Friday, August 28, 2015

More Excitement!!!

If you are a long time reader of this blog, you'll know that when we moved 2 years ago I was supposed to get the dining room for my studio space and for various reasons that didn't happen.

Now my daughter who spends only one to two nights a week at home because she's always at her boyfriend's house has agreed to let me have her room for my studio. It's usually just a storage space for her clothes and since she doesn't pay rent, it's now mine!

I'm so excited to get the largest room I've ever had to run my business! Currently I'm squeezed into my bedroom and half my studio is still packed from the move and some stuff is still packed from when I gave up my studio room at our old house and took over the small dining room there. 

I finally feel like things are falling into place and all my struggles have been worth it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quick Post on Research

I promised this at some point in the past so I'm trying to post this for those who were interested. Below are the website builders I looked into when I decided to have my own site.

 WIX is the first site I tried. I actually made a site there for a time a few years ago. I was testing it out as a portfolio site that I could link to my etsy shop. I found it to be frustrating. There was not enough freedom to do what I wanted, everything was locked into grids and boxes. This might be fine for a lot of people but as a graphic designer I've been used to more design freedom. Wix may be different now, but that was my experience.
*I should mention that when I wasn't looking to set up an eCommerce website when I was using this, only a portfolio site.

Squarespace has multi pricing and is one I didn't look into when I was looking. Maybe it's new, not sure but looks interesting. You can do just a single page or a full website.

Big Cartel is a nice multi price service that is for Artists specifically. When I was looking at them last year the thing I dislike the most about it was that it's not mobile friendly. When you look at a site built at Big Cartel on a cell phone or tablet a portion of the screen and your product is cut off. I also saw the whole site go down recently for hours. How many sales were lost then I wondered? 
I looked today and it looks like they are finally getting the mobile issue fixed, although I have yet to see anyone who is using the mobile feature so it's either super new or an additional cost add on.

Weebly is very similar to Wix with a similar structured template system. 

Wordpress has super custom features but most people would need someone to built a site for them cause it a lot to tackle with this system. I was a graphic designer for almost 20 years and it was too much for me. 

They are many more sites out there so I suggest doing lots of research.

Monday, August 24, 2015

So Flipping Excited!

After talking about having my own website, trying out different hosts and researching the heck out of the subject for so long, I finally started putting together the design for my very own site!
 I was able to purchase my old domain name. I stalked it forever to make sure it was available. But honesty who else would want it beside me?

I chose Shopify to host my website. I've heard awesome things about them. They come highly recommended, their customer service is crazy good and I actually know people who have websites on their site. I had Shopify purchase my domain for me and link it to my site. It was quick, easy and the domain cost was the cheapest I've ever paid!

Also about an hour after I signed up a customer service guy for Shopify emailed me welcoming me and asking if I wanted to get together for a phone consultation to help me through any of the set up I needed help with. What!? Guys this is free! They are here to help...wow! They have all kinds of help pages too.

I worked most of Sunday setting up the back end of my site and starting my design.

The back end involves:taxes, shipping, how purchases are handled and all those business type things that make stuff work

I started my design by picking a theme. Themes are how your site looks. Shopify has a nice selection of free themes to start out with. I'm using a nice simple free theme now but next year I hope to graduate to a more featured theme that I'll pay for. One day in the future I'll hire a web designer to custom do a site for me, but that's a ways off...baby steps. 

My theme design is mostly done. I still have tweaking to do and I'll  have many sleepless nights trying to finish art to load into my shop.

I'll probably do a series on my website journey cause when I talk to my family their eyes just glaze over but someone reading this might be interested. I'm so flipping excited!

I added a signup box for my newsletter to my side bar. Check it out!
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Worktable Weekend.

This weekend I spent some time doing some more work on what seems to be a never ending project. This lady has been standing around bald headed for so long so I made some time and gave a big push to finishing her.
 Attaching her hair. Then I did braids and did those into a Frida hairstyle.
I made the little felt flowers for her headpiece. I think they came out so cute.
The light in here is horrible but here's the back with the veil.
A better shot of the front. She has little flowers on either side of her hair too.

I was happy to get this much done, but she's far from finished. Now I have to set her aside for now. Her dead lover IS finished and I haven't shown him completely yet. But here's a small peek.
When they are finally finished they will be up for sale together on my new website. I hope you enjoyed seeing my progress.
 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I Made A Fun Photo Prop.

When I was making the Unicorn fairy from a few posts ago I made a stump for her to sit on but the size and coloring weren't right, so I made another one for her. Meanwhile the original one was perfect for a photo prop. It has just the right size and cartoony look.
 Loving this so much!

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