Sunday, 30 January 2011

Brand (new) People

At the start of the year I was working on my business as a whole entity rather than just a way of selling and found a great website called Copyblogger and a series about branding your business there. Since then I have been working my way through all of the steps he suggests and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing. This is the fourth part, the first is over here and the second is here and the third is here.
I’m still getting really lovely emails etc. from people about this series so I’m going to carry on for a bit longer.

In other news I am cold. Really cold. I’m down two radiators at the moment and a lot of our house doesn’t have double glazing. Send gloves. Please. To make up for the weather I am cooking even more than ever and playing around with a lot of new recipes while I still have the kitchen to myself. Unsurprisingly none of them are particularly healthy. I don’t care.

26. What gender is your audience?
I think most of my audience is probably female – from seeing the gender spread at both craft fairs and also on Etsy. My art is certainly not designed just to appeal to women but the demographics of the places that I sell is certainly skewed to female rather than male. I think that starting out in jewellery making means that my base audience is also more inclined to be women. Hopefully as I find more places to sell my artwork and cards as well as my jewellery I will get a more even mixture of men and women.

27. How old are they?
The audience for my art seems to be older than for the jewellery which is generally bought by a much wider age range. I am hoping after a few more craft fairs I will have a clear idea of my age-range as well as other social identifiers and should be better able to target my marketing after that.
28. What generational values do they have?I have no idea. When describing individual works, especially in my collages, it amazed me how different the styles were once I sat down and thought about it. I have some very traditional pieces which while still different as is the nature of collage work they are also quite conventional! I definitely have some more wacky pieces of art and definitely some much more modern bracelets.

29. What is their household income level?
Because the business is based on selling people something that they do not ‘need’ it is reasonable to think that most of my products are bought with extra income after necessities have been paid. I guess that means that my audience has enough to cover their means and then a little extra.

30. Where do they live?
One of the wonderful things about Etsy is that it’s worldwide and I ship anywhere. At the same time the best part of craft fairs is that you get to meet and talk to your local buyers. I like both aspects but I think that the majority of my audience would be local because I do much more business through craft fairs and the local shops that I sell in.

31. What are their hobbies and interests?
I would hope art. I know that most sellers on Etsy are also buyers. Same goes for craft fairs where most people with a stall end up buying something from another stall while they are there. However, if people are interested in jewellery making and collage then it’s unlikely they would therefore buy my products rather than using their own.
32. What is their marital status?
If my jewellery or art is bought as a gift for a partner I would be thrilled. Of course I think that my collages would make the perfect gift. Ahem. Otherwise I would say it’s probably a mixture of people.

33. Do they have kids?
Yes I think many of the people buying my products are likely to have children, more so with my jewellery than with the artwork. From seeing people at craft fairs and fetes I have had a lot of customers with children and they are often included in choosing pieces (I have lots of things that sparkle!).

34. Do they have pets?
I have no idea. Certainly nothing that I make is likely to particularly attract pet owners and I don’t keep any pets so it’s not likely to be something that we connect on.

35. What kind of computer are they likely to own (if any)?
They all use Windows because I put subliminal anti-Apple messages into all of my work. I am joking, of course. Etsy has apps for most types of technology, not all of them work well, certainly the Android one has bugs but I don’t think there should be any major issues. I would hope that people looked at my site, especially the Etsy parts on something bigger than a cell phone because it is so visual and thumbnails are not all that accurate. I also love meeting people at crafts fairs who have no idea that you can sell things online (yes, it does still happen sometimes) and naturally seeing things in the flesh is better and the tactile element is brilliant.
36. Do they have any special needs or health issues?
Nope. Well, they might. I have a disclaimer for small parts on my jewellery kit but if a kid swallows a piece of art in a frame…

37. What TV shows do they prefer?
I don’t have a clue. I don’t really watch TV so, erm, Radio 4?

38. What blogs do they read?
Well I guess it would be nice if they read this one. I think I tend to get a fair bit of exposure to new audiences through blogs and Etsy forums etc. and as I am trying to reach more people online through Etsy as well as local selling those people are likely to read blogs more regularly.

