Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Preview

Hopefully tomorrow night I'll be posting a preview of the new site design, probably just the homepage for now, and I think I might link it from the existing page temporarily. I think I would like to upload the new site all at once.

I had wanted to upload it tonight, when I got back from Lancaster, but since my mom wasn't feeling well, I got home really early and Dave came over tonight instead of tomorrow, like we had originally planned.

Tomorrow night will probably be doing dishes and website work while we watch more Fullmetal Alchemist.

So I lied.

First of all, turns out I'm not going to Lancaster until today. Which means I spent last night working on the website while I watched Fullmetal Alchemist.

Second of all, looks like the minor behind the scenes, only really affects the code update I was talking about, yeah, that's not happening.

I don't know if it was because I was tired enough to be irritable but not tired enough to sleep or what, but I had a spicy chicken sandwich for dinner and then decided to fix everything about the website that aggravates me, such as:

1) With the Tripod ads at the top, like half of the important stuff on the homepage is past the page break.
2) The Pattern pages scroll on forever without giving you any indication what's next. Likewise with the Links page.
3) I would like to take pattern submission, but I have no policies posted about how it works.
4) Jess has Age's Crochet Pages on her resume and I have little to no indication to show that she works on the website.
5) I want to have a picture of my cat for everyone to see. (ok, I'll admit this one's silly.
6) I have a link to the stitch along taking up space, but no stitch along anymore. (Still thinking of bringing it back, not sure where I'll put it.)
7) I want to announce new patterns, but there's no where to put it in the first screen on the Homepage, you always have to scroll.

and so on.

So, the next site update with be a huge change visibly, but, the basic navigation stays the same. The navigation bar's only change is that the Stitch Along Link is gone. I'm in the process of adding anchors and "link within this page" links to help get through the patterns and links. I'm putting the sidebar back up to get some of the announcements closer to the top and I'm adding some graphics to make the site prettier.

The individual pattern pages will stay the basically the same, but with some contact info and stuff added at the bottom. I would really like to standardize them in with the rest of my site, but I'm not an HTML whiz, so when the sidebar changes, I'll have to change it on EVERY PAGE, until I figure out how to do it another way. Also, I like the printer-friendliness of them the way they are now.

I've played with the idea of making a separate, "printer friendly" version of the patterns before, but I keep coming back to "Why should I make other people click an extra link, when that aggravates me?"

Like I said, the basic feel of the site will remain unchanged, but the look will be noticeably different. I think everyone will like it. I asked Carl last night, "Which page would you rather look at?" and he loves the new one. And seeings as he's an internet junkie, I think I'll value that opinion.

Hope everyone's looking forward to the new stuff as much as I am, I think you'll like it. It should be up in the next week or so. I may post some more new patterns first. We'll have to see how things play out. I still need to get Lyam his Easter basket and we apparently have a double date with Dave and Sheila on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I will be going to Lancaster tomorrow, instead. Which means, a possibility of patternage sooner than I thought.

I'll probably work on the Mini Bear, the Hex Coaster and the Ruffled Doily next, as far as getting missing photos filled in.

A Moment of Shameless Promotion

So Dan called me the other day to tell me that the Ice Cream Shop his uncle was building in finally going to open.

Crazy Cones, just off Macarthur Rd, in Whitehall. Across the parking lot from Walmart and Sam's, next to the Liquor Store. Coming south pull into the Parking Lot for Walmart, that's the easiest way to find it. Coming north make the right just after Staples.

They don't Grand Open until April 5, but they're open weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) until then.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Out of Range

Ok, maybe that's not the best title for this post, but I thought it was pretty accurate. I do have a couple of new patterns almost ready to be posted, but it'll be a few days before you see them. I work 1-9:30 today, which means I'm leaving in a few minutes, and tomorrow I work 7-3:30. From work, I will be driving directly to Lancaster and depending on how tired I am, I may not be coming home until Thursday morning. I will have little to no computer access in this time and I will not have access to FrontPage or the current drafts of my site files. I apologize for the delay, especially as the patterns have been coming to me really easily the last week or so, and there's been a couple of huge batches of updates.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Patterns and Photos, Again!

As promised, new patterns and photos on Age's Crochet Pages!

New Patterns!

Bobble Flower Square
Pleasantly Pineapples
Puff Center Square

New Photos!

Corner Granny Square
Diagonal 2-color Square
Flower Centered Square
Greener Pastures
Hilo Star
PA Dutch Rosette Square
Ring-Centered Granny Square

Some more new squares and new doilies are in the works and I've been making at least one sample for an existing pattern for every new one I add.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More new Patterns coming up!

I've gotten the Hilo Star sample crocheted, now I just need to finish the ends and pin it. (Carl sprays the starch for me when I block, I'm allergic to the aerosol.) I need to double check what still needs samples/photos after that.

I think I'm done to just a dozen or so things that need the photos uploaded and only a small portion of that needs the samples remade. All in all, I'm pretty please with the progress I've made.

The next batch of site updates will probably not be very noticeable to you, the user, but will be important, nonetheless. From not using the same web editor for all of the pages, some of the code is clunky. In fact, from using Word for some of the pages when I had no access to an HTML editor, some of the code is really ugly.

The project, once all the pictures are up is to clean up the background stuff, for ease of editing and also so that the spacing and fonts are the same on all the pages. I just noticed the other day on a friend's computer that some of my titles are still in "Rage Italic" which is an awesome font, but not everyone has it.

In fact, I don't have it anymore.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Pattern Photo

I've got the Hilo Star sample like halfway finished, so with a little luck, another new photo by the end of the weekend. It's going pretty well, so far, but I'm doing the sample in burgundy because I'm tired of working with pastels and I'm not completely sure how well the photo will show detail. If I white balance the camera before I take the photo, it should be ok.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lots of updates!

After spending most of my day off not feeling well enough to get my ass off the couch, I actually have accomplished a surprising amount.

Behold! Site Updates!

New Patterns
Daisy Chain Coaster
Stacked Shell Mini-Doily
Sunny Days Doily

New Photos
Oh!Danny Boy Doily
Terry's Peachy Doily
Purple Passion
Rose Trellis Doily
Mini Trellis Doily
Flower Pot Surface Protector
4 Leaf Clover Doily

Also, the crochet work and most of the finishing is done for Greener Pastures. All I have to do in attach the flowers and add the beads, which I will probably do all as one process, it worked pretty well last time I did it.

Hope that's enough to keep everyone busy for a while. Happy Hooking!

Patterns and site updates!

So, I've got a total of three new patterns now, but I've promised myself that I won't posted any new stuff until I get at least one of the "missing" photos posted. I have more fun with the new stuff and won't go back and fix anything otherwise. *sigh* At least I know myself well enough for that.

On the plus side of that, I'm got the entire background for a Greener Pastures sample done, and the clover center for the the 4-leaf clover sample finished. I'm going to try to finish the clover today, and the flowers for Greener Pastures by the end of the week and then post a bunch of stuff at once.

Also, I've been thinking of posting some of the patterns in diagram format, which should be easy enough to transfer over from photos, but I'm not sure how much interest there would be. I may try to set up a poll. I'll have to see if I can get the same poll to run on here and the website, as opposed to two separate but identical ones.

I was told about Ravelry the other night and I went and signed up for an invite. Does anybody know anything about it/have any opinions? Stephanie said it's awesome, but I'm a little nervous because I inevitably run into someone who's seen my website site when I join a big group like that.

Maybe I can find some pattern testers that way? Add some credits to the site for them. Could be an interesting prospect.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

sleep, yay!

Slept almost 12 hours, and I finally feel like I got enough sleep. Coughing a little less today, but that's a mixed blessing.

I started the sample for the 4 leaf Clover Doily, then I realized that my white thread has a tea stain. I've started working on the Greener Pastures Doily instead. I'll probably tea dye the whole ball of white so it doesn't go to waste. I'll let you know how that turns out.

In the meantime, I'll be posting here whenever I get new photos uploaded for existing patterns.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More New Patterns!

As promised, the new square patterns are posted. Two are by Jess and two are by yours truly. :D

Maltese Square by Jessy
Openwork Granny Daughter
Rounder Square
Windowpane Square by Jessy

I'll probably start working on the missing samples and missing photos next.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

100th Post!

Yay! We're in the big time. Believe it or not, it just happens to be coincidence that this is also the post where I announce that the Photo Tutorials have GONE LIVE! on Crochet Pages. Jessy and I spent most of the afternoon working on them and after fighting my way through a minor glitch with getting PeaZip and Tripod to play nice, I've gotten them uploaded.

Incidentally, the only obvious way to get PeaZip and Tripod to play nice it to not use them together. Everything had to be uploaded individually. I'm not sure if it's a glitch in PeaZip, or if it's a change in the way Tripod handles .ZIP uploads, but when I uploaded my .ZIP, Tripod put the whole thing in it's own folder as a subdirectory of my site. Which means, my entire site was mirrored (which is usually good) inside itself (which is not good.)

It used to be, that when you uploaded a .ZIP to Tripod, it overwrote any duplicate files and just added the new ones. Which made huge updates, like what I've been doing the last few days, really easy.

It's been a long time since I did a massive upgrade to the site, therefore a long time since I tried to upload via .ZIP, and of course last time, I had actual WinZip on my computer. So, like I said, I'm not sure where the issue is, but apparently I have to do future updates in the 8 single file batches that I've always tried to avoid for large updates.

On a separate, but slightly related note, I am genuinely feeling better today, which is good. I've been out of work sick, since NOON Tuesday! Thank goodness I have friends who were willing to come over and entertain me, because Carl was also sick. Today he was feeling basically over the bad head cold he had, so I had wanted to let him have some quiet work time.

Basically, Jess in a big part of the reason that Carl got that time, because she helped my bring my work table up to the 3rd floor and we spent the day working on the tutorials samples, photos, pages.

Also, I finally saw The Dark Crystal, which was probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but at the same time, I think if I had seen when I was a kid, it would be one of my favorites, because I love the The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. I think it's just not a movie you can appreciate if you see for the first time as a grown up.

