interesting things – Thu 26 Feb

1. from publicdomainreview.org – journey from venice to palestine, mount sinai and egypt c.1467

manuscript illustration showing Venice c 1467
from Journey from Venice to Palestine, Mt Sinai and Egypt (c. 1467)

further information about this manuscript at the British Library

2. from pragprog.com – Seven Core Ideas for Effective Software Development by Ron Jeffries

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after holiday reading

Back from Bellingen I bought three more books.

  • Tenth of December – George Saunders
  • Fluent in 3 Months – Benny Lewis
  • Think Forward to Thrive – Jennice Vilhauer

I went to the bookshop to buy George Saunders’ book because my friend Houston recommended it, and I hadn’t read any George for a while. And I browsed around and picked up the other two books, impulse purchases.

Benny Lewis’ Fluent in 3 Months has got me back learning Japanese. His emphasis is on speaking right away, being determined and focussed, being passionate about learning and putting the time and effort in. My language goal is to confidently order food and find places to stay next time I go to Japan.

Think Forward to Thrive is very good. I bought it because I often feel that I’ve tried everything and failed, I’ve got skills and abilities but I don’t seem to be able to build anything for myself. The book’s subtitle is How to use the mind’s power of anticipation to transcend your past and transform your life – which is exactly what I think I need to do, move beyond my past and get on with things now. It challenges me to think about what I want, not want I don’t want. Jennice Vilhauer points out that what we focus on generates around itself more ideas – if I focus on the past or negative memories I generate more of the same, whereas by thinking about what I want, a positive future, I generate ideas about how to get there. The three things I’m focussing on now are:

  1. to earn and/or make enough money to support myself – this can be through a combination of activities, working as an employee, making things and selling them, being paid for my services
  2. to finish the renovations, get our house in good order so that it’s comfortable to live in and relatively easy to keep clean
  3. learn enough Japanese so that I can confidently order food and find places to stay next time I go to Japan

Because I don’t want to focus on mundane tasks I’ve taken things like “weeding” off my todo list and I’m working on tasks that will move me towards my goals.

Super.

 

finding customers

After reading this article: 4 Ways to Find Your First Customer I wrote up this list of ways I could find customers for my gardening business and/or artwork.

  • gardening – give away plant with info about planting, a web link and my contact info
  • focus on or target houses with small front yards that need services, door knock or letterbox
  • put up an excellent landing page and facebook ad and lots of content
  • painting/artwork – put on an art show at markets, have a stall with my work, give away posters with my info
  • find customers through architects and designers, ask designers to invite their clients to art show
  • take artwork around to people’s houses for an art party, like Thermomix party
  • get artwork featured in a magazine or newspaper
  • give works to people and instagram photos of the work hanging in their home or office
  • instagram work and set up sales via subscription
  • advertise in art magazines

The article notes that “fully understanding your target market is key”.

I like the subscription idea, I’ve been looking at Helen Levi’s Cup Club thinking I could do something similar. I could release a series of artworks at a particular time to subscribers, they’d get first option, and then the works would be available later at a higher price to the general public. Could be a good opt-in.

mowing

How did people mow the lawn in the past? Perhaps the lawn was more of a meadow or a field with sheep and deer grazing. The vast expanses of grass around palaces like Blenheim, how were they maintained? Apparently scythes were used, or shears on small areas of grass.

Here’s a beautiful photograph of a man sharpening his scythe, I particularly like the modernist building in the background, a block of flats or an industrial building perhaps.

Fotothek df pk 0000130 013.jpg
Fotothek df pk 0000130 013” by Deutsche Fotothekā€Ž. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons.