Thursday, 21 November 2013

Boost Your Zazzle by Using PromotiGraphics

If you purchase quality graphics or letter art from Project Isabella they come with built in advertising for what you create on Zazzle. Those using the Print On Demand Company Zazzle to create merchandise such as T Shirts, mugs and device cases are usually creative souls already, so why should they go out of their way to buy graphics to boost their Zazzle designs?

I have some great reasons and I am building a business around them - I want to hear you scream about Zazzle sales!

boost your zazzle

If you haven't heard of Zazzle, then as a quick explanation I would tell you that it is a Print on Demand service that allows creative folk to place images they have rights to use on all manner of things that the company will then print and send to you, or place in a online store and display it for someone else to purchase. If you would like to see a store feel free rummage in my own Zazzle store. Zazzle isn't the only Print On Demand (POD) set up, there are others such as Cafepress, Society6 and more.

So, back to to the point I am writing about today, I call my system PromotiGraphics and here are some reasons why you should consider using graphics from Project Isabella Graphic Workshop with PromotiGraphics to boost your Zazzle exposure and sales.

  1. It's good for your store to vary up your work a bit and add new elements, as someone who creates images and graphics for a living I constantly find it is some of my least favourite things that sell, not everyone has your taste or style. Using graphics that push your Zazzle designs out of your normal groove will increase your exposure and potentially boost your sales.
  2. It's good for your own creativity and artistic development to work with new tools and elements on a regular basis, why not use elements that are good value for money and offer promotion for your Zazzle store.
  3. Project Isabella Graphics contain built in advertising, this means if you use them your item and the Zazzle store it is in will be promoted across many Social Media account and on the website at Project Isabella.
  4. The PromotiGraphic catalogue is growing with many themes and each the the themes at Project Isabella contains hundreds of images, so you are by no means going to be struggling to be inspired. You are also able to post requests for custom items or to suggest the next items to be uploaded that have already been created. There is no need to feel like Project Isabella will not be able to produce something you can use in your next creative project.

Graphics with built in PromotiGraphics service can be purchased so far, on Etsy or at the Project Isabella website, other sites are being made available too.

It's not only Zazzlers that can use PromotiGraphics - but I am hoping some Zazzlers will like this as we know that boosting our store traffic to this growing marketplace is what it takes to sell our goodies.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pinterest for Kick Ass Market Research



Pinterest is certainly fun to use and once you are in the swing, it is very compelling, inspiring and frankly hard to stop. Thankfully for my business it has a number of positives so now I can schedule pinning and know it's actually part of my working day - and that pleases me no end!


My business Project Isabella creates graphics, so before I sit down and start on a new batch or a certain subject I start a pin board on that subject. If you took a look at my board Fairy you would know that I pinned over three hundred - yes 300 images from all over the internet on the subject of fairy. I searched Pinterest for pins that contained the word "fairy" and also searched for boards that used the word "fairy".

So how does all this pinning of images of other people's fairies help my business? Surely that is just promoting other people's artwork? So to put pay to that attitude I would like to share the ways this activity helps me.

1. I have established that images of fairies are very popular. There are many boards, pins and pinners for this subject.

2. The subject matter remains active, I know this because when I pin Fairy things they are quickly repinned.

3. The Fairy topic includes vintage and modern material, this interests me as the subject is not a fad of a fleeting fashion pinning frenzy so it should stick around some more - definitely long enough for me to put together my collection of fairies and get them to store.

4. I have been able to study the popular images of fairy that can help me understand some artistic elements such as poses, lighting, colours and attitudes.

5. I can follow where fairies on my board get pinned to - for example is it to a board named "I love these" - or "Things not to touch with a mile long stick"

6. Basically I get the opportunity to study my subject matter and observe the traits of the most successful images as wells as observe the demand for such images. That is pretty good market research and it did not cost me anything other than a small amount of time, time I belief I can happily justify.

I don't think we have ever had to hand such a powerful tool to utilise in Market Research for artists and illustrators and I can confirm that for me it worked - a fairy figure was the first I sold in my new business - and here it is on my clients t shirt.



You can visit this T Shirt at its store at Who Has Your Back?