39. What other websites do they visit most often?
Etsy, Folksy, Craftsforum, Polyvore, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, various online style magazines. And Google (well, it’s pretty likely isn’t it?). Again I am just guessing, I’ve never asked.
I’ve found most of this branding survey really useful but the next eleven questions really don’t seem relevant and are along the lines of “47. What is their greatest hope or dream?” Which I am sure I would just answer for myself, as we so often end up doing. So I am going to jump ahead in the next blog to question #51 which is dealing with competition. I’m looking forward to that as I sell craft products that are made my so many people. It’s a tough market and I think that looking at my competition will be really helpful.

Now I have a scarily long to-do list and a very good book to read so I must dash.
Happy weekend everyone,


Thursday, 27 January 2011

I Love U

Seriously, I really do love u.
Which is why I spell words: colour, honour, humour, favourite etc.
As I type this all of those words have squiggly red lines underneath them.
Blogger does not love u.
This is something I have been struggling with since I started trying to sell full time online. Especially on Etsy, it is an American site and about 70% of buyers are American (I think that's right).
Other problems come from talking about Jam/Jelly/Jello or trousers/pants and even  aluminium/aluminum.
A lot is made about SEO optimisation (optimization?) and so color and favorite are going to be searched much more than their British-English cousins. However I love spelling, I love English and I love u.
I am trying to use a mixture of British and American spelling to get as many hits on my products as possible but it would be nice to stick with one or the other. Neither is right or wrong but it does make things rather confusing both for seller and buyers.
For a witty and very clever approach to this have a look at Jasper Fforde's description of why the loveable u is less popular in America.
something else i love

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Brand (new) Thinking

At the start of the year I was working on my business as a whole entity rather than just a way of selling and found a great website called Copyblogger and a series about branding your business there. As an experiment I thought I would go through all of the steps he suggests and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing. This is the third part, the first is over here and the second is here.
So far people have had really nice reactions and it seems to have been picked up on by other people wanting to re-brand their business.
The questions are divided into sections and these five questions are the end of one section, the next part is all about audience so I’m not doing ten here but just rounding this part off.
21. How do you describe what you do?
This is a great question and something I have struggled with since starting my business. I describe myself as an artist/jewellery designer and my work therefore as both art and design. Whether it’s family you see at a party, old friends you meet in the street or strangers, doing something creative is just plain difficult to describe. There tend to be several different reactions.
1. “Oh, that’s nice dear” (“Oh god, her poor parents must be so disappointed”)
2. “Really, how fascinating” (“Please, please don’t let her keep talking about this, it’s so dull”)
3. “Wow, that’s exciting, how did you end up doing that?” (“Why doesn’t she have a normal job? Oooh, maybe she was in prison!”)
4. "Right, yes, hmmm etc." ("I don't understand what, she's on about but I'll keep nodding")
5. “So, how do you balance your time/ where do you source materials/ what selling medium are you employing/ other detailed question” (“I’m genuinely interested, please tell me more”)
It tends to be more of the #1 and less of the #5 but the people who are interested more than make up for those who think I am a wasting my time and I do tend to waffle on about it when I find someone who will listen/can't escape me!

22. What are your goals?
I want to make a career out of my creative skills. My plans for the future are quite open ended, I don’t want to box myself in too much this early on because I’m still not certain what either myself, or other people want as yet. In practical terms I plan to make cards as well as collages, do some smaller pieces as well as much larger ones. I am enrolled in a silver-smith course at the moment and I hope to be able to bring my new skills into play when I have completed that.
23. What is your message?
I want to make people think. I love art where you find something new each time you look at it. As much as I enjoy art as beauty I also think that it needs to be a talking point, something that can be thought about on a basic visual level but also at a much deeper cognitive level. I might be aiming for a little much there but maybe I’ll land among the stars.

24. What are you really selling?
I am selling a 5x7 inch idea. I’m giving someone a new way of looking at the world. The thing that I love most about collages is that they juxtapose ideas that you would not normally see together. Gravestone lettering with stamps from Papua New Guinea, or glittered love hearts and old Latinate text. I can’t get enough of showing people how strangely different things can be brought together to make something beautiful that will complete a room.
25. What is your level of commitment?
My level of commitment is life-long but paycheck limited. I will do this for as long as I can afford to as a business and then it may have to return to a hobby. I hope that I can manage to be successful enough to keep doing this as a career. When people ask about the long term options I will always say that the risk or failing is worth the chance of having a career I love rather than returning to a world of work I by and large hated. I believe in the brand that I am creating and I think that it is both strong and flexible enough to cope with any changes that need to be made because of the market or a shift in my priorities.
To end on a high note – I will always be creating art and jewellery even if it is not making me money or is not my primary job.

So, that’s the third part of the branding. A brief business branding blog (don’t you just love alliteration?) this time around.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Stamp Acts

It started with my grandfather, then got passed on to my grandmother who in turn passed it on to me.
The terrible family secret - we're philatelists.
My mother escaped relatively unharmed, although her collection is still around somewhere I think. Grandad had a lovely old stamp collecting book and when I was about eleven I started my own collection.
I know it sounds like an excuse for a very unpopular pastime (at least for people my age) but the reflection of history, art, popular culture, music, people and socio-political events is staggering on such a small canvas. You can trace events and trends all simply by looking at stamps.
No, I'm going to stop there but I can ramble on for a long time about how much I love the tiny little things.

There was a wonderful book I owned (it always comes back to a book) which had free-ish activities and crafts for kids and from there I found a company that used to send out hundreds of stamps for little money. It was £2 for 400 when I did it. I remember being really excited about the new £2 coins because it made it easier to send off for stamps.
Told you it was a problem.

And the lovely thing is that now my little geeky secret is part of my artwork. I have started using stamps in my collages and collage cards that I am making.
The artistry that is involved in stamps can really take my breath away. There are some truly beautiful and highly creative pieces which I will never use in a collage because, hand on my heart, they are tacked up on my wall.
Needless to say this combination of art and stamp-geek is joyful and shall continue.

Oh and the boxes that hold the stamps that haven't been sorted were not originally mine. Not sure you can even buy B&H in gold boxes anymore. They belonged to my grandad, a little nod to my philatelist background.
Off now to see if I can find that mail-order stamp company again...


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Brand (new) Plan

About a week ago I was working on my business as a whole entity rather than just a way of selling and found a great website called Copyblogger and a series about branding your business there. As an experiment I thought I would go through all of the steps he suggests and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing. This is the second part, the first is over here.

I am doing the second part because the first part had the most positive response to anything I’ve ever put up on here, which was lovely.

It’s also great timing because it coincides with something that is going on over at Etsy. There is a newsletter for sellers called Etsy Success which is run by a lovely lady called Danielle and she is currently running a Shop Makeover. I opened the email and the very first thing looking back at me was called Building Your Brand. Perfect!

So, here goes part two.

11. What do you plan to offer?
I am hoping to keep adding to my range depending on what people respond well to. I am going to sell my jewellery at craft fairs and in shops and keep online selling limited to collage work. At the moment I am working on a range of greeting cards to be sold either in bundles or individually. If that goes well I might work on prints, digital copies of my collages and then branching out into other paper goods. It would also be great if I could offer more custom designs and have that as a service providing branch of the business. I hope that my text and image collages remain as the flagship product at least for the moment.

12. What makes you unique?
Many things I hope.  I guess I have to thank my grandmother for a lot of my quirks but experience probably has a lot to do with it as well.
This actually seems the most personal of all of these questions. I don’t think I can summarise what makes me unique and I’m not sure that I know either.

13. What hobbies or interests do you have?
I love walking. I adore the ocean and beachcombing. I don’t think travelling is particularly unusual as a hobby but I find a lot of my inspiration from places I visit. I take a lot of photographs – which obviously ties into my collages as that’s where a lot of the material comes from. I try to do as much gardening as I can but that usually depends on the weather! Most of my interests come through in my artworks.

14. What are your core beliefs?
Creativity good = ordinary life bad.
Other people may be smarter or richer but that doesn’t mean that they know best or are doing things the right way for you.
People will always surprise you, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not.
Don’t plan too far ahead, it won’t work.
The most interesting people are rarely found at swanky dinner parties or clubs but in the local shop or next to you on a train, everyone has a story.
Two very normal things in combination can be completely extraordinary.

