Making, Teaching, Talking, Growing – this year so far…

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At the end of January I was super smug at how I was doing against my 2018 goals “Learn Apply, Interact”, but we can all easily have a spurt of productivity and focus towards our New Year’s Resolution that early on.  The question is, at the end of February, am I still focused?  Have I learnt anything? Done anything with that knowledge and interacted with the right people and platforms to achieve my goals?

Well just in case you can’t be arsed to read any more, the short answer is YES!!!  And in the hope of enticing you to stick with it, here are some visuals to demonstrate some of this years successes so far…

Yes, I’ve been really proactive with my stained glass, making batches of glass hens, blue tits, daffodils, easter eggs and a couple of dragons…. OK, I haven’t finished the dragons but they’re cut and ready for the next phase.  Here’s one I made earlier…

Yes, I am officially offering AND DELIVERING stained glass teaching from my little home studio.  I’ve discovered it’s ideal for teaching on a one to one basis or up to 3 people at a time so it makes a great Mother and Daughter gift (thinking Mothers Day here people 😉 ); best friends break; or couples activity.  This mum and daughter had a fabulous time.  Get in touch if you want to book one – I may be offering deals and discounts to friends/ bloggers xx

home workshop no1

Yes, having hoped to do a bit of demoing /public speaking this year I happily have have two demos/talks to do for a couple of WI groups – first one is in 10 days time I shall be making daffodils out of glass before their very eyes!  Magic!

And yes, things are looking up on social media. My followings are improving. More importantly the interaction is going up… no point in having likers and followers if they never chat to you is there… I’m making some lovely friends through it and who knows where it will lead. This year so far I have 78 more twitter followers, 26 more blog followers; both around 15% increases but blog views per month have doubled since 2017 (based on monthly averages )…

My finally piece of positive news is the guest spot coming up on Deborah’s My Random Musings , Bloggers Corner Interview … goes live on 25th… so excited.  I love Deborahs’ blog and how she supports other bloggers and writers.

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However  I have been struggling….

On the learning front….

…I tried and tried and tried to get my head around my existing blog/websites for my B&B and decided I was just not techy enough.  I read loads of stuff about blogging and twitter and wordpress and tied myself in a knot of frustration and felt like I was drowning in all the information and my failure to process it.  In the end I put a shout out for help and am delighted to say that I had several offers of support.  Thanks to those who offered help and advice.  Particularly…..

Katy McKenzie of Something Different   is studying Film Production at Derby Uni and has her own successful Youtube channel.  She has offered to help me create a media pack… just chatting to her and tapping in to her enthusiasm was refreshing, it calmed me out of my panic straight away… who says the young can’t teach us oldies a few things!  I look forward to her technical insight .

Holistic health blogger  and freelance digital marketer, Petra Kravos of  Be Healthy Now, has taken me up on the offer of a skills swap… she’s going to help me with my tech and in return I will treat her to a weekend break with her partner here at our B&B…. can’t wait to meet her in person and to learn some new tricks.    I just hope I can impress her with my homemade veggie and vegan breakfast options 😉 … I know she’ll love the fresh air and landscape and the wonderful cycling routes just on our doorstep.

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I’m now very excited about the prospects of learning and developing my sites over the next month or so….

And just a quicky roundup of how I’m doing on my health and wellbeing goals…

I’ve lost a stone in weight, god knows where from as I still feel like I’m bursting out of bras and trousers in every direction but those scales don’t lie. I’m eating more healthily; have cut out all junk snack; feel more energised; am drinking loads more water; have not had any much alcohol (mums birthday and valentines); and I’ve walked into the village everyday occasionally instead of taking the car; basically its all heading in the right direction.

However….

… have failed on the weekly date days with Hubby (although we do snuggle together on the sofa every evening);  And I’ve barely made it to a dance/exercise class nor have I just danced for fun, although I have been practicing my belly rolls  …I’ll never get to this but I can remain inspired… an old woman girl can dream of being this fit can’t she

So how is your year going?  Did you set targets?  Have they fallen by the wayside? Perhaps there have been some surprises that have moved you in other directions? Would love to hear from you.

