Tuesday, 31 August 2010

YouTube if you want to

Colin has just divided up my film , which I normally show to visitors when they come to
Ted Coney's Family Portraits, into four and put it on YouTube. It's also appeared on my Facebook page but I'm not sure how! He has set each short film to new music and they have had quite a few hits already. Whether that brings anymore visitors to the house remains to be seen. I have just contacted the heirs to Muffin the Mule Ltd. to check that they are still happy for him to be seen on my film to a much wider audience.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Subliminal Advertising ?

How subtle can you get?! I've just been in the local newspaper again, only this time, instead of advertising Ted Coney's Family Portraits I was showing off the new What's On In Ely stand at the railway station. It has been bought by Ely Perspective and features leaflets by all the different events, locations and businesses in the area, including you know who. As I have volunteered to keep the stand tidy and stocked up (and wrote the press story and arranged for the photographer to come), I was invited to be in the photo as well. Ofcourse, my flyers just happen to be in the picture, but I resisted the temptation to be picking one out. But hopefully, folks will have noticed them anyway.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Real Thing

Last weekend, instead of opening Ted Coney's Family Portraits, we lived and breathed the family instead, with 29 members in Sheringham! This seems to have become an annual event, with us renting the cottage and then the whole family coming for a few days. Some sleep in tents, some in the living room and dining room and now in B&B and Youth Hostels as well. Those that arrive on Thursday have fish and chips by the sea and the rest gradually arrive for the Barbaque on Friday night. This year we had Emily's birthday to celebrate. On Saturday evening, just as the sun was going down we scattered Peggys ashes across the sea with everyone gathered around, before going for a celebration meal at the Lobster Inn. Three generations of Coney's built sandcastles on the beach and we sent hot air balloons into the night sky. On the latter, we checked with the coastguard first, as we didn't want them mistaken for distress flares!
Lot's of memories for paintings in the future.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

There's Painting and There's Painting

I have been meaning to paint the front of the studio and garage all summer, but seem to invent a load of excuses why I could not get started (not the right brushes, weather to bad etc. etc.). Anyway, yesterday with summer disapearing fast, I decided I had to make a start, and slowly got everything ready. I went to make a final cup of coffee and it started raining! So, ofcourse I spent a happy morning working on my latest canvas instead. But damn it, it brightened up by lunchtime, so ofcourse I had to make a start on the real thing. I managed to cover the whole of the studio/garage with one coat, so only two more to go. Unless it rains ofcourse.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Tweaking the Trail

I have just been making minor adjustments to my Quiz/Trail in preparation for doing it again. This time it will be part of Heritage Open Weekend in September, when our little cottage will be open alongside many other historic buildings all over the country. Well, our house is 300 years old and grade two listed! I thought it would be another chance to get some free publicity and maybe bring in people who wouldn't normally come to Ted Coney's Family Portraits. I am doing it for Teenage Cancer Trust again, as people expect to come around for free. I think I have to think of it as a 'lost leader'
Talking of being lost, I wasn't short listed for the Ely Standard Business Award. I was in the Innovasion catergory, but obviously will have to more innovative next year.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Stalker Cometh

I felt a bit like a stalker last week, when I went to take photos of houses in Bury ST. Edmunds we didn't buy. I'm reserching for my next painting, and wanted to record all the houses we looked at, before buying this house in Ely. Hazel drove me there and I popped out very quickly to take the pictures, before anyone could see me. Well, how would you feel if a stranger started taking pictures of your house? I hope to use the images in the car's 8oth birthday painting, contrasting our move to patures new, with the discovery that cousin Tom moved to Hollywood in the 1930's. The Morris will be a time machine, moving between that period (when it was built) and the present day. Thats the idea , anyway!

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Ramp

I knew Arthur and Audrey, a lovely couple from Ely had booked into
Ted Coney's Family Portraits this week. Arthur is disabled so it was my first chance to try out the ramp, enabling wheelchairs could get into the house via the french windows. It was also my first chance to try the tour 'Figurative vs. Abstract' which uses only paintings on the ground floor. Arthur and Audrey were coming a few weeks ago and I got the ramp out then, but illness prevented them at the last minute. It is a bit of a struggle to put the ramp up, but I was pleased to have the oppotunity to see how it all worked. Anyway, there was a change of plan and Arthur arrived on crutches! I hope to use the ramp one day.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Very Taxing

On Friday, I finally finished my tax form and sent it off - what a relief! It was made more complicated by my declaring the trading of Ted Coney's Family Portraits for the first time. I had an interview with a young man in the tax office before filling in the form and he said he had never seen anything like it. He was very perplexed by my assets such as the Sooty Piramid and the puppet theatre and the fact that I wanted to put the Morris Minor, not under transport, but as an object to be seen along side the paintings in the gallery. Luckily, I had taken some photos to show him of my work, so he could see that I wasn't a complete nutter. After several telephone calls it was confirmed that I could set all my assets I had been aquiring over the last six years to set against tax on the first year I have been open. I did seem to have made a ludicrously small amount compared to what I have spent. Ah well, maybe I shall start to make a profit eventually. Anyway, I shouldn't be a bit surprised if I get the tax form back, asking for more clarification!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Facing Facebook

With alot of help from Will, Ted Coney's Family Portraits was launched onto Facebook yesterday. As well as displaying my paintings (yes I will try and put some more on when I get the hang of things) We have also put some of the archive material - objects used in the paintings. We have also (hopefully ) put a link to the UK Photo Gallery, so that visitors can see which prints of my work are for sale.
On a more traditional front, I have just put my flyers on a new stand at Ely Station. Which will bring more punters in, I wonder?

Monday, 2 August 2010

How Cool is That?

I have only just realised that Ted Coney's Family Portraits is quite cool and the latest fashion (or maybe I've just missed the boat, but never mind). As I only open once a week and put my signs out on a temporary basis, it is classed as a pop-up gallery. Pop up restaurants and galleries are all the rage at the moment in London and the home counties. I must use it in my marketing some how. Any Ideas?