END OF 2016

How time flies, it's already the last few days of 2016, and I'm going to Indonesia for a holiday with my family tomorrow! 

In the year 2016, I've really achieved a lot, and it was definitely the year that I've experimented with so many things with polymer clay (now even watercolour yey!) 

I have a couple of things in mind that I would like to write it down. They are quite "big" in the sense that it will affect a lot of things I do. 

One of the things that I want to improve in 2017 is to SPEND LESS TIME ON POINTLESS ADMIN WORK. Well okay that's a bit harsh. Maybe they're not pointless, but just useless to me.

Anyway, these changes will hopefully help me achieve that, and let me have more time on the crafting itself, and actually earning money to survive. 

I wish I have more than a pair of hands sometimes, but I just cannot afford to hire anyone to do the things I'd probably end up checking and correcting myself...so cutting off admin work is probably the best solution for me!

NO MORE MAILING LISTS

I started the mailing list few months back, thinking that it would be convenient for me and my customers who wants to order custom order to get notified when I reopen my custom order. 

But I realised that it was taking up too much time. 

Well in the beginning I did spend a lot of time making mailing templates and all which helped, but I was never one with words so I found myself stressing over how the email should look and what other things I should say to make the email I send every month refreshing.... It also takes time to craft the email itself, and eventually I found it becoming a waste of time. 

I realised that since now Instagram has the "switch on post notification" option (which I myself use quite a lot), people can just do that and get notified when I reopen custom order there. I've always thought of Instagram as the place I update stuff about handxmade the most, so it makes sense for me to direct people there. 

There's also less than 30 people who signed up my mailing list anyway HAHAHA #sadtruth. If there were at least 100 I probably would consider continuing it, but nah.

I thought that having mailing list would also help to make my business look more legit (wth haha), but it really started to not real make sense since it was just me opening custom orders, not having new content to share y'know? I also made this RSS feed thing, where those who sign up will be able to see my blog posts on my website via their email. But......it's not like I blog a lot anyway HAHAHA which goes to my next point.

ANYTHING BLOG RELATED WILL BE ON MY DAYRE

Now I've been writing on my Dayre for more than a year, almost every day.

Not even exaggerating, I've been really consistent with updating my mundane life, about almost everything. Most of my customers even came from Dayre! 

Being an app that is entirely based on mobile, blogging has really become much easier! I always have my phone with me (seriously), while my desktop is always, well, at home and not aways accessible. I mostly blog while I travel from one pace to another! Entertain myself and basically making full use of my time wisely (Y)

I even have some content that was how I would have written it on my blog! But it's more refreshing cause I don't try to act serious (lol) and I can use emojis (which I do all the time) and Dayre's really cute and relatable stickers!

I also started using their hashtag function well, and putting #handxmadeblog when it's regarding handxmade, so that it's easy to look for. 

It really saves me a lot of time, since I don't really have to craft the blog post, and words just falls off easier there for me. I can totally see myself blogging about handxmade there more willingly than on a computer 🙃 

That's why, I won't even need the mailing list anymore HAHA. 

You can also access Dayre content on desktop, so I guess it's not as bad. 

Although they compressed the photos quite a bit, I've made a new gallery thing on my website so that new stuff will still be uploaded right here!

GALLERY

I've always thought of my website as a portfolio for my works, a place where I showcase all my work (even the shitty ones) to see how far I've come and how much I improved. 

That's why I try to post everything on my blog. ALL THE PHOTOS. But because I attempt to do that, I ended up with photos that has a lot of similar description I have for all my other blog post. WHICH IS SO BORING??? I mean yeah I do feel that way for that particular part of the figurine, but it's really the same. 

It feels like I'm trying very hard to write a blog post when I can't even express myself properly, and it's just for the photos. 

So I was like HEY HOW ABOUT I JUST MAKE A GALLERY. 

