Please excuse our mess while we are making a few changes around here. It tends to get worse before it gets better!
My new website was looking pretty good. Until it wasn’t. In trying to finesse a few things with some custom code (of which I know next to nothing), I may have lost a bunch of work that I’ve been doing over the last month. This whole process has become a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. Sometimes, like last night it’s one step forward, two steps back. Oh, and yes, I’m kicking myself for not having backed up as I went.
But, all this frustration with building what I want (design habits die hard, even though my inner code monkey knows I can’t handle it) makes me wonder why I bother at all. Do I really NEED a website? Sure, it’s nice to see my work all together in neatly packaged online galleries, but are there that many people who want to take a gander? I use tags in my blog posts, so one could pull up work just by using the lovely search button in my blog sidebar.
Websites are great for my friends and peers who have services to offer like classes and books and kits and things. You need a place where readers can easily find those things and sign up or order or check prices and availability. But I don’t really do workshops, and my work isn’t the kind that anyone says, “ooh, I want to learn how to make that!” nor does it lend itself to kits or technique tutorials.
My current website no longer reflects where I am, and I’ve been wanting to update it for over a year. My new website is driving me nuts trying to get what’s in my head out on screen. So, in an effort to have some closure, and get back to the actual artmaking, I’m wondering why I shouldn’t just remove the website aspect, choose an acceptable WordPress Theme for my blog, plug in my pretty new header, and move on with life? Or delete it all and just have a Facebook fan page?
As if posts around here weren’t thin enough, I think they’ll be getting more sporadic as the summer progresses. Behind the scenes, I’m redesigning my website and while I spend time doing that, there’s no time left for blogging.
Also, we will be moving at the end of this month so things are a bit crazy around here, and won’t settle into our new digs in Virginia until July. We’re going to have a grand adventure — it probably just won’t get blogged. Then I’ll inundate this space with nesting in the new house. Ha!
I had a crafty day today though. Not my craft, but my friend Wendy’s. She is building her jewelry design business and today was her first craft fair, so another of her friends and I went with to help her out. I didn’t have time to take photos or anything, which is probably good since it means that we were chatting people up and selling necklaces all day. The Hickam Craft Fair where we were was on the small side, and mostly military families (which are Wendy’s core audience) so it was a great opportunity to try things out, to see what sells, to create systems for sales, orders, packaging etc. I know there are people who practically live at these craft fairs and have a whole system figured out for their product, so it was educational to see where a new business’ strengths and weaknesses were. Wendy definitely had the aesthetics part down. Her booth looked great! She/we need to streamline the bookkeeping part, but that will come. I enjoyed being a part of the process, especially since I can see how it applies to me and where I want to take my artwork and how much or little I could invest in marketing myself.
It’s reveal day over at Twelve by Twelve!
Our theme this time around was Maps, and I chose a retro- housewife-style direction. It’s worth the visit to see the variety of interpretations from everyone else too.
Just recently, I wanted to make a quilt for my exchange student daughter’s Sweet 16, and zig zags seemed to fit the bill. Even starting this one from scratch, it was a pure pleasure to make.
I quilted each colorful stripe with variegated rainbow thread and it blended so perfectly no matter what colors were present.
I received an adorable photo of my “hanai” (adopted in the heart) daughter looking all comfy snuggled in her new quilt, but I can’t get it to post here, so here’s my photo of it before it left home.
I recently spent a week in California hanging out with my dad while he recovered from an infection. It was brisk and sometimes snowy outside and I had few responsibilities other than to walk his dog and make meals. So, I got A LOT of crocheting done!
When I was at my dad’s last year, I decided that I loved this old afghan his grandmother had made and that I would make an homage to it. Here is the original with my version on top. I inadvertently made my stripes horizontal instead of vertical, but I don’t think it will adversely affect the character of the blanket. Since this photo I’ve even added a few more inches!
The upside of avoidance is that while you are NOT doing one thing (redesigning your website), you probably ARE doing another thing.
Remember the 30 Lines in 30 Days exercise?
Remember the quilt I started to make based on one of my line studies?
Once the quilt was pieced, it needed a little adjustment to lie flat. At the time, that was enough to get me to avoid IT and move on to other projects, but now resewing a few seams seemed positively fun compared to web design. I’m also trying to attack that pile of unfinished projects so that when we move in two months I will have fewer pieces to pack.
Based on the woodgrain fabric, I quilted more wood grain into the solid fabrics.
For a bit of contrast I also quilted “pebbles” in some areas, and I loosely interpreted the lines themselves in others.
The finished quilt is 57 inches square and will most likely end up as a lap quilt somewhere in our home. I’m not really sure where yet where it will be most happy.
I want to update my website. I can no longer access it to add new photos to the gallery and as long as I was going to go in and fiddle about to fix that, I figured I might as well fiddle with the whole thing. I’m not much of a programmer though. I did some research and found out that the Headway theme for WordPress combines the ease of blogging with the flexibility of web building and should provide me with just the right amount of design freedom without totally geeking out.
It ends up though, that most of this simplified stuff just goes right through me. I can read the tutorial and make something happen, but when I return to my work the next day nothing has stuck in my brain and I have to read all over again. Also, the framework I had sketched out won’t work. I was hoping to have cool roots dangle down in between mine main copy and my sidebar. Headway and WordPress don’t like to be organized in vertical columns though. They prefer horizontal rows.
So I adjusted my header to be more horizontal. Even then, it took up too much space. I really wanted my navigation bar to nestle in under the header. So I removed the roots. Now it was looking pretty good, but when I added the cool “slideshow” to highlight some of my favorite work, it competed visually with my embroidered header. OK, change to a sepia tone header. Better. Not enough though. So I got rid of the house altogether. I think I have a header I like now, but it’s been Photoshopped to death to get to this point.
I’ve avoided the project like the plague for a few weeks and if I’m honest with myself it’s because I really need to go back and stitch up a new header so it’s not all Photoshoppy. Also, I know that once I get that sorted out, I’ll have to go back to square one with the tutorials to build all the pages I want since I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how this all works. And that head-wrapping is worthy of more procrastination. I need to get it done though because my site is woefully out of date and I really need to show off my Army Wife Series as it grows and as part of where I want it to go in the foreseeable future.
By the way, to all you WordPress users out there, what are your favorite widgets for posts and pages?