Through The Grapevine

Intertwining conversations


Isn’t it amazing?  Even when you have no money you’re required to pay money to tell everyone you don’t have money.  Here is an extract from, the UK’s public information website, about declaring yourself bankrupt:

‘When completed the form should be taken to the county court nearest to you that has bankruptcy jurisdiction. A fee of £150 is payable, although this can be waived if you meet specific criteria, when you file the petition.

A deposit of £345, for the Official Receiver’s work, is also payable at this time. This amount cannot be waived.’

Is it only me or has the World gone mad?? Aside from the above fees, don’t forget you’d probably still need to pay someone to present your case and handle your assets.




Mary vs. Mary : Some funny shit!!!

Some of you might have seen this video going around on Facebook and thought it was legit. Sorry to be the one to tell you but it’s the brilliant work of a collaboration of comedian’s on You Tube. However sad you may be that it’s not real I’m sure you’ll appreciate the skill required to carry this off.

Check out the real video of Mary Roach (or Gilbeaux???) below. Hard to believe but she’s even WEIRDER!!!

What I have to be grateful for today…

The lightness of happiness1. Some people spend their lifetimes searching for what I have in my life at 25.
2. Not all of my dreams have come true, but neither have all of my nightmares.
3. I have two active, naughty sons that drive me up the wall. But they have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes!!
4. Although times may be hard, I have the determination to make them better. I have the support of my husband and my family. I have a roof over my head and a clean place to make a wee.
4. I have no regrets for the mistakes I have made in the past. Every step I have taken has lead me to this moment right now. And in this moment right now, I’m content and I am happy.

Yipy yippy yay yay!!!


Get the creative juices flowing baby!!!

This year January began with a list of New Year’s resolutions, as January normally does.  The difference is this year I’ve managed to keep to most of them.  My first and most major resolution was to inspire myself creatively; to enhance my life through art.  Now those that know me will know, although I’m creative in a business sense, I am in no way (or was in no way) blessed with any art skills.  Just to give you a quick insight into how unskilled I am at drawing, ask me to draw a stick man and then try figure out which blob is the head and which blob is his foot.  And yes, I do know a stick man is a combination of a number of straight lines and a circle for a head.  But circles and straight lines are not my fortei.

I told myself that art wasn’t only about drawing, and that painting wasn’t only about creating exact replicas.  I am perfectly capable of using my two hands to create something that people would value.  So with those issues aside I declared myself an ARTIST!

So, to begin I needed some equipment and a number of ‘arty’ tools.  I didn’t want to restrain myself to one type of art so I decided that I’d use my house as a muse, and anything I wanted changed or done I’d do myself.  I decided I wanted a chandelier, cushion covers, abstract paintings and photo frames to make my house a warm and cozy place to live.  I bought myself a fresh-out-the-box sewing machine (I’d NEVER sewn before), some bits-and-bobs from the haberdashery store and paints, brushes, canvases, wires and beads from my local Hobbey Craft.

GOLD and Antique Bronze were to be my theme colours, complimenting my dark brown furniture and maroon sofa. 

Task 1: Frames

I found three pine frames and sprayed them each a different colour, one gold, one maroon and antique bronze and another just the bronze.  I filled them with gorgeous photos of my boys on holiday taken by a dear friend of mine from Third Eye Photography (feast your eyes on his work – the baby is mine).

Task 3:  Cushion Covers

I got two pair of chocolate brown curtains out of a box in the attic.  Hung one pair up, and tore the other into pieces I could use to make cushions.  Braving the sewing machine I managed to make 4 cushion covers and matching seat cushions for my diningroom chairs.

Task 3: Photo Tree 

I found a beautiful branch in my son’s school grounds, thin and windy, reminiscent of a vine.  I took it home and spray painted it in antique gold.  I threaded a number of long wire pieces with small orange beads and wrapped them round all the twigs and the stork of the branch.  I purchased some green silk leaves and tied them onto the tree at intervals.  I used some of the beads for my chandeliers to create hanging jewels which I hung on the branch.  Then finally I hung photos with small wire hooks all over the ‘tree’.  It now stands proudly in my lounge and visitors never fail to pay it compliments.

Task 4: Abstract Painting (my favourite)

Using a combination of metallic acrylics and enamel paints I’ve managed to create a few pieces which I’m really proud of, and happy to showcase on my wall.  One of my personal favourites is a print of my hand on a black canvas.  I made a thick blend using a number of metallic pastel paints, stuck my hand into the paint and transfered the print to the canvas.  The metallics on the black background give the hand print the same array of colours you’d see when you look at the inside of a clam shell.  I like!!

Task 5: Chandelier

So far this task is unfinished as it’s very hard to get a modern frame to hang my beads from.  I’ve done a lot of bead work and the finished product is going to be amazing.  I guess I’m going to have to teach myself how to weld!

So that’s it.  I’m constantly thinking of new challenges to add to my list of things to make.  All ears open to suggestions.

If you’re keen on this type of stuff, I recently found a gem for ideas and instructions, it’s called ReadyMade magazine, they also have a book and they’ve got some crazy retro ideas.  Very Cool.  If you can figure out how to do the balloon light shades in one of their articles please let me know cause I’ve tried and failed miserably every time.

