I’m doing this…

17-05-19 I'm doing this

Here’s a snapshot of what is going on around here these days. This is what was piled on my settee when I started to tidy up last night prior to heading off to bed (before I took the photo I did move them into a more pleasing arrangement than the ‘old heap of stuff’ that they had naturally formed!).

The new Avon brochure commences today, so I had been busy setting them up and getting a .pdf version of the brochure up on my beauty blog  – feel free to head over there, or visit my webshop where you can browse through the products and, so long as you are in the United Kingdom, order online for delivery direct to you from Avon’s warehouse. I’m trying out the Vitamin C Serum that’s launching this month. I like a nice serum and, truth be told, I’d rather use one cream day and night but add in a serum in the evening than have separate day and night moisturisers.

Then, of course, there has been knitting. The photo shows how far I have got with the first sleeve of my cardigan. I have been resting my hand but still doing a few rows each day just to make sure the cardigan continues to grow. I am enjoying working with this yarn and the pattern is really simple but effective.

The book, The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, was an impulse purchase this week. I have been following the buzz about this method of planning/tracking over the past few years, but ultimately have always felt that a lot of it is not for me. Then again, the basic concept of keeping all your incoming information in one distinct place is very much to my taste. I find having things scattered all over the place makes them easier to ignore. In one of the best jobs I have had, it was common practice to keep a hardback notebook in which you noted whatever needed to be done – in my secretarial role this meant I had lots of notes every day on responses I needed to send to e-mails on behalf of my manager. I found it a very workable system and the Bullet Journal is not dissimilar to that. I am enjoying reading it so far, although I may not adopt the method in its entirety. I decided to buy it after watching a video online that was originally shown at the European Planner Conference; this runs to just over 30 minutes, but I think it’s well worth watching because Mr Carroll comes across as such a genuinely lovely chap. Earlier in the year I read about nine-tenths of Getting Things Done by David Allen, but it didn’t entirely gel with me. It felt to me like it was devised by, and addressing the needs of, business owners and top-level managers, whereas Ryder Carroll seems to be coming from, and addressing, a much broader base of both workers and creative professionals. Have to see if I make it to the end of this one!

I am consistently referring to the diary pages in my Filofax notebook, and also using it for broader list-making and note-taking. I am still very pleased with this set-up and I can foresee it serving me for some time to come. I chose a verse by Dorothy Parker for the creative area this week and I used my fine-nibbed Parker 51 filled with the Lamy Peridot ink. When I am writing in the diary I mainly use the Waterman Hemisphere in the blue finish which you can see in the photo, and that is filled at the moment with Graf von Faber-Castell ink in Midnight Blue. Underlining is done using my Cross Century II filled with the Lamy Ruby ink (speaking of which, I am in love with all the red inks Michael Jecks has been testing recently on his Writerly Witterings YouTube channel – you can check out Ink Comparison: Red and/or Ink Comparison: Red Second stage if you’re interested). I use my other Waterman Hemisphere – the Rose Cuivre finish – to write in my journal every morning. That one is currently filled with J Herbin Poussiere de Lune which is a purple-to-brown ink. In this way I am getting to play with a lot of the pens and the inks in my small collection. I feel a return to a brighter purple ink is imminent when one of the pens runs dry.

The final item I had to clear away was a tube of hand cream because my hands have been very dry recently. This particular hand cream is from one of Avon’s fragranced bath ranges and it is a lovely consistency, but there are more subtle fragrances around. I happen to like this one, but I don’t imagine it would be for everybody – but then, what is?

After a few nice sunny days, we’ve got a fine drizzle this afternoon although it held off until I was back from my regular Friday-morning swim so that was good. Our electricity went off for a few minutes at lunch-time, and all the alarms in the neighbourhood started ringing so it was an exciting few minutes.

Now we are heading towards another weekend which I hope will provide plenty of opportunities to knit, read, and ponder the meaning of life.


 

Vanity

05-04-19 mask

It took me a long while to buy into social media. Oh, I’ve always been a fan of blogs and I love writing this blog in particular. I reluctantly signed up to Facebook simply to be in the loop with information about the Blakes 7 conventions I attend, and I have come to enjoy it as an easy way to keep up with the millennials in my family and with friends I have made at the conventions I’ve been to.

