Changes

Hello everyone.

I keep apologizing for being M.I.A, but this time there really is a reason. Taking my class, and re-reading the book "The Handmade Marketplace" has got me scheming, and planning and full of ideas.

While I've completed the Photoshop portion of my schooling and am starting on an overview of Illustrator.. the most important part of the course is

web design. 

I've dreamed up a website that encompasses this bloggalleries etc and ties in the illustration aspect of what I do, as well as the knitting. I've been in the rough stages of starting a card line and would like to share more of that here. I want to re-brand and rename and redesign everything as well.

When I started Blue Anchor.. it was more about crafts... and sea glass jewellery, and wine charms. Besides knitting, there's not a whole lot of crafting going on (at least not regularly). I'd like to emphasize my two loves: drawing and knitting, as well as share some of my (very amateur) photography, my thrift store and etsy finds, and a little behind the scenes getting my cards launched, learning web design and maybe the occasional craft fair.

I'm very "bipolar" when it comes to organization--- part of me always wants to classify things too closely and be super organized, while the other part wants to not feel pigeonholed by being too specific. I think that's what's going on here.. it feels disjointed having both

Blue Anchor Crafts

and

Dearest Doodles

... so hopefully tying them together will create a stronger, more unified image, and also encourage me to write a lot more!

 It' s a ton of work, and might be a long process (as I don't really know much about webdesign besides plugging generated html things into blogger and messing about.) I'll probably be using Wordpress too, as that's what my school is teaching.

Anyways, I'm just checking in to say that you will be seeing some exciting changes around here in the next (err... six months? year?), and the finished product (if it turns out to be anything like I've imagined) will be worth the wait. I might not blog on here as consistently in the meantime, but I am planning to share some of my steps in the right direction or any big news that comes my way (ie, planning a card-line, perhaps even selling something?!)

I thank you for reading and for your support. I'm excited to see what the future will bring, and will keep you updated on the new changes as they come.

Thanks so much for reading,

-Karen

Old England Inn

There is a place near where my parents grew up, called the Old England Inn. Well, it's called the "English Inn and Resort Now". The other day when I was driving by, I saw that there was a rezoning sign. After panicking a bit, I read an article in the newspaper saying they're wanting to tear down some of the out buildings and the replica of Anne Hathaway's cottage to subdivide. I decided to walk up and take some photographs....

A little history. The manor house was originally called "Rosemeade" (so pretty!) and was built in 1906. It was built in a Tudor style (which I absolutely adore). In the 1950s/60s it became a bit of a tourist attraction... quaint, quirky, and kind of kitschy. Tudor+history+kitsch = amazing. They used to have tours too. 

My grandparents stayed at this hotel when they were newly weds. My mother worked in the kitchens here in high school. My dad was a waiter at the same time. He did this dressed in a doublet and knickerbockers... as the restaurant was themey. I remember eating there as a small child and having a kids menu that featured knights and ladies, and being served by a lady in a long dress that laced up the front with big sleeves. The inside was full of beautiful carvings and grand rooms. It was truly awe inspiring for a kid. 

I forgot to mention, my parents were married there in on a sunny winter day in 1986. My mum threw her bouquet from a window in the grand hallway. I always thought I would get married there too when I was older.... unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair. 

They stopped offering dinners (which is terrible, as the restaurant is walking distance to my parents house, in a large residential area with poor dining options), the grounds are overgrown and unloved-looking, and they repainted the house (probably with great expense) a taupe and rust colour, which is so bland compared to its white and black Tudor glory. They took out the beautiful carved staircase and replaced it with a finger-print infested glass railing. They added leather couches and made it look modern... too modern. It just seems like someone had the wrong vision for the place, and now it has failed... the reviews are terrible... poor service, gross rooms, bad breakfast, and owners that didn't seem to care about their guest's experience. It's such a shame to see a place with such potential being mismanaged.

There's so much family history here, it breaks my heart to see that some of it might get torn down. I'm hoping that they can restore it to its former glory, with a nice family restaurant to walk to, updated rooms full of happy paying customers, with the unique and well maintained grounds its so well known for.

Here We Go

So, since I was six, the longest period of time I've had away from school was five months. This five months was when I finished my University Degree, and was trying to decide what to do with my life. Then I started Sprott Shaw and the craziness ensued, and here I am a medical office assistant at a physiotherapy clinic. During the five months off, I dreamed up my dollies and started Blue Anchor Crafts. Well, I graduated from Sprott Shaw in September, took an evening class at Camosun College and HERE I GO AGAIN!

Yup, I'm starting school again. I'm taking a web design class at a local business college that's one-on-one and I can still work my regular shifts at work! I'm going to be learning how to use Illustrator, Photoshop, Dream Weaver, coding, and how to make a website with Wordpress!  *dances around like a maniac*. I'm pretty excited.

Not only will it boost my resume (Look at this girl, she has a History Degree, MOA Diploma and a Web Design Certificate and is under 25) hopefully getting me out of the reception part and working doing other things in an office one day, but it will be SO helpful for Blue Anchor Crafts and Dearest Doodles, which I have pretty big plans for in the near future. I feel like I'm finally going to have the tools to work with to do what I love, even if it ends up just being just a side project.

I'm really going to try to blog more regularly and discuss my dreams, goals, and things that I'm working on. I have a few projects I'm excited to share with you, but they might be rather long term... especially with throwing school into the mix! Stay tuned for fun and exciting things here and at Dearest Doodles!