W/C 8/4/19

Out Nordic walking in walk leader capacity. I need to learn my routes so much better! I an another guy got separated, thank goodness I had walked that route back to front on my birthday so I managed to get us back to the main group, not with some indecision mind haha, we did initially go on the wrong path as also my printer had typically, chopped that bit of the map off, but we quickly realised it was wrong and corrected ourselves.

However following simple instructions with my severe lack of sleep are proving a mental challenge at the moment! I am hoping for a better night tonight. Last night was a bit better, but still seemed to wake up every 1-2 hours. I feel better for getting out at least, unfortunately I can’t walk Thursday as I am having a hair cut, but I will walk Saturday as I believe I am own to help. Hopefully by then I won’t be as useless.

Today at Sarah’s Pet Portraits UK HQ it is packing and organising, ready to get to a full days work painting portraits tomorrow and Wednesday. I am framing Ronnie and Lola’s portrait and packing up two minatures I sold on the weekend. I do love it when I sell an original. I shall also be putting together a frame order and updating the work schedule. I have another minature planned and one to scan, so look out for those too!

I finally after years and years got my google analytics put on my website and it’s so handy, I can get lots of information about where people are coming from to my website. Most of my pet portraits are from the UK. I do get some from abroad and have shipped to Australia, America and main land Europe. I am yet to ship to New Zealand and may other countries, but I hope to one day. For the moment I predominantly pet portraits UK!

Doing some reading it seems my website dropping off the whole of Google is a glitch according to some reading I have been doing. It still doesn’t explain the complete flip flopping between websites when searching under certain key words like pet portraits and dog portraits. Some parts of the day I will be there with the usual search results I was a week ago and then I will search a later part of the day and I will be gone and a really random selection of websites. I hope it settles down soon as it is really impacting traffic to my website. I’d be interested to find out if other sectors are having similar issues. I just don’t know where to look. I have been advised to let it settle down for up to two weeks. Mind you I am frantically busy at the moment so a breather won’t be unwelcome, as I am starting another business with my friend soon, which is rather exciting! I shall talk more about that later. Don’t worry though, I will be running it along side Sarah’s Pet Portraits. It’s my 3rd baby and I am in my 15th year anniversary! I’d better have a little celebration later in the year!

I must be exhausted with all the stress I have had recently. If I tell you, you probably wouldn’t believe me. My website problems were the final thing that nearly broke me. It all started about 3 weeks ago when a good friend got diagnosed with kidney cancer. He is not very well at all and is in hospital waiting for a his kidney to be removed and then any follow up treatment. Sadly it’s in his lungs as well. Then my brother in law got rushed into hospital with sepsis, but the fire brigade had to be called to remove stairs so the ambulance crew could stretcher him out. It started in his back, we think due to something heavy falling on him at work a couple of days before. Then there was the first part of the website mystery, followed by my dad’s car accident, followed by the second part of the website mystery. Finally Leo fell out of a tree at forest school and sprained his ankle.

I am mentally drained and physically. I haven’t been sleeping properly for weeks, some nights no more than 2-3 hours. It’s taken its toll and I am just exhausted. I had intended to work on a watercolour dig portrait tonight and start sketching out a horse portrait, but it’s not going to happen. I know I am far too tired. It will end up with me getting frustrated and throwing it. I need to sleep and try and start with a fresh head tomorrow. I doubt I will be completely back to normal, but I am hoping if I can get some good hours beauty sleep, and boy do I need it, I will be able to get some decent work done.

My job list consists of

  1. Frame order
  2. Package up and osot Lola and ronnie
  3. Finsih Theo
  4. Start Leo, Tottie and Rosie,
  5. Sketch out watercolour dog portraits
  6. Fix some layout errors on Google
  7. Contact Web guys
  8. Take the dogs for a walk
  9. Attempt some sort of housework as it hasn’t had a look in for a week or more.
  10. Update work schedule
  11. Scanning my recent lion painting
  12. Make a print order
  13. Select cards for Mind

It’s not all going to be done but I’d like to knock off 5 or 6 of these at least to make it look a little less daunting! We shall see how it goes. Wish me luck!