When I started selling Avon products at the beginning of this year I knew I would have to up my social media game since my intention was and is for it to be primarily an online shop (I sell to anyone in the UK at pamalisonbeautyshop). I signed up for a twitter account and for Instagram accounts for both the beauty shop (@pamalisonbeautyshop) and the Etsy store where I have some hand-knits for sale (@pamalisonknits). I do not like Twitter at all; I just don’t see the point of it and cannot be bothered to put in the time to learn. Instagram, however, has been another story.

I think the big thing I like about Instagram is seeing little updates and photos from people I was already following on YouTube. These are mainly people in the knitting, writing, and paper planning communities. As far as posting items myself goes, I realise now that there is quite a learning curve and I am still pretty near the bottom of it. I’m not too bad with photos like the one above where I can stage a little scene and photograph it. I am planning taking some “contents of my handbag” shots featuring some Avon products along with the purse, notebooks and pens I usually carry and I feel quite enthusiastic about that. Where I struggle are what I would classify as the vanity shots – selfies of me wearing a particular make-up look, or demonstrating a product. That is because I almost always hate photos of myself. However, in the interests of promoting my business and trying to encourage people my age to invest a little in their beauty routines, I have come to the conclusion I will have to start being in some shots. I had an experiment with it this afternoon and was surprised to come up with a photo I rather like, totally without make-up, the light is what it is, I don’t ever use filters because whenever I try I always find I liked a photo better without them.

So here I am in my unadorned glory, glowing with post-swim, post-facemask health!

05-04-19 me


The facemask I used is Avon Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration. Annoyingly, this isn’t in our product list at the moment. I also use the Anew Ultimate Gold Peel-Off Mask which is very nice and leaves my skin soft, but today I really felt the need for some extra hydration.


 

A sister blog – Pamalisonbeautyblog

21-01-19 Store front

Just a quick note to say I have launched a blog to cover my beauty interests and, primarily, my Avon business over at Pamalisonbeautyblog.wordpress.com

Please take a look if you think it might interest you. Although a lot of the content will be Avon-related, there will be plenty of take-aways that are not brand-specific and many of the Avon items will be available around the world, although my webshop is UK-only.

Strike up the band!

I like to think I go my own way in life; stand apart; never follow the herd; make considered choices. Every so often, though, I’m right there, leaping onto the bandwagon and waving a flag with the rest of the human race. So, deep breath, I am experimenting with turning my phone screen to monochrome – a bang-up-to-date trend.

If you want to read the full low-down on why it makes sense to do this, try reading this essay on Medium (you can read up to three essays a month on Medium free of charge so I believe you should be able to follow this link). The gist is that all the bright colours on your device act like a sugar-rush to your brain and keep you coming back for more. Putting your device on greyscale is more restful to the eyes and more boring to the brain, so you reduce your desire to keep picking up the phone.

This intrigued me so I tried it yesterday and this is what I found. First, and most importantly, it wasn’t an epiphany and, unlike the writer of the essay, I didn’t find that colours in the real world seemed brighter, although yesterday was a spectacular day of bright, warm sunshine and deep blue skies so everything looked pretty bright to begin with. I am not sure if I used my phone less than usual, but I don’t use my phone as much as some people do so clearly mileage will differ from person to person. What I particularly did like about the greyscale screens was how easy it became to differentiate between the icons for different apps and I wonder if this is where colours mess with my head. I have struggled with situations where I open completely the wrong app, not just once, but every time I want to open one I consistently open another one, as if my brain has got a particular option wired into it and won’t be told that it’s wrong. With the colours gone, the symbols stand out better and are easier for me to comprehend.

To illustrate the point, here are comparative screenshots from my own phone:-

25-02-19 Std open screen
Opening screen standard
25-02-19 Grey open screen
Opening screen greyscale
25-02-19 Std phone screen
Apps screen standard
25-02-19 Grey phone screen
Apps screen greyscale

The greyscale is quite a warm grey and very pleasing to look at. I like the way the bubbles on the opening screen wallpaper look like pearls when the opening screen is translated to greyscale. The wallpaper is an old Apple desktop background from the days when iMacs came in colours like Tangerine and the Strawberry shade shown.

