. 
Some of my fellow unravellers had special places within their home 
and that made me think about where I could create the same. 
 I realised that I am never in one space consistently but wanted to create a talisman that I can draw strength from wherever I write
 - which I try to do every morning.

Why not quilt a mat that will always be under my journal? I thought. 
Maybe it can store up good thoughts to appear on the page? Well you get my drift.
 Long story cut short - I was searching amongst bookmarked pages when I was reminded of 
a 'ticker tape' quilt I had seen on Flickr.

Below is my effort - using favourite fabrics and colours.
 Now I write on it (not literally) every morning.
Maybe I need one under my keyboard too!

Here's to special places. 
Do check out my new adventure here
You can find instructions on how to make your own ticker-tape quilt at both these inspiring blogs sewmamasew or crazymomquilts.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A Fable about a Table

A little sweetener to invite you over to check out my newest blog site .... 

Launched today
I hope this will be my window to the world 
for ideas on interiors, dining and connecting together.

Just to get the party started I am going to send a little welcoming pressie 
to the first 10 followers of the new blog.
 So hope you will be one of them.
(Make sure you leave a comment in the box so I can get it to you)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

365 -The Month of May

I don't know how I stumbled on the 365 - photo a day idea but it is one of the best things I have done ever!!

This is a mosaic I have made from the May highlights.
The stories of my month in both Beijing and UK (1 week)

Rufus balancing a basket, 
modelling the new PTA apron design 
keeping neighbourhood watch. 
Buying a house in Suffolk
Remembering dear Uncle Ralph who died
Welcoming my son Jesper and friends to Beijing
 Mum in hospital with a broken leg
An unexpected sail home from Holland when ash grounded planes
A crane upending in a neighbours garden
making soup with Cathy
delicious desserts
beautiful blossoms
Fun with my 365 Bj group

They say a picture paints a thousand words and this mosaic certainly paints a few hundred!

I feel like an advocate for starting 365 groups on Flickr.
You just don't know how much fun life can be with 365!

How many of you can guarantee you can smile or laugh within a minute of opening your computer?
This is what 365 can do for you.

Let me tell you a story..... 
about how I went about it and then see if you want to try it for yourself.

Back in February 2010 I came across a 365 group, probably on Flickr. 
I googled '365' and found all sorts of groups doing just this. Some huge. 
I wanted something intimate with people I knew - but what I didn't know was who would want to join me. 
Well I knew my eldest daughter Astrid would and she was the first member but who else?
So I decided not to try guess - just send the same email to all friends and family in my address book.
There were challenges for people - 
anyone in China would need a VPN site to circumvent the great firewall of China!! 
Some people would need coaxing to get started in Flickr 
and many needed encouraging to make time.

I wanted as few rules as possible, not wanting to scare anyone off
Take one photo a day
for one year
starting February 14th 2010 (The start of the Year of the Tiger)

Don't use photos taken previously
don't post more than one for any day

Retrospective posting is ok (not more than 6 uploaded per day)
If you miss some days no worries - either take 2 on the following day or miss 
Add the date to your photo in the title or description
Have fun
 This is not a competition
 Comment on others photos
Optional : make a mosaic at the end of the month with all the photos together in one.

Maybe I just have the most incredibly funny and insightful, creative friends ever (yes they are really)
But we have so much fun with comments, 
 themes for the week and silliness
but also artiness, 
 technique sharing 
and general looking out for each other 
(when someone doesn't post for a few days everyone else is concerned are they ok)

The common denominator is me
I know everyone
but they may or may not know anyone else.
 It doesn't matter 
because we are like one tribe, family, bunch ... 
whatever you want to call it ...
It is just the best.
We are spread over the world -
USA, UK, Denmark, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam
The great thing is with all these time zones, someone is always posting
whatever time of night or day you look.

35 people signed up to join the group and maybe 18 post regularly
with about 10 diehards who have one for everyday.
 It all works.
 Even if you only post 5 a month , 
I guarantee it is 60 photos more than you would have had at the end of the year.
It is a bit like meditation...
the first few times seem hard... 
What if it's 9pm and I have forgotten to take one?
Just the snap the film you were watching on TV - or in my case Rufus again!
The practice of not missing a day makes it all ok. 
Afterall I am not trying to sell these photos.
 But I love what they mean to me.

That is what I remind everyone 
at the end of the day 
you are doing this for yourself...
not to win praise or prizes

If you would like to see more of what we have been doing go here: 365 -year of the tiger
If you need help setting a group up just let me know.
I have a passion for this and would love to help

P.S. Just double click on a thumbnail if you want to read the comments

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