So I have done my research on Fairies and now I have images of fairies that I have created for sale and a Pinterest board followed by fairy hungry followers - I wonder what could happen next?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Day 19 Book review! The Name of The Wind @_PVBOnline Daily Challenge

Book review! Which is your favourite book? Why?

I do have a favourite book and it is the first of 3 books. It is the only time I have read a book and then waited impatiently for the second part, I marked it on a calendar and wouldn’t you know it, it got delayed it was awful to have to wait. The second part did arrive eventually and it was brilliant too – now I wait for the third – I’m not good at waiting.

My favourite book is “he Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss and it’s the only time I have rammed a book through someone else's door just so they could read it and we could talk about it. I also wanted to check that it wasn’t my imagination on how beautifully it was written.

Apparently I wasn’t wrong it is indeed a wonderful piece of writing. However my reading chum and I did disagree regarding the main character. I am not sure whether that has something to do with us being different genders. In some books you are guided quite plainly on how you should feel about a character. Kvothe is the protagonist and in these books I honestly don’t believe we guided in our feelings. Having since looked at readers reactions on Amazon then I’m not the only one. There is one discussion titled “Is it just me or is Kvothe a git?” Notice it is a question!


My friend did not feel the character was flawed enough and this gave him a sense of of dis-ease, I however wasn’t as disturbed by him but wasn’t entirely sure I would want him as a friend.

The Name of the Wind is a big romp of a fantasy tale with magic, evil bad guys and a large landscape with travel. I would heartily encourage anyone to read it and then to read it again and revel in the language used.

Listen to this

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe.

You may have heard of me'

Seriously go and read this and if you are disappointed I’d really like to know why.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Day 18 Your yummiest dessert. What is it? How can we make it? @_PVBOnline Daily Challenge


Thought this one may go down OK for this weekend if you are getting the BBQ out.

I’m quoting Brandie hear from Home Cooking Memories it’s a great recipe site and the pages are very pinnable if you feel like saving a few for another day.

Feel free to leave your links to your yummy recipes in the comments – its always good to hear from you.

Grilled Banana Dessert Bar #SundaySupper

Putting together a Grilled Banana Dessert Bar is simple and sure to be a hit with family and friends at your next summer BBQ! I’ll show you how to make grilled bananas, plus give you plenty of topping ideas.

Grilled Banana Dessert Bar

Grilling is a major part of our summer. We do grill year-round, but the summer is when we kick it up a notch. Dessert isn’t always part of our grilling (much to the disappoint of my kids), but on holidays, like 4th of July and other random times, it’s fun to make a dessert that can be made on the grill.

Follow the link to the site to read more. It's a great site to have in your cooking collections.

Grilled Banana Dessert Bar #SundaySupper - Home Cooking Memories

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Day 17 How do you relax and wind down? @_PVBOnline Daily Blog Challenge

I could so easily give the wrong answer here! At first glance it would seem that creating graphics and fiddling about re-skinning 3D models would be the thing to state. Others around me may even suggest that too. I often get part way through the week and after having a hard slog at the social media, SEO, the website, setting up databases to carry out repetitive tasks I will state out loud – “I’m going to have to make something or I will go crackers!” Then I do that and I feel better. But that isn’t winding down and relaxing that is just getting rid of the anxiety of the fact that I haven’t got to the favourite part of my job.
When you are setting up a new business there is a ridiculous amount of things to tackle, learn and slog through. If you don’t know how you tick and how to do that vital winding down you will burn out rather rapidly. It’s good to know yourself and be honest about it if you are your own boss.
I do feel a great sense of soothing through My Quiet Man, he rarely speaks so he does not aggravate and more than that, where I am fidgety and flamboyant, even flappy (despite actually not wanting to be any of these things) he is peaceful, quiet and calm. His very presence serves as a wonderful salve to my flighty spirit and that is great, however for self preservation I cannot claim that as my answer. I don’t think it is wise to pin a basic life necessity on another person, find them in yourself no one can take them away then!
learningjoylaughterSo to wind down and relax I drink and talk rubbish. I can do this with anyone it doesn’t have to be established friends. Just talk about the big things, the small things, the funny things and do a bit of gentle friendly arguing. Have fun! That’s how I do it.
On the whole this generally happens with friends because they are around you already but as I have said in previous posts I travelled extensively when programming and it was mostly on my own and could be for weeks rather than a weekend. Learning to cope on your own and find social settings that work is a great thing and it has brought me much joy, learning and laughter.
How do you relax and wind down?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Day 16 Life lessons, one tip you stick by in life. @_PVBOnline Daily Challenge

