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  1. Becoming a volunteer fosterer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has given many new perspectives on life. To be honest I missed a dog in life so much I needed to find a way to have one back in my life that the rest of the family could live with. Ben needed a dog back in his life too and fostering was something Martin could handle as there is no commitment to give.

    The day they came to inspect the house & garden was also the day they rang for us to go pick up a dog. A small black Labrador called Kiwi.


    Kiwi was an angel who came into our lives and taught us so much. I soon realised how much these dogs had to learn to do their job. I learnt how individual each dog is and likewise, each deaf person they go to help has their own unique set of problems. The dogs are carefully matched to the person they are going to help and once a bond has been established the dog undergoes further training to be just the help the person needs.

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    Each dog that comes into our home is unique and so are the people they go on to live with and help.


    I was surprised to discover that one in six people in the UK has hearing difficulties. On reflection, I personally know a few people with difficulties and work to help this when I am with them. It struck me that is just like how as a business we have to find the right clients and how much we should be aware of their individual needs. Tailoring our services to the specific needs of clients is not always possible but the more accessible we can make everything we offer the better.

    Are you considering the needs of all? Do you have more than one way for clients to contact you or do you just ask everyone to phone you? How easy is for you to tweak how you display your information? Is it easy to read ? What size fonts are you using? What sort of language are you using?



  2. I love to share news and promote other business ladies I meet at The Sparkling Business Club and I have plans for yet another project to do just that to launch in August so keep watching.

    At last year's A Day To Sparkle we met local  award-winning author Samantha Towle. It was a plesasure to listen to her staory and be able to ask her about her journey so far.

    The New York Times bestselling author's newest book in the hugely popular STORM SERIES is coming September 6th, 2019!

     Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

    Photograph: Wander Aguiar Photography

    Model: Colton B.

    Sam has used this designer and photographer before and I can see why she chose them to bring her story to life in this cover. 



    There will be no pre-order, but sign up to receive an alert on release day: 

    Add to your Goodreads TBR:


    Blurb for FINDING STORM: 

    The son of an icon.

    He was a legend. Rock royalty.

     A man I never met. 

    But I’m measured against him in every aspect of my life. 

    The only time I feel like me … the real me … is when I’m onstage with my band. But the more we grow in popularity, the more people compare me to him.

    I’m not him. And I never will be. If only everyone could figure that out for themselves.

    I need a break from it all. 

    Then, a confrontation has me jumping in my car, putting LA in my rearview mirror. And a stupid mistake ends up with my car on the side of the road. And straight into the path ofa girl who is the exact opposite of everyone else in my life.

    She’s like everything I used to know.

    And she has no clue who I am.

    Even if she did, I don’t think she’d care.

    She thinks I’m cavalier.

    I think she’s intriguing. And hot. Let’s not forget hot.

    I’m stuck in this town overnight while my car is being fixed. But I’m thinking I’m gonna stick around a bit longer.

    I’m Storm Slater, lead guitarist in Slater Raze and the only child of the late, great Jonny Creed. But, here, right now … I’m nobody. Just a regular guy.

    I’m liking it a whole lot.

    And I’m liking her even more.

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    As part of building the presentation team for this years A Day To Sparkle I came across local author Samantha Towle. Sam's story really inspired me, a local girl who had seen amazing sales of her books. It was great to have Sam as part of our day and to hear more of her story. As part of this process I started to read her contemporary romance books and I am one on many eagerly awaiting her next book. 

    I am pleased to be able to share the cover of her next book River Wild due out in January 14th 2019. 



    Add to Goodreads âžœ

    River Wild will be available on Kindle Unlimited. Links will be posted on release day.

    Sign up for Samantha’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live! âžœ


  4. Google Reverse Image search

    Why and how


    There has been quite a storm in the craft world recently where a stamp designer has become public villain No1 when it was revealed that some of her stamp designs are rather too closely related to some images that belong to other designs. She has had to take time out having been branded a liar and a thief. He main mistake was possibly claiming she hand drew her stamps, I think there is probably more to this story than we are hearing at the moment but a witch hunt has seen her name plastered every where with critics condemning her in quite a nasty tone. I won’t be going in to detail here as I do not know enough. I mention it only because it serves as a timely reminder about use of images.

    As the owner of Oak House Studio, I was confident about the images I used as created most of them myself. I too have been caught out though sometimes when I have trusted other people’s images especially people on my design team. I had someone submit a sample using another companies stamp as if I wouldn’t notice! So that one didn’t catch me out.

    I was caught out when under pressure to produce something new for a magazine, I was inspired by a design of a card someone had made for me, I asked their permission and created a card quite close to the one they had made. Months later I found their card was a direct lift from someone else’s card which made mine too close to that card for comfort. I was very embarrassed. It did not result in legal action but I do know of people who have been in trouble for using images without the correct permissions.

    If you use images supplied to you by someone else please take the time to check those images through something like Google image search which is simple to use.

    It doesn’t matter how well you know the person or how much you trust them. If you are involved in using the image as a social media manager, a website designer, a PA or VA, a laser cutter or stamp maker, if you are selling the image or distributing it online. If you produce your own images or design something like I did look out for people stealing your images. The stamp world is full of ripped off stamp images and I am sure other will be to. Please check!

    As a designer I would ask you to respect artists and the work they produce. There should be no need to steal from these people.

    So please use reverse image search to protect yourself and the hard working creators of images that people continue to steal from.

    Here is a Link to how to do a reverse image search with Google