My camera’s broken so when I get a new one I’ll post an update with some pictures of my work.

Can we really be that stupid???

Can the millions spent on cosmetics each year really be credited to advertising?  When we watch Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson prancing around on our TV screens, perfectly coloured hair reinforcing their advertising blurb about L’oreal hair colour, the infamous ‘Because you’re worth it’ resounding in our ears.  Do we really, even for one second, believe that any of them dye their own hair, never mind use L’Oreal??

I have never been to a hairdresser, anywhere in the world, (and believe me I’ve been to a lot of different hairdressers, in a lot of different places) that uses Tresemme.  Yet the advertising is persistent: ‘Used by Professionals’.  Yes, I’m sure it is.  I’m sure a lot of doctors, lawyers and accountants use it.  But hairdressers?  I fear not.

So how is it that these company’s continue to get our ££££ despite lying to us so blatantly?  Are we so desperate to look like celebrities that we’ll conform to being the stupid receptors that these companies are exploiting?  And how do these celebrities maintain an ounce of credibility when they’ll take money to endorse products they’d never use?  Understanding the power of their endorsements you’d think they’d put it to better use.

Legit work from home opportunities

As technology improves so does the way most people balance their work and private lives with a large number of employees hanging up their corporate attire and opting to work from home.  For those of us who have little or no qualifications and not an entrepreneurial bone in their body, legit work from home opportunities can be few and far between.

If you are anything like me you would have used an array of keywords to search for the perfect home based employment opportunity.  The searches certainly always resulted in hundreds of ads for quick-stick-make-a-million in-a-week kind of  schemes.  Trying to sift through the pyramid schemes to find something worth-while persuing can be a job in it’s own.

There are a number of be-your-own-boss programs that allow you to work your own hours and find your own customers.  However, most of those require some capital investment for purchasing stock and corporate stationary.  If this is your thing then you might want to sign-up with Avon, Bodyshop At Home, Kleeneze or Fakebake.

If not, then read on because the next two businesses I’m about to talk about are 100% legit, offer great perks and you won’t have to pay the company to start working with them.

1. Arise UK.  All you need is a computer, a phone and a broadband connection.  You’ll be outsourced to handle inbound customer care calls and log all details onto the relevant company’s on-line database.  Pay is somewhere between £6-£9 per hour.  There will be a couple of costs you’ll incur.  Your first cost will be to register a company as you won’t be working for Arise but rather for yourself.  It costs about £40 to register a limited company and can be done through Company House.  You also have the option of working for a company that’s already been registered to work for Arise and then you won’t have to register your own business.  Next, you’ll need to buy yourself a good phone that can be used with a headset.  Arise will not employ you without a certified background check, this will cost you a further £20.  And last, but definitely not least (in terms of cost) you’ll pay £50 for the initial training and a further £30-£100 if you would like to train to set-up your own Virtual Call Centre and employ others to work through your company.  Currently, Arise are looking to recruit 500 partners and are offering all the training free until the end of March.  So if this sounds good to you, get registered now and apply for your background check first thing as you can only start training once that has been finalised.

2. Teletech, my personal favourite.  There are absolutely no upfront costs and the company offers you the same benefits you would have if you were based in a corporate position, including paid training.  Once again, you’ll be handling inbound calls and all you need to get started is a computer, a land line and a broadband connection.  They supply you with headsets free of charge and the training is done live over the net.  There is room for growth within the company and you can work in either sales or customer services.  The applicant screening process is quite vigorous but it only serves to confirm you’ll be working with a sound enterprise.

So I hope my been-there-done-that information has helped you find the job you were really looking for!

Ta Ta For Now (TTFN)

The Great Debate – Joining the Conversation

I spend a lot of time trying to convince businesses to start their own blogs.  After all-a blog allows you to speak to your market, listen in return and react to the feedback.  I read blogs.  They are my main source of information; they keep me in touch with opinion leaders like Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott and they introduce me to people who can provide a perspective on subjects which I have little knowledge.  Blogs provide free education.  A good blogs is invaluable to its audience. 
If I were to be honest I’ve never been able to convince a CEOor head of department to start a company blog and I’ve been baffled as to why they can not see the value in it.  So I decided to do some more research.  What are the leaders in the blogospheresaying about corporate blogging?  Well, according to David Meerman Scott’s latest post on the topic; it’s the CEO’s ego that stunts his/her blog’s success. I couldn’t agree more, but the post still didn’t convince me.  Sure that is one part of it, but what about an organisation that has not experienced the rewards of a successful blog or felt the confidence crush of an unread blog?  I ventured onto the comments below the post to see what other readers had to say and I found a gem contributed by Jim Dempsey.  Jim shared his reasons for blogging.  His reasons were simple, customer focused-he was blogging to add value.  And then it hit me; all this time I had been asking the wrong questions – or perhaps – I had given the wrong answers.  I was sitting on the side of the corporates.  I’ve been selling the blog’s value  to the business instead of selling the blog’s value to the client/consumer/customer/reader.   A blog that results in added value for the reader, adds value to the business.
So how do I prove this theory?  I start a blog of course.  A blog that adds value, not to me, but to my reader.