All change….

It’s been a funny couple of weeks, lots of on and off drama around here, a rare weekend away for M and I, without the kids (our last was back in 2009), a birthday (mine) and of course a daily reminder of just how small any problems we might have are in comparison to the horrific happenings in Japan.

Work has been quite erratic, I haven’t had much time to sit and sew, although there are quite a few things nearly finished and some general updates I’ve never mentioned.  Above is my desk today with the current open project in the bottom corner, most of you regular readers will know what this is.

I’ve been busy packing up orders between the mayhem

I realised I’ve never shown the final photos of the new batch of little birds, which are now listed, here

and on Folksy.

Also, quite exciting news (for me anyway), I’ve finally moved hosting companies for my website.  Essentially I’ve abandoned MrSite and defected to Create.net, I don’t want to get into a slagging off session but there was a lot I was personally unhappy with, so I simply decided to move.  The main problem for me was the customer service and the many bugs, in fact I still have an open query that obviously isn’t ever going to be answered; in fairness I should mention that they are going out of their way to rectify this problem plus there is a new product due out soon, but for me this is too little, too late.

The immediate good things I notice at Create are:

  • Fabulous customer service, all questions so far have been answered quickly and efficiently.
  • The ability to have shop items in more than one category (so in SALE and another category such as Lavender Bags) with a simple tick of a box, no having to double list and manually edit the stock counter.
  • The ability to hide products so re-listing them at a later date is much easier.
  • Restricting the country for purchase to the UK only in the checkout.  In MrS Pro (which you need if you require a stock counter), payment is processed via PayPal’s pages who have an annoying drop down to choose a country which you can’t remove or restrict, this was really a problem for me as I only ship to the UK without prior arrangement.
  • Very easily customizable template and colours.  You can change the text, colour and template without loosing any of the ‘bits’ (I’m sure that’s a technical term, LOL ;)) you’ve set such as background and header, plus change them back again at a whim with no problems.  I’m fickle, I like to play around with my site a lot, I found in MrS lots of things reverted back to the basic template when all I wanted to do was change the text, so I’d have to re-set them all again.
  • I’m generally loving the shop back area in Create, there are so many things you can turn on or off and to get the exact shop functions you would like and although I haven’t tried them yet, being able to do offer codes etc is going to be great.

I could go on but you may fall asleep, I should say you can also do a 30 day free trial which is a huge bonus plus you pay monthly, not yearly, so you can leave whenever you wish.  Are there any downsides?  Well, yes, to checkout out customers are asked for full address details before going through to PayPal (oh and you can use many other payment gateway).  Personally I hate this as to me the whole point of paying by PP is to avoid filling in forms, I may loose a few of my single lavender bag customers and they are my best sellers.  Also, I struggled to find a template I really liked, my taste is quite minimal and funky for websites so some of the details just weren’t right but it’s all workable.  A biggie for me is that I’ve dropped off the Google UK search for ‘lavender bags’ where I used to be up there on page 2, now I’m no-where to be seen, M suggests this is because all the old links created over the past 2 years to my pages and products are now broken, something I hadn’t thought about 😦

I still have a huge amount of tweaking to do, including a new front page and lots of photos to re-take but I just needed to get it live.  I could be changing the details for many months yet so if you do take a look around, please excuse an mistakes 🙂

Lastly, on a slightly random note,  I need to apologise to all you lovely Blogger friends, I can’t leave comments at the moment, no idea why.  I write one, submit it, it disappears with no error message so I assume it’s gone on it’s merry way but when I check back later it’s not there; it’s been sucked into a blogger black hole and I’m afraid this may have been happening for some time before I noticed.  I tweeted about it and found I am not the only person with this problem, I’ve tried logging in/out, refreshing my laptop, using a different browser but nope, not working, so please don’t think I’m ignoring you, I just don’t know what to do to fix it (BTW, this is only a problem on blogger blogs where the comment is left at the bottom of the page, for those who have a separate pop up window, I can still say ‘hello’).