15. What makes you uncomfortable?
I don’t like talking on the telephone – I always put it off as long as possible when I have to do it. I would rather talk to people face-to-face or email them. I’m not a fan of self-promoting, which is tough because that’s all I’m doing at the moment. I hate telling people that the things I make are good (my toes involuntarily curled just typing that). But I like my work, I just hope others do as well. Lots of other things make me uncomfortable but they have nothing at all to do with business. (Being given small children to hold, people talking loudly in libraries, walking into a pub/restaurant to meet people and not knowing where they are sitting, being set up on dates by well-meaning friends etc…)

16. If money were no object, and you could do anything you wanted for “work,” would you still do what you’re doing now?
Yes. I’d probably buy more expensive materials but otherwise this is what I would spend my time doing and then give the products to a charity to sell.

One of the new card ideas
17. What are your favorite colors?
I would love to know other people’s favourite colours. I love blue, my favourite gemstone is blue Tanzanite, I like blue clothes and blue flowers. I’m not a bit fan of yellow, mostly because it looks terrible with my skin tone but I really do like and appreciate all colours. I have been trying to work out what colours are popular with my collages but all I can see is that there is no pattern! Something that I know from Etsy is that it is useful to link specific colours with emotive descriptors to help people find what they are looking for.

18. Is there a specific design style that you really like?
I’m a traditionalist in most areas but I like mixing that with absurdist themes. I think a lot of collages can get boring if you don’t tweak things to change perceptions. Most of my materials are traditional but I mix bright colours with gravestone lettering to mess around with the genre. I don’t think traditional equates to boring but rather to a great familiar platform that is a lot of fun to play around with.

19. What emotion(s) do people associate with you?
Oh dear. Stubborn I would imagine, stroppy or maybe determined. I hope creative. I do try to be kind. I think that a lot of flaws can be forgiven if you try to be good and do good. I just hope people don’t find me boring or average that would be about the worst thing that someone could say about me. I guess this is really a question for other people rather than me.

20. What brands / designs from other companies make you jealous?
There are so many great designs that you can see all of the time. I admire people who have different talents than I have because I wish I could be like them. I admire people who have similar talents to mine because I know the work that goes into them. I tend not to get inspiration from other artists whose work is similar to mine, partly because that feels like stealing and partly because it tends to be very new ideas which inspire me the most. Andrew Zuckerman’s photography takes my breath away, Colin McCahon’s art is my favourite in the world. I tend to get a lot of inspiration from other sellers on Etsy and when I do I either add them to my favourites or plonk them in my next treasury so if you’re really interested then that’s where to look.

Part two done and dusted. I really do hope people are still interested in this, if nothing else it is great to be able to try and sort through my ideas about my business. It's also fab having this online so that I can look at it if I need reminding of what I am doing, and by writing things down hopefully I will stick to the plan more closely.


Thursday, 13 January 2011


Really, how could I miss London?
It's not like I thought working from home, being self-employed and trying to make a living from something creative was going to be easy.
But boy, oh boy it is really not.

It's been a very busy week full of distractions and interruptions, plus it's only Thursday so far.

I have started a silver-smithing class which was a lot more fun and less nerve wracking than I was expecting. I was really nervous, I don't know why but starting new things always have that effect on me.
In week one we we taught how to use the equipment, how not to hurt ourselves or the machines and made a lot of noise sawing, hammering and heating metal.
Now I'm trying to think of a design for the pendant we're making next week. I think birds. Yes?

I spent all of Tuesday in London and met up with several of my friends having great food with each of them. I meant to take photographs to include but I always forget to take pictures while I'm in London. In between meeting friends I had a half-hour to kill near Holborn and so I snuck quickly into my second favourite museum in London, Sir John Soanes museum, and spent most of my time looking at Seti's sarcophagus.
So in short my trip was strong coffee & flourless chocolate almond cake with Anna, then steak and stilton pie with Rach and Rob and finally ravioli & more coffee with Chris.
Then I had half a pack of love hearts on the way home. I have a weakness for love hearts.
From my 23rd Birthday tea

I'm house-sitting. Which it turns out is a good thing because little things keep going wrong like the radiator getting a hole in it. All fixed now, not a problem but I don't like working when someone's in the house so that cut into time further. Oh, and the curtain rail in the kitchen fell down. You know, little things.
Between nerves about class, another set-back in selling my flat, two funerals, visiting London and the house falling apart I missed putting up my Tuesday treasury and my stock is running a little low. I'm also taking some advice from the classrooms on Etsy and I'm making some little cards to sell in a bundle to reduce postage and get some lower priced items.

