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I've opened a hobby store to promote my art . The price of bespoke, hand-made printing was putting some people off. You can still have the fancy printing but this is for the rest of us…Shop till you drop -->
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How to raise your standard of living in New Zealand

The Big SleepOut 2015 Years ago I met a guy who was famous for organising very successful telethons. He told me a story about his early days as a larrikin in the UK. He would, he said, run tiny classified ads featuring the claim: "This is your last chance to send a pound". There was no further information other than a post box number. My belated efforts to raise money for the LifeWise Trust to help those in real need find emergency shelter are coming to their conclusion. The BigSleepOut is tomorrow night - sleeping rough to raise awareness of this humanitarian crisis - right here on the streets in New Zealand. I know it's easier to simply look the other way and feel helpless - but the truth is sharing even a small amount of cash with this organisation adds to a fund that really makes a substantial difference to the cause. We may not end the problem of homelessness altogether - but we can end homelessness for some - especially young people and families in

Philanthropy and why you can't resist the urge to help.

"Margins increase the further down the torso you go." Scott Galloway I remember watching a documentary on PBS,  The Persuaders , about how marketers winkle their way into people's lives. One segment that stayed with me was about Clotaire Rapaille, a French psychologist who had advanced his career from working with autistic children in his home country to advising luxury brand marketers in the United States about how to, well, winkle their wares into people's lives. He is a fascinating character. He lived in a chateau in upstate New York. His client's would attend en masse to hear his liturgy about parting exclusive customers from their millions by deploying a theory about the human brain. He described 'the lizard brain' - an ancient part of the human mind that behaves in an unprogrammed way - aside from consciousness or rational thought. The lizard brain is hard-wired to facilitate our base instincts for survival. For example you can rationalise yo

It could happen to you…

Click to enlarge The bungalow in Point Chevalier was their pride and joy. Not fancy by comparison to some of the renovated state house being turned into mansions by their neighbours but simple, stylish and contemporary. “I’m hoping we can extend the kitchen and deck out the back at some point” Vanessa explains, offering me the last macaroon “…you take it, I don’t think I could fit another one in…but Rudy suggested we just wait a little longer. He’s big on delayed gratification. Just because it’s in the magazines and blogs doesn’t mean we have to follow, does it?” What planet are you from? I thought to myself. “Improving the indoor outdoor flow would add a hundred grand to this place…” I wondered if Vanessa and Rudy might just be a little  soft in the head? “My god, these macaroons are the bomb, can’t believe you made them yourself - you should start a site and create a brand…are you sure that’s the last one? You’re not holding out on me…?” A crumb fell on my Karen Walker

Big SleepOut is just 7 days away. We need your help.

Every year I leave the relative luxury of home to sleep out in the cold to raise money and awareness of homelessness here in the most liveable city in the world. I've been a little slow out of the blocks with my effort this year. I need your help. My fundraising page is here. Every little bit helps, thanks. I really appreciate your support. 

Action stations…End Homelessness…let's rock!

We all know that homelessness is a real problem. I'm pretty sure you would be willing to help make a difference if you could. So here's what you can do: I am sleeping rough in 8 days time for the BigSleepOut event to raise awareness and funds to help Lifewise help people who are homeless. So, …now you KNOW I know you are WILLIING Let's DO IT! You can support Lifewise's efforts through my official fundraising page HERE. This is my sixth year of being involved with the event; I have found that friends and colleagues are both generous and supportive - the money we've raised has made a difference - when I first got involved I thought we could eradicate the problem easily, sadly it perpetuates.   But it would be worse without your generous help. Thank you. I'm grateful for your support - you make the difference. (P.S. I've kicked off my campaign a little late this year… it's even more urgent  - if you could share this post on Twitter and Facebook to sp

The Optimists' Flag

Having spent all that money to talk about the New Zealand flag on our behalf it would be rude not to engage. Here's my thoughts for a flag. I've been worried that pictures of kiwis and ferns and drab red white and blues might win the day (not that flags are really important). I also worry that if a black flag squeaks through we will look like we are in perpetual mourning. The reason the US loves the stars and stripes is because it's cheerful when displayed en masse. Anyway… Here's my rationale: This design refers to: • A sense of place - islands, mountains, land, sea, space. • The traditions of New Zealand/Aotearoa: - Kowhaiwhai design - European heraldry The colours: Blue ground  - sense of place, standing proudly and distinctively. Referring to our place in the Pacific ocean - and its meaning 'peaceful'. It transitions from night to day, yesterday to tomorrow. Yellow - facing the right/east not only symbolising the geographic p