Friday, 25 April 2014

Books to Read: No.1 Ladies Detective Agency

I read a lot.
I started reading when i was 3 years old, and my love of reading has never abated. 

A series of novels i have been reading in the last two weeks, and now on to the last of the series so far,  is by Alexander McCall Smith, author of many books on a variety of subjects, about a private investigator in Botswana.

Fourteen books so far in the series and i have been averaging reading a book a night (i do not sleep much and i read fast).  The fifteenth in the series is due to be published later this year and I am eagerly awaiting it!

They are of course the novels about the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, with the private detective Precious Ramotswe and her assistant, Grace Makutsi.

They are about how small crimes/fraud/infidelity have been investigated by these two ladies, and also about their lives in the ever changing world. The sadness of old traditions being lost, and the embracing of the modern world.

I find these books charming, and hard to put down, they have a good juxtaposition of 'feel good' positive themes, tackling real life problems such as domestic violence, and the honour of some traditional ways.

Mma Ramotswe drinks red bush tea, (which i believe is Rooibus tea), and a common thread through the novels is her drinking her tea. It is very English in this respect as tea is made on occasions of celebration, thought, sadness, and any time in between!

After I have finished the most recently published of this series, I think I shall start on Mr McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club series!

The series so far!






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About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Naturopathy specialising in Herbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Friday, 18 April 2014

Long Weekends: time for creating, cooking, and relaxing

It is the Easter long weekend, four glorious days of not having the two hour each way commute to the day job! It is midday on Easter Friday and despite relaxing I have been quite productive.

I have cooked a Vegan oat slice, it is uber yummy and uses crushed linseeds as the binding ingredient instead of eggs. It is my recipe (i rarely use the recipes of others), and it has baked into a lovely goldeny good semi sweet slice!

I have been working on my art journal pages for the Documented Life Project, it is relaxing to create in an art journal not caring whether it is perfect or not!

I have cleaned the bathroom caddy where i keep my toothbrush , hairbrush, and other detritus of bathroom stuffs.

I have finished reading another of Alexander McCall Smith's 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' novels, I wonder if Botswana is as lovely as his novels suggest?

and I am now watching Star Trek Next Generation, not sure which series or episode, but its the one where Data creates an AI with a positronic brain like his.

What is everyone else doing for their long weekend?


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About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Naturopathy specialising in Herbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Upcycled Ephemera: making greeting cards out of bits n pieces

Ephemera can be defined as collectible paper objects that were originally meant to be transient in nature, (such as movie posters, postcards, magazine clippings, letters). The word is from the ancient Greek 'Ephemeros' meaning for the day.

I collect all sorts of bits of paper, magazine clippings, wrapping paper, old greeting cards, playing cards and the like, and then recycle them into other goodies.

I prefer to use the term upcycle, as sometimes the magazine scraps become better than the original item, when they are reformed into woven papier mache pendants for example.

I enjoy upcycling my collection of ephemera to make one of a kind greeting cards and gift tags as well as jewellery pendants and these I sell either from my facebook page or my etsy store.

Some of the cards I have recently made and sold are pictured below:

    







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About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Naturopathy specialising in Herbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Thursday, 3 April 2014

GOALS check in: My goals for the year, am I on track?

There is no point in making goals if you have no intention to aim for them; or resolutions you know you will break in a month. So if you have made resolutions in the new year, or at any time and want to maintain your resoluions or make progress to your goals, a review every few months is needed. This way you can see how you are going with your resolutions, look at what you need to work on, and congratulate yourself for the targets you have met, are meeting, have kept to.

How am I going with my goals? Time to check in and find out!

Background

If you have read my blog posts before, you may recall my January post outlining my goals for the year, my Goals page where I wrote them to keep myself honest, and my February post where I was monitoring my progress.

We are now in April 2014, the fourth month of the year, time for me to reflect on my progress towards my goals, and to see where I need some motivation, or a kick, to get myself back on track!

My goals this year  in summary are:

  1. blog at least once a week
  2. schedule/organise my time efficiently so I can fit in designing, making, blogging, writing, housework; with my day job!
  3. keep new designs ready to sell in my Facebook store page as well as my etsy store
  4. stay positive, keep positive energy and help others to do the same

How am I tracking?

Blogging: I am blogging at least once a week and sometimes more, I have also started a new blog about alternative medicine and green living, called Apothecary Greens  which I regularly post to.

Organise my time: this is at times hit and miss, my time may be organised, but I have trouble countering fatigue, so instead of doing the activity I should be doing with the allotted time, I may be too tired to do anything, and will instead go to bed early! As I work full time this is probably the right thing to do as I need to have energy for work!  I will need to keep monitoring my organising of time goal until I have it working right for me and getting the results I want.

New designs to sell: I have been making things to: donate to different charities, give away in competitions; stock my Facebook store, my etsy store, and to be sold at auctions. I have not made as much as I would like for all these things, but I am managing to keep up with it all, which is important.

Stay Positive: I admit I am struggling with this goal, but I will not give up. I have experienced the good, happy, strong feeling that thinking positively gives me, so I will keep working on this. I notice I struggle a lot with low self esteem, and any small set back can make me revert to old learned behaviours of self hatred, so by recognising this challenge to staying positive I can work on ways to overcome it.

this printable can be downloaded from my Positive Energy section in this blog

Summary
According to an article in Forbes, only 8% of people keep their resolutions. I am still keeping/working towards mine so I think I am doing okay. In fact just writing this post allows me to see that I do have reasons to be positive as I really am doing okay here at keeping my resolutions.

I think one way to keep your resolutions is to keep doing a goal check in. I am doing that and so far so good! How are your resolutions/goals tracking for you? Let me know in the comments!

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About Me: I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Naturopathy specialising in Herbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers 
............................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat