Monday, 26 March 2012

Setting The Handmade Table

A couple of weeks ago I attended a craft fair at my daughter's school, the express purpose being trying out some ideas for show-casing and displaying my items.  I kind of got the look I was aiming for, a bit shabby chic, a bit bohemian in style and although there's room for tweaking I was pleased with how it all looked.

Most of the display items were things I have at home anyway, like the cage, the platters and dishes and the head is the one I currently use to photograph my headdresses.  I had shabby chic'ed the frames a little while ago and they've been really useful too, either as display items at events or as props when I'm photographing.


The doilies were a quick addition as I wanted a way to show of the bracelets that made them easy to handle - they're all different and very tactile, and the cage is something that I've had in my bedroom for years.  Once it was stuffed with a scarf it was a good way to show off some of my vintage necklaces.

I've a long way to go before I'm entirely happy with everything when it's set up like this, but I'm getting there.  And now on this gloriously sunny day I'm going to hand you over to everyone at Handmade Monday.  Enjoy!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Still building websites.....

....yup, I'm still re-building websites, tweaking this and adding that.

So I have three websites I'm currently working on, one is the site for the event I co-run, Hipnotic.  That's about half done I think....I must get on with that this evening or the week will run away from me again.

Then there's my belly dance classes website - that's about half done too I think.  As both this site and the Hipnotic one will cease to exist after 31st March I really need to get on with these two and get them finished this week so that I can get them up and running with the new web hosts before the end of the month - that way if there are any problems I can get them sorted out before they disappear for a bit.

And last of all there's the one I've been messing about with again today, my Blackwillow Tribal website.  To be fair I've spent more time on it than I should, considering it's just a place to showcase what's been sold and as a way of getting people to my Etsy shop via a different route.  It'll be interesting to see what Google Analytics tells me about both this site and the Etsy shop as from what I can see most people that look at my Etsy shop do so once they are within the bigger net of Etsy itself.  I shall be interested to see if the Blackwillow Tribal site gets people there too....

In the bigger scheme of things I have not been making anything else and it's just occured to me that the school Easter holidays are almost upon us again which will cut down on making time too.  I have one purple headdress on the go still (in all honesty I've not touched it for weeks) and about three bands ready to go, lots of good intentions when it comes to making some more feather earrings as the last lot sold out pretty quickly, and...well, just lots of stuff I could be doing.

So I'm going to send you across to Handmade Monday at 1st Unique Gifts to see what everyone else has been up to.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Making a Website.....

Ok, if the truth be told it's not that new a website but here's the story. Once upon a time I used to sell via where I offered tribal belly dance costumes and accessories.  I would import bits and pieces as well as pick up things here in the UK and incorporate them into well made and affordable costumes for those who weren't interested in making their own.  The site brought me a lot of work, particularly custom orders for headdresses which I absolutely adore making.

After my son was born some three and a half years ago I found that the recession bit deep and hard and although my site was looked at as often as it always had been, the orders were dropping off.  I also wanted to add things to the website that I couldn't unless I paid my hosts more to do so and the more I weighed up the costs of running it and the pros and cons of other websites the more I felt in favour of getting rid of it.  So last September I closed the website down and ever since I've needed to get in touch with all of those linked to me and let them know.

I'll try and cut this a bit short.....I'm currently rebuilding the site but with a slightly different slant as I sell via Etsy now when I'm not at events in real life, plus there is Facebook and Twitter and blogs and.....well, you get the picture...but I want people to know that I'm still here and that I'll happily make them a bespoke tribal belly dance or fusion belly dance costume or just a headdress.

This weekend I had a go at manually changing my A records (with a new registrar as the previous registrar had Detagged the site cos I didn't know then what I know now about claiming your domain) in order to point the domain at the new site and today was a little annoyed to see it still wasn't live until DOH!  I realised looking over everything again when the kids were in the bath that I had missed out one number of the new IP address.  Silly me!  I've rectified the mistake and hopefully by the end of the week will be back up and running again.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Where did two weeks go?

The last two weeks seem to have disappeared out from underneath me....

As well as the usual day to day stuff I've been rebuilding two websites.  The host of my current belly dance site and of my belly dance event site is changing how they offer their services.  Long story short I am rebuilding my sites with another host, tweaking the content as I go with a view to the SEO properties (and no, I'm not an expert, I'm just trying to learn!) and getting ready for the big point and switch.

For the last two weeks I've spent one afternoon each week at my son's nursery, taking part in a story-telling workshop programme they were running, another hour on another day teaching my daughter's Primary class an improvised (kind of) group dance and doing my own prep work for a belly dance based fitness class I am now running on a Wednesday evening.

Oh, and as my next event is hurtling towards me (it's on again on Sunday evening) I've been practicing my solo, working on the group piece I'll be doing with my students and on Tuesday evenings I have 2 hours practice with the troupe I dance with.  And now I think about it two weeks ago I was feeling pretty rubbish due to a virus that was running its course....

Don't ever think that working from home is a doddle!