One important thing to note is that this is just about turning the display from colour to monochrome. For example, if you look in your Photos app, all of the photos show in monochrome; if you take a photo, the camera shows you the image as monochrome. However, the photos are all still in colour, the camera still shoots a colour photo. As soon as you turn your display back to colour all the colours are there. Also, this is not a ‘hack’, it is simply using a setting that is built-in, certainly to Apple phones. If you are interested in trying it yourself, the essay I referred to above directs you on the steps you need to take.

Will I keep my phone on this setting? Who knows? (Anyone familiar with the Dr Who 50th Anniversary episode will recall that the answer to the question “Who knows?” is Tom Baker, tapping the side of his nose.) And does it matter? Indeed, if it does matter, how far will this go? Will I end up with a black and white TV and only write in black ink on white paper? Anything is possible.


In other news, I dipped out of circulation a bit last week, but now I’m back and raring to go. It’s good to take a few days out, even when your days ‘in’ aren’t exactly bursting at the seams. I am going great guns with the InCoWriMo challenge and should complete it so long as neither of my hands drops off. I am working on a idea for a Mother’s Day card to sell in my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/pamalisonknits) and the latest Avon brochure is online (https://www.avon.uk.com/store/pamalisonbeautyshop/) – there is a nice new springtime perfume which comes with a generous gift with purchase, and also the launch of a Korean Beauty line which I can see being popular with the trendy set.

I hope your week is off to a good start and I’ll see you back here midweek.


 

Scent and Scissorhands

18-01-19 scissorhands avon
I’m not totally sure which one of these I am!

So, this week I have joined the legions of Avon “ladies” and on mentioning this to my daughter, the first thing she said was “Oh, we watched Edward Scissorhands and I had to explain what an Avon Lady was!”

Edward Scissorhands is a great film about being different and about being kind and about being slightly outside the mainstream. Of course the mother in the film should represent the mainstream, but actually she is as far outside it as anyone. I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone is outside the mainstream in which case what on earth is the mainstream? Feel free to comment on that!

Whilst I don’t intend for this blog to become a sales ground, it is inescapable that some of the things I do within the Avon realm will also fit inside my personal life because skincare, makeup and perfume are lifelong interests of mine. When that’s the case I will write about them in my blog. This being one of those occasions.

I wrote in November about finishing a bottle of my favourite perfume and making-do with a couple of Clinique sample bottles as a short-term measure. Well, I consider joining the Avon bandwagon to be the ideal opportunity to try out some different scents and see how I like them. I’m starting off with a bottle of Rare Gold – just because it is the one that arrived in my initial demonstration kit – and I am quite impressed.

16-01-19 rare gold 2

This perfume opens with a sweet, fruity-floral note of white peach and Jasmine, speaking of which does anyone else remember Avon’s Pretty Peach from the 1960s?

18-01-19 pretty peach

Rare Gold is rather more sophisticated and it reminds me of springtime – I can definitely see myself wearing this a lot as we move out of the winter. As it warms and matures, the lovely jasmine part of the scent really comes through. Jasmine is present in almost all the perfumes I really love, not to mention in an unrelated favourite – Jasmine Tea – so we know we’re onto a winner there. The lingering ‘base’ of the scent is the only part that I feel is not entirely to my taste, although that is putting it too strongly, it’s just that that there are base notes that I prefer. Rare Gold has a musk/amber base and I’ve found from my favourite perfumes that I really go for a good, lingering woody note. I do accept, however, that you can’t have everything you want in life or in perfume! This one does appeal to me more than the Clinique Aromatics in White which I have been using, although I should note that I did come to enjoy that one the more I used it.

All in all, this is a good, solid start to my exploration of Avon’s perfumes.

And finally, well it’s Friday – how could I leave you without a quote from Edward Scissorhands?

You can’t buy all the necessities of life with cookies.

A fact that is both sad and true!

 


Do you love Edward Scissorhands or have you never seen it? Don’t be afraid to comment.

If you are interested, please feel free to take a look at my Avon online store – you can place orders from anywhere in the UK. Alternatively, if you already get Avon products from a local representative, let me know your favourites.