Website Updates – Phase Two complete!

Having just finished the last round of updates to change our sites from Tables to CSS, I wasn’t expecting to have to tackle another lot of complicated changes so soon. We have been receiving emails from Google constantly regarding our five websites that they weren’t mobile friendly and that we needed to change them to keep Google happy. Having researched the issue we found that Google are making changes coming into effect in April and sites that are mobile friendly will possibly be ranked higher than non friendly mobile websites. We didn’t want our websites to slide in the rankings, thats the last thing we need, so something had to be done!

It was a good job that I had recently converted our sites to css otherwise this job would have been a much more daunting task. Im happy to say with many early mornings and a number of late nights and with a little help from a good friend of mine to help start me on the right path, our sites are now mobile friendly! I am elated and slightly relieved to be one step ahead for once.

As they are all hand made by me, not a themed site, any changes have to be fathomed, tested and implemented by hand on each page. So I have been doing a lot of tweaking and although I have a couple more of the ‘about us’ pages to tweak, everything should flow nicely on a mobile and tablet.

We have iPhones and iPads and it does seem to work on those, however if any of our readers have android phones and tablets id be happy to hear if they come across anything out of line or wonky! On a mobile version the navigation is zipped up under one heading called ‘menu’ which you tap to drop down to navigate the site and tap again to pop it back up. Its so clever and thank you Chris for that one! On a tablet everything is the same as a desktop version just slightly smaller.

So now I’m back in the land of the living I am going to blog the final stages of Boomer, my portrait of Bilbo and the photos of Misty the King Charles Spaniel that Nick is about to collect from Jane the framer! So its all go here today and more will follow!

Bilbos Next Stage

I have been working at my easel for most of the day today apart from some admin this morning. Bilbo is a joy to draw and he is coming along really well. A long way to go yet but he’s starting to take shape. Nick has been working on Boomers portrait too and I’ll hopefully have a stage to show tomorrow. I have also received the most lovely email from a previous client, I drew their dog Judy a few months ago and I wanted to post the email I have received as it was really touching. I have such a wonderful job, the best job in the world :)

Dear Melanie,
 Just before Christmas of 2014, my daughter Jo and the rest of my family commissioned you to draw a portrait in pencil of my late dog Judy, who sadly passed away in January of 2013.
This came as a complete and pleasant surprise when I received the mock-up of the portrait of Judy on Christmas Day – you could have knocked me over with a feather!
When I received the finished portrait I was absolutely overwhelmed by the life-like appearance of Judy, who has now been placed in a beautiful frame. She will live in my heart for the rest of my life. I cannot thank you enough for the excellent quality of the portrait – it is absolutely great. May you continue to produce fantastic work of this nature.
Thank you so much and very best wishes.


Next Stage of Boomer

Here is the next stage of Boomers portrait. Nick has been working on the second layer over Boomer and the photo on the right shows Nick working on the chest area. Boomer has a long way to go yet, I’m really looking forward to the eyes going in and they should be in on the next stage which will follow soon.


Julie Johnson – Happy Client

Here is the most recent testimonial to arrive in our inbox from a lovely client of ours called Julie Johnson in the UK. Nick painted both of Julie’s dogs over the last few years, the first was Charlie, which Nick paint in 2013 and the most recent was Kara which he completed a month ago. The paintings were framed by Jane our framer using the Honey Rope frame with a narrow inner linen slip which worked so well for both paintings. We can’t thank Julie enough for allowing us to use the photos on our website and blog for all of our clients to view, just perfect! I have added one of Julie’s emails below as a testimonial :)

Hi Melanie and Nick,
Arrived first thing this morning. It’s brilliant.
My husband to put it on the wall in the dining room under Charlie’s portrait straight away. I took a picture of the two portraits and then got my husband to take a picture with me. They look great together. Even though Kara’s portrait is a different size as you can see in the photos there look good hung under each other.
KARA February 1984 – July 1995
CHARLIE June 2002 – June 2013
It’s great having lovely portraits of both my old dogs hanging in the dining room. They were such a part of your life when they were around and both are sadly missed.

2 1

Studio News – Website Updates

Our regular visitors and readers may have noticed that we have recently had some updates to our websites and blog. Overall I have refreshed the design just slightly and integrated a new blog ‘theme’ which I feel matches with our sites really well.

Behind the scenes it has actually been a huge learning curve for me. When I started learning web design over 15 years ago, websites were created using tables and these days they are created using css. Tables were easy as they were kind of like the scaffolding of the page and you placed your content within them, but now with css its more about the actual coding of the page so it has been like learning a new language.

So over the last couple of months I have been changing our five websites from tables to pure css. This has been EPIC! We have so many pages, for example we have 69 pages of testimonials! Not to mention all the larger pages for the galleries etc. They are finally done and finally uploaded online. I know that there most likely to be a few mistakes, obviously as I’m just learning, however its a good start and I’m really pleased with my achievements :)

I can now start to update the sites with current portraits and testimonials. I have started with a testimonial and a post with photos will follow.

Bilbo’s First Stage

Here is the first stage of Bilbo’s portrait. He is being drawn on a 14 x 10  size drawing and he is utterly gorgeous. his eyes in the photo are engaging with the viewer and ill have more stages soon, along with more stages of Boomer too.