One of the things I found hardest to get used to in moving to another country was the different holidays and celebrations. Here in Canada, today is Thanksgiving. As many of you may know, I am originally from the United States. I am used to Thanksgiving at the end of November. Football was in full swing, pretty much everyone enjoyed a four day weekend, and sometimes we even had snow on the ground. Aside from Christmas, Thanksgiving was one of our biggest celebrations. Here in Canada, it seems a bit more low key. Especially since my Canadian ‘family’ Bernie and Ellen are away visiting in the US this week. We did have a great dinner yesterday with friends and had turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. I made a decadent cheesecake that actually came out pretty good. It was a wonderful time with good friends and fun conversation.
One of the best parts of having two countries to call home is that I will get to do it all over again in November. Just because I don’t live in the USA anymore, doesn’t mean that I can’t still celebrate my own traditions. Almost every year since I have come here, at the end of November I have my own Thanksgiving. One of my favorite times was when I had all the girls from my painting group over for a pot luck dinner. I made the turkey and stuffing and they each brought something of their own. It was an incredible feast and so lively and fun you could barely hear yourself talk. The grand finale was when my cat Richard (who was all stirred up and wild because of all the commotion) ran across the table while we were all eating. He has never done that before, or since, but it added to the fun and spirited atmosphere and certainly made a memory.
Yesterday wasn’t quite so lively, but it was fun nonetheless. And the food certainly was good, as well as the company. I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my Canadian friends, who have made me feel so welcome and at home in their country a happy and healthy Thanksgiving day today! I really have a lot to be thankful for and it is fitting that I have more than one opportunity to celebrate!
Prior to leaving for dinner, most of the day yesterday turned out to be working on the new website. As we looked into the new software, it was apparent that there was a huge improvement over the old version that my site is still on. It was thrilling to see the scope of what the new software was capable of. Although there will be a bit of a learning curve involved in accessing all of the new features and capabilities, it will be quite exciting and offer a great deal of flexibility on my part as far as how my site will be set up and which features I will offer on it.
We spent quite a bit of time choosing the core template that we will be building the site on. There were probably close to 40 -50 choices and we soon discovered that each template could then be customized by changing colors, fonts, and just about anything else that was present. You can also add items and move things around such as the header and search box and things like that. With the template that the site is on now, you were pretty much stuck with how things were. For example the search box on my site is located on the bottom of the page. I find this quite inconvenient, as customers have to scroll down the long list of products to even see the box. It makes it clumsy and awkward. On the new software, I can have things such as the search box anywhere I wish. Simply drag and drop these types of items to any suitable location and you are set. Sweet.
There are several other great updates that will also make things better, such as the ability to list the products in several columns instead of a single one, eliminating again the need to scroll down one long list. You can also designate the number of items listed on the page which was not available before. So right now on the old template, if I have say 60 items on a page, to get to that last item you would have to scroll down a list of 60 products which was somewhat of a pain. Now I will be able to put them on multiple pages, with say 30 items on a page and three columns wide so that you can see almost all 30 thumbnails on your screen without even scrolling. This will be a much better presentation I think for everything and people will be able to compare items much more quickly and efficiently. Right now in order to have columns, my partner has to program everything in Dreamweaver and place it on the site as a chart. I have this on the home page and it has greatly improved the presentation, but it is a lot of work and difficult to update and change.
The product page itself is also greatly improved and will allow a much nicer and larger view of the items. The photograph is placed to the side and the pertaining information and description is next to it, again eliminating the need to scroll down to see the particulars. I am very pleased with it overall.
It will take a tremendous amount of work and time, but it will be well worth the effort in the end. I love the new look of things and the template we chose to start with is classy and professional and will present our work in a very positive light. I am quite excited about it all and hopefully it won’t be too long before we are able to change over and reveal it.
Today I will be back on working on finishing the packets up and also the line work for the skating set so I can send it for the estimate on cutting. I need to catch up adding the figures to the skating blog and will probably put another entry in later on today. I have already briefly shown the figures here, but I need to present them with their little stories on the other blog.
It is a beautiful cool and sunny day and the trees are at that brief time in the season where all colors are present – red, orange, yellow and still a bit green. I think a walk is in order on Eel lake near by. I need to drive to get there (although I have walked it in the past) and I want to go through the woods there because the are so incredibly beautiful. I will try to remember to bring my camera and take some photos to show tomorrow. It will certainly be a nice time.
Again I want to wish all my Canadian friends a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. To all my friends in America, Happy Columbus Day to you! And to every one else who I know from all over the rest of the world, I hope you have a beautiful day too! I am very thankful to know all of you!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"