BUT NOT JUST RANDOM PHOTOS ALL OVER THE PLACE, AND INSTEAD A "FOLDER" FOR EACH ORDER

I've divided them into many different categories, so it's easier to go for the things you'd want to see the most. 

When you go in, there'll be tons of slideshows of images, and if you'd like to see more, there's thumbnails of the images so you can click on whatever you'd like to see!

I've made it so that each figurine will have their own photos in the slideshow, and there's even 2015's figurines! :') I really can see how much I've improved, my crafting and even photography skills. 

The newer ones will have a 360 interactive photo to go with it! Pretty hyped about that hehe. I'm still not sure if I want to invest some money for a better quality 360 photo hosting site...still thinking about it. But I definitely want to keep taking 360 photos of my figurines! It's just nice to be able to see them from different angles after the figurine is passed to their respective owner! <3

I've even linked the project's respective blog post at the end, and I'll do that for my Dayre posts too for the upcoming new posts!

For those images that doesn't have a blog post, I'll be writing small description and these will only be seen when you hover your mouse on the photo itself. Really think it's a good idea to have bits and pieces of stuff I want to remember about the particular order, and I don't have to do that for each photos yay!

Now, the figurines for 2016 are not all uploaded yet, because I realised it's actually really laggy and it takes ages to load T.T I've tried my best, to find code for lazy loading, infinite scrolling etc etc and thought about all kinds of idea for me to portray the images like this without having much lag. 

Like seriously the waiting time is quite horrible. WHO WILL WANT TO VISIT WITH SUCH BAD LOADING TIME??? This is especially true for my custom order figurines gallery, because that has everything from 2015 to 2016! 😱 

Each slideshow of a figurine would consist in average 10 photos?? And apparently it's recommended to not have 20 photos in a page HAHAHAHAHAH #shiet. 

So really.......I'm at a loss 😞 

I probably will have to separate them into different pages or link them through the first page....WHICH SUCKS because it's just better to see everything in a go la (imo)

I figured it will take me a while to get this done, so I decided to just let the news out before I revamp it again. It actually took me more than a month to finish uploaded everything from 2015 to 2016, and the thought of redo-ing the whole thing really makes me feel annoyed 😟 At least now I have the respective blog post correctly so I don't have to look for them again aye? LOL #thinkpositive

PLANS FOR HANDXMADE IN 2017

I have a couple of things in my head. If you look under GALLERY, you'll see a handxmade standard figurine section 😉 This will be revealed, hopefully, pretty soon, and it's basically a custom figurine but with some restrictions (hence also cheaper), and I'll explain the reason why I want to do it when the time comes hehe. 

I also want to have something which I can call my own, and slowly ease into that instead of taking custom order all the time.

Having stocks isn't easy when you don't know what you want to make, and that was the problem for me in 2016. I think for most artist, the best situation is where you sell the things you've thought about, and made yourself. Custom orders to me is more of like a quick and guarantee way to earn money, but I think every sales person will tell you that customer service is not easy. 

So the last few months or so, I've sat down a couple of times with my partner, and talked about what do I actually want out of my creation. 

I've always, ALWAYS, love watercolour, and I also prefer to make things that are useful or at least meaningful (like my custom order figurines.)

I tried making accessory holders with polymer clay, and painted with some watercolour (which I'm still new to), even experimented water colour on polymer clay like the penguins and lovebird (which failed badly HAHA)

So in 2017, I would like to combine all three things together, and come up with something that is made with polymer clay, is useful, and with watercolour 😍 

I always get excited just thinking about it, but really hope I can get to do it ASAP! Hehehe. Hopefully this gives some insight of what's gonna happen for handxmade in 2017. Although like most things, decisions made and what actually happens is entirely different in the end, I'm glad that I at least have some sort of direction. 

And with the reducing of admin work coming soon......I hope I'll have more time for more experimentation and come up with my own line of creation instead of just having custom orders! 😊

Now I just need to find a feasible solution for my gallery.......... 😶 

Hope everyone had a good year, and may 2017 brings you more joy and happiness!