From Martyn on 14th February 2004 - the day the Signing started:
Can I commend the photographer. Excellent images. The right light and exposure, perfect background and resolution means I am very confident of what the ceramics look like. In case the author of the descriptions gets jealous, they are excellent as well!
From Chris on 15th February:
Thank you baby brother-in-law for your touching remarks. However, lovely pictures and words would not have been possible without lovely ceramics in the first place.
Actually, some general technical feedback would be appreciated. How are people getting on with accessing the home page and pictures? Are the instructions, eg about the IE Go button, clear enough? How are AOL/Netscape users getting on? If you are having problems what browser/OS and what type of internet connection (ADSL, dial-up, etc) are you using? Many thanks. This will help for any future events.
A selection of replies on 15th February:
Well, it all worked perfectly fine for me and I spent a small fortune! I couldn't resist the wonderful Home and Colonial and as I've just been researching my family histories I just had to have the Family History Centre as well. The instructions were very clear and I'm using the Internet Explorer browser and NTL cable connection.
My response is pretty much the same as Maureen's. I spent a fortune and it was a breeze. I got the two pieces she got, plus two more. Oh, the poverty! As I've mentioned to Marilyn, we need Hazle to make The Poor House. If this helps, I used the AOL browser (which always works fine for me) and have a DSL connection. The photos were superb and the navigation was simple and speedy.
Jane, I am now poor also. I have bought two of the Hazles. I chose so very carefuly the Home and Colonial Stores and the Keyboard Friends on the Boots building. The Home and Colonial detail is wonderful, I just love all there is to see through the door and windows. I chose the Keyboard Friends on Boots because of the cat at the computer - as you can guess I have a little furry friend that keeps me company too. I would have loved to buy also the Magic Carpet Shop on Boots, this is such a beautiful piece.
I have to thank everyone who put this together. The pictures and writings are so good. The effort making this a success must have taken a lot of time. It is such a great pleasure to have so much information on our collecting obsession, and to know I am not the only one who falls in love with these little gems. I had no problems connecting to the pictures. It also led me straight into the PAYPAL thing, and enabled me to be a member and pay very easily. Something I have tried to do before with PAYPAL and never managed. Looking forward to the Chat Room, goodness isn't this all so exiting.
From Yorkshire Karen:
Just had a look at the wonderful ceramics, and have now ordered my birthday and Christmas presents ....very early!! Couldn't resist the Wine Press, and I've also bought the corner Keyboard Friends as I loved the colours. I also want the other Keyboard Friends (oh for limitless funds!) as I spotted the Hazle Ceramics on the wall going up stairs. Is it me, or does the lady on the left of that ceramic look topless?! Good job it's her back you can see... Anyway, my hubby is treating me to tea out tonight, so I'd better go so I can get back for the Chat Room at 7pm!
You have all made a great job of what must have been a technical nightmare.
Hazle - they are terrific pieces - you and your painters are maintaining the excellent standard collectors have enjoyed over the years. I hope the signing is a massive success for all the hard work you must have put in.
Chris - I am using Windows XP, Dial-up using BT Openworld, and access Yahoo through my email registration. I had no problems at all. All the links worked fine. You created all the right keyboard buttons, and Hazle's team created all the right ceramic buttons.
From Mary in Maryland on 17th February:
I loved it. Use AOL with a regular dial-up connection and had no problems at all except that one of the pictures didn't come up on first try. First time using my PayPal account and it was a breeze - way too easy.
From Marilyn on 19th February:
Having just put in my own order I thought I should post technical feedback. I agree with Mary, it was FAR TOO EASY - but who is to blame for that! So thank you very much, my Keyboard Friend. He is not thanking me for spending the money...
From Marilyn on February:
The Chat Room session on Sunday was very lively, if somewhat chaotic. We numbered up to a dozen or so but it was difficult to maintain a count because Yahoo kept dropping people off which added to the excitement and confusion. Although it didn't take long to reconnect it was difficult to tell what, if anything, had been missed and by whom!
Hazle enjoyed herself and told us after that she laughed out loud at times, as did we. Hazle was connecting from the workshop. She set the scene before her: a computer, a candle and ceramic specials arranged around her. There was some discussion about whether the candle was for heating or for lighting. Hazle's aversion to fluorescent lights might have had something to do with it!
Topics covered included the Village Collection, a Poor House piece for destitute collectors and various event ceramics including Magic Carpets (relayed in News & Updates below). Hazle suggested a Poor House Entrance as a Collector's Club Gift but then rapidly retracted - due to guilt. The session went on for two and a half hours and many of us were exhausted from all the typing!
Comments from Stephen on the Chat Room and Event in the Spring Newsletter:
HIGH STREET NEWS
From Marilyn on February 15th:
Hope you are enjoying the web site - at the time of writing we have had over 60 hits - and it hasn't even been open 24 hours!
