I hope you’re all well and are still washing your hands regularly and have your face coverings ready for next week!

If you’re a regular reader you will realise that sometimes I (that’s me, Jane, rather than Kim) write rather long-winded posts…… and a customer recently told me that they really like the way I write as it’s like having me there with them and just having a conversation! I know I do go on, but if you get sick of reading you can always skip it! So, if you want to know what we’ve been up to, grab a cuppa and a biscuit….

You will have seen that we’ve been busy hosting family ‘bubble’ workshops which have been brilliant! It’s sooooo good to start getting back to a new normal. We’ve also been very busy, and I do mean ‘very’ busy, preparing to launch on-line workshops.

Since Kim and I started our little business I was happy to take on the financial responsibility – I do like detail – and it’s a lot easier than managing an annual budget that ran into millions like I did when I worked in the NHS! Kim’s expertise lies with the technology side of things so when we came to thoroughly investigate how to provide quality video tutorials and ensure we could supply various kits to enable customers to have all of the required materials to complete a project it became apparent that we needed not only a new website but some refreshing of existing skills and learning some new ones. Our backgrounds helped in understanding the different ways in which individuals ‘learn’ and we have carried out research into tutorials, on-line courses and Facebook lives to try to develop an approach that suits the majority of our customers and will be consistent across the numerous projects we want to offer you.

We’ve invested in a new website which Kim is building from the ground up ensuring it is secure and able to provide us with the functionality we need and is easy to navigate for our customers.

Amazingly we were given a grant from the Arts Council and BloominArt to cover some of the digital costs and to provide Kim’s training to up her skill-set in relation to our digital expansion. Doesn’t that sound posh? Anyway, the reason I’m explaining all of this is that at the beginning of lockdown when we originally were asked about providing on-line workshops we honestly didn’t think it would take so long to get off the ground nor did we envisage some of the frustrations we would come across!

Take the virtual workshops for example; trying to ensure the video tutorials are in the right orientation; not back to front; remain in focus and our actions stay in the frame are just some of the simple things to get right! My biggest challenge is keeping various body parts out of the shot! As our studio is in a shared building there are often unexpected loud noises which prevented us from using audio (unless we were happy to do numerous re-takes which isn’t ideal with Powertex) so Kim’s been doing voice-overs from home; but then you get ‘inconsiderate’ neighbours using very loud strimmers and lawnmowers at the most inconvenient times! Still, we like a challenge.

We know we’ll get better with experience but the practising is giving us loads of giggles; we’ll never be ‘film stars’ – we don’t want to be – we just want to do the best we can.

So, that’s what we’re up to; I’m sure you’ll agree we’ve not been sitting twiddling our thumbs but working hard to add a new element to our partnership.

We’ll keep you posted as to our progress.

Stay safe.