Monday, 6 July 2020

Post viral Fatigue

I knew I forgot to blog on Friday, I was going to blog on Saturday instead, and then Sunday, and now it is Monday.

My painting got it's seal of approval on Thursday and is wrapped up and waiting to be picked up today. I also sold a large print on Saturday so I need to persuade myself to go to the post office again shortly. I really miss the mini post office than was ten minutes around the corner. Having to walk into town each time is knackering. I can't complain though, it is better to sell something than to not!

Other than that it has been quiet - my security certificate is still not working on my website, two of my paintings got shared on an sikh art site on instagram so that has been some good extra publicity, and hopefully I will paint my next commission at some point this week.

Other than that more website updating I guess and I need to do some invoicing, and more importantly, try not to fall asleep.

I think it might be a long week.

(Also, I did finally write a haiku on Friday for my food poem:

Fish and chips Friday
It only happens weekly.
Sea air is lacking 

They are much easier to do! )

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Frustration.

I did a good job of forgetting to post yesterday. I decided to paint a commission I needed to do in the evening so I thought I could blog whilst I was waiting for it to dry. Instead I mostly lay on the floor and did some yoga.

I had had a slightly frustrating day on the computer, so I was happy to spend the time away from it. I purchased an SSL certificate the evening before which I was trying to load onto my site with the help of my brother. It doesn't seem to work for some reason, so I spent most of yesterday online with Moonfruit (my website provider) speaking a language I didn't understand, trying to sort it out. Apparently it is sorted now, but I have to wait for 24 hours to see, in which time my website could just completely break. Lets hope that doesn't happen.

In other news I sold a mug on Etsy to someone in Cincinnati which sounds good but I think I have underestimated the postage so I need to update that on both Etsy and my website. It seems a bit like every time I think I have sorted something out, 20 other things happen that I need to update. My to-do list is super long at the moment and I am super tired. This doesn't make for a good combination, as by the time I have chosen what to do and then procrastinated about doing it I am pretty sure the day will be over.

Never mind, one commission down (hopefully, I am still waiting for the seal of approval) and one to go!

Also, as I missed sharing my lunchtime poem for yesterday:

Baked beans on a garlic naan,
This take-away is lasting forever,
I.m sure it is making me fatter,
I started out as light as a feather.

The calories are surely worth it,
It is better than eating cardboard.
Just don't judge when I loosen my belt
and my waistline looks like a fraud!

I promise next week I'll behave,
I'll stick to the diet like a slave,
But until then anything goes,
Lets just ignore all the weight on my toes! 

I seem to have got far more invested in this than I was expecting....


Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Chicken Biryani

I only managed to update 11 pages today, so I think that makes 31 done and 210 to go. That makes me die inside a little! I am also slightly worried it isn't going to make any difference at all as well.

Everything seems a bit like a mammoth task today. Having started 'lockdown' with a rush of sales of prints, paintings and puzzles and commission enquiries it seems to have gone very quiet.

I need to sort out some new paintings, doing one a week really kept things ticking over. The problem at the moment is a commission I need to do that I am procrastinating over. Two commissions in fact but the canvas for one of them only arrived this morning. I really went crazy buying new canvasses as I think I have 48 blank ones now! Oops.

I guess I have to look at the fact that I am still working on everything and towards something, so the payout may be sometime after the work. I could just do with a painting sale as a bit of a pick me up!

Also, as I started the crazy idea of sharing my lunchtime poems on here, here is day 2:

Chicken Biryani
Doesn't come with Salami,
But a side of Meat Samosas,
That I dropped on my coaster.
Wash it down with water
(I am my Mother's daughter)
And now I am full.  

Don't worry, I am sure the entertainment value of this will only last a week or so and then my ramblings will go back to normal. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Still an Eccentric Weirdo

I think my brain is in danger of exploding this afternoon. I have been tagging and attempting to optimise my website pages for both Google and mobiles. I have kind of worked up 20 pages so far, 8 of which I need to alter dramatically for them to work on a mobile. This isn't even 10% of my website yet! This task feels enormous and is going to be ongoing for a long while. I have also half started researching into making my website secure. I think it has come to the point where it may be a good investment to buy an SSL certificate. I just need to work out how to do this and where to purchase it from. It might be time to log into my website provider and ask some questions!

Tidying up my pages is actually kind of therapeutic. It is a nice feeling to know all the images have names and that the pages have correct titles and descriptions, and that everything matches. I just sincerely hope it makes my website easier to find in the big old world wide web, otherwise it feels like a lot of effort for not much gain. It does seem to have made me feel incredibly tired as well, but that may be because it is the first time for ages that I have sat at my desk solidly working for at least 5 hours.

