Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Images are key

I've noticed in the 4 years I've been running The Sewing Directory that images are becoming more and more important on the internet.  Gone are the days where you get pages of text with possibly one small image at the top.  Now blogs, websites, social media are all geared towards great eye catching images.

Facebook gives more importance to images and shows them to more of your followers, Pinterest have built a whole network around sharing images and most of us get turned off pretty quick nowadays if we visit a site that is very text heavy.

My new advert
At the start of this year I did a big overhaul of the site and replaced a lot of text with images, so you can navigate the site visually (by clicking on projects/tutorials you like the look of) rather than by text.  However I've known for a while that I needed to do more than just this.

Fortunately one of my favourite business sites to follow, Build a Little Biz, opened a new intake for their visual marketing course in July so I jumped at the chance to take part.  I've only  managed 1/3 of the modules so far because of the school holidays but it is all online and you get lifelong access so I've been taking it at my own pace. You get e-mailed a pdf twice a week with the module information to work through, plus you get 2 bonus videos which show you how to use a particular piece of software to produce a particular type of image.  The best thing is you can do it all with free programs!

The new Sewing Directory Motto

Already I've managed to design myself a new advert.  The first time I've ever done it myself, previously I have used a graphic designer to do it.  I've also come up with a motto for The Sewing Directory and added it to my About Us page which I've just updated.  I've also designed a few graphics for a new post I've just added to the site called The Most Useful Sewing Tutorials Ever.  

Once the school holidays are over I plan to work through the rest of the modules and create a lot more images for the site.  I already have a huge list of things I want to make image wise so now I need to make time to start working through that list.

I hope you will all like the visual makeover of the site and if you are looking to make more images for your business I highly recommend the visual marketing course.  If you aren't ready to jump straight into a course they have some useful posts about visual marketing here: http://buildalittlebiz.com/visual-marketing

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Almost there....

Phew, the summer holidays are coming to an end.  It's been a long few weeks and not much working or sewing has been achieved but instead lots of days out with my little boy James.  Luckily we've had almost perfect weather most the holidays so there have been lots of lovely days out.  Plus we have just spent this week on a family holiday in Dublin.  The summer has actually passed pretty quickly this year, I think it's because we've been so busy.

James canoeing
Sewing wise I made a few birthday presents, some juggling sacks (I've just learnt how to juggle 4 but need more practice - new party trick!) and I made a travel wallet for taking our passports, boarding passes and maps to Dublin in.   I managed to buy a lot more fabric than I used (see previous post) but at least I've got plenty for making Christmas presents.  I'll be starting on these towards the end of September.

Travel wallet
I've also managed to write the first section of my book, 1 out of 6 done now.  I've just sent that over to the publishers and am awaiting feedback.  I'll do a proper post about that soon.  I've also been preparing for the Exeter sewing meet up I am holding in September and writing a seminar on social media which I will be delivering at the Autumn Fair in the NEC in just over a week's time on behalf of the CHA.

Have to admit I am terrified, I am not a fan of public speaking at all but it's just too good of an opportunity to turn down.  In a way it's probably lucky that it's my son's first day back to school so I won't really have much chance to think about it and get too nervous.

How is your summer going?  Managed to fit in much sewing?  Been away?  Do let me know in the comments below.  Hope you are all having a good one.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Pretty new fabrics

I've been trying to cut back on fabric orders lately as I don't get much chance to sew over the summer holidays.  But temptation has been everywhere!  Lots of gorgeous new fabric collections that I have been unable to resist so I've added a few new fabrics to my stash:

I loved this new oriental print from Alexander Henry so much I had to buy it in all 3 of the colourways. I got it from Fancy Moon, there's currently 10% off (until Wednesday) with the code summer flash.  Typically the discount code started a couple days after I placed my order!


This new Moda collection Winter's Lane in stock at Eclectic Maker was irresistible.  I will admit I bought most of the fabrics pictured...

Lastly is the new Enchanted Forest collection inspired by Enid Blyton's book of the same name.  I bought this from Fabric HQ and again got most of the fabrics in the collection.

No idea what I'm going to make with any of these, although I think the Alexander Henry ones would make a fab bag.  I'm just going to stash them and drool over them for a while until I get chance to sew a little more.  Which looking at my diary isn't likely to do until October!

Now hopefully fabric shops will not have any tempting new collections in stock for the next month or 2 so I can be good and stop spending money on things I don't have time to use... ;-)

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