Very wordy today and not many photos so here’s another ‘nearly finished if I just pull my finger out and get on with it’ product, again you regulars will know what it is 🙂

24 thoughts on “All change….

  1. Great to hear all your news Beth and I read your old SF post, that sounded an awesome trip! I’m glad you have sorted out your new web site and I wish you lots of sales and a “reappear” on google on page 1. The new colour schemes you have given a glimpse of at the bottom of the page are perfect for the better weather, looking forward to seeing more of your creativity too, you are so very talented. I am glad my blog comments are working for you, it was good to hear from you recently as I appreciate how very busy you must be. I have a rare Wednesday off from work (using the end of my annual leave) and I am enjoying pottering around in doors.
    Take care,
    Jane x

    • SF was great fun, we would have also gone abroad this time but in the end I’m glad we didn’t (some of the ‘drama’ referred to was our not getting away until later then planned and nearly not at all, but for very good reasons). I hope your day off is a lovely one, I do enjoy a bit of pottering myself. Bx

  2. Good luck with your new site , it’s all a bit over the head for me I’m afraid. Those pink birdies are just lovely and I’m not normally a ‘ pink girl’. Looking forward to seeing the monsters .

    • I’m not normally a pink girl either, unless it’s a berry or deep plum pink but I’m also find myself rather liking them. I’m making a determined effort to get monster purses finished as I’ve been promising them for so long. Soon, I promise. Bx

    • Thanks Vivienne, I started the new bunnies forever ago but then popped them aside and haven’t picked them back up! The colours are very spring-ish so I plan to get back to them this week as they cheer me up now the weather’s turned a bit cold again….I hope. Bx

  3. Your packaging is so lovely. I have huge packaging envy! I’m trying to find the perfect eco-friendly-yet-vaguely-stylish option for my handmade organic baby things, and it’s not easy!

    Good luck with the new store hosting – I’m thinking of defecting from Etsy to a personal site at some point this year (perhaps we’ll get over the excitement of imminently expected baby number two first though), and it’s great to have some personal opinions.

    • Thanks Jo, I have a bit of a thing about packaging but I’m afraid I’m not nearly as eco friendly as I should be, I really need to work on this. The personal site works well for me, I make many more sales this way than I do through Folksy, I think it does give you more options and it’s more approachable to the general public who mostly haven’t heard of Etsy or Folksy. Number two is so exciting! I remember it well, I felt more relaxed but, if I’m honest, more tired generally the second time around, it’s all worth it though 🙂 Bx

  4. Thanks so much Beth, I LOVE your posts like this – so helpful and generous to share all your hard earned information and experience. I’ve also been looking at various sites for a new website for myself – I don’t need an online shop (it’s for my commissioned work) but I do want a nice simple clean layout with thumbnails to click on to see a larger image, do you think i could do that on Create?

    I think the new website looks gorgeous, well done x

    • Hi Flora,

      Glad you found it useful and yes, I think you could easily get the website you need from create, the shop is only one of many things they offer. I’m not sure if they have a ‘gallery’ option (which sounds like what you would need) but you could always create a ‘shop’ with thumbnails that can be clicked on for larger images, but simply turn off the option to buy and remove the ‘shop’ name from the menu, I think that would work. Otherwise you could manually upload a smaller image and link it to a larger one on another page…..it’s worth just having a play, the 30 day free trial is a real bonus and they are on twitter and respond quickly to questions.

      Bethx

  5. The new website looks fab! I really like the background, and all of your product photos are so clear and vibrant.

    Thank you for so much info about using Create, I found it very informative. Hope you enjoy the wonderful new site!

