Saturday, March 09, 2019

Brain Frizz


We have a little shop.... not expert but... I have been working on it, couldn't see how to do proper inventory and have gone through help many times, finally, finally today I have made some headway.

Now to go and re-gig it all,
that will need a big WHEW!! at the end, but I have found the way into the maze and can look for the light.

What do you want for Christmas? I want someone with good English and a love of all this tech savie stuff to help me.
Marketing, fixing websites, tweaking said website and then getting stuff out there for people to find us.
Had a lovely women in yesterday looking at our natural dye colours for her production... she has the most beautiful feed on Instagram and a very well performing online shop and in 20 minutes of conversation blew my mind with observations and ideas.
It is the website that needs to come up in search engine... people are out there looking for you but if you don't come up in the search engines they wont find you.
Fair enough.... how to improve your score.
Ask an expert.
I have said to Praveen I can't do this- he looked very confused? You can't do something? Can't you learn? Probably could but I don't have the time or enthusiasm, we need to pay someone with the expertise and enthusiasm.

Big step for me. I want more space in my head for nice stuff I like and also those things I have to do myself because I have not yet found a way to delegate them, not agonizing over things that can be delegated.

Also Please send me a production manager Universe :)
Gang is doing so well with tablets and documentation on tablets- just need a big picture person to keep it all on track when I am out on tour or just out of office mode in workshop playing with a new idea.

So done a little tweaking on website for The Stitching Project
going to really get started on The Shop overhaul next week.
and got the next Creative Arts Safaris Bengal Tour to write up and list. Which is rather exciting to be on so happy to dream about it as I organize.  I have to also work out how to do behind the scene taggy things and links and stuff - really waiting for my soon to be discovered expert to help me on this bit :)

never boring
never easy
always interesting

Sunday, March 03, 2019

media, marketing, why oh why?

Goodness me,
It seems a lot has changed with websites and ranking and stuff.
I used to tweak our website every so often.... I also had time to tweak our websites every so often and Creative Arts Safaris especially used to get front page ranking for those who wanted
small group tours
craft tours
textile tours
India, Morocco. Vietnam, Ghana tours..... now it is lost in the depths of Google somewhere.

Apparently you should tweak the website often, write blogs and link them to said websites and anything else but not over do it and be kind of spammy.

Link to other websites and get others to link to you.... again be real not spammy.

Tweak your SEO-  well I thought that would be a simple google and fix, but they use way to many thingamajigs I have no idea about.
Seems Facebook  is becoming old hat and Instagram is making its way down the same gurgler, as far as I can see.

and frankly I have got to the time in my life I can't find the energy to be enthusiastic.

if it was a make by hand thing I would be all over it- but a fiddle with computer and other nerdy stuff- call me a Luddite and let me out of here.

Do you know how I find a SEO tweaker? - how do you know they are good? How much will this cost? Happy to work with them and update and edit content on our website, want someone to do the back end tweaking.

Will have to quizz Gaelle at Anjelms, I think she has been learning a lot about this stuff.
She recently did an interview with moi for her website, and I do admire the look she has going.
Also love the working with her, she is fun, and supportive.

Oh and I should label pictures in a searchable way and use lots of them.... maybe embed something but I have no idea  what.... not hammer in computer I guess.

Haha Happy Sunday,
workshop is working so we can be closed tomorrow for Shiva and Pravati's [Hindu Gods] wedding anniversary.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

obsessing over things...

Getting there, getting there...
it really helps the days when I can escape computer/ office stuff and play in the workshop.

I have always obsessed over the way things are made, what to do with wastage... like since I was a kid and and started learning to make things.... so a 54+ year obsession.
Who imagines they would ever say that one day?

I was just talking to my niece, Rhiannon  she is such a vibrant young thing [ although I heard her saying something about being 30 and time passing] still a young thing to me.

