I've been meaning to share my Word of the Year for weeks now. But, between travels and catching up with work after the holidays, then settling back into old and new routines, blogging has fallen by the wayside. Yep, as usual. But, I'm here again, trying to get back on track with blogging.
And, I'm doing that now by sharing my 2016 Word of the Year (WOTY): VALUE.
This word came up top, followed by Give and Purpose, while I was going through my annual WOTY process.
And, I'm keen to find out what this word will bring into my life this year and onwards. Because, yes, that's the thing with WOTYs. They never just stay as a 'special word' for one year. In my experience, they seem to become special words for life. That's why I feel that choosing a WOTY is a big deal.
Anyway, as part of my WOTY process, I try to make at least one small art piece for my word. Sometimes, more. And, I display that art piece somewhere I can easily see it every day. To help me to stay focused and on track. This year, it's the card that you see in the photo above. And, the quote below -
It's really interesting how this word just stayed with me while I was considering my options. That's why I'm keen to know what VALUE really means to me. I know that this word has several meanings, and I intend to learn how all of those meanings relate to my life right now.
Some questions that come to mind when I think of my WOTY this year include: What are my most important values? What are the things that I value the most? How do I value myself? How do I value others?
I am also challenging myself by asking: How can I bring more value to everything that I do and am part of? How do I add value to others' lives and endeavors?
So, yes, I'm anticipating a few WOTY-related moments in 2016. I'll try to check-in as often as I can here.
Did you choose a WOTY this year? What's your word and how did you end up choosing it?
To find out my previous words of the year, you can check out my WOTY archive.Read More
When it comes to books, 2015 is a milestone year for me.
You see, when I decided to join Goodreads' 2015 Reading Challenge last year to start off my "50 Books A Year" challenge, I didn't think that I'd be adding two books under my name in my list. So, being able to do just that for Today:Life and Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes in August/September 2015 was such a thrill.
Never mind that at Goodreads, Today: Life was listed as 'Least Popular' (since they haven't been added on to other people's lists) in my 2015 books list. The fact that I even have a book in there (and I'm now officially a Goodreads Author), is incredible.
Apart from this accomplishment, I'm also pleased to share that not only did I meet my 50 Books goal in 2015, I have actually managed to get to 54 books. Partly because I read some short children's books too!
Another special book-related milestone in 2015 is the revival of an old blog I used to run: KIDoosh. I used to run it as a group/network blog with a few blogging friends. But, I've taken it down some time ago and it remained dormant for a while. In 2015, however, it got revived. This time, as a book/kids review blog - with my two kidlets as co-bloggers. I haven't been updating it as much due to time constraints. But, it has been a great initiative for the kids to read more and write about their completed books. I'm hoping we can continue it.
Anyway, as some of you may already know, the main part of this blog post is my annual list of recommended books from friends, colleagues, and contacts on social media. And, as with the previous years, there are a lot of interesting books shared here. You can read previous recommendations in this Best Books collection.
My favourite reads of the year -
Apart from Dance With Dragons, some of my other favourite fiction reads from 2015 include these YA fiction: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (a former recommendation), To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (and its sequel, P.S. I Still Love You).
In children's fiction, I absolutely adored The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers. I also enjoyed I Will Never Get A Star on Mrs Benson's Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann and Introducing Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson.
Other favourites include: Abstract and Colour Techniques in Painting by Claire Harrigan and Robin Capon (Love, love the art here! It's not a how to book, but it's inspiring and envy-inducing. Wish I can paint like this!). Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul (a book I've had in my library for years but never finished reading until recently). Walking In This World by Julia Cameron (started reading this a couple of years ago, but only finished; Not as good as The Artist's Way, but has inspired me to take action on some dreams/hopes).
So, there you go. My best books in 2015. Here are others' best books -
What about you? What are the best fiction/nonfiction books you've read in 2015?
Are you doing a reading challenge in 2016? Here's my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016, to monitor my second year of "50 Books A Year" challenge.
Happy reading in 2016!Read More
It's the first day of a brand new year. And, I'm already creating (and checking off) my brand new lists for 2016.
I usually have several that I start off at the end and beginning of the year. Some of my lists include:
If you're keen to get some lists started too, check out Inc.com's 16 Lists To Make To Jumpstart Your Career in 2016. While it's an article primarily created for making lists regarding professional matters, the ideas can also resonate with personal list-making.
Since I've been remiss with my blogging here lately, this post is one of the things that's included in one of my new year lists. I know, I know... I keep telling myself I'll be a better blogger here at ShaiCoggins.com. Or, if I'm not, I won't beat myself up too much about it. I fail at both, consistently.
I'm hoping 2016 will be the year that I'll finally get my act together for this blog. For this to happen, I realise I need to make some changes with how I approach this blog and my content creation themes and processes.