    • Thanks 🙂 To be honest I’ve just used the same ‘formula’ as my old site for now, I need to change the front page but I’ll get around to it at some point. Glad you found the post useful, I felt like I was going on a bit more than normal! Bx

  6. Sounds like your life is very busy at the moment. You put so much attention to detail into every thing you create, setting up a new space needs just as much attention. Things will fall in line eventually.
    I had no idea the bunnies were so large, I’ve thought of them as coin purses. Now, I love them even more. They look similar to my bunnies before they’re stitched and stuffed.
    Love all your pictures!

    • Hello, hello! Interesting you said that about the bunny purses, they are really more ‘small bags’ and I have been wondering if I should label them so….they just fit an iphone, money, credit card and a lipstick (I know, I’ve tried mine out!) so work quite well for Weddings etc. That’s also why they have a wrist strap so they can dangle whilst you sip champagne. Just popped over to your blog and they do look like your fabulous (and they are fabulous) bunnies only squashed and without your beautiful embroidery. Very lovely 🙂 Bethx

  7. I’m still so envious about your weekend away!! One day I keep telling myself, an evening out would be a start, maybe over the summer when grandparents are down.
    You new site looks great and thanks for all the information about create I had started to look at bigcartel but find the loading of the photos really difficult so may look into create when I have ‘a few minutes’ (the chance would be a fine thing!!)
    Work in progress i.e purses look wonderful can’t wait to see the finished product.
    Jenny 🙂

    • You sound like it’s the same situation as us, we only got to go away as my Aunt took time off work and came down with my Mum to help look after the boys, it’s why it so rarely happens, she has her own grandson to look after, I feel dreadful she’s taken time off to help with ours.

      Create is worth a play around with, especially with the free trial, it seems like a lot of work but once you get going it’s easy. Good luck, with creating a site and eventually having at least an evening off! Bx

  8. Looking forward to the new monster purses being ready and the new bunny colour is fantastic.
    I had a wee browse around the new site and it looks great – will be interesting to see what you come up with for changes to the front page. The info you gave about create is so useful, thanks for sharing it. I seem to be really struggling to achieve what I want to at the moment – you are my inspiration for for what I should to be doing!
    Your little posy of flowers is so pretty – were they all from the garden?
    Well done for getting away. Hope things get a bit less dramatic and settle down for you.
    Juliex

    • Glad my post helped, I need to change the format of the front page as on create you have a ‘shop’ page which has all the categories so no point listing them twice. Will probably just list ‘new’ items and best sellers with more general info….maybe.

      It took me ages to make my first site look like something I wanted but once it was done it’s worth it (and it’s changed quite a bit from the early days). I think it needs freshening up a bit, but right now I’m happy to leave it as is.

      The flowers were a few from a large posy my Sister sent for my Birthday but I grow most of them as well so look forward to having my own from the garden. Bx

  9. Hi Beth,

    What a pain about your comments, though I never thought for a minute you’d be ignoring me 😉
    Looking forward to seeing the monsters – make sure one has M’s name on it!!

    Justine xx

  10. I am so happy you’ve found a working web-thing, Beth! I am hopeless with technical bits as you cleverly put it, so if something is not working, I get really annoyed (as there’s nothing I can do) and if the questions are not answered…Oh my. It’s one BIG trouble less if everything works.

    Lovely pink birdie-set, just so me 🙂

    Have a good weekend and HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY!

    Yours,
    Mia

  11. Good to hear your thoughts on the website building packages, I’ve been considering MrSite but hadn’t taken the plunge yet. The hubster thinks it might be easiest to just get one built from scratch, but I don’t think I warrant it.

    I think I’ve had the same comments problem as you, but just thought it was me being daft/sleep deprived! Kept thinking that I’d forgotten to press ‘post comment’ duh!

    • Don’t let your OH talk you into creating your own site from scratch unless you have the know-how, mine tried the same trick and I found it quite frustrating (kept asking him questions until he got annoyed, served him right). I then went with Mr S but hated being tied in by the year. I think using a website building package is a good way to quickly decide what you would like and try a few things out, at least that’s been my experience, I may well then go on to build my own but at least I figure I’ll know what from it now.

      Bethx

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