30 by 30 challenge – Make a useable handbag

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As a part of my 30 by 30 challenge (an update soon!) I set myself the challenge of making a useable handbag.

I started with the bag kit that came with my Sew! book by Cath Kidston.  I’m not very good at following instructions that are written down, but I went through this one step by step and I’m seriously proud of how it came out.

The only bit I messed up was the buttonhole, which was a rouleau (?) loop – I could not for the life of me work that out – so I sewed a couple of big poppers inside instead.  I also sewed the straps to the bag permanently and used the buttons as decoration, rather than attempt buttonholes.

 

I’m really proud of it actually, and I’m going to use it, regularly.  I’m also going to have a go at making it again, with different fabric, just to cement the techniques in my mind.

Emotional Roller Coaster

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Roller Coaster

There are certain events in a person’s life that lead them to experience many changing emotions and I’m going through one of them at the moment.  I’m about to leave my current place of work, after 9 years.

Mostly I’m feeling very excited about finding a new opportunity, I’ve got a lot of great skills that I can’t wait to use in a new role, but every now and then I get hit by a massive bout of sadness, for the people I will be leaving behind – you can’t work with people every day and not form deep and close friendships.  There is of course a healthy dose of fear and nervousness, but that kind of goes without saying!

 

So you might see a bit more of me around here in the coming months, I’m going to have some time on my hands and I think some of it may well be spent blogging, as I said to an old friend this morning – just getting the stuff out can help can’t it, even if it isn’t read by many, or indeed any.

 

Moofix – A side project

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An image of the moofix logo

So, I wanted to tell you a little bit about a side project I’ve been working on…

You may or may not have gathered from some of my other posts that I’m a prolific reader and adore books.  Well, when my friend J offered me the chance to help him out making books who was I to turn down the opportunity!

So ladies and gents, I give you Moofix! We are a local publisher, looking for books and authors.  We all love reading and books and we’re really excited to launch our very first book very soon 🙂

I’m dealing with the marketing side, particularly social media (no really?!) so would love it if you could all come and say hello on our facebook page and get the discussions going.

Have a great day, and seriously, pick up a book!

About social media – a different kind of post

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Some of you may or may not know that I work “in social media”. My current job is working for a large company looking after their social media strategy and presence. I’ve had reason in the last few weeks to think about exactly what all this means and it has got me thinking about what it is that social media means to me, and why I love it.

There are posts and discussions all around the web talking about working in social media. Over on the Social Penguin blog, Mike has made it clear what he thinks about people who call themselves “experts” or “guru’s” *shudder*.  And if I’m honest, I have to agree.  I’ve been introduced by my colleagues as an expert before (though secretly I think I prefer the title “The Queen of Social”!) and it always makes me shrink.  I mean, how do you live up to that?

We are working in an area of (in my case) marketing that is so new, even now, that I don’t think anyone can really be an expert.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m not good at my job, I am. What I’m saying is there is still so much to learn, and it’s not as if once you think you’ve learnt everything thats it, the world of social media is just growing and changing at a rapid rate.

For example, this week, facebook announced they have a billion active users every month! A billion! That just sounds like a made up number to me. But of course, the key here isn’t the number so much as the fact these people are actively going to facebook again and again, they don’t just have accounts and leave it at that (hello google plus).  It is really hard to escape facebook in every day life now, connecting with friends, events, invites, this is all done through this one portal now, and a large number of people can access it from anywhere, smartphone usage is now huge.  I can’t imagine being without mine.

But facebook doesn’t equal social media.  Facebook is one tool, one site and yes it is the biggest in the western world, but working in social media doesn’t mean spending all day on facebook.

The reason I think I’m good at what I do, isn’t because I’m particularly technical, or advanced in my adoption of these tools, its because I’m really good at talking to people.  I love striking up conversations with new people (I wouldn’t sit next to me on a long train joruney!), I’m pretty good at putting people at ease and I’m genuine.  I don’t try and pretend to be someone else.  And as well as being the reasons I think I’m good at my job, this is why I enjoy it.

Because I do, I love my job, I love interacting with a community, talking on behalf of my company, deciding how we should talk to our customers in this space and also yes, even dealing with crises.

