Please Turn Your Dial To Digital

Breathing Life Into The Internet

The Gainesville Handweavers Guild website from my desktop

The Gainesville Handweavers Guild website from my desktop

I belong to the Gainesville Handweavers’ Guild, and we have a website.  Everything is done on a voluntary basis and in spare time.  It seems it was time to pass the digital torch of our little Olympics of guild chores.  The chore of Website and all things Internet landed firmly in my lap hand.  Many of our guild members are quite savvy with their computers and other sundry digital devices.  It was time to bring the guild up to speed.  With family and work obligations it’s hard to make meetings, programs and enjoy the company of fellow enthusiasts, most of whom we’re acquainted.  I found it odd that we aren’t connected as a whole, online.  Our guild is quite large, and we have a lot to offer each other, but that’s difficult when so few of us are present at one time.  It’s time for an online presence, a Facebook group where we all know one another, can share patterns, events, photo’s and projects we’re working on.  The website is nice the way it is, but needs the dates and events updated, sort of a digital dust and cleaning. 

Facebook group page, our own community

Facebook group page, our own community

The site is in need of updates, the talented but busy lady that handled such things has had too much on her plate to do a great deal with the site lately.  The dates for programs were from last year, and the officers have changed.  We have some beautiful pictures of the 2015 workshop to share and upcoming events that need to get out in front of our members.  The navigation was in need of some tuning to make it more intuitive for the visitor.   One difficulty rose when I logged in to the dashboard of the website and found that there was no way to add the “plug-ins” that I use for my own website.  I had to learn a new way to work with websites, before I could start making many changes.  I wanted to place prior events on their own pages and add links to them.  Adding event on top of event with pictures and other digital info would get too “bulky” causing the page to load slowly.  This way the current information is right up front, but the older information isn’t lost, a link added to take you to its own page should you wish to see it.  Dates – dates- dates!!!!!!!!!!  I’ve discovered the need for adding the year to them.  I have the dates updated, along with our impressive list of officers.  The navigation (menu) of the site evolves as I make updates and changes.  The purpose (in my humble opinion) of our presence as a group on the web, is to educate ourselves and our community, provide a platform for fellowship, and to let others interested in our craft know, “We Are Here, and we welcome you.”  With that said, what I welcome is suggestions of what changes – additions – omissions you would like to see on our site and Facebook group.  

Facebook group navigation buttons.  Events, Files, Photo's, it's like a candy store

Facebook group navigation buttons. Events, Files, Photo’s, it’s like a candy store

A Facebook presence is a sticky thing, some people love Facebook and others abhor it.  I encourage you to join our Facebook group, even if you’re not a member of Facebook, make an account and send a request to join.  Even if it’s the only FB activity you engage in. This group gives us “space” to share and communicate freely with other members and artists.  It’s a closed group, but I think any fiber/textile artist/enthusiast is welcome.  There is a tab at the top labeled files, and this is a great place to upload and download files such as: patterns, documents, workshop handouts and the like.  It’s easy to use and Facebook prompts you each step of the way.  We can add and view events with the Events tab, and see who the members of our group are with the Members tab.  We can share photos we have or find in the Photos tab.  It’s like a never-ending conference that you can tune into and out of as you like.  To join, simply sign into your Facebook account, then go to the group page, then click on join.  I will receive your request and promptly accept.  I do occasionally sleep, eat and take care of my house, so don’t panic if it takes me a moment to see it.

Baltic style Inkle Pick-Up band.  Trim for a skirt

Baltic style Inkle Pick-Up band. Trim for a skirt

Since this is an arts and crafts blog, I considered showing all the projects that I’ve neglected over this brief period, but I thought this was more constructive.  One of my fears is that I find myself so busy that I become an artist that doesn’t create.  I’m in hopes that I find a healthy balance once this project goes from jump-start to maintain.  I also plan to leave the digital property and administration ready for the next lucky administrator to whose hand I pass the torch.  I have many plans for myself in the fiber/textile art community and I’m going to need time to get them accomplished.  Now I need to get a certain Inkle band finished so it can find its way onto a skirt that I haven’t made yet, and I have a knitted tunic, nearly done that’s sitting next to me.  I only need to pry the mouse from my hands and get to it.

A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

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