Saturday 28 August 2010

A new range of print sets is born!

I had a stroke of inspiration from somewhere to make a new line of print sets with six images 5"x5" square with a white border for easy framing.  Each set will be of a similar colour palate and where possible somehow related by subject.

This set was all photographed in Crete and is gently brown toned.  Most of the pictures are from the Arkadi Monastry which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been with softly lit courtyards, sleepy cats and ancient olive oil jars.  I really like the white borders, they add a certain something!

Friday 27 August 2010

Silly Walks on the Front Page

Another Front Page - hurrah!

We had staggered home from supper out and as I checked my email on our return I saw via Facebook that my trusty Ministry of Silly Walks print was yet again on the Front Page of Etsy.  Not only on the FP but it had sold!  I think that this is the first occasion where such exposure has directly led to a sale.  I also had two messages from people wanting to buy a print, and one of those was for a larger one, as well as the sale of a card of the same image.  Not a bad evening's work considering that I wasn't even at home!

Here's the Treasury - and I have no idea what the title means!

I've been playing around with Wordpress after getting the fantastically helpful support team at my hosting company Nexcess to install the software for me as was totally baffled by the whole process.  It's proving much more tricky than I had anticipated to do what I want.  I really want a good photo gallery set up and I suppose I'll just have to spend many more hours researching and finding out just how to do that.  I now need a good new website, I still like mine but I need something much more flexible and functional.  It's not going to be so easy to get it though......

Monday 23 August 2010

Sweeties on the Front Page!

I clicked over to the Front Page of Etsy to see what was going on and I found my Pick and Mix print on there! I love it when that happens!

I've been staring at my screen trying to vamp up my Facebook Fanpage to make a Custom Landing Page (I didn't even know that expression existed before the weekend!).  I'd love it if you'd pop over and have a look and let me know what you think....I did it all in Blogger and then copied and pasted it!  It's not exactly a graphic work of art, but not a too disgraceful starting point.  More Fans desperately needed too!  Grovel.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Facebook Page, Note Cards, Massage and More Bookcrossing

I've been busy today - I started out with a massage, not a fluffy little strokey nice smelling one, it was of the get into the muscle tissue and make you squirm and grimace type.  I think it worked and my poor sore bit is feeling a little less sorry for itself.  Back for more in two weeks - hopefully the bruises will be gone by then!

I've been making some new cards to add to the collection.  My pretty lavender prints have now been cardified and they look rather nice, although I've had to tweak the Blue and White Jug one as it was a square image, so I've had to loose some of the background on the right, but it still works.  There a still a few more to do, but I've run out of time for today.

I have decided to spend some quality time with my Facebook Page - you can find it here.  I had got a bit irritated by it but think it will be worth persevering with for a while, I've never really got into it or engaged with any potential customers.  I have finally worked out how to add the Etsy tab thingy which shows everything which is in your shop, although it would appear that the lovely new wide pages over at Etsy seem to have buggered up the widget so it looks really random at the moment, but I'm sure the geeks will sort it out before the Forum Witches come after them!  I've also been very brave and set up a Facebook Ad - I really don't know how they work but hope that my PayPal account isn't emptied overnight and that I earn a few view, fans or best of all sales.

It's Chorlton Film Institute night tonight and we're showing Sam Taylor Wood's Nowhere Boy which is about the pre-Beetles John Lennon and focuses on the apparently formidable women in his early life; his aunt and his mother.  I'm looking forward to it, especially as it's a nice short film at only 90 mins unlike White Ribbon last month which was an epic 2hrs40mins!  Even after clearing up we'll have time for a nice long visit to the Horse and Jockey for a glass or two of wine.  I'll be Bookcrossing another five books there tonight, they have a nice book cabinet for customers to make use of, so I know they won't mind.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

I can sing a rainbow....

How impressive is this - especially considering it was taken on my iPhone!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

I've been Bookcrossing!

I joined years and years ago and released many books into the wild as I cleared through my rather large library as I eventually learned to appreciate that I couldn't keep everything!  That time has come again, and after a massive shift of all my novels, food and travel books from their spacious and comfortable home in the front hall to various other locations I have plucked out a few tomes which are surplus to my requirements.  Halfway through bagging them up for charity I remembered my past passion for Bookcrossing and changed my tack.

So I have resurrected my old Bookcrossing Bookshelf and have this morning registered six of my many books.  To register a book all you have to do is enter the ISBN number (or title or author) in the the little form and when your book shows up you click 'register' and are given a unique number which is to be applied to that particular book.  You can just write in inside or you can print out little book-plates with the BC logo or you can do as I have which is to visit the BC store and purchase lovely printed book-plates, bookmarks, post it notes to make your books look pretty.  I bought a load of kit years ago and I've plenty left I've also been putting one of my business cards inside each.  Then you leave your book in the wild to be found by someone who will read the lable and follow the simple instrucions to go to the website, enter the unique code for the book and just say that they've found it.  Then if they want to pass it on to someone else, or leave it in the wild, they go back to the book's little page online and say where it will be left.  That way books can travel the world and all the people who have read it can follow it's journey.  The best travelled book (Hoffnung's Constant Readers by Gerard Hoffnung.) has passed through the hands of 526 people which I think is pretty impressive!

I delivered my first batch of six to a lovely little cafe down the road called Silver Apples on Orchard Street (read my review here), they were gratefully recieved - I'd actually forgotten that they have a book club, so that can only be a good thing!

There are a few more cafes locally who will be the lucky recipients of my over purchasing and I'll have to think of a few other places too.  I hope they are picked up in the spirit of Bookcrossing and that the new owners go to the site and register the books and I can follow where they go.

Here's a little snapshot of my pile of books on my desk waiting to be delivered.....