Develop the ability to forgive.
The ability to forgive, I think can be a huge element in a happy life. It is sadly something that a lot of people fail at. Harbouring a grudge only creates more misery to those who hold them and preventing good relations not only with the target but also with any relationship that may bare some resemblance to that target and yourself.
We all makes mistakes, all of the time so why not have mercy when others do? Remaining angry feels horrible and is a negative waste of energy. However forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship and it’s one less negative emotion that you need to feed.

Day 15 My most cherished belonging? @_PVBOnline

My most cherished belonging is my computer, not a particular computer but whatever I have to hand that serves the purpose I am trying to fulfil.

I wasn’t geeky straight away in life, it came to me in 1992 when I took a 6 month programming course in C. That was from a standing start and only from using other peoples word processors to do my degree in a not so geeky theology course. I had taken some aptitude tracking things that apparently showed that this sort of study in programming would suit me.

I cherish the ability I have to learn and communicate with computers. I now cherish the fulfilment I get through creating with my computer – I honestly feel a bit lost and lonely when I don’t have it near by.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Day 14 Take us to your favourite place.

My favourite place is the North Yorkshire Moors. This area of the country and it’s landscape I find profoundly moving. There are some stunning little villages and cosy nooks but I really love the desolate looking bleak parts.

I have rounded up a few pictures so you can have a look for yourself.


Snap_2013.07.15 20.35.30_001

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Day 13 Film review: Harvey– Daily Challenge @_PVBOnline

Today’s task is to review a favourite film.
I watch a lot of films and I may have a favourite of the month, or year but this film has been a favourite since childhood and returning to it never diminishes that.
Harvey 1950 – James Stewart
The film is based around a middle aged brother and sister and the sister’s daughter who is of a an age where she should be finding a husband.
Elwood P Dowd, the brother, is our main character, he is a slightly bumbling but clearly intelligent man with a wonderful view of life. He is played by James Stewart. Elwood has a Pooka – which manifests to himself as a large white rabbit – called Harvey.
We do not see Harvey in the film but we are very aware of his presence, as indeed many others are.
I like this film because it very cleverly combines a range of emotions.


The humour is delivered mainly by the sister character Veta, superbly performed by the Josephine Hull. She is a whirlwind of energy, opinions, worry and care. Placed in situations near Elwood the extremes of character couldn’t be more profound.
A big comedy of errors occurs when Veta tries to have Elwood committed to a mental institute after he commits one too many social gaffs which she is unable to tolerate while she is trying to find a husband for her daughter Myrtle Mae.


We are led to genuinely like Elwood P Dowd we are totally convinced of his deep goodness and charm. If we had an afternoon in his town we’d love to spend it sitting and having a drink with him and Harvey - well I would. We like him despite the film pointing out his flaws. Elwood drinks and we know he hangs around bars a lot, and he sees things that people don’t normally see. We understand that he has sidestepped what would normally be presumed to be a normal life in the society in which his sister lives. Or do we like him because of these flaws?
Elwood P Down is a small philosopher and thinks he has himself sussed out. Some great quotes.
Elwood P. Dowd: Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Self Analysis

There is the bite and the rub in this film though and it leaves us to question ourselves. See this
Elwood P. Dowd: Harvey and I sit in the bars... have a drink or two... play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they're saying, "We don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over... and they sit with us... and they drink with us... and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they've done and the big wonderful things they'll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey... and he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back; but that's envy, my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us.
So the point is – the same people seldom come back, there is a knowledge we have that Elwood hasn’t realised, some of those people don’t come back because when they have sobered up they find that they think him crazy and dare not return. Would I be one who came back to talk to the man who sat in a booth with a large white rabbit that I was unable to see? I think I would! I think I do!
That is where I must end it because I am now going out to support our pubs, hang out in some bars and share big things, because nobody brings anything small into a bar.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Day 12 Create something. Take photos and show us what you have created. @_PVBOnline Daily Blog

Today is about creating so I could have cheated and just pointed at nearly every product I have on my website as many of them include pictures and they state how it’s done. I haven’t done that though and it was out with the scissor’s, glue and child. It’s no good doing clever crafts and not sharing them with your child, that is part of the fun.

