Blogs and Websites

I love trying something new. I guess that is why crafts of all kinds always appeal to me but it is not limited just to crafts. I like anything with a puzzle or a design element to it.

Last week I decided our shop here in Mongolia really needed a new website.
If I am going to “begin again” and get going creatively, and that is definitely needed for me to get more Mongolian information and inspiration online, then I needed a better platform to share and display what we, my staff and I, are doing.

Жэйс Криатив Staff

Our regular staff at Жэйс Криатив

WordPress was the obvious place to start, but I wanted something much more inspirational, something with many facets for people to explore, something that was loaded with information to interest our readers. I was dreaming BIG!

It didn’t take much searching before I found a theme called Newspaper from TagDiv and I was hooked – all set to produce an amazing website in just hours:-)

Well, inevitably it wasn’t quite like that.
First 2 days: I do like the theme, but managing to understand the structure enough to plan our own site was the first challenge. 2 days in and nothing at all to see for all the hours of work.😦

Next day: I got up with the idea that if I had some content all organised and ready to post then it would go much easier. So I collected together a set of photos and some word files with text already in Mongolian and set to work. ‘Easier’ proved relative and by the end of the day I had a vague plan but still nothing to show online.😦

Yesterday: I was back to the old problem of ‘is it a page or is it a post?’. I thought I understood that but there was one aspect I wanted to include that caused me a few more hours of thinking around this question. I finally got help from the very excellent support forum at TagDiv and put an extra function call as custom code in a couple of the files. I was very glad I have programming experience in my dim and distant past, and a willing husband to help. It looks like it solves the problem but that’s another day gone – well actually it was a new day starting as it was well after midnight by the time it was done.

So this morning, I am hopeful again that I will get something at least recognisable as a Жэйс Криатив site today – I need a breakthrough!

Oh and did I mention that while I was totally absorbed in learning my way around this new playground of the Newspaper theme I decided I really HAD to reinstall windows on my laptop. It was having all sorts of network problems with my web browser repeatedly crashing. We were not sure what the problem was but a reinstall seemed the simplest option – it just left me without my computer for the hours it took to get everything back up and running.

AND the other big project for the 5 day public Naadam holiday that has just started here – we are re-writing Jazer, our shop computer programs. Well my husband is, with me helping with the design side of the new system. It is not a minor undertaking and dong it before the shop reopens next Thursday is rather ambitious.

That’s far too much to get my head around all at once – I already burned dinner once while I was wrestling to get an idea into reality on the website.

There is lots going on in the city for Naadam so I would also like to get out to see something of the celebrations if only to get some photos I can use without copyright being a problem. This Naadam Festival site gives you something of the flavour of what is going on.

So while the “Blogging 101” course is a great idea, it is fighting a bit to get a look in with all that’s in progress here, and that is not having mentioned the new products I still have to test and demonstrate that are on the shelf temptingly within arms reach.

And so begins the new day……

 

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To begin again – Дахин эхлэх

Over one year on and I return to this blog to try again!

The year has brought many changes –

Firstly in June of last year a new much larger shop here in Mongolia, bringing in new staff, new products, new customers and many new challenges.

Susan Sanderson's photo.Then in April this year the loss of my Mum, a close friend and fellow crafter. I miss her greatly, especially now I am back in Mongolia because there is so much I would love to share with her, that I know she would have appreciated. The good things that have happened, the creative things people have made, the progress of the shop and hopes for the future. She would have understood my sadness and frustrations with other things that have happened and most of all would have just been there to make Skype calls and fill me in on all the news from home.

So here I am, back in Mongolia, wondering how, with our abundance of staff, I seem even busier than I was before?

And how, with my lack of understanding of the Mongolian language, I can use this blog to share my crafting ideas and experience, particularly with our customers, but any Mongolians or others who would venture to read it.

Time will tell if I succeed.

Time in which I intend to find time for creativity!!

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Flowers galore

I have always liked making paper flowers and inspired by the many Mongolian ladies here who do amazing quilling creations, I decided to attempt something a little bigger than my usual cards.
This is the result. Thanks for looking, hope you like it.
flower pic

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Diecut Inlay Technique

The 2nd technique of the Online Card Class is an inlay technique by Debby Hughes.
I love this technique and although it can take quite a while to do once you get the hang of which pieces to cut and keep it is easy. I stuck to the “one layer” aim of the class but I think this particular card maybe needed something a bit extra. Having spent the time cutting and piecing I hesitated to try any stamping on top but am going to have a go next at the final technique of this section of class which was faux embossing.

faux layered diecuts

Thanks for looking

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Faux Metal Technique

This is the first technique, by Jennifer McGuire of the new class at Online Card Classes.
My card is not too different from Jennifer’s original design. I love the set of stamps Jennifer used (Simon Says Stamp Lots Of Dots Stamp Set – definitely a purchase for the future) but as I don’t yet have them and couldn’t find enough variety of sizes of circles amongst the stamps I do have I used a stencil to achieve a similar result.
The metal disc is made by embossing the circle multiple times (Versamark ink and Stampendous detail silver embossing powder) and then, after the final layer, quickly pressing a stamp into it. I have experimented with the technique before but don’t think I have ever used it directly on a card.

faux metal

We don’t yet have much variety of Mongolian sentiment stamps so I used my PC to print this directly onto the cardstock. It says “Today is your birthday”.

Thanks for looking.

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Stencils and Zentangle

I am still playing with stencils – and will be for a long time given all the techniques I want to try.

This time I had my very first go at a simple Zentangle type card, again using a stencil from Dreamweaver (LL3037)

zentangle butterfly

Tomorrow I have a day off so I am hoping to get to play with some more stencil techniques and am also looking forward to the next Online Card Class starting tomorrow making 1 layer cards.

Thanks for looking.

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Stencils

Since the “stencilled” class at Online Card Classes I have done another course taken by Lynell Harlow of Dreamweaver Stencils and am starting to get hooked with the many ways to use stencils.

I made this card with a dreamweaver stencil (LL3031) and a white embossing paste, colouring after it dried with a “Splendour” 12 colour inkpad (Tsukineko) and a set of stencil brushes (dreamweaver gold handled). I really liked the bold effect on the black card.

card

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