I had so many good ideas for this week but I keep wandering off and doing other things.
So I have a very busy weekend ahead of me.
I hope everyone else has had more productive weeks.


Sunday, 9 January 2011

This Reader

If we've never met I will excuse you for not knowing that I love books above everything else in this world. If we have met then there is not much chance of you not already knowing this about me.
There aren't many things that I don't read. I'm not a big fan of modern crime. Horror has to have great reviews for me to buy it, though I will often grab them from the library. I'm not a D.H. Lawrence fan. I don't like Philip Pullman's books generally. I point blank refuse to read the so called tragic-life-stories and it still pains me to see a full wall of them in their own little section in the bookshop. Other than that - give me a book and I'm happy.

Some of my books currently in exile in my parents attic while I am in-between houses
Quite often I will have re-reading weeks. This past week was one, I re-read Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper, Spellwright by Blake Charlton, The Painted Man/The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett and part of The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (Oddly enough, he's not got a webpage I can link to). As much as I love finding new books it still gives me a lot of pleasure to go back to books that I know I will enjoy. It takes me less time to re-read books because I already know what is happening. The second time I read a good book is usually my favourite. You know the end result and can therefore spot the hints and clues that the author has left behind but you missed the first time around. Golly, I do like clever authors who can put in something that seem innocuous the first time around but jumps out and screams at you when you can see the relevance later on.

One of the nicest things about this week was receiving an amazing parcel from Chloe Healy over at Tor, UK A little while back I won a great raffle prize at the Other Worlds Alt.Fiction event for a year's supply of Tor books. There was quite literally squealing when the postie arrived with said parcel. (I'm not sure he'll deliver here again) Much fun to be had here and I cannot wait to get reading them.
A very big thanks to Chloe and the Tor team as well as everyone at Alt.Fiction for such a fab prize. You made one very happy reader over here.

In other book related things (and because I had to link to Etsy in here somewhere) I made an Etsy treasury for bibliophiles all about typewriters. I have a Corona, it's beautiful but needs new ribbon at the moment.

I also had a very lovely surprise yesterday when going to pick up some books I ordered from the library they had twice as many as I was expecting. Happy days. So I now have eight books sitting looking lovingly at me (yes they do, yes of course they can).

The un-avatar-ed version
Oh, and my profile picture has now changed to a head-shot so that I can use the same picture across all of my net wanderings. I obviously didn't take it because a) it's a much better photo than I take and b) I'm frigging in it and I'm certainly not that good with a timer. My super-talented cousin took the photo on Christmas Day and THIS is his website. Have a look, he does science things to save the world and there's lots of pretty pictures as well.


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Brand (new) Me.

Over the last week I have been working really hard on finding and implementing new marketing strategies and working on my business plan.
I’ve re-worded a lot of the titles of my products on Etsy so that they’re easier to search for, signed up to new websites to help with promotions and SEO stats as well as reading hundreds of articles on small business advice.

Whilst doing all of this admittedly rather dull work, I came across a great website called Copyblogger and he has a series about branding your business. As an experiment I thought I would go through all of the steps he suggests (that apply to my business…I’m not going to start singing no matter what) and I’m putting the step-by-step online. It’s a very useful site. Have a look if you’re interested/involved in small business marketing.

In doing this I am hoping to show by example you one might go about branding/rebranding a small business I would really like this to be helpful. If not to me then to someone...

1. What drives you?
The need to not be doing an office job.
I have always said that I am only afraid of two things in life: mediocrity and organised religion (sometimes in that order).
I want to work as creatively as possible for as long as possible. I really don’t want to climb a ladder, no matter what the financial gain of this may be.

2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about literature, poetry, art and politics. Few things make me happier than travelling. I love nature. And these are mostly the things which inspire me all of the time.  I love debating things that matter to myself or other people but I also really like it when someone changes my mind on an issue.

3. What are your strengths?
I am very stubborn. I mean, I am very persistent. Either way, once I have decided to do something I will throw everything I have at it. I work hard and will happily put in long hours to get a better result. I have a good eye for art, which I have to credit to my Dad taking me to as many gallery exhibitions as possible when I was a little girl. I knew my way around the National Gallery before my village.

