Oops, what a long time it’s been

Oops, what a long time it’s been since I blogged. The usual reason applies, i.e. too busy at work. However, I have been doing some work on my stitching, and you can see some samples of it if you have a look at my Instagram (use the link on the home page). I’m quite enthusiastic about Instagram because it’s so easy and quick to use compared with writing a blog post. However, I don’t intend to abandon my blog, as it’s the right place to write up longer and more complex experiences and ideas.

One of the things I’ve done in my several week absence from the blog is to produce a new website for my friend and fellow stitcher Brenda Burkitt. We’ve been talking about this for ages, and finally decided to get round to doing something about it. Brenda didn’t want a blog, just a good-looking and stylish website, so I didn’t see any need to set it up in WordPress which is geared towards a blog. I recommended, therefore, setting up a site using Squarespace because I’d heard from another textile artist that it’s really pretty simple to use. So, Brenda came along one day towards the end of June with lots of images of her work and we got cracking on working out how many pages she’d want, what kind of format she’d like for presenting the images, and so on. She had quite a lot of fun playing around with the text colours. This is one of the best bits of setting up your site. She chose, in the end, a deep and lovely purple which I think works very well. Have a look at her website here.

What about Squarespace then? Weeeellll, it’s definitely easier to set up than WordPress, but it wasn’t quite as straightforward as I’d hoped. The range of designs available is pretty good, and the style is generally nice and clean and bright. I didn’t find it completely intuitive, but having said that, there are lots of tutorials available and when you have a query it can be easily answered by simply putting the query into Google. I couldn’t (still can’t for that matter) work out how to make the image on the title page smaller so that you can see the whole page without scrolling down. Another drawback is that, currently, you can’t transfer your own domain name into Squarespace. So, if I wanted a Squarespace website (which I don’t – I’m happy with this one) I’d have to register a new domain name with them.

But if you’re looking to set up a website yourself, Squarespace is definitely worth a look. I spent the best part of a day with Brenda discussing images and styles for the site, then about 4 hours on my own working on it. I even managed to persuade¬†Brenda that she should have a photograph of herself in the ‘About’ page. She was very reluctant but went along with it. I took a couple of dozen photos of her, and there was one that was the standout best so we used that. I’m very pleased with it, and was reminded of the advice a photography tutor gave me years ago when I did City & Guilds foundation photography. He said the professionals get good pictures just by the simple process of taking loads of them and then picking the best one out of maybe 100 images. I’ve followed that advice every since and found it invariably works.