About Me

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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Houston, we have lift off!!!!

Yeah!! It's official - Papercraft By Carole is now up and running on the Internet!!

Not really sure what else to say. Please feel free to go and have a look - and pass the word out to friends and family who may be interested.

The website address is www.papercraftbycarole.co.uk
Please do make sure that you read the Terms & Conditions carefully before you start.

You know, it's wierd in a way. This is not so much a jump up and down moment, as a bit of an anti-climax. It's taken so much time, thought and effort in getting this running that I wonder what I shall do now it's out there, and (hopefully) all I need to do is maintain it. I suppose it's back to the day job!!

I am busily making Christmas cards ready for the website - that section is empty at the mo - just waiting for me to get them done and loaded on.

So... there it is. And there you have it.

I will still keep blogging - keep you up to date with the success (or lack of ) of the website. And post photos of cards (and other things) I am working on.

So, till the next time.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Mmmm ... what to do??

So, I was correct in surmising that what I was hoping to do with the website can't actually be done. The guy from the website software that has been dealing with my question, did recommend that I e-mail their developers as what I want to do is fairly reasonable.

Anyway, it now leaves me with a dilemma. Let me explain. The standard version of the software does not provide any stock control options. The pro version does. So having upgraded to the pro version, I set about setting all the stock levels to 1 - since there is only 1 of each card. So that once a card has been paid for, no-one else can order it. This would help if I wasn't able to log on regularly to update the site. Simples!!! Not so!!!

In order to use the stock control feature, you have to set up Express PayPal checkout. This completely changed the look of the "basket" - showing column titles of Colour, Option, Link Cost, and most alarmingly, the choice of which country you are ordering from. Since none of that applies to what I am doing - particularly as I will not be shipping to any addresses outside of the UK - I contacted the software guy to see if I could block these things from appearing.

Apparently, the international thing is out of their control - it's controlled by PayPal. And to block the other things would also turn off stock control.

So, I have therefore requested to be downgraded to Standard version again, and need to consider what to do. I think what it will have to be a well worded section on the Terms & Conditions along the lines of "the stock shown is unfortunately not in real time, and therefore the card you purchase may very occasionally not be available ...." then a bit about refunds etc.

It's not really ideal - but maybe it won't make any difference as perhaps I'm getting a bit ahead of myself thinking that more than one person may be using the website at a time - and that those "more than one persons" might want the same card.

I suppose the vague vestiges of the systems analyst I was in a former life (and believe me, it was that long ago, it certainly feels like a lifetime ago), just feels that this is a bit of a cop out!! It's an eventuality that could have been provided for, but hasn't been. And so I feel a bit cheated by the software. Trouble is, I'm so out of date with what I know - and website authoring wasn't around in my day - that I'm just going to have to accept it. But will still put my case the sotware developers.

What a pompous sounding paragraph that was. Still, got it out of my system. So, watch this space as I will make a decision within the next week. Meanwhile I have started on making Christmas cards - 18 today!! Not bad for an afternoon!!

Below are a few examples of what will be available on the website when I get it up and running. Just to tease you....

Speak to you soon.


Saturday, 23 October 2010

A spanner in the works.....

Oh well. Should have known that it was all going too smoothly. Last night's testing has thrown up a few glitches, that I am unsure how to resolve. Have got in touch with the website software people to ask them for some help.

Trouble is, I think that what I am asking for may actually not be possible - and that may set me back a while as I need to find a solution that will work.

So... still watch this space. And in the meantime, while I go and make a few cards to fill the time, here's a recent commission:

Hopefully will have some news very soon.


Friday, 22 October 2010

The Time Is Coming ....

..... for me to launch the website!! Yaaay!! Now, I know I haven't given any updates recently, but to be honest, I have been struggling to motivate myself to get moving on it. But, having had a bit of time on my hands recently, I have bitten the bullet, and got on with it. To be fair, some of the time has been spent making a great deal of cards to put on the website - about 175 to be precise (although using the word "about" doesn't really make it precise).

Anyway, the first big move was to set up the bank account. I did that a while ago - all seemed quite straightforward, until a couple of weeks later when I had a letter demanding another piece of paper evidence or they would have to close the account. Needless to say, I wasn't overly impressed and went down to the Bank the same day. I was all set to tell them where to put their Business Account, but was kind of thrown when the guy seemed to know all about me, my business and the letter, before I'd barely spoken a word. Turns out that the person I'd seen when I'd set up the account wasn't the Business Advisor, and consequently she made a couple of mistakes on my application. This caused my business to be flagged as "high risk" - when in fact it isn't. He was most unhappy that I had been sent a letter, as he had literally just e-mailed head office about it, and thought he had sorted it. He felt I should never have been sent the letter, so got straight on the phone. Anyway, upshot is, I still have my account, and two days later, the largest box of chocolates I have ever seen in my life arrived on my doorstep. 3/4kg (yes that's right - 3/4kg) of Thornton's chocolates and a card with an apology for the stress I had been caused!! Mmmm - they have kept me going during the hours sat at the computer setting up the website.

So, bank account sorted, next step was a PayPal account. That was quite straightforward - or at least it has been so far. I suppose time will tell when I get any orders!!

After the mammoth cardmaking sessions (literally days), each card had to photographed, bagged and labelled. It takes a lot longer than you think - well, a lot longer than I thought, anyway. But, hopefully in future I can make a few on a regular basis to put on there. Having said that, I do have a large batch of Christmas cards to make soon.

So, I now had everything ready to start the website. It's taken a while to get used to the website software - but think I have a reasonable handle on it now. Hopefully it will be easy to navigate, and clearly set out. But I suppose you lot will be the judge of that.

So, the shop was set up - but that thorny issue of postage reared it's ugly head again. Another re-think was needed in order to fit in with the options available to me on PayPal, but I am reasonably happy with it now. I wish I could offer free P&P, but I don't think it's financially viable for me!!

Finally, I have had to consider issues such as privacy of information, returns and refunds - among other little things that I've discovered, regarding Internet and distance selling. Thankfully, a lovely lady who runs a successful website from which I regularly order some of my crafting goodies, kindly allowed me to use the way she has approached these issues as the guideline for mine. She has given me some tips, and shown me where to look. So a big thanks to the lovely lady I know as Winspiration!! Definately an Inspiration!!!

So, I now just need to have a final run through to make sure it's all working - and have today's work proof read by my lovely husband - and then we're all set for launch.

So ...... watch this space!!!