So I started with a new digital scrapbooking kit that I am making in collaboration with @babylonblu who makes jewellery. I mentioned in a post last week that I had managed to forge business connections on twitter and the work had been progressing nicely and today marked the day I wanted to do some prototype boxes from the kit that has been put together with @babylonblu.

So I opened up my BabylonBlu mixed kit (to be released soon) in Serif CraftArtist. then I opened a box template.

I used some of the backgrounds and embellishments to start making some box designs. With a kit like this you could honestly hand the controls to a drunk, colour-blind chimp and the chances are they would make something appealing. Its a case of drag and drop and woop de doop.

Yeah that’s not describing it very well is it. When I haven’t got everyone here I will be adding some videos on my YouTube channel that shows how that goes. In the meantime have a sneaky look in the kit.

Snap_2013.07.13 17.08.10_003Snap_2013.07.13 17.08.41_005Snap_2013.07.13 17.07.50_002

Then it was off to the printer (trot over to another desk) with the designs. After that I went shopping and left Blurt to do the cutting out and folding. I reappeared having foraged locally and stuck them together.

Ta-da 3 Prototype Boxes.

photo boxes

Friday, 12 July 2013

Day 11–Funniest Moment Ever–Daily Blog Challenge with @_PVBOnline


I’m just not feeling the funny today – I feel rather tired and a tad burnt out – it’s probably a touch of the creator blues – its a natural ebb and flow that has to happen when you use creative power.


You can’t have that much energy and enthusiasm without a little lag. I have learned to handle that now and have a few hours wallowing and and getting cosy to reenergise. If you do not accept this flow you will suffer big fallout at a later point.


I nearly tried to wriggle out of blogging – but no I’m too stubborn. However I am going to cheat because thinking of me laughing when I have these type of blues actually make me sadder so I will recall the times that my friends persecute me, this somehow I find warms me more.thumb_94_toy_quilt_elephant

We know that some great heroes have their fatal weakness – like superman and kryptonite – well I have a couple of words that if anyone says them I am nearly sick right there and then. I have to use all my powers of mind to prevent this. My mind control methods consist of thinking “fluffy bunnies, fluffy bunnies, fluffy bunnies” rapidly and that stops other things getting in.

If someone decides to use the words – which I am obviously not going to publish – as a cruel weapon then they may repeat them – this then requires that my fluffy bunny action in my mind has to be reinforced with some hand action above the head, to represent bunny ears – I may even wiggle them!

So that’s what happens, occasionally when my friends have run out of other people to persecute, I get it, which results in them crying with laughter and me chanting fluffy bunnies and doing ears.

This may seem harsh but my friends are also utterly ridiculous at times and this has me in stiches – it’s one of the things that friends are for.

OK – time to get the cocoa on and put on a pretty frock for no reason at all – it’s time to be blue – in the morning I’ll bounce back and be as chirpy as ever.

See you then!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Day 10 The best holiday I have ever been on. Daily Blog Challenge @_PVBOnline

