Over the last couple of weeks I’ve really struggled with technology. My network at home just wouldn’t play nicely! I got soooo frustrated not being able to print Kim’s fabulous designs to finish our album as the network just wouldn’t stay connected to the printer. Next my personal emails just wouldn’t synch with Outlook on my laptop. Then, my NOW TV box refused to play, and just to add another layer of frustration I’ve spent far too much times on support calls with my software provider for my family history application as it refused to integrate with Ancestry (which has been working fine for a number of years…..)
I then started to feel somewhat under the weather (non-COVID related, I hasten to add) and with a couple of close friends experiencing really challenging times I just felt like hibernating until 2020 was over….
So, I decided to start my week looking at those issues over which I had at least some control. Here I am, some 6 hours later and I think my network is performing better (though it will never be perfect); my NOW TV box is happily streaming; Outlook is sorted (or so it appears) and I’ve completed a back-up of my family history, ran an update, applied a patch and that too is now integrating with Ancestry! Okay, so I still have some housework to do but I definitely feel I’ve had an achieving day.
Kim is still away so I have some time to spend on our collaborative album, though not feeling creative at the moment….. that too shall pass! Especially as I have a private booking at the studio tomorrow and then it’s Ladies Night on Thursday so feeling optimistic for the rest of the week.
The last few months have been extremely hard for most people with the international Covid restrictions. It has been especially hard for us here as all our workshops had to be cancelled and out income stopped, unfortunately, our rent didn’t stop at the same time. Of course the time out did mean we could concentrate on other aspects of the business.
We may not ever go back to ‘normal’ workshops so we dabbled with trying to create ‘virtual’ workshops online. We soon discovered lots of pitfalls in this as well as a major deficit in our skill set and out existing website and technology.
But then along came our local saviours which is why we want to offer a huge shout out and thanks to BloomInArt, The Annexe, the Wharton trust, Community Organisers, Mortal Fools Training, and not least The Arts Council England.
We were delighted to be supported with by BloomInArt and the Arts Council England Emergency funding to support and develop our own practice and work with BloomInArt to test new remote routes to engagement exploring community organising principles, community arts and social action.
This support received not only provided us with excellent digital delivery and facilitation training delivered by Mortal Fools. we also had an Introduction to Community Organising for our local community, linking with other artists and creatives in Hartlepool.
The funding grant from the Arts Council England helped us to purchase and build a more robust website where we could integrate our online training and video tuition which could be purchased via the website.
So a big thank you to Emma and Rachel from BloomInArt for organising it all.
So many people have asked for classes to be made available for those who cannot attend one of our workshops. Whether they want to give the gift of a class to a family member or friend who lives elsewhere; or whether the person is not yet comfortable with going out into the world at the moment.
Our Online classes can be purchased through the website as a video embedded tutorial, which incorporates a range of learning styles to suit everyone; including, written instructions, clear photographs and hands on video tutorials. A full list of items required for the class is included,
We are also introducing mini kits into the web shop. We already have the large Powertex starter kit but are introducing a smaller mini starter kit which will work alongside our online classes.
Each class will have a ‘Project’ kit available to buy with most of the items required to complete the project.
These are physical goods which will be mailed out to you. The online class will be a virtual experience, accessed securely via the website with your unique customer code.
We are just finishing off the editing and will let you know once they are available, with a special ‘early bird’ price offer, so keep watching.
I am sure those who have been diligently isolating at home have stayed safe . Luckily for us, we have not had the Covid imact our loved ones, we hope you had similar experiance so far.
Our Studio has been thoroughly cleaned and items replaced. All stock has been renewed and sorted. We are slowly introducing smaller limited workshops in July; mostly for distinct ‘family bubbles’ as private workshops. If your family bubble would like to book a workshop, please get in touch.
Our regular events will start up in August with the first ladies night. Unfortunately we will be restricting numbers again to those first booked on the limited places.
Hopefully you will all find the new website workshop purchasing easy to use, as this calculates the available spaces.
We have used the time to develop new workshops for you, so subscribe to the newsletter and be first to find out what is available.
Thank you all for continuing to support our little local business through this difficult time.
Just when I thought I had solved the task of updating the website design; I was send a snippy email from my hosting company stating the new design was taking up too much server resources and was negatively impacting on mine and other websites. I mean, I knew the original website was based on an old one I had server space since 2007 and had served me for various uses and had a number of different installations on it. The thought of unpicking all that history was just a bit too much for me to tackle, especially with my lockdown brain needing not only gin but chocolate to work as well.
So apologies for anyone trying to access what I thought was fixed, its going to take me a bit longer to rebuild from scratch the website, source the graphics and also upload all workshops again.