I am currently working on these changes. They won't happen quickly. The plan is to roll them out bit by bit, with guidance from your feedback.
So, if you've been reading my blog for some time now (or even if you just came across this blog recently), I'd love to hear from you. What would you like to read in this blog? What would make your blog reading more enjoyable and productive?
I look forward to sharing our 2016 adventures together.
Have an amazing year ahead!Read More
It has been well over two weeks since my family and I did our first ever market stall here in Adelaide. So, I thought it's best to check-in here and share our experience at the first ever Victoria Square Art Market.
The day didn't start out promising, as the sky looked gray and it was drizzling with rain. At least, it made us grateful that we rented a marquee with just a front opening, though it was an added expense. We left the house around 9.30am so we can get our stall set-up before 11am. Thankfully, the sky cleared and the market was still buzzing for most of the day.
In fact, our first customer came even before the official start of 11 am! You can see the lovely lady in the photo below, with my small painting, "Birthday Roses" (oil on wood, approx 8x8 inches). And, towards the early afternoon, another one of my small paintings sold (photo below, of mixed media piece "Moment Tree" with buyer). Both of my art buyers were very sweet and enthusiastic about the pieces they bought. It was touching!
We had a lot of folks stop by and chat about all sorts of things - from books and colouring to art and family. The kids were especially excited to see their handmade jewellery almost got sold out (they had about 8-10 pieces on sale).
I also ended up selling a few copies of #ColourBliss colouring books and a couple of #JournalingToday guided journals, as well as a few of my colouring postcards. We also sold a few knick-knacks that we added to our stall (ie, colour pencils, markers, washi tapes, etc). A number of people also picked up our free colouring-in pages and my business cards.
It was an exhausting but exhilarating and fun day! I think the kids got the market bug because they were really sad when it was time to pack-up at 5pm. In fact, when hubby and I were starting to pack up at around 4.45pm, our kids stopped us, saying: "No! Not yet!" And yes, they've already begged for us to do it all again one day.
I'm not sure yet if we will do another market stall or not. I did love how much the kids enjoyed it, though. They were very good with talking to customers and potential customers. They showed excellent math skills as they handled payment transactions. And, they were very enthusiastic with every step of the market experience - from getting stock prepared to setting up and packing up, as well as looking at our spreadsheet of costs, revenue, and income. It was an incredible learning experience for all of us.
And, if anything, it was really quite something else to be able to talk to people who appreciate and admire your work in person.
There were definitely a lot of highlights and 'must learn from' moments. And, for the most part, it was a very worthwhile experience! Kudos to the organisers for a great day.Read More
Ever since my son was five years old, he has been asking me to do a market stall. He has always fancied the idea of running a shop. Something I find amusing since I grew up in a family of shop keepers. My maternal grandparents ran a shop. My parents owned two shops. And, I have several families who owned (and still run) shops. So, maybe it's in the blood or something. 🙂
Anyway, I've always wanted to encourage entrepreneurship with my kids so I kept saying that yes, we will run a market stall one day. If and when we have something to sell.
Now, my son is 11.5 years old and I'm finally able to deliver on my promise.
When I told him that I finally signed us up for a market stall, he was beyond excited. He couldn't believe he still had to wait a couple of months for the day to arrive since I got us a stall at the inaugural Victoria Square Art Market (VSAM) here in Adelaide.
He was the one who wanted to make sure we had a marquee, so instead of hiring just a 2x3m artist stall (which was my original plan), I ended up getting a 3x3m market stall and rented a marquee (they're only available for 3x3 stalls). He was also keen on trying to make me sure we have enough stock to sell, so he kept asking how many books do I have available, which of my art would I sell, etc. He (and his little sister, age 8) even started making jewellery items to sell at the market.
It's so wonderful to see how keen both my kids are for our very first family market stall experience. That's why I'm hoping that they would really enjoy the experience. Of course, I have been trying to manage their expectations to let them know that things may not go as well as we all hope it would. But, we would still enjoy the day - especially since there would be live entertainment, food trucks, and a kids zone at the market. So, they're cautiously optimistic, as I am.
The photo below shows some of the things that would be on sale at our stall - Today: Life (guided journal) and Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes (colouring journal/book), stickers based on some of my clip art designs, colouring postcards (some based on existing designs from Colour Bliss + some new unpublished designs), lino block art prints, and some of my paintings. I've also added products that I didn't make but would be great companions to my journal and/or colouring books (washi tapes, colour pencils, and markers).
So, we're all hoping that the day would be lovely with plenty of inspiring artists' works to see and enjoy, wonderful food to devour, and hopefully, some friends saying hello and making new friends on the day too.
Oh, by the way, the folks at Splashout Art Studios would be there, doing live painting demos and selling some works from the group too.Read More