We were talking about slow making, seasonality and the feel you put into your work.
Years ago I used to paint shirts and then my mate Dawn would stitch them and I would sell them in a gallery.
I was generally in a good mood when I worked as I loved playing with colour and creating.
I had very small children and was a single mother, so I worked from home.... some days were not so nice. I had a dear ex-husband who used to make life so difficult so there were moments I felt like death warmed over but a lot sadder.
To pick myself out of that I used to load the kids into the stroller and walk until I  could see sunshine and play in the park with them.
It worked, I did not have the option of rolling into a small ball which would have been my first choice and going mouldy.

Anyway one day I must have painted a shirt in this low mood, it was quite beautiful in a lovely red colour way.
I sent if off to my mate to stitch with others, it did not come back....nor did it come the next I asked where was it?
She said that every time she picked it up, she felt really off and so put it back in the work basket.

HMMM so interesting.
From that point on I have been so careful of the frame of mind I make things in and when I was doing exhibition work I would lay my intent into pieces just as carefully as was laying in the materials I was using.

The whole ideas of affirmations and Positive thoughts was starting to be talked about way back then. It is good.... fake it until you make it.

Those days your mind wants to go round in thoughts that will take you down the drain,  Better to choose something positive and substitute everytime you catch yourself with a yukky thought cycling.
Might not fix a problem but does keep you in a better frame of mind, which I guess gives you a better chance of working through the problem in a constructive way.

Ahhhh, some days.
A bit of doing SOMETHING, anything really and the more physical the better is a great remedy.
 Yes I do love a good obsession.... making quilts and cosy jackets are up on the top of the list of things I like to make.
One of the few down sides about living in India is that it is rarely the weather for such things, but you out there might like them.

 I am not a hoarder, I can easily throw out rubbish but I am frugal and won't throw out stuff that can be used.
IT does call really loudly to me if it is sitting there to be used...I don't want to hoard.
That was fine in a 1 person studio, having a workshop where we produce mountains of work and so mountains of off-cuts that compulsion to be in "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT" mode all the time can cause a bit of pressure.
Today working through some samples in madder
a pillow, a quilt, a comfortable snugly Kimono shape jacket.....
We have one Ladies who also weaves- keep meaning to track her down and see if we can commission he to do some mats for us out of khadi waste.... like this one I have at home.

Happy days when I can work on using the scraps up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

a little stitching things together

textile tours, craft tours, small group tours
I am sitting here at my desk, 
the workshop rings to the Ladies voices, sweeping up and getting the workshop ready for our day. Lovely sound of  camaraderie, I am so happy with the team spirit in our workshop.
Been super busy finishing off some work for a client, each piece has hand stitched details and everyone who could has been sitting together getting it finished. Manju Madam our coordinator of  hand stitch has been doing a wonderful job supervising us all and keeping us consistent.

It was lovely to sit and stitch and hang out with the girls and I intend ignoring a whole heap of office work again today to do it all over again !! :)

Praveen and I have been planning a road trip to finalize the details of our Tour "From Chikankari to Enlightenment" but it is proving a little difficult to get the time.

Wedding season crazy at the moment and few that can't be missed GRRrrr, 
Kumbha Mela being held in Allahabad means we have to wait until it finishes as with 150 million attendees it might just be a touch crowded!! Ohh India how to do things in a big way.
Then we have visitors booked into the workshop....then Vietnam Tour and after that family holiday in Australia
.....and I think it is going to be super hot May before we get away. Oh well, not so many people around at that time.

Off to join the girls and get the stitching finished and then move onto the next trick!
Tours to plan
I really have to get the webshop organized and looked after- they call it marketing and I am rather remiss.... I need an assistant!!

Manju calling me.... yeh I am out of the office!

Friday, February 15, 2019

To change or not to change?

Sounds so profound but really just me agonizing over website formats.

What do people expect these days?
Is our Creative Arts Safaris ' site too wordy?
I want people to get a sense of what we offer,
To take the time to brush up on info and stories about our destinations,
To hear what other people say about our trips- very proud of the warm response we get to our research and enthusiasm for the places we visit,
Super pleased with the number of people that keep coming back and encouraging us to go further.

We do our websites through yahoo, the format that we currently use is easy to work on, they also offer another option particularly suited to display on phone or tablet or computer BUT  trying to tweak with enough pages to suit what we want to offer is driving me nuts.

What to do?
Take a peak at our current site from your phone or tablet- is it a hassle to access?

Thanks so much :)

We're in Mumbai at the moment exhibiting our work at the lovely Artisans Gallery.
Nice break from the cold of Pushkar and business of the workshop.

Monday, February 04, 2019's moving fast

Will it pass me by in a blur or can I get a handle on it?
In Oz cuddling grandkids and welcoming a new one.
I am so proud of my boys, they have grown into wonderful people.
The way they support each other and tackle their futures is the icing on the cake for me.
I spent many years on my own with them, knew I had a screw loose, worked at trying to line it up....
They grew up knowing no use complaining about something -work out how to sort it out.
If you can see it, have a go, no one else can do it for you.
HAPPY to be with them.
Workshop is in contact via whatsapp but generally they are tackling our work load well.
A breather has been good and I will enjoy being back next week.
2019 you may be charging along but I an looking forward to the ride :)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

off and running

Gosh finally caught up on a lot of stuff, even had most of a day printing the other day and maybe able to get back to the print room again today.
Heaven, even though I was so tired I could hardly stay awake long enough to cook and eat dinner!

All part of my get fit and strong kick I have been on the last few months- you don’t notice getting old and lazy but it sure seems a great feat to go the other way… I know I won’t get younger, but I will hopefully feel fitter.
Interesting I have been doing yoga off an on for the last 30 years, and every so often I have felt something loosen up in my body and had a pop realization, like something has been let go.
Not sure how to explain it- but a sense of emotional freeing at the time a physical stretch improved.

Living in the home of yoga it is almost impossible out in the sticks to go to a class but I have tried some apps on my phone and so can workout each morning. The one I really like talks about strengthening the core all the time and how your core supports you, blah, blah, blah.
What I really like is the way this teacher talks you through, pull the abs in, tuck your tail, to help straighten your back…. strengthen your core so it can support you.
seems metaphorical as well as actual.... that is the way it is suggesting itself to me.

I have always slouched, as a kid I thought it was because I was always being told to pull my head in when I saw myself in school photos. Now realize, classic pose of abused kid…. Anyway, I was listening to my yoga class and trying to sort my body out, stay focused on the body and not wandering off in my head…. And something clicked into place as I got a stretch right and memories of being a kid and sexually abused by my grandfather down in the shed behind the bird aviaries just popped up- I was trying to sink into myself and disappear. Most of the problems that type of thing do to your mind and behaviour I think I have moved on from but interesting still pockets hidden in the body somewhere.
No big deal, just interesting how we are all put together, physical vehicle carrying the heart and soul.

Really like my morning yoga- I may grunt and groan but ultimately feel I am being kind to myself and feel so much better for it.
The last year has been so intense with work and trying to develop our gang and workshop- it almost toppled me over,
An acquaintance/friend has just visited and she said the reason she was looking forward to popping in was she liked my optimistic/can do practical attitude and wanted a dose :)
When she said that I thought “Not me, I am tired and grumpy and stressed out here” but really it got me thinking
Yes I do an enormous amount- 3 jobs running at any one time.
I could chuck it all if I wanted and move on. Why not we all have choices and I have been in a dark place lately- even considering it, actually.

BUT, I love my workshop and gang, I love my husband even when he is driving me crazy and I love our adventures together… what would I like to change?
Not much, just how I cope with it all and also some delegation and it would all come good.

Back to the yoga and staying present in your breathing and body, even those few moments in my day really help the rest of the day include that type of attitude. JUST BREATHE
and fit in a little block printing if you can!

This textile from Vietnam is on the bed in my yoga room- I love it, and the way it reminds me we are all the same just a little different and it is those small differences that make the magic.