I was just replying to Lindsey (also in the blog challenge) as she had left a comment on yesterday’s post, that I keep looking at the title for todays post, attending to other matters and then forgetting. I don’t mean keep forgetting to do it – I mean keep forgetting the subject – that is unusual even for me.
However as I keep returning I know why it is. I have only had 2 organised holidays, at least what I think other people would call holidays.
I went to Lanzerote with a husband I had in another life and I did a 3 week trip across Canada and took a young man with me. Floozy that I am!
Don’t get me wrong I have travelled the world to do previous jobs, Australia, New Zealand, America, Europe and Birmingham but I have not repeated the sort of holidays my friends look forward to.
All of that though does not mean that I am unable to answer the question.
The best holiday I have been on was a weekend with my daughter a couple of winters ago she was 6.
The snow started the day before we were due to go away to “London”.  We had nipped off on a day trip to London a few months before on the train but this time we were driving the whole way and staying in a Hotel in Watford. (Hence the quotes around “London”). It was just before Christmas and the snow started to fall the day before we were due to leave – it stopped in the night but then in the morning as I was casually packing things up it started to snow and it was really mad, it was laying so thick and so fast!
So that was it – “Blurt – get up if we don’t go now we won’t make it! It could get a bit scary, are you willing to give it a go? We might not get far the snow has gone mad!”
Blurt gave it a bit of thought and declared she was up for it and then she got up and made sure she had her essential cuddly companions all tucked in a sturdy bag.
We waded through the snow (in our chafing work boots) and got to the car which I had fortunately not left on the hill outside my house (I wouldn’t have got out) The car was parked on a little street with shops on it. The local shopkeepers were already out with brushes and shovels, clearing steps and cars.
Myself and Blurt were hailed by name and spotting my snowploughing suitcase that I was about to put in my car they got to work digging it out and sweeping it off. (Yes that’s the kind of town I live in – who would want to go on holiday!?)
With the car prepped by my friendly community and them waving us off, we set off into rather poor conditions, I had checked the status of the roads that I wished to travel by and I knew if I could get to the main roads we would not be at any real risk. Please don’t think I was being fool hardy with myself and my child. I also had safety equipment and shovels in the car as my normal journey to work was extensive anyway at that time and I am a be prepared sort of lassie.
This is Blurt and Connie Car at dawn a few months before the snow on our previous trip to London. Parked near the shops with the nice shopkeepers.
We were off and after the first 20 miles which were pretty rotten then things eased up and it was fairly good.
We had a great time in London for a lovely long weekend.  We went to see the ballet (Beatrix Potter – Royal Opera House) and went to the German Market to see Santa and it was all lovely. We had our nails done to match our dresses. Blurt was a rich red and I was silver.  Blurt got shouted at in the street for being beautiful!
There was some other chaos that ensued on that holiday with Blurt and I that involved fire escapes, us inching round the side of the hotel in the dark and a grouchy taxi driver but I’ll leave it there for now. The chaos of course is normal because as I have said before – Chaos does follow me like a little piddly puppy, but it also helps Blurt and I distinguish one trip from another in our memories.
It was an adventure, we saw new things and we had good company – the best sort of holiday.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Day 9 Outfit of the day. What are you wearing today? @_PVBOnline

Well I work in a workshop so today I was wearing overalls, hard hat and goggles. I don’t like the boots – they rub so I go bare foot.

Actually this blog post title sounds so much like some rather odd calls I’ve been receiving lately that ask the same thing.

Project Isabella Graphic Workshop is in my home and some days I do dress up for it because I like it. Sometimes a ball gown and a trench coat other times my overalls.

I never wear hi-viz though that would be just silly – no one to see me!

I also like to answer the door with a running chain saw in my hand  – it keeps people guessing on what the hell goes on in here and keeps the post man polite when there are customs charges.

Some of this is true – it’s up to you to decide which bits!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Day 8 My favourite quote and why? @_PVBOnline Daily Challenge

My favourite quote is Farmer Mr Hogget in the film ‘Babe’ saying, “That will do pig, that’ll do”. There are so many reasons why this is a favourite. There maybe some spoiler alerts if you haven't watched it – and if you haven't go and do it and then come back. Smile
1. Babe the piglet has just accomplished a task rare and precious. To achieve that he needed the backing of a character that hated him (the male sheep dog) – he got it in the end, by being himself.
2. To accomplish the task of winning the show he need some insider secrets and he got these from the sheep. He got the secret because they had learned to trust him due to to the time he had acted to protect them.
3. Babe accomplished something unique and was willing to be laughed at in order to prove himself.
4. Farmer Hogget danced for that pig and that moved me so much I well up when I think of it.
5. Babe faced the complete truth about himself and his place in the world, admittedly at first he was depressed but with some encouragement and some dancing from someone who cared he rallies round.
So many lessons for life about friendship, trust, faith in one another, acceptance, and the need to encourage are all rammed in this closing sentence – “That'll do pig.”
On that note I’ll also share one of my new pig graphics, these have not been uploaded to Project Isabella yet but this is one of my many - It’s a Kind of Paisley Pig.paisley1piglet

Monday, 8 July 2013

Day 7–Goals for the next 6 month– Daily Challenge @_PVBOnline

So it’s a week since the start of the daily challenges began and it’s been such a busy week.