So Today was a better start to the day. My nights sleep was still not great, but it’s an improvement on recent nights, so I will take that.

I have started working through my job list, well what I could remember I realised I had only written it on my blog so now I have had to log on and check as I had forgotten a lot of it! Sometimes I wonder how I get done, what I actually get done haha!

So far I have ticked off the frame order, waiting for a call back. Started my layout errors. That is going to have to span a few days as I have 24 pages of blog posts to wade through. That’s going to be fun. Oh and I have contacted my web guys. I have nearly finished point 3, Theo’s portrait. I think the rest of the afternoon fiddling should see that done, and I am having a cuppa and taking the dogs out. I have to go twice though. This is walk number 1. Glad the evenings are lighter and days longer. Gives me more time to fit them in when convenient! For the cards I am getting my daughter and husband to help with those, so that will help. I must get Lola and Ronnie’s dog portrait ready for the post office tomorrow. If I can get these all done, I will be semi happy today!

Will let you know how I have got on later.

A few more things ticked off the list, this is probably really boring to read, but I am finding it quite cathartic. Yes, I am probably odd!. Print order made, just waiting to hear it has been received and a delivery ETA. Theo’s portrait has been finished and I will be updating his blog after dinner, so please check back and see what you think. I have also finally framed Lola and Ronnie, and I was about to pack it up ready to post tomorrow and the frame is too big for the box. Sigh. So I need to wait for my frame delivery to recycle that box and I can use this one I have put together for Leo, Tottie and Rosie’s triple cat portrait, which I have finally also started. Not much, but a start is a start, right?

Getting there yippee!

I am beginning to give up with these Google SERPs. It’s not shown me all day for my two major keywords and in fact what makes it worse is they a ranking a URL that is useless as it goes straight to GoDaddy to purchase. I really don’t know what’s going on but its killing traffic to my site. To be honest I am really upset. But there is nothing I can do about it. I am just going to have to hope it changes back at some point.

I am slowly working through my blogs and changing their format where there is a problem. That’s a big and tedious job! I will get there eventually. What makes it harder is I have to do it all on my mobile so it’s smaller and more fiddly to implement the edits. 6 pages down 18 to go. A quarter done!

Still slowly working my way through all the blogs and correcting errors. It’s a boring job and I am doing about two pages a day. Luckily I think the most recent ones are mostly OK, which is handy harry! I am on page 10 (working backwards from 24) and I have checked the first two as well, so that leaves 8 to go, so I should be finished by early next week, unless I get a spurt on this weekend. I have been doing some watercolour work in the evening. I find it is my most creative and experimental time. You can ready about Indy’s portrait and I also painted Finn’s portrait too. He is a beautiful working cocker, and as you may know I am super fond of the gorgeous dogs!

Working Cocker spaniel pet dog portrait in watercolours. Rainbow pet portrait style, using reds, oranges, purples and blues.

Isn’t it amazing how stress can effect you. After the two weeks of hell, and let’s be honest things haven’t totally settled down, I am still exhausted. I am having daily naps and still sleeping at night. But then lets face it, I didn’t sleep for over a week more than 3 hours a day! Anyway after this weekend I am going to try and get things back on track and not worry tomorrow if I need a sleep. Plus who doesn’t like an afternoon nap.

I am just finishing a cup of tea and I am going to take the dogs on a late walk today. Feeling guilty as they didn’t go yesterday, but things were tricky as my husband was in hospital. Don’t worry, all routine this time! I am also shattered after my 5 mile hike with the nordic walkers this morning.

I am now down to about 5 pages to edit on my blog. I will do a couple more this evening and I should be done Monday. Then I need to run a check to make sure I have eliminated all the errors. More done on Rosie, Leo and Tottie today. So as you can see despite the naps, I am still not lazy and cracking on with the pet portraits!

I have been busy finalising my Jolly Splashes watercolour price list tonight. I feel better for that. I can’t upload it is a word document at the moment. But I will take it photoshop and edit that so I can share it on here and my Facebook page as of course I can’t work out how to upload it as a document. I would have done it tonight but my laptop battery decided to die. Probably just as well because I am ready to chill now!