At least that means I should sleep well tonight! (I hope)

On a lighter and more random note I thought I would also share a 'poem' with you. I was chatting to a friend earlier today about how it is better to acknowledge what you are eating by not doing anything at the same time, so watching television or reading for example. I live on my own, so I said my mealtimes would be lonely. She said it meant that I could savour what I was eating, to which I replied that maybe I could write a Haiku or a poem for her to describe my meal. This was mostly a joke, but seems to have stuck. So here are lunchtime thoughts on Day 1:

Staring at my plate,
I've got nothing to do but wait,
For my stomach to satiate,
It's going to be a long week.  

I'm sure this counts as art right!? At least it might reaffirm my status as an Eccentic Weirdo. 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Upgrade in Progress

I had the day off yesterday because it was a thousand degrees centigrade outside, and I decided chatting with friends, in a garden, was much preferable to being attached to my computer and bursting into flames in the flat.

It still feels pretty hot today as well, but having made the most of the sunshine yesterday, I am more content to sit in today and 'work'.

So I did start tagging my pages and adding alt descriptions onto my website images. I also wrote a list of all the website pages I have. A mere 240 of them. This is going to take forever! I also found that on Google there is a thing called a 'Lighthouse Report' which generates a report of any web page you choose and rates it in terms of SEO, performance, speed, accessibility and lots of other things that I don't understand.

This is good, interesting and confusing. I am stubborn, so whilst I had a brief moment of thinking it would be easier to just pay someone to sort all this out, most of me went into 'ooh challenge mode.'

So I guess I am going to become a webmaster then? Unlikely, but I will certainly see if I can make my website behave a bit better. I have put a lot of work into it and I need it to work hard for me. I have already seen that there is a market for my work, I get commissions and sell prints and paintings etc, so I just need to reach more people, more consistently to make this work.

I feel like I possibly should have started this at the beginning of 'lock-down' but then I guess I needed to paint. Maybe I can carry on doing this through the second wave, which I will hope to God doesn't happen!

At least I am not going to run out of things to do for a while! It beggars belief really, what I have learned and how far I have come from when I first started doing this. It is impressive really, and I should give myself some credit for that and my perseverance at making something as professional as possible. This was a pipe dream after all; I knew I wouldn't paint unless I could relocate the paintings......

Upgrade in progress......   

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Lists of Lists

It looks like my favicon has updated this morning to a little orange 'LH' rather than the invisible black one that it was! Hooray!

I ordered the, hopefully last, set of new canvasses I needed yesterday. This means over the last couple of weeks I think I have ordered 30 extra canvasses!!?!??!?!?! Seems a bit like an obsessive compulsive disorder waiting to happen! I think as I have so many different sizes and quantities going on it might be time to put together a stock list and a price list so I feel a bit more organised when people are asking me for quotes. Speaking of lists, I managed to do everything I was planning yesterday except starting to tag and label my website pages. I kind of want to write down how they are currently performing from a SEO point of view before I start to alter them so that I can see what is and isn't working. This means I will need to write a list of all the individual pages before I start though and update their scores accordingly. I guess this may well be my activity of choice for today! It does mean I can streamline some of the pages down though, mostly just the original pages that have sold and I no longer need! 

I just realised I have individual pages for all my products. So 20 different mugs means 20 different pages. I think typing all of this up is going to take forever!

It will be interesting to see tomorrow, what I actually manage to do today...!


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Un-bogging

It seems like the easing of 'lock-down' is bad for me, with every extra person I meet up with or every extra decision I need to make a little bit of art focus goes. I guess that makes sense though, your brain gets filled up with other things. In 'lock-down' I could only think about myself, going for a walk, my mental-breakdown-saving-walking-buddy, and art. Just four things, and only an hour outside so the rest of the time was devoted to house related things and painting to keep productivity going. I'm not saying this was ideal, it was frustrating and boring at times but it cut out uncertainty, unpredictability, and worrying about going or doing anything. I think too much, so it was almost like it gave me permission not to think at all. I can see it is affecting my friends too, they are more restless and anxious, and you can tell they have too much on their minds. Life nowadays, is sometimes too much.

The good thing is that I have noticed this, so I can do something about it. 'Lock-down' has given me some good habits, I am back in the painting zone, blogging and I have a better diet and yoga regime. More tools to make me more well behaved hopefully! Getting bogged down is not an option! So with that in mind, writing down my art tasks for the day seemed to work well at the beginning of all this and it gave me a focus to my day. So today, I need to order even more canvasses as I have another commission lined up, I need to put a painting up for sale and I would like to start key word and meta tagging my website.

So let's sit down, chill out, and do this!