I’m going to blog a bit more about this topic in the next few weeks, my life is changing and I’m exploring new ways of thinking about everything, let me know if you have specific social media questions, I’ll do my best to try and answer them.

Book Recommendations! Monica Pradhan “The Hindi-Bindi Club”

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As a part of my 30 by 30 challenge, I’ve been trying to read a lot, I’m currently at 51 books, and I really wanted to tell you about number 51.

The Hindi-Bindi Club, by Monica Pradhan

I was looking for something new to read at the library and this book was in the “Staff recommendation” section, so I picked it up after a cursory glance (I’m a judge a book by its cover girl!) and added it to my pile.

I really want you to read it, because this book is beautiful, so I’m not going to tell you too much about it.  It tells the story of 3 families really, the mothers who went to America when they were young, from various parts of India, and their daughters who were born in America, bought bought up with a dual heritage. It really is a case of East meets West and I fell in love slightly, both with Monica Pradhan’s India, and the book.

I sat reading it on the bus and when I got near the end I found myself tearing up, which is very embarrassing.  The bonus of this lovely story is the gorgeous recipes littered throughout, including the notes from each of the people who wrote them.  If you check out the website you can see more lovely recipes and read the messages left by people (including me) who were touched by the book.

If you do feel the desire to buy this book, I’ve added an amazon affiliate link below, which it would be lovely if you do use 🙂

 

So, over to you, what book has touched you recently? I’ve still got 49 books to read! What would you recommend?

 
 

 

30 by 30 update

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Oh man! I really shouldn’t set myself blog targets – I just suck at them.

I’ve failed on the updating of my blog every month target but I have been ticking some things off my list, including:

  • Get my passport
  • Go somewhere I’ve never been before
  • Drive all the way to my parents
  • Organise a trip away with Dave

And I’ve been cracking on with my films and books – I’ve watched 38 films and read 25 books (possibly more!).  I have dates of everything written down and will update properly when I get home.

 

 

Change of goal #29

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#29 on my list is to finish the scarf I started to crochet at christmas.  I’ve decided to change this, to something slightly more challenging, but also something I’ve been working on too.

I’m crocheting a blanket of afghan squares for our bed.  Its going to be blue, purple and green and probably needs to be at least 240 squares, I’ve made 43!

So this is my new challenge!

Guilty pleasure films

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This was written on the train on my iPhone so please forgive no links or images.

I sat and watched the new version of St Trinian’s last night, a film I’ve seen before, but counts towards my 100 films.

It’s a good giggle of a film and one I really enjoyed, but couldn’t help feeling it was a bit of a guilty pleasure, I mean, it’s aimed at teenagers and is really rather silly, that doesn’t stop it being enjoyable!

And it got me thinking about other films I feel are slight guilty pleasures.

One has to be Bandslam which is one of our favourites! Another teen film with an awesome soundtrack.

Another one I love is Calamity Jane a Doris Day musical set in the wild west. This one makes me giggle, and cry and I love it.

More chick flicks in the form of 27 Dresses this is a film I never thought I’d enjoy but love o settle down and watch any time, nothing beats the “Benny and the Jets”
Scene!

Now of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these films, but I guess they aren’t really cool or edgy, but they are really enjoyable, and surely, sometimes that’s all you want from a movie?

What are your guilty pleasures?! Be brave and share with the group!

30 by 30, an update

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Well, hey there.
I can’t give you a total on the films and book list – my list is at home, I’m sat in a hotel room watching pants tv, so I thought I’d take the time to give you a little bit of an update.

the big one
I’m chuffed to bits that today I actually managed to fully pay off my credit card (number 1 on the list!). This was the big one and I’m so glad to have been able to do it. It’s going to make a real difference too.

feel the fear and do it anyway
I did my first “thing that scares me” this month too. I had to give a presentation at work, and the last one I did didn’t go so well, I was really disappointed with myself and therefore a lot more nervy this time around. I’m pleased to say that I was actually proud of the presentation I gave, and myself. So, big tick in the box – first one down!

So, overall, making some progress, I’ll do a film/book update soon, as well as march’s photo post.
Hope you are all doing ok.