Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Good Cause Auctions, now with added doodling delightfulness

So here's my latest scheme to raise money for good causes (I should point out up front that one of those good causes happens to be me!):

Auction 1:

My Do Lectures notebook packed full of scribbled snippets of wordly wisdom gleaned from each of the Do Lectures speakers PLUS whoever wins the auction will get a Do Lectures inspired doodle from me every month between now and the next Do Lectures in 2010.

25% of whatever I raise will be donated to the Do Lectures to give them a headstart on their fundraising for the 2010 lectures. Another 25% will go to Ben Bowen to support his fantastic DoTour adventure. The other 50% will go to me and I will spend put it in a safe place and put it towards my 2010 Do Lectures ticket.

Auction 2:

My Howies 2009 Summer Catalogue which features 7 of my doodles hand-drawn over some beautifully inspiring photography by James Bowden ... by the time I mail the catalogue out it will almost definitely have more doodles in it :-) PLUS whoever wins will get a Howies inspired doodle from me every month for a year.

50% of whatever I raise will be donated to James' Bourgeois Bicycle Caravan adventure. The other 50% will go to, you guessed it, me.

So how this will work* is you drop me a message via the comments here, or on twitter, or on Facebook, or via email or by running up to me in the street and let me know which auction you want to bid on and what your best bid is. I'll keep this blogpost updated with the highest bid and I'll close the bidding on Sunday evening (27th September) at around 9pm.

*All the usual rules apply ... basically I make the final decision about who the winning bidder is and I won't close the bidding until all bidders are finished ... this isn't ebay ;-)

Monday, 21 September 2009

One Hundred Days Of DO

Today I bought a new notebook for recording my first 100 Days of DO-ing ... The first 100 Days of Do is up on the 16th December and hopefully there will be meetups of Doers going on all over the UK ... all I have to do is help make it happen and then decide which meetup to go to :-)

By the way, I've worked out that if you work to a 100 day change cycle then you can have three change cycles every year and still have 65 days of rest ... I quite like the sound of that!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Do you want to play?

When I started this blog it was part of me taking a tiny first step towards a long-held dream ... to help others have fun exploring their creativity. My fledgling idea was that eventually I would hold workshops for creative souls who want to play at making art, crafty bits and pieces. Thanks to an inspiring talk by Andrew Reason at the Do Lectures (and helped along by a sharp nudge in the ribs from the irrepresible Duke Stump) I've decided to take a leap and organise the first ever 'Let Creativity Begin workshop'.

Here's the plan: a group of us (girls only I'm afraid!) will spend 3 or 4 days together in early November. You can stay at my house or at a local hostelry. I'll supply the materials, inspiration and food ... you bring your sense of fun and a willingness to share your ideas and play. During the day we'll cover the dining room table with words, paintbrushes, scraps of material, glue and things we've ripped from magazines; In the evening we'll eat together, drink together, make popcorn, watch heartwarming films and share our stories ... we might even sing, or teach each other to knit, or go for a scary torchlit walk in the woods.

all the ingredients for creativity

You'll be helping me shape future workshops so I'll leave it up to you to pay what you think the workshop is worth/contribute however much you can afford. If you're interested in coming to this workshop then get in touch and we can take it from there!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Do be brave, Do be happy

I am currently finding myself rather dumbstruck at the magnitude of awesome things that are going on in my life right now. Today seems to have completely gone off the awesomeness scale and is carrying right on up through the stratosphere.

First of all it's payday ... which might not seem all that awesome but it means that I can pay back one of my Do-nators. Paul Carruthers (@paulcarruthers) blew me away when he donated £100 - firstly because we'd only recently met on twitter when he made the donation and secondly because he was doing his own fundraising at the time and training to cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats! The doodle I did for Paul is below {well it would be if blogger was uploading the image! in the meantime you can see it here} and will be winging its way to him as soon as possible :-)

Second of all I found out that my application to the Leadership Unleashed programme was successful!!!! It made my day when I saw a tweet from Michele Taylor (@mou5e) to say that she'd found out she was accepted to the programme ... when I checked my email and found out that I was accepted too I burst into tears of joy! You'll see from my recent tweets that I was far from confident about applying:

"writing my application for a leadership programme is tricky when I don’t see myself as a leader :-("
"… my application can be condensed to 5 words: “take a chance on me” … please keep all fingers and toes crossed until further notice"
"in a rare moment of bravery I’ve just submitted an application to the Leadership Unleashed development programme: http://ow.ly/oFhQ … gulp"

The next 12 months look set to be somewhat of an adventure - I'm looking forward to [i.e. feeling mild terror at the thought of] having my preconceptions of who I am and what I'm capable of stretched to their very limits.

Thirdly, I went for my first singing lesson in about a month. I started lessons about 3 months ago and I'm completely loving it. Turns out that I've actually got a pretty good voice - I just need to learn how to control and amplify my instrument :-) If you've ever fancied learning to sing then I insist you find a singing teacher or join your local community choir ... whether I spend the lesson singing scales, humming like an angry bee or singing the 'Tale As Old As Time' (from Beauty and the Beast) I always leave my lesson on a complete high ... and it only costs me £16 for each lesson!

Fourthly, and finally, I had the privilege of spending a transformational 30 minutes chatting with Duke Stump (@skratta) on skype. Duke was one of the Do Lectures speakers who I was lucky enough to connect with ... in an irreverent piss-taking kind of a way ... and he offered to give me a bit of coaching after the Do Lectures dust had settled. Despite *slight* technological difficulties (all at Duke's side of the Atlantic I'm fairly certain ;-) it was a deeply thought provoking and challenging conversation that ended up with quite an extraordinary revelation ... it's a bit early for me to spill the beans but I promise that as soon as I can put it into words I'll share my 'big audacious hairy goal' with you. I'm so grateful to Duke for sneaking up behind me and shoving me over the edge of the clifftop ... I'm sure it won't be a wholly graceful descent but he's certainly got my '100 days of Do' off to a high velocity start ... and hopefully I'll find my Doing wings on the way down :-)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

My Do Lectures Notebook

Open my Do Lectures notebook on the Issuu website

This is the notebook I filled with words while I listened to each of the Do Lectures speakers. I'm planning to auction off this notebook to the highest bidder ... 75% of the money I raise will go to good causes, 25% will go towards getting me to the 2010 Do Lectures (arguably also a good cause, albeit a less altruistic one!). I haven't worked out the best way to run the auction yet ... all ideas and/or initial bids very welcome!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Feels Like Home to Me

"Decide who it is you want to hear and let them speak to you" ~ Andrew Huggett

In the weeks that led up to the Do Lectures I went stumbling and crashing through pretty much every possible emotion ... hope, euphoria, relief, gratitude, unworthiness, fear, quiet bravery and loud celebration ... at the root of it all was the worry that I wasn't enough of a 'doer' to deserve a place at the Do Lectures and a fear that I wouldn't fit in. Then suddenly I was there in the middle of Fforest - all the mental noise fell away and then the learning began.

Trying to describe being at the Do Lectures would be like painting the Forth Bridge ... it would take forever to do and as soon as I got to the end there would be new stuff to describe from right at the beginning. All I can tell you is that the deep connectedness, deep learning and deep sense of timelessness I experienced in those four days is threaded and stitched through my soul in a way that makes the ticket price pale into insignificance.

As I unpack, literally and metaphorically, from my trip to 'TED in a Welsh field' I'll try and find the words to share my experiences but in the meantime you can see the Do Lectures through my eyes in my flickr photostream, and read the tweets I made while I was there on my tumblr blog.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009