4. What are your weaknesses?
I’m not very good at asking for help. I know my marketing could be better if I was willing to reach out to people and ask them to help promote me but it makes me very uncomfortable to do so. I am not good at drawing/painting. My artistic-eye does not stretch to free-hand creation. I’ve no training in any formal business things. I am learning everything as I go, accounting is still mostly a mystery to me. And coffee, I have a real weakness for coffee.

5. What is your personality type?
I’m definitely introverted. I am really shy and so tend to act quite outgoing when I meet people while really wanting to curl up under a blanket and pretend I’m not there.
I love my friends (and usually my family) very much but I enjoy living on my own so I can work at my own pace and I am happiest pottering around the house on my own. I do however like the company of good books, art and music while I work and write

6. What is your story?
I have been trying to figure this out because I am writing an Artist CV at the moment. Here’s the short version. I started making jewellery for Young Enterprise. Kept making it for friends. Started making art collages to decorate my walls while at Uni. Found Etsy. Had several miserable office jobs. Decided to try to make a creative career work. You’re up to date.

7. What is your background?
Someone once asked me to write the first line of my biography and this is what I came up with: “She was born in Ascot without a hat and spent the rest of her life looking for the perfect one.”
I grew up in the East Midlands, lived in London but loved the country. I never meant to be an artist, or a jewellery designer. It just sort of happened but I am very glad it did. Even if I can’t do this forever or even for very long it’s good here and now. I think the accidental way I fell into arts and crafts gives me a different outlook and set of ideas. And I don’t think that is a bad thing at all.

8. What are you most talented at?
What a horrid question. I can multi-task better than most. I read very quickly. I’m good with my hands and can pick up manual skills when I’ve been shown. I make the best cottage pie you can imagine and my rock cakes and jam tarts have been known to get me offers of marriage.
I guess that sort of applies to my business. Maybe not the cooking part so much.

9. What do you have the most experience doing?
I guess I have the most workplace experience in politics. I worked with various politicians and political groups since the age of fifteen until about a year ago. Life experience I think books and art are pretty much equal for the top spot. Crafting wise I have made more jewellery than anything else but my artwork is slowly catching up.

10. Why did you choose your career / niche / topic / market?
I chose my career, such as it is, because I don’t know how to cope with normal life. I chose my niche because it’s what I love, it’s personal and means I can live in my imagination for most of the time. I choose my topics depending on my mood, this can be very dangerous but also exciting. I chose my market based on my friends, family and people I know so I could make the best products possible for the people I hoped to sell to. 

Okay, that's part one done. Depending on the level of complaints (or even complements) I get I might keep doing the rest of the branding questions. Once again - the original idea came from Copyblogger, so a big thank you to them!


Monday, 3 January 2011

hic abundant leones

The reason that I make jewellery and art is because that's the only way that I can make sense of things. Creativity is how I view the world. This might explain a little of why everything I do has a slightly odd slant to it.
I was thinking about the collages that I make the other day - all of them are personal to me, and each shows some side of me. I love images, art, words, text and the way that all of these things intersect.
As I have mentioned I began making collages to display my poetry and then later to illustrate the little books of poetry that I made for people.
Now I am making collages based on my BA dissertation. Yep, weird.

Although my degree was in politics (Stop! Why are you running away from me?) my dissertation was very visual. I wanted to take an unusual direction in a very hotly contested issue. In fact I think many people would say that it is the most contested issue in politics, if not then in the top few. I looked at Israel, Palestine and the territories in relation to maps.
(SCETI map - not owned by

My hypothesis was: “The sense of belonging in Israel and Palestine is influenced more by ideas of social borders than by printed representations of political borders”. If you want to know more, drop me a line I can talk about this for hours - or just send you a copy of my dissertation!

So, back to collages. I have a lot of maps. I've been collecting them for ages and I decided to incorporate this into the collages that I am now selling on Etsy.

This is my first attempt and it is a sort-of middle ground while I decide what I really want to do with them. To be honest, I'm not all that happy with it. I think the colours are wishy-washy and I need more map features on them. But that is what I will be playing around with for the next few days.

In the future I am looking to get hold of more maps with different styles, colours and topographies. I am also thinking of doing treasure map themed ones...stay tuned.