Saturday 14 August 2010

Mmmmm gooey cheese!

Pave d'Affinois cheese from the Rhone-Alpes and some smelly Roqufort served with juicy Conference pears and walnut bread makes the perfect pudding to follow a roast chicken dinner!

Friday 13 August 2010

Morocco Blue 2011 Calendar

While the rain was endlessly pouring yesterday, I was transported back to the bright clear African skies and blues of Morocco as I worked on the layout of my Morocco Blues 2011 Calendar.  After much tweaking of the numbers as I found that many of them were very hard to read on the sometimes busy backgrounds I was done.  Then I noticed that two of my months were wrong!  I had started May on the wrong day and somehow lost two days from November so I had to ungroup all the groupings in InDesign, make my adjustments and remake the PDFs.  Done.  Not done actually, as I luckily had my brain engaged and remembered that the layout for this current calendar had been made over the top of the Floral calender which I have listed in my shop.  So I had to delve into the layouts for those two (the one in the case and the loose leaf version), make the edits, remake the PDFs again, chuck out the wrong pages from my two fully made up versions, and for once be very grateful that I hadn't sold something.  It would have been extremely embarrassing to sell someone a calender where the dates were wrong.  Phew.

When I'd sorted out my errors I printed a test version and was very happy.  The next stage was to photograph the finished item but it was as dark as dusk at about 3pm as the rain bucketed and the thunder crashed and boomed.  So I gave up that plan for the day!  This morning although not exactly a blazing August day at least looked like daylight and I managed to take a few product shots when I returned home after my (hard) yoga class.

And after all that work here it is!

Thursday 12 August 2010

The joys of the English Summer.....

We're in the middle of quite a storm at the moment!

Posted from somewhere interesting using BlogPress from my iPhone!

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Delicous and very wicked fish and chips.

We had an impromptu meet up with friends last night.  We ended up at the newish fish and chip shop down the road where Peter and I hadn't been before despite it getting very good reactions from friends.  I didn't really want to go as I'm in one of my sporadic trying not to be a total pig periods where I am generally careful about what I eat when I go out, try to exercise as much as possible and try to stay off the booze.  I've been at it for a week and it's all going well.  I went to the gym in the morning and been very productive and according to my heart rate monitor had burned a handy 900 calories or so (I don't usually go on a Tuesday, but as it turned out, it was just as well as no gym would have definitely been a no no for fish and chips!).  After a discussion lasting for about two minutes we ended up at Frankie's Fish Bar and it was really very good. 

The d├ęcor is nice and simple with a real feel of a traditional fish restaurant.  The menu is pleasingly small and there's a tiny offering of wine, but we had tea and ginger ale instead.  We all went for the cod and chips which came with home made Tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon - the (Heinz) ketchup, salt & vinegar were on the table.  The seats are at the front of the tiny shop, the hot and smelly frying stuff is right at the back which is a very thoughtful layout as you don't end up hot and smelly during your meal.  If you want a take away you just queue (and queue they did) down the side of the shop.

There's some serious frying history behind this modern chippy, Frank Hayes, the grandfather of the current Frankie's people opened his first fish and chip shop in Stockport in 1949 and served meals there for 19 years! From here he was in the business in one form or another for many years. I think that it's great to have the latest product from such a long and successful line of fryers just down the road!  My waistline might disagree though......

The meals when they arrived were seriously impressive, the fish was golden, crisp and BIG.  Inside the cod was perfectly white and steamy hot and the batter was very nice indeed.  The chips were perfect, no little slimy grey offering here, just golden yumminess.  I ate almost every morsel!

Frankie's Fish Bar
178 Burton Road
West Didsbury
M20 1LH
0161 445 3300

Yellow and White Daisy

Here's one of the pictures which I've included in my new Floral Calendar for 2011.  It's a photograph which I took a couple of years ago when I spent a lovely afternoon taking pictures in the beautiful garden of friends in Cheshire.  I've retreated it with some gentle textures to make it look a little battered which I think suits the flower (NOT a weed!) very well!  It's now available in my shop as a print as well as part of my calendar.

Yellow and White Daisy by Eyeshoot Photography

Monday 9 August 2010

New 2011 Floral Desk Calendar

Today I've finished the layout and design for my first 2011 calendar.  It's a floral themed one with one sheet per month with a full sized image on each, it is available in a clear CD case, just like last years.  I've also been working on the layout for a loose leaf one which uses the same pictures in the same order, but each page is a little larger than the ones which fit in the case. 

Next up will be one with my Morocco Blue photos.

Sunday 1 August 2010

One day, Two Etsy Front Pages, Seven Sales!

It's been a good few days in Etsy land!  Someone enquired about an enlarged print and I explained about my A3 and 20x30 inch prints which are sizes I've previously offered and then she asked if I could make a 40x60 inch print which is MASSIVE and the answer was 'yes'.  I'll be picking the print up from the lab on Monday or Tuesday and I can't wait to see how my Path Through Moss print will look.  I'm now offering this size in my shop - the listing is here should you be interested.

We had a very busy day yesterday making lunch (roast tomato soup with basil oil and olive croutons, salad Nicoise, cheese) which went on till about 5.30, then two sets of friends popped round and we didn't go out as planned as I wasn't in the mood to eat out, so we drank lots of wine, finished off the cheese and sourdough and I russled a few edibles togeterh from the fridge and we chatted and nibbled till midnight. 

When in bed I checked my email and discovered that my work had been on two Etsy Front Pages that evening and that I had made six sales to one person - hurrah!  I'll be busy making prints on Monday.....

Here are the Front Pages:

You can see my Lanterns and Star Note Card here

You can see my Spring Cherry Blossoms Print here

Thanks to both clever curators for including my work in their lovely Treasuries!