Category Archives: General

Random musings, thoughts, and news

Dear Diary

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What a week it’s been.

First off I almost was adopted by a cat, doesn’t she have gorgeous eyes?  Then someone ran their car into the restaurant next door yesterday morning. Luckily no one was hurt. The car knocked out 3  huge windows. I got all kinds of new canvases delivered to the shop. My good friend, Maria, brought me some orchids for the store. I choose some threads for Mary Jo’s two special order canvases, ex-owner of where I used to work before I started up Needlepoint Land. And Marianne brought in two beautifully stitched canvases before having them framed.  She’s a phenomenal stitcher, and I have ordered both of the canvases for the store (although I only have room to show one of them)! I absolutely love the Christmas cocktail canvas.

With all the excitement, I could use one right now!

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

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Weekend update

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It’s been an increasingly busy week, as the start of the season approaches — which in Needlepoint Land’s case is Oct 15th.  That’s next Wednesday.  Yikes!

I continue to have new merchandise and various goodies delivered to the store.  I will be showing you pictures of all these new arrivals here, when I get a chance to catch my breadth.

This week I had a lighting guy come give me an estimate with how much it would cost to have track lighting put in order to highlight the canvases and threads that are hanging on the walls.  Right now the lighting atmospherics leave something to desired, and I am planning to improve that.  But I was not totally comfortable with how that went, so I am having another lighting guy come in to give me another estimate next week sometime.

Meanwhile, Needlepoint Land’s “flagship” web site is being improved with some fancy bells and whistles.  I changed the theme I was using, so now we don’t have these gigantic images like before, which works out far better.  This elegantly minimalist theme is perfectly suited for how I want to display my catalogs, and I am very a happy with how that transition went — even though I took a massive hit on the blog traffic (some of which has to do with having trouble with the WordPress free sign-in  process), nevertheless, as explained in an earlier post, I really have to start being a little smarter about certain things to improve the chances of Needlepoint Land making it to Year 2!

I asked the tech staff to add some fun things to the flagship site, such as making the parrot tilt forward slightly when a mouse hovers over him (I can’t believe what I just typed!), and creating a scrollable animation in the grey rectangle you see in the site’s header.

We are no there yet, but in addition to the fade-in, and the scaling effect, what I am looking for is a scrollable animation that will allow me to display a canvas followed by some promotional copy (such as, if you look at the cat image above:  imagine first seeing the cat, then watching it scroll automatically up so you then see the text message “New arrival!”).

This is pretty advanced stuff, and I’m proud to brag say that Needlepoint Land continues to push the envelope as far as using the latest technology to dazzle and entertain you in order to shamelessly entice you to shop with us!

Today will be a long day, as I am going this evening, after I close the store for the day, to a 2 1/2 hour accounting seminar for startups, which will be given (for free!) by the local Treasure Coast SCORE chapter.

Oh what fun!

 

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

 

Content Architecture

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Here is how the upcoming changes are going to play out.

There is a lot of brand equity that has been built over the last 2 1/2 years in the domain name Needlepointland.com

This is currently the URL for Needlepointland LLC’s blog.

Soon, however, this domain will point to Needlepointlandstore.wordpress.com.

This is an address that is currently “private.”  It is under construction at the moment, and will be open to the public soon.

There will no need to register with WordPress sign in to access this URL

The design goals of this site will be simplicity and ease-of-use.

It will contain store and order information, occasional panorama pics of the store, flippable trunk show brochures, the Destination Dallas catalog, and a consignment / grab bag catalog (with prices!).

There will be no blog content, and comment areas will be minimal.

 

The blog (what you are now reading) will remain at needlepointland.wordpress.com, but the domain Needlepointland.com (as described above) will no longer point to this address.  To access the blog, Needlepoint land customers will have to have sign in permission with WP (as described in prior posts) and request permission from Needlepoint Land to be invited to view the blog.

When such a request is made, Needlepoint Land will verify the email address and ask some simple questions regarding needlepoint stitching preferences.  The email address will then be added to a list that will be maintained internally at Needlepoint Land.  It will not be shared with any third party.

The content at Needlepointland.wordpress.com will consist of the customary Needlepoint Land blog, as well as seasonal in-store merchandise catalog, which will be available in gallery or .pdf formats.  Prices will be available online or via pdf, unlike the case with Trunk Show brochures.

Needlepointland.wordpress.com will also feature special, password protected pages.  These pages will be promotional in nature, and will offer select deals on certain merchandise, as well as offers on exclusive Needlepoint Land designs. Again, these special promos will be viewable online only to those customers who have WP sign in privileges and have requested to view this URL.

 

That’s pretty much it.  Hope this post clarifies my online strategy, going forward.

Take away is this:  you will still be able to view Needlepoint Land content, but the blog, the in-house seasonal catalog, and the promos will be viewable by invite/sign in only.

If you have any questions, or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or by leaving a comment below.

 

Thanks for shopping at Needlepoint Land!

 

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Policy change

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Dear readers,

As this blog nears its 3 year anniversary, the time has come to review some of the accomplishments that have taken place.

1) Needlepointland.com has organically grown from having zero viewers daily to consistently averaging in the mid hundreds of views per day, with hundreds of unique visitors.

2) Needlepointland.com published nearly 2 thousand original quality pics and galleries of hand-painted needlepoint canvases by a variety of artists.

3) Needlepointland.com has pioneered a number of delivery vehicles for needlepoint-related content, including video stitch guides set to music, animated canvases, advanced multi-part tutorials,and flippable needlepoint catalogs — which in less than a week have accumulated 390 reads, 2,258 impressions, and an average of 2:07 read time per viewer.

With the establishment of Needlepoint Land as a brick and mortar, the time has come to take the next step in the evolution of the Needlepoint Land brand.

With this in mind, I am instituting a new sign-up policy that will become a requirement for viewing content on Needlepointland.com.  I have already made this change at http://needlepointlandstore.wordpress.com/.  In order to view that site, you now have to become a member of WordPress.com, and request access from me.

In a few days, this shall also become the policy at needlepointland.com.

What this means, practically, is that this flagship blog shall now transition to a by-invitation-only blog. My hope is that this level of interaction with my readers shall enable me to even further customize the content and merchandise displays to suit the taste and interests of my readers, whom I of course always hope will think of Needlepoint Land when it comes to purchasing handpainted needlepoint canvases.

In addition to having to become a WP member, you will also be asked to provide an email address in order to have the ability to access certain content areas that shall remain password protected — such as upcoming new catalogs.

If you have any questions regarding this new policy, please do not hesitate to email me at the non machine readable email provided in the What We Do menu option, or simply comment below.

I look forward to your continued interest in Needlepointland.com.

 

Sincerely,

Erin

 

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Drying out

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… yesterday, I closed the store for the day with little to show for it.  I was depressed and the weather was again crappy as it has been all week. Plus the tech crew was complaining that no one was looking at the newest flip brochure.  I looked up as I was leaving the parking lot in my car, and saw this poor little drenched thing.

 

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He looked rather forlorn, if not outright miserable under the grey sky that had just finished teeming. I imagined better days, blue skies, more money in the till.

 

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Well, let’s not get too carried away. Here he is again, in a less amateurishly photoshopped version.

 

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I get it now.  It was a message from Horus.  Soon, one way or another, this will all come to a stop.

 
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© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016