I do have goals for the next 6 months and I’ve made a solid start at achieving them over the last couple of days.

This is one of my goals.

By the New Year which will be the six month marker I want to have made 12 business art collaborations with Handmade Jewellery makers.

I am just working on the first one and bedding the method in to which I will be working to and next week should see the full launch.

I also have another service to do with handmade dolls and toys that I need to map out and pitch to the appropriate clients.

This is a short one again to today as I am working hard to get the first kit ready.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Day 6 My favourite home made meal. @_PVBOnline Daily Challenge

I cook all the time – I need to cook as I have to feed people, it’s not something I am passionate about, it’s a functional requirement. However there are times when I get quite enthusiastic and that is for 2 quite different meals.

I love preparing and eating a big all in cooked breakfast – the whole thing – sausages, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, eggs, bubble and squeak, toast or fried bread or even toast and fried bread – all washed down with a huge cup of tea.

I also like a big salad, I love leaves, I am crazy about the colours and the texture combinations. I like making croutons to go on my big salads. These big salads that come on my biggest plates need to be served with fresh juice or wine.

If I could have a day when I have both of these and some good company to share them with - I’d be in my element.

Short one today – I’ve got some tennis to keep tabs on and then it’s German Grand Prix while I am whisking up some new digital art brushes.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Day 5 Post a favourite photo of yourself. @_PVBOnline Blog Challenge

I genuinely don't have many pictures of myself. However last week I unearthed in an old box a card wallet full of little memory gems – the picture below is from a gym membership card for a gym in the town where I once worked in Berkhamsted. This is from between 1997 and 1998. I am unable to recall the route to the gym but I can recall the pubs, sandwich shop and even the dentist. So I surmise from those memories that I didn't go to this gym very much.

I like this picture from my very limited supply because of it’s position. It’s in a wallet which is a snapshot of what sometimes feels like a previous life.
The other things in the wallet fill out the picture a bit.
Optician card – I am short sighted
Hair dressing card – clearly optimistic there – ha ha my hair is always big and wild even after a hairdresser tries to restrain it.
Membership card for Clay Pigeon shooting – oh yes I used to sling a 12 bore and 20 gauge about with glee!
Membership for snooker card – I used to play snooker and they used to stock cheap beer – winner!
Gold Privilege Card for The Brand Centre – a clothes hunters paradise it claims.
A picture of Alan Shearer
A picture of Peter Beardsley
Australian Business Access Card – it’s like a working card – I was programming then and supporting clients all over the world.
A Hot Sausage Saver Card.
Well I think that lots tells a little story. I now have a different name, a child and live 200 miles from Berkhamsted and haven’t left the country since the millennium.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Day 4 Something I’m good at.

The task for todays blog is .. Day 4 (5th of July) Create a post on something you're good at. What is it? Tell us how you go about doing it. Why are you good at it?

OK so I’m not going to get girly and English about this and start making a list of the things I’m bad at, I am going to do what is asked and deliver. I have a whole load of things that I do for my business that I am good at, graphics and patterns and all sorts of glorious things and for the main part I show how they are done you can have a look at the Make Snake and see for yourself.

But in this blog I think I should maybe talk about something that has occupied some of my time today and that was as a result of the #GBHour twitter chat.

If you haven’t heard about twitter chats they come in all shapes and sizes a good place to source them is at The Chat Diary. It’s a great way of meeting new twitter people that share interests.

For home based and lone workers the chance to stop and chat for a bit can be great.

For the business based ones it’s an opportunity to let people know what you are doing and to hear what they are up to. Where possible if you require something say so and see if it can be found.

OK so why am I talking about this? Well I happen to have been proven on more than one occasion to be good at it and been awarded in several venues for good twitter action. But more importantly the activity has brought real value to me. The social contact is welcome as I spend more time putting hair on 3D mice and tweaking pixels than I do talking to people so the twitter thing is great for me and an important part of my day.

So in the social venues – go chat, share and laugh no real strategy involved just use the same common courtesy as you would if you were having a proper conversation and remember that potentially the whole world can see – so don’t go bitching! Smile

In particular I’d like to mention the business twitter chats – these can get manic and hosts can and do get thrown in twitter jail. The energy required is manic but real connections can be found in all this madness. First of all people attending have already proved that they are outgoing and wish to push themselves which means they are often approachable if you need their services or would like to discuss a joint venture or collaboration.