Shank You Very Much
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Spring, St Davids Day and the sunshine flower…

Daffodils - Wordsworth

art, painting, snowdrops
acrylic painting of snowdrops by me

It’s supposed to be Spring, yet (and not for the first time at this time of year) it’s snowing, halting the daffodils in their push to shine bright in our gardens and roadside borders.  Its rare, to be fair, for us here in Mid Wales to have many, if any daffodils in flower for St Davids Day , 1st March.  Yet every year, as the daffs begin to poke their snouts out of the cold ground in January we hope impatiently and unrealistically , that they will be bobbing their sunny heads in the early days of Spring, before winter has said its final farewells.  They never do.

So today, the very last of February , there is a blanket of snow covering the grass, hiding the daffodils with their still covered heads, and camouflaging the snowdrops.

Tomorrow is St Davids Day, and living here in Mid Wales for the last 13 years , it’s pretty hard to ignore.  Why would I want to anyway?

So who is this St David you may be asking…. (or not, but I’m going to tell you anyway).

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Well here is the handsome chap….. depicted in this lovely stained glass window from Castell Coch in Carmarthenshire

David was a Welsh bishop of Mynyw ( now St Davids, Pembrokeshire) during the C6th.  He lived from 500 – 589 AD and died on the 1st March that year. He was canonised in the 1120AD by Pope Callixtus II and since then 1st March has been a festival day to celebrate him; St Davids Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi.

He was born to an aristocratic family in SW Wales, descended from the royal house of Ceredigion..   He was a teacher, highly disciplined and during his life helped found a dozen monasteries in all.  He founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) in Pembrokeshire (where St Davids Cathedral now stands).

The Welsh (quite rightly in my opinion) think St Davids Day should be a National Holiday as is St. Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland. In fact cross-party support resulted in the Welsh National Assembly voting unanimously to make Saint David’s Day a public holiday in 2000. A poll conducted for Saint David’s Day in 2006 found that 87% of people in Wales wanted it to be a bank holiday, with 65% prepared to sacrifice a different bank holiday to achieve this.  However a petition in 2007 to make Saint David’s Day a bank holiday was rejected by the office of the then PM Tony Blair (grrrr).

The national symbol being the leek, The 7th century king of Gwynedd, Cadwaladr, is said to have ordered his men into battle wearing them for identification purposes.

Back to the Daffs.  The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, the origins of the national flower of Wales appears to be as an attractive interloper, introduced during the 19th century, as a replacement for the humble leek. David Lloyd George, the only Welshman to serve as PM, was a public advocate of the daffodil and its appearance in early spring as a symbol of nature’s optimism neatly coincides with St David’s Day on March 1.

So there you have it, whilst we have no daffodils in flower here at Cerdyn Villa yet, there are plenty , I’m sure, in full bloom in England.  there are certainly loads in the shops but I shall wait until my garden is abundant with them.

In the meantime I’ll make to with the stained glass ones I’ve been working on.

stained glass, welsh, daffodils for St Davids Day

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Spring may not have sprung yet – but its definitely in the air..

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The weather these last few days has been truly gorgeous: ice cold, fresh, still and sunny. The perfect type of Winter day on the cusp of Spring.  The perfect days for pottering about, tidying stuff up and chopping stuff down.  The perfect type of day for pottering about in the garden.

Cerdyn Villa is showing signs of new life and fresh activity.

I’ve been pruning and tidying and Hubby has been putting his new Christmas present to the test and is chainsawing up the trees we had cut down in Autumn, ready for stacking and drying.  In Winter 2019 they will provide our central heating.

New hens have arrived.  The two older girls, Tammy and Heather (the white one) have settled in and are free roaming alongside all the others in our clutch.

The four new Ayam Cemanis (our Goth girls and boys) are a tad too young to put in with the rest of them.  They’re not yet old enough to lay.  Only 13 weeks old.  One is definitely a cock and that’s fine – he can have his own hareem , but if there’s another cock he’ll need re-homing otherwise all hell will break loose.  I’ve got a few weeks before I’ll know and a few more before I need to worry, but just in case, I have a new home lined up .  In the meantime they’ve got their own playroom to explore

So…this conifer.. it was dying anyway…..I lopped off all the branches and then Hubby got out his new Parker ... we all love a good power tool and according to him this is an exceptionally good power tool..

Note : this post is neither affiliated to or sponsored by Parker Brand products, or anyone else for that matter ; all comments and opinions are, as always, my very own.
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