Little Red’s Guest Book- Interview with Tracy Speight (Warratahstree/ Social Artworking)

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Tracy combining work and play at Burwood Neighbourhood House

(Image courtesy of Tracy Speight at Warratahstree)

Please tell my readers about yourself and your small business/es:
     
I have 3 main small businesses: 
1. Online and Local Market Sales: I sell unique hand-made Cards, mostly for special occasions and masculine cards.  I sell photographic images and greeting cards of Australian Wildflowers. I also make handmade Polymer clay jewelry for sale on commission or online sales.
 2. Web and Blog Consulting: I set up a basic Website or Blog to equip and enable small business owners to maintain their own sites by training them how to update and maintain their website or blog. I teach Ebay, iPad, and Social media courses at my local Neighbourhood  House, Burwood Neighbourhood House.
 3.Social ArtWorking: Social Artworking is a great fun way to have fun with family and friends and take home a great piece of art work at the end of the night.  I teach this new fun adventure at a number of venues.  It is all about fun and the adventure of having a play at learning art in a no pressure environment.
 
Which social media platforms should my readers follow you on?
 Being the Geek I am, I am on nearly all Social Media platforms. My main posts are on my Blog and Facebook but when I post, I usually post to all social media platforms with small changes depending on which social media platform it is.
(Follow Tracy and her Social Media Journey below)
 
 
What was the first thing you painted?
Folkart style daisies.  Very simple comma stroke petals and dots for the centre of the flower.  I was hooked!
 
Who is your all-time favourite artist and why?
 I have two all-time favorites
1. Sir Hans Heysen: I love nature, geology, and the bush. I studied Geology in South Australia and on many of our visits to the remote areas of South Australia, I saw  what inspired Sir Hans Heysen in his paintings.  I loved the study of Geological processes and formations as well as the surrounding environments where I did many of my Geology field camps.  I would often think I would love to get a picture of this, I would love to paint this….   Being a country girl and growing up near the mountains, I have always loved the rugged mountain views and the bush. I first saw Sir Hans Heysen’s paintings when I lived in Adelaide, South Australia. Sir Hans Heysen’s paintings were everywhere.I loved the way Sir Hans Heysen captured this ruggedness of the Australian bush. While out on field trips for my studies in Geology or out backpacking areas of the Flinders Ranges, I would often wish I could capture the beauty that Sir Hans Heysen did in his paintings of the bush.
 2. Ken Done: When I first came to Australia, in 1984, I lived in Sydney.  Ken Done was just becoming well-known for his whimsical paintings of Sydney. Ken Done made art look fun and exciting and when  I first saw his work I secretly thought I would love to be an artist.
 
How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?
I guess I feel a little sensitive about how people feel about my art, but Art is like beauty .. It is in the “eye of the beholder”
 
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in your business in the last few months?
My toughest is letting go of some things I enjoy doing to try to build my business in another direction.
 
What are three things you’ve learnt in the last month that has broadened your general business knowledge?
How to great a market plan for setting goals in selling my product or services to my potential clients.
 
What and or who inspires you to succeed in your business ventures?
 My husband is so encouraging.  My son’s fiance and son often encourage me to do more with my work.
 
What song best describes your work ethic?
I can’t think of one.  
 
What piece of advice would you pass along to budding artists and small business owners?
Never feel like you can’t do it cause that is when you will fail.  I think I can I think I can….Never give up on your dream.
 
How does your business reflect you as a person?
Flamboyant, goofy, always ready to give anything a go!
Lightroom (20130710-Social Art Working-001.NEF and 4 others)
Could a Social Artworking Party be your next night out with friends?
(Image courtesy of Tracy Speight at Warratahstree)
 
If you could be anyone else, who would you be and why?
Ken Done…his work is so whimsical and freeing
 
How would people communicate in a perfect world?
     
Honestly, but always considering the other person first before seeking your own agenda
 
What do you read on a weekly basis?
Blogs on DIY, craft or humour.  There are some really funny bloggers out there!  There is enough drama in everyday life, I like to wind down at the end of the day so I often  read novels that have a light theme, or feel good kind of theme.  
 
What do you think about when you are alone in your car driving?
LOL ok, I try to concentrate on driving, but I don’t think, I sing along with what ever is on the radio
 
I’m giving you $1m to launch your new small business tool- what is it?
A shop with many artists teaching Social ArtWorking to lots of happy customers.  A fun party for all every night creating great pieces of art work.
 
A penguin walks through your front door right now wearing a Superman costume- what does he say and why is he there?
Granting your last wish as a Geologist.  Get your fireproof suit on and come fly with me to see those volcanoes you always wanted to study……Don’t forget the camera for “Ron” so you can paint the memories.
 
Describe your business in three words.
Paint Connect Create
 
What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realized you’d lost all track of time?
Cleaning my Art room so I can start on a new project for my next class.
 
Give my readers in one sentence an advertisement for your business!
My business is about gathering family or friends to have fun creating a great piece of artwork.
Thanks to Tracy so much for her time in being a part of Little Red’s Guest Book- wishing I had even an ounce of her artistic grace right now!

Self- Interview: Little Red Interviews Lauren Jeffery

How old are you?

I’m 31 years old and still feel about 18. It’s wonderful! And no, I’m not in denial about getting older.

What was my childhood dream?

I had a few dreams. Firstly, to become a nurse (tick!), then two have two children (tick!), but wanted two boys. Got one of each and couldn’t be happier. Next was to travel overseas- haven’t don enough of that yet.

How often do I laugh?

Usually every ten minutes. To be specific! Can’t get through an hour of my day without laughing. And that good old belly laughing with lots of happy tears.

What makes me smile?

My children, my husband, my four fur babies, remembering my childhood, kind words from friends and family, completing my endless to-do lists, the feeling I get when I drink a nice hot tea, a sleep in past 7am and listening to music at ridiculously loud volumes

Who is your most dangerous enemy?

Myself.

Do you think you are strong?

Physically? Yes. Emotionally? Not really. I can be, but mostly, I’m just a bit too sensitive. I’d be the guy on the footy field that you’d call “soft”

Most important thing you’ve done so far?

In life? Give birth to my two children. In business? Just try.

What do you fear the most?

My childhood fear has come true (twice) so now I fear nothing. I have nothing to lose and everything to lose at the same time, so just getting through each day happily for the moment.

What is my favourite word?

Collectively? “I love you”. Individually? “Mum”.

What words do you use the most?

In a sentence? “You know what I mean?” (courtesy of my husband). Individually? Shoosh, please, sorry, thanks, and Jeepers!

When was the last time you cried and why?

Yesterday, because I sat eating lunch where I last had lunch with my mum before she passed away.

What’s the best thing that could happen to you right now?

I could be given this amazing opportunity that I’ve gone after.

What’s the worst thing that could happen to you right now?

I could get sick. Being a sick mum is pretty rough.

In 5 years from now….

I want to be working from home, I want to be working as a Midwife casually, I want my kids to be settled in school and I want our house to be finished!

Do you regret anything?

No. Every choice I have made has got me to where I am right now. If I have any doubt over any decision I’ve made in the past, I will become miserable and I can’t have that.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Cuddle my kids in bed

One thing you’d like to change in your life right now?

Time- I’d like more of it.

What am I proud of?

Starting my own business. My parents. My children. My husband. My new frame of mind.

Sum up your life in one sentence.

Full of love, laughs, drama, highs, lows, in betweens, friends, family, interesting and full of challenges.

What annoys me the most?

People who can’t see the world through someone else’s eyes.

What makes me laugh?

Silly jokes, my children, my husband, ridiculously lame things mostly. My own laugh makes me laugh.

Am I happy?

If happiness was measured by percentage, I’d sit at approximately 80%- I still have a lot to achieve and pursue that will make me 110% happy. So I guess I’d say I’m very content.

What is your greatest strength?

I keep trying.

What is my greatest weakness?

I don’t switch off and overthink.

How would you describe yourself?

Silly, caring, thoughtful, old-fashioned, friendly, helpful, daggy, warm, sensitive, soft, cautious, creative, keen to learn, has a good memory.

How do you handle stress and pressure?

It depends who is putting it on me! Usually I’m fine at the time and need to wind down later on.

How do I evaluate success?

Am I happy? Is the other party happy? Can I sleep well at night? Have I achieved my goals or am I on my way to achieving them? If I can say yes to any of these, I’m doing well.

Why did you start your small business?

I’ve been on maternity leave and have enjoyed nothing more in life than being at home for my children. I’ve always been a keen writer and never imagined making a career out of writing until last year. I want to eventually work from home, because home is my favourite place. I want to have the feeling of accomplishment in knowing I’ve started something from the ground up that gives me those buttterflies in my stomach and goosebumps and helps others.

How did you come up with your business name?

I was firing names at my husband and Little Red Writing Solutions was the last name I came up with. It was random and I love it! I’ve been told it’s cute and memorable- I’m happy with the memorable part.

What and or who inspires me?

What- my past, research, the power of learning

Who- my family, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues

What are you passionate about?

Writing, making a happy and healthy life for myself and my family, women’s health, justice issues, reading, learning new skills, science, small business, helping others, medicine.

What are you most grateful for?

My children (noticing a theme here?), my childhood, the time I had with my parents, the friends who’ve helped me through the recent loss of my mum, the way I can laugh through almost any tough situation, good books and funny movies

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start a small business?

Research, ask questions, have a go, don’t give up

Are you living my dreams?

Not yet- there’s so much more I need to add to my life

What would you do today if there was no tomorrow?

Watch my children play, hug and kiss them as much as I do, smile and enjoy the last 24 hours, breathe easy and feel every moment.

The greatest things you learnt in life?

Speak up. It’s normal to be flawed. Accept what you cannot change. Never go a day without telling your loved ones how much you love them and appreciate them. Some say words lose their meaning the more you repeat them- “I love you” never goes out of fashion. Just be yourself- it doesn’t matter if people don’t always “get you”. Being weird is the best way to be, because you are the only you.

Describe your business in three words.

Fresh, resourceful, focused

The song title that describes your work ethic?

“Tunnel Vision” – Justin Timberlake (Once I start, I can’t focus on anything else!)

What opportunities are you looking for?

I am looking for partnerships, not jobs. I want to find small business owners and Mums in Business and help ease their workload. I love small projects, as much as ongoing ones. I take any opportunities that come my way, I also do a lot of networking which has led to some great business-minded people and amazing small businesses.

How can you create these opportunities?

Just work at it. Pretty simple. Put myself out there and see what happens.

Your biggest goals and dreams?

To live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. To eventually work from home- part-time only, so I can be the full-time Mum I’d love to be. To travel to my favourite parts of Australia again, to show my kids what I got to see as a child. To be a successful small business owner.

What is your inner dialogue like?

It depends on the time of day, but usually it’s very helpful! I have learnt in the past 9 or so months to wind down and relax. I still have a lot to learn but my inner voice is a great help. By around 10am, I’m focused and onto my to-do lists. I don’t like sitting doing nothing, so I keep busy until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Then try to keep going for at least another hour!

How are you making your life more meaningful?

I’m able to spend more time with my little children, so that’s a big part of finding peace in my life. I am focusing on what I want to do professionally and focusing on what I love, which I didn’t allow myself to do before. I am set on creating beautiful memories for my children, that’s my biggest job. I just keep thinking- we are here for a good time, not a long time.

Why did you choose copy writing as a career path?

I have a lot of inspirational people in my life who thought I should re-focus on what I love doing, and that’s writing. I have met some amazingly insightful business women who have encouraged and supported me into the position I am in now. I want to be helpful to others in any profession I am working in. My small business focuses on helping others by relieving pressure and adding time and money to their business. My business is a creative outlet, I’ve never had that in a position I’ve held before- very hard to feel this way about nursing!

Do you enjoy working for yourself?

So far, yes. I don’t need to run my ideas past anyone. I can work on what I want to the beat of my own drum. I make my own deadlines and run off my own to-do lists, rather than someone else’s. It’s the greatest personal challenge I’ve taken on but I’m determined to make the most of it.

What are your Top 3 songs right now?

Acapella- Karmin

Royals- Lorde

Wake Me Up- Avicii

What are your three pet peeves?

Drivers who don’t indicate

My son eating a meal, then saying “I’m starving” two minutes later!

People who don’t consider the feelings of others before they talk or act- I am a sensitive soul

What do you want to learn in the next 12 months?

Anything and everything possible about growing my copy writing, I want to continue my Buddhism studies and I want to learn how to fix more around the house!

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Little Red’s Business Review- Me & Em Graphic Design with Emily Foote

Add classically elegant personalised art to affordable pricing in a digital age, and you won’t need to look any further than Emily Foote’s alluring digital creations. Through her Small Business, Me & Em Graphic Design, Emily has turned her passion for design into a creative outlet and career, all the while being a focused and innovative business owner and mother.

Operating for the last two and a half years out of one of the most creative and artistically inspiring towns of Victoria’s North East Region – Wangaratta – Emily has vision. She is driven to create beautiful pieces of art for your home and as finishing touches for your special life events.

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Custom Wedding Bunting, image courtesy of Me & Em Graphic Design

Emily has forged a strong online and community following as a freelance Graphic Designer, while also working for her local newspaper and printing shop. Emily produces a gorgeous range of products which encompass anything from speciality papers and fabrics (perfect for all you crafters out there), to her vintage floral designs, birth and alphabet prints, downloadable prints, custom wedding and party buntings and my personal favourite – her personalised name prints.

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Custom Wedding Bunting, image courtesy of Me & Em Graphic Design

In a reflective interview earlier in the year, Emily stated that she felt drawn to use her creativity as the basis for a career. Members of her community were so impressed by decorating efforts in her own child’s bedroom, that she was enlisted to create artwork for other parents, and to custom design items for the memorable occasions in their lives.

In a digital age, where almost everything can be personalized, Emily takes her customer service one step further in truly connecting with her clients, understanding their design brief and creating the perfect high quality piece.

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Numbers Print from the Nursery Range, image courtesy of Me & Em Graphic Design

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Alphabet Print from the Me & Em Nursery Range, image courtesy of Me & Em Graphic Design

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Numbers Print from the Me & Em Nursery Range, image courtesy of Me & Em Graphic Design

With her elegant designs featuring in local boutique markets, such as the Little Me Market Day at the Cube in Wodonga, and available for purchase through her easily accessible Etsy Store, you will be stirred to share in some of her work and make her pieces a feature in your home or at your next function.

You can contact Emily to discuss her designs via

Phone: 0438 021 098

Etsy Shop: Me & Em Graphic Design

Facebook: Me & Em Graphic Design

Email: info@meandem.com.au

 

Join Emily on Pinterest & Instagram to share in a visual feast!

@meandemandyou

Why Your Small Business Needs a Copy Writer

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(Image courtesy of roi.com.au)

Do you know what copy writing is at this point in the development of your small business? You may not have ever heard of the copy writing industry, or ever thought you needed to hire a copy writer. You might not be at a point where you can afford one. But if I can give you one piece of advice before I tell you why your business could use a resource like my business, it would be this: you need to understand the value the addition of a good copy writer to your team can add to your business overall.

Now to the real reason why I jumped on my blog at midnight- to remind you why you should contact me to make over your business writing.

You don’t have time to write. Or should I say, your consumers are keeping you so busy, you haven’t made your business writing as much as a priority as it should be. It’s often hard to commit to something like this as often as it should happen when you need to be responding to your consumers, researching your next business development or just spending that extra hour with the kids before they go to bed. Or just plain working.

Why is getting text right so imperative? Because your website and Facebook pages look amazing and a spelling or grammar mistake will turn prospective clients away in an instant. It’s fair to say anyone can write. Copy writers, however, communicate. They turn your business messages and business goals into words that make consumers want to act and to respond to your business. For small business owners who are aware of SEO (search engine optimisation), copy writers use SEO techniques without being obvious. It all adds to more traffic to your business, which can mean more profit for you.

I am continually researching. Trading my old skills for new ones, always looking for new ways to make your business flourish. I want to make people notice your hard work and I have no qualms in telling you how amazing your business is. Why? If you were walking around telling yourself how amazing your business was, you’d feel like you were blowing your own trumpet and you’d water your messages down because you feel awkward about self-promotion. You don’t need to do that when you use a copy writer.

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(Image courtesy of masstransmit.com)

My fresh eyes haven’t spent day after day reading your business slogans, brochures and website text. I can assist in increasing your business productivity so you don’t need to ask other employees to stop what they are doing to write a mail out or stay at the office late into the night to finish writing the technical manual for use with new starters. Use me so you can concentrate on what you do best. This is especially important for small business owners who operate their business single-handedly.

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The value of outsourcing in this instance cannot be underestimated. With experience from a collection of industries, I’m an offsite resource who can play a role in the marketing and advertising of your product or service. And an inexpensive resource at that, in comparison to the value added to your business once our partnership is underway. And once the job is done to your satisfaction, you don’t need to keep me “occupied” with tasks, it’s a worry free relationship!

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(Image courtesy of timemanagementninja.com)

My passion remains with words and sentences and from this, I am dedicated to finding the perfect words that represent your business. I want your messages to be clear and I want your business front to prospective consumers appear professional and solid. Using a professional tone, I like to reiterate your business messages in all forms of social and print media. I work with you in creating ideas, then I make them magnetic.

Do you have concerns with consumer engagement? All your business content and promotional material may be there in print and online, but you need a resource who can write to persuade, entice, inform and convert feelings and ideas into action. It’s in this way that a service like Little Red is value for money and you’ll know the price of my services in advance.

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(Image courtesy of russellherder.com)

My service is honest and my goal is to understand your business goals and messages quickly so I can save you time and money. I offer obligation free quotes and am flexible- you can use my service as a one-off or year round. Our relationship is totally up to you.

Can you see how we can work together? More to the point, can you see any reason why we can’t work together? I’m the sole operator of Little Red, there are resources I will be searching for too. It could be a match made in heaven.