The busy ness of the business twitter may benefit from a little organisation before you go in. Prepare a little text file with the things you would like to say including the hashtags that are required to participate.  These can be things about yourself, your business, requests or how you wish to connect. Throw your Facebook page in the hat if you have one but take the effort to visit the pages of those who have bothered to visit you.

Do follow as many people as you can within the chat and retweet as much as you can – that’s how it works – don’t be the one who drops by leaves information and then does not follow others or retweet it does not go unnoticed and it communicates poorly on your business – if for some reason you do not think retweeting and this sort of action is not appropriate for your business twitter stream then it’s simple what you need to do – something else - don’t take part.

And I can’t say this enough – when you click on a hashtag it drops into the search screen – make sure you select ALL on this stream and not leave it on TOP as you will be missing a lot of the action.

Anyway I am pleased with my twitter chats and this is how I found my latest collaboration with @BabylonBlu – go visit. I’ll have some updates on this next week. 

Shattered after the manic twitter today.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Day 3 Tell us about a happy memory

At the moment I am attending to my 30 day blog challenge set by PVB.  I scanned the list when I first considered doing this challenge and this particular post title leapt out at me as one I would sort of avoid!  It is actually one subject out of all of the others that I think will make me sound the most odd. Not that I mind being odd as such but I don’t know really whether I should go around blowing the odd trumpet, banging the odd drum, tooting the odd horn, shaking my odd maracas, strumming my odd guitar…..

Strumming my odd guitar

Somebody stop me I think I am having a mariachi meltdown trying to wriggle out of writing this post! 

OK here goes..

A happy recent memory for me goes like this.  Scene setting, I’m sat next to my Quiet Man on the sofa.

I say, “I’ve got some triple chocolate cookies, shall we have them now?”


I suggest,  “Would you like a glass of milk with them?”


I get the Milk and Cookies. We eat the Milk and Cookies. And there you have a complete happy moment.

Doesn’t seem like much does it? I probably need to explain. Milk and Cookies has balance, they belong together and being allowed to share and serve something that fits together so well has me feeling like skipping.

This exchange and the ensuing Milk and Cookies honestly brought me great joy! I still feel glad thinking about it. It’s getting the simple things just right that make happy memories for me. It’s a computer batch file or programming routine that blink up that it has completed with no errors. It’s a hair shader in your 3d program that gets the curl right.  It’s finding that you do own some underwear that matches and fits. Do you remember the old “Happiness is … “ cards and illustrations, they were the Charles M Shultz peanuts characters. They were things like “Happiness is .. a draw full of warm socks.” They were never the big things.

So Happiness for me is stock piling and gathering all the little shiny moments and images and storing them up inside me. They are generally not truly dependent on other people either which means I get to keep these bits of happiness forever despite what happens to other people.

I hope declaring this hasn’t made me sound too odd to handle but it may help explain why I often trot about grinning and with a spring in my step.

For those of you don’t know yet I am sponsoring the #GBHour tomorrow from @GBHourFriday4pm

Happiness is sponsoring the #GBHour


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Day 2 Daily Challenge. Write about a typical day for you.


My dream self.

I wake at dawn and rise gracefully with beautiful hair and shining eyes. I have a stunning in bed outfit made by a top designer who acquired one of my new fabric ranges. Of course my sleep-wear compliments my near perfect body and I never get tangled in it. The flaws I have only make me more ravishing. There is a gentle rain, to be followed by bright sunshine and a gentle breeze.
Coffee is waiting for me and the bread fairies have visited leaving fresh bread. I encourage the chickens and the cow out of my way to peg out my perfect white sheets. My daughter kisses me good morning, she can read perfectly and has spent an organised and prompt visit in the bathroom and looks neat and respectable, ready to trot off to school with all her homework done.
Then with coffee in my hand I approach my summer house. This is where I work. I open the large double doors and enter a huge room with computers and screens banked high. The loud hum of their hard drives is counteracted with a clever device so it is a pleasant place to be and I can hear the chickens scratching outside.
I check my renders that I started last night, the renders are all perfect, I have such a mastery of light that they are like visual chocolate.
My email light is on – there have been sales in the night – yes a steady 1000 sales while I sleep. Lovely. Those emails begging to know what I’m working on next will have to answered – that might be a bit tedious, but hey you can’t have it all and these sort of burdens are character building.

therealityThe reality.

