Oct 26, 2010

Working on Stuff!

Hey everyone!   Received a few notes wondering if I'm still around and if everything is ok?  Yes and yes!

Been a busy few weeks.  Getting ready for yet another business trip and for some reason the powerpoint juices are just not flowing.  I gotta get this presentation done before the end of the week.  So that and an "in-house" conference have been taking up much of my daily time.  

Last weekend Jen and I were out and about but no camera work.  We made wine instead!   I've been brewing wine at DeFalco's for years and have recently run out.  This after having over 200 bottles at one point a few years ago.   Decided to try out the Orleans store so Jen and I went up.  A lovely store and seems much better laid out compared to the Gladstone store.  But the staff at both locations are wonderful and had a good time putting on 2 batches.  One Shiraz and one Raspberry Merlot.   Back to bottle in 4 weeks.   Jen had never made wine before and I think she enjoyed it.  It's almost like a religious experience ;-)   The smells in that store are just amazing!

The rest of my time has been spent working on my long dormant photo business - Scott Crouse Photography.   It has made enough over the previous years to pay for the website but that has been pretty much it.   I've been fairly happy with smugmug over the years but I'm finding it getting a bit stale.   The site doesn't offer a few products that I'd like to see, such as an easy method to do matting and framing, and I've been finding their template restrictive and everyones websites look the same.  Last year I used a company called imagekind to  do some printing and framing on a few images that I gave as Christmas gifts.   As they have a 30 day money back, no questions asked, policy I opened the package and I was suitably impressed.  The framing, matting, printing, packing and shipping was wonderful!   I started to look at them more closely.    They offer a storefront (like smugmug) but it's more customizable if you know how to manipulate CSS coding.    Pretty much unlimited uploading and overall pretty reasonably priced.  I get to do my normal market up and also get a 15% commission on the framing.

I've spent the past few days "learning" CSS and manipulating the code.  Pretty easy once you put your mind to it and understand what's going on.  I've managed to create an entire new back-end for the purchasing.  I have no intention of using the website as the front-end given that it's CSS and not very "flashy".   The plan is to purchase 2 domains and have 1 business under 2 domains.  It'll make more sense when you see the finished product.   Both domains will use the same back-end ordering system.   Should be pretty cool, I just need to purchase the domains and setup the webpages that will be the front page.   At the same time, Scott Crouse Photography (which is one seriously boring name!) will be slowly phased out over the winter and "Northern Foto" will be created.

For those who would like to check out the backend of the website, you can see it at Northern Foto Imagekind.  I will link the full webpage when it's ready.  Remember, it's a work in progress, only the back-end, only a few pictures to figure out the "look and feel" and it's changing on a regular basis.  Any comments, criticisms are ALWAYS welcome.  Remember, I'm not a pro-programmer but I try ;-)

Thanks to Jen for putting up with my "mind wondering" moments this past week while I try to mentally get a handle on what I'm trying to build here.   Still lots of work to do building the front ends, tagging, key-wording, uploading and trying to make default frames and stuff.  Going to take some time.  I also plan on working on the marketing much harder this time round.   Want to setup a facebook store, a flickr site for promoting and some other ideas that have popped into my head by doing more and more research.   I want to take my old "winter gaming time" and put it to more productive use.

That's why I haven't been blogging as much, building that webpage that's going to make me rich and famous! hahaha, not likely, but if it could buy me a new camera every few years and pay for itself I'd be a happy man.

Hope everyone is having a good week.


  1. Followed your link to DeFalco's. While Thailand may be a great place to live, we somehow miss out on the finer things of life. Oh to have this facility here!

  2. Oh how I love my home made wine Grant. The kits are so cheap and we pay a small fee to the company to do most of the work. All we need to do is mix the wine and show up 4 weeks later to bottle and cork it. Costs under $80.00 for about 30 bottles of wine. Considering the local stores sell wine for around $10.00 a bottle it sure saves a lot of money. The other upside is that home made wine kits have come a long way, they taste great and with no preservatives in it, there is NO HANGOVER the next day! Win win and win! ;-)

  3. A great move on Imagekind bud! I did manage to make quite a profit from prints sales using Imagekind :-)

  4. Wow -- lots of exciting changes Scott! I like your new domain name. Fitting ... :D