While we were watching The Dark Crystal, and then Clue, Jess and I worked up a couple more new patterns for Crochet Pages (all granny squares this time) and I'll probably be able to get those all posted tomorrow some time.

All in all I feel like I have accomplished a lot this week in spite of feeling like hell most days. My sinus congestion is starting to let up, and my chest congestion is finally breaking up. I may not be sick as long this time, as I was the last time I had walking pneumonia. I certainly don't feel as awful as I remember that was, in spite of having a head cold immediately before and a nasty sinus infection at the same time.

Now, if only the antibiotics didn't leave a nasty taste in my mouth. (Weird side effect)

Tutorial Finished!

Jess and I managed to get all of the photos taken for the photo tutorials today, and I got all the pages put together. I just need to get them posted now. Hopefully it will be done later tonight.

I will be linking to the tutorials from the pattern pages little by little once they're posted to the internet. Hopefully this will be a positive change for the site and bring in a little traffic and be worth the effort.

Tech Emergency Averted

So, I optimized the file sizes of all my photos and I've decreased the amount of disk space I was using by half! Which means, yes, I will be moving to a Ad Free format, eventually, but now I can do it when I'm ready instead of because I have to.


New Pattern
Tropical Fish Coaster

New Photos
V-Stitch Baby Afghan
Colored Hearts Coaster
Chain Stitch Kerchief
Ear Bags

Jess and I are going to try to get some work done on the tutorial photos today. NOt sure how much we'll get done, but even if it's not much I can spend the day tomorrow putting together the web blanks to fill in the photos later.

Storage Limit Exceeded

There may be some temporarily broken links (mostly for photos) on Crochet Pages. I have exceeded my storage space due to my pictures not being steamlined for the web. As a result, I will probably spend the day today fixing that so that I can re-upload the reduced files and gain a little bit of my disk space back.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and I assure you that I am working to fix the problem as quickly as I can.

That stated, Crochet Pages may be moving to an Ad Free format sooner than I had anticipated. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, it's just not how I had planned it.

*sigh* Oh well. I'll post again when the site is fixed, including a notice of what new pics and patterns have been added.

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Patterns and Photos

I got two new patterns posted to Crochet Pages this morning. Yes, they include photos.
Penguin Pal Pillows - this photo was posted here.
Daisy Head Wall Hanging

I also got the photo uploaded for the Courage Bear Pattern.

And the photos for the Basketweave Baby Afghan.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Supposed to be sleeping

The doctor gave me cough syrup with codeine in it with the intention that it would probably make me unconscious which would force me to rest. He said 1 teaspoon probably won't even make you groggy, but 2 and you'll probably have to sleep. I've been taking about a teaspoon and a half so I can sleep if I need to, but I don't want to take more, because it's really disorienting to wake up from a medicine induced fog.

However, I've had walking pneumonia before and I'm smart enough to know that blogging is about the most strenuous thing I should be doing. I plan on watching some movies and working on some patterns for Crochet Pages if I'm not sleeping. I might work on Nibbler some more, but I'm a little stumped on his wacky eyesockets. Shallow sockets with big gaping eyes. His eyes actually come out past the side of his head a little.

I'm a little worried that I'm going to have to postpone our hike, again. The last time I had walking pneumonia I was sick for a couple of months. I had gotten sick in early December, and it was like Spring before I finally felt back to normal. This doesn't seem to be quite as bad as last time, but it will probably be weeks before I'm not winded sooner than normal. *sigh* I guess the plus side is that I'll have to work on website and pattern stuff.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another Dammit Doll

I won't be posting the pattern for this, it's basically the boy dammit doll anyway, but I made a dammit doll for my manager. Bet ya can't guess what craft store I work for!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tutorials,Tech Issues and Twitter (or I Shouldn't Post When I'm Sick and Overtired)

Currently, I'm pretty sick, but I've been playing around on the laptop anyway, and I'm getting the ground work together for photo tutorials on Crochet Pages. They would most likely just link from the crochet dictionary, but I'm considering also linking to them from the patterns that refer to them. It's a much bigger undertaking, but I like the comprehensive feel that it has. Like something that I've been missing is finally falling into place.

With that said, I've put out a cry for help to my close personal friends to try and round up a crew to move a little bit of furniture for me and get my studio at least partially set up. Once that's done, I just need Dan to get the router working and Crochet Pages should be photo city! Even with out the router, I will be putting serious effort into getting the missing photos posted.

The lack of picture-age has always been a thorn in my side, because I know a lot of people don't give my patterns a second look because I'm missing pictures for a lot of them, and I think the site could be great, when I get them all caught up and filled in.

I'm exhausted, but my post nasal drip has flared up again and since I can't sleep like that I'm probably going to look into posting my Twitter to Crochet Pages.

All technical problems aside (router, getting sick, etc.) I'm really looking forward to having not just a workspace, but a computer workspace right next to all my craft supplies. I know it will take some time to get it all put together, but I'll be glad when I have everything handy and organized. And I know Carl will be glad to not have to worry about sitting on yarn, or hooks and needles.