Actually reading that back now, if life was like that, I wouldn't be me! Chaos follows me like a little excited piddling puppy. It starts when I wake – usually when I find myself in some sort of knot, with myself or my bedclothes. This makes me stroppy for about half a second and then I laugh out loud. That is how I start my day – laughing at my own incompetence at not being able to lie down in an orderly fashion.
I am pretty much the opposite of everything on that dream and I love the frantic energy that a bit of chaos brings.
OK so when I  have got to my computers – I do check the graphics and then I do some meeting and greeting with my Twitter and get inspired on Pinterest while I have the biggest coffee you have ever seen. Then it’s a check through my to do list which was prepared the previous night and get down to some website maintenance, graphic setups, client chasing and all the fun things you need to do in a little business.
I enjoy my life a lot and if it was all too perfect like that first rendition I’d quite frankly be bored and smug but one day I’d realise it and I’d run away with a circus to compensate.

Introducing myself. Day 1–Blog Everyday Challenge

Slinging myself into a challenge set by PVBOnline


Here are the links to the blog posts of Day 1 of the PVBBlogs Challenge. Please do take a look at each others and follow, doing this challenge together will keep everyone motivated and hopefully discover new and interesting blogs!
Penelope's Vintage World
JJC Photography
Little White Cottage
Elfie's Smile

PVB – Blogs

I must say it was maybe a mistake to go and look at the other blogs before I sat down to start my challenge – it’s not a competition but .. the bar has been set – they are a lovely mix of brand new starts and established blogs and I am looking forward to reading them as we go through the challenge. I’m a bit of a late starter and it would be good to have a couple more too I’m sure.

Well the challenge was set with tasks so I better get on with it.


Day 1 (2nd of July) Introduce yourself.
Who are you? Why would you like to start blogging? What are your hobbies? What do you love? What do you hate?

Having a certain amount of training in philosophy and psychology I could go mad and spend a lifetime answering that first question. It’s perhaps a question we need to ask ourselves on a regular basis and just check our actions and activities suit that person. When the two are at odds then that is where unhappiness thrives.

Who am I?

I am Kay, I live in a Georgian Market Town just North of York. I have a daughter who is 8 and is great. I did have pets and I seem to attract the crazy ones, like people, but the pets are all moved on to their respective next worlds – so it is just me and my gal that form the basis of this household.

Put like that it sounds quite quiet doesn’t it?– even lonely, but it’s not, I rarely just cook for us and I have others that are here a lot – but that doesn’t answer who I am so I’ll leave them in the background.

I am creative, noisy, sing stupid songs when I’m cleaning, problem solver, a smiler, love business to be fair and supportive, I try hard and mean well.

Why would I like to start blogging?

I never meant to stop – I trotted off for what I thought was a few days to get started on a new business adventure at and then in a pause realised that months had shot past. That happens. I am looking forward to this challenge, it kind of feels like a bit of selfish me time, and I think I need that, things have been really busy.

What are my hobbies?

I have never really had hobbies, I am an all or nothing sort of person. I may be wrong but a hobbie to me sounds like something you do in your spare time, something you can pick up and more importantly let go of to get on with the rest of your life. I find that hard – I pick things up and if I enjoy doing it I won’t let go, it well and truly gets embedded in my life.

I don’t have hobbies I have all consuming passions. I don’t have hobbies I have interests that wake me in the night and cause me to sneak downstairs and work on it until dawn.

So these things at the moment are, 3D art work, creating digital brushes, creating patterns. It’s been that way for a lot of years now. Project Isabella – is my way of being able to do my so called hobbies and not have to put them down. This aligns who I am with my actions and activities and this staves off unhappiness.

What do I love?

My daughter, my quiet man, my friends. I love symmetry, I love balance, I love the unlikely winners, I love rain, I love bridges

What do I hate?

Not going to elaborate on these as it would be better for me if they just weren’t there.

Slugs, Jazz.