CORRECTION - my first Oops! The Family History Centre is painted by Carol Whaley (of Rods 'n' Reels fame) not Iona Driver. Apologies to both painters. Carol's husband is very involved with the East of London Family History Group. That is why this subject came up. Like other painters, Carol creates specials based on things she or her family are associated with. They really do come from the heart.
Home & Colonial is currently the most popular piece... Sharon is painting some this weekend and they are all already allocated!
From Marilyn on 18th February:
Chris uploaded a mid-week update of the Cyber Signing site this morning. Spot the difference! There are some small changes including:
Keyboard Friends on Boots - Yorkshire Karen wondered if the lady was topless. She thought that might encourage her husband to buy the ceramic for her. Sadly, Hazle informed us that the answer is "No". Good luck, Karen, though!
From Marilyn on 22nd February:
LAST CHANCE SALOON...
Hopefully everyone is aware that today is the final opportunity for most to order any of the Limited Paintings in the Cyber Signing. This site closes tomorrow morning at 0800 GMT which we think is around midnight on the US West Coast.
The site is certainly the most colourful thing on the group since we started. It is worth taking a look even if you don't wish to buy. This Signing is a first for Hazle Ceramics and maybe any collectable. (The likely commerical cost would probably exceed the takings!) It will get a mention in Collect It! magazine next month.
Carol Whaley, who paints Rods 'n' Reels, became a vegetarian partly because she doesn't like anything that hurts animals. But that didn't stop her from creating this! It was developed from catalogues and books to get the details and names right. She wanted to use a colour other than green, hence the blue and orange paintway. We are also vegetarians but that didn't stop me buying this ceramic!
Carol's husband is in fact Chairman of the East of London Family History Society: www.eolfhs.org.uk/. The committee are all busy volunteers who don't get much time to research their own history! Carol knows just how popular this subject is the world over and thought a Family History ceramic would have broad appeal.
Hazle is spending her Sunday afternoon painting Wine Presses...
From Janie on 25th February:
I am almost at a loss for words - imagine! I cannot believe the Cyber Signing and Chat were inaugural events. Everything could not have been more well done. I am beyond impressed and so grateful for the opportunity to participate. This must have been more work than any of us will ever know. From my point of view, it was seamless. (I know there was some last minute trouble shooting with PayPal to which you responded immediately. So big deal - that is par for the course in computer land.) Greatest possible congratulations and thanks. You have made many people very happy and done so efficiently, effectively and with humor and grace.
From Yorkshire Karen on 26th February:
The web site looked fantastic, and shopping there was just as exciting as “real life”…
And again on 17th March:
I’ve received my ceramics and they are both wonderful. I chose the internet café with the big “world” painted on the front, it really stands out and has proved a real talking point already! We also bought the wine shop, which has been painted in beautiful soft colours. It seemed a fitting choice, as I’ve given up drinking wine for Lent (last time I decide to do that in a hurry!) so the money I save by not drinking it will pay for the ceramic… Well, I had to find some way of justifying the expense! Thanks again to Hazle and her team, and of course to Marilyn and Chris.
From Maureen on 8th March:
I just want to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who made the Cyber Signing possible. I've just received my Home and Colonial and absolutely love it! I'm also thrilled with the Family History Centre. You'd better not do too many of these or I'll be in trouble with the bank manager!
From Susan of Stamford (Connecticut) on 22nd March:
Just got my Wine Press shop, and I love it! Thank you for doing such a great job.
From Mary in Maryland on 22nd March:
Just received my cyber signing piece and love it. Got the internet cafe on Old Curiosity.
From Elizabeth (who in a way started this whole thing off last October) on March 25:
The pieces have arrived in Arizona! They are even more beautiful than expected. Thank you to everyone for all the work. I don't feel quite as bad about having to miss all the UK Signings now. I think ours was a huge success and hope we have another.
From William on 1st April:
Just to say how pleased I am with the pieces and thank you for the help with PayPal.
From Chris on 15th March 2004:
The Cyber Signing does seem to have been a success. A few people had some problems with PayPal. However anyone with a verified PayPal account had no difficulties. So for another time it may be useful to get verified - whereby PayPal checks that the credit card is indeed yours - which takes about four days. If it was PayPal giving us a headache at the end of the event, now it is Freeserve...
From Martyn on Thursday 18th March:
Well, whatever you've done has now worked! I'm back!
From Karen on March 18:
I’m so sorry that my appreciation has caused problems… but promise not to say it again until the problem is sorted. Meanwhile... Merci! Regards! Well done! Great job!
From Maureen on 19th March:
Oh dear! I'm almost frightened to post!!! How funny that such an innocent post can have caused so many problems. It'll give my husband a laugh when I show him...
Update from Marilyn on 19th November 2006:
Happily we have had no problems since March 2004!
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