Head to Facebook to check out my page, or contact me via email littleredwriting@outlook.com. You can also follow me on Twitter

Make sure you stay tuned to Little Red & Her Writing- tomorrow you should team a hot cuppa with an interesting read as I post my interview with Tracy Speight from Warratahstree

Little Red’s 365 Day Photo Challenge- Ride

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Hopefully I’ll be brave enough to go on this “ride” this time at Movie World when we head there for our first family holiday with two little ones!

Are you scared of rides that go too fast, take you up too high, are too noisy, too steep or just plain old frightening? I’ve been scared of rides ever since I can remember. Conquer this ride- tick it off my bucket list!

Little Red’s Round Up #1

A prince and future heir was born. Little George Alexander Louis finally entered the world his week, after apparently hanging about a bit too long in the royal womb! One can only hope that he gets more privacy and his parents, especially his mother, are more supported than William’s mother was in her quest to bring up two little princes with as little “paid assistance” as possible. For a future heir, he is pretty cute!

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(Image courtesy of http://www.vanityfair.com)

The plight of refugees seeking asylum in Australia and their re-routing to Indonesia and PNG continues.

Watch here as a Sri Lankan mother fights tears after losing her 4 year old on the journey to Australia. Absolutely breaks my heart that these people just want a better life, with less poverty and more chance for opportunity and the debate over whether they should be turned away to Indonesia continues. Kevin Rudd has made his view on the turning away of asylum seekers in Australian Waters crystal clear (check out the Australian’s comments here) and UN Refugee and Asylum Seeker Agencies are not overly impressed.

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(Image courtesy of http://www.vibewire.org)

Pope Francis returns to his native Brazil to tour the slums, celebrate World Youth Day, bless the most beautiful babies and to speak to the masses about keeping faith and playing football ahead of next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Check out his visit to Brazil here, in which he expressed support for those who are protesting for peace and less corruption within the South American country.

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(image courtesy of http://www.catholicherald.co.uk)

Victorian Ambos continue their push for a pay rise and recognition as equals in line with Ambos all other Australian States and Territories.

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(Image Courtesy of Code Red- Value Our Ambos)

Please spend a few minutes checking out the Facebook Page for current happenings on the fight for Victorian Ambos here

or go to aeavic.org.au and Support our Ambos- you never know when you’ll need them and they are worth a tonne more than the little wage rise and better working conditions than they are fighting the Napthine Government for.

Liverpool FC played Melbourne Victory at the MCG and the spectacle attracted a crowd of around 95,000. Meanwhile, the Bombers continue to crumble in front of their supporters’ eyes after chairman David Evans vows “this is not farewell”, then quits as the club’s head the following day.

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(Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au)

Finally, Tom Meagher, wife of rape and murder victim Jill Meagher, confronts the Adult Parole Board of Victoria (yet again) about a review of their procedures surrounding the release of serious sex offenders into the community and parole conditions regarding offenders who committ serious offences whilst still on parole. His emails and letters to them went ignored until the Moreland Mayor stepped in.

Read about the latest in Tom Meagher’s fight here to uphold the memory of his beloved wife and to remind the Adult Parole Board about their Duty of Care to members of the community. After all, this Board exists primarily to ensure the safety of the community by controlling the release of criminals back into the community on certain conditions. It’s more than a pity that in two high profile cases, that of Jill Meagher’s brutal rape and murder and the horrfying discovery of Bacchus Marsh woman Sarah Cafferkey’s body in Point Cook (following her murder by a man on parole who was known to her), both men were on parole at the time these savagely violent crimes were carried out. Let’s see how the Parole Board handle Tom’s outrage in the coming days.

Some good, mostly bad and gutwrenching news headlines throughout Twitter, Facebook, Melbourne Newspapers and on the TV this week. Hoping this week will be a ray of sunshine in the news department. Well, I can dream can’t I?

Little Red’s 365 Day Photo Challenge- A Boy

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This is “a boy”, my boy. This photo shows his teddy’s townhouse and a bus full of Minions who’ve come to visit Teddy (named Brewster). The Minions never leave each other’s sides, he has made them a family, a travelling circus family of Minions! Apparently all these little fellas can do tricks like Cirque De Soleil!

At nearly 5 years old, he is my amazing little friend and companion in life. He is like me in almost every way possible. This isn’t necessarily a great thing! He’s sensitive, loves to waffle, is creative and has the most amazing imagination. He loves drawing and writing. He has already written three stories, which are unbelievably cute! I wish he didn’t have to trundle off to school next year, but I’m so ready to start some new adventures with him. Love you to the moon and back my X-Man.

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